Wednesday, 29 February 2012

February in photos

Happy Leap Year Day!  When I was a girl we used to say this was the one day when you could propose to your sweetheart...... rather an old fashioned thought now - but then I'm an old fashioned girl. 

This is my second monthly digital layout using Carina Gardner's Design 365 digi kit.  Quite a challenge this one as the squares are mostly small!  I knew I wanted to use gingham for the background and found just what I was looking for at my favourite digital shopping place 2Peas in a Bucket.  I was going to use pink gingham but thinking about it February is definitely a yellow month - all those daffodils - and the yellow gingham is a much better compliment to my photos.

I'll be back later today to draw my three mouse winners - there aren't many takers so you've all got a good chance.

Supplies: at 2 Peas in a Bucket - Paperazzi Gingham, Tree Stamp Single, at Jessica - A Year in Layouts

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Sunsets and Dippers

................Sometimes I think I live for sunsets."
"I don`t see that it does you any good always looking at sunsets like you do," said the fat woman.
"Nor me. But I do. Sunsets are things I was made to like."   The History of Mr Polly: H G Wells

I've a whole digital file of sunset photographs.  I can't let one fade away without recording its glories  for posterity!  Here's last evening's offering snapped on my way home from walking by the river.

 I'd been trying to sneek up on this Dipper again.  He lives on this stretch of the river but just as I'm getting near he flies off to the other end of his territory - and my pocket camera isn't up to long range zooming.  But maybe he'll get used to my visits and pose for me one day.

When we moved to this small market town 50 odd years ago we lived just below the church spire and played here by the river.  We caught tadpoles and sticklebacks in jam jars and got our feet and clothes wet - but it wasn't far to run home. 

Of course it was much quieter then - less traffic, fewer houses blocking the view of the church, no industrial buildings lining the opposite bank and there was a railway line instead of a busy by-pass running over the end of the field.  But you can still see lots of wildlife here - as long as there are no dog walkers about. 

The remains of the railway bridge and grass covered line can still be seen.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Fabulous Floral Fusion

I've created this mirror for a niece's birthday next week. She wanted a wall mirror for her kitchen, but where to find something suitable to work on was a problem.  I trawled the charity shops for a few days and eventually found a very ugly candidate - the glass was slightly scratched and the wooden frame was much too narrow and a horrible colour! But it cost only 50p and had to be my best bet with time running short.

I knew I wanted to make something bright and cheerful as my niece and her two girls will have to look in it every morning before school, and what could be more cheerful than Melissa Bickford's Flower Fusion series at Papertrey Ink.  I attached a frame made from cardboard covered in a thick textured paper, die cut lots of flowers and leaves from coaster board, stamped them in lots of bright colours and glued them on in a random fashion.  I felt I would need to protect the frame with varnish as it will be hung in a kitchen so I tentatively added a couple of coats of matt varnish.  Unfortunately the stamped images have blurred a bit but I'd prefer that to the flowers curling up and falling off in the heat and steam of a busy kitchen. 

The birthday card has more FF flowers with button centres that I've glittered using Stickles Star Dust glitter glue so that I can enter it for this week's Make-it-Monday challenge at Papertrey Ink.

Have a great weekend!  I'll be mouse-making ;o)

Supplies: PTI Flower Fusion series #1-12 stamps + matching dies, Think Big Favourites #12,  Picket Fence die. Memory Box Cloud die (used as a mask for the card sky).

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Quick! card needed!

Does your heart sink when an unexpected need for a quick card arises? Or, like me, do you enjoy the challenge of getting something in the post before the end of the day.  Its happened twice here in the last week.  On Sunday the sudden hospital admission of my Mum's 87 year old cousin, and last Tuesday my lovely niece Faye had surgery on her foot. A cutesy or flowery get well card would not have been suitable in either case so I put my inspiration cap on and came up with these two quickies.

Although I've had the typewriter stamp for some time (I just had to have it!) its the first time I've used it on a project and the vintage paper fasteners I found at a car boot sale some time ago were a perfect office-type addition to the design.  And look, they were made in the USA and could well have come from one of the American war time bases in the UK.

Faye's card was even simpler - just a pretty die cut and a bit of hairy garden twine.  Faye has her own fabulous blog The Fashion Harvest, and loves fashion (of course!) thrifting and sewing.  I'd found these two cards of ribbons and trimmings for her at All Things Ottoline on Folksy some time ago and as she's not as mobile as usual at the moment, it was the perfect time to send them. 

Right! I'm off to the post office...

Supplies: Stamps: Hero Arts 'My Type'; PTI 'Mat Stack 3 Collection', Background Basics Text Style II, Think Big Favorites #7.  Heart die cut: LR0186 designed by Eline Pellinkhof for Marianne Design Creatables.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Mollie Mouse and a belated birthday giveaway

I haven't had much crafty time during the last week or so but I managed to finish my Mollie mouse last night and here she is! You might have seen some of her family on the cover of the latest Mollie Makes magazine.

I think Mollie turned out really cute but she was a bit fiddly to make.  Jenny Dee's instructions are perfectly clear and simple but I think the fabric I used was too stiff and made turning the small pieces through very difficult.  However I'm keen to try another mouse to see if it really was the wrong fabric - or just my poor sewing skills.   

And because I didn't celabrate my blog's third birthday in January, I thought I would have a little giveaway with my Mouse Mark 2, 3 and 4.  If you'd like the chance to have a mouse in your family, just leave a comment on this post and I'll pick three mouse-winners (one mouse for each blog year) using the random number generater on Leap Year Day - February 29th.  I hope to have three mice finished by then.  International commenters will be very welcome.

I have to say Mollie Makes just keeps on inspiring and I'll definitely be renewing my subscription next month - I can't believe there have already been 11 issues!
What a surprise when we woke up yesterday (Sunday) morning - the first sprinking of snow this year. Very pretty, but by the time I was going to work at 10.00 am it was fast melting and when I got home there was practically no sign of it except on the hills.

The first daffodils are out in the garden but some of them seem to have been eaten by something.  There are no slugs or snails around at this time of year so perhaps the birds have been pecking the buds.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

A Valentine for my........

..... teapot!  Is it wrong?? OK, I don't have a human Valentine in my life but my teapot is the first to greet me each morning, refreshes me through the day, and relaxes me at the end of the evening.  So when I saw my favourite inspirational blogger Godelieve had made a Valentine for her pot, I thought mine deserved one too.  Not only that, to show my appreciation, I cleaned all the tea stains away especially for his (I do see it as a him) portrait. I stamped the heart on a blank coaster, cut it out and then stamped the back.

I did see one lovey dovey couple today though.  On my walk by the river this duck and drake swam alongside me for a while before flying off together.  Sweet!

Friday, 10 February 2012

A Bunch of Challenges

There is one advantage to being 5 hours ahead of the US - when there's a challenge competition with a deadline looming we have an extra few hours in the mornings to get finished.  I'm not good at papercrafting in the evenings.... especially if its been a work day.  Knitting and crochet are much more suited to evenings by the fire and TV.  But I wanted to enter the Papertrey 5th Anniversay Day 5 challenge and late last night I could not get my card right.  However this morning I changed the card base and now its more how I envisaged it in my mind's eye.  The challenge is to pick a pin from one of the design team's boards on Pinterest as an inspiration.  I chose this pin of a project by Marie at Make and Takes. I found it on Heather Nichols' spring board. 
I also made another card for the Make-it-Monday challenge #52 as I enjoyed this technique so much.  This one was inspired by Kelly's gorgeously brilliant bouquet card - I was going to create a bunch of flowers for my pot but decided in the end to have just one large flower.  It was supposed to be a sunflower but now I think it may be a gerbera.

Three cards and three challenges in a week! That's a record for me!

Stamps: PTI Egg Hunt, Rosie Posie, Distressed Stripes (flower stem), Beautiful Blooms II (leaves), BB Gingham; Darkroom Door Gingham Background.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Make-it-Monday #52

Its months since I've joined in a challange! However I really like this week's Make it Monday video at Papertrey Ink. Erin showed us how to make an embellishment by stamping both sides of a die cut. Great idea and dead easy!

Like a few other crafters, I decided to use butterflies on my project as I've got the die to match the stamp set, and as the images are symetrical its easy to stamp both sides.  I used glue dots to shape the butterflies and added blue metalic thread for the anntenae.  Err, yes I know the sideways butterflies are insideout! - but they looked much better that way round.  I'll definitely use this technique again.

As I sit here typing the sun is shining through the narrow gap between the two houses opposite onto the little sprig of catkins I picked on a walk last week. I notice they have opened in the warmth of the room and dropped their pollen. 

You can see it here - that pale yellow dust on the rim of the glass.

Its very cold today and I fear the birds and animals will have to endure another long freezing night tonight.  I do hope they have found enough to eat during the day to get them through.  Even so, "my" birds are still picky and have ignored the pink fruit suet block I put out over a week ago.  Perhaps they don't like the colour!  Its supposed to be just what robins and blackbirds need at this time of year - but I don't think anyone has told them!  Even the Thrush has turned his beak up. 
Can you see he has upsidedown hearts on his breast!

Stamps: Papertrey Ink's Butterfly Dreams; Friends Til the End, Think Big Favorites; + Butterfly die

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

1st February - and January in photos

I've been inspired by Godelieve's excellent digital page here but there is no way I would be able to fill a page with my blog posts in just a month!  However I'd really like to use the templates to record 2012 in photos so I'm going to jump in.  January has been a lean month but I've managed to find enough images for my page and of course it will get easier as the year goes by.  I've used the same digital kit from Jessica Sprague, and as has Godelieve, I've changed the page background and elements to suit. 

And as another month has begun, here is Miss February from my vintage book "Children Month by Month".  I hope we won't be sliding and gliding about too much!

Digital kits: Design 365 A Year of Layouts 2012 by Jessica SpragueSnow Yesterday by Kate Teague for Two Peas in a Bucket


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