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

Cardstock

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

Cardstock
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

Ink
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

Cardstock
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

Ink
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. 

* http://en.mercopress.com/2009/04/14/too-few-too-far-a-vivid-account-of-the-battle-of-south-georgia


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

Cardstock
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

Inks
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

Cardstock

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

Dies
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

Cardstock

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

Inks
Versafine
Promarkers







Monday, 14 November 2016

Oops! . . . He Did It Again!

It's been a couple of weeks since I last posted any makes, must admit I've not been feeling at my best - and as for Hubby . . .

Our wee Jack Russell, for some reason, seems to think that he hasn't been for a walk unless he's been out with Hubby. Recently he's been getting rather vocal in trying to get his way, it starts off with a rather wimpy whine & then progresses into a definite nagging bark telling hubby to get off his backside! Suitably chastised off they go out just before dinner. They weren't away very long. As they got in the door I discovered that the expensive, brand new, extending lead I'd just bought had been pulled out so far that it now refused to retract back into the handle - I proceeded to lecture the pair of them about pulling & being allowed to pull whilst on the lead.  After dinner hubby said he was going to have an early night which he does from time to time and I didn't think any more about it.


Fast forward several hours later when I'm having one of my can't sleep nights so settle downstairs to watch a film but must have dosed off a bit. I must have been in that not asleep but not awake mode when I had one of those strange feelings that I was being watched, as I turned round there was hubby looking white as a sheet and announcing "I think I've broken my arm!" Turns out when Jack pulled the lead right out hubby lost his balance & put his left arm out to try stop himself falling flat on his face.  He had then gone into 20+ years of Bootneck training that "it's only pain" until it went beyond the "only" stage - eejit! Can't believe the numpty waited 10 hours to tell me.

I quickly realised from the symptoms that he had managed to break the head of his left humerus less than 2 years after doing in the right one! I got his arm immobilised, gave him some of my strong painkillers & headed out to A&E. X-Rays show he's gone one better than last time & fractured it in 3 places! He's got exercises to do at home but it's back to hospital next week for the start of physio.


I have been making cards, I have even been following the Freshly Made Sketches Challenges, I just haven't got around to photographing & posting them. Anyway, I actually managed to get some photos done so here we go for this week's Freshly Made Sketches Challenge:




I had some stitched circle dies which have been rather underused so decided to get them out for this card.  The hedgehog & ladybug stamp is from the Penny Black set "Bubbly".  The strip across the card was run through the bottom section of my Darice "Grass" embossing folder to give a grassy effect.









I Used



Cardstock
Green - Ceraldo 270gsm
White - Fabriano 300gsm

Stamps, Dies & Embossing Folder
Hedgehog, "Bubbly" Set - Penny Black
Thanks Sentiments - Paula Pascal Personal ImpressionsStitched Circles - Die-Versions Whispers Nesting Dies

Grass Embossing Folder - Darice

Inks
Tiramisu Memento Brilliance - Tsukineko
Assorted Promakers - Letraset/Winsor & Newton













Other Cards



Cog Dies - X-Cut
Friends - Tim Holtz "Handwritten Love" Set
Checkerplate Embossing Folder - Crafters Companion












Mixed Media #2 & Stitched Rectangles - Tim Holtz







Monday, 17 October 2016

Lost Love


In spite of this week's title, it's not going to be a piece of romantic fiction, more like a case of forgetfulness/carelessness on my part.

I had decided that I was going to use a variety of Tim Holtz Mixed Media/ Alterations dies in this week's
Freshly Made Sketches Challenge.




I had decided to use the Heart from the Scribbles and Splats set along with the "Love" from the Handwritten Love set.  I had the dies laid out but, unfortunately, when it came to cutting out the Love it had disappeared from where I left it/thought I'd left it.  Anyway I can't for the life of me find out where the heck it has got to but hopefully at some point it will show up and I will utter the immortal words "I wondered where that got to!" (apparently amongst family & friends I'm quite famous for it!).  I tried other sentiments but nothing was working so I had to improvise but I think it worked out ok in the end. 









I Used

Cardstock
White 300gsm Super Smooth - Fabiano
Plain Colour cardstock - Crelando


Stamps, Dies, Embossing Folders
Tim Holtz Crazy Birds, Cats, Dogs - Stampers Anonymous
Dyan Reaveley "How About Never"  - Rangers

Tim Holtz Crazy Birds, Cats, Dogs Thinlits - Sizzix
Tim Holtz Handwritten Love - Sizzix
Tim Holtz Mixed Media #2 - Sizzix
Tim Holtz Scribbles & Splats - Sizzix
Tim Holtz Alterations Stitched Rectangles - Sizzix

"That Folder" - Craft Stash
Hearts - So Crafty

Inks
Tim Holtz Distress Inks - Ranger
Promarkers - Winsor & Newton/Letraset


I had been playing with some backgrounds using Distress Inks, sprayed water, salt & sprayed bleach. I now have quite a few collected so decided to team some up with some of the Tim Holtz Crazies that I have been colouring & saving up and Dyan Reaveley sentiment stamps. Here are my three latest ones:









 




The pedestal column was cut from the lower half of "That Folder"





These next backgrounds were originally in browns and greens but the addition of some sprayed on bleach solution changed them into pinks and purples:



The ball of wool stamp and die from their Crazy Cats sets was wound with some twine coloured with Distress Ink.









Saturday, 1 October 2016

Crazy, Crazy, Crazy!

Apart from a couple of days & nights of the wind howling down the chimney, it's been a quiet week this week. 

The weather has settled down again, it's actually quite sunny today - well, sort of, when it's not cloudy. I've just been out to check the bird feeder and make sure it's got enough in it, I swear the birds around here are lucky they can get off the ground let alone fly - that's at least 12 fat balls & two lots of mealworm they've gone through since Thursdays & I've just filled it again! Yesterday it was like a scene from "The Birds".  When Jack went out for a nose around the garden they scattered.  They then started gathering on the old telephone lines, in the trees and on roof top aerials.  Once the dog came back in the birds started coming back and were queueing up to get at the feeder - then the squabbling started as to who was next - what a racket! If they are like this in the warm weather I think I better get well stocked up for the winter.

It's only been about 3 months since we started trying to persuade our teenage son to get a haircut, I'd been threatening to get him a couple of barrettes to keep his hair out his eyes! Yesterday, he finally gave in!  He has been asked to give a presentation on the "Career Ready" programme he's been taking part in for the last year or so.  It's to be given at a reception for new participants, local employers & various VIPs at a local 5 Star hotel so he needs to look the part! Oh, and it's school photo time - he's to be in three photos: solo, class & the Senior Prefect Team.  We don't have a photo of him in that school uniform & he's been there over 5 years!  He says he's camera shy but I'm hoping I'll have something for the family album.


Sketch Challenge

When I saw the sketch for this weeks  Freshly Made Sketches Challenge I decided that as it was a simple sketch I should perhaps make a card that was also something quite simple. 





There was a stamp in Crafty Impressions "In the Dog House" set that I had been puzzling over how it could be used so I decided to have a little play with that, and came up with this - I think this is the quickest card I've ever made!:











UPDATE

Thank you Kim for the Honorable Mention in this week's Challenge!




I Used



Cardstock
White 300gsm - Fabriano
Black 300gsm - PayPer Box
Other Colours - American Crafts

Dies & Stamps
Tim Holtz Bird Crazy, Crazy Cats, Crazy Dogs - Stampers Anonymous
Tim Holtz Bird Crazy, Crazy Cats, Crazy Dogs - Sizzix Thinlits
"In the Dog House" Dog - Crafty Inspirations

Inks
Tim Holtz Distress Inks - Ranger
Smokey Grey - Memento
Midnight Blue - Versafine
Onyx Black - Versafine




Bird Crazy, Crazy Cats, Crazy Dogs 

I'd ordered a couple of new sets of Dyan Reavely stamps but although only one set, "Ugh, People!" has arrived it's still been time to play.  I do like them using them with the Tim Holtz Crazy sets - only two complete for now:















I still had some of my coloured Crazy Dog die cuts to use up & decided to team them with some backgrounds I'd put away for future use: