my Crafty Corner

Cards and other handicrafts made by Jean Straw

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Christmas Greetings

Wishing Happy Christmas to all of my blog-land friends and followers. I hope you all have a blessed and peaceful day tomorrow. Thank you to all of you who regularly visit here and for your kind and encouraging comments, I really appreciate your support.

Sunday 21 December 2014

Just in Time

Hi everyone, I hope all your Christmas preparations are going well, not long now.
Some of you may remember that a few  weeks back when I showed you the little crocheted blanket I made, I said I wanted to knit a dress for my baby great granddaughter before christmas, well tah-dah!! I finished it just in time.
My daughter and SIL are off to Lanzarote on Tuesday for some winter sunshine and their daughter, my granddaughter and her partner and two littleies are going to spend christmas with her in laws, so we all met up today to exchange our gifts, so I needed the little dress to be done. I finished sewing it up yesterday morning. I'm sorry the photos are not very good, I took them in a hurry. The top one is the dress just after I had given it a light press, and in the one below I added the little pink t-shirt I bought to go with it. I had wanted to get some pink tights as
well but couldn't get any the right size, so I will have to try again when the shops restock.
Thank you for taking time to visit today and for your comments which I really appreciate.

Thursday 18 December 2014

Wisteria Glitter Card

Hi everyone, it has been a while since I posted anything here, I am afraid I have been frantically trying to catch up with Christmas preparations. At last my christmas tree is decorated and in place now, and all my cards have been posted, so I feel I can relax a bit now although I still have the food shopping to do of course.
So here is the other Sparkle Medium card I said I would show you. The Wisteria stencil is another one from Imagination Crafts, and this time I used a Sparkle Medium called Diamond Quartz, a lovely mix of silver and purple glitters. Again I used black card to work on because the glitter looks so good on it. When it was dry I trimmed it close to the image and mounted it onto a mat made from a snippet of silver flecked white card, and then onto a pale lilac pearl DL size base card. I finished it off with some organza ribbon tied with a knot.

I am entering this at,
Imagination Crafts Challenge - Always Anything Goes
Pixies snippets Playground - Use Snippets.

Thank you for visiting today, and for your comments all of which are really appreciated.
I hope to be back with a couple more posts before the big day, but in the meantime I hope you can enjoy your preparations and find time to relax a bit too. To those of you who have been a bit poorly recently I hope you make a speedy recovery so you can enjoy the celebrations next

Wednesday 10 December 2014

Glitzy Birthday

Hi everyone it has been a while since I posted anything here as I have been busy making my last few christmas cards, and also I have several family birthdays at this time of year that need to have cards made for.
It was my granddaughter's birthday earlier this week and today I have got the card that I made for her to show you.
I bought some Imagination Crafts stencils while I was at the NEC last month and at the first opportunity I got out my Sparkle Medium to have a play. I used an A4 sheet of black card and tried out three of these newer DL size stencils each with a different colour sparkle. When they were dry I cut them apart and they have been hanging about in my craft space while I decided what to do with them. As I already mentioned it was my granddaughter's birthday this week and I also have a step granddaughter whose birthday is the day before, they are both the same age, in their twenties, and I thought they would appreciate a nice glitzy card. This one is my favourite of the stencils, I love the curvy elegance of this design, and also my favourite of the Sparkle Mediums, it is called Metallic Sparkle and has lovely gold and copper glitter in it. So to make the card I trimmed the black panel down quite a bit and edged it with a gold Krylon pen. I then cut a backing panel from some lovely gold coloured pearl card, which I also bought at the NEC. I cut it to fit a DL size ivory base card and trimmed the right hand edge with a Memory Box scalloped die. I tied a piece of rust coloured ribbon just behind the scallops and added tiny gold coloured gems between the scallops. I don't think these show up too well in the photo, the colours look much better together IRL as well, I am still struggling with poor daylight to take photos in at the moment. On the whole I am quite pleased with this card and Melissa loved it as I hoped she would. I may be back to show you the other card I made in a day or so.
I am going to enter this at   Imagination Crafts Challenge - Always Anything Goes
                            and at    Seize The Birthday - Anything Goes Birthday

Friday 28 November 2014

Autumn Lingers

Hi every one, we have had some really gloomy days this week and I am afraid this shows in my photos, The colours in this card look much nicer IRL. I bought these beautiful autumnal Chocolate Baroque stamps recently and just wanted to make sure I used them before autumn finally morphed into winter.  I have a friend with whom I swap ATCs  on a more or less monthly basis. We don't use a theme, just do whatever we like or sometimes use it as an opportunity to showcase our latest stamps, as I did here. Along with the ATCs we usually send a card in which we write a short note, these cards are sometimes quite simple and sometimes more elaborate, again depending on circumstances or time available. So this month in order to use my new stamps I used them for both the card and the ATCs, I stamped all of the images onto snippets of ivory card using black Memento ink, and coloured them with Coloursoft pencils. I used Sansodor and a paper stump to blend the colours, and then used a pastel Flexmarker to create the shadow around them. For the card I trimmed the image fairly close and matted it onto a snippet of brown pearl card. The base card is a 15 cm ivory square and I marked where the image panel would go and made an embossed line either side of it using my scoring board.
 I then stuck the panel in place, and stamped the sentiment above it with brown Memento ink.
This stamp is one I've had for years and as it is one that I removed from the wood block I can't remember the make. For embellishment I punched two leaves from snippets of brown and gold pearl card using a woodware punch, and then stuck them top RH corner. The ATC images were stamped and coloured in the same way. I liked the mushroom one just as it was so I simply used a small corner punch to round two opposite corners and then mounted it onto a snippet of the same brown card leaving a very narrow border. The image for the second one is a bit smaller so I tied some brown ribbon across the top of it and added another punched leaf. I thoroughly enjoyed colouring these lovely images so I hope my friend likes them too. We have never met each other by way, I think we came into contact  through the Craft Stamper ATC swap and she asked me if I would like to swap with her one to one. That was a few years ago now and we are still going.
I am going to enter this at Pixies Snippets Playground - Use Snippets

Thankyou for visiting here today, I hope I haven't bored you all with the swap stuff. Thank you also for your comments, I really appreciate them all.

Tuesday 25 November 2014

Three Rudolph Day Cards

 It's 25th November already which means it is the last Rudolph Day for this year and although I am a bit late turning up I have got three cards to show you today. It is also the last RD to be hosted by Sarn at Stamping for Pleasure, and I would like to thank her for this  friendly challenge which has revolutionised my christmas card making so that I no longer have a mad panic about now to get enough cards made in time for posting. This year I have a nice box full already made and just have a few close  family ones still to make. RD is all set to continue next year though as it is to be taken over by Scrappymo, of  Scraps of Life by Scrappymo.
A crafting friend of mine gave me some die cut christmas ornaments and ribbons that I wanted to use so my first two cards are designed around them. They were mostly cut from red satin card and gold mirri card  so I began by pairing up the solid and filigree cuts as you can see. I think I had to take the photo under my craft light as good daylight is in rather short supply at the moment, and that has caused a shadow to dull the gold card in the lower bauble, but it is actually just as shiny as the top one. The base card is DL size and the backing paper is from an LOTV pad, inked around edges with fired brick Distress Ink.  The greenery was cut with a Tim Holtz Winter Foliage die and I assembled it intertwined with one of the die cut ribbon loops from my friend. I then hung the baubles from the ribbon using a fine gold peel off for a chain. The greeting is from Chocolate Baroque.

Also among the die cuts from my friend was this glittery purple ornament with the silver overlay already attached and although it not the sort of colour that I usually use for christmas it is beautiful so I looked for some card to go with it. I found this snippet of pale pink pearl card and cut it with my favourite Spellbinder die from the Marvelous Squares set. I also used the largest die from this set to cut a mat from another snippet of textured silver card which just fitted onto a 4" square base card. I  layered everything up and added a purple metallic bow to the bauble and a tiny christmas greeting. I have had this little stamp for years and have long forgotten the make of it, it has a square outline round it which I don't like so I usually colour the words with a marker pen before stamping it.  I am not sure if the tiny snowflakes were punched or die cut but they were in with the other die cuts so as they matched the bauble I decided to add them to the corners.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
My third card is made with a stamp and an embossing folder that were  free with a craft magazine. I cut and folded an A6 base card from red cardstock. I used the free border EF to emboss across the bottom. It made a lovely deep embossing but it did sort of stretched  the card and made it look a bit wonky so to tidy it up a bit I embossed a line either side of the border with my scoring board, which helped a bit. I stamped the holly wreath with Olympia  green Versafine ink onto a snippet of white card and added the berries with a marker pen, and drew over the twiddly bits with a Sakura gold sparkle  pen. I think the greeting is from another free set. I cut this out with a Spellbinder scalloped circle die and coloured the edge with a red marker pen, and then mounted it onto a snippet of gold mirri card. When this was mounted onto the card I  added some gold coloured gem stones below the image and rubbed a little gold wax over the embossed panel for highlights.

As I used quite a few snippets in the making of these cards I am also going to skip over to see what everyone  else has been making at Pixie's Snippets Playground.
Thank you for visiting my crafty corner today and for your comments all of which are really appreciated.

Monday 17 November 2014

Sweet Birthday Card

Last Friday was my Great Granddaughter's 2nd birthday and this is the card I made for her. This sweet little teddy is from LOTV, stamped with Memento Rich Cocoa ink onto a snippet of white card and coloured with Promarkers. All of the papers are LOTV as well, from the same pad, Bonnets and Bowties, I think. Having coloured it I die cut the image with a Spellbinders Exquisite Circles die, and then using the same die cut it from the pink paper. I then stuck them together offsetting them slightly so that the pink showed to one side. My base card is a 15cm square and I cut a piece of thin scrap card just very slightly smaller to make the background on as I wanted to wrap the ribbon around it and thought it needed to be a bit more substantial than the paper.  The pink patterned paper is cut along the edge with a Britania  die and the top border of the check pattern cut with the scallop edge on my paper cutter. I layered the papers onto the scrap card and secured the ribbon at the back before sticking the whole panel onto the card. The image was fixed in place with thin foam tape and a short piece of ribbon tied around the ribbon band. The greeting is cut with Britannia dies in three layers, which was made easier with the use of a Stick It sheet. Still a bit fiddly though. Once the layers were joined together I gave them a coat of Glossy Accents and when dry added them to the card.
I am taking this over to Pixies Snippets Playground, I used a snippet of white card for the stamping and the checked paper was a snippet as well. There is a great prize on offer if you fancy having a go, you just need to use at least one snippet in your project to enter. I'll see you there.
Thanks for dropping in and for your comments which I really appreciate.

Tuesday 11 November 2014

Baby Ripple Blanket.

Hi again, I have just finished another little baby blanket for Africa and I thought you might like to see it as I had such a good response last time, and I thank you all for your lovely comments. This one is in ordinary crochet and more bright colours as that is what I already had. I have been reading Lucy's blog at Attic24 recently and I have been totally inspired by her beautiful blankets and her enthusiasm for crochet and wanted to try out this lovely ripple stitch straight away. I picked ten colours from my stash that looked like they had enough left to do the job. They are very random and not really chosen to work together particularly well although I think in reality they look slightly better that they do in this photo which has distorted some of them especially the pink.
Once again the size is approximately 1mtr square, and I know it doesn't look like a square here but I think that must be down to the angle I took the photo from.(ie. balancing on the edge of the coffee table) to try and get above it. I am really quite pleased with the way it has turned out and it only took me about a month to make which is quite quick for me as I only do it when watching TV, and I don't really do a lot of that. Here is a little close up of the stitches and the simple border. I am now just going to knit a couple of little cardigans to fill up the parcel before I send it off
and then I am going to have a little rest from Africa knitting to work on some stuff for myself. I have a pattern I want to knit for my baby great granddaughter before christmas and then I would really like to make a blanket for myself with one of Lucy's yarn packs which I am hoping to have as a christmas present.
Thank you for taking time to visit me and for your comments which are all really appreciated
Jean x

Friday 7 November 2014

Butterfly Fantasy

Hi everyone, the card I have to show you today was made for Mrs. A's Butterfly Challenge where the theme is to use three designer papers. When I made this butterfly it was with the intention of entering it in the previous challenge which was to use either heat or dry embossing on the butterfly but then I realised that another week had whizzed by and I missed the deadline. I had stamped the Chocolate Baroque butterfly with Versamark ink onto one of my Brusho practice pieces and used WOW Halloween embossing powder  which is made up of fine black powder and gorgeous copper glitter. As I had used watercolour paper originally the black didn't come up very shiny but it had melted enough to hold the glitter in place. The close up below shows how glittery it is. I liked the way the butterfly turned out so when I saw what the new challenge theme was I looked for some papers to go with it. I found this 6"x6" pad of grey to
black, and white that came from The Works some time ago. I chose three designs and cut strips to fit the front of a 15cm. square card, using
 my scallop cutter for the centre piece.I placed the butterfly with silicon
glue to raise the wings slightly.
The greeting is also from Chocolate Baroque, stamped onto a snippet of the same paper, cut with a spellbinder label die. ( I'm sorry I don't know which one.) This was mounted onto another of the papers cut with the next size die and then onto white card cut by hand after drawing round the outside of the die. The little flowers are punched out of the same piece of paper as the butterfly with an Xcut punch, and a tiny amber coloured gem placed in the centre of each.
Thank you  to all who come to take a look and for the lovely comments you leave, they are all really appreciated.

Monday 27 October 2014

Blue Angel

Hi again, I have another angel card to show you today. For this one I used a sketch which is the suggested prompt for our cards this month in the christmas card group at Chocolate Baroque. The stamp I used is from Crafty Individuals, stamped with Memento Rich Cocoa ink onto an offcut of white card and randomly sprinkled with a little WOW bright gold embossing powder. I don't know how well this going to show up in the photo but I was hoping to achieve an aged appearance rather than a fully embossed one. I rounded the top corners with a punch and used a duster brush and tea dye DI to shade the background finishing with vintage photo DI on the edges. I added a little colour to the angel with Promarkers, with a touch of wink of stellar on the wings. The music panel is from a 6 x 6 paper pad that I bought in The Works. I rounded the corners  and inked the edges with a versamark ink pad and sprinkled with the gold embossing powder again aiming for a random effect.The base card is a white 5" x 7" and I covered the front with a piece of blue vellum which I had embossed with a Darice snowflake embossing folder, and trimmed the edge with a deckle blade in my cutter. I fixed this to the card with a  double sided sticky sheet, and then added some stardust Stickles to the embossed snowflakes. When all the layers were in place I used a Memory Box die to cut the music from a snippet of gold card And finished off with two snowflakes punched out of the trimmings of the vellum.
I am going to enter this at Crafty Individuals Challenge - Halloween Madness or Christmas Frenzy,
and as I used a couple of snippets, (the gold music and the stamped image), I going to hop over to
Pixies Snippets Playground.

Saturday 25 October 2014

Rudolph Day Angels

Another month has whizzed past and once again it's Rudolph Day at Sarn's blog Stamping for Pleasure, where we are required to make at least two christmas cards. I am pleased to say that  having taken part in this challenge every month this year and also joining in with the christmas card group at Chocolate Baroque I have now made most of the cards I need and I won't have to rush them all in a panic at the end of next month like I usually do. For my cards this time I have used two lovely stamps from LOTV. First, as usual I stamped the images onto white card with black Memento ink, and coloured them with Promarkers. I used a Sakura clear sparkle pen for the wings and stars.The wings do look a bit grey in the photos but they have a lovely shimmer IRL. I cut them out with a Spellbinder die from the Elegant Ovals set. I matted the first one onto shiny blue card from Imaginations Crafts and rounded the corners with a punch. I chose this striped paper to cover the front of the A6 cards because it went well with the matting on both cards. The little holly
sprig is a Clarity stamp that I have had for years and it has been well used. I stamped it with Olympia Green Versafine ink and and used a red promarker for the berries. The greeting is a Chocolate Baroque stamp.
The second card is made the same way but I mounted it landscape style on red Imagination card, and the holly is die cut with a Cheery Lynn die and with some stickles added for a bit of sparkle.
Thank you for taking time to visit and for your comments which are really appreciated.

Thursday 23 October 2014

Birthday Cheers!

Hi again, I have another birthday card to show you today. In my last post I showed the card that I made for my sister's birthday last week, but two days before that it is also her husband's birthday and this is the card that I made for him. I used the same set of free stamps that I used for Kate's card. There is an Italian theme to this set of stamps but I think some of the images work just as well for Spain where they live which is why I chose them. I stamped the design onto a snippet of Kraft card  with black Memento ink and coloured it with Coloursoft pencils. I used Sansodor and a paper stump to blend the colours and a white gel pen to make highlights on the grapes. I cut a frame from a piece of shiny red Imaginations card using Spellbinders Marvelous Squares dies. The patterned paper is from a Penny Black 6x6 pad, I thought it looked a bit like tiles. It is matted onto the same red card. The banner and greeting are both in the same set of stamps, I stamped the banner onto the red and the  the kraft card and then stamped the greeting onto the kraft one. I cut them out cutting the ends off the kraft one and stuck them together. I fixed the patterned panel across the 6x6 kraft base card and then fixed the main image and the banner with foam pads.
I used some snippets for the main stamping and for the banner so I am paying a second visit this week to
Pixies  Snippets Playground.
I am also entering at Natalie and Amy's Challenge - Colouring on Kraft.
                               Simon says Stamp - Get Crafty and use Kraft
                              Ruby's Rainbow - Use Your Freebies/Prizes, I used free stamps from Creative Stamper magazine and the patterned paper pad was part of a prize at Stamping Sensations.
Thank you for taking time to visit and for your lovely comments, they are really appreciated.

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Sunny Sunflower

Last week it was my sister Kate's birthday and this is the card that I made for her. These stamps are from a free set that came with the creative Stamper magazine a few months ago. Kate loves sunflowers so as soon as I saw this I knew I would be using it for her birthday card. As usual I started by stamping the main sunflower onto a small piece of white card with Memento Rich Cocoa ink. I coloured it with Coloursoft pencils and Sansodor for blending and then trimmed it to size and used a small corner punch to round  the corners. I shaded the edges lightly with tea dye Distress ink using a blending tool. I used some bronze Frantage for the centre of the flower and then mounted it onto brown glitter card and then onto yellow card. I made a 6" x 6" square base card using  SU Kraft cardstock, and stamped and coloured the small sunflower randomly over the front. I added some brown gingham ribbon and tied a bow  before adding the sunflower panel. I thought it looked a bit bleak so I stamped the single leaf from the small flower twice into each corner and coloured them and I think that gave it a little lift. The birthday greeting is a LOTV stamp and I coloured and mounted it to match the rest of the card.
The brown glitter card and the yellow and white card were all from the snippets box so I am taking this over to Pixies Snippets Playground as I 've not played for a couple of weeks.
I am also entering at Through The Craft Room Door - Anything Goes.
                         and Natalie and Amy - Colouring on Kraft
Thank you for taking time to visit and for you lovely comments which are all really appreciated.

Friday 17 October 2014

Baby Blanket

A quick post tonight to show you this rather brightly coloured baby blanket that I have just finished making. I have done very little knitting or crochet work since I got into paper crafting, but a couple of years ago I  was inspired to take it up again  by my sister Kate's Knit for Africa project  the aim of which  is to make baby blankets and clothes and teddies for use in desperately poor areas in Kenya and Uganda. The first couple of blankets I made were knitted in squares and sewn or crocheted together, but last year  I learned about Tunisian crochet and decided to give it a go, and this is the third blanket I have made using this technique.It makes a nice firm fabric with no holes for the babies to catch their fingers in. The blankets are just one metre square as they are intended to wrap new born babies in, and the mothers also manage to tie them into slings to carry their babies in.
I use bright colours because they look nice and cheerful and they are
fun to make. Here is a close up to show the stitch effect, this is a basic
 tunisian crochet stitch worked on a 6mm tunisian crochet hook. The
 border is worked in dc with an ordinary hook, a 6mm for the first two
rounds to fit in with the main blanket stitches but when I started to do
the little  pattern bit I realised that it was going to look too bulky and a bit wavy so used a smaller hook for the rest of it.
Between making these little blankets I also knit baby cardigans and hats and sometimes a few teddies to use up odd ends of yarn. I might show you some of these next time I have some ready. I only knit when I am watching TV and as I don't do a lot of that my progress is quite slow. However I have a little cardigan half made and have started another blanket a ripple stitch crochet one this time.
Thanks for taking a look, I hope you enjoyed seeing something a bit different this time. Thank you also for your comments which are greatly appreciated. Jean

Monday 13 October 2014

Butterfly With A Tag

 Hi everyone, first off I must apologise for the poor photo, The weather here has been horrible for the last few days, really dark and dismal with lashings of rain and it was difficult to get a decent picture.  In the end I used a flash and although it was the best representation of the butterfly I could manage it has bleached out the colour of the background which is really a pretty green. I set out to make this card for the Butterfly Challenge Blog where the requirement this time is to use a tag with the butterfly. I began by making the butterfly which is cut from some Brushoed watercolour paper using a Memory box die.As you can see I have both the solid and openwork versions but I can't remember which butterfly it is. For the overlay I used a piece of textured iridescent paper. The base card was made from an A5 sheet of white card that had been cut and I just folded it it in half so it is not quite a DL size, but is a longer than a normal card. The green paper is from a LOTV pad and I cut it with a scalloped blade in my cutter. The bottom edge is punched with a Fiskars edge punch. The patterned tag was cut from the same LOTV pad  using a Sissix die and then I drew round it onto white card and cut a slightly larger size to mat it on. I cut a strip of the patterned paper with a scalloped edge to go across the bottom. All of the cut pieces including the green were edged with a Denim Blue Distress Marker. I tied some blue ribbon through the hole in the tag and across the bottom and then assembled the card adding three punched flowers cut from the Brushoed paper with an XCut punch and finished them with some tiny green gems.
On the right is a photo of the result of my first real play with my Brusho
paints.  Not very artistic I know but I really wanted to see for myself
how all the different pigments show up when they hit the water, it's
fascinating. Particularly interesting is the bright orange powder that immediately becomes lime green as it comes into contact with wet paper. I allowed all of these to dry naturally but then  realised  they weren't going to make very good backgrounds and also there were a few areas where I had dropped a touch too much of the powder and I decided to experiment to see if the colours would still blend if water was added after they had dried. I sprayed each piece fairly liberally with water and I am happy to say that the paint was reactivated and I allowed the colours to run which resulted in slightly  more muted colour washed effect but where the multi colour pigments had split originally they still showed up. I forgot to take pictures of this stage so I hope you can get the gist. You can see the piece I used for the butterfly on the left of this picture, the colours in this are Prussian Blue and Lime Green.
Thank you for taking time to visit  here, I hope I haven't bored you all. Thanks too for your comments I really appreciate them.
I am of course entering my card at Mrs A's Butterfly Challenge Blog - Butterfly With a Tag

Saturday 4 October 2014

Winter Wonderland

Hi everyone I hope you are enjoying the weekend. It started very dark and rainy here this morning but at around lunchtime the sky cleared and now the sun is shining again and the load of washing I did this morning is out on the line and will hopefully be dry by teatime.
Today I have this card to show you that I have made for the latest Crafty Individuals Challenge, titled
Halloween Madness or Christmas Frenzy. I don't make halloween cards so I have gone for the Christmas option. I have had this lovely stamp for a while but not used before and I got the embossing folder free with Cardmaking and Papercraft magazine last week so decided to use both to make my card. I ran a square of white card in the EF through my Cuttllebug and then gently coloured the high spots with a Brilliance Pearlescent Ice Blue ink pad. I carefully cut out the centre by hand leaving a frame. The CI stamp of the children has got some wording and  snowflake around the edge so I masked this off when inking it with Memento black ink and then stamped it onto another piece of white card. I stamped it again on a post it and cut out to use as a mask while I stamped the trees in the background. I used a Chocolate Baroque stamp for this and Versafine Olympia Green ink. I added a little shading with distress inks and coloured the image with water colour pencils. I fixed the frame over the image and trimmed it close to the embossing and then mounted it onto dark blue card leaving a narrow edge, and then onto a white 15 cm square base card. For decoration I punched out some snowflakes with an X cut punch from a snippet of sparkly blue card  and used Stickles Star  Dust glitter glue to add sparkle to the trees, snowy areas and some of the embossing.
Thank you for taking time to visit today and for your comments which I really appreciate.

Monday 29 September 2014

Autumn Butterflies

Good evening everyone it has been a beautiful mild autumn day here after a damp and misty start, so I am here to show you the card I made for the Butterfly Challenge where Mrs A has asked for Autumn coloured butterflies this time. My Brusho  paints came last week and I had a quick play with them and ended up with a few multi coloured pages which at some point will be used for backgrounds. I chose to buy the set of earth tones as I felt the colours would suit my style best, although I also bought two single colours, black and a dark blue. Of course some of the earthy colours are also quite autumnal and I thought one of my pieces reflected this. I placed this Joanna Sheen butterfly flourish die in a position to show the most colours and cut it. Some of you may know that I was fortunate enough to win a very generous Joanna Sheen gift voucher at Pixies Crafty Workshop earlier this month and one of the things I bought with it was this set of Spellbinder Elegant Ovals dies.The one I have used here is the largest of the set, there are four altogether and each one has a different decorative edge. Having cut it from ivory card and with the die still in place I used tea dye DI and a duster brush to add some shading. I also over stamped it with an Inkylicious autumn verse stamp with the same ink, but as I stamped some of the ink off onto scrap paper you can't actually read it, but it just adds a little texture to the background which is really what I wanted. I stuck the butterflies over this and added some gold coloured gems and some brown Stickles glitter glue, this was then mounted onto brown glitter card. The orange patterned paper is from my stash and probably came in a pack from Chocolate Baroque when it was known as Elusive Images. The base card is a 15cm square, all the other elements are layered onto it with brown organza ribbon wrapped round under the glitter card and tied with a bow. I actually added a Thinking Of You sentiment to the top corner today because I decided to send it to someone in hospital.
I am entering this at the Butterfly Challenge - Butterfly in Autumn Colours
Thank you all so much for taking time to visit my blog and for your comments which I really appreciate.

Thursday 25 September 2014

Rudolph Day Again

Hi again everyone it is getting a bit late this evening, but it is still the 25th. of the month which means it is time for the Rudolph Day challenge at Sarn's blog Stamping For  Pleasure, where we are required to make at least two christmas cards.
I have had this Woodware stamp for a while but hadn't got round to using it yet so decided now is the time. I stamped it six times onto an A4 sheet of card with black Memento ink and shaded the background with a very pale blue Promarker. I redefined the dots with a white gel pen and later with Stickles stardust glitter glue. I restamped the holly leaves and berries onto snippets of paper from an LOTV paper pad, and the numbers onto some other patterned paper snippets I'm not sure of their origin. The two red ones are snippets of satin metallic card. All of these were fussy cut and glued onto the originals.The narrow frames are coloured with gel pens, mainly gold and one red sparkle pen and one with red Stickles. I added highlights to the berries with a white gel pen and then coated them Glossy Accents.                                            
Next I cut and folded six ivory A6 size base cards, and then die cut the mats using my Spellbinders Card Maker  die. Two of them from dark green card and the red and one purple from glitter card and the other purple one from purple mirri card. These were all snippets as well. I threaded various ribbons through the slots in the die before sticking them onto the cards. So as you can see I have six more cards to add to my collection.
As well as Sarn's Rudolph Day Challenge I am going to enter these at Pixies Snippets Playground  as I used  quite a few snippets.
Thank you  for visiting here and for your comments which are really appreciated.            


Sunday 21 September 2014

A Pair Of Poppies

Hi folks I hope you have all been enjoying the weekend. We have had a lovely sunny day here today after two rather dull ones.
I made this card quite quickly this afternoon because I wanted to enter the Butterfly Challenge where Mrs A, remembering the old Burl Ives song The ugly Bug Ball, wants us to include other flying bugs along with the butterfly. Now I must confess I am not all that keen on bugs so I don't have many stamps of them, however I remembered the bee which came as a freebie in a Crafty Individual order ages ago, and then a browse through my Chocolate Baroque flower stamps resulted in finding the ladybird. The poppy stamp is also CB from a set called Pretty Poppies. I stamped directly onto a white A6 folded card with black Memento ink. The colouring was done with Derwent Aqua Tone colour sticks, These are not pencils nor crayons but sticks of colour which as the name suggests can be blended with water. My sister Kate gave them to me last time I stayed with her because she didn't use them and I was beginning to feel guilty because I hadn't used them either. For the poppy flowers I coloured with them just like with pencils using first yellow lightly all over and a little brown where I wanted darker shading and then all over again with red and then blended the colours together with a water brush. The butterfly and bees were coloured in the same way with just a little Sakura clear stardust pen on the bee wings. I stamped and coloured just the butterfly onto a little snippet of card and cut out the front wing and stuck it over the original with silicon glue for a bit of extra dimension. When I came to stamp the ladybird I realised that it was really too big to go with the rest of the design so I decided to see if  I could make it with shrink plastic. I stamped it onto frosted shrink and coloured it with a red pencil and cut it out, a bit fiddly! I had fun trying to shrink it as it kept blowing away off the table as it was too small to hold down, it did get shrunk eventually and I fixed onto the card with a little Glossy Accents. The Best Wishes is part of another CB stamp.
I am going to enter this at The Butterfly Challenge - Ugly Bug Ball
I used a tiny snippet of card to stamp the butterfly wing and an even tinier snippet of shrink plastic for the ladybird so I'll take to Pixie's Snippets Playground as well.
This also fits the challenge at Stamping Sensations - Things With Wings.

Thank you for looking today and for your comments which are really appreciated
Jean .

Sunday 14 September 2014

Not A Card

To day instead of a card I am showing you the tags I've just made for the tag swap on the Chocolate Baroque community site. We make two tags each month and send them to our organiser, Margaret who swaps and posts them. So each month in the mail we receive tags back from two different talented crafters. This year the swaps are titled Technique Tags, and Margaret has provided us with the techniques. This month it was cracked ice technique. This involves stamping and colouring an image onto card and then embossing it with several layers of  clear embossing powder and then putting it in the freezer for a few minutes.Then take out again and bend it to make the cracks.You the rub brown ink into the cracks to add an aged look. I got the cracks done ok but I don't think the ink bit worked quite so well, although it did get into some of the cracks. We have a choice to make whether to make two the same or different, and as you can see I opted for doing them the same this time. As I have mentioned before most of my projects start with a stamped image which is why I have put this photo first. The stamp I used is Chocolate Baroque from a set called Romantica, stamped with Memento Elderberry ink. I inked the background lightly with antique linen and victorian velvet DI and darkened the edge with pickled preserves, and then cut it out. After the embossing and cracking I mounted it onto mauve pearl card.
Having made the toppers I set about preparing the tags.They are cut from ivory card using the Tim Holtz tag die. I coloured them by dabbing the same DI colours as before plus a little aged mahogany onto my craft mat and spritzing with water and dabbing  the tags into it. I added a little extra DI shading round the edges. Next I added some over stamping using CB stamps and pickled preserves ink. Lastly I added a few stars with white paint through a Memory Box stencil.The tags still look a bit buckled in this photo from all wetting and drying processes, but I flattened them out later.
So here are the finished tags, the Celebrate stamp is an old wood mounted one, I couldn't find a name. I stamped it onto vellum and used a tearing ruler to tear it into a narrow strip to wrap around the lower part of the tag, and then added purple ribbon through the hole.
The toppers were stamped on a snippet of ivory card, and the pearl card for the mats was also a snippet so I am skipping over to Pixies' Playground with them.
Thank you for visiting my blog and for your comments which are really appreciated.
I see it just into Monday now so I hope you will pop over to Cardsarus  to read Jenny's TCBH post later today.

Tuesday 9 September 2014

Green Birthday

Hi, I hope you are all enjoying some lovely weather again this week, it has been really warm and sunny here today.
I have made this card for my granddaughter in laws' birthday, she is very keen on green so I hope she is going to like this.
All the stamps I used are by Indigo Blu and came free with a magazine recently, I can't remember which one.
I stamped the girl with  black Versafine ink onto some light green spotted paper from a 6" Prima pad, I think that was also a freebie a long time ago. I used Promarkers and a gold gel pen to colour some of the elements in the design, and then trimmed it down using a deckle edge cutter on the top and sides and a lacy Joanna Sheen Signature die for the bottom. The background paper is from an LOTV pad, and trimmed with a deckle edge to fit a 6"square card blank. I added the narrow ribbon before fixing to the card. I wanted to brighten it up a bit so I stamped the flowers and leaves onto snippets of white card and coloured them bright pink with Promarkers and then fussy cut them out. I used a ball tool to slightly shape the petals and give a bit of dimension and then stuck them on with silicon glue. I stamped the sentiment onto the snippet of spotted paper left from the image panel and cut into three pieces and fixed the across the bottom of the card.
The young lady this is for has only recently married my grandson and as they have moved away this is the first birthday she has spent away from home, and he is unable to be with her as well, so I am hoping she has made some new friends to celebrate with.
As usual the little snippets I've used will get me through Pixies Playground gates.
Thank you for taking time to visit and for your comments, they really appreciated

Sunday 7 September 2014

The Creative Blog Hop

 Hi, I am here early on a Monday morning because I have been tagged in The Creative Blog Hop which happens every Monday by my sister Kate. TCBH is the idea of a Blogger, whose identity has disappeared along the way, and it includes all kinds of artists using paint, mixed media and card, as well as writers, photographers, needle-workers etc. The aim is for us Bloggers to get to know each other better. Similar to a game of tag.When we have told a bit about ourselves and answered four questions, we then tag three more Bloggers and so it continues.
So today it is my turn to tell you a bit about me and what I do, I’ll try not to make it too long , but you might like to get yourself a cup of your favourite brew just in case.
My name is Jean and I live in the south of England with my husband. I have two grown up married children, a daughter and a son, and a granddaughter and two grandsons and two great grand
daughters. My husband is a keen bowler and spends a lot of time playing both outdoors in summer and indoors in winter, which gives me a lot time to spend at my crafts. I have always enjoyed making things and have turned my hand to many different handicrafts over the years. My Mum taught me to knit when I was very young and I have an early memory of sitting in an armchair talking my way through each stitch out loud  so Mum could tell if I was doing it right while she did the ironing. Later I progressed to making simple clothes for my dolls. I  also learned some basic embroidery stitches while quite young.  At school I learnt how to make my own clothes which I continued to do, but not for a long while now. When I left school  I worked in a curtain workroom where I learned how to make hand lined curtains and pelmets. I was able to use these skills in later years to earn some money by working at home. I worked mainly as an outworker for local shops but I also had a few private customers. I sewed and knitted and crocheted clothes for my children and had a spell of making soft toys, as well. I began to get interested in cross-stitch embroidery when I bought a kit to make up as a gift for someone. I enjoyed doing it, and then I saw a chart for a lovely   wedding sampler and decided I had to make it for my daughter when she married. That got me really hooked and I spent the next few years stitching loads of projects including more samplers for the birth of her two babies. I stitched many of the little designs that appeared in the stitching magazines and started to use them to make into cards mostly for my Mum at first and then with the free Disney kits that often came with the magazines for my grandchildren. While on holiday we went into a teashop that had a little gift shop area and I bought a couple of rubber stamps and two ink pads and my love of card making really started there. Soon after I found a few more stamps and a tiny little paper back booklet describing how to build pictures with stamps and also basic heat embossing.  This was all nearly twenty years ago and now of course we now have so many lovely products to help us on our creative journeys. I have had a wonderful time gaining inspiration and technique knowhow from magazines
and other crafters.
On Wednesday mornings three of my friends from my church come to my house to spend a couple of hours of creative fun together. At first they were mostly fairly new to card making and they came to try out some products and techniques, but  now they bring some of their own supplies and make their own cards. I don’t usually get much craft done myself I make the coffee and see that every thing they need is out. It is just nice to meet together to enjoy a mutual interest. I have a photo taken last week but one of the ladies is missing as she was suffering with flu.
I long to have a dedicated craft space but it really isn't practical where we are living, so I have commandeered one end of our sunroom / conservatory. I use the room for everything as I love the natural light, but we do use it as a dinning room too, which means I some times have to tidy everything away. That doesn't happen very often though, and as there is only the two of us most of the time we manage to eat at half a table. This first photo is when it is reasonably tidy, this how I mostly leave it now, when I'm not working, with the things I  use most close at
  hand, and the other side clear enough to eat our dinner at. Of course it doesn't help much to have a round table either, but I have sort of got used to that.
 The next one is what it looks like when I'm working, a bit of a mess, but it can get worse!!. The next picture is of my stash storage, simply a number of plastic drawer stacks. They are in the corner beside where I sit at the table, with all the stuff  I use most ink pads, sticky tapes and glues and every day tools ect. nearest to me. On the top the the small drawers next to me have pens, pencils and embossing powders in and the other one has white and ivory stamping card  and coloured card in the bottom.  The ring binders in the centre hold my most used stamps and there should be a folder in there as well that holds my dies. It all needs a real good tidy up  but the trouble is I don't know where to tidy it to. The large box you can see on the floor was supposed to take seldom used but necessary stuff  that didn't fit anywhere else, but as you can see it has well and truly overflowed and
has spilled out onto the settee where
I sit to read or do a crossword puzzle sometimes. Of course the other end of the room I have got another bookshelf where there are more binders full of stamps and a set of drawers holding some wood mounted stamps and other bits and pieces.
Besides making cards I also regularly  take part in ATC swaps and a monthly tag swap. I first made ATCs in 2006 when the Craft Stamper magazine had started a swap. I had heard about them before that, but when the magazine organised the swap and began publishing some of them I decided it might be fun to have a go. At first I wasn't sure if I could manage the small scale 2.5" x 3.5" but on the whole I like small things so I gave it a try. I was absolutely amazed when one of the very first ones I made was published in the magazine and it gave me a real buzz .I have probably got around 1,000 little pieces of art in my collection now, some of them from from far flung places around the world, although they mostly come from nearer to home these days. Most swaps
are themed but I swap monthly with  a lady on a one to one basis and we just do what we feel like maybe showing a new stamp or technique. here are two examples, the two on the right are for my one to one swap, the left ones  for a fathers day themed swap. Below is a photo of  last month's tags that I made for the
Chocolate Baroquetag swap.
I have also dabbled in a bit altered art and would like to do more . I'll
add just a couple more photos, I'm not good at this multiple pics thing
which is why I usually only put one one my blog posts. I only hope this will look ok when I publish it.                                                                
Now there are four questions I am to answer.
1) What am I working on now?
Well I am in the middle of making a card for my granddaughter in laws' birthday, you might be able to glimpse it in the photo of my work space. I also do some knitting sort of for Kates' Knitting for Africa   project, those of you who read her blog Manualidades  will know about that. Of course it would be totally impractical for me to send my knitting
to her in  Spain so when I have a parcel full I just send it direct to the charity. I have knitted baby coats, teddies and blankets, and have recently stated another blanket in tunisian crochet which discovered last year. I like it because it grows quickly and it makes a nice firm blanket and the african mothers use them to carry their babies on their backs.I have loads of project ideas swimming around, I would love to do some more scrapbooking which I have done in the past, and I would also like to try more altered art and maybe some mixed media which interests me.
2) How does my work differ from others in my genre?  I am not really sure what my genre really is, if it is card making in general, there are quite a few different styles and I take inspiration from many of them. I  like to try various techniques and sometimes they work and sometimes not.
3 ) Why do I do what I do?  The answer to that is easy, I just enjoy it. I enjoy the fact that I am actually creating something and that in doing so I can give pleasure to the people who will receive them.
 4 ) How does my creative process work?   Not in a very ordered way  I afraid, I usually have some idea in my head  of what I want to achieve but it rarely makes it intact to the paper. I nearly always start with the stamped element of my design and I probably have a colour palette in mind and then it's a case of looking for papers and other elements until I'm happy with the result.
Now is when I should be introducing three new taggees, but I  am  sorry to say that due to many folk being away from home right now that I have just one.
I am delighted to introduce you to Jenny of CARDSARUS    Jenny     makes beautiful detailed cards which are always decorated as prettily inside as they are out. I hope you will  will visit her blog next Monday and get to know her better.                                                            

Hi my name is Jenny Lawrence.
I have been making cards for a12 years.
I started my blog just over 2 years ago, and since then I have made some lovely blog friends, all over the world.
I very much appreciate being included in The Creative Blog Hop.
So thank you very much Jean for inviting me to get involved.
I have crafted since I was a child, either sewing,knitting, or crocheting.
Got the craft skills from my mother and grandmother on my father's side, and my 2 sisters are also excellent crafty people too.
When I started card making it was to help me, as at that time I couldn't sleep well, so I used to make my cards overnight mostly, especially if I was in pain,as I soon forgot about the pain while in the process of creating.

So now I need to say thank you to my tagger Kate, as she said in her introduction last week we are very different which we are, but our love of all things crafty has certainly made us good friends. I really miss our trips to the NEC craft shows that we enjoyed so much when she still lived over here, but of course I now  enjoy my holidays in Spain when I go to visit.  It was Kate who persuaded me to start my blog a few years ago and I did so primarily to participate in on line challenges but I feel I have met many lovely people along the way. 
I think I have done now and I hope I haven't bored you to death, but thank you ever so if you managed to stick with me to the end. I have just looked at the preview of this post and Mr Blogger in his wisdom has jiggled things about so it doesn't look as good as I intended, so I apologise for that. Perhaps it's my poor computer skills at fault and not Mr Blogger anyway.

Thursday 4 September 2014

Pretty Flowers

First off  today  I have to say Hi to Irish Cherokee who is my newest follower, thank you for for visiting and for choosing to join my followers.
Today's card was made in response to a request from my daughter who wanted a card for a lady she knows who is going to be eighty. Her only stipulation was for flowers so I chose this lovely Chocolate Baroque stamp. I don't know if they are supposed to be a particular type of flower that would influence what colour they should be, but I just see them as pretty flowers which leaves me free to use any colour I fancy at the time. I had just bought these yellow Promarkers to extend my collection which is what influenced me this time. I stamped the image onto white card with black memento ink and coloured it with the Promarkers. I used a snippet of brown card to mount it on, and to cut a mat for the sentiment. The light green card for the backing panel is embossed using Couture Creations Tied Together EF and fixed to a 5" x 7" white base card. I stamped part of the flower stamp twice more onto snippets of white card and coloured and fussy cut out first the two centre flowers with the leaves and then just the centre flower. I used silicon glue to layer them onto the original image
for dimension .Here is a close up photo of the layers. For the sentiment  I used an old peel off  coloured black with a permanent marker for the 80th and stamped the words above and below it. It looks a bit wonky on the screen but it didn't seem to notice so much IRL. The words are all joined together on the stamp and are also slightly curved, so I needed to ink only part of the stamp at a time and try to straighten it out a bit on the stamping block. The circles are cut with Spellbinders Nestabilities plain and scalloped circles.
I am going to enter this at The Craft Room Challenge - Use Something Old and Something New.( The Spellbinder dies were the first dies I bought several years ago, and peel off 80 is ancient. The yellow Promarkers, in fact I think all the Promarkers I used are new.)
I am also entering  Craft Hoarders Anonymous - All The Pretty Flowers.
The snippets of white and brown card I used will also get me through the gates to Pixie's Snippet Playground.

Thank you for taking time to visit today, I really appreciate your comments.

Monday 25 August 2014

A Trio For Rudolph Day

 Well here we are another month has flown by and it is 25th August, which means it is Rudolph Day at Stamping For Pleasure. The challenge as always is to
make at least two christmas items, it doesn't have to be cards.
While I was shopping this weekend I spotted the latest copy of Simply Cards and Papercraft  magazine and with it was this set of christmas stamps and a pad of 6"x 6"papers from BoBunny and I immediately  thought of Rudolph Day and the magazine along with it's free stamps and papers just fell into my shopping trolley. Odd that isn't it !!!
I decided to make small cards with these stamps and started by cutting an A4 sheet of white card to make three cards roughly 4" square. They are not quite exactly square but nearly, and I folded them to make tent style cards. For the first one I stamped directly onto the card using Versafine Olympia Green for the holly and Memento Rich Cocoa for Santa and the greeting. I used a red felt tip pen to mark in the berries and Colour Soft pencils to colour the Santa. I then used a
Pilot gold pen to add highlights to the frame. I'm afraid I made a bit of a mess of one eye but I can promise that it doesn't look quite so bad IRL as it does enlarged on the screen.
For the next one I used some paper from the pad cut to fit the card front and edged it with a gold Krylon pen. I stamped the Santa again on a snippet of white card and fussy cut it out, and mounted it onto a mat cut from another snippet of red satin card with a Spellbinders scalloped circle die. The greeting on this one is this tiny snippet of ribbon left over from last year. I put a little glossy accents on the ends to make sure it didn't fray, but of course it didn't look very pretty so I stamped the tiny holly spray three times onto another snippet of white card and cut them out. I glued one to each end of the ribbon and one to the santa frame, and then added a little red Stickles glitter to the berries.
This piece of green card with the holly printed on it was
the backing in the stamp package and I thought it looked too nice to throw away, so I trimmed it to fit the card and edged it with the Krylon pen. I used the reverse of  the snippet of paper that I used on the previous card to cut the JOY using a Sissix  long die.I made this tree layers thick and coated it with Glossy Accents, sprinkling on a little glitter while it was still wet. The card had a few faint snowflakes on it and I added a few more using Frosted Spruce DI and stamping off some of the ink on scrap paper first. I also added a few green gems to bling it up a bit.
I used a few snippets on the last two so I'll pop over to Pixies Snippets Playground as well as Rudolph Day.
I have another new follower this week so Hi to Liz, I hope you make it back here soon.
A huge thank you to all of my followers, I love to read your comments and will try and to get to visit you too.