Friday 28 October 2011


Yay it's Friday and if this has scheduled correctly, I am away for a long weekend in Swanage. Hopefully I will have my laptop and will be able to log in from time to time.

This is my second piece I have made for the Gingersnap Creations Poe month and this challenge is 'Ravens'.

I have made a second hybrid piece which will no doubt join the Horror Stories piece in my art journal.

The background I put together in Photoshop elements using images from Scrapbookgraphics, they were perfect for what I wanted and included the title and raven at the top.

 I added to it by stamping the black raven to the left and the cobwebs using TH mini halloween and I cut out the bats, butterflies and eyes (from Graphics Fairy) and added the skull charm, spider and key.

I would also like to enter this into Corrosive Challenges - Flying things.

Have fun whatever you are doing and enjoy some crafty time of your own.

Thanks for stopping by, I really appreciate all the lovely comments you leave me.

luv and hugs {brenda} xoxox


Tuesday 25 October 2011

Poe - Horror stories

I am just catching up with the Gingersnap Creations Edgar Allan Poe month and this challenge was called Horror Stories, so here is mine.

Poe wrote a number of short stories and poems and I looked him up to refresh my memory, what surprised me though was when I looked for images of  'The Masque of the Red Death' there was Vincent Price staring back at me and reminded me I had probably seen the film in my youth when I used to go to Saturday afternoon pictures. I loved horror stories way back then - now I really hate watching anything like that, tooooo scary!!!!!!

This is a hybrid piece. I downloaded images from and used them for the base background and then added the title, charm, buttons, skull (one of my moulds) and black enamel accents with tiny red seed beads in it. I am going to add this to my journal OR if I get time I an going to make a Halloween book. I think the journal will win!

You can see that the backing paper is actually made up of layered pages of Poe's poems.

Thank you for stopping by today, I hope you are getting some crafty time to make things.

Please don't forget to add any of your Halloween projects to my linky HERE - I am going to give one of my Halloween tags away to a random chosen person at the beginning of November.

Have a great day.

luv and hugs {brenda} xoxox


Monday 24 October 2011

Free Pumpkins

Happy Monday - I hope you have a fantastic week and are not too busy with work.

I have to go into school today, in fact I have to go into Oxford to a planning application meeting at the County Council but I will be back later to catch up with all my blogging buddies and do some commenting - I am so behind with that.

I have just treated myself to some new Halloween stamps, but I wanted a pumpkin one without the face drawn in so I decided to draw my own. I have used it on this tag which has a Halloween background but is very much made with autumn colours.

The button is plastic but I managed to stamp on it and I have added lots of bits and pieces from my box of bits. You can see the Halloween images in the background on this photo.

This is my drawing and I coloured just enough of the pumpkins for my tag.

This was printed on cheap photocopy paper and coloured with Promarkers.

If you would like to take the pumpkins digi, please do so. I made it in Photoshop Elements and saved it as a jpeg file. If you use it please be courteous and link it back to me on your blog and if you leave me a message I will come over to see what you have done. Click on it and enlarge it to get the best file for downloading.

Thank you for looking today and a special thanks if you are a regular and leave me all those wonderful messages I get, I so love reading them.

Take care of yourself and your loved ones.

luv and hugs {brenda} xoxox

Challenges to have fun with - 
Ink on my Fingers - Autumn/colours of autumn.
Gingerloft - Halloween or fall.
Opus Gluei - Halloween.
Crafty Pad - Halloween.
Sugar Creek Hollow - Colours of fall.
Fashionista Friday - Halloween and/or fall.
CCEE Stampers - Fall/autumn.
Stampotique - Tag Time.
Deep Ocean Challenge - Fall colours.


Sunday 23 October 2011

Coffee and cream with a hint of chocolate

Hi Everyone - happy Sunday

I got this DT piece made by the skin of my teeth. This is for Fashionable Stamping Challenges who this week want to see anything that has a coffee and cream and even a hint of chocolate for a focus. Don't forget anything goes as long as you follow the challenge theme and include some stamping on it (sorry digis are not allowed).

My large stamps are both from the Inkadinkado Xmas Ornate clear set and the snowflake background I stamped using Reindeer Flight and Mini Holidays by Tim Holtz.

The large snowflake is a Woodware die-cut chipboard shape covered with distress stain and glitter and I added a star, flower, glintz, doiley and ribbon from my stash. I also used Nestabilities Labels Two for the greeting.

Want to know what the brown bag looked like before I altered it?

Hope you will come and join us at FSC and please go take a look at what the amazing Stampettes have made to inspire you.

I am on half term now, although I have to go into school on Monday and I am teaching a class at The Art of Craft on Wednesday. So Ken and I have booked into a nice hotel in Swanage for a long weekend from Thursday. I just feel I need it after the Ofsted inspection at school.

Take care and thank you for stopping by to take a look at my work today.

luv and hugs {brenda} xoxox

Challenges to have fun with -
I haven't visited my old friends at MAWTT for a long time so my first challenge is -
Moving Along With The Times - Vintage.
PaperPlay - Use black.
Winter Wonderland - A vintage Christmas.
Totally Gorjuss - Pastel Christmas.  -  I hope this counts!
Secret Crafter - Wrap up warm.
One Stop Craft - No designer paper.
Lili of the Valley - Bingo  -  mine is ribbon, flower, gem.
PanPastels Challenge - Glitter and Glitz.


Friday 21 October 2011

Night Time at The Stamp Man

The lovely Michelle has chosen 'Night Time' as the theme at The Stamp Man this week and this really challenged my thinking and creativity.

I thought I would do some brayering, but when it came to putting ink on the card I decided to blend it instead. I masked off the sky and moon, blended DIs and then dried it ready to mask off layers for the ground, again blending DIs.

This photo shows the scene without any embellishments

 I stamped the birds and trees with archival black, sprinkled water over and dabbed it off to get a snowy effect and then splattered some white acrylic paint and water over the top of that. I am quite pleased with the effects.

I then made the tree similar to TH tags of Christmas 2010 and added the ticket and button.

Supplies -
DIs - peeled paint, pine needles, forest mnoss, walnut stain, antique linen, dried marigold, tumbled glass, stormy sky, chipped sapphire.
Distress embossing powder - peeled paint
Die - TH pine tree, TH ticket strip
Stamps - TH reindeer flight, TH QVC mini collection, TH odds and ends
Pinflair snow dust

I hope you will pop over to the Stamp Man blog to see all the other wonderful creations from the team and hopefully you will be inspired to have a go too. Jill will have a £10.00 voucher ready and waiting for the winner as chosen by the design team.

I was really excited to see that I have been chosen as a Ginger Gem again for my 'Shared Moments' card at Gingersnap Creations - such a prestigious award and thanks Shar and girls for choosing me.

Thanks to you all for taking a peek at what I have posted today. If you leave me a message and a link I will be able to pop over to see what you have been creating too.

Have a fun day.

luv and hugs {brenda} xoxox

Challenges to have fun with -
ABC Christmas Challenge - U is for unused stash - the tree die and antelope button, both left over from last year.
Fab n Funky - Distressed or torn.
My time to Craft - Punches and dies.
Sweet Stamps - Lots of layers.
Try it on Tuesday - Taking to the skies.
Ooh La La Creations - Let It Snow.


Tuesday 18 October 2011

Shabby Halloween

Something I made on Sunday - just because I wanted to.

I had a great lunchtime out with Lucy at the car-boot sale and bought a few bits and pieces. But Lucy had bought me over some lovely lacy trims and I just wanted to use some. Thanks for the lovely things Lucy.

I cut a tag from the TH die, downloaded this image from the Graphics fairy and changed it to a sepia colours. The muslin is a roll I have and I used double layer. I glitzed some of the image with glamourdust and added the trim, dangly and ribbons.

Have a wonderful week. I shall be working at school everyday and have to catch up with my own private school improvement work as well in the evenings. At least it is half term next week, so I will get a bit of time for me.

Take care and have fun.

luv and hugs {brenda} xoxox

Challenges to have fun with -
Paper Sundaes - Halloween or Fall
Pollycraft Monday - Girls
The Crazy Challenge - Halloween
Gingerloft - Halloween or Fall


Sunday 16 October 2011

A Holtz-ian Halloween!

Well I said I would get creating and here is my tag for Grungy Monday - it's so good to have you back Linda -  and the theme at Simon Says Stamp and Show is things with wings, so this fits that as well.

Totally in the style of TH and using TH products I have made this Halloween tag which was inspired by the great man himself on his blog HERE.

I really have very limited Halloween stamps so I have used nature ones as well as cut out vintage images to get the effects I wanted to try and re-create. I drew the barbed wire and added the mini staples as per T!m himself.

Supplies -
Crackle paint - dusty concord
Seasonal DIs - seedless preserves, ripe persimmon, gathered twigs
Stamps - Andy Skinner back to nature
Downloads - Graphics Fairy and unknown
Inka Gold - silver
Mini attacher
Skull - one of my clay moulds

I really enjoyed playing again.

This morning it is another of those cold but beautiful autumn days and I thought I would share a couple of photos from my front garden.

This bush was covered in amazing cobwebs and the sun shining on the dew just captured my attention.

.... and some warm autumn berries.

I hope your weekend is going well; have the most wonderful day whatever you are doing.

luv {brenda} xoxox

Other challenges to have fun with -
Simon Says Stamp - Halloween / Goth
Creative Craft Crew - Spooky Fun
Everybody Art - Halloween
Crafts and Me - Orange
Stampotique - Tag Time
Crafts 4 Eternity - Purple and orange
Alphabet challenge - S for soon to be Halloween
Craft Your Days Away - Halloween colours


Saturday 15 October 2011

Ofsted is over

Thanks for all the good wishes for our Ofsted inspection this week at school. I am happy with the way it went and we await the report which will be with us in a couple of weeks and will be given to the parents and published.   In 3 1/2 days I have spent 50 hours at school and another 8 hours travelling to and from, so as you can imagine I am really tired, but .......................................................................................

I am now suffering ink withdrawal and need to get creating. I also need to go out and the kids are coming over tonight, but I am sure I can get something done today.

At least Lucy and I can share some crafty chat tomorrow as we are going to the local car-boot sale together.

I had a great boost on Wednesday as I have managed to get hold of the seasonal distress inks and they arrived in the post - YAY - and my Vagabond stopped working a couple of weeks ago, but good old QVC have replaced it as it was only 8 months old and that arrived yesterday so I am ready to get going again.

At the moment the sun is shining, the sky is blue and the cherry tree stands very proud with it's red leaves.

Have a wonderful weekend.

luv {brenda} xoxo

I am just checking challenges I had entered and I have been chosen as a Spotlight Artist for my Halloween Diorama at City Crafter Challenge.


Friday 14 October 2011

Birthday Box

It was my daughter Maddie's birthday last month and this is a box I made for her. Those who know me will recognise the stars as being her most favourite thing for jewellery and bits and pieces.

 The large pleated star I made using the TH rosette die - just another of the shapes I have been experimenting with using this die.

Enjoy and thanks for looking. The weekend is almost here, time for another break.

luv and hugs {brenda} xdoxox

Tuesday 11 October 2011

Quick post

Dear All

I will not be around for a few days to comment on your wonderful posts. I have had a quick look through the dashboard tonight and visited some of your blogs, but I am sorry I haven't been able to comment on your amazing creations I have seen.

If anyone knows anything about our English schools inspection process you will know exactly how I feel when I say my school has Ofsted on Thursday and Friday. For those of you who don't know, it means a team of inspectors will be in for 2 days interrogating our data and policies, observing the teaching, talking to staff and children and generally looking for evidence of pupil's standards and progress and the quality of teaching and learning to be able to make a judgement about our school. I didn't get home tonight until 11.00 pm as I am getting all the pre-inspection paperwork ready.

Wish us luck and I will chat again at the weekend.

For now my school and staff will have my full attention with our aim to have a very positive judgement.

Take care.

luv and hugs {brenda} xoxox


Monday 10 October 2011

Trick or Treat - Halloween tag

Happy Monday - did you have a good weekend? I kept mine quite lazy, trying to catch up from busy weeks working full time now.

So here is a Halloween tag from me today using PanPastels and DIs on a ribbed kraft tag.

All the embellishments are downloads and cut out (I must get some more stamps!!!) The skeleton is from the Graphic fairy, the bats are free clipart and the Trick or Treat sentiment is from Inktegrity.

The masks were layered using embossing ink and PanPastels.The Happy Halloween was pastelled, sprayed with sealer then DI blended round the edges.

The Trick or Treat sentiment was blended with dried marigold DI then PPs blended on the edges while the ink was still wet. Quite mellow colours don't you think?

Please link any Halloween cards or projects you make to my Halloween linky so that I can come visit and see what you are making and leave you some love. I will draw someone at the end to receive one of my Halloween tags as a give-away. It could be this one!!!

Have a great day.

luv and hugs {brenda} xoxox

Challenges to have fun with -
Crafty Ribbons - Halloween
Digi Doodle Shop's Best - Distressing
Samuel Taylor's - Halloween
PanPastels - Autumn colours


Sunday 9 October 2011

The Stamp Man - Circles

Well better late than never they say. This is my second post for today and my piece for the Stamp Man challenge. For this fortnight, as you can see, the theme is circles. I struggled with this one, Mr Mojo doesn't stay around when you are tired does he? And I lost some circle stamped pieces that Jill sent me to use - what am I like - honestly?

My inspiration was Laura Liddell's tutorial on how to make your own craft resist card at Gingersnap Creations and the colour combo at Play Date Cafe.

To get the colours and effect I wanted I ended up using -
DIs - dusty concord, mustard seed, peeled paint and black soot
Whispers colouring pens pinks and purples and Aquamarkers Bamboo
Archival black
Aspects of Design antique effect background stamp from The Stamp Man
TH Papillon and Mini Classic stamps
clear embossing powder and versamark
kraft card and white card
Spellbinders Lacey Circles

My learning for today is -
This was much more about technique than outcome. Next time I will try it on cream or white card to see the different effects. I also need to get some more large background technique stamps. Artist? Well I would like to think I'm getting there!!

Please pop over to the Stamp Man Challenge blog to see the fabulous designs from the team and I hope you will participate. Don't forget that Jill gives a £10.00 voucher to the winner as chosen by the DT, well worth an entry don't you think? Jill has her new on-line shop going live this weekend and she now accepts PayPal as well.

Hope your Sunday is going well. Thanks for stopping by today and thanks even more if you have been here twice.

Take care.

luv and hugs {brenda} xoxox


Halloween Diorama

We have a fabulous line-up at Fashionable Stamping Challenges again this week, where we challenge you to make anything but a card. There is so much scope for this and the fabulous Stampettes have got some amazing inspirational pieces for you to check out. 

So what can you make with a canvas and a wooden frame???

A slow reveal - but warning photo overload!!!!!

I have had this piece in my head for months and months just waiting for Halloween to come round and it has also been in the making for weeks and weeks. I would do a bit, think some more, leave it and then come back to it again. I don't know how many times I have done that.

The frame was painted with gesso and stippled to give texture then stamped with 2 different background stamps, one in brown archival ink and the other in black, and then covered with a wash of PaperArtsy metallic glaze. 

I used TH tissue tape covered the back edges of the canvas. The stamp is from Crafty Individuals - thanks Lucy for letting me ink it up. 
After painting the image with DIs, I covered the bird with glossy accents.
So you can see I am using the back of the canvas to give me some 3D space.

It's been great fun collecting all the pieces and then putting it together. It looks a bit different now Shirley from when you last saw it.

Hand made labels, alcohol inks, beads and BBQ ash all make up the apothecary bottles
The labels are available from one of my posts HERE.
The spider and web are from a Halloween party spider web pack.
You can see that my melt pot and beeswax came out for this project - dripping wax over the cork stopper and letting it drip down the sides of the bottles.
The shiny skull is a valve cap!
Can you start to see what I have made?

Some jewellery, Charlotte doll mould, pumpkin and mushroom add to the overall effect. As does the skull and rose ring that I got from a car-boot sale recently.

The old watch was also from a car-boot and the bugs are off of necklaces bought from Primark in their sale at the end of the summer.

I am really pleased with this 3D diorama and will hang it in my hall for Halloween. Sarah at La-De-Dah is a talented and inspirational artist and hosts My Mojo Monthly - so this month I thought I would show this piece and I thought I would enter it and see if it is eligible for her creative surfaces focus, although it's not a book cover, so probably not - but please let me know Sarah.

So go take a look at what prize is on offer at The Fashionable Stamping Challenge blog and I look forward to seeing your creations over there.

If you are making a Halloween card, tag or project, please link it to my Halloween Printables post HERE
I am making some Halloween tags and will give one away on the 1st November.

I thought I would enter this into these challenges -
Crafty Individuals - Winged things
Happy Daze - Christmas or Halloween
Tando Creative - Spooktastic
Delightful Challenges - Make it dimensional
City Crafter - Going 3D

Happy Sunday to you all and thanks for stopping by to take a look at my creation.

luv and hugs {brenda} xoxox