Friday, 30 December 2011

A Christmas Birthday

On Christmas Day it was my SSG forum friend, Anne's birthday. This is the card I made for her. I wanted something simple against all the colour in her room from the Christmas cards and decorations.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

I have been frantically creating last minute things for people and completely fogot to blog the card below, which I made for Karin back in November.

Hoping you all have peace & happiness over the Christmas holiday & you all get something nice from Santa to play with in 2012!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Penny's ATC Swap

If you can remember this post about the Swap hosted by Penny, well we all received our completed books this week and now it is time to share. Go here for a tutorial on how Penny made the book. I am so pleased with my finished collection.

Don't they look fabulous!

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Happy Birthday, Audrey!

I made this for Audrey. She has not been around on the Chrysalis forum for a while, but I had to make this for her, after the success with Katie's card, which was really girly & pretty.

I used Papermania Exquisite Collection papers and matching patterened vellum for the background of this card. I like this set because they are really feminine & romantic & match perfectly. I ran the script vellum through the Big Shot with the Papermania Secret Garden Embossing folder. The image was a blog freebie and I can not remember who it came from but the name Nancy rings a few bells! I cut some wired Xmas ribbon (£ shop) in half & glued top & bottom to the image & then onto the WHSmith cream luggage tag. I punched a scalloped oval of white card & inked over a piece of waste wired ribbon using Victorian Velvet Distress ink to give a trellis look for my floral arrangement & greeting. Flowers are Prima. Foliage - Marianne Designs die. Stickles - Frosted Lace, was applied to flower centres & leaves as it is a Christmassy birthday. I attached the tag to the background using a Karen Fosters Jewelled Brad then glued the whole piece to a square card blank and inked the edges with Victorian Velvet DI. Greeting is also Papermania stamp.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

More "Movember" News

The charity (see my side bar entitled Movember) grew from strength to strength in our office this month. The boys grew the moustaches and instead of them raising sponsor money, the ladies in each department took it in turns to bake or buy cakes & pastry goods. The staff upstairs held a raffle & a name card. I'm not sure on the total raised but I'm certain we did reach £200!!!

This week was the turn of PIU, my department (Personal Insurance Unit). I did 30 homemade sausage rolls and was very proud of my efforts. Here are two photos. Can you tell I'm proud! ;0) Katie made a chocolate cake and lots of lovely butterfly buns. Andy (one of the tash growers) even made some chocolate buns which were tasty!!

I really enjoyed baking them, but the eating was far more enjoyable lol!!!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Happy Birthday, Katie!

Today, it is my friend (and work colleague's) birthday. She loves butterflies & birds, so I tried to combine both as girly and pretty as possible!

Materials Used;

Large scalloped card blank

Websters Pages Postcards from Paris Paper
TH Birdcage die cut (using Big Shot)

Bird & Butterfly stamps, Urban Papermania.

Flat Backed Pearls, Prima Marketing

Small Rose & Pink Vellum, Papermania

frosted lace Stickles (on petals of rose)

Large Pink Brad, Basic Grey

Birthday Greeting, Stampin' Up

scrap acetate from office

I layered up 3 butterflies using silicone glue & added the final vellum one for movement.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Carrie's Birthday Card

I made this card for Carrie, back in October, for her birthday.

I had forgotten that I had not shared it!

The background is a photograph I had taken while visiting the beautiful French market town of Piegut-Pluviers. I had never seen so many huge Hydrangea blooms & just had to lean over the wall to take a picture. I printed this picture onto a piece of canvas. The butterflies are stamped onto a scrap piece of the canvas & inked with Chipped Sapphire & Seedless Preserves (limited edition fall 2011) distress inks. The butterfly stamp is on the Friendship plate by ISC. I added silicone glue behind the wings so they would look as if they were in flight. It has become a favourite technique of mine lately as I love using butterflies in my work.

Carrie is very much into tactile pieces, which is why I used the canvas.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Thinking of You (both)

My sister, Tracy was involved in a car accident on Monday evening so I needed to make a quick card to let her know I was thinking about her & her poor baby car. My regular readers will remember the car got hit back in July while parked outside my flat when she came to visit. The driver was both drunk and uninsured & the car had to have £2,500 worth of repairs done on it.

This time it has been hit in the rear from a motorist whilst Tracy was at the wheel. She is hurt (whiplash) but thankfully not seriously injured and the other driver is okay too. The car will need a new back end again, that is two in 3 months.

It is Tracy's pride & joy so you can imagine how gutted she is. But metal can easily mend.

I made two cards because I smudged this first one but then I wasn't at all happy with the background of the second so decided to go with my original choice. My background is made simply by scribbling soft pastels & blending lightly with gesso. Image is Sent With Love -Gorjuss. Butterfly, bird & grasses, Papermania. Word stamps also Papermania.

It was luck I made the two cards because when I saw my friend Kate who I travel on the train with, she was sad because her pet cat had passed away. So this card fitted just right for her. I was just a little too heavy handed with the gesso towards the centre and it dried all wrong , but she loved it. Her mother was a fabulous artist using soft pastels a lot in her work so she appreciated the fact I had used them on her card.

I brought home the rest of the birthday cards I made to sell at work so that I could take the Christmas cards in their place and Claire, another train friend bought 9 of the 11 left so I was well chuffed. It was good to see them finally go!!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Christmas Cards to Share

These cards went on sale at work on 1st November. I'm hoping they sell well. I made 10 or 12 of each design (there are 9 other designs) making a total of 76 cards. I made them all during the month of October to get them out of the way. I'm hoping to get my special cards done next.

Funky Star made with patterned papers.

Large Swirl (the scalloped circle was cut, stamped & inked by me before placing on the cards)

The stars were cut from fine corrugated card. Swirl is TH die.

Gold Star. I made the stars in the same way as the scalloped circles.

I cut the "noel" using a die.

Ribbon bow & Baubles. The baubles were circles of white card stamped, embossed & coloured with distress ink. The tops have eyelets.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

MOVEMBER - Moustache Month.....

Ladies (and Gentlemen) please take a moment to read the details below.

I am helping my male colleagues to raise money for awareness of Prostrate and Testicular Cancer.

Please take a moment to sponsor my team. Any donation is gratefully received no matter how small. You can also gift aid your dontation.

It is going to be an interesting month, watching these blokes try to grow a moustache to be proud of!! But, it is all in a very god cause. We ladies are helping raise funds by making cupcakes, etc... right through the month. A link is in my sidebar.

You can find my page here.

It is all too easy to overlook these two deadly cancers so I urge you all to get your man to check himself carefully in the bath or shower, just as we do and seek medical advise if there are any concerns. They will not consider you a time waster.

It might be nothing but it is always better to know one way or the other as early as possible.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

A Commission

I was asked by Kate, a friend who I travel daily with on the train, if I could make a card for her daughter Sammy who loved all things theatrical. I was a little stumped until she went on to tell me that Sammy & her friend once starred as Laurel & Hardy. Rummaging through my files of purchased images, I came upon these and made a card out of them.

The background is a sheet of newspaper (the daily Metro free on the train), I chose the theatre page. Glued it to the card with matt gel medium then colour washed it first with Cadmium Yellow Deep Acrylic paint. Once dry I glazed a wash of Red Ochre Acrylic paint over the top. The I simply glued all the images with matt gel medium.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Happy Anniversary

to my sister, Tracy and brother in law, Martin.

By the time this card was finished, the light had gone & the next two days that followed were black and full of rain. I didn't think I would ever get a photo of the card before it had to be posted off. What you will not be able to see is that the 3 butterflies are glued on with silicone so their wings are raised in flight. This had to be taken under artificial lights & I'm lucky the colour came out right!!

I used Heidi Swapp heart stamp & Webster's Pages Butterflies. Masked them, then using Shabby Shutters, Peeled Paint, Tumbled Glass, Broken China, Victorian Velvet & Fired Brick distress inks I watercoloured over the music stamped background. I used Smokey Grey Versafine for the music. I then stamped & cut out the butterflies again, inked them & glued them on.

Monday, 17 October 2011

ATC Swap

I have agreed to take part in an ATC swap with Penny. Mine have been made & posted off to America. I know they have reached their destination safely and while I can't share them with you yet, I can show you the card I made to send them with.

I made this card using Faded Jeans, Aged Mahogany, Antique Linen & Vintage Photo Distress Inks. I stamped with Paperbag Studios Silences stamp & my other images were from the TH sets Fairytale Frenzy and Visual Artistry.I used my favourite lemon juice & bleach techniques then in some of the bleached areas I gently inked over in Victorian Velvet, Wild Honey & Tumbled Glass Distress Inks.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Forum Birthday

Over on the private forum for the SSG's, it is time for another birthday. It only seems five minutes since I last posted about her birthday, but it Ang's birthday again. Where has the year gone!! I kept the card simple black & white. Threaded black ribbon through the punched holes. Bird stamp from a set by Dovecraft. Greeting from a set by Papermania.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

On The Craft Table

I have been working away since Wednesday on Christmas cards. I can't share the completed ones with you as they are designs that will be sent to my craft forum friends and family and as these people read my blog I don't want them getting a sneak preview!!

However, I have decided to make a selection to sell at work and below is a picture of my craft table. I have spent two full hours just creating all these elements to go on the cards. It might be next weekend before they are ready to be shown.

The large blank stars at the top of the picture are a suprise for a few friends.

The small stars & circles have all been die cut. I have stamped them with script & music stamps & inked with the two distress inks. The coloured swirls have been die cut from patterned paper.

I'm just taking a break with a well earned mug of tea, then its back to punching out the tiny circles for another set of cards for some other friends!!

Hope you are all having a productive weekend.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Autumn Has Arrived!

What an awful day it has been today! I don't think it has really been light, it has rained all day. So I quickly got done all the chores I needed to do & after putting fresh clean bedding on and putting up all the winter curtains, I settled down to make some more Christmas Cards :0)

I started on Wednesday and so far I have 25 made!

Now it is getting dark and I have lit all my candles.

Today is Carrie's birthday, but I am not able to share her card with you just yet.

I hope she is having a wonderful day, followed by another one tomorrow because as we all know,

it is the weekend, Whoop!!!

I hope everyone is having a warm weekend, whatever you are up to!!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

A Commissioned Card

I was asked by a colleague at work to make a wedding card for his neighbours. He chose this design from some of my past creations. I first made this card on 7th September 2006 and I made it again in September 2011. But, me being me, I vamped it up a bit :0)

I honestly have to say I prefer this version far more than the original

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Calendar Pages

Last year I made a perpetual calendar for my desk at the office. I realised this morning that I only ever blogged the pictures up to July/August and then promptly forgot about the last four months. So here are my pages for September and October. I love looking at this every day on my desk, it reminds me of who I am when I'm bogged down under paperwork.

Papers are Studio Calico and Bo Bunny.

Stamps are Paperbag Studios and Crafty Individuals.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Thank You Card

This card has been made to send to the lovely people my sister Tracy & I rented the Gite from during our stay in France. They were wonderful hosts & I hope to see them again one day soon.
I copied this design from the top of my layout further down the blog.
Materials Used;
Prima Documentary Stamp
Scrap of Basic Grey Basics Paper
Scrap of old book paper
Martha Stewart Edger Punch - Doily Lace
White card
Spun Sugar Distress Ink
Antique Linen Distress Ink
Big Shot with Swiss Dot Embossing Folder
Birds on Wire Stamp - CI287
Papermania white flowers overstamped with script
Papermania silver half crystal
Tim Holtz- Visual Artistry (birds in top corner)

Just a note.. stamp Papermania

All paper scraps were hand stitched together with white thread

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Happy Birthday, Marion

I made this card for my friend Marion. She is also my ex colleague as we worked together for almost 14 years at an Insurance Brokers which was quite a small family firm.

The paper is from Basic Grey, Basics white pack which I oversprayed with Glimmer Mist Coffee Shop and my own mix of Mustard Seed distress re-inker & Perfect Pearls Gold. Stamps are Paperbag Studio (I masked the two girls before spraying) the small bees are Jo Capper-Sandon for Stampotique. Friends quote is Innovative Stamp Creations.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Some Photos of My Holiday in France

This is the Gite we rented for the week in a small hamlet called La Marchaderie, Saint Mathieu.

This is the breathtakingly beautiful Brantome Abbey
The equally beautiful Chateau Montbrun (my favourite photo)

This was a statue in a memorial garden in Nontron.

I really wish I could work out how to put the correct French symbols on the photos!!!

I took lots of pictures but these are some of my absolute favourites and there was I thinking my camera wasn't really up to the trip!!
It was such a beautiful holiday!!

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Queen Bee

For several years now, I have been going for full body massages every month at my favourite Beautician Hayley. Well, this week the salon re opened as Queen Bee. Hayley has now extended the salon to include a hairdressing section and her new business partner is a lifelong friend, Jenny. All the pink is gone and a new colour and name regins. As today is my first appointment as a Queen Bee client, I made the card below to wish the ladies success with the new joint venture.
The front of card is made with my Score Pal. Stamps used are Tim Holtz (Mini Crown) PaperBag Studios (Large Crown) Honeycomb (is actually chicken wire from Poultry Pantry set by TweetyJill)

Bee by my friend Jo Capper-Sandon.

The back of the card is a Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen Venaissance design.
I hope the ladies like the card, it is close in colour to the new appointment cards.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Finally... a Layout!!!

It's only been a year & 7 months since I last created a layout, but I have finally found the mojo. Mind you, France was so beautiful, I took 350 photos of buildings, flowers, doors, trees and monuments in the hope that I would have at least 200 good photos at the end. I fell in love with a 3 storey apartment in a town called Brantome over the border from us in Perigord Vert, Dordogne.

I could really imagine myself living there and so it was the obvious first photo to try & scrap.

Here is a close up of the top left corner embellishment which I sewed by hand and the journalling section with pretty pebble (Prima)

This is the completed page, I printed the photo twice and turned the second version into a blue tint. I made all the backing papers myself using white card, distress inks & texture folders in my big shot.
Alcohol inks: Denim/ Stream/ Cloudy Blue (inked strips)
Distress inks: Chipped Sapphire/ Faded Jeans/ Tumbled Glass
Texture Folders: Swiss Dots/ TH Wood Grain
Border Punches: Fiskars/ Martha Stewart
Stamps: Stampers Anonymous/ Crafty Individuals

Rub On: (live/love/laugh) Fancy Pants
Flower: Prima (Old Studio Calico Kit)
Title: stickers from stash - forgotten make.

Unfortunately, I am unable to work out how to type with the correct characters on the french words!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Just Playing

with inks and stamps today. It really is the best way to relax and find new ways to use the products you have in your stash. I have mixed distress re-inkers with perfect pearls, scrapbook paper and some stamps to create something a bit different from the usual stuff I tend to make. I do tend to make things and then forget to try out other stuff!!

I first stamped the Sun & Moon (Paperartsy) onto the Basic Grey Basics paper - Ballot. Then I mixed up my two mini mists. The first one is Broken China re-inker with Interference Blue Perfect Pearls. The second is just Shabby Shutters re-inker & water. I masked the main image & spritzed over the two inks allowing them to mix a tiny bit. I then dried them with the heat gun. I ironed the piece on the reverse to flatten so that I could add a few background stamps (Paperbag Studios script & buttons from Delight Plate). I then stamped 4 stars (Studio Calico) onto the Ballot paper & using Chipped Sapphire & Forest Moss I coloured them. I attached them to the main piece using blue staples & then glued it to the front of a card blank.

Unfortunately the camera batteries are all flat so I had to take the photo with my mobile phone. I'm not certain it does the true colours justice and you can't really see the glorious shimmer of the blue.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Final Minibook Pages

page 20

page 25
inside back cover

back cover

I am home from France today and will be spending time catching up with forum friends and uploading photos from my camera. Catch you soon :0)

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Back Home

I am now back home from my holiday in France. We visited the Limousin region & rented a Gite in a small hamlet called La Marchaderie, just outside of a place called St Mathieu, which is right on the Dordogne border. We flew from Newcastle airport on Saturday 3rd September to Limoges and returned on Saturday 10th. I came back from Newcastle this afternoon. I have tons to do & am back at work on Tuesday!!! We had an amazing time the temperature was around 25c everyday rising to 27c. I had to wear quite a lot of sunblock with having very fair skin but it was heaven. I will have photos to show but I have over 350 to edit first!!!!! It was my first ever flight as we went by hovercraft when I was 5 years old. I have not been out of the country since so it has been a real treat for me. I have seen some outstanding countryside and amazing chateaus. The whole place was laid back and relaxed, I have never slept so well.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

More Minibook Pages

page 11

pages 13 & 14
page 15

This format did prove a bit hard to do so the book I am making for 2010 - 2011 is in a smaller more graphic style.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Minibook of Books 2009-2010

I started reading a lot when I began commuting to work and came up withe idea of a minibook of books. Firstly so I could record what I read & how many but secondly so I could make something!! This book begins December 2009 and ends December 2010. (I am now making another for Dec 2010 - Dec 2011, but they are mostly read at home)

Front Cover - using distress inks

inside front cover and first page
page 6

I have tried to match my papers & stamped images to the covers of the books where ever possible. I will blog some more pages soon. (These blog posts are all scheduled posts because as you read this I am in France :0) on holiday)

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

"Sacre Coeur" Grunge

I made this one using the other half of the same background in the post below. I added the same numbers as I did below but added a bridge piece & The Sacre Coeur, both from my Paris Postcards set. I partucularly love how the "burnt" lemon juice adds great texture to this piece.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

"Family" Grunge

Here is another grungy background I made using the wrinkle free distress ink technique. I wanted it grungy & black with bleach & lemon juice but then I softened it up by using part of one of my favourite Paperbag Studios stamps. The other stamps are from my Tim Holtz set.

Friday, 2 September 2011


Here is a bookmark I made for my sister to take to France with us. I used off cuts from a background I made & added a touch of blecahing & lemon Juice. She fell in love with my quotes tag book so though this would suit her down to the ground.