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Thursday, 29 December 2016

PARCHMENT CARDS CHRISTMAS 2016


       This will probably be my last post for this year. I thought I would just share a few of the parchment cards that I made this Christmas. I was going to make them a lot more intricate but really did not give myself enough time. In the end I went for fairly simple designs and lots of sparkle although that does not show up too well on the photos. I really am going to be a lot more organised next year. I promise. A few more blog posts as well.

     Any way for now just a few photos.












    I based all of the above cards on a design that we did in a workshop in Chesterfield run by Josie Davidson. Slightly altered some of the designs and added some grid work. I love grid work when I have the time to do it. It really does set off a card beautifully. 



    This card I gave to my youngest grandaughter , she was 13 just three days before Christmas. A real young lady now and below is her Birthday card  for which I used a design by Barbara Gray. Also used  a Clarity club stamp which was perfect as Kelsey loves horse riding. 




   Well I hope you had a lovely Christmas and I wish you a very Happy and healthy New Year. xx

Friday, 23 December 2016

A FROSTY NIGHT


    So how many jobs have you got left to do. We always put so much pressure on ourselves at this time of year. I really wanted to get so many things made and I am determined it will happen next year. I left all my card making a bit late this time, we have had our son and fiancee living with us for nine months and there has been a lot of extra things to do. They are happy in their lovely new house now even if they are still unpacking.

    I did manage to make a selection of parchment cards in the last couple of weeks. I really wanted them for all my close family. There were a few late nights and they were not as elaborate as I first intended. Also did not help that as I was glittering a beautiful star that I had cut out I did not look as I picked up the glitter to sprinkle. I had not picked up glitter but the bottle of sticky ink and I promptly poured it over the card. Oh I did I use some language in my head. Never mind had to get over it.

    I will share more of them with you later but today will just show one that I want to enter in the monthly challenge at Claritystamps. This time the theme is Carol Singing and Christmas Joy. Ideal for this festive time of year.

     


        Love this lady, looks so elegant. Well enjoy all your celebrations and hope you all get lots of nice surprises.  

                                              HAPPY CHRISTMAS.  xxx


Sunday, 18 December 2016

SANTA IS ON HIS WAY


    Well the festivities are nearly here, I hope you have all made your preparations. I have almost wrapped all the presents and I just have about four cards left to make. In the meantime I thought I would get my calendar challenge entry made so that it is all done before Christmas. Also it is a Christmas design so did think that is another of my cards done.
   
    I had most of the right stamps to complete the design but did not have the rooftop masks so my Santa on his sleigh is still out in the countryside flying over the hills. Probably a few villages that he needs to visit. I enjoyed doing this one and have to admit I had bought the stamp set and put it away ready and did not realise how many lovely stamps there are in it. Note to self to use more of my stamps I have stashed away. 




    Hope you like this design if you want to try then visit Barbara Gray's blog following this link which will take you to the instructions for making this card. 

     Have a wonderful Christmas and hope Santa brings you all you wish for. xx 

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Twas the Night before Christmas


    I recently went to a workshop in Chesterfield, it was held in the Crafter's Companion store there. A wonderful session with many lovely ladies. I love going to workshops nearly always come away having learnt something new. this time it was Groovi session which is parchment using the brilliant Groovi system from Claritystamps.

    Josie Davidson and Chris Walker were in charge  and readily shared their expertise. Wonderful ladies and so talented. I am loving learning all the parchment techniques. It does require a lot of patience but is so relaxing. Anyway below is the card we created, I opted to do the one with more piercing and cutting in as I love doing that. It was also so effective.


      It is not perfect but even so I was pleased with the results.  Just need to make a few more really to complete my Christmas makes for this year.

    Thank-you for visiting xx




Wednesday, 30 November 2016

NOVEMBER, A TIME FOR REMEMBRANCE


          I know November has now come to an end but it is the month when we remember all our brave service people who have either lost their lives or been badly injured in defense of our country. The canvas that is the Calendar challenge for this month features poppies. Symbol of remembrance.
     
         I am so late again with my entry this month, I have really struggled to find any time for myself.  I was very fortunate last month to win the challenge for October, for which I received a £50 voucher for Claritystamps. I have not spent it yet as I am waiting to see what appears on the TV shows for December. I could probably spend it several times over. Anyway I am still entering this month but just for fun as I certainly would not expect to win again and also because I loved the little canvas.


 

            The geese featured in the picture are one of my favourite stamps. If you have not got the calendar for 2015 then  there is a You tube geese canvas on Barbara's blog which is very similar.
   
       Hope you enjoy having a go, I certainly did and paint is not usually my favourite thing to use.
                      Thank-you for dropping by. xx

Sunday, 27 November 2016

LOOKING BACK.


  Well according to the countdown on my phone it is only 28 days til Christmas Day. Of course all my cards are written and presents wrapped. If you believe that you will believe anything, absolutely no way am I that organised this year. We have been very busy since our son and fiancee moved out into their own house. I had forgotten how much stuff I had moved around to make room for them. Anyway they are settled and now my thoughts are turning to all the other things I need to do. 

  One of my priorities is to get my card into the monthly Claritystamps challenge. This month we are given the chance to choose any of the past challenges as our theme. Blast from the Past. I have decided on October 2015 as it was a stencil challenge and meant that I could also create another Christmas card. One more off my list. 

  I chose the lovely bauble stencil and started by attaching it in a hinge fashion to a piece of stencil card.


 
   I chose one of the new Artistry inks, Blushing Rose. and brushed all around the edges using a stencil brush. The ones from Clarity are fabulous.

                                      
   Next I made a mask out of copy paper so that it just left the inside of the bauble exposed. Secured with a bit of tape.


 
  I used the lovely new stamp from this month's stamp club. the holly deer,and stamped into the bauble using Sepia Archival ink.I also tore some paper to make a hill mask and added some hills around the deer using the Artistry ink.






    Remove the mask and I added some holly leaves in each corner using a Holly wreath stencil. I just masked off any bits I did not want on the stencil with masking tape. I also added some sparkle on the hills and around the edge of the bauble with a clear Wink of Stella brush. A few gems around the Holly leaves completed my card.

  

    Thank-you for visiting all that remains for me to do now is to get this entered into the challenge. Oh and perhaps catch up on some of my Christmas preparations. xxx

Saturday, 19 November 2016

A WORKSHOP and CHRISTMAS CARDS


     Last weekend I went to a workshop in Nottingham, I go every month and really enjoy myself. I always learn something new but also meet up with lots of lovely people. The lovely Maria Simms takes our class now and I love to see what she has planned for us each month. Anyway last week we were making Christmas cards. Really handy as I have not done enough as yet this year. So I will share with you the ones we made,  of course there were many different variations of the card Maria showed us. 



       
      

       

            The border around the one above was made with a corner stamp , I really enjoyed making this one and have many other corner stamps that I can try.



 



                            



         The wreath in this one was made by stamping around a small circle mask with a snowflake stamp. Quite effective and very quick. 




              We used the small round gel plate and the stag stencil for this one.  All the above cards were made using Clarity stamps and stencils.. 

          Hope all your Christmas cards are nearly finished if you are making your own. Only about five weeks now to the big day. 

       Thank-you for dropping by today. xxx

Sunday, 13 November 2016

OH MY GOODNESS, IT'S A WINNER


  Just a quick visit today to share with you some fantastic news. As you all probably know I enter the challenges at Claritystamps each month. There is a challenge which has a theme set for it and also a Calendar challenge where we re-create the artwork on the 2016 Clarity calendar. Well  I have won on the Calendar challenge for October. 


This was my entry


      I was very surprised as I had thought mine was a little bit too bright but you got to be in it to win it so I gave it a go. Then the next day this beautiful card arrives in the post.





  This was my gift voucher worth £50. How lovely, never had a gift card as wonderful as this. Will I have any trouble deciding what to spend it on, of course not. So many lovely things on the Clarity website. I will let you know what I decide on in the near future. 

    Thank-you for dropping by. xxx



Monday, 31 October 2016

MY FAVOURITE POEM

  



      Well the clocks went back an hour last night so now for the long dark evenings when hopefully we all manage to settle to some more of our crafts. Along with the darker evenings come the misty mornings for a while and I always think of the first line of this poem by Keats. Seasons of mists and mellow fruitfulness. It is my favourite poem and so I really had to try this month's Calendar challenge at Claritystamps. It is very autumnal. I did struggle a little as I had not got the right colours of Distress re-inkers to make my own stamp pad with. I had to manage with ink pads and even then my good friend Maggie Craner came to the rescue and lent me some of the colours. I know I will be increasing my stash when I visit the NEC later this week. 

     Anyway for those of you that don't know the idea of the challenge is to try to re-create the artwork by Barbara Gray for the month on the 2016 Clarity calendar. Think I have managed to enter every one so far and have learnt a few things along the way.  Below is a picture of Barbara's artwork which we are aiming for. 


Barbara Gray's completed piece.
                                 
     So now for my attempt at this challenge. I will not go into details of how to complete the card as you only need to go to Barbara Gray's blog   One day at a Time   for all the information. I chose orange for my background card as it went better with the my colours.
   



  
       I shall try this again when I have some more re-inker colours to make a proper stamp pad instead of putting colours on stamp with a brush. 

      Thank-you for visiting xx

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

SQUARES OR CIRCLES


          Time for the challenge entry at Claritystamps, so where has October gone to. Scary when I think it is only two months to Christmas. Have you done any shopping yet, yes I know it is still early for some people but with my large family I have to get organised. Also I am now cooking for 10 on Christmas Day instead of going out to Greg and Amie. They have not moved into their house yet get the keys on Friday but then got to get carpets and tiles fitted so not going to be in for another couple of weeks at least. 
       
           Anyway back to the October challenge which is squares or circles. Need to incorporate either of these or both into our design. I opted for squares also decided to use parchment. I really wanted to try the black parchment as well thank goodness I invested in a lightbox.  Needed it for all the grid work on my design. I used the Poinsettia from the groovi plate designed by Jayne Nestorenko. 

         

        The squares were embossed from the square nested plate and the holly leaves taken from the Holly border plate. Grid work is from one of the lovely piercing plates by Tina Cox. There is some glitter on the poinsettia but does not show very well on photos my camera not brilliant. I love the effect of black parchment but not an easy colour to work on.


    
                                                 A closer look at the poinsettia. 

        Items used are:-

         Square nested plate
          Poinsettia plate
        Holly border plate
        Border Piercing plate
        Black parchment

    Hope you like this design sorry it has been a quick visit today but I have left it late again this month. Trying very hard to get Christmas cards made and also Calendar challenge to complete. xxx
            
                  


Saturday, 24 September 2016

A WALK IN THE GARDEN


     It would not take very long to walk around our garden it is not very big. Modern houses do not get large gardens usually, now we have retired my husband really would like a larger patch to cultivate. Think he would quite like a greenhouse but unless we move not a possibility. I will just have to find him lots more jobs to do instead.

    Anyway A Walk in the Garden is the theme for this month's challenge over at Claritystamps. Lots of stamps that could be used for this one but I settled on the blossom and butterfly stamps as the main ones. I had not got a butterfly with wings folded so I had to adapt the one I had. Using the large one from the butterfly tree set I covered half the little chap with masking tape, inked up then stamped. I also did the same thing onto a post it note to make a mask. Masked off the butterfly and  masked off a larger portion of the stamp again then positioning carefully I stamped another wing into place. ( just remember to remove masking tape from stamp before using, good job I did a few practice ones on copy paper.) I drew the legs in with pen. 




      My background was made using a gelli plate. I inked all over with brayer then dabbed with scrunched up copy paper and pulled my print. I did this three times with different shades of ink. I think it gives a nice soft background to work with.  I also used the script stamp from the journal set very faintly , not sure that it shows too well in the photos. 

     
 
       The birdcages were stamped with second generation Black Archival ink. 




        A little blue tit helped to complete the garden scene. We get a lot of these little birds in our garden, looking for the feeders that my husband puts out for them. He loves to watch the birds

                                        So to the completed scene.




  


 Items used were;-
                            Cherry blossom stamp
                             
                            Birdcage stamp
                               
                               Buttterfly

                               Blue tit

    Hope you like this little scene. Still time to enter the challenge closing date is the end of the month. 

      Thank-you for reading.   xxx

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

HARE IN THE MOONLIGHT


       Goodness aren't the nights beginning to draw in. Think our summer is just about done now, not been the best really but there were a few nice spells. I hope you have all had some pleasant breaks away, now I suppose our thoughts turn to the long winter evenings. Dark starry nights which brings me on nicely to this month's Calendar challenge on the Claritystamp website. The picture is a lovely starry moonlit night. 
      
       I enjoyed trying this one needed to use a brayer which I have finally mastered and quite like using now. The idea is to try to re-create the piece of artwork that Barbara Gray did for September on the Clarity Calendar for 2016. Hope I have done it justice. My attempt is featured below.




       
        If you want to give it a try there is still time this month to get an entry in. Worth having a go, a wonderful Clarity voucher is the prize if you are lucky enough to win. Just visit the Calendar Challenge blog to see how to enter. 
     
       Thank-you for visiting. xxx

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

FINALLY FRAMED.


      As I have said in previous posts I recently attended the Claritystamps retreat at Crowborough Rugby Club. I thoroughly enjoy these two days and having gone last year it is now set in stone. They are two very busy days and you must not expect to be coming home with completed cards etc but goodness you do pick up some wonderful techniques. The retreat is run by Barbara Gray and Paul Church is also on hand to help with those meltdown moments. Last year I just could not get my mask on my blue tit that I had stamped. Paul came along and did it instantly, I was so glad he was there.
 
       Anyway both of the years we have created a canvas. Now I am not artistic at all, ask me to draw a picture and I wold be useless but we were shown how to use a brayer, chalk paint and ink. The geese are stamped onto tissue paper then stuck to the canvas. The sunflower is a stencil and grunge paste dragged through then coloured with inks.

        I was pleased with my results so decided I needed to frame them and display. They are now hanging on the wall of my stairs.


   

          The geese we did this year. Love these bird stamps useful for Christmas cards as well.


     

        Lots of little flowers on this one. Created by dabbing paint on with a little ball tool.

 
          Hope you like these, have a go at a canvas if I can do it so can you. All the stamps and stencils are available from Claritystamps.  xx
 
 

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

PAINTING ON PARCHMENT

       I spent a lot of time this last weekend at Curborough Craft Centre. On Saturday there was a wonderful Parchment Craft Exhibition, many very talented ladies were showing their brilliant work. I am in awe of some of the designs produced by the experts. I also picked up a lot of advice and met up with several friends who are all interested in the same craft. There has been quite a renewal in this ancient craft lately due to the Groovi plates being produced by Claritystamps. These have made parchment work easier for a lot of people who previously struggled with it but having said that many experts have embraced the system. I enjoy both aspects of the craft, traditional which involves tracing and using Groovi. 
     
        On Sunday I attended a full day workshop run by several parchment tutors. I was apprehensive to begin with as I thought I would be out of my depth but I was soon put at ease. My lovely friend Maggie Craner also came along and we sat together. Safety in numbers I reckon. The first project was very intricate and I will have to post a photo of that one later as I have not finished it yet. In the afternoon we were painting on parchment using any water based markers that we had. Now colouring and blending is not my strong point but I learnt an awful lot. I am keen to try the technique again and can carry some of the tips over into my stamping. 

           Below is my finished project and I am quite pleased with it. Not perfect I know but definitely an improvement for me. 


  
            I added a few more flowers to mine and also some gems and a little bit of glitter although that does not show very well on the photo. I wanted to send this to my lovely little great niece who says she loves my glittery cards. Hope she likes it. 



                       When painting on parchment you must be careful not to get too much water on your brush just damp really. The parchment will crinkle otherwise. 


              
         Hope you like this pretty little design, this one was designed by Sue Hastwell who taught the afternoon class. I will post my other project as soon as I have finished it. 

           Thank-you for dropping by . xx

Thursday, 25 August 2016

BUTTERFLY TREE

      Nearly the end of August already where has the summer gone to. We have had some nice days but raining at the moment for a change. It was probably us that ruined it we bought some new garden furniture and a BBQ.  Pleased to say we have used the BBQ a few times but not enough really. Maybe we will get an Indian Summer. 

     I did have a few days away at the Clarity retreat which was fantastic, for  those of you that don't know this is a two day workshop in Crowborough East Sussex.  Always very popular and a wonderful experience, so much learnt and lots of friendly people. I will post a few of my makes in another blog soon but I need to share this month's Calendar challenge with you now. 

      A lot of blending of inks this month which is something I like to do. I am not expert at this technique yet but improving I think. 
       Some very bright colours in this one as well. I was happy with my first attempt at this card but then I messed up when adding the hills.Annoying when that happens but it is only a piece of card so not the end of the world. 





          Anyway as I was clearing up I remembered watching Sam Crowe at last year's Open Days happily punching circles out of card she had coloured.  So decided to give it a try and made the card below. A bonus from my calendar challenge card So thank-you Sam for the inspiration. I have made my piece of 'waste' into a card for my great nephew. 




         Anyway  there are still a few days left if you want to enter this month's challenge. 

                   Thank-you for visiting. xx

Sunday, 24 July 2016

ANYONE FOR GOLF


         My two sons have recently taken up golf, Guy started first as his knee has gradually given up on football so he wanted another activity and Greg has gradually joined him. They had a charity day not long ago and the lead up to that was quite competitive my son-in-law also plays so he joined in  the day. As both lads are now in their thirties it is nice to see them spending some time with each other. At the moment Greg and his fiancee are living with us while their new house is being built so I get to hear all about the game when he comes home. From what he says I do think they spend quite some time looking for the balls or even losing them completely. Certainly not contenders for the Open any time soon. 

      Anyway it is Greg's Birthday on July 27th so I decided to combine his card along with the theme for this month's challenge at  Claritystamps  which is  Days Out.  A game of golf is certainly a day out for the both of them.  I used lots of different stamps for this card and sometimes only part of one by masking off sections.  I will try to explain how I achieved the end result and I apologise now for the photo which is a bit pale. The card in reality looks a bit brighter. 





          I started by making a cloudy sky. I used the Clarity cloud mask for this and of course Cloudy blue Adirondack ink . I sponged the ink on i got a better effect that way.  










     I was quite pleased with the end result, my clouds do not usually turn out very well. It nearly always rains when they go off to play golf so this sky seemed appropriate. 



           Next I used the edge of the Clarity blending mat to tear a strip for hills. Useful piece of equipment if you can't tear a hill like Barbara Gray can. Mine usually end up a little ragged. 





         Using this torn strip I added a few small hills and a bunker, which if you look closely is where the lost ball is. Normally in the rough I believe.  I used Meadow green which is a bit light on the picture. Then I found out several tree stamps and added some trees, a few are stamped using second generation ink to give the feeling that they are in the background. Using the side of a tree I stamped in some grass around the trees and the bunker. This stops the trees looking as if they are levitating. 

         The figures were taken from the wee folk set, one of them I had to mask off a little boy and replace with a drawn in golf club. The flag post is drawn in as well and that folks is about the best of my ability as regards drawing. My grandaughter certainly does not follow me for her artistic talent. I found a little dot in a die and cut that out for the balls, one of which is in the bunker and the other by the golfer's foot. Difficult to spot --sorry. 



        
  
        Stamps used--
           Wee Folk set 1

          Wee trees
          Large tree
          Cloud Mask

      Hope you like this, fingers crossed Greg will. I also hope his present arrives in time. Hurry up Mr Postie.

        Thank-you for visiting. xxx 

Monday, 18 July 2016

Is it a Smurf or just MAGICAL


      No I have not quite lost my mind yet---if you are wondering about the title of this post. I have just completed my entry for the Calendar challenge at Claritystamp, I was just looking at the finished piece and I am sure there is a smurf in the top left corner waving at me. Well I hope he is Magical and helps me to success in the challenge. It is worth hoping as there is a £50 voucher at stake so if you have time pop over to the Calendar Challenge and have a go. 
Hopefully you might have a copy of the brilliant calendar but if you need more detail click on this Blog post where Barbara Gray explains how to create her masterpiece.



Original piece by Barbara Gray

       So now we need to look at my effort complete with  pink Smurf. Not quite a masterpiece but hey it is original. 







My little pink Smurf.


        Amazing what you find in the ink blobs, I know Barbara tells us to squint to find the hills etc but not sure she means little pink men as well. I had not got the word chain for Magical so used my lovely new Alphabet Stamp set. Very useful. 

     Thank-you for having a look at my blog xxx

                 

Friday, 8 July 2016

A SPECIAL BIRTHDAY


    A special week for our family as my grandaughter celebrated her 18th Birthday. We do love to all get together as a family on a Birthday, so we all piled into my daughter's house last night to give her presents and enjoy some cake. My poor son-in-law was trying very hard to watch France and Germany play in the Euro semi finals. He does love his football but was very patient, admittedly most of the men were trying to watch as well.As you can imagine there were a lot of football pundits in that room. 
   
     Anyway of course I made her a card and it needed to be a little different as she always finds some very trendy clothes to wear. I chose some lovely decoupage papers from House of Zandra  when I was at the NEC in March so decided to use one of them. The quality is wonderful and designs are fabulous.



      
                                                                             
            



          Added a lovely lace flower that I found amongst my stash, I have had this bit of lace for years was just waiting for the right moment to use it. 

       I always like to make the inside of a card interesting as well if I can so I saved one layer of the decoupage for that. 




    
      Finally of course we needed a cake and I made that as well. My daughter Yvonne will be the first to admit that she does not bake just likes to enjoy other peoples makes.


              


      So I hope you like the card and can say that the cake tasted fine as well. I am going to enter the card into the challenge at Fussy and Fancy  which for this fortnight is Flowers and Lace. 

     Thank-you for visiting and if you have time make a card for the challenge as well. xxx