Monday, 26 June 2017

Blog Hop for Spellbloggers

Today, we are having our very first Spellblogger blog hop, a chance for you all to pick up some lovely Spellbinders dies......



We have all used dies from the lovely Market Fresh collection, as you will see on the hop. I used the Make Mine Lemon Lime set, a collection of eight dies. I thought it cried out to be used on a glass of lemonade....


 Each blog will have a winner, chosen by Spellbinders, and each of those winners will have a choice of FOUR sets of their choice from the Market Fresh collection - you can choose from Strawberries, apples, tomatoes, pears, carrots and so much more. It's easy to enter, just leave a comment below, it will be much harder to choose your four sets if you win! Entries accepted until midnight on the 3rd July. 

If you are following the hop, you arrived here from:

Dawn

Next on the hop is

Kathy

Sharon

To start at the beginning, go HERE to Spellbinders

Friday, 23 June 2017

Down to the Sea - for Spellbloggers and Daring Cardmakers

The dare over on Daring Cardmakers today is "Down to the Sea", so I used the Nautical set of Die D Lites by Spellbinders to come up with this card. I used classic circle dies to make the lifebuoy, and sponged a sky background onto the plain white circle.

I added some little brads to the portholes, tied the anchor on with a bit of twine, and used my Brother P touch label maker to finish the sentiment


Be sure to pop over to the Daring Cardmakers blog to see what the talented team have come up with for this week, and don't forget to join us in this week's dare.....

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Using up scraps with a rainbow.....

Here is a card I made for the Fiskarettes page, using up some scraps of card in rainbow colours. The butterflies were punched with the intricate shape butterfly punch and the Hello word die is by Spellbinders. I know there is no Indigo - I should have used a bigger card base 😀


An update on our little Molly - she is doing really well, has a couple of teeth and makes an unbelievable mess eating bits of toast. She is such a sunny natured little baby, the whole family adores her



I have to make a trip to Ikea to grab some stuff for the wedding. Why am I treating it like a trip to the dentist? I keep making excuses to put it off for another day. It's the thought of having to trawl around the entire store, following those arrows, when I know perfectly well that the stuff I want is in the bargain basement place. Last time I went there was a dramatic fire alarm and we were evacuated, the time before the lifts were out of order. I mean, have you tried carrying a flat pack containing a Jorgken  or Hinjjiar or Vidjik (okay, I made those names up) down two flights of stairs to the car park. Traumatised doesn't begin to cover it......

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Chrysanthemums - for Spellbinders Spellbloggers.........

I love this stamp set with matching dies - called Chrysanthemum from the Earth, Water Air collection by Stephanie Low for Spellbinders


I used the Picnic embossing folder by Tammy Tutterow as a background, and inked it very lightly over the raised areas in Spun Sugar distress ink to match the flowers which were coloured with Promarkers. I left the front without a sentiment as it is one of those cards that can be used for any occasion...... 


So we are melting a bit here in the UK  - perfect weather for me of course, but hard to take if you don't like the heat. The temperatures are around 28 - 30 (85 - 90) which is quite average for lots of places in the world, but here in the UK we only get a few days like this every year (if we are lucky), so we are always woefully unprepared. Our houses are built to keep heat in, our gardens are planted with plants which love our temperate climate ...... air conditioning is almost unheard of in houses here, we are too busy making sure the central heating boiler is serviced before the cold weather arrives. If you are speedy, you can dash to Argos to buy the last fan on sale in the entire country. I have been quite tempted to buy a child's paddling pool, under the pretence  that it would be nice for visiting grandchildren to play in (the reality being that I would go for a little wallow with a long drink and a good book....). In the meantime, I am loving every minute......

Thursday, 8 June 2017

More Balloons ..........

More balloon card today (can you tell I was having fun?) For the first one, I cut the balloon shape out of the center of some self adhesive vinyl, and started inking through the shape direct onto the card.....


Move the stencil over, leaving a bit of the inked area showing, and ink again in another colour. Keep going with different colours until you have a bunch of balloons.... you can keep the stencil for future use, and the beauty is that you have a balloon mask as well for future projects


I used the curly sentiments by Simon Says Stamps as 'tails' for the balloons



and my last card had the balloon shapes cut out of the card base itself. I cut a number of balloons out of double sided paper to back the shapes, which means that there are some balloons floating around on the inside of the card as well. The clouds were cut from the Die D Lites Flight 2 set, and the bold sentiment (love it!) is from the very useful Phrase 2 set - pop over to the Spellbinders site to have a browse around all the lovely dies and check out the inspiration on there as well


I promised you a sneaky peek, here they are. What do you think? Made in Italy of the softest leather, I think I better wear them around the house for a while to 'break them in' before the big day. Mind you, I will look slightly mad if anyone comes to the door and I answer it wearing my old jeans and sweatshirt with these on my feet!  



Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Hip Hip Hooray - For Spellbinders Spellbloggers

Time for another play with my Spellbinders dies. This time I used the Hip Hip Hooray die set, and enjoyed it so much, I came up with four designs - pop back tomorrow to see the other cards

For this first one, I cut away half the front of the card, and just stuck different sized balloons cut out of paper scraps onto the front. One of those cards that is difficult to photograph, but has quite an impact in real life


and a totally different look for this one. I heat embossed some card that had been swiped with versamark and sprinkled with Wow embossing powders in different shades of pink and purple. I added some glitter and left to cool before cutting out the balloons. The purple background was cut with the  PiercedSquares set (I love these pierced dies to add a bit of interest to a simple shape)

The balloons are gorgeously shiny, textured and glittery.........


Go HERE to check out all the lovely range of Spellbinders dies - they have a great rewards programme as well, where you can earn points for making reviews of products you buy, and quickly add up. There is a great clearance shop as well, a really good way of building up your supplies at bargain prices

Check out my other balloon cards tomorrow......

In other news, the elusive shoes have been hunted down and purchased (I did have a passing thought that I might have to sell a kidney when I saw the price, but what the heck, it's my daughters wedding). To find them involved a cross country drive of around 100 miles, getting lost more than a few times en route despite the best efforts of my sat. nav. After dragging you all along on this journey with me, I'll snap a photo to share tomorrow - they better be comfortable after all this effort! x

Monday, 5 June 2017

A wedding invite and some random thoughts...

Well, after a lot of hard work, the wedding invitations have gone out.....I forgot to take a photo of them but snapped this one of the first sample I made for Alex to see. The white hearts are quite glittery, the wording on the insert is gold, and I am pretty pleased with them


And here is a Fiskars card, again quite simple, but I like the fresh colours


Lastly, after the terrible events in London this weekend, I had some really lovely messages from online friends who visit this blog. I don't often make any sort of comment on events like this, but I am reproducing here a post I made on Facebook, which sums up pretty much how I felt on Sunday morning

Our children all live in and around London. They travel to work in London by train, tube, car, bike. They take our beloved grandchildren to the British Museum, Hyde Park, Hampton Court, to absorb the history, vitality and culture of this great city. Because of them, a big part of my heart is in London. When I talk to them today I know how the conversation will go....."don't worry Mum, we will be fine" - like millions of others, tomorrow morning they will get on to crowded tube trains, climb on their bikes and get on with the business of earning a living for their family. They are British, it's what we do. London has faced the Blitz and terror attacks in the past with the same stoicism and resilience that they show today. We are British, it's what we do. So for every terrorist bent on bringing this country to its knees, there are millions of Brits like my children, living, working and loving in their cities, towns and villages throughout the land. We are British, it's what we do

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Best Dad - for Spellbinders......

Here is my Spellblogger card for Spellbinders this week. With Father's Day coming up I thought this Die D Lites set called Toolbox was perfect - I am always happy when I find dies or stamps that work for male cards



So an easy card to make - I cut a circle using the classic circle die, then just cut out the toolbox and a selection of tools from silver card

I'm happy to tell you that Mike is now out of hospital, and recovering well at home, he is taking it easy and I am pretty exhausted, so we are doing rather a lot of watching daytime TV and lounging around, but now that has been happening for a couple of days, I am beginning to notice that the weeds in the garden have flourished with a mixture of sun and rain, so it's back to normality now! 

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

One die three ways

Today I am using the Glass Effects Card Creator die by Spellbinders for my Spellblogger post

For the first card, I cut the die in black, and backed it with vellum which I coloured on the back with ProMarkers. This gave a lovely stained glass effect. I wrapped a vellum band around the card with a sentiment cut from the Celebration two set 



The second card was cut from a pattern paper which I mounted onto a plain white card base, then slotted in some shapes cut from different plain and coordinating patterns. Just a few little gems here and there to jazz it up a little......


and the last panel was cut from a delicate peach coloured card which I mounted onto a delicate pale green card base, adding a flower cut with the medallion nine die, and some leaves from the Romantic Blooms One set.....



I love how changing the colours can result in such different looking cards, suitable for both male and female recipients

Thank you so much for all the emails and messages wishing Mike well, he is still in hospital and is recovering slowly, but life isn't back to normal yet.....xx 

Monday, 22 May 2017

Two colours only....

The challenge on Daring Cardmakers this week was to use just two colours, that includes the base colour of the card. This was tough! I was going to go with black and white, but in the end decided on a rather graphic teal and black combo. 

The background stencils, and the large 'happy' stamp were picked up at the Version Scrap show I recently went to in Paris. Go HERE to see what the rest of the team came up with for this difficult challenge, and do join in if you can



Everything is a bit topsy turvy here at the moment, as Mike was taken ill last week and is in hospital. Thankfully he is recovering now, but hospital visiting and worrying, means that other stuff is definitely on the back burner for now......

Friday, 12 May 2017

All about the glitter.....

Over at Daring Cardmakers this week, Shabneez set the challenge, and it's all about glitter. Do join in with the challenge, and hop over to see the lovely cards made by my team mates for inspiration

For my card, I added some double sided tape to the front of the card, then peeled away the top layer to sprinkle with glitter. I had some ultra fine glitters by Martha Stewart that were in a Halloween pack, but I think the colours look fun on this card. The butterfly was die cut using Stick it double sided papers, and treated in the same way, with glitter dumped on it when the top layer was peeled off revealing the sticky surface underneath


The shoe hunt continues - I must have tried on at least 50 pairs, and visited every shoe shop within a 20 mile radius of home. They are too high, too low, too plain, too fancy, the wrong colour or just very uncomfortable. Am I being too picky? Probably, but I am a woman on a mission. If I get very bored, I may lose interest and wear flip flops! I could always make some flowers in exactly the right colour to decorate them!........

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Wedding Card

Here's a sweet wedding card I made using Fiskars punches - I used the Egalatine lever punch, and hand held cross stitch punch. I just punched a circle, and covered it with the blooms to make my bouquet. Quite quick and easy....



Talking of weddings, I am on the hunt for shoes and a bag for 'the big day' in September. Have you shopped for shoes lately? There seems to be three variations on a basic theme available:

Ballet flats - not exactly what I want to wear with my 'mother of the bride' finery

Glittery heels - most of the heels are precipitous six inch high spindles, some with added platforms and ankle straps to add to the danger. If I wore these, I would probably end up in the nearest hospital with a broken ankle, or suffer backache for the rest of my life. What happened to moderation?

Granny shoes - okay, I'm a Granny, but that doesn't mean I have to wear sensible court shoes with blocky heels like the Queen....she is in her nineties bless her, by the time I get there, I will probably be glad to wear them, but that day hasn't arrived yet

So the hunt for elegant, pretty shoes with a medium heel continues today. Wish me luck!

Monday, 8 May 2017

Mushrooms - for Spellbinder Spellbloggers

I was drawn to this mushroom set of Die D Lites from Spellbinders as soon as I saw it I cut it in white and coloured with Promarkers. Red seemed a good choice, although if anyone wandering through the woods spotted these and fancied mushrooms with their breakfast bacon, they may end up with a bit of a tummy ache.......


The mushrooms and grass come with the set, I added a few tiny flowers from the Draping Vines Frame set (more of that later this week), and mounted the whole lot onto a Pierced Square panel which I had sponged lightly with Simon Says Stamp sea glass ink (love that colour). Pop over to Spellbinders HERE to see all the latest dies - lots on sale over there as well.....

It has been glorious weather here this weekend, so  I have pottered in the garden, musing as I went why weeds, with no nurturing, watering, feeding or pruning, grow about ten times more quickly than the plants that have all the love and attention given to them..........  
How come the watering can/wheelbarrow/trowel are always at the opposite end of the garden when you need them?..........
Why do shrubs look gorgeous in the garden center when you buy them, and a year later (despite following the instructions on the label slavishly) don't produce a single flower......
Where DO flies go in the Winter? How can they reappear as huge fat buzzy fully grown flies as soon as the sun shines.......
and finally
If bees are so important to the planet, what is the purpose of wasps, apart from being really really annoying?.....

Friday, 28 April 2017

Hero - for Daring Cardmakers and Spellbloggers

The dare over on Daring Cardmakers this week is Superheroes, and to be honest, I was going to skip this one, until I remembered this die from Spellbinders........called Awesome Dad, it is the perfect die for Father's Day, or a dad's birthday. I cut it twice, in Grey and then Red, and simply slotted some of the contrasting letters back in. The bonus of this die is that you get all these die cut words which you could use as sentiments on other male cards or teacher cards. Such a simple card to make, but I really like the effect

A lot of you have kindly asked how Molly is getting on - the answer is that she gets more adorable every day. Our daughter has just been staying here for a week, so we have had loads of cuddle time. She has graduated to tastes of pureed food now.......



The other question has been how are the wedding invitations coming along.....with a huge sigh of relief I can now say that they are done. As soon as they have been mailed I will show photos. Only the place cards, table plan, table numbers and menu cards to go now.....who thought a wedding would be such hard work. And I still have the daunting task of finding a hat.........

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Spellblogger - Getting messy with paint!

I had fun with this Spellbinder set called Paint.........


I loved the paint splashes die, and added to the effect by adding lots of blobs and splashes of paint onto the background, I dripped paint, flicked paint, splashed paint.........I was in paint heaven! I added some glossy accents to the paint on the palette and the tip of the brush. 

Pop over to the Spellbinders page and take a look at all the latest die sets available, and see some great inspiration on the blog as well.......

Sunday, 23 April 2017

5 Patterns for Daring Cardmakers, and a tale or two from Paris

The dare over on Daring Cardmakers this week was to use five pattern papers on your project, I kept it small scale and used some hexagon shapes against a stencilled background, the butterfly was a free die from a magazine



So Kath and I are back from our adventure in Paris. Once we had got over the trauma of a two hour wait at passport control to enter the country, we found our hotel, and quickly wished we hadn't......let's just say that it hadn't had a good spring clean since the last millennium. Various elements of the room didn't work, a light in the bathroom would have been a luxury, and the loo stopped flushing, at regular intervals, leading to a bizarre conversation the next morning

"Room 201, the toilet is not flushing"
"When did you notice this?"
"In the middle of the night"
"Did you report it?"
"In the middle of the night?! No!"
"You should have reported it"
"Would you have sent someone to mend it in the middle of the night?"
"No"
"Well, I am reporting it now - will you send someone to mend it?"
"No, it is too early, you should have reported it in the middle of the night"

Added to this were various incidents on the Paris Metro, where we couldn't work out the ticket machine, which took our money but failed to spit out our tickets, leaving us pressing buttons and trying to make our plight understood to some disembodied French person at the other end, while a long queue of impatient Parisiennes formed behind us, clucking and tutting at our incompetence - when it reached the point when we thought we may destroy the rather fragile French/British alliance permanently, we cut our losses and left without the tickets, until a really kind person talked us through what we had to do, after that there was no stopping us, we whizzed about on that Metro like pro's.....

The weather was freezing, I mean really really bone chillingly cold. We had both optimistically packed nice little tops, which we had imagined would look fetching as we sipped an aperitif or two on the Champs Elysee. The reality was rather different as we layered up every garment we owned in an effort to get warm, and that was just in bed in the non functioning hotel.........

Does it sound as if we had a super time? Despite all of the above, we did, we really did. We laughed until tears rolled down our faces as one disaster after another unfolded. We met some really lovely people, and some people who were so rude it was hilarious. Thanks Kath, I hope the trauma doesn't need intensive therapy to recover from........xx 

Monday, 17 April 2017

Spellbinders - One die, three ways

Today for my Spellblogger post using Spellbinders products, I used the Tiny Floral die from the Joyous Celebrations collection, and had fun making three totally different cards.....

This is quite a small die (2.50" x 2.65"), but it's easy to make it fit a whole card front, just overlap the die as shown in the photo below.... I used die cut sentiments from the Celebrations two die set on each card


The shape of the flowers reminded me of pansies, so for this first card, I left the waste white card in the die, and coloured the petals with ProMarkers before popping them out....


Then I slotted them back in as an inlay onto the die cut which had been mounted onto a white card base


Here is the finished card, I added a dot of liquid enamel in the center and added some little dashes of black pen to the lower petals, to mimic pansy markings


 For the next card, I used distress inks to make an ombre background, and mounted the tiny flower die cut over that - little clear gems added sparkle




and lastly, I die cut just a strip out of white card, and again used distress inks, but this time I coloured the panel and left the background white. I managed to continue an ombre look with some different colours of liquid pearls for the centers. The sentiment square was cut using the Pierced Squares set


Friday, 14 April 2017

Daring Cardmakers - Spring Garden

The dare over on Daring Cardmakers this week is Spring Flowers - there are some really lovely designs on there from the design team this week. Pop over to take a peek, and join in with the dare if you feel like having a bit of a floral frenzy....



For my card, I used a clearly besotted stamp and did a lot of fussy cutting around the blooms with my Fiskars fingertip craft knife. The pierced square dies are by Spellbinders



It had to be quite a quick card, as I am still up to my neck in wedding invitations. The inserts have arrived from the printer, and I am almost feeling as if I am on the home straight.

I need to be organised, next Wednesday sees me jetting off to Paris on a bit of a jolly with my good pal Kath Stewart  , now those of you who follow our blogs know that Kath and I have a bit of a reputation for getting into scrapes when we get together. In fact, we managed to mess things up before we even leave home. We are spending a day at a craft show in Paris, and were searching for hotels nearby. We managed by a superb piece of mismanagement to book a hotel that we thought was just over the road from the Paris Expo. That would have been great - if the show was being held at the Expo. No, it is at another venue.....don't worry, I warbled, I will just google and see how long it will take us to walk from the hotel to the show...........

5 1/4 hours walking time!!!!

Okay, let's keep calm. Have a look at public transport. I kid you not, the only means of transport we didn't need to take according to the instructions was a boat up the Seine! We have to get buses, the Metro, a tram........

So after recovering from a joint nervous breakdown, we have desided that, blow the cost, taxis will be the order of the day. And these two crafting grandmas have to take separate flights and somehow meet up in the chaos of Charles de Gaulle airport before the adventure can begin....watch this space, it will be a miracle if there isn't a tale or two to tell...... 

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Spellblogger - Succulent Garden

Time to play with some more Spellbinders dies - this time I used the Succulent Garden dies which I cut in white and coloured with ProMarkers.......... 




As I seem to be going through a phase of loving clean and simple cards at the moment, this set was perfect (plus being bang on trend). For this next card, I used the Nestability Classic Circle to cut an aperture , then I used the same die to cut a circle out of copy paper, and used the negative as a mask to ink a circle in vivid colours - I wanted it to look like a desert landscape..... 

and I added some spiky bits to one cactus with a black fineliner pen. Do go and browse the US store and have a look, you will see I am spoilt for choice about what to play with next. (If you are in Europe, they do ship internationally...)



What strange plants they are. When I Googled them, people can't even make up their mind whether the plural should be cacti or cactuses - and these are guys from universities having that debate. Why should they suddenly be so popular? Have people got tired of dead heading and pruning roses, and think 'I'll get something that never needs watering, and can just sit in a corner doing nothing for a few years'. Personally, as someone who regularly murders houseplants, I think they are rather useful. The inactivity bothers me a bit, as even with a spoonful of water once every month or so, they don't really go for rapid growth spurts do they? When we were moving house, I discovered a cactus plant that I had totally forgotten about - it probably hadn't been watered or even looked at for about six years. It was still alive! I felt a bit guilty and bought it over to the new house, where it has a regular sprinkle of water, it still sits there looking exactly the same as it did when it was totally neglected.......weird

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Spellbinders Wreath

For my very first Spellblogger post, I used the fabulous Wreath die, and of course had to make one in my favourite white on white as a wedding card......



 There is also a smaller wreath in the set, and sprays of leaves and flowers, so this next card used the small wreath cut in kraft. The background doesn't show up very well, but I used a stencil and some glossy texture paste for texture, then inked over it with Simon Says Stamp sea glass ink. The sentiment is by Clearly Besotted



For the last card I used the large wreath in a different way, cutting side up, then a rubber mat and shim so that the outline of the wreath was embossed but not cut. Then I inked over it with distress inks. This was a bit of an experiment, but I quite like the result.........




Do pop over and have a browse in the Spellbinder Paper Arts store, (they have an amazing clearance section with some great bargains for those who like a deal) and the range of dies is brilliant. Let me know what you find!......