Monday, 31 March 2014

Springing forward

On Saturday night the clocks moved forward and we finally sprung into British Summer time when the days are longer and the nights shorter...bliss. The weather at the weekend was perfect, warm and sunny but with a gentle breeze. It was a perfect time for some more tidying up in the garden.  I  spotted so many signs of new growth in my tiny garden, you can almost hear the sap rising at this time of the year.

 My magnolia has nearly finished flowering and it is now sending out new fresh green leaves

We have bought 2 new cheap folding chairs so that we can enjoy lunch and cups of tea in the garden
and someone else was pleased to see us outside
Yes my sweet Billy
 My later flowering narcissi are smelling sweet and I could even hear the hum of bees getting busy.

All this warm sunshine inspired me to do some spring cleaning...of  my  garden studio
 I teak oiled my work bench all ready for my return, very soon ;0) It's very rare to see my creative space this clear! I shall need to move my cold sensitive stash back in once we are sure that the temperatures are going to stay warm.
It felt so good to dust, clean and hoover everywhere. I can't wait to get back to my outdoor creative space.

Sunday was also Mother's day here in the UK and I received the most gorgeous card presents from my girlie....a photo album of Daisy from birth to now. Yes I did blub...;0) I also had a beautiful bouquet of flowers .We were invited down for the day my my SIL as a surprise and my girlie was said she was thrilled to share her first Mother's Day with her own Mum.  My boy was skiing and sent me a video of him doing a frightening jump...honestly a card would have been far less scary.
I thought it apt to share the card I made for my own dear Mum.

I used one of Ignacio's digi images available here. This is a lovely sheet with several Jessie Wilcox vintage illustrations. I hand made some embossed backgrounds to which I added some distress inks and rubbed on some metallic gilding wax.
I made several of these embossed backgrounds. I have plans for them all. The one I used for my Mum is the 2nd from the right. I also matted the pieces using gold mirror card. 
I also several CL die cuts 
The sentiment is Lili of the Valley from their grunge set which I have coloured with Distress inks

I would like to enter my card into the following challenges some of which finish tonight as we have already reached the very end of March.

Papercrafting Journey anything goes
Pan Pastel UK Metallics
Country View Crafts Paper Chase
Allsorts use those dies
Crafty Hands shabby chic
Crafty Catz anything goes
                         The Squirrel and the Fox Inspired by a book my book is The Summer Book by Ester Freud but my card itself also features a book being read ;0)
                                                         Divas that die cut paper embossing
                                                          Bearly Mine One for the girls
I hope you are all enjoying springing forward, the lighter evenings are so welcome. I have one more spring forward to do in the morning....another year to add to my age.

Have a good week thanks for all the comments you leave me, I so appreciate you all taking the time to do this and I really enjoy reading them.  Also a very warm welcome to my newest followers I hope you enjoy reading the pages of Jane's Journal.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Friday, 28 March 2014

Flowers in every shape and form

Spring flowers are blooming everywhere. I think this year the daffodils have been so spectacular. I am not sure if it was all the wet weather we had over the winter but there are vasts drifts of these beauties all around where I live.

Flowers have also featured in my silversmithing class. It is the last class of this term next week and I realised I had not shared any of my projects with you for a while. One of our projects from last term was to create a 3D flower from sheet metal. I decided to work in copper as silver is such a price at the moment. I wanted to make a brooch. The project was to make an orchid and our tutor had several varieties for us to choose from ..
I chose the cymbidium.  The instructions were originally for making paper flowers and we were able to adapt the pattern for making them in metal.
First I had to stick the pieces onto my sheet copper. Then I cut out each piece with a hand saw.
The sawing take some time and there were some very fiddly bits to cut round.
Once I had sawn them out I had to file all the edges and then gently bend and form the pieces in a steel domer block.

The next part was the soldering, which was so tricky as it was quite difficult to keep the pieces in line. I soldered the pieces in 2 groups first with easy solder and then finally soldered these together using hard solder.
It was then a slow process of polishing
until I was happy with my finished piece

It is so hard to photograph as the metal reflects so much but it is a very pretty flower brooch.
It was also a very useful exercise in learning how to form metal sheet into 3D objects.

So my card challenge today has to feature flowers doesn't it. I also decided to have a try at making my own handmade paper flowers from dies. I was really thrilled the way they came out and I will be making more. It means I can perfectly match the colours of my card.

My son in laws sister has just got engaged so I made this card for them; nothing says congratulations more than flowers does it?

The lovely vintage flower image is a new one from Nicecrane Designs and is available to buy here . Ignacio has got some lovely new spring images in his store. He has also sent me some wonderful chick ones to play with for Easter which I will be creating some more guest design work for him soon.
Here are a couple of close ups. I think for a first time my handmade roses worked out OK.
 The flowers were made with my Marianne die and the leaves are Cheery Lynn. The lovely engagement and little tag sentiment are both by Lili of the Valley
I distressed the edges of my papers and also used lots of vintage photo distress ink to give a real vintage feel and I also added 2 brass coloured charms from my jewelllery stash.

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

Country View Crafts Paper chase
We do dobeedoo sweet as honey
The Squirrel and the Fox Inspired by a book my book is The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
Cupcake inspirations flowers/garden
Loves rubberstamping ugly papers my green backing paper is in a pad I have had for ages which I almost threw out as by itself it is very uninteresting. However for this card it is perfect in the background. It just shows you should never throw anything out from your paper stash!
Party Time Tuesdays anything goes
Papercrafting Journey anything goes
Deep Ocean For a friend
Stampin for the weekend spring colours
Craftyhands shabby chic
Crafty catz anything goes
Creative corner rainbow I have all the colours of the rainbow on my card
A creative romance spring flowers
4 Crafty Chicks spring

My Hb and I have a final day of this year's annual leave to use up today and we are going to spend it with Daisy and her Mummy and Daddy ;0) I hope you are enjoying the end of the week and looking forward to doing something special at the weekend. Happy Mother's Day to all the Mum's in the UK for Sunday. I hope you all get treated to some flowers in real or card form. If not just savour the floral display that Mother Nature is showing us at the moment.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Few words needed

As promised I am back to share my buys from the Country Living Spring show I attended last week. My Mum and I were delighted by the quality of the merchandise available. I was actually quite restrained with what I bought but of course I had to treat my Daisy to some of the wonderful hand made clothes on sale. The dress I bought it completely reversible including the sash.  I also bought a few crafty bits to add to my card making and cake making stash and my darling Mum treated me to a gorgeous cashmere top.

Few words are needed............

Yes I know I'm a lucky girl.

My card today is actually a tag which I felt inspired to make on Sunday. It was a chilly but beautiful spring day and I had just returned from a sunny walk. I do feel very blessed. Our lives are so full of hopes and dreams which we strive for. However life is never easy and there are constant changes and challenges. Sometimes  to achieve this we do need to push ourselves into uncharted waters. I wanted to make an inspirational tag and looked through my Lili of the Valley Pretty Vintage quotes stamps. 

I chose this one

 and made this tag

Just to celebrate life ;0)

I had such fun making up the background using distress ink and a TH clock stencil. I die cut 2 Cheery Lynn seahorses (I was feeling in a summery mood ;0) out of book pages and Distress Inked them. I love the way the one at the bottom almost looks camouflaged. I also had a chance to ink up mu Designs by Ryn rising bubbles stamp and stamped it in both DIs as a shadow and then again in blue archival ink. I added a few words .....just hopes and dreams.
Here are some close ups

and one last view showing the ribbons I have attached. 
I would like to enter my tag into the following challenges;

A Vintage Journey say it with words 
Hels Sheridan Sunday Stamper dreams
A little bit Crafty are we there yet?
The Squirrel and the Fox Inspired by a book my book is The life of Pi by Yann Martel
Cheery Lynn celebrate  I am celebrating life!
Fashionable stamping silhouette I love my seahorse silhouette, he is nearly camouflaged there ;0)
Country view Crafts paper chase
Flonzcraft just for you I certainly made this tag just for me
The Artistic stamper Letters words and numbers
Little Claires make a tag
Crafty Ribbons anything goes with ribbon

Happy Tuesday everyone and thanks for making my blogging life such a enjoyable one. 

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Country Living Spring Fair

My day out at the Country Living Spring Fair was such fun. I met my Mum for a coffee first in the coffee shop there and we then spent the next several hours wandering around the British Design Centre.
There were lots of different stall holders there and it was lovely to see some unique products. The building itself is modelled on the old Agriculture Hall which stood there in there 1800s. The stained glass window still remains.

The stall holders were on 3 different levels
 and Whittard's even had a pop up tea room where we sat in the afternoon and enjoyed a pot of afternoon tea

I will share my new stash with you in my next post  but one stall which of course had us drooling was Green and Blacks's who were showing how their chocolate is produced from pod to pack and yes there was lots of free tasting, well we could not say no could we? 

and downstairs there was a lovely spring gardening area with lots of bright bulbs on show

There were lots of lovely things to look at and buy and we really had a super day (thanks Vx)

After my recent giveaway I have had so many email about the pendants especially Susan's Daisy chain as she kindly featured it on her lovely blog here (thanks Susan x)
I have decided to put a smaller version of it in my Etsy shop here

Please do note that it is not the same as Susan's as hers has a lot more silver in it and would cost a lot more to list that the one on Etsy. The chain is the same, an 18" sterling silver snake chain.

*******EDIT; This Daisy chain sold instantly, thanks Vx. If anyone would like one custom made I am happy to do so. Please either contact me through my Etsy shop or via my email on my profile here on my blog.****** Thanks Jx

 I have also listed a lovely copper heart pendant here
which comes on a black silk 17" necklet.

My challenge card today is still all about spring and is another GD card for Ignacio of Nicecrane Designs. I just love his new designs and my card today uses another  image from the super Enchanted  Spring set available here
I have used my Floral oval die which I have distressed. The DPs are from my stash. I have added a lovely ivy die cut  made from a spare piece of hand inked paper. I also added a couple of CL blossoms with brads in their centres  and a LOTV sentiment tag.
Here is that gorgeous image in close up. I wonder how many Easter eggs will fill their bags and bucket?

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

Papertake Weekly For mum/Girlie
Sparkles Monthly Easter Parade
Whimsy Stamps Easter
Country View Crafts paper chase
A little bit crafty are we there yet? I wonder when these children will find their Easter eggs?
Stamp and Create Ready for Spring 
Bearly mine one for the girls
The cupboard trilogy Mothers
Papertake Weekly For Mum/girlie 
Polkadoodles Spring is in the air
My Mum's Craft Shop Spring/Easter
Totally Gorjuss Card for a Mum
We do doobadoo Sweet as honey
Ali Craft Spring
The Squirrel and the Fox Inspired by a book my book is Marigold Garden by Kate Greenaway 

Enjoy the end of the weekend. We caught up with the birthday girl who was whisked off by her Hb  to Falmouth in Cornwall with Daisy to enjoy 3 days of family time together. We enjoyed a belated meal at theirs last night. Our Daisy is growing up so quickly. She loves to play now and loves her bedtime story...bless. Take a peep ;0)

Back soon, with photos of my buys from my day out ;0)

Bye for now,

Jane x