Butterfly on the block

Right to the wire for this week’s Sunday Stampers Challenge where Hels is asking you to change something. I’m currently enjoying raiding my stash of wooden blocks so have altered one of those:


I knew exactly how I wanted this to turn out and I have to tell you that this is nothing like it!! That said I’m very happy with how it ended up. I covered the block with some paper from the Gecko Galz Floral Symphony paper pack and then added some stamping. I used my stamp script and Iced Spruce ink then a harlequin stamp and worn lipstick. I also added a few strips of washi tape with a musical score pattern. You can’t really see any of these distinctively as I then added a layer of white acrylic paint. I didn’t want this to be even, so rubbed some of it off and added more to other areas. Once everything was dry I inked the edges with Walnut Stain distress ink.


The top of the block is decorated with strips of muslin that I layered up. I’ve added a paper rose and some metal leaf embellishments.



On the front I made a central plaque from corrugated card, book page and more muslin and, surprise surprise, topped it with a stamped and inked butterfly.


I’ved added a little bunch of paper roses tied with a scrap of muslin and topped off with a metal brad.


I am also sharing this with Craft Hoarders Anonymous Challenge Blog where the theme for challenge #8 is to use metal or glass.




Thanks for buzzing by.

Love is in the air

Well my week is just not going as planned. Aside from my grand tour on Tuesday I thought it would be relatively quiet and event free. Not so! Consequently, all my crafty plans have gone out of the window! Never fear though, I do have a little something to share with you today:


Yep, this is another left over scrap project. The background was cut from one of my “working” sheets of cheap paper that I keep stacked up and rest my craft projects on whilst I work on them. The theory is to prevent mess but, being me, I can usually mange to get a great deal of ink over everything.


There were already bits of random stamping on the paper and I’ve simply added a little more.  The coil stamp is by Stampotique. The hearts were cut from the same paper. I just ran a red Promarker over the top of what was already there, cut the hearts out freehand and then added some doodles and shading using a white gel pen and some watercolour pencils.


The words were printed out on the computer.


Hope you have a good day and here’s looking forward to the weekend :)

Thanks for buzzing by.


Wish tags

So the rain continues to pour down and I have lost my umbrella! Fortunately I have found a “spare” but it is a proper brolly and I’m not sure I can be trusted with it for in my hands it becomes a lethal weapon! I’ve also discovered it’s terribly difficult to juggle when you’re trying to shop. A shopping centre I visited recently, Hull as it happens, had a box of plastic bags at the main entrance specifically designed so that customers could pop their umbrellas in them. Genius idea and hugely appreciated. Sadly, there were none to hand yesterday when I was trying to shop for black trousers. And, incidently, who knew that plain black trousers had become so complicated? Slim leg, wide leg, boot leg, narrow boot leg, narrow leg, cropped, sits on the waist, sits below the waist, pull on, buttons, zips, … someone such as me does not need choices! Of course once you’ve navigated that little lot you have to search out the required and length and size in your chosen style only to find there aren’t any!

On to today’s project –  here’s a set of tags I made as one of my Gecko Galz Design Team Projects:


As you know, I love making things in a whole range of colours and these are slightly different in that I’ve used more muted tones. The beautiful fairy image is from this month’s digital stamp set, Pixie Chicks, by the Gecko Galz. I knew I wouldn’t have the patience to colour this in so instead made the image transparent. I added the “wish” using a computer font and then simply changed the colour. All this was done using Microsoft Word.


Then I’ve layered up each one on to some black card and added a punched star with diamante in the centre. I’ve also added a star to the hole punched in the top.


The ribbon is seam binding that I have coloured with coordinating Promarkers.


The finishing touch was to add some crystal clear glitter to the wings.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Hard to choose my favourite as I like to see them as a whole set however, I think I might use the white/grey one as the basis for a wedding card that I need to make.


You might also like



Thanks for buzzing by.





Left hanging

Well that was some road trip yesterday, but we did it and I am even more grateful to Mr Beez for giving up his time to be my chauffeur. Our round trip amounted to over 200 miles – almost as many as it would take to get from here to Edinburgh. I think it rained virtually every inch of the journey so the Humber Estuary was even more dark and forbidding than it is normally and Cleethorpes in the rain is not brilliant. I had to forgo the candyfloss but we did that very British thing of buying chips and eating them in the car whilst we looked out to sea.

Over at Anything But A Card this week my fellow DT member, the very talented Di Hasthorpe, is in the Spotlight. Each DT member takes a turn to share more about themselves and to set a mini-challenge that lasts a week. Di is sharing some of her fabulous work and for her”Hang It” challenge she is asking you to share anything that can be hung. Here’s what I made:


This is one of those tiny papier mache frames that you can pick up for 50p or less. Originally I intended it to be white, but once painted it the surface began to bubble a bit so I thought I would cover it in paper instead. This is a tiny scrap the My Mind’s Eye Sweetest Thing collections that I used earlier in the week. I gave it a dry brushing of white acrylic paint and then inked the edges with Walnut Stain distress ink. I’ve used some Ivory Cosmic Shimmer glue around the edge.


I used the reverse of the paper in the centre and stamped the bumblebee. I added a little colour with Promarkers and the word was printed on my computer.


As luck would have it, I just happened to have some sweetheart blossoms that matched the paper and used these to create a central frame around the image.


The finishing touch was to colour some white seam binding with a coordinating Promarker and use it to pretty up the hanging cord.


I shall be sharing this over at Anything But A Card for Di’s challenge – be sure to buzz over to her blog and take a look at her amazing pieces and I know she’d love you to link up with the challenge too. And don’t forget if you have any bee or butterfly creations you can link them up with the new challenge at Crafty Boots. :)



Thanks for buzzing by.






Killer Instinct

Today I shall be embarking on a grand tour of my region. I shall first be heading north west to Leeds, then east to Hull, crossing the Humber Bridge to go further east to Grimsby before finally heading to the coast at Cleethorpes. This is not for pleasure, but for work and, fortunately for me I am being driven by my kind husband who will playing Hoke Colburn to my Miss Daisy! I am very grateful as the prospect of making this tour by train (I hate driving) makes me tired just thinking about it! Hopefully there will be time and opportunity to take advantage of seaside fish and chips, and maybe even candyfloss, before we wend our weary way home.

Last week, you may remember me mentioning that I had an idea for Every Inchie Monday that required me to make nine inchies. I failed! The theme this week is “killer” and my original plan had been to tell the story of the old woman who swallowed a fly. You’ll see from my first set that I started, but on this occasion didn’t finish the set.


Instead we have a little food chain that I’ve hand doodled and coloured. I would like to develop my doodling but haven’t as yet had chance to practise much. I’m very happy with this little set but came unstuck when I got to the cat  (..to catch the bird, …to catch the spider etc.). I decided to leave the fly in the equation as, ultimately, it was he who started the whole catastrophic chain of events that ended with the poor old woman swallowing a horse. At this point, if you don’t know the rhyme you will think me completely bonkers.

I’m particularly pleased with my doodled bird!


I did manage a further two inchies and this time relied on stamping.


These stamps are from Creative Expressions and I stamped and coloured them before shrinking to size. I will confess I have a deep mistrust of bears and foxes. Fortunately, we don’t get a lot of roaming bears in the UK but we do have a lot of foxes, including urban ones. We have one that lurks somewhere in our neighbourhood and it doesn’t seem very put out by humans.

I think these two maybe too cute and so lack the killer instinct.

My fellow players at Every Inchie Monday have, as always, some inspired thinking on this theme and some wonderfully executed work (no pun intended!) for this killer theme so do be sure to buzz over and take a look.


Thanks for buzzing by.


Sweet as honey

Good morning and Happy Monday! It really is a happy Monday as it is a Bank Holiday here in the UK so an extra day to relax and a shorter working week to boot. It’s also a happy Monday because today sees the launch of a new theme over at Crafty Boots Challenges. The new theme, chosen by yours truly, is Butterflies and/or Bees. Now you know me well enough by now to realise that, when it comes to crafting, bees and butterflies are my default settings. So it will probably surprise you, as much as it did me, that it took me ages to come up with my Design Team piece for this challenge.


I hope you’ll agree that it was worth the wait! I’m particularly pleased with how this card turned out and will be very reluctant to give it away so might just send it to myself. Or perhaps sell it to Mr Beez??!!!



I’ve used papers from My Mind’s Eye Sweetest Thing Honey collection. Now I have to tell you I was practically hyper-ventilating as I cut into these. It is the most gorgeous collection – far to pretty to use. The papers are double sided and you get two sheets but I would prefer a never ending supply! I’ve inked all the edges with Walnut Stain distress ink and used black card to create mats for all the layers. The diagonal striped paper that the sentiment is stamped on (and also runs across the centre of the card) is actually the border that each piece of paper is attached to.


I’ve coloured some seam binding with a Promarker  (Pink Lobster)and used it to make a bow. You will see a LOT of this colour. I’ve just been making my Gecko Galz Design Team samples for next month and this colour features so much that I had to give myself a talking to so I stopped using it!


The bee itself is stamped on to some of the paper and coloured with Promarkers. I’ve popped it inside a little frame that I painted white, glittered and then inked. I’m also loving frames at the moment and can’t get enough of them.


Make sure you buzz over to Crafty Boots and see what the rest of the DT have been up to. We’d love it if you joined in with our challenge and you have a whole fortnight to share your butterfly/bee creations with us.


Thanks for buzzing by.

Let’s Get Cooking

As you know, one of my main passions in life is food and I have always been a keen cook. I was lucky in that as a child I was encouraged to cook and given quite a free rein in the kitchen. My cousin and I regularly made buns and took great delight in icing them with all sorts of lairy colours that have probably long since been banned. A large part of my job now is to get people cooking so they can cook meals from scratch using basic ingredients. I travel around my region with a van packed full of cooking equipment and ingredients which then has to be unloaded, unpacked and transformed into a cooking and demonstration teaching area. At the end of the day, and sometimes two days, it’s all packed away so we can do it all again somewhere else! I know I’ve posted this photo’ before but…


We have to be very careful when we open the back door that it doesn’t all come tumbling out on to the pavement!

All that pre-amble was simply my way of leading in to today’s project which is a card that I have made for the current challenge over at City Crafter Challenge Blog -What’s Cooking?


This lovely vintage image, from The Vintage Workshop, reminds me of the cooking sessions we run. People working in groups and sharing out the tasks. However, that cute little cat would not be allowed at the party. Those splodges by the way are part of the image and not be being messy! However, my cookery books do tell a story in that well used recipes often display remnants of the ingredients used. That’s sure to add to the value when they pitch up on Antiques Roadshow in years to come.


Tucked behind the image is an image of a recipe which I took from my beloved Betty Crocker cookbook. This is a vintage cookbook that I just love to read and look at the pictures. The names of the recipes are so enticing – RichYellow Cake, Araby Spice Cake, Peppermint Chip Chiffon, Exquiite Coconut Cake… I just want to make, and of course eat, the lot!

I’ve layered up the images with cardstock, a doily and designer papers using a red, to compliment the girls dresses, and black for contrast.


I’ve used some red and white ribbon to create a bow and tucked in some little red and white berries and the tiniest little wooden spoon that I happened to have in my stash.



If you’d like to pick up some healthy recipes, for free, you can buzz over to the Let’s Get Cooking at Home website and take your pick for free. The Oat and Raisin Cookies are great for a quick sweet treat and the Italian Chicken Pasta Salad, written by yours truly, is a great dish for the summer. If you want to rustle up a quick curry then the Speedy Chicken Biryani (use cashew nuts if you’re a veggie) is always popular with our delegates.

Thanks for buzzing by.

Life is a bed of roses

Another long Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK and, typically, the warm summery weather we have been experiencing has disappeared! I knew it was too soon to switch from boots to flip-flops!

Today I am sharing an impromptu make. By that, I mean I had planned to share something else with you this morning but a comment left by uber-talented Hels Sheridan earlier in the week set me off on a different tack. She mentioned that the background stamp I used to  create my Blue Brown and Butterfly  reminded her of roses. Up until that point it had reminded me, ever thinking of food as usual, of those swirly toffees that you used to be able to get in Woolworths. However, as soon as she said roses I could see it and wanted to try it. Here’s what I came up with.


The swirly background stamp is by Neil Walker and I got mine from Artistic Stamper. I used Festive Berries distress ink to stamp the image and then swirled on various pinks – Picked Raspberry, Spun Sugar and Worn Lipstick. For the ATCs I used a mix of Festive Berries and Barn door for the image.


For the card I used Stazon to stamp the bee, the big bee from Stampotique, and the honeycomb background. I originally intended to paper piece all of the bee but once I’d done the wings, liked it the way it was so just added a little bit of colour with a Promarker instead.


The ATCs are my lovely Catslife Press Bumblebee Girl, stamped and paper pieced, and a Hero Arts butterfly. Both images were coloured with distress inks. The words were printed off on my computer and I doodled the borders. I’ve done a little extra stamping to add some layers.


So thank you Hels for the idea, can’t wait to play with different colours. Think I might try black with pink/red for a Charles Rennie Mackintosh feel.


What ever you are up to this weekend, have fun and thanks for buzzing by.


Bird in blue

Although our garden is only small it is, at the moment, awash with bird activity. I think that is in part due to the fact that on three sides we are surrounded by quite a dense beech hedge and also possibly because  Mr Beez offers two types of bird muesli on his bird buffet. Regular visitors are a couple of pigeons who hang about to collect the crumbs left by the smaller and more agile birds who can balance on the feeders. There are at least two nests in operation one is home to some blackbirds and the other to something smaller. Mr Beez is on regular cat patrol as one has been seen lurking underneath the blackbirds’ nest.

So, here’s a bird themed card I made, using supplies from The Gecko Galz:



This pretty bird image is from this month’s For The Birds collage set and I’ve teamed it with paper that is equally pretty and is from the Floral Symphony paper pack.


I’ve added two types of ribbon, from my Really Reasonable Ribbon selections, and a tiny piece (because I can’t bear to use it!) of pretty lace from Wild Orchid Crafts.




The finishing touch is a pretty aqua cabochon, an Ebay purchase, from my stash.


This card is perfect for the latest challenge over at Crafty Boots, where the theme is blue and white and  you still have a couple of days to share your projects with us, we’d love to see them.



Another frequent visitor to our garden is the robin family. How can you not love a robin – a sure sign that Christmas isn’t that far away!:)

Thanks for buzzing by.







Blue, brown and a butterfly

Today I am sharing another make that I have made for this week’s Sunday Stampers challenge which is to use brown and blue.


I’ve used a piece of chipboard that was packaging from something or other, obviously not ordered by me!!! I gave it a coat of bronze paint (that’s a shade of brown right?) and once dry, applied some clear texture paste. I allowed the paste to dry for awhile and then pressed a stamp into it. The stamp is a background stamp made up of lots of little coils/spirals. You will be seeing a lot more of this – it’s fab! Once the paste was dry I gave it another coat of bronze paint and then sponged on some Walnut Stain distress ink to deepen the colour and highlight the spirals.


You will recognise the butterfly as one of my regular Hero Arts stamps – this time I coloured it blue with Promarkers.


The sentiment was printed off on my computer using one of my recently downloaded typewriter fonts from Da Font. I printed in dark brown rather than black. The card has been inked with Antique Linen, Frayed Burlap and Walnut Stain.


The flowers are actually sweetheart blossoms that I have separated out and then coloured with a Promarker. I’d intended to stick them back together but decided I liked them the way they had ended up. The centres are some blobs of Cosmic Shimmer glue in vanilla.


This is for everyone at Amy and Friends – and in particular for sweet little Knox who I think of every time I see a butterfly. :)

In loving memory of Knox Haddon Clay July 14, 2010 – February 1, 2014

His life was short but his impact was huge.

Thanks for buzzing by.