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May 28, 2022

Love Gives Us a Fairy Tale (and some Japanese Garden pictures)

Hello and welcome! 

It's Saturday again and that means it's time for a new challenge at the Allsorts challenge blog.I'm also sharing a few photos I took at the Japanese Garden I recently got a chance to visit. 

At Allsorts it's Mervi's turn to host this time around and she chose "Anything But Birthdays". We have 2 prizes this week -  a Paper Boutique 8x8 Sunflowers paper pad and a Tattered Lace Cut & Emboss plate. Hope you will join in for your chance to win! You have one week to link up with us, but do remember it has to be a new creation so the post can't be dated before the challenge start date.

When I was working on this card I was thinking our theme was any celebration but birthday, so in order to make a celebratory card I decided on a wedding card even though I don't need it. I really should make some use of the planner I purchased!!! It always works out so beautifully in the beginning, but as time goes on I get lazy and don't fill in my planner, instead I think I remember what the upcoming themes are. At least it worked out perfectly this time as it does fit the actual theme of "Anything but Birthdays". 

So here is the wedding card I made in a monochromatic way.

I started out by trying to create a moonlit sky using Stormy Sky and Chipped Sapphire Distress ink with a circle die cut as a mask for the moon. I also used my white Posca pen to flick some "stars" onto the background.

The silhouette couple is a rubber stamp I won a few years ago, I think it was through Lost Coast Designs but I could be totally wrong. If anyone recognizes the stamp please do let me know. It didn't come in a package. 

Related Wedding Themed Products You May Like:

Using a stamp platform, I stamped with Versamark ink and heat embossed with black embossing powder. The willow I stamped along the top is from Lavinia stamps

The sentiment is a real oldie from Whimsy Stamps and was part of a wedding themed set but no longer available. It was also heat embossed. I framed the image panel with SU Night of Navy paper and then mounted onto a white card base. To finish it off I decided to add a few sticky rhinestones

I'm sharing with these challenges:
Krafty Chicks - All Occasions // TIME OUT Challenges - Quote Prompt below (I made a moonlit sky) // Double D Challenges - Monochromatic // Fab n Funky - Anything But Square // Paper Shelter - Add Embellishments (I added rhinestones) // Simon Says Stamp  - AG // The Paper Funday - AG // Unicorn Challenge - Bling // Crafting Happiness Challenges - AG // Pammie's Inky Pinkies Challenges - AG // Path of Positivity - AG // 

This post may include some affiliate links, meaning I may earn a small commission if you purchase something through the links. As always, this is at no cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting this blog!

As mentioned, here are a few photos from our visit to the Japanese Garden. We live less than 3 hours away but somehow never managed to visit. So glad we finally did as it is absolutely beautiful and tranquil. 

Don't you just love Weeping Willow trees?

Lots of fish in the lakes and as you can see the wind blew in some blossoms.

One of the gorgeous waterfalls.

And here is a photo with the two of us in front of a beautiful pink dogwood tree. I had planned on wearing a pretty sleeveless blouse (as I like to dress up a bit when visiting Botanical Gardens) but it was way too chilly so instead I dressed more casually with this periwinkle colored fleece jacket I've had for a few years and my comfy Taos slip on sneakers. 

If you live close enough or have some time to spend in the Rockford, Illinois area, I highly recommend this garden (it's on place no. 4 of all US Japanese Gardens according to, although sadly I don't recommend the on-site restaurant because my food arrived burnt and our waiter only checked on us when it was about time to leave.

Thanks so much for visiting!

Link Parties:
Dare to Share // Sunday Showcase - First Sunday with Ada and Mireille  //  Inspire Me Monday //  Link Up Potpourri //  Random-osity Good, Random, Fun // You're The Star Blog Hop Link Party @Stonecottage Adventures // Anything Goes with Your Hosts @ My Random Musings // Jenerally Informed The Happy Now // Spread the Kindness Linkup @ Shelbee on the Edge //  Thursday Favorite Things // Little Things Thursday // Encouraging Heart and Home @ Slices of Life // 

May 21, 2022

Allsorts' Birthday Challenge

Hello and welcome!

This week we are having a special challenge at Allsorts as we are celebrating 13 years of Allsorts challenges. There are many prizes to be won this week and all you have to do is join in following our "Anything for a Birthday" theme and of course following our simple rules to be entered into the drawing. You can find the linky tool to link up your card at the Allsorts challenge blog. And as always you may enter up to 3 different posts featuring a new creation for more chances to win

Here is a peek at our prizes:

  1. A bundle of Sizzix and Paper Boutique coordinating Card, Design Papers and  Scrapbook kit 
  2. 13 prizes of stamps 
  3. A choice of 3 digis from Ruth Hamilton Designs 
for a total of 15 prizes for 15 lucky winners!!!

And here is what I made:

It's been a few weeks since I made a "cute" card so this cute hedgie came out to play. He is part of the Penny Black set Smile All Day. Stamped with Versafine Onyx ink and colored with Zig Clean Color markers. I fussy cut the image to use on this sketch and paper pieced the present.
The hill was done using the "negative" of a hill die cut as a mask (similar option of a hill die), inked with Twisted Citron and Rustic Wilderness ink then I used my Circle Explosion stencil to add dots onto the hill. 

The sentiment is from Penny Black's set Sprinkles and Smiles, the butterfly is from my newest Penny Black die set Soaring and I used Penny Black's Diamond Border die on the bottom portion. Had this die for several years but I think I only used once before. I really want to get in the habit of using dies more often!!

Related Products:

After inking the butterfly I used my a script stamp (Whimsy Stamps - retired) to add words to the butterfly for a little extra detail. I used a clear Wink of Stella glitter brush on the butterflies, ribbon and paper pieced present, but unfortunately the camera didn't capture all the sparkle.

My Wonky Stitches frame die added some faux stitching along the edges before adhering to the blue card base. A few sticky rhinestones finish off the card.

This post may include some affiliate links, meaning I may earn a small commission if you purchase something through the links. As always, this is at no cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting this blog!

Sharing with these challenges:
Penny Black Saturday - PB Stamps // Aud Sentiments Challenge - Birthday Sentiment // Craft Rocket Challenges - Birthday // Unicorn Challenge - Bling // Passion For Markers Challenge - Gems // 

May 14, 2022

Faux Shiplap, a Bluebird and a Floral Branch

Hello and welcome!

A new theme starts today at Allsorts challenge and as always we'd love for you to join us! It's Pauline's turn to host and she picked the theme of "Add Some Sparkle". Should be easy for everyone as I am sure everyone has glitter or some other form or sparkle in their craft room so come join in the fun for your chance to win! This week we have a fabulous prize from WOWVOW, a £15 store voucher, and we're also having a second prize of 2 Paper Discovery stencils. Oh, and before I forget to mention week we are celebrating Allsorts' 13th Birthday with lots of wonderful prizes. Mark your calendars!

And here is my card with some sparkle.

The beautiful image is part of Penny Black's stamp Flower Perch. Stamped on Canson Montval watercolor paper using Versafine Onyx ink and colored with Zig Clean Color brush pens and a Zig Detailer watercolor brush. I fussy cut part of the image I wanted to use. 

The background was done with a Faux Shiplap technique. It's a super simple technique and I have made a couple of cards with this before, I copied and pasted the instructions I shared in my first faux shiplap post for those of you interested. And if you scroll down you can see snippets of the two other faux shiplap cards I made previously.

How to make your own shiplap paper:

  • Score a piece of white card stock 3/4 inches apart using a scoring tool. You need to have good impressions so be sure to use some pressure when scoring. 
  • Next I used Pumice Stone Distress Oxide (Weathered Wood Distress ink used on this card) and swiped (wiped?) over the raised area. You will also transfer some ink next to the scoring lines but that's ok and this will just add to the look of shiplap paper (faux wood).

When my shiplap paper was finished, I adhered the image along with a die cut branch from the Penny Black die set Blustery.

Related Products You May Like:

This beautiful sentiment stamp is a real oldie from Stampin Up, but I separated most of my sentiments from the rest of the sets so unfortunately I can't tell you what set it's from. It might have been beach/seashells themed but I could be totally wrong.

As the Allsorts theme was pretty open, I looked at some other challenges to see what inspires me and found Double D's current challenge of "Birds, Birdhouses, Birdcages, Birds nests". I don't need to be asked twice to use a bird stamp :-) 

It also fits these challenges:
Penny Black Saturday - Nature and PB stamps // Little Red Wagon - Make it Bloom // Sisterhood of Crafters - Think Pink (Flowers) // Get Creative Challenges - Flowers // Make My Monday - Springtime // Pammie's Inky Pinkies Challenges - AG // Path of Positivity - Something Positive/Inspirational // 

Link parties I may participate in:

You may also like these cards made using the Faux Shiplap Technique:
 A click on the image will lead you to the original posts.

May 7, 2022

Pink Daisy Dream

Hello and welcome! 

Today is the start of a new theme at Allsorts challenge. It's Lolo's week to host and  her theme is "Favorite Stamps and/or Dies". Anyone is welcome to join us with a new creation following the theme and our prize this week comes from Oakwood Archer so hopefully you'll join in for a chance to win!

And here is what I made using some of my newer favorites along with an old favorite. 

I don't buy new stamps all that often (many new releases seem very similar to what I already have and love) but this beautiful Penny Black stamp Daisy Dream had to be mine, it's from a more recent Penny Black release. This is actually a large stamp with these pretty daisies inside a glass jar/bottle but for today's card I only used the flowers for a different way of using it.  

I also used a sentiment from Penny Black's Blooming Sentiments set, another favorite  a couple of years old. Then the script border on the bottom edge is an all time favorite from Whimsy Stamps, no longer available unfortunately. I use this stamp all the time! Finally, I have also used my favorite new dies, Penny Black's Soaring die set that includes 4 sizes of these pretty butterflies along with a fun circle frame. 

The background was done with Penny Black's Hypnotic stencil and Speckled Egg Distress Oxide ink, and I used  Picked Raspberry Distress ink for coloring in the pink daisies, Mowed Lawn for the leaves.

A few sticky pearls were added as embellishments on the butterflies, mounted on white and the I used a pretty blue card base (SU card stock, but I am not sure of the color. Probably no longer in their current assortment.)


This post may include some affiliate links, meaning I may earn a small commission if you purchase something through the links. As always, this is at no cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting this blog!

Linking up here:
Card inspiration came from The Card Concept challenge. As you can see I was inspired by these pretty colors. And I would say the style is defined as classy and elegant. There is definitely something classy and elegant about Penny Black florals and sentiments!

Also fits these challenges:
Penny Black Saturday - use PB stamps // Krafty Chicks - Stamp Act // Simon Says Stamp - Feminine // Paper Minutes - Butterfly // Try It On Tuesday - Use a Stencil // Unicorn Challenge - Pearls // A Place To Start - AG // Get Creative Challenges - Flowers // Pammie's Inky Pinkies Challenges - AG // Path of Positivity - Something Inspirational //

Link parties I may participate in:

May 4, 2022

Ellibelle's Crafty Wednesday - May Challenge

Hello and welcome to Ellibelle's Crafty Wednesday - May challenge! I'm so glad you decided to stop by today and I'd love for you to join in too! There were some fabulous creations last month, many thanks for joining in. You can find my Top Picks at the end of the post.

This month's theme:

For the month of May it is simply...................

Anything Goes.

This can be any type of craft as long as it is handmade by you! You may use digital products in your creation, but the final creation has to be a physical piece and not just digital. You can find the linky tool at the end of this post. 

And here is what I made:

Stamps Used: Penny Black Lovely Lilac, Penny Black Message from Above (no longer available), Penny Black Brick Wall, Lavinia Stamps Stone Texture (no longer available), Whimsy Stamps Sentiment (no longer available)

I started out by stamping Penny Black's Lovely Lilac using a stamp platform and Distress inks onto Bristol Vellum paper. Then used the Brick Wall stamp randomly on the background with Pumice Stone Distress ink. 

The image was then stamped on a separate piece of Bristol Vellum using Versafine Onyx ink then colored using my Zig Clean Color brush pens and a Zig Detailer watercolor brush. This has been fussy cut using my Cutterbee scissors.

Shop Related Products:

I inked the a strip on the bottom using Hickory Smoke Distress ink then stamped Lavinia's stone texture onto this strip using the same ink. Added the fussy cut image then the sentiment which I layered onto a small strip of green colored paper to bring some green to the top of the card. I used a stapler to attach the sentiment and tied some May Arts jute twine (sorry this color is not currently available) around the staple. The image panel has been matted onto some patterned paper from my stash and then I used a heavy weight white card base. As a finishing touch I used a Sakura Stardust clear glitter pen for a bit of sparkle.

I'm also linking up here:
The Four Seasons Challenge - Spring w/optional Mood Board which was the inspiration for my design // Get Creative Challenges - Flowers // Critter Crazy Challenges - Critters // Crafty Friends Challenge - Spring // Dragonfly Dreams - Flowers

Link Parties:
The Four Seasons Mood Board

This post may include some affiliate links, meaning I may earn a small commission if you purchase something through the links. As always, this is at no cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting this blog!

Last Month's Top Picks:

I will continue to add my favorites to the dedicated Pinterest board, but going forward I will once again showcase the Top Pick's creations with links to their individual blogs, which will be removed at the start of each new month's challenge to remain in compliance with GDPR.

Selecting just three is never easy but something that needs to be done and here they are listed in the order of entry for the theme of 

No. 11 Jose

No. 31 Michelle B.

No. 32 Steph

Congratulations!! Well deserved recognition. Your Top Pick logo is below, feel free to post it to your own blogs if you like to :)

Can't wait to see what you will share this month!

A few things to remember:

  • You may combine with any other challenges.
  • You may use any brand of stamps/digis/products (no company restriction).
  • No more than 3 entries per person please so I can manage to visit each entry.
  • Please do include a link back here to my blog in your blog post.
  • Backlinking to a recent post IS allowed.
  • Digital products are allowed and very welcome but the final piece has to be a physical creation, not just digital.
  • New work only, meaning you may not re-blog and link up previously blogged creations. It defeats the purpose of this hobby - to stay crafty! 

To join in this month simply use the linky tool below. The linky tool will be open until Monday May 30th 11:59pm CST.

May 2, 2022

April Card Chain Challenge Reveal Day

Hello and welcome! Happy May! I can hardly believe it's May! The weather this past month hasn't been great and  April seemed more winter like than spring  and I still have early spring blooms in the garden. Not sure I ever had Daffodils blooming in May but they are blooming beautifully along with my Tulips and a few Grape Hyacinths. 

Today I am sharing my card for the April Card Chain Challenge. For those of you new, Card Chain Challenge is a different type of a challenge, a worldwide card exchange where everyone mails and receives one card following a variety of challenge options. (You only need to choose one.) And today is reveal day where we can see who sent what to whom. 

My April CCC card went to Arlene in California. And here is what I made:

As always, we are given several challenge options - a sketch, colors, themes and techniques. For this month I went with the color option although I REALLY wanted to give the sketch a try too, but it didn't work out so I decided to go with just the colors instead. And it also fits the theme of "Spring" which sis also one of the options. 

When I saw these colors I knew I wanted to make a bee themed card :-)  I had a couple other bee themed stamps in mind but then decided on this Anique Bee and Flowers stamp from Hero Arts as it's one of my favorites and I hadn't used it in a while. 

It's been stamped with Memento Tuxedo ink and colored with Copic markers then I used a simple scallop die to cut it out with my Big Shot machine. "Hello There" is another sticker from Tim Holtz's retired Quotations metallic sticker sheet. 

Related Products:

I am not sure what embossing folder was used on the background as it was a piece included as "pearl safekeeping" for a card I previously received through card chain challenge. And I thought it was so perfect to use on this card.

Paper strips are from my stash and I used a green SU card base to complete the card. A Sakura Stardust clear glitter gel pen was used on the bee's wings for some sparkle. 

Still some time to sign up for May if you'd like to take part. You can find the sign up linky here. Any card maker is welcome as long as you are able to make and mail a card in a timely manner so your recipient (hopefully) receives it by the time the reveal post goes live which is the 2nd of each month. It's a fun and different challenge concept as everyone mails and receives a card. 

Here is the beautiful card I received from Dawn in New Zealand. I love these colors and the gold foiling makes it extra special! I've not done gold foiling before but think that's what she did. 

Thanks so much for visiting!

PS: You may be wondering (or not) why I didn't share a card yesterday for the new Stamping Sensations challenge. I decided to step down from the team as I needed to free up some time for family things. Got to get my husband on a more alkaline diet for health reasons and let me tell you it's not easy. Even some of the healthy foods are acidic so I am trying to make meals at least less acidic. Wish me luck as I try to re-invent the things I cook. Then of course gardening season is approaching so more time will be spent outside, thought it was best to step down from a team before I completely run out of mojo. 

This post may include some affiliate links, meaning I may earn a small commission if you purchase something through the links. As always, this is at no cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting this blog!

I'm linking up here:
We Love Stamping - For a Lady // International Art & Soul - Things with Wings // Alphabet Challenge - B for Blooms // Cut It Up - (April Flowers bring ) May Flowers // Crafting Happiness Challenges - AG

Link Parties: