Bird cage

Back once again from my travels, but no time to rest as I had to be off and out early this morning for a meeting. Amongst the usual treats of dirty washing and fresh ironing that is usually waiting for me on my return was also a surprise package from youngest Beez, who is the chef. Nestling in the fridge was a bag of fresh scallop roes. These are not considered worthy of Michelin starred dining and usually get discarded. However, to me, these are food of the gods. Warmed through and spread on toast, add in a glass of something bubbly and you are in heaven. Can’t wait for my tea tonight!!

Today I am sharing one of my Gecko Galz Design Team samples that uses this month’s new releases plus those of Vintage By Me who the Galz have teamed up with for this month’s cross promotion.



The main image with that cute little robin is from Vintage By Me and, digitally, I’ve popped it inside a vintage frame image from the Gecko Galz Frame collage set (this is an early release rather than being from this month). The label is also from Vintage By Me and then I’ve used two papers from the Floral Symphony paper pack by the Gecko Galz. This is such a pretty paper pack and that paper on the bottom layer is my new favourite and you will be seeing it a lot.



I’ve added lace and organza rose ribbon trim and some lovely fondant pink ribbon from my Really Reasonable Ribbon club selection.


The little birdcage came from Etsy and the finishing touches are some tiny pink rosebuds and some gold glitter.


The weather here  in the UK has started to show signs that summer is on the way and this card fits perfectly with that! I am going to share this over at Craft Hoarders Anonymous Challenge Blog as my final entry for their Ribbon, Lace and Twine challenge.



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Once in a blue moon – or rather twice in a pink one!

Back with another make to share over at Sunday Stampers where the theme is pink. This is also another make using a stamp that I had to have but then wasn’t sure what to do with it. However, I knew that combining it with pink would be a great way to start off.


These are sort of tags but I have decided whether I want to add ribbon or not.



I made this one first keeping the colours quite pale. The base is lots of different pink distress inks – Spun Sugar, Worn Lipstick and Picked Raspberry, with a smidge of Seedless Preserves and Squeezed Lemonade. Once all the ink was applied I gave it a good spritz with water. The images are stamped using Iced Spruce which I hope gives an ethereal quality. The main stamp is another by Catslife Press, who are becoming a firm favourite,  the stars and daisies are by Stampotique. The Border you will recognise as Dylusions.


The second tag was inked in the same way as the first, but this time I added more ink. Instead of spritzing with water I added blobs to create a random spotted effect. I discovered that using a water brush and then squeezing it is a great way to do this – especially if you want organised random!!! To keep the crescent moon pale and interesting I stamped it first, and then tried to avoid it whilst swirling on the ink, using water to paint out any that was applies inadvertently.


This time everything was stamped in black Stazon. I then built up the colours applying more ink with a brush.


The border is hand drawn and I added some white dots of gel pen to the stars. I think I prefer this tag to the first.


Now I’ve used this stamp I’ve lots more ideas that I would like to try, so maybe that’s the answer if you have a stamp you’re not quite sure about. Just play until the creative juices flow.

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Oo-ooo-oo-oo oo-oo! Sorry, that was me singing the song by Wings which, since I began working on this project, is exactly what I have been doing. Jet is the theme over at Every Inchie Monday this week. I decided to go with the gemstone that gives it’s name to the phrase “jet black.” Coincidently, the BBC programme Countryfile (Mr Beez’ a fan!) did an item on jet from which I learned some new things. Despite having visited Whitby, a seaside town not far from me, on numerous occasions, I have been totally oblivious to the fact that one of it’s many claims to fame is that it has an abundance of jet hidden in its coastline. I also learned that jet is the fossilised remains of the monkey puzzle tree. Not only will I look at the beach more closely next time I visit, I will also check the shops as I bet there are loads that sell it! Anyway, here are my inchies:


This is not actual jet, but the results of me playing with my Melt Pot over the weekend. I re-melted the leftover red and purple UTEE from my last session, added in some black and poured into moulds. I still need more practise as currently I return more items to the pot than I end up keeping. However, I did have quite a lot of success and am very excited about some of the shapes I made.


Starting off with the easiest thing, I dipped some white roses into the UTEE. When they came out they had lost a lot of definition, partly due to the dark colour, but this is easily remedied by wafting a heat gun over the flower so some of the excess drips off (watch your fingers!) and the rest is more evenly distributed.


This one is just UTEE poured into a very conveniently sized mould. I gave it a coat of Mod Podge glitter to add shine and sparkle.


Here’s a cute little owl and this is one of the shapes I’m very happy to have succeeded with. If you saw my project yesterday you will have seen the result of my rubbing gilding wax over set UTEE. Future owl shapes will be receiving the same treatment vey soon.


Finally, this is a little frame mould. Strictly speaking slightly larger than an inch, but only by a whisker! I can’t wait to make more of these and see how I can colour and fill them. For this one, I added a tiny piece of book page then another UTEE heart. The word was printed on my computer using a size 8 font.

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One thing I’ve found with the Melt Pot is that it’s very addictive. If a shape goes wrong, and believe me many of mine did, you pop it back and have another try. If a shape goes well, you instinctively want to see if you can do another one. Either way, it isn’t something you can walk away from. In addition, I can now justify “needing” several different colours asap!

Make sure you buzz over to Every Inchie Monday and take a look at the incredible creations and inspired thinking from the other players.

Now although I am heading towards the coast this afternoon, it isn’t to Whitby (although it is part of my patch for work). No, once again I am off to Hull for a couple of days.

Thanks for buzzing by.



Wearing the colours

Time for a new theme at Crafty Boots Challenges and for this fortnight it is “blue and white” as chosen by the talented Zoe. Now her choice is tinged with a little sadness, for Zoe is an ardent Gas Head. That’s not what you might think, but the nickname of the fans who follow Bristol Rovers football club. Unfortunately, last weekend saw them relegated out of the Football League having been residents for 94 years. Sad times, let’s hope they bounce back next season.

Here’s my Design Team piece:


I’ve used my dandelion stamp and heat embossed using white embossing powder and then swirled on various blue distress inks – Salty Ocean, Faded Denim, Stormy Sky and Broken China (who knew I had so many?!). The embossing acts as a resist. I’ve then added a tiny stamped bee.



I’ve layered the image up with white and blue card plus some designer paper, inking all the edges with Chipped Sapphire.


Across the bottom is some white seam binding that I’ve twisted (my current favourite way of applying it! and then topped with a bow.


The finishing touches are a tiny little blue bow and some pearls.


I’m also sharing this over at Craft Hoarders Anonymous Challenge Blog for their “ribbon, lace and twine” challenge.


Be sure to buzz over to Crafty Boots and see what the rest of the Design Team have been up to, and be sure to leave Zoe a little extra love!

Thanks for buzzing by.

Bee on the block

Happy Mother’s Day to those of you that live across the pond. Hope you are having a day of fun-filled luxury. I have tried to see if I could get away with another Mother’s Day in my household but nobody was buying it. However, I have made up for my crafting drought this week and played crafting for most of the day, including a spell with the melt pot. The results of my endeavours have left me with an incredibly early entry for this week’s Sunday Stampers:


Now I didn’t start off to create something for this week’s challenge but I realised that I was stamping and that I was using pink (this week’s theme), plus a little bit of Melt Pot – it would have been rude not to.


You’ll recognise this as another of my woodblocks. For a reason I cannot remember, I’d painted it brown. I’ve covered that up by using some Tim Holtz papers on each side. Once the glue was dry, I sanded the edges and then inked them with Forest Moss distress ink. I stamped the flowers directly on to the block (brave? foolish? – you choose!) and then paper pieced them with ones that I had stamped and coloured with Promarkers. I chose not to paper piece the bee, but added colour directly.


I added a coat of Mod Podge to seal everything. I can’t decide whether I want to add some words/a word to this so have left it as it is for now.


The finishing touch is the “button” which is actually made from UTEE that I poured into one of my Mod Podge moulds. I’ve rubbed it with some Enchanted Gold gilding wax.


That’s not the only thing that I made with the UTEE, but you’ll have to pop back on Tuesday and take a peek at my inchies to see what I did.


So, as there’s no possibility of anyone else doing it, I better do yet more ironing. I can’t bear to watch the closing game of the football season, I just hope Big Sam gives my team a big telling off afterwards!


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Fresh with the tang of citrus

Hope you’re having a fun filled and relaxing Saturday. I’ve got that morning after the night before feeling, unfortunately without the benefit of actually having a night before. So, having been deprived all week, a little light crafting was definitely in order before cracking on with chores. Here’s a card that I’ve made to share over at City Crafter Challenge Blog for their current challenge, #209, which is to use all three citrus colours – orange, lemon and lime:


I’ve created mats and layers with white and dusky lime card, running the white card through an embossing folder.


I’ve used some lovely spotted ribbon from my stash and topped it with a lime green bow.


The flowers were cut using a Spellbinders die. I’ve done a double layer for each, to give them a bit of life, and then popped on a button centre.


The finishing touch is a stamped butterfly.


You’d think that I would have been able to rustle up this card without too much mess wouldn’t you? Er…unfortunately, that would be a big fat no! I don’t quite know how I managed to create such chaos, but that’s exactly what I did. I’d take a photograph to show you if I wasn’t so embarrassed!


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Bird in a box

I have had no time this week to indulge in a little crafty respite. :(  Last night I got home after a day in the office and had to carry on working just so that I felt like I was on top of everything. My email inbox for work looks like a giant slalom ski-slope – peppered with lots of red flags marking things that need my urgent attention. I have also made two lists – one to help me remember all the things I need to do and the other of things that must be done today without fail. I love a list, I love crossing thing off and feeling like I’m making progress. Unfortunately, I seem to be adding things rather than crossing them off at the moment!!!!

No matter how busy I am I determined to make time to share a little something with you all, so here is another of my little matchboxes from my Art from the Heart Kate Crane workshop.


Want to see what’s inside?


How cute is that little bird? When I arrived at the workshop, Kate had a selection of the matchboxes she had made for us to look at. Everyone that opened them squealed with delight when they saw the little paper clay bird she had made. The squeals increased when she told us that we would get to make one like it!!


The matchbox was decorated in the same way as the ones I shared earlier this week. The card to cover this one has a different colour palette. The draw pull is, I think, an Ideaology fastening by Tim Holtz. I’ve added some stamping and doodling, plus computer generated words, to the front.


The little bird was made by shaping the clay into a teardrop shape and then pinching the ends. The legs are some pieces of rusty wire which was inserted before the clay dried. We made the bird as one of the first things we did and then left it to air dry. I decorated mine once we got home and coloured it with Tumbled glass distress ink and Picket Fence distress stain.


The base of the box is lined with more Dylusion coloured card that has been decorated with doodles and stamping.


I am definitely planning some more of these birds – a pink one is definitely called for!

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Shabby hanging

Almost there…just one more day until it’s time to put a major focus on the weekend and, all being well, a delivery from Sizzix. I’ve got very tired feet after trotting across Yorkshire and sashaying along endless railway platforms. I’m also recovering from the shock of thinking I had lost my make-up back and dealing with a major lip-gloss explosion. In the grand scheme of life these are all minor details, I know! Still, I thought I would share a little piece of calm that I crafted as on of my Gecko Galz Design Team samples:


One of my favourite colour combinations – coffee and cream! This is another project that used up lots of scraps and bits left lying around after previous projects. I shall be linking up with Craft Hoarders Anonymous Challenge Blog where the theme for challenge #7 is ribbon, lace and twine. The base for this panel is a piece of corrugated card. I ripped off most of the top layer to reveal the corrugations and rubbed on some white paint using my fingers. Neither of these stages was probably necessary, but at that point I didn’t really know how this was going to end up!


Next, I layered up some white muslin and then added a strip of pretty lace.


I used this fabulous vintage image which comes from the Gecko Galz  Le Jardin collage sheet as the focal point. I’ve layered it onto some kraft paper.




I’ve added creamy buttons, lace scraps and one of those fabulous antique brads to embellish. I had two of those little lacy scraps but the second one mysteriously disappeared, not even resurfacing once I tidied up.


Finally, I used some coffee coloured seam binding to create a hanging loop.

This was sort of created as a little hanging to celebrate Mother’s Day (although here in the UK we have already celebrated Mothering Sunday as here it is inextricably linked to the Easter calendar). However, I think I’d quite like to have this hanging somewhere where I can see it, so might change the words to something a bit inspirational/meditative. Any ideas?

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My life in a box

Wednesday already, love it that the weekend will soon be here again!!! Time to show you half of the results of last week’s workshop at Art from the Heart taught by the talented Kate Crane.I can only show you half as I haven’t quite got around to finishing the other two bits. I’m going to share these over at Sunday Stamper for the “life” themed challenge.


We made four altered matchboxes on the day and these two are home to two mini journals.



The technique for altering the boxes was more or less the same on both. The outsides were inked using Distress Inks spritzed with water – the ring marks were made by using a lid and dipping it in the ink.


On the top of each lid is a piece of card that has been coloured with Dylusions ink sprays. The card was blobbed and flicked with water so that some of the ink was removed. I also applied some gesso through a stencil. I’ve run strips of washi tape around the centre of the box.


A piece of the dyed card has been used to line the inside of the box base and a loop of ribbon, threaded through a punched hole makes a handy tab to open the draw.



The images, stamps by Dina Wakely, were stamped onto some photocopies of Kate’s prepared journal pages. Love this idea so need to get practising making backgrounds. I’ve added some extra stamping and doodling.




The large journal was made by first inking papers to make them nice and distressed and grungy. Then they have been sewn (using a sewing machine no less!!!) together and a spine added. I used some more washi tape. The cover was decorated in the same way as the box.


For the little journal we made a concertina book and added a cover made from some more of the dyed card.

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Now I fully intend to fill these journal pages and promise to share them again once I’ve completed them.




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If there’s nothing like a long weekend to lift your spirits, then the day after is like a lead balloon! I have a lot of work and travelling ahead and the next long weekend seems a l-o-n-g way away. However, making me happy are the two ATCs I have to share with you today.


This is me all happy and smiley and pleased to be back at work – NOT! Do you ever buy craft stuff that you absolutely love and then don’t really know what to do with it? Well I do. I fell in love with this Bumblebee Girl stamp, by Catslife Press, as soon as I saw it (there’s a Mermaid Girl too!) but since it arrived I’ve been unsure as to how to use it. So I’m super happy that I was suddenly inspired (must have been all the walks in the sunshine) to make these two ATCs. I’m sharing these over at Sunday Stampers where the theme is “life.”


For the this one I used distress inks – Picked Raspberry, Spiced Marmalade, Festive Berries, Mustard Seed, Mowed Lawn, Tumbled Glass and Milled Lavender and blended them so they mingled together. Then I gave it a spritz of water. Then I stamped the daisies, a stamp by Stampotique, and the Bumblebee Girl. I added extra details by using a script stamp (Stampin’ Up!), two sizes of dots and my favourite Dylusions border stamp. I used white gel pen to colour the daisies.


Bumblebee Girl has been coloured with Promarkers and paper pieced. I was very tempted to give her shoes a coat of red glitter but I will save that for another day! The words, part of a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, were printed on my computer using the Junkos Typewriter font from Da Font.



My second ATC was made using an idea I’ve seen done by Godelieve Tijskens  on her Stamping Mathilda blog. Each Sunday she does a project using leftovers from previous projects. If I’m inking and stamping I usually have a pile of photocopying paper that I use to test out stamps, try colours, or just as a base to work on. The background for this ATC is made using a piece I cut from that paper and having seen the result, I must try this more often.I added in a little extra stamping around the edge and then stamped the star, another stamp by Stampotique, and Bumblebee Girl.



Once again Bumblebee Girl has been paper pieced but this time I used one of my practise images and coloured it with the ink that is on various pieces of Cut ‘n’ Dry Foam that I use to apply inks. The sentiment, inspired from the words that appeared on the t-shirts of those gorgeous boys from Wham! in their Wake Me Up video, was again a computer print out and the font is Rubber Stamp.



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