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Thursday, 30 August 2012

Gorjuss Girl Christmas - Thursday 30th August

Good morning friends..and welcome to my new follower, it's really so good to have you all join me and for me to follow you all too. I am so pleased I started to blog last year as I feel as if I have discovered a whole new community of friends.

Yesterday, was one of the days I don't work and try to dedicate to crafting and with all the visitors we had during August, it was my first chance to actually have a 'proper crafty' Wednesday! I had a couple of commissions to work on and also made my DT card for the new Emergency Crafters challenge which starts at the weekend, so I can't actually show any of those cards yet.

I have also been having a think about ideas for our next class and planning my first DT make for Fantastic Ribbons, which I will be able to share in September..can't say any more!

So, I decided to go back to Christmas today, with a little card I had made with a stamp I bought last year.

I used a 6x6 card and covered it with some beautiful navy background paper from stash. I can't remember where I got it and I use it sparingly. It has a silky finish and feels lovely.
I stamped the Gorjuss Girl image and coloured her with Promarkers, then die cut using Spellbinders Grand Scalloped Rectangles. I didn't shade the edges, deciding to leave a crisp white for a change. The sentiment was typed and die cut using Spellbinders Snowflake Pendant. Not a difficult card by any means, but I'm trying to make my easier Christmas cards first, so I'll have more time to spend on the more involved ones..if you know what I mean!?

Thanks for stopping by, I have been gathering the items I am going to put in my card candy for when I get to 50 followers, so hopefully will get it completed and a photo up next week.

Carole X 

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Green is the Colour - Sunday Stampers Wk 221 Tuesday 28th Aug

Good Morning Blog Friends,


Yesterday was the first chance I had time to craft since last Wednesday and where was my mojo? It had decided to pack it's bags and have the Bank Holiday off I reckon! Anyway, I decided that I would get out some green polka dot paper that was just peeking out of a box of scrapbooking stash and make my card nice and early for this week's Sunday Stampers...


I started with a 6x6 Kraft card blank, if I'm not using 8x8, I like to use this size - the larger is normally reserved for my commissions and the smaller tends to sell well at craft fairs and in places where I keep some for sale, such as Tom's office.

I cut the polka dot paper just  a couple of inches smaller than the card and I also die cut  a labels four small and cut it in half, again with Kraft Card, but slightly darker. I layered this under one side of the polka dot, so it was just peeking out and stuck both to the card. For the ribbon I chose some lovely silky double sided, one side green and the other gold. I used double sided tape to stick one piece of ribbon, gold showing up, along the side of the polka dot and used another piece with the green side showing horizontally along the card. I ruched this (never know how to spell that) and glued it down with Cosmic Shimmer.

The stamping part! I simply used a scallop edge hole punch with white card and coloured the edges with Wild Honey distress ink. I then inked an Artemio flower stamp twice on the scallop circle with the same ink and once on another piece of card. I cut out the third stamped image to give the flower a little movement. The sentiment is a stamp by Creative Expressions.Finally I added a wooden button tied with bakers twine.

Hope you like it Hels!


Thanks for stopping by!
Carole X

Before I go, exciting news from the coop for those of you who have been following my tales from the coop along with my crating lately! Lacey laid her first egg yesterday...Lacey is the seventh hen we have owned over the years and we still get excited and photograph the first egg! I think this one is particularly pretty :)


Sunday, 26 August 2012

A Hard Day's Work! Sunday 26th August

Good Morning Blog Friends,

No cards today, as you can imagine after a long day of building the new hen house, we just needed a hearty meal of pasta and a nice glass of red

Tom's Dad and brother came over bright and early and we started to take the old enclosure down before 9 am! We would happily have started earlier, but some neighbours may not have appreciated it!

It was sad to see the old enclosure go, we built that ourselves 5 years ago, if it had just needed a paint we would have kept it, but it had a leaky roof and nothing we did fixed it. I'd wanted a walk in run again and we had trouble finding one, then we saw this one at a local garden centre and thought it would be ideal.

Four giant boxes of parts arrived on Friday, so there we were on Saturday opening them in the garden and laying on the grass. The weather was fairly kind to us all day, in between heavy showers and thunderstorms, it was hot, really hot. The worst time was when the neighbourhood had a power cut and I couldn't put the kettle on for an hour!

Anyway, on opening it was soon evident there were three items missing....the ramp for our little lovelies to walk up to get in the coop, the cover for the nest box and...the instructions...yes, the key to putting all these pieces together!

We had bought it direct from the company, so of course they aren't open again until Tuesday, when they will get a piece of my mind and a demand for immediate delivery of missing parts. but having demolished the run and opened the boxes were were committed.

Actually, to be honest we figured it all out pretty well and with just a few mishaps along the way, namely with the roof structure, we did it. We had to make a temporary lid for the nest box and use the ramp from our old coop, which wasn't so high off the ground so is a bit steep.


A last look at our old coop :(


Tom in background 'project managing' his Dad and bro..who says don't bring work home!

The new 'home' is taking shape

The finished house this morning, still needs the path, fox proofing and a proper ramp but  otherwise pleased!

Our Bluebelle, Bella seems to really like it, as do the newbies, but Cara our Black Rock hates change or anything new. I swear she thinks she's a cat, when she isn't best pleased she has that low pitched 'growl' and struts around. It took her three attempts and lots of growling before she actually went to bed and even more when she got up this morning.

Last night was the first time we put the new girls, Penny and Lacey into the coop with the others. We snuck them in late last night when they were all asleep. It's always a sentimental moment for me, but fortunately all seemed to go well and hopefully tonight they will all trot off to bed together.

We are keeping the old coop, it is a really nice one and will be handy for quarantine times and if we have to introduce more hens (which I hope will be way in the future), so we need to paint it and look after it, next job!

The new coop is bigger and easier to clean, the actual size of the run is slightly narrower but  a bit longer and better shelter under neath, plenty of room for four large hens.

But we still have work to do...Tom's Dad and bro went about 6pm, we made a dash to B&Q for some items needed to start the fox proofing and then started on that and finally came in when it got dark...goodness we are aching today, but finishing the fox proofing is a priority and then we are taking Tom's Mum, Dad and bro out for a thank you lunch.

Sorry I haven't had time to look at all your lovely blogs yesterday, I will have me a catch up tomorrow and hopefully get a card made tonight, if I'm not too tired!

Thanks for stopping by,
Carole X

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Three little Tags - Saturday 25th August

Good Morning Blog Friends, both new and those of you who have been with me for a long while...hope you all have a super holiday weekend!


Yesterday was a busy one: I gave an afternoon tea for the ladies who volunteer for me (I work for a charity and we wouldn't exist without these wonderful people). We had a lovely natter and were entertained the whole time by my hens in the garden.



Talking of hens, the new coop was delivered as arranged, so this weekend my brother-in-law is joining us to help us put it all together..it's huge too! I will post pictures. Yesterday evening I also finished off a job I'd started in the morning - I tidied my craft room! Here is a photo of my desk, the tidiest it ever gets - and that won't last long!




Today I thought I'd share three little tags that were all made quickly from left overs...



The first two tags were made using the wings that were cut off the Steampunk dress form stamped image used in our workshop yesterday. I embossed a tag by running it through my Grand Calibur using a floral mask and used Milled Lavender distress ink to colour it. Then I glued the wings on the tag to make a butterfly. I finished off by adding some gold wire for the antennae and three little dots of Cosmic Shimmer Gold PVA along the body, plus some lace and ribbon.

For the second tag, I again used a set of wings removed from the dress form. I re-stamped the image and spritzed both that and the tag with Cosmic Shimmer mists (again using the mask on the tag). I then added the 'spare' set of wings, which had already been spritzed with different colour tones. The tag was finished off with some pretty ribbon.
The last tag was very easy..it is just a plain cream label. I inked the edges lightly with Bundled Sage distress ink. I then added a rectangle of green polka dot paper. I matted and layered the green paper with  cream card, die cut with Spellbinders Scalloped Ovals. I found a piece of coredinations card in a box where I keep die cuts that are 'spare', this had already been sanded and die cut using Lacey Ovals, but the delicate edge had torn when removed from the die, so I cut it all around to make it a plain oval.

I finished off with a piece of seam binding, on which I stamped the greeting. The flower is made from wool felt using Spiral Blossom One - again this had been made previously and was in a box where I keep all my extra die cut flowers.

Well, come rain or shine and it looks much like the former, we have a busy day ahead, so you all enjoy yours and hopefully I'll be back tomorrow!

Carole Z X

Friday, 24 August 2012

Workshop Photos! - Friday 24th August

Good Morning Blog Friends!

A very warm welcome to my new followers...I was really thrilled when I came here this morning to see that some more of you have joined me on my crafting 'journey'! Thank you for stopping by and leaving comments, I read them and really appreciate them and I love to visit your blogs and comment too, I think it's great that we can all share and learn from each other.

Thank you for all your comments about my little Steampunk box yesterday too - you know, I wasn't sure how it would be received. In reality I loved the finished item, I have it on the shelf next to my craft desk and I keep picking it up and touching, because for some reason the broze rub ' buff makes it feel like old leather! It is a really tactile piece and I'm still fiddling with the bits and pieces I put inside. Having made one of these, any tins I find lying around had better watch out!

However, I took so many photos and still didn't think any of them really showed it properly, so I was a bit hesitant of what you would all think of it, so I'm really pleased it went down well.

No card today, instead some photos from last night's workshop and the lovely cards our ladies made. Last night many of our regulars were on holiday so we had quite a few new people, in fact of my group, only one had been before. As the card was building on techniques we had been using over the last few classes and some of my group were quite new to everything I was a bit worried that it was going to be too much, but they all did really brilliantly and enjoyed using all the different tools and inks..

The card was featured on my blog of   and included some stamping, distressing, cosmic shimmer mists and die cutting - so as you can see there was quite a bit to take in. I took along my Grand Calibur again, honestly, I could do a whole workshop with Spellbinders but it wouldn't be possible with just one!

Have you noticed that over the past week I haven't used many dies in my cards? There was a reason for that: last Friday I noticed a crack in the handle of my Grand Calibur (yikes!). It is one of the original machines and the handle has cracked and been replaced before. I have been told that the first GC's had a design fault, I don't know if that is correct, but I treat it with tlc so I know that I hadn't caused it. Anyway, a quick email to the wonderful Spellbinders team in the US and they arranged for a new handle to be sent out from their repair person over here and it arrived on Wednesday - how's that for service?!

Less of my chat and now for the photos....

My group hard at work and having fun!

'ditto' Amy's group!

These two photos are of some of my group with their cards








The finished cards from all the ladies




I can't express how much I enjoy these classes. The preparation, finding the ideas, keeping it fresh and taking on board suggestions from our ladies can be hard work for both of us combined with work and other commitments, especially for Amy as she has a shop to run and a toddler; so we don't get as much time to sit down together and brainstorm ideas as we'd like - this class prep was nearly all texting photos and ideas, because it's been a manic August for us both. But luckily we gel and it all comes together and it's just great to get a lot of crafty people together in one room! I know we both want to make a success of these classes and also incorporate scrapbooking next year and so far, so very good!

Yesterday I also received my welcome package as a DT member with Fantastic Ribbons. I was so excited to be selected for their Design Team a few weeks ago and am looking forward to creating some designs for them...hopefully I'll get some chance over the weekend, in between trying to build a new hen house in the forecast bad weather!

Happy Crafty Friday everyone, I am off to do some of that stuff we crafters often put off..whispers...housework! I have a few of my volunteers who help me in the office coming for tea and cake this afternoon, so can't put it off any longer...

Thanks for stopping by,

Carole X

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Inventor's Tin, Sunday Stampers wk 219 - Thursday 21st August

Good afternoon blog friends,

I don't a lot of time to take part in as many challenges as I'd like most of the time, but one I don't like to miss is  Hels Sheridan's Sunday Stampers. This week I have to confess to doing the happy dance when I saw the theme is Steampunk...love it! Then I realised that quite often recently, my project for this challenge has had a steampunk theme or element to it, so what could I do?

Lately I have been making quite a bit of feminine steampunk, so straightaway I wanted to make a masculine project this time and I was looking at the image of an inventor on one of my Sam Poole Creative Expressions stamp sets, which gave me an idea...a rusty old tin for an inventor to keep his bits in!



The finished tin with it's contents

Finished tin with it's contents - sorry about the quality of this piccie folks!

This project started out with a little tin that came with mints inside. I covered it with clay, the air drying variety. Oven baked may have been better, but I didn't have any! I rolled out the clay to a little larger than the tin and then stamped it with a  few cog stamps from the Creative Expressions Inventor set and left it to dry overnight. Meanwhile, using Debbi Moore's Metal Magic I stamped a few more cogs and cut them out, plus the word 'Inventor'. I also stamped some script stamps from various stamp sets and the steam train plans from the Creative Expressions Vintage Illusions  set and inked them to age them with vintage photo. I also used one of Tim Holz Ideology little bottles and put a few bits of Metal Magic inside to look like metal shavings, curled some rusty wire to look like a spring and added a little piece of Ideology film strip. I also stamped a label from the Inventor set for the top of the tin and added a few faux screw brads.

Once the tin had dried out, I used bronze Rub n' Buff to really shine and grunge it  up, so that it looks like something really old and battered - hope it worked!


the 'naked' tin!
Stamping rolled out clay with cog

adding rub 'n buff to the dried clay


So there it is, my Steampunk project for this week's Sunday Stampers Challenge and it was a lot of FUN!

Thanks for stopping by!
Carole X

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Emergency Crafters DT Card - Tuesday 21st August

Hello Blog friends,

Thank you so much for all your lovely comments yesterday, I really appreciate them all.

The new Emergency Crafters challenge is now live and the theme is Tea and Cake, so why not join in? 





For my DT card, I've used an LOTV stamp which I coloured with Flexmarkers for a change.  I didn't want it to be too bright and my Flexmarkers give quite a muted tone. I covered a 6x6 card blank with some floral paper from stash and inked around the edges with Spun Sugar distress ink, then I added some lace across the centre. To keep a 'vintage' style, I die cut the image using Spellbinders Grand Scalloped Ovals, again shaded at the edges with Spun Sugar (well seems rather apt with cupcakes!).

Next I took a length of lace and stuck it to the back of the die. This lace was such a find; I paid £5 at a vintage fair for a really massive reel and it is really good quality lace.

 It struck me the other day that I never mention what adhesives I use...well for most things there is nothing that comes close to Cosmic Shimmer 'dries clear', I don't know how they do it, but the grab is so quick and the longevity - well nothing I've made with it has fallen apart so far! If I want my card or image to be raised and give it some depth, then I will use Pinflair, another fantastic glue.

Back to the card: I ruched the lace a little and also made a twisted bow from a little off cut, then I added some paper flowers and a button tied with bakers twine.

Why  not have a go at this challenge, this time it's sponsored by Joanna Sheen and there are prizes!

Follow this link to Emergency Crafters

Thanks for stopping by!
Carole X


Monday, 20 August 2012

Vintage Dressform - Monday 20th August

Good Morning blog friends!

I am actually writing this post Sunday evening as tomorrow I will once again be rushing off to work! Wasn't it a lovely weekend? Well that's if you are living in the parts of the UK that had the sun! We stayed out in the garden until 11pm on Saturday night, watching a movie on the iPad! How mad is that? Just the hedgehogs and the frogs for company, the hens must have been very perturbed if they were still awake!

Last week was a total crafty write-off, in a nice way, but still a total non event - and at one of my busier times!

First we got the new hens, so that was last weekend 'gone' and as, at the moment we have them in a separate coop to our other girls, it's twice the feeding and cleaning every day, plus this weekend one of us had to keep an eye on them all when they were free ranging because of the 'bullying'!

My cousins came to visit Wednesday; Friday I had to combine house work and craft (I really did), Saturday it was just TOO hot and today we have spent a lovely day with our friends who went to live in South Africa a year ago and are back visiting family with their three children aged 2, 3 and 5...lovely people, lovely kids and a super day, plus another of our friends came down from Reading to join us. We all met at my parents-in-law in Bristol; they know them as well and even went to their wedding in Cape Town ten years ago - Tom and I were already heading to my family in the US, so we had to miss it.

My main work this week will be final preparations for our craft class, I haven't even had a chance to get together with my friend who I teach the class with - where has this month gone?

As I write this post I still can't schedule the DT card, so here is another really simple little card, nothing clever, only one tiny ribbon buckle Spellbinders die. My favourite cards to make are 8x8 and all my commissions are this size and even when I am making smaller cards, I prefer square. I make a lot of 6x6 because the smaller cards sell well at craft fairs (not that I do many) and in my card box at Tom's office, but I also like working with them. They present a different 'challenge' to larger cards and I like that.

When we got home this evening, I literally left Tom to mind the free-ranging hens in the garden and dashed up to the craft room to make this card. I had intended to heat emboss the dress form, but stamped it with the wrong ink. I still would prefer this, so it will stay on my desk and when I get the chance I'll stamp the image again, heat emboss and cut it out to add to the card, but once again I gave myself 20 minutes to make a card from start to finish, not bad when it usually takes me at least an hour!

I don't know about you, but if I am away from my craft desk for any length of time, it takes me a little while to get my mojo back, but it always reappears so not to worry. One of the best ways to get creative for me is to make a tag, a small space to fill, so tomorrow evening when I next get to craft, we'll see what happens! I feel a bit like I need to get my rhythm back at the moment.





For this card is used a 6x6 Kraft Card blank
Dressform and Sentiment from Creative Expressions stamps
Background from a gorgeous paper pack free with Simply Cards and Papercraft
Ribbons, lace and button from stash

Thanks for stopping by and reading my waffle...see how off track I am this week?

Carole Z X

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Hen House Update - Sunday 19th August

Good Morning Bloggers!

Welcome to my new follower, thank you and my other blog friends for stopping by and commenting, it really does mean a lot to me X

First of all apologies for no card this morning, the card I have scheduled is my DT post for Emergency Crafters, but until they launch the challenge I can't post it...so I may be back later today. Instead, as promised a few more photos of our hens.

Last week I introduced our two new chickies, Penny a Buff Orpington and Lacey, a Speckledy. At the moment they are being kept in the 'nursery' pen so that our other girls Cara and Bella can visit them and they have been free ranging separately. Normally by now we would have snuck them in the main coop at night and hopefully all would be hunky dory, but Penny is only 15 weeks old and still young and placid. As we are planning to build a new coop and run soon (hopefully next weekend - please sun, shine!) we want to wait and put them in together - a new 'house' will be confusing to the older girls as well then and there should be less trouble, hens are such peculiar creatures!

Yesterday was the first day that we let them free range together - I got a tiny bit of crafting, mostly designs done in our summer house/craft barn(!) but that's all. Penny and Lacey wanted lots of extended cuddles...so that was our day sorted, oh well at least  a lovely hot, sunny day was a good time to spend in the garden!

So here are some photos and if I don't see you on here later, I'll be back tomorrow. Have a great day all and hope the sun is shining where you are!

In between more hen watching today, we are off to Bristol to meet some friends who now live in South Africa and are back visiting,so doesn't look like much craft time again!

Carole X

Our 7 month old, Bella, the naughtiest hen in the world, is decided whether  to join Cara in a plant pot

Having lost our two older hens this year and last, Cara at 18 months is Queen of the roost now, she decided to take  a bath in a plant pot yesterday. Lacey was intrigued and tried to copy her - on concrete!

Penny, aged 15 weeks

Lacey is really inquisitive! She is 18 weeks

Our newbies take a stroll



Saturday, 18 August 2012

Get Well Soon HMFMC126 - Saturday 18th August

Good Morning Blog Friends,

I hope you are all have a super weekend and the sun is shining where you are! Today's card was made for the House Mouse and Friends Monday Challenge and the theme this time is 'Double Trouble' - to make a card featuring two of the House Mouse and Friends family.

The stamp I used is from the 'Feeling Poorly' set, they are all so cute it was hard to decide, but I haven't used this stamp a lot, so thought I would take this opportunity. I stamped the image with Memento ink and coloured with Promarkers. I made the card blank using Spellbinders Grand  Labels 23 and coredinations card, which once cut and embossed I sanded to reveal the core. 




The largest background die looks brown in the photo, but it is the same green card, which I coloured with Fired Brick Promarker, laid a floral mask over the top (That Special Touch...) and then spritzed with  Vintage Marigold Cosmic Shimmer Mist, you can just see the copper sheen.

I matted and layered the image using Spellbinders Grand Scalloped Ovals with the coredinations and some floral card from stash and I stamped the sentiment with archival ink, added embossing powder and heat embossed.

To finish off I added coordinating paper roses, ribbon and a heart button.

Thanks for stopping by!
Carole X

I wish to enter this card in the House Mouse and Friends Monday Challenge HMFMC126


Friday, 17 August 2012

Christmas Wreath - Friday 17th August

Good Morning Blog Friends,

Thank you so much for your lovely comments over the past few days, I read them all and very much appreciate them I promise you. 

A quick post today as I have had such a busy week: my cousin and her family came to visit on Wednesday, my usual craft day - we had a lovely lovely time though, the children aged 10 and 12 are just the best, confident, interesting and not at all minding chatting with the adults, lovely kids - so many photos were taken of our hens! Talking of hens, the new girls are doing well and even if I don't get to post any cards over the weekend, I'll post a hen house update! Having been so busy with non crafty things this week, I  still have lots to do to prepare for our next workshop on Thursday, so that will take up most of today I think!


Today's card is just the simplest! I made it in about 10 minutes before work, a few weeks ago but it wasn't until I saw Ally Reeve demo-ing much the same technique yesterday on  C&C, that I remembered that I hadn't posted it yet...



The card is small,  just 5x5 and for the stamp I used Card-io Majestix 'Clematis Garden' - a set of teeny tiny summery stamps! When I bought them, I also got three tubular (peg) acrylic blocks, which really does speed up the use of this type of stamp.

 In the centre of the card, lightly in pencil I drew around the inside of one of my circular Spellbinders dies (in lieu of a circular template). This provides the base for the wreath. Then using the little stamps and Fired Brick, Bundled Sage and Tattered Rose distress inks I stamped randomly around the edge of the circle. It doesn't matter that the stamps aren't intended for Christmas, the fern leaf looks enough like a pine sprig and the tiniest flowers in deep red can appear as berries..use other colours and the effect would be totally different.

I die cut Spellbinders Tear Drop Circles, stamped the greeting with an LOTV stamp and then stamped randomly in the same way as the wreath. I dried off the distress inks in between with a heat tool.

To finish off I added a bow and inked the edges of the card with Fired Brick...goodness me I think this took longer to write up than to make!

Tomorrow I should hopefully be able to upload my DT card for Emergency Crafters and let you know what prizes are available this time. Next month I will also be starting to post my DT makes for Fantastic Ribbons, yay!!!

Meanwhile have a lovely crafty days friends!

Carole X



Thursday, 16 August 2012

Sunday Stampers wk 218 - Thurs 16th August

Good Morning all!

It's Sunday Stampers time again, I always look forward to seeing what challenge Hels Sheridan is going to present us with each Sunday - this week it's something shiny, or a project with some shine  somewhere... I decided to be a bit experimental this week and go all out for shiny by creating a tile and stamping on it....







I started with a piece of stampbord and inked it with Perfect Medium, then I used ultra thick embossing powder (Cosmic Shimmer Midnight Blue) and heated it to melting point, at which time I added more embossing powder and repeated. I did this three of four times until I had enough depth, then whilst the powder was still liquid I stamped the tile with a stamp from Steampunk Flowers by Creative Expressions (Sam Poole).

I had the little cogs ready and tried to place some of them whilst there was still some grab,for the the others I used cosmic shimmer dries clear. I embossed the craft foil using an embossabilities folder and die cut the butterfly with the small die from Spellbinders Flight of Fancy. Just to steampunk it up a bit, I added a couple of watch parts for antenae.

It's the first time I'd tried this and I have to be honest the stamping took a few attempts to get right, but that's okay because at least you can re-melt it and start again!I'd seen Ali Reeve from Stamps Away demo it recently on TV and had been keen to give it a go. I also like the texture that the heat creates on the tile, will definitely be doing this again!

Thanks for stopping by,
Carole X

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Textured Canvas - Wednesday 15th August

Hello Blog Friends!


I'm back today with a canvas that I worked on over the weekend, it wasn't difficult to make, just a little time-consuming! I have had floating around in my head for a while and when I decided to apply for the Creative Expressions DT, which required a project displaying 'texture', it seemed just the right time to transfer my idea to canvas....

As I said in Monday's post, I do like Steampunk, best of all when I can feminise it so this stamp set by Sam Poole ticks all the boxes. I used this stamp on Monday's post, but took all the Steampunk away from it, for this project I have created a feminine Steampunk canvas, with a touch of vintage.

I started with an 8x8 canvas, which I primed with the wonderful Claudine Hellmuth studio Gesso (lovely stuff) and once that had dried out, I masked off a square measuring 15cms x15cms and then used some Viva Croco Gold and an old plastic membership card (to use as a palette knife) and worked the medium all around the frame to create the texture, once this had dried (I left over night), I sprayed with some tarnished gold cosmic shimmer mist to cover any white areas. I was a bit disappointed that every photo I took still shows a few white areas, but actually in reality the misting did work!

Whilst the canvas was drying, I could get on with all the other elements:

Background: for this I used  milk white card and embossed the That Special Touch Of...Cog Mask through my Grand Calibur, I then inked over the entire card with Antique Linen distress ink.

Flowers: these were made using Glassine paper following Tim Holz's instructions in Compendium of Curiosities 2 (page 39), but to explain: I applied Ranger Butterscotch alcohol ink, gold Metallic Mixative and a drop of Blending Solution to my ink applicator tool, then I inked one side of the Kraft Glassine in stamping motions, repeating until it was how I wanted it to look. I then dried it off with my heat tool and crumpled it to create lots of wrinkles. Finally (as instructed by Tim!), I inked all over the wrinkled glassine. I chose Vintage Photo for this project because I didn't want to add colour, just emphasise the wrinkles.

One of the flowers was die cut using Spellbinders Spiral Blossom One and the other flower and smaller petals using some of the dies in the Spellbinders Blossom Five set. I also added a layer from an old book I often use for making flowers ( I know some of you will be cringing at the wanton destruction of a book, but at least the book is still being used!). The flowers are held together with Creative Expressions Faux Screw Brads, which are also used around the frame.

At the same time as cutting out the flowers, I also cut out the wings, using Spellbinders Wings of Hope and then using Cosmic Shimmer Iridescent MIca Pigment (Tropic Blue) mixed with a little water, I painted them to give a shimmer. Just to make it a little 'grungy' I dipped the smaller wings in black archival ink.

Stamping: I used Sam Poole's Steampunk Dreams stamp set for all the stamping on this piece of work, except the butterfly which was a free gift with Craft Stamper magazine recently and is by Indigo Blu. I stamped all the elements, including the sentiment with Archival ink and heat embossed with clear embossing powder to create both texture and gloss. The dress form and butterfly were then coloured with the same Mica Pigment mix as for the wings. I wanted to make the bug quite dark so I coloured that with Aubergine Promarker. The wings of both the bug and the butterfly were folded to make them stand out and look more 'mechanical'.

I die-cut the sentiment using Spellbinders Labels Four Small and inked the edges with Antique Linen distress ink.

When I added the sentiment label to the canvas I felt it looked a little 'flat', I really wanted an additional element to hang off the edge of the frame; so I took some gold Craft Foil (Spellbinders), cut it using Classic Rectangles Small and then using a piercing mat and the tiniest ball tool I could find, I stippled it randomly all over to give it texture.

Finally, the key - I just saw this as a key to unlock dreams, maybe wind up the clock work dress form! Oh goodness what do I sound like?! I made it using a mould and some air dry clay, which once dried I coloured with a gold metallic Promarker. The final touch was to add the little cogs and watch parts,all from my stash box.

Thanks for stopping by, I'll be back tomorrow!

Carole X

Monday, 13 August 2012

Butterfly Birthday - Monday 13th August

Good Morning Blog Friends!

I hope you  all had a lovely weekend and made the most of the sunshine! My goodness what are we all going to do without the Olympics, wasn't it just fabulous!? I am bleary eyed and not at all ready for a Monday morning back to work, having stayed up until past midnight watching the spectacular closing ceremony/concert - loved Eric Idle!

Thank you for your comments yesterday and glad you liked the new chicks! Poor Penny was feeling a bit bewildered yesterday and Lacey had already asserted her dominance, but today they are more settled and I have cuddled them both a few times. It'll be a week before we let them free range with our other girls and probably longer until they are all in the big run, but taking it slowly and easy has always paid off for us...anyway..to today's card!

This is a design I've been working on for my group on our next card class. I absolutely love this stamp, Steampunk Dreams by Sam Poole (Creative Expressions) and I do beg forgiveness for using it quite a lot on my blog..well you do get those favourites you keep going back to don't you!?

However, I do appreciate that not everyone likes or even knows what Steampunk is, so I decided to give the stamp a feminine twist. This is a 6x6 easel card,for which I created a background for both base and easel, but inking all over with MIlled Lavender and Spun Sugar  distress inks, more heavily around the edges but very lightly elsewhere. I then used a butterfly stamp, inked with Milled Lavender and stamped more heavily on the base and lightly on the easel.

I then spritzed some card with a mixture of Raspberry and Egyptian Blue Cosmic Mica Mists and dried it with a heat tool. When dry, I stamped the dress form with Versafine Vintage Sepia ink and the sentiment with Milled Lavender. The dress form was cut out and the wings removed. I cut out the wings from Spellbinders Wings of Hope, the flowe from a mixture of the Aster Flower Topper and Anemone Flower Topper dies and the sentiment from Heart Circles. For a final touch I added the rose and some ribbon.

Thanks for stopping by, I really appreciate your visiting and your comments, remember.."Always look on the bright side of life...!"
Carole X

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Christmas Bunny - Sunday 12th August

Hi Blog Friends,

Well it was certainly a scorcher yesterday, which meant that once we had settled in our two new hens, it was an afternoon in the summer house with my Promarkers, carrying on colouring those Christmas cards!

For my 'batch' cards, I'd chosen the little House Mouse stamp (which I shared last week) and this little bunny from LOTV (yes a Christmas bunny, not an Easter bunny). I never usually make a card more than once, there will be variations on the theme, but Christmas is the only time when I have to make a lot and for some of them that means making  a lot of simple cards, more or less the same.


My little desk in the Summer House

The finished image
The card above isn't the batch card, this one took a bit longer, but it's the same image and colouring, this time die cut using a Spellbinders die (labels 1 small), shaded at the edges with Spun Sugar distress ink. The sentiment is also an LOTV stamp.

So to the hens, we already have two, Cara a Black Rock who is 18 months old and Bella, a Bluebelle, who is  just  8 months old. Those of you who have been following me for a while, will know that we lost our oldest hen, Buffy, a few months ago and as we'd always had just two, we decided to increase our little brood to four. However, I wanted a pure breed Buff Orpington, I love them and have always wanted one, but we had to wait as there was a waiting list, where we get our girls from locally.

Today we collected our Buff Orpington and also a Speckledy hen (both 16 weeks old), so far they are in what we call our 'nursery' run; they will be allowed some free ranging with our other gals in a few days, but they won't be in the big coop and run all together for at least a week. We were always going to call the Orpington, Penny - I'm a fan of Big Bang Theory on TV and just hit on the character's name. The Speckledy was more difficult, but we have decided on 'Lacey' because her feathering just looks like an intricate lacey weave! 

Cara, our Black Rock

Bella, our Bluebelle

new girl, Lacey, our Speckledy

Camera shy, Penny our Buff Orpington

It's  such shame that every time you add to your hens you/they have to go through the whole 'pecking order' trauma. We've only ever brought in 'one on one' before and have been lucky at how smoothly it's all gone,but bringing in two is a whole other story. I wanted to get 2 Orpingtons, but they are very large birds and I'd had trouble convincing Tom that we couldn't bring in just one hen when we already had two, plus it's nice to have a mix of colour, so we went for the Speckledy and Lacey has already asserted her dominance over Penny, despite Penny being larger, but she is such a sweet natured hen..well I'll let you know how we get on. Tom is much more 'sensitive' than me around the girls(and I'm usually the emotional one), but it's their way of doing things and you generally just have to let them sort it out.

Before I go today and still on the subject of animals, I want to pass on this message from my blog friend Linda...
Thanks for stopping by!
Carole X


The longstanding campaign aims to raise awareness of the consequences of treating dogs as gifts or toys. Every year hundreds of thousands of children plead for the latest fad or top toy on the market, only to discard them a few weeks after Christmas when the novelty wears off. Unfortunately, the same perception is also apparent with dogs. We are continually seeking to change this.
"A dog is for life, not just for Christmas".
If you agree...copy and paste this into your blog....thank you

Linda xx

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Butterfly Tag - Saturday 11th August

Good Morning Blog Friends!

A very big welcome to my new followers and thank you for stopping by and deciding to follow me! When I first started my journey into 'blog land' about a year ago, I had no idea what to expect...one thing I wanted to do was share my work (good and bad!) and to visit and learn from fellow crafters....so far I have met some lovely crafty people on here, who have amazing blogs of their own and whom it has been such a pleasure to interact with. I really love to visit all your blogs, post a comment and I do read all your posts (but please forgive me if I don't respond to them all), so if you have a blog and I've not picked up on it, please let me know. I'm almost half way to my 50 followers first milestone, when I'll be sending out some Craft Candi, so please spread the word!

I try and post most days, it depends on how busy I am really...I work three days a week and I also undertake commissions, so sometimes I can't post those particular cards for quite a while. I also try and 'mix things up'. My crafting passions are stamping and getting 'inky', Promarkers and Spellbinders. My main love is paper crafting, but not just cards. I really enjoy scrapbooking and trying out new techniques, some of them experimental, by creating canvases and other pieces of 'art'. So when you stop my, you will mostly, but not always see cards. My tastes? Hmm..well I love 'girly' but equally I really like Steampunk! I will try anything...as I say, I like to mix it up!

This year I embarked on something I had been hoping for the chance to do for some time, when my friend Amy, who co-owns a beautiful local gift and craft shop with her Mum, invited me to start teaching paper craft classes with her. We have been doing one a month since April, looking at different inking techniques and with some die-cutting as well and have had full classes so far. I can't tell you how much I have been enjoying this experience and next year we are also intending to start some scrapping workshops.

The workshops have been really exciting for me and long may they continue and lately I have been very excited to join the Emergency Crafters Design team and have just been chosen for one of the new DT members for Fantastic Ribbons. All of this has meant so much to someone who has been passionate about all things 'arty' since helping her dad mix paints in his little garden studio as a child, I wish he was still here now that I have finally found the perfect work/art balance and am able to devote more time to my passion.

Yesterday I spent almost a whole day on a special canvas project: yes I know I should have been out in the sun, but I was able to work on part of it out in our summerhouse/craft space and have our hens for  company as they basked in the shade of the doorway! It was way too hot to sleep last night,so I stayed up really late, with my Promarkers colouring in stamped images for Christmas cards, it did the trick, I was so tired when I finally crawled into bed I didn't care how hot it was!

Butterfly Tag

Today's tag is a piece a created a few weeks ago in preparation for our last workshop, a little tag.

The tag itself is just a parcel tag and I started off stamping a script across one side and 'off the page', just very faintly, enough to show through, Then I placed a floral mask (That Special Touch) over the tag and spritzed through it on to the card using Eqyptian Blue and Raspberry Cosmic Shimmer mists. 
I had also stamped two butterflies, one from a Kanban stamp set and the other an Indigo Blu stamp, which was free with Craft Stamper magazine a few months back, these were spritzed at the same time.

These dry pretty quickly, but I used a heat tool to speed it up and then inked around the edges of the tag, slightly heavier on the opposite side to the script, using Shabby Shutters distress ink. I was aiming for a 'shabby' vintage effect.

My final piece of stamping was a leaf from a Wendy Vecchi Studo 490 stamp set which I stamped twice, the second time just for the shadow effect.
I finished off by inking some seam binding with shabby shutters and then stamping the script over it and using this, some ribbon and bakers twine for the final touch.

I'll be back later to visit the blogs of my blog pals out there,we've got quite a busy day today as we are collecting two more hens for our little brood...so excited!

Thanks for stopping by,
Carole X