Blog candy on my first birthday!

Friday, 29 April 2011

I have been blogging on these pages for a year now (yes, that's 52 weeks of crafty ramblings, tales of Bodd and dodgy picures!).

So to celebrate I have some blog candy up for grabs! Just my way of saying thank you for reading and commenting. It's nice to know I'm not just talking to myself!

I would love to be able to tell you what is up for grabs, but as yet I've not made the prizes! But I will, and I plan something stitchy and something papercrafty, and maybe one or two surprises! Let's pretend it's not because I've not had enough time but because I want to wait to see who the winner is so I can personalise the prizes! Yes, that works!

So it's a bit of a gamble on my birthday surprise blog candy, but please do have a go!

All you have to do to enter is be a follower and leave a comment on this post saying why you read my blog (and please be honest - the winner will be chosen randomly so you can say what you want!).

I will draw the winner at midday on Friday, May 6th so you have a whole week to enter!

Good luck and thanks for being part of my blogging world.


Thank you flowers

Thursday, 28 April 2011

It's always nice to say thank you, and even better if you do it with flowers.

So to say thank you to the ladies I met at Denman College earlier this month I made some hanging tag decorations using the Fun Flowers die on the Big Shot.

I used all sorts of different DSP and colours of cardstock, embossing some bits then sticking the three flowers together and adding ribbon for hanging.

Here are all the colour options.

The best thing about paper flowers is you don't need to water them, which is good for me, as my plants always seem to die!


Just Believe gala

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Today's offering includes three cards made using the Just Believe stamp set. I've had these pics stored away for ages and never got round to sharing.

These two were made at my SU mummy Julie's class a while back. We used the Woodland Walk DSP, several punches, as well as the yummy Pearls.

And here's one I made for those reminder tins. I love this as I think it's rather 70s and reminds me of funky wallpaper. The main image was stamped on to Watercolour Paper and then lightly sprayed with water to make it bleed a little.

Tonight is the weekly get-together with Hayley and Helen, and this time we're at mine for a pyjama party. Scary films and popcorn at the ready!


Scrapbooking with Helen

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Yesterday Helen came round to get started on her first ever scrapbook so we had a good play, despite my lack of concentration and ability to think coherently because of a stupid cold.

Helen had ordered lots of bits at my Stampin' Up! workshop last week to do an album about her trip to Liverpool with friends. As she hasn't done any scrapbooking before I suggested we get together for a couple of hours to get her started.

We began by choosing a couple of pictures for the first page. The ones we went for are of Helen and a friend having hot chocolate in a yummy cafe. The colours were very funky - brown and yellow, and the cafe had big yellow flowers so we incorporated those. Luckily Helen had been well prepared and got some leaflets from the cafe so we used those as well.

We used a nuetral background and DSP from the Regals stack. The flowers were made using the Fun Flowers die on the Big Shot in coordinating colour card and DSP, and we also embossed some of them. A few buttons, a flower brad, the title and pic from the leaflets and a piece of chipboard Helen had found somewhere and we were done!

Here's Helen looking pleased with her first scrapbook page, and rightly so!

The second page we did featured a few of the Liverpool sights. The Anglican and Roman Catholic Cathedrals and the statue of Queen Victoria. The greys and greens worked well together in the card and DSP, and again, a piece of patterned paper Helen had bought in Whitby. The cartoon images across the bottom are from a sticker book Helen bought in Liverpool - always thinking ahead!

It is titled Did you know ... as the pics were taken on a sightseeing tour of Liverpool. The guide had explained that the Anglican Cathedral was built by a Roman Catholic, and vice versa! So I learnt something as well!

After that we were done in so we nipped out for a buffet and I spent the rest of the evening trying to fight of this damn cold by doing housework!

I'm just going to have to battle through it as I have many things to do, as always, and not enough hours in the day.


Easter weekend

Monday, 25 April 2011

I think this is about the only Easter weekend I've not spent with my family. Very strange, but I kinda did it without realising. I'm going back later this week as we're having a gathering for my grandma's 80th birthday (it's a surprise and all her grandkids wil be there) and I didn't want to be away from all my crafty goodies for too long!

Anyway, I have spent the time with some of my good friends instead. Yesterday I was round at Sam's to help her get started with the Big Shot and begin making her boxes, labels and tags for her yummy bath products. We had a good play, and this is one of the little boxes from the Mini Milk Carton Die.

The milk carton is made from Crumb Cake cardstock and we wrapped a piece from the Subtles DSP stack around it. Then made the label using Four Frames and the matching Decorative Label Punch, coloured in with the Stampin' Write markers. I added the wording using Just Perfect Alphabet and handwriting. Finally, it is (very poorly) tied with the Pretty In Pink 3mm Taffeta Ribbon.

We were both very pleased with how it looks - just the right balance of cuteness and vintage.

We also experimented with embossing the card once the template had been cut, which also looked pretty awesome, and using a Stampin' Around wheel and the Spritzer Tool to create a design on the carton, but I forgot to take pics!

After all this crafty fun we went to the pub for a cheeky beverage and sat in the sun for a while.

And now I have no idea what day it is and what I should be doing! Best go figure it out!


Exciting WI news and a day at the seaside

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Well it may only have been a couple of days but a lot has happened since my last update!

Thursday evening was the second birthday party for Buns & Roses WI. As well as having our usual drinks and chats, I was delighted to be made Vice President of the group. Hurrah! I'm so excited and can't wait to be helping out the committee and doing even more with The WI! Hurrah some more!

Then yesterday I had a day at the seaside with Helen, Hayley and her hubby Flower.

We had to do a detour on the way up to Whitby as traffic on the A64 was going nowhere fast, but the scenic route was much nicer anyway.

But we got there, only to find that Dracula was out to play and the mist was so bad you could only see a few metres ahead! Stood on one side of the bridge you couldn't see the other! I was a bit disappointed as not only did this mean it was cold and I couldn't get a tan, but also that I couldn't see the church and abbey.

Anyway, it was still great fun, and we had a good wander, played the arcade games, ate fish and chips and did a bit of shopping.

I bought this old watch face with the intention of making it into a piece of jewellery. One day!

here are my wins from the 2p machines!

We decided we would go for a quick run to Scarborough as well, and we got there about tea time, just in time for a walk along the beach and a paddle in the sea, and some more arcade games and one of those simulator things.

There was still a bit of mist over the cliff.

Here's what I won on Scarborough's 2p machines!

So that was Thursday evening and Friday!

Today I'm going to nip into town for some craft supplies as I have a few bits for a Christening that I've been commissioned to do. I'll work on them in the back garden this afternoon I think!

Hope everyone enjoys their long Easter weekend.


Love is in the air!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Wowser, I can't believe it's Thursday again already, and coming up to the end of April too! Where does the time go?!

Last night was our weekly get-together at Hayley's. She, me and Helen generally just sit around and gossip and do something crafty. Last night they made LOTS of cakes (and I mean lots - more than 50 cupcakes and a BIG one!) while I did a bit of work and also finished off my short story for The WI's Lady Denman Cup Competition. I am pleased with it, especially as I haven't done any non-fiction writing for many years. Really enjoyed doing it too, so I must do more!

Anyway, on to today's card.

This was another made for Georgie's wedding earlier this month.

I was still in the Bashful Blue and Real Red phase, which I think is a stunning combo! I stamped the Eiffel Tower from the Artistic Etchings set in Basic Grey, and also the circle motif, which was stamped off on to my paper first so it was lighter.

The little envelope was made using the Petal Card Double Punch, which cuts and scores! I then made the hearts using the Heart to Heart Punch and the butterflies from the Beautiful Wings Embosslit. A quick tag was added with Linen Thread et voila!

This evening is the Buns & Roses WI second birthday party (hence all the cakes!). There will be lots of exciting news and I'm looking forward to catching up with all my girls.


The WI: A truly lifesaving organisation

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Yesterday evening I visited Meanwood WI with my fellow Buns & Roses WI members Helen, Hayley and Siobhan (and a friend of Siobhan's whose name I have forgotten!).

I love going to see what other institutes get up to, and I have to say last night's meeting was the most amazing yet.

The speaker for the evening was a lady called Joan. She had been a Navy Wren during the Second World War, starting at the age of just 17 and going on to enjoy an incredible career in the forces.

Having completed her initial training, Joan was posted to the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) and worked, at first without even realising what she was doing, on breaking German codes.

Along with many other Wrens and forces personnel, she worked tirelessly, helping to reduce the war by several years and save the lives of millions of people.

She spoke so well about her time in the Navy and life during the war at Bletchley Park, and it was a true honour to meet such an incredible woman.

Two things which struck me the most:
1. She is one of only a handful of people to use the German Enigma machine, which was smuggled into the UK from Poland.
2. She and her husband never once spoke of their work at home. It was only after several decades of their marriage that they realised they had both been working on the same project, such was the level of security and the importance placed on preventing leaks.

I think Joan's talk summed up everything that is great about The WI:
We are truly amazing women with fantastic stories and a huge impact on our world.
We have a strong sense of duty, of doing our very best for our people and country and of being faithful.
We do not give up and work tirelessly towards our goals.

I'm coming over a little sentimental now (I could have cried at times as Joan was speaking, although there were plenty of laughs as well), but I hope you understand.

Thank you to Meanwood WI for such an inspirational meeting (and great cake!) and thank you to Joan and all forces personnel for everything.

PS On a lighter note - I won this tissue box in the raffle!


Two tags

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Just have a couple of tags to share today, using the beautiful Four Frames stamp set and matching Decorative Label Punch.

This first one I made for some of my friends and customers to go with the new Mini Catalogue I gave them.

I stamped the frame with the roses on and cooured it in using my Stampin' Write Markers. The monogram was added with Broadsheet Alphabet. I then covered both sides in sticky back plastic and punched it out. Finally, I added the Eyelet using the Crop-A-Dile and threaded it with Taffeta Ribbon.

This one is mine and it's on my summer handbag, along with my Julie's Jems team brooch and WI badge.

And here's a gift tag using the same stamp. Again, coloured in and punched out. The actual tag was cut from Crumb Cake card and I added a bit of the Springtime Vintage DSP and some butterflies made with the Beautiful Wings Embosslit on my Big Shot. It was finished off with the Seam Binding Ribbon in Rose Red.

Whoever has a birthday next may just get this label on their present. That is, assuming they get a present from me!


Owl be there for you

Monday, 18 April 2011

On Saturday I helped to run the Buns & Roses WI craft stall at a fair at the Cross Keys pub. It was a bit chilly with quite a breeze at times but at least it was dry.

Here is our table.

We've really got lots of lovely things on sale now from some of our talented members, and it's always good to help make them, and B&R, a few quid, as well as spread the word.

While I was there I made a few owls using the fab new punch. So much fun to play with this and use up some of those tiny little scraps of paper and card that I just can't manage to throw out!

Here's a Cajun Craze owl with googly eyes! If he had a mouth I think he'd be whistling like he was trying to avoid a question!

Here are a few variations in colour. I got some coloured lollipop sticks to make bookmarks.

And here's another bookmark and a brooch. I think the orange one is drunk!

I love the Two-Step Owl Punch as it is so much fun to use and you can make loads of little pieces like this really quickly and use up loads of scraps.

Lots on this week, with WI meetings, work and a bit of crafting too!


Scrapbooking and stitching

Sunday, 17 April 2011

My SU mummy Julie set us all a challenge to CASE a project from the new Mini Catalogue but change a few elements. We had to switch the colour scheme, the size and an embellishment.

This is my entry.

The Sew Sweet Suite immediately appealed to me and I love the piece on the front cover of the catalogue using the embroidery hoop, so I used it as the basis for a scrapbook page.

I cut out the dressing model stamp from Sew Lovely and used the Timeless Type Junior Alphabet Dies in my Big Shot for the initials.

The picture is me working on a cross stitch piece that I turned into a cushion for my mum's Christmas present.

I ruffled up some Seam Binding Ribbon (really easy and so cute) and added lots of Big Buttons (and regular ones) as well as some flowers made from the Sweet Stitches DSP and Fun Flowers die. The middle of the flower is a button from the Sweet Buttons Embosslit.

This has to be one of my favourite scrapbook pages!


Me and my mum

Saturday, 16 April 2011

When I went home a few weeks ago my cousin's boyfriend Oli took some photos of me and my mum in Castle Park in Frodsham.

It was a fab experience and Oli is a very talented snapper (he does all our family events now!).

I just want to share a few of my favourites ...

This last one is my overall fave!

Now I must get round to creating a scrapbook page with these pics!

Big thanks to my mum for being fab and to Oli for being great with his camera!

You can check out more of Oli's work on his websites wedding photos and portrait and fashion images.


Stampin' Up! Mini Catalogue workshop

Friday, 15 April 2011

Last night I held my Mini Catalogue launch workshop. Big thanks to all my good friends for coming along - I hope you had lots of crafty fun!

Despite being called Stampin' Up! we didn't do any stamping! So it was just Up!, as Hayley pointed out!

Our focus was the Big Shot and the fab range of dies and embossing options. We had lots of play time and the girls all made some fab cards.

Here is my sample card.

I used the Fun Flowers die, Square Lattice embossing folder, Swirls Scribbles die and Timeless Type Alphabet dies with the Springtime Vintage DSP.

These all make for lots of texture and interest, without taking ages to make or being overly fussy or complicated.

Here's a close up so you can see the different elements.

Of course, everyone made their card differently, as we used bits of the Springtime Vintage DSP and several colour combinations. And the alphabet meant personalised cards are really quick.

I forgot to take pics, but Maria put her husband's name on for their wedding anniversary today, Alex made her's as a wedding card for friends with their initials, Kylie's was for her nanna, Sam put her own name on and Helen stuck with just saying Hi. Hayley was awkward as usual and didn't finish hers off but took it home to add some other bits!

I've just managed to tidy up the living room and packed most of my stuff away now!


Old pics! WI stand at the Knitting and Stitching Show

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Just a quickie today to share a couple of pics from last year!

The West Yorkshire Federation of Women's Institutes had a stand at the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate last November, and myself and some fellow Buns & Roses members went along to help out.

I was manning the demonstration table for a few hours, making a few bits and chatting to lots of lovely people - men and women, members and non-members (but hopefully future members!).

Here I am stitchign away! I was doing some patchwork pin cushions, decorated eggs as Christmas ornaments and Suffolk puffs.

This is me and Hayley together.

It was such a lovely few hours and I got to chat to a lot of amazing people. Everyone was so enthusiastic and keen to learn about Tthe WI and what we were doing, both on the stand and in the wider context.

I know I say it a lot (especially if you have me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter) but The WI is properly brilliant. Since joining 18 months ago I have learnt a lot of new skills, made many new friends and had a LOT of laughs.

I am very glad to say I have been able to get involved with The WI on many levels and plan to do so much more over the years.


A scrapbook page and The WI

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

I had a lovely day out yesterday at the West Yorkshire Federation of Women's Institutes AGM. I went with my good friends Hayley and Siobhan and of course met a lot of lovely WI ladies from around the county and beyond.

We were running a craft stall for our WI and I am very pleased to say we sold quite a few goodies, including about 20 of my cards!

Here is our stand - doesn't it look good?!

We started off by singing Jerusalem then had all the usual meeting stuff - financial reports and updates from the various committees.

Then, Buns & Roses were awarded a trophy for getting the most new members!

I did a short presentation on stage about my visit to Denman College last week. I was so nervous but I think it was OK! I also manned the desk for the college at lunchtime and got to chat with many WI members.

There was also a craft competition. The theme was Seasons, so I did a scrapbook of the Formula 1 season in 2009 when Jenson Button won the world championship.

I didn't win, but it was good to have a try.

I made the flag by weaving strips of paper. The journaling is written on some of the Newsprint DSP.

I used chipboard and a button for Jenson's name! I coloured around the edge with a blackmarker to make it stand out.

Well that was just one day in my busy week and there are many more to come!


Another wedding card and the WI

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

The fun never stops around here at the moment! I am still mega busy with all sorts of things going on in the next few weeks. Can I go back to Denman College for a break please?!

Today's card is another that went to my friend Georgie on her wedding day. I made it on behalf of my friend Sam with one of the new Stampin' Up! sets Clearly For You.

I went for a vintage look (surprisingly!) and used lots of my favourite things.

The background is a piece of the Newsprint DSP, which I scrunched up and inked a bit using the Distressing Essentials kit. I then stamped randomly with some of the smaller images from Clearly For You - a crown, butterfly, cherub and ladybug.

The focal piece uses the rectangle background stamp and the birds on a branch. Again, I just coloured in two of them using a Stampin' Write marker pen. I wrapped some Linen Thread around and included a tag made using the Jewellery Tag Punch and phrase from the Tiny Tags stamp set. The ribbon is the amazing Crumb Cake Seam Binding.

I hope George and Brendan liked it!

Today I am out at the West Yorkshire Federation of Women's Institutes AGM. As well as running a craft stall, singing Jerusalem and eating cake with the ladies, I am giving a presentation on my visit to Denman College! I have made a slideshow of some of my pics and will have my embroidery on display.

And the rest of this week is just as crazy - lots of work to do, my Stampin' Up! Mini Launch Workshop on Thursday evening, a craft fair on Saturday! I really need more hours in the day!


A wedding card

Monday, 11 April 2011

Remember the wedding I went to last weekend? Well here is the card I made for the happy couple!

Georgie is president of Buns & Roses WI so I hope she approved!

I used the new Manhattan Flowers Embossing Folder with the Four Frames stamp set and matching Decorative Label Punch. I tried not to be girly but still get it bright. I think the pinks and greens work well together.

I coloured in the flowers on the frame using the Watercolour Pens, which give a beautiful effect, and added the initials from Broadsheet Alphabet.

I hope they liked it and have enjoyed their first week of marriage!


Big Shot selection

Sunday, 10 April 2011

At our Julie's Jems training yesterday we had lots of playtime with the Big Shot.

It really is a fab die cutting machine with lots of potential, and not just for card making!

We did use it to make cards though, five of them in fact, and here they are.

Check out these cute animals on their little train! The Fox and Friends bunch are in little carriages made from the Decorative Label Punch put through the Big Shot in the Perfect Polka Dots Embossing Folder.

The Big Shot is ideal for making quick but beautiful cards. Here, the main feature is the Manhattan Flowers Embossing Folder. A bit of ribbon and the sentiment just sets it off.

One of my favourite Big Shot options - the Beuatiful Winngs Embosslit with the Elegant Bouquet Embossing Folder. Also teamed with the Four Frames stamps and matching Decorative Label Punch. Another fast but pretty card.

One for the men with Cheers To You. The background is the Perfect Polka Dots Embossing Folder again and the beers were stamped on card shaped using the Lots of Tags Sizzlits die.

Finally, a big fun one withg the Top Note die and Fun Flowers die. The Top Note was cut out then put through with the Square Lattice Embossing Folder. I just love this texture! The paper here is from the Springtime Vintage DSP and the Big Button finishes it off.


If you want to see the Big Shot in action and get your hands on these amazing SU exclusive products then come along to my Mini workshop on Thursday. Details over there >>> or just give me a shout for more info.


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