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 January 2013

WOYWW - 191

In case you are wondering why I am showing you a small section of my desk, It is all down to Julia, the Queen of Blogland, who is in charge of us all, and linking us up each Wednesday.

You should have seen this desk this morning.  There was literally not a quarter of an inch clear, certainly no chance of doing any crafting of any kind.  I really did not want to show anyone that total disaster area.  Having got rid of a couple of boxes and files full of paper etc, things were still just as bad.

I was talking to Shaz (Silverwolf) yesterday (Tuesday) morning and we both seem to be doing the same thing, throwing out all the things we have not used for ages, and the bits, minuscule scraps of paper we all know will never get used, not even for Pixie's Snippets.

The odds and ends you can see on the desk at the moment are all from one box of bits I had forgotten about completely.  There are a set of decoupage peel of butterflies, which I had started colouring in.  I mounted them on acetate, and once they are coloured I shall cut them out, and find a suitable background.  I must be determined and finish it off before they get thrown back in the "not sure what to do box".  There is also a little sunset scene, which was printed on to acetate and then mounted onto the identical image (reversed so that they would match perfectly).  It is just waiting to be mounted - I might use Barbara Gray's technique with brayer, ink and cling film to get the background I want.

The two little cottages are an attempt to rescue something from a project that went wrong.  I had drawn a scene with two little cottages in the snow but I did the very thing that always put me off art at school.  I loved drawing, and was not too bad at it (though I says it myself) but always ruined my painstaking work when I had to paint it.   In this case, the drawing was ok, not too bad for  something I have not done for years, but it went completely wrong at the very end.  I have now chopped the worst off, cutting it into two small scenes, but it may yet all end up in the recycling bin.  

I must stop waffling now and let you get on and visit all the other wonderful friends and crafters you will find linked in over on Julia's blog (Stamping Ground).  Have a good week, and I hope those of you in the UK are not flooded out,and everyone else is having good crafting weather.  Take care of yourselves.  xx

Friday, 25 January 2013

Friday Smiles

First of all I have to say that these are not my photographs, but were taken by my daughter..  Last week, I showed you one half of the family, who live quite a distance away, too far in this icy weather.  This week, I am showing you our oldest granddaughter - her brother is missing from the photos, but I am sure he helped with the snow dragon. I just love the expression on her face.

If you are wondering why I am showing these photos, it is all the idea of Annie (Wipso), so if you want a smile at the end of each week, just pop over to A Stitch in Time for more smiley pictures of things that make us all smile.  Why don't you link up and join in.  Let's see what makes you smile.  See you all later.  xx

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

WOYWW -190

Good morning to all of you out there in snowy or sunny blogland, depending on where you live.  Anyone who is wondering why I should be shaming myself by showing you these awful mess, then where have you been for the last couple of years .  You have been missing a real crafting treat.  WOYWW (What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday) is a weekly meeting hosted by the very hospitable Julia over at Stamping Ground.   If you go over there you will find the links to nearly 200 other desks around the world, some messy like mine, others (a few) pristine and tidy, and lots in between.  Personally, I like the less tidy desks to wander round, more to see and study.

My room is still a total wreck, with work going on in the middle of it.  Even the printer is covered, which creates a major problem if I need to change an ink cartridge.  On the shelves (made by my very clever husband) above the printer you can see a number of cardboard boxes,  full of gorgeous Clarity Stamps, mainly labelled to say what is in each box.  I need to follow Shaz Silverwolf's example and catalogue them to avoid the possibility of buying ones I already have.  Behind the printer are most of my ink pads, not a huge selection but enough to work with.  Some of the ones I bought right at the beginning of my card making will be donated to someone else to make use of.

As you can see, my floor is also a wreck this week, and even sports the camera tripod so I can train the camera on one place to try for some good shots.  I actually put the camcorder on it yesterday for half an hour to see what came in, and was amazed at what I missed.
This is one of the photos I got yesterday of a siskin, a really pretty little bird.  There are quite a range of species coming in during this very cold spell, but it is worrying to think of the birds that no longer come.  No sparrows, no dunnocks, no sign of the wren, no thrushes - all birds that used to be very common all year round.  It will be interesting to see the results of the RSPB Big Garden Watch this next weekend to find out if it is the same all round the country. 

If you have got all this way through my post, I apologise for it being so long this week.  I shall probably get my fingers smacked by Julia, who does ask that we are brief.  Come and join us, leave a comment as you go, and link up pictures of your desk, and have fun. 

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Why do I keep leaving things to the last minute?

I did promise myself that I would not leave things to the last minute this year.  Failure already.  The images on these cards are both from the Crafters Companion Flower Fairies series of CDs.  I did not want to use the rather fussy backing paper, nor did I want them on a plain white background.  So my solution was to make a wrap for the card, and brayer and sponge a background, using Adirondacks.  

The first one is the Almond Fairy - both cards are decoupage, shaped and then glued with Pinflair Glue Gel.  I added a little extra green under her feet to"ground" her in the very plain landscape.  The sentiment is a Clarity stamp, deliberately faded and uneven.
Card number 2 is the Lavender Fairy, done in much the same way.  However, whereas the first card almost put itself together, this one was a right pain.  The fairy herself was fine, but the background just did not work.  On the second attempt, I managed to get a big splodge of dark blue in just the wrong place.  By then, I was in a hurry to get to the post, so it was out with the tree stamp (Clarity again) and the leaves to go on it. I managed to stamp it in just the right place to disguise the smudge.  I don't think it is too bad.  I used the same sentiment from Clarity.

It was good to combine techniques and ranges of media, and I think they work together.  Certainly, the Splodge Away mat makes brayering so much easier and effective.  I just need now to be more organised and allow myself enough time to get things right and without panicking over mistakes.  What chance do I have, do you reckon?

Friday, 18 January 2013

Pixie's Snippets - Week 55 or 56 (I am not sure which)

My Snippet was quite a rush as I had lost track of days again this week.  The base card is one of those precut, pre-folded cheap hammered ones that we all have. 

All the embellishments come from a kit I bought when I first started doing the cards.  Nothing goes with the cards that came with them, so I have been struggling to use them up.  I also have a problem with them as it is just not a style of card that sits well with me several years on. 

I have a feeling that I might admit defeat and pass them on to others to use up.  As Shaz (Silverwolf) has been having a clearout and getting things together for my daughter (her daughter-in-law), she suggested that I create a box of things for the other grandchildren instead.  So most of my bits and pieces look like heading up to Derby for them to store for the future.  They don't know this yet.

The flowers are quite good as the petals fold up away from the paper to create some dimension.  they will lie flat to go through the post, and then bounce back when the card is taken out of the envelope.

If you have read this far, then you might like to go over to Pixie's Snippets Playground to see what all the other classmates have done this week.  Can I have a go on the slide, please, Di?   It looks a lot of fun.  And we need to build a snowman.  See you on Sunday.  xx

PS Take care of yourselves in the snow and ice.

Friday Smile

I have just seen Annie's Friday smile photos over on Stitch in Time, and decided to show you some of what makes me smile.  The first one is a real "Aaahhh" one for me.  Our two youngest granddaughters, Charlotte and Rosie, having a totally spontaneous cuddle.  Children and animals are the best for cheering us up, they are never anything but natural, and that is how it should be.

Another happy smile from Charlotte, when she was a bit younger.  Just try not smiling back at this one, I defy you.

Hope these two make you smile too.  Thank you, Annie, for starting this blog.  We all need to take a moment and look for the joy in life, rather than letting it knock us down.  If you are reading this and want some more smiles, just go over to see Annie (Wipso) and join in. 

PS do take great care out there today.  Our roads are lethal and full of people who have never tried to drive in snow before.  If you must go out, take plenty of warm clothing, space blankets, hot drinks and emergency food, and your mobile phone - make sure it is fully charged.  Be safe.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Much better today, thank you.

Thank you to all those who visited and commiserated with me after my bad day.  After a frustrating day yesterday, things finally went much better today.  In view of the weather forecast, DH decided that he would do the shopping today rather than wait for the snow tomorrow morning.  that meant a length trip round the town, to the butcher, Pet City (or whatever it is called these days), the cornstores for bird food (they are eating us out of house and home), then the supermarket for our food.

Then we decided to re-arrange the proposed vet visit from tomorrow morning to this afternoon.  He was very pleased with the way the wound is now healing, and basically told us to carry on with what we have been doing, so that was good news.

In between all that, I did manage to have a very satisfying craft session, completing one card, and half finishing the second.  I had the chance to really have fun, especially with my beautiful new Tonic guillotine.  I cannot believe how thin a piece I can cut off the paper, just tiny slivers.  I have never been able to do that with any of my previous rotary cutters.  This makes it so much easier to get very thin borders on my matting and layering.

To thosse of you who commented that I was very organised in getting my stamping masks done so soon.  You can take comfort from the fact that I still had to cut another four today to do the small project for the second card, doing them as I needed them.  Back to normal, except I should be able to keep them all together with the stamps in a plastic bag, ready for next time.

Hope you can all settle down and snuggle in front of a warm fire while the snow falls around us.  If not, take great care.  If you have to travel, take warm clothes, blankets, spades, a warm drink and some emergency food.  Oh yes, and make sure your phones are fully charged.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

What a day!

This is my second post today.  If you would like to read my WOYWW post from earlier please look below or click on this link.http://silvercrafter.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/woyww-189.html

Life can be very tricky at times.  I did manage about half an hour of crafting this morning before breakfast, then everything fell apart.  One good thing was the arrival of my new guillotine so perhaps I can cut paper in a straight line without tags on the edges.

DH should have been going out at lunchtime to meet the folks he used to work with but some of them were ill so that was called off.

We had an appointment at the bank this afternoon, so I knew there was no chance of any crafting. Got ready, coats, gloves, scarf, etc on, only to find that the Freelander refused point blank to start.  Even worse, we had moved it down the drive yesterday to allow our visitors to park so now it was blocking in the other car.

Tried to ring the lady at the bank on her mobile only to be told she was busy somewhere else.  Rang the bank who wanted details that we cannot remember or find before they would even speak to us.  Finally got through to a human being who spoke English, who said he would cancel the appointment for us and get the lady to call us back to make another appointment.  To make absolutely sure that the message woudl get through, I texted her as well to explain.

Half an hour later, we got a call from her asking why we had not turned up or cancelled.  More explanations and apologies, but what else could we have done - carrier pigeon perhaps.

The AA turned up very quickly and got the motor started so then DH had to take it over to our usual garage to get the battery changed.  Tracker should have called us when the battery was off but they didn't so that was another call to find out why.

Big dog cannot be left on his own as he is having to wear a collar to stop him scratching a wound so still no chance of crafting.

Definitely FED UP!!  Don't like this year already.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

WOYWW - 189

Our visitors left early tonight due to the icy roads, so, without realising it, so my post is showing Tuesday, but it is not likely to change till perhaps Wednesday afternoon, so I hope I will be forgiven.

My desk has deteriorated since last week - entirely my fault.  You can see some of the things that have contributed to the mess.  There is a brown box from Clarity Stamps, full to the brim with unmounted stamps from the half price sale.  I have gathered a lot that fit with sets I already own, and one or two more that I wanted first time round, and some that I just NEEDED.  You know how it is when you need these things.  I think there are still a couple to come of the tiny stamps ready for ATC making.  My phone needs putting back on charge before it dies.

This second photo is just to the left as you can see, and the rest of the desk is just as bad.  In case you are wondering why I am showing you all how bad my housekeeping is, then just go across to Julia's Stamping Ground, where you will find links to lots of other desk, some tidy, some even worse than mine from all over the world.  Do take a look and leave us comments to read, and we will try to visit your desks too.

I have tried to keep it fairly short this week to get a bit more time to find my desk and do some crafting.  I managed to get round quite a lot of desks last week, and hope to visit those I missed on this week's journey.  Have a good week, all of you, and I hope the weather and illnesses are all kind to you.  xx

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Snowy Cottage No 2

This is my second card for Craft A Scene's January Challenge - Snowy Cottage.  I used one of the images we were donated by  our sponsor for this month,  Delicious Doodles.

It is all done with Twinkling H2O's and mica paints, with some crystal heat embossing., and sparkles beautifully.  However,as usual, the sparkle does not show up on the photo, but it is there, honestly.

I  mixed the colours, and media to get the colours I wanted, as my colour palette is very limited, and my bank manager will not allow me to get any more colours (actually, I did weaken and bought some more cheap, with a damaged package).  Still, it is good to use what you have and alter them to fit.

Hope you all like this one and it might inspire you to join in with our challenge this month.  Even the weather is joining in at the moment with a sprinkle of snow.  I just hope that is all we get as we are supposed to be travelling up to Derby on Monday to have our delayed Christmas with our son and his family.  It was delayed due to the two littlies going down with Norovirus all over Christmas.  Fingers firmly crossed tonight.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

WOYWW - 188

It really can't be Wednesday again ...... can it?  This year is promising to gallop even faster than last year, and I have still not completed anything in the crafting line.  The only thing I have done is to make the masks for a new set of stamps, which you can see attached to the remains of the post it note in the box.  Today will be the first real card making session .... I think and hope.

Mind you, I think a good tidy up is in order yet again as you can see from the general mess on show.  My room has descended into a dumping ground again.  We needed some more copy paper for the printers so where has the large box been dumped?  You've got it - my room because it is paper and I use paper in crafting. 

I am not showing you any more this week, I am too ashamed of how messy the whole room is.  In the meantime, why don't you slip over to see our wonderful Wednesday hostess, Julia and join up with all the other international jet set there.  See you all soon.  xx

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Craft A Scene - Snowy cottages week 1

Happy New Year to you all.

This is my first offering for the year for the Craft A Scene challenge - Snowy Cottages.  Hope you are all going to join us here this year. Our sponsor for the month of January are Delicious Doodles, who generously gave us some beautiful images to play with.

I decided to combine two images by changing the postbox.  The original scene had a US mailbox.  I  liked the background, but I really wanted the British postbox (I did debate making it a golden one in celebration of all those gold medals, but I thought the traditional red one was better).  One of our other donated images had this beautiful GR box, so I cut it out digitally (using My Craft Studio) and superimposed it on top of the US mailbox.   I did not want to go over the top with colour as the shading on the original is so good, so went with my Daler-Rowney watercolours and paint brush (I use a waterfilled brush rather than risk a pot of water on my table - it works for me).  I have not used those for a while, so it was almost lie starting at the beginning.

I heat embossed the snowy branches first with kaleidoscopic embossing powder to protect them from the paint (and the snowy bits on the conifers), and finished off with some speckles of glitter (which, as usual, does not show up on the photo).  I also added a little Polar White Flower Soft on the top of the postbox. 

I was not at all sure about the result after I had finished, but I took it down to show my wonderful husband, who is my most trusted critic, and he liked it, so I left it alone and just mounted it up on the card. 

I had another go with oil and pencil pastels afterwards to see how they would work.  As you can see from the smudges, I need a lot more practice to get that right.  Pastels are a totally new medium for me - only just arrived in the post today (an early Christmas pressie).  
Please come and join us this month with your interpretations of the challenge.  All you have to do is to create a scene, with a background and a foreground in whatever medium you choose.  Try something you have never had the courage to do before.  You will be amazed what you learn and find you really love.  I am hoping to really come to terms with drawing my own scenes this year.  I know what I want, but you will be able to judge as the year goes on whether I am succeeding.  

My resolution for this year is - Don't be scared, Have a go.  Come and join me with that.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Pixie's Snippets - Week 54

It seems ages since I joined everyone in the playfround for a go on the swings.  I think I might need to stay in at playtime though this week, as someone has been generous to give me another present - the coldy fluey bug.  Hot soup, hot lemon and honey are the order of the day.  Bagsy the spot nearest the tortoise stove in the classroom (showing my age here).

This is a very tiny card (about 3 inches by 2 inches), so I think it might qualify as a snippet.  It is a left over piece of hammered white card, on which I have used the Clarity mini village set.  The figures were sketched in afterwards to see how they would work.  I used my favourite Derwent watercolour pencils to colour everything in.

I am hoping to get round as many of you as possible this week, in between sneezing and cutting out stamping masks.  Happy New Year to all of you.  xx

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

WOYWW - 187 - Happy New Year

Happy New Year to you all, to those who have been around for ages and to anyone who has come across this WOYWW  (What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday) phenomenon by mistake.  If you are new visitors, please feel free to join in, by going to Julia's hospitable home and posting a picture of where you work at your crafting of any kind.  Then follow the links there to visit lots more like-minded people.

Just one photo from me this week.  I had meant to schedule this post last night, but the Borrowers have been at it again.  Not sure why they need the cable to attach my camera to the computer, but it has vanished.  It ALWAYS lives in the camera case, but has gone walkabout.  Fortunately, this morning we found another cable which will do until the Borrowers return the original.
No work going on yet, just a lot of tidying, so I thought I would show you some of the goodies I was lucky enough to receive from Santa and my lovely family.   You can see two sets of Hobby Art Scenic stamps, ready to join the other sets I already have - they are so good at creating small scenes on a card as hey mix and match among the various sets.  I also was lucky enough to get several of my favourite stamps from Clarity, which are actually in their boxes on my shelf - I will show you that lot another time.  There is one set of Clarity stamps there, which is the set of mini lesson stamps, which will be so useful to mix with the full size versions and to create smaller cards (helps to use the offcuts of card in my box).
Other goodies on show, are my tin of Derwent Pastels,, a set of Derwent Watersoluble sketching  pencils, and a DVD of Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band on their Christmas tour - that is a brilliant show for anyone who has not yet seen them.  Oh yes, and in the background you can see two sets of luscious Daler-Rowney acrylic inks.  when you thin you saw those before Christmas, you are quite right, but they were for a present to my crafty daughter.  I was lucky enough to get a set too.  I can't wiat to get playing, but I do have to have a tidy up first in all the areas I have not shown you.
I am off now to have breakfast, but then I will be back to do some visiting with the rest of you.  See you soon.