Monday, May 2, 2016

I've been inspired!!

Hi there :)  A few days ago I met a new friend on my blog.  Darnell left a lovely comment for me on my blog and encouraged me to visit her blog in return... and I did... and I LOVED it!  If you click on her name (above) it will take you to her blog... and while you're there, check out her wonderful 'playhouse'!

Anyway... back to being inspired!  While I was visiting Darnell's blog I noticed something called 'NBUS' and I was intrigued.  It stands for "Never-Before-Used Schtuff." We all have it, we all forget we have it, and we all keep buying more of it... Oh YES!  I can absolutely hang my head in shame over that one!

Darnell started running challenges to encourage others to use their NBUS items in their stash too.  The next challenge is in September but I figured that now was as good a time as any to use some products that I've had in my stash for a while.

I really liked her statement: It doesn't matter if it's old or new, although that old virginal schtuff would really  like some attention! 

Well I had some FABULOUS products that I'd bought a few years ago... several items I bought while I was living in Gisborne in 2014 and then never got around to using!  

The first item I decided to use was some Dylusions stamps by Dyan Reaveley called Under the Sea:
You can definitely tell they have never been used can't you!

The ideas weren't quite flowing yet so I Googled the stamp set and stumbled across a blog that caught my eye... Country View Crafts did a post called Down at the Bottom of the Deep Blue Sea.  I particularly liked the colours of Distress Ink used and also I knew I had the die they used to make seaweed!  

I pulled out my NBUS die from Tim Holtz and die cut myself some pretty seaweed.  I didn't actually end up using the seaweed on my cards but I'm still counting it here since I've now actually used my die!

Next I die cut three pieces of watercolour card stock with stitched border frames and then I used my MISTI stamp tool to stamp all my card images.  I also heat embossed over the images with clear embossing powder.

By this stage I was starting to get a real idea in my head of what I wanted to do so I grabbed out my masking fluid and painted over my images.

I discovered masking fluid fairly recently and I'm starting to enjoy experimenting with it.  One thing I have learnt is that it's best to let it dry naturally... and actually it doesn't take long to dry.  But, I've also learned that you can heat gun over it once it's dry and it works great.

Once the masking fluid was dry I got out my Twisted Citron and Mermaid Lagoon Distress Inks and 'smooshed' them onto a plastic table mat I've got on my desk.  I spritzed the inks with water... spritzed my stamped images and then 'smooshed' them down onto the inked table mat.  What a super fun technique!!!

I dried the backgrounds with my heat gun and then 'smooshed' more ink on until I had the look I was after.  The backgrounds are quite vibrant in real life!

Once I was happy with the backgrounds and everything was dry I used my ink blending tools with more of the Twisted Citron and Mermaid Lagoon Distress Inks to go around the edges of my card.

The next step was to removed the masking fluid. It's almost like peeling off sun burnt skin... you just kind of rub your finger over it and it peels away really easily.

The finished result is a vibrant, inky background with crisp, clean images ready to be coloured!

Next up I decided to add some sentiments to my card fronts.  I found another UN-USED stamp set... trust me, I have quite a few of them!  This time it was a Dina Wakley mixed media stamp set.

Since I was on a buzz to use 'virginal' stuff I also opened my jar of Ranger Queen's Gold embossing powder... oh my goodness it's GORGEOUS!  It definitely embosses gold but it's a really vintagey looking gold... I'll definitely be using it again and again!

I chose three different sentiments, embossed them each in the Queen's Gold and I'm loving how they turned out.  Here's my card front's so far:

stay strong

kindle your spark of madness

stay brave

By the time I'd done all this the lighting was really fading and I'd had to turn on the lights in my art studio so I thought I'd better stop and blog LOL

So Darnell, you have inspired me to use FOUR NBUS items from my stash:
  1. Under the Sea stamps - fish and crab stamps
  2. Holiday Greens die set - seaweed that didn't end up on the cards 
  3. Handwritten Quotes stamps - sentiments
  4. Queen's Gold embossing powder - used for heat embossing the sentiments
I'm actually still quite inspired to keep going with these cards even though Toby has now reminded me several times that he would like me to come upstairs and give him some attention.  Maybe after dinner I will be able to paint my fish!

Thanks for visiting my blog xx


  1. Looking good. Darnell is fab isn't she. Looking forward tho seeing the finished fishes. Cara x

  2. it was an under the sea festival looking at your cards :)

  3. I'm like a proud NBUS mother hen, Shell! You get to come right up and sit at the head of the class! You are a grade A student! AND you used liquid masking, smooching, and heat embossing, three of my fave techniques! These cards are all fantastic! I quite like the fishies uncolored so that vibrant background really sings, but I'm sure you will do wonders with them painted, too!

    Thank you so much for the wonderful and kind shoutout and for spreading the word! You're a sweetheart! I wonder if you could add a "subscribed by Email" button to your sidebar and let me know when you do, so I can come back and fill it in and know when you post. Thank you! Enjoy working with those old virgins!! Hugs, Darnell

    1. Hi Darnell... thanks for the lovely comments :) I've just cleaned up my right hand side bar and you can now find the 'subscribe by email' up near the top... would love to have you join me :) Shell


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Thanks, Shell xx