Thursday, May 30

Computers - Arrrggghhh!!!!

My computer is still giving me a headache.  I am downloading, upgrading, uninstalling.  I'd paint the screen green whilst stood on my head yodeling if some help forum said it would work!

It's monopolised my time so that the tidying and creating I had planned for today just hasn't happened.  I can confirm that a large glass of Sauvignon Blanc has happened, and very nice it is too.  It's called The Ned from Waihopai River, New Zealand.  I raise my glass to them, to you and which ever clever person at Waitrose organised for it to be on special offer.

Let the tidying, the housework and the computer battles recommence tomorrow.  Cheers!

~ Kate ~


Wednesday, May 29

WOYWW - 4th Anniversary

4 years of sharing crafty spaces with Julia at WOYWW.  I haven't played along for a while but my workspace is under construction so I thought some progress pictures were in order.
This unit in the corner was originally to stand and work at, but it's gradually filled with junk and had boxes pushed to the far depths that I never use.  Lots of it just has to go and I vow now before all WOYWWers that my craft purchases from now on with be considered and restrained.
The contents of the desk is in a box on the floor.  Apologies for the discarded sock in the foreground that I hadn't noticed.

I have a plan in my head of how it will all look if everything was in its proper place.  Regrettably, like the people on the TV hoarding programmes, I don't think there is a hope that it will all fit in.  The crafting corner just isn't a Tardis.  I will have to see home much of it I can manage to part with.

Happy 4th birthday to all my WOYWW friends.  It's been fantastic to meet such warm and friendly creative people.

~ Kate ~   

Tuesday, May 28

A little humour

After the beautiful bank holiday weekend the weather has turned decidedly grotty and with the prospect of taking all 3 children to the dentist this afternoon, a cheery card is needed.
I've taken inspiration from the May Kathy's Waffle Sketch and used the overall outline of it as a guide for positioning my stamps.  This is one of my much used stamp sets, I just love the expressions on the birds faces. It's from Inkadinkado and is called 'Bird Assortment'.
There's just a little bit of colouring on the birds and branches with Distress Markers.

Challenges:
Less Is More #121 - Humour
No Matter Which #9 - Things with wings

~ Kate ~

Monday, May 27

Gardening and Home Improvements

That's been the order of the day for this long bank holiday weekend, gardening and home improvements.
First off we have new windows and a door fitted in the kitchen.  All the windows need doing really but we had to start somewhere and, as there had been a couple of near misses locked out of the jammed door, it seemed like a good place to begin.
You can see all the old windows and doors propped up and waiting to be collected later in the week.
I took the opportunity to tidy the computer desk and move the wiring around to make things a bit neater.

There's plenty of work on the agenda, but as the weather was in our favour, it seemed sensible to crack on with some gardening.  Stripping back all the weeds and having a really good tidy up.  A few bedding plants needed for some colour and perhaps I might get the picnic bench built that's been in the shed for at least 3 years and then we'll call that part done.
The garden does have a little bit of colour here and there.  From subtle chive heads in pastel shades to bright garish Azaleas in unapologetic cerise pink.
A very satisfying start to the half-term holiday.

~ Kate ~

Friday, May 24

Thinking of you - Handy Hippo

I've been playing with dies and embossing folders for my latest Handy Hippo card.
It all started with a 12x12 sheet of mint cardstock that I cut in half to make a 6x6 card base.  The remaining card was also cut in half to give me pieces to work with for my layering.  One whole piece was embossed with a 6x6 Embossalicious folder and trimmed to leave a slight border showing, when adhered to the card base with a white organza ribbon tied around it.
I picked Bundled Sage Distress Ink for the project and stamped the Penny Black Paisley Swirls with it and then I inked around the edge with the same colour.  A Marianne die was used on white card for the main panel and then inked with the same Bundled Sage colour before it was popped out of the die.  The frame comes with 2 sizes of swirls which I cut a selection of using the remaining mint card.

For the sentiment I stamped a circle greeting in Versamark ink onto white card and embossed it in black before colouring the card with the Bundled Sage ink and cutting it out.

The layers of the card were assembled using 3d foam.  I added the swirls behind the sentiment and under the ribbon bow, which I finished off with a decorative pin.

Supplies all available from Handy Hippo:
American Crafts Mint Textured card
Die'sire Embossalicious Regal Damask embossing folder
7mm White Organza Ribbon
Distress Ink Bundled Sage
Penny Black Paisley Swirls stamp
Marianne Design Die Frame/Swirls
Wild Rose Studio Circle Greetings stamps
Versamark
Papermania Black Embossing Powder
Foam Pads
Double Sided Tape
Papermania Vintage Notes decorative pins

Challenges:
Moving Along With The Times - Embossing


~ Kate

Thursday, May 23

The Boys

Half-term is on the horizon and will be here before you can blink.  I'm working away on some projects during my last free afternoon before the holiday arrives.  Here's photographic evidence of what the boys have been up to this week.
Small-n-Grubby ran the senior boys 2.3km cross-country race in the local mini-marathon.  Here he is having a well earned sit down wearing his medal.
Yesterday I went with the Branston Pickle on his school trip to a community farm.  I managed to get this shot of him helping to collect the eggs without any other children in the frame.  Don't ask about the strange face pulling, I think it says "Look what I've done, but it was a bit smelly and I don't trust those chickens!"
 Mind you, can you blame him?

~ Kate ~

Tuesday, May 21

Something Quick and Simple

The title sums up just about all I can manage - something quick and simple.  Having done battle with the computer and shown it who's boss, I am now up an running smoothly again (cross all fingers, legs and toes) However, to ensure that I can take no pleasure from it, I now have a head cold which appears to have replaced my brain with cotton wool. I was in bed by 9pm last night and the extra sleep has allowed me to carry on functioning today.
I've a few DT projects to complete and thought I would ease myself in with a little clean and simple card for this week's Daring Card Makers stencil challenge.  After I'd made it I got a little confused about the difference between a stencil and a mask, I blame the cotton wool head, but I think it's OK.
For the background I've used the left over paper from a previous die cut to mask the shape and then placed a Studio Calico stencil over the top.  The spray is my current favourite Chalkboard Mist in Sprout.  The silver pigment in it really shows when you angle the card.
I've used an Edwin image from my stash of stamps that I've already coloured, so nice and easy on my brain. Branston Pickle and all his friends are 5 this school year so expect to see this stamp having a few more outings before September.

Challenges:
Daring Card Makers - Stencil it
Chocolate Coffee and Cards #39 - Use a number
Copic Marker Europe #17 - Boys aloud

Talking of outings, I'm helping on the school farm trip tomorrow, another early night called for me thinks!

~ Kate ~

Monday, May 20

On The Blink!

Internet access is slow and fleeting at the moment, hence my lack of blogging.  I've been doing lots of tidying though and found all sorts of things to craft with that I'd forgotten about.  Looking forward to having a play and getting creative.

~ Kate ~ (Using an ancient Internet Explorer where you can practically hear the cogs churning as it tries to process information.  Don't even ask me how long it took to do my weekly shop.  OK, well if you insist, 2 hours, 2 hours!!!!)

Thursday, May 16

Art Journal/Techniques book

I am trying to get into the habit of having my art journal on hand when I try out a technique or to mop up excess ink as the start of a new background.  I think it isn't so much an art journal as a techniques book and will be a great record of what I've tried and what I like.

For Tuesdays Waffle Sketch card I wanted to use a mottled Distress Paint background and then drip Chalkboard Mist down the dried paint.  It worked far better in the technique book as I'd already cut the card inserts down to size and that didn't leave much room for dripping.
When I opened up the art pad to make the page this stamped Christy Thomlinson image fell out.  I remember stamping and colouring it with Distress Markers for a project and then changing my mind, I must have popped it in the book and forgotten it.  On the page it went, I love the butterfly in her hair.

There's a lot more I could do to the page to make it a complete journal page, but I wanted the background to show and remind me of the technique, so I finished off with one of my favourite Tim Holtz stamps.

Ronda Palazzari  has a creative link up on her blog for anyone who's been creative this week, so I've linked up there.

~ Kate ~

Wednesday, May 15

By The Cute And Girly - May mid-way

Half way through May and time for an update on this month's challenge at By The Cute And Girly.  The theme this month is Flowers and, as it's our last challenge before we take a summer break, I wanted to go out with a bang and choose a real cutie for my card.

I went with Cotton Dress Tilda from the Magnolia 2013 Once Upon A Time collection and coloured her with Copics.

For the card I've used some beautiful paper that I bought from Live And Love Crafts.  It's made by Maja Design and is called 7th Of March from the Vintage Spring Basics collection. I've lined the inside of the card with it too, but it looks like I forgot to take a picture.   The jute ribbon comes from the same shop.
The flowers and the metal corner are from Wild Orchid Crafts and the swirls are cut from an Elegant Scrollwork Memory Box die.

For the finishing touches I've punched out a few little butterflies, added a little Stardust Stickles and some Knick Knackery pearls.  There's a little bit of gold gilding wax on her crown.  I wasn't sure I could add it accurately with my fingers so I used a cotton bud.

Challenges:
Marvelous Magnolia #26 - Anything goes
Fab & Funky #171 - Favourite embellishments - pearls
Simon Says - Flower power
Midweek Magnolia - Birthday
Fashionista #15 - Vintage/shabby

Check out the By The Cute And Girly challenge blog for more flower inspiration and to enter for your chance to win 5 digitsl images from .........
QKR

~ Kate ~

More Clean and Simple

The first of a couple of blog posts from me today.

You may have spotted that my Monday card for the Less Is More challenge was disqualified - my fault for not reading the rules closely enough.  I'm not sure if this means I am allowed to enter again, with hopefully a qualifying entry, but as I was making another clean and simple card for a couple of challenges I thought I would.  If nothing else I could be the contender for the most disqualified entries from a single challenge!

I've used a pale blue card base and single layer for Less Is More.

The little dolphin is from High Hopes for their clean and simple challenge and he's coloured with Distress Markers. 

The 'sea' is made of Salty Ocean Distress Ink sponged over a torn piece of paper to give the wave effect.
The little sentiment is from a free set of Ladybug Crafts Ink stamps that came with a magazine.

Challenges:
Less Is More #119 - one layer, coloured card blank
High Hopes #133 - Clean and simple
Moving Along With The Times - Clean and simple

~ Kate ~

Tuesday, May 14

Kathy's Waffle Sketch - May

This month's sketch at Kathy's Waffle Sketch File is a lovely tall one with cascading circles on.

I've twisted the sketch around for my card and put it on its side.
The aperture card has been sprayed with Heidi Swapp Colour Shine in Bronzer, just to prove I could spray it without making a blobby mess, as in my earlier scrapbooking efforts.  Then I've made the insert with Salty Ocean and Picked Raspberry Distress Paint.  Once the paint was dry I dripped Hot Chocolate Chalkboard Mist down it, which ran everywhere, but of course the Distress Paint stays put.  There's a little key stamped in the corner with Brilliance ink.  It didn't show up as well as I'd have liked so I added a little shadow with grey pen.

The circles are a base of Spiced Marmalade Distress Stain with a Tim Holtz Damask stamp embossed over the top in Broken China Distress Embossing powder.  The 18th birthday message stamp is by Lili Of The Valley.  Then just a few sticky jewels to finish it all off.

Challenges:
Stamping Sensations - Embossing and texture
Forever Friends - Anything goes

~ Kate ~

Monday, May 13

Been Crafting

I've finally been feeling back to normal and there is just a slight raised area left on my neck now where the biggest lump was.  In between rushing around for dancing exams on Sunday (don't ask how they went, there was lots of tears) I managed to get some crafting done resulting in 4 cards and a journal page.

Here's the first of the cards.

Simply Sassy 'I give you my heart' stamped directly onto a kraft card base and coloured with Inktense pencils.

Challenges:
Less Is More #119 - One layer, coloured card blank 
The Sugar Bowl #103 - Anything goes

~ Kate ~

Saturday, May 11

The Quickest Ever Saturday Lunch

It's been another one of those days when we rush from pillar to post so that the children can fit in the dancing, tutor, hand bell ringing e.t.c.  A really quick lunch was needed with a bit of protein to keep them going, so I grabbed some ingredients during the 45 minutes I had in town whilst bells were ringing and literally (well almost) threw this together.
 I've used 'By Sainsbury's' wholemeal pittas that have been heated in the toaster and then filled with cooked chicken and coleslaw.  In this case I used the Tikka pieces, but Sainsbury's do BBQ chicken chunks and piri piri chicken too.  All very yummy and disappeared as quickly as it was made.

Sainsbury's are currently looking for recipes using 'By Sainsbury's' products, pop over to Penelope's Pantry for the details and there's still time to enter a recipe for a chance to win a £50 Sainsbury's voucher.

~ Kate ~  

Friday, May 10

Home Decor - Blue Moon Beads

Whilst I've been lounging around feeling poorly I've been working a little bit each day on this home decor project for Blue Moon Beads using the Amulet Collection from Michaels.

I was thinking of ways to use the Amulets other than as pendants and this is what I came up with.

The background is cut using a Spellbinders Wavy Rectangle die from several layers of card to make a thick base.  For the patterned papers I used the DCWV Juniper Berry 6x6 pad and cut a wavy rectangle from one of the glittered sheets.  Then I fussy cut some of the remaining blooms and positioned them elsewhere on the background.  You can see the glittered shine on the papers here, I've added a border of Peeled Paint Distress Stickles around the edge.

There's another strip of paper with the tree on and I've cut the banner and bird from another page in the stack.


The quote is from Buddha and the tag for this Amulet says it can be worn for 'good luck and protection'.

I managed to find lots of different small flowers to cluster around the edges.  The largest ones are from Wild Orchid Crafts, the small paper ones are from Hero Arts and the little white ones are from my local haberdashery store.

I'd like to enter this project in a few challenges:
Crafty Calendar - Blooms and blossoms
Anything Goes #92 - Shaped but not square
Wild Orchid #76 - 3 or more different flowers
 ~ Kate ~

Thursday, May 9

NSD - Square photos

Starting to have more patches when I'm feeling good than when I'm not, so moving in the right direction.  Still scrapbooking as part of my recuperation, this time using square photos for Shimelle's challenge #22.
I've chosen a 'classic' Shimelle sketch to base my page on - photos on top of a pile of angled patterned papers.  The papers are mainly American Crafts from the scraps bag, with some Pink Paislee and a sheet from the new Lily Bee Destinations 6x6 pad.  The background paper is Planner from Crate Paper's Pretty Party.

The strickers are a mixture of Pretty Party and Destinations.  The little shimmering candies are part of my Handy Hippo supplies.  


I've used Heidi Swapp Colour Shine in Bronzer for the splattered dots, but as you can see a big splodgy dot fell on the page and smudged.  The Bronzer has a nice shine to it, but it's VERY dark!

For the journalling I decided not to write specifically about the photos, but instead lots of memories about the weekend on which they were taken. 

Anyone who saw the picture I blogged yesterday might notice a slight similarity between it and the little girl in the pictures today!!!

~ Kate ~

Wednesday, May 8

NSD and not having mumps

The good news is it turns out that I don't have mumps.  This doesn't, however, prevent me from having swollen lumps behind my ear, down my neck and below my jaw!  I am not a happy bunny.

My bed beckoned early yesterday, but instead of sleeping I started my scrapbooking efforts for National Sracpbooking Day (NSD). Well if your going to lounge around in bed you may as well be crafting.  I've got about 50 challenges written down, but I don't imagine I will complete them all.  My 1st page covers 2 of Shimelle's 24 challenges - #8 to scrap yourself and #20 using small photos.

This is an original photo so I've only fixed it lightly on the page and not overlapped it with any of my supplies.  I can't imagine myself doing anything else with the print so in my scrapbook album is probably the safest place for it and this was it also gets to have some of my memories kept with it.  We didn't have a school uniform and I seem to remember that my mum had a selection of these hand knitted jumpers that she sent me in wearing everyday in typical 1970's bright colours.  The school was only just around the corner, she crossed me over our road and then I walked on my own to the crossing lady who crossed me into school.  Hard to believe today.  Even if the infant school was that close now I would still walk Branston Pickle there or goodness knows what he would get up to!

Whilst taking it easy yesterday I watched two videos this one from Maggie Holmes for Studio Calico and this one from Janna Werner for Two Peas.  I just watched them through once earlier in the day and then scrapbooked from memory in the evening.  There's elements from both in my page but it definitely leans towards the elements and layout from Maggie's, probably more than I realised now that I look at it for a second time.

The background paper I've used is Double Dutch Sand from Lily Bee and I've splattered it with Seven Seas Chalkboard Mist.  I found these old, old cork embellishments by Pink Paislee to prove that if you hang onto your craft stash long enough it all comes back around again!  The camera die-cut is by Pink Paislee too.

The rest of the patterned papers are from my scrap bag.  The glassine envelope is from Ebay, MLS letters in Fog and I recently bought the Helz Cuppleditch twine. 

Right back to bed for me for a snooze and then maybe a bit more crafting.

~ Kate ~

Tuesday, May 7

Feeling Poorly

Feeling a bit under the weather at the moment, which is just typical as the weather is actually beautiful!  Just waiting to speak to/see a doctor and then I will update again with what's going on.  A bit of duvet time might mean some extra crafting, so every cloud has a silver lining!

~ Kate ~

Wednesday, May 1

By The Cute And Girly - May

May has arrived sunny and with bright blue skies, which means I've spent the day shopping, hence this late in the day blog post.

The new May challenge for By The Cute And Girly is 'Flowers' (hopefully the main blog post will be up soon and we also have the winners for March and April to announce.)  This month's sponsor is QKR Stampede and I've used their lovely image 'New Family' for my card, although I've turned it into a new home card.
I've coloured the image with Promarkers.

For the card design I've used a classic scrapbook arrangement of a square base with a smaller matted square inside and a strip across the bottom.  The papers and twine are from the new Pink Lemonade collection by Lawn Fawn.

All of the flowers and trim are from Wild Orchid Crafts, apart from the little grey ones with the pearl centres which are by Petaloo ( I bought mine from Craft Obsessions.)

The little sentiment was printed on the computer, using Word, straight onto a piece of the Lawn Fawn paper. (I tested it first on a spare bit of white card which was a good idea as it took 4 attempts to get it looking the way I wanted!)  It's been punched out with a Jenni Bowlin tab squeeze punch.

Challenges:
The Craft Garden -  recipe - flowers, patterned paper, yarn, and pink
Natalie and Amy #9 - Things with wings
Crafts & Me #131 - Floral frenzy
Passion for Promarkers #196 - To die for - use a die or punch

~ Kate ~