Monday 30 April 2012

Sitting in a birdsnest's not raining this morning and I even caught a glimmer of sun, but yesterday was another real washout and our local tally is near enough 9 inches for the month.

But I had a really lovely surprise to distract me from the rain over the weekend, I found out I had won the challenge over at Pan Pastel, it was my very fist time of entering so call it beginners luck. I've not really entered challenges during the last year since my eyes and mobility decided not to play fair with me and just restrict it to a limited few, so that made the win an added joy and my thanks to the challenge organisers and DT.

So I thought it was only right I entered again this week with one of my recent samples for Stampalot, I think the new La Blanch image is a perfect one for the Springtime theme. The image has been water coloured and some light masking and brayering for the background. I made the rose from a five petal punch and added some beads to a pin to embellish.

All 'ingredients' listed below, but please ask if you want any specific details that I might have missed.

Have a good week everyone and if your not a confident swimmer, make sure you keep your armbands on, you might need to swim home from work or the school run today.

Pan Pastel Challenge - Spring Time

Saturday 28 April 2012

Spring blooms

Well it's still raining here in the Fens and construction of the Ark is well under way. According to my in house weather man who records the rainfall religiously, we've had 7.6" so far this month and it's rained 20 days out of the last 28. Do you get the impression I'm getting paranoid about the weather ? Well probably I am and April will certainly be a memorable month if only for the volume of water that's fallen.

I've been scooter shopping again this week, the mobility kind that is and not getting on too well so far. As we live well out of the village we need to drive to get anywhere, so what they call a boot scooter which break down into 4/5 pieces for transportation is required. All fit into hubby's car OK, but my boot is another matter, the new style MX5 has a more contoured boot and although the inside is just about big enough, the actual aperture is smaller. But I've not given up on the idea and have a man coming out next week to show me a US made one which folds rather than dissembles which may fit my boot, I did say may, I don't want to get my hopes up too much. I'll keep you posted.

Now about my card which is for this weeks  Allsorts challenge, I don't remember the last time I made a shaker card, so it was a nice surprise when Nicole chose that as here theme this week.

Our sponsor this week is A Passion for Stamps so this is a double DT piece really using one of Ruth's new pieces of artwork the beautiful Alstromeria which I have coloured with watercolours in soft lemons on watercolour card. The DP is from one of the pretty new Teresa Collins pads onto which I stamped the Penny Black sentiment.............think it's still my all time favourite sentiment stamp. I cut an aperture in the card blank and placed acetate behind, punched some tiny butterflies from the same DP for the 'shakers' and used double sided foam tape to create the space between the acetate and sentiment. Thumbnail pictures and links to all products below.

Some die cut swirls and border cut from the same DP and finally I threaded some coordinating beads onto a couple of pins.

Hope you all have a good weekend and thanks for visiting, I always appreciate your comments.

Wednesday 25 April 2012

Down the bottom of the garden

I won't say anything more than Morning to you all, as the weather is so atrocious the the word good is far from applicable. Will Spring ever return I wonder ? It's rained solidly for two days now, but will it be the right sort I wonder, as I am told not all is, whatever that can mean.

A really quick share as it's busy at work this morning, so fitting this in with my coffee. Another card using my current favourite fairy stamp Harietta, stamped through an oval mask and shaded with ink dusters. All the ingredients can be found in the thumbnails below.

I am entering this into this months Create a Scene challenge which is 'Silhouettes', it's my second entry and I thought I would stick with the fairy theme.

Hope you all have a good day.

Monday 23 April 2012

Outside my comfort zone

Good Morning Peeps, I hope you all had a good weekend. We had a real mixed bag weather wise again, rain, sun, hail and even a -2 frost Friday night, but hubby got a good few hours in the garden between showers so was a happy camper, which meant plenty of inky time for me.

And I totally forgot the update on my hospital visit, probably because there was little to report, MS is unpredictable and each time there's a relapse some things never go back to where they were before........tell me something new ! Add to that worn facet joints and disc herniation and pain is inevitable and they doubt my walking will improve much. So looks like even more crafting on the agenda. 

A few weeks ago I admired a piece of work that my friend Lee -Crafty Loops had created using the TH birdcage and bird and she immediately offered to send me some ready cut. Panic set in as I really struggle with die cuts as I never quite know where to put them on my work, they usually end up looking like a badly placed afterthought. So for a couple of weeks they sat looking down at me from one of the wall racks in my craft room, all neatly packed in the little bags Lee sent them in.

Then Saturday I decided I had to try and work with them and told myself crafting is all about stretching ourselves. So I decided I would follow my normal inky route doing lots of background stamping and try approaching it that way and bit by bit it sort of came together. I inked the bird and cage and embossed randomly with some vintage embossing powder, made some roses using TH tattered floral die and a punch for the smaller ones, grunged up some lace with distress inks and that was my card. In fact I actually quite like it and made a second almost identical for a friends birthday later this month.

I know I don't often enter challenges, but thought I would enter this into:

Pretty Little Ribbons - 'To die For' - three entries allowed and this is my third, unheard of !
Pan Pastel - 'Add a flower' - a new one for me.

Have a lovely day everyone.

Saturday 21 April 2012

Ribbons and Roses

Saturday Morning means it's time for a new challenge at Allsorts and this week my teami Emma has come up with a sketch for us. And our sponsor is the lovely Sarah from Pretty Little Ribbons whose store I stalk regularly, if you love ribbons and pretty embellies then you must check it out.

I have gone floral.......just for a change..............and used Penny Black 4237K Awakening, I think this really is my favourite from the Spring releases and lends itself particularly well to inking with inks and spritzing with water to get that lovely water coloured feel. On this occasion I used my lovely new Distress markers stamping onto Fabriano card. I also stamped the background with Hero Art 2365 Old French Writing.

The Teresa Collins DP is from the new range now in store, I am really liking these as they have a lovely texture as well as being beautifully coordinated making them so easy to work with. I made a couple of roses from organza ribbon, some Spellbinder leaves and a punched butterfly.

Whatever you have planned hope your weekend is a good one.

Wednesday 18 April 2012

A journey of 20,000 miles

Good Morning Peeps, I think winters returned, it's so so cold again.

My share today is one I made for our neighbours who have the fields adjoining our own, who set off at the weekend on the most amazing journey. 

They will be travelling 20,000 miles by road to Kazakhstan and Mongolia on a trip that will last for six months, you can read a bit more about it on their blog here. I do hope some of you will pop along and offer them some moral support and by all means tell them you came from me. They are also raising funds for a number of charities along the way and will be updating their blog as their journey continues and I for one will be keeping regular track of their progress.

I knew the card must have birds as he is something of an expert on them and like us both love the natural rural landscape where we live. So I have tried to capture that in the card using a bit of masking, inking and brayering and a mixture of stamps. I was going to make a computer generated sentiment, then came across this one in a box which I think is either Inkylicious or Sheena Douglass...........problem with unmounted is I get them all muddled up and soon forget which set belonged to which.

I'm off to the hospital shortly, my physio arranged the appointment as I am not progressing as she would like, but the reality is it's just a process they have to go through and I'm not expecting to hear anything new or positive, just the usual "well MS is unpredictable".

Have a good day whatever you have planned. 

Tuesday 17 April 2012

Lattice work

Good Morning Peeps, is it raining in your neck of the woods, it's been pouring here and the wind's blowing a gale, whatever happened to Spring ?

I have a couple of shares both along the same lines. One of the great things about being on a design team is that you see so much inspiration on your rounds and last week I was totally blown away by Hussena's beautiful card which was one of my Allsorts Top 5 entries. I was itching to try out the lattice technique so mailed Hussaina to ask if I could case her card and she gave me her blessing, so I must thank her for the inspiration for the two cards in this post.

After cutting the aperture the thin strips of card......I used linen cardstock.........were stuck to the reverse and mounted onto foam tabs to raise the front element. The flowers on the top card are paper pieced using the lovely Lily stamp are from A Passion for Stamps (direct link below), die cut leaves, swirls and butterfly and little wire swirls.

My second card is made in exactly the same way, but this time I tried using a piece of DP behind the lattice panel and made roses from coordinating DP and the leaves were lightly inked whilst still in the die.

Have a good day whatever you have planned and thanks so much for dropping by.

Sunday 15 April 2012

My challenge........

Using the new Teresa Collins DP's, Penny Black stamp inked with 
Tim Holtz distress markers, Spellbinder edgabilities 
and Fleur de Lis and Hobby House pearls

Good Morning Peeps, how's your weekend going ?

Mine has been pretty quiet so far, seems to be the story of my life nowadays and it's really cramping my style not being able to walk far, but I have started the ball rolling to get some sort of lightweight scooter and might even share a picture shortly.

Meanwhile I have been busy working away at some cards as I was set a challenge by Janice at Sir Stamplaot to get into action with the new Tim Holtz Distress Markers along with some of the other new goodies now in stock.

The Penny Black stamp is inked with Tim Holtz distress markers, Teresa Collins DP, 
Penny Black sentiment and Hobby House pearls which I think are 
fabulous value at £1.45 a sheet.

Since I started using the thumbnail system below it's really opened my eyes to just how many different things we use in making each card, no wonder we all run out of space.

I think I am most excited about the distress markers, they come in all the same colours as the inkpads so you can blend everything perfectly. One of my favourite stamping techniques inking the stamp and spritzing with water before stamping and for me this is when the new markers really come into their own as you can colour the smallest elements without bleeding, if you look at the card above you will see I even managed to get some blue into the middle of the leaves and it stayed put.

Penny Black image again coloured with Tim Holtz distress markers, 
some soft sponging using the same colour distress inks and some punched butterflies

Have a good Sunday everyone.

Saturday 14 April 2012

Buttons and Threads

Hello folks, time for another challenge at Allsorts and this week the lovely Fleur is hosting our theme which is "Buttons and Threads".

My first DT piece is one of the samples I recently did for Sir Stampalot using one of the Spring release La Blanch stamps. I stamped the image onto cream cardstock, coloured with Copics and inked and embossed with detail clear three times to get a glass like finish. The DP is from stash, mats cuts with Nesties, a punched border, three buttons and ribbon. You will find pictures and names of all items used in the thumbnails below.

Another sample card, this time using another new stamp from Penny Black which I stamped and embossed with detail clear, then inked with distress inks and added glossy accents to the flower head. The DP on one of the new designs from Teresa Collins which I am really loving, there are so many beautiful designs and some fabulous colour combos. I also added a border using one of the new TH sets, did a bit of stitching a button and some thread.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Wednesday 11 April 2012

A Passion for Flowers

Good Morning Peeps, how's you week going ? Mine is all messed up and I am losing days, it's always the same with bank holidays especially this time of year as no sooner I'm sorted from one another comes along.

Two quick shares before I kick into work proper, both cards using stamps from Ruth's A Passion for Stamps and both making good use of my Spellbinders.

The Alstroemeria image on the top card was printed onto Fabriano watercolour card................I always used 300gsm HP.........and coloured with Derwent's and some Magnolia DP. The Crab Apple Blossom flowers on the bottom card are paper pieced with DP's from stash and on both cards I have used seam binding from Pretty Little Ribbons.

I am entering this into Pretty Little Ribbons April challenge 'To die For'.

Have a good Wednesday everyone.

Monday 9 April 2012

Fairy silhouettes

Good Morning to you all, I hope you are having a lovely Easter holiday. If you are in the UK then you might well have rain as we do, but what better opportunity than to stay in and craft.

Our internet went down yesterday and this morning is on an off so thought I had better post this quickly before it goes again.

All the goodies I used are below, basically some simple brayering and stamping using the lovely arch dies, I was unable to find them anywhere to give the link, but they are made by Go Create which I bought at Stamperama and I am pretty sure it was from Once Upon a Stamp, so it just might be they are out of stock at them moment as they are not showing on their web site.

I would like to enter this card into this months challenge at Craft a Scene whose theme is 'Silhousttes'.

Thanks for dropping by, I always appreciate your visits so much.

Saturday 7 April 2012

Molly Blooms goes to the fair

Good Morning, time for another challenge at Allsortsit's my turn to host the theme and I have come up with a game of Bingo, here's the grid which  you  will  also  find  over at  the  challenge blog and I hope you will find time to join in.

I am still testing out a new way of listing the products used on my work with the little thumbnails located down the bottom of my posts, you can click on each one to get full product details or even copy and print the individual thumbnails to take on you next crafty shop. It's amazing how it opens your eyes to the amount of products you use in just one card................bit like baking really, lots of ingredients..............which I recon totally justifies the need to keep buying crafty stash.

The fairground carousel at the top following the 'yellow, pink and blue' line is one of the pieces I made for the recent NEC Trade Show using the new Molly Blooms stamps. As soon as I saw the carousel stamp land on my door mat I saw a carousel in my mind so set about making it. I used Nesties to create the base and roof, stamped the image onto a long piece of cardstock which I then scored at intervals about 2cm deep top and bottom to fold inwards to create a lip to fixed to the base and roof to create the central element. I stamped the horses a second time to decoupage after colouring all with Cosmic Shimmers to achieve a bit of fairground glitz. The instructions sound pretty basic and I guess they are, although it took me the best part of a day to assemble it all.

My second piece is a nice messy inky creation. I dabbed the distress inks onto a silicone craft sheet, spritzed with Glimmer Mist and dragged a piece of watercolour card through before randomly stamping the background. The flower stamp has been cut out and the centre decoupaged, some pearls and seam binding and finito.

Whatever you have planned, have a lovely Easter weekend everyone.

Wednesday 4 April 2012

Trying out a new system

Hello peeps, from a wet, windy and cold Cambridgeshire Fens, can't see there's much chance of an Easter like last year when it was barbie time.

This just a really quick experimental post with a different way of detailing the products I have used. It's because so often people mail me and say they like something or the other but can't find it anywhere or not sure what they are looking for. So I am going to try showing little thumbnails of the main products used in each piece I share, with a link to the codes and product details so you can either order from there or alternately know exactly what you are looking for if heading of to the local craft shop.

This one using one of the new La Blanch stamps has been nicely distressed, the very slightest hint of watercolour on the image, hessian leaves which I find cuts beautifully with Spellbinders through the Grand Calibur.

Let me know what you think and if it's more useful to find what you are looking for.

Tuesday 3 April 2012

Bright and sunny card despite the weather

Hello Peeps, it looks like the weather men got it right for once, it's pouring here and black as Newgate's's phrase I've used since a child after hearing my Granny often refer to the phrase yet never actually knew the origin. So I just Googled it, logical really the knocker on Newgate prison !

I wanted to enter this months Pretty Little Ribbons challenge so am sharing the Easter card I made for my Cousin who lives on the Norfolk coast, the nearest to a brother I ever got and we've always been close. I included the card in a package I sent to him and his partner yesterday with some pretty pots to grow herbs in their conservatory and a fruit cake.............why fruit cake, well like me he is diabetic and the occasional piece of cake is a real treat and a bit of a standard joke every time we talk on the phone.

I have used lots of Spellbinders in true Sue Wilson fashion, the border ones are Fleur de Lis and the circle ones picot edges Nestablilites. The flowers are a mixture of Spellbinders and Marianne and the leaves are also Spelbinders and the DP Bo Bunny. The ribbon and seam binding is from Pretty Little Ribbons and a stick pin to finish it all off. Oh and there had to be a bit of stamping, that't the Hero Arts sentiment.

I hope all those dies make this suitable for this months challenge at Pretty Little Ribbons whose theme is 'To die For'.

Whatever you have planned I hope you have a good Tuesday evening, mine involves one of our sons and his wife coming for dinner.

Monday 2 April 2012

Spring blossoms

Viburnum Burkwoodii........we must have at least a dozen different Viburnum varieties in the gardens but this one tinged with pink and lovely ball shaped blossoms is my favourite and a beautiful scent as well

Good Morning Peeps, hope you all had a good weekend. 

No card today, just a few pictures of the beautiful Spring blossoms in the garden. I was determined to walk to some of the shrubs closest to the house and take a few photos yesterday, although my back told me all night I had done too much and the Tens machine is back in use. But I so love this time of year I couldn't miss out on a closer look at some of the wonderful splashes of colour Nature brings us as if by magic each Spring.

Forsythia.........again several of them in the gardens but this one which stands 
at least ten feet tall and as wide is probably the largest despite having a 
really sharp prune in the Autumn

Spirea Aguta..........although they variety tends to be sparse we have a clump of several close together which give a beautiful display outside the dining room window

I love the beautiful winter fruits on this Ivy........I have a thing for Ivy and always plant the ones from indoor platers into the garden when the flowers finish. It never fails to amaze me how well they establish themselves, in our Secret Garden the are two, both originally from indoor planters that now completely cover the fences in that part of the gardens.

A rare Jasmine variety Sundaville's taken years to establish but now has an abundance of the delicate blossoms.

Mahonia Japonica.......this is one of several hubby grew from cuttings taken about four years ago which are now well established 

Have a good day everyone.

Sunday 1 April 2012

Penny Black all the way............


Can you believe it's April already, for me March seems to have disappeared in a flash but what better start to the new month than some new challenges at Stampalot and Penny Black and More. This is a bit of a long post, but so much to tell you about so hope you can stay with me.................

It's our second Birthday at Stampalot...........yes 1st April to be precise.................and we have a very exciting month lined up, in total there are fourteen prizes up for grabs with a Blog Hop as well as the challenge itself where the theme just had to be 'Happy Birthday'.

To join in the Blog Hope you need to staRt off from the challenge blog here and make youR way down the list of DT's who all have prizes on offfer. To be in with a chance of winning the individual pRizes you need to leave each DT memberR a comment then collect a letter from each, arrange the letters into two words and send your answers to me and a winner will be selected at random from all correct answers. When you arrive at my blog on the Blog Hop route you should have come fRom Clare's blog and make youR way next to Ruth. In case you've not guessed, my letter is 'hidden' in this paragraph and here's the pRize for the lucky person selected from all comments left on this post.

And at Penny Black and More we are getting all cute with the theme 'Oh so Cute', what a toughie for me, but I know so many of you love that theme and create some stunning pieces of work with your pretty images and beautiful colouring so this months it's especially for you.

My card at the top was an 'extra' make as I was totally blown away by the cards Kathy Racoosin made which you will find on her blog here. That stamp Penny Black 3431K Lace Flower was not one I initially bought from the new releases, but when I saw what Kathy done with it I had to have it as it totally lends itself to the technique. In her post Kathy asked people to give it a go, but I felt it only right to ask her before I blogged it and she gave me her blessing, so thanks so much Kathy. I won't bore you with what I did to make the card as Kathy explains it so well in her post.

I added a Penny Black sentiment, Spellbinder leaves, seam binding bow and a couple of roses which I made with some lovely new organzie ribbon from Sarah at Pretty Little Ribbons, the quality is superb with a lovely sheen which picks up the light beautifully when scrunched together in flowers.

My second DT piece for Stampalot uses another of the lovely new stamps from Penny Black 40-099 Black Soft Wings. I must accredit the inspiration for this card to my friend Paula who gave me the will to get my head back into crafting last month when my mojo had gone totally off the boil. Paula does amazing things with inks and stamps and had made the most beautiful tag here which spurred me into action to break open my new Penny Black stamps which had been gathering dust since they arrived. Thanks so much Paula. 

I stamped the edges of a piece of Fabriano watercolour card with Penny Black 3857H Footnote using versamark and embossed with detail clear. I then inked the piece with TH peeled pain and spun sugar and over stamped with Hero Arts 2365H Old French Writing..............I know again.....with peeled paint. I stamped the butterfly out twice to decoupage the centre and coloured with Derwent watercolours. The swirl is an old Inkadinkado stamp and the sentiment Darkroom Door.

Penny Black 40-042 Good Friends forms the focal image of my Penny Black and More DT piece, this was actually a Birthday card for one of my DT's but I know she has received it now so I am safe to share it. The image is coloured with watercolours. The background Bo Bunny DP has been nicely distressed and a piece of cheesecloth which I died with tea to give it a bit of an aged feel, swirls and flowers cut with Marianne dies and the little sentiment comes with the slapstick stamp.

Have a good Sunday everyone and I really hope you will join us in the new challenges this month.