Friday, 28 February 2014

Look what you started, Melanie!

My friend Melanie has a birthday today.  She has always maintained that we are sisters, twins separated at birth. But she is older than me, by six months, so this is something of a medical marvel!

Anyway the reason I am blogging about Mel is that she was the person who first introduced me to stamping so so many years ago when we were young mums and neighbours.  So I have been taking a little stroll down Memory Lane, where it is not raining but always sunny!

I still have my first ever stamp, in this picture it is the little flower silhouette in the middle. The other stamps are some of my oldest, the ones that started it all off.

When my eldest daughter was eight she opted to have Aunty Mel do a stamping party for her.  So Mel, I hope you have found the link, remember this?

Mel explaining the finer points of stamping
Demonstrating how to apply equal pressure
for a clean sharp image
Me keeping Becky's sister and younger
cousin entertained in the garden.
Told you it was sunny down Memory Lane!
All that was some years ago, Becky is almost 27 now! Since then my collection of stamps and associated paraphernalia has grown and continues to do so! 

My craft store, took 20 years to save for
but worth it in the end!
 Sorry about the quality of the photo but as I said Memory Lane is sunny, present day is not! (I have just noticed that the card on the table is yesterday's blog!)

You never know what a chance conversation with a friend can lead too. So Happy Birthday Melanie and a big thank you for bringing something that gives pleasure, not to mention therapy, into my life!

Those of you who are not Melanie, I hope you will forgive the meander down Memory Lane.

Thanks for popping in. Take care.


Thursday, 27 February 2014

Take one lager can

Over at 'Less is More' the challenge this week has to include something metallic. In my small collection of dies I have the Spellbinders Sprightly Sprockets set.  Teamed up with a motorbike I thought not only a good male card but one that would fit the bill for LIM.

Materials used:
Spellbinders sprightly sprockets
Papermania motorbike stamp
Dimension Stamps greeting
Memento Tuxedo black ink pad
Stazon Jet black inkpad
Spectrum Noir pens
Silver pen
black enamel accents
Neenah card
black card
A5 white card blank
empty lager can!

First I drew around the inside circle of the largest die onto a piece of Neenah card as a guide for the stamping.  I then stamped the motorbike in the middle of the circle using Tuxedo black ink and coloured it with Spectrum Noir and silver pens.

I then die cut the sprockets.  I used the largest sprocket and  the ring created by cutting two more sprockets from the centre to frame my motorbike. 

On the solid circle from the middle of one of the sprockets I stamped the greeting with Stazon jet black ink and added two dots of black enamel accents.

I covered the front of an A5 card blank with black card then arranged my elements on the front before sticking them down.

Thank you for popping in.  Take care.


I would like to enter this card in the Less is More challenge 160

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Rudolf Day #2

Every year I save the 100 or so Christmas cards we are blessed with and every year I intend to upcycle them into new cards and every year I fail miserably. This year has already seen a 400% increase in the number of cards made! The driving force is Rudolf Day. Last month I used a couple of old cards and I have done the same this month.  The first one includes some snippets so I am sending that one over to Playground Snippets.  Here are my two cards for Rudolf Day.

Materials used:
old Christmas card for main image
scrap of card for the music score background
Cuttlebug Allegro embossing folder
snippet of Christmas carol backing paper
Spellbinders Labels 23 die
fabric poinsettia flower (off a Christmas cracker)
Distress inks: vintage photo, old paper, tea dye 
A5 white card blank

Materials used:
old Christmas card for main image
left over piece of pearlescent gold card
PSX holly sprig stamp
Spellbinders heirloom ornament greeting stamp
Adirondack archival sepia ink pad
Derwent studio colouring pencils

Thank you for dropping in.  Take care.


I would like to enter the top card into Pixie's Snippets Playground challenge week 113
and both cards into Rudolph Day February

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Love and Romance

The Clarity challenge for this month is love and romance so I plucked up some more courage and decided to give it a go, nothing ventured nothing gained. I am building up my stash of Clarity stamps but don't have that many but I have managed to come up with a simple card using stamps from a couple of sets I do have.

Materials used:
Clarity stamps: birds and greenery from the remountable birdhouse garden set
                      deer from the remountable winter wonderland set
                      greeting NDC love you
Ink pads: Adirondack Archival black
              Adirondack meadow
              Adirondack stonewashed
Stencil brushes
Theuva card
Dark green card
Heart shaped stencil

I started by making the background using the heart stencil, Adirondack meadow and stonewashed ink pads and the stencil brushes.  It does not show up very well on the photograph but there is blue ink on the top part and green on the rest to outline the heart shape.  I then used meadow to stamp the greenery around the heart and a bit along the bottom

I then used the Adirondack archival black ink to stamp the greeting in the middle of the heart and the pairs of birds on the greenery and in the sky.

To made the stopper for the easel card I dusted a strip of card with Adirondack stonewashed and meadow before stamping the stag and doe in archival black and the green edges with meadow.

Finally I matted the panels onto some very dark green card stock before mounting on the card blank.  Job done.

Thanks for dropping in.  Take care.


I would like to enter my card into the Clarity Challenge

Saturday, 22 February 2014

If I could save time in a bottle

Some days I cannot climb the stairs without getting out of breath!  Other days I can run up them with no problem.  Wouldn't it be wonderful if, in the words of the Jim Croce song we could save 'Time in a Bottle'.  We could save all the good times when we are ontop of things and life is going well. Then on those days when we lack energy, lack creativity, feel far from God, feel lonely, afraid, sad, or generally hurting in some way we could take a swig from the bottle to revitalise ourselves.  

However, on reflection, we can do that.  After all Jesus said 'but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.  The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.'  

I believe that on those 'bad' days I can go and drink the water of life.  The bad things may not go away but they are a lot easier to deal with.  Of course you may not agree with me, that's ok, I am just sharing my thoughts.

By now, if you are still with me, you may be wondering where all this is going.  Tim and I have been away for a couple of days so I have not managed any crafting.  On Friday we went for a walk along the East Lynn River from the Rockford Inn to Watersmeet and back.  It was a lovely sunny morning, only one rain shower and down by the river it was sheltered.  It was a day to remember and to be thankful for, definitely one for the memory bank if not in the bottle!  In the absence of a card to show you, I thought you might like some restful images from our walk.  So here they are.  Hope you enjoy the trip.

Journey's Start

Over the bridge and away we go
Down by the riverside

The rain has filled all the little streams
Ash Pool
Climbing up now, see the river through the trees
Tim on the bridge

Down again back on the river bank

Crook Pool

Watersmeet (but the cafe was closed)

Heading back on the other side of the river.
There is a cascade of water coming down the rock.

Footpath and bridleway meet.
Lovely spot to ride a horse up through the woods.

Fast flowing over the rocks. If this were a video it would be very loud!

I think this is a grey wagtail. Sorry it's not a very good picture but I have not perfected my walking on water skills sufficiently to be able to get closer.  There were a pair of them having a great time on the rocks and in the shallows.

Three miles round trip and back where we started

Thanks for coming along with me.  Take care.


Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Testing the Stamp-a-ma-jig

Since the advent of clear stamps, trying to get exact positioning has largely become a thing of the past.  But many of us still have a lot of wooden mounted ones and trying to combine them is a bit of a hit and miss affair.  I recently discovered something which you have probably known about for years, there is a gadget to help - the Stamp-a-ma-jig! So I got hold of one and have been playing with it.  As an incentive I made a card for the "Less is More" challenge which this week is a Masculine card.

Materials Used:
Gordon . . . stamp (I have had this for years but cannot make out who makes it, the writing is faded)
A6 white card blank
Memento Tuxedo black ink pad
Tombo black pen

I stamped Gordon onto a scrap of white card, trimmed it down and mounted it on some black card leaving a narrow border all around.  I then used the Tombo pen and the Stamp-a-ma-jig to stamp a row of footballs along the bottom of the card.  I have left it monochrome to fit the criteria of the challenge, although I have done variations where I have coloured the image in.

Thanks for dropping in.  Take care.


I would like to enter this card into the "Less is More" Challenge - Masculine. 

Hunkydory Left Overs

Those of you who have ever used a Hunkydory Kit will know a) how good they are and b) how many bits you have left over.  I like to make my kits go as far as possible, which is probably why I have a whole box full waiting to be used, it take so long to get through it! For my entry into Pixie's Snippets Challenge I thought I would use up some of the mass of left overs I have.

Materials Used:
Gold card left over from other cards
Hunkydory floral backing card
Hunkydory insert paper (fairy and greeting)
Spellbinders Rounded Squares dies
X-cut petal dies
Cherry Lyn Mini Fanciful Flourish die

The floral card is matted onto some gold card and mounted on an A5 card blank.  The fairy and sentiment were cut from left over card insert paper, I had two fairies so I cut out the second fairy, butterfly wings and some of the flowers and decoupaged them.  The flower is cut from the same paper and gold card as are the fanciful flourishes.

Thanks for dropping in.  Take care.


I would like to enter this card into Pixies Snippets Playground - Week 112

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The card we always seem to run out of!

I have heard a lot of crafters say it, the  cards that there are never enough of are sympathy cards.  For myself I know I am always running out so spotting a challenge to make a sympathy card was too good an opportunity to miss.  So this is what I came up with.

Materials used:
A4 white card to make gatefold 14.8cm square card base
dark grey Spectrum Noir pen
Adirondack Pitch Black and Archival Jet Black ink pads
Stampin' Up! Lov and Sympathy stamps
My Sentimants Exactly Psalm 119:76 stamp
Spellbinders Labels 23 and Grand Labels 23 dies

I wanted this to be a fairly traditional, simple card so rather than matting and layering I used the dies to ink through to make the frame for the sentiment on the right side of the card.  I stamped the flower on the left and then edged all the parts of the card with the pen.  I stamped the Psalm quotation inside.

I have made a more elaborate version, matting and layering everything onto black card, for a friend who lost her mother.  The photo is not very good, the flower should be black not blue!  

Same design but using black card to  mat and layer

Thank you for dropping in.  Take care.


I would like to enter this card into the My Time to Craft challenge.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Anyone for tea?

I confess, I was tempted to entitle this post 'More tea vicar?'   It comes with living with the vicar I guess!  However, this is not really about the tea, more about the box the tea came in!  It has a lovely pattern which was too good to waste so it became a card.

Materials used:
1 empty Earl Grey Teabag box
scraps of black, orange and white card
scrap of floral print paper
butterfly stamp and matching die Marianne Design Collectables
black satin ribbon
Spectrum Noir pens

I cut out the middle panel which had the name of the tea on it and mounted a scrap of printed floral paper behind it.  The stamped butterfly was coloured in with Spectrum Noir pens before being die cut.  I tried to use colours that matched those in the background design.
Before matting the background onto orange card I covered the fold which was were the lid was with a length of black satin ribbon.
The whole topper was then mounted onto a black A5 card blank.  The butterfly was attached with foam pads, a black satin ribbon bow glued near the bottom of the ribbon strip and a peal off greeting attached in the corner.
I am really pleased with the way it turned out and I love the colours in it.

Thanks for visiting.  Take care.


I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

When is a walk not a walk?

We do it every year, on the 1st of January we make all those resolutions. There are the crafty sort; reduce the stash pile, finish those not quite finished projects, learn a new technique.  Then there are the religious ones; pray more, keep up with the Bible reading notes, attend church regularly.  Finally there are the lifestyle ones; eat healthily, exercise regularly.  Well over the years I think I have covered all of them.  This year was going to be the healthy year, the eat healthily and exercise regularly year - yes well!  That is all well and good but have you seen the weather!!
So feeling in need of fresh air and exercise during a break in the wind and rain I headed off for my usual stroll around the village (at least usual on the rare occasions when it is not raining.)
When is a walk not a walk?  Easy, it's when you come across this:

This is not a river, it's the road!
When is a walk not a walk?  When it's a swim!
The water coming in through the trees
 is the stream breaking through.
The water it is running into is the road.
This is the drain further up the road.
I always thought the water was supposed
to go down the drain, not come out of it!

Compared with the Somerset levels we have had it very easy.  This bit of inconvenient flooding is not going into anyone's house or washing any crops away it is just blocking a road.  However it does make you realise how devastating a real flood is.  My prayers are for those going through the awfulness of dealing with a flood but especially for those on the Somerset levels who have been dealing with it, not for days but for weeks with no end in sight.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Calendar Page Two

A while back, well last month, I shared my first ever art journalling attempt with you.  So I thought I would share February's page too.  I have to admit I am not as happy with this one as I was with January.  I had a rough plan of what I wanted to do but really needed to plan it better, in the end I was making it up as I went along!

The pages are painted with red and white acrylic paint, mixed to produce a graduated effect.

Then large hearts stencilled on using pink and red inks. 

The hearts and February were printed and cut out with my Craft Robo. Before sticking the hearts in place I blended some pink ink around the edges.  The roses were stamped and embossed with clear and gold embossing powder before the hearts and letters were stuck on.. The stamp is from Clarity.

February ready to go, I just hope it does not end up being full of entries about the Somerset floods.

Thanks for visiting.  Take care.


Wednesday, 5 February 2014

And still it rains!

The West Country is taking another battering from the weather and I have just discovered our sun room has sprung a leak!  The rain lashing down on the skylight sounds just like drumming, all be it manic drumming, so here is a drum card!

Materials used:
drum stamp - Creative Stamping
treble clef - Dimension Stamps
birthday greeting stamp
music score background stamp
red/black/white card stock
tuxedo black memento ink pad
Spectrum Noir pens

You may be wondering why the drum has David 18 on it.  I made this card for a friend who wanted a card for her neighbours son who is into drumming.  The original drum has a design on it so I used a die to cut out the alternative drum face and stuck it on.

For comparison here is the original.

Thanks for stopping by.  Be careful out there it is wild weather.