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.

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Weeked Funnies for you.

While going through email archives, I found these gems and thought I would share them with you all.


Can you cry under water?

How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?

Once you're in heaven, do you get stuck wearing the clothes you were buried in for eternity?
Why does a round pizza come in a square box?

What disease did cured ham actually have?

How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?
Why is it that people say they 'slept like a baby' when babies wake up like every two hours? 
Why are you IN a movie, but you're ON TV?

Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?

Why do doctors leave the room while you change?
They're going to see you naked anyway...

Why is 'bra' singular and 'panties' plural?

Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?

If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a stupid song about him? 
Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They're both dogs!

If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, what is baby oil made from?

Do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?

Why did you just try singing the two songs above?

Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him for a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?
Why, Why, Why
do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are getting dead?
Why do banks charge a fee on 'insufficient funds' when they know there is not enough money?
Why does someone believe you when you say there are four
billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?

Why do they use sterilized needles
for death by lethal injection?

Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?

Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when you throw a revolver at him?

Why do Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

If people evolved from apes, why are there still apes?

Why is it that no matter what colour bubble bath you use the bubbles are always white?

Is there ever a day that mattresses 
are not on sale?

Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized?

Why do people keep running over a thread a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give the
vacuum one more chance?

Why is it that no plastic bag will open from the end on your first try?

How do those dead bugs get into those enclosed light fixtures?

Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that's falling off the table you always manage to knock something else over?

In winter why do we try to keep the house as warm as it was in summer when we complained about the heat?

How come you never hear father-in-law jokes?

And my

The statistics on sanity is that one out of every four persons is suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three best friends -- if they're okay, then it's you.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015


 On this WOYWW day I do not really have a desk photo here at the moment, largely as it is no different from last week and my camera batteries are both flat.  Sorry Julia.   I will do better next week.    However, I did promise to show the results of what I was doing last week, so I hope you will forgive me today.

Several of you noticed this fairy hiding on my desk.  She is unrepeatable in this format as her background is just a piece of watercolour paper used to mop up excess ink on the mat at the end of a workshop.  I did two and thought the first one would be the better bet, but in the end, I was wrong.  This second piece just jumped out at me the other day as being the perfect background for this Lavinia fairy.  Then I mounted her on black and then pale cream and left her alone.

The second piece of work is a canvas, following on from the lovely card made at Pink Tulip a couple of weeks ago.  It is an A5 canvas board which I then mounted onto the next size up once it was finished.  Most of this went well until I just took it one stage too far.  I could hear Barbara Gray shouting at me to leave it alone but I stupidly ignored her and messed it up.

I had done the background, dried it out and added the shaped leaves, when I thought it would be good to have a branch to hang the leaves off.  Sounded a good idea to me, but I chose the wrong ink and it became very harsh and in your face.  I thought it was all over and it was headed for the bin.  In that position, it did not really matter what I did and overnight I decided to get out my trusty Coloursoft pencils and see what I could do.  The lightest of the skin colours proved to be the saving of my disaster when I added it on top of the dreadfully dark tree branch.  At that point, I did actually put my signature on it and breathed a long sigh of relief.

I hope that if you have arrived here by surfing the internet you will come back again.  Also, please make sure you visit our Julia at Stamping Ground, who will be very pleased to see you and pass you on to all the wonderful desks on show.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015


Thank you for coming to visit today.  As most of you know, Wednesday is the day of our weekly blog hop, courtesy of the wonderful Julia at Stamping Ground, who is our friendly host for the day.  It is the day when we all show what we have on our desks, tidy or not.  Hence the mess you see before you here.
I have been playing with Brushos this week and what you see here is part of the results of that inky fun.  The fairy background is just a piece of watercolour paper, which I had used to mop up the left over paint on the mat at a workshop.  I like to collect pieces like this as they often produce interesting backgrounds for use later.  Now I have to find the right backing to finish it off.

I have also been playing with the new canvas boards from Clarity, and finally finished one reasonably successfully.  However, I am holding that one back for the moment, as I need it for the #ArtChain which is running on Facebook at the moment, so it will appear later this week.

I am keeping things short and sweet this week.  I hope you are not all snowed in, but take care on the icy roads out there at the moment.  Stay warm and safe, all of you, and now it is time you went back or over to Julia's to see some of the other desks on show.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

First tryout of the Brushos

I was determined to have a go immediately, having found my little box of the Brushos.  Being awkward, I did not watch any of the varying videos out there.  All I had was the beautiful art work I have seen from many of my Facebook friends, who are so inspiring.  So I just grabbed the little pots and poked holes in the lids, and with a water spritzer, dived in.

 This was the result of an evening of inky fun, and I sure was very inky.  Baby wipes are just not big enough, but you can see three there which will get used for a background for something at some stage - I do have ideas.

Two of the larger pieces (all Gelli card) speak to me of some kind of landscape, but they are for another day, when my ideas are sorted.  However, the two small ones were easier to work with today.

This first one looked to me like bright flowers through a very rainy window, which is why I chose to stamp these fantastic raindrops over the top.  I have yet to find suitable mounting card so that is for another day.
 This second small piece definitely looked like a landscape and I had actually intended something like this, so I was really happy to find some tiny measure of control.  The basic view was there, but I just enhanced parts with Derwent Coloursoft pencils, blue in the sky and green to bring out shadows of the trees and anchor them in some way.

The tiny trees just happened to be in front of me on my table so they were the obvious ones to use.  They are part of the remountable Tuscan set from Clarity.  I added the birds as I felt it needed something in that central sunny area.

I was told I would enjoy playing with these and I certainly did, and I will be going back to them and trying to learn a little more control and find out just what I can do other than just random backgrounds.

Hope you like them  They are fun.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Lovely design from Pink Tulip Creations

This is my second post of the evening so I hope you will forgive me for that.

Pink Tulip Creations is an excellent craft shop very local to where I live and with a good class area.  I started going down there not long before Christmas and they are so welcoming and with a lovely group of ladies each week.

This week's card was designed by Angela Crompton.  Her original design included a sentiment at the bottom.  However, I thought I would like to actually frame and hang this one, so I left the sentiment out.  This actually led me to do some more character building, as Maria Simms would tell me, as I had to emboss and cut extra leaves.

The colours on the base card were a random mix of Picked Raspberry (or Pickled Raspberry as everyone, including me, tries to say), Wild Honey, and a green, which I cannot remember and the dog has eaten the paper.  The leaves and the fantastic drops are, of course, from Ryn, which Pink Tulip sell.  The script in the background is a Clarity stamp, part of the Journalling set.

After I had finished, I felt that I needed more darkness around the edges, and there ws still a lot of Aged Mahoghany on the brush from the previous day, and I think that was just enough to finish it off.  After removing a little ink with a mister and kitchen roll, I decided I had gone a little too far, so brushed a little more Picked Raspberry into the paler areas.

The leaves were stamped in Versamark and embossed in gold detail, and then coloured with Distress markers matching the base colours.  Then they were shaped and fixed in place with Pinflair Glue Gel to keep their raised shape.

Now I just need to find a frame and a suitable mount to fit this, and I will hang it.

I did say I would show you my first attempts with the Brushos today, but I reckon that three posts in one day is a little too much so I will write it now and post it tomorrow.

Maria's card number 4 from Shrewsbury

If you read my previous post from Monday 12th January, you may have seen that I completely messed up the final card of Maria Simms' Workshop at Shrewsbury, with rather a lot of ink in the wrong place.  There was no time to start right from the start that day, so I just photographed what I should have done and packed up for the day.

Maria's intention was that the topper should be on an angle, and I am in the middle of redoing this design as originally intended.  However, I had to cut so much away that it did not look right that way.  So I went for more character building and spent a lot of time cutting the whole thing out, going round all the leaves and acorns.

Before sticking it down on the Gelli card, I realised that the whiteness of that card needed toning down a touch, so I just brushed lightly with what was left on my brush of Wild Honey.  I also put post it notes round the edges and sponged a border of Aged Mahoghany, before sticking the whole card together.

All the stamps are from Clarity and I love that ribbon Thank You, with all its alternative reasons for the thanks.

I hope you like what I have done with this one, Maria, after making such a mess to begin with. 

Wednesday, 14 January 2015


Hope you are not all marooned by the ten foot of snow that was forecast by the doom laden panickers.  Before you all shout at me, I do realise that some of you might have a lot of snow and I am probably tempting fate, but, hey, it is winter and we do have weather in this country.  A snowy day is a good crafting day.

Not a lot to see here as there has been a major tidy up down here.  This is not my real desk, just the overflow but at least I can see most of the floor in here now.  Well, I could last night, which is when this picture was taken.  

Some of you who have come from other areas than Julia's welcoming blog,  may now be wondering why on earth I should show you a picnic table with ink pads and a stamp folder on, not to mention a part bottle of Vodka and a tot glass etc.    Just follow this link to visit Julia who will explain it so much better than I can.

I am still cataloging all my stamps, having got most of them now into sensible groups in albums.  All my trees are now together, all my people in another folder and so on.  The sharp eyed will notice that the leaves on my Clarity stamp album have changed colour, partly because it helps to find a given file, partly because it looks pretty and partly because I was bored one day and had a load of Promarkers to hand.

The vodka is actually for crafting purposes, to add to ink misters to prevent the contents going off.  The glass was full of Heather Cream (a Baileys taste alike but lighter) and the ink pads came in a special off from Clarity and are just waiting to go back up to the craft room proper for putting away.

I hope you all get the weather you need for whatever you want to or have to do.  Take care on any ice and have a good day.  Now, it is time you trotted back to Julia to see what other desks are on show over there.

Have fun!

Monday, 12 January 2015

If I had a brain, I would be dangerous.......

 Saturday was the first of Maria Simms'  Clarity workshops for 2015 up at Shrewsbury.  It was a great day with lovely projects and great company and an excellent tutor.  Maria had set us four new projects to complete, so she was definitely wielding her whip.  (She had also looked at the list, saw my name and put in a load of cutting out). 

The first one was the new owl stamp, teamed up with the acorns and oak leaves from the Stage remountable set.  The owls are not on the front of the card but stamped and embossed and put through the aperture, which we cut through three layers in the front of the card.  The pearlescent topper was embossed first before putting it onto a backing of black.  Then we had to stamp and emboss the acorns and oak leaves and they were then CUT OUT and layered on the front of the card.  I was doing fine until a very kind gentleman came in and told me I had left my headlights on.  so I didn't have time to finish putting the leaves and acorns on the card.  I tucked them away safely (Ha!) in a sealed bag, but when I came to stick them on this morning, I could only find six instead of the eight I should have had.  They did eventually emerge from hiding.  I really like the simplicity of the design, classic!

When this stag came out, I really did not like him at all and didn't want him.  As often happens, when you start working with a stamp like that, you suddenly get an appreciation of just what you can do, and it totally changes your feelings.  I even dealt with the fact that I had to CUT a mask - Maria said it was character building.  As you can see, my oak leaves are very varied in colour.  I had a problem with the reddish colour to start with and really then just stamped without a lot of planning, with a lot of overstamping to try to tone the red down a little.    So I was expecting that I might need to redo this totally when I got home.  However, now that things have settled, I quite like the more random effects.  It could even be the Sam Crowe effect?

This third card has cost me more money.  I was told today that the clock face is a Tim Holtz die which is now out of production.  However for those who are interested, I did find it available on Amazon  http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=tim+holtz+weathered+clock+die&tag=googhydr-21&index=aps&hvadid=40259688486&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=2671271138237691499&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_5v9vzl6ll9_b
and it comes with free postage.

The  main topper was on craft card and I used Sam's Eggs (fantastic stencil) again to add the background.  Because we were running short of time, we had the choice (decided by Maria) as to whether we put the words on the background or missed that bit.  I chose to leave all the finishing off and putting together until today.  I also chose to add a hint of gold gilding wax to the clock and to the edge of the topper - the pot was right on the table next to me, so what else could I do?

The final card is not pictured here because it was an unmitigated disaster through my own stupidity.  Having done all the stamping, I picked it up and dropped in in a hurry in horror.  The acorns were in second generation ink, so it was ink, blot, plot.  Fine but where had I blotted?  Oh yes, right along the edge of my precious card, and to make it even worse, I had added inky smudges to another corner.  absolutely no chance of resurrecting that one.  Start again, Margaret.  That is tomorrow's project.  My daughter said,"Oh well, Mum, you will know not to do that again".  Little does she know, it is not the first time and probably will not be the last.

Hope you enjoy looking at these cards, all designed by the lovely Maria.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Things with Wings - You can never have enough butterflies

"Things with Wings" is the title of this month's Clarity Stamp Challenge for January.  I had several ideas but I am going with this one, which I did this morning in the class down at my local Craft Shop - Pink Tulip Creations at Studley.

This was my version of the class card, but I used all Clarity products as you can see.
Gelli Card
Distress ink pads - Scattered Straw, Wild Honey, Faded Jeans and Broken China
Stencil - Sam's Eggs
Black Versafine
Clarity Stamps - Small butterfly,  Small Allium Head, Long Grass, and the Butterfly verse
Distress markers - same colours as the ink pads
 Clarity Stencil Brushes
Quickie Glue pen and Glamourdust

The inking of the card started from the centre with the lightest colour and gradually working to the edge where it was the darkest.  I used Sam's Eggs (really loved using them, Sam Crowe) to give the texture feel in the centre, both in the yellow centre and more lightly on the blue, always brushing from left to right.

Then, using Versafine, I stamped the verse (love this one and so apt) and the little Allium heads, first and second generation ink, and the tops of the Tall Grasses around the edge.

The butterflies are actually stamped on separate card (I used those little Gelli centre cards - I love those), coloured in and cut out.  This was where I was not too sure that I had picked the best butterfly (many of you know how much I love cutting out and this is really quite tight at the bottom of the wings).  The original design used just two colours, more as a wash over the butterflies, but I gave myself a bit more work by going in to all the little areas with the Distress pens.

The main topper was then mounted onto white card and the butterflies mounted on top of that.  I bent the butterflies before sticking them to give them some shape and movement and then added a little Glamourdust to highlight them.

I have not used Versafine very much until today but I was impressed how well the combination of that with the Clarity stamps worked.

Apart from the cutting out, I really enjoyed myself.  I love blending ink and stenciling and colouring in.  I could sit and colour in all day quite happily.  I need to play more with the Distress pens to sort out blending one into another.  More time needed, as always.

PS Can anyone find the bit I forgot until it was too late?  No prize, just satisfaction, sorry.

PPS  I am also entering this card in the challenge over at  craftingforallseasons.blogspot, where the challenge at the moment is "Things with wings"