Thursday 30 May 2013

Blooming marvellous

Unexpectedly the bank holiday weather was gorgeous and on Sunday we manged lunch and dinner in the feel sunshine on my skin again felt like bliss. I decided to continue with my gardening that day as it was supposed to be the best day of the long weekend, weather wise.
Just a few weeks on and my plants are blooming marvelously.
My azalea is in full flower

 Even the overwintered pansies and violas are flowering their little heads off.

My aquilega are putting on a pretty show

and I even have a dahlia peeping out
All these blooming marvellous flowers inspired me to go in search for my Craftworks card Candi Flowers which I recently won from the lovely Mars of Craftwork cards. After adding a comment on their blog she sent me some great flowers made from Card Candi. She hoped this might give me some inspiration to try making some of my own.

This is the little package arrived in the post for me a few weeks ago from Mars.

It contained a selection of flowers she had made to to show how versatile card candi is. Now I only have 2 packets of card candi; a pink/silver wedding version, which I used most of for a recent wedding card and a vintage news print type.

I went down the garden to my studio later that afternoon. I got out my crafting sheet and tacky glue and started experimenting with my own card candi  flower making.
For those of you who have not seen card candi this is what it looks like.

and these are the 2 packets I have.

And below is my sequence of flower making for my first ever flower.

And as I was running out of candi I decided to "alter" some prima paper flowers too. Here are some of my finished flowers

I also decided that I would use a few of my "roses"  for a card.......
Here are a couple of close ups;

I really had a blooming marvellous time playing with my card candi and I will be using the other flowers I made very soon.

To make my card I simply used a Cheery Lynn tropical flourish die cut using glittered card and a sweet stamp to finish it off. Another CAS style card for me ;0) I also used some more of my "free" Kraft paper found inside the roll of Christmas paper...there is still loads left!

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

Craftwork Cards I have emailed my entry to their spring flowers challenge
Cheery Lynn Roses #82
Simon Says Stamp anything goes #29
Creative Inspirations anything goes
Papercraft Star handmade flowers
4 Crafty Chicks recycle the craft paper is from the inner roll of a Christmas roll of paper and I cut the flower with a left over piece of card from another project.
Rhedd and Rosie Challenge Blooming lovely

I am also delighted to announce that I have been invited by the I Love Promarkers Girls on their card challenge  blog to be their guest designer for June. Watch this space on a Wednesday to see what I come up with..... ;0)

Thanks for visiting me here today and for all the sweet comments you take the time to leave. The weather has gone back to rain but I am not complaining after such a fabulous bank holiday. I just love being outside in the garden.  I hope your gardens are blooming marvellous too?  Happy Thursday, yet another weekend is just around the corner and it looks as though the sun will make another appearance.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Tuesday 28 May 2013

Final week as Guest designer for LCI O Baby challenge and Baby Billie Bear stamp release

Incredibly 4 weeks have slipped by and I am here today to share with you my final Guest designer card for Kerry of Ladybug Crafts Ink. Remember that you have just one more week to enter the O baby, anything goes challenge here.  The closing date is 3 June. With perfect timing her little grandson Coen arrived last week. Many congratulations to her and her lovely family. Coen is such a little cutie.

In case you missed my post last week....did I tell you that I am going to be a Nanna ;0) Yes it's true, my darling daughter is expecting our first grandchild on 8 Nov. These baby cards have been such relevant practice for me to get my baby card making skills honed up.Thank you for all the emails,  comments,  good wishes and even cards you have sent me, what a great bunch you all are.

So here is my final card and this time it is a male version of Billie with rattle which I made for little Coen. This release is so sweet and there are 11 others in the set. I made another easel card and went for really bright colours.

The light has been awful this week and I really struggled to get the vibrancy of these colours with my camera, it is a really sunny yellow in real life.

Above is the inside, the easel front of the card rests on the top edge of the sweet duck tag when it is opened. I won these great baby cardboard embellies some months ago.
Below is a close up of my stamp; cute isn't here and you can buy him here for the bargain price of £1.75

Before I forget my 2 winning commentators from my post last week are

Jane  of The craft bucket
Lisa  of Ella's Designs (yes 2 weeks in a row, you must be on a lucky streak!)

Well done ladies, you each win Billie with rattle, please email me and I will send him right over.
I coloured Billie with my Promarkers and highlighted with my Prismacolor pencils. You will spot my great Memory Box precious stars die cuts which are a new set following the success of the precious heart dies..they are so useful.

I would like to thank Kerry and the Ladybug girls again for having me as a GD for a whole month. It's been great fun but quite a juggle for me to get a new card made every week. My dear Hb has been very patient...thank you Mx.

Amazingly I have received some Design Team offers but I am really sorry to say that at this point in time I would struggle to commit to being a regular part of a DT. I am truly delighted and thrilled to think that there are people out there who think my cards are worthy of such things! Thank you. However, as with Kerry, I am  interested in occasional Guest Design opportunities. I find these really great fun and fit in with my "other" job working as a musculoskeletal specialist Physiotherapist for the NHS. My crafting time is limited but please do email me if you feel I could be a worthy guest designer for your team.

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

Polkadoodles use dies
Craft Catz Fancy Folds
Cute Card Thursdays Tie it up #270
Little Clare's Blog hop and challenge
I love Promarkers anything goes #169
Crafty Ribbons anything goes with ribbon #46
Ready Teddy Go spring has sprung
Passion for Promarkers Add ribbon/lace/twine #200
Cutie Pies 3,2,1 recipe I have used 3 stars (2 dies and 1 brad) 2 yellow photo corner die cuts and 1 image
Craft Room Challenge use your scraps I have use the blue card scraps left over from the first Baby Billie "patchwork" card I made (see montage below top card on the right) to made the matting for the image, the matting inside and the die cut stars.Also my Kraft card is actually the inner roll from some Christmas paper!

So before we leave Baby Billie I thought I would put all my 4 cards together as a montage;
I hope you enjoyed seeing them here all together and if you have the time I would value a little feedback...which was your favourite? I find it so interesting how 2 stamps can look so very different.

Thanks as always for your kind visits and welcome to my new followers, I hope you enjoy your journey with me....exciting baby times.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Thursday 23 May 2013

Clean and simple...and a guaranteed smile ;0)

I have been slowly planting up my garden despite the rather inclement weather this week. I have been up to the local nurseries to choose some new plants.

My pots have been cleaned and washed.

Although this is not a job I enjoy it and it reaps  rewards by giving a good start  to the young plants.

2 newly planted pots...

A hanging basket

and a side basket with this very pretty flower.

All clean and simple....

and just waiting for another burst more hot sunshine to really get them going.

 My card for today is also clean and simple (CAS). For my non card making friends this is a style of design and is not one I often use. Below is about as clean and simple as I get . I thought it perfect for my image today as I have made a boy's card.

It uses a lovely Lili of the Valley stamp called Sailing Boat. I have distressed the edges with my distressing tool which is something I have not used for ages and I had forgotten how effective it looks.
I made some scrabble pieces from paper and mounted them on card which I also distressed...once a girl gets going with a tool there is no stopping out for the furniture...and Billy ;0)
I wrapped some twine (which was from Christmas gifts which I secreted away on Christmas Day as I thought it would come in very useful) to finish it off.

So a clean and simple post, both in the garden and my card making garden studio.

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

Lili of the Valley Boy Oh boys
Passion for Promarkers 4th anniversary anything goes celebration
Little Claire Blog hop and open challenge
Bearly Mine anything goes
I love Promarkers anything goes #169
Visible Image brighten your day
Totally Gorjuss Water #184
My Mum's Crafts Shop Spots/stripes
Lili's Little Fairies spots and stripes  I have spotty backing paper and stripes on my twine
Charisma Cards Here comes summer

There is also one other clean and simple picture to show you on this post today...and this is the guaranteed smile part ..........................

Have you worked it out..........................................................................................................................................................................................................yes meet my grandbaby ;0) My darling daughter is expecting their first baby on 8 November. She is 16 weeks pregnant tomorrow and this was the scan taken at 12 weeks. She is a doctor and her last hospital placement was on an Obstetrics and Gynaecology unit so she wanted to be really cautious telling anyone in the early days. She has seen pregnancies at their best and worst. We are just soooooo thrilled and excitied. This is our very first grandchild and I am just bursting with happiness. After the initial sickness and tiredness Milly is really well and positively blooming. We just keep everything crossed that all goes well.
If you look carefully at the scan you can see the spine, teeth, skull, jaw and nose in white. Also there is a  little arm arm up beside the left ear area: the baby has his/her arm behind his/her head. The right arm is the blurry line up in the air in the middle! When I was sent this scan photo 4 weeks ago I was in the middle of my clinic at work. I looked at it as one patient left and I had to compose myself before I called the next one in as I do admit I shed tears of sheer happiness and pride.

It is another bank holiday weekend coming up here and unlike the hot Mayday bank holiday, cool and showery weather is forecast. I have just heard that it has been the coldest May since 1979, let's hope that June does not continue that trend. I am enjoying seeing photos on my friends abroad blogs' enjoying their sunshine and I hope that it reaches our shores for longer than a few days very soon.

I hope this brought that guaranteed smile to you all today ;0) Take care,

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Tuesday 21 May 2013

Halfway reminder, my Guest design card for the new Baby Billie LCI release and Card challenge

It's hard to believe that the O Baby card challenge over on Ladybug Crafts Ink is now half way through. You have 2 more weeks to join the challenge. There are more new inspiration cards over there today from the DT, do pop over and take a peep.Also remember that you can buy these new teddy cuties for only £1.75 each, they are available on the web site.
I have a new image to showcase today and this one is called  Baby Billie's Rattle and you can buy it here.
If you would like to win it, just leave a comment at the end of this post and 2 lucky winners will be picked out of the hat and announced next Tuesday here on my blog.
The winners from last week who win my Shh Billie is sleeping image are;

Brenda ((Floral Fantasies)
Lisa (Ella's Designs)

Well done ladies, please email me and I will send you your digis by could even use them to enter the challenge?

So without any further delay here is this week's card creation from me. This new stamp is called Baby Billie's  rattle.

This is such a sweet stamp and it looks like Billie is awake today so there is no need to read quietly ;0)
I made an easel card,  here are a few more photos;

and this is the inside when the easel is lifted up.
Here is the outside flattened down;

I have coloured Billie with my Promarkers and highlighted with my Prismacolor pencils.
The sentiments  Lili of the Valley and Whimsy.
The sweet pram paper is an Etsy digi paper purchase.
You will see my cute Memory Box baby washing line is there again.
The doily die is a fab one from Cheery Lynn called English Tea and although it is a tough one to cut, it is a real beauty.

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

ABC card challenge N is not for One  I have used die cuts, ribbon, buttons, twine, charm, paper flower, pearl brad and glitter embellies so I can count 8!
Emerald Faeries Ribbon #43
Crafts and Me use a digi #133
Ribbon Girl May colour challenge lavender/lilac
Joanna Sheen Girls girls girls
Pan Pastels New beginnings #20
Little Claires Blog hop and open card challenge #33
Forever Friends  For a child #62 final challenge
Bearly Mine anything goes
Passion for Promarkers 4th Anniversary Anything goes challenge

So there is only one more LCI Guest Designer card for me to share with you and that will be next Tuesday.

Kerry is again generously offering  2 lucky commentators the chance to win my digi stamp from today. Just leave a comment on this post.
Good luck everyone and thanks for visiting me here today,

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Friday 17 May 2013

Ightham Mote and the Bluebell Wood

Last week I visited a favourite National Trust (NT) property of mine, Igtham Mote in Kent. If you ever find yourselves in Kent it should be on your must see list. The property is one of the few moated houses which still exist in the UK and it dates from the 14th Century. It was left to the National trust by Charles Robinson a wealthy Canadian who saved it from ruin and re development.  After they inherited it in 1985 the NT spent millions bringing it back from the brink of decay. I visit this house most years with my parents and I have been delighted to see all the restoration take place. This is now finished and the house stands in all its glory.
The medieval house is completely surround by the moat.

The entrance of course is over the (now permanent and made of stone) draw bridge

It is a large house set around a quadrangle. The photo below is looking back from the inside to the photo above, if that makes sense?

The rooms are quite amazing and one of my favourite is the ancient chapel on the top floor which you can see from the outside in the photo above. You can see some of the stained glass there too.
The grand entrance hall has a picture of the lady of the house dating from the 15th Century.

There was a fire burning in the fireplace that day but the fireplace was a later addition. When the house was first built the fire would have been in the centre of the "hall" and there would have been an opening in the ceiling of the room. How cold these houses must have been in the winter. We also learnt that the reason the 4 poster beds had canopies was not just to keep the cold out but to stop the bat and occasional bird droppings falling on you as your slept ;0)

Here is one of the Selby family ladies. The family  lived in the house from the 1591 until 1889.
We have seen the inside of the house many times so I did not take lots of photos as the other reason we had come to Ightham was to see the renowned bluebells on their estate.
The grounds around the house are also worthy of a visit. Here are a couple of photos I took en route to the woods.

The one advantage of all the rain we have had is how lush and green the English coutryside is looking at the moment. I really love the photo above....Constable would have enjoyed painting that wouldn't he with those fluffy marshmallow clouds in the sky.
We walked the short walk up through the estate to the woods are were totally delighted at what we saw as the bluebells were out in all their wonderful glory.

There were drift upon drift of these amazing English bluebells and the sweet scent hung on the air. It really was a sight to behold and it took my breath away. I have mentioned this before, real English bluebells have their flowers only on one side of their stalk. Sadly the continental bluebell is fast hybridizing our gardens  so you really need to get out to the woodlands to find the original English bluebells.

Here is a close up and you can see how the flowers hang just on one side of the stalk. Sooo pretty.

There were lots of different blue shades
and we even found a patch of white..perhaps these are albino?

It was hard to tear ourselves away as it was so beautiful. However our tummies were calling us for our packed lunch which we sat and ate in the picnic spot whilst the birds sang from the trees to us. It was a wonderful day out in the English countryside.

My card today is inspired by English gardens and is one using a great digi stamp by Ladybug Crafts ink
This image has been very popular in my Etsy shop and I have sold several colour ways. This colour way just had to be blue, as inspired by the bluebell woods.
I have coloured it with my Promarkers and highlighted with my Prismacolor pencils.
I have used pretty Prima Papers from the Jack and Jill set.and added a LOTV sentiment.

It is for sale here in my Etsy shop and just for this week I am offering FREE shipping to anyone in the UK. Sadly I cannot offer this to my overseas buyers as postage is so expensive now but as a thank you to all my overseas blog readers I will take off £1.10 (the equivalent of the UK shipping charge). This applies to all my cards, jewellery and bag charms in my shop so do take a browse. The code to use is BLUEBELLS2013 for UK buyers. If you are abroad please email me or contact me via Etsy before purchasing as this code will not work for you. I will re list the item with the money taken off. If there are any problems I will refund any overcharged monies via PayPal.

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

Whimsy card challenge anything goes #59
Papertake Weekly The sound of music My song inspiration just has to be the 1960s tune "English country garden" by Jimmie Rodgers...I can't get it out of my head now. Put it into Google and you will find it on You Tube.....LOL a real 60s classic ;0) I can remember it as a kid.
Natalie and Amy things with wings #9
The Cupboard trilogy Spring Flowers
Emerald Faeries Ribbon #43
Simon Says Stamp flower power
Crafts and Me Use a digi #133
I love Promarkers Simpy does it #168

Thanks for visiting me. Do remember that I have a candy running on this post. You could win the sweet baby digi stamp I used for my card there. Just leave a comment on that post and I will be back with the 2 winners and another of my Guest Design cards for Ladybug Crafts Ink on Tuesday.

I hope you enjoyed your virtual visit with me to the beautiful English countryside. All we need now is some sustained sunny weather...hmmm, that's another story I think. Enjoy the upcoming weekend. I have the day off from work as does my daughter. We are meeting half way to enjoy Ladies' lunch and a little retail therapy ;0)

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x