Wednesday 19 October 2022

Simply Sweet Poppy Stencils Facebook Challenge ......

Happy Wednesday .......

He we are, in the middle of another week ..... and its wet and windy here again.  Winter is coming!

Hubby has been in the office for the past couple of days this week ..... it's weird not having him at home.  The house is very quiet when there's only me here!  I do get stuff done though when I'm on my own.

There's just a little over a week left of this month's Simply Sweet Poppy Stencils Facebook Challenge if you fancy playing along. 
There's a fabulous £40 voucher to spend on the Sweet Poppy Stencils website up for grabs.   Just follow the simple rules which you can find below,  and you never know, you could be our next winner.

The theme for October is ........ Fantastic Foliage, and Sweet Poppy have some gorgeous stencils perfect for this challenge.  Think trees, or leaves, grasses and greenery, and of course all those wreath designs ..... how about some quick and easy Christmas cards!

I used the Holly Wreath Stencil for this card, and a Brilliance Pearlescent ink (Thyme)  
Nice and simple, and perfect for sending through the post .......... I've mat and layered this a little bit but, you could leave it as a one layer design. 

I stamped the pretty ribbon first, from the Sweet Poppy stamp set Victorian Bauble ...... black ink and then coloured it using a red Distress Ink Re-inker (Barn Door) and a fine paintbrush

I then sponged the pearlescent ink through the stencil, building up the depth of colour gradually.  Less is definitley more when stenciling with inks, especially juicy inks ...... too much ink on your sponge could cause the ink to bleed under your stencil whuich means you won't get a crisp finish to your stenciled image.  Taking a bit of time to build up the colour is well worth the effort.

Once the ink was dry I then used a red glitter glue to add some berries and a quickie glue pen and fine crystal glitter on the rest of the dots.

A festive sentiment stamped in the middle finishes it off nicely

I did look on the Sweet Poppy website for the link to this Holly Wreath stencil but I couldn't find it.  I'm not sure if that means it's been discontinued, or it's just out of stock.

One design that is on the website though is this pretty Holly Wreath ........
A simple, elegant design which, for these two cards I've used the stencil twice, slightly offsetting the second layer, to give the wreath a fuller look.

I've taken the design off the edge of my card and used gold and silver metallic inks

Adding a touch of glitter to some white enamel dots, for a little more interest.

Or, do you prefer more traditional Christmas colours .......

The first layer of the wreath was done using a green ink.  Then I offset the stencil slightly over the top and this time I used white stencil paste through the design, and sprinkled with green glitter whilst the paste was still wet.

A few festive red berries here and there, and a stamped sentiment in the middle ....... same stencil, different look!

The challenge is open until the 29th of October and here's the simple rules you need to follow .....

Happy stenciling!

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

Cheerio until next time .......

Friday 14 October 2022

Finally got around to blogging our last trip ......

Happy Friday ........

I hope you've had a lovely week ..... its been a nice quiet one here, and I'm looking forward to a bit of the same over the weekend.  

Can you believe we're almost half way through October already ........ that means there's something like 10 more Fridays before Christmas.  I'd better make a start on some Christmas cards soon!

A certain someone keeps reminding me that I haven't blogged our last trip in the van ........ and they're right!  So, before the silly season starts and everything goes all festive, here's a quick(ish) round up of what we got up to all those weeks ago ....... if I can remember!!

Here goes ........ We started our trip back in August, with a fantastic 4 nights in Walesby Forest, right in the heart of Robin Hood country, for the Torchlight Festival of Camping.  
Around 2000 campervans and motorhomes gathered for a great family weekend of music and entertainment.  The weather was amazing ......

We arrived a day early and managed to get a great spot ....... level, which is always a bonus, not far from the main stage, and only a short walk from all the other attractions ..... perfect!

There were campfires in the evenings and magical light trails through the forest .....

There were fairground rides and lots of things for families with kids.  A Wellness Sanctuary in the forest to relax and unwind.  The Club Pub with music everyday, where you could go for a good old party and singalong.   And then on the main stage we saw Gabrielle, Noasis ...... an Oasis tribute band who were really good, The Wurzels (now there's a blast from the past!) and Craig Charles.
We had the Ed Sheeran Experience, and Squeeze ..... another band from the 70's .......

On the Sunday afternoon we had Last Night of the Proms with the Camping and Caravaning Club Brass Band .....

Can't beat a bit of Bolly in the sunshine .....

And my favourite was Boyzlife .......

Keith Duffy from Boyzone and Brian McFadden from Westlife ....... 

It was a fantastic weekend, we really enjoyed it and we're looking forward to doing it all again next year.

From there we went on to Welwyn Garden City for a couple of nights.  Hubby had to work,  and needed to go into London so the campsite in Welwyn was ideal.  It was a nice little site,  not far from a railway station where the trains went straight into Kings Cross, perfect for where he needed to be. 
Next time we stay there though, we won't be parking under the trees ........ squirrels dropping acorns on the van roof is not something I like first thing in the morning!!!  Great wake up call when you need to catch a train though so it wasn't too bad.

London was just as I remember it ...... very busy!!  Nice restaurants though ....... we met one of hubby's work colleagues one evening and had a fabulous Indian meal at a place called Dishoom at Kings Cross. 
The food was amazing ..... definitely one for the return to list.
We were also treated to an evening in Vagabonds, a rather nice wine bar in the centre of London.  Nice food, lots of small plates so you can try everything, a good selection of craft beers, and over 160 wines you could try by the glass.  Again, another place to add to the list!

From Welwyn we went on to one of our favourite parts of the UK ........ the Cotswolds, returning to the Caravan and Motorhome Club site in Moreton in Marsh.  We ended up staying 5 nights here it was so nice.  Hubby was still working from the van in the mornings, and we would go out in the evenings. 
And I managed to spend some time with my journal which was nice.  I finally got around to finishing off this workshop by the lovely Tracy Scott ...... 

All drawn by hand onto Kraft pages in my Dylusions journal ....... the lettering was done using one of Tracy's stencils ...... and everything was coloured using Prismacolor pencils.

It took me a while but, it was so relaxing to do ...... I loved it!  It kept me busy whilst hubby was working.

We did have a day out to Chipping Campden ..... another beautiful town in the Cotswolds that we hadn't been to before.

We started the day at the Little Oak Vineyard.  You know how we love our wine so when I discovered this place on the internet we had to go, seeing as we were so close.  

We left the van in Moreton and got a cab there.  They were really easy to find, just outside of the town, and as you can see from the photo it was a beautiful  day ..... perfect weather for a wine tasting!

Gemma, one of the owners, was lovely.  She took us on a tour of the vines .....

she obviously knows her grapes .....

and is so proud of what they produce ...... and rightly so ..... the wine is lovely!  
Once the tour was finished we sat in the gardens, tasted the wines, and had a lovely lunch.  I can see this becoming a regular stop off on our Cotswolds visits!

Still in the Cotswolds, our next stop was Broadway ....... we were looking forward to this campsite.

It was another site that wasn't far from the actual town and we got ourselves a great little spot.
We'd been reading the reviews on this site and most were really good but, there's a railway line that runs by the side of the site and this was mentioned quite a bit.
Apparently the Broadway Railway Station was rebuilt a few years ago, and the steam trains have returned running to and from Broadway to Cheltenham Racecourse, and these run regularly over the course of the day.  Now, I suppose if you don't like trains then this wouldn't be the site for you, although there are pitches away from the railway line, so you can get away from it if you want to.  
We on the other hand loved the steam train going by, so we were pleased when we managed to get a pitch by the railway line.

We would watch the last train go,

and then at the end of the day, we would wander over there with a small glass of something else we got from the Little Oak Vineyard,  and watch the sun go down!

We had four nights at Broadway and loved it but, we had to return home at some point!

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

Cheerio until next time ......

Wednesday 5 October 2022

Time to say goodbye ........

Happy Wednesday ........

How's your week going?  It's a little bit wet and windy here this week, so it's a great excuse to stay cosy and warm in the craft room!

If you're a regular follower of my blog you might be wondering where this month's CAS Mix Up Challenge is.  Well, in case you haven't already heard, it's time to say Farewell to all things CAS (sigh!) that's both the CAS Mix Up and CAS Christmas Card challenges. 
I've been part of Loll's CAS Design Team for about three and half years or so, and it's been so much fun.  Huge thanks to Loll, and all of the other fabulous DT members for making the CAS Mix Up family such a fun and inspirational team to be part of.  
I am going to miss our monthly 'get togethers' but, I'm sure we'll all keep in touch through Blogland.  Wishing you all the very best in whatever the future holds for you! 

CAS (Clean and Simple) cards are not always the easiest cards to make, everyone has their own idea of what CAS is.  
For me, it has to be white space ...... lots of it!!  One main focal point and minimal embellishments too.
The CAS Mix Up challenges always added that extra little twist which could sometimes make things difficult to keep to that CAS style.  
Every month was always fun though, so, I thought I'd share just a few of my favourite CAS makes over the last few years .........

CAS Stencil Challenge from October 2019 ........  the challenge was to use Foils with stencils

CAS Stencil Challenge again ...... November 2019 where we had to use Stencil Monoprinting (one of my favourite techniques)

CAS Mix Up from June 2020 ....... Embossing on Vellum for a Mixed Media challenge.  CAS but I did add a few ink splatters onto the background

November 2020 it was a Watercolour challenge for CAS Mix Up, and the theme was Off the Edge ..... something I do quite a lot 

February 2021 the theme was Heat Embossing and we also had to use stencils .....

April 2021 ...... it was my turn to host the CAS Mix Up challenge, and I chose Paper Piecing (a great way to use up all those scraps of patterned papers!)

And finally from February this year the Faux Cloisonne Mixed Media Challenge.  A new technique for me, using glossy magazines to stamp on and then heat emboss.

Thank you to everyone that played along with the CAS challenges it was always a pleasure to see your entries in the gallery.  
And again, huge thanks to Loll, who worked so hard organising these challenges and is such an amazing, crafty inspiration!

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

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

Saturday 1 October 2022

Happy World Cardmaking Day ........

Happy weekend ......

Welcome to October!
It's World Cardmaking Day today ..... how are you celebrating?

I've actually been in the craft room for most of the week ........ finally feeling human again after my last bout of Covid!!
I've been busy making samples for the next Sweet Poppy Stencils TV show coming up later this month.  There's some gorgeous new Christmas designs coming ......... but, if you can't wait for the TV show then check out the Sweet Poppy website because they are all available to buy now!  And guess what ....... if you place an order of £20 and over this weekend, use the voucher code SPCREATE10% at the checkout and you'll get 10% off your order total (not available on sale items or the Star Buy though).  This discount code is valid all weekend up to midnight on Sunday (2nd Oct) ..... UK time.  Go on, why not treat yourself!
You will have to wait a little longer though to see what I've been creating with them!

I've also been playing with some of the latest Sweet Poppy stamp designs.  I was away in the van when these came out so it's the first time I've used them.
They're from the Designs by Amelia range, and they are so much fun!  
What do you think of this little guy .........

Now I'm not a frog person at all but, this one is just too cute!

All the stamp sets are A5 size, and you get a nice large main image along with a few extras, and a selection of sentiments included.  (the 'kiss me I'm a prince' is not included with the Tree Frog stamp set though, it's from my own stamp stash)

The stamps are easy to use and the images are so detailed.  
As I always say, even though the stamp is large, you don't always have to make large cards.  This is a standard DL card and as you can see, he fits nicely.

I coloured him using the new Sweet Poppy Watercolour Brush Pens ...... these are brilliant, and so easy to use. 

I stamped the leaf again and fussy cut, then attached it with foam pads to add a touch of dimension

A few ink splatters in the background and a sentiment from the stamp set to finish ......  as I said, the one underneath is an old stamp of mine by Magnolia, I just couldn't resist using it. (I've kissed a few frogs before I found my prince!)

Another one from the same range is the Elephant ........

Again stamped and heat embossed, and coloured with the brush pens

A few extra leaves added, and a touch of gold splatter

to tie in with the stamped sentiment ....

And finally the Chameleon .........

Just think of all the colours you could use for this image.  

I chose to use pearlescent paints and I did fussy cut him ........  a little fiddly, but nothing too bad!

I love how striking he looks against the black card.

Here he is again ....... different colours this time 

Stamped, embossed and coloured with pearlescent paints.  Fussy cut just around the bottom edge this time ......

and then attached over a simple painted background

I really love how these have turned out.  I'm not usually a fan of colouring in large images but these just seem to work.  Wouldn't they make great cards for teenagers!

Dont' forget that voucher code if you're shopping at Sweet Poppy this weekend.


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

I think we're off to make a start on the Christmas shopping tomorrow ...... oh joy!  Well, I suppose there is only 12 weeks to go!! 

Cheerio until next time ......