Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Don't Worry, Be Happy

This is for Heather, who built up a business importing craft magazines from the small front room in her home. Over the years it's developed into a business employing several people in a large office. Just a couple of weeks ago I heard the business has gone under and I went to see her on Monday and bought some of her stuff. Even the desks and chairs have prices on them. So sad...
Elusive Images Ruby Tuesday stamps for the flower layers, and Elusive Images words stamps. Painted with resist paint, background Glimmer Misted with, I think, Starfish, with clingfilm scrunched on top before it dried.

Camouflage letters

I need to make a birthday card for Alex, who I haven't seen for some years. I can't remember exactly how old he is,but I've an awful feeling he's no longer a cute small boy. So... I found some fairly masculine coloured paper,cut letters with my new alphabet in the co-ordinating colours and stuck them down. All that effort and can I flipping read it? No! Back to the drawing board...

Friday Sketchers Challenge 21

Here is my entry for

The photo looks a little crooked, but the card is straight! Still playing with my loot from Ally Pally, the bckground is Glimmer Misted and the larger panel has been embossed with a Cuttlebug folder, then the image was inked. The stamp came from and I painted it to make an autumnal chrysanthemum. The flowers are punched from glimmer mist as I didn't have any flowers to go with the colour scheme.

Monday, 29 September 2008

You Can Have Your Cake and Eat It

OK it's not papercraft and it's not textiles, but I was making a very creative mess in the kitchen yesterday afternoon.
Geoff was home on his birthday last week, here is his haul of cakes to take in to the office today: gingerbread, carrot cake and chocolate brownies with white chocolate chunks.
Mmm, hope he's left some in the cupboard for us...

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Tilda Challenge 38

I got another Tilda yesterday so I decided to use her. The background oval uses the houses stamp from unmountedstamps and both are painted with the Stargazer palette that I also got at Ally Pally. The background is glimmer misted and the ribbon is some silk ribbon I had in my cupboard. Oh, the tree is an Art Impressions tree - but not the one bought yesterday! So I had fun playing with my new acquisitions and I completed the challenge. Hope you like it!
PS Geoff thought the oval background was a thought bubble and asked what Tilda was thinking about. I suppose really the only thing she could be thinking today is "Oh drat! Why did I ever get my mortgage with B&B?"

Ally Pally Spending Spree

I had a great time at the Ally Pally show and found several new to me stamp producers. I'm not going to feel guilty about all my purchases - so long as I use them!

Here's Sweep inspecting the loot. In the pile are: some Kling-on for my stamps, another Stargazers palette (on offer as they're changing to black plastic!), 3 cuttlebug embossing folders for £10, a couple of sets of clear Penny Back stamps that were reduced, and Art Impressions tree stamp, unmounteds from imaginationcrafts and from unmountedstamps, as well as an alphabet for my Big Shot.

The wonderful Gina Martin was at which is where I got yet more trees to add to my forest of tree stamps! As ever, she was demonstrating using Marvy pens and Art Impressions stamps, making some lovely stuff.

The two new-to-me companies were and . Imagination had lovely, lovely stamps - I don't think there was one stamp I willingly left behind! I got a circular winter scene and a chrysanthemum. Unmounted had some great repeating patterns and lots of verses, I got a useful looking birthday star design and some great little house that I really liked. They had some trees that I only just managed to leave behind...

I was really pleased to see that one can now buy smaller alphabets for the Big Shot. Not just for the cost, with the old alphabets a card that said Happy Birthday would have to be the size of a house - well nearly! So glad I'd waited to get one.

A few things got away, of course, in the hunt. I saw a text for the back of cards, with a bar code, that I forgot to go back for "If you're looking at the back to see how much I spent on this card for you it's measured in blood, sweat and tears" or similar, also some cup cakes on a tiered stand. And many more that I can't remember.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Blinged Ruby Tuesday

I made this card last month, for a friend's 50th birthday, it uses the Ruby Tuesday stamps, embossed on navy and painted with resist paints. The background is sprayed with glimmer mist and the flowers have a few gems on them, very sparkly.

I entered the card for the Graphicus monthly challenge, so I thought I'd better wait to put in on my blog until the challenge was finished. Challenge is over, so here's the card!

Birthday Card

Today is Geoff's birthday; I've spent a few days trying to make a stamp with Imagepac of a flyfisherman, without success. I'd bought the tape from Stamp Attic with flies on, so I wanted to use that somehow. I found an image online with autumn golden colours and printed it, added a piece of gold cards embossed with a Cuttlebug folder and stamped some flourishes from my Ruby Tuesday Elusive Images stamps in the background.

Tomorrow I'm going to Alexandra Palace to the Stamping & Paper Show; I've not been to this show before and I'm looking forward to it. Hope the credit card doesn't take too much of a hammering!

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Blog candy

Elina in Norway has some lovely blog candy on offer, here is her new blog: You have until 1 October to enter...

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Ruby Tuesday and Halloween

Tonight's crafting was all planned - until my friend rang and took me up on my offer to look after her youngest daughter while she looked round a secondary school with her older daughter. I guessed that Mum had underestimated the length of the open evening so I decided we needed something to do. We got out a selection of stamps and Susie fell for the Graphicus Ruby Tuesday stamps. I clear embossed some flowers on navy card and gave Susie my resist paints to paint them with. I get excited watching them change colour like magic, at forty-something, so I felt sure I was on a winner here with a six year old .

I cut them out and we just had time to glue them onto a card before Mum and older sister arrived. We had so much fun, I just hope she wasn't too hyped up, it was some hours past her bedtime and Mum had expected her to be asleep!

I think this proves a point: if a stamp is good quality even a six year old can get good results with it; I love the stamps I've bought from Graphicus, they work really well for me. Susie said that if I ever didn't want the Ruby Tuesday stamps it would be ok with her. Don't hold your breath Susie!

While Susie was painting I made a start on my ATCs for the Stamp Attic October swap. Each month we have to decide whether or not to swap, without knowing how many will take part or what the theme is. So now I have to make twelve Halloween ATCs :(. I don't have a Halloween stamp and I decided to buy some digital images from I really like her work, of course I had to buy more than just the Halloween images...

Seize the Cake

Here is my entry for this week's Tilda and Friends ATC challenge, which is to use pink, blue and green. Embossed image is painted and the dress stamped onto printed paper. The background is overstamped and painted, with some glitter in the rose centres. UKATCers send birthday ATCs to one another, she'll be ideal to use for this.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Christmas Choices

I've bought a beautiful Penny Black stamp for my cards, from the Stamp Attic, after much deliberation and a false start with a stylised tree.

The first card is a straight lift from the inspiration in Penny Black's catalogue, the second is on a glimmer mist background and the third is on shades of background. I've also changed the bird on the third card into a cardinal. Designer choice after the brush slipped... I think I'll add snow with an opaque white pen to another one and see how that looks.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Stampathon participation cancelled due to fine weather

ATCsfor all ran a Stampathon this weekend, a challenge to make as many stamped cards as possible. The Friday night challenge was to use one stamp only, between 5pm and midnight, wherever in the world you were and make as many variations of ATC as possible. What a great idea! Friday daytime I lined up my stamps, looked them over and marshalled them into lines. I cut backgrounds ready to stamp. I made a couple of cards and then sat down to eat with the family. Then the lights went out.

The whole village had a power cut that lasted probably less than two hours. Problem was that we invited our new neighbours round and opened a couple of bottles in the candlelight. That was the end of the Friday night challenge for me! Also the end of any early start to Saturday as I felt somewhat delicate when I woke. And then the weather! It was just too nice to spend much time indoors, the outdoor jobs have piled up all summer waiting for decent weather and this weekend here it was. So the only stamping I have to show is a set of 4 bird ATCs which will be my cards for the Birds and Bees swap.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

The Altar Cloth In Progress

At the weekend I made some progress on the dreaded altar cloth. This was designed as a commission for a local prep school by a very talented machine embroiderer, with the aim that it would be a group project. The embroiderer was unable to carry on with it, the group of volunteers lost their way and I agreed, in a weak moment, to complete the commission. Don't get me wrong, it's a lovely design, but it's someone else's design and work that I'm continuing with and trying to make it work. Tracing and cutting out the dratted leaves took 2 evenings of cutting mind-numbing pieces out in front of the tv, I lost count after 250...

Today I made 2 more ATCs for the Beautiful Trees swap, summer cherries and another autumn tree. I've used 3 different tree stamps and have several more. Hmm... need to stop buying tree stamps!

At the Stamp Attic on Monday I made up for the lack of Get Well Soon stamps with the one on this card as well as the words themselves. This is for someone just diagnosed with breast cancer and I wanted the up-beat message for it. Clear flower stamps were used with fluid chalk inks.

I also got another Tilda stamp while I was there, the way you do. I have to work tonight so I'll have to wait for another day to play with her.

Oh, I did one more card with the flower stamps, for no one in particular, while the stamps were out.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Blog Candy -Tilda stamps

Kreativ Krisitn's blog has a great give-away for some Tilda stamps and other goodies

Entries close 16 September so not much time...

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Another tree ATC

I've had a busy day teaching, with only three on the course it was fun as I had plenty of time to spend with each of them.

The only thing I have to show for today is another tree ATC, on a Glimmer Misted background again. This time I've used an Art Impressions stamp and added chalk ink details as well as used an opaque white pen from Graphicus. I stamped this yesterday but trimmed it down and mounted it on black tonight.

Friday, 12 September 2008

September Birthdays

Quite a few birthdays are listed on the calender for September, so I took advantage of a quiet day to get some cards made. First one is a very glittery, girly card for Sarah. I haven't seen Sarah since her family moved to Spain a couple of years back when she was still pre-school. Hope she hasn't changed into a tomboy since.

I've been holding out against the Tilda stamps but now I've been checking out their challenge blog I've given in to the temptation.

The other card is a birthday card for Morag. The challenge card shown in an earlier post was from her birthday last year, it's not that she has two birthdays in September or even two cards! It's a similar style to the get well soon card I made earlier in the week...

I got some lovely ATCs from Ali of UKATC Yahoo group yesterday. In addition to my cards she added in some yarns to use and a bonus card, as well as some pictures cut out for backgrounds. All these goodies came in a decorated envelope; she's a very kind as well as talented ATCer.

Tomorrow I'm teaching Beginners Quilting at Lorne Hill Farm in East Garston My class handouts are all prepared and I just need to sort out some fabric and the rest of my kit for demos.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

ATCs made and received

My swaps arrived today, lovely sunflowers from Poppiesinjuly, Mynameisjenn and Chardonnay1965. All very different and all really attractive.

This has been a bit of a domestic crisis day. To retrieve something from all my good intentions I've made an ATC for's beautiful trees swap, using an Elusive Images stamp. I've stippled, chalked and used Sakura pens on it.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Tanda Teaser - Haute Couture card

This week's Tanda Stamps Challenge is Haute Couture:

This my my haute couture card, for Morag who loves purple. The shoe and the lady are Clarity stamps, the Chanel ribbon gift-wrapped some perfume that Geoff bought me, it was far too nice to throw away!

Card and ATCs - or I can't believe I don't have a "Get Well Soon" stamp!

On Saturday I finished the BQL October bag, which I can't post a photo of; I also went to meet with friends from the UKSewing group, thank you to Gill for her great hospitality. I came home with some Burda magazines that needed a new home, as well as a length of lilac mohair coat material from Diane. I sat and stroked the mohair like a Bond villain with his cat all afternoon. Not a successful afternoon for stash reduction, but sometimes a fabric calls out your name - and this one didn't even have a price tag attached... thanks Diane!

On Sunday I made a card for DS2's 15th birthday, featuring Desmond, his bearded dragon, photographed under conditions of great secrecy when Jack returned to school.

I also made these ATCs for a swap on UKATCs, they are for Alison. The dandelion is a Hero Arts stamp that is my absolute favourite at the moment, it's so versatile for cards and ATCs alike.

Today I needed to make a Get Well Soon card for Pauline, who has her hip replaced today. I have a HUGE collection of stamps considering it's not much more than a year ago that I began cardmaking, but do I have a Get Well Soon stamp? No I don't, how ever could I have missed that? So it's Warm Wishes and some butterflies for Pauline and a mental note to buy one next time I'm at Stamp Attic. The silly thing is that I was there yesterday and could have bought one had I not been convinced that I had one at home...

Friday, 5 September 2008

Craftling's 10k Blog Candy - against word verification

I've come across this Blog: - the Blog of Chris, a lady with a mission. Chris HATES word verification :).

What is it and why should it become extinct? For all the info, go to Chris's Blog and read what she has to say. But, in a nutshell, WV is where you have to read a random, jumbled series of letters and sometimes numbers and enter them before you can join an internet group or leave a comment on a Blog. It's there to avoid mass postings of Spam by automated programmes - humans can see the word and solve its puzzle, but computers can't.

Trouble is, it takes time to do this each time you leave a comment. It can also drive people to distraction figuring out the pesky WV. The alternative safety net for your Blog is to opt for comment moderation instead of WV. This means you get a message via email each time a comment is left, and can approve the comment - or not.

As a bribe to get bloggers to veto WV, Chris is offering a huge Crafting Blog Candy. The draw is 15 September and your entries in the draw depend on what you do about WV.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Dipping my toe in the blog pool

So many challenges online need a Blog to post work on to enter, so I've decided it's time to join in... the weather is grotty so it's time to get on with it. Ok the rainbow across the back garden was yesterday but today has been more of the same.

Today I've been sewing blocks for the BQL bag challenge for October, I test out the patterns for Kandy, who creates them. I won't post photos here in case anyone doing the challenge reads this, but I will say that the bag is just lovely, though sewing out lots of identical blocks to make it is a bit tedious.

So I took a break from the sewing machine...

I got this lovely stamp in the post today from Clarity stamps and played with it a little as a break from the blocks. I stamped it onto some brayered glossy card first and then onto a glimmer misted piece of paper, colouring it with Marvey pens and putting 3 layers of clear embossing over all of it. Nice stamp but I think it'll come into its own for cards, not working ATC sized as I was here.