Thursday, 29 January 2015

Last days of January

I'm not sure how it has happened but unbelievable we find ourselves in the last few days of January. It now feels as though Christmas was in the very distant past however weather wise we still firmly in winter. The north of the country has been experiencing a lot of snow but so far here in the south we have had some sleet and very chilly winds but so far no snow.

Today I was treated to lunch by my parents at my favourite garden centre in Knockholt, Kent. I was delighted to see some lovely colours amongst the plants for sale.
 How cheerful the primulas looked

these were a couple of my favourite colours

As we were admiring the display we heard a little fluttering underneath the stand.  We found that we had been joined by this sweet fellow.
I do love robin's they are such confident friendly birds and this one was very fluffed up to keep warm.
I also loved these gorgeous terracotta pots for sale.

...thoughts of summer and strawberries..mmmm..
To remind us that it still is winter I spied some lovely variegated holly and some rich red berries
 and of course some snowdrops...very apt if the snow moves south.
For my challenge card today I was  inspired by the terracotta pots and the sweet robin to make another CAS card. I used a Kraft card base. This time I use a Meljen's bird digi stamp which I coloured with my Promarkers and highlighted with my Primacolor pencils.

I "sewed" around the clouds with a pen and added 2 Clearly Besotted stamped sentiments. 2 gem hearts and some red distress glitter gave a pop of colour just like the tummy of the sweet robin we saw.

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

Meljen team spirit  my colours are of my favourite  football team, England. This is their red and white away kit....the brown represents the mud on their kit!
Pan Pastel Happy birthday
Country View use something new to you my new are the red gem hearts
Cute card Thursday stamping mad
Work it Wednesday from Simon Says stamp show something new these red hearts are new and also CAS is a very new style for me, this is only the 2nd time I have made a CAS card.
As you like it favourite mat or shiney and why I love matt papers and use them most of the time. I think they give a really great depth and base to projects.  I love the kraft card I have used today and just a little bit of glitter really makes it pop.
Simon Says stamp Wednesday anything goes
Addicted to stamps and more CAS
Passion for Promarkers garden life
NoorUK! with love

I think I may have jinxed the lack of snow here...we have now been forecast some snow overnight in the South East. Hmmm I really hope that the snow does stay away as I am due to have one of my fab Inky days on Saturday with Brenda in Flitwick and I really hope I can get there.

Whatever the weather I hope you all keep snug. Thanks for visiting me here and for all the lovely comments you take the time to leave. Enjoy the weekend when we get there,

Keep warm and carry on crafting,

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Monday, 26 January 2015


Today I am a Guest Designer over at Crafty Boots for their "butterflies" challenge after winning their "stars" challenge just before Christmas. This challenge runs for 2 weeks and they would love for you to join in. This is the link. If you are a first time visitor to Jane's Journal may I give you a warm welcome, do grab a cuppa and  have a look around my blog.

I love using butterflies in my crafting and in real life they are the most extraordinary creatures. I see them a lot in my garden during the summer months as they love my buddleia bush. I looked through my archive of photos and found that I don't have any photos of my butterflies in my garden. Whilst looking though I found these photos from a summer visit to Eltham Palace which I didn't have the time to blog last year. I thought today would be a good time to remind of us of some warm summer weather whilst we are in the middle of winter. There are no photo allowed inside this amazing Palace but the gardens are gorgeous.

Ahhh sweet memories of summer 2014

I am so looking forward to seeing some warm weather again.

I was inspired to use some of the colours from the flowers to make my GD card for today. I don't usally use purple but for today I did.

Here is my card
the image is by Nicecrane from his gorgeous adorable fairies set
 I hand made the roses using my spellbinders die and some words papers from my stash. The leaves are Cheery Lynn
 I added some matching distress inks to their edges. The butterfly is Cheery Lynn and the underpart has been cut using glitter card.
and here is it once more
The sentiments are both LOTV

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

Cheery Lynn anything goes
Pan Pastel Happy birthday
Country View use something new to you my new is the purple glitter has a lot of bling and I love it! The digi image is also a new one for me.
Little Claire's bright and beautiful
Dream Valley anything goes
Open Minded Crafting movie inspiration my movie inspiration is Disney's Fantasia

Thanks for visiting today and thanks to Crafty Boots for inviting me to be their guest designer today for their butterflies challenge. I really hope you enjoyed your visit to Jane's Journal.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Friday, 23 January 2015

An a "Maze" ing day in London

Yes I know the title is a little contrived but it amused me for a while and it does sum up the meal we had at Maze to celebrate my Hb's birthday on Tuesday. Although he works in London all week we both never tire of visiting this amazing city. We were both born and raised in London and even though we moved into the suburbs during our early married days we are still only 20 minutes by train from Victoria.

We wanted to try a new restaurant for his birthday treat. We have eaten at Claridge's when Gordon Ramsay was the chef there but have never eaten at any of his other restaurants.  We had a look at OpenTable on the Internet and decided to book at Maze, his restaurant at Grosvenor Square.

Tuesday was a perfect winter day, cold but blue skies and sunshine so we wrapped up warmly and took the train up to Victoria and then the tube to Oxford Circus. We wanted to walk via Regent's Street and Mayfair. Just look at that sky as we emerged from the tube exit.

I spotted on of the new route master buses whizzing past as we waited to cross to Nike Town to see if there was any new running gear my Hb needed as part of his birthday present.
 We then walked past the Palladium, I love this Art Deco building

and Liberty's
 and took at detour via Carnaby Street to visit the Ben Sherman shop
 There was a TV drama being filmed at the time...not sure which one but we may even feature in something as we walked past!

We then headed towards Grosvenor Square and our lunch spot
 Maze is in a gorgeous Georgian building which overlooks Grosvenor Square.
Our table was perfectly situated looking out the the square. London is blessed with so much green space.

Now the meal was fabulous and what I was particularly taken by were all the different textures of our food. Everything was so tactile and tasted as good as it looked. At this point I said to my Hb that I was inspired to make a Moment of our meal. M is so good natured with my art work and never despairs that I find my inspiration everywhere.

After 5 delicious courses we walked back to Oxford Circus this time via the Square, it was so pretty.

The trees looked gorgeous despite their nakedness, real lungs of London.

On Tuesday evening our darling son and his dog Bear joined us...a perfect end to the day.

My head was already buzzing with ideas for my Moment so I jotted a few ideas down and finished off my piece after work today. There are some great challenge themes running at the moment and I wanted to join in with these too so I included their themes too in my creation.

First I made an inky background using a mixture of brown and green Distress Inks as these were to represent the trees, the brown/natural decor in Maze and the green grass of Portland Square.

Next I used my Imagination Crafts tree stencil to give a watery tree shadow in the background and then I used my Visible Image winter tree stamp to add some trees in the foreground.

I also used my "These are the moments" Visible Image stamp on some inked card which I tore the edges of.

There was an elaborate railing at the restaurant and I thought that I could use a cut out window frame I won from a recent card challenge but use white rather than black to represent the window that we sat at. I stained my window frame with Picket fence distress stain. You will see this fully in a later photo

I also wanted to include some texture as these were the crackers we were served..
they had different seeds and one had chocolate in the ingredients but it was still savoury...!  Delicious!

I decided to use Frantage and corrugated card as part of my focal to remember the brilliant crackers.

The wine waiter suggested that they made me my very own cocktail. I love gin and wanted something quite floral but not too sweet and could not see anything which suited on the menu. This pretty pink frothy creation was brought to our table, complete with a deep red raspberry floating in the centre. I was told that if I didn't like it they would make something else...annoyingly it was perfect ;0)
It was just right...not too sweet but with perfect floral undertones.

I wanted to add some "love" to my Moment so I inked up some card with red and pink DIs and hand cut 3 out.They are the same colour as my cocktail. I also wanted to represent  the froth in some way.

To do this I added some puffy paint through my Tim Holtz heart stencil.

I heated it and up came my frothy puffy hearts. I loved this effect but still felt it needed something else so I reach for my Artistic Stamper calligraphy mat and added some text using red Archival Ink.

On the left is how they puff up with the heat, and the large photo shows them inked up.

I had such fun making my Moment, here it is;
You can see the window frame clearly above. These are some close ups;
I inked up a die cut TH tree and added text to this too. The trees we looked out to were so beautiful in the wintry sunshine. I added lots of Frantage as it gave a great wintry feel to my Moment plus the texture I wanted.

I even tucked in the Maze business card.
Of course I had to first distress it's edges with Gathered Twigs distress ink and I also added some Frantage! I really like my altered business card, I wonder if Mr Ramsay would approve? I added some Remnant Rubs too with some loving inspirational words.

This will be stuck into Jane's Journal and when I look at my Moment I will be able to recall the sights and tastes of our wonderful meal.

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

Frilly and Funkie Winter wishes
A Vintage Journey love is in the air
Imagination Crafts anything goes I have used the trees form their "The Clearing" stencil.
NoorUK! With love
Simon says stamp Monday Winter stamping
Simon says stamp Wednesday have a heart
Rhedd's Creative spirit anything goes
Craft stamper take it make it Take a stamp
That Craft Place Love/Valentines
Make the day special recycle something I would not usually use a business card...but I think it fits in really well! I also recycled part of some packaging my Body shop order came in to make the focal.

We are looking forward to our family coming to a buffet party to finish the birthday celebrations tomorrow. Enjoy your weekend and I hope you find some time to be creative. Remember that inspiration (and love)  really is all around us and sometimes it's in the most unlikely of places.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x