Sunday, 28 February 2010

A lovely day out

Yesterday Sally took me for a ride in her new car, destination Peterborough, so we could visit Sir Stampalot's new premises. We met up with Brenda there and had a nice cup of tea and some of Sally's delicious Bran Loaf while we admired the spacious new shop. It was lovely to see Brenda again & chat to her and Janice. Naturally we took the opportunity to spend some money, with some of the gorgeous new Penny Black and Hero Arts stamps being top of my list.

I intended to put them to use today, but in trying to decide where in my crowded craft room to accommodate them, I got sidetracked into re-organising my storage, a job certainly long overdue! I'm still in the process, and it's likely to take me a while longer yet, but hopefully when I've finished I'll actually be able to find things when I want them!

I have a (very!) large number of wood mounted stamps, some of which I've had for many years. A lot haven't been used for a long time, some of them because my style has changed over the years and they no longer suit what I do. They have now been put in a box for sale. (If anyone is  interested in them (Nottingham area), email me for details via the address in my profile!). Others don't get used because they are put away in drawers in another room, and since they're not to hand where I work I tend to forget about them. So I'm going through them and unmounting the ones I really want to use again. It's like rediscovering old friends!

I may not have any pictures to post for a few days (and apologies if I don't get round to looking at everyone's blogs), but I'm hoping that once I've got everything sorted it will give me some fresh inspiration. That's the theory anyway!

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Amazing Blog Candy from The Stamp Man!

Jill is giving away either a complete set of the new Tim Holtz Distress ink pads (12 new gorgeous colours!) or the complete set of the 12 new re-inkers to two very lucky winners!

If you'd like to be in with a chance of winning , hop over to Jill's blog for all the details. This really is a fantastic prize!

Monday, 22 February 2010

Starting them young, and Allsorts Challenge week 40

Well, I had a great week up north, albeit exhausting! Needless to say, I didn't get any cards made, though we did have time for a bit of crafting. My four year old grandson had two birthday parties to attend while I was there (his social life is far more hectic than mine!) and he wanted to make cards for his friends. He decided to do some stamping, and here's what he made.

It was all his own design. He chose the inks and stamps (Clarity Stamp, Stampscapes, and Non Sequitur) and just got on with it. All I did was cut it out and mat it for him. I thought it wasn't bad for a 4 year old. He then decided he liked it too much to give it away! So he made a couple of other cards for his friends. 

I'm still trying to catch up after my week away, so apologies if I haven't managed to get round to everyone's blogs. I feel as though I've been out of circulation for ages. However, I did get a card made for this week's Allsorts challenge, whch is to incorporate a tag, ticket or label in the design.

I went for a vintage look. The background paper is old stash (Anna Griffin I think), overstamped with a Crafty Individuals text. I also used a Martha Stewart punch and Prima flowers. The flower centres are made with micro beads (very old stash!). The photo is of my maternal grandma. I was looking for something in my sewing box the other day and came across my thread cutter, the sort you are allowed to take on aeroplanes. I'd forgotten I had it. It's a circular blade set in a case which exposes parts of the blade, similar to this by Tim Holtz. I don't do so much sewing these days, and even less flying, so I thought my thread cutter would come in handy for distressing paper, and as you can see, it worked really well. And it's much prettier than Tim's!

Tuesday, 9 February 2010


I'm going to do some background techniques with my class tomorrow, including my favourite direct-to-paper with overstamping. I have some new class members who haven't done any card making before, so I've tried to make it fairly simple to begin with. This sample shows the first outing for my new Hero Arts Antique Brocade stamp, which I think is destined to become much loved. I stamped it over paper sponged with Versamagic inks. The girl and butterfly images are from Crafty Individuals' Miniatures Books "People & Places 2" and "Butterflies & Flowers" respectively. I used the huge butterfly from the Elusive Images "Patchwork Butterfly" plate as a background on the base card, and the sentiment is from the same plate.

Next week it's half term, so I'm going up to stay with my daughter & family in Dumfriesshire. Lots of playing and babysitting planned, so I'm not likely to get much time for challenges, or even blogging. There'll be room in the car to take one box of supplies with me in the hope of managing to make a few cards. The question is, what will I be able to conjure up from only one box of stash? Now there's a challenge, if ever there was one!

The winner!

The time has come to draw the winner of my blog candy earrings.

Mr. chose No. 7, who is.......

Crossing all your fingers and toes must have done the trick, Lesley, so congratulations! If you'll email me your address, I'll send them off to you straightaway.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

A Bear

The theme for this week's Tuesday Taggers is Teddy Bears, with a lovely prize on offer sponsored by The Craft Barn. Now, of course I don't do cute, but this week I just had to rise to the challenge. I want to introduce you to my bear. He was given to me when I was born, and has been with me ever since (a long time!).

Here's a picture of him (and me) in his youth. [I've just noticed that the lace on the edge of the gown I'm wearing in the photo is remarkably similar to a Martha Stewart Zig Zag edge punch design!] My bear was very smart then, with a beautiful golden coloured coat and soft brown paws, and inside him he had a musical box which played the tune of "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf"! That long ago ceased to function, unfortunately, and nowadays he's looking a bit worse for wear.
I can't remember what I used to call him when I was little, if indeed I ever gave him any other name than teddy. But now, he's very definitely Fred Bear!

Anyway, here's the card I have made in his honour. I only have a few bear stamps, but this one seemed very fitting as not only is it a very traditional style of bear, by PSX, but it's also one of my oldest stamps. To show him off I coloured him with Promarkers and set him in a Nestabilities frame against some My Mind's Eye paper, embellished with a Martha Stewart punch, a few Prima flowers and some ribbon. The sentiment is by Rubber Stamp Tapestry.

My old bear's glory might be somewhat faded now, but I'd swear he's still got a twinkle in his eye!

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Sir Stampalot Special Challenge

Here is my entry for the Sir Stampalot Special Challenge, hosted by Brenda. The challenge is to celebrate Sir Stampalot's relocation to new premises, and so the theme is "Moving", which is open to interpretation.

My card has two "moving" elements. Firstly, the main flower picture has been moved from its original location by image transfer, and secondly, inside the card there is a pop-up.

For the image transfer I used one of my own photos. With my graphics programme I altered the colour and toned down the background, and then printed it out on to photo-quality inkjet paper to give a good clear print. I'd never tried image transfer before, so I followed the instuctions given in the February 2010 issue of Craft Stamper. I did the acrylic paint method, which was very easy and worked a treat. One might ask why I didn't just use the original photo! Well, I wanted to try image transfer, and also I wanted the softer look which the method provides. And, of course, it was a way of interpreting the theme. I was very pleased with the result.

The background was splattered with ink and stamped with a flourish by Crafty Individuals. A Hero Arts butterfly and word by Inkadinkado completed the front of the card. Inside I used the Hero Arts Dandelion frame, more Hero Arts butterflies, grasses by Elusive Images from Graphicus and a sentiment stamp which I've had so long I can't remember who it's by!

Monday, 1 February 2010

A bit different, and blog candy!

Just managing to scrape in again for this week's Tuesday Taggers, where the challenge is to use a jigsaw piece in your artwork. I puzzled over it for some time, and then decided for a change to make some earrings. Long time ago, before I started cardmaking (ie. about 20 years ago!!), I was into jewellery making, but haven't done any for ages, so this project has definitely used old stash! The two pieces I used to make the earrings are from a real old jigsaw which was destined never to be made up again as it had many pieces missing. I've no idea what the picture was, as the remaining pieces were given to me in a plastic bag, but I'd guess it was an old countryside scene. The colours were quite dark, so first of all I painted them with a white Ranger Acrylic Dabber. Next I coloured them with Brilliance inks and overstamped with my current favourite Hero Arts flourish stamp. The backs and edges were covered with a black Promarker. I gave them a top coat of clear embossing to protect them before making them up into earrings.

They are displayed on an ATC stamped with the same Hero Arts flourish. The words are by Inkadinkado and Papermania, and the tiny butterfly is also by Inkadinkado. The butterfly jigsaw piece was made with a clear peel-off sticker over an image from the latest Crafty Individuals Miniatures book: "Nature's Beauty".

I didn't have a recipient in mind when I made them, so I have decided to give them away as Blog Candy. (I hardly ever wear earrings!) If you'd like to win them, please leave me a comment, (or even better, become a follower if you are not already, though that is optional!) before next Monday, Feb 8th. Mr. will choose the winner. Please note, if the winner does not have pierced ears, I can change the fittings to suit.

Now I'm off on Brenda's blog hop (see my previous post for details).

Special Challenge and Blog Hop!

On the first of  February, Brenda will be organising a Special one-off Challenge and Blog Hop! The main prize will be "mega" candy - not just any old candy, but a really serious piece of kit! Not only that, but as well as the main challenge prize, there will be runners up prizes and a Blog Hop with prizes to be won at each stopping point. Brenda will be giving sneak peeks of the prizes over the next three weeks, so hop along to her Blog to get all the details.

There will even be prizes for spreading the news, so to get yourselves in the draw for those, just put the links in your own blog - see Brenda's for what to do. The more people who join in, the more fun it will be!

(This post will - or should, if I've done it right! - stay at the top until the 1st of Feb, so please scroll down for new posts in the meantime.)
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