Welcome to my blog

I hope you enjoy reading my posts, and please leave me a comment. I always enjoy reading them, and will try to visit you in return.

You are welcome to copy any of my designs, as long as you do not take credit for them yourself. I am very happy for you to sell them. If I have used anyone else's design, I always try to give credit where it is due. If I have missed anything, please let me know and I will put things right.

This is intended to be mainly about my crafting stories, as a personal record of what I do. However, I interpret crafting quite widely, not just paper crafting but other things too. I have a butterfly mind and like to change from one thing to another depending on what I feel like on a given day - knitting, crochet, cross-stitch, cards, baking and several others.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

WOYWW - 156 Back from holiday

Thank you to those who emailed me to see if I was well, because I had been missing in action for a couple of weeks.  Your thoughts are so welcome and appreciated.  I am absolutely fine.  My reasons for being missing were holiday, a week in Norfolk.  Whoever decided we should travel on a Friday wanted shooting - I am sure it was not me.  The traffic was dreadful, especially around Norwich, with so many changes of lane and islands to negotiate, especially with a caravan on the back.  Our longest delay, though, was for the apparently notorious Elveden crossroads and traffic lights - we queued for over half an hour before we even got to them. 

We arrived on site around 3.30pm in brilliant sunshine, to be met with a very welcome cup of tea from the site wardens, before being shown to our pitch, just next to the dog walk - ideal for first thing in the morning and last thing at night.  We just had time to set up and put the awning up before the rain set in.  For the next three days, we did not turn the heating off in the caravan, and if you poked your nose out of the car at the sea, you risked having it blown off.

Then on Tuesday, we woke to brilliant, wall to wall sunshine and heat, and spent the rest of the week dodging from shade to shade to avoid sunstroke.  We had a great trip on the Broads from Wroxham, round a couple of the closer Broads, and the dogs were totally exhausted by having to be good and quiet and still for so long, tucked under the table between us.

Wednesday was harder, a walk round the grounds of Sheringham Park.  It would have been fine if we had not taken the signposted"short cut" back to the car park - BIG mistake, hard walking and in full sun (the moral was don't take short cuts - they take longer with much harder walking, and mobility scooters don't work on them).  On the positive side, the azaleas were glorious and beautifully perfumed, well worth seeing .

Our last day was spent on the Bure Valley Narrow Gauge Railway.  Again, very tired dogs, having to be so good for so long, again tucked under our feet in the shade.

My only crafting for the week was crocheting Jozarty's shawl/scarf, and I now need to find a charity shop with necklaces to take apart for the beads I need for the finishing touches.  Since getting home, I have spent a fortune online.  I needed some batteries for the smoke alarms and a few other bits of equipment, a Tilley Hat to protect me from the sun (have you noticed the change in weather already) and a batch of Aran wool to knit a sweater for my husband, the same as the one he used to have - that will keep me going for a while.

Sorry if this has been a little longer than ideal, Julia, but I have missed two weeks, so I hope you can forgive me.  Our internet connection while we were away was dreadfully slow and unreliable, so I soon gave that one up.  I hope you will find lots more desks to wander round if you just call in at Julia's Place.  If you are kind enough to visit me and leave a comment, I will do my best to get back to you asap.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Mica powders and Clarity adhesive sheets - messy fun!

This card is as a result of watching Barbara Gray on Sunday, and was great fun to do.  It uses Clarity Adhesive sheets, and the Clarity Lovescape set of stamps, and a mixture of mica powders.

I am not going to presume to tell you how to do this technique, I am not good enough.  What I will say though is that it is great fun to do, and I am still very inky and everything in sight is covered with shimmery mica.  The design is mounted onto Clarity white silk card, and then covered with Clarity film to protect the micas.

The base card is pale blue pearlescent, a ready folded card from stock, which I thought set off the mica colours best.  The sentiment is again, my one and only Happy Birthday stamp, used with a blue Adirondack (my brain has gone as I cannot remember which one).

I am now in the middle of trying to find a good way of backing it onto black card, but I need to go back to the drawing board for that one.  if I get it right, I will show you later.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Less is More - Yellow

This card is for this week's challenge for Less is More, which is to use the colour yellow.

I have to give credit for the sun idea to Emma Williams, who is one of Barbara Gray's talented team of designers.  I saw it done on one of her Create and Craft samples, and stored the thought away for future use.  It is just a case of dividing up a semicircle into segments and sponging different shades into each one.  I used one of the Big and Juicy ink pads, the Soothing Sunset one, and sponged direct on to the plain white card.

The glorious unicorn is from the Dufex range, and is one of a set of decoupage.  I just used the second layer as I wanted it to stay simple.  Sadly, a plain photo does not really do the unicorn justice as it catches the light beautifully.  I am very fussy about unicorns and they have to be good models of a horse before adding the horn.  This one is not too bad from that point of view. 

The sentiment is my one and only "Happy Birthday" stamp, and that again was stamped using the Soothing Sunset, covering two separate sections of colour to shade it slightly.

WOYWW - 153

My desk is a little tidier this week, mainly due to the fact that I wanted to play with mica powders today, and I did not want them mixed with everything else in sight.  You may wonder why I am showing you my desk and all that is on it.  After all, you may be new to the world of craft blogging, everyone is new at some time, and if you are, then you are very welcome.  Wednesdays are the days when our Lady Julia hosts us all at her place - Stamping Ground.  She very kindly allows us to join together and have the chance to get more inspiration from the work of others, and share our ideas and encouragement.  Some desks will terrify you and some will astound you, but you are welcome to all.  We just ask that you are patient with us and leave us a comment if you like what you see or have ideas to add.

I do have a couple of piles of projects off to the side, but not as much as usual.  Another reason for my tidy up was to find my Clarity Stamps Lovescape kit.  I knew I had it but it had got split up and distributed around my room.  You can see some of my mica powders and the brushes to applying them at the back on the right.  The little orange thing is my Fiskars finger scalpel, which is so easy to control as it becomes an extension of your finger.  My Ottlite is on show too, but as I took the photos on Tuesday afternoon, I did not need my light.  I could make do with that lovely yellow orb in the sky - I seem to remember it is called a sun, and it helps to make us warm too.  There is a small Really Useful Box at the back full of Promarker pen tops - I have changed all mine to the fine nibs, which I can remove if I really need to.  The yellow rubbish is the trimmings from the Clarity Adhesive sheets, which I used to make the two little pictures on top of the stack of white copy paper.

This is the first time I have tried this technique and it shows - I need a lot more practice to get the results I want.  I need to watch Barbara Gray a lot more to see where I am going wrong.  I think I need to take more time to mix my colours better before I start  - I never was the most patient person.  Slowly, slowly, catchee monkee, as the saying goes.  I am certainly not doing it justice at the moment.

I am off to bed now, so I shall be scheduling this post and link in properly when I get up.  I struggled to get round to all my visitors last week, and was horrendously late with some visits, for which I apologise.  I will try hard to do better this week, but please forgive me if I do not get there.    Thank you to all those who took the trouble to pop in during the week.  I really do appreciate all of you and especially what you have taken the trouble to write in your comments.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Pixie's Snippets Challenge 18

I actually managed two offerings for Di's Snippets Challenge this week, mainly by hunting through bits and pieces I had been playing with.

This first one uses another stamp from Barbara Gray's Clarity range.  I did the topper ages ago and it has just been sitting around in one of my many heaps of things to do.  It nearly had a complete disaster today, when I suddenly realised I had stuck it on the card upside down, but, fortunately, the silicone glue was very forgiving and allowed me to just lift it off and replace the right way up.  It was stamped onto Clarity paper, with Adirondack Slate, and then I think it was brayered with Big and Juicy Mountain Meadow. It was a while ago, and I did not write it down, so I am just guessing.  I think it is a lovely stamp, well two stamps anyway, and very adaptable.  I mounted the topper onto Clarity black card to try to keep the oriental feel.

This second offering was another play around with various stamps, and a bit of digital tweaking as well.  The trees were stamped, and then scanned, so that I could place them as I wished, changing the sizes to fit the perspective.  The church and the horse and carriage are Clarity stamps, while the fence is just put in with a thin black pen.  I used Adirondack Cloudy Blue and Slate for the sky, and just the Slate for the foreground.   It had been intended for the Craft a Scene Silhouette Challenge, but it did not go quite as I had intended.

Having now got into the playground in time for registration, I am now off to have a go on the swings, before heading out the the greenhouse to pot up some new plants, and hoping they do not die of frostbite this week.  Watch out, folks, for the icy slide over in the corner of the playground, and don't fall in the mud.  see you all soon.  xx Maggie
PS I hope you are feeling much better this week, Di, and ready to enjoy life again.  Take care of yourself.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Craft a Scene - Silhouette

I am quite cross with myself over this challenge.  When I first saw the brief, I thought "Great, I have loads of ideas for that one".  Sadly, those ideas never saw the light of day, as I got bogged down with other things, cards that were needed urgently, gardening, family ....  You know what it is like.  So here I am right at the last minute, throwing something together.

It is  a serious mix of stamps and styles.  The background is a Stampscape Stamp, which I received this morning from Nancy, as part of my prize for the Moonlight challenge - thank you, Nancy.  As you can see, I did not waste any time using this one.  It was not quite long enough, I did not measure my card first, so I managed to tack on another bit at the end.  The horse and carriage is from Barbara Gray's Clarity range.  Both images are stamped with Adirondack Pitch Black.  The sky is brayered with Adirondack Cloudy Blue, then over-brayered with Adirondack Slate.  The foreground is just the Slate.  The topper is then mounted onto silver mirri paper, and then onto Clarity Black card.

Next month, I am hoping that I might get at least one card done in good time, rather than a rush at the end.  Mind you, my school work was always done in a rush at the end, so nothing changes, does it?

WOYWW - 152

I was missing in action last week, mainly because I knew I would not have time to visit many people and I thought it was unfair for you to visit me, when I could not return the favour.  However, the mad panic to get cads done for this month is over and I am now working to do June and July.  So I am back, although a bit late, and here is my desk, well part of it anyway.  I am in the middle of putting inserts in cards that were already made, so that I do not have to panic when we come back off holiday.

You can see three that are now done, and with their envelopes, and to the left, a pile waiting for their inserts.  The little orange handled thing is my favourite Fiskars finger blade, which I find so much easier to use than my normal straight blades.  to the right of that are my sprung Fiskars scissors, and next to them the puffer brush for cleaning off photographic slides before scanning them.  As you can also see, my little Scottie is proudly displaying my beautiful WOYWW badge this week - it matches his coat perfectly.

I hope you have all survived the dreadful winds and rain, and no-one is suffering from floods.  We woke up on Sunday morning to find we had lost one of the trees on the island in front of our house.  We think it was a Mountain Ash, which are notoriously touchy at the best of time.  What amazed us was the almost total lack of root system on it, so it would always have been vulnerable to damage.  Fortunately it fell in a way that saved those near from damage, not like another tree not far away which fell across a main road, crashing into several new cars on the Volvo forecourt.  That tree had a preservation order on it and was huge.  At least, no-one was hurt.

I am looking forward to visiting as many as possible of you this week, but it may take a while so please be patient.  In the meantime, I hope you will find time to visit many more of the WOYWWers, hosted by the indefatigable Julia at Stamping Ground.  See you soon.