The sponsor was Imagination, and I didn't have any of their stamps so set off to find some. First hurdle when I got to the web site the company had closed for a couple of weeks and I needed it to be here before then, so googled to find someone else selling them. I found some, and I picked just one large stamp called Echinacea which really appealed to me. I was being frugal, not working now so I try not to spend as much as I was on craft stuff.
Anyway I had an idea and, once the stamp arrived, I spent a week or more stamping images on card and acetate and I wasn't getting a good image. I don't know if the ink pads are drying up, or it was just me, I tried different inks, I tried brayering the card onto the stamp. I also bought some Imagination paints to use on the acetate but when I tried them the effect wasn't good, maybe I need to gen up on their use.
So with only a day to go I changed from trying to stamp and use images on card and acetate to stamping into melted UTEE. I got the melt pot fired up and melted some Hot Pink UTEE, then poured it out and stamped into it. I then applied some Mica powder to the center of the flower. I used a Kraft frame which I think is paper mache, and was brown Kraft colour (why is it called Kraft I wonder). I painted the frame with white gesso then applied alcohol inks to it with an applicator, the ink mix I can't recall now, it included a mixative. I stamped over the frame with the free Indigo Blue butterfly. Then I die cut first some DCWV paper with a scalloped inside, and on top of that a Kraft frame which was stamped with a Wordsworth quote stamp and I finished off with a few of the butterflies stamped and coloured slightly.
I am pleased with it, there are issues I am not happy with, like the frame center not being square so it was impossible in the time I had left to get the frame to fit, and the UTEE not being totally even in thickness though that is hidden by the frames. With more time I might have found a solution to the not fitting problem!
Looking at the winners I see that they all used more than one Imagination product, they probably got their entries in on time and not at 1:30am which was an hour and a half after the deadline, but I did have to put up with numerous power cuts that evening which didn't really help.
I bought more Imagination clear stamp sets at the Exeter craft show, which is the first place we went on route to Torquay last weekend. When I was looking I didn't see these online, for 3 sets it was a little more than it cost me for this one stamp, and I might have got on better with them.
I didn't spend as much as I have in the past at craft shows, I could have easily spent more. I bought a set of punches I had wanted last time but they had sold out then, some Kraftin Kimmie stamps at £2 each, bargain, two Memento Ink pads which I was ripped off on, they were 50p cheaper on the next stall I came to with them, and nobody else was selling them for £4 so I picked the wrong place to buy from. I also bought a larger than usual embossing stencil, some envelopes, some beads to use on crochet flowers (though the first ones I was sold might be too small, I did tell them what I wanted it for but then came across the wholesaler's stall where I was told that wasn't the ones I needed, I bought some larger ones I have been using - so another rip off). I also bought some cheaper than Pinflair non smelly silcone like glue from Spike the punch magician, which is where I got the punches and bargain stamps!
I nearly bought either a Scor-pal or Martha Stewart scoring board, both were at good prices, but I didn't do it in the end. I was really finding the plethora of pretty dies confusing, everyone has jumped on that bandwaggon, I know if I am seeing a good price on Spellbinders or Sizzix but I really didn't know if the prices on the other dies around were cheap or not. Looking when I got home I don't think they were any less than normal. I also saw some Just Rite stamp sets that are designed to go with certain Spellbinder sets, this is another exciting development that stamp companies seem to be taking up, Hero Arts with Sizzix, Just Rite and Unity with Spellbinders and who knows who else. I resisted buying any, though it was hard to resist, I have just received a set of Unity Stamps from the US and bought the Spellbinders set to go with those and got a really good deal on that!