Saturday 31 March 2012

Die-Cut Silhouette Card in Black and White

Evening All,

I hope you are all enjoying the weekend so far. We've had a sunny day but the temperature has dropped like a stone, no doubt heralding the snow that's been forecast for next week.

I've been popping in and out of the craft room all day, took a couple of hours off to watch Barbara Grey's demos, including a very clever one on how to make a beehive without a stamp - as I love my tiny bee stamp I might try it out some time.

I spent a bit of time tidying up the craft space and then settled down to make this card.

This gorgeous die-cut silhouette was a gift from my lovely friend, Marie-Louise, who makes the most beautiful cards, well worth taking a look - thanks again M-L, love it :)  I've been itching to use it forever but just couldn't decide how until the EM brought in the black striped trim.  Now, he hasn't taken to haunting the haberdashery department at the local emporium, no, he found the trim in Halfords, the bike and car accessory store ... where else! It's what we used to call 'go-faster' stripes back in the 70s/80s. As I recall it was the fashion back then to customise cars with a trims of various colours and designs ... I didn't know it still was :) I'm told that it comes in various other colours, red, yellow and blue, too. Anyway, it's very easy to attach and I love that the stripes are in two widths.

The layout for the card is fairly simple, the topper is made from the silhouette on an embossed panel of white card matted on to a piece of black leather look paper ... part of a recent candy win from Jozart, so a big thank you again to Jo ... and it is simply adhered to the A5 scalloped-edge card. The sentiment .... Saw it, Loved it, Bought it ... could be the mantra for many a crafter, don't you think :)) ... is stamped onto white card, punched out and matted in the same way as the topper and the card is finished off with dotty ribbon and card candy.

Even the inside got the 'go-faster' treatment :) 

Supplies used:

  • Kanban A5 scallop-edged card base
  • Snippet of white card for embossing with Spellbinders M-Bossabilities Regal, B folder
  • Die-cut silhouette, source as mentioned already
  • Black leather look paper, source as mentioned already
  • Ladybug Crafts, It's Only Words 2 stamp set 
  • Memento Tuxedo Black ink pad
  • Celebrate Ribbon by the Spool and  Card Candi - both black polka dot, and the Halfords stripe trim all from stash.

I don't know if Di will ever forgive me but I'm going to skid into the playground, hoping that I don't scrape my knees, to submit this for Pixie's Crafty Snippets Challenge, Number 13 - I think there is a distinct possibility that the red pen will come out for this!

Edited Note: darn, missed it ... the playground gate was locked by the time I'd got myself sorted out last night! I'll just have to submit it this morning so here I am Di, bouncing in nice and early for a new week :)
Pixie's Crafty Snippets Challenge - Number 14

That's me done for tonight, I was awake and up at 5.30am this morning so I'm shattered now. I'll spend a half hour or so catching up on some commenting and then I'll turn in.

Before I sign off, I'd like to welcome my newest followers, Maria, Jane, Rachel and Debby ... if I've missed anyone I hope you'll forgive me ... it's nice to have you join me and I hope you'll stay to see what else I blog about.

I wish you all a very peaceful and good night.

Happy Crafting,

Friday 30 March 2012

Butterflies & Dragonflies Pocket Photo Album

Evening All,

I'm very late today ... had another dentist appointment this morning. I thought it was just for a check on the root canal job done last week, but no! An old filling ... a very old filling ... needed to be replaced - is there no end to the torture our teeth give cause to??? Anyway that should be it for now :)

Here's another reason why I'm later today.

Looks like a card, doesn't it? Aha! ... but it's not, there's more to it than can be seen at first sight. Here's the inside:

It's an album with two pockets for photos. I've included two double-sided photo mats, but if these were omitted the pockets could just as easily hold gift vouchers, money, sachets of hot chocolate, tea bags or even CDs - the possibilities are almost endless :)

I spotted Dawn Bibby on TV recently doing a demo of one that was already cut out and ready-to-go and thought I'd try to make my own. It is made from one sheet of 12"x12" double-sided pattern paper, scored at 6" horizontally and vertically, folded and then a triangle cut away from the lower half of the sheet to form the pockets ... hope you can follow that explanation, but won't blame you if you can't, it's easier to do it than to explain it :) Once the sheet is folded in half again and the long sides of the pockets are glued down, using that really sticky DS tape, all that is left to do is to decorate it and make the photo mats if required.

In all, I used three sheets of coordinating papers from a lovely K & Company paper pack. The butterflies ... actually, they might be moths ... I cut out of one sheet, likewise the dragonflies/damselflies - you can tell I'm good at identifying insects, can't you :))  And the other sheet was used for the making the trim, toppers and photo mats.

This is the back - I didn't give the embellishments as much dimension on the back as the front so that it can be laid down flat.

Materials I used:

  • K & Company, Susan Winget's Nature 12"x12" paper pad
  • Tools: Hougie Board for scoring; scalloped-edge punch; tiny butterfly punch; scissors; guillotine
  • Adhesives: Red DS tape; photo glue; glue gel; a glue pen
  • Creative Expressions Gilding Flakes - Sunshine
  • Iridescent glitter
  • Embellishments: Marianne cotton lace and ribbon; lilac gems

It occurs to me that although I have made this project using three sheets of paper from the same pad it could just as easily be made from one sheet for the base and all the trims and embellishments could come from my stash mountain.

I think it would make a perfect little present so hope to find the time to make a few more ... now that I've made a practice piece, the next one shouldn't take me so long to do :)

I'm submitting this project to the following challenges:

Craft Us Crazy - Challenge 24 - Altered Items and/or Anything But A Card
The Joyful Stamper's, Inspire Me Fridays 52 - Anything Goes!

It's just as well the weather is cooling down again because tomorrow is Barbara Gray's workshop day. The EM is beating a hasty retreat and leaving me to hog the big TV in the lounge!

The most surprising and happy news I've had this week is that I'm to be a great-grandmother again. My granddaughter, Jenny, made the announcement last night - they are hoping for a brother for Rhian - and the baby is due some time around November, EDA not confirmed yet. Just in time for Christmas :)

That's me for today and if I don't get this published soon it will be tomorrow already.

I wish you all a lovely weekend, albeit a tad chillier in the UK that what we've become accustomed to.

Take care and happy crafting,

Thursday 29 March 2012


Morning All,

A very happy Handy Hippo Thursday to you all on what is another gorgeous day in my little bit of paradise - hope it is for you too.


*While supplies last, no rainchecks, no back orders. Offer ends March 30th at Midnight

Just a little delayed this morning ... trouble with my Internet connection! How these things happen just out of the blue is a mystery to me but they do, and I was thrown into a panic for a while but all is well now ... I hope :)

Here's my share this week - one with a difference. All-white cards seem to be very popular at the moment so I thought I’d join the trend :)

I've used different materials and embossing techniques to give this all-white card a loft of texture and interest. The base, a scalloped A5 card, has a double-embossed panel (paisley patterned folder and glitter embossing powder) added to give it sparkle. The floral cascade is made up of several flowers stamped, embossed in white on vellum and cut out, together with die-cut leaf sprays, all edged with glitter glue. The finishing touch is a double bow of organza topped with the silver embossed greeting.

As usual 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.

Here's how I made the card:
  • Trim a piece of white card to measure 5¼" x 7½" - this is to fit the front of an A5 scalloped edge base card. 
  • Using the embossing folder emboss the card - this can be done by passing it through once, then repositioning the folder and passing it through once more. 
  • Gently rub the VersaMark pad over the top of the embossed card, sprinkle the clear sparkling embossing powder over it and heat emboss.
  • Adhere the embossed card to the front of the base card.
  • Stamp the flower stamp six times on to a sheet of white vellum and heat emboss with white powder. Cut out all the flowers and curl the petals upwards using a bone folder or similar.
  • Die cut six of the leaf sprays from white card. I split the leaf sprays into to two to make it easier to place them around the flowers.
  • Using glue gel attach the flowers in a cascade around the left side and bottom of the card. Position the leaves under and around the flowers.
  • Using the glitter glue edge the leaves and the flower petals and add to the central stamens - you might find it easier to squeeze a blob of the glitter glue on to your craft mat and apply it with a paintbrush. Add a gem to each centre too.
  • Stamp the greeting on a small piece of white card using VersaMark and heat emboss with silver powder. Punch out using a 1¼" circle punch. 
  • Finally, fashion a large double bow with the organza ribbon and adhere this with glue gel to the top right, then glue the greeting to the centre of the bow. 

I hope you like this card enough to make it for yourself – I think it would make a lovely wedding card.

I'll be back again next week, hopefully with something different again.

Till then Happy Crafting,

Snippet Cards for Rudolph Day and CHNC

Hi Everyone,

I've had a productive day making a bunch of Christmas cards using up snippets and stash and recycling bits from  commercial cards folk sent us last year - always much too good to toss.

Here's the first.

This is the card that was in the planning stages on my desk for yesterday's WOYWW post. It's a 5" square card base stamped up using a Sheena Douglas Flourish stamp. First it was stamped using the pink end of a Big & Juicy Hydrangea pad and then over stamped with VersaMark and embossed with silver powder. The recycled topper and silver mirri mat were cut out using Spellbinders labels 9. The greeting was punched out of the same card as the topper.  Mauve gems and silver edged ribbon complete the card.

I have a confession to make ... I made this card for this week's Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge after spotting the theme is 'Home for Christmas'. I saw the theme and immediately had Chris Rea's voice playing in my ear and had visions of folk going home for the holiday ... think Trains, Plains and Automobiles and you'll get the picture!  Consequently, this image of a couple making there way home in the snow seemed to fit the bill. Of course, if I had read Hazel's post right through ... !?!? Not to worry, the colours are non-traditional but they are growing on me, and I like the finished card, and to make up for my mistake I've made another two cards with toppers that fit Hazel's theme.

So here's the second card:

This card definitely features a house, well two cosy looking cottages actually. This time I've used a die-cut card base, measuring 6" square. The image and the greeting are, once again, recycled and the matting is patterned paper snippets from Memory Box's Spiceberry paper pack. It's not clear on the photo but there's glittery embossing on the image. The only embellishment is some red card candy.

And here's the final card:

More cottages in the snow. This one reminds me of the cottage in the movie, The Holiday ... Kate Winslet's idyllic and pretty Cotswold retreat! I was so disappointed to learn that it was just a film set, torn down after filming was finished ... places like that should really exist. Anyway, I digress, back to the card. The base for this is a scalloped-edge A5 card. The pattern paper is a piece from Papermania, Silent Night in a lovely soft green shade. The greeting is from Graphic 45's Christmas Emporium, matted onto a snippet of gold card. The ribbon and gold card candy is from stash.

I'm submitting number 2 and 3 to Hazel's Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge #65 - Home for Christmas 

I'm also submitting all of them to the following two challenges:

Stamping for Pleasure's Rudolph Day - March 2012

Pixie's Crafty Snippets Challenge - Number 13

And as all materials that went into the making of these cards are from my stash of stuff they qualify for the 100% Use-It-Up logo.

I've lots planned for tomorrow, including a walk along the river if the weather is still as sunny as it has been today. We missed our walk today because the EM was taking advantage of the fantastic weather to paint the decking - we inherited three tiers in our very sloping garden and it is the bane of our existence. However, we dread to think what further horrors lurk beneath so have decided to live with it rather than replace it.

Now, as it is well after midnight, I'm calling it a day. I wish you all well and hope you have a good day tomorrow, wherever you are.

Happy Crafting,

Wednesday 28 March 2012

WOYWW - Week 147 - What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday?

A very late hello to you all,

I've been happily pottering away in the craft space, completely forgetting what day it was! In fact, it was something the EM said that reminded me. And for anyone not in the know, Wednesday is the day a great many crafters around the world reveal the state of their workdesk, aided and abetted by Head of Desks, Julia, at Stamping Ground - join in by clicking here.

I was in the middle of making a recycled Christmas card for a challenge when I remembered to take a photograph. In the middle there's the stamp and ink pad I've been using. The pile on the right is made up of fronts cut from old commercially bought cards received in previous years ... can't bear to throw them away :)

On the left is the most recent copy of Scrap 365 lying under a scrap page layout from which I plan to use sometime. It came in surprisingly handy for testing out ink colours in the margin :)

And especially for Brenda of Butlers Abroad, here's a shot of the other worktop showing the Cuttlebug is out and I've been doing a bit of embossing too. The scissors are the ones I keep for cutting anything with glue on it and they are there waiting to be cleaned.

For those who would like to see the finished card, it will be in my next post.

Outside of the craft space it's been a terrific week so far. Here in Scotland we are enjoying fabulous weather with record temperatures, and Aberdeenshire, where my son lives, has been a real hot spot. We have, therefore, been taking advantage of it ... there's no telling how long it will last :)

Julia has requested we keep it brief so that's it for me today. It just remains for me to say I hope you are all well ... those of you who are not, I wish you a speedy recovery.  I'm off to do a bit of belated snooping :))

Happy WOYWW,

Sunday 25 March 2012

Rockcliffe, John Paul Jones and Spring Lambs

Evening Everyone,

Well, we've had a lovely day out. Another day when the weather was phenomenal We headed for Rockcliffe down on the Solway Firth and it was so warm there was a heat haze. So, no crafty project today, just a few 'postcards' from the trip :)

The island you can just see to the left of the photo is accessible when the tide is out.

On our way back we took a detour to the birthplace of John Paul Jones, founder of the American Navy.

He was the son of a gardener so the cottage is very small - unfortunately not open to view until April so we plan to return.

Finally, I managed to get a shot of these twin lambs on the way home - cute, aren't they?

I took a lot more photographs on the trip but I won't bore you with them right now and, in any case, I've earmarked a few as perfect for scrapping so you'll probably see them sooner or later :)

I hope you've all had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed yourselves whatever you've been doing.

I'm off to bed now - I take a while to get accustomed to the clock going forward so was up too early this morning - and I plan to read for a while. I'm reading The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings - the one that has been made into a movie with George Clooney as the lead. I've not seen the film but I'm enjoying the book and, because I've seen the trailer for the film so many times, George is definitely playing the starring role in my imagination :))

Good night all,

Floral Thank You

Evening Folks

It's been such a lovely day here, none of the fog that others in the UK have had to suffer, that I did take a stroll around the garden smelling the few flowers there are, and even doing a minuscule amount of weeding :)

Consequently, I didn't spend a great deal of time in the craft space and when I did most of it was spent finishing of the job I started on Tuesday ... yes, it has taken me this long to sort out the charms and gee-gaws! Taking some costume jewellery (car boot finds) to pieces took up quite a bit of the last few days, but it was worth it because I will now be able to find what I want quickly and easily.

And talking of quick and easy, this card was just that to make. I've used some outline peel-off flower shapes as templates, stuck randomly over the front, and inked over with two shades of distress ink. After removing the peel-offs, all the card needed was a stamped greeting, some pearls and a snippet of ribbon, et voila, one quick make!

Materials I used to make this card:

  • Ready-made white card base, 5" square from stash
  • Anita's Outline Stickers, Simple Flowers - bought on impulse and then didn't know what to do with them!
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads, Scattered Straw & Dried Marigold
  • Memento ink pad, Rich Cocoa
  • Crafty Stamps, Thank You
  • Ribbon and self-adhesive half pearls from stash

I'm submitting this card to the following:

Use Your Stuff Challenge # 26 - Anything Goes
Tuesday Throwdown # 90 - Spring Cleaning
Craft Your Passion Challenge #102 - Just Sentiments

That's me for tonight. We're off on a day trip tomorrow, setting off early to get the best of the day - the forecast is good.

I hope you all have a lovely day too. Don't forget to alter your clocks ... spring forward :)

Happy crafting,

Friday 23 March 2012

Foodie Friday - Panaggy

Good Morning Folks

It's a wee while since I did a Foodie Friday but I thought this recipe was too good to keep to myself.

This delicious dish, Panaggy, is a north of England delicacy. Apparently, it's a variation of Panaculty which is thought to originate in Ireland but it is also very like the version of  Stovies made by my Scottish mother. It's essentially a form of corned beef hash, but, like Stovies, originally was a way of using up any left over meat from the Sunday roast and served the next day. However, during and just after World War Two, when meat was rationed and scarce, the left over roast was replaced by tinned corned beef and, more recently, with the addition of bacon.

I cook it in my trusty slow cooker but it could just as easily be cooked in a casserole dish in the oven.

  • 6 rashers of bacon
  • 1 small onion peeled and thinly sliced 
  • 1 tin of corned beef, sliced
  • 6 medium sized potatoes peeled and thinly sliced
For the gravy:
  • 4 heaped teaspoons of beef gravy granules
  • 1 beef (Oxo) cube
  • ¼ pint of boiled water
  • Black pepper to season

  • Starting with the bacon layer the meat and vegetables in the slow cooker, aim for at least two layers, finishing with a layer of potatoes on top.
  • Combine the ingredients for the gravy in a jug, then pour over the meat and vegetable layers.
  • Sprinkle ground pepper over the top.
  • Set the slow cooker to high and cook for 4 - 6 hours.

You can serve it with a vegetable such as cabbage, broccoli, carrots or peas, if liked. Peas are not my favourite vegetable, the EM loves them, I prefer to eat them fresh from the pod but can just about tolerate frozen petit pois as seen in the photograph.

Originally the bacon of choice was streaky, cheap and cheerful, but I'm a profligate spendthrift and use unsmoked back rashers. However, after the Chancellor's budgetary freezing of my personal allowance, I may have to review this extravagance :( 

After a day out, this is a great dish to come home to - no fuss, just plate up and enjoy :)  

I'd like to thank everyone who sent there get well wishes for my grandchildren and great-granddaughter. Little Alun is much better now and back at school. Shari-Ann and Rhian are improving daily and are definitely over the worst.

And thanks, too, to everyone who sent their good wishes whilst I underwent the ordeal at the dentist. I have to admit the root canal treatment went rather better than I anticipated. Mr A, the dentist, is a very kind and gentle man, who certainly knows his stuff, though he did insist on explaining every gory detail of the procedure throughout the entire hour it took.  However, I needn't have worried about the pain from having a needle in my gum because he had a magical potion that he rubbed on it first numbing it enough to make it almost painless. Unfortunately, my right foot went into spasm about half way through ... the agony of that certainly distracted me from what Mr A was doing to my tooth. Hopefully, I will never have to go through the ordeal again, but if I do I won't be quite so anxious ... well, maybe a little bit. 

That said, I wish you all a great weekend ... hopefully the weather will be fair for you wherever you are and you will be able to get out and enjoy it. This weekend the clocks go forward and we will be well and truly into spring so we plan to make the most of it and have planned a trip out on Sunday. 

In the meantime, Happy Crafty and Happy Eating, 

Thursday 22 March 2012


Hello Everyone,

And a happy Handy Hippo Thursday to you all. I hope you are well and having fun.

This week, as promised last week, I've got something a bit different to share with you - I seem to be having a bit of a thing with tags at the moment. They are fun to make and can look lovely hanging up on a wall.

I've used the Sizzix Tim Holtz Caged Bird die as the main feature and two gorgeous sheets of patterned paper from K & Company’s Flora & Fauna collection . The birdcage is cut from gold mirri card and then distressed with white, silver and blue embossing powders to achieve an aged and distressed effect. Butterflies, gems, ribbons and lace embellishments complete the tag. Here's a photo of the back of the tag.

The back is the perfect place to write or stamp a greeting - this one has been left blank until a recipient is decided upon.

As usual 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.

Here's how I made the card:

  • The dimensions of the tag are as follows: height 6½"; width 3½". Cut the base for the tag from white card, and two pieces from two sheets of the patterned paper, one silver blue embossed and the other a blue/brown floral, as shown in the above photograph
  • Shape the 'shoulders' on the white card base by marking the length at 5¾" and ¾" in at the top - draw a line between these two marks and cut remove the corner 
  • Adhere the first patterned paper first to one side of the white card and trim the 'shoulders', then adhere the second piece to the other side of the base and again trim the 'shoulders'
  • Using the Stormy Sky DI sponge around the edges on both sides of the tag, then lightly sponge with the Vintage Photo
  • Using the Caged Bird die, cut out the bird cage in gold mirri. Cut two birds, one in white card and the other in the brown reverse side of the blue/brown floral paper. Cut two wings, one in white card and the other in silver embossed blue paper
  • Glue the brown paper bird shape to the white card one and, similarly, the blue wing to the white one
  • Adhere a clear gem to the bird in the eye position
  • To distress the cage, rub VersaMark randomly over it and sprinkle white embossing powder and heat. Repeat the process with the blue powder, and then again with the silver powder. If you are not satisfied with the effect just add more of any of the powders until you are satisfied.
  • Whilst still warm from the heat embossing, wrap the cage round something rounded to shape it - I used an empty jam jar and fastened it on with a couple of elastic bands - it's best to leave for an hour or so to get the rounded shape
  • Punch out three butterflies from the brown patterned paper
  • Attach a length of the extra strong sticky tape to the base of the side of the tag that is decorated with the silver embossed blue paper and then pleat the white organza ribbon on to it and trim.
  • Adhere a row of the cotton lace and then a row of aqua ribbon above the organza frill, glue a small bow made from the aqua ribbon in position
  • Adhere the bird's body to the tag and then, using silicone glue, the cage in position over the bird. Add the wing in position on top of the cage. Decorate the base of the cage with a selection of blue and clear gems
  • Punch a single hole top centre and thread a piece of aqua ribbon through it
  • Shape the butterflies wings and then adhere them randomly around the top of the tag
This tag could be made using any of the lovely papers that are available from Handy Hippo - I just happen to like this K & Company Flora and Fauna collection but there is a wide selection to choose from if this isn't your particular style.  

The embossing powders come in a huge range of colours and the Verdigris and Copper shades would give a very authentic rusty look to the cage.

I hope you like the tag and will want to make one for yourself.

See you next week with something different again.

Happy Crafting,

Wednesday 21 March 2012

WOYWW - Week 146 - What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday?

Hi Everyone,

Wednesday and a chance to go peer at other folks creative spaces because Julia at Stamping Ground makes it all possible - click the WOYWW icon on the left to join in the fun.

Notice the WOYWW badge Julia was kind and generous enough to send me - love it and will wear it with pride at the next craft show I go to :))

As you can see, I'm having a sort out of all the wee bits and pieces of charms, baubles and gee-gaws that have collected in all manner of containers. The EM found this handy box at one of the pound shops and it is perfect for the purpose. You can also see a timer, some cocktail sticks, some bits of twine, pocket tissues, another one of my decorated notebooks, this time for scrapbook notes, and that vital piece of equipment that no desk should be without, a coaster. At the back my tray for the tools of the trade is now two - one for adhesives of all descriptions and the other for scissors and everything else that I have to have handy.

Someone, sorry but I forget who, pointed out that I now have two desks to show each week! Here's the other:

Not a lot to see on this one - just the usual except for a dish full of snippets of ribbon and something hidden under some used copy paper. All will be revealed on Thursday.

Many thanks to all who have sent their good wishes to my grandchildren, Alun & Shari-Ann and great-granddaughter, Rhian, who are quite poorly at the moment. And for those of you who commented on my granddaughter, Jenny, not being allowed to buy Calpol from the chemist in Asda - story told in yesterday's post - many thanks too, it's good to know I'm not the only one who thinks that it's ridiculous. As Jenny says, if she is old enough to vote, old enough to join the army and be sent to fight in Afghanistan, and old enough to be a mother, then surely she is old enough to purchase medication for her baby.

And that's it for today because it's D for Dentist Day today, and it's the horrid root canal job. I have an appointment for 10.30am and I'm told that it will take approximately one hour ... it's safe to say I'm dreading this - it's being injected into my gums that bothers me most, hate the needle :(

If I'm feeling up to it I'll be visiting as many of you as I can later today. In the meantime, wish me luck folks, I am trying to be brave, honest :))

Happy WOYWW to you all,

Tuesday 20 March 2012

Mother's Day Tag - a photo frame tag + a cautionary tale

Evening Everyone

As I write this it's early evening, still light and bright and very spring like here in the west coast of Scotland ... I hope you are all enjoying equally pleasant weather wherever you are.

Apologies for not posting for a couple of days. I've been around but been busy with all sorts of stuff, some of which I can't show you at the moment.

However, I can show you this tag now that my niece, Louise, has received it.

As it was Louise's first Mother's Day I wanted to create something that she would keep and could use over the years. I've incorporated a frame into this tag which consists of a panel of decorated card overlaid with the die-cut fairy ... I have Jude to thank for the fairy, it was included in the candy I won from her some time ago.

The photo tucks into the decorated panel and behind the fairy's head. Louise can change the photo as Arihanna grows. Here's a close up of the fairy detail.

As you can see I've used my favourite flower stamp, Penny Black's Aspire, and clear embossing powder before inking her with Tim Holtz DI, Victorian Velvet.  The stars are sparkling with Stickles, Fruit Punch from my stash ... it's one of those colours that, like a magpie, I just had to have only to find I rarely matches anything I'm working on.

The design paper, from S.E.I., Chocolat Papillon, is an just a single one that I picked up on a visit to a craft store sometime last year ... I now wish I'd bought two sheets of it because it is so beautiful. Here you can see the reverse side.

Apologies for the quality of this shot, but I think you can see that it has lots of pink butterflies on a chocolate brown background. There's more stamping with Aspire and Victorian Velvet too.

Teeny Alphas by Glitz spell out the word 'mother'. The pearl trim, frilled velvet trim and large rose are out of my birthday kit from Funky Farm Scrapbook Barn. The roses decorating the top are from Wild Orchid Crafts and the pink heart-shaped doily ... well, only half of the doily ... was from Poppy's Cabin. All the other embellishments are from my stash.

I've never used proper shipping/luggage labels to make tags, simply because I've never found a size I like. I don't like my tags to be too flimsy either, I like a good bit of weighty strength in them because of all the embellishments I have a tendency to add.  I've figured out my own template, made out of cardboard, which has served me well since I started crafting. For this tag I drew round the template and then cut the base out of thin cardboard, from a cereal box, painted it with white gesso and then covered both sides with the patterned paper. All the edges are inked with the Victorian Velvet DI.

That's my share for you today - I hope you like it as much as Louise does. She has some lovely photos of Arihanna taken just after she was born and the blanket she is wrapped in is a perfect match for the tag ... how serendipitous is that :))

A cautionary tale:
I mentioned in an earlier post that my two youngest grandchildren are not very well - they have a nasty virus which has really made the children very poorly. Now my baby great-granddaughter, Rhian, has it too, made worse because her ears are affected too. She took ill at the weekend when the doctor's clinic was closed so her mother, Jenny, phoned the NHS line for advice. After much questioning she was advised to go to the chemist and get some Calpol to treat Rhian's high temperature and see the doctor Monday morning. Jenny went straight to Asda, to the chemist there, to buy the Calpol as advised and, the point of this story, they refused to sell it to her because she is under 25 years of age!!!!

Jenny's troubles were not over by then, Monday morning came and nobody was answering the phone at the doctor's - they were all on a training day! Jenny finally decided she would take Rhian to the hospital where she did get seen by a doctor and she is now on appropriate medication and is on the mend.

I'm still stunned that the chemist refused to let her have the Calpol for her poorly baby ... if she is old enough at 20 to be a mother, I would have thought she would be considered old enough to buy a commonplace medication for her baby.

Rant over! Thanks for staying to read this far :)

I wish you all a good evening, I'll be in the craft room beavering away but hope to see many of you tomorrow for WOYWW.

Happy Crafting.

Saturday 17 March 2012

Snowdrops in the Green - for the March Scrap Our Stash Challenge

Afternoon All,

This, by necessity, has to be a quick post because I need to make a tag for a very special young woman and I want to complete it for tomorrow.

No prizes for guessing that this is my favourite spring photo of the year – love snowdrops.   Finding snowdrops this spring proved to be difficult – we have had a warm winter which fooled the snowdrops into an early show so by the time we went looking we were told we were too late. It was, therefore, a lovely surprise to find this little clump during a walk in nearby Culzean Castle Estate.  So, for the Scrap Our Stash Challenge for March - Green, I just had to base a layout on this photo.

The white base is sprayed in patches with two shades of green Cosmic Shimmer Mist. The papers are from K & Company’s Flora & Fauna collection, and Papermania’s Secret Garden ... this last has been in my stash for a couple of years at least. The photo is matted on to a subtle brown floral paper and the fern leaves, bird on apple blossom, rose spray and the letters for the word green were fussy cut from the Flora & Fauna DP. The rest of embellishments, Prima and Wild Orchid Craft flowers, lace and pearl trim and ribbon are all from my stash.

Snowdrops are best planted ‘in the green’ – that is straight out of the ground or pot, hence the layout title. Planting bulbs is less successful. Knowing this I was really tempted to dig up this wee clump and bring them home – however, it’s against the law here in the Scotland to do that. Instead, I have this lovely photograph and layout as a constant reminder of their fresh loveliness.

What I used to make this layout:
  • White 12" x 12" card for base - bought from Two Peas in a Bucket eons ago
  • Cosmic Shimmer Mist, Meadow Lush & Blue Lime colours
  • K & Company , BW Flora & Fauna paper collection
  • Papermania's Secret Garden - the 2"x12" strip paper pack - this included the journaling note 
  • Basic Grey, Dasher Letters - for the word 'snowdrops'
  • The black stick on letters came with and were left over from a self-assembly flat-pack DIY job
  • A mix of Prima and Wild Orchid Crafts flowers 
  • Pearl/lace trim from Funky Farm Scrapbook Barn
  • Ribbon from stash

Okay, time for a quick bit of lunch and then onto the planned project - hopefully I'll be able to share it with you sometime tomorrow, although it will be a busy day as we are off to put a plant on my mother's memorial garden and then we are going over to see how wee Arihanna is growing :)  My daughter was planning a visit but unfortunately the two youngest grandchildren, Alun & Shari-Ann, have caught a nasty bug of some sort and are too feverish to visit - because I have asthma my daughter insists that I don't come anywhere near them until they are better :( 

I hope you all have a wonderful day tomorrow. For me it's one of the nicest days of the year, though I do realise it may not apply to everyone, not all of us are mothers, but we either have or had mothers, our daughters/nieces/aunts/cousins/friends may be mothers, and that to me is reason enough to celebrate :)

Happy crafting,

Friday 16 March 2012

Sweet Friend - another wee card and Arihanna's first photos

Morning Everyone,

From deepest, dampest Ayr, I hope you are all well and perhaps enjoying, if not sunny, at least drier weather wherever you are.

I finally managed to complete this wee card started a couple of weeks ago but the finish delayed due to the move - enough said!

The cute topper is one from an embossing folder, Cindy Loo collections by Cuttlebug, that has four topper shapes included in it - very useful. This one features two woodland friends, a deer and a squirrel in what I think is an orchard ... well, it is an orchard now with gems to represent lovely juicy red apples. I coloured the embossed side with ProMarkers in greens, greys and browns and added tiny gems for eyes. All the edges are inked with yellow DI. The embossed trim along the edge of the card was done using a border folder. This edge was trimmed down and a piece of scalloped edge punched DP adhered.

To conceal the back of the green trim, he inside is trimmed with the other DP, also scalloped edged. The strip of green DP is there to disguise the line that was left during the embossing process.

The back has the patterned paper wrapped around from the front on one side and the leftover half of the scalloped circle from the front too - well, it seemed a shame not to use it :)

Materials used to make this card:

  • Kraft card trimmed to make a 4" square card
  • White card for embossing and the die-cut greeting circle 
  • The paper is from Basic Gray's Out of Print 6"x6" pad - currently one of my favourites because there's a nice mix of designs featuring taken from books and newspapers, I think. The selection includes designs suitable for male and female cards making it a very useful collection to have.
  • Embossing folders all by Cuttlebug, Cindy Loo and Just My Type
  • Die: Spellbinders Splendid Circle
  • Stamp: Everyday Greetings from Wild Rose Studio
  • Inks: TH Scattered Straw, Memento Rich Cocoa
  • ProMarkers, various greens, browns, and greys
  • From stash: card candy, Oranges & Lemons; Anita's gems

It's been long awaited but the EM has finally worked out how to email photos from his mobile to me so here is the first photos of our beloved great-niece Arihanna.

Apologies for the quality - the next job will be discovering how to improve that on his mobile. Arihanna was not too impressed with her great-uncle snapping away.

That's my huge sausage fingers in foreground :(

Yesterday evening she decided to join in her Granny's telephone call to me and proved that she has immensely powerful lungs for one so young :))

Right, I'm off to have elevenses and then I've a layout I want to work on, fitting in some commenting at some point during the day too.

I wish you all a wonderful weekend and for those of you who are not feeling so good, I wish you a speedy recovery.

Happy Crafting,