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Saturday 30 July 2011

Molly Bloom

Molly Bloom is a UK stamp - this one was one of a set given as a feebie by a craft magazine. I kept it simple. The kraft card base is by Papermania UK, and I used Card Candi, The sentiment was a dollar stamp found in Michaels. I love these dollar sentiment stamps, and always buy all I can find. One day, they always come in handy!
Promarkers used:
Skin blush and soft peach
clothes powder blue, denim blue, sandstone and tan

A few of you have remarked on the lack of coffee stories just lately - I seem to have hit a bit of a barren patch as far as odd people are concerned, although I still have my fair share of people wanting to share their life story with me, and yesterday I sat and witnessed a quite spectacular argument between a sulky teenage girl and her furious mother. It involved booze, boys and cigarettes from what I could make out. I just sat there in a smug cocoon, knowing that my days of that particular angst are behind me. Sometimes it's great to be a fly on the wall...........

Friday 29 July 2011

Polkadoodle Friday

Our challenge this week is


So we could use anything you find in the garden in the Summer - flowers, butterflies, bees - I wonder if anyone has done a wasp, there's plenty of them around here. It's also our Stashbox Stamp week, which means the design team can use any manufacturers stamps for the challenge. I seem to be in a Magnolia phase at the moment, so I used Tilda with a bee, and sat her in a garden of hand doodled flowers. The papers were printed from the Sundae of Seasons CD. Be sure to pop over to the challenge blog to see all the gorgeous samples on there

I put some doodle dewdrops in the center of each little flower
We are off to Yorkshire to see old friends for the weekend. When I was doing my major clear-out last week, I found lots of photos of all of us from much earlier days, at various weekends we have spent together, which will be going up with us, should be good for a laugh. My main focus in looking at these photos is the clothes, I look at myself in amazement and wonder whatever possessed me to buy the outfit. Even worse, there are some clothes that I don't remember ever owning. It's as though I have had my head superimposed on someone else's body.
I was running some old video tapes which I am having put onto DVD's, and in the Christmas 1988 one, my shoulder pads are the star of the show, they seem to have a life of their own, everywhere you look, there I am decked up in my best for Christmas Day looking like an all-in wrestler! Mike came in to see what was making me laugh 'It's the boys fighting again' - it makes me laugh fondly, watching them now, at the time I wanted to bang their heads together.
See you tomorrow

Tuesday 26 July 2011

Polkadoodles CD to WIN

Here's a chance for you to win the just released

Magical Winter

one of two Christmas CD's that Nikky has designed for this season. So get ahead with your Christmas cards.......

just look at some of the whimsical digi stamps on the CD
Plus, there are loads of papers and sentiments..........
and SIX step by step ProMarker colouring tutorials

All you have to do is leave a comment under this post. I will draw a winner on Wednesday 3rd August

Here's a card for today. I found an old Pink Petticoat file on my computer - Lola Rose. I loved these images and used them a lot, but had totally forgotten about them....until now. The scallop rectangle is a Nellie Snellen die - look out for these, they are very reasonably priced and pretty designs as well. You cut them like Spellbinders nestabilities. The lacy slip at the back of the sentiment is a Martha punch. The grey panel was embossed with the swiss dots folder onto coredinations whitewash card, then rubbed with a nail file so that the black core showed
Kiki had a school sports day last week. She was taking part in an obstacle type race where they had to dribble a ball between cones, pick up objects etc. One task was to pick up scarves and hats and put them on, the children threw them around their necks and raced on. Our six year old potential Vogue model, however, carefully put the scarf on, checked that the edges were even, tied it in a stylish knot, adjusted the ends again, then started running again. She didn't win! (She was very good at dribbling the football though :)

Sunday 24 July 2011

Thinking of you ....and the WINNERS are.......

I used random.org to draw the winners of the Elegant Edges/Promarker candy. I love giving stuff away on here, but always have a sinking feeling when I know that a lot of you will be disappointed - I know the feeling, I never win anything! There will be another giveaway starting tomorrow, lovely delicious Polkadoodles stuff

So, the winner of the Elegant Edges is

KIM - blog Kim's Craft Corner

and the promarker sets and fine tips go to



BOBBY AND JILL the Cricut Couple

So congrats to you all, email me with your address. Letraset will need your telephone number as well please for fed ex delivery of your markers.

There will be another Promarker giveaway in August

Here's another of the Heartfelt Creations cards that I made for Papercraft Inspirations magazine, on sale now in the USA. The papers are Love Struck by K & Co, I really like the strawberry with that fresh green. The sentiment stamp is by Hero Arts

One of the drawbacks of being on design teams and doing stuff for magazines is that I can't share it for ages. I have spent two days working on some projects, when I finally finished I would have loved to pop them on here to see what you think, but of course I can't. All I get from Mike is 'very nice'. Poor man, he is expected to make a comment about so many bits of paper, it must get very boring.
The new carpet is down, it looks very cream. The old one was cream as well, but of course this one is spotless, and we are full of good intentions creeping up and down stairs in slippers (now I know why they call them carpet slippers). This flurry of awareness will probably last for about a week. I did the sensible thing and decided against more cream carpet in the study though. A nice man is coming to fit a wood floor in there tomorrow. You can bet that if I had gone for carpet, the very first day I would have dropped my black stazon ink pad. Splat. Doesn't bear thinking about. So at the moment I am in houseproud mode, duster in one hand, promarkers in the other - it won't last
See you tomorrow

Friday 22 July 2011

Ready for a good laugh?

Well, I promised to show you my very first cards. A lot of you have made comments like 'I bet they aren't bad at all'
Well they are!
I had obviously discovered eyelets in this one, and for some reason put one in the middle of those punched butterflies. What's with the background? I haven't a clue, I just had one stamp and some hideous pink ink and stamped it over and over and over. As for the tag....... I promise you, it looks even worse in real life

For some reason I can't upload the other one - believe me, you are not missing anything. A wonky balloon and some wonky glitter pen handwriting

Here's a couple of Cricut cards that I made for the lovely Mandy from Scrappy-go-lucky. She sent me the Formal Occasions cartridge and I came up with these 'scene' cards. I was really happy with this first one

I found this metal thingy, ages ago, on a sort of green ribbon, in Big Lots I think. I have had it lurking around ever since, I knew it would come in handy one day
This next one would be good for someone going to a prom or special party. I dotted silver rhinestone brads around on the black, they look a bit like spotlights
So there you go, the good (well, not bad), the bad and the ugly, all in one post.

Don't forget it's Polkadoodles challenge day today - Christmas in July is the theme. Because of holidays etc I am still not back in the swing yet, I need to catch up.

Have a great weekend. I'll be back on Sunday (if not before) with the winners of the giveaway

Thursday 21 July 2011

Fishing.......and a question

Here's a card I made using a Lily Boo digi image - you can get it HERE

I cut out the circle with a nestability, cutting the fish out first by hand so that it fell outside the circle. I made a modified easel card, and used papers by DCWV, and a sentiment button by Craftwork Cards

Interesting lot of comments from yesterday's post about the Magnolia stamps, including an email from my pal Anne, who sometimes pops over here to see what I have been up to. She loves Magnolia cards, calls them 'the little girl with no faces'. In response to my 'angels don't have mouths............' she wrote to me saying

'Of course they do. How do they sing and say 'Fear not.......' if they don't have mouths. You need to get to the bottom of this'

So, has anyone got any theories on the mouthless issue? Funny or otherwise, enquiring minds need to know

Tuesday 19 July 2011

Tilda on a log..............

I don't often use Magnolia stamps, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Tilda. This one is okay because it doesn't set me off thinking 'oh no, no mouth'. Did you know that the idea behind them is that they are all angels, and angels speak with their hearts not with their mouths?
Sounds a bit fanciful to me!
Anyway, here she is perched on a log (not sure who made this stamp, the image was given to me.) The base card and sentiment button is by Craftwork Cards , and the papers are My Minds Eye

I do love the way the artist puts them in the funkiest clothes though
I have been having a clear-out in view of the imminent arrival of the new carpet. So loads of books and old DVD's and VHS tapes are all sorted out ready to go to the charity shop. Then I got to sorting out old photographs - boy, was that a walk down memory lane. By the time I had discarded views of places I couldn't remember visiting, anonymous babies who refused to be identified, people smiling happily for me when I haven't a clue who they are, two great carrier bags had been decanted into one neat little box. very satisfying. I tell you what I did find lurking, two of the earliest cards I ever made. They are truly terrible, I can't believe I made them, and you won't either when you see them - yes, I will take photos, I can take ridicule.

Sunday 17 July 2011

Sweet little box.......

Scroll down to enter the blog candy for Elegant Edges/ProMarkers

I haven't shown you this box that I made for Papercraft Inspirations magazine. I used an unfinished MDF box from Hobbycraft. The hydrangeas were made with individual flowers stamped and cut with dies from Heartfelt Creations. I stamped them in pink onto white, then coloured each little blossom with Promarkers. I stuck them onto wooden balls, also from Hobbycraft, using a hot glue gun

There is a tale behind this little box. I cut all the flower heads, coloured them, assembled the hydrangeas, gave the MDF box three coats of white acrylic paint inside and out, then left them on my desk and went down to London for a few days. When I got home, the troublesome leak had returned in my little craft cupboard, and the whole project was sitting there, a soggy, ruined mess. Can you imagine? I had a tight deadline and had to start from scratch all over again.

I don't have any funny tales to tell you about our visit to the Lakes - everyone was very sane and well behaved. I do have Anne's permission to tell you about a disaster she had when in France last week (no, not the locked in the toilet story.....)
She had gone to see Monet's garden, which apparently was a dream, gorgeous wide herbaceous borders, filled with the very plants that Monet himself had planted all those years ago, painted so memorably, and now guarded and nurtured by a whole army of gardeners and security men - these plants are so precious that you aren't even allowed to sniff their scent. So Anne was about to have her photo taken, perched on a bench outside the house. She moved her bag out of shot, and there was a horrible thud as her camera fell out and down, right into the middle of the precious herbaceous border, filled with irreplaceable plants lovingly planted by the hand of the master...........recovering it would have meant trampling the plants in the border, so a security guard had to crawl through a space under the house, emerging covered in dirt and uttering Gallic curses (Anne doesn't speak French, but she got the general gist of what he was saying, it wasn't very nice.......)
See you tomorrow

Saturday 16 July 2011

Snapshots of the Lakes


I have just come back from a couple of days in the Lake District, I thought those of you not from the UK would like to see some photos
It is an area of outstanding beauty in the North East of England, very popular with hikers and walkers, so there are always people striding around in stout boots and woolly socks, using gnarled walking sticks. They really look the business. Of course, I always forget this, and this time apart from flip flops, my only footwear was a pair of silver leather pumps - I know, I know, ridiculous. I never get it right

Here's a view of Lake Windermere, taken from the hotel that will be hosting the wedding reception - imagine having that view in your wedding photos..............

and how about this for an English country garden?

This is the church that Anne's daughter Jessica will be getting married in, simply perfect. It isn't very old by our standards, early Victorian I think
a gorgeous duck egg vaulted ceiling and stained glass window over the altar
and I really loved the colours in this stained glass window
the whole area has drystone walls, with little plants clinging to the cracks.........................
and little streams of crystal clear water rushing down from the mountains............
another more formal country garden
So there you go, I will be back at my crafty table tomorrow, see you then

Friday 15 July 2011

Summer at Polkadoodles


Summer's here! Or at least, it's supposed to be (which is why the cover is still on our patio heater in the photo below, most evenings are too cold for the garden even with a heater). Long range forecast says that July will remain unsettled and cool........I just knew I should have stayed in Spain

So at Polkadoodles this week, our theme is Summer. Any project or card, just use bright summery colours that make you feel sunny and warm

I decided to print out some green spotty paper, and digi flower stamps from the Sundae of Seasons CD, and made some napkin rings. They were so quick to make, and really do look pretty, I think I will be making a lot more of these every time I have a supper party (which isn't very often these days, crafting doesn't leave much time for cooking :)
The flowers on each one (I made six) are different, but they are all coloured with the same ProMarker colours. I used buttercup. gold, apple green, so they all look part of a set
I am in the Lake District as you read this. I have come up with my friend Anne for a couple of days - she is doing some advanced prep for her daughters wedding, to be held here later this year. Expect some stories - things happen when we are together. Or even when we aren't together. Last week she had to be rescued from a locked toilet in France. Screwdrivers were involved I understand...

Thursday 14 July 2011

First E2 Project


Between getting sick, going to Spain, unpacking again....I have only just got around to unpacking my brand new E2 Cricut machine, it needed updating which I was dreading syncing stuff on the computer usually leads to big problems for me, but it all went well, and I just clicked on the shoe from the built-in Cricut Alphabet cartridge, to cut at 1", and I was astounded how well it sliced through that paper, no snagging or tears at all. I got into a frenzy of cutting, using thin papers, thick cardstock, and even a shiny textured one, they all cut like butter. There is no way my Expression would have coped with all that without some irritating tears. So once I had cut out this little pile of shoes, well, I had to do something with them, so up popped this card

So my first impressions are good, I find some things tedious, like altering the size, but since I made this card I have used it a lot more, and like everything, it gets much easier when you are familiar with the icons (and it still cuts like butter)

We are in the market for some new carpet. So Mike and I went shopping. The first store was an abandoned wreck - victim of the economy I fear, the second one didn't have any sales people around at all, and the third one.................well, words fail me, or almost fail me. We walked into quite a high-end store and started browsing the carpets. We looked around for assistance and there was a chap in a little office munching on a sandwich. He looked up, saw us, returned to his sandwich. So we drifted around, then looked hopefully again at him. 'Is there anyone to help us?' we asked. He just shook his head and waved his sandwich in the air. Presumably we were meant to understand mime. After about 10 minutes of this, we walked out, with me saying sarcastically to him as we stalked past 'great customer service you have in here'. He nodded, smiled, and waved his sandwich at us as a goodbye (which made me laugh, it was so unexpected. Not one word was spoken.) Perhaps he wasn't a sales person at all, just a customer who had been waiting so long for service that he decided to sit in the office and have his lunch - we could have joined him if we had thought to pack a picnic.
(Cousins of Tyseley if anyone is reading this from the Birmingham area - one word, don't!)

Monday 11 July 2011

Win - Cricut Cartridge and Promarkers!

Time for some candy! 1,000 posts seems like a good enough reason, so this is to thank all my lovely followers. Some of you have been with me almost from the start, although in the very early days I was chattering away to myself every day!

So what's up for grabs? First of all, Letraset have been very generous and are giving TWO lucky readers the chance to win a pack of twelve ProMarkers, plus a set of fine tips to go with them
What are fine tips? Well I am excited about these, didn't think my Promarkers could get any better, but then these arrived in the mail.......................
inside is a very, very fine tip.............................
which just clips over the existing tip on any Promarker.......
which means that you can fill in really tiny detail, or write sentiments in any colour to match your card. Genius!
One lucky person will win the Cricut cartridge that has taken the Cricut community by storm - Elegant Edges. No more expensive dies, you can cut every label shape under the sun with this cartridge. It's my all time favourite. To see an example of my work using this cartridge, pop over to Scrappy-go-Lucky's blog to see my baby boy book, using Elegant Edges and Nursery Steps

I had to include a card with the post. This little sweetie is a Sugar Nellie digi stamp, coloured with ProMarkers of course. I kept the card very simple, and just let her do the talking......

So there you go, three chances to win. I will keep this running until Saturday 23rd July at noon EST (5:00PM UK)
All you have to do is put a link on your blog if you have one, (don't worry if you don't, you are still entered to win) and leave a comment under this post. If you don't have a Cricut, and would just like to win the ProMarkers, please tell me. Also, can you make sure I can identify you if you win, especially those who use the anonymous option to leave a comment. Remember to leave your name or message board name

Good luck!

Sunday 10 July 2011

Gap Year Card and Blog Candy Winner

Thanks to all of you who took part in my blog candy. Using random.org, the winner is

Congratulations, email me with your address and I will get your prize in the mail

I spent a good deal of time on holiday making resolutions, do you do that? Sitting in the sun with drifting thoughts, 'when I get home I am going to do that.............and that.............and that'
One resolution was to take part in more blog challenges, it is hard for me to find the time, but I so enjoy doing them. One of my all time favourite challenge blogs is Daring Cardmakers - they always come up with the neatest dares, and the design team are really inspirational. This week they dared us to make a card with a suitcase theme, this is what I came up with.

A word of explanation to those of you outside the UK. Here, it is quite standard for kids to take a gap year between leaving school at 18 and starting university. They go off, travelling the world. It is meant to broaden horizons, teach them independence, and prepare them for adult life, which of course it does, as well as giving them a great thirst for beer, and a chance to put off studying for another 12 months while diminishing the bank balance of the bank of Mum and Dad

A suitcase is probably not really appropriate, they go off carrying huge rucksacks, but, hey, you got the idea. I cut the suitcase at 4" from the Going Places cartridge. The base card is from a fabulous stack by Papermania UK, assorted kraft cardstock, a new favourite of mine

I used my favourite tiny letter stickers from Making Memories
and found another use for these great wheel brads that I found last year in Big Lots
Only one of my three kids took a gap year, the boys couldn't wait to start Uni, then start earning money, but Alexandra planned it with military precision - she did her degree first, then took a gap year before starting work. She went to Thailand, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand, all by herself, making friends along the way. We saw her off at Heathrow airport, wearing a huge rucksack with all her worldly goods packed carefully inside. I swear if she had fallen over, she would have floundered helplessly, arms and legs waving, like an overturned turtle, until someone helped her up. I sobbed all the way home, and honestly never really had peace until her year was over and she returned to the real world, tanned, happy and confident, to find Mum and Dad had a few more grey hairs than when she left.

See you tomorrow

Friday 8 July 2011

Tilda - and sandals!

Here's Tilda, a Magnolia stamp. I perched her onto a little rock by a stream - this was a friends stamp and I don't know what make it is, but she fits nicely on there

I coloured her with Promarkers
Hair - cocoa, cinnamon and tan
Skin - blush and soft peach
Clothes - powder blue, pastel blue, denim blue and ice grey 2
Scene - blue pearl, powder blue, apple green, marsh green, coral, ice grey 2, 3
The papers are from one of those packs, where you get sticky alphabets, which I never knew what to do with. I decided to use an assortment of these, quite randomly for the sentiment
I can't believe I am doing this, but so many of you have said 'well come on then, let's see the sandals.......................................here's some of them
snazzy pink to match my mosquito bites............
and I liked this huge grey flower so much..................
I had to get it in blue as well!
I see that I have just made my 1,000th post. By my reckoning, allowing for time to make the cards and do the posts, that means (allowing for a 36 hour week), I have spent a total of 2 years and 3 months, full time work, doing this blog! Gulp. I think it calls for a bit of a giveaway though, so watch out for that next week.
See you tomorrow