Sunshine in a flower

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?).


The Winner is:


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.

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
Gems & Pearls-Kanban
Sentiment Computer generated

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


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)!


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!!!!

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

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...


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.

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
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!

Sugar Nellie Little Cotton Rabbits bunny stamp
Hero Arts ticket stamp
Star stamp from Kars
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

Humphrey and Sophie

Humphrey and Sophie