Spring

Spring
Sunshine in a flower

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Copic blog candy

The lovely Karen of 'Charmed cards and Crafts is giving away a second set of Copics-it doesn't get better than this!

Karen's blog 'Crafty goings on' is always worth a visit-she's really talented and nice too, so a great place to pop by.

Not long to go on the Copic candy-so hurry. Having said that, maybe take a v..e...r..y....s....l....o....w..d..a..u..d..l..e.. over there perhaps next week sometime, even the week afetr????

Oh-can't be mean-ends 9th August so go NOW!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Apologies, a winner and a special birthday



I'm back. Sorry about going missing. It was a combination of me not being very well and blogger not being very well. We both seem to be Ok now so let's get on!

First of all a winner for the blog candy. As promised, I put all the entrants into a hat as no idea how to do the random number thingie. Basil cat then chose the winner (he loves bits of paper)-photos to follow when camera battery re-charged (why do camera batteries run out just when you need them most?).

So..da..da..de..da...da...da..

The Winner is:

Me

who said:

'Hi,Just popped by to congratualte you on being a clever clogs lol and thank you for your kind words.You were spot on about the band and title. I think your going to be good at this. Will be doing a few more.Lovley blog candy by the way x'

Me is Emma so congratulations and thanks for entering. I'll email you too so if you can send me your address I'll get your new goodies off to you asap. It's been very exciting having entries from all sorts of places in the world-thanks everyone.

The card by the way is a birthday card for my Great Aunt, always known as Auntie Else. Auntie Else means the world to me but sadly is in a care home with a form of dementia and general old age problems. It's her birthday on Saturday 30th May and as Auntie Else always likes to say, she's as old as the Queen! We honestly never thought she'd be here for this birthday as things have been really bad several times.

I had to make the card early as I need to post the card to my auntie Julie who will then be able to take it to Auntie Else on her birthday. It's highly likely Auntie Else won't remember who I am but hopefully she'll like the card anyway. She does remember who I am sometimes as my Auntie Angie (who along with Julie have taken wonderful care of Auntie Else over the years) has said that she's mentioned me and asked Auntie Else if she knows who I am and Auntie Else will say yes.That always makes me cry!

So, hopefully Auntie Else will like the card-I made it bold as her eyesight isn't very good-that's why the sentiment is so large too. The card itself is large too-A5 so she can hold it better and so the details on it can be big. I've 3d'd the roses and put some Stickle and gems on them so hopefully she'll be able to see it Ok and like it which is the main thing of course.


Ingredients:
Stampin Up stamp set 'Roses in Winter'
Stampin Up ink pads -'Pale Plum' and 'Perfect Plum'
Stampin Up ink pad 'Certainly Celery'
Stampin Up card 'Pale Plum' and 'Perfect Plum'
Stampin Up card 'Whisper White'
Stampin Up white taffetta ribbon
Stickels
Gems & Pearls-Kanban
Sentiment Computer generated

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Quick!

Just a quickie-winners of blog candy to be announced shortly.

Shimmerz paints are re-launching on May 20th 2009 and they have some fab blog candy. You need to be quick as it closes today at 11.69 Mountain time (no idea when that is guys sorry so just hurry)!

http://shimmerzpaints.blogspot.com/2009/05/spritz-is-back-win-some.html?commentPage=2

It's a fab blog-with loads of info about the Shimmerz range which believe you me will be the talk of blogland very soon and on all our blogs if I know us crafters!

So quick-you can win some fab goodies and see what the new must have is!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Are you ready for The Next Level

Wow, this is exciting! My absolute favourite cardmaker Ann otherwise known as 'Madgesty' has joined up with the amazing Dawn 'All Pink Girl' to form a new challenge blog.There's masses of challenge blogs out there, but this promises to be something different-a fresh approach to challenge blogs with information and advice as well as challenges!

It all starts soon and to celebrate the launch there's some fab blog candy to be won on their new blog The Next Level.

It promises to be amazing, with all sorts of tips and information on offer including some digital work. As the challenge blog isn't linked to any specific brand it's undoubtedly one of the most realistic challenge blogs-after all most of us use bits from all sorts of manufacturers.

Ann uses lots of digital papers and makes the most breathtakingly gorgeous cards ever. I can't wait to see what tips she has to offer. If you're unfamiliar with her work (shame on you!) head over to her blog which is on my sidebar or here!

You must go and see her cards-she really is worthy of her title 'Madgesty' though that relates to her not carrying money but it should also relate to her being the Queen of cardmaking! Dawn's skills are legendary-this is an incredible team.

Right, I'll stop gushing now...head over to the Next Level and see what's going on-I am absolutely certain you won't regret it. Dawn and Ann are real Masters at this crafting game-I'm so excited about this!

Launch day is the 1st June 2009 but if you want to know more now (and who wouldn't) and/or want to check out the blog candy get over there asap!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Finally some blog candy!



I've been thinking about doing some blog candy for a while but struggling with what to offer as a prize. Blogging has made such a difference to my life, I've met some genuinely wonderful people and my cardmaking and confidence has come on leaps and bounds.

I confess to being a bit susceptible to 'blog envy' but was shocked when I realised I also suffer from 'blog candy envy'!!

I have done my best to offer some rather humble blog candy and though it does not contain every single Copic available (nor even one of them!), nor a years supply of Basic Grey paper nor even a days crafting with Tim Holtz, I hope that nonetheless at least one person fancies winning it for the sake of my pride at least!!!

As my photography is notoriously poor I'd better translate! Basically it's some ribbons and lace, a pack of paper flowers, some Anna Griffin stickers-one sheet of flowers and two sheets of alphabets-with Upper and Lower case, a pack of pearlised square card blanks and envelopes, a few bits of Maya Road chipboard in paisley and key shapes,a sealed Memories ink pad in 'Port Red', some 'Strawberry Ice' Ice Stickles, a roll of American Crafts ribbon and a chipboard mini book with heart designs. Sorry it's not the most exciting but I've tried to get some nice bits with a bit of variety.

As I believe blog candy to be a gift and gifts should be freely given there's no jumping through hoops involved here! Just add a comment below and if you could mention it on your blog just in case someone else might fancy winning it too, that would be great!I won't be checking up on you but I will pop over and visit-I LOVE bloghopping!

If you don't have a blog that's fine though I still can't work out how to add a 'contact me' button nor do I know if merely adding a comment will provide enough information for me to track you down again should you win. I will try and sort out a contact me button as the more the merrier!

I'll ship anywhere (with a bit of help from Royal Mail) though preferably not to a space station though as I fear the P+P would be a bit pricey!

I'll draw a name out of the hat (and it will be a hat as not tecky enough to figure out the random number thingie) and post the winner's name on here. I will also contact the winner directly-the winner's the winner and you won't lose the prize by not contacting me within 24hrs or whatever-oh I'm such an anarchist aren't I with no rules!

The blog candy will close at 12.00 midnight on 18th May 2009-a week from now. I'll post the winners name the next day.

Assuming at least one person enters and I'm not left sobbing and feeling a bit 'Jennie no mates' I'll try and do a bit more blog candy now and again. There's no way of ever adequately thanking those who have specifically made such a difference to my life but they know who they are.

Right, off to blog hop a bit more....!Good luck.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Passion for Papertrey challenge :Recycle




I've been utterly useless and missed a week (sorry girls) but here's my attempt at the latest challenge on 'A Passion for Papertrey' which this week is 'recycle'. This means using a spare button off a top, or a tag off something new or even as Steph has done, using household items.

I've used a ribbon from a Molton Brown gift box which is a really thick grosgrain masquerading as chocolate chip! I didn't have enough to tie a bow so knotted it instead. I forgot to take a photo of the ribbon before I stuck in on the card so here's the leftover bits anyway! The writing is on the back of the ribbon on the card!




I haven't got the right raspberry coloured Copic which is a bit annoying and I have thought and thought and still can't figure out how to colour in the bottom of the glass sundae bowl. None of the colours I have look right so I've left it rather regretfully...

Good luck everyone-can't wait to see what everyone's used and recycled.Oh by the way the 'yum' doesn't relate to the ice cream sundae...nope..I mean 'yum' Raspberry Fizz!!!!

Ingredients:
Papertrey white card
Papertrey Raspberry Fizz paper
Stampin Up stamp set 'Sweet Treats'
Stampin Up Barely banana and Chocolate Chip card

K & co rub on alphabet
Copics

Sharpie in red
Fuschia Pink Stazon ink pad
Gems from stash
Small round punch
Molton Brown ribbon-recycled

The loveliest dress in the world..?

(Stupid, annoying, horrible, mean..OK you get it-BLOGGER is messing me about AGAIN! Sorry about the sore necks-I have a sore head from trying to mend it believe me and if I don't 'step away from the PC now' I will probably kill it. Sorry.)

Not long after I first started making cards I saw a card in a magazine that I absolutely loved. The card featured this gorgeous dress stamp (though it wasn't identified makerwise) and it was just wonderful. rather helpfully, the name in the magazine matched someone on a forum I visited. I PM'd the lady in question and gushed about her card (alot) before asking her if she'd mind giving me the details of the stamp as I had to have it!

As is prone to happening in this very kind craft world of ours, the lady offered to send me some stamped images. This is one of those images. I still don't have the stamp (though still am desperate for it) and I've never used the images as I still feel so intimidated by the memory of this lady's amazing card all that time ago.

Last night I decided to use the image and to make the prettiest card I possibly could in an attempt to show the beautiful image in all it's glory. I didn't dare use my Copics on it as didn't think the ink would handle it (and anyway Copics would be too bright for this card) and was cautious with watercolours though to my relief it turned out OK.



I wanted a soft, delicate effect; essentially I wanted to create the sort of card you could imagine finding in an old shoe box wrapped in tissue paper at the back of your Granny's wardrobe.





I've never used vellum in this way but desperately wanted it to work so as to truly soften the effect of the image. I had to use the gems as the vellum needs to lie flat in order to see the dress image clearly and couldn't see another way of making the vellum lie flat. Pleading and begging didn't seem to work! I think the gems are OK but it was scary as I kept having to add more to keep the vellum flat and I thought I'd ruin the card...hope I haven't.




I received my new Fiskars border punch in the post yesterday so perfect timing.I'd ordered it a while ago but the shop's been really busy so it's been delayed a bit. To me, it's perfect for this card and I'm really chuffed with it though another craft shop did tell me it could be used on card and thus it was nearly killed within 5 minutes of entering the house when I tried it out on SU card! The moral to this tale-NOPE, not even the new Fiskars punches work on card.

Anyway-hope you like it...

Ingredients:

Stamped image

Stampin Up Pretty in Pink card, ink & taffeta ribbon

Stampin Up designer paper

Fiskars 'Lacy days of Summer' border punch

Sentiment stamp from Anna Griffin

Vellum from stash

Gems c/o Steph

Pearls from Stampin Up

Lace from Scandanaivian shop in my town

Paper flowers from craft shop

Pin, beads etc handmade by me!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

You make each day brighter...


Yesterday afternoon the sun shone and it was so lovely I had to craft. My craft table is by the window looking into the garden and as the back of the house is south-west facing, it gets very sunny and very hot!

The sunshine inspired the card design-all fresh and bright and pretty!



Today I'm nursing a front chipped tooth.When I woke up this morning my mouth felt odd and when I looked in the mirror, ta da! No idea what I've done although I do watch 'The Wire' and it's on really late and can be very violent so maybe I've been thrashing around trying to escape the baddies and somehow bumped my tooth! I can't see my dentist until Saturday morning although I could see other dentists. My dentist is endlessly patient, so as my tooth isn't hurting (as yet) I'm going to be very brave and try and wait until Saturday!

Poor Ernie has an eye infection at the moment-not entirely sure of the cause though suspect a claw possibly! I saw it when I went down on Tuesday afternoon so fed them, came straight home, phoned the vet and got a virtually immediate appointment. Considering Ernie's not been in a carrier, or to the vet in 8 years or so and barely had any human contact for that time, he did really well. He spent the entire time at the vets huddled into me poor sweetheart.



It's antibiotic cream twice a day in the infected eye, which Ernie finds extremely disturbing and cannot for the life of him understand. He doesn't get aggressive just confused and frightened which is really awful for me too. I'd rather he hissed and bit me than flinched and shook. Extra cuddles and love have been prescribed by Dr me and hopefully his poor eye will be better soon and everything can get back to normal for Ernie once again.

Ingredients:
Daisy rubber stamp from Sugar Nellie
Sentiment from Stampin Up
Stampin Up card-Certainly Celery and Pretty in Pink

Pretty in Pink ink from Stampin Up
K & co paper
Papertrey white card
Copics
Chalk ink pad
Memento black ink pad
Gems from stash
Green gingham gathered ribbon from Bazzill
Pink faux suede ribbon from haberdahery shop
Heart locket from stash
Paper flowers from craft shop
Hydrangea petals from Prima

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Love conquers all


The beautiful and very brave Sophie

Soon it will be the first anniversary of the beautiful and very brave Sophie being taken from us. Words are quite simply inadequate at expressing the grief I feel at her loss and we all miss her so, so much. Every day I miss Soph. Our whole family structure changed when she died; literally things have not been the same since. I used to have Soph and Humphrey (her brother) sitting on my feet as I sat crafting or on my PC. Now I sit alone as since Sophie's death Humphrey can't bear to be downstairs so he lives upstairs with Jacob now and I often craft alone if Tom and Basil are sunbathing or adventuring!

Humphrey had never known life without Sophie. They did do things individually but spent a considerable amount of time cuddling and simply lying together. When they were together and active, they became 'Bonnie and Clyde' as they used to get up to terrible mischief! If they came running out of a room together I'd have to go into that room and see what they'd been up to! Sophe was clever though and if she heard me coming she'd vanish from the ;'scene of the crime' leaving Humphrey in the midst of the chaos the two of them had created! Poor Humph would be sat there, surrounded by chaos looking very confused as he wondered where on earth Sophe had disappeared to! Bunnies are very clever, the most intelligent animals I've ever known and able to outwit me 100 times out of 100-I have never outwitted a bunny despite having a degree etc!



Humphrey and Sophie


After we lost Sophe I tried my very best to take extra special care of Humphrey as I had promised Sophie I would. He lived in my bedroom and so for a while my room became the sitting room and we'd all congregate in there to keep Humphrey company. Sometimes we'd all go downstairs for a change of scene although after a while Humphrey started to get anxious downstairs and so I no longer take the bunnies downstairs.


Humphrey made it clear that he was interested in Jacob. Male rabbits generally don't get on, in fact I would always say never to put two males together. Even if the males are brothers, they can and will fight and can cause each other horrific injuries. I'd never claim to be an expert but I am experienced in rabbit care so felt it was safe to allow Humphrey to continue in expressing his interest and see what happened.


What happened turned out to be one of the most incredible things I have ever experienced. Humphrey started jumping up onto the other end of the settee to Jacob and over time sidled closer and closer. Jacob's always been very fearful of 'introductions' (the term used for the early days of the bonding process in rabbits)

and so was a bit nervous by Humphrey's presence but I ensured that I remained with Jacob when Humphrey was around, both as reassurance for Jacob and for general safety reasons-I had no idea what would happen. Jacob LOVES cuddles so I told him if he could make friends with Humphrey he'd not only get more cuddle but they'd be the best cuddles in the world-bunny cuddles!

Eventually Humphrey ended up lying next to Jacob. If Jacob moved however, Humphrey would chase him which obviously upset Jacob. Rabbits chasing one another can indicate aggression but it also is normal rabbit behaviour especially in the early stages of a relationship. Very soon this behaviour ended though I still always supervised them and when I went out or to bed, I would separate them.


Jacob and Humphrey

I did wonder if this would be as good as it would get but the bonding became complete and for 8/9 months Jacob and Humphrey have been best bunny friends. They are devoted to each other and I never, ever tire of seeing them together. Jacob is getting on a bit age wise and has a few health problems. He has constantly weepy eyes and before he and Humphrey bonded, Jacob had lost the fur under his eyes and was on antibiotics, cortisone cream and twice daily bathing of the eye area by myself in an attempt to stop the tears burning his poor little face so much. It was awful, I did all I could and was forever wiping his eyes and we were at the vets having the tear ducts cleaned regularly too.

Within a week of bonding with Humphrey, Jacobs fur was growing back and we have NEVER had to go to the vets about his eyes since!!We don't need the cream any more nor the antibiotics as Humphrey cleans Jacobs' eyes so well.There are no words to describe my joy at how happy they are. They love each other so much and most of all, they need each other. I would never have imagined this could happen, it's very rare indeed for two male rabbits to bond in this way especially as they are not related and Jacob is around 6 years old and Humphrey 5, so adult males-albeit neutered.

It's so wonderful. Humphrey has helped Jacob so much, Jacob's even lost some of his excess weight racing round after him for a cuddle! Jacobs is as I always say 'made of love and kindness' and to get as many cuddles as he does now is heavenly for him! Humphrey is the most extraordinary bunny to have instigated this. I believe it is because he and Sophie were so happy that Humphrey wanted more bunny happiness and love. I do feel a certain amount of pride in a way too that I could recognise what Humphrey was doing and that I know my guys well enough to feel able to allow Humphrey to continue his approaches to Jacob. I honestly had no idea where we were heading but it's been an amzing journey and continues to be a delight and absolute honour to witness such love. My guys mean the world to me and also to one another and though life isn't in many ways how I would choose it to be, I know I am blessed beyond comparison to share my life with such extraordinary beings.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

More blog candy

Fiona J has some gorjuss blog candy on offer. Head on over and take a look-there's a clue in this somewhere-have you guessed yet? You've got until midnight on the 14th May by the way!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Congratulations,some fab blog candy and Inspector Morse!



The above gorgeous blog candy (which clearly has my name written all over it-I wish) is courtesy of Kate and can be seen on her blog Yours Truly.

Many of us know Kate via the blog she co-runs with Steph-A Passion for Papertrey. Kate's celebrating 10,000 hits on her blog and also having been chosen to join the design team at the new UK Stampin Up inspired blog 'Stamp with us'.

So if you fancy being in with a chance to win all those lovely goodies head over to Kate's blog and who knows? Kate's asking entrants to name their all time favourite TV show-how hard is that?I'm so sentimental for children's programmes (which I happily watch today to be honest too!) and Inspector Morse is (all my Friends and family know) an absolute addiction of mine!

When I was at university in my second year I didn't even go down to the bar on a SATURDAY night until after 10.00pm in order not to miss Inspector Morse! We had a video recorder in our student house (OK-I'm quite old!), but I had to watch Morse as soon as I could, even though I'd miss most of the night at the Student Union bar. I had a phone by my bed (yep-pre everyone in the world having a mobile) and my friends would phone and remind me that it was a SATURDAY night and why was I sat in bed watching Morse? I'd tell them I only answered as an ad break was on and if they didn't stop phoning me there would be trouble!!!

Even now, it's on most days and I still watch it on the edge of my seat every time! I have no idea how many times I've watched each episode but I LOVE it-I am truly devoted to this programme. I adore John Thaw and he is just the most perfect Morse. Colin Dexter (the author of the Morse books) has arranged it so that for as long as it is possible to legally do so, no one else will play Morse, so strongly does Dexter believes that John Thaw was Morse and should remain Morse for always.

One of my happiest times was when I visited my brother whilst he was studying at Oxford University. I drove him mad with my Morse addiction. As we walked around Oxford Andrew would be doing the 'History of Oxford' tour and telling me how this building was built in 1558 or whatever and this is the oldest pub in Oxford, whilst I was excitedly on the 'Inspector Morse' tour and be on the verge of hysteria as we'd pass the place where this or that murder happened or whatever!! It was so exciting!

No card-sorry. It's a cuddle day with my guys today and I'd best be heading back. It's cold, gloomy and intermittently wet so cuddling is the perfect way to pass the time; with occasional battles as I try to read the weekend Times with bunnies and pussy cats sprawling all over the pages and refusing to get off!

Enjoy the rest of the Bank Holiday anyway-it might not be sunny but for many of us it's a bit of free time nonetheless. Back with a card soon.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sugar bowl challenge:MEN!

This is my attempt at the latest Sugar Bowl challenge. This challenge is all about 'MEN'. I'm rather limited in Sugar Nellie stamps featuring boys so this is the best I can do. As usual the picture is VERY iffy (I'll try and re-do it should we get any more sun) but in reality I'm pleased with the card.

It's turned out exactly as I hoped it would-all the ideas worked out really well, although I'm rather uncertain about the glitter. I do feel it needed glitter -I just struggled as to where to put it! I did have alot of fun making this card though-I've never made a card like this-I specialise in pretty, girlie card so this is very much 'out of my comfort range', Nonetheless I had a great time-I just sort of felt that 'anything goes' and hopefully it works in other people's eyes and not just mine?

This card has so many 'blasts from the past'!

On this card I used something I never, ever thought I'd use-a......peeloff! I really wanted a star for on my bunnies top but didn't have a small enough punch or chipboard piece. Whilst rifling through my stash I came across a sheet containing a few gold holographic stars. I used a red Sharpie pen to match the colours used on my card.

I also found some Sizzix balloons which I bought in my early cardmaking days from ebay I think! The paper and red and blue pearlescent card are also things I never thought I'd ever use-ideal for these credit crunch times!

Even the ink pad is an old Brilliance 3 colours in one pad so I had to fiddle about trying to ink my stamp with the blue and red inks and not the green which was tedious! I don't think I've ever used this ink pad-again it's a 'new to crafting' purchase a long time ago! Finally the Sharpie pens are only in my possession as UKS used to talk about them ALL the time. I bought a few and only use them for parcels and freezer bags! I don't have a red Copic as yet so my red Sharpie saved the day on the bunny's top as well as the star. I'm utterly amazed how many bits and pieces I've used on this card which I never normally would. It's all very 'Ashes to Ashes'!!!

Being a hoarder has it's uses you know!

Ingredients:
Sugar Nellie Little Cotton Rabbits bunny stamp
Hero Arts ticket stamp
Star stamp from Kars
Copics
Stampin Up Real Red cardstock
Star paper from stash
Red & blue pearlescent card from stash
Sizzix balloons
Memento black ink
Brilliance inkpad-3 colours
Sharpie red pen
Star punch
Coloured staples from stash
Peeloff star from stash
Two toned cord from local craft shop
Stickles


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Celebrate in a hurry!




I love making cards I really do. What I don't like about I though is that I have to always make a card myself, I can never, ever do the 'B'(***see bottom of post) word again.

That's fine of course, usually. However, since I've started making cards I seem to have fallen into some strange black hole where I am unable to find out it's someones birthday etc until either after 6.00pm the night before or worse still the day itself.

Cardmaking's a joyous activity when you can have a play, a bit of a dawdle. When it's break the speed of sound fast it's not so fun, in fact it's utterly horrible.

Needless to say I've had one of those record breaking cardmaking dramas today. It is with exhaustion that I write this post! I'm shattered and my card room has been ransacked quite simply. I am having to keep my eyes firmly on the monitor screen as if I look around....sob....wail...a bit more sobbing!

Hell hole of a craft room aside, I've done it! Hallelujah, I've made a card!

I have always been told that I am my own worst enemy, more times that you can imagine. At the age of...mumble..mumble..30...something or other..I am able to be an adult about this and stand up and say (cough, clear throat) 'I am my own worst enemy'.

Cards needed in a hurry need to be fast cards, simple cards,dare I say it-easy cards. However (and this is the own worst enemy bit) I couldn't bear anyone to think I'd made them a 'fast, simple...easy' card. So I don't.

This isn't the most complicated card in the world but it wasn't a five minute job either believe me. I had no idea what to do when I started and I feel it has than sense of uncertainty still about it, oh and the stupid (OK I didn't exactly think stupid at the time but I do try really hard not to swear..too much..well not every five minutes-ooops I meant day of course) rub ons had a crisis of identity and became stickers so they stuck where they decided to go and not where I wanted them too!! Bad rub ons!

Never mind. I'm too tired to care (that's a lie of course) and still need to go and see Bobbi and Ernie (who are doing great) and see my guys for some cuddling and to assure them that I'm OK really despite all the howling and wailing!(OK I'm exaggerating that-I'm a bit prone to that would you believe?).

Anyway, best go and sing Happy Birthday to my neighbour and do lots of smiling and hope (and I mean really hope) that they've got birthday cake as I need some badly-I've earned it!

*** BUY!

Ingredients:
Card blank from stash
K & co paper
Stampin Up card in Creamy Caramel and Regal Rose
Stampin Up stamp set 'Natural beauty'
Papertrey white card
Copics
Stampin Up border punch
Making memories rub on (that thinks it's a sticker)
Regal Rose grosgrain ribbon
Brads from stash

3D foam pads

Monday, April 27, 2009

Elizabeth Bell blog candy

How great is blog candy? Not only could you potentially win some gorgeous goodies, but the blog world is opened each time a little further and new favourites are found.

Katharina's blog 'Stamping with a Whiff of Joy' is one such blog. Hugely talented and generous as she's giving away 2 sets of the new Elizabeth Bell Summer collection!

Pop over and have a look-and look at her cards-amazing. Katharina's even got a list of tutorials and tips-it's well worth a visit and adding to favourites-I have!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Cherish the Gorjuss-ness & a Mr B progress report!



I couldn't resist doing another Gorjuss girl card. I love these images-they seem so ethereal and there's something almost bewitching about the images. Somehow I'm back with turquoise again;considering I'm not keen on the colour, I seem to have an astonishing array of turquoise bits and pieces!

As for yellow- I LOATHE yellow but I've managed to sneak it some Certainly Celery which I adore and which helped me to cope with two scary colours! Phew!




Apologies for the photos-I'm going to have to try and figure out what is going wrong. It's the editing that seems to be messing the quality up-I do auto enhancement and the result tends to be worse than the original photo-not better. It's hugely frustrating but I've been cardmaking and PC-ing for some time now and need to clock off and catch up on some bunny and pussy cat time.The awful photos will have to stay for now, sorry. Aaaargh, why can't things be easy?

It's a gorgeous evening though so can't stay cross for long. I'm watching Mr B (Blackbird) demolish his latest batch of apples and pears so photo quality seems somewhat insignificant right now. He's eaten all the winter apples so I've now resorted to buying him vast quantities of apples and pears (his clear favourite), which he gobbles in record time.

Yesterday I noticed he was being uncharacteristically quick with his return journey and discovered that at the end of the garden was a rather large baby blackbird sat happily on a wheelie bin, with the biggest mouth you've ever seen optimistically open wide.

Poor Mr. B was desperately trying to keep this 'baby' fed but the baby was huge and his appetite even bigger. Meanwhile, I was split between ensuring there was a plentiful supply of fruit for Mr B and 'baby' and ensuring that Tom, Basil and neighbouring cat McCauley didn't suddenly take it upon themselves to satisfy any hunger they might have by eating Mr B's beloved baby!

Needless to say all the fruit I bought yesterday which I had anticipated lasting several days was actually all gone by lunchtime (our lunchtime-it appears blackbirds have a permanent lunchtime). I thus had to trek back into town today, battle the crowds and lug home another hoard of apples and pears. Lets hope (for my sake at least) that these last a little longer!

Must dash, but the sweetest thing in all this is that poor Mr. B doesn't seem able to eat the apples unless I've cut them in half! Poor sweetie-not only do I have to provide the food but serve it to the specific requirements of this handsome man! If any of you had ever wondered why I don't manage to post a card a day-now you have your answer! Sorry, no up to date photos of Mr B and family-must do some, oh and we have baby duckies too down at the river and blue tits in the nest box-it's all so exciting;how amazing this time of year is-new life everywhere!


Ingredients:

Gorjuss girl rubber stamp from Sugar Nellie
Certainly Celery card and grosgrain ribbon from Stampin Up
Tempting Turquoise grosgrain ribbon from Stampin Up
Paisley background stamp from Stampin Up
Basic Grey papers
Basic Grey brad
Prima hydrangea petals
Paisley vellum from stash
Copics
Memento black ink
Brilliance Peacock ink pad (turquoise colour used)
Basic Grey chipboard heart
K & co rub on sentiment
Yellow organza ribbon from stash
Gems and sequin flower from stash

Thursday, April 23, 2009

In bloom




This is one of those cards that just comes together as it is made. Initially I used different papers but couldn't get it to work so I started again and somehow these papers involved themselves! I couldn't get this card to work at all, it wasn't flowing at all so I just tried things and somehow I managed (just about) to pull a card together!

I had terrible problems with Tilda-she's been very naughty indeed! Actually, it's not Tilda so much as the cutting out of Tilda that caused huge problems. I still can't get a neat edge under her plaits and I've used scissors, my craft knife (complete with new blade) and various nail files in a desperate attempt to get a neat edge and failed miserably. I just felt that this card was somehow doomed to fail so just decided to carry on, get it done and hopefully my next creation will be a happier one!



A couple of things did go well though. I used my Stampin Up scallop border punch for the borders (funnily enough) and then my Silent Setter to punch out holes within each scallop. I think this is very effective and I'll do this again. My other success was my home made pin. I love all these pins on people's blogs but have been too much in awe to realise that I can very easily make some myself! I do do a bit of jewellery making (though I tend to do more buying of beads etc than actual making of jewellery!) so I have an abundance of beads suitable for these pins. I just used head pins and used a crimp bead to hold the top beads in place.

As I certainly don't want anyone to suffer injury as a result of my cards, I glued a small bead onto the end of the pin to hide the sharp pin end. Within the Stampin Up Pretties kit are included some attachments to put on the end of the pins supplied to keep them safe. Try as I might I haven't been able to track any down in the real world so the bead will have to suffice until I am able to find a suitable alternative.



I'm pleased with the result-the pin looks gorgeous with the Prima hydrangea petals I as I made the pin myself, I was able to choose just the right colours to co-ordiate with the colours used throughout the rest of the card.I've already made a few more-they take a matter of seconds-all my cards will be covered in pins for at least the immediate future methinks!

I was struggling to find a suitable sentiment but when I found this one 'in Bloom' I knew it was just right. The lovely Steph sent me a super pack of K & Co rub ons when she returned from her holiday recently. The sentiment and the stitching at the botoom of the card are both from this pack and are the perfect final details.


Ingredients:
Europa card for card blank
Basic grey papers
Tilda sitting stamp from Magnolia
K & co rub ons-sentiment and stitching
Stampin Up border punch
Large and small circle and scalloped circle punches


Silent Setter
Prima hydrangea flowers
Copics
Various beads, head pin and lace from stash
Pearls from Stampin Up Pretties kit

Monday, April 20, 2009

Woo hoo!

Well, I'm feeling rather chuffed right now as soon I'll have some more craft goodies winging their way to me! What's so strange about that you ask? Well.....I am a WINNER!!!!! (been watching alot of US TV lately!).


I won on one of Sarahs prize days. On day 3 Sarah created a beautiful box with a handle with a banner attched to it. She decorated it in blue for a baby. Sarah asked for suggestions as to ideas the box could be used for. I said I'd fill the box with goodies for Mummy-face packs, hand creams etc and put the baby banner on their cot. Sarah chose this idea as the winning entry!! She'll send me some die cuts of the boxes and banners so I'll make one up (it'll come a poor second to Sarah's effort alas) and post it up here soon.





Then this morning, I spotted that I had won the Passion for Papertrey scallops challenge!! With this challenge it's a 2009 computerised pick a name out of a hat system and the name was me!! It's for the baby card I did yesterday (above). I'm thrilled! I won some gorgeous papers, a bit of card and some ribbons. I'm not familiar with the paper set-(but then all I know is the Raspberry Fizz set as we all long for that!) but I believe it's male oriented which will be handy-I'm off to the Papertrey site to have a look for it now-wee hee!!



Thank you Kate and Steph!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Passion for papertrey challenge-Scallops

I've been unable to do much crafting recently for one reason or another and as a result I missed one of the challenges on Kate and Stephs blog 'A Passion for Papertrey'. Desperate to get back on track I visited the blog to find the theme being 'scallops'. Phew-I can do this!

Here's my attempt anyway. I have so few Papertrey bits, just a few lovely items Steph generously sent me, but if I can win one of these challenges my Papertrey stash will more than double so here goes!




I don't actually know the names of these Papertrey colours but the card, paper and ribbon are all Papertrey. I've used two Stampin Up sets for the baby and sentiment (I ADORE this baby) and Copics for colouring-I'm still practising furiously! Happily I have some Copic markers that perfectly match the Papertrey colours!




I 3D'd the baby and though it's a simple card I am pleased with the result-I actually don't feel the need to start sticking every embellishment in sight on it! I must be ill! For the ribbon I punched two holes near the join with my Silent Setter and pulled each end through this to tie the bow. Three small Papermania gems complete the card.



The card has been cut with the join at the top. I do like cards this shape and again it seemed to work well with what I was trying to do. All in all a simple but effective card and I have enjoyed using the gorgeous Stampin Up baby very much! It was about time he/she had an outing!

Ingredients:
Card, paper & ribbon from Papertrey (courtesy of Steph)
Stampin Up stamp sets-
Baby from 'Cuddles & Tickles'
Sentiment from 'I'm Here'
Copics
Gems from papermania
Scalloped border punch from Stampin Up
Circle and Scalloped circlePunches

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sugar bowl challenge 8



Oh goodness me-this has been a challenge. Nope, not a challenge, an ordeal! Marlene drew an amazing sketch for this week's challenge which I initially thought I'd love doing. I have really, really, really struggled with this right from the start. I kept losing track of all the layers-couldn't draw the sketch for the life of me so had to repeatedly refer back to the Sugar Bowl blog, and it just has been so hard trying to work out the dimensions of each of the pieces! I've used another Little Cotton Rabbit stamp-gosh I really do LOVE these! I just hope I've got the sketch right! I'm sure I've messed it up somewhere!


This evening as I've desperately been trying to put it all together and embellish it etc, my cat Tom has been the cat from hell! He is demanding at the best of times-Maria Carey (reportedly an absolute horror in the world of the demanding) has nothing on Tom. Tom suffers from an extreme form of 'cat indecisiveness'. This indecisiveness is well known to cat carers. Cats cannot make their minds up and Tom is the dictionary definition of this condition.


This is bad enough if you consider that it manifests itself in an inability to decide whether to be in or out, whether he wants to eat of not, whether he likes the food or not, whether he wants to sit her, or stand there or go anyway at all (all this whilst standing in a doorway or the narrowest part of the house or garden) so it's a case of having to climb over him (following an emergency stop to avoid trampling on him!).
This evening he has been at his most indecisive.

Despite FIVE bowls of different food, Tom remains dissatisfied in the food department, he has been in and out the house so many times I literally am in a daze and has been doing his 'cat staring' to the point at which I am a nervous wreck and exhausted by him! I have a headache as a result of trying to use my non existent psychic powers to deduce what on earth is wants! Tom has a cat flap which he used for goodness knows how many years. Now, he has arthritis and when I'm in a kindly mood I put his refusal to use the catflap down to it possibly aggravating his arthritis.


When I'm feeling less charitable (usually after opening and shutting the door 1000 times in the space of 30 seconds, so every day!) I put it down to Tom being a Diva and the fact that he sees the situation as something in the order of why should he demean himself by wriggling through a hole in the door when there's Mum to open it whenever I want?
Good point-you've got to hand it to him-he's got brains.
So, this card isn't right-I've tried and tried but am waving a white flag of defeat. I haven't been defeated by the card-nope, I've been defeated by Tom and I'm going to have to go and see if I can work out why he remains extremely dissatisfied with life!


On a more humorous note, I've mentioned Tom's amazing toes before now. He has many more toes that cats normally do, which happily means there's even more of him! Our last vet used to say 'there's toes everywhere' when he saw Tom and he's been found surrounded by people with one of the neighbours pointing out knowingly his many toes and 'boxing glove' shaped paws.
We had to go to the vet yesterday for Tom to have his cortisone injection he has to reduce the arthritis pain. The vet mentioned Tom's toes as we finished the consultation. He said that he's seen cats with extra toes before but never anywhere near as many as Tom has. He said Tom has the most incredible number of toes and it's very rare indeed to have so many.


That's reminded me, I must trim his nails. I don't need to do all of them but some of Tom's toes are hidden and so the claws if left untrimmed would simply grow into Tom's feet. If you look on your hand at the gap between your thumb and first finger. In that gap, Tom has a small toe. Cutting that nail isn't easy believe me. I have to single handed, hold Tom (who does not consent to this procedure), open the toes up, find the toe, find the nail and clip it carefully not cutting into Tom at all. Phew. What a job and lucky me-I'm the lucky girl who's got to do it! I have to keep a close eye on how these nails grown and regularly trim them. So instead of cardmaking, I'm going to be savaged by a yowling cat who I know is saying very bad things to me!


Wish me luck!
Ingredients:
Card blank from stash
Little Cotton Rabbit stamp by Sugar Nellie
Jenni Bowlin paper
The English Paper Company paper
Karen Marie Klip paper
White hammered card from stash
Whisper White card by Stampin Up
Happy day stamp by Stampin Up
Bashful Blue ink by Stampin Up
Watercolour pencils by Faber Castell and Derwent
Queen & co felt ribbon
Felt flowers from stash
Lace from stash
Pearls from Kanban

Friday, April 10, 2009

Messy Rabbit blog candy- be quick!!!




Ooops, only just found this so hurry up as only got until midnight tonight...



...for the chance to win some gorgeous Messy Rabbit blog candy as Jacqui celebrates her blog birthday!

Touch the Stars



Thought I'd try and add a colour that is way out of my comfort zone-turqouise. This decision came after my light blue Copic turned into a turquoise type colour after a couple of layers! I'm really pleased with this card-I can still see messed up bits but the essence of what I want to create remains-this is more like it!

Aargh, the sentiment's moved a bit for the photo! You could never imagine the problems I've had using the silver hodgepodge frame and cutting the sentiment to fit it! It's been awful! I just couldn't seem to work out how to cut it to fit properly-my brain totally failed me!


Ingredients:
Card blank from stash
Basic grey papers
Whipsper White card from Stampin Up
Chipboard flowers from Stampin Up (covered in Basic grey paper)
Chipboard stars from American Crafts
Chocolate chip grosgrain ribbon from Stampin Up
Ribbon charm and silver frame from Silver Hodgepodge set from Stampin Up
Sentiment stamp from 'Dreams and Dragons' set from Stampin Up
'Gorguss girl' rubber stamp from Sugar Nellie
Chocolate Chip ink from Stampin Up for sentiment
Dark Brown chalk ink for edges

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Naughty pussy cat!




I saw this stamp and as they say 'it had my name on it'! Penny Black are just phenomenol-they just seem to be able to create the most gorgeous images of animals in a way no one else comes close to. I only have a couple of their images-this and a Christmas cat one so must get saving for more! I have my eye on a gorgeous bunny one-similar to this image with a bunny on his back lying on a bird table or something. The bunny looks just like Jacob and he lies like that all the time when he trances himself.


This cat so reminds me of Tom, though I do have a photo on this blog of Basil sitting a bird table which is rather similar to this naughty cat.


I love these papers from Making Memories but not managed to use them yet. I couldn't seem to match this image to the usual suspects paper wise and as a last resort I tried these and actually thought they worked really well. I could so imagine having a skirt or dress with the chocolate brown pattern!! Love it!

I'm afraid my photo lets me down again-I'm utterly useless-it was such a sunny day so I should have no excuse. having said that, it was so sunny I couldn't actually see the card properly! I laid it on white paper and then the white just reflected back at me because of the strength of the sun and I'm amazed I even got the whole card in shot!


Never mind-need to practise so many things clearly, as well as my new Copics!

Ingredients:
Penny Black cat stamp
'Reach for the stars' sentiment stamp-Hero Arts
Card blank from Steph so unknown
Making memories paper
Whisper White card from Stampin Up
Chocolate Chip card by Stampin Up
Taffeta pink ribbon from Stampin Up
Pink gems from Steph so unknown
Clear gems from stash

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Gorgeous bunnies


Being an avid bunny fan I simply HAD to have the set of Little Cotton Rabbit rubber stamps from Sugar Nellie in my collection. This is my first card made with them and I've been playing with Copics-trying to learn how to blend them etc. I still need more colours so I'm rather limited now. Currently, I have got mainly browns and pinks-browns for bunnies and pussy cats and pinks because I'm a pink fan! I really hope I'll get the hang of Copics as I've been in awe of some of the photos of cards on blogs I've seen. Even without the blending, I still adore them, they're gorgeous colours and the lack of brush strokes is something that for me makes them worth every penny. I did try the Stampin Up markers and though the colours are gorgeous, brush strokes are a real issue. It's so disappointing to try really hard with a card and then all you can see are brush strokes all over the image.


I've done a few fussy cards recently so thought I'd keep this one fresh and simple. I've wanted to use one of the Jenni Bowlin journalling pieces on a card forever; one of the pink ones seemed perfect for this card. I received a card from someone which had a little piece of the new Stampin Up pink striped ribbon. It's from the new mini and after I had tried with goodness knows how many bits of ribbon of various colours, I spotted the card and couldn't believe how perfect the ribbon was for this card! So, it's cannibalised ribbon I suppose but for me it just matches the stripes on the Jennie Bowlin journalling card perfectly!


Ingredients:
Square card blank from stash
Little Cotton Rabbits stamps from Sugar Nellie
Copics
Barely banana card from Stampin Up
Pretty in Pink card from Stampin Up
Scalloped border punch from Stampin Up
Anna Griffin paper
Anna Griffin rub on sentiment
Jennie Bowlin journalling card
Stampin Up striped grosgrain ribbon
Gems from stash

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Sugar Bowl challenge 7 -Spring or Easter



This weeks Sugar Bowl challenge from Sugar Nellie challenge is by way of acknowledging the much better weather we've been having! The choice therefore is either Easter or Spring. I liked the idea of Spring as a theme-I feel so much better when the sun shines and am compelled to use pretty and fresh tones. I've never made a card specifically dedicated to the theme of Spring either so why not? There's still time to join in-cards need to be posted on The Sugar Bowl blog by midnight on Wednesday 8th April and you'll be entered into a draw to win some Sugar Nellie goodies. Pop over and have a look-the design team have as always created some amazing items.



Sorry the photo isn't very good. It's a beautiful day so no blaming the weather-I'm just not a very good photographer alas.

Ingredients:
Pink card from stash for card blank & matting
Basic Grey paper-various
Sugar Nellie stamp by Leanne Ellis
Paper flowers from Sarahs cards
Papermania brads
Copics
Flourish made from Basic Grey paper using Maya Road chipboard flourish as a template
Leaf buttons from stash (knew I'd use them one day!)
Butterfly from stash (felt certain I'd NEVER use this so yipee!)
Spring sentiment by Jolees boutique
Ribbon from stash

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Sugar Bowl Mothers Day Challenge



Another challenge would you believe? I getting quite into all this aren't I? This challenge is on the Sugar Bowl blog which is one of the Sugar Nellie blogs. The great thing about this challenge is no complicated rules (I think!) other than having to use a Sugar Nellie image and needing to be a follower.

It's not the easiest of challenges to join in terms of confidence as the talent within the Sugar Nellie camp is breathtaking. It's nice though to have a reason to do a card as there's only so many birthday cards etc that I need to make. I LOVE these images as I may have mentioned before) and also what's ever so exciting is at last I managed to track down some pom pom ribbon and it arrived in time to ass to this card. I've longed for pom pom ribbon forever-it's even more fab than I hoped it would be so expect all my future card for a while at least to be embellished with pom pom ribbon!
So here goes...

Ingredients:
Cream card blank from stash
Basic Grey papers
Pink card from stash
Sugar Nellie stamp by Leanne Ellis
Bazzill Pom Pom ribbon
Stickles diamond
Blooms from Sarahs cards
Heart brad from stash
Heart punch
Organza ribbon from stash
Dark brown colorbox chalk inkpad
Black Stazon

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Goodbye Jade

I've just found out that dear Jade Goody has died.

I am deeply upset. I find injustice a very difficult thing to cope with at the best of times-this is an injustice if ever there was one.

Jade died at home surrounded by her family and friends as she wished. She was 27.

God bless.

Passion for Papertrey challenge


With many thanks to the lovely Steph who kindly sent me a few Papertrey bits so I could participate, here is my attempt at the current challenge on A Passion for Papertrey.


If you've seen my previous attempt at a challenge you'll know that I can never fully understand the instructions! This challenge is for 'one layer'. My interpretation is that the card is the one and only layer. Embellishments and ribbon are allowed-other than that it's a no no.


Kate's cards seem to me to follow this rule so I desperately tried to reign in my usual urges to amass as much as is possible on a single card! I often feel my cards are akin to the Guinness World Record attempt-along the line of how many people can fit in a telephone box! My take on this is how many different things can I stick on a card and it still:


a) fit in an envelope to send

b) stand up unassisted!

Anyway, I did my best, then looked at the other challenge cards and it seems I may be alone in my interpretation. Other people have put paper layers on and then everything else-I may be disqualified for getting it all wrong and I suffered, yes, suffered doing this card with it's cruel (and maybe not entirely factual) limitations!!!! Sorry guys if I've got it wrong!

Anyway, I tried to do my usual /more is most definitely more' kind of card with only 1 layer-the card. It was hard but I certainly can see the value in cards like this-a true one layered card is so much quicker to do and although I'm clearly extremely organised (in fact organisation is my middle name along with fibber), there are times (most times) when I need a card in a hurry. A quick card would be my saviour but alas my genetic make-up gets scared by minimalism-I'm a victim really, so back to the Guinness World record attempts I think!
Ingredients: (All Papertrey unless otherwise stated)
Card
Paper
Stampin Up Riveting stamp set
Stampin Up Swirls and Blossoms background stamp
Brilliance ink Pearlescent Purple
Flower punch unknown
Gems unknown

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Blog candy



Just must let you know about some fab blog candy over at Phoenix Crafts.
There's lots of gorgeous candy about so keep looking at the blog candy information on the right hand side of my blog as I'll keep you informed of anything else I come across. If you win though you have to share with me!!! Hee! hee! Just joking of course-good luck.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring has sprung!



It has been the most beautiful day here today, Not only did we get the most glorious sunshine but it was mild, particularly if you stayed in the sun. I had to get a bit of shopping and got so hot in the shops due to my wearing Winter woolies still. It's now just after 6.00pm and the temperature has dropped significantly so it's quite chilly. The sun seems reluctant to disappear for the night so we have a glorious sunset with the sky a delightful orangey red watercolour mix. Artists glory in sunsets such as this-I am a huge sunset fan so never bore of watching their all too brief existence. What's so incredibly wonderful about sunsets is that nature doesn't place any limit on the number we can enjoy. Eclipses happen once every so many years, sunsets can occur night after night and never be diluted by the frequency of the act.



I was compelled upon waking to get out in the garden and take some photos. I also took my camera out with me but totally forgot about it so the beautiful flowers down at Ernie and Bobbies will have to wait. These Narcissus are from in my garden but we have rather a glut of Daffodils nearby. I live literally round the corner from the river that runs through my town. It's not a huge river and it meanders through my town gently apart from when it's torrential rain when it breaks it's banks with alarming frequency-people still are repairing thrir homes after the floods of last 'Summer'. I've always longed to live with a river running either through or at least at the bottom of my garden. Last Summers floods showed that such a dream can also be a terrible nightmare. My town flooded badly twice in consecutive months. Our much loved river became a common enemy to many-no one will ever view it in quite the same way agin.


>

Nonetheless most of the time the river is something we all gravitate too though it's not only humans who enjoy it's charms. Behind my garden I have the town bowling green, tennis courts, putting green and fishing pond. The pond is directly behind my garden. The combination of all that water results in a great variety of nature. We have an owl, a sparrow hawk (good and bad), the most enormous amounts of frogs and toads in the garden (and in the Summer with open doors often in the house!) and ducks! At night they go to bed on the pond and you can hear them squabbling (or that's my view anyway) with honking and squawking as they presumably elbow one another in an attempt to get a bit of space to sleep!

In the day they sit all over the place and adore it by the river where they nest. The joy of walking into town counting the ducklings as they sit on the riverbank which itself is covered in daffodils never diminishes. As the ducklings grow they learn to swim and again counting becomes almost compulsory with a current conversation between town folk running along the lines of:

Person A'I saw 12 ducklings today by the river'
Person B 'Really, I've seen 10 but last year I saw 14 swimming behind one mother duck'
Person A '14? Blimey, I wouldn't want 14 children!'
Person B 'Ah, but if you're a duck you don't have them for as long as we do!'

Laughter from both!

When the ducklings arrive I will try and take some photos top post on here. In the meantime we've some Primroses, Narcissus and a stunning Hellebore from my garden.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A time of hope?

It's swiftly becoming a beautiful and bright Spring for us in the UK. We've been blessed with lots of sunshine and the odd bit of warmth, though it's still chilly in the main. Spring is a time of hope and looking to the future, of being glad we've got through another dark, cold Winter.

In a few days the clocks 'spring forward' and we can look forward to lighter evenings-something I'm very much looking forward to.

Sometimes the world seems so entirely full of hope that we almost take our eye off the ball and forget, if only for a moment that the feeling of hope and of a new dawn is not, and cannot be shared by everyone.

I write as last night we learnt of the death of the actress Natasha Richardson, a beautiful Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter and friend. A desperately sad death coming out of nowhere it seems.

Jade Goody is facing her last moments with her small children, her husband of less than one month and her other family and friends. Jade is 27 and less than a year ago was diagnosed with cervical cancer.

In Northern Ireland more families are grieving and walking behind hearses carrying the bodies of those they love. All too often we hear of the death of yet another soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan, of more civilian deaths, of suffering in Zimbabwe, Darfur and so many other places.

It seems that there is as much despair and pain and suffering as there is hope. It's easy for all that hope to evaporate, to seem as fragile as the daffodils thin flowerheads. It's all very cliched though, but we can look back to these flowers to reignite our hope. Look at the snowdrops and crocuses, the little naccissus daffodils, all so small and yet they force their way through frost hardened grown, through snow if necessary and bloom their little hearts out.

The winter flowering bulbs have to be some of the most hardy species in nature. You can plant them one year and for years after they'll just get on with it and flower merrily and what's more increase in number year on year. They do this all by themselves, those tiny little snowdrop bulds smaller than the fleshy part of your thumb, do battle with Winter year on year and what's more win that battle.

No matter how harsh the Winter, how freak the weather conditions, when we are doubting the existence of Spring these little flowers show us to keep the faith, that there are cycles in this life and come what may these cycles of life carry on and on and on.

It's normal to feel despair at times, to worry and be afraid but all things will pass and the next cycle will begin. We always remember how amazing the Spring flowers looked last year and the year before yet each year is somehow even better than the previous and if we ever feel small and wek and out of control of life we could do worse than going off and finding some little Spring flowers and remembering that if they can get through the darkness of Winter-so can we all.


I'll get some photos for this post asap but I wanted to post the words anyway.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Jade Goody

I have been wanting to post about Jade for a long time now but it is so upsetting that I really struggle to determine what exactly to say.

This is a terrible, terrible time, Jade's life is ebbing away and no-one can stop this awful thing happening.

Jade is a true human being, with good points, bad points and has learnt her lessons well. She is wise beyond her mere 27 years. She is kind and decent and clearly a devoted Mother, daughter, wife and friend to so many.

At this time of year Marie Curie do their annual appeal for funds. Fittingly for this time of year, a Daffodil is their logo and you may have seen the pretty paper daffodils together with a donation box in shops recently. Marie Curie nurses provide round the clock nursing care and support. The existence of Marie Curie nurses allows many people to die in their own home and not in a hospice or hospital.

Dying at home means so much for so many people; to be surrounded by the familiar and by their family is the last wish of many and Marie Curie nurses grant this wish where possible. Should more intensive care be required, Marie Curie also have 10 hospices in the UK.

This appeal may sadly be all too personally relevant to some of us, but for the card makers amongst us, this appeal allows us to do our bit to actively help in the way we do best-making cards. Together with Do-crafts, Marie Curie ask that cards are made that can then be sold to raise funds for the charity. All cards need to be received by 30th April so there's still plenty of time.


If you go to the following website:

http://www.create-a-card-for-cancer-care.org/

you will find all the information you need. The forum on 'In Love with Stamping' which is a UK site dedicated to Stampin Up in the Uk though not solely about Stampin Up also has details-forum members are trying to make as many cards as possible for this cause.

www.inlovewithstamping.com

You can also find details of this campaign on the following Docrafts site:

http://www.docrafts.co.uk/asp/articles/?page=261

Details on the special Papermania Daffodil clear stamps available are also on this site. A donation is made to Marie Curie for every set sold.

As crafters, we have so much stash and usually make far more cards than we actually ever send. What better use of your crafting abilities than to raise money to help Marie Curie nurses help people at their time of greatest need? You can make cards especially for this appeal or use ones you have already. Do both if you possibly can!

Cards for all occasions are welcomed, the only stipulation is that they need to be
A6 size. A special card gift bag is available in many stores selling docrafts products but all the details are available on the docrafts site mentioned above.

Of course making cards isn't the only way to help this appeal. The fundraising page of Marie Curie nurses has some interesting crafty ideas:

'-Host your very own Craft Class
- Host a Tea Party
- Craft as a family
- Have a Craft Clear Out!'

Funds are desperately needed. It's awful to consider this but who knows if we or someone we love may need the Marie Curie nurses one day? If we did need them, they would help us-we need to help them. We really can make a difference and it's all so easy to make our craft stash that usually makes us feel so guilty become something so positive and good.

We can get involved with this appeal for many reasons. There are so many good reasons. I have many reasons myself why I am making cards and Jade is one of those reasons. I have been incredibly moved by her ordeal and I will never forget her on Big Brother when we all first 'met' her so to speak. I never for a moment thought it would end like this, I'm still finding it hard to grasp. Jade though has proved herself more than just a fighter though, she's also shown such compassion and forgiveness in these recent months. My cards are for Jade as are my prayers and if any of you pray, please consider a prayer for a young woman facing being torn from her two small boys, her husband, Mum and friends at the age of 27.


If anyone wants to know more about the help Marie Curie nurses offer please go to:

http://www.mariecurie.org.uk/

You can also ask your GP or District Nurse about the free service offered if you or someone you know would like the support of Marie Curie nurses.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A moan and a bit of a weep



OK, creaky necks again guys!! I have NO IDEA why Mr Blogger is being so naughty again! It's getting tedious though and I'm feeling so stressed at the moment anyway so for now it's this or nothing-can we make do with this just for now please?

Just a quickie as fed up too-stressed and fed up-does it get any worse? My neighbours are renovating their house. Bad enough at the best of times but 3 years ago that house was gutted and central heating out in and re-built so I have had my share of noise methinks! this time it's sanding the floors thus far. Noisy yes and now we have the varnish fumes flooding through an untold number of holes between the two house which is a nightmare. I realise we're terraced but it's like living communally with the amount of sounds and smells that come from next door. I always know what they're having for tea and ..well yes, I know what they're having for tea!

What makes the varnish a particular issue is that I have alot of allergies chemical wise and have discovered I have an allergy to floor varnish too! Great! I have a sore throat, painful chest, am very shaky (which is horrible) and have tingling in my lips. No good. I'm using my asthma inhaler but no more antihistamines allowed as on a betahistine for vertigo. It never rains.....

The fact is, I'm not worried about me it's my guys I'm worried about. The smell is so strong and it's fumes essentially. We have to keep windows open 25/7 (gosh-never used that phrases before) and it's COLD! I can also still smell it. When I dash to Ernie and Bobbi I feel so much better-I can breathe but the rest of my guys can't come so it's no good. Tom virtually is living outside and not sure if it's the fumes. Humphrey and Jacob are on antibiotics for long term respiratory problems so I'm scared to death about them. These door are neighbours from hell so didn't have the decency to come round and warn us about this-nor did they the other side of them. When I saw the girl and asked her about it she told me it was going to go on 'all year as we're doing the whole place up'-that was just before she shut the door in my face. Classy!

When I moved here it was a lovely road-now we have alot of crime-particularly aimed at vechiles and the outside of our properties. The police are here all the time doing door to door about the latest crime-it's horrible. At night people run past banging on the windows and shouting and swearing until goodness knows when as we're on a 'pub route' apparently. Day and night there's cars and motorbikes racing up and down; combined with the partying neighbours from hell it's become unbearable living here to be honest.

The thin walls mean we hear every conversation, every argument, every time they have visitors round-shouting and shrieking until late. Sorry, I'm feeling really low and they've just got home-that awful sound of their front door slamming signals their homecoming. Bad every night of the week but Friday is particularly feared as it marks the beginning of the weekend. In the Summer it's even worse-they have all day barbecues-my little garden that I used to love becomes out of bounds-you can't breathe and it's intimidating when there's so many of them. My poor animals are afraid to go out so we're left inside with the windows shut to keep the smoke out day after day.I just have reached the end of my tether on this I think, and I'm just so tired which doesn't help.

I should go-I'm too moany and I think cuddle with my bunnies and puss cats is in order. I just feel so responsible for them-I can't change things and I hate that I can't protect them-can't even ensure they can breathe clean and safe air. Sorry guys-useless post this with a card on it's side and me fed up-try again soon!! I'll try and sort out the photo and details of items used too though it's obviously little Tilda on a swing.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Your radiance lights up the sky



Apologies for the gloomy photo-it looks like it's going to rain very hard soon-typical as need to pop out! Another Sugar Nellie stamp-how could I resist the little birds? I just had a play with this and had tonnes of fun! I paper pieced the girls dress, top, hair and boots as well as the bow in her hair and bird box. I used Stampin Up markers to do colouring in and attempted rosy cheeks for the first time! I used my Silent setter to make the hole in the bird box, or how would the little birds get in and it's baby birds time soon!

I used up a few things from my stash which I'm pleased with. The gorgeous paper rose and other bloom are as I used on the scrapbook layout for 'The beautiful and very brave Sophie' and from Sarah's cards. The bird brad however, is from Papermania and I've had it an age but it's perfect for this card! I have no idea by the way why Mr Blogger has turned my photo around though I suspect he has an issue with the size of it! I'm not very PC literate so won't try and fix it or I'll end up losing everything. Don't get neck ache though by looking at the photo too long!



The star buttons are also something that have been hanging out in my button jar for ever. I wasn't completely sure about them on this card-not sure if they look a bit 'plasticky' but with the Stampin Up chocolate chip grosgrain I think (hope) the nasty plastic look is diluted at least.



Sentiment wise I used an All Night media stamp which was one of the first stamps I ever bought. I always feel I'm lacking in basic, small sentiments but have a few with really lovely messages and I think this one fits the bill on this occasion nicely.

Other than that my Stampin Up scalloped punch got another outing (are you bored yet?) and the rest of the card is a mixture of utterly gorgeous Basic Grey papers-Sultry and Sugared to be precise. I do have some 12" x 12" theoretically for scrapbooking but in reality more for looking at and going 'ahhh'. I love the 6" x 6" for cardmaking though as the pattern is reduced and so is far more suitable for cards.

My favourite Basic Grey paper set thus far is 'Perhaps' (I LOVE IT!!) but the 12" paper pattern is far too large and overwhelming for cards, whereas the 6" is perfect and I mean PERFECT in every sense of the word!!! This card is bigger than 6" in height but it didn't matter as I layered the papers anyway and for 6" x 4" cards the smaller papers easily cover the card if you choose.I just matted with random bits of card from my stash-no need to use really nice stuff when you only see a millimetre or so so my Stampin Up stuff stayed in it's box for this card! Oh, just fibbed a bit! I did use Chocolate Chip for the girl and sentiment but I don't have any other choclate card!




I had alot of fun making this card and have to say that I'm pretty chuffed with the result. I'm really enjoying my cardmaking again after a horrible mojo drought and my confidence is coming on slowly but surely. Having a nice sunny day helps of course, I'm cheerier as regular readers of this blog will know, but also the light lends itself so much better to cardmaking. It's so nice to be able to see colours accurately and patterns too. I definitely feel like making fresh cards, Spring clearly comes to cardmaking land too!

Ingredients:
Sugar Nellie girl with birds stamp by Leanne Ellis
All Night Media sentiment stamp
Basic Grey papers-Sultry and Sugared
Maya Road ribbon charm
Stampin Up chocolate chip narrow grosgrain ribbon

Stampin Up Chocolate Chip card
Stampin Up scalloped border punch
Stampin Up markers
Blooms from Sarah's cards
Bird brad from Papermania
Star buttons unknown

Europa card
Royal & Langnickel hammered card blank

Humphrey and Sophie

Humphrey and Sophie