Tuesday, 16 August 2016

... it's still sizzling....

It's pretty warm here in the old N of I today, and so I was feeling a little tropical this morning. Only had time for a quick card - a little smooshing of inks in the background and then a nice crisp silhouette of a palm tree. (Gina K Dark Chocolate Ink)

For some reason I thought this would look neat with a little melted gold on the edges of the brown cardstock panels, jury is still out, but I'm running with it anyhow... love the pinks and oranges though...

Made this with the My Island stamp set, just released over at Gina K's - check it out by clicking on the stamp set image, it's perfect for a little high summer sizzle!

Sunday, 14 August 2016

...A County Kerry postcard

So a few weeks ago the old blog was a bit vacant - I had run away to County Kerry for the fortnight (took the family of course...), it's my very favourite place. I took over 1500 pictures and my people are bored rigid looking at them, but I thought maybe you might like to see a few snaps, some of these days I'm going to buy a big fancy camera, one with all the bells and whistles.

This is Blackwater Pier, just outside Kenmare.

There's an awful lot of these in Kerry, think this one is just outside Glengarriff.

May have called into a few of these... has to be done.

Saw literally billions of these...

Found this shop in Cork City - my new favourite craft store, pity it's a 5 hour drive away...

look... and just fyi, they do mail order from their webstore right here
Besides the acres of craft they sell acres of books.
want to quilt again now...

Maybe one or two more spirit grocers were visited, like McCarthy's of Castletownbere

Lots of history, I love history. This is Ross Castle, Killarney.

and more of my pet photography project - Irish windows.

Hope you enjoyed the spin!

Thursday, 4 August 2016

...Freebie, Nursery blocks cut file

Afternoon folks! I have a link right here for you if you wished to have the cut file .svg format for the nursery blocks that I made for the Gina K Designs release of the Bella Elephant stamp set. You can get the cut files by following this link, where you should be able to download them from my drop box! Enjoy!

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

...Gina K Designs DT Blog Hop, Day 2

Welcome to another fabulous blog hop celebrating the new stamp sets from the July StampTV Release Party! We hope to inspire you with some beautiful card projects as you hop along to each of the designer’s blogs! Today, we are featuring stamp sets by Beth Silaika and little old me, Claire Brennan. I have over 20 photos to show you - so you need to pop off right now and get that mug of coffee/tea - whatever will sustain you through the following inkfest.

Bella Elephant

The first set we are featuring is Bella Elephant by Beth Silaika. Beth has created a super cute set with the sweetest images and matching sentiments to make the perfect card project!

I thought the Bella images would be perfect to decorate some baby blocks - and I made up a little template for the blocks. I am trying to get the template ready to giveaway as a download and I may or may not have that ready by the time this post goes live - watch this space. ED - The template will be available here tomorrow, I'll put up a new post for it, it was too much for today's post! So pop back tomorrow for the free download!

The blocks are made of card and they are hollow, I created mine with room decor in mind, and sealed them shut, but when you make these, you could easily leave them open-able and put little gifts such as baby socks or little washcloths or pacifiers in them.

I stamped Bella and coloured her using copics and then added thin frames and the A, B and C - these should be included in the download so you can replicate what you see here exactly if you wish - it's super simple. I coloured my little elephant yellow and used some patterned papers from the  Sending Love paper pad to create my colour scheme.

I made up a matching card to present along with my blocks. Simple assembly, stamping and colouring, and what a neat set you will have to present to your next mum-to-be.

Next up are my sets, sure hope these tickle!

Petite Patisserie

A brand new set featuring a large store stamp with two 'dressable' windows and all the little bits that you need to dress this up as a cake shop, an ice cream parlour or a cafe, and all with a little European flair. Even teeny curtains! After all, why say 'Cake Shop' when you can say 'Petite Patisserie' lol! I love this set.

This tip sheet shows you how the accessory stamps (in orange) can be used with the main store image (in black) - there's a multitude of options!

This set can go as simple or as fussy as you like - let's start with fussy shall we? This Patisserie features cakes - these could be birthday or even wedding cakes,
depending on your need.

The idea is simple - stamp and colour - but if you look close up, you can see that I have cut out the windows and then added some curtains in behind. I cut out the curtains too, because I wanted the cakes to be 'behind' the curtains - I had such a load of fun with this set. ALL of the lines that you might want to cut are very simple on purpose, there are no awkward lumps or bumps protruding anywhere that you might want to cut! Just simple clean lines. You can achieve a really detailed look with simple trimming. I used a craft knife, it's way easier than scissors for cutting out internal shapes.

Create a Coffee Shop, below - I simply trimmed the windows and added curtains behind and then the tables and chairs behind that. I would love to show you how easy this is and I'm planning a how-to post in the next day or two where I show you the behind the scenes on how to put a card like this together.

You may have seen this Version already, I shared it at the party:

Of course you don't always need to use the full store when you make cards with this set, the smaller images work well with the sentiments also!

So Cool

Something a little simpler now - the So Cool set. Another brand new set!

A super clean, super simple, ice cream and lolly set. A selection of faces is included for folks who enjoy the kawaii look, and indeed these are terrific for adding meaning to your card - take a look at this card below. I stamped some of the small images in two rows and added the sentiment 'you're the coolest ever' together with the word 'dad'. I was able to add the little moustachio-ed face to the orange lolly to reinforce the masculine element.

A super simple, single layer, masculine card, AND you get to use all the bright colours that you sometimes don't associate with 'man cards'! win win!

Or what about this - for the 'coolest ever coach' - reinforce the idea of a 'team' by adding tiny faces to the little triple ice cream cone - I love this so much!

I included some vital words in this set such as 'dad' 'mom' 'nurse' 'doctor' 'teacher' 'friend' 'coach' - these can all be added to the larger sentiments to create specific cards in case you want to make something jolly for the important helpers in your life.

Sweet Thing

 The next set up is Sweet Thing, another brand new set. This is a cupcake builder set and I believe it to be the most versatile cupcake builder set that I have ever seen.

This is what the set looks like (click image to make it bigger), below is a tip sheet that shows examples of what you can create with these stamps.
Here's how the tip sheet works - In the top left is a small image of the stamp set -  you can see that I have put numbers beside the various stamps in the set. On the right hand side and at the bottom I show you how to 'add' these pieces together to create the cupcakes featured. 

On this card below, I stamped the cupcake from the bottom right corner of the tip sheet (I added the little banner as an extra) and you can see what pieces go together to create it. Once you get the hang of this, the combinations are endless. I will be doing a dedicated blog post about this set soon also.

There are a ton of sentiments in this set also - I love this one:

 This is another cupcake combination from the set - there are plenty of options for birthdays, babies, weddings, and any other day that cupcakes are required. The little teddy, angel and rose can all be used on their own also.

When I got to the end of drawing this set I had a wee area of blank space and I hate to waste space! So, I drew up a little apron label type stamp - it has room for you to write your name and it's a little 'from the kitchen of' stamp - I love it, it's perfect for when you bake and you are giving out little informal gifts - like these jars of cookies - they are re-purposed salsa jars containing some homemade spice biscuits, simply dressed with a square of fabric and a little apron stamped tag - perfectly simple, the work of moments!

My Island

My Island is a grungy silhouette style tropical inspired summer set, I brought it with me to Gina's from WMS and I love it. Here are a few samples that long time WMS folks might recall, but other folks may not have seen! You will have seen this set featured in Gina's video at the release party.

It's been a long post, and thanks for sticking with me, I'm going to stop waffling, but if there's anything you need to know, just leave me a comment and I will reply to you - in the comments. I'll be posting lots of How-To's over the next couple of days, so when you have recovered, you might like to pop back! :)

Don't forget to comment on each DT blog for your chance to win a $20 Gina K Designs gift certificate! To see who won, check the Big News Forum at StampTV a few days after the hop.

After a small nap and some food, you might be ready for more awesome creations?! Just click on the links below for more from Gina and the Cast&Crew:

Gina K
Beth Silaika - illustrator for Bella Elephant
Claire Brennan (Me!) - illustrator for My Island, Petite Patisserie, So Cool and Sweet Thing
Allie Gower
Cathy Tidwell
Karen Hightower
Kendra Wietstock
Laurie Schmidlin
Melanie Muenchinger
Sean Fetterman
Sheri Gilson
Susie Moore
Theresa Momber

Don’t forget to pop over to the Gina K Designs Store and check out all of the new products available this month in the “What’s New” section at

Thank you for stopping by!

Monday, 1 August 2016

... Gina K Designs DT Blog Hop, Day 1

The Cast and Crew for Gina K Designs welcomes you to another fabulous blog hop celebrating the new stamp sets from the July StampTV Release Party! We hope to inspire you with some beautiful card projects as you hop along to each of the designer’s blogs! Today, we are featuring two stamp sets by Therea Momber and Melanie Muenchinger.

French Flair

The first set we are featuring is French Flair by Theresa Momber. Theresa has created this wonderful set that will leave you feeling like you may be in Paris or strolling around the wine vineyards in Europe!

The wineglass stamp in the set got me thinking that it would be fun to do something a little different and create a wineglass lampshade. These are fun to use on the dining table for a cozy feel. The shade I've made for today's hop features the small Eiffel Tower stamp and the text stamp from Theresa's set and is perfect for a romantic dinner, but this idea is something that you could use to dress up your table for any reason or season.

The only thing I'm going to insist on is that you use a battery operated candle. Do not use a naked flame candle with these, they are too close to the shade. There's a plethora of good battery operated candles available today - just look at the illumination I was able to get with an already well used well used battery candle, above. Isn't that cozy?

Wineglass shade tutorial and Download

 Have you time for a little how-to? sure hope so, gonna go ahead anyhow... :)

OK, here's how I started - I cut out my shade shape from 12x12 cardstock, you can make a smaller or larger shade to suit your glass. I have a fairly large wine clue why that might be...
I stamped the smaller of the Eiffel Tower images repeatedly around the lampshade shape, and I stamped these on the side that I wanted to be showing, the outside of the shade.

On the reverse, or what will be the inside, I stamped an allover pattern with the text from Theresa's set. You can see the position of my tape in the pic. It's really important to use your strongest adhesive here, you'll see why in a bit.

Then I simply adhere the ends, without folding the little tab. You don't want your shade to have a corner...
You can add a little trim if you wish, a little ribbon or braid - I added a little scrap of floral braid that I had lying about. This is what it looks like in the daylight - c'est bon, n'est-ce pas?

However, it really comes into it's own when you turn off the lights - I love how the Eiffel tower image is just that bit stronger than the text, stamping on both side of the shade creates an interesting depth to the overall pattern.

Now that's pretty, but here's a tip for how to really make it shine. If you brush your lampshade with a little oil, the cardstock will turn translucent and you will get so much more glow! This is where extra strong adhesive comes into it's own, but just to be on the safe side, I didn't slather the join with oil, I just very lightly brushed over that area. You can see in the pic below that where I have brushed a patch of this lampshade, it is starting to turn transparent and you can see the text starting to show through from the reverse.

Yep, actually brush on some oil directly to the lampshade, I used olive oil because that's what I had in the cupboard. This is another major reason why you do NOT want to use these with a naked flame, use battery tealights only folks! I insist.

This is my battery candle in my wine glass, it's just a cheap battery candle that I picked up in Lidl, I got a box of 4 of them for under £2 last Christmas.

Now below I have two pics for you so you can see the comparison. The left hand pic is my lampshade before oiling, the right hand pic is my lampshade after oiling. Oiling is optional and if you want your shades to become a family heirloom I would consider not oiling, there's no way to tell if the oil you are going to use will stand the test of years in a cupboard, but for a piece of ephemeral fun it works a treat!

Oiling can be useful to make ordinary paper and card go translucent, especially if you are using lighter coloured cardstock. You can use light pinks, greens blues etc, colours that you can't sometimes find in vellums etc. If you are happy to use neutral tones then you could consider using baking paper or greased proof paper for your shades or even a heavy vellum, these would not require oiling as they are already translucent. Be sure to experiment with your cardstocks and the inks you will be using, just in case the oil makes your ink run. I didn't have any problems with that, but I did a test patch just to check first.

The French Flair set is filled with images that would look great on these shades!

If you fancy making a wineglass shade for yourself, I have made up the cut file as
a .pdf and as an .svg file, you can either use it in your Silhouette Cameo or similar or print it out as a pdf and just cut it out with a craft knife.

You can access those files here - click link to get them in my dropbox.
All I ask is that you don't pass on the file, but tell folks where you got it and encourage them to come and get it from here - Thanks folks, much appreciated.

Theresa's set also features a gorgeous butterfly in two sizes and I used the larger one here as a focal point on this card. I stamped the butterfly in grey over Ivory cardstock and then stiched around the panel before sticking it to the card base. I stamped the large butterfly in black ink and then used clear embossing powder with a heat gun. This does two things for me, it deepens the black colour and it also means that the copic markers won't make the black ink bleed. Then I coloured with yellows and oranges, I think it looks like a mini stained glass window, the colours are so vibrant.

Stately Flowers 10

The second set we are featuring is Stately Flowers 10 by Melanie Muenchinger. As Gina says - Melanie has done it again! She has added another wonderful set to her Stately Flowers collection. This is set number 10 and what a wonderful set it is! You will be able to use all of Melanie’s flowers sets to fill the seed packet in this set as an adorable way to send the perfect message! The possibilities are endless for making beautiful cards for any occasion.

I am addicted to the dogwood flowers in this set, and for this card I stamped them on some white cardstock and coloured around them to make the flowers pop. I then made a seed packet out of an old brown envelope using the seed packet stamp. I cut an aperture from the front of the envelope (I opened out the envelope first and used a craft knife) and popped the coloured flowers in behind the aperture. I didn't want my flowers to be hidden behind the top of the seed packet and so I sliced around the edge of that top flower (craft knife again) and made sure to slide the seed packet down in behind the flower. I really adore these flowers, did you see my card from yesterday, I'm sure you did, if not, here's a reminder...

 That's all for today folks, don't forget to comment to be in with a chance of winning a $20 Gina K Designs gift certificate! To see who won, check the Big News Forum at StampTV a few days after the hop.

If you are ready for more inspiration just click on the links below 
for more from Gina and the Cast & Crew:

Don’t forget to pop over to the Gina K Designs Store and check out all of the new products available this month in the “What’s New” section at

Thank you for stopping by!