Tuesday, 29 May 2012

CDACPC18... comes Summer!!!

The folk over at the CDAC site provided a collection of Summery images to use for the latest challenge "Summer sizzles". The image I decided to use is from "Just Some Lines".
This is another image that I have coloured using my Distress Markers.
I have also 'gone to town' with the flowers on this one - it seems ages since I made a card and used a lot of blooms to embellish it.
There is a real mix of blooms from a variety of sources but I have tried to stick with summery colours without being too, lemon and a touch of white & red.

You might also notice that this is one of the few posts that I have done recently that doesn't involve Red/White/Blue LOL

Why not hop over to the CDAC site to see what other folk have come up with............................................

Monday, 28 May 2012

True Colours... the theme over at Papertake Weekly Challenge.

The challenge requires you to use your National colours on your creation.

So I thought I'd make use of my recently coloured 'Ava'...
...not too much embelishment as the background is quite busy.
Background card is from the current Kanban Limited edition of British themed designs - this one is 'Jubilee Bunting'. The sentiment is also from this range.
Just a little bit of card candy in the top corners - Red/White/Blue...of course - and it's all done.

Why don't you hop over to the challenge site and see what other folk have come up with...............................

Sunday, 27 May 2012

First play...

...with the new pens.

I soooooooooo could not make up my mind about which image to use for my first 'play' with my lovely new Tim Holtz Distress Markers - so I grabbed a freebie image that I had recently printed off. This cute image from Saturated Canary was offered as a freebie (if you are quick you may still be able to nab one).

So with the image in front of me... new pens and a water brush - I made a start.

In my eagerness to 'play' I didn't stop to think about the card that the image had been printed onto. Smooth white 160gsm card might be perfect for Copics or Promarker alcohol based pens but these pens were going to require the addition of water - point 1 to remember for the future. Point 2 soon became apparent - it is a fair while since I last used a water brush and this was a new valved it took a little while to get used to the water flow; it's amazing just how wet things can get without you even trying LOL.
As you can see, there is a bit of bleeding around the hairline but on the whole I was very pleased with the way they shaded.

I'm sure with a bit more 'playtime' I'll get the hang of this and with the right card I'll be able to avoid the pilling/roughing of the surface. Still, for a first effort I don't think it is too bad..................................

Saturday, 26 May 2012


...all present and correct.
Lovely Joanne at Pinnacle crafts sorted everything out for me and I now have a complete set of pens to play with. She is hoping that it was an isolated case as they had a HUGE number of pre-orders for these pens.

I'm trying to make up my mind what images to use to have a play with them on.

It has been a simply glorious day here.

Mum and I went for a wander over at Barleylands as it was Farmers Market day as well as being Pinnacle's Club Members weekend. Mum enjoyed pottering about in the sunshine and picked up a few bits and pieces. We then had a lovely lunch at the local Harvester before paying Helen (Craftily Creative) a visit to have a look at her crystal and polished stones. Mum really had a great time sitting near the Yankee Candles - fabulous scent - and picking through the lovely stones on display. She came away with a lovely collection of beautiful stones and a much lighter purse LOL

Although very tired, Mum said she had the most wonderful time. I'm glad she enjoyed her day.

I think it is now time for a coffee and a bit of a play. Have a great weekend everyone............................................

Friday, 25 May 2012

Guess what folks...

...I've got some new pens.

Yep, my Tim Holtz Distress Markers have finally arrived.
All neatly packaged in a clear tub...
...Ooooo, all those lovely colours to play with.

Just off to print out the colour swatch chart from the Ranger website...............

Update: Oh Dear, as I was colouring in my swatch chart I have found that I am missing two pens...Dusty Concord & Antique it was a sealed tub I think the packers for Ranger must have been distracted and missed a couple of pens. Hopefully I can sort it out with the local retailer where I purchased them.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Get ready to Party...

...with a little quick & easy crafting.

Here in the UK 'Jubilee' fever and 'Olympic' frenzy are taking a grip. Shops are full of things Red/White/Blue and Mandeville & Wenlock (the game mascots).

Lots of folk will be attending Jubilee parties or even holding their own and you can pick up suitably designed paper plates/cups/tablecloths etc. at very reasonable prices - just have a look in your nearest £ or bargain store.

Whether you will be going out to an event or just celebrating at home there are lots of opportunities to do a bit of crafting - there are certainly enough themed materials around.

Yesterday I received an email from My Craft Studio inviting members to drop by and download some digi freebies - they are fab. They come in two options 'grungy' and 'traditional' and there is really everything you need to make a few bits and pieces for your celebrations.

I printed off some of the 'grungy' items and in no time at all went from this... this... can leave the items as they are or decorate them to your hearts content.

The download contains gift bags & boxes, as you can see. There are also cake boxes, cupcake wrappers, bunting, crackers and a variety of background designs.

My Craft Studio isn't the only site offering goodies at the moment - why not have a bit of a 'web-surf' and I'm sure you will find lots of ideas and things to play with. Go on, get ready to party - you know you want to............................

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Oh Dear...

...look what I've started LOL

The flags and bunting in the office are multiplying at a rate of knots
The light isn't great for getting good photos but you can see...
...the ceiling is a sea of bunting in various forms.
One of the other teams in our wing decided they had to try and out-do us by having bigger flags but...
...we have a number of surprises up our sleeves - including Jubilee boppers LOL

Looks like the 'Battle of the Bunting' is underway.................................

Monday, 21 May 2012

A few more flags...

...this time, as promised, in my office.

Oh and before anyone comments...yes the big flags are creased and no I have no intention of ironing them LOL
There some flags on sticks and a few 'England' balls on springs with ribbons.
A bit of bunting.
Some themed paper chains...
...and a very creased Union flag (there is also a similarly creased England flag).

This is just the start and I'm sure there will be more bits added over the next few days........................

Sunday, 20 May 2012

"Best of British" is...

...the latest range of Forever Friends from DoCrafts.

Due to hit the stores on general release in June - HobbyCraft have the range exclusively for a couple of weeks before the general release.

Red/White/Blue is very much in attendance but a bit softer than a lot of the ranges on offer at the moment...and of course there is the cute Forever Friends bear.
I grabbed this decoupage kit on my way home from shopping today (umm, a few other bits also fell into my basket but you'll have to wait to see those LOL). It make up into a lovely card that is suitable for so many occasions.
The main decoupage is the bear but there are a couple of bits of the background that are also embellished with a few layers.
I decided to use this sentiment that came with the kit as it is fairly neutral and will suit a variety of occasions.

There are some lovely stamps in this range and the images will work so well for invitations etc. for forthcoming Jubilee parties. They will also be fabulous for decorating scrapbook LOs or mini-albums containing photos of the Jubilee events that many of us will be enjoying.

There was loads of stuff left over in this kit so I think I'll have a bit of a play and see what else I can come up with...................................

Would you believe it...

...even our food is wearing 'The' flag.

These are just a few of the items that are currently on sale at my local Tesco - I can assure you that there are LOADS more.
It would seem that anything that appears to be 'traditionally' British has got to look the part.
The jacket potatoes and pork pies I can 'go' with - but when did you last see a Hog roast...................................

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Our view of...

...the Olympic Park.

The West side of our building faces toward central London and although we are only 5 storeys high there really isn't a lot to obstruct the view - in fact it is almost 'focussed', 'framed' even, by two blocks of flats fairly close to the office.

On a clear day (yep, we do get them from time to time) we can pick out the 'Gurkin' (Sp?), London Eye, The Shard...and now I will show my age by referring to 'The GPO Tower' - I know it has a different name now but that is what is was and that is what it will always be to me LOL

Closer to...and to the left of this viewing 'frame' is this view...
...The Mitel Orbit and the Olympic Stadium.

I'm sure the arguments will continue long after the Olympics as to the fate of the stadium but the 'Orbit' is supposed to be a permanent piece of Olympic 'Art'.

Art is rather a strange word to use as to be honest, it looks like a kiddies giant construction kit that has been squashed - sort of - LOL It is supposed to represent the Olympic rings but I'm afraid I just don't get it...never mind. I'm told it looks really impressive after dark when it is all lit-up.

We've made a start with decorating our area of the office and I'll let you see some pics later......................................

Friday, 18 May 2012

Get the flags out...

...there's gonna be a party.

This photo appeared in Thursday's "Evening Standard" and as you can see - central London seems to really be 'going for it' as far a decorations for the Jubilee are concerned.

In East London things seem to be a bit more 'geared up' for the Olympics - probably because the Jubilee parade doesn't come out this far.

Still, we've got our decorated trains and I've been informed there are at least a couple of decorated London Taxis (a colleague saw them when she returned from the USA last week - they were dropping off fares at one of the London airports).

Stratford here in East London is not 'finished' and landscape work is still going on just outside of the station and I have to say, where the workmen have just 'thrown down' the new paving it is already 'lifting' and coming loose in places - wonderful trip hazzard!!!

Even more of a trip hazzard is the paving round in The Broadway and High Street (I still have the bruises to prove it) - there doesn't seem to be any repair work going on at all and you get the feeling that as it is on the farthest side of the old shopping mall, away from the station, Westfield centre and Olympic Park it is very much a case of 'out of sight - out of mind'.

Red/White/Blue is very much in evidence in most of the shops although Sainsbury's is more 'into' promoting the Para-Olympics for which they are a sponsor.

Many of the 'Red' London buses are starting to display graphics from the campaign about how to travel during the Olympics. The posters that have been all over the Underground for ages are now appearing on the back-end of some buses.

There is a feeling of excitement in and around London as we get closer to these special events.

Me thinks it is time to stick some bunting and flags up in the office - watch this space........................................

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

London is getting all dressed-up...

...ready for the Queen's Jubilee and the Olympics.

The shops are full of Union Flags and Olympic nic-nacs and now it would seem that public transport is getting in on the act.

About a week ago I noticed that one of the c2c trains (London to Southend services) had a Union flag painted over part of one of the coaches - I haven't had a chance to grab a pic yet.

Now today, the Jubilee line train (London Underground) that pulled into West Ham station also had a decorated coach...
...this seems to be in addition to the new seat coverings that are being installed on this line.

I haven't yet seen any decorated buses or taxis but I'm sure that either there are some or they are on their way LOL

We certainly seem to be making the most of the Red/White/Blue.........................................

Monday, 14 May 2012


...has a baby theme for the latest Progressive Challenge.

I decided to go with the digi image provided by ODDS and SOXLETS.
Rather than make a card, I made another gift box and used the image to decorate it.
The digi image was coloured using Copic pens and then it was rough cut and mounted onto the box.

Did everyone have a lovely weekend?

After what has seemed like an eternity of cold, wet, yucky weather conditions we actually had a fabulous two days of sun and pretty good temps (it managed to reach 24C for a short while on Saturday). However, it was far too good to last - today has been cold and veeeeeeeery wet...with the forecast not getting any better any time soon.

Oh well, at least we had two lovely days....................................

Friday, 11 May 2012

Do you...


I have to admit, I don't use my Hougie board as much as I could - it tends to be brought out, used a lot and then put away and 'forgotten' about for ages.

Last night I decided to take it with me to the Thursday night crop and I actually used it to make rosettes. However, when I got home I started to 'play'.

This is a template for a small milk-carton type box...
...It can be cut easily from a sheet of 12x12 CS. I'm not sure where this particular template came from as I've had it for a while.

I decided to cut another shape from some silver CS and used the Hougie to score in all the fold-lines.
After a bit of DST was applied and a bit of decoration - this was the finished item.
I kept the decoration fairly simple with just a single mimosa bloom and a couple of beaded pins mounted on a scalloped circle of CS.

I was quite surprised at how big the box ended up and it will easily take the smallest size Yankee Candle jar - so a great way to wrap a nice gift................

Monday, 7 May 2012

I love...

...crystals and rocks.

The whole background to their meanings fascinates me. I love to read about the stones and what powers are atributed to them.

I have a small collection of stones/crystals that I have acquired over the years and I love them all.

At the weekend I took Mum to have a look at the selection of stones that Helen (Craftily Creative) has in her shop - Mum came away with some beautiful pieces and a fabulous book. Not to be outdone, I also purchased a new stone and a book.

I believe that the stones should be handled with care and stored safely so I had to make a little pouch for my new stone.
Starting with some funky felt, some silver grey organza ribbon and a needle & thread - I came up with this...
...a cute little bag that protects the stone from chips & scratches.
Inside the bag now 'lives' my Que Sera Vulcanite dowsing stone.

The photo does not do it justice...the colours are subtle but really beautiful.

Whether you believe in the power of crystals or not, there is beauty to be found in all these natural creations and enjoyment to be had just in the handling of them. If you find they have more of a meaning for you - even better.

My collection contains natural stones, polished stones and hand cut pieces. I never cease to be amazed by what Nature can produce.................................

Friday, 4 May 2012

If you can help... would be most appreciated.

If you live in or around the Ilford area of East London/Essex - that's the "IG" postcode area - do you know of any daytime craft classes/clubs...

A colleague has recently retired and she would like to find a daytime event that she could attend with her daughter. Her daughter enjoys cardmaking & papercrafts and she would like to find a place they could get to easily where they could share some time together crafting.

So over to you folks, I would be most grateful if you can suggest something the Ilford area - held during the daytime - mixed age group...any ideas that you can suggest will be passed on.

Whilst on the subject of East is now official...Stratford Station IS classified as the Olympic Park - there are pink signs up, in and around the station, so it must be true LOL

Stratford is still a bit of a building site but things are improving - we have some grassy areas nicely laid by the station and local retailers are getting into the spirit of things (or is that just 'jumping on the bandwagon') with displays of Union flags and other themed items as we head towards the Queen's jubilee celebrations and the 2012 Olympic games.

The biscuit tin in the picture was given to me by the lady who retired...
...and I bought the bowl & mug. I picked this chinaware as I thought they were appropriate to both events - even if they are intended as Olympic keepsakes.

The colleague who gave me the tin said she thought I could "do something" crafty with it. Well, to be honest, I think I'll keep it looking as it is... altering or revamping as I think it is pretty as is. What I might do is use it for storing some of the themed craft items that I have collected this year so that I know they are all together - I've just realised how many 'London' stamps I now have **rollseyes** - ho, hum..........................................