Saturday, 30 April 2011

What a wedding!

I loved it all, the dress, the romance, the pomp and circumstance - and the human touches too. Plus, I did have a sniffle or two :)

This card is inspired by Friday's big event:

I made it primarily for the latest Daring Cardmakers Challenge which is 'By Royal Appointment - a Royal or patriotic theme'. The matt silver background was embossed using my little pink Cuttlebug - had to run it through four times to cover enough card but now I know it can be done! The image is LOTV 'I do' and I masked the 'tails' of the tail coat that the groom wears as I stamped it so I could make a little military uniform jacket. The colouring is Pro Markers with some bits picked out in 'Frosted Lace' Stickles on the bride's veil and a gold gel pen used to colour over the PM yellow I used for the groom's collar and sleeve ends. In truth, as an ex-Army brat, I know the short jacket is 'mess wear' but the spirit is there, including the blue Order of the Garter sash:)

The image is layered onto red and blue card (all Nesties Labels 8). The fun part was making the bunting. I also wanted to enter this into the current 'I Love Pro Markers' challenge which stipulated no designer papers. I did abide by that and downloaded an image of bunting from the internet and squished it as small as I could. Then each flag was cut out with a little tab at the top to fold over some bakers twine and it was secured in the centre with a crown charm from my stash. Not easy on the old eyes cutting out those flags!

This card also hopefully qualifies for the current Lili of the Valley Challenge 'Love is in the Air'....just so long as no-one minds me masking out part of the image:)

And last but not least I'd like to enter it into the latest Ribbon Girls challenge, which is 'red, white and blue'. Although I didn't use any of their gorgeous ribbon or lace (gotta love all their goodies and I do have quite a bit) - I did use bakers twine from them for the bunting!

Whew, four challenges! To think that a week ago I hadn't even done one......this could become addictive :))


Tuesday, 26 April 2011


I'll be out all day on Wednesday so this is a pre-done posting which I'll try to link in before shooting off down to the South coast for the day. Shopping I'm afraid, not sunbathing on Brighton beach. Do hop over to Julia's here to see what everyone else is up to! It's great fun and you do meet some super people - and get to have a good nose at what others are up to.

Here's my desk earlier - being a bit OCD I confess to at least clearing some workspace since I took these photos and before I hop into bed, sorry but the first one's a bit blurred I think:

In the top one, as ever, an almost finished cup of black coffee. Plus the leftovers from making my very first challenge card. I've always shied away from these and I don't know why - I had such fun! Got to use out my Pro Markers for the first time and moved out of comfort zone. A scattering of Pro Markers (need loads more practice with these but thoroughly enjoyed my 'play'), different DSTs, scraps of paper, card, DST backing, a few sets of scissors, a set of Nesties (which I store in CD cases) and a new Laura Ashley design notebook in which to record challenges (in the front) and any card candy entries (in the back) all I need to do is to remember to refer to it :))

The second photo is a swift swivel to the right to show small grey basket with stuff waiting to be put away after use (aka dumping ground), behind is a green basket with new stamps and stuff mostly to make sure I use them and don't tuck them away and forget them - a few new LOTV's lurking in there, some GorJuss Girls and a mix of others. Then back right is yellow basket with 'kinda half-begun' things in - bet we've all got those!

This is the result of all that mess on my desk in the top photo...and yup, that's me reflected in the CD on the card! Well, my hand and camera at least - there was absolutely no way I could avoid it other than set the thing to delayed/auto shoot and run away :):

My very first challenge card, which had to be based on a profession (Speaking Professionally), is for Daring Card Makers. I went for a Computer Geek and used a 'Lofty' stamp set from Joanna Sheen that I've had for ages, with my OH in mind. Mind you, he doesn't look at ALL like this :)) The card is a tent fold A5 size with plain aubergine/purple card at the top and toning striped patterned paper at the bottom (Papermania Capsule Collection). The images are my first attempt at using Pro Markers with the Geeky Giraffe cut out using a Nesties circle with the laptop and printer trimmed around and then all mounted onto a CD. Ages ago I collected loads of these CDs at our local supermarket when they were promoting AOL - great for 'modern music style' cards and, as I found today, not too bad for ICT related ones either. 

The folded strip of paper is NOT meant to be toilet roll :)) Some of us oldies remember the days when computer print outs came in long, folded, perforated packs of A3-ish sized paper with sprocket holes down each side. (This is today's history lesson I suspect!) I printed off a strip of repeated code and then, after trimming, used the Woodware trimmer with a perforating blade at regular intervals and then just folded the printout so it hangs loose but can be folded up to go into an envelope. 

For the sharper eyed, the code is all noughts and ones - exactly how I began as a programmer - way, way back in the dark ages when computers filled a massive airconditioned room almost the size of a theatre. It's binary/ASCII and each page when decoded spells out 'I LOVE YOU' - ah, how soppy is that geeky giraffe?!! And me for thinking of it I suspect :))

So ladies, that's my posting for this week - off to bed and hopefully Julia will have Mr Linky set up so I can add this before we hit the open road in the morning (Wednesday).

Thank you to those who called by last week and left comments, I hope I got back to all of you and hope the Easter Bunny was good to you all. Happy Wednesday!


Monday, 25 April 2011

A giveaway!

Those lovely folk at The Ribbon Girl are giving away 5mtrs of each colour in their baker's twine, that's all 11 colours! It's great stuff for adding charms to cards (especially if you struggle with chains and jump rings as I do) and there are tons of other wonderful things you can use bakers twine for:

The sun is shining and the garden is calling to me - not for sunbathing though but some general tidying up - but, I'll try to follow the sun as I go :))


Sunday, 24 April 2011

A thank you

Surprise here this morning! A young neighbour knocked at the door with an Easter egg for us - how kind is that. We always sponsor her for the many things she does to raise money for charity and buy whatever raffle tickets she is currently selling. She's a very quiet young lady and extremely shy so it must take a lot to knock on doors trying to get sponsors - I'm full of admiration for her.

I've just whipped this up to pop through her door to say thank you:

It's one of my favourites - GorJuss in fact :) I had already decoupaged the image (not hand coloured by me I hasten to add!). The background paper came with the decoupage set (matches her socks) and the flowers and black card candy, which I added some Black Diamond Stickles to, are from my stash. The little sentiment was proving tricky to stamp and I smudged the first attempt. Safmat to the rescue though - at least I could make mistakes before adding the words to the background :) I love that stuff!

I also made a magnetic bookmark to match to slip in with the card. I'm off to sit in the garden and watch the antics of the birdies now, we have a blue tit bird box on one wall just above where we like to sit and there's the annual activity going on there. A couple of years ago blue tits raised their young during the mayhem of builders and scaffolding within about four feet of the box. Isn't nature wonderful!


Friday, 22 April 2011

One final Easter card I forgot to post on here

This is honestly the last of the Easter cards but a few weeks ago when I posted on WOYWW that I was sticking little googly eyes onto ducks and bunnies a few people asked to see the final result:

Pretty 'simples' really. 4" square cream card stock, bunnies and duckies (from Hobbycraft with the addition of googly eyes) sitting on a background of 'grass' card (KanBan) and a couple of fabric flowers layered up and fastened with a lilac brad.

Have a lovely Easter everyone - this card is for all of you!


Wednesday, 20 April 2011

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday? 98

After a clear desk last week, chaos has resumed! Hiding to the right is a mixture of plastic baskets, one holding things to put away, one with new stuff which I won't put away until I try it (else I might foget all about it!) - and another basket with partly finished stuff in.

While I was writing Easter cards on the one clear space on my desk I wondered whether anyone out there has suffered like me with the UK's Royal Mail's Pricing In Proportion rules. I got fed up taking cards to the Post Office to check their thickness and this is my solution:

The blue ruler is a Pricing in Proportion ruler which has saved me a lot of trips to the Post Office! I got this one from the internet but that was before I found a much cheaper and every bit as good one made by Helix which Staples stock (normally beside their wrapping paper and such) - cost is about £3 to £4. OK, maybe everyone has these but I've pointed three friends to them so perhaps not?

Despite this wonderful 'gizmo', sometimes excess postage has been charged when I know full well that the item was definitely not in the 'Large Letter' category....grrrrr. So, I set up and printed off a load of labels saying 'Please note: This item has been checked using a Pricing in Proportion gauge prior to posting to ensure that the correct postage has been used' and I just stick one of those onto anything I think might be potentially a problem. It sounds a bit officious I know, but guess what, not one single problem with Royal Mail overcharging now! There was a news item just this week where people were complaining that they were being wrongly overcharged so it shows that Royal Mail might not be as careful checking as they should be.

I finally finished making Easter cards........think I need to start on Christmas ASAP!! I just know that when my time here is over I'm gonna skid into the Pearly Gates late as ever, clutching a glass of wine (or perhaps some crafting kit), hanging onto my hat and squealing 'Phew - what a ride! That's my plan anyhow :))

This card was good fun to make - I used an Elzybells stamp set and layered the sheep so that I could run their woolly coats through the Cuttlebug using a dotty embossing folder. The 'Group Hug' sentiment and the fence came with the same Elzybells stamp set and I added an Easter greeting to the insert. The grass background is KanBan card and the teeny flowers and gems are from my stash.

Now I'm going to hop over the Julias and see what everyone else is up to - time for a cup of coffee and a nice browse................aaah, don't you just love Wednesdays!


Friday, 15 April 2011

More quick Easter cards

Courtesy of a Hobbycraft kit, shaped card stock from Craftwork Cards and some paper from my stash I rustled up a couple more Easter cards, I love the cute bunny!

Just a quick posting, am off to fight with everyone else at the supermarket now :(


Thursday, 14 April 2011

Paper flowers

Just a quick post after having a clear desk on WOYWW yesterday. This is NOT my photo - but it's a great idea and wanted to let you know:

For full and very clear instructions hop over to Karen's Blog (Whats This Then) to see how she made them, the possibilities are endless.

Today is busy here but I'm certainly going to have a play at making these as soon as possible - great way to use up some of those strips of paper I seem to keep accumulating! Thanks so much for sharing Karen!


Wednesday, 13 April 2011

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday? 97

OK ladies - prepare yourselves for a shock - this is my desk right now:

I've uploaded the above photo just before posting this and escaping to the hairdresser on Wednesday morning. So what's on my desk this week? Not a lot, I hear you say....too right!!

Reason - the window in my little craft room is kaput, jammed, closed, locked, not able to be opened...... oh for the days of good old fashioned straightforward hinges :( The guys are coming to fix it today and as my desk is under the window I had to clear it (onto our bed needless to say) so they can clamber about. It's the clearest it'll be ever seen on WOYWW I promise :)

Apart from that, this is my latest production, more Easter cards - I made a couple of each one, bit like a production line really, so that's four more and I think the panic is over - yay!!

The stamp is a Penny Johnson design from Stampavie - soooo cute. Coloured using Aqua Markers and Whispers, then layered onto white cards, papers from my stash, Half The Edge strips, Nesties scalloped squares and finished off with ribbon.
My tip for this week was published here ages ago, before I had more than just a couple of followers, and before I joined in the fun of WOYWW. I struggle with ink pad storage and can't have them all beautifully lined up or on display...not enough room :( They're in Really Useful Boxes stored neatly away but I hate rootling round looking for the right colour to use for stamping a sentiment and this is how I handle that:

A 'simples' idea which I came across ages ago on someone's blog - and once done it saves time wasted on scrabbling/testing for ink pad colours. It's self-explanatory really - just cut squares of white card about 1.5" - 2.0" square, punch holes in one corner, dab some of each ink pad on the front of each square and write (I printed labels, OCD as ever!) onto the back - name of brand/colour of inkpad. Then use a round ring of any sort but it should unclip so you can add future colours - I bought my slightly oval ones in Hobbycraft. So now you have an ink pad swatch. Easy and it does save precious moments, which all add up!

I haven't yet done it with my Tim Holtz pads as they can be varied so much, depending on how you use them. I'm happy to play around with those as it's half the point anyhow isn't it?

So, that's me for now - am off to have my hair chopped, look like the Dulux dog right now and can't see through my fringe. But, if you don't do so already, be sure to join the fun of WOYWW at Julias! Thanks for calling by and for all the lovely and supportive comments you leave on WOYWW and during the week - I'll be doing the rounds........ once I can see where I'm going again!


Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Mini Picasso at work

My OH's family are likely to come over from Germany this Summer to visit. Little Mia, aged all of three and a half, absolutely loves drawing. This is what her Mum just posted on their 'family only' blog:

Ooops, I think somone has taken to drawing murals - all over the stairs! There are stairgates in place so Mia must have really stretched her arm through to produce this 'work of art' :)

Tee, hee - I've used the label 'distressing' for this posting, have yet to find out if the damage is permanent but I just bet that Mum was very distressed and that someone small had to stand in the naughty corner for quite a while.

The dilemma is - during the possible visit, how do I lock my craft room securely enough! I can't imagine the carnage if Mia gets in here - little scallywag!!


Monday, 11 April 2011

Guess who's coming out to play each night.....Spike!

This isn't my photo (I got it from the internet) but it's one of his rellies:

I love 'hedgy-pogs' and most years we have some in the garden, their courtship is VERY noisy....definitely where the hog bit of their name comes from :)  'Spike' returned about a week ago and each night he (or is it she?) comes to feed (special hedgehog food) and drink (water, not Chablis!) between about 10pm and the early hours.

We've rescued a couple over time - one was obviously unwell as it was wandering during daylight in a bad way (snuggled up on the coir front door mat!) and the other was a really under weight baby when Winter was setting in. We took them to a local wild life sanctuary and both did survive and were returned to the wild. They are just such lovely little creatures and very entertaining to watch - bless! No wonder I love Penny Black's hedgehog stamps so much :)

The Ribbon Girl have some yummy stash once again, the link is on my sidebar - go see! Red, white and blue - just in time for the Royal Wedding :))

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Quick-ish Easter cards

I'm busy working on another big project when I have any spare time - one of those where you wonder just what you've taken on:) You know what I'm on about Moira!

So, in case I don't get time to make the Easter cards I have half begun, I've just rustled up two very similar cards to help out! This is one of them:

The toppers are from a kit I got in Hobbycraft, the card stock is from my stash (A5) and already foiled in gold. The glittered scalloped edging is also from Hobbycraft - then I got silly and cut petals and a centre from some of the other scalloped strips. That's what took up the time to make this a quick-ISH card - will I ever learn! And, to make matters worse I'm not too sure about the flower and might end up taking it off and replacing it with something else - thankfully only the centre is stuck down so with some careful peeling I might get it (them, as there are two cards!) off without doing too much damage. Oh, and I glittered the butterfly with Stickles. As I said, The other card is very much the same - think I'd better start on Christmas cards straight after Easter!!.

What a glorious day here, hope everyone else is enjoying the sunshine. Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, 6 April 2011

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday? 96

This is my desk today............almost clear, and probably a bit boring!!! The pile of rubbish from last Wednesday has gone and I have a packet of Safmat on my desk to play with - yay!! If anyone has any tips, hints or even wants to say I've 'wasted me pennies' then please feel free to say so.

There are some stamped images plonked right in front of where I sit as a stern reminder that I need to get on with making Easter cards :)

I also now have a little plastic basket (deliberately small so I'm forced to empty it regularly) into which small stuff will be dropped ready to put away - and another basket with any totally unusable paper scraps, in ready for the recycling bin. Am a bit ashamed that I hadn't thought of the recycling bit before and also to realise over the past few days how much stuff was going into the waste basket under my desk that could have been recycled. It's OK, I'm not turning into a tree hugger, just that I'm so good about recycling everywhere else in the house - how come I missed in here?!! The sun is shining (and showing that I need to get the feather duster out) and on my little pink laptop there's a lovely thank you card from Elizabeth! Oh, and my tip for the week is to store scissors on a mug tree. It needs to have a fairly sturdy base and I got this one in a local charity shop.

And, at last, I've finished colouring the Penny Black 'Prank Call' image and made up a card:

I kept it fairly simple as I think the image says it all. The little sentiment and meeces paw prints were from a couple of Elzybells stamps - oops, and a few flowers and pearls also managed to sneak in there! The card was already deckle edged so I used a deckle blade in my Woodware trimmer to trim down the backing paper. I'm sure everyone has their own favourite trimmer but, so far for me, this one is the tops and I've bought some as presents. One friend reminds me of how wonderful she thinks it is every time we meet or speak on the problems there for little gifts for her, more decorative blades :))

I know some of you have already signed up to this new card making challenge for St Luke's Hospice in Sheffield. It's being run on a monthly basis, so not too much pressure unless you want to add other entries. Then, if you wish, you can donate your card (by Freepost) to be sold in aid of the Hospice. I think it's a great idea and hope they do well - I'll be joining in for sure.

Make sure you hop over here to Julia's to see what everyone else is up to! I'll be hopping around once I've done the weekly supermarket run!

Lastly, thank you so much to all of you who call by and leave kind comments - I do appreciate it very much.


Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Quick Easter cards

Whew, Easter is looming large and I'm not sure how much time I'll have to make the cards I have in mind. As a back up I rustled up four of these this morning:

It's a good standby for using up leftover scraps and really quick. The cards are white linen, topped with matt silver card. Then a selection of little scalloped squares punched using a small X-cut punch. The bunnies and flowers stickers came from Accessorize - I must have known that panic might set in!

The idea has been used a lot on both Helen and Lisa's blogs (thanks girls!) - worth hopping over there (get it?!) to see what they're both up to at the moment.

By the way, there's a new challenge blog that has been set up by 'Shirley Pumpkin' and her friend Terry called A La Card Monkey - it looks like fun!

Monday, 4 April 2011

Blog Candy winner

I just used Random. org to draw the winner of my blog candy - and this is who won it:

Number 11

True Random Number Generator

Min: 1

Max: 55



Powered by RANDOM.ORG

I still can't work out how to display the results shown on the widget properly here but my OH is otherwise occupied and I can't wait to post this!

Well done Bob (aka Helena!). It's been great fun and I'll probably do another Blog Candy in September to celebrate my birthday. Thanks to everyone who joined in the fun - I just wish I had enough goodies for everyone!


BLOG CANDY!! This closed at midnight on 3rd April.

To celebrate one whole year of blogging on 25th March, I'm offering some blog candy - closing date is midnight on Sunday 3rd April.

All you need to do is to pop your details into Mr Linky below. I'm not asking for you to become a follower unless you have a burning desire to follow, or to leave a comment (although comments are always welcome). BUT, please only enter once (I will check that at least) - and it would be great if you let others know on your blog that there's candy here to be had. This is just my way of saying how much fun I'm having and to share a bit of the happiness with you. I had a great time buying this little lot and had to put the brakes on otherwise I'd still be shopping :) ENJOY!!

This is what's on offer:

* Selection of clear stamps from Pink Gems -  Skateboard Andy, Fairy Chloe, Spring Chloe, Baby   Calendars sentiments set, Fairy Sentiments set and an Easter Wishes sentiment
*Pack of LOTV Cute Squares (Babies)
*3 pkts mulberry flowers - pink, blue and yellow
*Back to Basics 6 x 6 papers, sample pack containing 2 sheets of 12 designs
*Back to Basics II 6 x 6 papers, sample pack containing 2 sheets of 12 designs
*Sugar and Spice papers, sample pack containing 2 sheets of 12 designs
*An assortment of 1 metre each of 12 different ribbons, 2 cream lace and 2 white lace
*Pkt of peel and stick little pearls
*Pkt of 10 different charms - the only thing I snaffled from my stash :)
*2 tape runners

What are you waiting for - go for it! If I can work out Random Number Generation I'll use that to select the winner...............otherwise it might be names in  a hat, to be picked by someone independent :)

NB, one lovely Blogger has asked if I'll send abroad - of course I will, anywhere in this big, beautiful world!

Oooer, being a sceptic and ex-programmer to boot, I tried Mr Linky - so now we have someone called 'testing' signed up for the candy :) They won't be counted but I can't get rid of them!! Tee, hee!!


Sunday, 3 April 2011

Ribbon Girl Candy Alert!

If, like me, you love ribbons - take a peek at my sidebar and hop over to The Ribbon Girl to enter their super giveaway. And it's PINK........drool!!


Lila Bug card - not all angels have wings.............

This is another one of the Bug Girls stamps I bought from Kirsty Wiseman recently. I had a sentiment that I've wanted to use for ages in mind when I ordered Lila Bug and based this card round it:

The card is 7" x 5", so gives more room to play than an A6 card :) I topped it with pink card and then navy blue to pick out colours of the flowers in the paper piecing I used for Lila's dress and rounded the corners. The 'cloud card' was lurking in my stash (made by KanBan). I got brave and printed the sentiment onto the card before die cutting with a Labels Nestie. First try for me since I've now got a printer right alongside me so I can fiddle round and play more. It took a bit of trial and error with ordinary paper for positioning and such before I took the plunge with the cloud card but it worked out fine so I might well be printing more sentiments directly onto cards in future.

Lila was coloured using Aquamarkers before I added her dress. She was then popped onto to the cloud background and her wings were glittered with Stickles - they really sparkle too! The flowers were then punched out of the same paper as Lila's dress, added to the card and topped with some yummy pink pearls. Earlier this week I had a troll round town and somehow found myself in small craft shop (as one does!) that I hadn't been in for ages and came home clutching quite a few unusual bits and bobs including these lovely pastel pearls (made by Habico).  Just might have to force myself to go back this coming week for some more :)) It's a hard life!


Friday, 1 April 2011

A special Mothers Day Card

As some of you know, my step-mum is currently in a care unit being assessed as to whether she can return home or needs to be in full time care. I spoke to her again yesterday (she lives in Northumberland) and it's the brightest she's been since she was hospitalised - which is a huge relief as we live so far away.

I made this card for her on Wednesday, in between blitzing my messy desk and trying to hop round a few WOYWW blogs:

The image is done using a PB Stickeroo stamp. It's the first time I'd inked this little beauty up - but certainly not the last! I had such fun using my Aquamarkers to colour it in :)

I used a scalloped card topped with Coredinations green card, with the corners rounded - in real life it's a perfect match for the greens in the Aquamarker colouring. What I love about Aquamarkers is that I can mix and play around with colours on a perspex block to get just what I'm looking for. A little squiggle of this, a dot or two of that and then a good old mix up with a wet brush!

A scalloped square Nestie was used to die cut round the image, the sentiment is from Craftwork Cards and I added a few bits of orange/white Card Candy, also from them. I found the flowers tucked away in my stash - possibly among the first I ever bought as they are silk and were snipped from little branches of flowers bought from a local garden centre years ago......way before I discovered Prima and Wild Orchid flowers, and probably before using flowers on cards was so popular. The yellow daffodils were already just flower heads in a little box, from the same garden centre, and they came with droplets of 'dew' on - which was such a novelty back then. Hmm, was this me being ahead of the game for once in my life?!

I also discovered that my step-mum can have fresh flowers after all, so a lovely bouquet and  a cuddly teddy should be delivered on Saturday. We're never too grown up for teddy bears are we :)

Thank you so much for calling by!