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Thursday, 27 December 2012

Sunday Stampers week 237 - Thursday 27th December

Hello Blog Friends,

I hope you have all been enjoying a wonderful Festive time! We had a lovely pre-Christmas meal on Sunday at Tom's parents' house; spent most of Christmas Eve prepping and baking for Christmas Day and had a wonderful day with family. All the card making, gift wrapping and festive cooking all over for another year!

Still, as long as we are on holiday from work, I refuse to concede to Christmas being over  and we still have plenty of friends and family to visit and to visit us before New Year!

With that in mind, this is a short post - Tom spends all his working day cooped up in an office, so when he has a break such as this, he wants to be out and about, so not much time for crafting at the moment! Normally we would go for some long walks, but they are all pretty much clogged up with mud and water, so we went to Bath today. On our return from our not too hectic day in Bath, I managed an hour in my craft room to play with my bestest present...a Melt it's fab!

As it was Hels Sheridan demo-ing it on TV, which convinced me that I needed one, I thought my first play around with it should result in my contribution to this week's Sunday Stampers, this week's theme to include a heart, so here it is...
It's a really simple card..I'm still trying to break free from Christmas mode and not having much time, my mojo is still off somewhere in Holiday mode! 

I used the melt pot and a mixture of Lapis Jade and Cobalt Sky UTEE. I stamped the Wendy Vecchi heart on some 'chipboard' I'd made from sticking cereal packets together and then cut it out. When the powders had melted I dipped the heart and then whilst it was still warm I stamped one side of it for a broken pattern. To do this I pre-inked the stamp with embossing ink. I wanted to just stamp half because I liked the pattern that had formed itself when I dipped it. It's not great, but it was my very first 'dip', so it can only get better!

I had a play with some moulds and metal pastry cutters whilst I had the hot liquid - I can see that I am going to have a long and happy relationship with this new, I mean product!

To finish I simply covered a card blank with polka dot paper, inked the edges with peacock feathers distress ink, stamped the greeting and added some thin twine.

Carole X

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Good Morning My Blog Friends,

I'm going to make this my last post before Christmas, we are at my inlaws for lunch today and tomorrow will be spent preparing for the family to arrive for lunch with us on Christmas Day.

So I want to wish you all a very very Happy Christmas and thank you so much for following me and commenting. I really do appreciate every one of you for joining me on my crafty journey. Starting a blog is one of the best things I ever did as far as crafts are concerned. I have been dabbling in all kinds of art and craft since I was  child, but writing a regular blog, 'meeting' all you lovely fellow crafters and visiting your blogs and seeing all your fabulous creations has helped me 'grow' in my own work and in confidence - so thank you!

Crafters are lovely people and being part of this creative community is just wonderful and long may we continue to 'grow' together!

Before I sign off with my Christmas Wishes, a few little 'makes' to share...

I meant to post this decorated bottle weeks ago and somehow forgot!

It's a bottle I had saved with the idea of decorating and decided to use a Dreamweaver Christmas Tree stencil with mica was a first time and a bit of an experiment, but I was fairly pleased with the result.

Below are a couple of close ups of my desk after I'd finished gift wrapping Friday..sorry the photos are so bad, but by the time I'd finished it was getting dark and yesterday, it just didn't get light!

I made the Holly tag, using a plain tag that already had the greeting printed on it: I inked the edges and cut out some holly from green card. I then inked the leaves with Pine Needles distress ink  and added some Peeled Paint Stickles and gems.

I've made quite a few tags this year from the 2010 Spellbinders Ornament die and the poinsettia..this time I added a few beads and little bells when tying it to the present.

 My last Christmas card of 2012, little House Mice enjoying the snow...

Wishing you all the Merriest of Christmases and a Very Happy New Year...hoping you get any crafty presents you've been hoping for too! I look forward to all your future creations!

I'll see you in a few days!

Love, Hugs and Very Best Wishes,
Carole XX

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Winter Wishes - Saturday 22nd December

Hello Blog Friends!

Well we all made it through yesterday, so all the effort we've put into making those Christmas cards wasn't for nothing! :)

After the hair salon yesterday, I came home and started making the labels for the family presents I had wrapped on Wednesday (they've all got temporary post its on..that won't do will it?)

I have photographed some of the wrapped gifts and that will  probably be my last pre-Christmas post tomorrow, but today's project is my design team make for the new Emergency Crafters Challenge: Winter Wishes ...just make something wintery - can be Christmas or  not; have a go as there is a prize!

This time I have made a tag (any excuse to make a tag)....

It's a large tag, which I covered in paper from Dovecraft's Back to Basics Vintage Christmas..I aged it a bit more by inking the edges with tea dye distress ink. The image is a stamp by Crafty Individuals, which I stamped on black card with versa mark and heat embossed with snowflake tinsel powder (in the same way as my Sunday Stampers tag this week).

I then added some gold edged satin green ribbon and a  Spellbinders snowflake die cut.

I had decided to take a few days break from any crafts after Christmas - Tom is home anyway, so I doubt there will be much chance to disappear to the craft room! I really do so enjoy making cards and other crafty items for Christmas and because I (like many of you) start in the summer, I do find it hard to adjust back to  non-Christmas makes - but I've already got quite a few commissions for January and Amy (my friend I do the workshops with) arrived last night with a bag full of goodies for me to 'play' with to prepare for our first workshop of the year at the start of February, which will focus on Valentines/love..I've looked at the stamps and stencils but so far my mojo is still seeing Santa's and Reindeer! 

Well we are almost there now friends aren't we? Only a few more sleeps!
Carole X

Friday, 21 December 2012

Molly Bloom Christmas - Friday 21st December

Good Morning Blog Friends!

Well here we are at the shortest day..and it could well be even shorter than anticipated if the prophecies are correct! Somehow though, I suspect we'll all be back blogging tomorrow :)

Today I am off to get my pre-Christmas hair-do and I'm sure the salon will be buzzing with Christmas spirit, so I'm looking forward to an hour or so of actually relaxing!

Today's festive offering is a double...two cards I made recently using a Molly Blooms stamp I had free with a magazine...I actually thought I had already uploaded them but had a quick check back and don't seem to have shared them before.

I won't go into too much detail today,if you'll forgive me - I have to be out of the house by 9pm and didn't get a chance to write it up last night as planned!

Both were coloured with Promarkers and feature Spellbinders Snowflake and my favourite poinsettia die, with all paper and embellishments from stash.

Thanks for stopping and looking..and please do comment, I love to read them! I'll be back tomorrow with my design team card for the new Emergency Crafters Challenge,

Have a lovely crafty day all!
Carole X

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Christmas 'Makes' - Thursday 20th December

Good Morning Blog Friends,

From me today some more 'makes' - whilst I am first and foremost a paper crafter, I do like to dabble in other crafts, especially some 'folksy'  style sewn items and I'd like to share some that I've made the past few winters, with you today...

Firstly this little felt reindeer in a twiggy wreath..

Same reindeer, this time with Santa..

These were all made from this pattern...

Some Santas...

And an Angel...

 And last but by no means least...those of you who have been following me for a while, will probably remember that a one of our workshops this autumn, my friend Amy and I taught the technique of using Dreamweaver stencils with different mediums...well I had this absolutely gorgeous card from Jan, who has been coming to the workshops (and is also a member of my Management Committee at work)...Jan has used the technique with bronze glitter and I really love the colour...well done Jan, this is beautiful!


Thanks for stopping by...back to paper crafting tomorrow!

Carole Z X

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

All wrapped up! - Wednesday 19th December

Good Afternoon dear  crafty friends!

What a nice surprise I had when I logged on here this afternoon...welcome to my two new followers and thank you so much for joining me! This is a late post and a quick one - I've ben gift wrapping all day. The presents for Tom and the close family were all that was left to wrap..well they are now wrapped, but I still need to finish the tags:)

Recently the lovely folks at Fantastic Ribbons sent the design team some gorgeous ribbons to use in a gift wrap project...I really enjoy wrapping and tend to go to town a bit on the wrapping for close friends and family...I had a wonderful time using these beautiful wired ribbons on some of my presents...

I don't often use plain paper, but chose to for this project, to show up the ribbons. I loved making the big blue bow, although it did take a lot of ribbon...hope you like them!

Sorry about the photos...there was just NO light today and I hate to use flash, expecially on shiny gold paper!

I'll be back tomorrow with some more 'makes' and a card sent to me that I'd like to share with you!

Carole X

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Sunday Stampers Week 236 - The Holly and the Ivy - Tuesday 18th December

Hello Blog Friends!

I'm so pleased you were loving Jan's tatting yesterday. It's something so delicate and beautiful and I would never have the patience... so I will stay admiring her lovely work!

Today is Sunday Stampers time and this week Hels Sheridan set the theme of 'The Holly and the Ivy' -  at the moment I am making lots of tags for family gifts, they are also one of my favourite things to make, so this week's project is  a tag - and a big one!

 It's a 7inch tag, which I made with plain card, using an actual tag as a template and then covered with music paper from a Christmas collection by Teresa Collins. I inked the edges with Antique Linen.

I then used some off white/cream card to cut the window, using Spellbinders Decorative Chateau Gate and lined the inside of the shutters with the music paper. I cut some holly from Spellbinders Holly Accents to decorate.

Now for the stamping - both of these are little stamps by Crafty Individuals. I have used the sentiment stamp on quite a few cards and tags this year and the Santa is very detailed.

I stamped Santa on black card using Versamark and then heat embossed using snowflake embossing tinsel - it's such a shame that the photograph doesn't show how much it glistens. I  stamped the sentiment with black archival and heat embossed using Black Sparkle embossing powder.

To finish off  I added some 'berries', a little colour on the stamped holly with a Berry Red Promarker and some ribbon....and that is my project for this week!

Thanks for looking,
Carole Z X

Monday, 17 December 2012

Tatted Snowflakes - Monday 17th December

Good Morning Blog Friends! 

I hope you all had a lovely weekend! Yesterday was spent visiting family and delivering presents, something I always love to do!

Today I intended to post my Sunday Stampers project for this week, as I actually made it last night, but when I looked at the photo I really didn't like the background I'd used to photograph it against, so it will have to wait until tomorrow.

So instead today, I'm sharing some tree decorations that are hand-made, but that I had nothing to do with! They were made by one of my oldest friends, Janet (we were at school together) and they are tatted snowflakes...aren't they beautiful? Jan has been tatting for a long long time, so she is pretty expert by now and she gave them to us with our present last Christmas. When I was putting them on the tree this year, I knew I had to photograph them and share them with you...hope you like them!

I'll be back tomorrow, hopefully with my Sunday Stampers project,
Happy Crafting all,
Carole X

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Vintage Christmas - Sunday 16th December

Good morning friends in Blogland!

I hope you are all having a lovely weekend! I am feeling happy at the thought that I have three more days at work and am then on holiday for two weeks..can't wait! 

Yesterday was so warm here compared to what it has been this week...we went into Bristol and I didn't need a hat or gloves! Tom and I decided to spend the day in our favourite part of the City: Clifton Village. It is a lovely shopping quarter, with boutique shops, delis, coffee houses and restaurants and is just so relaxing to stroll around. We bought some wonderful sandwiches in our favourite deli and then walked up on to Durdham Downs to eat them overlooking the Clifton Suspension Bridge..unfortunately I forgot my camera (that is always in my bag)and I'm never happy with photos taken on m my phone!

As we drove through the Bristol shopping area we noticed how quiet it was - we were expecting queues on the motorway, but we sailed through. Clifton was just right, the students have all gone home, so it was mostly local people..but I guess the lack of people shopping is a reflection of the times...less spending and more spending online...

Today's card is another LOTV stamped image..they are all so adorable aren't they?

I coloured the image in muted browns and pinks using Promakers and die cut on Spellbinders labels one small, inking the edges with a little Antique Linen distress ink. I die cut a large snowflake and placed it behind the labels die, just peeking out.

The card is  a 6x6 Kraft card blank covered with some paper from Dovecrafts Back to Basics Vintage Christmas 12x12 paper pad. I stamped the greeting and cut out in a banner shaper, inking the edges with tea dye distress ink, I also inked around the edge of the card. To finish off I added more die cur snow flakes and some brown gingham ribbon.

Thanks for stopping and taking a look at my blog, I really do appreciate it!
Carole Z X

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Not a creature was stirring - Saturday 15th December

Good Morning Blog Friends!

Another Christmas House Mouse today...Christmas is all I seem to have been making lately and to be honest, I still have so many Christmas ideas buzzing around in my head and no time to try them, that I am really going to find it hard to switch back to every day mode. For our first workshop in January we are going to be looking ahead to St Valentines and I haven't even thought about it yet..apart from being my least favourite card making  occasion for some bizarre reason!

I came up with this design last Christmas and made a few more variations of it this is a very simple card featuring a stamped House Mouse, coloured with Promarkers and die cut using a Spellbinders Grand Scalloped Rectangle.  I typed the extract from the story and die cut using tear drop circles threaded with ribbon.

The image die was matted and layered on a gold die cut the card finished off with a poinsettia, ruched ribbon and a little button.

Thanks for stopping by!
Carole  X

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Sunday Stampers wk 235, The First Noel - Thurs 13th December

Good Morning blog Friends,

Yesterday was a mega craft day for me...we were having a new gas boiler fitted, so whilst the guy worked all day at that, I worked all day in my craft room....the only downside being that most of the time it was freezing as the heating was off!

 All my cards are finished now, except Tom's. I will leave his until everything else is done (ie gift wrapping) and then make it during a very peaceful and relaxed craft session!

Tuesday evening we took two visitors of Tom's parents out for a meal (along with Tom's brother -and actually his parents paid as a treat, so we didn't really take them out at all, just played hosts!). They are a young-ish couple that my inlaws used to work with a long time ago in a hotel. Christian is Italian and Gloricel is Panamanian. They live in Panama city at the moment, but are intending to come back here to live and they stopped over a few days on the way to Italy. Tom's parents had to go to a work Christmas meal that evening, so we took them out; it was great to see them again and to chat about different Christmas traditions. Much like Europe, Panama celebrates with presents on January Italy it is Befana on her broomstick with a sack of gifts and in Panama it's the coming of the Three Wise Men.

Well I digress from Sunday Stampers project is a bit different this week, it's a box I made today, for a card that I'll share on another post, probably tomorrow..

This week Hels Sheridan (who absolutely forced me to part with some money on Create and Craft yesterday!) set the theme of The First Noel, so I just had to use this ribbon! 

This is a plain white card box, which I covered with the 'Noel' ribbon and made a bow from the same, sewn together with the heart button. The tag is a small parcel tag; I inked the edges with brushed pewter distress stain and stamped the greeting with versa mark, before heat embossing with snowflake embossing powder. There are actually 2 snowflakes on the tag, the one you can see is a chipboard embellishment coated with versamark and the same embossing powder before heat embossing and the other one is hidden under the ribbon (I didn't notice until the photo was uploaded!). That one is a Spellbinders die cut coated in clear micro beads.

I used the Woodware Dove stamp (posted previously)again for the main image, stamping him several times and paper piecing with the different papers, plus I added some gems for the berries.

Thanks for stopping by, I really do appreciate you visiting and leaving a comment!
Happy crafting,
Carole X

Monday, 10 December 2012

Not long now! - Monday 10th December

Good Morning Blog Friends,

I hope you are all in fine health and not too cold! I am sorry I didn't get to all your blogs yesterday, it has been such a busy weekend, with a visit to Cirencester for a nice frosty walk in the park and a stroll around the market (and some mulled wine), then friends to stay and a meal out in a lovely local pub Saturday much going on that I haven't crafted at all...I am never going to get those last few cards made!!
Today is a quick post featuring another card made with the '25th December' stamp by Woodware. This time I stamped it twice and covered the bottom layer with Tom Holz Frosty Film. The '25' and the holly, I coloured with promarkers and then used a versamark pen to coat the 25 and the berries, before heat embossing with red glitter embossing powder.

I matted and layered this on a tag, which had been distressed around the edges with Vintage Photo and then pricked with my pokey tool.

A busy week ahead, but I'm determined to get those few cards finished..have a great week friends!
Carole X

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Emergency Crafters DT card - Saturday 8th December

Hello my blog friends!

Hoping you are all well...aren't we getting scarily close to Christmas? The new challenge from Emergency Crafters is 'Deck the Halls', so we're looking for Christmas cards and projects and this is my Design Team card...

I decided on a design with a bit of sparkle and really like this digital stamp from Mo Manning's Digital Pencil! I coloured the skater with promarkers and added Cosmic Sparkle for the glitter. The background paper is from the House Mouse Christmas project CD and I left it as it printed, choosing to leave the sparkle to the foreground image. I finished off with some gorgeous, shimmery ribbon and a snowflake cut from Spellbinders 2012 Snowflake Pendant, to which I added a beautiful little BoBunny button, from a pack sent to me by one of my lovely blog friends.

Thanks for stopping by and why not hop over to Emergency Crafters and enter the challenge? There's a very nice prize up for grabs!

If any of you do have a mo to pop over to Fantastic Ribbons and leave a comment on my ribbon wreath, I'd be so happy! The folks at this wonderful ribbon site and blog are thinking of starting challenges in the new year too!
Happy Saturday all!
Carole X

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Snow Angel -Thursday 6th December

Good Morning my blog friends!

I hope you are all well and not feeling too's a  bit, isn't it?! Welcome to my new follower and thank you so much for joining me on my crafty journey!

Yesterday I took the bus into Bath again to meet another friend, Grace, who I used to work with several years ago and we have remained good friends. We were literally meeting at lunch time, so I did have an amble around the Christmas Market this week and made a few little purchases :) It was such a cold day, but the sun shone and made it just a perfect winter day.

This week, the bus was very busy by the time it left our little town - it's a cross country bus, which stops in one other small town and otherwise little one of the stops a whole WI group got on..people were already standing and now there were 20 more..oh my word! Of course more people wanted to get on at the other stops wasn't a pleasant  40 minute journey and I did think, a little dangerous...but we got there and thankfully they were getting the late bus back!

So for today's card....

I'm still on a Christmas 'roll' I'm afraid, there's no stopping me now I'm down to the last few more 'special' ones!

The card is backed with kraft paper, downloaded from Pink Petticoat and you will probably recognise the image as an LOTV stamp, which I have coloured with Promarkers. I then added some dies from various Spellbinders sets, some foliage, gems, bells and ribbon. The two snowflakes are little chipboard embellishments, coloured with picket fence distress stain and finished off with Cosmic Twinkles.

I know you are all very busy, but my design team project for Fantastic Ribbons (the ribbon wreaths) is now up on their blog..if you can spare a minute to pop over there and leave a quick comment, I would be really grateful! Thank you! You can get there from here

Thank you for stopping here, I really do appreciate it!
Carole x

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Let it Snow - HMFMC134 - Wednesday 5th December

Hello blog friends,

Another of  House Mouse card today, this one was made from the Joanna Sheen Christmas Project Book/CD...

I started with an A5 card blank and matted and layered first with blue card and then a lovely red glossy card.  Before sticking the red card to the blue, I tied the polka dot ribbon and bow around it.

The image was printed from the CD and coated with some of the Tim Holz Frosted Film - drat that this just doesn't show up in photos!); then I matted and layered in the same way as the base card. I die cut the snowflakes using two Spellbinder sets with both perlescent card and wax paper. To finish off I added the sentiment from the CD, gems and the little 'Merry' tag, which is from  Teresa Collins' Christmas Cottage embellishment set.

I wish to enter this card into the House Mouse Monday Challenge

Thanks for visiting!

Carole X

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Sunday Stamper week 234 - Tags!

Good afternoon friends in blogland!

It's a late post for me today, but I had made my project for this week's Sunday Stampers and wanted to upload. This week Hels (Sheridan) has set the theme of tags...whoopee! I am way way into making them...and for the main family and best friends' presents, I have been making good to make a project that will get used straightaway!

I used  a large parcel tag and covered it with some gorgeous paper I have in my can't see it in the photo, but it's dark blue, has 'Merry Christmas' imprinted all over it and is all shiny and satin (feels gorgeous, I use sparingly).

The stamp is a bit of a mystery because the original packaging has disappeared! I'm pretty sure the little set was free with a magazine, but who it's made by is a mystery, hidden somewhere under the piles of stamps and papers currently surrounding me in the craft room..ooops!

Anyway, I stamped it on black card with versamark ink and then heat embossed it in snowflke embossing powder mixed with a little cosmic shimmer glitter jewels. I roughed up the edges a little and mounted in on some blue glitter card - then gave the edges of that a bit of a scraping too. 

The little set with the deer stamp also has a  border stamp, so I stamped and embossed this along the bottom edge. Then I cut a snowflake from Spellbinders 'Create-a-flake four- and a little flourish from Ironworks Motifs - I cut this with the blue glitter card and some wax paper and have used both on the tag.

To finish I added some ribbons and gems...thanks for stopping by!
Carole X

Monday, 3 December 2012

Winter Door Wreath - December 3rd

Good Morning Blog Friends...... and thank you so much for visiting and leaving your comments! Trish did love the card (Saturday's post) and even posted a photo on Facebook, which was lovely!

I didn't get to post yesterday, but I did decorate the tree!

Those of you who have been following me for some time will know that I have a seasonal door wreath on my front door. It's a tradition I  have acquired from having American relatives and admiring all the wreaths on the doors during my visits over there...and I have been decorating my door for a long number of years now.

This year I decided to make some new ones and this is the one I made for this Christmas...

The base vine wreath was bought from Calico Crafts and all the greenery from our local garden centre. All the separate pieces are wired and just threaded through and secured and I added a string of lights for the twinkles. I've bought a few extra sprigs because my winter wreath stays until the end of January, so after  December, I'll swap out the Santa robin. It's funny that it's sometimes not until you have completed a project and photographed it that you notice something you've left out or not quite right: there's a little gap at the top in the can't see it but there is another robin that side, in a nest and when I look at it on the door, I can't see such a gap under the nest...I think I'll be adding one of th spare bits of greenery tomorrow :)

Hope you like it! Hope you all have a lovely crafty day...I have the day off but it's a trip to Bristol this morning to the dentist for a filling...booo!

Carole X

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Good Morning Blog Friends!

Well December is here and it's time to panic (not that I wasn't already- lol). At least today has started bright and sunny here and the hens are having a great time scooting about the garden in some dry weather at last!

Thank you for those who visited and commented on my ribbon wreaths yesterday, they were fun makes...hopefully tomorrow I will be posting my new seasonal door wreath..that's if I get it photographed!

I hope I got around to most of you yesterday, it was all a bit of a rush..I did some housework in the morning in preparation for putting the tree up today, then I had to get the bus to Bristol. There is  a lovely shopping area in the centre by the University. I had a wander up there (it's on a steep hill), bought some little stocking fillers (mostly foodie) in a gorgeous shop called Bristol Guild (of Arts and Crafts) and a few other shops, then met Tom when he'd finished work...we had pizza and then walked down the hill to the Hippodrome theatre where we enjoyed an evening of opera, Cosi fan Tutte. Tom had a 95 year old man sat next to him, he was with his nephew, said they had come up from Bridgwater and were making the trip again tonight for La Boheme! Hope I'm that willing and agile if I get to 95!

Anyway, for the card....I made this one for my friend Trish, who has  just become a Grandma (she seems so young, it's scary!)  Luckily I knew that her daughter and husband were expecting a boy, so I could make it a week or so in advance! 

Trish and I have been friends since about 2009, when we both joined Twitter. It's a long story, but when we realised we both lived close enough to meet in Bath and after having said 'hello' when we attended the same concert, we met for lunch and have been friends ever since (it was Trish I went to the Christmas Market with last week) it is possible to actually make real life friends via social media! Trish and her husband Alan now even keep a few hens too..see it's catching!

This card is made using an LOTV stamp, coloured with Promarkers. I made the background paper by using a polka dot mask and inked the edges with distress ink. The layer beneath the image was made using an M-Bossability.

Thanks for stopping to put the tree up now!

Carole Z X