Monday, 26 December 2016

New Gnome

We've had a very quiet Christmas at home - just the 2 of us, but it was lovely. This morning after a cooked breakfast we went for a walk around the local footpaths and then home for lunch. I had a frantic message from a friend asking if I could do a quick card for her friend who is moving this week. Apparently she likes gnomes and she's got her some for her new garden. I don't have anything "Gnomey" in my stash so I've used Craft Artist to make this card

Luckily enough it fits in with the theme at the Butterfly Challenge which is All kinds of fairies, elves, gnomes and pixies

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Paula Pascaul Workshop

I had a fabulous weekend away at The Gentleman Crafters workshops in Godalming. If you get a chance to go on one, you're sure to have a fabulous time - you can check the itinerary here

On the Sunday we  had a class with Paula Pascaul and made three projects. This is the card we made:

We used lots of Tonic products and it was good to try the mouse and pastes

I really like this layout and this is what we'll be doing in my class on Wednesday so I've made another one just using inks.

I'm entering this into the following challenges:
Butterfly Challenge - Not Square and/or Navy
Pixie's Snippets Playground - snippets of blue and silver mirror card for the butterfly and swirl

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Butterfly Quote & Quicksilver

The latest theme at The Butterfly Challenge is Quotes and/or Quick Silver. For this card I've used a technique that my friends Pam & Cally introduced me to a little while ago and I know that they got it from a class they did with Clair Matthews. It's great for masculine cards but I thought I'd try a more girly approach and this theme suited it perfectly

The basics are silver tape and plasterboard tape, both of which can be found in DIY stores (or hubby's toolbox) but I got mine in In-Excess:

The other things you need are die cuts and alcohol inks. You basically stick the die cuts to a sheet of card adding pieces of the plasterboard tape for texture and then cover with the silver tape, go over the whold thing with an embossing tool to make sure the tecture comes through before colouring with alcohol inks. For this one I then used the blending solution to remove the colour from the butterflies and flower (the butterflies and flowers are cut from snippets so I'm taking this to Pixie's Playground too. And the new challenge st PaperArtsy is Alcohol Inks and Pens so I'm entering this there too

For masculine cards I usually use die cut cogs and screws / hinges cut from cereal boxes:

This one just has some odd chipboard shapes that I would never have used because the colours were awful

So thanks Pam, Cally and especially Clair for this great technique

Friday, 11 November 2016

Dublin and Hamburg

I had the most wonderful weekend last week starting with a visit to Dublin on Friday to meet up with family. There were 21 of us plus our honorary cousin Pol O Duibhir. We first met Pol when he gave a talk about my grandfather in Dublin in November 2014 when there were seven family members there. My father was always very reticent to talk about his family although we knew he had a happy childhood until his father passed away suddenly when he was 15. He joined the merchant navy very soon afterwards. Last weekend we returned for an updated talk and we found out so much more about our family. We will always be grateful to Pol for taking such an interest and we look forward to the book he is planning on writing

This is my grandfather, Gordon Brewster, at his desk working for the Irish Independent Newspaper  Group as political cartoonist. The National Library of Ireland holds 479 of his original cartoons and when we visited in 2014 we were lucky enough to be able to view some of them

This is one of the cartoons which actually shows his house as it was at the time:

And this is The Grove as it was in 2014:

The main difference is that the large garden to the right of the house has been sold and new houses built on the grounds. Last Friday Pol arranged for my brother, two cousins and myself to go to the house for tea and apple pie. We were made so welcome by the new owner of the house and her mother and they were so interested in the history of the house. Pol arranged a framed copy of the above cartoon to present to the new family

This is a lovely picture of my grandfather, aunt and father Christmas shopping in Dublin.

We had a lovely family meal on Friday night and Saturday we all went into town for the talk

Sunday was my surprise trip and Derrick and I left everyone at the hotel and made our way to the airport for a flight to Hamburg. We arrived early evening and made our way into town through the Hamburger Winter Dom , the largest funfair in Germany - and it was massive.

Monday (my Birthday) we managed a little craft shopping before going to see the fantastic Caro Emerald in concert.

Our hotel room overlooked a lovely park with some fabulous coloured trees and a beautiful Japanese garden and I had intended taking a picture before we left on Tuesday but when we got up and opened the curtains, everything was white - the snow had arrived! Luckily our plane had quite a long run round in Hamburg so our flight was only 30 minutes late

Such a fantastic weekend - this one will seem very tame in comparison

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Hoops and Harebells At The Butterfly Challenge

This fortnight's theme at the Butterfly Challenge is Hoops and Harebells. I always intend to get my card for this challenge done early but it's always well into the second week before I get one done. I've gone for the purplish end of the harebell colour range and this sketch form CAS Colours & Sketches

I made my own backing paper using the smallest swirl die in the Stampin Up Swirly Scribbles set and cut it from funky foam to use as a stamp. My harebell colour comes from Shaded Lilac distress ink:

I had to take a picture at an angle to show the glitter on the butterfly but the stamping is a lot lighter in real life

Th butterflies are cut using Stampin Ups Butterfly Wings Embosslits folder using scraps of lilac card so I'm also taking this to the Pixie's Snippets Playground

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Checkered and/or Cyan is the theme at the Butterfly Challenge this time. I've made a twisted pocket card with two tags which I've left blank until I know what I'll use it for but you could easily put a gift card inside instead of the second tag. The butterfly tops and tags are made from off cuts from making card blanks so I'm also taking this to Pixie's Snippets Playground

Sunday, 2 October 2016

White on White and or Wire

White on White and/or Wire is the current theme at the Butterfly Challenge. I've made a very simple card using up snippets of white card from making card blanks. The border on the left is cut with the Treading Water Fiskars punch and added some wire threaded with beads. I also added a bead to the butterfly body with wire

I'm also entering this into the Playground - hopefully Miss Di and Mrs A have a fabulous morning at the craft show and a safe journey back

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Lavender For The Butterfly Challenge

While continuing the clear out I found an original Kanban concept card kit and decided to make some of the cards up for the charity shop I work in. There's no real crafting in these which is probably why they've sat in the cupboard for so long but at least they've been used now and there's quite a bit leftover for the girls in my craft class to play with. It was only when I was looking at them I realised this one fitted the Butterfly Challenge theme of Lavender and/or Letters so I'm entering it there

And here are some of the rest

The others are just waiting for some Stickles to dry

At least that's one pack gone - just 100 or so to go!

Sunday, 4 September 2016

IndigoBlu Poppies

When I got back from holiday a couple of weeks ago I received a lovely email from Nikki at IndigoBlu saying that my poppy cards had been chosen in the top 3 and would I like to make something for the reminder post for the next challenge which is Bright and Beautiful

I started off with this canvas which had a couple of marks on it and was destined for the bin at the charity shop where I work so of course it came home with me. It's a good job I only work one day a week or I'd be over run with "rubbish"

I couldn't find my paints so I used a small tester pot of emulsion that was left over from decorating and was going to give it two coats but I liked the way the pattern still showed slightly after the first coat

I had these pages left over from a previous project so decided to use my Poppies again

I finished with some gilding flakes to give a bit of bling

IndigoBlu Poppy Meadow stamps
IndigoBlu Wild Meadow stamps

There's plenty of time left for the challenge so why not pop over and have a look - Bright and Beautiful

Friday, 2 September 2016

Perfectly Imperfect

When we go to live in the Czech Republic, my craft stash will be severely reduced so I am planning to concentrate on a couple of crafts rather than dabbling in everything. One of the things I want to try is quilling and despite giving all my quilling things away last year I have managed to add a few things to my stash. One of the ladies asked if we could do quilling in a class so that is what we did this week. This is what I made - my first go at quilling

I did think of making a card with the little butterfly for Mrs A's Butterfly Challenge as the theme is Kaleidoscope but it didn't seem colourful enough or big enough so I set about looking for patterns but couldn't find one I liked with clear enough instructions so I winged it.

I used Stampin Up's Swallowtail stamp and set about using up the snippets from the days class to make various shapes then placed them over the stamped image.

How clever of Mrs A to choose Kraft as her colour for this challenge. I had planned on using a black background but it looks so much better on Kraft card. The result is not perfect by any means and is a bit bright but it is fun and it makes me smile when I look at it. It also gave me a chance to use some more of the white peel offs I used on my previous card and the sentiment is from a JOFY set embossed with white paper.

Because it's mostly made from snippets I'm taking ot over to Pixie's Snippets Playground


My Best Friend

When I saw this layout at Tuesday Morning Sketches I immediately thought of my Inchies

I got the Special Friends set out and stamped it onto some squares cut with a Sizzix Grid Works die and used the frame to space the squares. I felt it needed something in the top right to balance it and then I remembered that the challenge this week at Less Is More is to use stickers or peel offs. I found a pile of peel offs last week that are just very small dots and fine lines and luckily there was a sheet of white ones -so glad I kept these now

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Something Sweet

A couple of girls in my card class bought the latest copy of Die Cutting Essentials which had a great die and stamp set based on ice cream and wanted to use it for a class. And the new challenge at The Paper Players is Something Sweet so I'll be entering the cards there

This is a very quick and easy card using the dies, embossing folder and one of the sentiments and lots of snippets so I'll be entering this into Pixie's Snippets Playground

A couple of them don't have a die cutting machine so I also came up with a couple of ideas that didn't use a machine

 (Not sure the proportions are right for this one)

My favourite one and my favourite lolly too

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Vases and Vanilla

The current theme at The Butterfly Challenge is Vases and/or vanilla. I've taken the easy way out for this and used vanilla card stock as my base. I've also used these colours from Colours and Sketches:

I've stamped the JOFY image with Chocolate Chip and coloured the flowers with plum and coral pencils as the closest I had to these colours. I've added water using a Versafine pen and clear embossing powder. And the teeny tiny butterflies were on the free Hummingbird set I used in my last post which was free with Simply Cards and Papercraft

Something Exotic

The new challenge at Less Is More is Something Exotic. A little while ago I saw a beautiful hummingbird stamp on Darnell's blog and I so wanted it but as I'm supposed to be destashing I resisted. And then I saw the same stamp on Di's blog and was so tempted but again managed to resist. And then my copy of Simply Cards and Papercraft popped through the door with this hummingbird and embossing folder set as a free gift. It's a fabulous freebie and as well as the hummingbird and 5"x5" folder you get 7 sentiment stamps, a frog, two flowers, a leafy branch and the teensiest ever butterfly stamp which is so cute

I coloured it with various orange and yellow watercolour pencils and blended the colour with a clear Wink of Stella brush

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Des Abeilles

I bought this stamp set after doing a class with Jo Firth-Young and although I've used the other stamps, this is the first inking for the sentiment - and it fits perfectly with the challenge at Less Is More  which is Something French. It's also a one layer week so I've stamped and painted directly onto the card blank. I was going to add some lines around but didn't want to mess it up!

The sentiment says " the hum of the bees is the voice of the garden".

JOFY sets 14 & 36
Fresco Paints Prawn, Tangerine Twist and Pearl Glaze

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Too Late

I saw this sketch at Colours and Sketches before I went on holiday but didn't get a chance to enter the challenge

but I liked it so thought I'd combine it with the latest colour sketch:

I only had Marina Mist and Night of Navy so the base of the butterfly is a snippet of an unamed blue from my stash. A combination of my favourite butterfly dies and an old Fiskars border punch called Treading Water. I remember when this punch first came out (way before dies were popular over here) and it was very difficult to get hold of. The sentiments are from Stampin Ups Because I Care set

And because the current Butterfly Challenge is Punches and/or Pink I've done a pink version:

All the pink card is from my snippets folder so I'll be taking this to Pixie's Snippets Playground

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

I Really Shouldn't Be Doing This!

I'm in my craft room to make my hubby his 60th birthday card but despite weeks of planning, I just can't get started on it. It's not until 2nd August but we're off to the Czech Republic first thing tomorrow so I really must get it done. But then I came across some eggshells left over from another project and thought it would be great for the Less is More challenge which is Tactile. I coloured the egg shells using a mix of Buff and Mocha Fresco paint (best I could find to make a Tip Top Taupe colour), Ocean Teal gilding polish and Banana Fresco paint to match as closely as I could the colours at Colours and Sketches this week:

I cut a strip of double sided sheet and stuck one side onto the card before sticking the eggshell to the other side. I then added white glitter to catch in the cracks. (the stray teal pieces are actually deliberate in case you were wondering). The sentiment is computer generated

I'm counting the eggshells and snippets and taking this over to the Snippets Playground
And because I've mixed the Buff and Mocha Fresco paints I'm entering this into the Party Artsy colour mixing challenge

Now to get back to that card - I wonder if he'll really mind if I buy one at the airport tomorrow!

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Indigoblu Summer Poppies and Meeting Blogging Friends

I made these cards last week using up some pages left over from a book folding project (and similar to the yellow one I made a couple of weeks ago). And they fit perfectly with the July challenge at Indigoblu which is Summer Florals



I used Poppy Meadow stamp set and Dusty Concord, Festive Berries, Mustard Seeds and Peacock Feathers distress inks with some Fresco paint for the stamens

Last Tuesday I had the opportunity to meet some fabulous blogging friends thanks to the wonderful Darnell so I made these into some thank you cards (but totally forgot to photograph the final result - doh!) Darnell is on a tour of the UK and Southampton was her first stop over so I had to take the opportunity to meet her and I'm so glad I did. It was like having her blog talking to us - she is so funny and wonderfully kind. If you are meeting up with her on her tour you're in for a fabulous time. 

I've pinched this picture from Darnell's blog although you may have seen similar on the other girls blogs too

Thanks girls for such a fun afternoon x

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Purple Denim

I've finally said goodbye to my purple denim jeans. They were my favourite for years until I put on so much weight I couldn't even get them over my knees! They were the first things I got out when I started to loose weight and I was over the moon that they finally fitted. Despite being too scruffy to wear outside, they saw me through the winter indoors until there was just too much glue and ink on them from the craft room so they were relegated to the rag bag for the charity shop.

And then comes along Mrs A with her latest Butterfly Challenge theme of Denim and Dimension. Well, out came the jeans and off with the little ticket pocket for my card.

I've added some 3D foam to the inside top of the pocket so it will stay open and the three full butterflies have 3 layers to them

I'm also entering this into the challenge at Watercooler Wednesday (a new challenge to me) which has the theme of  CAS Butterfly

Well, my jeans are well and truly rags now