Sunday, 29 January 2012

All out of creative juices

I just wanted to be creative today, but it felt like I was running on empty craftwise.   Wasn't happy with anything that I did.  One brayered card ended up in the bin! It was just rubbish,  this was the second effort,  in my view only marginally better than the first attempt.   In the end I decided to abandon all card craft and decorate a few boxes.   At least being let loose with alcohol inks allowed me to make something that I felt pleased with.   I contemplated making a tag,  but knew I'd end up with something I didn't like...  half crafting and half watching CnC for inspiration that never came. 

Weather is truly umpty,  last night at around 7pm the car was frozen,  by 10pm it was clear of all frost...  we had a mild night,  and a mild day - what cold blast?   I was supposed to be watching snow fall,  fat chance of that happening.

I'm meeting a friend tomorrow to open a business account, so bang goes any chance of any crafting.  Got GP appointment on Tuesday,  need to arrange to have a hair cut, and organise an appointment with consultant.   Fed up with wonky knee, was hoping knee replacement would improve life, but it hasn't,  still in a lot of pain,   and damn knee keeps on collapsing under me.    Then I heard about the hip replacement scare,  you do start wonder what they've put inside you and if it is safe?   I get most pain around where the metal meets bone, it is so tender I can barely touch it at times.   Apologies for the spot of self pity, but pain can wear you down.

The good news is that it didn't snow, so I can meet my friend tomorrow and get this account sorted, and then get an order all done and dusted,  the stupid Coop wanted us to hand over a thousand pound, then charge us for each ruddy transaction. 

May try some crafty stuff on Tuesday....   hope your weekend was better than mine.  Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

It's a bit nippy out there

I guess we've all got used to this mild weather so the cold stuff came as a bit of a shock.  Yesterday was awful,  we had the lot, hail, snow, sleet, rain,  a gale blowing...  delightful it was not!   I would have preferred to stay put and do some crafting but had to do my voluntary work,  luckily I was in the warm.

So today the craft stuff came out.  Decided to decorate the two little notelet boxes I picked up on Monday.  Just plain old cardboard, just 4" by 2.5".   I decided to use some TH distress ink pads and the alcohol inks.  The distress inks make a good base, much better than poster paint.  So both boxes started off like the one on the right,  the other one had an apple aperture.  For the heart box I chose purple,  with the Pearl alcohol ink,  which gives a very lustrous finish.   Then I added some crackle varnish,  it makes the inks very glittery,  and then some paper flowers.  Think it looking okay by time I'd finished. I may paint the inside just to finish it off. 

Here is what it looked like.  I applied the first purple coat of inks with no blender, so I got a nice smooth finish, then I added the pearl with some blender.  The flowers are Petaloo, got them ages ago on QVC,  not sure when I will come to the end of them! 

Next came the apple box, just felt should be red.  Did same as above,  then used a copper ink,  which gave a nice muted effect.  Then as before I applied the crackle paint, then the flowers,  oh and the butterfly,  Anita's peel offs, plus a few gems.  All very easy,  and stuck some green card to the base of this box.  The heart box also needs the base covered as there is a large sticky label that refuses to budge!  

I had very inky fingers by the end of it all.   But it was also very satisfying.  I applied some of the crackle paint to the flowers on the apple box,  will do the same on the heart box.

Here's the apple box,   I also added some acetate,  I used some inks, copper and green on it.   The boxes only cost me 60p each!  A bargain. 

Then I did some brayering,  wasn't that happy with the end result,  sky was a tad too dark, as was my 'grass',  so will have to redo it tomorrow.   One of the CnC presenters got my hopes up when he said that Barbara Gray was on tomorrow, but he'd got his dates mixed up!  Twit.   I can't tell you how pleased I am with the Clarity stamps, they have to be the best I've ever bought.   Just so nice to use and a perfect result every time.   I'll have to save my pennies though if I want more,  they don't come cheap, but they'll last for ever.  Just one hitch, how do you store them?  When they are mounted it is confusing how to store them, and what in.  Think Barbara needs to come up with some storage solutions. 

More crafting tomorrow, not sure whether to make my tag, or my swap card?  Or both?   I know if I start brayering then I will just keep on going.   We've got snow forecast for tomorrow so I won't be going anywhere. 

Well all for now,  back tomorrow with more pics hopefully.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Clarity heaven

Wow,  never thought a set of stamps could have this effect on me, but I was blown away by the Clarity stamp set I got from CnC.  I'd been tempted to buy Barbara's stamps, but to be honest never had sufficient funds,  but this month I had some spare cash so decided to indulge and see what all the fuss was about.  Well now I know, they are superb,   a beautiful stamp to work with,  well mounted,  expertly cut to give a perfect result every time.    I wondered how I'd get on with using the mounts,  but I love them,  much easier to use than the acrylic blocks,  nor is there any chance of over inking the stamp.  

I really did need a day of indulgent crafting, and this was it.  The stamp set arrived yesterday, but I had an important meeting with a friend about our new business, so the stamps had to be put on hold! 

But today I really enjoyed myself.    Got the stamps, brayer, paper, card and ink pads... and off I went.   It was bliss,  used a mask with all the cards,  made two summery cards and one winter, (see pic),  wasn't that chuffed with first card, but I'd not taken enough care with the brayering, so it was my fault, even so the result wasn't bad at all.   Next attempt was much, much better,  got a nice clean result,   and used my new TH green distress ink pad  and used another grass stamp to add a bit more effect.  The last one was the one I've included on the blog,  a winter scene,  along with a couple of bunnies,  again used another set of stamps,  Woodware stamps which are delightful to use.   Used a mix of TH stamps to get a more dramatic sky,  which sadly hasn't really shown up on the photo.   But happy with it. 

I've been a stamper since I started crafting,  that was because the first kit I got was a complete stamping kit.  But until now I've not used a stamp which has given me such fantastic results as Clarity.  I'm a convert and will be ordering more. 

Thanks for dropping by, your support is much appreciated. 

Wednesday, 11 January 2012


Got a bug and it won't go away!    Just thought I had a head cold last week,  but nope, got a bug.   Must have overdone it in last couple of days cos today I felt lousy,  didn't even want to get out of bed.   I was supposed to start a new aromatherapy course, but just couldn't find the energy., I rang to give my apologies and hopefully I will feel better by next week.   Need to get some zinc, that will kill it off! 

No chance of any crafting,   had to finish off essay for course.  That is now out of the way,  got essay number two to tackle, totally different course but not much managed to stay in my brain. 

I did manage to tidy up room, it had got beyond a joke,  looked at desk and well, there was no more room left for anything!    Time to do something, like tidy up.    Even mum agreed I didn't look my best and so she helped cook.   Not sure what it is but I am waking up between 3 and 4 a.m., then not being able to get back to sleep for a few hours,   and when I do I can't wake up!   I was far too cosy this morning,  heating on,  a bit dark outside cos it was the usual grey day.   

I have managed to change pic,  it will probably change again.  Did that a while a go,  I sort of like the irony of some bloke standing on a hill, holding an umbrella and looking onto a sunset.    Guess it shows how warped my sense of humour is!    The smaller pic shows same chap,  along with a red telephone box and street lamp,  all from the Portobello road collection by Do Crafts.  And can't remember who did the sentiments?   Lindsay Mason?   Possibly. 

Just want my Barbara Gray stamps to arrive!    Just taken a week for 3 tubes of pinflair to make it to me.  Please can my stamps arrive before the weekend?  I want to play with them. 

I have a new button on my blog,  for my craft group,  small but perfectly formed!  We take part in monthly swaps,  scrap challenges,  are going to tackle the 12 tags of christmas,  we're a chatty and friendly bunch.  So if you are a crafter and want to exchange ideas,  meet new people and learn new stuff, then hit that pink button.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012


Each life touches this world
in a way
no others can
leaving not only
Wonderful memories
but lasting imprints
in our hearts.

That wonderful poem is to Val,  one of my craft buddies who sadly died suddenly this last weekend.  News of her death came as such a shock,  she was such a bubbly and giving person.  I felt privileged to know her and to have some of her fantastic craft work to remember her by.    Rest in peace my friend.  The picture is of one of Val's T bag cards, fitting then that for this month's swap we are making T bag cards! 

I half thought I'd be hearing sad news of my cousin who has spent the last few weeks battling double pneumonia, and who is still on a respirator.   Yet he is not quite ready to give up yet and is showing signs of slow improvement. 

Life has that uncanny knack of taking our feet from under us.  It seems just as we dare to breathe a welcome sigh of relaxation there is always a sucker punch,  something that brings everything back into sharp focus, and our gripes, moans and groans suddenly seem very pathetic and selfish. 

I'm still getting over my bug,  thought I'd cracked it until yesterday when I overdid things and realised that I'd not had a cold but a damn bug which is lingering.    Took out my frustration on defrosting the freezer, a thankless task...  next freezer will be frost free!    After that I got busy in the first of around 50 boxes I agreed to decorate!   Funny it started out with 3 pretty boxes, then we got to six,  and then.... out came a mixed bag of small boxes.     Two down,  40 odd to go. 

 Think that is all I can manage tonight,  brain is a bit fried...   thanks for stopping by

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

A good start to the year

Well I was in bed before the midnight hour, but I was awake, so in comfort I watched the firework display,  wished a Happy New Year to all I knew and snuggled down to sleep.   I woke up at 5 a.m.,  put on the news and watched New York welcome in the New Year.    My car was fine!   I can still remember that feeling I had last year when I realised my car had been smashed up,  my heart sank,  had this horrid feeling in the pit of my stomach,  couldn't even face going out to see the damage.     This time our local pub was closed,  so there were no drunks wandering down our road.    That was a New Year I did not wish to be repeated. 
I've also been scrapbooking!   At long last I got the scrap stash out,  the photos have been piling up,  but I've just not found the right mood to scrapbook anything.  So I made a real effort to get the juices going.  I did a scraplift for UKPC,  and then carried on and made two more pages,  also got a few scrap challenges to catch up with.  I did pick up a nice scrapbook pad of paper at HC,  the paper is all glittered,  really enjoying using it, it is a bit grungy as well.   This photo was taken by a semi pro photographer,  it was taken at the Albert Dock last year, me and two of my best friends,  a nice memento.   Didn't want to do too much,  so just used a template to cut the frames,   did some distress inking,  recoloured the flowers,  added a few buttons and that was it. 

Today was a craft free day, had to get back to my courses!   That was after I risked life and limb to get the supermarket shop.  It was so windy here today,  67 mph at the last count...   the car door smashed into me,  luckily I saw it and took evasive action.    Nice to be in the supermarket after the madness of Christmas,  very quiet,   no crowds,  no screaming kids, no bewildered shoppers... all was normal.   The windy conditions carried on into the afternoon so I stayed indoors,   it was just too dangerous to go outside.  

Need to get out tomorrow for an hour or so,  though the forecast is diabolical.   Just feel so much better when I've managed to get out and about for a while.  Need to check some dates as well..   

Hope you had a Good New Year's celebration,  I wish you a good year.