Saturday, 31 January 2009

Blog Candy

Wowee, it's just over a year, on the 6th January, since I started this blog. It has been a great year, I have made lots of new online friends, over 150,000 people have visited me and I am thoroughly enjoying my adventures in blogland.

To celebrate, I am giving away some blog candy, if you have a blog, link this post to my blog, and leave a comment. If you don't blog, no worries, just leave a comment before 6.30pm GMT (1.30p.m EST USA) on the 4th February, and your name will go into the hat. I will post worldwide.

Up for grabs is a Martha Stewart lattice arch border punch, a set of Anna Griffin clear floral stamps, a set of clear Inkadinkadoo large number stamps, a Basic Grey mini book, K & Company Smitten mini kit, 6 rolls of American Crafts designer ribbon, an Anna Griffin green pigment ink pad, and two sets of chipboard buttons, in oranges and browns by Colorbok.

So leave your name (make sure I will recognise you if you win, eg Jan from Ohio rather than just Jan) and good luck. Thanks to all of you who visit me regularly and make blogging such a pleasure.

Friday, 30 January 2009

Anniversary Card

I made this card with one of the frames from the storybook, 7 with the card frame ON, and lined the inside with acetate. I dotted gems along a few of the swirls. The flower was cut on silhouette (george cartridge) and I backed it with a scrap of real crunchy lace. A pretty brad (papermania) in the centre and I was done. The inside sentiment is Happy Wedding Anniversary. I really like these frame cards, and haven't used them enough. The card is 5" square, and the flower was cut at 3", first in black, then in hot pink. The white flower in the centre is cut from a strip of felt fusion.
I won't bore you with the heating saga, except to say I am still not toasty warm, and even as I write there is much banging and clattering in the garage where the new boiler is being installed today. The man hasn't done the sharp intake of breath once today, I think he is leaving that for us to do when we get the bill. Hey's only money she sobbed.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Hugs Card for Papertake Challenge

This card was made using Dawny's sketch over on Papertake Weekly challenge site, fun to do. The stamp is House Mouse, coloured with copics. The unusual stitch is called the 'I threaded the machine wrongly and didn't notice until it was too late' stitch. I shall probably use that one again.

The house is still cold, we are still miserable, to think that I was brought up in a draughty old house high on the Welsh hills, with only coal fires for heat. How have I changed over the years into this pathetic creature huddling in a shivering heap for lack of central heating? I tell you one thing though, I have discovered the answer to one of the great mysteries of life - yes, I now know that the hot flush (flash) can be a positive and much welcomed event, so THIS is what they are for, built in radiant heat for when the boiler is on the blink. Wowee, I wonder if this is Nobel prize winning stuff.....................................

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Cheeky Male Valentine

I am cheating a bit here, as this is a card that was published in Papercraft Inspirations two or three issues ago, but as it is that time of the year again, when hot blooded persons turn their thoughts to love and stuff, this might just give someone an idea or two. The inside of the card ask if you will be my Valentine. I drew the boxers freehand, but some of the trouser cuts on the paper dolls cartridge could be cut down to make them if you prefer. Tip - glue the little clothes pegs on with silicone glue so that they really stick well. The papers are by Bo Bunny sweetheart range.

Thanks for all your nice comments on keeping warm. The situation remains the same while we wait for our new boiler to arrive, except that the old one, burnt out and defunct, has decided to suddenly fire up of it's own accord, runs for about an hour, just time to discard a layer or two of clothing, then dies again. Great, so now we have a possessed boiler.
Do you like my new blog header? I decided it was time for a change, and as I don't have time to make my own, which I keep meaning to do, I trawled through Rachelle Anne Millers delightful illustrations again, to come up with this one, which looks a bit springlike and happy.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Thank You Card for 2Sketches4You

I followed Laura's great sketch on 2 Sketches 4U for this one - it was not the card I intended to make, I may have another try later in the week, but I had a need to make something sunshiny to cheer me - see why in a minute! The image is one that my Funky Hand team mate Kath sent me (we recently did a design team image swap, so I have all sorts of fabby new images to play with). This is by Penny Black. The papers are Martha Stewart, as is the punched border, flowers are primas. I stickled the flower centres, and put diamond glaze on the balloon. The photo colour is a bit off, because by the time I took it, all light had faded, I can never get a good photo using flash.
So why do I need sunshine in my life? Well, our three year old boiler has packed up, and it's cold. We waited all day yesterday for a chap who didn't bother to turn up, found another guy who showed up today. He took one look and did that sharp intake of breath thing that workmen do - you know the one, they purse their lips, suck in a big breath, shaking their heads sorrowfully at the same time. I often wonder if it's part of their training, monday morning lectures - 9-10am safety guidelines when fitting new boilers, 10-11am safe disposal of old boilers, 11am-12noon group session on effectively taking a sharp intake of breath whilst shaking head. Anyway, he fixed the old one, went on his way wishing us a cheery farewell, and I took off four of the five sweaters I had been wearing to keep warm. As the house started to heat, so did the boiler, which suddenly made a huge bang and died. Yes folks, it's new boiler time again, huge expense that we hadn't bargained on, but hey, we need heat. Have you ever tried making cards wearing 5 sweaters, a fleece jacket and hugging a hot water bottle? No? Go on, I challenge you.........

Monday, 26 January 2009

Rose for BBTB

The challenge on Bitten By The Bug this week was to use the rose cut from Indie Art. Be sure to check out all the design team's creations HERE. I used the oval card cut with wildcard at 6 1/4" as the base, lined the back in a spotty paper by making memories, and simply stuck the rose onto the lacy front. The rose itself was cut on blackout in the dark green colour of the stem, then in light green. I cut the head of the rose five times and popped each layer on with dimensional foam, then I put tiny drops of holly red liquid pearls all around the flower. This is one of those cards that I would never have made if I hadn't been on the design team, but now that I have made it, I quite like it for a wedding or anniversary card.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Funky Daze Card

Anice, the owner and designer of Funky Hand has a new CD out called Funky Daze. It is being premiered on Ideal World TV here in the UK on a live show, Tuesday from 11 - 12am. Here is a card I made using the gorgeous new papers, that I just printed out.

The base card is 5 1/2" square. I ran the grey paper through the cuttlebug with the swiss dots folder. The ribbon is a green hemp from Michaels, and for the larger flower I cut some circles from george, stuck them back to back, then just scrunched up around the edges of all the layers with my fingers. The smaller flowers are punched.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

A Cupcake Kind Of Day - for DCM

My 'boss' over on the Bitten By The Bug site is Regina Easter, who is wonderfully talented, as well as being a really sweet genuine friend. She has started her own site called The Cutting Cafe which has printable stamps, and this is where I bought these images. I love printables, you can print straight onto pattern paper and play around with your colours in exactly the same way that you can with regular stamps, the difference being you get a perfect image every time! I cut the hearts out and glittered them, so the card is quite sparkly, the black square was cuttlebugged using the hearts folder, and the hot pink spotty paper is by Making Memories and is a stock item in Michaels. The black stitching looks quite wobbly, but I quite like the look of wobbly stitches, so I carried on. This fits in perfectly with the dare over on Daring Cardmakers this week, which was to have a heart on your card.

Here's another one made with a Regina Cupcake, don't you love the wording, and the way she has curved it so that the cupcake fits snuggly underneath. I decorated this one with pastel brads and a few strips of doodlebug paper frills.

Yes, these were made in the new cupboard, and although it felt strange, as anything new always does, I felt comfortable, and it worked well. YEAH!

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Ta Da - Here is my new CRAFTY space

So I have converted a cupboard (closet) into a craft space. This is in a room which we use as a study, but doubles as a third bedroom when necessary. I had the worktable hinged, so that the doors close it off completely, and I get a much bigger worksurface when it is unfolded. Here is the cupboard with the doors open, but the work table is folded down. There is another full length shelf above the one you can see, where I have put stuff I don't use on a regular basis. The light is a 3 bulb spotlight which I had fixed to the underside of the shelf. It gives a brilliant light.
Here is is with the work surface all ready for me to start work. The cabinets under the counter, with narrow drawers were a Homebase find, one has cardstock in, and the other holds wood mounted and acrylic stamps. I was going to have some custom made, but these are the perfect size, and this has always been about functionality not appearance.

I used over the door clear hanging pockets on the inside of each of the doors to take punches, coluzzle, adhesives etc. There is a deep recess on the opposite end of the worktable, which I am having fitted with shelves to take pots of primas, buttons etc. I also have some storage ideas for the blank wall above the worksurface. I am planning to put some poles there to take spools of ribbon.

Debkendra off the Cricut message board posted a link to a blog with this idea. Thanks Deb. I have lost the link, so can't credit the original genius who thought of this as I should. I got Mike to screw a tin baking sheet to the underside of the first shelf, then added a little piece of magnet strip to the bottom of each bottle of stickles. They hang upside down perfectly, like mini stalactites, which will eliminate bubbles, and also mean that I can get the last drops out. (It reminded me of the time we were on a boat tour around some underground lakes in Greece, the tour guide kept talking about stalactitties, which had my two boys, then aged 15 and 11 laughing so much that they almost fell out of the boat). So here are my multi coloured 'stalactitties', and very pretty they look too.
The whole idea of this was merely to give me a dedicated crafting space, one that I could shut away when necessary, hide the clutter behind closed doors, free up space on the dining table so that we can again eat in a civilised way, and somewhere where everything I need is within arms length. I haven't worked here yet, and I know that I will have to be disciplined and organised in my work, but that can't be a bad thing. I just know that this space is going to be great. What do you think?

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Hip Hippo Ray

This is a card I made for this month's Papercraft Inspirations magazine, there are four of mine in there. The brief was to make a new baby card using cute animals, so I made the mummy and baby hippo with george and the cricut (sounds like a seventies rock group, George and the Cricuts Yeah!), cutting out a series of circles and ovals. The papers are from DCWV Baby Girl stack, the sentiment is studio G, the inside sentiment reads Hip Hippo Ray I know, corny, but cute). I doodled the hippo faces, used black dots for the noses and eyes, and inked all the edges with colorbok bronze cat's eye ink pad. The magazine is on sale now in the UK, February in the USA and Canada.

More Misery.................

So my fluey cold ran it's course, helped along with liberal doses of 'day nurse' night nurse' and hot toddies (day nurse is a cold medication here in the UK). I stayed in bed for a couple of days, and wished I had stayed there longer, because when I got up, I turned awkwardly and twisted my knee. So here's the scenario, the great cupboard (closet) conversion is underway, what I totally forgot to take into account when planning this, was the fact that the stuff already in that cupboard had to go somewhere. We live in a three storey house, and I have a twisted knee. So I am limping and hobbling up and down stairs, with armfuls of stuff, pathetically looking for a new home for it. Nowhere on the ground floor, hobble back up to the top of the house, hobble around up there for a while, pull down the ladder leading up into the attic, look bleakly at all the stuff already up there, limp back down and pull out a black trash bag. So I furtively shove all the stuff into the black sack, ready to take down to the charity shop. "What's in there?" asked Mike suspiciously (he is a squirrel and hates throwing stuff away), 'Just junk' I say airily, praying that he doesn't open the sack and see the tuxedo that he almost but not quite fits into, and the hideous vase that his mother gave us once for Christmas.

So the man comes to start the cupboard, now gloriously empty. Much drilling and cutting later, he puts up one shelf, oops, it seems he has measured it wrongly, so the carefully planned design just doesn't work. So now, he has gone back to his drawing board, and we are left with a house in a state of indescribable chaos, and a lot of black sacks that are now going to be smuggled into the car to take to the charity shop. Sod's law decrees that we will have an invitation to a black tie function in the mail, oh dear, where did I put that tuxedo? Do you think he would believe me if I said an infestation of huge tuxedo eating moths had chomped it all up? No, maybe not.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Sisters and Chocolate

Another MFT image, I love the sentiment on this one. Yes, I do have a sister, she lives about 30 minutes away from me, and when I am in the UK we usually manage to see each other for lunch and a gossip about once a week, it's a very special relationship. She has known me longer than anybody else on earth, and we are very supportive of each other. She doesn't make cards, but is a wonderful flower arranger, so somewhere along the line we were given a creative gene or two.
I am back home, with the mother and father of a cold, so I am taking a duvet day in an attempt to feel human again. Not that I look it, pale and interesting doesn't work after a certain age I have found. More like washed-out and looking horrendous :)

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Unfrogettable - Here are my frogs!

Of course when I saw that Rachelle Anne Miller had released the frogs in my blog header as an acrylic stamp, I had to get it. My colouring isn't as perfect as hers, I used my copics, but I am sure you recognise them. I generated the sentiment on the computer. Papers are by Making Memories. I love the way it turned out. Has anybody got any ideas for more froggy sentiments?
I am still looking after my live-wire Max, boy can he keep going, and going, and going. He is a good little sleeper, but when awake he is like a tornado, so full of energy it wears me out just looking at him. He also loves his food, eat, eat he cries at regular intervals, making this cute little hand to mouth sign, just in case I don't get the message.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Another Award

Thank you so much to Michelle, Tammy and Sonia who all gave me this award. I love visiting their blogs so hop over there and take a peek. I am passing this on to

Kisatrtles - who has a wonderfully humorous blog, beautifully written observations on life

Okieladybug - Okie is one of the leading lights of the Cricut message board, and again, always makes me laugh with her self-depracating style of writing

Softbrn - Soft is the perfect foil for Okie, and together they form a double act on the message board

Lou - loopy lou who has a great blog and is a frequent visitor to mine

Heather - Heather Bares is the guest designer for BBTB this month, and is producing some fabulous creations. Go see.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Snail Belated Birthday for BBTB


This week the design team were asked to use the snail cut from Walk In My Garden. I used Basic Grey papers again and added a liberal sprinkling of gems and rather wobbly sewing. The sentiment is from a dollar set by Inkadinkadoo. The twill ribbon is by Martha Stewart, and the pearl gems are by Papermania.
My day has been very lively so far, Max and I were breakfasting at 7.30, running around the garden at 8am, going for a walk at 8.30, picking up dozens of toys off the floor at 9.30, throwing them all down again at 9.35, all this by the time I am usually having my first coffee of the day. God certainly got the design right when he made it impossible for women of a certain age to have babies :)

Chipboard Challenge for Basic Grey

Over on the Basic Grey challenge site this week, the brief was to use chipboard on the card. I used Sultry papers, the bright pink piece on the left hand side was cut with storybook, using the marquee 2 cut, I cut at 4" then cut it in half. The brown scroll is from accent essentials, and the chipboard buttons are from a pack I picked up in Michaels dollar bins before I came home. They are by colorbok. I cut the marquee again for the sentiment, which is by great impressions. I do love Basic Grey papers, and those little 6 x 6 packs are such an affordable way to get your hands on them.

Thanks for all the emails with good wishes for Max. I am happy to say that he is out of hospital and seems full of beans. I am going to look after him for three days, so will probably be on my knees by Wednesday :)

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Get Well Card

This one is another MFT stamp - you can tell I am in love with these images at the moment. I stamped her twice, once onto a stripey paper so that her dressing gown (robe) looks all nice and snuggly. The punch is Martha Stewart, and the centre panel was cuttlebugged with the swiss dots folder. Papers and twill ribbon are american crafts.

I have been AWOL from the blog for a few days, as my darling little grandson Max was taken into hospital with a severe infection, so of course I rushed down to London. With luck he will be home tomorrow evening. Get well soon sweetheart, you are Ma's brave little soldier xx

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Shoes Card

Another card from My Favourite Things (MFT). I have SO many girlfriends that this will be totally appropriate for. The base card is 6" square. I folded back the front, and attached panels of paper front and back. The paper is boxer by basic grey. The image was stamped and paper pieced, colouring done with copic markers. This is one of those rare cards that I make that I would quite like to receive myself :)

I am off to the Lake District in the north of England for a couple of days with my friend Anne. No doubt there will be lots of shopping and laughter involved to tell you about when I get home next week. Have a great weekend

Friday, 2 January 2009

Just for Ewe

This acrylic stamp is by Rachelle Anne Miller, the very talented Canadian artist who designed my gorgeous froggy blog header. I love the funky looking sheep, and yes, I bought the frog stamp too, but haven't used it yet. The black and white paper is by SEI, the scallops were done with nestabilities, and the white flower is one of the masses I won from Poppicrafts - love them.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Award Time

Look what Justine gave me - she is a very regular visitor to my blog and it is so sweet of her to think of me. Pop over and see her work HERE I have been very remiss about putting these awards on the blog just lately, I am supposed to nominate 5 of my favourite blogs, but I want to nominate all of you with blogs who come on here so regularly and leave me comments, so copy the picture to your blog and tell everyone that I think your blog is fabulous.

The other thing we have to do is list five addictions. Well, I don't know if addicted is the right word, but

Ribbon freak

Pattern Paper freak

Stamps, give me a new stamp and I am in heaven

Sex and Booze (only kidding, just put those in to see if you were still awake)

Time For The Bubbly - MFT

I recently bought a few sets of these stamps by My Favourite Things, and love them. I found a challenge to use their stamps with two different types of bling on a card. So this one has been paper pieced to within an inch of it's life. I cut out the mirror, ran it backwards through a xyron and sprinkled with Great Impressions sparkling ice glitter (by backwards, I mean run it through with the stamped side down, which applies an even layer of adhesive to the image. Sprinkle this with glitter, then run it through again with the glitter uppermost. Then I added rhinestone gems to some of the bubbles. So lots of glitz and glitter, perfect for the new year.