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Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Butterfly Meadow - Tuesday 29th April 2014

Hello Friends,

I made this card earlier this year and thought I'd already posted it, but checked back and no I hadn't!

This stamp is 'Summer Meadow' from Crafty Individuals and is  another simple card. I stamped the image with clear embossing ink on to black card and then heat embossed using detail white embossing powder. I added gingham ribbon and matted and layered on white and black card, finishing with a die cut butterfly.

A short post today as I am back to work after nearly a two week break and have lots of craft projects on the less blog time, more craft time!

Thanks so much for stopping by,

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Monday, 28 April 2014

Sunday Stamper week 305: Wheels - Monday 28th April 2014

Hello Friends,

Well having missed Sunday Stampers last week - a combo of too much going on  and Mr Mojo taking a hike, I thought I'd get in early this time! For all the deets n this fun weekly challenge hosted by Hels Sheridan, simply click on this link  - it's funny isn't it? Even a few days out of the craft room and it takes a while to get those creative juices flowing again.

The theme this week is wheels and my creation  is a guy card featuring a car...

 The stamp is from Rubberneckers (I got it last year at Ally Pally!) and I coloured it grey with Promarkers and die cut using Spellbinders Labels  Four Small, then matted and layered on to matt mirri silver  card.

I made the background using the  matt silver mirri card, which I embossed using M-Bossabilities 'Kickin' Rubber'.

This was a very simple card, finished off with ribbon and a brad and matted and layered on to grey card. I have so many project deadlines on the go at the moment (including a few commissions that I was talked into taking), that I'm afraid that simple it had to be!

Thanks so much for visiting!

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Feed the Birds - Sunday 27th April 2014

Good afternoon Friends,

I hope you are all having a happy Sunday..a quick post from me today, with my latest Design Team card for Nicecrane Designs.

Have you got any crafting done this weekend? Weekends are usually the time I don't get much crafting time because we are both home and there are places to go and things to do! However, I did get a bit of time this weekend...yesterday I planned my first DT projects for Sam Poole. I'm going to work on them tomorrow and that's all I can say at the moment!

I also had a play with our next planned workshop project..again just  a  play, nothing made as yet. This afternoon there were a few cards I had to make for other people and then I decided to make a 'quick' card with some Lavinia stamps I bought at Ally Pally..well I have no idea where Mr Mojo had gone today, but I wasted about two hours and came away with nothing! Hey-ho! It happens.

Anyway, to today's card: the image is black and white but heavily shaded, so I just decided to give her a brightly coloured dress and hair, but hold back on the rest of the girl. I used drawing inks to colour. I stamped her twice and layered the image to give some depth.

I backed the card with paper from Graphic 45's ' Secret Garden' and I die cut the image and layer using Spellbinders Resplendent Rectangles and Romantic Rectangles, inked at the edges with Tea Dye distress inks. I used Spellbinders Bitty Blossoms to create the flowers.

The sentiment was amongst my stash!

Nicecrane has many many digital images that are both pre-coloured and digital stamps...pop over and have a browse!

That's all for today... thanks so much for stopping by!

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Friday, 25 April 2014

Workshop Photos - Friday 25th April 24th

Good Morning Friends,

Last night Amy and I  held the second of our  Floral Paper Wreath workshops - this time I remembered my camera and no photos were lost. It was interesting..both groups had the choice of using flower stamps and/or dies...the first group of my ladies all used mostly stamps, mixed with some dies..I remember because I helped with the cutting all evening. They all finished their wreaths.

Last night, everyone used predominantly dies, so waiting to use the die cutting machines actually slowed things up and three of them actually took theirs home to finish. Anyway, here are the completed wreaths...all of them very different and very gorgeous, well done ladies!

Next time we will be celebrating 2 years of Out of the Blue craft group, so we are planning quite a 'tasty' project and no, there will be no baking involved!

 Below, this was taken as a bit of a joke, because this is as far as one of the group got..I told her I need to see the finished wreath next time!

When I posted my wreath a few days ago, I was asked how I made the poppy like flower..well it was the colour that made it look like a poppy and even those in the group who have seen the wreath actually called it a poppy. Of course the leaves are not poppy-like at all, I think it's just the colour and black centre that makes you immediately think of poppies. The flower is actually made from the Peony Spellbinders Die.

I  didn't use the largest die in the set , but I die-cut 2 x the next size up and 3 x the size up from that, using red card which I then spritzed with water to loosed the fibres and then scrunched up.

Next, I took the next  two sizes up and die cut one of each in black. For the top layer, I used a Martha Stewart punch and then added a dazzler.

Well I am actually hoping to get some cards made today; I can't believe where the time has gone over the past week and not a card made! I didn't even join in with Sunday Stampers this week!

By for now and thank you so much for stopping by!

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Going round in Circles - Thursday 24th April 2014

Good afternoon friends,

I really don't know where this week has gone..I've got so much done, but none of it crafting! Well, if you saw my WOYWW post yesterday, you will know everything has been craft related, just not actual craft :)

Today I started to move all my paints and art parts out to the craft barn (our affectionate name for the summerhouse!) and I am both pleased and surprised as to how it's all fitted in. My only puzzle is that my actual craft room is still a total wreck, so how did all that other stuff fit in here before! I really do have to sort out this room next!

Today's card is one I made as an example when we were doing the triple layered technique at our craft class..

This is a really simple design made using Button Flowers, a stamp set designed by Sam Poole for Creative Expressions. This is a really useful stamp set, from which lots of different flowers can be created. However, here I have just used some of the circle elements stamped in different colours across with three layers and topped with a flower stamp from the same set.

As well as moving paints etc outside, I've been painting an old chair using the same chalk paint as for the bookshelves. I've recently discovered Annie Sloan wax, so I'm also intending to stencil and wax it...when finished, I will share on here.

We have a craft group tonight and our ladies will be making  wreaths again, so I hope they enjoy it...well I have stopped long enough, back to work! I will catch up with all your posts later,

Love and Hugs
Carole X

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

WOYWW 255 - Wednesday 23rd April 2014

Good Morning Friends,

Well not so much my desk this week as a little room! This is my WOYWW for this week, yes it's that time when we  dare to share our workspace courtesy of the lovely Julia over at Stamping here for all the deets and share yours too!

About nine years ago, Tom and I bought, erected and painted this little Summer House, with the idea that it would double as a craft room and somewhere to sit and chill on damp but warm days! Well it does still get used for the latter, but I'm afraid I quickly migrated back in to the spare room for my crafts...I couldn't keep it all out there, sometimes I needed the computer and back and forth was a real latterly it became more of a storage room that a useful little extra room.

So I decided that I would divide up my paper craft and sewing stash with my altered and mixed media art stuff. Paper craft is what I do most and the room isn't really practical for fabrics, so they would stay inside and my art stuff outside..and here the story begins.
This is the actual summerhouse, which will itself get a lick of paint in the summer and the roof took a bit of a battering in the storms - but no leaks! It's ideally situated next to the hen house :)...can you see the little ladies loitering outside, bums sticking up? I've had to be a bit quiet as well, because we have Great Tits nesting in the box on the side!

So far I have cleaned out the inside and managed to throw quite a bit away, some items I still have to find  alternative homes for...

 Below is the shelving we got at the weekend: we put it together and I painted it with chalk paint in a 'William Morris' inspired colour...I will get around to painting the other bookcase, which was already in situ. As you can see I have already moved some of my art stuff's a case of having to because it has taken over the spare room and we have visitors coming next month! There is still more to move and more furniture to paint, but as long as I can start working in there soon, I'll be happy!

 So that's my WOYWW for today, I will update as it progresses!

Thanks so much for stopping by,

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Faux Leather notebooks - Tuesday 22nd April 2014

Good Morning Friends,

I hope you a had a wonderful Easter weekend! We had a lovely few days and I have the rest of the week off to try and catch up with crafty projects.

 I didn't do any crafts over the weekend, when we are both home together we like to do things together and this weekend in particular was quite a family weekend. Yesterday we mostly spent in the garden with the 'girls' - I'm not sure that they were totally happy about having their garden 'invaded' by both of us at the same time though! Tom did some jobs around the garden and I carried on with my work on the Summer House in preparation for making it into a little art studio. We went to B&Q and picked a basic wooden bookcase, to match the one already inside and I painted it with chalk paint...I will have some photos for WOYWW tomorrow! I am hoping to get out there and carry on with the work today, so I can get all my paints etc out there, but at the moment it's pouring with rain.

Now to today's post...those faux leather notebooks! I must say these took a little while to make, only because you really need to leave to dry for a few hours between stages. Of course, you can get on with other things, so it's not a problem unless, like me, you are an impatient crafter! But they are fun and the results are worth it. I won't explain how it's done, you are far better checking out Sheena Douglass's two videos, which can be found -here- on Youtube.

This was the first one I made: apart from the embossing and a charm on the spine (sorry I should have photographed that more closely), it's just a plain cover. I have been carrying this in my bag for weeks and it's still totally intact, so they are very durable!
I gave the second one a purple colour - the photo makes it look a bit patchy, but that's mostly the sun shining on it. This one also tore a little, my fault as I was a bit over zealous  with the inking, but actually it adds to it's aged look. I decided to make this one a ring binder and added ribbons to the rings to soften it a little.
These two were the last two  I made, so I had the technique refined by now and above that, I had managed to curb my enthusiasm and become more patient - hence the embossing is more pronounced. 

I covered the inside  of the notebooks with fabric:

Finally, here they all are together: this is a fun and very effective technique. I have some ideas for actual covers for notebooks, so I will be revisiting as soon as I get the chance.

Have a good day everyone and before I go, don't forget there are still a few days left to enter the Emergency Crafters challenge; this month's theme is polka dots and there are prizes! 

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Monday, 21 April 2014

Paper Floral Wreath - Easter Monday 21st April 2014

Good Morning Friends,

At our last Out of the Blue workshop a few weeks ago, our group made floral wreaths using rubber stamps and die cuts. I took photos, using my phone but somehow they managed to 'disappear' so I never got to post them. We have the second of the workshops this week, with the same project so I'll make sure I have  my camera!

This is one of the demo wreaths that I made ahead of the workshop:

I wanted to show all the different choices of flower that the group could use, so I used a mixture of dies and stamps. The stamps are all by Woodware and the dies, Spellbinders. I made the poppy style flower using  Blossom 5.

Tomorrow I will be back with the faux leather notebooks I have been promising for weeks - they are all finished, I just haven't been happy with the photos I've taken so far!

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Happy Easter from the 'Girls' - Easter Sunday, April 20th 2014

Good Morning Friends,

A quick post today as we are off to Tom's parents for lunch...a final few of my Easter makes to share with you...and I would also like to welcome my latest follower, Vick,who has her own blog , thank you very much for becoming one of my blog friends!

Another of my 'Royal Hens' which was a centre piece on Friday, hiding some little choccy eggs..

 And finally, our girls Cara, Bella and Lacey wanted to wish you all a Happy Easter too...

I hope you all have a lovely day,

Love and Hugs,

Carole X

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Easter Farmyard - Saturday 19th April

Good Evening Friends,

I hope you are all having a lovely has been a really great day..the weather has been nippy but bright and sunny...we went into Bristol quite early. They have an annual Italian car show in the City Centre and whilst I have absolutely no interest in cars whatsoever and Tom isn't too far behind me in that, his Dad and brother are car crazy and both have a classic Italian car, which they show every year, so we go down to support them and have a look around. The show always attracts so many people!

Before going to that, we popped in the museum: I had wanted to go anyway to see an art exhibition that I'd been interested to see and which ends on Monday, but as some of you may know from the news these last few days, Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery now has a new exhibit by Bristol street artist, Banksy so we had a look and my photo is at the end of this post. I like it, but then I like a lot of his work...I think he captures the zeitgeist perfectly!

Anyway back to my work!

I seem to have made so many Easter cards and decoration this year! Today's card is a simple matt and layered card, which was stamped with a stamp from Inky Doodles farm yard set, which I coloured with distress inks.

The inside of the card:

Also, here are two of the hanging decorations I made...a little bunny, which is covered with floral paper and inked at the edges, then sealed with Mod Podge.
 A little bird, which I painted with Paper Artsy chalk acrylic, stamped with a little floral stamp using versamark and then heat embossed using white embossing powder, again sealed with Mod Podge
 Finally for today, I painted this heart with a mixture of Paper Artsy Fresco Finish chalk acrylic (Haystack) mixed with a little Indigo Blu English Cottage Acrylic (Pantry White). I then stamped the cockerel, which is a Magnolia stamp, the 'Happy Easter' from the Inky Doodles set and the chicken wire around the edges which is an Indigo Blu stamp. I finished off by adding some little wooden eggs, which I had stamped and coloured with paints, a rusty wire hanger and ribbons. The heart is also sealed with Mod Podge.
When we got back from Bristol, Tom started to wash the car (a bit of a weekend ritual for him) and I began my spring clean of the Summer House, which is to be my outdoor 'art' studio! I will be putting all my art parts, paints etc out there and keeping everything for card making in here..sounds like a plan, let's see if it works!

Anyway, for any of you interested, here is the Banksy... I will be back again soon,

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Friday, 18 April 2014

Sunday Stampers week 303 - Good Friday, April 18th 2014

Good evening  Friends,

 We are have had our annual family Good Friday Brunch....we love doing this every year! Everyone has left now, so before I collapse in front of the TV...

Thank you for all your comments about my DT news and my wreaths yesterday. I really am looking forward to being part of Sam Poole's DT and sharing my creations from her new designs with you. As for the wreaths, well how different they are! The door wreath can be made in under an hour, whereas the bunnies, I had been working on since is my favourite of the two and makes me smile whenever I open the door! It certainly went down well with our visitors today !

Today's post is my Sunday Stampers make for this week. This time Hels set the challenge of creating something  using brights: reds, oranges, yellow.... and Hels, forgive me for using the same stamp as yourself! I got it at Ally Pally last weekend and had been itching to use it! This is the Sunflower stamp by Indigo Blu...

Please excuse the poor photo, I just couldn't get it right today! First of all I painted a card blank with Indigo Blu Goldfinger Acrylic paint (also bought at the show). Once that had dried, I  embossed it using a leaf design embossing folder.

I then stamped the sunflower three times on to black card, using the same paint as my 'ink'. It stamps beautifully. Then I fussy cut three layers of the flower and  I added some red mica powder. This is a very shimmery card but unfortunately photos don't reflect this.

Finally I stamped the sentiment using an Inky Doodles stamp; I used versamark ink and gold embossing powder, then I cut a flag shape. I used the left over pain from my brush to just add a line of gold to the edges and positioned it under the flower.

Thank you so much for stopping by, I'll be back soon with more Easter makes...and I will catch up with all your posts tomorrow morning.

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Easter Blessings - Good Friday, 18th April 2014

Good Morning Friends,

I'd like to wish you all a very Happy Easter - this is a quick post and the first of two, as I will be back with Sunday Stampers later on. We host a family Brunch every Good Friday, for family and a few friends, so a busy morning for us!

Today's card is the first of two, traditional Easter cards with a more serious theme, reflecting the true reason we celebrate. My second one will be posted on Sunday.

This is a very simp card, using backing paper from stash, Spellbinders Scalloped Oval dies matted an layered using white card and adorable scorable 'baby pink'. The leaves and flourishes are die cut using Spellbinders dies, as is the cross and the flowers are made using a punch.

Thank you so much for stopping by, I will be visiting your blogs and posting again this evening after our visitors have gone home!

Have a lovely day,

Love and hugs,
Carole X

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Spring Door Wreaths & Exciting news!- Thursday 17th April

Good Morning Friends,

Design Team news!!!

We'll I didn't get back here yesterday with my news....I was so wanting to post, but I ended up going to Cirencester with my inlaws and a visiting  cousin, who's birthday it we went out for a meal and got back so late there was no time!

Anyway, I can wait no longer!!!! My news is that... I have been selected as a new member of the Design Team for Sam Poole!! I can't tell you how thrilled I was to be selected as I have been a fan of Sam's artwork and style for so long. For those of you not familiar with Sam's work here is the link to her blog and shop - Creative Studios -  the bunny and bear card I posted  recently, features two of Sam's stamps.

Now to today's post...I have so many Easter makes to share and so little time!

As some of you know I keep a seasonal wreath on my front door the whole year through and it struck me that  I haven't shared any with you this year yet..well this is a new Spring one that it on our door right now...

I just added some silk daffodils, little flowers and greenery to a vine wreath and added yellow ribbon. I made a little birds nest from string and twine and the little bird is a wooden decoration I painted, stamped and heat embossed.

The second wreath is for an internal door. I made the little bunnies from a pattern by 'Sweet Dreams', which I have had for a long time. The picket fence was luckily already in my stash.

I took last year's Summer wreath apart to make the Spring one for the front door - it had lasted a few years and the once yellow silk roses that adorned it had become quite white, so now I have to find some time to make another one for the summer.

Thank you for stopping by!

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

WOYWW 254 - Wednesday 16th April 2014

Good Morning Friends,

It's that time of the week when courtesy of Julia over at Stamping Ground, we get to share our desks with each other. No projects laid out on mine this week, but some of my regular followers have been asking to see what goodies I got at the Big Stamp & Scrapbooking Show at Alexandra Palace in London last Saturday.

We were in London for the weekend and travelling by train, so I stayed clear of all the card offers, just because of carrying it and stuck with stamps and dies...all the lighter goodies...and here they are...

As you can see in the top two photos it was mostly stamps, from various companies and then in the bottom photo a die set, some Cosmic Shimmer chalk paints and ink duster brushes, which I have been wanting to try for a while - I have been using an old stencil brush occasionally at home and liked the effect.

So, I will be getting busy creating with my new stamps and  paints  now!

Before I finish today, I wanted to let you know that my friend Amy, who I do the craft workshops with has through her shop,  arranged for Creative Expression's Julia Watts to come down and do a demo day on Saturday 7th if any of you are in the Bristol/Bath area, Amy's shop is in the town of Chipping Sodbury. See the poster advert below for how to make bookings and I will be adding it to my sidebar.

Thank you so much for stopping by!

I will be back with a second post later today, with some exciting craft related news that I am so looking forward to sharing, so my lovely blog pop back :)!!!

Love & Hugs,
Carole X

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Easter Chicks - Tuesday 15th April 2014

Good afternoon Friends!

So far I have featured lots of bunnies in my Easter cards, but not so many chickens...well rest assured I have been making some and  I am going to start by putting that right today with two cards featuring stamps by Inky Doodles and Magnolia (the larger stamp in the second card)...

For the first card I did take inspiration in arranging the hens like this from a  card in Inky Doodle gallery on their website. I embossed the card using a chicken wire mark and then inked over with mustard seen distress ink. The eggs and greeting are from the same stamp set and the images were coloured with Promarkers

I created the second card as an example when we used the Triple Layered technique in our workshop last month.  I stamped the hens on to three layers of patterned card by Pink Petticoat and then matted and layered on to yellow card stock.

The greeting and larger hen were both stamped on to polka dot paper from Pink Petticoat. I also decorated inside with the polka for paper but didn't photograph it (you can just catch a glimpse).

Whilst on the subject of chickens, we had some sad news when we dropped our girls off at the farm for their own little holiday last Friday. I was telling the owner about Penny and how eventually we would have more Orpingtons and he told me that they had lost the two hens that were their breeding stock to a fox. One of them was Penny's mum...the Cockerel (Penny's Daddy) was traumatised but spared, probably because he is as big as a fox anyway. He will have to carefully source some more stock now, buy he himself has been working less hours and letting the helpers do more for the past year because his wife has been very poorly and they have two young children. I felt so sorry for him, because he works so hard and it's a lovely place. Here's hoping things start looking up now she has finished her treatment.

I know some of you said yesterday that you would like to see more of what was in those bags from the show on Saturday...well fear not...all will be revealed on my WOYWW desk tomorrow!

Thanks for stopping by!

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Monday, 14 April 2014

I'm back!!! - Monday 14th April 2014

Good Morning Friends!

I'm back after a fab weekend in London...although I have come back with a sore throat, which started to appear Saturday afternoon..... and my computer is totally misbehaving! I tried to catch up with all your blogs this morning, if I haven't commented as yet, I will try later... some the comment boxes just weren't loading..neither have half the photos I took with my phone..grrr!

Actually I think that the throat is more to do with hotel air con and being in a department store where the perfume department got to my throat, even though we were nowhere near it - I can't take strong perfumes!). Having said that, how is it that Tom and I spent almost 3 weeks, travelling over a thousand miles, living out of suitcases in California last year, plus of course the 10 hour flights and not even a sniff of jet lag...yet two days in London and we feel like we have the world's worst hangover (we don't by the way!).

Anyway, we did have a lovely time; Friday night we went to see Angela Lansbury in Blithe goodness she was brilliant (as were the whole cast) 88 she had the most energetic role on the stage and she looked as fresh as a daisy. Stephen Fry was in the audience..he was a few feet away from us at interval drinks and tweeted a photo of 
himself with Ms Lansbury afterwards.

Saturday was of course Ally Pally - another brilliant show. If your passion is stamping and to a certain extent die cutting, this is definitely the one to go to. It seemed quieter this year than it has been, but still very busy and still very hard to get close to viewing demos from  the crafters we all know well from TV, such as Sue Wilson, Ally Reeve, Julia Watts, Sam Poole, Phil Martin, Barbara Gray and Kay from Indigo Blu ..well we were almost first in and there was still already a massive crowd around Sue Wilson! I missed seeing Hels Sheridan this year, as she was off doing a workshop, but managed to have nice little chats with Sam Poole, Julia Watts, Ally Reeve and Phil Martin.

Usually Barbara Gray and Indigo Blu do demos in the demo area, but this year they were all from Creative Expressions (they run the show)  and we managed to see two excellent ones by Sam and Phil.

I had birthday money and takings from my last craft fair (which thankfully had been very successful) that I had been saving, so I must admit I 'went for it' and came back with lots of new stamps, masks and some paints. Of course, being on the train we couldn't carry card blanks etc, but I made up for it with lighter to carry items! 

Now this shows that Tom pays attention...we left at about 1pm and I was spent out by then. He pointed out to me that I had missed out one of my  favourite stamp companies, LOTV. I had been there at the start, but they are always mobbed with customers, so had it in mind to go back. I said that I would give them a miss as I had  no money left, but he still tried to encourage me..I was good though: I do have some of their newer stamps that I've yet to use, so decided that I needed to use them first.

Whilst at Ally Pally,  a lady came up to me and said "Are you Carole?" - She was Janice who also follows Christine Emerson's blog and she recognised me from my photo! It was so nice of her to come and say hello and we had a brief but lovely little chat!

Here are some photos....again I had problems because for some reason they haven't transferred over with iCloud...I really am going to have serious words with my iMac when I've finished this post...I had to go to Facebook and grab some I had posted on there...
Me with my stash! Patti..if you read this, look what I'm wearing, I've had so many compliments!

Sue Wilson getting a gift of a cake from someone
Phil Martin (very nice guy)

Sue with her cake
view of show

I love this blue cockerel on the plinth!

Saturday night we had booked to go out for a meal to  a restaurant called 'Quo Vadis'. It has a very good name and back in the 50's, when he first came here from Italy, Tom's dad worked there. He had found some old menus and gave them to Tom to show them if anyone seemed interested. The restaurant Manager came to take our menus after we had ordered our meals and we asked to keep one for dad. 

Tom explained that his dad had worked there and showed him the menus..well that was it, he was ecstatic about it and asked to copy them. After the meal he invited us to their Private Members Club upstairs and we had cocktails bought for us. He explained that when Marco Pierre-White bought the restaurant he got rid of everything from its past and the current owners were keen to restore its history, so these menus were a great find for them. He said that at one time, Damien Hirst had stored a shark in formaldehyde in the attic (!) and Karl Marx had written most of Das Kapital there as well. They have an artist who creates the menus and has painted a brilliant mural on tiles depicting the building's past. It was really interesting and we were so pleased for Tom's dad that they took such an interest.

Well I must away as I have a commission card to make today...I'll be back tomorrow,
Love and Hugs,
Carole X