Sunday, 31 October 2010

Popping up and pearls

This is the first weekend in ages that I haven't cooked anything major. I really couldn't muster up the energy to do it. The weather wasn't up to much so I spent a while in my little room having a go at a pop up card using the Hero Arts Woodland creatures stamps I bought recently.

I saw the pop up technique on a Hero Arts video and thought I would give it a whirl. I teamed it up with some Minds Eye Bloom and Grow Paper, distress inks and some crackle accents. Here is what I came up with it...

Paper: The Papershop, Kraft-Stampin'Up, Minds Eye Bloom & Grow
Stamps: Hero Arts Woodland creatures, Elzybell Alphabet
Selection of Tim Holtz Distress Inks for watercolouring and blending
Versafine Black Onyz ink, Crackle accents, Green and White Bakers Twine
Perfect Pearls-Ranger
I am going to give it to Al's mum for her birthday which is coming up. Your probably thinking this would suit a child more, but she is very young at heart! The photo does not really do much justice to the card to be honest. 

I also had a fiddle with some embossing powder and a Tim Holtz mask which was in a package I had recently. Not sure this entirely works or not...and I am now covered in Gold Perfect pearls. OOPS!

Paper:The Papershop
Stamps: Dovecraft Christmas sentiments, PTI Out on a limb revised
Gold embossing powder, Tim Holtz Distressing Inks, Ranger stickles, Tim Holtz Ideology mask, Ranger Perfect Pearls Gold.
So after all that playing and trying out new techniques, I think it is time for bed. 
Night night all...beware of the ghouls and ghosties of the night
Till next time

It is not just us humans that have spooky fun

Well I feel a whole heap better than I did last weekend...YAY! I finally got round to going over to the Hobbycraft store in Cardiff. Not exactly what I was expecting and boy was it expensive! Think I will stick to internet shopping from now on. I did get some Versamark, Versafine and Brilliance ink though. They are definitely a whole heap better than the other cheap inks I had. I also finally got a non stick craft mat and it is making distressing a lot easier.

On Friday a few of us took some pumpkins into work and did some craving. I also mad some lovely thai pumpkin soup for us all from a recipe I saw in the Good Food magazine. You don't have to use pumpkin, you can also use butternut squash. It is absolutely delicious if I do say so myself. Here is the link to the recipe if you fancy giving it a go.

 I will post some pics of my pumpkin a little later when it is lit up and when my chappie has carved his too. We normally place them outside but this year it has tipped it down so may have to put them on our mantel above the log burner.

So in the spirit of Halloween and also to tie in nicely for the OTWC Challenge 31 I thought I would use the Elzybell stamps again and do some funny Halloween cards.
Here are the inspiration colours for this week:

And here are the cards:

It's Boo not Baa!

Silly Cow!


Card/Paper: The Papershop
White gel pen
Stamps: Elzybell Alphabet, chicken, sheep and cow stamps, PTI Daily Designs
Inks: Tm Holtz distress inks: Vintage paper, Red Brick, Brushed corduroy,Walnut Stain, Versafine black, Brilliance Moonlight white

Just a little bit of fun. Happy spooking!

Till next time xxxx

Saturday, 23 October 2010

OTWC Challenge: Green, White & Brown

I have been blog hopping a lot recently reading some fantastic crafty websites. I started to read 'Off the Wall Craftiness' and noticed a challenge using some of my fav colours at the moment, Green, White and Brown. So I thought I would have a go and see what happened.
So using the lovely colours and inspiration above here is what I came up :) I made two little cards. During the week I purchased some Versamark and  I managed to snag the cute Hero Arts Woodland Creatures set off Ebay. I was desperate to try them out and came up with the first cute card. I loved the cheeky little critter, so had to use it :)

Supplies: Paper:Chocolate & Crisp White-The PaperShop
Stamps: Woodland Creatures-Hero Arts, Some bargain bucket leaf stamps!
Ink: Versamark, Bundled Sage & Brushed Corduroy distress ink-Tim Holtz
Ribbon: Chocolate Grosgrain-The Range

The second one was using a wonderful Winter couple stamp I had. I love their rosy cheeks.

Card/Paper-Crisp White & Fern green-The Papershop, # 163 Linen - Lydia Collection by Melody Ross
Stamps: Elzybell Winter couple, PTI 2008 Holiday Tag Collection
Inks: Fired Brick, Bundled Sage, Brushed Corduroy, Stormy Sky, Walnut Stain, Dried Marigold Distress inks-Tim Holz
Ribbon:Chocolate Grosgrain-The Range

I hope you like them. I had great fun on a rainy day making these. 

Till next time

Friday, 22 October 2010

Wee Memories Scrappy Saturday Challenge

This week at the Wee Memories Scrappy Saturday Challenge you could win a Scor-Pal....whoop! If you have not seen the blog before why not pop along and check out Wee Memories Scrappy Saturday Challenge?

Till next time

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Remain strong

I returned back to work today still feeling unwell and I wish I had stayed at home. Now my job is hard as I take a lot of flack, even when predominantly I am trying to help others. Without going into detail I have dealt with one particular case for over a year and have worked so hard on this case. You know where you have a day where you feel at your lowest and then someone delivers an extra blow? Well today was that day. I have cried a lot today, so much so I feel very numb and I have wondered why I do indeed bother doing the job I do.

Just at that moment when I felt at my lowest, I received the newsletter email from The Brave Girls Club. It was so relevant to my day and actually soothed me reading it. It reminded me that despite all the nastiness at work, I am loved by my family & friends and that I do matter. Sometimes the environment I work in really does make me doubt myself. Here is the email that I was sent....I am sure they will not mind me quoting it in the blog. Thank you Brave Girl Club, your inspiration pulled me from the brink today.

Till next time

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Illness takes its toll

I noticed on Passion for Papertrey that there was a new challenge, of casing a card from the Papertrey Ink website and coming up with a new or identical card. I thought I would have a go...

I had a look and to be honest I am a little bit limited with the stamps that I have from PTI. I had a look at Pine is Here by Heather Nicholls and found one using the Falling Leave stamp set. I haven't published the photo as I don't want to be harassed over copyright.If you scroll down the page you will find a card using a distressed emboss technique (greens and browns).

 I thought I would have a go at this with some different colours. I also used a festive sentiment from the 2008 Holiday Tag set . Not sure if I am happy with the result to be honest with you. Think being ill has effected me tonight. I managed to misalign the leaves when I used the embossing pad. Oh well I tried.... maybe next time I will be better.

Supplies: Stamps PTI Falling Leaves & 2008 Holiday Tags
White embossing powder, Tim Holtz Fired brick & Bundled Sage Stickles, Fired Brick, Vintage Paper & Bundled Sage distress ink for the background.
Kraft card & Old Olive ribbon-Stampin' Up,  green card from The Papershop

I used up some scraps from my previous 'Cow jumped over the Moon' card to make a little tag for Christmas too. I used the snowflake and greeting from the PTI 2008 Holiday tag set, added some brick red stickle and added some matching ribbon to the distress ink that was already on the paper. 

Night night all...hope to be back on form soon.
Till next time 

Feeling Sheepish?

I seem to have come down with some stomach and flu bug. GAH! So I have been at home for the last two days in bed feeling very sorry for myself. Unfortunately I seem to pick up lots of bugs from where I work. Occupational hazard you may say. I say it is a curse!

So I have had lots of time on my hands to think about Christmas card ideas and watch videos on You Tube of different card making techniques. Some wonderful stuff out there and I am learning a lot.

One particular website which I love at the moment is Two peas in a bucket. There are some fabulous ideas and technique videos. One designer that caught my eye was Jennifer McGuire who is doing a series of technique videos on there right now as part of their Holiday Thinking Inking series. Jennifer also has her own website which has more ideas which are inspiring me too. One particular idea that I found was for a gift card make and thought I would incorporate it with a 'punny' Christmas card.

As part of my recent Elzybells stash, I had a set of sheep stamps (yes I like sheep and I live in Wales!). There are three cute sheep grouped together and it got me thinking. I teamed it up with some Tim Holtz distress inks, watercolour paper, embossing powder, a PTI crown stamp and some Elzybell alphabet stamps and came up with this.
I have to say I was particularly pleased with this card and my chappie thinks it is hilarious.

Background: Watercolour paper-Windsor and Newton, Tim Holtz Tumbled Glass, Stormy Sky, Broken China distress inks (Sky)-Placed on an acrylic block and spritzed before placing on watercolour paper.
Grass was created with same technique but using Tim Holtz Pine Needles and Peeled Paint distress inks. Paper then was cut and layered for dimension.
Sky was stamped with PTI Daily Designs snowflake and embossed with white.
Sheep: Elzybell sheep stamp, Tim Holtz Walnut Stain Ink and watercoloured with Tim Holtz Vintage Paper Distress Ink.
Sheep crowns: PTI Daily Design Crown and embossed with a gold, bronze and red glitter embossing powders.
Sentiment: Created with Elzybell alphabet and distressed with TH Vintage Paper.

Inside the card is a handy gift card holder. I tried to take photos but they came out a bit blurred. But this is the video I used as Inspiration for this....great idea and very simple indeed.

Till next time xxxx

Sunday, 17 October 2010

A photo for Sunday

I thought I would start something new...I thought I would start to share some photos with you every Sunday. To start the ball rolling, I thought I would show you one of my favourites. It was taken in 2007 at a wonderful place called French Beach on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Al and I stumbled on this amazing place on a 3 week jaunt around BC. The sea was so calm, the beach was covered in so much drift wood and huge tree trunks gnarled by the Ocean. There was no one around apart from the two of us and for that reason it felt so lovely. It was wonderful to just sit, reflect and watch the waves crash in. 

Till next time xx

A little bit distressed.

I came home on Friday to find that my stash had arrived and was waiting for me at home. I now have so many cute Elzybell stamps, buttons and inks. It is such a shame that Elzybell has closed, her stamps are certainly ones to make you smile. I also received my parcel from Oyster stamps of Tim Holtz distressing inks. I must say that Oyster stamps are brilliant. Next day delivery and cheaper than anywhere else on these inks. Highly recommend.
It was a good end to a slow day!  

Saturday I managed to catch up on a lot of sleep and my lovely chappie Al, put up a hanging rack and created a shelf for my desk in the spare room. At last I have some much needed space to work on. I haven't quite got it like I would like at the moment but my crafty space is taking shape. I just need some paper and ribbon storage. 
These pots are ideal for all my pens.
The shelf that Al made and my Ikea hanging rack.

Whilst Al was busying himself sorting out the rack and shelf I spent some time making some loaves, Aubergine parmigiana, Cauliflower cheese, mushroom stroganoff and a veggie stew. You must be thinking that that is some feast we were having. I had a load of stuff that needed to be used fairly quickly, cooked them up and froze them. Looks like that is most of the weeks teas sorted!

Will have to post some photos of the mini loaves I made...they look so fab!

Today has been a slow one. Overnight I have felt quite poorly with congestion, chesty cough and a crampy stomach. So I have taken things on the easy side for once. Shame as I was hoping to tidy up the back garden as the cold weather starts to take hold. The garden has been a productive one this year. We still have beans, courgettes, chard, spinach, lettuce, beetroot and sprouting still growing. We have had some lovely veg from the plot and lots of lovely bees and butterflies buzzing around too. Sadly the hogs that we spent all last Summer and Autumn taking care of, seem to have vanished. We think that the ones we spotted squashed on the main road may be them. I can't even bear to think about it. I miss them and their hoggy ways :(

I was itching however to have a go with the Tim Holtz inks and some of the stamps I bought, so I sneaked upstairs and had a go with them. I totally forgot to get a blending tool, so I had to make do with stamping some of the inks onto an acrylic block, spritzing some water and placing some watercolour paper on top. I pressed down and then gently lifted it off. The inks had merged and mingled to create a nice wash effect. I used my fingers to spread some of the ink globs a little and then wiped off the excess. I love the washed effect on the page. I dried the paper, trimmed it and then used it for a background. I then used a lovely unmounted rubber stamp from Elzybell of a loveable dog and bee on some white card. I washed it with some more of Tim's inks and the watercolour was great. I added an Elzybell 'Happy Birthday' clear stamp to finish it off. Good thing too as I realised it was my mum's boyfriends birthday this week! 

Right I am going to slope off and grab some food, a lovely hot choc and settle down and watch some tv. Have a great weekend, whats left of it folks...!

Till next time

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

The dove from above

I liked the pink paper and the dove from the last card making session so much I thought I would use them again in a slightly different way. I saw a card on the Hero Arts website idea gallery which used one of the 'Two Peas in a bucket' Big Owl for the main centrepiece. Here is my inspiration

I loved the layout of the card, so I thought I would adopt this, replaced the owl with the dove and used different papers for mine. I also added some snowflakes on the Kraft, which I embossed with some glittery holographic powder. You can't see it very well on the photo. You also can't see what a mess I made doing it. I now have glittery trousers and look like a throwback from Abba.

It is a little on the busy side but was a nice little project for the night nevertheless.

Supplies: Snowflake and Joy stamps from Stampin Up
Dove stamp from a bargain bucket in The Range
Kraft card-Stampin Up
Ribbon and embossing powder from selection at The Range
Selection of papers from Dovecraft Christmas Fancy paper stack

After I fiddled about with this, I then found I had a very cool cutout of a dove in some kraft card. I couldn't let this go to waste so I made a little gift tag for Christmas. 
Waste not want not and all that! It is quite simple but looks effective. I like it so much I think I may have to make some more. 

Made from Kraft card-Stampin Up, Sentiment stamps from PTI and ribbon from selection in The Range
I am kind of excited at the moment, as I am waiting on some clear stamps, buttons and ink from the old Elzybells website. Unfortunately Elzybells decided to close its doors. I managed to find the website before it closed and purchased a lot of the reduced stock. It is a shame that the store had to close as it sold some fun stamps. I will post some photos when they have arrived and I have had some fun playing with them. 

I also have been itching to have a go at Tim Holtz's distressed ink. The techniques you can use with his products look really cool. When I was searching the web I found Oyster stamps which seemed to be selling the ink a lot cheaper than other crafting stores online. The website is a bit on the disorganised side, but nevertheless they have some fab finds. I am now waiting on a selection of distressed inks and stickles and can't wait to have a go. 

With Stampin Up's new catalogue and also PTI's launch coming up, I think it will be an expensive month. I have seen some wonderful stuff in Stampin Up and also love the sneak peaks for the October stamps on PTI. The designs for the friendship jars on Mish Mash's site are wonderful. Choices choices!!!!! Oh well my birthday is in December so perhaps the crafting fairy will be kind to me!

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Christmas paper tearing

Supplies: Kraft card-Stampin Up, Tall Tales designer paper-Stampin Up, Ribbon-Stampin Up, Sentiments and Christmas Tree stamps-Merry and Bright Additions PTI, & Beyond Basic Borders-PTI

I was on a bit of a roll with paper tearing and decided to use some more of my Stampin Up stash to create a couple of Christmas cards. The above card was inspired by one I had seen on the Hero Arts website. I was going to stitch along the wavy line but the sewing machine starting to play up so I covered up the holes by using some ribbon!

The card below is my favourite of the weekend make. I picked up the dove stamp for 50p in a bargain bucket in The Range.

Snowdrift joy
I stamped the dove onto some Kraft card with some clear ink and embossed it. The fab snowflake paper is from Dovecraft's Christmas Fancy paper stack.
I cut the small branch from a scrap I had. I had the great Joy stamp from Stampin Up and didn't quite have the right coloured ink so I mixed a red and white ink. It was surprised it turned out as well as it did. I didn't have any ribbon that seemed to suit the card so I cut some more of the card scrap I used for the branch and voila. I think it works quite well.

Till next time

Earthy colours

Supplies: Blue & Green Paper-the Paper Shop, Kraft-Stampin Up
Tall Tales designer paper-Stampin Up
Sentiment stamp: Beyond Border Basics-PTI
Ribbon: Stampin Up

Finally I got to use some of the stash that I bought from Stampin Up. I thought this was a cute way to use some of the paper. I seem to like using lots of Earthy colours at the moment. My stitching is getting a little better. It seemed to be a day for things to mess up a bit, as the sewing machine started to go a bit haywire after this. I pulled it apart and then put it back together again and it seemed to work. Still have no idea what the problem was!

Make me smile

I thought I would give some paper tearing a go to create a card for my gran. I didn't in fact send it in the end, but I might send it to her one day out of the blue just to make her smile. I am in desperate need of some decent ink as the ones I have are useless and frustrating me. Hopefully get some soon and make my life a lot easier.

Supplies: Paper from The Paper Shop
Stamps: Sentiment from All About You Additions-PTI, Flowers-Honey Bee PTI,
Ribbon: Stampin Up

Up, up away

I had quite a few scraps of coloured card and paper kicking about and thought I would do a quick and simple balloon inspired card. I thought it would be quick, that was until my round punch that I purchased recently from Papertrey Ink started to play up. I have now managed to get it sorted thankfully.

So here we go...
Range of paper from the Paper shop,
Bow from The Range
Stamp: Beyond basic borders-Papertrey Ink

Recipe challenge continues

Well the recipe challenge has been gong great guns I have to say. Yes we did relent and have a takeaway on one of the nights, but this girl is allowed a night off, yes?

The last couple of weeks have been hectic at work and I have had a stinking cold to top it off nicely. I came close to losing my voice a couple of times but managed to plod on regardless. For some unknown reason last week, I felt like I had worked an extra day. The week just seemed to drag way too much. I managed to finally clear my rather untidy desk at work of all the paperwork that was threatening to fall on top of me. So satisfying. I even managed to play a great game of 'dancing unknowns'. You might well ask what this is....well let me tell you. Where I work, my office has a big glass window looking onto the reception area. You can't hear the conversations outside the office but you can see people. I noticed the other day when I was having my lunch that people are very animated when they speak in the reception. I decided to put some dance music to see if the animated body movements would work with the music. Sure enough it did and let me tell you it is a great game. Warning, it can made you laugh a lot. We had 'Groove is in the Heart' playing and it worked perfectly. The result was two caseworkers crying with laughter for most of the morning. It was just what the doctor ordered after a couple of tough weeks.

Last weekend my chappie's mother stayed, so I made rather a lot of food. On the Saturday we had homemade Apricot and Hazelnut bread with some Lentil soup. At the night time my chappie and his mum had Chicken and mushroom casserole with baked pots. On the Sunday I made roast pork, sauteed greens with caraway seeds, maple carrots, roast spuds and homemade veg gravy. I had my fav Veggie Toad in the Hole. Then to top it off we had a New York Cheesecake. Chappie's mum was impressed and left very happy after her weekend here. I was totally knackered though!

This week we decided to have a go at making some bagels from the Good Food website. I love a good bagel and have always wondered how to make them. You simply make a bread dough, but before baking in the oven you have to blanch them in boiling water. They turned out pretty well for the first time and provided me with some sarnies for work.
Sesame, poppy and pumpkin seeded bagels
This weekend I decided to have a go at using Cornmeal, something I have never used in cooking before. I found a good recipe in one of my cookbooks for Tamale pie, which is a combination of cornmeal, sweetcorn, stock, tomatoes, spices, chilli and cheese. I accompanied this with some cornbread. When we were shopping in Lidl we noticed some mini bread pans which were ideal for the cornbread. They turned out perfect and were tasty dipped in the Tamale Pie. 

Large and small loaves of cornbread and some onion and cheese bread

Seeing as I was making bread anyway, I found another recipe for Onion and Cheese bread. They were simple to make but to be honest they were like mini pizzas! Delicious nevertheless. 

Till next time