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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

A swallow's journey

I used my Rubber Dance stamps again, and this time I used this gorgeous swallow stamp stamp on kraft, coloured with Prismacolor pencils and masked to stamp some background before die cutting with a Sizzix stamp die. I added some Tim Holtz paper string to one side of the die cut and a boat charm to the waves.
Then I decided to add another background, using a stencil and Distress Ink I sponged some waves and stamped the bird in Ranger Van Dyke Brown. On the Kraft card it is stamped in black, as is the shell and the "waves". 
The card I used for the card blank is textured and that showed through the inking. My bird is on a migratory journey over the sea - can you tell?

This card has swooped into the following challenges:
Rubber Dance Blog - colour and travel (July)
Craft Stamper - take a stamp anything goes (Jul)
Left of Centre - use texture (Fri)
Graph'it Markers - colour Duos (Fri)
Love to scrap - anything goes (Aug 2nd)
We love to create - #15 anything mixed media/creative/inky goes (Sun)
Vintage Stamping - #34 travel (Sun 3rd)
Papertake Weekly - take your pick blue and green (Tues)
A Sprinkle of Imagination - anything goes with something from the shop (Jul - Aug 11th?)
Fab n Funky - no patterned paper (Aug 11th)

Fussy and Fancy - #144 things with wings - picked randomly to be GD

The dance of life

Rubber Dance that is! I finally got to use some of the stamps from my wonderful prize from Bibi of Rubber Dance, I posted about them and the very arty envelope they arrived in a couple of weeks back.
So here is another tag to add to my stamp folders to identify which stamps are where, and this is a case of the last stamps to arrived get tagged nearly first, as you might remember I did complete one tag ages ago! I cut a second tag from Kraft after stamping and colouring the image, with Memento Ink and Prismacolor pencils - not the best combination but I didn't attempt to blend the pencil so the ink survived - Stazon next time. I stamped the couple and two words - "together" comes with this stamp, then added colour to fit the Rubber Dance challenge which is a colour challenge with optional theme of travel. You don't have to have Rubber Dance stamps to take part either.
This could be a couple on vacation or honeymoon, they look so happy!

I added some blue lace and mother of pearl heart buttons, I distressed the edges and inked with Distress ink in Mahogany.

This is the back of the tag, a montage of some of the other stamps I won.

I am entering the following 4 challenges:
Anything but a card - anything goes (4 challenge rule) End July?
Rubber Dance blog - see colour and theme above (July)
The Artistic Stamper - tags (July)
Craft Stamper - Take a stamp anything goes (July)

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Quirky's still all white - alright!

It's reminder time at Quirky Crafts Challenge blog, and our sponsor is Stitchy Bear Digital Outlet who kindly provided images to the team to work with.
I chose to use this wonderful Snow Deer Scene by Ike's Art, and this is a set containing the main image that I used above, the scene with no deer, and both deer separately so that you have a lot of options for using different elements of it, or even decoupaging it.
I coloured the deer with ProMarkers, and as the challenge is everything white except for the image, this image is perfect! I added a little Ice Stickles glue to the snow on the trees and bushes and the ground to give that icy sparkle effect. The image is cut out and mounted on a scalloped panel die cut with Spellbinders Grand scalloped rectangles, then mounted on a white card blank made from textured white card. I used a Papermania Christmas Words set of dies to cut Christmas and Greetings from glitter card, and that is simply it.

My second card features the beautiful New Baby image, also by Ike's Art, which I die cut with an oval die then mounted it on to a die cut pearlescent frame both dies are from the same Card Maker set by Spellbinders. I coloured the image with ProMarkers. I added a small bow of pretty white ribbon from Crafty Ribbons, and die cut the word "Love" (with a Spellbinders die), which I think is all you need.

Please come and see the other gorgeous examples from the team and play along with us at Quirky Crafts, you could be a winner and win some of these wonderful images from our sponsor. Any CAS cards which have a lot of white space will work fine too.

I have entered the following challenges:
Snow scene
Tuesday Throwdown - Christmas in July
Papertake Weekly - build it up (Tues)
Addicted to Stamps - #154 CAS (Wed)
Cute Card Thursdays - pets/animals 
My Time to Craft - Christmas in July (Sat)
Christmas Card Challenges - anything goes #34 (Sun)

New Baby
Crafty Gals - To Die For #29 (Wed)
Inspiration Destination - #43 anything goes (Wed)
Crafty Ribbons - anything goes with ribbon #124 (Thurs)
I love Promarkers - CAS (Thurs)
Glitter and Sparkle - use something beginning with B - baby's feet image (Sun)
One Stitch at a Time - children #242 (Sun)
Fab n Funky - no patterned paper (11th Aug)

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Dog Sweater

 Alfie dog is old and suffers from arthritis, and we tend to leave his hair to grow in cold weather, however he now hates being groomed due to the pain and gets very knotted up. So the solution (I hope) will be to trim him and let him wear this sweater in cold weather.
Alfie is not a lover of clothes, he does not co-operate with dressing up, and his legs are stiff. Because of that I modified this slip on sweater pattern so that it buttoned down the back, the dog can just step into it and be buttoned up.
I'm working on another sweater for a friend's bigger dog at the moment.

I've entered a challenge:
Anything but a card - anything goes (Sun)

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Quirky crafts all white alright!

Monica set us a very challenging challenge over at the Quirky blog today, and it is All White. Everything on your project has to be white with the exception of any image you use. 
Our sponsors are the wonderful Stitchy Bear Digital Outlet, who provided the team with images and will provide our top three with prizes.
I used Cartoon Elephant leaning on a large pencil by Ken Benner, It is cute and funny and I wanted to stamp Happy under the pencil, which I hope I can get away with as it looks like part of the image (I hope).
I used Spellbinders labels number 1, one of my favourites which I have in plain, scalloped, fancy and grand varieties.
I coloured the image with Promarkers and some silver pen for the pencil metal bit. the elephant is fussy cut and decoupaged on top of another one (I hate fussy cutting, but you will read why in a minute.....). The panels behind are: scalloped, embossed with an Embossalicous banners embossing folder (which was NBUS until today), plain pearlescent, embossed with a Crafts Too Tied Together embossing folder in two parts (would have been a similar but bigger folder - see below), all then mounted on a scalloped 8" x 8" card blank. I added white brads, a gem to make his teeth sparkle and a gem star. The stamp is from a set by Marianne, and the word Birthday is the die from the same set which I used to cut out glitter card. The star border is also a Marianne die and has ribbon threaded through it, I had to cut two of them to fit and trim them a little at the ends. I used stars punched out by the die from the border to add round the edges. Finally Liquid Pearls in Opal White were added to the biggest embossed panel.

So what went wrong this time you might ask?
First of all after spending an hour or more colouring the image I reached for the stamp pad to stamp "Happy" then dropped it not once but twice onto the image. Luckily it only ruined the part where the pencil had doodled, so I had to either start over (this time stamping "Happy" before starting to colour like sensible people do), or fussy cut the image and decoupage it over a quickly coloured second one, I did the latter.
Second thing to go wrong was the second embossed panel, the first one was no problem, the second folder the eBosser took exception to and jammed it half way in. I tried the rubber mallet procedure but could not budge it. I went to bed and in the morning asked Hubby to help me. He couldn't shift it either, we took turns, he got a lump hammer instead of the rubber mallet, he got more bits of wood. We tried both ends, we took it outside onto a little wall so it was firmer, with cushions strategically placed for it to drop onto. Nothing, so we used half a bottle of washing up liquid trying to lubricate it. Later after stopping for lunch I had another go on my own and ended up with a large bruise from the rubber mallet on the base of my thumb! So I had to give up, get out the other die cutter and cut another panel and emboss it. So now I have a totally jammed ebosser with an A4 embossing folder jammed in it - any ideas (maybe bin it)?
Could it go any more wrong? Yes it could, if you add Liquid Pearls to your work, then forget and a) press down a corner that is sticking up, b) the whole card falls face down on your brand new home stitched hot pink mini photo studio background!
The moral of that story is wait for it to dry first!
Do you like the new pink background by the way? I bought an oddment of material, it has been cut and pinned for ages and finally I got the machine out and stitched it, not in my craft room where there is no room to work, but in the dining room! I wanted to make it a bit wider than I did, miscalculated the amount needed for hems, although it is the same width as the white, blue and grey panels that came with the studio.

This card has twinkled it's way into the following:
Tuesday Throwdown - bingo, stamp, enamel dots, die cut
Inspiration Destination - anything goes (Wed)
A Gem of a Challenge - Birthday (Sat)
Sketch Saturday - #370 
That Craft Place - words (Sun)
Little Miss Muffet - anything goes (Tues week)
The Ribbon Girl - Ivory (July)
Fab n Funky - no patterned paper (Aug 11th)

Won or top 3:
Allsorts - #320 add a banner or flag 

Friday, 17 July 2015

Happy Post and birthday gifts

 This gorgeous envelope arrived today, I didn't open it for ages and when I did I was careful to not damage the artwork by Bibi of Rubber Dance Art Stamps in the Netherlands, and inside....
Lots of lovely rubber! These are all the stamps I won in a recent celebratory giveaway on the Rubber Dance blog, WOW if I hadn't been so tired today I would have already got stuck into stamping with these babies! Thank you Bibi, now I need to enter the July challenge!

 I also won a challenge at Cute Card Thursday and got a £10 Bunny Zoe's voucher, Bunny Zoe's is having a 60% off sale so I got even more than I would have done normally, and at these prices I did add a little more to my order which arrived yesterday - thanks Nikki!

These are all of my 60th birthday cards and two ruby anniversary cards, which just goes to show that if you don't throw a party you don't get many cards! These are lovely and much appreciated though. The second from the left is hand made by Myriam - see below, the third was made by my Mum, the sixth is made by Marg - see below, and the eighth is made by Mum for Hubby to give me.
Today I decided to take them down and put them in a keepsake box, which is when I found I had so many more for my 50th, and even for subsequent birthdays but since I took early retirement I don't get any from work colleagues, and my remaining family members have all sorts of problems and haven't remembered I guess. Other friends who did know clearly only give if there is a party going on that they are invited to!
The keepsake box was slightly overflowing, I found some old photos in there and some keepsakes from the holiday to Prague that I had for my 50th - which I had forgotten were in there. I looked at another little keepsake box thinking there might be space in it, only to find it was full of embellishments I forgot I had. So another surprise today!
 Hubby's family didn't know about my birthday or our anniversary either, as the lynchpin of the family - mother in law who knows all the birthdays and dates to remember - has been ill and in hospital then a home for weeks and only returned to her home this week, so the news would not have got round to anyone, although she doesn't see much of the family these days so it might not have made much difference. MIL is the reason I am so tired today, after two good nights and days home she had a bad one and we were called out in the early hours, and she has continued to have a bad day so I had to call the doctors and get a home visit for her, but let's hope tonight will be better and she will settle down again.

 This sweet little card was made by Quirky team mate Myriam and came all the way from Costa Rica with the little gifts shown, Myriam I love it all - thank you so much! It even arrived just in time.
 This very elegant and opulent card was made by another crafting buddy, Marg Byatt, Thank you so much Marg, Hubby was much impressed with this one.

 These were little gifts on the day from Hubby, who is going to put money towards a new camera for me when I decide which one to go for, which could take me some time!
 My son Richard and his girlfriend Julie bought me a gorgeous rainbow seaglass bracelet by Seaham Waves, I have wanted one of these for a few years since I first saw them, I love it thank you.

I also had money from the parents, and my other son Chris and his wife Vanessa and little Kenny and bump, or I will have toward that camera - I really need to decide but so many things have taken up my time in the last few weeks and months I have been to the camera shop to try the weight of the ones I have thought about, but do I change to a CSC, big decisions!

I don't normally grow sunflowers, well not deliberately - the birds have planted the odd one in the past. This year I did, and these survived the onslaught of the moluscs, when this dark red beauty showed it's face I was quite surprised because I can't remember the seeds I bought being anything special, but they probably were as I got them from Thompson and Morgan. I will take a better photo of it soon.
This is another view of it. I have normal yellow ones growing too.

Finally - a while ago I bought The Cinch to replace the Bind it All, I am talking months ago too. I had not used it yet until I made this. Richard asked me for a list of birthdays and dates and I thought why not make a little birthday book. There are downloadable pages for this and instructions on the WR Memory Keepers blog. It was so easy, I am in love with The Cinch and think I will be making many more books. The Bind it All was a good little machine, and took up less room in it's pretty matching tote but I never managed to get the pages and covers quite lined up, or the right number of holes just where I wanted them but The Cinch has changed all of that. I covered the greyboard that I used for the covers with paper from a Sara Book, and I used a free balloon die from Simply Cards and Papercrafts magazine, part of set of two dies which are this month's cover gift. I added strings and birds in the sky with a Souffle pen and the birds, and die cut Birthday with a Spellbinders die and book with Quickutz dies. 

I have actually entered a challenge or two with this book:
Crafting from the Heart - #68 anything goes (Sun)
Papertake Weekly - don't be square (Tues)
Creative Fingers - #87 Anything goes (Fri)
Bunny Zoe's challenge blog - Summer breeze (Aug 9th)
Die Cut Divas - Summer (July)

Challenges won:
Incy Wincy - doodle what? 

Published in  Simply Cards and Papercraft magazine issue 140

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Betty Boots - oh whoops I forgot!

I had a few problems photographing this one, this is the third attempt (the sparkles in the cardstock cause problems) and now it has gone from here so I can't try again. I didn't actually forget Vanessa's Birthday last Saturday, I just ran of of time to make a card and I knew I would see her this weekend. Now it might seem a little silly that I didn't just send one of the cards from the two boxes I have of them already made, but I am weird like that, I like to make the card for the individual when I can. This isn't the card I intended to make originally but when sorting through some stamps I found this set that I bought recently and it was crying out to be used. 
Betty Boots is the creation of That Craft Place, the digital images are sold under the name of Ditzie Designs on Etsy and some of them have now been made into stamp sets by Creative Expressions. I really love this character, but she took around four hours to colour mainly due to her hair. I used Graph'it Markers to colour her hair, and ProMarkers for the rest of her. All die cuts are Spellbinders. The sentiment came with the set, and inside the card I used another of the sentiments from the set which says that it is a good job you get more patient the older you get, or something like that.
Daughter in Law is a Papermania stamp from a clear set, and I added some ribbon and buttons from stash.

I have entered the following challenges:
Tuesday Throwdown - no patterned paper
Inspiration Destination - #41 anything goes (Wed)
Addicted to Stamps - #152 Make your Mark 
Cute Card Thursdays - for the ladies
Ribbon Girl - anything goes with an image (Sun)
Crafting from the Heart - #68 anything goes (Mon)
Sugar and Betty's challenge blog - anything goes (Jul)

Christmas in July reminder time

I was late again, I am late again - but here I am at last. It has been a hectic week, (It was my Big Birthday Tuesday and we went out last weekend and on the actual day in the evening, and have still been driving to visit mother in law then sorting things out for her return home tomorrow, and making a late card for my Daughter in Law) they all seem like that recently. How did I have time to go to work?
Over at Quirky Crafts we are playing Christmas in July, and we have three lovely sponsors, Crafty Ribbons, Bugaboo and Limited Runs.

My first card features an image from Limited Runs called Trees on a Cupcake, I thought I would coloure these in modern colours with my Promarkers - I think my bright green is running out because I use it so much.
I die cut the image and panel behind with Spellbinders card creator dies. The ribbon is one of the exclusive ones from Crafty Ribbons.
I added some Ice Stickles glitter glue which is still wet here.

 This cute image is called Puppy - enough reindeer from Bugaboo, he comew with the sentiment and together they make a very cute card. Just look at the tears welling up in his eyes because he can't be a reindeer!
 I coloured the image with Promarkers and a gold pen for the bells. Again this is die cut with Spellbinders Card Creator dies. The paper was a freebie with a magazine. The ribbon is from Crafty Ribbons.

From Bugaboo comes Stella - Merry Christmas not Happy Holidays, I find Stella (and Gus) so very amusing, I hope the recipient of this card does too! This is an 8" X 8" scalloped card blank, but all the images for all 4 cards were cut out the same size with Spellbinders card creator dies, and yet they are all on different size card blanks. I coloured Stella with Promarkers, the papers are by My Mind's Eye (the top paper with little house scene) and Papermania, and the "Keep Calm" ribbon is a Crafty Ribbons exclusive which seemed perfect with the sentiment.

My last card features another of the Limited Runs cupcakes, this one is called Snowman on a Cupcake lol. Again I coloured it with Promarkers, die cut it with Spellbinders card creator dies and added Ice Stickles which are still wet here. There are 3 different ribbons from Crafty Ribbons on my card. The spotty paper is by My Mind's Eye.
I added three buttons to the side, I just thought I would, maybe I need some the other side too.

Come on over to Quirky Crafts Challenge blog to see some more wonderful examples and to play along and maybe win some great prizes.

I've entered a few challenges, different cards into different challenges so none of them breach the numbers rule:
Papertake Weekly - Christmas in July (Tues)
Passion for Promarkers - fancy that - Snowman on a cupcake (Tues)
Tuesday Throwdown - no patterned paper
Addicted to Stamps - make your mark (Wed)
Simon Says Wednesday Challenge - furry creatures
Creative Fingers = #87 Anything goes (Fri)
Daring Card Makers - no black, no neutral Trees on a Cupcake (Fri)
Creative Card Crew - die cuts (Tues 21st)
Digi Chooseday - Christmas in July (Jul 28th)
The Ribbon Girl - any image (Jul)

Challenges won:

Catch the Bug - Christmas in July Jingle all the way 

Friday, 10 July 2015

Facebook blues

I can't login to Facebook, in fact it logged me out then when I tried to log in again it said my computer was infected and I needed to click on a link and run some software I have never heard of, dodgy or what! Well I ran a full scan with BitDefender and it found a few things including a Trojan, and those are sorted or quarantined now, but still I can't log into Facebook! I do a lot of Quirky stuff there so this is annoying to say the least. I can go to the Facebook help forum but when I try to record my problem hoping that it will be sorted out I can't - guess why - yes I need to login to Facebook to report problems on the help forum! So I am getting nowhere fast.

Monday, 6 July 2015

You better be good, you better be nice....Santa Claus is coming to town - Quirky style

I am so late, it is gone 1:00 in the morning and I really really need my bed now. I was late to bed last night 2:00 in the morning in fact, and had to get up at 7:00 and all because we were helping at the Cannon's House fete and having a stall which I really needed to prepare cards for - not that I really sell many, normally only 2 or 3 but I felt I had to get as many ready as possible, and take display racks etc.
Anyway it is challenge time again at Quirky Crafts and we have three great sponsors, Crafty Ribbons, Bugaboo and Limited Runs, what a great combination! The challenge set by Lyn (we are so pleased she is back with us) is her favourite Christmas in July and it is a great time to start on those Christmas cards - if only I can keep it up!
So I started with Stella Note to Santa, it was too funny and I couldn't not choose this one! I know a few Stella's, maybe I am one!
I coloured the image with ProMarkers, die cut it with a Spellbinders postage stamp style die with matching ribbon slider which I hand wrote on. I added two ribbons from Crafty Ribbons amazing range of Christmas ribbon, much of which is exclusive to them. I added a bit of Ice Stickles glue to the white fluffy bits of Stella's outfit, and added gold gel pen to the baubles. The paper is by My Mind's Eye.

My second card features one of Limited Runs great cupcakes, from a set of two called Penguin Set Cupcake, the other cake has a blank sign. I coloured the image with ProMarkers and die cut it with a Spellbinders die, mounted onto a die cut rectangle of red. The Singing Penguin ribbon (which I really love) is a Crafty Ribbons exclusive. The snowflakes are all Spellbinders die cuts, and again I added some Ice Stickles in Star Dust to the image. I can't eat cupcakes but I can never resist the wonderful Limited Runs ones!

So now I can go to bed, at 1:30am hope I get a lie in! You, on the other hand, might like to hop over to Quirky Crafts to see some wonderful examples by the team and play along with us to maybe win great prizes.

Now to enter some challenges:
Inspiration Destination - #40 anything goes (Wed)
TTCRD - anything goes (June 30 - Jul 6)
Addicted to Stamps - anything goes (Wed)
Crafty Ribbons - anything goes (Thurs)
Coffee, chocolate and cards - seeing red (Fri)
Creative Fingers = #86 anything goes (Fri)
Crafting from the Heart - #67 anything goes (Fri)
Winter Wonderland - all that glitters (Fri)
Crafty Cardmakers - Sentiment  (Sat)
Sketch Saturday - sketch #368

Christmas card challenges - colour combo or anything Christmas (July 20th)
The Ribbon Girl - anything goes or stars and stripes (July)

Challenges won or top 3 etc:
Cute Card Thursday - we love cake 

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Rubber Dance Art Stamps: And the Winners are .....

Look what I won: Rubber Dance Art Stamps: And the Winners are .....: Helloooo, stampers! It's Bibi here today (the owner of Rubber Dance) and the day has come to draw THREE winners of our blog's 1st ...