Thursday 28 June 2012

A bit of news!

I've been so busy at work this past couple of weeks, and I finally finished writing my classes reports this evening. There I was looking to have a good play with my craft stuff over the weekend. I should stop planning! The Rwandan head teacher whose school I am visiting in September (Yeah - very excited!) is going to be staying with me over the weekend. Not entirely sure what we are going to do for two days, but I think a trip into the countryside is in order, as he asked if we have elephants in our national parks today! He was totally blown away by a trip to Tesco too. I moan about the government here interfering in education, but their schools spoke and taught in French until 2008, and then were told it all had to be done in English! I think we may have to resort to some French over the weekend - thank goodness Meg is doing GCSE!
I will do my best to visit those of you who have left me lovely comments on Sunday afternoon after I have dropped him at the university from where he will head back to Rwanda. Hoping normal service will resume after that. In the meantime my craft space needs to become my dining table!

Sunday 24 June 2012

A maternity card and a baby card

I made a card for a colleague who was due to go off on Maternity leave. Unfortunately she had to finish work earlier than expected due to blood pressure problems.
The image is from Digital Pencil Too and was coloured with promarkers. Baby arrived rather earlier than expected (35 weeks) weighing just 4 pounds. We were still signing the maternity leave card when she arrived! 
The image on this one is from Squigglefly, again coloured with promarkers.Clean and Simple, and very quick - well, it needed to be! I'm happy to say baby is doing very well.
Both of these cards were made with snippets, so I'm entering them into this week's Crafty snippet challenge. I didn't make it out to play last week, so I'm looking forward to a bit of skipping. Hope it is not too wet in the playground.
I'd also like to thank all those people that responded to my email regarding Meg's Food questionnaire. She was given the weekend to ask 20 adults about their coffee shop preferences and collate the data. As I had taken up her time going to Stampalot yesterday, I thought it was only fair to help her to get the info she needed. I'd rather that than her have to go knocking on neighbours doors, so a big thank you to you all! Thanks for looking!

Monday 18 June 2012

Had a little play at the weekend

It was back to work with a vengeance last week, so I stared longingly at my new goodies without playing with them. The weekend was mostly filled with Father's day preparations and a bit of an outing for the two grandads, Steve and his sisters family. However I did find time to have a little play. My first card was a little scene inspired by Deby at Inkylicious, who likes the Kaleidacolor creole spice ink pad. I used all Inkylicious stamps, my ink dusters and a bit of masking.
I love these colours, and the new Cow Parsley stamp. I added a bit of glitter too, which you can see better in the next photo.

I finished it off with some embossed lines  either side of the coloured panel.
Next I decided to have a go with my Pan Pastels.
I am not totally sure what I think of these yet. I can't see that I will be able to do anything more than I do with ink, and ink is considerably cheaper. The ribbon was from Doncaster too - I loved the colour combo. Again all stamps are from Inkylicious (Wild Meadow and Create a collage Meadow).
Finally I will leave you with a photo of some of the deer in Wollaton Park.
These are the Fallow Deer, but there are also red deer, and there will be photos of those on Meg's blog very soon. Thanks for looking!

Thursday 14 June 2012

A quick card

This is a very different sort of card for me, but today was the Birthday of one of my colleagues. He is a drummer,  has a beard and likes his cool sunglasses, so when I saw this image from Kenny K It had to be bought!

The stripy paper was from Canon Creative Park (free download) and the brown card was embossed using a cuttlebug folder. The wooden notes were silver, so have been coloured using a gold promarker. I have no idea where they came from, and they have been in my stash for years. He sought me out at the end of the day to tell me he loved it and might even start wearing his cap back to front as part of his mid-life crisis!!!
I'm entering this into the Boys and Men challenge over at Do you Stack up?. It is a new challenge for me. Thanks for looking!

Monday 11 June 2012

Pure inkiness!

I had the spring set of Distress inks for my Birthday and had done very little with them, so during the week I sat down and got inky...
I wasn't sure if the yellow would work in this colour combo, but it certainly does - well done Ranger! I started off making a card, using  Distress inks in Peacock Feathers, Shaded Lilac and Squeezed Lemonade. I added some shading with some sequin waste before stamping with text, flowers and butterflies from Inkylicious.
The flowers on the right were stamped in Dusty concord. The Butterflies needed a little lift so I stamped and coloured some more with the same distress inks. I triple embossed them, shaping them whilst still warm and added them using a little 3d glue.
The Challenge at Penny Black and More this month is All my favourite things, and Butterflies, Distress inks and flowers are definitely most of them. The only thing missed off this one is trees, but you need to imagine the scene is in the shade of one! 
On Wednesday I had bought myself a new sketch book, but when I tried to remove the sticky label from the front it had torn the surface slightly. I realised I could do something similar to cover up the mess, so I did! Ta-dah!
Quick confession - I bought the butterfly and dragonfly stamps yesterday at Doncaster from the Inkylicious stall. The plate is called Wings and Things, and with birds and butterflies it was a must! I needed some retail therapy and it was just the ticket. Thanks, Lynne, for encouraging me to go!
I'm entering my notebook into this week's Crafty Card Makers challenge where the theme is no Cards, Tags or ATCs, and Moving along with the times where the theme is anything but a card.
Well, Thanks for looking, and I hope I will catch up with you later in the week x
P.S. Thanks to everyone who has visited Meg's blog and  left her comments x

Tuesday 5 June 2012

A bit more Red, White and Blue and Cake!

 The challenge at Less is More this week is to use Red White and Blue, so I got my thinking cap on and tried several one layer cards that failed miserably! Instead I got my dusters and distress inks (Chipped Sapphire and Fired Brick) out again and made a background. I stamped over this with the friends text stamp from Penny Black with stormy sky DI. Once this was dry I used the indigo Blue grasses with versamark and Fine detail white embossing powder. The sentiment (Waltzing Mouse) was stamped in Majestic Blue versafine. I mounted this on a strip of iridescent red paper and placed it across one of my failed single layer attempts!
I am also entering this into the June Challenge at Samuel Taylors where the theme is also red, white and blue. The prize this month includes:
* A metre of each of the ribbons: red/white and blue satin, distressed union jack and "Best of British"
* A Portello Road Tri-Boss Union Jack embossing folder
* Craft for Occasions - Red. white, blue wire flowers
   and some white Card Candi.
 Sounds fabulous!
Before I go I thought I would share a couple of pictures of my jubilee banana cupcakes. They are in Red white and blue cases, but I don't think they would pass for clean and simple - sticky and multi-layered is more accurate! A perfect way to use up over ripe bananas, though.
Here is one on it's own, just for you in the garden sunshine!
That is toffee sauce dribbling down the cream cheese frosting - enjoy!
Thanks for looking!

Monday 4 June 2012

Seaside scenes

This months challenge for Craft a Scene is 'Beach Scenes', and as soon as I saw it I knew I wanted to use my Inkylicious stamps again. With the weather as it was yesterday it wasn't feeling particularly like summer, so I made a rather stormy looking scene! I used my ink dusters on super smooth card with Distress inks in Stormy sky, tumbled glass and brushed corduroy, along with memento dessert sand. I masked the lighthouse before I began dusting and then coloured it with Distress markers afterwards, dulling down the colour with picket fence. The grasses were stamped in brushed corduroy using second generation ink.
The challenge at Allsorts this week is 'Oh I do like to be beside the Seaside', and I have to admit I do, even if it isn't good weather, so I'm entering this card there too
My second card is another Coastal scene using a Michael Powell stamp I bought recently - another lighthouse.
I coloured the scene with promarkers and used some snippets of paper from my stash - that border is covering a gap, as the stripy stuff wasn't long enough! The raffia was in my stash too and the shells were gathered from a Norfolk beach about seven years ago! I'm entering this in Di's Crafty snippet challenge.
Well, the weather has been a little better as Steve has managed to cut the hedge with only one interruption for rain. The sun has shone a few times too. I'm going to make some banana cupcakes now as we have three very ripe bananas in the kitchen that won't last much longer! Thanks for looking!

Sunday 3 June 2012

It's been a funny old day

As I sat at my computer this morning checking that Mr Blogger was behaving himself and my Stampalot post had gone live, I heard a noise. I presumed it was a bird landing on our bird feeder that is attached to the window by suction cups. A few minutes later I heard it again, and looked up only to find the bird feeder empty... I looked in the kitchen...nothing... nothing in the garage either...returned to the lounge and hear the scratching noises...from behind the gas fire! Some further listening confirmed it was a bird. Steve listened too and then rang the gas board, who couldn't come out till Thursday... SQUAWK! went the disgruntled bird. I knew then that it was a starling. He shouted again for help, but the woman on the end of the phone obviously didn't speak starlingese. I sat there thinking about the poor creature and decided he wasn't going to die if I could help it.
 A phone call later and a good friend (Corgi registered, mind you) said  he would come over. He couldn't get out in the garden because of the rain, and jumped at the chance to rescue our uninvited lodger. Half an hour after he got to our house it was all over. I got the young starling under a towel and removed him from the fire place. Our friend took him from the towel, checked he was alright and then released him from the patio door, before he deafened us. Considering he had been there for at least four hours he had a good pair of lungs on him, and was able to fly off in the direction of the local park. We watched him disappear into the distance. Let's hope he has learned from his experience and avoids chimneys in the future! This isn't the fellow in question, but he did seem to have a similar expression!
Needless to say I didn't do half of what I'd planned today! I have a couple of cards that I will photograph and post tomorrow, though.
Just to let you know if you are interested, Meg has started a new blog. She intends to post her drawings, her  photos and food. You can find it here
Thanks for listening to my rambling. I hope you had a lovely day despite the rain.

Bingo at Sir Stampalot

Good morning!
It is the first Sunday of the month, so it is time for another Stampalot challenge. We are playing a bit of Bingo this month and here is your Bingo card.

I chose the central column and here is my creation featuring green, polka dots and  lace.
The papers were from Pink Petticoat, and went beautifully with bundled sage distress ink, which I used to stamp the Hero arts leaf swirl. The doily die is by Cheery Lynn, and I placed a die cut circle in the centre that had been run through the cuttlebug Swiss dots embossing folder, and edged with gold tulip paint. The Hero Arts butterfly was stamped in black memento and coloured with promarkers. I added a bit of stickles to the wings, too. 
The prize this month is this lovely lot of goodies.
Please pop over to the challenge blog and look at the wonderful creations from the DT for more inspiration. Hope you can join us this month. Thanks for looking!

Friday 1 June 2012

Half term - Yipee!

Hi there!
First of all can I say a big thank you to all the peeps who have visited me recently and left lovely comments. Much appreciated. I am not at work for a week now, so I will hopefully find a bit more time to play and visit blog land. I'd also like to say welcome to my latest followers.
Top of my wish list this half term was to find time to have a play with my flitter glu that I won from Samuel Taylor's in their April challenge. I also won some lovely Yorkshire Dales mega flakes, which are glorious shades of green with hints of gold and bronze. After a longer than usual Karate Class (2 full hours - Sensai lost track of time!)  I came home, had my tea and began to play, and this is the result.
 I used a mixture of distress inks - bundled sage, Victorian velvet, tea dye and wild honey (I was inspired by the fabulous birthday card I received from Lisa - thanks my friend!). The stamps were from Inkylicious and were stamped in the same distress inks and versafine onyx black. I sprayed with a little glimmer mist too. The Hero Arts butterflies (Been using this a lot recently!) were my mega flake experiment.
The flitter glu is incredibly sticky stuff and dries tacky, so concentrate on getting it off your stamps ASAP, I managed to do this by having a little pot of warm water there to drop my clear stamp into as soon as I had used it. If you don't manage this you will definitely need the glue remover. This sounds a bit scary, but don't be put off as the results are stunning!
As usual the photo isn't as good as in real life, but you can just see a hint of the colours. The little sponge buffer that came with it really brings out the shine too.
Here is my other butterfly.
Over the years I have bought several products for use with gilding flakes, and never had a great deal of success, but I do rather like this stuff! It stamps well, showing lots of detail and is easy to use, not requiring a heat gun. I would recommend the Indigo blu easy peasy stamp cleaner for getting sticky off, and not just on your stamps too. I managed to get some on my fleece which didn't come off in the washer, but did come off with the solution.
This thank you card is heading off to Samuel Taylor's store, and I will be back after some more experimenting and playing. Thanks for looking!