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.



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The browning version

Brown is the theme for this week’s Every Inchie Monday and, as is the norm, I have made a little set of four.

To make these I used a stamp from the Dylusions Doodle Parts set and white ink on dark brown card and then left it to dry. P1070010

Then I chose parts of the design I liked and punched out 1 inch squares. I used cardstock in two different browns and used my Martha Stewart punch to make some little blossoms.


I gave each bloom a pearly centre and then arranged them on the inchie.


Very simple to do.



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Here comes the sun

Today sees the start of a new challenge over at Crafty Boots Challenge Blog and the theme for the fortnight is Sunshine. I am not a fan of the sun in winter, it shows up the dust too much. Despite the continued wet weather here in the UK the sun has been making regular appearances. These are usually timed to end just as I set about taking photographs of my projects! However, I did manage to outwit in order to take pictures of my Crafty Boots design team pieces.



These were made using the Inkadinkado Stamping Gear which I have had for some time but not been brave enough to use. I can tell you that, now I have, it is brilliant! If you haven’t seen this piece of equipment in action it is basically a mechanism that enables you to stamp at regular intervals. There are different shapes and each has a stamping block that locks into little notches on the gear. The king of the stamping gear is Create and Craft’s John Bloodworth and you will find no end of inspiration over on his blog.

My first card gives you an idea of how the whole thing works.


I prepared the background by dusting Mustard Seed and Wild Honey distress inks on to plain white card. Next, I used my script stamp and Wild Honey to stamp patches of text. Then it was time for the stamping gear. I used the circular frame, two different stamps from the celestial set and Vintage Photo ink. Using the first of the sunray stamps, and stamping inside the frame, I stamped in every fourth notch (or every other notch that is marked). Then I stamped the second sunray in between, starting two notches to the right of the original and continuing in every fourth notch. This probably sounds like gobbledegook, but will make perfect sense if you have the gear set! The face was stamped separately and I cut it out stuck in the centre of the sun rays. To finish, I dusted on a little Spiced Marmalade ink and layered it on a blue background.


My second card was made in almost the same way and was inspired by a technique for single layer cards that I found on John’s blog. First, I stamped the word dream using the String Inspiration stamp from Darkroom Door.


Then I masked the lower portion of the card off and prepared the background in the same way as I did for the other card except this time I used Spiced Marmalade to stamp the script.


I again used the circular frame and positioned it by eye. A useful tip here is to decide where you want the centre of the design to be, in this case the face of the sun. Then I stamped the sun rays in exactly the same way as before, but this time using Rusty Hinge distress ink.


I stamped some additional rays, again using the circular frame, so that only part of the design was showing. The finishing touch, and another heart stopping moment in case I messed it up, was to draw double lines underneath the inked area.

Very happy how these two turned out, especially as they are my first attempts. Can’t wait to play with it some more.

I hope you’ll be able to let a little sunshine into your life by joining in with the challenge over at Crafty Boots and do check out what the rest of the design team have been up to.

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The magic of love

Today I am sharing a little Valentine wand that I made as one of my Gecko Galz design team projects.


I made a couple of these last year and will share the pictures at the end of this post. I am going to link this project over at Really Reasonable Ribbon for challenge #87 which has a Valentine’s Day/Love and ribbon theme.

P1060992The base is a simple wooden heart that I’ve covered with one  of the Basic Grey True Love digital papers. I’ve edged the heart with gold glitter and then added some pink ruffle lace.


I’ve topped the heart with this beautiful image from the Gecko Galz Valentine Wishes ephemera set and one of the images from the Basic Grey True Love digital scrapbooking set.


The stem is a thin piece of dowel that I’ve covered with pink satin ribbon and hot glued to the back. Then I’ve tied various lengths of satin ribbon to create some streamers and topped it all off with a coordinating paper rose.


Wishing you all lots of magic and love this Sunday.


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Love monochrome

If you buzz over here on a regular basis you will know that last December I was lucky enough to have a short break in Vienna. As it was the festive season there were lots of fabulous Christmas markets and street decorations. In the gardens outside the Rathaus, (Town Hall) the large trees were festooned with decorations that at night were illuminated. They were quite difficult to capture on camera but take a look:

These were giant acorns…



P1060646… guitars…


and, my favourite …


P1060648 hearts.


These trees came straight to mind when I saw that this week’s challenge at City Crafter Challenge Blog has the them “Artsy Trees.” Charlene has chosen the theme and I was totally blown away by her card – buzz over to her blog and you will see why!

Inspired by my happy Viennese memories and Char’s beautiful card I came up with my own:



I find clean and simple cards quite hard to do in that I always feel I should add more. But I was so happy that this turned out just as I’d planned, it was much easier to leave it alone! Despite my track record of making simple things complicated this was relatively easy to make. It did take more than one attempt but not much more!


I used black Memento ink throughout and started with the sentiment. You will know by now that this comes from the Darkroom Door String Inspiration set and that I am totally besotted with them! Next I stamped the tree which came from my stash and I can’t remember who it’s buy. I’m ashamed to say that until now it’s never been used. Finally, I used the little heart on a string, another favourite, which is from Stampotique. I coloured it red with Promarkers.


You will appreciate that each new piece of stamping was done with my heart in my mouth as, having got the previous one right, I was all too aware I could mess it all up. I held my breath whilst I coloured in the heart.

To keep the CAS look I just layered the stamped scene on to some black card.


Be sure to buzz over to City Crafter as all the samples are fabulous.

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