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, 29 May 2015

Clarity Stamp challenge for May - Clocks

The brief for this challenge was to explore the different ways of incorporating clocks into your artwork.  From the moment I read this, all I could think of was this song and my entry comes directly from that idea.
All the stamps are from Clarity.  It is just the sentiment that does not come from Clarity but is just the title of the song, sung by Stanley Holloway in "My Fair Lady".

The clock part comes from the use of two of the small fob watches.  The round full face one made the wheels of the carriage - hence the on time reference.  The side facing ones, I had the idea of blacking out the faces and turning into people forming a guard of honour holding staffs.  The winders became their heads, onto which I drew top hats.  The bride and groom came from the new wedding Wee Folk.  The fence posts were created using the trunks of the trees in the background.

I actually made two cards to see which I preferred.  The first one, which is also the one I have decided to use as my entry, was done on white card, while the second was done on cream card.  I like both, the second being more moody, in my opinion.  However, the texture of the cream card meant that the stamped image needed work to fill in the gaps.

In both, the trees and the church were coloured in with blendable pencils, which I also used to edge the sentiment on each.

Now I have done this card as my entry, I will now go back and look at all the other entries.  I never look until I have finished in case it changes my ideas.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

WOYWW 312 - six whole years of blogging

 What a great achievement - 6 whole years of blogging.  Well done, Julia.  You deserve a medal and our gratitude for putting up with us all for so long.  Thank you for all you do to keep us all going.

I will try to keep it short this week, as we all should but seldom manage.  My first photo is of the treetops that I can see from my craft room.  It just looked so beautiful this week with the different colours of foliage.

The next three photos are less pretty, but do show something of what I have been doing recently.  The things you can see are carefully placed to hide things that you are not allowed to see yet.   There are lots of backgrounds waiting for further inspiration.  Some are created using marbling with alcohol inks on water, and are on a variety of papers and card.  Others are the result of mopping up all the remaining ink left on the blending mat after an inky session.  Often, these mopping up pieces are the most useful as backgrounds.  I am often horrified to see people at classes just ignoring this bounty and washing it away.  What a shame and a waste of valuable inspiration.
 This batch were done on plain white card and a few on the ultra shiny Chromo card.  I like both sets of results.  The biggest difference is in what you can then use to colour in your stamping as coloured pencils work less well on the shiny card.

My final picture also shows the cover of the programme for this year's Land Rover National event which was held not far away at Eastnor Deer Park.  The picture covering the front and back cover shows an event from the past and is believed to be drivers lining up for a scenic drive round the estate, led by its former owner Major Ben Hervey Bathurst,  Note the lack of seat belts, roll cages and roof in many cases,  No Health and Safety in those days.

Now my caravan is finally sold, I only slipped over to see friends for the day, but it is a beautiful place to camp/caravan.

If anyone would like to swap ATCs, I do have a few spare ones apart from the one needed for the official swap, so just let me have your snail mail address and I will get them off to you asap.

Happy Birthday to all you deskers.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday 311 - Doesn't time fly?

 This is the first batch of the lovely ATC's I was given at the WOYWW Crop on Saturday.  What a great event in every way, so beautifully organised by our leader, Julia, and the lovely Lunch Lady Jan, who fed us so well again.  Rather than show all the ATC's in one great rush, I have chosen this year to do a few each week to give you a chance to really look at all the wonderful ideas and beautiful creations.  Top row, left to right - Fee Richardson, Eliza, Jo (Twiglet); bottom row - Cindy Ashplant, Chris, Helen.

The rest of my post today is really to show what has been on my various "workdesks" over the weekend down in Wiltshire, whether at the Crop, the B&B or in the car overlooking Avebury at the Sanctuary/Ridgeway car park.  I made some marble backgrounds and stamped the Clarity flowers on various types of paper or card.  I have been experimenting with what works well, what combination of pens and pencils give the best result on which type of media.

 This was one started from scratch and them mounted up when I got home, Clarity Wee Folk with a new stencil, Distress inks brushed through to create the landscape.

 These next ones were my experimental efforts, and actually did not bring me to a definite decision on what worked best,  It was just as case of liking them all in different ways.  The first three were stamped on alcohol ink marbled backgrounds on different card.  No 1 was on plain white card, then coloured with Aquamarkers, over the top of which I used my blendable pencil crayons to lift certain sections.

No 2 was done on the high gloss Chromo card, just using Aquamarkers.  On this occasion, the pencils could not find enough "tooth" on the card to make any impression.

No 3 was back to the plain white card with the mix of Aquamarkers and pencil work, just a different colour mix.


No 4 was on black card with just pencils  this time.  I like how the paler blue is slightly grainy and gives (to me) more impression of texture in the flower.  The colour also seems to glow.  This one was stamped and embossed in clear detail powder before colouring in.  Without embossing, it would be very hard to distinguish the outlines on the dark card.


No 5 has two versions, one using the Aquamarkers before the pencils and one with just pencils.  I will leave you to decide which you think is just pencil work.  I can see a very clear difference on the cream card.

As part of my experimenting/playing, I tried to do an alcohol background on shiny black card  - not successful at all.   I will forget that idea.

No 6 is the new Silk Ribbons Bouquet stamp (designed by Julie Owens) and again It was part of my experimenting with Aquamarkers and pencils mixed.  It looked good with the Aquamarkers alone but the highlighting with the pencils lifted it to a totally different level for me. The colours just became so much more vibrant

This very last offering is also a new stamp, designed by Amanda Branston, and just shows how a weed can also be a beautiful flower and worthy of our close attention.

On the subject of weeds versus flowers, the grass verges around the town have been glorious with huge swathes of golden dandelions, and are now billowing with the more delicate buttercups, both plants that we yank out of our gardens as weeds.  Out in the wild, they shine as they should.  Just take time to breathe and look at the glories that Mother Nature puts out there for us.

 Having waffled on for ever today, I will leave you now to visit some of the other desks on show over at Julia's Stamping Ground.  Have a good day wherever you are and whatever you are doing.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

WOYWW 309 - Warning, not for those of a nervous disposition

I finally plucked up courage to dive into what has laughably been called a craft room  I took two photos on Tuesday, 4 hours apart.  This was the second day of the clear out and tidy up, four hours after the start.

This was where I started on Tuesday, which was a major improvement as you can see a little bit of floor.

And this was four hours later.  A little more floor, with a large bag of rubbish behind me and a box of recycling also out of sight.

By this time, I had trashed and then repaired a Martha Stewart butterfly punch.  It took a dive of my desk and landed in 5 separate pieces.  Oh dear, I said!  Good to know it could be put back so easily and still works.

By the time you read this, I will be back in there, with another rubbish bag and other bags for stuff that is being passed on to anyone who wants it.

I will leave you with one other photo, of the view from the front window on Tuesday afternoon.

Have a good week, all of you, and please do go and visit some of the other desks an show at Stamping Ground, where our Julia will be waiting to direct you.