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Friday, 24 July 2015

Mini Album - Friday 24th July 2015

Hello Friends,

I hope you have all been having a good week...Friday is here and the weekend beckons, yay!!!

Today, (I'm afraid) there's still no escaping from owls or a photo heavy post! I decided to make a mini album of my photos from our recent few days away, when we visited one of my favourite places, The Cotswold Falconry Centre.

This month's challenge from Eileen Hull over at Art with Heart is to create something with a 3D you know one of my favourite ways with craft is 3D, pop up cards, decor objects...but I couldn't really use my window box for this as I made one last month...however, I think this little book counts as 3D and has some touchy-feely textures that stand out from the book...

I made the book using Eileen's mini album die for Sizzix (love this die, the best for mini albums!) and embossed the cover with a leafy embossing folder. I then rubbed copper relief paste into the embossing to bring out the texture and give it shine.

The owl (Sam Poole design) was stamped on to a fabric-paper with a furry texture - yes I know owls have feathers, but the point is it is very tactile, feels soft to the touch. I adhered the owl to the cover with 3D pads to raise him and then stamped him again on paper and added the eyes and beak with foam pads.

I drew the branch freehand and die cut the leaves, the letters are a Tim Holz alterations die for Sizzix.

For the first page inside I wanted to add the close up photo of the little owl I got to fly  at the reserve (such a cutie!).

To create the texture of the tree trunk, I die cut a hole in the centre of the card and then smoothed embossing paste over the card, leaving raised areas quite randomly. 
Once dry I painted over it with brown paint and added the photo.

I made the book into a journal of the day, plus a few photos at the end from a favourite falconry lesson some years ago and the Sparrowhawk garden visitor, adding die cut and stamped flowers and leaves to the are all the pages

Thank you so much for stopping by again, promise this is my last photo-heavy post for a while, have a great weekend all!

Art with Heart Challenge -Make it 3D: July 2015

Love and Hugs
Carole X

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Window Box card (2) - Tuesday 21st July 2015

Hello Friends,

I hope you all had a good weekend, ours was very busy but so enjoyable...Saturday Tom and I worked from 1pm to 9pm making the holes in the ground for the pergola. We had a special tool but we kept hitting large stones and had to dig 8 holes, each 20 inches! Sunday Tom's dad and brother helped him put it up, the weather was just right  and his Mum and I were on lunch duty and there to help if needed. 

They started at 10am and finished at 7pm (with aa half hour lunch), so an hour later we were treating them to a pub meal for their help. We are really pleased with it now, we have to start adding the plants, but in time I am sure it will look like it's been there forever!

I did promise a hen story, so here it is...the weekend before we had to prepare the area for the pergola and this involved moving a little bush that the hens used as a little hideaway. When we started to dig it up, Tilda was in laying her egg but Cara got quite visibly 'annoyed' with us and actually sat herself under the bush and would not move! Every time I picked her up, she went straight back! By the time Tilda emerged from the nest box, we had removed and replanted it but she was looking all over for it. Needless to say they have ignored it where it's planted and found another favourite spot!

 Above is Cara after we had trimmed away at the bush before digging it up, wondering what had happened to it and below is Tilda the next day, still looking for it!

Here are the pergola photos...

and finally some craft....

A few weeks ago I made a window box card for my friend, using the Sizzix die by Eileen Hull...Lynda loved it, so I made one with a different colour palette for my Mum in Law's birthday earlier this month....

 I made an insert from card, with slits to display the flowers
 This time instead of a wood effect for the box, I embossed the front using a swirly heart folder
 I didn't need a box for Lynda's card as it fitted the box with her present that I was positing, but this time I made a simple acetate front box.

Thank you for stopping by, I promise a few shorter posts after this one! Hope you all have a lovely day, I'm off to work now!

Love and Hugs
Carole X

Saturday, 18 July 2015

What a Hoot! - Saturday 18th July 2015

Hello Friends,

I finally caught up with all your posts yesterday, I don't think there has been a time I have blogged less since I arrived here about 4 years ago...the only reasons are just so little time at the moment -and- I really need to learn to write shorter posts with less waffle....hmmm!

Before anything else I would like to welcome my new follower Helen R, thank you so much for following along Helen...I'm really sorry, but when I click on my followers list at the moment I just get a weird box pop up, so please let me know if you have a blog too. I've also noticed I have a few more bloglovin followers, so welcome to you too!

 I've been outside a lot lately: the weather has been mostly lovely, too nice to spend time at my computer! We have been doing a lot of work in the garden and this weekend are enlisting the help of some of Tom's family to help erect a new and pretty large pergola...gosh it will be like a barn raising :) We've been so busy, I haven't even had much time to spend in my little garden craft retreat this year!

Next month we are having a conservatory fitted(so no holiday last year because of the new kitchen and none again this year,ah well will be worth it...) and as I'm home more than Tom - and live close to work, it will be mostly me 'project managing' it,'s quite a big space, so will add a good sized extra room to the house. I"m looking forward to it, but they have said that from start to finish it will be about a month and then we have walls to paint and have to wait another month before we can have the floor laid...and of course it has to be it will be October before it's complete. It's been fun though, because as it's going to be large enough for a comfy seating area and our dining table, I've been making a mood board on Pinterest and am looking forward to the 'interior design' part of it, including plenty of Annie Sloaning :)...I just hate using blogger on the iPad but I can sit in front of the TV and Pin to my heart's content!

Last week and next week I'm in the office more than usual: we have a 17 year old IT student volunteering with us for a couple of weeks and he's been doing some excellent work and also this week I had my first outing with the Hawk and Owl Trust and it was great!

There was also another 'newbie' volunteer, who we had actually placed through the Volunteer Centre I manage, so it was nice to see Joanne and she had a good time too. We went out with a group of 6 experienced volunteers and visited 3 farms where they have barn and tawny owl boxes sited. The aim was to check each box to see if it had been or was being used. As we approached one box, a barn owl flew out. Apparently it is very unusual to actually see a bird, so we were extra lucky on our first day. When the guy inspected the box, there was one owl chick inside and one egg. The chick was quite an advance age, so although owls do hatch their eggs in stages it was unlikely the last egg would hatch.

This is me being taught how to use a nest box cover. When inspecting boxes, a couple of group members approach and cover the entry hole with this instrument. This stops any bird inside from flying out. It's really heavy and quite tricky to place and you hold it there whilst one of the others climbs the ladder to check the box, no owls in this one though.

We were out about 4 hours and when I got home I'd intended to craft, but instead I went out in the garden and pottered with the hens, it was such a gorgeous day and after a morning of walking around farms I just wanted to stay outdoors!

If you're still with is the craft part..

I'm sticking to owls for this post..this was my project for our craft group a last week...we made a hanger but I made this one so that it could easily be turned into a card, which is what I have done and shown below.

I've seen quite a lot of this type of artwork about lately, not stamped as these are, but having a similar printed effect. I deliberately left the tree plain and coloured the flowers with promarkers using a simple block colouring method, so it looks printed. The owl is the Mr Owl stamp by Sam Poole and is paper pieced.

This is the hanging decoration the group made: they all seemed to enjoy it, some hadn't done any paper piecing before or masking stamped images, which created the background, so it was fun for them to try these techniques.

For the tree I used a grand deckled oval Spellbinder die on white card, which I backed with blue card. I used the same Stampendous floral stamp set  as for the bookmark in my previous post, using the masking technique to overlay the images. I then inked the edges with salty ocean distress ink. For the tree, I simply drew it freehand and cut out in brown card. I've made a few cards, which will be in future posts, where I added markings to the trunk, but I wanted to leave this one 'clean' .

Here's one of the cards I made...I made about four of the decorations, so can make them all into cards! I just used plain linen effect blue card on a 7x7 blank and only slightly inked the edges with salty ocean distress ink.

 Well that's it (if you're still here...sorry it's so long and I still have quite a comical and poignant hen story to share, but we'll leave that for another day, I have a pergola to help put up!)

Thank you so much for stopping by and for leaving a comment! I will catch up with you all tonight after a day in the garden.

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

'O' is for Owl - Wednesday 8th July 2015

Hello Friends,

Well another week has passed and I hope you are still enjoying the fine weather (most of the time) too?

Most of Saturday was spent in the garden, working hard! We were 'helped, by the hens and it was lovely, Sunday we spent with our friends whose daughter's wedding we were at a few weeks ago, catching up on all the post wedding news.

Because I only get certain times for crafting during the week (my choice mostly, I've come to realise there are so many more things to enjoy as well), at least not blogging so much means I have a nice little back log of creations to keep me going for a while!

Today, I want  to share a small project, ahead of a  few bigger ones on the same theme,  which I'll share over the next few  posts.

We only have one craft workshop in July, so Amy and I decided to have a change and get the group to make something other than a card, such as a wall hanging. Tomorrow I will show you my project for them, but for today a little bookmark I made with some left over card.

We've been using the cute owl stamp by Sam Poole this month and I have made quite a few projects with it for ideas, so you will be seeing a lot of him...

I'll explain the stamping technique in my larger project tomorrow, but I drew and cut out the tree free hand. I wanted this project have very much a 'printed' effect, so used block colouring with promarkers and very little inking, just at the edges...more of a 'clean' look.
Mr Owl is paper-pieced.

I placed the bookmark in this book for a reason - other than I'm reading it for the second time - in my last post, I mentioned that I had joined a local volunteer group?

My job is to help people volunteer, I used to volunteer a lot and apart from the occasional one off 'event', always with animals. When I lived close to the centre of Bristol, there was no shortage of animal based volunteering and I spent about 10 years helping at the Riding for the Disabled school, as horses are my big love. Now I live in a small town, surrounded by rural countryside, surprisingly animal groups are virtually zilch. But for a while now I have been thinking about the local Hawk and Owl Trust, goodness knows we've passed quite a few people to them as volunteers.

So last week I put my name down and I'm now waiting for my first trip out... they survey local farmland, working with farmers and local Councils to preserve habitats for mostly kestrels and barn owls. They also take part in local community events, which eventually I'd like to help with. I am so in awe of these beautiful birds and am always reading about them, so I am really looking forward to finding out more.

One of the projects  I made using the  Mr Owl stamp, also features the photos I took at the falconry centre a few weeks ago, I'll be posting that soon.

Many thanks for stopping by, I really appreciate your comments,

Love and Hugs
Carole X

Friday, 3 July 2015

The Wiz....Friday 3rd July 2015

Hello Friends!

Hope you are all well and those of you in the UK didn't get over-heated on  Wednesday, I was supposed to be at a work event and then I had the chance to take part in a working morning with a volunteer group  I've joined....the event got cancelled and by then it was too late to go out with the group. I'll tell you more about the group in a future post...but it is nothing to do with's conservation and a certain type of wildlife.

In the end I was quite pleased to be home....I shared my time between a few hours in the craft room and several more out in the 'craft shed' the afternoon the hens were panting, especially the youngest one. I put extra water all over the place in shady spots and gave  them cucumber and melon, which cooled them down a bit, otherwise they found shady areas under trees in  the garden and led down. By the evening they were fine. I've not seen them get that hot before, there is lots of shade so plenty of places to hide.

Wizard of Oz cards

It occurred to me that I haven't shared the project my group of ladies did at our last workshop. This was our annual special one for the local Chipping Sodbury Festival and the theme this year was 'Musicals', so we decided to use some Visible Image stamps and make a card with a Wizard of Oz theme..

This was the card my group easel card featuring the Dorothy, red shoes and sentiment stamps.

I used a polka dot mask on the top layer, ran through the embossing machine, inked it with  Vintage Photo distress ink and then used Promarkers to colour the dots as a 'nod' to the rainbow.

I stamped the image, dusted with clear embossing powder and heat embossed and they drew a cloud shape, cut out and inked with  salty ocean distress ink.

As I don't own a brick road stamp, I decided to use to brick wall mask: I inked it through with a mix of wild honey and mustard seed distress inks, cut into a winding road shape and inked the edges with vintage photo.

I coloured Dorothy using my Intense pencils and cut her out. For the flowers I used a punch. I stamped the shoes on to matt metallic silver card using versamark ink and heat embossed with red glitter.

  All the ladies said they really enjoyed making it...

I thought I may as well show you the other demo cards I'd made in the same post...

The first one just uses the shoes, decorated in the same way as above. It's a CAS card, just using the gingham we associate with Dorothy's dress.

I think the next one is may favourite except for the road....I couldn't get the mask to look right with the scene, so I used a path from my Lavinia Stamps collection (it is yellower in reality than the photo) and it's okay, but not really what we associate with the movie. I used Promarkers to colour Dorothy on this one  and made the little 'hills' in the grass using masks made from paper. The grass stamp is by Stampscapes and the tree with hearts is  by Dreamees.

It wasn't until I had put it all together and looked at it that I realised I'd forgotten the rainbow! Then I painted one in using the watercolour pencils, but the card wouldn't take the water, so it looked messy...I had no choice but to take a scrap of watercolour card, paint the rainbow on that and fix it over my splodgy mess!!

Before I finish today, I want to say that I had a lovely surprise when I logged on of my long time and lovely blog friends, Sandee Sentiff has decided to do a weekly shout out for those followers who leave regular comments and I was her first choice. Sandee is an artist, with a big heart and great inspiration, do pop over and have a look at her beautiful creations.

Thank you very much for stopping by, I always appreciate your visits!

Love and Hugs
Carole X