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Thursday, 28 November 2013

Happy Thanksgiving - Thursday 28th November

Good Morning Friends,

Another quick post today before heading off to work...yesterday I spent the whole day trying to finish off the commissions I had taken for Christmas cards, as well as getting on with more of my own, butI did stop to make a quick Thanksgiving card in celebration of this Holiday.

I have spent a few Thanksgivings with my American family and friends over the years, but the last time was when Tom and I spent it with my family in San Diego quite a long time ago, well over 10 years to be honest! But it was a special time, which is still very much implanted in my memory.

I chose this little autumnal House Mouse stamp, coloured with promarkers and  die cut using Spellbinders classic circles using the out of the die method for the leaves.  I then simply inked the edges with wild honey and added ribbons, felt leaves and string. The little gems look a bit red in the photo, but they are in fact dark brown.

Tomorrow is my first Friday 'back to normal', as I have been going in to work the past few weeks to train my Friday volunteers, but they are being left to run the drop in on their own tomorrow. I should be at home frantically trying to finish my cards (especially as we are out and about most of the weekend!), but I have a long standing arrangement to meet my friend Trish for lunch in Bath..the Christmas Market starts today, so we will also be having a meander around!

Thanks for stopping by!

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Friday, 22 November 2013

Workshop photos - Friday 22nd November

Good morning Friends....and a cold one it is too! Brrrr!

A quick post today, I'm off to work for a few hours this morning for the final bit of training for my new volunteers. I don't think I have ever seen my office as much as in the last three weeks and as a result I really am behind with my Christmas 'makes' now!

Yesterday I posted the card our group was making at the craft group Amy and I run - Out of the Blue, in Chipping Sodbury. The workshop was last night and as it was our last one before Christmas and also Amy's birthday, we felt very festive and even had lovely hot mince pies.

It was such a busy evening, that I didn't get the chance to take individual photos before I noticed some of our ladies had already packed them away, suffice to say they were all fabulous and everyone went home covered in glitter! However I did take some photos during the evening of the ladies at work...

Thanks for stopping by...I seem to be  a day behind in catching up with all your blogs lately, but I am getting there  in  the end!

Love and hugs,
Carole X

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Baubles Flourish - Thursday 22nd November

Good Morning Friends,

Thank you for visiting my page and leaving a comment - it really does mean a lot to me! I have been 'missing' again this week, a combination of a lot to cram in at work, whilst still training volunteers and of course, trying to get Christmas cards and other projects for Christmas made - all I can say is thank goodness I only committed to the one craft fair!

Tonight is the last workshop for this year that Amy and I are delivering for 'Out of the Blue' craft group. We don't have another until January, so some time to recharge our batteries ready for 2014!

The card we will be making tonight is our own take on a card designed for Indigo Blu, by  the extremely talented Linda Walmsley; we have kept the main design, but used glitter for the background flourish, whereas the original card uses mica powder and instead of gilding flakes for the main image, we used embossing powder.

I have made two versions of the card - this one uses white embossing powder and the other one silver, but I don't seem to have photographed the second one so I will post that at a later date!

The card is 8x8 and although the layers appear silver, black and blue..the blue is in fact teal! It's the annoying light this time of year!

There are three stamps used on this card: Indigo Blu Baubles Flourish, Indigo Blu 'I Wish You a Merry Christmas' dinkie and for the inside I used a "Merry Christnas' stamp that was free with a magazine.

On the large black card I stamped just the flourish part of the stamp, using the flitterglu technique but sprinkle with glitter not flakes. I used Kingfisher Diamond Sparkles from Hunky Dory.

The whole image is stamped on the smaller black card. I used versamark ink and detail white embossing powder from Creative Expressions. I also stamped just the large bauble on teal card in the same way, cut it out and added it to the front using 3D foam pads.

Finally I stamped the sentiment stamp in black versafine ink on teal card and used a white jellyroll pen to highlight the Christmas.

I then stamped the greeting for the inside in the same way.

The decoration inside is simply a repeat of the background flourish on a strip of black card, matted and layered  with silver and teal.

Thank you for visiting, keep warm everyone!

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Monday, 18 November 2013

House Mice hanging on! - Monday 18th November

Hello Friends,

Today's card is another House Mouse, I do love these little images! This is a stamp coloured with Promarkers, but the stamp is just one mouse and I made the card for a couple, so I changed it  a little!

I stamped and coloured the image twice and then die cut the first image using a scalloped circle die. I then cut out the second mouse, plus the branch he's hanging on to. I added a few of the spare holly leaves to the end of the image within the circle to give it a bit of balance.

To finish I painted the leaves with glossy accents and added some die-cut holly leaves and gems.


I matted with matching red card and die cut the 'Merry Christmas' in gold, just adding a little holly leaf.

Before I go today, I want to say a big thank you to Nikki Payne for the gorgeous candi I won in a follower giveaway on her blog last week. Nikki has only been blogging since March and I started following her almost from the start..and goodness has she progressed quickly in the crafting world! In fact if you happened to see Julia these last few days on Create and Craft, you might have heard her name mentioned and seen some of her designs.

Do have a look at her blog for some beautiful  creations

No work for me today, but I do have a dental appointment, so does Tom, so we are both off to Bristol and then possibly some Christmas shopping :)

Have a happy Monday all!

Love and Hugs 
Carole X

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Baby boxes - Sunday 17th November

Hello Friends!

I hope you are having a super weekend and not feeling too cold! It seemed to get dark really early last night, I always notice by the time I have to put the hens back into their run and last night was the first time before 4pm.

Last month when I did the craft fair locally, I was asked by one of the other stallholders if I could make her a few boxes for the baby mittens she was selling as Christmas gifts. She left the design up to me as she was just about to go on holiday, but she needed them for her next craft fair in the Cotswold town of Cirencester: a regular fair that she sells at during the year. Sue makes lovely baby clothes and I have spoken to her for several years when we've met at the fairs, so I was pleased to do so and these are what I made...

They are little 'milk carton' style boxes, made using a template out of paper by Pink Petticoat, as are the images and sentiments. I made and assortment of boy, girl and white boxes, with only the white one having a Christmas image. 

I'm happy to say she was very pleased with them!

Thanks for stopping by,

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Friday, 15 November 2013

Sunday Stamper week 282: Red -Friday 15th November

Good Morning Friends,

Well I may have been missing from 'blogland' since Sunday..I've been at work for most days as I'm training some more volunteers to help in our office, but in the little spare time I've had, I  have been busy crafting...I had to get stuck in to Christmas cards at some time didn't I? Having said that, I did take some Christmas card commissions before my 'sabbatical' and I am still working on them. I had to turn  down some this week or I'll never get to start my own. I have to make a lot of quick cards to send out, but at least I've got as far as knowing my design for them now! At least now I have quite a few cards to post here  over the next few weeks.

Before I get down to my card, I would like to give a big welcome to my latest follower Chris, thank you so much for your lovely comment and for following. I have just been looking at Chris's blog and there is some gorgeous Prim artwork, home decor and  gorgeous makes. Prim is one of my first loves in art, so I was lapping it all up. Chris, you were from Wales and live in Canada - my dad was a Canadian National who came back here to live and married my Mum who was Welsh (Maerdy) and now one of my best friends also lives in Canada.. so how about that?! Do check out Chris's blog:

To my card...this is my red (and gold) offering for this week's Sunday Stampers click on the link to take a look at Hels Sheridan's fab blog! To be honest, I would have posted it a few days ago, but I couldn't get a decent photo of it..the light when I've been home has been poor and trying to focus this particular card was a real pain!  A bit OTT for me, I'm not usually one for lots of glitter and bling, but heck it's Christmas and our card for next week's workshop (not this one) is very glittery so I thought that whilst I was in the mood....

I used the Indigo Blu Baubles flourish stamp, with Perfect Medium ink on red card. I stamped the complete image across the top and parts of the design around the side and base. I then heat embossed with gold embossing powder and matted and layered on gold silk mirri with a kraft card base, tying an organza ribbon around the side.

The sentiment stamp is also by Indigo Blu. 

Inside I followed through with the same theme. The greeting was a stamp free with a magazine.

Before I go, a wave to the ladies at the Thornbury craft group Amy and I visited last night. Amy really loves decorating glass and she'd been asked to demo Christmas glass ornaments with  texture paste and stencils, so I went along to help. It was a huge group of about 35 ladies and a very busy evening but we all had good fun.

Thanks for stopping by!

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Remembering our Heroes...Sunday 10th November

Dear Friends,

Well looking around your blogs, it seems some of you had fab times at the NEC this weekend - and lots of new stash to play with!

Today I am posting  my favourite card from last year, so I hope those of you who have been following me a while and remember it, won't mind. It's today that Remembrance services are held throughout the Country and I do like to make a card in memory of our heroes who fought for our futures in the two World Wars and continue to serve in conflicts today. However, this year I just didn't get one made, so as I would like to share with you once more, my poppy card..

The card is long gone; I took it to a craft fair October last year and sold it for more than I have ever asked for a card. The truth is that I priced it so high because I thought no one would buy it, but they did and within minutes of the doors opening. I should never have taken it along! But never mind!

Thank you for stopping by,
Love ad hugs,
Carole X

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Fantastic Ribbons DT Project: California Dreamin' - Saturday 9th November

Good Morning Friends,

My post today is my Fantastic Ribbons project for November: The lovely folk at Fantastic Ribbons gave me some very vibrant colours to 'play' with, so I'm going to bring you a taste of summer on a cold winter's day...

Fantastic Ribbons Design Team project November: Pleats, Stitches, Ruffles

With the emphasis on Home Decor we were asked to use pleats, stitches and/or ruffles in our projects. With quite bright summery shades to use, I looked back to our holidays this year and did a bit of California Dreaming.

For my first project, I chose my favourite holiday photo of Tom and I, taken in a wine tasting room, Casa Dumetz, where we had two fun evenings.

This is a small, but vibrant, colourful tasting room with such a welcoming, friendly, atmosphere and was for sure, a centre of community activity and gathering in a very small town. The labels for some of their wines reflect their sense of fun: pink, orange and purple blossoms, so these summer colours seemed to suit.

I decided to make a photo frame: the base is  simply cardboard, which I covered back and front with calico to create an off-white base layer. I printed the photo to 6x4 and matted and layered it on card, matching the ribbons as much as possible.

Next I wrapped a pink, yellow and orange ribbon around each side of the photo and made two little ruffles by stitching the ribbon lengthwise and gathering the stitches inward to pull the ends together. For the wider, pink ribbon I just layered loops of ribbon and stitched to make a half flower. I was going to add buttons, but instead I made wine bottle buttons from photos of wine bottles from the bar. 

Oh and the wine? Fabulous!

My second project is a photo memory regular followers will know how much I love to decorate wreaths! This is a bit different, as it's a way to display photos that are easily interchangeable by using little pegs to clip them on. It's colours make it definitely one for summer holidays, but in different colours it could reflect Christmas or other special occasions.

I used a foam ring, the type you can get in any craft shop and covered it with torn papers using modge podge to make them more malleable and stick to the ring, as well as give it a slight gloss. Once it had dried I added the ribbon ruffles (the same as for my previous project), a few pegs and a ribbon loop hanger which is secured to the foam with hat pins.

Finally I added the photos..I wanted this to be a 'people' memory ring, photos of my family over in the USA...

The photos are cut quite small, but could be smaller, so I didn't add too many and risk 'swamping' it.

I hope you like this idea for displaying your favourite photos! All the ribbons are available from Fantastic Ribbons

Thanks for stopping by!

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Friday, 8 November 2013

Tartan Christmas - Friday 8th November

Hello Friends,

It's been another busy week, I have finally made a few Christmas cards, but for the few commissions I accepted before putting a hold on them..not for personal use. I really am starting to panic!

Anyway, I have hardly posted any Christmas cards this year on my blog -probably because I haven't made any, if I don't get a move on I won't be posting any in a pillar box either - but here is one for my Sunday Stampers project this week. Hels set the theme of 'You raise me up', cards with texture, so this is what I have made..

 This is an 8x8 card, which I matted and layered with red card and silver mirri, that has a silk rather than glossy feel and look.

For the top layer of red card, I used an embossing border folder that was free with a magazine. You can't really see in the picture, but the 'pattern' is Christmas words and I just repeated the embossing using my Grand Calibur over the entire card.

Because the folder is a strip, it left gaps in between which gave me the idea to use the tartan ribbon to cover the spaces! The stag stamp from Indigo Blu was stamped using the acetate and gilding flake technique that I featured here.

To finish I added two Spellbinders poinsettias and buttons tied with twine.

For the inside of the card I stamped the stag using versamark ink and heat embossed with white embossing powder and added another bow

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Love and Hugs,
Carole Z X

Monday, 4 November 2013

Twice as Nice - Monday 4th November

Good Morning Friends,

I hope you all had a super weekend and it wasn't too blustery for you! We went to the town of Cirencester on Saturday and I actually got a bit of Christmas shopping started!

Today's card was made for a couple we know who have just had twins, a boy and a girl, so I got out this LOTV stamp and made a card for them...

This is a 6x6 card: I started with a layer of dark brown card - apart from the image, I didn't want to to be all pink and blue. I matted and layered the base brown card with this glittery little birdie pattern from a pad called 'Spring Feast' by First Edition.

I coloured the image with promarkers and matted and layered this on the same brown card, inking the edges with Spun Sugar. The sentiment is from the same stamp set.

I layered this on the card with two heart doilies between and decorated with paper flowers. To finish I added cream buttons and a touch of crystal stickles.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Love and Hugs,
Carole Z X

Friday, 1 November 2013

Steampunk!! - Friday 1st November

Good Morning Friends,

Hope those of you who enjoy Halloween had a good night? All my bags of treats went (and I made a lot) and I must say, the little trick or treaters this year excelled themselves with costumes and even the teenagers who called had really made the effort (we have had some in the past just giving a  'nod' to the Holiday with a solitary scream mask!). I had so many lovely comments about our decorated garden and porch (it was a bit of a grotto) and some of the parents event thanked me for making it all a bit special. My favourite costume was work by a little girl of about three: she had was a lady pirate, complete with dress and hat; I gave her the treat bag and she just stood for ages looking at the decorations, bless her. I did take some pretty poor photos of our porch and kitchen window, just to give you some idea..

Well we've reached November and  getting far too close to Christmas for my liking because I have done so little towards it as yet!

This month's theme for Emergency Crafters is Steampunk (yay!) and this project I do admit, took me a fair bit of time and planning, but I was pleased with the end result.

 This started off as a straightforward easel card, but then I had the idea to add cog wheels to evoke the sense of machinery and this is what I came up with!

I used a box easel card template  from The House of Zandra, which I have used many times before and which I bought at the Alexandra Palace craft event in April. I must say that for a few ££'s it's been a very useful item in my craft room.

All the papers I used are from Graphic 45 Steampunk Spells paper pad and sticker sheet. I love Graphic 45 papers, it's one of those designers where they are really hard to bring yourself to use them! I inked the edges of the papers with Vintage Photo before matting and layering and decorated back and front, but forgot to photograph the back!
 To embellish, I  die cut cogs, using my Spellbinders set,  some little glass bottles (ideology) and a steampunk metal butterfly from my steampunk stash box (can't remember where I got it), which I used as the handle. The cog wheels are attached with  screw effect brads and do turn!

Inside I lined the base with paper from the pad and put an assortment of stamped images, a little potion book  and a chipboard bottle (again I bought a bag at Ally Pally). I inked the bottle with spiced marmalade and then rubbed gold gilding wax over it - it gave it a shimmery yet distressed effect, which sadly the photo doesn't show.

This was such a fun make and although it was a DT project, it was also something I made for 'me' - which is something I don't feel I've done in a long while!

Thanks for stopping by - if you enjoy making Steampunk, why not enter the challenge this month? There are prizes up for grabs...just click on the link above or the link on my sidebar. The challenge should be up and running today,

Love and Hugs,
Carole X