Saturday, 30 August 2014

Christmas Stepmother

I went onto the Sizzix website the other day and as they have a HUGE sale on I spent £27!! However, this was a saving of £108!! I got a Bigz die, a couple of sizzlits dies (a circle die, decorative border die and a snowflake trio of dies), two lots of dies with stamps, a pack of dies with embossing folders and two embossing folders. So I decided to play this afternoon and use some of my new goodies to make a Christmas card.

A SMIRK snowflake motif was stamped onto papermania Christmas vellum using black ink an heat embossed with a Candy Blue embossing powder. This was attached to the centre of a gold base card. I used the sizzix snowflake circle die to cut a snowflake border out of a pale teal 12 days of Christmas papermania paper and attached over the homemade paper. The SMIRK stamp was inked with black versamark ink and applied to white card, which was then embossed and die-cut using another of my new toys :). The image was then coloured using Promarkers - including teal highlights to compliment the teal tones of the embossed snowflakes and snowflake border. To finish gingham embellishments, with diamantes, were added to the outside and a gingham greeting to the inside of the card.

This card is being entered into the following challenges:
Sweet Stamping - Embossing - background snowflakes
Crafty Hazelnuts - People Matter - SMIRK main image
Completely Christmas Anything Goes #27
Catch The Bug - Recipe challenge - Bling = diamantes and gold; Teal = snowflakes and circle as well as accents to figure; die = snowflake die
Allsorts - Christmas
Winter Wonderland - Gingham or Checks
Cute Card Thursday 336 Anything Goes
SimonSaysStamp Wednesday - Anything Goes
ilovepromarkers 234 - make your own backing paper - Embossed snowflakes on patterned vellum
abcChristmas - Q for Quick and Easy (the most time consuming was finding the papers I wanted lol).
aud sentiments #114 Any sentiment NOT birthday
hobbybookdesigner - 2 or more designer papers - patterned vellum and papermania paper used for die
jinglebelles - baby it's GOLD outside - gold base card, gold pattern on vellum, gold embellishments
polkadoodles Christmas challenge
Crafty Calender - Anything Goes

This weeks audio book was the stepmother by Carrie Adams. This story starts off from the perspective of a single mum of 3 girls who is very overweight and unhappy with herself. It introduces the main people and shows their characters and also brings up the fact the Bea (the single mother) would actually like to have her ex husband back to reunite the family. However, the ex informs her that he is in love with somebody else, crushing Bea's hopes. Then the story switches to the new womans (Tessa) perspective. It brings up the difficulties that can arise when trying to take on somebody elses children, as the oldest child realises her mother does not like Tessa and that it causes her upset, which then leads to Bea drinking to excess, and so tries not to like Tessa herself. Bea gets more despondent and irrational as the wedding party draws nearer and eventually manages to, unintentionally ruin it for her daughter. However, Tessa and Bea must come face-to-face when the ex is out of the country and Tessa's mum falls ill whilst Bea is completely drunk!
A very good story that I enjoyed on my commute, wondering what will come up next and how they will resolve it.

Hugz Tinz

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Witch Kraft and Fishies

Hi everybody,

I am on a long session at work now - 12 days in a row. I will be rather crabby by next Thursday after early rises (5.30) and not very early nights (after 10pm) due to pets/allotment etc. But at least I have a week off work to look forward to :).

However, I have made a Halloween card tonight (in preparation for the weekend when lots of OH's acquaintances are coming to do a charity bike run!). Here it is:

The image was hand-drawn onto Kraft card and coloured using promarkers. This was cut into the shape of a 'W' using decorative edge scissors. A mushroom stack sticker was placed in the centre of the card, with the cut-out overapping to make an obvious W. A bat was added to the bottom and two pumpkins finished the design off.
I am entering this card into the following 5 challenges:
CCM - Fantasy challenge - Witch
Casology - Letter challenge - W shape
Simon Says Monday - Witch Kraft
Modsquad - Fruitful harvest - Pumpkins and mushrooms
Crafty Calender - Anything Goes

I have also done a little more on my fish - 64 and a quarter hours now.

And I baked a pudding with my prizewinnng blackberries :)

Thank you for looking
Hugz Tinz

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Happy Anniversary

Well there is not much to share with you this week. I have made a simple card for my mums 15th wedding anniversary, using a Personal Impressions motorcycle stamp, as they are both keen motorcyclists. I used coffee based colours for the card and stamped the image onto cream cardstock and heat embossed using Personal Impressions Kettle Copper powder. I then coloured the image using brown promarkers. The image was again stamped, using a beige Boofle ink pad on Papermania, Just for Men, patterned paper (beige chevrons) and heat embossed using papermania holographic powder. The wheels were cut out from this second image and curled at the edges to give extra definition, before being layered over the original image. As the 15th Anniversary is Crystal I added a genuine Swarvoski crystal bead for the headlight. I then attached 'Happy Anniversary' peel-off to a dragon patterned paper from Dovecraft Fantasy paper stack and attached this under the image to finish.

The card was based around the following sketch from Simply Less is Moore:

I also used coffee colours to enter the CASology 109 Java challenge. I am also entering the Hobbybook designer 2 patterned papers challenge (wheels and sentiment), and the Anything Goes challenges at craftingbydesigns and V's Sweet Ideas.

Thank you for looking.

Hugz Tinz

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Kitty Reckoning

I have made some more ATC's for the exchange group. The theme I used for this collection was Special Kitty. As usual there are three cards in the collection and each is being entered into its own challenges. All of the cards used Papermania Digital Designer with Daisy and Dandelion and a general Papermania collection. The top two are single layer cards and other than the digital elements only had a stamped greeting added, whereas number three is layered and based around a sketch.
ATC #1
For this ATC I used a general backing paper design of green leaves and added the cat, flower and butterfly elements from the Daisy and Dandelion collection. I used orange ink to add the greeting to the top.
This card is being entered for - Ink on my fingers 321 Moon Shadows (Greeting is inked); OLS Shades of Summer (I chose number 5, with green, pink and shades of orange/yellow); aud sentiments #113 Favourite Season (summer) as well as Simon Says Monday Anything Goes.

ATC #2
For this second card I used a purple daisy background, and added a cat with a purple patch and a purple butterfly before printing onto white card. I then stamped the sentiment n purple ink. I was going to use this for the one layer simplicity shades of summer #2 (The blueberries one) but it printed more purple than blue :(.
Instead I am entering - avenue613 Challenge 85 Anything Goes; fussy and fancy #120 BINGO (I chose flowers, lavender and message);  craft-room Cats challenge; Simply Create Too #68 Monochromatic Magic and Crafty Little Fairies Cute and Cuddly.

ATC #3

The last ATC was based around the below sketch. Green raffia was added to a pink base card, along with two 3D flower stickers. A circular patterned design was chosen on the digital designer and a floral border added over the top for the first square panel. Then two pink patterned papers were layered over each other for the top rectangle and the kitty added onto this panel, before printing and die-cutting into a circle. This was attached to the card using foam pads to allow it to sit over the raffia. Three 3D flower stickers were added to the bottom of the circle design and a wooden sun to the top, after painting it with yellow and orange inks.
This is being entered into - V's sweet ideas #26 Anything Goes and Suzy Bee Anything Goes; Alphabet Challenge N is for Natural and Sketchy Colours Sketch #221.

Finally I wish to add the whole collection to: Creative Moments #49 Animals and Polkadoodle Fun in the sun.

Here also is my finished birth sampler - just to drop it off for the proud parents now :)

I entered some of my veg and fruit, as well as a few flowers, for the local produce show, and my OH did a load of baking. I came overall first for my vegetables (although I did enter a few categories) and OH came joint first for his baking. I also came second for my fruit and second overall!! Very please indeed. Unfortunately none of my jam or chutney was rated :(

Audio Book - Day of Reckoning by Terence Strong. This is a good general action story, although it is a shorter audio book at only 6 cds. The ex-wife of a man in the presidents personal guard is murdered due to uncovering mafia connections. Unfortunately this man has strong connections n the UK with the PM's personal security, which includes an ex-IRA front man. Together they work to bring down those involved in the murder. It starts towards the end of the story at a high level of tension, which is a little wierd and had me making sure that I had the correct disc, however it does work well. The suspense is kept high throughout the story and the pace is fast and furious. The main characters play well off each other and the reader was very good at the accents, if a little too 'shouty' with the english major. Overall a fun commute listen.

Hugz Tinz

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Terry Pratchett and a Skiing Penguin

Hello again,
I still have not taken a photograph of my lab rat so far, but it is almost finished. Just got the back legs to do and then the organs, but the legs are really fiddly.

However I do have a Christmas card to share with you this week.

I used a deep red card blank (about A5 size) and covered 2/3rds of it with holly paper from Jennifer Ellory 'Berry Merry' paper stack, cut down to size. The cross stitch was measured and a corresponding square drawn onto the base. The square was cut out leaving a strip in the centre, which was scored above and below the square. This allows the square to move against the card, making the 3D effect. The cross stitch was a free kit by Margaret Sherry and was added to the front of the square when the card is flat. An Anita's Christmas verse was added to the rear of the square. To finish the sketch a holly wreath was cut-out from the Papermania Christmas Tidings decoupage sheet and stuck to the card base, with papermania diamantes being added below the stitching.

I am entering this card into the following challenges:
Paula Holifields - Sewing themed
Live & Love Crafts #26 - Stitching
ABC Christmas Challenge - P is for Penguin
Deep Ocean - Christmas
C4C248 - Go 3D
Crafty Hazelnuts Christmas Challenge - 189 Feathers/Birds
Completely Christmas - Anything Goes
Winter Wonderland - Anything Goes Christmas
CRAFT - 272 Christmas
Stella Says Sketch 213 - 
I also wanted to share with you my apple tree, as it is doing very well for  young tree.
and Piggy the Pigeon who stayed with us (in Rutland) for a little while whilst waiting for the courier to collect him to take him home to Darlington. Poor little guy was on his first flight and got completely disorientated, so just kept flying until he exhausted himself.

Finally, Audio Book - 'Equal Rites' by Terry Pratchett. I find it very difficult to read Terry Pratchett books but my OH often listens to them as audio books, and having heard bits and pieces of some of the books I decided to give them a go. This one was not a long audio book, but it was quite amusing. I found that although the book was overly captivating so that you did not want to stop listening, it did keep me amused through my long journey. This particular book is an early one and so provides quite a bit of background about the disc world generally. The story is about an eighth child of an eight son, who was supposed to be a son, but was actually a daughter. The wizards staff was passed on as customary and only after the wizard has passed away do they realise the child is a girl. The problem is that girls cannot be wizards and boys cannot be witches. Esq, the female wizard, sets off on an adventure to the unseen university to become the first female wizard and meets a few challenges on the way before she can even start to prove herself to the wizards, but she does have the help of her staff and Granny Weatherwax - the local witch. Overall a good audio book for long journeys.

Hugz Tinz

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Butterflies and Pelagia

Hi there everybody,

I was going to do some weeding in the garden whilst the rain has taken a break. However, the wind makes it impossible to get the weeds up without making an absolute mess, so that put an end to that plan. Besides, it is a bit cold outside so I am going to cuddle up with the mice in a moment as I clean them out.

But first here is my stepper card I have made for the challenges this week.

I cut my stepper template from pale green card stock. I adapted the design slightly as my card stock was larger than the template suggested. I got the butterfly image from All Dressed Up and coloured it using Promarkers, from Set 2 (12 pen set) and from the spring and summer limited edition, 6 pen packs. This was made the focal point of the centre of the card, with a patterned yellow paper behind. I took some flower shaped lace and used yellow and orange ink pads to colour the lace, as the white was too plain against the backing paper. The quote was found online and typed into word before printing out and highlighting with Promarkers. These were then added to the lowest step on the card. Onto the second steps of the card I added some 3D flower stickers, which used the same colours as the main image, but slightly subdued. Finally for the topmost steps a grass embossing folder was used on white card and cut to fit the step. Then green ink was used to highlight the embossed area (a different shade on each side). Finally to finish the card I added a 'Fly Sticker' butterfly in bright green holographic.

I am entering this card into the following challenges:
abc-challenge Q is for Quote 'If nothing ever changed there would be no butterflies'.
Deep Ocean Challenge #83 Summer Colours
ilovepromarkers #231 Fancy Folds
delightful sketches Anything Goes
Stamping Boutique Use lace
art impressions 141 Embossing
a creative romance #28 Fun in the sun
CCM #120 Fancy Folds
All Dressed Up #19 Anything but a square
Country View Challenges Word Play

Here is also an update on my fish tank, which is just under 63 hours now:
I was going to do an update on my lab rat, but I forgot to take a picture. I will try and remember mid-week.

I took my animals to a pet show this morning, and they won all categories!!! However, this was only because nobody else actually turned up for the show :(  It was a little disappointing but lots of people enjoyed saying hi to the cockatoo, and quite a few enjoyed the snake too.

What do you think to my unusual crops? The potatoes are 'Purple Majesty' and I cannot remember what the black tomatoes are called but they are a new breed. I haven't tried the tomatoes yet as they are not quite ripe but the potatoes make very tasty mash.

This weeks audio book was 'Pelagia and the White Bulldog' by Boris Akunin. This is a very good mystery book, as it combines comedy with seriousness very well and is very good at casting suspicion and then throwing in a little twist. It would probably make a very good 'Miss Marple' like TV show as it is written in similar fashion. However, the main investigator in this story is a nun and so people act differently around her than they would around the usual old-lady investigators. A very good book to listen to in my opinion.

Hugz Tinz

Monday, 4 August 2014

N is for Neutral and Blue

I have been playing with my CD Roms tonight for my new ATC collection. The overall theme was brown, blue and neutral, animal themed cards. The brown, blue and neutral theme is for mod squad challenge, and the animal theme was for Hanna and friends. I also entered one other challenge for each card.

ATC #1
For this one I took a patterned base card, in a beige pattern (the back was blue). A piece of blue and brown swirls paper was cut to size and added to the left. The image is a scenics image from a free CD Rom, which I coloured using promarkers, as there was no brown on the CD, and attached as in the picture. To finish the ATC I added a 'Nature's Art' rub-on and a square, brown striped brad. The extra challenge for this ATC is my facebook challenge group, brad theme - Monthly themes for crafting
ATC #2
This second ATC used a double sided polka-dot paper that was free with Simply Homemade magazine on a base card. Two different patterned papers were used to make the tiles along the bottom. The main image was from the papermania 'Birdsong' DVD which I layered using the provided software. A blue ribbon and glitter flower finished the card off in line with the sketch from Sweet Sketch Wednesday
ATC #3
For this final ATC I again added a patterned paper to plain cardstock for the base, this time a brown floral paper. I printed a topper from a free CD ROM, by Adam Pescott and mounted it onto a blue patterned card. To finish two holes were punched into the card and a blue ribbon threaded through. This card is for the ooh-la-la scenic challenge.

I would finally like to enter this collection into the crafty calendar Anything Goes challenge.

Here is an update on my fishtank - now at 62 hours.

The audio book this time was N is for Noose, by Sue Grafton. This is a Kinsey Milhone private eye mystery. She is asked to look into the circumstances surrounding an unsuspicious death for a friends acquaintance, but there are a lot of loose ends to start and she is threatened and injured before she has any answers. It turns out that the dead policeman was in the middle of an investigation and what he had established put him in a difficult position - so leading to his demise. Her time in the little village is marred by rumours and suspicion, but in a twist at the end it turns out that the information the policeman had collected was all circumstantial and would not have left to a conviction, but the actions of the criminal do lead to a prosecution. I always enjoy Sue's books, but in typical Isis Audiobooks style, there is a part missing near the beginning of the story! Definitely one to read to ensure all chapters are present.

Thank you for looking,
Hugz Tinz