More melt pot

Don’t you just love Sundays? And don’t you just love Sundays even more when they are followed by a Bank Holiday Monday? This Sunday is even better because there’s a new challenge over at Anything But A Card. This time we have a colour theme for you, here’s the palette:


You can use one or more of the colours in your project, just as long as it isn’t a card (ATCs and Tags are fine :)). Here’s my DT sample:


This is another altered wood block made with the assistance of my Melt Pot. I actually made this one before the one I shared with you on Friday. Once again I painted the block using acrylic paints inspired by the photograph. Here’s the block before it got the beeswax treatment.


This time, I cut pieces of single-ply tissue for all the sides, except the base. Then I stamped them using Stazon. The sea bubbles by Ryn, the moon/sun from Inkadinkado and this lovely little bee (Miss Beez?) which is from The Beekeepers Tea Collection (Plate 13) by Clearly Constructed Stamps. There’s also a little bit of script which is a stamp from Stampin Up!



I applied each piece of tissue by painting a thin layer of beeswax on to the block, positioning the tissue and then heating the wax with a heat gun whilst brushing gently to spread the wax evenly. Then I applied extra wax around the edges and dusted on some mica powders.


I’ve added a large brass key charm and threaded it with some coordinating ribbon.


In the corner I made a little arrangement of muslin, dyed with Dried Marigold Distress Stain, paper roses and a tiny little vial that I’ve filled with glitter and added a label. The vial is by Creative Expressions.



On the top I used a bobbin topped with a brass brad.


I think this is my favourite of the two blocks that I have made. However, I did make one big mistake that I actually has ended up as a happy accident. You won’t be able to see it, but you might be able to guess what it was. There is a clue on this page, but it isn’t obvious.  If you think you know, leave me a comment!


I hope you’ll find some crafty time to share a project with us at Anything But A Card for this challenge – you’ve got three weeks to link up. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

Thanks for buzzing by.

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Pearls, pearls, pearls

Today, myself and Mr Beez have been enjoying the warmth and sunshine with a visit to the continental market that is visiting Sheffield this holiday weekend. I’ve been enjoying an authentic croquet monsieur, made by a very authentic and charming Frenchman. We took a little stroll through the Winter Gardens and then over to the Crucible to take in the atmosphere surrounding the snooker World Championships. All that walking allowed me to pick up a cone of churros and chocolate sauce from the market before returning to the car. Hence the reason my post is so late today.

Before we left I did whip a card that I am going to share over at Craft Hoarders Anonymous where the theme for Challenge #6 is to use this sketch:


There is also a twist – you have to use something old and combine it with something new. Now when I need to work quickly I usually go to my default setting – that is to use a bee or a butterfly. Today, I chose …


…butterfly.  There is a certain irony about this card as, with the exception of the organza rose trim, everything else came from Stampin’ Up! I didn’t do this consciously, it just happened, the ironical bit is that earlier this week I decided to end my Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator status. If you’re wondering about the old and new – the pearls and papers are from my old stash, the seam binding is new (it’s very difficult to dye seam binding an ivory colour) and I used a new large circle die.


I’ve distressed the edges of all the designer papers and layered them on to some black card. On the base layer, I’ve curled the corner over so you can see the reverse. In that corner I’ve added some pearls and some roses from my organza rose trim. These were all roses that I “lost” whilst making other projects. As I am very untidy when I craft things sometimes (well, quite often actually!) go missing in action, only turning up when I tidy away at the end of the day. I lost about six roses in this way. These smaller roses are simply the large ones that I have cut down a little.


The central panel has been stamped and I’ve punched out an additional butterfly to layer on top of the original image to give it dimension.


Some more organza roses, full size this time, and some punched branches decorate the corner.


As I mentioned before, the circle was punched out and I added some more pearls. I’ve added a double layer of seam binding and given the top layer a twist.



Our visit to the market today was slightly tactical as today was the day our two football teams were playing each other and there is always a bit of friendly rivalry between us on these occasions. We decided it might be better to have a distraction. Earlier this season my team, West Ham, beat Mr Beez’, Tottenham Hotspur, with an emphatic 3-0. Today, if we lost, there was a slight, although unlikely chance, we might have been relegated. With my team going through yet another losing streak the prospects were not good. However, I can tell you it all ended well – unless you happen to Mr Beez of course! Croques, Churros AND a win – isn’t life great?!

Thanks for buzzing by.

Mrs beez and the beeswax

Well, I’ve only gone and actually done it! I’ve finally played with my Melt Pot and I managed it all without the need for first aid. It seemed only fit and proper that my first project should be one for Sunday Stampers, as it is entirely due to Hels Sheridan that I was not only inspired to purchase a Melt Pot but also, after attending her workshop,  became brave enough to give it a go. Having finally plucked up the courage to unpack it, I fell at the last hurdle when I discovered my very old black Stazon was not up to the job so had to wait until my visit to Art from the Heart on Wednesday. Anyway, take a look at my makes:


They are not perfect, but for a first attempt I’m quite happy. I used the Mod Podge moulds for all except the larger hearts – these were made using bezels like the one you can see in the picture.


All of the above were made using UTEE –  a mixture of clear and tropic red. The purple was clear with a bit of purple mica powder.

Here’s my project for the Sunday Stamper’s Challenge which has the theme of wheels, I’ve gone for cog wheels:


This is a chunky woodblock that I’ve altered. I have absolutely no idea why I have a stack of these in my stash, but I do. I began by giving it a coat or two of acrylic paint – blues, greens and a touch of white and yellow. Then I added a patch of red front and back.


Next, I stamped my images onto single ply tissue using my brand new Stazon. The hearts I cut out, but for the top and sides I used pieces of tissue that were the same size as the wood. Then to the Melt Pot. I used a project pan to melt some beeswax granules and then applied a thin layer over the woodblock. The tissue is smoothed over the wax, which sets very quickly, and then a heat gun melts the wax so that the tissue sticks and is coated with a layer of beeswax. I then used a brush to apply extra beeswax around the sides and edges to add texture.


The beeswax has been dusted with gold mica powder.

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I added a brass key charm to the top and some Chit-Chat stickers to the front.


I actually made two altered blocks but you will have to wait until Sunday, when the new Anything But A Card challenge goes live, to see that! I am hugely pleased to have finally made merry with the Melt Pot AND to have done it without injury! Soonce again, big thanks to Hels and also thanks to my blog friend Ruth Levy who shared lots of hints and tips that helped and inspired me.


Thanks for buzzing by.


Implausible Inchies

Yep, “implausible.” That’s the word for this week’s Every Inchie Monday challenge. Hats off to my fellow players who have not only managed to come up with great ideas, they have also executed them brilliantly. I struggled with this one. My first thought was simply to use a dictionary entry as a backdrop and then create a little collage from found bits and pieces. However, once I’d reduced the dictionary entry to size it was so tiny you couldn’t read it. The definition wasn’t very helpful, it being “not plausible.” So after further thought, I decided to go with some themes that, in my world, are entirely plausible but for the majority of people entirely implausible. P1080124

First up is a silhouette image of a scene from Alice in Wonderland and I’ve simply added some colour to the background. The image is another from from the Gecko Galz Charming Silhouettes digi stamp set that you’ve seen me use a lot. I love both Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through The Looking Glass (my favourite of the two) and decided that every event could be deemed implausible.


My other two inchies are made using images from this month’s new digi stamp release from the Gecko Galz - Pixie Chicks. It was only after I had made the inchies that I realised I would have to wait until today, when the new sets go “live,” to do my blogpost.

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I have simply coloured these images in and added a bit of sparkle with a gel pen. I especially like the fairy sharing a secret with the Koala. In that little scene it’s the Koala that makes it implausible! The other is the Tea Fairy.

All the new releases from the Gecko Galz are now live on the website and don’t forget you can also pick up this month’s freebies.

I also have a card to show you;


That stunning bird image is in fact one of the papers from the Gecko Galz Garden Botanica set from last month. This is a fabulous set as the papers make brilliant cards all by themselves.


I’ve used some gorgeous coordinating ribbon from Really Reasonable Ribbon along with some lemon mini-pom pom trim and my favourite organza rose ribbon trim.




I’ve used kraft paper and a doily to build up the layers and finished it all off with some coordinating gems.


I can tell you I had a fabulous day at Art from the Heart yesterday and managed to make four matchbox projects. However, they need a little finishing off before I can share them with you here. If you like you can take a sneaky peek by checking out Kate Crane’s blog. Kate was our fantastic tutor and the matchboxes are on her blog along with loads of other inspirational work.

Thanks for buzzing by.

Flower girl tags

Another day off for me today and I’m returning to Art from the Heart in Harrogate to take part in another workshop. How lucky is that? This time it’s all about altered matchboxes. If you are a frequent visitor to my blog you will know that I love this type of project. I can’t wait to show you what I make.

Tomorrow will see the launch of the new releases over at the Gecko Galz and I can promise you that you are in for a treat. I made a lot of samples and found it difficult to stop. So I thought today would be a good day to share the last of my projects that I made using this month’s products.


This tag set has been made using images from the Flower Girls collage set. I love making colour sets and these little ladies, with their spring flower hats, were perfect for the job. The base of each tag is some music manuscript and a small piece of my favourite paper from the Gecko Galz Wild Roses paper collection.



The images have been inked and I’ve popped a tiny piece of muslin underneath. I’ve added some clear glitter glue to the flowers.


The coordinating ribbon has been made using seam binding and colouring it with Promarkers. I like to scrunch it up to give it a vintage look. I’ve wrapped a double layer around the base of the tag and topped it with a bow. There’s also some crochet lace across the bottom of the tag.


The words were stamped onto card using Vintage Photo.


Thanks for buzzing by.



I’m thrilled to have another opportunity to be back a Guest Designer over at City Crafter Challenge Blog. This week, #209, the theme is Speech Bubbles.

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Here’s my card:



This is a little stamped composition using stamps by Hero Arts and the speech bubble and Hello are by Chocolate Baroque.


I started by dusting the card with Salty Ocean and then stamped the grass using several different greens and overlapping layers to give it some depth.


Next I stamped all the individual elements. Quite nerve wracking as if you make one mistake the whole thing is ruined. Once the scene was finished, and normal breathing had resumed, I coloured it in using Promarkers.



I’ve used some designer paper and black card for the background and added some pretty daisies and punched leaves to finish it off.


Be sure to buzz over to City Crafter Challenge Blog and take a look at what the talented Design Team have been up to. I know they’d love to see your projects too and you can always be sure of a warm welcome when you link up what you have made.


Thanks for buzzing by.



Happy Monday :) Today sees the start of a new challenge over at Crafty Boots Challenges and the theme, chosen by the super talented Sandra, is “big birthdays.” I’ve chosen to make a card for my cousin’s son, Ed, who will make the massive leap into double figures later in the year:


I’ve mentioned before that Ed is the only child I ever make cards for as he is always interested in what I do and how I have done it. I decided to go with a football theme as not only is he a big fan of local team Sheffield Wednesday but he is also very knowledgeable about football in general.


The football itself was made using a hexagon embossing folder and running using it on both white and black card, then cutting out the black hexagons and arranging them within the white. After that I cut out a circle.


I picked up the chipboard numbers at Art from the Heart and simply glittered them. I’ve used some starry grosgrain ribbon, from Really Reasonable Ribbon, and threaded it through the numbers.


As this is a big birthday I added some stars, punched from silver glitter card, to finish it all off.The best thing of all about this card is that Ed’s birthday is not until August – how organised does that make me feel.


I think each of the Crafty Boots Design Team has opted for a different big birthday, so do be sure to buzz over and see their fabulous cards. Hope you’ll also share your projects with us.


Thanks for buzzing by.






Three bees

Today I am sharing three little projects that all have a bee theme and are all clean and simple in design. Hope you like them :)


First, I would like to introduce you to my fabulous new bee stamp. Now before you ask what I have been doing buying new craft supplies, especially when a new bee stamp can in no way be classed as “essential,” I bought this using am Art from the Heart gift voucher I was given for Christmas. I waited until I did my workshop so I didn’t have to pay p & p.


This stamp is the third in the series by Stampotique and you will be familiar with the other two as I use them a lot. However, this one is the daddy of all bee stamps and I love it.


To make the card, I stamped the bee on to white card and then stamped the word enjoy using my Darkroom Door String Inspiration stamp. Next I used an Inkduster to swoosh on Salty Ocean and Picked Raspberry distress inks to make a summery sky.


I’ve paper pieced the body and wings of the bee, using Promarkers to add colour plus a touch of glittery gel pen to add sparkle.


Going from one extreme to the other I also made some tiny bee pictures in frames. The frames are by Prima and are unbelievably cute (let’s pretend I’ve had them ages).


The first one uses the little brother of the bee on the card. This is the tiniest in the Stampotique set.


I inked the card, once again using Salty Ocean and an Inkduster. Next I stamped the bee and coloured it in using Promarkers. Then I made a little aperture, the same size as the frame’s and used it to help me stamp the flowers.



The second piece was made in exactly the same way except this time I used Wild Honey for the background and Rusty Hinge for the honeycomb. I also paper pieced the bee and once again added glitter gel pen to the wings.


As it happens, I didn’t get to my Melt Pot today after all BUT I’ve cleared my mountain of ironing and got up to date with my Gecko Galz DT projects so now there are no obstacles in the way. With any luck, I should be able to make some little frames just like the ones I’ve used today.

Thanks for buzzing by.


Playing with paints

So after last week’s crafting opportunity drought, my plans for a weekend of craftiness have gone slightly adrift. This is largely due to feeling shattered. Yesterday went something like this – 7.45am everyone off to work, 11.30pm – youngest son returns from work, 5.00am eldest son returns from night out and cleans teeth with electric toothbrush, 6.30am- youngest son up early to make breakfast muffin for girlfriend’s birthday breakfast, 7am youngest son requests help to pay accommodation deposit with yours truly’s credit card (Hungarian hostels will only accept deposit by credit card apparently), 7.15am Mr Beez sets off smoke alarm before driving youngest son to work. Bleugh!!!

Anyway, I did at least get one project completed and ready to share, albeit a little later than I would have liked:


I am sharing this over at City Crafter Challenge Blog where this week’s challenge, “paint it,” is to use paint in your project. I’ve used a mixture of water colour paints and pencils, plus a hint of Promarkers for this card. The background was created by putting blobs of water colour, mixed quite thick, onto a Spodge mat, spritzing them with water and then bobbing the card in the mix. I dried the card in between each colour and sometimes left the old colour on the mat so it blended with the new.


I stamped the (Hero Arts) flowers and then paper pieced the leaves and flower heads after colouring them with watercolour pencils blended with water, and Promarkers.




I’ve edged the card with black distress stain and then layered it on to a piece of white card that has been stamped with the sentiment. I love this stamp as it lends itself to almost any occasion. There’s a final mat of black card just to set the whole thing off.


Now although I haven’t done the amount of crafting I would like, and neither have I done the ironing as it happens, I have, after more than a year of having it in my possession, undone my Melt Pot!


So that’s the plan for tomorrow. However, eldest son has informed me he will be going out again tonight, so who knows!



Take two tags

Yesterday, unexpectedly, a tiny window for crafting became available so I used the time to play with inks and whipped up two quick tags. I’m sharing these over at Sunday Stampers where the theme this week is memories.


I think this is one of my favourite crafting techniques as you never quite know how things will turn out and you can usually cover up any small mistakes.


The first tag was made using kraft card that I first inked with Vintage Photo and then spritzed with water. I’ve used a variety of stamps, including a clock face , and a combination of Vintage Photo, Walnut Stain and Gathered Twigs.


The sentiment, a quote by Louisa M Alcott, who wrote Little Women, was printed of on my computer and mounted on cream card. I’ve added a strip of lace across the bottom and topped it off with a vintagy brad.




I stamped and punched the butterflies on to more cream card and added a little Vintage Photo. The ribbon is a bit of cream coloured scrim.


The second tag used Squeezed Lemonade, Mowed Lawn and a tiny bit of Tumbled Glass distress inks. I used some Iced Spruce to stamp the crackle and Tumbled Glass for everything else.



Because I was short on time, I used the same words and simply changed the font.


The butterflies were coloured with Promarkers and the ribbon is seam binding coloured with more Squeezed Lemonade and Tumbled Glass.






Thank goodness it was a short working week this week and that tomorrow is Saturday with, hopefully, lots of time for some proper crafting. I have some plans and it involves the Melt Pot!!

Thanks for buzzing by.