Friday, 31 July 2015

The Last Post

Hello crafting friends and, well, sadly, it's also goodbye from me.

This blog grew up on the simple principle that I would provide you with crafting inspiration from Monday to Friday, with a few laughs thrown in, if you would place your Stampin' Up orders with me sometimes. I am deeply grateful that some of you did. I'm also humbled to have received emails from all over the world admiring my designs - and some of you seemed to like the little anecdotes at the end of each post too! The icing on my cake was being chosen to represent the UK on Stampin' Up's Artisan Design Team - what a proud moment and a wonderful year working with some amazing talent!

I want to say a really huge thank you to everyone that has supported my business over the last five years. Thanks too to all my regular readers and everyone who has left messages here for me. I have loved reading them and am always bowled over by our wonderful crafting community :)

EDITED TO ADD: Thank you so very much for your heartwarming messages and good wishes. It's wonderful to feel so appreciated! 

This blog featured my lovely family so much that I asked my daughter and youngest son what they thought should go in my last post. They discussed it with great enthusiasm and these punning cards were the result! Come and see:

Actually this one was my idea! What a cutie this little duck is and he's happy to be stamped onto designer paper! The banner from Endless Thanks is perfect for freshening up the traditional images in The Wilderness Awaits. I've doodled my apt sentiment inside the banner but you may feel happier using the beautiful greetings provided with the set!

My son came up with this idea and I thought it was hysterical! The lettuce image is from Market Fresh, coloured with an aquapainter and inks. I inked up the banner and part of the sentiment again, this time with a grey marker, stamped it and cut it out before adding the word 'leaf' where it said 'celebrate' before! Clever huh?! (Now it says 'let us leave' for those that are struggling!)

This one is courtesy of my daughter and made me giggle too. The cutie patoot cat is from You Little Furball, and she's sashaying about on a Dotty Angles background. I doodled the punning sentiment, cut it out with the Washi Label punch and finished the card with a bow tie snipped out of card stock with a tiny star punch :)

I hope we've given you a giggle with these cards and perhaps a tiny last bit of inspiration too!

Click on any item to be transported to my online shop!

You may not be able to buy Stampin' Up supplies from me after today, but there are some other wonderful demonstrators flying the flag for these fabulous products!

Lizy Bartaby who blogs regularly and is a constant inspiration with her beautiful, CAS designs.
She also holds classes and offers parties in Bolton and the North West.
• Jan Malcolm whose blog I love for its cheerful, chatty style and who offers parties in Hertfordshire
Yvonne Potterton who loves to help people discover and develop their creativity.
She offers parties and classes in the Leicestershire area.
Jackie Collins whose passion for crafting is infectious and who offers classes and parties in the Bedfordshire area.
Em Fairley, regular blogger, pillar of the online crafting community and all round stamping queen!

I'll leave you with a scene from Crafting Clare Towers, where Eva pup is feeling a bit bored.

"I know," she's saying. "I'll have a look for that pussycat - I'm sure she'll want to play! Have you seen her anywhere?"

Take good care of yourselves and enjoy your crafting!


Thursday, 30 July 2015

Watercolor Wings home decor artwork - Stampin' Up artisan blog hop

Hello and welcome to another blog hop brought to you by the official Stampin' Up Artisan Design Team. It's my last outing with the team but many of my team-mates will be continuing to inspire you each week so make sure you bookmark their blogs won't you!

This week the whole team will be featuring the fabulous Watercolour Wings photopolymer stamp set so you really are in for a treat! My own project was inspired by those wonderful home decor pieces in the shops at the moment - no need to buy those when they're so simple to make at home! Come and see:

I used the smaller butterfly from Watercolor Wings to create this artwork. Forget two step stamping, you can layer these babies up in five steps, which makes them very detailed indeed :) You can even add extra detail with markers as I did here to truly customise your butterflies.

You'll need a frame with a recess, sometimes called a shadow frame. Mine was from Marks and Spencer, but I know Ikea do inexpensive similar frames. Colourwise, it's best to stick to a theme - for example, my butterflies all started with a Crushed Curry base and I've built them up with blues, greens and oranges.

In this close-up you can see how each butterfly is resting on a die-cut. I used the small, lacy butterfly from the Bold Butterfly framelits to cut these out of Typeset speciality designer paper.

Buy the Watercolor Wings stamp set with the Bold Butterfly framelits and save 15%!

So what do you think?! I hope I've inspired you to make your own piece of butterfly artwork for your home or to give as a gift. Now it's time to see what the rest of the team has been up to. Click the button below to carry on the blog hop with the fab Allison Okamitsu!

Click on any item to be transported to my online shop!

If you have any queries, or prefer to speak to me, I'm happy to help.
You can contact me by email or phone on 01280 820593.

Before I go today, I just have to share this stunning photo by Candice Sedighan whose work has been inspired by her wonderful Golden Retriever, Champ.

How adorable is that?! No matter how many sit-stays we practise, I can't imagine Eva sitting still, gazing soulfully into the distance while I take a photo of her with a cheeky butterfly on her nose! See more of Candice's amazing photos and find out more about her here.

I'll be back tomorrow for the very last time so do pop in to say goodbye won't you.


Wednesday, 29 July 2015

I'm wild about Wild About Flowers!

There are so many beautiful new Stampin' Up stamp sets to showcase, and I'm running out of time to show them all, but Wild About Flowers is definitely somewhere at the top of the list! It's a set with lots of lovely retirement sentiments but those gorgeous flowers are perfect for everything else as well!

When I first discovered Stampin' Up, I loved making this style of card: sponged backgrounds and wild meadow scenes stamped in the foreground. That was five years ago and I still love it!

This scene was sponged into a mask made with an oval framelit and I added a 'frame' with another oval, the next size up. Check out those tiny little butterflies! They're from the Perpetual Birthday Calendar stamp set, a photopolymer stamp set that is SO useful!

Subtles inks are best for sponged backgrounds  - I used Soft Sky and So Saffron deepening to Old Olive for this scene, stamping the flowers in Old Olive and Melon Mambo. It looks lovely and summery (unlike the view from my window of leaden skies and wildly tossing trees. It seems that summer is taking a break here in the heart of England!) TIP: I often turn a flower stamp 180 degrees and repeat-stamp the stem to give a bit of depth to my scenes.

Click on any item to be transported to my online shop!

If you have any queries, or prefer to speak to me, I'm happy to help.
You can contact me by email or phone on 01280 820593.

My family and I have got into the habit of 'animal speak'. For example, if someone does something nice like offering you a cup of tea, instead of thanking them you'd say 'Wags at you!" If something bad happens you might say 'Growls menacingly!' or 'Hisses at it!' Is it just us or do other animal owners do this?!

Don't miss the artisan blog hop tomorrow will you? It will be my last outing as an artisan designer for Stampin' Up and it will be a great hop I promise you!

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Thinking of you with An Open Heart

I was so pleased to see the wonderful An Open Heart carrying over to the new Stampin' Up catalogue. You know how I feel about leaf stamps, don't you? And I feel the same about bird stamps too - so this set has me covered! Come and see how I used the leaves:

Here's the leafy image - which is actually an olive branch I think! Whatever, it still gets my vote! Do you like the colour combination? I used a Chocolate Chip card base with the image in Always Artichoke, Night of Navy and Elegant Eggplant :)

Here's a different style with the same sentiment, a favourite of mine from Hopeful Thoughts. I watercoloured the leaves and olives for a quick touch of colour and added a sprinkling of gems to finish.

Click on any item to be transported to my online shop!

If you have any queries, or prefer to speak to me, I'm happy to help.
You can contact me by email or phone on 01280 820593.

One of our walks involves a short drive and I love it - not least because Eva pup was once truly car-phobic. Not any more, I'm proud to say! I have worked SO hard with her and now she is able to hop into our car and sit quietly and calmly while I drive (although she does prefer it when the whole family is in there with her!) Yesterday, on the way there, while rounding a sharp bend, I had to brake as there were a couple of sheep in the road. On the way back, I crawled around the bend saying: "I wonder whether the sheep are still there?" They weren't. Instead, to our immense enjoyment, there was a cat!

See you tomorrow,