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 July 2014


I cannot believe it is Wednesday again.  What a frantic couple of weeks I am having!  I am still not sure what day of the week it is, never mind what I am supposed to be doing at any given time.

As you may have gathered by last week's very belated post,  The two day Clarity Retreat was a roaring success, and we are all looking forward now to next year's event.  All those who had been in previous years agreed that it was the best ever.  As it was my first experience of the two day event, I had nothing to compare it with, but I loved every second.

I still cannot show you any of the projects we did, as there are still a couple of sessions to go next week, and we do not want to spoil it for those still to come.  What I can show you is a card I did yesterday in 55 minutes from start to finish, using this month's Clarity New Design Club stamp and stencil.

The stencil was two Ginkgo leaves, and the stamp was the little spray of Lady's Smock (Cardamine pratensis (cuckoo flower or lady's smock), is a flowering plant in the family Brassicaceae, native throughout most of Europe and Western Asia.).  It is a pretty little wildflower that I always cherish in my garden.  It is delicate and understated.

I also used a technique I had already seen from Maria Simms and we actually did for the first time at the Retreat - that of making your own multi-coloured ink pad, using various shades of Distress inks.  If you keep your home made pads in a ziplock bag, then they are good to use for quite a while and will save no end of time if you want to do multiple stamps as I did on this card.

Each of the Ginkgo leaves was stencil brushed individually, starting with pale yellow and then shading down with two different greens.  I used the final green to brush around the corners and edges and then very lightly over the whole thing to create a misty effect.  For 55 minutes effort, I was quite pleased with this one.

As I am having more work done this week (the final run of raised beds and a path relaid (not to mention getting some repairs done to the neighbour's fence to keep my dogs from escaping) I am working downstairs on the computer desk - I am being very careful, Doug, not to get ink in dangerous places.  I am also taking the opportunity to mount up all the projects still outstanding from the workshops with Maria Simms and Sally-Ann Hanes.

I was going to make it very short and sweet, as Julia prefers, but once again, my fingers and brain did not quite compute that idea.  Anyway, it is time I sent you on your merry way with coffee cup in hand to visit WOYWW Central and meet all the other lovely people who meet up there each Wednesday.  I hope to meet up with you again as we wander round all the desks on show.  Have a great week.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Belatedly - WOYWW 268

I could not blog yesterday as I was driving home from East Sussex, and by the time I got home, I would have struggled to remember my own name.

Why was I in East Sussex, the other side of that huge barrier - the M25?  Some of you will already know that Barbara Gray of Clarity Stamps runs a series of two day Retreats, close to her home in Crowborough.  As soon as I heard about it, I booked my place.

What has all this got to do with my workdesk, I hear you ask?  If you have ever done a workshop with Barbara, you will know that it is very full-on and hard work with a lot of fun thrown in.  I shared my personal workdesk with seven other like minded ladies and we all had a wonderful time.  Barbara teaches the whole class of 32 herself with help, on this occasion, from Paul Church.  abilities and experience varies between us all, but that is not an issue, with patient help from Barbara and Paul, and others around you.

 Now, I hear you asking why we should be outside in the middle of a busy crafting day, peering round the building and through a gap in the trees.  What is this to do with crafting?  The answer is - nothing at all, but it was exciting.  Bear with me and all will become clear.
 This lead car might give you a mini clue, coming from the helicopter on the rugby pitch.
You might be able to recognise a very fit looking Prince Philip waving from the front seat.  He was on his way for a private engagement to visit one of his charity interests.  I think he was rather amused to see 32 slightly mad ladies in pinnies (and a couple of men as well), all waving frantically at him and waving cameras.
 We were sworn to secrecy until after the event to avoid possible security problems for the plain clothes police.  Once he had left for his visit,  we had to do our gym exercises for Barbara for the camera.
 You did not know she was also a gym instructor, but here she is showing her moves for us - Ta Dah!
 We did abandon our crafting once more to welcome the Prince back and wave him off in his helicopter.

Then it was back to our workdesks.  I cannot show you yet what we actually learned and produced, because of spoiling things for those still to come on the Retreats.  Once they are all over, then I will show all.  Until then, I can say that we got lovely and inky and thoroughly messy at times, and learned new things and new ways of using things we already had.

It was not just a crafting time, but a chance to get to know, in person, some of our Facebook and blog friends.  I would not have missed it for the world and I will be going next year for sure.

Now I am off to Julia's to log myself on to Mr Linky and to start looking around at some of your lovely desks to see what you have all been up to.  See you soon, I hope.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Blog Candy redrawn!

Two of the winners of my blog candy have not yet contacted me, so I have re-drawn those two prizes from among my followers. 

The two new winners are  Gill Edwards and Kaz.

If those two people would like to contact me and give me your addresses, I will get your prizes off to you asap.