Thursday, February 28, 2013

February Mystery Crime Reading Challenge.

Month two of the Crime reading challenge. Details can be found here. I have 2  books  to review this month.
The first book I downloaded to read was 48hrs by J. Jackson Bentley.

Josh Hammon is sent a text message which gives him 48hrs to come up with 250,000.00 or he will die. At first he thinks this is a prank but events soon unfold which show that his blackmailer is in deadly earnest. The blackmailer has no morals he wants his money which to  his mind he is justly owed. He will get his money. No one is allowed to stand in his way. We as the reader soon find out who the blackmailer is and the race is then on for Josh Hammond along with the police to hunt him down and stop him before anyone else gets killed. (One blackmailed person calls his bluff and dies.) The pace is fast and keeps you wanting to read the next page. By the end of the story you cannot wait for the blackmailer to get his just desserts. A thoroughily good read. 
My rating 9/10.

My second book cam from the local charity shop. Buy 3 books get 1 free so for £1.80 I selected 3 crime books and the best part of it is that once read they will be returned to the shop for future resale.

Georgette Heyer is more generally known for her  Historical Novels but she did write some dozen  Mystery Novels.
First published in 1932 and set in the 1930's so the feel of the book is very much how life used to be like.  Very genteel and dinner parties being the norm inviting the local noteworthys for a social evenings gathering.  The story evolves round a brother and sister who inherit a rambling old house from their Uncle and decide to spend their summmer vacation visiting the property. Things very quickly start to go bump in the night  and the locals are not backward in telling tales of how something ghostly walks the halls.  Someone or something wants them out of the house at all costs  and  you are very soon presented with a selection of very fishy characters who are not all that they seem to be and then a murder is committed.   A pleasant read that keeps you guessing right to the end of who did it.
My rating 8/10.
You can join in this challenge at any time during the course of the year.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Just One word.

This week the challenge over at Crafty Hazel Nuts is to use one word only on your christmas card.  Merry, Happy and Christmas don't really go on their own but looking through my stash of old christmas cards to upcycle/recycle I found this one. Sorry Hazel but I just had to do it!!!!!
I added a die cut frame , google eyes to the Turkey, ribbon and a bow made from yellow raffia.Attached everythinging to the base card made from yellow cardstock.
p.s. I still have some penquins over!!
Entering into the following:
Ginger Loft: Ribbon and Bows.
Pixie's Crafty Workshop:  Use your snippets.(old christmas card + salvaged google eyes).
Crafty HazelNuts Extra: Anything goes christmassy.
Love to Create: Srting, twine or fibres. ( used raffia).
Bearly Mine: Anything goes.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Holly Jolly.

I found a new challenge today and as it only required me being able to count one to five  I thought 'I can do this. How difficult can that be'.
The challenge is over at Holly Jolly to follow this sketch and must be a Christmas Project.
I am on a mission at the moment to upcycle as many of my  old received christmas cards as possible. Some of them go back years!

I have had this piece of  flocked cardstock in my stash every since my  swap buddy Loly in America sent me this small 4" x5" bit of her favourite paper called Red Glitter Love Notes by Making Memories. Well it became my favourite too so only came out on special ocassions to be looked at, stroked and them put safely back again! Looking at the sketch I realised that I would only have to cut half a circle from it so I bit the bullet and made the cut.
I used bits from 2 different cards for the centre bar and the smaller circle which I have attached with foam pads for a 3D effect. The wording was part of the card and the plain red/gold card stock  from my stash.
Close up below.
The really, really best part of this upcycling malarkey is that my stash lives to tell another tale
Entering into the following:
Stamping for Pleasure: Rudolph Day.Make something festive.
Crafty Hazel Nuts Extra: Anything goes christmassy.
Whoopsi Daisy: Add a sentiment.
Pixies Crafty Workshop: Use your snippets up. (Well  I did .Just a bit)
Make it Monday: Anything Paper crafts.



Friday, February 22, 2013


This stamp is part of a set that I won last week from Pixies crafty workshop. I love the Tulip and knew that I had just the right colours in my pens. Because it is qutie a bold design I wanted to keep it clean and simple. I found deep orange card in my stash for the backing card and the sentiment is cut from a recylced card . The bow came from a pair of childs socks which I had bought at some point way  back to use on a previous project .(Tactor Boy and Football Man felt dolls).
 I thought the check bow with the tulips gave rather a dutch feel to the card which in turn made me think of Keukenhof Gardens(renouned for its bulbs) nr Lisse, Holland. If you ever get a chance to visit the Netherlands in spring these gardens really are a site not to be miseed.
I have used distress mark pens in two shades of yellow and a red for the Tulips and two shades of green for the stalks and leaves. I have then added pearlescent chalks over the top . A Peach for the tulips which subtly changes the colour of the markers and gives a beautiful sheen and two  different shades of green.
Here is a close up of the flowers.

Entering into the following challenges:
Crafty Card Makers: Blooming Images
Fab 'n' Funky: Flower power.
Ruby's Rainbow. In the garden.
Penny's Paper - Crafty: Anything  Goes.
Whimsical Designs: Add green to your project.
Cute Cards Thursdays: Clean and simple.
Pixie's Crafty workshop:  Use your snippets.

Baa Baa.

I do like a bit of up cycling. This was a christmas card received last year that was large enough to cut in two. So I can make another card with the other half. I do like to use every thing up.
The Merry Christmas was from another card which matched perfectly the sun glowing on the moutains and the deep purple was card stock in my stash which had already been cut to shape.
Ribbon and pearls also in stash. I tried putting on stark white card at first but decided it looked better on this creamy card.

Entering into the following:
Crafty Hazel Nuts: Show some snow.
Crafty Hazel Nuts Extra: Anything  Goes Christmassy,
Frilly and Funkie: Layer it on and share a word.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


I don't often have a Eureka moment but when I do I follow the flow.  Had a challenge sat on  my desk which I kept looking at and going away and coming back to but  with no lightbulbs going off or even glimmerings of an idea.  Nothing. So to while away the time yesterday  I sorted my stamps out into rubber and clear stamps and what should I find at the bottom of the pile but this delightful rubber stamp by Great Impressions G367.
and so a card was born.
Card is a ready embossed design by Papermania which was in a pack I had bought ages ago and only used two of. Image was stamped onto a scrap of stiff white matching card and coloured using distress markers and pearlescent chalks. The card has a nice sheen to it but I had to wait till this morning to take a photo of it because of shadowing so it looks a bit flat.
Sentiment was generated in word  and printed out on to white paper adhered to stiff card and the edges trimed with my scor pal to replicate the inset panel on the card. Adhered to card with a sticky pad to give a 3D effect.

Entering into the following challenge:
Less is More: Up in the Air.

Then I found some more to enter:
Stamping Sensations: Fur and Feather.
Totallly Papercrafts: Pets.
Sweet Stamps: Sweet & simple.
Cutie Pie Challenge: Pretty Pastels.
Pixie's crafty workshop: Use your snippets up.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Shabby but Chic.

I made this stand up letter for my Swap Partner Bee and was determined to make it from what I had available in my stash. The only compromise I made was buying a match pot paint in vinyl matt.  I first made a B shape up in paper and then used this as my template to cut two further shapes from thick card. I also cut long strips out for the edging which I taped into place on one side.

Once I had my basic tray completed I stuffed with tissue paper to pack it out and added glass crystals to the bottom for ballast (so that shape would stand alone). Taped the other side on and covered with torn kitchen towel using watered down PVA Glue. Left to dry overnight in the airing cupboard.
As you can see the kitchen towel gives a nice textured finish which I then gave a couple of coats of 'White Cotton' emulsion to. The little Match pot paint samples are idea for using on small surfaces and are a lot cheaper than using up my more expensive Jo Sonja paints.

Once dry I was  ready to start playing. I had made up a selection of  paper roses previously whilst the B was in the airing cupboard. Because of the weighted bottom it stands quite firmly on its own.

A lot of lace, ribbon, beads and flowers later this is the finished letter.
Entering into the folowing:
Lavender Garden Cottage: Cottage style party.
Anything but a card: .Anything goes.
Dream Valley: Ribbon and Bling.
Glitter  n Sparkle: Anything but a card.
Pixie's Crafty workshop: Use up your snippets ( flowers made from  odds of card stash)
Anything Goes: Vintage/ Shabby Chic.
Oldie but a Goodie. Bright colours (lace used over 25 yrs old, rest over 6 mths)
Hotshot Craft: Anything but a card.
Frosted Designs; Be bold. (Bold colours & patterns)


Monday, February 18, 2013

White on White.

When I made the 3 condolence cards for The Doc to choose one for his Aunt I didn't expect to be using another of them again so soon but last week we heard that another family member had passed away. This one was sent to his Aunt Rene.
I have used two emboissing folders both  from  the same set called Butterfly Migration  by Sizzix  656982. Ribbon and Pearls from my stash.

Entering into the following:
Simon Says Stamps challenge: White on White.
Alphabet Challenge: Anything with Wings.
All Sorts: Things with wings.
Created with Love: Things that Fly.
Lexi's Creations: Monocromatic.
Make it Monday:  Linky Party #128
Hiding inMy Craft Room: Embossing.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Life's Teasures.

This is my second Guest Designer Spot for Febraury over at Craft  a Scene.
The theme being to make a scene with  a light house. This time I chose a stamp by Michael Powell depicting beach huts with a lighthouse in the background. I had great difficulty getting this stamp last summer as everywhere I tried  had sold out but my good blogging  buddy Miss Di came to the rescue and not only sourced a supplier but also bought it for me.
How is that for friendship. I have used decorative chalks and distress markers to colour in the image. The front of the card has been cut out  using a Sizzix Framelits die. 657936. I cut a corresponding one in green cardstock.
Then in my wisdom I decided to use Acetate on the Front! How difficult can this be I thought!! I also stamped on it!!!


Words of wisdom if you try this at home. Don't touch the stuff without wearing kid gloves (every single finger print shows up)  and leave a good 24 hours after stamping . Trust me I found out the hard way!
The stamp I chose for the front  is by Inkadinkado 'Down by the Seaside' which I stamped so that it would  super impose over the bottom of the  image which was adhered to the back page of the card. The actetate was then attached to  the green cut out  using brads from my stash that just happened to be the same colour as the  card.This in turn was then stuck to the front of the card so that the back of the brads would not show on the inside.
Here is the card standing ajar. Also difficult to take a photo without getting a glare from the acetate.
There is still time to enter your cards for this months challenge. Click on the link above to take you over to the challenge page. Thankyou to  Nancy for inviting me to be a Guest Designer with you. I hope I have given some inspiration for trying different techniques. I had fun making my two cards.

Entering into the following challenges:
Use it Tuesday: Fasteners.  (Brads from stash)
Fab 'n' Funky: Whats inside decorated.
Charisma Cardz: Anything goes.
Cute Card Thursday: An eye for detail.  (It's all in the linning up of the image)
A Gem of a Challenge: Dies and punches.
Challenges for Everybody: Anything goes.


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Christmas in February.

I actually colured these 2  Digi's up in January to enter a challenge and nearly forgot all about them until I suddenly realised the challenge was about to close. Panic stations whilst I quickly cut some stock for the cards and made a few extra embellishements for the fronts.

The digi image is by 'Crafting with Jack' and the details of their site can be found here.
I have coloured using Pearlescent chalks and Distress Markers. The wording is part of the digi but I have cut it seperate as I wanted to put the image behind a window. My camera never takes a true photo when I use the colour purple. It comes out in a bluey tone but does in fact compliment the pink and mauve sky.  The extra star is a free stamp from Craft Stamper that I have cut out and again coloured using pearlescent chalks and adhered to the front of the card using a foam pad to give dimension.
Entering into the following Challenges:
Lady Anne's: Use Crafting with Jack digi.
Crafty Hazel Nuts extra: Anything goes Christmassy.
C.R.A.F.T. challenge: Christmas in February.
The Second card is again using a digi by 'Crafting with Jack' .  I have coloured using plain and pearlescent chalks. The sentiment is from an old used christmas card and I have simply layered up with red and green cardstock to match the chalks. The added poinsettia is a die  by Poppy Stamps called blooming Poinsettia style no 861 which I cut using up scraps of cream cardstock and colouring to match  the digi.
Entering into the following Challenges:
Lady Anne's: Use Crafting with Jack digi.
Crafty Hazel Nuts extra: Anything goes christmassy.
C.R.A.F.T challenge:  Christmas in February.
Tammy's Scrappin Corner: Handmade Embellishments.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love & Romance.

Another Valentines card using the same Die cuts as before but giving a totally different feel.
I have gone for Romance and old fashioned chic. Hope I have pulled it off.
The Hearts and butterflies are in fact cream and gold but do not show up as such. The card base is cream with a dark brown card stock matted onto it. The flower stamp is in brown and is also on cream card which I have matted onto thick card and then distressed the edges. Stitching has been hand done using brown thread to match. Lace is from my late MIL's unmentionables and the Love stamp is by Wow from the Suzy West Collection.

Entering into the following challenges:
Pixies Crafty workshop: Use your snippets. (Di's, Sam's ,Mine).
Pans Pastels:  Love and Romance.
Divas By Design: Love and Romance.
Paper Take Weekly:   Hearts and Flowers.
Heck of a Challenge: Love  & Flowers.
Ooh-La-La Creations: Love Story.
Crafty Creations: Love and/or Hearts.
Moving Along With The Times: Love is in the air.
Card Makin Mamas: I'm in the mood for love.
A Gem of a Challenge: Hearts and Valentines.
All Sorts: Valentines.
Melon Headz: Valentines.
One Crazy Stamper: Love Challenge.
Crafty Card Makers: Vintage Love.

Be My Valentine.

My Card for The Doc.
I have used a simple centre step card which I cut using my Fiskars table top trimmer. It made it very easy to cut the slits in the correct places. You can purchase a template from
here.  Once purchased it is very easy to adapt the size to your own requirements which is what I have done for this card.
Backing paper was a freebie in Simply Cards and  Papercraft courtesy of Fluff and the die cuts were snippets courtesy of Miss Di.
Sentiments have been made using Kanban clear stamps and stitching done by hand. You can't quite see them all but there are 4 butterflies ranging down in size on both outside panels. Just about seen in the close up below.

Entering into the following challenges:
Lexi's Creations: Valentine Love.
Cutie Pie Challenge: Valentines Cards.
Card Mania: Is this love that I'm feeling.
Craft Your Passion: My Valentine.
Paper Pretties: Red,Pink and  White.
FlutterBy Wednesday: Hearts + butterfly or fairy.
Creative Belli: Valentines/Hearts.
Splendiferous Creations: All you need is Love.
Love To Create: Feelin the love.
Dream Valley: Valentines.
Pixies Crafty Workshop: Use your Snippets
The cupboard Trilogy: A sprinkle of Red & Romance.
Stamp your Life: Anything love.
Melon Headz: Valentines.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

E is for Egyptian.

The Alpha challenge over at the Craft Barn this time is  for the letter E and I have gone with the word Egyptian.
I have an Egyptian water jug in my collection of jugs which was bought on one of our travels to Egypt a few years back. I took a photo of it and downloaded to my lap top to resize and print out. 
The Catouche spells the word King in Hieroglyphics. The letter E was downloaded from here. I used a diluted wash of yellow acrylic paint over the page and decorated with some odds of yellow and black piping cord from my stash. The page edges were buffed using Inka Gold.
Close up of the page is below.

Entering into the following:
The Craft Barn: Alpha challenge letter E.

Love Hearts.

This is a gift that I made my swap partner Bee and not shown yet for obvious reasons. The shape was cut from thin card and then several pieces layered together to make a thicker shape. I then covered in torn serviettes using Diluted glue and then a final layer of torn kitchen towel before painting with  matt paint. Again I used the little  match  maker pots of samples which have a brush already in the lid and so are ideal for when only small areas of paint are needed.

I have used White Cotton and Roasted Red. I punched holes in the top and bottom of three of the hearts and then strung them altogther using red/white bakers twine and alternated the colours and patterns. 
The last heart only needed a hole punched in the top.

Entering into the following challenges:
Scrappy Frogs: Use red or pink.
Craft My Life: Valentines that are not  a card or a layout.
Great Impressions: Have a Heart.
Crafty Catz: Feature a Heart.
Simply Create Too: Valentines day/or Hearts.
Artistic Inspirations: Anything Goes.
Tuesday Throwdown: Anything goes.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Shine a light.

Over at Craft Scene this month the theme is to make a scene with a lighthouse. Nancy asked me if I would like to be a Guest Designer for February and I jumped at the chance. How difficult can that be  I thought! 

 I have used a stamp by Stampendous which comes in two parts, the scene and the wording.  I die cut an oval from the front of the card and stamped the wording to the side of it. 
The stamped image is on a separate sheet behind the window and has been coloured in using Distress Markers and Pearlescent chalks.  I used my Scor-Pal to make the borders.
Why not join in the challenge . You have all of February to complete  your project . Full details can be found here 
Entering this card  into the following challenges:
Pin and Tack: Anything Goes.
The Crafty Bloggers Network: Anything Goes.
Challenges 4  Everybody: Anything  Goes. 

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Think Pink.

This is the second card made for my swap partner using die cuts as the main element. I saw this in simply Cards Magazine and have adapted the design.

The stripe paper is by Rasberry Road and the other two patterned papers from The Nancy Watt collection 'Summer Ladies'. All snippets I had left over from other projects.  The sizzix frame die is 657936 and the Crealies Creative shapes is CL CS 09.
The inside of the card has a butterfly in the fold. I have used a double winged one by QuickKutz. The border pattern on the right is a butterfly design by tonic studio which when you cut it out leaves you all these little tiny butterflies. Well I wasn't about to chuck them in the bin so they were carefully glued across the opposite page as if in flight. ( I have used the rest  on another card already shown).

Entering into the following:
Flutterby Wednesday: Anythjing Goes.
Craft your Passion: Pastels. No bright shades.
Sweet Stamps: Think Pink. Use shades of pink.
LEJ Designs: Anything  Goes.
Anything Goes:  Monochrome.
Ladybug Crafts: Girly/Female.
Paper Pretties: Square cards.
Moving Along With The Times: Punch it out.
Challenges 4 Everybody: Anything goes.
Pixie's Crafty Workshop: Use your snippets up.

Just For You.

Have heard back from Australia that the two swap cards have been received by my partner so I can show the ones that I made in January.
I had loads of bits left over from the card I made on my post Blue your Cares Away (you know, the one with my undwear adorning it) which were still out on my desk so I added a rustic  colour paper to it and made the card below.

 The swap required die cuts to be used  so I made the flowers and leaves from my Crealies
dies Creative flowers CL CF 25 and creative shapes  CL CS 16. The sentiment was produced in word. The card was an odd shape and  would not fit a standard envelope size so I had the idea of making a pocket to hold the card. I had seen how to do it in Simply Cards Magazine. The backing paper and the image came from my Ooh La La Creations Passion for fashion CD . I ran off another sheet of the blue paper  and made the pocket to fit below.

I added another die cut flower, punched a semi circle from the top on each side (to make it easier to withdraw the card) and tied with satin ribbon.
Entering into the following:
Make It Monday: Linky party #126
Papertake Weekly:  Anything Goes.
Craft Room: Make your own embellishments.
Bearly Mine: Anything Goes
Simon says Stamps: Anything Goes.
Joan's Gardens: Create a vintage card.
Catch the bug: Anything goes.
Joanna Sheen challenges: 3-2-1 3 (3 papers,2 embellishments, 1 image)
Emma's Cards UK: Art Deco.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

D is for Daisy.

The alphabet letter to use  this week over at Tag Tuesday is the letter D. I have some new dies that I wanted to try out and the flower that came to mind was Daisy. Apart from the dies
and the letter D which I downloaded for free here everything else was sourced from my stash and snippets box.
The dies used are Crealies 'Creative Shapes and Creative  Flowers.'
C.C Designs 'Flower Border' which I have added yellow centres to and coloured the stalks.
Die - Namics 'Fresh Cut Grass' which I layered up by using the negative that was cut away.
(Waste not want not is my motto).
I'm not saying where the ribbon came from originally, I will let you guess!!

Entering into the following:
Tag Tuesday: The letter D.
Natalie & Amy's challenge: Something old , something new. (new dies, old ribbon/papers)
Sarah Hurley challenge: Anything but a card.
Sparkles: Die cuts & flowers.
Die Cuttin Divas: Anything Goes.
Twisted Tuesday: Free for All.
Cute Cards Thursday: A different corner.
Crafty Anne's challenge: Something tied, yellow, and ribbon.
Totally Papercrafts: Make your own Embllishments (Dasies using two different dies.)
Pixie's Crafty Workshop: Use your snippets.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

English Rose Cottage.

This little fabric  house is for a swap which has just been completed. As my partner is in Australia I wanted the house to represent a typical English thatch cottage. I am lucky enough to live in a part of the country where thatched houses/cottages are in abundance.
I used a tagbook/mini album house shape to draw round as my template for the base and cut two out from pale pink  felt. I raided my stash for all the rest of the items. The thatch is made from thick hessian which I only had a small square of but by careful cutting I managed to do the front and back roofs and even had a small piece over to thatch the bird house! I forgot to take a photo until I had nearly finished the front of the house .
The photo below shows the front of the house and the back with a little bit of  garden. The climbing rose bush has over ninety french knots embroidered on depicting the roses on the front!

Here you can see the finished house which has been lightly padded to give a bit of depth.
I found a poem by Patience Strong that I thought matched my little house perfectly so printed it out onto a tag and enclosed it in the parcel which is now on its way to my partner Mandy.

Entering into the following:
Bunny Zoe's Crafts : Anything Goes.
Crafty Cats: Anything but Square.
Fairy Tale challenges: Sewing real or faux
Pixies crafty Workshop: Use your snippets.
Tuesday Alchemy: Anything Goes.
Crafty Creations: Anything but a card.


C is for Corset Again!

The Alpha Challenge over at the Craft Barn this week is also for the letter C and I have again gone with the word Corset as I had this  free digi,  download from here  which I wanted to use on my page.
I used a well watered down pink paint as a wash over the dictionary page . The digi is coloured in using distress markers in navy and pink.  I have used more of my undwear snippets on the page which  I thought to be highly appropriate given the content.  The Letter C was downloaded from here.
Close up of the page is below.
Entering into the following:
The Craft Barn: Alpha challenge letter C.