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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!

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Done & dusted Part 3

Now this is where it all falls apart as I didn't take photo's of all the cross-stitching!  Am kicking myself now but hey-ho ... no point in stressing about it!

Made 27 little stockings - just from the Mill Hill kits.  Make something similar each year and always put a woven label on the back with the year ... I love getting them out each year and reminding myself just how long I have been doing these little tree decorations now.

They hang from a ribbon.  Going to have to get back to this post tomorrow with better photo's!

Done & dusted ... Part 2

Following on from the cards I made for this Christmas I also made 21 wooden hearts ... each one different but all using the same range of papers from Kaisercraft.

Hubby cut them all from a sheet of plywood for me (would have preferred MDF but couldn't get any!!!) - plywood not ideal due to the way it splinters but the end result was just fine and everyone who got one seemed to like them.

For the third year running I made just 7 keepsake tags ... the idea stemmed from memories from being a little girl when each year out came some cardboard Father Christmas designs that my mommy had had since she was a child.  Each year they became a little more damaged until eventually they fell apart.  I love the idea of getting stuff out each Christmas and then carefully packing it away again just to get it out again the following year and I hope the keepsake tags will prove to be equally sentimental to the people who receive them.
This year's tag had to be totally different to the previous two years so, yet again, the poinsetta die came into use.

And then there was all the cross-stitched gifts ... appearing in Done & Dusted Part 3!

Done and dusted

Oh golly gee all that effort! All that panic!  The stiff neck and sore fingers and aching back and STRESS trying to get all the crafting done in time for Christmas and now, here we are, with Christmas three days behind us and I have to ask myself if it was all worth it?  

Have already had The Conversation with myself not to get into the same position next year when you try to do so much you end up almost hating what you are doing and it becomes a chore ... but then you hear back from people who got a little pressie and they are so kind and appreciated what you did and, well, let's just say I probably will do it all over again for next Christmas ... just need to remind myself to start in June!

So, in all I made around 72 Christmas presents but forgot to take pictures of some of them ... duh!  I fully planned on laying everything out on my dining room table and getting a general overview shot of it all but had to get parcels wrapped to send abroad long before I had finished stuff needed for closer to home so that plan went by the wayside.

Do have a few photo's to put here to record the marathon crafting session so here goes.

The card blanks did EVENTUALLY arrive but just caused more stress as all the toppers I had ready to attach were too big!  Quickly decided to make them my preferred "postcard" style of card and just matted them all onto white card which I printed a little festive verse and they were then ticked off the To Do list.  I did two colourways ... red & black & a navy blue / pale blue combination.

I did get a little carried away with the Tim Holtz Tattered Poinsetta die this year and did various colour combinations on various cards for special friends and family.

Then I made a few cards on a *S*N*O*W*F*L*A*K*K*E* theme :

Then the final few cards saw a return to a design I did a couple of years ago but just loved :

That sees the cards covered here in blogland.  Going to put rest of the Christmas stuff in a separate post or this will just be way too long!

Thursday, 5 December 2013

The panic continues

Really really REALLY starting to get stressed now ... crafting around 16 hours each day and still the To Do list refuses to meet me halfway and start to diminish.  No idea what I am going to do.

STILL waiting for the card blanks to arrive but the fronts for them are all made ... well, minus the little gems to stick on as I figured it would be easier to attach them to the cards without the gems in place ... thinking ahead, see!

It has occurred to me that even if I get everything made and bought I will have no time left to wrap it all so am getting in a tizz about that.  There is no way the parcel to Australia is going to arrive in time for them to open on Christmas Day now ... it will still be mid-flight at this rate.

Ho Hum!  The jolly festive season has a lot to answer for.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013


How can it be a week already!  Don't blog for months and then suddenly here I am again having even managed to blog in between all this WOYWW'ing.  

For anyone new to my blog then WOYWW stands for What's on your workdesk Wednesday and is the brainchild of the wonderful Julia Dunnit who, each week, gives us the chance to pop over to peek at the workdesks of fellow crafters.  Want to join in?  All those other workdesks can be found here at Julia's STAMPING GROUND

Mr Postman from my previous post let me down BIG TIME (guess it's not really his fault!) and I am STILL waiting for the card blanks to arrive for our Christmas cards BUT the fab - u - lous IndigoBlu stamp did arrive yesterday so I was able to crack open the pots of embossing powder and make a start on the cards ... never, ever, EVER been as late as this but won't repeat myself as to why because last week's WOYWW covered all that sorry tale!

So was up at stupid o'clock in order to Carry On Crafting (hey, that should be a film!!!) and then remembered it is Wednesday so here is my workspace to share ... just the dining room table today as I was SOooooo cold recently and need to be by the radiator.

OK ... first two are a sort of left side / right side of table kinda shot ... I can craft but am a dreadful photographer so bear with me please.

After much experimenting I decided to go with silver for the message ... half the cards will be a dark navy blue with pale blue ribbon and gems and the other half will be black with red ribbon and gems ... will try and add a photo' later today if I ever get as far as the black ones!

And finally a close up shot of the shine on the embossing ... a technique I continue to love to do even though it is time-consuming.  Was going to leave the stamping un-embossed but ... well, did one as a "let's see what it looks like embossed" ... and that was it really ... no contest!

Right, now I have to go and do that linky thing again and then back to the coal face or these cards simply won't ever get made.

Happy Crafting ... Happy WOYWW'ing 

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Please Mr. Postman ...

... Look and see, if there's a letter, a letter for me!!!!!

Ok ... nearly 1st December and I still have the huge batch of Christmas cards to make. Quite unheard of and due mostly to lack of both time and inspiration ... with the lack of inspiration having the leading edge.

I do have very many S*N*O*W*flakes cut with the Big Shot and embossed and glittered (well, Stickled ... I am not a glittery sort of person but find Stickles give just enough sparkle to add the necessary festive spirit!) and have sat looking at them for weeks now not at all sure what to do with them.

But now I know!!!!   They will be going into my Christmas crafting box for next year!

Whilst WOYWw'ing this week I nosied further on down the fabulous SILVERWOLF'S blog past her WOYWW post and found THE most PERFECT Christmas card EVER.  Spent a frantic half hour or so searching online for the stencil (Indigo Blu Flourish Baubles ... or it might be Bauble Flourises) , ribbon, gems, card blanks etc., and just hope that at least the stencil arrives today (especially as hubby is out all day and I now can't wait to get those Christmas cards done!!!)

Colour scheme will be almost the same as last year's Christmas cards but if it ain't broke then why fix it and who can go wrong with good old black and white with a splash of red? I know I don't have enough black card on which to mount the fronts of the cards so having already bought navy blue card for my now defunct *S*N*O*W*flakes I nipped to Hobbycraft last night (first time in there for YEARS and I have to say found it quite dreadful) and got a new dark blue ink pad and some pale blue ribbon and gems and will make some in those colours when my black card runs out.  And I doubt any of last year's  recipients will even remember last year's cards so am just going with it.

Will be odd making a card that actually opens as I do favour the post-card / tag style and have never used a scalloped edged card in all my years of crafting so that will be interesting

Ooooh am all of a tingle now but have a feeling I might have to contain aforementioned tingle until in the week when the stuff arrives ... watch this space!

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Needing more TTIME!!!!!

But then I guess all us crafters are at this time of year ... my To Do list is simply unachievable and the more I chip away at it the more I seem to think "Oh I want to do some of these" and add them to the list.  I really do have to start talking myself out of things now and concentrate on the original To Do list and not the revised one ones.

My life has taken an unexpected turn when I found the overwhelming grief of losing my mommy starting to lift back around July time.  I suddenly felt quite, quite different and knew I had turned the corner in getting to grips with her loss (only taken 7 years mind you!).  

This meant I felt able to start going out again and began to make little trips ... still not able to go into shops or other such places but had plans for my holiday at the end of September.  Two days before my holiday I was FINALLY able to track down some shoes I was able to walk in ... just a little blue canvas pump ... but oh, they have opened up a whole new world to me!

In the past five years I have walked no further from the front door to the car and back again, and only maybe every six to seven weeks but now there is no stopping me!  Those little blue shoes have taken me down 180 steps to the waterfall at Foyers (and back up them again!) ... strolls along Loch Ness shoreline and round and round and round a wooded lake local to me ... well, only round once each time but I'm getting there and fully plan on making my walks longer and longer as time goes by.

I now have FIVE pairs of those blue pumps as I am quite aware of their unsuitability for walking BUT I don't care one little bit ... nothing is going to stop me now and I am getting very good at tip-toeing through the mud and then scraping it all off those pumps when I get home again.  

However, whilst I am fully prepared to walk with wet feet, and with cold feet and even with wet and cold feet I am not looking forward to walking with frozen feet and began to get in a right old tizz.  I ADORE the *S*N*O*W* and can't wait for my first trip around "my" lake in the heavy frost or *S*N*O*W* but know those pumps won't do it ... I have horrendous feet and have always struggled to find suitable footwear and doubted I would find anything to fit.  After a sleepless night on Friday I woke hubby the next morning ... "OK ... take me to Go Outdoors please" ... and off we went.

I might as well have been going to the dentist ... shaking like a leaf and very weepy but off we went.  Faced with hundreds and hundreds of boots and shoes I figured we would be there a very long time so when hubby's back was turned I headed straight for three members of staff  "are you all shoe people?" I asked and when they said they were I added "OK, which of you wants a challenge?"  A young girl voluteered and ... well, to cut a long story short LOOK .....

I now have walking boots!!!!!!!!

Have only worn them around the house this week but they will be road-tested on Sunday (only because hubby is out all day Saturday!) and then there really will be no stopping me.  And with hubby due to have retired by Christmas they will be getting a LOT of use!

So ... I am WAY behind with my Christmas crafting due to GOING OUT ... now do the supermarket (with hubby ... still not quite ready to resume driving!) and really do think I have reached a new place.  It's hard "letting go" and the guilt at finding grief has lifted has been hard to cope with but I simply can't go back to where I have been and I know mommy will understand.  I hope in my heart she understands.

HUGE APOLOGIES if you are reading this waiting for photo's of crafty stuff to appear ... this has all been such a pivotal part of my life I wanted it recorded here so I can one day look back and remember when it all fell back into place.

Now ... back to the Christmas crafting I guess. 

Wednesday, 27 November 2013


Well I was planning on WOYWW'ing today for the first time in goodness knows how long but I can't remember what to do!!!!!!

Have popped along to Julia's Stamping Ground to get my number but then came to a halt simply unable to figure out what to do next ... how daft I can be.  Can be?  Ok, how daft I am.

So will find someone to ask ... Maggie C?  Diane?  Shaz?  Anyone?  

Or shall I just Do An Experiment and see what happens ... what can go wrong? 

Watch this space!!!!!

 Photo above are some poinsettas made with the Tim Holtz die / embossing folder thingy ... look everso pretty in real life but, as usual, my photography skills are somewhat lacking.  Will attempt to take photo's of finished cards for next week (and yes, they are finished!!!)

Two photo's below are just two of the 21 wooden hearts I have made ... they all hang from a rustic string loop from the centre.

I planned on making only 15 but a few people saw them on the worktop finished and went "WOW I hope I am getting one of those" ... well, they weren't but they are now!

OK ...not really sure if I have managed it ... and not really my workdesk today as I just had a dreadful job trying to transfer photo's from my mobile to the laptop.  

Am stressed and oh so busy trying to get an impossibly long To Do list sorted ... set myself far too much crafting to do for Christmas.

So with all that in mind I must crack on.  I know I now have to link to Julia's Stamping Ground so you can all find out about the wonderful world of WOYWW'ing (that stands for What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday by the way) so hope this  LINK works.  

Happy Crafting!!!!   

Friday, 19 July 2013

Plastic Stuff

Ok apologies for reposting a photo' from Wednesday but one of my lovely visitors left a comment asking what the PLASTIC STUFF was and it hadn't occurred to me to explain before so here I am doing just that!

It is just acetate run through an embossing machine (in my case a Big Shot ... but I used to do it before on my Vagabond too before it croaked) in a Texture Fades folder thingy or anything else that you can emboss with.

I now save acetate from just about anything and everything that comes through the door ... I think the plastic stuff used here might even have been the packaging from a Tim Holtz product as it is the very, very thick and sturdy sort ... I did hope for more of a torn look to the edge but the acetate was SOooooo thick I could barely rip it at all ... I am not at all happy with the straight edges here but, hey-ho, 'twas the best I could manage.  I did try cutting a wavy edge but then you don't get the white "edge" as the plastic distresses everso slightly as you tear it.

Nephew has yet to get this so no idea if he will like it ... watch this space!

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Twice in a week

Haven't managed to blog for months and now twice in a week!  
Battled in the heat yesterday to make hubby's anniversary card for Sunday ... not quite how I intended as it was too hot to even think but at least he will have a card.

Hadn't got any red card so out came Tim Holtz's Distress Ink pad in Fired Brick and also used it to dye the ribbon ... not as "crinkly" as I wanted but think it just dried too fast in the heat.

 Then whilst I had the stuff to hand I made two Thank You cards I need to send and which are long overdue.  The green behind the filigree hearts is really quite sparkly and glittery.  
Now, I am not normally a sparkly and glittery type of girl but it seemed just enough here so went with it.

Oh and not crafting but just look what I did to my wall!  I just love it and it is "my" motto ... it is what my profile pic on Facebook says  but everyone says that is too dark to read ... I will put this pic on FB eventually so they can all see!

Well time marches on ... have paid return visits to all my WOYWW visitors yesterday so time to leave blog-land for now and make a note to self to remember to come back soon.

Happy Crafting!  xXx

Wednesday, 17 July 2013


Well, I made it to WOYWW for the first time since the ice age melted.  Of course that assumed everyone knows what WOYWW actually stands for!  What's on your workdesk Wednesday, when the brilliant Julia came up with the idea of us all sharing our desks with fellow crafters for a sneaky peek into each others worlds.  You can find us all HERE

My workdesk is as crazy as always and I am way behind with my crafting but at least I have got round to WOYWW'ing today so here goes:

 First pic is just a general view and then to my right is this mess:
You can spot my "ready for summer" rescue kit ... a bottle of water, Factor 30 Piz Buin, E45 lotion for when I forget to use it and a can of fly spray ... used mainly for wasps which I can't stand!
Oh the bottle of water is rarely used either ... hence my dehydration.
Note to self: must drink today!

 To my left ... just as crazy but just what I need within easy reach:

Also to my left on a table moved just for easy reaching of the Big Shot (no longer a Vagabond owner but to read about that you will have to go to my other postings ... we aim to keep our WOYWW'ing short and sweet but as I've not WOYWW'd for so long I am hoping Julia will forgive me!

Nearly finished! (the card, not this message ... if you have stuck with me this far you may as well read to the end!)

All that was in order to make this: Eldest nephew just passed his degree and I didn't want to make a conventional congratulations/well done card so he gets one of Auntie's "what on earth was she thinking" efforts.

 The stamp is a Tim Holtz one and should have the words "and create" at the end but a little careful placing of low-tack tape soon got rid of them!

So MUST get more crafting done today or hubby won't have an anniversary card for Sunday!

Happy WOYWW'ing everyone and I will be back to link to Julia's Stamping Ground just as soon as I can remember how to do so!

Friday, 21 June 2013

Oh how ridiculous!!!  How can it possibly be so log since I popped along to my dear little blog?  I mean, I knew it had been a couple of weeks or so but to find it has been over four months is somewhat of a shock!  Well, they say time flies when you are having fun so I must have been having an absolute ball!!!

I have been crafting ... nothing creative ... just about ticking over to get all the cards done for this year but no motivation or inspiration to just play and experiment.

So no news to share really ... will get some of my cards on here just to keep track of them but have to say they all seem a bit disappointing to me and there isn't anything I was particularly pleased with.

Oh I guess the biggest news is I am no longer a Vagabond owner ... this was my second one (the first having already been replaced due to the fault many of the original ones seemed to have - namely smoke pouring from them).  My second one just died.  Working one moment and then nothing the next.  Luckily it was still just under guarantee and I was offered a very good deal from Sissix for yet another new machine plus some dies etc., or an exchange for a Big Shot.  I thought long and hard but by now had really lost confidence in the Vagabond and so took the exchange.  Can't say I am really a turn-the-handle type of girl but the only thing that can go wrong with it is if I mess up which shims and platforms to use so all the time I am using it I am saying to myself  "if the handle won't turn, don't force it" ... have had to encourage it a little on occasion but nothing major!

Ooooh yes, I have discovered Spellbinders ... got to say they don't really lend themselves to my much preferred grungy-Holtzy style of crafting but I have been finding it hard to get the results I want so have all but given up for the time being.  

First time out with the Spellbinders was a disaster ... how on earth do you get them from the card or paper??!?!?!?!  Then I discovered that waxy paper stuff and BRILLIANT!  Can highly recommend it and am no longer throwing ripped or distorted die-cuts into the recycling bin.

These were my first attempts with the Big Shot and Spellbinders:

They ended up far larger than I ever like my cards to be but it is all a learning curve figuring out where to place the Spellbinder dies and which bits cut and which don't ... that was fun - place die, turn that bloomin' handle, lift up plate only to find you didn't cut what you thought you had !

I did a New Home card for nephew number two and his girlfriend which was more in the style I prefer :

The message was printed onto acetate and I used Glossy Accents on the word "HOME" and dyed the ribbon to match so had very messy fingers and was in grunge-mode which always pleases me.

I forgot to take a photo' of the back but know I'd have inked it to match the front with a few swirly bits but really can't recall what else I did ... note to self: take better photographs!

I did go all out with the grunge on hubby's birthday card but he is one of those who doesn't "get" grunge so it was just okay.

It was inked and embossed and ripped and torn and stamped and grunged to the extreme but, oh boy, did I enjoy the brown inky fingers that ensued!

And one more ... its fate is yet to be decided because, again, it is not my preferred style and the back ground paper has "buckled" as I only put tape around the edges and in a couple of strips across the paper ... I am about ready to bin it and start again as it is not good enough to give and I can't see any way of fixing it.

Last one I must get here is the card I made when nephew number one got his black belt at TKD ... I'd kinda hoped the ribbon across the centre would represent the black belt but nobody else realised that so guess I was just trying to be too clever!

Now I really do plan on not leaving it so long until I blog again ... got lots and lots of crafting I really must get done so will aim to get back here with that ... honest!