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, 25 June 2014

WOYWW 264 - Better late than never?

I missed last week due to total lack of time and came close to missing this week.  Looking at this photo, you can see one reason for my absence.  My room is a wreck.  Believe it or not, it is better than it was last week, and I hope that tomorrow it will be a little better still.

I have pulled out a small storage unit from behind the others, just so that I have somewhere to put my new baby on (new at Christmas, anyway) - my EBosser.  I love it.  It is saving my bad arm a lot of pain.  It has been good this week listening to Create and Craft (it is on on the TV behind me, just in the background) as there have been so many programmes using dies and the EBosser so I have picked up so many good tips.

My poor craft computer is off to the computer hospital at the end of the week with the black screen of death, so I have to finish tidying up so that it can be extracted without it or someone being injured in the process.

I have joined in with two crafting workshop groups, both with Clarity tutors, Maria Simms and Sally-Ann Hanes, both very clever and excellent teachers.  It has really given me a massive lift and so much to look forward to.

Anyway, it is time I finished waffling and passed you back to the lovely Julia, who hosts us with so much patience.  Good to see you back again and taking time to recover.

PS I have still not heard from Sheilagh White  and Uuna, who were two of the winners of my birthday candy.  If anyone else is in touch with them, can you tell them, please.  If I do not hear by 2nd July, I will redraw those two prizes.  I also must apologise to Di Wray for not having sent her prize yet.  It is ready to go asap.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Friday Smile

Post by Coyu.

I am not sure that this link will work but I really hope it does.  It took me a while to work out how to transfer it, but I reckon it is worthwhile.  I howled.

This is my contribution to Annie's Friday Smiles.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 

Wednesday, 11 June 2014


I cannot believe it is Wednesday again already.  It is the day we all visit each other on the great blog hop that is What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday, which is normally hosted by the lovely Julia.   However, the news is from Lunch Lady Jan, that Julia is in hospital and unable to be with us this week.  She has asked that we do not attempt to contact her, even through email, but leave messages with Jan at http://lunchladyjansfabricfrenzy.blogspot.co.uk/ 

I am still struggling to visit all those who came to visit me last week, so if I don't make it before this morning, please forgive me.
It is also four years to the day since I did my very first blog.
Helen, who also sent this lovely verse, Twiglet (Jo), and DBW.
 I intend to keep it very short this week, especially as I have blogged quite a lot already, showing the cards I have made or put together.  I am also well behind on DT work so I need some urgent inspiration.

There were some ATCs that did not make it into the show last week, so I wanted to show them.  It is amazing how many different techniques we all cover as a group and I will certainly treasure all those I have received, so thank you so much.
I chose to do two different designs.  If you have read my last two posts this week, you might recognise the set of stamps I used.   I think they are my favourite stamps at the moment.

This first one was done by stamping on to Clarity double sided adhesive sheets with Black Archival, covering that with thin acetate to protect the line art, then scoring into the back, and painting in with Perfect Pearls and gilding flakes - not be attempted with windows open, fans on or with hay fever.  The stamps are both from Clarity and I really like the quote from Maya Angelou.
 The second one I did was again using the Clarity birds, but adding in the remountable Cherry Blossom branch.  They go so well together.  Again, I stamped with Archival black because I was colouring in with Derwent Coloursoft pencils.  Everyone is raving about Sprectrum Noir at the moment, but, having tried them, I much prefer the British made Derwent range.  They blend beautifully with no real pressure needed.  I also like the fact that you can buy just one to replace ones that you have used up or lost, or to add to your range.

Let's keep our fingers crossed that Mr Linky has got back from his holiday and is ready for us this week, so that we can all join together at Stamping Ground.  The coffee will be on and the biscuit tin topped up.  See you there.

PS.  Today is the day I will be making the draw for my blog candy (the information is at the top of my blog) and I will announce the winners sometime after lunch.  All you have to do is to be a follower and I will do the rest. 

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Maria's Workshop cards

I have been getting out and about to crafting days this year, and I have joined Maria Simms'  regular workshops once a month.  They are a lovely mixture of things I have already played with and things that are new to me, a perfect mixture as far as I am concerned.  Maria is an excellent teacher and part of the Clarity Stamp team.  The rest of the group are so friendly and cheerful.  You don't have to worry if you have forgotten something, everyone works together and shares where possible.

 This is one of the cards from Maria Simms workshop in May, which I have finally put together.  It has been tucked away in my folder for a month while I got stuck into the ATCs.  It is a mixture of acrylic paints on the Gelli plate for the background, using the Treescape and Sunshine stencils.  The stamps are from the Garden Bird (Blue Tits) set and the sentiment from Maya Angelou.

This is the first of the four projects from this month, using the same Garden Bird set and one of the Cherry Blossom branches.  It is a perfect mix of stamps and they just work so well together.  The shading round the edge is Adirondack Butterscotch brayered on.  I used Archival black for the stamps as I was colouring in with pencil crayons, my lovely Derwent Coloursoft, which blend so beautifully.

I cannot decide which is my favourite from this month's batch, but I do love this one.   Maria had spent hours die cutting the trellis for each of us.  The colouring underneath was brayered again using the Butterscotch, and the stamping was again with the Archival black so that I could colour with the Coloursoft pencils.  The branch was stamped and coloured before adding the trellis, and the bird was stamped, coloured and then cut out before gluing it into place.  Like most people, I have coloured in for years, but I did learn one or two new tips from Maria about more advanced technique.

This was where I discovered that I had not got the Journal set, but Barbara Lancaster kindly lent hers to us to use for the script at the bottom.   This time the large bird was stamped with Archival black and then had angelina ironed on to it to give the most beautiful iridescence.  The blue ribbon and the bird were attached with the extra strong adhesive tape (the one with the red covering).  I do love the effect of the angelina and photographs really do not do justice to the effect.

The final project of the day was very similar to the ATCs I have already shown you before, and used mica powders and gilding flakes on the double sided adhesive sheets.

I think these cards show that a set of stamps can be used in several different ways so that you can get the maximum mileage from them.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Playing with new stencils

 I have had a good weekend, playing with new techniques, and practicing ones that I am more familiar with.  All three are using Clarity stencils and brushes.  This first card is a new one which was shown on Create and Craft at the beginning of this month.  It is a combi set, with the stencil and then remountable leaves/petals with the filigraphy design on each.  

Initially, I stencilled the design using just two colours of Adirondacks - Butterscotch and Pesto, adding the ink with the Clarity brushes.  By gradually adding colour through the stencil, you can achieve some lovely shading, and real depth of colour. Then I used the remountable filigraphy stamps to add the texture look, stamping in Pesto.

This was never intended to be a square card, but I was too idle to go upstairs to get another piece of base card.  It looked stupid in the centre of a large card, so I put it to the side and then decided to stencil  the flower or part of it to the side.   As you can see, I use only parts of the main stencil, just picking the bits that I wanted and that fitted into the space available.   To finish off, I used the Butterscotch that still remained on the brush to soften down the stark white of the card.

This second card, using the Chinese Lanterns stencil, was a straightforward brushing through the stencil with Butterscotch and Red Pepper, blending them lightly in the middle.  I have not quite finished this one as I intend to add one of the remountable sentiment line stamps, choosing whichever is appropriate to whoever I am sending it to.  I will take the sentiment round all four sides of the design to frame it properly.

Card number 3 is the result of using too much paint on the Gelli plate, which meant that I got a really strong ghost print.  This print has been in my folder for over a month while I decided how to use it.  The base colour was  a strong olive green, and I suddenly decided to go over the top with  a Distress ink, Spiced Marmalade, which I thought was probably the nearest to the true colour of Chinese Lanterns.  I was a bit nervous because I actually liked the print as it was, so it was a bit of a leap of faith, but I think I also like the effect of adding the orange.

Later this week, I will show you the results from Maria's Workshop last Friday.  I had a whale of a time, once I had woken up.

At some point, on Wednesday, I will announce the winners of my Blog Candy.  I am very close to getting to the magic 100 followers, which may mean an extra prize for someone, chosen at random.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

More Northern Lights

 I am still playing with this Northern Lights technique I learned from Shaz Silverwolf, and still having fun with it.  Like Shaz, I am trying different colours, different ink pads and paint, and different card.
The jury is still out on this one.  For me the lines are too strong and won't really tone down to what I like.  I think it is a fault with my working, not with the tools.  I was using smooth white card (Clarity Gelli card), which obviously absorbed more ink than the coated card.  The inks in this one were Distress inkpads.  I am going to trim this one down and see whether that makes me feel happier.
This is back to the coated card again, which I think is better as it can be polished just before you add the stars.  This may not be quite right as an Aurora, but I like the colours and the shading among the trees is just right for me.  It seems to glow.
 However, I think this last one is my favourite so far.  I used black Clarity coated card and some new paints that had just arrived that day.  They are the Imagination Silkies which I brushed on very randomly.  They are pearlescent paints and don't polish very well, but the pearlescence means that does not really matter.

I did find one medium that really did not work and that is glitter paste.  That just made a nasty mess used in this way. 

Wednesday, 4 June 2014


 What a lovely lot of ATCs there are around and I had some beautiful ones, all so varied.  This, of course, reflects the fact that we all work in such different styles, which is what makes this blog hop so much fun.  For anyone who has not idea what I am talking about or has come from a different planet, you cannot do better than to go over to Julia's blog at Stamping Ground where she will be happy to explain it all to you.
Bleubeard & Elizabeth, Craftygashead Zo, Shaz Silverwolf, Cindy Ashplant, Debbie (Tattered Rocks)
Ma@id.com, Robyn Oliver,Cardarian, Alison Hazelgrove, Julia Dunnit
Lynda Beasley, Annie (Wipso), Helen (H), Hettie, Fairythoughts
An extra gem from Debbie (Tattered Rocks)
I would like to thank all of you for the thought, love and care that went into all these beautiful little pieces of art and I will treasure them all.  There are one or two extra gems that also arrived but I will save those for next week, especially as I already need matchsticks to keep my eyes open.  Have a wonderful week, the first of the sixth year and a week closer to next year's Crop.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Craft A Scene for June - By The Sea, week 1

This is a scene I really like.  It reminds me of little harbours in Cornwall, one of my favourite areas of the country, particularly if you go out of season.  It is my first offering for the Design Team for Craft A Scene for June.  The rules state that it must be a scene, with a background and a foreground to fit in.

The main part of the scene is one large stamp (at the moment I cannot remember who makes it, having just disrupted totally all my stamp storage again) but I then added the large seagull, and the flight of birds and the little rowing boat, all three of which come from the Harbour set from Clarity Stamps.

I did all the colouring with Derwent watercolour pencils, which I think are the best in the world and just happen to be made in this country anyway.

There will be other scenes to, hopefully, inspire you over on Craft A Scene if you would like to have a look.  Then see what inspires you about "By The Sea" and have a go this month.  Come on, celebrate the warmer weather and join in with this month's challenge.