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.

Friday, 28 November 2014

R.I.P Jane Crosby

I could not summon up a Friday Smile today so I will just leave you with this link to the most inspiring blog I have ever read.

Please take the time to read Jane's story  and spare a thought for her family at this time.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Bespoke ink pads

Several people have asked for details of how to make the bespoke ink pads.  I could have done a few still shots but I could not do better than point you in the direction of the lady who taught me - Barbara Gray.  She just happens to have done a YouTube video on the technique from start to finish.  You can find this video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HQIiRCLY8I&list=PLmytW2NIfA_ZD8Cjcgb8NDyHTPKh-yn-y

When you have made your ink pad and finished your stamping, keep the pad in the zip lock bag for future use.  If it has dried out when you want to use it again, just spritz it with water a few times, and if it has gone too far, just re-ink it.  Over a period of time, the ink migrates across the whole pad.  This is perfectly normal and just softens the blends in your stamping.  

These little cards were stamped with another Clarity stamp, one of the clever corners, using the same ink pad.  As you can see, each one is slightly different, depending on where you place the stamp on the card.

Once you have made your ink pad, you can just keep stamping and produce several similar cards in a very short space of time, always a useful trick if you are short of time.

Just one thing, I think it is a technique for using with see through stamps.  I am not sure that rubber stamps would give such a good effect, although there may be ways round it.  Let me know.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

WOYWW - 285

Happy WOYWW!  What are you talking about, I hear some of you say.  If you would like to know all about it, then I can do no better than to direct you to the desk and home of our leader, Julia, who can be found at Stamping Ground.

No sign of my real desk this week.  No change there, then!  I have just finished the bulk of my Christmas cards, written and sealed as well with letters done for those who need them.  Now I am gathering up all the crafting stuff that has wandered down from my craft room disaster.  It all has to go back and find a proper home - easier said than done.

I took the easy way out on Monday and found a new desk to work on which was not even in my own house.  Instead I took my stuff down to the local craft shop, Pink Tulip Creations for their Open Crafting morning. You just take what you fancy working on, whatever it is, and use their tables and their equipment if you wish.  This is what I was working on for the morning.  I used the Cut and Dry felt to create my own ink pads.  That way, once you  have the pad, the creation of the card is quick and easy, with slight variations in the colouring.  The vase itself is made by using a Clarity stencil brush to build up the shading through the stencil to show the shaping and shadows.  

 The small cards are printed with the same ink pad which gives a lovely more random design.  I am intending to use those as larger than normal business cards for the school Christmas Fair, at which I am assisting my daughter and granddaughter.  I still need to stamp my details into the centres.

I should be tidying up today, but someone has been extremely generous and given me one of the cold germs and I just am not in the right mood for tidying.  I want to do what I want to do, not what I need to do.  Loads of hot and cold (when I forget to drink it up) lemon, honey and ginger, paracetamol, not to mention hot chocolate with cinnamon in.  I do not have time for this cold, especially as I am supposed to be visiting one of my school friends over at Much Wenlock.

I am going to finish now as Julia does really like us to keep it short, so I will let you go off to a less germ ridden place to visit loads of more interesting desks all over the world.  Have a good week.  xxx

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Where has this week gone?

This has been a frantic week from start to finish, but, at least, I do have something to show for it.  So I don't feel too bad about the vanishing of the time.

As many of you know, I have had some problems over this past year or so with getting the caravan nto a condition that I can manage.  Each one of those problems has been sorted with the help of Broad Lane Caravans.  I did manage to get away once this year with the dogs and the caravan and proved to myself that I could do it.  It was within my capabilities.  Then came the decision that, yes, I could do it, but, do I still want to do it?  That was the question.

I finally made the decision at the end of last week.  My life has changed so much in the past 18 months and I need to follow through with a totally different life style, which no longer includes the hard work of taking the caravan away.  So, it is on its way to the dealers, who will sell it on my behalf, saving me the hassle.  Apart from the money for the van itself, it also will save me the cost of insurance, servicing etc, which will pay for quite a decent holiday each year or even for the Clarity Retreat.

So this week was partly clearing the caravan out, removing everything personal and things I wanted to keep.  Needless to say, the house is now a wreck until all the things have been found a new home.  I have enough paracetamol and ibuprofen to stock a chemist and as I have reduced my intake of painkillers since starting with honey and cinnamon, they will last me a long time.

Thursday was still chaotic with a dental appointment in the morning and my first visit to a painting club.  I am not sure about it yet.  They were very friendly and welcoming but they were all into fine art which, at the moment, is definitely not my strong point.  They were all doing beautiful paintings on large canvases or sheets of watercolour paper, and looked at me as something of an oddity with my gelli plate, brayer and stencils.  How they would have coped with Sam Crowe, who is so brilliant with the gelli plate, but known for her talent along the grunge lines.  I think that might have been a step too far for these ladies at the moment.  I shall go back, but I think that next time I will take ink pads, stencils and stencil brushes as being less confrontational for them

Friday was busy too as I had booked myself into a crafting club down at Pink Tulip Creations at Studley in the morning.  That was more comfortable with lots of ladies, all at different levels, but very friendly and helpful, keen to show what they had mastered and what everyone else had done.   The class was led by Angela Crompton, an old friend, the mother of two of our competition swimmers from when we were so involved with the swimming club.   A couple of ladies took the projected design and did it their way, with lovely results.  As it was my first visit, I went with the original, but being too busy chatting, I realised after I got home that I had made the classic mistake and created an Australian card, ie I had mounted it upside down.  Oops!

The original design was all blue and white, but after I had destructed it at home, I decided to mount it on a larger card, as that pack was right next to me.  Also, one of the other ladies had added pink flowers with tiny pink pearls,which was so pretty, and I decided to follow her example and used one of the small flowers from the Clarity Florabundance stamp.  The first generation stamp was far too bright as it was a very juicy ink pads, so all the pink flowers are second, third and fourth generation.  I also used a stencil brush and Stormy Skies (again because it was next to me) around the edges.  I edged it with  a Reef Blue Promarker.  Then I brushed the base card with the same Stormy Skies to soften the stark whiteness.

By then, I was deep into playing so I painted the birds and the flowers with a blue Wink of Stella  and used the pink one for the flower centres.

I shall definitely be going back to this club again, which gives me another view to add to the workshops with Barbara Gray, Maria Simms and Sally-Ann Haines.  All good fun.