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, 27 February 2013

WOYWW - 195

Oh dear, the technology is playing up today.  The picture I wanted to show you is not on this computer and the network is down at the moment.  so, anyway, I will do the write up on this one, then, hopefully put the photo in later.

Later update:- As you can see, the picture is there now.

Last week on WOYWW, I showed you just a peep of one of my toppers, made from my wooden stamps, which are now away in their labelled box for now.  I thought I would show you the rest of the toppers ready to mount up  this week.  (Although, my desk has been a hive of activity this week, there is nothing I am allowed to show you for the time being.  It is all for the Craft A Scene design team for the March Challenge.)

Apart from the two roundels, there is a sunflower and a multicolour butterfly peeloff decoupage waiting to be mounted up. The colouring in was done with a mix of Promarkers and Sakura pens. 

I hope you will all join in with this week's get together over at Julia's place, and have a good chat and a cup of coffee and a biscuit, and see what we have all been doing this last week.  If you are just thinking about joining us, come on, jump in and play.  Just read the info posted on Julia's blog and join us, all crafts welcomed.  See you later.  Have fun.  xx

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Friday Smile - a day late

Christmas finally arrived today for the other half of our family  It was delayed initially due to illness, then snow intervened after that, but we managed it today.  This tractor and trailer has been occupying most of our conservatory since just before Christmas.  It was a great hit, and the true owner, little Rosie ended up in the trailer with her big sister, Charlotte doing the hard work (with a little help from Dad). 

Among the presents we delivered today were a set of gloves and a warm hat for each.  As you can see, Charlotte loves hers (Rosie had gone to bed by this time).

One of the presents they both had was a little Christmas doll made by Jo Betts (Twiglet).  Although it is too late to hang them on the tree until December (isn't that coming fast?) they still loved them and I suspect they will get hung somewhere in their rooms in the meantime.  I will post a picture of those when I have time to extract stills from the video.  For now, thank you Jo.

I know I am late posting this week, but we did have a lot of smiles today.  To see more lovely smiles, just slip over to Annie's Smiles. 

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

WOYWW - 194

I cannot believe that I am sitting here at just after 5pm with the setting sun streaming into my room, and the window open to breathe in the fresh air.  After all the gloom and sogginess, this is a real treat.  I don't even need my light to craft.  As you might gather from this, I am scheduling this post, and giving you the benefit of a sunny day, rather than a possibly gloomy morning desk.  However, nothing will change here before Wednesday morning, as we are playing cards as usual with friends tonight.  You might be wondering why I am concerned about showing you my desk for a Wednesday.  The explanation can be found at our illustrious leader's blog home - Stamping Ground, where you will find over 150 other desks from around the work on show.  You are welcome to wander over there to Julia's and poke around to see what everyone else is doing.  Please leave a short comment when you visit so that we know where to find you to visit you in return.

I have had to hide some of my work for today as it is for a DT piece for next month, but you will get to see it in March.  You can see a little taste of my ambition to use each of my stamps at least twice this year.  The roundel is one of three wood mounted stamps I bought ages ago.  They are quite useful for male cards as they are not too flowery, and this one is coloured with a mixture of Promarkers and Sakura glitter pens, which you can see in a heap, waiting to be put away behind me.  I will finish those cards and show them in a later post this week, hopefully.

Looking a little further to my left, you can see the mountains have reduced a lot, and a little green cutting mat is visible this week.  My box of tissues are fun as each one is coated in a fine coat of glitter - unintentional but never mind.

I have now finished going through all my stamps, putting them into the file and on to the computer.  The Clarity ones are in their correct boxes and I can find each one within 30 seconds - result.  The rest are just in cardboard boxes until I can get over to Hobbycraft to get a set of plastic boxes to store them properly, which will not be until next week as the rest of this week is totally manic.  We may be having our delayed Christmas with the other half of the family, unless it snows again.

This is the shelf behind me where I have put my unboxed stamps until they can be done properly.  The first time for months that this shelf has been reasonable tidy.   The pace between this set of shelves and me is slowly improving as I do one small section each day. 

Now I must end as Julia does like us to be short and sweet, and I have rambled on a bit this week.  Hope to meet up with you all again as we all wander round the desks on show.  Have a good week, crafting and blogging.  xx

Update:- I knew that lovely sun was too good to last - this morning is gloomy, misty and cold.  Was that Summer, do you think?   Still, it was beautiful while it lasted.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Friday Smile - Week 5

Yesterday was the day for the two hooligans to be tidied up again, hopefully to herald the start of Spring.  Even if it is not Spring yet, it does mean less mud etc brought into the house, and makes grooming easier.  Linda brings her big van, parks it on the drive, plugs in to our caravan power source and does everything out there, and takes the ton of excess hair away with her, not to mention the garden full of mud that they collect.
This first picture is of littley, Gemma, looking very mournful because her big pal, Flash has already gone out into the van for his wash and brush up, and she hates being left behind.  She has the most fluffy legs you could imagine, which are a nightmare to keep clean and tidy.

Here you can see both pups watching their Boss carefully as he might have a treat for them if they are good, both clean and tidy now after their visit to the big van.  Flash is still wearing his collar (second one as the first just got bashed to pieces).  He is recovering nicely from his "hot spot", but will still not leave it alone.  We do not want the hard work of the last month undone with one session of scratching, so he will wear it until the damage if fully healed.  Then, maybe, the damage to our legs and the wallpaper and doors can be repaired.

These two always make me smile, and they kept us both sane while we were coping with both our mothers deteriorating at the same time.  They are always pleased to see us and give us unconditional love.  They are always full of joy at any attention and activity, which is so infectious.

I hope these two hooligans make you smile a little today.  If you would like more pictures to smile at, just go across to see Annie, alias Wipso, at A Stitch In Time, to see even more.  Even better, post a picture of something that makes you smile and link it up.  Spread the joy.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

WOYWW - 193

Welcome fellow WOYWWers and anyone else who has come to view this week.  In case you think I am mad, just nip over to Julia's where you will find an explanation for this unadulterated horror.  We are a large group of international crafters of all types who are happily sharing our treasures and our disasters with all our friends.  Anyone is welcome.  Just post your blog with the title of WOYWW (What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday), and a picture of your desk - no tidying first, we want to see it in all its glory, then link it on Wednesday morning over at Julia's.  Then you are free to wander round all the other desks on show, leave friendly comments, and see all that everyone is up to.

Still a dreadful mess this morning, just as I left it last night.  The Tidy Fairies must be on holiday.  Still, I am not too worried as I am on the last bit of the great stamp sort out.  I have just the wood mounted ones to do, and I only have a few of those, then it is just a case of cross-referencing them all on the computer.

You can see my Sheena Douglas Scene Sets, and a couple of my medallion stamps, which I have already stamped and put into the file. 

While I am working on these, you can perhaps see on the screen part of the Debbi Moore show on Create and Craft.  I sometimes watch crafting programmes or listen to music while I am working.  Lately, I have been doing a lot of listening to relaxation tapes to try to break the sleepless cycle.  I cannot sleep at night, but if I sit down in the day, I am off to sleep instantly - so annoying. 

I am posting this just after midnight after our visitors have gone, so now I am off to see if I can get to sleep before linking up with Julia in the daylight hours.  Let's hope that dratted snow does not turn up yet again, it is getting seriously boring, and the birds are permanently starving..

PS My next resolution is to make at least two cards with every stamps during this year.   Do you think  have any chance of getting that done?  

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Craft a Scene - Let Your Light Shine - No 2

It is now week 2 of the Craft A Scene challenge for February on the theme of "Let Your Light Shine", a scene featuring a lighthouse, and my second offering to you.  I have gone back to stamping for this one, having just received a seaside set in the post just before Christmas.  All the stamps are from Hobby Art company, who specialise in making sets of clear polymer scene making stamps, which all link with each other.  In fact, I used stamps from two different sets.

For once in my life, I had done most of the masks before and had them lined up ready for use - or I thought I had, then I had to make another couple for the smaller boats, and they were so tiny to cut out and kept getting lost.

I used Adirondacks and the Speedball brayer to colour the sky and the sea, and then touched them up with a make up sponge.  The beach was more of a problem, and mainly done by dabbing with a make up sponge, and Promarkers, which I also used for the lighthouse and the boats.  I added the red stripe to the lighthouse to keep it in line with the iconic image - plain ones don't look right.  Blending the line between sea and shore was harder, but I used my Versamark pen and white detail embossing powder to add little foamy waves and a few "white horses".

Now it your turn to look at what everyone else has done so far this month and see what you can produce to show us at Craft A Scene.  Don't forget to leave a comment for those you visit, we all love to read them.

PS I know my sea is running out to the left.  I have the same problem when I take photos.  If I had trimmed it to sort that out, the lighthouse would have turned into the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

WOYWW - 192

This is written on Wednesday, but just before I crawl into bed, but you probably did not want to know that (I will do the grammar and spelling check later).  My desk is just as I left it on Tuesday afternoon, still a mess, but a bit more productive this week.  I am running two jobs in together, starting the cataloguing of my stamps, starting with my Clarity ones, and using some quite pretty peeloffs to make quick cards for stock.    The peeloffs are the kind that have loads of tiny bits (apparently waste, but if you use two different colours, you can mix them to create quite an effective result, and use every scrap too).

Sorting out stamps is quite an interesting occupation and I am only surprised to find I still only have two duplicated so far, which is quite good.  I haven't found a "Thank You" yet, Shaz, but then I do have several sheets of those in peeloffs.   I am not too busy with cards for February (March is a different matter) so it is nice to spend time playing and looking around what I possess.  the theory is that, in the end, I will be able to look at a page full of different trees, decide what I want to use and go straight to the right box.  Any bets on how successful that will be?

OK, Julia, I can hear you asking us to be brief so I am off to bed, and will see you again after 8.00am.  For those of you who are wondering still why I am showing you such a messy desk, just slip over to Julia's in the morning to see lots more desks on show and enjoy a convivial wander round with coffee in hand (cheese scones too) to see what we are all up to all over the world.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Craft a Scene - Let Your Light Shine - No 1

This month's challenge over on Craft A Scene is "Let Your Light Shine", which translates to a scene with a lighthouse.  When I joined the Design Team, I decided I wanted to vary my techniques, partly to keep myself from stagnating, but also it might encourage others who don't have much in the way of stamps.

The challenge criteria on Craft A Scene does not insist on stamping as the technique, so it is up to you how you interpret the theme.  You must have a background and foreground scene to fulfil the main need.  You can use your cute characters, but you must have that scene for them to sit in.

This card features decoupage, which seems to have gone a little out of fashion just lately.  The original image is a topper from Greeting Card Factory, which I have had for ages, just a flat picture.  All that was needed was to print the image out four times and decide where they could be cut to give realistic-ish depth to the picture.  You could take a photo of a lighthouse and do the same thing with it.

Layer 1 - the complete image
Layer 2 - just cutting off the sky and clouds
Layer 3 - cutting at the base of the jetty
Layer 4 - the lighthouse, and the three sailing boats.

I used my bone folder to curve each layer slightly before glueing with Pinflair Gel, to give a bit more
movement to the pieces, then I sprayed the topper with Spray and Shine from Crafters Companion.  Then it was all matted and layered on dark blue card and holographic card.

So come on, all of you, join us in this challenge, and see what you can do.  Stamps, digi stamps, decoupage or any other technique you can think of as long as it features a SCENE with a lighthouse in it.  I can't wait to see them.  Then wander round and have a look at all the other offerings from the Design Team and the other entries.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Problems leaving comments for Google+ accounts

Am I the only one having trouble leaving comments for people who have a Google+  account. If you are reading this, Gill Edwards, I have tried to answer you but it just will not let me do it anywhere. Please contact me and tell me what I need  to do.  I feel bad, when you have left me such nice comments. xx Maggie

Friday, 1 February 2013

Annie's Friday Smile - 3

This may not be the best photo ever, but it does bring a smile every time I see it so it fits very well into the Friday Smile.

Our daughter had a mediaeval wedding celebration, with all the guests dressed in costume.  Her dress was the one she had always drawn from a child, and her husband was dressed in full armour.  Our grandson was totally confused - he was looked after by strangers during the ceremonies and his Dad clanked whenever he moved (that armour was incredibly heavy).

In between the two parts of the reception, things calmed down a little and he found a lovely flower for his Mum (a dandelion - a weed is only a flower in the wrong place and they look wonderful up the central reservations and grass verges. 

The guests all entered into the action by dressing up.  In fact, it was very strange when we all left as we had all got used to the costumes and got very strange looks from people at the petrol station.

Why don't you join in now and post your own Friday Smile over at Annie's Stitch in Time, and give the rest of us a smile.

Pixie's Snippets challenge - 57

This is my entry for Pixie's Snippets Challenge for this week.  If you saw my WOYWW desk this week, you would have seen some of this card in its component bits.  So now you can see the finished card - please excuse the rather twisted image but due to the decoupage it will not go on the scanner successfully either.  I wasn't drunk, honest, and have only had water so far today.

This started off way back when I first started paper crafting.  I went down to Hayley West's shop (Hayley is more often seen on Create and Craft TV these days, demonstrating anything from the Silhouette Cameo to teaching knitting) in Redditch to find some more bits to add to my meagre collection.  She had some lovely samples scattered round the shop, including one featuring these peel off decoupage sheets.  The base sheet has all five butterflies joined together, and the other layers lose butterflies as you go down the four layers.  

The picture on the right shows the first two layers in place, with the next two waiting on the desk.  To get to that position, I peeled all the separate layers and stuck them to acetate, shiny side up (the acetate, that is).  Then I coloured each layer in turn, matching the colours on each layer which gives the intensity of colour.  The best pens that I have found are the Sakura glitter pens, and I usually do two layers at least of colour, allowing about a day in between to dry properly.  You may find other pens work well too, but I would test them on a spare bit of the acetate first.  Once everything is dry, then each layer needs to be cut out as close to the peel off as possible, and then mounted using Pinflair Glue Gel in tiny spots. I mounted them on a piece of Clarity Silk Art Card, which is a very pure white.

I found it needed something else to finish the card
so I had a ferret amongst my border peel offs, and chose the chain design.  I had thought of colouring in the space between the links, but after I had stuck it on, I decided that extra colour was not necessary.  

I did think these peel offs would be discontinued by now, but I have had a trawl on the internet today and found them at Monoco Direct in the UK at the price of 50p, in three colours - gold, silver and multi.  I might even get some for myself even though I said I was getting rid of peel offs. 

I hope you can understand this lengthy explanation.  It is not hard to do, just a little time consuming, and they look better than the photos show.  I am going to start doing mini videos to show sparkly and shiny things.  I am off now to link up and book my place on the swings this week in Pixie's playground