Tuesday 31 May 2016

There's gold in them there hills...

Hopefully blogger has been playing ball and publishing my scheduled posts. Last Wednesday Hubby and I headed up to Wanlockhead (the highest village in Britian) in the Leadhills of Scotland for the Scottish and British Open Goldpanning Championships and got back last night.
Hubby had to go to a meeting in Moffatt on the Thursday as the British Goldpanning Association has the winning bid to hold the World Championships there next year. Friday was spent setting up for the championships and then Saturday was the Scottish Open and Sunday the British open.
We borrowed my parent's caravan and "wild" camped whilst we were there in this setting
With this view out of the caravan
Yep, I took my copics with me to do a bit of colouring in of some stamped images I took with me! 
We had the best weather I've ever experienced there in the 6 years that I've been going with Hubby, dry both days and hot enough to get sunburnt on the Sunday!
Competition panning involves each competitor being given a bucket of grit to pan. The bucket has been "seeded" with between 5 & 12 pieces of gold. The competitors don't know the number of pieces and have to pan out the gold in as quick a time as possible. They incur a time penalty of 3 minutes for every piece of gold they lose. They put the gold into a tube and can be penalised by 3 minutes if they don't put the cap on properly etc. So, how big is this gold?
Yep, piddly! Hubby won the championship last year, but only managed a 3rd with his 3 man team this year, but he had been messing about trying out a new design of pan he'd made. The winner of the British competition was an ex word champion who designed the pan that most people were using! Men and women compete equally in the competitions and we had competitors from all over the UK, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland. (Hubby is the bloke with the number 2 tabard on lurking in the background during the 3 man team event)

There is gold in the hills too, one of the "perks" of the weekend is that you can prospect in the rivers in the area and gold is still being found. Our wedding rings are made out of Scottish river gold that Hubby has collected over the years. There is a rural myth that a man found a gold nugget the size of a horse's head in the Leadhills and ran back to the village to get help to move it as gold is twice as heavy as lead, but he had a heart attack with the excitement before he could tell anyone where it was! Right, I'm off to try and catch up on all the crafting you've been doing whilst I was away!

Have a beautiful day, again.

Whilst I was making a white and one colour card for the card swap, I also made this card. I started off with a 6x6 card blank and cut a smaller square with my tattered lace pin dot dies and mounted on foam tape. I die cut the elements out of the Tonic Sew Pretty, have a beautiful day die set in white and built up on the card. I die cut the sentiment out of gold card and added some gems to the flowers.
The space around the decorative circles looked a little stark, probably should have embossed that layer in hindsight, but instead I added some decorative corners from a random Spellbinders set and added a little more bling to bring the card together. 

Monday 30 May 2016

Home sweet home

The swap theme on the craft telly swap this month was to use white plus one colour.
I started off with a 5x7 card blank and trimmed some white card to allow a small border and then embossed with Sue Wilson Heart lattice folder. The card centre was built up using the Tonic Home Sweet Home die set and I die cut the sentiment out of pink card along with a couple of butterflies from an All Occasion die set. Finally I added a few pearls to the centres of the flowers. In hindsight I should have added a pink mat under the embossed layer, but hey ho, job done!

Sunday 29 May 2016

Have a beautiful day

I used the Tonic Cherish the Moment die set from the sew pretty collection for this card and layered up the elements in peach and ivory card. I trimmed the card base to fit and rounded the corners with my corner chomper. I used the sentiment from another collection in the sew pretty range and cut this out of charcoal card. The card was finished with a few pearls to add a little bling.

Saturday 28 May 2016

Thanks x 2

I used Spellbinders create a card contemporary circles strip die for this card. I'm ashamed to say it's been languishing in the unused pile until now. I trimmed a 6x6 Kraft card blank to fit with the die which I cut in pink card. I also cut the memory box small thanks out of pink card and added to the card front. I randomly added two different sizes of gems to some of the open circles.
I had so much fun making it that I made another!

Friday 27 May 2016

Friday Oldie and a purple warning...

Friday once again and time to join up with the very lovely Erika to share a crafting oldie make, whether it's been on your blog in years gone by, or whether it's never seen the light of day and is languishing under a pile of forgotten crafty stuff on top of the wardrobe!
This was a birthday card that I made my sister about 5 years ago, I hadn't had my big shot for long and those label dies were one of the first dies that I bought. I used a Fairy Doodles stamp and coloured it in with my first set of copics and coloured the paper flowers to match. I'm pretty sure the patterened card was from Hunkydory. As you can probably tell, my sister's favourite colour is purple, she even got married in a Cadbury's purple dress! She first declared purple to be her favourite colour back in the late 80's when purple was soooo not in fashion and finding anything purple was nigh on impossible. I got so used to looking for purple things for her that they started to pop out when I saw anything that colour and I ended up addicted to it too! Beware of the purple addiction...

Thursday 26 May 2016

Bring me sunshine

Another card using the Uniko cosmos stamp. This time I made a background on watercolour card with blue and champagne spectrum noir sparkle pens. I die cut the tonic sentiment twice again out of gold and charcoal card and layered up on the card. More Tonic nuvo glitter drops to finish.

Tuesday 24 May 2016

What's on your workdesk Wednesday.

Blimey, Wednesday already, where has the time gone? It's time to meet up and share our tables of shame once again. We're meeting up over at Lunch Lady Jan's at the moment whilst our usual host, the fabulous Julia takes a break *sending lots of healing vibes to Julia*
Something has gone wrong somewhere as the kitchen table is actually quite tidy, I know, shocking isn't it!? Most things have been shoved into boxes, but you can make out my canvas work in progress. It's currently at that stage where you sit and stare at it trying to figure out what to do next! 
Hope you all have a great hump day x


Yep, the dodgy photographer is back again! It is a 6" square card blank, honest.
I stamped the Uniko cosmos flower on watercolour paper multiple times, coloured with spectrum noir sparkle pens and fussy cut them out. I drew a circle round my roll of tape to give me a guide and stuck the flowers in a circle. I die cut the memory box thanks die in blue and charcoal card to give a shadow effect and added it to the centre. Tonic Nuvo glitter drops in the centre of the flowers to finish. The watercolour paper and charcoal card were from the bit box and so I'm taking this card over to the snippets playground, wonder if anyone's up for a game of skipping?!

Monday 23 May 2016

Less is more - pops and bangs!

Happy Monday! The sun is out here in Lancashire and the bunnies are sunbathing, hope the weather is as nice wherever you are.
The theme over at Less is More this week is things that go pop or bang. I considered just sticking a photo of Hubby's van on a card but decided that this gorjuss girl image by Sugar Nellie, up, up and away would be better. I started off with a DL card, but I messed up stamping the sentiment, so I chopped it down! I stamped her in black versafine and coloured her in with spectrum noir pencils and added glossy accents to the balloon. I finished it off with a doodled border and no sentiment, I wasn't going to risk it a second time!

Sunday 22 May 2016

Take flight

This card almost took flight out of the window in frustration! The Butterfly challenge this week is apricot and/or aperture. I decided to play with my fuse tool and make a shaker card, but the static was being a nightmare. The original plan was to have butterfly sequins inside the butterfly, but they refused to play ball even with an anti static bag and tumble drier sheet. I die cut the aperture using a Sara Davies collection butterfly die out of a 6x6 card blank and made a shaker with some white iridescent sequins and then covered the workings inside with a square of apricot card. I stamped the sentiment (which is straighter in reality, um honest) added a few pearls and a little faux stitching to finish.

Saturday 21 May 2016

Happy Birthday

A card from the files to show you today. I made this for a colleague's birthday last year, but don't think I've shown it to you yet (but I'm prepared to be corrected!). I used the Katy Sue Fabulous Shoes cd-rom to print off the image and then decoupaged it up. I mat and layered it up using dies from a Spellbinders grand decorative oval set with blue and gold card. Shock horror, I even used a peel off for the sentiment! Finished off with a pearl in each corner.
I have managed to do a little crafting this evening and a bit of tidying up. I'd used a midnight blue cosmic shimmer mica spray and I always flush out the spray bit with clean water to stop it clogging. Guess who forgot to check which way the nozzle was facing? My shopping bags have a lovely added blue pattern now as does my pale blue cardigan.
Sneak peak of the work in progress...

Friday 20 May 2016

Oldie Friday

Happy Friday! Apologies if I've not got round to visiting you yet this week. Time seems to have been in short supply and my neck/arm is playing up making commenting difficult, probably due to shifting stuff around the house. I will catch up with you all soon, you all make such amazing things that I love visiting you all.
As today is Friday it's time to join Erika again to share an old crafting make. I've got a baking oldie to share with you today. A few years ago work decided to have a bake off competition to boost staff engagement. As my colleagues regularly praised my baking I decided to have a go. In hindsight I should have stuck to my tried and tested recipes but I decided to be adventurous and found a recipe off the internet for toffee cupcakes with a toffee sauce filling and toffee buttercream. Hopefully you can make out that I made some tiny red roses out of fondant and piped hearts out of white chocolate to decorate. It doesn't show up too well in the pictures but I sprayed half the hearts lightly with an edible gold shimmer mist and dusted the other half whilst still molten with edible red glitter. Interesting fact - there is apparently no such thing as edible glitter, to be deemed edible it must have some digestible element. Edible glitter is in fact non toxic and passes straight through the body. I always have visions of someone going to the loo and then going "Oooh sparkly!"
Back to the oldie, I came second with my cupcakes to someone who made vanilla cupcakes with strawberries, champagne and fresh cream. I was robbed! Hope you all have a great weekend x

Thursday 19 May 2016

Good Luck

So, this is the card I managed to rustle up in the chaos yesterday. On Tuesday a colleague in another team asked if I could make a good luck card for her student who is finishing her final placement and is expecting a baby boy in a couple of months, so could I include that too? She didn't need the card for a couple of weeks, but as I'm on leave then I had to get the card to her today.
I started of with an 8x8 card blank and layered up some silver and yellow card. I die cut a sheet of clouds from the Craftwork cards Washing line collection and some green card with a spellbinders grand square die and cut to give the illusion of grass. I mounted the grass on foam tape to allow me to poke the coffee stirrers behind it to act as poles. I added some bakers twine to form the washing line and added some baby clothes from the washing line collection.
I used the lili of the valley lucky cats stamp and decoupaged it up and coloured with my copics. I used Sue Wilson's ivy die and some paper flowers and added the sentiment using a lili of the valley stamp. Finally, I couldn't resist a little bit of faux stitching to finish it off.

Wednesday 18 May 2016

What's on your workdesk Wednesday

Ey, Wednesday all ready, where is the week going? It's time to share the contents of our work desks once again. Lunch Lady Jan is in charge whilst Julia takes a break and recovers from her surgery and I'm sure she'll do a fantastic job.
So, the table of shame once again. I managed to climb over the piles of "bloke stuff" without breaking my neck and locate enough supplies to make a card as requested by a colleague for tomorrow. The photo shows a combination of the lack of tidying up before making the card and the chaos left after making the card. You can see a slightly emptier space on the left of the table which was where I was working. I might tidy up a bit tomorrow if I can face it! 

Tuesday 17 May 2016

New beginnings.

So, this is what the lounge looks like this evening. The rest of the house is in a very similar/worse state. The reason? After 3 1/2 years of marriage my husband moved in with me today!
The sale of his house was finally completed today. When we met about 5/6 years ago we both had houses (and mortgages). Neither house was really suitable for both of us, but mine is slightly bigger and has room for the bunnies. For reasons I won't go into *coughboundarydisputecough* we were unable to sell his house and we were unable to rent it out due to a clause in the deeds, so Hubby has been commuting between our two houses daily for the last 5 years.
The house is now full to bursting as, like everything that takes forever, it finally happens with ridiculous speed. My crafting is likely to be curtailed as a) we need to sort through and organise things and b) I can't get near half my crafting stash! That said I need to make a card for work by Thursday. This could be fun...

Monday 16 May 2016

Less is more - at sea

Happy Monday! The good weather seems to have wandered off elsewhere today and it's a tad chilly. Chaos reigns here for reasons I will share tomorrow (don't want to jinx things), so if I might not be able to post as often this week due to reduced crafting opportunities, boooo!
I had a second go at this week's Less is more one layer card - at sea. I tried to be a bit more restrained this time, honest. I think my card is more by the sea rather than at sea, but I think they'll let me off.
I started with a 5x7 card blank and stamped the lighthouse by Sam Poole for creative expressions with black soot distress ink. I then used a damp paintbrush to tease out some of the ink to add shading. As I was just using a card blank rather than watercolour card I had to be careful not to damage the surface of the card, but I think I got away with it. I added the sentiment by Lili of the Valley in onyx black versafine and doodled a border with a fine liner pen to finish. I was thinking rope when I did the border, but it didn't turn out like that! Hope you all have a great week x

Sunday 15 May 2016

Not less is more...

Well, I started off with the less is more challenge of by the sea in mind but got a bit carried away.
I used a 5x7 card blank cut in half again, I really like this size to work with. I stamped the Mama Elephant Artic Penguin and then masked him off and added the icebergs. I coloured his beak and feet with an orange copic. I stamped the sentiment from a woodware stamp in versafine ink. With the penguin and icebergs masked off I then added faded jeans distress ink with an inkylicious ink duster (can you tell they were on telly this morning?) to create the sea. I then masked off the sea and cut a cloud shape out of a post it note and using the ink duster added chic violet colour cloud for the sky. Once finished as there was so much inking on the card I added Distress Micro glaze. I'd bought this a while ago but had never used it. The directions say to apply sparingly by rubbing on with your fingers. It has the consistency of Vaseline or a lip balm and feels slightly waxy. You then buff it with a paper towel and it leaves a "smudge resistant, waterproof finish". I added glossy accents to the ice along with a little glamour dust and as I couldn't find my quickie glue pen used the glossy accents sparingly to add a little touch of sparkle on the sea. I don't know if it shows on the picture, but the glaze certainly seemed to repel the glossy accents (which gave the look I wanted originally if I'd had my glue pen). 
Hopefully you've all got the same beautiful sunny day that I have, so I'm off to make a brew and sit in the garden watching the bunnies snooze!

Saturday 14 May 2016

I had another one of my "bright" ideas!

The current challenge over at AAA challenges is inlaid die cutting.
As is the challenge over at Happy Little Stampers
Hopefully my card counts as clean and simple enough for the challenges, but if not I still had fun. I had a rummage through my dies to find a suitable one and decided upon Sue Wilson's floral striplet. I figured I could inlay the leaves in green. I then realised that the leaves were all in two sections, never mind, I thought I can still do that. I cut out the striplet and the backing plate and stuck them together to inlay the pieces on. Halfway through I realised that I should have cut the backing plate in blue as it wasn't showing up white on white. Never one to admit defeat I decided to inlay all the background, including the teeny weeny tiny bits in between the petals on some of the flowers. After a lot of swearing I managed it (after hunting on the floor and finding one missing bit to Hubby's amusement). I die cut Sue Wilson's camellias and layered them up on the flowers and added a pearl to each to finish. Originally I was going to just mount it on a DL card, but added a couple of layer to make it pop more.
Top tips if you decide to do anything as mad as me.
1. I popped all the pieces out of the die onto my Ken Oliver best craft mat ever as it has a non slip surface and holds all the pieces in the right order.
2. My Pinflair pick up tool was essential to enable me to pick up the tiny pieces and place them down correctly.
3. A quickie glue pen is fab to stick down the tiny pieces.
4. Shut the window before starting....

Friday 13 May 2016

Oldie Friday

Is anyone else melting? I was trying to have a good sort out in the bedroom earlier and ended up in a puddle. The bedroom is south facing and I'd kept the curtains shut to keep the heat out, but the window catch has broken and so we can't open it and I could feel the temperature rising! Oh well it's a good excuse not to do too much housework at once.
As it's Friday it's time to join up with Erika and share an old make from the archives. My make this time is my first proper knitted project (not counting scarves). I made this for my niece who was about 18 months old at the time, she's 12 now! I got into knitting when I had to take a year out of my degree after I caught a virus which sent my liver function doolally. It left me feeling exhausted for months and altered my taste buds, coffee tasted like cigarette ash and the smell of mushrooms turned my stomach and they were two of my favourite things! I've gradually retrained myself to drink coffee, although to no where near the strength I used to have it at and I'm still working on the mushrooms! I taught myself to knit via the Internet as a way to increase my concentration levels and progressed onto this simple cardigan in patterned yarn for my niece. 
Hope you all have a lovely sunny weekend x

Less is more - pastels

I managed to stay awake long enough last night to come up with an entry for this weeks's Less is more challenge to use pastels. I'd already scrapped a couple of attempts earlier in the week, but wasn't about to let this one beat me! I opted to use my copics as although I don't have the best range of pastel shades they are quick and easy to use. I stamped out the lili of the valley rabbit trio set (or whatever its proper name is and coloured them in. I then cut then out, my favourite scissors were playing hide and seek and winning, so I had to use my spares. Wow, could I tell the difference, much harder to get a decent shape with them. 
I then started to compose the card and failed miserably, two card blanks went in the bin and I tried another 3 different sizes of card but couldn't get on with them. Then I had an idea. I cut a 5x7 card blank in half to give two 3.5x5 tent fold cards. I added one of the trio of bunnies to each one and die cut lawn fawn scripty hugs out of pastel pink and purple card and offset them to give a drop shadow.

Thursday 12 May 2016

Happy Birthday

Is it only Thursday? I'm absolutely shattered and it's not even Friday yet. I don't know if it's the warm weather, my meds or a combination of the two, but I could sleep for England right now.
Today's card is one from the files that I haven't shared before. It was my colleague's birthday (bet you can't guess how old she was!) and so I made a card for us all to sign. I used an scalloped 8x8 card base and printed the backing paper and decoupage off a crafters companion BeBunni cd-rom. I die cut Sue Wilson's striplet, a Marianne balloon and numbers and sentiment from All Occasion dies out of pink card. I added a mat of gold Miri card and die cut a spellbinders grand stately circles die out of the gold and added a circle of white to build the sentiment on. A few flowers from my stash, a few pearls and a bit of faux stitching to finish. Apologies once again for the bad pictures, hopefully you can see the layers of decoupage in the last pic. Right off to try and use some cocktail sticks to hold my eye open...

Wednesday 11 May 2016

So, I saw this stamp....

I mentioned that I had gained a purple patch on my garden table, this is what happened...
I saw this sentiment stamp by Inkylicious and it just spoke to me.
I started off with an 8x8 inch canvas board from clarity stamps.
Applied flexible filler through a clarity hexagon stencil randomly. Added creative expressions Arctic frost sparkle paste through a Simon says stamp falling snow stencil randomly.
Stamped the sentiment onto tissue paper with black versafine and tore it out. Stuck it onto the board with Indigo Blu slap it on matte.
Tore up some black and white patterned washi tape and stuck it on with glue. 
Spritzed everything with cosmic shimmer pastel purple chalk mist, cosmic shimmer midnight blue shimmer mist, radiant rain solar gold shimmering mist and white Kaiser mist, masking off the sentiment at times and blotting to keep the centre lighter.
Dabbed imagination crafts starlight cyclamen metallic paint round the edges and randomly on the board with my fingers.
The sentiment had receded a bit into the colour and so I traced over it with a black micron pen to bring it forward more. 
Added some shade around the washi tape and under the hexagons with a black stabilo All pencil and used a damp cut n dry nib to blend it.
Highlighted areas with antique gold treasure gold gilding wax.
Dabbed a bit of cosmic shimmer glue on with my fingers and dusted with glamour dust to add areas of sparkle.
Stamped out the three smallest stamps from Heartfelt Creations open vintage floret multiple times on white vellum with versamark. Heat embossed with WOW primary Parma violet embossing powder and fussy cut them out.
Spritzed flowers with water and shaped with a ball tool and foam mat and glued together and added some tiny dazzlers (from eBay) for the centres.
Die cut Sue Wilson's faux quilled leaves and petite vinery out of soft gold card (from Anna Marie designs).
Arranged all on the board with a large clear accent heart gem and small AB hearts (from eBay) and a key charm using cosmic shimmer glue.
Apologies for the overload of photographs.
I'd like to enter this project in the following challenges
Craft Stamper May challenge - anything goes.
Anything but cute challenge #13 celebrate your style. I'm only just dipping my toe in the water of mixed media work and so am still developing my style, but I'm certainly having fun doing so!
Simon says stamp Monday challenge - emboss it. I've used heat embossing and texture paste.