About Me

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I'm a retired primary school teacher, who started paper crafting in 2008, when I had a fancy to make my own Christmas cards. Since then, I have tried all sorts of techniques and styles - and I kind of like them all. I have been lucky enough to be on blog teams and large design teams and to do a bit of freelance demonstrating - and I love the challenge of working with different products. My crafting style is very varied - from junk journaling and art journaling, bookbinding and journal making, to quilting and patchwork - and of course I still make cards. This variety keeps me interested - and my crafty stash growing!! I'm always seeking inspiration for new projects.

Thursday 22 January 2015

Running Shoes!!

Good morning! Can't believe it's been nearly a week since my last post!! Time does fly - and I can assure you I've been busy making things - just not sharing at the moment!!  I've just got back from my morning 'run' (I use the term loosely)! It was colder out there than I had anticipated!! But I've been and done my time - so while I'm cooling down, thought I would share a card.

Today is my eldest stepson's birthday! And he's another runner (a proper one!) - so this called for another running card! At one stage all I seemed to make was football cards - now it's running - and it's getting very hard to find new things!
Anyway, this one is a La Pashe decoupage sheet - I love the bright colours of the shoes (and believe me runners seem to love their neon colours!) - so reflected that in the matting and layering.
I didn't go for anything fancy - just lots of layers set at different angles - with the red layer embossed with Crafter's Companion Hessian Embossalicious folder. The letters are cut with Die'sire 1" letters, and I finished it off with a big button.

I would like to enter this into:
Crafty Gals Corner - Let's hear it for the boys
Fab n Funky - Button It
Ruby's Rainbow - Masculine Birthday

Take care

Friday 16 January 2015

Runner Beans!!!

Back today with a birthday card made using my faithful old Craft Robo and a cutting file from Beanpole Books called Runner Beans
We were invited to a friend's surprise 50th last weekend - and as we know him through running, it seemed appropriate to use a running image. I used Papermill Navy card for the base and to cut out the image. It's rather thick - so didn't cut right through, but it's enough to be able to then peel the front part away from the back layers of card.

I then cut the shorts in red and the t-shirt in cream, and used more of these colours for matting and layering. The red strip is embossed with Crafter's Companion Embossalicious Argylle Embossing Folder, and the name and age are cut with Die'sire 1" Alphabet and Number dies. 
For some reason I decide to make the base card to fit the topper - then realised I needed an envelope to go with it. So, I used a piece of red thick paper (from Lidl) to make the envelope, and used Die'sire Essential Circles and Scallop Circles to cut a little decoration - topped off with a button!!

I would like to enter this into:
DL Art - Thankful Thursday Challenge - Anything Goes with Red
Scrap and Craft Inspiration - Anything Goes
Scrapbbooker PhD - Masculine + Die Cuts

Take care,

Wednesday 14 January 2015

Camden Town Bicycle!

Good morning!!  A quick post this morning to share a birthday card I made for my brother-in-law's birthday.
The image and matching papers are from Crafter's Companion's Camden Town Male CD, while the base card and mats are Papermill Teal and Buff card. I printed the image twice so I could do a little decoupage to give dimension, and then cut the letters with Die'sire 1" Alphabet dies. A few little buttons strategically placed finished the card off.

I would like to enter this into:
Paper Creator's Crafts - Anything Goes

Back soon,

Monday 12 January 2015

Crafty Cardmakers - Challenge 130 - Something Old, Something New

Afternoon!! It's time for the first challenge of the year from Crafty Cardmakers and More!! Leslie is our host - and she would like to see something new and something old on your project. It could be old or new stash - or techniques!! 
Now, I'm not a great purchaser of crafting magazines. I'll buy one every now and again - but don't have any subscriptions or the like. But just before Christmas, there was a lot of talk on Facebook about two magazines in particular - Simply Cards and Papercrafts (132) and Simply Homemade (51). The first came with a HOTP feather die, and the second with a coordinating feather stencil and stamp set. For some reason, the idea of feathers really appealed to me - so on 2nd January I popped along to the supermarket and bought both!!
So, these items, along with some Darice Seafoam White Embossing Powder and my Embellishment Attic Bow Maker, make up the new elements of my project.
For the old part, I dug out this Versamark Dazzle ink pad, and an old jar of clear embossing powder. I bought the ink pad a few years ago, used it once, didn't get the effect I was hoping for, and stuck it in a drawer. It's supposed to give a sparkly watermark - but I find it a little bit hit and miss. But, it's nice and sticky for a bit of heat embossing!!
I chose to use navy blue, white and pink for the card - and started by stamping some of the feathers onto a piece of navy blue card.
I used the second stamp over the top, then heat embossed with clear embossing powder.
I stamped more feathers onto some pink paper, and heat embossed them with Darice Seafoam White powder. I then cut them out with the matching die - which left hints of the pink paper around the white. The sentiment is also from the stamp set - and heat embossed with the Seafoam powder.  I finished off with a bow made using my new Bow Maker - topped with a Hobby House Sparkler!! 

Make sure you pop on over to Crafty Cardmakers & More to have a look at all the fabulous inspiration from the rest of the Design Team. Then get creating!!

I would like to enter this into:
One Stitch at a Time - Anything Goes with Something New 
Stamping Sensations - Dies and Punches
Crafty Calendar Challenge - What's New?


Friday 9 January 2015

Crafter's Companion January Challenge - Shabby Chic

Good evening!! Am back today with my contribution to the inspiration for this month's Crafter's Companion challenge. This month it's all about Shabby Chic and Vintage.
I decided to use this challenge to make my sister's birthday card - and her favourite colour is purple - so that's what I used.
I started by cutting four squares of thick card (old packaging) and covered them with gesso. I then mixed more gesso with Violet Pebeo Deco Matt Acrylic Paint.
I then did the same with a larger piece of Crafter's Companion Watercolour Card.
Another thin coat of gesso.
And finally a couple of coats of Pebeo Antique White Deco Matt Acrylic paint.
I cut the larger piece down, then sanded the edges of all the pieces of card, revealing some of the white and purple underneath. I was a little over enthusiastic with the smaller pieces - and ended up sanding back to the card - but I actually like the way that looked - so left it. I emphasised the purple with Distress Ink - Milled Lavender and Dusty Concord. 
The paper is from Crafter's Companion's Halcyon Days CD, printed onto Neenah Solar White. I distressed the edges of the mats I cut from this, too. 
The flat flowers are Die'sire Essentials Flowers for all Occasions, cut from some of the printed paper, and from the painted watercolour card. The other flowers are Die'sire Quilling Flowers - Small Fringed Flower and Itsy Bitsy Blossom. I topped these with pearl flowers. I used an old mini alphabet stamp set to stamp the name - and mounted it onto a ribbon bow. 

Be sure to keep an eye out for more inspiration from the Design Team - shared by them and on the Crafter's Companion page. And click here to enter!! 

Enjoy yourselves!!

Monday 5 January 2015

Challenge 5 - The Mirror Crack'd

Well, it's time for another Mixed Media Challenge over at The Mirror Crack'd - and this month the theme is Stencils. All we want you to do is to use stencils somewhere on your project!!
This is my contribution to the inspiration this time round. I have to admit that I am going through this jade green/turquoise/teal phase at the moment - just can't seem to snap myself out of it. Anyway, the thing that started my project off was the gorgeous Owl die from XCut. I bought it on a bit of a whim just before Christmas, and really love how the whole thing can be built up in layers.

So, I started by cutting the pieces for the owl out. I used scraps from my stash - so not overly sure where they came from. 

I then stenciled through die pieces with Distress Ink - Peacock Feathers and Scattered Straw.
I then used Pebeo Antique White to cover an 8x8 canvas, before brushing on DoCrafts Artiste Sea Spray across the top half - I kept the paint quite wet and blended the two in the middle.
The next step was to play with my new eBrush. I was really impressed at how quick it was to get going with this piece of kit - and really easy to use. I have an old 12x12 storage box that I placed my canvas in, stuck The Crafter's Workshop Mini Microbial stencil on, and then masked the surrounding area. I used GT1, BT4 and BT5 with the brush to get a gradient effect. I was a bit worried about ruining my stencil - but a wipe over with Tim Holtz Alcohol Ink Blending Solution - and it's fine!! 
After that I mixed some more Sea Spray with Lagoon, before applying the paint with a stencil brush through the Imagination Crafts Honeysuckle stencil. I did this near opposite corners of the canvas. 

I then used a Pearlescent Texture paste that I bought in a set from Lidl, with the same Honeysuckle stencil, placed slightly further out from each corner. 
I used the same paste with That Special Touch Polka Dots stencil, to add a little more texture in the other two corners, and spread some with my fingers around the edges. I also added in a little gold paste there too.
A few Dovecraft paper flowers, buttons and pearls finished it all off nicely.

Make sure that you pop over to The Mirror Crack'd blog to check out all the other fab inspiration from the team. We really look forward to seeing all of your creations!!

I would like to enter this into:
ABC Challenges - A is for Anything Goes
Country View Challenges - Use Something New to You (eBrush)
Imagination Crafts - Anything Goes


Sunday 4 January 2015

A Blast From The Past!!

For various reasons, I crafted very little in the run up to Christmas. And those cards I did make, I forgot to photograph as I had so much on my mine. So, I decided on a 'blast from the past' and to share a project from last year that slipped through the net on the blogging front. My very good friend, Caroline, was 40 - and to mark the milestone, I created this altered box in which to put personal messages from the other 7 of us in the group. 
The box was from Store 21 - I loved the idea of it being a book. To alter it, I first sanded the glossy finish to the outside of the box, and then added a few coats of magnolia emulsion paint. I then roughed the edges u with some sandpaper, to give a shabby chic look. I then used Serif Craft Artist to create the cover sheet, and mounted it onto some peach paper. The patterned paper is from Craftwork Cards.
I then decorated it with a ribbon bow, fabric flowers and pearls. 
On the inside of the lid I used more Craftwork Cards papers, along with a compilation of group photos created in Craft Artist. Each of us chose a photo of Caroline, and wrote a personalised message, and I used them to make an A6 card - again in Craft Artist.
I printed out the matching backgrounds onto pieces of A4 paper, and made a envelope for each, which was tied with ribbon.

I love creating these personal gifts - total one-offs that no-one else has. It does tax the old brain, as it becomes harder and harder to think up new things to make!! But I do like the challenge!!

Back again tomorrow with the first of the Challenges for this year.


Saturday 3 January 2015

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year to you all! I know I'm a couple of days late - but better late then never!! So, I started 2015 in the same way as 2014 - at King's Park parkrun!! No photo this year - but at least it was dryer than back then!!  It has to be said that it was horribly hard work. But I got out there and I did it!!  And as I am a total glutton for punishment, I did it all again today. This time, we were back on home ground at Poole - where it was a 'blue' theme. No photo again, fairly slow time, lots of rain - but I actually quite enjoyed myself.

So - the start of another year. And I'm feeling a little ambivalent as I know this is going to be a difficult year personally. I have no idea what it will bring on the crafting front. Last year's surprise was gaining a place on Crafter's Companion's Main Design Team. I'm not sure what could top that. For me, this year is just a case of taking it all as it comes. 

I have a happiness jar this year - although we are already onto day 3 and nothing has yet gone in there. I am determined I will find the positives in the 12 months to come. And I am going to set myself a few targets.

On the personal front, I want to run my first 10K, and to make maximum use of my new paddle boarding equipment (providing I can work out my new roof rack!!). I want to be good at my day job - and enjoy it! 

Craft wise, I just want to do what I want to do this year. I want to keep up with all my DT commitments and challenges. I want to make things for friends and family. And keep on taking the odd commission that comes my way. But I don't want to stress myself out unnecessarily - hence the decision to do no more craft fairs. If I gain more followers on my blog, Pinterest and FB pages - then that's great! But if I don't, then that's fine too. 

So, here's to the year ahead - and all that it will bring with it!! 

And as I'm here, I really ought to share a card!! This boxed card was a commission for a late December birthday. 
The base card is Centura Pearl Snow White and the papers are from Crafter's Companion Vintage Floral CD, along with the bird - which is one of the digi stamps. I embossed another piece of Centura Pearl with Embossalicious 8x8 Elegant Orchid folder. 

The birdhouse is from a really old Hunkydory kit - I think it was called Tweets, but am not really sure. They were supposed to be made into 3D projects - but I never got round to it!! So, a little Pearl Diamond Spray and Sparkle, and it was good to go.
The flower are Die'sire Small Fringed Flower Quilling Dies, and the butterflies are from the Die'sire Essentials and Bebunni sets. Inside the box I used Chantilly Lace Stamping Frame and Essential Circles. And of course the letter and numbers are the 1" Alphabet and Number sets. 
And so there it is - the first post of 2015. Hopefully the first of many to come. I hope that you will continue to join me this year either here, via Bloglovin, Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter. I look forward to your company.

Back soon,