Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Exciting times!

Alex is hyper excited as yesterday and today he went to a 'Big Boy' holiday club instead of nursery. He absolutely loved it and was so happy to be going back again today. He also moved from his old car seat into a 'Big Boy' car seat which he is really proud about. He so can't wait to start school next week...I don't know where those past years have gone. My little boy is all ready for school, that is for sure!  I hope he likes it as much as he thinks he will!
He is still missing his cousin Daniel at the moment so he drew him this picture. It is the best picture he has ever drawn so it is a shame that I am not allowed to keep it LOL! He attempted to draw the relevant letters above each person and then drew birds in the sky (the brown lines) as well as the sun.
For my workdesk today (as part of WOYWW), you can see my trusty craft mat, craft knife and DST as well as the card I have just finished, one of my peel off boxes, various bits of patterned paper and a punch hiding in the background.  The noticeable absentee is my trusty mug of tea...that is because my darling husband has gone down to the kitchen to get me a refill!
This is the card, which was made following this weeks CCT sketch, and used my first ever Meljen;s image (that book worm is so cute!) so fits with Meljens challenge. It also fits with the cards for men 'G is', The Crazy Challenge 'New' (in this case, a new school), Creative Card Crew 'anything goes' and stamp something 'back to school' challenges.
I also made another entry for this weeks Less is More challenge which was to combine 3 past challenges. This time an all white congratulations card for my distant cousin who is getting married this weekend. The 3 past challenges I chose were 13: Congratulations, 14:White on white, 15: embossing, & 25: Ribbon. This card also fits with MTTC 'flowers' challenge. Unfortunately my camera struggled with the white on white so I hope you can make it out.  That is all from me for today.  Have a great rest of the week everyone.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Having a busy time!

 Firstly an apology for not posting on Friday.  I have been very busy at work trying to finish a grant application and so haven't had time for crafting. This weekend has also been busy as Alex went to a nursery friend's birthday party yesterday morning.
We went to the park with friends in the afternoon
and today we went to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park where we got to stroke this Wallaby
Admire the tigers,
and cappybara
and got up close and personal with the lemurs.
Alex also had fun on the tree fort and the climbing frame.
Despite having a busy weekend I did manage to make a couple of cards, both of which are being used as my DT entries for Quirky Crafts. The challenge this time is fluorishes and embossing. I couldn't resist this image from our sponsor, Stitchy Bear, for a First Day at school card for Alex (I still can't believe he is starting school in just over a week's time!). I went with primary colours for the card to make it appropriate for him, and added gold stars because when I was at school I always wanted to earn a gold star for my work!  I am also entering this card into Fresh Brewed 'embossing', Ginergersnap 'primary colours', Penny's challenge 'back to school', DYSU 'card for a boy or man', Paper play 'back to school', All sorts 'back to school', Stamp something 'back to school',  PaperCutz 'wish upon a star', Sew Many Cards 'edge punch' challenges and the card follows Simon Says Stamp's sketch.
This second one also fits with Less is More, where the challenge was to use 3 (or more past challenges) to make your CAS card.  Mine is a one layer card, which combines challenges 6 (off the edge), 15 (embossing - the wings are heat embossed with hologram super sparkle embossing powder), 23 (something with legs), 28 (use ink),  29 (somthing that moves) and 1 (pink, black and white - the wings are a purply pink, the colour has just changed slightly with the embossing). This card is for one of Alex's friends, who apparently is into fairies! I am also entering this into Crafty Creations 'animal' challenge. That is all from me. Have a great bank holiday everyone.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Social Somerset weekend!

I have had a lovely long weekend at my parents in Somerset.  The weather was a little mixed; mostly sunny with the occassional shower, but despite that we were able to eat most of our meals outside in the garden. My brother and his family were also down so Alex and his cousins played on the bike and tractor for a lot of the weekend.  The tractor proved good exercise for the adults as we had to push the boys round the drive!
Blackberrying was another favourite trip out, with walking through the long grass,
(helped by Grandad and Mummy where needed)
hiding in the corn
and of course eating the blackberries.
To top it all off we had a little boat ride on mill stream, which made Alex's day.
For the rainy session my mother unearthed all our old lego so Andy and I ended up building numerous small castles and cars which the boys then adapted. Even little Nicholas, who is not yet 2, was getting quite good at putting bits of lego together!
Alex also discovered Andy's euphonium and spent a happy time playing it...we were quite impressed that he managed to make some decent notes on it....who knows, maybe he will become a brass player!
As well as all the fun things to do at home, we had a stream of visitors including my Great Aunt Elizabeth, my godfather and his wife and of course Gran and Uncle Geoff.
We celebrated Uncle Geoff's **th birthday with cake and a barbeque in the garden. All in all it was a wonderful weekend and I really did not want to return to work.
Since coming back I decided that I really had to clear my side of the study as it was starting to look like a paper bomb had gone off. Of course, no sooner had I tidied, then I made it messy again by actually crafting! Here is my desk for WOYWW, partway through making a scrapbook layout. You can see my trusty mug of tea, my marker pen for doodling/grafiting (is that a word!) on my layout, various paper scraps, a craft knife, DST and various sundries shoved to the back of the desk!
What was the first site I checked out after coming back from Somerset?  Less is More of course!  This time the challenge was to make a card featuring something that my case I chose a dragon as I needed to make a birthday card for a little boy. I stamped the dragon so that he is peeping onto the card, coloured him with promarkers and then added the sentiment and drew steam/smoke puffs to finish it off. The colours I chose for the dragon are autumnal so this card also fits with Pollycrafts 'autumn colours', Ooh La La 'no backing paper' and cards for men 'anything goes' challenges.
I have also made a scrapbook layout of Alex attempting to play the drums. This one followed this weeks creative scrappers sketch and as I added some grafitti elements in the 'Banksy' style to the bottom left hand corner it also fits with this weeks Daring Cardmakers (thanks for the really stretched me!). As the colours used on this layout are blue, green, white, red and brown the layout also fits the Colour Create challenge. Apologies for the flash glare! That is all from me for now. Have a great rest of the week everyone.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Just a quick post!

I know that I said I wouldn't have time to post before I went to Somerset, but I did actually manage to complete this scrapbook layout so thought I would share it with you before I went.  The journalling on this  layout was inspired by this weeks song from SIWAS, The Beach Boys 'Fun, Fun, Fun', and reads 'One small boy throwing a ball + one large dog jumping in a river = Fun, Fun, Fun'.  This layout is also being entered into MTTC 'G is for...'challenge (in my case Green), Lasting memories 'try something new' (I used a large prima flower for the first time, and used digital journalling for the first time) and Stamp somethings 'dog days of summer' (for obvious reasons!). That is all from me as I must go and pack.  Have a great weekend everyone.
P.S. Thanks to a suggestion from Kathy I am also entering this layout into the For Fun challenge which this week is to make a scrapbook layout!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Feeling blue!

Firstly an apology that there isn't so much to see on my blog post today.  I had to go to a family funeral in London yesterday and am at work today (typing this in my coffee break). The funeral was a wonderful celebration of Aunt Didi's life. She died aged 95 and all the music and readings in the funeral were chosen by her, so the day really reflected her personality.  As it is Wednesday, here is my crafting desk at home as my submission to WOYWW. I have to confess that the photo was taken on Monday night when I was in the midst of chaos while trying a new ink technique, hence the ink pads, stamps, water spritzer, kitchen roll etc everywhere, and my trusty mug of tea hiding in the background.  Truth to tell my desk looks identical to this photo this morning, except that the mug is no longer there.
Here is the card I made with the inking technique. I learnt the technique from the Less is More site, adapted from Mandi and others descriptions.  In brief, I swiped my distress ink pads onto an acrylic block, then liberally spritzed with water and placed the block onto my card. With enough water all the inks run together to create a pale washed background.  Although you can't really tell from the final result, I actually used 4 different distress inks (2 blue and 2 green).  I then stamped the tree, birds and sentiment on the top, so that this card fits with this weeks Less is More and TioT 'anything goes' challenges.  That is all from me for now.  I am off to Somerset this weekend so probably wont be around until next week.  Have a great time everyone.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Sheffield Seaside!

OK, so the city of Sheffield is in the middle of the country, miles away from the sea, so how can we have a Sheffield seaside? Well the council decided to turn the city centre into a seaside resort with trampolines, mini golf, a helter skelter, bumper cars, bumper boats, hook the duck and other seaside rides and amusements, as well as a massive sandpit next to the fountains which were kept low for the kids to play in.  It has been great to take Alex there and he  loved every aspect of it, especially the freshly cooked donuts!
Today we went to Endcliffe park where they now have some paddle boats in a huge paddling pool. Alex was in his element, raming the sides and paddling really fast.
Crafting wise I have made my design team entry into Quirky Crafts this week. The challenge for the next fortnight is 'Red Hats' and is sponsored by Robyn's Fetish who also provided me with the 'Me bloomers' stamp.  I decided it looked as though the girl had just finished making them so my creating became sewing based with Tim Holtz designer papers all to do with sewing (needle book, safety pins, thread), buttons and a home made flower made using distress inks and 5 punched out flower shapes (the first time I have ever tried this technique - thanks Anne for the instructions!). This tag therefore also fits with PTW 'grow your own', stampin for the weekend 'spots and dots' (I stamped some spotted swirls in the background), Fussy and Fancy 'use a lot of your favourite embellishment' (4 tiny buttons) and Speedy the Cat's friend 'distressing' challenges.
I also made this card for the Less is More challenge which this week is a one layer card using ink in a way you have not done before.  Well although I have used my brayer to layer sunsets, I have never used it with multiple masks to create mountains etc. I have always admired the effects people get with this (see Lavinia Stamps galleries for examples) so decided to have a go.  I have to confess that this was my 6th attempt at the card, the rest ended up in the bin (too much white space between the layers; colours not working togeher; too many lines from the brayer etc), but for what it is worth. Here it is!
Finally I have made a scrapbook layout following this weeks 'Sketchy Thursday' sketch. I kept the design fairly clean and simple to allow the photos to speak for themselves, as the kids had such fun dressing up and putting on a show for the adults.  As Robin, Chloe and Alex are great friends I am also entering this layout into Scrap and Stamps 'Friendship', All sorts 'anything but a card'  and Sew many card's 'use at least 3 brads' challenges.That is all from me for now. Have a great week everyone.


Friday, 12 August 2011


Well, I am glad that it is the weekend as I am exhausted. We have nothing planned, although I hope the weather cheers up a bit as it has been damp and horrid these past few days. The only advantage of the wet weather this week was this beautiful rainbow that I saw on my way to work yesterday. Shame I didn’t have my proper camera with me, this was taken using the digital zoom on my phone camera.

I have been busy crafting wise these past couple of days including scrapbooking the fun we had in the snow at Christmas, hence the ‘White Christmas’ title of the layout which I am entering in for Ooh La La’s ‘Christmas’ challenge. Part of the journaling was inspired by a line from this weeks song from the SIWAS challenge site ‘run and hide’. The journaling reads ‘It was such a treat to have deep snow at Christmas; it made the traditional Christmas Day walk much more fun as we all went sledging on the bridge. Games in the garden were also fun with us all running and hiding from Andy who could throw snowballs further, harder and more accurately than anyone else’. For decoration I used a snowman stamp, a pair of boots cut out of another designer paper and an embossed snowflake so this layout also fits with Creative card crews ‘best foot forward’ and DYSU ‘emboss it’ challenges.
I couldn’t resist this weeks challenge on Stamptacular’s site, which was to use a photograph as inspiration. The moment I saw the photo I knew which stamp I wanted to use, the chandelier that came free with Crafty Stamper. I stamped and then heat embossed that onto pale lemony creamy coloured card which I layered onto white and then black card. I kept the design of this card clean and simple so it also fits with CCT ‘CAS’ , with Delightful challenge ‘things with wings’, Meljen’s ‘use black’ and with Tuesday Throwdown and Spoon full of sugar ‘birthday’ challenges. That is all from me for now. Have a great weekend everyone.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Junk modelling!

Alex has been loving the past few days at nursery as they have been doing 'junk modelling'. So far he has made a police station and now these two police cars which he is very proud of.
It is time for WOYWW again! My desk this week is in the midst of scrapbooking so there are scraps of papers, my cutting mat, craft knife, ruler, double sided tape and my trusty mug of tea all present on my desk.  The rest of the scraps of paper, the ones I have decided not to use, have been swept into a pile and dumped on the floor until I finish the layout!
This card was made to fit with the Less is More challenge for this week, which is to use colours of your flag (red, white and blue). My original entry had a little bit of green on so I decided to enter again with a true red, white and blue card! This also fits the DCM 'poppies' and Kaboodle Doodles 'primary colours' challenges.
And finally, here is the finished scrapbook layout which followed this weeks Creative Scrappers sketch. For the background I used a sizzix die to cut out the leaf shape which I used as a mask for the distress ink shabby shutters, I then used the inverse to make a stencil which I used twice with pine needles distress ink.  For the leaf in the corner I used the stamp from this months crafty stamper, stamped using pine needles and embossed with clear embossing powder and then used a paintbrush to pain shabby shutters over the top. I hand drew stitches round the letters and the central panel. This layout is therefore being entered into CCC 'sew mad', crafty cardmakers spotlight 'stencils', Simon says stamp and show 'Tim Holtz technique' and The crazy challenge 'embossing' challenges. That is all from it is time to clear up that pile of papers!  Have a nice rest of the week.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Summer wedding!

Well we have had a lovely weekend which started with going to a wedding in Sheffield Registry Office.  Alex wasn't too impressed at being made to dress up smart, but we struck a deal. If he behaved himself and was smart for the wedding he would be allowed to play in the fountains in the peace gardens afterwards!
The service was lovely and the bride and groom looked so happy and proud. They had their official photos taken in front of the fountains in the peace gardens which proved far too much of a temptation for Alex...
...within minutes he was soaked and very very happy, running through the fountains and generally having a great time.  Yes, I was prepared and had a towel and change of clothes in my bag!
It has become a Saturday tradition for me to make a card for the Less is More challenge blog.  This time the challenge was to use the colours of your national flag, in my case I am British so I used red, white and blue.  I also couldn't resist the idea of doing a 'time for tea' card as that is so quintessentially British! I hope that Mandi and Chrissie will forgive the little bit of pale green on the leaves as I couldn't bring myself to have blue leaves on the flowers! Everything else is coloured in shades of blue and red including the writing. The tea pot image is a digi stamp from Stitchy Bear and so this card also fits with Stamp somethings 'digi' and Fresh Brewed 'hot' (well tea is usually served hot!) challenges as well.
I have also made a scrapbook layout following this weeks Sketchy Thursday sketch.  I used photos of Alex at the nativity service and church and titled it 'The nativity, an alternate story'...the journalling reads 'Mary looked somewhat startled when an unknown shepher clutching a grubby white teddy came and carefully tucked Baby Jesus in the straw and arranged his presents. She graciously allowed him to share her chair - maybe she thought he would make a more caring father than Joseph who looked bored by the whole proceedings!'. As the theme of this layout is Christmas I am also entering this into the Simon Says Stamp and Paper Play 'Christmas in August' challenges. That is all from me for now.  Have a great week everyone.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Busy crafting!

Well I have had a busy few days at work writing a grant application and busy evenings spent crafting! I have to confess that I have been finding both hard, not least because I got a splinter under the nail of one of my fingers which makes typing and crafting rather painful.  I did manage to complete my crafting order though which was good. I was asked to make a birthday card for a little girl who turns 11 tomorrow, so this is what I came up with (she likes pink and cute animals apparently). For this card I followed the sketch from this week's Pollycraft challenge. The card also fits with the Ooh La La 'circles', CCC 'birthdays including a number', and Delightful challenges 'stitching' challenges.
Sadly I was also asked to make a sympathy card for a colleague at work who lost her sister under tragic circumstances.  As a result I kept it simple and elegant and am entering this card into Fluorishes Timeless tuesday 'favourite flowers' and PTW 'anything goes' challenges.
Finally I made a wedding card for a couple who are getting married tomorrow morning.  This card fits with the CTT 'no designer papers' and Sew Many cards 'foil' challenges.  That is all from me for now. Have a great weekend everyone.