Saturday, 27 September 2014

Inspirational Osborne House

I am playing catch up again with some promised photos from our late summer trip to the Isle of Wight. We decided to pay a visit to Osborne House the holiday retreat built in 1845 by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. I have visited the house and gardens in the past and this is one of my top stately homes in the world to visit...seriously. It should be on that bucket list! We realised it would not be practical to go round the house itself on this occasion but the grounds there are really stunning. Everywhere outside was also buggy friendly, perfect for Daisy.
 The House is more like an Italian Palace and is a perfect backdrop for photos of the gardens which are so well tended,
The fountain below is now dry but still leads the view towards the coast where Queen Victoria even had her own private beach
 Views back to Portsmouth on the mainland
 I love the rich golden colours which had been used for the flower beds.

and there was even a pop of purple and red  amongst the golds

 Her private beach is now open to the public and we enjoyed eating an ice cream there and smiled at her bathing machine. This used to be hauled out to sea by horses so that the Queen would not be seen getting into the sea and inadvertently revealing any ankle flesh!
There is even a replica Swiss chalet which Prince Albert had built as a giant wendy house for their children. They enjoyed cooking and gardening here, what lucky children they were.
In the garden we spied these growing...............
 yes pumpkins!

By now I am sure these are quite a size and will be ready just in time for Halloween. 

As I sorted through these photos the colour gave me some autumnal inspiration....reds, golds, browns, purples......such richness which we are beginning to see  all around us now. I hope to take an autumn walk tomorrow to find my autumn treasures...conkers.

My card challenge creation today is inspired by the colours of Osborne and the pumpkin. I rarely use these colours in my work but at this time of year they are so uplifting. There are also some lovely autumnal themed challenges around which I wanted to take part in.

I made this card for my dear Dad's birthday, which was yesterday. I used lots of Tim Holtz Distress inks to create a "master sheet" of autumnal colours. I first cut a backing piece to which I added some Vintage photo DI through Tim's honeycomb stencil. I also embossed another piece of the card with a Sizzix folder and blended more DIs onto this. 
The leaves are cut using a sweet Memory Box die. I edged them all with Walnut Stain DI. I also cut a couple of gold leaves, a birthday sentiment and mounted my card on the same gold cardstock. My Dad loves his garden so the wheelbarrow and the tree branch all added to the feel of his card.
Here is a close up of the falling leaves.

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

A Vintage Journey  The colours of autumn
A Creative Romance in the garden
Crafty Catz birthday
Simon Says Wednesday anything goes
Pan Pastel UK  embossing
Creative Inspirations autumn colours
Bearly Mine autumnal colours
Penny Black and More autumnal colours
Little Claire's birthday card
Our Creative Corner Inspirational photo I was inspired by the rich  autumnal feel of all the photos as well as the golden sunlight shining through the green leaves. I tried to get a feel of the sunshine shining through in the centre of my card.

Thanks always for your visits and kind comments you take the time to leave.

I was looking for some autumnal quotes and found this sweet little poem written by George Elliot which I wanted to share before I go;

Come said the leaves to the wind one day,
Come O'er the meadows and we will play.
Put on your dresses of scarlet and gold,
For summer is gone and the days grow old.     

Have a lovely autumnal weekend. It's time to start scrunching through those fallen leaves when we go out to walk and to marvel at all the fruits Mother Nature has ripened to feed the wildlife through the coming months. I shall take my camera and try to capture a few. 

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Thursday, 25 September 2014

The shell seeker

This year on Rhodes we had a room on the other side of the block but still had a wonderful view out to sea. We were greeted by this gorgeous view as we opened the curtains each morning. Sometimes we caught sight of the local fisherman taking his boat out and for a couple of days this boat was moored there. The beach is just a stones throw away.

I love the deep shades of blue at sunrise. We love to wander down to the beach especially early morning when everyone else is still asleep.
Some mornings the waves are rolling in and on other mornings or later in the day the sea is as still as a mill pond. We love to wiggle our toes and leave footsteps in the sand

We always spent a few days of our holiday on the beach. I can never sit still for long so I go seeking shells or pieces of sea glass. There are not many to be found here but when I do find one it is like finding a little piece of treasure.

Our beach days were spent gently relaxing and reading between some walks .  We tend to eat earlier in the evening and after a shower and dressing in our fresh cool clothes we would stroll to our  favourite restaurant which over looks the same beach. It is wonderful to watch the sun go down as we sip our cool pre meal drinks. The shadows lengthen and the sun starts its final descent.

There is nothing like the inner peace that the sounds of the sea and the colours in the sky at sunrise and sunset can induce.

When I came home I decided to make a Moment to put in my journal. I embossed a sheet of water colour paper with my shell folder and sprayed some Dylusions inks to make a watery background. I wanted this to be in the centre of my Moment.

I wanted to join the Craft Stamper inking on tissue paper challenge so I used my new Visible Image sentiment, which I recently won, and carefully applied it to the centre of the shell with Matt Medium. I love the way it merges with the embossing like a wave on the sea.  I added my embossed panel to a piece of stamping card. 
I also added some grunge paste though a stencil to represent the sea spray and lots of die cut shells and a crab which I brushed with gesso to cover the original card colours.
I also stamped some more sea sentiments (by Crafty Individuals)  onto tissue and added these to my journal piece. I also printed  myself some personal chit chat words on Kraft card.

It was then time to put on my creative hat and put together my ideas. Here are some close ups;
 I made the sky with blended distress inks. My glowing sun was sprayed with and then highlighted with Rusty Hinge DI. I love the shine from this. The "rays" are archival ink applied though a Tim Holtz stencil. I wanted the deep coloured "rays" to represent the sun setting and the lengthening shadows it creates.

I used yellow acrylic paints to daub the shells and crab and blue acrylic paint to the edge of the sea. I spritzed some water to allow the colours to blend together in a watery swirl, just like the sea on Rhodes. I distressed the edges of my Moment and applied Vintage Photo DI.

and here is my finished piece..............
I have tried to capture all the times of the day at the beach in my Moment, together with some of the changing colours.

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

Visible Image Make it sparkle it is difficult to see but in real life my sun, the waves and the coloured grunge paste have a gorgeous sparkle to them
Craft Stamper Take it Make it Challenge stamping on tissue paper edit;oops missed the deadline by 12 hours!
Pan Pastels embossing
A little bit crafty Distress it
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday anything goes

We did have a wonderful week away and I love my new Visible Image is so apt. We all need to remember that life is for now and "These are the Moments". My Moment is now in Jane's Journal and when I look at it it makes me breath and inhale slowly and remember those special times; shell seeking, being warmed by the sun's rays, hearing the waves of the blue Aegean Sea  rolling in and watching the sun set with my darling Hb....just bliss.

I will be back with some more photos from our late summer break in the coming weeks. Here in the South we are still enjoying balmy early autumn afternoons although there is a nip in the air in the mornings and certainly the darkness is encroaching into the evenings earlier and earlier. I have a day at home today and I am going to enjoy some Studio time with Billy and I have started to get out my autumn palette of colours. I do love the light of summer but I also welcome the changing seasons and autumn is a magical time.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Monday, 22 September 2014

A lack of office supplies ?

Today is my second and final piece as a Guest Designer for the Craft Hoarders challenge. The theme for the next 2 weeks is "Who loves school and office supplies". Well this theme rather threw me as I left school a lifetime ago and I don't work in an office. I work for the good old NHS and the last thing that is ever spare there is office supplies! Years ago drug companies used to give us free pens and post-it notes but those days have long ended. I am also one of those very old fashioned people (as is my Hb) who writes at work with a fountain pen.

I did a lot of head scratching, rummaging through my drawers at home and searching around the house and found a few things which could be considered as office supplies. Here they are;
Rather a mixed bag eh but the fun thing I found whilst rummaging through my drawers was my old Dymo machine which has not seen the light of day for years. Can you remember the days when we put labels on everything...a label saying "switch" to tell us it was a switch! Yes I did that too.

I also wanted to use my fabulous Visible Image Eye stamp again and I thought the Tim Holtz creativity quote was very apt;

 So I put my creative hat on and first made myself an inky background using these 3 Distress inks
 I also coloured 2 of the tags with the same colours.
 I thought this stencil would also fit with the theme and added some Mown Grass DI through it.
Next it was playtime as I made my ideas into reality. I used staples to attach the quote (another office supply I had thought of)
Spot the dymo!

and here is my finished piece............

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

Simon Says Stamp Wednesday tag it
Inky Chicks anything goes
Crafty boots anything goes
Crafting from the heart anything goes
We do doobadoo something masculine
A creative romance anything goes
Simon Says Stamp Monday Stamp and stencil for Stamptember
A little bit crafty distress it
Anything but a card steampunktember

Thanks to Gloria for having me as a Guest Designer for the month and thanks everyone for popping by to see what I made out of my office supplies. Do pop over to the challenge here to join the fun and remember that out of my limitations certainly did come some very unexpected creativity,

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

Hello everyone, I'm back from my sunshine getaway. We had a wonderful week on our beloved Rhodes and I took lots of photos, but they all need sorting through. I will try to get a post up as soon as I can sharing some of our sunshine memories.

 I thought that today I would backtrack to our wonderful mini break on the gorgeous Isle of Wight we shared with our DD, SIL and Daisy over the August bank holiday. This is the seaside post I had promised to share. Years ago we always stayed at Shanklin Chine and we decided to revisit our old haunt of Shanklin beach which we last visited 18 years ago.

Shanklin is still such a picturesque spot and the village is just as pretty with thatched shops, lovely cafes and quaint old pubs.
The beach is just as unspoilt and even on a bank holiday weekend was not busy.

We enjoyed  lunch in the village and walked down to the beach via the Chine, a real trip down memory lane.

I bought Daisy her first bucket and spade and we put down a blanket on the sand for her to play on

I love this tea reads Lollies on their Jollies...such a fun sentiment.
She did also put a mouthful of sand in her mouth at one point which was not too tasty. We made her one little sandcastle and stuck a flag on top which she soon thought was also a good idea to taste!
As she is only 10 months old she is too young for ice cream but we all enjoyed one.
I had forgotten how gorgeous Mr Whippy tastes and yes I had a 99 (with a flake in). I was delighted to see Mr Whippy celebrating 50 years of trading, such a nostalgic brand for me.

Then it was time to wend out way back to our hotel for the evening. We really did have such a special family break together. I do have one more post I will share in the coming weeks, our visit to Osborne House.

I made a Moment for my journal inspired by our seaside trip. I wanted to add the blues and greens of the sea and the sea weed on the beach. I don't have much seaside crafty stash so I decided to use my favourite seaside image, the seahorse.

I stamped my seahorse (from Red Lead) and added some distress inks for colour and then fussy cut it out. I also used a Cheery Lynn seashorse diecut which I inked with the same DIs. The seaweed in the background is a Red Lead stencil. I blended  my Salty Ocean, Tumbled Glass and Mown Grass distress inks and added some Vintage Photo.  The rising bubble stamp is from Designs by Ryn which I inked using blue Archival Ink and added some white gel pen for accents.

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

Designs by Ryn Monthly customer draw, September
Simon Says Stamp Monday Technique challenge I have used Distress Ink blending with some spritz and flick to add some depth for my background  and also added stenciled seaweed.
A little bit crafty distress it
Our Creative Corner photo inspiration I was inspired by the lush green colours in leaves, the little shell reminded me of the beach and the bark photo gave some great textural inspiration as I have tried to do with the stencils I used.
Divas by Design anything but a card I have made a Moment for my Journal
Addicted to stamps and more holiday
Inky Chicks anything goes
Crafty boots anything goes
Crafting from the heart anything goes

I shall put this in my journal to remind me of sunny days at the beach and wonderful memories of my darling Daisy with her bucket and spade by the sea as we heard the waves gently lapping nearby.

I have my final GD post coming up on Monday for the Craft Hoarders challenge. Please do drop by if you have the time to see what I made for it.

 Thanks so much for your wonderful comments about my most recent pieces, especially my Tim's September creation.....I am so thrilled to see how much you liked it and it was also selected by the Simon Says Stamp Monday team for a Designer spotlight award, I was so delighted. Have a look here

 I'm not sure that I will get a chance to get any photos sorted before Monday as I am back at work tomorrow and we have a really busy weekend ahead. I will probably share my first holiday post some time during the end of next week. I hope you have all kept well and are enjoying the last of the summer sun wherever you are. I will try to catch up with your blogs soon and even if I don't get the chance to comment I do read your lovely posts. I'm off to continue with the mounds of holiday!

Just one sneak peek of my photos from Rhodes as they are downloading as I type...I miss the glorious sunsets already.....

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x