Sunday, 27 February 2011

Retail Therapy.

I am thinking of making a banner for my blog saying ' I welcome constructive criticism'  :D)  Just visiting some of the entries for the Less is More challenge, and not only are the cards fab, but all the tips and advice left in people's comments are really helpful.
I think Chrissie and Mandi have a phenomenon on their hands!!!

Here's my entry for this week's 3 Squares theme.

 I stamped my image onto white card (square 1) and then stamped it again and cut out 2 areas of the image (squares 2 and 3).  I wanted to go for strong, bold colour on my image, so I kept shading to a minimum. I struggled with the black hair - my first attempt was just too flat and using a white pen for the highlights didn't work. In the end, I left some small white lines as I was colouring and it seems to look a little better. Something to work on!
I agonised for ages about whether to run a black line around the card, in the end I went for it and I think it works. The image squares were then stuck on with tape, because I didn't want the shadows that sticky pads would have given.
I'm not sure now, if I should have only used colour on the small sqaures - like a spotlight technique. What do you think??

I think this card also fits the 'Fashion' challenge at Moving Along With the Times, so I am also entering it there.

Stamp is from Kanban - Damask Divas, Let's Go Shopping.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Sweet little cupcake

Morning folks - are you all enjoying the weekend?
For some reason I came over all girly this morning and made this little cupcake card, with sparkle and ribbon and pretty papers. 

 It may have something to do with the  Simply Homemade magazing that I picked up yesterday. It's new out (from the same people that make Simply Cards and Papercrafts) and is full of cute and gorgeous crafts, with some easy cupcake recipes thrown in for good measure.
I used the cupcake and bunting stamps that were part of a Molly Blooms set, free with this month's copy. 
DP is Papermania, Blueberry Hill. Card Candy covered with Stickles glitter.

Challenges - 
Do You Stack Up - Anything Goes
Fussy and Fancy - Embossing and/or Paper-piecing.  No embossing, but my cupcake is paper-pieced.

Now I have 'girly' out of my system I am back to having some real fun. Whilst hubby is away motor racing I decided I would rebuild the shower!! OK - I was just going to take the old tiles off, but it seems that, whoever stuck them on originally, wanted that shower to withstand a nuclear blast!!
It's only a little hole, isn't it??  He probably won't even notice!!  :D)

Friday, 25 February 2011

Totally Papercrafts #55 Paper-Piecing

Hello everyone - thanks goodness it's Friday!!
Over at Totally Papercrafts we have a new challenge for you, and this week it was my turn to pick the theme, which is  
I hope you will all find some time to play along.
I would also like to introduce our newest DT member Marion, please stop by her blog and say hello.

I used this cute 'best hugs' digi from our sponsors, Squigglefly.
I admit, I was only going to paper-piece the t-shirt, but I made such a mess of shading the bears with my Copics, that I ended up paper-piecing them too!!!

 The little text circle was made on my comp...   if you like it, you can grab it from text freebies at the top of my blog.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Pink Gem Blog Hop Winners

If you joined in the fun, please go here and see if you were one of the lucky winners.
Thanks to everyone that left me a lovely comment - my winner is..

Please head over to the blog and email Janet, and she will sort out your prize for you.

Spring Crocus

Here's my weekend's work for the Less is More challenge. This week the theme is SPRING.
What comes to mind when you think of Spring?   For me, it's the beautiful swathes of crocuses that appear on the fields where I walk Suzie. Catch them on a good year and they are stunning.

I cannot draw to save my life, so my daughter, Annabel, sketched me this crocus image and I paid her with a cooked dinner!!! I wanted to make it look like a postage stamp, so I played around with it in on my comp.
I'm not happy with the 'Spring' sentiment, I thought a  small text would look ok, but I couldn't get the card to go through the printer.

I used yellow chalk around the image, coloured it (not very well!) with Copics and added Sakura clear star pen to the 'crocus' text - IRL this glitters. The wavy lines were in a stamp set from Royal Brush ( It's a Boy).
Then I mounted it, with sticky pads, onto the stamp shape, which was cut on my slice machine (basics card).
The pearls are coloured deep purple with a Copic pen.

I would also like to enter my card for the Allsorts Challenge - Inspired by Nature

Here's some pics of the crocuses I took last year. 

Sunday, 20 February 2011

NEVER trust a man to choose dessert!

Oooh, my lovely, new baking book arrived this weekend - and, I asked hubby which recipe he would like me to try first.
So, did he go for Banana & Toffee Sticky Cake, or Chocolate Cherry Brandy Cupcakes, or maybe the Coconut, Lime & Blueberry Slice???
He chose the maiden aunt of all cakes....    Carrot Cake!   

The recipe book is Harry Eastwood, Red Velvet Chocolate Heartache. I have to say, I was a little disappointed with my cake. I thought it would rise more, but there was no picture in the book for comparison, so maybe it's supposed to be that way. It was certainly packed full of fruit and nuts.
The hint of lime in the cream cheese frosting was yummy, but I found the amount of icing on the mean side!

Next week, I will be choosing the recipe ;o)

Enjoy what's left of the weekend.   xxx


Saturday, 19 February 2011

Here we go again...

stumbling, bleary-eyed, to let the dog out this morning - this was the view from my back door!!  Seems like most of Yorkshire has seen some of the white stuff today - and it's still coming down here.
A day of baking, cooking, crafting and a Bailey's coffee with my back against the radiator, is the order of the day :o)

A Gem of A Challenge - All the B's!!

Did you have fun with our Gem of A Challenge Blog Hop? We now have a team of little elves, behind the scenes, checking and collating and checking again, to see who the winners are. Keep your fingers crossed and check with A Gem of a Challenge on Sunday morning to see if you are on the list!

Onto the new challenge and Mandy is our host again, with the theme

Buttons, Brads, Beads and Bows

you can use one, two, three - or, if you're feeling really adventurous, all of them!

I was feeling adventurous   :o)
Well, I was when I started this card, but after several botched attempts, a bin full of discarded paper and quite a lot of swearing, I wasn't so sure. I propped the card up for the photos, (it really sits flat, like the usual easel card) but they're still not great, the light is awful here at the moment, but you get the idea.

 I saw a fabulous teapot easel card by April in the Magnolia Ink Mag.(Autumn) and I wanted to give it a go.  The teapot template was included but there were no instructions, so my attempt was trial and error - mainly error!! :o)
Once I had made the basic card, I covered it with Pink Gem Springtime Digi Papers - stitched in place.
Then I added my embellies and Spring Chloe (available as a polymer stamp).
I used invisible thread to stitch on some little pearl beads.

The teapot lid is tucked into a little pocket, so it lifts out easily to reveal the sentiment.

Challenges -
Top Tip - All Stitched Up
Charisma Cardz - Spring Has Sprung.

Martha Stewart Lattice Border Punch.  Happy Birthday Scroll & Sentiment from Papermania.       'May all your dreams come true' text from WOJ Aladin Set.
Beads, Blooms, Buttons, Bows, Brads  from my stash. Leaves - XCut punch.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Totally Papercrafts #54 Let's Do Digi

This week, at Totally Papercrafts, Mandi has chosen a 'DIGI' theme, for the challenge.  I love Digi's, don't you? It's great to be able to print out the exact size image that you need for your card/project. 
Our sponsor for this challenge is The Creative Cottage, who do all sorts of fabulous digis, including some great co-ordinating kits.
For my project I got to play with the gorgeous Jungle Fun Kit ( thankyou Tracy xxx )

 I made a little set of cards, complete with a circus wagon, to put them in.
Do you like my little wagon? I had so much fun with it, and it was very easy to make. I dug deep into my recycling stash and came up with a clear box that I cut the top off, so that the cards just drop into it.

 I cut a frame for the front of the box, and used thin strips of card, to look like bars. Then I decorated the frame with the dp and CIRCUS letters.
My button tin came in handy - I jazzed up some plain black buttons for the 'wheels' and used a toggle on the handle.  The scrolls on the top were cut on my slice machine.

 The cards were made from a sheet of toppers and star embellies ( all included in the kit ).I printed the toppers twice, so that I could decoupage the animals.
I haven't added any sentiments yet, because I thought these would be great as little thankyou cards, birthday cards, or even party invites.

 Hope you will join the challenge this week, and don't forget to check out the fab work of fellow teamies.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

A Piece of Cake

Sorry girls - this time, it's fat-free, sugar-free, no calorie cake!!!

I made my slice using the fab template from Penni at Lazy Cats Cards. ( thanks hun. Get well soon ).
Then I decorated it with my absolute favourite dp of the moment, Prima, Madeline. You can get this at  Crafty Emma's Store, but be quick, I don't think it's going to hang around for long!! :o)
 I also added some brown ribbon, for the chocolate filling! ;-) Some lace, little gems and liquid pearls.
For the top, I found a 'romance' tag in my craft box, added a cream bow, with glittery heart and a die cute swirl.

Challenges - 
Cupcake - I {heart} you - add a heart.
Papertake - Putting on the glitz - add sparkle, gems, glitter. 
Spoon Full of Sugar - Anything but a card.
Fab 'n' Funky - Make your own embellie. ( Hope my star qualifies, but I know it wasn't made from scratch, so just delete me if you have to!) :o)
Truly Scrumptious - Swirls and Pearls ( Swirl on the top, and liquid pearls along the bottom edge)

I just love these little glitter hearts
and they seem to be finding their way on to most of my projects right now.
They are soooo easy to make  - and you know I love easy!

I have a bag of these little gold hearts, I think they are table confetti! Well, I am never going to use them as they are,
but all glittered up they look lovely.
I just stick a heart to some DS tape and cut around it. Then peel off the backing from the tape and press into some super fine glitter.(I used Making Memories Scrapbook Shimmer.) Then I spritzed the hearts with a little hairspray, 'cos I heard somewhere that it helps to stick the glitter!   Simples!


Monday, 14 February 2011

A Tree of Words

In the words of Mutley...    "Sassafrassarassa Sassafrassarassum".   Please, don't anybody mention CAS cards to me for another week!!! I have racked my tiny brains to come up with this card, for the Less is More challenge.
To make it doubley difficult this week, the one layer theme also needed to include either flowers or trees.
NOW I realise I have NO flower or tree stamps-  but I didn't give up girls - are you proud of me?

I discovered the most A-Ma-zing website -   Tagxedo.   Which is where I 'made' my tree. Go and check it out and have a play - it's brilliant.
Then, after 4 hours staring at my tree, I added a little doodle and some black gems.  Simples.....NOT!
Can't wait to check out everyone elses cards.

*** I will add my tree to Kiss Freebies at the top of the page if anyone wants it ***

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Strawberry Hearts

Ok, the picture isn't pretty, but as I was putting these hearts onto the plate an orderly queue was forming behind me!!!
These are really delicious. The dough is soooooo easy to make and it's really flaky and crumbly and almost melts in your mouth.

I'm not sure if it's my very hot fan oven, but my hearts were all slightly different, which just meant it took an extra 5 mins to match them up. 
Also, as the cook and chief quality control officer, I had to test them in twos!!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Totally Papercrafts #53 Clean and Simple

 HUGE thanks to everyone who entered the Totally Papercrafts 1st Anniversary challenge last week. We had some amazing cards. There were lots of prizes up for grabs too, so check out the blog to see if you are a lucky winner.

Ok, I admit, I let out a groan (and I wasn't the only one!)  when I saw that Anne had chosen Clean and Simple, for this week's challenge - but, my fabulous teamies did an awesome job!   I hope you will join in, even if, like me, you have trouble stepping away from the embellies :o)

Our sponsor this week is Meljen's Designs, and the lucky winner will get to choose 4 of her wonderful digi images.

I used Meljen's 'Hope Ribbon', coloured with Copics -
and added the bow and heart button. Then, I just couldn't stop myself and I had to add the butterfly too... :-))

Challenges - 
Papertake - Have a Heart
Do You Stack Up? - Ribbon

Monday, 7 February 2011

Love and Cookies

Here's a little treat I made for my girls - so they can make their own heart shaped cookies on Valentine's Day.
They might just have enough room in their broom cupboard of a kitchen, to roll out the dough!!

 I used this fab pdf Sweet Hearts Box Template from Sue Berker ( just making mine slightly larger, so that my cookie dough would fit inside).  Grab a cuppa and pop on over to her blog - her work is A-ma-zing.

Challenges I would like to enter - 

CES Challenge - Red and Romance ( hope the hearts count as the 'romance' bit!)
Cupcake - Seeing Red

I decorated the box with GCD Studios - Love Tokens DP. With ribbon and heart brad from my stash.
I found some valentine text paper at the bottom of my craft box and cut out 'Sweet' and stuck it on a tag, then tied this to the brad with string.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Less is More

I am so excited about the new Less is More challenge blog.     Mandi ,  a teamie of mine at TPC, is one of the co-creators and her clean and simple cards are amazing.   Their first challenge is ' Black, White and Pink' and, if you struggle with this type of card ( like I do ), they have included some great tips to help you out.

 I think CAS cards need a different type of image to what I usually use, so I had to have a rummage for something suitable. I came up with this Tiddly Inks digi and when I saw that he was called  'wild thing', the song title just popped into my head. Now, I need it to pop back out again, 'cos it's driving me crazy!!
I was going to leave the image black and white, but in the end, I couldn't help using some shades of grey. The heart is pink shimmer mist.
The little text heart was crying out to me for the same glitter treatment, but I managed to stop myself!! lol**

Challenges I would like to enter.
Less is More - Black and White, and Pink          
Stamp Something - Use a DIGI
Stampin' for the Weekend - St Valentine's Day
Secret Crafter - Valentine

Saturday, 5 February 2011

A Gem of A Challenge 1st Anniversary Blog Hop

To celebrate A Gem Of A Challenge's First Birthday we are running a Birthday Blog Hop along side this fortnight's challenge. You can enter the challenge, the blog hop or both! 
To enter our challenge follow the fab sketch by Mandy below......and simply link up your creation as normal on the challenge blog.

 If you are up for some fun and the chance to win lots of prizes, we would love you to join in with our blog hop. The winner of the Blog Hop will get these fabulous Aquamarker pens from Letraset who have very kindly sponsored us.... 

 and in addition, there are 2 fabulous Pink Gem Designs Digi stamps OR 1 set of Digi papers of your choice up for grabs on each of the DT blogs. 

You will need to start at the challenge blog, and visit each DT blog in turn to collect a 'hidded gem' from each. After collecting your answers from each DT blog, simply return to the challenge blog and leave your answers in the comments section. Please be aware there will be duplicate 'GEMS' so make sure that you have 10 when you reach the end.... Comment moderation will be on so there will be no cheating!

If you are here for the hop, you should have arrived from Katie's blog, and you have reached the end. Go back to A Gem of A Challenge and leave your gems. 
Or, go over to the challenge blog to start the hop from the beginning. 
The Gem you are looking for is SAPPHIRE   :O)

Simply leave me a comment below, to enter my draw to win 2 PGD digi stamps OR 1 set of PGD Digi Papers. My winner will be drawn at random on 19th Feb. All winners will also be announced on the Challenge blog on the 20th Feb

Good luck and have fun!


Now, onto this week's Challenge card following Mandy's sketch.

 I used some Pink Gem Digi Download Papers - 'Dotty' and 'Gingham'. These papers come in 20 different colours so you are bound to find something to complement your projects.
The cute image is Andy with Snail, available as a polymer stamp. I cut out the different pieces, coloured them with copics and mounted them on foams pads to give some dimension.

Challenge entry
Ladybug Crafts Ink - Card for a Child

Friday, 4 February 2011

Mystery Maria

Awww shoot!!! I have been catching up with my commenting tonight gals,
and it's only when I got to the last few posts,
that I realised my daughter has been on my laptop and was signed in!!
So, if you have a random comment from 'Maria', with no profile... it was moi.   :o)

Totally Papercrafts 1st Anniversary

Do we have a special challenge for you this week?
Totally Papercrafts is celebrating it's 1st Birthday.
A HUGE thankyou to everyone that has joined in with our challenges and supported us over the last year... we couldn't do it without ya and we loves ya!
Let's here it for my teamies too - the most fabulous bunch of girls - who work hard behind the scenes to bring you inspiration every week.

So, what do we have planned - well, we would like you to enter a card/project following our theme..


For my project I decided to put together a little gift set for my best friend.

Before I share with you how this was made (it's easy peasy) take a look at our list of generous sponsors. There are some awesome prizes on offer - pop on over to the blog to see all the details.


My gift set contains a candle, notebook, bookmark, and post it note/calendar block. Everything fitted neatly into a re-cycled perfume box. I think I will add some chocs too - I can't give a gift without chocklit, can I ?
The gifts and box were all decorated with Docrafts Hanoverian DP - with ribbon and brads from the same range.
The 'Friend' sentiment is Making Memories, velvet alphabet stickers and I made the bookmark sentiment on my comp.

Challenges I would like to enter - 
Papertake Weekly - Anything goes and optional flowers. My paper is flowery and I have also used a XCut punch to make some blooms and added card candy to the centre of them.
Top Tip - Anything Girlie.  Hope this is 'girlie' enough!