17 Mar 2018

Less is More 367 - One Layer Cards - Stencils


We're all playing with stencils on one layer cards at Less is More today

and  Shery from STAMPlorations is our guest designer. You can see her beautiful card on the Less is More blog. Don't forget to check out the fabulous DT cards while you are there.

I have 3 cards for you today.

1) Your Awesomeness Overwhelms Me

Here's a really simple card where I used a stencil to colour the silhouette. This really is a one layer card! If you want to see how I trick the eyes into thinking it is a panel on a base card you can ......

......watch my video :

I'm entering this into:
Crafty Creations #362  - Anything Goes
Pause, Dream, Enjoy #11 - Anything Goes
Pammies Inky Pinkies Challenge #1810 - Anything Goes

STAMPS: STAMPlorations - Fond Expressions
STENCILS: Sweet Poppy - Clematis
INKS: Versafine Onyx Black, Distress Oxides (Antique Linen, Fossilised Amber, Twisted Citron)
OTHER: White card, post-it notes, low-tack tape, black micron pens (sizes 005 and 08), distress markers (pumice stone, hickory smoke)

2) Under 10 Minute Stencil Layering

Actually this card only took around 8 minutes to make - honest! I filmed this one too and so you can check my under 10 minute claim if you watch it. 

 Crikey - I even appear in this one. I'm doing an experiment to see if I get more views if I appear in the video or if I don't. Would be interested in your thoughts on that.

Anyway, back to the card. I love layering stencils because it adds a lot of depth to an inky panel. Here I only used 2 stencils but I love the result. I'm also loving the colour combo so I'll probably use that one again in the future.

I made this one for:
Little Miss Muffet #184 - Anything Goes
Through the Craft Room Door 13 Mar - Anything Goes
Crafting From The Heart #198 - Anything Goes

I made a curved mask out of post-it notes and laid down a base coat of antique linen, then blended Victorian velvet through the trellis stencil. Aged mahogany came next blended through the honeycomb stencil. Remove the stencils and stamp the leaves in walnut stain then remove the masking and stamp the sentiment in walnut stain too.

STAMPS: Visible Image - create it and go to words
STENCILS: Creative Expressions that special touch of...Trellis, Tim Holtz Collection Honeycomb
INKS: Distress Inks (Antique linen, Victorian velvet, aged mahogany, walnut stain)
OTHER: White card, post-it notes, masking tape, blending tools, misti.


3) Textured Stencilling - using a piece of fly screen!

I spotted a technique in a Jennifer McGuire video HERE for adding texture into stencils....so off I trotted and found a spare piece of fly screen to try it out. It worked!

I'm playing along with:
Crafting With An Attitude #37 - Anything Goes
Creative Moments Challenge 138 - Anything Goes
Artistic Inspirations #195 - Anything Goes

Mask off a triangle with post it notes. Add both the brickwork and vine flourish stencils together and blend spiced marmalade through them. Remove the masks and stamp the flourish several times over the blended area in spiced marmalade. Stamp the sentiment in versafine black ink. Take the sweet poppy stencil and blend rusty hinge through one of the flowers, then without moving the stencil add some netting (aka fly screen for me) over the top of the flower and stipple aged mahogany through the netting. Repeat that step twice more. Finish with a few pearls to represent buds.

STAMPS: Hampton Art flourish and bloom, Waltzing Mouse Stamps - Big day additions
STENCILS: Clarity Stamps brick work and vine flourish
INKS: Versafine Onyx Black, Distress Inks (spiced marmalade, rusty hinge, aged mahogany)
OTHER: Yellow card blank, masking tape. blending tools and brushes, fly screen!


That's it from me for now. I hope you found something you like and I really hope to see you again soon. 

If you watched either of my videos, please remember to like and subscribe to my YouTube channel if you found them helpful. I am trying to create a channel with all the techniques I know, so some will be old techniques, but some will be new techniques too.

I will definitely create a video for each Visible Image post (the Thursday prior to my LIM posts) and I'll try to film my technique card on my LIM posts too.  So there should be at least 4 videos a month arriving on the channel.

Sharon xx

15 Mar 2018

A little bit of calm.


It's time to share another card that I've made with some of my fabulous Visible Image stamps. Today I'm using the wonderful seahorse from the Create Your Calm set and teaming it up with some Ink Splats (to represent bubbles) and the Fibres stencil for a bit of movement in my inky panel.

I'm loving how I can take a large stamp and yet still create something wonderfully clean and simple with it. This is such a beautiful seahorse stamp, but as Veerle has shown how to expertly colour it (which you can see by clicking HERE for her video), I thought I would leave it in monochrome for a contrast on my inky band.

Here is a video of making this card:

 How to make this:

First heat emboss the seahorse with clear ink and a sparkly black embossing powder, then mask the seahorse with either a post-it note or some masking fluid.

Next mask off a section of your card for the inked band and blend 3 colours of distress oxide ink (cracked pistachio, peacock feathers, salty ocean) into the unmasked area to create a smooth ombré look.

Blend more ink through the fibres stencil using broken china and peacock feathers distress oxides and next splatter water droplets onto the panel.

Use second generation ink with the two remaining stamps (the ovals and circles) in the Create Your Calm set, to add more subtle interest to the background, stamping these in faded jeans and peacock feathers distress oxides.

Remove the masking, and add your sentiment. I split the 'own' and 'calm' into two separate words using a masking technique, shown in my video, so that I only inked the word I wanted at each place.

Now ink the splatters from the Ink Splats set in salty ocean, peacock feathers and cracked pistachio distress oxide.

Use a clear sparkle pen on the water droplets in the inky band to give them some shimmer. Use the same sparkle pen in the white areas of the seahorse.

The final part is to add glossy accents onto the ink splat 'bubbles' and also randomly across the band.

Stamps Used:

(please click on the picture to be taken direct to the stamp set in the online store):
https://visibleimage.co.uk/product/create-your-calm/        https://visibleimage.co.uk/product/ink-splats/  



Other Supplies:

White Card, Versamark clear ink, Stampendous disco black embossing powder, Distress Oxides (salty ocean, peacock feathers, cracked pistachio, broken china, faded jeans), blending tools and foam, water, paintbrushes, heat tool, low-tack masking tape, post-it notes, scrap paper, Misti, Versafine Onyx black ink, Sakura gelly roll pen (clear star), Ranger glossy accents, 3d foam 

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:

AAA Card Challenge #110 - Ombré
Creative Fingers Challenge March - Anything Goes
Dare2BArtyz March - Your Favourite Colours (always blues and teals for me!)
HeARTful Stamping challenge Mar 11-18 - Anything Goes
Mix It Up Challenge Blog MIUCB #11 - Anything Goes + make your own background
Penny Black and More! March - Feature A Creature
Polkadoodles #10 - Anything Goes
QKR Stampede #286 - Anything Goes
The Corrosive Challenge March - Anything Goes
2 crafty Critter Crazies March - anything with a critter

Visible Image social media and other links (just click on the words in capital letters):

SHOP where the fantastic stamps are sold
BLOG with all the latest news and posts
FACEBOOK PAGE with info, inspiration and weekly giveaways
FACEBOOK GROUP come share your work with us and enter the monthly 'show and tell' challenges

Thank you for stopping by today and please don't forget to watch my VIDEO
I really hope to see you again soon.

Sharon xx

3 Mar 2018

Less is More 366 - Monochrome

Hello, Hello, Hello, Hello.
How are you all? Hope those of you that have been affected by the snow are keeping wrapped up and warm. We've only had rain and thunderstorms over here in Portugal so we're getting off very lightly. Anyway, here we are, in March already! Spring should be a-sprunging right now, let's hope it does soon.
But enough of that, I'd best get on to the new challenge at Less is More, eh?

We're in a new month so that means that we have a fantastic new sponsor for the next two challenges:


and the lovely Shery from Stamplorations will be joining us as a guest designer (from tomorrow, Sunday).

We also have the talented Maaike joining us as guest designer too.

Oh, and don't forget to head on over to the challenge blog for some fantastic inspiration from the design team too.

Normally on a monochrome challenge I will have a card or two actually in colour, but this time I've gone right back to the true and pure monochrome of basic black, white and grey for my 3 cards, and I really enjoyed trying to make them all look very different from each other.

1) Faux Tarnished Metal

Well, I have hit the hat-trick in this card! It's masculine, it has a technique (faux tarnished metal) and it is super speedy to make! 

Here is a 4 minute video.

This one is for Papercraft Crew Challenge PCC#282 which is a tic tac toe challenge and the 3 items I used are metallic (albeit faux), clean and simple and birthday.

CAS Colours and Sketches #261 which is this super sketch.

It is also for Pause, Dream, Enjoy challenge #9 where they want a stamped image

STAMPS: Wow - Mr Wow's Wonderful Words, Craft Stamper magazine freebie
INKS: Versamark Clear
OTHER: White, black and silver card, Sizzix embossing folder, Black acrylic paint, Wow ultra bright white embossing powder, foam pads, corner rounder.

2) Half Circle Thank You

Here is another quick to make card.

It's really easy to do and I bet it would look great in colours but the monochrome gives it a pretty funky look. I will probably make a few birthday cards like this for my stash, possibly using oval die cuts too, because it's a pretty gender neutral design.

This one is for:
 The Sisterhood of Crafters who are looking for Clean and Simple cards,
City Crafter Challenge #401 who want to see die cuts
and The Paper Girls #146 which is all about black and white but they do allow a pop of colour so I hope the grey is ok.

To make this: Die cut several circles from scraps of black, white and grey card, then add the die that is the next size down inside each circle, making sure it is offset i.e. towards one edge so that resulting ring will be thinner on one side than the other, then die cut them into the ring shapes. Lay the rings onto an adhesive sheet with all the thin sides together then cut it in half. Adhere the shapes to your card blank and stamp the sentiment.

STAMPS: Stamplorations Fond Expressions
DIES: Lawn Fawn Stitched Circles
INKS: Versafine Onyx Black
OTHER: White, grey and black card. Double-sided adhesive sheet.


3) Card 3

As I made 2 cards suitable for men I wanted to balance things with a feminine card.

This one is for:
Crafty Cardmakers #206 - floral delight
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Anything Goes
Time Out Challenge  #104 - Bold - I've used 2 bold frames and a little bit of bold text in the sentiment

Mask off a square in the centre of the card blank slightly larger than your central aperture will be. Stamp and clear heat emboss a script stamp into the opening. Using a blending brush, blend iced spruce and hickory smoke in from the top right corner on the unmasked area. Stamp up the flower and leaves in black and grey and cut them out. Cut two frames and stamp the sentiment on the smaller one. Attach the frames to the card blank, then attach the flowers and leaves.

STAMPS: Altenew  Garden Treasure and Extra Special, Impression Obsession Cover A Card Script
INKS: Versamark clear, Versafine Onyx black, Distress inks (iced spruce and hickory smoke) Distress Oxide (Iced Spruce)
OTHER: White card, Clear embossing powder, ink blending brush, 3d foam pads, craft knife and ruler.

LIM Social Media Links


Well, that's it from me for today.

I hope you found something you like and I really hope to see you again soon - when I can probably guarantee I'll be back to my usual 'colourful self' ;-)

Sharon xx

1 Mar 2018

Hot colours Masterboard

Well hello!

I hope you have a spare 10 minutes today because I've been experimenting with my smaller Visible Image stamps and used them to create an inky & stamped Masterboard and created a video of the process (which also includes the making of these 3 cards). 

Masterboards are so useful for sparking off ideas and they allow you to make either several completely different cards, or batch make some identical(ish) cards. This is one of my go-to techniques and I always use it when my mojo wanders off for a little while (as it did this week). I chose to make different shaped cards and I have 3 that I'm sharing in this post but I promise I'll be brief about how I made them because the main instructions are in the video.

Here is a 10 minute video for these cards and the technique.

Challenges are linked at the bottom of this post.


This card is 15cm square.

Stamp the singer onto plain white card and colour her dress in with distress markers that match the masterboard colours. Add a little shadow at her feet to 'ground' her.  Stamp the small flower around the edge of the image in 2 alternating colours. Take a piece of masterboard, stamp the sentiment and adhere it to a square card blank. Then add a strip of co-ordinating orange card that has been embossed with a folder. Finally add the image raised up on fun foam.

Additional stamps used in this card (on top of the masterboard stamps listed below):

  https://visibleimage.co.uk/product/sing/      https://visibleimage.co.uk/product/no-regrets/

2) Live Life Now

Here I've made a DL card.

To make this, use a DL card blank and cut another piece of card the same size as the card front. Turn this panel over and use a pencil to mark where the sentiment will be, then draw the 'split' freehand, starting at the smallest point and curving upwards and outwards.  Cut this section out with your scissors. Turn the panel the right side up and stamp the sentiment in 3 shades of distress oxide. Stamp one of the small sparkle rays in the same 3 colours right at the bottom of the split. Adhere some of the masterboard to the card blank and attach the panel on top. Finish with a pearl in the centre of the sparkle ray.

Additional stamp set used in this card (on top of the masterboard stamps listed below):


This is an A5 card made from scoring and folding an A4 piece of card in half.

For one of the challenges I have B for Blooms on this card.

Stamp 3 flowers onto a piece of masterboard and fussy cut them out. On an A5 card blank, mask off and area where the sentiment will go (I cut post-it notes with a deckle edge die for this). Using a blending brush or ink dusters blend a coordinating colour around the masked area and out towards where your flowers will be placed. Stamp the 'stems' in place. Remove the masking and stamp the sentiment. Add your flower heads, the first directly onto the card and the other two raised up higher on foam pads.  Protect the flower you wish to glitter with some microglaze and then add some stickles. Set the card aside to dry.

Additional stamp set used in this card (on top of the masterboard stamps listed below):

4) Masterboard Video

My video will show exactly how I created the masterboard (and these 3 cards).

Here is the link to the video: https://youtu.be/PUQdYmHahho

Items used in the masterboard:

Stamps & Stencil Used in the masterboard:

(please click on the picture to be taken direct to the stamp set in the online store):
 https://visibleimage.co.uk/product/rays-of-light/    https://visibleimage.co.uk/product/create-it/

 https://visibleimage.co.uk/product/universal/    https://visibleimage.co.uk/product/stars-stripes/

Other Supplies:

INKS: Versafine Onyx Black, Distress Ink (mustard seed, wild honey, picked raspberry, rusty hinge), Distress Oxide Ink (mustard seed, fossilised amber, spiced marmalade, twisted citron, picked raspberry, candied apple, iced spruce), Distress Markers (spiced marmalade, rusty hinge).
OTHER: 3dfoam, white card, post-it notes, embossing folder, deckle edge die, blending tools, microglaze, stardust stickles.

5) Challenges

I'd like to enter my cards into these challenges as follows:

Good Times:

Make My Monday #65 - Messy Backgrounds
Jo's scrap shack Fun Friday Challenge FFC222 - Anything Goes
Creeative Fingers Challenge #143 - Anything Goes
The Paper Players PP382 - Sketch

Live Life Now

HeARTful stamping challenge Feb25-Mar4 - anything goes + a stamp
Simply Papercraft #55 - Anything Goes


Artistic Inspirations #194 - Anything Goes/ Optional use flowers
Allsorts Challenge - B is for ..... in my case, blooms!

Visible Image social media and other links (just click on the words in capital letters):

SHOP where the fantastic stamps are sold
BLOG with all the latest news and posts
FACEBOOK PAGE with info, inspiration and weekly giveaways
FACEBOOK GROUP come share your work with us and enter the monthly 'show and tell' challenges

That's it from me for now. Thanks for stopping by and I really hope to see you again soon.

Sharon xx

17 Feb 2018

Less is More # 365 - Dry Embossing

Hello there! Well the 7th birthday celebrations are continuing at Less is More for the next two weeks and we are back  today with our recipe challenge.

How much dry embossing is acceptable on a CAS card? That's always a difficult one, isn't it? Well, I think the post on the challenge blog may clarify it. My personal 'rule of thumb' is to never emboss more than 1/3 of the card if I can possibly help it, but that's only because I don't really have any subtle embossing folders.

Anyway, we have a new sponsor for this challenge:
And to delight you today we have a 5 guest designers joining us: ChrissieEsther, JenSarah G and Tara .  Please head over to the challenge blog to see their cards and the wonderful inspiration from the LIM design team too.
As we have the technique of dry embossing as our recipe, I haven't come up with a specific technique card this week, but I do have two cards to share with you for this challenge:

1) 10 Minute Masculine Make

I am really enjoying making these masculine-type cards because most of the time they fall into a quick make category too. I used very few supplies on this and it was a case of cutting card to size,  dry embossing one piece, heat embossing another peice and putting it all together.

I'd like to enter this into the following challenges:
Addicted to Stamps and More! #279 - CAS
2 Sisters on the blog #12 - A Man's card (second entry)
Crafts Galore Encore February - Anything Goes (my first time playing here)
Creative Moments #136 - Anything Goes

This one is a little more opulent than usual but I DO love a black and gold colour theme because most of the time is can be used for a unisex card.

ITEMS USED: Black card, gold card, Sweet Dixie big sentiments, versamark clear ink, stampendous detail gold embossing powder, fun foam, We R Memory Keepers Next Level geometric embossing folder.

2) Birthday Balloons

This one keeps the embossing to a minimum by just embossing the balloons.

This one is for:
Always Happy Birthday February - Birthday + CAS
Sparkles Forum #101 - Clean and Simple
Watercooler Wednesdays #157 - All about occasions
Incy Wincy Designs 5-19 Feb - Clean and Simple

So, I stamped, coloured, fussy cut and embossed the balloons with various embossing folders and added them to the cardblank at various heights with 3d foam pads. The present was stamped and coloured then the balloon strings were handdrawn and the final part was to stamp the sentiment.

STAMPS: Uniko balloon bash, Uniko pure florals cosmos, Clearly Besotted laugh out loud
INKS: Memento tuxedo black, Distress Inks (wilted violet, mermaid lagoon, mowed lawn, mustard seed, festive berries.
OTHER: Distress markers in the same colours as the distress inks, 3d foam pads, white card, black micron pen

Less is More Social Media links:


Thanks for popping by. I do hope you found something you like and I really hope to see you again soon.

Sharon xx

15 Feb 2018

Peaceful Sailing

Hi there. Thanks for stopping by. 

When is a set of balance scales, not a set of balance scales? ...... when they are yachts of course ;-)
Today I  have a fun mixed media card where a Visible Image stamp has also been repurposed into a completely different image. It's a great one for the guys too.

Anyway, did you catch the amazing Visible Image shows on Create and Craft last weekend? Mark and Pauline did some incredible demos with the 'Written in the Stars' collection. And during the first show Mark mentioned that he could see a boat in the Libra symbol. "Yes!" (I thought), "he's an absolute genius! Of course the scales will make a super yacht. So out came my Libra stamps and here is the result.

Here's how I made it:

First mask off a section on the panel where you want the sea to be, remembering to also mask the bottom of the panel where the 'peaceful' word will go, then swipe little light blue ink across the unmasked section. Next spread grit past through the fibres stencil with a palette knife and set the panel aside to dry (I left mine to dry overnight but I believe it dries quite quickly if you only have a thin layer).

Stamp and heat emboss one of the scales from the Libra set 3 times on a piece of scrap card and fussy cut them out. Mark the bottom of the sails by drawing an additional line with a black pen and then colour the boats in. Stamp, heat emboss and fussy cut the word too.


When the grit past is dry, randomly make a few marks with the distress crayon colours, blending and spreading the colours over the grit past with your finger.

Remove the mask from the sky and using a mask cut like clouds, brush distress ink very lightly, moving the mask around until the sky is covered with clouds. Draw the birds in the sky with a black pen.


Using a pale blue pen make a border around the edges of the 2 panels. Mount the two panels together with fun foam and add them to the card blank. Add some stickles onto the sea for a little sparkle.

Glue the boats into place when the stickles has dried, using fun foam to make the boats different heights. Heat emboss the fragments from the How Fragile stamps set 3 times (the tiny triangle is the perfect size to make a flag for the top of the boats), colour the triangles in, fussy cut them and add them to the top of the boats with glue and fun foam. Attach the peaceful sentiment.


Stamps Used:

(please click on the picture to be taken direct to the stamp set in the online store):
https://visibleimage.co.uk/product/zodiac-libra/      https://visibleimage.co.uk/product/how-fragile/

Stencils Used:


Other Supplies:

White linen card, post-it notes for masking, VersaColor celadon, Ranger distress grit paste, Versafine onyx black ink, black embossing powder, black micron pen, colouring pencils, distress crayons (tumbled glass & mermaid lagoon), Distress ink (tumbled glass), blending brush, distress marker pen (broken china), fun foam, stardust stickles,

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
2 Sisters on the blog challenge #12 - a man's card
Country View Challenges February - anything but cute
Craft Stamper Magazine TIMI February - Anything Goes
Creative Artiste Challenge #35- Anything Mixed Media Goes
Eclectic Ellapu Jan/Feb - Anything Goes
HeARTful Stamping Challenge Feb 11-18 - Anything Goes + a stamp
International Art and Soul Challenge #26 - Texture
Love to Craft February - Anything Goes
Mix It Up Challenge Blog #10 - Anything Goes + Clean and Simple
Worldwide Open Design Team Challenge #01  - Anything Goes

Visible Image social media and other links (just click on the words in capital letters):

SHOP where the fantastic stamps are sold
BLOG with all the latest news and posts
FACEBOOK PAGE with info, inspiration and weekly giveaways
FACEBOOK GROUP come share your work with us and enter the monthly 'show and tell' challenges

That's it from me for now. Thanks for stopping by and I really hope to see you again soon.

Sharon xx

3 Feb 2018

Less is More #364 - Music

Hello to you! Crikey, we're in February already! Gosh, this year seems to be speeding away even at this early stage of it. Hmmm, maybe I'm just too busy?? Time to slow down then.

Anyway February means it is birthday month for LIM.
We are 7 years old!!
Happy birthday to us!!

And to delight you today we have a 4 guest designers joining us. Yes, we have one of our founders Chrissie, and 3 fantastic ex-DT members: Esther, Jen and Sarah G.  It was a joy to see the cards they made. I DO hope you'll pop over and give them all some love. And don't forget to take a look at the challenge blog too for some wonderful inspiration from the design team.

But onto today's challenge:

and our sponsor for this first challenge of the month is:
I have two cards to share with you today:

1) Sing like no-one is listening

What a really joyful sentiment that is! And, yes, when I'm cleaning my house I have music on and I do just that. Lucky I don't have any neighbours near me, isn't it? Ha ha!

This is my technique card. Here I've used a Visible Image stamp set and stencil and added in just the tiniest amount of paper piecing on her dress. So the techniques today are  stencilling and paper piecing.   There was no need to mask the image when doing the stencilling because it is partly silhouette and the dress was going to be covered with the paper piecing.

This one is for:
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday - Anything Goes
Tuesday Morning Sketches #438 -
Watercooler Wednesdays WWC155 - Anything Goes

As the background paper is a little busy, I kept the stenciling really subtle and just to one side to make sure that lots of lovely white space was left on the card.  The image was stamped onto the same paper as the background and the dress part was cut out, and the only embellishments are the tiniest of gems making up her belt.

https://visibleimage.co.uk/product/sing/   https://visibleimage.co.uk/product/stars-stripes/
INKS: Memento Tuxedo Black. Distress Ink bundled sage
OTHER: Gems, stencil brush, white card, patterned paper (I've had this one for over 8 years! no idea now what make it is) 3d foam.

2) Piano Music

Here's one that is suitable to be used as a masculine card. The clean sharp lines and 'no-fuss' image would certainly appeal to any of the men I know. And it was also really fast to make too!

So keeping to my formula for LIM posts of a technique card, a masculine card and a fast to make card seems to be working - especially when I can double up ;-)

This one is for:
Cards 4 Guys #187 - Music
City Crafter Challenge #397 - Musical Instrument
Pile it on #138 - Thank You and /or Shades of Black and White + optional pop of colour

The piano keys and piano stamps are from a set that I picked up in the equivalent of a UK pound shop or US dollar store. It's really not the best quality, but I'll be able to use it a few times before it disintegrates.

After stamping the piano keys and sentiment onto a panel I added a strip of really thin washi tape for a pop of colour. The piano was heat embossed with clear embossing powder, fussy cut and added to the panel with 3d foam, then everything was added to a black card blank.

INKS: Versafine Onyx Black
OTHER: Ranger clear embossing powder, washi tape, white card, black card, foam tape.

Less is More Social Media links:


Thanks for popping by. I do hope you found something you like and I really hope to see you again soon.

Sharon xx