Sunday 31 May 2015

And so it begins .......

Happy Sunday,

Well .... it's started ........ this years Isle of Man TT that is. Or .......  as someone who works with hubby described it .......
The annual international celebration of lunatics travelling at 200mph on two wheels round a deadly road race track watched by damp campers drunk on real ale!! (lol!)

photo taken from the Official IOM TT website
Practice week got underway yesterday (Saturday) although unfortunately it was cut short by the weather.  Let's hope things brighten up during the week and that the weatherman is right (for once!) Apparently we're heading for a heatwave (whoo hoo!) ....... starting on Wednesday, and will probably last until Friday ...... if we're lucky!  Only joking ..... finger's crossed it's going to be the start of a long, hot (well warm at least) summer!

The sun's not shining today, in fact the sky looks pretty grim, but I don't care ... I'm having a lazy morning!  Well, I've no hubby to worry about ...... and it makes up for the early start I had yesterday. I know he arrived in the UK safely but that's it ....... I've heard nothing since.  Their 'lads day out' was supposed to be, starting with a trip to Go Ape ...... swinging through the trees like Tarzan, climbing high rope obstacles and flying down zip wires over water .... no thank you!  Not my idea of fun I can tell you, no matter how breathtaking the scenery is!!
Then, it was supposed to be on to some fancy hotel in Manchester, a meal out in the evening followed by a club ...... and probably ending up in some casino or other.  He's due back later today...... no doubt a little worse for wear!!!

Me on the other hand ..... I had a much more leisurely day spent in the company of my lovely crafty buddies.  Lots of tea, cake and cookies, AND chocolates .......  with the odd glass of something chilled after lunch ..... non-alcoholic of course!  Well .... it is the weekend after all, and .... it's not that often that we all get together ..... there was 6 of us today!

We had quite a productive day too ...... cards were designed, some even made. New stash was used ...... which is always fun, and everyone left with nice long shopping lists!  You know what it's like ..... someone's always got something new in their stash that you haven't, and you suddenly find that it's something you really NEED  ....... you've been there, right!?

Unfortunately I can't share my little project with you, not yet anyway, you'll have to wait a bit longer .... sorry!   I can tell you it was all inspired by something I did on a workshop recently, with one of the girls .... all will be revealed next week .... stay tuned!
I can share the second project we did though ....... from the same workshop.

Once a month we go over to Jill's and have a nice crafty afternoon .... usually trying out a couple of new techniques and getting all inky .... it's great fun!!
One of the things we did last month was using Brusho's with metal stencils.  If you haven't tried Brushos yet .... give them a go, they're little pots of magic!  And ...... the more you play around with them, the more ways you find to use them.

This is using the paints with a metal stencil ..... but instead of colouring through the stencil, in the usual way, we sprinkled the pigment ONTO the metal.  We then spritz with a little water and placed the stencil down onto a piece of card.  Apply a little pressure ....... and this is what happens ........

Pretty or what .... you still get the stenciled imaged, maybe not as crisp in places as you would using it in the usual way, but I quite like that.  You still get those fabulous Brusho backgrounds too .....

And what I also like is ...... no two will ever turn out the same. Clever eh!

Oh well ...... can't stay in my PJ's all day (sigh!) stuff to do and all that.  But first ..... a nice warm cinnamon and raisin bagel and a strong coffee are on the agenda ....... Happy Sunday indeed!

Thanks for popping by.  I see my followers number has gone up again (big smile!)  Welcome to Jan ...... thank you so much for spending time here, it's lovely to have you with us.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend
Cheerio until next time


Friday 29 May 2015

Guest Designer at Country View Crafts Challenge Blog

Good morning! ...... and a very Happy Friday to you.

It's soon come around this week ...... because of the Bank Holiday I suppose! It should be a nice quiet weekend though .... it's hubby's turn to fly across to the UK.  He's going over for a guys get together ..... so it's bound to get messy!! Glad I'm not going.

Anyway, to get the weekend underway, I'm absolutely thrilled to be today's Guest Designer over on the Country View Crafts Challenge Blog.

This month's challenge theme is .....
 Simply Scenic

There's already been lots of fabulous inspiration for you through the month and today it's my turn.

Summer is on its way, so I'm told ..... and with that in mind my take on this month's challenge is .... a piece of home decor, with a pretty little summer meadow scene .....

This is so simple to do and the picture inside can be changed to suit the seasons throughout the year. Would make a lovely little gift too!
There's some fabulous shabby chic picture frames around, and not that expensive, it's what you put inside them that matters.

I cut a piece of white cardstock to fit the aperture then added some colour using Distress Inks ..... pretty shades of blue to create my summer sky ........

I spritzed the ink with a little water, let it sit for a while then removed the excess with paper towel removing some of the ink as well.

I then stamped the flowers across the bottom using a black Archival ink.  This particular image is from IndigoBlu ..... Wild Flowers and is one of my favourites.  Depending on how you colour the flowers they could be anything ..... buttercups, poppies you name it!

I decided NOT to add colour this time ........ instead I took more of the background colour away ...... using a paintbrush and some clean water I painted over each of the flowers, dabbed with a piece of kitchen roll and removed the ink ......

I stamped some butterflies above the flowers, once directly onto the scene and then again onto pieces of previously inked card from my scrap box ...... leftovers really from previous projects (I never throw anything away!)

I then fussy cut these and attached them over the top of the ones on my summer scene (cuts out the need to cut around the really fiddly bits like the antennae)  

I took one of the sentiments from a set of JOFY stamps (JOFY 09) and stamped it across the top ...... perfect fit (phew!)

and to finish off I used some watered down Picket Fence Distress Paint splattered over the scene using a paint brush.

I also added a touch of White Fire Treasure Gold to the ornate bit at the top of the frame ...... gives it more of an aged look I think.

I hope you like it ......... you've still got time to enter the challenge  so why not give it go.

Thanks for popping by ...... it's been a pleasure to be GD on the Country View Crafts Challenge Blog. It just so happens that Country View Crafts is my favourite online craft store ..... fab products, great prices and it's FREE  P&P (UK that is)

Have a great weekend ...... it's my turn to host our crafty get together tomorrow ..... 6 stamping mad ladies around the table (hubby's glad he's away!)  You never know we might just get something finished this week ..... there's always a first time!

Cheerio until next time


Thursday 28 May 2015

2 for the price of 1

Happy Thursday!

I don't know whether I'm coming or going this week ...... still trying to catch up with stuff from last weekend ..... and it's all getting ready to start again ....... and it's nearly the end of the month!!!  I could do with an extra few hours each day I think .... maybe I give up sleep for a while!!!!

I have managed to squeeze in a couple of blog challenges this week ...... I've done a 2 for 1!  I know ...... that doesn't happen very often.

It's another one for the Christmas box ........

I'm entering this into the Merry Monday Christmas Card Challenge .... where the theme this week is to ......
use Newsprint

I stamped my sentiment in the centre(ish) of a piece of white card and added a few sprinkles of Fran-tage embossing Enamel (Shabby White and Chunky White) to add a bit more interest to the background.

I then glued an old bookpage on to a piece of white card and die cut my festive blooms using the Spellbinders Poinsettia die ..... there's my newsprint used!

I inked around the edges of the flowers with a little Distress ink, to give a bit more dimension and then layered up each one adding in a few festive red layers too.  A bit of green foliage, and a few gems for the centres and jobs done.

Now for challenge number 2 .......  this week's Less is More.

It's Recipe week and we have to .......
 Use Some Metal

As you can see my piece of metal is a small jingle bell in the centre of one of my poinsettia's.  A nice CAS design, lots of white space.  I love it when things come together!  

Thanks for popping by .... enjoy the rest of your day.  

Cheerio until next time


Tuesday 26 May 2015

The countdown begins ....

Happy Tuesday folks!

I hope you all had a good Bank Holiday weekend, I certainly did!

So ....... what did I get up to ......well!  Friday was a lovely day, going here there and everywhere ..... with a spot of retail therapy thrown in for good measure.  I could have spent a small fortune but ..... I only had hand luggage so I had to be careful (sigh!)  I really need a trip over there with the car ..... there's so many nice things to buy!

Saturday ..... I spent the day on a fabulous Clarity workshop with the the lovely Maria Simms.  It's always fun catching up with the Preston Clarity crew ...... and there was cake!!!
I'm not sure if our workshop was the last one for May ..... I don't want to spoil it if there's anyone out there that hasn't done it yet so here's just a sneaky peek of what we did ......

Four gorgeous card designs, filled with great techniques ..... stencils, masking, stamping onto acetate (always fun!!), colouring using Spectrum Noir pencils, brayering (eek!), getting messy with paints, and of course all using the fabulous Claritystamp products ...... a great way to spend the weekend!

I also got a nice surprise on Saturday morning ...... I'd been ShowCASed over at Less is More for Week 223 .... whoo hoo!!

My little froggy friends proved to be favourites of the LIM crew too.

And I got some exciting news .... I can't say anything more just yet, watch this space!!!

I do love my trips across to the UK but it's always nice to come home again, especially when hubby picks me up from the airport and then takes me out for dinner on the way home!  Then .... when I get home, there's craft stuff waiting for me ....... this little lot arrived while I was away .... guess what I'm doing this week!! (if I get the time)

Oh well .... better get a move on, busy day as usual.
The countdown begins for this years TT Races ..... it all gets underway on Saturday with the start of Practice Week.

It shouldn't affect us much this year .... since we've moved, we're now outside the track so no need to worry about road closures etc.  And ....... hubby is taking Race Week as holiday this year so we should be able to get out and about and soak up some of the atmosphere.  Lets hope the weather's good.

Thanks for popping by .... enjoy the rest of your day.
I've got a friend coming round for coffee soon and I need to scurryfunge before she gets here.  I need to do what ...... I hear you say ...... check out the old English definition here ..... I'll bet that you're a scurryfunger too!!

Cheerio until next time


Friday 22 May 2015

It's the weekend!!! .....

Happy Friday folks!

An early start for me again (yawn) ..... I've to be at the airport at 8am this morning so unfortunately  I haven't got a lot of time to chat.
In fact this is the start of a busy few weekends for us .... I'm away this weekend, it's hubby's turn next week ..... TT starts then too (that's soon come around!)  The weekend after that my brother is over here for a few days .... the beginning of race week.  Then it's the Summer Party where hubby works (always fun!) and we finish off with Senior Race Day (a bank holiday over here) on June 12th ..... phew!!!  Good job we've got a holiday booked for the 19th June ..... we're going to need it!!

Before all that gets underway, and the chaos begins ....... I want to get my entry in for this week's Merry Monday Christmas card challenge ......

Hmmm .... non-evergreen trees ......... will this do? ......

CAS .... but I'm pleased with the result'

I started by masking off a section down the side of a piece of white cardstock.  I then put another mask in place for the hills, and using a masking fluid and a paintbrush, I splattered the fluid across the piece of exposed card.  Once the fluid was dry, I added some colour with Distress Ink (Stormy Sky and a touch of Chipped Sapphire) to create the sky.  Once I as happy with the colour I rubbed away the dots of masking fluid leaving behind the white card underneath, giving the look of falling snow .......

I added a bit more shading down the rest of the panel to give the look of snow drifts and then removed the masks.
I stamped the little twiggy tree .... from Penny Black's clear stamp set ..... on the town ....... over to one side, to create my winter scene, and added a sentiment across the bottom

To finish off I added a touch of fine crystal glitter to the branches of the tree to add an icy sparkle

And of course there's a little something on the inside

Hope you like it.

Well .... I'm going to have to love you and leave you I'm afraid ...... I've got that plane to catch.

Thanks for popping by ..... enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend.

Cheerio until next time


Thursday 21 May 2015

Hello sunshine .......

Happy Thursday!

How's your week been?  I'm so looking forward to the Bank Holiday weekend ...... a trip across to the UK to spend some time with my crafty buddy .... a workshop with the lovely, and very talented Maria Simms on Saturday (a little bit of a Clarity fix) then I'm back home in time to spend the Bank Holiday with hubby and the rest of the crew.

I haven't actually spent much time in the old craft room this week .... lots of other stuff getting in the way!   Including a nice afternoon in town with Lauren and the little man yesterday .... we decided to make the most of the nice weather.

Speaking of nice weather ....... the challenge this week over at Less is More, is all about sunshine.
It's Theme week and the theme is .....
Hello Sunshine 

With no time to spend in the old craft room ....... CAS was definitely the way to go .......

I used the Tim Holtz Rays stencil for my sunshine.  Inked using Mustard Seed, Scattered Straw, Wild Honey and a touch of Dried Marigold, masking off the bottom half of the card first.

I then added my words .....

And a sentiment to the inside ......

Nice and simple ..... but bright and cheery!

Thanks for popping by ...... sorry it's a bit short and sweet.  I've still a few jobs to do before I leave in the morning.  Can't leave Mount Ironing any longer I'm afraid ..... it'll be twice as big when I get back and I'm only away for two nights!!!!
I've got all evening though ....... it's just me and the little man and he's off to bed soon.  Hubby's out on some work thing.  His department are having an 'off site get together' and would you believe ...... they've gone to my favourite restaurant ..... WITHOUT ME!!!!  (sigh!)  He's got some serious making up to do next week I think!

Enjoy the rest of your Thursday.

Cheerio until next time


Tuesday 19 May 2015

I've been colouring in again ........

Happy Tuesday!

Another short week for me this week ...... I'm off on another trip to the UK on Friday so I need to get my skates on and get sorted!  Lots to do, as usual, before I get on that plane.

Today's out though ..... it's crafting over in Ballaugh this afternoon ...... it's the third Tuesday of the month ...... Maggie's workshop, with time for a quick stop for coffee on the way.

Before I dash off to get my craft bags ready, I've got another card for you using my Spectrum Noir Pencils ...... I'm loving these at the moment (just ordered another set ..... sshhh! .... don't tell anyone!!)

Another of my current favourites ...... one of the latest stamps from Penny Black, this particular one is called demure ...... (it has a matching stencil too!)  They've just released a brand new collection called Sunshine and Smiles with even more gorgeous images ...... watch out for those!

I've stamped the flowers onto a piece of white cardstock and then used my Spectrum Noir pencils to colour each of the blooms

These pencils really do blend well .... with no effort at all, and the colours are gorgeous!

I added a touch of Distress ink around the edges and on to the background, spritzed with water to take some of the colour away and then, using a wet paint brush I splattered the background with even more ink (swiped the ink pad onto my craft sheet ..... spritzed the ink with water and used the brush to pick up the colour and splatter onto the card .... simple!)

Once the Distress Ink was dry I added a few more splatters over the top, this time using the Dylusions Ink Spray in White Linen ..... I love how some of the ink has landed onto the coloured flowers, adds a bit more interest.

I added a sentiment ......

And a little something on the inside ......

Another one for my card stash ...... it's building up nicely again.

Well I didn't get much time to spend in the old craft room over the weekend ..... it was parties, ice cream and playgrounds ...... all with the little man of course.
I think I must have over done the mint choc chip because I didn't feel too good yesterday ......... thought I was coming down with something but I'm fine this morning .... thankfully!  I can do without the lurgy paying a visit this week ...... I've got a workshop to go to at the weekend!!

Got to dash ...... Pyjamas and slippers is not a good look for the coffee shop!

Thanks for popping by .... enjoy the rest of your day.

Cheerio until next time


Friday 15 May 2015

Feeling inspired .....

Happy Friday to you!

Are you all looking forward to the weekend ....... I know I am!  I'm hoping to spend some time with one of my purchases from my little trip into town the other day ........

Yes ..... I've bought myself a colouring book it says on the front ......for grown-ups!!!
Although I doubt whether I will get time to play over the weekend ...... we've got the little man.  His mummy's having a weekend away in the lovely Lake District ...... alright for some!! (She's under strict orders to bring me back some Grasmere Gingerbread ...... she'd better not forget!)

Speaking of colouring .......I have been playing with my Spectrum Noir pencils lately and I must say I do like them.  I only have two of the sets ..... at the moment, but I think I'm going to have to get the rest of them ..... soon, especially if I get going with the colouring book.

Anyhow ...... I was recently inspired by an article from March's edition of Craft Stamper, by the very talented Kay Carley, on how to use the Spectrum Noirs .....

How gorgeous are these ........ using JOFY stamps onto Core-dinations cardstock.

Well ...seeing as how I had most of the products Kay had used I thought I'd give it a go.  Here's the result of an afternoon spent with my crafty buddies on one of our weekly get togethers, following Kay's step by steps .......

I used the beautiful Flourish stencil from Tim Holtz, to create the background ..... Milled Lavender Distress Ink onto the same shade of Core-dinations cardstock

Used the leaf stencil to draw round using a black fine liner pen, and stamped the JOFY flowers with Black Archival ink.

Then it was the fun part ..... adding the colour.  These pens blend so well ..... I started with the lightest shade first, all over the petals, then built up the colour gradually, using darker shades, one layer at a time ......

The white highlights are from a white gel pen, and I finished off by adding a little something on the inside .....

Not bad eh ..... thanks to the lovely Kay Carley of course!
The Spectrum Noirs are one of my favourite ways of adding colour at the moment ...... I'll definitely be using them more often.

Well that's it from me ........ Hubby's got the day off so I think we're off out.  We may just stop off somewhere nice for a spot of lunch, before we have to get the little man from pre-school at 3.

Thanks for popping by ..... enjoy your weekend, whatever you have planned.

Cheerio until next time


Wednesday 13 May 2015

Everything stops for tea .......

Happy Wednesday!

It's the middle of the week and time to get festive .......... yes it's Merry Monday time!!

If it's been anything like it has here today, Christmas will be the last thing on your mind!  We've had a beautiful day ...... clear blue skies and lots of warm sunshine.  I'm just hoping it lasts, this could be summer!  And ..... it's only a little over 2 weeks before the TT gets under way again .... eeek!!

This week's challenge is ..... all about using Stencils to create a Christmas card

Here's mine ......

I've used a Sweet Poppy Stencil and texture paste for my design.  Classic black and white with a touch of sparkle ......

I added fine crystal glitter over the texture paste whilst it was still wet ....... sorry I couldn't capture the effect on camera, but trust me it is so sparkly in real life.

I used white pearlescent paint and a wet paintbrush to create the splatters in the background .....

And I finished off by using the stencil again inside my card, this time with a little Distress ink (Weathered Wood) before adding a festive greeting.

A Wink of Stella pen adds a touch of sparkle to the inside

Another one done for the Christmas box.

Not one to waste the nice weather I closed the old craft room door and nipped into town at lunchtime. Well I had a few bits to do, the bank etc.,  and then I met a friend for coffee.  Well, it was supposed to be coffee but, it ended up being a lovely lunch out in the new tea room that's opened in Douglas .......  The Tea Junction.  It was so nice ..... the guys in there were lovely, the food was delicious, and I even made room for cake (naughty!!!)  Next time I think I'll have to try the Gin & Tonic ice lollies that they have on the menu!!!

Thanks for popping by ..... enjoy the rest of your day.

Cheerio until next time