Monday, 30 July 2012

Making a start with thanks

Good morning all
Thank you for all the lovely comments and good wishes yesterday.  It doesn't seem to be my year, but I will keep pushing on, I have to,  I have so many people supporting me! Bless you all.
Welcome to our latest followers, I hope you will enjoy your visits to my blog and if you have a blog yourself,  I will be along soon to see what you are up to. 

Have you noticed we are almost at the Big 100 followers!!  
That means a draw for Two winners soon, how exciting!!

I'm sorry but I haven't a finished project to show you.  All I have is something I will be working on for a little while, so I am going to show you bits as and when I complete them.  Also I have the pictures of the beautiful gifts sent to me by the lovely Linda W.  I have been looking at them again today, I can't stop admiring them.  I have managed to move them off the desk, well...... almost...they are in a special drawer next to where I sit, so I can take a look now and!!
First here is what I am working on.....Hardboard Notebooks using my Bind-it-all (eventually)

I used the tissue paper method to create a faux silk background for the outside of my notebook.  I managed to acquire some bronze toned tissue and used lots of Mod Podge and then let them set hard below a stack of heavy boxes to keep the chipboard flat.
Next I used some Faded Jeans and Black Soot distress inks to distress the surface.
I used some travel papers inside and coated them with Mod Podge also to give them a wipe clean surface.  Again I used some distress ink to 'edge' the sheet, but just lightly this time.

 I made a small, half size Notebook to match.
These shots show the bronze tissue before and after adding the Faded Jeans and Black soot ink.

I hope you will bear with me as I am very slow working.  I really am not up to speed yet, my mind wanders too much at the moment.  I will show you more as I progress I promise.

Now to the lovely creations I gave you a glimpse of yesterday.  Linda Wescott has been so busy!!

First the stunning Fimo pieces.  I can't wait to start using these!!

Aren't these Steampunk pieces just fabulous!

This crochet work is so beautiful and this is only a fraction of the pieces Linda sent to me.  I couldn't fit all the pieces in without making the picture look messy.....I am no window dresser, thats for sure!

Last, but by no means least, the amazing semi precious beads.  Oh, I can't wait to make something special with these...............that's if I can ever part with them.   At the moment I just keep touching them......LOL!!
Linda, you are so very talented and a most generous lady.  From the bottom of my heart I thank you, I will treasure them all always.
Well that's it for today folks.  I will try to get something completed today; as soon as my beautiful Grandson goes home to mum and dad.  I haven't had him for a little while and  have missed him loads and loads.  Now he can lift my spirits.......... he always makes me smile!!
Have a great day all, whatever you're up to.   Big hugs Linda xx

Sunday, 29 July 2012

I'm back at last!!!!!

Good morning all
It is so good to be back with you and before I do anything I must say a big, heartfelt THANK YOU to you all for the lovely well wishes, comments of concern, emails and e-cards.  You have held out the hand of friendship and kindness to me on several occasions now and I am truly, truly touched by the deep feelings and generosity of spirit, thank you so very much.

As I explained in my last post, I came down with a chest infection and had antibiotics off the doctor.  Well they helped but did not clear it all away as quickly as I would have liked.
I have to be honest now and explain that I was already extremely low.   Firstly I did too much when I started the decluttering/reorganising.   On top of this my life was changing dramatically and very, very emotionally too.  My 9year relationship came to breaking point and we have now separated.   It has been happening for a while now and I think the strain of it took me to an all time low and therefore, I wasn't strong enough to fight the chest infection as easily as I should have.  I do hope you will understand but I am going to end that there now as it is very personal and still very, very raw.
Again, I want to thank each and everyone of you for taking the time to write to me on my blog with such kind words.  I have been able to keep reading them, even when I was unable to get to my pc/laptop, as my daughter set up my new phone to access not only my emails but my blog also.
I am just so sorry for taking this long to get back to you.
Well it's up to bed for a rest now and then I am actually going to go into the craftroom to create something new; probably just a card for today, but who knows.  Also, I have some pictures to take of a selection of stunning gifts I received in the mail today.  They are truly exquisite, so I have to show them all, I hope you can stop by and take a look.
Here's a little sneak of what to expect (taken on my mini camera for now).

A little glimpse of some of the exquisite pieces created by the talented Linda Wescott.  Thank you Linda xx

Boy, it's so good to be back.  I'll be along to your blogs properly soon too I promise.
Bye for now.  Biggest ever hugs Linda  XX

Saturday, 14 July 2012


Hi everyone,
This is just a very quick post to explain my absence.  After spending two days decluttering and orgranising my home, I noticed my throat and cough getting worse.  The very next day I woke up with pains in my chest and across my back and so I made a trip to the doctor. 
I have a chest infection and have been told to rest and take a course of penicillin.  I have been doing as I was told and am feeling a little easier today.  If things keep improving as they are,  I hope to be back with you in blogland in the next couple of days.
Best wishes to you all,  I do hope you are well.
Regards  Linda xx

Monday, 9 July 2012

Monday morning is here again

Good Monday Morning to you all,
Thank you all again for the wonderful comments you have left for me recently.  I was thrilled to see that you enjoyed the CAS cards as much as I enjoyed making them.
Well, tidying is underway at home, but there is a long way to go to make it easier for me yet.  I am confident we will get there.   One good thing came out of my need to tidy and that is that my daughter ended up with 3pairs of Jeans that I was going to give to charity.  Jeans are a no-no for someone with my spinal problems as they put too much pressure on the back, so I had a few pairs that were like new just sat in the wardrobe.  I used to be alot slimmer than I am now so they were small enough to fit my daughter, who is 6ft and slim.  I was a bit green for approx ten seconds and then my sensibility took over and I was just glad she could make use of them (luckily she and I like similar jeans -bootcut or flared). LOL!! 
I am sorry to say, I have been too busy to make a card to show today, but it is not a bad thing as it gives me the opportunity to do a Showcase instead.

Todays Showcase is the lovely, Christine Hussey and she has created some stunners;  take a look:-

This is fabulous and I think with snowflakes in the corners it would make a wonderful Christmas card.  The embossed background really sets off the white diecuts and adds lots of lovely texture.

 This is so unusual in its colour scheme and very modern.  I adore the  Spellbinders flower centers used as flowers themselves, they are just the right size for this layout and everything about it says classy!

A very stylish inside to the card and using the 'waste' pieces from the border diecuts is inspired and I think the shapes give the card a Moroccan feel (especially with these colours).

I fell in love with this one the instant I downloaded it as Christine has used one of my favourite manufacturers,  My Minds Eye.  This particular paper is from one of my all time favourite sets by MME too.  Plus, anything with butterflies on and I am happy.

Well there you have it, some beautiful cards with a variety of styles and colour schemes.  I think you will agree with me, Christine has done a wonderful job with these and I, for one, can't wait to see what comes next.

Thank you so much Christine for letting me showcase these on my blog.   I hope you have enjoyed seeing them here.  Maybe one day you could do a blog of your own and then we can all come and follow you!
Have a great day all.  Hugs Linda xx

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Busy times ahead

Hello all,
First I must say welcome to the latest followers,  thank you so much for joining us.  I hope we can get to know each other and share some fun times.
Okay, before I start I have something I need to say.    At this moment my life is extremely busy as the house is being de-cluttered, spring cleaned (Ok don't panic, I know it's summer!) and then decorated.  I need to have it made easier for me now so decluttering is a must!  Unfortunately, as most of you know, I suffer 24/7 pain with my back and all this is going to take it out of me for a while. 
So you may find a post missing now and again or the posts may be very short on words, but the cards should still keep coming as crafting is my way to relax and destress.
Now that's over, let's get on with todays card.

I was looking at the cards I'd made the other day and I spotted my CAS (clean and simple) ones and I was so happy with how they came out that I decided to have a go at another one.  So todays card is just that, Clean and Simple but with lots of layers.   I hope you like it.

I used the lovely LOTV (Lily of the Valley) Special Day stamp and I chose this because it fitted so well within the overall design.  This is a lovely stamp set to use as you can write in the month and year of the Special Day and circle the actual day.  There is another circular stamp in the set and also several greeting stamps too for a very reasonable price.  They fit so well within alot of the Spellbinders or Marianne dies.

I embossed the background with a Cricut polka dot embossing folder and cut the edge shape with Spellbinders Labels 20.   The patterned paper and first blue matt were cut with Nellie Snellen dies and the top blue matt was cut with an X Cut die (I will update this with the names as soon as I can get to them).  The final circular matt was cut with the middle sized Spellbinders small circles.

Some of you have asked about the sizes of my cards, so here is a rough guide to help you:
Larger squares:-  7x7" or 8x8" 
Smaller squares:-   6x6"
Tent cards:-   6x8"   However todays was 5.5 x7.5" (it suited this style better)
Larger cards (8x10"  (but, again, the style/layout may alter that slightly).

Ok, that's it for today, its gone 4am and I am shattered now so I am off to bed.  Have a fabulous crafty day.  I will try to finish my blog rounds and my emails this weekend also.  Linda xx

Saturday, 7 July 2012

I'll be back.......!!!

Sorry all, I meant to say I'm back.....LOL!   I was having a Terminator moment there.   If only aye! They could just slide in a new spine and I'd be off and running.   Look out world, here comes the Bionic Terminator........... nah, don't fancy having to shoot people, I will stick with good old 'Bionic Woman'  (Lynsey Wagner was better looking anyway!!)
Ok enough of my sillyness;  this is what happens when I am left to my own devices for too long:  I craft,  watch a bit of TV on my laptop and then start talking to myself.  'Do you?'  'Yes I do!'  'I'd stop that if I was you, they'll be putting you in a straight jacket next.'  'Who will? Theres no one here but me.'   'And me!'   'Who are you?'   'You of course, you silly woman.  You're going a bit doolally on the quiet!'   'What do you mean on the quiet, I'm telling the world about this'   rofl :D   ha ha ha (sorry still laughing at myself)  ....Actually, that's not a good sign is it?   Bad joke aye..................!  :(   Not laughing now.
Sorry world, I really have got my silly head on.  If you find that really stupid, please, please forgive me and move quickly on to my card, well actually it's not technically a card, it's a tag.  Whichever, here it is:-

I used Maroon card for the base and topped it with a piece of Mariposa paper from the DCWV paper stack.  I chose carefully where to cut the paper so the embossed bird would sit behind my cage when I had finished.  I then cut out a spare bird and two butterflies from the same piece of paper and decoupaged them as shown.  The birdcage was diecut from mirri and orange card with a Marianne die, the orange one then cut directly down the middle.  This allowed the orange to show above and to the side of the whole diecut when glued; each half slightly offset, beneath.

The semicircle braid is hand crocheted and the rolled flowers are made from half thickness of bias binding, with the rosette flowers being stitched and ruched from a 1inch piece of grosgrain ribbon (all handmade by me).  A button with twine and threads is added to finish.
Using another piece of grosgrain ribbon in orange, I pulled out the threads and used them to make a tassle.  Finally I stamped out my sentiment onto strips of paper and trimmed the ends to form banner points.   Small gold brads were added to these to coordinate with the gold embossing on the paper.
I was going to distress it all a bit but it looked nice the way it was and so I left it alone for a change.

I have a little tip for you now:-   If you want to use the words on a phrase stamp seperately but they are too close together to just cut between when stamped the best way I have found to do it (as I have done on my tag) is to use masking tape.
1. Tape over unwanted words, leaving the required word exposed (if the tape won't stick to the stamp properly, make the tape long enough to stick over the stamp and onto the block, both sides).
2.  Ink that word, remove the masking tape carefully and set aside.
3. Stamp the word onto the card.
4.  After stamping, clean and dry stamp.
5.  Using the same masking tape cover the next lot of unwanted words.
6.  Repeat  steps 2- 5 as required.
NOTE  If you have words that are not in straight lines, just use smaller bit of tape at angles to cover all unnecesary bits.

This is a fab way to use alot of your phrase or poem stamps and split them across a card front or even between the front and inside too.  One of my favourite ways is to use the seperated words on tiny bunting across a card.   Have a practice and play with them to find new ways for yourself, it good fun.

Well that's it for the tag.  I hope you enjoyed the change of direction today.  But before I leave you I found this on a blog I was reading yesterday and just had to post it to give you a little giggle for the day.   I do hope it brings a smile to your face for the day.   Big hugs Linda xx

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Red, white and blue

Good morning all
I am so pleased you liked Jennys card and the quotations in yesterdays post.  I do so love to see the work of our smashing non-bloggers and I thank them for trusting me to show their work.  I hope they continue to do so.
I wanted to post this card yesterday afternoon in recognition of the 4th July for all our American friends, but unfortunately the glossy accents didn't dry in time to take any pictures.  So it is a little late but, as they say, better late than never.
I was inspired to create something to celebrate the year 2012: British year for the Queens Jubilee and Olympics and of course, as mentioned Independence Day in the USA.
I didn't want to just stamp an array of fireworks, that would have been too easy, so, this is my creation and an interpretation.

Here's to the red, white and blue.  

First I embossed the background with Spellbinders EL-003 Patchwork (Side A - freeform flowers), I thought this pattern echod the swirling of fireworks perfectly.  In the center of each I put a small drop of glossy accents and then poured over clear glass microbeads.  I wanted them to resemble the twinkling stars in the night sky (I did think about doing the background in the navy cardstock to represent the skyline better but it didn't come across as bright and celebratory as the red did).

Next I used a rosette to resemble a catherine wheel with the foliage as the bright colourful sparks shooting off into the night air.  My blue crystal pin is the nail that holds the catherine wheel to the wooden stake or garden shed.

Finally I needed something to make the whole thing a little more tangible and that is where the lace came in.  I imagined people looking out of their windows from behind the net curtains, hoping for a glimpse of the wonderful display outside; everyone celebrating together.

So there you have it.  My imagination at work.......................................... what do you think?
I am sad to report that I have received one opinion already and it was not a favourable one, unfortunately. I was told it is too gawdy! :( .   But I am not upset really, it would be a boring world if we all liked the same thing and we would all be making the same cards, not good!!. LOL

I hope you all have a rewarding day today and possibly some crafting time thrown in with the mix.
Take care  and I will see you all again soon.   Hugs Linda xx

I am entering my card in the following challenges:-
Penny Paper-Crafty  Challenge No.83 - Red, white & blue(11/7)
Celebrate the Occasion  Challenge No.69 - 4th July (9/7)
Craft Punked  Week 26 - American Independence Day
Divas by Design  Challenge No.42 - Red, white & blue(10/7)
Creatalicious Challenges  Challenge No.35 - Anything Goes (14/7)
Creating Memories in Time  Independence Day Challenge(13/7)
The Cupcake Craftroom  July Challenge - Layers (End mth)
Chocolate, Coffee & Cards Challenges  Challenge 16 - Anything Goes (13/7 )
Mema's Crafts  July Challenge - Anything Goes (15&30/7)
Party Time Tuesdays  PTT #75 - Be patriotic (9/7)

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Mondays Quote & a Showcase

Well as you can tell, Monday's Quotation is a little late.  I was so busy Monday with the grandson and he didn't have a long nap so I was unable to get to my laptop to post it.  Never mind, they say a change is as good as a rest so I will do it today instead.   Also, the lovely Jenny has sent me a picture of a recent card that she made using the border technique I showed you last month and I wanted to let you see it to;  so let's get started.
The quotation I have for you today is one of several that the smashing Christine Harrop sent to me.  I have been saving them to use for a special day and today is as special as any in my book; we are after all, alive!!

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, 
and the life of a candle will not be shortened. 
Happiness never decreases by being shared. 


and as Aristotle said

Happiness depends upon ourselves.

Thank you for sharing some of your favourite quotations with me Christine, it's lovely to see what words inspire others too.  
Now to Jenny's card.

 So much work has gone into this flamboyant but elegant creation, making it a beautiful keepsake that will be adored for many, many years to come.  
Jenny used my 'Grown Border' technique that I posted for you to see on June 22nd, but she has adapted it and I think it looks even better than my attempt.  If you look closely you will see that Jenny has linked the 'arms' at the bottom of the border diecut with the top of the border on the previous row.  This is very effective and an easier way to join them too. 
The K card or Star card can take alot longer to make, but it still is a top favourite among crafters as it allows you to be very creative, even going as far as to create totally different 'scenes' within each section.   I love the way you have used different apertures in your card Jenny and have 'recycled' the waste bits from the Parisian diecuts to make the fancy shapes all the way around the edges of them.  Totally inspired and a very creative card indeed.  Thank you again for letting us see your lovely work.

Thats it for today, I am off for a couple of hours sleep now as I have been up all night again.  I just hope this rain has eased by the time I wake because it has gotten really heavy again and the wind is picking up too.
I do hope the weather is nicer where you are and you all have a good day.  
I have a card with something a bit different tomorrow;  Glossy accents & Microbeads is all I will say for now.  Catch you soon Linda xx

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Diecut Swap Shop update.

If you are looking for todays card please scroll down 

Hi all,
I have just popped in to give you a little update and answer a couple of questions regarding the possible  Diecut Swap Shop.   You have all been so enthusiastic with your ideas and I am so grateful to you for them all.  
AnnR has asked a very valid question in her comment about the possibility of international swapping.  Ann, up to now everyone that has shown interest lives in the UK, as do I, so it would not be a problem to deliver to you.  However your question does remind me that we do have to consider the possibility of an overseas request.  At the moment, as we are still very much in the process of brainstorming and consideration, I cannot give a definite reply but it would seem to be uneconomical to do overseas swaps as the postal charges would be too high, especially if card was being sent back and forth.   If however, the requested swap contained several mixed diecuts in one single parcel then it could increase the value to the receiver and so be worth the shipping costs.  
One thing for all to remember at the moment is that this is only a brainstorming so the more ideas and questions you throw in, the better.  It will help a great deal and could possible be the idea that sparks the perfect solution to this rather valuable service, if we can get it going.
I must say a big thank you to the girls that sent emails about doing something like this, you know who you are.  It is lovely the way we are growing together as not only bloggers/readers but friends and as our lovely Christine Harrop said, we are becoming a lovely community.  How wonderful is that.  
From the start I wanted, more than anything, for my blog to be 'our' blog.  To share our creations, our stories and our ideas.   I want to fill the blog with Tips, Tutorials, Ideas, Quotations etc that have come from 'our community', including helpful links to other fine blogs (yours and others) too.  
So, if you have any ideas, it doesn't matter how small,  to help us get this Swap Shop going write it in a comment so everyone can consider it or if you prefer, email me personally and I will do another update for everyone to read; either way is fine.
But the same goes for any ideas you may have, don't keep it to yourself, if you think it will help to make this blog a place more interesting for you and others too, give me the heads up and I will see what can be done. 
Thank you all for your lovely comments again today.  You are all so kind and very supportive.
Big Hugs Linda x

Clean and simple

Before I get into my card today,  I just wanted to say that I left a few replies to the comments on yesterdays posts, so please take a look if you can.

For todays card I have gone completely opposite to yesterdays creation.   I sat for a while and thought what could I do today that would be different;  I have, as you know, been trying to break the mould a bit as often as possible lately.  Well there is nothing wrong with a bit of Clean and Simple now and again, especially when you need a card for someone you are not too sure of or are unsure of their tastes.  So this is what I came up with

I pulled out my 12x12 papers and found this lovely floral shaped paper piece from My Minds Eye that I had purchased in a sale at the end of last year.  Straight away the white stitching brought to mind crisp white card and the card was almost made really wasn't it.  There is nothing Cleaner and Simpler than white, so all that was left to do was to find the right topper and cut a black fancy edge. 

I still had Sue Wilson's latest die sets at the front of my box after using the border die for my layering technique recently.  So I pulled out another coordinating MME paper, some black Kanban cardstock and more of the white Kanban 300gsm card that I used for the base.  I cut the large Motif in black and patterned paper and the smaller motif in the white and patterned paper.  I layered them up this way as I didn't want too much of the black showing through.  I wanted the diecut topper to echo the colours of the paper without any of them, except white, taking over.   My aim was for the topper to be part of the paper strip and to only stand out a little. 
I was going to wrap the card in the ribbon before tying the bow, but in the end I decided that I wanted as little 'fuss' on the card as possible. The single bow was the answer.  All in all I think it turned out pretty well.
Besides the initial reasons for the card, when I had finished creating it I also thought it would suit a male recipient (possibly without the bow) and would make a lovely thank you card or invitation too.
So what do you think, is this something you like to create or even receive yourself or is it too Clean and Simple for you?   I look forward to reading your comments and finding out more about your tastes;  I find it fascinating.  Do you know I have even set up my phone to receive notifications of your comments now.  I just love to read your views and see what you are all up to and this way no matter what I am busy doing, I can still check them and send quick emails if I have to now and again.  I am getting so 'technical' these days it is scary.   I even have a few apps now..... Go Linda ...........LOL!!
Thank you so much for stopping by,  I hope you all have a wonderful day.   Be happy and keep smiling.  Linda xx

Monday, 2 July 2012

A little Shabby Chicness

Good morning all,
Thank you all so much for the wonderful comments you left for me on my last post.  It was heartwarming to read such kind words.
I am sorry but todays post is a very short one as I am still really busy and although I have actually gotten through all the washing my son brought back with him from University, I am still clearing up and catching up.   It is so good to see Anthony back in his room and even my grandson, who came for Sunday roast with his mummy today, was all smiles for his uncle.   I think he missed him and his teasing ways.  It was lovely to hear him giggling away as Anthony sat there just raising his eyebrows at him.   He thought it was hilarious, bless him. 
Ok, lets get on with the card.

This card was inspired by an old but very beautiful stamp that I had actually stamped and coloured months ago and put aside (and forgotten about, if I am honest).  I had stamped and coloured it twice, then cut out one rose to decoupage onto the other complete piece.  It reminded me instantly of the beautiful papers I have left from a freebie pack by Nitwits and I could see a shabby chic card in my minds eye.

I love shabby chic but never do enough of it; please don't ask me why as I couldn't honestly tell you.  I am so glad I found this image today as it has gotten me in the mood to do more now.  Mind you, when you see the card I have for you tomorrow; you will wonder if I am talking through my hat.........LOL!!
I decorated the inside again as I thought it would just finish it off perfectly.
 The lace I used was some self adhesive pieces that I bought at the local WHAT store; they were very reasonable and very, very pretty.  This was the thinnest piece but it also came with some 40mm pieces too.

On the front of the card I embellished the corners with some Wild Orchid Crafts flowers and some twisties.  I make the twisties using paper coated wire wrapped around a narrow pencil, then they are dipped in glue and finally dipped into Decoballs.  I love the effect it gives them and it isn't hasn't quite so much bling as microbeads or glitter; I didn't think this card called for either of them.

The shaped matts I used were a large X Cut set I purchased some time ago from Hobbycraft.  They are a little different and the sizes are perfect for larger cards (A5 and upwards).
I hope you like todays card as much as I enjoyed making it.  I will be honest, making cards at 3am is not always the best on your eyes but it is wonderful therapy when you cannot sleep!!
I will try to get back after lunch with my Monday Quotation (lets hope my grandson has his afternoon nap).
Have a lovely week all and be safe.  Thank you for stopping by.   Linda xx