Thursday 31 December 2020

See Ya 2020!

 Happy New Years Eve!

My apologies for my disappearance just before & over Christmas. I simply took on too much and got totally overwhelmed before Christmas with how much I needed to get done and then Christmas Day came & went! I have since been enjoying some much needed downtime with The Beans & my husband.

This is a little snapshot of our Christmas Day!

I hope you all had a lovely day even though it may have looked different this year under the circumstances. 

As 2020 draws to a close, one of the strangest and another of the hardest years in my 41 years of life, I am looking not to what was bad or hard, but to all that I am grateful for. 

I am grateful for...

 good health
my family
 to have a roof over my head
for my business 


Thank you for your continued support & custom at Uniko and sticking with me during one of the toughest years. This card is for YOU ALL.

Today after clearing a walk way and an area on my desk, I made time for me in the studio to create this simple one layer thank you card. Apart from the smaller thank you stamps and one which is on the retired shelf, I think I *need* to design some larger thank you sentiment stamps ;)

Though having Alphabet Outlined is proving to be very useful to spell out larger words, which is what I did for todays card. I paired it with the flower from You Are, Yes You and simply coloured with Copic Markers.

That's all my creativity I have to share with you today, but before I go and maybe pour myself a large glass of gin, I have a little discount code for you to use on the Uniko website.

THANK YOU once again for all your support & custom. Cheers to a New Year with LOTS more exciting Uniko products to come your way. Nothing, not even Covid 19 is going to stop me from bringing you more FUN and inspiration.

Crafty Hugs 
Bev x

Sunday 20 December 2020

Countdown to Christmas Day 20 - Stencil Sunday

 Happy Sunday! 

Today was a much more relaxed day for me, it has been nice to go at a slower pace and enjoy some time with The Beans and my husband. 

I spent some time outside in the garage while The Beans had a play on their bikes. Our garage is a multi-function area. It is your usual storage of tools and bikes, but we have made it our home gym too. We have a treadmill, a cross-trainer and my husband has a weights bench in there and his pride and joy a full size pool (billiard) table!

Anyway, back at the end of Summer I spent an afternoon sorting and tidying a lovely workout area for my to do my home fitness programmes in and planned on getting some gym flooring to make it a little nicer and more appealing to do the floor work! 

Then my husbands boss passed away and my husband had the job of emptying (and storing) the works unit and it took up all the lovely space I had made. So today we spent time clearing and moving stuff into the loft area so that the flooring I have ordered has a space to be put down and a new piece of equipment mounted on the wall. 

As much as I find it easy to workout indoors, it is home fitness after all and I literally fall out of bed at 5:30, do a 5 min affirmation a bit of reading and then do my workout at 6am with an awesome group of ladies via zoom (my accountability / team), I keep the TV volume down and don't play music as to not to wake anyone! 

It's going to be pretty cold in the garage at 6am, but I am looking forward to being able to have the volume up a little, listen to music and not worry about waking anyone up! I am sure I will soon warm up as I do my workout.

As you might be able to tell and if you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed my sister account and how BIG a part of my life investing in my health & fitness has become. Not only have I seen a difference physically, it has helped me especially with my mental and emotional health post lockdown 1 and during lockdown 2. I'd hit a big time low in lockdown, being on furlough, not having time or being able to do Uniko, home schooling and all the rest took its toll on me and this came and has been my outlet of frustration which has led to enjoyment too!

Anyway, enough of my rambling, I didn't intend on 'sharing' so much! I even found some creative time this morning and it was lovely to find enjoyment in joining in on a challenge, something I haven't done for a while...

My card layout is from the current CAS(E) this Sketch! challenge HERE and seen below. It's been a while since I was inspired and had the time to look through some of my favourite challenge blogs. 

I decided to ink up the Christmas Folk Snowflake as I don't feel I have given it much love this festive season! 

It's another stencil that I am drawn to inking with red! And is it just me that uses WAY much more ribbon when making Christmas cards than any other time of year?! 

Another super simple & quick Christmas make from me today & I think I am almost done with Christmas cards, yay! I am just doing neighbour & local friends cards that I will deliver one evening this week. 

Okay, I best go and get these Beans to sleep! Their bedtime during the holidays gets later and later and this mummy is up early! 

I'll be back tomorrow with more to share. Until then, thank you for stopping by today.
Crafty Hugs Bev x

Saturday 19 December 2020

Countdown to Christmas Day 19 - Sparkle Saturday

 Happy Sparkle Saturday!

I'm a little later than I originally planned, but didn't want to get behind again. This evening we had a family film night and I introduced the boys to Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (Gene Wilder) the classic. It started off well, then they got a little bored! BUT then they loved it, but the chocolate factory is the best bit! 

Anyway, the card I am sharing today is one I really had to get out of my head! Occasionally I will envision a card idea in my head, often when I am designing stamps, but this time probably about a week or so ago. So while the boys were watching something on You Tube before bed I sat down to make it.

Who remembers and even owns Christmas Sparkle? 

This little gem of a set retired a few years ago now, as much as I love all the stamps I design, a few years ago I needed to make room for newer designs and unfortunately this one got the bench. 

As it's retired I haven't used it for a very long time as I try to use just current and in-stock products. Anyway, today I am making an exception and as you have seen in the recent past, some retired stamps get a little re-introduction ;)

Anyway, how beautifully ornate does this gold beauty look?

Doesn't the Sparkle bauble pair with Framed - Holly wonderfully? Like it was designed to ;) I dusted off my Encore Gold pigment ink and also added gold heat embossing to add to the shine of these stamps. 

I really love how this turned out. 

That's all I have to share with you all today. I will be back tomorrow with another Stencil Sunday instalment, but until then, thank you for stopping by & I hope I have added a little sparkle to your day after the devastating news we were issued regarding Christmas. 

Sending Love & Crafty Hugs Bev x

Countdown to Christmas Day 18 - All Wrapped Up!


Still playing catch up, haha! 

Yesterday, Friday was a better day stress level wise, but it was a busy one. The last day of school for The Beans, so it was a day of 'get as many jobs done as possible' kind of day! I tell you something, those 6 hours they're at school flies by. 

My main task was to get the final Christmas gifts wrapped up & Christmas cards written and in the mail to ensure they will arrive before Christmas Day.

Normally I don't make much of a fuss about wrapping paper selection or gift tags, but this year I have put a little more thought into it. This year I have 2 categories, gifts wrapped from Santa and gifts wrapped from mummy and daddy! 

First up is the wrapping & tag design for the gifts from Santa! 

This year I have gone for the classic brown paper wrapping. I love the simplicity of brown paper wrapping and it gives you endless options as to what you choose to embellish with. As you can see I have chosen red & white gingham ribbon to tie the package up. 

And it only seemed fitting to choose the Santa from the Jolly Santa clear stamp set for my tags. As I have a few tags to make for the gifts from Santa, I have kept the design simple and fairly easily mass produceable. I've coloured with Copic Markers and added glitter to his hat and coat trim.

Next is the wrapping & tag for gifts from mummy & daddy and used for other members of the family too. These will be placed under the tree before Christmas Eve. 

My wrap choice was simply a roll I had leftover from last year! For the tag I decided to use the Christmas tree from Jolly Santa as I often neglect this stamp. Again with a few tags to make I have kept the design nice and simple.

I've still some wrapping to do for both categories and have boxes stacked in my studio with everything inside waiting! Looks like hubby and I have a few late nights ahead as we like to build some of the gifts from Santa so they are ready to be played with and we don't have the stress of impatient Beans waiting Christmas morning. This year it is Lego again with the final additions to their Super Mario Lego and now Minecraft.

How about you? Are you all wrapped up for Christmas? Do you wrap with a theme or colour scheme? I'd love to know :)

I'll be back later this evening with todays Countdown to Christmas and then I am all caught up! 

Thanks for sticking with me, Crafty Hugs Bev x

Countdown to Christmas Day 17 - Throwback Thursday & Winner!


Okay, so I am playing catch up! Life just simply got in the way.

I spent Thursday mainly stressed with getting the oven fitted. We had one guy not turn up and spent the afternoon getting someone else to come out the same day. I am pleased to report that it did FINALLY get fitted and just in time for it to 'do its thing' before cooking tea! 

How about a throwback to another Christmas past before I announce a the comment winner from my Time Hop Tuesday post HERE.

Rustic Wreath has been sitting on the shelf next to my work area since starting on my Christmas makes with the intention of inking it up again, which I still plan on doing at some point! So how about a little throwback to November 2016 when it was introduced and a look at the trio of cards I made...

Another classic Christmas stamp set that will stand the test of time. Ok, so wreaths often get a little more elaborate these days, but I don't think you can ever get tired of a classic foliage wreath. Along with the wreath this set contains mini foliage accents along with sentiments. The small poinsettia flowers are from Background Builders: Winter Vines.

It was and always is a joy to read everyones lovely comments on the blog, it does make me smile and my heart happy, so a BIG thank you to everyone that takes the time to stop by and comment :)

The lucky comment chosen by random number generator is no.9...

Such beautiful cards Bev! If I were to hop back to a favourite Uniko product release it would be when Winter Foliage was released. It remains my all time most used and most useful stamp set for Christmas and can be combined with so many of my other stamps! It was the stamp set that first introduced me to Uniko too, and I've been a fan ever since!! Vicky x

Congratulations Vicky! 

Drop me an email with your postal address and I will pop a prize in the mail to you. 

Thanks for stopping by, I will be back a bit later today with Countdown to Christmas Day 18! 

Crafty Hugs Bev x

Wednesday 16 December 2020

Countdown to Christmas Day 16 - Win it Wednesday!

 Happy Wednesday!

How about another Win it Wednesday? After all it is the Season of Giving. AND my week isn't quite going as planned and my creativity has been lacking somewhat due to the increased stress of still not having a working oven :(

Our new oven & hob arrived on Tuesday as expected and we had paid extra for both to be fitted and the guy hardly looked and simply said, I'm not qualified to do it - argh! Hopefully, with everything crossed we have someone coming to install them tomorrow. 

That coupled with the fact that Christmas is drawing closer and closet I really must get to wrapping and making sure we have everything for The Beans! I did make a small start on wrapping today, so I hope to share my choice of wrap, decoration & tag with you either tomorrow or Friday.

Ok, onto the GIVEAWAY...

You all know I am a HUGE lover of snow, so I've put together this Uniko snow filled prize package* to one side, for a lucky random comment here on this post to win. *an alternative prize will be offered if the winner already owns any of the products.

Simply leave a comment on this post by Midnight GMT Thursday 24th December 2020 and I will choose a random comment a few days after Christmas. 

Don't forget there is still plenty of time to join in on the fun over at the Uniko Christmas Party HERE too!

That's all from me today, time for an early (ish) night! I'll be back with some creativity to share with you tomorrow, plus the lucky comment winner from yesterdays post, so you've still got time to comment HERE too :)

Until then, thank you for all the lovely comments and continued support.

Crafty Hugs Bev x

Tuesday 15 December 2020

Countdown to Christmas Day 15 - Time Hop Tuesday!

 Happy Tuesday!

Today I am deciding to go back in time and specifically I am Time Hopping to October 2017 and the Uniko Christmas release of that year! It was a small Christmas release that year, but it contained some firm favourites and what's not to love, reminiscing about Christmases past is a pastime I am sure.

This was the year Festive Sentiments was released, along with Background Blocks Wonky Stripes. Both of these are still fabulously on trend and this card, though long gone to a forever home is still a favourite make of mine.

This one card combined quite a few popular Uniko clear stamp sets, the flowers from Flower Power #1, the pine sprig from Winter Foliage & the green foliage stems from Organic Wishes.

As I usually have two cards on a Tuesday for you, I have another from this October 2017 Christmas Release to share with you.

This one again uses Festive Sentiments and Background Blocks Wonky Stripes. This time paired with the holly leaves and berries from Winter Foliage. I love this crisp colour scheme of white & black with the minimal Christmas red and green. 

That's all from me today, I hope you have enjoyed this hop back in time with me? 

If you were to hop back to a favourite Uniko product release, which would it be? Would it be a Christmas stamp set or an everyday / floral set? I'd LOVE to know.

Drop a comment below with your answer and I'll choose a random comment from across Social Media to win a prize :) 

Until tomorrow, thank you for stopping by. Crafty Hugs Bev x

Monday 14 December 2020

Countdown to Christmas Day 14 - Still Dreaming...

 Happy Monday!

Eeeek... just 10 days till the BIG C! I can't believe how quickly these days are flying by. I feel fairly organised, but when I know I haven't got long the anxiety kicks in and my brain goes into overdrive thinking I've forgotten something, anyone relate?! 

Anyway, I'm still dreaming of that white Christmas! Though I don't think there will be snow this year. Fingers crossed we get some at some point this Winter. So, to make up for the lack of snow I have another snow themed card ;)

I made this similar card above a couple years ago and it popped up on my Timehop and it inspired me to recreate it using the Uniko Stunning Snowflake Designer Die.

Like the card before I used the snowflake builder strip from Background Builders: Christmas. I was going to retire this stamp set, its been on the sale page & retiring list for so long. BUT, it's such a classic and a set I turn to year after year and so its staying! 

My embossing went a little array and normally the perfectionist in me would do it again, but I actually like the dusty effect, it adds to the wintery snowy feel! 

Just this one clean & simple card from me today, but I'll be back tomorrow with more to share. Oh, and did you see the Uniko 2020 Christmas Party? There is plenty of time to join in on the fun HERE :)

Thanks for stopping by today.

Crafty Hugs Bev x

Sunday 13 December 2020

Countdown to Christmas Day 13 - Stencil Sunday

 Hey & Happy Sunday!

There was LOTS of excitement here yesterday as Santa came by our road on wheels! Yep, he drove by on an open top bus to wish all the children a Happy Christmas 2020 style. It made up for us being in a high Covid tier and not being able to do so many of the usual festivities with The Beans this year. Here are a couple of photos I took as I know many of you enjoy seeing and reading about what they get up to.

With that excitement I was feeling festive too and as I am without an oven until Tuesday (fingers crossed) I wasn't able to do any baking today, so I made todays Countdown to Christmas cards early ;) I've really enjoyed using all my Christmas supplies and as well as reaching for the NEW products, I have been dusting off the older ones too.

Today, I had a card layout in mind and I used it for both cards but simply switched the stencil design and the colours. First up I gave some fresh inky love to Stencil - Scandinavian Christmas.

For some reason I always reach for red or white to ink up this stencil. It is certainly a favourite and with the detail in the pattern the card doesn't need much embellishment. I did however ink through the stencil with a clear embossing pad before removing to heat emboss some sparkle!

I used a wavy scalloped border die (Mama Elephant I think) to create a detailed edge along the red sentiment layer and I gold heat embossed the Season's Greetings sentiment from the NEW Christmas Wishes clear stamp set.

Next I inked up the Stencil - Let it Snow and used the exact same card layout and just switched up the colours to my 'go to' snowflake combo! 

I love shades of Aqua / Turquoise for snowflakes and I used Altenew Aqualicious for to ink up the snowflakes. Again, before removing the stencil I inked over with a clear embossing pad and used my Stardust embossing powder to add some sparkle. 

I also heat embossed the Let it Snow sentiment, another from the NEW Christmas Wishes stamp set. This sentiment set is packed full of festive sentiments and combinations. 

That's all from me today, but I will be back tomorrow with more to share. Today is 'homework' day for The Beans! We have a few options to choose from, but they have selected to make a Santa's workshop. Well, in their words its a Goomba (character from Super Mario) and a Caterpillar workshop! 

Thanks for stopping by & have a lovely Sunday.
Crafty Hugs Bev x

Saturday 12 December 2020

Countdown to Christmas Day 12 - Uniko 2020 Christmas Party!

 Happy Weekend!

Welcome to the Uniko Christmas Party!

With 2020 being the way it has, I thought it would be nice to have one last celebration in 2020 with a Uniko Christmas Party. 

Everyone LOVES a party, right?

This is a crafty party of course! Join in the party by sharing your Christmas cards, tags, projects or scrapbook pages using Uniko Clear Stamps, Stencils or Designer Dies. See the Party Rules at the end of the post to be eligible to win one of the three prizes on offer.

How about an incentive to join in & some PRIZES!

First Prize £25 eGift Certificate
Second & Third Prize Winners Choice of £10 In-Stock Clear Stamp Set
Random Lucky Comment £5 In-Stock Clear Stamp Set

AND how about some Christmas inspiration from myself and the Uniko Brand Ambassadors. Be sure to hop around all the links and leave some love in the form of a comment. Enjoy the Party!


Party Rules

* The party is open to everyone, everywhere in the world
* Anything Christmas Goes (Cards, Tags, Projects, Scrapbook Layouts Etc)
* Your entry MUST include at least ONE Uniko product (clear stamp, stencil, designer die or digital freebie) as the MAIN focus of your entry.
* Join in as many times as you like, as long as your entry ticks the rule above!
* Link Up will CLOSE on 8pm 31st December 2020
*WINNERS will be announced 4th January 2021
*The first prize winner will be chosen from a vote by the Uniko Brand Ambassadors and the last two winners will be chosen randomly from all the entries that have adhered to the rules.

Friday 11 December 2020

Countdown to Christmas Day 11 - Festive Flashback Friday!

 Happy Festive Friday!

Today I am taking a Flashback to Christmas 2018 and giving Background Builders: Christmas 2018 some fresh inky love. This stamp set has been a firm favourite this year and is unfortunately currently out of stock, but it will make an appearance in the shop again soon! 

When it comes to Christmas stamps, I don't think anything really goes out of style and they can be used for many years, so always a good investment ;)

One of my favourites in this set is the string with interchangeable light bulbs, I think because my favourite thing to do is to add coloured Nuvo Drops to really make them look like fairy lights!

This colour card really does add cheer and even better when it is a one layer card too for easy mailing! It didn't take too long to make either. The longest part is letting the Nuvo Drops dry. The sentiment is from Festive Sentiments Outlined and coloured with a red Copic marker.

I seemed to be on a roll and came up with another one layer design for my next card! This time I used the row of Christmas trees and stamped them three times and colouring them in an ombre effect with Copic Markers. 

I then added some sparkly glitter to the tree with a quickie glue pen! The sentiment is from Festive Sentiments Outlined and I have coloured it with a black fine liner.

Lastly for today I wanted to use the Scandinavian inspired Christmas folk snowflake design and I switched up the colours to a favourite Kraft, red & white combo.

This was another super quick card to make with minimal fuss. I used Altenew Ruby Red ink for the snowflake design & added a tiny drop of white Nuvo Drops to the centres. The sentiment is again from Festive Sentiments Outlined and coloured with a Kraft colour Copic marker.

That's all my creative makes today, I hope I have given you some useful last minute CAS designs if you're like me and still have a few last minute cards to make!

Myself and some of my awesome Brand Ambassadors will be back tomorrow as we kick off the Uniko 2020 Christmas Party!

Until then, thank you for stopping by today.
Crafty Hugs 

Thursday 10 December 2020

Countdown to Christmas Day 10 - BA Inspiration with Julie

Good morning folks, Julie here with a little bit more inspiration for a quick one layer, post friendly, Christmas card using the brand new Framed - Holly and two different mediums to colour.

The card on the left is coloured with watercolour pens and the righthand side one is coloured with Copic markers.
I've tried this design before with other frame style stamps so thought I would see what it looked like with this fab new stamp.

Using my Misti, I positioned my A6 base card in the left hand corner and placed the bottom half of the frame stamp to the top edge. Closing the MISTI to pick up the stamp, I then added a strip of masking tape across the top of the frame to create a border. For the watercolour method, I stamped and embossed with Versamark and gold EP, the Copic one I used a pale grey ink, Altenew's Limestone in this case. More of that later! DO NOT remove the stamp from your MISTI.

With the second card, I used Copics (other alcohol markers are available) to colour the stamped area and then replaced it in to the MISTI and stamped again with Versamark and gold EP. As you haven't moved the stamp, you should be able to stamp in exactly the same place as before. You have to do this if you want to colour with alcohol markers as they don't play nicely with EP! You end up with manky pens and a tatty looking coloured image. I know it seems like a bit of a phaff to do it but this way you achieve a nice crisp finish.

Now turn your card around and repeat the process for the unstamped end of your card. I now notice that the cards I made have two different stamped images, this is because I did the watercolour one before I decided to make the second, removing the stamp from my MISTI in between, I must have altered the way I laid the stamp down on the second card!

Once I had embossed the rest of the design on the first card, I used Zig watercolour markers in a couple of shades of green and red to colour in the leaves before adding the sentiment with gold EP.

The Copic coloured one was completed using a flat green colour, G46, not my usual shading style but I wanted to keep the design simple and my base card wasn't particularly Copic friendly. 

Embossed gold sentiments complete the design. These sentiments are from the super new Christmas Wishes set. This was my first play with this set but it wont be the last, love the script and the way you can make your own sentiments up with the mix of large and small words.

That's it from me for today, but there's going to be much more Christmas fun over the next few days. 

Enjoy the season as best you can in the circumstances.