Tuesday 30 March 2010

Happy Birthday

Today is my sister's birthday. Happy birthday Chris, I hope you have a good day. This post is just for you. I hope you got your cards in the post, the one I sent you was made in early January when I started on this venture of getting back into creating works of art. But as you will see it was an early example that helped me back on the path of inspiration and design. As my skills have been improving and as my style has been changing and as I have been experimenting with different things, I wanted to make you a new card to show how my craft is varying and how I am modifying my ideas. I have to say finding the world of blogging has helped me too, but the biggest influence has been you. So this is it. I will bring it up to you when I come and visit.
I started with a colour picture from a book of Victorian illustrations and used it as the backing. I wanted to use grungepaper (another new material for me) and used some dies to get the flower shapes.
 I glued some paper from an old copy of Dickens "A tale of two cities" for one of the shapes and used DIs and glimmers on them, putting them together with a vintage brad. For the birthday wishes sentiment I used the frontage of the book and a rub on, I then printed and heat embossed some swirls round the edges which started to melt the rub-on giving it an older look. I didn't have a 'sister' embellishment to fit the bill so I printed this one off on the PC (using Word), used a scalloped punch and, as before, printed and heat embossed some swirls round the edge, again giving it a more vintage feel. The butterfly is one in a collection I have on the PC that I print off when needed and I cut it out, glimmered it and added some sparkle using the glitter pens. Apart from the other little embellishments, I cut out the word inspire on the Cricut, inked the edges and added to dots for the letter 'i' from the grungepaper and bookprint. I wanted this on it to show how much you have inspired me over the years in many ways and particularly with the art and design.  Your creativity is unending, it really is an inspiration to everyone.
Have a wonderful day, lots of love and hugs from both Ken and I and I hope to see you soon.
Brenda xxxx
PS I don't know if this will fit any challenge sites, it wasn't made with that in mind. I will have a look, but haven't seen anything recently.
Well in my search I have discovered -
Practical Scrappers - Rub-ons
Your next stamp challenges - Distressing
My Grafico challenge - Paper piecing
Fab 'n' funky - It's all in the technique  - my favourite at the moment is adding sparkle
Cute card Thursday - Dimensions
Lots to do - Vintage
If the shoe fits - Going green
Creative Card Crew - Vintage/Aged

Monday 29 March 2010

Easter boxes

Well this is what I achieved last night. I should have gone to bed early, but you know what it's like when you get into something and you don't want to stop. That was me, just wouldn't give in until I had finished what I was doing.
I had great fun cutting out a template and making three almost identical boxes for the girls' Easter Egg hunt on Sunday. The template was the free download from 'Just us Girls' that I mentioned yesterday and it so easy to use. Lauren Meader from 'My Time Made Easy LLC' is sponsoring this week's challenge and there are some beautiful DT creations to see.  I'd had a trial run making the box and of course made a mistake, but then I always told my kids you learn from your mistakes as well as your successes, and I did. I set about gathering the papers (many of them from my scrap box) for the three differnt colour schemes and decided they would all be the same design, but the colours would make them different. Becca is nearly 13 so I wanted hers to be rather funky. Ella is four in the summer and she goes to ballet, she is a pink girl. Maddison is 20 months and seems to be a bit less girly but still loves to dress up and to dance.
So colours chosen (mostly pink and green but some yellow as well) I got out the Nesties scalloped circle and cut out two for the front of each box. I cut out the letters of their name on the Cricut and then covered each one with Versamark and sticky stuff putting glitter on them whilst they were still hot to get the glittery effects. All the girls love a bit of bling!! I made the butterflies with my  MS butterfly punch and used glitter card. To make the flowers I cut out 31/2 inch circles on the Cricut and cut into them to make a spiral. I went round the outside edge making cuts about half way into the paper and then rolled them, using sticky dots at the end to keep them together. I then peeled the 'petals' back and used a Sakura glitter pen to give them some sparkle too. Next I cut lots of different sized tiny eggs to stick on the flap, using the Doodlecharms cartridge on the Cricut, and cut slightly larger ones to decorate the back. I also cut three rabbits for the back. The rabbits have been edged with brushed corduroy DI and the features added wth glitter pens. I think the girls will love them to put their small choccies in on Sunday - lets hope it's a fine day for them.

Well my cold seems to be drying out a little so I hope it won't be too long before it's gone. Keep well yourselves and thanks for stopping by.
LOL Bxxxx

Challenge List
Just us Girls - Template challenge
The Creative Cottage Challenge 3 - Sparkle
Fussy and Fancy Friday challenge 7 - Easter
Paperplay Challenges - Easter
Colour Create - Easter
CRAFT challenge 43 - Easter
Simon Says Stamp - Shimmer and Easter
Everybody-art-challenge 83 - Easter
Lexi's Creations challenge 10 - Easter theme
The Cuttlebug Spot - Pink and green
The Pink Elephant challenge 60 - Pastels
The Shabby Tea Room challenge 3 - Let's get scrappy

Sunday 28 March 2010


Hi I hope you are having a super Sunday. We lost an hour but won't it be lovely to have the lighter evenings back. I am sooooo looking forward to the warmer weather and being able to sit out in the garden again.
My cold has taken a real hold so I am dosing myself up with Day Nurse at the moment, I hate to think what it would be like without it. Mum's poorly and got a temperature, Maddie has a streamimg cold too and Maddison has had a tummy bug and now a horrible cold. I don't know what is happening to us all!!!
I didn't get my camera out yesterday to take some pics of the Camelias as it rained most of the day, so hopefully one day in the week when the sun shines (yes hopefully I know).
A Spoonful of Sugar have a bookmark challenge and this is a project that I had started a little while ago and spent yesterday finishing it off. Nothing too fancy, but quite pretty. I have also been working on another card for my sister's birthday but won't post it until tuesday so I can wish her many happy returns.

This is a little card with a pocket in the front to hold the bookmark. The second photo shows it standing on it's own, the sentiment says "Keep true to the dreams of your youth" and is one of a collection I seem to have had for ages.

What next I ask myself? I need to go and look for some inspiration for my next project. There's a great little free box template on the Just Us Girls challenge blog and it prints and goes together real easy. I might have a go at decorating one each for the girls for Easter. I have bought some really cute little baskets and some plastic eggs to hold some goodies to hide in the garden so they can go on an egg hunt next weekend. Well there's a plan.
Enjoy the rest of your sunday. Take care, LOL Bxxxx

Saturday 27 March 2010

Spring card for Easter

Good morning.
Oooh I can almost smell the spring coming. The mornings are brighter and from my craft room window I can see my back garden and the cherry tree that was planted a couple of years ago is budding and will soon be out in gorgeous pink blossom. Can't wait to get a photo when it bursts into life. My Camelias are flowering and I will go out and get some pics of those today. At last a real promise of the warmer weather to come.
I am full of cold at the moment so I spent alot of yesterday 'playing'. On one of my school visits this week I stopped in the little town of Goring and found a beautiful little interiors shop, I wished I had my camera as there was so much inspiration in there. However I found some sweet little metal bunnies which I couldn't resist for Easter cards. So with that in mind I set about 'challenging' myself to use pastel colours and incorporate one of these cute rabbits with some flowers and butterflies to represent Spring and Easter. I had my granddaughters in mind so wanted it to be 'cute' but at the same time it needed a distressed look.

I cut out the mount for the rabbit using the nestabilities labels 4 and run it through the BigShot with a cuttlebug embossing folder, I used Tattered Rose and Cosmic Twinkles around the edge. I found the pink and blue/yellow papers in a paper block and grabbed a doyley 'cos I though it could give me that sort of vintage but shabby look. I edged the doyley with Broken China and also edged it with a Sakura glitter pen. Having cut the backing and mounting papers I distressed the edge of the pink with the TH distressing tool and went roung the edges with star dust Stickles and the check paper I decorated with baby blue pearlidoodles. These do tend to come out a bit thick sometimes and I need to find a way to make the dots smaller. The flowers were made by putting together petals from some of my purchased collections, including one made of chipboard and covered in fabric, I added the stamen centres using a punch and finished them with some glitter gems. The heart was cut on the Cricut and embossed with sticky stuff and glitter added to give it a real sparkly effect. The tag was also cut on the Cricut and I printed the word Spring out in the three colours I have used, I edged the tag with Adirondack Lights Snow Cap and edged the words with broken china and the glitter pen. The butterflies were stamped and punched using a MS punch. Buttons, bows and gems have been added to give it a girly feel.
Et voila.  My Easter card for the girls.

I know Easter and Spring are a theme on several challenge sites so I am entering this card in the following challenges.
Fussy and Fancy Friday - Challenge 7 Easter
Paperplay Challenges - Week 12 Easter
Colour Create - Challenge 41 Your choice of pastels
CRAFT challenge - 43 Easter
Cute card thursday - Challenge 105 Dimensions (my second entry)
Simon Says Stamp - Easter or Spring with some glimmer
Gingersnap Creations - 48 Growth
Creative Card Crew - 46 Going Dotty
Incy Wincy Designs - 35 Easter or Spring
Crafty Cardmakers - 17 Spring into Spring!
The Everybody Art Challenge - 83 Easter 
Pollycraft Monday Challenge - 36 Sparkly Things (my second entry)
Crafty Angels - 27 Paper Piecing
The Cuttlebug Spot - Wings
Totally Gorjuss - 23 Hearts
Lexi's Creations - 10 Easter
The Corrosive Challenge Blog - 56 Paper Piecing

Friday 26 March 2010

Gothic Arch

Hello Everyone

Happy Friday to you all, I hope it's a good day, the weekend is not far away and lets hope we have some sunshine.

This week I really felt like experimenting with more vintage styles and found the Gothic Arches challenge with a very sweet photo of two young girls. It is from a collection at flickr.com.

I loved the pastel colours and thought I could incorporate it into an arch and use a new technique for me called Dabber Resist which I found in the new Tim Holtz book.  I also wanted to give a feel of Spring with the warmer weather (well a little bit on some days) and the lighter nights.
I started by using a sandal acrylic paint dabber on a foam scroll stamp I have in my collection. I applied the paint to the stamp, pressed it onto the arch and heat dried it. I then inked over the whole card with Peeled Paint, Aged Mahogany and Scattered Straw distress inks. I then used a babywipe to rub the ink off of the scroll design to allow the sandal colour to show through. Brilliant - it worked! I printed out the image and cut it out, I also found the leaf arch on one of my cricut cartridges and cut that out. The printed foliage at the top of the arch (and has been stamped over the leaf arch) is a TH stamp from the Shabby French collection as is the butterflies which I embossed in gold. I also used the scroll stamp from the same set with the Shattered Straw and rubbed heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls over it. These have not really shown up in the photograph. Last week I saved a collection of butterflies I found on the internet and I have printed these out, cut them and added sparkle and vintage distress stickles. Before I put it all together I sprayed the card with water and heat dried it. The other embellishments are bits and pieces from my stash. When I had completed it, I mounted it on coloured manuscript paper and cut that out in the same shape.
I have enjoyed learning new skills and I just love trying out something new.

"Satisfaction lies in the effort, not the attainment. Full effort is full victory". Mahatma Ghandi

Thanks for dropping by.

LOL Bxxx

Challenge List
Gothic Arches - This old photo
Mixed media monday - Vintage children
Crafty Angels - Paper Piecing
Your next stamp challenges - Distressing
Wednesday Stamper - Spring
Cute card thursday - Dimensions
One stop craft challenge - Let it shine
Allsorts challenge blog - Spring is in the air
Crazy for challenges - A Spring card
Secret Crafter - Spring has sprung

Sunday 21 March 2010


I haven't got a card today but I did want to share these photos from the wedding yesterday. Ben (my son) was Best Man and apperently was very nervous throughout the day, but everyone said he did a good job and all enjoyed his speech. I want to get some photos of the wigs he used as props!! More about that another day.

Here is Ben with Matt, they have known each other since they were eight and started playing football and cricket in the same teams. When they were twelve they went to the same secondary school. They continue to play cricket for the same club and have remained best friends. Matt was Best Man for Ben and Bev when they got married.

Here is all of us.

From the left.
Ben, hubby Ken, me holding Ella, Maddie holding Maddison, Becca and Bev. I am so lucky to be blessed with wonderful children and daughter-in-law and gorgeous grand-daughters.

Hope you are having a good weekend.

Take care and thanks for dropping by.

LOL Bxxx

Saturday 20 March 2010

Sabby Chic Flower Card ll

What a wet day and it's Matt and Sam's wedding. I will see them later to see how they have got on but I'm sure the whole event will be just beautiful.

I love it when Maddie comes to look at my work as she helps me critique it. I knew yesterday that the Shabby Chic card wasn't right but I couldn't put my finger on what I could do to make it better. Anyway a chat with Mads and it has completely changed. She's a great teacher as she says clearly what she likes and where she thinks I could look to improve things. I still don't think it's perfect, but I have had fun today experimenting with other colours and ways of putting the design together. It certainly still fits the challenge at The Shabby Tea Room and I think it now has more of a shabby chic look.

"Give me a fruitful error anytime, full of seeds, bursting with it's own corrections.  Alfredo Pareto

I've still got lots to learn, but I'm keen.

Speak soon. Thanks for dropping by. LOL Bxxxx

Friday 19 March 2010

Shabby Chic Flower Card

Hi Everyone.

It's my birthday today and I am so thrilled. My gorgeous family have all given me money so that I can buy lots of the Tim Holtz dies, so they are on order and I can't wait for them to arrive so I can have a play with them.

Yesterday I was blog hopping and found a new challenge site called The Shabby Tea Room. It's their first challenge this week called 'Elegant Shabby' with a gorgeous photo as inspiration for the cololurs of pink, red, cream, brown and green. I couldn't resist and set about creating straight away and just loved working with this palette. What do you think?

I used a nestability label die to cut out the centre shape and cut it from a thin chipboard and cut and embossed the paper to stick over the top. The flowers were put over a piece of cream lace with pink ribbon threaded through it and I punched, died and scrunched the leaves. These were all put together with a few embellishments and with some Stickles and Sakura glitter pens. The background is the embossing folder I won on the Simon Says Stamp blog hop a few weeks ago and the backing paper is K&Co.

So dream big and live your dreams today. I am off to get ready to go out with some friends for a meal. See you again soon and thanks for dropping by.

LOL Bxxxx

My challenge list
The Shabby Tea Room - Elegant Shabby

Wednesday 17 March 2010

Easter Flap Card

I hope you are having a good week and have been able to enjoy some brighter weather and sunshine.

This next project of mine came about because of new challenges which interested me and I love putting as many of them together as I can to see what the results are. So with some guidance and creativity this is the result.

The 'Sweet Stop' sketch interested me first of all, as did the add inspired challenge at '365 cards', little baskets of eggs in blues and greens (see picture below). 'Paper Sundaes' ninth challenge is to create a multi-fold Spring or Easter card and 'Just us Girls' is to make a flap card. 'Practical Scrappers' challenge is to include chipboard and all of this also links with 'Pollycraft Monday Challenge' which is to see sparkly things, 'Secret Crafter Saturday Challenge' is anything goes and at 'Sophisti-cat' it is new beginnings.

I have used my favourite techniques of distressing and edging with Stickles and Sakura glitter pens, but I started by cutting the basket and eggs from the Doodlecharms cartridge on the Cricut. I printed over the basket and used the distress inks mounting it on card which I had brayered with coloured inks and printed with flowers and grass. I used patterned papers for the eggs and added designs using the glitter pens. I punched two strips using a MS border punch and added gem stickers. The flower is chipboard from a K&Co collection. The ribbon has been stuck under the flap and tied behind and to the side to keep the flap closed.
Inside, I used the same colour theme but a patterned background paper and I searched the internet for a free vintage image. I cut the Happy Easter letters using the Jasmine cricut cartridge  and decorated more eggs and added the flowers, hearts and flourishes. On the flap I added the Easter Egg Hunt to link in with it.  I also added Sepia Accents to the baskets and bunny ears to highlight them.  The colours are spring like and the eggs suggest new beginnings, so all in all a card that meets the criteria of all the challenges.
Challenge list and links -
The Sweet Stop SSS47 - Sketch
365 cards - add inspired
Just us girls - all in a flap
Practical Scrappers - chipboard
Pollycraft Monday challenge - sparkly things
Secret Crafter Saturday Challenge - anything goes
Sophisticat - new beginnings
Cuttlebug Challenge - spring
Crafty Creations - spots and dots

Enjoy the rest of the week and here is a photo of the beautiful spring daffodils that I came down to on Sunday morning (Mother's Day) given to me by my lovely hubby Ken. The kids also gave me chocs, wine and money, and I bought the Tim Holtz scissors with it. Great eh?

It will soon be the weekend. Have fun.
*Luv* Bxxx

Saturday 13 March 2010

Vintage Gift Card

Wow Saturday again, the weeks are slipping past so quickly. When I got up this morning to feed the cats it was a grey start to the day but now the sun is trying to peek through and it looks promising. Fingers crossed!!

 I have had such fun making this card. I wasn't sure how to approach my next project, although I knew I wanted to make something that I could put some money in as a wedding present for Matt and Sam next week. Having found some inspiration through the challenge blogs I set about gathering the things I would need. It took me a while to choose the image, which is from a pack by Debbie Moore. The layout, colours and recipe for elements were from challenge sites (see list below). The backing papers are from an Old World mat stack and the rose are a HOTP pack called Blossoms & Buds. The two flowers I have made using lace, buttons, punches and the cricut. I couldn't find the right coloured ribbons in my collection so I cut three pieces of cream organza and coloured two pieces using cosmic shimmer mist and tattered angels mist, I used these on the leaves and tiny butterfly too. I have distressed edges and used Stickles and Cosmic Shimmer Twinkles

This fits challenges -
Colour Create - Mint, chocolate and cream.
Simon Says Stamp - sketch
Gingersnap Creations - Frosting
Crafty Creations - Make your own flowers
Creative Inspirations - Charms
Everybody Art - Recipe - 2 papers, 2 flowers, 2 buttons.
Fussy and Fancy - Green
Raise the bar - Go Green

I went on to then make the inside into a gift card to hold the money. I used brown paper as the backing papers and stamped 'celebrate' in gold. On the left side I made a tag printing and embossing the swirls and edging it with cosmic shimmer twinkles. Again I used punches and the cricut to make the flowers and the sentiment. On the right hand side I used the roses paper to make the pouch and made an envelope from vellum to hold the money, again embellishing it to reflect the other side.
This fits challenges -
Cutecard Thursday - Celebrations
Frosted designs - background stamping

Finally I made the envelope to match and reflect the colours of the card. I used a 12x12 paper and cut it down to make my own template for it. Again I have used the roses paper, the 'faith' sentiment and the flowers that reflect the midle of the card.
This fits the challenge from Cuttlebug Challenge to make an envelope to match the art.

What do you think?

Have a great weekend. I am going to go out shopping for a while, haven't mooched for ages.
Take care. *luv* Bxxx

Tuesday 9 March 2010


Hi Everyone
I have found a little time this week to make a card. This one came about whilst looking at challenges over the weekend and I decided to combine red, black and off white as a colour combo from Colour Create with an easel card from Lili of the Valley and Stamp Something's Girly theme, but I was also inspired by Creative Inspirations challenge of lace, pins and pearls. So here it is -
It was strange this week not following a sketch but putting my own design together has taken me hours of thinking again.
The backing paper is a decopatch tissue sheet and chosen because of the lacy design and the colours. The image is from a set given to me by my sister and I used my Promarkers to colour it. The other embellishments are from my ever growing collection of bits and pieces. I decided to make it for my Mum for Mother's Day. Whilst she was in hospital she was interested in what I have been doing and enjoyed me showing her my creations. I hope she likes this one too.

It's quite difficult to get the lighting correct with the silver doyley, but I think it gives the overall effect.
I found the pin in my needlework box and added pearl beads to it and pinned it with a black lace bow. The small text rose I made myself, the other flowers have been put together using shapes from my flower box. Of course I have used my favourite technique of the moment which is adding sparkle round the edges of the mounts and onto the flower petals, I also used Cosmic Shimmer sprays to distress them a bit more.

Challenge List

Creative Inspiratins  -  Lace, pins and pearls
Stamp Something  -  Girly week
Lili of the Valley No: 48  -  Easel Card
Colour Create  -  Red, black and off white
Crafty Cardmakers No: 16  -  A feminine Celebration
Cupcake Craft Challenges No: 81  -  Flower Power
Anyone for Anya  -  Mum's the word
The Cuttlebug Spot  -  Vintage
Lots to do  -  Distressed
Frosted Designs  -  Technique Week
Totally Papercraft  -  Mother's day/Special Lady
C.R.A.F.T Challenge No: 40  -  Mother's Day/Flowers
Simon Says Stamp  -  Mother's Day/Girly
Stamp, scrap and doodle No: 30  -  Open Week

Well there's lots out there to enter and from which to get inspiration, have fun.  See ya.  Luv B xxx

Thursday 4 March 2010

ATC - distressed bumblebees and butterflies

Oh I have missed being able to create and blog this week, but, more importantly, Mum is home from hospital. Between us, my sister and I have managed to overcome some of the beaurocracy and get Mum back into her own environment. She needs care, and at the moment that is me, (hence no cards or blogs this week) but she is on the list and we hope to hear very soon.
That said, I did manage to grab a few hours last night which resulted me staying up till 1.00am, but this is the outcome. The two photos show the difference light can make to the same image. The first one was taken laying flat, the second one was standing up, and you can see what a difference it makes, but by comparing the two, the details and the shimmers can be seen.
I haven't made ATCs for a while but found Fun With ATCs challenge blog and this week shadows need to be included, so I thought I would experiment to see what I could do. It is just possible to see shadows behind the foliage and the butterflies and I double stamped the bee to get it to look as though it was really buzzing around. I used the swirl and butterflies stamps from the Shabby French collection by TH, the bee and the foliage are tiny stamps that I purchased at the weekend at the Farnborough Make It craft show and are from Lavinia Stamps. The Tuesday Taggers challenge this week is to include swirls and curls, they are being sponsored by Crafty Individuals. The flourish has been coloured with Promarkers (and I added to my collection at the weekend - money, money, money!!!). The background is distressed using TH distress inks and water, spritzed onto my craft mat and fits in with the Pollycraft challenge for distressing. I added perfect pearls to it as well to get the shimmer.  I highlighted the foliage with sepia accents and the butterflies with crackle accents to get the glossy, glassy look for the Cuttlebug challenge. The colours fit Think Monday ATC orange challenge and the Pink Elephant green challenge. Finally I edged the card with my Sakura glitter pens.
I love all this experimenting with new techniques and feel this is a good result for what I set out to achieve. It just so happened ,when I had finished, I realised that the content fits my blog name. Result!!
I am adding some photos at the bottom of the page that show that Spring is really on it's way. They were taken Tuesday morning along lovely Oxfordshire lanes as I was on my way to work . It was such a gorgeous morning and, as I was early for my appointment, I was able to stop a few times to take photos. These I just love for the colours and fabulous blue sky, but also because I felt very uplifted to feel the warmth of the sun and see the beautiful snowdrops.
Thankyou for looking I hope you are having a good week.
Take care. Luv Bxx