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Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Hi -Tops Card - Wednesday 29th April 2015

Hello Friends,

Thank you for your comments on my last two posts, especially the wreath, which was something I really enjoyed making - glad you liked it!

Today I'm sharing a recent card I made for a 12 year old boy cousin. I made it using a digital stamp. I usually keep a note of where I find the digis to give the site credit here, but this time I didn't and I've searched but can't find it again! I'll keep looking.

I used a  6x6 card blank and covered the base layer with grey card. I used a shoe print 
M-Bossability folder (Spellbinders) with matt silver card for the background layer.

The image is coloured using Chameleon pens. I tore the card around the image in to rectangle shape and then added detailing using the following Sizzix dies:
Tim Holz Alterations - Artful Arrows
Tim Holz Alterations -  Mini Clipboard
Sizzix Bigz - Primitive Stars

I stamped the arrow on a left over piece from the embossed card, and once I had die cut the star and clip, I sanded the card to give it a rough texture.

The greeting was stamped on to black card using silver ink.

Thank you so much for stopping by,

Love and Hugs
Carole X

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Pop Up Cards - Saturday 25th April 2015

Hello again Friends,

I am scheduling this post Friday night as Saturday we will be in Bristol for the classic Italian Car Show, to be honest cars do absolutely nothing for me and Tom isn't that interested, but his Dad his dad is Italian and loves his cars and so does Tom's brother, so they always put their classic cars in the show and we go down to support and usually have some lunch. So many people go and it's very noisy, but it's pretty good as long as the weather is good - and the forecast isn't that great!

Anyway as promised here are some photos from Thursday's craft group: we used a Stampendous pop up card die and co-ordinating stamp set. I usually encourage the ladies to use my design as a base, but do what they like using the techniques. This time though because of what we were using and it being something quite new, they all seemed to follow my card...

Below os my original card: the die set is very resourceful because it includes the pop up mechanism, all the different edger dies I've used on the card, plus oval and rectangle label dies in various sizes. The stamp set includes these hydrangeas, leaves, daisies, roses and a butterfly. Got to say I wasn't too take with the rose stamp, but that was just 'me', I have used both that and the lovely daisies in some other cards, which I will share later in the week. Of course the die set can be used with any other suitable stamps, I also made a few using House Mouse.

Sorry the photos are so bright...I don't know if any of you use Apple Mac, but they have got rid of iPhoto, which I really liked and replaced it with 'Photo', which in my opinion is awful. These were the first photos I imported using it and I couldn't get the colour right at all.

These are the cards made by the ladies in my little group:

Before I go today..... you are probably fed up with photos of our 'girls this week, but I had to share these that I took one afternoon this week. For their supper they each have one of these plastic balls into which I have put some corn. The push them around the grass to release the corn and they seem to love it! Our Speckledy, Lacey used to manage to lift it in her beak and toss it in the air, none of the others have ever mastered that move!

...and finally our Camellias have been looking beautiful this Spring

Have a great Saturday!

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Friday, 24 April 2015

Spring Wreath - Friday 24th April 2015

Hello Friends,

Wow time flies! I can't believe it's been a week since my last post...I want to thank you all for your lovely comments on my Eileen Hull post last week and to those of you who hopped over and left a comment on Eileen's blog too...all your comments were much appreciated and I did reply with a 'thank you'  to every one of them, but I'm never sure if that's very visible or obvious with blogger, so I'm saying it again!

I also want to offer a big welcome to my new follower Jean Bullock. Thank you so much for deciding to join my blog friends Jean and please let me know if you also have a blog, so I can visit you too! I hope you'll keep dropping by here.

It's been a busy week: work has been fairly quiet, although I have been back and forth to the office quite a lot, so it's been a bit 'disjointed'. I did get in  quite a bit of crafting though...mainly making some pop up cards using a new die from Stampendous, which we used in our craft workshops this month. It  was a 'different'  type of card for the group and seemed to go down well. I will share some of the photos of our ladies' finished cards tomorrow.

Today I want to share something else I've been working on this project to enter into this months Art with Heart Challenge from Eileen. As I was creating the projects for last week's post, I did wonder if I would get a project made this month, but I had this bit of Spring crafting at the back of my mind to make so just had to find time!

The theme is Spring Break, I did think of another mini album with a holiday theme, but instead decided on  a Spring wreath.

Those of you who have been following me for a long will know that I always have a seasonal wreath hanging on our front door. I also hang one on the interior door to our lounge. It's something I've always done...many of you will also know that a lot of my family are American, spread across California and times spent staying with my auntie in San Francisco really influenced me in my decor and craft tastes. There was always an abundance of door decor in her neighbourhood and I loved seeing it so much that when I got married and we had our own house, I decided to carry on the tradition ...of course many years later I'm still the only one in the street doing it, except for Christmas!

I haven't posted any wreaths for a while because the new ones I made and posted here a few years ago and still doing well and getting hung on the front door!

This is an interior door wreath, which I made by first of all covering a plain white coloured vine circle with burlap:

I then die cut  15 flowers from felt, using Eileen's Flower Layers With Heart Petals die (Sizzix) and leaves using Sizzix Bigz Arbor die. Once I had cut the leaves, I inked the edges with Vintage Photo distress ink, but I left the flowers untouched.

To finish I sewed buttons on to some of the flowers and rolled left over felt to make centres for the remaining flowers, I added some green stripe and yellow gingham ribbon and tied a length of burlap to hang.

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Friday, 17 April 2015

Featured Fan Day! - Friday 17th April 2015

Hello Friends,

Well I am so excited that my post from yesterday is up on Eileen Hull's blog today. I have been excited since she asked me about three weeks ago, if I would guest and have struggled to keep it quiet.

I think it's safe to say that I'm quite addicted to her designs now, the dies are just what I like and quite different from many that we see on the market. I love three dimensional art more and more, it's probably overtaken card making for my first love and when I pick up one of the dies to use, the creative juices really flow...of course a lot of the ideas are so 'out there' they are impossible, but at least they are there.

I was so pleased you all enjoyed my projects yesterday. The photo journal was a labour of love because it was about our pets, but in a way I was pleased that I had such a short time to make it. If I hadn't  had a deadline, it may well still be awaiting the first photo or piece of journalling!

For the garden project, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I used to (still do but you don't see it so much now) really admire the country style art work of quilter and crafter Debbie Mumm and her designs inspired me with the colours and painted elements, as well as placing the flowers and bees on sticks. In fact, the bee, butterfly and ladybird stamps are all Debbie's stamps - wooden stamps- from quite a few years ago. Remember when Tom and I made the wooden stamp rack a few months ago? Well as I placed them on the shelf, I knew a project to include them wouldn't be long coming!

Here are a few more photos from the journal as promised:

Thank you again for your comments yesterday, if you have time do pop over and have a look at Eileen's blog...maybe leave a comment against my post today, or just have a look at all the fabulous inspiration from Eileen and her  design team.

If I don't make it back here over the weekend, have a good and sunny one!

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Tales from the Coop Mini Album - Thursday 16th April 2015

Hello Friends,

Today I want to share two projects I have made using Eileen Hull's dies for Sizzix. I really enjoy creating projects that are tactile and dimensional. I love stamping and I really love dies...they open up a whole new avenue of creative possibilities. I was first introduced to Eileen Hull's dies by my blog friend Anne Redfern and her fabulous creations and in turn was led to Eileen's Art with Heart Challenge, which I really look forward to taking part in every month. I love Eileen's dies, they are so  versatile and I always have so many ideas rolling around in my head when I use them!

I was thrilled when Eileen invited me to post as her Featured Fan this week and what a time I had creating these two projects especially for Eileen's blog.

My first creation is something from the heart. I love animals of all kinds and we keep hens as pets: they are the most uplifting little critters we've ever owned, with their comical natures.Watching them as they go about their foraging, clucking softly to each other is so relaxing. Over the eight years we have been keeping hens, the only downside has been that they are not long livers and I have so many photos on my computer that I wanted to put into a proper record, but with a twist.

Eileen's Mini Album die is ideal for a photo journal. This die allows the  creation of a thin or thicker book and I wanted to create a really chunky journal to capture the lives of all our hens, other garden visitors and flowers right up to fact it is so chunky, I will soon be starting the next volume!

I wanted it to appear quite rustic: a mixture of photos, my own sketches, stamped images and journalling. The album was die cut using grey board, given a base coat of gesso and finished with a dull pink chalk paint. I used a honeycomb stencil with wild honey distress paint on the cover, ( just very faintly) and stamped the hens and nest, heat embossing the images. The lettering is from Tim Holz's Alphabetical die set, inked with Vintage Photo. I added metal edgers to the corners, die  cut flowers and then button brads on front and back to hold the ribbon to tie the book when closed.

I used Eileen's own tutorial for making pages by folding 12x12 card into half and then quarters and placing the long fold just short of the last score-line on the die. This gives two sets of pages. I inked the edges of each page with wild honey distress ink to give it a more vintage appearance.

The pages were bound to the book using string, it is really easy to add more...if there were room...

Now for the inside: I decided to try it out on 'our girls' but only one of them really took an interest and she was our young hen, Tilda. I guess that Cara, our oldest girl had seen it all before!

 On this page I used Eileen's bird die from 'Birds and Butterflies', the wings lift, so I  wrote a little message underneath. I took so many photos of the project and will share more on my blog tomorrow.

I love the 'feel' of the finished album, it's lovely and chunky to handle. It isn't completely finished, I aim to fill the pages with more sketching and journalling, plus there are a few pages left at the end to add some photos from this post.

Summer Colour

My second creation is  very summery and was made using a mixture of Eileen's dies.

 The Watering Can die has fast become one of my favourites and I think it will make a fabulous alternative to a birthday card for gardening friends, or can be used all year round for decor makes - autumn and  Christmas for starters.

 I used grey board again and a base coat of white gesso. I wanted a 'Country Style' so I sponge painted the main area with salty ocean distress paint and coloured the handle and spout with green and yellow promarker. I drew the checker pattern on the base and along the top, then coloured with pens and stencilled the flower.

The bee, butterfly and ladybird are all stamped images and the flowers from various dies. I attached them to thin sticks (which I had coated with wild honey distress paint). I added the bird die, I love the way the wings open. All were arranged using a florist's oasis for stability.

This project is in two parts, I wanted to create a garden scene, so I made a little storage pot using the medium size from Eileen's 3D Cube die, painted and decorated to match the watering can. I also die-cut plant signs and 'bloom' from the 'Phrase, Bloom and Plant Markers' die set and added lettering from the Tim Holz alphabetical die set. The project had to have some tools to complete it, so I die cut these from Eileen's Gardening Tools set. I coloured these using walnut stain distress ink and brushed pewter distress stain.

I do hope you have enjoyed my projects today, please ask if you have any questions. Thank you for looking and have a great Friday!

Happy Crafting!
Carole X

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

CAS card twofer - Wednesday 15th April 2015

Hello Friends,

Hoping you are all well, it's so much cheerier now that spring is here isn't it? I love waking up to the sound of the birds singing in the trees little robin is there every day way before daylight, bless him!

Tom has a lot of work commitments at the moment, the Company he works for has just taken on a big new client and they were working late into the night to make sure all the web updates were transferred smoothly, but we managed to have a lovely weekend.

 I'm on the look out for another desk to upcycle with chalk paint. It as to be just the right size and style though, so I'm in no hurry. I am firmly of the belief that just like the last one I did, I'll just stumble upon it! I have smiled to myself a lot lately when looking through magazines. I think it was about 10 years ago I bought my first little pot of Annie Sloan chalk paint, I loved it from the start, use it a lot in crafts and thought no more about it. Then a few years ago chalk paint seemed to be appearing everywhere, made by many craft companies. This year every time  I open a magazine,  suddenly all the celebs are Annie Sloaning - including William and Kate who are apparently having the new nursery painted with it! Ah well, glad it's doing so well.

Anyway, no chalk paint in sight with these two CAS cards I made recently, one for a male cousin and the other a female friend....

Our male friend loves dogs and cakes so this stamp by Alice Palace from Crafty Individuals seemed pretty apt! I simply stamped and heat embossed with clear embossing powder, then gave a quick wash of colour with distress inks.

The second card also used a Crafty Individuals stamp. I stamped using clear embossing ink on to black card and then heat embossed with white powder. I matted and layered on to white card that I'd embossed for another project and was in my left overs box.

Inside both cards I used a "Happy Birthday' die:

I've no work today, but a busy day preparing packs for tomorrow's craft group. I couldn't resist sharing this sneaky peek of one of my projects on tomorrow's post...our youngest hen, Tilda is certainly taking an interest!

Have a lovely day all and thank you for stopping by!

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon! Sunday 12th April 2015

Hello Friends,

It was good to catch up with all your blogs yesterday, after a week of no blogging or visiting! I was busy at work, it's that time of year when we have end of year statistics and plans to make for forthcoming events, but that's all good.

I was again so pleased to find that my butterfly corner bookmark had won a prize at the butterfly challenge as well!

I've hardly made any cards over the past few weeks, but I have been crafting: concentrating on two special projects that I can't share with you until Thursday. They took up all the time I had spare to craft but I am very pleased with them!

No crafting this weekend as we are out quite a lot, but that's not unusual as I rarely craft on a weekend. I was intending to be home on Monday, but I have to go into work for part of the day to catch up with my two Monday office ladies.

Anyway, I made this card a few weeks ago for a male friend of ours...

I used this cute House Mouse Gruffies stamp, coloured with Chameleon pens...

That's it for today, I will be back soon!

Thank you so much for stopping by,
Love and Hugs
Carole X

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Hello Friends,

A quick post today, I wanted to share my last few Easter makes before taking a few days away from blogging...we are out to lunch today and.... tomorrow, I'm hoping we'll get some outdoors exercise, a nice long walk!

Last year I made some cute ducks from a Tilda pattern, I didn't have any craft fairs this year and barely had time to get the sewing machine out, but  I have been wanting to make this goose for a while: it could be an Easter or Christmas dec.

I displayed him on our table at brunch, placed over some golden eggs of course!

I'd also like to show you the last few Easter cards I made...the first one using the House Mouse Easter stamp and Tonic affections dies:

Two more of the create a scene style, this time using bunny dies.. 

 A final simple card using papers and stamps that were free with a magazine...

Finally a Tilda bunny...I started him a while ago and rushed to make the clothes, so when I get the chance he will be redressed!

Hope you all enjoy the rest of the weekend whatever you are doing! I'll be back in a few days,

Love and hugs
Carole X

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Regal Hens- Saturday 4th April 2015

Hello Friends!

Hope you are all having a fabulous Easter weekend? I was silly thinking I would even get near the computer or even the iPad yesterday as we had the annual family brunch! Tom and I host it every Good Friday, family members are visiting and we have a brunch, with pancakes, buns,muffins, berries, bacon...apart from the fruit, lots of things we shouldn't really be eating, but it's a fun thing to do!

I have a few more Easter offerings though, so today is my hen. made using the Tilda Regal Hens pattern..I made some of these last year and also made baskets and sold them at a craft fair....this one I kept back and this year decided to display her in a plat pot.

I painted the pot with chalk paint and then used a stencil to add the polka dots. 

To finish I added some shredded pink tissue and little eggs from my Easter stash box.

Below are two of the regal hens I made last year for a craft fair...

I will be back tomorrow....we are out all day and a family lunch at Tom's parents tomorrow, so I plan to schedule a post when we get back tonight...more Tilda makes....

Love and Hugs
Carole X