Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Rhododendrons

Looking from my craftroom window, I can see distant splashes of bright pink rhododendrons.


They have made a glorious display this year. I wanted to represent them on a card, but didn't have a suitable image. However, I needed to look no further to find one than amongst my lovely Stampalot teamie Ruth's gorgeous digi designs. Here's how I've used it.

An easel card cut with a Nestie Blossom 3 die. The background papers are from Crafty Individuals (Book 3 - Springtime. I just love the colours in this set, and the prints are so pretty. Note to Jean and Malcolm - please don't discontinue this book!) Butterflies by Hero Arts, and sentiment by Inkylicious (from their new Hydrangea set). Watercolour pencils for colouring.

A closer look at the details:



Ruth's beautiful digistamps can be found here, and she has lots of samples using them on her card blog too.


Saturday, 16 June 2012

Flaming June??!

Not up here in Bonnie Scotland it ain't! Cold and wet describes it pretty well. We couldn't bring ourselves to put the heating on when it's practically midsummer, but the winter woollies are much in evidence.

We are lucky enough to live within sight of a river, which is an endless source of fascination. Over the past few weeks, because the weather has been uncommonly dry, the water level has been lower than usual. We have had some idyllic walks along the riverbank of an evening. Just thought I would show you a few photos.




However, for the past 24 hours it has rained virtually nonstop. Where the river normally looks like this.....


....it now looks like this!


And this view.....


......is currently this view!


Talking of currents, it is amazing, not to say frightening, how quickly the water level rises and how fast it flows, but it can also go down equally quickly. I took the photos around lunchtime today, and the water continued to rise over the afternoon. From our lounge window it looks more like a lake. It has just stopped raining now, and unless there is more rain overnight, I will expect to see the water back within its banks by tomorrow morning. * (See Edit 2, below) The speed and quantity of the flow does not seem to have much effect on the wildlife though. When I went down to take the photos, this mother goose and her four youngsters were pottering about quite happily, and they didn't seem to have any trouble staying where they wanted to!


I am pleased to note that the weather forecast for tomorrow is dry!

Edit: I went out again this evening at about 9.30 to see how things had changed. The water was considerably higher than at lunchtime, as the following photos show.



However, as you can see, the sky had cleared quite a bit and the sun peeped out for a little while before it set, so it may well be a better day tomorrow.

Edit 2: The river was indeed back in its rightful place this morning (Sunday), albeit still high and having left big puddles in the fields.


Dandelions

I've been having another play with the Pan Pastels, and I think they're growing on me. I still think they're messy (I seem always to end up with chalky dust over everywhere, but maybe that's just me!) but the end result probably justifies the means.

I made two cards to compare. I did one background with the new Spring Distress Inks applied with ink dusters, and the other with the Pan Pastels. The pastels do give a lovely soft effect, while the DIs are more vibrant, but I like them both! The PPs I bought at the show are mostly pale shades. I think I might have to get some more intense ones....

Anyway, here are the cards (DI background first, all stamps by Inkylicious). See what you think.


Tuesday, 12 June 2012

A spot of retail therapy!

Much as I love the area in which we now live, I have to say it is somewhat lacking in good sources of papercrafting supplies. Of course, nowadays it's possible to get just about anything by mail order via the 'net, but it isn't the same as being able to see the goods before buying. Sometimes one just doesn't know what one really needs until one sees it!

So you can imagine how much I had been looking forward to going to the Stamp Magic Show in Doncaster at the weekend. I travelled down to Notts on Saturday to stay overnight at Sally's, and then on Sunday she, Megan and I went to the show. It didn't disappoint!

At the top of my shopping list were some Pan Pastels and the new Inkylicious Hydrangea set, which is stunning. They were soon in my basket, along with a few more Inkylicious stamps, some IndigoBlu Mega Flakes for foiling, and a couple of Sweet Poppy stencils with some stencil paste, which I haven't tried before.

I came home on Sunday evening but didn't get a chance to play until this evening. I thought I'd try out the Pan Pastels and the Inkylicious Hydrangea. This was the result.


I coloured the background of the hydrangea panel and the sentiment with the PPs, then stamped the hydrangea and coloured it with watercolour pencils. The hydrangea is gorgeous, and huge! I've mounted it on an 8" x 8" card. The leaves are separate from the main image, so that you can arrange them as you please on the stem, which can be bent to suit. The script and the tiny butterfly are also by Inkylicious. The sentiment is part of the hydrangea set, which I can see becoming well used!

I'm reserving judgement on the Pan Pastels until I've tried them a bit more. They've been much hyped. A lot of people seem to think they're the best thing since, oh, Distress Markers. let's say, but I'm not convinced yet. I found them a bit messy. Think I prefer the effect I can get with Ink Dusters. Anyway, got more new stuff still to play with, so watch this space!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Flower Pounding

There are many examples of flower pounding about on the 'net, and they're all beautiful! I've been meaning to have a go at it for ages and never got round to it, but when I found out it could be done with the Cuttlebug, I was determined to try it! I won't go into all the details as there are lots of tutorials available, including a good one here (google Cuttlebug & flower pounding for more), but I found I got the best results using a good quality watercolour paper. Thinner papers didn't work so well.

One of the great things about the technique is that it is so quick and easy! Since moving to our new house, we haven't had chance to do much with the garden yet, but there are plenty of wild flowers growing in it! I wouldn't dream of picking wild flowers in the wild, as it were, but I think it's ok if they're from your own garden. Most people would call them weeds there, I guess! Anyway, before I picked them, I photographed them, so that I could use the photos on my cards along with the pounded papers. Here are the results.



Ivy Leaved Toadflax



Red Campion



Cow Parsley



Common Wood Sorrel



Buttercups
(This pic was of a nearby field, though the flowers I used were from the garden. We haven't got that many!)



And my favourite, Germander Speedwell



Supplies used on the cards: The pounded papers for backgrounds, Nestabilities frames and labels, Fiskars border punch, small butterfly punch by Martha Stewart, medium butterfly punch unknown, large butterfly Memory Box dies (two dies), bee stamp by Hobby Art, sentiments by Hobby Art, Paula Pascual, Paper Artsy, and Inkylicious (part of stamp), Prima flowers, ribbons and rainbow paper from my stash.

Can't wait to do some more, but after weeks of gorgeous weather, it's now windy, grey, cold and very wet, so I'll have to wait until the flowers dry up a bit!  We've had some lovely evening walks while the weather's been good. About a week ago we went across the fields opposite our house, and came across these characters, sitting outside the entrance to their den.


There were five altogether, some obviously young ones, and three disappeared down the hole as we approached, but these two seemed unconcerned and stayed there for a while, watching us watching them, until they too went down into the den. We used to get urban foxes in our garden at the old house, but I've never seen more than one at a time before. It was amazing to see a whole family of them together like this! The wonders of living in the countryside. We're loving it more and more. However, there are downsides. A few minutes ago the power suddenly went off. We get occasional power cuts for no apparent reason. Oh no, I thought, I'll have lost all that post I've just spent ages typing in! Fortunately Mr. Blogger had kindly saved it for me, so here it is!

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Stampalot June Challenge

Well, our Medals and Monarchs theme for last month's Stampalot Challenge must have flummoxed many of you, as there were only 59 entries! Or maybe you were just too busy out enjoying the lovely sunshine we've had over the past couple of weeks. Anyway, I think you'll find this month's theme a bit easier. It's

COLOUR BINGO

Here's the grid. The brief is to choose a line in any direction, or the four corners, and incorporate those elements in your project. Please tell us in your post which you have chosen. See the  Challenge Blog for all the details and some great samples from the DT.



I've used the centre horizontal line - turquoise, polka dots and brown.


Sarah Kay image, coloured with Promarkers and cut out with a Nestie frame, Ella Blue papers ( by g c d studios), a couple of ribbons, Prima flowers and a sentiment by Paula Pascual. Of course, normally I don't do cute, but the Sarah Kay image just seemed to go so well with the lovely weather!


As usual there's a great prize on offer, and it's something a bit different!
                                

It can be used as a big kit to make your own calendar, but it can equally be used in parts in several smaller projects.  It includes a blank calendar (for any year), loads of Basic Grey papers, buttons, ribbon, K&Co stickers, month & motif rubons, several glue types, gelatos etc., etc.

Hopefully it will inspire lots of entries this month! I look forward to seeing them all.


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