Wednesday, May 30

WOYWW #156 and "A handbag!"

It's the 3rd birthday of WOYWW today over at Julia's place and to add to the excitement there's an ATC swap too.   I kind of shared my desk yesterday, but I'll re-post the pictures at the bottom in case you weren't here.  In the meantime I have something else to share, it's all Kathy's fault really going on about needing a new bag for the summer.  For those who don't know me well there is no way I need a new handbag, I have enough handbags to last me the rest of my life, but what's a girl to do when others are getting new bags??  Buy one, of course.
To sweeten the blow I can admit it was reduced from £73 to £15 in Tacky Maxx and I have my suspicions it could never have been £73, but it is very nicely made.  I wanted something summery in a casual kind of style and this fitted the bill.

Here are the desk photos from yesterday, as you can see I have a lot to be going on with .

Happy anniversary WOYWWers!

** Kate **

Tuesday, May 29

The weekend and some thank yous

Had a scorching weekend here and was out and about enjoying the weather. We went swimming and I was reminded of swimming trips when I was a little girl. There was only an open air swimming pool then, with little wooden huts surrounding it that you change in and just left your stuff lying there. That old outdoor pool is now a car park.  There are probably only a dozen days a year when you would want an open air pool in this country, but Sunday was definitely one of them.

Rounded off the weekend with a Jubilee tea party for 300 members of Girlguiding UK. Can't share the people pictures, but this little girls shoes were the talk of the day.
Now for the thank yous. I have had a bit of a lucky streak lately and, as they say, these things come in 3's so I have 3 prizes to say a heart felt thank you for. The first was a discount voucher from the Whiff Of Joy Challenge to spend at the Whiff Of Joy shop. In a way this was a bad thing! I never realised how easy it was to order from Europe and how good the postage rates were, there is nothing to stop me ordering more now!?!? Here's my goodies, some older images I have always wanted to get my hands on and some brand new ones.
Next up was a $50 Simon Says Stamp voucher from Simon Says Stamp And Show.  Wow, I stuffed my shopping basket and then some, well it made sense to add some extra on, then I just paid the one lot of postage.
I went a bit mad on the mini Magnolias, they don't seem to have taken off over here and Simon Says had so many to choose from, perhaps their distribution is limited in the UK?  Also, I was ecstatic to find the Preposterous paper I had been wanting for some Alice themed makes.

Last and by no means least, I heard from Lisa Truesdell at the start of the weekend that I had won a place on Studio Calico's Washi Workshop!
I am one very lucky girl.  A big thank you to all the blogs and their sponsors for these fab prizes.  Now I need to get crafting.

** Kate **

Monday, May 28

CAS Christmas

Where does the weekend go to?  I'll do a news round up tomorrow, but in the meantime I have this card ready to blog.  I know some people don't like to hear the C******** word before September and some before December1st but there's been a bit of a postal shake up in the UK and things are going to be a bit different around here.  The restrictions on the cost of stamps have been lifted and a 1st Class stamp has nearly doubled in price.  I hope it will not be the death of the Christmas card as that would be very sad.  We are lucky to have another option locally, the Scout's Christmas Post, but the cards do have to be posted by the 1st week in December.  All this adds up to being in control and getting prepared early.  So here it is my 1st of the year (I think) and here's to many more!!!
A simple Tilda, coloured with Copics and jazzed up with some jewels.
The sentiment stamp was a freebie from Crafts Beautiful last year.

Christmas Card Challenge #26 - Bling
Let's Ink It Up #23 - Bling
Christmas all year round - Carol/song - We wish you a merry Christmas

** Kate **

Thursday, May 24

Birds in my hair

I was attempting to comment on lots of entries for this month' By The Cute And Girly when something stopped me in my tracks over at Diane's Favourite Cards.  It was this stunningly, beautiful digi from A Day For Daisies that I had to buy IMMEDIATELY!!!
I have kept my card fairly simple as really all that was need was this beautiful image.  I might have to do a CAS card with it or one of the others in the set - yes, it came in a set!  I've used BasicGrey Curio papers throughout and embellished with a Prima flower and a Kaisercraft word stamp.  All of the little pearly dots are Liquid Pearls.
Not forgetting the decoration of the actual image which was coloured with Copics.

BasicGrey - Anything goes
Digital Tuesday #161 - Purple, yellow and brown
Ladybug Crafts Ink - Wings
Kaboodles Doodles #120 - Dress for success
Creative Inspirations - Anything goes
Counterfeit Kit - Card Sketch

** Kate ** 

Tuesday, May 22

Cheeky Monkeys

.....and now for something completely different!  Which is the name that Shimelle has given to the series at UK Scrappers which is focused on trying out new techniques and ideas for pages.  This month the step-by-step instructions used bright, zingy patterned paper, a photo strip and winding twine around brads.  All things I don't typically use on my pages.  Here's how mine turned out.
I have to say that during the process I didn't like it at all but, once I added the journalling on the left to balance out all the activity on the right, I was really pleased with it.  I'd recently rediscovered where my stash of white 12x12 had been hiding and so there will be a few more pages now starting from a completely white background.  For the photos I opened a Word document and inserted  text boxes of the same size onto a landscape page.  Once I had inserted the pictures I wanted into the boxes, I removed the lines from around the edge of the boxes and moved the images until they were touching.  So I didn't waste half a sheet of A4 photo paper, I ran a different set along side for use on another page.
All of the papers are Amy Tangerine Sketchbook and the large letters are from her earlier line, never has one set of alphas been used to make so many titles, I will be buying some more of them if I spot them.  The smaller foam letters are from Papermania and the twine is Jilly Bean Soup.  Nearly forgot to say the little doily is from Poppy's Cabin.
I'd been admiring Dylusions sprays on other peoples projects and decided to take the plunge and try some to brighten up my subtler mists, I love them!!!!  This one is Fresh Lime and I also have Bubblegum Pink as Rhonda had said they were her top 2 choices.

** Kate **

Monday, May 21

Royal Albert Hall - A scrapbook page with Handy Hippo

To ring the changes with my latest Handy Hippo project I thought I would make a scrapbook page and in particular I wanted to use the 'Love London' stamp set from Penny Black with some photos from our recent trip up to the Albert Hall.

The plain grey cardstock from American Crafts has been decorated with BasicGrey Kioshi papers cut into strips and also punched.  The Letters for the title are from BasicGrey too.
For extra detail the background has been splashed with ink from an Aquamarker.  I scribbled a Bamboo pen on a non-porous surface and spritzed the ink with water.  It was then liquid enough to pick up with a brush which I tapped over the page to give a lightly misted effect.
I've stamped the image of the London double decker bus and coloured it with Promarkers.  It's then been cut out and added at the front of my title, so it almost looks as though the bus is driving away with the title flying behind it.

All of the supplies used are available from Handy Hippo where all the items can be found using this link to a pre-filled basket that can be edited to remove or add any items that you wish.

** Kate **  

Friday, May 18

Tilda In Key Largo

Tilda definitely looks like she's been on her travels in the latest release from Magnolia.  I've treated myself to 3 new stamps from the collection and made a clean and simple card with the first of them.
Tilda is coloured with Promarkers and I've added a little Stardust Stickles to the shell she's holding.  The little sentiment stamp is from the Paula Pascual set that I'm always using at the moment.
For the border details I've used the fine tip end of a Faded Jeans Distress marker.

Simon Says - Clean and simple
I Love Promarkers #117 - Anything goes
Kaboodles Doodles #119 - Clean and simple
Scrapbook Sisters cards #84 - 2 colours (blue and brown)
Moving Along With The Times - Keep it real

There will be a few more cards to com along these clean and simple lines as I am increasing my stash of cards that will fit easily into the standard post.

** Kate **

Wednesday, May 16

WOYWW #154

It's Wednesday the day for sharing pictures of your creative spaces, there are plenty to see at Julia's and you can join in too!

I'm taking the Cover To Cover online course at Shimelle's currently and it's hard to do without getting organised.
I've been tidying up my albums and come to these conclusions.  There is no point buying 12x12 storage if you don't use it for your 12x12 supplies, bit obvious that one really.  If you use 12x12 storage shelves for A4 things, like magazines, they end up scrunched up at the back.  So all of the non-12x12 have been pulled off these shelves into a heap and I have started to rearrange my papers.  As you can see I haven't started on the top of the shelves yet, but I think there is a magazine rack somewhere that can go up there.

Wanted to add that as well as all this sorting I also have 200 photos that I want to scrap printed (rather than scrapping the ones I happen to have) and with index cards containing dates and details, feeling very virtuous I am!

** Kate **

Tuesday, May 15

BTCAG mid-month spring make with ombre

I've learnt a new crafting word this last week - 'ombre'.  It's taking various shades of a colour and graduating them across your project.  There's lots of great examples currently at Pink Paislee's blog.  I was experimenting with my mid-month project for the By The Cute And Girly's spring theme.
I think I've achieved a more monochrome effect in the end, I'll have to play around with the technique a bit more.
It still feels a lot like winter most days, but when spring is in the air that means new growth and the birth of new little ones.  I created a boy version of this image here for Handy Hippo at the beginning of the month and, to cover all eventualities in my stand-by card supplies, I thought I would make a girl version too.  
I've coloured the image (Bella Sleeping from Wild Rose Studio) with Copics and used BoBunny Sophie papers throughout.  The flowers were cut and quilled during one of the Twilight movies on TV last night and were done before I knew it.  I added a few punched details as well and and a sentiment from a sheet of stamps designed by Paula Pascual.
If you haven't entered our challenge yet this month then head over to the By The Cute And Girly blog and check out the mid-month projects from all of our design team.

At Bunny Zoe's the new challenge #24 is up and it's 'Anything Goes', so I'm entering my card for the challenge over there.

** Kate ** 

Monday, May 14

Craft Your Passion

I managed to complete 3 craft projects over the weekend - a card, a scrapbook page and a mixed media canvas, but I can't share any of them here today.  Instead I found this image, that I had already stamped and coloured in shades of purple Copics, which I made up into a card for this week's challenge at Craft Your Passion.
Challenge #110 has a green and purple theme, which I used for what turned out to be quite a thrifty card.  I cut out and mounted the Amelia Simply Sassy image onto a background card I had left over from a messy creative session.  The green base card is made from First Edition Birdsong patterned card and then just a bit of Tissue Tape to finish it all off.
Back tomorrow with my mid-month make for By The Cute And Girly.  Mid-month?  How on earth did that happen!!  Own up, who stole the first half of May????

** Kate **

Thursday, May 10

Favourite Stamp

It isn't possible for me to pick a favourite stamp of all time, there are just too many and I own far too many of them!!  But, I can say that I have a new favourite sentiment stamp at the moment.  When I saw it at PaperArtsy I just had to have it, I guess it spoke to me, it's those voices in my head again!!
I've teamed it up with a jolly little lemon from Imaginisce, who looks very happy to be hearing voices, and I've used the new Spring Distress Inks throughout to shade the paper, stamp the leaf border and add extra colour with a brush to the features on the lemon.  Love these new colours, really wanted Tim to do a zingy yellow and there can never be too many shades of purple ink available.
I'm keeping him as a little book mark to make me smile to myself when I see him and anyone watching will just have to think I'm daft and they won't be far wrong.

Simon Says Stamp And Show - Your favourite stamp

** Kate **

Wednesday, May 9

WOYWW #153

A bit late with my WOYWW entry today as I wasn't going to join in and then I remembered I had some new additions to the craft desk (otherwise known as heap of mess) to share.  I found this set of 3 tapes and matching sticky labels at Paperchase.
Washi style tapes are catching on everywhere and that is a good thing in my opinion.  At mum's over the weekend she asked me if I needed an old cookie jar for anything.  She didn't know what had been in it previously so thought it possibly wasn't suitable for food.  Well I new straight away that destiny had spoken.
Look how much room there is in there for more tapes it looks like it is crying out for a nice dark blue one!!

** Kate ** 

Tuesday, May 8

Lawn Fawn Bright Side

Can't believe the bank holiday weekend has flown by.  No sooner did Small 'n' Grubby disappear to camp on Friday then I was heading down to the New Forest on Monday to pick him up again.  It was all extremely muddy and boggy but they had a wonderful time.

At the start of the weekend I had some new Lawn Fawn supplies delivered that I'd bought.  As Two Peas have a  Lawn Fawn Bright Side competition on at the moment I made a card with my new stash.
I paper blocked, punched and free-hand cut my design and added some of the fabulous coloured twine for a bit more texture.
Here are the supplies I used.

There are also links to them here in my Two Peas album.

** Kate **

Thursday, May 3

A new baby boy

Don't panic I don't mean me, but this little cutie from Wild Rose Studios is my latest project for Handy Hippo.
 I've cut a 5 inch strip from a 12x12 sheet of American Crafts Lagoon cardstock and scored along the longer edge at 5 inches then folded it to make a 5x7 card base.  The blue patterned paper panels are from the 'B' side of BasicGrey Azami paper.  The Personal Impressions sentiment has been stamped straight onto the patterned paper so that it can be seen if the card is open or closed.

The cute little 'Bella Sleeping' stamp has been coloured with Promarkers.

To make the butterfly embellishment I've first coloured the wooden piece with a Cool Aqua Promarker on both
sides.  It's then been pushed into a Versamark ink pad and heat embossed with the Silver Pearl powder, also on both sides.
As usual, all of the products I have used for this project are available at Handy Hippo and this link will take you to a basket filled with all of the items which can then be edited to remove or add any items you wish.

I've already got another project on the way with this stamp and will blog about it as soon as it's finished.

** Kate **

Wednesday, May 2

Weekend news

Here's a round up of all my news from the weekend, bit wordy, so settle in with a cuppa if you're going to read it all.

First off a wedding on Saturday of one of my Rainbow colleagues.  The bride looked beautiful in a strapless, white lace dress with her sister as bridesmaid in a lovely blue dress of a similar style.  The 1st thing the bride said as she stepped from the car was "Is he here?"   I haven't sought permission for sharing the actual pictures, so instead here's one of the co-ordinating floral arrangements which looked stunning.

After the service I hot footed it home to organise the family and have an early night ready for our big trip to London on Saturday.  We left by 2 coaches at 7.30am, cold and pouring with rain.  Lots of excitement and lots of nerves.  We met briefly at Fleet services before heading into central London.  The children's coach went straight to the Royal Albert Hall ready for rehearsals, costume fittings and photographs before the evening's performance.  The parent's coach stopped outside the Kennsington museums just before 10am (we got stuck in traffic at Hammersmith) where we were greeted by an hour long queue for the Natural History museum.

There was no way I was up for that in the torrential rain so we fought our way against the crowds in the queue to the Victoria and Albert museum which had just opened and we were able to walk straight in.  Here is SMO in the cast courts.  I couldn't decide if I should take pictures or not, so i just took a sneaky few with the flash off.
After a light lunch in their slightly over priced cafe we wandered out to do some shopping and look for somewhere to have a more substantial pre-show meal.  The sun attempted to shine on us as we strolled along the Brompton Road and we picked up a few bargains.  A 30% off sale in Gap meant the children and I all got London hoodies as souvenirs.  Plus I found an independent souvenir shop selling postcards at 10p each or 12 for £1, which meant I could buy a stack of 36 to share with the children and the Rainbows.  I had expected them to be expensive in Harrods, but at £1 each I left them there and nearly had a coronary in the National Geographic shop where they were £2 each!!!  I did buy something in Harrods though,  I spotted an Emma Bridgewater stand with some Union Jack tissue paper on it, expect that to be appearing on a mixed media project sometime soon.

We were getting proper hungry by now and with the doors to the show opening at 5.30pm we decided to get our meal at 2.30pm before doing a bit more sight seeing.  They were queueing out of the doors in all the Brompton Road eateries, but then SMO spotted a side street (Beauchamp Place) with some cafe signs and when we investigated we discovered Escape and had a lovely meal.
Here's my chicken with tomato and green leaf salad with freshly squeezed orange juice and behind you can just about see SMO tucking into a turkey and emmental crepe.

After SMO had consumed a slab of cake we headed off to the Albert Hall to getting our bearings.  They were still queueing for miles outside the Natural History museum as we passed on Exhibition Road.  The sun finally decided to put in an appearance, and with a long evening sat down followed by a coach ride home we felt a nice walk in Kensington Gardens was just the ticket.  Here's me in front of the Albert Memorial railings.  My coat's looking a little bulky as I have my valuables in a cross-body bag underneath it, well that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!
The sky was gathering in dark ready for more rain by the time we returned to the Royal Albert Hall and I was looking forward to a sit down.
We had treated ourselves to front row seats in a box, it's not every day that your children perform at the Royal Albert Hall now is it?  The view was fantastic and the performances were so professional.  Our dance school performed 3rd from last in the second half and didn't appear on stage to dance until 9.30pm, an incredibly long day for them and quite a nerve racking wait.  They were of course superb, not that my opinion would be biased or anything!  Here is the finale with all 1400 children singing "Don't Stop Believing".
After being directed to the wrong coach on the way home and meeting up again at Fleet we pulled into the coach station around 12.15am and whisked the children home straight to bed and asleep by 1am.
I think they were still being swept along on the adrenalin high from the event when they went off to school on Monday, but yesterday morning Small 'n' Grubby was looking worn out and complaining of feeling ill, so he had the day off, but was fine by the afternoon.  His timing wasn't great though as this meant I missed the Queen's visit and I will probably be interrogated by the school today who will think I lied so he could go to see her Majesty!
** Kate **                 

Tuesday, May 1

By The Cute And Girly - May

May already!  I've had a hectic weekend and have lots of pictures and news to share, but that will have to wait until tomorrow as it's time for the new challenge at By The Cute And Girly.  This month the theme has been chosen by Ayelet who says that "Spring is in the air!"

I've used this cute guy from Whiff Of Joy (his arms and legs look a bit 'springy' too, hee, hee.)  I'm on a roll with Whiff of Joy at the moment, I've won a prize at their challenge and I have my order saved just waiting for the discount code to arrive!
He's coloured with Copics and I've chosen a colour scheme of coral, red and teal which I think sit quite nicely together.
The patterned paper and embossed sticker are from SEI and there is a little bit of tape in their from Amy Tangerine.
For the flowers I've been painting the roses red (and as the Queen really is arriving today, I hope that doesn't mean I'm going to lose my head!!!!).  I've taken a white rose from Wild Orchid Crafts and coloured it red with a Carmine Copic.  It's then been teamed up with some little silk flowers and jewels from Papermania.

Our fab challenge sponsors this month are:
Simon Says Stamp

Hop on over to the By The Cute And Girly challenge blog to see all of the design team's spring makes and share your projects with us.

Sadly, I won't really get to see the Queen today as Small 'n' Grubby is at home poorly.  I think the adrenalin kick from our exciting weekend has finally worn off and he has slumped.  I will report back more tomorrow.

** Kate **