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Sunday 31 December 2017

Happy New Year!

Kicking off the last day of 2017 with a couple of poppy cards, made with the Corner Poppies die from Spellbinders. In both cards, I used the Ornate Labels One 3D embossing folder for the background - the first time I have used it, and I just love the deeply etched crisp embossing. The first card was cut twice, in white and red card. I coloured the white leaves and stems with pencils, then cut out just the flowers and buds from the red. The sentiment is by Clearly Besotted

This one looks quite different I think, the poppy die was cut just once in white, and the whole thing was shaded softly with pencils

A very happy new year to you all. This year has been a difficult one for us, as Mike has had a few months of ill health. Thankfully he was well enough to enjoy the family at Christmas, and continues to improve a little

My last photo for this year is this one of me and Molly, now thirteen months old, I was dropping them off at the airport for their Boxing Day flight to Dublin when she decided she didn't want me to go and dive bombed into my arms, clinging on like a little limpet!

So thank you to all of you who continue to visit me here to listen to my ramblings, and give me more support and encouragement than you will ever know. I wish you happiness, health and happy crafting in 2018 xxx

Friday 8 December 2017

Filling up the Christmas Card Box.........Spellblogger post

A bunch of Spellbinder Christmas cards today. I have been busy churning out Christmas cards. This first one was made using the Majestic Labels Twenty Five Nestability die set. It's on clearance, at a great price.  It's quite fancy for me, but I rather like the contrast between the silver card, and the burgundy. The holly was cut with the Jolly Holly set, and the JOY word from the Ho Ho Ho set (the sentiments on each of the cards comes from this set)

The second one was cut with the Bird Call set, I cut it twice in white and red, backed the white with black card. The birds were cut out of the red. I wanted red to make cards for my American friends - the Cardinal is a symbol of Christmas there, here in the UK it's a robin. I discovered to my surprise when I lived in Florida, that the robin heralds the Spring in the USA. Who would have thought, they obviously like being here for Christmas, then move on when they have had enough of the rain.........This die is useful, I can see ways to use it year round (and it's on sale......)

This last one is a favourite, made with one of the new sets called 
Gilded Ornaments, it is going to become a Christmas classic in my collection. Isn't it pretty?

I guess it's time for me to stop making, and start writing these cards. How are your Christmas makes coming along?

Wednesday 29 November 2017

Blog Friends.....

 I had a wonderful surprise the other day, a long term reader of this blog is giving up crafting for health reasons. She cleared out her craft room, and a parcel arrived from the USA FILLED with dies and stamps that she gifted to me. It was like my birthday and Christmas rolled into one. She has asked me not to publish her name, which I will respect, but I wish there was a way I could say thank you - apart from a thank you card which is already on it's way. I was so touched that she should think of me, and make such a generous gift.

Here are some cards made with one of the dies, MFT Diagonal Quilt Square Cover Up Die (which you can get HERE if you are interested). I cut a whole bunch out in various cardstock and papers, then had fun piecing them altogether. These four cards took only half an hour to assemble

Then sadly, almost at the same time that this surprise parcel arrived, I had the sad news that one of my blog friends had passed away. Right from the start, Joan was a regular here. She lived in Florida, some 100 miles away from where we lived, but one day she and Tom made the trip over to Hudson to see us for the day. What a day we had. We quickly learnt that we not only had crafting in common, but a lot of shared interests, love of family and pride in our grandchildren. She found out that Max, who was then about five was obsessed with fire engines, fire stations etc. She sent me some genuine USA fireman 
 badges, which I put into a frame for him - he still has it in his room today. The correspondence carried on over the years, I guess it was the modern equivalent of a pen pal. Now she has gone, and I felt a real sense of loss, and sadness for her much adored family. 

These two, unconnected events, a surprise parcel and memories of a friendship, made me realise that these connections that we make through blogging, and emails aren't always just fleeting connections, but genuine friendships and that we can make a difference to each others lives, I just wanted to say that I appreciate each and every one of you when you pop over to encourage me, and read my wafflings. Thank you

Enough! I'll be back tomorrow xx 

Monday 27 November 2017

More Snowflake Snippets - Spellblogger post for Spellbinders

I can't stop playing with the Snowflake Snippets die set by Spellbinders - so very pretty

Definitely my favourite Christmas set this year............
This little darling was one yesterday. Happy Birthday Molly! We were lucky to have them here for the weekend, so got to share in the birthday celebrations. Just one thing Molly, can you tell Mummy where you hid the remote control to our TV?

Friday 24 November 2017

Trees - for Daring Cardmakers

 The challenge over on Daring Cardmakers this week is Trim the Tree - I decided against a traditional Christmas tree and went for some Birch tree dies.....and as usual, while I was messing around, I ended up making two cards.

This first one is just some simple inking with distress inks and a circle mask within a stitched frame, with the trees in the foreground......

More inking for this one, with some water splatters which looks like snow falling, and this time I added some deer to the mix. Both cards have a subtle scattering of white blizzard glitter here and there for a bit of sparkle. Do pop over to Daring Cardmakers to see how the rest of the design team have interpreted this dare - it fascinates me every week that we all come up with such different takes on the same subject

Now the good news is that I haven't, after all, torn tendons in my shoulder, I just have a lot of swelling and inflammation, which should calm down with an injection into the joint. So no need for surgery that would have taken me out of action for a few weeks. Thanks for all the good wishes. You are such a supportive bunch, and I appreciate you all

So it's Black Friday - yes, although this commercial honeytrap has just recently inched it's way across the Atlantic, and the shopping mania sales here lack the impetus of the frenzy in America, (that used to drag me from my bed at a ridiculous hour to join the crowds looking for those early bird specials),  I am still enough of an idiot bargain hunter, to saunter down to the town today, just for a little look......I just won't be getting up at 4.00 a.m to do so!

Thursday 16 November 2017

Snowflake Snippets - Spellblogger for Spellbinders

My Spellblogger post for this week uses the delightful and versatile new die set called Snowflake Snippets - I just love this set, it  is versatile and a great way of making 'conveyor belt' Christmas cards that have a real impact as well. My first card (above) is a simple almost one layer card - I masked off the base card and inked the square before sticking the die cut on top. You can find the Dies in the Spellbinder store HERE

Shapeabilities Snowflake Snippets Holiday 2017 Etched Dies

The second card was made by not cutting the die, I just embossed it into the cardstock, then inked the raised impression with Broken China and Peacock Feather distress inks, before adding some Nuvo glitter 

So today I have an MRI scan on a very painful shoulder joint, let's hope they can get me sorted.......preferably without involving scalpels and sutures! Keep your fingers crossed for me

Friday 10 November 2017

Warm Wishes - for Daring Cardmakers

Today, over on the Daring Cardmakers challenge blog, the theme is Winter Clothing, I decided to use mittens, cut with my Cricut - The warm wishes sentiment doesn't show up that well in the photo, better in real life! Be sure to hop over to DCM to see the inspiration from the rest of the team

My Christmas card box is filling up quite nicely now - how about you? Here's a selection I made using just one sheet of 12 x 12 paper - I used a 'one sheet wonder' pattern, a great way of getting the most out of your papers, with no waste 

Here's the pattern I used with the measurements. Ignore the circled numbers, I had the idea of numbering all the cards, but got hopelessly  sidetracked on that idea!

and here is a peep at some of the designs. Do try this - it's a great way to use up that precious sheet of paper that you have had for ages, but don't want to cut up.....we have all been there, those papers you take out and stroke lovingly before putting them back to bed for another year! 

Wednesday 8 November 2017

Post It Note Holder - Spellblogger for Spellbinders

I have been making some little Christmas gifts with the lovely Note Holder die set from Spellbinders - perfect for little hostess gifts, or eyecatching additions to your table at a craft fair or fundraiser........

Here are the dies you get in the set - quick and easy to assemble, and those little flowers will be very useful for other projects as well! The completed holder hold a standard post it note perfectly
I changed it up a bit for this one, and made a note holder to place by my house phone. I found some kraft coloured post its, and used the little phone from the Hello Die D-Lites set to embellish it

 I found that my wood slice pen fits perfectly across the holder. Result - I'm always searching for pens!....

I never told you about Pizzagate - when Mike was ill, one of our sons came up to see him. Mikes appetite was poor, which we chatted about.  Ed left to drive home, and shortly afterwards there was a knock on the door, there stood a Dominos pizza guy with a delivery. 'not for me' I said. He showed me the printed label with our address on 'all paid for' he said
Lightbulb moment, our caring son had ordered lunch for us in the hope of tempting his dad's appetite.....how kind. But he had gone a bit overboard, there were two huge pizzas. But we gratefully cut a couple of slices from each, and enjoyed.........
Another ring on the doorbell. A woman asking (no, demanding) the return of her pizza! Apparently she had family for lunch and had ordered these two huge pizzas that we had nibbled at, they sat waiting for their delivery for ages, until she eventually tracked it to our house. She wasn't very pleased, or neighbourly, but what could we do but offer to pay, but she stormed off 
To cap it all my phone pinged with a return to the text I had sent Ed thanking him for his thoughtful gesture. 'Pizza? What pizza. Not from me mum.....' Oops
I can recommend the Hawaiian, meatball supreme not so much 😀😀 

Friday 3 November 2017

Daring Cardmakers - Elemental Inspiration

Over at Daring Cardmakers this week, the challenge was to use three elements from the inspiration photo shown here. I played a bit safe, and chose the lovely blue background, flowers, foliage and some berries. What would you choose? Do pop over and see what inspired the team, and join in if you can

November has sort of crept up and caught me unawares. How did that happen? Last time I blinked, it was summer time. That means I need to start getting my head around those Christmas presents, but before then, we have Molly's first birthday. Alex has asked for outfits for her, rather than more toys, which even now are threatening to take over their house....so I have the rather lovely task of looking at small pinafore dresses, and stripey tights - I love stripey tights for babies.........in my element!

Sunday 29 October 2017

Cuckoo Clock - Spellblogger post for Spellbinders

A simple little card today, I was asked to make a birthday card for a 'special' birthday, and came up with this, using this adorable little cuckoo clock die that was a small die of the month from Spellbinders.......the sentiment is from the Special Birthday Sentiments stamp set which I thought was pretty appropriate. I set the hands of the little clock to 7. 00 p.m and added some wink of stella clear glitter to the heart and bird. The aqua paper and the spotty red paper were cut using the pierced squares die set. The 70 numbers were cut using the Count the Stars set by Debi Adams. Find all the dies and stamps here 

As I was finishing the card, I thought 'I hope the person who is getting this card doesn't think everyone is thinking they are going cuckoo!' ........well, too bad, I was making it as a favour for a friend and being short of time, I would have gone cuckoo if I had to rethink.....as it happens, the person who ordered the card loved it. Crisis averted....

Friday 27 October 2017

Blended Backgrounds for Daring Cardmakers

This week, the challenge is Blended Backgrounds - right up my street, I love my distress inks! I came up with two cards, and couldn't decide which one to use, so here they both are.......

This first one uses the broad stripe card cover die by MFT, and some cute elephants, also by MFT (bought to make Molly her first birthday card which is coming up in November)

For the second one, I used a wave stencil to layer the colours into a random rainbow effect. The large  HAPPY is a die and stamp I bought at a craft fair in Paris when Kath and I went on our adventure there earlier this year

Be sure to pop over to Daring Cardmakers to see what the design team have come up with this week (a talented bunch, every week I am left shaking my head in awe and thinking 'now why didn't I think of that?......)

Friday 20 October 2017

City or Country? for Daring Cardmakers

This week on the Daring Cardmakers challenge blog, Miri asks the question City or Country? I think you can tell at a glance which one I favour.........

For this card I pulled out my Cricut to cut the city skyline, then went a bit crazy with the distress inks. I wanted to try and get the yellow sodium light you get in the night sky over a city. I flicked water over the background to make it look like a starry sky - those larger drops make it look as if there are two moons in the sky!

So City or Country. Which are you? For someone who grew up in a small Welsh town, in a manse perched up on a hillside, I have evolved into a city lover. I probably have a mild anxiety attack if I am more than a mile away from M & S, and given the choice of a weekend away, would dream of Florence, Barcelona, Paris...........mind you, the thought of a weekend away in one of those luxurious country house hotels, with roaring log fires, afternoon tea and comfortable beds sounds quite appealing as well (as long as I am not expected to don hiking boots to tramp for miles along a bleak moor). Paradoxically, one of my favourite breaks is in the Lake District, where one of my best friends owns a cottage. I love going there, and appreciate the beauty of the scenery. Maybe the child from that Welsh hillside has not changed so much after all.............

Thursday 19 October 2017

Mistletoe magic - Spellblogger for Spellbinders

When I saw this Mistletoe Card Front die from Spellbinders, I just had to get it - the design is one that can be used year round for pretty cards, not just for Christmas. It's a great size, the border is 5" x 7", the insert is 4.50" x 6.50". This first card is one of the prettiest I made, but is also the one that was impossible to photograph well, a simple inked background (Simon says stamp Sea Glass ink), and a white embossed vellum band

For this next card, I chopped it up a bit, and just cut elements of the design, cut out of green glitter paper. The 'berries' are clear Nuvo drops, which took on the colour of the card. The sentiment is from the Ho Ho Ho sentiment set

and another one, made with the same die cut, but this time, the berries are white enamel accents

Then I found some gold glitter card, and put that onto a white card base, adding some copper liquid pearl berries.......

This next one was an experiment, but I rather like it, I stuck the die cut onto a white card, then inked over the whole thing with distress inks. The berries this time are Platinum liquid pearls......I thought this would make a nice birthday card for someone....

and my last experiment was to ink the die cut with Autumn colours before putting it onto a kraft card base. This time I added some sequins for a bit of sparkle. Which card do you like best?

I'll be back tomorrow with my Daring Cardmaker card - these weeks seem to be whizzing by, and the mornings are a bit dark and dreary these days as well. Time to get a couple of good books and snuggle down on the couch I think