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Friday, 2 May 2014

The Cloisters

As part of the kit that Scrapbook Magazine supplied to me, there was a sheet of these clever frames which really do appear to be 3 dimensional.

I had lots of photos of an Abbey we visited last year in France and I thought these would lend themselves very well to a traditional feel.  I decided to create my background as a wall onto which my pictures could hang.

I cut strips of paper from the kit and fixed them along with some lace to the background.  
Once dry, I added lots of texture paste through a word stencil and a brick stencil.  Once the paste was dry, I used paints and inks to blend everything whilst adding in my accent colour of purple to pick up on the lovely lavender that was planted in abundance in the Abbey gardens.  A little stamping of various images and some evocative words placed strategically here and there gave more interest.

The key and pen nib were treated to a little acrylic paint and I added some crackle paint to the metal frame nib frame for a rustic feel.

I finished the page with some dusty attic music, painted black, a vintage watch face and a couple of butterflies ... oh and the lovely angel wing.

This layout is a total departure from my usual style but when you are given a kit and a specific remit, it pushes you to find a new creative path.

I hope you like this layout and thanks for visiting to take a look.


Tuesday, 29 April 2014


This was my second layout for Scrapbook Magazine using Dekromounts and featuring our new baby.

I embossed this frame with white power to which I sprinkled Frantage Glass Glitter for a good dollop of sparkle!

I added the Damask textures with a stencil and molding paste to which I then added some fabric in the edge and plenty of paints and inks, splats and more stencilling.
The title was hand cut, as were the butterflies which are by Lost Coast Designs.

I had the white sprig sitting in my stash for sometime and I knew it would come into it's own at some point.  It works really well on this page, coupled with the other white elements and the butterflies.

I clustered my blooms and added a little filmstrip and chipboard decorative strip for balance against the frame.  I used one of my special diamond brads on my main flower to tie in with the glittery frame.  The flowers are from a variety of manufacturers - I love Prima but they are not the cheapest so I always try to combine some less expensive options into the mix.  The little wired ivy leaves are really cost effective and add lovely colour and interest.

Thank you for stopping by ...


Sunday, 27 April 2014

Beach Day

Hi Everyone!  Not sure how many people will read these latest posts as I'm sure a lot of you have given up on me posting any new projects but here goes anyway!!

I am really pleased with how this page cam together and even more pleased that Scrapbook Magazine decided to use it on their front cover!  That certainly brought a big smile to my face!  I've yet to make the main image on the cover ... but that gives me something to aim for.

This project features Dekromounts which are really sturdy mounds for card and scrapbook pages. They are plain cream and can be sanded, painted, embossed, inked etc and so are good fun to work with.  I was given a kit by Scrapbook Magazine and so for this layout it gently inked the edges in victorian velvet DI and them mounted it onto the corresponding back plate which I had covered with Autumn Gold gilding flakes.

I stitched some of the other papers in the kit to my background  before using white acrylic paint and a Tim Holtz burlap stencil to add texture. I added some greens and pinks using gelatoes which I blended with my finger to finish the background.

I filled a small bottle with some same and small shells before adding my message in a bottle, tied with natural twine.

I love prima flowers as they alway sit so well on the page and their colours are always beautiful.  I used them, coupled with some Petallo plains to frame my bottle, along with curly wire stems for my blooms.

I inked up the beach day checklist to match my layout and created my postcard stamps and ink.  The journalling was created using my lovely pink typewriter (which makes me smile ever time I get it out).

The text reads:

After the storm subsides and the waves no longer crash onto the beach
Treasures of the deep which are normally hidden, lie uncovered on the sand.
A spiral castle of green, pink and gold gleams in the white foam
I capture it's beauty before returning it to the depths of the ocean where it belongs.

The story behind the photo is that I was walking on the beach in the winter sunshine on the day after the big storms we had this winter.  I saw this beautiful shell sat on the edge of the sand where the water was lapping.  Most of these type of shells on the beach are just plain cream in colour as they are empty but this one still had the animal inside and the colours on it were just amazing.  I would love to have a shell like this in my collection, but I have to wait to find one which is empty. 

This lovely metal starfish has been in my stash for ages as I can't replace it and it's so realistic. I thought this project justified using it and so it now sits proudly on display rather than hiding in my drawer. 

Thank you for visiting today ... 


Wednesday, 22 January 2014

I love this photo of the boys and this was them together on their Birthday giving each other a thankyou hug after they had exchanged gifts.

... which brings me to TioT's challenge for the next fortnight ... Celebrations!

So this was my interpretation of the subject and it shows just how wide the category is.  I don't know about you, but personally, I like to have a fairly free rein to do my own thing so don't feel limited!

I started my page by masking the stars which were on the paper (I used to pull-off tops from new paint pots as my masks) and them stamping the crackle and text.  I spritzed the paper to fade from blue in the top left corner to gold in the bottom right corner.  You can't really see all this detail in the image so you'll have to trust me on this one!!

I mixed some moulding paste and made gave the stars some dimension using a handcut stencil from tracing paper.  I then used the edge of a Wendy Vicchi stamp as a template for my scallopped painted corder.

The photo was blended in with acrlic paints and overstamped with text before adding some of those lovely rub-ons from Sir Tim.  The tag started life on a gardmen but a bit of paint and some rub ons converted it to match my scheme.  

This layout was fun to put together and cost next to nothing (which is always a benefit!)

Hope you all feel like celebrating with us in this challenge and look forward to seeing all your lovely creations.


Thursday, 9 January 2014

New Mask

Let me start by wishing you all a very Happy New Year!! I hope your weather is being kind or at least not as disastrous as it is for some poor souls.  Here on the South Coast of the UK we are being heavily lashed with floods, fallen trees and high winds.  Our beach has been moved by the wind and seas up onto the promenade and the sand is now so high that the wheelie bins have disappeared (so that must be over 4' high!!)

So onto our first challenge of 2014 for TioT which is very apt - 'In with the New'.   What this challenge is all about is showing something new - a technique, a new stash item or something Santa left if your stocking.  It's entirely up to you - how fun this that?!!  Just be sure to tell us what your new item is in your blog entry.

So what's new in my layout?  

I created this page using a masking technique.  I had the idea from this wallpaper which we recently used in a show home and I decided to recreate it on my page using a very low tack masking tape.  I used frog tape (available at Homebase and similar).  It's quite expensive compared to masking tape but I always find that masking tape damages the paper whereas Frog doesn't.

I started by creating my wood mask. 

The I painted the sections in with acrylic paints.   You need paints that dry matte for the best effect and these include many of the inexpensive brands (mine are Docraft Artiste paints).  Be sue to get a dark outline at the edge of each plank so that they are clearly separated once the tape is removed.

Once you have completed the whole sheet, remove the tape and put it back over the painted planks and do the same again for these areas.

Remove all the tape and voila! you have your scrapwood background paper.

I look forward to seeing your 'New' creations.  There is plenty of inspiration for this challenge from my other DT friends, so why not pop over to Try it on Tuesday Blog and see if you fancy joining in the fun?!

Take Care and Keep Safe.


Tuesday, 17 December 2013


This is my DT piece for the new TioT "Trees".

I took the picture of this knarly old tree this autumn although it was not the photo I had in mind for this project.

I recently went on a day photo shoot in the New Forest and there was a single tree on a hill that I captured and this was the image I wanted to use.  However, I did a recent cull of some of my photos and unfortunately the tree images got zapped at that point.  So, I looked through my hard drive and found this one which actually has worked just as well as it is an interesting tree (to put it mildly!)

I used DI with water to create my tag background and them stamped music and trees and embossed snowflakes.  I tore my image out and added a little glitter here and there to the edges for that festive feel before attaching it with a mini silver peg and some silicone glue.

I covered my card in vintage music onto which I randomly stamped a crackle pattern before coating it all with crackle rock candy.  Once this had tried, I added more DI in iced spruce, pumice and gathered twigs.

The plate is cut using an alterations movers & shapers die and the sentiment is embossed in gathered twigs.

A little twine and ribbon and it was done.

Check out the other DT contributions this week as they are all very different.  Hope to see your trees breaking free of the forest and joining in with our last Challenge before Christmas!

Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.


Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Fifty Shades of White ...

So this is my first Christmas card of 2013.

As a rule, I don't make Christmas cards but this fortnight the challenge at Tiot is White on White so it was almost a no brainer to head to a Christmas theme.

I have seen some really cool and stylish projects created in only white but I must confess to an element of terror at the prospect of pulling it off myself  I saw this topic was coming up some weeks ago and had visions of a sitting at my desk with absolutely no idea what to do (Help!!).  But, once I got all my white papers out and started to play about, I realised how many whites there were and I actually started to get really picky about which would qualify as white!! 

So, I opted to only the brightest white for everything and used dimension rather than textured or varying shades of white (is that possible or is there only one white?)

My ledge was created in the card and then covered in white flock embossing powder. I stamped and embossed the snowflakes in holographic powder.  Onto the ledge, I added the reindeers and trees which were all cut from mini alterations dies.

The 25 was also an alterations die cut from white glitter card which looks really creamy when sat against bright white but does give some nice contrast and matches with the snowflakes.

The white ribbon and crystals added the finishing touch to my card.

This is a more tricky subject (in my humble opinion) but well worth getting to grips with as it gets easier once you get all those lovely white things from your stash.  I love a challenge and this one didn't disappoint.

Hope to see all your great posts and come and visit your blogs for a peek.


Thursday, 24 October 2013

Creepy Coffin!!

I LOVE Halloween!! 

This fortnight we are aptly focusing on it at TioT and our challenge is obviously entitled 'Halloween'!!!

It's funny as it was never something I ever did as a child and 'Trick or Treat' was not something my parents allowed us to do. 

But at some point, I caught the Halloween bug and since then I have made it a big thing in our family.  I don't really go in the Trick or Treating either but I get the whole team involved in making decorations, carving pumpkins as a competition, baking and playing games and quizzes.  We have a great half term week every year and despite all my children being mid-teens, I have managed to find new things to keep everyone having fun!!

So this year, I have made this coffin and I am going to get all of them to make their own version of it.

I started by printing out a coffin template which I cut from black card and assembled.                                                                 
I then made the rivet strip for the lid and added some crumpled tissue to give is some textures.  

I added various embellishments including plastic creatures, a balsa wood cross, bits of die cut weathered clock face, cogs and bit & bobs from old pocket watches.  Once I had the arrangement done, I painted everything with black gesso and then used a combination of Viva Ferro 901 and 912.

I used matt medium with Shimmerz Silve Fox Enamel to make some small molten metal areas and then finished it with Platinum Liquid Pearls for rivets.

I tied together some pretty pink rose buds and then "halloweened" then with Lumiere Halo Pink Gold paint for a macabre faded bouquet and dribbled orange acylic ink as a finishing touch!
It was so much fun making this coffin and I hope it inspires you to think 'outside the box' and join in the challenge!!

Wishing you a Spooky Week ...


Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Older & Wiser

I just love this cat - he's such a cool boy (all 14lbs of him!) - so I had to show him off with a page of his own!!

And the TioT challenge launched today is Textures!  Oh my goodness - this challenge was made for me as I LOVE textures of all sorts (I'm not fussy!!) Lumpy, bumpy, stripy, spotty, crackled or crazed - they are all my kinda thing!!

And, not only is this challenge super fun but there's a $10 prize for our winning entry to spend with Smeared Ink.  They have loads of great images to choose from and a rubber stamp club so it's a great prize if you get your textures rockin'!!

This layout was all about my lovely boy growing up.  He's a 8 years old and has put up with many changes throughout his years.  He has lost close companions and put up with unwelcome additions to our family and throughout he has always been a kind and tolerant boy.  With his size, he could easily hurt smaller pets, but he always takes the quiet option and simply observes or turns away from confrontation.  He is a King amongst cats and we respect him for his lovely nature.

So, onto the page ...

I used a doily on the side of the page for my first texture.  I painted it with gesso and them used molding paste and a circular stencil to create the panel for the baby photos. The frame stamp around the photos and in the top corner is by Prima.

I used gauze bandage, which is a great and inexpensive way to add fabric texture to a project, along the bottom of my page, which I painted with acrylic paint.  Small dots from a white paint pen, outlined in black, add more interest as do the few extra dots from the stencil.

I clustered up the lovely Prima blooms with a vintage watch face and a Prima metal plate.  The large flower was stamped and embossed in silver with some glass glitter in lavender added using glossy accents.  I finished the layout with funky fibres and a metal photo corner which I painted with white acrylic paint.

This layout was so much fun and came together without my usual angst (a rarity!)  I hope you get chance to pop by my other DT pals' creations as they are all inspirational.  So crack open your textures and get those creative juices flowing!  The $10 prize is only a texture away!!

Have a great week ...


Tuesday, 24 September 2013

A Bit More JOFY ...

These flowers are just gorgeous!  I love cone flowers in real life and have them in my garden but it is a constant battle to keep the plant, let alone get a bloom as they are high on the list of favourite foods for slugs!!

What I have found with these stamps is that they stamp beautifully every time and they seem to look good coloured in any combination which is a great as it takes the pressure of finding shades with will work.

I made this card for my daughter and it was the last of the 3 cards needed for my triple team.  She's a very girly girl so I decided that pink with crystals would be a perfect combo.

I decided to combine her card with my DT piece for our new challenge at Try it on Tuesday, which this fortnight is 'Going Dotty'

I started by using crackleglaze over bubblegum acrylic paint on the corrugated card before adding the white top layer.  I am fascinated by the speed it crackles up - the effect is so cool.  I love that you can make bigger or smaller cracks depending on the paint thickness.  
I kept my crackles quite small and I wiped a few areas to expose more of the pink.

I coloured my blooms with DI using the pads with water and also the distress markers. 

The dotty background was make using more DI with a great circular mask.  I then used a new stamp by Stampotique to add all the flower words.

It would be great to see all your dotty entries this fortnight so get your spots and dots ready and join in with this fun challenge.


Sunday, 22 September 2013


Last weekend, I spent the day at the Stamp Attic with Jo Firth-Young playing with her lovely JOFY Stamps.  It was a great day with lovely people and the time went too fast (as usual).

So, of course, I had to add to the one set I already had and decided that these birds were just TOO cute to leave behind!

It was the triplets 14th birthday yesterday and so I decided it would be a JOFY birthday. 

These are the two cards I made for the boys. This was a late night operation having completely run out of time.  Basically, I didn't start on the cards until the evening after the wrapping up, cake making, balloon buying (not to mention the football run, collection from friends and late supper) had all been finalised.  Phew!!  

Bit of a mistake really but we all do it don't we?  Too many things to do and too little time available.  So everyone had gone to bed and I finally got done at 1.30am!  But it's all worth it when you see their faces and I know they still appreciate me making cards and cakes for them.  

For Seb, I painted out a panel and then added some text in walnut stain.

I stamped and cut out all the elements and painted them with distress inks.  The way DI's work with water is so cool as each colour just sits so well next to each other to give really lovely shades.  I love how the little birdhouse just looks came together with such soft colours (made me feel like a pro!!) (dream on ...)
So, once out of my dream world I mounted them using 3D silicone glue.  Love that stuff as its kind of like icing a cake!!

No time to sit back and admire ... 2 more cards to make ...

For Quin, I decided to make a gate fold card with the branches coming from either side.

I stamped and cut out more birds, leaves and branches (eyes were getting a bit tired by this time!) and painted them with DI's.  

I sat them all on their perches and silicone gel ... job done ... actually no, 3rd card needed!

No, I'm not posting Tavi's card today.  I decided to double up her card with my DT entry for TioT this weekend which goes live on Tuesday.  Knowing this weekends was going to be busy with family time, for once I planned ahead and killed 2 birds with one stone.  So if you want to see more JOFY, pop back on Tuesday and all will be revealed!! 

Hope you are all having a great weekend.


My birthday team at the beach yesterday morning after walking the puppy!

Tuesday, 10 September 2013


This fortnight we are concentrating on handmade flowers at TioT and the challenge is Make Your Own Flowers.

I love experimenting and I decided I wanted to make some loose blooms.  I used tissue paper and fine net to create these which remind me of those lovely dark fuschia blooms I had all summer in my tubs. If you crouch down and look up into the bloom, this is almost what you see!

I wanted to use the Fairy Rhymes stack by Prima as it's so lovely and I tasked myself to create a layout using the many elements that come in the stack 'kit'.  This is not something I normally do as I like to start with a blank canvas and create everything myself, so this was also something to add to my challenge.

I think this is why I love this crafting journey.

I hope you will feel inspired to join in with this challenge - why not try to do something outside your comfort zone?  Either way, I look forward to seeing all your lovely blooms ...

Have a great week


Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Create a Scene (Well Why Not?!!)

Tuesdays seem to come around quicker and quicker these days and here we are again for the launch of a new challenge at TioT and this time it's to Create a Scene.  

Having just returned from our family holiday on Friday, the weekend was rather busy with unpacking and washing and turning my tribe around to go back off for another 10 days camping on Monday - phew!!

So my house is silent now - with all 4 children away its just me and my new baby Reeva ... Oh and my husband once he's back from work!!

Go on then ... here's a little pic of her sat of my lap this morning 

She weighs only 1.6kg and is a true tea-cup dog!!

Anyway, back to the challenge!!

I created some Mail Art for a magazine submission earlier in the year and as this one had not been published or shown on my blog, so I rather cheekily used it for my DT piece! Well, it was either that or I would have to pass on the challenge ... so it was a no-brainer really!!

I used masks and inks to create my background with some liberal splodges of purple acrylic ink.  I then stamped the cows, churns, clouds and sun and positioned them around the envelope and Voila! my scene was created.

Hope you feel inspired to pop over to TioT to look at the DT entries for more inspiration and also check out the new rules which now don't limit the number of challenges you can enter in addition to ours.

Take care and have a great week.  I hope to see your scenes appearing in the challenge!


Sunday, 11 August 2013

Mail Art Published!!

Way back in February there was a call for submissions to a new magazine called 'Featuring' which is published in the Netherlands and has many cool artist's work showcased in mixed media, art journalling and more.

I have never done any mail art before (and to be honest wasn't sure what would qualify for the description!) but I decided to use standard envelopes and just have a go!!  
Some of my efforts didn't work too well as the paper used for envelopes is not the best for anything wet so I ended up with several crinkly attempts which had to be filed straight under 'B'!!  

Anyway, I sent off three and the one above was turned into an inchie on the back cover and published!! WOW!

This was another of my envelopes (went for a bit of a random style) and the third is part of my DT piece for Try it on Tuesday so you'll have to wait until Tuesday to see it!!

Hope you are all enjoying your summer now it's finally here! Can I just thank all those people who have continued to pop by and leave me such lovely comments on my posts - I know I'm being very remiss at getting around to see you all as the summer holidays are biting deep and have reduced any 'me' time to almost zero!!  It's times like this that having 4 children make the word mum turn into MUM (major commitment).  I wouldn't change it for the world and feel very blessed to have 4 healthy and happy kids but summer holidays do stretch me!!

Anyway, thanks a million to all you lovely crafty gals for keeping the faith.

Take care ...


PS Pop back for some super cute photos next week of our new teacup puppy Reeva!  I'm collecting her tomorrow and am really excited!!  She is coming to us as we sadly lost our 6 year old british shorthair Spike to the road about 3 weeks ago.  As a result of that, we decided it was unfair to bring another cat into our home who could suffer a similar fate so we are getting a small dog who we could keep safe. 

   RIP xx