Friday, 27 April 2012

An Emotive Topic

I finished this art journal page a few days ago but I've been hesitant about sharing it on here... the reason being that the topic this page refers to is an emotive one, and one that people tend to hold strong opinions on... and I genuinely don't wish to offend.

But I made this page because, after reading a lot about it online, the subject was something that was really really weighing on my mind and I needed to get my feelings down on paper. This page doesn't say half of what I think about this, and what I've read about this, but it does get the general gist down.

So if you have very strong pro-life feelings then I do apologise for any offense my feelings on this subject may cause... and perhaps you should click away now. I do understand and to a certain extent sympathise with the pro-life stance... but I also believe strongly in a woman's right to autonomy:

This page is mostly done with Promarkers. I started with the idea of using my TH Sewing Room die to create a "mannequin" figure (using some stars and stripes paper I had lying around) and then drew some "realistic" arms and legs onto it and coloured them with Promarkers (I think that image alone sums up my feelings/concerns relating to this topic). I then doodled the borders and "title" and hand wrote my journalling. Then I coloured everything in with Promarkers and added some highlights with metallic Promarkers and a white gel pen.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

3 Years Old

My DD1 turned 3 at the beginning of this month.

I still can't quite believe it. Where has the time gone? It seems like only yesterday she was a tiny baby. And now she's so grown up. She's a proper little girl with her own personality and ideas and sense of humour. And opinions! :lol: She talks like anything and has an incredible imagination - it's fascinating to watch her playing with her toys, inventing adventures for them. :)

She's only been 3 for a few weeks and somehow she already seems much older, suddenly not a toddler anymore. My little girl is growing up so fast!

I made this digi LO because I was rummaging through my digi downloads and found these delicious papers and just *had* to have a play with them. They immediately put me in mind of the pretty party dress DD1 wore on her birthday so I picked this lovely photo to use with them:

The papers were freebies that I downloaded from somewhere but, I'm ashamed to say, I can't remember where. So I apologise for not being able to give proper credit. The butterflies are from Creative Victorian Designs and the title alphas are from the Celebrate kit from Digital Design Essentials.

I did a lot of fiddly playing about in PSE to make this LO, cutting around the edges of the floral image on the main paper so I could layer the photo in under it, and cutting out some of the flower images from the floral paper so I could use them as "die-cuts".

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

WOYWW - 25 April 2012

Eesh. Can't believe it's nearly May. Where has this year gone?! And, while we're on the subject, where the heck has spring gone? I'm fully expecting to see an ark go sailing past my window any day now.
Not much to share on my workdesk this week... it's been a manic few days with not much time for crafting. I've been to-ing and fro-ing a lot to our old house, getting things sorted to get it put on the market. Meeting estate agents, getting quotes off decorators, getting measured for new carpets... and now we've suddenly had an offer on it, before it's even gone on the market! We've agreed a price with them so fingers crossed it'll all go through smoothly and I can stop running around sorting things! :lol:
So here's my rather unproductive desk this morning:
Still messy and mostly bearing the several stamps awaiting cleaning and putting away and the detritus of the one bit of crafting I've managed to do this week (see my previous post). :)
So, short and sweet from me this week. Thanks for stopping by... hope you're having a good WOYWW (and are not getting rained on too much!).

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Happy Birthday Sweet Pea Stamps!

It's Sweet Pea Stamps' 3rd birthday/anniversary.

To celebrate the occasion, the Sweet Pea Stamps blog has held a birthday card competition - to enter you had to make a birthday card for Sweet Pea Stamps, using one of their stamps.

I love love loooooove their gorgeous, fantasy-themed stamps, especially Ching Chou Kuik's designs (of which I have a, quite frankly, silly amount! :lol:) so of course I had to join in! :D

This was my birthday card:

I've been wanting to use this gorgeous Ching Chou Kuik design for a while and I wanted to make a richly-coloured, detailed, Eastern-influenced card. My starting point for this card, other than the image, was digging out my scrummy Taj Mahal paper stack and choosing the gorgeous, glittered, patterned background paper. I coloured the image to coordinate with the paper, using my Promarkers, metallic Promarkers and also some Cosmic Shimmer Acrylic Drawing Inks for added shimmer.

I matted my background paper onto sheeny, mirror-effect blue paper and attached to a plain white card blank. I cut a border from blue card using a Martha Stewart edge punch and cut flourishes from mountboard using the Tim Holtz Elegant Flourishes die. I coloured the flourishes with Inka Gold and attached to the card. I coloured plain white paper flowers with metallic gold pen and attached to the card, layering them with blue Prima flowers.

I cut the image out by hand, using a Nestie die as a template, and edged it first with Broken China Distress Ink and then with Inka Gold and attached it with foam pads.  

I made the greeting pin myself by attaching beads onto a piece of gold wire and stamping and embossing, with gold embossing powder, the greeting onto a piece of the mirror-effect blue paper, wrapping it around the pin and glueing it and trimming the edge to a pennant shape. I attached the pin using silicone glue.

To finish, and to add opulence, I added lots of decoration using my Perlen Pens in gold and pearl - adding centres to the flowers, some dots along the punched border and a dotted border around the edges of the card. I also added some teeny tiny dots to the image here and there on the jewellery.

Et voila! The lighting in the photos really doesn't do justice to the lovely shimmer and sheen of this card.

Happy birthday Sweet Pea Stamps - may you have many more successful years! :)

I've entered this card into the Sweet Pea Stamps birthday competition and am also entering it into the current challenge ("cut it out") at Passion for Promarkers.

Thursday, 19 April 2012


"Hiya" is pretty much my DD2's favourite word. To be fair, it's not far off being her only word! :lol: Her vocabulary at present pretty much consists of "Hiya", "Buh-bye", "Mama", "Dada" and "Nigh-nigh" (night-night), and of these "Hiya" gets by far the most use! :)

It makes people giggle in the supermarket/post office/bank* when she sits forward in her pushchair, shouting "Hiya!" to everyone who passes. :)  *delete as appropriate

She really is a cutie. And she's also the subject of my two most recent scrapbook pages, which is why I'm waffling on about her! :lol:

The first LO was done for the monthly challenge on UKS and followed a sketch provided:

My starting point for this LO was that I had some lovely transparent patterned tapes that I bought a while ago off QVC and which I've not used yet... and I thought they would work really well with the sketch for this challenge. I also didn't have any plain white 12x12 cardstock (must rectify that!!) to use with the tapes so I found a pale grey sheet instead and a nice shade of pink... and the combination put me in mind of the pretty party dress DD2 wore for her 1st birthday last December.

I rather like how these tapes look, especially when overlapped a little. Will be having a play with these again soon, I think. :)

I enjoyed sitting and playing with my stash to make this LO too. I started in papercrafting as a scrapbooker and still consider myself a scrapbooker, but over the years, as my experience and confidence has grown, I've expanded my interests into so many other crafting areas, from cards to ATCs, to tags, to circle journals, to art journals and altered items... and it sometimes seems like the one thing I rarely actually do much of anymore is scrapbooking! :lol: And when I do scrapbook, it often tends to be digi, cos I can do it sitting on the sofa with the laptop while the kiddies wreak havoc around me! :lol:

And that's exactly what I did today. :) While DD2 was having a nap and DD1 was sat happily colouring with crayons, I sat and made this LO for the Simple Recipes challenge on UKS:

I loved the colour palette for this month's challenge and, by happy coincidence, one of the digi-kits that I bought yesterday had exactly the right colours. All the papers and elements here are from the Summer Wings kit from Creative Victorian Designs.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

WOYWW - 18 April 2012

I've found another use for my heat gun.

This little fellow, is Crocodile (as featured in my tale of woe and stress in last week's WOYWW post):

Crocodile, along with his pal Tiger, go *everywhere* with my 3 year old DD1. Unfortunately, said DD1 is a little bit under the weather atm with a bit of a snotty cold and this morning she felt a bit oogy... and poor old Crocodile was in the firing line (he's having a bit of an unlucky streak atm). Cue an impromptu shower in the kitchen sink for Crocodile and being left to dry on the radiator. Unfortunately, 3 year olds are not big on patience and DD1 was getting very anxious about whether Crocodile was dry yet. So mummy had a brilliant idea... which is how I ended up sitting in my craft room, using my heat gun to dry a small, soggy crocodile toy! :lol: It didn't get him completely dry, but it definitely sped up the process. :)

Other than damp soft toys, here's what's on my desk this morning:

I've been really struggling to craft this week. The weather's cold and miserable and I'm a bit snotty myself, and a bit tired, and somehow by the time I put the kids to bed, all I feel like doing is sitting on the sofa all evening. Don't get me wrong, I want to craft - I have lots of fab ideas I want to work on. But the sofa is comfy and the lounge is warm and I have my laptop and the TV... and it's very hard to prise myself out of that comfortable position to go and sit in my (still messy) craft room!

But last night I tried a bit of a compromise - I grabbed my boxes of Promarkers and my art journal and took them into the lounge with me and sat on the sofa and started doodling a page. So my desk this morning is piled high from me dumping said boxes and journal back on the desk before going to bed (as a crafter with young children, you VERY quickly learn to put things away/out of reach as soon as you're done with them! :lol:).

I really *must* try and get in my craft room tonight and get some proper crafting done. Or maybe even some tidying! :lol:

Friday, 13 April 2012

Octopode Alice

Remember the scrummy Octopode Factory Alice in Wonderland screen that I made for a screen swap and could barely bring myself to part with? ;)

Well, I've been at it again. :D Not a screen this time but a CJ entry. The journal I had to work on for the art journal CJ I'm taking part in had the theme of "Steampunk Alice". I immediately thought of the fab Octopode Factory images and lo and behold the CJ owner even put in her instructions that she liked the Octopode Factory Alice in Wonderland images. :) Perfect.

So I used similar techniques to the screen, using Dylusions sprays to make the background and to paint in the images (love the versatility of the digi images, that I can resize them to suit the project I am working on). This is the CJ page - and matching tag - that I made:

As it happens, this week's theme at the Octopode Factory Friday Challenge is "anything goes" so I am entering my CJ page and tag.

The CJ is going in the post today - it's got several more people to get around before returning to the owner but I hope, when she does get it back, she likes this page as much as I do! :)

P.S. Really must make *myself* one of these Octopode Alice projects... I always seem to have to keep giving them away! :lol:

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Going Green

I have a new card to share with you, dear Reader, but first of all some exciting news - well, exciting to me, anyway! :)

I've thrilled to bits to have been invited to join the Design Team at the Sweet Pea Stampers challenge blog. I luuuurve Sweet Pea stamps and the last time I plucked up courage to count how many I have, it was 40+! Whoops! :lol:

So I am very happy to both have a bit of extra motivation/inspiration to use my Sweet Pea stamps and also to have the chance to - hopefully - inspire and motivate others to try out some of Sweet Pea's gorgeous images and join in the challenges.

The next challenge goes live tomorrow and is my first as a DT member - the theme is "recycled":

I've gone kind of "green/eco" with the whole theme of this card. I used one of my newest stamps - a gorgeous image by Meredith Dillman. I coloured her in forest colours using my Promarkers and cut her out. I used a kraft card blank and pretty K&Co papers - my recycled element is the distressed, inked piece of kraft paper behind the image... it's cut from a Muji paper bag that I am slowly cannibalising for various craft projects. :lol:

I also tried out my new Spellbinders bitty blossoms dies on this card and had lots of fun making these flowers. :)

I'm also entering this card for the April challenge at the One Sweet Challenge blog where, coincidentally, the theme is also "recycled"! :)

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Happy Birthday Auntie Marion!

Wow, there sure does seem to be a lot of birthdays and other card-requiring occasions in my family around this time of year! :lol:

This time around it's DH's Aunt Marion, who turns a very sprightly and feisty 82 on Friday! :D So I made her this card:

The image is a Stitchy Bear Stamps digi stamp and when I saw it, I knew I *had* to have it for Marion's card! Why, you may ask? Well, take a look at this:

Freaky, eh? It's like she modelled for the artist! :lol:

I printed the image and coloured it with Promarkers and used Nesties to cut it out and mat it. The papers are some absolutely scrummy Pink Paislee ones that came free with the current edition of Cardmaking & Papercraft. The greeting stamp is a Stampin' Up! one, again cut out and embossed with Nesties, and the leaves are cut with a Stampin' Up! Sizzlet die. The flowers are a combination of Prima paper flowers and flowers punched with a Nellie Snellen punch and embosser combo and a Stampin' Up! punch.

I'm entering this card into the current "use a digi" challenge at One Stitch at a Time.

Here's hoping Auntie Marion likes it... and that it makes it to France by Friday! :)

WOYWW - 11 April 2012

Wow. D'you know, until I logged onto Blogger this morning and looked at my dashboard, it hadn't even occured to me that today is Wednesday! :lol: That's how out of sync and all over the place I am after the insanity of the last week or so!

I feel like I've barely stopped for a week! I spent days running around getting things ready for DD1's third birthday, then we had the day of her birthday, then we spent a day tidying the whole house before guests arrived on Saturday. Then we had the weekend with houseguests, meaning a total of four children under 4 years old in the house! Lots of fun but restful it was not! :lol:

Monday we had a bit of a lazy day and then yesterday started off nice and relaxing, with DD1 in nursery for a whole day for the first time (she had been doing one half day a week until now) and just DD2 to look after... and then it all fell apart when I went to collect DD1 and she firstly threw a mega-tantrum about leaving (she was having that much fun!) and we then realised that a dippy staff member had let her put her tiger and crocodile toys (that go everywhere with her) in another child's bag, and that child had already gone home! And thus began 2 hours of stress trying to calm down a hysterical DD1 and wait for the nursery to get hold of the other child's parents (the mother had walked home with the child so it took them ages to get home, so no answer on home phone, and she wasn't answering her mobile either!) and then arrange with them to collect the toys, get the kids in the car and go and collect them (not forgetting the added stress of hitting a stray dog that ran out in front of the car on the way there - thankfully I can't have done him too much damage cos he ran off down the middle of the road!!). Yeesh!

Hence why my head is all over the place and I've pretty much lost track of what day it is! :lol:

But anyway, it is Wednesday and that means it's time to share what's on our workdesks. So here's mine:

It's a bomb site. Tidying hasn't happened yet and there's a teeeeeny space left on the craft mat, just about enough to be able to craft in (I know cos I cleared that space so I could make a card yesterday! :lol:).

Tidying is urgently required now. It's reaching crisis point! :lol:

Thanks for stopping by for a belated peek at my desk. Hope you're having a good Wednesday - and a slightly less manic few days than I am! :D

Friday, 6 April 2012

Happy Birthday, Aimee

Yesterday, my DD1 turned 3. It seems like only yesterday she was a tiny little baby (and I mean tiny - she was born 6 weeks early and weighed only 5lb 8oz!) and now she's 3 years old and a proper little person!

She had a fantastic day -  and lots of great pressies!

And I made her a birthday card. :) She loves animals so I made her this:

The image is a Stitchy Bear Stamps digi stamp and I'm entering this card into the One Stitch at a Time challenge blog - the theme is "new" and pretty much everything on this card is "new" stash - things that I've had for a while but never used before. That includes the digi image, the paper and the "3" stamp. :)

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

WOYWW - 4 April 2012

Yet another early morning, fly-by WOYWW post from me!

I'm slap bang in the middle of an insanely busy week. I've been out of the house for most of the day on Tuesday and pretty much the only time I've spent sitting down has been when I was in the car!! Wednesday's crazy schedule involves taking the kids to the Build-a-Bear shop (as my mum promised to take DD1 there and let her get a bear for her birthday), shopping for wrapping paper and other last-minute items, baking some fat-free sponge fairy cakes (for a friend of DD1's who has a milk intolerance - you wouldn't believe how many ready-made cakes and biscuits contain milk powder!!) and making some jellies, getting all my stuff together and heading out for a workshop, then, once I get home from said workshop, making a birthday card for DD1 and doing some more frantic tidying around the house. Thursday is DD1's birthday and will involve presents, cakes, jellies, some friends coming around to visit and a trip to the local bike shop to buy her her very first bike. :) Friday, more frantic tidying, in preparation for guests arriving on Saturday to stay for the weekend. And the weekend will involve organising an easter egg hunt for 4 small children and quite possibly a trip to the local petting farm. :)

Yeesh! I think I may have to include some wine somewhere in that schedule too... I think I'm gonna need it! :lol:

So here's what on my workdesk this morning:

Mess, mess and more mess, much of it from Tim's Creative Chemistry 101 class and from Tuesday night's workshop prep. I haven't had chance to tidy and am not going to get chance probably until after the bank holiday.

Right. I'm outta here! Hope you're having a busy - and productive! - Wednesday. I need to get to bed and grab a few hours sleep before the mayhem kicks off again! :D

Monday, 2 April 2012

Rainy Days and Mondays...

*sings* aaalwaaaays get me.... doooown!

Gotta love the Carpenters. :)

I made this card for a couple of challenges... the current challenge theme at Passion for Promarkers is "ribbons and buttons" and the monthly challenge theme at the Scrapbooking and Cardmaking group on my parenting forum is "April showers, navy and buttons".

I've had this cute woodmounted stamp for a while - I seem to recall I picked it up cheap at The Range - and been dying to use it. The papers are freebies that came with the current issue of Crafts Beautiful magazine.

Tags, tags and more tags!

I've finally found time to take, upload and sort photos of my tags for week 2 of Sir Tim of Holtz's Creative Chemistry 101 class. I've missed Day 6 completely, sadly, because I don't have any Distress Markers yet.. I *should* have had some this week but, with fabulous timing, QVC decided there was going to be a week's delay in shipping them. Grrrr. But I've done my tags for days 7-10. :)

Angled photo to try and show the shimmery sheen

I really enjoyed this class. So many fab ideas and techniques and even though I'd used some of the techniques before, seeing Tim demo them "live" on a video made it all make sense so much more. I'm thrilled to bits with my collection of "reference" tags.

I've also already put some of the techniques to use to make a tag for this week's challenge at Simon Says Stamp and Show, where the challenge theme is... tags! Coincidence? I think not! ;)

So here's my tag:

I combined a couple of the techniques from this week's classes on this tag - the background is made using the Perfect Splatter Distress Technique from Day 9 and I stamped over it using black Archival. I die-cut the bird and cage from grungeboard and used first gold embossing powder and then an uneven smattering of Vintage Photo Distress Embossing Powder on the cage and used Tim's fabulous Shattered Stains Technique from Day 8 for a brightly-coloured, glossy bird. :)

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