Welcome to my blog

Welcome to my blog and thank you for visiting today, I hope you will stay a while. Slide shows are at the bottom of this page.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Thank you - 102 follower blog candy. Extended to 30th Sept.

My blog candy will end on Sept 30th - see the details at the bottom of this post and please enter if you want. This post is pinned to the top, please scroll down for newer posts.

I planned this card to fit in with the latest Marianne challenge, use your newest Marianne product, as well as numerous black and white challenges, however I can only find one of those now and that is Stampotique (oh and that has ended too - but luckily the bow lets me enter the newest challenge) - so I guess I missed the boat on the rest!
It is a lot different to any card I have made before, change is good.
My latest Marianne product was going to be just the stamp set (CS0858), which I bought recently, but then I spotted this chicken wire embossing folder and die set (DF3404) - ordered it and it arrived this week. 

I stamped the letter from the set and cut hexagons from it with the die, black ink and white card. These were mounted on the embossed hexagons of the black square. Then the negative of the hexagon die, expanded, was trimmed and used on the black embossed square. I stamped the postcard, frank, watch, quill and a stamp from the set, the stamps and quill were coloured with Graphit pen in turquoise, in fact I air brushed the large stamp using my little spritzer and the Graphit marker! The black panel was mounted on a square of glittered white card and attached with white brads. I had some b&w Papermania Designer paper that was just right for the larger panel, around which I tied black and white polka dot chiffon ribbon. I had some black and white Prima blooms that were perfect, and found some polka dot brads for the centres. The sentiment is stamped from a Fiskars set. Finally I added a bow and some black glitter paper hexagons, and two white buttons. I think you can put more clutter on a monotone card without it looking too trashy - I hope so anyway!
This is the inside of the card, same paper and panel cut with Spellbinders scalloped square.

It seems appropriate that the card is a Thank You card.

Whoo hoo - I came in the top 3 at That's Crafty

That's Crafty - use stamps (Aug 22nd) - Top Three

I have entered the following challenges:
Marianne Design Diva's - use your newest Marianne stash (Wed 13th Aug)
Stampotique Designers Challenge - bows SDC159 (Wed)
We Do Doobadoo - shabby chic (Sat 23rd)
Pink Gem #125 - embossing (Sat)
Allsorts - #271 All sentimental (Sat)
Papertake Weekly - anything goes - optional torn paper (YAY I have torn paper!) (Tues)
Charisma Cardz - buttons and bows (Aug 20th)
Creative Fingers - #45 Anything goes (Fri 22nd Aug)
Stamping Sensations - anything goes (Aug)
Cards Galore - anything goes (Aug)
The Artistic Stamper - Anything goes (Aug)

102 follower Blog Candy.

Here is the first item in my 102 followers blog candy! I was thrilled to find I had got to 100, and even more thrilled that 102 people actually want to follow me, and combined with my recent birthday and several challenge wins myself this year, I decided I should give a little candy to my followers.
I will add some more bits to the candy, the winner will get this Tonic die and some other nice goodies, maybe stamps, ribbons, buttons, charms and more!
Here's a bit more candy, this is a useful set for Christmas.

Would you like to see a little more of what might be coming your way?

Here is some more candy!
 A few bits of lace.....
An assortment of charms......

and more goodies not shown here!

If you would like to win my candy please leave a comment, and add your link below.

I haven't decided on a closing date - I have set it to the end of August, maybe I will extend it - I will see how it goes!
My candy is ending on 30th September - whatever happens! You don't have to tell people on your blog, but it would be nice if you do!

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Thank you card for hubby

My hubby recently left his job of many years as carpenter handyman, to take a similar part time job and give himself a better work life balance. I made this card for him to say thank you for his generous leaving cheque and many cards and wishes.
I used Visible Image stamp sets inside and out to stamp the images. The letters were die cut with Sizzix dies, and I first stamped some kraft card with the wood grain stamp from the set, the other letters are cork. Behind the cork letters I stamped the metal manhole cover pattern, the wood stamps have a cork shadow. The drill, saw, hammer and paint roller are stamped, heat embossed and fussy cut, the paint, splodges (I like the splodges), lock, key, wrench and screwdriver are stamped directly onto the background.  They look quite sparkly I think, even with no glitter. I used brads on the letters, and made a mini post it note to go on the cork H like a notice board.

Inside the card the insert is stamped with more Visible Image stamps, and with Fiskars Thank You stamps. I added a piece of baker's twine to finish.
He just needs to deliver it now!

I have entered the following challenges:
The Paper Shelter - ribbon, twine or floss (Wed 24th Sept)
Darlene's NBUS - 25th Sept (my NBUS the Visible Image stamps, and the Fiskars stamps).
Creative Fingers - #49 anything goes (Fri 26th Sept closing)
Crafting at the weekend - #5 anything goes (Sat 27th)
Visible Image - make it sparkle  (Sept)
Cards Galore - make a card (Sept)

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

WOYWW #276

Having got back into the peeping activity that is WOYWW recently I was unable to take part in this weekly delight of snooping last week because I was not allowed to use my arm much, the reason being I had managed to get cellulitis at the weekend. I think it was because I had cut my finger stupidly while cutting a carrot in half for the dogs, the cut was into the crease of my knuckle on the underside of my finger - don't ask how because I don't know!

When it happened I had to go to Hemel Hemstead hospital and wait a couple of hours to see a doctor and get antibiotics. I had been getting on very well with my crochet cardigan but was told not to use my arm (to prevent the infection spreading) and definitely no crochet! So that meant no crafting really and I had such plans when I got back on the Monday! 
I had a weird reaction to the first antibiotic, pins and needles in my cheek, then my nose and lips, and then my head. The more I took the worse it got - so down to my doctor on Monday to get different tablets, the pins and needles stopped thank goodness but the new tablets brought new problems which I put up with until I finished them this Monday. I think I am only just getting over the side effects now.
So I thought I would show you this, I think these count as vintage crochet now. I made them between 30 and 39 years ago, and they are drinks mats which have never been used. Every so often I give them a wash and dry them then store them again! See my walking boots? They leak when it is very wet in the fields, not always but it seems if the grass is long which makes me think the fur is taking in water. Here they are drying out. I have tried proofing them, which is not supposed to be necessary, and doesn't make a bit of difference. I can only wear one type of footwear now and that is Kalso Earth which has ergonomic feet shaped inserts. It is hard to find, very expensive and I haven't found these boots for sale anywhere since I bought them. I have a fetching high pair of snow boots in green nubuck laced up the front, which are everything proof but they rub me and make my feet sore usually so get worn maybe once a year!

This is my swan doily made around the same time, should be on a pretty dressing table maybe. I don't use any stiffener to make them stand up, just shape and pin while they are drying. See my earrings? I have some new silver ear wires so will be using these again, I can only wear silver or gold and one of the wires went missing!

 As soon as I could I decided to consolidate my boxes and tubs of unmounted rubber stamps waiting to be mounted on EZ or to have laminated sheets made to file them into one box, here it is! I think Julia has a name for this activity along the lines of rearranging stuff to make one feel less guilty?

The pink bin is full of little stamps I have got with Craft Stamper over the past few years but not all of them, some are on laminated sheets. Some are rubber and more recently they are polymer cling stamps. The pink and green baskets are full of clear stamps waiting to be put away, there is a system and I just need to fit them in to the correct place (well the system is also being rearranged a little too).

 You might ask how the decluttering of my stashberg is going - slowly I think! Some folks have snapped up some real bargains and I keep finding more to offer them.

Years ago I was fond of buying mystery boxes of stash from the USA, and goody bags or bundles from the UK too, and the problem with that is you end up with a lot of stuff which you will never use, but it looks interesting so you stash it away!

 The danger with getting out NBUS (never before used schtuff and Darlene has set another challenge to use it) and thinking about selling it is that you also think about keeping it (well I do and that is why I am in the state I am). For example I promised my buyers a Bigz die, didn't say which one, but when I got it out and did a first ever die cut with it to show people I began to think I might like to use it after all! This morning I opened a box that was lurking on a shelf and it was full of La Pashe stuff, a pack of die cut Christmas decoupage and backgrounds amongst other stuff. Ah I thought, I could sell that, I don't even like ready printed decoupage really - but when I bought it I thought I could make up some quick and effective cards for friends and family - still could for this year (but will I?).

Desk right now, just taken. I thought it would look tidier, ha ha! I have been stamping some images as I store them on laminated sheets to go away. I have a project in my head which is to make tags for the stamp folders so I can identify where the stamps are quicker. This will work best where the folder only contains one brand of stamps or maybe two I think. There are a few projects on the go here, and that die I was going to sell (see below)- can you see the die cut so far? I have found a different die to sell, just one you understand!

I used to make jewellery, and sell it to my colleagues of years ago, but got rid of most of my supplies when new colleagues weren't interested. But I have bought beads, findings and a bead tray thing thinking I could do some jewellery making again - have I done it? No! I have a few things somewhere around the room waiting to be fixed, and I haven't even done that!

So you see I have to agonise over some of the stuff that I should be able to let go of, I see similarities between me and those people on TV who have houses full of stuff so they can't actually get into rooms or sleep in their beds, or the compulsive shoppers who even rent out units to hold all of their purchases, they had to buy it but don't really want it! Is that me?

The other danger is the stuff other people are selling, and I have already bought a few thing with the money I got for selling my stuff! I have my eye on a couple of more pricey things too - no stop it! (Slaps face).

I also keep winning more schtuff, I won some blog candy, and recently I have won a $25 voucher to buy more Kraftin Kimmie stamps, for showing my collection of them. At least they have their own dedicated folder and there is some space in it!

Anyway this week seems to have flown by, I think due to me losing a lot of last week sleeping! The weather here is lovely and sunny and it is due to change they say, well we are half way through September. We have harvested a few pounds of our own tomatoes now, they are small this year.

I better get on with decluttering, crafting, ironing - it is Slimming World tonight and I need to iron my trousers to wear, I have no idea if I have lost weight this week but will find out later. A couple of weeks ago I thought I had found the reason I was not losing weight as I should be (I have lost over 2 stones, or 28 pounds but I lost more and put some on then yoyo'd for months), and the first week I realised my error I lost 3.5 pounds, but the next week I put a little back on. Last week I didn't lose any but when we were away I had two meals home cooked for me that had more oil than I would like (the oil was not measured so beyond my control to count it properly), this week we got invited to dinner at my parents, it was nice, I had the boiled potatoes and not the roasties, and there was veg, but Mum said she cooked my chicken breast with butter (BUTTER EEEEK), because I don't eat bacon and she wrapped everyone else's chicken in bacon. It is hard getting people to understand the concept of the plan, or that I want to lose more weight, and my cholesterol isn't great right now! As well as that meal I don't think I have been as strict as I should have been, when you are feeling unwell and you have a nasty taste in your mouth the whole time it is more difficult to be good.

Well I think I have bored you enough. so if you want to go and snoop round other peoples desks or messes, and if you want to join in too hop over to The Stamping Ground.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Quirky remembering summer days!

I wasn't sure I would be able to make anything for the new challenge starting today because last weekend I got cellulitis (a very nasty potentially deadly skin infection) in my arm (had it before always in a leg), and we were staying with my Son and family so I had to go to the nearest hospital Hemel Hemstead and wait for a couple of hours to get some antibiotics. I was told to keep my arm still, important not to spread the infection or I could end up hospitalised on a drip. so I wasn't able to finish my crochet or do all the crafting I had planned.

As well as that I had a nasty reaction to the first antibiotics so had to go to my GP to get different ones, and although the reaction I was having vanished the new antibiotics have made me feel very ill all week and I have one day to go on them. Yesterday was the first day I felt a little better and I had a terrible night last night ironically.

About my card, which is all you really wanted to know wasn't it! The sponsor of our Quirky Crafts Challenge is the wonderfully quirky Bugaboo! The challenge set by Lyn is Memories of Summer, and we did have a wonderful hot summer that lasted longer than usual (too hot for me most of the time), followed by some very cold weeks at the end of August and now we have Summer again in September at a very tolerable temperature for me.
I used several Bugaboo images and made them into a scene, I used Crab Boat, Crab Sand, Crab Scuba,  Seahorse and Fried Chicken (who comes with a sentiment saying "Fried" Chicken too). There are lots more cute crab images at Bugaboo, kite flying, sun bathing - all sorts.
I coloured my images with Promarkers, added a bit of glossy accents to the sunglasses, scuba masks and bubbles - this went wrong when far too much came out of the bottle and I tried to scrap some back off, so some of the colours of the sea look a bit odd because there is gloss underneath! I finished the sea by painting it with Mica paints, then I added some blue and white striped twine and a brass lighthouse charm. I will take a photo of the inside - I found some blue and white striped paper that matches the twine to add.

I remember sitting looking out over the beach at Torquay where everyone was swimming in the sea this summer!

My card has sailed into the following challenges:
Through the Craft Room Door - anything goes (15th Sept)
Papertake Weekly - repeat repeat (two crab scuba images, 3 seahorses) (Tues)
Divas by Design - anything goes (Wed)
Creative fingers - #48 Anything goes (Sat)
Little Miss Muffet Stamps - anything goes with certain brands (23rd Sept?)
Crafting at the Weekend - 5 anything goes (Sept)
Cards Galore - make a card (Sept)

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

WOYWW #274

 There must be more room on my desk, because when the ebosser once more failed to perform I got the Crossover out (shhh, it is hidden away in it's own purple carry bag on the floor usually and is my little secret). Well it cut using the Bigz XL die through the same card I tried on the ebosser, only it cut like butter perfectly first time which was a bit of a relief because I only tried it out on a few dies when I first got it and was worried I had wasted my money for nothing! Also I never have recieved my personalised plate for the machine, I must try and chase that up. So I ran a Tattered Lace die through 4 times with the metal shim under it and it almost cut all the way round, I think maybe 5 or 6 passes would have done it! The Tattered lace dies were a bargain on ebay, which again I thought were possibly a bad buy when I couldn't cut them with any of my die cutters, but I will persevere.
This was taken from the other end of the desk. You can see the house card in progress here, the finished card is shown in the previous post, and therefore you will realise that these photos were actually taken Tuesday. You can also see the Crossover's purple tote on the floor in this one (and a lot of other stuff).

Hey I am so early joining in the nosy round day of the week at The Stamping Ground - where the wonderful Julia started this trend of sharing our creative spaces messes weekly.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

New home, might be a tad small.

 I noticed a moving van outside a week or so ago, and deduced we must have new neighbours - therefore I must make them a card! I have only just got round to this, and I spotted a challenge at Artful Times called Use a House Shape. I have the same TH die that Guest Designer Sam used, and I have Artful Dwellings, but what could I do for a new neighbours card?
Well the front is pretty CAS and was stamped with some Tanda rubber stamps by Sue Law, which are coloured with Promarkers. I managed to find some "road" ribbon too, and masked off the first half of the sentiment (ok I messed up the first time and ruined my panel, if you mask the stamp then ink it you really should check there isn't ink on the tape!), added some dots, mounted the panel on red card then a green 7"x5" card blank made from card in my stash - the only problem here was that this die was NBUS, so totally unknown as far as results went, the instructions said a card blank minimum 5"x5.5" and I think the 5.5" is needed for the height not the width of the house as a tiny part of the tabs on the roof were showing when closed!

 The die cut house, using a Sizzix Bigz XL die, was assembled and inserted according with the instructions, and the rest of the sentiment - masked off again, and dots added was die cut and added inside.
 Front of the little house popped up. Out of shot I had to weigh one side of the card down to keep it like this.
 A different angle, here you can see the little welcome mat I made, and more could have been added like flowers up the side of the house, a garden - I felt like I had gone back to my childhood! See the number 3 on the door? That was die cut and embossed with an embosslit alphabet die by Sizzix.
 Does doodling the roof tiles on count as tangling? I added a little brick detail with a Prismacolor pencil.
View from the back. I was quite pleased with the end result, the next one will be even better I feel.

I hope that a never before used die counts as new for Die Cut Diva's, I also used my new die cutter - first time trying a Bigz die on it, and the die cutter is the Cheery Lyn Crossover.

This card is popping into the following challenges (max 5):
Papertake weekly - anything goes (Tues)
Through the Craft Room Door - anything goes (Sept 8th)
Artful Times - use a house shape (Fri 12th Sept)
Technique Twist - outside your comfort zone - well it has taken me years to pluck up the courage to make a pop up card! (13th Sept)
Die Cut Diva's - use something new. (Sept)

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Red Red Wine, Quirky style.

Monica and I came up with this challenge, based on the brand new images supplied by our sponsor - Crackerbox Palace.
 I thought I would make a bottle shaped card, so I printed two bottles side by side, flipping one of them so they matched. I coloured them with with Promarkers.
I wanted a real shine so I printed them again on acetate. I spent ages trying to colour the acetate with green alcohol ink, then with some of my ancient glass paints, and finally with Promarkers. I couldn't get a smooth all over colour effect so I gave up on that, and left it clear. I printed the bottles again on parchment to cut out the lables for the bottle which had the words and grapes image also from our sponsor. The acetate went on top of the coloured image and the parchment lable was cut out to go on top. I added some foil which was in the recycling and came from my favourite chocolate, so I have a nice chocolatey scented wine bottle haha. After sticking the foil to the front bottle I cut a tag and stamped it with a Debbi Moore stamp. I was trying to avoid the pink look, and in real life the bottle looks much darker, I think the acetate under the lights made it lighter!

 The card needed lining inside to hide the markers from the other side, so I printed the two bottles again on parchment, this time I added the two funny sentiments from our sponsor, including the funny tick list!

 The back of the bottle, and I used the wine glass here, the glossy accents I used (because I didn't have a printed acetate glass the right size) are not yet dry, so again I will take another photo and replace this one.

This is a photo taken against the black outside of the photo studio in an attempt to capture the colours better!

So the challenge - well we want anything wine related, or wine colours, should be easy enough! Hop on over to Quirky Crafts to see more examples and join in.

Also don't forget I have blog candy for you, extended to 30th September. See the post pinned to the top of my blog to enter.

I have entered the following challenges:
Tuesday Throwdown - anything goes
Cute card Thursday - anything goes
Divas by Design - Happy Birthday (Wed)
Graphit Markers - transparent effects (5th Sept)

Thursday, 28 August 2014

WOYWW #273

Ermmm, Happy WOYWW - on Thursday! I sort of forgot yesterday, I was busy trying to make some cards that I planned to start for 3 days, then I couldn't find the stamp - can't think why lol.
Anyway this messy pile is the remains of a much higher pile I am gradually sorting, I did find that stamp (which I looked for in every Tuff Box, then in my unmounted red rubber in case I was wrong about it being wood mounted) under the huge pile of "stuff", and even better - I found my metal ruler that I have been looking for since last week! That is now in the carousel, and I can't believe how much better that thing is that the soft "Stuff Bucket", it holds so much and spins round so I am putting my scissors back after I use them, or my pokey tool and so I will always know where they are! Well until the novelty wears off anyway!
I found another pair of scissors today, so gradually the desk is getting tidier - I know you can't tell!
I am reuniting stamps with their sets ready to go away too, and freeing up acrylic blocks, even laminated a sheet for LOTV stamps, but I have a few more to go. I have sorted out a few more stamps to get rid of, only a few so far! By next week I might have started on my tags to label the stamp storage files, the tags are cut ready.
I think I have a few people to visit back from last week as well, so apologies if I haven't yet got to you.
If you want to join in this wonderful weekly snooping event hop on over to The Stamping Ground now!

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Quirky's going postal!

 It's reminder time at Quirky Crafts, and the challenge is called Put a Stamp on it! Anything post related will do! I chose this image which is one of three images in the Mr Frosty set available from Stitchy Bear Digital stamps, our wonderful sponsors for this challenge.
I coloured the image with Promarkers and Permapaque gold pen, then die cut it with a Spellbinders die, and cut a mat in blue Papermania paper. I have added some gorgeous ribbon with snowy houses along the bottom and this is one of Crafty Ribbon's exclusive ribbons called Night  houses. The background paper is also Papermania, and it came in a colossal pack which means you get 10 of each design so there are plenty to decorate the inside too. The greeting is stamped with a Papermania clear stamp and heat embossed in clear powder. Finally I added a couple of little wooden snow people.

So hop on over and join in the fun at Quirky Crafts Challenge blog now.

I have posted this to the following:

Through the Craftroom Door - anything goes (25th Aug)
Papertake Weekly - to die for (Tues)
Art by Mi Ran - Anything goes (Fri)
Christmas Card Challenges - Photo inspiration - or not (Sat)
Crafty Ribbons - celebration with ribbons (Thurs)
Daring Card Makers - Parties and Festivals (Fri)
Crafting at the Weekend - anything goes (Aug)
Creative Fingers - #46 Anything goes (5th Sept)
Polka Doodles - get organised for Christmas (5th Sept)

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Carousel - altered art.

I posted this photo of my partly painted Carousel ages ago, last year anyway. It is a Kaisercraft Carousel that came in white, or off white anyway. I thought it was just crying out for the big white spaces round the edge to be decorated, and I started it - but other stuff got in the way and it stayed on the floor under other stuff until yesterday. I had a kind of life changing moment, which is described in the previous post!

This is the carousel on my desk right now. I can't turn it due to the stashberg next to it, so the next task is to sort that out a little, and I have the pink "Stuff Bucket" which was in that spot before. I went through that and moved a lot of stash over to the carousel, and already I can find it better and organise it better. I found stuff I forgot I had and haven't seen for a long time as well as a couple of mystery objects!

I got my stencils out and "Air Brush" marker spritzer and my Promarkers and Graphit markers and got to work. The stencils are all Creative Expresions ones. I love poppies, and airbrushed them in two colours. I think I need to add a butterfly somewhere, a charm or a stamped one maybe.

This panel has birds on overhead wires and I overstamped with Visible Image feathers, birds and a saying, it is hard to read the saying which didn't work well but it says "free your imagination". You can see the spritzer in the organiser.

This was the first panel I did last year, I didn't have the spritzer then so I used Cut n Dry foam to dab it, then over stamped it with the cogs.

I love this stencilled effect, I used a Graphit turquoise marker to air brush this one. Needs something else.

 Raindrops, I will have to find an umbrella to add!
Finally part of a scene, just the houses.

Then I painted round the rims with some Plaid Folk Art Acrylic paint in burgandy, it doesn't go right the way inside the drawers. The rest of the paint is either by Indigo Blu or Paperartsy. I painted two coats of burgandy then this morning doodled on it with gold Permapaque pen, which was one of two pens I chose with a gorgeous Stampendous stamp as my prize from the Woodware challenge I won.

I think there is more to do to this, more to add to the stencilled panels, more doodling and those drawers look a bit bare now don't they? I am thinking of adding brass charms maybe to the panels.

I have entered the following challenges:
Anything but a card - #38 repeating patterns (Sun)
Allsorts - masking and stencilling #272 (Sat)
Pan Pastels - #20 bold and bright (14th Sept)
Through the Craft Room Door - Anything goes (Aug 25th)
Stamping Sensations - anything goes (Aug)
Visible Image - anything goes with a Visible Image stamp (Aug)