Wednesday, 30 November 2011


Well I still haven't got rid of my cold and my nose is permanently streaming.  I thought the cold was on the mend over the weekend, but it seems to have come back with a vengance over the past couple of days.  Sitting in a freezing cold office (17oC) at work probably doesn't help - I have brought a heater in with me today to try and get the room temperature up to something approaching normal.  Anyway, enough about colds, it is Wednesday and time to show you my crafting desk as part of WOYWW. This photo was taken yesterday evening when I had a fresh mug of tea and had just finished making two Christmas cards.  The stamp set you can see are a Just Rite Christmas sentiment set, and were a present from Tim to replace a stamp which had been lost. The toilet roll is substituting for tissues for my streaming nose; not quite a soft as tissues, but anything will do in an emergency!  The piece of paper with random writing on is a list of books that both Tim and I want to read. The other things on my desk are glitter glue, sakura stardust pen, and ink pads.
This is the first of the Christmas cards which both use free stamps from magazines and cuttlebug embossing folders. I have added glitter glue to the hats, stocking and corners of this card and so am entering it into Ooh La La 'lots of sparkle' as well as Kaboodle Doodles 'bundle up for winter', Delightful challenges 'red and green' and Stamptacular Sunday's 'anything Christmas' challenges.
The second card has glitter glue on the snow flakes in the main image and I have stamped HeroArts snow flakes in the corner of the card.  As a result I am entering this card into The crazy challenge 'stars or snowflakes', Crazy4challenges 'snow', Delicious doodles 'hairy legs' (last time I looked cats had hairy legs!), and Pollycraft 'Christmas fun' challenges.  That is all from me for now. I am off to see if I can get my office warmed up to a sensible temperature.  Have a great week.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Advent starts here!

Firstly an apology for not updating on Friday, with us all being ill this week and a trip to Bristol for work, I just couldn't manage it. This weekend has been somewhat mixed as we were supposed to go to friends but they were too poorly so we have had a weekend at home instead.  Yesterday we joined friends at Sheffield Ski village where there is a good indoor play area including air cannons which Alex thought were wonderful.
Today we celebrated the first day of Advent at our new church and then this afternoon we headed over to Kelham island museum where Alex was fascinated by all the different machines and the WWII bombs.
He also had a great time in the small kids play area there.  The weather was just too cold to let him be outside for long with his cough hence our indoor activities this weekend.
I have been cracking on with my Christmas cards and this first one followed this weeks Less is More challenge of 'bling'.  This entire card was made with the free papers from a magazine, including the bird which was cut out of one sheet.  I then added Crystals to the centre of the stars. I am also entering this into Aud sentiments 'Any winter holiday's sentiment'.
For the next card I used a cuttlebug embossing folder and the free stamps from last month CM&PC magazine. I coloured the image with promarker pens and added a bit of holographic glitter glue to the star.  This card therefore fits with Crazy4challenges 'snow' and Stamptacular 'anything Christmas' challenges.
These next 4 cards were really simple using images from a Crafty Individuals image book layered onto gold and red card and then put onto an embossed cream card.  These fit with Speedy the cat's friends 'make it masculine'.
Finally I had a bit of fun making a tag for this weeks Simon says stamp challenge. The background was made using a Tim Holtz mask, then stamping the music in red, then replacing the mask and using teabag distress ink over the rest of the tag.  The images were cut out of a Crafty Individuals images book and then I embossed in gold round the edge before using twine instead of ribbon for a more rustic feel.  I am entering this tag into Flutterby Wednesday 'open', Meljen's 'twine or string', DCM 'moustaches/facial hair' (Santa has a beard and moustache), and sew many cards 'twine' challenges.  That is all from me for now.  Have a great week.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Poorly Wednesday!

Well we are all poorly today, but poor Alex is the worst.  We all have bad colds, but Alex has an awful cough as well and yesterday his teacher sent him home at the end of the day with a note suggesting that he have a day at home to rest, as although he was very good, he had been struggling.  Added to that, the poor boy coughed so much in the evening that he threw up.  Needless to say we booked an emergency appointment at the doctors for him today to make sure that he hasn't got a chest infection (fortunately he hasn't) and we have kept him off school for the day.  A day of gentle TV and crafting is required I think.
As it is Wednesday here is my desk for WOYWW, complete with the usual cup of tea (lovely and warm on this freezing cold day!). Also on my desk are my Christmas stamps (in the left of the picture), two blue distress inks, the stamps I am going to use on this current card, the card with a paper mask on it, and random bits and pieces left over from yesterdays crafting session.
Here is the completed card which I have made as my second entry into Less is More's silhouette challenge.  This is actually my second attempt (the first one ended up in the bin!).  As there is clearly snow on the ground I am entering this card into Kaboodle Doodles 'Baby its cold outside', as well as Pollycraft 'Christmas' challenges.
This next card followed the same technique, but had the two shades of blue blended across the entire circle shape.  The stamps used were Crafty individuals and I used a white sakura glaze pen for the stars.  This also fits with the LIM challenge, Creative card crew's 'monochromatic', and All sorts 'one layer' challenges.
Finally I made a congratulations card for a couple who have just got engaged.  They are an unusual couple in their 50s who are not into ultra fussy things so I thought this would be sufficiently elegant without being too girly!  I am entering this into SSDS 'embossing', DYSU 'splash of blue' and Ooh La La 'Bingo' (Flower, die cut, gems) challenges. That is all from me for now. I am off to look after my poorly boy.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Weekend at home!

Well we have been enjoying a weekend at home ready for a busy week next week.  As well as the usualy round of cooking, cleaning, shopping etc, we went to our new church this morning where Alex had a great time in Sunday school and this afternoon we went to the park where Alex had a fantastic time on the various slides.  Our main adventure was yesterday however, when Alex and I went scrambling out through the woods and up and down steep hills and cliffs,
exploring off the beaten path, jumping across streams and scrambling along beside a waterfall. 
It was the greatest of fun, epecially as we were playing that we were being chased by T-Rex and other dinosaurs and monsters from Alex's imagination.  Who says you need to spend money to have a good time.
It is challenge time again at Quirky Crafts and it was my turn to set the challenge which this time round is Clean & Simple (my favourite style!).  I was given two images and two sentiments by our sponsor, Digital Delights, to work with.  For the first of my entries I made a scrapbook layout.  I love using CAS for scrapbook pages as it really makes the photos stand out.  I used the Sketchy Thursdays sketch for this one and instead of using any patterned paper, I used a paint brush to stipple blue distress ink (broken china and faded jeans) onto parts of the card.  I then used a wave stamp (I don't know the make as I got it when I was 12!), some Pirate stickers, Presley the pirate (by Digital Delights) and You're a treasure (Digital Delights) coloured using promarkers to add a little bit of interest.  I finished it off with Alphabet stickers, and the dotted line to 'X' marks the spot. The wavy line is to symbolise the dodgy steering of my 4 year old pirate!  I am entering this LO into DCM 'water' and DYSU 'a splash of blue'.
For my second entry into the Quirky Crafts challenge I was given Bongo the Dog and the Sentiment from Digital Delights. I chose to make this very clean and simple card using nestabilities, embossed round the edges and a bit of doodling in the corners. I am entering this one into stamp, scrap & doodle 'embossing', and CCCB '4 legged friend' challenges.
Finally I made my entry for the Less is More challenge, which this week is a favourite of mine - silhouettes!  I used the free silhuoette stamp from a past edition of Craft Stamper magazine and layered it on yellow and black card.  I wish I had a scalloped rectangle or square nestability or similar, but don't so had to use my scalloped scissors (not quite as neat in the corners sadly!). I will be sending this card to my very elegant 92 year old Great Aunt.  I am also entering this card into Crazy4Challenges 'Black, white + one other', OCC 'photo challenge' and Speedy the cat's friends 'black, white + one other' challenges.  That is all from me for now.  I hope you all have a great week.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Show your spots!

In order to raise money for children in need Alex’s school had a non-uniform day with the emphasis on wearing something spotty. Well, we turned the house upside down and the only spotty thing we could find was a bright red handkerchief that had been given to Tim in a stocking about 9 years ago and he has never used. In the absence of anything else, I ironed it and turned it into a neckerchief with a Pudsey bear pin to hold it in place.  Alex was very happy with it as you can tell from this cheeky photo. WARNING: Proud parent alert!  Alex has been so good this week that he got a star prize from school.  For a little boy that struggles with sitting still for any length of time, this is a major achievement and I am so proud of him.
I have made a couple more Christmas cards over the past few days by recycling cards I was sent last year.  I cut out elements from those cards and re-mounted them in my own way.  This first card uses the Mother and baby image from a card mounted on gold card and then onto cream card which had been embossed with a cuttlebug frame. I then printed out the sentiment 'Give thanks unto the Lord' on cream card on my computer and mounted it onto red card taken from the same original Christmas card, followed by gold card and then finally onto the background.  I am entering this card into Fresh brewed ‘I am thankful’, Penny’s challenge ‘Give thanks’, Simon says stamp ‘thanks giving’ and crafty cardmakers ‘recycle’ challenges.
The second card was made using some of the left over red patterned card from the previous recycled Christmas card and three images taken from another Christmas card mounted onto embossed cream card.  Can you tell I am fond of this Cuttlebug embossing folder?!  I am entering this card into Aud Sentiments ‘give thanks’, crafty creations ‘recycle’, creativecard crew ‘thankful’ and pile it on ‘traditional Christmas’.  That is all from me for now.  I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Wednesday again!

Well it is Wednesday again. I simply don't know where the weeks are going at the moment. Yesterday morning we were a little more organised that usual and so had a few minutes to kill before walking to school so Alex decided that he wanted to sit on my lap, at my desk in the study, and craft.  He used my circle cutter and tapestry stamps to make himself a badge which he was very pleased with.
It is time for WOYWW, the brain child of Julia (click on the link to see what I am talking about!) and so here is my desk.  This photo was taken last night as I will now be at work (this is on a timer, if I can get the timer to work!). On my desk you can see my trusty large mug of tea, my cuttlebug and some embossing folders, and various Christmas papers, a rubber and pencil and hiding half behind the cuttlebug, some ink pads left over from Alex's stamping!
Needless to say I have been working on some Christmas cards. This first one used a scrap of paper from Crafty Individuals as the main image. I just love these two cute little angels together. I used an embossed frame as the background and added fake stitching in pale blue pen to match the image, and then two mistletoe images. This card therefore fits with CCC 'two's company',  Pollycraft 'friends' (they look like friends to me!), Simon says stamp & show 'women only' (I hope these two young ladies count) and MTTC 'take two'
This next card was made using the same cuttlebug embossed frame and a free stamp from one of last years magazines (possibly CM&PC) coloured in with promarkers.  I am entering this into CCCB 'four legged friend' (who could resist that cute cat!).
This card was made using tapestry stamps and I am entering it for PIO 'traditional Christmas' as it is a traditional Christmas wreath.  I am also entering it for cards for men 'Christmas' and LIM 'leaves' challenge although it does contain a few flowers as well as the leaves!
The final card was made using free papers, a cuttlebug embossing folder and a free stamp.  Not bad going really!  I am entering this one into the SCSC 'spots and stripes' challenge.  That is all for now folks.  I hope you have a great rest of the week.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Fireman Alex!

We have had a lovely weekend with Alex's good behaviour and good mood continuing enabling us to have a lot of fun.  Yesterday we went to my in-laws where we were joined by all Tim's family. Alex and his cousins were taken out to the park by my Father-in-law (Grandpa Pete) leaving the rest of us to chat in peace.  When they came back, the boys spent much of the time building dens with various cushions, cloths, clothes horses and tables.   Adults weren't really allowed hence the dodgy photo. As you can see it was utter chaos, but really good fun!
Today Alex and I went to the Fire and Police museum here in Sheffield, where Alex had a great time pretending to be a fireman, and was given a ride in a fire engine, complete with the sirens on...he loved it!
He also enjoyed being put in the stocks although he said it was a bit uncomfortable!
I haven't had a lot of time for crafting this weekend, but the first thing I did was my entry for Less is More; this weeks challenge is a one layer card with leaves on it. I used the cuttlebug and a labels nestablity (no. 4 I think) to emboss the centre (it doesn't show very well in the photo unfortunately)and then used the free stamp from Crafty Stampers, and a masking technique to stamp the corners (stamping and masking are my favourite techniques so I am entering this for Speedy the Cat's friends favourite techniques challenge as well). I used pine needles distressed ink and then a lighter colour promarker to colour them in. I am also entering this into Penny's challenge 'give thanks', Aud Sentiments 'Thank you' and Stamp scrap and Doodle 'Thank you' challenges.
I also made a start on catching up on my scrapbooking as I have now established that I have over 50 layouts to do in order to get up to date!  I used this weeks Sketchy Thursday sketch to make this layout, which also involves stamping and so fits with the WWU #18  from ScrapFIT. The colours also mean that it fits with this weeks Cupcake Inspirations, and the theme of friendship (along with the little butterfly stamps) mean that it fits this weeks Flutterby Wednesday challenge. That is all from me for now. I hope you all have a really good weekend.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Good Week!

Alex has had a good week this week, behaving nicely everyday much to my relief!  Today saw his first school performance which was a sign language version of Percy the Park Keeper, and The Enormous Turnip. He enjoys performing but always looks faintly worried by it, or is that just a look of concentration?!
He joined in with most of it, with only the occassional lapse in concentration!  The photos aren't great because they were taken on maximum zoom with no flash and have had to be cropped to show only Alex.  As well as performing the children had made turnip soup and bread for us all to have.  It was a lovely occasion.
Crafting wise I have been busy with Christmas cards this week, all along the clean and simple lines.  This first one uses cream card, a cuttlebug embossing folder, images from Crafty individuals and some tapestry stamps.  This fits with The Crazy challenge 'Something with wings' challenge.
The next card is similar, using the same components, but now has stitching on it and so fits with Ooh La La 'stitching challenge'
For these two cards I fought a long and hard battle with my Cuttlebug.  After 6 failed attempts I finally managed to master the double emboss technique and so can enter these for Fluorishes Timeless Tuesdays 'Double emboss' challenge. I am also entering these into Delightful challenges 'snowflake' challenge.
The final set of Christmas cards use the new stamps I got free with Cardmaking and Papercraft magazine, which I have coloured with my promarkers. I am entering these into Papertake weekly 'Christmas cards' and DYSU 'inspired by a song' challenge (Winter wonderland).
And finally as a break from Christmas cards I also made this, which fits with Simon says stamp 'Poppy fields', Delicious Doodles 'Remembrance' and CCT 'reds for Remembrance' challenges.  That is all from me for now.  Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Misty weather!

I have enjoyed having a few days off work and being able to walk Alex to school through the mist which has been ever present since the weekend! The reason for my few days off is to celebrate Tim's Birthday, hence the home-made orange and lemon cake.  I am not an icing guru as you can tell, but the cake tastes yummy! The birthday boy refuses to let me put a photo on here sadly!
The advantage of being off work is that I have had more time than usual to do things for me, rather than for everyone else. As a result I have actually managed to sort out all the photos I have printed ready for scrapbooking. Here is my desk for WOYWW with various snapfish folders containing photos ready for scrapbooking, as well as my trusty book detailing all the photos, how many of each size for each occassion, which folder they are in etc to make the process of scrapbooking easier. You can also see my trusty mug of tea, some stamps that need cleaning off and a fiskars circle cutter that was used on a recent scrapbook page.
Ok, now time for a confession!  This weeks Less is More was a colour challenge, to use red and orange on your card.  I duly came up with a design and added brick red and marmalade orange distress inks to my Lavinia leaf stamp and stamped two images, only to discover that I hadn't clean the stamp properly from the last time I used it, and instead of the images just being red and orange, there was a hint of green on some of the leaves (unintentionally)...I am still entering this card into LIM in the hopes that Chrissie and Mandy will forgive me this once!  I am also entering this card into Kaboodle Doodles 'colours of fall', CCCB 'Thanks', Creative card crew 'Thankful' and Fussy and Fancy 'be thankful' challenges.
I have also made a Christmas card using a page from an old book I rescued from the Charity shop bin.  I am using the rest of the book to make an altered book, but have needed to remove various pages during the process so recycled one here.  I coloured the page using distress ink 'shabby shutters' and tore the edges of the page and the green card mat for a vintage feel.  I used my favourite techniques of stamping and masking to make the central panel.  The santa stamp was free with a magazine last year, and the music stamp is from Stamps Away.  I finished the card off with four brads and a couple of flowers...the cream flower came from a fake flower stem I was given years ago and was looking rather tatty so I took it apart to use for crafting instead. This card therefore fits with CCC 'textalicious', Simon says stamp & show 'recycle/upcycle', Tuesday Throwdown 'your favourite colour combo' (green & red), Delightful challenges 'sparkly Christmas' (the white fur on santa's hat is sparkly), Let's ink it up 'favourite technique' and Speedy the cat's friend 'Winter theme' challenges.
This is the Birthday card that I made for Tim, which is vintage in feel as he is really into Leonardo Da Vinci at the moment. This card fits with OCC 'masculine card' and Meljen's 'use brads' challenges.
Finally I made a start on the backlog of scrapbook layouts with this Easter layout based on this weeks Nuts about Sketches sketch.  This also fits with SCSC 'flowers, ribbon and lace' challenge as all are used on this layout. That is all from me for now.  I am off to continue sorting my photos for scrapbooking. Have a great rest of the week everyone.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Fun Firework weekend!

Well we have had a lovely weekend which included Alex enjoying his first ever sparklers in our back garden.  He was very good with them and really enjoyed every minute of it.  We didn't go out to a big fireworks display because they are mostly too late for Alex, but we didn't need to. By sitting at his bedroom window sill we got the best view of about 4 local displays and several more that were further away...perfect! 
Today as part of Tim's birthday celebrations (his birthday is later this week), we went 10 pin bowling for the first time in about 9 years. We all really enjoyed every minute of it, although poor Tim was exhausted afterwards (having beaten Alex and me rather spectacularly!). Alex thought this was a great way to spend time with us both and wanted to go back again this afternoon!
Instead we made the most of the nice weather and went to the park before coming back to bake and ice Tim's birthday cake!
Crafting wise I haven't had time to do much having been so busy with organising birthday things and entertaining Alex.  I did manage to make my design team entry for Quirky Crafts though.  The challenge this week was set by Cazzy and was 'Attitude'. We were given images from the Stamping Boutique (this weeks sponsor) to work with and I used Art Doll.  I thought she looked a bit like a teenage fairy with an attitude to match so coloured her accordingly! I decided to make a fatbook page with her, using Hot off the press papers, an inkadinkado swirls stamp, buttons, bling, and ribbon. I used sakura stardust for sparkle on her wings, and silver on her crown.  I am also entering this into stamp with fun 'buttons', Fresh Brewed 'anything goes', Simon says stamp 'buttons', Stampavie 'Anything goes', Aud sentiments 'make us laugh' and Paperplay 'buttons'. That is all from me for now.  Have a great week everyone.