Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Christmas in July

Hello it's Billy here, Jane's cat and yes we have arrived at that mad day of the year when she has that Christmas in July moment. 
Summer is in full swing my garden is looking lush with so much new growth. I have been amazed at the new sprouts that have appeared on Baby Choc. He is Jane's little Christmas tree she bought last year to replace Old Choc who went to the Tree in the Sky land. I think he actually found a new home locally as he disappeared from the grass verge the day before the Christmas tree collection van came.  Baby Choc holds  her vintage Christmas ornaments and Christmas chocolates. If you are not a regular reader of my blog you can read all about  my first meeting with him here.
You can spot him in the far right of this photo below, just outside Jane's studio. 
Just look at all his new growth. He told me he loves his new branches. There will be more room to hang things from. It was hard to keep him still as he kept dancing around showing off all his new greeness.
These will turn darker green as the season goes on. 

He is also sporting a rather spiffing new hair style, just look at that. He really is looking most handsome.
So while Jane drove me mad humming Christmas tunes from her studio I had a little snooze in the shade but I did manage to snap these photos before my doze when she went indoor to make her cuppa.
Jane made these alcohol ink tag backgrounds on embossed foiled card a little while back. (You can see that I am very well informed for a cat on all things crafting. I have had years of practice). She made up and the botanical tag which she shared here
I noticed that she had taken out the lumber/wood effect tag and made some Christmas bits and bobs including a stamped coloured image of none other that Father Christmas in his original green outfit. This stamp is from one of her favourite Christmas Tim Holtz stamp sets, called Yuletide.
She had also die cut some greenery too, some in foil and some card. She used alcohol inks again on the foil and distress inks on the card.
So I left her to it and after dinner time I asked if it was safe to pop into her studio and take a peep at what she made. She said yes!
This is what I found; ho ho ho!
with a close up 

she added a sentiment at the bottom....yes Jane will always believe, will you?
one last shot
Jane says she would like me to enter her tag into some challenges..here goes.

Simon says stamp Wednesday early bird
Lil patch of crafty friends 1/3 anything goes
Pixie's snippets playground #381
ABC Christmas N and O I have gone for O for over the top! Jane loves adding lots of extras to her work, she is definitely not a CAS girl.
Die cut Divas Christmas in July

So after all that excitement I found myself a nice shady patch on the lawn for one more doze.

I will be back again in early December with my annual Billy and the Trees post. Baby Choc and I will be rapping together in the garden until then. We also look forward to seeing the Man in the red suit (or will he revert to the old green, who knows?) on the 24th December.  Goodness me this typing is hard work, time for me to go now.  Jane will be back again soon with a new post. I am also going to have a little think about what I will be doing to celebrate my 12th birthday on Friday...gulp...how did that happen!

Until then,

Bye for now,

Billy x

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Garden joy

My garden is blooming away now. My tiny outdoors space brings me so much joy. 
The flowers which have really got the "wow" factor again this year are my begonias. Their colours are jaw dropping. I have them in pots and also in hanging baskets.
They inspire me so much in my crafting. I "see" my distress ink colours in them and often name them..here goes;
Picked raspberry
 wild honey,
picket fence
fossilized amber
and antique linen. 
Yes perhaps that makes me a distress ink addict!

I am able to see all this from my studio in the garden and inspired by the glorious colours of my begonias  I decided to make some summery blends using my new speckled egg distress ink.
 Below are my 2 favourites, on the left is speckled egg, antique linen and picked raspberry (how I would love to have the space to grow raspberries!). On the right I replaced the picked raspberry with wild honey.
I wanted to make some artist trading coins (ATCs) as I was taking part in a "circles" ATC themed swap. To add my "circles"I used one of Tim Holtz' mini stencils and use my speckled egg ink.
I recently bought Tim's Entomology and Field notes stamps set which work so well together and I am using them so much. I used the circle date stamps from Field notes and the circular shaped ladybirds, as well as a few ants thrown in for good measure. I managed to buy, after a long search, the matching dies for the insects which save an awful lot of fussy cutting!
 I also added some background text using the Faded type set. 
I painted my insects with distress inks and added Glossy accents to make them more 3D. 

Here they are finished.
with a couple of close ups

and one final shot.
It has finally rained here today, which my garden desperately needed. It did cancel my plans to visit my parents in their garden but I manged to Zoom craft with my sweet Daisy Jane so all was not lost. The sunshine is due to return this weekend.

Thanks so much for stopping by today, stay safe.

Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Monday, 6 July 2020

Daisy Daisy

      No it's not me calling out to my sweet granddaughter Daisy Jane, it's the name of 1 of the 9 awesome new stencils being released by Visible. I shared a sneak peek of this out in social media land and today I care finally reveal my make in full. Sharing the same name as my Daisy I just had to use it for my first make.
Meet the stencil Daisy Daisy
How gorgeous is that!
I wanted to create something very light and summery so I got out my distress sprays and had a play on watercolour card.
 I love that you can use the spray ink left behind to print with too (these are the images on the white

I decided to use stamps from
Summer wings to make a very summery canvas.
I stamped lots on inky mop up card and then added some more inks as needed.
I also stamped and cut the words into "banners"
I used this stenciled image.
I stamped my butterflies in place
and then decoupaged the wings adding glossy accents to their centres and to the the centre of the daisy stencil. Here is the finished canvas.
with some close ups

and one last shot
This is such a pretty stencil and would work in so many different colourways and with so many different stamps. A real "must have" for any crafter.

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

Simon says stamp Wednesday bright and cheerful
Crafty sentiments 3/3 anything goes
Crafty cardmakers 3/3 make your own background
Fab n funky 2/3 sunshine colours
A bit more time to craft 2/3 anything goes
Creative Inspirations 2/3 in the garden

The new stencil release is available to order on pre release now here on the Visible Image website here. It is released on 17 July. There are 8 more in the release, do check out social media and the Facebook page where there are lots of samples being shared.

All the Visible Image links are listed below

Visible Image group page on Facebook. Our friendly Group is here ...it would be lovely to see you there. You will see lots of gorgeous makes by the DT and customers to inspire your own creativity.

The main Visible Image Facebook page is here; there are regular giveaways...open world wide. Do check out the Facebook LIVES and videos where you will be able to see lots of the samples we have been making with the new release in the flesh!

Their Instagram page can be found here

Pinterest here

And once again the shop web site is here; where all their gorgeous stamps and stencils can be purchased.

Thanks so much for stopping by.
Back soon,

Bye for now,

Jane x

Sunday, 5 July 2020

Keeping happy with Country View crafts

Hello I am back with my 2nd inspiration post for Country View challenges. For July the theme is "Do more of what you makes you happy". This is a pretty open theme and this could be a technique you enjoy, stamp brands you love, colours etc. Just let us know what you love to do when creating. The details and my teamies projects for more inspiration can be found here.

I am never happier than when I am making cards. Even though Dotty's teahouse is still closed I am still making them so that I will have lots of stock for when she is finally able to open again.
One of the rooms in the teahouse is Alice in wonderland themed and cards I make using this theme are always very popular. They certainly seem to make customers' happy!
Their Alice themed afternoon teas were legendary, let's hope they can get back soon.
So for today's post I am sharing a rather unusually coloured Cheshire cat to put a smile on everyone's face.
I worked with these 4 Visible Image stamp sets;
The Cheshire cat
The caterpillar
 and the sentiment from Dare to be different which Susan does not have in stock but can easily order for you.
This is what I got up to; I sprayed some green and a touch of gold inks onto mixed media card.
 I coloured my Cheshire cat very differently with watercolour pens and also coloured the mushroom from the The caterpillar set to co ordinate.
I stamped the treeline and branches from  Into the woods using Versafine Clair inks
 and then red embossed the sentiment from Dare to be different.
 I also added glossy accents to the eyes for extra shine.
 Here he is finished
with a close up

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

Creative fingers 3/3 anything goes
Simon says stamp Wednesday bright and cheerful
Crafty sentiments 2/3 anything goes
Crafty cardmakers 2/3 make your own background
Fab n funky 1/3 sunshine colours
A bit more time to craft anything goes
Creative Inspirations 1/3 in the garden

I hope I may have inspired you to join in with our July "do more of what makes you happy" challenge. You can use any stamps/products, the choice is yours. 
You can enter our challenge as many times as you like and combine with other challenges. There is also a £20 crafting voucher up for grabs to the lucky randomly selected winner to spend over on the Country View Crafts on line store. Remember that UK postage and packing from CVC is free on all orders over £7.50! Once again all the details for the July challenge can be found here;

Thanks so much for stopping by today.

Back soon

Bye for now

Jane x