Saturday, 31 January 2015

Father's Day Jigsaw CAS card

This is a really easy card to make but looks effective.  The topper and car embellishment are cut from a larger piece of paper from my stash.  I have given a hint of glitter to the small car.  The topper is covered with a jigsaw peel-off, from which I have carefully card one of the pieces.  The word 'Father' is stamped and embossed with gold powder.   A quick, clean and simple card.

Creative Blessings.  x

Friday, 30 January 2015

Gone Fishing!

This is a simple and quick male card using chalks (but you could use distress inks) and 'fishing' and 'happy birthday' peel-offs on a hammered white card stock.  I stuck the peel-offs on before chalking patches of green and blue.  I find the tools that come free when you buy eye shadow ( I never use those as I always use a brush) are excellent for applying chalk.  I made this for a male but there is no reason it couldn't be used for a lady who loves to fish.

Creative Blessings. x

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Baby Boy and Baby Girl

When some one you know is about to have a baby it's best to cover all the bases, so I always make one pink and one blue card.

The word baby is made using Quickutz Abigail Alphabet Set dies.  The backgrounds are chalked but you could just as easily use distress inks. I have added a bow, a moon embellishment and booties peel-off (coloured with peel-off markers) and gems from my stash to each. These are quick and simple but, I think, very pretty.

Creative Blessings.  x

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Male Birthday Card - Artist's Easel

This is another card I made some time ago, I think the topper images are from Card Making Magazine.  I have added a couple of peel-off sentiments to the front too.

On the inside I have used arty peel-offs, lolly sticks for the easel legs and the jar is cut from white paper, coloured with a blue pencil and covered with an epoxy sticker to make the water effect.  I printed the sentiment on the computer.

Creative Blessings. x

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Mermaid Make

This is a card I made a little while ago but haven't yet shared.  The image is a stamp from my huge collection, I'm afraid I can't remember the brand of it, it was wood mounted and I've discards the wood mount.  I have used Whispers pens to colour the stamp and print it on plain white cardstock and then coloured the rest of the image with Promarkers.  I have mounted it on a green card base, enhanced the oval with blue glitter glue, used strips of crepe papers as seaweed fronds.  The shell and fish embellishments are from my stash.

Creative Blessings. x

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Faery Ink Inspirational! - Dragons Heart

It's time for my Inspirational on Faery Ink and this month I have picked Dragon Heart from the Faery Ink shop.  I love dragons, so I'm really pleased to be using this image.  I have coloured it with the following purple tones (my favourite colour) of Graph It markers; 6110, 6120, 6130, 6150, 6175, 6180, 6290.  The image is mounted on foam pads.  The background is made using Sheena Douglass stencils and Tim Holtz 'Milled Lavender, Seedless Preserve, Black Soot & Chipped Sapphire' Distress Inks.

The whole topper is mounted on black card.

I hope you have enjoyed my inspirational, see you next month and don't forget to pop over to the Faery Ink blog for more inspirationals from my DT comrades. 
Creative Blessings. x

Saturday, 24 January 2015

30th Birthday Card

My sister turned 30 yesterday so I thought I would share the card I made for her.  She is a crafter like me so I thought Rory - Time to Colour, Lacy Sunshine digi would work well, you will notice it's mostly pink, it's her favourite colour.  I stamped and heat embossed a Woodware patchwork numbers to create the background on black Anna Marie designs card.  The pink 30 is stamped on Bazzill cardstock.

The ribbon, buttons and other embellishments are from my stash.

Here is a close-up of the adorable Lacy Sunshine image.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Pattern Inspiration Quickie Card

This inspiration sheet was posted in the Creata Facebook Group;

which inspired me to make this card using Creata papers, card, sticker and hat die, coloured with distress inks.  The image is from The Old Design Shop.

Creative Blessings. x

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Faery Ink Facebook Contest - Analogous Colour Scheme

Today sees the start of the new Faery Ink Facebook Contest,  and this time we would like you to use an Analogues colour scheme, for any one who is unsure here's how it works

Analogous color schemes use colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. They usually match well and create serene and comfortable designs.

Analogous color schemes are often found in nature and are harmonious and pleasing to the eye.
Make sure you have enough contrast when choosing an analogous color scheme.
Choose one color to dominate, a second to support. The third color is used (along with black, white or gray) as an accent.

As you will see I choose blue, purple & red, for those of you that know me well my colour choices will not be a surprise.  For my DT project I have used The Artista Crafter Designer Artist image, which is a personal favourite of mine.  I have coloured her using Graph It markers.

I created the background using my Graph It markers and an empty Biro case, the trick is to blow through the Biro case on to the end of the marker and this creates the splatter effect.  There are a range of gadgets on the market that can create the same effect but this was a tip I picked up from Mark at Visible Image.

I look forward to see your entries over on Facebook for the Faery Ink Contest.
Creative Blessings. x

Monday, 12 January 2015

Hand-stitched Festive Decorations

Whilst chilling out during the period between Yule and new year I spent some time stitching.  I always think it's the perfect time to curl up with some hand sewing and a good film.

This cute little heart and candy cane are part of a kit from the Sew & So On range from Docrafts, you get everything you need (apart from a needle) and all the pieces are pre-cut so you can just sit back and sew, it makes 5 festive decorations.

For the first time ever I am linking this up to the Handmade Monday link-up over at the Handmade Harbour blog, why not take a peek and look at all the other lovely creations in blogland.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Happy Halloween Memories

Halloween (Samhain) seems all but a distant memory now, especially as we are now over two months in to the new Pagan year, and the shortest day has been and gone, the Yule festivities are finished and we wait to see what Winter has in store for us.   Me I'm hoping for snow, what are you wishing for during Winter?

Aren't these painted pumpkins awesome!

Decisions, Decisions,...I believe you don't pick a pumpkin, it picks you!

This caravan owner needs to do some serious housework!

Creative Blessings. x

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Beautiful Blackthorpe Barns 2014

There are lots of Yule events I look forward to every year, one of the most beautiful is Blackthorpe Barns.  As the name suggests it is indeed in a barn, the vast building is filled with handcrafted pottery, bags, jewellery, paintings and lots more.  I could quite happily spend a small fortune here.  As if that isn't enough there is a coffee shop with delicious homemade cakes and sweet treats.  For me the real jewel in this Yule crown is the Decorations Shop, is if full to bursting with the most beautiful Yule decorations, wrapping, ribbons, etc.

Here is a little collection of collages for your viewing pleasure;

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Baby shower...and a blunt blade!

Today I'd like share something a little different from my usual cards.  This was made entirely on my Silhouette Cameo machine, which has been seriously abused over the last few months so much so that it now needs a replacement blade! 

I was commissioned to make a baby shower card, my client had no particular requirements just that it should be something a little different, so this is what I came up with...

I would like to enter this into the following challenge(s);

Crafty Sentiments Designs - New Beginnings Challenge -
Clear it Out Challenge - Anythings Goes -
Crafting from the Heart - Anything Goes -

Creative Blessings. x

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

The first five of my top ten books explained...

Last year I was nominated to list on Facebook my Top Ten books that had made an impact on me.  Only ten, it was quite difficult, but here is the first five of my top ten choices explained (in no particular order);

1. Cross Stitch - Diana Gabaldon
2. Charlotte's Web - E B White
3. The Silver Sword - Ian Serraillier
4. Mog - Judith Kerr
5. A Dog in a Million: My Life with Connie - Hazel Carter

Starting with Cross Stitch, I don't want to cover old ground, so you can see why this is not only in my top ten but is also my desert island book here.  In brief it's a time slip novel set in Scotland, I think I may have mentioned my obsession with Scotland so I am naturally drawn to books set in this spectacular country.
Photo from Good Reads website

Charlotte's Web is my first book I really remember from childhood, and I adored it, so much so that I wanted my baby sister to be called Charlotte, much to my disappointment my parents didn't agree!  I don't have children of my own but I do have a Spider plant called Charlotte, so I finally have a 'real' Charlotte in my life!  The unusual friendship between Wilbur the pig and Charlotte the spider is so compelling.  Wilbur is the runt of the litter and is raised by Fern the farmer's daughter, once he is fully grown he is moved to her Uncle's farm where he is due to be slaughtered.  From what I remember the book is quite honest without being graphic about Wilbur's impending doom.  Charlotte befriends him and hatches a plan to save him.  I won't spoil any more of the plot just in case you haven't read it, if not you need to, and it doesn't matter how old you are it's a very moving story, covering hardship, friendship, life and death. 

Photo from Good Reads website
The Silver Sword has a very special place in my heart, not only is it a most beautifully written book but I remember very clearly my mum reading it to me as a child.  I was completely absorbed in this historical novel, and for me it is one of the best novel's about war-torn Europe.  Three Polish children have been separated from their family and the book follows their journey as they meet an orphaned boy in Warsaw with a small sword which they recognise as belonging to their father, and so their journey continues across Poland, Germany and Switzerland to search for their parents.  For me The Silver Sword was a fabulous introduction to the history of WWII and the horrific struggles faced by children during this time. It was first published in 1956.

Photo from Good Reads website

I just love everything about Mog, and I think Judith Kerr is possibly one of the most talented children's writers.  To me Mog has always been real, and I have read every Mog book, except Goodbye Mog, for me Mog has to live forever.  Yep that's right at 30-something I'm in denial over a fictional cat!  Maybe I should read it and then read the first book again to bring Mog back, but I don't think it would be the same.  Of course one of the most appealing things about the Mog books is the beautiful illustrations.  Miss Kerr also wrote and illustrated the Tiger who came to Tea and When Hilter Stole Pink Rabbit.  Last year I watched a TV programme about her life.  She is the sweetest lady and is so unassuming despite the fact that thousands of children have fallen in love with her books over the years.  She was born in Germany but left with her parents in 1933 and, somewhat unsurprisingly, had a very interesting and sometimes difficult life. 

Mog always seems to be in trouble which is may be why children can relate to the character but she has a good heart and tries her best to deal with burglars, babies, losing her favourite toy and Christmas, which must be very puzzling to a cat!  If I had to pick a favourite Mog book it would be Mog the Forgetful Cat.  This photo shows the special 30th Anniversary Edition.  Why is this my favourite, to me it sums Mog up, forgetful but loveable, what more does a cat need to be?!?!

Photo from Good Reads website

If you are follower of my other blog newfnewsdog.blospot you will know that I love Newfoundland dogs, and my own little bear is called Fergus, so this was a natural choice for me.  I read this book a few years before Fergus came in to our lives,and it served to further fuel my passion for this affectionate and loveable breed.  Hazel, the author of the book, tells how she trained her Newfie, Connie to 'work'.  Hazel is debilitated with back pain and struggles to do simple tasks such as laundry, shopping, gardening, etc.  It is an amazing read, and really shows these dogs for the champions they are, their incredible sense of intuition, unwavering affection and they ability to learn.  A wonderful book for any dog owner/lover.

Photo courtesy of GoodReads

Watch this space for the next five...

P.S. Apologies for the stock photos but I no longer own all of the books to be able to photograph them.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Short Christmas Stories Review & #ayearinbooks 2015

Every once in a while I think it's nice to read something quick to get that buzz of finishing a story, and particularly around Yuletide as it means I can get in a lots of Christmasy reading done in the brief festive period.

I have a weakness for reading Mills & Boon at Yuletide, for which I am not going to apologise, yes Mills & Boon tend to follow the same style of plot, and yes they always have a happy ending but is that such a bad thing, especially at Christmas, anyway each to their own, so my first two short stories come from Mills & Boon Christmas Journeys.

Photo courtesy of GoodReads

A Man to Live For by Emma Richmond

'As far as Francine was concerned, she and Giles Lapotaire were strangers thrown together by chance on a romantic train journey through Europe.  Why then did the handsome French-Swiss banker seem to know so much about her - and despise her for it?'

Francine is feisty, and has no idea why Giles dislikes her and cares even less or so she would have him believe.  Giles is debonair but he also has completely the wrong idea about Francine.  Of course in the true sense of Mills & Boon the friction increases, the tension builds and the two main characters push and pull again each other like the wheels on the railway track.  Despite being published in 1994 this story had a really modern feel to it and I really liked the characters and the setting.  I'm a sucker for romance on trains, anyone for Brief Encounter...

Yule Tide by Catherine George Published by Harlequin Books

'Judith's marriage to Nick Campion had been brief and turbulent.  But, two days before Christmas, she found herself making her way to her childhood home with her estranged husband.  The journey was destined to be stormy-and not just because of the terrible weather!'

I was left confused by this story, Nick wanted Judith to give up work after they married and become a full time wife and mother but Judith wants to continue working and has no plans for any children, this is one of the reasons they marriage breaks down. However at the end of the book Nick is quoted as saying 'So if you want to ... have a dozen babies...' - unless I skipped a few pages I have no idea whether Judith changed her mind or Nick is having delusions!  On the positive side, Christmas at Longhope Farm is the idyllic sort of Christmas depicted in cosy films, and Mills & Boon books.  :-)

My other choice was from Charles Dickens' The Pickwick Papers; The Story of the Goblins who Stole A Sexton from Everyman's Pocket Classics Christmas Stories.

Photo courtesy of GoodReads
Publisher: Everyman's Library
Gabriel Grub, an inhospitable, cruel and cynical sexton, goes to dig a grave on Christmas Eve. He rests to take a drink and is surprise by the king of goblins, who accuses him of being a nasty, spiteful man. Gabriel is shown is sins by the goblins in an underground cave, who also happen to give him a good kicking!  They also show him scenes of merriment and goodness.  The next morning he is a converted man, leaves the area for ten years and returns a changed man.

This is a gruesome but funny tale, the main character is similar to Scrooge and the story runs in the same sort of vein as A Christmas Carol i.e. selfish grumpy man turns good.  Again I don't think this is a bad thing, I'm a huge fan of A Christmas Carol, but what I really loved about this tale was the language, it's almost musical in the telling and who knew that goblins had a playful side, 'and whole troops of goblins, ... began playing leap-frog with the tombstones ...'  and isn't Gabriel Grub just a fantastic name for a mean-spirited little man.

The Everyman's Pocket Classics Christmas Stories is full to bursting with tales from old faithfuls such as Arthur Conan Doyle, Anthony Trollope, Muriel Spark and many others.  As the festive season is now well and truly over :-( I doubt I shall read anymore tales until the 1st November 2015 (which is when I always start my Christmas reading) but I'm thoroughly looking forward to curling up towards the end of the year with this gem of short stories.

Last year I met my goal of reading a book a month, and am again taking part in #theyearinbooks to read a book a month, although this year I have decided to increase my target to 15 in the year and shall be tracking my progress on Good Reads.  If you want to join in with #ayearinbooks please visit the Circle of Pine Trees web here and, if like me you want to track your progress, please visit Good Reads.

Oh, and I'm not sure if this is cheating but my January read will be one I started, but failed to finish last October, The Cuckoo's Calling - Robert Galbraith aka J K Rowling.

What have you been reading, or what do you plan to read?

Creative Blessings. x

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Faery Ink Monthly Challenge and New Releases - Mardi Gras

There are some exciting new releases over on Faery Ink and the start of a new challenge with the theme of Mardi Gras.  Here is my inspiration using Baron Samedi.  I have coloured the image with my Graph It markers and matt and layered it on Creata lined, metallic and mirriboard card.  The black card is from Anna Marie Designs.  I made the skull, voodoo doll & cross from Creata silky card.  I have decorated the card base using shaker White Graph It marker.

I do hope you will take a look at the New Releases in the Faery Ink Etsy shop and join in the Challenge on the blog. 

Crafts Galore - Anythings Goes -
Glitter N Sparkle - Anything Goes! - Challenge 118 -
Lil Patch of Crafty Friends - Challenge #1 - Anythings Goes

Creative Blessings. x

Saturday, 3 January 2015

A crafty look back...

When I was thinking about what I should write for my blog post today, I took a wander around blog land for inspiration and caught up with a post from my old pal Charly (Landgirl1980), check out her post here about her trip to Hampton Court Palace, and realised there are some events from last year that I haven't yet shared.  My blog is mostly craft and books but in 2015 I want to share a little more from my life, so you can expect a few photos and posts from other happenings in my life, which may or may not be craft related - I really do eat, breath and sleep craft!

On that note it seems appropriate to share with you photos from my trip to The Handmade Fair at Hampton Court Palace.  This was during September 2014, my mum and I had booked the tickets well in advance and treated ourselves to the VIP version so we could meet Kirstie Allsopp.  I am a huge fan so needless to say my anticipation before the event was sky high!

There really were some amazing products for sale, truly beautiful handcrafted items and great workshops and demos.  We also attended an ETSY school session, and I have decided to take the plunge and open a shop his year on ETSY, so watch this space.  In the meantime here are the pics as promised.

It's all Kirstie...
...and me!
Handmade Yumminess...
and Vintage goodness.
All set in the beautiful grounds of Hampton Court Palace.
Creative Blessings. x

Friday, 2 January 2015

November's Book Review

I found this book in a charity shop just before the beginning of November, and as I always start a Christmas book on the 1st November, it seemed like fate!  Especially as I found another book in the same series in another charity shop on the same day.

Mistletoe and Murder: A Daisy Dalrymple Mystery by Carola Dunn was published in 2004 and is number 11 in the series.  It is set in the 1920s, hence the attraction, I love films, books, fashion, etc that are pre 1965 and in particular love the novels of Agatha Christie and Dorothy L Sayers.  I'm always cautious of books that recreate an era but Miss Dunn did not disappoint me.  The book is neither swamped in historical references nor ignored after a brief mention.  There is just enough description for the reader to believe that the year is indeed 1923 without needing to have any qualification in history, which is a huge relief as I took Geography!

Published by Robinson

Briefly the plot of the book is as follows; Daisy's mother, the formidable Dowager Viscountess Dalrymple (aren't they always formidable!) has decided that for the Christmas period the family will all gather at Brockdene in Cornwall at the invitation of Lord Westmoor. Daisy arrives ahead of the rest of the party as she will be working on an article for Town and Country magazine (now that is a job I would like, in 1923 or today).   Brockdene, is occupied by the Norvilles poor relations of Lord Westmoor, and much to the chagrin of the Dowager, Westmoor himself won't be joining them. Daisy spends the first few days making notes for her article, exploring Brockdene and meeting the family. Not long after the arrival of Daisy's husband, Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard, the family fa├žade starts to shatter and the secrets of the ancestral estate begin to surface, especially after one of the Christmas guests is the victim of a rather ghastly murder.

I really loved the character of Daisy, she is feisty, feminine and clever.  I have always found female detectives fascinating, they all seem to have a different driving force and a very different view of the world to men, and those set in the era where it was unheard of females to be in the police force I find even more appealing. Of course Alec is the 'real' detective but it's Daisy's piecing together of little snippets of information that helps to identify the murderer. 

For me, it really was a superb read with just the right dose of festive frivolity, red herrings and intriguing characters.

10 KDS stars from me.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

DT Project - The Sisters of Craft Blog Challenge - January 2015

Good Morning Dilettantes,  I trust you all had a pleasant Yuletide and I would like to wish you brightest blessings for 2015.

So it's the start of a new month which means it's the start of a new challenge over on the Sisters of Craft Blog.  Our sponsor this month is Karleigh Sue Digi Shoppe.

I have used the Country Girls Heart digi to make a make a calendar.  I used the following Graph It markers to colour the image;  Skin; 4120, 4125, 4135, 4150, 4155, 4170, Hair; 2170, 3160, 3190, 5220, 5250, 5280, Horse Mane; 3160, 3190, Lips; 5280, Eyes; 3250, Nostrils & Ears; 4150, Horse; 3140, 3150, 3160, Leaves; 8240, 8260, Flowers; 5120, 5125, 5130, 1140.

The ribbon, buttons, brads & gems are from my stash, and the footprints are created using a Visible Image stamp that was free with Craft Stamper magazine.

I do hope you will join in with the challenge over the Sisters of Craft Blog

I gave this as a gift to a friend who is crazy about horses.

I would like to enter this into the following challenges;
The Allsorts Challenge Blog - Last Minute Gifts - Week 290/291 -
Crafts Galore Encore Challenge - Anything Goes -

Creative Blessings. x