Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Keep Dry and Carry on Crafting

Some time ago I won my first digital images and I showed in this post how I had made my very first cards with them. Since then I have been a very lucky girl and have had no less than 5 more wins from my card challenge entries. Amongst them are some from my Blog Buddy Kerry who owns Ladybird Craft Inks. I decided to have a play with her "Gardener's Delight"  digi images which I really love. I re sized my favourite called "Watering Can" and printed out 3 images on a sheet of A4 card and then had fun colouring 3 different colour ways using my Promarkers and my Prismacolor pencils. Here are the finished coloured images.
Below is the sheet of digi stamps and how they looked before I took my Promarkers and Prismacolor pencils to them. Colouring really brings them to life doesn't it? I get so absorbed's very relaxing indeed.

I thought red, blue and yellow were good colour ways to use for this time of year.  I then decided to make them up as cards and the first one I used was the blue colour way.

 I used some very pretty blue daisy paper from my stash and decided to keep the card very simple.

All I added was a central dotty plaque, a lovely blue satin-edged organza  ribbon and one of my favourite LOTV round sentiments.

I put this card into my Etsy shop and it sold within a couple of days. Since then I have made up the yellow and red versions but I sold those too. They have been very popular and I must find the time to colour some more. I also think they will make great Father's Day Cards.

I am having fun with these digi images and they are a lot cheaper for me to buy  than real rubber stamps and much easier to store. Mind you to me there is nothing quite like a "real" stash of stamps to drool over, I can't see me ever stopping buying  the real ones ;0)

I would like to enter my card into the following card challenges.
Ladybug Crafts Ink Birthdays
Creative Craft Crew #9 Ribbon
My Mum's Craft Shop #54 The Great Outdoors
Divas by Design #32 Buttons and/or bows
I love Promarkers #114 Flower Power-Floral image
Simon Says Stamp Anything Goes
Make it Mondays Link up Party
Joanna Sheen A card for someone special
Cupcake Inspirations Veggie/garden photo Inspiration #157
Little darlings Flowers #22
On the subject of Gardener's Delight my much loved tiny garden has had a much needed soaking of rain. In fact today has been torrential. We certainly don't need to use a watering can at the moment. Between the showers we are still getting some lovely sunshine too. Luckily I took these photos yesterday. My Viburnum is fully in flower with it's glorious scented sweetness.

Every time I walk down to my Studio the scent of these flowers wafts up...mmmmmm...

My daffs have nearly finished flowering but they have been succeeded by my wonderful tulips. On the right is the bud of one of my tulips which over the course of a few days developed into the flower below.

How striking a colour is this!

And here is another colour of my Parrot Tulips. All these just came from a few packets of bulbs I planted into my pots last autumn.

The days have been a little chillier here than in March but the much welcomed April showers have certainly been working their magic in my garden.

I hope your gardens are beginning to explode into colour and if they are not quite yet do enjoy my photos ;0)

One other person who of course is enjoying the garden is....

...Our Billy. He loves to keep an eye on all that is going on in the garden. He is never far away when I am out there and also loves to find a sunny nest to sleep in on the warmer days. Today though he is sleeping indoors on his favourite green chair. He does not like rain at all.  Thank you for all your lovely comments about my son's gorgeous new puppy Bear in my last post. Bear is settling in well and is having his first set of injections this weekend. It will not be long until he will be able to go out for walks. My Hb has taken his last week of annual leave this week and has been up doing a few puppy duties. I shall post some new photos soon.

Back soon and for those of you in the UK...Keep Dry and Carry on Crafting ;0)

Bye for now,

Jane x

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Puppy Alert!

As you all know Our Billy shares our home and is the sweetest cat. In fact as I type this post he is sitting watching from his favourite green chair. My Hb and I love all creatures great and small and have always kept a cat.
If you remember in February my dear Son moved out and set up home with his dear girlfriend. They are loving their life together but as both of them are great animal lovers and have always had pets there was of course something missing in their home. Where they live would not be ideal for a cat which of course means only one thing.........................

Yes you've guessed it....a puppy! They had found a dear puppy who was one of a litter of 10 and waited patiently until this week when their puppy was just about 8 weeks old.

I had a text sent to me this morning to say that that special person had arrived and wanted us to visit. My son is only 10 minutes away so off we went at lunch time and this is who we met.............

Say hello to a very sleepy "Bear". Isn't he just the sweetest boy ;0) He is a cross between a German Shepherd Mum and a Belgian Malinois Dad. He is going to be a BIG boy, just look at the size of him for just under 8 weeks old.  His birthday is none other that 29  February so they are not sure when he is going to celebrate his birthday each year. I have never known anyone with a Leap Year birthday so we are not sure either. Bear is already the most sociable sweetie and is constantly wagging his tail. I took lots of photo but lots are fuzzy as he is just such a busy boy and when he is awake does not like keeping still.

We had lunch with them and then we left Bear to have a nap. It will be so much fun seeing him grow up. No doubt when he is older and can go out we will need to be available for some occasional walking duties. From time to time I shall also bring you some more pictures of him.

Welcome (not so) Little Bear!
For my card challenge today I thought I would keep in "Bear" mode so this is a card I made using a Gorjuss Girl stamp with (Teddy) Bear. She is for sale here in my Etsy shop

I coloured her and Bear with my Promarker pens and highlighted them with my Prismacolor pencils. I used another of my lovely Martha Stewart punch around the page for the backing card and added some bling with some gems and ribbon.

I would like to enter my cards into the following challenges;
Stamping for the weekend Sparkle and Shine #8
Whimsie Stamps Challenge Use punches or dies #35
Crafter's companion 4 legged friends #23
Joanna Sheen Card for someone special
My Mum's Craft room Inspired by a Song/Movie
My Movie is "The Bear" from 1988, a really great film about an orphan bear cub.
Secret Crafter Inspired by a film title #182 Again my film title is "The Bear".
Ladybug craft Ink Shapes #58
Pretty Little Ribbons To die for (use die cuts or punches)#9

So this is a very Bear inspired post today. I am sure Little Bear will love his new home with my son and his girlfriend. They have such lovely parkland surrounding where they live he will have such a fun life with them. I hope you are all having a lovely weekend with or without any pets who live with you. My Billy sends you a very contented purr and wants to say to you that he is quite pleased that Bear is not living here ;0) We are continuing to have lots of April showers but also some lovely sunshine too so my garden is growing well.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Wedding sneak peek-MOTB jewellery

Over the years I have made some great lampworker buddies and 2 of my best are Lynn of Brilynn Beads and Laney of Izzy Beads. I decided long ago that I would ask Lynn to make my MOTB beads and Laney to make the Bridesmaids beads for The Wedding. Luckily both agreed to make my commissions. For those of you who are in the dark about marriage terms MOTB stands for Mother Of The Bride... aka ME! I had no idea what the letters stood for until we began The Wedding journey back in December 2010.

Lynn lives way over in Oregon, USA so she and I "talked" via email last year. I bought my outfit for The Wedding last summer and I was able to show her the outfit on line...she is the only person outside of my family who has seen it. From that she sent me some colour sample glass beads. Lampworkers work with molten glass and wind the colours onto a mandrel over a flame. Really skilled artisans such as Lynn and Laney are then able to work extra magic and create beautiful one of a kind beads.

This is the fabric of my dress, you will have to wait until July to see the rest ;0) It is a beautiful silk.
The sample glass colours arrived last autumn

I was able to hold the colour samples against the dress and get the perfect matches. I was amazed how close to the true colours Lynn had got just by using on line photos.

I had already decided that I would have the blue as the background colour so we knew this was the base we would build on.

Lynn makes fabulous raised floral beads. I have bought lots from her before. Below are just 2 of the many  necklaces I made years ago from some of her beads.For the first necklace I added lovely variations of rock crystal . The second necklace I just used different sized gorgeous black onyx faceted and round beads. Whenever I wear these I always get compliments. I love these necklaces.
Christmas Rose necklace
Autumn Glory necklace

I decided that I would like Lynn to make bi cone shaped beads for my necklace and lentil shaped for my matching bracelet. We decided that she would make 3 flowers on each side of the bead for the lentils, each flower using a colour from my dress. For the bi cones she would place them around the side of the beads. Lynn had a play with sizes and shapes and sent me more sample beads.

She also had the idea to add little blue flowers to the lentil beads which I thought was a great idea.

She also sent me a key with a bead as a little keep sake..what a sweet thought ;0)

After a few more tweaks Lynn was ready to make the final beads and they arrived safely.

These were the lentil set for the bracelet complete with the little blue embellishments.....

and these were the bi cones . I was stunned by them as they were just such a perfect match.
So that was the end of last year. I spent a LONG time with different design ideas and I finally decided that I would use quite a simple design using head drilled freshwater pearls and Swarovski crystals for the necklace and round freshwater pearls for the bracelet.

So I am sure you would now like to see the finished result? OK then here they are...

Here's a close up of the beads.

I managed to find some lovely silver heart toggle clasps little silver daisy spacers. I am thrilled with my jewellery and cannot wait to wear it in July with The Outfit.

Thank you Lynn, you are a star and a great beadie buddy too.

So for today's card challenge I thought I would keep with The Wedding theme. When I went on my calligraphy course to Denman recently I met up with a lovely lady who was most interested in the cards I make. I showed her my Etsy shop and she asked if I would take a commission for a wedding card for a wedding she was attending over Easter.

I thought it would be a good opportunity to have a play with wedding cards as I shall of course be making one for Milly and Tom. This is what I made for the commission I took at Denman.

I bought a gorgeous Lili of the Valley rubber stamp called "Wedding Couple" which I stamped and hand coloured using my trusty Promarkers and Flexmarkers and highlighted the image using my Prismacolor pencils.

I used gorgeous matt silver backing card and mounted the image like a photo on top of a Martha Stewart punched border. I added some "photo" corners, ivory ribbon and pearls. I also added some little gems to the centre of the flowers for some extra "bling". I finished off with a circular sentiment which I cut a scallop frame for out of the same silver card.
I was very pleased with how this turned out and I made another colourway of it which is for sale in my Etsy shop here

I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;
Totally Gorjuss Challenge 127;bling
Scrapbook Sisters Anything Goes #79
Pretty Little Ribbons To die for use die cuts or punches
Stamp, scrap and Doodle Saturdays Pastels
Joanna Sheen A card for someone special
My Mum's Craft Shop  #52 It's a celebration
Paper Sundaes #116 Anything Goes
Stampin with the Dragon Weddings
Sugar Creek Hollow die cuts or punches #7
Card Crafter's Circle Gentle pastel colours #18

As we speak Laney is working on the bridesmaids beads and when I have a sneak peek for those I shall let you know. Well it's nearly time for a new week again. There have been plenty of sunshine and showers here over the weekend, all good for the garden but it is a little chilly. I have a few plants to put out but I think I may wait for a few days as some recent nights have even produced a frost.

Have a great week everyone,

Thanks as always for your kind visits and your lovely comments.

Bye for now,

Jane x

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

What's inside the box?

A few weeks ago I received an email which on first reading I thought was one of those spam "You've Won a Prize just email us your bank pin number, password, NI number etc etc " get the drift! I was just about to consign it to the spam box when I noted that it said that it was in association with a competition from Card Making and Papercrafts. Now this a magazine that I do often enter their competitions but never ever think anything more of it. Well I decided to open the email and to my up most delight I had won a £30, yes £30 gift voucher to spend at an on line shop called Dot Com Gifts. I am not sure if they deliver over seas but if you live in the UK it is an absolute treasure trove of original gifts. I spent ages choosing but eventually I entered my gift card number, pressed the button and waited for my parcel to arrive.

A few days later my neighbour knocked at my door with my parcel which had been delivered whilst I was at work.

My Treasure had been SO well wrapped. Not only was their air filled pillows but lots of bubble wrap, so useful for me to wrap my jewellery and cards which I sell from my Etsy Shop.

After lots of unwrapping My Treasure became visible, it was like Christmas morning all over again ;0)

So you are now all asking...So what is inside the box then.....
OK here is my Ta-dah moment.....

You all know how much I love Christmas and tins so I just had to have these 2. They are SO retro and SO me!!

Here's the other one. I use lots of tins for storing my jewellery and card making stash in and like shoes and handbags I can never have enough. Also on the subject of tin, did you spot the tin beach bucket..

I had one of these as a little girl in the 60s and can so vividly remember digging with my tin spade and making sandcastles using my bucket. My brother and I were always bought a new set each holiday and we also had paper flags to put in the sandcastles (and yes Dotcom even sell the paper flags!)

It even has the same scene that my old buckets used to have. Mind you they seem much better quality than those bought in the 1960s!.

I have decided to store some of my Promarkers in this in my Studio it works really well.

You can see that I also chose an old school Milk Bottle which is sold as a retro vase these days. I actually used to drink my milk out of one everyday at Primary School with a straw. I only liked milk in the winter as it was cold, I so hated it in the summer when the crates had been left in the sun all morning. The thought of the milk then still makes me shudder...ugh!!

I also bought some lovely ribbon to use for my card making. I was absolutely delighted with my stash as was someone else.

Yes even Billy approved ;0)

Keeping with the title of my blog this is my Card Challenge for today. It is another of the family Easter Cards I made. This is the one I made for my Hb.

This is my lovely Lili of the Valley "Gift Wrapped" stamp which I inked up, stamped and coloured with my trusty Promarkers (yes some are in my tin bucket now!). I highlighted the image with my Prismacolor pencils. I also glittered the butterfly wings with gold Glamour Dust. I also added a vellum butterfly and some buttons tied with Baker's Twine to complete my card.

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

Secret Crafter Easter #180
Stamp, scrap and Doodle Saturday's  Things with wings
Cupcake Inspirations Easter bunny cupcake #155
Cupcake Craftroom Easter bunny cupcake #155
Penny Black Allsorts April Challenge Oh so cute
Crafter's Companion Four legged friends #23
Top Tip Tuesday Spotty dotty #74

I hope you all had a restful Easter break? We had a lovely quiet one, just Hb and me (and Billy of course). Lots of yummy chocolate was consumed! Good Friday was a gorgeous sunny day then we had our very welcome rain on Saturday and Sunday just as the hosepipe ban comes into effect ;0)

Have a great week everyone,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Spoilt rotten

Last weekend was perfect...sunshine, family, gifts, food, flowers and cake. I cannot think of a better way of spending my birthday and I was spoilt rotten.
This was just a small selection of the gifts I received...did you spot the Samsung Box....

Yes my dear Hb bought me a Samsung Tablet so now I can almost live  in my studio ;0) I have had smart phone for some time and really like it but the tablet takes it all to another level.

and how "me" is the Orla Kiely storage jar.

I had lots of lovely flowers too and lunch was celebrated at the same hotel we went to last year. It was so lovely to be surrounded by my family and we toasted our health with some bubbly too.

The sun shone from dawn to dusk and it was so warm that when we got home we were able to sit out in the garden and enjoy my yummy lemon birthday cake.

What an extra bonus it was to have such beautiful weather. Thank you all for the birthday wishes you sent me, I really loved them all.

Although the weather has changed here from less spring like we have still escaped the cold blast that my Scottish friends have had...they are under a blanket of snow again!
To keep up with some sunny thoughts my card today is another Spring time/ Easter card.

I inked up my sweet Lili of the Valley "gift wrapped" stamp again and this time went for a pink and brown colour scheme.

I coloured my stamped imaged with my trusty Promarkers and highlighted the image with my Prismacolor pencils.

I added some glamour dust glitter to the butterfly wings to give then a lovely sparkle.

and I finished off with some lovely mulberry paper roses, 2 heart brads and a round Easter sentiment.

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

Ladybird Craft Ink #57 spots and stripes
Divas by design #29 anything goes and a 1st birthday BLOG HOP!
Party Time Tuesdays #62 flowers
I love Promarkers #111 springtime
Penny Black Allsorts April Challenge, Oh so Cute
Flutter by Wednesday #197 Open
Paper Take Weekly Anything Goes
Top Tip Tuesday #73 Easter and/or animals
Creative Craft Crew #7 Spring
Paper Sundaes Easter #114

And someone else has been enjoying these lighter Spring evenings too ;0)
Wishing you all a restful Easter break. I have now finished work for a whole week..bliss. I hope the sun manages to show an appearance at some point but enjoy yourselves whether you are spending time at home quietly or getting together with family or friends. Relish these wonderful longer evenings. Thank you always for your visits and your kind comments.

Bye for now,

Jane x