Saturday 30 August 2014


We have had our grandchildren staying with us this past week and we have loved it... but we're both decidedly worn out.  I'll take them back to Bath on Monday ready for Daisy to start her new term on Tuesday.
We have been on lots of 'mysteries' (days out, where they don't know where they'll end up.) The highlight for them this week was a trip to the Isle of Wight and an exploration of Yarmouth Castle!  On to the challenge at Less is More this week, which is 'I do like to be beside the seaside.' 
Here are a few cards made in haste when the kids were in bed!
Here are a few seasidy things cut with my Silhouette then coloured with Alcohol pens and glazed with 3D Gloss.
This is simply a digi image and a computer generated sentiment. Easy Peasy!

This last one is really simple and there's a bit of a story of how it came about. I printed the rectangle in order to find out what the combination of colours was to achieve the shade Soft Sky from Stampin' Up, using my printer.
I looked online for the colour and found a site with a swatch of the colour. I copied this and dropped it into Paint, then using the dropper tool, picked up a little of the colour to see what the mix was.
I could then computer generate a sentiment for a card on which I wanted to use the SU ink to stamp the image. In this way the two shades are really quite close.
Having done this, I didn't really want to waste the bit of card so here it is used as a bit of sky!
The sentiment was part of a gift from my friend Darnell, who is the Guest Designer at Less is More this week. 
I have so much admiration for crafters who manage to produce cards and look after small children at the same time... I find it really difficult with my two little ones around!

Saturday 23 August 2014

Less is More has a Sketch

We don't often have a sketch at Less is More but when we do you can be assured that it is really simple.
This is my first interpretation of it
The stamp is from Artemio coloured with Distress Inks and clear embossed between each application. The background was inked with Stormy Sky ink applied with a sponge dauber, then overprinted with a Gorgeous Grunge stamp from Stampin' Up. The whole panel was then clear embossed with two layers of powder.
This is it!
As you may see that my first card is a fairly literal interpretation of it.
This next one is a little more freely represented.
For this one the trees are from Artemio and the Dino and the sentiment from Taylored Expressions. He was cut out with the matching die. I think he looks great fun!

Last night we hosted a surprise 60th birthday bbq for a friend of ours. He was led into the garden blindfolded, having been told that they were going to a restaurant the location of which was kept secret. When he removed his blindfold, a group of his closest friends were there to celebrate with him. He literally had NO idea where he was until that moment!
We all had a wonderful evening, but there's quite a bit of clearing up to do today!
Later, my grandchildren will be arriving for the week, so granny is going to be even more tired by the end of it!
But what fun!

Monday 18 August 2014

'Getting to know Me' Blog Hop!

I was so pleased to be asked by Sarah ( Sazzle Dazzle) if I would join in a 'Getting to know me' blog hop, whereby we get to know a little more about what makes crafters tick, what inspires them etc.

Sarah was a regular contributor to my challenge blog "Less is More" and when I sent out a Design Team call recently she was the successful applicant... and anyone who has seen her work will know exactly why!

I began card making in 2008 when I was asked by my daughter to make her wedding stationery. I had never done anything in this field previously, although art was one of my subjects when doing my teacher training. On entering a craft shop I was totally overwhelmed by all the possibilities and was somewhat daunted and unsure where to start. However, I have now worked my way via Peel Offs and ready made toppers to a genre which pleases me and have gradually found my own style... which for anyone familiar with my work is recognisable  as clean and simple.
This was my very first attempt at card making... my daughter's wedding stationery

I served on various Design Teams before beginning my own Challenge Blog "Less is More" with Mandi from the IOW, who has become a dear friend through blogging! She is now concentrating on Wedding and Event hire company Finishing Touches, which is going from strength to strength.
I have been amazed how well "Less is More" has continued to retain the support of such talented and inspiring  crafters each week and am so grateful for this.
I have also been on the Design Team at Craft Stamper Magazine for some years and have had many projects published there.
I retired from teaching infants nine years ago and  now  spend a great proportion of my days in my craft room having fun with paper!

What creative projects are you currently working on?
At present I am doing some projects for a wedding in a few weeks time. I met with the bride on Friday ...she's the mum of one of my daughter's friends and she has some really novel ideas for the reception, which I will show you when I've completed them.
I'm also finishing some stationery items for a wedding where my daughter is to be bridesmaid in Portugal  next week. Seems like I get quite a bit of business via my daughter!
I have also just done a few cards for a lady in Ireland, who was on the receiving end of one of my cards and has been a regular customer ever since. This is one of them
Today I shall be working on a couple of congratulations cards. Yesterday my nephew and his wife became the proud parents of a much longed for baby daughter... she is called Lily Mae, named after my mother, so a special card is called for there. Secondly, my son has been invited to become a partner in his GP practice after only six months of working there. Normally it's at least a year before such an invitation is extended, so it's an indication of the esteem in which he is held.  We are very proud!

What inspires your designs?
All sorts of things can inspire a design... sometimes it's a colour combination or a new die or stamp. I get so much inspiration from other bloggers and some are a constant source of this. Birgit Edblom is simply amazing, with a fabulous CAS style ,wonderful techniques and designs aplenty. Heather Telford inspired me to experiment with inky techniques and introduced me to emboss resist.

What method / process (if applicable) do you apply to each of your creative projects, and how long does each project take to complete?
There is no specific time to make a card, sometimes the thinking time is greater than the actual construction, sometimes the most pleasing finished results can take the shortest time and conversely, things that I think will merely take moments, turn out to be epic productions with many prototypes ending up in the bin. Sometimes I come across a sentiment that I would like to use and then have to try to think of an image to illustrate it. People often tell me something about the person to whom a card is to be sent and that inspires the design I come up with! 

If you had to describe your 'signature' style, what would it be?There is no doubt that my style is Clean and Simple. I did go through the phase of lots of backing papers etc, but was always happier with the less fussy, often monochromatic forms of these  and now rarely seem to use them at all. White space makes me happy!

What three crafting tools/products can you not live without?There are several items that I would call indispensable, but if I had to choose just three that I simply couldn't cope without  and would have to replace immediately if broken,  they would be my  trusty Cuttlebug, my XCut Guillotine and my Glass Mat. I do everything on this, cut, stamp, use it as a palette, heat emboss, the whole nine yards! There are a few other items on the indispensable list including my pokey tool, my heat gun and ATG gun. (I sound like a gangster)

The person I am nominating for you to get to know a little better is Anne, (Stargroves) a fellow designer at "Less is More" and friend of many jaunts to Craft Shows around the country. You do met some wonderful people through this passion of ours.
Anne will be posting her info next Monday, so do call by to visit her then! She does such fab stuff, so I know you won't be disappointed!

Thanks for wading through this lot... you really needed stamina!

Saturday 16 August 2014


This weekend we are off to stay with our son and his wife. They have moved to Findon Valley, not far along the coast from us and it's so nice to be able to see them more frequently.
I'm going to have my 'colours' done. I had this service some time ago but I think that the consultant got it wrong and lots of the colours she recommended for me to wear really don't do a lot for me, so it will be interesting to see what I am. The consultant this time is my daughter-in-law's sister!
I've got a fair few colours in my card on the LIM blog this week for the ANIMAL theme challenge, but first here are a couple of humorous cards I made this week with members of the animal kingdom... albeit that they are birds!
This stamp from Art Impressions was a gift from Anne (fellow LIM designer and friend) as she knows I love chickens!
The sentiment amused me, I think it suits these two ladies really well! It's in CK_Alis_Hand font

I saw this sentiment somewhere and decided that I really must use it, the fun was trying to think of an image to go with it. I think that this Penny Black Duck suits quite well!
Sentiment is in Janda Scrapgirl and KG True colors fonts(capitals)
Finally here is the one I added to the Less is More Blog. A digi image from Jane's Doodles and a rainbow made from Spellbinder Circles cut from white card and coloured with markers. The sentiment is from Winnie and Walter.

Saturday 9 August 2014

One Layer Foliage!

We had a lovely holiday in Spain with our daughter and grandchildren and we all had fun. Now I need to lose the extra pounds I somehow managed to add to my bulk!
Here are a few cards for our challenge at "Less is More" this week, which is for a One Layer Card. It doesn't hold the terror for so many people these days and we are always delighted by the gorgeous creations which are submitted.
Here is a little card made with a bunch of Card-io stamps. I got down a few green Distress Inks and after beginning with the base of twigs in browns, simply stamped around until I thought there was enough. I tried to be a bit clever to make the bow, as I wanted to keep it totally one layer.  I used part of a Memory Box die, which actually is a pair of mittens on a string tied with a bow.
I used the waste of the die-cut as my stencil, taping the back of the card where it was slightly cut as I didn't want any seepage of the Embossing Paste, which I used to make the bow.
I had to gently adhere the tiny pieces from the centre of the loops to keep them in place whilst I spread the paste into the stencil.
To finish I added a few brown pearls. The sentiment is from Simon Says Stamp.
More embossing paste here and another stencil made from die-cut waste. The leaves are from a Poppy Stamps stencil and the thanks from a Cuttlebug die.
I think the effect of the Glamour Dust which I sprinkled over the paste is really pretty.
As I used gold embossing paste I thought that this would be appropriate for the challenge at Addicted to CAS this time which is GOLD

Here is another embossing paste card, with the stencil flipped to make the image face in the opposite direction. This time are few colours of Ultra fine glitter were sprinkled over the white pearlescent paste whilst it was still wet. I stamped the sentiment with Versamark then used some Bonding powder and  after heating, sprinkled on some of the same Glitter onto the the sticky image. The colour looks slightly different as it doesn't have the same white base.
I must try to get a few cards made for other challenges this week... I don't know where the time goes to!

Saturday 2 August 2014

Design Seeds Picture Inspiration.

We have a colour inspiration challenge at Less is More this week. There are so many wonderful images on the Design Seeds site that it makes choosing a starting point difficult.
Today is my friend Sarah's, (one of  the LIM designers), birthday so happy birthday to her!
For this one I coloured the back of the vellum after stamping and embossing with fine detail white embossing powder. The butterflies were simply cut out and attached to the background strip. The sentiment die is from Simon Says Stamp. The leaves are Memory Box (I think).
color sip
This is the inspiration pic.
This is a retired two step stamp from Stampin' Up. I love the casual feel of these stamps... also good for watercolouring,  but I chose to merely stamp this time!
I should be home from my travels later today so hopefully I shall manage to get around to see  a few LIM entries!
Enjoy your weekend.