Thursday, 31 December 2009

OUT WITH 2009 and ......


Out with 2009 and in with 2010.

Like most of you, I don't have a clue where this year has gone. Having been ill for about 10months of it, I feel that I have hardly done anything except attend doctor and hospital appointments. The joys of being 60 eh? Anyway, on a much happier note, I am fit and well and ready to start 2010 in a positive way and to heck with anything else.

I have made some wonderful friends since I started paper crafting, many this year, and now have 5 ATC swapping buddies. I generally make 6 ATCs the same, or similar, 5 for my pals and 1 to swap at demos and workshops. Speaking of which, these have allowed me to get to know some amazing professional crafters and may I say, become friends too. I feel really honoured. This photo is of the fabulous birthday card I received from Lindsay Mason and which is now framed and hanging in my workroom.

Another of my passions this year is this blog. By looking at other crafty blogs, I have been able to take my cards to a higher level, and by commenting on their masterpieces, I have felt part of this amazing worldwide community without having to venture outside my door. Many give away blog candy - here is a good opportunity to mention http://craftstamper.blogspot.com/ who are currently doing just that - which adds to the excitement whether you win or not. I have generally 'had a ball'.

So I say OUT WITH 2009 and IN WITH 2010, I really can't wait.

HAPPY NEW YEAR to all crafters, blog hoppers, their families, infact, to everyone everywhere.

Monday, 28 December 2009

THE MATCHING PAGE


At last I've managed to make the matching page to the one a couple of posts below. I've now used all my large grungeboard swirls so that's another reason to be excited about the new Tim Holtz Sizzix die which is top of my 'want' - sorry - 'need' list.

I hope you have all had a lovely Christmas and that Santa came to your house.

My very best wishes for a wonderful 2010 to everyone out there. xx

Thursday, 24 December 2009

WARM WISHES


I made this page today after waiting for Chritmas to come round. I found the photo earlier in the year and is of Toby with his Dadi taken around 11years ago. The inspiration for it came from a gorgeous scrap page designed by Katy Godbeer for Docrafts. She makes the most amazing pages which I find remarkable.

Anyway, I thought who better than a cuddly, furry pusscat to help me send warm wishes.

So, may I wish all of the lovely people I have met through crafting, whether in person or over the web,


A VERY, VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS and AN EVEN HAPPIER 2010


XXXXX

XMAS EVE SNOW




I took these photos around midnight. The snow was really heavy and so beautiful.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

ALTERATIONS


I just knew 2010 was going to be exciting.

Check out Tim Holtz's latest blog where he describes his new range - ALTERATIONS. This is the name of his range of dies which he has designed for Sizzix.

I for one cannot wait, especially for the scrolls and flourishes, which will be an amazing addition to the crafting booty. To be able to cut those intricate designs from grungeboard and papers ourselves will add such a lot to cards and scrap pages. I love flourishes of all kinds, stamps, rub ons, peel offs etc. so a die is a must for me.
I made this page a couple of months ago. The flourish is from a grungeboard set and shows the type which can be achieved with the new dies. I am about to make the facing page and now won't bother about using my last grunge flourish - not that Toby isn't worth it anyway!

Monday, 21 December 2009

21st DECEMBER




Today is such a great day to me. I spend time 'oodling' over all the gorgeous and generous presents I received the day before for my birthday whilst looking forward to tomorrow when the days begin to grow longer once again. Yes, the shortest day of the year is a good one.


Despite freezing conditions, snow flurries and not so good driving conditions, my hubby took me to Dawn's yesterday where I met up with the 'bubbly' Lindsay Mason, who was demoing, and where I spent some of my gift vouchers. Apart from some distress ink pads, the photo shows my purchases. I really enjoyed myself. He then whisked me back along the motorway to enjoy a birthday meal. I even relented and had pudding. Not something I usually do, but I had an enormous dark chocolate fudge cake with ice cream. It was really good.


Just had to include a photo of a beautiful card from my friend Sylvia. I love the colours, which are my favourite.


Also, a big thank you for all the emails and ecards.


2010 is going to be a fantastic crafting year - I've made my mind up! One of the best bits for me is the launch of 12 new distress ink pads from Tim Holtz. The colours look amazing and I will get every one! And, he has teamed up with Sizzix!! Now that really sounds exciting. I think another re-shuffle in my workroom is called for.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

TAG INSPIRED




I really must start making ATCs because my stock of swaps has gone.


Inspired by the 12 tags from Tim Holtz, I made just a couple of designs.

2 GORGEOUS XMAS ATCs


I've just received 2 gorgeous Christmas ATCs from my swapping buddy Barb. I love these cards.

'Merry Christmas' is a stamped image, I only know that because I have the stamp too, which is mounted on lovely matching papers overstamped with a music image. I think the edges of the striped paper have been distress inked and edged with a gold pen. It's so neat.

'Noel' is beautiful in it's simplicity. The background paper and stamped image match in colour whilst the lovely punched edges add that bit extra. Again a lovely neat card which I am excited to now own. Thank you Barb.

Friday, 18 December 2009

THE ARTISTIC STAMPER

Pop over to the Artistic Stamper blog for a fabulous giveaway of Stampers Anonymous mini stamps as used by Tim Holtz .
Check out the example cards too. Really beautiful. Just follow the link on the right hand side of my blog in my blog list.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

ONE YEAR ON


I cannot believe a year has gone since we had to let our treasure, Toby, go. Not one of those days have passed without a thought of him. We miss him dreadfully and I suppose we always will.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

A SPECIAL TREAT FOR YOU







My, do I have a treat for you. My special friend from Devon, Sylvia, sent me some photos today of her latest project. Now to me, Sylvia is an amazing all-rounder. She can do so many crafty things that she puts most to shame. We swap ATCs. which is how we met, and they are so precise, colour co-ordinated and a pleasure to see, but most of all, every time she uses a border peel off, it is perfectly straight. I nick named her the peel off Queen.



However, just look what she has been up to - and all by hand!!! Patchwork quilts. There's expertise, then there's GENIUS!!

Monday, 14 December 2009

ATC CATCHUP








At last I have found the chance to blog the ATC swaps I have received over the last few weeks. Sorry to the girls for taking so long, but the wait has been worth it when you see the lovely cards.




The first 5 are from Hazel (Dido's Designs). I love the subtle colours of '2 little girls' and 'sparkle flutterby'. A bit of distress inking there me thinks. The sparkle continued onto 'batty' the Halloween card which made me laugh. 'Sweet Christmas' has a couple of sweetie brads on it which look like my hubbie's favourite sweets. Better keep this one away from him! 'Fairy Aurora' has a beautiful washed background. The little angel has sparkly wings and I just adore the wish rub on in the top corner. Lovely cards which will go on my Flickr then into my collection. Thanks Hazel.





These 4 beauties are from Sharon. I so laughed when I saw the 'Halloween' card. This would have been a good entry into Heather's Halloween swap. 'Gingerbread Friends' looks almost good enough to eat and every so often you can see tiny, tiny stars on the background. I like the inked edges on this one. 'Christmas Post' is a little stamped image that Sharon has coloured then highlighted with glaze. The shiney background sets this card off. It's really quite lovely. The final one in this batch is 'Time Flies'. The background is a stamped image with parts, ie. the clock and eyes, brought to life with glossy accents. I think I see some stickles on the bow and other clocks which help bring the whole thing to life. Thanks to you Sharon.








Now these beauties are from Sonia who I spent a lovely 'crafty' day with a week last Thursday. 'The Sixties' is a bit of nostalgia. Ban the bomb, flower power etc. Can't believe all that was nearly 50 years ago. 'Star Gazing' is a sparkly scene. Lovely little puss cats looking out at the heavens - or maybe a few mice! Just look at the tree on 'Winter'. Such a lovely image which Sonia has highlighted with stickles. I love the holographic matt to this one. 'Stargazing 2' is especially clever because Sonia has stamped the image then cut out the face from another image and 3D it onto the base one. This makes the card. Altogether a set of neat, thoughtfull cards which I love. Thank you Sonia.







And now, here are my Angel swaps from Heather, plus an ATC that she made and sent me for Christmas.
As you can see, I received Heather's angel ATC which I am over the moon with. It's absolutely gorgeous. My ornament is the fantastic wooden bag that Sheila made. How lucky am I then.
I shall put all these photos on my Flickr. Please pop on there for a nosey.







Sunday, 13 December 2009

THE CRAFT GARDEN MONTHLY CHALLENGE


Now that the 12 tags have ended, I have been able to make a scrapbook page for the December challenge over on the Craft Garden blog - see my blog list on the right hand side for details.

This month's challenge was to use a sketch to create a page, card, etc. These challenges give me the opportunity to create another 'Toby' page, which is what I have done. The little photos were taken in each of the 4 motorhomes we have had because, as you may know, Toby always came on holiday with us.

ALTOGETHER NOW


Here is a picture of all my tags together. Even though I made them, I was amazed at the variety of techniques which really became apparent when viewed side by side.

I may complete last years now!!!!!!

Saturday, 12 December 2009

THE 12TH TAG



Well, Tim saved the best 'til last.


I have wanted to make grunge flowers since I saw them at CHA earlier in the year. Today was the day.


I didn't have the Sizzix die that Tim used, but I do have a 6 petal daisy die and as he said that almost any 6 petal flower would normally do, I proceeded. I did find however, that the petals were a bit long which made the cuts off line. After much fiddling, I finally made 2 roses.


The red rose is coloured with fired brick ink and red perfect pearls but the blue/green one is coloured with craftynotions spray inks. I used Hero Arts gems to make my own sparkly swirls. The photo is bad due to light, or lack of light but if I can, I intend to photo all 12 tomorrow in order to email Tim and hopefully, win the grand prize!


I have sooo enjoyed these past 12 days, so I send a great big THANK YOU to Tim Holtz for giving his time to create the 12 Tags of Christmas for the 3rd year running - roll on 2010!
PS Looking at the state of my hands, I bet Tim went to bed last night, laughing his head off knowing how many crafters throughout the world would have coloured fingers today. I've used everything, including blending solution, but nothing is working!!!! It's such fun.

Friday, 11 December 2009

TAG #11


I really love tag #11. The reindeer is so gorgeous. Had to get DH to cut it out for me because cutting grungeboard inflames my thumb joint. Another downside of advancing years.

Anyway, I knew I couldn't make those brads so there was no use bothering about them. I have covered buttons with material before and went off looking in my sewing boxes to see if I had any blanks left, but I hadn't. The simplest thing to do was cover large brads. I found one already sporting a spotty material so I used that as it was. I covered the largest with a Santa picture and the medium one with a little sticker. All a bit of fun.

I have had a ball making these tags this year, so tomorrow will be a bitter sweet day. Sad because the game will end but at the same time, poor Tim must be feeling the pressure so he well deserves a break.

I wonder what #12 has in store for us?

Thursday, 10 December 2009

A DIFFICULT TAG


Tag #10 was never going to be like Tim's. I've never seen the metal tape he used today. Is it just me or don't we get all these products in this country?

Come on Dawn, you seen to have the biggest supply of craft in the NW. Any chance of a bigger Ranger area in your store?

Anyway, I will not be beaten this year (you see David, I am taking you at your word and being positive!), so, in for a penny, in for a pound.

I actually have the grunge letters so that bit was ok, placing them on the card was a challenge, but I got there. Having none of this metal tape I could only think of using tin foil. Ok it's not strong enough nor is it sticky, but with a bit of patience, and a couple of small areas glued to the tag, I managed to make it go round most of the letters. I used alcohol inks and a few brushes to colour it all. I did think of using my copics, but then thought that would be a cop-out (nearly a pun, sorry). There was no way I could burnish any of the letters, so I used blending solution on a cotton bud to erase the ink. Black paint dabber on the tag would have calmed it all down, but again I thought it would be too delicate, so I've left it bright and cheery.

That was hard. 2 more days to go. I wonder what Tim has in store?

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

TAG #9


Oh my! that was a hard challenge today.

The only components I had were:

tag

ribbon

photo paper

hinge clip

safety pins

Had Tim not been generous and allowed us to download the small photos, I would not have even tried to make this tag. As it was, I spent ages drawing lines to look like his film strip as I certainly don't have any of that. My poinsettia is a new variety, yet to be discovered in Borneo!! I hope Tim doesn't use any more metal flowers on the last tags, because I've just about run out now.

DH came into his own again today by making me the 2 little discs at the top.

All in all, the tag has turned out ok and I am pleased that I made the effort.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

ENGINEER FOR HIRE


Tag #8 now completed.

Looked easy didn't it? I suppose it was, again, if you had all the components. But really the challenge is to practice the techniques, then come up with something of your own. That's just what I have done on this tag.

I don't have the gorgeous flourish stamp - yet! but have noticed that it forms part of the packaging to items like grungeboard. Tim created the background to this tag using distress ink, water and his flourish tag. I made mine with the grungeboard packaging!!!!

I bought the lamp stamp last year so that bit was ok, except grunge is quite hard to cut out, especially with arthritic fingers, so I decided to use some Prima leaves for the holly rather than cut those out.

The best bit was to come. Have you seen the price of the hitch fasteners? Don't have those either but I do have an engineer in the house! My lovely hubby went into his workshop and turned one up for me on his lathe. Now that's a crafting partnership. xx

Monday, 7 December 2009

HERE'S THE NEXT ONE


I'm on a roll today.

When I saw tag #7 I didn't think I could make a clear mask. I have never seen any blank mask sheets in any of the craft stores around me, nor have I seen any on the web. However, I have 3 of Tim's large masks and low and behold, the flourish mask had just enough space at the bottom left hand corner to make the santa head mask. Yippee!

I decided therefore, to emulate #7 as near as possible. It's not bad me thinks.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

NO. 6 IS FINISHED

I am so enjoying making these tags this year. I didn't have very much stock last year, and even less in 2007, so even though I still lack many of the Ranger products, I have a better understanding of how to use all the 'goodies' I have got.

Quite a lot of that is down to people like Lindsay Mason, who, being a trained Ranger demonstrator, imparts her knowledge to us less able crafters. Thanks Lindsay.

Anyway, here is #6. Took ages for the stickles to dry, but I got it together in the end.

NO. 4


I cannot make the ornament, or anything like it, that Tim made for tag #4, so I have made a base tag and a 'dangly' Christmassy thingy.

It's ok and I feel this one is done.

Now for today's tag which will be nothing like Tim's either!!

It's a special day today, my dad's birthday. He would have been 105yrs old today.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

TAGS 1 AND 5



At last I've managed to complete tag #1.


When the challenge began, I didn't have the tags that Tim uses, so I cut a couple from cream cardstock. Tag 1 worked well on this card until my tub of crackle paint arrived and I applied it to the card. The whole of the card began to buckle and was hard to control even though I heated it from underneath aswell as on the surface. My answer was to stick another piece of card to the back to give it strength, which worked. I have a dymo and the last time I used it, I wrote vertically. Could I get it to go back to horizontal? Not a chance. Anyway, the batteries were flat, so after a charge I tried again. Hey presto! horizontal words.


I am pleased with this tag.


Todays tag, no. 5 was reasonably easy because I have some fragment charms and have used some of the techniques involved before. However, my main drawback today - again! - has been time. I made this tag inbetween watching the X-Factor!!


Again, I am pleased with the result.


My continuing problem is tag #4. Still no ideas as I don't have any frames etc. and to buy everything needed would cost over £28!!!!!!!!! Really silly. I WILL come up with something and make this tag. Watch this space.


Did I tell you that I am now working on the proper tags? The lovely Mario sent me 20 - within 6 days of me ordering them! How's that for service and postage then?
Also, have you noticed that I have moved one of my pictures? Another gold star for the girl!

Friday, 4 December 2009

TAG NO. 3


I have completed tag no. 3. Sorry about the photo but I've taken it in artificial light.

Still waiting for the rock candy distress paint to come so I can complete tag 1 but I found some picket fence distress stickles yesterday at Dawn's.

Had a fabulous day with Sonia but I will tell you about that later as I want to include the odd photo or 2 and hubby has gone to the flying club and taken his camera with him. Also, I have had a really busy day today, my back is broken and I am so tired so going to sit down and watch tele.

Bye the way, I am really struggling with tag 4 because I don't have any of the major components. As I'm so tired I can't think of alternatives, so I'll leave that one 'til tomorrow.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

I'VE STARTED MY TAGS



I've finally had the chance to start making my rendition of the Tim Holtz 12 tags of Christmas 2009.


Can't actually finish the first tag though as I am waiting delivery of some rock candy distress crackle paint, but I have completed the 2nd tag.


I am happy with the results so far, which is a plus for me, but the best bit is:


I HAD FUN AGAIN!

TIME IS FLYING


Where are the days going? I just can't seem to catch up at all.

The amazing Tim Holtz has started his 12 tags of Christmas and I want to make all 12 this time. The first had me stumped 'cos I don't have any rock candy crackle paint or stickles. As for the snowman stamp, well, I don't have that either, so that meant another trip to a couple of craft shops. Neither had what I wanted so I searched the web last night and found both the paint and stamp. I may get the paint in time to complete Tim's challenge, but the stamps were in the US so they won't arrive - or will they? Post has been coming from over the pond within 6 - 8 days, so I may be lucky.

As for todays tag, I thought I had that one cracked 'til I reached the part with the metal flower. How cool is that technique then? Don't have any of those either!!! I shall come up with something though for both tags plus the next 10. Not going to be beaten this year.

My trip yesterday did have a result. I found some cutting/embossing frames which were a fraction of the nestabilities. They can be used in most die cutting machines, mine is a Big Shot, with just a bit of twiddling around with shims etc.. They are Nellie's multi frames and cost me £8.55 each. When I have a go, I'll post the result but it may get to the NY the way things are going.

Tomorrow is going to be a very fun day. I am meeting up with one of my ATC swapping buddies, we havn't met before, and we are going to Cardcraft Plus then on to the Dawn Bibby Design Studio. I reckon I should leave my purse at home on this trip!!!!

If my pal allows me, I shall blog a photo of us 'oodling' over the vaste stock of craft we come across.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Saturday, 28 November 2009

TWITTER

I joined Twitter some time ago basically to keep up with all this technology thingy.
Mario, who is Tim Holtz's business manager, has just blogged on Tim's blog to say that he will be giving away freebies to folk who comment on his Twitter posts. Time to dust mine off me thought.
I somehow managed to include the Twitter widget on my blog, but as you can see, it's blank. As far as I can make out, whichever Tweet I note, a record of it will appear in the box. I don't know how to do that so this box could just remain blank!!
At least I tried. Perhaps if I put my contact lenses in I may just get further!!

I just gave up and deleted the box!

Friday, 27 November 2009

Thursday, 26 November 2009

MORE STASH


I was bad again yesterday.

I am lucky enough to live close to Cardcraft Plus in Preston. They are printers for several well-known craft companies such as:

Kanban

Hunkydory

Towards the back of their shop is a large pigeon hole rack which is 'stuffed' full of seconds or trial pieces of card and paperstock. An A4 box (depth 4cm) full of your choice is a mere £4.99!!!!!!

Just look at my choice this time. Coloured mirri card, shiny 320gsm card, glitter card, foiled card, Hunkydory toppers, foiled paper inserts, foiled aperture card, etc. etc..

Some of this card was on Create and Craft today presented by Leonie. The card samples were amazing.

All I have to do now is try and find somewhere to store it!!!!

DONE AND DUSTED!


All finished and wrapped - that's the Christmas presents sorted.

I've always got this bit over and done with early because I can't stand the stress of leaving all that shopping to the last minute then having to cope with the hoards of equally stressed Christmas shoppers. Even though I shop online quite a bit, there are always some things that have to be bought locally from shops. Besides, there are other things to do in December such as:

TIM HOLTZ 12 TAGS OF CHRISTMAS

Once again, Tim has decided to create his infamous 12 tags from 1 December to the 12th. You know what I shall be doing from next Tuesday. I have spare ink cartridges ready for my printer so I can print off each set of details daily and make a binder that I refer to throughout the year. Thank you Tim for this exceptional experience.

Also, the dates are now coming in for next years crafting. I have booked 2 of Lindsay Mason's workshops at the Dawn Bibby Design Centre which I know will be so exciting.

Heather, Lindsay's sister, has also planned some more ATC swaps which I await with anticipation. So, crafty excitment galore.

Heather has blogged some photos of ATCs she has made this week. Do check out her blog as there is candy to be had too. On one of her cards she used a photo of her Christmas tree from last year. What a smashing idea. Here's a photo of mine Heather, I wonder what you think of that?

Sunday, 22 November 2009

I GOT MORE


I received more ATCs this week, this time from Sharon (Ward).

It's lovely to see bright colours. They make this miserable weather more bearable. Ooops! no pun intended as one of the cards is of Daisy.

Sharon has used some lovely tiny stamps on the bottle top card. I would like those myself. The little peel off flowers have been carefully coloured in but I especially like the coloured edging to the acetate. Sets everything off just right. Buzzy bees and clocks and stamps are exactly what you would expect to find in a little boy's pocket, so Boys Stuff is an apt name for that card.

Lovely set once again. Well done Sharon.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

PAPER ARTSY

The December issue of Craft Stamper has a reader offer from Paper Artsy for a set of 4 Nut & Meg Squiggly stamps and a Xmas paper pack. Having seen some of these stamps used by Jo Capper-Sandon, I was already on a mission to obtain them so this offer was just too good to miss. I did not hesistate and ordered them.
The lovely staff at Paper Artsy kept me informed throughout my order process. However, because they felt they were letting me down by not processing my order straight away (they were tied up with the NEC show), they decided to send me some 'goodies'.
I just wanted to let you know how fantastic their service is. There was absolutesly no need to send me anything extra, but as they have, I felt it only right that I play a drum roll for their friendliness.
Thank you again Paper Artsy, and as I have said - Beware, I shall be back!

LATEST ATC SWAPS


Sonia, one of my swapping buddies, sent me a batch of 3 cards this week. Aren't they brilliant?


1. Serendipity - I love these colours. Browns and oranges are amongst my favourites. The neat, little message says it all.

2. JP - What can I say? This is specially for me. The lovely flower and leaf paper is the perfect size for an ATC and Sonia has cut away part of it to make some of the leaves stand out around the card. I love the delicate initials and the glitsy highlight she has given them. One to treasure me thinks.

3. Summer 09 - Despite the words I felt warm and definitely in holiday mood with this card.


Sonia has a very clever knack of using pictures and different elements that are tiny and perfect for ATCs. I am so happy to swap with her.

TAKE A PEEK

There is so much 'candy' to be had out there. My blog list is growing by the minute because each time I see a gorgeous card, there is a link to another that I simply can't resist.
Take a look at these blogs. They are listed on the right hand side of mine and you will be amazed by the talent out there.
The latest I've found, with candy too, is: http://clairebsd.blogspot.com

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

SPECIAL BIRTHDAY


Today is my very special son's birthday.

I went round to his home this morning for a big birthday hug.

Have a lovely day sweetheart. xx

Monday, 16 November 2009

XMAS BOXES
















As promised, here are some photos of the exploding box I made on Saturday at Lindsay's workshop. We also had enough time to be shown how to make little gift boxes by simply folding paper, oh, and 4 little cuts.





Hope you like them all. I do.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

OH HAPPY DAY




I sooooo enjoyed yesterday. The weather was awful, rain, wind, cold, but who cares, I had a ball. A complete 'me' day, all to myself, full of indulgence, singing to myself in the car. I didn't even shout obsenities at the stupid drivers I came across every now and then, and all those red traffic lights and road closures, all those holes in the road that are there to break your suspension so mechanics can make a living - well it didn't matter. I was on a high. Why? because I went to a workshop with the enormously talented Lindsay Mason. And, as an added bonus - she brought along her mischievous assistant, David. Whoohooo! bring it on.


We made Xmas boxes. It was great.


Silly me forgot to take any form of colouring so I'm going to finish my little exploding box today and make another tiny Xmas box, both of which I'll photograph and pop on later. In the meantime, here are a couple of photos of the class.