My Family & Other Animals

Sunday, 28 July 2013

"Three, that's the magic number..."

So check out these three gorgeous young ladies. From top to bottom they are called Savannah Belle, Inspector Em and Velocitia and they are the latest additions to the Steampunk Burlesque crew on Kenny K You can get the complete set for a very reasonable $8.50, saving yourself $2.00, for a limited time only though so get yourself over there sooner rather than later.
I have been chosen as Guest Designer on the Kenny K Kraft Krew and I couldn't be happier. Firstly I got to receive these stunning images earlier in the week and they have really helped me to get a bit of my creative Mojo back and secondly they have re-united me with my old friends, I have really missed being a part of such an enormously creative team.
In case you hadn't already worked it out, the theme for the new challenge is 'Steampunk'. I have been a fan of this particular style for ages now and really love just going to town on the cards. I hope you like them as much as I have enjoyed doing them.
I won't be giving you the usual run-down of what I have used on each card as there are too many things to list and besides, if you want to know anything then feel free to e-mail me or leave a comment and I will endeavour to get back to you as soon as I can.
I hope you have had a good week! Mine has been rather good for a change. As well as having the pleasure of colouring the above images I also got the chance to book a couple of seats to go and see "The Wolverine". We will be going to The Kinema In The Woods (Woodhall Spa) again, so no 3D screen but I have been underwhelmed by the 3D experience so far. In the cinema you tend to lose quite a lot of to vivid colouring, especially if you go to see a Pixar or Dreamworks movie. Jo and I saw the last Ice Age movie in 3D and while the effects are clever, the movie itself just looked dull and washed out which took quite a lot of the experience away for both of us.
As with most things I will never say never as my son Liam is getting me a 3D TV for my 50th birthday next year so I am hoping that the home viewing experience is better than the cinema!
So, that's been me for the week, I can't believe I am posting three cards on the one day - so unlike me!
Have a great week ahead and I will be back again soon, promise.
Hugs 'n Stuff,
I am not sure how you go about entering a specific card for each challenge as all three cards are listed under the one post! so I have put the name of the card at the end of each entry, hope this doesn't cause too much confusion.
Entered Into: Challenges 4 Everybody #25 - Anything Goes (Velocitia)
Creative Inspirations Paint Challenge - Inspired By: Anything Goes (Inspector Em)
Eclectic Ellapu Challenge - Anything Goes (Savannah Belle)
Great Impressions Stamps Challenge - Anything Goes (Velocitia)
Lacy Sunshine Challenge #13 - Anything Goes (Must Use Hand Coloured Image) (Inspector Em)
One Stitch At A Time Challenge #174 - Anything Goes (Savannah Belle)
Pile It On Challenge #30 - Anything Goes (Velocitia)
Colour Me Creative Challenge #73 - Anything Goes (Inspector Em)
My Sheri Crafts Challenge #115 - Let's Take A Trip (Savannah Belle)
Crafts 4 Eternity Challenge #134 - Anything Goes (Velocitia)
Creative Fingers Challenge - Anything Goes (Inspector Em)
Inspire Me Friday's Challenge #113 - Anything Goes (Savannah Belle)
Simply Steampunk Challenges - Embossing Foladers (Velocitia)
Sister Act Card Challenge #17 - Anything Goes (Inspector Em)
Stempelsonne Challenge #94 - Everything about Travel (Savannah Belle)
Totally Papercrafts Challenge #177 - Use Lace (Savannah Belle)

Sunday, 21 July 2013

"Ho, Ho, Ho It's Magic..."

And so another Sunday rolls around. I cannot speak for anyone else (obviously!) but I really, really hate Sundays!
I suppose it goes back to my childhood and apart from being the most boring day of the week, the relentless routine of Sundays wore me down; get up, hang around waiting for dinner (THE only highlight of my day!), watch the Sunday afternoon western on BBC1 with half-asleep parents who didn't care if I was there or not, have tea and then the weekly bath (whether it was needed or not eh!) with the Top 30 and Tony Blackburn followed by "The Onedin Line" ''That's Life' and bed. This happened week in and week out throughout my childhood. It even happened when I left school and got my first job!!
So years later, I find myself in a similar rut. Today will be spent colouring some absolutely amazing new Kenny K images though, as I have secured myself a slot as Guest Designer for the Krafty Krew Challenge blog which starts a new two week challenge next Sunday, so keep your eyes peeled. Kenny's latest images are of three new Steampunk ladies and he has really excelled himself this time.
Jo and I are a pair of home-birds really, so not going out doesn't really bother either of us, so for me Sunday is just a psychological hump I can't get over!
The weather does make things a tad more pleasant though. I love the sunshine. I had the honour of living in Gibraltar for three glorious years and that turned me into a sun-lover. I have loved watching the Channel 5 show about 'Life on the Rock' but it has made me feel really home-sick for a place I left in 1994, how does that work? Seeing it in all it's glory has shown me just how little the place has really changed in nearly twenty years, so going back wouldn't be too much of a disappointment.
They say 'you should never go back' but I love going down Memory Lane. I visit home (Redcar) every few years and while it never really makes me want to go back to live there, I still love the place to bits, it has also changed very little and I left there in 1981.
Anyhoo, enough rambling for one morning. This new card has a beautiful Nellie Snellen image which I have had for an eternity. I bought a stack of her stamps over a year ago and this is only the second one I have posted! I do have another card lined up so keep an eye out for that in the very near future though.
It is on an 8x8 card and I have used quite a few layers to make the image pop. I have used a SB nestie with a faux nestie beneath it and sandwiched between these and the blue layer of scrap card from my scrap-box is a sheet of Basic Grey paper but I can't remember which collection, sorry! Flowers are from Wild Orchid and the leaves are a Marianne die. Finally, I glittered up a few places to make them a little bling-y (word of the week) and I have used a sentiment from Creative Expressions but I usually use a little Claire sentiment which I can't live without these days, they are so versatile and they stamp up beautifully, even on textured card. Jo had a problem with one of their stamp sets this week and I can attest to how good their Customer Service is, they were brilliant in their communications and promises. A superb British company we can all be proud of.
I coloured the image with ProMarkers this time, I thought I would give the Copics a break.
So that's me again. Hope to be back again soon,
take care gentle reader,
Hugs 'n Stuff.

Entered Into: 613 Avenue Create Challenge #29 - Anything Goes
Challenges 4 Everybody #25 - Anything Goes
Crafting When We Can Challenge #49 - Floral
Fashionable Stamping Challenge #52 - Flora and Fauna
Penny Black and More Challenge - Dies and Punches
That Craft Place Challenge - It's A Girl Thing
Colour Me Creative Challenge #73 - Anything Goes

Monday, 15 July 2013

"Love Is Like A Butterfly, As Soft And Gentle As A Sigh..."

You may be forgiven for thinking, when you look at this beautifully drawn image (from the incredibly talented artists at Make It Crafty in Australia) and the very Summery colour palette, that I am in a very happy place at the moment. Well that could not be further from the truth!
I have been deeply saddened by the recent loss of not only the great James Gandolfini but of Bernie Nolan and today I hear that Cory Monteith (Finn from Glee) has been found dead in a hotel room in Canada.
The death of Jim Gandolfini hit me quite hard as he is only a couple of years older than me and I was a massive fan of his work. The Soprano's was up there amongst the greatest TV shows ever made and it wouldn't have been half as good without Jim, he gave the show gravitas and he made Tony Soprano a really deeply layered character.
The death of Bernie Nolan was particularly sad because she seemed so bright and full of life, she had an amazing voice and as a young man who was just beginning to pay attention to the female of the species, I had a particular soft spot for both Bernie and the two A's that made up half of Abba. She will be sadly missed in this house.
As for Cory Monteith, 31 is no age at all. Jo and I are massive Gleek's and I cannot imagine the show without poor, dorky Finn Hudson. He was at the start of his career and had so much still to give, I don't think that I will ever enjoy Glee the same again (plus, finding out he was 31 was the biggest shock of all, just how old are those 'kids'!!!).
So forgive me for bringing you down but I know that you, gentle reader, will understand. This blog has been a massive help to me over the last couple of years, whenever I am down or just need to vent then I know I can turn to you, my wonderful anonymous friend.
Welcome to my latest follower Mandy of Crafty Cats Designs, nice to have you along for the ride!
Back to the card and I have used quite a few ingredients; as well as Melody (the young lady) there is the Marianne designs die behind the young girl, butterfly themed Washi tape, some large, white half-pearls, a harlequin design A4 Embossalicious folder from Crafters Companion, some Basic Grey paper, a Nestability butterfly die and finally, I used a Little Claire stamp for the rosette.
Hope you like it and I will try to be a bit more regular with my posts as I have let a few things slip lately, so keep on enjoying this glorious weather and
Hugs 'n Stuff all round,
Entered Into: A Little Bit Crafty Challenge - "Die-Ing For It"!!
Country View Crafts Challenge #5 - It's A Summer Sizzler
Crafter's Companion July Challenge - Dies and Die-Cuts
Emma's Cards Challenge #18 - Lace and Pearls
Fairies Challenge Blog Challenge #9 - Flowers/Summer
House of Gilli Challenge #53 - Bright Colours/Anything Goes
Oozak Challenge #18 - Anything Goes
The Crafter's Café Challenge #19 - Anything Goes
The Crafting Café July Challenge - Summer's Here
613 Avenue Create Challenge #28 - Anything Goes
Joanna Sheen Challenge - Citrus Colours

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

"Is It A Dream>?...."

I don't know what your dreams are like, but the only one's that really seem to have any impact on me are the hyper-realistic one's, the sort that, when you wake up it can take a few minutes to fully convince yourself you are in fact awake. Unfortunately for me, those amazingly realistic slices of the sub-conscious mind are, in my case, the most banal, run of the mill (more boring than a boring thing on St. Boringness Day!!!) dreams that really stick with me when I wake up!
Except for today that is.

Like most mornings, I tend to wake up with Jo sat beside me either watching the previous day's episode of TV quiz "The Chase" on Catch-up or she is waiting for Channel Four to broadcast the lastest episode of  'Everybody Loves Raymond' (I do, Jo doesn't!) for the two hundredth time.

But not today gentle reader, oh no.

Today I awoke to find that the marriage I thought to be more solid than the actual rock that that  particular metaphor was first written about, was seemingly as solid as a breath of fresh air!
I found a rather sorry looking piece of scrap paper pinned to her pillow with the word "Sorry" written on it in big black marker pen. I wouldn't have normally been overly alarmed about it except this particular note came with her wedding ring attached!!
In a mild panic I began called her name but there was no reply, so after a small pause in which to gather my thoughts (I got up on auto-pilot and fed the cats), I then sat down with a hot cup of tea (isn't that what you give people in shock??) and began to try and piece together exactly what had caused this most sudden of departures.

Recently she had been talking wistfully about 'the good old days' and I wondered if she was hankering for the past. Things have been really hard for her since her hip went and she was sacked from work.
When we first met each other, we were both working at a holiday camp as part of their entertainment troupe. Jo used to call the bingo and she sang and danced. I was just what they used to call 'an all-rounder' (a Bruce Forsythe type if you like - aIthough personally speaking, I can not stand the whizzened old husk of a man!) i.e. I used to fill in when anyone called in sick!
After doing this for a couple of years, we ended up giving our own double act a try (a bit like vaudeville). We used to dress up as two Chinese laundry workers and we did a song and dance routine to a ditty from the film 'Thoroughly Modern Millie', it had to be seen to be believed...

...and then I woke up!! Now didn't I tell you it would be vivid, didn't I?

So, on to today's card and the influence of watching Superman has clearly rubbed off. I have used a Kenny K image (not called Superman but you get the idea!) and some of my old Sizzix alpha's which I always go back to time and time again. The birds in the background are from a mask, used on a sheet of Basic Grey (I think the collection is called What's Up). I finished it off with the Little Claire rosette and the Memory Box hearts.
Hope you like it,
I will return soon,
Hugs 'n Stuff
Entered Into: Bearly Mine Challenges #93 - Anything Goes
Crafty Sentiments Designs Challenge - Red, White & Blue
Inky Chicks Challenge #7 - Anything Goes
Our Daily Bread Designs Challenge #160 - Patriotic or Red, White and Blue
Paper Minutes Challenge #276 - Die Cuts
Papertake Weekly Challenge - Anything Goes
Craft Your Passion Challenge #169 - Red, White & Blue
Love To Scrap! Challenge #9 - Anything Goes!