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, 20 August 2014


Warning!  This is quite a picture heavy post today.  

If you choose to just whizz through the pictures and then carry on to visit all the other desks on show at Julia's place, you are very welcome.  When you get there, there is plenty of help to explain what this blog hop is all about.  By the way, I took all these desk and garden photos yesterday while the sun was shining so that I did not need to use flash.

I did say last week that I would have trouble visiting due to various other things getting in the way, and, oh boy, was I right.  Life certainly got in the way.  I won't bore you with all the details.

My dining furniture arrived safe and sound and fits perfectly in the corner of the room, so that it does not get in the way walking round and getting from door to door (there are three doors in my dining room).  It is small enough for me to move on my own without having to eat a couple of tins of spinach, but big enough to do a little light crafting on.  As you can see, I have started with the very beginning of my effort towards the "C" word.  At the moment, you can see some stamping with the Twas The Night Before Christmas stamps, some to go to my grandchildren so they can colour them and make their own Christmas cards, but some for me to make a few to sell.  I shall sit and colour them in at night in front of the TV.  You might also notice one of my crafting companions, the little terror, Gemma.

Who! I'm good, I am!

These are some of the things I can see in my new raised beds from my new table .

I went round the garden centres and looked at their end of season bargains, and if the plants had bees or butterflies on them, they went in my trolley.

I love buddleias and I have found a variety that is supposed to be very small growing, so they should be easy to keep within bounds in these beds, and the butterflies have been on them ever since they arrived.
These daisy type flowers were smothered with bees so they were a definite.  I still have a load of small plants to get in to fill the spaces for later on.

Last week, I showed you the first batch of projects we did at Barbara Gray's fantastic two day Retreats in July.  This is the second day's projects.  This first one is still giving me problems, not because of poor teaching but due to a failure of my brain to send the right instructions to the fingers holding the inks.  

Everyone else succeeded, as you can see from this photo which I lifted from Barbara's blog, so I just need to get down to it and practice until I get it right.   I know what to do and think it is working until I see my final result.  The card we were using is superb, the new super shiny Chromo card which embosses so beautifully.

This next one is more successful and I really enjoyed playing with the shading, just using the Castle and Rooftops masks, one stamp and three of the word stamps.  Simple and engrossing to do.

This used one of the new stencils (which we all immediately bought from the shop) and involved the gelli plate, just turning the card halfway between the two colours.  Apart from that, it was just one of the remountable sets and a great sentiment, just what we all need at times to find our mojo.

Barbara has done a YouTube Tuesday video on this next technique so I won't go into details, except to say that my tear is a little too wide so I will add a couple of little birds above the sentiment to balance it out better.
We had 4 projects planned for us on each of the two days, but we were promised that if we worked well on the second day, we could have a play with something that is so much fun and everyone is doing it at the moment - shaving foam and inks.  We used the plastic plates from our lunchtime sandwiches, a spray of Tesco 26p shaving foam and a few drops of ink using just two colours, and the stencil we had used earlier.
Again, this is something that Barbara has done a video on, so I will not go into how we did it, but it was so much fun and a great play around end to a fabulous couple of days.  What I really love is that you have very limited control over the effect you get and it is impossible to replicate any result.

This is my final pictorial offering for this week - a great family get together at the weekend, with my son and daughter working together to get the lunch.

There are two things I am determined to repeat next year.  One is the WOYWW Crop, definitely not to be missed, and the other is the Clarity Retreat.

Meanwhile, I hope you have enjoyed my rather long ramble this week (Sorry, Julia) but now it is time for you to go back to WOYWW Central for Julia to direct you to other desks on offer.  Have a great week, all of you.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014


Once again, I am late for the roll call for WOYWW, mainly because I forgot what day it was AGAIN!   I also have to apologise at the lack of a desk this week, but I have not had time to get to it at all.  Instead, I have a few promised pictures to show you.

I have to boast a little this week.  I entered my Ginkgo leaf and Lady's Smock card in July's Clarity Challenge  the subject of which was "Anything Goes", and I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the top 5.  As you might imagine, I was so chuffed as it was done in 55 minutes and only entered at the very last minute.

Now all the Retreats are finished for this year, I can show you the lovely things we did with Barbara Gray in two wonderful days down at Crowborough, apart from hobnobbing with major Royalty.

Over the two days we did 9 separate projects, the final one being an extra that we were allowed for being very good and working fast earlier in the day.  None of the projects are finished articles.  Barbara teaches techniques that e can go away and adapt and perfect later.

The very first one was, I think, my very favourite, being very much in the style I most favour.  The flowers were stamped in their very own hand made ink pad, which was a fascinating thing to create.  I used the same technique for the Lady's Smock in the other card above.  I just love the delicate image it all produces.

This one is a work in progress as you can see, both in the background and the Christmas baubles too.  As I have said, Barbara teaches techniques and we did not spend the extra time to finish the colouring in.  I will get around to that very soon.

This design was the subject of a lot of discussion in the group.  We all loved the effect of the stencilling, but less certain about outlining the leaves and stems, but for the sake of trying it, we did do some to see what we felt afterwards.  I still have mixed feelings, but it is good to try these things.  The bauble in the centre was stamped on double sided adhesive, and the alcohol inks stamped all over the acetate, then laid over the top of the design.  The bird at the bottom was "zentangled" to give it more shape and interest.
 This was another of my favourites, giving us another brilliant use for the Gelli plate and its newly produced Mega Mount which allows it to be used as a giant stamp to create the reflections, and to position them perfectly on the card without going into major contortions.  The trees are from the set of trees and their mantles, such a useful set for all sorts of things.

I will reserve the other projects for another post very soon, otherwise Julia will not be impressed at the length of my contribution today.   I had a wonderful time down in Sussex and shall be booking again next year.  Even the dreaded M25 will not put me off, although that awful island at Headington comes close.

I will not be able to visit many of you until the weekend, due to furniture deliveries and plants to put in the new raised beds in the garden, but I will try to visit as many of you as possible.  Thanks for being such an excellent hostess, Julia, and all of you have a good week.