Summer Shimmerz

loving sentiments

I made this card today for an advert and I just love the freshness of the blue and white together.  I must have been inspired by the blue skies.

I thought you might like a step by step on this one as I haven’t done that on the blog for ages.

So you will need:

  1. The sentiment is stamped onto white glossy card that has been coloured with dye inkpads.  I see it being referred to as the wrinkle free distress technique around the web, but I always used to think of it as the ‘mop up the ink that’s left over on the non-stick craft sheet’ technique myself.  Basically, dab a dye inkpad or two in your chosen colour onto the craft sheet, mist with lots of water, then pat your cardstock on it to mop up the liquid.  You get a nice soft background – the more water you use, the paler it is.

    I make up a batch and put it with my white card and often use it for greetings and sentiments where I want just a hint of a colour to tie in with the rest of the card.  I also like the way the water tones down the high gloss and turns the glossy card into more of a satin sheen instead.

  2. So stamp your chosen sentiment with black ink, trim and rub the inkpad around the edges.  Mat onto turquoise card.
  3. Make the shimmery background by painting stripes of shimmers paint onto watercolour paper, starting with a bright blue at the bottom and fading through to turquoise and palest aqua at the top.  Leave to dry then trim and mat onto turquoise card.
  4. Lightly pat the Stream pigment ink all over the chipboard scroll then emboss with Aqua Tinsel embossing powder.  When cooled, pat all over with Versamark and emboss with clear embossing powder.  Use ordinary, not UTEE as the piece is too fine for UTEE.  Repeat two or three times til you have a nice glaze over the sparkly embossing.
  5. Stick the shimmerz background onto a white A5 card and mount the sentiment on top with foam pads.  Stick the chipboard scroll down the side – I used my Herma tape roller which has actually worked better than I thought it would.  As it transfers little tiny glue dots, it’s put adhesive just where it needs it on the fine pieces of the chipboard.  In the past I’ve also used tiny dabs of Glossy Accents and PVA glue – anything clear drying basically.
  6. Stick the flower between the sentiment and the scroll and finish off with a coloured dew drop in the flower centre and you’re done!

I could see this card working well in other colourways too, so you could choose a flower as a starting point and coordinate the rest to match.

I found a couple of those mop up backgrounds and have scanned them so you can see the subtle pattern you get.


This one had less water, so the colours are a little stronger.


Even though the high shine has been lost, they still behave as glossy card does, so you get a lovely crisp stamped image with dye inks and you can add more colour with a brayer, stylus tool, ink blending tool, sponge, etc.  Click on any of the images for a closer look.

Well I hope you enjoyed the project and if you have a go at something similar, please leave a comment and let me know.


Men at Work

Stage one on our journey to having central heating again got underway this weekend.  The oil tank has to be relocated to comply with new safety regulations, so we decided to hire a digger to clear the chosen piece of ground, and at the same time we could do another job that badly needed done: clear our central reservation – a mound of mud and grass that had built up between the tyre tracks on our dirt track drive.

Now if anyone has ever seen any of the digger sketches from the Fast Show, it will probably come as no surprise to hear that the thought of hiring a digger for the weekend is enough to reduce most men to a state of excited childlike anticipation.  It’s rather cute actually.

Of course, it’s a serious business being a digger driver, just look at the levels of concentration required.


Basil carefully supervises.


We have a great bunch of friends.  Come and stay for the weekend we say, we have a great program lined up for your entertainment, we say.  First you can help us fill a skip with old building rubble, then you can help us move six tonnes of gravel onto the drive.  You’ll love it!

Well the work party was made up of our good friend Nick the stone balancer – more on that later – and David, the man most of you will probably just know as Chef.  Some say he invents quiche recipes in his sleep and he can chill pastry with a blink.  All we know is he’s a jolly good sort and is probably aching right now in places he didn’t know could ache.


These three boys all got to play with the digger and they all proved they have something in common with mad dogs by working right through the scorching midday sun on Saturday.  What a gorgeous day it was, but less than ideal for manual labour.

We finished the day with a barbeque – once news of the digger got around, we had them queuing up, so we thought we would make a party of it.  We forgot to mention that the barbeque was still flat packed, so the first arrivals were handed a screwdriver and the instructions.


The girls took a lesson from Basil and practised the art of supervising.



Basil makes a great foreman, he has supervising down to a fine art.


Thanks to the efforts of Mike and Steve, we were then able to get down to the serious business of cooking.  You can never have too  many cooks at a barbeque.


So a huge thank you to all our good friends who came along and made it a fun evening.  Let’s hope we get more nice weather and can do it again sometime.

On Sunday, we had a cracked wall to knock down, it was an accident waiting to happen, so we thought we might as well get rid of it while we had the skip.  After it had gone, we let Basil out and he looked around, then looked up to where the gate posts used to be.  A heart wrenching little moment because it was a favourite spot of Sesame’s.



Ah, nothing like a bit of demolition work to make you feel like a real man!


So back to the stone balancing.  It’s the latest pastime of our good friend Nick and really is what it says on the tin, balancing stones.  Take a look at this!

Nick's Stone Balancing
Nick's Stone Balancing

You can find out more about stone balancing at – fascinating stuff.