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, 31 December 2014

WOYWW 291 - A Very Happy New Year to all of you.

I am making one resolution for the coming year, which is to do better at blogging, especially on our wonderful WOYWW meetings with Julia, and even more to visit and comment on other people's posts.

I am a bit late again this week, but it is still Wednesday and I have been playing today, so I hope you will forgive me.  I finally found my missing Open acrylics which meant that I could have my very first go at painting the grunge paste image that has been waiting for nearly two weeks.

In fact, there are two canvases, roughly the opposite of each other.   I used the Houses stencil from Clarity, and pushed Grunge paste through it to give the texture.  The next step was with  the gold acrylic, brushing it across the houses,

 following up with Magenta

and then the Blue.  The Open acrylics stay wetter for longer which means you can blend them together  which gives some interesting colours.

You can rewet the paint in areas where you think you have overdone it, using a baby wipe and a piece of kitchen roll and remove some of the excess.
As the paint dries, you can then use a craft blade to scratch paint away to create highlights.
These canvases are not entirely how I intended and I may do some more playing with other media to see what happens.
This is the tidiest I have been for a long time.  However, I have to admit that the floor is not quite so tidy as I sit surrounded by my folders of stamps and stencils all waiting to be properly catalogued, but I am not showing that lot today.

Right, it is time, I went and washed those stencil brushes ready for next time and then you can go off and meet up with everyone else at Julia's place.  I wish you all a very Happy New Year for 2015.
Lots of hugs to you all.  xxx

PS if you decide to use grunge paste on your stencils, make sure you put the stencils straight into a bowl of warm soapy water otherwise the grunge sticks like concrete - it is worse than Weetabix (you could probably make that up into a paste and use it in the same way) .

PPS I forgot to say that the inspiration and directions for these stencils came from a YouTube video by Barbara Gray.  Sorry, Barb.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Happy Christmas and a Belated WOYWW 290 to everyone.

Like a lot of people this week, I had completely lost track of the days, so I forgot Wednesday completely, mainly in the frantic wrapping of gifts and making these tags for the family.  I quite enjoyed doing them and it was a good test of my spelling under pressure.  They were done using whatever inks and stamps were within reach, including Red Pepper, which is one of my favourite ink pads at the moment.

I have not got near my desk for weeks, just working on any space that I could find anywhere.  That included doing this present for the granddaughter of close friends.  The stamps are from the Clarity Nursery Rhyme set, and coloured with Promarkers.  I used the stencil brushes and a couple of Adirondacks to take the whiteness off the rest of the card before framing it.

Now that the panic of Christmas preparations is done and dusted, I am hoping to get around all the desks on show over at Dunnit Towers and meet up with you all.  In the meantime, I hope you have all had a good day and met up with family and friends. 

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

This is just a short message to all my friends, whether internet or not, just to wish you all a very good Christmas and Happy New Year, and to thank you all for your support and friendship throughout this year.  xxx

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Clarity trees - the last of the Christmas cards.

The idea for this card started off with a very different card in a class down at the local craft shop, Pink Tulip Creations at Studley.  That design did not use Clarity stamps etc, but it did give me the incentive to go off and play once I got home.

I took myself off back to Pink Tulip to their Open Crafting session where you take your own projects and play with them while having a lovely chat with like-minded crafters.

Going out in a rush, I forgot to check my ink pads and all I had was Stonewashed and Red Pepper, not an obvious mix when I wanted a soft pink.  Not willing to waste time doing nothing or go home to find what I wanted, I  loaded a brush with Red Pepper and then got rid of most of it onto copy paper, leaving just a hint on the stencil brush.

The main design is on Gelli card, (what did we do before Gelli card)  and uses two Clarity stencils - the  circle aperture and the woodland trees (Cannot remember what it is called properly), and one of the moon masks.  Oh yes, and, of course, the fabulous Clarity stencil brushes.

Having hinged everything together with lo-tack tape,  I masked off the ground area with copy paper, and started with the Stonewashed, then added a hint of Red Pepper over the top .  If that got a bit hot for my taste, I just brushed a little more Stonewashed over it to tone things down again.  I used a make up sponge to apply the Stonewashed to the ground area, then brushed in a hint of Red Pepper to tone in with the sky.

Once I was happy with that, I lifted the moon masks and brushed over the area with Stonewashed to leave the trees showing white across the moon.  I removed the tree stencil and used a make up sponge to give a little bit of shape to the moon, before brushing Stonewashed very lightly over the whole of the area within the aperture.

To finish off, I stamped the Happy Christmas across the top and edged it with the fat end of a blue promarker.  Oh yes and there is a fair bit of Glamour Dust to highlight the branches of the trees, although it dies not really show up.
  I also have to acknowledge inspiration from Mandy Branston, who joined me in playing with the idea one evening. I had fun with it and I hope she did too.  I am entering this card into the Claritystamp Challenge for this months which is on the subject of trees.  You cannot have too many trees and there are so many ways to use them all.

PS.  If you are kind enough to want to leave me a message, please do not be put off if there is a box popping up with the Word Verification.  I believe that if you just ignore it and press Publish, it goes through anyway.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

WOYWW 288 - a little late this week

Before I go any further, I apologise for the appearance of Word Verification on my comments page.  If anyone knows how to get rid of it, please let us all know.  I am one of many who selected NO to it but Blogger has put it in place all my itself and will not listen to my complaints.  I do seem to have removed it for now by changing from the pop up window to the embedded comments.  Please let me know if it comes back.  Meanwhile, does anyone know how to remove it from the pop up comments window?

Sorry I am so late on parade this week, but at least I have made it at last.  If anyone is still wondering what this is all about, I can do no better than refer you to our esteemed leader, Julia, who has loads of info already on her blog.  Have a read and then then come and join in.

Not really my desk this week as you can probably see, but this is the reason that my whole house turned into a desk over the past few weeks.

My daughter, granddaughter and I shared a table at a local school Christmas fair to sell our wares.  Not a major success, in fact, not a success at all.  We barely made our table money back.  As far as I could see, the only stall that really did reasonably was the Tombola which was full of alcoholic bottles.  I do not think even half the children and their families in the school even came to look, and this is a school with a reputation for good results in raising money like this.

My granddaughter was selling 5p and 10p sweets and was the only one of us three who made a profit.  I sold 6 cards all evening and brought my candles home intact.  Even the pocket money packs of 6 Christmas cards with crayons did not sell.  My daughter sold less than a quarter of what she would normally expect to sell at this event.  She deals in tiny micro craft items which she spends hours making - tiny fairy nut baskets and potion bottles and mini houses with individually applied roof tiles and windows.

I think it is a sign of the economic times with some of the companies in the area laying off workers and putting those that remain on reduced hours.

I have actually sold more cards since the sale than I sold all evening, and, at least, I have a lot of next year's Christmas cards already made and ready to write.  The candles will come in very handy when we get our likely power cuts over this winter.

I hope the rest of you had better luck at your events and that you are now all sorted with your Christmas preparations.  Now it is time I sent you on your way to visit more of those desks on show at Julia's.  Have a good week and I hope to get to visit as many of you as possible over the next few days.