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.

Pretty in purple

Well I’ve safely reached “hump day” and I am already looking forward to the long weekend ahead.

Today I am sharing one of my Gecko Galz Design Team samples made using on of this month’s new collage sets.


This uses some papers by Heartfelt Creations pack and I’ve layered them up with this pretty image from the Spring Beauties collage set to which I’ve added some gold glitter highlights.


I’ve printed extra copies of the paper and decoupaged some of the flowers to add dimension. The butterfly was also punched from a piece of the paper and given a glittery body.



I dyed some seam binding using Victorian Velvet Distress Stain and used it to create a nice big multi looped bow and topped it with a tiny one made from a scrap of gold ribbon.




Just a reminder that there is a Gecko Galz DT call out at the moment – why not give it a try? You get loads of fabulous products to play with and the support of a very friendly design team.

Thanks for buzzing by.



Spring birds

We have had some amazing summery days here in the UK although technically it is still spring. However, the cherry blossom that adorns the tree outside my house has just about disappeared and that’s the first signal that summer is coming. I’ve made a couple of little canvases that are a celebration of spring.

I am sharing these over at Sunday Stampers where the theme is brown and blue. The stamp is by Hero Arts.


I’ve painted the canvas with blue acrylic paint, addimg in a smidge of green and white and not blending it too well. Once dry, I stamped the bird, using Stazon, and the blossom branches using the appropriately named Tree Branch Archival Ink. This looks more green on the canvas which was quite handy.


The blossoms were created by using the end of a paint brush and then just blobbing white, pink and red ink over the original flowers and buds on the stamped branches.


The bird was stamped, coloured with distress inks and then paper pieced over the original. I added the tiniest bit of crystal clear glitter to give that sheen that you see on blackbirds’ wings.


The words were printed on my computer and I coloured the card with Antique Linen and Frayed Burlap distress inks.


My second bird is coloured with yellow and green distress inks and glittered in the same way. I decided to give him a little party hat to help him celebrate (hopefully) the end of the cold winter months.


Some of you will despair that I added the hat, others of you will love it. Mr Beez will very definitely be in the first camp and won’t understand at all. However, in my defence, I didn’t want this to look like I’d tried to do grown-up proper art!


Thanks for buzzing by.

Jolly Boat

The theme for this week at Every Inchie Monday is Jolly Boat. My thoughts led me to two different boat ideas and some same but different inchies:


First up was Edward Lear’s nonsense rhyme “The Owl and the Pussycat.” This is one of my favourite rhymes and I am so envious of my clever friend who got her mum to recite this as one of the readings at her wedding. Wish I’d thought of that. Anyway I decided that a “a beautiful pea green boat” had to be jolly, especially when it was carrying a cargo of honey and money!


I made a little boat using up some scraps of paper that has been coloured with Dylusions. The background is Promarkers that I have overstamped with white ink, using the sea bubbles stamp by Ryn.


I also found a copy of the rhyme in a book, photocopied the illustration, coloured it in and then reduced it to the size of an inch.


My other thought was linked to one of my favourite films- High Society. Grace Kelly and Bing Crosby reminisce about their honeymoon aboard a yacht called the True Love – “my she was yar.” I used to get really annoyed during parts of this scene as it is set around a beautiful swimming pool and not one of them goes for a swim! Anyway, I made an inchie version of True Love, using the same background, but this time out of book pages. All credit to Mr Beez who not only recognised what I was singing whilst I was making this (he claims I have a terrible voice!) but also knew where it came from. Well what he actually said was “please could Grace Kelly stop singing!”.


Lastly, I decided to make one final boat, this time entirely my own, using some jolly papers.



Enjoy these light-hearted inchies whilst you can. Next week the theme is a dark one and I have an idea that will require 9 inchies in total.

Thanks for buzzing by.

Early Summer days

Good morning. It would appear that here in the UK we are having our summer. You have to enjoy these days to the maximum because this could be the only hot sunny ones we get. Our afternoon tea yesterday was perfect. We arrived in time to take a stroll around the gardens where there was a new exhibition of work by Michael Craig-Martin. I love garden sculptures and Chatsworth has many. The current ones are very funky and very clever as they look as if they are multi dimensional but when you get up close the are quite flat. I’ve popped some photographs in a slide show if you’d like to take a look.

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As I want to take full advantage of the early summer sunshine I don’t feel inclined to stay in and craft. However, I have a pretty little ATC to share with you that I hope captures the essence of the day.


This isn’t quite made from leftovers but almost fits that category. I stamped the flowers on to a piece of ATC sized card when I was designing my altered block last week. In the end I went for a different stamp but, in my new era of thrift and recycling, thought I’d turn this into a normal ATC. Instead of using a piece of cut ‘n’ dry foam or Inkduster to swoosh on the ink, I applied it directly with the pad. The colours are Shabby Shutters, Spun Sugar and Squeezed Lemonade.


I added the dragonfly afterwards and then the Chit-Chat stickers.


Both stamps are, I think, by Hero Arts.

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Thanks for buzzing by and if you have some sunshine – enjoy! :)


Pegged out

On Monday I had the awful experience of waking up believing it was Saturday, I was sooo disappointed when I realised. Today, I woke up believing it was Monday this is a much better scenario. Especially as I have a special treat lined up for this afternoon – Mr Beez and I are having afternoon tea with my cousin and her husband. You know me well enough by now to know that afternoon tea (well, food in general if I’m honest) is one of life’s pleasures and we are on a mission to research as many afternoon tea establishments as we possibly can. Today’s destination, Chatsworth House, is just on my doorstep being a mere 15 minute drive away. You may be familiar with it as the setting for Pride and Prejudice. We are frequent visitors but the tea experience will be a new one. I can’t wait.


The theme at City Crafter Challenge Blog this week is to use a clothespin in your project. In the UK that would be a peg. I’d really have liked to have made some altered pegs for this but there was a slight flaw in my plan … no pegs in my stash. Although you can get wooden pegs quite easily online, they seem to have disappeared from the shops. I saw some not that long ago and stupidly didn’t pick them up. So, instead I’ve come up with a card that uses a mini peg:


I may not have regular sized pegs but I do have quite a lot of mini ones. I used to use these in my classroom to display things on washing lines and based the whole card design on this particular peg.


I’ve used coordinating designer papers in raspberry and yellow and layered them up. The stamped flower has been coloured with Promarkers. I used Cosmic Shimmer glue to create the centre, building up a good blob and coating it with yellow glitter. Cosmic Shimmer glue is really good at holding its shape.


I made a little tag with my favourite bumble stamp. layered it up on more coordinating paper and topped it with a matching button and a scrap of lace.



he gorgeous satin ribbon  and the lace are from Really Reasonable Ribbon.



Thanks for buzzing by.




Leftover love

As I am still not quite back with it after my trip away I thought I’d share a couple of ATCs that I made before I went:


Having enjoyed making my ATC using up leftovers, I thought I’d have a go at a couple more. If truth be told, I whipped these up when I was allegedly tidying up. If you are a regular visitor all the elements of these will probably be familiar too you.


The background for this one is a sheet for the pad that I use when I am using acrylic paints. The surface is shiny and acts as a disposable palette so there’s no cleaning up afterwards – perfect for little old lazy me. I photocopied the page. selected an area I liked and then added bits an bobs of stamping using the Dylusions border and the star by Stampotique. The heart is cut, freehand, from another part of the sheet and I’ve used a black Stabilo All pencil to add shadow. The words are left over from my previous ATC.


This next one was made from a piece of copy paper that I have next to where I create my projects. it’s where I test out my stamps and colours and occasionally I pop a piece under whatever I am making to stop colour going everywhere. All the stamping was there already. The heart is another piece of scrap that I’d used whilst working with red ink. As a former teacher, I get a certain satisfaction from noticing that this particular piece of scrap is actually a photocopy of part of the National Literacy Strategy –  a document that took the fun out of reading and writing. The only extra additions are more Stabilo pencil and some white stamping and here’s a shameful confession: I didn’t ink the stamp to do this, I had put my stamp away without cleaning it. I know – I am a very bad crafter!


I am absolutely loving this technique, not only is it great fun but it’s a great way of recycling. I’ve even found myself looking at my scrap paper as I create something new, looking to see what has been left behind for me to play with.


Thanks for buzzing by.

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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.



Thanks for buzzing by.