Saturday 29 April 2023

Down the garden path......again

Morning everyone, time for a new challenge at Allsorts and Lynn is back with a new theme of 'Anything Goes with the option One for the Girls'.

Prizes for three weeks this month (726/7/8) come from WOWVOWOakwood Direct and Craft Stash (taster photo further down). The fourth week on 20th May will be to celebrate our 14th Birthday so prizes for that week will be announced closer to the time and my what a fabulous bundle, that's all I'll say for now!!

So Fairies are the order of the day, so much activity down by the pond where they all live in our garden that it seemed's a large natural pond with several Moorhens and Ducks (some we rescued as chicks via the RSPCA a couple of years ago) and other creatures living in the undergrowth and reeds and they all live happily alongside the all know by now I live in a fantasy world......but the pond and animals are real I promise.

Stamping in black for the Fairy and Mouse, red for the toadstools, sepia for the sign, all Versafine Clair, then versamark and detail white EP for the foreground stamping, all of which are Lavinia and the backdrop Quirky Bird.

The theme is Anything Goes at this weeks Simon Say's Wednesday challenge so I would like to link the above card up there. Also I am linking up to the Winds theme at Country View Challenges, just, it closes this evening.

This one had been sitting in my folder for a while using more Lavinia stamps, as this pair seem to be having a real girly chat it seemed to fit the theme nicely. A Gelli Plate background, sponged sun, stamping and glitter along with a matching envie.
Above this months prizes. Have a good weekend.
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Saturday 22 April 2023

Fur therapy

Morning Peeps, April is National Pet Month so our Allsorts challenge selected by Lolo reflects this, it's 'A/G with the option of For the Love of Animals'. Prizes which you will find on the challenge blog come from OakwoodAALL and CreateStamp AddictsRuth Hamilton DesignAldridge Crafts.

Again I have used Mans Best Friend and Canine Dreams from recent AALL and Create releases on Create and Craft, I absolutely love these sets by Dominic Phillips. He's done Cats, now Dogs and I've dropped a non too subtle hint that Horses would be welcome.

My Lab was stamped into a lightly inked arch shape stencil and some of the same Cracked Pistachio added to the pattern within the body. Some ripped washi tape to ground him and the small dog and sentiment added plus the word confident from Power of the Word. A really quick and easy card which will be going to one of our Son in Laws for his Birthday this week, their youngest dog Evie is a black Lab.

A second share, this time Horses as in our household they are very much family pets, a few photos, the first from many moons ago at the Horse of the Year show in 1970 with the Pony Club (third from left myself and Blackbird, my first Pony 'love' gifted by my Granddad when I was seven). Fast forward, to the second photo, Anysia, Margo and Penelope last fashion has changed and joddies certainly for the better.

The photo is one of a set of three frames I made for Margo's new bedroom. All have different animals, she very much follows the family trait of loving any animal be it big or small and gets totally animated every time she sees one. 

She's a very lucky little girl having 12.1hh Penelope (GG aka Granny is a soft touch!). Above she was about ten moths old, now twenty months old she loves sitting on Penelope who is regularly shown 'in hand' and at seven coming on nicely, she should be a reliable bombproof ride when Margo is old enough.

Finally I've managed another for the new Butterfly Challenge and also the current Snippets Playground as lots of bits and pieces using in the making here.

When I saw the new shape at the Butterfly Challenge called a 'stand up pop up card' I had to try. Once the base was made it was a good incentive to get my act together and actually complete a finished card. I found it good therapy to try and get back into the swing of things.

And.........I think I've got a full house of all the elements, the shape, colours Salmon, Straw, Sky Blue and Sea Blue, Stripes and of course Butterflies.

After cutting all the mats for the different panels I brayered them with Oxides and this is my Salmon and Straw, the flower coloured with the other two Sky and Sea Green. Next to incorporate the Butterflies which I did using an A&C background stamp onto all the brayered panels using the same tones of blue and sea green Oxide. I was almost finished and realised there were no stripes so threaded some blue cord behind the flower stem (which I had just adhered with Pinflair) and added some stamped words and a Birdie.

Finally as this weeks Allsorts challenge and this post is all about Animals, a photo last Summer of most of our girls (Poppy the Terrier was AWAL) along with with a couple of visitors.

Happy weekend all.
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Tuesday 18 April 2023

Birdies and Blossoms

Morning Peeps, it's mid month inspiration day at We Love Stamping and Stamping Sensations where our themes are Anything Stamped at both with a Birds and Animals (real) at the first and a CAS option at the second. Prizes this month come from AALL and Create with three prizes on offer and Craft Stash with two prizes.

Several more cards hauled from my folders, the beauty of new goodies from companies I design for is that I tend to have a making frenzy when they land on my desk to get to properly know them and to meet TV deadlines. This means I invariably have a good backup of makes for when I'm going through a lean crafty patch, as had been the case the last few weeks. 

Above using A&C Flower Moments, it's one of their border stamps but useful for lots of applications other than tall DL cards. A Gelli Plate circle with some inky splatters, the flower stamped and coloured and a couple of words from Power of the Word. Plus a matching envie. I would like to enter this into the current Path of Positivity challenge which has a slant on Literature, my chosen book is Alice Walker's The Colour Purple.

Here we have a simple card with a masked and inked panel and stamping using A&C Heron, who was stamped a second time, cut out and placed over the panel. The words are from the same set.

I also have a second entry for The Flower Challenge which this month is focusing on background stamping to go with your flowers. The Peony is from Friendship Florals paper pieced using some inky card stamped and cut out, Birdies from the same set and in the background I have used Reckoner Digits and Patches plus some pieces of washi tape. This is also being entered into Country View Wings challenge, my second entry.

And this one is for Simon Say's Wednesday challenge focusing on shaped cards. The blooms are from A&C Just Grow stamped onto a circle, matted and layered onto a die cut circle base card and TRR Ivy and Blossoms around the edges. Again a matching envie.

Have a lovely Tuesday everyone and as always many thanks for your kind visits and words of encouragement.
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Saturday 15 April 2023

Summer Fox and Butterflies

Morning all, this weeks Allsorts challenge is hosted by Lynn and her chosen theme is 'Anything Goes with the option of create your own background'. Lots of prizes on offer which you can see on the challenge blog from OakwoodAALL and CreateStamp AddictsRuth Hamilton DesignAldridge Crafts.

As I'm still under the weather I'm so grateful I work ahead as both my shares today were prepared before I went into hospital and in the intervening three weeks I've made the grand total of one card (see below). There's been limited blog activity so if I've not got to you apols, I'll be there shortly, c'est la vie 

This theme is perfect for me as I invariable create my own backgrounds with inks, paints and stencils, I do buy DP's but only to look at because they are pretty - what a lame excuse for spending money! The Fox above from In the Wild is a set I return to time and again since starting with AALL and Create stamps, it's an A4 set and also has a lovely bunny (which I used last week here) plus other useful images. A stencilled background, some stamping using A&C Patches, the word Summer from Seasons and the word Fox made up from Grunge Alphabet.

Above a tag which was one of my samples using new releases from Oakwood Mechanical Garden collection recently showcased on Create and Craft, the collection includes stencils and stamps. An MDF tag, acrylic paints and crackle glaze and the Butterflies stamped onto both card and vellum, cut out and added along with the Ideology elements for their thorax's which I painted with with gesso.

Now a card for the current Butterfly Challenge, something I've not entered for ages, but I was keen to try out the hidden panel option, this is that one and only card and I'll confess pretty simple as all the die cuts were already prepared and cut out.

It also works as a DT make for Highlight Crafts using TRR Butterflies and Flowers onto an A5 card base with the hidden panels. My take on the colours may be a tad tenuous as the flower colours are as printed on the Reflections, but I added ink to the pale coloured Butterflies to try and bring in the colours of  Havoc (dark red) Heather, Highland (soft mint) and Hawkes Blue (soft blue)

Happy weekend one and all.
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Friday 7 April 2023

Animal magic out in the garden

Good morning, though I would share a card or two as we are at the midway point of our two week challenge at Allsorts where our theme is 'A/G with the option In the Spring Garden'.

Lots of lovely prizes this month from OakwoodAALL and CreateStamp AddictsRuth Hamilton DesignAldridge Crafts, you will find a photo of all on the challenge blog.

The Bunnies are very busy out in the gardens and paddocks and several have produced litters which are such fun to watch, the other evening two little ones chased each other around the orchard for what seems like forever until they got so tired and laid down to chew some grass (photo below).

So the Bunny image on AALL and Creates In the Wild seemed the perfect choice for a card, it's one of several large stamps in the A4 set. A soft stamped background and a little stencil work along with some washi tape and words from Power of the Word was all it needed. 

I would like to link this to The Flower Challenge were they would like to see background stamping as well of course as flowers. I have also been directed to the Path of Positivity challenge so would like to enter with the above card, the option is inspired by Literature and this image always makes me think of Watership Down and whilst I wouldn't consider that quite literature it's a book so loosely associated!

Another using A&C's Crocus along with the larger Mouse from Cute Mouse. Again I kept the Oxide background soft adding some stencilling using the stencil inked and spritzed with water and used as a stamp rather than inking through the stencil, some washi tape and the word Crocus from the same set stamped into one of the arrow/banners from Wildflower.

This one is for the Current Country View Challenge which this month is Things with Wings so hope my Swallows are sufficient for the wings element. I have used the lovely blossom from A&C's Elegant Stems one of three large images along with the swallows from Fully Fledged. I did all stamping with Oxide Spiced Marmalade and just dragged out the colour on the largest blossoms.

Sam the Squibble (so named by youngest Granddaughter) contemplating the bird feeder outside the kitchen window a couple of weeks ago, note the rather extended tummy and below another visit this week, this time to one of their own feeders on one of the trees. Tummy much smaller and as she scampered down the tree, or rather chased off by one of her relatives, there were clear signs she's had her babies and feeding them. Following their activity last year I imagine we will get a sight of the babies is a couple of weeks.

This chap, a Green Woodpecker was feeding in the top paddock the other day, there were actually a pair of them but I was too slow to catch them both.

And the pair below have given us lots of viewing time this Spring, looks as though the Wood Pigeon has bagged himself a rather classy mate who may be a racing Pigeon, although we've not got close enough to see if she is ringed. But clearly they have become a pair and nesting in one of the trees, so looking forward to seeing what they produce. 

Like Swans, Pigeons mate for life, so it's really sad when one loses their mate as they sit dejected and pine away. But we have loads of them on our land and think they see it as a safe haven from local gun loving farmers and we're very happy to home them.

Here are those adorable baby bunnies, or kittens to give them their official name.

Finally a couple of photos of some early blossom, above the Clematis armandii, rather late this year, it usually flowers early March, but that's the season we've had. And below Viburnum x burkwoodii, they both smell amazing so fragrance as you walk around the immediate garden.

Hope you enjoy my little glimpse of Nature, it's so magical. Have a lovely Easter everyone, hope the sun shines where you are.
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Sunday 2 April 2023

Woody Woodpecker

Morning everyone, the first Sunday of March means it's time for our new challenges at We Love Stamping and Stamping Sensations where our themes are Anything Stamped at both and a Birds and Animals (real) at the first and a CAS option at the second. Prizes this month come from AALL and Create with three prizes on offer and Craft Stash with two prizes.

I won't apologise that it's yet more AALL and Create stamps but I'll confess I really do love working with them. They are I believe the best quality and designed stamps I have ever worked with in my many years of stamping and I feel so privileged that I can promote this super company. 

Starting with my card above using A&C's gorgeous Woody Woodpecker who reflects the family of them living in one of our hedgerows and who frequently feed in the orchard. Snippets used for Woody, the silhouette flower and the number strip are hopefully sufficient to allow me to go play 'TAG' in the Snippets Playground this week.

He's from Follow your own Path, my starting point was a masked circle and one of the images from Clocks and Flowers stamped with the mask in place, then randomly dabbed some ink around. Removing the mask I added the Woodpecker along with a silhouette flower which I stamped a second time and paper pieced as the wasn't dark enough for my linking, it's from the same set and finally a piece of washi tape to ground the bird and a few words and numbers form Power of Word.

The gorgeous dog from Mans Best friend is making another appearance, this time stamped and embossed with detail clear EP, a wash of oxide around and also within the aperture. Sadly I had to use this card last week as our eldest son and wife lost their 14 year old Lab. The image seemed very appropriate as at one time they had three Labs, Mum Ellie and two of her puppies, one of those Forest died last year and now Cadbury so their home is feeling very empty.

So for this one I used the large bloom from Scripted Botanicals, stamped onto a base layer with a masked and stencilled circle, then coloured with Distress Pencils, a word from Power of Word and an envie to match.

And by sheer chance I've actually got the right day to showcase the card I sent to Gail in Norway as part of the March Card Chain Challenge. And yes, it's A&C stamps again, this time an A5 set called simply Pheasant along with a flower from Friendship Florals, an A4 set packed with flowers and Birdies as well as some really useful words. The word Spring comes from an equally useful set called Seasons. The background was created with Round Digits repeat stamped, inked with Oxides and given a really good spritz of water so the colours ran before stamping

Have a lovely Sunday everyone.
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Saturday 1 April 2023

Easter in the Spring garden

Morning all, adding to my scheduled post to apologise that I've been a tardy blogger this week, I've an infection in the bone as a result of last weeks cervial procedure which they tell me is rare! Anyhows, a cocktail of meds phasing me out along with ongoing pain and lack of sleep explains my limited crafty activity. At times like this my forward planning is a God send.

It's a two weeks challenge at Allsorts to cover Easter and is hosted by Ellie whose theme is 'A/G with the option In the Spring Garden'. Prizes this month come from OakwoodAALL and CreateStamp AddictsRuth Hamilton DesignAldridge Crafts, there's a photo of all of them on the challenge blog.

So of course I've used AALL and Create Spring flowers, above the Crocus from the A5 stamp by the same name. Craft card again with a light dusting of purple Oxide and the background stamp is one of those on the A4 set called Blooming Poppies stamped with Versamark and heat embossed with detail white EP. That was my very first A&C set gifted by a crafty friend who had the idea I liked Poppies.......where on earth did she get that idea? 

I stamped the Crocus twice onto offcuts inked with Oxide Wilted Violet, cut out and arranged over some twine onto the base card. The word Crocus stamped with the same Oxide and the little Dachshund from A&C Mans Best Friend.

Thought I should also share this Spring creation I made for Highlight Crafts using a whole host of different Two Red Robins dies. As many know, I've been creating for them for some time promoting their brands and as of this week will be taking on a new complexion, I will share more next week after the formal announcement.

The card base was made with two A4 sheets of construction weight acetate so it stands up as a tent fold card, then the flowers, birds and animals fixed around to create a wreath design.

I know Ellie's them is 'Spring Garden' but living in our rural location here in the Fens, all the creatures in my wreath are garden residents and you could add Deer, Foxes and several more to the mix of daily sightings. Some would call our locate remote with the nearest neighbour a few fields away, but I couldn't imagine living anywhere else as I've never known anything different.

A tri fold card showcasing more A&C Spring stamps from Elegant Spring FloralsViolet and Crocus, a brayered background, some of the words and script stamped with Versamark and heat embossed with detail gold EP, others simply stamped in black to give contrast. To finish a little Birdie and Mouse from Friendship Florals and Cute Mouse.

Just about every familiar Spring bloom appears in Clipped Botanicals, a beautiful collage style stamped onto an inky background, some colour added to some of the elements, then three of the hexagons stamped a second time and placed over the base stamping.

I hope you all have a lovely Easter, let's hope the weather gets the idea and it warms up a bit here in the UK.
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