Monday 27 February 2012

Altered Notebook Cover

Hello Everyone,

I hope you all had a great weekend and that Monday hasn't come as too much of a shock for you.

I didn't accomplish much yesterday but I did complete this little project.

I have quite a large collection of notebooks with fairly boring covers, leftovers from when the craft space was my home office, and this one was no exception. But it's no longer an office so my notebooks don't have to be so plain and uninteresting to look at so I'm on a mission to alter the covers of them all starting with this one.

I like green, or should I say, certain shades of green are my favourites, e.g. olive tones, hunter green, some pastel shades such as eau de nil and the duck egg shades, but there are other shades that are just not to my taste at all - the vile greens. And the cover of this notebook was very definitely the latter.

I began by painting with Adirondack dabbers, Mushroom and Juniper, around the edges just to tone the green down a bit, before building a collage on both the front and back covers. Then I brought together pieces of torn pattern papers, an old map print-out, a French dictionary page and a variety of antique images of flowers and birds, most from Green Paper, and put together a collage.

The flowers and butterflies were punched out of more snippets of paper and glittered up with yellow Stickles. The notebook is going to be used for pasting/writing in any words, etc., which I think could be used on cards or scrap layouts so the EM brought out his trusty Labelmaker and typed up the relevant words - all I had to do was randomly stick them onto the front.

The back - no flowers and butterflies here.

Being a thing of 'shreds and patches' the collage is definitely one for Di over at Pixie's Sunday Snippet Challenge #9 and as nothing new was used in the making - even the notebook was so old it had an address label from out years in Derbyshire on the front ... we've been in Scotland some 10 years now!!

If you've ever thought of doing something similar I can recommend it and can only urge you to have a go. You don't have to be a super talented artist - something I always thought you had to be - you just have to give it a go. If I can do it, anyone can :))

I think the collage has cheered up the notebook immensely and now it's a pleasure to behold.When I find the time those other notebooks are in for a complete makeover too :)

No headbanger on Dancing on Ice last night, but a few moves I thought decidedly chancy! And I'm not entirely happy with the result ... but then I don't phone vote so I can't be too critical.  It's many years since I donned a pair of ice skates, and after watching this series I've lost the yen to do so ... skating has got way to much like a blood sport for me!!!

Right, I'm off to do a bit of blog visiting ... I've a bit of catching up to do after a weekend of being out and about and generally playing hooky.

Happy Crafting,

Sunday 26 February 2012

Weekend Roundup

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to my newest followers, Jo, Jen and Sue - I hope you enjoy my crafty projects and are entertained enough by my scribblings to occasionally return to see what I've been getting up to :))

The weekend is not entirely over yet so I hope you are all relaxing and having a fun Sunday. We were out and about yesterday, walking along the coastal road between Ardrossan and West Kilbride, and it was so cold and breezy ... bad enough to make your ears dirl (to tingle and burn with pain)! I did manage to take a few photographs, just taking off my gloves long enough to snap and no more :)

I first saw this painted stone more than 40 years ago when I first visited Ayrshire and it amazes me that the message is still there and still legible after all this time ... paint that durable should be used on the Forth Railway Bridge!

It was too cold for me to try to get any nearer for a close-up, but I do know that the message reads, 'It's Jesus that Saves' - sorry I couldn't read the small print but I think it must give the book, chapter and line that is the source.

We soon took refuge in a lovely garden centre with a restaurant attached, an Italian bistro, where we had a warming and tasty bowl of homemade cream of mushroom soup ... delicious! After that it was a quick drive home - we'd had enough of the sea air by that time :)

It's a little known fact, but the EM likes to keep me in flowers. I've no sooner emptied a vase of dying flowers than he pops out to the nearest supermarket and brings home a bunch of whatever takes his eye. Yesterday it was a mixed bouquet and two bunches of daffodils in bud - and look at how much they've opened up in the warmth of the house in just one day:

And here's one of the roses from the bouquet ...

... the most gorgeous velvety red rose - stunning.

So no cards or crafty projects to share with you today but I hope you enjoyed these photographs instead.

I am working on a project today ... covering a notebook that I intend to use for keeping the many sentiments and verses I've been clipping out because they might come in useful some day. Up to now I've just been pushing them into my trusty Words for Every Occasion book but it's got to the unmanageable stage so time to do something about it. Hopefully, I'll finish it today and share it with you tomorrow.

And that being the case, I'd better get a wriggle on because I'll be spending a goodly bit of the evening parked on the sofa enjoying my weekly fix of Dancing on Ice ... just hoping there will be no headbanger this week!!!

Enjoy your evening everyone and keep crafting,

Friday 24 February 2012

Flashback Friday - First Black & White Card Made

Hi Folks

Here's a fun little challenge I've just discovered over at Amy's blog - Flashback Friday Challenge. Jen, the guest designer, has challenged us to show our first black and white card. I didn't really have to look too far back through my posts to this one posted in 19th July 2011 - just one of my favourite projects, ever :)

This card, made especially for my husband for our 15th wedding anniversary, was inspired by Sarah's (Sasa) first Mojo Monthly. I took her idea of re-using photographs in a different way, in this case photos from a visit to Dunaskin Heritage Centre, some of which can be seen here. Using MS Publisher I changed the photos from colour to black & white and shrunk them down to 2" x 1.5" and printed out onto glossy paper. It was easy enough to cut them all out using a guillotine. The base is made from black leather-look card and the photos are layered on to white textured card.

The insert is simply white copy paper decorated with Inkadinkado's Steampunk Flourish stamp (won on ebay) and sentiments from Inkylicious. And yes, that is a black smudge you can see there. This was my second attempt at the insert too - the first one, I stamped it up in portrait instead of landscape orientation :( 

I've made one or two more black and white card since, the most recent just a couple of days ago, because I really like the crispness the it produces.

This is the 20th Flashback Friday challenge and to celebrate Amy is offering a very generous prize package of 20 items to match the 20th challenge (value $95!!!)  Looks gorgeous doesn't it.

All you have to do is join in her blog hop here and visit the past Guest Designers and link up your own first B&W card. 

So grab a cuppa and join the hop, post a photo of your first black and white card, and you might just be the lucky winner.

Now I'm off to get that cuppa and start hopping :)

Happy Crafting,

Creating a Scene for Christmas - It's Rudolph Day

Hello to you all,

Here I am at the end of a busy day and it's not been bad at all. My DH was at the hospital today and has been declared officially free of cancer - yippee! It's been a long five years and we're so glad it's all over :)

After the obligatory domestic stuff this morning I managed to slip into the craft space for a bit of R&R this afternoon.

Hazel over at Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - #60 - set us the task of creating a scene and here's what I came up with.

I've been recycling again ... the idyllic winter scene was cut out of another commercially bought card we received two Christmases ago! I have added glitter glue (Stickles Crystal) to it and then backed it with a die-cut that is also edged with glitter glue (Stickles Burgundy). I've added sprays of holly (Penny Black Winter Bough) embossed with transparent crystal powder (Stamp 'N Stuff) to a white card base and strips of iridescent glue on the front and inside edges. Finally, I've embellished it with some red card candy in the corners.

I really like the effect of the embossing, subtle but pretty. I thought this stamp, one of my favourites from Docrafts,  Penelope & Percy, Christmas Greetings, appropriate for the scene.

As well as submitting this card to CHNC, I will be entering it over at Sandra's, Stamping for Pleasure, for February's Rudolph Day tomorrow when Mr Linky is up and running - it's my first entry for this challenge as I was too late discovering it in January.

Okay, I'd better get a wriggle on if I want to get over to Hazel's before the challenge closes.

Happy Crafting,

Sleepy Puppy - a recycled snippet card

Hi Folks

I'm nice and early this morning ... no idea why, but I was up with the lark :)

Whilst doing a bit of blog hopping yesterday, I came across Cynthia, the Rainbow Lady's Challenge Blog and was tickled to read that it was Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day. As Cynthia says, a very odd day to celebrate :) However, it prompted her to challenge us to make something that features a dog/dogs and this is what I came up with:

My recent organising session turned up this wee chap. He first appeared on a High Street bought card a non-crafting friend sent me for my birthday ... I thought he was way too cute to throw out so cut him out of the card for recycling one day.  Because the illustration is monochrome, I've stayed with the black/white colour combo. This is the first time I've used this embossing folder ... which is a crime since I got it way back in the middle of last year! ... and it is lovely. The tiny paw print stamp is one I brought back from Massachusetts in 1996. The price tag is still on it - $3.99! That's £2.55 in today's exchange rate and a bit of a search in the online catalogue index found at Blade Rubber Stamps suggests that it is still available, now costing £3.90 ... now that's inflation for you :)

Strategically placed paw prints on the inside ...

All materials are either from my snippet mountain, recyled items box, or from stash so it's another for Di's Crafty Snippets, Number 8, and as not a new penny was spent in the making of it, it definitely is:

Materials used:

  • White  5" square scalloped-edge card base.
  • Pieces of  card, black & white, trimmed to fit card and recycled topper.
  • All-In-One Cuttlebug embossing folder, True Love.
  • Magenta Paw Print stamp.
  • Memento ink pad, Tuxedo Black
  • Black/white stitched ribbon and black self-adhesive gems from stash.

The sun is out today and there's a gentle breeze, well, for now at any rate, so we should get out this afternoon for our daily walk ... in this mercurial climate of ours, what's the betting it will be raining by then. The EM has an OP appointment this morning - hopefully his last after his brush with cancer, as it is over 5 years since he had an operation to remove a malignant melanoma - fingers crossed.

The visit to the dentist was good and bad - good news that I'm a good girl and maintaining my usual high standards in the teeth cleaning department, bad news that I really must have that root canal job done - the temporary filling, is just that - temporary! So an appointment has been made for next month :( Oh dear, someone pass me the morphine!!!

It's almost 10am my time, so I'm off to brew another cuppa before contemplating my next project.

I hope all is going well for you, that you are well, and if not, wishing you a speedy recovery. Have a great weekend everyone and ...

... keep crafting :)

Thursday 23 February 2012


Hello Everyone,

And a very Happy Handy Hippo day to you all too, wherever you are. Here in Scotland the weather is dire, hope that's not the case for you.

I've made a very simple and easy card to share with you this week. 

This is a white A5 size card covered in a stunning vintage floral design glittered patterned paper from K & Co ... too beautiful to cover up. The topper, made by Kanban, is of one of the small native British birds, matted on to two co-ordinating designs from the same paper pad as the floral base. 

Materials used for this project are available from Handy Hippo and if you would like to make the same project then simply click on the magic button below and it will take you directly to a shopping cart that contains everything you would need to make it. Once there, you can simply and easily remove any of the items that you already have in your craft stash. 

It’s easy to add to your basket any other purchase that you might like and if something is temporarily out of stock you can request to be emailed once it is back in stock.

How I made this card:
  • First, I covered the front of an A5 card with the design paper layered on a coordinating paper from the same paper pad - the design chosen has an illustration of the lilac flower of the hosta plant which I thought would look good with the topper, and the mat is of a small dark brown pattern.
  • Edge the front of the card with distress ink
  • Next I used only the smallest layer of the decoupaged bird  topper - there are three layers in the pack so two are left for another day - and I cut two mats from two complimentary sheets from the paper pack. 
  • As you can see they are shaped to match the topper - if you have a die the right shape you could use that to cut your mats. I don't have these yet so this is how I make them. Firstly, I trim a square of coordinating paper just slightly larger than the topper, then trim another square in the second coordinating paper. Using a small circle punch I snip out the corners to match the topper - simple to do and effective.
  • Glue the layers together with glue gel and edge the topper with glitter glue - leave to dry before adhering to the card front. 
  • Embellish the card with a length of organza ribbon, one of the greetings that comes with the toppers (there's a few to choose from) which is matted on to a daisy flower punched from one of the coordinating papers, and two rows of tiny white pearls.
You will have noticed that I haven't decorated the inside or back yet as I normally do, I decided to leave this card until I know who is going to send it to.

Handy Hippo stocks a wide range of 12 x 12 paper pads full of stunning designs that would be suitable for cardmaking as well as scrapbook layouts. The Flora and Fauna pack by K & Co that I've used here is packed with stunning designs, and they are double-sided too - there's even some printed vellum in a gorgeous shade of teal.

If you haven't thought of using 12x12 papers for cardmaking before, I hope this card encourages you to give it a try.

I'm out this morning ... the dreaded dentist ... but I'll be back later to read your comments.

In the meantime, happy crafting,

Wednesday 22 February 2012

Spring Aconites Card

Evening All,

Well, it's rained all day here, hardly let up at all, so not much sign of the spring sunshine we are all hankering after. However, the yellow aconites, from an original watercolour by the artist Elizabeth Davies, in this card remind us that spring is on its way.

While I was tidying the drawer that holds all the envelopes & card bases   - and there's a lot of in that drawer - I came across this long forgotten card base. It's ancient ... bought back when I did cross stitch for a project that was never completed. In fact, never got started ... my eyesight just got too bad to be bothered. Anyway, I almost threw it out, but then thought the spray of aconites at the bottom were too pretty for that, so I pondered as to what to do with it and this is the result.

You'd hardly believe it but there are gold highlights, made using gilding flakes. I tried every which way to get the gold to show up on the photograph and eventually had to lay it down under the Ottlite to get anything near the look of it.

Not perfect, but you can just about see the gold on the cage and around the aconite spray.

I found some pretty paper that, once trimmed and edge-punched, blended well for the inside ...

... and the back.

Almost everything in this card has most definitely risen from the ashes of my stash: the stamp had its first inking even though I've had it since last year, the ProMarkers got the first airing in many a month, the gilding flakes date back almost a year, the patterned paper is from September 2010 magazine. Even the ink pads, edge punch and the ribbon have been around forever :) That being the case this card qualifies for Di's Snippet Challenge.

Materials I used:

The very old cream card base with oval aperture.
Piece of leftover paper - mine was from Romantique 6x6 paper pad from Prima and chosen because the colour was fairly neutral.
Patterned Paper - The Nancy Watt Collection, Owls and Swirls pack - free with Making Cards
Ink pads - Memento, Rich Cocoa for stamping, Tim Holtz Distress Inks, Scattered Straw and Vintage Photo.
Stamp - Crafty Individuals, CI-320
ProMarkers - Pastel Yellow, Buttercup, Pear Green, Marsh Green, Sandstone
Quickie Glue pen and Creative Expressions Sunshine Gilding Flakes
Martha Stewart edge punch - the name is long forgotten but it is my one and only much treasured MS punch :)
Ribbon and gems from stash.

I'm also going to submit this card to the following:

Waste Not Wednesdays - #8  - as it is the first outing for this stamp.
Allsorts Challenge - Week 142 - anything goes
Crafts and Me Challenge 72 - shades of spring

And of course it merits the following:

Yes, I watched Tim Holtz on QVC TV for an hour or so yesterday and did not succumb to temptation ... true, I sat on my hands all the while, but even Tim's persuasive chat did not make me break my pledge to use it up! However, I was sorely tempted when I saw some of Anna Griffins stunning papers in a later programme - I may have to take the pledge not to watch QVC TV on craft days :)

I'm off to the dentist for a check-up tomorrow ... I'd rather give birth if truth be known but there's no getting out of it.

On a happier note I'll be back with my Handy Hippo Thursday share tomorrow too ... much more pleasant ... so see you then.

Happy Crafting,

WOYWW - Week 142 - What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday?

Morning All,

 ... a messy but productive desk to share today.

Yes, my get up and go has returned and, as you can see, I started making a floral card last night. All the items I've been using are out on view still:  paper pad, ink pads, box of ProMarkers, stamp, box of various other pens (glue, gold and white pens, etc.), gilding flakes & glitter tray, and, of course, my little box which holds vital tools of the trade. It can't be seen in the photograph, but I've drawn with a quickie glue pen around the flowers and birdcage in strategic places with the intention of adding some gilding flakes - I think it needs a touch of gold. Making an appearance at the back are the items that are permanent - if you are a regular visitor you will have seen them before. For newcomers, the chicken/chook cupboard houses ink pads.

Because my mojo had taken off, I've spent the last few days putting the craft space to rights ... it's surprising how out of control and disorganised it can get in a very short time ... and I hate crafting in a guddle. The new boxes from B&Q are now, in a very organised way, full of the stuff I'd shoved up on the shelf above the work area ... so much tidier. The EM has made very comprehensive labels for the boxes too, so I can see at a glance what is in each one. The card blank and envelope drawer has been straightened out and I feel much happier about the state of the craft space in general. Now it's full systems go and I hope to be/should be more productive in the coming week :))

On a miserable day like today - we've had torrential rain during the night and it's still vile out this morning - what more cheery sight than these bright yellow crocus. The EM and I have taken to going out for a half our walk every day, weather permitting ... we won't be going out today! ... and I spotted quite a few patches of colour in the gardens around the area yesterday. Here's some pretty pink lungwort (Pulmonaria) spotted in a border.

Before I sign off and go snooping visiting you all ... that will be over at Julia's, Head Desk Monitor, place, Stamping Ground - click the link join in the fun ... I'd like to welcome my newest follower, Elaine ... hope you enjoy reading this blog and will continue to do so. I'll be back later to show you the finished card.

Wishing you all well and enjoying WOYWW.

Happy Crafting,

Tuesday 21 February 2012

Shopping in Paris ... a card from snippets

Morning Everyone,

Actually, when I started putting this post together it was yesterday! I hope you all had a good weekend wherever you are. I've had a busy one, spending time with the family on Saturday and out walking yesterday so time crafting has been limited. In fact, I've only got this little card to share with you tonight ... it's one for Di's snippet challenge.

I've been reorganising the shelf above my craft desk ... the one I tend to put all sorts of bits and pieces on for want of a better place to put them ... and during the sort out I found this topper, cut out of a birthday card I received a couple of years ago. To me, she looked a very chic French mademoiselle so I thought of a card dedicated to shopping in Paris.

And this stamp from Born to Shop seemed very appropriate.

For this card I used the following materials:

  • White hammered cardstock, 1 piece to form a card base measuring approximately 4" square and another measuring 3½ x 2½ for topper.
  • Wild Rose Studio paper pack, Letters from Paris
  • Docrafts stamp set, Bubbles, Born to Shop and Memento ink pad, Tuxedo Black
  • Tim Holtz Distress ink pads, Victorian Velvet, Black Soot.
  • The silver and black card is an M&S label, too pretty to throw away!
  • Pink and white lace and pink gems from stash.

I'm also submitting this card to the Fat Pages and Cards With Attitude Challenge 7 - Theme Anything Goes/Bling

Other things that have kept me from crafting this weekend. Well, during a trip up to B&Q I discovered two really good sized plastic storage boxes so I've been sorting out that shelf. Now all those little boxes are stored tidily away in these new bigger boxes. The EM very kindly got out his label-maker and I can now see at a glance what is in each one.

Another time-consuming task I set myself over the weekend was to sort out the labels on this blog ... I've not been very organised with this in the past and I now have far too many labels cluttering up the sidebar ... something has to be done.  I've made a good start on re-labelling the 350 plus posts but I could be some time :)

Saturday we took our youngest grandson, Alun, to MacDonald's to celebrate his thirteenth birthday ... can hardly believe he's a teenager now! Here's a photo of the birthday boy:

He's growing up fast ... plays football for the school now and wants to play for Celtic when he's older. It's that or join the army!

Right, it's after midnight so I'm signing out and going to bed.

Happy Crafting,

Friday 17 February 2012

Snippet Cards ... an exercise in using up the tiniest scraps

Afternoon Everyone

Just back from a half hour trudge walk along the prom ... it's rainy and blustery out there today and it would have been wiser to stay home.

Two teeny weeny cards to share with you today.

This first is the one that was in the early stages of construction on my WOYWW post this week. It's intended for Hazel's CHNC Challenge 59: feature an angel or a fairy  - I haven't submitted a card to Hazel for a good many weeks but I thought this little angel would be perfect for this week's challenge.

Measuring only 4" square it is made up of bits and pieces that I've been squirrelling away forever - origin long forgotten. However, I can tell you that the embossing folder is the V&A Hanoverian from Docrafts, the image is from Crafty Individuals Miniatures, Merry Christmas pad and the gold snowflake was included in the candy I won from Jude's last year - thanks Jude, it's perfect for here :) The chipboard shapes are from Docrafts, Papermania Frames and Flourishes. I altered them from plain white to this metallic finish by heat embossing with a mix of gold EP, WOW EP in Bark Regular and copper glitter too ... I stopped short at throwing in the kitchen sink :))

I threw caution to the wind entirely and decorated the inside and the back with lengths of the gingham ribbon.

The second card, at only 3½" square, is even smaller. I think, if I remember correctly, the pink polka dot card came from a commercially produced card someone sent me. Unlike Julia of Stamping Ground fame, whose rule for all the little bits is not to keep them, I throw nothing away ... well, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but if it is pretty I find it hard to throw it away, and anything with polka-dots is just too pretty to toss. I've long forgotten the origin of little heart-shaped ribbon sliders. The flower is handmade using gathered ribbon, a Prima flower and a pink pearl. The butterfly was cut out of one of the birthday cards I received ... the only additions are pink ink along the edges and Liquid Pearls down its spine.

I decided it would make a perfect little 'thank you' card.

Both cards being what they are, all snippets and leftovers, they should be perfect for submission to Di's Pixie's Crafty Snippets - Challenge Number 7. The second could be a record-breaker - the smallest card ever submitted to the Snippets Challenge!

Oh, and before I forget, nothing, absolutely nothing, new was bought and used in the making of these cards ... they are therefore:

Ah, it's pouring with rain again, just as it was earlier on the promenade - here's the signpost that shows we walked half a mile ... that's half a lang (long) mile, so in fact, we walked more than half a mile ... no wonder I was jiggered :))

You might be thinking that it looks quite fair there, not much sign of rain ... well, here's the proof:

My glasses! And the passengers that are just out of focus - they are gifts from our children and grandchildren and so have become our constant travelling companions :)

Right, I'm off to do a bit of blog-hopping and catch up with what some of you have been up to recently, but before I go I'd like to extend a warm welcome to my new follower, Lizzy. Her blog, No Time Like The Present shows that she is a scrapbooker and quilt maker with a great many other interests too.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.

Happy Crafting,