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Monday, 20 October 2014

There's nothing nicer than...

...fresh bedding.

I remember as a child, trying to slip in between the sheets of my freshly made bed without disturbing them and then breathing in the lovely smell of the outdoors from where they had blown on the washing line until dry. One of the Yankee Candle company's most popular fragrances is "Clean Cotton"...I can understand why.

I still love the feel of snuggling down into a freshly made bed but these days I am normally breathing in the clean smell of my washing liquid as time and the good old British weather don't allow me to peg out washing as often as I would like.

I also like my bedding to match.

It doesn't feel 'right' if the colour of the sheets & pillowcases are not matching or if they are 'wrong' for the duvet cover - is that a bit OCD? - probably but it still doesn't feel right. So when I purchase new bedding, I have to make sure that I have things that 'go with'.

I recently bought some beige bedding that had script on the duvet in white and matched it with the same beige colour sheets (I know white would have done and I already have white but...). This turned out to be a perfect purchase because the other week, Mum 'encouraged' me to buy this...
...super quilted throw that looks like a pretty patchwork quilt. They also had the duvet set so...
 ...matching top pillows...
...and the cushions were ones that I already had. With the bedside lights on...
...everything looks cosy and inviting.

Earlier in the year I decided to invest in some neutral coloured accessories and I'm so glad that I did because it has made it so much easier to pull everything together. Either side of the bed is a shallow alcove that was the perfect size for a couple of ottomans to provide additional storage and act as bedside tables - I went for a soft cream 'leather-look' (easy to wipe over). The side lights have a wooden base painted white and slightly distressed. Because they are switched on you can't see that the shades are beige with white polka-dots and I matched the colour to the central shade which has script over it.

It is starting to look how I want and last night, looking at this and then climbing into the freshly made bed brought back all those lovely memories of childhood.

Mum is a very bad influence. She also encouraged me to buy the most snuggly of throws with a lovely winter design (of course there was bedding to match). I'm being very good - it has been washed and put away as it is the set that I will be putting on the bed for Christmas. If I remember, I'll take some photos to share...................................................................



Thursday, 16 October 2014

I came home to...

...two lovely envelopes the other day.

The first was my surprise goodie from the Lili of the Valley inspiration site. I was lucky enough to be chosen in one of the daily draws and the lovely Erica sent me one of the current Christmas stamps - Window Seat. It is so cute. Pop over here to take a look at the stamp I mean and you will also see a lovely creation from their DT. More colouring this weekend, for sure.

The second envelope contained some Stick it - a sheet adhesive that is designed to help you stick down all those fiddly die-cuts...
...Kath Stewart was giving away sheets to four lucky winners over on her blog and I was one of them.
Thank you Kath, I will enjoy 'playing'.

The weather certainly has turned Autumnal in true British fashion - dull, chilly, wet days...although at this moment in time, there is actually some blue sky & sunshine. Wonder how long that will last..................................................................

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Are you getting ready...

...for Halloween?

It is Mid-year performance review time at work and everyone is getting a little stressed out by it all...so I thought it was time for a bit of fun.

A quick trip to Poundland and a sort through the decorations cupboard and we now have this...
...one of our black Christmas trees is now decorated with some spooky tinsel and mini treat buckets.
The glitter witches hat from last year was un-earthed and covered with lollies...
 ...some grunge-green webbing and a few suitable decorations and bowls are scattered across the table.
Oh, and look at this chap...
...isn't he super (I might have to grab some of these napkins for crafting purposes).

Just a bit of fun with a few sweets and treats but it has lightened the mood and it brings a smile to people's faces. Amazing what can be achieved for a few £ and a visit to a bargain shop.................

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Now this is worrying...

...I don't even remember buying this.

I dropped some change in my tote, accidentally, so had to pull virtually everything out of the tote to retrieve it - that's when I found this...
...such a cheery chap but he has never seen the inside of an ink pad.
I soon put that to rights...
 ...and stamped up a sheet ready for colouring.
I kept to traditional colours for this one...
...but haven't embellished the image in any way (yet) as I'm not sure what shape I want. There is really no point adding gems to the holly berries if I'm going to put the thing through a die cutting machine - have you ever seen the mess a Big Shot's rollers make rolling over acrylic gems?

I have added a touch of "Wink of Stella" to the body of the Snowman to make the snow shimmer but I think I'll be adding some glitter to the snow-flakes to give a bit of Christmassy bling.

Ho-hum, what shape do I cut you Mr Snowman? Decisions, decisions...................................................

Monday, 13 October 2014

By the way...

...I found one of the stamps I was looking for.

I made loads of cards with this image when I first bought it but like most of us, new stash arrives and things get put away and often forgotten - which is a shame.

As I wanted to take advantage of my friend Suzie's dies whilst we were at the crop, I have cut this out before finishing off the colouring...
...and yes, I know the image is not central - I have a sentiment stamp in mind to go down the left-hand side.

Have you recently found a forgotten 'treasure' in your stash - I would really like to know...................

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Yesterday was...

...the Eastwood Carvery Crop - and Sunday lunch arrived a day early.

I actually remembered to take a photo of my lunch before tucking in...
...but you knew it had to be too good to be true; didn't you - I forgot to take a photo of the sweet doh!

Carol always sets aside a table where folk can display stash for sale - a great way of getting some pennies back on items that you no longer want...and a great way to grab some bargains.

Having coloured an 'Edwin' Magnolia stamp earlier in the week, it seemed fate that there were some Magnolias on the table - so how could I say 'no!'.

Hardly had the money left my hand than this little miss was out of the packet and inked up...
 ...the hair & skin are usually my starting points so they were the first bits coloured. Then came the choice of what colours to use for the clothing...
 ...and with this first one, I kept to fairly traditional Christmas colours.
One of the great things about attending a 'crop' is that your fellow crafters will often have equipment with them that they are willing to share...
 ...my friend Suzie had this X-Cut die set with her and Carol had brought along her Grand Calibre so I had a bit of a cutting session. Although the dies were small enough to go through a Big Shot/Cuttlebug, it made it so much easier being able to put the sheet of A4 card through the machine rather than cutting it up and running the risk of cutting the pieces too small or on the wonk.
I didn't stop at one image...
 ...this one was coloured with my favourite aqua shades and then I played with my "Wink of Stella" brush pen (clear)...
...I had intended to colour just the antlers and the bell necklace (which I did on the red/green image) but as you can see...I got a bit carried away and brushed all over the kraft matt on this one.

I now have two cute Christmas toppers ready to either be used on a card or some other 'make'. At last, I feel my Christmas makes are starting to materialise.

Hope you have been enjoying a crafty weekend............................................................

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Try mixing it up...

...don't be afraid to use different colouring mediums on the same piece.

Ignacio of Nicecrane Designs, recently asked me to have a go at colouring images from one of his new collections - he wanted examples on white & a darker background. So I printed some images onto some smooth white CS and some Neenah CS in 'Desert Storm' (pale kraft colour).

Here are the images printed out...
...and as you can see, the subject matter is some playful pups.
Grabbing my Spectrum Noir pens, I made a start on the white CS and started with some basic shades to start things off...
...I swept over the background with some CG1 (citrus green) and started to colour the pup with TN3 & TN6 from the tan range but I wanted to try the image on the kraft CS...
...some white pencil quickly started to bring the image to life and some biscuit shades started to bring dimension to the image...
 ...but the pencils were not strong enough to create sufficient colour in the background so I decided to mix in some Spectrum Noir pens...
 ...as you can see, the pencils and pens work well together.
I returned to finish off the image on the white CS and kept mainly to the pens...
 ...except for the pup in the water - he was given a touch of white pencil to 'tone-down' the tan colour slightly.
Here are the two completed images...
...the colour of the background CS really does give a different effect to the two pieces but so does mixing your colouring mediums. I'm sure some of you have watched demonstrators colour with alcohol pens and then they will use pencils (Prisma colour/Spectrum Noir) to highlight specific areas. What I wanted to show here was the fact that you can colour different areas of an image with different colouring mediums to produce the finish that you want.

The puppy on the kraft CS coloured with pencils looks very different from the puppy on the white CS coloured with alcohol pens but each works in its own way.

This set of images (by Cecil Aldin) is just one of the many fabulous sets that you can find over at the Nicecrane Design site and if you are looking for some inspiration as to how to use them, the DT over at the Nicecrane blog have lots of super ideas to share with you - please do hop over and take a look................................................................