Friday, 31 July 2009

Time Flies

This week's TIO challenge is Time Flies. It certainly does, I can't believe we are nearly in August, where has the last year gone!!!!

Both Freya and I have entered a tag again this week, but we did them separately so they are very different this week.

Freya stamped her butterflies (from inkadinkadoo) on vellum and painted them with gold glimmer mist to make them curl. Her background was sponged with chalk inks and the clock was taken from the internet and painted with pink glimmer mist. The little butterflies were stamped with pink brilliance ink.

I took a different clock face from the internet and liked the idea of a dandelion clock and the flying seeds. My background was sponged with the brown set of colourbox pigment inks and the dandelion (from Autumn Leaves, it was the Stampology Fine & Dandy set, one of my favourites at the moment) was stamped in black and clear embossed. I did the same for a second image on scrap paper and then just cut the seeds off. The clock face had brown ink applied and I hand drew the hands in.

Thank you so much for looking and the wonderful comments you leave us. I hope you all have a lovely weekend, whatever the weather!

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Lots of Thank yous

Hello everyone. Hope you are all managing to find a little bit of sunshine in this damp and dismal summer we seem to be having. You certainly have to grab the nice days with both hands don't you!!

I'm taking a bit of time out to do some much need blogger housekeeping today. I've been overwhelmed lately by the awards I have been given and also the lovely pieces of craft some very kind bloggers have sent me. You really are a lovely lot!!!

I was given the Circle of Friends award by both Judith and Lynne. Both of whom are very supportive blogging friends and have really interesting blogs which are well worth a visit.
I understand I have to pass this on to 5 other bloggers and I have to be honest and say it is really hard to pick just 5 as I count you all as friends so although I have picked 5 if you are reading this then please help yourself.

Michelle for your talent and generosity
Janet another wonderful inspiration and local crafter. Hope it makes you smile!!
Debbie for all those grungepaper creations!
Sally for being my first follower and a wonderful card maker
Karen for inspiring me with the tag challenges!!

I was also given The Beautiful Blogger award from Clare and again need to pass it on to another 5. So here goes:

Lottie for your beautiful artwork
Lesley a fellow Graphicus admirer
Jane for being a fellow scrapbooker
Anne who writes such thought provoking posts
Kate for being another wonderful card maker

I also have to say a huge thank you to Michelle who sent me this absolutely beautiful tag I had admired on her blog. I was blown away by such generosity. I shall treasure it for ever Michelle.

Lastly, (are you still awake!!!!), I wanted to show you the lovely "winged" RAK (Random Act of Kindness for those of you who, like me didn't know what this stood for and had to look it up) Brenda sent me for coming in the Top 5 of the Allsorts challenge several weeks ago. Isn't it beautiful.

Told you I needed to get up to date.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Roses For Romance

For all you cake lovers out there, I think I'm safe to post the photos of the two cakes I decorated last week.

The first one was a wedding cake for my friend's hairdresser. She wanted it to be kept simple with just a spray of pink roses on the top to match her hand tied rose bouquet. The cakes were all fruit which my lovely Mum in law makes. Her cakes are delicious and always lovely and boozy. No one in the family can match her, as hard as we try.

The second cake was for the first Wedding Anniversary of my hairdresser, who is a regular cake buyer. She likes a plain sponge with jam and buttercream which I can make successfully. Luckily she was happy to have the same roses. I just added some rose leaves to make the spray a bit different.

We had plenty of buttercream and icing left over so Freya made fairy cakes on Sunday and had a lovely time decorating them so we got a bit of cake too!!!

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Crafty Sunday

Yet again I sit here typing listening to the rain. Still mustn't grumble, we had a wonderful day out in The Lake District again yesterday and the sun shone all day. We had planned to visit Sizergh Castle near Kendal, trying to avoid the really popular areas as the traffic was very heavy and we didn't want to sit in the car all day when the weather was so nice.

Unfortunately, the castle was closed on a Saturday!!!! How daft is that. Well let's try Levens Hall I suggested, that's only 5 minutes away. Guess what, that is closed on a Saturday too!!!! Not to be put off we headed for Lakeside and the Aquarium and had a really lovely day. We had lunch overlooking the lake, saw a steam train, enjoyed the Aquarium and then went to look round the other side of the bay where we could see lots of people and discovered Fell Foot. This is National Trust parkland with lovely access to the lake, the children were all paddling quite safely while parents picniced on the grass. There are lots of boats moored and beautiful views, well worth a visit if you are ever in the area. We had a very welcome pot of tea and yummy cakes sat outside on a terrace right on the lake enjoying the last of the afternoon sunshine. Pure Bliss. I had to be dragged away for the drive home!!

We were so glad we made the most of the weather yesterday because it's been wet, windy and cool all day here. Perfect crafting weather and for once I had a really productive afternoon.

For weeks now I've been trying to find time to enter the Tuesday Taggers challenge, but just somehow always ran out of time so this week when I saw it was Swirls and Curls I was adamant I would have a go and so here is yet another tag!!! I promise something different next time.

I used part of a tattered angels mask to get a swirl on the edge and over sprayed with sapphire glimmer mist and the stamped round with a swirly inchy in faded jeans distress ink and then again with my favourite Heidi Grace swirl in black. The wording was from elusive images and the chipboard swirl was inked with brilliance pearlescent orchid and a dark pink chalk ink.

I hope you all had a lovely weekend and lets hope the sun is back tomorrow.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Dots and Swirls

This weeks Dragonsdream TIO challenge is Pink swirls and dots to celebrate the anniversary of the moon landing and the eclipse earlier in the week.

Because it's been such a wet start to the summer holidays here we haven't been out much so decided to do some crafting yesterday afternoon and Freya asked if she could make a tag too, so we have two entries this week.

Both were cuttlebugged with the swirls folder and then sprayed with pink shades of glimmer mist, Freya had three and mine had two. I think hers probably came out best to show up the embossing. (Freya's is the one below)

She then stamped a creative expressions swirl down the centre and finished off with some star and dot brads.

(Mine is the one below) I stamped round the edge with a different creative expression swirl using pink and crimson brilliance inks. Different sized holes were punched with my crop o dile and glitter paper stuck behind with the holes outlined to make them stand out a bit and I then added different sized brads for two different types of dots.
I'd lost the embossing by this time so I tried to highlight it a bit with brushed out felt tip.

I have to be honest and say I'm not sure about the end result but the moon's surface is a mishmash so it probably works ok for what it is supposed to represent.

Freya thoroughly enjoyed joining in the challenge and I'm sure it probably won't be the last time during the summer. It made for a nice afternoon of crafting together.

By the way, those of you waiting for cake pics. I will post them after the weekend when the recipients have had time to see and eat them!!!!

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

More Rain!

I'm sat here typing this listening to the rain again. It's not stopped here all day. Typical, when it's the first day of the Summer holidays!

I'm up to my eyeballs in cakes at the moment so no craft happening again!!! But I thought I'd show you a scrapbook layout I did awhile ago to celebrate rainbows, there has to be one good thing about the rain doesn't there?

I scraplifted the idea of creating a rainbow of flowers from a layout I saw in a scrapbook magazine a long time ago so I can't claim any credit for it but I love the effect it creates. I went further with the rainbow idea by hand drawing my title in rainbow colours and using waterbased pens round the edges and brushing out the colour with a waterpen to blend it all together in one continuous rainbow.

Freya reads the Flower Fairy books and one of them said that there are really fairy wings at the end of a rainbow and if someone tells you there is only a pot of gold, then they are too old!!!! (You have been warned) so this is what I put in my journaling.

Thank you as always for visiting. I love getting your wonderful comments.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Tag It On Challenge

The theme of this weeks Dragonsdream Tag It On challenge was to create a postcard. There have been weeks when the theme of this challenge has made me think about what to do for a few days, but this one had me completely stumped. Tags I understand but postcards!!!!, so I decided to have a break this week.

I was blog visiting a few days later and I saw Debbie's postcard and it was really beautiful. It also made me realise that I probably could do something worth entering, it was only like doing a big tag.

Then on Friday I started with an absolutely streaming cold. Reading everyones blogs I know I'm not on my own and along with everyone else you are so loath to go anywhere because everyone is so frightened about Swine Flu, even though YOU know you've only got a heavy cold. We were due to visit my Mum in Law for lunch yesterday but I quarantined myself and stayed behind so had several hours to myself and even though I didn't feel my best decided to have a go at this postcard.

I inked it all over with Whispers Whisper Blue and then went round the edges with chestnut brown. I used an Elusive Images french set, can't remember the name now, for the background which was inked with various whisper inks. The address was done with whispers Royal blue and then distress faded jeans to get a shadow effect. The swirls were a Heidi Grace set and the stamp of the lady was from Crafty Individuals which I enlarged slightly by scanning it in to the computer first and then printing it and adding the same colour inks before sticking it on. The swirls were coloured with colourbox ink and the flowers were from prima. Small gems made the centres.

Thankfully this afternoon I'm feeling much better and my nose has stopped running at last so I shall be able to go back into the world tomorrow, which is good because Freya has to go to school for her last day of term, one day, I ask you!!!!

Thank you for visiting and I hope you've had a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Mass Production

Just a quick post tonight. It's that time of year again when cards are needed for those hard working, long suffering teachers. I help out in school so I see all the work that goes on behind the scenes and we are lucky that we have a wonderful Primary school where all the teachers are friendly and welcoming and make you feel included. Although I only go in one day a week I still feel a part of things which is so nice.

Freya has had two class teachers this year who job share. It has worked really well and she has had a great year, there is also a classroom assistant and another lady who takes them for handwriting and reading so plenty of cards are needed.

It was a wet morning here so I got the trusty cuttlebug out and unfortunately I'm not imaginative enough to come up with different cards when they are needed quickly so I mass produced and they will all get the same.

I rubbed some chalk inks over the design, matted onto some free BP that came with a scrapbook magazine, added some organza ribbon and an artylicious greeting and hey presto they were done.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Decluttering The Garden

My Dragonsdream blog friend Frankie invited me to look at her slide show of her beautiful garden last week. I had a lovely time browsing and was very envious of the order and space she has created, which shows her stunning bamboos, maples and wisteria, all my favourites. It looks a serene and calming garden, unlike my own jungle stuffed with as many plants as possible.

Why am I telling you this, you might ask, well I went into the garden on Saturday afternoon, very dischuffed with what I saw and decided to go a bit mad and actually take out some rather large overgrown plants so that I can actually see what is flowering and looking beautiful. By Sunday teatime, a very large honeysuckle smothering a lovely red climbing rose had gone (I still have one up another archway) and replaced with a pale pink climbing rose and a lovely but totally unpratical golden hop up an obelisk had also bitten the dust. Other plants have been dug up and divided and everything cut back and tidied up. My brown bin is full to overflowing but the difference is amazing.

After digging, climbing ladders and heaving out giant roots I had not an ounce of strength left after tea to lift any craft tools until tonight so my tag for Frankie's Tag It On challenge has been very last minute this week.

Her theme is Passion so I have done my take on it and my tag represents my passion for life. Lovely fresh, bright colours and dragonflies which somehow seem magical when you see them hovering in thin air in their brilliant suit of clothes.

I've used some Elusive design stamps and distress inks which have been applied to the stamp randomly. I stamped onto some spare paper first, spritzed the stamp with water and then stamped on the tag and I love the watercolour effect you end up with. Some Kay Carley swirls were stamped round the edge with whispers blue ink and then the dragonflies were stamped onto vellum, cut out and painted with glimmer mists, which makes them curl beautifully (thank you Brenda for this tip, I love the effect). I applied a bit of diamond stickles to their wings for a bit of bling. The wording was done on the computer.

I really will try to be a better crafter this week. I have several teachers Thank you cards to do, so no excuses!!!!

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Sugar Roses

I have been a poor blogger this week, apologies for that but life is quite hectic at the moment. I went on a lovely school outing yesterday. We spent the day on the farm of a local lady who breeds owls. Luckily the rain stayed away so we got our picnic and lots of fresh air.

The rest of the week has been taken up by making sugar roses for a Wedding cake I am making for the end of July so just for a change I thought I would try and give you simple instructions so that you could have a go. If you don't want to make them for a cake I'm sure it would work with art clay as well although you probably would have to make the petals thicker.

For these roses I have used bought sugar flower paste, although you can make it yourself quite easily. It is different from the stuff you cover cakes with as it sets very hard so you can keep it forever in a dry atmosphere, but it must not be eaten if it has wires in. Cake wires can be bought from any good kitchen shop (or the internet of course).

I've coloured the white paste with edible food colouring to match the bride's colour scheme.

You will also need:

some cornflower

sugar glue (flower paste dissolved in a small amount of gin) and small clean paintbrush

a clean board and small rolling pin

some fairly dense foam and a ball tool.

Rose petal cutters.

1. Decide on the size of rose you want to make and select the correct size cutter. Mould some paste into a cone shape, bend a length of wire over at one end, dip into the glue and push it into the wide end of the cone. Your will need one cone for each rose.

2. Dust your working board with a little cornflower and roll out a small amount of paste very thinly. You should be able to see your board through it. Please keep any spare paste in a sealed plastic bag, it dries out very quickly.

3, Cut out some petals with your cutter and place them on the foam.

4. Curl the edges by pressing the ball tool round the edge of each petal quite firmly. They should now look like real rose petals.

5. Brush glue round the pointed end of your petal and then roll it round the end of your cone so that the pointed end is at the bottom of your cone & the top of the cone itself disappears inside the petal.

6. Apply two petals for the next layer opposite each other, they will overlap at the bottom but should be more open at the top. Have a picture of a rose to look at.

7. The next layer has three petals. Glue up each side. Attach one side of the first petal leaving the other side open and then lay the next petal inside the last one so that they all overlap. The bottoms should be glued neatly tight against the cone and the top should be left loose. You will need to play around with the top of the petals until you are happy with them.

8. Add 3 petals in another layer in the same way.

9. Add 5 petals for the last layer and leave them to hang down so that they look like a very open rose.

It is handy to have some polystyrene handy to push the wired roses into to let them dry in a safe place. Beware though, once dry they will break if roughly handled.

Once you have as many flowers as you need they can either be arranged on a cake as they are. You will need to trim the wires as close to the flower as you can, or bind all the wires with floristry tape and then use more tape to wire them together as a spray with whatever else you might want to use.

I hope this doesn't all sound like gobbledygook, there are lots of good books which explain things much better than I can if you are really interested. The types of flowers and leaves you can make are endless. I have two inspirational books by a man called Alan Dunn. His flowers are so realistic but the instructions are excellent.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Say It With Flowers

The theme for this weeks Tag It On challenge is Say It With Flowers. The theory behind it being to celebrate the fact that we always enjoy receiving flowers. As a flower lover I love having them in the house, but usually have to buy them myself, as readers of my blog know, I have a Hubby who doesn't buy flowers feeling they are a waste of money. He does buy me other things I hasten to add.

I, however, buy flowers for other people, either when they are poorly, feeling sad, or just to say thank you for something so I have based my tag this week on that. I've kept it simple with a lightly inked background of vanilla whispers and a loose rose stamp which was from Lakeland in the good old days when they sold craft stuff. The roses are painted with cherry red glimmer mist. I choose roses because I did get a bunch of red roses from my other half on the day we got engaged! See, he can be romantic! The tag was cut free hand and added with some red organza ribbon.

Thank you as always for visiting.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Too Hot To Be Creative

I would like to take the opportunity tonight of just saying, yet again, thank you for the lovely comments you leave me. I am delighted on a daily basis reading them all.

Also while I am on the subject of comments, I have had a lovely time tonight reading everyones blogs but I apologise for the reams of comments I have left on a lot of them. I think I might have got a bit carried away with a burst of energy now the weather is a bit more refreshing! Sorry if I have sent you to sleep!!

Well, like a lot of people, it has been a bit too hot for me this week. We have not had the lovely sunshine, apart from yesterday. It has been cloudy, damp and very very close and by the time we have had tea I've had no energy left for anything apart from going to bed, how exciting is that! There has also been some men running about in shorts playing tennis, so I've been a bit distracted there as well. Come on Hewitt!!!!! If you don't follow tennis, I apologise.

So the upshot of all this is that I have done no crafting whatsoever, apart from print off my Ellie photos ready to scrapbook. I have lots of things in my head ready to do so hopefully some craft will appear soon.

I don't like to blog without photos and have been inspired by Anne's lovely photos of her garden tonight so thought I would show you some more of mine.

These were all taken yesterday in the lovely sun and I thought I'd show you a bit more of the whole of our garden. As you can see it is not very big but I like to pack as much as I can in. Probably too much if truth be told. It all seems to get a bit overgrown by the end of Summer. You can't see the weeds though!

Freya planted the Nasturtiums back in the spring and they are just coming into their own and look great with the dark blue Lobelia. I wanted something free and easy in my baskets this year that would really look after themselves whatever the weather.

All the Clematis' have been fantastic. I forget how many I have, they grow up everything that will support them, bushes, trees and trellis and I have several in pots too. This purple one is in a pot up the house wall and I can't reach the top to tie it into it's support so all the flowers are hanging down looking at us, which I quite like, you get to see them properly.

I adore the teasels. I know they are not really garden plants, but they are so statuesque and give interest right through the winter. The insects love them too.

The last photo is just of the patio and all the pots I have. I'll try anything in a pot so that I can squeeze just one more plant in. Most do very well, especially the maples and the grasses, both of which I have many.

On that note I will wish you all a lovely weekend and I promise to blog some craft next time.