Mementoes In Time

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Welcome to the Mementoes in Time Blog. This is where we post the latest news and chat on all things crafty, not just card-making. We just make projects we like and then share some of the templates with members. You can sign up for free to this site, there are no catches. Drop by often to see what is new and please do leave us a comment!

Tell others about our projects on your own site, that is lovely just provide a link to our blog - share the love!!

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52 Shades of Anything But Grey - Gratitude

Posted by Imy on June 5, 2020 at 7:55 AM Comments comments (0)

A very simple but really pretty card with a lot of texture today. A simple stamped and embossed background provides the backdrop for a single bloom. The wording is embossed with Hero Arts 'Old French Writing' and embossed in silver embossing powder. The flower stamp is from Stampin Up and was stamped onto acetate and heat embossed with Black Soot embossing powder.

Then lovely Distress Glitter is used on the reverse to give a really subtle effect. I have added a piece of florist wire stem and a simple sentiment from my home-made collection to finish this one off. I love the simple but elegant finish to this piece and the silver embossed background works so well on the black card that really, little else is needed. So the topic for today was 'Gratitude' and the techniques are:

  • stamped and heat embossed background
  • stamped acetate with distress glitter
Thanks for reading!

52 Shades of Anything But Grey - Mosaic

Posted by Imy on June 2, 2020 at 10:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Today's card is a bit more complicated than usual but I think the four step process of distress oxide background, stencilling, inking and stamping on microscope slides, is worth it to get this interesting, textured and 3D effect. The topic is 'Mosaic' and the techniques are:

  • Distress Oxide Background
  • Embossing Powder Resist
  • Alcohol Inks on Microscope Slides
  • Stamping
Part One - Embossing Powder Resist on Distress Oxide Background

First up, create a background that you want with Distress Oxide inks in the usual way i.e. wipe colours on your craft mat, spray with water or spray the card you are using and wipe through the colors. Let it dry. As I was going for a mosaic effect here, I chose the blues predominantly.

For the second feature layer of the background, I laid my stencill over the top and dabbed my Versamark pad over the stencil, applying the ink to the paper underneath. Take care to get full coverage here and not miss any spots.

Next up, add some Clear Embossing Powder and heat it up. You can leave it like it is, or go in with a cloth or baby wipe and lift off some of the background colour. At the same time polish the embossed areas, which will appear darker, as they are protecting the original colour underneath.

This give a really beautiful effect.

This post was taken from Part 11 of our 14 part series on Distress Oxides which is one of two blog posts on stencilling effects. Read more about this technique here.

Part Two - Alcohol Inks With Microscope Cover Slips

After creating a background, the next step is to create the mounted slide. I am using microscope cover slips here that you can pick up fairly cheaply. You get around 100 in a pack which makes them great value. Being glass, you will need to use a permanent ink such as Stazon if you are stamping or you can create a beautiful mixed background with alcohol inks dabbed onto the surface, as I have done with this piece.

A bit of an overexposed photo but you get the idea


Once the alcohol inks had dried, I then stamped over the slide with my new favourite homemade stamp to give the mosaic effect. I then added a sentiment, which on hindsight I would have left off. The 3D effect of the slide is just beautiful by itself and needs no further embellishment. You can't really see it fully from the photo but there is a lovely depth to it which you can't really get any other way. I love this technique and it is definitely going to feature again in this series.

Please leave comments below or on facebook

Free Digital Wording - 'BELIEVE','IMAGINE','WISH'

Posted by Imy on June 2, 2020 at 5:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Just posted three more digital wording stamps in the Member's section of the site. They are in both JPEG and PNG format and you can resize as you wish!

52 Shades of Anything But Grey - Daydreaming

Posted by Imy on June 2, 2020 at 3:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Today's card features a couple of different techniques. There is also a small story behind how this one came to be about. I have been clearning out my parent's old house and unearthed all kinds of things, one of which was some lovely old music books.


Both of my grandparents were very musical, my grandfather played the violin and piano and my grandmother played the piano. They had many instruments hanging around their house and with both being professional artists, many of these instruments appeared in the paintings and drawings that they did. Shame none of their talent came down the generations!

Anyway, I have been throwing lots of things away but decided to keep some of the music books. A page from one of these very old books forms the base of the card today.

I actually reworked this and moved the photo from right to left and took away the bronze mat

I love the fact that something they used and treasured forms the basis of this small piece that I have made, it feels as though I am keeping their memory alive in a way.


So the addition of Distress Embossing powders over the top keeps the old theme going. I have used a simple decorative flourish stamp by Kaisercraft (Flourish) and when you rub some of the embossing powder away, the naturally age yellowed paper underneath shows through beautifully.

The image was off the net and I love the way the girl seems to be daydreaming. To tone down the image a little, I added a tissue paper square over the top and glued this down. This really gives the picture an ethereal, dreamy quality. The sentiment is another one of my homemade quote stamps and some Distress ink around the edges gives a finishing touch. So the topic is 'Daydreaming' and the techniques include:

  • Stamping and heat embossing with Distress Embossing Powders
  • Tissue paper image

52 Shades of Anything But Grey - Projects so far

Posted by Imy on May 31, 2020 at 6:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Here is a round up of the projects we have covered so far! We have been using lots of different techniques and materials. If you have been making your own please do consider sharing by uploading to the Photo Gallery, adding a link underneath this or any of the blog posts or on Facebook. Thanks for reading.

52 Shades of Anything But Grey - Fall

Posted by Imy on May 31, 2020 at 6:05 AM Comments comments (0)

I just love the technique used with today's card. As always, the background inspired the topic, with warm reds and browns with some orange and yellow too. This time I used my Distress Stains instead of the Oxides and as always with these products there is rarely a result that you can't use. I keep all the pieces I make, nothing gets wasted and if you store them all away in a plastic wallet, you can easily find a perfect background piece for your next project.So the topic today is 'Fall' or 'Autumn' and the techniques and materials include:

  • Distress Stain Background
  • Stamping
  • Die cut leaves with Glossy Crackle Glaze

The Distress Stains are easy to use, you just create some puddles on your worksheet and drag your paper through them. You can also apply the colour directly to your paper, either using a piece sprayed to damp it first, in which case the colours will run right away, or add the daubers to the paper and then spray. You can create endless backgrounds, each one a bit different and have a lot of fun with it.

I then stamped some random leaf stamped images on the background with some Sepia Versafine. The ink blended really well here, to give almost a ghost like impression.

Next up, the die cut leaves were from the Tattered Flower Garland Alterations die from Tim Holtz. I wanted a really glossy finish on these leaves but with a rich colour, so firstly add some colour to the leaves with the stains. I applied the colour directly for these to get the depth that I wanted. Once dry, I used some Glossy Accents Crackle Medium over the top. Then after the gloss had set, I went in with the stains once again to get the colour to trickle down a bit through the cracks.They almost look good enough to eat!!

This gives almost a leaf vein effect, which I was really pleased with. To finish, I just added some letters on foam pads and a little tea dye and vintage photo distress around the edges. Very happy with this one!

Free Template - 52 Shades of Anything But Grey Base Card

Posted by Imy on May 29, 2020 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (0)

If you wanted to join in with the series, ' 52 Cards of Anything But Grey' but don't have a spare pack of playing cards around., I have uploaded a template with a page of cards of the exact same size for you to use. These make perfect sized mini art pieces which you can just mat and layer up and then afix to a greetings card, a tag, or just put them in a display case or album as I have done. Check the member's pages for the template.

52 Shades of Anything But Grey - Pastels

Posted by Imy on May 28, 2020 at 1:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Today's project is focussing on the technique rather than the topic and this is a well known one which is great fun.  If you have some ink and some embossing powder that is pretty much all you need here. The topic is 'Pastels' and the techniques and materials are:

  • Distress Oxide Background
  • Heat Embossed Die Cuts

The background needs no introduction, as it is the same technique used for many of the cards in this series so far. I make up lots of these in various colour schemes and store them away in a plastic wallet, so I can just get a perfect piece when I need it.

Just die cut or punch some shapes, I always go for flowers as I can make up a bunch of these all at once and then keep them until I need them on a project. Ink them up with some Versamark or similar and then add some embossing powders. The ones I used actually produced a rather smart enamelled look, so if you have those, then you will get the same glossy almost plastic look to your flowers. If you use normal or glittery embossing powder you will get a different look entirely but all are nice!

I just absolutely love this effect, they almost look like those Iced Gems biscuits you can buy.

The quote is another one of my homemade stamps, made especially small for these mini card art projects.

If you are interested in these stamps then drop me a line, as I am considering making some up some sets to sell on at cost plus postage. They are super tiny and I can fit a hundred or so easy in a very small tin, which is great for storage.

Free Digital Wording - 'DREAM'

Posted by Imy on May 28, 2020 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Just to say I will be uploading some digital word images as we go through the '52 Cards of Anything But Grey' series. You might find them useful if you are following along and even if you are not!. The first word freebie is a JPG and PNG file for the word 'DREAM'  which you can resize as you wish. I'll upload more of these, all in the Veteran Typewriter Font from time to time, so if you want it, just join up to the site and visit the 'FREE STUFF' pages.

52 Shades of Anything But Grey - Butterfly

Posted by Imy on May 27, 2020 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (0)

I am really enjoying producing this series of individual mini art projects. Each piece can be completely different and yet use the same types of materials and techniques.Today's topic in the '52 Cards of Anything But Grey' series is 'Butterflies' and the materials and techniques are:

  • Distress Oxide Background
  • Stamping
  • Perfect Pearls

I am using the same Distress Oxide background technique which never fails to impress and just has to be my absolute favourite medium to work with. You never know exactly what you are going to end up with but the results are nearly always useable, there are no wasted pieces.


I wanted to add a texture on top to provide some additional interest and didn't have anything in my stamp collection that gave me what I wanted. So, the mosaic stamp you can see over the top of the background is actually a stamp I designed myself. I am loving designing my own stamps as it gives me much more flexibility with my pieces.

The wording is also a stamp I made myself and the butterflies are simply a stamped image which I have made 3D by adding a cut out butterfly from the same stamp over the top. Some Perfect Pearls over the top gives a lovely shimmer that the photo doesn't really capture.

52 Shades of Anything But Grey - Sunset

Posted by Imy on May 27, 2020 at 8:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Today's topic 'Sunset' was again inspired by the background created with Distress Oxides. The dusty worn effect you get from these inks creates just the most perfect backgrounds to work with that you hardly need to do anything to them. I actually didn't make the background to fit the stamps I wanted to use, it was just an happy coincidence. So the techniques and materials are:

  • Distress Oxide Background
  • Stamping

I have just added a simple stamped image using Stampscapes 'Leafless Limbs' and 'Cracked Earth' with some Archival Black ink. This provides a stark contrast against the washed background. The wording 'A picture is a poem without words', I think fits the image perfectly.


Again, this was a quote that I made into a mini stamp which can be used on all these smaller art card projects. If you are interested in these mini-quote stamps I have been using during this series then drop me a line using the contacts form.

52 Shades of Anything But Grey - Fairies

Posted by Imy on May 25, 2020 at 6:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Another beautiful background for you today. This is a tried and tested technique that can be used to create a lovely palette on which to mount anything. I have loved the magic having the stamped image being revealed for as long as I have been crafting.The topic is 'Fairies' and the techniques and supplies include:

  • Stamped and chalked background

First off I have just stamped over my paper with various Tapestry stamps with a woodland theme. Then gradually add color using chalks, brushing over lightly and building up depth by adding more stamped images, chalking them and so on.

Here you can see how the layered effect creates real depth to the image, almost like you are looking through the foliage.

I've added a vintage fairy image with crackled glaze and some appropriate wording with a couple of paper flowers and some twisted floristry wire. Some vintage photo and tea dye distress inks around the edge of the card adds a bit more depth and and aged finish.

Absolutely adore this effect!

52 Shades of Anything But Grey - Canvas

Posted by Imy on May 24, 2020 at 7:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Today's card in the '52 Cards of Anything But Grey' series is a bit more of an arty affair. The image of the face is widely available on the web as public domain and in fact Hampton Arts made a stamp out of it. I really like it because it seems to convey so many different emotions and thoughts. The image and the background really drove this piece and I just went with the flow. I am pretty pleased how it all turned out. The topic was 'Art Canvas' and the techniques and materials include:

  • Distress Oxides Background
  • Stamping - Stazon
  • Dry embossing and Metallic Lustre finish

So the background was made as part of the Distress Oxide Series which we ran here on the blog a while ago. It is in 14 parts and this one focussed on creating a background with the Distress Oxides in the usual way and then using a damp cloth to wipe off the oxidised part, which leaves a gorgeous rich and glossy effect. You can read more on the link.

The background can then be stamped or used as you wish.

The image was mounted on the card but placed behind a glass tile which is actually a coverslip like you use with a microscope. These can be fairly easily picked up on Ebay and open up a realm of crafting possibilities.

I stamped the glass coverslip with a crackle stamp from Andy Skinner using Stazon as this won't stick to the glass otherwise. The whole tile was mounted on a piece of silver card, run through an embossing folder and then wiped over with Metallic Lustre Black Shimmer to give a worn metal effect....dare I say 'Grey'.


The sentiment is another quote I used to make a tiny polymer stamp. I love using quotes as they really help to describe the image you are trying to convey and you can basically say anything you want, fitting the words to the image rather than trying to fit an image to the words.


That's it for today, I will be posting another card in this series tomorrow!

52 Shades of Anything But Grey - Reading

Posted by Imy on May 23, 2020 at 6:15 AM Comments comments (0)

After a break the series is back! With a break for various life crisis, including thinking I must be dying with coronavirus, with all the classic symptoms, I have managed to drag myself back into the craft den to do what I love to do the most. I won't bore with the details but I am happy to be back playing around with inks, embossing powders and generally making a huge mess of the place. Anyway, here is today's project using the following techniques and supplies:

  • Stamping
  • Perfect Pearls background
  • Heat embossing on acetate
  • Distress Glitters
The topic is 'Reading', inspired by the lovely vintage image of the two girls looking at a book.


I have stamped with versamark or similar on the black card and brushed with a combination of perfect pearls, opting for the golds, pinks and purples here.



The finished effect is just beautiful and the photo does not do it justice. I think the finish is reminiscent of vintage flowered wallpaper. The stamps I am using are Tapestry stamps, really useful when working on small pieces like this, as they are all tiny.


The flowers are from Stampin Up, (I think 'Botanical Blossoms') and I have stamped on acetate and heat embossed with black soot embossing powder before adding some Distress Glitters on the reverse side. I love the Distress Glitters as they have such a grainy, rough finish that really does give a vintage feel, especially with those lovely muted colors.


It is a good idea to make a whole of these at once and keep them. Here are some more with more autumnal colours.

The photo was covered with a thin layer of crackle glaze to give a very fine worn effect. The sentiment is a quote that I have made into a polymer stamp, perfectly sized to fit these mini art pieces. I tend to make a whole bunch of these at once using wording that I like rather than being stuck with those on mass-produced stamps. I may well do a blog post on making those stamps as it seems daunting at first but is actually pretty straightforward when you are into the swing of it!

As with all these '52 Cards of Anything But Grey' projects they can be mounted onto a card blank pretty easily, with just some silver and black card mats cut to size for this one. I think this would make a lovely greeting for a friend that loves her books!

Drop by again for more in this series, the purpose of which is to showcase some of the wide and varied techniques you can use to create a whole range of beautiful backgrounds using your inks, powders, glitters and glazes.

52 Shades of Anything But Grey - Mum

Posted by Imy on April 24, 2020 at 4:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Today's card in our '52 Cards of Anything But Grey' series is a simple flower design based on a texture paste stamped background. As you can see the decorated playing card has been mounted onto a card base, so if you have been making these mini art pieces along with me, don't think that they don't have a use beyond being an example of a technique that you file away in a display book. Each and all of the designs featured can simply be mounted onto a card when you want to use it.

Techniques used are

  • Stamping
  • Distress Ink Background
  • Stamped Texture Paste

This one is on the theme of 'Mother'. I sadly don't have my Mum anymore but I know she is around me and her birthdate is coming up so she is in my thoughts a lot right now. She was a keen crafter, dabbling in many different crafts and the lesson she taught me was to have a go, don't think you can't do something until you have at least tried. She had a go at so many different crafts, that cost her a fortune in supplies but she eventually found her love with flower arranging, in which she really excelled, winning many prizes.

The background was a Distress Oxides base stamped over with a scripts stamp and Sepia Versamark ink. You can see the background more clearly in the second picture above. Then, I used a texture paste thinly spread and a stencil (a reverse image one that created an indented effect). The effect is to make the flowers appear slightly darker and the rest of the background shows through the lightly applied texture paste, almost like a delicate tissue paper covering. I have added a torn paper edge at the bottom of the card and then covered it with a flower embellishment which was just some paper roses and some leaves with a twirled piece of flower wire. The stamped greeting finishes this piece. I think it would make a lovely Mother's Day card or just present it on a mini easel as a display piece!

If you want to find out a bit more about how the background was done then search for the 14 part Distress Oxides Techniques posts on the blog search bar above, where all of these techniques have been covered.

52 Shades of Anything But Grey - Beach

Posted by Imy on April 21, 2020 at 6:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Stuck at home during the lockdown I have really been enjoying this little art project - '52 Shades of Anything But Grey'. Each playing card art piece only takes a short while to make but the end result is something that is marking the days as they pass, so that this point in time, however difficult, is remembered. Don't forget you can mount these easily onto a normal greetings card, so the effort is not wasted, it has a use! I have simply mounted mine with a few foam pads to give some dimension. This makes a nice notelet style card for a friend and is so quick, you could make up a batch all at once.


The topic was obviously.....'The Beach' and the techniques used are:

  • Distress Oxide Backgrounds
  • Stamping

When I make these cards, I work from the materials back to the topic. This one was inspired by the stunning background produced with Distress Oxide inks, which reminded me of a sunset beach. I miss being on the sand, getting my feet wet, so this very quick card takes me back to better times. You can find all about how to create lovely Distress Oxide backgrounds in our 14 part series. Just search Distress Oxides in the search bar at the top of this blog or you can visit the 'Tips and Techniques' section on the left hand sidebar.


Note: The gorgeous sentiment comes from a Darkroom Door stamp set - 'Seaside'.


If you want to join in then please post a link below this blog or on the Facebook page. I would love to see what you make, so why not take the opportunity, while life has slowed right down to get back to doing what you love to do. That is precisely what I have done with this series. I am trying to keep my spirits up and the boredom at bay. I have lots to do actual work to do but this craftwork feeds the soul, don't you agree?

52 Shades of Anything But Grey - Nature

Posted by Imy on April 17, 2020 at 6:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Today's card in our series '52 Cards of Anything But Grey' is on the topic:


With the lockdown, many people have been spending a lot more time observing the things around them and that includes nature. I am lucky enough to live right near a country park and have been making the most of the one walk a day we are allowed. The new lambs, cows and many birds of all kinds are lovely to watch and being forced to slow down having the time to notice them is a special gift in itself. As before, the topic is inspired by the background. It kind of reminded me of honeycomb or something similar, so I decided to go with a Bee theme here

The background was done with a stencil and some texture paste. I have a recipe for a make-your-own texture page here on the site under the Tips and Techniques tab on the left hand sidebar, so if you don't have any it is easy to do. Top tip is to let it dry fully before adding any colours over the top.

The Distress ink finish - total fan of these things but definitely not paid by Tim to say that - multiplies the dimensional effect by orders of magnitude. I am not keen on flat art, I love dimension, so this really feeds that obsession. The sentiment was typed out on an old manual typewriter I found clearing my parent's house before Christmas. The kids have enjoyed playing on it and I found that it makes nice typed wording.It is a bit rough and ready but that is the effect I wanted.

Thanks for reading! The next topic is 'The Beach'.

52 Shades of Anything But Grey - Wishes

Posted by Imy on April 14, 2020 at 6:10 AM Comments comments (1)

If you are following this series - thank you, joining in - even better and if you are new, welcome! Today's project in the '52 Cards of Anything But Grey' has the topic:


Techniques used include:

  • Distress oxides tissue paper background
  • Crackle glazing

As usual, I worked from the background, which again is based on Distress Oxides but this time I am using a piece of scrunched tissue paper. The paper picked up the inks in a really unique way and I just loved the floaty, dreamy quality of it with the creases giving the texture. This inspired the topic 'Wishes' and the lovely fairy image suites it really well. The detail notes for how the background was done are in the Projects and Tips section on the left hand sidebar, under the Making Backgrounds section. For some reason I can't link to anything from this blog anymore without it looking a mess!


I want to credit where I got the image but can't find it again, so if you know, then drop me a line.


I have used the crackle finish again as it has such a nice vintage effect. A fantastic find is a silver Sharpy pen, which I have never tried out before. I have used this around the edges of the card and it was so much better than any of the silver pens I have had in the past. I think the sentiment is nice too, we are never too old for fairy tales. What do you think?

If you want to join in with the challenge, just post a link or photo below the relevant post on the Mementoes in Time Facebook page. The next topic up will be Nature.


Posted by Imy on April 10, 2020 at 8:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Due to huge amounts of spamming on the comments over the last few years, I had to shut them down. It was getting tedious removing them all the time and I have no doubt missed quite a few of them.

Comments are back up again but each one needs authorising, which is the only way to go so if you do leave a comment it won't show until it has been checked. There are spammers amongst the members of the site also which doesn't help. You can leave a comment on the Facebook page also if easier.


52 Shades of Anything But Grey - Join in!

Posted by Imy on April 10, 2020 at 6:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Here is what we have made so far this week!

If you would like to join in you are most welcome. Just post a link or photo under the relevant post for each topic on Facebook or under the blog post for each topic. Make anything you like, the only requirement is to use a playing card or a piece of card the same size as a normal playing card. You are restricted on space only!


I am no expert, but I wanted to do something to lift the spirits, occupy the mind away from work and the things going on right now, so came up with this. I am featuring different techniques each time and the idea is not to have to copy it, as getting craft materials is difficult right now, but to work with what you have. Everyone sees the world differently and we all make beautiful things, so maybe seeing these cheers somebody up!


Topics so far are: