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To Find A Seashell

Text stamp from Art Neko, to find a seashell - on watercolour wash with paper shells

I grew up within earshot of the sea, so when I came across this To Find a Seashell stamp in the store, it was a definite must-have. It brings back memories of many childhood visits to the beach. The North Beach, nearest our house, was very stony, but the South Beach was near where we went to school, and in the summer term we often used to go for a picnic lunch after school and spend the afternoon playing, and that was the beach where we mostly found shells.


I’ve made a very simple project using this stamp – just a bit of watercolour wash and a couple of paper shells, set in a plain white frame. It could equally well be made with stamped shells – there are a couple on the Japanese Marine Sheet 1 (which also includes the sentiment stamp), and more on the Japanese Marine Sheet 2. Sheet 2 includes the sentiment “all the way to the blue sky’s edge… low tide”  – I think there’s just as much magic and wonder in that as there is in the one I used.

I bought a white frame in our local €2 store – and did well, I’d been expecting to only find something that I would have had to alter, but this clean white frame was just perfect for what I wanted. The aperture in it is 6″ x 4″, so I cut a piece of card a little larger, and added a wash with some Twinkling H2Os.  When that was dry, I stamped the sentiment using Ranger’s Archival Black, so that it wouldn’t smudge on the watercolour.

Then I added a couple of paper shells – the photo below shows how I created them. After cutting them, I sponged them with distress inks, and the purple line and splotches on the smaller shell were added with an Inktense pencil. I used one coat of satin varnish on them, just to add to the shell-like appearance.  I learned how to make these some years ago from an upload by Gem35 on Splitcoaststampers, and have made them often since then.

creating small shells by scoring and sponging paper



And then I simply added the shells into my picture, popping the smaller one up on foam tape.



Framed picture with text stamp from Art Neko (To find a seashell) and watercolour background


Thanks for coming by the blog this week, I hope you’ve been inspired by the creativity the team have shared.  Find a world of imagination this weekend and explore it. Find a seashell, if you’re lucky enough to live near the seaside!


Daisy Tag With Butterfly

I’m marking the official start of Spring in Ireland with a Daisy Tag with Butterfly on the blog today. Traditionally Spring here starts on February 1st, St. Brigid’s Day, but in terms of actual weather, most people don’t think Spring is here till March. Any excuse for flowers on a dull day is a good one, though.

Tag using Bookmarks and Sentiments, and Whimsical and Kind Sayings sets from Art Neko


I started with a manila shipping tag and a few distress inks to create a wrinkle-free distress background. When it had got thoroughly dry, I stamped the daisy image (without the sentiment) from the Bookmarks and Sentiments plate, using Versafine Black ink. I also stamped the daisy twice onto white card, and using Encore gold ink I stamped the little butterfly which is found on the same plate. The butterfly was embossed with gold embossing powder, and I then cut it out and sponged it with blue ink, and then added shimmer with a Spectrum Noir glitter overlay pen.

Daisy tag with Butterfly using images from the Bookmarks and Sentiments plate from Art Neko

One of the daisies is stuck straight down on the tag. Taking the second one, I trimmed down several of the petals to separate them, and also shaped the yellow centre a bit with a stylus. It’s popped up over the first daisy head with foam tape in the center – some of the individual petals were then stuck down and others left a bit higher to add dimension. The little leaves were also cut out and layered, so that I could have more vivid colour than if I had simply coloured the image stamped on the tag.

To finish the daisy tag off, I decided to add a sentiment that would make it suitable for almost any occasion, so I chose the “Thinking of You” sentiment from Whimsical and Kind Sayings. The daisy comes with “my warmest thanks” running along the length of the stem, but I cut this into a separate stamp as I know I’ll get more use out of the daisy like this. After adding the sentiment, I sponged the tag edges with some Walnut Stain distress ink and added a little spattering with an Inktense pencil. A scrap of vivid yellow ribbon to match the daisy centre finishes it off, all ready to add to a card base, a gift bag or a gift-wrapped present.

Daisy tag with butterfly, using Bookmarks and Sentiments and Whimsical and Kind Sayings


Thanks for coming by the blog this week! Stamp your own Spring this weekend, even if it’s snowy or just unseasonably cold outside.


Follow Your Heart

Happy Friday, everybody – the weekend is almost here and it’s time to forget about work and follow your heart! It’s felt like a very long week here and I’m glad it’s finally Friday – I can follow my heart and find some stamping time. My project today is a CAS (clean and simple) card using the Follow Your Heart sentiment from the Bookmarks and Sentiments plate, along with a few other bits and pieces from Art Neko.

follow your heart, sentiment from Art Neko's Bookmarks and Sentiments


The little heart-shaped tins come in packs of two (currently at $1.00 for the two tins) and are so easy to decorate and alter. I didn’t include a photo of the unaltered tin, as you can see that on the website. In the past I’ve used alcohol inks applied with a felt pad, and I know that this works very well on a tin surface. But I wanted this heart to be uniformly matt and a solid colour, so I used a Sharpie. The photo shows it after one coat – by the time I added a second coat it had a beautiful satin finish which I hope you can see in the final photo.

Little heart-shaped tin from Art Neko, suitable for altering


After allowing drying time between each coat, I decorated round the window aperture with some Liquid Pearls, and added a sparkly heart sticker to finish it off.  I filled mine with some little resin hearts for a calorie-free treat, but of course you could use candy – or even some small jewellery as a gift for a special friend. The tins are also suitable for storing small embellishments, because of the window in the lid.

heart-shaped tin from Art Neko


Thanks for coming by to check the blog this week. I hope that you find something to do this weekend which will make your heart happy!

Card using Follow Your Heart sentiment from Bookmarks and Sentiments plate, with some simple stencilling and ribbon


Geisha with thanks

Good morning to you … Kia here with you today. I would like to share this sweet Geisha with you.  She is from the Thanksgiving Japanese Kokeshi Geisha, but I think she can be used for many occasions, and in my case a thank you card. I coloured her using doCraft Markers, including the black of the hair and outline of the stamp. In doing so I was sure to get that black look I wanted. I used a piece of Silver Circles and Polyester Fabric Paper in the background which I framed for a nice clean look. I attached my Geisha to the card on foam dots, and stamped the thank you sentiment to finish. I think she is really sweet, and I hope you enjoy her. Thank you for dropping by today and I will see you next time.


Paper Lanterns for the New Year

Hello. Hetty here and I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones. Now we are only  a few days away from the New Year, so i had to come up with a new year card for you. I made these paper lanterns with the snowflake background stamp.

You find a complete picture tutorial on my Craftchaos Blog, here I will explain a little too. First I stamped  the image with versamark and embossed it with white embossing powder. The embossed flakes work as a resisit and when I colored the paper with blue distress ink, the snowflakes were popping up. Then I cut out the lanterns with a circle and an oval die. The shapes where run through a crimper and little strips of paper where added on top and bottom of the shapes. The tassels I had in my stash and where ready made and just perfect for my card. The background of the card is a now embossing folder from Stampin Up! and the sentiment for the New Year can be found here as Holiday Greetings.

Leaves me to wish you all a very Healthy, Energetic, Peaceful, Loving and Creative New Year!


Crane Circle Facing Right

It’s Sabrina here, and for my last card of the year I have chosen to use the ” Crane Circle Facing Right” stamp from Art Neko. I chose this partly because the crane is looking forward into next year with whatever that may bring, and also because in Asian mythology, the crane is a symbol of good fortune and long life.

Circle crane facing right image from Art Neko
I have to confess that I chose to get this crane circle facing right image because many years ago I did a Chinese-style embroidery of an eagle; he’s perched in a very stylized pine tree just like this one. There will be a photo on my blog later today  if you want to see it. Anyway, my embroidery has an orange and red setting sun, and I wished to replicate that in my design, so after inking the stamp up with Versafine Onyx Black, I used a Q-tip to gently sponge all the ink off the sun so that I could colour it. On the stamp itself, the sun is solid black so that this makes a beautiful silhouette image with no need for any colouring!  This image is also available on the Asian Butterfly with Crane Medallions sheet of stamps, which has some gorgeous butterflies and kanji, as well as another two crane medallions.

After stamping the image on watercolour paper I used Inktense pencils to colour it, and a glitter pen to add some sparkly highlights. After cutting it out, I coated the whole circle with Versamark and three layers of UTEE, so that it would look like a ceramic plate, and layered it onto a lacy black circle.

My sentiment comes from the full sheet of Oriental images and texts, and is stamped onto the same linen-finish paper that I used for the white layer, and cut with a decorative label die.
The white layer is embossed with a typically Asian fan motif, and I used a South-West corner punch on each corner so that I could add a strand of red floss for some definition.

Crane Circle facing right stamp from Art Neko,


I wish you all a happy and peaceful Christmas season, and may the crane bring you good things in 2017.


Teahouse on Lily Pond


Hi, it is Shirley posting today and I have an Asian themed card to share with you using the Art Neko image Teahouse on Lily Pond #PO23TS02.

I layered my gold shimmery paper and Asian designer paper over the black card base. I colored my image using copic markers and matting it over layers of the same papers previously used.  I used Asian dies to cut the Kanji and the bridge.  I layered the Kanji and popped it up with dimensional.  I adhered the pieces to the card base to complete the card.

Thanks, for stopping in today. I hope you enjoyed my card.



Pretty Pink Peonies with Kanji

Hello, everyone.   It is Shirley posting today. I have made a card using the Art Neko
Peonies and Kanji stamps – A3740008.


I started by stamping my peonies on white card stock. I colored them with copics. I stamped the Kanji using Versamark ink, sprinkled gold embossing powder over it and used my heat gun to activate the embossing powder.

I added an olive lacy square over the top of the image. I adhered the lace square to my designer paper and the olive card base.

Thank you, for stopping in to look at my card today.



Back In The Saddle

Hello, It is Shirley posting today. I am sharing a cowboy card that I made using the Art Neko
Sheet Cowboy Up # A271FSHT.

This image reminds me so much of one of my grandson’s. He loved red cowboy boots and hats,  they were his favorite.   Actually he wasn’t much bigger than the little boy on the card when he started entering rodeo’s.

I kept my layout simple and I colored the image with copic markers.

I plan to use this as a get well card so I added the “Hope You Are Back In The Saddle Soon” sentiment which was computer generated.

Thank you for coming by today and looking at my card.







Japanese Deer in a Woodland Shadow Box

It’s Sabrina here today, with a card featuring the Japanese Deer Brushstroke stamp from Art Neko  in a woodland shadow box scene. Like my previous card with the sweet little Geisha and her bonsai tree, this is a multi-purpose card that could be used either as a Christmas card or in this case as a card for any winter occasion. I actually stamped my trees with a homemade stamp using a Memory Box tree die-cut from foam – but the lovely brushstroke deer also comes as a set with a gorgeous snow-covered tree stamp – the Winter Deer and Trees set.


Japanese Deer Brushtroke stamp from Art Neko, shadow box card with the deer in a forest setting

I started by stamping my  Japanese deer with Memento Rich Cocoa onto white card and also onto a scrap of paper to create a mask. After masking him, I used my homemade stamp and Memento Bamboo Leaves to stamp the trees – masking the first one. This time the masking was easy with no cutting involved, I simply die-cut another tree from a Post-It. Originally I was planning to make a shaker box and was going to use extra matching trees to decorate it – but the card just wasn’t coming together as I imagined it, so I changed plans and made a little shadow box scene, using various dies to decorate it, and some Liquid Pearls for extra details. I decided to add a more festive touch with the little twine bows on the pinecones – and I think Christmas holly would make a good detail up in those corners too.

Toadstools aren’t really a feature of Christmas decor here in Ireland, but I know they are in parts of Europe so I added a couple of those, as well as a little bunny rabbit looking in to the majestic deer in his woodland setting.   I often make the traditional French Christmas Log (Bûche de Noel) which my mother always made every Christmas Eve – and typically it’s decorated with little meringue mushrooms.

Japanese Brushtroke Deer, a shadow box card creates a woodland setting


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