Saturday 2 May 2009

Busy, Busy April

What with one thing and another, April has been a very busy month for me so as this might turn out to be a mega post I'd sit down with a cup of tea if I were you (or feel free to leave halfway through, Lol).

It started at the beginning of the month when I and my friend Jo went to a couple of stamping and cardmaking classes at a lovely little shop called Monk's Den at Ashby-De-La-Zouche. Unfortunately they don't operate an online shop but if ever you get the chance to go it's well worth a visit and Ashby itself is a lovely little historic town. They also run some fabulous classes involving stamping and getting inky. The morning class was called '5 Ways with 1 Stamp' and Deb, the owner of Monk's Den was our tutor. As the title suggests, we used a beautiful clear stamp from an Inkadinkado set called Morphic Bugs and did things like stamping onto acetate and using glitter on the back, stamping using Versamark and dusting with mica powders or chalks, stamping onto coloured card and then 'painting' with bleach, stamping onto shrink plastic and finally, stamping with Versafine and colouring selected areas with Sakura Stardust pens. We mounted this final image and made a simple but very effective card.

In the afternoon we took a second class which was run by Sheila Oliver who works for Deb. This was to make cards for men and we used the Eccentric Edwardian themeplate from Elusive Images to make two fabulous cards. We did lots of building backgrounds by blending inks and direct to paper techniques and we also used a Cuttlebug embossing folder on the first one. The following two cards were the result.

and this card is my own adaptation of the 'green' Sheila Oliver design.

Jo and I thoroughly enjoyed our two classes and would love to do some more when time permits. If anyone is interested in going to any of their classes or would like to see some more of Sheila's wonderful designs, links to her two blogs, Manicstamper and Manic's Inky Antics are in my sidebar as I visit them on virtually a daily basis.

A week or so after this wonderful crafty day my daughter and her family came to stay for the weekend and then as they needed child care for our little Isabella for that week she stayed with us for a few days while her mum and dad went back to Harrogate. It was a bit of a wrench for Jenna as it was the first time she had left Izzy anywhere overnight let alone for 3 nights. These are a few photos we took whilst she was with us including one of our other granddaughter Alexa.

The next event of my month was last Saturday when I went to a workshop run by Robert who co-owns Once Upon a Stamp. This was the second workshop in a set of three to learn how to work with Friendly Plastic and was brilliant fun. The first photo shows some pieces we made in the first workshop last month and the second photo shows some of the things we made this time, which include bottle top embellishments, a lovely little pendant, some beads and a button.

Unfortunately, my photography does not do these bits and pieces justice because they are really quite beautiful in real life. I can't wait for the class at the end of May when we are going to be making a gorgeous mask. I shall be a little sad though because it's the last one and apart from the pleasure of learning new techniques, Rob makes the classes really fun.

My final special event of the month was on Thursday when I went all the way to Barnard Castle, the home of Graphicus and Elusive Images, to attend a workshop with an extremely talented and lovely lady by the name of Lynn Robinson-Hunter. I've been to several different workshops at Graphicus over the past year (I'd do them all if I could) and this one was a beginners Ten Seconds Studio workshop, learning how to work with metal. It was a brilliant workshop and this was one of the most relaxing and therapeutic crafts I have tried. First of all we practiced different ways of using the tools and sheets of metal and ended by making a lovely book to put our samples in together with tags on which to write the methods we had used. I haven't done the inside yet but these are photos of a little embellishment and then the front and back covers of the book.

Well, if anyone managed to get to HERE, you deserve something a bit stronger than tea I think.

Thanks for sticking with me.


Beryl said...

Wow, what a busy and productive month you've had. The butterfly card is awesome. Lucky you to be able to go to all those workshops.
Beryl xx

Jules said...

Hi Lesley

What a fantastic post - and so many lovely creations to look at (as well as gorgeous photographs of those beautiful grandchildren).

What a small world .. .. .. Monk's Den used to be very near where I live and Deb is partly responsible for my love of cardmaking.

I spent many a happy Saturday morning at her workshops when I first started. (As well as spending many a pretty penny with her). I only went to her shop to get some card to make thank you cards after my son's wedding and then it all began.. .. ..

Deb then moved from Tutbury. I heard she had moved to Ashby but am not sure exactly where. I haven't visited her new shop. Perhaps I should seek her out and pay a visit sometime.

It certainly looks like you have had a super creative month!

Love Jules xx

Anonymous said...

What kind of metal sheet did you use? Your books look wonderful!

craftimamma said...

Thanks for your lovely comments everyone. I really do appreciate them.

The metal sheet is by Ten Seconds Studio and comes in loads of fabulous colours as well as silver. The colours come in packs of 4 that are (I think) about A4 in size and you can also get the Silver and possibly colours like gold/brass on a roll (about 1metre I think)

Theresa Momber said...

Wow! Lesley, there are so many fabulous projects in this post! What beautiful granddaughters you have!

Jo said...

What a great month. Monk's Den was great and I wish I could have been with you at the other workshops too. Your 'Dad' card is really great. Which colours did you use? Think I feel a blatant reproduction coming on!

InkyArtitude said...

Hi Lesley, it was fab to see you last Thursday... thank you for coming all the way to 'Barny' to be with us for the TSS workshop and for your very kind comments. You have certainly developed a talent for the metal work and I'm really looking forward to seeing more from you. I've just caught up with your blog and you have some really beautiful work on here - what a hive of creativity. Look forward to seeing you later in the month! Lynn

craftimamma said...

Sorry Jo, forgot to list what I'd used. I used my Adirondacks in Latte, Butterscotch and Espresso.

Lesley Xx

Debbie said...

Wow you have been busy Lesley and all of your creations are gorgeous!
My dad is from Ashby originally and my mum only live 20 minutes away so I will definately go and check out the shop next time I'm visiting.
....sigh...I wish I could go along to these workshops they sound like great fun and you must learn so many new fabulous techniques, but I only get one free day a week when Jack is in respite :(
You will have to pass on the techniques via your blog Lesley with some tutorials.
Love your pics your grandaughters are adorable. Debbie x

Shirley said...

Wow, Lesley, I would not know where to begin with the praise. I love every inch of the projects you shared, and of course those lovely grand children! What fun and memories.

Phree said...

LOL, of course I made to the end of your post - sounds like April has been a very enjoyable crafty month. I would love to learn more about freindly plastic - wish I knew somewhere up here that did classes with it. Love all the projects you have been making - the men cards are gorgous and the metal art - well I don't think its possible to end up with anything less than stunning results when Lynne is teaching. Glad you had so much crafty goodness in your month - lets hope May brings more of the same.

Sheila said...

Gawd Lesley........I need a lie down with a cold cloth on me head after seeing how busy you have been.
What beautiful creations you posted.
Thanks so much for the fab write up on Monks Den. We are so glad you enjoyed yourself and look forward to seeing you again if you get the time to visit us.
I am going to pay a visit to Graphicus when DD and I have some time off together.