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Tuesday, 17 December 2013


This is my DT piece for the new TioT "Trees".

I took the picture of this knarly old tree this autumn although it was not the photo I had in mind for this project.

I recently went on a day photo shoot in the New Forest and there was a single tree on a hill that I captured and this was the image I wanted to use.  However, I did a recent cull of some of my photos and unfortunately the tree images got zapped at that point.  So, I looked through my hard drive and found this one which actually has worked just as well as it is an interesting tree (to put it mildly!)

I used DI with water to create my tag background and them stamped music and trees and embossed snowflakes.  I tore my image out and added a little glitter here and there to the edges for that festive feel before attaching it with a mini silver peg and some silicone glue.

I covered my card in vintage music onto which I randomly stamped a crackle pattern before coating it all with crackle rock candy.  Once this had tried, I added more DI in iced spruce, pumice and gathered twigs.

The plate is cut using an alterations movers & shapers die and the sentiment is embossed in gathered twigs.

A little twine and ribbon and it was done.

Check out the other DT contributions this week as they are all very different.  Hope to see your trees breaking free of the forest and joining in with our last Challenge before Christmas!

Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.


Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Fifty Shades of White ...

So this is my first Christmas card of 2013.

As a rule, I don't make Christmas cards but this fortnight the challenge at Tiot is White on White so it was almost a no brainer to head to a Christmas theme.

I have seen some really cool and stylish projects created in only white but I must confess to an element of terror at the prospect of pulling it off myself  I saw this topic was coming up some weeks ago and had visions of a sitting at my desk with absolutely no idea what to do (Help!!).  But, once I got all my white papers out and started to play about, I realised how many whites there were and I actually started to get really picky about which would qualify as white!! 

So, I opted to only the brightest white for everything and used dimension rather than textured or varying shades of white (is that possible or is there only one white?)

My ledge was created in the card and then covered in white flock embossing powder. I stamped and embossed the snowflakes in holographic powder.  Onto the ledge, I added the reindeers and trees which were all cut from mini alterations dies.

The 25 was also an alterations die cut from white glitter card which looks really creamy when sat against bright white but does give some nice contrast and matches with the snowflakes.

The white ribbon and crystals added the finishing touch to my card.

This is a more tricky subject (in my humble opinion) but well worth getting to grips with as it gets easier once you get all those lovely white things from your stash.  I love a challenge and this one didn't disappoint.

Hope to see all your great posts and come and visit your blogs for a peek.


Thursday, 24 October 2013

Creepy Coffin!!

I LOVE Halloween!! 

This fortnight we are aptly focusing on it at TioT and our challenge is obviously entitled 'Halloween'!!!

It's funny as it was never something I ever did as a child and 'Trick or Treat' was not something my parents allowed us to do. 

But at some point, I caught the Halloween bug and since then I have made it a big thing in our family.  I don't really go in the Trick or Treating either but I get the whole team involved in making decorations, carving pumpkins as a competition, baking and playing games and quizzes.  We have a great half term week every year and despite all my children being mid-teens, I have managed to find new things to keep everyone having fun!!

So this year, I have made this coffin and I am going to get all of them to make their own version of it.

I started by printing out a coffin template which I cut from black card and assembled.                                                                 
I then made the rivet strip for the lid and added some crumpled tissue to give is some textures.  

I added various embellishments including plastic creatures, a balsa wood cross, bits of die cut weathered clock face, cogs and bit & bobs from old pocket watches.  Once I had the arrangement done, I painted everything with black gesso and then used a combination of Viva Ferro 901 and 912.

I used matt medium with Shimmerz Silve Fox Enamel to make some small molten metal areas and then finished it with Platinum Liquid Pearls for rivets.

I tied together some pretty pink rose buds and then "halloweened" then with Lumiere Halo Pink Gold paint for a macabre faded bouquet and dribbled orange acylic ink as a finishing touch!
It was so much fun making this coffin and I hope it inspires you to think 'outside the box' and join in the challenge!!

Wishing you a Spooky Week ...


Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Older & Wiser

I just love this cat - he's such a cool boy (all 14lbs of him!) - so I had to show him off with a page of his own!!

And the TioT challenge launched today is Textures!  Oh my goodness - this challenge was made for me as I LOVE textures of all sorts (I'm not fussy!!) Lumpy, bumpy, stripy, spotty, crackled or crazed - they are all my kinda thing!!

And, not only is this challenge super fun but there's a $10 prize for our winning entry to spend with Smeared Ink.  They have loads of great images to choose from and a rubber stamp club so it's a great prize if you get your textures rockin'!!

This layout was all about my lovely boy growing up.  He's a 8 years old and has put up with many changes throughout his years.  He has lost close companions and put up with unwelcome additions to our family and throughout he has always been a kind and tolerant boy.  With his size, he could easily hurt smaller pets, but he always takes the quiet option and simply observes or turns away from confrontation.  He is a King amongst cats and we respect him for his lovely nature.

So, onto the page ...

I used a doily on the side of the page for my first texture.  I painted it with gesso and them used molding paste and a circular stencil to create the panel for the baby photos. The frame stamp around the photos and in the top corner is by Prima.

I used gauze bandage, which is a great and inexpensive way to add fabric texture to a project, along the bottom of my page, which I painted with acrylic paint.  Small dots from a white paint pen, outlined in black, add more interest as do the few extra dots from the stencil.

I clustered up the lovely Prima blooms with a vintage watch face and a Prima metal plate.  The large flower was stamped and embossed in silver with some glass glitter in lavender added using glossy accents.  I finished the layout with funky fibres and a metal photo corner which I painted with white acrylic paint.

This layout was so much fun and came together without my usual angst (a rarity!)  I hope you get chance to pop by my other DT pals' creations as they are all inspirational.  So crack open your textures and get those creative juices flowing!  The $10 prize is only a texture away!!

Have a great week ...


Tuesday, 24 September 2013

A Bit More JOFY ...

These flowers are just gorgeous!  I love cone flowers in real life and have them in my garden but it is a constant battle to keep the plant, let alone get a bloom as they are high on the list of favourite foods for slugs!!

What I have found with these stamps is that they stamp beautifully every time and they seem to look good coloured in any combination which is a great as it takes the pressure of finding shades with will work.

I made this card for my daughter and it was the last of the 3 cards needed for my triple team.  She's a very girly girl so I decided that pink with crystals would be a perfect combo.

I decided to combine her card with my DT piece for our new challenge at Try it on Tuesday, which this fortnight is 'Going Dotty'

I started by using crackleglaze over bubblegum acrylic paint on the corrugated card before adding the white top layer.  I am fascinated by the speed it crackles up - the effect is so cool.  I love that you can make bigger or smaller cracks depending on the paint thickness.  
I kept my crackles quite small and I wiped a few areas to expose more of the pink.

I coloured my blooms with DI using the pads with water and also the distress markers. 

The dotty background was make using more DI with a great circular mask.  I then used a new stamp by Stampotique to add all the flower words.

It would be great to see all your dotty entries this fortnight so get your spots and dots ready and join in with this fun challenge.


Sunday, 22 September 2013


Last weekend, I spent the day at the Stamp Attic with Jo Firth-Young playing with her lovely JOFY Stamps.  It was a great day with lovely people and the time went too fast (as usual).

So, of course, I had to add to the one set I already had and decided that these birds were just TOO cute to leave behind!

It was the triplets 14th birthday yesterday and so I decided it would be a JOFY birthday. 

These are the two cards I made for the boys. This was a late night operation having completely run out of time.  Basically, I didn't start on the cards until the evening after the wrapping up, cake making, balloon buying (not to mention the football run, collection from friends and late supper) had all been finalised.  Phew!!  

Bit of a mistake really but we all do it don't we?  Too many things to do and too little time available.  So everyone had gone to bed and I finally got done at 1.30am!  But it's all worth it when you see their faces and I know they still appreciate me making cards and cakes for them.  

For Seb, I painted out a panel and then added some text in walnut stain.

I stamped and cut out all the elements and painted them with distress inks.  The way DI's work with water is so cool as each colour just sits so well next to each other to give really lovely shades.  I love how the little birdhouse just looks came together with such soft colours (made me feel like a pro!!) (dream on ...)
So, once out of my dream world I mounted them using 3D silicone glue.  Love that stuff as its kind of like icing a cake!!

No time to sit back and admire ... 2 more cards to make ...

For Quin, I decided to make a gate fold card with the branches coming from either side.

I stamped and cut out more birds, leaves and branches (eyes were getting a bit tired by this time!) and painted them with DI's.  

I sat them all on their perches and silicone gel ... job done ... actually no, 3rd card needed!

No, I'm not posting Tavi's card today.  I decided to double up her card with my DT entry for TioT this weekend which goes live on Tuesday.  Knowing this weekends was going to be busy with family time, for once I planned ahead and killed 2 birds with one stone.  So if you want to see more JOFY, pop back on Tuesday and all will be revealed!! 

Hope you are all having a great weekend.


My birthday team at the beach yesterday morning after walking the puppy!

Tuesday, 10 September 2013


This fortnight we are concentrating on handmade flowers at TioT and the challenge is Make Your Own Flowers.

I love experimenting and I decided I wanted to make some loose blooms.  I used tissue paper and fine net to create these which remind me of those lovely dark fuschia blooms I had all summer in my tubs. If you crouch down and look up into the bloom, this is almost what you see!

I wanted to use the Fairy Rhymes stack by Prima as it's so lovely and I tasked myself to create a layout using the many elements that come in the stack 'kit'.  This is not something I normally do as I like to start with a blank canvas and create everything myself, so this was also something to add to my challenge.

I think this is why I love this crafting journey.

I hope you will feel inspired to join in with this challenge - why not try to do something outside your comfort zone?  Either way, I look forward to seeing all your lovely blooms ...

Have a great week


Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Create a Scene (Well Why Not?!!)

Tuesdays seem to come around quicker and quicker these days and here we are again for the launch of a new challenge at TioT and this time it's to Create a Scene.  

Having just returned from our family holiday on Friday, the weekend was rather busy with unpacking and washing and turning my tribe around to go back off for another 10 days camping on Monday - phew!!

So my house is silent now - with all 4 children away its just me and my new baby Reeva ... Oh and my husband once he's back from work!!

Go on then ... here's a little pic of her sat of my lap this morning 

She weighs only 1.6kg and is a true tea-cup dog!!

Anyway, back to the challenge!!

I created some Mail Art for a magazine submission earlier in the year and as this one had not been published or shown on my blog, so I rather cheekily used it for my DT piece! Well, it was either that or I would have to pass on the challenge ... so it was a no-brainer really!!

I used masks and inks to create my background with some liberal splodges of purple acrylic ink.  I then stamped the cows, churns, clouds and sun and positioned them around the envelope and Voila! my scene was created.

Hope you feel inspired to pop over to TioT to look at the DT entries for more inspiration and also check out the new rules which now don't limit the number of challenges you can enter in addition to ours.

Take care and have a great week.  I hope to see your scenes appearing in the challenge!


Sunday, 11 August 2013

Mail Art Published!!

Way back in February there was a call for submissions to a new magazine called 'Featuring' which is published in the Netherlands and has many cool artist's work showcased in mixed media, art journalling and more.

I have never done any mail art before (and to be honest wasn't sure what would qualify for the description!) but I decided to use standard envelopes and just have a go!!  
Some of my efforts didn't work too well as the paper used for envelopes is not the best for anything wet so I ended up with several crinkly attempts which had to be filed straight under 'B'!!  

Anyway, I sent off three and the one above was turned into an inchie on the back cover and published!! WOW!

This was another of my envelopes (went for a bit of a random style) and the third is part of my DT piece for Try it on Tuesday so you'll have to wait until Tuesday to see it!!

Hope you are all enjoying your summer now it's finally here! Can I just thank all those people who have continued to pop by and leave me such lovely comments on my posts - I know I'm being very remiss at getting around to see you all as the summer holidays are biting deep and have reduced any 'me' time to almost zero!!  It's times like this that having 4 children make the word mum turn into MUM (major commitment).  I wouldn't change it for the world and feel very blessed to have 4 healthy and happy kids but summer holidays do stretch me!!

Anyway, thanks a million to all you lovely crafty gals for keeping the faith.

Take care ...


PS Pop back for some super cute photos next week of our new teacup puppy Reeva!  I'm collecting her tomorrow and am really excited!!  She is coming to us as we sadly lost our 6 year old british shorthair Spike to the road about 3 weeks ago.  As a result of that, we decided it was unfair to bring another cat into our home who could suffer a similar fate so we are getting a small dog who we could keep safe. 

   RIP xx

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Always Have a Shell in Your Pocket ...

What a fantastic challenge we are hosting this fortnight at Tiot!!   The topic is 'Collage With a Twist' (which must include some script).  Really couldn't include more options so this is probably one of my favourite DT creations because it was so easy ... in fact the hardest thing was choosing which of my ideas to follow!!

I decided to make a little tile on corrugated card about the seaside.  I live about 2 minutes walk from one of the most beautiful beaches in the UK and have always been MAD about shells and anything seaside.  This will be going up in the kitchen next to the hook with our beach hut key - perfect!

I used pale blue acrylic paint as a base on my corrugated card and then added a layer of Crackleglaze by Applicraft which is my new favourite product of the moment.  You paint it over dry base coat and once its dry, quickly add the top coat (in one direction only and with minimal brushing) and the cracks just appear like magic.

I stamped my postage mark down one side and added the netting which I painted with white acrylic paint.  All the elements are by Crafty Individuals and I stamped them with Staz-on and then tinted them with chalks.

I added glass bead gel around the feet of my lovely bathing beauty and some strips of vintage dictionary defintions plus few shells and my little montage was complete.

I hope you feel inspired to join in the collage fun with us.  Check out my other DT gals as they have also created some beautiful pieces.



Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Moments Are Special

This fortnight, the challenge at Try it on Tuesday is to 'Show Us Your Metal'.  Another great subject as it's so open to interpretation and most of us have something metal in our stash.

My DT piece is a little different from the image on the site as I to confess that I have tweeked it a bit (not sure that's really allowed but needs must!!).  

I had the basic idea of what I wanted to do (which frankly is a rarity for me!!).  I made time last Friday to get myself organised so that I could attend my local crop run by David and Brenda of Craft Obsessions.  I had such a nice day with some really lovely ladies so I hope to try and become a regular attendee (it's my pesky kids & all their sports that get in my way LOL!!).

So, I got my photo blended into the paper and was very happy with how it all came together until I photographed it!!  Aaagh!! Due to the way cameras flatten your work and lose the dimension, coupled with the colours, my piece suddenly looked like Halloween had come early ...  not what I wanted at all.

Too late to change the upload but I decided the best option was to add some softer elements ie flowers to hopefully break the spell.  It definitely looks less halloweeny and I am happy with it as it doesn't have that look in real life.

I used a background paper from the Tim Holtz Lost & Found range and a main paper by 7 Dots Studio.  I dyed my lace using Dylusions sprays and arranged it to peep out around the edges and between the torn areas.  I used distress inks and paints on all the curled areas to highlight them.  The doorways were stamped with a Lost Coast stamp which I tried to line up a little with the background of my photo.  A few drizzles and drips of acrylic ink to add some interest and a bit of lace stamped in the corners finished stage one of my page.  

For stage two, I used light molding paste to blend my photo into the background with either smooth finish or with a brickwork mask.  Once dry, I dry-brushed acrylic paint over the areas until they blended in.

I created my bookplate from grey card which I painted with acrylic paints and rubbed in gilding wax to make it look like a patina.

I painted the lovely railings with acrylic ink and arranged the other elements around the page.

My metal elements are the key (tinted with black and blue alcohol inks), the clock face (caramel and lemonade alcohol inks used on this), a small cog from a pocket watch, the letter charms and the brads on the faux metal bookplate.

Pop over to have a look at some of the other metal projects the TioT Team have come up with and get inspired to delve some metal out from your stash and join in the fun!

Hope to see your take on this challenge.

Have a great week ...


Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Being good is just not fun ...

This is my DT piece for our current challenge at Try it On Tuesday which is Angels & Demons. 

We are very kindly being sponsored by Dilly Beans Stamps and this gorgeous images is one from their huge selection.  They have so many images to choose from it was a hard choice for me to make my selection!

I created this page in my art journal and I decided to start with a painty background using my fingers to add the colours (love doing that bit!)  Once it was dry, I used a flower stencil over the opposite corners and added some harlequin stamping and the lovely blooms.  I coloured the blooms with a gelly roller and my favourite white sharpie for the centres.

My gorgeous girl was coloured with DI's and watercolour pencils with some little pearl dots added to the hem of her tutu.  Couldn't resist adding the glitter - I am a bit of a glitter fiend - but she really did deserve it as she is an angel!!

The journalling was done on my computer and the additional of the stamped bunting and some braid (glittery again I know!) finished my project.

Hope you feel inspired to play along - the challenge lasts another week and there's nothing like being a devil or an angel to keep you amused!!  Check out the other DT gals take on this topic as they are great!  

Take care and have a great week ...


Thursday, 20 June 2013

Hide Out

This photo was taken of me in a large hole in a tree in Trewidden Garden, Cornwall.  

The story behind this picture is that all my boys are now just getting taller than me, so have very kindly taken to referring to me as a 'Hobbit'!!  We found this tree and they decided it was a Hobbit Hole so I got inside it.  

Unfortunately for me, a very large bumblebee had also decided this was a great space so shortly after this photo, I was jumping up and out of it's way!!

I started the page by stitching a couple of fluid lines around the paper.  I then created a painted effect reminiscent of the stripy tree bark and once I added my circular photo, I applied green modelling paste for the mossy ground and continued to blend out the photo into the background with acrylic paint.

I added some honeycomb stamps and the butterflies and script before flicking acrylic ink around a bit!

I carefully stamped some texture from a Tim Holtz stamp giving an impression of random flowers before adding my foxgloves which I painted with Neon II watercolour crayons.

The hand is by Tim Holtz as are the butterflies in the centre. The free flying butterflies are by Lost Coast Designs.

I stamped and cut out my little bird (different colours) and added the felt stem, flowers and button.  The plate label at the top was die cut from grungeboard using an Alterations bookplate bigz die which I applied Green Gold InkaGold to for a metallic look.

I am entering this layout into the 
Scrap265 June Sketch Challenge 
Country View Crafts Challenge 4 - Die Cuts.  

I think I will also pop it into Our Creative Corner as a second entry in their 'Recipe' challenge (it's a really good challenge!) as I have used lace in my moss, metal brads and inks, paints & more so it definitely qualifies!!

Have a great week and thanks for visiting! 


Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Busy Bee

I created this page using a kit I was supplied with by Scrapbook Magazine.   I've never really gone for kits but I found that I really enjoyed using it as I had to focus on the best ways to use the various elements and how I could adapt them to suit my style.   For this project,  I was allowed to add other things but obviously the page needed to represent the kit so I tried to limit myself from a total stash raid!!

I added painted swirls to the backing paper and then heavily distressed the second paper using paints and inks and adding bits of vintage paper.

These lovely bees are by Lost Coast Designs.  They are a bit of a fiddle to cut out but worth the effort. I stamped them on vintage music paper before dipping them in beeswax - highly appropriate!

I used FlitterGlu and Copper Thunder gilding flakes with my honeycomb stamp to create their homes - lol!

I created my heart from some wired twine from the floristry wholesalers and added some acrylic paint to distress it.

The large letters are by Ten Second Studio which I embossed and painted with Stewart Gill paints.  The smaller letters are by Graphic 45 which are also embossed and distressed with paint.   

The pin and lace are from the kit.

I'm really pleased with the way this page came together as the colours really bring out the copper in Seb's hair and it's a rare shot of him standing and thinking and he's using running and darting!

I'm entering this page into the Creative Corner 'Recipe' Challenge - I used Lace, Metal and Paints.

Have a great week and thanks for popping by ...


Wednesday, 5 June 2013

WOYWW 209!

It's Wednesday already so time for another peep at my workspace.  If you are new to this weekly snoop, pop over to Julia's blog at Stamping Ground and you can see all the links to everyone's desk.  Then you can spend a nice evening hopping around the planet looking at what we are all up to!!  Fun!!

Have to say my workdesk has been rather boring of late - all work and no play is making this girl rather dull.   But not so dull when the pay hits my bank account - then it all seems worthwhile!!

Sadly my neighbour's wife died suddenly a couple of weeks ago and I have been trying to support him.  He is 91 and such an interesting man.  He was involved in the D-Day landings and many other wartime battles and we have had many interesting conversations about the war and loads of other topics over cups of tea and coffee and if I'm lucky, a "ginger doodle" on the side (a scrummy biscuit which he makes himself!).  It makes me sad that I never spent more time with him when his wife was alive.  She had alzheimers and so was not great company for him although he was absolutely devoted to her and they had been together for 70 years.  We have always had little chats over the fence but I could have got to know him better and enjoyed what we have now a lot sooner and helped to prevent times of loneliness for him.

Anyway, on to the desk ...

I have been completing a scrapbook page about my youngest son.  Well, despite being a triplet he is still the youngest by 1 minute!!  I was supplied with a kit (can't say too much about it as it's due for publication next month) which I had a free rein to use how I liked.  I made two pages for the magazine and let them select the one they wanted.  This one was sent back to I'm free to put it online.    I did a bit more fiddling with it, adding a bit more painty bits so later on I will put a post online showing the details.

Have a great Wednesday everyone - I've got to get back to work which is hard as the sun is shining and the beach hut is tempting me!! 


Tuesday, 4 June 2013

One for the Men

So it's Tuesday again and that can only mean one thing ...  It's time for a new Try it on Tuesday Challenge!!  This week we are focusing on creating for the men in our lives - and that doesn't have to be for Father's Day, it can be for any occasion. 

We are very kindly sponsored by Dilly Bean of sillydillybeans.blogspot.co.uk who have provided us with some great digi stamps.  If you would like to be in with a chance to win some digi stamps from them, just get creating and make sure you link back to us in your blog entry and only enter your piece into a maximum of 5 challenges (including ours).

This great robot caught my eye so I transposed him onto Ranger metal tape in three sizes and used a metal tool to create the rivets down his centre.  My tag was coloured with broken china, tumbled glass and dusty concord distress stains over which I then added picket fence and brushed pewter. 


The whole tag is embossed with cogs (didn't really show in this photo) and then I also added some more cog imagery using masks and DI.  I added a few random splatters of arcylic ink in prussion blue and some circles stamped with pewter distress stain.


I wanted some more metal elements and found these silver metal rings in my stash which I remember buying in a bead shop at The Custard Factory in Birmingham.  Perfect.  I also found a great bead to go around the eyelet which I also got from the same shop (can recommend their selection if you are ever in the Birmingham area!)


The ribbon is dyed with stormy sky and pewter distress stain and I couldn't resist some springs coiled from silver floristy wire to finish it off!!

Hope you are feeling inspired to join in this fortnight.  Pop by the other DT girls' creations as they are fab!!


Wednesday, 22 May 2013


Oh my goodness, I can't believe it's Wednesday already and time for WOYWW 207!!

I was very lucky to have been offered a job at the beginning of the year with an Interior Design Company.  This week we are busy getting a show home ready which great and I am learning so much.  We had ordered loads of styling pieces but the client had purchased a glass dome and we needed something to go in it.  I couldn't resist and volunteered straight away!

Yesterday I went to the florist's wholesalers to see what I could find.  I had already got an idea and needed driftwood but I found that they don't stock that and there's no time for an online order.  

Slight panic set in as the kids needed collecting from school and I needed a new idea fast!

I had a quick look around and grabbed a few possible options before dashing off into the school run traffic (always a good space to develop ideas as there's nothing else to think about!)

I decided to use an orchid stem and so needed to secure it to stand upright.  I used oasis which I needed to hide so firstly I covered it in a lovely brown web-like ribbon I had found.   I had also bought a beaded wire collar (designed to be used to make a posy) so I cut it apart and re-invented it to make cover my oasis.

The butterflies are stamped on old dictionary paper and the wire was sandwiched between then so they have dimension.  I curled the wires using my Fiskars Curly Thing (technical term - LOL!) and arranged them in amongst my orchid stem.


I'm really pleased with it but this morning is the moment of truth.  My boss gets here in 1/2 hour so we can head off to the house and finalise everything and so I have to hope she likes my creation ...

Have a great day everyone and happy snooping around everyone's desks.  I'll be doing my fair share when I get home later on today!!