Gardenpinks' Blog

This, that and life!

Craft Barn Alpha Challenge

Here I am yet again doing a catch up for the Craft Barn Alpha Challenge! This time I have three letters which includes the latest one – M! I shall also be catching up with my blog visiting as I spotted some very clever interpretations using M, Y and I.

My M is Man; those creatures some of us love to hate!dictionary-12-16-m-sig

My image seems to have been at the giggle juice. This is a very simple piece; background is Peacock Feathers Distress Ink brushed over the card, the Man from the Art Journey Steampunk 3 set stamped in Memento Tuxedo Black and the caption stamped in Brilliance Graphite Black using stamps from the Marianne Designs set.

I was going through the various ink pads that I have; some are full size pads but I also have quite a collection of the dewdrop shape and some small square pads. I couldn’t quite believe though just how many black ink pads I had in all sizes and shapes of pad. I do know that frequently Archival Black isn’t so successful on some of the clear stamps so then I use Versafine, this one is always a favourite on clear stamps and, occasionally, on some rubber stamps. Yet Brilliance Graphite Black and Memento Tuxedo Black are also very good but I don’t tend to use them quite so much which rather begs the question why are they in my ink pad stash????

I digress, here is my piece for the Y letter!


The eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed that the stamped Y and dictionary definition have been put on an upside down card. I didn’t notice until I came to take the photo and realised the stencilled wording was upside down!! Hey ho..

I also discovered that I have a few yellows amongst those ink pads which came in handy for this piece! I used Fossilized Amber Distress Ink, Versacolor Canary and Memento Dandelion with stencils Imagination Crafts Flourishes, Memory Box Flower Power and Crafters Workshop Mini Art. The letter Y was stamped in Versafine Jet Black using a stamp from the Marianne designs set.


Letter I!


Now you will have to use your imagination with this one as this is supposed to be Italic writing however true Italic writing leans to the right and this script is far too upright. When I started secondary school many moons ago all the students had to learn Italic writing and we had the proper pens to do so. Once we had mastered the writing many of us received Osmiroid calligraphy pens in our Christmas stockings. Sadly I lost my pen when I left home, I loved my Osmiroid pen! I wish I had continued with Italic writing as my handwriting is not good. I digress again – no I haven’t touched a drop, honest!

The background to this piece is Versamagic Purple Hydrangea brushed on with a stencil brush.The script stamp is from the Aspects Of Design Botanicals collection and is inked up with Brilliance Graphite Black as is the letter I from the Marianne Designs set and the pen and dots. Sadly I don’t know the manufacturer of the pen stamp.

That is it, I am now all caught up. Thank you for looking and I wish you all a very Happy Christmas/Holidays x



Mail Art

I love Mail Art or decorating envelopes however I hadn’t realised how niche this craft was until I received a decorated envelope through the mail while the chiropodist was here attending to hubby’s feet. She was most puzzled by the whole concept; just couldn’t understand why someone would bother to decorate an empty envelope!!

At Cardmaking Paradise recently we had Mail Art swap and some of our envelopes went winging overseas; always a nail-biting exercise hoping that the piece of art that has been posted abroad will arrive safely. One of my envelopes was posted to New Zealand and the other to a part of the UK; the one that went to NZ arrived at its destination before the UK one did!!

I used a C4 envelope, this is the front of the first one


and the back


Materials used;

Inks – Big and Juicy Mountain Meadow

           Impress Chocolate

          whispers  Rio Purple, Royal Blue, Green Leaf

          Distress Inks Chipped Sapphire, Broken China

          Versamagic Hint of Pesto, Mango Madness, Persimmon

         Memento Dandelion, Rose Bud, Northern Pine

         Versafine Olympia Green, Vintage Sepia, Onyx Black

   Stamps – Crafts Express

                    Cart-US birds on branch

                   Inkylicious Take Flight, Oriental Awakening

                  Craft Emotions Christmas Tree 

                  PaperArtsy Plate HP1005

                  Oxford Impressions

                 Andy Skinner Back to Nature


               Woodware Grasses BD232DE 


Second Mail Art:


There is only the front of this second envelope as I deleted the blurred back image and forgot to take another picture! I certainly got carried away with both these envelopes; I must learn that less is more!!!

Materials Used;

Stencils – Dutch Doobadoo Spider Web

                 Memory Box Flower power

                 Imagination Crafts Flourishes & Mini Art

Stamps – Viva Decor Dandelion

                 Flourish (unknown) 

Inks – Versafine Vintage Sepia, Onyx Black

           Distress Inks Peacock Feathers, Picked Raspberry, Abandoned Coral, Cracked Pistachio

                                    Fossilized Amber, Mermaid Lagoon, Seedless Preserves, Dusty Concord, Spiced Marmalade

Sakura Gel Pens

Thank you for looking x




Granddaughter’s Christmas Gift

I have been working on this for a little while then when I had completed all the cutting and folding I put it to one side, as one does!! Yesterday the book finally made its way to the craft shed where I covered the outside covers of the book with decorative papers, added some metal corners and a bit of ribbon and then made a box for it and ta dah! It is complete.

fairy-on-the-moon-cut-and-fold-sigThis is a great way to use those dreadful books that you will never read.  Am now about to start another one for my sister but this time  depicting a cat!

Thanks for looking x


Craft Barn Alpha Challenge

For this fortnight the alpha challenge on Craft Barn is the letter “U”.  A quick look at the entries posted so far show that there are some very original words depicted, sadly mine won’t be one of them – yet again! I think my brain is soaring with the seagulls, do wish it would come home.


The only item slightly (?) original – can you quantify originality??? – is the background stamp which is homemade.  Using dies I cut funky foam into various shapes to use as background stamps. The foam die cuts were mounted onto cushioning such as EZ Mount or Kling On; they do make great background stamps.

Materials Used:

Inks – Versafine Onyx Black

            Archival Jet Black

           Versacolor Old Rose

Stamps – Viva Decor Capital Alphabet

                Katzelkraft Autumn 


Thank you for looking xx


Craft Barn Alpha Challenge

It is the Craft Barn Alpha Challenge again and this time the letter is V. My entry is a bit of a cheat in that the V word is generic rather than specific! I must have eaten that dictionary!!


Sorry for the slightly skewed picture.

Materials used:

Inks – Archival Jet Black

Distress Inks – Broken China, Chipped Sapphire, Vintage Photo

Sakura gel pens

Coloured pencils

Wink of Stella

Stamps- Craft Stamper free stamps by Imagine That

Art Journey Steam Punk

Viva Decor Capital Alphabet


Many thanks for looking xx


Craft Barn Alpha Challenge

Here I am shimmying under the wire with the Craft Barn’s Alpha Challenge and it is letter E!

I had some new stamps arrive mainly to be used for Christmas cards but the stamps came in handy for my word choice of Evergreen; sorry I know it isn’t an original but I have seriously overworked my brain this last week or so!


Materials used:

Inks – Whisper Royal Blue, Green Leaf

           Distress Ink Evergreen Bough

          Memento Northern Pine, Olive Grove, Bamboo Leaves

        Archival Jet Black

Stamps – Andy Skinner back to nature

            Craft Emotions Christmas trees and branches

           Viva Decor Capital Alphabet


Thank you for looking x


Craft Barn Alpha Challenge

‘X marks the spot’ is the title for my piece for the Craft barn Alpha Challenge where the letter is X. A quite diabolical letter too! So I took the easy route – and made a scrolly, distressed map.dictionary-09-16-x-is-for-sig

Difficult to see on the pearlised paper scroll but there is stamping; some bushes, a tree and background script.

Materials used:

Distress Inks – Spiced Marmalade, Vintage Photo, Walnut Stain

Stamps – Katzelkraft, unknown tree

Wooden letter from stash

Pearl paper from stash

Gold pen

White gel pen


I missed the deadlines for two of the challenges – O and H – but have caught up!!!!


Craft Barn Alpha Challenge ‘O’

I chose Owl as a few others did but my owls are French so they say “hou hou”!!

dictionary-09-16-o-sigMaterials Used:

Inks – Big and Juicy Mountain Meadow, Emboss Clear, 

Sparkle ‘n’ Sprinkle Copper Peddler embossing powder

Katzelkraft – Autumn

Creative Expressions 3D Crystal Lacquer metallic & pearl in Bronze and Green Pearl

Tartan permanent marker – yellow

Letters from stash 


Craft Barn Alpha Challenge ‘H’

For H I chose the word Horologe – meaning ‘time piece’


Materials Used;

Inks – Versafine Smoky Grey, Onyx Black

            Distress Inks Peacock Feathers, Abandoned Coral

Stamps – Art Journey Clocks; PaperArtsy; Papermania Chronology

Wooden letter from stash

Tartan permanent markers.

Thank you for looking x


Craft Barn Alpha challenge

The end (almost) of another challenge of the fortnight over at Craft Barn. The letter is ‘Z’ with the added twist of a pearl! I took the easy route and came up with…..Zed!

Dictionary 08-16 Z with a pearl sig

And (?) I used four flat backed pearls!! I have had these pearls in my stash for years; I remember buying a job lot of them at a special price, they are all white ones as I can easily change their colour should I want to.

Materials used:

Computer generated Z

Fine liner black pen and Sakura gel pens

Stamps: Viva Decor Capital Alphabet

Studio G Alphabet

Unknown Alphabet

Letraset rub on alpha

Wooden letters from stash

Inks: Distress Ink Chipped Sapphire, Peacock Feathers

Versafine Onyx Black


Thank you for looking x


Craft Barn Alpha Challenge

These fortnightly challenge deadlines come around far too quickly! I am sure that my fortnights’ are only lasting a few days…

Over on Craft Barn the challenge letter for this fortnight is ‘C’  and I chose Circles.

Dictionary 08-16 C sig

The background to this piece is painted with watercolour paints that have mica in the colours to make them sparkle. Difficult to see in a photo however I have had these paints for years and they have proved to be extremely good value. I think I paid around £2 for them from The Works!!!

The large circles were created with home made ‘stamps’; funky foam die cut with a small circle die.

Materials Used:

Inks – Versafine Onyx Black

Distress Inks Vintage Photo, Spiced Marmalade, Cracked Pistachio, Mermaid Lagoon, Fossilized Amber, Abandoned Coral.

Stencil – First Impressions circles

Stamps – Papermania Chronology; The Artistic Stamper; Marianne Designs


Thanks for looking x


Craft Barn Alpha Challenge

I missed a couple of letters however I have now caught up again:) This fortnight the letter is ‘N’ at Craft Barn Alpha challenge and I am almost out time!!

Dictionary 07-16 N sig

So N for nibs! I do love pens and collect them all the time – not to use though. They go with that stack of paper I have also collected 🙂

Materials used:

Stamps:  Home made background ‘stamp’

               Jenni Bowlin Pen Nibs

              The Artistic Stamper Botanicals 2

              Prima Firefly

 Inks – Versafine Onyx Black

            Versamagic Night Sky, Red Magic

Letter from stash painted with Imagination Crafts Starlight Emerald Metallic Paint. 


Letter ‘W’ in Craft Barn Alpha Challenge

Dictionary 06-16 W sig

As a child we frequently had whelks and cockles to eat as a snack but I have to admit that they are not to my taste these days – well not the whelks!

Materials Used:

Imagination Crafts Starlight Metallic Paints Emerald and Sax Blue

Ink Versafine Onyx Black

Image from the internet.

Stamps – Hero Arts Antique Engravings


Letter ‘K’ in Craft Barn Challenge

IMG_0225 Dictionary 06-16 K sig

Materials Used:

Imagination Crafts Starlight Metallic Paints Sax Blue

Image from Internet

Stamp – KatzelKraft Autumn

Ink Versafine Onyx Black

Thank you for looking x


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