Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Me And The Elephants

Freya had a training day yesterday and Hubby had got the day off work so we decided to go to Chester Zoo for a treat. I've never been to a zoo before, yes I know, I was a deprived child!!!!! but they've come such a long way since the days of animals in cages haven't they.

We had a great day. We set off early as it's just over 2 hours from here, but the weather was very warm and sunny.

The animals were superb, especially the elephants. We stayed for ages watching them cooling down under a big waterfall they had and the little baby was just loving it.

The butterfly house was also a big favourite. They were so active in the heat and kept landing on you.

To be honest it's difficult to choose a favourite, the cheetahs were majestic, the monkeys funny and there was no sign at all of the Spectacled Bear, which we were all desperate to see. A man said he'd been several times and still hadn't seen them!!!! They must be very shy.

We picniced with hundreds of school children. Going on a weekday misses the crowds but catches all the children having an end of term treat. Still it was all part of the day.

We got home extremely tired and hot but it had been a superb day out.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Yet Another Tag

Well it's week 9 of Dragonsdream Tag It On Challenge, the weeks are just flying. This week the theme is Eternal Goddess "think earth colours, ancient goddesses etc".

Well we've had some difficult challenges over the weeks and yet again I was stumped as I had no stamps that fit the bill so it was another trip over to Mum to raid her stamp store. She came up trumps again and I did have an idea of what I wanted to do. Late on Friday I spritzed, stamped and embossed and wasn't sure that I liked what I had done so slept on it, not literally you understand.

By next morning I was certain I didn't like it. Take 2. This one was better. I coloured the background with watercolour pencils, printed an earth image from the Internet and cut it out. I stamped just the head from the stamp using Faded Jeans distress ink and embossed with clear ink. It was coloured with the pencils again. I added the little swirls, a bit of glitter to look like stars and some white dots just to highlight the swirls a bit.

Once again I have been thoroughly challenged and the family had a lot of input into this weeks end result. My mojo was running a bit low I think, so thanks to them.

Friday, 26 June 2009

What A Surprise

I was sat here quietly reading through all your lovely blog posts tonight when to my surprise and delight I saw that I had made the Top 5 in the the Allsorts Challenge this week. It was my first attempt at entering so I cannot say how thrilled I am. What a lovely start to the weekend.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to wish Brenda well. She set the Wings challenge and has been very under the weather this week so Get Well Soon Brenda. I'm sending this photo of my favourite red lilies, which have just come into flower, to you.

Although it's been a lovely week and the garden has called and I have been sidetracked by the tennis, I have surprisingly managed to do quite a lot of crafting. There's been quite a lot of late nights involved!!!!

Anyway, I thought I'd show you the last layout I've just finished. During the May bank holiday weekend when the weather was so glorious, we had three days without a cloud in the sky and I sat in my favourite spot reading and looked at this beautiful rose against the bluest sky everyday. In the end I just had to get my camera and take a photo of it. It's a climbing rose called Handel and is very special because my Mum and Dad bought us it when we first moved into this house over 12 years ago now and it was one of the first things I put into the garden, which consisted of 6ft high grass and nothing else when we arrived.

I've kept the layout quite simple. It was done on the reverse of a double-sided paper which already had a layout on the other side and all the other papers came from my leftovers box, so I was very thrifty. The journalling tags were taken from a free digital kit from 2 peas in a bucket. I typed them using photoshop elements, resized, printed and cut them out and was quite pleased with how well they worked. A bit of Hybrid scrapping there!!

I inked up a strip of white Bazzill Just the Edge cardstock strips with blue whispers ink and set eylets in all the holes and added a few bits of ribbon and some gems to finish things off.

Thank you for looking and I hope you have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Allsorts Challenge

The challenge on Allsorts this week is "Wings" which was too tempting not to have a go at.

This is what I came up with. I wanted to use my favourite Butterfly Beauties stamps again so decided to combine them with that Crafters Workshop stencil I used in the last scrapbook layout.

This time I used the stencil as a template on folded cardstock to make a shaped card. I drew round the design on the stencil and coloured it with felt pens, then spritzed it with pink bubblegum, cherry and key lime glimmer mists and went over the original design lines again just to make them stand out.

As usual I stamped the butterflies on scrap card and applied some Blimey Limey Green (what a great name) moonglow mica powder just to give them a shimmer. They were cut out and stuck on randomly with an Artylicious word of inspiration, although I did shorten it slightly.

I tried to do something a little bit different than just a standard card, the trouble was with this theme I was a bit spoilt for choice and I'm still not sure what I think about what I've done. Still I suppose that is the whole point of a challenge.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Typical Summer Weather

Well if anyone had seen us last night they would have laughed their soaks off. It was a beautiful sunny day but by teatime some very dark clouds rolled up and there were some rumbles of thunder. Both cats were mooching about the garden and I called them in just in case. Nerys (below) wandered in but Oscar (above), who always thinks there's a game in the off, just dashed off. I gave chase but he was having none of it so I gave up and came in leaving him to it.

We sat down to tea and the heavens opened. It didn't pour, it was a torrent. We called Oscar but no sign. Oh well hopefully it would stop soon, but no, it got heavier. In the end I put on a huge coat and wellies and went swimming down the garden to where I could just see a tail poking out from under a big seat we have in the corner of the decking. Poor puss was terrified and instead of coming out squashed down between the fence where I couldn't reach him. I had to retreat back to the house and hope he would come of his own accord.

Ten minutes later, it was still a torrent, so hubby opened the door and called to no avail and in the meantime Nerys sneaked through his legs and was out too. Oh this was too much, two cats out in a monsoon. We both donned coats and wellies and went out again. Calling and coaxing was no good with Oscar so I had to lie down in all the wet and get hold of this wet, frightened cat and drag him out. You have never seen such a bedraggled creature in all your life and the cat was pretty wet too!!!!!!!!!

Nerys decided that as we had rescued her baby she would come in of her own accord. The four of us just stood dripping in the kitchen. I don't think I've ever been so wet fully clothed in all my life. If any of the neighbours saw us they must think we have finally lost the plot!!!!

Thankfully tonight is dry and sunny, I don't think I could cope with a repeat performance.

Just to finish I thought I'd show you the card Freya made for her student teacher who left their class last Friday. She always gets attached to her teachers, whether it's her class teacher or one of the many student teachers who come and go, which is lovely. I certainly never have any problems with her wanting to go to school, long may it continue.

Sunday, 21 June 2009


I hope you are all having a great weekend and enjoying Father's Day. We have been quite relaxed. It was our local Carnival yesterday so we went to watch the parade with some friends and then ambled home eating ice cream and were invited into a lovely garden for coffee on the way. What a pleasant way to spend the afternoon. I then indulged in watching Mamma Mia for the hundredth time last night and now wish I was on a secluded Greek island soaking up the sun!!!!
Oh well a girl can dream!!

Now back to reality. In between tag making and card making to post on here I always have a scrapbook page on the go. I don't always show them too you because we are a shy family and I don't want to post the photos which is why you just get bits of them and only the full layouts when they of objects!!!!

Today is no exception. I have at last used the crafters workshop butterfly stencil on a layout that my lovely blog friend Sally included in her blog candy a few months ago.

I made my own background paper by spritzing with starburst stains and then drew the stencil with a soft pencil and went over it with pastel Whispers felt tip pens and just coloured parts of it in.

The photos were of a visit to a butterfly house so I stamped some of the lovely Butterfly Beauties from Stampendous using distress inks and cut them out giving them gem bodies and used these as my embellishments along with a few flourishes from the same set. I didn't want to cover up the background too much so didn't add anything else apart from the title, which I did on acetate and a bit of journalling which was cut from a nestability.

I really enjoyed using the stencil and will have to think of more ways to include it, thank you again Sally.

Before I go I must also say a lovely thank you to Kate who sent me these 2 lovely awards. I shall wear them with pride and would like to pass them on to my following blog friends, all of which are a great inspiration and always full of encouragement.
Lynne K
Jill (the stampman)
and if anyone else would like them, please feel free to help yourselves.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Simplicity and Serenity

This was the theme for this weeks Tag It On challenge.

I like to ponder these things while walking up to collect Freya from school and after considering flowers (as usual) I thought about the lovely Stamptivity silhouette stamps and this is what I came up with.

The background was painted with Cosmic Shimmer and then I inked up the stamp without the border or the stars at the top and then added glitter to the dandelion clock and seeds. A few leaves were added at the top just to finish it off.

Like so many other crafters I like to fiddle but when told not to it shows we can do it!!

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Birthdays Galore

It's been a really wet day here, although the sun is just beginning to break through. I've managed to catch up with the ironing and all those inside jobs and the weatherman said at lunchtime that it's going to turn really HOT next week!!!! Lovely.

We've had a birthday fest here over the last few weeks so card production has been in overdrive. It was my sister's yesterday and my mum in law's today. Happy Birthday to both of them.

I sort of cheated with their cards because I found a sheet of Kanban elegant ladies I'd bought ages ago and thought I'd use them up so both cards have been fairly quick and easy.

I stamped Heidi Grace flourishes round the edges and the backing paper was from Dovecraft and there is not much more to say about them.

I was challenged awhile ago by Sally from crafty salutions with the 6x6x6 challenge. Pick the 6th photo from your 6th photo folder and tell a story about it.

This is my photo and surprise surprise it is a flower!!!! There isn't a great deal to say about it apart from the fact that I love Irises but don't have a lot of luck with them in my garden. They need to have their tubers backed in the sun and I cram such a lot of plants in that there is never enough spare ground to give them the space they need. I've had this lovely blue one for years and it did manage to flower one year and I took lots of photos to mark the occasion, of which this is one of them.

I am supposed to challenge 6 more people but I hope Sally doesn't mind but I know how busy all you crafters are so I am not going to ask anyone specifically but just say if you want to join in then please do so.

Thank you for visiting, I really appreciate all your comments.

Monday, 15 June 2009


Before I start today I must just say thank you to all my lovely readers for the comments you left about the cake in the last post. I was blown away by them. You gave me an idea for a future post with your comments about the sugar roses looking real. I am just about to start some more for a wedding cake for the end of July and they are really easy to make so I shall take some photos as I do them and show you all so you can be amazing your friends and families by trying them for yourselves!!

I also forgot to say, the lady whose cake I mentioned can be seen here. If you like cakes it's definitely worth a look.

Now back to crafty things. The theme for this weeks Tag It On challenge was "Treasures". What did we consider to be treasures in our lives? That was the brief and the tag had to contain at least one stamp as usual.

Mmmm long thoughts on this on. Family obviously was my first treasure, but that was hard to represent so I decided on my garden and flowers which as most of you know are my other passions (along with crafting).

I started on a tag and stamped some flowers and was merrily bowling along when I suddenly looked and it was so similar to other things I had done I stopped and began to think again. Doing flowers and nature was just too easy, I need a challenge so I rethought and this is what I ended up with.

The tag was run through the cuttlebug using the agapanthus folder which I had pre inked with colourbox chalk. This represented my flowers. I added the little gems for interest and the butterflies for a bit more nature. I then stamped on the words which all mean something to me.

-I treasure my memories of lots of things, people dear who are no longer here, happy holidays and events and just little things that make me smile.

-I treasure the Joy I find in my family, my crafting, the lovely countryside we live in or just hearing a favourite song on the radio.

-I love my lovely hubby and beautiful daughter and all my family very much and treasure them all.

-And lastly I treasure the dreams for the future, we all need to dream!!

Once again Frankie challenged us very well.

Friday, 12 June 2009

More Cakey Creations

Hasn't the weather been lovely today. Oh I hope this is summer coming back.

Well I have lots of crafty things on the go but nothing finished to show you, I think it's a case of spending too much time in the garden again!!!

Anyway, while I was browsing today I saw a lovely cake some clever lady had made for her Gran. She'd made roses out of fondant icing following an online demonstration and this made me smile because I spent weeks at night school learning how to make sugar flowers some years ago and it just goes to show what you can learn online nowadays without having to leave the house. Although I did enjoy the social side of going to a class, it was great fun and I learnt lots of other things.

This reminded me that I hadn't shown any more of the wedding cakes I have made over the years and so I thought I'd share one of my favourites.

This one was made for the sister of a lady I'd made a cake for the year before. Her colour scheme was coffee and cream and it was a real joy. She brought me a picture of the design she wanted which was in blues so we changed the colours to suit.

The roses were made out of sugar paste and arranged with cream feathers and some curls of very fine gold craft wire. Each tier then had lots of little balls piped and gold dragee balls attached around the sides.

It was such a lovely cake to make and I think it's my favourite because the colours were so different from the usual pinks and whites.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

In The Style Of Tim Holtz

This is the theme of the challenge over at the Simon Says challenge. I am slowly being sucked into these challenges, Oh Dear, but when Tim Holtz is involved I find it very hard to resist.

I decided on another Tag. For me these seem the easiest medium when you just want to play and this is what I came up with.

I used a technique that Tim demonstrated on his fabulous blog where by you stamp your initial image using white acrylic paint. I chose a grungy heart. You let this dry and then spritz your colour over the top. I've used Turquoise and Suede Glimmer Mists with a hint of Gold. I let this completely dry and then inked round the edges with the trusty chestnut whispers ink. When you wipe the sponge over the painted image it wipes off any colour on top revealing the image underneath.

I stamped part of a Prima build your own swirl down the side and an Artylicious Inspirations stamp for the words in black pigment ink.

Lastly I stamped the heart again on a piece of scrap card and cut it out. It seemed a bit heavy so I decided to cut the middle out too. It was then painted with the turquoise glimmer and diamond Stickles applied. I attached it with a brad for added interest.

I don't think I've quite got enough things added to it to be completely like Tim's wonderful creations, but I love the colours and when the light catches them they really shimmer, the photos don't quite do the glimmer mists justice.

This challenge was a great excuse just to mess about and see what evolved. Great fun.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Butterflies and Dragonflies

What a lovely Tag challenge we had this week at Dragonsdream.

After the last few weeks of head scratching I couldn't help smiling when I saw "Butterflies and Dragonflies". Oooh this was more like it. I am spoilt for choice in the number of butterfly and dragonfly stamps I have, the only difficulty was which one to use.

In the end I opted for a new set of Stampendous stamps, Butterfly Beauties and the moonglow "Outback" mica powder The Stampman had tempted me with a few weeks ago and this is what I ended up with.

I inked the background with a coarse sponge using the blue colourbox set of inks and edged it with the usual chestnut whispers ink.

The background butterfly was stamped with versamark and the mica powder applied and set with hairspray. I then stamped the flourishes randomly around the edges in a darker shade of the same blue ink set.

The rest of the butterflies were stamped on a bit of scrap card, using a green colourbox pigment ink and the mica powder applied over the top and set again, just to give them a sheen. I cut them out and stuck them on top of the flourishes and added gems for the bodies.

Thanks Dragon for a lovely challenge.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

A Beautiful Bunch of Flowers

Well it may be a wet Saturday, but I've just been given a lovely ray of sunshine from Brenda at Floral Fantasies who has given me this beautiful bunch of yellow Honeysuckle, because we share the same love of flowers and nature. Isn't it just lovely. Thank you so much Brenda. I shall display them with pride.

It seems to be a perfect crafting day, much too wet to get in the garden so before I go and make a mess I thought I'd share another card from that box of paper I found.

The main backing paper on this one was a print from the glimmer screen once I'd used it for a mask. There is always such a lot of ink on them it seems a shame to waste it and I got several prints of varying amounts, I inked round the edge of this with chestnut whisper ink just to finish it off.

The other piece of background paper was made by wiping the chestnut ink over a plain piece of card and then edging it with the bluey green ink and stamping a flourish with the same colour.

I used the same colours on the stampboard and the stamp was from Creative Individuals. I scrapped back some of the ink to give it a bit of a 3d effect.

The greeting was from a Prima build a swirl set and I added the gems as a finishing touch.

Thanks for looking and have a great weekend.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Using Peel Offs

I think, like most people, I have a box full of peel offs that never sees the light of day, unless I need a quick greeting.

They were bought when I first started card making but I struggle now to find uses for them, especially when it comes to scrapbooking.

For this layout of our holiday on Corfu last year I wanted some tropical looking flowers but had nothing in my flower stash. I then remembered these Dawn Bibby peel offs, which, being white, seem to be far more usable. I stuck them onto some basic grey papers and cut them out and I think they worked well.

The tails of the butterflies were also peel offs.

Maybe they are not something that should just wallow in a box forgotten, it's just a case of finding new uses for them.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Walk Like An Egyptian

This weeks Tag It On challenge was Egyptian.

Oh did my heart sink. At least last week I could borrow some Oriental Stamps but I knew I was completely snookered this week because nobody in the family had anything Egyptian, let alone some stamps. It is just not something we do!

I was determined not to be defeated though so had a trawl through the Internet for some ideas. All I knew about Egyptian design was sand coloured and the Sphinx and they did not inspire me. I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. Lovely oranges and Turquoise and then I found the Eye of Horus, which I really liked and I was away.

This is what I have ended up with. I sprayed the tag with orange glimmer mist and traced the eye on to card, coloured it black, cut it out and stuck it on.
The border was stamped in gold brilliance ink so I managed to get a stamp on it in the end. I then coloured it with orange, navy and turquoise pens, edged it with a gold gel pen and stuck gold peel offs on each square.
The area above the eye was painted with turquoise glimmer spray and the text was printed on the computer.

These tag challenges are totally addictive and they certainly challenge you to come up with something out of your comfort zone, which I really enjoy.