My Family & Other Animals

Thursday, 26 January 2012


Oops, meant to do my blog yesterday but it just went totally out of my head! It's been a good week for me in terms of blog challenges. I got top 3 at C.R.A.F.T. Challenge (#138 - Use Numbers). I won with my male card which was made for my wife's nephew Caleb. I also won at Crafty Purple Frog (Anything Goes challenge) with my Tilda and Edwin card, I am particularly proud of this win because I love my Tilda stamps so much and it's great to get a bit of recognition for your work. I have just this minute entered the above card into the Digi Doodle Shop Challenge and at the top of the page is an announcement that I have won their challenge too! Caleb's 21st card is proving to be a bit of a lucky charm this week! I'm so glad so many people seemed to like it.
On to this week and my card is another Magnolia stamp, Tilda with Mistletoe (with added star shaped rhinestones on the mistletoe!), which has been around for quite a while now but is still one of my favourite stamps because she is so cute and I love her pockets filled with Christmas goodies. The backing papers are (of course) Basic Grey, but I am at a loss to say which ones because I grabbed them off my table without really checking first!! I have been forcing myself to make cards this week because I really want to get ahead of myself with my I ♥ ProMarkers challenge cards as I always seem to be rushing them out at the last minute and I've started this year with a more dynamic attitude, there's no way I'm going to let stuff get to me as much and I am going to be more pro-active with my card making, it's something I love doing and yet I started treating it like a chore!
This week has also been great because I got all my brand new Nesties from Create and Craft who had the most amazing deal. You know what it's like when you see a big offer, there's always at least one or two dies that you already own which makes you think twice about how good a deal it is. Well C & C were selling a set of 11 dies for a really good price (plus it was split over FOUR months!! Bargain) and we didn't own one of them, which is amazing because I own so many Nesties it's embarrassing really. The following day they were selling a set of brand new dies not available anywhere in the UK yet and I just had to have them too! There's a set of tea cups which are so pretty and also double up as tulips. There are some dresses and tailor's dummies which are perfect for Jo, I'm sure she is going to make some really pretty cards with those. The final set is called wavy lines and they are just perfect too, so all in all its been a fantastic week and I can't wait to use my new toys and show you what I've come up with.
Have a great week and I will see you again soon,
Much Love
Entered into Charisma Cardz Challenge #3 - Pretty In Pink
Craft Us Crazy Challenge - Valentine/Love and/or Animals
Digi Doodle Shop Challenge #92 - Anything Goes
Christmas Challenges (with Sketches) #18 - Winter hols + stamped image +punch/diecut
Creative Belli Challenge #135 - Frames (Make It Fancy)
Freshly Brewed Challenge #80 - Snow/Winter
Inky Impressions Challenge - Heart You!
Little Red Wagon Challenge #117 - Winter Wonderland
Simon Says Challenge - Anything Goes
52 (Christmas) Card Throwdown - Embellishment Challenge #1 Rhinestones
Basic Grey Challenges #61 - Favourite Things
Crafty Hazelnuts Christmas Challenge #57 - Just Make It Square
Stamp, Scrap and Doodle Saturdays Challenge - Anything Goes

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

"I'll Be There For You..."

This weeks challenge over at 52 (Christmas) Card Throwdown is a colour challenge (#1), Black, White and Red. Now even I can see a few other colours in there but I think it stays true to the heart of the challenge (well I would say that wouldn't I?). I really want to get ahead with my Christmas cards this year, especially as Christmas rolled around (again) and I was in a mad frenzy trying to make cards for 'special' people. I have bought loads of new dies and can't wait until september to start using them, plus I would really like to send a 'special' card to EVERYONE, not just a select few. The dies used on this card are a selection of Memory Box (the corners), Marianne (the Poinsettia), Sizzix (the leaves) and of course Spellbinders (for the main image). The main image is a brand new Tilda stamp from the latest collection which arrived last week (along with 5 or 6 other ones too - I just can't resist them!!).
Talking about dies, I have just splashed out on the Create and Craft Pick of the Day and got myself another 11 new Spellbinder dies (at an absolutely incredible price). I couldn't believe that out of their whole selection I didn't have one die! That hardly ever happens.
So, hope you like the card. I feel particularly proud of this one as I love the colouring and I think it's a really well balanced card. Hope you agree,
take care,
Also entered into: Basic Gray Challenges #60 - Something New
Crafts and Me Challenges #67 - Use Pins
Creative Belli Blog Challenge #136 - Frames (make 'em fancy!)
Freshly Brewed Designs #77 - Something New
Whimsical Wednesdays Challenge - Anything Goes
Crafters Companion Monthly Challenge #20 - Love Is In The Air
Just Tracys Crafts - Love Is In The Air
My Grafico Challenge #119 - Love and Valentines
Craft Sentiments Challenge - Anything Goes
The Poodles Parlour - Valentines/Love
Simply Create Too Challenge #5 - Love Is In The Air
Stampin' With The Dragon Challenge #2 - Anything Goes
Totally Papercrafts Challenge - Make Your Own Flowers
Wags 'n Whiskers Challenge #71 Valentines/Love
Ruby's Rainbow Challenges #20 - Valentines or Red and Black
Scrapbook Sisters Card Challenge #67 - My Sweet Valentine

"This Charming Man...

So where would the craft world be without it's favourite cliche - it's so hard to make cards for men!! No it's not, it really isn't. Men are quite simple creatures (at least that's what women are always telling us!!) and as such we don't really care what's on the front of a card, especially if we know someone has taken time making it for us. I love flowers, teddy bears, cute images (my wife is probably rolling her eyes reading this!) and a whole lot of other stuff too. I don't like most sports, I don't play cards or darts, I don't like fast or fancy cars, yachts or pints of ale and I have never played golf in my life! So in the future girls, just give your fella a nice card from your ready made stash and see what he says, I bet he loves it.
For this weeks card over at I ♥ ProMarkers the theme is "Anything Goes" and as my darling wife wanted a card making for her nephew I thought I'd give a man's card a go as I don't often get the chance to make a masculine card very often. I used some really old papers (I think they were a Papermania collection, they are all about ball sports which is ironic as I hate most ball games!!) for the background, some Tim Holtz pen nibs, a Sizzix alphabet (cut out twice to create a shadow) and a Kenny K image (called Ryder Cole) which is still relatively new to his collection.
I have been very creative this week and have also made another christmas card which I will be adding later, so hope you enjoy,
take care
Entered into the Whimsy Stamps Inspirations Challenge #22 - Colour Combo (Blue and Brown)
Creative Craft Challenges - The Colour Blue
Alphabet Challenge - Y is for You Can Choose
Crafts 4 Eternity Recipe Challenge #55 - Office Stationary Embellishments
C.R.A.F.T. Challenge #138 - Use Numbers
Crafty Purple Frog Challenge - Anything Goes
Digi Doodle Shops Best Challenge #91 - Blues and Browns

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

"I Don't Care What The Weather Man Says..."

So this week's challenge over at I ♥ ProMarkers was originally going to be fairies but changed to Cute 'n Cuddly (thankfully!), so I was a little happier because fairies! not really my thing at all and I have yet to see a stamp with a fairy on it and think to myself "Oh, that's nice, I could really do something special with that". Most fairy stamps just leave me cold - which I know in the cardmaking world is quite a contentious statement and I'm sure to upset some of you out there but hey, this is a guy's blog and I can only be tru to who I am.

This weeks card is an image from our newest sponsor The Stamp Fairy and the little lady in question is called Patsy. She is from the April Showers collection (Patsy, April Showers 3) and if you take a look at the site you will find some absolutely beautiful little characters and some extremely well drawn images to download and colour. I have used a sheet of Basic Grey as my main backing paper and a piece of magnolia paper behind my image. The die is a memory box die (my current favourites) and the blue bird is also a basic grey image, cut on the Cricut using a friends cartridge (sorry, can't be more specific than that!). I have finished it all off with a doily I got from Joanna Sheen and some flowers and pins from my stash (the pins were free with a magazine last year, they were all very brightly coloured and I never thought I would use ONE of them, turns out i've only got a few left now!!).

As for the little lady posing in the background, well that's my Jasmine, showing you her best side! Hope you like the card,

see you again soon,



Entered into: Cooking It Up With Katie Challenge #87 - Pink, Pearls & Posies

My Mum's Craft Shop Challenge #39 - Here Come The Girls

Bearly Mine Challenge #26 - Anything Goes

Crafty Sentiments Challenge - Water Themed

Papertake Weekly Challenge - Die Cute Special

Passion For ProMarkers Challenge #131 - Inspired By A Song

Tuesday Throwdown Challenge #80 - "Baby It's Cold Outside"

Sunday, 8 January 2012

"We Are Family..."

So I have been doing this Blog for ages now and while I have talked about my lovely little family I thought the time had come to show the world what they really all look like!

At the very top of the heap is my wonderful wife Jo. Not that this is her most recent piccie (Novmber 2007 actually!), but she is pictured here at the NEC in Birmingham, in happier and more carefree times, with her favourite on-screen Crafting presenter Dean Wilson, the man who makes Create and Craft bearable to watch. In recent years Jo has suffered with arthritis and it has worsened considerably over the last six months, so she has had to learn how to live with a lot of pain, something that has come as a bit of a shock to her system. Her life is beginning to change at a fairly hectic pace and not all for the good but I am sure she will come through it all the same woman she has always been, positive and upbeat. We are hoping she will be able to have a new hip later this year, so that should make all the difference in the world to her. I will endeavour to keep you updated throughout the following year(s).

Next picture down is Georgia. She is our oldest 'kid' at thirteen. She is very special to us because we actually chose her before she was even born. The people we got her from told us that her mother always had one grey female kitten and in my head I could already picture this little bundle of deliciousness so we told them that we would have her if she actually materialised. She is a strange little thing; equal parts aggression, anger, shy and soooo loving it's pathetic, a real enigma and that's why we love her so much.

Jo and I haven't been lucky enough to have children of our own (although I do have a son, Liam, from my previous marriage), so our cats have proven to be our 'kids'. Whenever we go out we always tell people we have to get home to feed 'the kids' and while some people may think we are a bit pathetic for giving animals so much love, we don't really care what anyone has to say because it's not really any of their business is it!!

Below Georgie are our twin girls Jasmine (in the bag!!) and Willow (making herself into a feline ruler). They are rescue cats who we have had since they we just old enough to leave their mother. Even though they are sisters, you couldn't get two cats with more different personalities if you tried; Jasmine is very, very loving and spends most of her days indoors (non of our girls go out at night, we'd never sleep if they did!), while Willow loves being out and is quite aloof. She still likes a fuss but is a 'typical' cat, in that it is always on her terms.

So, that's 'the family'. Not quite the Mitchells I know but it's all we have and our house is a house with a lot of love in it, something that took me a very long time to find in my life and something I have no intention of ever letting go of. Next time I update the family post I will show you my son, he really is my pride and joy, a man who makes me so proud and who is such a wonderful person, he really has no idea just how special he really is.

Take care and see you on Wednesday,



Wednesday, 4 January 2012

"Last Christmas..."

So it's official, this is my last christmas card of 2011, roll on 2012! I kind of promised myself to join one of the blogs that does christmas cards all year long and at least that way I would have some cards done this year, but I already doubt that's gonna happen! I did enjoy making this card though. The theme at I ♥ ProMarkers for this week is Buttons and Lace and although I have been known to splash the odd button about, lace is not really my style (along with glitter, I suppose it's a bit TOO girly for me!!), so this was going to be a challenge. I was looking on You Tube for ways to make paper flowers with punches (found loads, now all I need are the punches!) and I came across a demo using crepe paper to make a rosette - "A-ha" I thought, "I can do the same thing with that lovely scrap of lace i've had lying around for ages now" and you know what? it worked beautifully. Just a simple running stitch and then gather it all in and Presto! one pretty lace flower. As for the Tilda, well she was a post-christmas bargain from Crafts U Love (nearly half price!!) and the backing papers came free with a magazine. Hope you like her, I'm feeling very happy this week, might be the promise a New Year brings, anyhoo, have a great 2012 and I hope we can take the journey together.



Entered into: ABC Christmas Challenge - Z is for Zingy Colours
Crafts and Me Challenge #66 - Anything Goes
Creative Belli Challenge #134 - Snowflakes
Divas By Design Challenge #17 - Merry Christmas
Fab n Funky Challenge #102 - Something New
Freshly Brewed Challenges #77 - Something New
Inky Impressions Challenges - Anything Goes
Little Darlings Challenges #14 - Cold
My Mum's Craft Shop Challenge #38 - Something New
The Paper Shelter Challege #45 - Anything Goes
7 Kids College Fund Challenge #38 - Try Something New
Simon Says Challenge - New Something...
Bearly Mine Challenge #26 - Anything Goes

Catered Crop - Recipe Swaping with Buttons

Dream Valley Challenges #23 - Anything Goes

Fashionable Stamping Challenges #12 - Anything Goes Using Your New Stash

Gingerloft Challenges #31 - Anything Goes

Magnolia Down Under Challenges #128 - Anything Goes

The Squirrel And The Fox Challenge #8 - Something New