Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Poppy Parade

The poppies in our garden are glorious just now.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Stamping Sensations July Challenge

Another month at Stamping Sensations has flown by! We had some stunning entries for June, but now it's time for a new challenge, in which we would like you to

* * * * * FEATURE A CREATURE * * * * *

Show us your projects featuring a creature (or creatures!) of land, sea or air!

Please do remember that as we are a stamping challenge, your entry must include some stamping if you wish it to be considered for our prize or Top 3 positions. It would be a shame to miss out, as our sponsor this month is once again Little Claire Designs, who have very kindly given us a most generous £35 voucher for the lucky winner to spend on their website.

As soon as I saw our topic for this month, I knew which creatures I would feature! The fabulous owls on Little Claire's Silhouette Owl Tree.

Background papers from my stash were used to create a landscape, over which  the Owl Tree was stamped in Memento ink. It was cut out with a Spellbinders die and the base of the tree design was extended a little to either side to fit the square, using a Memento pen. It was then matted and layered on to the base card, which had first been stamped twice with the Owl Tree, in opposite corners. A suitable sentiment (Woodware), cut out by hand, completed the card.

I love the thought of a treeful of owls, just sitting there, watching, ready for their close up!

However, I'm looking forward to seeing all types of creatures in your entries this month, and of course remember you can enter up to three times with any type of cards or projects. The DT have featured some simply adorable creatures in their samples, so do go over to the Challenge Blog and have a look at them.

I'll leave you with a picture of a recent visitor to our garden, who seemed to be having a very earnest conversation with a hoverfly!

Sunday, 7 June 2015

June Challenge at Stamping Sensations

Well, flaming June it certainly isn't up here! We have had a few sunny spells between the showers, but it's so unseasonably cold and windy. However, last month's bumper crop of flowers (well over 200 entries) for our floral challenge at Stamping Sensations certainly brightened things up! I'm confidently expecting this month's theme to be equally popular, as it is

* * * * * DIES AND PUNCHES * * * * *

You can use either just dies, just punches, or a combination of both. And of course, as we are a stamping challenge, we need to see some rubber stamping on your project as well. Making a welcome return visit to sponsor us for June is Tonic Studios, who have given us a full set of their Pretoria Alphabet Dies for the lucky winner! What a fabulous prize!


I have used a die (Celtic Circle) and a punch (Celtic Strip), both by Tonic Studios, for my card.

Other supplies used -
Celtic bird stamp: Non Sequitur
Small Celtic circle stamp: unknown
Background text stamp: Judikins
Sentiment: Innovative Stamp Creations
Background paper: Paper Cellar
I used Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink for all the stamping and to ink around the edge of the BP

I'm still on a mission to revisit/use up old stash, and everything on this card is at least a couple of years old, and some things many years! Had another mini clear out of my craftroom the other week, but still don't seem to have any more space on my shelves! As long as I can keep things from encroaching too much on to the floor, though, I'm happy! I think back to my old tiny craft room, where I had to step over boxes to get to my desk, on which there was never more than about a square foot clear to work in, and remember how lucky I am to have so much more lovely space in the new one.

Here's a closer view of the gorgeous Celtic bird stamp. I've always liked it, don't know why I don't use it more often!

Anyway, as ever, there's plenty of inspiration for you over on the Challenge Blog My brilliant teamies would love it if you visited their individual blogs too, and we look forward to seeing what you can do with your dies and punches.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Floral Delights

Our May Challenge at Stamping Sensations has one of my favourite topics! It is

 * * * * * FLOWER POWER * * * * *

We will be looking for entries with flowers being the main element of your design. Spring is my favourite time of year for flowers, with so many beautiful blossoms bursting into new life, but you can show us flowers from any time of year.

I doubt that there are many people who don't like flowers, so I think this will be a popular theme. It also happens that this month's sponsor is one of my favourite stamp companies, Crafty Individuals.

Once again, Jean and Malcolm have generously donated a fantastic £35 voucher for the lucky winner to spend in their online shop, where they have tons of the most gorgeous stamps, papers and accessories to choose from.

For my card I've used one of their beautiful floral stamps CI-422 , along with a background paper from their "Shades Of Summer" book.

I coloured the image with Promarkers, matted it with contrasting borders and added a simple ribbon bow to finish.

I am looking forward very much to seeing lots of lovely floral entries! The Design Team's samples are a flower-filled feast for the eyes, so do go and check them out on the Challenge Blog. I'll leave you with a photo of one of my favourite flowers, primroses, which have been glorious up here this spring, both wild and cultivated, and which are still blooming beautifully in our garden.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Stunning Sunsets

The weather over the past few days has been absolutely gorgeous, producing some incredible sunsets! Driving home from choir practice on a Monday evening I pass one of our local lochs. I noticed on my way by it yesterday that the sun had gone down right behind the hills overlooking the loch, and the colours were reflected in the water. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me, so I decided that if the conditions were similar this evening I would go down there and take some photos.

If anything, it was even more beautiful today!


Sunday, 5 April 2015


April already! A very busy last few weeks of term have meant I've had little time for blogging, or indeed crafting, but the Easter holidays are here at last, and so is our April Challenge at Stamping Sensations. I think our latest theme will be very popular, as it is

* * * * * PRETTY IN PINK * * * * *

Making a welcome return visit as our sponsor this month is PDA Card & Craft,

who are giving the lucky winner a fantastic £40 voucher to spend on their website or in their shop, where you will most definitely be spoilt for choice!

Pink is not one of my preferred colours, even though it does occasionally make an appearance on my cards, albeit in small amounts. However, I wouldn't normally use it as a main colour, so I had to step outside my comfort zone a bit here!

The focal image was created with Card-io Majestix stamps, from the Secret Garden set and Golden Daffodils set, both sets available from PDA here. I lightly sponged a background with pigment inks on a circular diecut while the paper was still in the die, and then stamped the scene with various stamps from the two sets. This was then matted on to a scalloped circle cut from patterned paper. Both it and the background paper were magazine freebies. The sentiments were also freebies (Simply Cards & Papercraft magazine). Plain Circle and Scallop Circle dies are by Spellbinders, Butterfly by Cheery Lynn and Bluebell by Wild Rose Studio.

It may not be my favourite colour, but I am certainly hoping to see lots of lovely pink creations for our challenge! The DT have some gorgeous samples for you over on the Challenge Blog, so do go and have a look at them and while you're there say hello to our two brilliant new teamies, Gerrina and Viv.

Happy Easter everybody!

Sunday, 1 March 2015

One For The Guys

 Making my sample for our March Challenge at Stamping Sensations was certainly a challenge for me! Our theme for this month is
* * * * * ONE FOR THE GUYS * * * * *

and it is the subject I struggle with the most, being more inclined towards pretty floral or nature motifs than macho masculine stuff !

However, I rose to the challenge and came up with this. I'm on a mission at the moment to revisit some of my oldest stamps, especially those that haven't seen daylight for a long time, in order to justify still giving them houseroom! This lovely Boat Scene (by Stamps Happen, now sadly defunct) was always one of my favourites and I don't know why I haven't used it more often, except that just about all the men in my family have received an example of it at one time or another.

I began by stamping it twice, on white card and a mottled sandy coloured card (another ancient item of stash!). I cut the framed part out of the sandy card, lined it up with the image on the white card, fixed them together and then coloured the whole image with Spectrum Noir pencils. I stamped the birds (Stampin' Up) at the bottom and finally used an old toothbrush to flick various shades of watercolour paint all over the card.

We have a lovely new sponsor for March!  Foil Play have "an extensive choice of over 11,000 products to help you to create beautiful and enjoyable craft projects, including a huge selection of rub on foils, ultra fine glitters, toppers, die cut and traditional decoupage".No minimum order is required, and postage is free if you spend over £10. They are offering the lucky winner a whopping £35 voucher to spend in their online store.

We've had some fantastic entries for our last few challenges, and I'm sure this one is going to be no exception. I'm really looking forward to seeing lots of projects for the men (or boys)! Should you need any inspiration, pop over to the Challenge Blog, where my brilliant teamies have some great stuff to show you. Good luck, everyone, and thanks for looking.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Proud Grandma (and Grandad) Alert!

It was our wedding anniversary last weekend and for a surprise present, our grandsons, aged 9 and 6, gave us a picture which they themselves had painted. Knowing how much I admire the work of artist Julie Dumbarton, they had decided to try and emulate her style. Their subject was to be a view from our window. They did lots of research first, looking at photos of Julie's paintings and noting for instance her bold brush strokes, use of colour and that the colours she chooses are not always the "right" ones for the subject, and the fact that her paintings show an impressionistic representation of the scene, rather than a realistic one. They even got their mum to drive them past our house (without our knowing!) so that they could check the view. Unfortunately it was a bit foggy that day and they couldn't see it properly, so instead they looked on Google images, and added some bits from memory. This is one of my photos of the scene, which I see straight ahead of me through the window when I'm sitting at my desk in my craft room. (The boys didn't use this photo to paint their picture from.)

And here's their picture.

The method they used to construct the picture is interesting. Their mum cut four sections of paper for them and they each painted two sections, which were then put together.

Here's a closer look at the detail.

Have a look at Julie's portfolio and see whether you think they managed to capture her style. I'm biased, of course, but I think they did a pretty good job! We both agreed it was our best present ever!

Sunday, 1 February 2015

I'll do anything....

And so, we hope, will you! It's a nice and easy February Challenge at Stamping Sensations,  where our theme for the month is

* * * * * ANYTHING GOES * * * * *

We're delighted to welcome back the fabulous Little Claire Designs as our sponsor, and the prize which they have generously donated is a fantastic £35 gift voucher to spend on their site.

I've used stamps from Little Claire's "Hot Air Balloons" set for my card. The balloons and the ground are all separate stamps, giving scope for an endless variety of designs. 

Having first made a background with my ink dusters, I stamped all the stamps on various patterned papers (Basic Grey), cut them out and paper pieced them to create my design. This was then diecut with Spellbinders dies, mounted on to another Basic Grey paper, matted with a yellow border on to a 7" square card and embellished with a ribbon and sentiment (Craft Stamper magazine freebie). 

As always, you'll find plenty of inspiration on the Challenge Blog, and we'll look forward to seeing all your amazing creations!

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Butterfly Jewels

It's ages since I had chance to enter the Butterfly Challenge, but I noticed that the current theme is Butterflies and Brads and having a few spare minutes, decided to make a card.

I've just bought the Joy Crafts corner die, and was itching to use it. Using four together makes a pretty frame for the butterflies (a Cheery Lynn die) and the sentiment (Inky Doodles). I cut off part of the diecuts (it has a pointy sticky out bit in the middle!) so they didn't take up so much room in the square, and attached them to some patterned paper (Melissa Francis) along with some pearl brads. This was then matted onto some pink pearlescent paper. That's about it really.

It was a rush job because I started making the card and then realised I had about 30 minutes to finish it, get it photographed and upload it in time to meet the challenge deadline! I think I just made it! Phew! Thanks for looking!

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