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Tuesday 22 March 2022

Santa Friends with the Holly & Ivy Christmas Challenge

Good morning,

Today I’m sharing my card for this fortnight’s Holly & Ivy Christmas Challenge.  This time I’ve used a digital stamp by Lili of the Valley and coloured it with Promarkers.  The paper is from a Lisa Horton magazine kit and the sentiment was from a free set from Making Cards magazine.  As the image was quite busy I’ve left the layout very simple.

Hope you like it.

Hugs, Shona xx

Sunday 20 March 2022

Cleverprints Inspiration Week - Follow Your Dreams


Welcome to my blog, you will see that I only blog here sporadically you will find many more of my creations on Instagram @handmade_by_hamill I would love to be able to keep my blog more up to date but the reality is there’s just not enough hours in the day when you have a full time job, a family and are also a carer.  Hence crafting amongst the chaos!  Crafting is my creative release though and that won’t change in a hurry!  Ok I’ve set the scene for any newcomers to my blog so let’s get on with the content!

I’m really lucky to be on The Cleverprints Ltd Design Team, I love their designs, they’re often a bit quirky and that definitely matches my own style and taste in crafting.  Today I’m sharing a step by step guide to making a mixed media card using one of the stamp sets from the latest collection - Follow Your Dreams.

Materials used:
Hero Arts Hero Hues inkpad in Unicorn
Memento inkpad in Tuxedo Black
Cleverprints Ltd As You Are stamp set
Black, dark orange, bright pink & mid pink alcohol markers
Dolly Dimples Mixed Media cardstock
Spiced Marmalade, Abandoned Coral, Kitsch Flamingo & Picked Raspberry Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inkpads
Artiste spritzing ink in gold
Clear embossing powder
Cleverprints Ltd Mandala Allsorts stencil
Collall Multi Purpose glue
6x6 white card blank
Fine water spray
Heat tool

Step 1
Cut a piece of mixed media card to 14.5x14.5 cm and completeley cover with the different distress oxides, I used oval blending brushes in a circular motion to build up the colour

Step 2
Spritz over with a fine water spray.  How light and how much you spray is personal preference but obviously the wetter it is the more colour will lift.  Leave to dry, you can use a heat tool but that can move the colour a bit too much

Step 3
Spritz with the gold spray.  I'm not sure if Artiste sprintzing ink is still widely available but if not Tim Holtz does similar products or one of the Dylusions metallics would be ideal.  Again, leave to dry naturally or help along with the heat tool

Step 4
Using the stencil and Abandoned Coral oxide add part of the mandala design to the top right corner then using Picked Raspberry add some of the hearts design to the bottom left

Step 5 
Ink the large stamp from the set with the white ink pad and stamp centrally on the background, while still wet coat the image with embossing powder and set using the heat tool

Step 6
Colour the image using the alcohol markers, the result will be quite transparent and the metallic background will still shine through

Step 7
Stamp the sentiment from the set onto a piece of white cardstock using the Memento inkpad and trim to fit.  Edge the sentiment strip using a black alcohol marker

Step 8
I finished off the card by stamping the frond element from the set in black randomly around the sedges to frame the main image then added a black outline, again, using a black alcohol marker.  I then glued the finished piece on to my card blank.

Hope you've found this step by step guide useful.  Remember to check out the Create With Cleverprints Facebook Group for lots more inspiration from the Design Team and group members.

Best wishes,
Shona xx

Sunday 30 January 2022

Inspiration Week at Cleverprints Ltd


This week we've been having an inspiration week at Cleverprints Ltd, the creative team have been sharing ideas on You Tube, Facebook lives and blog posts to celebrate their latest collection In The Garden, designed by Jane Royston, and it's my turn to share today.  To help celebrate Cleverprints LTD has also activated a discount code for the website that gives 10% off across the site for this week (24th to 30th January) This includes the new clearance section!!!

The code needs to be entered in the voucher code section before checkout and is…

You can find the In The Garden Collection here

Ok on to my card and a first for me, I'm going to add step by step instructions. Let me know what you think and if you find it helpful. I decided to make a card in monochromes against an inked and stencilled background which means it's something anyone can make even if they don't like to stamp and colour, or maybe just lack a bit of confidence in colouring and blending.

Materials used:
Crafter's Companion Neenah cardstock in Solar White
Memento inkpad in Tuxedo Black
Cleverprints Ltd Where the Wildflowers Grow, Born to Fly & Floral Twist stamp sets
Black Promarker
Dolly Dimples Mixed Media cardstock
Salvaged Patina, Peacock Feathers & Salty Ocean Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inkpads
Cleverprints Ltd Flower Fall stencil
Collall Multi Purpose glue
Sakura Micron archival fineliner
6x6 white card blank

Step 1
Stamp out your chosen images, I used the flutterby from Born To Fly set and flowers and leaves from the Floral Twist and Where The Wildflowers Grow sets. I've used Neenah card from Crafter's Companion but you can use your usual stamping card. Colour the images with whatever medium you like, I've used a black alcohol marker but you could use a fineliner pen, Posca pen, pencil or whatever you have to hand. Next, fussy cut around the coloured images. You can cut out right up to the line or leave a small white border, again, whatever you find works for you.

Step 2
Cut a square of cardstock a little smaller than a 6x6 card blank I used Dolly Dimples Mixed Media cardstock as I find it works well for ink blending but again you can use whatever you have. Using a blending brush (make up ones are fine) start adding distress oxide in the lightest colour in a circular motion from the middle out, gradually adding in the mid tone colour then finally the darkest around the edges, the best way to do this is to start light and gradually build the colour up to avoid any harsh lines. Next lightly spritz the inked square with a water spray. The oxides are water reactive so it will lift the colour slightly and create a bit of texture instead of being a flat colour. Now leave this aside to dry. This is important as the next thing we are going to do is to go back in and stencil over with more distress oxide so we don't want that to smudge or the colour to lift again.

Step 3
Stamp out a sentiment on white cardstock and if it's a larger sentiment cut it into individual lines/words then edge each piece with black pen/ink to make it stand out. I used a sentiment from the Where Wildflowers Grow set. Once the background is dry add some stencilling using the mid tone of Distress Oxide, I used the Flower Fall stencil for this and just stencilled in 2 of the corners.

Step 4
Arrange the stamped and fussy cut elements and sentiment on to the background. I like to do this first before I stick anything down. Once you're happy with the layout glue everything down. I use Collall multi purpose glue but I know everyone has their own favourite so just use whatever you would usually use. Now here's my top tip! I like to position my stamped pieces with a little of the images overhanging the edge. This makes the layout look a little bit more natural. One the glue has dried snip off the overhanging pieces but keep them. I then stick these on around the edge, again it just makes the layout look more cohesive.

Step 5
At this stage you have 2 options. Firstly, you can stop now and mount the piece on black cardstock and then on to the card blank, job done. However, I like to finish my card with a black edge and some doodling. I used a black alcohol marker to go around the edge to make it stand out against the white card blank. This saves the bother of having to matt and layer and also keeps the card flat and light which is particularly helpful if you're going to be mailing it. I then add a doodled border around the edge of the card using a fineliner pen which helps to frame the image and draw the eye in. If you're not too confident with drawing a border there are some great stamps in the collection you could use such as the one in the Happy Soul set.

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit my blog, I hope you've found some inspiration. You will find lots more on the Create With Cleverprints Facebook group where myself and my teamies share our makes and also on the Cleverprints Ltd Instagram page.

Shona xx

Thursday 13 January 2022

First Holly & Ivy Christmas Challenge of 2022

Hello everyone,

Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2022!  Our festivities didn’t go to plan as my daughter had COVID, thankfully it was very mild and the rest of the household managed to avoid it.  Anyway, it’s a new year and a fresh start.  

We’re kicking off our first challenge of the year at The Holly & Ivy Christmas Challenge and as always the theme is anything Christmas goes.  I’m in declutter mode so I’ve made a card to use up some of the many scraps of pattered paper I have hanging around!  I used a nesting square die to make life easier than measuring and cutting!  I finished off my card with a Woodware sentiment on a die cut label and some punched snowflakes topped with pearls.

Please excuse the photo quality, the light is just awful at the moment.  

Hope you can join in with the challenge, just think how organised you will be!


Shona xx

Tuesday 23 November 2021

Holly & Ivy Christmas Challenge #106

Hi again!

Today I’m sharing my DT make for the Holly & Ivy Christmas challenge.  You can enter our current challenge here, as always we are a just for fun ‘Anything Christmas Goes’ challenge!

For my card I’ve used an old favourite Woodware stamp and paper pieced it using the Jolly Christmas paper pad from Simply Creative.  I’ve also stamped out a couple of cute kitties from a freebie kit from Making Cards magazine and coloured them with Promarkers.

Hope you will join in with us if you can.  Thanks for stopping by.

Hugs, Shona xx

I’d like to enter my card into the following challenges:

Sunday 21 November 2021

Cleverprints Florals

Well hello strangers!

It’s been the longest time since I last blogged!  Life got in the way and pretty much continues to get in the way and I probably couldn’t have chosen a busier time to start blogging again but here I am and here goes nothing!

Tonight I’m sharing a birthday card I made for a lovely lady Charmain Barrett who does a lot for the crafting community.  Her own brand is Dolly Dimples but she works tirelessly behind the scenes for other brands as well and is also one of the regular contributors in the Crafting Together With All Brands Facebook group.

My card uses a wealth of different floral stamps from Cleverprints Ltd.  That’s been another development since I last blogged - I’ve been lucky enough to have joined their design team.  You can find their online shop here, they have a fabulous selection of stamps, dies, papers and accessories.  I’ve used Ecoline brush pens to colour and I’ve doodled round the edge with a Sakura Micron fine liner to finish off my card.

Apologies for the photo quality, I’m struggling to get good light right now and a mostly white card doesn’t help! 

Thanks for stopping by and for any comments you leave, it’s always appreciated!

Hugs, Shona xx

I’d like to enter my card into the following challenges:

Sunday 31 January 2021

Holly & Ivy Christmas Challenge


If you could see me on this blog you would see me looking a little bit sheepish, well actually a big bit sheepish!  I feel like I'm in some sort of a confession but forgive me bloggers it's been over 3 months since I last blogged anything!  I'm currently taking a break from 2 of the  design teams I'm on and wondering where I go from here.  As always life is hectic even in lockdown there's no rest for the wicked as I'm still working full time hours albeit at home and as it's my daughter's exam year (although they're not sitting actual exams due to covid) I'm doing everything I can to help with her home schooling as it's possible that every piece of work she hands in will count towards her grades in the absence of formal exams.  I have also been feeling a bit bogged down with my crafting recently and am trying to find time to explore different brands and techniques, especially moving into art journalling more.  At the moment I am still on the DT for JMC Designs which is a real labour of love and one blog challenge DT for the Holly & Ivy Christmas Challenge, I love my other 2 DTs too but at the moment I'm struggling to keep up with all my commitments and continue to grow as a crafter.  I know I've said this before but I find it much easier to keep up with Instagram and Facebook than blogging.  It's more instant and easily accessible.  I can't promise when I'll next post on here but I'm going to try to at least get my Holly & Ivy DT work on here, it's only fair to the challenge organiser that I try to keep up with that side of things, so hopefully that will be roughly every fortnight, anything else is a bonus.  That in mind here was my last card for the Holly & Ivy Christmas Challenge using a fab pre-coloured image from Polkadoodles.

That's all from me tonight, hope everyone is well.

Stay safe.


Shona xx