Saturday, 22 January 2011

Phew - I can now go to bed with a clear conscience!!

I've just spent THREE HOURS spring cleaning my piece of Blogland LOL! 

Since arriving here a few months ago I've been like a kid in a sweetshop - oohing and aahing over just about everything and, instead of saving interesting blogs in some sort of order, I'd just shoved them on my Google 'Favorites' bar.  This meant that, to go travelling, I had to wade through them all, and this was taking all evening by the end(!) because this doesn't show when posts were put on.

I'm also surprised by how my taste has changed.  Although I still admire all the skill and hard work that goes into almost everything I find, I'm discovering my taste is moving more towards clean and simple designs, and just LOVE clever one layer cards.  So, I've whittled down my list a bit and split it into groups - blogs like Ikki's that have become my card bible, blogs that I just love looking at, and challenges (sorted by day).  My next job will be to go through all my fav's and make sure I'm registered as a follower.

I think I'm probably in danger of becoming anally retentive about it all, but I reckon it will make life easier (because I'll be able to navigate around just from my blog page - rather than hopping about as I was before). It should also leave me more time to spend with my craft-widower husband (and for making cards, too - heehee!)

Night night, All!  Sweet dreams xx

Friday, 21 January 2011

Paper Piecing - So Relaxing!

On a roll today - decided to put the toys on a more generic card, so it could be for a baby, Valentine, birthday ... whatever.

I LOVE paper piecing!

I'm entering this for this week's Stamp Fairy Challenge - paper piecing!
http://stampfairychallenge.blogspot.com/2011/01/lets-have-fun-with-paper-piecing.html and for http://stampchallenges.blogspot.com/2011/01/cute-somethings-challenge.html

Just seen ...

... this lovely card

http://thedailymarker.blogspot.com/2011/01/little-bird-told-me.html

and entering the candy contest in the post further down.

I'm halfway through springcleaning my 'favorites' bar on Google.  Up til now I've been like a kid in a sweetshop 'oohing & aahing' over almost everything I see!  Now suffering from artistic indigestion!!  So, I'm being ruthless in whittling down my fav's and the blogs I follow as my taste is moving much more to CAS work rather than the frilly sort. 

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

WOYWW

I'm making the most of my day at home alone by going between my work table and the TV, picking up tips on the craft day at Create & Craft - SO relaxing (after all, the ironing will always be there, eh?!)

I've just heard that a friend's Dad died, so I've made this for her. 


Sorry the lighting makes it look a bit gloomy - looks fresher in the flesh

I like the simple, clean lines (flourish stamp I inherited somewhere - stamped with Stormy Sky distress ink that I managed to match with a PC generated sentiment - just noticed the writing looks lighter here but almost identical in real life).  I'm entering it on the Shabby Tea Room blog http://theshabbytearoom.blogspot.com/2011/01/week-45-white-and-bright.html  and for http://lilredwagon.blogspot.com/2011/01/one-layer-wonder.html

I'm also playing around with paper piecing the sweet little toys from the Dove Craft stamps (I used the teddy on yesterday's spotty card). 



I want to produce a batch of baby cards to sell for charity, and thought it would be quicker to build a stash of these beforehand.

Happy crafting!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Spots before my eyes ...

I came across a piece of this lovely thick, double sided card in my stash this morning and thought it would be ideal for the new My Time To Craft Challenge -
http://mytimetocraftchallenge.blogspot.com/2011/01/challenge-124-spots-and-dots.html

I added the pinky/lilac insert with a few punched flowers (very handy to keep a supply of these all the time).

I then moved to the front.  I paper-pieced this teddy (one of 4 stamps from Dunelm Mill last year), added a topper and sentiment.  I hope I'm in with a chance.

Monday, 17 January 2011

A new blog hop ...

I've just discovered this lovely new monthly blog hop - lots of fresh, new ideas - thanks, ladies!! x

http://clearlyistamp.typepad.com/

Sew simple, sew quick - so pretty!

I had thought of putting a removeable brooch on my daughters' birthday cards and changed my mind.  But, I have been experimenting with scraps of fabric, and this is what I came up with.

The pic colour is not true and the whole thing looks fuzzy - in real life it is a lovely dark burgundy and black, but the flash has distorted it.

I started with a strip of satiny stuff, about 9" x 3" and, using running stitches with double thread, sewed the two short ends together, folded the piece in half and stitched the two open ends, as near to the edge as I could.  I then gathered it up and secured it.  Then I cut 3 oval shapes of black netting and layered them over the red (sorry - you can hardly make it out in the pic!), securing it all with a vintage black button.  I then just anchored the whole thing with a brooch pin on the reverse.

I'm really happy with how it turned out, considering it cost next to nothing, and am sorting my scrap stash to knock up some more.

Using this for the Anything Goes Challenge @ http://craftyourdaysaway.blogspot.com/

Saturday, 15 January 2011

I'm in love ....

... with House Mouse stamps!  They are SO BEAUTIFUL - just wish I had the wherewithal to buy them all!

There are some perks with being poorly - like snuggling on the settee under a blanket, watching Joanna Sheen demonstrate them on Create and Craft - luxury!  Thanks, Joanna, for all the little snippet gems you give out along the way, too - sneaky ways with ribbons, etc - just what newbies like me need!

Keeping Track of Challenge Opportunities and Entries


Hi - How do you keep track of current challenges?

I know some folks use an actual notebook, with drawn sketches of challenge recipes but this didn't really appeal to me - not sure how you'd be able to flag up what was current, sometimes difficult (eg colour throwdowns) and it seemed like a lot of work  - especially if I ended up not having something suitable to put in, or missing deadlines (quite likely in my case!)

So, I came up with the idea of an Excel spreadsheet which I keep open (minimised while looking through blogs/challenges) flicking between, and adding links/details of anything that seems relevant, as I go).  This means I just give a brief recipe description, clicking link on worksheet for more.  I highlight in red the ones I enter (although I'm reminded to check results by clicking links on my posts) and then I can just delete past challenges, and add new ones along the way.  "Simples" in the words of the meerkat!

I hope you can understand what I mean.  Happy challenging!

Yippee!! My First Easel Cards!

I love 'em!  I wanted to do something different for my two lovely daughters' birthdays (31 & 29 - strange names, eh?! LOL!)  Anyway, recuperating from this xxxxx chest infection in front of Create & Craft this week, thought "Aha!  Just what I was looking for.

Anyway, this was one result (other one very similar but stuck in envelope before I remembered to photo it - drat!

 I used the Oriental BP, stamps & sticky ribbons I bought from Dunelm Mill a few months ago, together with some Christmas BP for her paper-pieced costume (also a first for me) and 3D'd the girl and fans to create some interest.  Can't wait to try some more types of card shapes!

I want to submit this for the Trying Something New challenge over at Sweet Stamping http://sweetstampinchallengeblog.blogspot.com/2011/01/try-something-different.html - hope I'm in time!
And for - Let's Ink it Up - Anything goes, Ai Factory - Anything goes
Pattie's Creations - Anything goes, Stamp Something - Anything goes
And there's more - http://colorthrowdown.blogspot.com/
http://cleanandsimplestamping.blogspot.com/2011/01/123.html I hope it's not too fussy for this one), http://craftyannschallengeblog.blogspot.com/2011/01/challenge-32.html

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

WOYWW and Happy 2011!

Sorry I've not posted for what seems like MONTHS.  I normally love Christmas but this year, am re-writing the song The 12 Days of ... to include the days when the central heating boiler had to have major surgery, then Boxing Day the soil pipe froze (36 hours without a toilet) and the water from this came through the ceiling over the stairs, then the NEXT day my DH shouted for me at 4am to help sweep the water out, from flooding the kitchen (burst pipe to washing machine).  Then, the following day I started a cold which turned to a chest infection, and yesterday our doctor signed me off work for a week!  I keep telling myself that 2011 can only be better LOL! 

Please don't think I'm complaining - it's at times like these that wonderful, good friends have proved more valuable than gold, and I appreciate all the blessings we do have.

However, the infection is really sapping my energy, not to mention my mojo so there's nothing on my work table at the moment, but here are the Christmas cards I made for my family this year.  I wanted a country feel for them, so decided to use various Christmassy BP's in a patchwork design, with faux stitching. 




I've just spent this evening catching up with my fav blogs, looking for inspiration and enthusiasm for making birthday cards for my two lovely daughters, both in the next two weeks - watch this space! 

Love for now, and I hope your Christmas and New Year were more peaceful than ours.