Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Golden Bells

Good afternoon. 
On a Wednesday I'm usually too busy to get a post written up, unless it's a scheduled one, as it is my craft class but for one reason or another I've been at home in the craftroom!
Whilst checking through my blog feeds I saw that the latest challenge at Merry Monday is all about bells. That reminded me that I had a Christmas card that I didn't share at the time that would fit the bill perfectly. (Sorry Nich!) Rather appropriately is was one I sent to one of the craft class girls.

I've used this layout before on a couple of other cards, using the evergreen bough, sentiment and bell from the Christmas Bell Medley set by STAMPlorations. 
I stamped and masked the bells, then added the foliage in green. I added some white gel pen over the branches to add some dimension and drew in some strings with a black fine liner. 
I coloured the bells with Copics then using a Versamark pen I inked the band and embossed with gold EP. To finish I embossed the sentiment in gold to match.

I'm joining in over at -

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

With Deepest Sympathy

Good morning all.
There's been a bit of a drop in temperature these last few days. All I can say is that at least it isn't raining!
Over at Cardz4Guyz, we have a brand new challenge for you.


Wasn't sure where to go with this, spring popped into my head along with Christmas but as it makes my daughter cringe when she sees Christmas cards on my blog so early in the year I daren't go there again so soon!
So here is my take on this week's challenge.

I know it's not the sort of card you make on a regular basis but as I have none in the stash I thought I would make a sympathy card.
The tree stamp is one I picked up at Port Sunlight last October from the Chocolate Baroque bargain bucket.
It reminds me of the oaks I can see from my bedroom window, solid and full of strength.
I stamped in Versamark then embossed with white. The coloured background panel was made using the acrylic block technique. You add marker to the block and then spritz with water and stamp, trying not to splash outside the required area! A bit of a wiggle and then remove and leave to dry, love the water look it gives. A Crafters Companion sentiment in London Fog Memento ink was stamped and the top panel trimmed with a rectangle die before mounting flat on the base card.

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Close to Nature
Make My Monday Challenge Blog

White Embossing

Friday, 17 March 2017

STAMPlorations, a reminder

Good afternoon.
Back again to remind you that there is still time to enter the theme/sketch challenge over at STAMPlorations.
Here is my card which uses the sketch as well as the theme.

I was a little stumped at first by this month's sketch and stared at it for quite awhile before inspiration struck!

I used a NEBUS stamp called Sketched:Tulips, it's one of Shery early one's but gorgeous none the less!
I used some linen effect card for this, as I was going to keep it very CAS and it gave just the right amount of texture. On a rectangular scrap of the same card, I diecut a half circle and then stamped the image a couple of times in Memento London Fog, replacing the semi circle back into the original panel after colouring with Copics. The colours I used were inspired by the challenge over at Cupcake Inspirations.
I looked through my offcuts for a green that I was happy with for my second panel, but in the end I made my own by smooshing a panel of card in some DI spritzed with water.
The top base panel was cut using a  CUTplorations Crazy Double Running Stitch Nesting Rectangle die and the bottom of the panel was made by embossing another previously cut one with an ARTplorations Foiled Again stencil. They make a good substitute for an EF even if it doesn't quite show up in the photo! A matching button from the stash and a greeting banner using text from Balloons and Banners complete. 

Well the hairdressers is calling, so I better get a wriggle on! For more fantastic inspiration check out the rest of the DT and GDs here, where you'll also find all the Ts and Cs.
Don't forget ifyou use my discount code you'll get 20% off when you order from the STAMPlorations shop.

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My choice - Die cutting, Alcohol Markers and Embossing

LOTV Fairy

Good morning all.
I think we were lulled by all the fab spring sunshine earlier in the week, there could still be a sting in March's tail! It's a bit grey and dismal this morning.
Anyway here is a card to cheer which I made for the latest challenge at the Alphabet Challenge.
We are back at the beginning of the alphabet so our new theme is -

A is for -Anything with Wings

I went with this sweet fairy from LOTV.

I used the layout at Sketch Saturday for this but you know me in that I like sometimes to be not so literal with my interpretation.
I cut some circles from my top panel then went in search of some DP from the stash to place under it so I could colour my fairy to match. I am honestly trying to use up my enormous pile of DP but in the end I used some corrugated lilac card. I coloured the fairy using Copics and then fussy cut her and popped her behind the largest circle, wings outside. I did add a little crystal Stickles to the wings but it was so fine it didn't show up in the photo! The clouds and 7 were die cut from some scraps of white card.
After putting the layout together I thought it looked a tad bare but not that bare, so decided to doodle around the circles with a fine liner. All layers were glued flat, the corrugations gave me enough depth and shadow.
For more fab wing inspired inspiration, please check out the rest of the DT here.
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Thursday, 16 March 2017


Good morning all.
Is it really a fortnight since my last Thursday post for Cardz4Galz? Must be as it's time for a brand new one! This time it's -


Here is my card.

I could have gone down the flower route but I decided to use my new Stamping Bella stamp, Giftabella. If you look carefully you will see some flowers in the form of a MFT coverplate die.
The starting point for this was the sketch at Sunday Stamps and I kept very close to the brief only using shades of pink and neutrals.
The image was stamped and fussy cut after using Copics to colour and layered over the background. The circle from the sketch was used just for the sentiment and the flowers on the sketch were the parcels.
For more inspiration check out the rest of the team here.

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      Take It, Make It Challenge

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Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Holiday @ ATSM

Evening all. This late night post must mean that it's time for a brand new challenge over at ATSM.
This week's challenge is -


So, anything celebrating a festival, St Patrick's Day, Diwali, Easter or like me Christmas.

I have to apologise about the photo as it was a really tricky card to photograph, the gold embossing always causes problems.
Over at LIM their latest challenge is a one layer one, always tricky, the theme leaves even more so.
I wasn't going to be defeated though and was determined to enter, so as this is a Holiday challenge I thought of holly leaves. It also coincides with the latest CASology theme of foliage and as I've not been there for a few weeks what more excuses did I need? Flicking through my Christmas stash I came across a NEBUS stamp plate that came with a matching EF. I must have bought it in an end of season sale a couple of years back and hadn't used it. I found some dark green card in the stash and using my MISTI I masked off a portion and inked up the stamp. It took a few goes to get a good coverage so it was a good job I used the MISTI, no more wasted panels now! After embossing with gold EP, I masked off a thin strip below the holly panel and using a Versamark pen I drew a line which I then embossed in gold as well. I think the pen is drying out as it didn't keep as stick as it should even though it showed dark enough on the panel the EP isn't as intense. To complete I added an embossed sentiment using HLS's Everyday Sentiments. 

For more fabulous holiday inspiration please check out the rest of the team here.

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Age is only a number

Good morning all.
Well the weather has certainly perked up these last few days, perhaps March will go out like a lamb after all! However all this sunshine shows up the dust and cobwebs so I may have to do some housework! Well perhaps not yet as we have a brand new challenge over at Cardz4Guyz.
This week it is-


You could include a number for a particular birthday or lots, just like I did here.

I had seen a card out there somewhere in blogland where numbers were arranged like a clock face around a circular aperture, can I find it again, can I flip! So if it's you just let me know and I will give you credit for the inspiration. I used a rainbow theme that was inspired by a couple of challenges, The photo at Inspired by all the little things shows a flaming treble clef in rainbow colours and over at MAWTT it is simply the theme of rainbow or rainbows. 
Using little scraps of card I die cut loads of little numbers using my #MFT little number dies and arranged them in rainbow order around a circular aperture which I had cut with a #MFT stitched circle die. The central sentiment was computer generated and the happy happy birthday(STAMPlorations) was stamped in black then coloured with Copics to match the die cut numbers.
OK, that's all from me but for more numerical inspiration check out the rest of the team here, then why not join in.

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Rainbow or Rainbow Colours

Friday, 10 March 2017

A birthday card for Jenny

Good afternoon.
Felt the need for a bit of crafty time for myself this morning. I'd taken the dog out and sat down with a cuppa and realised that it was coming up to my friend and ex colleague Jenny's birthday. Flicking through my stash I soon decided that I needed to make a card. I think I need to explain at this point. While I had lots of cards in the stash, Jen is a Leeds Rhino's fan, they are a Rugby League team who play in blue and gold. I usually try to make her something along those lines. Last year I actually included a rhino in a team shirt but this year I decided to go more floral!

I used the photo (mainly the colour) and sketch at Fusion and the theme at Time Out as a starting point for this card.
I started by inking a panel of card with Blueprint Sketch DI and then gave it some interest by bleaching a pattern with one of the daisy stamps from STAMPlorations Bloom Sketches. The other daisy flower was stamped in Versafine them embossed with white, watercoloured with my Zigs and then fussy cut. On a scrap of white card , I stamped the same daisy in Grey Flannel Memento, then trimmed it down to size. The coloured bloom was placed over the panel and a LOTV sentiment stamped in the same Grey Flannel. The top white panel was then popped up over the base and blue panel with pads. The center of the flower was the gold of the kit and the blue panel the other colour.

The saga of the track continues. The contractors are currently pile driving the embankment at the far end, well away from the house, however the sound is still carrying to us. Thankfully with 24hour working this weekend, the sound is softened by the small hill and farmhouse between us and the railway and our 18" thick walls.
 However when Al was out on his tractor this morning, he noticed that a portakabin has appeared on the side of the track next to the pond on our land. No one has asked permission, it just appeared! 

Now we wouldn't have minded if they wanted to put a cabin there as the young lad at the top directing traffic has been out in all weathers but why after  12 weeks  has it suddenly been necessary? I was furious, but Al being Al was very calm and said he would take a pic and email it to Railtrack. Another instance of downright ignorant behaviour! They may have an agreement with the farmhouse owner but they don't have it from us.
Watch this space.

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Love and/or Friendship with the optional technique twist of spotlight stamping.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Mostly Teal

Good evening folks.
I'm posting at this relatively late hour because its time for a brand new challenge over at HLS Anything Goes with Dies.

So here is my card based around a couple or three challenges!

I'd admired this card here for sometime so I thought I would use it as inspiration to create this as well as the colour at LIM, Oscar dresses at AAA and ribbon at Memory Box.

I dug into my stash of card, I really am trying to use it up before I buy more, honestly, and found a piece of Core'd'inations in teal. A border was cut using part of  a Spellbinders die and then cut my MB Lunette Butterfly from the top middle. The dress that caught my eye on this year's Oscars red carpet was one worn by Cate Blanchett, a very feminine number and I loved the floaty organza butterflies and the pretty pale turquoise colour. I stuck with the butterfly and organza elements, the turquoise was perhaps a tad too pale for teal!
With the same MB die I cut an other from the middle of a panel some funky foam. I glued the outer of the foam on the back of the teal panel and tied a white georgette ribbon around the bottom. 
After sticking the panel on a base card I added back the foam butterfly die cut followed by the teal one, gluing as I went. I love this technique and used it for a couple of cards recently here and here

Anyway that's all from me, I should be back from my craft class when this goes out, if the weather is kind! Missed it last week.
For more die cut inspiration pop over to the HLS site and join us.

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Cate Blanchett
                                                    Cate Blanchett (love the butterflies)


The lambs are arriving in a constant stream now. However one made an unintended visit with some of her pals. Monday evening as we were feeding and checking over the days deliveries, #63 was on her own. As the light was failing fast we thought we better pair her with Mom and sibling, but after driving around in the increasing darkness we had no luck locating mum or sibling. At this point we rang Joe up at the lambing shed to see if she had inadvertently got in with the others and mum and twin were still there. Good news, mum was bleating her head off calling for it! So with lamb safely ensconced in the footwell we returned her to her family, only for her to come back down Tuesday lunch. Apparently she had been bleating for most of the night to come back down. She never made a muff the whole time she was in the car, both whilst we searched and on the journey up to the farm!
Here they all are yesterday afternoon before they were let out into the field. 

Do I detect a rather knowing look in her eye? Think we may have to keep an eye on our young explorer!

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Lego Rules

Morning all. 
It feels a little more like spring out there this week. Double figures forecast but rain to follow. Could do with some dry weather so that the fields and tracks can dry out a little.

Over at Cardz4Guyz we have a new challenge for you -


That's my kind of challenge, so no or few embellishments, let the image and design speak for itself. If you use DP keep it simple.
Here is my card.

My Grandson loves lego and was playing with his box of bricks and bits this weekend when he was over. Love to see him making up little stories to go with the cars and characters he has made. He gets totally immersed and forgot all about the laptop!
There are lots of lego cards out there on Pinterest such as this and this. I've made one before a couple of years back here.To make the bricks I cut some strips of coloured card and punched some small circles from the same card. The grey strip across the middle was embossed with a large dot EF and then I built up the bricks using foam pads. I added some white hi lights with a gel pen before arranging them on the grey 'board'. I stamped the STAMPlorations greeting using my Misti and coloured it in with matching Copics. 
For more CAS inspiration please check out the rest of the team here.

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The lambs are still arriving thick and fast. The sun is shining and they are to be seen basking in it all over the fields. The rabbits appear to have left my daffs alone this time and they are also relishing a touch of warmth as the poke through the grass. Here are a few of the lambs from Saturday's delivery.

It's always a bit of a ruck when they first arrive in the trailer, ewes try to find their lambs and visa versa. Thanks to my SiL Joe for the photo.
Here are a couple I managed to take yesterday. The lambs were playing king of the castle on the mound to the right when I spied them but they were soon called back to mum when Max and I were spotted.

Friday, 3 March 2017

STAMPlorations March Challenge

Hi and welcome to a post to announce the start of the March theme/sketch challenge over at STAMPlorations. I have to say it doesn't seem that long since I was here to announce the start of the February one!
According to the Met Office, spring has sprung, well the lambs are in the field, daffs are poking their heads above ground but the weather is not cooperating! What do they say; March, in like a lion, out like a lamb. Well I hope that its true, the rain has been constant this last week. The fields are sodden and the stream down the track is flowing with increased gusto despite 'remedies' from the contractors. (Heavy machinery is due to be brought onto site for the work due to take place over the weekend of the 10/12 March, including overnight pile driving!!!!!!!!!!!! It's a good job we have over 12" thick brick walls.)
Anyway the dainty little snowdrops are managing to show their blooms above the muddy morass at the top of the lane, despite the best attentions of the contractors feet and tyres. They are the harbingers of spring, poking up under the bare hedgerow, snow covered or not, so ideal for this months theme at STAMPlorations.

Here is my inspiration card using Just Because stamp set.

I went with the theme

but you could be a sketch sort of gal
or you might prefer to combine the two, its down to you!

To start I taped a piece of MM paper onto board and masked off the ground with some low tack tape.
Using a green ink for the leaves I stamped the stems and leaves then covered them with paper masks before stamping the flower heads in pale grey. Then using a drafting pen, I covered the stamped outlines with masking fluid. When dry I sprinkled Turquoise Brusho over the left hand side and spritzed it with water and some Prussian Blue Brusho mixed with water. The masking was removed when everything was COMPLETELY dry! I then used my Zig brush pens to colour the snowdrop stems and flowers. The snowy bank was given a wash of various greys then sprinkled with sea salt crystals and left to dry. The salt was removed to reveal a slightly mottled surface.
A white die CUTplorations 'happy' was added along with a white heat embossed Happy Birthday from the Balloons and Banners set on a black strip.

For more fab Spring and Sketch inspiration please check out the rest of the DT and GD here, where you'll also find all the Ts and Cs.

Here are a couple of spring lamb pics I took late yesterday when the newest batch arrived in the trailer.

Sorry this is a little blurred but they were keen to be out and wouldn't stay still!

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Style - CAS Mixed Media? I never can work it out!