Sparkles Christmas Challenge ~ Distress It

I’m running a bit late here due to a very busy September at work.  We have a new Sparkles Christmas Challenge for you for the month of October and our lovely team mate Debs, wants to see all your distressed looking cards and projects.  I know a lot of you like the Vintage/Distressed look so we expect a good number of entries.

We have two wonderful sponsors this month

A gift voucher from Fantastic Ribbons


And a lovely Christmas themed stamp and die from Marianne

For my card I used a tried and true method to make things look a bit distressed and that involves my Tim Holtz paper distressing tool, embossing powder and Distress Ink!

I started with a 5″ x 6.5″ card blank and added the brown card to it.  The sheet of vintage looking DP is from a Michaels own brand pack and I used the Distress Tool around all the edges and then edged with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.  I randomly dropped some Frantage Aged Gold EP and heated form below. I edged with Versamark Embossing Ink, making sure some went over the card face, and then put some Michael’s Opaque Sparkle EP onto a piece of scrap paper and dipped the inked card into it and then heat embossed that!

The music is from a free download I found on Flikr and I distressed it with the TH tool, tore it, curled it up, crumpled it all up and then inked with Vintage Photo DI, I think it looks suitably aged now!  The image is from Inkadinkado, called Holiday Words and it’s embossed in Burgundy, edged with Vintage Photo, cut out and mounted on to brown card.

I added some green ribbon and some Wild Orchid roses in cream and red.  The roses are pretty small so the card is still mostly flat for posting.

I hope you can join us this month, as it’s now October (how did that happen??) there really aren’t that many days left until Christmas!  And that’s a scary thought indeed!



Papertake Weekly ~ Take Your Pick (Distress Inks)

Crafty Hazel’s Christmas Extra ~ Anything Goes

Simon Says Stamp ~ Anything Goes

Fab ‘n’ Funky ~ Anything Christmas


Sparkles Monthly Challenge ~ A Sketch

It’s time for a new challenge at Sparkles Monthly Challenges, and this time round we have a sketch for you.  This means that you can make anything you want, any theme, any style, any anything!!

The sketch is on the challenge site, so pop over and have a look.  The winner and Top Picks from the last challenge have also been posted so it might be worth your while to check that out in case it’s you!

We have two sponsors again this month


I used a new stamp from Lili of the Valley to make my card.  It’s not one of their new releases, I got it at Christmas and gave it its first outing!  Also new is the La La Land banner die, which has been on my wish list for quite a while.

The top paper is from Dovecraft, the bottom striped piece is from an unknown pack that I won last year in a blog candy.  I covered the join with ribbon from JoAnn’s and a punched strip of scrap card using a Martha Stewart edge punch, and I used the same striped paper to make the banner.

The image was coloured with Prisma pencils and Crystal and Fruit Punch Stickles.  It was edged with a little peg stamp and Martha Stewart ink in Watermelon.  The three little heart sequins are “card confetti”, the type you’d put inside cards to make a mess when the recipient opened it!  They’re mirrored, so are difficult to photograph.

The sentiment came with the stamp and it’s also stamped with the Martha Stewart ink.  Both image and sentiment are mounted on to Mulberry type card from Fiskars.




Darnell’s NBUS Challenge ~ New Schtuff! (The stamp, the die, both papers.. need I go on??)



Penny Black & More At Allsorts ~ Anything Goes

Oh Christmas Tree At Sparkles Christmas Challenge

Whoosh, here we are again, back at the first of the month. And September too, Summer is all but over, the kids are back at school and the snow will soon be flying!

So it’s time to get organised with those Christmas cards and Sparkles Christmas is here to help you do just that. The winners and Top 5 of the last challenge have been posted and Caz is challenging us this month to show off our Christmas Trees this time around. Sounds like a nice, easy theme for you all.

We have two great sponsors again in Bugaboo Stamps and Di’s Digi Stamps who are each offering vouchers to their stores.

For my card this month I went with some tree themed but non-Christmas paper from Memory Box from the Brioche pack.  I LOVE Memory Box papers but they don’t seem to do their 6×6 packs anymore which is a shame.

As you can see, it’s a but non-traditional but I just love the colours.  The stamp is from Penny Black, coloured with Prisma pencils and copious amounts of glitter added to the tree, the ground, the little bird and the mouse’s hat and scarf.  None of which you can see of course!  I also added some Perfect Pearls and a snowflake gem.

The sentiment die cut is also from Memory Box and I put sparkly red gems in the corners of the card.  Very simple, flat for posting and a bit funky too!

Please pop over to the main Sparkles Christmas blog and see the beautiful inspiration we have for you this month, and I hope to see you there.

September At Crafty Hazel’s Christmas Extra

It’s September people, how did that happen?  Time to get a jump on all those Christmas cards.


As always we have the fantastic Jodi from Bugaboo Stamps sponsoring the challenge and the DT get to use her wonderful images for our cards.  I’ve used the super cute Deer Duo this month, but I’ve gone all dark and woodsy on you this time!

I used a white card blank with brown mounting card and paper from a free Raspberry Road pack.  I coloured the image with Prisma pencils and Stickles glitter and embossed the Fiskars sentiment in black, directly on to the paper.  A couple of chocolate coloured gems were the only other embellishment here.  I seem to have a thing for simple cards lately!

CHNC2 is an anything goes as long as it’s Christmas challenge so get linking those cards up, we love to see them all.

Sparkles Christmas Challenge ~ Ditch The Design Papers

We have a new challenge at Sparkles Christmas for you and it’s just started (I’m a couple of days late with my post).  I chose the theme this time round and I’d like to see you really challenge yourself and Ditch Those DP’s!  This is easier than it sounds because I’m not necessarily talking about Clean & Simple.  You can go inky and grungy, lots of layers, lots of embossing, lots of details and embellishments if you like, so just think outside the box!

We have two fantastic sponsors too:

ccWho have a ten pound voucher for you to spend, and

A prize of three digis from:

I went the grungy route for my card this month.  I stamped the snowflakes in Versmark ink and heat embossed some with clear embossing powder and the bigger ones with Tim Holtz Holographic EP.

The inks are TH Distress Inks with Evergreen Bough and Peacock Feathers coming to the fore, although there were others used.  The panel was mounted on to navy card and added to a plain white card base.  The sentiment is from Fiskars and it was stamped and embossed on Vellum and then roughly torn to fit.  A few lilac pearls finished it off.

That’s it from me, I hope you have time to join in the fun this month.  Chin chin!



Christmas Cards All Year Round ~ Snowflakes

ABC Christmas Challenge ~ Off The Edge

Sparkles Christmas Challenge ~ Christmas Creatures

And we’re back again with a new challenge at Sparkles Christmas too as it’s the first of the month.  Pat has picked the lovely theme of Christmas Animals, so nice and easy with a lot of choice, I know I have a lot of stamps/digis with Christmas Animals on them!

We have two fabulous sponsors this month, a $10 voucher from

And a fab stamping set from


I broke out a cute LOTV Polar Bear stamp that I received for Christmas when they were having a sale.  It’s a very sweet stamp and is fantastic for a quick make as there is very little in the way of colouring to be done.

I stamped with Memento ink, coloured with Prisma pencils and embellished the snow with a tiny bit of Crystal Stickles.  The sentiment is from Kaiserkraft and was embossed in a metallic green EP from JoAnn’s.  A little bit of green ribbon to finish, and yes, your eyes do not deceive, it’s also single layer!  I know a lot of peeps are scared away but I LOVE the simplicity of less is more at times.

I hope you’re able to pop over to Sparkles and join in, we’re half way through the year now, Christmas isn’t that far away!


ABC Christmas

Crafty Hazel’s Christmas Challenge

Crimbo Crackers

Crafty Creations

Sister Act Card Challenge

Fab ‘n’ Funky

Crafting By Designs

Christmas At Sweet Stampin

Completely Christmas

Weekly Christmas Card Challenges

12 Months of Christmas

June At Crafty Hazel’s Christmas Extra

Yup, June, the half way point of the year!  And we have another challenge starting at CHNC Extra, as always we’re anything goes, and as always we sponsored by Bugaboo Stamps:

For my card this month I used the cute Penguin Joy stamp, paper piecing the two letters.  All the papers are scraps of DCWV from the big Christmas packs, hence I have a lot of scraps!

The sentiment is from Stampin’ Up and the snowflake is Memory Box.

I hope you have time to join in this month, we love to see all your beautiful cards.



Sister Act Card Challenge

Pixies Snippets Playground

Rudolph Day

 Fab ‘n’ Funky

Crafty Creations

Crafting By Design

Crimbo Crackers

Spring Flowers At Sparkles Monthly Challenge

Yes it’s Spring, I hope the flowers are blooming where you are.  Nick has picked the fun theme of Spring Flowers but you MUST use at least five flowers on your project!

Our sponsors this month are


Crafty Bren’s Embroidered Embellishments, with a prize pack for a UK winner.

For my card I used one of my many, un-inked stamps!  This one is Hero Arts Newspaper Tulips.

I stared by covering a 6.5″ x 5″ card blank with spotty pink paper from ATD and cut a piece from My Mind Eye In Bloom pad to size and edged both with Memento Rosebud Ink.  To make the image panel I stamped with Versamark one of the large Hero Arts block stamps, Dots and Flowers, onto white card.  After it had dried I over stamped the Tulips stamp using Versamagic Ink Hint of Pesto and Aloe Vera for the stems and Pink Grapefruit and Perfect Plumeria for the flowers.  It was cut out with a Spellbinders die.  The grey matting is Bazzil card and I traced around the cutting die and cut it out by hand to make it slightly larger than the main image.  I also used some pink, self stick cotton lace from Michaels to wrap around the edge of the panel.

The image was popped up with foam tape.  The sentiment is from Kanban and was stamped in the Memento Rosebud ink on to a scrap of the same card used for the main panel that had been punched into a tag shape with a McGill punch.  It was tied to the lace with some white embroidery thread.

I hope you have time to join in with us this month, a fun theme I think and flowers are always popular.



Allsorts ~ No Squares Allowed

Sister Act Card Challenge ~ Anything Goes

Crafty Hazel’s Christmas Extra Challenge ~ May

And wooosh!  April flew by and here we are knocking on the door of May.  This means there’s a new challenge at CHNC Extra and as always we’re an “anything goes as long as it’s Christmas” challenge.  You know how we love to see your Christmas cards building up every month.

Our generous sponsor is always Bugaboo Stamps with a great prize for one lucky person:

And the DT get to use Jodi’s fun images every month too.  This month I used the seriously cute Winter Bird Trio, keeping it simple as I had some incredibly shiny Holographic paper from SEI to contend with!

Spot the shiny paper lol.  I coloured the image with Prisma pencils, adding some Stickles to the pompom trim, the branch and the baubles.  The baubles were also covered with Glossy Accents too.  The sentiment is from Kaiserkfraft, stamped in Memento Rosebud, and the blue/pink backing card are scraps from The Paper Company.

Until next time…



Pixies Snippets Workshop ~ Use Up Your Scraps (pink/blue card)

Georgia On My Mind

Home again, home again, jigety-jig!

Yes, we’ve been gallivanting around again, those of you who have been with me a while might remember that we like to head South at this time of year in search of some sun.  Our destination is usually the Isle of Palms in South Carolina, but this time around we decided to add a couple of days in Savannah, Georgia at the start of the holiday, and then finish up with a week on the IOP.

Savannah is billed as America’s Most Beautiful City because of it’s old buildings, cobbled streets, green spaces and it’s beautiful city squares, everyone we talked to said how wonderful it is.  So after a terrible 16 hour drive in topical pouring rain for over two thirds of it, we finally arrived at our hotel in Mid-town Savannah.

Typically at this time of year Savannah enjoys temps in the 80’sF (high 20’s to early 30’sC), but that rain we drove through (for well over 600 miles) ushered in a cold front more reminiscent of December than April!  We topped out at 53F (11C) on our one day looking round the old city, and we just weren’t prepared for that at all!  Still, we made the most of it and had a long, but interesting, day.

Don’t be fooled by the “I’m happy to be here” grin, it was Michigan temps and I was wearing a thin long sleeved tshirt and capri’s.  I had nothing else.  Andrew was wearing shorts!

The city is up-river from the ocean but was still a major and bustling port back in the day.  Now the river is more a source of tourist entertainment than trade.

The city is incredibly green, but it was also very dull and overcast making photos difficult, but I liked the old cobbled streets and the iron walkways spanning them.  The buildings to the left are the back of the old warehouses that front the river.

Needing a warm up we soon sniffed out the best coffee shop around.  Savannah Coffee Roasters started out as a coffee importer and roaster many moons ago in 1909.  They used to be just a supplier of fresh coffee to other establishments until a couple of years ago when the company was bought out by an Australian lady who renovated a fantastic old building and opened it up as a cafe.   Now, they still roast their own coffee but they also bake fabulous cakes (Limoncello Cake for me and Tiramisu for Andrew), and have a great lunch menu too.  Their executive chef was the last to train under the formidable doyen of  American cookery, Julia Childs.

Founded in 1733 by General James Edward Oglethorpe representing King George II, Savannah was originally settled to stem the Catholic flow of the Spanish and French Northwards from Florida and Louisiana.  The original city plan and layout was even mapped out before Oglethorpe set sail from England.  This included the 24 city squares that the city is perhaps most famous for.

Like many cities old cities though Savannah has seen its fortunes rise and fall over the years and two of the original squares were lost to redevelopment in the 1950’s before the formation of the Historic Savannah Foundation preserved them and the historic buildings around them.

Oglethope’s original design had trust lots on the East and West sides of the Squares for churches and public buildings and tithing lots on the North and South sides for colonists homes.

Some of the Squares are wonderful, peaceful oasis’s from the bustle of a big city, others now find themselves on the main routes in and out of the city and take a lot of vehicular traffic.  None of the roads go though the squares, so even the big buses and lorries have to negotiate the large evergreen oaks, narrow streets, parked cars and tourists as they make their way gingerly around them!

But I’ll be honest… perhaps it was the cold weather that did it, or the very touristy section by the waterfront, or all the traffic in the city or maybe all the walking we did, but I was seriously beginning to wonder what all the fuss was about.  I know with warmer temps and some sun the place would look amazingly different but I was already beginning to turn my thoughts towards Charleston, the Isle of Palms and South Carolina….