My Family & Other Animals

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

"Unleash The Dragon..."

Another week and yet another one of my favourite singers has gone to the great DanceHall in the sky. Davy Jones of The Monkees died today at the decidedly unfriendly age of 66. He was such a huge part of my childhood, their programme was one of the few I would rush home to watch or during the school holli's scour the channels in the hope that it would be on. I have always loved their songs, especially Randy Scouse Git and Pleasant Valley Sunday, songs that will stand the test of time. So sad, I hate when heroes slip away from me, especially one's I didn't realise were heroes until it was too late!

This weeks card has been a bit of an uphill struggle too. The image is from Digi Doodle Shop and is called Louis, Butterflies and Buttercups and the last time I tried to use it for a challenge I just couldn't get my ProMarkers to look even on his skin, there were lines and patches all over and the more I coloured it the worse it got so I binned the picture and started with another image altogether. This time around I made the image a lot smaller to reduce blotches and it worked, I am really quite happy with the finished image.

But that's not the whole story here, oh no. I made a card (with the I ♥ ProMArkers challenge sketch in mind) and although I managed to get all the bits and pieces in the right places, the final card (which is in the bin and will NEVER see the light of day!!) was so hideous it actually scared me how bad it was! I then went into panic mode and actually came up with a fairly decent card that, as usual, I hope you like too.

The papers used were really old Papermania papers I have had for years now and the flowers are the same, they have been in my craft room since Noah was a lad, but they work so what can I say?

So onward and upward, let's hope we don't lose any more musical heroes in the next 7 days and I will see you here again next week with another creation,



Entered Into: Flutterby Wednesday Challenge #192 - Open

Simon Says Stamp Challenge - Anything Goes

The Sisterhood Of Crafters Challenge - Use A Digital Stamp

Stars And Stamps Midweek Throwdown - Use A Digi, No Glitter

Just Inspirational Challenges - Photo Inspiration

CCEE Stampers Challenge - CCEE1209 Stamp or Create A Spring Scene

Digi Doodle Shop's Best Challenge #97 - Pink & Green

Do You Stack Up Challenge #61 - Things With Wings

Rainbow Lady's Challenge #194 - St. David's Day (Anything Welsh)

Sassy Studios Design Challenge #114 - Seeing Green

Tando Creative Challenges - Spring Is In The Air

Sparkles Challenges #29 - Things With Wings

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

"Time (Clock Of The Heart)..."

So let's talk about last night's Brit Awards. I know it is a bit contentious but I really can't stand James Cordon. I used to like the boy and then it was like he was the saviour of British TV, he was everywhere and it was too much. As Smithy he's a funny character but I don't find him particularly funny as a man, his behaviour with Patrick Stewart was beyond childish and as Stewart was clearly drunk he needed to take the high road and I thought he just went down to Stewart's level. Last night he cut Adele off right in the middle of her biggest moment of her year - collecting the biggest Brit of the night in front of her hometown crowd. It wasn't his decision to do it, that much I am willing to concede, but as the final act of the night ALWAYS overrun he should have put his foot down and said no and let the girl have her moment. His inexperience really showed through.

As for the rest of the show all I can say is it was as disappointing as ever and I always find myself saying I won't bother watching it next year, but always end up doing the opposite!! Habit I suppose. I just find the whole thing so predictable and as the years go on it's really lost it's edge - how can Florence AND THE MACHINE be classed as female solo artist? How disrespectful to the band and how lazy to not go and look for more female solo artists, it's not like there's a shortage of them out there.

So, rant of the week over and on to this weeks card. The theme at I ♥ ProMarkers is Time and I really wanted to make a stepper card for a change. For the first time in ages the finished product is actually quite similar to what I had in my head (minus a few slight changes!!). The papers are a mix of Magnolia and Graphic 45, the clock die is a Tim Holtz and the flowers have been in the conservatory for the past two years!! It does say "It's Party Time" in rub-on's but as they are in the second step you can't really see them, hence the close-up image!! Anyhoo, hope you like the finished card and hope to see you again next week,

take care


P.S. Just a few words about Whitney Houston. I remember the very first time I heard "Saving All My Love For You" and how her voice actually touched my heart. Over the years she has given us some absolutely stunning songs and albums, each one littered with hit after hit and yet I feel her death had a tragic inevitability about it. I fear her fate was truly sealed the very first time she met Bobby Brown and now all she will be remembered as will be some sad recovering junkie whose voice was kind of shot to pieces at the end. But none of this is true. Her last album was amongst the very best of her work and her voice (however much Autotune was utilised!!) still sounded strong and had that soft, soulful edge only Whitney had. I will miss her, I will listen to her until the end of my time and I know her music will have a lasting effect on people like me who will always remember her fondly and not as a figure of pity. Rest In Peace Whitney, I Will ALWAYS Love You x x x

Entered Into: Crafty Sentiments Designs - Two Designer/Differednt Papers

Bunny Zoe's Crafts Challenge #21 - Celebrations

Always Crafting Creative Monday Challenge #2 - Anything Goes

Creative Stamp Friends Challenge #45 - Inspired By Your Favourite Song

Karen's Doodles Challenge #98 - Celebrate!

Lollipop Crafts Challenge #68 - Anything Goes

Make It Monday Challenge #77 - Anything Goes

Nettie G's Digital Gems Challenge #3 - "Your Showcase (Anything Goes)"

Stamps R Us Paper Crafting Challenge - Anything Goes (Last Challenge!!)

The Crazy Challenge #107 - Use A Die Cut or Punch

The Cutie Pie Challenge #12 - Flower Power

Scrappy Frogs Challenge - Use Die Cuts

Stamptacular Sunday Challenge #152 - Charm Me!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

"News Of The World..."

Second card of the week, this time for the C.R.A.F.T. site and I have never made a card like this before. The challenge was no designer papers and I used the most precious paper I could find - pages from a book! I have never taken pages from a book before, mainly because the very thought of doing it seemed abhorant to me. Books have always been very precious to me and I struggled finding a book I could use, but eventually found a very old one in the garage that was donated to me. As I would have never read the book in a million years I thought I'd use it's pages as my backing paper. I got the Distress pads out and used Old Paper and Walnut Stain to age them up a bit and then used my sizzix dies to make a title for the card. The image comes from a Papermania set I have had for ever but never used before and as there wasn't a lot to colour on it anyway I used a piece of scrap paper to paper-piece the armchair. The final addition were the two metal corner embellies I found in a storage case I had completely fogotten I even had!! All-in-all i'm quite happy with the finished product, especially as it's the first time I've ventured into the distressing arena.

Anyhoo, hope you like it, see you again on wednesday,



Entered into Craft Your Days Away Challenge #39 - Paper Piecing

One Stop Craft Challenge #170 - Create Your Own Background

Wags 'n Whiskers Challenge #73 - Masculine Birthday

4 Crafty Chicks Challenge #77 - Double Down (Pairs)

Southern Girls Challenge #38 - So Distressed

Shelly's Images Challenge - Anything Goes

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

"Nature Boy..."

Cinema today for the first time this year. I went with my friend Elaine to see the new 3D version of Star Wars - The Phantom Menace. The first time I saw the film in the cinema I fell asleep, I thought it was a very weak film and didn't really enjoy it, but on reflection I think it's actually a lot better than most people give it credit for. Take out all that dreary trade sanction story and it's quite an exciting story.

Valentine's passed without a hitch (although I did spend most of the day thinking about my Dad who died on Valentines Day). I manged to score major brownie poins by getting Jo a really lovely bouquet of flowers from an on-line vendor. We had agreed to not do anything for Valentines but I just couldn't let it go, she really is suffering at the moment and I just wanted to do something nice for her. Ironically though, for two card makers in the house neither one of us gave the other a card!
The theme for this weeks card over at I ♥ ProMarkers was Nature. I had in mind a quite elaborate card with lots of vines and flowers and had Edwin and Tilda as explorers - there was going to be a car in it and birds and all sorts, funny how things turn out eh! When I coloured Edwin I got some papers together and it all just fell into place really quickly. For the first time in ages I am really, really happy with this card, I think the colours are gorgeous and I love the whole layout. I have used a varied selection of dies from Marianne to Memory Box, Nesties to Magnolia. I used one piece of Basic Grey paper and another piece I got from my scrap box. As for Edwins butterfly net I actually sat down and cut out most of the squares to make it look more realistic, a steady hand is most definately required here!!
I got my Special Edition ProMarkers today from, the yellow is absolutley beautiful and I really don't know if I want to use it because as Limited Editions they may disappear without a chance to replace them. Anyway, hope you like the card and I will see you again soon (probably sooner than you think!!).
take care
x x x x x x

Entered into: Flutterby Wednesdays Challenge #190 - Anything With Wings

The House That Stamps Built Challenge #215 - Leftovers

Penny's Paper-Craft Challenge #73 - Anything Goes

Allsorts Challenge #142 - Anything Goes

Hiding In My Craft Room Challenge #34 - Glitter! Glitter!

Card Crafter's Circle Challenge #10 - To Die For!

Crafty Ann's Challenge #59 - Bold and Bright

Fun With Shapes and More Challenge #103 - Must use Die Cuts

Hot Shot Craft Challenge #4 - One For The Boys

Digi Doodle Chop's Best Challenge #95 - Anything Goes

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

"I Want To Know What Love Is..."

So it's that time of year again! The time of year when single people are made to feel even worse because they don't have that 'someone special' in their lives and when men and women all over the world wonder if, just for this year their other half "wouldn't mind if they just didn't bother, after all it's just a Hallmark made up holiday isn't it? Imagine the money we'd save eh!"
Well boo to you, it's great being in love, it's the best feeling that human beings ever have. Being connected to someone, that one person in the whole wide world who gets you, who encourages you and supports you through everything this life can throw at you. That's what love is.
I've only ever been in love three time in my life, that's how special and rare love really is (not lust, I've felt that thousands of times (this week alone!! LOL)) and the love I feel now is the strongest and bestest of all (and yes sis, I know bestest isn't a real word, but it just fits!). Jo has done more for me in the last 14 years than ANYONE in my entire life, she has made me feel special, she supports me and cares for me like no-one ever could and I want to take this moment to just tell her how much I really love her,
Jo, you have the most beautiful and amazing spirit, you are more special to me than you will ever know and I love you with every single fibre of my being. I didn't know what a true and deep love was until we got together and I want to take this opportunity to thank you for just being you - you couldn't do or be more to me than who you are now, I just hope I live up to your expectations too.
So, on to this weeks card then. It's a Tilda again and I will make no apologies for that, they are just too special to me. I can't remember where I got the papers from, but I know they were from a cheap stack of 8x8's and the ones I used on this card were all off-cuts. I used a Martha Stewart punch and some nice flowers and hat pins and for the inside I used a heart and scalloped heart nestie. The sentiment came free in a little pack with a craft magazine which I thought I would end up throwing in the bin but turns out there's some lovely little phrases in there. Hope you like this weeks card, take care and see you again soon,

Entered into 365 Cards - Challenge #Day 344 Marvelous Markers

Crafty Sentiments Designs Challenge - Let's Get Girly

Deep Ocean Challenge #18 - Love You!

My Time To Craft Challenge #172 - A is for Adorable

Papertake Weekly Challenge - Anything Goes (with a "Love" twist!)

Part Time Tuesdays Challenge #54 - Valentines

Shopping Our Stash Challenge #38 - Hearts, Valentines and/or Lace

The Stamping Boutique Challenge #25 - Valentines

Tuesday Throwdown Challenge #84 - Valentines

4 Crafty Chicks Challenge - Love Is In The Air

Crafty Purple Frog Challenge - Flower Power

Craft Us Crazy Challenge #20 - Anything Goes

Delightful Challenge - L♥ve

Do You Stack Up Challenge #58 - Love

Hanna & Friends Challenge #131 - Be My Valentine

Creative Stamp Friends Challenge #44 - Valentine

Lollipop Crafts Challenge #66 - Make A Valentine's

My Craft Spot Challenge #43 - Vakentine's Day

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

"Oh, Christmas Tree..."

It's been a good week this week, I managed to finish my latest Charlie Parker novel by John Connolly (The Reapers), which may not sound a lot to you but for me means I am now only three books away from being up to date with the series and so far I have to say they are the best books I have EVER read. They are a mixture of crime novel primarily with a side-order of supernatural suspense and psychological horror, a brilliant mixture that John manages to pull off with such a deft hand it's a real joy reading his books. If you have never tried them, I can highly recommend starting with book one in the Charlie Parker series "Every Dead Thing", it is a great introduction to one of the most complex characters in crime fiction.
On to the card challenge and our inspiration this week at I ♥ ProMarkers Challenge Blog (Challenge #102 - Photo Inspiration) was a lovely little picture of some brightly coloured buttons. I find it really interesting how people can take something and really all interpret it in a different way. Most of the girls on our team have taken their inspiration from the bright colours of the buttons where I seem to have just ignored the colours altogether and fixated myself on the buttons instead. I bought this Tatty Button stamp before christmas with every intention of making a pile of cards from it, turns out this is the first time I have even opened the packet!! It's a very uncomplicated stamp to colour (which in all honesty is a refreshing change in itself!) and putting the card together came very easily for this challenge. I am a HUGE fan of purple, it has always been my favourite colour but I don't use it very often because I worry that if I start with it I won't be able to stop myself, so being able to just let go with this card was a delight. The pattered paper is a Basic Grey while the other card is just one from my scrap pile. The die is one of my new ones from my Create and Craft bargain buy, one of the newer Christmas Nesties. The greeting come from LOTV.
Hope you like it,
load of love
Andy x x
Entered into Ditzy-Craftymess Challenge #1 - Anything Goes
Jellypark Friends Friday Challenge - Winter Wonderland
The Poodles Parlour - Anything Goes
Craft Us Crazy Challenge #20 - Anything Goes
Crimbo-Crackers Challenge #8 - No People or Animals
Do You Stack Up Challenge #57 - Anything Goes
Divas By Design Challenge #20 - Anything Goes
Die Cuttin' Divas Challenge #50 - Anything Goes
Paper and Such Design Blog - Make a card with Non-Traditional Colours
Party Time Tuesdays Challenge #53 - Anything Goes

"Hangin' On The Telephone..."

The Craft Challenge colour block.

So this is my first entry for the CRAFT challenge blog who not only picked me as their 'Star Of The Month' for January but also asked me to be a guest design team member too! The challenge itself is based around a block of five colours which range from red through orange to pink (pictured above), so I brought out my new downloaded Digi's from Saturated Canary (isn't that just the best name? especially for stamps, so original). Coloured with the old faithful ProMarkers, I used a couple of sheets of paper from Jo's paper pad (Papermania's Capsule Collection) and the fabulous die is one of Papermania's too, used with a Whimsy stamp and some Core'dinations cardstock to tie it all together. Overall I really like the finished look of the card, I very rarely use oranges or yellows in my colouring, so this was a bit of a challenge for me and I think I was successful, so much so that I will definately use these colours again, so fresh and clean.

Entered into Kaboodle Doodle Challenge #104 - It's All About Girls

Lollipop Crafts Challenge #65 - Anything Goes

Make It Monday Challenge #74 - Anything Goes

My Craft Spot Monday Challenge - Anything Goes

Truly Madly Crafty Challenge - Anything Goes

Crafty Sentiments Designs Challenge - Punches and/or Die's

Stars and Stamps - Die Cuts or Punches

My Mum's Craft Shop Challenge - Fab 'n Funky

Fab 'n Funky Challenges #106 - Use A Digi Image

Divas By Design Challenge #20 - Anything Goes

Delightful Challenges by Louby Lou - Punches and Dies

Pixie Dust Studio - Girlie Girls!