Sunday, 31 January 2016

Happy Mail

I had some very happy mail delivered by Mr Postie last week. I was lucky enough to win the Rubber Dance stamps Christmas challenge and my prize was some gorgeous stamps from Bibi. Just look at this lovely haul. Bibi included a sweet tag too and my envelope was also beautifully decorated.
I also received some happy mail from Linda over at the Funkie Junkie. Part of this haul was bought with vouchers I had won over at Frilly and Funkie and from Lisa with the Visions of Sugarplums Christmas hop. I chose lots of Wendy Vecchi goodies.

 I decided to have a play with Bibi's lovely antique botanicals set. I also wanted to play with my Wendy Vecchi vintage quilt stencil.
I chose the camellia stamp, top left,  as I thought I would make a vintage card for my Etsy shop.
I also used my Wendy Vecchi vintage quilt stencil.
 I used some distress inks on watercolour paper and bumped some archival ink through my stencil  The "with love" die cut is from my blogging buddy Di, another win last year. I LOVE this little die.
 I stamped the flower onto a snippet of paper and coloured it with matching distress inks.
You will see my new Joy floral oval die came out to play again, this time with glitter card. Such a pretty die.
It is for sale via the link here

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

Simon says stamp Wednesday  anything goes
Simon says work it Wednesdays something new my new are my floral stamp and stencil.
Anything but cute Ring out the old...bring in the new  my new are my floral stamp and stencil.
Pixie's snippets playground  1/3 #214 I used a snippet of paper for stamping on and a snippet of card for my sentiment.
Noor anything goes
Whimsy stamps with love
The Artistic Stamper anything goes
As you like it 1/3 favourite 1 or multilayer mine is multi, I find it quite hard to keep to CAS one layer cards. I really enjoy taking time with my creations so I tend to add other dimensions to my cards.
Allsorts 1/3 bring on the bling
Sweet stampin 1/3 Valentine's
The Ribbon Girl  with love
We love 2 create 1/2 #3 anything mixed media
The Craft Barn triplets/trios the stamp I have used has a trio of flower heads.

Bear went home on Wednesday night, he was such a good boy. Here he is just before he went home
Billy has got his house back now and my legs are getting a little longer after wearing them down with 3 walks a day!

The drizzly rain and wind has returned so I think that some crafting will be occurring here today.
Keep snug I hope that you can enjoy some creative time too. Januray comes to a close today, although we have been really busy it has seemed like an incredibly long month. I am looking forward to February...Valentine's day, my son's birthday and lighter evenings will all feature.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Mellow Monday

Yes I know that it's Tuesday today but I had a very mellow Monday yesterday. We're Bear sitting at the moment and as anyone with a dog knows, that means lots of walking. Luckily I like walking and I decided to take yesterday off work but still got up bright and breezy and was out walking with Bear first thing in the morning.

The sun was breaking through
 as we headed down to the river for a stroll
Lots of sniffing took place
 and we spotted lots of ducks
 It was so mild again I only wore a sleeveless jacket and the sky was blue
 and we spotted lots of lovely blossom as we walked.

As I had the day at home I decided to make a card to enter some last challenges for January. One of them is the More than words quick challenge where you must include the word "be". I also wanted to enter Crafty Individuals lace and bits and bobs as well.

Inspired by my lovely walk I decided to use my Crafty Individuals tea stamps and also a lovely sentiment stamp from PaperArty. I stamped my image onto a book page and coloured it with distress ink.  I used the lovely roses paper from the Gypsy pad I won from Craft Consortium. I tucked some lace in and added a button and twine.

This is what I made

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

More than words quick challenge which is only on Facebook  the word "be" needs to be seen, mine is in my sentiment.
Crafty Individuals lace, buttons bits and bobs
Stamping sensations anything goes with a die/s
Sweet stampin 2/3 Vintage or shabby chic
Anything but cute Ring out the old...bring in the new my green floral frame is brand new Joycraft.
Pixie's snippets playground  2/3 #213 I used snippets of paper for the backing and for stamping the sentiment on.
Winter wonderland  3/3 something new my green floral frame is a brand new Joycraft
Craft heaven  3/3 something old something new old is my large spellbinders frame die and new is my green floral frame, a brand new Joycraft
The Artistic Stamper anything goes
Crafty boots 2/3 ribbon or lace I have added lace

Today's weather could not be more different, it's pouring with rain and the wind is howling away. Luckily my Hb managed a Bear walk between the showers. 
Thanks so much for the wonderful comments you left on my last post. I'm glad you enjoyed your visit to Aquashard with Hb and I are still buzzing about it.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Lunch at the 31st floor of the Shard

Hello and I am back with my promised photos of the wonderful birthday lunch I shared with my Hb for his birthday last Wednesday.

*****Warning***** this is a very photo heavy post so you might want to grab a cuppa or come back when you have a little more time to spare. If you are just here to see my challenge entry just scroll to the bottom of my post.

All restaurant bookings at The Shard have to be made in advance, 3 months in fact, so when we booked this last year we had no idea what the weather would be doing in January. We should not have worried though as we woke to a lovely clear sunny day.
The Shard is one of London's newest building and already is regarded as one of the most iconic of recent years. It stands high above all of the other buildings and looms up from underneath London Bridge station. I absolutely love it.
I took this photo standing at ground level, the top is not even visible. There are 3 main restaurants at the Shard.
We chose to eat at the Aquashard restaurant and it turned out to be a great choice.
We were greeted at reception

and took the express lift up to the 32nd floor.

There was some great artwork on the walls.

We were shown to the stairs down to Aquashard (which is on the 31st floor) and this was the wow moment when we realised what an amazing area and view this is.

We were shown to the bar for pre lunch drinks

 and given an amazing table to sit and enjoy our gin and tonics

Bombay Sapphire of course ;0) with Fever-Tree tonic..such an interesting bottle (or is it just me)?
We were spellbound by the view which really did take our breath away and I got up to take some more photos. For those of you who are not in the know the very tall white edged building in the centre is known as the Walkie-Talkie (20 Fenchurch Street).  It caused havoc in the city a few years back when the sunlight reflected starting melting some cars...ooops! It had to be clad to stop this. The building to the right is the Gherkin and the tall one on the left is the Nat West Tower (Now Tower 42). Peeping out from behind the Walkie-Talkie is the Cheesegrator (Leadenhall Building)
 The reflection from the Walkie-Talkie on the Thames was magical, so sparkly.
The Shard is like a giant sun dial, it casts its shadow onto the Thames. My Hb reckoned you could probably learn to tell the time by it. 

I zoomed in on Tower Bridge
and the Tower of London
The Millennium wheel can be seen on the skyline below.
and how about this for one of the toilets.
There is just glass everywhere, and the reflections were awesome.

At 12.30pm  the waiter came over to take us to our table....and wow what an amazing table we had been given for our meal, looking out to St. Paul's, Cannon Street and the Millennium Bridge.
We took a while before we ordered as we just kept gasping at the view. London is our favourite city in the world and she certainly looked gorgeous in the sunlight from 31 floors up. My Hb could see his office in Cannon Street from our table.
The bridge in the centre is London bridge
 and the brown office building behind the left red crane in the foreground  is his office eh?

The food was really first class. Talk about a meal with a view.

I had a very pretty cocktail

and played around taking some arty shots with my camera at the table when we had eaten.
 I love this shot below which captures the skyline in the glass.
and then of course it was time to go...but a few more photos had to be taken...

It was the most wonderful day.

So.....the next day I had a rare day at home and decided that I would make a Moment to remember M's awesome birthday lunch. I wanted to represent the views, the textures, the glass and metals and our meal.

I had been given a business card so I wanted to use that I also wanted to use inspiration from the photo of the skyline in the of my favourite photos.

I had some ideas to play with. There were so many great textures at The Shard, cool brickwork, glass, metal etc. I created a textured background using texture paste and using lots of angular Shard - like and brickwork stencils.
I chose blue, black and silver as my paint colours...all quite metallic to me and the blue represents the sky and the river.
I bought the silver and blue DecoArt colours after attending a recent workshop...gorgeous colours.
 I added the acrylics with lots of sprays of water to make the colours run and create ripples like the river.

I kept adding layers until I was happy. I wanted an area in the centre to have less paint as it was to be my "window". 
I won some adhesive gem sheets at Christmas from Crafty Hazelnut's challenge and I knew they would be perfect to cut up and make my "Shard"with.
 Below is the business card I wanted to use.
 I also made a piece of embossed "metal" from foil using my sizzix embossing folder and added black paint to age it. I wanted to make a bottle out of it to remember the tonic with our pre lunch gin.
To make my "glass" I used acetate. I wanted to use my favourite Visible Image eye stamp to represent us both gazing out at the view of London. I cut the shape of the glass by hand, the same shape as our gin and tonic and water glasses at the Shard. To make some bubbles I used my embossing folder on another piece of acetate underneath.

 I also used my sun rays stencil to represent the sun shining and also the reflection on the River Thames from the Walkie-Talkie building.

I put some embossed acrylic behind my window to represent the reflections from the glass and also the river.  I added  blue paint to the raised areas.
So then I put on my creative hat .....

and came up with................

 this Moment. I cannot get the photos to show all the sparkle in the glass, irl it really glints and shines. I added glossy accents and glamour dust to the embossed acetate in the glass.

The heart is for our love of London and has Shard shaped hands and lots of texture.
I made a metallic bottle to peep out from behind my "Shard" just like the buildings peeped out from London. 

I painted the eye with acrylics and you can just see the sparkle and bubbles in the glass behind the image. The sentiment is also Visible Image and is always perfect to use for the Moments I create.

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

Sweet stampin 1/3 Vintage or shabby chic I think my Moment is a mixture of both
PaperArtsy Hearts I was inspired by all the different textures on heart in Leandra's introductory post.
Anything but cute Ring out the old...bring in the new this is the first time I have used this blue and silver Decoart paint....I bought these colours after attending a wonderful recent workshop where I got to play with lots of paints and products. It is also my first outing for the amazing gem sheet I won.
Pixie's snippets playground  1/3 #213 I used a snippet of acetate for making my glass. I used a snippet of card for my heart and I had a real inspired snippet..the hands of the "clock" are a snippet left over for trimming up my "bottle" behind my Shard.
Emerald Creek Dares Valentine's is not in the air, use a heart
Simon says stamp Mondays  best friends my Hb is my very best friend in the world :0)
Love to create  anything mixed media #2
Country View crafts Be inspired by Bottles...I was inspired by the tonic bottle and it is represented in my Moment behind my "Shard". made out of embossed foil.
Winter wonderland 2/3 something new my new are the 2 new paints and the gem texture sheet.
Craft heaven 2/3 something old something new old is my heart die and new are the paints and the gems sheet.
Craft your passion 2/3 anything goes
Moving along with the times 2/3 wet or dry embossing I used dry embossing for my foil element which I made into the bottle and the clock hands. I also embossed the bubble in my glass and the window panes too. 
The Artistic Stamper anything goes

Thanks to those of you who managed to survive right to the end of this post, I hope you enjoyed visiting the Shard with me. If you are ever in London it should be on your bucket list. You don't have to eat either, you can just enjoy a drink in the bar. There is a separate experience which takes you to the top too, if you fancy going even higher. 32 floors was just fine by me.

Welcome to my new follower, it's great to see you here. Thanks to all my regulars too and to my silent readers. It's such fun to have you here on my creative journey. I plan some crafting today as we are Bear sitting for my son, who is enjoying a few days in snowy Vienna with his GF. I hope those of you on the East coast of America are keeping safe after the huge dumping of snow out there.  The weather here has warmed up again...we went from -1c on Monday morning to 14c mad is that? The sun is even peeping through so it really feel quite spring like again. 

Enjoy your Sunday. 

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane (with Bear at my feet and Billy upstairs keeping out the way on our bed) xx