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WELCOME to my little arty world! Trying to make art is a huge part of my life ... love nothing more than messing around with inks and sprays and generally making a mess!

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Okay, okay ... partial success & a Snippet for Pixie

Can report partial success on three fronts ... well, it was three but now I can only remember two of them so will work on those and hope the other one comes back to me!
Firstly - have inky fingers so that can mean only one thing ... I HAVE been crafting today!!!!! And secondly - whilst not being entirely happy with the results I am NOT beating myself up about it and have actually enjoyed playing around all morning.
Started just after my post this morning at around 8.30 and stopped only when daddy came ... he sits eating a slice of something (just plain Victoria sponge this week) or dunking a biscuit and reading my Radio Times and I collect my eggs and milk my goats (just the virtual kind, on Farmville, but needs must!!!)  Have just finished now - so that's very nearly almost five hours of inking and stamping and Vagabonding and bashing yet more brads with the what-was-the-meat-hammer-but-which-is-now-my-brad-basher!
So the question I ask is ... how many snippets does a Pixie Challenge require?  I do believe it is just the one to qualify as a Pixie Snippet so how does 31 grab you?  Yes, you read that right and to make sure you don't think it is a typo I shall spell it in letters ... THIRTY ONE!!!!! 
I knew that somewhere I had sheets and sheets of those silly little 1" square "tiles" that came with my Cosmo Cricket kit but which I had never used because I didn't know what to do with them.  I figured I would make them my snippets this week and the idea of a patchwork effect began to filter through.  
Do you think I can find them?  Can I heck!  I guess I must already have sent them to the charity shop along with a whole load of crafty-stuff I had no intention ever of using ... that will teach me!
Soooooo, I gathered together all my little teeny-weeny bits of paper left and salvaged what I could and cut my own little squares so these cards really and truly are snippets!  31 (still not a typo!!!) on each card and I made three so that is either dedication or utter stupidity.
I thought I had a "cross-stitch" stamp ... again amongst some I have never used, but it turned out to be a zig-zag instead ... so, not quite the effect I wanted but hey-ho, go with the flow Debbie!
Also had a very tatty and crumpled small piece of hessian left over from some project or other and as it isn't large enough to use for sewing (which is what it would have been bought for originally) I argued it also qualifies as a snippet.  With very careful cutting and placing on the die I managed to get almost enough petals to make some flowers ... they are not what I envisaged AT ALL but am still calm and going with the flow here folks.
I chose one of my favourite sentiments and added little keys and, voila! 

Want to know what Pixie's Snippets are all about?  You can check it out HERE

Am hopeful!

Ok ... so it is fairly early yet and time for the mood to change but today I am hopeful of getting some crafting done following the disaster that was yesterday when I achieved absolutely nothing!
I am going to follow Maggie C's advice and just play round with a Snippet for Pixie this week - that way I have no pressure on myself to produce cards to tick off the list and so can't fail when they all go pear-shaped and can just enjoy immersing myself in paper and sticky tape and just craft for the joy of it. If I produce a Snippet then fantastic and if I don't then I don't need to beat myself up over it.
Except, I would beat myself up, of course, as I hate being unproductive and hate it even more when what I have planned just doesn't work out.
Right then ... note to self: today is a play-day ... just go with the flow and see what you end up with.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Oh no!!!!!

Isn't that just typical?  SOoooo much crafting to do and what happens ... my enthusiasm and mojo have crept away AGAIN and all the thoughts I had in my head have disappeared!
My stuff is all out on my craft table just ready and waiting and can I get myself out there?  Can I heck!  Even typing this seems too much effort.
I know, I will do a little cross-stitching instead!  Nah, can be bothered.
Work on a quiz maybe?  Doesn't even require moving ... just reaching out maybe 18" or so and opening my folder.  Guess not then.
Quick game of Solitaire or Mahjong?  Maybe not.
Oh, I do SO hate feeling like this.  

Saturday, 24 March 2012

A Snippet for Pixie

Well, I say a Snippet for Pixie but have, as yet, no idea where to put it!  I have emailed the lovely, lovely Di for HELP and hope she will be dreadfully polite when she tells me where to stick link it.
So, this may, or may not, turn out to be my venture into the playground this week!

Everything is pretty much a snippet ... little bits of paper and card salvaged from the "little bits for sticking" box ready to go to my friend for school.  The base card used for the tags was new though.  
They are little "memory" cards and this one is for our nephew Nick's family.  I send one to each of his aunties and uncles as well as his mom & dad (Phil's brother) and Nick's sister and her husband.  So there are nine cards for Nick, another five for my late uncle's wife and children and then seven individual ones.
I wanted to keep them very plain and FORCED myself not to use distress inks or grunge of any kind.  And as soon as I saw the die for the little bird I knew I wanted them blue (see previous post!)   They took far longer to make than I thought they would but mainly because I orginally made them with a plain straight bottom edge but then decided I didn't like that and added on a lacy edge cut with the Martha Stewart punch ... and it is VERY difficult to cut embossed card I found.  Next time I must remember to punch first and then emboss!  I just put a teeny-weeny little tag ... snippets of the smallest kind!!! ... on the back to write on.
So here is the link to  Pixie's playground - thanks for reminding me what to do Di!  

Friday, 23 March 2012


Whilst rambling away on another blog it just occurred to me that it is 30 years this year that I started cross-stitching!
It was November 1982 and I had been dreadfully poorly with quinsies and hubby came home from work one day and asked if I fancied a "little trip" ... Oh bless him, I thought ... he wants to take me away to recouperate and I pictured mugs of hot chocolate whilst sitting snuggled in a blanket and gazing out over the ocean.
It turned out he meant a "little trip" to Dayton, Ohio where his company was sending him for five weeks for a training course.
Being married only 2 years times were hard and we had to borrow the money from my parents in order for me to go too but off we went ... first time flying and quite an adventure.
I was a knitter way back then but couldn't fit needles and wool etc., into our cases so I thought I'd just get something there ... this proved way more difficult than I thought and try as I might I couldn't find anywhere that sold needles and wool!
Hubby used to hire us a car on a Friday (he got a lift into school each day) and he would come and get me from the apartment at lunchtime and drop me off at Dayton Mall where I would wander around all afternoon and then he would pick me up once he was done for the day.
Eventually I stumbled across a cross-stitching shop and began to browse.  I hadn't got a clue in those days, never having even seen a cross-stitch pattern before but I began to hover in the background when little classes were going on and wondered if I would ever be able to give it a go.
I was eventually asked if I would like to join the group but firstly just couldn't afford to and only had a couple of weeks anyway but once I spoke and they realised I was English they offered to teach me for free so long as I kept talking!  They just wanted to hear my accent.
So I picked a chart and the threads and went along each week and learnt how to cross-stitch and it turned out to be a life-long hobby and something I LOVE to do.

This is a dreadful photo of that first project ... it hangs very high up on the wall and I can't reach it to get it down! 

How on earth it can be 30 years ago though is beyond me ... it really seems like only yesterday.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

The birds are blue!

Following on from my WOYWW post yesterday I am DeLigHtEd to report the die came as expected and within a very short space of time I had my 21 little birdies cut out and decided they just had to be BLUE.
Will post a photo' once they are done ... one might even be my Pixie's Snippet for this week as I found some short lengths of ribbon that I had saved from something or other ... could have been some pretty soap I got in Scotland ... and if I am very careful and measure twice and cut once, there should be enough to use on the tags.
With my cross-stitching I usually only ever have one project on the go at once so I need to get my next one organised before the current one gets finished over Easter.  I had no intention of stitching another Lavender & Lace angel and fully intended to start my Christmas sewing thus avoiding my annual December nervous breakdown as I work like frenzy to get all my Christmas crafting done.
Alas, those angels are calling to me though and I think I am just going to have to tackle one of them next.  Christmas is still a very long way off, isn't it?  Plenty of time yet!
Right, first task today is to put some blue Stickles onto the birdies so that can dry and then I can attach the wings later on ... then they just need the very carefully measured and tied ribbons attaching and that will be another 21 cards ticked off the list for this year!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012


Oh for goodness sake, how can it be Wednesday AGAIN!  I said to daddy only yesterday "considering Easter is early this year it surely is taking ages to get here" ... and then he told me off for wishing the year away!!!  Don't have to wish because it is happening right before my eyes.
Anyway, am rambling ... here is my very empty workdesk this week ... was hoping a die I had ordered would come yesterday - which it didn't - but it has been despatched so am quite expecting it this morning and then I can get going.  
I have Been Sensible and not rushed ahead in making some little "remembrance" tags to send in memory of lost loved ones.  I know (I think) where I am going with them but decided to wait before cutting them all out as I am not sure how large the little birdie will be ... I want to do a smaller tag than I normally prefer and have already printed out the little messages to go on them and used a Martha Stewart punch to make the edges pretty.  I could have got them all ready just to add the die-cut birds but didn't want them too big so the bird looked ridiculously small or vice-versa and the birdie be too large.  Hurry up postman!!!!!

OK ... you get two shots this week ... an overall view and a close up!  The cross-stitch patterns came yesterday and I am trying to decide which of the two "Lavender & Lace" angels to stitch first ... I said I wouldn't do any more of these designs as I have no wall space left to hang any more but whilst searching and searching for a new project to work on these just kept going "Pssssst" to me.  The other two little patterns are for Christmas and designs I was waiting to come back into stock so rather than leave it until nearer Christmas I thought I would order them now so not as to miss out again ... clever, eh?!?!?

You may be wondering what the meat-hammer is doing on my craftdesk ... I wanted to bash some brads and went to order Mr. H's little hammer but couldn't really justify spending that much money just to bash a few brads now and again.  I asked hubby if he had anything in the garage I could use and he suggested the meat-hammer ... not that the meat-hammer was in the garage!  It worked a treat and, as it rarely gets used in the kitchen, it might well not ever find its way back into the kitchen drawer!
You can also just about see the messages ready for the cards and a pile of blue card that I might use ... not quite sure if I want white tags with little blue-birds on them or blue tags with little white birds on ... decisions, decisions!  It is not easy being a crafter, is it?
The white A4 sheet on top of my adhesives box ... of course you have no idea it IS my adhesives box so you will just have to trust me here ... is my card list for this year and I am happy to report all the names under April are highlighted-out now and all the anniversary cards for this year and then all the "In Memory" cards should also be crossed off by tonight!  Progress, I think they call it.
Well, must get over to link this to the wonderful Julia's Stamping Ground which you will find HERE ... happy WOYWWing everyone!  

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Pixie's Snippets

Ok ... here goes!  Have been persuaded into the playground that is Pixie's Snippets and what a jolly nice place it seems to be.  I have been taken firmly by the hand and encouraged to join in the fun so here are my first two snippets EVER!!!!!

They all follow the "tag" style I prefer rather than being "proper" cards so I do hope that is ok?!?!?!?

The first one uses a snippet of painted, embossed acetate ... a tiny piece I had left over and below that is a really teeny-tiny snippet of a piece of card that I used when my hubby's brother and his wife came round for a curry and she made the mistake of asking a question about crafting.  To cut a long story short out came various crafting bits'n'bobs and I ended up demonstrating my Vagabond ... that little embossed and die-cut snippet had been put into the recycling but whilst tossing and turning trying to persuade myself to enter Pixie's Playground it occurred to me that it too was a snippet!

The butterflies are cut from snippets of card left over from birthday cards I have been making for this year and which otherwise would have gone into the biscuit tin of offcuts that I give to my friend for the kids at the school where she works to use for "sticking".  The string was also a bit I had lurking in my box ... must have been cut from the reel at some point and not used.

The next offering is almost a total snippet as I had thrown out the base tag which already had on the label with the wording "The Journey Awakens the Soul" stamped on it and the bird which I had glossy-accented.  I had no intention of ever using it and was only keeping it to remind myself what not to do next time.  It was more a reject than a snippet!
Whilst thinking about Pixie's challenge I realised the message on the card was representative of my little journey into the playground and I thought I'd see if I could tweak the tag back into life.  I have had a little battered pocket dictionary for years and years ... it was originally my sister's when she was at school ... it has sat on my shelf for 30 years or so but only this week I threw it in my "Tim" box.  So the tattered flowers are grungepaper onto which I have stuck pages from that dictionary ... hope they are classed as snippets!  The ribbon at the top was dyed with distress ink to match the tag and I added a little round disc that says "wander" as I thought this also described what I was doing by wandering into the playground.

SO here I am ... whizzing around on the roundabout and putting the straws into the little bottles of milk (someone promised I could be Milk Monitor as it was my first time!!!) and getting ready to sit in the naughty corner with a Dunce's cap firmly on my head as I find out I have totally lost the plot and missed the point completely when it comes to snippets.
I promise to try harder next time!

Swings & Roundabouts

Yesterday certainly was a swings & roundabouts type of day ... and without knowing it I have subconciously put myself on those swings & roundabouts in Pixie's Snippets playground!  Managed to make two contributions to the cause but then, having a quick peep at past snippets, realised I'd totally lost the plot and just got carried away crafting.  Anyway, enough of that for now and will explain further when I find out what I should now do with them (I know what I'd like to do with them but the bin-men just came already!)
Now, to the painting on acetate fiasco ... had Another Go but had to admit defeat this time and binned all but a tiny snippet (hint, hint) as I couldn't get the paint to stick for some reason.  First time I tried this technique I worked too slowly I think and this time I think I was too fast ... will experiment further and try to find the middle ground.
Talking of experimenting - I have decided to have one day a month as "Experimental Day" ... not plan on actually producing anything but just have a play and take myself right out of my comfort zone and try new and different things.
My crafting has become very "safe & same-old, same-old" I feel and I need to diversify and develop new techniques.  But then again, a certain Mr. Holtz has a very distinctive style and his work is instantly recognisable so maybe I will just stick to "same-old, same-old" after all!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012


Ok, no wondering where the week has gone and no procrastinating about how on earth can it be Wednesday already (let alone it being 14th March!!!!!!) another WOYWW is upon us so here goes!
Haven't actually yet got going today but everything is ready for when I've had my Weetabix and cup of coffee, harvested my crops and fed all my animals (only virtual cyber-ones you understand on my dear little farm over on Facebook!) and had a quick check of my emails just to make sure I don't need to be dealing with anything urgently.
Then I can turn my attention to my snippets.  What's that, I hear you say?  Snippets?  YES!!!  I have been persuaded by the lovelies that are Maggie C and Di to venture into the Pixie's Snippets playground and, risking public humiliation, plan on doing just that.  Of course, I am not actually through the gate yet and might just turn on my heels and run for home but, for now, the plan is pack my can of coke and my sherbet dip and go for a play.
So my very poor photo (I don't do photography ... took a photo of our Christmas tree once and the only thing in the shot were my slippers ... and they were on my feet at the time) shows my workdesk all set up and ready  to go once the aforementioned chores (farming is hard work!!!) are out of the way.

You get two photo's this time but now I see them here I think just the one would have done ... never mind, at least my slippers are not in the shot.  Please ignore hubby's gardening shoes that are under my table ... that is absolutely as far into the house that they are allowed!
There are a few clues on my desk as to what I will be attempting today ... the acrylic paints are back out and I am going to try painting more embossed acetate - out of shot is the large plastic poncho I plan on wearing whilst getting down and dirty because I sure got in a mess last time I tried this technique (yes, Neil, your fault! You are just about forgiven though because it was such fun and I am actually looking forward to having another go).
Well, must crack on and not ramble ... am heading over to the wonderful Julia's Stamping Ground to add myself to the list and then will be back later on to take a good old nosey around as many other WOYWWers as I can.

Enjoy your WOYWW and look forward to catching up with you soon.  xXx

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Debbie 1 Daffys 0

Well, it couldn't be helped ... they just had to go!  
It is well known that at this time of year I develop a hatred for those large yellow blooms that feel the need to blossom forth and when I spotted the first three daring to mock me through the lounge window I just had to take action.
I am quite, quite sure I can hear them all winter long tittering and giggling below ground as they muster all their strength to push through the soil and make the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end as the first little green shoots appear ... the green shoots are fine and I never want to actually pick the stems for a vase but just to behead each and every one.  Snip! Snip! Snip!
When out in the countryside I have to close my eyes as we drive past millions of the bright yellow trumpets and in my minds eye I am snip, snip, snipping off all the heads!
So daffy's ... Go To The Matresses!  This is war ... you may ultimately win but first round is to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

A good day's crafting

This week's WOYWW saw results and my workspace didn't stay that tidy for long at all.  Managed to get 8 cards done so that is 8 more ticked off the list for this year so the chaos was worth it!
Am enjoying continuing my butterflies/cogs theme for this year and faith in my Vagabond is slowly being resorted after the problems I had with it ... I just make sure I unplug it after using it each time which is a bit of a pain but better than a housefire!
Ventured WAY out of my comfort-zone and made a couple of really brightly coloured cards for people whom I know love bright colours but now I am itching to get back to my much more preferred grunge.
Oh, got some FaBuLoUs little StEaMpUnK watches on ebay last night ... all dreadfully stressful as I was in a bidding war!!!!!  Go Debbie! Go Debbie!  I got them for very, very silly money indeed ... just pence but as they are coming from Hong Kong the p&p had to be taken into account.  Still three little watches for just over £12 (watches themselves cost less than 20p for ALL THREE!!!!) ... I do need to get hold of one more as I want them for the nephews birthday cards this year so will have to head back to ebay at some point.
So for now, these are the cards made yesterday ... now safely stored and ready to post.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012


Such a boring workdesk so far today ... having not yet really got going!  But it is WOYWW day so I figured any photo' is better than no photo' and I promise you it will not be as tidy as this in a couple of hours time!
Whilst having my major sort-out yesterday I found a box labelled "Cosmo Cricket Christmas" that I must have had for a couple of years or so now and had completely forgotten about.  In fact, I have had it so long my style has changed and I am unlikely to ever use it as was intended.  BUT a close inspection of the papers revealed they were not particularly Christmassy at all and will do very nicely in continuing my butterflies/cogs birthday card theme for this year.  I was sad to run out of my regular Cosmo Cricket stash of papers but am quite inspired again having come across these.
Be sure to head over to Julia's fabulous Stamping Ground and make the most of the opportunity to visit lots of other workdesks!!!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

From chaos comes ....

... organised chaos!!!!  Well, here's hoping anyway!
Started Sunday morning "having a quick tidy up" of my craft cupboard and it has taken nearly three days! BUT I now have a wonderfully tidy craft cupboard ... stuff thrown out/passed on/sent to charity shop etc., Drawers and boxes re-organised and everything labelled ... just need to see if I can find anything now as nothing is where it was and I found stuff I had forgotten about and have now moved to a new place so probably have no hope of ever seeing it again as I have already forgotten what it was and quite where I put it.
Spurred on by seeing such a lovely tidy cupboard I carried on and did my sewing cupboard too!

(Don't be silly, of course you can't see my Xyron & my Vagabond in my sewing cupboard ;)  )
All in readiness to get it all out again and getting the last couple of cards for "March" done and then, hopefully, thinking ahead to "April" and getting really ahead of myself.
Except, I am really already behind myself because this year I am doing things differently!  I have always made all my cards for the whole year by now ... starting just after the New Year and working  in a frenzy until they are done but I found it was becoming more of an ordeal than a pleasure that way so am experimenting this year!  So far, so good and it is even leaving time to "play" around and try new things.
So, must crack on really ... getting ready for tomorrow's WOYWW - I managed to get round everyone's desks last week but can't say I will ever manage that again.  I left messages on all the blogs I could ...  a couple said I "wasn't authorised" to do so but I did visit and I did try!  I even battled with all those "word verification" thingies that drove me potty.  Yes, Mr. Blogger, I know I typed in the wrong words ... that's because they are too blurry and nonsensical to read!

Friday, 2 March 2012

He still doesn't get it

Hubby, that is.  Was absolutely tickled pink to get a couple of new followers this week ... was over the moon to be honest and quite flabbergasted and skipping around the house like a child on Christmas morning so was beaming like a Cheshire Cat when himself got home from work.
LOOK! I ordered, dragging him towards the laptop.  LOOK! and showed him my latest posting, followers, page views etc.,
"But what's the point of it all?" he asked, instantly deflating my bubble and bringing me back down to earth with a BuMp!
I tried to get across all our enthusiasm and love of crafting and the wonderful concept of Julia's  WOYWWing and how supportive and interested we are all of each other ... then I gave up trying.
For someone who has always felt S**T about herself and whom has never considered anything - ANYTHING - she has done to be remotely good enough, reading such wonderfully kind comments has been an incredible boost.  I can't tell you what a lift it gives me to read that I have "inspired" even one person to have-a-go at something or picked up on a little part of something I have done and found it pleasing.
I'm rambling today.  On a bit of a high finding a new follower to my blog this morning and that my page views continue to roll on and read such a lovely comment from someone and I made the mistake of ringing hubby at work to tell him.  "20 followers now and 1,573 page views" and I should have known better than to expect a positive reply.  Instead I got "how many do other people have?"  Back down to earth again with an even bigger BuMp as I had to admit to lots of bloggers having hundreds of followers and thousands of page views.
What is it they say about "pride coming before a fall" ... teach me to be bouyed by my little blog I guess.
Never mind, I know what he is like and love him anyway! I shall continue on with my dear LITTLE blog and shall most certainly dabble in this and that with my crafting ...
speaking of which, better go.  Nephew's girlfriend is putting together a scrapbook/album for him as a surprise but she has never crafted before and after raiding my collection of photo's and getting them printed out is now at a standstill.  
I gave her a beautiful album and she got herself some papers she liked and I said whatever I have in my craft cupboard she can use but she just text me in a panic saying she had just got her stuff out but just didn't know where to start.  After trying to advise her via text I said, "you'd better come round" ... not that I know much about scrapbooking having only ever done two ... and, of course, was never happy with either!
Still, what's better than a morning crafting, eh?