Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Patchwork without the sewing

A few weeks ago shared a post showing my messy play with shaving foam and the fab papers I make using this fun technique. I have used some of them for cards but kept a few for "special" occasions. Recently on the Lili of the Valley Ideas blog I saw a great card made by one of the design team showing patchwork made using a Sizzix hexagon die. I have some great blogging friends, Teje and Helen Phillips who are expert patchwork makers. Helen recently won the runners up prize in my giveaway and I thought it would be perfect to make a card to send with her bag charm using this technique.

I decided to use the very spring like papers on the left. I also used some polka dot paper and some pretty green floral paper from my stash to make my patchwork pieces. I suppose you could call this my paper "fat quarter!"

This is how each piece turns out after cutting.

Here is the die in my die cutter showing how the papers are perfectly cut.

So I got busy cutting out the hexagons...then it was the tricky bit of putting the pattern together. Mine is a really simple one and I am sure it has some kind of a name but it just looked "right" to me. I covered a piece of white card allowing some pieces to overhang.

I then cut the sides straight and ta dah.......here is  a piece of hand make patchwork without any sewing at all!
I decided that I wanted to keep the rest of the card very simple to show the patchwork paper to Helen, my Patchwork Queen friend.

I just computer generated a sentiment and put a pretty Spellbinders die cut floral oval frame around it.
Here is my finished card;
2 ribbons and a couple of hand punched MS butterflies finished the card off nicely. I had a lovely note from Helen that she loved the card and she also displayed it on her blog showing it sitting happily on her kitchen shelf.

I shall be using this patchwork in the future, there are all sorts of ideas in my head and I may even be brave enough at some point to "draw" stitches in. I did not  want to chance doing this with my first effort, often that's when everything goes very wrong. Sometimes less is more.

I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;
Crafty Ribbons Anything goes
Make it Monday Linky Party #138
Bearly Mine anything goes #84
Party Time Tuesdays anything goes #118
Stamp and Create use at least 1 die cut
Natalie and Amy Things with wings 
Simon Says Stamp anything goes

Here we are at the last day of April and the sun is still shining. It is incredible that tomorrow is May 1st. My Hb and I are heading towards all sorts of excitement in May including 2 bank holidays, an evening wedding reception we have been invited to and catching up with friends and family. I am also looking forward to long evenings in the garden after dinner....I think Billy will look forward to that too.

May your May bloom with happiness too ;0)

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Thursday, 25 April 2013

A spring taster

What a bonus the weather was at the weekend. We woke up to clear blue skies and on Saturday we even managed lunch in the garden on the patio. I was able to get the front and back gardens tidied and my little lawn had it's first haircut this year. Here it is all freshly cut....the smell is always delicious and in the warmth there were bees buzzing around too.
I have emptied lots of the post from last year and had a good spring clean out there.

My magnolia has finally burst into bud.

My flowering current is looking vibrant.

My outdoor hyacinth in a pot has finally flowered. I really began to think it would never happen and that the cold weather had caused the bulb to be blind.
I have this on the veranda of my studio, it smells wonderful.

Out in my front garden the scabious is in flower now.

As are my alpines.
Whilst I was busy out in the front and back gardens someone else was busy.......

doing nothing and enjoying the sun. And when it got too hot.................

up Billy hopped and found himself somewhere in the shade.

It's a tough life being a cat isn't it ;0)

My card today has to be something garden/sunshine/Billy inspired. It is a variation of the card I made for my own Mum for Mother's day this year. I really loved the colours so I made another version using the same card and sold it in my Etsy shop. It found a new home all the way over the pond in the USA. I know that Mother's day over there is not until May.

I used my Kitten Cuddles stamp by Lili of the Valley. I coloured it using my Promarkers pens I highlighted using my Prismcolor pencils. The oval die is the Spellbinders floral oval . My butterflies are the Martha Stewart large and small Monarch butterflies. The backing paper has been in my stash for year. The sentiment is also LOTV.

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

Emma's Cards Butterflies
Stamping Sensations Special occasions 3rd and final entry
Visible Image Spring
Divas by Design Inpired by a movie My movie is "The Secret Garden". I loved both the book and the movie it inspired.
Lili's Little Fairies Photo inspiration
Crafty Ribbons anything goes #44
I love Promarkers A square card with something round #165 my round is my sentiment  (and the gems on the butterflies!)
Simon Says anything goes
Passion for Promarkers Animals

This lovely weather has continued all week but we can't be greedy as there is rain again on its way for Friday. I don't mind that just as long as we can get some sunny days in between.
Yet another week has flown by. I have enjoyed snatching the odd moments in my garden studio enjoying all things crafty.
Today we have blue skies and warm sunshine again and I will really enjoy it as it is my day off! Happy Thursday everyone and enjoy the weekend when we get there. Thanks as always for you kind visits and comments which you leave me here.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Friday, 19 April 2013

Alexandra Palace and my haul of goodies

I promised I would be back to share my day at the Stamp show last weekend. Alexandra Palace is a really interesting venue, I had never been before and I was intrigued by the building. It was apparently built in 1873 as a public area for recreation, education and entertainment. It was to be known as "The peoples' Palace". It has suffered a couple of fires in its history and  indeed after its initial opening was destroyed by fire. It was quickly rebuilt and its upkeep was eventually taken over by the local council in the 1900s. It was deemed to be kept for the use of the public for ever more.

In the 1930s part of the Palace was leased by the BBC. The world's first TV broadcasts were make from Ally Pally as it is affectionately known. I didn't have time to see the grounds it is set in but there are no less than 196 acres of beautiful parkland surrounding it. The Palace is 150 years old this year too and there are some planned celebrations there for the summer months.

There are several halls at Ally Pally and the show was being held in the Great Hall. The entrance for this was via the Palm Entrance..it was very grand.

The palms there are huge and thrive in what is almost a giant greenhouse.

The Palace is still undergoing conservation work and everything is looking really good.

There were some great Victorian murals on the walls too.
This corridor led into the Great Hall and the show itself.

These are the views north and south. In the first photo you can see the old Organ which is being restored and in the photo above you can see the gorgeous stained glass window.

Here is a close up. These photos were taken early on when the crowds were not too big. I think that in previous years the show has been hosted in one of the smaller halls so there was much more room to move around here.

Many of the main stamp makers names were there including Lili of the Valley, Visible Image, Rubber Necker etc as well as many of the well know stockists of everything to do with card making. I spent all day there and really enjoyed browsing and seeing some things in the flesh. There were demos too including some by the lovely Sue Wilson. She is such a charming lady and despite the crowds had time for everyone who stopped by. Here she is in action.
She really is the Queen of Spellbinders dies!

I finally dragged myself away at 4.30pm and took the train home. I promised I would show you my haul and so as not to make myself (or my Hb if he gets to read this gasp) I decided to stack everything and  photograph it all together. It then does not too bad (does it??!!) OK ...here we are...
It's not too bad is it ;0)

The Things which I Really Do Love and I have tucked behind are the Spellbinders Lovely Lattice die, Whimsy sentiment stamps and dies and also 5 new Tim Holtz Distress Ink pads. I also got 3 gorgeous colours of metallic guilding wax...swoon.

Yummy ink pad colours, I will have fun with these. His names of colours are great...Tattered Rose, Salty Ocean, Peeled Paint etc.....

And new stamps too to play with. All I need is more crafty time.....I wish!

Today's card challenge card uses one of my favourite "old" stamps called Bella Sleeping by Wild Rose Studios. This stamp lends itself to so many occasions. For this one I used it is for a new baby card I was commissioned to make.

Here she is in close up...such a sweetie. I have coloured my stamped image with Promarkers and highlighted with my Prismacolor pencils.
The backing paper is an old Dovecraft paper I still have in my stash. I really like the lush gingham ribbon to finish it off. The sentiment is LOTV.

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

Paper Shelter #108 Make it bloom
I love Promarkers Pastel colours #164
Bearly Mine Spring flowers #82
Cupcake Craft Cute and Cuddly #238
Stamping Sensations Occasions
Penny Black and More Blossoms and bows
Visible Image Get stamping
Emma's Cards Butterflies
Pretty Little ribbons spring #21 can I also mention that they have a great giveaway running on their blog here
My Mum's Craft shop Easter or Easter colours

It's Friday evening already and the month is rushing by. I hope to get out to sort some gardening tomorrow and on Sunday we are going to a Tea Dance at our Dance School. It is a new venture and we are going to have a real high tea, with sandwiches and hand made cakes served on cake stands...it should be a fun afternoon. Plus we get to do some dancing to burn off those calories.

Have a lovely weekend everyone and thanks as always for your kind visits here, it is always lovely to see you all and read the sweet comments that you leave.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Monday, 15 April 2013


I had an amazing trip to Alexandra Palace on Saturday to the Stamp Show and I took some photos as it is a beautiful Victorian Venue. I will come back later this week to show you those and to display my new stash. (Gulp, my Hb had better not read that post ;0)There are a few thing to celebrate her today and first up is the results of my recent jewellery giveaway. Many thanks to those of you who took part either once, twice or three times. It was lovely to see so many of you joining in the fun. My Hb was chief adjudicator and name picker......

First out of the dish...no hats were available so the fruit bowl served the purpose....

drum roll........................it was....

The lovely Susan of Mary Jane's Tearoom

Well done Susan. You can choose the blue or pink necklace.

and the runner up who wins the bee bag charm is .................................................

drum roll again......

my dear blogging friend Helen of Helen Phillips Blogspot.

Congratulations Helen!

I'm so sorry that more of you could not win, I really wish there were prizes for you all. I will have another giveaway soon, they are always such fun.

My other celebration for today is that I finally got out to craft in my studio on Sunday. It was very pleasant in there, 24c with no heating! I even had to open the window at one point as it was getting quite warm.
 I decided that inspired by being out in my garden I would make a few more garden themed bag charms which will be heading to my Etsy Shop. I also needed to make a recent commission for a sewing themed bag charm.

I wired up the beads for the sewing charm and also decided to make another bee charm to put in my shop. I will show you the ladybird bag charm another day.

Here is a close up of the beads I used for the commission and the fun sewing related charms.

And below is the finished piece.

and this is the new little Busy Bee bag charm which has buzzed its way into the bag charms section of my Etsy shop here.

My challenge card for today also has  celebration theme. It is a Silver Wedding card which I made for a friend of my husband's who is celebrating 25 years of marriage very soon.
Yes it features those cute House Mice again. I really love the way this card turned out and I used lots of textures.

I coloured the mice with my Promarkers and highlighted them with my Prismacolor pencils.
 The lattice focal die is a Joy craft die and I finally manged to buy the wonderful Memory Box Precious Hearts die which I "hung" from my Quikcutz numbers dies.
You can also see that I got my embossing folders out again  for the white card.

This card is based on the great sketch by Crafty Catz card challenge this week.

I don't usually follow sketches but I really enjoyed using this one and when you have a card which needs making but not the time to allow the  inspiration to flow they are just ideal.

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

Crafty Catz Sketchie time #178
I love Promarkers embossing #163 my embossing is using my butterfly embossing folder on the white card.
Stamping Sensations special occasions
Penny Black and More Blossoms and bows
Bunny Zoe Fave colour combo
Forever friends fortnight #59 diecuts/punches
Lexi's Creations Challenge #88 add ribbon and/or lace
Cupcake Craft Cute and Cuddly #238
Make It Monday Linky party #136
Natalie and Amy Monochromatic #8

I would also like to give you a heads up that the girls at Ribbon Girl are having a fab pink giveaway here, pop on over and join the fun.

So last of all I think I can safely celebrate that real spring like weather is finally here. Even when it rains it is still mild and I have washed and put away our scarves and gloves for another year. The magnolia in my garden has suddenly sprouted buds and I can almost hear the sap rising out in my little garden. I am hoping to get out to do some gardening later in the week.

Wishing you all a sunny week,

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Coming out of hibernation

We woke up to the most beautiful blue skies and sunshine last Saturday morning and found that the raw easterly wind had finally dropped. It is incredible how sunshine stirs your blood and boosts your energy levels.My first thoughts were that it was a perfect day to get my studio out of hibernation and spring cleaned. (For any new readers I am lucky enough to have a garden studio which my dear Hb and Dad installed for me at the end of the garden in the autumn of 2011).  It does have a little heater but I close it up when winter sets in. Last year that happened in early November.
The blinds had been down and there was no one at home ;0) other than my pig on the veranda.

I opened up all the blinds to let the light in and cleared the work surface of the remains of  Christmas projects I I had been finishing off last November.

I then set to with my duster, hoover and window cleaning spray.
As I cleaned I took a new look at some of the special things I have hanging in my studio, many made or given to me for me by my dear crafting and non crafting friends.

I tidied as I cleaned and I felt a great sense of achievement when everything was neat and tidy. I even had a new addition to my studio which my dear Mum made me at her sewing class.

Meet my fun sheep cushion which fits perfectly on my chair.

I also gave my teak workbench, which my dear Dad made and installed for me, a good polish and added my spring coaster for my cup of tea.

I then went to get my radio out of hibernation too.


And all this time someone was watching me intently from the patio sitting in the sunshine.
My sweet Billy. He also can't wait for me to get back out into the garden so that he can bask in the sunshine on the veranda. I will be able to leave the door open and hear the sound of the garden, including the birds singing and the bees buzzing. I just can't wait!

My spring cleaning inspired a very spring themed card for today using one of my sweet Lili of the Valley stamps called Blossom. I bought her last year and I have only inked her up once before. 

Here she is in close up. I coloured her with my Promarkers and highlighted with Prismacolor pencils. The sentiment is also LOTV. I used a new Cheery Lynn butterfly die for the larger intricate butterfly (Exotic butterflies #2) which my daughter and son in law bought me for my birthday. The smaller butterflies were made with my Martha Stewart punch. The lace paper was given to me by my son's girlfriend and the backing paper was made and embossed by me...I have had many wet crafty weekends playing indoors ;0)

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

Joanna Sheen step into spring
Emmas crafty cards Butterflies
My Mum's Craft shop Easter or Easter colours
Allsorts Spring has sprung #201
Cheery Lynn challenge Anything goes #75 GD
Pan Pastel use a stamped image #14
Lexi's #87 use punches or dies
Bunny Zoe favourite colour combination my favourite colour combo is blue with green and a touch of yellow so spring like:0) GD
Penny Black and More blossom and bows
Papertake Weekly Bingo my line is the middle one;  punches, free (image), ribbons
Bearly Mine anything goes #81
Simon Says Stamp April showers and /or spring flowers
Ribbon Girl add flowers
Divas by Design Flowers
I love Promarkers Embossing Mine is heat embossing. I made the backing paper which you can just see peeping out. I used blue distress ink on crushed white card. I then stamped a floral stamp with versamark and added green embossing powder which I heat embossed.  Sadly though most of my hard work is covered up by the image but you can see parts of the embossing above Blossom's hair and to the side.

I am noticing lots of cheery spring posts and photos on everyone's blogs, it's so lovely to see.
On Saturday I have tickets for the Big Stamp show at Alexander Palace in London...I am so excited. I have written a long list and will treat myself to some things but it will be great to see others in the flesh. I can add them to my every increasing wish list. I have birthdays and Christmas covered for so many years!.

Have a lovely weekend when we get there and enjoy this warmer weather. If you live in parts of the world where spring wakes up even  later than it has here then I am sending you sunny thoughts.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

********Remember that you only have until 4pm (GMT) this Sunday to enter my giveaway here. You could win one of my handmade summer shell necklaces or one of my bag charms. There are also details in my side bar. To enter you need to leave your comments on that original post. Good luck everyone*********