Friday 28 September 2012

5 days in a row!

Yeah! It's Friday..........

Hi everyone, are you looking forward to the weekend?
I couldn't let today go by without a post,  although I was beginning to wonder what I could put in it. 
I've been struggling to find time to do anything for this weeks Less is More Challenge, but something finally came together.  More luck than anything!

Why are LIM designs so hard to come up with sometimes?  This week wasn't easy at all.
It's Week 86 and it's a RECIPE challenge..........
                           Take 3 Challenges
That means we have to combine 3 past challenges to come up with this weeks design. Hmmm....

I decided I wasn't picking my challenge themes first (because I couldn't decide which ones), I was just going to do something and then see which ones it fit in with - if any.
Luckily there's a few I could go for .....
My 3 are ....
Week 59    Masking
Week 81    Tearing (sort of ...)
Week 76    One Layer - use 3 of something  I've used 3 colours Vintage Sepia and Onyx Black Versafine ink, and Tumbled Glass Distress Ink.

I could also have .....
Week 58    Script
Week 7      Masculine
Week 72    Something Shiny (binoculars are glazed with Glossy Accents)

I knew which stamp I wanted to use so that was a start.  It's the 'Torn Paper Window'  from Stampendous.

I found it again when I was looking for something the other week.  It's been in a box for years, and never been stamped! (poor thing).  So I took it and put it on my desk where I could see it.  Finally, this morning it made friends with an ink pad!

I stamped the image in the centre of a 6x6 card using the Vintage Sepia ink.  I made a mask to cover it and over stamped with the Indigo Blu script from 'Sarah's Choice'.  I then made another mask, this time just cutting out the bits that were torn and folded back.  I coloured these using the Tumbled Glass DI and overstamped with one of the clear Hero Arts Dictionary Greetings (the 'Hello' one), this time in the black ink.
Next I made another mask, cutting out the centre only.  Then I spent the next hour or so looking for something to go in the 'torn' space.  In the end the small 'I Spy' stamp from the Indigo Blu 'Grand Tour I' set fit perfectly.  I added a little bit of pale blue colour just behind him and glazed his binocular lenses with Glossy Accents.

I couldn't decide on a sentiment, so in the end just one word was enough.
Another masculine project from me - that's 2 in a row!  Very stange, I don't normally do MEN things.
I just need to upload it onto the LIM site now - the deadline is creeping up fast.

Any of you off to Happy Stampers NW Craft Show at Port Sunlight tomorrow?  If so, enjoy yourselves.  Don't spend too much though, remember there's Harrogate next weekend.  I'm so jealous, as I'm not going to either show (very sad face!!).  Never mind eh!  There's always Birmingham in November.

We are busy tomorrow though, we're entering the Poker Stars Treasure Hunt, which should be fun.  We did this last year, just after we moved to the island, and we came 3rd.  We didn't think this was bad as we'd only been over here a few weeks and knew nothing about the place.  We're going to be aiming higher this year, so wish us luck!

Hope you all have a great weekend, whatever you're up to.
Thanks for popping by.


Thursday 27 September 2012

Tag! ....... you're it!

Morning all,

Well it's finally done, my Timmie Tag for  12 Tags of 2012 - September - yeah!!
It took me all afternoon yesterday but I was determined to get it done.  After all, time is running out and I don't want to miss any.  It's October on Monday, so there'll be a new challenge.  Let's see if I can get that one done any sooner shall we!
This is Tim's September tag ......
 ......... cool isn't it.

As usual, I didn't have all of the products that the master himself had used - nothing new there then.  But I managed.
Here's my version ......
Everything started ok, I had the foil sheets, so covering the tag wasn't a problem.  Had great fun making the faux rivets using an everyday biro, an old credit card (actually it was my current one, the other half will probably say this is the only way I should use it from now on),  and a pricking tool. I used this in two different ways, can you spot them.  I will say one is not that easy to see.
Obviously I used the pointy end to make small holes in my tag, but then I noticed that my pricking tool has a textured bit around the bottom.  What would happen if I rolled this along the foil tape ...........
You can just about see the result down the righthand side, under the film strip.  There's a bit of a mesh type effect going on.  Sorry it's a bit hard to see - didn't really think this through properly did I!  I'll know for next time.

Colouring the foil with alcohol inks next - this was fine, I had all the right colours so on I went.  Then came my first hurdle - no steel wire!  The best I could come up with was a kitchen scourer - it seemed to work ok.  I managed to get most of the ink off and achieve that look of old riveted metal. 

Next came the embellishing.  Hurdle number 2.  I didn't have the typewriter die, or anything similar.  In the end I decided on a pocket watch, and used one from the Art Parts range.  I coloured it with the new Metallic Distress Stains in the Tarnished Brass for the inside layer and the Brushed Pewter on the outside.  I used one of my Indigo Blu stamps from the Take the Time set  to stamp some cogs to give the look of the workings inside the watch.  Then added some mini metal cogs from the Idea-ology range along with a metal clock face.
Some of my trinkets are the same ones that Tim's used on his tag, but again I didn't have all of them. So, I added some words instead.  The only problem with this of course is that it does cover up a lot of the 'metal' on the tag.  I think you can still see enough of it though.
A bit of black vintage seam binding, some Chit Chat words, and a piece of chain attached to the pocket watch finish it all off.

Not quite the same as Tim's, but mine never are.  He gives the inspiration, and it's all about adding your own little twist.  I'm quite happy with the result.  It's my most masculine tag to date.

It's back to the craft room later but first I'm off to meet a friend in town for coffee.  And apparently while I'm there, I have to go and pre-order some new XBox game which is released tomorrow (FIFA 13).  The Game store in Douglas is opening at midnight tonight for anyone that has a pre-order and my son just has to have it asap!  Kids eh! 

Don't forget Kay from Indigo Blu is back on the TV today 11 o'clock and 3 - Create and Craft - Sky Channel 671.  You hadn't forgotten had you?!  I've set my Sky box to record.  Hopefully my samples will be on there along with those from the rest of the Design Team.

Thanks for looking. Have a great day.
See you again soon.


Wednesday 26 September 2012

I'm on a roll!

Hi everyone,
Yes it's me again.  I'm doing well this week, blogged everyday so far!

I've noticed that I have another new follower - Welcome, it's so nice to have you with me.  I'm slowly creeping up to the latest target of 80, not so sure I'll do it by the end of September though.

Before I lock myself away in the old craft room for the afternoon,  I just wanted to share a couple of the cards I've just popped into the post for the girls over at Stamp Addicts.

Sarah emailed me last week and asked could I work with some stamps and have some cards ready for their Birthday Demo Day on Saturday.  Of course I said yes.  I only got the stamps on Monday so I didn't have a lot of time.  Here's a little taste of what I came up with ........
One of the stamps was this gorgeous window scene, which, on this particular design I've just stamped in brown Archival Ink, and added a little fine crystal glitter to the background just to highlight the trees and the church roof.
You can just see a little bit of Fran-tage in the bottom corners too.  I must say this stuff is addictive
The bow had been coloured with a red Copic Pen, then glazed with Glossy Accents and sprinkled with a little glitter while the glaze was still wet.

The other stamp they sent me was this gorgeous little robin, he's so cute.
Again, still quite a simple design, the image has just been stamped in Black, the robin has been coloured with Copics again, and the holly leaves part of the stamp has been stamped agin, this time in green. (honestly they are green, although they don't look it in the photo!)  The leaves have then been cut out and layered over the original image.  The berries have been coloured red and a little Glossy Accents put over the top to make them shine.
The backing papers I've used are from my bit box stash so I'm not entirely sure which ranges they're from.  Any pretty Christmas papers would go along side these stamps, depending on your colour choice.

Finally I had to do a tag ........
This is done on Kraft cardstock (Craftwork Cards).  I cut out a tag shape twice, one slightly smaller than the other.  The smaller of the two was then embossed with the snowflake design, inked around the edges using Aged Mahogany DI, and then I highlighted some of the snowflakes with the new dry glitter from the Tim Holtz range - clear rock candy.
I love how it has a matte look to it, but yet still sparkles when the light hits it.  It gives a real vintage look
without being too glittery.
The embossed tag was then mat onto the larger one giving a nice border around the edge.
The image was stamped in brown ink, twice, onto more Kraft card. One cut out fully using one of my Nesties, and the background was highlighted using a white gel pen.  Just the robin was cut from the second image and was coloured using Coloursoft Pencils.  He was then layered up along with some green holly leaves and the whole thing  attached to the tag.

These, and a few others are safely in the post on their way to the UK.  Hope the girls have a great day on Saturday, and a very Happy 20th Birthday to everyone at Stamp Addicts.

When I got home from town this morning, this was waiting behind the door .......

........... isn't it pretty.  My latest purchase from The Ribbon Girl, one of my favourite, favourite online craft stores.  Now what am I going to do with this parcel of gorgeousness .........  hmmmm!!!

Well, I'd best be off  to the old craft room.  Goodies to put away, then I AM going to make a start on my Timmmie Tag - come what may!  Whether it will be finished today, who knows.  Watch this space.

Thanks for looking.

Enjoy the rest of your Wednesday.


Tuesday 25 September 2012

Dates for your diary

Morning everyone,
I don't know what it's like where you are, but it's pretty wet and miserable here.  The weathermen were right - for once!
One good thing though, it's the perfect sort of day for spending in the old craft room.  Just as well as I have lots to do.
I'm in the middle of making a few samples for the girls at Stamp Addicts.  It's their 20th Birthday this month and they're having a bit of a do!  There's a Demo Day on at the weekend - Saturday 29th.  Details are on their website
Once they're all finished I'll be able to have a play with the goodies that my lovely postie brought for me this morning.  In all that rain too - bless him!
Look what he brought for me ........

just look at all this stuff!!!!
It's my latest DT kit from the lovely Julie Hickey at Craftwork Cards.  It's sooo nice.  As usual there's such a lot much in there .....
Cards and envelopes, backing papers, yummy new glittered papers, sentiments, die cut frames and gorgeous new flowers, tickets, tags, candi,  beautiful pearls, the list goes on.  It's the new Memory Lane Project of the Month and you can see the details in full here on the website.  Looking forward to playing with this one.
There's also the GNPE  (Great Northern Papercrafts Extravaganza) coming up soon, the 6th-7th October  (unfortunately I won't be going this time - sigh!).  It's a great little craft show organised by Craftwork Cards.  If any of you are going, enjoy, don't spend too much (yeah, like that's going to happen!) and say 'Hi' to everyone for me.  I'll be there next time!

One more thing to remind you about, then coffee breaks over I'm afraid.
Don't forget that the fabulous Kay from Indigo Blu is back on our screens this week - yeah!! Create and Craft (Sky channel 671/Freeview 36/Freesat 813), Thursday 27th , I think it's 11 and 3.
There's brand new Christmas stamps, one's so new it only arrived through my letterbox yesterday morning.  In fact I don't even think it's on the website yet. Here's a sneaky peek at it ....
It is rather nice, and one of those that you just have to have in your collection.  Anyway, enough of me spending your cash.  Don't forget, 11 and 3 tomorrow. 

This is one of the samples I sent to Kay for the show.  The box has been decorated with one of the new stamps, but what's inside? ............. you'll have to tune in and see (it better be on the show now ....... I'll look a right ninny if it's not!)
Thanks for popping by, see you again soon.

Bye for now from a very wet and windy Isle of Man

Monday 24 September 2012

A little bit of Pink, Puddings and Peggy ........

Morning everyone,
Did you all have a nice weekend?  It's been lovely here on the island but I think that's all about to change - according to the weathermen.
I'm going to start the week off with a little bit of pink .......
Here's my take on the latest challenge over at In the Pink.  It's Challenge #4 ......

               ...........EMBOSSING (DRY OR HEAT)

It's definitely a bit more PINK than the last one.

I decided my embossing would be the 'dry' style.  I used plain white cardstock and one of the Cuttlebug embossing folders - Birds and Swirls.  White card always looks so elegant when it's embossed I think, and there's so many stunning designs on the market these days that it's a perfect technique for any occasion.
The edges of the embossed panel have had a little bit of Spun Sugar Distress ink added and also a little bit of fine glitter was used to highlight the birds.
The background papers are from a Tim Holtz Paper Stash, and have been distressed around the edges and then inked with a little Pumice Stone DI to give that aged look.  A little piece of vintage cotton lace with some narrow pink satin ribbon threaded through it has been attached across the card.
The stamp is by Leanne Ellis as is from Sugar Nellie.  Not sure if it's still available, but you can check here on the website.  It's called 'Tell Me Something'  The sentiment is from a small Hero Arts set and is one of my favourites, it has appeared on my blog a few times.
I've coloured my stamped image with Copic pens, the background was done with Spun Sugar and Stormy Sky DI.  The dress part has been stamped 4 more times, cut out and layered to add a little dimension, and a touch of fine glitter adds a little sparkle.

A pretty pink satin bow, large paper rose and a couple of hat pins finish the whole thing off off.  I think she looks very pretty in pink!

I've loads to do, as usual, this week.  Still not done my Timmie tag - eeek! (time is running out).
I also bought a sewing machine at the weekend.  Haven't even had time to get it out of the box yet, so I'm hoping to do that at some point today.  I haven't done any sewing for about 30 years, I would think it's going to take me a while to figure it all out - watch this space.

It was also the Isle of Man Food and Drink festival at the weekend.  We bobbed over there on the Saturday and had a great day.  Ate too much as usual - well, it would have been rude not to try everything now wouldn't it!
We saw Ainsley Harriott doing his cooking demonstrations.  One of his dishes was a simple fish recipe, Jamaican curried Manx Callig with coconut and lime - nom! nom!  Going to give that one a try.

One of the main reasons I wanted to go to the Festival was to get my Christmas Pudding.  There's a company on the island that makes them, Berries at Aaron House,  and we got one last year and it was de-licious!!
They also have a company called Cocoared which makes fab chocolates (we bought some of those too!)
This year they have been given a 3-star Gold award, by the Guild of Fine Foods for their Vintage Christmas Puddings - well deserved it is too.  They're also going to be supplying them to the top London store Fortnum & Mason (very posh!)

This is something else I picked up too  ...........

Just look at it, the box is fab on it's own!  It's all wax sealed, and it says when you open it there's a map inside which apparently shows you the whereabouts of  'Peggy's' hideaway.
Well, I had to open it, and sure enough, there's a map.

It also tells you a little bit about 'Peggy' which is the world's oldest yacht and was owned by Captain George Quayle, a politician, banker and alleged smuggler!
She was launched from Castletown in 1791 and saw many years of smuggling and trade.  Just after the death of his mother, the mysterious Captain Quayle locked the 'Peggy' away in his boathouse and no-one dared to enter, so she was undiscovered for almost 120 years.
The map actually gives you co-ordinates of  'Peggy's' secret location -  the boathouse that is now the home of the Nautical Museum in Castletown.
If any of you are interested you can find out more about Peggy here.  I must admit it's made me a little curious.
That's one thing about this rock in the middle of the Irish sea, it's full of history and interesting folk tales of the past.  There's always something to see.

Have a great week.  I'm hoping to be back again soon - with my Timmie tag with any luck!

Thanks for reading my latest ramblings, I do go on a bit I know,

Take care


Saturday 22 September 2012

One twinchie, two twinchies

Happy Friday night, (although it will probably be Saturday morning by the time this is finished!)

Hope you've all had a good day, mine's not been too bad.

Alex liked his birthday cards I sent.  (see them here)   Apparently he keeps wanting to play with the train, and when he opened the dinosaur one, he roared! (Awww ....... bless him!)  Wish I'd been there to see his face.  Never mind, we'll see him soon.  Lauren's bringing him over for a week at the beginning of October, I can't wait. 

As part of his birthday present Uncle Chris sent him (Uncle Chris didn't know much about this until I told him!) one of those cuddly toys that you can warm up (in the microwave) and use like a hot water bottle.  I think he likes it ........

......... here they are, cuddled on the sofa watching Thomas the Tank Engine.
I've told Lauren not to let him see when she's putting bunny in the microwave - you never who you might find in there next. Hopefully not the neighbour's rabbit!! (Oh dear .... )

Anyway, on to things more crafty.
First task today was to do a Twinchie for the latest challenge over at  Show Us Your Twinchie

Twinchies, are little 2 inch x 2 inch pieces of artwork, and are so much fun to do. There's some fabulous inspiration from the DT as always (check out Eileen's Frog, he's sooo cute!)

It's Challenge #6    ADD A STAMPED IMAGE

I've actually got two to show this time - did have three, but I really didn't like the third one so ...... wait for it ...... it went in the bin!!! 

Here are the two that survived ....
Twinchie 1

Twinchie 2
I'm definitely feeling festive at the moment, plus these stamps just happend to be on my desk.

I masked a tiny edge around the Twinchies and then spritzed the backgrounds with Cosmic Shimmer Vintage Mists in Antique Rose and Egyptian Blue (the pink doesn't come across very well, sorry that's my lack of photography skills!)
I added a little bit of Stormy Sky Distress Ink just around the edges to add a little bit of shading, then, with the masks still in place I stamped the snowflake, just off the edge.  This particular one is from one of my favourite SU stamp sets - Serene Snowflakes.  It's actually retiring from the current catalogue, which is a shame.
The first one was stamped in black Versafine ink, the second was done with London Fog Memento.  Both snowflakes have had a sprinkling of glitter, and the added words are stamped in black. 'snowy days' is from an old Woodware clear stamp set which I think is called Polar Fun (don't quote me on that) and the 'Let it Snow' is from an Inkadinkadoo set (not sure which one - sorry!)
In true Barbara Gray fashion, both designs have been edged with a fine liner pen (one finer than the other!) To finish off they've been matted onto a piece of co-ordinating blue card and a gem has been put in the centres of the snowflakes. 
I may just make these into Christmas cards, they are quite pretty when the light catches them. That'll make a grand total of 4 done then.  Only another 50 or so to go!

Well, I said it would be Saturday by the time this was done.  It's now well after midnight, and time I was in bed.

Thanks for popping by.
We're off the the Isle of Man Food Festival tomorrow, so I hope the weather's nice.
Have a great weekend, whatever you're up to.

Bye for now


Friday 21 September 2012

Buttons and Bows

Hi folks,
I have a bit of exciting news for you this evening - well, exciting for me anyway.  But more on that later.

What happened to Thursday?  Suddenly it's nearly time for bed, and I feel as though I've done absolutely nothing.  I haven't done half of the things I had planned for today.  Don't quite know what I have been doing though.  Overall not a very productive day. 

One thing I did get done, eventually, was this months card for the Penny Black Saturday Challenge .........
                   BUTTONS AND BOWS

You would think this one would have been easy for me,  I love buttons and bows.  But oh no, nothing was working.  I just couldn't find any PB stamps that I could use alongside two of my favourite types of embellies.  Then when I did decide on a stamp, would you believe I didn't have the right colour of buttons .....!!?  I nearly gave it up as a bad job.  But I don't like to be beaten.

In the end I went for the K.I.S.S. approach (keep it simple, stupid!)
On the positive side, at least I have another Christmas card made - that now makes a grand total of ......... 2!

I used the PB 'majestic' stamp (3997K) along with one of the brand new Christmas sentiments from the 'Christmas Cheer' clear set.
It couldn't be more simple to do.  Stamp the tree in black ink, slightly to the left of your piece of card, then stamp the sentiment in the bottom right corner.  I decided to go for a jaunty little angle (second attempt.  First one was straight and I wasn't that keen).
I went for one of my favourite colour combos for Christmas cards - Black and White with a hint of red, and used this for the matting and layering.
As I said earlier, I couldn't find the right shade of red buttons - well not three the same that is.  I did empty all four jars to check.  So in the end, out came my permanent markers and I just coloured three clear pearl ones.  These were then threaded with a little white baker's twine tied off in a bow, and attached onto the tree along with a few glittery gems.  A pretty red satin bow, and a touch of the new Tim Holtz Distress Stickles Dry Glitter in the Clear Rock Candy around the base of the tree, finished it all off.

We have a busy weekend coming up, here on the island.  Today saw the start of the 3-day Manx Rally with a 'Scalextric' style opening night stage along the promenade in Douglas.  Hmmmm........ not really my sort of thing, so when hubby rang from work to see if I wanted to go down there, you can imagine my reaction.  Standing on the prom, in the rain, watching pairs of cars racing around a track - yes, like that's going to happen!  Just in case any of you are interested though, there's a Wiki page or you can get up to date information here.

The other event that's happening this weekend is the Isle of Man Food and Drink Festival - now you're talking!
I shall be popping along there on Saturday.  We went last year and had a great day out.  It's all about local produce, with a Farmers Market, local butchers etc.  selling everything from vegetables, meat and seafood, to jams, cheeses, cakes and Christmas puddings.  There's crafts too - pottery, soaps, hampers.
The celebrity chef this year is Ainsley Harriott, who will be doing live cookery demos, so that should be fun.
The weather for Saturday, according to the local forecast, is good so it should be a great day out.  I'll let you know.

Well, it's way past my bedtime. This has taken longer than I thought.  Hopefully tomorrow will be a little more productive, lots of crafty things.
Before I go though, my exciting news ...........
Yesterday I was asked if I'd like to join another Design Team.  The lovely Sam Poole contacted me and said she was looking for someone to join her DT over at Creative Studios, and would I like the position.  It took me all of about 10 seconds (while I read the message) before I said YES!!  Absolutely yes.

I've know Sam for a while, we met through Inspirations in Preston - she was one of our lovely demonstrators who came to take workshops.  
Sam designs for Creative Expressions, and has her own range of rubber stamps (which are fabulous by the way).  She has an online store and a super Blog.  Check it out, there's some fab stuff on there and the store is full of gorgeous goodies.
Anyways, I'm now on the team (whoo hoo!!) and I'm going to be creating designs using Sam's stamps and other goodies.  Once I'm up and running I'll also be posting regularly on the Blog, along with the rest of the fab DT.  So watch this space.  I'm going to be busy, busy, busy.  I love it!!

Thanks for popping by again.  See you all tomorrow (or should I say later today!)

Night Night!


Wednesday 19 September 2012

Is it really only lunchtime....... ?

Hi everyone,
Good news, cards are in the post - yeah!  They should be with Alex tomorrow, well in time for his birthday.

No craft to share with you yet (sigh!)  I haven't had chance to go into the old craft room today.  Had a busy morning though.  I was wide awake at stupid o'clock, so I got up and decided to make a start on the household stuff for today.  So, dishwasher emptied and pots put away,  washing sorted, sandwiches made for hubby's lunch, tonight's dinner in the slow cooker, breakfast made, eaten and washed up afterwards,  showered and out by 9am.  Not bad eh! 

It was just a quick trip to the Post Office this morning - pity really as it's a lovely day.  We have blue skies and the sun is shining again, so at least I didn't get wet this week!  Mind you, it's still only lunchtime, (is it really only lunchtime - I've been awake ages!)  it can all change!  In fact, clouds are forming as we speak. Oh no!

No major retail therapy today, although I did pop into the bookshop while I was down there.  I've been after the new cook book from the Hairy Bikers but it's been out of stock.  When I saw it back on the shelf today I had to pick up a copy.

Looks good.  The diet starts now!  Well maybe tomorrow - there's still part of a cheesecake in the fridge and it would be really bad of me to throw it away now wouldn't it!  And there's still cake too.

You've probably spotted ANOTHER craft magazine - I couldn't resist the pretty pearl buttons on the front, and there's also a cookery mag (that's another thing I buy a lot of).
So, I guess I have some reading to do this afternoon.  I think it's coffee and feet up time for me.  Well I did have an early start.

Enjoy your Wednesday.
See you again soon

Tuesday 18 September 2012

Look Who's 2

Evening folks,
I didn't want another day to go by without a post so that's why I'm here so late. 
Now where was I ...... the weekend seems a bit of a blur, it went by so fast. 
I did manage to do some baking on Sunday, and lets just say, there's not a lot of it left!  There's still some of the cakes, but the scones were lucky to see the day out - well they were only small.  And we had to try them while they were still warm, with raspberry jam and clotted cream - Yum! Yum!  (will be making more of those!!)
a little bit of Afternoon Tea
It's been a funny couple of days here on the island.  Autumn is most certainly on the way, there's a definite chill outside.  We even had hail this afternoon - inbetween glorious blue skies and sunshine.   That's the Isle of Man for you - changeable!

Luckily I haven't had to go too far, I've been busy in the old craft room.   Alex's birthday cards needed making and I wanted to do something a bit special.
Here's the results ..........

He's 2 on Friday.   He really likes Thomas the Tank Engine at the moment so I decided to go for a train, and make a little mini book style card, with some photos in there.
The chipboard bases are from Craftwork Cards, you can find them on their website here .  They come in a pack of 6 and are such a great size - I used the large version.
The papers are from The Paper Company, with a few other bits and bobs added on there as well. 
There's lots of inking around the edges, dotting and dashing on everything too.  I had so much fun with this.

I used 3 of the trains, and decorated both sides of  them, and everything's held together with a couple of  decorated bookrings.

The cute giraffe on the front cover and the parrots were stamped using a Creative Expressions unmounted stamp set, and all the lettering was done using the Cricut - a mixture of Wild Card (for the Happy Birthday) and Kate's ABC cartridges.

The little owl on the final page was made using the Stampin Up! Owl builder punch.  I love this little guy and he had to make an appearance at some point.  The photo on the page was taken on our recent visit to the Bird and Owl Sanctuary, the look on Alex's face is priceless, I couldn't not use it.

The whole thing took a while to complete, but it's been worth every minute.  I just wish I could be there to see the look on his face when he opens it.

I also made him a card from his Uncle Christopher ........
...... isn't he sooo cute!
When I saw this in one of this month's craft magazines, I just had to give it a go.
This little guy is from the October edition of Papercraft Inspirations.  He's been created, along with some other little friends, by one of the team on the magazine - Angela Poole  .....

He was really easy to do, you get all the templates in the magazine, along with the instructions.  
All the cardstock I've used is Bazzill Basics and the rest are pieces of scrapbooking papers from my bit box.

I do like my craft magazines.  It's a habit I picked up while working in a craft store, and can't seem to kick it.  There's the one I read EVERY month (Craft Stamper), the rest I pick up occasionally.  I used to read them all when I was working.  Well, they were there and I needed to know what the rest of the craft world was up to, plus you can always pick up some handy tips and techniques. 
And, when you'd been doing samples week in, week out for catalogues, shows, TV, classes etc., etc., you sometimes needed all the help you could get.  In fact, even now, on the occasions when Mr Mojo has taken himself off, and gone AWOL, I have been known to flick through my old magazines for inspiration and ideas.

Speaking of magazines, that's me done for the night.  I just need to parcel up these cards then I'm off to bed. I've got a copy of the Seasonal Stampin Up! Catalogue to go through.  It's full of brand new products and as I'm booked on an SU workshop on Saturday, I have to look through and see if there's anything I need to order.
Also,  I've got an early start tomorrow, I have to be at the Post Office first thing (hope it's not raining). Then I think the rest of the day will be spent catching up with Blog Challenges again.  I've got a Twinchie to do, this months Penny Black Saturday Challenge entry, and, I still haven't done my Timmie Tag - well we are only half way through the month, there's loads of time yet!

Thanks for popping by.  See you all again soon

Night, night!


Sunday 16 September 2012

Here's one I made earlier ......

How's your Sunday going?  Hope your's is nicer weather-wise than what we've got here - RAIN, RAIN, and more RAIN!
My day's got off to rather a late start, had a lovely lie-in (well ... it was a little late when I finally snuggled under the duvet last night - or should I say this morning).
I'm the only one up so I'm taking advantage of this quiet time.  There's nothing to rush for today. We were going to go to a special Harvest Time Farmers Market over in Castletown later on, but looking at the weather I don't think we'll bother.  So,  I've got my morning coffee and would you believe a LIM card for this weeks challenge to share with you.
Yes, you read that correctly.   My Less is More entry is DONE!  
It's unheard of for me to have this ready by Sunday (the challenge only comes out on a Saturday morning) but here it is ...
Ok! Ok!  I confess.  It was already done. (I hope that's within the rules)  This is one of my latest Indigo Blu cards and I think it fits the challenge so well.  It's the first proper look at the brand new Christmas stamps too.

It's Week 85 - Theme week, and our theme is to incorporate an OVAL somewhere in the design.

Ta Da!! - one oval used.  There is a little bit more on the design than I normally do for this challenge but I think there's still enough white space there, (I hope there is anyway) and there's not too many embellies, we'll see.

The little winter scene has been done using stamps from the new 'Looks Like Rain, Dear' set by Indigo Blu. This is a fab collection of stamps that has a bit of everything on there.  There's a couple of larger images, a lovely flourish you can use all year round for backgrounds etc., a festive verse from my favourite Christmas story - Twas the Night Before Christmas, and you get lots of little stamps  you can create your own little winter landscapes with or use on their own to make smaller cards, or tags.
For the design I've used a Nestabilities die to cut and emboss my oval.  Then, with the die still in place I've built up my scene using Distress ink and a couple of paper masks to create the moon and the landscape.  The reindeer and the trees are just stamped in black Versafine using first and second generation stamping. A little touch of ultafine glitter has been added to highlight.
The Merry Christmas sentiment is also a new Indigo Blu stamp, and is large enough to use on a card on it's own if you wanted to.  I've inked it up using two colours - Crimson Red and Olympia Green Versafine.  A few gems have been added for the holly berries, and a pretty red satin bow finishes the whole thing off.
I do hope this is not too much for the LIM girls.  It was nice to have a design that fit the bill when the challenge was announced, and not have to rush and squeeze something in on the last minute.  It's another busy week ahead so time is something I'm not going to have a lot of. 
Before all that kicks off though I'm taking a day out of the old craft room, catching up with the usual day to day stuff and I'm going to do some baking.   It's not something that I'm really good at, but I like to keep trying - practice makes perfect and all that!   Unfortunately I didn't inherit my mother's, or my grandmother's baking skills.  I love cooking,  it's just the sweet stuff I have a problem with.  That's not such a bad thing though, I'd be the size of a small house if  I was any good!!  My efforts do always get eaten though, so they can't be that bad, I think it's just me, I'm too critical!

Time I got out of my PJ's I think.  Enjoy the rest of your Sunday. 

Thanks for popping by.


Saturday 15 September 2012

Anything But Square

Happy weekend everyone,
Now here's a rare thing - a weekend Blog post from me.  It seems so long since I started a Saturday morning off chatting to all my Blog pals.  I'm already on my second cup of coffee so here we go ......

The birthday cards arrived on time - yeah!  Always a bonus when that happens!  I spent most of yesterday making two more that have to go next week.  By tea time I was covered in glue and paint.  Not quite sure how that happened, I only used a tiny bit of acrylic paint, but there you go. A little sure does go a long way!   I'll let you see them when they're finished.

On to something that is finished though, my entry for the latest challenge over at In the Pink
This time the challenge is ......
                        Anything but Square
and of course to use lots of PINK.  

The pink bit was easy, what shape to go for took a while longer.  In the end I went for one of my oversized tags - they're not square.
I did cheat a little with this, I must confess.  I have a 'Save it for Later' box that's full of stuff that's been started and then put to one side for one reason or another.  There's die cuts in there, background card that I've made and then not used, toppers that have been stamped and coloured and then I've changed my mind about, you know the sort of thing I mean.  Anyway, I had a look through and found a little Tilda image that I'd stamped and coloured using Copic pens, and it was in shades of pink.  Yes! There was my starting point, well it saved me a little bit of time.
This is how she's ended up .....
It's a while since my Magnolia stamps have been out.  I haven't really done super-cutesie recently.
The tag measures just under 8" (including the fancy border) by 4" so not small.  You'll need a BIG box to put this baby on!
The papers are from the 'Chanteuse Collection' by Kaisercraft, and they are gorgeous.  Lots of shades of pink mixed with browns and greens, really pretty. I added in a couple of punched borders, and did my faux stitching around the edges.
The Weathered Clock was cut from white card and then Worn Lipstick Distress ink was added around the edges, and also used to colour the hands.   You can just about see there's a touch of Fran-tage embossing enamel on there too, in the Shabby Pink, with a touch of Aged Silver. (I did warn you, it's my new obsession!)
It's just peeping out from behind the paper flowers, and there's also a little bit at the top too.
I added some pink vintage seam binding, a little bit of lace, and a piece of tulle net.  Some paper flowers, the cream ones tinted with pink ink, a few punched leaves and a vintage key finish it all off.
Looking at it, it doesn't look that pink.  I hope it's pink enough for the challenge.
Now I just need that special gift to put this on - who's got a birthday coming up?

Well I suppose I should  get out of my PJ's and get on with enjoying the weekend.  Not sure what we're doing yet, I'm sure we'll find something.

Enjoy your weekend.  I hope it's a good one.

Bye for now

Friday 14 September 2012

Happy Birthday Dad!

Morning folks,
Friday again.   The weeks are just flying by!  I'm looking forward to the weekend though, nothing planned this week (makes a change) so we're just going to see what happens.

It's Stephen's Dad's birthday today - Happy Birthday Dad! (don't think he reads my Blog, but you never know, so I'll say it just in case!).
Now you know I don't make a lot of MEN cards - they always prove a bit of a challenge.  So I couldn't exactly go to my card supply and pull one out ready to go in the post.  I had to get my thinking cap on, put aside my pink inks, ribbons and lace (oh no!) and make one.
Here it is .......
Indigo Blu does it again!  I love these stamps, they're great for mens cards.  I used 'Take the Time' (my favourite, favourite set!) for the pocket watch and the cogs (both embossed),  'Grand Tour I' for the air ship (coloured with Distress markers),  Map - background for one of the layers, and the splodge from 'Yorkshire Evening Post' on the backgorund paper.  This is one of those really useful stamps to have in your collection, it's great for backgrounds, or adding that distressed, aged look to a project - I love it!
I used papers from the gorgeous 12x12 Ledger Pad by Prima (the brown square is from my bit box - not sure where that came from), the Weathered Clock, and the wings on the pocketwatch (Tim Holtz Sizzix dies) are cut from Kraft-core cardstock.
The picture isn't brilliant - sorry about that.   The lighting is rubbish in our house, but as I wanted to get the card written and in an envelope ready to go, it was taken about midnight.  Anyway, you can just make out some 'Fran-tage' embossing on there. (If you click on the picture you can see it a little bit better).   This is my current obsession, so no doubt you'll be seeing a lot more.

I've had the powders for a while but hadn't really used them.  After watching Fran last week on C& C I decided to get them out again and play. 
This is what I used .......
They're Embossing Enamels, which give a 'shabby chic', vintage, aged look.  They're a little bit different to your normal embossing powders, they're thicker, chunkier crystals mixed in unique colours to give a worn look.  The one I used on Dad's card was the 'Aged Silver'.
The cogs have been stamped in Versamark then Fran-taged.   Then I've just rubbed the Versamark pad along the bottom corner of the brown layer, sprinkled the Fran-tage on top, but didn't brush off the excess, then heated from underneath.  As the powder starts to melt you can add more on top until you're happy with it.  I think it's a fab effect.
I bought the set because I wanted to try a few of the colours (well I couldn't just get the one pot now could I!)  They do come in bigger, individual pots too. Once these have run out (which won't be long the rate I'm going) I shall be restocking my favourites and more.
I bought mine from The Stamp Man.  It's a great little craft store, fab service too.  They also have FREE P&P on orders over £20, even to the Isle of Man! 
They stock the full Fran-tage range, all the glitters and fragments too - gorgeous!  They also have some fabulous stamps on there, why not take a look.

Speaking of deliveries to the IOM, look what my lovely Postie brought me this morning ......
oooh .......  a box from 'Art From the Heart'.  What could possibly be in there .....
...... my first pieces of the yummy new Christmas Idea-ology from the King of Distress - Tim Holtz!  Can't wait to play with those trees.  I've got my hands on the new Metallic Distress Stains too, and the glitter.  Exciting or what! Just need the new Alterations dies now, and the paper stash, and the trinkets, and the chit chat and ......... best leave it at that I think!
There was also the Daily QVC Delivery (as my other half likes to call them!).  This isn't exactly true anymore, I was the QVC Queen at one point but I don't shop with them that often now.
I do still have to have my skin care fix every now and again.  Well, I need all the help I can get!

On that note I'll say Cheerio!
Thank you so much for popping by, and thanks for all your lovely comments this week.
Hope you all have a great weekend.
Crafty hugs from a rather breezy Isle of Man


Thursday 13 September 2012

Just the one layer

Hi folks,
Wasn't sure where to start this morning, no urgent items on the 'To Do' list, nothing that needs to go in the post as soon as, and no rushing around like a headless chicken - absolute bliss! 
So it was breakfast in bed, followed by a second cup of coffee, a good old catch up with emails and stuff, my morning chat with Lauren, and now I'm ready to start the day (a little later than usual)
Yesterday afternoon was spent catching up with Blog challenges - well making a start at least.  I did manage to get one finished though .....
It's everybody's favourite week over at Less is More.
Yes, it's the
                        ONE LAYER CARD
with the focus this week being on

In some cases a One Layer card can be harder to do than one that's mat and layered to the hilt, and embellished with everything you can think of.  It can take a bit of planning before you start - how to create the 'layered' look, and add a bit of depth (masks/stencils come in handy here, and use of inks)  What needs to be done first to get the right look. And of course no embellies! (Oh no!)  On the other hand, this style can be so quick and easy to do, but still have that Wow! factor.

This weeks effort is somewhere in between.  It took me a little while to decide on the design, mainly because I couldn't find a stamp I was happy with.  Then of course, what colours to use.  I think I'm still a little bit in my pink phase - a least one shade seems to sneak into whatever I'm doing.

This time it was Spun Sugar, teamed with Tumbled Glass and a little bit of Milled Lavender.  The Distress Inks were brushed onto the card through a mask/stencil I'd made using a Nestabilities die.
My foliage stamp is from a Hero Arts clear set called Delicate Leaf Clusters (one of my favourites), and the sentiment is from Share Laughter (also by Hero Arts).  Both were just stamped in black Versafine ink - simples! 
Obviously you could choose any colour combinations for the inked panel, I always tend to use three.  And your panel could also be any shape you like.

I must admit I quite like the one layer weeks, they make a refreshing change.   The CAS designs are always elegant and make great cards for any occasion.  Why not pop over the LIM site and take a look at the inspiration from Chrissie and Mandi and the fabulous entries that are already on there - make a cuppa first though, there's quite a few!

Thanks for popping by.  I'll be back tomorrow with a card that's definitely NOT one layer - it's one of those rare offerings from me - one for the guys!

Have a great day, and ooh ..... don't forget the girls from Stamp Addicts, Sarah and Vicky, are back on C& C this afternoon - 4pm and 6pm - with their Birthday Bonanza show.

See you later