Pulling mussels from a shell

So my working week away started by shredding my fingers on various bits of cardboard and finished by standing on a wasp in my bare feet, whilst in the middle, I managed to remove a piece of my fingernail whilst opening a bag of ice! How did you fare? I mean I really am not a clumsy or accident prone person but this week it seemed my destiny to wear numerous blue plasters.

Anyway, cuts and bruises aside, I managed to rustle up a little something to share over at City Crafter Challenge Blog where this week there is a mood board for inspiration.


Here’s my card:


I bet you were expecting something sea or beached themed weren’t you. Yep, so was I – that was what I intended. I’d been thinking about that enormous starfish and building up an idea around it, only to discover that my starfish supply seems to have run out. You know how it is. So, thinking and creating as I went I chose instead the leafy stem in the top corner. The leafy stamp from Paperartsy’s Squiggly Ink Flora and Fauna 3 set, one of my current favourites, was perfect for the job. Not too dissimilar from the seaweed images either.


For the background I picked up on the fabulous greys through to purples of the mussel shells and stones and smooched on Iced Spruce, Chipped Sapphire and Seedless Preserves. Next, I gave it a spritz of water so create a speckled effect. I coloured the branches black, capturing the colours of the seaweed.


The little stamped stars are a nod to where I started – the giant starfish.

Enjoy your weekend and thanks for buzzing by.

Black and white balloons

As it’s nice to keep in touch whilst I am away from home I thought I would schedule a mid-week post to share with you in my absence.


This is another of my Gecko Galz DT projects and here I’ve used another image from the Up, Up and Away collage set.


Rather than use the image just as it was I printed several copies onto cardstock and then cut out squares and rectangles which are placed over the original at different heights, using glue gel, to create a dimensional collage.


I inked the edges of each cut piece just to emphasise the different pieces.


That fabulous ribbon, which reminds me of humbugs, is from my stash. Sadly, it is the last of that pattern and I got it quite some time ago as part of a bumper bundle of ribbon reels from Create and Craft. I do hope I can source some more.


Thanks for buzzing by.


Dear little daisies

A quick post from me today sharing a card made using just the cutest images from the Gecko Galz.


Aren’t those daisies cute? Anyone of a certain age may associate them, as I did, with Little Weed from Watch with Mother’s Bill and Ben. I couldn’t resist it. The image is one from the Cute Clips collage set as is he little girl with the yellow umbrella. This sheet is packed with gorgeous retro images. Sadly, I ran out of time when making my DT samples but am certainly going to return to it and use some more very soon. Take a closet look at those daisies.


How could this fail to cheer anyone up? I kept the theme bright and cheerful teaming up the image with sunny yellow gingham ribbon and some mats and layers of red and yellow cardstock.


The little apple brad has been in my stash for ages – you’d have to go back to the Create and Craft days of Alan and Barry!


I added a little faux stitching just to add a bit of definition to the edges of the white card.

Thanks for buzzing by.

Sitting on a rock in the bay

What wouldn’t I give for a little trip to the seaside right now? There’s nothing like it for blowing away the cobwebs and I love all the traditions of the English seaside in particular. You won’t get me leaving a seaside town without having had a pot of cockles, a stick of rock, at least one doughnut and, of course, a bag of chips! Perhaps it is quite a good thing that Sheffield is about as far away from the coast as you can get for a city on a smallish island!

All that pre-amble was to remind you that it is week two of our “Life’s a Beach/Summer Holiday” challenge over at Crafty Boots. As ever, there is a feast of inspiration from our Design Team and guest designers. Here’s  a cute card that I made:


This cute image is from the Gecko Galz By the Shore collage set. I’ve teamed it with some paper and cardstock from my stash.


The beautiful salmon pink chequered ribbon is from Really Reasonable Ribbon. I’m not sure where the pink gingham ribbon came from.


A little piece of coordinating mini pom-pom trim and a couple of white buttons are the finishing touches.

Have a good week and thanks for buzzing by.


Camera shy

I mentioned yesterday about how, when working away from home, it is difficult to cram everything that needs doing into a weekend. I have been holding on to the idea for today’s project since Tuesday, when City Crafter Challenge Blog announced their new challenge is to include a camera. Instead of doing a bit each day as I might have done normally I had to do this in just one take, if you will excuse the pun.


I make no apology for a project that once again uses a fabulous wooden ATC from Calico Craft Parts, they are, in my opinion, just perfect little backdrops for creating a bit of whimsy! This is quite similar to the little birthday piece I created last week and was just as much fun to do. I started with the ATC blank, giving it a layer of gesso followed by some Dylusions paints in two shades of green.



The grass and flowers are also from Calico Craft Parts as is the giant toadstool. These were also gessoed and then painted with Dylusions.The photo-bombing creature is Stampotique’s  Line Up by Kira Nichols and the words are from a Tim Holtz Chit Chat sticker that I coloured with Polychromos.


Agatha Traveller, by Magda Polakow for Stampotique, was coloured with a combination of Promarkers and Polychromos. I stamped her on to a triple layer of card to make her nice and sturdy. The tiny little camera, a clip-art image from Etsy is mounted on some chipboard to give it dimension and I added some twine to make a strap so that Agatha could hang it around her neck. That proved to be the trickiest part of this project quite simply for the fact that Agatha doesn’t have any shoulders on display!


I am also sharing this over at the Stampotique Designers Challenge Blog for challenge SDC207, “Selfies or Photo Bombing.”

Thanks for buzzing by.

The circus continues

I’ve reached the half way point of my summer work assignment and next week will move to a new location. It’s slightly nearer to home but still too far to commute there and back every day. I’m not sure I’ll notice much difference but it’s a good feeling to know the end is in sight. One of the difficulties of being away from home so much is cramming everything that I might have done over the course of a week into just a weekend whilst still finding time to rest and recover from the physical toll the nature of my job takes. Crafting is a blissful way to wind down and forget all about the madness.

Today I am sharing a set of ATCs that I created for the Gecko Galz.


I’ve combined papers from the Gecko Galz Life is a Circus paper pack with digital stamps from this month’s Circus Time set. I’ve added colour, embellishments and words to finish them. Take a closer look:




The clown image here is from the Clowning Around domino set whilst the ticket image is from the Curiosity Shop Kit.


Here’s the next three:





I hope you have a lovely weekend and if your life is a bit of a circus right now, I’ll leave you with this little reminder:


Thanks for buzzing by.

Life’s A Circus

Well my life certainly seems a bit of a circus at the moment. There’s an awful lot of juggling, balancing, twirling and tumbling going on and all without the aid of a safety net. Sometimes, there is also some clowning around, you have to really to keep your spirits up! Anyway, already four days into the new month and I’m only just getting to tell you about the new Gecko Galz Customer Challenge which this month, in case you haven’t already guessed, has the theme “Life’s A Circus.” My DT piece for this challenge is a card:


With the exception of the glitter and the backing cardstock, my card is entirely digital. I’ve used some paper from the Life is a Circus paper pack and a digital stamp from the Circus Time stamp set. The clown images are from the Clowning Around Domino set.


I’ve layered my digital collage on to black, then yellow cardstock before adding some red glittery highlights.


This card is so bright and jolly I think it would make a great card to cheer up someone who is going through a particularly hectic period in their life. Now who do I know that fits that bill? Er… that would probably be me then..and of course any of the 50 or more others that are working on the same project as myself!!

Thanks for buzzing by.

Life’s A Beach

Another day and another new challenge, this time over at Crafty Boots Challenges. Our theme for the next fortnight is Life’s A Beach/Summer Holiday. I’m sharing a little vintage Beach Hut:


I made the shrine using the Artful Dwellings and Rectangles Alterations dies by Sizzix, cutting some extra strips of chipboard to build up the sides. I’ve used some stripy paper from the Gecko Galz Here Comes Santa Claus digital paper pack to cover and added some strips of blue to create the roof.


The image is from the Gecko Galz La Vie collage set.I cut out several and layered up using 3D gel to give her a bit of depth.


I’ve added a birchwood star to the inside and some little shell, wisps of gauze plus a button to decorate.


Check out the other inspirational designs from the Crafty Boots DT, we have some new members that we are welcoming on to the team this week so please buzz by and leave them a little love!

Now I really wish I was setting off to the beach today, instead I’m heading back down the M1 for another week of cooking.

Thanks for buzzing by.

Celebration tinged with sadness

Today sees a new challenge begin over at Anything But A Card and the theme, for the 50th challenge is “Celebration.” However, it is a celebration that is tinged with sadness as it is to be the last. I was thrilled when I received an email asking me if I would like to join the DT, wild horses wouldn’t have stopped me from saying “yes!” I’ve loved every minute of the past two years that I have spent on the DT and especially enjoying the work of the  super-talented members of not only my fellow teamies, but those that have played along with us each week. I shall miss it hugely, not least because it was truly a place for those that like to create things other than cards. Here’s my piece for the ABAC finale:


Well of course it had to be Agatha! Here she is wearing her little crown waiting until you are not looking (I’ve always thought she is a little shy) so she can dive into her pile of presents. Agatha Crown, by Magda Polakow and Piling Thing, by Daniel Torrente, both for Stampotique.



I’ve used an wooden ATC as the base. Made by Calico Craft Parts, these ATCs are fabulous and come, with frames, in all sorts of designs I love this one in the shape of an arch.  They are so reasonable, I think they make a nice alternative if you want to give someone something that’s a little more than I card. I usually paint the back in white and then add a label with my greeting. Here, I’ve given it a base coat of gesso the applied some Dylusions paints. The text was stamped using black Archival ink and the spots were more Dylusions applies with a stamp.


Agatha and the presents have been stamped, coloured with Polychromos and then mounted onto some thicker card to make them nice and sturdy. I made a little bit of bunting from some scraps and finished the whole thing off with the sentiment.

We’d love to have a bumper crop of entries so we can go out with a bang, so do come and join us if you can. I’m going to miss creating for Anything But A Card and I hope that something comes along soon to plug that little gap in my creating.

Thanks for buzzing by.

Would you like to fly…

I can’t believe that it is time once again to be saying “a pinch and a punch it’s the first of the month!” It doesn’t seem two minutes since I last did that and yet given how much has happened in between leads me to believe that it really must be the start of August. I’ve completed the first two weeks of my working away from home, some long days last week and, as happened last year, I have blisters on the side of my feet that could be small countries the size they are! I’ve also gone down with a cold and a sore throat, something that I haven’t had in quite awhile, so maybe I’m due but the timing is a bit rubbish. Anyway, I do have a treat in store today as we are off to Manchester to have a special lunch with my son and his girlfriend.

Before I go I’d like to share a card that I have made using some of the new releases from the Gecko Galz.


I’ve used some lovely vintage images from the Up, Up and Away collage set, and a vintage postcard image from this month’s Curiosity Shop Kit. I’ve layered them onto some sturdy card and roughed them up a bit – not only distressing and inking the edges, but also bending and curling the corners.


To finish it off I’ve added some ribbon, a couple of manly looking star gems and a birthday sentiment!


I’m planning on giving this to an elderly neighbour who celebrates their birthday this month and will also be sharing over on the City Crafter Challenge Blog where the challenge this week is to create a masculine birthday card.

Thanks for buzzing by.