Friday, 30 December 2011

Here he is ............... Charlie (Sunday name Charles) John Ebdon Stobbs

Hello lovely Blogging Friends,


I hope 2012 will be a kind year to each and every one of you and my wish for all of us is that we can be happy, healthy and enjoy the little things in life because that is mostly what our lives are made up of.

I'd also like to thank all of you for visiting and especially those of you who take the time to leave such lovely comments.  This crafting and blogging lark has given me some wonderful really close friends (some of them virtual ones) and for that I am really grateful.  My love and a big hug to you all.

2011 hasn't been too great a year for many of us I know and my family included.  There have been several sad changes to our lives but ................ it could have been worse and I'm not going to dwell on them.  Instead I am going to remember my favourite bits, the main one being the birth of our first Grandson, our gorgeous little Charlie and now I have a new camera, here he is

 Isn't he beautiful!

Here he is with his very possessive big sister, lol!

and getting to know his Uncle Jamie!

and his cousin Alexa! (My three precious people)

and his Mamma (me, in case you didn't know, lol)!
He always seems to fall asleep on me ....... I guess
it's the cushioning that does it ;-)

Whilst I'm sort of seeing out the old year I have to tell you that because of the extra demands on my time at home, I very reluctantly took the decision to resign from the Chocolate Baroque DT a couple of months ago,  mainly because I felt that I wasn't able to give the 100% commitment that Glenda and her company deserves.  I was very proud to serve on the CB DT and considered myself very fortunate to get to play with their beautiful stamps before most other people did and I will really miss it I know.  I am still a member of the CB Guild, still consider Glenda and the rest of the team to be my friends and will look forward to receiving my newsletter every month filled amongst other things with the fabulous designs from my ex-Teamies.  I'll still be buying their lovely stamps (I already have a couple of sets on my wish list already) and when I have time I will be promoting them on here when I can.  Have a great 2012 Chocolate Baroque!!!

And to finish my last post of 2011, here is a hanging that I made for the CB DT earlier in the year and which I can't remember if it appeared anywhere.  I really liked this piece when I finished it and loved the colours.  Hope you like it too after all the Christmas stuff, lol!

The Grungepaper flowers came from the Chocolate Baroque Doodle Butterflies stamp set and the lovely leaf spray is a Marianne die.  I painted the background with Viva Precious Metal paint over Gesso (I think) and deliberately left brush marks to give texture.  Looking at it again now (it was made back in March) I think I'll have to make another one, lol!

Bye for now lovely friends and I'll see you in 2012 (probably with a sneaky peek at my next Snazzy's DT project)

Lots of love to you all.
 Lesley  Xx

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The Happiest of News!

Hello Lovely Visitors,

First of all I must apologise to my blog buddies who I haven't visited for at least a week but I was finally summoned to dash up the A1 to go look after my gorgeous Isabella  when her new brother decided to finally make his appearance.  'Dashing' proved a little difficult as of course, it had to be rush hour didn't it, lol! Luckily our Daughter has some lovely friends up there, one of whom looked after Izzy for an hour or so until I could get there.  Mel, Jenna and I will be forever grateful you were there, mwah!  Anyway, at precisely 10.14 pm on 7th December Charles (to be known as Charlie) John Ebdon Stobbs was born weighing a hefty 9lb 5oz and he's absolutely gorgeous just like his big sister.

I didn't get to take loads of pics (did I hear someone say thank goodness, ;) ?) but my stupid camera has chosen this important occasion to go on the blink and is telling me there are no images on the card ?!**!!  I will be heartbroken if that's the case as he will obviously never be 1 day old again but he's here and he's healthy and my lovely Daughter is okay too so that's the main thing.  As soon as I get a photo I will show him off to you all.

In the meantime, while I was away I didn't get to show you a sneak peek at my projects this month for the Snazzys Design Team which were published last Friday.  Don and Val at Snazzys sent us some fabulous My Minds Eye products to work with which included a set of 12 x 12 double sided papers, some fun clear stamps and some great buttons and brads all from the same set.  They only arrived a few days before I went up to Harrogate but I managed to get a couple of cards made with them (would have liked more time to play) and here's a peek at one of them.

The basic card cut and fold idea for this particular design came from a recent issue of Making Cards mag.  If you get chance to pop over to Snazzys DT blog you will see some fabulous designs by my teamie, Paula which you will have to scroll through to get to my post but that won't be any hardship as she has made some wonderful projects again this month.

Well, I hope you are all much better prepared for Christmas than I am.  I haven't written on a single card yet (and they are all going to have to be bought ones this year which really goes against the grain) and I don't even have my Christmas tree up which is unheard of this late in December!  Today I am treating myself to a rest and recuperating day catching up in Blogland before diving back into the fray tomorrow.  I hope the day treats you all kindly and you get to do something nice if it's only for half an hour.

With a bit of luck I'll be back with some photos of some description very soon even if it means a new camera!

Lesley  Xx

Sunday, 4 December 2011

My Buddy's had another Celebration!

Hi Everyone,

After my friend Judith's Silver Wedding Anniversary a couple of weeks ago, she got to celebrate again last week because it was her birthday.  I would have shared the card I made for her before now but for the past 8 days we have had our Daughter Jenna and Granddaughter Isabella staying with us.  As quite a few of you will know Jenna is expecting our first Grandson who was due to be born yesterday but as we all know babies come in their own good time don't they and, inspite of a couple of false alarms this week, so far he's not deigned to join us.  However, as our Son-in-Law was away on a training course last week we thought it would be wise if Jenna and Izzy stayed here. 

Even though baby didn't arrive it turned out to be a wise decision because Jenna had a very scary episode on Wednesday with symptoms which appeared very like a stroke!!!  Our local hospital were excellent and after a chat to a midwife on the phone we were told to take her in for tests to make sure it was the migraine we suspected and not something sinister.  Luckily we were right and although Jenna felt very poorly for a couple of days I was able to look after Izzy and let her rest more than she would at home.  Her Hubby came back on Friday night and they were supposed to go home yesterday but Jenna ended up awake at 3 am convinced the birth was imminent ............................... wrong!!!!  The little monkey kept her awake all night only for everything to settle down again by lunchtime but they decided to delay going home for another day just in case.  As nothing else has happened and Jenna says she feels he's going to stay put for at least another week (hmmmm???) they went home after lunch today.  I now have to catch up on all my chores (nothing got done while they were here, lol) hopefully before I get a call to say baby is on his way for real.

Tonight though I am allowing myself a little playtime starting with showing you Judith's card.  I started with a white 21 cm square base card and adhered a slightly smaller square of purple pearlescent card.

Using a Heidi Swapp butterfly mask I blended Versamagic ink over a 19 cm square piece of white card moving the mask around at random.  I then stamped the beautiful Anemone corner from IndigoBlu in the bottom right and I used a lovely swirl from Chocolate Baroque (formerly Elusive Images) in the top left to create another corner image, using Archival ink.  Before adhering this square to the card base I stamped the quote using Versafine Onyx Black ink.  Using the Archival ink I stamped the Anemone Corner once more onto white card, coloured the anemones with Coloursoft pencils and then cut them out.  I shaped them a little before adhering them to the main image with Pinflair glue.  I  then put some Stickles onto my craft mat and used a damp brush to apply this to the anemones and highlights on the corner images.

Finally, I die cut and embossed two butterflies from old book pages using a Cuttlebug duo set, lightly inked the raised areas and then heat embossed with clear EP before adhering to the card leaving the wings free.

I really enjoyed making this card as, like Judith, I love anything with butterflies and anyway, it's always such a pleasure making something for a person who has become such a close and very dear friend as well as someone who you know will appreciate a handmade card.

Well that's my share for today and if I don't get to post anything or make any blog visits for a couple of weeks you'll know it's because my crafting activities have been severely curtailed by a little bundle of joy, lol!  I'm off to get my feet up for an hour (oooh, I have missed my l0 minute afternoon cat naps, he! he!) and then maybe I might get a Christmas card or two made ................. you've guessed it ........... I haven't made one yet.  I have a feeling most of my cards this year are going to be bought ones!

Take care all and I'll be back as soon as I can.

Lesley  Xx

Monday, 21 November 2011

Congratulations to my Buddy and do you fancy a White Christmas?

 Hi Everyone,

I hope this morning finds everyone bright eyed and bushy tailed, lol!   I can't remember the last time I felt like that first thing in the morning.  I think I must have been about 12 years old ;0).  I'm at my best at night time not in the morning but I'm not grumpy in the morning, I just take a long time to get my head in gear.

Today is the 25th Wedding Anniversary of my lovely friend Judith and her Hubby Terry so I want to send them my congratulations and I hope they are spending a very special time together today.  I can now show you the card I made for them a couple  of weeks ago.

I started with a 21 cm square base card and covered it with a silver mirri slightly smaller square.  I then took another square of white card, slightly smaller still and blended a lovely blue Versamagic ink over one of the beautiful Prima masks I bought recently from Chocolate Baroque.   The main image is a My Sentiments Exactly stamp and one of the first stamps I ever bought.  I used it for the first card I handmade for my OH for our anniversary about 5 years ago so it has a kind of sentimental value to me, lol!  On this occasion I stamped it  onto vellum with Versamark ink and heat embossed with detail silver EP.  I trimmed it and then attached it to the centre of my card placing the adhesive just under the solid square.

I suppose this was a relatively simple card but I wanted something fairly simple in design but elegant as it was for a couple and I was quite happy with the result.  I just hope Judith and Terry like it too when they open it today.  All the best for another 25 years you guys!

AND now I have to tell you about a challenge from Glenda Waterworth (Mrs Chocolate Baroque) or rather Glenda does because I've actually pasted Glenda's own explanation for you.

How would you like the chance to win a £10 voucher to spend on Chocolate Baroque rubber stamps? Or would you prefer a £20 voucher or how about £50? I’ve managed to talk the owners of Chocolate Baroque into sponsoring a little challenge that I’m hosting here on my blog (they’re a pretty nice couple, so they didn’t take much persuading!) and the more people that play, the bigger the prize.
Basically, I will add £1.00 to the value of the gift voucher for each person who submits an entry to the challenge via the link form below. So if we only get five entries, the prize will be £5.00, but if we get 35 entries, the prize will be £35.00. I am setting a maximum prize fund of £50.00, and the winner will be drawn at random, so you have nothing to lose by having a go and a lot to gain by encouraging all your challenge-holic buddies to join in.
The theme is WHITE CHRISTMAS and how you interpret the theme and what kind of artwork you produce is entirely up to you – cards are obviously welcome but feel free to do anything from ATCs to jewellery, canvas to crochet.  As a bonus, any pieces which showcase Chocolate Baroque stamps particularly well will be featured in full on the Chocolate Baroque Design Team blog over Christmas with a link back to your blog.
The closing date is DECEMBER 15TH 2011 and the winner will be chosen at random from the list of entries.

If you want to check it out and/or add your entry click on the logo in my sidebar.  

As always, thank you so much for your visit and especially for leaving any much appreciated comments.
Have a good day all!

Lesley  Xx

Saturday, 19 November 2011

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY - to us for yesterday, lol!!!

Happy Saturday Morning to you all today,

What do you have planned this weekend?  Christmas shopping maybe or catching up on a few chores and maybe catching a bit of R&R?  My OH and I are checking our Christmas Lights collection and probably going on a search to replace ones we had to throw out last year.  As visitors who have seen my blog posts around Christmas time over the past few years will know, I luuuuurrrve my Christmas lights and although my Hubby pretends to be a grumpy old Bah Humbug type of Grandad, he's worse than me really.

Anyway yesterday, the 18th November was our 39th Wedding Anniversary.  We rarely make a fuss over our Anniversaries except the real milestone ones (Hmmm, 40th - Ruby next year) except to marvel to each other how the time has flown, how much we've done through the years, the fact that we've weathered one or two storms life has thrown at us and recently to marvel over our beautiful Granddaughters and the fact that our first Grandson is due any day.  One thing we rarely miss though is to send each other special cards.  My Hubby did cheekily ask me last week if I could make him a card for 'someone'!  My reply was less than ladylike, lol, but I have to say he obviously took time to choose the card he got for me and the sentiments inside are lovely.  The card I made for him took me quite a while to come up with because I didn't want to use hearts ............again, lol!

So .................... I went all Steampunk!  I made a gold pearlescent 21 cm x 21 cm base card, matted black then pale gold pearlescent (looks grey or platignum on here) leaving a narrow border each time.  I then trimmed my final black layer smaller still before stamping the gorgeous Steampunk corners (Inkadinkado - Steampunk clear stamp set) and embossing them with Queen's Gold EP.  In the other two corners I repeat stamped a PaperArtsy mini stamp of cogs and gears using Versamagic Wheat and my final stamping was the hot air balloon from IndigoBlu's Grand Tour III which I stamped with Versamark and again embossed with Queen's Gold.

I stamped the balloon once again onto a sheet of designer paper from the Kaisercraft Vintage Timeless pad, again using the Queen's Gold EP and then I cut out just the balloon.  I shaped it slightly and adhered it to my original image with Pinflair glue.  I added a few pieces of Ideology cogs and gears and finally I cut the letters from a sheet of the Kaisercraft pad to spell 'Thanks for the journey' which I thought was quite approriate because the last 39 years have been a great journey for the most part.

I was really pleased because the card earned the best reaction I've ever got from Hubby for a card I've made him and he even enthused about it to our Daughter!

In a few day's time it's my lovely friend Judith and her OH's very special 25th Wedding Anniversary so I'll show you the card I sent to them once they've opened it.  As always thank you for your visit today and before I forget I'd like to say a big hello to my new followers.  Thank you so much for dropping by and for any comments you have time to leave.  I appreciate your encouragement so much.

Lesley  Xx

Friday, 18 November 2011

3rd November DT project for Snazzys

Good Morning again,

As my post is going to be scheduled I'm hoping as type that the week's weather will be ending on a much brighter note than it started, lol!  Fingers crossed!

Today I have a tiny sneaky peek of my 3rd and final project for Snazzys this month.  I've had great fun using the Kaisercraft products from my DT pack this month and hope you'll pop across to the DT blog to look at the whole thing and the 'how to' details.

Next week I'll be able to share a couple of the cards I've made recently for some very special friends.  Hope to see you then.

Oooh just realised as I was scheduling this post .................. today is a special day for my Hubby and I ........... it's our 39th Wedding Anniversary!  Where on earth does the time go I wonder?  I think I must be having too much fun because it's whizzing by me at breakneck speed, lol!

Lesley  Xx

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

2nd November DT project for Snazzys

Good morning again lovely visitors,

Today I'm showing my second project using products from Snazzys over on the Snazzy DT blog so thought I'd share a sneak peek with you again.  I hope you have time to pop over for a look.

Unfortunately for my poor neglected blog, everything I've been making recently is for very special people in my life who have special events over the next few weeks so I can't show them on here yet but I will share them soon and speaking of 'Special Events', we are now getting rather excited about the impending arrival of our new Grandson.  He's actually due on the 3rd December but his Mummy (my lovely 'baby' Jenna) has been told it could be any time during the week before so as her hubby is away on a training course that week, she (and her bump) and our gorgeous Izzy are coming to stay with us for the week ............. just in case!  I do hope he's born while they're staying with us ....................... that way I can be on hand to help out and look after Izzy and still maybe get a few minutes in my craftroom now and then .............. maybe ............ do you think, lol!

BTW I've been meaning to ask, what do you think of the way photos come up in the black gallery now if you click for a closeup?  I really dislike it and find it pretty useless because the so-called 'zoom' is usually no bigger or closer than the original photos.  I like to be able to look at the details to see how people make their lovely projects and now I can't!  Total disappointment and I think Blogger has a blooming cheek foisting it upon us without so much as a by-your-leave.

Sorry about the little rant, lol! Hope you all have a pleasant, trouble free day and I'll be back with my final Snazzy November sneaky peek on Friday.

Hugs to all
Lesley  Xx

Monday, 14 November 2011

November DT project for Snazzys

Hi Everyone,

On what looks like being another gloomy Monday weather wise, yep, we have more of the blooming drizzle :(, I thought I'd give you a little sneak peek at the project I posted over on the Snazzy DT blog today.

 I got a lot of pleasure from making this particular piece and was really pleased with the end result.  I hope you have time to pop over to the DT blog for a look at the whole project,  If it's dreary where you are too, my project might remind you of summer a little, lol!

Have a good day everyone and thanks for stopping by.

Lesley  Xx

Monday, 24 October 2011

Oooh, Busy week ahead!

Hello Everyone,

Welcome on this rather nippy Monday morning.  This week is the half term break for schoolchildren and although neither of my granddaughters are yet of school age, by necessity they have to attend nursery while Mummies and Daddies go to work and their nurseries are also closed  As a result, from this evening I will have Alexa having a sleepover at Mamma's and staying until Wednesday evening and tomorrow she will be joined by Izzy who will be sleeping over until Friday evening.   I doubt very much I will get any crafting time to myself :(, I probably won't have the energy either ;) but if Izzy and Alexa have a play with their 'stash' I'll post some pics next week, lol!

I'm so thankful we could manage on my Hubby's salary when our kids were small so I didn't have to contend with the constant juggling mums and dads have to do these days.  I would have hated other people seeing/hearing  their milestone achievements during those first precious years while I missed out.  Unfortunately, most of today's young couples don't have a choice as two incomes are necessary just to keep their heads above water.

Anyway, before I crack on with all the jobs I have to do before they descend upon me (there'll be no housework done for the rest of the week either ........... I don't multi task anymore, lol) I just wanted to share a couple of cards I made recently.
Recently I have been taking an online 'Back to Basics' stamping class with Glenda Waterworth of Chocolate Baroque.  If you click on the Chocolate Baroque online community logo in my sidebar and then look down the right side of the page you will see a link to Glenda's online classes hosted by My Creative Classroom.  Glenda has another five week course starting on Wednesday this week called 'Terrific Techniques' and I'm looking forward to starting that one but it will probably have to wait till weekend when my little lodgers have both departed. 


Although I already know the basics for most of the techniques I wanted to refresh my inkpad knowledge and use the spur of the classes to revisit techniques I've not used in ages.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself and still have things I didn't get chance to finish during the course but I have the lessons saved so I can work through them when my mojo deserts me for a while.  Anyway, the piece shown above was my very first attempt at creating a background by stippling.  I have always used Cut'n'Dry foam to create a similar effect and once in a while I've used brushes but in a sweeping motion not actually stippling with a pouncing action.  I was really chuffed with the effect I achieved and then continued by adding the stamped Clarity trees  and Chocolate Baroque wild flowers to complete the picture.  The poem excerpt is also a Chocolate Baroque stamp.


And finally, I turned it into a card I wanted to send to a blogging friend who needs some TLC at the moment.

My second card was actually made to add to some parcels I was sending out. Way back in January, I joined in the Pay if Forward group of crafters whereby you agreed to send a piece of your artwork/crafting to the first five commentors on that post.  You had until the end of 2011 to send them out and I finally got mine parcelled up to send and wanted to make a little card to include.  This was the result.

I blended Distress Inks on the bottom left corner, dabbing a little through some sequin waste and then created layers of one leaf stamp using the same colour DIs.  Apart from the darkest colour, I stamped off onto scrap once before stamping onto the card.  I stamped the sentiment using Onyx Black Versafine.  The leaf image comes from a Hero Arts clear set which I bought from Snazzys stand at the Happy Stampers show a couple of weeks ago and the sentiment is from a Paper Artsy set.

It will probably  be a couple of weeks before I have anything else to show you of my own so in the meantime, I wish you all a happy time and for those of you with small children, time to enjoy them this week.

See you soon and as always thank you for taking the time to visit.

Lesley Xx

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Still My Baby!

Hello Everyone,

About a week ago it was our lovely daughter's birthday.  I never did get round to doing the big blog post I had threatened you all with following her wedding in May (I sort of got overtaken by less happy family matters but enough of that) but here's a few photos of  what she described as her Perfect Day.

 With her new Hubby (note the broken foot!)

 With her Dad.  I love how happy she looks.

Little Isabella had to get in on the act here.

And now here's the card I made for her birthday.  The photos aren't brilliant as I was late finishing it and had to rush the pics before shooting off up the A1 to deliver it in person.  It would have been much cheaper to post, lol!

I used another of the gorgeous Prima masks which I bought from Chocolate Baroque recently and the sentiment is one of my favourites from CB too.  The lovely main image is from Indigo Blu and called Ella Bella.

I used Versamagic inkpads to blend over the mask to create the background and followed this with some overstamping of a pretty swirly image, again from Chocolate Baroque.  I forgot to make a note of which stamp set it is from but I'm sure it was from one of the recently released ones.  I then stamped Ella Bella using an Onyx Black Versafine inkpad.

Finally I spritzed with some Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist before arranging the flowers and leaves cut with Crealies dies, again from Chocolate Baroque.

Jenna said she loved her card ............ but then she would say that, wouldn't she, lol!

I hope you've all had a good day today.  I'm looking forward to a couple of nice weather days to get my washing basket emptied.  Mind you, that will only add more to the ironing pile, lol!

As always, thank you for taking the time to visit.  I do appreciate it.

Lesley  Xx

EDIT  Just a little message to my Twitter friends.  Whilst downloading some photos from my mobile phone last week I installed some updates.  Biiig mistake as it's changed everything round on my  phone and I don't like it :( but the main problem is it's completely deleted Twitter and I can't find it anywhere.  I'm hoping my more technologically minded Son will be able to sort it for me this weekend but until then I'm not ignoring you and I'll be back soon I hope.  Xx

Monday, 10 October 2011

Snazzys October DT project - Kaisercraft

'Morning Everyone,

Just a very quick share this morning as it's my turn to post a project over on the Snazzys DT blog.  This month we had some lovely Kaisercraft products to play with including stamps, papers and an MDF piece to alter.  I will admit I was a bit fazed by the MDF piece at first but once I started wor ............ er, playing with it I soon started to enjoy myself, lol!  I'd be so pleased if you have time to pop over and have a look.  Perhaps you can say whether you think I was 'working' or 'playing'  ; ).

Here's a little sneaky peek.

I had a lovely time on Saturday at the Happy Stampers North West show at Port Sun light where Val and Don, owners of Snazzys were exhibiting for the first time.  It was great to be able to say hello to them.  I also got to share the long journey with my navigator and buddy Jo and we met up with a 3rd member of the Craft Stamping Quartet, Judith.  As always one of our merry band was missing, namely Elaine and it always makes us a bit sad.  Another extra bonus was seeing several members of the Chocolate Baroque Guild which is always a treat.  All in all, it's well worth the long drive there and back for such a great show specifically aimed at stampers.

I'll be back again in a few days with another make.  See you then and thanks for stopping by.

Lesley  Xx

Monday, 3 October 2011

Christmas???? ................. we still have a little bit of summer here!

Goooood Mooorrrrnnnnniiing Moooonnnnnndddaayy!!!!

I'm sorry to rub it in to those of you who don't have lovely weather this morning, but we have a beautiful day here in Nottinghamshire although we did have a few spits of rain a little while ago and it's obviously not here to stay for long but while it lasts I'm making the most of it to get my holiday washing caught up with.  We have a lovely breeze which is drying perfectly.

Last week my Hubby and I had a much needed few days break in Mid Wales.  We stayed in a log cabin at a little place called Victoria Wells, Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys.  It's a sort of log cabin motel and the accommodation is basic but comfy for a short break and includes a full English breakfast and 3 course dinner.  The menu choices for dinner were excellent and the food was lovely.  The place itself is beautiful and perfectly situated to explore the Brecon Beacons which I have fallen in love with.  I think we will definitely be staying there again sometime.  When I've had time to download and edit my pics I'll post a few.

In the meantime here's a quick post of a project I made recently using some new Chocolate Baroque Christmas stamps.  I made a gift wallet the template for which I found on the Splitcoaststampers site.

The backing paper is one of Glenda's designs and I think might be from her downloadable ones which should be available on the site soon.  The stamped images and sentiments all come from the same new set of stamps called Christmas Cheer.  I love this set and think there's a really nice mix of images including one particular sentiment stamp which I especially love.

There is still new Christmas inspiration being posted daily by the Chocolate Baroque DT over on the blog (link in my sidebar) showcasing the new stamp sets.  My second post for this particular theme is tomorrow so I hope you get chance to pop over for a look.

Right, I had better get a wiggle on (as my crafty friend Judith says) as I have loads to catch up on.  Unfortunately, a lot of it is housework chores, yuck! 

As always thank you for taking time to visit.  I really do appreciate you dropping by.

Have a lovely day and I'll be back soon.

Lesley  Xx

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Wonderful Blog Candy ......... Go take a look!

Good Morning Everyone,

This morning is a perfect example of why I love this time of year because it's a lovely bright, sunny morning with just a slight nip in the air.  I hope it's like this next week as my OH and I are off to Wales for a few days and I'm hoping to see some pretty scenery dressed in my favourite colours of Autumn.

Anyway, the main purpose of this post is to tell you about some fabulous blog candy that Hels Sheridan is offering over on her blog to celebrate passing 800 followers.  I don't often advertise blog candy but Hels' blog is one of my favourites because as well as being one talented lady she's also very funny and reading her posts always brightens my day.  Do drop by and see what you have to do to be in with a chance of winning this lovely booty.  Just click on the pic in my sidebar to be transported to her lovely blog.

Hope you all have a lovely sunny day and thanks for visiting.

Lesley  Xx

This fab blog candy has now been won by a very lucky visitor to Hels' blog ............ and it wasn't me :((, lol!

Friday, 16 September 2011

Birthday Card for a Wonderful Friend (& it fits in with my buddy's friendly challenge)

'Morning Everyone,

Yay, it's Friday!  I hope everyone is looking forward to the weekend even if you're not doing anything special.  We're planning a weekend of re-organising 2 of our bedrooms.  They're becoming a bit of a dumping ground for stuff that needs to go back in the loft (like the big pedestal fan that I doubt we'll need again before next summer, lol) and stuff that has nowhere special to live so they need sorting out before it gets out of hand and we end up with nowhere for our Daughter and her family to sleep when they visit, lol!

Anyway, enough waffling and onto the crafting.  This week has seen the birthday of a friend who has become especially dear to me.  Elaine is one of my Craft Stamping Quartet buddies as many of my visitors already know and along with Jo and Judith she has become one of the main 'constants' in my life so making a card incorporating things she likes was such a pleasure to do.  Elaine loves nature and has a huge wild garden with lots of mature trees and I know she loves it in whatever coat it happens to be wearing.  As it's September, I decided to go with an Autumnal look both with the colours I used and also with the leaf embellishments.  Elaine knows one of my favourite things to do is blending inks over masks and as Chocolate Baroque have just started stocking some exceptionally pretty Prima ones which I couldn't resist buying I thought that's where I would start my design.  I followed this with some light overstamping using a stamp from an Inkadinkado set called Autumn Fall which I must have had for at least 2 years and never inked up.  Shame on me because the stamps are really dainty with lovely leafy swirls.

I then blended inks over a sheet of card and cut out the leaves I wanted using a Shapeabilities die set (again in my stash for ages and never used) using the same dies to emboss and then adding some ink highlights.  Another neglected die from my quite substantial collection is the Marianne Creatable doily die,  It's really pretty and I've now managed to use it twice in one week :).  I cut the doily from the same ink blended card and then spritzed this and the leaves with gold Glimmer Mist before stamping the sentiment in the centre of the doily.

 Finally I used a lovely new Crealies die (again from Chocolate Baroque) which consists of separate multi sized petals that you build up to make a flower the size you want.  I used all four petal sizes and cut it from Glassine paper, stamped with the same Inkadinkado stamp but this time in Encore Gold ink and then heated it gently for a few seconds to 'set' the ink into the Glassine.  I shaped all the petals and joined them together with a pearl brad.  I attached the doily with 3D foam pads and the flower and leaves with Pinflair glue.

Now, it just so happens that as I have used a much neglected stamp and two dies to make my card, it fits in with my buddy Judith's friendly weekly challenge called Forgotten Friday so I'm popping over to her lovely blog in a minute to add a link.  I haven't seen her post yet today but there's always something lovely to see so do pay her a visit.  I have to say thanks to Elaine too because I was in such a hurry to get her card in the post (it still ended up being late :( ) I completely forgot to take any pics, lol!  Elaine very kindly emailed some photos over to me first thing so I could do my post.  Thanks Buddy!!!

Well enjoy your weekend everyone whatever you are doing and come visit again soon.

Lesley  Xx

Thursday, 15 September 2011

September DT Project for Snazzys Part 2

Good Morning All,

Over on the Snazzy DT blog I'm showing the 2nd part of my project for this month.  Here's a couple of peeky pics and I hope you have time to go over and see the whole thing.

Once again I thoroughly enjoyed working with the fab products from Snazzys' which included Darkroom Door Stamps - Music Collection, Tando Creative Music Mas and chipboard Music Shapes and Tim Holtz Tissue Tape, amongst other things.

Thank you for your visit today.  I always appreciate you stopping by.

Lesley  Xx

Monday, 12 September 2011

September DT Project for Snazzys

Hi everyone,

Just a little post to say that my September project for Snazzys is being shown on the DT blog now (link in my sidebar).  I was sent some lovely products to pl .... er, work with, lol!  The stamps are the Music Collection from Darkroom Door and my DT pack also included a gorgeous Tando Creative music score mask, some Tando chipboard music shapes and some of Mr. Holtz' Tissue Tape. 

This is a teensy taster so if you'd like to see the rest of it please do pay us a visit over on the Snazzys DT blog and if you have time to leave a comment that would be great.  Of course the products I used are available from Snazzys.

Lesley  Xx

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Romance and Relaxation ???

Happy Weekend Everyone,

Sorry, I've got to be very English here and mention the weather because it's glorious this morning where I am.  Beautiful blue sky with whispy clouds and bright sunshine.  At the moment the temperature is just right but it doesn't bode well for my craftroom later, lol!  I may have to brave the heat though as I've been away for a few days looking after little Izzy before nursery reopens next week and I'm getting withdrawal symptoms!  On Thursday I took Izzy to Newby Hall in North Yorks and we had a really fun filled day.  I haven't been in the hall but the gardens are lovely and there's a really great adventure garden for kids (which is where we spent most of the day, lol).  Izzy isn't four until December but she is such a daredevil and she spent the day making me a nervous wreck watching her daring exploits.  My Daughter said I would have been okay to sit and watch her from one of the many seats but as her Mamma I felt I had to be 'right there' to catch her if she fell, Ha! Ha!  I don't know who was the most exhausted at the end of the day but we did have a good time and I would recommend Newby Hall as a lovely family day out with something for all ages.  Oh yes, there's a really good restaurant too where I tried their very nice Beetroot and Spicy Parsnip Soup ....... delicious!

Anyway, on to the crafting now.  Finally, I have something I can show you on my own blog.  Everything I've made for quite a while has been DT stuff that I can't blog on here, at least not yet.  However, my card today was made for my lovely friend Jo's birthday a few weeks ago and I couldn't show that until now because I used some lovely new Chocolate Baroque (formerly Elusive Images) stamps which have only been released this week.  There are two new A5 stamp sets called Music Fanfare and The Art of Chess and if you check out the DT blog (link in my sidebar) you will see lots of inspiration from the Design Team.  Please scroll down over the last few days as Glenda has been publishing our draft posts since the middle of the week and she kicked the launch off with a look at the two stamp sets, some inspiration from the Queen of Stamping herself and a hint that there might be a random give away.  I would guess that means the more comments you leave on the DT blog and the teams individual blogs the more chances you have!

The colours I used for Jo's card were rather delicate shades of Versamagic ink blended over a lovely Tando Creative music score mask (mask available from Snazzys).  All the stamped images are from the two new Chocolate Baroque sets and the flowers and leaves were left over from the decorated initial I did for the Snazzy DT launch which fitted in with my colours perfectly.  The little violin charm (from IndigoBlu) was originally an antiqued brass colour so I rubbed some silver Inca Gold into it.

I always forget to mention that most of my photos are clickable, once to zoom and again to get a real 'in your face' closeup, lol!  I always like to look at closeups on other people's creations to get a better idea of the texture and dimension.  It's the next best thing to actually touching them I think.

 Don't forget to hop over to the Chocolate Baroque DT blog as there are some beautiful creations to see.

Have a lovely weekend everyone and thanks for sparing time to visit.

Lesley  Xx

PS   I thought it was time I gave a bit of explanation for my lack of posting in recent months and lack of commenting on my favourite blogs to some extent too (I do drop by them often though).  Unfortunately we have had a few family trials and tribulations which are likely to be ongoing for quite sometime and these are also the reason I haven't managed to do the blog post I intended on Jenna and Tony's Wedding.  Around the time of the wedding I had set in motion an assessment of my 83 year old Mum and what we suspected has been confirmed, she has Alzheimers and we are now waiting for an ECG next week to see if she is able to have the drugs which will hopefully slow down the effects of this awful disease.  It will be October before she sees the consultant to get the prescription though so that's another month for the deterioration to progress.  The other event which  as a Mum and doting Mamma is occupying much of my time and thoughts is that our lovely Son's marriage has ended.  I know it happens all the time and is not the end of the world, it happened to me over 40 years ago but thankfully, I had no children at that time and could quickly move on with my life.  Jamie has a little girl (as my regular visitors will know) who he adores and the effect this is having on both of them is the really upsetting (to put it mildly) part.  Anyway,  that's the situation put very simplistically and I'm trying hard to recover my normal rather leisurely rhythm, lol!  I'll be back a bit quicker next time I hope but in the meantime thanks for bearing with me.  Lots of love Lesley  Xx

Monday, 8 August 2011

Snazzys DT project #2 ............ and 2 of my special people.

Hi Everyone,

I hope you've all had a fab weekend with some time to do something nice.  We had our son Jamie and granddaughter Alexa for lunch yesterday which was definitely a happy few hours for us.  Also over the weekend I got to download some photos we took last Sunday when all our family had a day out at the zoo so I thought I'd share a couple with you.

This one is Jamie and Alexa

and this one is Izzy (Isabella) and her Daddy (our SIL Tony).  She just had to have a quick nap to restock the energy levels, lol!

Finally, I just wanted to remind you that it's my turn to post my first proper DT project over on the Snazzys DT Blog.  If you would like to have a look click on the picture of Snazzys in my sidebar.  Here's a little peek.


I hope your week is good to you.  I really appreciate your visit.

Lesley  Xx

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Beautiful Grasses

Hi Everyone,

All I am going to say about the current weather is PHEW!!!!!! lol!

Today I have a card to share with you that I made using the lovely  Home Sweet Home set of stamps from Chocolate Baroque.  This particular stamp is my personal favourite from the set simply because I love grasses but all the stamps in the set are lovely.

Although it looks a relatively simple card it did take a bit of math to work out the positioning of the embossed lines separating each image (and math has never been my strong point, lol).  I used three different colours of ink, mostly Distress Inks, to blend around the edges of each of my squares and a co-ordinating shade of either Versafine or Archival ink to stamp the images.  I rounded the corners if each square and matted them onto co-ordinating coloured card leaving a narrow border round each one.

 Before attaching the brown square to my base card I tied some wired paper cord round it and then attached the word Hello on a little tab with 3D foam pads.

 I used a Cuttlebug die and embossing folder set to cut and emboss the butterfly from perlescent card and just attached it by the body to the wings could be shaped and left free.

 I was really pleased with this particular card, possibly because I got the embossed squares right first time, lol!

Don't forget you can still give yourselves extra chances to win this gorgeous set of stamps by leaving comments on as many DT members blogs and the Chocolate Baroque Design Team blog as possible.  Glenda will be drawing a random winner soon.

Have a lovely afternoon everyone.

Lesley  Xx

Friday, 29 July 2011

The Changing Seasons!

'Morning Everyone,

It's almost weekend and according to our local forecast it looks like being a pleasant one weather wise which is good for me because we are having a family weekend and hope to have a trip out somewhere on Sunday.

Over on the Chocolate Baroque blog you will find Glenda has just launched a lovely new set of stamps called Home Sweet Home.  These are really lovely (as are all the CB stamps, lol) and are very much in the quite distinctive style of Clarice Cliff.  There are some really useful stamps on this A5 set too and my favourite is one of grasses silhoutted against a sun/moon.  Glenda is doing a giveaway of one set of stamps and the winner will be taken at random from the commentors on the Chocolate Baroque DT blog, Glenda's own blog and any DT member's blog posts using this set of stamps which will be published over the next few days.  All the details are on the DT blog here. I've already done a post over there with an acetate card I made for the DT and now I'm going to share a different project on here.

In my cross stitching days, a friend of mine did a set of round cross stitched wall hangings all done in the Clarice Cliff style using blocks of bold colour and when I saw these stamps that's what sprang into my mind immediately.  I remembered I had bought a set of coasters which were meant to have cross stitched pieces of work inserted into them.  They had been stuck in the cupboard for at least 12 years, ahem! so I got them out and made inserts using the lovely house stamps.  I decided to create one for each of the seasons and drew in some extra hills in the rather childlike fashion that mimmicked my friend's cross stitched pieces.

Don't forget to visit the DT blog and all my teamies (the link is in my sidebar) and leave a little comment.  Wish I could invite you all for coffee to christen the coasters but I've passed them on to Glenda, lol!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

Lesley  Xx