Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Halloween WOYWW - Wk 178

Happy Halloween WOYWWers, Followers and All,

I feel I should have a bowl of apples bobbing in water on my crafting mat today but, sadly, all I have is the detritus associated with cardmaking ... shame :) And why is that, you might ask, it's because I'm checking in at Julia's, the Stamping Ground, to reveal the state of my desk and it's not very interesting - hop along there and you can see the more interesting desks of others.

Photo taken very late Tuesday. After making a scrap page at the weekend and so creating a few leftovers, I thought I should use them up instead of adding them to the snippet drawer. So far, I've made a tag and a card and now I'm in the middle of making a final card with the very last  of this sheet of Vintedge Flourish. I seemed to have used it on any number of projects ... I've discovered you can get an awful lot out of one 12"x12" sheet.

I've been stamping the butterfly stamp using the second generation inking technique, hence the piece of paper with the swarm, or kaleidoscope if you prefer, of butterflies on it. Shame on me, there's a used and crumpled piece of kitchen roll still lying there! The other collection of stamps are new from Our Daily Bread, some of my favourite quotations ... I plan to use a Helen Keller quote for this card.

The rest of the stuff is either waiting to be used or has already been used and should be cleared away but I've been a roll today, so tidying up has been neglected. Later, I'll clear up later :)

We are off to see my granddaughter this evening - got to see her in her costume. We've seen her in this photo but I'm sure it will be even more impressive in real life - just look at those teeth!!!

It's now the wee small hours of the morning so I'm off to bed when I've posted this and hopefully will be up bright and early to link up with Julia and join in the hop - I look forward to seeing what interesting projects you are all working on this week.

Before I sign off, I'd like to once again send my best wishes to everyone who has been affected in any way by Hurricane Sandy ... I hope you have all been safe throughout and that your homes have escaped the worst of the damage.

I wish you all a happy WOYWW, take care and have a good week.

Oh, and Keep Crafting :)

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Crafted Just For You - birthday card

Hi Folks

Hope you are well and safe. The news this morning is full of worrying reports and terrible images of flooding and wind damage from the areas in the States hit by the hurricane. My heart goes out to everyone living with the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Sandy today ... I hope you're in a safe place for now and that things will return to some semblance of normal for you soon.

Here in Ayr the weather is a lot more benign, it's a damp day but a calm one ... lots to be grateful for.

My share today is another one I made earlier ... I know, there's been rather a lot of these recently but normal service will be resumed soon - I hope :)

A card made for a crafting friend ... well, it just had to be given the sentiment and topper used. Unusually for me, I chose a shaped card base for this one ... I struggle to deal with the bits that stick out like the circle here but fortunately I had the doily and the die and managed to make a reasonable job of it.

I have had the dress form in my stash forever ... I think it came in a happy mail package last year ... and have been looking for the perfect opportunity to use it since :)

The back detail - I just hate leaving any surface bare.

Materials used: 
Kanban shaped card base, Kanban Let's Craft topper and sentiment 
Spellbinders Splendid Circles die; Lilac cardstock 
Crafty Individuals Springtime Background Papers 
White circular doily
Scalloped circle punch; Martha Stewart edge punch; Kaisercraft 
Wooden Flourishes Dress Form; buttons, white/lilac baker's twine

The tag I was working on yesterday evening is still awaiting the finishing touches today. When that's done, I hope to get on with some more scrapping.

First, though, there's the dusting ... well, someone has to do it :(

Wishing you all a good day and I'll see many of you tomorrow for WOYWW. Incidentally, I read somewhere that WOYWW has been mentioned on the radio - sorry, I don't know any more than that yet - but isn't it amazing that Julia's brainchild is being discussed on national radio ... but then again, why not? :))

Happy crafting,

Monday, 29 October 2012

Find Joy In The Little Things - A Birthday Tag

... and spotted! the first Christmas Tree

I hope your Monday has gone well folks ... and that despite the harsh weather conditions we are experiencing. The weather here is going from one extreme to the other, sunny and bright on Saturday, lashing down with rain all day yesterday, and today we have had fluffy white clouds polishing the blue, blue sky! It would not surprise me if it snowed tomorrow.

I've been working away in the craft space today but nothing to show you yet, so it's just as well that I have another project I made earlier that I can share with you.

I made this ultra feminine and OTT tag for a crafting friend's birthday. The base is another one of my inked, mica covered and embossed experiments - not that you can see much of it in the photo. Lots of trims, pearls and bling, doily and butterflies ... the little jewelled tile came from an old bracelet.

The topper is a Cardmakers Delight Pretty Perfume Bottle, the rose heart is recycled, and the digital sentiment is from Pink Petticoat's New Simple Sentiments.

And here's the Christmas tree - spotted it in the Scottish National Trust shop at Culzean Castle on Saturday - how early is that!!!

And it wasn't the only one ... there was another in the toy shop too, you might just be able to spot it inside.

I'm not sure what the connection is to the castle but the pirate is a permanent feature of the stable yard.

Scary looking too.

That's me lot for this evening. I'm working on another quite different tag and I'm still experimenting with heat embossing and creating my own 'frantage' mixes, so it's back to the craft sheet.

See you soon and in the meantime take care.

Happy crafting,

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Shell Garden - Scrap Our Stash Challenge - Hot Chocolate

Hello Everyone,

Happy Saturday ... I hope you are all enjoying the weekend so far.

This month over at SOS, the challenge was for us to create a layout around the theme of Hot Chocolate. As I don't actually drink hot chocolate and so couldn't take photos with it as a theme, I have gone with the colours chocolate, pink and white as you would find in a steaming hot cup of the stuff topped with fluffy marshmallows.

And I've really tested myself by creating a double page layout ... I have only ever made single page layouts till now. 

The reason for the double page is that I had so many photos taken from different parts of this fantastic garden showing some of the special features, it seemed a shame to leave any of them out.

To give a bit of interest to the pale brown dotted embossed base card I've splashed chocolate and raspberry coloured paints randomly around. There's very little patterned paper in the layout - I thought the photos provided more than enough pattern - just the Kraft Kuts die-cut, split in two over the layout and a few scalloped circles punched from Bella BLVD's Family Circle paper, used as embellishments.

Title letters are from various sources as are the flowers and doilies. The shells are not from Jersey but from Cornwall. 

Because the photos were all different sizes this proved to be a difficult project, however, I am pleased with the end result, but it could be a long time before I tackle a double page layout again :)

It's been a really pleasant day here ... not something those of you suffering on the East coast want to hear, I'm sure, I understand it's been snowing up in Aberdeen and possibly even further south with snow forecast for Billericay!  

Anyway, we've had what I call chilly sunshine, more than a hint of frost in the air but it's been warm in the sun, so we took a trip to our favourite country estate, Culzean, and had a wee walk and a long browse round the book shop, followed by a trip to another favourite eatery for a skinny latte and a piece of something delicious but bad for you - toffee apple cake. And, no, it's not lost on me how contradictory that combination is :)

I only bought one book, but it's a goody - so here's the plan for this evening, Strictly Come Dancing followed by a night at the pictures with a new DVD, Sugarland Express with Goldie Hawn, and then a bit of bedtime reading ... 

... perfect!

Hope your evening is as pleasant.

Happy crafting,

Friday, 26 October 2012

Sunset Over Ayr ... not a card but photographs from yesterday evening

Hi Everyone,

Happy Friday! Hope you are all well.

This is going to be a very quick unscheduled post. Yesterday evening we had the most amazing sunset which I just have to share with you all. The three photos that follow were all taken from outside our house over the space of about an hour.

It was just magical watching the effect of the changing light on the sky.

I said it would be quick - I'm off now - things to do :)

Take care and have a great day.

Happy crafting,

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Rudolph Day and Snippets Christmas Cards

Hi Everyone,

Hope you have all had a good day and all is well with you.

Today is Rudolph Day over at Sarn's at Stamping For Pleasure and I did manage to make a few cards well in advance especially for this challenge. Yesterday, I did post this group photo for WOYWW day.

All the cards are made from much the same basic materials, e.g. the toppers are all from My Paper Stash's Robin on a Perch set which also includes the tiny robin background card. The red spotty design is  Kanban's Snow Red Background Card.

Everything else - the dark green card, white card, embossed vellum and blue card, ribbons, cord, pearls, card candi and Polar White Flower Soft  - came from the snippet and stash drawers. And that being so, I'll be popping over to Pixie's Crafty Workshop again to join in the playground romps at Di's Sunday Snippets.

Here's a quick look at each card individually.

The background for this card is a piece of blue card that I found when rummaging in the embossed pieces box. I tried out something I've been planning to have a go at ever since I watched a Stampendous demo on TV showing how to use Frantage. Whilst watching I figured that it might be possible for me to create a similar effect using what I already had in my stash. I tested this out with a mix of white, silver and dark blue embossing powders topped with light and dark blue, iridescent white and silver glitters on an off-cut of the blue card and the result was good. Here's a close up of the same mix edging the front of the card.

If you have been having similar thoughts then do try it ... I think you'll be well pleased with the result.

And the practise piece didn't go to waste either, it's now decorating the inside of the card :)

The other three cards were simple quick and easy cards.

The base of this card is covered with some embossed vellum from that box.

Again, wasting nothing, the inside is decorated with the trimmings of the embossed vellum.

This is a variation on a layout I've used a lot recently.

Last, but not least.

Sorry, it's a bit of a photo-heavy post so I'll spare you pics of the insides and backs of the cards ... they are decorated with leftover patterned card in my usual way.

The EM has just made me a cuppa so I'm off to have that and a some time out on the sofa watching this evenings TV drama.

Wishing you all a lovely evening.

Happy crafting,

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

WOYWW - Wk 177 - Indecision, Indecision, Indecision ...

Hi WOYWWers, Followers and All,

I've spent the morning in a state of indecision ...

I'm trying to put together a layout and can't decide which of these gorgeous papers to use for it ...

... they all have their merits and are appropriate for the period of the photos. I'll have to decide after lunch because I'm on a deadline with this one :(

Yes, I'm halfway into Wednesday and this is me just getting around to posting for what's on my workdesk, tut, tut! Why would I reveal my cluttered desk like this to the world ... well, it's for What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday, a weekly phenomenon hosted by the admirable and estimable Julia Dunnit.

Just for the occasion I've taken a longer shot than usual - well, why not, it makes a change. And, because I have, the rarely seen stamp trolley is in view, not to mention the shelving at the back and even a teensy-weensy glimpse of the dolls house. There's also the items to be found permanently on my desk with one or two temporary 'visitors'. Not usually visible is the box of toppers that I keep on the left corner, resting on that today is a couple of packs of papers that I've been rummaging through. Beside that, like little ducks in a row, are my new winter distress inks - I've been playing :)

The EM presented me with the notebook with the gaily striped cover - it's now the keeper of my crafting to-do list. Sadly, the Quality Street box is no longer full of yummy chocolates, instead it's where I keep some of the old family photographs ... out because I've been searching through it for the photos for the planned layout. Lying on top of that is a fab book on scrapbooking - specifically on scrapping family history ... I've been looking through it for inspiration.

You might also be able to spot a purple stretchy spider, leftover from previous projects, just in front of my  WOYWW badge, always to be found somewhere on the desk. Lastly, the powder tray has found a new use, it's now a temporary home to any completed cards awaiting some attention ... in this case I have yet to write up a post on them. Especially for today, here's a group photo.

Robins galore!

Now comes the big apology to all of the lovely people who left a comment last week and didn't receive a response for me. I had a difficult time last week, involving as it did a hospital visit for a couple of investigative procedures. One of these required an anaesthetic which took a day or so to recover from, probably because my state of health isn't so good - hence the investigations. Right now I'm still not firing on all four cylinders, but by pacing myself I'm doing what I can, albeit slower than usual. I have thought of taking a blogging break but I think I would miss you all too much too so, for now, I'm keeping on keeping going. Hopefully, that will be good enough for you and that you will keep visiting too.

In the meantime, I wish you all a wonderful week ahead and a great WOYWW, what's left of it.

Happy crafting,

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Boo! to You ... Again ... cards from leftover Halloween papers

Hello Everyone,

How are you all doing? I hope you are well and enjoying the week so far. I see from the school just across  from our house, that the children are back to school after the October break ... that must be giving a lot of mums more crafting time :)

I've been trying to catch up on my to-do list ... uphill work at the moment but I'm getting there. Today, I've been working on and have finished my Rudolph Day card for this month ... early! Will wonders never cease!?!? Of course, I will not be sharing it until the 25th so here are two cards I made using the leftovers from the tag shown in an earlier post.

The materials used are more or less the same as for the tag with the addition of red alphas, Docrafts' Forever Friends Cosy Christmas, for the 'boo!' and the black gems used for a finishing touch. The gruesomely stretchy spiders are resting on a tangled web ... I made this by just taking a length of the webbing trim, pleating it and after tying the centre with a length of bakers' twine, spreading it out to form a circular shape. Instead of cutting off the tails of the bakers' twine, they have been looped around the card.

Loved that the patterned paper had the word Halloween repeated throughout - it enabled me to trim round it for the decorative strips inside and on the back.

It seems I have a thing for pennants at the moment - they are so useful they keep popping up on my cards and scrap pages.

Leftover dark green cardstock, Paper from My Mind's Eye 'Boo! to You' Collection, Kanban ivory web trim, googly eyes, Asda stretchy spiders, black/white bakers' twine, Docrafts' Forever Friends Cosy Christmas Alphabet letters; black gemstones

All those leftovers means that I'm heading over to Di's again - that's Pixie's Crafty Snippets Week 43 - I think she might be impressed at how quickly these snippets got used up instead of being dumped in the pile, which is what usually happens.

I'm planning to play with embossing powders and glitter now ... I have an idea which might or might not work. If it works, I'll let you see it, if it doesn't I did say a thing :))

Have a lovely evening and see you tomorrow on WOYWW,

Happy crafting,

Monday, 22 October 2012

One Moment In Time - Mini Photo Album

Hi Everyone

Happy Monday to you all - we have dry and cool weather today which is heaps better than the wall-to-wall rain that is the norm. Hope you are enjoying good weather, i.e. for the time of the year, wherever you are and, if it's not so good, as if we need an excuse, then it's perfect crafting weather :))

As you might know, if you've been following my posts, I haven't been able to do much in the way of crafting for several days but, in true Blue Peter tradition, 'here's one I made earlier' - want to know more about Blue Peter and the origin of the phrase, here's a great article published in the The Telegraph. (for non-UK readers, Blue Peter is a famous and much loved childrens' programme.)

To celebrate her birthday in September our friend, Margaret with her husband, Brian, took a coach trip to the Highlands. The pick-up and drop-off point was here in Ayr which gave us the opportunity to meet up and catch up on all our news. I made this mini album in which she could keep her favourite photos from the holiday.

I chose a colour combination of teals, creams and browns with just a touch of green, rust and amber to mirror the colours found in the lochs, hills, glens and forests they would have seen on their trip at that time of the year.

There's four pockets with reversible photo mats - space for eight photos altogether.

To make the album I raided my stash and used a 12"x12" sheet of each of the following - Fancy Pants True Papers collection, True-Blue; The ScrapCake's One Moment In time collection, If You Seize That; Papermania's Boutique Paper Pack. For the matting I chose a 12"x12" sheet of Stampin' Up cardstock, Early Espresso. The trim was punched with one of my two Martha Stewart edge punches - I forget its name. 

The embellishments consist of brown ribbon, Prima flowers, Papermania gem brads, a metal flower brad and   the amber gem flourish from cArt-Us Christmas.

I've made a number of these little albums now and they are always popular with the recipients because they can be slipped easily into a bag/purse, don't weigh a great deal and hold just enough photos to show to folks without boring them rigid :))

I'm off to the docs ... again ... you'd think after my experience on Friday that I deserved a break! This time with a rash all over - I'm itching and scratching, pretty much like a cat does when it's got fleas!!!

Take care and have a great day whatever you are doing. 

Happy crafting,

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Boo! to You - Halloween Tag

Hi Folks

Sorry I haven't been around for a few days but it's been quite a weekend for me. The experience at the hospital on Friday has left me just a tad traumatised - it took me till this morning to get over the anaesthesthetic, both my hands are badly bruised, apparently my veins are thin ... I wish that could be said of the rest of me ... and just today I've developed a rash ... oh, the joys!

On a positive note, nothing sinister was detected ... a couple of biopsies have been taken but it will be some time before we know the result of those ... however, still no explanation as to why I am so anaemic.

Enough of that ... today I have been able to get into the craft space for an hour or two and been pottering away ... very therapeutic.

I had finished the tag that you could see the beginnings of on my WOYWW post on Wednesday and here it is.

As I said then, I really am not into Halloween and had to be persuaded to create this ... the EM can be very persuasive :)  However, I did get involved and actually enjoyed deciding what to include and how to put it together.

The base is a dark green cardstock - just a bit I had lying in the leftover drawer - and the patterned paper,  from My Mind's Eye 'Boo! to You' Collection, has been in my stash forever. I picked out the webbing on the paper with a VersaMark pen and heat embossed them with iridescent powder - not really showing in the photograph.

I stamped the tree branches and owls in Black Soot then stretched some ivory web trim over this base. I bought those googly eyes years ago for a scrap page - there's always much more in the packet than you can ever use in one project so I still have quite a few left!

The spider is attached with some acetate, recycled packaging, and hangs over the rosette so that it can be wiggled and jiggled :)

The lamp and cat started out as white die-cuts, also bought from an ebay vendor years ago before the Cuttlebug came into my life. With VersaMark and several layers of black embossing powder I was able to change their appearance to suit the project. Making the lamp look as though it was lit was a bit of a poser. I tried unsuccessfully to colour acetate with Promarkers - the solution was orange seam binding!

I love the cat ... the whiskers are just terrific - and she's a perfect companion for any wee witch ... and, hopefully she will scare those spiders away :))

Dark green cardstock
Paper from My Mind's Eye 'Boo! to You' Collection; VersaMark pen; iridescent embossing powder
Sheena Douglass Highlands Silhouette stamp set; black ink pad 
Kanban ivory web trim; 
Die cut lamp and cat set; VersaMark ink pad; black embossing powder; googly eyes
Recycled acetate from packaging;  Asda stretchy spider
Trims: black lace; black bead trim; selection of ribbons in black, orange and purple; black/white bakers' twine

I am submitting this tag to the following challenges:

Anything But a Card Challenge 4: Fall or Halloween or Fall Colors

and, of course, because I'm still rummaging through the leftovers and snippets and managing to dig out useful bits and bobs:

Pixies Crafty Snippets Week 43

Apologies for my lack of visiting so far this week. I hope to do a bit of catching up over the next day or two.

Wishing you all well and hope you've have had a lovely weekend.

Happy crafting,

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Freedom and Happiness - embossing themed swap card

Hi Everyone,

It's been a wet and miserable day here and I wish I could say I spent it crafting but I'm afraid I have been otherwise engaged.

I hope you have found plenty opportunities to craft instead.

However, I can now reveal this card I made for a swap I participate in. This month the challenge was to include embossing ... any and as many types of embossing as you wished. So here's what I came up with.

There's three areas embossed on this card - the large back panel, the middle blue panel and the sentiment topper.

The large panel started of as a piece of smooth white card. I inked it up with two shades of blue, one from Big and Juicy, Hydrangea, the other Tim Holtz Stormy Sky, and one brown shade, Pumice Stone. Next, it was stamped all over with a selection of flourish stamps in Stormy Sky and then brushed with Champagne mica powder - in real life this gives a lovely sheen but sadly it isn't showing up very well in the photos. (This is the technique I discovered recently in Craft Stamper) Finally it was put through the Cuttlebug and embossed with the Scrolls Background folder.

The middle panel is made of a textured blue card,  also put through the Cuttlebug, this time using the Mini Polka folder which was first smeared with a VersaMark pad. Silver embossing powder was sprinkled on the debossed side and then heated to melt into the dimples.

The sentiment topper was cut from the same piece of patterned paper, Vintedge Flourish, as the bird topper, and matted on to a layer each of Kraft and navy card before stamping the sentiment with Vintage Sepia which was then heat embossed with clear powder.

The flourishes were stamped and brushed with the mica powder on the inside too. To set the mica I gave it a light spritz of hairspray.

Materials used:
Cardstock: A4 sheet of white hammered card for base; Core'dinations navy card for layering; Docrafts Papermania blue textured cardstock; Kraft card; Westcountry Paper - A5 Elegance Satin Ice White for the large stamped and embossed panel 
Ink pads: Big and Juicy Hydrangea ink pad; Tim Holtz distress inks, Stormy Sky and Pumice Stone; VersaMark; Versafine Vintage Sepia
Patterned Paper: Vintedge Flourish patterned paper
Stamps: Dawn Bibby's Delicate Scrolls stamp set; Creative Expression's Sincere Sentiments stamp set
Embossing Folders: Darice Scrolls Background; Docrafts' Papermania Mini Polka; 
Mica Powder: Crafty Notions Champagne
Embossing Powder: Stampendous Clear; Heat It Up Silver 
Ribbons: caramel organza ribbon; navy satin ribbon

All the materials for this card came out of either my stash of supplies or my endless pile of snippets so, on that basis, I'm popping over to Di at Pixie's Crafty Workshop and submitting it to Sunday Snippets #42.

I won't be around on Friday - I'll be up in a Glasgow hospital undergoing a couple of exploratory, and somewhat invasive procedures, which will keep me occupied for much of the day - but hopefully I'll be back, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, on Saturday.

In the meantime, I wish you all a great Poet's Day (Push of Early, Tomorrow's Saturday) and a happy weekend to come.

Happy crafting,