Saturday, 30 May 2009

Scorching Saturday

Hasn't it been HOT!!!!!! What a gorgeous day. Hope it's been as good for everyone else.

I've done absolutely nothing today apart from pottering in the garden, filling a paddling pool (again), drinking coffee with my Sister-In-Law and reading a book. What bliss.

It's now 10pm and I shall do a bit of crafting with a cool glass of wine-does that sound tempting?

I have managed to finish a few more cards with that box of glimmer misted papers I found last week, so I thought I'd share another one with you tonight.

I had sprayed the background with starburst stains and already stamped a blue fern on this one, but it didn't really work and had been left in the box so I decided to change the colour scheme and stamped other Artylicious meadow flowers in a green and then the main one in fuchsia pink. I then inked up a piece of stampboard in the same blue as the background and stamped the same flower in the pink and just placed it on top to give it another dimension. The edges of the stampboard were sanded back to make them stand out.

I stamped the main white card with the same flowers but in a paler blue ink and just added the sentiment and some blue organza ribbon.

The main stamped image has a lovely golden sheen to it when the light catches it from the starburst stains.

This was definitely a case of leaving something alone when it was not working and coming back to it with fresh eyes.

Thanks for looking and have a great Sunday.

Friday, 29 May 2009

Summer's Here

We got up to glorious sunshine this morning and as everyone had the day off we decided to make the most of it.

Freya wanted to go to the seaside but it seemed a shame to waste several hours of lovely weather sitting in a hot car so we opted to stay nearer to home and went to Knaresborough instead which is only about 20 minutes away.

It is such a pretty town with a lovely market place and a small castle perched up on the hill looking down to the river. We sat for ages at this view point in the sunshine while Freya played on the grass and then walked down lots of steps to the river walkway.

We had lunch in a cafe right on the river bank and watched people coming and going in rowing boats and I took both these photos from our table, one looking on way and one the other. It was a real holiday atmosphere and was lovely and better still, when we decided it was time to go home we were back in our own garden within half an hour.

We really do live in a beautiful part of the world and sometimes it's good to remember how lucky we are and really appreciate it.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Alcohol Ink Flowers

A few weeks ago I saw this interesting technique being demonstrated on a lovely blog Scrapperlicious and decided to give it a go.

Alcohol ink is applied to acetate using the felt tool and then blended with the solution, like you would do on glossy card.

The flowers are stamped on using stazon and I hand drew the leaves with a permanent marker as I didn't have any stamps. I added some extra detail with a white gel pen. They were then cut out and you can use them on anything you want.

I put them on a scrapbook page but you could just as easily use them on cards. They give a kind of stained glass effect.

I think if I make them again I shall probably stick to just a couple of colours, these may be just a bit too mixed up but it's nice to find another use for the inks.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Bits and Pieces

While I was hunting in the cupboard under the stairs for the cushions for the outdoor chairs I discovered a box full of bits of glimmer misted paper that I did ages ago but had never got round to doing anything with.

This got my creative juices flowing and I spent the afternoon yesterday trying to make something out of them. This is all I came up with.... but at least it's a start!

The background was a butterfly glimmer screen sprayed with a mixture of buttercup Crafty Notions spray and a green starburst stain for the shimmer, not sure of the shade now. I edged it with chestnut whisper ink.

For the first piece of stampboard I traced the pattern of the butterfly and then painted it with the sprays but in the opposite colours to the sprayed version. This was edged with Kangaroo Moon glow powder and I traced the pattern with a green stardust pen. It was then embossed with clear powder.

The second square was painted with the same inks and then sanded back and the message stamped on in stazon.

The colours are not the ones I usually reach for but they matched the sunshine of the last few days and I was quite pleased with the end results.

Now, what can I do with all the rest of the pile!!!!!

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Beautiful Sunshine

Well after all the rain, wind and cold we've had here in Yorkshire over the last few weeks, today has been totally glorious and hot and we had a rare day with nothing to do but enjoy it.

Freya had her paddling pool out and we had to drag her in for her tea. She's a real water baby and has spent the whole day jumping and splashing about. Oh to be young again!

I actually managed to get my summer bedding planted up and out of the greenhouse, which was fit to burst. Normally I am far more organised and pots are planted up ready just to be lifted out into their summer places, but this year everything was still in plugs getting very over grown and desperate to be replanted. It was a bit warm to be working but I'm so pleased it's all done and we can now sit back and let them do their thing and hopefully give us glorious colour all summer, if the sun continues to shine that is.

Because it has been such a lovely day and the flowers have sung out I thought I'd just show you some of the lovely things I have flowering in the garden at the moment. As you will see, the trend is blue although that is completely unintentional.

My favourite flowers of spring are Aqueligas, of which I have many, most of them blue!!

And for scent you can't beat Wisterias. I have a standard one which is truly beautiful and all day you get wisps of it's beautiful smell. We also have one over an arch but that is not at it's best yet.

The delicate Brunnera has done so well this year and has been flowering for over two months with it's little forget me not flowers. I have just bought a white one and I hope it will do as well.

These seed heads were from a very early flowering clematis which was fabulous this year and these heads give a second season of interest and last for ages.

The Alliums are just getting to their best.

Just to ring in the changes, I have lots of maples,can't get enough of them although they can be a bit difficult sometimes. This golden one has been lime green and is now tinged with red, just beautiful.

I hope it has been as good for you. Lets hope this is the start of a lovely summer!

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Oriental China Blue

This weeks Tag It On challenge was to use the colour china blue and Oriental.

The colour did not pose a problem, I love blue, but the Oriental did. I don't do Oriental!!!! and don't possess any Oriental stamps. Time to get my thinking cap on.

After a few days pondering I decided I needed help and went to raid my Mum's craft stash. She does have Oriental stamps and lots of them. Now the inspiration flowed.

I sponged blue ink over my tag with a very coarse sponge and then stamped all over with a little blossom stamp in the same blue and rubbed darker ink around the edges. The large blossom vase was stamped onto acetate and cut out and then glitter was applied to the blossoms on the reverse side and I coloured the vase with a permanent marker. The bird was stamped onto a bit of spare card and painted with sapphire glimmer mist.

The Chinese writing was taken from a layout out I did last year of the Olympics when I found all our names written in Chinese and thought it would be fun to use them so I copied mine again for this tag.

Apart from my layout this is the first really Oriental thing I have done and I really enjoyed being challenged. Thanks Dragonsdream!

Friday, 22 May 2009

Problems With Internet Explorer

I've been having a panic tonight because a lot of blogs I've tried to visit have been coming up with a warning and then aborting the blog.

Luckily, one of the blogs I visit has been experiencing the same problems and found out that this is due to an Internet Explorer problem.

If anyone else has been coming across the same thing, you need to access the Internet through a different browser. I'm currently using Firefox, but if you have Google Chrome that works too. Any of these can be downloaded free.

Hope this helps. Now I'm off to catch up with what everyone has been up too!!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 21 May 2009

A Lovely Award

Just as a post script to today's post. I got interrupted earlier. I would just like to say a big thank you to Megan who gave me this lovely award. I will pass it on when I've had time to think about who to send it too.

Tempted Again

Like so many crafters I love buying new stash and just looking at it planning what I will do with it when I've finished all the other things I want to do and slowly running out of room to put it all. I only have a corner of the living room for crafting and I seem to spend more time reorganising to fit it all in than actually being creative with it.

So this year I decided to try and not buy more but use what I already have. Up to now I've really enjoyed looking through stuff to find what I want or trying to be creative to come up with the things I want to use and have found lots of things I'd forgotten about.

Unfortunately, though, there is an awful lot of temptation out there and I have succumbed a few times, especially with new stamps, but then Jill at The Stampman started showing techniques with moonglow mica powder and offered it at half price. Now that is TOO much temptation. I've been dying to try this for ages and this seemed too good to miss out on so off went the order and the lovely powders duly arrived and I have not been disappointed, they are really lovely to work with. It is like magic watching your stamped design appear when you apply the powder. My sort of crafting.

This is my first attempt. I decided to start small and used a set of free Papermania stamps that came with a magazine. This was then mounted on pearl paper. I edged the dark paper with the powder and then did the vellum the same. The whole was then put on a plain white card. I don't like things to be too dark and thought this just showed the shine off a bit better. The vellum was attached with a couple of brads.

I shall definitely be having another go, it is quite addictive and is another way of using all those stamps I bought!!!!

Thank you for looking and I hope you stay dry whatever you do today. It is absolutely pouring down here again this morning!!!!

Monday, 18 May 2009

Such A Small World

I know I've said it before but I'm going to say it again. I just LOVE this blogging world. In the last week I have met (in cyberspace you understand) two lovely ladies who live nearby and another lady who stayed at the same hotel as us on holiday last year. I am constantly amazed at what a small world it is and I feel honoured to know you all. It is lovely not being a lone crafter anymore.

I know I rabbit on a bit in my posts so I'm going to try and be brief tonight, I have an hour of the Chelsea Flower Show, best week of the year and then my favourite film, Message in a Bottle, on Five, better get the hankies out!!!! so not much blogging time.

I have made a card today using the Crafty Individuals stamps from the blog candy I won recently. They are something different for me and I have thoroughly enjoyed using them.

The cuttlebugged background was glimmer misted with denim and key lime pie and I inked the matted card with colorbox pigment inks.

The tags were stamped onto paper sprayed with moonglow using colorbox inks and each had an eyelet attached and a bit of interesting fibre to make them realistic.

See, I can be brief when I try!!!! Thanks as always for visiting. I'm off to drool at some lovely gardens.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Rhubarb Crumble and Custard

Goodness what another weekend of weather. It has poured down here all afternoon and we went swimming this morning so it has been a very watery day all round. Still I got lots of crafting done so I have no complaints really.

Today I have done my entry for the Tag It On challenge which this week was Rhubarb Crumble and Custard. (Pink for the rhubarb, yellow for the custard and texture for the crumble). It had to include at least one stamp and two embellishments.

I have to ponder these challenges for a few days and in the end decided on triple embossing for my texture, which I love doing. I've used 2 different shades of reddish cosmic shimmer embossing powders, Blue raspberry aurora and blue maroon aurora and stamped with gold brilliance ink, not strictly yellow I know but hopefully near enough. The stamp is one of my favourite Heidi Grace flourishes. The little dangly embellishments were made also using a Heidi Grace stamp stamped onto shrink plastic with gold and crimson brilliance inks and shrunk. I've had a lovely afternoon with the heat gun!

I've had a bit of a nightmare photographing it properly so that you can tell it actually is pinky and not blue, it's been hard not to get too much reflection even with all this dark weather!!!!

There are some stunning entries on the Dragonsdream site and they are well worth a look.

I hope you've all had a lovely weekend. Hopefully the sun will shine tomorrow.

Friday, 15 May 2009


Thanks so much for your comments to my last post. It was really interesting to read what everyone else thought. A mixture of both seems to work for everyone, which sounds perfect to me.

Well tonight I thought I'd share another layout with you. This one was from our holiday in Corfu last year. We were desperate for some sunshine after the recent poor summers so headed to a guaranteed sunshine island and we were not disappointed.

These photos were taken around Corfu town, which is really picturesque, especially when you look up at the buildings. They are all crumbly and weathered and I wanted my papers to reflect that. I used a Basic Grey distressed paper for the background and Kay & Co for all the rest which I cut unevenly and inked all the edges to make them look even more distressed.

Some of the paper looked like strips of lace so I added some matching fibres for interest.

The title is the Greek name for Corfu and I used Thickers chipboard letters and painted them with texture paint and ran black ink round the edges to make them stand out. I painted the other embellishments with the same paint to tie everything in and then used a Kelly Panacci border stamp on the photos and the edges of the layout to reflect the wrought iron on the balconies.

I was pretty happy with the end result. It all seemed to have the weathered look I was after.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Hybrid Scrapping

My blog friend Sally over at Sal-utations has recently done her first digital scrapbook layout and asked the question "is digital scrapping cheating?"

This got me thinking. A lot of people digital scrap because it can be quick and easy and you don't end up with a lot of mess afterwards and the results can be amazing. I have seen some great layouts in magazines. They are certainly much easier to share electronically.

For me though and, I think a lot of others, going to the craft shops and browsing amongst all the wonderful goodies, choosing which papers, glitters, paints, chipboard etc to buy is the best feeling and then getting it home and spreading it all over the dining table spending hours deciding what to make, cutting things out, painting and stamping and making a layout that you can touch and say "I made that" is a great feeling. You add it to your already brimming album and look at it when ever you want to.

I like to use one album a year and it's interesting to look back and see how your style has changed and your techniques have improved or advanced.

I have tried digital scrapping with mixed results but read some time ago about Hybrid scrapping and investigated further.

Basically you use some digital images, by printing them out, on your paper layout. There are lots of sites out there that offer free digital kits, 2 Peas In A Bucket offer one each month. You download and save it and then you have a lots of images you can use over and over again that haven't cost a penny. I like to print things out like journalling tags or titles and then colour them further or print them on patterned paper so making them completely unique. You can also use them again and by changing their colour they don't look like the same thing.

There also lots of papers that can be printed out which would be ideal for card makers too. It's well worth investigating.

We like to be thrifty in Yorkshire and you get quite a kick out of making something that has really cost very little. It leaves a few more pennies for that next visit to the craft shop!!!!

The layout at the top of this post of one of our cats, Oscar, when he was just a tiny kitten is a traditional layout on core-dinations black card which has been sanded back round the edges to reveal the blue core. I used matching K & Co papers and Basic Grey figgy pudding letters for the title.
The journaling tags were from a Digital Kit. I opened them in Photoshop Elements, typed in my journalling, printed and then cut them out and then added some ink to ensure they toned with the rest of the page.
I then added some WeRMemoryKeepers embellishments and stuck on some gems to finish off.

I'd be interested to know what anyone else's thoughts are on digital or none digital.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Fairies at the Bottom of the Garden

Week 2 of the Dragonsdream Tag It On challenge is Fairies at the Bottom of the Garden. Perfect for a family that share their home with so many fairies. No, I have not lost the plot, regular readers will know what I mean.

Anyway, I had a rough idea of what I was going to do and had a lovely afternoon just playing with lots of stamps and glimmer mists and this is what evolved.

I sprayed the tag with Cherry Blossom glimmer mist and let it dry and then Key Lime Pie. It was then stamped with Artylicious meadow flower stamps using green colorbox chalk ink for the background and then brighter pigment inks for the thistles. I coloured the flowers in gently with pencils to make them stronger.

The fairy was a stamp I have had for years and years. I stamped and cut her out and coloured her in with Sakura stardust pens but then spent ages trying to get her on the tag. She just wasn't right with the stamping. In the end I decided to hide her so stamped another stalk and leaves for the thistle and popped her behind it. I think this worked in the end.

The words were printed off the computer onto more glimmer misted paper and inked. The edges of the whole tag were then inked with green & chestnut whisper ink.

These tag challenges are becoming quickly addictive. I lost about 3 hours somewhere yesterday afternoon and still haven't found them!!!!

Saturday, 9 May 2009

More Birthday Cakes

Freya had a lovely birthday, the best ever, in her own words and thank you everyone for your kind wishes.

I had to drag her out of school on Thursday she was so busy seeing all her favourite teachers and telling them all about everything. We are very lucky and she goes to a lovely school where everyone knows everyone else. Anyway I eventually got her home and then we went for a delicious curry at out local Indian restaurant. Freya's choice. She wanted to do something grown up and go for a meal where Mummy and Daddy go . They made her feel very special and gave her balloons and a cake with a sparkler in. Fantastic.

To extend her big day we went bowling with some of her friends last Sunday so it's been a busy week and after all that excitement I haven't really had chance to do much crafting this week. We've been exhausted by 9pm which is usually my crafting time.

So I thought I'd bore you with some previous years birthday cakes. Freya always puts her order in a few weeks before which gives me plenty of panicking time. I tend to be better at traditional cakes rather than novelty ones although they usually turn out ok.

This first one was last years big flower cake. The petals were made out of modelling paste and left to dry over a rolling pin to give them their shape. The cake was baked in a mixing bowl and then I mixed up three different shades of orange buttercream and layered them up in a big piping bag to get the mixed colours on the flower middle.

The Ladybird cake was just a traditional cake shape and then I used different colours of roll out fondant to make it into a ladybird with some pipe cleaners for the antennas. Green fondant was put through a ricer to make the grass and then I made big flowers to decorate it.

Both these cakes had to be made on the biggest portable thing I could find to be taken to the party, hence the tin lid for the ladybird, not particularly pretty but a gaggle of over excited 6 year olds are not really bothered.

Well the rain has halted the gardening now so I'm off to do some crafting before tea.
Have a lovely weekend.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Birthdays and Surprises

Goodness what a busy week! I've been rushing about cake making and card making in between the usual jobs because it's a certain persons 8th Birthday today. Goodness 8, where did those years go?

After a hectic early morning opening a pile of presents she went off to school proudly wearing a birthday badge and clutching a tin of buns for the rest of her class. I hope she enjoys her day, you're only 8 once and apparently it's better than being 7!!!!

I thought I'd show you her Birthday cake. She ordered a fairy cake-what else and found a picture she liked. Thankfully it wasn't too difficult and I could cheat and use some flowers I had in my box left over from various wedding cakes. The fairy is actually a little figurine of mine which has had a pair of homemade wings stuck on. As usual though when I make a cake for us I was in a rush and the royal icing was too thin and didn't hold it's shape. Still it'll taste just as nice.

As for her card, yes you've guessed it, it had to have a fairy on, I managed to find a lovely image on the internet which I printed off several times and decoupaged. The backing papers were bits I had left in my scrap box and the Happy Birthday was stamped with a stamp from my lovely blog candy winnings, more of that in a minute. A few gems added the finishing touches.

With all these Birthday goings on it was lovely to receive my blog candy winnings from Sally yesterday. What a treat. Not only her own beautiful cards, even more lovely in real life but lots of stamps and a beautiful stencil. I can't wait to try them all out. Thank you so much Sally.

Monday, 4 May 2009

My First Ever Challenge Attempt

It has struck me while reading everyone else's blogs how many people take part in challenges on a regular basis and what wonderful things they make.

I thought I did not have enough crafting time to take part in these and as card making is not my first love, being mainly a scrapbooker, card challenges do not really appeal.

I then discovered Dragonsdream Tag It On which is a tag challenge site. Now tags are definitely up my street so I've decided to have a go and this is my very first challenge entry. The theme is Tide and Time and must include some stamping. Mine only includes very small stamped clocks, which I have cut out, but I hope that is enough.

The main tag was cuttlebugged with swirls after I had inked the folder with colorbox shades of blue inks to represent waves and then sprayed with Sapphire glimmer mist on the corner I stuck the swirls on to make them stand out.

I coloured the clocks with cosmic shimmer indigo sky paint and then made the embossed swirls by drawing round part of a glimmer screen, cutting it out and embossing with Cosmic shimmer Arctic Lake embossing powder a couple of times to get a nice covering.

The title was printed onto paper spritzed with starburst stain, cut out and inked round the edges.
Little blue gems were added as a finishing touch.

I have enjoyed messing about with this and am looking forward to what this weeks theme will be.

Saturday, 2 May 2009


Freya was stood in the kitchen while I was making tea tonight singing Christmas songs and I said to her "Don't sing Christmas songs when it's not Christmas, it's bad luck" to which she replied with all the conviction of a 7 year old "I don't have bad luck Mummy" which I thought was a wonderful outlook on life and one I wish we could keep as we grow up. I have to remind myself sometimes when life gets tough how lucky we are having a lovely family and home and nothing really to complain about.

Imagine my surprise, therefore, when I logged onto Blogland tonight to find I had actually won some Blog candy from the lovely Sally. What amazing Good Luck. I couldn't believe it. At first I thought, it can't mean me I never win anything, but after checking, there were no other Lisas anywhere so I decided it must mean me and I haven't stopped smiling since. It's totally amazing and I am so chuffed-Thank you so much Sally.

Well after all that excitement I had better show you some crafting, I haven't posted any for ages getting caught up with other things.

I treated myself to a new set of beautiful stamps from Stamptivity the other week (so much for the promise not to buy anything else this year and use what I already have!!) Unfortunately, they were just unresistable, especially when you have a daughter who totally loves fairies.

I made a background paper by painting Cosmic Shimmer paints thinly in long stripes and then stamped with black pigment ink to get some depth. I cut each stamped image out and matted it on glitter card and then black paper and stamped the wording on the left over painted background paper. It was stuck on with foam squares to give a different height.

The main card was stamped with Artylicious wildflower stamps in blues and mauves and then overstamped with black to make a lovely soft background.

I made all three cards in the same way using 3 different stamps but just varied the background card and glitter card slightly. I have to say I like all the stamps but the dandelion lady is my favourite. I think you'll be seeing much more of her!!

Have a lovely Bank Holiday Weekend.