Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Magical summer days

When my daughter and darling Daisy came to stay recently we had a few magical summer days out. One of the days we went to Looseley Gardens near Guildford in Surrey.

Looseley  house is a  beautiful place to visit, but obviously not with an 8 month old baby, so we bought tickets just for the gardens.
It also has a very pleasant cafe which is always important for our days out. The gardens are arranged in "rooms" including vegetables, roses, a white room, water features and lots of gorgeous flowers. I snapped some photos as we wandered around in the hot sunshine.

After lunch in the cafe we laid down our  mat in the shade and sat and rested for a while whilst Daisy played.
Daisy is really just about to crawl..any day now I should think.
It was then time for our precious girl to have a snooze in her buggy so we popped her in and took a pretty walk along the little pathway by the moat where there were countless water lilies and dragonflies

 and of course ice cream had to feature for her Mummy and I ;0)

It really was a magical day out.

My card today has to have a touch of magic about it so it features Lavinia fairy and floral stamps. I really love the lavender stalk, one of my recent buys.  I used lots of summer colours blending together some distress inks. The butterfly die is Joycraft.
Here she is in close up and I finished off my card with some frantage for fairy dust ;0) I thought the effect reminded me of  "A mid summer's night dream"

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

Lavinia stamps summer colours
A little bit crafty It's magic
Crafty boots summer holiday
Crafty Little Fairies summer fun
Little Claire's summertime
Dream Valley Challenges Favourite colour combination I love using this "summer" combo of blues/greens and pinks.
Sweet Stampin Take flight
Pan Pastel UK Summer fun

Thank you all for your kind comments you left on my last post to celebrate my 4th bloggerversary. Do remember that you can enter my giveaway until 9th August..all the details are here
I am meeting my girlies this morning at Winkworth Arboratum in Godalming...the sun is up and I can't wait. We are really making the most of my daughter's maternity leave. My camera is packed ;0)

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Saturday, 26 July 2014

I am 4

Yes it is true.....today Jane's Journal turns 4....where on earth have those 4 years gone! I have made so many wonderful blogging friendships and to celebrate I am having a giveaway with 2  rather special prizes as a thank you to everyone who visits me here. I thought something  very summery would be appropriate.
I gave a little sneak peek on Monday so now it is time to reveal all.

Yes I have wired up one of my very precious artisan made lampwork glass shells to made a pretty summer pendant. It has a handmade sterling silver fitting and a genuine sparkling Sworovski bicone crystal on top. It will come on an 18" sterling silver chain.

The 2nd person out of the hat will receive this summer themed bag charm which also has 2 very special unique artisan lampwork glass beads and several fun summer themed charms.

Everyone is welcome to enter my giveaway, I never have any restrictions as I know there are many people who follow by email or just pop by and silently read.  I will post world wide. 

To enter; just  leave a comment on this post, that you would like to be a winner, you will receive 1 entry.  However I really love to give my faithful blogging friends who visit me and comment on every single post (yes you all know who you all are and I thank you so much for always stopping by here, some from day 1 and some more recently) a few extra entries. So if you are a follower (you a welcome to join me today as well) you will get a 2nd entry. Finally if you put the photo at the top of this post showing the details of my giveaway  into your blog sidebar, or you mention my giveaway in a post, I will give you a 3rd entry.
Just come back and leave a separate comment for each of the entries you are entitled to. You have 2 weeks to do this in.

My giveaway will close at 4pm (BST) on 9 August. 

I will put all the entries into a hat and my Hb will pull out 2 winners names soon after the closing time. Please make sure you come back after 9 August to see if you are a lucky winner. 

I have been adding some summer themed jewellery to my Etsy shop and if you cannot wait until my bloggerversary ends these pieces are for sale.

This lovely beach themed pendant is available Here
And this pair of etched glass shell earrings here
Also a similar summer themed bag charm is available here

We are off today to the family BBQ to celebrate my daughter and SIL's 2nd wedding anniversary. My Hb and I had a lovely day celebrating our 33rd yesterday with a trip to London. We enjoyed our lunch in Brown's and then pottered around the shops.

My card today is another wedding/anniversary themed card, a gold and white creation. I enjoy making these, they have such a cool elegant feel. This is very welcome after the heat wave we have been enjoying...it was 32c+ most afternoons this week.
The sentiment is computer generated. I have embossed the background. The heart and butterflies are Cheery Lynn.
I would like to enter my card into the following challenges;

ABC P is for Pearls 
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday  embossing I have used dry embossing of the background
Party Time Tuesday anything goes
Crafty Ribbons anything goes with ribbon
Cheery Lynn gold and/or silver I have a gold edge on my ribbon and silver pearls
Love to create bright and sunny
Fussy and Fancy words
Crafty Catz anything goes
We do doobadoo Celebrations

Thank you all  for making this a very special day for me. Here's to the next year of blogging friendship. No one quite realises how special blogging is unless they are a part of it.....and I love being a part of it.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Monday, 21 July 2014

Summer jewellery making

Thanks to Billy for holding the fort for me here on his birthday. He would like me to thank you all for his birthday wishes and yes he had a lovely day. I have been enjoying some crafting time in my studio after work and I have been making something special for my upcoming bloggerversary this coming Saturday, yes I will have been blogging for 4 years. I have also been restocking my Etsy shop with some new bag charms including a new garden themed one.
Here are some that I have recently made and sold including some fun ladybird themed ones.
This one is available in my Etsy shop here
as is this one - perfect for the summer
These I made as a commission

Of course I will be holding a giveaway to celebrate my 4 years and here is a rather blurry sneak peek of the first prize I will be offering...you will have to come back on Saturday to see the piece in it's entirety. I think you will love it ;0) I also have a second prize too.

As I am  showing some of my jewellery today I thought I would take the opportunity to share the summer term projects from my silversmithing class. First up is an etched copper blank which I also added some enamel to. This was more a technique piece but I may use this on a lid of a box.
First I transferred the design to my copper rectangle using an iron.
 After etching it in an etching tank I added some enamels
 This is such a laborious task as you have to build up the colours gradually and keep filing them back. It took several weeks to complete.
 And here is my finished piece. It's a really poor photo again taken with my phone, it's much prettier IRL.

The project that I did not quite finish is a design piece that was called 4 legs and a "tale/tail" and needed to feature a stone setting. I bought a gorgeous amber cabochon and my Hb thought it looked like a tortoise shell so that was my plan...to made a tortoise....my idea of 4 legs and a tail.

Originally I was going to make an abstract tortoise but then I decided I could make some limbs in fimo and make moulds which I could press silver metal clay into to form his 4 legs, head and a tail.
I first sawed an oval from sheet silver to make a backing for the shell and made a bezel to hold the "shell".

 This is how the stone will sit once it has been set
 I sculpted by hand all the limbs using  fimo. I then pushed the fimo limbs into moulding compound and let the moulds set. I then pushed out the fimo and used the impressions to make the silver parts.
 I  pressed in the silver metal clay and let it harden. Each part  then had to be polished and fired with a torch.

Here are the silver limbs in their finished state. I was really pleased how much detail was picked up by the moulds. This photo makes me giggle it looks like an invisible tortoise.
Next was the "fun" i.e trying to solder on the four legs, head and  tail. I had to solder the head and tail first using hard solder...this was really fiddly to keep in place.
 Next I had block everything out with rouge and solder on the 4 legs using easy solder, taking care not to melt off the head and tail.
 but hey presto here he is!

 Obviously he has not yet been polished. I will not be able to set the stone until September when class returns by I am really pleased with him. I have added a fitting to his head to wear him as a pendant. I will share him later in the year when he is all finished.

My card today is nothing to do with tortoises but everything to do with weddings and anniversaries. As well as my 4th bloggerversary on Saturday it is my 33rd wedding anniversary on Friday and my Hb and I have lunch booked in London, we have taken the day off work. Also on Saturday our daughter and SIL are hosting a family BBQ to celebrate their 2nd wedding anniversary (which is on 28th). I cannot share their card here so I thought I would share a wedding card I made. It has a lovely summer feel with a little added bling.
Here are a couple of close ups, the sentiment is a  LOTV stamp which I stamped using Versafine ink.
and the beautiful butterflies are Cheery Lynn as are the green leaves under the roses which I have glittered up. I added a silver edged ribbon and silver gems on the butterfly bodies.The inside is lovely silver card with a Cheery Lynn heart which surrounds a sentiment I made on the computer. The butterfly border is JoyCraft
 and here you can just see the silver peeping through

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

Cheery Lynn silver and/or gold
A little bit Crafty it's magic
My Mum's craft Shop summer
Stamping sensations summer blooms
Whimsy stamps summertime
Little Claire's summertime
Fashionable stamping dreaming of summer

I have my girlies up to stay for a few days as my SIL is away working, precious times. Thanks for visiting today and remember to pop back on Saturday to help me celebrate my 4th bloggerversary with some fun prizes.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Christmas in July aka Billy's Blog

Hello everyone, Billy here. Just for today I have renamed Jane's Journal  Billy's Blog.

 Jane asked my to write today's blog post as she is very busy in her studio and wants me to be the one who has to admit that the crazy time of the year in the card making world known as Christmas in July has arrived. Now don't groan, you know that Jane's other name is Mrs Christmas and she noticed that the new Christmas crafts are coming into the shops. One of her favourite stamp manufactures, Lili of the Valley have even started sneak peeks on their blog and already she is straining not the break that promise of ,"I don't need any more stamps". I heard her say that last year and look what happened. Cheery Lynn are bringing out new dies and she has already earmarked a fab icicle one. Also Tim Holtz has started showing his new ranges and she has been drooling over those. That wish list of hers never stops growing.

She has decided that she will make her Christmas in July card today. Yes,  one of the hottest days of the year, it's forecast to top 30c here in sunny Surrey. Whilst she finishes it off in her studio she asked me to show you how things are growing in her little garden.
 This pot is nearest her studio, I think it might even inspire the card she is making. I can hear her radio playing and goodness me I think she is also humming the odd Christmas carol.

Whilst she is not looking I think I will have a quick roll around in the sun on the patio; no one can see me.

Did someone notice..quick, I had better get back to this blogging business.
 I think you might recognize this tree below, it's the one which they take inside each
year and hang chocolates on. It's madness isn't it, trees belong in gardens don't they? I think Jane will be delighted to see the new green growth on it.

She also is rather pleased with how the cosmos and petunia  are blooming
I think I can hear Jane calling now, she has finished her Christmas in July card and has asked me to show it to you...I'm delighted to see that a cat like me features on it........it even has a pink nose just like mine.

As she was super busy she used one of the Lili of the Valley printed die cut shapes, these are great when you don't have time to get out the Promarkers to colour an image. She also used a LOTV sentiment. Here are a couple of close ups
 The border is a Cheery Lynn lace border she cut with glitter card. The doily she used around the focal  is also Cheery Lynn.
She would like to enter her card into the following challenges

Lili of the Valley Take 2
Cheery Lynn Beautiful Borders
Winter Wonderland Three of 3 I have 3 colours (red, green and gold), 3 layers for the focal (2 scallop circles and a doily) and 3 types of legs; the girls legs, the cats legs and the legs of the stool the girl is standing on!
ABC Christmas N is for Numbers my number is 25
Sparkles Monthly Christmas in July
Artistic Inspirations 100th challenge anything goes
Crafty Hazelnut Glam it up I have glammed it up with my glitter card
Crafty Hazelnut's Patterned Paper anything goes
Divas by Design Christmas in July
As you like it favourite sentiment and why the reason this is my favourite is that my favourite season is Christmas and the words on this LOTV sentiment just say it all!#
Inky Chicks Christmas in July

Now you may wonder why Jane was too busy to be here as she needed to finish off her card. Well  today is even more special in Jane's eyes than Christmas in July............do you know why?
....well today is my 6th Birthday.........yes I am getting a very grown up man. And I shall take a seat here and wait for Jane to finish so that we can spend the rest of my birthday together. I am told a little treat may well feature in my food dish. I may also need to find some shade later as my furry coat is a little hot in this weather.

Happy Birthday to me...this is the life. Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrfect...

Jane will be back soon and summer crafting projects will be restored until September when she will start her Christmas card making in earnest.

Thanks for visiting, keep cool for those of you in Southeast England.

Bye for now,

Billy x (and Jane x)