Saturday, 30 March 2013

An Easter Extravaganza and Birthday Giveaway

Thank you everyone for leaving such kind comments on my last post re my latest GD card I made for the Ladybugs. I had such fun making that card. Unbelievably tomorrow is Easter feels more like Christmas Day weather wise as we still have snow flurries and bitter temperatures across the UK. We have escaped the snow here in sunny Surrey but we have not escaped the freezing temperatures. My dear daffodils are bravely enduing the weather and everything out there is coming up so much later this year. Last year by this time my Magnolia was in flower and my tulips nearly out. We were loving temperatures in the 20s and wearing tea shirts! Never mind I am sure Spring is just around the corner.

I have decided that as Monday is my special day (yes another birthday has come around)  that it is time to beat this awful weather and host a summery giveaway for you all. I really do appreciate my blogging friends so much and I would like to send my good wishes to you all. I decided to make something which will make us all think of sunshine filled holiday on the that is a good thought ;0)

I also wanted to add a "bonus" to my faithful friends who come by and comment every post. I have seen other people do this including my great friend Vivienne of Green Rabbit designs (she also has a fab bunny giveaway running on her blog at the moment but it finishes tonight so hop on over there very quickly if you would like to enter)

This is how you can enter my giveaway and maximize your chances of winning.
Everyone, (I never like excluding anyone at all), who leaves a comment that they would like to be included in my giveaway will get 1 entry. You do not even need a blog to enter.

A second entry will be given to all my loyal followers and a warm welcome to my new ones.

And you can get a third entry if you either mention this giveaway in your next blog post with a link the photo below or you put my giveaway photo into the side bar of your blog (or both if you would like to) If you are not sure how to do this just right click the photo and copy the URL address and hey presto!

So what is the prize then....OK........drum roll......................

I hope you like the prize. The winner will be able to choose either the blue necklace or the pink one. I will then put up the other necklace in my Etsy shop for sale.

I decided that to put us in the mood for a sunshine filled summer that I would make 2 necklaces. I know that some of my blogging friends are blue girls and others prefer pink so I decided to offer both colours.

For the blue necklace I looked through my beady stash and decided on the blue lava beads and the beige shell. There are also some jade hearts in there too.

And for the more pinker shades I found these...

I chose the pink shell, heart mother of pearl beads and the pink rock crystal chunks. I also found some coral chunks too.

Here are a couple more close ups.

The pink necklace has been so difficult to photograph..the shell is a very pretty candy pink, much better than the pictures show. Even using my light tent could not change the fact that there was no decent light around to take these photos.

The blue necklace is 18" in length, the pink is 20". Both necklaces have a quality sterling silver trigger clasp.

I will post worldwide.

If neither appeal they do make fab gifts as they come in a pretty organza gift bag so you could give it to a friend or relative for a birthday or special occasion.

I will also have one runner up prize of one of my bag charms. This also has a summery theme and features a cute glass lampwork bee handmade by my buddy Laney.

There is a pretty swirled handmade glass lampwork bead with the sweet bee.He even has little glass wings. I can't wait to hear the buzz of bees again in my garden.

There are butterfly and dragon fly Tibetan charms with this bag charm. If you would like to see any of my other bag charms they are listed here in my Etsy shop I also love making commissioned pieces.

So my card challenge today just has to be something sunny and cheerful and just right for Easter. I think this one fits the bill.

It is another of my fab House Mouse stamps, this one is called Tails of True Love....isn't it sweet. I coloured them with my Promarkers and highlighted with Prismacolor pencils.

I used my fab Memory box egg dies and you will spot another new die (another early birthday pressie) the lovely
lattice mount is a Joy Lacey rectangle. The springtime backing papers are ancient and I used my La La Land heart border again. The hearts above the mice are the cut outs from the die...there in no waste at all!

You will also spot that I have used an embossing folder too...the first time for me. I used it on the green card, it is a Spellbinders. I also used another stamp from my Whimsy stamps Vintage seeds set.

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

Brenda's  blog celebration over on  Floral fantasies I thought the floral backing papers would be perfect and I am sure that Brenda has lots of little field mice where she lives in the country side ;0) She is off to Paris so the French vintage seed packet stamp in the background was perfect. There are also butterflies in my embossing folder, have a peep at the green card.
Simon Says stamp anything goes
House Mouse & Friends Challenge #141 Easter
Party Time Tuesday anything goes #113
Crafty Ribbons anything goes #42

My giveaway will run for the next 2 weeks, the closing date will be Sunday 14th April at 4pm (GMT). Remember that you can get up to 3 entries, you can either mention how many ways your are entering in a single comment on this post or  you can come back and leave 3 separate comments...I am an old fashioned names out of the hat girl, I won't be using Mr Random ;0)

 I will announce the winner on my next blog post after 14 April so do pop back and see who was the lucky winner and runner up. Good luck everyone and thanks as always for your kind visits and comments here.It is always so good to see you.

Wishing you all some Spring sunshine and a peaceful but chocolate filled Easter ;0)

(Please remember that to enter my giveaway you do need to mention it in your comment)

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Billie Bear with Watering Can - my GD card for the Lovely Ladybug girls

I am delighted to have been asked again by my blogging buddie Kerry to be one of their guest designers for her newest Ladybug Crafts Ink digi stamp release. For those of you who are visiting my blog for the first time may I give you a very warm welcome to Jane's Journal. This new release is called Billie Bear and she is a real cutie. There are no less than 16 Billie Bear's in this collection, one to suit every occasion. I have to be careful to say "she" as I must not get mixed up with the other Billy in my life, my sweet boy cat.
So meet Billie Bear, a sweet girl teddy image is called Billie Bear with Watering Can.
and then meet  Billy, my sweet boy cat.
He was very sleepy the day I made my card so he  just opened one eye to say hello.

Now that we have got that confusion out of the way ;0) I would like to show you how my card came into being. I used my Spellbinders 17 labels to cut out my stamp and then chose my papers. I decided to go for something very girlie. Everyone knows that I am not a pink girl but I do love using pink with other colours, especially blue.

I found this pretty paper in my stash and decided to pick the blue out for matting. I also picked out the green for a few accents.

I wanted Billie to be a more orangey brown to pick up the other colour in my paper so I had play with my Promarker pens and came up with this...

Next it was time to colour up the watering can and flowers so I went for the blue, pink and green in the paper. I coloured the image using my Promarkers and Flexmarkers  and highlighted with my Prismacolor pencils.

and here she the lovely Billie in colour. I made my card on a very wet Sunday when we could not even get out of the house so I spent hours being creative. I decided to make another stepper card as these are really fun. 
I had an early birthday present of some Cheery Lynn dies from my Mum so I cut out some samples to see which I wanted to use on my card.

Aren't these gorgeous, they really look like real lace.

I decided to use the second border down called Francesca (B159)

I also decided to make some hand made flowers using my very old floral punches.

I also used my fun Marianne watering can and wheelbarrows dies (LRO260) and one of their leaf dies (LRO227)

Lots of fiddly  play here.

So finally I put everything together is my card.

and a side view to show the steps

You can see that I even used 2 of my very special ladybird wooden buttons which were given to me by a dear blogging buddie ;0) I tied them with Baker's twine. You will also see where I used the Cheery Lynn die cut border,  it looks like real lace next to the gingham ribbon, doesn't it. The ribbon border around my image is the MS punch my daughter brought me home from her honeymoon in the States.
The round birthday sentiment is LOTV

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

Cheery Lynn Celebrate #73
Marianne Design Divas At the bottom of the garden
Charizma Cards Die cuts #11
Crafty Katz sparkle with a bow #175
Pretty Little Ribbons Happy Birthday #20
Forever Friends #58 Girls
Bearly Mine Girlie pink #79
Party Time Tuesdays anything goes
Make it Monday weekly linky party #133
Sweet Stamping Many layers

Thanks so much for visiting and thanks Kerry for asking me to be a GD for this release.
If you would like to take your own Billie home to colour just visit the web site.  All the digi stamps are only £1.75 each and are instantly downloadable.
If you would like to see the whole new range do also stop by the Challenge blog here.There will also be an new challenge starting today and runs for the next 2 weeks.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x (and Billy)

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Easter Preparations

Thank you for all the sweet birthday wishes you left for my daughter on my last post. She did indeed have a wonderful birthday and we had a lovely post birthday day with her yesterday. The next event on our family calendar is Easter which is only a week away now. As you know I am Mrs Christmas but I must admit I really enjoy Easter and although my babies are all adults I still like to put together some goodies in an Easter bag for them and their other halves. We will be catching up with all our family on Easter Monday.

Hopping into their Easter bags will be;
 These are the little mini Lindt gold bunnies and they are perfect as they are just a mouthful ;0)

I also found these fun mini Smartie chicks which will be flying into the bags and these cute bunnies below.

There will have to be Cadbury's Cream Eggs of course (my daughter's favourite) but on the right are my absolute favourite Easter choccies. I have loved Cadbury's mini eggs since I was small. I like to suck them so that the candy shell dissolves and then taste the chocolate centre breaking through...mmmm.........can you tell that I really do like chocolate? In my life I believe in everything in moderation and little occasional treats like these can brighten up your day.

Of course there will be some other surprises in their bags too as well as my hand made Easter cards.

I also always add a tiny chick to their bags, these have sold since I was a tiny child and they still make me smile.

They are really tiny (about 1.5 cm tall) and have fab little plastic orange feet. My Mum always gave them to my brother and I as children and mine would complain if I stopped putting these in their Easter bags.

I have managed to get a bit of tidying done in the garden in the week, despite the below average temperatures and yes we even had a dusting of snow yesterday and this morning. I also received some exciting news last week from my blogging buddie Kerry from Ladybug Crafts Ink. She has asked me to be a Guest Designer again. This is for their latest release being launched in 2 days time. I made a snowman card for her last could not have been that bad if she has asked me again..LOL. This new release is called Billie Bear and believe me she is such a cutie. There is a link in my side bar. I had great fun making my card.
Please pop back again on Tuesday so that you can see the card I have made with my image.

For today's card challenge I am showing one of my Easter cards. This stamp is a first for me as I am using a House Mouse Stamp. They are the sweetest of images.

This stamp is called Hummingbird Express. I have coloured it with my trusty Promarkers and highlighted with Prismacolor pencils. You will spot that I have bought a few new dies....hmmm well they sort of slipped into my online baskets, I didn't have any Easter themed ones so what was a girl to do?

The pale green frame around the image is a Spellbinders lattice rectangle.
The fab eggs are Memory box classic egg and filigree eggs.You can just spot gold card Memory Box bow dies in there as well.
The heart border I just love and is a La La Lands die called heart border (well I never)
I love using Kraft card and I thought that it gave a really earthy appeal to my card and it works really well with the greens and gold.
The sentiment is a very, very old PSX stamp. I also used twine, ribbon and gift twine to make a snazzy bow in the corner.
Shhh don't tell but this is for my dear Hb.

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

Charizma Cards Die cuts #11
Papertake Weekly Easter treats
Cute Card Thursday Easter parade #261
Visible Image Spring
My Mum's craft challenge Spring has sprung
Stamping Sensations The Great outdoors
Totally Papercrafts Easter Eggstravaganza #159
Simon Says stamp Easter/Spring
Sweet Stamping Lots of layers
Joanna Sheen Come rain or shine mine is a sunshine filled card. (I meant to add GDT after my name for consideration. JS girls is it possible for you to edit my entry or put me in the hat!! Thanks )

Have a great Sunday and I hope all your Easter preparations are going well too. Thanks as always for your visits and kind comments and remember to pop back on Tuesday to see what I got up to for my Guest Designer post.
Oh and before I go there is another great giveaway over at those generous ladies at The Ribbon Girl here. Do take a peep.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Celebrating Spring

Welcome to the first day of Spring and the vernal equinox. It is that wonderful time of the year when there are equal hours of daylight and darkness. This Winter has felt so long and dreary and I really do welcome this very special time of the year.
Lots of my outdoor daffodils, despite the recent inclement weather, are in full bloom and they make me smile every time I look out of my kitchen window.

But there is an even better celebration today for me as it is my daughter's birthday. At 7.25pm this evening, 27 years ago she fought her way into this world. I had a look for some old photos and I thought I would share a couple that my Hb scanned for her wedding last July. The best man did a wonderful montage of the bride and groom through the years. It brought back wonderful memories.

Here is the midwife weighing her at a few days old...look at that tiny foot ;0) She weighed 7lb 11oz at birth

On holiday in 1987

Summer 1990 concentrating hard on making her sand castle.

Primary school days in 1993

and 1997 with her dear Bro. Well these photos made me smile but what made me smile even more is that she and her Hb have finally  managed to acquire the rights to all their official wedding photos. It took a little negotiating but now they not only have an album of beautiful photos but we also have a whole CD of photos to look at.

I can finally share a few of their "Official photos"

So much glorious colour.

My card for today is her birthday card, made with lots of love xxx

I made her a stepper card and used my fab Penny Black stamp, La soiree. This stamp was the very first prize I ever won from entering card challenges. It really epitomizes my daughter...the shoes, the dress and bag say it all ;0) I coloured my stamp with my trusty Promarkers and I used Labels 17 Spellbinders to cut her out.
The DPs are ancient, they are the end part of a sheet I had with this lovely foil so I thought it perfect for her card. I tied little ribbon bows onto the bag charms. I used the same ribbon to "tie" the ballooons together.

I die cut foil champagne bottles to which I added ribbons and little Lili of the Valley tags and put them in the side of the stepper: you can just see them peeping out. I have also used my lovely Memory Box bow die.
The birthday sentiment is LOTV and I added a lovely red mulberry rose too.

I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;
Totally Gorjuss Something old #175 my old is my stamp and my papers
A and T Emerald Faeries Bling #41
Bunny Zoe Girlie
Pretty Little Ribbons Happy Birthday #20
Natalie and Amy Die cuts #7
Make it Monday Linky Party #132
Allsorts 1-2-3 #198 I have 1 stamp, 2 different papers (one on the front, the 2nd paper is on the "step" each side and has red roses and stripes on) and my 3 different embellishments are charms, ribbons and gems
Bearly Mine anything goes #78
I love Promarkers anything goes

I hope my girlie has a wonderful day today. We will be seeing her on Saturday for a post birthday lunch.
Welcome Spring and Happy Birthday to my very Special Girl xxx

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Thursday, 14 March 2013

On the Wandle Trail part 2

We seem to have another blast of winter over the last few days so I thought I would continue today with our walks on the Wandle Trail. If you have missed my first post  about the Wandle Trail do have a look here. This second installment covers the beginning of the walk towards Wandle Ponds and started out from nearby Butter Hill, at the top of which are one of several very pretty ponds.
When we first moved to the area this particular pond was empty but a fund started by a local conservation group not only cleared the sources to the pond but also reinstated the fountain. After walking past this pond you cross the main road to enter Beddington Park.The park was originally land owned by the weathy Carew family and is mentioned in the Doomsday Book. Nicholas Carew was a favourite of Henry V111 and Henry stayed at the manor in 1528.  Carew Manor still stands and is now owned by the London Borough of Sutton. It is used by a school for disabled children now and on occasions is open to the public as the original Great Hall remains in all its glory.
In the 1950s  this lovely lake was a boating lake with a cafe. In the 1990s I used to go to a mother and toddler group which was then housed in the building. We had this as a was such a wonderful setting. Both my children had very happy times there. I think the building is now used for an after school club.

After skirting alongside the lake the trail takes a route across the bridge and into the main park

We crossed the bridge and made our way toward the next landmark which is the terracotta bridge.
Originally Beddington Park was a deer park attached to Carew Manor, a wealthy house in Tudor time. In 1859 the land was acquired, by the not so poor rector,Canon Alexander Bridges. He commissioned  a bridge built by the Weatcombe Pottery in Torquay. It still bears his initials in the centre of the key stone is and is now known as Canon Bridges's Bridge.
There is a second, less pretty but still very interesting flint bridge which the rector had built around the same time.

As we stood by the bridge I noticed a flash of iridescent blue darting down the river. My first thought was a dragon fly but that would not be possible in spring. There was another flash and I realized that it was in fact a kingfisher. I have never seen one in real life. He was so beautiful... I tried to take a photo but he was hardly still for a moment but I did capture a couple.

You can see that flash of blue down his back.

and here he is again at another spot we saw him resting further down the river. I was so glad I had taken my camera with me. Just seeing him was such a bonus on our walk.

We also saw lots of signs of spring as we walked by the river Wandle.

We continued out of the park, past Carew Manor (I will stop there another time and take some photos) and took that pathway which took us towards Waddon Ponds. I shall come back and share those photos soon.

I am afraid that winter has reared it's head for the last few days and it has been bitterly cold. The heavy snow  which was forecast thankfully never materialized here in the south east. We even lit another fire at the weekend. 
For today's card I thought I would go for something bright and cheerful as there are lots of spring challenges on at the moment I would enter this card which is one of my Easter makes.

This is a new stamp for me which I picked up on Ebay last year make by Bildmalarna called Little winged friends, my garden. She is a real cutie.

I coloured her with my Promarkers. and also added some fine glitter to her wings and flowers. I also used my new Whimsy stamps Vintage seed packs and also their brilliant scrabble pieces which I embossed with black embossing powder. I will let you into a secret that all the Kraft paper I used is actually from a roll of Christmas paper. It had been used to protect the paper, I just flattened it out and cut it into sizable sheets. I used my Marianne watering can and wheelbarrow dies (LR0260) and also open leaves from the Marianne leaf set (LRO227). The photo corner is a Quickutz die. 
I added some spring mulberry flowers and some Bakers' twine to give a real garden theme to my spring card.
I would like to enter my card into the  following challenges.

                                                           Ladybug Crafts Ink Spring 
Pan Pastel Girlie theme
Cupcake Inspirations Flowers/Spring I was inspired by the bright spring colours and the green butter icing!
Bearly Mine #77 Spring
My Mum's Craft shop card challenge Spring #3
Bunny Zoe Girlie
Allsorts Springtime #197
Forever Friends Lots of flowers
Crafting for all seasons spring #47
Papertake weekly 1-2-3 I have one image, 2 die cut leaves and 3 navy blue mulberry roses
A and T Emerald Faeries Bling #41
Cute card Thursday anything goes #260
Stamping Sensations The great outdoors

It is Thursday already and we really are rapidly approaching the first day of spring on 20th March, which is my darling daughter's birthday. Yes she was a spring baby. I am meeting her for a Ladies Lunch on Monday as she is out for the day with her husband on her actual birthday. We will be also visiting next weekend when she is holding a little post birthday tea party. She always loves to spread out her birthday celebrations ..don't we all. I am off to see my parents today and tomorrow my dear Mum is treating me to another visit to the Royal Opera House where we are seeing the Royal Ballet perform Alice's Adventures in Wonderland...I am so excited   I hope that everyone is keeping well? Thanks as always for your visits and kind comments and it's good to see my newest followers, you are so welcome. Enjoy the weekend when we get there,

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x