Wednesday 30 December 2020

Bear Tree

As I was trawling through the internet some time ago I came across a stamp company which was new to me! It's an American company called Trinity Stamps and I was enchanted by this cute image of a bear holding a branch in which a partridge was nestling!
I think he's adorable!
As you may see there is a matching die also available, which I availed myself of! It was a fun, easy image to colour, I used a variety of alcohol pens for this.
I guess it's not too early to start on next year's Christmas cards.
Christmas Kickstart -  Anything Christmassy
AAA Cards Made in minutes and Christmas
ABC Christmas Y Your Favourite things  (matching stamps and dies)
Merry Little Christmas - Anything Christmas Goes


Monday 28 December 2020

Christmas Blessings

This is my first card for a challenge for quite some time. 
Having used all of the Christmas cards I had made throughout the year, I thought it appropriate to start on next year's batch!
It's a simple card, using the sketch from Freshly Made Sketches, CASology's SNOWMAN and the fact that it is Christmassy for Christmas Kickstart.

Today is my daughter's 40th birthday, I didn't know that I could possibly be old enough to have my baby reach this milestone. She is a wonderful person, a supermum, a hardworking executive, about to start a new job in a matter of days and the best daughter in the world. 
Happy birthday Libby!

Wednesday 23 December 2020

Winter Blues

For this card I used a piece of navy card onto which I had heat embossed a snowflake design with white embossing powder. I cut the gnome's hat and clothes from this and added a white beard and white nose. I played with the idea of a blue nose and a patterned nose or even a red one but decided to keep it white, but it is stacked, so that it is slightly raised from the rest of the die cut pieces. The gnome is from SSS, the aperture tree die from Memory Box and I can't remember the make of the sentiment.
The theme at Christmas Craft Creations this time is Winter Blues... so I just went with the colour rather than any other interpretation!
I hope that everyone is staying safe, these are such difficult times, but hopefully the advent of the vaccine will gradually start to get things back to normal!
Take Care.


Wednesday 9 December 2020


Last weekend, it was good to see the animated faces of the crafters who look in on Julia's WOYWW  blog hop each week.
This week I'm not sharing a desk but just a bunch of Christmas do dahs from my home!
The tree is now on its 45th Christmas. My husband arrived home with it on the top of the car when we lived in Alexandria, Virginia in 1976. It stayed with us there for three years and then came home to Hampshire, where we have lived ever since. I did have one emergency call when I was teaching back in the 1980's, from our cleaning lady who was worried to death as the top half of the tree had collapsed over onto the floor. The central support of the tree is made up of two poles, which fitted together with a tube a bit like a toilet roll middle but made from tough cardboard. Over the years this had deteriorated and unraveled, so I took a quick trip to the hardware store and was given a little aluminium tube which fitted perfectly and has been used ever since. This year I had to give a little first aid to the  sections of bark, made from plastic, which separate the roundels of branches, but it's good to go for a few more years. The real question is how much longer I'll be able to scramble up into the loft to get it out and away again each year.
Since retiring we have loved to travel and I like to try to bring home tree decorations from places we have visited. 
Snowshoes from Quebec City

Mask from Venice
Emu from Australia
Cotton Flower angel from Georgia
Eagle from Alaska

This is our Christmas Nativity from Germany. The heat from the lit candles causes the windmill blades to rotate, so the characters move around too!. The trick is angling the blades so that they actually go forwards rather than backwards! 
Today I'll leave you with another watercolour of yet another Jack Russell.

Take care and stay safe everyone!


Monday 7 December 2020


I don't remember where these ears of wheat dies were sourced and I don't think I've ever used them before, which is probably why they had lain almost forgotten in a storage box of dies.I cut them from some craft paper which was a pretty good colour but rather flimsy, so I cut a second set from plain white card and stuck one set on top of the other.To add a little life to them, I decided to play with a few Distress Oxide inks to take away the one dimensional look of the die cuts. I stamped the sentiment, from Hero Arts, with the same inks as I had used on the wheat, drying with my heat gun between each layer.
The distressed square panel was dry embossed with a Stampin Up folder.

I took a little liberty with the sketch this time using the bunch of wheat to represent the smaller of the two squares in the sketch! I hope that is permitted.


Saturday 5 December 2020

Merry & Bright

This morning I joined a Zoom session of crafters from around the world, who all contribute to a weekly blog hop called WOYWW (What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday). Folks take a pic of their crafting space and share it for others to have a snoop around. In fact it was how  met Mandi, the lady I began the challenge Less is More with back in 2011. Julia, the host began it and 600 sessions later it's still going strongly!
Anyway whilst the session was live I made this card, using the sketch from Freshly Made Sketches
I do love a simple sketch to follow and this is lovely one! The gnome is from SSS, the sentiment from SU and the snow embossing folder from Sheena Douglass.

April 2020 White  Red

There's to be another Zoom session in a couple of hours where I hope to be able to see a friend from the US, connections permitting!
Technology is great, a) when it's working and b) when you understand what on earth is going on!
Take care everyone!

Wednesday 2 December 2020

WOYWW #600

Today is a very special WOYWW as it's the 600th occasion on which such desks have been shared. 
Congratulations to Julia, for  her idea, time and care taken in spreading comradeship throughout the world... and thank you!
Head over to the Stamping Ground otherwise known as WOYWW HQ to join in the celebrations!
Well done Julia and I hope you enjoy your surprises co-ordinated by the fabulous LLJ!
I have actually had a bit of a tidy up, which is a rare occurrence for me. I can actually see a bit of my glass mat!
Today you can see the Christmas cards I made for my husband (who is the chairman of our choir) to send to the Vice-Presidents of the society. These include, the Bishop of Portsmouth, the previous conductor Jonathan Willcocks and and long serving previous Chairman, who happens to be a woman. Every year I have made white on white cards and this is no exception.
You can see that my supply of Distress Oxide inks is gradually increasing. I stamp a little of each colour that I have onto a chart to use as reference for whenever I need to choose a shade for whatever project. There is also a new pack of dies which I have just bought. They are empty leaves from Sizzix and I think they are really fab!

I somehow managed to miss last week's WOYWW, I didn't actually remember until Thursday, but in these strange times it's difficult to remember what day it is sometimes! Some people asked to see some more of my attempts at watercolours, well here is a salmon I did on my cruise From Japan to Canada.
At least it looks like a fish!
Well have a good day everyone and once more many thanks to Julia!


Wednesday 25 November 2020

Merry Christmas

The challenge at Christmas Craft Creations this time is to make anything but a card!
My first thought was to make something that I knew I would have a use for... a bottle tag! 
I cut the tag (I think it was from MFT, but I have had it for a long time and may well now be discontinued) and stamped with a Memory Box Mistletoe stamp and heat embossed in gold. I used Distress Oxide inks as paints to colour the leaves and berries. I stamped a little Pumice Stone and Bundled Sage ink onto a glass mat (which I used as a palette) and using a water brush, layered the colour. When dry, I added some Nuvo Crystal Glaze to add dimension and shine. 
The sentiment is from the same Memory Box stamp set.
By today, our new kitchen should have been almost complete, but because of lockdown its installation has been postponed until February! At least I'll still have a kitchen for Christmas!

Sunday 22 November 2020

Twofer Stars

I am the first to admit that I find Darnell's Twofer challenge just that... a challenge. Often I can make a reasonable job of one card, but when it comes to a second one, it's frequently totally lacking in imagination and often the effect looks contrived... as if I was trying too hard.  Reminds me of a phrase from my youth... try hard, fail easy!
Anyway here is my contribution for the Twofer Star Challenge

I used the sketch from Freshly Made Sketches for the first card, which is actually a similar one in a different colourway to one I had already made.

For the second one I chose to make a baby congratulations card using a die I ordered from France. It's from a set of four dear little dies with baby related images. The tiny star aperture from this little die was used for some of the stars flying out from the envelopes in the first card.
It's another dreary day outside.. perfect for crafting!
Take care and stay safe!


Saturday 21 November 2020

Back at "Less is More"

I was so delighted to have had a card selected as the winner in the challenge blog which I created with Mandi many moons ago! I'm speaking of course, of "Less is More".  It is some years now since I stepped down from running the challenge, but am happy to see that the the current designers are continuing with our original concept... albeit tweaked a little to keep up with the times!
The outcome of my win was a request to return as a Guest Designer for one of the challenges. 
When we began "Less is More", clean and simple was not a well known genre and many people found white space really scary! Since LIM's inception, CAS has become much more prevalent and there are some amazing exponents of the style around, the DT at LIM being a case in point.
The theme this time is Festive.
For my card I began by taking two, double dot/dash squares and dry embossing them, one the right way up and the other upside down, so that I got one dot/dash edge and one flat edge embossed in the centre of the card. I then stamped the image, which is a freebie from a Crafts Beautiful Mag, which was generously bought for me by my son's mother-in-law. I coloured it with Inktense pencils and blended with a water brush. This type of colouring doesn't show through onto the inside of a one layer card as alcohol markers would. When dry, I simply added some Nuvo Crystal Glaze.
It's kinda difficult to see the shine in this picture.
I thought that a holly spray was festive enough and didn't need any sentiment!
I'm trying to find an alternative to iPiccy (which I have been using to edit my photos and add my watermarks), as Flash, which it needs, will not be continuing after December. I have looked at several free editing programs, but  I don't seem to be able to get my head around any of them! It would be great if iPiccy could come up with a solution to their software so that it could continue, as I have really enjoyed using it! If anyone knows of an idiot proof editing program, I'd be glad to hear about it!
Thanks once more to the team at LIM for asking me to join them for this challenge!


Friday 20 November 2020

Sending you love

I really enjoy working with a good CAS sketch and today I found one this one at Freshly Made Sketches
Looking through the Design Team's examples I saw one from Kim. I have always admired her work enormously and her card reminded me of a small envelope die which I've had for ages but can't remember ever using before.
SO with the Sketch from Freshly Made Sketches and the idea of envelopes from Kim my card evolved.
I found some scraps of DP to line the envelopes and cut a whole bunch of little hearts to spring out of them. I rummaged through my sentiments to try to find something suitable and thought this went perfectly. It's from Clearly Besotted. I thought that the postage stamp type edging for the front panel was also in sympathy with the feel of the card. I had to elongate the die cut a little as the dies are sized for American dimensions rather than ours.
Stay safe everyone!

Thursday 19 November 2020

Big Birthday Greeting

Here is another fairly new die, purchased recently from SSS. For this card I merely scribbled some rainbow colours onto some white scrap card using Copics, then die cut the HAPPY word from that and some gold card. The joy of this is that I have another sentiment ready to use with the rainbow colours and the gold in reversed positions.
The balloon was shaded with Copics and then given a layer of Nuvo Crystal Glaze, but the lovely shine is not apparent in this picture. The Birthday word is from a die by Creative Dies, Craft Essentials. The balloon and string are from two different Memory Box sets of dies.
The post at CAS on Friday is to use a Big Sentiment, so I guess this qualifies!


Wednesday 18 November 2020

Happy Anniversary

Many years ago we discovered that some friends of ours had their wedding anniversary 2 days after ours. They have been married for many more years than we have, but for the last thirty odd years we have been going out together for a meal in celebration. Sometimes it would be the only occasion in the whole year that we would see each other (with loads to catch up on) but we would always make a date near to our anniversaries for our get together. This year we may not manage it... with Covid, advancing age and some health issues, things may not work out, but I've made their card in readiness for next month!
The die I used here is a new one from Memory Box, I love the delicate piercings. I decided to watercolour each petal and added a Memory Box butterfly and simple sentiment from Sugar Pea Designs.
I'm adding this to the challenge at CAS Mix Up.
I played around for ages wondering how to use the die cut, once I'd cut it. I tried all sorts of stuff in the aperture but nothing worked until I finally decided to simply let the sentiment straddle the aperture, balanced by the addition of the butterfly, which is also strategically placed to cover a tiny tiny drop of out of place paint!


WOYWW #598


Good morning all!
Last Wednesday somehow escaped me and it was Thursday before I realised that I had missed WOYWW! Brain cells are not what they once were!
Hey Ho! Anyway this is how my desk looks today after playing around with some watercolours. I thought I'd try my hand at painting a wreath, but I think I need a few more views of tutorials on You Tube! I also started to try to hand paint in some of the leaves on a new die I just got from SSS. Not sure how that one will go forward but we'll see! 
I have attended watercolour classes on board Cunard ships. They are held on sea days and are a perfect way to spend a morning!  I loved the last one we went on and as it was from Japan to Vancouver... there were quite a few sea days! The teacher was really helpful and I met some really great, like minded people. One such was a lovely lady with whom we shared our dining table. She was telling me all about her Jack Russell dog  of whom she was immensely fond as she lived alone. I thought I would have a go at painting a picture of him and this was my attempt. Couldn't manage the whole body so just did the head!
I have finally caved and bought some Distress Oxide inks... now I wonder why I resisted for so long, I really like them. I dabbed a little onto my glass mat to use as a palette, I think they work really well in so many ways. All I need to do now is to build up my range of colours and find somewhere to store them!
Have a good day everyone and stay safe.
WHy not join in the fun and share how your craft space looks with Julia and the rest of the WOYYWers in her Stamping Ground!

Friday 13 November 2020

Merry Christmas to you

For ages I had thought that Distress Oxide inks were probably just a bit of a fad and what did I need them for when I had just about all the shades of Distress Ink! Anyway eventually I caved after seeing SO many people using them and now I can't imagine why I haven't been using them for ages! I didn't realise how well they stamped (knowing how hit and miss regular Distress inks are for stamping), how well they can be used as a painting medium, what great depth of colour you get from them and how well they blend. SO far I have invested in about a dozen, but I have a way to go to get the colours I would like. Then there is the problem of where to keep them!
Getting around to this card, I stamped the green panel with Versamark then just left it to dry.
After stamping the mistletoe onto some white card using Bundled Sage DO ink, I dabbed some more onto my glass, together a couple of dabs of Shabby Shutters and Peeled Paint Distress Oxide inks. Then with my water brush, I used these shades to colour the leaves. For the berries, I used some Pumice Stone DO ink watered down considerably, and applied just to one side of each berry to the appearance of dimension.
To finish off the card I added some Nuvo Crystal Glaze to the berries and some clear Wink of Stella to the leaves. I did drag a gold ink pad along the edge to the green panel before adhering it to the card.
The stamps are from Memory Box Merry and Bright Mistletoe set.
I made this card with the challenge at CAS Mix Up in mind, which this time is a watercolour challenge.

There are a few 'off the edges' to choose from here.
Stay safe and well everyone!

Hope your Christmas is Amazing

I saw the challenge at Shopping our stash where this time there is a tic tac toe. A couple of lines immediately jumped out at me. Vertically I saw Plaid, string and neutrals and diagonally I saw kraft, stamp over 5 years old and neutrals.
SO here I have a card using kraft card, a Hero Art, block mounted, distressed stripe stamp (over 5 years old) and some thin twine. I actually thought I had a plaid background stamp, but being unable to locate it, I used this stripe stamp both horizontally and vertically to make the plaid. I cut out the Impression Obsession tree line die and masked the lower part before stamping the stripes with Versamark and embossing with WOW Sea foam white EP. The sentiment is from SSS.

It also fits with the challenge at CAS Christmas where non traditional colours are to be used.

I must confess that kraft is a 'go to' colour for me at anytime!

This is a variation on the theme, using a lace background stamp this time for the trees.
I wonder which version you prefer? I'm not sure!