Monday, 21 August 2017

Birthday Kiss

Couldn't believe my eyes on Thursday when I went into a local shop to see all the summer things being move off the shelves and lots & lots of gift sets taking their place.  I said to the assistant, "Please tell me this isn't the Christmas stock coming in already." to which she replied "Sorry, but it is!" For goodness sake the kids just started back at school the previous day & we haven't even had Hallowe'en yet!  I totally hate this horrible over commercialisation of Christmas. 

Rant over!

Yesterday was hubby's birthday which meant lunch at the local Chinese buffet restaurant - my downfall is finishing off with my favourite Chinese toffee apples and toffee bananas.  Weigh in this morning showed a pound on & I had been so close to getting my next sticker last time.  Oh well, back to keeping notes of everything to pass my lips so it doesn't go on my hips!

As I had been making cards for hubby's birthday (one was a commission from our son) I thought I should try this week's Freshly Made Sketches Challenge

I've purchased a few unbranded dies lately, one of which was rather a large pair of puckered lips so as this kind of, sort of, reminded me of the back of an envelope I though SWALK!

I had already cut out the lips in a glitter card to check out how good they were at cutting out (some branded dies have had problems cutting out using this card) but it cut cleanly first time and was added to my stash.  I decided to keep it black and white to set off the hot pink lips.

When I saw this in close up it reminded me a little of the opening credits to "The Rocky Horror Picture Show".  Maybe should have made the lips bright red instead of hot pink!

Monday, 14 August 2017

Love It!

Not posted for a few weeks, not that I haven't been making the odd card or two, I just haven't been happy enough with them to post on here.

The schools here go back tomorrow but for the first time since 2004 my boy won't be there, College doesn't start for another couple of weeks.   Exam results came out last week and whilst he wasn't very happy with results for some of his subjects I'm pleased to say that he has a place to study Electrical Engineering at College next month.

So much for summer in this corner of the world - I think we've had more rain than sun. We've not been away anywhere but hubby has still managed to get himself a suntan by sitting out back listening to his CDs

As I mentioned earlier, although I have made some cards I've not been too happy enough to put them in for the Freshly Made Sketches Challenges.

However as this week's sketch is the 300th challenge, I thought I should make an effort to produce something that might fit the brief.

I recently purchased some dies from the Far East and as they arrived this weekend I decided to try and do something with them and this is what I ended up with.  It's  not often I use foiled card or glitter card but I found some as I was sorting out some of my stash.

 In the end I actually made two cards, this was the first one I made but not sure that it fit the sketch so decided to try again with the foil/glitter card one.  

Monday, 29 May 2017

Spring into Summer

This week the weather decided to improve and we have seen the hottest day so far this year.  Apparently we ain't seen nothing yet as the long term forecast is for a hot summer - although I will believe it when I experience it. On Saturday just as we were leaving the restaurant after my Birthday lunch the rain started & soon it became a thunderstorm - oh well, I suppose the lawn was needing a good watering! 

This week also saw my son finish the last of his exams and on Wednesday he walked out of school for the last time as a pupil.  He's already got an unconditional place at College on the grades that he has and an offer of a conditional place, on a higher qualification course, depending on the results he gets when this years SQA envelope comes through the door. 

I had a rummage through my supplies and found a Lili of The Valley & NitWit Collections "Perfect Pair" paper pad that came as a magazine freebie.  I chose the sheet which had a diamond pattern consisting of some of the other designs from the collection and decided to turn it into a patchwork quilt by using my scoreboard to give a quilted texture & adding some faux stitching to the diamond shapes with a black pen.  I cut three of the diamond shapes out then created a small embellishment with the addition of a button, some thread and a teeny bit of bling.  I also used some strands of coordinating thread to create some detail at the fold of the card.

What I used


White - Super Smooth Cardstock 300gsm - Fabriano
Patterned - "Perfect Pair" - Lili of the Valley & Nitwit Collection by Mary Fran

Embellishments from stash

Monday, 24 April 2017

Knotty Nautical

So much for Spring being sprung.  I think we were being lulled into a false sense of warmer weather was on it's way way - hubby was even sitting out in the sun on Saturday afternoon.  Fast forward to today when it's been like a chilly winter's day with couple of very heavy hail showers & strong winds - there's even snow forecast for tonight!  Having said that, our garden is beginning to come to life again with lots of buds beginning to open up.

Last week our son started back at school for his final term.  This week marks the last time he will be at school with all his friends. On Friday they will break off for Study Leave as exam season looms large next month and he will only go in for particular study groups or for exams.  I'm not sure if they have anything planned for Friday but if past years are anything to go by there could be high jinks for those leaving this year.

I wasn't sure what to make for this week's Freshly Made Sketches Challenge

but then a parcel arrived earlier than expected containing an order I'd placed last week for some crafty stuff.  After a rake through, I picked out an embossing folder and a paper pad with some vintage style papers that I thought would go with some nautical themed stampCs and dies.  I thought the X-Cut "Cable Knit Pattern" embossing folder would work quite well with the nautical Sea Breeze Collection items.

The embellishments were cut from Centura Pearl Snow White cardstock and then coloured in layers with Distress Inks. I tried to get a pearlised effect for the shell and a metallic look for the anchor.

What I Used

300gsm Supersmooth White - Fabriano
Modern Vintage Paper Pad - The Works
Centura Pearl, Snow White - Crafters Companion

Dies, Stamps & Embossing Folders
Sea Breeze Collection Shell & Anchor Dies - Couture Creations
Sea Breeze Collection stamps - Couture Creations

Cable Knit Pattern Embossing Folder - X-Cut

Tim Holtz Distress Inks - Ranger

Monday, 10 April 2017

It's a Party!

Things are beginning to feel like we're getting back to normal as Hubby is now back home recovering from the Reunion with his fellow "fairly famous" Bootnecks in Plymouth.

Meanwhile our son is recovering from the excitement of turning 18.  These school holidays have been spent mainly sleeping, eating & spending time with his friends.  It's not all been fun for him as he has important exams coming up next month and has been also been taking the opportunity the school has provided with a few hours extra tuition.  He's still  waiting for an interview for a College place and, hopefully, there may also be one for an apprenticeship for a large local company which will allow work experience as well as College.  As part of his Birthday I bought him an Arduino kit and we have been working through some of the tutorials for it.  Last week I even decided to get a smaller kit for myself so I can learn a bit more about it so we can work on things together - it could be beginning to get competitive!

Tomorrow it's time for me to go to Edinburgh to get the injections for my TMJ so we are all making the most of it & are taking a trip to IKEA followed on the way home by a meal out - a belated Birthday promise.

I actually managed to find some time this weekend to make something for this week's

I felt I had to break out some Tim Holtz Crazy stamps for this as I wanted to create the look of a window frame or framed portraits as part of the design with a character popping out. I finally decided that these Crazy Dogs fitted the bill. 

 What I Used

White 300 gsm - Fabriano Supersmooth
Patterned 200gsm - Purple Paradise (Poundland)

Stamps & Dies

Tim Holtz Crazy Dogs &
Tim Holtz CrazyTalk - Stampers Anonymous
Tim Holtz Crazy Dogs - Sizzix Thinlits
Stitched Squares - M&C Boutique
Happy Birthday - DoveCrafts

Memento Tuxedo Black

Monday, 3 April 2017

18th Birthday

April 3rd is a big day in our household.  This year it marks two big events, for hubby it's the 35th Anniversary of the Defense of South Georgia at the start of the Falklands Conflict*.   Hubby has just arrived back from the Reunion and Mess Dinner for the HMS Endurance & NP8901 Royal Marines which was held at the home of 42 Cdo, RM Bickleigh, Near Plymouth. 


Today also marks the day our son, Liam, turns 18.  He is just celebrating it quietly by having a small get together with some of his friends.

I had been saying to Liam I would like to get him something that he could say "I got that from Mum for my 18th" but he couldn't come up with anything he wanted that kind of fit the bill memento wise. In the end I decided to just make something for him or to be more accurate I found a wooden box that I could decorate for him as a Memory Box.

I used a lot of Tim Holtz dies to cut out elements in thick-ish cardboard (Amazon packaging to be precise!) and decoupaged them to the box along with assorted embellishments.  I has taken me what seems like a month of Sundays to do, probably due to the layers of varnish and gilding wax that have been built up on it to get an antiqued patina on it. 

It didn't quite come out how I envisaged it, not as many embellishments as I had intended to use but which didn't seem to look right when I tried them out.  Anyway, regardless of not looking as I intended, he loves it & that's the important thing.

I Used

Wooden box from stash

Decopatch - Black Crackle
Sizzix - Tim Holtz Mixed Media #2
Sizzix - Tim Holtz Cogs
Sizzix -  Just a Note Alphabet

Couture Creations - Sea Breeze Embossing Folder

Ranger - Tim Holtz Key Embellishments
The Works - Wooden Embellishments
The Works - Charm Embellishments

Cosmic Shimmer Gilding Wax
Cosmic Shimmer Polishing Wax

I kept Liam's card quite simple as I had been busy working on his memory box so used the sketch from Freshly Made Sketches

I had a set of three washi tapes bought from our local Poundland store so used them to create the banded effect.  I also stuck some to a piece of scrap card and used them to cut out the sentiment.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

A Big Birthday - A Little Birdie (or 3)!

So far this year I've not been doing much in the way of blogging - just a combination of things between not feeling too great and a massive bout of can't-be-botheredness but hopefully now that I have made something to blog about I may just find my mojo again!

There are 3 "Big" birthdays and our 20th Wedding Anniversary in the offing this year, hubby's brother-in-law is 60, our son is 18 and my big sis is also 60.  The first is my out law Robert's birthday.  I've spent ages wondering what on earth I was going to do for him and I've lost count of the cards I've started and then gone "Meh" to. 

In the end I just started working my way through all my dies and stamps to see what I hadn't used for a while and found Elizabeth Craft Designs Karen Burniston's Katie Label Pivot die and decided to give a try. I had bought the Tim Holtz Crazy Talk stamps a wee while ago but I had only used a couple of them so they came out the folder & if you're talking Crazy then the birdies just had to come along too!

As I seem to be getting more problems with my dexterity I decided to treat myself to a WRMK Precision Press & it certainly makes a difference to my stamping.  At least now when I miss a bit I don't have to ditch everything and start again, I just re-ink and re-stamp over the missing part.

I had some cardstock which I had Distress inked up a while back but it was only after I cut out the label inserts and went to cut out lettering I realised I didn't have enough to do all the personalisation. As I had already glued the labels in place I had to try and match up the colours to do the letters and numerals - fortunately the finished results weren't that far off the original.

Hopefully Robert will like it!

 What I used

Linen Card 6x6 Blank - Craft UK
White Supersmooth 300gsm - Fabriano 

Stamps & Dies
Tim Holtz Crazy Talk & Bird Crazy Stamps - Stampers Anonymous
Tim Holtz Bird Crazy - Sizzix Thinlits
Smiles and Years - Lindsay Mason Designs

Tim Holtz Distress Inks - Ranger
Tuxedo Black - Memento
Assorted Promarkers - Winsor & Newton/Letraset

Monday, 2 January 2017

Happy New Year!

I don't know about anyone else but I'm sure glad to see the back of 2016 - it's not been the best of years! 

Still 2017 is an important one with some big Birthdays, including our son's 18th Birthday, plus a couple of Weddings among our family & friends to look forward to.

It's been a few weeks since I last took part in the Freshly Made Sketches Challenge so thought since there was two weeks to get an entry in, I may just make it in time - "just" being the appropriate word!

A while ago I spotted some very reasonably priced dies (between £3-£5 per set) on The Works website - with my 25% discount code I bought the full 7 set range for the bargain price of £20.25! I have to admit, at that price, I wasn't sure what I was letting myself in for but I have been pleasantly surprised with them.

For the sketch I used the Birdcage die and a couple from the floral leaves set.

I don't usually use much in the way of glitter card but I had a piece left over from some Christmas cards & decided to use it for the cage.

I Used


6x6" Linen Card Blank - Craft UK
Black "Canvas" Card - DoCrafts Black Cat
Silver Non-Shed Glitter Card - The Works

Birdcage Die & Floral Leaves Die Set - The Works M&C Boutique


For Hubby & Teenage son's Christmas cards I decided to use a couple of the Tim Holtz Crazy Dogs that I had stamped, coloured, cut & put away for future use and came up with these:

I teamed up this pooch with one of Diane Reavely's "Christmas Words" stamps  

I bought the Indigo Blu Dinkie stamp with my boy's Christmas card in mind! I masked out the stag's head from the centre

I Used


6x6" Linen Card Blank - Craft UK

Stamps & Dies
Tim Holtz Crazy Dogs Stamp Set - Stamper's Anonymous
Tim Holtz Crazy Dogs Die Set - Sizzix Thinlits
Good All Year - IndigoBlu Dinkie