Sunday 31 July 2022

Oh no! ..... is it really time to start thinking about Christmas .......

Happy Sunday to you ........ 

I hope you're enjoying the weekend.

Dare I say it ......... are you getting that festive feeling yet?  Thinking about making a start on all those Christmas cards!  Well, there is only 146 days to go ..... just saying! 

For all you Sweet Poppy Stencils fans, I've got a little heads up ...... Lucy is back on our TV screens tomorrow with more gorgeous, new, Sweet Poppy goodies ..... yeah! 
There's brand new Sweet Poppy festive stamps and stencils, along with some back in stocks, and a few old favourites, so if you are thinking about Christmas you wont want to miss the show (details and times are at the bottom of this post) 
As always Lucy will be working her magic showing us how to get the best from our Sweet Poppy stash, and there'll be lots of gorgeous inspiration from the rest of the Design Team.

I haven't had much time to play with the new Christmas release ....... holidays and family stuff getting in the way, you know how it is.  And it was a bit weird making Christmas cards when the temperatures were soaring outside, and even more so in my craftroom!  But, I did manage to get a few done .....

I love this new Victorian Bauble stamp set! ........ you know me and my tree decorations.  You can never have too many pretty baubles!

Using a black ink, I stamped the baubles (you get two different sizes in the set), two of them directly onto a piece of white card cut to fit my card base, and then a third one onto a seperate piece, which I added a touch of gold and silver paint to, and fussy cut.

I also stamped one of the ribbons that comes in the stamp set, coloured that in red and fussy cut, and then attatched both to the front of my card using foam pads to add dimension

A few splatters of gold and silver paint onto the background, 

and a sentiment stamped on the bottom

Really quick and easy to do, great for batch making, which we all do with Christmas cards.  
And, if you're worried about postage, instead of fussy cutting and using foam pads, you could stamp the centre bauble first, create a mask and simply stamp the two in the background over the top to create the same look.

Keep things even more simple by just using one of the stamps ........ classic gold and silver on black cardstock ...... always a winner!

Stamped and heat embossed in gold and then coloured using pearlescent paints ...... I kept it to just silver but, think of all the colours you could use ..... so stylish!

A few matching splatters, and a heat embossed sentiment, and you're done!  A batch of these would be really simple to do.

For this last one, I used the emboss resist technique ....... 

I stamped and heat embossed the baubles in gold, and then used Distress Inks over the top to add the colour ...... Evergreen Bough and Festive Berries (love this combination)

I started blending the colours from the top of the card, and worked down the baubles fading out the colour gradually, as I got closer to the bottom.

I also used a wet paintbrush to 'bleach' out the colour a little, from inside the baubles and the ribbons, before using a Distress Reinker (Festive Berries) to paint the ribbon .......

and I added some fine crystal glitter to the baubles

To finish off I added some of my all time favourite product to use on Christmas cards ........ Chunky White Embossing Enamel ........ I love this stuff!

I simply sprinkle a little where I want the snowy effect, no embossing ink required,  then I gently heat from underneath until the embossing powder begins to melt ...... so effective.

Three very different looks from the same stamp set .....

This is just one of the stamp sets that Lucy will be showcasing tomorrow.  So don't worry, if you're really not in the festive mood just yet, it won't all be about Christmas.
Check out the show times below and tune in.

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

We're taking advantage of the nice weather and having a BBQ later.  Nothing fancy, just getting the family together. 
It was our wedding anniversary yesterday, 34 years since hubby and I tied the knot ...... time flies when you're having fun!
We celebrated with a lovely lunch out yesterday, so it'll be nice having everyone together later.  And, I won't have to do the cooking, which is even better!

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

Stamps: Victorian Bauble stamp set (Sweet Poppy Stencils)
Inks: Versamark ink; Versafine Clair - Nocturne; Delicata - Golden Glitz & Slivery Shimmer inks; Distress Inks - Evergreen Bough, Festive Berries
Other: Gold and Silver Embossing Powders (WOW!); Gold paint (PaperArtsy); Quickie Glue Pen; Fine Crystal Glitter; Pearlescent Paints: Chunky White Embossing Enamel (Stampendous)

Wednesday 20 July 2022

Bright and beautiful ..........

Happy Wednesday .........

Boy has it been hot!!!!!  What an absolutely glorious few days we've been having.   I love the sunshine but, thank goodness there's a breeze this morning and it's a little bit cooler (for now that is) ......... I'm melting!!    

Anyhow, enough about the weather.  Have you played along with this month's Simply Sweet Poppy Stencils Facebook Challenge yet?  There's still time to join in, the challenge is open until the 29th of July.
Just follow the simple rules (you'll find them at the end of this post) and you never know, you could be the next winner of the fabulous £40 voucher to spend on the Sweet Poppy website.

July's theme is ...... Bright & Beautiful.  
Now that can be anything you like, as long as the main focus of your card is a Sweet Poppy stencil.  If you use stamps, and they are other brands then remember to keep them small, just a single word or a simple sentiment is allowed.

It had to be florals for me .......... beautiful, bright coloured blooms! 
Sweet Poppy have lots of  gorgeous flower stencils, it was difficult to know which ones to use.   
In the end I kept things nice and simple, letting the stencil do all the hard work,  and of course the gorgeous bright colours of Distress Inks were perfect for the job

This is the Black Orchid stencil ....... I love this design.

I masked off the leaves using stencil tape, and then blended Picked Raspberry and Abandoned Coral Distress Inks over those gorgeous flower heads

When I was happy with the colour, I then masked off the flowers and used Twisted Citron to colour the leaves ..... so pretty!   As you can see, I wasn't too precise with the masking, there's a little bit of overlap with the colours but that's fine, I quite like the shading

The sentiment was simply stamped over the top using a black Versafine Clair ink.

For my second card, I used one of my all time Sweet Poppy favourites ...... Wild Flowers

I kept to bright, summery colours ....... Distress Inks again in Picked Raspberry, Carved Pumpkin, Squeezed Lemonade and Twisted Citron again ..... so pretty all together.

The stencil has two different sized flowers on it, but for this card, I only used the large one of the two, varying the placement of the stencil to give different heights to each bloom

A simpe sentiment strip attached with foam pads across the bottom .......

and a couple of gems here and there to add a sparkly finishing touch.  
I love these summery colours ...... they're definitely bright and beautiful!

Here are the challenge rules ...... nothing complicated so go on, give it a go.  You have to be in it to win it!

Thanks for stopping by ..... enjoy the rest of your day.
It's back into the craft room for me,  it's not quite as hot in there today.   And guess what ...... it's time to get a little festive I think (oh joy!) ....... Christmas cards it is then!  Ho Ho! Ho!

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

Card 1
Stencils: Black Orchid (Sweet Poppy Stencils)
Stamps: All Occasion Sentiments #6 (Uniko)
Inks: Distress Inks - Picked Raspberry, Abandoned Coral, Twisted Citron; Versafine Clair - Nocturne

Card 2
Stencils: Wild Flowers (Sweet Poppy Stencils)
Stamps: Positive Vibes #10 (The Artistic Stamper)
Inks: Distress Inks - Picked Raspberry, Squeezed Lemonade, Twisted Citron, Carved Pumpkin; Versafine Clair - Nocturne
Other: Small coloured gemstones from my stash

Friday 15 July 2022

CAS Mix Up Challenge reminder.......

Happy Friday ......

It's the weekend! ....... and here's nothing in the diary for this one (yeah!!)  Time to put my feet up and relax.  Fingers crossed the nice weather continues.

It's also time for a quick reminder about July's CAS Mix Up Challenge.

I'm Host this month, and it's a Watercolour challenge with a little added twist ........ Things with Wings
So far we've had entries with beautiful butterflies, birds and bees, and also angels ........ can you think of anything else?
There's still time to play along, the challenge runs until July 24th.

I must admit Watercoloring is always a bit of a challenge for me ........ it's a little hit and miss as to whether I get the look I was after!  It keeps my bit box full though, you know I don't like to throw anything away.  All those pieces that didn't turn out quite like I planned go in there to be used at a later date!

For me watercolouring is all about keeping things simple ..........

You don't get any easier than this.  
I used Distress Inks to watercolour the background ....... simply smooshed the ink pads onto a craft mat then brushed the colours across a piece of Hot Pressed Watercolour card using a very wet paintbrush.  
I used Tumbled Glass for the sky, Salty Ocean for the sea, and Mustard Seed for the sand ..... easy!

Once this was dry, I stamped my images over the top using a black ink.  I do love these little birds from the old Wetlands stamp set from Stampin Up! 

I added a sentiment, and a little mat and layering ...... perfect!

Remember I mentioned all those pieces that end up in my bit box ....... well, a great way of using those up is to die cut them.  It's still watercolouring, and you can choose exactly where to put your dies so that you cut on the best bits and avoid the bits you don't like 

These pretty little Memory Box butterflies were cut from a piece of cardstock watercoloured with Brushos ......

I cut the full butterfly from the coloured card, and the outline from white and then payered them together ..... so pretty.

I embossed a piece of white cardstock and then cut this into circles.  attached the circles onto my card front and added the butterflies.
A simple two piece sentiment finishes off the card

Here's another one ..... birds this time

Again, cut from a piece of Brusho coloured card (I have quite a few of these pieces of card .... Brushos can be a little unpredictable!!)

A little bit of simple watercolouring in the background, and an embossed panel on the bottom to ground them

 A stamped sentiment underneath and a tiny strip of that Brusho card to finish it all off

I hope you've enjoyed this months challenge.  Check out the CAS Mix Up Blog for more Watercoloured Things with Wings inspiration from the rest of the Design Team.  
Hopefully I'll see you in the gallery ..... have fun!

Thanks for popping by ...... enjoy the rest of your day and have a lovely weekend.
Hubby's just been in to tell me he's checked the weather forecast for the island.  Apparently the next four days are just going to keep gettting warmer and warmer ....... sounds good to me!

This week has been all about school leavers.  Can you believe that Alex is going to high school in September!!!!!  It's been Awards Assembly and School Leavers Assembly this week, class photos and getting all their shirts signed by their friends ..... Lauren's needed the tissue box a couple of times bless her.

The official last day of term isn't until next Friday, when all the schools finish for the summer break but, Alex and his year are away next week on their school trip so it was all done early.
We're so proud of him.  He's growing up too fast though!

Cheerio until next time .....


Card 1
Stamps: Wetlands stamp set (Stampin Up!); Sentiment from Simple Sayings (Tim Holtz - CMS155)
Ink: Versafine Clair - Nocturne; Distress Inks - Tumbled Glass, Salty Ocean, Mustard Seed

Card 2
Stamps: Sentiment stamps from my stash 
Inks: Versafine Clair - Nocturne
Other: Brusho Pigment Powders; Floral embossing folder, Memory Box Butterfly dies, Circle punches, Gemstones

Card 3
Stamps: Happy Birthday sentiments (PinkFresh Studio) 
Inks: Distress Ink - Broken China; Versafine Clair - Nocturne;
Other: Brusho Pigment Powders;  For the Birds die (CUT-plorations); Brick embossing folder (Stampin Up!)

Tuesday 12 July 2022

Back to reality ..........

Happy Tuesday .......

How are you? ........ enjoying some of this lovely weather that's been around for the last few days I hope.
I know I shouldn't say it but ..... it's been a little bit too warm for me (me being a woman of a certain age and all that!)  Thankfully, it's cooling off a bit today, the sun is still shining but there's a lovely breeze blowing too which is just perfect!

The last time we spoke we were coming to the end of our little Scottish adventure.
We'd been to Loch Lomond, the Isle of Mull, Loch Ness and then we had three lovely nights in Bunree, not far from Fort William, right on the shores of Loch Linnhe.  It really was a lovely campsite, even in the rain!

We had a lovely bench on the waters edge ...... lovely spot for my morning coffee

A short walk from the campsite, there was a car ferry across across to Ardgour .......  ran every 15 mins or so and was free for foot passengers so we took the short trip across

Great views up and down the Loch ......

We had a little walk to see the lighthouse.   Just look at that sky ..... we didn't get wet though

Awwww! ......... somebody loves this place as much as we did 

Here's the ferry on it's way back .....

We stayed and had a bite to eat at the local pub ....... and a wee dram of course.  Well it was the perfect spot to wait for the ferry home

It didn't rain all the time we were in Bunree.  The weather forecasters got it wrong for the Thursday ...... it was lovely.

We had a visitor too ....... a friend joined us for the journey home ......

The final part of our journey took us through the spectacular Glencoe .......

Not much opportunity for great photos, and the drive was made more interesting by the frequent downpours of torrential rain that we had to drive through ...... I say we, it was hubby that was doing all the driving!

We made it safely through, and our final stopover was at campsite near Lockerbie, called Robert the Bruce's Cave.

Of course, we had to go and find the cave .........

Legend has it, that the armies led by Robert the Bruce were defeated six times by the English and he was forced into hiding.  He took refuge in a cave where he noticed a small spider attempting to spin a web.  The spider failed and fell six times, but each time climbed back up and he succeeded to build his web on the seventh time.  
This was the inspiration for Robert to return and fight the English again.  He was victorious at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.  This turned the tide, and Scotland won its independence in 1328.

There wasn't much room inside the cave .......

But look ..... the spider's still there!  Well maybe not The spider ..... but it could be a descendant!

We loved our little Scottish adventure, so much so, that we're planning on doing it all again next year!

It's been a bit of a whirlwind since we got home.  It took me a couple of days to unpack, then we had all the usual day to day stuff ...... hubby back at work etc.  We've had Tynwald Day, not that we did much, we just enjoyed the Bank Holiday, and then it was hubby's birthday on Sunday.  
We made the most of the sunshine with a birthday BBQ, where Lauren and I did the cooking (well most of it) ...... and yes,  we were actually allowed to use the BBQ ..... supervised of course!!!

Back to normal today though.   Hopefully I'll have time to get into the craft room at some point this week ...... it's feeling very neglected at the moment.

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

Cheerio until next time ......