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Monday, 29 June 2015

Crazy Birds #3 - Monday 29th June;;

Hello Friends,

Hoping you all had a good weekend! Today has been a hot one  again here - we have a really small office and even with the window and door open it got hot except when we caught the breeze!

Thank you for all your lovely comments about my window box card - my friend Lynda was thrilled with it, it was her birthday yesterday and we and a good 'cross Country' phone chat. Look out for another of these cards in the next week or so, I decided to make one for my Mum-in-law's birthday.

Today's card is another one of those Tim Holz Crazy Birds stamps.....

 This time more of a guy card.  I mat and layered white and black card on to a 7x7 blank, but I rubbed metallic gold Decoart paint into the white layers using a sponge, leaving some of the white to show through for a more grungy effect.

I stamped the image, coloured it with my Inktense pencils and then cut it out.

For the background I used gold Cosmic Shimmer Vintage Mist spray and once I had finished, I adhered the cut out bird on to the card.

Whilst rummaging through my boxes of craft stuff I came across a few of those self adhesive greetings that I'd had for years, so as it was gold I thought 'what the heck!' and used it.
Here is another photo of the finished card with  the envelope, which I also decorated.

Whilst on the subject of birds, a couple more photos from our little holiday..this time Birdland, at Bourton on the Water...I hadn't been in a good few years and it has changed a lot: I took loads of photos as you can image, but I thought I would just post these penguins, because everyone loves penguins, don't they? We arrived really early so they were all preening to make themselves beautiful for the visitors...the ones in the photo below were standing under running water, taking a shower :)

This one came right up to us and started playing with the flowers

Here I am, just about to enter their new exhibit that is of course Jurassic Park themed

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

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Summer Window Box - June 25th 2015

Hello Friends,

Thank you for your comments about my stencilled bench was nice to get home from being away, the weather was still beautiful and to get outside and paint! I was dying to use those stencils. The tiny shop, which is called the Applestore and is on the same land as the arboretum and falconry was a real vintage/shabby chic treasure. I had a lovely chat with the owner, who has found some beautiful furniture and household items to give the Annie Sloan treatment.

If you saw my post yesterday you'll know I was in hiding (lol)...well the fence guys hadn't completely  finished our neighbour's fence by the time they left at 4.30, but one of the men knocked on the back door to say that they would put a temporary panel in so the hens could come out...I had managed to fool them (the hens) into thinking I was out all day and they had been very quiet,  but they heard me talking to him and started getting excited and clucking, thank goodness I could let them out...cheeky girls! But I did feel sorry for them to be in their run on such a nice day, when I was at home.

Today's post is a 3D card that I made for my bestie from school days, Lynda, who now lives in Cumbria and is a horticulturalist. She opened her garden under the "Ulverston in Bloom' scheme last weekend and sent me some beautiful photos, it's been a while since we last got up there to visit.

I always try and make some sort of floral card, but this time I got slightly carried away, so it had to be posted in a box with her present!

I used Eileen Hull's Window Box die by Sizzix for the card. I die cut the window panel twice and layered some acetate in between the panels. 

For the window box, I wanted to make it look like a weathered wooden panel by scoring the card and then rubbing grey ink over it, I used Memento: London Fog. I should have made the panels longer as it looks more like bricks, but I didn't notice until I had taken the photo,  which was odd and too late! I'll know next time!

I then die cut an assortment of flowers, most of them Sizzix dies...Sizzix recently had a mega sale and I did get quite a few floral dies for £2-£3 each... but a few others are included - Spellbinders and Britannia and the roses were made from a die I got free with a magazine. I thought I would give it a try instead of one of my other rose dies and I really liked it, very easy to use. There is no make on it, so I guess it was made specially.

For this to stand up, I made a little stand for the back. To finish I cut a plant label die and stamped Happy Birthday - I did also cut the larger label from the set to write our greeting on. I decided not to add a drape or other window dressing, but instead to use a floral flourish die to frame the window with the roses.

Dies used:

Sizzix Window Box die, Eileen Hull
Sizzix Bloom & Plant Markers, Eileen Hull
Sizzix Susan's Garden Lilac
Sizzix Susan's Garden Forsythia
Spellbinders Blooms Four
Spellbinders Sprigs
Britannia Multi Flower
Free rose die

I'd like to enter this in the June 'Art with Heart Challenge' 

The theme is Summer Fun and I had a lot of fun making this!

Thanks for stopping by, I'll be back tomorrow with more photos.

Love and Hugs
Carole X

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Chalk Painted bench - June 24th 2015

Hello Friends,

I didn't have to go to work today, but decided that instead of craft I would get up to date on the I have now (hopefully) caught up with all your blogs as well as downloaded all my photos from last week!

The weather outside is beautiful and I would like to be out in the craft barn - but - (bear with me here!) I have to 'hide' inside from the hens! I haven't gone of the neighbours is having a fence replaced and it's a very long area, so I have to keep the hens in their run until they're done. If the girls know I'm home, they'll want to come out and will get quite persistent. Drat that  they had to do it the one day this week I'm home!!!

Anyway.....when we were away last week we had a nice time visiting a couple of  little 'vintage/shabby chic' shops that specialise in selling Annie Sloan paint (you probably know my now that it's my favourite!),...well in short it was everything AS: paint, restored furniture,workshops....! I knew the shops were there, so I'd waited to get my hands on a couple of her new stencils and when I came home I set to work on a few paint projects....

I picked this storage box up really cheaply last week and should have got a couple of them. 

I painted the outside using  AS Old Ochre Chalk Paint, waxed it and then sanded it a little at the edges to reveal some of the wood beneath. This is an ideal size for storing my little pots of AS paint. I then stencilled the hands on the outside using .....

Next for the bench...this bench sits in our porch, it's not meant as a seat (although it can be sat upon) and it was made by my Father in Law to my design about 10 years ago. I use it to display seasonal flowers, Easter, Halloween and Christmas decs etc.

 It needed a paint anyway, so I used the Old Ochre: it only needed one coat and then I used  flower and bird stencils to decorate. I didn't stencil all the seat back as it tends to get hidden by plants and other decorations during the year anyway.

 I also stencilled the flower on the side of the box...

Before I go, I will share a few photos from last week...I'm not going to share too many(if there are  animals and birds in sight, I take hundreds!!!)  and I'll spread them across the next few posts, but on Monday last week we visited two of my favourite places, The Cotswold Falconry Centre (which is where I did my intro to Falconry training day a few years ago) and Batsford Arboretum next door - we are members of a larger Arboretum close to us and we also get entry into Batsford with our membership...and I prefer Batsford ...

Here are some photos of the Birds of Prey...I love them all, but during the displays the vultures are so entertaining, the way they interact with each other, just like a scene from the Jungle Book!

Bald Eagle

Bateleur Eagle

This owl decided to sit on my handbag!


Tom had urged me to book for a refesher session, but I never got around to it - I still got to fly  this adorable little owl though :)

I had to include this shot that Tom took as the owl swooped towards him :)

Vultures, I could watch them all day, they are so comical

Golden Eagle
These are just a few of the photos I took, I'll share some more from the week on Friday...and be warned, there will be more birds..not hawks, but more birds!

Meanwhile thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment, always very much appreciated,

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Father's Day - June 21st 2015

Hello Friends!

Well didn't we just pick the best week of weather to have a holiday in this Country!!!!! We had the best time..we are so lucky to live right on the edge of the favourite part of England and we don't have to go far to be right in it's heart, enjoying it's beauty. We have had such a 'full' week that I haven't even downloaded my photos yet, but I will share a few later in the week....Christine, if you read this...I did look out for you when we were in Stow :)

I haven't looked at a computer or iPad screen for more than a few moments for a week and it's been great, so relaxing...but I had to pop on here to share my Father's Day makes and to let you know that I will be catching up with your current posts later on.

Thank you for your comments on my Wedding project for Fran and Alex...last week I had a few messages via Facebook from friends of theirs asking me to make one, but I had to say no. It just took so long.... once I had started it I almost regretted it as it was fiddly and ever evolving, so it was truly a 'one off'....

And so to my Father's Day card and gift box: sadly I lost my own dear Dad many years ago, when I was barely out of my 20's and there were still so many chats to have and questions to ask, but luckily I have a wonderful Father-n-Law. Toni is a typical Italian, likes cars, football and good food and wine!  He also enjoys DIY and gardening, so today usually means a suitable gift card and some Prosecco for a toast. I made the card when we did our Father's Day craft workshop, but I also made a gift box.

I made the box using  black heavy card and the Sizzix mini bag die by Eileen Hull and I also made a carrying handle for the back, with some extra card and die cut a circle in the centre using Spellbinders Classic Circles.  Before putting the box together I ran through the die-cutting machine with an M-Bossabilities folder. I then rubbed it all over with silver gilding wax for an industrial look.

I made the little gift card holder for putting inside the  bag using grey card and a Sizzix Notebook Cover embossing folder,which I also rubbed with silver wax. To finish I tied with black twine, secured with a brad.

The stamps are from Visible Image.

Thank you for stopping by,  I will catch up with you all later and back to work tomorrow so will probably not be posting again until Wednesday!

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Wedding Musical Box - Sunday 14th June

Hello Friends,

Yesterday was our friends'  daughter Francesca's wedding and it's time to share a project I made a few weeks ago for Fran and her now husband, Alex. 

I mentioned this project I mentioned in a post a few weeks took me about 10 crafting hours at various times to complete, if not more, but they loved it so it was worth it.

It started off as a simple exploding box with a musical element, but turned into a much larger project...a case of getting carried away! I apologise in advance for a very photo-heavy post...

First of all, the complete closed box. I used a lot of dies, so I'm not going to list them but if any of you would like to know about any specific die, please let me know.

The square top box is made using  Eileen Hull's  Scoreboards ATB die, but I made the smaller box myself, together with the lid. Once I had made the boxes, but before constructing them, I used an MBossability folder with a heart pattern for texture. I die cut shapes for each side and added floral and sentiment details.

I also die cut the same shapes, cut them in half and made a decorative lid, embossed with roses and decorated with die cut roses. The one part I seem to have not photographed is the top of the lid - the couple is placed in a bed of roses.

The Exploding box

The ATB part of the project opens into an exploding box. I added another die cut of the couple in the centre, surrounded by roses. The wedding cake sentiment stamp, I got some years ago when I went to a Stampin' Up party and apart from the 'bride and groom' die cut, the words on the other sides are my own, computer generated.

As you can see in one of the photos, there is a handle at the side of the box...this conceals a little mechanical music box, which plays the Wedding March


Once I'd made the box, I had to make a box for had to be quite a large box, so I drew the template myself and made it up - fortunately in all worked first time

I also decorated a bag for the box and gift...

Below is a photo of it in its gift box at the wedding yesterday, I think if they had taken it out it would have been handled a lot, Alex (the groom) told me that some people thought it had been bought in a shop...nice complement.
It was a beautiful day, it rained but didn't spoil a thing - even though the service was partially in the open. The venue, Matara, near Tetbury was beautiful, truly idyllic. The couple smiled and laughed all day long - they met on a school bus when they were 14 and now eleven years on are husband and wife. Francesca's parents are two of our best friends, the first time we met Fran she was a premature baby and now a beautiful young woman in all ways. Her sister, who was her Maid of Honour is equally as beautiful and is our are a few photos

Francesca & Alex
With our friends, Sharon & Massimo, the bride's parents


with my best friend and love of my life,  Tom

 Thank you so much for stopping by, I am going to be 'missing' for most of this week, Tom and I have booked into an hotel at Stow on the Wold and we are going to spend the time just chilling in the Country-side, visiting some 'bird' reserves and walking, plus a table is booked in one of our favourite restaurants in Stow. The 'girls' are in their 'holiday home' at the bird farm and we are back on Thursday. I'm dipping out of social media altogether over the next few days.

I'll be back later in the week,

Love and Hugs,
Carole Z X