Tuesday, 30 July 2013

A limited edition Pimm's O Clock

Welcome to my final guest designer post for the ladies over at the Loves Rubberstamps challenge. Yes I have made 5 cards for the 5 Tuesdays in July. The challenge this week is to make a long/tall card which fits a business envelope measuring 9X4". Do pop over here  and join in with the fun.

 I decided to use one of my favourite stamps from my stash, Bella Sleeping by Wild Rose Studios. I have used this stamp several times to make new baby cards but this time I had some inspiration from a new  version of my favourite summer tipple, Pimms. More about that later.   Here is my card.

I coloured my stamp with my Promarkers and
highlighted with my Prismacolor pencils. I made another flower with my Craftwork cards card candi. The backing paper are also the delightful Time Flies papers from Craftwork Cards.

The sentiment in Lili of the Valleyand the die cut is part of the new Joy craft butterfly border.

I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;

Creative Inspirations Bingo I have used the first vertical line, ribbon, stamp and flowers
Ali-Craft Butterflies
Crafty Ribbons anything goes
A+T Emerald Faeries Birthdays
Sentimental Sundays anything with wings
Papercrafting Journey die cuts/punches
Make It Monday Linky Party #151
Rhedd and Rosie anything goes 3rd and final entry

This is my inspiration below, yes a limited edition Pimm's which has been made for this summer. It is created with elder flower and has wonderful hints of blackberry in it. In the late summer I will have ripe blackberries from my garden that I can add. For the time being though I have added strawberries and lemon. Mmmm it is quite a sweet taste but I really enjoyed it. There is nothing to replace my Number 1 cup Pimm's but it is a delicious change.

This was the scene in my garden on Sunday.

and my Hb had the ordinary Pimm's

a perfect drink to enjoy with our evening meal.

I am *blush* delighted to have been approached again to join a couple of card challenge design teams but much as I am very flattered I again have to say that I can only take on guest DT creations at the moment. As a busy physiotherapist working for the NHS I just don't get enough time for my crafting. Please email me if you would like me to join your DT as a guest. Even if I can't fit making them in now my favourite season of Christmas is on the horizon and I really am Mrs Christmas ;0)

Thanks so much for your visits and the comments you take the time to leave me, I love reading every single one of them.

************Remember that my celebration giveway is still running here...do enter, everyone is welcome and you could win my handmade necklace below. Closing date is 8 August*******

Back soon, (yes with photos of our fab day out ;0)

Bye for now,

Jane x

Thursday, 25 July 2013

A trio of anniversaries

There are no less than 3 anniversaries taking place in the next few days. Today is our 32nd wedding anniversary, tomorrow is my 3rd blogging anniversary and Sunday is our daughter and son in law's 1st wedding anniversary. What a wonderful trio of celebrations. I have scheduled this post as M and I are up in our beloved London for the day. We hope to go across the Thames on the cable car and have a wander around Greenwich and then we have a very special meal booked for the evening..dinner at the Ritz ;0)

I decided to have a giveaway to celebrate. I am amazed how quickly 3 years of blogging has gone by. I took my first tentative steps into the world of blogging on 26 July 2010 and as I said here in my very first post I was not sure whether anyone would be interested in reading Jane's Journal. How wrong I was....here I am 269 posts later and with 135 friendly blogger followers and more who follow via email alerts, loving every minute of this kind, creative, friendly blogging world. 

You have peeped into my sunny little garden...

Seen my silversmithing  projects and other jewellery making projects...

Watched my card making evolve and improve, especially this year (I think ;0)

Looked at my holiday snaps and exploits

and last but not least sent virtual pats to my dear cat Billy...who is as always my helper in all things creative and never far away.

So I have made something special for my giveaway......a summery necklace.

It is a very pretty necklace.I have made it using a lovely one of a kind handmade artisan glass lampwork flowery summer bead as the focal. The blue stone is genuine lapis lazuli and there are gorgeous sparkly rock crystal chunks to finish it off. If you do not want to keep it for yourself it will come in an organza bag and would make a great gift for someone. It is a totally unique and one of a kind piece.
All the findings (clasp etc) are sterling silver and there are 2 little Swarovski spacers holding that lovely focal bead in place.

As always with my giveaways this is open to everyone worldwide. Just mention in your comment on this post that you would like to put your name into the hat. However as with my last giveaway I wanted to give an extra 2 chances of winning to my loyal followers who stop by and say hi week in and week out. So, if you are a follower you will get 1 extra name in the hat. Also if you post the above picture of my giveaway necklace in your side bar on your blog or mention it in a post you will get a 3rd entry. Just leave a mention of what you have done in your comment on this post. You can even come back later and tell me if you have added any extra entries. My giveaway will be open until Thursday 8 August so you have plenty of time to enter. Good luck to everyone.

So my card today is a card to celebrate with...it is actually a wedding card which I made recently for my daughter's now sister in law..if that makes sense. The bride is very much a "girlie"girl and loves all things pink and bling so this is what I came up with.

I used Ladybug Craft's Ink Bride Nikki as the stamp..she is a great bride stamp for wedding cards. I coloured her with my Promarkers and fussy cut her out. The bird cage card base is a win from Craftwork Cards..an amazing card shape isn't it. I added Card Candy to the bars and lots of Cheery Lynn die cut butterflies.This set is the exotic butterflies #2 with angel wings, I really love these.  There is also a die cut white olive branch there which is also by Cheery Lynn.The flowers are Mulberry paper roses. I also added lots of stickles glitter for bling. The inside was silver glitter card and the message read "May your day bloom with Happiness"

I would like to enter my card into the following challenges.

Cheery Lynn Silver and/or gold
Little Claire's Designs Wedding/anniversary
A Creative Romance No designer paper
Make It Monday anything goes
Stampin for the Weekend sparkle and bling
Papertake Weekly Die-ing for a punch
Divas by Design anything goes
Inky Chicks Summer colours
Crafts and Me anythng goes
The Paper Shelter anything goes
Bearly Mine anything goes
Papercrafting Journey Die cuts/punches
Crafting with Dragonflies Wedding card and a hop

Thank you all again for being such great friends and for bringing such an enormous amount of pleasure into my life. Unless you are part of this blogging community you have no idea just how much fun we all have. I am also stunned by the talents and creativity you all share here.  The Internet really has brought the world together. Good luck with my giveaway and as my card sentiment reads ...... may your day also bloom with happiness.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

To the Beach

How exciting that we now have a new King-to-be, born yesterday afternoon on the hottest day since 2006. Many congratulations to Kate and William and welcome to the as yet un named Prince of Cambridge. The world's press had been camped outside the hospital and it was so joyful to see the news announced live on TV last night just before 9pm. It makes the arrival of my darling grandbaby in November feel even closer. I can't wait.

The girls over at the Ribbon girls have even hosted a great blue giveaway for the Royal baby, take a peep here

Unbelievably this is my penultimate card as GD for the ladies of  Loves Rubberstamps. This week the challenge is called "How Charming" in other words you need to use a charm on your project. Do pop over to join the fun. As you all know that is never difficult for me as I have lots and lots of charms as I use them to make my bag charms with. I decided that I wanted to make another of the amazing accordion cards again and inspired by the summer weather and wanting to use some of my pretty holiday shells I set to work on my latest piece.
Here it is;

and here are a couple of close ups

The stamp is a Whimsy Wee stamp called Goldie. She is such a sweet mermaid. I coloured her with my Promarkers and highlighted with Prismacolor pencils.  I fussy cut her out and have used Glossy Accents to make her bubble appear real. The Smile sentiment is from my Lili of the Valley Pretty Vintage sets. You will spot 2 charms here, an anchor and a sweet little sea horse. I have also used for the first time some Stampendous Frantage embossing enamel...OMGoodness I am in love, this is such fun to use. I really thought it worked well as "sand". I made another Craftwork Card Candi flower too and there are more of my sweet holiday shells here.  I had such fun making this card.

I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;

Heck of a Challenge The Sea
Country View Crafts Summer sizzler
Rhedd and Rosie's Challenge anything goes
Visible Image Inspired by a song my song is that fab summer beach song "Under the boardwalk" by The Drifters...I now can't stop humming it ;0)
Crafting with Dragonflies unusual folds you can see my tutorial  for this on my blog post here entitled Happiness is...
Simon Says Stamp By the Sea
Charizma Cards Girlie
Penny Black and More Dies/punches
Stamping Sensations Summer Colours
Make it Monday Linky challenge #150

Continuing the theme of using charms I thought I would  show you some of my recent bag charm commissions....I have also got a seaside themed bag charm for sale here in my Etsy shop using a mermaid charm.

and here is a whole bunch of others...I thought they looked fun together. If you would like any particular themed bag charm made for yourself or as a pressie do email me, I can cover most requests. The beads I use are one of a kind handmade artisan glass lampwork beads. Each bag charm is totally unique. They cost £6.75 each, postage is extra depending on your location. I post worldwide. 

The sun has continued to shine every day and this is the longest heat wave we have had since 2006. My daughter lives near the sea and I thought I would share a couple of photos from our recent visit.
 She's just like her Mum, fascinated by shells...

There's nothing quite like a visit to the seaside is there ;0)

And if you wondered what Billy is getting up to in this heat

Yes he is "flat out!" ;0)

Do pop back here on Thursday as I have a jewellery giveaway planned...celebrations ahead ;0)

Bye for now,

Jane x

Friday, 19 July 2013

Jane's Journal reviews Craft Stamper Magazine

I was delighted to have been one of 10 card makers selected to review the August edition of Craft Stamper. I occasionally buy craft/stamping magazines and I have always regarded Craft Stamper as the magazine for serious stampers. I have been given free reign as to how I review the magazine so this is my very personal opinion.

There is a free stamp on the cover, a little telephone and there are some great craft and card ideas inside as to how it can be used. The cover has a really bright summery appeal to it and vibrant colours are the theme for this issue. It is a very unique magazine as it is dedicated to all things stamping, not just card making.

There are regular features as well as projects in the index. Included in this month's projects are rainbow colours, a feature on making feathers using old book pages, a nautical themed table setting, a wire workshop and something which caught my eye...,Steam punk Romance. More about that later in this post.

All the projects have excellent clear instructions and photos, I really liked the step by step instructions.
There is also a double spread of freebies which can be won and it is useful that you can join in by post or on line. I shall certainly be putting my name in the hat.

There are a  good variety of projects in the magazine from clean and simple techniques to much more advanced ones. Every project has a "Materials" box at the end which includes the products used. The magazine is not the usual "photo book" of endless cards which some card/craft magazine are. There are whole projects to follow.
The price of £4.50 is reasonable and the quality of the paper used is very good. I am very impressed with the photography and found myself going back over many of the articles.
There is also an "Over to you" section showing artwork sent in by reader's which has been inspired by previous editions of Craft Stamper.

I decided that I would use some of the inspiration from the magazine to try a style that I have never previously used. I enjoy making backing papers using distress ink but I have never previously made a Steam punk card as I find them a little bleak/goth. However I was very
impressed by Liesbeth's Fidder's vibrant Steam punk "Romance"  project inside. It gave a softer side to steam punk. I also have not inked up some of my Lili of the Valley Pretty Vintage backgrounds yet, which are perfect for a Steam punk "romance" look. I also like the vintage feel to them.

I also liked the idea of  using book pages as featured by Gail Milburn's "Fine Feathered" article where she has used book pages for her paper feathers.

First I got inky and made some backing paper using my distress inks. This is always such fun and the end results are unique every single time. I added some Picket Fence distress ink to this sheet for the first time too.

Once the paper was dry I stamped my Lili of the Valley vintage backgrounds (Clocks and cogs sheet)  using Versafine ink in onyx black. I made a sheet of backing paper and cut off 3 smaller parts.

I also wanted to use the idea of using ripped pages from a  book. My Hb gave me an old copy of Dicken's A Tale of Two cities. I must admit ripping a page out of a book felt really odd.

I decided to make a square focal for my sentiment using some more text from the book.  I used Distress Ink to colour it yellow and then inked the edges with vintage photo as I don't have any of the
recommended Impress die inks suggested.  It worked well.  The tip I found very useful was to check which words you have visible .....it's a bit late to notice any inappropriate words when you have finished your card.

I then stamped a Birthday stamp (Lili of the Valley Statement stamps, set 43) with Versamark  and embossed with black embossing powder. I really liked the way this turned out. The embossed sheen works really well in contrast to the dull finish text.

So here is my finished card I really like the vintage feel to it too.

You will spot I have added some Frantage (I love this stuff, it is my newest buy). I have also added a couple of flourish die cuts both by Memory Box and also a fun clock face charm by The Hobby House which I bought at Ally Pally. The ribbon strip down the side of the focal is a Martha Stewart punch.

I would like to thank Craft Stamper for sending me a copy of their great magazine and if they ever want another review, especially of a Christmas edition (yes I am Mrs Christmas), I would be delighted. I am usually quite a "girlie"card maker and making a steam punk romance/vintage style card took me completely out of my comfort zone. I was really pleased with the result and I can see me using this style again for making my male cards now.

I would like to enter my card into the following card challenges;

A and T Emerald Faeries Birthdays
Visible Image Inspired by a song my song is Pink Floyd's "Time" from Dark Side of the Moon
Rhedd and Rosie's anything goes
The Hobby House Vintage I have used one of their fab clock face charms on my card.
Penny Black and More Dies and punches
Craft Room Challenge Vintage
Here come the Boys's Anything goes
4 Crafty Chicks Let's hear it for the boys
A Creative Romance No designer paper
A little bit Crafty Dying for it...use dies

I hope everyone in the UK is enjoying this wonderful summer weather. More blue skies and baking sunshine is in store for us at the weekend too....woop woop...it must be nearly Pimm's O' Clock ;0) Have a great weekend wherever you are and thanks for stopping by and for leaving all your kind comments.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Christmas in July 2013

Warning this post is very photo heavy so I suggest you make yourself a cuppa and then settle down for a read. This is a very apt title for today's post as yes it is that time of the year when I make a "Christmas in July" card (Vivienne please don't choke on your tea ;0). But also today I plan to show you my wonderful goodies I bought at the Coronation Festival at Buckingham Palace on Friday. My card today is my 3rd Guest Designer card for over at the Loves Rubberstamping challenge. The challenge this week is Christmas is July.  As my regular blogging friends know I am Mrs Christmas and if there is any excuse for me to mention the "C" word in the summer I do not need a lot of persuading. I also find it great fun to get out my Christmas stash when we are enjoying the heat of summer. The weather for the last week or so has been in the mid 30s...gorgeous. Here is my card.

I have used Mo Manning's Little Elf Mim. These stamps are sold by Penny Black and I bought her last year. I coloured her with my Promarkers and highlighted her with my Prismacolor pencils.

Here she is in close up. I fussy cut her out and added some diamonds glitter to her hat and top for extra sparkle. The die cut bells are Marianne as is the fir branch peeping out. I added a really lush red and green satin ribbon and a second thin red ribbon with the words Happy Christmas.

This is my first card for my Christmas stash and I think I will start making a few each month as life gets so busy, Also this year our grandbaby will be making an appearance in early November so I need to be even more organised for Christmas than I usually am.

I would like to enter my card into the following card challenges;

Crimbo Crackers Girlie
Penny Black Christmas in July
Visible Image Inspired by a song of course my song has to be the carol "Ding dong merrily on high"
Winter Wonderland Baby's First Christmas
Papercrafting Journey Christmas in July
Stamp and Create Christmas in July
Crafty Ribbons anything goes with ribbon
As you like it Favourite occasion and why Obvious as I have written above my favourite occasion is Christmas....it is and always will be. I think it is the gathering of the family, the decorations, the winter and just the whole season which inspires me every single year. And if you want to know there are only 161 days to go ;0) Vivienne will have passed out by now ....
Totally Gorjuss Sweet
Merry Monday Christmas card challenge anything goes

I would also like to give a shout out to the lovely Ribbon Girls who have a giveaway at the moment. Take a peep here

So I know you have all been wanting to see my goodies brought home from my day at Buckingham Palace. If you want to read about it have a look at this post here

There were so many things to choose from all the Warrant holders who were exhibiting, this is what we came home with;

Beautiful bound note books for Hb and me which were personalised as we waited

We were able to choose our books and watch the letters being added in gold leaf. I bought a plain notebook for me to add my little thoughts and sketch and ideas when I am down in my studio. The paper is beautiful quality

and of course it has the Royal Warrant under the Queen's crest.
 Bendick's had produced a special limited edition tin which contained mints and a set of playing cards...very useful in our household at Christmas.

Sutton's seeds also had a super tin so this went into a bag too

Martini had a great stand as it is their 150th anniversary this year. I am a Martini Rosso girl and they had a really great limited edition offer

Their stand was also very popular......
 on the subject of drink.... Moet and Chandon had a fab stand too, we enjoyed a great chat about buying vintage champagne

We also had to buy the Festival Guide as it will be something to show our grandchildren.
It has such beautiful quality photos and paper

Tom Smith (the Christmas Cracker people) were exhibiting. There was nothing to buy, it was to show the commissioning of special crackers. However the man there took a shine to me and gave me a little Christmas goodie bag. He thought I was making it up that I am Mrs Christmas until I showed him the countdown app I have on my phone. Yes seriously I have one. 

They make special crackers each year for the Royal Households as well as for other clients.

This was their stand, it really was Christmas in July on one of the hottest days of the year. I loved this stand and spent ages here.

How about these for bespoke crackers. My family will just have to make do with my hand made ones I'm sorry to say !

Now last, but most certainly the most special of our purchases... As you know I am also a silver smith and attend classes at college once a week during term time. I really enjoy my hobby and some time ago we tried our hands at enameling. I did make a pretty necklace but I soon recognised that enameling (and stone setting) are things I tend to leave to the experts. There are very difficult and very time consuming.  Some years ago I bought my Hb a set of cuff links for Christmas by Fiona Rae, a very talented enameler. As we were nearing the end of the festival I noticed that she had a stand....yes she has received the Royal Warrant no less! We went into her booth and saw some of her amazing work.

Fiona is the sweetest person you could meet and we spent ages talking to her. And yes I am sure you can guess.....my Hb bought me the sweetest pendant and I bought him another set of cuff links. These have been so difficult to photograph as they reflect the light so much, but in real life these really are quite exquisite.

Here is my sweet enamelled birdie complete with nest and sapphire egg.

and here are my Hbs cuff links. They represent the sun and in the centre is a tiny blue face

Yes I know I am a very spoilt, lucky girl but it is our 32nd Wedding Anniversary on 25th July so I could pretend they are for our celebrations :0)

It really was the most remarkable and memorable day and we have treasures to treasure for years to come.

I hope you are enjoying the sun as much as I am ( and this gorgeous one above)

Thanks so much for your kind visits and all the comments you take the time to leave me. It really was Christmas in July for me last week in more ways than one.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x