Monday 30 December 2013

Back from the wilderness

Hi everyone,
Well here I am, posting for the first time in almost three months. Life really has got in the way of crafting over the latter half of the year ... first my mum passed away in July, and then my dad was taken ill in October and I had to have a bit off  time of work to be with him as he doesn't live near me.
Things have hopefully settled down now, but my mojo had completely disappeared so I decided not to put any pressure on myself with making Christmas cards etc. ... I just wrote off this year for that, sent the few I'd already made and bought the rest!! Meanwhile I have been gradually getting into a new hobby - after many years of never cooking, indeed never entering the kitchen unless under duress, I have rather belatedly discovered the joy of baking! I'm still at an early stage with it, but I'm also starting a baking blog for 2014 both to chart my baking adventures and to raise a bit of money for charity - so I hope you'll have a peek!!
Anyhow, I decided with the New Year approaching I would try to kick start a resurgence of my creativity; so today I sat down and made a DT card for later this week ... my first card since the start of October!! Having made that one I thought I may as well make another card to post while I'm still on my Christmas hols, so I pulled out some of the stash I  bought for Christmas cardmaking this year and never got to use! Here's the result ...

 Stamps: LotV "James - Santa Stop Here" and "Christmas Grungy Messages";
Media: Promarkers and Flexmarkers, with stickles on teddy's hat;
Papers: Forever Friends "Kraft Notes";
Supplies: sparkly silver ribbon from The Ribbon Girl; gems by Papermania;
Tools: Joycraft Snowflake dies; Martha Stewart "Snow Flurry" PATP edge punch.

Passion For Promarkers #228 - Mega Christmas Challenge
My Mum's - Christmas / Winter
Southern Girls - Christmas Wishes
Paper Crafting Journey - It's Christmas Time!
Crafty Calendar - Cold & Frosty!
A Creative Romance - Sparkle At Christmas
Live & Love Crafts - Stardust
Papertake Weekly - Pick Of The Year (Last Christmas Card of the Year)
Simon Says Wednesday - Bling It On!
Bearly Mine #117 - Anything Goes

Well that's all from me for today, and probably for this year. I'll be back soon though, and hope to be fully back into the swing of crafting for 2014!
Happy New Year!

Thursday 14 November 2013

Bake-ation and witchy treats

Hi everyone,
Yes I've been mising in action the past few weeks ... I've been having a bit of a difficult time as my dad was taken ill and had to go into hospital, so I had to take emergency leave from work and was away from home, my craft space and the internet!
Luckily he seems to have recovered well (touch wood!) but I've been pretty exhausted and on top of my mum passing away in the summer I just haven't felt like cardmaking or blogging at all!
However instead of cardmaking I have been keeping up a little with my new hobby of baking ... i guess you could say I've been taking a bake-ation! ... so here are a few pics of my recent efforts :-)
Firstly ... I went to a Hallowe'en birthday party two weeks ago ... and made these cute Hallowe'en black forest cupcakes (my first gluten free bake!) ...using a cute cupcake kit (cases, picks and sprinkles) from Hobbycraft.

I also made my first ever full size cake ... a gluten free red velvet cake :-)
And here's a couple of pics of the girls enjoying ourselves at the party :-)
(Did I mention that it was fancy dress?? lol!)
Yesterday we had a GBBO-style Bake Off in work for Children in Need, so I had a go at a chocolate whole-orange cake with orange cream cheese frosting!
My effort came second, though alas there were only 3 entries!! However any placing was miraculous as I had a comedy gold mishap with the cake as I was leaving the house in the morning ... I had it stored in an inverted cake tin in the fridge, and as I left the kitchen the cold tin flew out of my hands, broke open and slid down the door and wall in the hallway before coming to rest with the cake partly on the upturned tin, partly on the lid and partly (just a teeny part!!) on the floor!! Orange cream cheese frosting all down the wallpaper, door frame and all over the carpet with a nice garnish of choc shavings and cake crumbs - you've never seen a mess like it!! Miraculously the cake hadn't landed upside down or broken, so somehow I managed to get my leftover icing from the freezer, pop it in the microwave for a minute and then re-ice the parts of the cake where the icing had smeared off!!
At the end of all the cleaning up trauma I took the cake in for judging, though I was honest enough to tell my colleagues about the mishap before they risked eating any!! No one was deterred and they all seemed to enjoy it! Thank God no one had a video camera or I would have ended up on "You've Been Framed"!
That's all for now ... hope to be back sometime soon with a card.

Sunday 6 October 2013


Hi everyone ... hope you are enjoying your weekend. October already ... where is the year going to?? ... And that means that it's nearly time for Hallowe'en!! I don't do much in the way of Hallowe'en cards but as there are so many themed challenges out there I thought I'd just have a go at one ... and here it is!
My mojo is still very shaky at the moment ... my dad is not at all well, which is a lot of worry on top of everything else that has already happened this year. Still I'm quite pleased with how this one turned out.
Stamps: LotV "Abracadabra"; Whimsy Friendship Ticket;
Media: Promarkers; imaged edged with TH "dusty concord" distress ink;
Papers: The Robin's Nest (Purple/black glitter), ?? (black);
Supplies: ribbon from my stash;
Tools: Fleur-de-Lys nestabilities; X-Cut star dies; Stephanie Weightman "Tattered lace" alphabet for sentiment; Cuttlebug "Swiss Dots" embossing folder.
Sketch & Stash #122 - Sketch 
Bearly Mine #106 - Hallowe'en
My Mum's #10 - Hallowe'en
Really Reasonable Ribbon #81 - Hallowe'en + Ribbon
Gem Of A Challenge #100 - Let's Hear It For The Boys
Fussy & Fancy #99 - One For The Boys
Cute Card Thursday #289 - Signs of Distress
Simon Says (Wednesday) - Going Dotty!
Passion for Promarkers #218 - Lots of Legs!
(2 on boy, 2 on teddy :-) )
Creative Craft #20 - Anything Goes
Papertake Weekly - Anything Goes
Crafty Catz #201 - Anything Goes
MAWTT - Anything Goes
Totally Gorjuss #204 - Anything Goes With Stars
Crafty Ribbons #64 - Anything Goes With Ribbon 

That's all for today. Thanks very much for visiting and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Friday 4 October 2013

Crafty Little Fairies newsflash!!

For any of you looking to join in with this week's Blue Fairies challenge over at Crafty Little Fairies - this is just to let you know that from yesterday our blog address has changed and is now
Look forward to seeing you over there!

Thursday 26 September 2013

Crafty Little Fairies - Autumn Colours

Good morning everyone and welcome to another Crafty Little Fairies challenge. Thanks so much for all your entries last week - so good to see you sticking with our new venture.
This week it's the turn of the Pink Fairies, and our theme is
Autumn Colours

So we would love to see all your rich shades of red, deep yellows and golds, oranges and/or browns - lovely!

This week's kind sponsor is Teresa from My Crafty Heart with a £10 store voucher - woo hoo!

Don't forget the challenge is now open to all makes of stamp (inked or digi) so have fun!

The rest of the DT have filled the air with autumn colours - here is my effort.

The truth is I don't use autumn colours very much ... but I thought these yummy LotV papers would fit the bill so I based everything else around them. Don't you just love this cute image ... I thought it goes so well with the papers. :-)

Stamp: LotV "Emma Pot Plant";
Media: Promarkers and Flexmarkers; image edged wtih "shabby white" frantage;
Papers: LotV "Country Lady";
Supplies: flowers all from Wild Orchid Ceafts apart from white rose; berries by Magnolia from the Glitterpot; lace and twine from The Ribbon Girl; pearl from The Hobby House; sentiment from LotV Art Pad 8; gingham ribbon from my stash.

Wild Orchid Crafts #86 - Inspired By Autumn

Hope you can join us in the Crafty Little Fairies challenge this time - good luck!

Monday 23 September 2013

Christmas Stocking

Hi everyone .... well I haven't posted for a while as I just got back on Friday night from a 10 day holiday in Majorca. We were really ready for it after the difficult summer we've had; and we had a great time even though the weather was a bit mixed. Needless to say I've been pretty busy this weekend with unpacking and laundry (I'm sure dirty holiday clothes multiply in the case on the way home!!); but inbetween all that I have managed to sort out this week's DT work and also make an additional card.
It's fair to say that I'm rather behind with my Christmas makes ... so I'm determined to start making more of an effort to get on top of the situation!
Here's a card using this adorable teddy stamp sent to me last Christmas by my lovely friend Jennifer ... I really love this image, he just has the cutest little face!  This card was really quick to make as I had already coloured the image some time ago :-)

My only concern is that foer some reason the pictures look MUCH brighter when imported into this post than they do on my PC .... don't understand!!

Stamps: Stampavie "Teddie's Stocking"; LotV "Christmas Sentiment Tags";
Media: Promarkers and Flexmarkers;
Papers: My Mind's Eye (holly) and Dovecraft (damask);
Supplies: Poinsetta by Crafts4U2Do; pearls by Wild Orchid Crafts and The Hobby House; ribbon from my stash;
Tools: Spellbinders "Floral Ovals" die.

Christmas Cards #43 - Sketch

ABC Christmas - S is for Stockings
Winter Wonderland - The Holly & the Ivy
(I have been inspired by the red of the flowers and green in the picture)
Creative Romance - Dies & Punches
Oldie But A Goodie - Dies & Punches
Fussy & Fancy Friday #98 - Punches & Dies
Crimbo Crackers #50 - Quick & Easy
CSAYL #34 - Christmas Cheer (Anything Goes)

That's all for today. Back to work today so little time for crafting :-(


Thursday 12 September 2013

Crafty Little Fairies - New Baby

Good morning everyone, and welcome to the first Pink Fairies challenge at Crafty Little Fairies.

We are really thrilled that so many of you joined us in our new venture last week.

This week our theme is

New Baby

Awww ... how  cute is that??

Don't forget - you can now use any make of stamp (rubber or digi) for your entry - so why wait??

The other fairies have delivered a whole array of cuteness this week - here is my effort.

How cute is this stamp?? I have had it in my stash for ages but not inked it up until now. This card was rather a rush job I'm afraid for reasons I'll go into next time, but i quite like the CAS look.

Stamps: LotV "Little Sleepy Head";
Media: Promarkers and Flexmarkers;
Papers: from my stash;
Tools: Memory Box "precious Stars" die.

My Mum's #9 - Boys Only
Bunny Zoe's (September) - Something Blue
Sweet Stampin' - Got The Blues
Crafty Calendar (September) - Going On A Bear Hunt
Our Creative Corner - Forgotten Things (stamp)
Cute Card Thursday - Hip To Be Square
Totally Gorjuss #200 - Anything Goes
ABC - U is for Unlimited (Anything Goes)
That's all for today - thanks for visiting and hope you can join us this week at Crafty Little Fairies.

Thursday 29 August 2013

Lili's Little Fairies DT - and some exciting news!

Good morning everyone, and welcome to another challenge this week with Lili's Little Fairies.  Thanks as always to everyone who rocked last week's challenge of All About The Boys - fabulous entries as always!
Now before we get onto this week's challenge we have a few bits of news ... so grab yourself a cuppa and a biscuit and settle down for the goss!!

Firstly ... we are waving farewell to Fairy Nanda this week. So sad to see her go and offer our biggest thanks for sharing all her wonderful work with us.

Also ... we have a Fairy Birthday today - Lorraine is 21 (again!) - Happy Birthday hun.

And now for our really exciting news ....
Times change, and we Fairies are changing with them. This will be the last ever challenge as Lili's Little Fairies. No, please, don't be too sad ... read on.

We have had a fantastic time as LLF but it is time for a new start, so from next week (5 September), we are becoming Crafty Little Fairies, with a new look. We will soon be moving to a new blog address too, but we'll wait until you've found us with our new look for that!!


Something else new and, we think, very exciting - we are opening the challenge up to use images other than LOTV. So, you can still use your Lili's and we would love to see them, but you can also use other images too. How cool is that?! I am sure the Fairies will continue to share their love of Lili with you all but this does mean more of you will be able to join in the challenges with us.

So, we hope you are as excited about all this as we are - see you next week for the first ever Crafty Little Fairies Challenge!

And so to this week's challenge - it is the turn of Team B and our theme is
No Flowers
And our lovely sponsor this week is Natali from Iva Nova Chest with a goodie bag of loveliness.

Don't forget - this is the last Lili's Little Fairies challenge, so to be eligible for this yummy prize you will need to use a LotV image or die cut topper on your creation.

And because it is our last LLF challenge, the ladies at Lili have offered us not one, but TWO £10 prize vouchers, as a good luck in our new venture.

Thank you Anne and LOTV xx
(the winners of these vouchers will be drawn by Random Number Generator)
The rest of the DT has made some wonderful examples to inspire you - here is my card for this week.

A card with no flowers suggested immediately to me a Christmas card - goodness knows I've made few enough so far this year!! So here's James the Bear ... and way hay!! my brand new LotV James the Bear Christmas stamps were waiting for me when I arrived home from work this evening, so I hope I'll soon have time to play with them! Not that I could ever ignore this darling stamp - it is one of my favourites!

Stamp: LotV "James Bear - In The Snow";
Media: Promarkers and Flexmarkers; glamour dust on James's hat and liquid pearls on the snowflakes;
Papers: Docrafts "Tilly Daydream";
Supplies: gems by Papermania; ribbon from The Ribbon Box; peel off greeting from my stash;
Tools: Memory Box "Snowflake Corner" die; Joy Crafts snowflake die.


Papertake Weekly - Sketchie Free For All
(sketch rotated to the left)

Lili of the Valley - Make it Festive
Crafty Boots - Christmas In August
Ooh La La - Inspired By A Song
("I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas")
Ready-Teddy-Go #25 - Die Cuts & Punches
Creatalicious #54 - For The Boys
Pile It On #34 - Designer Paper
Cutie Pie #51 - Anything Goes
Party Time Tuesdays #135 - Anything Goes
Simon Says (Wednesday) - Anything Goes

Well that's all for today. Hope you can join us this week for the last ever Lili's Little Fairies challenge ... and will still be with us next week when we become Crafty Little Fairies.


Monday 26 August 2013

Hello Cupcake!

Hi everyone - hope you are enjoying the long weekend if you're here in the UK.
Now I would be the first to admit that I'm no cook (luckily my darling husband can cook so we don't starve!) and nor have I ever been interested in baking. However for some bizarre reason, since my mum passed away I have started to have a strange urge to bake something ... and specifically cupcakes! This first came over me about three weeks ago - I didn't even own much in the way of baking equipment, so I spent about two weeks looking around the supermarkets and one or two specialist shops in order to get the necessary bits and pieces together. Having got that far I had a bit of a delay as I had a rotten cold for a week and a half, but last week I finally got down to business and made my first ever cupcakes - vanilla with raspberry buttercream icing.
So today I thought I would celebrate this success (I took a few in for my colleagues and they seemed to go down well) with a pic of the cakes, and a card to match :-)
First ... the cupcakes ....

I made them in rather large cupcake cases so the recipe for 12 only made 7 lol! (and I had to sample one to make sure they were cooked before icing!!)
The icing is a bit amateurish as it was rather soft for piping so I lost all control of my piping bag, but hey they still tasted the same!!
And now here is the card I made.
I just love this adorable image - I just hope that people will continue to reach their hands out eagerly for any future cupcakes I might make!!
Stamps: LotV "Hello Cupcake"  and "Sentiment Tags"; Penny Black sentiment from "Bubbly" transparent set;
Media: Promarkers and Flexmarkers; "Shabby White" frantage in image and paper;
Paper: Docrafts "Vintage Notes";
Supplies: flowers from Wild Orchid Crafts; lace from Hobbycraft; heart pearls from The Hobby House; lace from John Lewis; rose printed ribbon and doily from my stash.
Shabby Tea Room #181 - Picture Inspiration + Flowers and a Tea Theme
Crafty Creations #236 - Shabby Chic
Papertake Weekly - Flower Power
Totally Papercrafts #181 - Tags & Hearts
Gem of A Challenge #94 - Anything With a B
(tag / sparkle / flowers)
Crafty Ribbons #58 - Anything Goes With Ribbon
That's all for today ... back to the Christmas cards now ... and maybe I'll bake a few more cupcakes ... :-)