Thursday, 31 December 2009


Well, December is nearly at an end and January is waiting in the wings and I can't believe that another year is over.  This year has gone so quickly, particularly the latter half, with the wedding, Daughter's move to university and, of course, the month-long honeymoon in October/November.  Mind you, I can't wait to see what opportunities 2010 will bring and, of course, what wonderful new craft supplies will become available!  I get excited about the new paper releases and colour trends, just as much as some ladies get excited about the latest fashions. 

And for our friends, the New Year will be their first in their new home and we are delighted for them.  I made a free-standing pop-up card from the brilliant tutorial on Split Coast Stampers, altering the dimensions a little to suit what I wanted.

It's a lovely idea, just a bit different from a usual card, and it worked really well.  I added the 'Home Sweet Home' sign just to set the whole thing off and the ribbon and felt flowers just helped it pop a little. 

Around the same time I made a 'New Home' card for our neighbours, who had moved in while we were in Australia.  They're a lovely family, so smiley and happy, and we wanted to welcome them 'officially' once we'd returned. 

Papers are Cosmo Cricket (of course) and the image is a digital image from Pink Petticoat (who have some half-price downloads at the moment!).  They liked it very much and we're looking forward to getting to know them better in the New Year.

Anyway, all I have to do now is to wish you all in Crafty Blogland a very happy, peaceful, healthy and prosperous New Year.

Happy crafting

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

And there it was .... gone!

So, it's all over for another year - and breathe.....

Hope you all had a lovely time and that Santa was good to you.  We had my parents here and, of course, Daughter was home from university, so we were surrounded by family and had a great time.  Much laughter, much love and toooo much food! 

So, remember that I said I'd made some shopping pads but couldn't find the photographs?  Well, I finally found them lurking in with all the honeymoon pictures so I've retrieved them and here they are.

These are just three of several I made for stocking fillers.  I found the blank refills at The Range and used up some scraps of paper to decorate.  A few buttons and bows completed the look and I attached some magnetic strips to the back so that they could be stuck to the fridge.  Each one was made with a particular person in mind and they were very well received.  I was so happy.

Another of my favourite Christmas projects were the money envelopes I made for our nephews who, with their parents, were travelling to Los Angeles for Christmas.  Thought I'd introduce an American theme (obviously) and we put dollars in the envelopes for immediate spending power.

This was really simple and was made from instructions found in a craft magazine, with a little adaptation.  The flap tucks under the bottom white stripe and the top right star is glittered (because you have to have glitter, don't you?).  'Happy Holidays' seemed a more fitting greeting than 'Merry Christmas', in the circumstances.  The boys were delighted.

Finally, I decided at the last minute that the selection boxes we had bought for our surrogate nieces/nephew, weren't special enough.  The contents were okay, of course, but I wanted to package them differently.  So I came up with these cute character bags, which I'm really pleased with. 

Much nicer than a manufacturer's plastic sleeve, don't you think? Unfortunately, the children have yet to recieve their bags as silly Aunty P forgot them on Boxing Day, when we went for tea.  Still, it means they still have a present to look forward to and, more important, at least this chocolate wasn't consumed for breakfast on Christmas Day!

Well, boss man is coming for tea tonight, so I ought to go and shop for ingredients.  I'll be back soon with another couple of cards I wanted you to see but couldn't post before Christmas.

In the meantime, happy crafting.

Thursday, 24 December 2009


'Nuff said, really.  Just wishing you all in Crafty Blogland a very merry Christmas - hope Santa brings you all you wish for.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Nearly Here!

So, it really is only 'round the corner.  Christmas will soon be upon us and I don't feel ready at all, yet. My wonderful OH went and did some present shopping the other evening and we've not much left to buy now, which is a weight off my mind.  However, I've still to make my food lists and, of course, buy the goodies.  Oh hum!  At least there will only be five of us on Christmas Day so I don't have too much of a headache making sure we're all fed.  Still need to buy a tree - only a real one will do - as Daughter says it won't be the same without Mum's Christmas tree in the corner.  May be that's a job for tomorrow. 

Anyway, I've managed to take some (not very good) photographs of some of the more special cards I've made this year.  The photographs were taken very quickly, by me (which is never a good thing), because the camera was needed by our nephew for the family trip to America. However, they'll give you a taste of what I've been up to.  And, by the way, I've fallen in love with Mo's Digital Pencil images.  They are soooo cute and bring to mind carefree childhood Christmases.  I've used three in particular and I'm very pleased with the results.

Papers are Cosmo Cricket (I love Cosmo Cricket!) and the images were coloured with my Prismacolors and gamsol. Plenty of fake snow and Glamour Dust and ta-dah!  These cards are quite large for me, about 19 cms square, so it was nice to do something a bit different.  It took quite a while to colour the images but I was so pleased with the results.  It's going to be hard to give them away but they've been made for very special people so I'll be happy to know they'll be appreciated.

I also borrowed a stamp from a friend - I'm not sure what brand it is, although I have a feeling it might be 'Stampin Up'.  I did some paper piecing, not something I do very often, but it was good fun and made a change from colouring.  These are the results:


Same image, different colourways and different greetings.  Papers are Cosmo Cricket (of course) and My Minds Eye.  I made a frame with an acetate window to place over the image, and plenty of Glamour Dust, of course.  Again, they're about 19 cm square.  I'm really pleased with the results and I know they will be appreciated by the recipients.

Of course, this meant I had to make my own envelopes for all these big cards and they cost a fortune to send as they were quite thick and heavy, but the sheer pleasure I got from doing them was worth it!

I've also been making stocking fillers - little shopping list pads for on the fridge.  Now I know I have pictures of these somewhere but can I find them?  No.  So as soon as I do, I'll post them, together with photos of the brownie mix jars I'm making at the moment. Busy, busy, busy!

Hope all your preparations are going well and I'll be up-dating again as soon as have pictures to show you.

Happy crafting.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

At Last!

So, finally, I'm back in Blogland, after ages away.  First there was the month-long honeymoon in Australia (which was sheer perfection) and then the three-week recovery from flu', caught on the plane home.  I've been a poorly girl but, thankfully, I'm (mostly) back to normal, just in time for the Christmas rush.  Obviously, Christmas has been on the back burner for many weeks now and I'm only just getting to grips with the fact that I only have a few more days before it is upon us.  Lots of shopping to do, obviously, but at least I'm most there with my Chrimble cards - will post quite a few shortly but haven't had time to take the photographs yet!  Oh hum!  Work gets in the way, you know.

Before I went off I was in a bag-making mood.  Lots of sweet treats to send or give to people so I used the wonderful 'Bag-a-lope' instructions I found here on Splitcoast Stampers.  It's such a good idea, very simple to make and such fun. Here's one I made to send to Daughter's friend, who was feeling poorly at university, filled with his favourite sweeties to cheer him up.  You can see that I made it to match the 'cheer up' card I wanted to send him:

I love this little combo - so colourful and cheery.  He loved it!

Then, of course, there was Halloween.  Usually I'm a bit of a humbug when it comes to Halloween - I don't stock up on sweeties for the kids or anything, because I don't really like the 'celebration'.  But this year we had loads of sweeties just waiting to be given away (leftovers from the candy bar I organised for the wedding) but, ironically, we were going to be in Australia when the kids would be coming knocking.  So I dressed up some bags and gave them and the sweeties to a friend, who has three young children and, of course, enters into the spirit of Halloween with their friends.  These are the bags:

The bags themselves are just block-bottomed paper bags I bought to decorate for the candy bar and I had some left over.  I added a strip of black card to the bottom, doodled with white faux stitching, and printed off some labels (found on the net, not hand-stamped, I'm afraid).  I then cut some smaller black circles and doodled them with stitching before folding them over the top of the bag and securing with a small brad.  Job done!  At least someone benefited from the surfeit of sweeties!!

Anyway, got to get back to work, being as I've been away from the office for seven whole weeks.  I'll post some Chrimble cards soon.  Happy crafting.


Monday, 12 October 2009

Seeing Little Green Men!

On Saturday, we were invited to dinner at the home of my Other Half's colleague, B.  B is a lovely, warm and very creative lady, who also happens to be a Pagan. Her home is filled with paintings and carvings, most of which are her own works of art. We had a lovely evening, with good food, good company and good conversation.  Now, I'm a lover of thank you cards - I like to receive them and to send them, which, of course, gives me an opportunity to break out the crafty stash and make them!  I decided that because B was Pagan, I would use the Green Man as my starting point, as she has several of these woodland spirits on her walls.  I have a beautiful A5 stack of Hot Off The Press Earth Tones, which included a beautiful bronze paper and a co-ordinating green/brown, which gave the feel of looking up through autumn foliage.  Next I used some pearlescent sage green (bought some time ago from The Paper Mill at our local shopping complex) and cut out several oak leaves, eight large and eight small.  I burnished these to curl them a little and then applied some green chalk to the edges for definition.  I also marked in some veining with my bone folder, just to give them a little texture. 

My original idea was to draw the Green Man and simply attach the leaves around him, so, with this in mind, I googled a few pictures for inspiration.  One of the images was of a stone carved Green Man and I was very taken by the three-dimensional representation.  So, I set to work and tried to create my own version.  This is what I came up with:

Unfortunately, the photograph really doesn't do it justice - it makes it look a lot less sophisticated than it really is and the colours aren't quite rich enough. But you get the idea.

Anyway, I added a few circles for berries and mounted it with ribbon on the Earth Tones papers I had picked and the finished result looked like this:

I couldn't put it in an ordinary envelope and I didn't have any card to hand thick enough to make a box, so I decided to create a box-a-lope - a cross between the two - and tie it with ribbon.

It was fun to make something a bit different for a change and I was actually quite pleased with the result. My Other Half took the whole thing into work for B today and she was delighted with it, which is what counts, don't you think?

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

And There's More ...

... because I only posted quickly this morning.  This won't be a long one, either, but I just wanted to show you: 



Car With a Tree On Top

These are my first two Chrimble cards and I can't wait to get stuck in to the rest of them. Wreathabella is sitting on papers by My Minds Eye, from their 12 x 12 Laundry Line stack and Car With a Tree On Top is rolling along my favourite Cosmo Cricket Jolly By Golly.  I've used my new cutty machine (my Wizard) and Nestibilities and, of course, my darling Prismacolors.  I must say, my recent splurge has paid off and I'm thoroughly enjoying myself!

As well as my Bellas I have also got my Pink Petticoat images to work with and I have a few ideas ready to burst out, when I find the time.  That's the problem at the minute - time - but I shall have to find some because you can be sure that Christmas will be here alarming quickly.  Oh well, I'll just have to make time to stamp, won't I.  It's a hard life, but someone's got to do it!!

MFT - One of My Favourite Things!

Just a quick post this morning because I've just found 'My Favourite Things' on the web! (I know, I'm a late starter - everyone else probably knew already.)  And it is now one of my favourite things, particularly as they have started to do digistamps.  I love digistamps.  I love the immediacy of them - no waiting for the postman (impatient, me?) and no need to get out all the inks, blocks and stamps just to have a few images to colour.  Not that I don't love my usual stamps, of course, but digistamps are cooooool!  Just one tip, though, invest in some fixative if you're using an inkjet printer to print out the images - it ensures that the ink doesn't run if you're using watercolour pencils or the Sansador technique.  You need to spray the image and let it dry a while before you can colour, but it gives a much better result.

My other favourite digistamp palace is Pink Petticoat.  The range of Lola stamps is lovely and the digipapers come in so many colours that you're bound to find one you need.  I'm about to break out my Christmas Lolas and make some cards for Darling Daughter to send to her new university mates, so I'll post one or two when they're done.

Have a good day!

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Poorly Baby!

Well, Darling Daughter recently went off to university and within a week had succumbed to 'Freshers' Cold', although I'm not convinced that the poor darling didn't have a dose of swine flu! She sounded (and looked, on the webcam) really poorly but, bless her, she dosed herself up, took plenty of rest and is now back to normal.  But I must admit I found it really difficult not to rush off to her bedside!  They never stop being our babies, do they?

So, I decided that the best thing to do was to make her a card - and here it is:


Daughter had new bedding to take away with her, in colours not dissimilar to those on the card - without the glitter, of course! I simply couldn't resist adding a bit of sparkle. I love this Bella - she looks so sorry for herself.

The dotty paper is My Minds Eye and the other bits are what I already had in my crafty stash - I think the burgundy is Bazzil.

Couldn't resist doing a couple of others, though, while I had my Prismacolors out:

Maisy Ketto

Ivy Ketto

I just love these Ketto stamps from (of course) Stamping Bella (told you that name would pop up a lot, didn't I).  They are so delicate.  Maisy Ketto is happy on papers from Cosmo Cricket's Earth Love Mini Deck, whilst Ivy Ketto is at home on DCWV's Latte collection.  I love the aubergine, purple and green combination on this card. I used my Sakura black glaze pen for the hair on both girls, so it really has some definition. I love them both - they are so sweet. 

I don't always get the colouring quite right and I'm sure I've got a lot of practising ahead of me, but I am pretty happy with the way that I'm using my Prismacolors with Sansodor (gamsol) - I'm definitely beginning to achieve some of the effects I'm after.

Anyway, Darling Daughter has received her card and is delighted with it - it went straight on her pinboard.  A little bit of home in her new exciting world. Now, I just need another excuse to send the next one!

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Don't Stop Me Now! (I'm having such a good time)

Yup, I'm having such a good time with my new goodies (when do they stop being 'new'?).  I'm loving the Prismacolor pencils and Sansodor (gamsol) technique, although I need plenty of practice, I reckon.  But, for the first time in a long time I'm back in the swing of things with my card making and really enjoying myself.  Unfortunately, the front room looks a bit like a bomb has hit it! I don't have a studio or craft room to myself, where I can shut myself away from the rest of the house, so I tend to prefer to be in the front room, with all my things spread out on the coffee table, making the place look untidy. But, hey, life's too short for housework when there's cards to be made, don't you agree?!

Thought I'd try out my lovely robot stamps from Stamping Bella (you'll see that name in almost every post at the moment) - they are sooo cute.  I came up with these:

Molly Watt 

Cakey Watt


Kilo Watt

The greetings aren't quite what I'd set out to do but, still, I would be happy to receive any of them, which is my rule of thumb when I'm doing anything.  If I would be unhappy if it dropped through my door, then I don't keep it or I re-do it until it passes the test.  It's only fair, I think.

Papers are mostly Cosmo Cricket and My Minds Eye (again) but the top paper on Molly Watt is just plain paper that I drew lines on with my glue pen and then covered with Glamour Dust. After shaking the excess off, I was left with this rather nice (I think) glittery criss-cross effect - just the sort of thing I was looking for.  I'm going to try the same technique but with swirls, or something similar, perhaps, just to see how it would look.

I've had an e-mail today to say that the rest of my Bellas are on their way, so I'm really excited.  Don't know how long it'll be before they land on my doorstep but I wish it could be in time for the weekend - it's World Card Making Day on Saturday and I'm having a crafty day in with a friend (we're sending our partners fishing together). What fun it would be to be able to play with my new Bellas.  I've already promised her that she can try out my new 'cutty machiney thing' (Spellbinder Wizard) but I don't know if I'll let her get her hands on my Prismacolors - a girl has to have boundaries!  I'll have to see if some of my other pencils will work with Sansodor, so at least I can show her the technique.  She's new to card making and she's coming to get some tips from an old hand.  So glad I've found the joy again before she arrives. 

So, it's now time to get some shut-eye.  Tomorrow's Friday (woop-woop) and I think I've earned my weekend this week.  Night-night all.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Supplies and Stuff

So, I was lucky enough to get a bonus at work last month and before it was all eaten up with life stuff (our wedding, daughter's uni fund), I thought I'd spend some on myself.  I am returning to card making after quite a while away from it (if you don't count wedding invitations!) and although I already have lots of lovely crafty stuff, there's nothing quite like a bit of a spend to get the creative juices flowing again, I find.  But where to begin? There's so much choice out there and my hard-earned bonus wouldn't stretch to buying everything I'd had my eye on for so long.  Neither would the house accommodate it, I might add. 

So, I looked for inspiration in Crafty Blogland and found it, particularly in two places: Stamping Bella (oh! feel the love) and Paper Possibilities - Paula Williamson's wonderful blog. I had 'stalked' these two for months and months, coveting Bella's stampy stuff and devouring Paula's creativity.  So, there was only one thing to do: Shoppabella!  And I did, big time - bought all the lovely Bellas I could afford (plus a couple of other stamps I'd always wanted) and some Bella's Bestest paper, which should give me a brilliant base for my stamping and colouring.

And, I can't colour without pencils, so my next treat was a box of 132 (yup, 132!! Yayy!) beautiful Prismacolor pencils, the stuff of my colouring dreams. And some blending stumps. And some Sansodor for using with the blending stumps and Prismacolors. Can you feel the excitement?  It was extreme retail therapy - and all without leaving the house, actually!

Finally, a piece of equipment.  I had wanted a 'cutty machiney thing' for quite some time.  I wanted to be able to produce beautiful circles and ovals and squares and rectangles, some with plain edges, some with scalloped edges, in all sorts of sizes.  Yup, you got it, I bought myself a Spellbinders Wizard (and carry bag, of course) and found a wonderful website, Once Upon a Stamp, which was (and still is, I think, at the date I'm writing this) offering four lots of Nestabilities dies for a very good price!

Throw in a few of my favourite Cosmo Cricket and My Minds Eye papers (yum-yum), a few tubs of glitter and I was ready.  Aaaaahhhhh - the anticipation. 

So I sat down, I stamped, I coloured, I blended, I cut, I layered, I glittered and I came up with:


Isn't she cute?  I'm so pleased with her.  She's my very first attempt at using my Prismacolor pencils and Sansodor (I think they call it gamsol in the US) and I'm very chuffed with her.  I popped in some Cosmo Cricket background paper from my 'Jolly by Golly' mini-book, and used something that came out of an old tube I had for the 'fur' effect.  Can't remember what it's called just now - and the tube is buried under all the 'stuff'.

It was wonderful to be back in the Land of the Card Makers (a rather large county in Crafty Blogland).  Mind you, how am I ever going to sleep again? Too many pretty things, too many ideas and NOT ENOUGH TIME!!!

Speaking of sleep - '"Time for bed", said Zebedee'.  Bye for now.

If you're sitting comfortably, let's begin

It feels odd to welcome you to my blog but, as this is kind of my internet front room, then 'Welcome, come on in, pull up a chair and make yourself comfortable.'

I've been a fan of craft blogs for a while now and have whiled away many a lunchtime revelling in the gorgeousness of Crafty Blogland. But I've always been a bit shy of stepping out here on my own - until now, of course.  I'm getting braver as I get older, methinks, and now my darling daughter has stepped out on her own for the first time at university, well, I've a bit of a gap to fill.  So this is my first post and I'm on my way to Crafty Blogland. I just need to go and get some supplies for the trip! See you there soon.