Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Last minute post before the end of 2013.........

Morning lovely visitors,

Because of our midweek Christmas Day this year I was unable to visit one of my favourite inspirational blogs until the end of the week.  This year PaperArtsy have given us a whole year of fabulous projects and techniques by various very talented crafters/artists using PaperArtsy products and it fell to Jo Myhill to round off the year with more of her wonderful work.  Jo has the brilliant skill of using multiple layers in her work creating lots of depth and fabulous texture which I greatly admire.  Having caught up with her posts I really wanted to enter the weekly challenge but missed the deadline :-(.  I was enjoying myself though so decided to complete the canvas I was attempting taking Jo's first project of the week as my inspiration.  So I have an unexpected project to post on the last day of 2013 ............... thank you Jo!

I won't give the lowdown on how I made this piece as I more or less followed Jo's methods which she shows beautifully in the PaperArtsy blog post you can whizz to from the link above.

Although I only had one PaperArtsy moth stamp and struggled to find a main image the right size for the centre piece, in the end I managed to make this entirely using PaperArtsy products ;D!

Thank you Leandra and the PaperArtsy team for a year of brilliant projects and not forgetting Leandra's fab videos which you can access from the blog.  The current challenge for this week is actually based  on two such videos posted at the end of last week and I'm so hoping I get time to play again later in the week.

Well, tonight sees the end of 2013 and I for one won't be sorry to see it go.  It hasn't been the best of years on a personal basis but I have lots of hope that 2014 will be a turn around for me and mine so bring it on!!!!

I hope you all have a fabulous evening seeing in the New Year in your favourite way.  My OH and I will be enjoying a lovely meal and the company of some very dear friends with whom we have spent our New Year Eve for nearly 30 years, these days just the four of us now our respective children have flown the nests ;-).

Finally I would like to say thanks for your visits and encouraging comments over the past year and I wish you all a Happy, Healthy & peaceful New Year.

Much love
Lesley  Xx

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Before Christmas is well and truly over for this year.............

.............I just want to show you a gift I made for some crafty friends for the 2013 Pay It Forward.

I got a shock when I paid a long overdue visit to my own blog today and realised it's about 6 weeks since I posted anything!!!  I'm afraid crafting has had to take a bit of a back seat to family stuff recently but I'm hoping things settle down a bit in the New Year so I can delve into all the fab crafty stuff I have waiting to be explored..

Anyway, way back early in the year I pledged to make a gift for five crafting friends who expressed a wish to receive something from me.  These items had to be sent before the end of 2013 and as I left it so late I decided to make something for Christmas that they would hopefully like enough to use for several years to come.  I took inspiration from two places for these MDF hanging hearts.  The first side was from a lovely crafter I met through Twitter and you can see Hazel's decorations HERE.  The inspiration for the second side came from a project by Anna-Karin Evaldsson in the December issue of Craft Stamper Magazine

1st Side

I used co-ordinating papers, distressing all the edges to cover this side, with lace to cover the join. I applied Versamark ink with Cut n Dry foam around the edges and applied Wow Bright White embossing powder. I used my Tim Holtz/Sizzix Tattered Poinsettia die to cut the flower and leaves adding Distress Dry Glitter to the edges and the centre. I stamped the 'BELIEVE' circle and die cut it with a Spellbinder die and then inked the edges.

2nd Side

For this side I first gave a coat of PaperArtsy Fresco Finish acrylic paint but I'm afraid I can't remember what colour it was, lol!  I also can't remember which order I did the background in as it was before the mayhem of Christmas preparations but if includes stamping random text using Archival ink and a pine branch using Versamark and then heat embossing with Wow Bright White EP before blending Distress Inks over the top.  I think the Merry Christmas is an Inkadinkado stamp which I stamped in Red Geranium Archival and then die cut with a Spellbinders label die.  I inked the edges and then using the Tim Holtz/Sizzix Tattered Pinecone die I cut and twirled and curled and glittered all the pinecones I needed, lol!  I have to admit I don't find these pinecones very easy to make and they look more like flowers than cones to me, lol, but they ended up looking quite nice I think.

I was actually more pleased with these hanging hearts (the MDF blank hearts were from the MDF Man who can be found at lots of craft shows around the country and bonus....... his workshop is only 15 minutes away from me ;D) than I expected to be and will definitely make more as gifts for next year.

Well I hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas and that you are looking forward to New Year celebrations now.  Thank you for making time to visit my little bit of cyber space during this busy time of year and I will try to be a better blogger in the New Year ahead.

I would like to wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2014 and especially all the poor folk who have been affected badly by the awful storms we have been lashed by this past week, I hope your lives get back to normal as soon as possible.

Lots of love and hugs
Lesley  Xx

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Not exactly batch making!

Happy Sunday Morning everyone!

Once again I'm scraping in by the skin of my teeth, lol!  The lovely Darcy (who you can find HERE) has been running a challenge this week to win a set of her very fun Christmas Stamps designed for PaperArtsy.  The challenge is to use one stamp to make as many cards as possible using different techniques ....... I managed 3, lol! ....... hence the title of my post!  I have quite a few ideas for more but unfortunately time ran out on me.  I had decided to spend the whole of yesterday evening having fun with these cards but a lot of people living around here seemed to have saved the noisiest fireworks they could find and were letting them all off last night for nearly 5 hours!!!!!  Even several heavy downpours didn't stop them. This meant that we had a poor dog being driven to distraction and getting himself in a right old hysterical state and needing my attention more than my cards. I really hope that's the end of the fireworks for this year.

Anyway, enough of my little rant, on to the cards I did manage to make.  I don't yet have any PaperArtsy Christmas stamps by any of their designers yet so have used a holly swirl stamp from my rather large collection of other Christmas stamps.  I bought this stamp (along with the lovely candle stamp used on my last card) at the NEC about 3 years ago and this is the first time it has seen and inkpad....... shame on me!

Card #1

 Bottom layer is stamped with Watermark inkpad & top layer is stamped with Versamark & clear embossed before blending Iced Spruce & Evergreen Bough Distress Inks then flicking water droplets & dabbing off with tissue.

The sentiment is coloured with Sakura Sparkle Pens which is my favourite subtle hint of sparkle ..... had forgotten how much I like them ;D!


 Very simple card with holly swirl stamped using Bottle Adirondack dye ink and heat embossed with clear EP.  The holly leaves are punched from a piece of white card painted with metallic paint.

Card #3

This card is stamped with sticky stuff and then had gilding flakes applied for the holly swirl.

This is the candle stamp I bought to go with the holly swirl all that while ago & it is stamped with Black Archival ink with touches of watercolour using Distress Inks and a tiny bit of gilding to the flame.  I used a Spellbinders label die and layered it onto some Christmas dp I've had in my stash for ?????? years!

The sentiment is a freebie from a mag I bought this week.  Don't usually buy mags any more but loved this Kaisercraft stamp, papers & Kraft tags that were the free gifts .  This time I've watercoloured it with Distress Inks.

I've used PaperArtsy Smoothy card for all the above makes and it is lovely to stamp onto

So there you have my three offerings for the challenge.  If it hadn't been for the bl.....y fireworks, for my next card I was going to try stamping the swirl with Fresco Finish Snowflake to create a resist.  I'll still have a go at that after I've made a couple of cards I need before next Monday.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone and till next time .................

Lesley  Xx

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Poor neglected stamps!

Hello everyone,

After my last marathon post I'll try to keep this one fairly short (Yippee I hear you all shout!).  I am really disorganised when it comes to  getting cards made in time for folks' birthdays but I was really pleased with myself that today's card was finished and posted in plenty of time for it to reach it's destination by the due date, lol!

I made this card a few weeks ago for a crafting friend who has moved to Scotland.  Since I have know her Lynne has made me some beautiful birthday cards (all carefully saved) so I wanted to make sure I made something I was really pleased with.  I used the Indigo Blu anemone corner stamped onto white card and coloured with Derwent Coloursoft pencils.  I stamped the beautiful  hummingbird from Designs by Ryn onto white card and coloured with pencils again before cutting it out.

I stamped the raindrops, also from Designs by Ryn, onto acetate (hence the reflection on each photo, lol) and cut this to the same size as the white square.  I decided where I wanted the humming bird to be positioned on top of the acetate and placed some Cosmic Shimmer (dries clear) glue underneath this point and also where the sentiment was going to be to hold the acetate in place.  I matted these two layers onto a square of co-ordinating blue card and then onto the card base before adding the bird and the sentiment, which was stamped and die cut, with 3D foam.

Although this card somehow didn't end up quite what I'd had in mind at the outset, I was still very happy with it and really enjoyed good old fashioned pencil colouring.  It's the first time I've used any of the stamps and I love them all.  The raindrops are so cleverly designed and look so realistic I think.

I managed to meet up with Lynne for a quick catch up at the StampMagic show at Doncaster a few weeks ago which was lovely and if you have to time to follow the link I put in to her blog you'll find some beautiful cards and also some wonderful photographs of the very special area she lives in now.

Till next time ...................

Lesley  Xx

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Wow, I finally managed to make something!

Hi lovely visitors and thanks for your visit today.

Blimey hasn't the weather been awful again but unfortunately not quite bad enough here to blow the blooming fireworks out!  I should think we have a few more evenings of the darned things driving us and more to the point, the dog, crazy before we can relax of an evening again.  This morning though I have gorgeous sunshine beaming into my craftroom ;-).

Anyway, yesterday I sneaked in a crafty playday ...... at the expense of the bottomless ironing pile, lol!  All week I had been wanting to join in with the current PaperArtsy Blog Challenge because the wonderfully talented Jo Myhill had inspired me with her very first project of the week.  The other two are equally inspiring but I knew I only had time for one ................ at the rate I work anyway, lol!

I loved Jo's little wooden frames but only had one in my stash (bought from PaperArtsy at the StampMagic Show a couple of weeks ago) and it is bigger than Jo's at 15 x 15 cm so I decided to turn mine into a Christmas decor piece but still following Jo's techniques in the main.  This is the result!

Although I have quite a few PaperArtsy stamps in my collection I don't yet have any Christmas ones yet (really fancying some of the JoFY ones ;D) but I did use the Mini 61 script, a border from HP1102 and a little circle from HP1008 for the centre of my Shrink flowers.  The Merry Christmas and flowers that I stamped the Shrink Plastic with are from my other collections.   The photos follow the sequence of events in the progress of making this project although, as usual I got carried away getting painty and kept forgetting to take some stages, lol!

I used Fresco paints, Archival inks and Treasure Gold throughout.


When I painted the shrink plastic I thought what a bl....ooming mess, lol, but once I had stamped all over it it looked much better and once cut out and shrunk I was really pleased with it.

Here's a before and after shot.



As Jo said it does take on a sort of velvety look and feel but you do have to be careful when handling it as it's easy to flake off the Frescos.  Jo was right about the patience you need to let it all dry too ;-) not to mention assembling the flowers!


I stamped and die cut the sentiment using a piece of the Shrink plastic I had left over.

Being me I wanted to add more foliage and so I used my Tim Holtz garland to cut various pieces from card painted with Holly and Claret Frescos.


The Arty Inklings Challenge is anything Christmas so I'm going to enter this project there too.
EDIT  I'm also entering this into the Stamping Sensations Challenge which is Christmas.
            and The Artistic Stamper November Challenge which is also Christmas.
EDIT EDIT (lol) I'm new to entering multiple challenges and yesterday I linked up to the
                     Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge which was anything goes but forgot to put a link back                        to their blog on here.  The challenge has closed  now so it's probably too late but I'm going to                        link anyway 'cos there are such fab things to see over there.


Well, I still haven't made any Christmas cards but I'm really pleased with this little decoration.  Thanks for getting me started Jo.

Hope you all enjoy what's left of the weekend.  Till next time ................

Lesley  Xx

Friday, 4 October 2013

A very important birthday ......

Hello Again,

Happy Friday to those of you who have finished work for the weekend and for those who don't get the weekend off I hope you have a pleasant two days work.  I'm also hoping the weather is going to cheer up a wee bit for us all.  It's been very mild here with a high of 17c today but we've also had quite a bit of rain again.

Anyway, to get back on track, yesterday was my favourite Daughter's (I only have the one, lol) birthday so I thought I'd share the card I made for her.

It was a simple and relaxing card to make using stamps from the Jo Firth-Young range at PaperArtsy.  The spikey flowers which I love are from JOFY14 set and the words are from JOFY11.

Everything was stamped using Onyx Black Versafine ink and I chose a selection of words (there are others on the set too) to make the sentiment I wanted, cut them out and added them to the card with foam pads to give a bit of dimension.

I used Derwent Coloursoft pencils on the spikey flowers.

I'm looking forward to seeing Jenna (and her family) on Sunday afternoon for a few hours as OH and I are off up the A1 for tea with them all.  It will be cuddles all round ;D!

Have a smashing weekend everyone and till next time ...................

Lesley  Xx

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

What a smashing weekend I had!

Hi everyone,

Nice to 'see' you and thanks for dropping by!

I spent last weekend in Milton Keynes with a lovely group of ladies I've come to know through Twitter.  Sam I met briefly irl at the last StampMagic show along with Emma and I also spent time with Emma at the Anna Diabrowska weekend in Swindon a few weeks ago.  The rest of the ladies in our group I had never met face to face before but somehow it doesn't really seem that way when you've been tweeting regularly for a few months, lol!  Lin was the one who had arranged a weekend of classes with the lovely Lin Brown (YoursArtfully) for our special little band and we were joined by Helen, Jax and Jacqui plus Janet (who is not a tweeter).  The workshops were held at a lovely shop called The Bead Scene which led to lots of temptation to buy pretty buttons, charms & ribbons ....... needless to say I didn't take much tempting, lol!

Unfortunately, I had to keep my head down and crack on with my projects to have any chance of keeping up with the others so I didn't get chance to take any photos of the other ladies but if you drop by Sam's blog she has some lovely pics of us all.  She's a speedy Gonzalez when it comes to crafting and got time to keep the camera clicking ;D!

Here are some pics of the beautiful project we did on the Saturday.

And some pics of the gorgeous Oriental style project from Sunday.

and this is a close up of the lady in the niche.  I think she's so lovely!

I think just about all the products we used can be obtained from PaperArtsy, including all the stamps.

I've not given any how to instructions because that wouldn't be fair to Lin but if ever you get chance to go to one of her workshops, please do.  She's a lovely lady and wonderfully patient teacher.  We all had such a fab weekend and can't wait to do it again.

I'll be back again soon but till then ........

Lesley  Xx

Thursday, 19 September 2013

A Birthday card for a very special friend which is also my last DT project for Snazzy's

 Hello and welcome lovely visitors,

As I was fresh from the fabulous weekend of Anna Dabrowska workshop at Snazzy's so had a head full of 'Finn' style techniques, I wanted to make a birthday card for Elaine who spent part of that weekend with me, that included at least a nod towards Anna's style.  I also wanted to make a 2nd project for my final week on the Snazzy's DT so decided to combine the two.  So, instead of my usual sneak peek of a DT project I am going to show more photographs on here but if you want a bit more detail on the how to, please hop over to the Snazzy's DT blog.

Whilst I really liked the chalk effect designs on one side of the papers, most of them cried out for scrapbooking but the reverse sides are the ones I really fell in love with so these are what I used for both my DT projects this month and they were perfect for Elaine's card.  There was also a perfect sentiment on one of the stickers so it just had to be, lol!

I chose to co-ordinate all the embellishments rather than alter the colours with sprays as you usually see in Anna's beautiful work but I did want the dimension.

I loved playing with all these bits and pieces but I still can't stop 'over thinking' as Anna puts it, lol!  It takes me an age of moving things around until the balance pleases my eye ;D!

Until next time.............

Lesley  Xx

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

PaperArtsy Blog Challenge - Joanne Wardle Inspiration (2)

Morning again,

Wow, this has to be a first for me, two posts within an hour, lol!

This is my second card taking inspiration from Joanne over on the PaperArtsy blog.  Once again I have shamelessly copied Joanne, even keeping the same name on the card because it is my son's name and he would have loved a card like this when in his teens.  Come to think of it he'd probably still like it, lol!  Anyway, you can get all the how to details from Joanne's post on the PA blog and also, once again, I have had to use stamps from my own stash. 

and a little close up

That's it for today folks.  I might manage to have a go at Joanne's bonus project from yesterday's post this evening but if not I'll try at the weekend.  I have got a post scheduled for Thursday with my final Snazzy's DT project but in actual fact I will be up in Harrogate from tomorrow night childminding this cheeky little chap for a couple of days.

my 20 month old grandson, Charlie!

Isn't he adorable but I have a feeling I will be somewhat lacking in energy when I come home Friday evening, lol!

Have a good day everyone and see you again soon.

Lesley  Xx

PaperArtsy Challenge - Joanne Wardle Inspiration

Morning All,

This week over on the fab PaperArtsy Blog, Joanne Wardle is inspiring us with her well known clean and simple style of crafting.  I love this style but often find it very difficult to pull off successfully as it means your stamping, positioning, etc., has to be spot on so something that looks deceptively easy to do isn't at all.

Now unfortunately for me, Joanne has been showcasing PaperArtsy's smashing Halloween stamps of which I don't have a single one which is a pity because I absolutely love their selection.  Having looked at them carefully now I think I might have indulge in a couple of sets.  They're bound to come in handy for my grandchildren's future parties ;D!  For now I've had to improvise with stamps from my stash.

Anyway, this is my card taking inspiration from Joanne's first project this week.

and a close up so hopefully you can see the sparkle around the gravestone and bird

I'm off to link up to the PaperArtsy blog and I'll be back with my second card very shortly.

Lesley  Xx

Monday, 16 September 2013

Snazzy's DT project #1 for September

Good Morning lovely visitors.  I hope this is the start of a good week for you all.

Today starts the final week of my creations for the wonderful Snazzy's DT as I've reluctantly decided to step down from the Design Team.  It's a decision I've been wrestling with for a few months now as family commitments have eaten into my crafting time more and more.  As many of my blogging friends know my  Mum is suffering from Alzheimers and is gradually needing more and more of my attention and for some strange reason my OH would like us to spend more time together now he has retired, lol!  However, the main reason is I have a craftroom full of gorgeous stash and no time to actually 'play' so I have decided my crafting time now is going to be for me to ink up some of those many unused stamps and alter some of those still bare alterables (of which I have loads, lol)!

I shall miss the wonderful Snazzy's crew to some extent but with the wonders of the internet and social networks like Twitter and Facebook not to mention blogs, I am sure we will keep tabs on one another, ;D.

Anyway, here is a peak at my penultimate Snazzy's project and if you would like to see the whole, please hop across to the Snazzy's DT blog.

I'll be back on Thursday with my final design for the DT and hope you can stop by again then.

Lesley  Xx

Sunday, 15 September 2013

I'm Feeling a Little Bit Blue ........

........ not really!

Good Morning lovely visitors and thanks for dropping by.

Just a nod to the weather ..... I hope if you're here in Blighty you are not  being battered too badly by gales and lashing rain.  Here in Notts it is grey and windy but not much rain so far.  It's not looking promising though :-(!

Anyway, something strange happened in my craftroom last night ............ I made something for a challenge, lol!  I think this will be only my 4th ever challenge entry, whoohoo!!!  I was rummaging through my stamp collections yesterday and came across an Indigo Blu set called Music Hall that had not seen a smidge of ink since I bought them and I remembered that the current Dragon's Dream Tag It On Challenge theme is blue, music and tissue/tissue tape so I decided to have a go.

I used Distress Stains to start off my background and then moved on to Distress Inks through several stencils/masks followed by stamping with Archival and Distress Inks, all of it in various shades of blue.   I stamped the main image onto white card, cut it out with a die and then blended Adirondack and Distress Inks over the poster image to create a spotlight effect and added the pearl drop and charm before attaching it to my tag with 3D pads.  Of course, there is some Tissue Tape on there, albeit reluctantly 'cos I don't get on with that stuff at all well. ...... takes me ages to get the darned stuff to realise it is not going to be allowed to peel off of it'ts own accord! 

I stamped the quote from the same stamp set, cut each word out separately and added them to the tag before finally adding the ribbons.

Tomorrow I'll be back with my first project of the week for Snazzy's DT so hope you can drop by again.  Till then ................

Lesley   Xx