Monday, December 31

The last few hours of 2012

2012 is winding down and my original plan was to share a new jewellery piece on my blog today, but the light here is awful and I've barely managed to get photographs of my DT card for tomorrow.  As the weather forecast for Tuesday is better, I think I will try and get ahead on some project makes tonight and then get lots photographed tomorrow (I don't really 'do' New Year's Eve!)

In the meantime, Scrapjourney Debby is asking to see your top 5 cards for 2012 and as I do have photographs for them I thought I would join in again.
 I suppose they are my top 5 coloured  in cards.  I could choose a top 5 CAS and a top 5 non-card projects too!!


That's it from me for 2012.
A Happy New Year To You All.

Hope to see you again in 2013 for bigger and better things planned here on my blog xXx..

** Kate **

Friday, December 28

5 Favourite Christmas Cards

Hope everyone has had a lovely Christmas and is enjoying the holiday.  I know that there will be some that aren't full of the joys of the season for various reasons and, if that's you, I wish you well.

Here are my favourite Christmas card creations for 2012.
 I like all the shapes on this one, it ended up with my Mum.
 I often have an idea for a card in my head and then it just doesn't work, so I was thrilled with how this one turned out!
The colouring on this one really came together in a way that pleased me.  I was using some of the new shades I ordered just before Christmas and now I definitely want to get some more.
In August I had a dilemma over whether CAS cards were 'cheating', but I just loved this card as it was and didn't want to add any more to it.
I was sad not to see the recipient of this card on Christmas Eve as expected.  She's had a tough year and I just looked at this image and saw it as her bringing home Christmas for her 3 boys.  I did manage to pass it to a friend and hopefully it will have reached its destination.

Share your 5 favourites over at Debby's Scrapjourney, she has a prize to give away too!

** Kate **

Monday, December 24

Last Christmas...........

.......cards!!  Yes twice in one day, but I needed to celebrate the completion of 2012's Christmas cards.  These 2 are for the ladies who give their precious time and patience to teach the children to ring hand bells.

The image is a new one I bought recently from the Artistic Stamper and comes on a mini plate of Christmas images.  I've made a background for it with Distress Inks in Iced Spruce, Shaded lilac and  Bundled Sage.  Then once the image was stamped, I painted the star with Wild Honey. 

The yellow mixed with bluey greens made me think of the BoBunny Snow Days papers and so I used those for the background.  I was going to add a bit of glitter or perhaps paint the snow areas on the image with Liquid Pearls, but time has beaten me.

The little bells add the finishing touch.  They are from Papermania and I grabbed a couple of packs as soon as I saw them.  They are dangling from Wild Orchid Crafts small Poinsettia flowers.

Challenges:
Winter Wonderland - Wish upon a star
Christmas Card Challenge #4 - Jingle bells
Wild Orchid Challenge #65 - Christmas friendship

There's a lemon drizzle cake in the oven and my next task is to get some pastry made and resting in the fridge before lunch.

** Kate **

Lambs in the Snow

It's Christmas Eve, wahoo!!!  Still plenty to get done and here is one of my last minute 'special' cards.

I couldn't resist this stamp from Joanna Sheen, I really like the Giordano images.

He's coloured with Copics and I've used HOTP papers to make up the card.  The little pine cone stamp is from a Papermania Henbury Lane set.

The little greeting has Sepia Glossy Accents on the pins, with 3d foam in the centre to give it shape and texture.

Challenges:
Joanna Sheen - With love at Christmas
My Time To Craft #202 - Animals in the snow
Craft Us Crazy #33 - Merry Christmas
Creative Inspirations #194 - Anything goes

Off to do some baking ready for my family to pop in this evening after we get back from the Christingle service.
** Kate **

Saturday, December 22

Only 3 Sleeps!!

Yes, only 3 sleeps to go.  Not that much sleep is happening around here due to the Branston Pickle having earache which has him awake crying all night.  Bless his little cotton socks.  We were at the nativity rehearsals this morning (rehearsals? apparently these things don't just happen on their own!), I said to him "You are my poorly boy, aren't you?" and he said " Don't worry Mummy, I'm still smiling."  He is just soooooo sweet.

The Christmas plans have come together nicely, even if it was all last minute.  The tree and decorations are up, most of the present are wrapped, and the food shopping's done.  Just some major tidying up to do and we are there.  On the craft front I'm finishing off the handful of 'special' cards, which I hope will be loved by those that receive them.

I love this Penny Black stamp set 'Christmas Express', I'm a sucker for stamp sets where you can pick and choose the elements to make up a scene.  I've coloured with Promarkers to co-ordinate with the soft background colours of the topper.  It's a Kanban one I had it left over from when I was creating for Handy  Hippo, I don't use a lot of toppers but these ones caught my eye, I like the lilac sky. 

I've cut the card shape to match the topper and layered everything up with lots of 3d foam and Stardust Stickles.

Challenges:
Penny Black Saturday Challenge - Glitter and sparkle
Penny Black And More - It's your choice
Simon Says - Merry Christmas
Crafts And Me - Winter Wonderland
I Love Promarkers #148 - Anything but square

** Kate **

Thursday, December 20

Thin Wires

Ever noticed when buying jewellery supplies that there is a choice between thick and thin head/eye pins?  Well the thin ones are really good to use for a wire wrapping technique.

I've used some thin copper coloured wires from Blue Moon Beads to wire wrap pearls for these earrings.

Thread your bead on and curl the wire with round nosed pliers to make a loop with a long end.  Make the loop further up the wire than you would normally to allow room for the wrapped part below the loop.

Using flat (chain nosed) pliers, hold the loop you have made very firmly so that it doesn't close when you wrap the wire.  Take hold of the end of the wire with a 2nd set of flat pliers and wrap it around the wire beneath the loop.  If you have excess wire once you finish wrapping, just snip it off with wire cutters.
To make up the earrings I've dismantled a Blue Moon Beads pendant and used one connecting bead for each earring.
The wrapped pearls are then clustered underneath attached to some jump rings.
Don't forget to wire up a few extra beads to decorate a co-ordinating gift box.  I've used DCWV glitter card to make my pillow box.
All of the jewellery supplies for these projects are from Blue Moon Beads and they have a great supply of all the tools I've mentioned too. 

* Kate **

Wednesday, December 19

WOYWW - The Christmas One, with unexpected excitement

Yes it's the last WOYWW before Christmas, so a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful, healthy and happy New Year to all.  On my workdesk today is the evidence of panic batch Christmas card making.

Just a few 'special' cards to make now, but they don't need to be finished until Christmas Eve.

It's all been eventful here.  A desperate call last night disturbed the Christmas card writing, it was Mum to say she had called the fire brigade!   Sparks had shot out of her storage heater and she could smell burning and hear flames inside the heater.  Hear flames!  Yes she put her ear up to it!!!  SMO ran round to lend a hand and all was well.  Everything smelt strongly of smoke but there was no further damage.  They made the thing safe, gave the house a check and told her off for keeping things too close to heaters, fitted her with a new smoke alarm and were on their way.  I should have gone instead of SMO and asked all the hunky men (they were, SMO says!) if they needed to check my place over!!!

Whilst this was going on I was building some 2nd hand Lego to check it was all OK, the listing had said one piece missing.  There were 12 pieces missing, that's a lot different to 1, some people make you really grrrrr.
 It's a kids toy, selling it at this time of year it's highly likely to be a Christmas present, some people are just plain mean, Bah Humbug to them!!!

** Kate **

Sunday, December 16

Giveaway Winner

I got my motley crew to pick a winning number for my retro giveaway.

Yvonne (adventure of the creative mind) please e-mail me your address details (noseycritters(at)talktalk.net) and I will get the ribbon package on its way to you.

That's the Christmas tree still in its box to Small-n-Grubby's left!  Don't ask about the face the Branston Pickle is pulling, who knows what goes on in that little head?  And of course it took 3 shots to get a smile out of the almost teenager.

Another retro classic to give away very soon - this time from Whiff Of Joy - so please pop back next week for a chat and a Christmas drink!

** Kate **

Saturday, December 15

Half-way Thru' December

Yes, the 15th is here already, 10 days until Christmas, I really should think about wrapping some presents up soon!!

It's time for a reminder that this month's theme at By The Cute And Girly is Red, Blue and White, which makes a lovely theme for a Christmas card if you still have some to make (or are starting on next year's as our challenge runs right up to 31st December 2012!)

I've used one of the images from my pile of Christmas goodies from Whiff Of Joy this time.  She is coloured with Promarkers.

For the card background I've used some lovely papers that have a traditional Nordic feel.  They are by Marianne Designs and are free with issue 88 of Papercraft Essentials (along with a lovely stamp that I will hopefully be inking up within the next 10 days!)  I've made my own stamped tissue paper to layer the image on with a Donna Salazar stamp.  the sentiment is stamped straight onto the Marianne paper with some Francois Read stamps.

The lottle snowflake charm is also from Whiff Of Joy and is tied on with twine from an MME pack (the same one that's in my giveaway, winner to be announced tomorrow).

Challenges:
Passion For Promarkers - 'Happy' in the sentiment
Marianne Design Divas - Christmas
Kaboodles Doodles #149 - Red

Stop by our challenge blog for lots more inspiration.

** Kate **

Friday, December 14

Oh, the weather outside is frightful...

Actually it's absolutely dire.   I've been soaked through twice today already and I have 2 more trips out to go.  It has warmed up like they said, but the rain is torrential.  Which is better being cold and dry or wet and slightly less cold.  I know the Branston Pickle would vote for dry, I had a terrible job getting him up to school today, worse than in the cold yesterday!

Cracking on with the Christmas cards, here is another one from my inky card making session.

This time I have used a punch to make a scalloped hole in a piece of spare card and then used that to stencil my ink through.

I've stamped over the top with some Kirsty Wiseman trees and blinged them up with crystal stars on the top.

Challenges:
Winter Wonderland - Oh, Christmas tree
Stamping Sensations - Treemendous

** Kate **

Thursday, December 13

Snowflakes Are Winter's Kisses

No snowflakes here, thank goodness, although it certainly feels cold enough. I think I have enough Christmas preparations still to go without that added excitement.  Between December 27th and when the schools re-open it can snow all it likes!  Is it only 12 sleeps??? Did I read that right????


I have finished another card though.  I realised I hadn't inked up this stamp yet and was desperate to get colouring yesterday evening, once I had wrapped 40 teddies for the church baby and  toddlers Christmas party.  How tedious was that?  Not a job I will readily volunteer for again - they were all the same and they all fought back when I tried to wrap them!

I've coloured lovely Tilda with Ribbon Heart Scarf using Copics.  I bought her from Make The Day Special who are now stocking quite a good range of Magnolia stamps including specials and minis.

I added a bit of glitter and Liquid Pearls to give her some sparkle and a little sentiment stamp from Polka Doodles that matched just perfectly.

Challenges:
Midweek Magnolias #41 - Snow
Simon Says - What you're favourite? - Magnolia stamps and Copics!
Deep Ocean #40 - So this is Christmas
Christmas Card Challenge - Week #2 (oh goodness, they have started for 2013 already!)

Now I must dedicate the rest of the day to cleaning and tidying or otherwise we will just have to drape tinsel over the tree whilst it is still stood in its box!!!

** Kate **

Wednesday, December 12

The Holiday Table

The littlest member of the household is much better today, but what a job it was convincing him it was time to start going back to school!! 

There's lots of excitement about today being 12/12/12, it would have been a good day to have made arrangements for a special occasion, then the date would never be forgotten in a hurry.  Small-n-Grubby was saying how there would be 1000 years before the date would be that special again.  I reminded him that next year he can celebrate 11/12/13 instead!


I've managed to finish the Christmas table decorations today using my Blue Moon Beads supplies and another of the candle jars like the one I made last month.
All the beads are from a Blue Moon Beads Sour Grapes tin apart from the red beads that I've used for berries, which came from a Raspberry tin.

Crimp beads hold the coloured beads in place on the wire and there is a little dab of hot glue behind the heavier ones to stop them from dropping down the glass.  The Jute Twine gives a lovely natural look with the holly leaves.

The same design has been carried over to the napkin rings and there are plenty of beads in the one little tin!

I've wound the Jute around loose enough to slide the decoration whole from the napkin with all the beads wired to it using head and eye pins.

Finally I needed the lights down low to really see how the twinkling battery tea light reflects off of all the beads.

Now that's the Christmas table looking lovely and this Christmas don't forget the most excellent advice of  Miss Piggy "Never eat more than you can lift!"   
** Kate **

Tuesday, December 11

All is Bright

So, by now I should be 10 to 15 cards into my '5 cards a day' plan and all should be bright and merry.  Well, it's not!  The Branston Pickle has been ill since Friday, his temperature is back under control now, but I am still struggling to get him to eat anything.

SMO took care of him on Saturday so that I was able to fulfill my commitment to take my jewellery to the Art Group Christmas Fair, where trade was slow but steady.  He looked after him again on Sunday so that the older children could go handbell  ringing outside Waitrose.  The result of all of this was, come Monday morning when I was caring for the poorly little one, he cried and cried for his Daddy!

He was feeling a little better by yesterday afternoon so I made a start on the cards with a plan to make some simple one layer creations with ink and sprays.  I've managed to complete one whole card.

I sprayed pink Chalkboard Glimmer Mist over a Kaisercraft wooden tree and added a stamped sentiment from a free set that came with a magazine.

The tree was a little bit faint so I went around the outline with black pen and then added lots of bright jewels, which just happen to be the colour scheme I think I will go for at home this year (we have got as far as digging the tree out from the back of cupboard under the stairs - a mammoth task, you have to move Harry Potter's bed and everything out of the way to get there!)

Challenges:
Daring Card Makers - Colour challenge
Moving Along With The Times - Clean and simple

Once little one was in bed I managed to get a few images coloured in and ready to make up, so there are some more cards on the way, at least I know that I only have to hand deliver them!

** Kate **  

Friday, December 7

Colour QUICKLY!!!

I loved Jo's message on Wednesday's WOYWW post imploring me to "Just colour QUICKLY!!!", it made me chuckle.  However, it's turned out to be no joke as I've checked my bag of prepared cards this morning and after a quick head count I am around 25 Christmas cards short.  So stand-by for more Christmas card projects than you can shake a stick at!! I've targeted myself with making 5 a day from Saturday afternoon onwards, so by the time the next WOYWW is due I will have them done.  Watch this space, but I wouldn't advise you to hold your breath just in case.

The reason I am not starting until tomorrow afternoon/evening is that I have a jewellery stall at a Christmas Fair tomorrow and I'm also part way through my next Blue Moon Beads project which will double up as my Christmas table centre for this year!

I've come to one very definite conclusion.  If you take a late holiday, last week in October in my case, you feel like it's still summer which is wonderful, but then you come back and suddenly it's Christmas which has really taken me by surprise.  I haven't shared much about the holiday, or scrapbooked any of the pictures yet (I have the papers all picked out and everything), but here are some photos to demonstrate why my body clock still seems to be on an extended summer break.
 Swanage railway
 At Corfe Castle (we traveled there by steam train)
 Durlston Country Park
Boys on the beach Nov 1st!

I'll finish for today with one of my favourite photographs of the week away.  The children had a great time and have asked to definitely go back again as a week wasn't long enough to do everything we had all planned.

** Kate **

Thursday, December 6

Warm Wishes

There is just no light at the moment for photographing projects and combined with Blogger being at its most pesky today I am left posting late afternoon rather than my usual mid-morning.

I've coloured one of the images from my stash pictured yesterday using some of my new Copics.

I have to confess that I don't know what this image is, it was in the pile of Christmas images that I had stamped/printed and I don't remember where it came from!  Also mentioned yesterday were the BoBunny Snow Day papers and I have used an off cut from the 6x6 pad as the mittens are just perfect for this wintery scene.

Challenges:
No Matter Which - Christmas
Craft Your Passion #139 - Snow
Crafts And Me #113 - Anything goes
Deep Ocean #40 - So this is Christmas
Craft Us Crazy #32 - It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Camp Scrap - Colour a stamp

** Kate **

setting up

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Wednesday, December 5

WOYWW - Christmas Preparations

A bit of a late start for my WOYWW entry today, almost lunch time!  I've been busy turning out the cupboard with all the Christmas supplies in it.  Trees, decorations, crackers and presents that I've bought during the year and then forgotten about, doh!

Here's the Christmas crafting supplies box.

Including some new papers from the BoBunny Snow Day collection, which has caught my eye with its combination of yellow and blue for winter.  Also my notebook for Journal Your Christmas 2012, which I have actually managed to get started.

There was also a pile or pre-stamped and printed images in the box ready for me to get colouring.
Also new on my desk, I've treated myself to some more Copic pens and a C1 refill, well it is Christmas after all!

Don't forget to check out my retro giveaway.

** Kate **