Friday, 13 August 2010
This week has been quite an unusual one in lots of ways, and unusually relaxing, I am off to Brittany on Tuesday for our annual family holiday, two weeks away from our normal routines and commitments, normally I am fairly stressed at this stage, writing lists of things to pack, things to buy, worrying about how it will all fit in the car, dreading the 7 hours in the car to the ferry etc etc ....but not this year, it's all done and dusted, and was actually all done last Sunday!! I've had the luxury of finishing off various work and crafting commitments at a leisurely pace, and time to plan and prep for up and coming events when I get back from holiday ..... all I have to do is get me, four teenage girls (DD plus 3 friends) my friends Kate and Nora (Jim's 89 year old Mum) to the airport on Tuesday, phew.... I am so grateful that my OH had to be in Plymouth all this week, for work, and is now at the docks waiting to board the ferry accompanied by our friend Jim who travelled down to Plymouth today to join him, along with a car loaded to the roof with bags, books, craft stuff etc, etc. and they will be at the airport to collect us all on Tuesday, having enjoyed a few quiet days before the rest of us arrive.
My eldest daughter is coming home to house sit and look after the menagerie whilst we are away, arriving tomorrow, I am really looking forward to spending a little time with her and her partner before we leave for France, I don't see nearly as much of them as I would like to, and I am grateful that I can enjoy this weekend with them, as the packing etc for France is all done.
I won't be blogging whilst I'm away, the part of Brittany where we stay is very remote and does not have broadband coverage, in fact it is hard to get mobile phones to work as the signal strength is very poor, and we don't have a TV where we stay. I am grateful for the opportunity that this lack of mod cons gives us each year to talk, play games, eat leisurely meals and share real quality time without distractions, simple pleasures such as beachcombing and visiting the amazing rock pools exposed at low tide on the rose grantite coast are ones we look forward to every year, and are priceless and free.
Bye for now everyone, see you all on here when I get back.
Tuesday, 10 August 2010
I can't believe that it's already Tuesday again, time is just flying so fast. I'm off on holiday to Brittany soon and just can't wait, but I've got plenty to do between now and then, to get ready.
This week at Tuesday Taggers the theme is SUNSHINE, and perhaps it's because I'm in holiday mode but it put me in mind of all those hot summer days by the sea when I was a child. Summers always seemed longer, hotter and sunnier then, but maybe it was just that as a child I had more time to notice and enjoy the really good days.
Because I'm trying hard to get all my crafting commitments done before I go on holiday my ATCs have been made with an ATC swap that I belong to in mind as well as this week's Tuesday Taggers Challenge. For the ATC swap the Theme is childhood, and "The Summer by The Sea" Stamp set from Stampin' Up! has some really lovely images and sentiments. I have simply stamped the images onto rough watercolour paper with Dove Gray Stayz-on and the coloured the images in with reinkers and a watercolour brush. I stamped the sentiment afterwards, using a Stamp-a-ma-jig stamp positioner from Stampin' Up! to make sure everything fitted inside the 2inch x 3inch frame I had allowed myself, so that I could then double mat the images and still keep to the 3.5 x 2.5 inch dimensions of my ATCs.
Bye for now.
Tuesday, 3 August 2010
Friday, 30 July 2010
As I write this there is steady soft summer rain giving the plants in my garden a much needed drink, I am so glad that I live in a part of the world where we have proper seasons and weather, where the grass is green and actually the sound of summer rain on the roof is quite soothing. The other bonus of this rain is that our newly planted trees don't need watering this evening.
I am happy to have the support of friends, helping me establish my fledgeling Stampin' Up! business, not only by buying from me directly but by getting their friends together to hold a workshop, I really appreciate your help and friendship, and the fun we have when we get together.
I am glad that Charles (my OH ) was able to leave work early today and start the weekend just a bit earlier than usual. He works really hard and it is good when he gets a bit more time to relax at home with the rest of us.
I really appreciate the regular special deals on Wine at Tescos, over the years I have become much fussier about the wines that I enjoy drinking and I am pleased to say that Tescos regularly drop the prices of the wines that I like, making them all the more enjoyable.
Finally, I really appreciate having this few minutes to sit and think about the good things in my life and realise that the best things in life are not things at all, but time with family and time to do the things I enjoy and rain on my trees.
Tuesday, 27 July 2010
I had great fun making these pages, I hope you enjoy them too.
Sunday, 25 July 2010
I really meant to get this post on my blogg on Friday so that I could link it to Friday Rocks, but as usual life got in the way, still, I am really grateful for the weekend retreat at Claxby last weekend with my lovely Crafty Friends, it has really recharged my batteries and I can't wait for the next time we all get together, at Beamsley in September. This past weekend has given me so much creatively and in other ways, that it has started me thinking about the things I have to be grateful for. Often it is the small things in life that we take for granted everyday that we realise are our true treasures when we have time to stand back and take a proper look.
I am grateful for the inspiration that I get when crafting alongside my friends and for the ears that are willing to listen in the small hours of the morning.
I am grateful for my daughters who bring sunshine into my life and who are also becoming women who I will cherish as friends.
I am grateful that my eldest daughter came home to help look after our animals this weekend so that I could enjoy my crafting without worrying about them, and also for helping Bertie (our rescued Hound) sleep downstairs alone, so that I can sleep in my bed again instead of on the sofa.
I am grateful for having a real summer at last, after the past few wet and chilly years, being able to sit out in the sunshine and enjoy our garden, and finally I am grateful for my OH who supports me in my ventures and my need to spend time with my friends even though he really doesn't understand "Crafting" or "get" the weekend retreats at all.
Wednesday, 21 July 2010
We had a few new participants this time, who fitted right in, and I hope they enjoyed themselves as much as the rest of us did and will join us again in the future.
Whilst at the retreat I completed my project for this week's Tuesday Taggers Challenge "Hang it all - It's Canvas" by creating this little 4 seasons wall hanging from 4 mini canvases. The Bird, Butterfly and Leaf embellishments have all been made from canvas too.
Wednesday, 14 July 2010
To cap everything I got my themes muddled up and made a card for a theme that is comming up in a couple of weeks by mistake, and then had to set too and make this week's contribution.....lol.... on the upside, I do now have that other card ready and waiting.
Anyway to this weeks challenge at Tuesday Taggers, Teri chose Anniversaries as her theme as she and her OH are celebrating 21 years this week, so a huge congratulations are in order.
I decided to use Suede Brown and Cream as my theme colours and Stampin' Up! Fresh Cuts rubber stamp set and punches. I didn't have a stamp which actually said "Haappy Anniversary" so I combined two seperate stamps from the Fresh Cuts Set which said "Thank You" and "For You" to create a suitable sentiment.
In real life the colours of the card are much warmer and are complimented by the gold brads and ribbon.
Have fun everyone.
Tuesday, 6 July 2010
This week at Tuesday Taggers the theme is to "Make a Scene" chosen by my good friend and fellow teamie Michelle. Whilst Michelle's inspiration related to film making (Lights, Camera, Action) my immediate thoughts were of places I'd been and sights I'd seen.
The inspiration for my harbour scene was the wonderful island of Burano in the Bay of Venice, all the cottages are painted with bright colours and no two seem to be the same.
I have stamped all the images except the seagull and post onto a trifold card, using masks where necessary, I then cut away the layers at the harbour wall level and the large house roof level, I then coloured in my images with watersoluble crayons. I then stuck down the free edge of the front two layers using 3d pads to add a little dimension and added my post and seagull the same way. I then used mats in blue and white to create an easel card.
My fellow Tuesday Taggers and our Guest Designer this week have also made some really inspirational pieces, you can see them all at Tuesday Taggers
Tuesday, 22 June 2010
Tuesday, 8 June 2010
Tuesday, 25 May 2010
To be honest I have revisited a card I have made before but altered it, this time it is an easel card, I just love these at the moment, and instead of using real watch parts as embellishments (which I did last time) I have used flower and circle punches to make my cogs and gears, faux brads etc. at least this means that all parts of the card are now made from sustainable and renewable resources....lol.
Tuesday, 18 May 2010
Monday, 17 May 2010
Tuesday, 4 May 2010
This week at Tuesday Taggers the challenge is to recycle it.
What a good opportunity to use some of those things you have stashed away because they might come in useful, I am a terrible hoarder and find it really hard to throw anything away, however I am equally bad at getting around to using all those things that I have kept because they "have potential" but that is exactly is what I have done this week, apart from inks and paints and two brads, everything else has been recycled.
The tin has been in my stash for at least 31/2 years ! is originally was plain silver and contained an assortment of scrummy biscuits, in the two drawers. The main background paper is probably the same age as the tin and is actually a paperbag that was too good to throw out. The "lace" has been made from old book pages and an EK Success border punch, dimension has been added with corrugated cardboard and the drawer handles are two old fashioned brass curtain rings and a pair of brads. I have coloured the background paper and borders with Frayed Burlap and Broken China distress inks, and a bit of copper spritz ink, the edges of the tin and drawers have been painted with expresso acrylic dabber and rubbed with a gold wax when dry, I have used the expresso paint, copper spritz ink and rubbing wax on the corrugated card to highlight the texture. Finally I adhered a piece of fun foam to the base to make it nonslip.
A huge thankyou to my Tuesday Taggers teamie Ildiko for giving me the push I needed to get this project made.
Monday, 3 May 2010
Wednesday, 28 April 2010
I had a wonderfully messy playtime making this. I started with a layer of gesso all over including the shiny metal clip, I added a torn book page, more gesso and then Acrylic Dabber Paints, some distress inks, stampng, heat embossing, masking and spritzing and more inking and stamping later, this is what I ended up with..... a really layered look. The photo doesn't really do it justice as you can't see the lovely pearly sheen that the mica spritz inks have given, and the old metal patina created on the clip but I really had fun making this piece and it will certainly come in useful.
Friday, 23 April 2010
I don't know about you but Spring has really arrived in my garden and I am really enjoying a little bit of sunshine and warmth. There is blossom in the fruit trees and the birds are nesting, I really love the sounds of spring too, bird song and lambs in a nearby field, on the downside some hungry fox (probably a vixen feeding her cubs) has had my two pet chickens out of the garden..... such is country life.
This week at Tag You're it the theme is spring and I have made this tag in the shape of a little bird box, inspired by the one I can see from my bedroom window.
I have used Papermania V&A 6x6 papers, I really love these little prints, I made the template for my bird box paper pieces myself, but used the Stampin' Up Bird on a Branch Punch for my birds and a 1" circle punch for the entrance hole. I have inked all the edges with Gingerbread Versa Magic chalk ink before putting the pieces together and added some shadows with my copic pens on the completed piece, I also added 2 tiny black gems for the birds eyes and some toning ribbons. I am really pleased with how 3D the finished tag looks but I promise it is a flat tag.
Bye for now.
Tuesday, 20 April 2010
Monday, 19 April 2010
Sunday, 18 April 2010
Here is the Acetate Tag I made for this weeks challenge at Tag You're It, but I missed the deadline as there was no Internet Connection where we were staying.
The tag is made with a paper background from the Papermania Persimmon collection, onto which I stamped the words "It's Never Too Late to Find Out Who You Want TO Be.
The next layer is Acetate which has been coloured on the back with Alcohol Inks in Lettuce Stonewash and Stream. The front of the acetate has been stamped with the french script background stamp by Stampin' Up using Black Stayzon Ink and buttons attached.
The translucent clock face and hands are by Maya Road and just had to go on this Tag !! Secured by an eyelet.
Because I have used alcohol inks on this tag it is elligible for this weeks challenge at "Lots To Do" but I have made another Tag using Alcohol Inks which I will show you later.
I had great fun making this and playing with so many fun products.
Tuesday, 13 April 2010
Monday, 12 April 2010
This week the theme is Embossing and I have managed to produce a piece for the challenge myself.
I have made an Archie Tag using an embossed metal piece produced using a paperarsty stamp which I have then coloured using Viva Precious Metal Paints. This piece has been attached to an Arch Shaped Tag which I have and glued tiny pieces of dry pasta to, making the stone effect frame ,then painted black and spritzed with a little bit of silver.
Thanks for the challenge, I look forward to seeing what everyone else produces.
Thursday, 8 April 2010
Tuesday, 6 April 2010
So here is my Time Tag.
I have used Adirondack Dye Inks and Stampin' Up Stamps for the background and large clock, making a feature of the minute dial with a curtain ring and Glossy Accents. The words are from a U-Mount Time plate stamped onto some home made spritzed paper and mounted on foam pads to add dimension. A large stampin' up pewter eyelet, some Idea-ology cogs and brads and ribbons complete the tag.
I've really enjoyed making this Tag and I'm also thrilled to here that The Tag Your It Challenge has started up again, there is always room for another good challenge blogg, so I shall be paying it a visit.
On a different note, things have been a bit fraught at home over Easter culminating with my husband being admitted to hospital on Sunday evening, thankfully he appears to be responding to treatment and sounded as if he was feeling much better when I spoke to him last, but it makes me feel as if the quote I used on the tag was really meant to be there.
Tuesday, 30 March 2010
For my pendant I had decided to use an image of a scarab beetle printed onto acetate and then gilded on the reverse, however when I did this the image lost definition and could not be used on it's own, however it has made a fabulous background for my butterflies and Bee.
The metal Butterfly and Bee are charms from my stash, the printed butterfly is from a crafty individuals image pad and I have used a crafty individuals postmark stamp in my collage as well. The frame and microscope glass are from the Inkssential Range by Ranger Products.
I hope you like it.
Tuesday, 23 March 2010
As I have a number of IKEA mirrors sitting around waiting to be embellished I decided to take one with me to the Beamsley Retreat (see previous post) to work on whilst I was there. Normally my altered pieces turn out fairly grungy, I am not generally a very girly sort of person, but this piece turned out rather pink and pretty !!
At the retreat I had been playing around making paper roses, and I had also been demonstrating cuttlebug techniques, so I decided to incorporate cuttlebug embossed and inked tiles and paper roses on my mirror.
I started by giving the mirror frame a thin coat of white gesso using a baby wipe, which I then coloured randomly with Victorian Velvet and Bundled Sage Distress inks using cut and dry foam.
I then over stamped with a swirl stamp using the same two colours of distress ink, before adhering my cuttlebug embossed tiles the paper rose leaves and the paper roses which I had made and coloured using spun sugar and victorian velvet distress inks. This was a fairly simple project to complete, but I am pleased with the end result, I think the pinks and green work together really well.
Monday, 22 March 2010
The venue was the Beamsley Project, a converted Chapel on the A59 at Beamsley, between Harrogate and Skipton, which provides small scale residential conference/activity facilities for up to 24 people and is fully equiped to provide for people with physical disabilities. Janet and Michelle had hired the centre on a self catering basis to run their first ever Craft Retreat. Participants had travelld from as far away as Lowestoft and Edinburgh to take part in this weekend.
As well as getting together with a number of old friends, Janet, Michelle, Emma, Andy, Kate, Georgina, Averil, Cazro and Yvonne, I made new friends and acquaintances, including Margaret and Vicky, Jean and Marie, Sandra, Glynis, Lyn and Avril, these last two also being members of the Tuesday Taggers DT but this was the first time we had met in "real life". So many talented crafters and all round fabulous people, we were all soon relaxing and chatting away as if we had known each other for years.
On Friday evening after a substantial dinner, prepared by Andy, our chef for the weekend, it was back to the craft room to complete an altered notebook project that Janet had designed as an ice breaker to start the weekend, crafting and chatting carried on into the night with "the late shift" (including me) finally downing tools and heading for bed at about 01:45am.
The next morning after breakfast we all headed off to Harrogate to The Great Northern Papercraft Extravaganza at the County Show Ground, for some serious craft shopping and the opportunity to catch up with our favourite retailers, demontrators and crafting gurus ++++before returning to Beamsley with our newest buys to get on with some crafting. After Dinner on Saturday, Emma and I each held a brief techniques based workshop for those who were interested, mine was on getting more out of your cuttlebug, Emma's was on two step stamping using a stamp positioner. Both workshops were well received.
Whilst I headed to bed at a reasonable hour on Saturday "The late shift" were still crafting at 03:00am !!!
On Sunday morning we continued with our own crafting projects but also had the opportunity to explore using alcohol inks with Janet, making and packaging bath crystals as gifts with Michelle and making an easel card with Emma, as well as these prepared workshops and demos, eveyone shared their own skills and talents, including making paper roses, and painting with Twinkling H2O's, amongst other crafty techniques.
All too soon it was time to pack our crafty bags and get ready to return to the real world, but not until we had all enjoyed A traditional Sunday Dinner provided by Andy. Would we do it again? You just try and stop us.
So a huge thanks to Janet and Michelle for all the hard work the put into making the weekend such a success, and here's to next time.
Photos to be added later...
Tuesday, 16 March 2010
For this week the challenge at Tuesday Taggers is to use the theme of Jesters or Masquerade Ball, the theme was chosen by Avril, a really talented member of our Design Team.
I was really excited at this choice of theme as I love everything to do with Carnival's aand Masks etc.
Just last summer my friend Kate and I had a three day break in Venice and revelled in all the Costumes and Masks we were surrounded by, taking loads of photos of Carnival Masks in Shop Windows and even watching a Mask Maker create a traditional papiermache mask.......
However when I came to make a card for this project my mind wandered from Jesters to Clowns, and I used two PaperArtsy Stamp plates to stamp images for the card. I used Tim Holtz new Distress Inks in Wild Honey, Rusty Hinge and Barn Door to give the traditional Jester's colours of Red and Yellow to my card, these new inks are just so vibrant, I love them. I then added some embossed Harlequin Diamonds to my background card, as well as using sequin scrap as a mask to provide additional texture.
The clown Images, Text and other elements were stamped onto plain white card using Archival Black Ink and then coloured with the distress inks, although some elements were left as black on white, as a contrast to the background,they were then layered up onto the base card, using some thin foam pads to provide a bit more texture.
The end result is bright and bold and a bit of fun, I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it.
Friday, 19 February 2010
Warning....... Longish post.....that I started whilst on Holiday in Italy on 19th February 2010 and finally finished here in the UK on Mother's Day, 14th March 2010.....!
It has been quite a while since I posted anything on here, there are a number of reasons for this, most of which are not worth sharing, things like computer and broadband connection problems, really frustrating, especially when you have project deadlines that you can't meet. Also the longer you leave it, the harder it seems to be to get going again.
Then there was the Claxby Craft Weekend with some really special friends, we celebrated Christmas early, combining crafting and shopping with good food, homemade Baubles for the Christmas tree and christmas crackers, christmas tree , christmas dinner and a visit from Santa at the end of November !! We all ended this weekend tired but happy and ready for a repeat next year.
My Christmas Bauble.
After the Claxby weekend, preparations for Christmas at home started in earnest, although I found it really hard this year, at every turn I was thinking about my dad, and missing him more than ever. It seemed especially poignant as both my daughters and my eldest daughter's partner were going to be with us for the first time for the whole christmas holiday. Usually my creative Mojo gets me through when times are tough but not this time, partly because with the house full, there was no opportunity to get time for myself and my creative mojo had flown the coop and deserted me in any case. I hadn't realised how low I had got until the middle of January. No blogging, no creative projects on the go, and not even bothering to read anyone else's bloggs, not even Tim's !!! Thank goodness for real friends, you know who you are, who can just be with you when things are tough and ride the storm alongside you.
A huge thankyou too, for Tracey and her inspirational scrapbooking classes and crops at Running With Scissors, http:/tj-runningwithscissors.blogspot.com my weekly therapy session, in the company of some other fantastic women, this really keeps me going, even when I just sit and chill and watch what everyone else is creating.
I think I must have hibernated (at least mentally) at this point, because the next thing I knew it was February, a brilliant weekend workshop on Art Journalling at Art From the Heart in Harrogate with the divine Dyan Reaveley, http:/www.dyan-reaveley.blogspot.com a fantastically fun and theraputic treat, as I get older I find that I appreciate the company of other creative, funny, compassionate women more and more, again you all know who you are, so thanks a million for your friendship, at the end of the weekend we all received our certificates in Prattology from Dyan, to be coloured in and suitably altered, of course.
here are the pages I made over the weekend.
The front cover.
All the pages were made from scratch using newspaper, glue sticks aand gesso, then background painting, images from magazines, borders, pens for detail and journalling. etc.
Anatomy of a page.
This workshop was liberating and cathartic, a real tonic, filled with both laugther and tears, it should be made available to all women on the NHS, I can't wait for my next "Therapy Session" in May.
Then it was half term and I was off skiing in Italy with my youngest daughter, an annual event which helps blow the cobwebs away. This time I packed, a bound journal, inktense pencils, watercolour crayons and various pens etc, instead of 3 or 4 long novels, but I knew in my heart of hearts that I would find it very difficult to start using my lovely clean blank pristine book.....lol...Then I had a brainwave at the airport and bought myself a very nice little moleskine journal and suddenly I was free to start using (the now less expensive) journal I had brought with me.
Here are a couple of pages I did whilst in Italy, not bad for a real novice, at least I'm pleased with them.
Usually Spring has made an appearance by the time I get back from Italy, but not this year, we came home to bitter cold and dark grey skies. However the sun has finally made an appearance in our garden this weekend, and although there are still snowdrops and aconites in the garden, the Daffodils are just beginning to bloom and it feels like spring has finally arrived..
Finally I will leave you with a few other projects that have been completed recently.
A valentines Card for Tuesday Taggers Love Makes the World Go Round Challenge,
An altered notebook for Tuesday Taggers Curls and Swirls Challenge.
And a litte Microscope Slide Mailer Shrine for Tuesday Taggers St Patricks Day Challenge.
It is good to be back in Blogg Land, and to feel my creative juices beginning to flow again. Thankyou for taking the time to read my blogg and share these little glimpses of my creative adventures.
Bye for now