Thursday, 29 September 2016

Indigoblu 'Autumn Wildlife' Challenge - Stag Night!

Indigoblu Challenge September 2016
'Autumn Wildlife'

This was a difficult challenge and I almost did not attempt it as I have only one suitable stamp and here it is. I have also used a different technique and no! I haven't smudged the image - I deliberately over-stamped the first image with a darker colour - just to see if I could achieve a more dimensional effect. I did have to have to repeat the process a few times (well seven actually) until I got it to work. 
The composition was inspired by Royal Deeside as a few times each year, we drive along there to go 'deer chasing.' This is not literal - we try to spot them on the hills above Braemar! It can be quite tricky as the herds are very well camouflaged. I hope the tinges of purple convey the last remnants of this year's heather and the rusty brown the dying bracken. We still have a few of our summer migrants around, hence their inclusion around the top.


  • Cardstock:- white, gold pearlescent, bronze pearlescent
  • Stamps:- Indigblu - Looks Like Rain, Deer; Nature1, Mr Darcy
  • Inkpads:- Ranger - Archival Black; Distress - Wild Honey, Rusty Hinge, Vintage Photo, Hickory Smoke, Old Paper, Antique Linen, Black Soot, Milled Lavender, Shaded Lilac
  • Miscellaneous:- Charcoal pencils - light, white; Sharpie pen - black
  1. On white 7ins x 7ins card, stamp the large stag from 'Looks Like Rain Deer' set using Rusty Hinge. Overstamp again with Vintage Photo but slightly offset. 
  2. Using a damp paintbrush, pull in colour from the stamped lines towards the centre of the stag. 
  3. Stamp stag again onto sticky notes, cut out and use to mask image.
  4. Tear copy-paper into a mountainous landscape shape, place over the card and blend background using Old Paper, Antique Linen and Hickory Smoke.
  5. Repeat at base of card with Wild Honey and Rusty Hinge. 
  6. Cut a circle from a sticky note, apply to card and blend Milled Lavender and Shaded Lilac to create sky. 
  7. Lightly blend Lilac and Lavender onto hills. 
  8. Stamp trees using Archival Black, deer using Hickory Smoke and birds using second generation Archival Black. Stamp bushes around base using Archival Black, branch stamp from Nature 1 but Do Not use a stamp mount - apply by pressing with fingers to achieve a random effect. 
  9. Add shadows with Black Soot and charcoal pencil. Add white pencil to highlight areas.
  10. Cover hills and stag with paper, spritz water into air and pull card through. Blot with kitchen roll. Repeat until desired effect achieved.
  11. Drag a black Sharpie around all four edges then mount onto gold followed by bronze.

 . . . . And there we have my submission for the Indigoblu Challenge 'Autumn Wildlife.' 

Monday, 19 September 2016

Glowing Colours and Tiny Wings

Indigoblu Challenge August 2016
'All Things Bright and Beautiful'
Glowing Colours and Tiny Wings!

For the card I used a combination of Indigoblu stamps - Ledger Background (blots only), Rococo (sentiment), Nature 1 (grasses and butterfly), Mr Darcy (birds and lace), Discover Your Passion (dragonfly), Poppy Heart, Blazing Poppies. 

The ink pads were all from Ranger - Archival Black and Distress - Barn Door, Fired Brick, Picked Raspberry, Aged Mahogany,  Walnut Stain, Black Soot. 

The aperture was die-cut, coloured and the background stamped. The die-cut card was stamped with the lace strip, then images on each side stamped using either side from the 'blots' edge from the Ledger stamp. (In a previous life, I cut this area of the Ledger stamp off and it has made it easier to use independently.) Butterflies, poppies and dragonfly were stamped, inked and added, along with a lacquer glaze and a little bit of bling. 

. . . and here we have 'Glowing Colours and Tiny Wings!

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Le Jardin Japonais

Clarity Challenge 43 Mid-month
‘In the Garden’

Le Jardin Japonais

Materials: -
·         Clarity Stamps: - Asia/Oriental set
·         Clarity Stencil: - Sunshine Stencil
·         Clarity Groovi: - Octagon Nested Groovi
·         Cardstock: - Clarity Stencil Card 7x7ins; Gold Mirri, Black matte
·         Inkpads:- Distress Barn Door, Fired Brick, Spiced Marmalade, Carved Pumpkin, Squeezed Lemonade, Mustard Seed
·         Miscellaneous: - Versamark pen; Wow gold embossing powder; Polychromo Coloured Pencils; alcohol pens
Instructions: -
1.       On scrap pieces of parchment and using the Octagon plate, outline the largest and second largest octagons (two separate pieces.) Accurately cut out each and use these as templates – the largest for the black mount and the second largest for the card shape. Draw around each on the reverse side of card and cut out. Set the black octagon aside.
2.       Mask off areas on the clean side of the white card to create an angular pattern. Stamp a selection from the Asia set in each masked area. Stamp and cut out sticky note masks for lanterns, lady and water-lillies and apply over stamped images.
3.       Using sticky notes to mask complete areas at a time, blend/brush over yellow, orange then red Distress inks from the centre out. (I used the Sunshine stencil over the masked, stamped lanterns.)
4.       Remove masks and colour areas of the stamped images to suit.
5.       Cut out areas and over stamp chosen shapes with birds and bamboo.
6.       Edge each shape with a black alcohol pen. Now using the Versamark pen ,edge each shape with a fine line,  apply gold embossing powder and heat set.
7.       Glue each shape onto the black octagon mat.
8.       Mount onto gold mirri and trim.

9.       Lastly glue onto another black mat and trim to leave a 1cm border.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Clarity Challenge 43 'In the Garden'

September 2016
‘Tom’s Midnight Garden’
Hello and welcome! 

We have a new month and also a 'new look' Clarity Challenge blog. Exciting times, indeed!

Thank you for looking at my Clarity Challenge 43 contribution. Alas it's not my usual step-by-step as I made 'Tom's Midnight Garden' before leaving on an around Britain trip to Ayrshire, Chester, Oxford, Bath, Royal Tunbridge Wells on a lead-up to my second Clarity Retreat. (And what a treat it was, too. Many thanks to Barbara, Paul, Dave, Jayne my 'buddy' Lynne and everyone else involved in making it such a lovely, messy, fun and informative experience.) 
I can however offer a number of photos of the stamps and stencils used throughout the blog.The daisies were stamped on old book pages and leaves on copy paper which was then coloured, you know how much I like my 3D additions!

I DID find this challenge lived up to its name and for this reason once again I turned word-play to decide the route I was going to take. I wonder which road you will follow? Looking forward to viewing your wonderful pieces of art-work on the Clarity Challenge; all details and guidelines are to be found at and this includes how you can submit your post from your blog or send by email a photo of your work to

·         Clarity Stamps: - Cat from ‘Lucky’ set; Leaves from ‘Poppy’ set; Meadow Grasses set; NDC 99 – Daisy outline stamp.
·         Clarity Stencils: - A5 Bird Table; Brick Wall.
·         Clarity Moon mask - Large
·         Cardstock: - Clarity Stencil Card 8.5x11ins
·         Inkpads: - Distress - Chipped Sapphire, Stormy Sky, Dusty Concord, Squeezed Lemonade, Mustard Seed, Fossilized Amber, Black Soot; Memento – London Fog, Tuxedo Black.
·         Miscellaneous: - Clarity Brushes; Old book pages; Micron pen; alcohol pens – rust/brown and yellow, Polychromo coloured pencils.

For the embellishments: -

1.       Stamp the daisy 21 times onto old book pages using Tuxedo Black; cut each out and glue together in threes to form seven flowers. Using alcohol pens, colour the centres and on two flowers, trim away some petals. Set all seven flowers aside.

2.       Stamp 11 leaves from the ‘Poppy’ set; blend over Shaded Lilac, Wilted Violet and Chipped Sapphire and cut out. Set aside.
For the background: -
3.       Attach large moon mask to top right of the Clarity stencil card.

4.       Tape the Bird Table stencil over the card, having masked off the birds with tape or similar and gently brush over ‘London Fog,’ ensuring areas in the shade are slightly darker. To intensify colour around edges, use a make-up sponge to pick up residual ink from stencil and dab over. (Thank you, Barbara and Paul for this little tip!)  Remove stencil.

5.       Tape the Brick Wall stencil along the lower half of the inked bird house.
6.       Tape the bird table stencil over the inked image and gently brush over a medley of Stormy Sky, Chipped Sapphire and Dusty Concord (in that order) around the perimeter of the card, shading lighter tones towards the centre.
7.       Remove moon mask and replace with moon ‘outie.’ Brush over Squeezed Lemonade, Mustard Seed and Fossilized Amber, concentrating the darker colours at the edge of the moon. Remove mask.
8.       Brush London Fog over the Brick wall stencil. Remove stencils. Trim card to suit.

9.       Using Tuxedo Black, stamp a variety of Meadow Grasses at the base of the inked image. Repeat using Dusty Concord further up the card. Brush Black Soot along the foot of the card, over the existing colour.
10.   Outline top of wall and a selection of bricks with Micron pen.

11.   Stamp ‘Tom’ on top of the wall using Tuxedo Black.
12.   Glue on leaves and daisies.
13.   With Polychromos, add shade where needed.

Et voila – here we have ‘Tom’s Midnight Garden.’

Remember a £50 voucher to spend on goodies from the Clarity website could be winging its way to you, should your submission be selected at random. Then, there is chance of being selected as one of the Top Five. You know you can do it - Go on, go on, go on!!!

Best wishes,

'The Making Lady'