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!


Thursday 12 November 2020

Happy Birthday James

For the past few months, my daughter has been enduring radical extension and renovation work on her house. It will be amazing when it is finished,  but putting up with the mess, dust and general inconvenience is quite an ordeal. The whole situation has been eased enormously by the ministrations of her 'significant other', who has worked tirelessly, project managing and being a general dog's body during the build. SO when it came to deciding what image I would use for his upcoming birthday card... a house seemed the natural choice. These processes rarely go without a hitch, but they have overcome all obstacles to date and hopefully will continue to do so until completion.
I hope it won't be too much longer until they can enjoy the fruits of their labours! 
I spotted that  challenge #257 at Cardz 4 Guyz, was cards for an adult male. So I shall submit this there!

Tuesday 10 November 2020

Guest Designer at CASology

Designed Defined : Lots of white space and monochromatic colour palette.

Recently I was lucky enough to have been selected as the winner in a challenge at CASology and Melissa invited me to be a Guest Designer for their new challenge with the code word STAG!

I have various dies and some stamps which I could have used for this project, but decided to use my Silhouette Portrait for the task in hand. I wanted quite a small image so that I could have a reasonable amount of white space on my card. I found a copyright free image on the internet and dropped it into my Silhouette software, traced the part I wanted and cut it from black card. I made it the size to fit my MFT Peek a Boo window die and backed it with some mountain silhouettes in a couple of shades of grey. The final part was a white snowy embossed sky.
I did make a schoolgirl error in adding the front panel to the card with dimensional pads  before stamping the sentiment, but with the help of my stamping platform and several attempts I finally got a reasonable impression... otherwise it would have involved ripping of the front and cutting a new one!
I would like to thank all the designers and creators at CASology for all their inspiration... it's one of my favourite 'go to' challenges, do keep up the good work and stay safe in these difficult times!


Sunday 8 November 2020

Winter Cheers

Here is another card made with some of the items from my latest delivery from Simon Says Stamp. I love the products they sell, but the postage is quite steep to the UK... so I have to order quite a few items to make the postage cost worth it. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it!)
Here I used the Memory Box Vintage Sled and added the thread from the MB needle and thread dies. That thread is a fabulous item and so useful for so many things... balloons, this sled, jingle bells, tendrils on wreaths, actual thread, the list goes on, I love it!
The sloping hillside die is from Poppy Stamps.
I recently came across this white card in my supplies, with a leather effect finish, I thought it looked quite good for the snow covered hill.
I love making Christmas cards and at the moment, they're the only sort that I know will get used imminently!
Tomorrow should have seen the commencement of the installation of a new kitchen. Lockdown and difficulties with suppliers has put paid to that. We have already experienced severe delays because of previous Covid 19 restrictions, but now we will have to wait until February before it's started.
At least we're OK which is probably far more important!
ABC Christmas - Winter Wonderland
Merry Little Christmas - Anything Christmas Goes
Craft Rocket - Christmas / Winter

Saturday 7 November 2020


A new package of goodies just arrived from Simon Says Stamp and these cute little deer were amongst them! I simply cut them a couple of times and layered them to give additional dimension. I'm not sure if this is momma or poppa with the two little ones but I think they're all very sweet! I based the design on the sketch from CASe this sketch
The sentiment is from Clearly Besotted.

Together with the theme from CAS Christmas
I don't think that kraft and cream are generally recognised at Christmas colours.
I'm also linking to
CAS on Friday - Christmas
Chrimbo Crackers - Anything Goes
Take care and stay safe everyone!

Merry Everything

Recently I was lucky enough to win a challenge at 52 Christmas Card Throwdown and the kind people over there invited me to do a Guest Designer Spot for them, so here I am!

There's nothing quite like using a good simple sketch and this is what I came up with!
The stamps and matching dies are from MFT, (apart from the tree and I can't remember the make of that one... I seem to have so many!). I dry embossed it with a Sizzix EF  to add a little dimension.
There's something very satisfying about making Christmas Cards... during the year I make so many cards, a large proportion of which sit in my card box for a very long time. I haven't sold any to my choir for ages as we haven't been meeting because of Covid 19 restrictions. I have still been doing commissions for people, but the general cards I have made for challenges etc probably won't find homes for ages. When it comes to Christmas cards however, I know that they will all find a home as I send out so many each year!
Anything Christmas


Friday 6 November 2020

With Sympathy

The other day I was looking at someone's blog and saw lots of Gelli prints which were simply beautiful, so I decided to dig out my Gelli plate and have a play. It was actually great fun and I got some interesting prints which as yet have not been added to any projects. Today however, I'm using not one of the prints, but a piece of card which I used to clean my brayer. I have several  bits of card with random rollings on them and this one looked about what I was looking for, for the backdrop of these sprigs of foliage. I used alcohol inks for the first time on my Gelli.
The challenge at Less is More this time is to use More than one kind of foliage.
I just used a couple of die cuts in the same shade as the base of the card and in contrast to the backdrop!
The sentiment is from Clearly Besotted.
Well here we go again into another lockdown, what a good job we have crafting to keep us happy!
Take care and stay safe everyone!


Wednesday 4 November 2020


Good morning all!
Today I have a cry for help!
For quite some time I have been using a program called iPiccy to edit my photographs and add watermarks to pictures of my cards.  The problem I have is that this software needs Flash player to work! This (Flash) is reaching the end of its life on December 31st apparently. SO.... I am looking for an idiot proof, simple, straightforward, easy peasy program to do the job which iPiccy has been doing for me for the last I don't know how long.
All suggestions would be great appreciated. I have had a look online at various ones but they all seem SO complicated that I can't fathom out how to use them.
 Today's picture is of my printer... someone asked about a printer which could print card. I have to admit that when I bought this one I didn't find many which would do it. This particular one has two ways of feeding in the paper. There is a cassette at the bottom and also a slot at the back,  the latter of which is where I load my card from as you can see. From this position the card doesn't have to bend back on itself as the paper does from the the cassette.
There are quite a few cards sitting on the top of the printer waiting for homes as are the ones in the box in the stack just to the right. I sent my box of cards which I would normally take to my choir to sell, (not happening because of Covid 19) down to my son for his wife and her family so rummage through and take what they would like. I need to get rid of them somehow!
For those with a curious nature, do pop over to see Julia Queen of WOYWW at her Stamping Ground where she will allow you to link up with crafters from all over the world for a snoop at their crafting spaces!
Have a good day everyone and stay safe!


Sunday 1 November 2020

Merry Everything

I suddenly remembered that I had these Hero Arts gnomes, but then couldn't quite remember where they were. Luckily I found them quite quickly.
I got the idea of this card from a few challenges which I have tried to combine.
I've just realised that I have put the sentiment in to wrong place, Oh Dear! I think it must have slid down the snowbank!

It seems that we're in for another lockdown. Tomorrow I'll have to try to find out if that means that my new kitchen will be on hold.. it was due to be started next week!
Stay safe everyone!