Thursday, 31 July 2014

Clean and Simple Sketchies

Hi Guys,

I have based both of my cards around an All Dressed Up image, so that I could enter the All Dressed Up sketch challenge.

This is the card in question:
I took a square card blank and die-cut a fancy circle off centre to the top and right. Using spray adhesive I then attached a bright patterned paper to the back of this aperture. I then added some papermania Christmas ribbon to the left side and bottom of the card, following the sketch. The image was coloured using Promarkers, using Set 2 (12 pack), nudes and Tequila sunrise Ltd edition. The sentiment was added and then three bright wooden flowers finished off the design.
I am entering this card for the following challenges (alongside the ADU):
Polkadoodle 30 Clash the Colours
avenue613 #82 Use a Sentiment
craftyourpassion 224 Flower Power
ilovepromarkers #230 Use Ribbons
Anything Goes at 2cuteink and craftingbydesigns and simon says wednesday and divasbydesign

The second card used this image in a slightly different way:

I used the idea of making the image into a stencil, or aperture, for this card. I printed the image directly onto blue card stock and then carefully cut around the outline using a craft knife, preserving the image itself for a future make. Behind this aperture I attached some Honey and Hugs paper depicting the four friends in front of a rainbow and finally I cut down the far edge of the card using decorative scissors, for a CAS make.

I am entering this card into the following challenges:
Country View - Stencils
Simply Create Too #66 For a Child
CASology 106 Rainbow
Less is Moore 182 Anything Goes

Thank you for looking at my creations.

Hugz Tinz

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Close my Eyes and Updates

Hi guys,

Here are some updates for you all. Firstly I am rushing to get the birth sampler finished now as the little guy appeared on Sunday night at 19.39, just before his mummy's birthday. So now they have a son for both their birthdays lol.

Here is a picture of my fish tank - now at 61 hours:

And here is the first Round Robin instalment. The final design for this piece will show a frog prince against a blue moon with a saying about kissing under a blue moon, so I tried to make my designs match the sentiment:

And to keep your taste buds going, here are my micro-tomatoes, first grown this year as a trial - very cute!

So onto the book review - Close my eyes by Sophie McKenzie. This definitely falls into the drama genre. This book is about a couple who lose their first child just before birth and despite having several courses of IVF have failed to conceive again 8 years later. Therefore, when a lady appears at the house claiming that her sister was a nurse at the delivery and confessed on her deathbed that the child was actually born alive, Jenniver does not know whether to believe her and grab onto the hope, or dismiss her as being a hoaxer. However, it is not something that she can let drop and when her husband becomes elusive and derisive about the claim she starts to investigate further on her own - to find the truth one way or the other. An old acquaintance of her husbands helps her with the enquiries and the quest for the truth starts to become dangerous, as Jen finds out several people have been killed to cover up the truth. It does end on a bit of a cliffhanger although the main plot is answered. I would recommend this book.

Hugz Tinz

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Birthday card and Audio book review

Sorry for the boring title this week.  couldn't think of a witty one this time lol.

So here is the birthday card I created:

It uses craft chalks that I have had for ages but they tend to remain in the bottom of a drawer.I took a white square piece of card and used sparkly pearlescent chalks to create a tie-dye, sky-like background. I then used a stencil of a bunch of balloons and bright chalks to add the motifs to either side of the sky base. These gave a vintage effect to the card. I stuck this to the centre of a blue base card, leaving the top edge open so that a hotel booking, plane tickets or similar can be slipped in, as an extra surprise. I stuck an eiffel tower chipboard in between the two balloon bunches, and a 'Happy Birthday' to the bottom of the card.

I am entering this card for the following challenges:
make my monday - Vacation (Paris themed); Papertake Weekly - It's a Jolly Holiday (Parisian themed); open-minded craftng - Vacation themed
Anything Goes - Crafty Catz #2412cuteink #111suzy b #39
ooh-la-la - Vintage
art impressions #140 - Big Birthdays
Hanna and friends #201 - We Celebrate
Country View - Stencil It
Paula Holifields = It's Magic (Hidden pocket)

I also thought I would share with you my progress on my knitted lab rat:
This is it's bottom completed lol. I will keep you updated on my progress  :)

Audio Book Review - President Down by Terence Strong. This book is based around an ex-army sniper who now runs a private investigator business. He is recruited by the government to look into possible terrorist subjects, with a couple of new recruits to help him out. He has a dippy secretary who always muddle things up, and is also going through a divorce which is not going well. Whilst investigating some suspects it is noticed that there is a leak from within his small team. They also come across a plot against the current president who is visiting Cambridge, UK, with his family on a personal, and very private, matter. Although I figured out quite early who the leak was likely to be there was no obvious evidence and so it keeps you doubting whether you are right or not. It is a very well written, fast-paced book and I really enjoyed it. It is more of an action/adventure book, rather than a crime and it fits the niche very well.

Hope you enjoyed looking,

Hugz Tinz

Sunday, 20 July 2014

White on White

So here is the final ATC that I made today, white on white:

 I took a white card blank and stuck some white, self-adhesive patterned lace across the centre. I then added a white floral glitter velum across the top of the lace, in the centre of the card. To the bottom right I attached a white flower with a white pearl in the centre and then a 'For You' Tatty Teddy sentiment to the bottom of the vellum to finish.
This ATC followed the following sketch from Sketch n Stash:

I am entering this ATC into the following challenges:
Anything Goes - Suzy B
Sketch #1 - Sketch and Stash
#118 It's all about girls - Fussy and Fancy
268 White on White - allsorts

I also got 2 carrier bags full of broad beans from the allotment this morning, about a kg of Gooseberries (and still another bush to go!) and then these micro tomatoes:

Time to Celebrate

I have a couple of birthdays coming up in my ATC group, and as this is the second batch of ATC's for this month (so I have already used the suggested theme) I decided to do a celebration theme for the girls whose birthdays are approaching. I also did a separate card (as I always work my ATC's 3 at a time), which I will put in the next post.

So here are my celebrations ATC's:


For this 'Red, White and Blue' ATC I took a white card blank and stuck a 'Happy Birthday' peel-off in the centre. I then smeared PVA glue all around the outsides of the sentiment. Unfortunately my sequins are all mixed up and in no colour order so I had to go through them and pick out the red, white and blue sequins. A few of the whites are also iridescent and so have shown up slightly pink in this photograph. I sprinkled the sequins onto the card and allowed the glue to dry, before tapping off any excess sequins.

I am entering this ATC into the following challenges:
Use a Sentiment at Crafting by designs
BINGO challenge at Catch the bug - my choice being Red, white or blue + no designer paper + texture
Happy Birthday at Glitter n Sparkle
Challenge 140 - Big Birthdays at Art Impressions
Wave the Flag (Union Jack) at OLS
Red, White and Blue at V's Sweet Ideas

This card followed the sketch below, although I did move the strips from the bottom to the top to keep the balloons on the patterned paper in view.
I took a pink base card and added blue 'Me to You' balloon and stars paper to the left side of the base. I then cut two thin strips from a pink floral paper and added these to the top of the card, with pink pearls. I stamped a present and some balloons onto a circle of card and coloured these in using chalks. Finally I added a celebrate sentiment.

I am entering this ATC into the following challenges:
Artistic Inspirations #100 - Anything Goes
C4C245 - Sketch (above).
613avenue create #81 - Party Time
abc-challenge - P is for Pearls

Thank you for looking at my entries (no audiobook review this time as I haven't finished it yet).

Hugz Tinz

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Empires Daughter at the seaside

I have made a new ATC collection - At the Seaside. I used different techniques for each one and they took some thinking lol. I do not usually do this many cards in one week, due to my other crafting and my allotment, but I needed to make a new ATC collection for the next posting, and I wanted to join all the Christmas challenges, so I thought what the hell :)

ATC #1
The main challenge that I am entering this ATC for is the Simply Less is Moore OLC adapt a finger print challenge. So to make this card I first coloured the background with watercolour pencils and washed over with water to make the beach scene. I then used grey 'Tatty Teddy' ink to print in the sky, which I turned into a plane (although OH has doubts about it being a plane). I used a versamark gold ink to add a fingerprint to the sand, for a bucket, which I drew a spade next to. Finally I used a green and pink inks to add fingerprints to make a parasol in the bottom left.

I am also entering this ATC into the following challenges:
Summertime Fun - Crafty CalenderCrafty Little Fairies
Anything Goes - Artistic Inspirations #100

ATC #2
For this card I scrunched up some tissue paper and dipped it into my facial toner to give a sandy tie-dye effect (for my facebook challenge I attached this to a gold base card and then added a beach themed topper. A very simple card once the sand has been made.
I am entering this into Glitternsparkle Anything Goes.

For this ATC I took a gold base card and added a piece of water coloured patterned paper, with a strip of blue ribbon over it. I then added a speedboat topper to the dark strip on the patterned paper. To finish off the ATC I added an image of a desert island and the sentiment (with promarker). This ATC followed this sketch (although I missed the enry cut-off for the challenge).

I am entering this ATC into the following challenges:
allsorts - splish, splash, splosh
open-minded crafting - water, water everywhere
CCM - under the sea
crafting by designs - add a sentment

Book Review - Duaghter of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurtis.
This is about a daughter who is originally joining a convent but is pulled out at the last minute when her father and brother die leaving her Ruling Lady of the house and clan. She must weave her way through the deadly Game of the Council to keep herself and her family name alive and honourable. To do this she has to learn very quickly how to play the game of the council. This is a very good book that keeps you guessing. She makes the aquaintence of a spymaster whose character is very deep, and along with his help, and the help of her closest advisers Mara manages to overcome a lot of odds. The fast pace of the book works very well and you get to know the characters. The plot is not overly far-fetched and so really grabs the imagination. Overall I really enjoyed reading this book and think it would probably be good as an audio book also.

Thank you for reading my blog.

Hugz Tinz

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Trio of Trees

Well there seems to be a lot of Christmas in July themes this time round, so I decided to make a Christmas card. There were a couple of challenges that were one a day, but I do not have the time to do these unfortunately! Maybe when I get a new job??

Anyway I wanted something simple and stylish for my Christmas card this time, and I also wanted to use the Christmas tree stamp from the Honey and Hugs 'Festive Frolics' stamp set. So I stamped the image onto a basic white card blank three times using a cheap black ink. I then embossed the outer two trees using black powder, one with a little gold mixed in also, and the centre tree with white and silver powder, and heat embossed the images. Then I added three star embellishments to the top of the trees - the two outer trees have small diamante style stars, while the centre tree has a sequin silver star which has been rubbed with Staz-On black ink. To finish the card I added three peel-offs - two leaf corner motifs and a sentiment (ok so it is two peel-offs but only makes one thing).
Here is the card:

I am entering this card into the following challenges:
Christmas in July - Divas by designCatch the bugSweet Stampin'Hobbybook designerolkadoodlesimply create too #65
Three of Three - Winter Wonderland
Anything Goes - Completely ChristmasCrafting by designs
Glam it up - craftyhazelnut 185
Duo challenge - Jingle Belles and Shopping our Stash

I also got my fish up to 58 hours this last week:

And finished the free kit I was working on - it took 3.5 hours rather than the 3 hours it said though.

Thank you for looking at my blog.
Speak soon
Hugz Tinz

Friday, 11 July 2014

Fresh Air, Donations and Babies

Wow there is lots to put in this blog today. I will start with my card, as the challenges are nearly closing! A colleague at work is expecting, and we think it might be twins :). So I was asked to make a baby card for her to present before she goes on maternity leave. I decided I wanted a owl themed card - but it didn't take me long to realise I did not have any owl designs, so I had to trawl the internet for owl clipart (I did look for digi stamps but couldn't find any suitable ones). Eventually, this is the card I came up with:

Based on this sketch from Sweet Sketch Wednesday 2

I took an orange card blank and folded it in half to make the base card. I printed the two owl clip art designs and then added the baby owl with dummy to the owls on the tree branch using spray adhesive. I mounted this onto spotty blue paper and then onto the bottom of the card blank. I took a pink spotty paper and layered the blue spotty paper on top,and then added an orange papermania ribbon. This was adhered above the image. Down the right side I attached a fluffy variegated orange to pink twine and the same twine with glitter fleck through it, adhering the ends inside the card. I added an orange button to the side of the ribbon panel and to the side of the image panel I stamped 'New Baby' using orange ink.

I am entering this for the following challenges:
O is for Orange - abc challenge
Celebration - Creative moments #46
Anything Goes - audsentiments #110 - crafting by designs - catch the bug
Kids - 2cuteink #110
Use a greeting - ink on my fingers
Chart (image; sentiment; solid colour paper; button; ribbon) - avenue613
Pretty Papers - Cute Card Thursday
Fussy and Fancy - Love to create #123

The next item on the crafting agenda is the update on my fish cross stitch - now at 57 hours.

We got a bumper crop of fruit from the allotment a couple of days ago and I decided to make a flan with them (all red berries), with creme fraiche. There were tayberries, raspberries, strawberries and red gooseberries and it was absolutely lovely. The mice really quite liked the creme fraiche also (although I was trying to encourage them to eat the fruit! Anyway, as I was letting the girls have their bit I had allowed Tawny (my little blind guy) to run around on the floor. I turned around once the girls had finished to see this:

Cheeky little man decided that he could get away with eating directly from my plate. He did get away with it too as he is just so damned cute!
We also managed to get a nice crop from the Autumn planted onions, which was a nice surprise after the wash-out winter that we had! And I got half a carrier bag of Broad Beans from another allotmenteer, which will be very much appreciated, especially by OH.

AUDIO BOOK - 'My Sister's Keeper' by Jodi Picoult.
I do really enjoy listening to the audio books by Jodi, and especially like the fact that different reader's read each persons perspective. The main plot of this story is that Sara and Brian (the parents) produce a child to be a perfect doner for their older daughter who has APL, an acute and rare form of Leukaemia. At age 13 the child takes her parents to court to sue for the right to decide what happens to her own body, or medical emancipation. Through the story we meet the oldest sibling, a son called Jesse who feels so unable to do anything that he turns to arson, both parents (the father is a firefighter/paramedic, and the mother an ex-lawyer), the sister with APL - Kate, Anna who is the doner child who is taking her parents to court, the lawyer Campbell Alexander who has a quirky character and a service dog and the guardian ad litem Julie. Through the book you get a history of the girls medical escapades, extracts of when Kate has had normal experiences that her mother never expected to see her have, Jesse's problems and also background into Julie and Campbell, which is a minor story in itself. I really enjoyed the moral and ethical issues this story brought up, and the way Jodi looks at how an illness affects a whole family. The ending to the story is a dramatic twist and was not what I was expecting, but it does work really well. If you have seen the film then be warned that the ending in the book is very different and there is a lot more in the book than can be portrayed in the film. I haven't seen the film, but having just read up about it it appears that the film detracts from the poignancy of some of the issues by making other  items more dramatic - like including a sex-scene where there could never have been one due to the treatment that Kate was undergoing.

If you enjoy reading about difficult situations in a fictional sense, but with a good grounding or moral and ethical background then I would definitely recommend this book!

Thank you for looking,
Hugz Tinz

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Shrinkles Robin with Mail

Hi guys,

Today after work I went ot the shooting range with the OH and had a play with his gun. I think he was quite impressed by how well I actually did - even when the scope was out slightly  :D

Anyway, upon arriving home I decided to have a go with my new shrink plastic, which I have wanted to play with for ages!!! So I made this Christmas card:

Firstly the base was covered with Poinsettia vellum from the papermania range, and a turquoise spotty backing paper which I got from my mum. Down the centre I added a black stripy ribbon, which I last used for making a 2013 calender for my mum!!! I stamped the robin with mail from the Honey and Hugs Festive Frolics collection onto the shrink plastic with Staz-on black ink. I then coloured it in with promarkers, which does not give a fantastic finish so next time I think I will try glass paints instead. I followed the instructions and within two inutes of being in the oven my little embellishment was ready - if rather smaller than it started out. The sentiment I added was from a goody-bag I purchased last Christmas and then only used one sentiment, due to having already made most of my cards (this is typical for me - they are much cheaper this way lol).

I was originally going to make the little robin into a fridge magnet, but then found out that my magnetic tape actually only sticks back to itself! Goes to show you should read the instructions when you buy something - and then try it once you have it, as this is another thing in my stash that I bought last year (or rather had bought for me) and then have not used!

I am entering this card for the following challenges:
Sketchy colours - White, Turquoise, Grey and Yellow
Craft your Passion - Use ribbon; Divas by Design ribbons and flowers (poinsettias on vellum)
Passion for Promarkers 254 Things with Wings (Robin)
Deep Ocean - 81 Add a sentiment
Papertake Weekly ChallengeilovepromarkerscraftyribbonscatchthebugCompletely ChristmasCrafting by designs - Anything Goes
Winter Wonderland - spots and stripes
Crafty Hazelnut - Make your mark (robin)
ABC Christmas M is for Mail
JingleBelles Rock - Shopping Our Stash (ribbon, stamp, vellum and oven?) lol - SOS bonus
Simply create too #65 Christmas in July

AudioBook - Angel of Death by P.C. Doherty
This book is set in King Edward I's reign. Although the story-line is quite interesting (a priest whose family is known to be disliked by the king is murdered and the kings clerk has to find out who did it to relieve suspicion from the king himself) I found the story was quite slow. It did not keep you wanting to rush through the CD's to find out what happens next like some of the other books. However, the plot is good and works well and the clerk has an intriguing way of ferreting out clues. It is difficult to try and guess who the culprit is and you think along with the answers as they appear. Personally this is not a book that I would have chosen, but I am not sure if it is the writing style, the setting or the pace of the story that prevented me from properly enjoying the story.

Thank you

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Second glance for a Slider

Hello everybody,

What a lovely day it has been today. Trying to make up for the weekend, but why does it wait until we are at work - and then you can guarantee there will be a road accident and by the time you get home it is too late for enjoying the sunshine!! Grrrrr. I have however ordered my animals food now, so they will be very happy when it arrives as they are currently eating the same thing everyday (they are fussy and like to have a range to choose from lol). Here is a little piccy of my fluffy little girl - Stamper.

Now onto my crafting post - I decided to have a go at a slider card yesterday. As I do not have any funky label dies I used scalloped circles for the main part of the card. I cut two from plain cardstock and one from red mirror card, and then a smaller from white cardstock. The small white circle was mounted on the red one, with the other two being used for the slider mechanism and card back. Double sided patterned paper in blue was used for the slider panels, and attached to the slider mechanism before the scalloped circles were mounted together. To attach the circles I used blue square brads on either side of the slider, and then two glitter brads on the top of the circles. Originally I was also going to add two to the bottom to make the circles symmetrical but this tightened the circles over the slider mechanism and made it hard to slide the tabs, so I just left it with the top two brads instead.
I used some poinsettia brittania dies and a supermarket carrier back to make the flower for the front of the slider, by layering two different sizes of poinsettia petals. I then attached a white pearl to the centre of the recycled carrier bag flower (For the Recycled Item - Simply less is moore and Crafty Calender - Petals and Pearls challenges).
Onto a small die-cut scalloped circle I hand-drew and coloured a 'Sailors Swallow Tattoo', which was then stuck onto the top slider (For the Craft-room - Hand-drawn Tattoo challenge), and a ribbon added to allow the slider to be pulled. Onto the bottom slider 'Good Luck' was stamped.

I am also entering this card into the two red, white, blue colour challenges (I am british so same colours :) ): artistic inspirations and SOS.

Audio Book Review
I have just finished listening to 'Second Glance' by Jodi Picoult. In usual Jodi Picoult style this book was very in-depth and reviewed various controversial discussions and a rare disorder. Unusually the rare disorder is not the main component of the book and the main character has a very unrealistic ability to not die. This book is based around a man who, after losing the love of his life and finding himself unable to follow her however hard he tries, starts investigating the paranormal. He finds the ghost he is looking for and gets a lot more than he expected. The story goes into the background of the ghost to explain hat happened and why things happened and how it affects the current population of the small town. There are a lot of tangents to the book and some of them take a while to understand, while some could have been left out without affecting the story too much (but they do add a bit of drama being in there). It takes a while to explain how Meredith and her daughter fit into the story, and the boy with XP (allergy to the sun) is not really an integral part of the plot, althugh he does allow certain points to be put across in a way that may be understood by many. The ending is slightly unexpected and unusual, but it does fit in with the flow of the book. All-in-all I found this a captivating book to listen to - as I find Jodies books usually are.

Thank you for looking,