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.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Craft A Scene April 28th - Farm Scene

This is a scheduled post.

This is the final chance to join in this month's challenge over at Craft A Scene.  The theme is for a "Down on the Farm/Ranch" scene.  The idea is to give everyone a chance to produce a scene that is familiar to them, no matter where you live.  Your scene should include a background and a foreground and show a complete scene.  What media you use is up to you, whether it be stamping, decoupage or draw your own.  Use what you have with your imagination, and have fun.  That is what crafting should be about.

If you have seen my two previous offerings on this theme, you will have noticed that I have been using Hobby Art Stamps to create this month's cards.  I have three different sets of farm stamps, and this card involves bits from all of them.  I had not realised just how many different sheep stamps there were between the three different sets.  I mount all of my stamps on Clarity mounts which are so easy to use and to place accurately.  they are excellent if you have any dexterity problems, being perfectly balance.

I also used pencil lines to join different scenery stamps to make them one and to draw in in some field boundaries.  All the colouring is done with Derwent watercolour pencils, which I love.  Some of it has water applied but not all.  I also used a Twinkling H2O on the stream and pond, and also for the rays of the sun.  As usual, you cannot really see that on the photo, but it is there.

This farm scene is not really like most farms these days, but I wanted to try to recreate what farms used to be, a mix of arable and grazing, small fields with hedges, with a village close by.  Most arable farmers these days would have a fit to see bright red poppies in the middle of the corn and wheat fields, but I remember that from my childhood, along with grass verges full of beautiful wild flowers, full of busy insects and birdlife.  

Although I have not used any of my favourite Clarity Stamps on this image, most of the techniques used have been learned from watching the very talented Barbara Gray.  I heard her say recently that when she is travelling (and she does an awful lot of that) she is constantly seeing the folds of the hills, the way trees grow and generally picking up inspiration.  While I do not pretend to have a fraction of her talent, I have caught myself seeing the landscape in a different way, and planning scenes around what I see.  I bet you do the same if you think about it.  So come on and join us, show us something of what your eyes can see as you go about your life and travel through the countryside.  Have fun.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Thanks to some very good blogging friends, many of you will now be aware of the terrible shock that hit our family on Sunday, when my wonderful husband, Geoff died so suddenly.  We are all so grateful for the hundreds of wonderful messages and cards we have received so far.   I have been gradually working through all those message online, on blogs and on Facebook, and I hope to thank you personally when life settle down a little.  In the meantime, thank you all so much.  Your support means so much to us.  xx

Take time throughout your life to laugh and make good memories. In the end, they are what hold you together in the bad times. My wonderful husband died suddenly on Sunday, and my happy memories and all the wonderful tributes and memories are a great comfort. I am lucky to have incredible children and friends and we will get through. Do all you can to fill your lives with joy from the simple things of life. If anyone tries to put you down or upset you, remember that they are not as lucky as you. xx

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Craft A Scene - April 7th - Farm or Western scene

Here we are at the second week of April and the second week of the latest challenge at Craft A Scene, which is to create a scene of Farms or Western scenery, depending on where you live or what stamps you have.

I am lucky enough to have three different sets of Hobby Art stamps, all on the theme of the farm and countryside.  They are really good and will mix together to create different scenes.  There are three or four different groups of sheep to make quite a good flock.

Just take care when you start a scene like this and make sure you have your fences etc the right way up.  How do I know this?  Oh yes, I managed to get the wall on top of the fence - don't think that would work in real life, and there was no way to get out of that one.  Just take a deep breath and start again.  The other thing I have learned is that you do not need to colour every leaf on each tree separately, a little white space between gives a better effect.  I was never taught that in art classes at school.  It was only by listening to talented people like Barbara Gray that I understood that.

Any farmer would have a fit (unless he was an organic farmer) if he saw the poppies in the corn or wheat fields in the background, but they do brighten up the view.

Another gem I heard from Barbara Gray was how she now looks at everything with a different eye while travelling round the countryside.  I know just what she means, I find myself looking at things in a totally different way now, looking at the way the hills fold and change colour for example.  When I was teaching a few years ago, I encouraged the children to look carefully at things and draw what they can see, not what they think is there.  I very much hope that I did not put them off drawing in the way I was put off in my own time at school.

I also hope very much that seeing  what I can do will show you that anyone can do it.  Come on, take a deep breath and join in with our challenge over at Craft A Scene.  I know you can do better that I can. 

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

WOYWW - 200

Cheat! I hear you saying.... and you would be right.  You have seen this shot before but as nothing has really changed since then, nothing that I can show you anyway, I hoped you would not mind too much.  Sorry Julia, I hope you will forgive me this liberty.  For those few in the world who do not know Julia, she is the brilliant lady over at Stamping Ground who holds court each Wednesday to allow us all to visit each other to see what goodies our desks hold.

However, I have got a card for you to make up.  I actually made it a while ago, but could not decide who might like it, so it went straight into my stock box to await developments.    The flower is a digi that I printed on to parchment, heat embossed and then painted with mica powders.  The moisture caused the parchment to stretch between the embossed lines, but I quite like the effect of material it gives.  Cutting it out was a bit of a beast, and then I attached it with a good dose of Crafters Companion adhesive.
The three oval mats were cut out with my Silhouette Cameo and then mounted on black pearlescent card.

As you can see, some of the bits were very thin and quite difficult to hold together when they were cut out.  In fact, I think it was only the embossing that held them in one piece. 

If you have got all the way down here, it is time I sent you on your way back to Julia to find all the other desks to visit.  All we ask of our visitors is a short comment to tell us you have called in, and then we will know where to go to return the visit.  Hope to see you all very soon.  Have a good week, and lets hope for some good weather wherever you are.  xx

Monday, 1 April 2013

Silver leaf and acetate

This is  the Silver Birch stamp from Clarity Stamps, one of my favourites.  It is stamped with any black ink on to the reverse of an acetate sheet, the rough side made for printing.  Once it was dry, I sprayed the printed side with spray adhesive and then applied silver leaf and burnished it.  Then it was back to the spray adhesive to attach it to black pearlescent card, which gives more depth to the solver.

I kept the mounting simple, with silver holographic card, black card and then onto a white pearlescent card to finish.  A simple silver peel off provided the sentiment.

The slightly grainy reflection from the silver leaf brings a good texture.  The biggest problem is remembering not to breathe anywhere near the silver leaf (even worse with gilding flakes), otherwise it gets everywhere.  Rubbing baby powder into your hands is a good idea too, to stop it sticking to you instead of the adhesive. 

If you wanted to, you could add some colour behind the trees before applying the silver leaf, but I rather like it simple.