Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year!

I hope that 2012 brings you all that you wish for.  Pull up and chair and make yourself a cup of tea as I am going to take a brief step back and re-cap on Christmas which was wonderful.  We spent Christmas Day with my in-laws starting with nibbles in the sitting room at 11ish
followed by a walk through the woods
including lots of mud
then Christmas lunch including crackers (lots of silly cheeky faces were pulled by all)
and finally presents. 
Needless to say Alex was very happy and excited by everything,
especially as on Boxing Day we had a little Christmas celebration with just the three of us and he got another present!
Our walk to the park in the afternoon was accompanied by very dodgy monster truck driving and a lot of laughter.
Then on 27th it was down to my parents in Somerset for another family celebration with more presents,
including the extremely successful Dagedar set
extremely yummy food
treasure hunts in the garden
rides on Grandad's tractor and visits from old family friends; Perfect!  We arrived back home yesterday, tired but having had a wonderful time. Tim and I celebrated New Years Eve very quietly with a nice home cooked meal and a movie followed by watching the fireworks on the television at midnight. London did us proud!
As you can imagine with being away so much comparatively little has been achieved in terms of crafting but I did make my DT entry for Quirky Crafts this week.  We were given images from Bugaboo to use on a theme of Food Glorious food, so I decided to make a series of three ATCs. I coloured the images in using promarkers, cut round them with scissors, and mounted them on the Dovecraft card background to which I added a distressed ink edging (blue and pink).  The sentiments are also from Bugaboo and I added gems where appropriate.  I am also entering this into Pollycraft 'punch it' (circle punches), CCCB 'cutting', Pile it on 'Bling it up' and Stampavie 'hearts'.
I am miles behind with my scrapbooking so one of my New Year resolutions is to catch up and to scrap a little more regularly. So I am starting as I mean to go on!  This layout is based on this weeks Sketchy Thursday sketch and uses mostly Tim Holtz papers and images. The butterfly stamps are from 7gypsies. This layout also fits with Stampin' for the weekend 'Anything goes', Delicious Doodles 'anything goes', Simon says stamp 'anything goes' and SCSC 'Anything goes'.
Finally I made a quick thank you card, which I am entering into Less is More 'one word' challenge, using 7Gypsies papers, distress inks and a Penny Black stamp. That is all from me for now.  Wishing you all a very Happy and prosperous 2012, filled with love, laughter, health and happiness.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all of you!  I hope you have a wonderful time with family and loved ones. The presents are all wrapped, the food is just about squeezed into the fridge and I had  a happy time yesterday spent making fudge while listening to Christmas carols.  Today we have had a gentle family time at home which ended with the Christmas carol service and Alex dressed as a king. The service was great fun with all the kids joining in with a nativity that involved 10 Mary's, 3 Josephs, 2 donkeys, lots of Shepherds, angels and kings, 3 baby Jesus dolls, 3 wrapped presents and one snow globe...Alex decided that he wanted to give baby Jesus his snow globe!  It was a lovely family service followed by mince pies and mulled wine.  The perfect start to Christmas.
I even had time to do a little crafting which was nice. I had a 60th birthday card to make so that was the first thing I did.  I don't know the man very well so I kept the card fairly generic and it gave me an excuse to use this lovely old car stamp (Xela stamps).  I used distress inks, brads and layering to create the effect. I am entering this into Delicious Doodles 'Anything goes', stampin for the weekend 'Anything goes',  and SCSC 'Anything goes' challenges.
The next card was made to fit with Less is More 'one word only' theme; the word in my case being 'Thanks'.  I liked the design of my last LIM card so much that I decided to adapt it for a flower and add the word and three gems to it.  The stamps are Penny Black and Crafty Individuals. I am also entering this into TioT 'Anything goes', Crafty Creations 'Thank you card',  and Aud Sentiments 'Anything goes' challenges.
Finally I made a Tim Holtz inspired Tag for Christmas.  This is based on his tag number 10, but I didn't have any of the official things that he used.  My version was made by distress inking the tag in Tea dye, then stamping Stamps Away music in Vintage photo distress ink. I then used vintage photo all round the edge. I then stamped the pine branch from Just Rite stampers and heat embossed it in green.  I had been given some Tim Holtz fragments by Anne, so used those on some Crafty Individuals santa images, then added red embroidery thread to the back and joined them to the brads at the top.  The banner was made by cutting out a piece of paper by hand, gold embossing bits of it, then folding it. The letters were black peel offs which I then added gold ink to. Finally I finished it off with two pearl beads and some Christmassy looking ribbon. I was quite pleased with how this turned out considering I had very little of the official Tim Holtz things to work with.  I am entering this into Simon Says stamp & show 'A Tim Holtz inspired tag', Simon says stamp 'Bingo: Ribbon, No DP, Brads', Paperplay 'Christmas' and Speedy the cat's friends 'Anything goes'.  That is all from me for now. We are off to my in-laws for Christmas day tomorrow, so stay safe everyone, Have a wonderful time.
With love & God Bless,

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Its the Wednesday before Christmas...

...and all through the house parcels are appearing and excitement is increasing! It is time for WOYWW and on my desk you can see the all important mug of tea which is keeping me going while I make the lsat minute tags for the presents I still have to wrap. The tags are being made by using a small square cuttlebug embossing folder as the outline, and then a free stamp coloured with promarkers for the centre, hence the open drawer of promarkers with those in use on the desk.At the back of the desk, almost hiding behind the mug are the completed tags, with my craft mat and green and red card underneith on the left, all of which are under my Christmas stamp box.
Here are the 6 most recent completed tags which are basically 2x2 inch cards that get attached to presents with double sided tape. The two tree tags are being entered into Kaboodle Doodles 'Christmas tree' challenge, the holly tags are being entered into Cupcake inspirations challenge, and the Christmas puddings are being entered into One Stop Craft 'Christmas sparkle' challenge. They are all also being entered into TioT 'Anything goes' challenge.
I also had a few last minute Christmas cards to make for work colleagues.  This santa one is being entered into Crazy4challenges 'santa', Speedy the cat's friends 'Christmas card', PTW 'Christmas card' and Pile it on 'bling' challenges.
This one used JustRite stamps and a cuttlebug embossing folder and is being entered into PaperPlay 'Christmas' challenge.
This one also used JustRite stamps with two different distress inks, as well as the embossing folder and I am entering it into the card Makin Mama's 'Christmas' challenge.
That is all from me for now. I hope all your preparations go smoothly and you have a great rest of the week.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Santa is here!

We have had a gentle weekend as most of us are nursing fluey like colds and feeling generally under the weather.  Alex is exhausted having finished his first term at school and so we have had a few little treats, including going to see Santa in the museum.  Alex loves seeing Santa and drew him a little picture and had a lovely natter with him before being given a present. He was particularly fascinated with Santas beard and stroked it, much to Santa's amusement!
Today I had a visit from one of my best friends, although sadly due to car troubles she couldn't bring the kids with her.  It was lovely to sit and have a good chat and catch up.  I do miss her since she moved away. This afternoon as the sun was shining brightly, Alex and I headed out to the park to play only to discover that the ground was covered in ice making for an interesting experience.  The ducks were happy to see us though, and the giggles from the swing and see-saw made the precariousness of the trip worth it.
Crafting wise it is time for another challenge at Quirky Crafts.  It was Cazzy's turn to set the challenge and she chose Steampunk Christmas. I love Steampunk, but hadn't thought of combining it with Christmas!  I decided to alter a CD into a Christmas decoration.  Our sponsor this week is Stitchy Bear stamps and they provided me with the Steampunk corner (I gold embossed parts and added gems for that extra Christmas sparkle) and the Robin, which I coloured in with promarkers, and added gold highlights (with a sparkly gold pen), a gold cog using embossing powder, a key and a top hat. I made the background using distress inks and stamped music and cogs on it.To finish the look off I heat embossed two cogs in green, hand drew some chain links and added gems to make them look like steampunk Christmas baubles and then gold embossed around the edge. I am also entering this into Ooh La La 'Anything but a card', MTTC 'Vintage Christmas', Paperplay 'Christmas' and Delicious Doodles 'X-travagent X-mas'.
I also had to make an emergency entry to this weeks Quirky crafts as one of the images we were given to use hadn't been used; the very cute 3 Christmas trees.  However, it was a challenge to make them 'steampunk' so I added clear embossed cogs in the background, the steampunk style writing for 'Christmas' adn then added lots of glitter and silver to finish off the look.  I am also entering this into TioT 'tags' and Crafty creations 'embossing and glitter'
This weeks Less is More challenge is 'music' and as one of my best friends is an Opera singer, it was the perfect challenge for me to make her birthday card.  The stamps used are from Crafty Individuals and the sentiment is a Penny Black one.  I stamped the woman first and then masked her before stamping the music.  I coloured her using Promarkers and then added a pearl to her hat. I am also entering this into SCSC 'celebration' (well you do celebrate birthdays!), Delightful challenges 'Anything goes' and Colour create 'blue silver and white' (the silver is used as highlights on the hat and bag...I don't think it shows up well in this photo).
Finally I altered a note book for Tim. He is always nicking my note pads so I thought I would make him one of his own.  He loves green hence the colour scheme.  I used Tim Holtz backing paper, a Stamps Away corner stamp, Tim Holtz label holder and crafty individuals 'notes' stamp. I kept it simple and masculine and was quite pleased with how it turned out. I am entering this into CCCB 'get booked', Tuesday Throwdown 'for someone special' (this is for my husband after all!) and Pixie Dust 'stitching'. That is all from me for now.  Have a great week everyone. Not long until Christmas now!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Christmas concert!

Alex has performed his first school Christmas concert this week.  He was an angel and 'Narrator One' in the nativity play that the Reception class put on.  He sang beautifully and said his words nice and clearly and I was very proud of him.  This photo was taken part way through one of the songs (taken from a distance and heavily cropped to make sure I don't show any other children).
And this one was taken at the end of the concert when he was bored and waiting for the head teacher to stop talking so he could get off stage.  He very much enjoyed the concert and we were impressed with how well behaved he was on stage.
This is my desk as part of WOYWW. As you can see I am part way through making another Christmas card. All the others have been posted, I just need a few more for work.  You can see fresh clean white card, a failed attempt at a card on the left (the stamping went wrong!), and various Christmas rubber stamps as well as my trusty mug of tea at the back of the desk.  The sellotape is there in the hopes that it will inspire me to actually start wrapping presents!
This is the final card which is for entry into Less is More one layer snowflake challenge.  The snowflakes are a mixture of free (the largest), Crafty Individuals (the middle sized) and Hero Arts (the two smallest). I heat embossed the largest one in silver and added silvery gems to the middle of most of them. The sentiment is from Just Rite. I am also adding this into CCC 'don't look at the light' (use lots of sparkle...silver embossing, silver gems), PTW 'I'm dreaming of a black and silver Christmas' (when we were teenagers there was a black and silver ball held at this time of the year!), Stamptacular Sunday Challenge 'Christmas Glitz', and The Pixie cottage 'Anything goes Christmas' challenges.  That is all from me for now.  I hope you have a great rest of the week.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Christmas starts here!

Well, with having my works Christmas dinner and dance on Thursday and putting up our Christmas tree, it really does feel like the Christmas season has started. We all dressed up in 'posh frocks' for the dinner, and I even put nail varnish on for the first time in years, much to Tim's dismay (he objected to the smell!).
The dinner was lovely with fantastic food, great company and a good dance.  The DJ wasn't great, but that didn't stop us all having a great time as you can see. 
This weekend we had fun putting up our Christmas trees, yes, I do mean two trees!  They are both fibre optic trees, one of which we have had since Tim and I moved into our first tiny house and needed a little tree.  That one now sits on our dining room table as shown! 
We bought a bigger one a two years ago and that one is now in our sitting room.  I much prefer traditional trees, but Tim doesn't like them so we compromised with this which actually looks quite pretty. As well as putting the trees up Alex had a party this weekend and for the first time I was able to leave him there and come back and get on with things.  I don't think he ate much other than crisps and biscuits, but once in a while I guess it doesn't matter!
This morning we had a 'Toy service' at church and then this afternoon we went into town in the rain to see the Christmas lights.  Alex was most impressed with the ball tree
and then had a brief romance with a little girl on the merry go round - they held hands for a lot of the time whilst going round, despite having never met before.  It brings a whole new meaning to the phrase 'whirlwind romance'!
Crafting wise I have been busy making Christmas tags.  These first two give a nod to Tim Holtz 12 tags of Christmas (loosely), and are vintage in feel.  I used distress inks for both of them. For the lefthand one I used Crafty Individuals santa image and background words stamp, hand cut, folded and sandpapered the holly leaves, used stickers and gold embossing to finish it off.  The righthand one used entirely Just Rite stamps. I am entering the lefthand one into MTTC 'vintage Christmas', Simon says stamp 'vintage photo collage inspiration', Crazy4Challenges 'santa' DYSU 'something old' and the righthand one into CCT 'anything goes'.
This next one used distress inks, silver embossing and free stamps coloured in with promarkers. This one fits with Pollycraft 'Christmas fun', Crafty cardmakers 'Heat embossing', and Delightful challenges 'blue Christmas'.
The next tags are all simple present tags made by stamping, colouring and embossing white squares of card and layering them onto folded green or red card.  Very quick and easy! The top two cards I am entering into DCM 'Nordic Christmas' (red, white and reindeer) and All sorts 'white and 2 colours' (red & black). The next two I am entering into Colour Create 'red, white and green' & Meljen's 'use green', and the bottom two into cards for men '2 of something' (they are a pair).
The next set I am entering into Fussy & Fancy 'photo inspiration' challenge and Tuesday Throwdown 'Celebrate the season'.
The next set I am entering into Paperplay 'snowman', Creative Card Crew 'Tis the season', SCSC 'all creatures great and small' and PTW 'anything goes'
The final set will be entered into Fresh Brewed 'Christmas', Aud Sentiments 'Winter Holiday sentiment' and Penny's challenge 'Merry Christmas'. That is all from me for now...I guess I now need to go and wrap the presents that these tags are going on!  Have a great week everyone.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Winter has arrived!

We woke up to snow on Monday morning, albeit less than an inch, but it was a bit of a shock!  Alex thought it was great and happily scraped the car for us!  It mostly melted during the day, but there was another flurry in the early hours of Tuesday which meant that the walk to school was a mini snowball fight! By this morning the snow was gone to be replaced by a heavy hail storm.  Hmmm....I would quite like this weather to stop now!
This is my workdesk as part of WOYWW. As you can see I am in the process of sorting my Christmas cards. There is a pile of envelopes waiting to be written in the centre of the desk, a pile of written envelopes and cards waiting to be written and my Christmas letters on the left. My trusty mug of hot tea is there to keep me going!
Crafting wise I haven't really done much this week as I have been working on the Christmas cards and letters, getting them ready to send.  I don't have a lot of time outside work and this seems to have taken up most of it!  I did however manage to make this little present tag using JustRite stamps pine branch, and HeroArts Christmas sentiment. I used distress inks for the background and the stamping, then heat embossed in gold round the edges, and added peel off stars and red baubles, and gold packing ribbon.  I am entering this into Kaboodle Doodles 'colours of Christmas', The crazy challenge 'Anything goes', Creative card crew 'Tis the season', MTTC 'vintage Christmas' (to me this tag has a vintage feel), Papertake weekly 'anything goes', Tuesday Throwdown 'celebrate the season', Gingersnap 'stars' and Let's ink it up 'Christmas projects'. That is all from me for now.  Have a great rest of the week everyone.