Thursday, 30 July 2009

Two New Awards

Just a little post to say a big thankyou to two lovely ladies who have each given me an award this week.

The first one is from Judith who has a wonderful blog here and makes the most beautiful cards. As Judith had to come up to our neck of the woods today, my friend Jo and I got a chance to meet her and we had a lovely day spent chatting, eating cake and crafty shopping. We also got a chance to see some of her beautiful cards IRL. Pop over to her blog and take a look.

The second award is from Lisa who is wonderfully encouraging by leaving lovely comments on my blog. Her blog is here and it is more than worth a visit to see her wonderful creations and equally wonderful photographs.

I have found that crafters in general, are such really nice people and are generous with their praise and encouragement and always willing to share their knowledge and experience so I would like to pass these awards on to anyone who is kind enough to visit and leave a little message on my blog as a thankyou from me.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

My Mum's Birthday Card and a Doggy Trauma

My Mum is 81 years old next Sunday and I have to say I hope if I get to her age I'll be in the same sprightly condition. Somehow, I doubt it because she puts me to shame now sometimes, Lol.

Anyway, this is the card I've made for her and it's safe to post as she doesn't even have access to a computer let alone own one. She does delight in sending me text messages though, in text speak I might add, from her mobile phone.

Originally, this started out as an A4 card and I used my new Mega Circle masks by Heidi Swapp. I had just finished all the blending, flower masking and stamping and then ....................... I dropped a blooming DI inkpad onto it. The air was somewhat blue, I have to admit. The only lucky part was that I didn't drop the inkpad onto the actual masked circle so I decided to cut it out and mount it onto another card rather than waste all that work. As you can probably see from the detail close ups, I blended DIs onto the background first then used a HS daisy mask and blended some more, removed the mask and did a couple of layers of stamping using stamps from the EI DL sized Lily themeplate and the Fantasy Floral A4 themeplate. Then after cutting the circle out I distressed the edge a little and then inked lightly all the way round. I then used a complete contrast DI in Broken China to stamp the humming bird by Inkadinkado which I versamarked all over, clear embossed and cut out. Using the same contrast ink I stamped quite a few flowers in two sizes again from the Fantasy Floral themeplate, cut them out, curled the petals a little, layered arranged them onto my card before fixing with silicone glue. The pretty circle block is from EI again and is one of their newest plates called Damask Blocks along with the sentiment from their very useful new Birthday Words plate. I cut this out using my scalloped circle Nestabilities. I also punched some leaf fronds from Core-dinations card using my Evergreen punch by Floral Punch Craft from The Hobbyhouse.

Almost everything I used for this card can be purchased from Graphicus/Elusive Images, my favourite craft shop as everyone knows.

Before I finish this post I'd just like to share a little bit about the rather traumatic week we've had with our little Snoopy. On Monday evening Snoopy thought he could have a little chomp on a nice fat bumble bee and live to tell the tale. Within seconds his face started to swell and before long he looked more like a Bassett Hound than the Jack Russell/Dachsund cross that he is. The swelling was so bad we got rather worried that it might affect his airways so felt that a call to the vet was in order. Result - a quick OUT OF HOURS visit for a steroid injection to halt the swelling at a cost of £62! Well, at least it seemed to do the trick and although it took a while for the swelling to come down, by Tuesday evening we thought he was fine. Uh Oh! Thought wrong! In the wee small hours of Wednesday (3 am to be precise) we were woken by Snoopy's panicked barking because he wanted to be let out. We thought that he'd settle after that but we were wrong again. 45 minutes later he started again and when I went to him this time he had been sick (too much info I know). I spent the rest of the night on the settee having 10 minute naps then being roused by a very poorly little dog being ill.

I have never known our little bundle of energy be so still and so quiet for over 24 hours. It's taken him most of today to get back to anything like his normal self and, of course, as he has spent the greater part of the last 36 hours sleeping he has just started to wake up - and it's nearly my bedtime and I haven't caught up on the sleep I lost yet. Whether it was the poison from the bee sting (after all, he is only small) or something else entirely that made him so sick I don't know but I hope it doesn't happen again.

The first of the photos is to show what he normally looks like and the others are taken about an hour or so after the sting.

Hopefully after another night's sleep he and I will both be fully recovered in time to enjoy the weekend - I hope!

Night Night! Sleep tight!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Masked Wedding Cards

On the 4th July, Jo and I went up the A1 to Barnard Castle, the home of my favourite crafty people at Graphicus and Elusive Images. It was the 2nd of their two Open Days and the very first time I have managed to get to one of them. The atmosphere is lovely there because they are all very friendly and the demonstrations are second to none. Annette was demonstrating the die cutting machines like the Cricut but unfortunately I didn't get time to watch her (maybe next time). I did get to watch Judith making some lovely beads in the Melt Pot which was really interesting and made me want to get mine out for a play at something different.

The best for me personally though were Glenda, Lynn and Lesley, who were all stamping in one way or another and my absolute favourite of the day was Lynn demoing some fabulous Mega Masks from Heidi Swapp. If you visit Lynn's blog she has posted the samples she made during her demos and they are wonderful.

Anyway, I just had to buy these and couldn't wait to have a play with them when I got home. Over the first couple of weeks in August we have two family weddings. My niece gets married on the 1st August and my nephew gets married on the same day but away from home so they are having their celebratory reception on the 15th. I decided that I could use the Mega Heart Masks to make a couple of Wedding Cards.

Both the cards use the same format on A4 cards and the same materials, stamps and masks. I just changed the colours and altered the positioning slightly. Except for the two word definition stamps - Married and Marriage, which were from Stamp to Your Arts Content, everything else was from Graphicus. I used Milled Lavender and Weathered Wood DIs on the first card and Tattered Rose and Antique Linen on the second one. The flower masks I used are also Heidi Swapp and I bought them from Graphicus ages ago but have never got round to using them until now.

This was the first one I did in Milled Lavender and Weathered Wood.

and this was the second one in Tattered Rose and Antique Linen.

I thoroughly enjoyed making both these cards and I love blending backgrounds with DIs. I also bought the Mega Circles Masks as well as the Hearts and I have a couple of birthdays for some of my VIPs coming up over the next few weeks so I'm going to try using the circles with some stamping. Again you can see an example on Lynn's blog.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Workshop at The Stampman

Last Saturday my friend Jo and I travelled up to Skipton for a workshop at The Stampman shop with a lovely and talented lady called Jill Boulton.

In the morning we made a pretty little canvas using pretty paper, paint dabbers, sticky backed canvas, grungepaper and all manner of stamps. I didn't quite get mine finished at the workshop (I rarely do) but have done so at home and because of this I've used a couple of word stamps I had and a butterfly from the Elusive Images Butterfly Bliss themeplate, which I stamped onto acetate with Stazon and then added glitter to the back. I also highlighted the flowers stamped directly onto the canvas with my Inkssentials pen.

Some of the flowers and leaves were stamped onto Grungepaper and then spritzed with Moonshadow Inks and others were stamped onto sticky backed canvas which were then either spritzed with inks or painted with dabbers. We also stuck the canvas to metal sheets before cutting them out which enabled us to shape the leaves a bit. When I got home I decided to emboss my metal as well which gave even more shape to the flowers.

I really enjoyed doing this little canvas and I think I'm going to add a card to the back and give it to my Mum for her birthday later this month.

In the afternoon we played with the Melt Pot and tried out several different techniques, including placing molds over pictures chosen from magazines and pouring clear Utee (slightly tinted with ink). These would make nice brooches. We used the same technique pouring the Utee over a picture cut out and fitted into a slide mailer (this was my favourite). We marbled two colours together and poured it over a large textured stamp, poured another colour onto a craft mat and pressed a previously inked stamp into the puddle and finally dropped a square of cardboard into melted black, took it out of the Melt Pot and dusted patches of Moonshadow Mica Powders all over. We then melted the surface with a heat gun and then pressed an inked background stamp into it. All this was great fun, gave me lots of ideas and made me determined to get my Melt Pot out of the cupboard where it has been languishing for the past year.

All in all, I had a lovely day. I had good company whilst driving up to Skipton and because I chose not to take the motorways we saw some beautiful scenery. We shared the workshop with two other lovely ladies plus The Stamp'lady' herself Jill Tuck. Thankyou Jill for helping to make it a really good day out and thanks also to Ian (The Stampman) for fetching the bacon and sausage butties at lunchtime.