Thursday, 22 December 2011

A shocking week...

Hello All!

So this week I had to give the Simply Stampin' Challenge a miss :(
BUT I have a great reason why...
...the guide dog puppy electrocuted me!

Honestly it is true. I made my entry for the design team, and needed to upload it to the laptop. The laptop was nearly flat and needed a battery charge... get the cable to plug it in..  ...FLASH BANG! 
The little trouble maker had chewed through the bit of the cable that actually plugs into the laptop! It was all a little alarming. I phoned my husband who insisted I phone NHS direct; and they decided to dial 999 for me... honestly it all seemed such an overreaction, but as the emergency doctor told me as I was linked up to an ECG machine, better safe than sorry.

Suffice to say that I am still here, whole and well, but as is obvious, the laptop could not be charged - so no photos. We have ordered a new cable, but as it is Christmas the post is rather delayed...
I can still enter text using the notebook, but images will have to wait.

Oh, and just so you don't worry - Odelle was totally fine, only a tiny little red mark on her gum (a small burn about the size of a pin head), and was cleared as in perfectly health by my supervisor when checked out the next day.

Anyway, enough from me!

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

Best Wishes,

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Simply Stampin' Challenge - Sketch 13

It is sketch week over at Simply Stampin' Challenge and below is the outline to follow: 

Sketch 13.jpg

I have rotated the sketch 90 degrees anticlockwise, and kept the rest as it is because my design is fairly loose and messy in style... Originally I wanted to use these colours and layout to record my husband's entry into the 'grim challenge' - a race through mud! Hence the crumpled paper and earthy colours... However one of my cats then walked across an ink pad and the page leaving paw prints - and the subject of this page was decided!

A close up of my torn paper 'flowers', which are picked out in copper glitter. I have cut out one of the butterflies from the woodland walk designer series paper to contrast with clean and precise lines.

 Finally a close up of the butterfly I stamped in crumb cake ink, then lightly spritzed with some mica pigment mixed into water and again highlighted with copper glitter. You can also see one of my cat's paw prints just to the left of the butterfly!

I hope you like my work - I am still in 2 minds about this one... maybe it will grow on me! I have also entered this into a few challenges:

Color throwdown - Soft Suede, Old Olive, Bravo Burgundy and Creamy Caramel (for which I have substituted a blend of So Saffron and Crumb Cake)
Flutterby Wednesdays - anything goes
Charisma Cardz - no cards
Cute Card Thursday - anything goes

Please do leave me a comment as I love to read your feedback!

Stamp Sets: Sanded (retired), All A Flutter.
Card Stock: Whisper White, Bravo Burgundy, Old Olive.
Papers: Woodland Walk DSP
Inks: Soft Suede, Old Olive, So Saffron, Crumb Cake.
Punches: 2-step bird, Scallop Border.
Other: Bronze mica powder, Copper Glitter, letter stickers (All non SU)

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Simply Stampin Challenge - Snowflake Sparkle

So this week is a theme - Snowflake Sparkle! I love theme challenges as you can let your imagination run wild and break away from doing cards the whole time... I chose to make a perpetual advent calendar:

The calendar is on the other side of the base, attached with book rings decorated with fluffy ribbons:

A close up of the detail on the bauball, which I have partly picked out in glitter

Finally I wanted to show how the calendar can fold flat to be posted as a gift...

Stamp Sets: Baroque Border, So Swirly, Soft Holly, Tags til Christmas
Card Stock: Elegant Eggplant, Bashful Blue, Whisper White
Inks: Bashful Blue, Perfect Plum
Punches: Ornament
Ribbons: non SU
Other Dazzling Diamonds glitter, cuttlebug & dies (non SU).

Check out the other designers' work by clicking HERE - why not have a go yourself?


Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Christmas Garland - Joyeux Noel

I LOVE Christmas, it is one of my most favourite times of the year! I ran my regular craft session at the weekend, and had some lovely ladies join me - here is what we made, beautifully accompanied by my cat Oscar:

I used a Tim Holtz die to create the rosettes, and the Vintage Market Alphabet for the letters - one of my go-to dies as it is so versatile. Paired with the rustic garden twine to hang it, and a touch of gold glitter on the letters, to complement the shiny red wrapping paper used. Sometimes it is all too easy to go overboard on adding sparkle/glitter/etc...

Classic warm Christmas colours: Very Vanilla, Old Olive and Red with a touch of gold - my theme for this year! I will start decorating the house properly soon, adding a few more decorations each week in the run up to the big day...

I hope you like it, I have entered it into 2 challenges: - the challenge is to have a tree on your item, I am being a bit cheeky by doing an item you could put on your tree... Sometimes you need to creatively interpret challenges! ;) - the challenge is to create pennants/bunting or similar.

Happy Crafting...

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Simply Stampin Challenge - #35

Morning all! I have had a bit of a problem with this weeks colour challenge - I finished my creation, set it up to be photographed, went into the other room to get the camera - and when I can back, found a very happy puppy with a new chew toy... Oops!
So had to quickly make a replacement, please forgive me if it is not quite as precise as it could be.
Anyway, onto the challenge itself, a colour combo featuring the following:

I Love this combination and would never have thought to use it myself - that is the really great thing about most challenges, they stretch your imagination and creativity. I decided to make a notebook, as a Christmas gift for a friend, after a conversation with Niki about 'to do' lists inspired me.

So my offering:
I love the layers of ripped card and paper, something I think I will be using more often in my makes...

And the back:

A close up of the binding inside the notebook, you can also see how the front cover is attached with tabs:

 Finally a close up of the amazing rhinestone brads available from Stampin' Up! You get 84 brads for £8.75 (28 each in 3 different sizes!) - being clear you can customise them so easily as well using promarkers/copics to make them match your project exactly. For this project I have left them clear, and used them to fasten through the 'hinges' of the notebook:

I hope you like my offering for this weeks Simply Stampin Challenge - why not pop over there yourself to have a look at what the rest of the Design Team has come up with, and maybe have a go yourself?

Stamp Sets: Strength and Hope
Inks: Melon Mambo, Lucky Limeade
Card stock: Lucky Limeade, Melon Mambo, Whisper White
Other: Top Note Die, Concorde Crush DSP, Stamp-a-ma-jig, Rhinestone brads, cuttlebug (non SU), hardware findings die (non SU), dimensionals, white copier paper (non SU).

Happy Crafting, and if you like what you see, please leave me a comment  - I love to read them!


Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Christmas Workshop

So this is a bit late as my class was actually in mid October, but I thought I would share with you anyway! For those of you who have not taken a class with me, these items were all made at one of my all day workshops, and we had great fun! Look out for my next all day workshop 'Birthday Bash' on 22nd January - book soon as places are limited...

We made:
  • 1 Wreath
  • 2 Gift Card Holders
  • 2 Pillow Boxes
  • 6 cards - in 6 different designs!
Here are a few close ups of some of the designs:

3D Bauball card makes use of the fantastic Ornament Punch:

This bird is stunning, I love that it can be vintage or contemporary depending on what you pair it with:

Pillow Boxes are perfect for packaging those tiny gifts such as earrings, and are handy to keep on standby for unexpected visitors:

I LOVE dasher!

Last but not least, this nifty little pocket is designed to hold a gift card - a bit more interesting than the ones you get given with it in the shop!

To list all the materials I used would take far too long, so here are the main stamps:

Contempo Christmas
Delightful Decorations
Beautiful Season
Tags til Christmas

And the papers used were from the Holly Berry Bouquet Speciality Set, paired up with matching colours of card.

I hope you like it all, and if you have any questions, message me or leave me a comment!


Sunday, 20 November 2011

New Class timetable out NOW!

Check out my new classes and timetable for Winter and Spring! There is something for everyone, so check out my craft club and workshops page or click HERE!


Saturday, 19 November 2011

Simply Stampin' Challenge - Sketch 12

It is sketch time over at Simply Stampin' Challenge this week, and I found it quite a tough one, and it is a fairly simple layout, and like to embellish my creations! So the sketch is pictured below, and if you click it you will be taken to the Simply Stampin' Challenge page - why not have a go?

In the end I decided to make an ATC as I fancy doing a few more swaps in the near future - if you would like to swap with me then please get in touch! (An ATC: Artist Trading Card, is a small piece of artwork sized 2.5" x 3.5" that you can swap or give as gifts. I keep my collection in a little folder to inspire me!) Here is my offering:

I wanted to soften the edges of the 'thanks' slightly, so allowed the So Saffron ink to bleed over the edges of the Chocolate Chip outline a little, using a water brush to coax the ink gently. Here is a close up of the ruffled ribbon detail and bow:

Obviously I couldn't stop at just one ATC, and made a second to create a matching pair:

And a picture of the detail on the second ATC for you: I think the different sized pearls clustered in the centre of the flower are particularly effective...

I hope you like my creations, and please leave me a comment - I read them all and enjoy hearing your feedback!

I have also taken my theme and colours from two different challenges (click the name to visit their site): 

Color Throwdown: So Saffron, Riding Hood Red, Very Vanilla and Basic Grey. (I had everything except Riding Hood Red ink, so substituted Real Red, and added a touch of Chocolate Chip for some outlining, oh and some Daffodil Delight Ribbons...)
Stamping Sisters in Christ: A theme of thanks and gratitude - what could be more appropriate than friendship?

Stamp Sets: Delicate Doilies, For Everything.
Card Stock: Basic Grey, Riding Hood Red, So Saffron, Very Vanilla.
Inks: Basic Grey, Chocolate Chip, Real Red, So Saffron.
Ribbon: Daffodil Delight.
Punches: Notched Corner (non SU)

Happy Crafting... x

Friday, 18 November 2011

Puppy Dreams...

As promised here are some new pictures of Odelle: so I decided to photograph her today as she settled down for a nap. She has grown so much lately (now 13 weeks!), despite thieving some plums a week or so ago which gave her an icky tummy... Oops. She has had all her vaccinations and can meet new dogs as of next week, which should be fun!

Just drifting off...

 This is a comfy pillow...

I LOVE this picture of her front paws - think this one will be making its way onto a scrapbook layout some day soon...

 Oops, I woke her up by accident - what are you doing with that flashy light thing mum?

Big Yawn!

A close up of her special Guide Dog tag:

And finally all woozy after her nap with one ear askew!

I hope you like this little 'pupdate', please leave me a comment if you have any questions about what it is like as a first time puppy walker, or just want to see more pictures! 


Saturday, 12 November 2011

Simply Stampin Challenge - Leaves

I bought a Stampin' Up! exclusive die called Little Leaves a while ago, and it seemed foolinsh not to use it with this weeks theme of leaves! As Christmas is approaching I decided to make the die cut into a branch of mistletoe, and partner it with some of the lovely new designer series papers.

The papers are from a set called Holly Berry Bouquet, which is a speciality set - some of the designs are glittered (the red stripe across the centre of the card is from the glittered papers). I have also added dazzling diamonds to the edges of the leaves, and to the mistletoe berries, to look as if they have a coating of frost. Here is a close up, where you can also see how I have added some dimension to the leaves:

I hope you like it!

Stamp Sets: A Comme Amie, Sanded
Card Stock: Crumb Cake, Real Red, Very Vanilla, Wild Wasabi
Inks: Crumb Cake, Wild Wasabi
Punches / Dies: Little Leaves, Scallop Trim Border, Crop-a-dile.
Other: Holly Berry Bouquet DSP, Dazzling Diamonds Glitter, Basic Rhinestones, Sponge Daubers, Dimensionals.

Happy Crafting!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Simply Stampin Challenge - Colour Challenge

 This week the four colours for the challenge are: Very Vanilla, Daffodil Delight, Peach Parfait, and Soft Suede. I have made a sample napkin ring that could be used for any sort of special occasion, including weddings and other events. The rose itself is really dimensional and could be used to embellish almost anything - I might make some miniature ones and cluster them together to make a bouquet, add them to bags or scrapbook pages...

So my creation is below:

And a close up of the rose so you can see how I have edged each of the petals with glitter, and used my sponge daubers to create graduated colour throughout:

To create the graduated colour I have used the following combinations, from the centre outwards:
  • Very Vanilla Card
  • Very Vanilla Card inked with Daffodil Delight
  • Daffodil Delight Card
  • Daffodil Delight Card inked with Daffodil Delight
  • Daffodil Delight Card inked with Peach Parfait lightly
  • Daffodil Delight Card inked with Peach Parfait heavily - this makes the colours darken.
The photo isn't quite an exact colour match (having to rely on artificial lighting during these grey autumn days) but I hope you get the gist.

Cardstock: Very Vanilla, Daffodil Delight, Peach Parfait, Soft Suede.
Inks: Daffodil Delight, Peach Parfait
Punches: Eyelet Border
Other: Designer Series Paper, Dazzling Diamonds Glitter, Cuttlebug, Flower Die (non SU although similar), sponge daubers.

Happy Crafting!

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Simply Stampin' Challenge - Sketch 11

Hello all! I do apologise for the late posting of this, I managed to schedule it for the wrong date - lucky I spotted it! Without further ado, here is my DT entry for this weeks sketch:

I have used my new Dasher stamp, along with heat and stick powder to attach dazzling diamonds glitter. The new lace ribbon punch is fantastic and I am using it al the time at the moment! The white flowers/flakes are also made using the lace punch but trimmed down, and the wavy border at the bottom of the dasher panel is part of the offcuts.
Here is a close up of some of the detail:

The tiny Merry Christmas tag is from my own stash, embossed in gold.
I hope you like my work...

Stamps: Dasher, Sanded (retired)
Inks: Versamark, Real Red
Cardstock: Real Red, Basic Black, Whisper White
Ribbon: Real Read
Punches: Lace Ribbon
Other: Heat and Stick powder, dazzling diamonds glitter, tag (non SU)

Happy Crafting!

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Simply Stampin' Challenge - Hallowe'en

I don't celebrate Hallowe'en, so this weeks theme was difficult for me, instead I have reverted to All Saints' Evening - the evening before All Hallows, where all the saints are remembered. I have made fairly simple lanterns, which have small battery powered candles fixed inside. They represent the 'Light of the World', and these sorts of lanterns could be used for all sorts of occasions, such as Christmas, Diwali, Guy Fawkes Night, Birthdays and other celebrations.
These lanterns are a perfect project to make with children and teens!

I really like the lanterns, and you could make miniature ones to use as place settings, or block off the bottoms and place sweets or small gifts inside them instead of candles. I have decorated the lanterns with rhinestones and glitter, but unfortunately these haven't shown up very well at all in the photo so you will have to take my word for it!

Stamp Sets: Sanded (retired)
Card stock: Daffodil Delight, Designer Series Paper (Pear Pizzaz, Concorde Crush, Poppy Parade)
Ribbon: Daffodil Delight Taffeta.
Other: Crop-a-dile, Dazzling Diamonds Glitter, Basic Rhinestones.

Happy Crafting x

Tuesday, 18 October 2011


I am so so so excited about today's post!

I can now announce that we have been accepted as puppy walkers for guide dogs, and yesterday lunchtime recieved a beautiful black labrador puppy named Odelle! She was born on the 18th August 2011 (so about 8 weeks old now), and currently weighs just under 4kg. Want to see her?


Here she is as she arrives, held safely in Ali's arms. Ali is our puppy walking supervisor and will be providing lots of help and support to me as I start to teach Odelle how to behave well and have good manners. Want to see more?

Odelle and one of our cats Jinka soon came face to face, a good thing it was through a glass door though. Jinka grew up with dogs, so she isn't scared at all, but actually cross as there is a new animal stealing all the attention! We will have to keep an eye on them so the cat doesn't bully the puppy too much!

This morning she was bright and chirpy! Thankfully she is a very good puppy and didn't make a sound at all last night so we could all get some sleep.

She has discovered her toy box very rapidly, and has definitely decided on her favourite - I don't think this frog thing will be lasting very long! Check out the size of her paws in this photo compared to the rest of her, she is going to grow so quickly...

Last but not least - she has those big brown Labrador eyes already... ...please will you feed me? I haven't eaten for a full 2 hours!

I hope you like this little glimpse of her? I will try and keep you all updated on her progess.

Happy Crafting (and dog cuddling!)
Becky x

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Simply Stampin' Challenge - Colour Combo - ATCs

This week we are back to a colour combination again, and I thought it lent itself perfectly to a shabby grunge sort of style, the colours being: 
  • Cajun Craze
  • Basic Black
  • Whisper White
  • Old Olive

I haven't made any ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) in a fair while, so inspiration struck as I looked through my collection the other day. I hope you like them, and if you would like to swap, please leave me a comment, or email me!

Stamp Sets: Sense of Time, Sanded.
Inks: Old Olive, Cajun Craze, Black StazOn, Versamark, white gel pen.
Card Stock: Old Olive, Cajun Craze, Whisper White, Basic Black
Other: White and Gold embossing powder, little leaves die, brads, fibres (non SU), vellum, label maker (non SU)

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Simply Stampin' Challenge - Sketch 10

This week's sketch lent itself well to a design I have been playing around with based on one of the recently retired sets 'Special Blessings'. I flipped the sketch so it is a mirror image of the original, and chose to use a combination of marina mist, certainly celery and calypso coral (one of the new In Colours!) - not a combination I would usually turn to, but I think it has turned out well.

Stamp Sets: Special Blessings, Punch Potpourri, So Swirly.
Inks: Versamark, Certainly Celery, Calypso Coral, white gel pen.
Card Stock: Certainly Celery, Calypso Coral, Marina Mist, Whisper White.
Ribbon: Marina Mist.
Punches: Boho Blossoms, 2-step Bird, Modern Label (XL), Large Circle, notched corner (non SU)
Other: White embossing powder, cuttlebug and embossing folder (non SU).

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Simply Stampin' Challenge - colour combo

I'm not sure about this weeks colour challenge, it was definitely outside of my comfort zone. Ideally I would have liked to use the stamp set 'lovely as a tree' with these colours, but as I don't have that set yet, thought I would try and use some of my stamp sets that are being retired at the end of this month.
I hope you like what I have done, I always find men's cards harder as it is difficult to restrain myself from putting flowers and / or bling on almost everything...

I love to create texture on cards, and this one is no exception. I crumpled the pear pizazz paper to age it, and used clear embossing to make the text more defined and shiny on the four corner and centre square panels. I played around with the ribbon and StazOn ink to add another layer and even more texture - highlighting the word thanks from the So Many Thanks stamp.

Finally a button and some linen thread were added in the corner to finish it off. (No naked buttons on this blog!)

Stamp sets: A comme amie (friendly - French option), so many thanks.
Card stock: very vanilla, chocolate chip, soft suede
Inks: versamark
Ribbon: pear pizazz, linen thread
Other: clear embossing powder, pear pizazz designer series paper, neutral buttons, chalks,

Happy Crafting Bx