Thursday, 31 July 2014

My final 'Christmas in July' for 2014!

So before saying goodbye to July 2014 I managed to squeeze in one more Yule card.  This cheeky digi of three naughty cats having some fun with a Christmas tree is from Digistamps4Joy and is called Irresistible Bling, I love it.

I decided to use pastel shades instead of traditional for this card.  I used my trusty Graph It markers to colour the image. 
Tree; 7105, 8110, 9201
Pot Shadow; 9501
Ribbon; 7210, 7220
Baubles; 4135, 5115
Lights; Silver Shaker
Angel Decoration; 6130, 6140
Stem and dirt; 3245, 3250
Pot; 5140, 6150
Cats noses and ears; 4145
Cats; White, 1210, 1230, 2105, 2110, 2120

The image is mounted on foam pads on to Creata pink and mint metallic card, then Creata patterned cardboard and finally on to Creata Silver Shade silky card.  I attached a tag but have not attached it with the brad (from my stash) as I didn't want this showing through the back of the card, so I folded the split pin back and then glued it with Cosmic Shimmer, and stamped the word Joy on to the tag.  The bow is cut from Creata patterned paper using a Creata cutting and embossing bow die (the embossing on this is gorgeous), I have added a gem from my stash to the centre of the bow.
Another cheat/tip, I try not to use the whole sheet when mating and layering!
Close of colouring.
Close-up of bow die cut - look at that gorgeous embossing.
Close-up of Joy stamped tag with brad.

Close-up shot.

I would like to enter this into the following challenges;
Digistamps4Joy - Monthly Christmas Challenge (July 2014) -
Crafty Blessings. x

June Review & July Choice

Okay so I know this post is really late, and I also have another confession to make I haven't finished my June read!  I will, and I promise to review it when I have finished.

It's not all bad news as I did finish a book of poetry.  I don't read much poetry and only have the usual poetry books on my shelves, Tennyson, Keats, Kipling and those don't even include my two favourite poets/poems W H Auden - Stop all the clocks and William Henry Davies - Leisure.  I remember very little poetry from school, and although I have dipped in and out of poetry books since, I never sit to read a whole book of poetry.  However after taking part in a reading workshop at the local library I was motivated to read the recommended 'summer reading challenge' book of poetry.

Bevel - William Letford Published October 1st 2012 by Carcanet Press Ltd.
I must be honest at this point and say my interest was peaked by the fact William Letford is Scottish! Obviously being a Scotophile, I needed very little convincing that I had to read it. A few of the poems are written with a Scottish accent and Scottish-isms and for me at least it made it all the more enjoyable!

I read it in one sitting, bookmarking poems that caught my attention and then when back to read it a second time and read my favourites over and over.

Most of the poems are quite brief and a lot of them centre around every day activities, and promote a sense of realisation and action.  One of my favourites was 'Waking for work in the winter', I'm sure many of us can relate to this particular routine.  Not only does the poem promote the cold and dark of this time of year but also the quiet and the tiredness, and why it's preferable to stay cosy in bed.  It is only 8 lines and the first 4 start with the word 'Even'.  I think that real is the feeling of getting up for work when it's cold and dark, even though it is these things and you really want to snuggle down between the sheets, you still have to 'get up', and these are the words with which the poem ends.  'Winter in the world' is another brief poem that manages to generate a clear picture and feeling of the image of winter, and the worry of the old lady on the snowy paths.

'Be prepared' is a lengthy poem and runs at a faster past and like a list, it reminds me of the things your grandmother or mother would tell you.  It also seems to me that Mr Letford is drawing attention and significance to the insignificant.  My favourite lines are ...'pay attention to the moment, the way the water drips...'.  To me it's very clever to highlight mindfulness in just two lines. 

The most evocative poem for me was 'Elderly ladies and afternoon tea', it created such a clear and distinct image in my head of two elderly ladies sitting in a café that they have visited for many years and noticing the new and old, and themselves.

I really enjoyed the fun of 'Moths'.  Not only is the poem cleverly laid out but it expresses the irritation that most people feel about these annoying little insects!

'Our Life' is a powerful poem talking of a love for life, 7 lines of passion, it starts 'Love it, she says, like you can't have it and never will,..'

By far my favourite is 'For the spirit' .  Mr Letford worked as a roofer and a few of his poems share his experiences of this job, and this one in particular explains the reasons why Winter on the roofs may be hard but the summer may be harder!

I listened to Mr Letford read some of his poetry on the publishers website, and I have to say read aloud and with a real Scottish accent it was even better.

9 KDS points.

My choice for July;
The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains by Neil Gaiman, Illustrated by Eddie Campbell

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

More Christmas in July!

I'm really enjoying all the 'Christmas in July' type challenges at the moment, it has started my Yuletide creative juices flowing, and, after years of promising to start my Yule cards early and not in the last week of November, I have finally managed it! 

This card was inspired by the challenge on the Stamping Dragon Designs Facebook group.  The digi image is 'Snitch with Holly and Wild Rose' from Stamping Dragon Designs.  I coloured the image with Graph It markers;
Holly; 8190, 8270, 8280, 8290
Centre of Rose; 1140, 1150
Berries; 5220, 5245
Snitch; 9100, 9101, 9201, 9203, 9205,9401, 9403
Shadow; 7105

After cutting the image out I ran it through my JOY! die cutting machine (a little tip I learn from Create & Craft TV) to flatten it and help get rid of the rough edges.  The is mounted on to Anna Marie Designs red dotty card and this in turn is mounted on to Anna Marie Designs green dotty card and finally mounted on to Anna Marie Designs kraft card.  The knotted lace is from Creata, it came in a set of three, you get about 2 metres of each and they are on wooden reels which are beautiful enough to have on display, if you have the room of course!  At the moment virtually everything in my craft room is on display - ooops!

The holly and berries were cut using Holly Twigs and Leaves Spellbinders dies, from Creata metallic card, this photo does not do this product justice, it is lush, and I think I may love it even more than the Creata mirri board.  The sentiment tag and snowflakes are also cut from Creata metallic card using an Xcut Dielicious 4 petal nesting dies and Creata Winter Wishes die.  The sentiment is from the Creata Happy Holidays Clear Stamps set and embossing using Chloe's Creative Cards Totally Teal WOW embossing powder. I added some Sunshine Yellow Flower Soft to the centre of the roses.  The whole topper is mounted on a prescored card (from stash) used in landscape.


I would like to enter this into the following challenges;
Weekly Christmas Card Challenges - Anything Goes -


Saturday, 19 July 2014

New Baby and Big Sister Cards & Gifts

As I mentioned in my post on Wednesday I had been busy make a few things but had to wait to share them in blogland, now the wait is over.

My first make was a nice little paint job, isn't she cute?  This is Beck from Pixie Hollow, she is an animal-talent fairy who loves animals. Beck is able to talk to the animals.  She is plant pot stick painted with Peobo acrylic paints.  She was a big sister gift for a friend's little girl.

And to go with that, a big sister card.  This particular little girl loves Princesses, (lets face which little girl, or big girl, doesn't wish they could be a princess if only for a little while!), so this is Snow White in her carriage.  I cross stitched Snow White using a free cover kit from Quick & Easy Cross Stitch magazine.  The carriage was cut using my Silhouette Cameo machine, and then I added some bling with peel-offs, gems & a butterfly bead paint gold using a Artline 900XF Gold pen.

I would like to enter this card into the following challenges;
Sisters of Craft - Anything Goes July Challenge -

6113 Avenue Create - Anything goes w/optional Shaped Cards -

Obviously I needed a new baby card for the parents and I just fell in love with this image (Close to my Heart) from Saturated Canary and knew it would be perfect.  I used the following Graph It markers to colour the image skin; 4120, 4125, 4135, 4150, 5110, lady's hair; 1210, 1230, 3125, 3245, baby's hair; 3150, 3160, papoose; 5120, 5125, 5130, eyes; 7110, 9201, dress; 6110, 6120, 6140, 6175.  She is mounted on foam pads on to Creata Classic Line paper cut using my Silhouette Cameo.  The background papers are from Creata patterned paper and mounted onto half an A5 base card (I have a huge stash of pre-scored base cards that are, shall we say, of dubious quality, so I thought this is a good way of using them up).  The pink ric-rac ribbon dividing the four quarters is from my stash.  The completed topper is mounted on to Anna Marie Designs kraft card.

I would like to enter this card into the following challenges;
Aurora Wings - Colour Bingo (Pink (papoose), Purple (dress), Blue (eyes) )-

Scrappers Delight - Challenge 27 Anything goes with cute & girly! -

Paper Make-up stamps - Challenge 149 Girly Girl -

Finally, my little gift for the new baby was a pair of lilac socks.  I just adore this colour but they were crying out to be embellished, so I added buttons to one and cross stitched her name on the other.

Have a fabulous weekend.  Crafty Blessings. x

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Non-traditional Yule card

Gosh it's hard to believe it's Wednesday already and I haven't blogged since Sunday, I have been busy make some creations but they have to remain secret for a little while longer!  However I am able to share a card with you today which was inspired by some challenges.

I decided to make another Yule card.  I used a pre-scored base card, covered with Creata Classic Silver paper.  I embossed a sheet of Creata Classic paper in Amethyst using a Sheena Douglass Taste of India embossing folder.  I rounded all the corners with a corner punch and distressed the edges with Tim Holtz Dusty Concord distress ink.  The rosette is made from Creata Patterned Card using a bone folder and scoring board.  This is distressed with the same Tim Holtz ink, and adhered with Cosmic Shimmer glue.  The button and silver & white cord is from my stash.  I used the same cord to make the hanging for the bauble, which is cut from Creata Patterned card and distressed with Tim Holtz Bundled Sage distress ink.  The tags were punched from Creata Patterned card using a Woodward punch, the glittered green brad is from my stash and the tags are fixed to the card with foam pads.  The sentiment is stamped on to Creata Silver Classic paper using Anna Marie Designs Reindeer set of stamps using Staz On ink.

Crafty Blessings. x
I would like to enter this in to the following challenges;
Quirky Crafts Challenge #14 A Quirky Christmas In July With Die-cuts (or Punches) -
Crafting From the Heart - Challenge 27 - Anything Goes -
My Craft Creations - New challenge 7/7 - 19/7/2014 -
Christmas Cards All Year Round - July challenge-non-traditional colours -

Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra - Anything Goes as long as it's Christmas -

Sunday, 13 July 2014

A Winning Weekend!

Every year in Barrow there are two village shows, one in the Summer and one in the Autumn. There are many different sections in which to enter your wares including vegetables, plants & flowers, flower arrangements, baking and various other homemade goodies.  I always enjoy entering the baking section and have won various prizes over the last couple of years.

Friday passed in a whirlwind of flour and flowers as I made 5 bakes and 3 flower arrangements.

These photos show my makes and bakes as I left them on Saturday morning set up at the village hall to be judged. 


The flowers arrangements were my first ever entries in to the flower arrangement section. I'd never really thought of having a talent for flower arranging but I love giving new things a try and had nothing to lose.  I entered a miniature arrangements (no bigger than 10cm in width, depth & height) a casual arrangement and a 'Title of a Song' composition arrangement.

I returned to the village hall in the afternoon to see how I had faired!  There were many beautiful entries and some stiff competition, here are a few photos of the event.

My Victoria sponge did not place but the comments were good 'well risen & a good finish, a dusting of sugar is traditional.' 17/20.  I had read that dusting of icing sugar is a big no for the WI but a dusting of sugar (which a few of them did have) is obviously a tick, so something to remember for the next time. 
My 5 fruit scones failed to place, unfortunately the shape let them down, I think maybe I was a bit too aggressive with my cutter! ' Good flavour, take care shaping & baking.' 14/20.   
No prize for my Cheese Straws but a good score and comments ' Well presented, interesting flavour.' 17/20.  These were a massive hit with my hubby, so that is recommendation enough!

I was staggered to see that my miniature arrangement had won a prize, third place!  Super for my first try.

Two of my bakes won prizes too.  The Gingerbread narrowly missed out on first place £5.00 WI prize but I was ecstatic to see I had come second, so I have something to aim for in the Autumn show!  Comments from the judge 'Well done, a good sticky gingerbread.' 19/20 and for my rock cakes 'Well done, these are good rock cakes.' 18/20 and third place.  Another smiley face from me.

I was delighted to see I had won first prize for my card (some of you may recognise this from my blog and the Creata challenge/facebook group).  A lovely compliment from the judge 'A very attractive card.  Good use of colour.'  20/20

By far my biggest surprise was seeing I had won First Prize for my Song Title Composition.  I was stunned, in fact I think I was speechless.  I did jump up and down on the spot and clap my hands, much to the embarrassment of my family.  No comments or scores are passed on the flower arrangements but the judge left a little card saying 'Charming, Charming, Well Done, Mary.'  I had a hug from mum, who has inspired me with her love of flowers, recommendations, encouragement and lending of books.  Everything I have learnt about flower arranging as come from my mum, with the exception of a few tv snippets (big fan of Kirstie Allsopp!) and looking at arrangements in florist's windows.  There were a few veterans who said 'Well done, it looks as if we have some competition.'  And another participant said 'Well done, the judge thought is was absolutely lovely, she thought it was excellent.  Please do join us again next time.'  I was blown away by all the lovely comments and my first prize placing, and I'm still smiling.

The composition was accessorized with lace hand embroidered table cloth (a family heirloom), lemon gloves, Tea for Two sheet music, heart shaped pocket watch with photo of Doris Day printed from Serif Craft Artist Professional programme and 'There's always time for Tea and here's always room for Cake' card.
There are small prize winnings and in total I won £3.25.  I had to pay a fee for each entry which totalled £1.95 so to be in profit so to speak is nice.  I know it sounds a little corny but it really is the taking part!  As a creative type I do love taking part in the show and of course was thrilled to win prizes for 5 out of my 9 entries, and am now thinking hard about my Autumn entries!

After showing their support and say they congratulations, the troops (my hubby, mum, dad, sister & her OH) were plied with tea and fed with the rest of my bakes.

Photos of my arrangements as they are displayed around the house.

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend however you spent the time.  Crafty Blessings. x

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Yule tag from waste.

Crafters never throw anything away, Fact, and I never argue with facts!  So I used the waste from my first Yule card to make a tag.  This is half the other side of the dark blue base card and the waste from the bells (not sure there is such a thing as waste from a Tattered Lace die) attached with an eyelet.  The reindeer stamp is from Annamarie Designs, I've highlight his hooves, the pattern on his bottom & antler and of course his nose with red foil from Foil Play.  The red Merry Christmas ribbon is from my stash.  The snow effect was made using white shake Graph It marker.

I think it coordinates nicely with the card.

There is still plenty of time to join in the Foil Play Facebook challenge to win a £15 voucher.

Crafty Blessings. x

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Beginning my Yule crafts...

Yes I know it's only July but in the crafty world you have to be months ahead of schedule.  I say every year that I will start my makes mid year for Yule but July drifts in to August, September usually brings an escape to a distant land (time away from home anyway) and then before I know it I'm desperately making lists of all my cards and gifts to make, which end up being far too long for the amount of time left and so they roll over to next year and then I add new things!

For my very first Yule card of 2014 I have used dark blue card which has beautiful sparkle to it, it is actually half a pre-scored card blank (cut in half it means more for money).  The edges have been decorated using silver foil from FoilPlay. I have applied this using a tape runner.  Run the tape around the edges of the card, place the foil down shiny side up, rub, peel away and voila!  This particular silver reflects the blue of the card background if you catch it in the right light.  The holly and berries are cut from Creata green mirri (I am officially addicted to this and possibly need help to wean myself off it!) and Creata A5 Classic Silky paper in wine using Spellbinders Shapeabilities Die D-Lites Holly Twigs and Leaves die.  The bells are cut from Creata parchment (these are 5 x 5 inch Parchment cards but I like to cut into them and, yes, get more for my money;-) ) using a Tattered Lace die.  The reindeer is was cut freehand from Creata cardboard pattern pads with glitter and then embossed using a freebie embossing die and sanded back using a nail file.  The 'Let It Snow!' stamp is from the Annamarie Designs Reindeer set.  I couldn't resist a tiny dot of red foil on the tip of the Reindeer's nose.  I then mounted the topper on to foam pads on to Annamarie Kraft Card which I embossed with Kirstie Allsopp Cuttlebug Ditsy Dots embossing folder.  (I use a Joy! die cutting machine and the sandwich required is white A base plate and blue D cutting plate as this is slightly thinner than the black B embossing plate.  I also put the embossing folder towards the middle of the sandwich so it slides in easily at the start and you don't have to force it to start it off.)

If you fancy a spot of Foil Play why not join the Facebook group and take part in the challenge;
Win £15 vouchers to spend at Foil Play - theme: foil (any type of foil, including foiled toppers, mirri card etc) - closing date: 31 July 2014

Take a look a the DT inspiration on the Pinterest board.

I hope I haven't scared you off with this Yule posting!  Crafty Blessings. x

I would like to enter this into the following challenges;

Red Rubber Inspirational - Christmas in July! - Use at least one stamp -

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

A Simple Thank You

This digi stamp is from Ditzie Digi Designs, I think she is really classy. The pocket is a Handmade Habour digi stamp.  I used the following Graph It markers; hair; 1230, 2130, 3245, eyes; 7110, skin; 4120, 4125, 4150, 5115, dress, shoes and pock 5220, 5245, 5250, 5255, 5260, 5270.  The thank you message is a Woodware stamp which I heat embossed using Dovecraft Pigment Ink Pad and Heat It Up Silver Pearl embossing powder.  I have mounted the Ditzie image on to foam pads on a pre-scored white DL card.  Nice and simple!  Crafty Blessings. x

I would like to enter this card into the following challenges; Handmade Harbour - Papercraft Challenge: Thank You
Ditzie Digi Designs - Anything Goes -
Crafting by Designs - Month-long Challenge Anything Goes in July -
Scribble and Scrap - Anything Goes -

Sunday, 6 July 2014

The Best Tail Feathers in the Country!

The Creata challenge this fortnight was Shake your tail feather, and to me there is no better tail feather than that of the Peacock.  Such a beautiful bird, the greens and blues are my favourite colours, after purple of course!

This was one of those cards that turned out larger than I anticipated but I just couldn't stop extending that beautiful tail.  I cut two circles from Creata patterned paper and stamped a peacock feather background with a Stampendous stamp using Rich Cocoa Memento ink.  I adhered these to Annamarie Designs kraft card  using double sided tape and cut around the circles to create a little frame around the bottom and top.  The head and body of the peacock is also a Stampendous stamp and is coloured with Graph It markers 1250, 7119, 7160 & 7175.  The tail is made of layering up using two Creata feather dies cut and is cut from Creata mirri board.  I attached the sentiment (Craftwork Cards - Vogue range) onto a ribbon from my stash and added flower brads also from my stash.  The flowers, again from my stash, were coloured using the Graph It markers 7119, 7160, 7175, 8270 & 8290, and wrapped in the same ribbon with handmade bow.  I adhered the whole (rather large) topper to a prescored A5 real coloured card and punched the corners with Martha Stewart circle punch.  All of the edges of the card and paper are edged with Broken China distress ink, can't believe I don't yet own the Peacock Feathers TH Distress Ink, mega oversight on my part!

This card won FIRST PRIZE at the local village show! 

Hope you all had a beautiful weekend.  Crafty Blessings. x

I would like to enter this card into the following challenges;
Creata Challenge - Shake Your Tail Feather! -
Just For Fun - Anything Goes -
Creative Fingers - Anything Goes -
Imagination Crafts - Anything Goes -
Robyns Fetish - Animals -

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Meet Fangletta...she's spookily beautiful!

Fangletta digi is from Lacy Sunshine, she is part of the Flower Pot Pretties.  She's vampy and loves the dark, her favourite colours are dark blue because it reminds her of the night sky and dark purple because it reminds her of...chocolate!  That and the colour of her hair.  She really isn't creepy, she is more cutesy! Halloween is my second favourite yearly event, beaten only by Yule.  They are both magical times of year to me.

She is coloured using the following Graph It markers
Hair: 6110, 6120, 6130, 6140, 6175
Bow: 8280, 8290
Skin: 9201, 9203
Teeth: 5220
Necklace: 2110, 1230
Dress: 8190, 8276, 8280, 8290
Leaves: 8290, 9505
Eyes: 3190
Skull: 6290, 9407, 9501, 9502,
Inside skull: 3160, 9505
Bats: 4135, 9103, 9303, 9501, 9502
Shadow: 7180

Fengella is mounted on matt black card made into a stepper.  The corner punch was made using an EK Success punch.  The witches and cats were punched from paint charts using Create and Craft punches.  The swirls, boo!, stars and HALLOWEEN letters are stickers from my stash, along with star brads also from my stash.  The dark blue handmade bow is organza from my stash.  The purple card stock again from my stash has been sanded back on the edges using a nail file to expose the white core.  The pumpkin was a wooden button from my stash which I coloured using Graph It markers, 2110, 3190 & 8290.  I made the flower on the back step from crepe paper, cut a square, fold into four, use scissors to cut a frilled edge, open up and cut into a spiral, roll up tight then release, push to slightly flatten and glue in place.  Diamond eyes are from my stash and glued on with cosmic shimmer glue.

I would like to enter this into the following challenges;
Crafty Sentiments Designs - No Designer Papers -
Through the Craft Room Door - Anything Goes -
Left of Centre - Anything Goes -
613 Avenue Create - Anything Goes -
Craft-Dee Bowz - Anything Goes include a handmade bow -
Crafting from the Heart - Anything Goes -
Graph It markers - Anything Goes -
That Craft Place - Anything Goes -
Crafting at the Weekend - Anything Goes -
Crafty Girls Challenge - Anything Goes -
Haunted Design House - Eerie Inspiration - (Inspired by the photo of the skull & skeletal hand) -
Paula Holifield Crafts - It's Magic! -
Scribble & Scrap - Anything Goes -

Friday, 4 July 2014

Another Flower Pot Prettie

Meet Dandi Lion, she is another Lacy Sunshine digi.  Doesn't she look adorable? 

She is mounted on plain green pre-scored card which I embossed using the Kirstie Allsopp Dotty Stems Cuttlebug embossing folder, the corners are punched using an EK success corner punch.  the pink vines behind her are from Creata pink mirri board using a Creata die.  She is finished off with a handmade bow using ric-rak ribbon from my stash.

I have used the following Graph It Markers to colour her;
hair, 5110, 5115, 5120,5125
bow 7105, 7125, 7130
eyes 7105, 9101;
skin 4120, 4135, 4145, 4150
earrings 5130
outfit 7110, 7125, 7130
flowers 1150, 1250, 9105 & silver shaker
leaves 8240, 8260,
inside pot 9201
bucket, 3250, 4135, 5115, 5130, blender
shadow 3245, 9401

I would like to enter this into the following challenges;
Totally Gorjuss - Challenge 242 Pink & Green
Clear It Out - Theme: In The Garden Stash: Ribbon
Crafty Sentiments Design - Theme: No Designer Papers
Through the Craft Room Door - Anything Goes
Scrappers Delight - Anything Goes With Summertime!
Craft Dee Bowz - Anything Goes include a handmade bow
That Craft Place - Anything Goes

Crafty Blessings x