Today’s post is a little celebration for myself and a dear crafting friend, Maria Willis, for sort of reaching a milestone of 5000 subscriber combined. I didn’t quite make it to the 2.5K subscribers as I had hoped, as I haven’t been so active recently due to a stressful family situation. If you haven’t heard anything about it, my FIL is not doing well and will have a very risky operation on Monday, after over a month in hospital. The Man flew out this morning and it was quite stressful and hectic to get it all sorted and organised. Hecking pandemic, eh??
If you want to skip right to the hop, start over at Maria’s YouTube video, and go from there. I am the last stop on the loop, but if you want to go to my video, you can click on THIS LINK to get there.
Life is tough at times and I think it’s important to celebrate and cherish the happy times as you never know when the tide will turn. Hence this little hop! Maria and I roped in some of our crafty friends to make the hop bigger than just two stops, and you are not going to want to miss their projects! The full hop list can be found below, and we also have some super generous companies sponsoring prizes for a massive giveaway to celebrate us.
I have a couple little projects to share today, and as the theme for the hop is ‘Rainbow’ I’ll start with that one:
Once they were all colourful and pretty, I glued them down with the Nuvo Deluxe Adhesive onto the second, intact, rainbow, and this in turn was adhered to another piece of card stock for sturdiness. The excess was trimmed off with scissors. I needed it very sturdy as I wanted to heat emboss Halo Glitter Powder from WOW! Embossing on top for shimmer.
This process is very simple: dab your embossing ink pad all over the rainbow, make sure it’s nice and juicy first though. Then sprinkle the Halo Glitter on top and set that with your heat tool. The simmer is insane and I love it!
Unfortunately I made a boo-boo with the hearts, so I HAD TO bring out the sequins to cover that up. Had to. There was simply no other option. I added a few… -ish… to the card, these are Sparkling Clear from Pretty Pink Posh, and they are adhered with Nuvo Deluxe adhesive. It’s become my new staple in liquid adhesives arsenal.
It’s coloured very simply with some copics in yellows and greens, and a tiny bit of purple on the stamens. The coordinating diecut was used to cut it out, as well as another two layers. These three pieces were adhered together with more of that Nuvo Deluxe adhesive. This is such a clever way to add some interest to clean and simple cards!
It was trimmed down to a mini-slimline size, this one is just a tad bigger than 3”x6” and the scalloped black card base was cut out using the Scallop Frame Slimline Diecutting System from Picket Fence Studios. I customised the size by running the diecut and the card stock through my diecutting machine twice to get the scalloped frame and the correct size.
The sentiment is from the Pressing Thoughts stamp set, and the ‘thanks’ was stamped directly onto the background and the ‘for everything’ was done on a slim strip of card stock. This was adhered with a little bit of foam tape to make sure it didn’t sag on the sides. And that was it!
Well, that’s it from me for today but I really hope you enjoyed this post and will get a chance to hop along with us over on YouTube! That’s where you need to leave your comments to be in with a chance to win one of the fab prizes. We can not thank the sponsors of this hop enough!
I have also used some compensated affiliate links in this blog post, for your convenience and at no extra cost to you, in case you want to shop! If you shop using my links I get commission directly from the company, and as I mentioned, it doesn’t cost you anything at all. This is a great way to show support for your favorite content creators.
Thank you so much for stopping by, and if you want to get hopping, the full hop list is down below. I’m 100% sure it will blow your mind so don’t miss it!!
May is the month of Mental Health Awareness and it’s high time that the stigma around mental health is removed, so that everyone who has been affected, and WILL BE affected, can get treatment.
Unfortunately mental health issues are so very common, as many as 1 in 5 are suffering from some form of if, from phobias, to anxiety, to eating disorders, to panic attacks, to OCD, to chemical imbalances just to mention a few. The umbrella that covers mental health issues is a very, very big one and it’s sadly very underfunded.
Over on Instagram there is a hop going on now, where lots of crafty people are banding together to spread awareness and hopefully help others feel less alone in their struggles with mental health. You can find the hop by following this graphic.
Today’s post is very uncomfortable, probably for you as a reader and me for talking about difficult stuff and I’d like to make a trigger warning announcement right now: I’ll be talking about bullying, and the resulting issues that comes with that. I’ll also be talking about my struggles with depression and obsessive compulsive tendencies. As I have never been diagnosed officially with OCD I’m going to call it ‘my obsessive compulsive tendencies’ rather than actual, diagnosed OCD.
I also made a video, and I ask that you be kind when you watch it. Anyone who leaves a negative or derogatory comment will be permanently banned from my YouTube channel. It took a lot of courage to share all this, and it’s only part of it. There is so much more, and I simply will not let anyone shame me, or anyone else, for sharing what they have/are going through.
My story is complicated, and long. So long. From almost as early as I can remember I have felt anxious, painfully shy and different. As I started school, I almost immediately was singled out by ‘the popular girl’ and she made my life hell for nine straight years.
When I look back now, I realise that she wasn’t popular because she was nice, fun to be around and a lovely person. She was popular because of her family’s social standing in the village I grew up in, and she based her own self-importance on that, and she thought she was VERY important. In actual fact, she was mean, spoilt and downright nasty.
So much so, that one day her best friend decided to give her a taste of her own medicine and banded all of the other girls in the class together to freeze her out, like she had done to so many of us. I vividly remember that day, and when I was told she was crying in the bathroom after one day of being treated like i had been treated for years, I finally found the courage to tell my other classmates that I had spent many, MANY days crying in the bathroom because of her and her behaviour towards me. Clearly having had no idea about this, some were sympathetic but things didn’t really get much better after that. She got her power back and she kept on misusing it, even after feeling as bad as she made me feel. Even though for her, it was just for one day.
Having seen this, I shrank back even more and tried to make myself so small that she wouldn’t notice me, because surely she wouldn’t pick on me if she didn’t notice me? I also started having thoughts like ‘if I can make it to that spot before that car passes me, it will be ok today’. It’s funny when you look at things from an adult perspective, on things you didn’t understand as a child. Now it’s very obvious to me where a lot of my anxiety, insecurity and impostor syndrome come from, but back then? Those weird thoughts could induce a full-on panic.
On the way home from school I had to cross a river, and there were times I stood on that bridge watching the water flow wondering how long it would take to drown. Looking back on those days I am full of rage that someone managed to make me feel so worthless that I actually were thinking along those lines. The only reason I never did anything stupid like jumping the railing, with the intent of not coming back up, was fear it would hurt, love for my little sister, who was also bullied, and my cat.
It wasn’t until I started at a new school, and met new friends (who actually wanted to be friends with me!) that I started to find some confidence in myself and believing that maybe everything she had told me, sometimes on a daily basis, wasn’t true. I wasn’t stupid, I wasn’t fat and ugly, I wasn’t a waste of space, the clothes I wore didn’t reflect my value as a human being, etc etc.
It took a while, but as I spent a year in the US working as an au pair, I really found my feet and let my personality blossom. It turns out that I wasn’t half-bad, after all, people wanted to be friends with me and thought I was fun! Imagine that. After having spent so many years feeling so small and insignificant, it was truly wonderful and that year I spent in the US is still one of the best ones of my life.
After I got back to Sweden, my family unexpectedly imploded. I was 20, but all of a sudden I felt like I was 5. My father walked out on us, with very little indication of what he had planned, and left us in the dust to pick up the pieces. That was extremely traumatic and left us all shell-shocked. I didn’t know how to deal with the onslaught of emotions and responsibilities, so I ran. I’m not proud of it, but I ran. I packed my bags and left, never to move back to Sweden, ever again.
This sudden departure of my father left me with trust issues and a lingering depression, but luckily for me I met The Man that very same year and he did everything in his power to prove to me that he was staying, he was supportive, understanding and patient. Most of all, he simply loved me. Still to this day, some 20+ years later, he’s the same. He’s stood by me through all of my emotional wobbles, my manic cleaning and tidying episodes, all of my depression lows, all of my obsessive tendencies.
The cleaning thing he never really understood, and I have hidden some of the worst from him, which was easy at one point as he worked away from our home during the week and was only home on the weekends. As my trust in him was growing, I entrusted him with more and more of ‘my crazies’ as I call them. Whilst he doesn’t fully understand how cleaning and order could make me feel calm, and would mess with me by moving stuff, he accepts that it’s part of me.
When I have my depression lows, the first thing that goes is my personal hygiene. Gross as that is, it’s the truth. The next thing that goes is the need for cleaning. As I mention in the video, at one point the cleaning and the cleaning routines were almost the very thing that structured my day. I could feel it getting worse, but I also couldn’t see what the problem was with me wanting to have a clean and tidy home. As my compulsions grew stronger, my lists grew. I had one for things I had to do daily, another for weekly tasks, a third for things that needed to be done once a month, and lastly a list for things that only required doing every three months. These lists were laminated and I’d obsessively tick off the things I had done, and then calculate how long it would take me to achieve the rest. There were days where I had to stay up late to get it all done, but going to sleep without having ticked off all the things? Close to impossible.
My obsessive compulsive tendencies started out with a traumatic incident in my life, and ironically, it was another major tragedy that helped me overcome some of it. When we lost both of our dogs within six weeks of each other, I stopped functioning for a while. All I could do to get through the day was by one breath to the next, the grief was so bone deep and devastating that I felt like I was drowning in it.
It took me a little while to get my head above water again, and when I surfaced I realised a lot of time had passed and I had done absolutely no cleaning whatsoever. That need for it had disappeared almost like a switch had been flicked. Like my brain had short circuited and been somewhat reset. I couldn’t hear those voices telling me I ‘had to do this or that, this way, not that way’, over the deafening roar of heartache and grief. Those very voices that had made me believe that if I did what they said, nothing bad would happen. Well, talk about a wake up call that that was a big fat lie.
I still have some of these obsessive compulsive tendencies today, I’m not going to lie. I am a bit of a basket case some days, for sure. If I’m feeling stressed, anxious or sad I will very often clean and tidy stuff. I think the difference now is that those voices aren’t telling me something bad will happen or someone will die if I don’t do this, it’s almost like a trade ‘if you do this, I will tamp down on those anxiety feelings for you’. I don’t even know if that makes any sense to anyone other than me, but there you have it. It does help most of the time, and those times it doesn’t help, at least I will have accomplished something. That’s how I try looking at it these days.
For instance, recently I have had a lot of stress from a family situation, and at first it left me feeling like nothing matters so why bother? I spent three days on the sofa with my chicas and books, and then all of a sudden, I cleaned the kitchen until it was spotless. The next day I moved on to the bathrooms. We have two, so there is always something that can be done there. Admittedly, the levels of anxiety I have had about filming the video for this Mental Health Awareness hop, meant I needed to clean those bathrooms two days in a row, but ok. Sometimes I wonder if it’s the physical, as well as mental, tiredness I need, rather than the order? It’s really too bad I’m not focusing these energies on doing squats. I’d have buns of steel!
Like everyone else, my issues are very personal to me, and everyone is affected differently. Just because someone else has the same issue as you do, doesn’t mean it affects you both the same way, which is why understanding and acceptance are so important. By sharing my story, and opening the door to my inner crazy, I’m hoping that it will help someone out there feel less alone. Know that there are people out there who know what you are going through, and how you feel.
If you are struggling, please know that there is help. Know that people care. You are NOT alone. Ignore those voice that tell you it’s not worth it, why bother, nobody cares etc. They are wrong, they lie and they do not get to tell you you are not worthy, loved and needed in this world. You are not alone.
So much love, and big hugs if you made it all the way to this point.
Today I’m just popping in with a quick post, the main event is over on YouTube where I’m hopping with a Facebook group called Handmade Happiness. Every month we do a little YouTube hop, with a theme and a choice of techniques. This month we are doing florals, with a choice of alcohol inks or mixed media. You can find the link to my video HERE.
On the second card I used Speckled Egg and a touch of Peacock Feathers for the flowers, for the first layer. The second layer I did last, but after doing the leaves in the same gold, I decided to do that second layer in gold as well. I was on a bit of a gold craze!
I hope you get a chance to check out the video over on my YouTube as well, but if not, thanks for stopping by today. I hope you enjoyed this, and if you fancy grabbing one, or five, of these goodies for yourself, I have used some compensated affiliate link in this post, as well as below. If you shop using these links, I get a small commission directly from the company, at no extra cost to you. Thank you so much if you chose to support me by shopping with these links. Any earnings I get from these go directly back into the running of my blog, YouTube channel and instagram, so thank you in advance!
I’ve gone for a deep fuchsia/dark pink colour scheme this time. It’s quite dramatic and I’ve seen lots of colour combos used for this, just check out the rest of the design team for inspiration.
The Copics I’ve used are all lined up in the photo but just in case you can’t see it it’s, from darkest to lightest, RV69, RV66, RV19, RV17, RV55, R83 and R81.
I’ve gone in a flicking motion for most of the flowers, but did blend a bit to get those colours smooth. At the end, I did go in with more of the darkest colours to bring back more of a contrast in the middle.
When I had finished the colouring I fussy cut the flowers out, because I wanted to have a different background for the card, rather than a coloured one.
On a slim line card base, I added Gold String washi tape from Altenew and wrapped it around the edges to keep it clean looking. The washi tape wasn’t wide enough to go across the entire panel, so I had to use two pieces, however the gaps will be covered up by the flowers.
With that, I’m all done for today but I hope you like the card! I have used some compensated affiliate links in this post, at no extra cost to you, as well as a link to the digi stamp used, for your convenience. If you shop using any of the links that are affiliate links, I get a small commission from the company directly, as a thank you for directing you to them. This does not cost you a penny extra at all, and any earnings I get from these go directly back into the running of my blog, YouTube channel and Instagram.
Lots of love and happy crafting from Erica
Below you can find affiliate links to Ellen Hutson, with some suitable alternatives to the items not found in her shop.
This one is going to be short and sweet, with just a quick card and the giveaway winner announcement from the recent blog hop!
The card is featuring the Clover Bunny stamp set, from the new release.
I started out by stamping the image with Copic friendly ink on Neenah #110 card stock, and coloured it in with Copics. Cool Greys for the bunny and a mix of greens for the clover.
When I had finished the colouring, I used the coordinating diecut to cut him out, as well as another two pieces. These I layered up to give him a little bit of dimension.
The sentiment is from the same Clover Bunny stamp set and I used Mushroom ink from Concord & 9th. Black ink seemed to harsh for such a sweet sentiment.
The background is ink blended over a heart stencil from MFT Stamps, and I actually didn’t need to add any more ink than what was left on my Life Changing Blender Brushes. It probably means I need to give my brushes a good ole spa day soon!
With all the card making malarkey out of the way, let’s get to the exciting stuff! The winner of the savings voucher is Lotte! Please email me at email@example.com to claim your savings voucher code!
Thanks for stopping by today, lots of love and happy crafting from Erica
Today I am one of the stops on the new release blog hop for The Rabbit Hole Design, and this month they are introducing their new in-house designer Tatsiana! Her range is full of cute bunnies and there is a spring theme to them, which I always find inspiring. There is something about spring, and the hope of better weather, and of summer and sunshine. Ah, bliss!
Of course it wouldn’t be a celebration without some fun giveaways, right? The Rabbit Hole Design are giving away a savings voucher worth $25 every day of the three day blog hops, the winner will be posted on the Rabbit Hole Design blog on the 26th of Feb. You can also win a $25 savings voucher by simply by leaving a comment on this post right here! I will announce the winner in a blog post on the 27th of this month, so check back for more inspiration and to see if you have won!
After cutting out the image, I also cut out another piece in white card stock and one in black. These I layered up, with Lawn Fawn liquid glue, and then I added some Glossy Accents to the paint bits on the image to make it look like wet paint. On the background I stamped ‘you’re a good egg‘ in Catching Rays, and then off-set the sentiment a little and stamped it again with black ink. Once the image was adhered to the background, the card was done!
For my second card I used another background I made while ink smooshing with the Catherine Pooler inks for the first one. The colours on this piece were a lot lighter, and almost pastel. It really made me think spring so I stamped up the Bunny Bouquet image right on top! Like the bunny was frolicking in spring flowers. Thank goodness for a MISTI at times, as I needed to stamp it about three times to get a good impression.
I did add a little bit more colour to a few of the images, just to frame the bunny a little. A ‘hello’ diecut sentiment from Pink Fresh Studio was the final touch for this one.
It ended up getting trimmed a little bit and added to a white card base, keeping it simple. This is actually the only card I have added sequins to! Ha, my over-sequinizing ways might be getting under control.
Well, with that, I’m all done for today but don’t forget to check out the rest of the designers lined up!
I have used some affiliate links in this post, at no extra cost to you, the rest of the links are there purely for your convenience! Thank you so much if you shop using my affiliate links, it helps with the running costs of my blog, YouTube channel and Instagram!
Thank you for stopping by today, lots of love and happy crafting from Erica
Happy Valentine’s/Galentine’s/Sun-Day to you all! The Man and I don’t really do VD anymore. After working as a florist many years ago, the stress and working hours killed any excitement I might have had for it.
Crafting and cardmaking has brought some of that excitement back, but only because I love making cards. Getting new stuff to play with is also fun, and today is release day over at Picket Fence Studios! It’s a super sassy and punny one, which I love!
I have made QUITE a few cards, as usual, because I could not stop the creativity train once it left the station. Idea after idea after idea came to me, and I was (will)powerless to contain it.
I love stencils and there are some utterly fabulous ones in this release! The Movement stencil, which comes in both a 6×6 and a slim line version, is so fun! It created an optical illusion that made me think I had cut my cards wonky more than once. So fun!
On this one I did the stencil printing technique, where you mist the leftover ink on the stencil and “print” it by pressing watercolour paper on top. It gives a softer look, as well as gives you a two-for-one background looks. This one is finished off with the Hey You word die and a sentiment from the You Are Nothing Short Of Amazing stamp set. And some bling from the Day & Night Gem mix.
Another fave from this release is the super fun Sparks Cover Plate! Ooooh, the fun I had with this!
First, I simply used it on white card stock and black card stock, which both look fab just as it is.
I also had the finicky idea of using the cutout bits on a card. Yeah, this turned out to be a slow process, as well as sticky, but it did actually turn out really cool!
Both these are done by glueing down all those little bits on to a card base, and then finished with LOTS of bling from the gem mixes Day & Night as well as Fire.
The two original panels were finished off in different, but colourful, ways. The white one has all the gaps filled in with coloured card stock. For both this one, as well as the black and white one, I’ve used Press’n’seal to pick up all the pieces. It works a treat!
The next one was finished super simple, by adding the diecut panel on a background made with strips of Lawn Fawn coloured card stock, and Hey You cut out of black card stock, and then the top layer is gold mirror card stock from Tonic Studios.
Well, as you can see in the first photo, I made quite a few more cards but I didn’t want to do a photo-vomit post, lol! Hopefully you will be inspired by these, and if you decide to treat yourself to a little something-something I have affiliate links to Picket Fence Studios which I’d be so grateful if you’d use when you shop. They don’t cost you anything extra at all, ever, and I get a small commission directly from the company as thank you for directing you their way. I really appreciate the support, and even the smallest purchase make a difference, so thank you so much in advance!
Today’s card is featuring a card I made for my friend Kari. She recently lost her dad and is understandably heartbroken. On the day her dad passed away, she made a card for him with a bear on it. She came up with an idea to make 74 cards with bears to celebrate each year of his life. Such a sweet idea, but she needs help and that’s where I, and lots of her crafty friends, come in.
You, too, can help! Make a card with a bear of any kind, post on social media and use the hashtag #bearcardsfordad.
The bear was also coloured in with Copics, and then I used the coordinating diecut on him and the paws. I wanted him to poke up over the clouds, so I used the Rainbows stamp set to mark where the cloud would go. With scissors I trimmed down this bit to achieve the look of him coming up over the cloud. The paws were placed to cover up the corners to keep them down.
Sentiment wise I decided to go straight to the point with ‘bear hugs’ and I used yet another Avery Elle set called Simply Hugs, which comes with the backing/shadow part as well as a word die. I only used the word die itself, and cut that out of black card stock.
With All The Letters Dies from Concord & 9th I spelled out BEAR and cut that out of the panel itself. I popped these up with foam letters cut out with the same dies, and layered these up with the glue tube from Lawn Fawn.
With all these bits and pieces done, it was easy peasy work to put the whole thing together and add that to a white card base. This card will be popped into the mail to brighten Kari’s day up, and to let her know I’m thinking of her.
I have used compensated affiliate links in this blog post, at no extra cost to you. If you shop using these links, I get a small commission from the company as a thank you for the referral. Any earnings I get from these links go directly back into the running of my blog, YouTube channel and instagram, so THANK YOU if you chose to support me by shopping via these links. I really do appreciate it so very much!
In real life I am about as far away from being glamorous as you can get. Especially after 2020. I do feel that I have perfected that ‘I’ve been in quarantine, but I’m alive’ look down to a T. Even with mismatching socks some days.. Eh. Doing real makeup feels like a punishment and a chore and I’m firmly in the NO camp these days. On paper though… that I can get onboard with!
I did make a video for this too, and you can find that over on my YouTube channel. If you fancy doing makeup like this, instead of on your face, get your Life Happens, Lashes Help set from Picket Fence Studios quickly! It’s bound to be a popular one!!
Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you enjoyed this little card and will get a chance to watch the YouTube video too.
I have used some compensated affiliate links in this post, at no extra cost to you, for your convenience. Thank you so much if you shop using these links, I really appreciate the support!
First off I sprayed the Slim Line Waves stencil with Pixie Spray, and after letting it cure, I went to town with my Distress Oxide inks! It started out as one ink blended panel, and then one stencil printed panel, and then a second! Three for one!
I find ink blending to be very soothing, and it’s helped me immensely whilst dealing with the grief of losing my mother-in-law. Whenever she’d visit, we could craft and gossip together. I will always cherish those moments and memories.
The stencil printing technique I mentioned earlier, is a great way to get at least one more background out of your ink blending session. You simply spritz water on the stencil after ink blending and instead of wiping it off, you press a piece of water colour paper on it and press firmly. Quickly turn it over and set aside to dry. There might even be enough ink left on it to make another one or even two!
I loved the negative of the foil after taking if off the main panel, and hated to see it go to waste. That negative Waves pattern was so cool so I adhered it to a card base with double sided adhesive sheets. That foil looks like it’s lit up from inside!
I made a card out of the foiled panel by diecutting it with the Slim Line Diecutting System, and added a heat embossed sentiment from I Freaking Love You. I couldn’t bear to cover up the panel any more than that, because I freaking love it!
Well, that’s it from me for today. I hope you enjoyed this post, and get a chance to watch the YouTube video too.
I have used some compensated affiliate links in this post, which means I get a small compensation from the company directly if you shop using these links. Picket Fence Studios send me these products to play with, but I only ever use the products that inspire me (in case the many, many projects I made here doesn’t make that somewhat obvious, lol) Any earnings I get from these go straight back into the running of my blog, YouTube channel and Instagram, so thank you so much if you support me by using these links. I really appreciate it!