Wednesday 31 August 2011

Canvas with Four Pretty Little Maids

Good Morning All

Yesterday I worked on my August Mojo Monthly project hosted by Sarah at La De Dah - link here ... talk about skidding in at the last moment! Really I've been planning what to make for some time but other things, life, etc., have just got in the way. Anyway, I finally got to it yesterday and this is the result.

Sarah's suggestion this month was that we did something with envelopes and her examples, using window style envelopes, are terrific ... but I didn't have any of those in my stationery box. So, as usual, I improvised - I made paper roses, and leaves, from the windowless, shiny, manila type that were to hand. And, because I didn't have enough of the right sized circle punches, I cut them out using my Marianne die. I then distressed the roses, before curling, with a Vintage Photo ink pad and rubbed a white ink pad over the tips and also the leaves - you can just about see this in the photo.

The canvas got two coats of white gesso - these canvases do come  already gessoed but I just like to give them a couple of more coats - before dabbing with a salmon dabber over one of Tim Holtz mini masks, Florets, for the background. The salmon was a bit brighter than I anticipated so I rubbed Vintage Photo around the edges to tone it down some. Then I added embellishments roughly based on Sarah's example, using what I had to hand in the way of ribbons and lace, but with the addition of one of my family photographs, scanned and printed down to a size that fitted. These lovely little girls are my greats - three great-aunts, Wilhelmina, Henrietta & Janet, and my grandmother, Martha (bottom right). Aren't their bonnets amazing - I think they must be wearing their 'Sunday best' for this photo.

Here's a close up of the trim detail, some peach organza ribbon, cream tape, a leaf and a flat-backed pearl. The trim under the photo has some cotton lace and a very fancy beige trim added. The title, 'Family', was computer generated using Ancestry SF font.

So, that's it - another Elizabeth work of art destined to be hung in the gallery we now have established in the downstairs cloakroom, where it will be gazed upon by all our visitors, no doubt :)

Tomorrow Sarah will post yet more inspiration and an interview with a featured artist so if your mojo has deserted you, or even if you just want to see some truly wonderful creations, take a peek at her blog - La De Dah - and join in the fun if you will.

In the meantime, happy crafting to you all,

WOYWW - Week 117 - Still Planning

Hello Everyone

Well, would you believe it, another What's on Your Workdesk is upon us? It's been noted by others but I'm going to reiterate ... these Wednesdays seem to come round quicker every week! Of course, it's all Julia, Queen of Desks, fault. The success of WOYWW is down to her ... it was all her idea ... and most weeks well over a hundred crafters participate. Because ... because it's addictive :) If you haven't a clue what I'm wittering on about click the WOYWW logo on the left to be transported to Stamping Ground, Julia's place, where you'll find a bunch of links, join in the fun and start blog hopping round the workdesks of the world.

On my desk this morning there's not much is going on. I tidied up last night after finishing the canvas you can see resting against my chook cupboard ... can't help my self, it's an automatic response to mess ... and spread out some materials I might use today, cardstock, canvases, gesso, photographs, paintbrush in jar, when I've made up my mind what I'm going to do exactly.  The peachy dabber shouldn't be there - it was used on the canvas and should be put away by now. I plan to post more about the canvas later today.

In the background you can see my new pride and joy - the mini shelf unit I painted up at the weekend ... in situ and serving the very useful purpose keeping all sorts of necessary bits and pieces tidy. If you are at all interested you can see on the previous post - link here - how I transformed it from ugly to acceptable.

A short post today ... not like me, I know, but there's not a lot going on really. By the way, by my reckoning we are on week 117 but I see Julia reckons it is week 116!

Finally, I hope those of you who live in or around the path of Hurricane Irene have survived the chaos and destruction she left in her wake (Irene is my middle name so, by association, I've been thoroughly ashamed of myself this week!!!).  And best wishes to everyone else - hope you have a great WOYWW day.

Happy Crafting,

Tuesday 30 August 2011

Paint, Petroleum Jelly and Paint ... distressing a junk find tutorial

Good Afternoon,

Between ministering to the sick, my DH has been suffering from man flu, and keeping the home fires burning this weekend, I managed to find time to alter a wee set of shelves, originally intended to display thimbles and tiny decorated plates I think, found at a car boot sale for £1; from this dusty and unpromising state:

to this:

Gorgeous, isn't it. It's pretty and perfect for storing all those little pots of goodies I had stacked in a fairly random state around my workdesk.

Stage-by-stage here's how it was done.

Stage 1-2:
Washed down with soap & water, then washed down again with sugar soap; and finally rubbed down with sandpaper and wiped over before applying white undercoat. Apart from the white undercoat which was what left over from the recent kitchen makeover, the paint used came in tester pots which all cost £1 or less from a well-known DIY store. My aim was to try to create a faux distressed and worn look ... nothing like really testing myself at the first attempt :) For this I needed several layers of paint colours and my choice was, in order of application, raspberry pink, taupe, antique white and, because I ran out of the latter, the final coat had to be cream - all the paint is matt finish.

Stage: 3-5:
The first coat was an all over application of the raspberry, then, after the paint had dried, I daubed the taupe on in a random fashion - I hadn't a clue whether this was going to work but as the shelves cost peanuts I had nothing to lose by giving it my best shot. I let that dry and then smeared Vaseline Petroleum Jelly around corners and any areas where I thought there would be signs of wear and tear, like the edges of the shelves.

Stage 6-7:
Next stages were to apply two coats of antique white. You can see the petroleum jelly has already started to create the distressed effect I was aiming for.

Stages 8-10:
Because the two layers of antique white didn't give me the complete coverage I was looking for I applied a layer of cream ... this worked better than I thought it would as the cream looked even more aged and less pristine. After letting it dry I rubbed the shelves down, and where the petroleum jelly had been rubbed in, the top coats rubbed away to reveal the raspberry colour, and some of the taupe, underneath. Once I was pleased with the amount of raspberry/taupe paint showing and the effect I had achieved, I sprayed it all with Spray & Shine high-gloss varnish, which not only gave it a nice sheen but will protect the paint from further, unwanted, wear and tear.

Stage 11:
The final stage was to add a bit of decoration. I toyed with the idea adding flowers, butterflies, flourishes, etc., but in the end decided that less is more and just stamped a couple of bees, a miniature Lavinia stamp, on the top front panel using VersaMark and gold embossing powder, together with a sprinkling of the gold embossing powder along the upper edges here and there ... unfortunately, this last doesn't show up very well in the photos. Job done!

I spotted these wee display shelves at a car boot sale just lying on the ground, unloved and unwanted, and initially dismissed them ... thought they was ugly and probably hard work to prettify. So I left them and wandered off to check out what all the other car booters had to offer. However, they clearly made an impact because it wasn't long before I was thinking they would, with a little bit of tlc, make great storage for all the little tubs of card candy, ink pads and button jars I had lying about, so I went back to snag them before someone else saw their potential :)

And, I'm so glad I did. I'm really chuffed with the finished piece, it's pretty and functional ... and anything that helps keep my stuff organised is good with me. It was also a lot easier to alter them than to write up ... the only thing that took time was the drying of the various coats between applications. I'll be keeping my eye open for similar pieces as altered they would make great gifts.

Right, I'm off to give DH some more chicken soup ... got to get him fit and well again. Hope you are all well and, despite the rather dismal weather, that those of you in England had a good holiday weekend.

Happy Crafting,

Friday 26 August 2011

For a Birthday on Christmas Day

Hello Everyone

This week's challenge for Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge is to make a card for a Christmas Birthday. So, this card could be for a Christmas Day birthday, but it could just as easily be a Christmas card ... I don't actually know anyone with a Christmas birthday :)

I've made the card entirely from scraps with the exception of the Magnolia Tilda topper ... another stamp that I had coloured some time ago,  putting it away hoping I'd find a use for it eventually!  The base is Stampin' Up's Crumb Cake and the matting is Baja Breeze. The red scalloped square was a leftover piece from a longer strip ... when I used half on an earlier project, cutting had left one straight edge so I just traced and cut around the scallops to create a matching edge to finish it off. The dotty Fancy Pants paper was more leftover DP from this Easter scrapbook layout made recently. The edges of both toppers are distressed with TH's Pumice Stone DI and the Magnolia topper is edged with gold glitter ... her hat and apron are edged with iridescent glitter ... she looks ready to party. The flowers are Prima Essentials Shabby Chic, been in stash forever, and I made flower centre with a LOTV stamp - stamped with black Stazon on Baja Breeze card.  The stamp simply says Christmas Day, 25th Dec ... suitable, I think, for either a birthday or Christmas.

The inside is just decorated with matted strips of the DP ... there wasn't much left so I just measured the DP out and divided into three equal strips, did the same with the card, and inked up the edges to match the front before sticking in place. Otherwise, I've left the inside blank ... a suitable sentiment can be added later.

The third strip went on the back - I don't like to leave the back blank.

I always think that this Tilda looks as though she is not sure whether she has turned up to the right party on the right day or not ... in fact, she looks a bit wistful ... maybe she didn't receive an invitation but she's come along in the hope that someone will invite her to join in the fun : )

I'll be submitting this card to Hazel's Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge, #34, - Christmas Birthday/Anything Goes

And, because I've used up yet more snippets, to Always With a Heart's  Jules Crafty Snippet Challenge #33

Hope you all have a great weekend. It's and English Bank Holiday weekend so I hope the weather cheers up and stays bright and dry for you all down there ... though that could be hoping for rather too much for a Bank Holiday!

Happy crafting too,

Thursday 25 August 2011

Foxglove Birthday Card, Bookmark and Matching Envelope

Evening to you all,

It's been a lovely day ... well, there was a wee downpour or two but, in the main, it has been a sunny and bright day so no complaints here. Of course, it did rain while I was in town ... had to stock on glue tape rollers and finger lift DS tape from Wilkinsons - nice - and keep an appointment with the dental hygienist- not so nice.  Well, enough of that, on to the crafting ... here's the last August card.

It had to be pretty and ultra-feminine for my SIL's 83rd birthday - she just loves flowers, etc., and there was enough materials leftover after making the card to put together a bookmark, and decorate the envelope too. Yet, I only printed out one page of toppers, one page of backing paper and the matching insert in this very pretty foxglove design from Joanna Sheen's The Country Diary CD.

The card features embossing, using font letters for the first time from the Songbird folder from Cuttlebug, and the SU Manhattan Flower folder again ... I just love that folder :)  It's actually A5 size, that is, 5.75" wide x 8.25" long, and the SU folder is only 4.5"wide - too narrow to cover the entire width. So, to make up the difference, I added a embossed strip with the word Sister on it. To hide the seem between embossed pieces I cut out the flowers from one of the large toppers ... I know, I thought I'd done enough cutting out for my niece's card but, well, I wanted this card to be special too ... and decoupaged them over the join but leaving the letters visible. The topper, a middle-sized one, got similar treatment.

The only other embellishments were the pale pink rainbow drops ... I'm loving these pretty wee things, they look like drops of dew.

Here's the insert - the sentiment is from Words for Every Occasion by Judith Wibberley ... that book is beginning to look well-thumbed :)

And the back got the treatment too ... that's one of the smallest toppers on the sheet.

The bookmark was made by tracing round one of the many I own ... I collect bookmarks wherever I go on holiday ... cutting it out from a piece of the cream pearlescent card, covering the reverse side with DP and adding a small topper. Punch a hole and thread through a tassel (an eBay purchase) and job done ... couldn't be easier. There was one large topper left to decorate the envelope.

  • white cardstock for A5 base card
  • cream pearlescent card for embossing, matting & bookmark base
  • DP, toppers & insert from Joanna Sheen's The Country Diary CD 1
  • White printing paper for DP & insert
  • Cuttlebug: font from Songbird folder; Stampin' Up Textured Impressions folder, Manhattan Flower
  • Crafty Notions pale pink rainbow drops
  • Pink tassel and peel-off edging from stash.

I did survive the attentions of the hygienist, teeth are gleaming and, surprisingly, I came away happy to have seen her. Why? Well, because she sussed that the dry mouth and painful sores I suffer from are due to the medication I'm on and, better still, she was able to prescribe a gel to help ... I'm so pleased. Another problem sorted :)

 The EM has come down with a cold after his jaunt to Manchester at the weekend ... when I said, bring something back that's not quite what I meant. Anyway, it means that I'm keeping the domestic routine running smoothly and that doesn't give me much time for crafting. However, there are signs of recovery so, hopefully, I'll be able to get back to some serious crafting at the weekend.

In the meantime, happy crafting to you all,

Wednesday 24 August 2011

WOYWW - Week 116 - Planning Layouts

Hello Everyone,

And a very happy WOYW Wednesday to you all ... why am I so cheery, you may wonder. Well, it's simply that the sun is shining ... and after the dull days we've had recently that's refreshing and cheering :)

So here's my desk this morning ... revealing that I'm in the throes of planning. I've just completed the last birthday card for August, phew!, but I have a busy September coming up - three birthday's all on the same day - the 16th ... DH will be 73, a close friend will be 70 and my lovely Uncle Emrys will be 80, all on the same day!!! And, the craft retreat I'm going to also starts on 16th ... I couldn't have planned it worse if I'd tried :) And, on top of that, I'm determined to get some more 8"x8" layouts done for Granny Ann's album ... it's going to be her Christmas present, even if it kills me :) And that is why I'm planning ... I need to, to stay sane! And I thought being retired would be a time to relax and put my feet up ... and boring, and dull ... :)

So, there's a bunch of photos, including one of my old family photographs of my great-grandparents, which I'd like to use in a layout for my heritage album ... hopefully sometime soon. The ones at the front are lying on top of a scrapbook layout planner page (designed by Wendy Teeter of The Vintage Mint) that I'm trialing, and the paper pack I intend using for this layout ... might make my scrapbooking a bit easier and more organised.

To the right is a plastic sleeve containing the materials for the next Christmas/snippet card and to the right is my box of A4 paper. Going through it, looking for suitable paper for the 8"x8" layouts, I realised that all the paper came free with magazines. There isn't a piece I've bought myself. I don't buy A4 paper ... A4 card, yes, but not paper. I do buy tons of 12"x12" - can't resist it, all those yummy designs and gorgeous colours ... such a useful size that lends itself well to scrapping and cardmaking ... you can make an 8"x8" layout and a couple of cards, or four 6"x6" cards/mini album layouts, all from one page costing anything from 50p to just over a £1 depending on how special it is. I have also bought quite a lot of those dinky little stacks that measure anything from 6"x6" to 8"x8" because they are perfect for cardmaking. But A4 sized DP just doesn't do it for me ... I think of it as wasteful with a lot of leftover waste to add to the ever-growing snippet mountain!

What do others think about A4 size DP, do you share my views or do you just love it? I'd be interested to read other's views on the subject.

Okay, I'm hoping I'm a bit earlier this week, and I'm also hoping to do as well as I did last week and get round a lot of desks ... when I'm not planning, that is :) For anyone who isn't aware of what WOYWW is all about, where have you been??? It's the morning we all reveal the state of our workspace, be it desk, kitchen/dining table, lap trays in front of the TV, or even, in one notable case, the floor, to the Head Desk Inspector, Julia's place.  And you can join in too ... just pop over to here, Stamping Ground, and add your blog to the links ... go on, it's fun and you'll enjoy it :)

Hope you are all keeping well and enjoying life wherever you are. For those of you who are not so well, I hope your health improves over the coming week. Thank you to all who take the time to comment ... knowing the busy life we all have, it's really appreciated.

Edited Note: Responding to Elizabeth's comment and for the benefit of crafters in the US, and perhaps other countries outwith the UK, A4 paper measures 11.5" x 8.25" - silly of me not to realise that many of you wouldn't know what this equated too in your country ... abject apologies and bows head in shame :(
Happy Crafting All,

Tuesday 23 August 2011

Two Pretty Pyramage Puppies

Hello Everyone,

I hope you are all well and enjoying your week wherever you are. Weather here isn't too bad, not bright and sunny as you would hope for in August, but reasonably warm, dry and pleasant.

A couple of weeks ago my friend, Marie-Louise, sent me these sweet little puppies, and instead of just putting them away somewhere safe ... that usually means to be forgotten ... I decided to put them together, keep them in view, ready and waiting for the right card to come along. And after completing the little 8"x8" scrap layout this weekend, see post here, I realised that the leftover scraps of paper and card would be perfect for the puppies.

I made this first A5 sized card with my niece, Louise, in mind. It's her birthday tomorrow - her 27th - and as she is an ultra-feminine, girly kind of young woman, the card is very girly to suit. The aqua in the puppy's hat is picked up in this gorgeous DP from Fancy Pants Wishful Thinking collection - a freebie from Simply Cards & Papercraft!

The insert is computer generated using Bearly Mine Design digital paper and the MCS digital punch. Sentiment from one of my favourite resources, a bought card received several years ago - I just adapted the wording to suit.

The back is decorated with a strip of the insert design and I even cut out the digitally punched shape ... only for someone as loved as Louise would I do that ... it is so fiddly to cut round I nearly lost the will to live :)

There was enough left of the DP to make this useful 5"x5" Just Because card ... I've named this pup Charlie because he is very much like my friend, Ruth's dog, Charlie ... right down to the look on his face when he's been naughty!

The insert is made the same way as the first but the digital paper is a slightly paler colour - which made it very tricky to photograph ... the camera found it really difficult to focus on it.

White cardstock for base
Papermania textured cardstock for matting
Fancy Pants Wishful Thinking DP
Pyramage puppy & sentiments
White copy paper for computer generated insert using Bearly Mine Design Simply Dots digital paper & digital punch
Wild Orchid Crafts cherry blossoms, cream satin ribbon and Crafty Notions aqua rainbow drops from stash.

I'm submitting this to Jules' Sunday Snippet Challenge - Week 33 - I think it might just impress her that I managed to get two cards from this leftover piece of DP!

I can't get away from birthdays this month - I'm now making a card for my SIL's birthday on 27th. I plan to finish that this evening so that I can get back to doing some more scrapbook layouts ... well, that's the plan anyway. But first, a cuppa is called for, methinks :)

Happy Crafting,

Sunday 21 August 2011

Queen Elizabeth Rose - A Perfect Stunner

Afternoon All,

Just had to share these two photos with you ...

This is the first bloom we've had from our new Queen Elizabeth hybrid rose bush. The EM decided to give our vegetable patch over to growing roses this year. Three reasons - he's getting on a bit, he's 73 this year, and has rheumatoid arthritis which gives him a bit of gyp making veg growing difficult at times, we can buy vegetables really cheaply at the market, and, best reason of all, we love roses. So we debated and cogitated and eventually chose three rose bushes - it's a really small growing patch - and one of them had to be this one, my favourite pink rose. And you can see why ... it's a beauty! To give some ground cover we planted some herbs and lavender around the roses ... this has worked really well, and the bonus is that we have herbs to use in cooking.

Just had a call, the EM is on his way home ... yippee! The Boss and I have missed him ... she has been searching every nook and cranny looking for him, and been quite vocal about it too :) So, I'm off to cook up a treat for his return.

Easter 1998 - 8"x8" Scrapbook Layout

Hello Everyone,

I promised myself a weekend of scrapping and here's the first layout completed ... I'm never going to be a speedy crafter that's for sure :(

This is another page for Granny Ann's album - yes, I'm still working on this album ...  It just takes me forever to choose the materials, decide on the layout, the title and the embellishments ... maybe I'll speed up with practice!  The photograph is of my three oldest grandchildren, taken when they were oh, so young, enjoying some Easter eggs. I wish I could find a way of ensuring that the photos of the completed layouts would be straight and spot on ... mine always seem to be just a tad out somehow, so apologies for the glimpses of my chook cupboard in the background. And, if anyone can tell me the best way to prevent reflection from the photographs shiny surface, I'd be eternally grateful ... I tried several shots in several areas of the house before I succeeded with this one!

I used the following materials for this layout: Docrafts textured cardstock for base; DPs from the Fancy Pants, Wishful Thinking collection (free with Simply Cards & Papercraft); Title letters computer generated (apart from the 'E' which comes from the collection; Small heart-shaped & circle paper punches; Fine black pen for faux stitching effect; Handmade flower made from ribbons, button & bakers twine from stash.

I'm on a scrapbooking roll now so I'm off to put together another layout for Granny Ann's album ... might just get it finished in time for Christmas :)

Happy Crafting,

Saturday 20 August 2011

Poor Man's Roast - Meat Loaf Recipe

Hello Everyone,

This is one of my favourite recipes from childhood. I'm the oldest of five children, born just after WWII when food was still on ration and money was short. Out of necessity cheap, economical but tasty dishes became my mother's speciality ... she really could make a meal out of nothing!! My mother also came from a large family and so the extended family was ... well, extensive :) I had lots of lovely young aunts and handsome young uncles - many of whom were in the forces doing their National Service - and when they were home they were always popping in and out of our house, not to mention the frequent visits from my grandmother. It was all great fun for me and my siblings but must have tested my mother's ingenuity at times. This meat loaf was a cheap and cheerful Sunday dinner, and Poor Man's Roast presumably because it could be sliced up just like a real meat roast.  Back then it was served up with roast potatoes, homemade gravy and whatever green vegetable was in season. My own children preferred it if I served it up with chips and sweetcorn!

There are a lot of recipes for meat loaf around and I'm sure many of you have tried them out ... perhaps you've got your own favourite. What makes this my favourite is that there is no bacon or ham included - I'm not keen on the flavour these ingredients give to a meat loaf. I do, however, sometimes add some crushed chilli seeds and cumin seeds for a bit of a modern twist on an old favourite. We have herbs growing in both the garden and in pots, so I just pick a bunch of whatever is in season - when I cooked the loaf this week I was able to pick a mix of parsley, marjoram, thyme and chives. Here's the recipe:

Meat Loaf Recipe

Pre-heat oven to 190°C – Gas Mark 5
2lb loaf tin


1 lb mince beef
½ lb pork sausage meat
1 cup of fresh breadcrumbs (preferably wholemeal, but white will do)
1 large onion – finely chopped
1 dsp tomato purée
1 bunch of fresh mixed herbs – finely chopped (or 1 tsp dried herbs)
1 beef Oxo cube (optional)
2 eggs – beaten
Salt & pepper to taste

Put all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly as you go, and seasoning to taste. Press the mixture into a 2lb loaf tin, spreading evenly, than bake in the oven for 1 ¼ hours. When cooked, it will have shrunk from the sides of the tin. Allow to cool slightly before placing on a serving dish. 

We like it served with hot, homemade tomato sauce, baked potatoes and sweetcorn, but it’s also very nice served cold with salad and pickles. Leftovers make a good sandwich filling.

Hopefully, if you decide to give this recipe a try, you will enjoy it as much as we do.

Happy cooking,

Friday 19 August 2011

Simply Inky Christmas Card

Good Morning All,

Just posting the Week 33 Christmas card for Hazel's challenge - which I try my hardest to enter every week and so often fail miserably ... this week I'm going to make it ... just!

This is the card that appeared on my messy desk revealed on WOYWW post this week. It's very much an experiment in inking based on something I spotted Dawn Bibby doing on TV recently. DB took a decorative/ornate edged white base card, with shapes already cut out around the edges, and inked all over the closed card. The effect was that not only did the face of the card get inked but, where there was a cut out area, the ink went through to leave a decorative effect.  Whilst watching the demo I thought that it should be possible to get the effect using any suitable punch, so here's my version of the DB card using my X-cut falling stars punch (can't remember the real name of this design). I began by punching the corners, then stamping with VersaMark shooting stars and snowflakes randomly over the front and then inking all over with a blue ink pad to reveal the stamping and cover the card.

As you can see it was a success - the ink left an impression of the punch inside on the right-hand side corners of the card. I then punched out a mask on a bit of spare card, placed it in the corners of the left inside and inked through that to give a balanced look. So far so good ... but ...

I didn't intend to do much with the back of the card but ... when I was inking the front, pushing it around and inking away as you do, the back was picking up any ink left on the surface I was working on ... result: an inky mess! So there was nothing for it, I had to ink the back too and having done that it cried out to get the mask treatment as well.

To finish I stamped the greeting in VersaMark on the front of the card and embossed it in white, added the ribbon and sprinkled a few blue & clear gems around the stars and snowflakes.

  • 5" square white card base
  • VersaMark ink pad
  • Adirondack Earthtones Stonewashed ink pad
  • X-Cut shooting star paper punch
  • Anita's Magical Christmas stamp set
  • Docrafts Penelope & Percy stamp set
  • Papermania Seafoam White embossing powder
  • Blue/white saddle stitched ribbon
  • blue and clear gems

I'm submitting this card for Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Week 33 - Simply Christmas

The card didn't take long to make, and would have taken even less time had I not messed up the back with ink ... note to self: be more careful next time! Cards could be made for almost any occasion using this technique and different punches - for example, a tiny heart shaped corner punch for a Valentine's Card; a leaf shape for an autumn themed card; or even use a daisy edge punch for a pretty effect ... the possibilities seem endless.

It's POETS day today so time to wish you all a very happy and enjoyable weekend - rather like the one I've promised myself.   My DH has left me to my own devices whilst he is visiting his sister for the weekend.  Of course, The Boss is still here, just to keep an eye on me! That gives me two/three days in which to amuse myself ... mmm ... I wonder what I can do with all that time? Yep, not much guessing needed, I've promised myself a weekend of scrapping ... that is the scrapping weekend I planned for last week which didn't quite come off.

Happy Crafting,

Wednesday 17 August 2011

WOYWW - Week 115 - Proving I Can Do Messy

Hello Everyone,

Most of you will know that I'm a bit of a neatnik - no, correction, an obsessive neatnik! Hate disorganisation and muddle so week after week my desk looks tidy, pristine, even. Not today. In fact, I nearly didn't take this pic - to ashamed to do WOYWW this week - I'm blushing right now looking at the mess. How did I get in this muddle, you might ask? Well, we had friends to dinner last night and I was crafting around the preparations - as you do!  Eventually, I just had to abandon it all to get the dinner on the table on time - as you do! On reflection though, I think I might just have earned my crafter's credentials at last!!!

So what's on my desk - everything! Well, everything that went into the making of the wee card you can see at the front of the desk. Ink, stamps, bling, scissors, heat tool, EP, paper punch, ruler, ribbon, glue sticks, box of sharp instruments. There's even a sanding block which I didn't use so why it's there I really don't know. And why TH's Black Soot is lying out when I used a blue ink pad, is another mystery. You wouldn't believe I was trying to produce a CAS card, now would you? :)

For a glimpse of even more messy desks, and some neat and tidy ones too, hop over to the Queen of Desks, Julia's blog, Stamping Ground, where you can while away many happy hours getting vicarious pleasure examining over 100 such desks from around the world - you'll find it's well worth the trip.

I hope you are all well and enjoying yourself wherever you are. My grandchildren are back to school today - I'm sure I heard my daughter whooping for joy last night!!! She promised she would take a pic or two of them in their new school uniforms for me so I'll be popping over to Facebook later on in the hope that she has uploaded them - more photos for gran to scrap :)

I've got my cuppa beside me and I'm sitting comfortably so I'm ready to begin snooping visiting fellow WOYWWers.

Happy Crafting to All,

Tuesday 16 August 2011

Flying High - and making clouds with cotton wool

Hello Everyone

Miserable day out so great excuse to stay cosy in the craft space. Here's the card I made for my son's birthday recently - one of the many August birthdays!

Alun has been flying microlights for two years now so when I spotted this little wood-mounted stamp from Hobby Art I didn't resist. I've yet to find a stamp of a microlight aircraft ... so this one had to do.

The background of the toppers was made using a technique I watched Barbara Gray demonstrate using a cotton wool ball. The cotton wool is fluffed out a bit, dabbed onto the VersaMark ink pad and then gently dabbed here and there on the coated card. This is followed with inking all over with a sky blue ink using a make-up sponge - I used the blue in the Hydrangea Big & Juicy pad. You can see the VersaMark resisting as you cover the card. The final thing to do is buff the card with tissue/soft kitchen paper to reveal the clouds.

I used an off-cut from the background to make the greeting to match.

The backing paper and insert are computer generated using a Joanna Sheen CD.

Even the back is covered in clouds.

A4 white cardstock for base;
Snippets of sky blue & pastel blue cardstock and silver holographic card for matting and layering; Design paper and insert computer generated using Joanna Sheen's Nostalgia Collection CD1;
Clarity Stamp A6 coated card for topper and greeting;
VersaMark, cotton wool, Big & Juicy Hydrangea and a make-up sponge to create clouds and sky background;
Stamps - Hobby Art, Hawker Hart (plane), Craft Stamper free stamp, Flying High and Stampin' Up, Birthday Wishes from the So Happy for You set;
Memento Ink, Tuxedo Black;
ProMarkers - Poppy, Ice Grey 3 Cobalt Blue & Indigo Blue; Perfect Pearls, Forever Blue; Turquoise/white star patterned ribbon from stash.

And here's a shot of the birthday boy - can't believe he's now 42 years old ... where does the time go???

Love this happy photo of Alun with his lovely daughter, Jolene, and his great-niece, my baby great-granddaughter, Rhian, who was fascinated with my granddaughter's long blonde hair.  Rhian now weighs in at 16lbs, has eleven teeth and has learned how to crawl - her mother reckons she will be walking very soon!

I'm entertaining today so there's been a flurry of cleaning and dusting this morning. By special request, it's meat loaf on the menu - DH just loves meat loaf - so I'd better go and prepare it, ready for the oven. Sigh ... there won't be much crafting done until much later today.

Happy crafting,