9 October 2012

Warning - censored material!

I'm sorry, but I just couldn't resist making this layout.

Our Hungarian Vizsla, Tok, is a past master at the art of chill and he likes nothing better than to sprawl on his back, legs (and everything else!) akimbo.I have quite a few photos of him proving that he is 'all dog', and the mischievous streak in me meant that having a bit of fun with one of the photos was going to be irresistible.

The result was this (slightly wonky) photo. I promise it's straight in real life.

The background cardstock is plain Bazzil. I randomly sprayed Glimmer Mists and Cosmic Shimmer around the page. Using a stiff paintbrush and a little Cosmic Shimmer I splattered some paint in a few places. Tim Holz's Distressed Ink (Crushed Olive) was used to distress the edges, and a lovely alpha stamp I have (there's no name on it so not sure of its maker) provides a little more random interest.

I also tried stamping with some different shaped bottle tops which you can only see if you look closely. And I challenged myself to use a plastic food tray in some way - it had a really interesting ridged pattern on the bottom, so I inked this up and stamped with it a few times. It didn't have the effect I thought it would but you can see some on the ink if you inspect the page closely.

The photo is mounted on an odd piece of cream cardstock which I've distressed and edged with a brown ColourBox Catseye inkpad. RicRac and a piece of chopped ribbon are stuck along the top along with a piece of baker's twine.

Ages ago, I was given some green metal letters with brad hooks and I've never got round to using them. Until today! Hence to hanging DOG, secured with bright green metallic brads.

The 3-d mounted heart is hand-drawn and cut from a piece of spare animal footprint (may be Karen Foster?) from my leftovers stash, edged with the brown inkpad. Another ribbon scrap is tucked behind the shape and some gems from my bling collection added to give more interest.

The various letters come from my alpha collection. I've used three strips of Washi tape behind the heart and the string of bling is cut from a charity shop necklace I bought for 20p. The flower is from my collection so no idea of provenance ... and the finishing touch? The dymo tape and glass bead star! Oh, and a little hand journalling around the heart.

Hope it makes you smile, like it does me!

16 September 2012

A card at last!

Having promised some photos of my recent card creations, I realised that my husband had sent most of them off for birthdays / get well soon occasions. I suppose I can't complain - I don't make the cards just to keep them here LOL.

However, there was still one in the newly-created pile, so here it is:

Not the best photo,I'm afraid, but I think you get the picture (no pun intended, groan). I used a green cardstock as my base, and then used a Spellbinders Labels One die (source - CraftsULove  to cut an aperture from this and a piece of flowery card (cut at the same time). Please note that is NOT a flying suacer reflectated in the acetate!!!!!

First, I stuck the piece of acetate onto the card base to make the see-through window. Then I stretched the ribbon (purchased from Paper Arts) across the acetate and stock down at either end.

Then I stuck the flowery card in place on top of the card base (having inked the edges first), being careful to position it in the right place over the window.

The flowers and bling came from my stash (mostly obtained from Paper Arts and charity shops!). You can't see it in the photo, but I also used a Viva Perlen Pen (about like Perfect Pearls) from The Stamp Attic to dot over the flower centres on the patterned card.

I realised that due to my wonky positioning, there was a thin, crooked line of green base cardstock showing on the spine of the card. So I added some iridescent glitter down the fold and then stuck a length of leafy ribbon (Paper Arts again) on top to disguise my cack-handedness.

The birthday wishes sentiment disc was a cover gift from one of my craft magazines.

Back when I've managed to make some more cards to show you.

And here's another photo from my new camera to finish off with .... the focus is Scampy, our old lady puss cat (c 24 years old, we think). Not edited this image yet, but she's still gorgeous!

15 September 2012

A new toy to play with

Sadly, my lovely aunt passed away earlier this year. She had suffered in her last years with dementia, and had been in a care home, something that was hard to deal with. It was almost a relief when I received the call from the home to say that she had slipped away.

I was deeply touched to learn that she had left me a small gift in her will, and wanted to buy something with it that I would make much use of and of which she would (I hope!) approve.

And so I bought myself a new camera - for those of you in the 'know', it's a Nikon D3100. The challenge now is to get to know how to use it properly - to navigate away from the safe waters of 'auto', and try the very scary manual settings!

Here's one of the very first shots I took ...

This is Tok, our Hungarian Vizsla, lying in the sun on our very weedy patio. I confess I rather liked the way the dandelion leaf was flopping over his nose!

The second shot shows the interior of the parish church in Cirencester (St Mary's, I think it is called). I've been in the church before to take part in choir 'come and sing' days, but I've never really stopped to take a proper look inside (too busy concentrating on complicated music scores!). The thing that struck m was the very spacious and open interior.

And finally, here's Tallis, enjoying one of his favourite things - a hide chew. I was rather pleased to get him 'mid gnaw' and to capture the whiteness of his fangs.

That's it for now, there a re lots more pix of course, but I will save (some) of them for another time. And when the battery has changer in my point-and-shoot camera, I'm planning on taking some photos of some of my recent card creations, with a view to uploading them here. Of course, I could use my new camera, but the downloading procedure is a lot more complicated as it involved cables and all sorts. I'm going for the easy route - plug in the memory card and away we go!

Thanks for stopping by ......

5 June 2012

Here's one I made earlier ....

If you've read any of my earlier posts, you'll know I have been experiencing a little connectivity difficulty (ie no internet connection) which has somewhat impacted on my ability to keep my blog up to date.

It was a great relief to get back on line, and I can now share another layout I made a few weeks back - back couldn't post up for you.

So, here is one of our furries, Willow, all wrapped up in a fleecy pet throw (don't think she's quite sure whether to relax or be afronted that Mr Mole has packaged her up like this!).

The papers came from my scraps stash, dittor the ribbons. I hand drew the heart and inked the edges. Obe flower is from a 'proper' pack of blooms. the daisy style one is cut from patterned paper and has an acrylic circle stuck in the middle for depth and shine.

The blings and card flags come from PaperArts (as do, I suspect, the majority, if not all of the papers, alphas and cardstock).

You can see from the close-up that I've used staples to affix my ribbons, and double-side pads to give the heart dimension. Another acrylic sticky circle gives the flower centre a focus.

And here, you can see a little of what I did with the paper strips - some are rolled into tubes and stuck down, while I simply zig-zagged another strip and stuck either end down. Again, this all helps add a 3D feel to the page.

Hope you like the results .....

1 June 2012

Missing what you haven't got

It's true that sometimes we don't appreciate what we've got until we haven't got it any more. For the last few weeks my home internet service has been ropey at best, and mostly non-existent. And yes, I missed having it there. Apart from not being able to look things up for Mr Mole's work, checking emails and of course, visiting UK Scrappers, it meant I couldn't update my blog either.

I'm hoping to put that right now that the problem has, fingers crossed, been fixed.

So, some crafty-type pix!

This is our handsome black cat, Oscar, snapped on the steps of our patio. I was quite brave in cropping the photo which is one of my favourites of him. and a little different from his usual photo pose.

The papers and card stock come from a bargain pack from Sue at PaperArts. The oddments of ribbons, lace, jewels, flowers etc came from my existing stash. The more solid embellishments are bits of earrings which I have either only one of, or don't wear any more. The wooden bird (top right) and the punch which shaped the title tag again, came from PaperArts.

You can see (above) more of the wooden bird detail, and where I've added some bling.

I inked the edges of the label cut-out and used some sparkly letters for the title. I've used sticky fixers to raise the title up a little.The lace (donated by my mum!) is sewn into a flower and although you can't see it properly, has a button in the centre, complete with a strand of embroidery floss. There's also a paper flower created with a Marianne Createables die, purchased from, yes, you've guessed, PaperArts.

You can see a bit more detail om the last two photos - they show the flower, raffia (from a gift we received .. the packaging was almost as exciting to my inner crafter as the contents!) and the two earrings.

Hope you enjoyed taking a closer look.

10 April 2012

Been shopping!

Nothing new there, I hear you cry. And that is true enough .... like many of us, I'm always happy to go shopping (finances permitting, of course). In fact, every three-four weeks I visit my local scrapbooking emporium otherwise known as PaperArts just to prove my continued willingness to open my purse and flex my credit card.

If you've not been (and you live close enough to pay a visit) then shame on you! It's a lovely shop with lovely stock, and the staff are lovely too. Every time I go there, there's something new to look at /stroke, and this weekend was no exception. (It is on the outskirts of Stroud, if you're interested, free parking and everyfink!)

I came away with various bits and pieces, including a pack of eight sponge daubers (I use these LOADS), some gorgeous cardstock (too lovely to actually use, I fear, but sooooooo strokeable) and a bargain pack of papers, card and embellishments in bright yellow/spring type colours. And a box of Kars wooden embellishments like this:
There are loads of wooden shapes in the range but these seemed to me to be the most versatile.
To my shame, I can't remember the manufacturers of the paper I bought, but trust me, it was lush!

So. If you have some pennies burning a hole in your pocket then get thee to Sue's store in Stroud .... and if it's too far away, I'm sure she'd be happy for me to say she does speedy mail order.

Meanwhile, a big thank you to Ifa who sent me a prize as part of the recent blog hop (details on my previous blog posting). I rarely win stuff, so it was delight to learn my name had been drawn out of the virtual hat. Cheers, sweetie!

31 March 2012

Ooh look! A blog hop!

Do you enjoy checking out the creations your fellow crafters have made? And discovering new ideas and techniques? Then get hopping along - the link to the blog-hop home page is here:


I might be back later to see if you've been tempted .....

18 March 2012

Card fest - part II

Next instalment as promised .... starting with free papers.and ribbons from my stash, a flower cut using my Sizzix Big Shot, a Tim Holz tattered floral die and the plain side of a coke can. Embossing with a Cuttlebug folder.
Free papers, flowers and bling from stash, plenty of foam fixers to give extra dimension, of course!

More free papers and supplies from stash. Yellow rose made with a Marianne's Creatables die.

 And more free papers, stash etc ........

 This one got turned into a mother's day card for my lovely mum. Used more free papers, flowers and ribbons from stash, along with gems, and two heads from wired roses (wires cut off). I used letters from a Basic Grey monogram sheet to spell out 'Mum'.

Yes, more free papers etc. Awaiting a sentiment. Probably will be a 'thinking of you' printed out on the PC.

And last (thanks for sticking with me), there's even more free paper in use, and roses made from the Marianne's die mentioned earlier. The leaves are from a length of ribbon.

Thanks for looking!

12 March 2012

Bit of a card-fest

So, over recent weeks I have tried to replenish my dwindling stock of hand-made cards. The need to do so has been made even more acute by the fact my mum says she wants to buy some of my creations. Ooops, I thought, better get creating, then. I won't show them to you all in one go lest you fall asleep zzzzzzzzzzzz.

Card one features... papers that came free with a craft magazine, a blossom from a charity shop flower bunch, ribbons from my stash, a section of 'Just the Edge' (Bazzil, I think, or Basic Grey?), two lengths of baker's twine and a die cut bird (Marianne's Creatables and the inside of a tomato puree tube!), and a computer-generated sentiment made in Word and printed onto scrap card stock.

Card two features the same die but uses a patterned card stock instead. The papers are freebies from a magazine, the ribbon and gems are from my stash and the label-style sentiment was made using Word, plain card and a fab new punch from EK Success. I inked the edges with a cat's eye stamp in blue.

Card three (last one for now) uses yet more free papers, ribbon ans blingy gems from my stash, a length of 'Just the Edge', a strip of Washi Tape (first time I've actually dared use any of my latest purchase!), some Prima-style blooms and a large flower from one of the charity shop hauls. Centrepiece of the flower is a button from a collection of odd buttons given to me by my mum.

Hope you like this trio. Back another day with some more.

28 February 2012

I love poppies

On a grey day like today, what better than a field of poppies to bring a bit of colour into our lives? I'm not claiming this is some amazing page: rather, I was simply wanting to show I'd followed one of the excellent tutorials from www.digitalscrapper.com

If you are into digi scrapping and want to learn some great tips for getting the best from Photoshop Elements then you must sign up for this site. The brilliant thing is that the tuts are free, and get sent out each week. You can also sign up to some great classes. too.

This particular tut was all about using paint chips - how to create them and use rules and grids and all sorts of stuff I've never really explored before.

Go on, I dare you to join up!

5 February 2012

A get well card ...

Not only did I actually make card the other day, I also remembered to take a photo of  my creation. I used some free papers that came with a craft mag, not the flimsy shiny type that are no use to man nor beast, but the better quality, matt finish papers. I also got my Spellbinder dies out and a scrap of ribbon. The sentiment was simply printed out on card with a little help from my computer and trimmed deliberately on the skew-wiff (straight lines and 90 degree angles are not my strong point!). Add a few blooms and bling for the flower centres and all was done.

1 February 2012

Digi double

I have managed to catch up with my digi Circle Journal entries and amazingly, met the final deadline in spite of all my hiccoughs on the way. The first is Cod Wars!

This was for a 'Year of my birth' entry and was a challenge as some of the topics I'd normally have chosen for this theme had already been used by other digi scrappers - and I wanted to make sure my page was different. I browsed around the website and looked for the defining events of the year in question ... and my fancy was tickled by cod!

The final CJ was all about 'my home town' (or 'why should I visit yours!). I live in a very small village but we're blessed with lovely walks, scenery, valleys , sunsets and all-sorts, so I thought I could create a page that celebrated all this.

I've had a great time taking part in the CJ. Maybe next time, we should do a digi round-robin scraplift theme! Any takers?

30 January 2012

A real-life 'in-the-flesh' layout at last

A week or so ago, I was lucky enough to get to a class run by Sue at PaperArts where we tackled a complicated set of tasks including cutting, masking, spraying, shrinking, quilling and inking (just for starters!). As it was quite a time-consuming challenge, I didn't get to finish the second layout I started, and it has been lying on my desk at home ever since, asking to be completed.

And at last, it is finished:

I tore, rolled and generally distressed the base cardstock, sprayed some Glimmer Mist in one area (I seem incapable of using this stuff without getting big blobs of ink on my work but hey ho, all adds to the character), and used scraps of patterned paper and cut-outs behind the photo.

You can't see too well from the photo, but the papers are stuck on using foam mounts to give extra dimension, and in the top left, I've scattered sticky gems around for extra bling (there are some to the right hand side, too!). The small flowers come from my stock - some Primas, some charity shop, and the checked bow came from a Christmas gift. The large flower was cut from the Tim Holz Tattered Floral die, while the centre is a button from my button stash tin (thanks mum!). Oh, and I used some roses cut from the rose ribbon stuff you can buy by the metre. I shrunk one using my heat gun.

Add some ribbon and ric-rac, and some letters from the My Mind's Eye Lush collection and Bob's your uncle!

27 January 2012

Ooops! My mistake - but still a good result!

To err is human, to misread the requirements for a CJ entry is also pretty stupid. That's what I did the other day. But you know what, although I feel a right plonker for getting confused and will have to complete not only one but two digi pages this weekend (to replace the erroneous page, and produce the final LO for the CJ 'trail' I'm following)  .... I am actually quite pleased with my 'acidental' page anyway!

I have sat at my PC without my notebook where I've recorded the designers whose materials I've used so my apologies - I'll rectify this when I'm back at base. But meanwhile, hand up if you're a fan of the lovely old mini!

My first car was a mini so I've a soft spot for the wee beastie. It was a sort of mushroom grey colour, and my friend had one in exactly the same shade. We weren't too happy when we discovered that my key also unlocked the door of her car .... but we still both loved our wheels....

10 January 2012

A digi update - and about time too!

I am, as usual behind with this and that. This being my blog, and that being the digital scrapbook layout pages I should be making and sharing with my circle journal (CJ) friends on UK Scrappers. I didn't make any New Year's resolutions, but if I had, I might have pledged to be a better blogger. And so I will try, honestly, I will. But don't be surprised if I don't (always) succeed.

And so to my page above -  that's me, enjoying the amazing peace and tranquillity, not to mention the fabulous scenery, during a holiday in New Zealand a few years ago. I could have stayed in this spot all day - it was just beautiful. This was my contribution to a journal focusing on 'places'.

My most recent CJ contribution is this - which as I'm writing my blog in the traditional sleepy lunchtime period,  might most appropriately be called the 'graveyard slot'. These photos were all taken in the Victorian section of Stroud cemetery, which is also a nature reserve. I find all the tombstone inscriptions, stone designs and brief glimpses of past lives fascinating.

On my first visit I puzzled over the repeat appearance of tall, thin columns which were broken at their tips. Why was each memorial so damaged? I later discovered that these pillars were deliberately crafted in this fashion, designed to symbolise a life cut short. Other designs also tell stories - twisted ropes, anchors, angels and symbols, all with their own histories and messages.

I realise that graveyards might not be everyone's idea of great places to explore - but I think they are a treasure troves, providing tantalising clues into lives gone before. They're also great for practising photography skills and spotting wildlife and lichen, as well as contemplating those whom we have loved and lost ... but not forgotten.