Saturday 26 February 2011

Time Flies - not exactly a card . . .

Hello to you all,

Now don't laugh but this little sweetheart is now gracing our downstairs loo. My Estate Manager recently decided to re-decorate the wee room and after consultation with the Queen of Cream - moi - he has painted it a gorgeous lido blue (Clear Ocean, actually). I wasn't sure to begin with, after all don't small rooms call for light treatment, wouldn't a dark colour make it look even smaller!! But now the job is done I've been won over - it's daring but it's gorgeous - phew : )  However, one thing that is clear is that the old, tired piccies were no longer up to the job. Something new was called for.

So what to do - well, make my own of course, and I had the perfect image for the project. This is one of the stamps I water-coloured last Sunday and I have to admit I just loved colouring in this one. In fact, I have become so attached to it I put off using it to make a card to give away. This image so reminds me of my two children when they were little and cute that I just didn't want to part with it, so making a page to frame was the perfect solution.

This design paper was already in my stash and was a great match with the blue card used for matting.  Framed, it's now gracing the wall of the smallest room and looks perfect.

Materials used:

  • Cardstock: Reeves Watercolour 190gsm; Stampin' Up smooth card, Marina Mist & Sahara Sand
  • Design Paper: Crate Paper, Sweet Branch Collection, Cherish; Tim Holtz Distress Ink, Weathered Wood for distressing
  • Stamps: Sheena Douglass, A little Bit Sketchy, Time Flies; Stazon Ink Pad, Jet Black; AquaMarkers to colour; Krylon gold leafing pen for edging

Now, what excuse can I find to keep the other image I watercoloured last Sunday : )

It's film night in our house, we subscribe to LoveFilm, so I'm away downstairs to watch tonight's offering, a Jodie Foster film I believe.

Friday 25 February 2011

Snow Scene - Week 8 Christmas Card

Good Evening Everyone,

Miraculously, I have managed to complete this week's Christmas Card. I've tried something new again this week - well, new for me :) I've used a scalloped circle of white cardstock and made a little wintry scene beginning by sponging the sky area with grey distress ink, then spritzing with water to get the mottled look to suggest it's snowing. I've watched demonstrations of this technique but it still amazed me that it worked!

I stamped the cottage in another grey ink then gave it and the area in front the fluffy stuff and iridescent glitter treatment to create the snowy scene. The trees are stamped in green, some of them got the ink, dab and stamp treatment to suggest the cottage is in a forest and then the trees were frosted with glitter.

I stamped two different sized snowflakes randomly over the turquoise base card, inside and out, together with the sentiment and greeting, in Versamark and then embossed these in white.  For the embellishments I used a strip of leftover white card embossed in the Cuttlebug, some pretty ribbon and a gorgeous silvery snowflake, dressed up with an aqua gem.

Materials used:
  • Cardstock: Stampin' Up in Baja Breeze for the card base; white card from stash for embossed strip and scalloped circle
  • Stamps: Clarity Stamps, Cottage in the Forest; Anita's Magical Christmas, snowflakes, sentiment and greeting
  • Ink Pads: Tim Holtz Distress Ink, Weathered Wood; VersaMark; Versafine, Olympia Green; Memento, London Fog
  • Embossing: Cuttlebug Ice Crystals folder; Docrafts Papermania Embossing Powder, Seafoam White
  • Embellishments: Anna Griffin Carolina Collection, turquoise ribbon; GSC Imports, Metal embellishment
I'd like to submit this card to the following challenges:

Snoflakes Christmas Card Challenge, Docrafts - Week 8
Crafty Hazelnuts Christmas Card - theme for this week is 'the white stuff'

It's not been a productive week for me, my mojo has deserted me for a while, but hopefully next week will be better. I'm attending a workshop on pain management on Monday which should give me pointers on how to deal with the bouts of pain that have been bothering me recently. I'll let you know how I get on and maybe my mojo will make a welcome return : )

Hope you have all had a great week and that your weekend is going to be fabulous.

Bye for now

Wednesday 23 February 2011

WOYWW - Week 90 + A Gardener's Gift Set

Good Afternoon,

It's more like What's Not Going On My Workdesk this week and what a mess. If you are wondering what this WOYWW is all about then it is What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - an occasion when a bunch of us bare all, and show the world the state of our work desks/spaces/floors/cubbyholes, etc., - in other words the place where we craft. The head workspace keeper is Julia and you will find an awesome list of links at her blog, Stamping Ground. If you've never tried it you are invited to pop over and take a peek.

This is how the desk was earlier this morning, just as I left it when I got poorly at the weekend, so there are a couple of unfinished projects there, the Hougie board is still out, as are the flowers, scissors and dimensional squares. I keep brads in the little red set of drawers but, as you can see, it was sitting on an open copy of the Scrapbook magazine. It's open at an item showing an altered set of drawers and I was debating with myself whether I could do something similar with my wee set. Still not decided.

A couple of hours later here's the project I had been working on now completed. It's a matching notecard, seed packet envelope and notepad set I've made for a gardening friend. Here are some close ups of the individual items:
seed packet envelope- front and back

notebook - front and back

 Materials used:
Cardstock: Stampin' Up, Certainly Celery and Chocolate Chip
Design Paper & Toppers: from Joanna Sheen's Cottage Garden Papercraft CD Rom
Insert: White copy paper
Toppers for notepad: Design House, One Find Day sticker set
Embellishments: Prima e.line flowers brown, gold brads, Velcro fastener for seed packet envelope

Acknowledgements: I found the template for the seed packet on Julie's blog, Stamped in his Image. I had to enlarge the template to make it big enough for the packet of seeds but otherwise it was easy enough to make. I also have to thank, once again, my blogging friend, Sarah at The Handmade Card for the notebook idea. As usual, I used My Craft Studio Professional to make the insert using the digital punch tool.

Time for my lunch I think, then it's a trip round as many of the workspaces of the world as I can manage. I really enjoy these weekly trips to the desks and seeing what you've been up to, whether it is card making, scrapbooking, writing, knitting, sewing, whatever, and I try to get round as many as possible. If I miss any of you out I apologise but circumstances can conspire to prevent me. That's all for today.

Monday 21 February 2011

Columbine - Clean and Simple Cards + Snowdrop Disaster

Afternoon to everyone,

I hope you had a great weekend with plenty of crafting time. Unfortunately, my weekend was a bit of a non-starter as I had a lot of leg pain which prevented me sleeping and left me pretty wrung out by Sunday. However, all crafting was not lost because on Friday I had printed out a couple of digital stamps and stamped a couple of others on to watercolour paper all ready to be coloured so I was able to spend yesterday just quietly sitting colouring in with my Aquamarkers.


The theme for the Less is More challenge this week is Spring and for me it is the Aquilegia or, as it is more commonly known, the Columbine that epitomises Spring. I have several varieties in my garden. There are two favourites, one a red and yellow beauty that grows in my wildflower border and the other an alpine plant with a striking blue and white flower that grows in a trough just by the garden gate.   

The stamp I used is Columbine from A Passion for Stamps - thanks to Kerry of a Load of Old Pickle ,whose Honeysuckle card I so admired -for leading me to this lovely site.The stamp is a digital stamp so I decided to use my graphic programme and put it together with some lines from Shelley that I thought was particularly appropriate to the Spring theme.

And Spring arose in the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
The font used is Ancestory SF size 16. Once happy with the positioning of both the flower and the lines, they were printed out on Reeves watercolour paper (12" x 9" pad). I discovered that at 190gsm this paper is ideal for putting through my printer but unfortunately Daler & Rowney at 300gsm  is far too thick.  Once I'd coloured in the columbines I punched the edge with my only Martha Stewart punch as the finishing touch.

I couldn't decide which was my favourite flower colour so did both.

AquaMarkers used: Flame Red, Straw Yellow, Celery, Bamboo, Sepia, Aquamarine, Twilight Blue

Now for the disaster!
My first thought for the theme was kind of predictable - snowdrops - easy, especially as I already had the the lovely Sheena Douglass Spring stamp set. I stamped the snowdrops stamp and my favourite sentiment about Spring on to a pre-made base card. I then coloured the snowdrops using ProMarkers and this was the result:

The card was the wrong type for using ProMarkers on, it just soaked up the colour and became really smudgy looking. Lesson learned - the right card is needed for the job, especially if making a one layer card.

An Old Tip but A Good One
I'm sure many of you know this one but for those new to watercolouring - and it isn't so long ago that I was a total beginner, and I'm still no expert - this may be worth knowing and  it is that a white tile makes an ideal palette when working with AquaMarkers. Here's a photo of mine after my watercolour session. I've not washed the paint daubs off because a wet paintbrush makes the paint usable again - no waste!

Hope this helps some of you,

Saturday 19 February 2011

Baby's First Birthday Card + The Crafty Coo's Candy

Afternoon to you all,

This card was made for a friend's grandson who had his first birthday this week. It's a quick and easy card (it had to be because I was really pressed for time) using Woodland Folk products by Docrafts. This paper is really cute and suitable for children's cards - toadstools are lovely.

For speed, I used a pre-made topper of this cute little creature holding a flower which went well with the sentiment which came from a free set of stamps. I pinched this idea from my friend Sarah of The Handmade Card because I'd shied away from using pre-made toppers until I saw her effective use of them. The number one I stamped out, coloured it with a poppy red Promarker, and then mounted it on dimensionals to make pop out. The insert was made using my graphic programme and a verse added.
Materials used: 
  • Cardstock: white 5" square card plus a piece of white card measuring 3.5" square
  • Design Papers: 2 from Docrafts Woodland Folk A5 Paper Pack
  • Stamp: Sentiment from free stamp with Creativity Magazine; Number 1 from Papermania's AlphaMania set
  • Topper: from Docrafts pack for Woodland Folk
  • Insert: made using My Craft Studio's digital punch and Xmas Gold Gingham Paper, downloaded free from Bev Rochester of All The Things I Love and printed on to white copy paper
  • Verse: from Words for Every Occasion by Judith Wibberley
  • Ribbon from the Flora Collection by Anna Griffin and red/white baker's twine from The Ribbon Girl

Lorraine's Candy

On her blog, The Crafty Coo, Lorraine is offering the opportunity to win the most wonderful candy.  I quote:

". . . up for grabs this time around are 12 sets of clear stamps kindly donated to me by Time To Sow. As I'm sure you can probably tell from previous postings I am fortunate enough to be their designer so I get to play with all of their delicious stamps and one thing I can say with my hand on my heart... they are amazing stamps.. exceptional high quality that allows a perfect image every time and they can be adapted in so many different ways so you always have to remember to look beyond the immediate image for other potential uses.. and trust me... there are a variety of them. The retail value of these stamps is somewhere in the region of £100 . . . "

The sets are really fab and it's worth popping over to Lorraine's blog and taking a peek. My favourites are the sets with trees in them.

Right, of for another much needed cup of tea.

Friday 18 February 2011

Twisted Easel Card - Christmas Wishes

Evening all,

This small card, 3.75" square, is my first attempt at a twisted easel so very experimental of me. However, it didn't turn out too bad and the photograph does not do it justice - I blame the photographer : ( Here's a better shot of the base:

The greeting is a recyled one and is very glittery so kept catching the light in photo after photo. The cute sticker on the topper is from a Design House's Christmas Wishes pack bought from A Card 4 U who have since closed down for a re-vamp. I added iridescent glitter to the moon, the snow-covered hills and the snowman waving in the background and red glitter to Rudolph's nose.

The design paper came free with a craft magazine (sorry, can't remember which one) and I covered all but the back with it.

The matting card is a mid blue pearlescent from Create & Craft and the red glitter stripes are made by adhering narrow double-sided tape and rubbing red glitter into it. I added a few blue gems to finish the card off.

I hope to enter this card into the following:

Crazy Hazelnut's Challenge - Week 7 - feature a creature

Docrafts - Snowflake's Christmas Card Challenge - Week 7
That's me finished for the night - I'm off to watch The Hustle for a bit of light entertainment.

Thursday 17 February 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

Good afternoon everyone,

WOW! And OMG! It’s thrilling to be given an award, especially the Stylish Blogger Award, once, but to be awarded it three times is simply wonderful and a bit overwhelming. Three lovely ladies have taken the time to make this award to me. They are Sarah of The Handmade Card, Maggie of Maggie’s Crafts and Carol of the mysteriously entitled blog, Something Gone Missing – thank you ladies, it’s very much appreciated J

When I first started writing this blog it was with the encouragement of Sarah who, in an email suggested I should go for it! Her YouTube demos were the first I watched and learned from. A bit of research and humming and hawing I did indeed ‘go for it’. And I’m so glad I did, because had I not I wouldn’t have ‘met’, albeit in cyberworld, Maggie and Carol and that would have been a pity because they both give me inspiration with their lovely creations.

Now, depending which instructions your passing on, I am required to do the following:

1.      Write a post and link back to the person/people who gave the award.
2.      Share 7/8 random things about myself.
3.      Pass the award on to 8/15 lovelies.
4.      Contact those bloggers and let them know about their award.

Hence the delay between Sarah’s award and this post, but with Maggie and Carol showering awards on me too the time has come to carry out their instructions J

Step 1 is being taken care of by the very fact that I’m writing this so on to Step 2.  Having gone through this exercise once before I’m really not sure how interesting you would find it having to trawl through endless factoids so as a compromise here are just five:
(once again, feel free to skip this section if you wish)

·         Although a Scot, I was born in a little English village, Marchwood in Hampshire where my father, a RE in the Army, was posted after WWII.
·         I have lived an incredibly peripatetic life having, after Hampshire, lived in West Lothian, Edinburgh & Leith (home of my heart), Surrey, Yorkshire, Wiltshire, Northern Ireland, Germany, Middlesex, Banffshire, East Ayrshire, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Manchester itself, Massachusetts, the High Peak District, and now South Ayrshire.
·         When younger I was a registered foster mother, fostering 9 children in all.
·         One of my skills was to take medical shorthand at 140 wpm. I worked as a medical secretary for many years in hospitals and general practices up and down the country.
·         I love gardening, particularly cottage gardening, and all the old fashioned flowers associated with that style of gardening. My all-time favourite gardener was/is the late Geoff Hamilton – still sadly missed.

On to Step 3, now I have two different sets of instructions so by my calculations I can pass this award on to 37 people!!! I won’t, of course, do that but will limit myself to 15 and again I repeat the chosen 15 are representative of you all – because you are all so deserving of this award : )

Finally, in no particular order, my chosen 15 are (drum roll here):

Ikky -
Margaret -
Fiona -
Brenda -
Jules -
Scrapcat -
Dee -
Ros -
Helen -
Twiglet -
Wipso -
Marie -
Shazsilverwood -
Christa -
Laura -

Phew – that was a bit of a marathon. Before I go on to complete the instructions with Step 4 I’d like to leave you with the first photographs of spring:

Hellebores - earlier this year than last despite the winter we've just had

Wallflowers in bud in February!

my beloved columbines aquilegias just coming to life again(

Wednesday 16 February 2011

What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday - Week 89

Good Morning Everyone,

I trust you are all well this morning and enjoying life wherever you are in the world. Here in my own particular little patch in South Ayrshire, Scotland, it's almost like Spring and after yesterday's horrible, windy and dreary weather that's refreshing.  Many thanks to all who visited here last week. I started out well enough visiting many of you but then something radical happened to the list which threw me completely - the numerical order changed and as I'm dyslexic I got completely lost! So apologies to those of you I missed.

So what's on my desk today? Well, as you can see it's pretty much as I left it last night when I was experimenting with embossing folders. Late on I decided to put each of my small folder collection through the Cuttlebug to catalogue them. After that it just seemed pointless putting them all away again so I started to play with little bits of cardstock. I've now got a wee stock of ready embossed card to use on projects. You can see the drawer filled with off-cuts/scraps of card that I can't bear to throw away because it 'might just come in useful one day'. Well, it did last night : )

The blue card resting against my chicken cupboard (or chook cupboard as RosC would call it) is a piece of core'dinations which came free with the V&A Hanoverian folder from Docrafts. There was even a small piece of sandpaper to rub down the card once it was embossed! The effect is really very nice.

And then there is my new Ottlite. The Estate Manager treated me to this recently because 'my eyes are dim, I cannot see' as well as I used to and he took pity on me. The Ottlite casts a light like daylight over quite a wide area, certainly wide enough for me to work in, so I can now do my colouring wherever I want as this little beauty is portable.

I see this morning you can see my wire basket which is jam packed full of 6"x6" and A5 paper garnered over the year - I keep it there handy for card making. There's also a couple of plastic cartons, one has a stock of even tinier pieces of cardstock, useful for stamping greetings on or testing out colours, and the other contains stamped images waiting to be coloured in. In the background is all the bits and pieces I consider vital and so can't bear to put away.

If you have stumbled on this blog by happy accident and are now wondering what all this WOYWW is all about please pop over to the Stamping Ground blog here where the Keeper of Desks, Julia, has a lovely list of bloggers willing to show it all in the name of crafting. It's well worth the time taken as you just never know what you might find. Last WOYWW day I discovered Sandy of Keepsake Crafts who makes brilliant flowers from zips and due to the interest shown by some of us she has very kindly posted a tutorial here. Now, after seeing these on sample cards on TV but with no demo on how it was done, I did try to make them myself but I just wasn't pleased with the result so a big 'Thank You, to Sandy for this tutorial.

Right, I'm off for my first cup of tea before I do anything more.

Tuesday 15 February 2011

The First Tag I Made - The Anniversary Tag

Hiya to you all,

It's been a cold and very windy day up here in South Ayrshire - not nice at all. Even The Boss has refused to go out for more than a few minutes. So to cheer myself up I'm continuing with my 'retrospective' showing of something I made before I started blogging. I'd almost forgotten that I promised to post this in a previous post but here it is now - my first attempt at making a tag.

I made it for our 14th wedding anniversary in July last year. The Estate Manager and I married rather late in life so every anniversary comes as a lovely bonus!

This tag was inspired by a card made by Arlene of My Butterfly Kisses as seen here on You Tube.

Materials used:
  • Cardstock: cardboard for base 
  • Design Paper: cream and black patterned paper (front depicts music, back has diamond shapes); paper depicting old letters in cream and brown - all from a scrapbooking kit I'd had for so long that the maker is now forgotten. Cream Washi paper - a gift brought from Japan about 12 years ago!
  • Image: vintage photograph downloaded free from Internet
  • Flower: made from the paper depicting old letters and the Washi paper
  • Pin: made with amber bead and white and gold pearls
  • Charms: Some of the charms, beads, etc., were taken from my old & broken jewellery and the bell was purchased at the haberdashery department of my local department store
  • Stamps: 'I Love You' by Petalume and '14 years' & small heart shaped stamps from Papermania
  • Embellishments: black and brown feathers; black, silver and gold ribbons; diamante hearts; liquid pearls;  black and white ink pads; rub-ons ('cherish forever'); handmade mask (on back panel); eyelet and eyelet setter
Since making this one I have gone on to complete several more, but only for special occasions as they are really very time consuming to make. Which is why there are no Christmas tags. I've seen some really beautiful ones made for the Tim Holtz Days of Christmas challenge so I may be tempted to make one for this year.

Now it's back to my craft space to plan what to make next.

F1 Racing Birthday Card for a Grandson

Good morning to you all, and Happy Birthday, Alun!

Alun is my youngest grandson and today is his 12th birthday. Ever since he was a tot he has loved cars and this has developed into a fascination for F1 racing. In fact, he is something of an expert and knows the names of all the top drivers, current and past, and all the racing cars, colours, etc. So this year I've made him a card dedicated to the racing car.

This card was simple and easy to make because I found the toppers already pre-printed and the design paper was printed from a My Craft Studio CD. The insert needed a bit of tweaking, a change of colour from yellow to red. The image isn't of a racing car but this karting image fitted in nicely with today because our gift to him was a voucher to go karting - a taster for the real thing!

Materials used:
1. White cardstock for base; red A5 textured card from Create & Craft TV for matting
2. Paper from My Craft Studio's CD 'The Finishing Line'
3. Toppers from Create & Craft (bought at Wilkinson's)

I printed the design paper off in A4 size so that I could use it to cover both the front and back of the card. So there it is, an easy card to please our own wee car racing enthusiast.

I have another card to post so will be back when I have photographed it.

Hope you all have a very happy crafting day.

Monday 14 February 2011

The Wedding Tag + Valentine's Day Roses

Good Evening Everyone and Happy Valentine's Day

Yesterday I finished the wedding tag I was working on when I posted for WOYWW on Wednesday and here is a couple of photographs:

I had to make the box to match too.

This tag is very similar to the one posted on Wednesday - for a peek click here.  The main difference is that I've used a slightly different digital stamp from Pink Petticoat, it's still Lola's Big Day but she's wearing an ivory dress and the bridegroom is wearing the kilt.

I start by cutting out a tag in cardboard (I use the backs of envelopes used for sending photographs but any reasonably thick card would do) from a homemade template measuring 6.5" (16.5cm) long and 3.5" (9cm) wide. then I cut the template out twice in design paper, in this case I used two different designs. For the front American Crafts 'The Colour of Memories' and the paper for the back was from Flair Designs Love Collection, 'Love and Marriage'.  The card is then covered with a coat of white Gesso and then a coat of white acrylic paint, this ensures that there's a good foundation and that the edges are covered. Then the DP is adhered to both sides.

Stamps used: Papermania AlphaMania (the couple's initials); an Anita's stamp which appears to be nameless but the design has script, hearts and blots; Papermania Boutique 'A Perfect Day'.

Other materials:
Silver embossing powder; black ink pad; Promarkers; iridescent glitter; Stickles in Crystal; Wild Orchid flowers (white roses, cherry blossom, white rosebuds) heart shaped pin (decorated with gems from stash) and a blue crystal spray; small blue roses and heather sprays from The Works; ribbons and pearl trims, bell, key and heart charms, fibres in shades of white, blue and heather all from stash.

Materials used for the box: base in plain white card; top in pearlescent white card from The Paper Mill Shop.
Flowers as before and label is from a Magnolia die.

In my next post I will show you the anniversary tag that started it all.

In the meantime I hope you have all had a lovely Valentine's Day - I know I have. We stayed in, which, according to the news, is what most couples are doing and had a lovely celebration dinner. DH did present me with a dozen red roses and here they are:

Gorgeous, aren't they.

Goodnight to you all, sleep tight.