Friday, 31 December 2010

End of the year ....

... and I know that many others have said it too, but the year really has flown by.  It's been a busy year for us all - for me particularly memorable.  I turned 50 in June (but only feel about 35!), I graduated from the Open University with a First Class honours in Chemistry and, best of all, I've had the pleasure of being with my family. 

Today was no exception - we went out to the shops and bought some frames.  Then at home we framed some of Jonathan's photos, follwed by a fun family lunch.  Then this afternoon we played Buzz on the PS3 - a silly music game (I was never going to win!!).  Jonathan played on WOW (World of Warcraft), Kathryn on her new Sims game, Ben with his mates and me - in my craft room!!  Great fun.

So the product of this afternoon's playtime are a couple of challenge cards.  I've made cards for this week's Just Add Ink challenge - it's a fun one - the theme is "Just Add Summer" and for Clean & Simple - FTL121 (see sketch).  I've also made a card based on  the JAI48 sketch - I missed the deadline for this challenge, but really like the layout so I played with it.


FTL121

JAI48 - the one I missed















The first card to show you is the one for Just Add Ink - JAI49.  The theme - Just Add Summer - which is nice as I think I've seen enough Christmas cards for a while.  It's only a small card - 3" x 3" - but it's perfect for the image I have.  One of my favourite companies - Pink Petticoat - the flip-flops are coloured with Sakura pens - glaze and souffle.  The greeting is reminscent of holiday postcards and I thought it went with the picture perfectly.  I distressed the edge of the card.



Image:  Pink Petticoat
Stamps:  Waltzingmouse - Frame It
Inks: Distress - Dried Marigold, Spiced Marmalade; Memento - Tangelo

The next card is based on the JAI48 sketch shown above - sadly I missed the challenge deadline - Christmas got in the way !!  I turned the sketch on its side and made a thank you card; I need quite a few of them.  The border was stenciled when I first joined my craft class about 3 years ago - it's been in my stash box since then!! 



Stamps:  Inkadinkadoo - Everyday Expressions
Paper:  Papermania - Inspirations Warm Tones
Inks:  Versafine - Onyx Black
Accessories:  Sticky ribbon by Anita's

My final challenge card for today is also a thank you card based on the FTL121 sketch.  I decided to turn this sketch on its side too - worked better for the embellishment.  The rose was made at craft class a few months ago.  I stamped the image on watercolour paper, embossed it with detail gold (it was a bit patchy).  Next I wet the image and added dye inks and allowed the ink to flow where it would.  The result was very pleasing - a soft, tonal effect.  I've added some gold glamour dust to the centre of the flower to help disguise the patchy embossing!!  Rather pleased with this one.



Stamps:  Waltzingmouse - Frame-It, Roses in Bloom
Paper:  Papermania - Inspirations Warm Tones
Accessories:  Anita's sticky ribbon; Martha Stewart border punch

That's all for this evening.  We are going to have a quiet family in for New Year's Eve - we're going to have a Dr Who marathon session.  Ben bought us the boxed set for Christmas - we huge fans, as you can probably tell!!

Whatever you're planning for this evening - have a great time.  Enjoy, be safe and have fun.  Wishing you all a very

Happy New Year

Thursday, 30 December 2010

New follower ...

... Hello and welcome to Ruthie.  Thanks for joining my band of followers - I'm pleased that you find my blog interesting/fun/entertaining!!  Love to hear from you - I try to reply to all comments received.

One Layer Wednesday 34 ....

... is being hosted by Jennifer Styles at Styles Ink this week.  Jennifer has called the challenge "Boot Camp" and the requirement is to use only 1 stamp (you can repeat the image), a maximum of two ink colours and a sentiment if you want to.  You may also emboss, paper piece or distress - however, there must be no added embellishments.  Jennifer reckons this one is a "toughie" - and I agree!!!

I think my mojo has run away.  I've been in my craft room all afternoon playing around, but nothing seemed to come to me.  Then about half an hour ago I remembered one of my favourite stamps -  the big Medallion stamp from Stampin' Up!  I used this a lot in my 2009 Christmas collection as well as a few other cards, so I thought I'd try it again.



Stamps:  Stampin' Up! - Medallion; Greeting - can't remember the company
Inks: Versamark;  Memento - Lady Bug
Pens:  Marvy Le Plume - Black, Persimmion
Embossing Powder:  Stampendous - Kaleidoscope

That's all for today.  Do drop by again.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Winter wonderland ...

... that was Chester this evening!!  We went into town to see the Big Wheel - and it was beautiful!!  The evening was much warmer than it has been recently, so it was quite pleasant to be out and about.  However, it did get increasingly foggy - the upside being that the photos all have a lovely soft glow to them.

The whole family went and we had such fun.  Ben and Kathryn went on the ice rink - there were a few tumbles, but nothing serious.  Jonathan took lots of photos - as was the plan, as it was a Camera Club evening out.  I also had a go at some pictures - mine are not too bad.  We also walked along the river - there were still lumps of ice on it!! 


A Nutcracker Prince!!  And my family - Kathryn, Ben and Jonathan.

I have a thing for Nutcracker Princes - they are just fab!!

The Big Wheel - looking magical - so beautiful!

We are all absolutely shattered, and I think we may have a lie in tomorrow!!  However, I do plan on getting into my craft room and working on some challenges.  I want to test out my new daylight lamp.  On that subject - thanks to everyone who has left me a comment on the WOYWW post - I haven't had chance to reply to you all individually - but your comments are appreciated.

WOYWW - 5th day of Christmas ....

... the parts that make up my new daylight lamp.  All wrapped in lots of layers - so plenty of rubbish for the binmen.  The instructions are really easy to understand (which is good for me) so putting it together should be easy!


Before assembly

And the lamp came together really easily.  But it's so heavy - it's not going to fall off my desk at all.  It makes such a difference - so much brighter and the colours are brilliant!!!  Oops!!  You can see the dust so much more clearly now!   There's a little tray around the lamp that means I can store more bits 'n' pieces - just what I need.


My new daylight lamp!!  Brilliant!!

I don't think I'm going to be able to make any cards today as I'm doing Christmas lunch here at home for the family.  The kitchen smells rather lovely now - the turkey aroma is wonderful.  I'm doing the whole thing - parsnips, brussels, roast spuds - the lots.  And we will finish with home-made Christmas pudding.  I'd like to be able to say it's mine, but actually my sister-in-law made it.  Her puddings are divine!

And that's all for today - I hope to post a challenge or two tomorrow.

Getting ready ...

... for the New Year.  At this time of year I tend to clean and tidy the house in preparation for our New Year celebrations.  We started a new tradition when we moved here, to have an "Open House" party on 1st January.  We don't do much on New Year's eve - we like to stay home and be together, so we party on the day.  It's totally informal and fun.  But the run up is a bit busy!!  I have to clean and tidy and organise food and drink.

I've made a note of some of the upcoming challenges, but I don't think I'm going to get to them today.  But I do want to get into my craft room - I had a fabulous Christmas present from my husband - a new lamp - a proper daylight bulb.  It'll be brilliant to see my desk and colours so clearly!  And yes, the pun was entirely intended!!!

Now, I'm off to get the family up and have breakfast.  Hopefully, I'll be back later today with some cards - January is a busy month for birthdays in our family!! 

Oh yes, I know it's not good to gloat - but England has retained the Ashes - yippee!!!!  My husband is so happy!!   See you later.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

For our daughter ...

... a fun and funky Christmas card.  Again I've taken a challenge as the inspiration for the card - in this case it was easy.  Mona over at Cupcake Creations has come up with a stunning colour combination for CR84FN8 - all the better because they are Kathryn's favourite colours. 




Again, as this is a scheduled post - I'll link the card to the challenge as soon as I can - it runs until the beginning of January.  Kathryn's card is for a sweet little girl - so the choice of stamps was easy.  Yet again I've turned to my favourites - Waltzingmouse Stamps.  There's a lovely set over there called Oven Fresh Gingerbread Joy - and it contains the prettiest little Gingerbread Girl.  I stamped the background with Off Beat Backgrounds and added some of the little stamps - candy canes, holly, sweets and a bright pink ribbon.  Really pleased with the card.



Stamps:  Waltzingmouse - Oven Fresh Gingerbread Joy, Off Beat Backgrounds, Seasons of Love
Inks:  Versamark; Versafine - Onyx Black; Memento - Tuxedo Black, Rose Bud
Spellbinders:  Labels 10, Labels 14, Plain circles
Accessories:  Ribbon from stash

Monday, 27 December 2010

Home sweet home ...

... I do so love to spend Christmas with the family, but it's always nice to be home again.  We've had a wonderful time with everyone - catching up on news, sharing stories and gifts, playing games and being together - just brilliant.  It has felt even more Christmassy than usual because of all the snow and the cold.  Very, very cold!!  My mother-in-law has a bird table in front of her kitchen window and I've been able to watch the birds feeding over the last few days.  The birds are a lot less scared of people at the moment, indeed my father-in-law was almost mobbed by some of the birds when he put out the food the other day.

Thanks also to my Blogland friends for leaving such lovely comments on my holiday posts - I'll try to get back to you all individually, but it may take a while as I've got to catch up a bit with some housework and bits.

Hope to see you all again soon.

For Jonathan ....

.... a very special Christmas card.  I've used the sketch from this week's Waltzingmouse Sketch Challenge #28 - which is running until early January.  So, as this is a scheduled post, I'll link to the challenge as soon as I can.  It's a great sketch.


I made an A5 card for Jonathan.  As the base card I've used some lovely card by Kanban - it's got a subtle shimmer which doesn't really come through on the picture.  I've gone for traditional Christmas colours - red and green.  The envelope flap features a mixture of snowflakes - from Waltzingmouse Stamps and Stampin' Up!.



Stamps:  Waltzingmouse - Seasons of Love; Say It With Style; Stampin' Up! - Serene Snowflakes
Inks: Memento - Lady Bug, Cottage Ivy, Pear Tree, Bamboo Leaves;  Distress - Spun Sugar, Worn Lipstick, Barn Door
Spellbinders:  Plain and Scalloped hearts
Accessories:  Martha Stewart punch; Ribbon from stash

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, 26 December 2010

For our son ...

... I made a very special card.  I like to make the children and my husband special cards.  I found the perfect sketch for this card, but realised that I couldn't enter the challenge as I didn't want Ben to see the card before he actually received it!!  Ben's one of my followers, so I had to leave my post until after Christmas.  The sketch was from the Waltzingmouse Sketch Challenge #27 - and something about the sketch really appealed to me and I thought it was just perfect for Ben.  Here's the sketch:




I also knew just what stamps I was going to use on the card.  In Claire's last stamp release she designed some fabulous round images - Around Christmastime - and there's a large image of Santa's head in this set that I thought was perfect for the large circle in the sketch.  But instead of doing traditional colours for Santa - I opted for a blue look!!  I stamped the image and embossed it with detail silver, then I coloured Santa's hat using Memento Paris Dusk - I wanted a dark blue hat - and then added glitter to the edge of his hat.  I used Polar White Flower Soft to make Santa's beard.  I added some colour to the words and flourish using a Sakura stardust pen.  The backing paper is from the Smirk Men paper set - just love those stripes!  And finally, instead of a button, in the same stamp set there is a lovely stamp that says "Nice Person" - which I stamped twice and embossed once in silver and once in blue; I cut out the centre in blue and raised up it.  Finally, I added some peeloffs, which I coloured to match, to our special son.  I'm really pleased how the card turned out and hope that Ben likes it too.  So here it is:


This one's for Ben - our very special son, whom we love very much!!

Stamps:  Waltzingmouse - Around Christmastime
Paper:  Smirk - Men set
Ink:  Memento - Paris Dusk
Spellbinders:  Circles - plain and inverted circles
Embossing Powder:  Stampendous - Detail Silver; Cosmic Shimmer - Steel Blue Aurora Black
Accessories:  Glitter; Flower Soft - Polar White; Sakura Stardust pen; Peeloffs - Dawn Bibby; Promarkers

As you may well have realised, this is a scheduled post, as we're having Christmas at my parents-in-law!!  We always have a huge Christmas with them.  Do drop by again tomorrow, when I have another card scheduled to see.  Hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Season's Greetings ....

... to one and all!!!  I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all my friends in "Blogland" a very Happy Christmas.  If you don't celebrate Christmas - then I send Season's Greetings - have a great holiday.  Here's my card for you all - enjoy!!  I've kept the card simple - but with heartfelt good wishes for all.



Stamps:  Waltzingmouse - Around Christmastime, Off Beat Backgrounds
Inks:  Versamark; Versafine - Onyx Black; Memento - Lady Bug, Cottage Ivy
Embossing Powder:  Stampendous - Kaleidoscope


Merry Christmas!!


Friday, 24 December 2010

"'Twas the night before Christmas ...

...  when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap."

I just love that poem - it really evokes the feeling of excitement that comes on Christmas Eve.  I wonder if Clement Moore realised what he was doing when he wrote the poem in 1823!!  It's changed how we consider St Nicholas!

This is another of my scheduled posts - while we celebrate Christmas with our family - and today I'm going to show you the cards I made for my craft club friends - I kept them a secret until today, just in case anyone dropped by for a visit! 

For these cards, as they were all hand delivered and I didn't have to worry about the post, I allowed myself a few layers.  I used a mixture of pre-printed toppers from Kanban Cards (QVC kits) and my trusty Waltzingmouse stamps to create these special cards.  Apart from the black and silver bauble card, all the others have been made by stamping a border around the edge of a 5" x 7" card and adding a topper.  My friend Kath just loves the monochrome look; she has the most magnificent black, silver and white Christmas Tree in her hall.  So it was entirely natural that her card was monochrome.


This is the one for Kath - queen of monochrome!!










That's all for today.  Whatever you're doing today - have fun and enjoy the build up of excitement.  And I don't just mean the children!!  Sending you all best wishes for a Happy Christmas.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

So excited ...

... it's almost here - only two more sleeps!!!!  Can you tell I'm excited?  Well I am - all preparations done and off to in-laws.  Can't wait to see the family.  Just a few cards for today and then it's a few scheduled posts - that I do hope you'll drop by to see.






All made using my trusty Waltzingmouse stamps - do visit Claire's site - it's brilliant.  She's having a well earned holiday at the moment, but will be back in the New Year.  I haven't posted all the details today - sorry, very busy.

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday.  Currently listening to Radio 2 - Chris Evans show - now really in the mood for Christmas.  So excited :))))

Bye for now - see you soon.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Snow and sunshine ...

... that's what we've got in our village today.  Last night, while I sat wrapping presents, it started to snow and when I woke this morning the whole place looked magical.  It was quiet and beautiful - so I grabbed the camera and took a few photos.  Now my photos aren't great, but they do show a pretty garden.



The view from my bedroom window - so pretty!

Poor plant!!

I've got two special cards to make today - one for our daughter, Kathryn, and one for my husband, Jonathan.  So I'm off to my craft room now - these won't be posted until after Christmas though! 


Bird sheltering in our tree

Sun and blue skies - just lovely!

Hope to see you later.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Stylish blogger ...

... Thanks Donna - for thinking about me and awarding me the Stylish Blogger award.  This is so exciting!!  Donna has a great blog and it's well worth a visit - she makes such pretty cards.



Part of accepting this award is to:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award - yea!  Thanks Donna.

I've got a few things to do this morning - but I shall come back later and complete the other requirements.

2. Share 8 things about yourself 
3. Pass it on to 8 bloggers that you have recently discovered
4. Contact those bloggers and tell them about their award

Off to get breakfast now - having a lazy start to the day.  See you later.

Edited - by me!!  Hi all - my walk around the village this morning was brilliant - really brisk!!  It took just over two hours to get around, so not too bad.  And I'm back to complete the list above.

So eight things about me - not included in the last post!
  1. My favourite colour is purple.
  2. I support Chelsea football club (not happy at the moment).
  3. I love stationery - and maybe that why I love crafting too :)
  4. I'm a Scout Leader - it's great fun.
  5. I love science - chemistry is my favourite, but I want to learn all I can.
  6. I don't like heights.
  7. Don't give me a plant - I have a tendancy to kill them!!
  8. I love being with my family.

Now eight bloggers, in no particular order, to receive this award - please drop by and visit these ladies - all very talented.  And I have to admit that these are not all recently discovered, some of the ladies I've been visiting for a while.
  1. JoZart
  2. Show & Tell
  3. Wishcraft
  4. A Consuming Passion
  5. Time to Play
  6. Clare's Creations
  7. MiAnCaTo
  8. Crafting Clare's Paper Moments
And now to go off and tell them all about the award.


Monday, 20 December 2010

OLW33 - home decor ...

...  Susan at Simplicity is hosting this week's One Layer Wednesday challenge - she wants us to use the theme "home decor".  And I realised that I don't have any home decor type stamps.  So I was a bit stuck for any idea (and busy with Christmas cards), so I'm rather late to the challenge, but I'm here!  Then earlier this evening, I remembered that I have some wonderful images from Pink Petticoat that feature lamps, chandeliers and a sweet little armchair.  My cards aren't strictly one layer as I had to print the images onto some card and then mount them onto a base card.  I have also added some bling!  Oh yes, I managed to come up with four cards!!!

The first is really clean and simple - a lovely little table lamp - and it's in shades of orange - nice and bright!



Image:  Pink Petticoat
Promarkers: Mandarin, Amber
Inks: Distress - Dried Marigold, Spiced Marmalade
Spellbinder:  Beaded oval
Accessories:  Ribbon from stash

Next, is the sweet little armchair, which happens to have a cute scottie dog sitting in it.  The sentiment is "I miss your cuddles", so I decided to add some blue to this card and colour the heart cushions and flowers in shades of pink.  I'm quite pleased with this.



Image:  Pink Petticoat
Promarkers: Cool Aqua, Pink Carnation, Maroon, Cinnamon, Terracotta
Inks: Distress - Tumbled Glass, Broken China
Spellbinder:  Squares

In the next card is this lovely image of a chandelier.  The words are so beautiful - I think it has a romantic feeling, so I added some red and some bling.  I also edged the card in the same colours and added a bold flourish using the Stampin' Up! flourish - Baroque.  Love this one.



Image:  Pink Petticoat
Stamp:  Stampin' Up! - Baroque
Inks: Distress - Spun Sugar, Worn Lipstick
Spellbinder:  Mega oval

Finally, another chandelier with a really cheerful look - flowers on the shades and a lovely sentiment.  I decided that this should be light and bright - so it's yellow, with a contrast of blue!



Image:  Pink Petticoat
Promarkers: Blue Pearl, Pastel Blue
Inks: Distress - Antique Linen, Mustard Seed
Spellbinder:  Labels 10
Accessories:  Peel offs from stash

I can't quite believe how quickly these came together - once I'd remembered that I had the images!!  It's nice to do some cards that aren't Christmas related.  That's all for now.

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