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.


Mrs A. said...

Sounds like you had fun at Barbara's retreat. I think we are all needlessly critical of our own efforts. Your flower borders are looking good. I have tried to fill my garden with as many butterfly and bee loving plants as I could this year and also bought loads of packets of wild flower seeds that I just scattered and left to grow in all the spaces. Hugs Mrs A.

Robyn Oliver said...

Hi Maggie and happy WOYWW. A great week you've had and lucky you to have a lovely garden view from your new dining table. Looks like you had a fab time with Barbara and some great techniques learned. Have a lovely week Cheers RobynO#21

Belinda Basson said...

Oh boy, I hate that short between the brain and the fingers...it happens to all of us at some stage or another. Practice, practice, practice is all I can recommend. I however avoid things with butterflies...as they lay eggs which eat all my plants! Bees...I will have bees. Love my bees! #23

Lynda Beazley said...

Wow lucky lucky you learning from Barbara herself! I follow her blog everyday and have a wish list of stamps and stencils as long as my arm! Your cards are lovely! She makes it all look so easy!
Lynda B 26

Helen said...

Looks like you have had a very busy week, but enjoyable on the whole (at least the furniture fits!) The cards you made at the retreat are fabulous. Helen 17

artatag said...

Very nice post! Enjoyed reading it. Thanks for sharing!
Gabriele 25

Lunch Lady Jan said...

Love your raised beds, Maggie...they're looking fab! I grow only plants that will attract pollinators too. That small buddleia sounds fab, normally they're rampant, aren't they? Your new furniture fits n a treat too :-)
Hugs, LLJ 10 xx

scrappystickyinkymess said...

Love seeing the samples - makes me determined to try to get to a workshop this year. I am always so interested to see BG on C&C - one of the few people who's demos really TEACH you what you need to know, IYKWIM.

Love the shaving foam - reminds me of another kid's craft, marble rolling thru paint or ink or whatever. I loved this 20 years ago when DS did it in playgroup, but lovely to see it updated in a more artsy way. Fab.

Happy WOYWW!
Mary Anne (1)

Di said...

Hi Maggie

Gosh you've been a busy bee! Love the work you did at Clarity and those plants are a joy to the eye.

Happy WOYWW! Too busy doing a cleaning blitz here to join in - yet agaaaaain.

Oh, and your doggies are lovely!!

Hugs, Di xx

glitterandglue said...

A brilliant post, Maggie. Lots done, great fun had, and some wonderful results to show for it all. Love the garden - really full of colour. All that hard work - and such a lovely show now. It's great having the family round, isn't it?!
Take care. God bless.
Margaret #11

Sylvia/LittleTreasures said...

Beautiful flower gardens...love this time of year but here it's 90's and lacking rain so beauty is taking a hit on growing season. Love your cute little dogs too. You've been busy making fun projects too. Enjoy the summer.

Shoshi said...

Great post, Maggie, with all the lovely photos! Glad you are getting your dining area sorted, with the right priorities (crafting first lol!). Love what you've done with the cards, and those text stamps are gorgeous.

Happy WOYWW,
Shoshi #35

Twiglet said...

It wasn't a ramble - it was lovely to see your family and all the gorgeous crafting you have been busy with! Just leaving a quick hello from Twiglet and Wipso as Annie hasn't any broadband in her new home yet!!

Linda Simpson said...

Hi Maggie, I hope you have a fabulous weekend. Another great read and loving the work you have done at the workshop. Great photographs too!
Linda xxx

Shaz Brooks said...

Hi Marg, thats a lovely shot of Steve and Becky! Love your retreat pics, I NEED that 'Creativity' phrase, lol. I also really love the shaving foam with the stencils. A great technique I've had a go at before, but never used it through a stencil. Brilliant results.The Castles picture is lovely. Speak soon, Love Shaz xxx

Princess Judy Palmer said...

So many pictures to ogle over! Love the shots of your garden, so pretty and happy. I'm sure it makes you smile. The puppies, of course they are good. Great new table. Yes! It is important to get furniture you can push around yourself. All your cards with fun techniques on them are pretty nifty. It looks like you had a great time. PJ #59

Cazzy said...

Hi Maggie, don't faint - it is me saying Happy WOYWW!

Wow, I am jealous of the workshop, and it looks ok - your tag. No such thing as mistakes in crafting!

Love your helpers. I need to find that diddy budleia I was reading what a problem it can be, and we only have a small garden.

Cazzy x #60

Annie Claxton said...

What a fun post Maggie, so much to take in! Love your Barbara Gray projects - I bet the retreats were brilliant, she's so good isn't she? Happy WOYWW :o) Annie C #46

Julia Dunnit said...

I love your criteria for choosing the plants, and I must say a controllable buddleia is a fab idea!! Love all your pics, the torn paper technique one is my fave, and I like you, had a lorra fun with the shaving foam marbling, and I must add that your rectangular stencil is great.

daqadoodles said...

Hello Maggie!
The dining table is not very big for crafting, but that also means it can't be covered in loads of stuff and is easily tidied. I like your gardenchoices. I'm not much of a gardener, but we have a big garden now and I want plants that bees and butterflies can enjoy, preferrably in the back of the garden though as I have young children and they won't go unsupervised to the back of the garden untill they are big enough (able to point where it hurts and what hurt them).
Dog looks cute, and that second day project looks great too, although I must admit I didn't see the reindeers at first. The card with shades looks great, and so do the others. That castle stencil.. what brand is it? Ah stencils are great!
But family is even better :)
Have a lovely week,

Debbie/Daqa #18

Theresa Pace said...

i see you have been a busy bee Maggie. love what you have done with the castle masks. lovely monochrome. as for alcohol inks i'm sure perseverance is key here. have a lovely day. hugs xx

Jo Rice said...

Hi Maggie, a great blog post my favourite things in the world, family including dogs.....gardening and craft...
I have loved spending my tea break with you...
Hugs. Jo. X

Shaz in Oz.CalligraphyCards said...

ah Maggie wasn't blogging for two weeks .. as was not well but back now and missed you so came over to peek and glad I did.

.. .well done on your new crafty spot cute companions (butter wouldn't melt in their mouth :D) and also great spot to craft in. lots of light.. and love your garden and share of the crafty time with Clarity you did very well!
Thanks for sharing your family too :D
happy WOYWW, love Shaz in Oz.x
PS praying for Shaz Silverwolf too.

Cazzy said...

Hi Maggie,

How are you getting on?

Cazzy x