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Sunday, 30 August 2015

Home sweet Quirky Home, part 1

Kemly set us the challenge of Home Sweet Quirky Home and picked out two file sets for us to use from our generous sponsor The Cutting Cafe. We have two of the huge sets of cutting files provided by our sponsors, one is 3d Houses and the other is Window sills. These are full of a variety of houses in different shapes and sizes and accessories even printable greetings, and they come in file formats for different cutting machines and if you don't have a machine they also come in .pdf format for printing and hand cutting.

I am running so late, I decided to buy a Klic n Kut, and bin the eCraft that was sitting like a useless lump in a box in the room, and it was due to arrive by Saturday (yesterday) which it did. My attempts at secrecy failed when hubby took delivery as the postie arrived the same time as our visitors, whoops! If he hand't taken it in in disgust he would probably have noticed the noise by now, I have been tidying my craft room/office like crazy and rearraging stuff - not sure you would notice yet, but I was going to try and get away with the moving thing - it's been there years I just moved it sort of thing!

Anyway with any new computerised or electronic, or even manual piece of equipment there are instructions to read, and a learning curve. I stayed up to the earlybbours due to not being able to get on my PC until late partly due to my visitors and partly due to my son who is visitng trying to help me sort out a problem I have with my new monitor (which may well be going back for replacement), and I got the Zing Air to do a test draw, test cut and tried to cut my first house and failed. I went to bed and got a few hours sleep then had to get up as we were looking after a three year old for the day.Today I managed to cut our the start of my house, then forgot the instructions on assembly (too many new instructions in my tiny brain) and assembled it wrongly. So tried to cut that part out again and the machine would not work. With the help of someone on the Klik n Kut facebook site I have managed to get it going again, so will keep on with this as long as I can stay awake, but the finished article might appear tomorrow when our visitors have departed.
Here is my new baby and on the top is a house stand I cut out, a how not to assemble your house example in yellow and how to do it properly in red! I have put a couple of magazines under the Zing which seems a lot noisier than I was expecting having watched the videos and read up on it, it might be the metal stand it is temporarily on isn't helping, it will be on the wooden bench eventually (could make it worse). So I am trying to finish this but not wake my little grandson up!

I was the lucky winner of 6 months of new releases from The Cutting Cafe last year, and at last I have something to cut them with apart from hand cutting! Not all of the files are cutting files, some of them are full of loads of digital images for printing.

In the meantime you can see some really cute houses and windows by the team at Quirky Crafts and join in with anything home related to win your own files or printables.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Katy's bribery candy

Katy is offering candy if you are a follower, or become a follower of her lovely blog - I thought I would post it because there isn't long before it is drawn on Sept 1st!

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Quirky embossing reminder.

Once upon a Sunday it was reminder time.....this cute digi is from Sweet Pea Stamps and is Lisa Victoria's Dragon Luck. The image is coloured with turquoise Graph'it Markers and ProMarkers, then die cut with Spellbinders. The Spellbinders label has some embossing round it and I added some pink lace.
The sentiment is die cut with my IO dies and has a gem dot to the "i". 
The background is embossed with a Cuttlebug folder and the flowers are punched and embossed with Nellie Snellen punch and emboss sets and have ProMarker and micro-bead centres.
I found some narrow satin ribbon in the exact colour of the cardstock.

The challenge is also sponsored by Limited Runs and Robyn's Fetish and as usual our top 3 each get a prize.

So hop on over and play embossing with us at Quirky Crafts, or just come and see the great examples the team have made today!

This card has fluttered into the following challenges:

Tuesday Throwdown - texture (Tues)
Fab and Funky - things with wings (Wed)
Inspiration Destination - #47 anything goes (Wed)
Crafty Gals - anything goes (Thurs)
A Gem of a Challenge - for the girls (Sat)
ABC - P is for Pretty in pink (Sat) (10 challenge rule)
Glitter n Sparkle - Happy Birthday (Sun)
Creative Card Crew - lace (Tues 1st Sept)
Coffee Chocolate and cards - use a sentiment (Fri 4th Sept)
Creative Fingers - #90 anything goes (Fri some time in the future lol)

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Very Quirky embossing and sugar skulls.

This beauty is Helena Reis's Dia de los Muertos from Sweet Pea Stamps, I think she is gorgeous! I used a Sizzix Tim Holtz cracked glass embossing folder with Coordinations paper sanded to reveal black. The Life is a Beautiful Ride paper is from a My Minds Eye chalkboard stack and it is matted onto a red sparkly square of card, and the paper behind is Papermania as far as I remember.
I coloured the digi with Promarkers, her hair is blue and it looks much darker in real life, I might have to darken it down.
I added black lace and some skull and crossbones ribbon to the bottom, and two gem flowers.
All of this is mounted on an 8" x 8" scalloped card blank by Cardcraft. 

Hop on over to Quirky Crafts to see more like this.

She has crept into the following challenges:
Crafty Gals - any holiday day of the dead (Wed)
Cute card Thursday - anything goes
Addicted to Stamps - Make your mark (Wed/Fri)
Our Creative Corner - Mexican Moods (Sept 4th)

I made top 3
Ikes' World - #44 F is for fashion (Tues)

Quirky emboss it.

Myriam is leaving the Quirky Team to pursue other interests, and this is her last challenge to us. We will miss her loads, she is so talented.
Quirky Crafts has three sponsors for this challenge, Sweet Pea Stamps, Limited Runs and Robyn's Fetish.
My first card is made with a Limited Runs digi set called Birds on a Wire with another of their digis called Birdhouse 2 set. The sentiment and a few more come with the birds on a wire set.
I coloured the digis with Promarkers, cut out the panel with Spellbinders and fussy cut the birdhouse. The background is embossed with a set of three little embossing folders that came free with Card Making and Papercrafts magazine a while back, and I enhanced the embossing by rubbing chalks over it, although I don't fix them with hairspray because I am allergic to it!

I am running late with my Sweet Pea card but I will try and beat the deadline, if not it will be along later.

Hop on over to Quirky Crafts to see some even better examples of embossing and to play along with the team. All you need to do is include any kind of embossing on any kind of project.

This card has fluttered into the following challenges:
Cute Card Thursday - anything goes
Addicted to Stamps - make your mark (Wed/Fri)
Sketch Saturday - sketch
Fab n Funky - things with wings (Aug)

Tuesday, 11 August 2015


 This is a mixture of stamps and hopefully will be ok for at least two challenges I want to enter.

The typewriter doll is by Lost Coast, her sexy legs are by Unity Stamps, the circles and spirals are Rubber Dance stamps, and the type stamps are Craftwork Cards.

You might remember my altered French/English dictionary which I started as part of The Craft Barn challenge last year - well this is another page I have done in that dictionary.
The page is painted with white gesso, the typist is stamped on white card and coloured with Promarkers and a Distress marker, circles and spirals are stamped in Distress inks and the torn edges are inked with Distress ink.
The small Rubber Dance circles have words in them and say: "you are unique and so am I" and "this is different" - I think it is! She has typed - "I am not A Stereotype".
When I got careers advice a very long time ago the adviser thought all girls should become typists, he didn't like it if you wanted to become anything else!
I have a list of challenges I want to enter to try not to forget, and already one has passed by so I have to add a different one for that.

Challenges entered:
That Craft Place - anything mixed media (Sun)
Love to Create - #16 anything mixed media or inky (Sun)
The Craft Barn - pens (Sun)
Lost Coast - circles (you can use any stamps) (31st Aug)
Rubber Dance - colour challenge (Aug - 7th Sep)

Monday, 10 August 2015

I've been published

I hadn't read when my facebook friend Marg Byatt told me that my letter was in Simply Cards and Papercrafts issue #140 with the little notebook I made.
I used one of the dies that came free with the magazine to decorate my birthday book which I blogged about here. How about that!

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Gone Quirky fishin' instead of just plain wishin'...

 I'm still singing gone fishing, and if you want to hear that song by Louis Armstrong and Bing Crosby and a modern one on the first challenge post by Chris Rea hop over to Quirky now.

The team have been having fun with the great fishing images provided by Crackerbox Palace, and the really good news is that they are all 20% off until August 17th in honour of the challenge.

Alternatively you can enter our challenge and hope to win some of the images.

I used Smiley fish with the funny worm, along with the Drop me a Line sentiment and put them all in the Crackerbox Palace jar. The line the worm is on goes from the "i" in sentiment. I coloured the images with Promarkers and the "water" with Graph'it Markers. I've added real shells and some microbeads to the bottom of the jar and some ribbons that I got a long time ago from Crafty Ribbons. I used my wave blade on the rotary trimmer to cut a wavy edge which reveals the blue card insert when closed.

Don't you think of Finding Nemo when you look at this?

To play along hop on over to Quirky now, and you really should see the fantastic examples by the rest of the team too!

This card has swum into the following challenges:
Simon Says Stamp - tie it up (Wed)
Addicted to stamps - #156 anything goes (Wed)
Simply Papercraft - #10 anything goes (Fri)
Left of Centre - #90 inspired by a film - finding Nemo (Fri)
Allsorts - #232 inspired by Summer (orange) (Sat)
Ribbon Girls - anything goes with an image (Sun)
The Craft Barn - pens (Sun)
Creative Fingers - #89 anything goes (Fri 21st)

Country roads take me home...

I have two sets of Artistic Outpost stamps which I bought in a closing down sale, and I wanted to enter the Artistic Outpost challenge so I thought I would have a go.
I have stamped some of the images in shadow ink, decoupaged the truck which is coloured with Promarkers, and cut out the second set of words and re-arranged them around the Home stamp. I sponged the edges with Distress ink, and stamped the clock faces with it too. Home is metallic blue. 
I folded and cut a gold pearlescent card blank to mount it on and added some blue and white baker's twine.

Challenges entered:
Simon Says - tie it up (Wed)
Addicted to Stamps - anything goes (Wed)
We love to create - anything mixed media or inky goes (Sun)
Artistic Outpost - verses and greetings AO stamps (Aug)
The Artistic Stamper - anything goes (Aug)

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Unity tag.

I have labelled another of my stamp files, getting there slowly. This time it is Unity Stamps, and I used the caravan Itty Bitty stamp with a house from the Pixie Lane set to stamp the front of my tag. I coloured the images with Promarkers. The tag is die cut with a Sizzix Tim Holtz designed tag Bigz die.

The back of my tag is stamped with a snowpeep and an owl, I love that owl - looks like my Dad with those glasses. I coloured them with Prismacolor pencils.
Now before I did this I microwaved around 150 Prismacolor pencils, a tip someone pointed me towards when I was having a rant about the constantly breaking pencils, so much so that some were down to stumps before being used and most of them had not been sharpened because I was disheartened. Well I had tried the microwave method on a couple and it seemed to work, so I thought I would go for it and do all of them. This had mixed results, most were fine I managed to sharpen them afterwards and I even sorted them into shades of a colour. Around 40 of them were still breaking, and my metallic set suffered terribly both blistering on the outside and the wood developing pencil length cracks - oh dear. The 40 I redid, half of them worked, the remainder I microwaved for a third and forth longer time, I think they mostly gave in.

Oh and I just upgraded to Windows 10, it is free to do, was really easy and looks good. At first I thought it was a scam, but I found out it is genuine! 

I have entered the following challenges:
Passion for Promarkers - Summer lovin (Tues)
Papertake Weekly - anything goes (Tues)
Crafting by Design - windows (Wed)
I love Promarkers - in the garden (Wed)
Inspiration Destination - #45 anything goes (Wed)
Addicted to stamps - #156 anything goes (Wed)
Allsorts - inspired by Summer, what is more summery than a caravan? (Sat)
Die Cut Divas- favourite holiday - (Aug)

Life's too short.....

I love the sentiment that comes with this Itty Bitty red rubber stamp from Unity. I've often been tempted to start a blog called the lonely sock club, in which I would photograph all the odd socks that end up on my dressing table waiting for a friend, some wait forever - where do those odd socks go?
Anyway I wanted to enter the Unity Challenge (and I have) and this fortnight there is a choice of layouts or/and colour combo - see below. I know I have used green too, but the other colours are from the combo, and I used the sketch. This is much brighter than my usual cards I think. The socks were coloured with Promarkers, Happy Birthday is cut with an IO die, the panels are cut with Spellbinders dies. Papers are by DCWV and were chosen to fit the colour combo and the twine is Tim Holtz paper string.

Inside decorated to match.

I have entered the following challenges:
TTCRD - anything goes Aug 4 - 10
Glitter and Sparkle - anything goes (Tues)
Papertake Weekly - anything goes (Tues)
Inspiration Destination - #45 anything goes (Wed)
Addicted to stamps - #156 anything goes (Wed)
Unity - Be Inspired Jul 9th - Aug 13th (winners 18th)
Creative Fingers - #89 anything goes (Fri)
Chocolate coffee and cards - #87 frame it (Fri)
Fantasy Stampers - lots of layers (Sat 15th Aug)
Our creative corner - Mexico moods (Aug 28th)

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Gone fishing - that's Quirky!

My turn to set the challenge at Quirky Crafts and it is called Gone Fishing. You just have to include something fish or fishing related on your project, even a fish in a bowl.
Our sponsor is Crackerbox Palace and they provided all the images I have used and the sentiment, and to see more images and witty sentiments hop over to the Quirky blog now.
I coloured the image with ProMarkers and the sea is painted with diluted Brusho crystals, you only need a tiny bit to make a lot, I painted a sheet of watercolour paper to use it up and I still have some left!
I die cut the image and panels with Spellbinders dies and added some real twine to the fishing line, and some little fish charms (or are they beads?). The paper is by DCWV.

I hope you will come and play Gone Fishing with us over at Quirky Crafts, any project is acceptable and we allow a little backdating because nothing is more frustrating than seeing a challenge and knowing you posted the perfect card for it yesterday! 

This card swam into the following challenges:
Love to Scrap - #58 anything goes (Mon)
Passion for Promarkers - Jolly Holidays (Tues)
I love Promarkers - 3 or more layers (Wed)
Inspiration Destination - #44 anything goes (Wed)
Little Miss Muffet - hot Summer nights (Thurs)
Cute Card Thursday - citrus 
Pile it on - Sequins or beads (Sun/Wed 13th)
Glitter and Sparkle - anything goes (Sun)
Simply Papercrafts - anything goes (Aug 14th)
ABC - O is for open (Aug 15th)
Crafting by Design - anything goes (Aug)
Our Creative Corner - Mexico Moods (Sept 4)

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

A swallow's journey

I used my Rubber Dance stamps again, and this time I used this gorgeous swallow stamp stamp on kraft, coloured with Prismacolor pencils and masked to stamp some background before die cutting with a Sizzix stamp die. I added some Tim Holtz paper string to one side of the die cut and a boat charm to the waves.
Then I decided to add another background, using a stencil and Distress Ink I sponged some waves and stamped the bird in Ranger Van Dyke Brown. On the Kraft card it is stamped in black, as is the shell and the "waves". 
The card I used for the card blank is textured and that showed through the inking. My bird is on a migratory journey over the sea - can you tell?

This card has swooped into the following challenges:
Rubber Dance Blog - colour and travel (July)
Craft Stamper - take a stamp anything goes (Jul)
Left of Centre - use texture (Fri)
Graph'it Markers - colour Duos (Fri)
Love to scrap - anything goes (Aug 2nd)
We love to create - #15 anything mixed media/creative/inky goes (Sun)
Vintage Stamping - #34 travel (Sun 3rd)
Papertake Weekly - take your pick blue and green (Tues)
A Sprinkle of Imagination - anything goes with something from the shop (Jul - Aug 11th?)
Fab n Funky - no patterned paper (Aug 11th)

Fussy and Fancy - #144 things with wings - picked randomly to be GD

The dance of life

Rubber Dance that is! I finally got to use some of the stamps from my wonderful prize from Bibi of Rubber Dance, I posted about them and the very arty envelope they arrived in a couple of weeks back.
So here is another tag to add to my stamp folders to identify which stamps are where, and this is a case of the last stamps to arrived get tagged nearly first, as you might remember I did complete one tag ages ago! I cut a second tag from Kraft after stamping and colouring the image, with Memento Ink and Prismacolor pencils - not the best combination but I didn't attempt to blend the pencil so the ink survived - Stazon next time. I stamped the couple and two words - "together" comes with this stamp, then added colour to fit the Rubber Dance challenge which is a colour challenge with optional theme of travel. You don't have to have Rubber Dance stamps to take part either.
This could be a couple on vacation or honeymoon, they look so happy!

I added some blue lace and mother of pearl heart buttons, I distressed the edges and inked with Distress ink in Mahogany.

This is the back of the tag, a montage of some of the other stamps I won.

I am entering the following 4 challenges:
Anything but a card - anything goes (4 challenge rule) End July?
Rubber Dance blog - see colour and theme above (July)
The Artistic Stamper - tags (July)
Craft Stamper - Take a stamp anything goes (July)

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Quirky's still all white - alright!

It's reminder time at Quirky Crafts Challenge blog, and our sponsor is Stitchy Bear Digital Outlet who kindly provided images to the team to work with.
I chose to use this wonderful Snow Deer Scene by Ike's Art, and this is a set containing the main image that I used above, the scene with no deer, and both deer separately so that you have a lot of options for using different elements of it, or even decoupaging it.
I coloured the deer with ProMarkers, and as the challenge is everything white except for the image, this image is perfect! I added a little Ice Stickles glue to the snow on the trees and bushes and the ground to give that icy sparkle effect. The image is cut out and mounted on a scalloped panel die cut with Spellbinders Grand scalloped rectangles, then mounted on a white card blank made from textured white card. I used a Papermania Christmas Words set of dies to cut Christmas and Greetings from glitter card, and that is simply it.

My second card features the beautiful New Baby image, also by Ike's Art, which I die cut with an oval die then mounted it on to a die cut pearlescent frame both dies are from the same Card Maker set by Spellbinders. I coloured the image with ProMarkers. I added a small bow of pretty white ribbon from Crafty Ribbons, and die cut the word "Love" (with a Spellbinders die), which I think is all you need.

Please come and see the other gorgeous examples from the team and play along with us at Quirky Crafts, you could be a winner and win some of these wonderful images from our sponsor. Any CAS cards which have a lot of white space will work fine too.

I have entered the following challenges:
Snow scene
Tuesday Throwdown - Christmas in July
Papertake Weekly - build it up (Tues)
Addicted to Stamps - #154 CAS (Wed)
Cute Card Thursdays - pets/animals 
My Time to Craft - Christmas in July (Sat)
Christmas Card Challenges - anything goes #34 (Sun)

New Baby
Crafty Gals - To Die For #29 (Wed)
Inspiration Destination - #43 anything goes (Wed)
Crafty Ribbons - anything goes with ribbon #124 (Thurs)
I love Promarkers - CAS (Thurs)
Glitter and Sparkle - use something beginning with B - baby's feet image (Sun)
One Stitch at a Time - children #242 (Sun)
Fab n Funky - no patterned paper (11th Aug)

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Dog Sweater

 Alfie dog is old and suffers from arthritis, and we tend to leave his hair to grow in cold weather, however he now hates being groomed due to the pain and gets very knotted up. So the solution (I hope) will be to trim him and let him wear this sweater in cold weather.
Alfie is not a lover of clothes, he does not co-operate with dressing up, and his legs are stiff. Because of that I modified this slip on sweater pattern so that it buttoned down the back, the dog can just step into it and be buttoned up.
I'm working on another sweater for a friend's bigger dog at the moment.

I've entered a challenge:
Anything but a card - anything goes (Sun)

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Quirky crafts all white alright!

Monica set us a very challenging challenge over at the Quirky blog today, and it is All White. Everything on your project has to be white with the exception of any image you use. 
Our sponsors are the wonderful Stitchy Bear Digital Outlet, who provided the team with images and will provide our top three with prizes.
I used Cartoon Elephant leaning on a large pencil by Ken Benner, It is cute and funny and I wanted to stamp Happy under the pencil, which I hope I can get away with as it looks like part of the image (I hope).
I used Spellbinders labels number 1, one of my favourites which I have in plain, scalloped, fancy and grand varieties.
I coloured the image with Promarkers and some silver pen for the pencil metal bit. the elephant is fussy cut and decoupaged on top of another one (I hate fussy cutting, but you will read why in a minute.....). The panels behind are: scalloped, embossed with an Embossalicous banners embossing folder (which was NBUS until today), plain pearlescent, embossed with a Crafts Too Tied Together embossing folder in two parts (would have been a similar but bigger folder - see below), all then mounted on a scalloped 8" x 8" card blank. I added white brads, a gem to make his teeth sparkle and a gem star. The stamp is from a set by Marianne, and the word Birthday is the die from the same set which I used to cut out glitter card. The star border is also a Marianne die and has ribbon threaded through it, I had to cut two of them to fit and trim them a little at the ends. I used stars punched out by the die from the border to add round the edges. Finally Liquid Pearls in Opal White were added to the biggest embossed panel.

So what went wrong this time you might ask?
First of all after spending an hour or more colouring the image I reached for the stamp pad to stamp "Happy" then dropped it not once but twice onto the image. Luckily it only ruined the part where the pencil had doodled, so I had to either start over (this time stamping "Happy" before starting to colour like sensible people do), or fussy cut the image and decoupage it over a quickly coloured second one, I did the latter.
Second thing to go wrong was the second embossed panel, the first one was no problem, the second folder the eBosser took exception to and jammed it half way in. I tried the rubber mallet procedure but could not budge it. I went to bed and in the morning asked Hubby to help me. He couldn't shift it either, we took turns, he got a lump hammer instead of the rubber mallet, he got more bits of wood. We tried both ends, we took it outside onto a little wall so it was firmer, with cushions strategically placed for it to drop onto. Nothing, so we used half a bottle of washing up liquid trying to lubricate it. Later after stopping for lunch I had another go on my own and ended up with a large bruise from the rubber mallet on the base of my thumb! So I had to give up, get out the other die cutter and cut another panel and emboss it. So now I have a totally jammed ebosser with an A4 embossing folder jammed in it - any ideas (maybe bin it)?
Could it go any more wrong? Yes it could, if you add Liquid Pearls to your work, then forget and a) press down a corner that is sticking up, b) the whole card falls face down on your brand new home stitched hot pink mini photo studio background!
The moral of that story is wait for it to dry first!
Do you like the new pink background by the way? I bought an oddment of material, it has been cut and pinned for ages and finally I got the machine out and stitched it, not in my craft room where there is no room to work, but in the dining room! I wanted to make it a bit wider than I did, miscalculated the amount needed for hems, although it is the same width as the white, blue and grey panels that came with the studio.

This card has twinkled it's way into the following:
Tuesday Throwdown - bingo, stamp, enamel dots, die cut
Inspiration Destination - anything goes (Wed)
A Gem of a Challenge - Birthday (Sat)
Sketch Saturday - #370 
That Craft Place - words (Sun)
Little Miss Muffet - anything goes (Tues week)
The Ribbon Girl - Ivory (July)
Fab n Funky - no patterned paper (Aug 11th)

Won or top 3:
Allsorts - #320 add a banner or flag 

Friday, 17 July 2015

Happy Post and birthday gifts

 This gorgeous envelope arrived today, I didn't open it for ages and when I did I was careful to not damage the artwork by Bibi of Rubber Dance Art Stamps in the Netherlands, and inside....
Lots of lovely rubber! These are all the stamps I won in a recent celebratory giveaway on the Rubber Dance blog, WOW if I hadn't been so tired today I would have already got stuck into stamping with these babies! Thank you Bibi, now I need to enter the July challenge!

 I also won a challenge at Cute Card Thursday and got a £10 Bunny Zoe's voucher, Bunny Zoe's is having a 60% off sale so I got even more than I would have done normally, and at these prices I did add a little more to my order which arrived yesterday - thanks Nikki!

These are all of my 60th birthday cards and two ruby anniversary cards, which just goes to show that if you don't throw a party you don't get many cards! These are lovely and much appreciated though. The second from the left is hand made by Myriam - see below, the third was made by my Mum, the sixth is made by Marg - see below, and the eighth is made by Mum for Hubby to give me.
Today I decided to take them down and put them in a keepsake box, which is when I found I had so many more for my 50th, and even for subsequent birthdays but since I took early retirement I don't get any from work colleagues, and my remaining family members have all sorts of problems and haven't remembered I guess. Other friends who did know clearly only give if there is a party going on that they are invited to!
The keepsake box was slightly overflowing, I found some old photos in there and some keepsakes from the holiday to Prague that I had for my 50th - which I had forgotten were in there. I looked at another little keepsake box thinking there might be space in it, only to find it was full of embellishments I forgot I had. So another surprise today!
 Hubby's family didn't know about my birthday or our anniversary either, as the lynchpin of the family - mother in law who knows all the birthdays and dates to remember - has been ill and in hospital then a home for weeks and only returned to her home this week, so the news would not have got round to anyone, although she doesn't see much of the family these days so it might not have made much difference. MIL is the reason I am so tired today, after two good nights and days home she had a bad one and we were called out in the early hours, and she has continued to have a bad day so I had to call the doctors and get a home visit for her, but let's hope tonight will be better and she will settle down again.

 This sweet little card was made by Quirky team mate Myriam and came all the way from Costa Rica with the little gifts shown, Myriam I love it all - thank you so much! It even arrived just in time.
 This very elegant and opulent card was made by another crafting buddy, Marg Byatt, Thank you so much Marg, Hubby was much impressed with this one.

 These were little gifts on the day from Hubby, who is going to put money towards a new camera for me when I decide which one to go for, which could take me some time!
 My son Richard and his girlfriend Julie bought me a gorgeous rainbow seaglass bracelet by Seaham Waves, I have wanted one of these for a few years since I first saw them, I love it thank you.

I also had money from the parents, and my other son Chris and his wife Vanessa and little Kenny and bump, or I will have toward that camera - I really need to decide but so many things have taken up my time in the last few weeks and months I have been to the camera shop to try the weight of the ones I have thought about, but do I change to a CSC, big decisions!

I don't normally grow sunflowers, well not deliberately - the birds have planted the odd one in the past. This year I did, and these survived the onslaught of the moluscs, when this dark red beauty showed it's face I was quite surprised because I can't remember the seeds I bought being anything special, but they probably were as I got them from Thompson and Morgan. I will take a better photo of it soon.
This is another view of it. I have normal yellow ones growing too.

Finally - a while ago I bought The Cinch to replace the Bind it All, I am talking months ago too. I had not used it yet until I made this. Richard asked me for a list of birthdays and dates and I thought why not make a little birthday book. There are downloadable pages for this and instructions on the WR Memory Keepers blog. It was so easy, I am in love with The Cinch and think I will be making many more books. The Bind it All was a good little machine, and took up less room in it's pretty matching tote but I never managed to get the pages and covers quite lined up, or the right number of holes just where I wanted them but The Cinch has changed all of that. I covered the greyboard that I used for the covers with paper from a Sara Book, and I used a free balloon die from Simply Cards and Papercrafts magazine, part of set of two dies which are this month's cover gift. I added strings and birds in the sky with a Souffle pen and the birds, and die cut Birthday with a Spellbinders die and book with Quickutz dies. 

I have actually entered a challenge or two with this book:
Crafting from the Heart - #68 anything goes (Sun)
Papertake Weekly - don't be square (Tues)
Creative Fingers - #87 Anything goes (Fri)
Bunny Zoe's challenge blog - Summer breeze (Aug 9th)
Die Cut Divas - Summer (July)

Challenges won:
Incy Wincy - doodle what? 

Published in  Simply Cards and Papercraft magazine issue 140