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Elegant Toile


One of the great things about Convention is the demonstration of techniques old and new that get the inspiration and creativity flowing.  This year, the bleach technique was demonstrated on the main image from the 'Elements of Style' stamp set.   This a great design for this technique, so I decided to give it a go myself.  The last time I tried bleaching was here, way back in 2009 with the purpose of recolouring the image.  This time I've left it white, as it is a very detailed design.


Here is a close up of part of the flower panel.  I've really like the soft look and slight variations in colour, rather than being totally white.


Project Details
Stamps Elements of Style, You're a Gem
Card stock & Papers Soft Suede (Textured), Rose Red, Pretty in Pink, Whisper White
Ink Versamark, Soft Suede
Accessories White Taffeta Ribbon, 1mm Pearls (not SU)
Tools Beautiful Wings Die, Swiss Dots Embossing Folder, Big Shot, Oval Punches,  Scallop Border Punch, Dimensionals, Clear embossing powder, Heat gun, Aqua Painter, Bleach

This time, I used the 'Bella Toile' background stamp  on Marina Mist cardstock and it gives a slightly less white look. This reminds me of the toile fabric that I bought in Auxerre, France a few years ago.   Apologies for the lighting on this photo, as I took it at night with artificial light.


Project Details
Stamps Bella Toile, Teeny Tiny Sentiments
Card stock & Papers Very Vanilla (Textured), Early Espresso, Marina Mist
Ink Versamark, Early Espresso
Accessories Very Vanilla Taffeta Ribbon, Basic Pearls, 1mm Pearls (not SU)
Tools Scallop Trim border punch, Word Window punch, Butterfly punch (not SU), Clear embossing powder, Heat gun, Aqua Painter, Bleach

My tips for this technique are:

  • Set aside an Aqua painter specifically for bleach and mark it clearly.
  • Put a small amount of bleach in the barrel of the aqua painter and empty it out when finished. The bleach loses its efficacy after a while and you will need to replace it anyway.
  • Keep the brush tip fairly dry (blot on a tissue first) so that you can control the amount of bleach and prevent it from going outside (or under) the lines of the design.
  • Try out the bleach first on a scrap, as different coloured cardstock will yield a different result.
  • Use a light touch with the brush as you can go over it again if necessary.
  • If you are going to recolour the bleached area,  make sure your piece is totally dry first.
  • Like all techniques, practice makes perfect!

 Happy stamping (and bleaching)!


May Blog Hop - The Colour Coach

Hi there

Welcome to our casual monthly  Blog Hop for another month. This month we are showcasing the Stampin' Up! Colour Coach. You may have come from the blog of the lovely Di Dunk, but if not, you can join the Blog Hop from here using the link to the next blog at the end of the post.  This month we have 7 Stampin' Up! demonstrators sharing their inspiration and the full list of contributors is also at the end of the post.

The Colour Coach is a great tool to help you put together colour combinations for your projects.  It is useful whether you are a beginner or an experienced crafter or just new to the great Stampin' Up! colour groups.  I've been time challenged this week, so I wanted to keep my projects simple and the Colour Coach was a great help. For this first card, I knew I wanted to use Crumb Cake for the focus colour of the main 'Just Believe' image. I always start by looking at the card for my focus colour first, and if that isn't what I want, I check through the Colour Coach for other combinations including the focus colour. This time I've gone for the 'Creative Combination' on the Crumb Cake card.


This the card I came up with.  I kept looking at this card, wanting to add something else, but have resisted the temptation to remove the 'white space'.  What do you think?


Project Details
Stamps Just Believe
Card stock & Papers Crumb Cake, Not Quite Navy, Riding Hood Red, Very Vanilla, Regals Pattern Stack
Ink  Crumb Cake, Not Quite Navy
Accessories  Vintage Brads, Crochet Trim
Tools Scallop Border Punch, Word Window Punch, Dimensionals

For the second card  I wanted to use one of my favourite colours,  Marina Mist and I've chosen the 'Getting Started' combination from the Marina Mist card.


This is  what I came up with. 


Project Details
Stamps Cheep Talk, Hello Again
Card stock & Papers Real Red, Marina Mist, Whisper White
Ink Old Olive, Real Red, Marina Mist
Accessories Basic Rhinestones, Old Olive Grosgrain Ribbon
Tools Square Lattice Embossing Folder, Big Shot, Oval Punches, Spiral Punch, Dimensionals, Stampin' Write markers (Chocolate Chip, More Mustard)

The next stop is the lovely Alisha Watson.  Below is a list of the contributors for this month's Blog Hop.

Ros Davidson
Christine Blain
Kristine Thompson
Di Dunk
Alisha Watson
Margaret Knoops

Have a great weekend. 


Convention Wrap

Hi there

After a hectic post-Convention week at work, I've finally had time to sit down and have a look through my photos, the pile of swaps I received and other treasures collected at Convention.  My favourite parts of Convention are the sneak peaks at new colours and products; the Workshop Wow's when we see projects and techniques by some very talented Aussie demonstrators and the SU! staff from the US; the free Prize Patrol stamp sets and spending time with other like minded friends!   

We saw lots of fabulous new products that will be coming with the new Idea Book and Catalogue  in September and I was very fortunate to win a new Christmas stamp set in the Prize Patrol. We also got a peak at the 5 new In Colours that will be added to the existing ones in September. We will be able to share some of the sneak peaks with you in August and given how quickly the year is flying, it will be here in no time. 

Here is a photo from the Convention Dinner with my roomies Christine (front) and Sue (behind Christine) and two of Sue's lovely downlines Teena and Toby that I met for the first time at Convention. Check out the fab Melon Mambo tablecloth!


Moving on, I do have a card to share as well.  I spent a lovely afternoon celebrating the 21st birthday of the daughter of a friend that I have known since first moving to Melbourne in 1990.  This is the card I made for Chloe. Can't believe all those years have passed.



Project Details
Stamps Signature Greetings (PTI)
Card stock & Papers Textured White, Whisper White, Old Olive, Chocolate Chip, Riding Hood Red, Bella Rose DSP (Retired), Neutrals Pattern Stack
Ink Riding Hood Red
Accessories 5/8" Organza Ribbons, Basic Rhinestones
Tools Timeless Type Junior Alphabet, Beautiful Wings Embosslit Die, Labels 4 Die, Big Shot, Sponge Daubers Dimensionals, Scallop Circle Punch, Itty Bitty Flower Punch

Have a good week.


Convention Swaps

Hi there

I'm currently attending the annual Stampin' Up! Convention, which is being held in Melbourne this year - woohoo!  I'm staying with some friends in an apartment in the city so we don't have to go home and attend to the normal household chores, interrupting the fun and frivolity.

I have been working for a while on my Convention swaps. This is one of the fun parts of Convention to exchange card samples and be inspired by the ideas of others.  I have two designs based on the same stamp set 'Nature Walk', reminiscent of a framed botanical plate. This is a lovely set from the current Autumn/Winter mini catalogue and is a good replacement for my previously favourite and now retired nature set - 'Touch of Nature'. The two designs add a bit of interest into the production line process that is necessary when making a substantial number of the same design.  I managed to produce 20 of each, which is more than enough! 

This is the first of the designs (unfortunately, the lighting on this photo isn't the best), using most of the images from the set. I've used a variety of options including markers direct to the rubber (flower), stamped and coloured with markers (bee), stamped and coloured with watercolour crayons (eggs) and stamped and washed with aqua painter (butterfly). The background is textured Very Vanilla, which I don't usually stamp on, but gives it more of a botanical plate feel. I've spritzed liberally with soft suede to give it the 'aged' look.


Project Details
Stamps Nature Walk, You're a Gem
Card stock & Papers Cherry Cobbler, Very Vanilla, Always  Artichoke
Ink Soft Suede, Early Espresso, Perfect Plum, Cherry Cobbler
Tools Framed Tulips Embossing Folder, Big Shot, Small Oval punch, Stampin’ Write Markers (Cherry Cobbler, Pumpkin Pie, Soft Suede, Always Artichoke), Spritzer, Aqua painter, Watercolour Crayons, Sponge Daubers, Dimensionals

The lighting is better in this photo, showing the lovely tulip frame in Rich Razzleberry.  I love this rich colour.  The oval has been popped up on the En Francais background and the rest is as you see it.


Project Details
Stamps Nature Walk, En Francais
Card stock & Papers Rich Razzleberry, Very Vanilla, Always  Artichoke
Ink Versamark, Soft Suede, Early Espresso, Cherry Cobbler
Accessories 1/8” Rich Razzleberry Taffeta Ribbon, Basic Pearls
Tools Originals Ovals Die, Framed Tulips Embossing Folder, Big Shot, Sponge Daubers, Dimensionals, Stampin’ Write Markers (Rich Razzleberry, Pumpkin Pie, Soft Suede, Always Artichoke), Spritzer, Aqua painter

I look forward to giving you some more details from Convention next week.

Happy stamping.


Pearls and Lace


Welcome to a new week in another new month.  The year is disappearing so quickly, it will be time to make Christmas cards again soon (sorry for that reminder!).  Sunday is Mother's Day and I have made this card for my Mum, who is a pearls and lace kind of lady. 

I have kept the design really simple, given the bold embellishments I have used. The DSP is the lovely Springtime Vintage that was available in the US in their last mini.  I've matched it with Rich Razzleberry to give it some 'pop' and lovely lace that I've had for ages (lace being top of mind after 'that' wedding). I made another of the gorgeous Joanne Leddy cardstock flowers in textured Very Vanilla, as the centrepiece.  This time I used a 5/16" brad and a larger flower punch for the centre which is a good platform for the large flat back pearl in the centre.

Here is a close-up of the flower.  I think the textured cardstock adds something as well.


Project Details
Stamps Strength & Hope, Well Scripted
Card stock & Papers Very Vanilla (Textured & Smooth), Rich Razzleberry, Always Artichoke, Springtime Vintage DSP
Ink Rich Razzleberry, Always Artichoke
Accessories Wide Lace (not SU), Basic Pearls, Pretties Kit (Retired), String of Pearls (not SU), 5/16" brad
Tools Little Leaves Die, Big Shot, Sponge Dauber, Dimensionals, Champagne Shimmer Paint (Mist), Fancy Flower punch, 5 Petal Flower punch, Small 5 petal flower punch (not SU)

Not long now until the Stampin' Up! Convention, which is in Melbourne this year - woohoo!  I've been busy in the background making swaps, so I will show you those soon.

Have a good week.