Monday, April 30, 2012


I have, over the past couple of weeks, received the Liebster Blog Award from three of my lovely stamping friends - Kerry, Narelle, and Kathy.  I am honoured that these talented, creative women have bestowed the award on me; thanks to you all.

Here are the guidelines of the Liebster Blog award:

1. Thank the blogger who gave it to you

2. Link back to the blogger who gave you the award

3. Copy and paste the award to your blog

4. Present the award to five other bloggers with 200 or fewer followers

5. Let them know you have done so by leaving a comment on their blog

It does happen, when these blog awards "do the rounds", that the award ends up being given to many of the same people; blogland is a rather small world!

I'm a firm believer in letting people know when I love their work; I don't need to give an award to recognise them.   However,  in the spirit of this award, I would like to pass it on to the following talented papercrafters:

Tammy Hanlon

Ann Seng

Rochelle Blok

Alisha Watson

Jean McKenzie

Make sure you check out their blogs; you will find loads of inspiration!


On the weekend I taught a class, focussing on Stampin' Up!'s Autumn-Winter Mini Catalogue.  As a "thank you" for each of the ladies attending, I made a little Post-It note holder, drawing inspiration from one of the floral sheets of paper in the gorgeous Twitterpated Designer Series Paper collection. 

I found the fabulous, easy-to-create, project on Angie Juda's Chic 'n' Scratch site.  Angie is a very talented US Stampin' Up! demonstrator, who has great ideas; and what a blessing she is to us all, sharing so openly.

Here's the little pile of cute Post-It note holders completed:

Stamps: Butterfly Prints, Clearly For You
Card: Blushing Bride, Whisper White
DSP: Twitterpated Designer Series Paper
Ink: Blushing Bride and Basic Gray stampin' pads
Other: Simply Scored tool, Scallop Squares Duo Bigz die, Butterfly punch, Dotted Scallop Ribbon border punch, Basic Rhinestones

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Today I am taking part in a blog hop with eight friends, who are fellow Stampin' Up! demonstrators.  We want to give you some ideas for using the gorgeous products in our recently-released Autumn-Winter Mini Catalogue from Stampin' Up!  There are so many great stamps, dies and accessories in this Mini; it's pretty exciting!  The Mini catalogue runs through until the end of July.

You may have come from Ros Davidson's blog, to start today's 'tour'.  If not, don't worry - you can just click on the next person's name at the bottom of each blog post you come to, and soon enough you'll have 'hopped' around all nine of our blogs.  Please make sure you leave us some comment love, so we know you've been!

I have a couple of cards to show you, using the new Love & Laughter stamp set.  I've paired it with Stampin' Up!'s luxurious Mocha Morning Specialty Designer Series Paper, to create two elegant (I hope you agree!) wedding cards.

I used a Basic Black card base for this first card.  Although it's not really obvious in the photo, the strip of black paper along the top of the card is the flocked paper from Mocha Morning.  The sweet little gold-embossed flowers are one of the stamps in the set, and I think add a lovely touch.  How gorgeous is the wedding dress of sentiments, embossed in black?

Stamps: Love & Laughter
Card: Basic Black, Brushed Gold, Very Vanilla
DSP: Mocha Morning Specialty Designer Series Paper
Ink: Versamark inkpad
Other: Black embossing powder, Gold embossing powder, Very Vanilla satin ribbon, Basic Black 1/8" taffeta ribbon, Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder, Basic Pearls, 1" and 1 3/4" Circle punches, mini glue dots

On my second card, I've used two of the sentiments from Love & Laughter, along with a new Labels Collection Framelits die.  LOVE these dies - there are 6 dies, all the same shape, but in graduating sizes, in the set.

To make this card, I simply punched out, with various sized circle punches, some papers from the Mocha Morning pack.  I adhered them to a piece of Very Vanilla card, then put the card in my Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder, and ran it through the Big Shot.  I sponged some Crumb Cake ink over the embossed areas.  I rather like the 'weathered' (let's call it 'vintage') look that resulted from the paper cracking a little, when embossed.  A seam binding bow, and some of Stampin' Up!'s beautiful gold brads (why haven't I used these before?!), finish the card.

Stamps: Love & Laughter
Card: Very Vanilla, Brushed Gold, Basic Black
DSP: Mocha Morning Designer Series Paper
Ink: Versamark inkpad, Crumb Cake stampin' pad
Other: Gold embossing powder, Stamp-a-ma-jig, Labels Collection Framelits die, Very Vanilla Seam Binding, Metallic Brads, Mat Pack & Paper Piercing tool,  1 1/4" circle punch, 1 3/8" circle punch, 1 3/4" circle punch, stampin' dimensionals, sponge dauber, mini glue dots, Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder

The next stop on the blog hop is the home of Amanda Hill who lives in Western Australia, and makes gorgeous scrapbook pages.  Be sure to click on Amanda's name to see what she has come up with, using new products.

Here is a comprehensive list of all participants in today's blog hop:

Ros Davidson

Christine Blain  (that's me!)

Amanda Hill

Tina Gillespie

Nikki Sadler

Di Dunk

Alisha Watson

Kathryn Mangelsdorf

Sue Madex

Friday, April 27, 2012


Mae has come up with a great sketch for us this week at Just Add Ink.  I'm really warming to the infinite possibilities that a sketch provides; once I let go of my very literal way of thinking, I am able to have fun with it!

Here's the sketch that we'd like you to use, to make a card or scrapbook page:

I love to make masculine cards, and lately haven't been making many, so that was my challenge for myself - to adapt this sketch to a card for a man or boy.

I've used the colours in Stampin' Up!'s "Well Worn" Designer Series Paper as my starting point.  Only one stamp set was used on this card (VERY unusual for me, but it shows how fabulous SU! stamp sets are!) - the fun Up, Up & Away set.

Stamps: Up, Up & Away
Card: Crumb Cake, Early Espresso, Cajun Craze, Not Quite Navy
DSP: Well Worn Designer Series Paper
Ink: Crumb Cake, Early Espresso, Cajun Craze and Not Quite Navy stampin' pads
Other: Stamp-a-ma-jig, Tasteful Trim XL Bigz die, 1 3/8" Circle punch, Circles #2 die, Labels Collection Framelits, sponge daubers, Blue Denim ribbon, Linen Thread, Regals brads, Neutrals brads, Mat Pack and Paper Piercing tool, stampin' dimensionals, Tombow liquid glue

Make sure you check out all the Design Team's samples over at Just Add Ink.  There are some GORGEOUS cards to inspire you, my friends.  We hope to see you play along with us this week!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I discovered in my (vast) stash some sheets of Stampin' Up!'s Paisley Petals Designer Series Paper, which obviously needed to be shown some love.

I used two of the sheets to die-cut some mini rolled roses, and leaves ... and from there my card evolved.  The colour of the roses inspired me to use Peach Parfait, which is a colour I don't often turn to.  This card is all about re-discovering unloved things!

To the contrary, this card is destined for my much-loved aunty, who will be celebrating a milestone birthday next month.  It has to make its way to New Zealand, so I reckon I might need to package it carefully, given the bulk of the flowers and the bow.

Here's what I'm talking about:

Stamps: Apothecary Art, For My Family, Bordering on Romance
Card: Crumb Cake, Whisper White, Peach Parfait
DSP: Paisley Petals Designer Series Paper
Ink: Versamark inkpad, Old Olive and Peach Parfait stampin' pads
Other: Labels Collection Framelits dies, sponge daubers, Blender Pen, Basic Rhinestones, Whisper White 5/8" Organza ribbon, Orange seam binding (not SU!), flower and leaf dies (not SU!), Basic Rhinestones, mini glue dots

I really love how this card turned out, and hope my aunty does too - I miss her a lot, and wish we lived closer.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


My interest was piqued by this week's challenge at Crazy4Challenges.  Cindy has challenged us to make the colours on our card pop by adding black cardstock.

I've made a fun, simple card using Stampin' Up!'s new Pedal Presents stamp set.  It's a while since I played with my coloured embossing powders from Stampin' Up! - so that was my starting point.  I've embossed the bicycle in Tempting Turquoise, and the little hearts in the basket with Melon Mambo embossing powder.  A few polka dots and scallops later, and this was the result:

Stamps: Pedal Presents; Heard From the Heart; Dot, Dot, Dot
Card: Tempting Turquoise, Melon Mambo, Basic Black, Whisper White
Ink: Versamark inkpad, Tempting Turquoise stampin' pad
Other: Stamp-a-ma-jig, Melon Mambo dotted scallop ribbon, Brights buttons, White baker's twine, Tempting Turquoise and Melon Mambo embossing powders, Basic Rhinestone, Itty Bitty shapes punch, Adorning Accents edgelits die and embossing folder, mini glue dots

Friday, April 20, 2012


This week's challenge at Just Add Ink is to create a papercraft project, inspired by the beautiful work of Jodene.   Jodene has a beautiful, clean style, and is AWESOME at colouring - you must look through her blog, if you're not already a follower.  I struggle with keeping cards 'clean', so this is a good challenge for me.

I have chosen to CASE this card of Jodene's.  I have added a couple of extra layers (just because that's "how I roll"!), and have put to use a poinsettia that I made this past Christmas, and that didn't make it onto a card in time for December 2011!  In lieu of an embossed or textured background, I've chosen to subtly stamp on the Designer Series Paper panel.  It feels a little odd to be making a Christmas card this early in the year, but now that I've done it, I feel kind of virtuous, for having one made already! LOL.   Here's my version:

Stamps: Season of Joy
Card: Crumb Cake, Whisper White, Always Artichoke, Cherry Cobbler
DSP: Letters to Santa Designer Series Paper
Ink: Basic Black marker, Versamark inkpad, Crumb Cake stampin' pad, Cherry Cobbler stampin' pad
Other: Timeless Type Junior Alphabet sizzlits dies, Stamp-a-ma-jig, Scallop Edge border punch, Basics Glimmer Brad, Blossom Petals builder punch, Champagne shimmer mist sponge daubers, mat pack, Tombow liquid glue

Be sure to check out the rest of the Design Team's samples at Just Add Ink, and we hope you'll play along with us this week!

Friday, April 13, 2012


I just love the colours in this week's ColourQ challenge.  Poppy Parade is one of those colours that really appeals to me, but that I rarely think to use. 

Last night I was super-excited to come home from work and discover a Stampin' Up! delivery that I had been waiting on (for what seemed like forever!).  Included in the box was the new Pedal Presents stamp set.  I managed to varnish the woodblocks, mount the rubber dies, and stamp with them all in one evening!  (Mind you, I was up late!)

Here's the card I made using this gorgeous colour combination:

..... and a close-up of the sentiment (stamped onto Flirtatious Designer Series Paper), and the tiny flowers that I covered in Crystal Effects:

Stamps: Pedal Presents, Teeny Tiny Sentiments
Card: Basic Black, Whisper White, Poppy Parade, Lucky Limeade
DSP: Poppy Parade Patterns Designer Series Paper, Flirtatious Specialty Designer Series Paper
Ink: Versamark inkpad, Basic Black stampin' pad, Pumpkin Pie stampin' pad and marker, Poppy Parade stampin' pad and marker, Lucky Limeade marker
Other: Black embossing powder, Blender pens, Basic Black Scallop Dots Ribbon, Labels Collection Framelits die, Everyday Enchantment brads (Sale-a-Bration), Mat Pack and Paper Piercing Tool, Word Window punch, grass punch (not SU!), Crystal Effects


This week at Just Add Ink, we have an inspiration picture, provided by Jodene, to use as a basis for our papercraft projects.  You may interpret the picture however you like - it might be the actual items in the photo that inspire you, or it may be the colour scheme.  Our Design Team have come up with a variety of ideas, so make sure you check them out at the Just Add Ink site!

I have drawn inspiration from the Stampin' Up! colours I see - Sahara Sand, Calypso Coral, a little Pool Party, and tiny touches of black.  Here's the picture, so you can see what I mean:

I started off with a piece of watercolour paper, onto which I white-embossed the gorgeous rose image from Stampin' Up!s Fifth Avenue Floral stamp set.  I then used sponges to add colour to the flowers (not taking great care to stay within the lines - that was quite liberating for me!), and Sahara Sand ink in the spaces that were left.  I spritzed the inked areas with water, hoping the colour would run a bit.  It didn't, so I opted to add some Champagne shimmer mist to finish it off!

Here's my card, followed by a close-up of the shimmer, and the dry-embossed sentiment tag:

Stamps: Fifth Avenue Floral, Sincere Salutations
Card: Calypso Coral, Very Vanilla, Basic Black, Watercolour paper
Ink: Versamark inkpad, Sahara Sand and Calypso Coral stampin' pads, Basic Black marker
Other: Pool Party seam binding, Beautiful Wings embosslits, Manhattan Flower embossing folder, sponge dauber, stampin' sponges, Champagne shimmer paint (mixed with Isocol to make shimmer spray), Mat Pack and paper piercing tool, white embossing powder, Basic Pearls

Sunday, April 8, 2012


I am thrilled to be a Guest Designer at Sunny Challenges and Creations this week!

This week's sketch is shown below - and the second part of the challenge is to incorporate a "mothers" theme into your project.  With Mother's Day coming up next month, in the southern hemisphere, this is a good time to be thinking of cards for that occasion.  Alternatively, a birthday card or other project made especially for a Mum would fit this challenge nicely.

I've made a card using the beautiful Everyday Enchantment Designer Series Paper that was one of Stampin' Up!'s gorgeous freebies during Sale-a-Bration this year.

Stamps: Elizabeth, For My Family
Card: Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla, Naturals Ivory
DSP: Everyday Enchantment Designer Series Paper
Ink: Crumb Cake stampin' pad and marker, Poppy Parade stampin' pad, Basic Black stampin' pad, Soft Suede stampin' pad
Other: Stamp-a-ma-jig, Corner Rounder punch, Victoria crochet trim, Crumb Cake seam binding, Everyday Enchantment brad, sponge daubers, Color Spritzer tool, Fun Flowers die, Modern Label punch, Basic Pearl, Fancy Flower punch, 5-Petal Flower punch, Boho Blossoms punch, sticky strip

Make sure you check out the rest of the Design Team's samples for inspiration.  We all have different styles, so you're sure to get some great ideas.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Tonight I discovered a new (to me) challenge site, called Crazy 4 Challenges.  I love colour challenges, and this week's challenge is to make a papercraft project using blue, white and one other colour.  I've chosen black (which technically is a shade, but hopefully it fits the criteria!).

On a rare visit to a local scrapbooking store the other day, I picked up some delicious paper from Pink Paislee.  I am pretty much all-Stampin' Up! in my projects, but this paper just called to me.  Besides, I thought it'd be a nice match with SU!s Pool Party, a sweet, soft blue.  It turns out the paper is a little darker, but I think it works.

Here's my card:

Stamps: Delicate Doilies, Short & Sweet, For My Family
Card: Pool Party, Basic Black, Whisper White
DSP: Parisian Anthology (Pink Paislee)
Ink: Basic Black and Crumb Cake stampin' pads, Pool Party stampin' pad and marker
Other: Bird Builder punch, Itty Bitty Shapes punch, Basic Rhinestones (coloured with permanent markers), Pool Party baker's twine, Stamp-a-ma-jig, edge distressing tool, sponge daubers

Friday, April 6, 2012


This week at Just Add Ink, Kim has come up with this gorgeous colour combo to inspire us:

BEAUTIFUL, don't you think?

I found a piece of Chocolate Chip card that I had embossed with my Manhattan Flowers embossing folder, and decided that would be my starting point.  I've added some pretty, feminine touches, to tone down the heaviness of the Chocolate Chip panel.

Here's my card:

....  and a closer shot of the sentiment label, and the shimmery flower:

Stamps: Four Frames, Clearly For You
Card: Crumb Cake, Pink Pirouette, Very Vanilla, Chocolate Chip
Ink: Crumb Cake stampin' pad and marker, Pink Pirouette stampin' pad and marker, Chocolate Chip stampin' pad
Other: Manhattan Flowers embossing folder, Color Spritzer tool, Designer Label punch, sponge daubers, Beautiful Wings embosslits, Small Oval punch, Pink Pirouette taffeta ribbon, Crumb Cake seam binding, Basic Pearls, Fancy Flower punch, 5-Petal flower punch, Boho Blossoms punch, Frost White shimmer paint (mixed with Isocol to make shimmer spray)

Make sure you check out the rest of the Design Team's samples; there is plenty of amazing inspiration at the Just Add Ink site.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


I have been meaning, for weeks (ooh, about 12 now) to play along with Nicole Derendorf's Festive Friday Challenge.  Today I've had some time in my craft room, stamping images from my friend's Everybunny stamp set that she fortuitously  unfortunately left behind after our weekend of playing!

I was inspired by the cute bunny, and bunting, on Nicole's card, and came up with this bright beauty:

Stamps: Everybunny, Teeny Tiny Sentiments
Card:  Crumb Cake, Tempting Turquoise, Real Red, Whisper White
DSP: Big Top Birthday Designer Series Paper
Ink: Crumb Cake stampin' pad, Jet Black Staz-On inkpad, Real Red stampin' pad, Tempting Turquoise stampin' pad, Daffodil Delight stampin' pad, Blushing Bride stampin' pad
Other: 2 1/2" circle punch, Perfect Pennants die, Petite Pennants Builder punch, sponge dauber, White baker's twine, blender pen, Tombow liquid glue, Stamp-a-ma-jig

I hope to find the time to play along with many more of the Festive Friday challenges; I had a lot of fun with this one!


I had the good fortune to spend almost an entire weekend stamping with two of my dear friends (it was meant to be three, but sadly our other friend was unwell).  Now, "an entire weekend stamping" for me, in company, normally means chatting, eating chocolate and drinking copious quantities of tea and coffee!  I'm normally much more productive as a lone crafter.  However, I managed to make several cards over the two days, as well as fitting in the chatting, choccie and hot drinks!  One of the cards I made was for this week's sketch challenge at Sunny Challenges & Creations:

I had been asked to make a "thank you" card for my son's cricket coach, for all the boys to sign.  Because cricket plays a large role in the lives of the Blain family, I kept hold of the now retired Just Cricket stamp set from Stampin' Up!  I get a LOT of use out of this set.  My boys have finished their junior cricket season in Australia, but are both currently over the other side of the world, participating in an international cricket tournament held in Corfu!

It's not often that I use Cajun Craze in my projects, but it's a beautiful, rich colour.  I consulted my Color Coach, and ran with the suggestion of using Cajun Craze with Baja Breeze and Old Olive.  I've kept the card very simple, but I must say I love how these colours work together!  Who knew?!

Stamps: Just Cricket, Perfectly Penned
Card: Crumb Cake, Old Olive textured, Naturals Ivory, Cajun Craze
Ink: Crumb Cake stampin' pad and marker, Old Olive stampin' pad
Other: Tasteful Trim Bigz XL die, Color Spritzer tool, Mat Pack and Paper Piercing tool, Regals brads, Linen Thread, sponge dauber, stampin' dimensionals

Monday, April 2, 2012


I just had to share with you a cute little card I've made using Stampin' Up!'s new Labels Collection Framelits dies.  These fabulous wafer-thin metal dies cut beautifully, come in 6 sizes that mat together, and of course co-ordinate with the gorgeous new Apothecary Art stamp set ..... do you need any other reasons to order them???!!

I call this my "polka dot overload" card.  Check out the dotty stamped base card, the polka dot leaves on the cute paper, the polka dot embossing on the smaller Framelits, the polka dot ribbon, AND the polka dot brad.  Cute, don't you think?!  It makes me happy, anyway!

I made this card by using the largest of the Framelits to cut through a folded piece of Lucky Limeade card (positioning the fold just below the top of the die, so the fold stayed intact).  The frosting on the cupcake was a little 'trial and error' process.  I started off colouring it with my Melon Mambo marker, but decided to add dimension, so coloured over that with a Versamarker (same clear ink as the Versamark pad, but in a handy-dandy pen - gotta love that!), and sprinkled Melon Mambo embossing powder over the top, then heated it.  I wasn't 100% happy with the patchy result I got, so I coloured AGAIN with the Versamarker, sprinkled Iridescent Ice embossing powder over the top, and heated it.  I like the irregular look I finally achieved;  in future I'll know I can cut out at least one of those steps!

Stamps: Easy Events; Dot, Dot, Dot
Card: Lucky Limeade, Melon Mambo, Whisper White
DSP: Cheerful Treat Designer Series Paper
Ink: Versamark inkpad, Versamarker, Jet Black Staz-on inkpad, Melon Mambo marker, Lucky Limeade marker, Concord Crush marker
Other: Labels Collection Framelits dies, Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder, Melon Mambo polka dot ribbon, In Color Designer Printed brad, 2 1/2 " Circle punch, sponge daubers, mini glue dots, stampin' dimensionals

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Today is a happy, happy day, because Stampin' Up!'s Autumn-Winter Mini catalogue "goes live" in Australia and New Zealand.  Stampin' Up! raises the bar with every catalogue.  Every time, I think it's my favourite catalogue yet - but this one is chock-full of products that I absolutely MUST have!

I've made a card to show you three new products:  the beautiful Bordering on Romance stamp set, Stampin' Up!'s fabulous new Framelits dies, and one of my very favourite new products - pleated satin ribbon.

I started off knowing I wanted to use Riding Hood Red pleated satin ribbon.  I consulted my Color Coach for inspiration, and ran with the suggestion of using More Mustard and Basic Gray, with Riding Hood Red.  Not a combo I would EVER have come up with, but here's the end result:

Stamps: Bordering on Romance, Teeny Tiny Sentiments
Card: Very Vanilla, Basic Gray, More Mustard, Riding Hood Red, watercolour paper
Ink: Versamark inkpad, Basic Gray stampin' pad and marker, Riding Hood Red stampin' pad, More Mustard stampin' pad and marker, Always Artichoke stampin' pad
Other: Aquapainter, Basic Pearls, Labels Collection Framelits die, Dotted Scallop Ribbon border punch, Color Spritzer tool, sponge daubers, Word Window punch, Modern Label punch, Riding Hood Red pleated satin ribbon, sticky strip