Saturday 30 March 2013

Book Giveaway #2

Hi Everyone,

I'm back with the second book I have to giveaway as a result of reorganising the craft space recently. If you remember from the first book giveaway one of the jobs I did was to sort through my collection of books on crafting. And as the collection had grown rather large I now have a wee pile of books, all in very good condition, that have to go. This week's book is on cardmaking - it's Making Birthday Cards, a compilation of cards edited by Stephanie Weightman.

Same requirements as last week, i.e. none!

You don't have to jump through any hoops to be in with a chance of winning this book - though it would be nice if you mentioned it on your blog so word gets around - just leave a comment telling me you are interested in the book. I'll leave the giveaway up for a week and then organise a draw and announce the winner on Saturday, 6th April 2013.

Happy crafting,

Scrapbook Winner ... and ... Making Birthday Cards Book Giveaway

Hello Everyone,

And happy Saturday to you all - I hope your Easter holiday is in full swing and you are having fun.

After I put this book, Creative Scrapbooking, up as a giveaway last week, I'm delighted to say that five brave crafters thought they would like to take the plunge and try some scrapbooking.

So, today, as promised, the draw for the book took place with as much pomp and ceremony as the EM could muster and here's the photographic evidence that it was made with all due regard to fairness.

Names printed out and cut into strips, folded and secreted in the only jug I have with a large enough neck to take the EM's man sized hands. It worked and his hand emerged holding a tiny wee screwed scrap of paper.

And the winner is ...

drum roll please ...

Congratulations Sandra ... drop me an email, if you please, and let me know your full postal address and I'll post the book off to you  ... after the Easter break, of course :)

Sandra said '... a lot of us are into cardmarking but to try something new like Scrapbooking would be lovely ... l too would like to try my hand at this sort of crafting'

So, now's your chance to have a go ... I hope the book helps you make a start :)

Sadly, there can only be one winner this week but don't be too down-hearted because I have another book giveaway coming up in a separate post ... just give me a minute to write it up :)

Happy crafting,

Wednesday 27 March 2013

WOYWW - Wk 199

Good morning and a happy What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday to you all.

For Julia, over at the Stamping Ground, all the other willing WOYWWers out there in blogland, and myself, it's once again the day in the week when we bravely reveal whatever is on our workdesk ... or dining room table, or kitchen counter top, or even the floor.

My workdesk is a mess of gesso. Photo taken last thing Tuesday evening and nothing has changed yet this morning ... except that light is better now. They're the empty cat food boxes I've been using to store crafty stuff in for a year or so. I've finally gotten around to doing something to prettify them although so far I've just given them two coats of white gesso ... it's a start :) Haven't made up my mind what the next step is yet - still waiting for inspiration to hit me :))

Apart from the basket to the left, full of pots of paints and associated stuff, I think everything else on the desk has been there for weeks and doesn't look any tidier ... it's now started to drive me mad so I feel a clear up coming on!!!

And that's just about it for this week ... not much to report except it's been too cold to linger for long in the craft space so there has been precious little crafting going on.

We seem to be heading for a white Easter ... unbelievable!

As usual, I wish you all a happy WOYWW but this week I'd also like to wish you all a happy Easter holiday too.

Happy crafting,

Monday 25 March 2013

Rudolph Day - March

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday to you all.

A quick post today - because even though we are suffering bone chilling temperatures straight from Siberia, there's no escaping the polishing and dusting! It's Rudolph Day over at Stamping For Pleasure so here's my share for this month.

And I have to admit I can't take much of the credit for this card because much of the work was already done for me. A friend on UKPC included this beautiful topper of the Madonna and Child in with her Christmas card last year. I've been stroking and admiring it for months now but have finally caved in and created this card with it.

It's pretty much as received - I've just adhered it to a white card base, edged the purple layer with iridescent glue, added more iridescent glue to the halos and finished it off with a length of silver grey ribbon.

Materials used: Kanban A6 (approx 5¾" x 4") white card base; the topper; crystal Stickles; silver grey satin edged organza ribbon from stash.

I said it was going to be quick :)

I hope you all had a great weekend and are enjoying today ... if you did not or are not, then I hope things improve for you over the week.

Take care and happy crafting,

Sunday 24 March 2013

Leaping Deer - Snippet Card

Hello Everyone ...

... and a warm welcome to my newest followers and enablers - Meg, Amy, Nixy and Emma.  I hope you will all enjoy reading the posts and seeing the various projects I create in the craft space.

We're still in the midst of the second ice age here ... the sun is shining but it's not really doing anything to raise the temperature from just about freezing. The EM has had to cancel a trip south to Manchester ( to attend the funeral of his BIL) due to the weather ... given the recent snow falls, going down through Dumfries and over the Shap could be foolhardy right now.

Yesterday, I was so cold that no amount of central heating could warm me up and I spent most of the day on the sofa huddled under a blanket. Even the Boss stayed cuddled up to me for much of the day ... it's got to be bad for her to do that.

Anyway, enough about the weather, here's a little card I've not posted before. The topper is another of my rescued and upcycled Christmas cards.

I simply trimmed the image to a square shape and took the corner rounder to both the topper and the card base.

The snippet of toning cream and red check ribbon is just wrapped round the top of the card and then knotted - there wasn't enough to tie a bow - and it's finished off with a brad with a red gem in it.

And that's it - quick and easy, it didn't even need a greeting added, and, even better, inexpensive to make - always a bonus :)

Materials used: Kanban 4" square white card base; topper cut from Christmas card; check ribbon from HOTP; red gem brad and Anita's red gems from stash. 

Not many snippets used, but every little bit helps, so I'm off, a slipping and a sliding, to Pixie's Crafty Snippets Playground to meet up with the rest of the playmates for Di's fun and snippet filled Week 65.

Although I'm feeling a tad warmer today I'm staying close to the radiator here - which means I'm giving the craft space a wide berth ... it's just a mite too cold in there for my nearly frozen fingers. But not all is lost - I can still find something crafty to do here at the computer. Some time ago I started making a photo album using Serif but the project stalled because my old printer gave up the ghost and tottered off to the old printer dumping ground in the sky. However, there's now a new super duper, all singing and dancing printer where the old one used to be. No excuse then not to carry on and finish the album, especially as it means staying cosy and warm beside the radiator here.

The Boss clearly agrees with me. She's nestled under my chair toasting herself against the radiator ... she tends to follow me around the house, rather like my children did when they were tiny :))

Right, less talking and more doing! I hope you are all well and, if in the UK or, indeed, the frozen north of anywhere, keeping warm and safe.

Enjoy what's left of Sunday and the weekend and happy crafting,

Friday 22 March 2013

Friday Smile and card for CHNC 116

Evening folks

I've missed a couple of weeks of Annie's (aka Wipso) Friday Smile - Week 10, not because I don't have anything to smile about, I do, a lot. Trouble is I don't always have my camera handy at the right time. Today, though, I remembered to take a snap of this before it was too late.

A cup of steaming hot tea, a piece the EM's boiled fruit cake and a good book ... what more could anyone want :)

The cake is a recent addition to the EM's baking successes. Once he'd worked out the timings and temperatures for our temperamental oven every cake is a winner :)

The book is a genealogy based mystery ... as an amateur family historian this is just up my street :)

That's the reasons to smile, here's the card - and there will be another smile if I get this submitted to Hazel's CHNC challenge 116 before end of play today. (I so frequently just make it that it is always a reason to celebrate if I have even a couple of hours to spare)

The challenge topic this week is 'Merry and Bright'. I've managed the 'merry' okay and the red/white theme is definitely bright, but just in case that's not bright enough, I've sprinkled some glitter on the topper too.

The topper is made from a piece of marbled card made with shaving foam and shimmer spray - just the one colour used on this one.

The inside has the corner stamped in red with a holly flourish ...

... and the back has been randomly stamped with same.

The card has been made entirely from snippets and leftovers - even the red card had been previously cut in to so I'll be joining the others over at Di's and Pixie's Crafty Snippet Playground - Week 64.

Materials used: smooth white card stock, shaving foam and Cosmic Shimmer Spray, Lava Red; Bazzill Basics textured red cardstock for base, pennant and die-cut topper; Spellbinders Shapeabilities Holly Motifs die set; X-cut nesting Dies Circle; smooth white card and Darice Snowflake Swirl embossing folder; Docrafts Penelope & Percy Christmas Greetings stamp set; Anita's Magical Christmas stamp set; Whispers Cherry Red ink pad: glue pen and iridescent glitter

Must go ... I'm missing Pointless and that will never do.

Take care everyone and have an enjoyable weekend wherever you are.

Edited note: in my haste to see Pointless, and as usual, I neglected to submit this card to Hazel's Extra Challenge for March - Hazel had to remind me, again, as usual!

Happy crafting,

Scrapbook Giveaway

Hi Everyone,

Brrrr! Still cold and I woke up to snow this morning. But it's just been on-and-off and is not lying, unlike much of the rest of the UK who seem to be having a dreadful time because of either the snow or floods - and all this despite being two days into spring.

When I was reorganising the craft space recently one of the jobs I did was to sort through my collection of books on crafting. Well, the collection had grown rather large and was beginning to take up much needed space on the shelf. Regrettably, I now have a wee pile of books, all in very good condition, that have to go and so I'm hoping to give them away here, this is the first.

Most of you are, I know, cardmakers and not at all interested in scrapping. However, from the comments that my posts featuring scrap layouts attract it's clear many of you would like to give it a try and do something will all those lovely photos you have stashed away in boxes in the attic. But you don't know how to make a start. This book could be just what you need for inspiration, particularly if you like working with dies and cut-out shapes. Creative Scrapbooking by Sandi Genovese is an informative and easy to understand guide to scrapbooking. Sandi is known as the diva of die-cuts and has years of experience in scrapping.

You don't have to jump through any hoops to be in with a chance of winning this book - though it would be nice if you mentioned it on your blog so word gets around - just leave a comment telling me you are interested in the book. I'll leave the giveaway up for a week and then organise a draw and announce the winner on Saturday, 30th March 2013.

Happy crafting,

Thursday 21 March 2013

Marriage in the Movies - a double page layout

Hello Everyone,

Well, it took me long enough but I finally managed to get some semi-decent photos of this double layout to show you. I could blame the poor winter light but I'd only be kidding myself - it's me, I'm just lousy at taking pics of scrap pages! Anyway here they are:

This is the page on the right side of the layout. The design is based on this sketch ...

... another one from Shimmelle's scrapbooking sketches series.  Because I added a second page, I changed the layout slightly by omitting the embellishment cluster under the two photos on the right side and added two to the second page instead.

It's only taken me just over two years, but I finally got around to scrapping the photos taken on our trip to the Museum of Costume in September 2010. As I did a blog post on the trip way back in January 2011, I won't repeat myself - suffice to say the bridal dresses in the exhibit were breathtaking :)

Here's what the two pages will look like side-by-side in the album.

The base is a smooth cream cardstock and most of the other materials, papers, stickers and the crocheted flowers, are from  Docrafts Papermania pretty Vintage Notes collection. I've used alphas from Pebbles ABC white stickers - coloured a toning pink with ProMarker, Blossom - Papermania Alphamania Stickers Curly Font Pink - a real lipstick pink - and  BoBunny Stickers Country Garden Tiny Type. Where I've inked the edges and stamped the word 'love' (from the American Crafts Dear Lizzy stamp set) I've used  Memento London Fog. The scalloped edged border was created with an X-cut edge punch and the wee heart in the top right cluster was punched with the Woodware small heart punch.

The cream trim and lace, buttons and flat-back pearls came from stash.

To my utter dismay, I have only just discovered that a decision has been made to close the museum ... such a tragedy.

On that sad note I think I will call it a day and get to bed. My bedtime reading, Bloodline by Fiona Mountain, is so good I'm finding it hard to put down :)

So, I'll bid you all a good night - take care everyone.

Star Spangled Birthday Greetings

Hi Everyone,

And a fabulous Thursday to you all too. Here it's bright and sunny, with fluffy white clouds in a blue, blue sky - quite cheering looking from inside out - but, in truth, it's still icy cold out there and I'm still going nowhere!

I've a quick share for you right now, though I may be back later with more on the layout that can be seen on yesterday's photo of my workdesk.

Some of you might remember an earlier post - a couple of weeks ago - where I showed my testers of two new items - a chevron patterned mask and a white ink pad. I wasn't too sure at the time what I'd do with the result but here's the first completed card.

I think it would be great for either a male of female recipient ... well, as long as the female isn't too girly and into all things pink. The pennants are made from bits from the scrap box and just topped off with a bit of brown striped washi tape looped over a length of natural twine. Teeny sticker letters spell out the greeting and some punched gold stars are sprinkled here and there too.

There's a pennant and stars on the inside and the back for the finishing touch.

Materials used: Kanban white A6 card base; Papermania Kraftstax 6x6 square; Creative Expressions Special Touch Chevrons mask; Colorbox Frosty White ink pad; scraps of paper for pennants; BoBunny mini alphas; natural twine; brown striped washi tape; stars punched from gold textured paper

Right, it's time for lunch then the plan is to photograph the completed layout - well, it's almost complete, just got to write the journaling and I can call it done.

Oh, and the postie has just delivered more record cards so I can get back to working on the stamp catalogue.

Thanks for looking and if you can find time to comment I'll be delighted but, if not, that's fine too ... I know you all have busy lives, probably busier than mine ... I get to rest a lot nowadays :))

Take care everyone and happy crafting,

Tuesday 19 March 2013


Hello WOYWWers, Followers and Fellow Bloggers,

I had to miss WOYWW last week but I'm determined to join in the fun over at the Stamping Ground where Julia, the hostess with the mostess, labours long and hard to bring us blogland's biggest snoopathon on a weekly basis.

This is what my desk looked like yesterday - feast your eyes on all those newly cleaned stamp blocks, they won't be pristine for long :)

And here's what my desk looked like at close of play Tuesday evening. There's nothing quite like this weekly photo shot for bringing a dose of reality and revealing the jumble that is my desk, that's for sure. And it all happened in a few short hours too!

Regulars to view my desk might notice that it is now in a much brighter spot. To the right is a window - you can just see a glimpse of it at the top right corner of the photo - previously my back was to it. As you can see I'm in the middle of making a double page layout - it's at the point where I need to add the title and the journaling before creating a few finishing embellishment clusters.

I think this view lets you see even more of the stuff at the back - all essential to the crafting process, of course - well my crafting process anyway. I won't take up too much of your valuable time by going through it all but there are two items of note. One, the plastic box beside the label maker - I think that needs explaining. It contains a rather gruesome looking damp cloth - it's for cleaning stamps during the cataloguing marathon (still ongoing). Two, the very pretty card featuring cherry blossom - from Lynn, aka Linby. I got myself all confused but, happily, Lynn has put me right, so thank you Lynn.

We are going through the second ice age here and as I don't do ice, I'm staying in and keeping warm today. Which, hopefully, means plenty of time to peek at a goodly number of workdesks - well, that's the plan :)

I hope it's rather better wherever you are - well, warmer anyway - and if it isn't do take care and mind your step.

Happy crafting,

A is for Aqua Aspire

Hello Everyone,

I hope Monday has been good to you, especially those of you who returned to work after the weekend :)

Me, I've had a day of dusting and sweeping - well, okay, that only took up a very brief part of my day, the rest was spent either on the computer or in the craft room. That's what it's like when you're retired - life's a beach :))

Recently, in this post here,  I reported that I've been making marbled backgrounds using shaving foam and shimmer sprays. Here's the first card made with a piece that I thought was pretty - I like the subtle colouring.

I used white cardstock marbled with Luminarte Radiant Rain, Teal Zircon and Autumn Leaf, and teamed it with turquoise holographic card and a pale aqua cardstock. The topper is stamped with one of my all-time favourite flower stamps, Penny Black's Aspire, coloured with the only two Ranger Distress Markers I have, Peeled Paint and Aged Mahogany - an unlikely shade for flowers, I know, but it worked well on the marbled background, I think.

Guess who forgot to photograph the inside before writing a message in it!?!? However, I think you can just about see that it is stamped in the lower right corner using the second generation stamping method ...

... on the back too.

I'd like to submit this card to the following:

Stamping Sensations March Challenge - the theme is The Great Outdoors

One Crazy Stamper March 'Anything Goes' Challenge

The Crafting Cafe March Challenge - Your Favourite Colour

and last, but certainly not least, Pixie's Crafty Snippets Workshop - Week 64

It's nine minutes to the witching hours so I think I better call it a day.

Goodnight folks,

Monday 18 March 2013

Nicest Thoughts

Afternoon Folks

Now that the craft space is a haven of tranquillity once more my Mojo is back in evidence. There's a double-layout partially done on the desk and I have this little card to share with you.

It all started with two items - the new sentiment stamp (recently acquired from Verve) and the little image of the hedgehog family - I thought they might go well together in a card.

There's often a small image on the back of shop bought cards that is just a cut down version of the one on the front - this image is one of those (I've still got the full size version saved to use on another card one day).  Yes, I know, it's probably taking recycling/upcycling to extremes but I just could not toss these sweet little hedgehogs in the bin! The image was trimmed down and matted on to a snippet of brown card and then on to the cream embossed card before fixing it to the front of this card. 

The sentiment was stamped on to a strip of brown cardstock using VersaMark and then embossed in white. The only embellishment is the hot orange ribbon from stash - chosen because there is orange in the image.

Materials used: Kanban white card base (5¾" x 4"); Kanban cream embossed cardstock; scrap of brown cardstock; orange ribbon; hedgehog family topper; Verve stamp, Nicest Thoughts; VersaMark; Docrafts Papermania embossing powder, Seafoam; tools - heat gun

I'd like to enter this card in to the following:
Sentimental Sundays Challenge #146 - Anything Goes - has to include a sentiment

and of course I can't use up some snippets without a visit to Di's playground:

Talking of nicest thoughts, I must show you this.

I've been admiring stamps from Verve for a long time, especially those that have sentiments on them like the one I've used on today's card. So, finally, I succumbed and order three little ones and this is how they were packaged ... all wrapped up in pretty tissue paper :)

And, not only were they double wrapped in aqua and chocolate brown tissue but also enclosed was a little one as a gift to say thanks for my order ... now that's what I call service :)) Oh, and from order to delivery took just two weeks  - something of a record for orders coming from the USA.

Right, it's back to that double layout for me.

Hope you are all well and taking care to keep warm or cool, depending on where you are and what your weather is like :) 

Happy crafting,

Sunday 17 March 2013

Cool Canopy Layout - the Hard Rock Cafe, Boston

Hi Everyone,

Hope you are all having a lovely Sunday wherever you are.

I've just been doing a bit of bird watching ... from the cosy comfort of my room because it's raining, again!!!

Right now there's a coal tit and a blue tit at the feeding station, and the little robin is strutting around protecting his patch from unwanted intruders :)

Before I was so completely distracted, I did manage to work on and complete this scrap page.

The layout is based on this sketch from Katy's Challenge this week, over on the Docrafts site.

The papers and the two gears used are all from the Papermania Chronicles collection and everything else was found after a search through stash ... in fact, some of the bits and pieces were pretty ancient!

I began by flicking two shades of shimmer mist, one blue/black and the other golden brown, diagonally across the page. Once that had dried the paper pieces were added. The photo is matted on to the same blue paper as the base.  Next, came the title. Oh, how I agonise over titles ... I wish there was an easy way of choosing them ... this one took me an overnight sleep to decide upon :)  The journaling came next and, because some of you like to know, it reads as follows:

"May, 1996. A long held ambition was to stand under this Chevrolet canopy - quite spectacular! The bonus that day was that there was a special convention taking place in the cafe and parked up, out of shot, were hundreds of Harley Davidsons."

Unfortunately, I cannot find the photo of the Harley's - they were an impressive sight. Sadly, too, that particular Hard Rock Cafe has now been relocated - probably to a better location - but the canopy no longer exists ... such a shame.

Anyway, back to the layout and the embellishment clusters ... the real fun part of putting a layout together. By a stroke of luck 'hard rock' can be found in the dictionary so I was able to include it with the word 'cafe' in the clusters.

All the other items were chosen for colour and shape.

Those music note stickers are ancient ... I think I bought that particular sheet of stickers four years ago. However, the sequin stars are even older - maybe thirteen years older!!!

Materials used: Docrafts Papermania Chronicles paper and gears; Alphas - Jillibean Soup, Alphabeans Newberg Navy & Chipboard Burlap; Shimmers  Cosmic Shimmer Mist Twilight Black & Luminarte Radiant Rain Autumn Leaf; Tim Holtz Black Soot distress ink pad; Embellishments - black/white music not washi tape, chipboard flourish and circle die-cuts, old dictionary pages, stickers by BoBunny (Happy Winter), Nikki Sivils  & Karen Foster (The Fifties).

Another photo scrapped and another page to go in an album - just a few thousand or so photos yet to sort through :)

There's a new version of The Lady Vanishes on the box this evening so the plan is to settle down on the sofa and catch up on a bit of crocheting whilst enjoying the show :)

Wishing you all a great evening and happy crafting,