About Me

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I'm a part-time primary school teacher, who started papercrafting 8 years ago, 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. So my work is very varied, which keeps me interested - and my crafty stash growing!! As well as cards, I love working with boxes and canvases - and I'm always seeking inspiration for new projects.

Monday, 29 February 2016

Day 60 - and last day of sharing favourites.

Evening!! Well, what a day!! A generally busy one for me - running this morning, followed by a quick sewing session. Then off to work this evening! And arriving home to the amazing news that Crafter's Companion will be launching some fab new products on Hochanda this week!! How exciting!!
And today is the final day of sharing favourite makes from 2015. And this one is a really simple make - but when it was shown on TV, it seemed to be very popular - which makes it a favourite with me!!
It was for the launch of the Times Gone By CD in March last year - and the images just lent themselves to some real vintage looking samples. Details can be found by clicking here.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Day 59 - and Day 6 of sharing favourites.

Evening! Time for another quick share!! Have to say, as we approach the end of month 2 of my crafty photo a day, my enthusiasm is beginning to wane. But I shall push on and keep going!!

Today I have a canvas to share. This was for a mixed media challenge using stencils. I used an Crafter's Workshop stencil with my eBrush and Spectrum Noir pens - great fun!!
I also love the XCut owl die - and I stenciled through the die too! There's a bit of texture paste in there too - and some painting through an Imagination Crafts stencil. For more details click here.

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Day 58 - and Day 5 of sharing favourite makes!

Evening!! Had a very lazy day after a fairly full on week! Am still feeling tired - but hopefully another lazy day tomorrow will fix that!
I've a couple more days to go of sharing my favourite makes from last year. So, today I have chosen this shadow box from June - click here for more details. I love this shadow box - it has some things from my Nan's old sewing box in it - and lots of vintage images. 

Friday, 26 February 2016

Day 57 - and Day 4 of sharing favourites.

Evening!! Hope you're all well. Personally I'm not feeling it today - has been a tough one - and I've felt a little on edge. But it's nearly over - and I'm looking forward to the weekend. And I've chosen today's favourite from last year to cheer me up - a gorgeous Saturated Canary image, coloured with my Spectrum Noirs pens.
The colours of this were quite a departure from the norm for me - I've never done orange hair before - but I love how it turned out! More details can be found by clicking here.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Day 56 - and Day 3 of favourite makes!

Evening! Today I have another make from 2015 to share with you - and just a very quick post. 
This one is an Iris Folding project I made for Crafter's Inspiration 7 using the Kimono papers. I really love the colours of this - and was so pleased with how it turned out.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Day 55 - and Day 2 of sharing previous makes!

Evening! Not been working today - but still had a lot on. We have had our Gas and Electric meters changed to Smart Meters - which took a couple of hours of no power. Then I went for a run. And this afternoon I have been sewing!!

But today I am sharing my second make as part of the Crafty Friends challenge. I didn't realise yesterday, but I should be sharing makes from last year - and I shared one from 2014 - but I'm sure the world won't stop because of it.
This one is definitely from last year - February to be precise - and you can find all the details here. This one was for another mixed media challenge - this time a journal cover. I really enjoyed making this - with so many different elements. 
Back tomorrow with another oldie!!

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Day 54 - Seven Days Crafty Friends Challenge

Evening!! Tonight's share is a blast from the past, as I have been nominated on Facebook to share some of my favourite makes over the next seven days. 
So I am starting off with this post from September 2014 of a mirror frame I altered for a mixed media challenge. Click on the link for more details of how I made it.  

I chose this one to start with as I just love the colours and the way it all turned out!!
Back tomorrow.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Day 53 - All cut up!!

Evening!! Had a busy day today. Full day of teaching, quick run after work, and a few computer things to get sorted after this. So, another quick post this evening.

Having shared a picture of my newly washed fabric stash, I have now cut into a lot of it in preparation for future projects.
I have matched a pattern with a block colour - and you can see some wadding in there too as I intend to quilt one or two items!! 

It's now all safely stored in my recently acquired sewing basket - waiting for when I have more time to sit and sew!!
Back tomorrow.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Day 52 - Fabric Stash!!

Evening!! It is becoming obvious to me through doing this image a day, that I seem to have lots of different projects going on at the same time - including things I've started and not got round to finishing - and things I've got a head start on and have put away to finish later. And then I always seem to be starting something new too!!

Well, on Friday I visited my local fabric store as I needed something for an upcoming project or two (any excuse). And I had a bit of a blow out!! So, yesterday I washed and dried all the fabric - I only do this when I have bought off the roll by the metre - not when I have pre-cut pieces. So this morning I had a marathon ironing session. This is one of the few times that I iron - I really don't like doing it - but I also don't like working with really wrinkled fabric.

And now I have a lovely pile of gorgeous fabric ready to be cut up for the projects I have in mind.
Back tomorrow!!

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Day 51 - Beautiful Birdcage!

Evening to you!! I am feeling a touch tired tonight. I started the day on a high with a new PB at parkrun, then planted a few seeds I'd been soaking for a couple of days. Then sat in my craft room sewing!! But all of a sudden I am feeling really tired!!

So, it's a quick post tonight! And it's using an image that has appeared a few times over the past 51 days!! The image itself is from Crafter's Companion Kimono CD with artwork from the fabulous Marilyn Robertson. It is printed onto printable canvas. The papers are from the CD too. All the edges were distressed with my Tim Holtz distressing tool.
To create the "pallet" I used Stamps Away MDF Pallet Art Kit, painted with white gesso. The distressed edge was created by smearing petroleum jelly along the edges of each piece before painting. This was then wiped off afterwards. The flowers are made from Spellbinders dies.

Back tomorrow,

Friday, 19 February 2016

Day 50 - Where has the time gone?

Evening!! So, we are on day 50 of the year - the time seems to be going so quickly!! And of course we are on day 50 of my Crafty Image a Day!! To be honest, I'm surprised I've got this far - but am now determined to keep going for the other 316 days that are left!! 

Yesterday I shared the results of playing with glycerin on card. I have to admit to enjoying playing - but I am also finding that I need to have a use for whatever I've come up with - otherwise it feels sort of pointless. OK - I know that the learning part is good - but I like to think that all my effort will become part of something more tangible.

So, I had a think - and this is what I've come up with so far. I decided to colour the card in a palette that would go with the Kraft card faux leather from before. 
So, the Linen card was inked with Shabby Shutters Distress Ink, the Hammered with Tea Dye, the Centura Pearl with Antique Linen, the Sheena stamping card with Old Paper, and I covered the black with Pebeo Renaissance Gold Gilding Wax.
I rather liked the overall combination and began thinking about how I could use it on a canvas. So, I did a bit of measuring stuff, and cut some rectangles from each piece.
I then played around with the pieces until I was happy with the arrangement. This is as far as I have got at the moment and it's not fixed down, but I have this vision of using the Words from the Textures and/or Textures Elements stamp sets to add onto it. And doing something with the background - maybe with texture paste and stencils - maybe with paint....
Not quite sure when I'll get to play with this again - but I am happy that I will be able to use my experiment to create a project.
Back tomorrow,

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Day 49 - ... continued from yesterday!!

Evening!! So, after my very quick post last night, I will take a little more time tonight. After my go at faux leather with Kraft card, it occurred to me that maybe you can do the same thing with other card. So, I decided to have a go with Crafter's Companion Linen, Hammered, Centura Pearl, Matt Black and Sheena Stamping card - just to see what would happen. 
For each piece, I sprayed both sides with glycerin, and scrunched it up three times.
It was obvious quite quickly that the fibres in some card seperate much quicker than others. The above photo is of Sheena Stamping card - and you can already see the fibres coming away - and that was the first go!
I was also interest to see whether the texture on the linen and hammered card disappeared - and what happened to the pearl. Well, it's not easy to see on the photo - but the texture on the linen didn't completely disappear - but the hammered one had little evidence of texture left. The Centura Pearl, however, I really love!! Although it was a little delicate and did tear around the edges, the finished texture was gorgeous - it almost enhances the sheen of the pearl!! 
The Matt Black card proved tricky in that it was still fairly stiff and card like - so think that would need more than three goes with the glycerin spray. 
I embossed all the pieces with Textures Distress folder. I have to say that my favourite is the Centura Pearl - with it's gorgeous texture and sheen!! 

And then I wondered what to do with all of it now. Well, more of that tomorrow!!

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Day 48 - So close .....

.... to forgetting to do this today!! Have been fairly busy today! Started with a run, followed by the Sky box men turning up about 4 hours earlier than expected (not complaining by the way), then having lunch. I followed that with a bit of sewing which I go so engrossed it that I had to rush to get ready to go out to meet my friends. Just back from a gorgeous meal - so am very quickly posting tonight.
Strange you many say. Well, it's five pieces of card - Crafter's Companion Linen, Hammered, Centura Pearl, Matt Black and Sheena stamping card. And I thought I would give them all the glycerin treatment like the Kraft card.

But you'll have to wait for the results until tomorrow!! Sorry!!

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Day 47 - Time for a Clean!!

Evening!! So, what have I got to share with you tonight? Well, just a quick post really. After sewing through card yesterday, I thought I ought to change the needle on my machine. I haven't done so since I've had it - and I have used it a fair bit! 
If I'm honest, I've never changed a sewing machine needle before - I've never had a machine that I felt was worth taking care of. But, of course, once I started on that I thought I should clean it too (something else I've never done before). So I did!! And to be fair, it wasn't that bad - but the fluff was definitely starting to accumulate. And I have managed to get it all back into place!! Yay!!
Back tomorrow!!

Monday, 15 February 2016

Day 46 - Free Motion!!

Evening!! Well, after my little play with faux leather, I decided to try and Free Motion Quilt it!! Now, as I hadn't tried Free Motion with my machine before, I thought I'd better have a go with fabric first. So I marked out a squiggly line on a piece of cotton and went for it.
And as you can see below, I found it rather tricky to stay on the line - so I went a totally "free" hand!!
And then I wrote my name on another piece and tried that - with better success. I was finding that the faster speed I had the machine going, the more even the stitch - provided I kept the material moving steadily.
So then it was time to have a go with my faux leather. I started with the one embossed with the Leaf Vein. And stupidly I decided to try to follow the vein lines. Well, that lasted about 5 seconds. I would end up almost trapped in one part of it - and then need to stop and start again in another. 
To be fair, though, the finished article is alright!!  On the other piece, I just went for random - as far as someone who likes order and symmetry can do random!!
However, I found it a lot easier to do the "just move it about and try to cover the majority of it" - than following lines. I will have to practice a lot more before I let this loose on a proper quilting project.

Well, now I have them quilted, 
I need to ponder on what to do with them now. Mmmmm......

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Day 45 - My Valentine!

Evening to you!! Well, what a lovely Valentine's day I've had. Breakfast in bed - with pain au chocolat. A day to craft away - while he went for a long run. And then dinner cooked for me - with rather a lot of wine!! So, am writing this before I fall asleep!

And of course, today I am sharing with you the Valentine's card I made for my lovely OH.
I made the base card from two pieces of burgundy card - the size is just over 8 1/4". For the large hearts, I used a combination of Debbie Shore Heart Quilting dies, and Die'sire Essentials Scalloped Hearts dies. The papers are from a Tattered Lace Bowmaker magazine, while the embossed section was created with Docrafts Triboss Heart Attack Folder. The embossed sentiment is also Docrafts. 

The lock and key is from Sara Davies "Love and Romance" collection, and the "Husband" is Die'sire Essentials Only Words. I finished off with buttons and flat backed pearls from my stash.
See you tomorrow!

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Day 44 - Faux Leather

Evening! Before I get going tonight, I just wanted to say a big thank you to Julie and Tracy - my two most loyal followers and commenters. Most of the time I send my blog out into the ether not knowing if (and to be fair not really expecting) anyone will read it or give me any feedback. Most people seem to operate predominantly on Facebook these days - and I do share my things there too. But both Julie and Tracy pop in now and again with a lovely comment - just to reassure me that my posts don't just disappear into a black hole!! 

Anyway. Last night I made a start on the faux leather technique, and this morning I spent a little bit of time finishing it off. 
I split the sheet of A4 Kraft card into two, and last night, while the card was still damp, I embossed each half with a different folder. Above is "Distress" (have to admit this one didn't emboss too well due to use error) and below is "Leaf Vein".
So, this morning, I started applying the Distress Ink. On the Leaf Vein, I began with Gathered Twigs, and on the Distress I started with Frayed Burlap.
I think I was a bit impatient, as at this stage I wasn't really that keen. And lots of little bits were coming off the card, so my cut and dry foam was getting covered. After trying to brush the bits off, I went in again. On the Leaf Vein I used Walnut Stain, and on Distress I used Vintage Photo (I actually did some direct to paper with this pad too). 

That's as far as I got today, as I needed to go out for a run, start planting my seeds, hoover the house, and prep the last of the parsnips from the garden ready to make soup. I have started another little experiment, however, which I will share another time. And I'm also curious to see whether this faux leather will go through the sewing machine - so, I'm still considering what do with it. I have to say, that on camera I prefer the look of the Leaf Vein - but strangely, in real life, I like the Distress.

Anyway, I still have lots I want to play with - and hopefully more time to play in the morning.

Back tomorrow,

Friday, 12 February 2016

Day 43 - Preparation

Evening! Today has been a combination of a bit of crafting this morning to make my Mum's Mother's day card. And an afternoon of planning in preparation for a few regular teaching sessions I have after half term.

But there was just time this evening to dig out my original Textures collection of 8x8 folders and stamps (the new Elements collection is, of course, winging its way to me as we speak), along with other supplies necessary to finally have a go at Sheena's faux leather technique. I bought the glycerin eons ago - but I've just not got round to having a go.
I've got as far as spritzing the Kraft card with glycerin and water and squishing it several times. And I've embossed one half with the Leaf Vein folder, and the other with the Distress folder. It's now drying on my craft table - we'll have to see what it's like in the morning!!

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Day 42 - Butterfly Lullaby

Good evening!! I have had a lovely day in my garden, tidying up the leaves and debris in both the front and back gardens. Next step is to start planting the plethora of seeds I've got!! Looking forward to starting that at the weekend.

Today I have finally got round to sharing with you the card that I made for my sister's 50th birthday. I've been putting it off, purely because I haven't had a huge amount of time to blog - and this one needed just a little bit more time than I've had of late.
It doesn't show too well on the photograph, but the patterned card is purple. In fact it is Crafter's Companion A3 double sided Indulgence card. The white card is Centura Pearl Hint of Silver.
I used elements from Sara Davies' Butterfly Lullaby collection. I embossed a piece of Centura Pearl with the Filigree Frame folder, and then I used the Oval 3D Butterfly to cut out the decorative piece from the Indulgence card. I cut it again from Centura Pearl, so I could have a white butterfly. The letters and numbers are Die'sire 1" Decorative Alphabet and Numbers.
I repeated the design on the front of the box, which was itself made from Indulgence card. The Fancy Flourishes are also from the Butterfly Lullaby collection, and the little flowers are the waste from the oval. Several widths of white organza and satin ribbons were used for the bows.
The inside of the box is also decorated, using more of the Indulgence and Centura cards, and a Fancy Flourish.
The 8x8 card sits nicely inside the box. I was very pleased with how this turned out - and my sister liked it too!!
Back tomorrow!

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Day 41 - My Longest Standing UFO!!

Evening!! After a morning of work, followed by a run, I have been busy making a total mess of a project and tutorial. 10 wasted sheets of card later, and I think I may have got it sussed. But that's for another day.

So, thought I would share with you my longest standing UFO (unfinished object!). We all have them - but not sure if I'll ever have the enthusiasm to finish this one. I originally started this gorgeous teddy bear alphabet cross stitch as a present for the birth of my first niece. And I was so keen on doing it to begin with. Well, nearly 16 years on, here it is - still unfinished. 
I have to admit, that the finished "A" looks really good - but for some reason I decided to do the rest of the block colours of the letters first. And maybe that was my mistake. Maybe if I'd finished each letter in turn, it would have kept my interest more. 

Oh well, I know where it is if I ever get the urge to finish it!! 
Back tomorrow,

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Day 40 - Organisation!

Evening. Just a quick post tonight. I haven't had a great deal of time to craft today, so instead I'd though I'd share a photo of just a little bit of my stash. And also show how obsessed with organisation I am.
As my stash slowly increased over the years, I found the need to keep track of what I had and where it was - so it didn't disappear into a black hole and never get used. And I have always been one for sorting, organising and labelling things to within an inch of their lives. So, this is part of my stash - all boxed and labelled so I know what's what. This is all my card and paper, Spectrum Noir pens, e-brush, dies, and some of my paints.

Back tomorrow - no idea what with - but I'll be back.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Day 39 - Thread Catcher!

Evening!! Well, what a horrid day!! Storm Imogen made her presence felt, and managed to break our garden gate!! I did manage a 5 mile run - along a fairly sheltered trail - so was happy with that. 

Yesterday, I shared my fabric choice for my thread catcher. Well, today I can share the finished product! I haven't done a step by step - as I followed the instructions on Sally Said Sew. The only thing I did differently, was that I quilted the top of the pincushion for a bit of decoration.
To take the photo, I used my sewing box to hang it off of, but it will normally hang off the table. And it will hopefully help to reduce some of the mess I end up in when I'm sewing - like this:
Back tomorrow,

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Day 38 - Scraps and Thread

Evening!! Well, the weather held up for the majority of the day, and I was able to get into the garden for a couple of hours to tidy up my pots, and clear away a few leaves. For the rest of the time, I've been sewing away, making a few things. But, I realised that, while I am now more organised with places for my fabric, scissors etc (see yesterday's post), I am still ending up in a mess during the process of sewing. 

And that's when it occurred to me that what I need is a thread tidy to hang on the edge of my desk. That way, I can put all my little scraps of material and ends of threads into it, instead of attaching them to me and dropping them throughout the rest of the house.

Due to other things that I needed to do this afternoon, I have only got as far as selecting fabric.
I have to confess that this has all come out of one of my drawers of fabric. I have two drawers with large pieces of fabric, and 7 big Kilner type jars with fat quarters, and reasonable size scraps in.  The stripy fabric will be the outside, the lighter one will be the lining, and the dark one will provide a contrast band around the top. The pattern I've found also includes a pincushion - so I think that will be the stripe on top, and the dark on the bottom.

Will hopefully have time to make this tomorrow. If so, I'll share it with you tomorrow evening. 

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Day 37 - A Little More Storage!!

Evening. What horrible weather today - although I think we've got off lightly compared to some. Ventured into town this morning for a little shopping, and while my husband disappeared into Halfords, I went into The Works to see what crafting goodies that they had - you never know what little gems you may find in there.

And today, I was not disappointed. I found these little foldaway storage baskets - and they seemed perfect for me to use when I am sewing. 
The larger one was £4 - and is perfect for the fabric/wadding for my current projects along with the books that I am working from, and my small square quilting ruler. It sits comfortable at the side of my desk - just within reach. The little one (£2) fits on my desk, holding my fabric scissors - and the lace and binding I am currently using. I've since added a little stitch ripper into the empty pocket of the smaller one, and my quilting pencils in the pocket of the larger one to keep my rotary cutter company!!

All in all, a very good purchase. And they do them in a couple of other different designs too, if you don't like the neutral beige.

Back tomorrow,

Friday, 5 February 2016

Day 36 - A little sparkle!

Evening!! I have been busy crafting nearly all day - had a deadline and wanted to get everything in the post before the weekend. And, as ever, it's all secret, so I can't share with you. I did, however, get one thing done today that I can share.

I've been meaning to do a colour chart for my Spectrum Sparkle pens - and just never got round to it. But I was watching Sheena on Create and Craft this afternoon, and it reminded me that I hadn't yet got it done. So, after visiting the post office, I sat down at the computer, made a chart, printed it - and then settled down to colour it in.
Sparkle is notoriously difficult to photograph, but I'm really please with how this came out. And I love the pens - such a gorgeous range of colours. And the clear is just perfect for adding that sparkly to touch to almost anything!! Now, I really hate using glitter as the mess just does my head - so I very rarely use the stuff. In the past I've used the Luminarte Silks Clear Glaze when I've wanted a bit of shimmer - but these are really sparkly - without the mess!! Which means I can now add sparkle without having to deal with the mess!! Brilliant!!

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Day 35 - A Sad Day!

Evening!! Today has been a sad and somewhat difficult day. A year ago today, my Dad passed away after losing his battle with cancer. I spent part of the day with my Mum and sister - and the rest of the day I have been working on the project I started yesterday - the one I shared as yesterday's photo of the day.

Well, here it is. The finished project.
It something I've had in mind to do for a while, but just never got round to doing it. The frame was among my Dad's things when we sorted them out. He was Iifelong Cherries (Bournemouth) football fan - and years ago, my cousin had made him a joke certificate as "Man Utd's No 1 fan.  

So, the transformation of the frame began yesterday with sanding and undercoating with gesso. Today, I mixed more white gesso, with DoCrafts Artiste Sea Spray Acrylic Paint and Pearl Medium, and painted the frame again. The inside mount was cream, so that was painted with a mixture of white gesso, Pearl Medium and a very small amount of black gesso.
I then used First Edition Deco Mache paper (Monochrome Floral) with Mod Podge, and decorated two of the corners of the frame.
I repeated this on the inside mount.
Using a HOTP free magazine stamp set (the one that came with the feather die and stamp), I stamped little swirls and slodges over the frame and mount with Dove Grey Stazon.
I then went onto Serif Craft Artist, and used the "Divine Thoughts" digi kit to create the layout. The metallic heart buttons are from a massive bag I found in a charity shop.

Not much more to be said really. Back tomorrow.