Saturday 21 November 2015

Blogging elsewhere today...


I thought I'd pop by today to let you know that I'm on the Altenew blog today focusing on the fabulous Halftone Holidays stamp set. I adore the Halftone series of stamps Рthey're so clever with their oh-so-easy-to-achieve ombr̩ effects. Simply ink up the stamps et voila! Ombr̩, baby!

Sneak peek

I'm sharing three cards I've made featuring this stamp set over on my blog post. It would be lovely to see you there if you're interested in taking a peek at the rest of the my cards. I can promise a traditional Christmas colour combo, sparkles and clean designs. :)

Happy weekend!


Friday 20 November 2015

Altenew & Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L blog hop!

'tis the season

Happy Friday! I'm kicking off the weekend here with a wintry card as part of a fun blog hop as Altenew teams up with Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L.

You should have hopped along here from Stephanie Schutze. If you haven't then be sure to start out at Altenew HQ as there's prizes to be won along the way!

The people at Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L kindly sent us some super-sticky goodies to play with and I immediately fell for these cool 3D Foam Snowflakes. All they need is a sprinkle of glitter to bring them to life!

'tis the season close up

I paired a snowflake with a sentiment from Altenew's new Halftone Holidays stamp set to complete this simple, easy design. It's definitely my kind of design when it comes to Christmas cards: quick and easy with a touch of sparkle. :)

As part of the blog hop, Altenew are also offering FREE U.S shipping on retail orders placed today (November 20th). Simply enter the code 'ALTENEWFRIDAY' at the checkout.

Right, I best not keep you as there's some serious blog hopping to be done. Both Altenew and Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L are giving away prizes with two $30 Altenew gift certificates and two prize packs both worth $30 each. A winner will be selected from the comments left on the blog hop so be sure to leave yours by Monday November 23 11.59pm EST and the winners will be announced the the Altenew blog and Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L blog on November 25th.

Next on your hopping list is Michele Kovack. Happy hopping and have a happy weekend!


Saturday 14 November 2015

25 Days of Christmas Tags!


Happy weekend! I'm joining in with the fabulous 25 Days of Christmas Tags event today and representing Clearly Besotted with today's super-quick (minus drying time for Glossy Accents!) tag.


It's the fifth anniversary of this fantastic idea of Tracey McNeely's which showcases 25 days of wonderful tags with a whole host of companies sponsoring the event and plenty of prizes to be won. Check out the full deets here.


My little tag was originally created for Christmas, but I guess it could actually be used all year round. It's a tag for all seasons! I decided to keep things small, simple and sweet for my tag so I used the new Tiny Tags Die Collection and paired the stitched heart from the Stitched Mittens stamp set with a sentiment from the From Our Home stamp set. It's a real mix 'n' match of Clearly Besotted goodies!

I couldn't resist giving the heart on my tag the Glossy Accents treatment. I love shiny things! :)


Don't forget to check out the tags from the rest of the Clearly Besotted peeps over at Tracey's; I've had a sneak peek and they're stunning (I'd expect nothing less!). Don't forget, there's prizes to be won too. :)

Time for me to scoot now. I've got a mountain of things to do this weekend and speaking of weekends, did you know that there's only six weekends left until Christmas. Crazy! I better get a move on and get myself organised. Eeek!

Thanks so much for stopping by today!


Friday 13 November 2015

Altenew November release blog hop!


Happy Friday! It's more than your average Friday here as I'm jumping on board for a good ol' blog hop to showcase Altenew's brand-new November release! It's an amazing release full of fantastic goodies with 10 stunning stamp sets and six new Altenew Speciality Papers. You can check out the full release here. 

So with this being a blog hop, you should have hopped here from my talented friend, Aga. If you haven't, then be sure to start out at the start of the blog hop at Altenew HQ as there's not only inspirational projects, there's prizes to be won too! :)

For my blog hop cards I've focused on a few different sets and mix and matched a few too;  I always like to stretch my stamp sets to the max and get as much use from them as possible.

First up, here's a card featuring the new Succulents stamp set. I love how this set can cater for any green fingered friend and the sentiments are fab too, they certainly fill a gap in my sentiment stamp stash.

Thank you

This card is simple but took a while to create and required a lot of patience. I treated this succulent to the Glossy Accents treatment and somehow managed to resist the temptation to touch the shiny goodness until I could be sure that it had dried.

Thank you close up

To add little more dimension to the Glossy Accents treatment, I coated each area of the succulent separately rather than cover the whole thing in one go. :)

My next cards features the stunning Oriental Orchid stamp set designed by May Sukyong Park for Altenew.

So beautiful

This set is beautiful and I love that it contains not only the multi layer style of stamps to achieve detailed orchids, it also features fabulous sentiments in a gorgeous brush font. I love it.

I created a background/patterned paper effect with the orchids on my previous card, so I then decided to use the stem from the set to create another pattern for this card:

You got this

I also used a masking technique to stamp the pretty flowers from the new Beautiful Lady stamp set and paired it with a sentiment from the oh-so-useful Thinking of You stamp set. Three stamp sets on one card – I think that could be a record for me!

So? Do you have a favourite must-have set from the new release? If you do then be sure to comment on this post as I have a $30 Altenew gift certificate to give away! Please leave a comment on this post before 11:59pm GMT on Sunday 15th November to be in with a chance of winning it and I'll announce the winner here on the following day.

Right, that's all from me for today so I'll let you hop along. Your next stop is the amazing Marika Rahtu. 

Thanks so much for hopping by today. Have a great weekend!


Thursday 5 November 2015

Beautiful birch backgrounds

Just for you

Well today's the day! It's time to get the fireworks out not only to prepare for Bonfire Night, but to celebrate Clearly Besotted's November release that's available to purchase from 10pm GMT tonight!

As promised, I've to two cards for today's post and I'm showing you two very different looks you can achieve with the beautiful Birch Background and Birch Background II stamps. I love that there's both a portrait and landscape set of this design; I honestly wouldn't be able to pick just one!

First up is a very bold design featuring some multicoloured heat-embossing. It's super-sparkly up close but it's pretty hard to capture on a picture. I paired this simple design with a sentiment from Sweet Sentiments Plus. So easy!

My next card is much softer and subtle with icy wintry blues and some heat-embossing onto vellum:

heartfelt thanks

I would like to have used silver embossing powder for the sentiment to complement the icy, crisp blue and white combo but it's decided to hide from me and I can't find it anywhere! Note to self: buy more silver embossing powder so the original pot will turn up. ;)

Well that's all from me and all of the sneak peeks of the November release. Stephanie will be sharing the sets in full along with links to some final projects from the Design Team so pop across and get ready to make your shopping list for when the new goodies are available to purchase from 10pm GMT tonight!

Happy shopping, and for those celebrating it, have a happy and safe Bonfire Night!


Wednesday 4 November 2015

An SD card, a washing machine & a delayed post...

kisses & cuddles

Happy November! I'm certainly happy today as I'm finally able to join in the fun of the Clearly Besotted sneak peeks of the November release. The delay has been down to my own doofus moment of accidentally putting my SD card through the washing machine...We won't speak of it anymore but my replacement has arrived so I can finally shoot the projects I've made – hurrah!

So doofus moment aside, today's card gives you a sneak peek of two sets: the adorable squirrels from 'Nutty but Nice' pair perfectly with a sentiment from 'Petite Plushies'. I just think that this sentiment is so fitting for those cute squirrels and loved the idea of them looking out into the sunset. :)

kisses & cuddles close

Well I'm sure you've all been enjoying the plethora of sneak peeks at CB HQ with links to even more peeks from the rest of the Design Team, but if you haven't then be sure to pop across now. You won't be disappointed! We even have the super Yoonsun Hur on board with us as a guestie this month so you won't want to miss out!

I'll be back tomorrow with not one, but two cards to make up and catch up on a sneaky peek day that I've missed. I'll be making sure my new SD cards stays away from the washing machine in the future to avoid this happening again, promise!

Thanks so much for visiting today!


Friday 23 October 2015

Altenew & Pretty Pink Posh collaboration blog hop!

Happy birthday

Happy Friday and welcome to a fabulous blog hop full of sequins, super stamps, delightful dies, inspiration, prizes and more as Altenew joins forces with Pretty Pink Posh!

You should have hopped across here from Yuki Yoshioka but if you haven't, then be sure to start out at Altenew HQ. :)

Altenew and Pretty Pink Posh products make the perfect pair for gorgeous goodies to create fun cards. I couldn't resist using the Stitched Duo 2 die set to transform those circles into balloons along with adding a scattering of sequins and a sentiment from my go-to Altenew birthday stamp set, Birthday Greetings. :)

Now what's a blog hop without some prizes? We have two $30 gift certificates for Altenew and two for Pretty Pink Posh to give away. There are two ways to win as Altenew will pick two winners for the Pretty Pink Posh gift certificates and Pretty Pink Posh will pick two winners for the Altenew gift certificates. The best thing is that all you have to do is leave a comment along the hop by Monday 26th October 11:59pm EDT to enter. Simple! Winners will be announced on the Altenew blog and Pretty Pink Posh blog. :)

Well I best let you continue hopping! You're very near the end as the next, and final, stop of the blog is Pretty Pink Posh HQ!

Thanks so much for hopping along with me today and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!


Monday 5 October 2015

Colour on kraft...

Season's greetings

Well today's the day. If you're looking for something to cure the Monday blues then look no further because the brand-new October release from Clearly Besotted is available to purchase from 10pm tonight! :D

Stephanie will be sharing the sets in full for you to oooooh and ahhhhh over and I guarantee that you'll be totally spoilt for choice! Today's card features the From Our Home mini set; don't you just love that heart-shaped wreath? For me I just knew that this beautiful image had to be heat-embossed and coloured onto kraft cardstock. :)

Season's greetings close up

I love the simplicity of this design and think I could have just struck upon my Christmas card design for the year. It's simple to create this design without the pearl or 3D foam tape for budget-friendly posting too. It's something we have to consider here in the UK for sure!

tips and tricks

  • When heat-embossing such detailed images, I recommend using a detail embossing powder and resisting the urge to touch the cardstock too much beforehand. An anti-static pad always reduces the risk of stray powder sticking to your project too. 
  • Colouring directly onto kraft cardstock achieves a lovely, subtle effect to whatever shade you're using. I attached an ultra-fine nib to my ProMarkers so I could colour the detailed image with accuracy. 
  • I inked the edges of the kraft panel with Antique Linen Distress Ink as this draws the eyes from the darker edges to the central focal point of the image. I wish I'd taken a picture of the before and after of this little trick because it really packs a punch! 

Well if you haven't already taken a peek at the full reveal then you're in for a real treat. Pop across to Stephanie's and feast your eyes on one seriously fabulous release! Shopping list at the ready, peeps! :D

Thanks so much for visiting my little corner of Blogland today. I hope you have a happy Monday and a happy week!


Sunday 4 October 2015

A winter warmer...

Sending warm wishes

Welcome back to the Clearly Besotted teasers of the super duper October release! Yesterday I steered away from Christmas but today I'm embracing it; after all, it's hard not to with so many fantastically festive stamp and die sets about to hit the store! The goodies will be available for you to purchase from 10pm tomorrow so there's not too long to wait now! ;)

Today I've combined two sets to create a card that I hope evokes those winter moments of cozying up with a good mug of hot chocolate (or mulled wine, perhaps?) with the mittens on for a winter warmer. I couldn't resist wrapping these diddy mittens from the Stitched Mittens stamp set around the mug used with the co-ordinating die from Warm Solutions II. The sentiment is from Stitched Mittens and is so fitting. I also love that this tea-loving and non-coffee drinking gal has managed to stretch a coffee-themed stamp and die set to cater for Christmas. Score!
tips and tricks

  • I stamped the steam on the background and on the top of the die-cut mug to give the illusion of the steam coming from inside. 
  • If you fancy adding a little more warmth and texture to complement the sentiment, then why not use the Stitched Mitten dies to die-cut them from felt for a guaranteed warm, fuzzy feeling. :) 

Well that's all from me today and if you haven't hopped across here from Stephanie's then what are you waiting for? There's sneak peeks galore and even more inspiration from the talented Design Team. Be sure to check it out! :)

As for me, I'm going to be spending today catching up on some more stamping fun and I'll be back tomorrow with a final sneak peek before the release is available to purchase. Can't wait!

Thanks so much for stopping by today!


Saturday 3 October 2015

Clearly Besotted sneak peek!

Just a note

Happy weekend! Happy Saturday! Happy October (please tell me where the previous month have zoomed by to!) and happy teaser time of the new Clearly Besotted release!

Yup, it's time for some sneaky peeks of the truly amazing October release from Clearly Besotted containing no less than thirteen different stamps sets with eleven of them complemented by co-ordinating dies!

Although there's Christmas galore catered for with this month's release, there's also some gorgeous sets that you'll be itching to ink up all year round. It's been Christmas at work in the office since about May and now we're wrapping up the season I can't even think about making more Christmas cards (although I really need to as the season approaches for real!) so I immediately gravitated to the beautiful Heartfelt Thanks and Fancy Sayings stamp sets with a little help from the co-ordinating Heartfelt Thanks die set to create an easy peasy vase. :)

tips and tricks
  • I used Washi tape to mask off the stem and then the flower heads to stamp them in separate colours. The magic of clear stamps makes this very easy to do! 
  • I added a little more detail to the stamped images by going over them with Copic markers. It's amazing the difference it makes to the most simple of images. 
  • To add a little texture to the background I tapped the same inkpad I used for the flower heads (Simon Says Stamp's Wisteria) onto an acrylic block, added water and then flicked it over the panel with a paintbrush. So easy!  
  • Time to 'fess up! I covered my die-cut vase in Glossy Accents and then it dropped on my work surface, wet glossy-side down! Argh! It only caught the side of it, so once it dried I traced over the affected area with a white gel pen to create a highlight instead. No-one needs know about this apart from you and me, OK? ;) 
Well that's all from me today, but I"ll be back tomorrow with another sneaky peek! In the meantime, if you haven't already, then please do pop across for more sneaky peeks at CB HQ (aka Stephanie's) with links to amazing creations from the Design Team including our guestie, my talented friend, Keren Baker!

Thanks so much for stopping by today!


Wednesday 2 September 2015

Happy STAMPtember!

Birthday girl

Happy September, or should that be STAMPtember? I can't even believe that it's September already, but one things for sure: I'll celebrating September with some fabulous news goodies from Simon Says Stamp as part of their STAMPtember celebrations. If you're new to STAMPtember then welcome to a fabulous month-long stamping party full of new goodies, inspiration and much more!

I'm kicking off STAMPtember with the help of this new oh-so-handy Birthday Frame die paired with this brand-new Best Hugs stamp set along with the new Island Crush Hybrid Stamping Ink Cube Pack. I guarantee that this die and stamp set are going to remain firmly within my crafty reach. I love them!

Birthday girl close up

Oh, and I couldn't resist adding magical sparkles with my Wink of Stella pen and gloops of Glossy Accents to the die-cut element of the sentiment. :)

tips and tricks

  • Get more from your inks! I used the SSS ink not only to stamp with, but as a watercolour paint to paint stripes across my card front as well as sponging it onto my white die-cut sentiment to create a soft ombre effect. 
  • To make the word 'BIRTHDAY' pop, I sponged Hot Mama ink towards the bottom of my stamped sentiment. This also has the added bonus of that panel imitating the ombre 'girl' sentiment. 
  • For a fun twist I stamped a heart to dot the 'i' of the 'girl' sentiment. This complements the solid heats stamped onto the card front from the same stamp set. 
It's only a matter of time until I use this die for a fun shaker card but before I get a chance to do so,  I just know that there are some fabulous designers who are also partying STAMPtember stylee so be sure to pop across and get some serious mojo-boosting inspiration. You may just find that a couple of goodies pop into your virtual shopping basket too! ;)


Thursday 13 August 2015

Hello (Altenew Design Team!)


Happy Friday Eve! I hope you're well and looking forward to the weekend – it's nearly here y'know. :)

I'm sharing a card today that felt a little surreal to make. It's my first card as part of the Altenew Design Team. Yup, somehow I've been asked to join what I can only describe as an amazing pool of talent. I'm still a little gobsmacked by it all. Have they asked the right Amy Gray? Ha!

Well mistaken identity or not, I'm extremely honoured, excited and a little daunted to be part of such a wonderful team. I had a blast making this little clean and graphic number with the help of my new favourite Sohcahtoa stamp set (I can't resist pattern-building geometric stamp sets; especially when they feature triangles!) and the Halftone Hello die.

If you're interested in finding out more about this card or checking out my formal introduction, then pop across to the Altenew blog.

Thanks so much for stopping by today and letting me share my happy news with you. Have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday 5 August 2015

Dino-mite birthday


Happy Wednesday (halfway through the working week – woop!) and happy Clearly Besotted release day! Yup, the August release of CB goodies are available to purchase from 10pm tonight (UK time).

I'm celebrating the release with a little card created using the adorable set, You Rock. I love how the set is geared towards stamping your own little scene with style and ease. And seriously, who can resist the punny sentiment too? Love it!

I added a little more detail to my dino with the help of Glossy Accents (Yes, I've finally found them!) and a googly eye. So cute. :)

Dinomite close up

If you haven't already popped across from Stephanie's then what are you waiting for? Be sure to hop across to check out the full reveal of the August release. It's certainly a tough choice to pick my favourites, but these dinosaurs are definitely up there. ;)

I'm keeping it short and sweet today so I'm going to leave you to peruse the fabulous new release and let you make the tough decision of what you need and what might happen to jump into your virtual shopping basket!


Tuesday 4 August 2015

hello (literally!)


Hey! (or should that be, hello?)

Thanks so much for stopping by today or for sticking around during a bit of a tumbleweed time here on the blogeroo. It's been a crazy, hectic, chaotic and insane few weeks that's left us sometimes wondering if we could bite off more than we could chew, but somehow (and don't ask us how!) we've managed to move house whilst working full time without a removal van in sight!

I've unpacked my crafty goodies and today I'm sharing the first card I made in my new craft room. The sentiment is so fitting: hello new digs, hello crafting, hello blog, hello world: I've missed you! Oh, and how could I forget? Hello new Clearly Besotted August release! :)

This card features a brand-new Shaker Shapes Square Hello die and I shook things up a little bit by deciding not to create a shaker card with it. I'm sure the rainbow trend has passed, but I love the happy vibes from a bright rainbow colour combo.

tips and tricks
  • The trickiest part of this design is die-cutting the aperture die centrally from the card front. Using Washi tape to secure the die to card front did the trick for me!
  • I used my scraps of cardstock to cut the individual letters from coloured cardstock. It means less waste and I can do a few letters in one pass through my die-cutting machine. 
  • Need more dimension? Why not coat those colourful letters in Glossy Accents? I would have done this myself if I could remember where I'd unpacked my Glossy Accents! 
Seeing as I didn't want to spend hours searching high and low for my Glossy Accents, I decided to add a little sparkle to my letters instead with the help of my clear Wink of Stella pen. :)

hello close up

Well, I know for a fact that the rest of the Clearly Besotted Design Team have some amazing samples to tease you with so I urge you to pop across to Stephanie's if you haven't already. Oh, and please welcome our Design Team guesties, the lovely Cindy Lovell and my super-fun and talented friend, Keren Baker!

Thanks so much for stopping by today or for hanging around here waiting for something to happen! I really appreciate it and hope you can stick around for more stamping shenanigans tomorrow!


Sunday 21 June 2015

A patriotic Father's Day card...

Happy Father's Day

Happy Sunday! Happy Father's Day! Happy Summer Solstice! Happy Midsummer's Day! Happy birthday (to me!) 

Yup, another birthday has crept up on me today and I'm still finding it hard to believe and act the age I was the year before, let alone my new age today. ;)

As it's Father's Day I thought I'd share with you the card I've created for my father-in-law. A simple, graphic card with a patriotic Irish colour combo seems to have gone down well, (I can say this as we visited my in-laws yesterday for a yummy meal out and insisted that he opened his card early!)

tips and tricks

  • I honestly don't think you can go wrong with stars for guy cards. They're my go-to shape for every masculine card, but I never tire of featuring them. :) 
  • The stars were made sparkly by covering cardstock with some basic glitter tape purchased from John Lewis and die-cutting small stars from it. 
  • I made sure that my stripes were measured and cut to fit so there's an orange stripe at the top and bottom of the card front. This enhances the symmetry of the clean, graphic design. 
Masculine cards can be tough to make at the best at times, but I'm going to admit that this one was particularly tough. Today is the third Father's Day without my dear dad but it's the first one where my birthday falls on the same day. It doesn't happen often, but it makes today a bittersweet birthday. I'm lucky to have many happy memories though. So today on my birthday and Father's Day I'm thinking of happy times like this memory of us captured on a summer holiday. Yes, my hair really was that red when I was a youngster. ;)

Happy days. :)

Thanks so much for stopping by today, and if you're celebrating it, then I hope you have a wonderful day celebrating Father's Day and any other special occasions that may fall on this day!



I am on various design teams and receive free product to use and promote. I geniunely love the products of the companies and all opinons are honest and my own.

I'm flattered if I've inspired you and you want to CASE anything of mine, but please don't enter it for commercial publications or competitions.
Thank You!
All designs, text, and photographs on Crafting Confessions are ©2009-2016 to Amy Gray unless stated otherwise.