Friday, 31 December 2010

one little word


i know it sounds strange, but i feel that my word has chosen me this year. as i stated in my earlier post, i often think that i could do better, i think i just need to believe in myself and my abilities more. i started this journey in 2007 when i chose the word "sparkle", followed by "freedom" and then last year "thankful". "sparkle" was chosen as i was just starting a new phase in my life where i really wanted to shine, i felt that sparkle was more descriptive than shine and suited what i wanted to demonstrate better. having established my sparkle, i needed to re-evaluate and live my life as i intended and therefore "freedom" was born. last year i wanted to remind myself that i have a lot to be thankful for, and i have to say this was hard. it was hard to really "live" this all year round, but especially one of the things that has reminded me of this recently has been the support offered by my friends over the last few weeks.

i am so thankful for your words of kindness and encouragement, i am so thankful that you are all in my life.

i signed up for ali's class. i am creating my journal and i am in the process of decorating my diary as a way of reminding myself of my word each day.

i am excited for the new year to begin, bring it on.....

Monday, 27 December 2010

i'm liberating myself.....

from my december daily. it's just not going to plan. to be honest, i am questioning why i am continuing with crafting. i do enjoy it and i have made some wonderful friends through this hobby, but, there is a downside, i spend countless hours searching for the "perfect" paper, embellishments and photo's and nothing lives up to the standards i set for myself. all this means is that i get nothing done, or end up trying to do the same page over and over again and eventually give up.

therefore, on this project, for this year, i am setting myself free.

i need to seriously downsize my mountain of supplies and lose about 3/4 of what i have. so, give me a call, come over and see what i've got, bargain prices to a good home!

i am, however, going to sign up for ali's "one little word" class for 2011. more on that and why i have chosen this in my next post. i think this will be my only project for 2011.

i am confident that i can keep up with this, it's one page per month, how hard can it be.....

Friday, 24 December 2010

some christmas cards to share

and as i know my friend jen will be looking at this, i hope you have a lovely christmas and that santa brings you everything you wish for x x

this card i made for my mum, aunty and 2 cousins:-

i took inspiration for this card from tim's 12 tags from last year. the background paper is from graphic 45 and the music notes from one of tim's stamp sets "holiday wishes". i inked vellum with old paper distress ink, tore the edges and heated this with my heat gun. this smokes like crazy, but it's ok, it gives the vellum a really aged feel. i then edged this with vintage photo distress ink. the lamp post is chipboard, painted this with a black paint dabber and adhered to the vellum. 

i used my trusty vintage photo distress ink again to edge an adage ticket and used a wreath for the final touch (these are actually from a dolls house furniture store!

my second card is for my husband:-

a different feel to this card entirely. i used my cottagecutz dies to punch the reindeer stable, santa's workshop and trees and icicle stickles to give the snow some definition.

the paper is very old - paper adventures "starry skies".

merry christmas everyone, i'll post next week with some more december daily pictures.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010


about this:-

i missed out on the lb crafts event as i was on holiday without internet connection when the tickets went on sale (and they sold out within minutes of going on sale!), so i am super excited about this. the down side - a 4 hour car journey to harrogate and a 4am start, but hey it will be worth it!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

december daily - dec 2nd

i love it when i can break into the christmas cd stack and start listening to all my old favourites and rewatch christmas movies for the hundredth time!

december daily - dec 1st

the journalling says "every year, i watch out for the trademark red cup at starbucks, because this means the gingerbread latte is back! this is one of my favourite christmas traditions"

Saturday, 18 December 2010

got to get back on track.....

with my december daily album. i have taken some pictures but not actually scrapped anything yet. the truth is i "fiddled" with the cover i made and showed earlier, but i am really not happy with it. so, i have had another go and here is the new cover:-

i am much happier with this. all i have to do now is get on with the pages!!

Friday, 3 December 2010

christmas traditions

i love hot chestnuts, i wish they were available all year round, but i suppose i wouldn't enjoy them as much of they were. we stayed open late tonight for the wantage dickensian evening, where they officially turn on the christmas lights. great fun, but very, very cold!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

happy december!!

i am getting so excited for christmas already!! we put the decorations up yesterday and now my living room is all christmassy! i love this time of year, it's the only time when i feel that i really relax and switch off from everything except my friends and family.

my favourite thing about coming home from work at christmas is that just the christmas lights are on in the living room, it's really cozy, i love sitting for a while and catching up on the days news.

i love coming home to the roman candles in the window.

i love the fire.

i love opening the advent calendar.

i love opening and constructing the christmas jigsaw puzzles.

i love christmas cd's in the car

i love christmas!!

i am attempting a december daily album this year. although i will not have my pages completed, i will take the pictures and post my pages when they are complete.

my first picture:-

it simply wouldn't be december without the red cup and gingerbread latte from starbucks. i love this!!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

advent calendar

i've been planning this project for a while now. i had an idea in my head already, but kaisercraft beat me to it!! i changed it up a bit by painting the framework and tree and adding some of my own embellishments. i'm still pleased with the way it turned out.

Friday, 26 November 2010

only one card to share today

i was asked to make a new baby girl card for a friend at work. this is what i came up with. the papers are imaginisce and i combined these with some bazzill bling and a qk die for the stroller. sorry for the less than perfect picture!

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Thursday, 25 November 2010

my little haul.....

it is freezing and the weather forecast is predicting snow. if it does, it will be the first snow this far south for 17 years. i am sitting all wrapped up in front of a blazing fire, lovely!

i received my order today from papertrey ink.

i am not a stamper, i keep saying that, but actually i have been buying more stamps than anything else lately. i also bought some of their metal dies, which are similar in thickness to quickutz, but oh so cute!!

i have no projects to share today. i am getting ready for the wycombe crop on saturday. i am making an advent calendar, so stay tuned for pictures!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

playing away

was the title of the class i took yesterday and this was what i created:-

the mini suitcase was plain papier mache when i started and this is inked and painted in several layers. i then added the labels (all tim holtz stamps) and used some inca gold on the edges. the mini book started life as plain chipboard painted black, clear embossed and then i used some paints perfect pearls to give it a shimmery effect. i also used a tim holtz frame and adage ticket.

i had a fabulous time at this class, thanks linda, you are one clever lady!!

Monday, 15 November 2010

more projects to show

when we created the box frame at artsycrafts, i knew exactly what i would recreate with this project and this is it:-

i would like to add some detail around the edges of the inside of the box, but until i find something suitable it will remain blank, i don't think it looks too bad though, somtimes simple is ok.

i am off to a class with the lovely linda elbourne at lb crafts today, i'll post the project tomorrow.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

i have the best friends......

i've spent a lovely day with my friend jen today, crafting and chatting. 

we went to the didcot railway centre for a while. they are filming some scenes from the new sherlock holmes movie there and we went to have a look at the set. amazing is the only word that describes what they are doing. we came away with so much inspiration. unfortunately we are not allowed to post any pictures as the film isn't being released until next year.

i have been working on the cover for my december daily album today. i know that the idea behind this album is to have all the basic pages prepared before the event, i'm not sure i will achieve that, but i do plan to do as much as possible beforehand.

here is a picture of the cover:-

i started by covering a piece 5 x 7 piece of chipboard in papers from fancypants, edged with a tim holtz espresso paint dabber. i then added some inca gold to the corners to give some extra definition. the chipboard frame is a very old product from deluxe designs. again i used the espresso dabber and inca gold. i also painted the tim holtz numerals in gold and used a jenni bowlin studio bingo card for the background. finally the gold decoration is from sainsburys!!!

 julie-anne popped around last night with a very early christmas present for me

i have been searching for this die for ever, it is the last one i need to complete my collection, i now have every 2x2 die quickutz have ever produced, that's over 1000 in total!! thank you julie-anne, you are a star!!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

craft fair

jen and i had a great day at didcot craft fair today. we were lucky and had been given a double stand, which was just as well really as we had way too much stuff for just one!! this was our first fair and a bit of a trial for us to see what sold well and what didn't. we have some more ideas for future fairs and have been asked if we would like to do another in a couple of weeks time, which is good news.

here are some pictures of the event:-

all in all, and for our first fair, we had a good day. thanks to everyone who came and offered their support, it was much appreciated.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

you simply must read this book....

i finished it today as i am still off sick and feeling poorly.

i'm not sure what the draw was with this. it isn't the usual book that i would choose to read. i saw it at the airport when i went to creative escape and it has been on my mind ever since. i finally bought it last monday and have read it over the course of the last week. it's the kind of book that you can easily read in one sitting because you really, really want to find out what happens. i won't spoil it by telling you what happens, but to say it moved me is an understatement, i was in floods of tears most of the way through!

all i can say is read it, you will love it!!

Monday, 1 November 2010

day two of artsycrafts

and this is what i created

to think that this started out as a plain wooden frame and some corrugated card!! i truly loved getting all inky and painty and putting this together. i wasn't happy with it to start off with, the bottom half was far too red and although shades of that remain, i repainted it, inked it and added some mega thick embossing powder to tone it down and voila!!

here is linda elbourne with her art...

this looked absolutely stunning in teal, i wish i'd got a better picture.

for this last week, i have been quite ill, so much so that i had a day off work on friday, a little unheard of in my world, i don't "do" ill, i prefer just to keep going, but on this occasion, i had to stop. i watched rubbish tv all day and slept for a vast portion of it!

over the weekend, i felt a little better and i have been busy preparing for the craft fair, which is next sunday. i now have my snowman soup, santa soup, snowman poop, snowman kisses, holiday journals, door hangers and tags all ready, i just have to finish the gift card holders and then i'm all set.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

day one of artsycrafts

so, now that the artsycrafts warrington peeps have had day one, i'm free to post my projects now. i hope they are having as much fun as we did, i definitely learnt some new techniques and have a great christmas idea for the book album already!

here is project number one, this is the front cover of the shadow book. we used paperartsy's new line of papers, which are lovely to work with. i especially liked how alterable they are, we used gesso, inks and paints to make them our own. we also used ten second studio molds to make the frame and stamped images and backgrounds to decorate.

this is the inside of the box

in the afternoon, we created this shadow box

i loved using the inks and sprays in this project, i'm not totally happy with the way this came out, i think it's too wishy washy, but i was happy to learn the techniques. this project was layered in about 5 sections which gives it some real depth. i was actually very surprised how easy it was to work with the metal, once you learn the sandwich of metal, humungo tape and cardstock, anything is possible!!

i'll be back tomorrow with my sunday project...

Sunday, 24 October 2010

back from artsycrafts

i'm back from a fabulous weekend at artsycrafts. new techniques, new projects, new friends and lots of laughs along the way.

unfortunately i can't show you any of the projects at the moment in case anyone attending next weekend at warrington sees them, so it will be next sunday before i can post these, but here is a peek of leandra directing everyone mid project!!

Thursday, 21 October 2010


this is where i'm off to this weekend and i am really looking forward to learning new techniques and what they have in store for us. the sneak peeks are up on the blog - yours artfully - and i am looking forward to catching up with jen after a pretty stressful week at work.

the exam didn't go so well, but i won't know definitely until i get the results on 17 december, it's a long time to wait, i just have to put it to the back of my mind, hard when i'm sure i've done badly.

i am off now to get my head into my copy of somerset holidays and celebrations which arrived in the post today. more when i get back from the weekend.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

rose heart art

this project is a mix of ten second studio metalwork, tim holtz products and wendy vecchi studio 490 stamps. the background was made by cutting the top off a 7gypsies chipboard piece. i started off by using some green ten second studio metal and a kabuka mold. i randomly traced over some of the squares and then applied some alcohol inks over the top. the colours i used were lettuce, pesto and meadow. 

once they were applied i them wiped over some black acrylic paint from a dabber and wiped off the excess with a piece of kitchen towel

i them applied the background to the chipboard using double sided sticky sheet. i used an edging tool to give this some definition and then applied black paint dabber around the outside.

to make the rose, i made a sticky tape sandwich!! i used the method for grungepaper roses, only i substituted the grungepaper for cardstock, sticky sheet and some more ten second studio metal, this time in red. i randomly traced a pattern of swirls on the rose and again used the dabber technique to give this some definition and then mounted this on 2 slightly larger grungepaper flowers, which i just simply cut out, inked with fired brick and barn door distress ink and stamped with a background stamp on top.

the leaves were stamped with olive stazon and then inked with forest moss and bundled sage. i find using 2 similar colours of distress inks really give you the two tone effect and some body to the project.

the heart was another wendy vecchi studio 490 stamp, again, i made a sticky tape sandwich, but this time, i embossed the heart myself with a couple of the ten second studio tools.

for the silver strip in the project, i just used a couple of different tools across a piece of silver metal and then a paint dabber to grunge it up and for the joy, i hand wrote this into metal and alcohol inked it. i wasn't happy with the way this looked originally, so i applied some alcohol ink blending solution over the top of the ink, which allowed the silver metal to show through, much better.

i glued this in behind the nameplate and attached this with 2 brads.

lastly, i filled a tiny 7gyspies bottle with some beads and added this to the project.

i am pleased with the overall effect.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

rudolph's spares

all ready for the craft fair. this is just one of the lines i will be selling. I hand cut the tags and used coredinations cardstock, and bazzill bling for the reindeer. the reindeer shape is a quickutz die. the oval tag and scallop oval shapes are stampin' up punches. i have to confess to loving stampin' up products, as well as my 'distress everything' nature, i also have the opposite tendency to go 'clean and simple' sometimes, and they always fit the bill nicely. i also love the way all their products coordinate together, very easy when you need to put a card together in a hurry!

as it gets nearer, i am realising just how unprepared i am!! still, i always say i work better under pressure, so this will be my test. i know i'll also focus more when my exam is over on wednesday.

i am currently yearning after these:-

so many possibilities, i can't wait to get my grubby little hands on them!!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

nothing crafty today :-(

i have an exam next week and today is a study day. 

i am not very focussed at self study.

i am not good at exams.

my phones keep ringing.


i do want to pass.

so, despite this little break to blog, back to it, head in the books.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

getting in the christmas spirit

i guess i have been preparing for the craft fair so much, i am really in the christmas spirit at the moment and reading ali's blog is really getting me excited!!

although i didn't actually finish a december daily last year, i plan to give it another go in 2010, i think in 2009 i was just too focussed on it, i wanted it to be perfect and the cost of that perfection was a few photo's, about 2 completed pages and not much else. this year, i plan to go with the moment. i love how ali abandons perfection (although her stuff always looks pretty perfect to me!), but she works with what she has. i focus so much on getting the perfect photo, the perfect element, the perfect paper and the end result is that i'm too scared to actually follow this through.

not this year.

this year, i am going to create my foundation.

this year, i am going to go with the flow and abandon perfection.

this year, i am going to blog my page every day.

this year, i am going to finish the entire album.

i am still working on the craft fair. this is my workdesk in the living room at the moment:-

there is a small amount of organised chaos to it, i promise, i did actually clear the mat area for the photo too, I didn't realise that it was so warped and discoloured - yuk!! 13 tags made, another 12 to go! tomorrow i will be working on 'santa stop here' door hangers for the fair and die cutting some snowmen for my 'snowman soup'.

Monday, 4 October 2010

my other obsession and more craft fair goodies

apart from anything crafty, i have to confess to another obsession, pandora beads. i've always had a bit of a bracelet fetish, and so when i discovered these, i was hooked! i love the fact that you can mix and match according to your mood, your outfit and just be a little different every day.

anyway, here are my new beads. i know, i know, it's not christmas yet and i'm not sure i can wait that long before i wear them, well the shops have got their christmas goodies in already, why should i be any different?!!

i thought the little red glass bead went perfectly, what do you think?

i have also been continuing working on items for the craft fair, this time on gift tags, these will be sold in packs of 5.

for the tag, i used plain kraft cardstock, the patterned paper is basic grey wassail collection "winterberry" and i embossed white cardstock with my trust qk snowflake embossing folder. the border punch is martha stewart and the stamp from stampin up.

Monday, 27 September 2010

craft fair preparation

well, i think the vendors fair worked. i wasn't very inspired on saturday at the crop and only managed a few die cuts in preparation for some tags i am making. this is all in preparation for a craft fair on 7 november. this is one of the lines - gift card holders, they are £1.50 each.

more projects to follow.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

nothing crafty to report

as i've been away to cornwall for a week with richard. the coastal villages are beautiful. this is mevagissey, one of the nicest.

we ate a lot of ice cream, and i mean every day!! we went to the eden project, which we enjoyed, but it was very expensive.

and went by jamaica inn. i was fascinated to re-read the book as i haven't read it for probably 20 years. i loved it, i do like books where i am "in" the story and this one didn't disappoint. when we went by the inn, the atmosphere was perfect and it was exactly as i imagined.

i am not feeling very creative this week, i have a course for the next 2 days, although i am going to a crop on saturday and a vendors fair on sunday, so maybe they will inspire me to get creative.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

creative escape - friday night extravaganza

we created a cute memo board and used the new i-top brad maker tool, very, very nice project.

creative escape - teresa collins

this album was teresa all over, we used her own product line and loads of bling! my album needs photo's badly, as the picture simply doesn't do it justice without. i am going to make this a family album for christmas. we also used the cinch binding tool, i was tempted, but i do have a bind it all, so i will be sticking with that for the time being.

creative escape - pam black

wow, this class was fast!! i stayed caught up really well, but as i hadn't gone to the technique boutique on thursday, there were a few elements that i did not get to do. therefore, again, a heart is missing from the left hand side of the album. i enjoyed this class immensely. 

creative escape - heidi swapp

in this class we created a hanging album, totally heidi!! there is a flower missing from the right hand side of the album, and heidi's had a crown on the top, so mine still has some work to be done. a cute project, but again, not very challenging.

creative escape - maggie holmes

maggie's class was a talk about photography. i have done two of maggies classes before, so i was really excited about this. the talk was interesting and for me, personally, would have been more beneficial if i had been able to practice what she was saying as i went along, she talked about experimenting with light, focus etc. i am not at all technical and need to "do" to get the most from this type of class.

nevertheless, we completed the front and back covers of a cute album, which was totally maggie!