Vintage Valentines take two

When I go away, which I do quite a lot for work, I often leave a little note or token for Mr Beez to discover on his return from work. On Wednesday, I tucked one of the altered playing cards I had made under his pillow. However, unbeknown to me, he managed to top trump me as he had hidden a heart-shaped chocolate lolly in my handbag!

So, keeping the romantic theme going I thought I would share some more vintage Valentine cards with you. Both of these were made with images and papers from the Gecko Galz.


This one uses an image from the Valentine Wishes ephemera set and a gorgeous lacy effect frame from the Jump Into January collage sheet. I printed the frame onto coordinating card so that I wouldn’t have to cut it out and then inked the edges with Vintage Photo distress ink.


I glittered the hearts on the main image and then layered both images on to raspberry card stock.


Finally, I added some ivory crochet lace and pearls.


The second card uses some papers from the Basic Grey True Love set.


The central image is from the Gecko Galz Love is in the Air ephemera collection.


The little tag is from Basic Grey’s True Love digital set. I’ve layered it on some neutral card stock and topped it with a tiny pink bow.


I’ve added a strip of white lace and some coffee coloured seam binding across the bottom.


The finishing touch was to add a scrap of lace and a paper rose at the top.



There is still just time for you to enter the Gecko Galz Valentine Challenge when you could win some Basic Grey papers and a Gecko Galz gift voucher. You can also grab this month’s freebies and, remember, there’ll be a new bunch of freebies tomorrow!

After my two days away I am relieved to have a day off. Not only do I feel incredibly tired after two very long days, I don’t think there’s a bone or muscle in my body that doesn’t ache. I even managed to injure the end of my little finger after an unfortunate incident with some ice. But that’s another story!!!

Thanks for buzzing by.


Double orange

I’m back with another post to share over at  Sunday Stampers where the theme is orange.


These are ATC size but I shall probably turn them into cards. I started by colouring some cream card with Mustard Seed, Spicy Marmalade and Ripe Persimmon distress inks. Then I spritzed it with water to get a variegated effect. I cut the card to size and then used more Spicy Marmalade to stamp the blossom branches all over.


P1070139You will recognise the sentiments, stamps by Chocolate Baroque, from earlier in the week. I used some music manuscript and used a flower stamp, by Stampotique, over the top, colouring in the flowers with Promarkers.


I used the little heart stamp, also by Stampotique, on both cards. I coloured in the heart on one and stuck a little silver star over the other.P1070142


I’ve stamped, cut out and coloured some little butterflies for one and a bird for the other.



I’ve used some deep blue card to create mats and layers.


Be sure to pop over and take a look at what Hels has been up to on her blog. There’s always a ton of inspiration and at the moment some beautifully glittery projects.


Play your cards right

So today I am back on my travels and setting off to Leeds to deliver a training event. You know by now that that involves loading and unloading the van, probably in the rain or, worse, possibly in the snow! As much as I would like a decent fall of snow before spring arrives, this is not the day for it to happen.

I’ve been having a little play and altering some playing cards.


During my decluttering, I happened upon a pack of playing cards minus the lid of the box. Not all the cards were there and after a bit of a dither, I decided to keep them as I thought they would make nice little canvases to work on.


I started by smearing on some white acrylic pain, using my fingers. Once dry, I used Staz On to stamp the bee and the words.


I added some additional stamping, using my honeycomb stamp, and added a scrap of music manuscript.


I covered the reverse side with various bits of scrap paper from my stash, added a layer of Picket Fence distress ink and then over stamped some script using Worn Lipstick. I also added a little more distress ink around the edge. The words were printed out on my computer, coloured with Worn Lipstick.


To finish, I stamped on the little bees.


As I am away, I have tucked one of these under Mr Beez’ pillow.

Only another 40 or so playing cards to alter!

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Be happy

A bit late with my post today – sorry. Foolishly, I was waiting for a break in the weather so I could take some decent photo’s. However, it never came so I’ve had to do the best I could. Today I have a little mixed media canvas to share:


I’m sharing this over at Sunday Stampers where the theme of this week’s challenge is orange.The base of this is a piece of chunky card that must have come from some old packaging. Conveniently, it was already painted white. I stuck and old, torn book page and a scrap of muslin. Once dry, I coloured it with distress stains – Shabby Shutters, Broken China and Picket Fence. I didn’t take too much care with this as I wanted it to look distressed. I stamped around the edge using one of my Dylusions stamps.



You will recognise the little house, also a Dylusions stamp, which I have coloured orange and pink using Promarkers.


The flower stamps I’ve had for awhile, but this is their first outing. I’ve stamped onto book pages, cut them out and then coloured with Mustard Seed, Spiced Marmalade and Ripe Persimmon distress inks.


The little butterfly was stamped and coloured with Mustard Seed.


The sentiment is by Chocolate Baroque.


Some of you have been asking about dear little Knox after I mentioned that he hasn’t been well. He’s still very, very poorly and everyone at Amy and Friends is willing him to get better. I know his family are taking great comfort from the messages of support for him that have come from around the world. If you feel inclined, and you are a Facebook user, you can leave a comment on the Amy and Friends Facebook page where you will see lots of lovely photo’s of Knox and other members of the Clay family.

I know it would be appreciated.

Thanks for buzzing by.



Monday, Monday – AGAIN! This morning I am off to York but, unfortunately, it is for a meeting for work :( On the upside though I am meeting with my favourite colleagues AND, if there’s time, I may get the opportunity to zip off to my favourite cake shop – Betty’s. In my, very humble, opinion Betty’s do the best macaroons they also do a fabulous coffee cake, amazing Florentines and superb Yorkshire curd tarts.

So, being Monday, there is a new word over at Every Inchie Monday and this week it’s ballet. I love going to the ballet and I am lucky that Sheffield is often host to superb productions. My favourite company is Northern Ballet who never fail to disappoint and I have seen their production of A Christmas Carol more times than I can count. My favourite ballet is The Nutcracker and I will go and see any version of this and, if you get the chance to see the Northern Ballet’s version it is brilliant, not traditional, but fabulous. I originally planned my inchies to based on The Nutcracker, but instead came up with these:


I hope you can spot the ballet references?! The first three use some wood effect card as the base. This is meant to represent the floor of the stage. Firstly, I made a little tutu out of some pink net/tulle but, as I was making it I was suddenly struck as to how closely it resembled a butterfly. So instead I went with that!


This one is the bouquet of flowers that the Prima Ballerina receives at the end of a performance. It is simply some punched fronds and some tiny, tiny pink flowers.


The next one I like to think of as a ballerina in a square inch! The satin ribbon and bow represent the ballet slippers, there’s a tutu and a flower. If I could have thought of a way to make a bun (as in hairstyle) I would have done that too!


Lastly, I used a little clipart image of some ballet slippers and coloured it with Promarkers.


Not what I planned, but I hope you enjoy them all the same.



Here’s opening I return from York with one of Betty’s distinctive brown carrier bags. If I do, you can be sure it will be empty by the time I get home!


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Vintage Valentine

Brrrr! The last few days have seen a drop in temperature in my part of the world and the endless rain has turned to sleet. Yesterday, there was also some thunder and lightning thrown in for good measure. All of which meant the decluttering was put on hold and I had no option but to drink tea and eat biscuits! Oh, and of course a little crafting.

Having done quite a few clean and simple cards and projects recently I decided to make a full-on vintagy Valentine card that I shall be sharing over at City Crafter Challenge Blog for their keys and hearts theme.


I’m sure there is a name for this card design but I like to think of it as an envelope gatefold. I glued two cards together and then cut matching triangles from each of the front flaps. I covered the inside and out with coordinating designer papers and then inked the edges with some Festive Berries distress ink.


The bingo card image came from the Gecko Galz, as did the cute little girl and boy. I merged them together digitally before printing out and layering them up with a heart shaped doily.



I’ve placed a strip of ribbon and some white crochet lace across the bottom and then added a little arrangement of sweetheart blossom and roses.


On the outside of the card I’ve used white crochet lace and a gorgeous red ribbon that is half sheer and half satin with glittery stitching down the centre. I also popped on some dots of red glitter glue.


The little Valentine envelope is freebie from the Vintage Feedsacks blog. I layered it on to a piece of chipboard and then added designer paper to the back. It is only stuck down on one side of the card so that the card opens and the weight of the chipboard helps it to act as a stopper when the card is closed. I’ve inked the edges of the envelope and added a tiny bow, made from peppermint candy baker’s twine, and a paper rose.



The final embellishment is a tiny chipboard key that I’ve painted and glittered then embellished with a glittery red heart.


All the ribbons have come from Really Reasonable Ribbon in the fabulous ribbon club assortments that I receive each month. I am also entering this card for the current Really Reasonable Ribbon challenge #87 Valentine’s Day/Love and ribbon theme.



By the way, the biscuits I mentioned at the start of these post were not just any old biscuits. They were Cadbury’s Crème Egg biscuits! I know!!!!!!!

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At this time of year the little cluster of snowdrops on our front lawn force decide to brave the elements and put in an appearance. Each year the number seems to dwindle but we are always pleased to see them nevertheless. In previous years they have often been blanketed with snow, sometimes disappearing altogether, but this doesn’t seem to put them off or cause them to shrivel up.

I love snowdrops and had been on the look out for a stamp so was really pleased to find a lovely set of spring flowers over at Chocolate Baroque long before my current crafting supplies curfew!

P1070044I started by stamping the sentiment, by Darkroom Door, and then the snowdrops. I dusted on a little Iced Spruce distress ink around the base and then used Salty Ocean and Chipped Sapphire everywhere else. I dried it with a heat gun and then stamped on some splodges using white ink. This ink tends to disappear and I love the effect that it has given. (I wanted it to look a little snowy)


I coloured the stalks and leaves of the flowers with green watercolour pencils and then paper pieced the flower heads so that they would be white.P1070046

I dug out the tiniest of all my bee stamps and coloured the image with a yellow Promarker.The finishing touch was to add a little crystal clear glitter to give the snowdrops a frosty finish.


I hope you have lots of lovely things planned for the weekend. Me? I’ve just taken delivery of a second skip so the decluttering continues.

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Homage to Hels

If you are a regular visitor you will know I am a big fan of crafting goddess Hels Sheridan and regularly take part in her Sunday Stampers Challenge. I have also been lucky enough to attend one of her workshops at which I not only learned loads of brilliant techniques but also gained the confidence to use them. This week, I have been further inspired by the Create and Craft shows on Tuesday, when Hels was demonstrating on the Creative Expressions Shows. If you didn’t catch them, check out the C & C website – I promise you won’t be disappointed.

The dilemma for me was that one of my new year’s resolutions was not to buy any new crafting stash except for essentials. Even I would find it hard to justify 9 distress glitters, several stencils and several new stamp sets as essentials. As part of my therapy I put everything I liked into my virtual shopping basket and then quickly closed down the tab without checking out. But no matter how hard I tried not to, I kept thinking about all the lovely samples Hels had made. So, not one to let a small thing like having none of the right stuff put me off, I thought I would improvise with what I did have.


Firstly, I inked the background using Wild Honey and Gathered Twigs distress ink and spritzed it with water for a mottled look. Once dry (I used a heat gun) I stamped on some honeycomb using VIntage Photo.



I spread Royal Gold texture paste and a Dylusions stencil to create the leaves and then, randomly, sprinkled on three different shades of green glitter. The camera doesn’t pick this up very well but the effect is gorgeous.


The bee was stamped using black archival ink and then I added some yellow glitter to its body and clear glitter to it’s wings.


The flowers are part of a matching stamp and die set by Heartfelt Creations and I inked them with Picked Raspberry distress inks. I added orange glitter to the centres before arranging them on the card.


Very happy with how this turned out and very glad I improvised.

P1070033Now all I need to do is to make sure I add Distress Glitter to my birthday list and hope Mr Beez takes pity on me!

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Ultra violet

I’m back with another purple project that I am linking up for this week’s Sunday Stampers challenge and I make no apology for including yet another butterfly.

P1070021I started by applying fibre paste through brick pattern stencil using a spatula. Once dry I gave it a coat of white acrylic paint.


I used the tissue paper technique to apply the stamped images and words. For this I used black Archival ink and stamped on to single-ply tissue. I then tore , very carefully, around the stamped images as a torn edge shows up less than a cut one. To apply them to the canvas I used PVA glue mixed with a little water and then, again very carefully, brushed another coat over the top of the tissue and the rest of the canvas.


I stamped out the flowers and butterfly on to Japanese rice paper and coloured them with various shades of Promarkers before cutting them out. Once the canvas was dry I stuck them on.


To finish, I added some masking tape around the sides of the canvas and a tiny bit of Black soot distress stain on the edge.



I’m dedicating this project to dear little Knox, who suffers from Cockayne Syndrome, as he is not too well at the moment. It’s also for the fabulous Amy and Friends who do so much to support children and families who are affected by CS. Get well soon precious Knoxy :)


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Purple haze

Violet creams, Parma Violets and Crème de Violette (a violet liqueur which makes a  fabulous cocktail called an Aviator). It was the colour of all these edible goodies that I held in my head whilst ratching through my stash in order to find things to use in my project for this week’s  Sunday Stampers challenge which has the theme of violet/purple. However, as I was lacking in non-edible violet goodies I opted instead to use Seedless Preserves – the distress ink that is, not jam.


The base is some chipboard that I covered with an old book page. One of the drawbacks to my having a de-clutter is that, in the time it’s taken to do it, some of the things that were destined for new homes have been retrieved for me to use in my crafting. The book, something to do with the Rhine, has impossibly small script which makes ideal for using here.


I used Scattered Straw distress ink all over and then applied some Seedless Preserves through a diamond mask.


You could probably guess that I would use one of the Darkroom Door String Inspiration stamps and you would be right. I stamped this in black Archival. Then I cut it out and stuck it on to the canvas. I used a black Stabilo All Pencil to outline the heart.


To finish, I dusted on some more Seedless Preserves around the edge and then rubbed on some Enchanted Gold gilding wax.


Originally I’d planned for a much more vibrant, “in your face” purple look for this piece but am quite pleased with the more subdued tones that I ended up with. However, as this was still drying I discovered some lavender paint and so did a second version using more or less the same techniques.


I painted over the text with white and lavender paint, wiping it off with some kitchen roll. Then I applied more lavender paint through the stencil.P1070017

I rubbed on Enchanted Gold gilding wax all over before adding the heart which this time was stamped in Picked Raspberry distress ink.



Thanks for buzzing by.