Wednesday, 31 December 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR ... and my top 5 makes of 2014

Hi there readers,

Debbie from Scrapjourney is hosting a Favourite Five challenge today and, since I've had little chance to be anywhere near my table of craftiness it seemed like the perfect opportunity to share some (well, five to be exact) of my favourite makes of 2014. I looked through the cards I made in 2014 and, right at this minute I picked five favourites. Of course, if you asked me tomorrow there might be a different selection - before I change my mind ..... here they are:-

I made this card in August and I just LOVED the quirkiness of the sentiment
This card was for a pal who'd been looking long and hard for a new job

In September I loved the Visible Image image with the red tinsel embossing powder
I haven't embossed much for years but 2014 saw a bit of a rediscovery!

The simplicity of this card appealed to me in September

This was a fun technique I stumbled across in September
and fell in love with

New stash in November made this another favourite

You can see my five faves came from more recent makes - I was working backwards, who knows how differently this selection might have turned out if I had started in January and worked forwards?!

Yesterday morning we woke up to a bit of a white out .... no, not snow, but a thick white frost - spookily enough though .... it was gone by 10:00 - not even a bit of it left!! It doesn't show particularly well but the roof you can see SHOULD be dark brown tiles not white!

We even had frost on our open bedroom window - brrrr

Last night saw us entertaining the troops - well there was certainly enough food to have done just that but not, there were only seven of  us!!! No Harry or Zac this time - Harry was with his other grandma and Zac's been under the weather so a quiet night in with a babysitter was perfect to keep him calm and give us grownups free reign - maybe not SUCH a good idea!!! My hubby, the caterer, decided on a hot and cold buffet and I'm good with that - I even cleared my die cutting and colouring equipment from the dining room in preparation and broke out the beautiful table runner Wynneth so kindly made me a while ago.

Still looking remarkably like Christmas!

How much food?

Becky, Dawn and Nicky

Chris, Alan and friend????
And, since it IS What's On Your Work Desk Wednesday I thought I should just share a pic of my messy (as always) work desk:-
Resolution for 2015 - to be tidier?
As another year draws to a close I find myself a little retrospective, I've had a good year, I have a great husband and some fantastic friends and family - I feel truly blessed - may you all be as lucky as me now and in 2015 too.

HOWEVER, I have a couple of pal's who are poorly right now with chest infections so Chris and Wynneth - feel better soon peeps.

I would like to wish each and every one of my readers and followers a very Happy New Year, here's to 2015!
Let's hope it's a good one!
Have a great Wednesday - see y'all next year!!!

Monday, 29 December 2014

Welcome to Monday

Hi readers
Here's hoping you all had a lovely Christmas with no weather related issues either. No white Christmas here but perhaps that's no bad thing. I LOVE snow ..... to look at but not to have to travel in so truly only appreciate it in the movie "White Christmas"!

We had a quiet Christmas Day but a far more riotous Boxing Day (26th) with our "surrogate family" - Zac is growing so fast and nothing (and I mean NOTHING) is safe - not even ME!!!
"Santa" wreaking havoc with mummy's phone!
It's true what they say .. "Can't work your phone? Call a 2 yr old"!!!
Anyhoo, a new monthly challenge has been launched on CB2½ (membership required) and the theme is: WINTER; so I set to work - after three attempts with the wonderful Penny Black fantasy tree I concluded I had the wrong sort of leaves on my project!!!!! Well that excuse works for the railways! So, I changed tack and went for an image I really don't use often enough ....
My twinkly winter card

My co-ordinating inside and envelope
Here's how it progressed:
My stamp and ink of preference

Stamped, water coloured and blinged up!

Materials used:
  • 15cm square white, 300gsm, scallop edged card
  • 13½cm square white card panels (for front and insert)
  • Deep blue card for matting at 1/16" with the aid of my perfect layering ruler and craft knife
  • I stamped my PSX image on the front, insert and envelope using Ranger Archival jet black ink
  • I stamped my Inkadinkado sentiment (front) and See D sentiment on the inside using the same black ink.
  • Distress Inks (used water colour style with a brush):- weathered wood, tumbled glass, salty ocean, tea dye, aged mahogany, stormy sky, mustard seed and evergreen bough
  • Using a small amount of iridescent medium I "painted" the snow before liberally sprinkling with crystal glamour dust - giving the fabulous twinkle you see in the first photograph
I'll be entering this for the following challenges:
  1. Splendiferous Creations - Holiday cards
  2. Gem of a challenge - Anything Christmas
  3. That Craft Place - Anything Goes
Have a fab Monday peeps - hope you are all gearing up for the New Year celebrations!

Friday, 26 December 2014

Welcome to the last Friday in 2014!

Morning all,
Well, that's it then! All over for another year then!! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas Day yesterday and that Santa was kind to each and every one of you, as indeed he was to us.

Up early (for me) this morning - can't get started without my coffee - join me anyone?

Yes, they WERE a Christmas giftie - thanks Naomi

Needless to say, after the late start, the present unwrapping, the bubbly quaffing and then the stuffing of the turkey till I could eat no more ....... there was no crafting in the purple palace yesterday AT ALL and (since this went live at 08:00) none yet today either!!!! 
Since it is December 26th and Boxing Day in the U.K. I'm sure that the festivities aren't all done and dusted quite yet so I'd like to thank those of you stopping by to visit with me this morning - you are most welcome, as always.
And now for today's Friday Funny, the last in 2014 .... courtesy of WYNNETH! Thanks mate ... before you get offended by the title please read it!, it's called ARE YOU A B.I.T.C.H.?
Some friends were sitting at the bar talking about their professions.

The first guy says 'I'm a
Y.U.P.P.I.E., you know...
Young, Urban, Professional, Peaceful, Intelligent, Ecologist'

The second guy says 'I'm a
D.I.N.K.., you know...
Double Income, No Kids.'

The third guy says, 'I'm a
R.U.B ., you know...
Rich, Urban, Biker.'

They turn to the woman and ask her,
'What are you?''
She replies: 'I'm a
W.I.F .E , you know...
Wash, Iron, Fetch, Etc.'

A second gal answers their question before they even ask it, '
B.I.T.C.H .'

What exactly is a BITCH?!? they ask in unison.
'Babe In Total Control of Herself.'

So ladies, next time somebody calls you a 'Bitch' SMILE,
 and say 'Thank You!!'
Have a great Friday and, for those of you not likely to stop by till next year (sounds terrible put that way!) wishing you all a very HAPPY NEW YEAR

Thursday, 25 December 2014


Morning all,
I'm not really expecting visitors today but have set this post to appear - JUST in case - nothing to share with you today but I would like to thank everyone who's followed and/or posted on my blog in 2014, to all those who know me personally and have taken the time to send me a card or a present, please know that you are all deeply appreciated.



Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Seasons Greetings

Morning all,

Now I love guinea pigs and kept them for YEARS but don't have one now ... when I saw this cutie I just knew I would have to use the image at Christmas .... most of mine would never have stayed still long enough to be draped with baubles though!

Right, Christmas starts here - where's that bottle of sherry? Only ONE more sleep .. tell you what, if you haven't got my present already ..... you might want to head to the shops - NOW!!!!

I can't believe I'm still making Christmas projects .... here's another to share with you ...

I HOPE you can see the twinkle on this close up

Materials used:
  • Snippet of water colour card brayered with Distress Inks in shades of blue (stormy sky, tumbled glass, salty ocean, faded jeans
  • Snippet of white card (for the backing, which I attached to my watercolour panel using Matte multi medium)
  • Go Kreate fancy tag die and my trusty big shot die cutter
  • Crafters Companion Raymond Briggs "Snowman" image stamped on to a snippet of white card using Ranger Archival jet black ink
  • Distress Inks used as water colours:- tea dye/vintage photo, stormy sky, weathered wood, crushed olive, antique linen. Once coloured I fussy cut my image and attached to my tag using Ranger multi medium
  • Crafters Companion Spray and Sparkle to seal, protect and add a Christmas-y twinkle
  • Fiskars "To" and "From" stamped on the reverse of my tag using Ranger Archival jet black

I'll be entering this for the following challenges:-
  1. Cards and More - "All about Christmas"
  2. Stamps and Fun - "Christmas"
  3. Through the Craft Room Door - "Anything Christmas"

It's time for my usual Wednesday post and a glimpse of my work desk . . . . . FYI there's Christmas music playing in the background!

Christmas tree in the  background too!!!
Got any present wrapping left to do? Saw this ASTONISHING video which kind of turns my present wrapping on its head!! It's only 30 seconds so, if you have half a minute ....

Now, I don't usually post on Thursday's and it seems unlikely that many people will be blog hopping tomorrow so I'll close by wishing all of my readers (regular, occasional or even accidental!) a happy Christmas and a Peaceful and Prosperous New Year - I wish you all nothing but the best.
May Santa stop at yours tonight!
Don't forget (like you WOULD!!) that there's only one more sleep! For those of you with small children, you might want to see them "track Santa" today, care of the NORAD track Santa site - have fun!

Thanks for stopping by in 2014 and I hope you will continue to read and/or follow me in 2015 too

Monday, 22 December 2014

Morning - it's the start of CHRISTMAS WEEK

Morning all,
You'd better be pretty much on top of "schtuff" by now ..... if not then you only have, like, three days left to achieve it ALL!!! GOOD LUCK!!! Me? I'm off to the hairdressers this morning for the pre Christmas primping - and I am soooooooooo ready for this having missed my last appointment because I was ill and then, just as I was about to reschedule I got a cold (they didn't deserve that!) so I didn't get around to rescheduling .... frankly it feels like my hair is half way down my back (it isn't) and my fringe (bangs) are almost down to the tip of my nose (that one IS true!).
As we approach Christmas and pretty much all of the presents and cards have found their new homes ..... so, why is it that I seem to find it impossible to STOP making Christmas cards???
For this one I have to lay the blame fairly and squarely with Barbara Grey!! She posted a neat card on her blog and outlined the technique and it really struck a chord with me. I've been TRYING to get more in to water colouring and I couldn't wait to give this a go!, thanks Barbara. Yes, I know I COULD have adapted it to make a card that wasn't a Christmas card but I just couldn't make myself do it!!! So, check out my make below and Barbara's blog post too. . . . .
My card

And my co-ordinating insert and envelope
Materials used:
  • 15cm square white, 250gsm card blank and matching sized envelope
  • 13½cm square white card panel
  • low tack tape to mask a strip
  • Distress Inks: festive berries, spiced marmalade. Adirondack ink in lettuce - applied with stencil brushes
  • Santa Rosa Poinsettia image stamped twice using Ranger Archival jet black ink
  • Water brush to remove colour from the poinsettia and leaves
  • Distress Inks: festive berries/aged mahogany and crushed olive/forest green applied with a brush to add the right colours in the right areas
  • Inkadinkado sentiment stamped using Ranger Archival jet black ink (and boy how I wish I'd stamped the poinsettia image on the insert BEFORE I stamped the sentiment which, trust me, LOOKED level right up till the moment I added the poinsettia - which IS level!!!)
  • Crafters Companion Spray and Sparkle
I'll be entering this for the following challenges:
  1. JingleBelles - "Anything Christmas"
  2. Creative Inspirations - "Christmas or New Year"
  3. Little Red Wagon - "Anything Christmas themed" - my 2nd entry
Happy Monday everyone, stay safe today if you have to go out, it's a blowy old day out there!

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Lazy Sunday and the last before "C" Day - hope you've finished your gift shopping!

Morning readers,
Bit bleary eyed at the purple palace this morning! We were out last evening, meeting up with friends for a meal, a chat and to exchange Christmas gifts. Our pals live a little over an hour east of us so we picked a venue approximately half way between us and boy, did we pick well!! The ambience was that of a Christmas party and there was Christmas music (played live at one point), the staff attentive and the food jolly good too. We had our choice of starter and dessert and the main course was from a carvery .... now, I don't know about you but carvery's can sometimes consist of overcooked veg, dried up meat and soggy roasties!!! Not so, the meat was moist and tasty, the roasties (and Yorkshire puddings) crisp and the choices of veg were refreshingly interesting too. So, what with the congenial company it was, all in all, a great evening! We were joined by our pals two teenage daughters, one of whom acted as chauffeur to our pals - a distinct advantage at this time of year, as I was the other designated driver both Megan and I were on the Perrier! Less interesting but oh, SOOOO much safer! I just have to hope that our pals will like their presents when they open them on Christmas morning! I'm delighted to say that my crochet necklace was not only admired but I have another to make now too!
Of course, with such splendid service at the restaurant we were done in good time and we sat and nattered long after we'd finished eating. We made our way home on much quieter roads than the outbound journey and were home in time for a nightcap whilst catching up on Strictly! What a mistake that was? Hadn't really thought it through as we started to watch around 10pm so we didn't get to our beds till gone 01:00!!! We just knew that the spoiler alert would be all over the news this morning and wanted to watch it all before bed - feeling a little dull this morning despite the Perrier though I can honestly say it's all about the lack of sleep as the nightcap truly was not THAT big!
Even feeling sluggish, I still wanted to craft this morning as I've had a good few days when I've not really had the chance lately ..... as many of you will know I like to mat my designs on square cards and make the inside reflect the card front too. This means that one sheet of A4 card usually generates one card after I've taken two 13½cm or 14cm squares from it ..... also leaving a strip A4 in length and just a smidge wider than a tag - perfect use for the offcut eh?

My tag batch from two A4 "strips" of snippets

And a close up which I hope will show a bit of twinkle
And the reverse
The smaller tags are intended to just have the recipients name and be inside the
package with the larger tag
Materials used:
  • White card snippets
  • Go Kreate tag die in two sizes
  • Craft Stamper Free snowflake (Chocolate Baroque if my memory serves me well) and smaller snowflake from an unknown manufacturer, stamped using Versafine majestic blue ink
  • Fiskars "To" and "From" and Clearly Besotted "To You" stamped on the reverse using Ranger Archival jet black ink
  • Crafters Companion Spray and Sparkle - to seal, protect and "bling it up"

I'll be entering the above project for the following challenges:
  1. Pixie's Crafty Workshop - "Snippet challenge"
  2. Crafty Hazelnuts Christmas Challenge - "Whatever is still urgently needed for Christmas"
  3. Pumpkin Spice - "Blue and White"
If you are planning to be one of the estimated 16,000,000 shoppers hitting the High Street today then Best of blooming luck!!! Not me matey, you wouldn't catch me within a mile of the mall!

Have a fantabulous Sunday even if it IS the shortest day and still virtually dark!

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Welcome to challenge Saturday

Hi there dear reader,
How's your weekend shaping up? Well I hope - got Christmas party/parties lined up?
I guess those of you with little kids are trying to keep their minds (and hands!) off the presents under the tree!! Here's a thought, the Norad Santa tracker - there are things to do on the site and, on Christmas Eve you can "track" Santa's progress!!! See it here
Anyhoo .. as my regular readers will know from previous Saturday's and new readers will guess from the title .... Saturdays are my challenge days and I have no reason to suppose that today will be any different ...
My card

And the matching inside and envelope
Materials used:
  • 15cm square white, 250gsm, card blank and matching sized envelope
  • 2 x 14cm square white card panels
  • Carabelle image and Stamplorations "Birthday" sentiment builder stamped using Ranger Archival cobalt blue ink
  • Stamplorations "Happy" sentiment builder stamped using Versafine onyx black ink
  • Paper artsy "splatter" image stamped using Versacolour silver ink
I'll be entering this for the following challenges:
  1. Stamplorations December Challenge - "Designers choice" ... I went with their November challenge for stamps and layers, albeit only two (Base card + image layer) - hope that's OK.
  2. Crazy for CAS - "Anything Goes"

And my second make:-

My sparkly card

And a close up to show the gorgeous twinkly AGATHA embossing powder and
the super effect caused by the Spray and Sparkle too!
And the inside and envelope

Materials used:
  • 15cm square white, 250gsm, card blank and matching sized envelope
  • 2 x 13½cm square white panels
  • Black card, for matting my image panel - cut using perfect layering ruler and craft knife
  • Penny Black reindeer family stamped using Versamark ink and Sparkle 'n Sprinkle "Agatha" embossing powder (FAB-u-LOUS because it looks black or gold depending on how you look at it!)
  • Penny Black sentiment stamped using Ranger Archival cobalt blue ink
  • Distress Ink in stormy sky "pounced" across a piece of ripped card to "ground" my image
  • Crafters Companion Spray and Sparkle all over the card - to give it still MORE sparkle!!! Like it needed it! However, it DID then prove tricky to photograph - sorry peeps! It's uber twinkly in real life

I will be entering this for the following challenges:-
  1. Simply Less Is More - "FAMILY"
  2. Addicted to CAS - "FAMILY"
  3. Pink Gem - "Anything Christmas"
  4. Crafting by Design - "EMBOSSING FOR FUN" - I used heat embossing but I bet you can all work that one out!
  5. Cute Card Thursday - "SPARKLES"

FAB news - one of my cards was chosen for the spotlight section over at Crafting by Design - thanks peeps, I'm honoured. It was my INKognito (Visible Image) heart card - follow the link if you can't remember it, but here's the central image ..

And I think that's it for this post ..... if I don't happen to see you again between now and Christmas then .... have yourself a Merry Little Christmas ...

Happy Saturday

Friday, 19 December 2014

Welcome to the last Friday before Christmas!

Morning all,

Counting down ......just FIVE full days left before "C" Day - are you ready? Do you THINK you are ready, KNOW you are ready or KNOW YOU ARE NOT!!! GOOD LUCK

And in the interest of catching up with as many people as possible in the run up to Christmas we had a busy day yesterday ..... yesterday morning I was delivering one of my crochet necklaces to a pal then hubby and I were off to visit an aunt and uncle. In the afternoon we were at a pals ... said pal had just completed on a house so we went to have a look round before heading back to hers for a cuppa and a mince pie - nice house mate - looks like a great deal too - ENJOY!
I was pretty sure I was ready for Christmas with the trimmings up, cards posted, presents wrapped and under the tree - been exchanging with friends and relatives for the last week ..... but, you know how it is when the postman delivers a card and you think .... "BUM! I didn't send a card to ....", so, I STILL cannot stop myself making yet more Christmas cards. Mind you, this one is just perfect for mailing abroad as it weighs less than the magic 20g in its envelope!! One Layer and Clean And Simple is the way to go postal!!! Now I'm not a religious person but I have friends who are and I HOPE that this will suit them ...

My card - how I love both of the fonts used for my sentiment


A close up to show the sparkle

And the co-ordinating inside and envelope
Materials used:
  • White C6, 300gsm, scallop edged card blank and matching sized envelope
  • Inkadinkado image stamped using Versafine Majestic blue ink
  • Inkadinkado sentiment stamped using Versafine onyx black ink
  • Crafters Companion Spray and Sparkle all over the front of my card to give a festive twinkle

This might make a great batch card, might try it again - perhaps using gold or silver for the angel .... of course the set with the angel image also has reindeer and a bauble to choose from so, watch this space! 2015 quota here I come!

I'll be entering this make for the following challenges:
  1. Cute Card Thursday - "SPARKLE"
  2. Little Red Wagon - "Anything Goes, Christmas themed"
  3. Kraftin' Kimmie - "Anything Goes" ...... an extra chance to win IF you use Kraftin' Kimmie images
  4. Just Inspirational Challenges - "Blue and White"
  5. Happy Little Stampers - "Sketch"
So, in the spirit of flogging a technique or design to death ... I tried it again, I'm still thinking it's a cool card to batch make although these two were done entirely separately. What do you think of it using Hero Arts neon blue in place of the darker Versafine? I varied the design just a smidge but all other details remain the same as the above card ..... now, which do YOU prefer?

Mmmm - nice

And the usual co-ordination on the inside and the envelope
I was trawling youtube yesterday and stumbled across this video from Lindsay (aka the frugalcrafter). I think it could be a GREAT idea, a fab way to use your glue gun and all those sticks of glue you have - just waiting for you to use .. check it out, it's just 7 minutes of your life and the possibilities are ENDLESS!

Needless to say ... have glue gun WILL try these things .......

Here's my first batch - run up in about 5 mins so, I should probably practise some more!

And here's a closer view
Lesson 1 learned:- make sure your glue "trails" touch other "trails" otherwise you're wasting your time!

And you would know I couldn't wait to play either - wouldn't you?

I've now had to order more glue sticks so I can have another go and perhaps make my lines thicker and have more points where they cross too.

And now for the last Friday Funny before Christmas ..... brought to you this week by the power of .... Wynneth's magic wand!! ENJOY ... It's called Old Dog
An old German Shepherd starts chasing rabbits and before long, discovers that he's lost. Wandering about, he notices a panther heading rapidly in his direction with the intention of having lunch.
The old German Shepherd thinks, "Oh, oh! I'm in deep shit now!"
Noticing some bones on the ground close by, he immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat. Just as the panther is about to leap, the old German Shepherd exclaims loudly,
"Boy, that was one delicious panther! I wonder, if there are any more around here?"
Hearing this, the young panther halts his attack in mid-strike, a look of terror comes over him and he slinks away into the trees.
"Whew!," says the panther, "That was close! That old German Shepherd nearly had me!"
Meanwhile, a squirrel who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree, figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the panther. So, off he goes.
The squirrel soon catches up with the panther, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the panther.
The young panther is furious at being made a fool of and says, "Here, squirrel, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving canine!"
Now, the old German Shepherd sees the panther coming with the squirrel on his back and thinks, "What am I going to do now?," but instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers, pretending he hasn't seen them yet, and just when they get close enough to hear, the old German Shepherd says...
"Where's that squirrel? I sent him off an hour ago to bring me another panther!"
Moral of this story...
Don't mess with the old dogs... Age and skill will always overcome youth and treachery! Bull Shit and brilliance only come with age and experience.

I heard yesterday that one of my crafting pals is in hospital and another has her husband in hospital - fingers crossed for some improvement to the health of both ... and very soon.

Have a fab Friday and, if I don't see you again before Christmas - Have a great Christmas and New Year too