Sunday 31 August 2014

Rosa Eglantine - A Sunday Snippet Card

Hello Everyone,

It's late but there's still some time left of Sunday to post the card I made today for Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 140.
The snippets are the green and yellow card used for matting and layering ... well, one yellow layer was a snippet but I misjudged how far the snippet would stretch and had to break into a new sheet to finish the card ... so now I have more snippets, and so it goes on :)
The background is another Gelli plate print which just happened to look nice with the decoupaged rose topper ... a freebie from Docrafts Creativity Magazine.  The trellis trim used on the front and inside was made with a EK punch. Snippets from the Gelli print and cardstock were also used to trim the inside and back.

There you have it, my snippet card for today. Like Jules, I'm going to be lazy today and not list the materials  but if there is anything you would like to know then please do not hesitate to contact me and I will do my best to answer.

I hope you have had a wonderful weekend and that the week ahead will be good to you.

Happy Crafting,

Thursday 28 August 2014

Merry and Bright

Evening Folks

I hope this finds you well and having fun. I'd like to welcome my newest followers, Jean, Annie, Kathy, and Liz. Thank you for following, it's nice to know you're there :)

I've been playing in the craft room while the EM has been settling into his man cave new shed. It's great, he gets to store all his handyman tools and I get the spare room back :)

Back to crafting ... today I decided to try out the free stamp set and paper pad that came with Issue 127 of Simply Cards & Papercraft, especially as the set included the greeting 'Merry and Bright', perfect for Hazel's CHNC Challenge 191. I also decided to take my inspiration directly from the magazine's designer, Sharon Curtis' fabulous cards.
I've altered the designs here and there but otherwise they are very similar to Sharon's originals.
For the first card I used a square shaped Kraft card base. The patterned paper was trimmed to size, edged with red ink, and matted on brown card. The length of red satin ribbon was positioned across the front and fastened to the back with some glue tape before fixing it all down to the front of the card base. The stamps were inked up with red ink and stamped on to snippets of white card. The Father Christmas was cut out and matted on to two die-cut layers, the plain and the spiro circles, before attaching it to the front of the card. Similarly, the greeting was trimmed to size and matted on to red and brown cardstock. To finish, a bow was made from a double length of the ribbon and fixed to the band of ribbon.
For the second card I've used a white card base to create a tent shape card. The topper is a scrap of a print made using the Creative Palette, inks and bubble wrap, stamped with the greeting in black, trimmed to size and matted on to red card. For the background, patterned paper was trimmed to size and fixed to the card base. The length of striped paper comes from a sheet of cut-apart designs included in the pack. The spray of holly stamp was inked up with markers, stamped three times and then trimmed to create the embellishments on the topper and paper strip. The final embellishments are the three pearls and red liquid pearls on the holly berries - not screamingly obvious in the photos, but it looks nice in real life.
The inside and the back are also decorated with the sprays of holly.

As well as submitting these cards to the CHNC mentioned above I'm also submitting them to the following challenges:
CHNC challenge extra for August 2014 - anything as long as it's Christmas
Stamping for Pleasure's Rudolph Day - August 2014 - anything Christmas themed as long as there's two 
Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 139 - most of the card used for stamping, matting and layering and the piece of inky print used for the topper on Card 2 - all snippets

I know I don't do this often enough but I'd like to thank you for all your lovely comments on my work, I very much appreciate every one.

I hope you are having a great evening and the Friday will be kind to you.

Happy Crafting,
Materials used:
Both cards: BoBunny Silver & Gold Collection paper pad; BoBunny Father Christmas stamp set (both from the magazine mentioned; Colorbox Cranberry pigment ink pad; scraps of red Docrafts Papermania Textured cardstock, snippets of smooth white cardstock.
Card 1: square Kraft card base; scraps of smooth brown cardstock; X-Cut circle and spiro circle dies; red satin ribbon.
Card 2: white card base; scrap of palette print created with a mix of ink from Colorbox Crafter's Reinker, Fire, and Ranger's Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Mustard Seed and bubble wrap; Memento Tuxedo Black ink pad; Memento Marker's Lady Bug and Bamboo Leaves to colour holly spray stamp; Liquid Pearls Rouge; red and green pearls for decoration.

Wednesday 27 August 2014

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - WOYWW 273

Good Morning All

Apologies for not being around to do any WOYWW desk hopping last week - a case of too much to do and too little time! Happily, I'm back to show and tell this week so without further ado here's my desk today.
A few bits and bobs on the desk this week.

Front from the left: just edging into shot is the homemade scrapping kit I'm working with at the moment - progress is slow but sure; next to that is a pack of tissue wrapping paper to remind me of an upcoming birthday. Under the tissue, a craft magazine with the free stamps and paper pad that came with it ... couldn't resist it even though the last thing I need is even more pretty patterned paper. Then there's my current crochet project, an amigurumi penguin - you can just see his wee yellow feet by the hook. These little creatures are so quick and easy to make and ideal for using up scraps of yarn. I found a ton of patterns on the Lion Brand website.

Back from left: much as usual - black ink pads; the tray of reinkers and equipment for creating inky backgrounds; a selection of Colorbox ink pads - there to make even more of the flowers I posted about recently; a wee selection of stamps I have plans for; the jar of wood veneers that seems to have taken up permanent residence; a post-it pad - so useful to have out; and a tin of embellishments - also part of the homemade scrapping kit.
Finally, before I go, here's a photo of the finished blanket that I mentioned in the post I did for the Creative Blog Hop . It's intended for the youngest of my football mad grandsons. He's a devoted fan of Celtic FC so it's in the team colours, checked on the official website. I'm thinking that even though he's a lad, and therefore not into crochet, he will enjoy using the blanket to keep his knees warm while playing the video games he seems to enjoy so much :)

Don't know what WOYWW is all about, pop on over to Julia's Stamping Ground where you can find out all the info and loads of links to many more desks. Me, I'm going to have some lunch, admire the EM's new man cave for the umpteenth time since it installed this morning, and then spend the rest of the day checking out all the WOYWW desks on show today.

Happy WOYWW and Happy Crafting,

Monday 25 August 2014

In A Vase On Monday - Waifs and Strays Find A Home

Evening Everyone,

I'm late. In fact, I thought of not doing this today because I have several vases of flowers already scattered around the house, all because my husband gave me a huge bouquet of gladioli, roses and lilies this morning ... just because I love flowers :) But later I was out in the garden doing a bit of deadheading and in the process gathered a few waifs and strays.
Here they are arranged: red pink and white pinks (dianthus), red roses 'Faithful', cream Californian poppies (eschscholzia) and a few spikes of a very pretty pink sage (salvia).
This last was given to me by a friend, perhaps because he couldn't stand its less than pleasant smell. Fortunately, the pungency is less noticeable once mixed with the pinks and roses.
The eschscholzia were a delightful surprise. I thought the seed I'd sown were yellow and orange ones. I much prefer this beautiful cream colour.
The vase is actually four tiny vases fixed to a plain white tile. I discovered it in our local garden centre and immediately thought it would be perfect for displaying tiny short-stemmed flowers such as these gathered today.

As is now becoming usual, I am linking with Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her meme, In a Vase on Monday.  Many thanks to Cathy for hosting this and by doing so encouraging me to pick more flowers to bring indoors and enjoy.

Two Little Gift Angels for Rudolph Day

Afternoon Everyone,

It's the 25th and for me it's not only August Bank Holiday Monday but also Rudolph Day. Now Sarn, at Stamping For Pleasure, is a hard task master! To please her we are asked to make at least two cards!!! It takes me all my time to make one, so making another in much the same design is more than a little challenge. However, once more I've risen to that challenge, though this time I might have excelled myself because it's two cards that are almost identical.
Sometimes I amaze myself :)

The little angel bearing gifts, that's the stamp that has been sitting on my desk for weeks now, was stamped with a black dye ink and then coloured with a selection of markers. Glitter glue has been used on the wings, hat and smeared around the feet to indicate 'snow' ... after all, they are snow angels! Both toppers are matted and layered on to cardstock that picks out the shades used in the colouring.
Because of the white snowflake embossed paper layer, a piece left over from another project which was just big enough for both cards, the die-cut snowflakes, an X-Cut snowflake that is free with Docrafts Creativity Magazine this month, were just the right embellishment. Tip: rub intricate dies like this one with a tumble dryer sheet before cutting out - works a treat; those snowflakes popped out of the die no problem at all. The tiny round greeting stamp is an old one from Lily of the Valley. It's just the right size for cutting out with another X-Cut die - the smallest circle in the Nesting Circles set - and it makes the perfect centrepiece for a snowflake!

As well as Sarn's Rudolph Day Challenge mentioned above, I'm also submitting the cards to Di's challenge over at Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 139 - as ever, must use snippets - the white card used to stamp on and the snowflake embossed paper.

I don't want to be alarmist but my calculator - scroll right down to the bottom of this page - tells me that we have 122 days to get all those Christmas cards done, that's scarily just 17 weeks, or even more scarily only three more Rudolph Days! At my rate of production that's only 6 more cards ... help!!! I think I'm going to have to try harder or prepare myself for burning the midnight oil in December.

Nothing for it, I better be off to see if I can make one or two more.

Happy Crafting,
Materials used: white squared shaped card bases; red, green, pink, blue coloured cardstock - various sources; snippets of smooth white card for stamping; the leftover snowflake embossed paper - maker unknown; Stampendous Gift Angel stamp; Lily of the Valley Christmas greeting stamp; Memento Tuxedo Black ink pad; ProMarkers in shades of red, green, blue, pink and grey; Crystal Stickles; Docrafts X-Cut dies - free snowflake and Nesting Circles set; green and pink card candy

Sunday 24 August 2014

Making Flower Embellishments - A Little How-To Post plus Sunday Snippets

Hello Everyone,

One of the many crafting websites I pop over to regularly is Shimelle Laine's Pretty Paper, True Stories where it's possible to find lots of inspirational posts covering a wide variety of techniques. A recent post by Gretchen McElveen is on making flowers. I couldn't resist trying this out for myself and thought you might like to give it a try too.
Here's the flower and here's how it was made.

Step 1: It's simple enough. Take a couple of the small shaped ink pads, Gretchen used Colorbox Cat's Eye pads, I used Memento Dewdrops pads - the colours are Love Letter and Pear Tart - and some white cardstock. Stamp the ink pads all over the card. It's stating the obvious I know but the red shapes are for the 'petals', and the green for the 'leaves'. I did try a couple of deeper colours, Rhubarb Stalk and Pistachio - you can see one of each in two of the corners - but preferred the lighter colours.

Step 2: Outline each shape using a black fine line pen - the one I have is an Artline 200 Fine 0.4. You don't have to be too exact ... this is just as well because I can hardly draw a straight line to save myself :)

Step 3: Cut the shapes out leaving a narrow margin of white round each shape ... again you don't need to be precise.

Step 4: Pierce each shape at what will be the base of the 'petal'/'leaf' with a pokey tool. Next, arrange five 'petals' to form a flower shape and then place two or three of the 'leaves' behind. Finally, push a brad through the pierced holes and fasten at the back. End result: a fabulous flower embellishment that can be used on any project.

I've used the two flowers I made to decorate two cards but they could just as easily be used to embellish any project that calls for flowers.

The cards were made using white die-cut card bases, plain green or pink cardstock and some leftover scraps of patterned paper, trimmed with a scalloped edge punch. The toppers are die-cut scalloped edge circles (bought from e-bay back in the days before I had a die-cutting machine) stamped with the sentiment and embellished with the flowers and tiny hearts punched from a snippet of card inked with the red ink pad. The final embellishment is the card candy.

Because of those tiny snippets and the leftover scraps of patterned paper I'm submitting both card to:

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 139

And that is all for today : ) Rather later than I intended but I've been busy sorting out stuff in the garden. I only meant to be out there for an hour or so but it was such a lovely sunny day that I got quite absorbed and lost track of time. 

Hope you had as good a day too.

Happy Crafting.

Saturday 23 August 2014

Flowers Are Poetry - Another Gelli Plate Print Card

Afternoon Everyone,

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend.

I have yet another card I made earlier, this time for the UKPC August Swap, and once again I've used a Gelli plate print as the basis for the design.
I went a bit wild with my choice of paint colours for the print - blues, pinks, yellows, green and white. The flower design on it was created using a selection of stamps from Kanban's Spring Meadow set to remove some of the paint from the plate before lifting the print.

The allium stamp used for the topper came from the same Kanban set. The stamp was inked up using a mix of  Memento markers - Danube Blue, Rosebud, Cantaloupe, and Bamboo Leaves before stamping on a square of white card. Papermania Textured cardstock was used for matting and Anita's gems decorate the alliums.
The hinged greeting is stamped with Hero Art's Flowers Are Poetry and a couple of tiny stamps from the Kanban set - again, I've used Memento Markers to ink up the stamps.

As usual for me, the inside and the back are decorated with the trimmings from the print. 

That's it ... another quick post from me today.

I'm absolutely shattered after my day out to the flower show yesterday. I must have covered quite a few miles walking round the stalls and in and out the various marquees - all good fun but, in the end, quite exhausting!

To make up for all that exercise yesterday, I've spent a bit of quiet time, pottering in the garden - until the breeze blew me indoors and into the craft room. I've been making flowers which I'm so pleased with I think I'll write up a wee 'how to' tomorrow. For now, I'm off to have a cuppa and a bit of a break before tackling supper.

Happy crafting,

Thursday 21 August 2014

Butterflies and Tulips - A Gelli Plate Print Card

Hello Everyone,

I hope you've had a great day. I've had a busy few days with little time for crafting so the card I'm sharing tonight is one I made earlier.

And it's another aperture card with a Gelli plate print. This print was made with yellow and pink acrylic paints and a mask - That Special Touch Mask Tulips. The pretty die-cut butterflies were a gift from a friend. The greeting is that Stampin' Up stamp from the Wetlands set.

Sorry to be so brief but it's late and I need to go to bed, I have an early start in the morning. It's the Ayr Flower Show and our friends are joining us for a day out. We've planned a picnic, weather permitting ... we are even hoping the sun will come out to play. I'm taking my camera so I should have plenty of photos to show later.

Enjoy your day tomorrow, whatever you're doing.

Happy Crafting,
Materials used: white double fold aperture card base; the Gelli plate print; acrylic paints in yellow and pink; That Special Touch Mask, Tulips; Memento Tuxedo Black ink pad; Stampin' Up Wetlands stamp set; die-cut butterflies; pink shimmery ribbon; yellow and orange pearls

Monday 18 August 2014

In A Vase on Monday - Bertha's Blows

Hello Everyone ...

... and a happy Monday to you.

Well, Hurricane Bertha, or more correctly what was left of her, blew in last week and did her best to flatten every plant and flower in the garden. Today, the sun is shining but the wind is still blowing. I've got my fingers crossed for better weather because the Ayr Flower Show is scheduled for this weekend.

I spent a couple of hours clearing up Bertha's mess this afternoon, cutting down everything that had been blown down or over and propping up those that could be saved.I filled the trug with all the flowers that had been broken or damaged and brought them indoors to see what could be salvaged. It was mostly the red roses, 'Pride of England' and 'Faithful' that took the brunt of the damage. However, just one single yellow rose, one of my husbands nameless varieties, took a knocking too. I've teamed them up with some Lysimachia ciliata 'Firecracker' that I found trailing on the ground and three stems from a clump of variegated apple mint that we've inherited with the garden ... it's totally impervious to the weather!
The last addition, the red flower that's heads above the roses, is yet another mystery from the box of mixed seeds I scattered in the rose bed way back in spring. The box was labelled Butterfly Garden but no other information about the possible contents. The box was illustrated with a lovely photo of pink and blue blooms but there's not one single red flower to be seen. If you know what this one is called, I'd be most grateful if you let me know.

I've put my little posy in another jug from my treasured collection. This one, a reproduction Dedham pottery jug, was a wedding present sent all the way from Massachusetts, USA.

So that's my contribution to Cathy's In A Vase on Monday meme. To see what's in Cathy's vase you can find her Rambling In The Garden, together with lots of links to other fabulous Monday vases.

And on the subject of mystery plants, can anyone tell me what this one is? It suddenly appeared, growing down in the woodland area and it is definitely not anything I've planted. It's tall growing with a thick, hairy stem, large leaves and no sign, so far, of it ever flowering. It has a tendency to flop down too. I cut one that had flopped over the path down and the stem was full of a white milky looking sap. I just wonder if it is wee gift distributed by one of the many birds that perch in the shrubbery overhead.

Despite the lashings of rain we've been enduring over the last week the ground, and many plants, were parched ... the drying effect of the incessant winds. I had to get the hose out and water ... my non-gardening neighbours must think I'm mad! So tomorrow will be another day of clearing the damage and more watering. According to the weather report we are going to have a better day.

Hope you have a good day too.

Creative Blog Hop

Good Morning Everyone

I've been invited by a good friend of mine, many will already know Di, to participate in the The Creative Blog Hop. I have to admit that until Di contacted me I hadn't heard of this blog hop but was intrigued enough to do a bit of research only to find that whoever was the originator appears to be lost in the annals of time. What I did discover, however, is that this continuous weekly hop, scheduled for Mondays, is enabling a host of talented and inspiring folk to reveal the whys and wherefores behind their blogs, and very interesting reading it is too :)  After finding all that out, I agreed, thinking it might be fun for you to learn some things about me, as well as get to know a few new bloggers too!

So, make a cup of your favourite brew, switch of the phone, sit back and take a moment or sixty to read this post.

My Tagger
I had the good fortune to 'meet' Di, Pixie's Crafty Workshop, a few years ago now, through the snippet challenge, which at the time was hosted by lovely Jules, now hosted by Di herself, and we quickly struck up a long distance friendship. She is a very talented card maker, with a marked penchant for pink :), who has been blogging since 2010. In 2012, I got to meet up with Di (along with Jan and Julia) for real and to my delight I found she is every bit as friendly and lovely in person. We remain firm friends and I am so pleased to be tagged by her.

My Interview
Oh dear, I have to interview myself and answer four simple questions. Easy, you'd think!  Well, maybe not! I have to admit I got a little nervous over the questions ... after all I really don't think of myself as an artist and I'm not sure I even have a genre. Instead of being allowed to take art class at school, I was sidelined into the 'art appreciation' class - no talent required!!!

some of my early crochet work still
in use today
I've been crafting since I was a tot, only I didn't think of it as crafting, still didn't think of it as that until recently. I come from a knitting dynasty. My great-grandmother, grandmother and mother were all knitting machinists who were also expert handknitters. At 4 years old I was taught to handknit by my grandmother, making tiny clothes for my dolls. At 7, I was taught at school to embroider, an aunt taught me to crochet at the age of 9 - I crocheted the doilies on the left more than 45 years ago -  and I think I may have learned sewing by simply watching my very talented mother make clothes for the family because not long after my son was born I began sewing little outfits for him.

my son and daughter wearing
machine-knit sweaters
When the children were young I worked from home as a machine knitter. A friend and I formed a partnership designing and producing bespoke knitwear. Unfortunately, I developed arthritis which made knitting difficult and I was advised to stop for a while ... it's now more than 20 years since I did any knitting! 

scrapbook Albums
However, I like to learn new crafts and will try just about any technique that appeals. As a keen family historian I was delighted to discover scrapbooking 18 years ago when on a study year over in the USA ... at last, a fun way of preserving personal and family history.

one of my first scrap layouts!!!
And what a revelation this form of scrap book was to me ... nothing like the ones I remembered keeping as a child, when it was my delight to collect pretty scraps rather like those in this illustration.
sample of an old scrap book
like the one I kept as a child

We didn't keep photographs in albums ... not that there was a lot of photographs to keep. My father had a Box Brownie camera but photography was an expensive hobby then and the few photos that we did have were kept in a box, not an album.
my first stamps and first card blogged
At the same time as I discovered cardstock and pretty patterned paper for scrapping, I discovered stamps. In a shop in Cambridge, Massachusetts, I bought three wood-mounted stamps and one black ink pad ... I treasure them still. Of course, I had absolutely no idea what to do with them but that purchase, together with the leftover scraps of paper and card, inevitably led to cardmaking.

More recently, I've taken up crochet again, and even more recently, with the acquisition of a lovely new sewing machine, I'm in the process of reviving my sewing skills.

I began this blog almost 4 years ago, initially to give me a place to record my craft projects but now it includes other interests ... family history, trips out to beautiful spots, holidays, visits to open gardens, my garden flowers, and even recipes for favourite dishes. When I’m not in my craft room, I can be found, weather permitting, in my garden tending my roses.

1. What am I working on now?
Oh dear, the short answer is LOTS! I always seem to have several projects on the go at any one time. For example, this is what's on my desk today:
I recently enrolled for two online classes; one a video based scrapbooking class, Return to the Collection run by Shimelle Laine. I've gone through my stash of papers and put together my own kit for the class. This part-finished layout is based on ideas from the second video. I should say that I am the slowest scrapper on the planet. However, with a photograph collection like this:
three drawers packed with photos
I'm always on the lookout for ways that will speed up how I deal with all the photos and information I have gathered whilst reseaching the family history. Recently, I've been trying out the Project Life system in the hope that it will help me get it all in order quicker.

The other class is Watercolor for Cardmakers. Again, my progress is slow but I'm thoroughly enjoying experimenting with techniques for using watercolours :)  Other techniques that have been keeping me busy recently are Gelli plate printing and Creative Palette printing. These are similar but different.
It's all in the quest to create beautiful and/or interesting backgrounds for the stamping and stenciling I like to do. Until recently I was able to create backgrounds by sponging inks on to card but the RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) I've developed from years of banging away at keyboards has become an increasing problem so I'm trying out these new methods - so far, so good :)
As well as making cards, I make tags and even ATCs, and sometimes I even alter items too - like the large letter 'E' here.

Now that I've revived the skill, I always have a crochet project on the go. Currently I'm working on a throw I've designed myself in the colours of my grandson's favourite football team, Celtic :)

2. How does my work differ from others in my genre?
I'm not sure that I can claim that my work fits into a particular genre. I have eclectic tastes and I think this is reflected in my work. I find inspiration everywhere; books, magazines, YouTube demonstrations, Pinterest, the many other very talented and inspirational artists who are also bloggers ... the sources are endless. 

3. Why do I create what I do?
Because if I didn't, I'd die of boredom ... it's as simple as that! I need to be doing something, preferably creative. Before retiring I was a workaholic ... I loved my job and being freelance I tended to work long hours just because I could and I was in no hurry to retire. However, ill health forced retirement ... time to find new challenges. Creating projects that are beautiful is now part of who I am ... it's my way of  expressing myself.

4. How does my creative process work?
Well, I wish I knew. I don't sit down with more than a vague idea of what I'm going to create but whatever it is, it will usually begin with a stamp, a paper, a background, some pretty fabric or yarn. Of course, there are the deadlines, such as birthdays, anniversaries, and so on, that can fairly concentrate the mind and sometimes I'll create something for one of the challenges I participate in but more often than not I just make something to please myself.

Phew! I'm sure after all that, you'll be delighted to know, that's me done! :)

What happens next:
It is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to the three fantastic bloggers, two of which I've tagged, and the third I so wanted to tag but someone had beaten me to it. The first two of these wonderful artists will continue the hop next Monday, August 25th. Please make a note to return to their blogs and follow the hop next week!

In no particular order we have:

Charlotte of The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady: I chose Charlotte because her patchwork and quilting is beautiful and I find her blog, which she has been writing since early 2009, is highly entertaining ... especially when she is regaling us with tales of domesticity and her proposed new home :)

This is what Charlotte wrote:

My name is Charlotte and I'm a quilter.  For other quilters that probably says it all:  I'm addicted to fabric, colour and texture; I love thread in all its glorious weights and I have far too many projects on the go.  I make quilts that double as art pieces, they hang on the wall and beg to be touched and I make more traditional quilts that go on the bed or couch and are perfect for snuggling.  I design, make, write and teach and it's my dream to do it all for a living one day!  Somewhere in amongst the fabric is my family.  We live in rural New Zealand and our current exciting project is the renovation of an old Navy minesweeper boat - shortly it will become our home!

Cindy of Plant's List. I chose Cindy because she creates the most fantastic and varied artwork using a variety of techniques including altered art and mixed media. She also has a great sense of humour which shines out from her blog.

Here's what Cindy wrote about herself:

My name is Cindy (well that is a joke in itself because that is actually what I wrote in the box when I set my blog up many years ago. But it amuses some people so I have left it.)

I live in West London with my husband and son (now 20) and I also have a daughter who has left home (23) – I see her now more than when she was living here!!

I have had a few different jobs but the one I really loved was when I worked for the University of London at The Hammersmith as the Personnel and Training Officer. This century(!) I have been working as a Library Officer in Ealing and you will not be surprised to learn that I get to do lots of crafty stuff with the kids. In between somewhere I trained as a garden designer and ran my own company for several years, building (with help!) and planting (with rather less help - that’s why I know have a bad back!!) many beautiful gardens. Whether its mud and grass or paper and paint there’s nothing quite like looking at something you’ve created and thinking ‘ I did that!!’.

I have always been arty/crafty and I am a terror for looking at something and thinking – I wonder how that is done. The trouble is it makes me an awful dilettante because something else catches my eye and then I’m off in another direction and never really master anything. I initially got involved online when looking for people to swap cards with – I discovered an amazing online crafting community and was completely hooked. In addition to cards I have dabbled with ATCs, Altered Art, Mixed Media, patchwork and mosaic. I work in all different types of styles and I'll try my hand at pretty much anything. I’m still too scared to use the soldering iron though!

I did open an etsy shop last year with a few bits which sold immediately and haven’t had time to do much else since - something I really regret as I would have liked to see if that worked out long term. There are so many things I would like to try and never enough time. I would love to run a craft club or even offer kids activities professionally…. ......One day?

And finally, I'm breaking with the rules here in introducing Jan of Jan's Arty Junk. Jan is the lady I hoped to tag for this week only to find that someone had already spotted her talent and got there ahead of me ... way back in July before I'd even heard of the Creative Blog Hop. If you haven't read her post before, I urge you to pop over and enjoy finding all about her and the artists tagged in her post.

And finally, if you got this far, all I can say is that you have gone way beyond the call of duty and demonstrated amazing staying power - my grateful thanks and mwah, mwah, mwah!!!