Tuesday, 28 July 2009

What barbecue summer?

I've been up in Dumfriesshire for a few days, staying with my daughter and family. It's been raining most of the week, but we did manage to get out between the showers. Not looking forward to the drive home tomorrow - heavy rain is forecast all the way. Just had a ray of sunshine, though, in the form of a Circle of Friends blog award from Judith. Thanks, Judith, it's much appreciated and really did brighten my day.



I'd like to pass it on to the following people, all great blog friends. Please display it with pride on your blogs!




Sally H
Lesley
Lisa
Brenda
Megan

Monday, 20 July 2009

More non-card stuff


My mission for the summer holidays is to start getting some of my stash used - the impulse buys that I liked the look of when I bought them without any clear idea of what I would do with them, and which have since been languishing in the cupboard. One such item was a little Maya Road chipboard album. It consisted of six identical chipboard shapes, and rather than make just one album with them, I used two of the shapes to make the covers, and then cut some pages with my Nestabilities Scalloped Squares (which luckily happened to be just the right size!).



I sponged the covers with pigment ink and then stamped them with a Stamping-ton flourish and Stampendous butterflies, completing the front with a Spellbinders Ribbon Tag and a couple of flourishes diecut from Grungepaper. I punched some butterflies and a flower from the grungepaper to make charms to add to the ribbons and fibres with which I decorated the bookring holding everything together.

The photos inside are of my grandparents and great grandparents.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Grunge!

Well, as of today I have six weeks of school holidays to look forward to, and I am certainly ready for the rest! My card class is also taking a break until September, and since I don't have to make any card samples for a while I thought I might take the opportunity to explore other things. To that end, I have at last got my hands on some grunge paper.



It's strange stuff, with an almost suede-like finish. The smell when it first comes out of the packet is a bit offputting, but that does fade after a while (or maybe I just got used to it!). It punches nicely (need to use a sturdy punch) and also goes through the Cuttlebug. I punched a few flowers and leaves to begin with and coloured them with Distress inks. Then I decided to make a picture frame to stick them on. I used my Nestabilities to cut the frame. The grungepaper is very flexible, so I backed it with a piece of stiff card. Here it is with one of my butterfly photos.

Now to see what else I can do with it....

Monday, 13 July 2009

Butterflies 2

As I said in my previous post, the dearth of butterflies in our garden has prompted me to put some on my cards instead.


A fairly simple one to begin with. I didn't want too much to detract from the main image, which is an old Penny Black stamp from 1999, but still one of my favourites. I coloured it with Promarkers (my first attempt with them!)


This one uses an Inkadinkadoo stamp. The butterfly is diecut & mounted with the Cuttlebug, with my Martha Stewart punch for the borders.


Next a set of four Hero Arts patterned butterflies, stamped over My Mind's Eye papers.



Another criss-cross card, using papers from the Butterfly Bliss CD from Graphicus. The stamps are Elusive Images, also from Graphicus, except for the sentiment which is by Rubber Stamp Tapestry. The white butterfly, which appears when the insert is removed, is punched.


Finally, a mini landscape card. I cut a square mask, along with a few butterflies, and then sponged over them with pigment inks to make a background, adding the stamped images (Elusive Images) after removing the butterflies but before removing the square. The result was then cut out and embossed on the Cuttlebug, before being mounted on to a card stamped with more Elusive Images (from the Wild Meadow set). Of the five, I think this is my favourite. I may not have many butterflies in my garden these days, but they'll never be far away from my cards!

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Butterflies

The buddleia bushes in our garden are in full bloom just now. We have three, two blue and one white. Until a few years ago, once the flowers opened they would be covered in butterflies, of many different types: small tortoiseshells, peacocks, painted ladies, red admirals, various whites, commas, gatekeepers and more. To see twenty or thirty at a time was not unusual. One year we counted 14 different species over the summer. For the past few years, however, there have been few. Loss of habitat and poor summers have contributed to the decline, which is a great shame.

Here are some photos I've taken in the garden in previous years.


Small Tortoise - shell.


Peacock.


Painted Lady


Painted Lady, underside.

I love to see butterflies. I think most people do. I guess it's partly because they are so pretty and colourful, but I also wonder if it's because they remind one of fairies. As a child I loved the Flower Fairy books by Cicely Mary Barker (ok, I'll admit it, still do and I bet I'm not the only one!). I'm sure it's no coincidence that she painted her fairies with butterfly wings. Some of them are even copies of real butterflies.

Because there are no butterflies on our buddleias, I've put some on my cards instead. (See next post!)
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