Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Good morning!!!!!!!!

Oh my goodness just opened my e-mails and see the lovely Leonie has posted my biog as I'm lucky enough to be invited to play along with her fantastic design team and her fantastic products....I knew Leonie would create products to inspire and she really hasn't disappointed.
Anyway as you can see by my patchy blog, spending time on the Internet is secondary to crafting! But I will try my very best to keep in touch.
If you do land here please introduce yourself, I love to know what people are up to ....any likes and dislikes ....what you have been up to ....
I'm off to Sheringham/Holt's Amazing Forties weekend...crafting time will be zero but it will be a lot of fun and naturally even amongst all the shops, stalls and sellers I will be looking out for things to incorporate  into my craft projects.....big fan of vintage buttons at the moment!
What about you? What's your craft obsession? 
Thank you for popping by, I'm so looking forward to playing along, I do hope you join in too, I always love to see what people have made. x x x 
P.s apologies for the daft photo on the email...too much wine! And I loathe having my pic taken ๐Ÿ˜

Friday, 6 May 2016

Prickles and papers....

I had a couple of cards to make this though was going to be a tricky get well/thinking of you sort of card ....for a bloke....and jokey wouldn't have been appropriate, I was a bit stumped until I saw City Crafters "feeling prickly"challenge....
Ah ha!  My young friend Emily has just started an online Etsy shop designing and selling her own die cut shapes...and they are fabulous. I'm not just saying it because she is very dear to my heart it's because they are beautifully made and very original .....including her her new set of  Cactii! .....perfect for a mans get well card.

I didn't want to just stick them on ... "job done" ...the diecuts are perfect for instant cards but I decided to use  Just Add Ink's circular sketch to create some movement round the card and the rest of the sketch for the placement of my diecuts and stamped tag.

......I was going to cheat and enter Less is More's Designer Paper challenge but I didn't choose the papers for the Die-cuts (although Emily does have a fantastic eye for colour and uses top quality card stock)  and as this blog is really about "have a go crafting on a budget" I decided to make my goddaughters "new home" card totally JUST ADD GLUE style

......So I hope Less is More will accept everyday designer paper old road map...the inside of an envelope ...all stuck on a piece of card from my box of tea bags!!!
Teamed together with some hand doodled elements and some salvaged confetti.

"As you like it" asked for "favourite paper" and I have to say I have lots of specialist papers which I adore but I actually don't think you can beat an old map, or book page ......or inside of an envelope....does anyone else love the cute little designs inside envelopes???

Friday, 29 April 2016

My hero

In honour of St George's day Less is More are having a Saints,dragons or heroes based challenge, so as yesterday was my 32nd wedding anniversary I thought I would make a dragon card for my husband.

I kept with the "Something blue" theme that Oak house Studio have had running this month, as I decided to use their ATC sized dragon. I had one problem as it seems another thing that suffered during the long storage of all my craft stuff is that some of my embossing powder seemed to have gone clumpy but interestingly the Oak house embossing powder which has also been in storage was perfectly fine and gave a much crisper finish.

Keeping in line with my Just Add glue principle I wouldn't allow myself any other proper crafting equipment so I had to resort to my controlled tearing method to create the aperture. (There is a tutorial about this method).

....and I told a fib ....I had two problems ....
......I really must learn to tidy up properly before I move onto my next project....I thought I had wrapped and chucked the painty rag I had just been using on a picture frame.....obviously not...still I managed to salvage the card so the mess was hidden inside and covered by the insert!!!

Happy anniversary Steve !!!....sorry about the paint ๐Ÿ˜

....p.s as I failed with Less is More's challenge of white space but not white, I made my card completley navy.......and I did try and play along with the 3 stamp challenge but ran out of time and I completed the the one layer graphic challenge but after I had finished my card I put a great big thumb print on it ....aaaaagh ...anyway I did salvage the one layer card which was a simple doodled image on an Oak house stamp.....and used the same stamp for the three stamp challenge (this time I kept the book print to a minimum) ☺️ x 

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Upcycled blues.....

Oak House Studio are starting their "Take 5" summer challenge with "Something Blue".  For one of my projects I decorated a large jar candle with some homemade stickers. (details on the Oak House  Studio blog this month).

While I was making the stickers for my candle I decided to make myself a little tea light jar with the spare stickers and to hold the candle in place I used some of the Oak House Colour Chemistry (Jubilee blue) ink to dye some rice (a few drops mixed into the rice, then left to dry).

The jar was the finishing touch to a much larger upcycled project....for months I have been searching for a suitable vintage style, large mirror that had a shelf attached, but just couldn't find what I wanted. In the end Steve sanded our old mirror and attached a little shelf, this looked amazing but the two woods were very out came the Colour Chemistry Inks and I very quickly painted/dyed both parts with Vintage Blue.To soften and create a distressed look I painted over with white eggshell. Although I made sure the ink was very dry I did spray a light coat of matt varnish to try and seal the blue as I think it would have bled into the wet paint. After sanding the paint back I sealed the whole thing properly with waterbased varnish.

I was so pleased with the finished mirror, I also upcycled an old stool for the bathroom (a handy hop up for my granddaughter) ..... I used the ink very diluted on this project and kept the wood more natural....I didn't want the stool to completely match plus there were so many layers of paint to strip back...each one leaving a hint of colour etc. and I loved the effect this created. The ink gave it a new look without spoiling the aged effect.....I really am a big fan of these amazing looking for more things to use them on!!!

Thanks for popping by and don't forget to check out Oak House Studio blog (for my jar candle) and shop......well worth a browse for some unique and fab products.

....and I would love to join in with my jar candle with some of the challenges

Friday, 22 April 2016

April ....something blue....

I have been lucky enough to join Oak House Studio for their "Take Five" event. For the next five months five different designers will be challenged to use Oak House products on a chosen theme.....and I will be joining April's theme "something blue".
This has been a massive excuse to lock myself away with not only some of the very unique Oak House Stamps but their gorgeous, fantastic much fun in one little bottle ....and no I don't mean wine....good obviously ...but this is so much better for you....although if you don't wear rubber gloves (I DON'T) you will have an attack of the inky fingers.....who cares...I love it!!!!
I have had so much fun, splatting, spraying dipping, dripping, dunking and dying....the possibilities are endless and I haven't limited myself to papercrafting.

Oak House very cleverly now sell all their inks in concentrated form which you can make into full bottles of regular strength spritzing ink plus have tons left over to use in different ways. I have been painting with them, dying paper, ribbons embellishments etc., adding them to different mediums and fully exploiting the fact you can dilute to change the intensity and mix the colours to create an incredible variety.

On the blog I made a CAS card with an inky background but I haven't got an envelope
 (I think I have warned you previously....don't store ALL your envelopes somewhere damp and cold....they like to seal themselves.....grrrr any one want to buy a couple of hundred pre-sealed envelopes?!) as this is my crafting on a budget blog I thought it would be good to make the envelope for my card and in contrast it would be ornate.

 This bit of paper was destined for the bin, it was just a protective backing piece when I was working but I loved it already had a panel masked out for writing the name.
Unfortunately it's not big enough ...time to get creative....using a scrap of paper and Oak House Pure Gold Acrylic ink (love this bottle of liquid shiny in real life) and a scrap of sponge,  I inked over the O.H. Thorseby Backgound stamp then spritzed over with diluted Jubilee Blue and Hey presto....instant posh verdigris....what fun...not intentional but one to remember....particularly as there is "rusting" technique I want to try.
Quite simply I glued the stamped panel over the top of the folded inked paper (fold edges in to form a slight overlapped join at back, then seal bottom edge with double sided tape), trim sides to match pouch and fold to create the flap.
....who needs proper envelopes.... ;-)

Check out the Oak House Studio Blog for my "bespoke" dyed tissue paper gift wrap,  plus all the other designers projects this month.....and of course the Shop for the amazing inks.

My card is also on the blog and I'd like to enter it into Hiding in my Craftroom's  "LOL" challenge.... it has actually got four layers (base, dyed panel, silhouette panel & word tab) ....this is quite a lot for me....not great with layers!!!!!!
....thanks for popping by :-)

Wednesday, 6 April 2016


should have been tidying my craft room....but I couldn't help myself make one more card  before I cleaned and tidied my Oak House Studio stamps away. I have been joining in with their summer challenge (5 months and 5 designers exploring 5 different themes)
I am joining in with April .....Something blue.

So one more Q.A.S (quick and simple) note card for a friend...
One damaged piece of card stock....covered with a vintage book page, pc printed greeting, Oak House Mountain Ash leaf stamp and midnight pigment Ink ...and the card was done it a couple of minutes took longer to get the things together.

I wanted to staple the sentiment on but despite tidying my room (well more or less) I still haven't unearthed the I had to settle for a fake doodled one two more on the panel on the insert.
Hopefully my friend will enjoy the bosom heaving text of the page...and I am hoping that this is CAS enough for Less is More who are looking white space ....that is not white?!?!

.....and I apologise to Ethel M Dell ...but the book is already seriously does go against the grain to rip books but in this case I am hopefully putting it to good use rather than see it permanently destroyed!!!

Oak House Studio blog for inspiration and the Inkspired Facebook Page where you could join in adding your blue projects.... Check out the pages for details.

...thanks for popping by :-)

Thursday, 10 March 2016

P.H.D..........projects half done.....plural...

Recently I had to make a sympathy card....I know that maybe the colours I used aren't typically sympathy colours but as the family have deep faith I thought that a warm glow in the background would reflect the important message of the cross.

....and the card isn't totally frugal "just add glue" as I did use a bought rubber stamp, the rest was created with felt pen ink and my daubers.....but I did think it would be possible to create the card completely without bought items....
.........So I added it to my to do/try/finish pile and yesterday... I noticed City Crafter has a a PHD.....finish a project half done .......oh I could enter soooooo many times but as I was a bit stumped for Easter cards this year I wondered if I could adapt and actually finish my cross project. Less is more has a colour challenge of citrus and Hiding in my Craftoom is spring colours so I kept to the original colour palette of my sympathy card.
To create the cross I used a couple of pieces of thin corrugated card taped together, I cut a couple of different widths to recreate the shape. . .it did take a while to get the card inky enough and I did experiment with dragging the card to create a mistier effect not just stamping it for a cleaner effect, and as the brown in the pen set was a bit light I added some greens to darken it.
I quite liked all the effects but think I do prefer the stamped pieces.
The test pieces were just scraps, my chosen finished piece was actually one of the torn ones but I liked the effect and decided to copy the tearing on the opposite side.
I was quite happy with the finished image just mounted on Kraft card but thought perhaps for Easter it needed a bit more signs of life .....I doodled a little plant growing round the cross....again the pen wasn't a good colour so I used a little highlighter pen to brighten the leaves.
While the inks we're out I also needed to make my friends this is where I need some advice...originally this was completely on a white card blank....but as my friend has just started card making and is favouring a more decorative style, I was worried she might think I had not gone to a lot of trouble I chopped it off to layer on coloured card stock with some decorative mats and layers and embellishments.....but I got cold feet...I'm just not comfortable with lots on a card. So far I have just suspended it on some ribbon ...and added some some faux embossed stitching on the base card

oh and a little detail on the back....and stamped detail inside....

hidden sentiment under the giant tag
.....(I know there is a little sentiment on the front but am hoping this qualifies for Creative moments challenge).
Should I have layered it.?
Added bows, brads, lace and/or embellishments?
Put stitching round the panel/tag?
Use a corner rounder on the panel?
Heat Embossed the stamped image?????? 
Is it missing something......I have till Sunday to change it?
Would appreciate any opinions always nice to have a fresh pair of eyes look at it objectively ............and while I am at it I must say thank you to my two new followers who have joined me since I have been back..... I really appreciate everyone who pops by and takes the time to comment.

Friday, 4 March 2016

Testing... Testing.... Yuk

"As you like it" challenge blog asked for favourite occasion (hiding in my craftroom has any holiday) which is my excuse to have a play and create a card for my Mum. 
Mothering Sunday is one of my favourite card making occasions because I no longer have my mum with me so it's a lovely chance to spend some time making something for her and remembering what a truly amazing mum she was.
...and I decided again that this has to be a "just add glue" card. ....why oh why do I make it so difficult  for myself, particularly as Less is More wants to see wire.....I have a lovely tub of craft wire ...lots of pretty colours and useful jigs to shape it on.....but I hate to be defeated and I think all these challenges have to be do-able without buying anything extra.

I have a bit of an advantage as my husband is an electrician so he has lots of scrap cable which he can strip the insulation off to reveal lovely shiny trendy copper wire....problem number one .....he presented me with some rather thick wire .....didn't want to be ungrateful but really wasn't that easy to work with. Still with some borrowed pliers and cutters I managed to form the word mum!
From an old magazine (I find this paper makes it easier to blend ink over)

 I made a quick flower stencil and using my daubers and pen ink I stencilled a flower....punched some holes to attach the word and voila!!!
I hated it.....
        .......the wire was far too clumpy for the stencilled horrible.
Oh well ....try again.....and running short of time I grabbed some of my trial bits of inky and bleached papers from last week......and yes you have found me out.... I hadn't cleared my desk up!! Generally I just keep working along until I run out of work space ;-)
To alter the wire I tried painting it (paint was also still out)...lovely and white ....well that was until it was dry and it vegan to turn verdigris ...I liked it but it wasn't what I intended so I distressed it with some sand paper and this time attached it with silicon hidden with some buttons. I slipped a little felt leftover heart that I made for a young friend's wedding (we had the best hen party, crafting her wedding, making felt flower bouquets and decorations and eating cake and lots of yummy stuff.... And if you are reading this Stacey ...happy first anniversary).
Ok this one a bit better ....but didn't love it....time for one more try...
As I was beginning to hate the wire as it was.... I decided to disguise wrapping it in twine ....could I choose anything hairier or trickier to work with (yes it was just laying on my messy worktop) ...,.working with the rustic theme I made a quick tissue paper flower with button centre and dry brushed the background with a little green paint. I was worried that the wire could no longer be seen (less is more) so it was back into the shed for some picture hanging wire, but as I couldnt find it, I had to settle for some gardening wire for some extra detail.

Well this one I like better and will certainly try and experiment with the covered wire again. 
 But for now that has to be it.......

Friday, 26 February 2016

Thank you Lynnda


 This week I received a wonderful parcel in the post from Lynnda at Oak House Studio. A few weeks ago she hosted one of her very clever online One Stamp events. There were so many fantastic projects from people and I loved playing along, particularly as she chose one of my favourite stamps to play with - her lovely double daisy stamp, and I was lucky enough to win one her very generous prizes for contributing on the facebook page.

I am in inky heaven....but so far have not had a decent session to really play with the wonderful stamps and inks I won.
I was intrigued by one of the little stamps and I decided to have a quick play and create a card with just the stamp, household products and scraps.

Lynndas stamps are so well made, I didn't even need a mount. I decided to try beaching some scraps of coloured card. I applied mainly neat bleach with one of my handmade daubers. The more it dried the better the effect, but I must admit I was a bit disappointed with the results, perhaps I need to try some different types of card. But as I was short on time i used some of my test pieces to create a little floral basket.

Inspired by LESS IS MORE to create texture I used some scrap corrugated car to make the basket and CASology wants some distressing which was definitely the touch that was needed to make the basket a bit more interesting. I also used the paint, to paint slivers of paper for leaves and I paint distressed some card to stamp the message on (another stamp from my prize).

I wasn't sure there was enough texture so I suspended the a panel from rough string ......still not satisfied I tried adding some faux blind stitching round the edge.......I'm sure it would look better with some matts and layers but I wanted to stay true to C.A.S. if possible. Which is also the challenge this week at HIDING IN MY CRAFTROOM. 
Not sure it was a success but next time I will practice on some scraps first instead of being gung-ho and going straight for it .....especially while the glue was still wet....and it was still attached to the card!....slightly scary moment when I lifted up the ruler and half the flowers were attached to it!!!!!.....will I ever learn to be patient?.....unlikely ;-)

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Where has the week gone....

......And as usual my good intentions are out of the window ....trying to get several jobs done at the same time and not completing any of them ....including blogging.

I did manage to decorate a parcel for someone this desperation I did reach for some craft tools (circle punches) but this was to aid me with recycling a used bit of wrapping paper ....and in my defence I also used scraps of paper for the decorations .....I would have stencilled the circle design with paint but actually didn't have much time to allow for drying and I think the paper circles covered any marks much better..
....and as I was in a hurry and to make up for my crafty cheat I recycled a cord handle off one of my ribbon boxes to attach the hand doodled tag. To add a bit of colour to the tag I just loosely coloured with some felt pens and then washed over with quick and .... truly.... I prefer the effect if I rush it and bleed the ink over the edges ๐Ÿ˜‰

I turned one of my practice pieces into a little note card, which hopefully fits in with Less is Mores one layer "add a stem" challenge.
I'm hoping my circle design and label counts for Allsorts circle cards challenge (does a tag count as a card?)
I have never joined in with "Hiding in my closet" before, but as they have a scrap challenge I thought my project my fit in with them
Another challenge site new to me is Crafting with an attitude.
Hiding in my closet
Crafting with a attitude
Less is More
.....did think the card needed a little more detail....can you "spot" the difference๐Ÿ˜

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Warts and all.....

When I restarted my blog I promised myself not to get too carried away, just pop on a few projects and visit some of the fab crafty sites.....but.... When I saw that "Less is More is 5!!!" I had to join in.
It's a challenge site dear to my heart as they started just after I got my blog going....and unlike me they have great staying power and are incredibly successful.
The projects that people create for their challenges are simply stunning and I have kept up with their weekly challenges throughout my blog absence.

 But oh no!! .....White on white....a theme I love but in reality I would reach for my die cuts or even white embossing powder to fulfil this challenge, so for a while I was stumped as to how I could do this with my frugal ethos.....and I nearly succumbed  .....embossing folders called to me and my Cricut was rearing to go.......but as I wanted to celebrate the beginning of less is more and my blog I knew I would have to keep to "no crafty stuff allowed".

Anyway I made a little topper which I attached across an A6 portrait style card. I only attached it along the bottom which allowed me to tuck in a mini card with my "secret" message.

The pleating was quite hard without my score board but I did come up with a method which gave nice even folds but it was still quite difficult to keep it from going "squiffy". Might pop another post on with the details .....essentially it was creasing it across two different widths (a ruler and lolly stick) before pleating.

My original idea .......was awful! .....In my head it was brilliant but unfortunately like a lot of my cunning plans it didn't quite work as expected ..and isn't it hard matching white paper......really was the worst bit of the pleating project and it still isn't a good match.....but at least it was better than.......
 as the post title says the "wart"...

....While we were doing MORE decorating at the weekend I spotted the lovely, ready made filler Steve was using.....ah..ha!! I could make a fabulous embellishment with that...pure white ...very mouldable and can be sanded when dry......some how the pot found its way into my craft room....made a dear little heart and as I was rubbing my hands with glee a voice said over my shoulder ...."you do realise that can take days to dry" ....pessimist!!! Couple of hours later ....look ye of little's gone hard ....but oops as I took it off the tile the SOFT centre gave way and it broke......I hate it when he's right!
I know I will mix it with PVA and make it more bendy.....mmmm well it was interesting to work with (will have to experiment with ratios another time) but I did manage to knock up a heart ...bit bulky but that will do.....I will sand it when it's dry........well that was the plan......too much PVA clearly doesn't like sandpaper....back to the I was undercoating the doors it dawns on me .....if I dunked it in the paint it would have a lovely thick coating .....
Fab! nice and smooth....time was ticking on so I put it on the heater to dry.......BIG mistake.   My lovely smooth heart was now quite cracked and distressed.
Still I think Steve will see the irony in his Valentine card....not only is it made with his own filler, it now has quite a few cracks to fill??????