My Family & Other Animals

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

"Street Life"

Hi, no gripes or groans this week, I'm far too busy panicking about last christmas things. Only managed to get the cards in the post on tuesday and even then most people have ended up with a cheap Asda card and not a handmade beauty! So to those of you who got the bog-standard one's I apologise and promise to try harder next year. One of my resolutions is going to be to join a challenge that just does Christmas cards all year through, then at least I should have enough decent ones to go round!

On to this weeks card and it's a Digi/hybrid card. The young lady is a Kenny K character (as I'm sure you all knew just from looking at her!!) called Da Bomb and she is on a Make It Crafty background. I also used a bit of really old Basic Grey paper which I found at the bottom of my off-cuts stash. I finished it off with a Lily Of The Valley sentiment and a little key attached with a little ribbon.

This has been one of my favourite cards of the year, mainly because of the colouring. It took ages to do and that's just the way I love it at the moment. The colouring can really take you out of yourself and for a little while you just forget your worries and concentrate on something really positive and enjoyable.

The I Love ProMarkers challenge this week is Anything Goes and runs for two weeks, so get over there and show me what you can do.

Have an amazing Christmas and New Year, Jo and I send you all our very deepest wishes and hope that 2012 is a great your for one and all!

See you agin soon,



Entered Into: Bearly Mine Challenge #26 - Anything Goes

Everybody-Art Challenge #173 - Anything Goes

Party Time Tuesdays Challenge #47 - Use Ribbon

Try It On Tuesday Challenge - Anything Goes

Robyn's Fetish Challenge #88 - Anything Goes

One Stitch At A Time Challenge #94 - Use A Digi

Sparkles Forum Challenge - Anything BUT a Christmas Card

Sentimental Sundays - Anything Goes (must include a sentiment)

Basic Grey Challenges #59 - Anything Goes

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

"Blue is the Colour..."

So in the fine tradition of using song titles in your blog headers (okay, so it's my tradition, but I like it!), I couldn't think of another one that only used blue in it, so please don't think I am a Chelsea supporter - I may just gag! I'm a Newcastle Utd supporter through and through, but they don't quite fit in with this weeks theme at I Love ProMarkers, which is Blue & White.

For me, the theme screamed 'Christmas'; you can't beat a nice crisp white against a blue background and I am really happy (for a change!) with this weeks finished card. The stamp is another Gorjuss (I bought about five different ones and this is only the second one I've used!!), and for a change I did a bit of paper piecing on the coat, then finished it off with some very tiny buttons. The snow is glitter dust which I just love to bits and the die on the side is a new(ish) die from Paper Box. The Poinsettia and tall leaf are Marianne Designs and the leaves at the bottom of the flower are from Sizzix. All of this is laid over a piece of plain blue card, covered in some printed acetate which I have had in my (12x12) stash forever but had no idea when I was going to use it.

As it is the season for the old Christmas party, I decided to join my fellow work colleagues this week for our annual sojourn. We went to the Ocean chinese restaurant (in Lincoln) and as ever the food was amazing. I did however consolidate a feeling I had long held and that was that I really DO NOT like being around belligerent, drunken women. My ex-wife used to be a bit of a nasty drunk and as I am on long-term pain medication I no longer enjoy the odd tipple when I go out as it just makes me feel ill. Being around drunks isn't usually a problem for me, as Jo and I don't really go anywhere in the evenings these days, we are very much home bodies now but on the odd occassion I do go out, I don't mind being with people who are drinking. Sunday night was totally different though as one of the girls (she shall remain nameless) was drunk when she arrived. All through the evening I seemed to be her target and while I am not one to make a big scene I really didn't appreciate the (sometimes quite hurtful) comments she was throwing about. Rest assured though, when I next see her at work and she isn't sozzled I will definately have something to say!

Anyhoo, on a lighter note, hope you are nearly ready for Christmas. Jo and I are getting there slowly (which is how we do everything these days!!) and I am getting quite excited.

Hope you like the card and I will of course see you agin real soon.

Take care,



Entered into: 4 Crafty Chicks #68 - Christmas

Christmas Card Challenges week #3 - Non-Traditional Colours

Dream Valley Challenges #22 - Christmas

Gingerloft Challenges #30 - Christmas and Winter

One Stitch At A Time #93 - Anything Goes

Opus Gluei Challenge #120 - I'm Dreaming Of A White Christmas

The Squirrel And The Fox Challenge #7 - Christmas

Crafty Hazelnuts Christmas Challenge #51 - Anything Goes For Christmas

Bugaboo Stamp's Catch The Bug Challenge - Baby, It's Cold Outside

Di's Digi Designs Challenge - Show Us Christmas

Marks Finest Papers Challenge #86 - Make A Christmas Card

Card Makin' Mamas Challenge - Christmas Inspiration

Delicious Doodles Challenge #8 - X-travagent Xmas

Glitter Geeks Challenge Week 28 - Anything Goes

Hot Shot Craft Challenge #1 - ProMarkers

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

"It's A Hard Life"

So this week has been a real challenge for both Jo and I. I have a really bad back problem which has been ongoing for the last 12/13 years now. During all this time Jo has taken really good care of me but now things are beginning to look really bad for us. Jo has recently been diagnosed with severe arthritis and it has flared up like nothing else I have ever seen. She is off work at the moment but I'm beginning to think that Dark Days are coming!

Anyway, onto lighter things. This weeks challenge over at I Love ProMarkers was for a shaped card so I thought it was the perfect time to use my free dies that came with my Grand Caliber (courtesy of Create and Craft, thank you!). Apparently they are exclusive to the deal I got so hopefully you won't see loads of these shaped cards out there.

I used Gorjuss and Lily of the Valley stamps and a Marianne Designs Poinsettia to finish it off. Things have been a bit hectic so it was finished a bit too quickly and the photo isn't very good either but i'm afraid this is as good as it's gonna get this week. Hope you like it and see you again soon,



Entered into: Craft Room Challenge - Make Your Own Flowers

Creative Card Crew - Tis the Season

Tuesday Throwdown #77 - Celebrate The Season

Heartsong Inspirations #27 - Christmas and/or Red, Green and White

Kaboodle Doodles #96 - Colours of Christmas

Make It Monday #66 - Anything Goes

Pollycraft Challenge #120 - Christmas Fun

Truly Madly Crafty Challenges - Christmas images & Colours

Come And Get It - Colour Challenge: Red, Green and your Choice

Dream Valley Challenges #22 - Christmas

Gingerloft Challenge #30 - Christmas and Winter

Let's Ink It Up Challenges - Christmas Projects

Paper Sundaes Challenge #99 - Anything Christmas

The Squirrel and the Fox Challenge #7 - Christmas

2 Sisters Challenge #69 - Christmas

Crafty Calendar Challenge - Cold and Frosty!

CES Challenges #65 - A Traditional Christmas

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Summer or Winter - Which One Are You ???

I'm very much in the autumn/winter camp myself. I have nothing against sunshine and the spring of course but I love to see the beautiful colours of autumn, nature going out in a blaze of glory and all that. Winter for me means cosy nights in with the heating on and the curtains drawn nice and early, making sure the cats are all in before it gets too dark (two of them are black and white and in the dark they seem to be invisible!!), evenings spent crafting or just going to bed nice and early and of course, our old favourite, Christmas.

I hate shopping up the town so the internet is absolutley brilliant for people like me, I barely buy anything these days that isn't purchased electronically! My faith in Norton is unconditional i'm afraid. In all the years i've shopped over the web I have only had one problem and that was with I-Tunes!!

Anyhoo, on to the card this week. The I Love ProMarkers challenge this week is #94 Snowmen/Snowflakes, so I combined both. I was a little confused though because one of our upcoming challenges is for a shaped card so I made this one round because I had confused two challenges into one! However, once it was made I felt it lent itself to the snowglobe shape perfectly. The backing paper was bought at a craft fair from one of those stalls that promises to sell you a tonne of paper - as long as you can fit it all into one box! The blue and white checked paper was a lucky scrap I found and the big snowflake is made from a Nestie (the beautiful Ironworks ones). Finally the image is from Robyn's Fetish, a great site for some lovely Digi images. So there it is, hope you like it and I'll be with you again real soon



Entered into: Cooking It Up With Katie #86 - Anything Goes

Digi Stamps 4 Joy #33 - Merry Christmas (but no animals!)

Divas By Design #16 - Anything Goes

Fab 'n Funky #101 - Anything Goes

The Paper Shelter #42 - Anything Goes

Scrapbook Sisters #62 - Anything Goes

7 Kids College Fund #35 - Non-Traditional Christmas Colours

Simon Says Stamp - Anything Goes
365 Cards Day 274 - Winter Theme
Creative Craft Challenges - Free For All
Going Grey with Scrap-Creations - Christmas
Jens Digi Stamps - Merry & Bright (Non-Traditional Christmas Colours)
Party Time Tuesdays #44 - Anything Goes
Sassy Cheryl's Challenge Blog #92 - Winter
Craft Your Passions Challenge #86 - 'tis The Season
Craft Boots Challenges - Anything Goes

Daisy Doodles Creative Challenges #47 - Must use a Digi + Be Christmassy

Hooked On Craft Challenges #13 - Winter Wonderland

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

"I Believe In A Thing Called Love......."

So in case you didn't guess, I went to see The Darkness at Rock City in Nottingham last night. Newly reformed and with their original line-up it was an amazing night out. Support band Foxy Shazam were a bit of a mixed bag, the lead singer came on stage and was really aggressive with the crowd, he then went on to tell a story about killing a dog and going to prison for said dog murder! After the audience turned quite ugly they began to perform and they were awesome, really great performers with a quite unique sound. One particular bloke in the audience kept giving them abuse so they brought him on stage and walked off!! this resulted in the crowd turning against one man and the band came back on stage to cheers - utter genius.

But I digress. This week's card was a REAL challenge for me. I had to use an image from Digi Doodle Shop and while their images are very cute, they aren't really in my style. I originally did a carousel horse but I didn't like the way I coloured it and I struggled to think of a colour scheme I could live with. In the end, I spit the dummy out and found a different image, which I have to say I loved doing. I even did an insert which is highly unusual for me, so it all worked out okay in the end!

The papers are (of course!) Basic Grey - they are from the latest Christmas range and the letters are from a Sizzix Strip Die which I got rather cheaply from Sir Stampalot who recently had a bit of a sale on. They are one of my favourite shops on-line, they always have the newest Magnolia stamps and their service is excellent, very friendly and helpful if you have a problem.

So, there's the card, hope you like it. I'm really happy with it for a change!

See you again soon,



P.S. Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends x

Entered into: Crafting For All Seasons #14 - Thanksgiving, Thank You or Sketch

Crafty Creations #145 - Thanks/Gratitude

Creative Belli #131 - Thanksgiving

My Mums Craft Shop Challenges # 33 - Things With Wings

Papercraft Star Challenge #72 - Anything Goes

Sassy Cheryl's Challenge Blog #91 - Anything Goes
The Stamping Boutique Challenge #20 - Thanksgiving

Make It Monday Challenge #64 - Anything Goes

Tiddly Inks Challenge #74 - Anything Goes

Nettie G's Digital Gems Challenge - Gratitude Is My Attitude

The Pink Elephant Challenge #126 - Giving Thanks

Victorine Original Stamps Challenge #21 - Thanks

The Corrosive Challenge #137 - Give Thanks

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Sorry i'm a bit late!!

I'm not really sure how I feel about this weeks card! It took me ages to put together but you can't really see what it was that I was trying to do. I cut a load of octagons out with my cuttlebug and then wanted to make a sort of quilt pattern with it but you can't really see it can you? The I had to put the little snowmen squares in which was a bit of a nightmare to do. I made the big flower using a Chocolate Baroque stamp (Glenda Waterworth is really such a classy designer) and then used a Lily of the Valley stamp to finish it off. So there you have it and I hope you like it too, see you again soon x

Thursday, 10 November 2011

I won something !!!!!!

Well I know it might not be a lot to some people, but I won one of the many challenges I usually enter. I get a really sweet acrylic stamp (chosen by me) and the enormous sense of self fulfillment that comes with winning something. So thank you very much to all the ladies on the DT at Ladybug Crafts Ink TLT Challenge Blog, you have no idea how much this has meant to me.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Following a sketch.

So this weeks challenge was to follow a sketch. I'm not ignorant to what they are but I never really follow anything, I'm more of a go with the flow type of guy! I always start with my stamped image, then I colour to what sort of mood I'm in (at this point I am usually surround by ProMarkers all over the sofa - which Jasmine absolutely detests (it deprives her of 'lap-time')). Once the image is coloured I then start to think about papers that will go with it. I'm very lucky because, like many crafters, I have an enormous pile of 12 x 12, 8 x 8 and my favourite 6 x 6 papers. I buy loads of the Basic Grey pads because I think they are just so classy, but I also have lots of other designers too.

For this particular card I have used some really old Papermania 12 x 12 paper which was for a christmas about 3 or 4 years ago!, I can't believe I still have so much of it to use. I am really loving blue this Christmas though; I have absolutely no idea what the latest trends are! The image is a Lily of the Valley (obviously!) and I have used quite a few of my Dies (of which I say you can never have too many!!). So, that's this weeks card. Keep an eye out for a Kenny K on the way, a non-Christmas one too!

Take Care

Andy x

Entered into: My Mums Craft Shop Challenge #31 - Sugar and Spice

Stampavie and More Challenge #155 - Anything Goes

My Time To Craft Challenge #165 - Sun, Moon and Stars

Tiddly Inks Challenge #72 - Anything Goes

Top Tip Tuesday Challenge #59 - Anything Christmas Goes

Tuesday Throwdown Challenge #74 - Your Favourite Colour Combo

Heart Song Inspirations Challenge #23 - Anything Goes

Make It Monday Challenge #62 - Anything Goes

Make My Monday Challenge #23 - Christmas

Stamps & Fun = Creativity Challenge #72 - Winter

Creative Inspirations Paint Challenge - Anything Goes

Dream Valley Challenges #19 - Anything Goes

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

A new week begins!

So it seems that my week now begins on a wednesday, Why? you ask, well i'll tell you why, because I am now a fully fledged member of the I Love ProMarkers Design Team and our new cards go up on a wednesday. I intended to do a new entry every sunday but that has all changed now (not that I'm complaining though).

This weeks entry had me filled with dread and fear - Glitter and Glitz. Not that i'm averse to a bit of Glitz you understand, it's the glitter that fills my heart with dread! I hate the stuff and so very, very rarely use it; it goes everywhere, it sticks to everything, it taints everything you use, it's not a particularly masculine thing to use, etc etc. So to HAVE to use it was a real challenge for me but I think I have managed to pull it off. I bought myself another Make It Crafty background, they really are amongst the very best in the world at the moment, and used one of the latest Kenny K creations - Toy Soldier, who was an absolute joy to colour. I used the glitter to just highlight where the snow was on the background, so rather subtle for me I thought!

Anyhoo, I hope you like it as much as I did creating it (LOL), and I will see you again real soon

Andy x

Entered into The Paper Shelter - Challenge #38 Christmas Fun

The Pixie Cottge - Challenge #94 Get Started, Make A Christmas Card

Scrapbook Sisters - Challenge #58 Anything Goes

Stampavie and More - Challenge #155 Anything Goes

The Paper Variety - Challenge #58 Humorous

Anita Be Stampin' - Challenge #26 Anything Goes

Ladybug Crafts Ink TLT - Challenge #44 Non Traditional or Distressed Christmas

Papertake Weekly Challenge - Anything Goes (Plus a bit of bling if you like!)

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

...and the Darwin Award for utter stupidity goes to...

Yes that's right, I'm a complete moron. Who else would hold an electric hand whisk (still plugged in) and try and scoop out the extra cream left behind. One reflexive moment later and I'm stood over the sink with a shredded finger tip!! Fool!
But on to lighter things. This weeks I Love ProMarkers Challenge (#89 - Tags) card is up and on display. Overall I'm quite happy with it but I really wish I had stamped onto the tag direct rather than add a sentiment the way I have done, to me the two shapes are fighting each other for attention with neither one really winning out. One of the girls on the blog said she thought the tag looked like a magic carpet which I really liked - it's always amazing to me what other people can see in your work that you are oblivious too. The image is from the Digi Doodle Shop and I know she isn't Jasmine but she looks enough like her for me, so I kind of went with the Aladdin theme. Anyhoo, hope you like the card and I'll see you all again real soon, x o x o x o
Entered into Paper Pretties Wednesday Challenge #177 - Embellish
The Paper Shelter #37 - Anything Goes
Ruby's Rainbow #15 - Metal
Scrapbook Sisters Card Challenge #58 - Anything Goes
Simon Says Stamp - Anything Goes
Party Time Tuesdays #39 - Anything Goes
Passion for ProMarkers # 123 - For a Child
Die Cut Dreams #101 - So Charming (metal embellishment)
Make It Monday #60 - Anything Goes

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Oh L'amour, what's a boy in love supposed to do?....

Well in case you haven't worked it out yet, Jo and I have just got back from the Royal Centre in Nottingham where we saw the amazing Erasure. I can't believe i've waited over twenty years to see this amazing band, there was so much love in the room for them it was palpable. Andy Bell's voice is as good today as it's ever been and they pumped out hit after hit after hit, a fantastic night and a big thank you to Jo for my early anniversay pressie.

On to this weeks card and still a guest designer at I Love ProMarkers. This weeks challenge #88 Ain't it Cute actually came quite easily to me. We were all given a choice of 5 different sentiments and I immediately chose the wedding one because I knew I wanted to make a card for friends of ours who are celebrating their silver anniversary soon. I used a Make It Crafty background and a Magnolia image (when are Tilda and Edwin NOT cute?), with the box being made from an A4 sheet of white dotted swiss card. The blooms were all already in my stash and I used a couple of Nesties. All in all a quite successful effort I feel.

Hope you like it, see you again real soon.

Entered into KB Cute Monday challenge 31 - Anything Goes
Entered into Stamptacular Sunday Challenge #134 - You Choose
Entered into Bling It On Challenges October Challenge - No Patterned Papers
Entered into The Emerald Faerie Garden Challenge #11 - Flowers, Flowers, Flowers
Entered into Lia's Stampz Challenge #5 - 2 Digis/stamps

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

I Love ProMarkers Challenge #87 - Autumnal Colours

So my Guest Design Team slot continues and this week's challenge is Autumnal Colours. My second favourite time of year (after winter), like a lot of crafters I take a great deal of inspiration from the glorious colour palette that nature provides us all with. There's nothing like going out in a blaze of glory and this time of year has always been special for me; nights closing in and getting cosy on the sofa, dark mornings so you can sleep in and all the festivities to come. Being asked to make a card in autumn colours was something I had never done before, I normally make what I fancy when I fancy doing it so being part of the Design Team has helped to focus my creativity and I am loving that aspect of the challenges.

So here's the card - Make It Crafty provided the digi download image of the boot-house and Magnolia (obviously) provided my beloved Tilda. This particular stamp was bought for me by a lovely lady called Audrey who goes to my local monthly craft club (holla out to my girls (and Brian)), she bought it as a thank-you and I was delighted because it was so unexpected and she actually managed to get one of the few stamps I didn't already own! Well done Audrey.

The sentiment is a Lily of the Valley and I am a little obsessed with circular sentiments at the moment, don't know where that's come from i'm sure!! It has been finished off with a Basic Grey gem swirl and a Marianne Die Cut, hope you like it, see you again real soon.


Sunday, 9 October 2011

Christmas Down Under

G'Day Mates!, as previously mentioned here's the Christmas card I made. I saw the images on Make It Crafty and I just had to have them. I also bought a lovely outback setting too which I have coloured but not put together yet (I promise to show it to you soon!). I used a really old piece of paper for the backing; it was from a papermania pack that came out about five years ago and has languished at the bottom of my paper pile ever since. I used a bit of Fired Brick Distress ink around the edges and then stamped some extra snowflakes onto it for a bit more depth.

The tinsel has Diamond Dust on it which I feel makes it look really good and gives the card some real dimension.

Today Jo and I went to the Sincerely Yours craft fayre at the Lincolnshire Showground. I spent way too much (no shocks there then!!) but managed to get some really cool bits. Best purchase of the day was the Steampunk Christmas stamps from Chocolate Baroque (love, love, love Glenda Waterworth, she's an absolute legend), can't wait to start using them and (hopefully) making some really amazing cards too. I also got some new paper stacks from Basic Grey, I have to make a card for the I Love ProMarkers challenge blog this week, so keep an eye open for that on wednesday.

Final purchase of any note was some FlexMarkers. I've had a little play already and I love the tips, really precise and the colours are so soft and opaque I already know where they are going to come in handy. I got set 1 and set 2 (£25 from Cloud Nine in Horncastle - Hiya Claire X) and will no doubt end up getting all of them, 'cause that's just the way I roll.

So hope you like the card (sorry about the dreadful pics but the sun was dead bright that day), have a great week and I'll catch you on the flip-side x

Entered into the I Did It Creations Challenge Blog - Anything Goes

Sentimental Sundays Challenge #76 - Anything Goes

CES Challenges Challenge #57 - Seeing Red

Kraftin' Kimmie Stamps Challenge #99 - Sparkle and Shine!

Little Claire's Monthly Challenge #14 - Christmas

Secret Crafter Challenge #155 - Anything Goes As Long As It Sparkles

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Guest Design Team Member - O.M.G.!!!!

Wowser's Penfold, this is a very exciting week for me.

I have been asked to join the I Love ProMarkers design team for a month. My invite was initially lost in my junk e-mails so I nearly missed out but I sorted it out in the end and with a bit of hasty purchasing was able to throw a card together for the first of October's challenges - Spooky!

I must apologise for once again making an easel card - I don't know what's come over me lately, it seems to be all that I can make!!, but the images I colour do seem to lend themselves to easel cards because of their size (I do like a big, meaty image to colour).

So here's the first card I've made for the D.T. The images are from Make It Crafty and because I only had the one day to put it together I'm not exactly over the moon with the final colouring but I've made worse!

The rub-on is a Bo Bunny one I've had forever and the papers are all Basic Grey with adornments courtesy of the amazing new Iron Works dies from Nestabilities.

Hope you like it.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Hi-De-Hi Campers!,

well it's been a horrible week so far. I would have posted on Sunday as usual but I've been so full of cold for the last four days, today is the first day I've felt well enough to do anything.

I've made this card as a new home card using a wonderful Steampunk house digi download from Make It Crafty, some paper from Graphic 45 and as I have used my distress inks on the front panels and the 'Home Swet Home' mountboard square, I am going to enter this card into the I Love ProMarkers challenge #85 - Get Distressing.

I have a really cool Christmas card lined up for Sunday, again using Make It Crafty, so keep an eye out for that.

Jo and I are hoping to go to the Odeon on Sunday evening to watch a live broadcast of "The Phantom Of The Opera" from the Royal Albrert Hall. I tried to get the tickets on line today but to no avail so fingers crossed they haven't sold out already. It's a special performance to celebrate the show's 25th Anniversary and Jo and I saw it in the West End years ago, it's the only musical I've seen live that actually moved me to tears!

Watched an amazing film this week too. Nicholas Winding Refn's new film "Drive" starring Ryan Gosling is an absolute masterpiece of european sensibility married to a Hollywood action movie, it was spellbinding (and a little bit violent) with stunning performances from everyone in it. If you only get to see one film this year - make this it!!
Also entered into 4 Crafty Chicks - Anything Goes

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Let It Snow...this early in the year!

So this week I was amazed to get a top three in the I Love ProMarkers
challenge Blog with my Val Ventura card. After checking out the site this weeks I saw that the new challenge was Travel and Transport. Instantly I knew which stamp I was going to use, I have a new Fizzy Moon stamp and he's on a sledge - well that's travelling isn't it?

The down side is that it really has to be a Christmas card and I really only like making them under panic rules - I normally wait until november and then start to panic.

The card has been put together using some really old papermania paper which i've had forever and along the runners I used something new to me this year, it's called diamond dust and when it dries it has a lovely crusty feel, like proper ice. It also has a beautiful reflective value which is more sparkly than glitter.

I will be entering this into The I Love ProMarkers Challenge #83 Travel/Transport

Also entered into Make It Monday #55

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Top 3 @ I Love ProMarkers Challenge!!!!

O.M.G. (as they say these days!), I made the top 3 at the I Love ProMarkers Challenge blog this week with my Val Ventura card. I am so happy, it's a real honour to get recognition for what you do, especially when you do something just for fun!
It is going to spur me on to enter into more competitions I think because this was only my second competition entry so I must be doing something right.
Already working on this weeks theme (which is Travel/Transport), so keep your eyes peeled on sunday for a new post.
'til then,

Monday, 12 September 2011

What A Weekend!....

So, where to begin! We spent Saturday at our monthly craft club and then I had to go to work!
Yesterday was spent getting the car valeted (thank you Lincoln Ford), shopping, eating out and getting our new shower installed.
Our old shower died in the week (we held a small ceremony, family only!) and I envisaged a bill running into the hundreds. Well it goes to show that it's not what you know that counts as one of the girls at out club (the lovely Tina), when asked if anyone knew a decent (and by decent, we meant cheap!) plumber. Tina pipes up with "I've got a brand new shower in the loft you can have for £30". So after snapping both of her hands off, she then tells us her husband Mark can fit it for an extra £20 - fifty quid for a brand new, fitted shower, I'll say!
So now Jo and I are all clean and sparkling agin it's time for the reason you're really here. This little lady is called Val Ventura and she is one of Kenny K's new Steampunk Burlesque girls. The tent is from Make It Crafty and both images were coloured using my lovely ProMarkers. The embellishment is a Tim Holtz and the backing paper is Magnolia.
The sentiment is courtesy of Pat at the craft club and is from Stampin' Up.
I wanted to make something a little different to the standard plain folded card and came up with this off-cente Z-fold creation.
I've included a second card this week as:

a) it's my first official xmas card and b) I wanted to make a simple one layer card and I's really pleased with the finished result. However, if anyone knows how you cover up the back of your colouring, please let me know. Pro Markers bleed through pretty much everything and it kind of ruins the inside of the card.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Meet Scarlett West

So this is another Kenny K design, coloured using the old faithful ProMarkers and done in a Steampunk style using the new papers from Graphic 45 which are so easy to work with. The whole Steampunk thing has got me really excited, I especially love the new Chocolate Baroque stamps (Steampunk Christmas), which once I get my grubby little mitts on, I guess a lot of people will be receiving really funky cards this year!

I have taken my sister's advise and have decided to enter this into an on-line competition. I am entering the I Love ProMarkers challenge - Anything Goes. She assures that this is the only way I am ever going to raise my profile on the web. Join some competitions and then hopefully people will be interested enough to come and have a look at what else I am doing. I am even considering having a go at applying for some Design Teams myself!

Jo (my beautiful wife) keeps telling me my cards are good enough to enter comps, etc. but I look around me and all I see are mile after mile of REALLY talented ladies, producing some amazing creations, so to be judged alongside them is a real honour.

Anyway, hope you like it and wish me luck.

Take Care



Entered into I Love ProMarkers challenge - Anything Goes

Monday, 29 August 2011

Birthday Boy

Hi, as promised yesterday, here's todays effort for your perusal.
I used this Edwin image as my teaching tool for the craft class tutorial a couple of weeks ago. Nice and easy to colour and quite easy for you to decide where your light is coming from as he's just a blank canvas really.
I used a new X-cut die for the star and I quite like the overall finished look of the card, i'm just not 100% convinced with the wall and the writing!
After a bit of lengthy discussion with Jo it became clear to me that I need to stop looking at the wall as a brick wall, it could be any type of wall and therefore it doesn't have to be brick coloured!!
If you colour the whole wall and stamp on it then the words tend to look a little lost. Sometimes you just come across stuff that you really like the idea of, you just have no idea how to use them effectively - these stamps are my new achilles heel, but there's no way i'm going to give up on them, I will get there in the end.

Entered into: Paper Crafting Journey - Anything Goes

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Only one day to go!

I know i've only just said sunday is Blog day but Jo and I have been out at our friends house all day so I haven't had the chance to get anything sorted. So I will sort something for tomorrow, that's a promise.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

This week, I are been mostly reading.....

So it's not often that I respond to competitions, but there was one in Craft Stamper magazine months ago that really got my creative juices flowing.

It asked for people to make and send in Bookmarks.

Their only rule was it had to use blue, yellow and green somewhere in it's colour palette.

I set about having a go and came up with this little creation.

The only problem was, once I had finished it, I really didn't want to lose it - so I came up with the ingenious idea of keeping it for myself!

It has now been my bookmark of choice through several tomes and I am growing really attached to it. It's only made from a scrap piece of mountboard and it's covered in scrap papers from my 'special' drawer - the drawer where all good paper scraps go to die!
The most creative thing I did with it was to use some stamps but I just love the overall finished effect. So Craft Stampers loss has become one of my most treasured items.
As you can see, I am currently reading John Connolly's Every Dead Thing. I am a big fan of Charlie Parker and I have read a couple of them out of sequence and have now started them from the beginning. There's a new one out next month, very excited about that. If you haven't read any of his work I can highly recommend him. He uses a traditional detective set-up but with very few traditional detective novel scenarios. He writes about a strange, mysterious, often eerie world, one that very few detectives inhabit. There are some great characters in his work and his writing style is quite beautiful, very descriptive and quite poetic in places.
So treat yourselves, go pick up a Charlie Parker story tomorrow, I guarantee you'll love him.



Whew! What a weekend.

Well Jo and I have had a really lovely weekend together (only spoiled by having to go to work last night - still it was only for four hours!).
We went to craft class together yesterday and it was my first time doing the class tutorial. I showed the ladies there how to use their ProMarkers a little better, giving them a lesson on how to get some shading into their projects and to add a little realism to their images, rather than leave them as just flat images. It seemed to go okay, most of them looked happy to have learnt something new and I even saw some really great work from a couple of the girls who had previously just coloured their images with one tone and that was it.
Well as you can see here, I've been busy making another card using my Kenny K digital downloads. This little beauty is called Eva Pearl and she is one of his new Steampunk inspired creations.
I also bought some of the new Graphic 45 papers at the craft class yesterday and they have a really beautiful steampunk theme to them, can't wait to have a go!
I used my Copics to colour her and I added the metal heart which I picked up at The Range, so I guess it must be a Do-Crafts product, that or the Paper Cellar. They were in a pack of 2 for £1 which I thought was very reasonable. Good luck finding anything on their web site though, under embellishments, in their cardmaking section they only have TWO items listed!
The little hearts on the card were part of a happy accident. I used one of my new nestabilities, a doilie circle with hearts around the edge. I was going to put it behind Eva but it just didn't look right. I was sweeping up the debris when I noticed all the little heart cut-outs. I thought they looked a little bit like butterflies, so I had them flying away from the bottom right corner.
Today was a smashing day as well. I started the day off with breakfast in bed (and it wasn't even my birthday!), then we went out for lunch - a traditional sunday dinner of (wait for it) - fish and chips!!! We went to The Elite fish shop on Tritton Road, Lincoln and the fish was just amazing, some of the nicest fish I have ever had.
After lunch we went to the cinema to see Glee: The 3D Concert Movie which was really good. There were only 5 people in the cinema (well, the sun was out, so you can't blame people), but that didn't stop me from singing along to all the songs.
The only downside to the film was that there just wasn't enough Kurt, and don't even get me started on the total lack of Sue Sylvester! I have read on-line though that she will be making an appearance on the DVD/Blu-Ray, so that's me going over to to pre-order my copy right now!
So I hope you have had a good weekend too, they really make the working days worthwhile don't they?
See you again next week,

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Jayne Jettpack - a Kenny K creation.

As mentioned in a previous post, I have all the new Kenny K steampunk images and this little lady is called Jayne Jettpack.

She's a typical Kenny K character (big boobs, loads of hair, curvy and showing too much flesh!) but for me that's a good thing. I really love this man's style. There is a big part of me that really wishes I could draw like this. Put a plant in front of me and I'll draw up a storm, but to pull something from your imagination, that's a gift as far as I'm concerned and it's not a gift I was blessed with unfortunately.

The new girls all have a certain organic look to them, a bit like leather & lace and I can't wait for part 2 of the release on September 4th.

All Kenny's 'girls' can be used for a quite broad spectrum of cards. They are not just for men's cards, to be used for a cheap bit of titillation, they are really versatile and I think I will be making quite a few Christmas cards using his artwork. Most of the women I know love these girls.
As for this card, well I fell back on using my Nestie dies again (in all honesty, they are all I have in my stash that is really suitable for the Steampunk style) but I intend to add to my collection soon by getting some of Tim Holtz's incredilbe range. I did however, find a large metal daisy which I think goes perfectly and remains honest to the style of the card. I've probably had it for a few years now, one of those items you buy because you just know it's going to look amazing on a scrapbook page, but then it just sits there, gathering dust while you merrily crack on with other projects.

I used to be quite precious about what I would or would not use on a card. If it cost me a few quid then it was reserved for my scrapbooks, but as I am more into cards at the moment, it feels right to use the things I have to make my cards look the very best they can look.

I want to send things that I am proud of and that is best achieved by using whatever I have in my stash, no matter what I initially intended it for.
So once again dear reader, I hope you like what I've made. I feel quite proud of this particular card, there's a certain member of my family I already have in mind who I want to send it to, so please feel free to leave a comment or two. I welcome feedback - good or bad (as long as it's honest!).

Take Care



Some Odd Girl - finally finished

Hi again, woke up today feeling very positive and have decided that from now on Sunday is going to be known as Blog-day. If I set myself a clear goal to do this every week, then I think that is achievable and won't make me feel too pressured into doing it.

Today's first card is the Some Odd Girl stamp I bought from Quixotic Paperie last weekend. She cost a very reasonable £6.99 and she is called Photo Kaylee.

I really like the anime style, the big startled looking eyes and the disproportionate legs. She was really fun to colour and she comes with some essential accessories like a snapshot, some small icons (heart, flower and star) and a couple of useful expressions (Smile and Picture Perfect).
As well as Kaylee, there are other characters too. Mae Tia and Toby are just three of them and I think they are well worth a look.

For me, the hardest part came when it was time to put a card together. Because she is so different from anything else I have I did struggle a little, I even took one card completely to pieces, but I got there in the end. I think using the My Mind's Eye paper helped (what's that? no Basic Grey I hear you say) as I tend to use my mountain of 6x6 papers rather than look to my 12x12 stash (so precious to me!).

Anyway, I hope you like the finished product. If you do, let me know (or even if not, I can take it), i'd love to hear some feedback.

Here's a close-up of Kaylee so you can have a better look at the way she has been coloured.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Nearly, but not quite....

Hi again, I said I was going to make a card using some of the new stamps I received this week from Quixotic Paperie.

One was from Some Odd Girl called 'Photo Kaylee', something really different for me as she is quite a simple little drawing but the art is to make her look spectacular. I colored her in and I was really happy with that but then I tried to put a card together and it just didn't look right!

I kept it aside as I wanted to show Jo first, she's my barometer for what's good and what's not, plus she's always honest with me (and me with her). I knew instantly i'd done the right thing waiting, the look on her face said it all. It was too busy and there was too much stuff on it, so back to the drawing board and i'll try and get some stuff up before the weekend is over!

Much Love



Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Fly Me To The Moon.

I got some new Magnolia stamps a few weeks back, some of the new "Winner" range. It's full of all sorts of sports and activities (odd that a Swedish woman should have come up with so many american sports - What exacty do they play in Sweden??).

I got some of the Football ones, a lovely one of Tilda diving which I haven't used yet but already have a great idea to use acetate with, a fantastic Edwin dressed as a superhero (which is all coloured and just waiting to be turned into a finished card - keep 'em peeled) and these ones of the moon, Tilda in her spacesuit and a little rocket with a lovely saying on.

I also bought a load of different coloured butchers twine so it was nice to be able to put that to good use as well.

I put the card together on saturday when I had my goddaughter over for the day to do some crafting with her Uncle Andy and Autie Jo (who went to sleep!).

It's the first time since her birth (she is eight now), that she's spent time with just the two of us and it was such a lovely day. We did stamping, colouring, matting and layering and after lunch (and most of the new Yogi Bear movie) she made a bracelet and necklace and then stamped a mountain of images to colour at home.

The day was made all the more special for me because it was her who instigated the day. She just came out of the blue with it one day to her mum and I couldn't wait.

She really reminds me of Tilda, in to everything and with just the right amount of tom-boy to balance her girly side.

I took the picture in the garden again, as the weather was so nice today it seemed such a shame to waste it.

Hope you like it x

A first dabble with Steampunk

As the title suggests, this is my first attempt at anything to do with Steampunk.

The figure is called Lady Victoria and she is one of four new characters from Kenny Kiernan (Kenny K), a digital download which only cost me $3.00 which I think is very reasonable for such amazing artwork.

Anyway, he labelled the images as being in the Steampunk mould (mold?) so I thought i'd give it a go.

I had a blast using my alcohol inks for the first time in ages, a new set of Nestie dies which i've also had for ever and only just opened today! and the little metal brad is at least three years old!!, so a great chance to get a load of really old stash out and have a play.

For a change, I thought i'd take advantage of the lovely sunshine and take the picture of my new creation in the garden. It was a little bit windy today, so it took a while to get it just right but i'm really happy with the end result. I've gone well outside my comfort zone here (even with the colours!!) but I think i've done a good enough job.

I used some Basic Gray papers (natch) and on the bottom sheet I used some Perfect Pearls spray but you can't really see it here. It gave the sheet a lovely metallic look which I thougt was in keeping with the theme of the card. The ribbon seperating the sheets is made from a scrap of card on my table and the large ticket is Tim Holtz (who else!).

Hope you like it and i'd love any feedback.

Friday, 5 August 2011

From out of the digital domain...

So i've already said I love Kenny K, but like most things in my life, I never thought to Google him until someone suggested it and Hey Presto, I found his site and he has a whole range of Digital Stamps available for download.

With the rubber stamp costing nearly £7 (sometime more, depending on where you shop), I was amazed to find the Digital versions were only $3!!

My sister uses Digi stamps all the time and I must admit, I like to have physical things rather than things that only exist on my hard-drive, so I never really considered the Digi route before, but looking at Kenny's site and seeing just how many great images he had for sale I couldn't resist.

This young lady really took my fancy as she has such a great attitude and I LOVE her enormous feet. She kind of reminded me of the singer P!nk so it was a total no-brainer to make her hair pink, plus I liked the edge it gave her.

There are some magnificent images on Kenny's site, you really should check it out and keep your eyes out here too for some more of his stuff coming soon. I've done some early christmas cards and used a few of his images which aren't what you might expect to find on a UK christmas card.

The backing for the card is made using a Creative Expressions embossing folder and my absolutely favourite crafting tool of all time - The Cuttlebug.

When the Cuttlebug first came out and everyone was getting one I just put it down to being a faddy new toy. "You'll never catch me using one" I said to Jo (my beautiful wife), but like most crafting things, eventually I just had to have one (bit of peer pressure there, even at MY age!) and I haven't looked back since. It's my most used and most versatile piece of kit and I take it everywhere (only to craft classes, i'm not weird or anything!).

Jo bought me the Grand Calibur for my birthday and I love being able to use bigger dies now. It really has taken my crafting to "a whole new level" (my second least favourite cliche, just behind "it's so difficult to make cards for men"), corny but very true.

Anyhoo, check out Kenny K's site for yourself at and let me know what you think.

I love Kraftin Kimmie stamps.

Wide eyed and legless, this little beauty is called Nerissa.

She is from a whole range of K.K. mermaid stamps and I made this card after watching someone on You Tube giving a Copic tutorial.

The lady in question (sorry, forgot her name but if you look on You Tube for Copic tutorials you'll come across it!), was using a similar stamp and for the first time I realised you could do the fins and tail and make them look transluscent, which I really hope I pulled off.

The backing paper is from a Basic Grey pad and the bakers twine was purchased recently from Crafts U Love, who have a lovely selection of colours from various companys.

There is a deliberate mistake too.

If you noticed it then say no more. If not, I coloured and cut out the seaweed in the corner, but the second I stuck it on the card I realised I hadn't cut the little loops out and now you can't see her tail through it - D'oh!!

Still, I don't think it ruins it too much. What do you think?

Another Gorjuss little angel

So you never see one Gorjuss card and then two come along at once! (bad joke I know, sorry).

Well this is the first one I made actually and the backing paper used - no idea. It was on my craft table for weeks and I've been using the back of it as a way of stopping my distress inks from getting everywhere when I was busy stippling! I turned it over and thought "you'll do".

In fact, this whole card was pretty much thrown together from stuff lying around on the table. The large blue doily behind her head was the aperture I cut out from another card and liked so much I couldn't bear to throw it away. I just thought the Molly Bloom stamp I used on it was perfect and the metal embellishment was bought at a craft fayre, I just added a Papermania brad for a bit of pizzazz.

The new range of Gorjuss stamps feature a bit of a wintery feel to them (what's that coming over the hill - is it Christmas?), there are some absolutely delightful little foxes too. As an added bonus, the stamps are now available in clear stamp sets and the prices are exceptionally reasonable.

The look of the new ones remind me a little bit of Russia and those odd TV cartoons from my youth that you just knew were dubbed in Leavesden or somewhere equally exotic.

Anyway, get yourself over to Quixotic Paperie and check them out.

So Gorjuss

I don't know what it is about these strange little creatures but I fell in love with them the minute I saw them. They have a Tim Burtonesque feel to them and like the Magnolia stamps they also have no mouth but still come across as very animated.

I've used some Basic Grey paper (of course!), a Nestability (naturally!!) and an embossing folder (d'uh, it's like we've never met!!!).
So no big changes in what I use to make my cards with then, but if it ain't broke, why bother getting the socket set out eh?

I think what makes this slightly different to what I usually do is the colouring. I've tried to keep the image and card a little more gothic than I normally make, it felt in keeping with the stamp.
Some of the other Gorjuss stamps though are very girly in tone, I just don't know if they are for me.

Back Again!!

Hi folks, sorry I haven't been here for so long but didn't think anyone would ever bother reading what I had to say - turns out I was wrong! So here's a message to my wife - Thanks for all your continued support x.

There's a call for new Design Team members at one of my favourite websites - Quixotic Paperie. They are based in Weymouth and the last time we visited the family we were going to visit them but they are web-based only, so imagine our disappointment. They stock some of my most favourite stamps, including Kraftin' Kimmie, Kenny K and some lush new Gorjuss stamps.
Anyway, I have to have a current blog so I thought it was time to get a few more posts out and hope that I am lucky enough to be chosen.