Friday, 30 November 2012

A sewing machine..... a sewing machine......

I'm loving my sewing machine right now, bit of a fabric obsession going on too !  Over the past few days I made these items to take along for sale at a Christmas Fayre in a local nursing home on saturday.

Here are a few sets of fabric coasters all parcelled up for sale

Some pretty fabric gift bags

Tree shaped ornaments made from felt
more ornaments
I have also been knitting !  made these 100% cotton dishcloths
Finally, here's a sneaky peek at my latest work in progress, it's going to be a table runner for on our festive table at Christmas.  I've stitched the fabric into a 'disappearing nine patch' pattern and still have to add the backing and do the quilting.  I'll share the finished item later.
another area of the design
I am still cardmaking, should have some new projects to share with you in the next few days.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012


Happy Thursday dear Reader, hope it's a good one for you.  There's a new challenge starting today on the Cute Card Thursday Blog.  Our prize sponsor this week is Pretty Little Ribbon Shop and the theme for this challenge is 'Snowflakes'.  I'm sure many of you, like me, are still making a few Christmas cards at the moment.  I used this week's theme to make another card for my stock, must get some written and posted soon !

I acquired this cute stamp when I visited Sparkle'n'Sprinkle during my Florida vacation, but I hadn't inked him up so thought it was about time I did !  I added a little colour with my Copics on his hat and scarf and some very subtle shading on the trees, and of course his cute pink tongue.  I stamped the sentiment vertically at the side of the main image using Memento Cottage Ivy ink.  The image is layered up on a piece of SU! Cherry Cobbler cardstock then on a larger layer of SU! Garden Green, leaving room for me to add the cute wrapped bones at the side.  The bones and sentiment were included on the same sheet of stamps. 

The snowflakes at the bottom were cut using a Marianne's Craftables die, a layer in white over another cut from silver cardstock.  The bp has a tiny red snowflake design and is from a pack of papers from Hobbycraft.  I used my Waco Pearlmaker Pen to create the snowflakes on the image, Glamour Dust over Glossy Accents on his hat trim and bobble and lots of Stardust Stickles on the trees and snow drifts.  I also added Glossy Accents to the tiny bones at the side.

That's it for my 'Snowflakes' DT card, hope you like it.  Do pop over to the CCT blog and check out the fabulous creations from the rest of the DT - it's well worth a visit.  Maybe you'll be inspired to enter the challenge yourself this week ?

Have a great day.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

A Murder of Crows ?

I love that groups of certain things have such great names. A group of birds is usually thought of as a 'flock' however, a group of Crows is known as a 'Murder' of crows - isn't that fabulous !  I've added a list of the collective names for other species of bird at the bottom, in case you're interested.

Today's project is another batch of Christmas cards, these I'm also taking along to try and sell at the Christmas Fayre at a local nursing home next saturday.   The reason for the title of today's post is that I used this fabulous stamp from Sparkle and Sprinkle - crows in santa hats - I love it.

Once again I've used a Clean and Simple (CAS) approach as they're cheaper/lighter to post - it's great that the cheapest postage is sufficient when I need to send out so many cards at this time of year, so CAS is perfect.

I stamped the row of crows with the sentiment underneath on to white cardstock and coloured just the santa hats in red using my Copics.  I then layered this up on a slightly larger mat of Stampin'Up! Cherry Cobbler cardstock.  I added this to a simple white C6 size base card and my design was complete !  I love the simple elegance of the design.

Thanks for dropping by to check out my project today, hope you've had fun.

Just for fun, here's a list of other great names for groups of different species of bird.

A bevy of quail
A bouquet of pheasants [when flushed]
A brood of hens
A building of rooks
A cast of hawks [or falcons]
A charm of finches
A colony of penguins
A company of parrots
A congregation of plovers
A cover of coots
A covey of partridges [or grouse or ptarmigans]
A deceit of lapwings
A descent of woodpeckers
A dissimulation of birds
A dole of doves
An exaltation of larks
A fall of woodcocks
A flight of swallows [or doves, goshawks, or cormorants]
A gaggle of geese [wild or domesticated]
A host of sparrows
A kettle of hawks [riding a thermal]
A murmuration of starlings
A murder of crows
A muster of storks
A nye of pheasants [on the ground]
An ostentation of peacocks
A paddling of ducks [on the water]
A parliament of owls
A party of jays
A peep of chickens
A pitying of turtledoves
A raft of ducks
A rafter of turkeys
A siege of herons
A skein of geese [in flight]
A sord of mallards
A spring of teal
A tidings of magpies
A trip of dotterel
An unkindness of ravens
A watch of nightingales
A wedge of swans [or geese, flying in a "V"]
A wisp of snipe

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Little batch of Christmas

I haven't made any cards for a few days, my fabric obsession has sort of taken over my crafting time and I've been busy making things to (hopefully) sell at a small Christmas Fayre in a local nursing home next weekend.

For the little batch of Christmas cards I'm sharing with you today, I used some felt in red and green, my Cuttlebug, a Marianne's Craftable Tree die and star shaped button die from a set of Marianne's tag and button dies.  I was very pleased with the way the dies cut through the felt in a nice crisp and clean way on my Cuttlebug.
The felt trees were added over a small rectangular layer of bp from a pack I bought recently in Hobbycraft.  I'm loving the Scandinavian style designs which seem to be popular this winter and this pack of papers have different designs in red and white.  The sentiment is from a Molly Bloom magazine freebie samp set, stamped with Festive Berries Distress Ink. 
I shall take these cards with me to the Christmas Fayre but if they don't sell I'll keep them for my own use, which will save me some time as I don't have anywhere near enough cards made so far !  I'm not in too much of a panic yet, but the days are rushing by and I know I have to get my overseas cards into the post in the next few days.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Girls Only

Happy Thursday !  It's time for a new challenge on Cute Card Thursday.  This week our theme is 'Girls Only' and our prize sponsor is Heather's Hobby Heaven.

For my DT card this week I've chosen to use a couple of sets of stamps by Dylusions. I've had them for a while but had only inked up the girl, her wings and one of the hats from one set and the other set hadn't seen ink at all.  So, I thought it was about time to get them out to play.  I do love pretty/cute images but occasionally it's nice to leap off in a different direction. 

My design is sort of journal/arty style and I always think of a pink /brown colour combo as girly so it was a great combination.  I used a sheet of double sided paper by Stampin'Up as the pink side was not too 'busy' and the other side was a perfect match for adding a contrasting panel.  I do like how the contrast between the floral paper and geometric shapes has worked out too.

I've used a number of techniques in my design, paper piecing (her Funky boots); stamping on to plain cardstock and colouring with Copics; stamping on to patterned paper and plain coloured cardstock and cutting out the shapes; and finally diecutting.  I used a Marianne's woven heart die to cut two halves of the heart from the patterned paper and wove them together showing the contrast of the two sides.

To finish off I added pink Stickles around the edges of the heart, on the bobbles on her collar and the dots on the 'dragon tails' (well that's what I call them anyway) bottom right.  Well, a girl has to have sparkle and glitter after all !

Do pop by the CCT blog and check out the fabulous creations from the rest of the DT.  Thanks for stopping by here today to check out my project, hope you like it.

Bags of Hearts


Today I'm sharing another couple of little sewing projects with you, I'm still besotted with my lovely new sewing/quilting machine so I've been busy trying out some new ideas.

Fabric padded hearts seem to be everywhere at the moment and, despite being a tad costly, I've bought a couple to hang on the door handles in my kitchen.  So, I thought I'd have a go at making some myself using up scraps of fabric in my stash and the remains of a bag of toy filling I've had for ages.

I used my set of Spellbinders scalloped hearts dies in my Cuttlebug to cut out red felt and natural wool scraps, and heart dies from Marianne's for smaller layers to embellish the basic heart shape.  For smooth edged hearts I used a zig-zag stitch around the edge and  for the scalloped hearts a straight stich around just inside the scallop.  I also used some Marianne's button dies to cut out felt buttons to embellish the hearts.  I made hangers from ribbon I had in my stash and I used real buttons on some of them, with or instead of the felt buttons.

My other sewing project is a couple of little fabric gift bags

Fairly simple to make, once I'd worked out how to put them together and I think I'll have a go at making some larger ones using a piece of calico I have in my stash.

Thanks for dropping by today to check my projects, I'll have a card to share with you tomorrow so I hope you'll be back to check it out.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Snow ? Christmas must be just around the corner then !

I have a card to share with you today, one more added to my Christmas card stock and it was created specifically as an entry for the very first Addicted to CAS challenge which started this week.  Check it out here.  The theme is 'Snow' - perfect for this time of year.

I do think CAS works so well for Christmas cards and I knew my lovely Penny Black 'Snow Dust' stamp would be perfect to use on the design, along with the 'Gossamer Snow' sentiment stamp by Butterfly Kisses - do you think that's enough SNOW for the challenge ?  I hope so...... Ha...Ha... !

The light here in Cornwall has been so bad all day that I had to take my pic under the daylight simulation lamp - at least that made the sparkly 'snow' show up quite nicely. 

I stamped the sentiment using 'Iced Spruce' and the trees with' Evergreen Bough' Distress Inks.  To make the snow sparkle I used Stardust Stickles dusted with Glamour Dust whilst still wet, which makes it extra 'blingy'.

That's it - CSQ - Clean Simple and Quick ! 

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed your visit.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Take one Jelly Roll.......... and Race !

I'm sharing a sewing project with you today, rather than a card.  After my visit to Cowslip Workshops' Christmas Fayre yesterday, I couldn't wait to get home and dig my sewing machine out !  All those fabulous fabrics and haberdashery.... Bliss !  This place is seriously harmful to one's bank balance !

Firstly, here are the pix from my visit to Cowslip which I promised to share yesterday.  I didn't actually take many as most of the stallholders were a little reluctant to allow me to take photographs of their displays - I guess I can understand they wouldn't want their ideas to be copied, but it is a pity as there were some yummy items. 

The whole place was decorated with beautiful festive design quilts, these are just a couple of them which were displayed outside the barns/outbuildings containing the stalls.


Here's a shot taken inside the (very crowded) restaurant - again beautifully decorated.  If you find yourself anywhere near Launceston in Cornwall in the next couple of days, it's well worth a visit to Cowslip.
Enough of my day out yesterday, let's get on to today's project.  Ever since I found a YouTube video of a 'Jelly Roll Race' I've been fascinated and wanted to have a go myself at making one of these.  So, when I picked up a lovely Moda Jelly Roll called 'Joy' at Cowslip yesterday I knew I'd have to sit at my sewing machine as soon as I got home !   I have to confess to being more than a tad intimidated by the amazing and intricately pieced quilt patterns around but do want to try out projects using the beautiful fabrics available. 
First take a Jelly Roll (packs of pre-cut fabric strips for anyone who knows little of the world of quilting - which was me a couple of months ago)

Add one of these and sew straight seams for a couple of hours

This it what you end up with (folded)

(Opened out)
(Close up of design)
I love the total randomness of this piecing method and of course this is only the quilt top, so there is a fair amount of work left still to do.  I plan to back it with cuddly fleece fabric and do the actual quilting in red thread.  It's a good size at 52" x 62" (sorry I just can't 'do' metric measurements !) even without a border - which I may or may not add.  It should make a warm and cosy festive quilt that'll invite every one to cuddle up with on a cold winter's night. Another Work in Progress but once it's finished I'll share more pix with you.
Hope you've enjoyed seeing today's project, I've a few more cards to share over the next few days, I'd love to have you visit again if you have the time.


Friday, 16 November 2012

One Layer Houses ?

Happy Friday !  I'm soooo... late posting on here today, but I have a good excuse - a visit to Cowslip Workshops' Christmas Fayre.  It was mega busy but there was so much yummy fabulous stuff there it was well worth standing for half an hour to just get a coffee !!  I'll share a couple of piccies I took later.

My card today is a very late entry to this week's Less is More challenge which has the theme of 'Houses' and a one layer card.  I've just scraped in 'under the wire' with my entry but this has been such a busy week I only got around to making my card today before I left for Cowslip this morning.  The deadline to enter the challenge is 22:00 hours today, so I think I'm OK !

I picked up this fabulous stamp by Northwoods Stamps whilst in Florida recently and when I saw this week's theme it came immediately to mind for the challenge, plus it's one more Christmas card to add to my stock.

You don't get much more CAS than this design - image stamped using Memento Black Ink  at bottom left.  I wanted to make the design 'pop' so coloured just one bird on the image and as it is a Cardinal, I coloured it red using my Copics.  The sentiment is from a set of magazine freebie stamps from Molly Bloom, stamped in SU! Cherry Cobbler ink.  I added Stardust Stickles sprinkled with Glamour Dust on the roof of each birdhouse and under the sentiment to make it nice and sparkly - just like fresh fallen snow on a freezing cold but bright and sunny winter's morning.

Here's a close up shot to show the Cardinal detail and the sparkle of the 'snow'.

Thanks for dropping by to check out my project, I do love to read all the comments left by lovely bloggers.

Enjoy however much of your Friday is left ! 

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Starry, Starry Night

Thursday has rolled around again this week and that means we have a new challenge starting today on the Cute Card Thursday Blog.  Our prize Sponsor this week is Whimsy Stamps and the chellenge theme is 'Starry, Starry Night'.

For my DT card I decided to create a Christmas card using this really cute Snowie from a set of stamps by Artemio - all the images in this set are really cute and it was difficult to choose which one to use !

I coloured the image with my Copics and added snowflakes using a Crystal Waco Pearlmaker Pen and touches of Stardust Stickles on his hat and mitten trims.  The sky effect was created using 'Faded Jeans' Distress Ink applied with a brush whilst it was still in the spikey nestie die I used to cut it out, thus adding a white frame around the image to increase impact. 

The bp is a scrap of magazine freebie paper I found in my box of bits and I cut a star shape using a set of nesties from a scrap of lovely Elusive Images paper I also found in there.  I cut three more stars from silver holographic card using the smallest of the nestie dies.  The circle of stars was cut using a Marianne's die and some 'Night of Navy' cardstock from SU! and the filigree star was cut with another Marianne's die and attached with a piece of bakers' twine so that it swings free.  The sentiment is from a magazine freebie set of stamps from Molly Bloom which I cut out using another of the star shaped nesties and attached using PinFlair glue to raise it up a little from the background.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Is a bird in the hand worth two on a card ?

It's my Nephew's 30th birthday today - Happy Birthday Iain.  He's celebrating during a holiday down in Cornwall so I won't be seeing him on his special day this year.  I wanted to make a card for him that was a bit 'different'.  Cards for men are always difficult I find and I didn't want to use the usual 'male' images - football, cars, beer etc, nor did I want to make a typical 'number birthday' card for his spcial day.

I was inspired by some work I saw during a recent trip to the Birds in the Barn craft shop in Essex with my lovely crafting buddy Lauren.  This shop is a veritable 'Aladdin's Cave' of craft and I could easily have spent the whole day in there mooching around and dropping the odd thing or ten into my basket.  There is a Garden Centre in the same location and they offer the most splendid cheese scones in their restaurant which I just had to try - they came highly recommended by Lauren and another of my crafting buddies Kathy so it would have been just plain rude not to have tried them !  My pals were not wrong, the scones were delish. 

Anyway, I digress, in the BitB shop a couple of sets of Dylusions stamps, which I'd been lusting over for a while, just happened to drop into my basket, one of which included the splendid bird images I've used on today's card. 

Firstly, I used a couple of colours of Dylusions Ink to spray/splatter/drip randomly onto the base card, then overstamped the two birds at the bottom using Tuxedo Black Memento ink.  I used one of the flowers from the set as a 'sun' stamped over a splash of bright yellow ink at the top. 

It's a very simple design but I am really pleased with it and may well be experimenting with similar designs using other inks and more of the stamps from this set.  I'm loving the more Clean and Simple (CAS) designs recently, although I do still love to colour my stamped images too !

Thanks for calling in to check my project today, hope you've enjoyed your visit - I do hope you'll come back again real soon.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

A sketch this week....

.... is what we have for our Cute Card Thursday challenge.  It's a simple sketch with loads of scope to interpret however you wish.   Our prize sponsor this week is Whiff of Joy. 

Here's my interpretation of the sketch for my DT card.

I kept my design really simple, based on this week's sketch (you can see the sketch layout if you look carefully !) with just three elements.  I bought this lovely festive black and white cardstock during my recent trip to Birds in the Barn and used it to create the base card.  With such a great text design I didn't want to cover up too much of it. 

Using a Memory Box die I cut out the swirl from silver cardstock and attached it slighty left of centre.  The cute Candy Cane is from a set of stamps by Recollections (Michaels Craft Stores' own brand) which I stamped up using Memento Tuxedo Black ink then coloured using my Copics.


It's a lovely chunky Candy Cane and a joy to colour, I love how the red and green 'pop' against the black and white background.  I added a little Stardust Stickles over the pretty bow to give it some sparkle.

The sentiment is from Lili of the Valley and I stamped it with 'Festive Berries' Distress Ink (this was one of the Winter 2011 special edition DI inks) then added tiny touches of Stickles on the holly in the top righthand corner.  I attached it using PinFlair glue to give it a little dimension. 

There are other great stamps in this Recollections set and I think I'll use this design with the other images to create more Christmas cards.... watch this space.... !

I hope you've enjoyed today's project, do pop over to the CCT blog and check out the amazing creations by my fellow Design Team Members - they're an awesomely talented group of crafters. 

Thinking of CAS

Second Post Today, please scroll down to see the earlier one if you haven't visited already today.
My pal Kathy has been posting pix of her entries for the CASology challenges recently and, as I enjoy the Less is More challenge, I thought it was about time I had a go at the CASology one too.  This week the theme for challenge #18 is 'Orange' and there are some fabby examples by the DT on the blog.

If I was at home with my own stash, there are lots of designs I might have tried, however, as I'm at my Dad's the stash I had available is very limited.  However, Dad does have two or three shades of orange ink pads and I found the fabulous set of Morphing Birds stamps by Inkadinkado in his craftroom.

I stamped the image first with the mid-orange ink, then over stamped with the lightest - slightly offset - finally a last overstamp using the darkest orange/light brown ink.  After the first two impressions I was about to throw the whole lot into the bin as it just looked as if it was out of focus (and made my eyes go 'funny').  However, I persevered and did the final overstamp with the darkest shade and it all came together. It does look a little more brown than orange in the pic but it is definitely orange IRL.

I found the little sentiment stamp in Dad's stash - not sure who the manufacturer is sorry - and stamped it in the darkest shade of ink.  Finally adding a little Platinum Stickles to the dotty body of the bird as a finishing touch.

Not exactly the project I would have liked to enter, but the best I could do with limited stash.  I'll try harder next week !

Christmas Time

Happy wednesday, I woke up this morning to glorious sunshine so I do hope you have done the same - makes you feel good doesn't it ?  Fingers crossed it will last as yesterday was very dull and damp.

Today's card is another Christmas card and I made this one as my entry for the november challenge over on the Craft Mad and Loving It group on Craftbubble.  My pal kathy set the theme as a song - "If I could save time in a bottle" by Jim Croce (if you don't know this song, here's a link), and asked that we use this song as our inspiration to interpret as we wish.  The words of this song are so lovely, thanks for reminding me of it Kathy.

She did say that if we had a very tenuous link, we should explain it a little, so here goes.  Gingerbread Men and Candy Canes make me think of Christmas (Time) whenever I see them, so my design is "If I could save Christmas Time in a Bottle (well, I know it's actually a jar, but I'm claiming Artistic Licence here ha...ha...!) then I would spend (eat) it with you ;OD  

Waddya think, did I get away with it ? 

As I'm staying with my Dad and not at home with my own stash I had to raid his to find stuff to use for my card.  I used magazine freebie papers and a set of Molly Bloom stamps which was a freebie with their magazine this month.

I cut out a layer from smooth white card using one of the SU! Framelits I had brought to Dad's with me, then stamped the pretty garland in the upper part of this shape.  On another piece of whate card I stamped the holly image twice and the cookie jar once and coloured them with Promarkers, I also coloured the garland with PMs.  I then fussy cut the jar and holly out and covered the jar and the berries with Glossy Accents.  Finally I stamped the star button image on to red card and cut out, adding Platinum Stickles to look like thread.    The bp is so pretty and busy so I kept my design and layers really simple.

Hope you've enjoyed today's project, thanks for dropping by.   A huge welcome to my new Followers too, I do appreciate you joining and hope you'll call back from time to time to see what I've been getting up to in my crafty space.  Also, thanks to those who have been Following me for a while, it gives me a huge Buzz to check out the stats on my blog and see how many wonderful people have visited and from where in the world they are viewing.  The world of Crafting is truly a Global Community and I am Blessed to be a small part of it.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Warm and Cosy - Happy Birthday Dad !

Today is my very special Dad's Birthday and I made this card just for him.  I'm so happy that I am able to be with him to celebrate today and hope to make sure he has a great day.

For the design of Dad's card I turned again to the yummy Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz Collection set of stamps I recently bought.  This time I've used the splendid acorn image and kept my colour scheme autumnal. 

Firstly I stamped the image using Memento Tuxedo Black ink, then used Distress Inks in Scattered Straw, Vintage Photo and Crushed Olive to distress the whole layer.  I used a water brush and the same DI's to add more colour to the image.  I then added the image layer over a slightly larger layer of SU! Early Espresso cardstock and attached this over a layer of 'So Saffron' cut just a little smaller than the base card.  A length of dark brown grosgrain ribbon tied around and a SU! sentiment stamped in Memento Rich Cocoa ink finished off the design. 

I also handmade Dad a gift for his birthday, this lap quilt should keep him cosy through the winter months I hope. 

This is the first quilt I've made from pieces I cut myself rather than ready cut pieces and I'm so pleased with how it turned out.  It has an eclectic mix of colours as I used some fat quarters I'd bought when I first got interested in trying quilting, they all have the same design just different colours so I think I got away with it ! 

The design looks far more complicated and than it actually is to stitch, my inspiration came from a video I found on YouTube called 'Ten Minute Blocks'.  I find the 'Maths' of Quilting as detailed in all the quilting books I've studied a bit intimidating so I just jumped right in with both feet and hoped that all the pieces would fit together as they were meant to.  I can see where I went 'wonky' in a few places, but it was a great learning experience and now that I know what NOT to do, I can hopefully improve my skills on my next quilt.

I backed the quilt with warm and cosy fleece rather than traditional backing fabric so it will be more cuddly for Dad to use and will be easy to wash.  I did the actual quilting using a zig-zag stitch on my sewing machine - it looks pretty on the fleece backing too I think.

That's it from me today folks, hope you've enjoyed your visit and come back again real soon to check out more of my projects.