Monday 25 December 2023

Happy Christmas … may your heart be filled with joy!

Hi everyone, this is a scheduled post today as I would like to share the Christmas card I made for my darling husband, which I never publish until I have given it to him on Christmas morning. 

I would also like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas - I hope you have a wonderful day whatever you’re doing.

I decided to make another joyful Lavinia scene, with Tilly and Tango dancing around as they decorate the Christmas tree, though this time they are carrying baubles rather than lanterns! This is an 8" square card, so plenty of room to build up my scene with the imposing Wild Pine Christmas tree! It took me several hours to make this, but I am pleased with how it turned out so I hope he will like it!

I cut a 7" square of stamping card and created my background snowdrifts and sky by blending Della Blue Elements ink using hill and circle masks. I then stamped the focal tree "Wild Pine" in Shady Lane and Pinecone Versafine Clair, and the mice in Pinecone. I added a variety of background trees in 1st/2nd generation stamping, then stamped a fence and gate in Acorn VFC and added a little robin by stamping a bird in Acorn VFC then coloured the red breast with a red Signo pen and added white gel pen to his tummy. 

I coloured the main tree by painting with watered down Olive Elements ink in flicking motions, added a wash of Wink of Stella, then coloured the tree baubles with blue, yellow and green Posca sparkle pens. I added a star on top of the tree stamped with Brilliance gold ink. I added baubles being held by the mice by drawing small circles with black fine liner  using my Lavinia White Orbs stencil, then drew the bauble top and string and coloured the baubles with Sakura Stardust pens. I added some overhanging branches in the top left corner, and added snow to them with a white gel pen, then added a small lantern sitting on the fence post and created the lamplight with yellow Stardust pen. I highlighted the moon and background trees with clear Stardust pen and added snow to the drifts, fence and gate with white Posca pen, then added white gel pen and pastel pencil highlights to the mice. 

Finally I added a highlight of Spectrum Noir sparkle pen to the moon and matted the finished piece onto green linen card stock and an 8" square card blank. I then decided to add some embossed and some Posca snowflakes (which made the card go wrinkly so I had to place it under a pile of books to flatten out!!) and stamped my sentiments.

Here's an angled picture to capture some of the sparkle.’

As this is a special Christmas card I also decorated the inside, with Tilly and Tango in a frenzy of excitement with their Christmas baubles!!

Stamps: Lavinia Wild Pine, Small Pine Trees, Christmas Tree Group, Red Pine (small), Fern Branch, Tilly and Tango, Gate and Fence, Bird Collection, Small Lanterns; North Star Mini, Snowflakes (Small), Snowflakes; sentiments - Uniko Christmas Wishes, Woodware Christmas Sparkle. 
Media: Lavinia Elements inks (Della Blue, Olive); Versafine Clair (Shady Lane, Pinecone, Acorn, Morning Mist, Medieval Blue, Nocturne); Brilliance pigment ink (Galaxy Gold); Versamark; detail white embossing powder; Posca Sparkle pens (blue, yellow, green); Sakura Stardust pens (turquoise, yellow, clear); fine liner pen (black); Wink of Stella; Spectrum Noir sparkle pen (clear);  Signo pen (red); gel pen (white); Posca pen (white); 
Tools: Lavinia Mini Hill Masks, Hill Masks, Circle masks, White Orbs stencil.

Challenges I would like to enter:

12 Months of Christmas #107 - Anything Goes Christmas (3rd entry)
613 Avenue Create (December) - Anything Goes with option Any Winter Holiday (3rd entry) - TOP ROCKER
ABC Christmas - Y is for Your Choice (Anything Goes) (3rd entry)
Allsorts #760/761 - Cold and Ice
Christmas Craft Creations (December) - Christmas Decorations
Christmas Crafts All Year Round (December) - Anything Christmas Goes (3rd entry)
Crafting Happiness #154 - Christmas Trees
Crafty Calendar (December) - Christmas (3rd entry) - TOP PICK
Creative Aunts #84 - Christmas Magic
Creative Crafting Uncles #48 - Christmas and/or Happy New Year 
(3rd entry)
Creative Inspirations (December) - Happy Christmas (3rd entry)
Double D - Winter Snow Scene 
(2nd entry)
Dragonfly Dreams (December) - Christmas (3rd entry)
Dream Valley #306 - Anything Goes (3rd entry)
The Holly and Ivy #153 - Anything Christmas Goes (3rd entry)
Inkspirational #305 - Celebrate 
(2nd entry)
Lavinia Creative Challenge (December) -The Magic of Christmas (5th entry)
(version of card without sentiment)
Most Magical Time of the Year #15 - Christmas (3rd entry) - TOP PICK
Peace On Earth #54 - Anything Christmas Goes 
(3rd entry) - WINNER
Simon Says (Monday) - Let It Snow 
(2nd entry)
Anything Goes 
(3rd entry)

I’m going to be taking a little break from crafting and blogging now until after New Year so I can hopefully spend some quality time with husband, friends and family. We are having a quiet day today, just the 2 of us, but have some plans to get together with friends over the festive period.

So to all my blogging friends and followers, wishing you a very happy, healthy and peaceful Christmas and a Happy New Year, and I look forward to seeing you all in 2024.

Take care, and thanks for visiting.

Friday 22 December 2023

Red Robins Everywhere!

Hi everyone, Christmas is almost here, last posting dates for our festive makes have been and gone, and as crafters we are either completely organised with everything done and dusted, or we are still dashing off last minute cards for hand delivery! I tend to fall into the latter category … every year I say I will make Christmas cards throughout the year and I never do .. this year I had only made 2 or 3 before October!! However I have been doggedly making cards during the last quarter, so I was able to complete my posting on 11 December.  I was still a bit short for hand delivery, so a week ago I had a full on day at it and managed to make 2 batches, totalling 9 cards .. given how slow I am as a crafter I think that’s a record! 

I published the first batch of cards in an earlier post here, and today’s post is to share the second (and hopefully final) batch of 5, featuring the adorable AALL & Create robin.

All of these cards revolved around blending a circle of Distress Oxide ink, stamping the robin in the middle and then surrounding him with foliage. On 4 of the cards I used Lavinia Fir Cone Branch in various combinations, infilled with Mini Holly stamped in 1st/2nd generation. For the 5th card (which had a brighter green inky circle than the rest) I just stamped the Mini Holly around the circle. On all the cards I coloured the robin with Distress watercolor pencils with a hint of sparkle on his white tummy from my Spectrum Noir sparkle pen, I coloured the holly berries using a red Signo pen and Sakura Stardust pen, and highlighted the pine cones with a clear Sakura Stardust pen. I stamped my sentiments, edged each piece with gold Posca pen and matted straight onto my card blank. 

Stamps: AALL & Create Nuthatch & Robin; Lavinia Fir Cone Branch, Mini Holly, Mini Pinecone, Christmas Greetings; Uniko Christmas Wishes;
Media: Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inks (Bundled Sage, Mowed Lawn); Distress watercolor pencils (Barn Door, Fired Brick, Walnut Stain, Vintage Photo); Versafine Clair (Pinecone, Shady Lane, Nocturne); Signo Pen (red); Sakura Stardust pens (red, clear); Posca pen (gold).

Here are a couple of closeups of cards I would like to enter into some challenges:

Card 1 (pine cones)

Challenges I would like to enter:

12 Months of Christmas #107 - Anything Goes Christmas (2nd entry)
Christmas Kickstart #81 - Anything Christmas Goes (2nd entry)
Crafty Calendar (December) - Christmas (2nd entry)
Creatalicious #273 - Anything Goes with option Last Minute Christmas (2nd entry)
The Holly and Ivy #153 - Anything Christmas Goes (2nd entry)
Let’s Craft and Create #202 - Anything Goes and Vintage Feel
Most Magical Time of the Year #15 - Christmas (2nd entry)
Sparkles Christmas #155 - Christmas Animals or Birds (3rd entry)

Card 2 (holly)

Challenges I would like to enter:

613 Avenue Create (December) - Anything Goes with option Any Winter Holiday (2nd entry)
Allsorts #759 - Christmas Flowers and/or Wreaths
As You Like It Anything Goes (2nd entry)
Creative Crafting Uncles #48 - Christmas and/or Happy New Year (2nd entry)
Creative Inspirations (December) - Happy Christmas (2nd entry)
Fab ‘n’ Funky #586 - Christmas (2nd entry) - FEATURED
Little Red Wagon #736 - Under Pressure
Sweet Stampin - Christmas (2nd entry)
Triple B (December) - Birds, Butterflies and/or Blooms
We Love Stamping (December) - Winter Flowers and/or Foliage (3rd entry)
Anything Goes 
(2nd entry)

I really love robins, but I think I'm all robin-ed out now!

Hope your Christmas preparations are coming along ok, and you haven't got your turkey in a twist or your tinsel in a tangle!

Take care, and thanks for visiting.

Wednesday 20 December 2023

I Spy With My Little Eye #10

Hi everyone, December is flying by, Christmas is almost upon us and it's time already for a new I Spy With My Little Eye... challenge over at Ellibelle's Corner.  Thanks so much to everyone who joined in last time … please do check over on Ellie’s blog to see if you are one of our top picks. 

I have chosen the challenge theme this month, and it is

I Spy With My Little Eye 

 Something Old and/or Something New 

There are lots of possibilities with this theme ... you could make a project for New Year or some other new occasion, use some new stash if Santa is kind, or try a new technique. Alternatively if none of those ideas appeal you can use some of your old favourites - we look forward to seeing your interpretations! Please do pop over to Ellie's blog to see her fab creation and link up your entries here

Once again we have a guest designer for December and that's Carol, so please do visit her blog here and take a look at her fab interpretation of this theme.

Here's my card for the challenge. I tried to cover all bases with this, namely:

Something old: darling Pipin the hare and my large fairy fir tree
Something new: Small pine trees, snowflakes and the li'l houses (all new in the past few weeks)
Something old AND new: The gorgeous little fairy house on this make was kindly gifted to me by a dear blogging friend who was having a crafty clear out (she knows who she is!!) - so it is old but brand new to me!! That was what inspired this project.

I started by stamping the fairy house, then masked it and created the background sky, moon and hills using blended Distress Oxide inks and masks. I then stamped my background trees in Medieval Blue and Morning Mist VFC and the little houses with the hill mask in place, then removed the mask and stamped the foreground tree and Pipin the hare. I removed the house mask and coloured it with Distress watercolor pencils, then added some sparkle to the lit window with Sakura Stardust pen and Posca snow to the roof and eaves, plus a little hanging charm. I stamped various snowflakes and heat embossed with detail white embossing powder, then added liberal highlights with my Sakura Stardust pen, and pastel pencil on Pipin. Lastly I stamped my sentiment, edged the finished panel in blue and matted onto a snippet of pink card stock. 

Stamps: Lavinia Zen Houses, Small Dwellings, Fairy Fir Tree 2 (large), Small Pine Trees, Red Pine (small), Fairy Charms, Pipin, Snowflakes, Snowflakes (small); Uniko Christmas Wishes;
Media: Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inks (Stormy Sky, Blueprint Sketch, Chipped Sapphire); Distress Watercolor pencils (Spun Sugar, Picked Raspberry, Wilted Violet, Mermaid Lagoon, Prize Ribbon); Versafine Clair (Nocturne, Medieval Blue, Morning Mist, Charming Pink); Versamark; detail white embossing powder; Sakura Stardust pens (yellow, clear); Spectrum Noir sparkle pen (clear); Posca pen (white); pastel pencil (white);
Tools: Lavinia Mini Hill Masks, Circle masks.

Challenges I would like to enter:

12 Months of Christmas #107 - Anything Goes Christmas 
613 Avenue Create (December) - Anything Goes with option Any Winter Holiday
As You Like It Anything Goes
Cards 4 Galz #214 - Christmas Card
Creative Crafting Uncles #48 - Christmas and/or Happy New Year
Double D - Winter Snow Scene
Dragonfly Dreams (December) - Christmas (2nd entry)
Lavinia Creative Challenge (December) -The Magic of Christmas (4th entry)
(version of card without sentiment)
Lost Coast Portal to Creativity #180 - In the Deep Midwinter (6th entry)
Papercraft #101 - Christmas
Peace On Earth #54 - Anything Christmas Goes 
(2nd entry)
Simon Says (Monday) - Let It Snow
Simon Says (Wednesday) - Christmas Critters
Stamping Sensations (December) - Favourite Colours (3rd entry)
(I like most cool colours such as blues, pinks, lilacs etc. and there are quite a few of them in this scene).

The I Spy challenge will end on the Sunday before the next challenge starts at 23:39 US Central Time - so this time that is Sunday January 14th, and the next challenge will begin on Wednesday January 17th. 

Thanks to Ellie for inviting me to be her co-designer on the I Spy Challenge during the year, and to everyone who has entered the challenges in 2023 - we hope you will continue to support the challenge as we go into 2024!

Take care, and thanks for visiting.

Sunday 17 December 2023


Hi everyone, today I would like to share another small batch of cards I have made on the final run-in to Christmas, which will be given either to neighbours or my husband’s colleagues.  This design is based on another batch of cards I made recently, but I changed the colour scheme and also introduced a couple of dies being as we are currently in “Die-Cember”!!

I randomly blended Distress Oxide inks over a large piece of stamping card and lightly spattered with water, then randomly stamped various snowflakes and heat embossed in white.  I then filled the gaps by randomly stamping more snowflakes in various colours of Versafine Clair. I created frames with my stitched square dies, and stamped the sentiments in opposite corners. I then cut the snowflake panel into four and mounted a section behind each aperture. I die cut and attached a glittery tree and silver snowflake to each card, then matted onto co-ordinating card stock and a 6” square card blank. One of the cards has a few extra snowflakes stamped around the sentiments … you might be tempted to think that’s hiding an ink smudge but I couldn’t possibly comment!!

Here’s a closeup of one of them to enter into some challenges.

Stamps: Lavinia Snowflakes (large), snowflakes (small), Snowflakes, Christmas Greetings;
Media: Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inks (Blueprint Sketch, Broken China, Kitsch Flamingo); Versafine Clair (Medieval Blue, Charming Pink, Warm Breeze, Paradise); Versamark; detail white embossing powder;
Tools: Hunkydory Moonstone Duo-Stitched Square dies; Marianne Design Creatables Christmas Fir Tree die (LR0136); Joy! Crafts Winter Wishes snowflake die.

Challenges I would like to enter:

ABC Christmas - Y is for Your Choice (Anything Goes) (2nd entry)
C.R.A.F.T. #702 - Christmas the Last Stretch 
Crafty Gals’ Corner #250 - ‘Tis the Season
Creatalicious #273 - Anything Goes with option Last Minute Christmas - TOP 3
Double Trouble #155 - Die-cember 
Happy Little Stampers: Dies (December) - Anything Goes with Dies
Krafty Chicks #694 - Christmas 
Little Red Wagon #735 - Christmas (2nd entry)
Peace On Earth #54 - Anything Christmas Goes
Sheepski #81 - Layer It
Simon Says (Monday) - Use Dies in DieCember
Sisterhood of Crafters - Christmas (2nd entry)
Sweet Stampin’ - Christmas
Word Art Wednesday #625/626 - Anything Goes  (3rd entry)

Take care and thanks for visiting.

Friday 15 December 2023

Dream Factory #123 - GDT spot

Hi everyone, following a recent win I was delighted to be asked to be a Guest Designer for the December challenge over at The Dream Factory - a challenge blog where the themes are always based on movies.

The Design Team would love for you to head over to the current challenge, where this month the inspiration film is

Cobalt Blue

The challenge this time is based purely on the film title, so the theme is

*** Anything Goes with the Colour Blue ***

I love using the colour blue in crafting and especially at Christmas time, so this theme was right up my street! Here's my GDT card - I have tried to stick as close to cobalt blue as possible!

I stamped my beloved old faithful Penny Black stamp "Snowy" onto a square of Neenah super-smooth card and coloured him with Promarkers, then added sparkle to his hat with Spectrum Noir sparkle pen. Snowy is one of my oldest stamps and is still a favourite - he gets an outing every year. I added background stencilling using a fabulous new AALL & Create stencil that I just had to have after noticing it being used in an inspiring recent post by Brenda, then stamped another old favourite Penny Black sentiment. I added a few teeny gems to the snowflake centres and matted the panel onto cobalt blue card stock.

Stamps: Penny Black Snowy (2521K), A wish... (3502F);
Media: Promarkers (China Blue, Cobalt Blue, Powder Blue, Cool Grey 1-3); Tim Holtz Distress Oxide ink (Blueprint Sketch); Memento ink (black); Versafine Clair (Medieval Blue); 
Tools: AAL & Create stencil #221 Snow Crystals.

Challenges I would like to enter:

ABC Christmas - Y is for Your Choice (Anything Goes)TOP 10
Allsorts #758 - Something Beginning With “B” (3rd entry) 
(blue, bobble hat!)
Christmas with the Cuties #11 - Something Cute and Christmassy (2nd entry)
Crazy Is our Fame, Stencils Are Our Game (December) - Use a Stencil with option Christmas - TOP 3
Festive Friday - Christmas (2nd entry)
Lost Coast Portal to Creativity #180 - In the Deep Midwinter (5th entry)
Mix It Up #68 - Anything Goes with option Stamping (2nd entry)
Paper Funday #60 - Anything Goes with option Snowman and/or Birds
Passion For Markers #719 - Add a Sentiment
Penny Black Saturday Challenge (December) - Anything Goes with option Christmas
Stamping Sensations (December) - Favourite Colours (2nd entry)
(I love blue, particularly for Christmas cards)
Word Art Wednesday #625/626 - Anything Goes (2nd entry)

Anything handmade that follows the theme is eligible for the challenge - eg. cards, ATC's, bookmarks, tags, art journal pages - so we hope to see you over at the challenge here - have fun!

I'd also like to thank Rosi for inviting me to be Guest Designer this time.

Take care, and thanks for visiting.

Tuesday 12 December 2023

Trimming the tree - again

Hi everyone, I have already shared a couple of cards recently of various fairies trimming the gorgeous new Lavinia Christmas trees, then I saw a picture by Lavinia DT member Katarina Eliasson that featured the dancing mice trimming it, and that really sparked my imagination! I didn’t own any of the mice but purchased one set (Tilly and Tango) in my recent order so I could adapt the concept to produce this fun scene.

I started by creating my background, blending Elements ink with the Mini Hill masks to form hills and sky. I stamped the focal Christmas tree then added some background trees to each side using different shades of green and 1st/2nd generation. I coloured the main tree by painting with watered down Elements ink, then coloured the baubles with Posca sparkle pens. I stamped my dancing mice in brown and added lanterns to their hands (paws?) by masking the string on a hanging lantern, then added light with yellow Stardust pen. I added a wash of Wink of Stella to the tree to make it sparkle, and some Stardust pen and Spectrum Noir sparkle pen highlights to the trees and snow. Finally I stamped the sentiment onto a small snippet of card, cut out and attached, then added some Posca snowflakes, edged the panel and matted onto a larger snippet of green cardstock.

Stamps: Lavinia Wild Pine, Tilly and Tango, Christmas Tree Group, Small Pine Trees, Small Lanterns, Christmas Greetings;
Media: Lavinia Elements inks (Della Blue, Olive); Versafine Clair (Nocturne, Shady Lane, Pinecone, Rainforest); Posca Sparkle Pens (yellow, blue); Sakura Sparkle pens (yellow, clear); Posca pen (white);
Tools: Lavinia Mini Hills masks. 

Challenges I would like to enter:

Allsorts #758 - Something Beginning With “B” (2nd entry)
Christmas with the Cuties #11 - Something Cute and Christmassy
Creative Knockouts #510 - Snow Much Fun
Double D - Christmas Animals (2nd entry) - TOP 3
Happy Little Stampers: Christmas (December) - Anything Christmas Goes with option Festive Animals (2nd entry)
Lavinia Creative Challenge (December) -The Magic of Christmas (3rd entry)
Lost Coast Portal to Creativity #180 - In the Deep Midwinter (4th entry)
Make My Monday - Oh! Christmas Tree or Forest Trees (3rd entry)
Moving Along With the Times #161 - Winter Animals (2nd entry)
Sparkles Christmas #155 - Christmas Animals or Birds (2nd entry)

I was really excited yesterday to notice that my blog has passed 500,000 page views!! I first started this blog in June 2008 so it has been going for 15 years, but for the 7 year period from mid 2014 to June 2021 I stepped away from crafting and only posted about 5 times, so I guess most of these views will have happened during the other 8 years. I’m really thrilled that fellow crafters visit my blog and even more so when you leave me a comment  .. so a huge thanks to everyone who visits!!

Take care and thanks for visiting.

Sunday 10 December 2023

More Winter Blues!

Hi everyone, I took delivery on Friday of a small order of Lavinia stamps, including a couple from the latest release which I resisted when I visited the shop in October but have since decided I just had to have! (Who was it who said that resistance is futile??)  I managed to have a play straight away with the gorgeous Fairy Catkins - I had a circle background with hills already made ready to stamp, so I wasn't sure how this card would turn out - I just let it develop organically! Here it is ...

I created a circle by blending Della Blue Lavinia Elements ink using a circle mask, then added landscape using the Mini Hill Masks. I stamped the Fairy Catkins round the edge of the circle in Medieval Blue, then added a stag to fill the gap. With paper copies of my Mini Hill Masks in place I stamped some background trees in 1st/2nd generation, then added a hanging fairy bell charm. I coloured the catkins with a blue Sakura Stardust pen then added the greetings which I also purchased in this order. Finally I added some white gel pen highlights, Posca snow on the trees, and a little sparkle to the snow with my Spectrum Noir sparkle pen, then matted onto pearlescent blue card stock.

I have to confess the main reason I didn't purchase these sentiments originally is that they have a missing apostrophe in the "Season's Greetings" sentiment - call me old fashioned but I am a stickler for apostrophes even though I now see examples of incorrect use absolutely everywhere!! (I once saw an extremely amusing post on FB that illustrated perfectly the importance of using an apostrophe when required in order to convey the correct meaning ... but it's too rude to repeat here lol!). However the small size of these sentiments is very useful in spaces where larger Christmas sentiments won't fit, so I bought them and just added a wee apostrophe with a fine liner pen!! 

 Here's an angled pic to show the sparkly catkins - though not very successfully!

Stamps: Lavinia Fairy Catkins, Stag, Trees, Skeleton Tree Scene, Fairy Charms, Christmas Greetings; 
Media: Lavinia Elements ink (Della Blue); Versafine Clair (Nocturne, Medieval Blue); Sakura Stardust pen (blue); gel pen (white); Posca pen (white);
Tools: Lavinia Circle masks and Mini Hill Masks.

Challenges I would like to enter:

Allsorts #758 - Something Beginning With “B” (blue)
Alphabet Challenge - R is for Reindeer - TOP 3
CAS On Friday #272 - Black, White and One Other Colour
Double D - Christmas Animals
Dream Factory #122 - Elliot the Littlest Reindeer (Anything Christmas Goes with a Reindeer or Stag) - TOP 5
FarmQuest Country Christmas #3 - Anything Country Christmas Goes
FarmQuest General Store #11 - Anything Farm/Country Goes
Four Seasons (December) - Anything Goes Winter (2nd entry)
Happy Little Stampers: Christmas (December) - Anything Christmas Goes with option Festive Animals - TOP 3
Lavinia Creative Challenge (December) -The Magic of Christmas (2nd entry)
Lost Coast Portal to Creativity #180 - In the Deep Midwinter (3rd entry)
The Male Room #181 - Christmas (2nd entry) - HONOURABLE MENTION
Simon Says (Monday) - Winter Blues (2nd entry)
Sparkles #170 - Winter Animals (3rd entry)
Sparkles Christmas #155 - Christmas Animals or Birds
We Love Stamping (December) - Winter Flowers and/or Foliage (2nd entry)
Word Art Wednesday #625/626 - Anything Goes

At least this weekend the snowy scene on my card doesn't reflect the view out of the window - this time last week we had two inches of snow! However yesterday we had instead lashing rain and high winds - oh dear! Stay warm and dry, and hope you're having a great weekend whatever you're doing. Thanks for visiting.