Friday 30 September 2016

Scotland will have to wait ..... sigh!

Happy last day of September ......

Well .... guess where I am???

This is where I should be .......

On the morning ferry ........ sailing across the Irish Sea with hubby,  on our way to a lovely, romantic? week away in the highlands of Scotland

picture courtesy of Google
I say should be .... because I'm not!!

Unfortunately our little autumn break has had to be put on hold, due to hubby's boss 'needing' him to be in work next week!!!  One of the drawbacks of his promotion I suppose ..... being a director means that work has to come first some times.  I can't complain too much .... they are reimbursing us the costs, so it means we can still go, it'll just have to be some other time. Might just have to wait until the spring though. Don't worry ..... it's going to cost him this weekend though .... hubby has some serious making up to do!

It also means that I'll be around for the start of all the new blog challenges ...... the beginning of the month is always a busy time.  There's some fun themes coming up ......

I'll be back over the weekend with the first of them .... there's a little bit of everything going on

October's going to be fun ......

At least the weather's nice today .....  the sun is shining and the wind has dropped a little (would have been a lovely ferry crossing!)  let's hope it lasts all weekend.

I'm starting mine early ...... well if I'm being truthful, we started last night!  We had dinner out, then ended up down at the Saddleoke.  Always a good night, but there's usually a headache in the morning. So .... it's coffee in town with a friend later then a little retail therapy for me I think ...... I said this weekend was going to cost him!!

Thanks for popping by ..... enjoy the rest of your day and have a fabulous weekend.

It's the Happy Stampers Festival at Port Sunlight on Saturday .... my favourite little craft show.  See I could have gone to that now, but I didn't get a ticket because we were supposed to be going away! Never mind there's always next year (sigh!)
If you're going along have a great time .... I know you will.  Say hello to everyone for me.

Cheerio until next time ..... see you in October!

Monday 26 September 2016

It's going to be a busy one .......

Happy Monday folks ......

I've got a nice short, but busy week ahead.  Fingers crossed, everything seems to be going according to plan ..... the old craft room is a complete mess, multiple projects are on the go at once but hey .... the To Do list is getting shorter .... slowly!

Hubby and I are off on a trip across to the UK ..... he's booked a few days away up in bonnie Scotland. We're taking the car, sailing across on the Friday morning ferry, and then driving up there.
Yes .... I know it's nearly October, and the weather isn't brilliant ....... and yes I did say we're on the ferry!!  Apparently there are two storms on their way to the UK which are going to collide before they get there ..... sounds like fun!!! But, I'm sure we'll have a great time whatever the weather.  Already packed the travel pills!! 

It's almost 30 years ago exactly, that Stephen actually proposed to me .... whilst we were up in Scotland.  We'd only been seeing each other for 10 days when he took me on a weekend away and swept me off my feet ..... how romantic is that!  As I said .... that was 30 years ago (sigh!)

Anyway .... lots to get done before we go.
Let's start the week with Saturday's workshop ....... a multi media canvas using texture pastes, stencils, paints, lots of lovely embellishments and finishing off with gorgeous mica sprays .... all inspired by the fabulous Finnabair.    
Everyone had a great day ..... we always have such  good time on our little get togethers ..... although they're not as little as they once were.

They had two options to choose from ..... a black gesso base for the centre canvas (full details on this project can be found here)

I do love this technique .... can you tell! ....... personally the black is my favourite .....

Again this was something I did a few months ago, but if you missed it you can see how it was done by clicking the link here

Then the second option was a white gesso base ...... totally different look

Basically everything's the same to begin with for both options.  Texture paste and stencils for the background, although I did throw in a bit of tissue paper on my inspiration piece for something a little different

Once all that's dry ....... arrange your embellishments on the top and then once you're happy with it glue them all into place with some heavy gel medium

As you can see I like to keep my focal point towards the centre more or less, and then build it up a little for dimension and trail it off towards the edges.
I used paper flowers, metal flowers and leaves, cogs, wooden embellishments, little trinkets, buttons, seed beads .... you name it you can put whatever you like on there.
Just bear in mind if you're going for a black gesso base it doesn't really matter what colour of flowers and buttons etc., you use as you'll be covering them up and black gesso covers most things.
If you want to try the white option then keep the colours of what you put on there quite neutral .... you need to cover the colour with white gesso so things may need more than one coat.

Once the glue starts to dry you can speed things up a little by using a heat tool .... just remember that there's metal on there, so it will get hot ..... and there's paper so not too long with the heat, you don't want to burn anything.

Once you're happy that everything is stuck down, give the whole thing a good coat of gesso, making sure to get in between all the layers.   Let this dry naturally or you can help it along with a heat tool, then the fun begins ..... the mica sprays.  This is where some of the ladies were a little nervous to begin with and were a bit shy with the spraying.  My advice is don't think about it too much, just spray and get some colour on there.  I would advise drying off each colour before changing to another one .... you don't want them to mix and make a muddy mess.
Just keep spraying until you're happy with the result.

Obviously the colours will look different on the different bases .... the black will be more vibrant whereas the white will be a bit more pastel

I went in and added more colour here and there using mica powders and then finished off with a touch of Treasure Gold here and there .....

Everyone was so pleased with the results ....... most of them went for the black option, one did both (there's always one!) used black and white, which turned out fabulous ..... how bad am I though I didn't get any photos!!!
I will try and get some though ..... it would be nice to show off what they created.
We did have one lady go with the white option and she has sent me a picture and given me permission to share her finished project  ....... this was Carol's,  how pretty does this look

Well done everyone .... another fabulous, fun filled day.
Need to get planning the next one now ..... add it to the list!!!

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

Cheerio until next time

Friday 23 September 2016

Whoo hoo!! .... it's the weekend

Happy Friday .........

Have you missed me?  The blog has been a bit neglected this week ..... sorry!  I was feeling a little under the weather at the beginning of the week ...... started with a cold that never really went anywhere.  But ....... that was the start of the week ...... I'm feeling great now, just as well really as things have been a little busy round here (so whats new!)

Hubby's booked us a trip away for the week after next, so I'm trying to get all my DT stuff done and ready to go before we leave on the 30th.  The beginning of the month is always a bit frantic ...... I'll have my laptop with me though so I can keep an eye on things .... and keep you posted on where we are.

We've had birthday celebrations this week ........ the little man was 6!  He's growing up so fast.

We had a special family birthday tea on Tuesday ........ Alex chose the venue, and we all went to Alessandro's in town.  He even paid the bill ...... well with Grandad's card of course!!!
Wednesday was his actual birthday, so that meant  PARTY TIME!!!  Lots of little people having fun, playing games and eating lots of cake!!!  And of course a special birthday card .....

Six little aliens ready to party .....

Each with their own balloon ....

Alex loved it ..... but then he always a fan of Grandma's cards!

As I said, in between all the fun that's been going on this week, I've been busy with DT stuff .... getting ready for a whole new batch of challenges at the start of next month ...... and, I've also been getting stuff ready for this weekends workshop.  Yes ...... I've got my group of crafty ladies gathering again and this weekend should be loads of fun.

We're going to be carrying on from the last one ..... using Mica Powders again but this time in spray form.  We'll be adding in some Mixed Media along the way - texture pastes, gel medium, tissue paper, along with fabric, and lots of embellishments, to create a gorgeous canvas in the very popular Finnabair style. I've done a couple of pieces recently and everyone has said they would like to try the techniques ...... so ...... I'm here to please and tomorrow they'll be giving it a go.

Here's a few sneaky peeks at my inspiration pieces .......
You've probably seen this one before .... it was done a few months ago on a workshop with the lovely Maria Simms ..... mica sprays on a black gesso base ......  gorgeous!

Another sample using Black Gesso before spritzing with those gorgeous micas ..... I do love this effect

And finally ..... one done using White Gesso as the base colour ....... you get a different look when you start spraying those micas onto the white ..... really pretty!

So .... will the dramatic, black base be more popular ....... or will it be the more delicate white? Whichever one they go for I'm sure they'll have some fun.

Thanks for popping by .... enjoy the rest of your day and have a lovely weekend.

I've got the little man for a sleepover tonight ...... hubby's gone for a quick drink with the lads after work so it's take away for dinner when he gets home .... yum!

Cheerio until next time .........

Sunday 18 September 2016

Food glorious food ........

Happy Sunday ......

We're having a nice relaxing day today, with a family Sunday lunch later .... what better way to finish off the weekend.
The lazy start to the day had nothing to do with the fact we were out last night ...... yeah right!
We spent a fab day down at the Isle of Man Food and Drink Festival ..... as always we tried everything and came home with a nice little stash of goodies ..... also found out there's a new Thai restaurant opening in October ..... can't wait to try that one!

We got the Christmas pud sorted ..... have to have one of those!   Some delicious hot smoked salmon (today's starter I think) and a fab collection of spices to name a few things that coma home with me. Oh .... and the freezer is all ready and waiting too, for the arrival of a full lamb (sorry to any vegetarians out there) ..... legs, shoulders, racks, all prepared and ready to go ..... yum!!

We followed all that with an evening down at one of my favourite places ..... the Bath & Bottle .... a nice little cocktail bar in town   More food and drink with Lauren and Robbie .... think there was a little more drink than food though ...... oops!

Anyhow .... enough of my weekend shenanigans, lets get a little bit festive shall we (less than 100 days now ..... just saying!)

I'm playing along with the Merry Monday Christmas Card Challenge again.  This week there's an inspiration photo ..... how fab does this look

I've used the large stars as my inspiration, along with the colour red .....

The star is an SU stamp, stamped using a red versafine ink and then I've added a touch of sparkle to the flourish design using a fine crystal glitter

Embossed the Christmas greeting with my current favourite embossing powder ..... Ranger's Liquid Platinum (love it!!)

and added a bit of mat and layering with some red and wait for this ...... silver mirri card!!! Something I haven't used in a long time ..... but I think it works well here

Well .... that's another one for the Christmas box done. It's starting to fill up ..... slowly.

Thanks for popping by ... .enjoy the rest of your weekend.
I'm off to get the roast in the oven then sit down and check out some hotels online.  Hubby and I are hoping for a short break across in the UK ...... a chance to catch up with family and friends in the northwest, and then off up to Scotland for a few days of R & R just the two of us.

Cheerio until next time ......

Friday 16 September 2016

CAS Mix Up .......

Happy Friday evening folks ......

Whoo hoo!! .... it's the weekend (happy dance time).  

It's one of my favourite weekends on the island too.   Oh yes ........ the Isle of Man Food and Drink Festival takes place this weekend in the Villa Marina Gardens (just round the corner from us!)
The festival showcases all the fabulous local food and produce ...... and when I say local I mean it's grown, reared, caught, cooked, baked or processed on the island, or it's surrounding waters ..... yum! yum!  As you've probably guessed by now, we love our food so yes ..... we'll be there.  Well I need to get this years Christmas pudding!!

Before all that though it's time to play along with September's CAS Mix Up challenge.

This month as you can see, we have to include ..... Stamping - check! Marbling - check! Plus an element of your won choice .... I went for die cuts, oh and acetate smooshing

So .... marbling ..... hmmmm,  there's a few fun ways of doing this, alcohol inks on water,  the shaving foam technique .... always fun!   If you pop over to the CAS Mix Up Blog you'll find some really useful links on there to some great tutorials. If you've never tried this technique why not give it a go.

I used a Marbling with Distress Paints technique from Tim Holtz, which is basically, applying Picket Fence Distress Paint to a craft sheet, plus 2 or 3 other colours of Distress Paint around it, and then swiping a piece of card through the paints to pick up the colours.  Do this until the card is covered, dry the paint off a little ... not too much though ... and then spritz with water to blend, or marble the colours together ...... and either dry with a heat tool, or I left mine overnight which seemed to work too.

I used a couple of different paint combinations and made a few marbled piece of cardstcok and then used my dies and stamps to put my card together.

I die cut the Birthday from one colour, and again from black card, and then layered the two together, slightly off setting them to give the look of a shadow.  I love the font on this die .... it's one of the new CUTplorations range of thin metal dies from STAMPlorations.

I stamped my little Crazy Bird and his birthday balloons onto pieces of the marbled card and then fussy cut around them ........  love how all the colours blend

I then stamped the bird directly onto my card and paper pieced over the top of him ...... oooh!  I suppose Paper Piecing could be an additional element too!


I took a piece of acetate and smooshed the same colours in Distress Ink as I'd used in paint for the marbling, onto the background,  and then stamped and embossed the Happy part of my greeting ....

I then put the die cut Birthday and the balloons in place, and finished off by applying a thin coat of Glossy Accents to highlight and bring out the colours a little more .....

Look he's sneaked onto the inside too .....

Now he's in the mood ... he's got his party hat on ....

Well that's it from me .... I've just noticed the time.  Ooops! ....... it's getting a little late and it's suddenly gone dark.  Have I been in the old craft room that long!!!  OK I confess ..... I got distracted by the man himself ... yes Mr Tim Holtz has been on Facebook Live again with the release of this year's Christmas Idea-ology. I missed the live showing but the video popped up on my Facebook news feed and it would have been rude not to watch now wouldn't it.   All I'm saying is .... OMG!!! Talk about a wish list!!

Thanks for popping by .... enjoy the rest of your day and have a fun filled weekend.

Cheerio until next time

PS .... almost forgot ..... I'm also linking this up to the STAMPlorations CUTplorations Blog Hop and Linky Party that's going on at the moment

They're celebrating the release of their brand new Christmas themed stamps and dies ..... be warned you're going to want them all!!

Thursday 15 September 2016

In the pink .....

Happy Thursday to you .....

It's time for a little more inspiration for this months STAMPlorations CAS Card Challenge.  As always the theme is ..... Anything Goes .... anything CAS that is ...... with an optional colour twist. For September that colour twist is .......

Here we go .....

Definitely CAS ......  and a little bit Pink!
I've stamped the pretty STAMPlorations Framed Zinnia, onto a piece of card I found in my bit box.  I think it's what you'd call a 'mop up' piece.  You know what I mean .... you've been busy with your inks or paints and you haven't quite used it all up .... there's a little bit left on your craft sheet and you don't want to just wipe it away.  Well I'm not one to waste anything so ...... I reach for pieces of cut off card that may be lying around my desk, swipe them across my craft mat to pick up the leftover ink, and voila! .... lots of ready made backgrounds or pieces to stamp onto, or even use with my dies and punches.  Tell me I'm not the only one that does that!

This was a really pretty piece of card ..... all pink and yellow and perfect for today's project.

I added a touch more colour to the actual blooms using Worn Lipstick Distress Ink and a little water

A bit of matting and layering with black and white card ....... and a nice sentiment to go with it, finishes everything off nicely (words from the  STAMPlorations Subway Art Builders - Dare stamps set)

Still need more inspiration? .... then why not check out the STAMPlorations Blog.  The rest of the Design Team have been busy creating more fabulous CAS ideas for you.
You'll also find a list of the challenge rules over there (don't worry, there's not many)  and details of the prizes up for grabs.

Happy stamping!

Thanks for popping by ...... enjoy the rest of your day.
I'm off to sort out a birthday present for a very special little boy, who's 6 next week (can he really be 6 already!!!)

He told Grandad last week that he would like a new TV for his bedroom please ..... because the one he has at the moment isn't big enough!!!!  That's that sorted then.

Cheerio until next time .....