Thursday 31 December 2009


As you can see there has been a distinct lack of posting here in December! Apart from the obvious secrecy of my creations over the last few weeks (all my Christmas gifts) I've had a great trauma - I'VE LOST MY CAMERA! It had all my recent photos still on it as I hadn't even had time to download during the last frantic few days before Christmas, and all the family photos taken over the holiday. So as you can expect I'm very upset about it!
So what to post? Well I do have a photo of the Christmas theme ATCs I made for the Passion for Papertrey swap. I used the Made of Snow set for my snowman and the wreath is from Believe. He's coloured with my beloved Copics and has silver wire arms with his red mittens glued on. The border punch is a Martha Stewart design. Thanks so much to the other swappers for the lovely designs I received back. I love them all and look forward to another swap soon.

Tuesday 1 December 2009

A Birthday Tenner

I haven't been able to post for the last couple of weeks or so but I have been busy even though I'm away from home for about half the week. I've lots of 'work-in- progress' secret things on the go for Christmas - don't know how I'll finish everything! Anyway I had to make a couple of birthday cards this week and I can show them here as the recipients certainly won't be reading this blog......

This is my take on Aime's wonderful PTI prize-winning card. I thought this was absolutely brilliant creation when I saw it and filed the idea away for the right birthday girl its her birthday next week. Like Aimes I used Papertrey's On My Couch stamp set, plus Copics and SU's twill tape - which is great for stamping on. I'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out.

Monday 16 November 2009

Ho, ho, ho - A Passion for Papertrey Challenge 17

I love Lauren's new template "Time for Takeout" - its a great size and shape for small gift giving. I've been crocheting these little fruity bag charms and flower hair clips/brooches for my niece to give to her friends for Christmas and this little box and my other fav template "Tucked Away" have turned out to be just what I needed to turn them into pretty gift packages.

Both templates have smaller versions included in the download which I think are just right for hanging on the tree or even for creating an advent calendar (the perfect size for a Christmas chocolate or two) so I'm hoping to get some of those made too - I'm getting really ambitious now!!
I've been lucky enough to buy a few PTI Christmas sets second hand over the last 12 months - I've used here (in no particular order!) Polka Dot Basics, Snowfall, Holiday Treats, 2008 Holiday Tags Collection and my lovely new set Holiday Button Bits.

I hope my niece likes them as she mumbled something about needing £100 to go gift shopping for her friends! My sister nearly fell off her chair.....

Oh no- I've just realised I'm too late to enter the challenge again! Don't know how many times I've done that. Never mind - it made me crack on with them anyway!

Wednesday 11 November 2009

All that Glitters - Mo's DP Challenge 5

I really don't like glitter much so I baulked at this challenge - but that's what makes challenges so interesting. Mo wants three different bling types this week and I hope I've managed to keep to the rules by using silver ribbon, some star gems and Sakura glitter pens. I've wanted to colour this beautiful fairy for some time but never got round to it - but here she is and I really like the effect of the Sakura pens but they don't show up well on the photo I'm afraid. As usual I've kept the card simple and just used a piece of handmade paper for the background and nothing else.

I did intend to enter her for the Copic Colour Challenge too but didn't get my entry in in time! I must try harder next week!

Monday 2 November 2009

Apple Pie - Copic Colour Challenge 37

The colours to use this week are Blush, Yellowish Green and Sand.

I've had an idea that I wanted to put together a few recipe cards in some sort of pretty album as a gift for one of my sisters who says she wants to cook more instead of buying convenience food. So here's card number one - Apple Pie, one of my son's favourites!

This sweet image is from one of my copyright-free books and the pie stamps are from Papertrey's My Punny Valentine set.

The garden has some ancient apple trees which almost always fruit profusely even though I'm guilty of doing nothing to look after them. I collect as much fruit as possible for storing and give away as many as I can get family and friends to accept, but there's always lots of apples that end up damaged and bruised on the ground as windfalls, which can't be stored. I just have to console myself with the thought that they provide a good food source for the birds and other garden creatures which have to face the cold months ahead on short ration.

Saturday 31 October 2009

A Day at the Seaside - 31st October!

We had a shopping trip to Llandudno today and along with many others walked back to the car along the promenade at dusk. The pier lights looked lovely reflecting in the calm sea. Looking at these photos I can easily imagine this is the South of France not North Wales. I'm very lucky to have been born and bred in such a beautiful part of the country.

On a crafty note, I was really pleased to find this Dovecraft 3" Snowflake paper punch for £6 (an item that's been on my wish list for some time) as well as two little jars of vintage-type buttons that I think can easily pass for Papertrey buttons. A very nice little haul from the Craftland store in Mostyn Street. Well worth a visit if you are in the area.

Wednesday 28 October 2009

Mo's Challenge 3 - Anything but a card

Not much time to craft this week but I've just managed to squeeze in at the end of Mo's third challenge - which is to create 'anything but a card'. So here's mine. This is Dani, one of Mo's brilliant teenage girls - I love them all but this one is especially for my shopaholic niece Faye. I've decorated a Timeless Template from Lauren's Cash or Charge Collection - new this month - a little pillow box which will hold a shop gift card and any other little gift I can squeeze in.

As well as Dani I've used stamps from Papertrey's Polka Dot Basics and Boxes Bags & Tags. So as A Passion for Papertrey's current challenge is to incorporate dots into a project, I think I can enter Dani there too! Hooray! Don't you just love it when that happens!

Sunday 18 October 2009

Mo's Challenge 2 - Autumn colours + 2

Hmm - don't think I've got enough autumn colour here but this is how I would like to spend an autumn afternoon, with a good book, watching the mists and mellow fruitfulness of the landscape from a warm spot. And here's my proof that red and green are also the colours of the season - this lovely strand of black bryony berries I saw in the hedge.
Mo's challenge is to use an autumn theme plus no more than two embellishments. I've no problem with that as I find it quite difficult to add anything to my cards other than stamps and a ribbon or two. Again I couldn't resist using Papertrey's Text Style borders, plus twill tape and Nestabilities Label One cut in half. Oh, and does anyone have a cure for an addiction to kraft cardstock? I've hardly made a card without it for weeks now!

Saturday 17 October 2009

A Passion for Papertrey - Challenge 15 Autumn Colours

Here's my entry for Challenge No 15 - a card using autumn colours. This stamp from the Autumn Abundance set is just right and I've also used Vintage Labels and Text Style. Coloured with Copics and cut with Nestabilities Labels One.

Love Autumn - its my season..... as the garden winds down just a bit I usually have more time to enjoy the countryside and it looks so beautiful at this time of year. There's only one drawback and that's the falling leaves in the garden. Yes - I know if I was a real gardener I would love them as a free resource that should be collected, rotted down and used as a mulch. But there are so many large beech trees and a 100 year+ oak tree in the front garden and we get absolutely buried in them every year. So I'm afraid we usually dispose of them on the bonfire if they are dry enough. Don't you just love the smell of a garden bonfire!

Friday 9 October 2009

Autumn Harvesting

I took advantage of a beautiful autumn day yesterday to go foraging in the hedgerows - I was after sloes as I want to make sloe gin as Christmas gifts this year and it needs starting as soon as possible. Happily they were there in abundance and I could have picked pounds and pounds but only took what I needed. I love the hedgerows in autumn as they seem painted with the lovely colours of turning leaves and ripening fruits.

I've been walking these fields for more than 40 years now and never tire of watching the seasons changing in them.
Yesterday I was accom- panied on my walk by these beauties who seemed very interested in what I was doing! And I was delighted to capture on camera some damselflies that were basking on a log in the sunshine. They are usually really hard to creep up on but the warmth must have made them a bit sleepy. Marvel at those beautiful wings - I'm sure folk must have mistaken them for fairies in times past.

Thursday 8 October 2009

Mo's First (Perple) Challenge

I'm such a Mo fan at the moment - I so admire her style of illustration. I always had a secret hankering to try book illustration myself in my younger days. But now I can indulge that wish by using Mo's excellent designs in papercrafting.

So I was very happy when I found out she was starting a challenge blog and here's my entry for the first challenge, which is to use the colour purple! And it certainly suits this gorgeous Goth Girl. The sentiment is from PTI's Green Thumb set.

Thanks Mo!

Monday 5 October 2009

Wow! Challenges complete! Australia

Well I'm proud of myself for finishing all four PTI World Card Making Day challenges - never thought I could do it! But sometimes the simplest designs turn out well and I really like this card that includes the Aboriginal art-style white dots. Just one PaperArtsy stamp, Waltzingmouse sentiment, white gel pen and a deckle edge scissors.

This card is dedicated to my Australian cousin Jeni and I'll probably send it to her - hope she likes it. She was over here in Wales this time last year and we had a lovely time ancestor hunting together.

Papertrey WCMD Challenge 3 - India!

I'm doing well here - got three of the four challenges finished! This one is to add jewels into the design. Well I'm not one for shiny unless its Christmas but I have tried here. You can't see well in the photo but I've used a Sakura glitter pen to fill in parts of these Indian style stamps and added some rhinestones too. I did intend to use these tiny bells which a friend's mother brought back from India recently but they didn't seem to want to fit into the picture anywhere so I gave up on them. I used a little stamp from PTI's Butterfly Kisses to make the swirly background paper and I think it fits into the Indian theme nicely.

I'm off to Australia for the last challenge but may not get it finished as I'm back in my carer's role today and will be travelling to my sister's later this morning.

Sunday 4 October 2009

Sunflowers - my Mexican Challenge

Papertrey's WCMD Challenge 2 with a Mexican theme worried me a bit until I "Googled" it and read that recently it has been discovered that the Mexicans grew sunflowers either 2000 or 4000 years ago depending which theory you read. So what an excellent opportunity to try my new Autumn Abundance stamps. When I think of Mexico pink and orange come to mind so I've used those colours for a special card to send my youngest sister on her birthday later this month.

I've grown sunflowers quite successfully this year and although most of the flowers have finished now they are developing lots of lovely seedheads ready for the birds to feed on over the winter months when food gets scarce for them. I've been feeding the garden birds for many years and I know they absolutely love sunflower seeds. I took this photo when the sun was behind these two sunflowers, exaggerating their lovely dark red colour.

Happy WCMD - and a real challenge for me!

I'm hoping to enter Nicole Heady's Papertry Ink Challenge for Word Card Making Day and get four cards made over the weekend, along with all the other stuff waiting to be done. It will be a real challenge as I'm only at home till Monday morning and the house needs a good "bottoming"!

So here is the first one - the challenge theme is Japan and all things Japanese. I bought these Japanese stamps a long time ago in a car boot sale and this is the first time they've been inked up - along with a PTI sentiment and the small flower from the Everyday Classics set. I think it looks like a chrysanthemum (kiku in Japanese) which is the coat of arms of the Japanese Emperor.

The other challenges have the themes Mexico, India and Australia, so I've to put my thinking cap on for some inspiration!

Sunday 27 September 2009

Claire's HUGE COMPETITION - Favourite Stamp

The so talented Claire at Waltzingmouse Makes is having a competition to celebrate her new release of 6 (yes 6!) stamp sets on Tuesday - can't wait! She's asked us to use a favourite stamp and the colour green. Its easy to see from previous posts that I love my Papertrey Ink Vintage Picnic stamp and use it all the time. When I was little we often had picnics on a Sunday afternoon and I remember a big tin Mum used to put the sandwiches in - not exactly like this but its still a nice reminder of happy days long ago. Here we are - Mum, 3 sisters and my Mum's cousin Elma - on a picnic, in a daisy covered field, summer 1954.

As well as my favourite stamp I've used stamps from Waltzingmouse Gingerbread Joy set to fill my picnic hamper. Its just about the best Gingerbread Man stamp set around and was my first introduction to Claire's brilliant blog.

Monday 21 September 2009

Copic Colour Challenge 31 - Kate to a Tee

This digital stamp from Mo's Digital Pencil just reminds me so much of my neice Kate that I couldn't resist colouring her up for this challenge. Hope she doesn't see it though as I know she won't be amused! I'm a real fan of digital stamps as they are so reasonably priced and, even better, don't take up any storage space! And you can resize them to suit your project. Perfect.

As well as my Copics I've used Papertrey's Tea Dye Duo ink for the background stamps and to age the edge of the Nestabilities scallop circle. Stamps are Polka Dot Basics and the text background stamp - can't remember what its called.

Sunday 20 September 2009

A Passion for Papertrey Challenge - Cherished Colours

I'm finding it really difficult to find time for crafting at the moment so apologise for the simplicity of this little thankyou card. However I'm pleased to see that Aqua Mist and kraft seems to be one of the top colour combinations with PTI fans and I really like it too. But I've got lots of other favourites - just haven't got the Papertrey goodies to go with them! I've this daydream that if I win some money on the lottery I'm going to order one of EVERYTHING from Papertrey Ink's store and to hell with the expense! AS IF!

Saturday 19 September 2009

Apples & Pears All Wrapped Up

Here are some of my amigurumi apples and pears all wrapped up ready for the Christmas Fair in November. I hope they appeal to the buyers. I've used three of Lauren's Timeless Templates that are the right shape to fit the fruits and my new Fruitful Papertrey stamp set is just perfect to decorate, along with my favourite Vintage Picnic of course! I was lucky enough to get into a group Papertrey Ink order a few weeks ago - thanks to the lovely Steph again - (that woman is an angel!) and I also ordered the Tea Dye Duo Vintage Touch ink cubes and I must say I'm absolutely loving the way they age the edges of the cardstock. I used acetate to make the lid for the tall box so that customers could see what was inside more easily and I'm really pleased with the way that turned out too.

Friday 18 September 2009

Blists Hill

Blists Hill Victorian Town near Ironbridge is a lovely place and Saturday was a lovely day - the sun shone and the sky was clear blue - as you can see in this photo. I couldn't resist snapping this gentleman and his lady enjoying the warm sunshine. If you haven't visited lately, there is a new street full of wonderful shops, including a chippy! I was disappointed that the Ironmongers was closed as my Father's family ran such a business in Llanrwst from the mid 19th century until around the 1930s, but the grocer's, draper's and Medical Hall more than made up for it.

We spent so much time wandering around enjoying the atmosphere and listening to the "inhabitants" that we missed the cafe and gift shop, which were both closed by 4.15 pm!

Friday 11 September 2009

Copic Colour Challenge 30 - Digital Pencil Too!

I discovered this lovely image by Mo Manning in her digital stamp shop this week. I suspect I will be spending quite a bit of time there in the future as lots of her illustrations appeal. I especially like Mummu, a rather mature lady - there's a lovely one of her teaching her ?granddaughter to knit. Definitely on my wishlist! But this card is for my sister who has been undergoing torture this week - no, not really! She's been having intensive physiotherapy in hospital to start her leg bending again and I know the physios working with her couldn't have been bettered anywhere.

I have to admit that I really need to practice my copic techniques and I haven't found a decent white card locally that doesn't make the ink bleed a bit. I've used Memento ink on this one as it seems to be recommended by a lot of people but again there was a bit of bleeding over the lines. I've had a birthday this week and the scalloped circle Nestabilities is something I've been wanting for ages - a gift from my son, although I had to purchase it myself! The sentiment is from PTI's Tea for Two set and the background stamp from Hero Arts.

Thursday 10 September 2009

Let's Do Lunch

I met with two of my special friend ex-colleagues today at our favourite cafe, Maria's. She does a yummy egg & chips and I always order that when we meet up there.

Here's a little gift I made for my friends as I hadn't seen them for a while. Chocolate chip cookies in a glassine bag and decorated with my favourite Papertrey Vintage Picnic stamps. The baskets are cut from Stampin Up paper and I coloured with Copics and added a touch of Sakura glitter pens.

Sunday 6 September 2009

A New Piano

Last week I drove my sister and her daughter to Stuart Jones Pianos in Newtown, Mid Wales. A new piano has been on the wish list for a long time. My niece has managed to reach Grade 4 on a very old and dilapidated piano - the pedals don't work and even one or two of the keys. So she has done amazingly well to get thus far and really does deserve to go forward on a decent instrument.

We had a lovely time trying out all the beautiful pianos. Although Stuart was not there on the day we met Mrs Jones, his Mum, who stands in for him when he is out and about. She couldn't have been more kind and had a vast knowledge of all the different instruments. With her help this shiny black little number was chosen in the end - its a Jouette. I can tell you there was MUCH excitement in the car on the drive home!

For this page I've used 'Symphony' by Ninascraps Designs, 'Sale Bundle No1' by Sue Cummings (both at Oscraps) and 'Watch Me Now' by Michelle Underwood Designs at 2 Peas in a Bucket.

Passion for Papertrey Challenge 12 - Clean & Simple

Here's a card I made for my niece who has just had her GCSE results. She did great and even got her name in the local paper as one of the school's star pupils!

Leanne Ellis' Annie stamps (from Sugar Nellie) are some of my favourite images, especially as she has my name! However as the star stamp and sentiment are PTI I hope I can squeeze it into the Passion for Papertrey challenge this week.

Monday 31 August 2009


Every Autumn for the past 10 years or so I have treated myself and my Mum to a bag of cobnuts from Allens Farm in Kent. They are hard to find in the shops but are absolutely delicious at this time of year - young and sweet - nothing like the dried nuts we buy at Christmas time. Mum lived in Mid Wales when she was a little girl and remembers the nut trees belonging to a friend of her Mother's.

About two years ago I found I had forgotten a few nuts in the back of the fridge and they had sprouted. I planted them in a pot and they have grown into three little trees which I put in the ground this summer. But it will be many years before they produce a decent crop. Oh well - its something to look forward to!

I "borrowed" the photo of cobnuts from a National Trust website - hope they don't mind! The digital kit is from Shabby Princess The ShabbyShoppe.

Wednesday 26 August 2009

Tucked Away

This Timeless Template is definitely going to be one of my favourites. Its just such a great shape for gift giving. I love the way the front flap tucks in to close the box.

I've used some of my precious Pure Poppy cardstock with the Kraft here and again Vintage Picnic is just perfect to decorate. Its turning into my number one stamp set - just right for so many occasions.

There's something tucked away inside this one that I can't reveal at the moment but it has to start its journey to Essex today (is that a clue?).

Tuesday 25 August 2009

Copic Colour Challenge 27

Phew! I'm really pleased to squeeze in another challenge this week after not managing to enter anything over the past few weeks.

And here's a good excuse to use my new Earth Angel set from the very clever Claire at Waltzingmouse Stamps . Isn't this little girl sweet - as well as an angel she can transform into lots of other characters and has lots of accessories. I love her. She so reminds me of someone from a Jane Austin or Charles Dickens story. And cleverest of all she can also metamorphosize into a butterfly - can you guess how!

Monday 24 August 2009

A Passion for Papertrey Challenge 11

The challenge is a Thank You Card and there are quite a few people who deserve one of these!

Something I love about Papertrey stamps is that lots of them co-ordinate with each other. Here I've used stamps from the new Everyday Button Bits with some from the Paper Tray set issued in February 2007 which I bought second hand. I don't think you can tell they weren't made for each other!

Looking at the card again I feel its a bit "wishy-washy" - I could have used brighter ink for the flowers or even stamped them in different colours. I'll try that another time.

Thursday 20 August 2009

Apples & Pears

At the moment I'm not getting much crafting time but I do manage to get on with my amigurami apples and pears in the evenings whilst watching TV. My sister's friend Pauline is the manager of a residential home for older people and she has asked me to make 20 fruits to sell at their annual Christmas Fair at the end of November.

I've managed to alter my apple pattern to turn it into a pear and I've also made smaller apples (or could do a pear too) to use as keyrings or bag charms. Once prettily boxed up I hope they will make good fund-raisers.

The gift box here is another version of Lauren Meader's Timeless Template - "Get a Handle on it" decorated with images from Papertrey's gorgeous Vintage Picnic stamp set.

Monday 10 August 2009

Thank you Sunny

This little gift is on its way to Kansas and my lovely 'penfriend' Sunny. Sunny is my 'proxy' Papertrey customer - she has bought stamp sets on my behalf and sent them to me using First Class mail, which is so much more affordable than the normal Papertrey shipping. I wanted to thank her and show my appreciation for her kindness a way other than just saying thank you a hundred times so I have decorated this little notebook for her using the set she purchased for me last month - the lovely Vintage Picnic. I absolutely love this set.

I've used a spiral notebook from Paperchase. They have a range of stationery in this brown parcel paper and black design which is perfect for embellishing. The sentiments are from the other set I bought last month - Everyday Button Bits (which I also LOVE) and I've made a little card with that set to accompany the notebook. I hope you like them Sunny and they arrive with you safely soon.

I'm afraid the photos are rather grainy - its a cloudy quite dull morning.

Sunday 9 August 2009

David Austin Roses

Yesterday my sister and I had a ride out to David Austin Roses - somewhere I've wanted to visit for a long time. It was a warm sunny day and everything there looked lovely - including our light lunch and the tea and cake we had later as it took us hours to decide which rose to buy. In the end I chose this one - its called Crown Princess Margareta and is a lovely apricot colour. My sister bought a salmon pink called Sunset Boulevard as unfortunately the rose that had her name was not in stock at the moment.

Apart from the rose nursery there is a lovely gift shop and a beautiful garden to linger in. The little cafe is so pretty and the food delicious and reasonably priced. All in all a very enjoyable day out and well worth a visit. And your Mum would love it!

Monday 3 August 2009

Bean Bee

This is a really simple scrapbook page - there are only three elements in it - including the photo! But its such a lovely image I don't feel it needs anything else. Its a honey bee on my runner bean plants hopefully making beans for me... We've heard about the plight of the honey bee recently so its always nice to see them in the garden. There are plenty of bees around this year but I haven't seen many of these - which is a great sadness as I love honey!

I've used Tia Bennett's Toy Camera Frames at Two Peas in a Bucket.


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