Tuesday 31 July 2012

Poppy winners

It's not often I'm lost for words, but I was seeing how many of you took the time to enter my little poppy challenge, your friendship really has touched me and I'm not sure what to say to you all other than a huuuuuuuuuuuuge Thank You.

Each and every entry was stunning and reminded me..........as if I needed any reminding mind you...........that I have such talented crafting friends and no way could I choose just one winner, all of you are winners in my book, so I had to ask Mr Random Org., to do it for me. In fact I asked him to pick one for the Sir Stampalot voucher and then three more who I will send a little gift to, nothing wild just something which might come in handy.

The news on Buffy remains much the same and she is very much up and down, Saturday she wouldn't eat and had difficulty standing so we constructed a blanket sling to get her to the loo, then Sunday she bounced right back. Today she is very quiet and it took the best part of the morning for her to finish her breakfast, but she seems relaxed and in no pain, so will continue a day at a time.

I've gone on a bit of a fitness regime, well as much as you can when you can't walk or move too far, I joined the gym at the local Mariott who had a good offer going, six weeks unlimited use for £39, I'm not up to using the gym equipment, but I do love swimming and have been for a half hour early morning session every day so far, I'm almost up to half a mile each session now. They call the offer 'Fit in Six' not sure how fit I will be at the end of it, but can't do any harm as I see it.

So enough waffle, the winner of the Stampalot Voucher is...........................

Congratulation Beryl please mail me and I will explain what to do next.

And the three runners up are.......................

Well done you you three as well, please all mail me brenda@ibas.co.uk with your postal addys.

At the risk of repeating myself, a massive thank you to each and every one of you for taking the time to join my little challenge and share my poppy addiction, or should I say 'our poppy addiction'.

New candy challenge and June winners

Note: I have pasted the Inlinz for my Poppy Challenge onto the bottom of this post as well to make it simpler to find,  it won't matter which you link to as it will show up on both posts. I will make it a sticky as well.

Good afternoon everybody, my robotic fingers……… a.k.a. my word recognition system seems to be going well and I had a little venture into blog land today testing it out, next big test will be some challenge commenting over the weekend.

You do have to be a little careful with pronunciation I found, to my great embarrassment I sent an e-mail to a friend last evening mentioning the Big Shot Express, unfortunately it didn't spell shot quite right and replaced the 'o' with another letter, I'll leave you to make you own mind up what it actually typed ! Needless to say I didn't realise until after it has gone.

I think it's time I revealed the winners of my last candy and at the same time remind you that I also have a £20 Sir Stampalot voucher to be won. To be in with a chance of winning I'm inviting you to take part in a little challenge. I just love poppies and posted some pictures on my blog yesterday here if you want a peek, taken in the fields around our house, all you need to do is:

* Enter a card or any sort of crafty project which either has poppies on it, hints at the colour or idea of poppies or has an image coloured in with the beautiful poppy colours. Basically have fun and let your imagination run wild.

* Link your piece of artwork to InLinkz below.

That's it and as I said it's mean to be for fun, but if you want to grab the logo at the top of this post and pop on your own blogs, please feel free to do so. I shall be around to take a look at your entries ably assisted by my new software.

Now the two winners from my June candy are:


Congratulations to both, please e-mail me brenda@ibas.co.uk with your full postal addy's.

Saturday 28 July 2012

Casing it

Bleary eyed this is morning, but I couldn't miss the Olympic opening ceremony and wow what a spectacle. At the very beginning I was a bit doubtful seeing the residents of the UK being depicted as yokels, but then it just unfolded into a quite amazing three hours of entertainment. 

And the procession of the athletes was sheer joy, as they paraded into the stadium country by country their happy faces just radiated the excitement of the event. I was thrilled to see Bradley Wiggins given a central role and Steve Redgrave would have been my number one choice to carry the flame into the stadium, so I was happy to see both of those centre stage. And the idea of bestowing the privilege of lighting the flame on the young athletes of the future was a genius idea. Now I can't wait to see the games unfold and  fingers crossed some medals for the UK starting with our very own Mark Cavendish later today.
Now on to our new theme at Allsorts and my lovely teamie Emma would like us to 'Case It' at  this week, using one of the cards from her blog as inspiration.

I have gone with the colours and the circle frame, using one of Ruth's images at A Passion for Stamps and paper pieced the Nasturtium. I did a bit of random stamping round the image with good old HA Old French Writing using distress inks. Added some fine cheesecloth, a rose made from sheer ribbon, a string bow and leaves cut from a larger weave cheesecloth and lightly inked.

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

Thursday 26 July 2012

My poppy offering

Good morning Peeps, I've been a bit tardy to say the least with my posting this week and am not really sure where the days have gone.

But the weather has been glorious, such a wonderful change and I'm  keeping everything crossed it stays for a few more days. I've been pretty busy this week with Christmas samples for Stamp Addicts and will be sharing some of those next week, also I am such a lucky girl as I am also working with the beautiful new floral stamps from Tonic Studio designed by my good friend Ruth Hamilton which premiered on Create and Craft las week, again I'll be sharing some of those with the very shortly. 

We have been back to the vet with Buffy again today so they can check her out and the good news is that at the moment she remaines stable and the tumour does not seem to have grown any more since her last scan, although her temperature remains high. So the plan whilst she retains her interest in food and life in general........she still regularly rolls into her favourite position on her back, arms in the air inviting the others to play…….is that we continue to play it day by day.

I've been thrilled to bits this week to see so many of you joining in my poppy challenge, I came up with it just for a bit of fun and because so many of us love poppies which are in abundance in the fields and dykes this year, the fact that peeps have joined in and with such fabulous pieces of work has really made me happy. Thank you guys. Don't forget that there is still quite a few more days if you want to join in for a chance to win the £20  Sir Stampalot voucher, details in the post at the top of my blog.

So I thought seeing so many of you have gone to the effort of making lovely pieces of artwork, that it was only right that I made something myself and here it is.

Have a lovely Thursday everybody hope the sun continues to shine where you are.

Sunday 22 July 2012

Quintessentially English Garden Party

It's my week to showcase another card for this months Garden theme at Craft A Scene.

The news on my word recognition programme remains positive and I am slowly catching up with everyone. There are a few foibles I still need to sort out on the pronunciation, but I thinks that's more down to me that than the programme. But from what I have seen thus far I would certainly recommend it to anyone with dexterity and similar problems.

My thinking behind this card..............bearing in mind I do live in a bit of a fantasy world, is three elegantly dressed ladies attending a quintessentially English Garden Party. It is also the card I have made for our eldest daughters birthday in a couple of days...............I'm safe, she doesn't blog.

I used some masking to create the sun..............you all know there has to be one or a moon................and dusted Adirondack inks to create the sky and hills, then stamped the ladies in black archival ink, the flowers using TH distress markers direct to stamp and the blossom which I coloured with Copics and decoupaged.

If you have not already joined in the challenge there is still plenty of time so I really hope so see you there.

Saturday 21 July 2012

A tad distressed

Good morning one and all, do we think there is any chance of sunshine here in the UK this weekend ? I certainly do hope so, this ongoing rain is becoming more than a little tedious.

Before I tell you about a new challenge at Allsorts this week, a little reminder that you can win a £20 Sir Stampalot voucher by joining in my little fun challenge which you can read about here. And I really should clarify that although I waffled on about poppies you don't have to use poppies on your card, you can just use the beautiful red colours as inspiration, I realise that not everyone is as fanatical about buying poppy stamps as I am……… and one or two other peeps out there I know….… you know who you are !!

So so back to this weeks Allsorts challenge where Fleur have chosen the theme of 'Distressing', as you can imagine I was quite at home with this one.

We have a new sponsor this week, a New Zealand company Flonz Craft who very kindly provided all of the Design Team with stamps to use on their work, one of those I selected was this pretty bird image and as the stamps as so beautifully detailed I simply stamped with distress inks and pulled the colour out a little. Some nice grungy edges with some frantage powder embossed here and there and I also added some to the TH fence die. The DP is from stash but I think it may be MME.

Hope you all have a great weekend.

Thursday 19 July 2012

Updates, a candy challenge and my new robotic fingers

Good morning to you all, I hope everyone is OK.

I'm not sure where to start really, I know lots of you are waiting to hear updates on Buffy's health and I really must thank you all for your wonderfully kind comments and e-mails. I's been a very difficult week and will tell you a little more about her shortly and also what brings me back to blogland quicker than I anticipated.

As you all know I have sight and dexterity issues associated with my MS and lately leaving comments have been really hard……… I'm sure many of you have seen some of my atrocious spelling.......believe it or not I can actually spell, it's just that my fingers and head don't work as a team ! 

But I think I found a solution in the form of a word recognition program, I've been looking at the system for weeks and decided eventually it had to be worth a go, so yesterday my delivery arrived from Amazon. I've got the Dragon 11.5 Premium system and so far I have to say it seems quite awesome, it took all of half an hour to install and run through the voice recognition process and last night I spent some time sending e-mails to test it all out. And this is my very first post using the system, so expect a few errors until it gets to fully recognise my voice…… but I literally have to just sit here and talk into a little microphone and the type appears before my eyes….… how clever is that. Needless to say I'm now wondering why it took me so long to get round to buying it.

Now I will tell you a little bit about Buffy, we went back to the vet's this morning and things are much the same as last week, her breathing is still laboured due to what they believe are secondaries in her chest and the mass around her spleen creating an ongoing infection. She has been on antibiotics for two weeks now but her temperature remains very high. If she was younger than eleven and a half they would undoubtedly operate, but they believe she's too poorly to consider that so it's very much taking it a day at a time and she remains on antibiotics, but she is coming off them at the weekend as having them on a permanent basis will create it's own problems so I guess the telling time will be early next week. The vet assured us that she is not in pain and while she remains relatively perky and interested in life and especially food, we will carry on and play it by ear.

Last week when we learnt how ill she was I have to confess to have been totally shell shocked, we knew she was poorly but never for a moment expected to be so bad and coupled with my own health issues felt I had to take a break. But the reality is that Buffy is so used to laying with me either in my office or craft room  it's better to keep things as normal as possible. So that really was what prompted me to finally go for the word recognition system.

So why all the pictures of poppies I hear you ask, well I love poppies and know lots of you do as well and this year seems to be a brilliant year for them, perhaps they're the only ones that really enjoyed this rain for days on end. Each time we've gone across the Fen to the vets this last couple of weeks I meant to take my camera but kept forgetting, but this morning I remembered and thought I would share with you just how beautiful the dykes and verges are looking around here at the moment........for those of you who have never been to the Fens you can see just how flat our landscape is, but also very beautiful with crops as far as the eye can see. We live just to the left on the top picture give or take a field  or two. As you'll see, not too many neighbours and nobody pops in on their way past by chance because most of the roads are just dirt tracks leading to fields.

And because I know so many of you love poppies I thought I would have a little challenge of my own by inviting you all to come up with your own take on all these beautiful photos, be it a card or piece of artwork bursting with poppies, a single poppy or if you don't have a poppy stamp why not use the beautiful colour of the poppies to colour your favourite image.

All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning the gift voucher above, is make your piece of artwork, post it on your own blog and add it to Inlinkz below, you can even lift the logo and use if you want. 

Let's see how it goes and I will let it run until 31st July by which time I should hopefully have got my act together properly. Have fun everyone and coming round visiting your cards is going to give me the perfect opportunity to test this new word verification system properly.

Saturday 14 July 2012

A challenge for the DT

Saturday morning is upon us again which means it's time for a new challenge at Allsorts and this week it's my turn to host the theme and I thought I would thrown a little twist on things and set the DT a challenge of their own. I sent them all a little kit of bits and pieces which you can see below. The DP's varied slightly but all came from the same colour family, apart from that everyone had the same.

And the challenge for all you lovely crafters is to take inspiration from the kit and/or one of the DT's cards and tell us in your post what you opted for.

I was unusually frugal with my DP's and gutted the hidden section on the top card so I could made a second one and I also cut the TH clock in two so I could use a piece on both.

I created a nice messy background for the top card using distress inks then over stamped with a selection of stamps (listed below), inked the birdcage and stuck a piece of one of my three sheets of DY over the bird and cut it out. The butterflies are cut from the same DP as are the roses and border on the second one.

Have a lovely weekend and I hope you will find time to join in with this weeks challenge.

Thursday 12 July 2012

Taking a break from blogland

Hello to you all,

This is going to be short and sweet, as daft as it may seem I’m having difficulty holding it all together.

My MS has been on a downward spiral again the last week and eyes not good either, but the biggest blow came today being told that Buffy is terminally ill with only a couple of weeks left.

So I am taking a complete break from everything to care for her and then hope my own body will recover a bit.

Some may say only a dog, but she’s far more than that to me, she has always been my constant companion and as my eyes and mobility have declined my eyes and ears as well at times, we are in tune. She is my avater as well

I can’t say more, other than my DT work was already scheduled for the next few weeks so you will see those posts pop up.

Tuesday 10 July 2012

The lifts not going to the top floor

Hello Peeps, hope you are all having a good week.

This really is a mega quick post, nothing going to plan at this end, just a body that won't play the game.......again. I came back from holiday so refreshed, more mobile than in ages and with a lot less pain, so I am well miffed that it's all back to square one.................could the answer be a permanent holiday in the sun ?

So huge apols that I've not visited any of you very much, but at the mo I can't navigate my fingers and arms to  use the keyboard properly, let alone see it clearly for more then a few moments at a time. I'm only grateful that I managed to get some magazine work off to the States at the weekend, otherwise I would be well and truly up the creek.

All of that means not a lot to share other than a couple of pieces I made a while back using my favourite masking and inking, samples for Stampalot I think, can you tell the lift's really not going to the top floor at the moment ?

Enjoy the rest of your Tuesday everyone, thanks for taking a look and sorry if I sound like I'm moaning, it's just the frustration of the limitations this silly disease creates.

Saturday 7 July 2012

Go Andy and team GB

It's Deb's turn to host our theme at Allsorts this week and she would like to see Red White and Blue on our work. Very fitting as Andy gets set for what is probably the biggest day of his tennis career tomorrow, how I would like to think this was his year, Wimbledon and his first Grand Slam all in one. Plus Team GB who will be in action very shortly strutting their stuff for the UK and hopefully go on a bit of a medal fest.

I'll be honest and say I find this colour theme a really difficult one to work with, not sure why but it's always been the same. So I thought the best thing to do was to follow my comfort zone and go inky and messy with some favourite stamps. The background was created with distress inks and Glimmer Mists, a clock die used as a mark and inked through, some white embossing and my current favourite caged bird die. The words have been computer generated. All ingredients listed in the pictures below along with links so you can check out exactly what they are. I would like to enter this into the following challenges:

Fat Pages with Attitude - Anything goes
Raise the Bar - Red, White and Blue
Penny's Challenge - Red, White and Blue
Perfect Sentiment - Red, White and Blue

Have a good weekend everyone and I hope you get some decent weather, we had solid rain for 24 hours yesterday and the only happy ones were the ducks, but there is a glimmer of sunshine this morning, but I'm saying that very quietly.

Wednesday 4 July 2012

Flowers to brighten the day

Morning Peeps, so what's this weather all about ? We saw a glimpse of sun Saturday and ever since nothing but rain.

The meadows have grown like triffids, but it's just too wet to get the hay cut, last year it was the opposite, no rain so it was sparse. Bit it still ends up with the same result, the price of hay going through the roof. At this rate it will cost more to feed the horses than the family.

Since our holiday crafting has been on real go slow and my mojo is nowhere to be found, the few bits of crafting that I have managed to complete are DT pieces so not for sharing yet, so these are a few samples I have made for Ruth, A Passion for Stamps which I had not blogged before. You will find all of Ruth's lovely images here

For the card at the top I printed the image into printable acetate, then laid that onto one side of a piece of double sided adhesive sheet. But before doing that I prepared the reverse side of the adhesive sheet by laying on a piece of tissue which I first scrunched up, inked with distress inks and added some glitter. The roses were then coloured with Copics thought the tissue...........if you place it against a light or window you can see the image clearly and don't be afraid of tearing the tissue, it's very resilient.

The blue card has a background created with a mask, I inked the mask with versamark, laid a piece of card stock over then ran it through the Grand Calibur, removed the mask and brushed perfect pearls to reveal the pattern. The image is paper pieced with BoBunny DP, a bow made from seam binding and a little chipboard bird which I inked with distress inks.

My final share is another paper pieced card using snippets of DP, over a background inked with distress inks and stamped with a script stamp and some random inking using a piece of sequin waste.

Hope you have a good Wednesday and if you are in the UK, don't let the rain get you down, perhaps we will have Summer in December ?

Sunday 1 July 2012

Into the secret garden

Happy Sunday Peeps, time for new challenges at Craft a Scene where we have the theme 'In the Garden', Stampalot we have the theme 'What's your Crafty Passion' and at Penny Black and More  we are looking for Summer Blooms'.

It's a bit of a mega bundle post so you might need a cuppa to get through this little lot, but I will try and be brief.

My card at the top is my Craft a Scene DT piece and one of the samples I made for Sir Stampalot using the Heartfelt matching die and stamp sets and as Heartfelt are our sponsors I thought this fitted nicely. The wall and archway are all one stamp and the little scene through the arch another. The framework round the arch is one of the dies and the trailing vines are two more dies in the same set. I stamped the door element onto the reverse side of the piece of cardstock to give a more realistic feel to the opened doorway. The topiary tree is also in the same stamp set along with two further ones, so really good value for money. I would like to enter this into:

I ended up making two DT pieces for Stampalot DT as I just couldn't decide, but both have lots of my crafty passions, distress inks, moons and suns and flowers fairies, but then I realised a bit of fantasy was missing, hence the second card with the fairy and butterflies.

The above card incorporates the TH Alterations fence and bird on branch die, over a sponged background stamped with an assortment of floral and foliage stamps. I would like to enter this card into:

Stamping for the Weekend - Show us your style - inking, silhouette stamps, masking moons and suns
C.R.A.F.T - Feathers and birds
Hotshot Crafts - Distress Inks

I have used this gorgeous Stampendous Fairy Queen stamp as the focal image, some background brayering and sponging, decoupaged cherry blossom and Art Impression deer's and flowers to create a little scene. The inks I used on this one are the yummy new set of Timmy's Summer colours, the 'picked raspberry' is a fabulous colour which I used to colour in the Fairy Queen. I would like to enter this card into the following challenge:

Polkadoodles - Fairies and Fantasy

And finally my Penny Black and More piece. When I made this one I was thinking Victoriana and a Cottage Garden feel, I'm not really sure what the flowers are on this stamp actually are, but it's a firm favourite with me. I used distress markers to ink the stamp and spritzed with water before stamping and lightly inking the edges. The piece of cheesecloth was soaked in tea to give it the aged feel to blend with the DP's. 

Thanks so much for taking a peek and I hope you will join in our challenges this month and look forward to seeing what you all create.