Wednesday, 31 March 2010


Featured again on Little Red Wagon - I'm absolutely delighted.  Thank you ladies.

Only One Day To Go ...

... before I become Miss April, and I have been colouring up a storm! As you have probably gathered by now, colouring Mo's images is one of my most favourite things to do, other than eating chocolate and reading! So watch out for a flurry of Mo (instead of a flurry of snow, which, if the weather forecast is to be believed, may not be far away!).

Over at Crazy 4 Challenges this week they have a cute sketch - very simple and straightforward:

Sometimes the simple ones are the most difficult to get right and I must admit to puzzling over this a little while.  Then I came upon a scrap of paper I'd forgotten about and off I went:

Image: Mo's Digital Pencil, 'Bronte and Louis'
Papers: Cosmo Cricket, 'Lil' Man' collection
Isn't he adorable?  He reminds me of my brother when he was small (which is more years ago now than I care to remember!). My brother used to ride on the back of next door's Old English Sheepdog (aka 'The Dulux Dog'), he was so small and the dog so big!  Aaaah, sweet memories.

Here's a close up of him.  He's coloured with my Copics, and I have to say that his hair did challenge me somewhat. It's still not as I'd like it but I'm happy with the rest of him.  I'm getting better at Bronte (who is another challenge!) and I'm getting the hang of faces now.  I'm enjoying all the practising, that's for sure!

Anyway, we have my parents coming for dinner this evening, although it is Darling Daughter who is cooking.  Mmmm, treat.  I think there's jam roly poly for pudding - yummy in my tummy!

See ya tomorrow over on the Dream Team Blog.  Why not pop on over now and see Liza's final GDT card - it's is gorgeous - such wonderful colouring.  Gulp! Now I'm really nervous!

Happy crafting.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Life's Simple Pleasures

If today had been a sunny, breezy spring day (like yesterday), then I could have made something of this title.  But, as posted earlier, we've been forecast snow again, which may be a simple pleasure when you're seven years old but not when you're 47 years old and trying to get on with life!  Thankfully, I'm not doing much (on doctor's orders) so I don't have to worry about going outside but, honestly, spring has sprung then bounced off again!

Roll on the heady days of summer, which is forecast to be the hottest since 1976, the year when we all melted.  Of course, here in the UK we are very preoccupied with our weather - too cold, too wet, too hot - so we'll not be happy in the summer, either.  But at least there's the option of picnics by the river, lazy days reading in the garden and BBQs with friends to look forward to. 

Over on the Papertake Weekly Challenge, they have a really nice sketch this week:

I have been dying to use some of my new Graphic 45 papers: lovely, vintage, rich.  And who works very well with that sort of look?  Yes, Mo's Mummu - what a joy.  I think Mummu loves the summer because she can get out on her bicycle and collect wild flowers for her table:

Image: Mo's Digital Pencil, 'Mummu's Bike'
Papers: Graphic 45, 'Domestic Goddess' collection.

Isn't she lovely? What a game old bird!  I get the feeling that she just loves life (and smells of lavender water!).

Here's a close up:

I coloured her with my Copics, of course - they give a deep richness of colour to match the richness of the papers.  Then I added the grass with my Prismacolors, roughly, this time, as it really is only a bit of grounding.  You might just be able to see the pale blue glow around the rest of the image, just to knock back the white and give the image a bit more context, really. 

Don't forget that you'll be able to see me on the Mo's Dream Team blog in April - I'm so excited (in case you hadn't yet gathered!) 

Right, off to link up and then have a cuppa - tea makes everything better, you know!

Happy crafting.  

Am I A Flower Pot Girl?

The answer is probably 'no'!  Over at Project Tuesday this week, the challenge is to create a flower pot card.  I've never seen a flower pot card before so it was a bit of a learning thing for me and, remembering my motto 'Give it a go', I thought I'd join in.  There are some beautiful examples over at the Project Tuesday blog and I was quite inspired by the thought.  So I sourced and dowloaded a lovely template from Andrea Walford's amazingly creative website, and off I set.

The template file is a .pdf file so I had to print my DPs first.  I chose to print a striped paper on one side with a co-ordinating plain on the other.  Then I printed the template over the plain side, as I wanted the stripes to be on the front of the pot.

I followed the clear instructions and within moments had the basic card made.  Then I spent most of 'Dancing On Ice' making flowers from some scraps of paper I had left in my stash.  Obviously, this wasn't a chore because I got to use my new flower punches (again)!

I printed the inside greeting on to a piece of card and then cut the card to fit the inside of the pot. 

I couldn't resist the sentiment: ''Ello Flower'!

It was a wonderfully simply and very effective little card to make but I don't think it's me.  I'm not really into making shaped cards and although this was fun to make once, maybe I'll leave it to the experts in future. 

Mind you, I'll probably leave it on display for a few days because despite me thinking yesterday that spring had sprung, we are now forecast to have snow (again) and this little flower pot may be the brightest bunch of flowers I'll get to see for a few days.  Oh hum! When will the weather sort itself out this year?  It's not just us, either: our relatives in Perth, Australia, have just been bombarded by giant hailstones, which have done untold damage to property, though, thankfully, not to person.  The news reports were amazing and You Tube has gone crazy with amateur videos.  This one is amazing - it really documents it well:

Apparently it was both frightening and strangely beautiful at the same time. 

Anyway, I've been to see Mr Doctor this morning, to get my blood results.  Apparently I'm fighting a viral infection, which has caused my RA to flare.  He has signed me off work again until after Easter, with instructions to 'take it easy' until this thing passes.  So, doctor's orders, no housework and plenty of colouring (isn't that what 'take it easy' means?!)

There'll be two posts today because I don't want to miss my Tuesday deadlines, so I'll be back in a moment.

Happy crafting.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Home Sweet Home

I popped out this morning to buy a Sunday newspaper.  The sun was shining and all the little daffodils were out - don't you think daffodils always look a bit startled, with their petals thrown back to the sun?  It's a lovely day (despite the fact that the clocks went forward last night and I'm an hour down on my sleepy time!), and just the sort that makes me glad to be home, in my little house with my darling family.  Aaaah.

Which leads me nicely into my challenge post for today.  Mo's Digital Challenge this week is a sketch:

Cute sketch, eh?  Now there's one image that I've been a little scared to try until now - 'Home Tweet Home', full of branches and bitty bits.  I wasn't sure I'd get it to look anything like it should but now that I'm Miss April (did ya know!?) I've decided that I can no longer put it off - I need to prove to myself that I've got what it takes. 

So last night, I got out my Copics (of course), printed off the image and set to work.  Despite my reservations, it didn't actually take very long to get it looking as I wanted and I'm thrilled to bits!  Here's the card:

Image: Mo's Digital Pencil, 'Home Tweet Home' (see below)
Papers: DCWV, 'Linen Closet'
Tools: Nestibilities circle and oval dies

I'm assuming that this image was a freebie over on Mo's group at Papercraft Planet, because I can't find it on the Digital Pencil website. Unfortunately, Mo has had to take down all her past freebies (which she had so kindly donated to members of her Papercraft Planet group) because the privilege was being abused by links from external websites, listing them as general freebies, without any angel policy, etc.  This is so annoying - Mo's generosity to her fans is beyond compare and yet she is forced into taking these measures because people just don't play nice! Umph!

Anyway up, this darling image was perfect for this week's sketch and I'm delighted with the way it turned out.

I love this colour combination too - blues and browns - yummy.  Fresh and modern and just gorgeous - my new DCWV papers are just the biz!

So, I'm on guinea pig cleaning duty today (yeeuch!) so I'm off to do the deed.  It's not quite warm enough yet for the little ones to be put on the grass to graze so there will probably be some fun and games as I try to clean around them.

Have a good day everyone - hope the sun is shining in your part of the world.

Happy crafting.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Love Is In The Air

We have lots of family in Australia and one of our lovely nieces over there is about to get married - aaah, love!  Obviously, this is a great opportunity to make a wedding card and to bring out the lace, which I rarely, if ever, use.  It was one of those purchases that seemed like a good idea at the time, but never really sees the light of day because it is just too 'heavy duty' for my regular style. 

Because this is a personal card, i.e. made for someone specific rather than just a challenge card, I didn't bother looking at the challenges before I started.  I knew what I wanted the card to be and so I just set to and made it.  It was only when I was looking at my challenge list for something else that I realised that it could be just the answer to a couple of challenges, so ...

The CPS-Card Sketches challenge this week is:

By some lucky fluke, although the margins are slightly different, it seems I've managed to use this layout, turned through 90 degrees!

Additionally, Raise The Bar's newest challenge is 'April Fool - show us a style you normally don't do.'  Well, I reckon the lace qualifies me for this - it really is bringing out the 'big guns' in terms of embellishment.  In addition, the image is real rubber, and, generally speaking, I've stopped rubber stamping in favour of digital stamping, now, because I find it more and more difficult to get a good impression with rubber, now that my hands are a little less reliable. 

So here is the card:

Image: Stamping Bella, 'Wedding Gown Circle'
Papers: DCWV, 'Linen Closet' (me likes much!)

The image was lightly shaded with my Copics, and glittered on the bow and confetti.  Cut with my scalloped circle Nestabilities, of course, and I cut an additional scalloped circle in pearlised blue, which I placed so that the scallops show between those on the image.  I added a small pearl to each scallop and matted and layered as you can see.  The lace and ribbon were the final embellishment and I think it works very well. The colours are fresh, young and modern but the lace and bow bring a touch of vintage wedding to the finished result.

We intend to send a gift voucher for their wedding list so I have made the card tri-fold: inside left is a little wedding wisdom; inside middle is blank for our message; and the third fold is a voucher holder.  I have perforated the card so that the voucher holder can be torn off and the card kept on its own. As you can see, I picked up the lace motif on the inside by applying a single lace drop to the voucher holder, to cover the semi-circular tab that holds it together.

And a close-up of the 'dress'.

Lots of pictures this morning, but I thought you'd like to see the whole thing instead of just the front.  It was a real labour of love, this one, and it is sheer fluke that you're getting to see it because I'd not intended to post it. 

Well, I'm off to have a happy weekend - you might gather from this morning's other post that I'm on cloud nine at the moment, which, of course, is the best place to be if you want to be creative. And I intend to spend much of today creating something!

Happy crafting.

Presenting Miss April!

It is with the utmost excitement, trepidation and downright wonderfulness that I can tell you all that I have been chosen as April's Guest Designer for Mo's Dream Team!  I received the news yesterday and have been in a cloud of pink fluffiness ever since!  I'm so honoured to have been chosen by these mega-talented ladies and am so looking forward to contributing to the Dream Team Blog for the next month. 

What a way to start the weekend!

Happy crafting.
(Miss April)

Friday, 26 March 2010


Top 3 at Raise The Bar with my bright retro card - how very exciting.  Thank you Bartenders!


Spring Has Sprung!

Oh, the sun is shining and the birds are singing, the daffodils are blooming and it finally looks as though spring is on its way.  It's been a dreary, cold and long winter and I can't wait for bright spring days to blow away the gloom.

Spring seems to be a popular theme for challenges this week: Crazy 4 Challenges, Allsorts and Digitial Tuesday Challenge all want us to bring some spring sunshine to our projects.  It's lovely to see all the pretty fresh colours everyone is using in their cards. 

We have a little birthday this month - our friends' little girl, L, is celebrating her second birthday and she is the prettiest little dot you have ever seen.  As her birthday is on the edge of spring, I thought it would be nice to make her card fit with this week's spring challenges and so ...

Image: Heather Ellis, Pure Innocence 06
Papers: Cosmo Cricket, 'Early Bird'
Tools: EK Success Retro Flower punches/Floral Punch leaf spray (did you guess!?)

I coloured this little sweetie with my Copics (of course - must break out my Prismas again soon).  I used the colourless blender to create the spots o her top, so that it didn't look so flat.

This image reminds us so much of L - so cute, so sweet. 

I made the sentiment circle on my PC, using Serif Draw Plus - I find it useful for doing this sort of thing, although I tend to copy the resulting image into to finish it off.  Obviously, my Nesties came in handy too - toolicious!

I'm really happy with this little card, although I know I need to stop adorning everything with flowers!  But you know what it's like when you get a new tool - can't resist using it, can we ladies (and gents)?

Because there is a stiff breeze today, it's perfect drying weather so I have to put down my crafty bits and go do some laundry.  I've no doubt that there will be some rain on its way soon so I'd better make the most of today.  Mind you, how long does it take to hang out washing?  I'll be back at my craft station before I know it!

Happy crafting.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

How Tweet!

I'm beginning to think I have sixth sense, you know.  While at the papercraft show the other day, I picked up a load of beautiful papers by October Afternoon, just randomly, because I liked them.  Then, low and behold, I find that they are perfect for use in some of the current challenges - see, sixth sense. 

This week (only just!), the Daring Cardmakers Friday challenge is 'Tweetie Pie', i.e. to include a bird in your project.  Then Little Red Wagon posted their new challenge, which is a colour challenge:

The colours in this picture are 'just me' - beautiful soft aquas and pinks - and the setting is so 'country'.  I could imagine folk art vases on the bedside, full of pretty, blousy peonies. Mmmm - perfect place for a weekend away!

Thinking about these two challenges, my mind immediately went to one of the sheets of paper I had purchased. It has a lovely folk art-like pattern, in aqua and cerise/red and, as luck would have it, sweet little love birds are the main focus. Therefore, it seemed only right that I should use it for a card, but I really wasn't sure how, particularly as my mojo is a little low at the moment because of my illness.  Then the mojo fairy paid a flying visit and, presto!, the card was made:

Papers: October Afternoon, Bazzill card, pearlised ice blue card.

Tools: EK Success Retro Flower punches; Floral Punch leaf spray (can you tell these are my favourites tools at the moment?!)

I love the simplicity of this card - it's nothing like I would normally make but I think it really works.  I love the little love birds (and, strangely, I don't normally go for birds at all) and the beautiful colours and patterns.  Obviously, I love making flowers at the moment and this combination of colours works so well together.
So, another mojo crisis averted and a cute little engagement/wedding card made in the process.  Aaaah, life is good.
So, 'House' is about to start on TV so I must link up and then take my place on the sofa - I love Hugh Laurie in this role although I don't think I'd much like him as a doctor!
Happy crafting. 

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Blimey! Four Challenges in One!

I think I've only managed this once before and this time, it wasn't even intentional!  I set out to make a card for Sketch Saturday, as I liked their sketch this week (although I have a feeling that's because it's like one of my favourite/usual layouts!):

Now, sad as it may seem, I keep a running log of all the weekly challenges I'm interested in, up-dating it each day so that I don't miss any (although, as you will have seen recently, this still doesn't stop me missing deadlines!).  I can then cross them off if I enter and I find I am less likely to get confused this way (really?!).  I rarely set out to make for more than one challenge at a time but when I've made a card, I always check whether or not it matches any other challenges.  Well, blow me down if I didn't find a bumper crop this week!

The other challenges are:

Cupcake Craft Challenge:   Food and drink
Dancing in Pyjamas:   Colour challenge: 
Raise the BarFruits of Labor (include fruit)

And here is what I made:

Image:  Digital Two for Tuesday
Papers: October Afternoon (fruit) and Craft Creations (check)

I love this image. I coloured it with my Copics and paper-pieced the apron - she reminds me of my grandmother.  When we used to travel to see her for the weekend, particularly in the winter, she would have a wonderful pot of stew and dumplings or some Yorkshire puddings waiting for us - heaven!  (And now I'm hungry for stew and dumplings!)

Feeling a little better today - just keep having to sleep, which is no bad thing, I guess.  Thank you for your lovely get well wishes - they really mean a lot to me.

So, off to link up (for the second time today) and then I'll eat, though it won't be stew.  That gives me an idea for tomorrow night ....

Happy crafting.

First Time at Friday Sketchers

I really like sketch challenges - they make me think a little harder about what I'm doing because, as most crafters will know, there is a tendency to always rely on tried and trusted layouts. I decided that I would try my hand at the Friday Sketchers current sketch this week, although I'm not certain that I like the result.  Anyway up (Yorkshire saying), here's the sketch:

The hardest part for me was deciding how many patterns/papers I really wanted to use for this card; whether I wanted to use a different one for each block or repeat papers for simplicity.  Needless to say, this card didn't end up being simple and I completely 'overthought' it, probably. 

Here's the result:

Image: Heather Ellis, Pure Innocence 6
(currently on sale)
Papers: Kanban and SEI.
Tools: EK Success Retro Flower punches/Floral Punch leave punch

After completing it, I decided I wasn't happy with the dark background - don't you just hate it when that happens?  So I added some extra lengths of cardstock to reduce the dark areas.  Mmmmm, like I say, completely overthought this one and although there's nothing technically wrong with it, I don't think it's my best work!  Oh hum!   Still, it's done now and I'm determined to post it because it took some time and effort to finish it! 

It's the Budget this afternoon, so it'll be interesting to see misery the Chancellor brings.  Mind you, I wouldn't have his job for all the money in the world - he'll be panned no matter what measures he brings in.  It'll probably make interesting viewing though, if only to see how many times the Opposition boos!

Off to link up before lunch.

Happy crafting.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Oh, To Be A Dream Team Member

Yup, Mo's Dream Team are running their call for April's guest designer and I've done the usual 'um-ing' and 'ah-ing' about entering.  But then I remembered that my motto for this year is 'have a go' and, once again, I've convinced myself to do just that.  So, please welcome 'Late':

Image: Mo Manning, Papercraft Planet Freebie (I'm not linking as it's only for PP group members!)
Papers: DCWV, 'Linen Closet'

This is the Dream Team's sketch for this month's entries:

I'm not sure how successfully I interpreted the sketch: I chose not to include a sentiment this time and I worked a little smaller than I usually do, so that I didn't have so much room on the card.  But I do love this little rabbit - he's so cute and a dream to colour.

The most obvious occasion is a belated birthday, of course, and the sentiment would be 'I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date' - White Rabbit and all that!  Of course, this image ties in very well with the current 'Alice in Wonderland' trend so I don't doubt he'll be popping up again very shortly!

No work for me today, on doctor's orders, so I think I'll try and get some crafting time in, being as I can't do housework and stuff.  Daughter is now home from university for the Easter break so it'll be nice to have some company.

So, off to link up and keep my fingers crossed - you never know!

Happy crafting.

Monday, 22 March 2010

What A Lovely Pair ...

... of challenges this post is for.  I was determined not to miss Little Red Wagon this week, particularly because the challenge is to use my Copics!  This fits very nicely with Mo's challenge, of course, which is to use at least three punches on a project - so, Copics and punches - a lovely pair.

Whilst at the Papercraft Extravaganza on Saturday, Mum (and Dad) were kind enough to buy me a Martha Stewart 'Punch Around The Page' punch (which, in fact, is two punches).  I wanted to show it in action and thank them for their gift so, obviously, a card was in order.  I wanted to use 'Makin' Cards' by Mo, but I didn't really need Bronte dog to be included.  So I e-mailed Mo and she was kind enough to agree to me not only removing Bronte from the image but to me posting the resulting image on my card, so here it is:

Image: Mo's Digital Pencil, 'Makin Cards' (altered with permission)
Papers: DCWV, 'Linen Closet'
Tools: Martha Stewart 'Punch Around The Page', Double Loop; EK Success Retro Flower punches

The papers are from the collection I bought at the papercraft show - it's a lovely set and in my favourite colour combination.  Mum particularly liked the patchwork. The Retro Flower punches are also new toys - beats drawing around my own templates and then cutting out!

I coloured Bella with my Copics - ain't she sweet?  This is just the position you would often find me in when I was young - on the floor with my colouring pencils.  Nothing changes, except now I sit up to colour!

I'm still feeling ropey and the doc has signed me off work so that I can rest some more.  Got to go and have blood tests tomorrow, though - yeeeuch!  I think this calls for chocolate!

Off to link up before book and bedtime. 

Happy crafting.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Booty and The Best

Aaah! What a wonderful day we had yesterday.  Mum and I visited the Great Northern Papercraft Extravaganza in Harrogate and it was super.  So many wonderful things in one place and, oh, the temptation.  Thankfully (and I do mean 'thankfully'), I was working with a limited budget - it focuses the mind on what you really want to buy, otherwise I could have ended up with so many bits and pieces that, really, in the cold light of a crafting day, I would have used rarely, if at all.  So I used my money just for those things that really 'spoke' to me.  It really was one of the best shows I've been to, with so many products I had simply never seen because we don't have a decent craft outlet close by, so it wasn't easy to limit myself.  But I'm really happy with the stuff I brought home with me and can't wait to get started using it.

Mum (and Dad) bought me a Martha Stewart's 'Punch Around The Page' punches that I had really been coveting for some time and one of the exhibitors at the show had a huge range, very competitively priced (in fact, £10.00 cheaper than RRP!).  So a big 'thank you' to my wonderful parents, who are so supportive and encouraging of my new mojo. 

Here's a little booty picture:

Lots of goodies!  I managed to make a card yesterday evening but, unfortunately, my RA is now so bad that I've had to spend all day in bed today recuperating from yesterday.  Although we rested frequently, I'm afraid that the four hours we spent at the show were too much for me, at the moment, and I'm paying for it today. 

In fact, the reason I've popped on here tonight is to make sure that I link up my entry for this week's Project Tuesday challenge before I miss another deadline!  The challenge was to create a tri-fold card - I'd never done this before so I thought it would be a good one for me.  Here is the finished project:

Image: Mo's Digital Pencil, 'Shy Valentine Nessa'
Papers: Cosmo Cricket, 'Honey Pie'

I coloured this little darling with my Copics and added some pink Stickles to the ruffles on her skirt, to give it a little dimension. I removed the wrapper from some little (corporate complimentary) chocolates I'd been given (what a cheat, I know) and replaced them with my own, cut from the same paper.  After adding the new wrappers, I mounted the chocolates on a scalloped square on the inside of the card.  Cute, eh?  The whole idea was based on the saying (obtained by blogmosis) "All you need is love .. but a little chocolate now and then never goes amiss".  Once I had the sentiment, it seemed only right that I should include some real chocolate and it just so happened that I had received an order at work the other day, which was accompanied by the chocolates - ah, fate at work again!

I'm really happy with this project - somewhat outside my comfort zone as I'm not used to having to deal with so many sides of a card at once.  But, thankfully, the papers made it easy for me!

So, I'm off to link up and then back to bed.  I've got to get better - I need to play with my booty!

Happy crafting.