Thursday 31 December 2009

pdcc#10: dusky pink, turquoise and dark brown


This is a popular colour combination and I found quite a few scrapbook papers in my collection with these colours.    However, it actually originated from a necklace a friend bought me earlier this year. If you need new colour inspiration, or just want a bit of a jump start to get going on a project, looking at something you own for a colour combo should always be successful - after all, you chose the accessory/clothing because you liked it!! In certain lights this necklace is more of an orange with turquoise and brown but during the transition from camera to computer it's become a more dusky pink, which I rather liked, so that's what I've used!.

I've been crocheting a lot recently and when I saw a card with some tiny crocheted flowers on I decided I'd give it a go.

So your challenge this week is to use

turquoise      dark brown      dusky pink

as the main colours in a project of your choice.  And since it's a new year, why not try something new in your work at the same time?  Happy New Year everyone!!

Apologies for the delay in this post; I have no idea why it didn't post as scheduled!

Wednesday 30 December 2009

bird on a towel

Well, birds actually!  I made these for my sister-in-law for Christmas and think I might have to make some for me!!! 


A couple of weeks ago Sue and I had a play date at her house and she got out a little wooden ornament of a bird which we used as a template with card/grungepaper.  Neither of us got the project finished but I decided the shape was rather a nice one to use on a towel.  I used some William Morris patterned fabric I got in the summer, and added different eyes to my birds.  What I'm most impressed with however is how neat the back turned out!!! [Although you're probably not going to see this very well on a the nearly white blog background].


I will get the grungeboard version finished soon.  Need to get the wire out for the tail feathers and legs :)

Tuesday 29 December 2009

calendar challenge

A month or so back Kate was inspired by Jill over at the Third Age Musing blog to create a journal calendar page for December '09 and to fill it in daily [see above photo].  As it went so well during the busiest month of her year, she's challenged us to do it for the year.   You can sign up here.

The work is really only in the preparation.  And as the choice of design is up to you, it's down to how much time you have.  Otherwise the daily commitment is only 5 minutes!!!  The challenge is to fill in a little tiny square each day with a word, a picture or a sentence picking out something from your day. 

Kate used pages in her A4 moleskine, adding another challenge for herself by working larger than she's used to.  I decided I wanted to make a book which will then become a diary of the year.  I'll be REALLY chuffed if I manage to write in it everyday, I've never managed to keep a diary beyond the first week or two of January ;)

I started with a large sheet of Bockingford watercolour paper on the kitchen floor and had a wonderful time adding colour to it using my adirondack paint dabbers.

When my husband came into our small kitchen to get his breakfast, he was very sweet and really didn't mind manoeuvring around me, but did fall about laughing at me and insisted on taking a photo...which I'm not sharing!!


Once I'd painted both sides and they were dry, I tore the paper into eight pieces, and sewed down the middle of seven of them to create a book.

I had a very relaxing time adding tabs to each page which I'll put the calendar months on. 

Then promptly forgot I was taking step by step photos!!  I've stamped the first open spread page using adirondack paint dabbers and stamps by Tim Holtz, Wendy Vecchi and Lost Coast Designs, highlighted the letters saying 'january' using a very soft graphite pencel, and added printed words and 1" squares cut from a sheet of white card stained with coffee.


It's still waiting for '2010' to be added, and 'january' to be added to the tag, but otherwise I'm pretty much set!  The book needs a cover, and I'm going to prep february's page next, but it's good to go for Friday :)

Thanks Kate, this is going to be great fun!!!  And hello to all my new followers!  And the uplifting comments people have left as part of the Stamp Man's first blog hop.  If you've not joined in yet, there's still time!  You've got until midnight GMT Sunday 3rd January 2010.  My part of the blog hop is the post below this one.  Happy Hopping!

Sunday 27 December 2009

The Stamp Man Blog Hop, Candy, and Award Event

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, and welcome to the Stamp Man's first blog hop.  Not that it's a just a blog hop!  Oh no, this is a special award event too, and a place to win blog candy.  To hop in the direction of the beat you need to start at the Stamp Man's blog so head over there if you came to me first.  If you're already hopping you should have come to me from the lovely Lisa's blog, Lisa's Craft Garden

Jill's wonderful idea is to share a project of your own from this year that is your best or favourite.  Isn't that a lovely idea!  A kind of show and tell of your best work.  I'm really looking forward to seeing what people choose to share.

For me, my favourite work has been art journalling.  I finally got going with it this year and discovered that it's an amazing stress reliever.  I've had a tough year with work and illness and found a quiet, peaceful space in my head when working in my art journals.  Splattering paint, spraying and smooching ink then cutting and sticking my favourite images are my favourite things to do and I get to do them all in my journals!!  I'm not a great journal writer, more of a 'colourer in' :)

I particularly like splatting paint with the adirondack paint dabbers :)  VERY satisfying!!  And I love getting the paint/ink to dribble down the page :)

It's also been a great excuse to buy new stamp images and I now have a better collection of Tim Holtz stamps, amongst others!! 

To get this award for yourself, head over to the Stamp Man blog for the info, and don't forget to leave a comment and link to your own favourite/best crafting project from 2009 whilst you're there!  We're looking forward to visiting you to see what your best crafting project has been.

Now if you fancy winning some blog candy, my giveaway is ... [imagine drum roll here :)]

 your choice of one Aspects of Design stamp sheet

So if you've been longing for Tracey's fairies or butterflies, or Kay's flowers and dragonflies, here's your chance!  Although there are lots of other yummy sheets available too.  Click here to have a look.

The code/letter you need from me is

At the end of the hop you'll be back with Jill where you'll email her with the answer.

And you now need to hop over to see the cheery Christine on her blog 'Ladylace's Crafting Space'.  But don't forget to leave me a comment before you go - you need to leave a message on ALL the blogs to be eligible for the prize. 

Happy Hopping :)  You've got until Sunday 3rd January 2010 midnight [GMT] to play so plenty of time to join in.

Tuesday 22 December 2009

I've got 50 followers!!!  Hee hee hee.  It's very, very nice to know that people like my blog enough to want to follow it and there's just something about having 50.  So thankyou all, and a special hello to the newbies :)

This is what I actually came to blog!!  Although the title still follows!! 

Jill's having a blog hop.  :) :) :)

I've only recently started doing these and they're great fun; you get to see loads of blogs you might never have found, and there are giveaways on the way.  Jill's treat is that this starts on the Sunday after Christmas so gives us all something to look forward to after the joy of Christmas. 

We'd love you to copy and paste the above image on your sidebar so we get lots of people joining in.  The more the merrier!  Visiting other people who leave comments is another way of finding new blogs to fall in love with :)

Now I can't say my sewing machine needle appreciated getting gunked up with embossing powder on occasion whilst getting these cards finished but it coped admirably.  I'm pleased with them.

Hope you can see these cards; sorry they're white on almost white!!

I woke to some amazement re the snow this am.  You saw the inch or so we had.  Well, it froze last night, so we woke to warnings on the radio from police and ambulance to only make essential journeys as the conditions were so treacherous.  But I guess ice is ice and it doesn't really matter if it's an inch thick or three inches thick, it's still nasty, nasty stuff.  And it was bad out there!  But the main roads improved throughout the day so driving was actually safer than walking!

Sunday 20 December 2009

real fab!

We don't get good snow very often, the clouds usually tip it on the hills surrounding Manchester before they get to us.  But we got some today :) 

We had a bit of snow yesterday but it had gone by the evening, washed away by Manchester rain.  But we woke up to that special silence snow brings, and the excited voices of the little ones next door, which hinted that it had snowed again.  I have to say though, it was a lovely surprise to see how white it was out there.
[unfortunately we don't live in that yummy b/w house but the house in the middle above with the beech tree in the garden - still a gorgeous house though!]

Gyp loves catching snowballs (and eating them) but was rather surprised to discover that it was a bit slippy out there.  Frozen rain from last night meant treacherous road and pavement conditions.  But we were ok building a snowman!

And I made it out for lunch with some girlfriends from school.  Look at these snowmen in a shop window we went past, fab are those hats!!

With all our December birthdays over [my youngest nephew was one yesterday :)], I settled down to getting a bit further with my Christmas cards. 

I partially cuttlebugged the white card with the snowflake EF, and mounted the pieces I'd made at Paddy's last week on her batch card workshop.  I loved making these, Paddy comes up with some amazing techniques :)

I'm adding stitching to mine so it's the sewing machine out tomorrow.  Which is good, as I've got some Christmas presents to make!!

Thursday 17 December 2009

pdcc#9 or "when life throws a tantrum..."


I've been crocheting madly this past week with the stress from work (I'm not even there!!).  Crochet is the new yoga you  know!!  [Actually it's very good for you as it is a repetitive action with lots of sensory input ie the texture of the wool etc] I've been crocheting a scarf made up of flowers for my sister's Christmas present so when my brain was finally able to work creatively late last night I decided to crochet something for my Christmas tree using the Play Date Cafe Challenge colours this week.

My husband fell about laughing when I said I was crocheting something for the Christmas tree!  I don't think he gets my love of fluffy things on the tree.  Even my youngest son (13) is missing our fluffy white Christmas star that topped the tree for many years but finally died from damp last year.

These colours intrigued me as I love cream and gold together, and I love blue.  Blue is definitely one of my colours.  But I usually put blue with silver!  Yet I love the image Jules posted for the challenge. 

I'd like to play with this colour combo some more, with paint/stamping.  Have an idea; whether I have the time in the near future is another matter!

Special thanks to Sandi who gave me the idea for the blog post title!  It was just spot on!!


I've had really, really tough week and not been able to do much so apologies for no play date cafe design yet this week.  I do, however, promise that it's on it's way!  So keep watching this space.

Thursday 10 December 2009

It's time to play in the Play Date Cafe!!

...with new colours from Alison - how fab are these!  I'd just never have put that pink with orange but it works brilliantly and I loved doing this journal page with Alison's digi-image :)

As soon as I saw this bird I thought of her as an old lady, dressed up to go out to bingo.  I love the huge flower she is wearing in her hair/feathers!!  I had great fun making the background with Spiced Marmalade distress ink which I then stamped on using acrylic dabbers whilst making up Gladys' story :) 

Saturday 5 December 2009

the art of wordle-ing

Whilst doing a bit of blog hopping this afternoon I came across this blog - rooftops-rapture ,which referred to wordle-ing (anything with a fab name like that is worth investigating!).  Just look what it does :)

You can put your own words into the program at, or pick a website, or your blog, and it will pick the words out for you.  The larger the word, the higher its frequency in the text!  How cool would this be as a journal page :)

Let me know if you have a go, it looks a bit addictive to me, but then I love text and lettering!

Friday 4 December 2009

what a treat!

My stamping friend Chris invited me to the Graphicus Christmas Open Day today, and what a fabulous time we had!  I'd never been up to Graphicus and with so many demonstrators it was a real treat.  Glenda was demoing a stunning new butterfly image by Elusive Images, colouring it with Copics.  I ended up buying it so will share a close up very soon.

Every time I saw Lynn she was demoing something different [I know Glenda was too but it was Lynn I caught on camera more frequently!]   LOVE the reindeer antlers!

I did take pics of all Lynn's demos but the other pics were a bit blurry, sorry!  Here she is showing Joanna Sheen the ten seconds studio embossing plates.  But just look at these flowers she made with UTEE and paper flowers ...

They just look sooooooo metallic!  I love them!!  The white pearl ones are great too, but need to save up for that colour UTEE. 

Oh and Laura, they had Wendy Vecchi stamps on special offer so I now own two sets :)

Thursday 3 December 2009

play date cafe challenge 7

I love working on envelopes, my version of tags I guess!  They're small, contained, and they can be added to cards of journal pages and have things put in them.  I think this one is waiting for a tag!

In between checking the colours, and getting out my supplies, my idea of the correct green for the week seems to have gone awry!  Sorry Sandi! 

I love black and white with a splash of colour and so decided to do a bit of a play on that and do brown and white.  I love the white embossed leaves under the coloured ones.  This was my first play with any Wendy Vecchi stamps - love that script, and the leaves!!  Pity my brain forgot I was going to stamp the words in brown, took me a few hours to spot that mistake, by which time it was too late!  Never mind!!

ps just found a card of stamped green leaves - I cut the wrong ones out late the other night when I was working on it; but the great thing about this challenge is there is leeway re the shades of the colours in the challenge so you may see different greens around from the other designers too!

EDIT:  Ok, have no idea why my blog didn't post as scheduled, or why I have coffee with my cake ;)   I've left the challenge colours up there that I worked from but here are the proper ones!  Hmmm, and my background has disappeared!  I suspect the snow, will investigate later!

Have fun playing along in the play date cafe :)

Wednesday 2 December 2009

it's snowing!!

Only on my blog though, unfortunately!  These little full stops and apostrophes falling as snow are pretty close to what it looks like if it does ever snow in Manchester ...just floaty bits in the air that take a while to stick. 

Don't forget play date tomorrow; I got to play with new stamps to make this week's challenge :)

Tuesday 1 December 2009

funky flowers on an icy morning

I love frosty mornings.  And it was so nice to have our first proper frost on the today, it makes it feel like Christmas really is just around the corner!

Over on The Stampman blog, Jill is giving away some Christmas blog candy, and as a winner you can pick one of these fabulous stamp sets by Kay Carley:

Daisies are one of my favourite flowers in crafting so I got out my sewing maching last week, along with my cuttlebug, and had a great time making these cards using the funky flowers stamp set...

I stamped a LOT of flowers out on a piece of white card and then sat, cutting them out, whilst in the cafe whilst George climbed at the climbing centre.  That meant I could play about with layering them, and making a background piece.
The turquoise piece hiding away there is some starburst stain paper Jill gave me at the Port Sunlight show.  I love detail white embossing powder and got it out to make the next background...

The word is from the fancy flourishes sheet.

All my cards used to lean towards being very plain with central images and it wasn't until I made this one that I realised it's been ages since I made cards like that!  Don't you just love the swiss dots EF?!!

Monday 30 November 2009

the bird

Yes, Julie guessed right, I painted a bird on the wall once everyone had gone home on Saturday night :)

She's the bird from Hero Arts Clear Design:  Birds and Branches and I fell in love with her after putting her on my art journal. 

On the journal I stamped the bird on scrap paper and paper pieced her body onto the cover.  And fell in love with that flourish by Mr Holtz :)

Miss Bird's painted with Adirondack acrylic paint dabbers and the texture was created by stamping a variety of stamps, mostly from Tim Holtz.  She just needs a bit of company now, and to be surrounded by nature ... over to you Sue, you're there next ;)

Back to art journaling, I know you'd love to see some of the pages everyone created on Saturday.  I love how people's styles, personality, interests and sense of colour shine through even the background pages. 

Jen's backgrounds including dabbing, stencilling, masking, and printing with bubble wrap and cardboard.  Gorgeous yummy colour combos.

Lesley's pages stacked and ready to stamp onto.  The top page ended up with a Buddha stamped in white, with the words peace surrounding it - beautiful!

Laura's background pages now stamped with images she loves...aren't those images beautiful :)

Kathy's 'time' pages, with masking, stamping, collage and highlighting.  What did we do before white Sakura gel pens were available? ;)

Joan loved the bird too!  I work very 'parallel' to the sides of the page and love how Joan uses diagonals.  Her pages reminded me of Kandinsky's work.

Every single one of us used the Pool coloured paint, and I loved it when Kay combined it with Lemonade/ Peach Bellini.  In fact, when I drove to school this am the sky was these colours plus grey...colour inspiration is everywhere :)


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