Pink pumpkin

Happy Monday?! Don’t we just love a wild, wet and windy morning – especially when it’s a Monday? To cheer yourself up, after you’re done here, why don’t you buzz over to the blogs of my two super-talented crafting friends – Hels Sheridan,  Susan M Brown and Dionne who are continuing the creative blog hop this morning. Thank you ladies for picking up the baton kindly passed to me by Ruth, aka Lerusho.

Once again I am coming in very close to the wire with a project to share over at City Crafter Challenge Blog where this week’s theme is colourful pumpkins – that is any colour except for orange. Obviously I went for pink:

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I’ve used a pumpkin stamp from Bo Bunny and coloured it with various shades of pink Promarkers. In reality it is a little more pink than the photo’ but I was so late completing this that there was no light by the time I came to take it!

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I’ve stamped onto some designer paper, paper pieced the body of the pumpkin and then added a mat of olive green card, distressing all the edges on the way.

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Down one side of the card is some pretty lace and pink seam binding. I couldn’t resist adding a few diamantes.

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To finish I’ve used a piece of broderie anglaise and a little glittered heart.

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This makes a hat trick of posts for me, something I’m very happy about. Thanks for buzzing by.

Autumn Magic

No, you are not imagining it, I have really managed to post here two days in a row – hurrah! Today sees the start of a new challenge over at Anything But A Card. This is particularly exciting as it is the first that encompasses the new design team. The challenge is open for three weeks, starting from today, and each week there will be a fresh set of inspirational projects from the DT. The theme for this months challenge is Autumn Magic/Spring Wonder which takes into account the global diversity of our DT and participants and the seasonal changes taking place across the world right now. Here’s my project:

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Something like this has been on my “to do list” for a VERY long time, so I am thrilled to have finally given it a go. My miniature Halloween apothecary cabinet has been created using paper and images from the Gecko Galz. I used a selection of small corked vials from my stash (Ebay purchases) and added the labels which are from the Spooky Tickets collage sheet.

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The box is the base of a black box. I sanded some of it and then inked over the top with Forest Moss distress ink. I’ve lined it with paper from the Mayflower paper pack and added the poison images which is from the Haunted Ephemera collage set. The apothecary sign was printed from my computer and inked with Antique Linen and Walnut Stain.

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To finish the box I’ve added some metallic trim (Tim Holtz) and a metallic brad (Stampin Up!).

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Be sure to buzz over to Anything But A Card and see what the rest of the DT have been up to, I took a sneaky peek earlier in the week and you are in for a treat.

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I don’t know about where you are but in my part of the world it is suddenly beginning to feel a lot like Autumn!

Thanks for buzzing by.

Snuffles and struggles

Still  poorly and still struggling to get my craft on :( Although I no longer feel ill ill (or proper poorly as they would say in this part of the world), I am still full of snuffles and coughs and this is slowing me down somewhat. A busy week at work has done little to help. Consequently, I’m still having difficulty getting back into my usual rhythm of posting here, visiting my blog friends and creating projects for my favourite blog challenges. Today I decided that it was better to do something rather than nothing so had a little play with some stamps so that I could play along over at Sunday Stampers where the challenge this week is to use shading. P1090162

Here, I am combining two stamps from Stampotique, Star and Agatha Heart, in a little ATC. There is a whole series of Agatha Stamps including Agatha Bee, Agatha Star and Agatha Moon – Mr Beez please take note!Choosing just one was not easy, especially as my friend Ruth aka Lerusho continually encourages me into a bad Stampotique buying habit!

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The background is a combination of Stormy Sky and Faded Jeans distress inks applied with an Inkduster. I stamped the main image and the stars and then paper pieced them, using inks and Promarkers to add colour. I have purposely tried not to make this too perfect (as if I could do that in the first place!) so that the finish is in keeping with the design of the stamp. There’s a touch of glitter on her wings but the camera refused to pick that up. I’ve added shading around the stars and parts of the image with a black Stabilo All pencil.

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You wouldn’t believe the hug amount of mess I have made in creating this tiny little project and right now I don’t feel inclined to go and tidy it up. However, if someone would like to bring me a cup of tea and toasted and buttered teacake when I’ve done it, I might just find some energy from somewhere ;)

Thanks for buzzing by.

 

Busy bee

Huge apologies for going missing in action. The virus that very kindly sought me out after my return from holiday took a real hold and completely knocked me out. Each time I thought I had turned a corner and was on the mend, it seemed I ended up taking a turn for the worse. Consequently all my DT commitments started  to look a little in peril. Fortunately, yesterday I really did start to feel better (although I can’t say I felt “well,” just not as bad as I had done!) so seized the moment and got my craft on in an attempt to catch up.

Firstly, it’s time for a new challenge over at Crafty Boots Challenges and the new theme is “gold.”  Here’s the card that I made:

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This is using paper and images from The Gecko Galz. The paper is from the Coven paper pack, I sized it so it was the same as the card and it creates a perfect backdrop for the tag, which is from the Haunted Ephemera collage set.

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I’ve topped the tag with a black bow and a gold button from my stash.

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The finishing touch is a strip of gold lace along the bottom.

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Be sure to check out what the rest of the DT have been up to AND don’t forget we have a call out for more members – we would love to hear from you.

Secondly, today is my turn to join in the creative blog hop. I was thrilled to be asked by my friend the, the very talented Ruth Levy, aka Lerusho. Ruth’s blog is a real treat, she loves to experiment and uses so many fabulous techniques that will inspire you and make you want to give it a try, especially as she is very generous in showing the full process. The end results are amazing.

So, as part of the blog hop,  I have to share the answers to a few questions with you:

1. What are you working on at the moment?

Well, as I hinted at the start of my post I am furiously playing catch up with my various DT commitments. As it’s the end of the month, all my Gecko Galz samples are due. Although we are only required to make two, the images and papers are always so inspiring that I end up making many more and find it difficult to stop. This month the products (which will be released this month) encompass Halloween, Autumn and Christmas as well as some generic ones and of course I want to use them all. It will also be the Gecko Galz blog hop later in the month so I need to get cracking on those samples. Then I am behind with my entries for the Every Inchie Monday challenge and need to get back into the groove with my regular blog challenges over at Sunday Stampers and City Crafter Challenge Blog.

2. How does your work differ from others in your genre?

Now here’s the thing, I don’t feel that I fit neatly into a genre. I like to try lots of different types of crafting and experiment with lots of different styles. Sometimes this troubles me, but maybe that’s what makes me different?

3. Why do you create?

For me, it is complete relaxation and allows me to switch off completely from everything else. I mainly work from home and it can be very difficult, even on a day off, to completely forget all about it. Creating and crafting allows me to do that. I also like the process of playing and seeing where I end up.

4. How does your creative process work?

I wish I knew! Often it is just a result of playing and seeing what happens. Sometimes I will see an image/paper/stamp and I know exactly what I am going to do with it. Other times I just jog along without any definite plan playing with materials and techniques until I end up with something I am happy with. On occasions I start of with a clear plan and then end up somewhere else. Very rarely do I completely abandon a project, I just go on tweaking it until I’m happy with the outcome.

That’s enough about me, now to the best part of this blog hop and that is to introduce me to some creative friends of mine:

First up is my number one crafting goddess, the totally awesome Hels Sheridan.  It’s not for no reason that Hels is in demand by so many design teams. Hels has been a huge inspiration in my crafting, particularly when it comes to stamping, not only through the work she produces but also through the way in which she makes you believe in yourself and that all things are possible.

Next is Susan M Brown another “in demand” artist with a whole raft of creative skills. Susan is DT captain at Anything But A Card . Doing amazing things with stamps and with moulding putty are just the tip of the iceberg – check out her blog to see the full story.

Last, but by no means least the super talented Dionne. Not only is Dionne DT captain at Crafty Boots she is also my rock, listening tirelessly to my moans and groans and always coming up with words of comfort. Dionne is another a multi-faceted crafter. Her colouring is sublime and she can knit, but this are only two of her skills (two that I lack, might I add!). Check out her steampunk notebook cover to see what I mean!

Thank you lovely ladies for all your inspiration and support and for allowing me to tag you in this hop.

Thanks for buzzing by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Settling back in – with a smile!

Well I am back from my holidays, thoroughly rested, but unfortunately came down with a mega heavy cold (Mr Beez would most likely call this ‘flu!) the day after our return to the UK which I am not at all charmed about. It is primarily this that has delayed my return to making new projects, posting and visiting everyone’s lovely blogs to catch up on what I have missed. It has also delayed me in starting to tackle the massive pile of holiday washing that we have accrued!!

Camogli, near Genoa in Italy, was tranquil and picturesque with every view a delight. This was the view from our hotel room.

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Marseilles had more hustle and bustle but was equally delightful. This photograph was taken whilst sitting up in bed!

First thing in the morning….

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…and last thing at night!

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We were blessed not only in terms of our accommodation but also the weather and the smoothness of our complex travel schedule (our transfer from Camogli to France required four train journeys and a metro ride – all of which were arranged by yours truly).

To ease myself back into the crafty world I thought I would share one of my Gecko Galz DT projects.

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This card uses an image from the Cutie Pies collage sheet and I’ve layered it on to book page and then a scrap of muslin.

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In one corner there is a scrap of lace, a piece of organza rose trim and some seam binding. The sentiment was printed on my computer.

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At the top I’ve used more seam binding to create a bow and topped it with a paper rose.

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As you can see, the design of this card has made great use of bits and bobs of leftovers – I didn’t break into one new piece of crafty stash.

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It’s never easy returning to the normal routine after a holiday but it was fabulous to come back and find so many comments waiting for me here. However, whilst I’m not thrilled about my cold or the return to the day job I can’t wait to get playing full-on crafting again. I’m also excited that we have a DT call out over at Crafty Boots. Our challenges are fortnightly and we welcome all types of crafting, not just cards. We would really love for some new DT members to join us so please do get in touch.

Thanks for buzzing by.

Poppy bookmark

As promised, I am back with another project to share as part of the Crafty Boots third anniversary challenge – Anything Goes.

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This is a tag that I made as one of my Gecko Galz DT samples. It’s perfect for Crafty Boots as my friend and blog captain Dionne loves poppies and butterflies.

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I’ve used one of the fabulous images from the Vintage Bookmarks collage sheet and layered it with coordinating cardstock and a book page. I’ve added two stamped and punched butterflies.

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Across the bottom are two types of lace topped of with a button that has been threaded with seam binding. I’ve used the same seam binding at the top of the bookmark.

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Don’t forget to buzz over and link up your projects and celebrate our 3rd anniversary at Crafty Boots Challenges.

Thanks for buzzing by.

Celebrations and jubilations!

Don’t you just love Mondays? Ha! Me neither usually! But today is not just any old Monday, it is the Monday I have been focusing on to help me through my gruelling summer work schedule! For today is the Monday that, all being well, Mr Beez and I finally get to go on holiday. Yesterday we drove to Gatwick and today we are scheduled to take a morning flight to Genoa. We will be staying in nearby Camogli, a small fishing village for a few nights before catching the train to Marseilles. As you can imagine, I am super excited!

Not only that, today also sees the start of a new challenge over at Crafty Boots Challenges. This challenge is a special one as it marks the third anniversary since the blog began (the first challenge was posted on the 5th September 2011). The theme is Anything Goes, so all you bloggers out there can link up your projects over the next fortnight. Buzz over and take a look at what the rest of the DT have been up to and here’s what I made:

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It’s a birthday bee house! You’ll recognise this as the Artful Dwellings Alterations die and as per usual I have cut it out from sturdy chipboard. That fabulous bee image is from the Gecko GalzLeanne made the most amazing card which I admired and she very kindly sent me the image to play with. I loved her colour choices so much I overlaid the image on to some paper from the By the Shore pack and then applied it to the front of the house. The roof is covered with some Teresa Collins paper and along the base is a strip from the Gecko Galz Hocus Pocus paper pack. There is also an Idea-Ology sticker.

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I’ve added paper roses in one corner and a few tiny rosebuds in a glass vial. The vial is trimmed with small punched butterfly and some baker’s twine.

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To the roof I have added a printed number 3, in recognition of our 3rd anniversary, a wish sentiment, for birthday wishes and a little wooden heart padlock because I could and because I love this blog as I have made some very special friends through it and feel very honoured to be a member of the DT.

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So Happy Birthday Crafty Boots and here’s to many more challenges. And happy holidays to me and Mr Beez with many more of those to come too!

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Thanks for buzzing by.

Flying High

You know me well enough by now to know that the butterfly is one of my crafting default settings. If I’m stuck for what to do, then a butterfly will quite often bridge the gap. Likewise, if I am struggling to know how to finish a project then a butterfly will usually do the job. More importantly, I just love them and, as the symbol of my favourite charity, Amy and Friends, they are a poignant reminder of all those suffering from Cockayne Syndrome. So dreaming up a project for this week’s challenge over at City Crafter Challenge Blog should have been a walk in the park. I wish! I had lots of ideas, but none of them involved a butterfly. I got there eventually and I hope you will agree that what I ended up creating was worth the struggle it caused:

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The inspiration, when it eventually came, was from the fabulously talented Wendy Vecchi. I’ve been exploring her inspirational blog and came across a tag that I loved. I’ve borrowed some of her ideas (I hope she won’t mind) but added in my own twists and turns to create my card.

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The frame is an alterations die. I used cream card and then inked it with Scattered Straw, Spiced Marmalade and Frayed Burlap. The flower in the corner is one of Wendy’s Stamp It Stencil It sets. If you haven’t seen these, you get a stamp and a stencil that work in tandem in each other – this one is Full Bloom. I stamped it and then cut it out before colouring with inks. The stencil allows you to mask the leaves and flower separately. I added an antique brad to the centre.

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The butterfly was cut using a sizzix die, coloured with Spiced Marmalade, Ripe Persimmon and Frayed Burlap then stamped with dots. I’ve layered it with a smaller butterfly, punched from designer paper, and a paper rose.

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The background was made using some lovely black designer paper by Teresa Collins and layered with some cardstock that I coloured with inks. All the edges were distressed and inked with Frayed Burlap. The finishing touches are the stamped sentiment, which comes from a Sheena Douglass set,  some dyed seam binding (Scattered Straw and Spiced Marmalade) and a die cut heart and star. The star has been glittered.

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On Thursday, Madelaine Clay, the sister of dear little Knox, rode a zip line across Liverpool City Centre to raise money for Amy and Friends. It was a magnificent achievement for such a worthy cause. The difference this small charity makes to the sufferers of Cockayne Syndrome and their families is huge. If you can, visit Madelaine’s Just Giving page to find out more. Madelaine, you are superstar and this card is for you in honour of  – you truly did “fly high,” Knox would have been so proud :)

Thanks for buzzing by.

Growing purple

I’m buzzing by with another tag in the same series that I shared earlier in the week. As with the other two I will be linking this up over at Sunday Stampers for the purple challenge.

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As you can see, this is majoring on the purple! I’ve used a mixture of blue, pink and purple distress inks and a variety of stamps to create the background. After the tag was inked, and before I stamped, I spritzed my Alphabet Soup stamp with water and pressed it on to the tag. Once removed I left the water for about 10 seconds and then blotted with kitchen roll and dried with a heat gun. The ink reacts with water so leaves a ghostly impression of the stamp. You can just about make it out in the corner of the photo’ above.

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The flower was stamped and heat embossed. The word was stencilled and I added a scribbled border.

It seems appropriate to be sharing this on Roald Dahl Day – it reminds me of Violet Beauregarde blowing up purple after eating the special chewing gum!

Hope you have a happy Saturday and thanks for buzzing by.

Lavender’s green

Apologies if you came to view this post on Monday. I inadvertently clicked the wrong button!

Using purple is the theme for this week’s Sunday Stampers Challenge and I have been having a play with stencils and stamping to produce two pieces that are the same but different. Take a look:

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I’ve used the same techniques and the same Stampotique sunflower but have altered the colours and additional embellishments.

For both tags I started by dusting the base with ink – Tumbled Glass on the first and Antique Linen on the second. Then I ‘ve used a brick stencil and built up the colour with the same inks and added a second colour in places choosing Shaded Lilac for one and Frayed Burlap for the other. Whilst the stencil was still in place I stamped through it using a dictionary page stamp and Vintage Photo.

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Then I stamped the sunflower over the top and paper pieced it. I used a dotty stamp over the petals.

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Then the tags went in different directions. For the purple one I used one of my AHA girl stamps and a punched butterfly. I used a zig-zag stitch stamp around the edge and added a border top and bottom that was stamped, cut out and stuck. The stamp if a newbie from Stampin’ Up! and makes a nice addition to my favourite Dylusions stamp that is similar.

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I used a stencil for the words.

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On the second tag I added some stamped bees and the words.

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I used a different faux stitching stamp and a Dylusions border stamp, using some green Archival ink, top and bottom.

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I love this technique of stamping through stencils and plan to try out a lot more. Like I did, you can find lots of inspiration and ideas over on Wendy Vecchi’s blog.

Thanks for buzzing by.