Thursday, 30 April 2009


I rang NHS Direct for advice about the swine flu, but all I got was crackling on the line!

flights of fancy

As mentioned in my last post, yesterday I met up with Carole and Cherry, 2 fellow Copicaholics (thanks to Aimes for that little tongue-twister LOL).
We met up at Carole's house (which is the most AMAZING place, it should be gracing the pages of a glossy mag), and we had a lovely time messing about with her stuff. And believe me, this lady has a lot of stuff! She has a great craft room PACKED with goodies, and I've come home thinking I might 'need' a Cricut! I'm resisting impulsiveness at the moment though - I know, it's not like me at all!

I've been in an 'altering mood' and over the last couple of days, I've made an altered birdhouse for my friend, Julie. It's going to go in her garden, so I've tried to add embellies that will be somewhat weatherproof.

You should be able to click the images to get a close up of the paint job!
Sorry, this next bit goes on a bit!

I started out with various coats of acrylic and Sir Tim Holtz's Distress paint (Picket fence white), which gives fine crackles as it dries. (Although, to be honest, I wanted bigger cracks in the paint). Then I dry brushed more acrylic on in pink and blue, and rubbed on Sir Tim's Distress Ink. My friend Carole cut out some lovely swirls with her Cricut, and I used these as a mask and stippled Distress Ink over them. As they were nice and inky, these got decoupaged on.

The birdhouses are stamped images, (Basic Grey, porcelain range, also courtesy of Carole) cut out and decoupaged. The small birdies are hand drawn and also decoupaged on. Big birdies are Inkadinkadoo stamps (Birds Galore set), stamped in Adirondack Espresso Brown (not that succesful on the paint) and Brilliance Tiramasu pad (much better result). Bee stamp is also Inkadinkadoo. Aqua butterfly is a stamp by MSE, done on shrink plastic and moulded while still warm (ouch - burny fingers). Sprayed the whole thing with Moonglow Glitz Spritz, just for a bit of shimmer. Dandelion heads stamps by Lavinia, heat embossed in gold and Butterfly rub-ons by Basic Grey.

Then I had a good rummage in the embellies for things that will stand up to being outdoors. Buttons, synthetic fabric flowers, metal bits etc. I'm going to give it a final coat of varnish soon, and then I'll decide if it needs jewels. As I always say, ' if in doubt, add bling' LOL.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Human once more

I'm back in the 'land of the living' after my 3 night duties. Needless to say, there's no crafting time when I'm working, it's work, sleep, work, sleep. So yesterday I made a cute card with my new SU! papers. I took part in a paper share (thanks Julie) and the papers and ribbons I received are lovely.

I've used the 'Washington Apple' papers, blue striped Grosgrain ribbon (both SU!) and a piece of Kraft CS which I've enbossed with a cuttlebug folder, then swiped with white chalk ink to highlight the texture, (love this effect). The Magnolia stamp is coloured with Copics and then highlighted with a white Ranger Inkessentials pen. I've also used a Sakura stardust pen for her wings and the rose of the watering can. Hope you like!
Gotta run, I'm off to a fellow Copic fan's house to play, should be fun!

Friday, 24 April 2009

Oh, the joys of being a woman

Yesterday, my friend Julie and I went to Dawn Bibby's Studio at Oswaldtwistle, this is the first time we've been to the new place and it is really spacious and well-stocked. Had a little spend of course, mainly different flowers and some very pretty making memories rub-ons. All very pleasant.

However - I have not had a great day today - it's that time of the month ('nuff said). Last night, in the grip of PMT, everything seemed a major issue. The mojo has gone into hiding from the raging hormones and I have faffed around trying to make a card for several hours. Eventually though (after a break from card-wrestling) I made this, and I'm fairly happy with it.

I tried to incorporate my new SU oval scallop punch and the Best Wishes stamp from the Oval All set, but it looked too crowded. Funny isn't it - I was dying to use these!!

So here's what I used in the end:
Fresh Cuts stamp set, main image, vine and small flower
Colorbox chalk inks in Chestnut Roan, Warm Red and Prussian Blue.
DCWV Red and dark brown CS (from neutral scrappad) SU Blush Blossom CS
K&Co PP - from 'Que Sera' pad
Prima Essentials 4 Flowers (Tea and Silk colourway) got these yesterday!!
Heart Clip - 7Gypsies, Pearls - Hero Arts and Mark Richards.

I'm working for the next 3 nights, I'll post when I'm human again!

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

2 challenges in one!

This is my entry for Copic Creations challenge #2 and Friday Sketchers challenge #48

close up and personal:

This week's Copic Creations challenge was 'colouring/blending/shading jeans'.
'Rose's Garden' Stamp by Sarah Kay.

I've used the following Copics:

Jeans - B93, B95, B97, then C1 stippled over to achieve a 'stonewashed' look
Blouse and hair ribbon - V04, V12, R22
Hair - Y21, Y28, E35
Skin - E00, E51, E02
Flowers and leaves - R20, R22, R35, Y38, G21, YG03
Basket - y21, E31, E35, E37, YR02, C1
Path - W1, W5, E35
Image outlined with C1 then B00. (Kitten left uncoloured).

To make the card, I followed this sketch for the Friday Sketchers #48 challenge, (thanks Kristine).

I've used up some old K&Co/ Tim Coffey papers from the stash (sorry don't know any more details). The glitzy butterflies are by 'a touch of Jolees'.

I've used a SU stamp for the sentiment (from the SAB 'Yummy' set) and made the shape using the SU ticket corner punch, distressed the edges for a little contrast.

The Lilac strip is punched with the Martha Stewart zigzag embossed border punch and all edges of the PP are inked with Wisteria Chalk ink (Colorbox).

I like DL size cards, so I've really enjoyed using this sketch, I'm sure I'll use this layout again.

Hope you like!

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Doctor, it could be the worst case we've ever seen...

Well, my new storage arrived today - yep, I ordered the RUB TSV from QVC (can I fit in any more abbreviations:)). And as all we crafters know, storage is a whole hobby in it's own right.

It has taken me the WHOLE day to re-organise stash and sort out what's going where.

And as a result, I've come to the conclusion that I have a severe case of too-much-stuff-itis and to help start the cure, I've decided to part with my Bind-it-All. I saw it demo'd at the NEC when it was first out, Oh, the plans I had for it...acetate mini-book...recipe book...gorgeous little notebooks...Oh how it wanted me to buy it....
But best laid plans and all that - to be honest, mine should be called the Bind-very-Little, as it's been used about 6 times.

So I'm going to put it up for sale via UK Scrappers (my username is Crystaltips) if anyone's interested in giving it a new home. ETA - sold

Today I did the unthinkable (you may want to sit down at this point) and THREW STUFF AWAY!! not fab stuff of course, that's in the new storage. But the tatty, old papers that now make me think 'what was I thinking?', bought when it seemed vital to have ALL the patterned paper in the shop. And all the scraps of paper I saved for some reason - that's all gone too. Some other stuff will be going to my friends house - she has 2 DD's who will not care a jot that it's several years old.

In fact, it made me feel a bit cross with myself really for being too easily seduced by paper. Not so cross I won't buy any more though - hee!

On Sunday, I went to a nice workshop at my local craft shop, and the very talented Melanie Heaton was running it. I made a couple of nice cards and one dodgy one - my folding was very 'off' that day!
They're made using the 'Wild Raspberry' K&Co papers and Inkadinkadoo stamps. The birds are stamped and then paper pieced - very fiddly indeed. They might get covered in glossy accents just to give them a bit of shine. The butterfly image is made up of fairies - double click it to get a close-up. And the third one is very dodgy - smudged ink and squiffy folding LOL. Ah well, never mind!

Saturday, 18 April 2009


Tricky, this award lark, when lots have already got it...
So, I'm passing on the joy to these other bloggers who make me smile:

The amazingly talented Bev has got the most fab blog candy, click on the pic to have a look and join in.

I've no finished projects to share today, work was kinda busy this week. Funnily enough (if you read my last post) we did help lots of women give birth and in fact saved a life, honest!
Last night I was sucked into a vortex of LOLcats on teh interwebz. 'What?'I hear you say...Well I first came across these in March when we were on hols in Florida. I spent a good 20 mins in a store genuinely laughing out loud at a book of captioned silly photos of cats,this stuff just presses my funny button and I'll have to share one of my faves wth you.

If this is the sort of silliness that you like too, here's the link. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

I'd like to thank...

I've received my first blog award today from me chum Helen, I'm just so chuffed! Thanks Helen, I'll try not to cry as I perform my Oscar-like acceptance speech!

Off to work again tonight, so in between delivering babies, saving lives and generally being heroic (LOL - tongue firmly in cheek as I say that) I'll do my list of who to pass it on to. I'm so excited I've just looked at what I've typed in garble language and corrected it all, ha!

Don't know if I dare to take any crafty stuff in to work - whenever I do, all of pregnant Blackpool decides to pay us a visit and we don't even get a cuppa. I think I'll play safe and not bother!

Monday, 13 April 2009

feelin' blue with challenge no 2

A quick post, this is my entry for 'Stamp with Us' challenge # 2. This week's challenge is to create a birthday card, and here it is.

I've used the following Stampin'Up! products - Carte Postale stamp set, Le Jardin designer paper, Bordering Blue cardstock.

Other non-SU supplies: Flowers - Prima, Leaves - Martha Stewart punch, brads - Making Memories, Happy Birthday stamp by Stamp It.

Chocolate eaten today - Have eaten the head of a (small) Lindt chocolate bunny, DH ate the body.

Have just had a very yummy dessert. A warm Gu melting middle chocolate pudding with cream and some fresh rasberries....delish!

Quite a few Cadbury's mini eggs. Mini Cadbury's caramel egg.

3 chocolate buttons stolen from youngest son's choccy chicky.

Gotta love Easter!

Sunday, 12 April 2009

chocolate heaven since 1911

So I made my remaining Easter baskets and then some! I made an extra 2 'cos I was on a roll, and I had a stash of chocolate to fill them. If I didn't give it away, it would have made it into my mouth (and from there, onto the hips and butt!)

The woven basket is cute but I'm definitely not giving up my day job to start weaving - too fiddly. I confess to using a bit of glue to keep the woven bits in place. But the end result looks quite good (if I say so myself) only takes 1 sheet of 12x12 and the link to the tutorial is here.

Here's a couple of pics to show you (2 baskets didn't get a chance to have a photoshoot). Instructions for the 'lantern' style baskets here on Leslies blog.

Left to right, top to bottom:
Chick basket (made 2 of these for the kids) - Stampin' Up designer paper from the USA.
Twin bunny basket - for my mum, used up some Sweetwater papers from the stash.
Triplet bunny woven basket (for my DH) - DCWV cardstock.
Stamped sentiment and ribbon by Stampin' Up.

I feel quite virtuous using up those Sweetwater papers that I've had for ages! I haven't got an Easter egg - cue the sad violins - DH forgot, so panic-bought a box of Celebrations. Still, chocolate is chocolate, and I'm sure I'll get to share those Lindt bunnies!
Have a lovely Easter!

Saturday, 11 April 2009

always on the last minute

I've still got 2 easter baskets to make this morning. DH and the kids are still in bed so I've got chance to make DH's basket before he gets up. This is the first Whole Easter weekend he's had off in , oh I don't know how long. It's the most gorgeous sunny morning here, and the seagulls are calling to each other before they go fishing. Sounds romantic doesn't it - actually they make a din and kak all over your car and your pegged-out laundry!
Cute is a new crafting direction for me TBH, but I'm enjoying the colouring in 'therapy'!! This image is one of my first 'goes' with the Copics. I now know that Copics and Staz-on ink don't work well together - the eyes have smudged a bit and the face is a bit patchy. History here - determined not to give in to the urge to buy Tilda stamps, I bought ready stamped images from the well-known auction site, yep, you've guessed it, stamped in Staz-on on normal card that doesn't take Copic blending too well. Whaddya mean ' a bad workman blames his/her tools'!! It's fine for watercolour/ prismacolour pencils though, and a good way to try out whether I liked them.
So, after admiring lots of beautifully coloured images on various blogs, and being both weak willed and impulsive, ( a dangerous combination at the best of times) I gave in to buying some Sarah Kay and Tilda stamps (now don't tell me you're surprised). Well, I had to because of the Copics - they wouldn't like it if I stopped using them... I am a marketing man's dream I think.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Pretty in plum

Strange how some days go past so quickly, today was one of those days. Had a little lie-in til almost 9am - it's the easter holidays, no getting the kids up for school - hurray! Spent a bit of time blog-hopping this morning, sorted the boys out with lunch, bathed the pugs and all of a sudden, it was 3pm! Bathing the pugs is hilarious - they go absolutely daft after they've been bathed, running around like crazy!

So I thought I'd better get some crafting done - this set is my newest SU addition, I love it. Its the 'Fresh Cuts' stamp set with the 'Fresh-Cut Notes'.

The card design is a lift from the mini catalogue, but I've used Perfect Plum and Pale Plum cardstock from the Soft Subtles range, I love these colours. I've used a non-SU ink on the card edge and on part of the flower. The Perfect Plum edge at the right has been stamped with the vine design in versamark and I've repeated that on the left edge and on the inside of the card. (Organza Ribbon, button and inks are non-SU, from my stash).

We were in the USA in March, and I so wish I'd bought the SU word window punch whilst we were there. Hope it's in the next UK SU catalogue! So to improvise, I fiddled about with the scallop edge border punch and got something similar. I saw this idea on a blog or youtube but can't give credit cos I've forgotten where I saw it, sorry!

Hope you like!

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Copic Creations challenge

The first challenge is 'colouringface/skin tones' for the Copic Creations challenge. Just look at the DT cards - all I can say is WOW!

As a copic newbie, skin tones can be tricky - it's easy to make you characters look too pink, or they end up looking like a golden roast chicken! My first attempt at this little cutie was rubbish - she looked very rosy indeed! This one is a little better, but I did make a bit of a boob with the blue marker - it got onto her foot and I couldn't get rid of it with the blender pen.

I've used these Copic Ciao pens: R00, R20,R22, R35, RV42, B60, B93, B95, B97, E000 (Sketch pen), E00, E02, E31, E35, E51, Y17, Y21, Y28, Y38, YG03, W1.
I added in a few white highlights with my trusty Ranger Inkessentials pen.

I've been helped massively by Marianne's and Claudia's blog tutorials, but I've still a way to go (and lots more Copics to buy!!). Suzanne's blog is a great place to learn techniques, too.

The image is a Sarah Kay stamp, 'picnics of daisies'. These images are more detailed and time-consuming than the Tildas, but so gorgeous.

Friday, 3 April 2009

'Stamp with Us' challenge entry

Today I finished off this card that I've made. It's my first challenge entry (ever) and it's for Stamp with Us.

Stampin' Up! supplies used: CS in Almost Amethyst, Apricot Appeal and Regal Rose, scallop border punch, So Saffron grosgrain ribbon (from the USA), Botanical Blooms stamp set, Yummy stamp set (sentiment).

I really enjoyed making this, it's a clean and simple style which is pretty different from my usual 'pile it all on and add flowers and bling' approach! I followed the sketch but altered the orientation of the oval.

I used the Cuttlebug embossing folders on the Almost Amethyst and the Regal Rose CS to add texture, the Apricot Appeal CS was stamped with versamark to add tone-on-tone texture. (Inks are non-SU, just the nearest match I could find in my stash).
I'm collecting my SU order from Sarah tonight, I've got some blimmin' gorgeous goodies waiting for me at her house. And I'm off work til Wednesday so I can have a good play! Can't wait!

Thursday, 2 April 2009

virgin tag!

I've been tagged for the first time by Aimes. Da rules are:

Go to your 4th photo folder and choose the 4th photo in it and post it!
So here goes...

This little chap is my pug, Pogo. Not the best photo (actually make that a rubbish photo, hee!), very overexposed and he wouldn't keep still, I think I was whistling at him to encourage him to look alert - not always that easy with him! He's 4 years old and my parents have his brother, Pip.

So I'm going to choose 4 people to tag now. I choose:

I'll be waiting to see what each of you posts!

In the meantime, I'll leave you with a photo of something good to eat. I've just made Raspberry muffins, and have greedily scoffed 2 while they were still a little warm..mmm...

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

wedding invites

We finished off the wedding invitations today, the photo doesn't quite do them justice. The flock of birds is embossed in holographic powder, the bride likes a bit of bling (well, don't we all?) Variety of supplies used - K&Co Blue Awning paper, Inkadinkadoo bird stamp, Rubbadubbadoo manuscript stamp, Baroque border SU wheel, HOTP Celebrate word.
She'll be getting them later this week, hopefully she'll like them, cos we're not doing them again!
I bought a daylight lamp from QVC, it cost less than £25 and it is fab. My DH paints military models so it's perfect for him and (maybe) I can borrow it from time to time. Really, our dining room looks like Santa's workshop most of the time! Also in the post for me today - this lovely Amy Butler tool tote, but I managed to get the gray/ pale lime colour. It only cost £13 and it's yummy scrummy gorgeous! At the mo, it's holding my babies... I mean Copics LOL!
Talking of collecting babies I see Madonna is buying, sorry adopting, another African child. You'd think there were possibly a few American ones she could think about adopting instead. As for me, I think I'll just stick to adopting, sorry buying, my copics and stamps!