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Friday, 29 September 2017

A QUICK MAKE and TAKE.


     Last weekend I was able to go to the Clarity Open Day in Leyburn North Yorkshire. It was held in the Garden Rooms at Tennants Auction Rooms. What a beautiful venue and plenty of room to move around. The wonderful Clarity design were there demonstrating some brilliant ideas. It is great to be able to ask questions and find out how certain products work. Of course I spent far too much but I also won a wonderful raffle prize which consisted of the new printed parchment papers. Thank-you Barbara Gray for some very generous prizes. 

     During the day I took part in the make and take session run by Linda Page and Jane Telford. This was a parchment session and a very pretty design. I did not get mine finished so have just completed it. I had to change the border as I made a small mistake but that was ok I just did a grid work design. 


           
                  
                Of course I had to add some glitter on the butterfly wings. Love a bit of glitter. 




       
         Hope you like this pretty little design. I need to get on with my Christmas cards now had hoped to have them done by now. Back soon. xx

Thursday, 31 August 2017

BUTTERFLY WREATH


     I have had a little play with a few of my Lavinia stamps recently. I have not got that many but thought I would give the recent challenge a try.  I was not lucky enough in the random draw to win but I had a good response to card that I designed so thought I would share it with you all.  The theme was blues and orange hues.  




      Quite simply I drew a pencil circle then stamped the dragonfly in place. Masked it off then added the leaves to make the circle. A little bumble bee on the other side and some simple colouring of the dragonfly. I used inks and paintbrush to colour and added some gems for sparkle. I brushed the edges of the card with the same blue and orange inks I had used for the wreath. Then added a simple peel off greeting as I do not have any Lavinia stamp greetings. 

               I hope you all like this quite simple card but effective I think. xxx
                                                           





Saturday, 12 August 2017

PARCHMENT FLOWERS and INK


     Whenever possible I go to a workshop in Nottingham which is run by Maria Simms. She is very talented especially with anything inky. As it was her Birthday recently I wanted to make her a card but knew it had to be special. I settled on a nice sprayed background and also added some of the lovely Inca Gold made into a spray. For the flowers I used parchment. Using the Groovi system I made them with a brilliant flower plate designed by Tina Cox. Some sparkly gems and a bit of glitter and the card was complete. quite quick but I think very effective.




                                     A close up of the flowers, added a few leaves as well.


   
     So there you are quick easy and  I think quite pretty. Thank-you for dropping by. xx


Friday, 11 August 2017

THROUGH THE GARDEN WALL


     I have recently returned from a two day crafting retreat run by Barbara Gray of Claritystamps.  We went through so many different techniques and I learnt a lot. We were using  a brayer quite a lot , very good practice. Our final project on day two was to complete a canvas. For this we were using the masks from some lovely large aperture stamps. 

      I decided to use the same idea to make my great niece a Birthday card. Only I used a butterfly stamp and made my own masks. 





        Below is the stamp I used, these were made for the recent Clarity Open Days and come with a lovely large flower as well. 




                    
          I started by stamping the butterfly onto a post it note and cutting out to make a mask. I also stamped it onto a sheet of copy paper but this time I cut out the middle of the image, all will become clear later.



      
       
        Next stage is to position the post it mask onto a piece of stencil card. I put mine in the top right corner at an angle. Then place the brick stencil over the top securing with some masking tape at one edge to make a hinge. 





       Brush over the top with a colour of your choice, I used Tea Dye distress ink. Once your brush is loaded with ink brush a little off onto a piece of copy paper before applying to the card. This gets rid of some of the excess and gives a more even coverage. Once you are happy with the colour, the stencil can be removed. If not sure just lift it and check.  Mask off around the antennae on the stamp and ink them up again with black Archival. Carefully position the stamp in place and stamp the antennae onto the card. Remove the post it note mask. 




      Stamp the Alium into place and add some fairies around the card. I sat one on the butterfly and had another giving it a push.  This is where I used the copy paper mask, place it over the butterfly so that the outside area is covered, no danger of spoiling your brick background. Then I used some of the smaller scenic stamps to add a scene inside the butterfly. Finally brushing in some sky and some grass with a few hills. 




       

   As I am going to give this one to my great niece for her Birthday in September I have added some sparkles on the alium. She once told me that she loved my cards because of all the glitter.  Any excuse for me to add glitter really. 







  Links for a few of the items I used. 

   Butterfly Stamp 
   Alium Stamp
   Extra small fairies
   Garden set small
   Brick stencil

      Thank-you for visiting, I have lots of projects on the go at the moment so will try to get them onto my blog as I know I have neglected it a bit lately. xx



Tuesday, 27 June 2017

An Afternoon with Yupo Paper and Alcohol Inks



         I have recently been to the Claritystamp Open Days in Crowborough East Sussex. So many wonderful demos by the very talented design team. I picked up lots of ideas and since returning have been keen to try them out. I spent a lot of time watching Dee Paramour using Yupo paper and alcohol inks. It is amazing how the inks react on the paper and some fabulous effects can be achieved. Below is the card I have made using some of the techniques.       

                                 




        I forgot to take photos as I was making this as I had started out just intending to play but liked the effect so had to use it. So I will try to explain exactly what I did. Firstly you need a piece of Yupo paper and a blending tool and a selection of alcohol inks, colours of your choice. 


                                      

         

      
     Put felt pad on the blending tool and drip on several drops of ink in various colours then a few drops of blending solution. Not too much. 

  
                                             

       
        Then press the pad onto the paper randomly and watch the magic happen. keep adding until you get the effect you like. 


                                             
 

        Next I chose one of my stencils and put on top of the paper. A little bit of tape to keep in place is a good idea. Use a clean pad and this time just put blending solution on then dab carefully all over the stencil. This takes out some of the colour and leaves the stencil pattern. Nice. I used the stencil below.


                           


      
      I cut the paper into three strips and mounted onto black card then onto a piece of white card. I felt it needed some embellishments so made my own flowers using the stamps pictured below. I stamped onto some of the lovely Clarity Northern Lights paper and cut out and assembled the flowers with a little gem in the middle. I also stamped a little dragonfly using Archival ink. Be careful when stamping onto Yupo as the stamp can slip. 



   

     I had a small strip of the paper left over so rather than waste it I stamped butterflies on it and cut out. These will do nicely to add to another card one day. 

     
                         


        


       I quite enjoyed my afternoon playing with inks. I have a few more ideas to try out and it is just a question of seeing what you can achieve. I have put the links below for the stamps and stencil that I used.

      Flower stamps
      Butterfly and dragonfly stamp
      Stencil

     Thank-you for dropping by. Back soon with some more ideas. xx

             

Monday, 12 June 2017

A SPECIAL BIRTHDAY


     Birthdays roll round each year and some are just a bit more special. Just recently a good friend of mine celebrated her 70th. I wanted to make a special card for this occasion so decided to tackle a grid design I found in an old copy of Parchment Craft magazine. The design is by Carla Prediger but I used the lovely flower Groovi plates by Tina Cox to make the flowers.          


  

         Needed a little bit of patience with this grid design but I do love the challenge. I always just hope that I do not go wrong at the last little bit. 

                
        Tina's flower plate is wonderful. I have not got many flower punches so this makes it easy to produce some beautiful flowers and butterflies.  They finish off a design beautifully.                                                                      
Tina's Groovi flower plate  click on this link if you would like to find out more. 

      Finally my friend liked her card and also the cake that I made for her. Could not let her 70th birthday go by without some celebration. 
   
         Thank-you for visiting. xxx

      

Friday, 12 May 2017

GRIDWORK, just keep snipping.



          In the last two years I have re-discovered parchment craft. The launch of the Groovi plates from Claritystamp has certainly gone a long way to creating a lot of interest from loads of people. There are lots of workshops for us to enjoy and learn from. I have been going to one to learn all the traditional methods of this beautiful craft. I am going to the Bristol parchment Exhibition soon and my tutor asked us to create a card to exhibit. I have found that I really enjoy gridwork which involves a lot of counting but the results are amazing. So below is one of the cards I have completed.





        The design for the grid was in the parchment craft magazine and is designed by Susan Moran. I added my own lettering in the middle section.  My nephew will be 50 later this year so this is his card completed.

        Looking forward now to my visit to Bristol and meeting lots of fellow parchers and many experts as well.  I am sure there will be a lot of brilliant work on display.  xx

       

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

TRENTHAM GARDENS



      I am not too sure what happened to April, the month just flew by. We did have a wonderful family wedding, our son Greg married his lovely fiancee Amie. It was just one of the best family days and they looked very happy. I will post some photos in my next blog as I have not loaded them onto my laptop yet. 

     Anyway it has been a glorious day here today so hubby and I decided on a day out to make the most of the sunshine. We have wanted to visit Trentham Gardens for ages so that was where we went. Takes about an hour from our home town so not too bad. There are lots of lovely outlet shops and I could not resist a wander around.  Of course we made some purchases would have been rude not to. I also saw many items that will make great gifts for some of the family. Christmas sorted maybe. 

         A few photos of our day out. The gardens have been restored over the last few years, they were originally designed by Capability Brown. 

       

                                                                The Italian Garden
                

                        A view of the large lake, you can walk all the way round
          but not something I could manage.  




                                              
                                                                    A few bluebells.


                        
                                               Fred doing a bit of information gathering.


    
                                              Then he saw me with the camera so felt the need to pose.


                                           
                                                                Capability Brown


  
                                  Statues in the lake which were nesting ground for Moorhens. At least that is what Fred said they were and I would not know any different. If you look in the bottom right corner you can just see the chicks in the nest.



    

                                             
  
                                                                 Pertheus and Medussia


                               Now I love Snakeshead frutilleries but just cannot get them to grow in our garden. Maybe I need  a piece of artwork like this instead.

                                                     
                                            Snakeshead Frutilleries
               


               
                          I loved these dandelions. They were very slightly bending in the breeze.



A wooden sculpture by the lakeside.

                        
                     
         
                           Came across this swan sitting on her nest. Very regal. 


      
           Anyway worth a visit to Trentham and if you have children while there go along to the Monkey Forest they will love it. My grandchildren do, even though they are getting older now. xx

Monday, 27 March 2017

IT'S A MAN'S WORLD.


     Oh dear, all my good intentions to post regularly here have really gone out of the window during March. It has been a very busy time for us and our family, various illnesses and school half term as well has kept us busy. We did manage to meet up with my brother and his wife for a meal one day. That was great as I do love to see him. We have a family wedding very soon, on Easter Saturday actually. Our eldest son gets married and we are all looking forward to the celebrations. Just hoping that it is a dry day but not much we can do about that. 

     I have not made many cards at all this month but I have just managed to finish a parchment one which I am entering into the challenge at Claritystamps. This one is for the Groovi challenge and hopefully I might even get a stamped one done as well. I used the last monthly club plate to make the feathers on my card.

                                                             
                                                             



    
    Quite a simple layout but time has been against me. The backing papers are also produced by Clarity and the paper pads are really gorgeous.   Hope to be back soon with my stamped card. In the meantime enjoy the lovely Spring sunshine that we are having at the moment. 

      Thank-you for dropping by. xxx

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

FREESIAS


     February already, I will be glad now when we have some brighter weather. Just some sunshine would be nice the days seem so dreary. At least I can lose myself in my craft room. I can say that now as we have insulated the conservatory roof and turned it into my space. Lovely. It can still be a bit cool on some days but put some heat on and it is soon cosy. In fact gets really warm just like a greenhouse in fact. My dad had a greenhouse and he used to grow freesias in there for my mum. They were her favourite flower. So that brings me to the card I have made for the challenge at  Claritystamp

     I chose the lovely Freesia stamp as the theme is Flower Power. I also used some Pan Pastels as Maria Simms was showing us how to use these at our Nottingham workshop. They are wonderful so easy to blend. 

     I started by stamping the flower onto a piece of watercolour card in Sepia Archival which will give a softer look.


 
    
     I needed to mask off the flower then, so I stamped again onto a post it note. My great friend Margaret Craner got me some that are sticky all over from her local Sainsbury's. It was quite a task cutting out the flower and I had to do it in small bits.

 All masked off

       After that fiddly task I used Pan Pastels to blend colour across the card. I added some white to the rather bright blue and pink to tone them down a bit. Blend them by using makeup sponges . 



The colours I used. 

                                                  

                                                                                                 
        After blending the colours I scrunched up some copy paper and dabbed it into a versamark ink pad then blotted over my coloured card. Then using the coloured sponges brush over where the copy paper has been pressed on the card. The Versamark picks up the Pastel and gives some background interest to the card. 

                                                                 
      
     I then stamped some print in second generation ink using the Journaling Set . I love this set so many useful stamps in it.



     

        Finally I removed the masks and coloured  the flower using inks diluted with water. I also added an embossed gold line around the edge of the card, mounted it onto black and then just a few pearls in the corners to finish. 

       Thank-you for reading my blog and if you have time why not make a floral card and enter into the challenge. It can be found on the Clarity Worldwide Facebook page. You never know you might win a £50 voucher. Good Luck if you do enter. xx                                                    

Monday, 30 January 2017

A PERSONAL CHALLENGE


    I love going to workshops partly to meet all the other lovely crafters but also because I always learn something new. Josie Davidson held one recently in Chesterfield at the Crafter's Companion store. She was doing a Groovi workshop but sadly I could not manage to get there that time. Anyway Josie posted a photo on Facebook of the card they would be making so Maggie Craner and myself decided to have a go by ourselves. We intend to take our finished piece to show our parchment tutor Pat White for her comments. Hope she is kind. 

   I am quite pleased with my finished piece, I know there a few faults but my shading is improving which I am pleased about. 



    I backed my work on a piece paper from the lovely new Northern Lights paper pad from Claritystamp . These pads are just gorgeous almost too lovely to use. Double sided as well. 

    Rose Plate
    Northern Lights paper pad

    Hope you like this and thank-you for dropping by  xx

Friday, 20 January 2017

BLUE TIT MEETS PARCHMENT


     I am loving creating parchment designs, the arrival of the Groovi system has really re-awakened my interest in this craft. Some days my hands will not always do exactly as I want so the traditional tracing is difficult. Great to be able to pick up a Groovi plate then and be able to carry on.  On some occasions I do enjoy sitting and losing myself in the tracing. 

     Clarity have started a Facebook page devoted to Groovi and on this site will be a regular monthly challenge. Groovi Worldwide. is the page and you just need to ask to join. Worth it as there are lots of beautiful pieces of work being shown.  Anyway I have created a card for this month's challenge which is Animal Kingdom. 

                                                                           


                          

       I did forget to take photos as I was working so will just show you parts of the card in close up and tell you which plates I used. 
                                            
                                           

    Flower tangle Plate  I used small parts of this plate for the flower detail and did a little bit of picot cutting. I love doing this and grid work. 


     
         Blue Tit  coloured on reverse of parchment with Faber Castell pencils. Add colour gradually til you have the depth you want and blend together. The edges of the wings are embossed lightly. I just drew round a circle for the sun but you could use the .Nested Circles.




          Just a little bit of grid work in the corners. The edges were created using one of the lovely border piercing plates  Straight Border pattern. I added some embossed dots instead of some piercing.






       A little bit more of the flower pattern. I added a few gems and mounted the design on some rainbow card that I had in my stash. I go to a parchment class twice a month and Pat White who runs it told me to mount my work on a bright background so that the embossing stands out. 

         Hope you like this and next time I must remember to take photos as I go along. Trouble is I get so involved in what I am doing and forget. xxx