Monday, 31 December 2012

Merry Merry Ho Ho Ho

Good evening blog friends, I hope that you have all had a wonderful Christmas and have avoided all the coughs and colds that seem to be prevalent at the moment.  I've been working on a little project that was inspired by a recipe from Neet at Artful Times.  It caught my attention because it involved my favourite colour.  Any excuse to go blue.  So the recipe was blue, a female figure, ribbon and sparkle.  The sparkle has created problems in the photography department.  This started as a card but has become a hangy thing.  A sparkly, seasonal, blue hangy thing.  With butterflies.  After all, what is life without some flutter and I am sure that somewhere in the world  they have butterflies at Christmas.  Although certainly not in Norway.  Maybe wherever my little ballerina hales from...... 

 I started with a Tando Creative mini theatre stage which I coloured with pale blue acrylic, dry brushed with cerulean blue, then covered with irridescent glitter glue.  I used silver for the stage legs.  I stuck a piece of lace around the top of the stage.  The backing paper is from Craft Creations creative paper range.  Two stripey pipecleaners and the stamp, one of the 'Filurer' set, are from Panduro.  The ribbon bows were cream but I shaded them with broken china distress ink.  The clock is a metal embellishment.  All the butterflies are cut from glitter board and silver paper using Cheery Lynn mini dimensional butterflies with angel wings die.  A fantastic die with 7 different tiny butterflies.    An early Christmas present to myself. 

A close up on the little ballerina

I am entering this for 

Take care.  Sleep well.  Have a good and safe New Years eve. 

Thursday, 27 December 2012

The 2013 Calendar

Hi.  12 weeks ago The Craft Barn started a challenge.  A page or a calendar a week for 12 weeks.  It seemed like a grand idea at the time so with trepidation and enthusiasm I took up the baton.  Some weeks were easy, some weeks were hard, some weeks were a bit late, but never too late! 

I chose to make a heart shaped mini book and have each week of my calendar over two pages.  It's not so mini.  It has become quite a fat little calendar and the 25mm book rings are straining to contain it's exuberance.  The only pages I haven't already posted are the front and back covers which you can view here now, along with a photo of the whole and also a recap of the photos that have been posted over the last 12 weeks on this blog.  I hope that you enjoy it.  It's been very inspirational and I would like to thank The Craft Barn for stretching my creativity and their generosity for giving us the opportunity of a 15% discount each week throughout the challenge.  Also one of us will be rewarded for our perseverance and creative genius with a voucher to spend on some extra crafty must haves.  Good luck to us all.  

So here it is and of course I am entering The Craft Barn Calendar Challenge Grand Finale  

The 2013 Calendar

The Pages

Here is a recap of the pages.  The captions are linked to the original posts.  

January - Theme Candles

February - Theme Vellum

March - Theme Felt

April - Theme Doodles

May - Theme Trees

June - Theme Bright

July - Theme Circles

August - Theme Teal, Rust and White

September - Theme Children/Cute

October - Theme White/Yellow/Green

November - Theme Paper Tape

 December - Theme Embossing

The Back Cover
Thanks for looking.  It's been fun. 

Front and Back

This is just a little post to explain how I made the front and back cover of my calendar for The Craft Barn Challenge

The front cover was made using Sizzix Bingo embossing folder.   I coloured the embossed card using dew drop ink pads and then inked the raised areas with Memento Tuxedo black.  I used a Sizzix alphabet Ida Lou's Flower Box to cut the 2013 and Memory Box Serafina Heart in gold mirror card.  

The back cover is a figure from Panduro unmounted stamp set 'Filurer' stamped with gold ink.  Then the saying and the moon and star doodles are freehand with a gold pen. 

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas

I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. We have snow, so a white Christmas.  We have been blessed with the gift of family and friends, the gift of good food and a warm place to come together, and a few packages to give and receive, some made and some bought.  I hope that you are all blessed this Christmas and my thoughts are especially with those who are cold, hungry or alone.  May you find shelter and comfort.  Merry Christmas to you all.  

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Worth a look

Hi.  We've had big winds here today but we are still standing.  Several times I did think the house was going to shake itself to bits but it seems OK so far.  I had to put the green house back together this morning for the second time this week and I did have to hold onto a lamppost at one point to keep upright.  The rabbits don't seemed very bothered but the chickens aren't really into weather so they have been keeping indoors and were early to bed.  I think that a lot of places are experiencing big weather.  I hear it's wet again in the UK and in eastern Europe they are freezing.  I hope where ever you are you are safe and warm and fed.

Just a quick post to remind you to check out the new e-zine Art With No Boundaries  They have some lovely Christmas projects if you are doing some last minute makes before the big day.  

Take care and thanks for dropping by. 

Friday, 21 December 2012


Hello friends, followers, everyone.  Welcome to the end.  This is my post for the final Calendar Challenge in a series of 12 posed by The Craft Barn.  If you have been following closely then you are probably taking part, and if you aren't Why Not?  Actually when I started this I thought it would be a long and difficult project but it's been great fun and the time has flown by.  I'm not saying it hasn't been a challenge.  Some of Izzy's themes left me floundering and perplexed but we got there in the end.  This being that end........

So here it is.  December.  All sparkle and reindeers.  I used Crafty Individuals Christmas Tree Stamp CI-368 with Dew Drop Brilliance stamp pads - Rocket Red, Galaxy Gold and Starlight Silver which I clear embossed.  The background is a mix of Distress inks - Barn Door, Pine Needles and Shabby Shutters, splashed on and squidged around.  Then I took my already inked christmas tree and dabbed it over both pages.  It didn't quite sparkle enough so I dabbed a bit more Starlight Silver around.  The two small reindeers are Double Do diecuts and the large is Sizzix reindeer with bonus embossing folder.  Cut, embossed, some black ink and glitter sticker highlights. 

Creative Craft World have just posted a new challenge on their challenge blog so I am also entering Creative Craft World December/January mini-challenge (each page of my calendar is 13cm x 13cm)

There will be a final post regarding this challenge when I will display the complete calendar.   I am really looking forward to seeing everyone's projects as a single post.

Have a great weekend everyone. 

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Inspired Gardening

Hi everyone.  Me again. Well, of course it's me!  Glad you dropped by.  Not many days left now until the big day.  For some people that's Christmas, for others it's the end of the world!!  Personally I have  planned my vegetable patch for next year so if the end of the Mayan Calendar does indeed signify the end of the world then I shall be very disappointed.    I have big plans for salsify and quinoa.   The Mayans would approve of quinoa.

I've had a productive afternoon and managed to finish another project that I want to submit to the Kortglede challenge.  This closes in an hour or so so must blog fast. 

A folder made of paper......

Inside a set of notelets

I used an A3 piece of patterned card which I folded in half and then folded in 5cm at each end.  The card was white on the back so I added an insert of handmade paper.   I spritzed the front with Tsukineko silver shimmer spritz and added a tag stamped with K-3117 from The Montage Collection.  I used Sizzix embosslit spiral and a brad and then attatched a silver loop to hold it closed.  I made a set of 6 notelets using Born to Shop Green Goddess embossing folder.  I coloured them using a wide variety of ink pads.  Whatever came to hand and looked good.  Quite pleased with the result.  Here's some better views of the notelets......

So this is my gift made of paper.  No chocolate in sight!

Take care, thanks for visiting.  All comments gratefully received.  

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Lily T. Elephant packs her trunk and wonders what sort of jungle is this?

Hello hello.  Greetings, velkommen, nice of you to drop by.  I'm playing catch up with The Craft Barn Calendar Challenge where Izzy has already posted the final weeks challenge, but this is my week 10 tab.  Nothing forgotten, I've just been a bit slow with this one.   Hopefully it is worth the wait.  What do you mean you weren't waiting!  Just me then.  I have wheeled out a few of my trusty friends to help with the theme - Trees. 

I wanted to use my Sizzix original tree die so was looking for a green/leafy background and found this paper in my stash.  Haven't got any details on it but it's banana leaves with rain drops printed on it.  Amazing, and it photographed quite well too!  So I cut two scalloped hearts (Sizzix framelit die) from the background paper and two trees from various handmade papers.  The elephant is also a Sizzix original cut from Soesterens Grene lily leaf paper.  I did some detailing with a black pen and added a googly eye.  That's May.  Elephants in the jungle.  Of course.   

Entering for The Craft Barn Calendar Challenge Week 10 - Trees

Be safe, be warm, be happy but most of all leave Lily a comment cos she's feeling a bit lonely.  Maybe there's a friend just around the next tree.  A stranger is just a friend you haven't met yet. 

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

It's A Cracker

Hi, it's all Christmas in the shops, around the village, in blogland.  I must admit to still not being in the mood.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not against the idea or anything but I just feel a bit out of step at the moment and that it has all become too commercialised. For me the best thing about Christmas is spending time with family and friends, enjoying good food and taking the time to catch up.  We all seem so busy the rest of the year.  It seems that Christmas is the time when people take a breath and relax.  

Since it is that time of year most of the challenges at the moment are naturally festively orientated so I am getting a little push in the right direction.   Kortgleder have asked that we make a present out of paper so I decided I would have a go at making a cracker shaped box.  I have been wanting to try this for a while but this was the push to sit down and give it a go.  

I started with a sheet of My Mind's Eye double sided cardstock.  I cut it to 30 x 30 cm then scored every 6cm.  I turned it 90° and scored 5cm* in from each side then drew a faint pencil line 3cm either side of this score.   I marked every 2cm on the *scores and cut from these to where the pencil line met the other scorelines.  That sounds a bit confusing but if you do it it will become clear.  Here's a picture of the sheet at this stage with the diamonds cut out. 

I used a Fiskars border punch with holly leaves on both the cracker ends then folded it up and glued it together to give me the cracker box.  I used Sizzix movers and shapers snowflake die to cut 8 snowflakes out of blue and silver glitter board and then stuck them back to back so I had four double sided snowflakes.  I added extra detail with glitter board cut using Sizzix framelit dies and finished with a glittery sticker.  I embossed some pink pearlised paper using Crafts-Too Elk embossing folder and Dew Drop Brilliance Starlight Silver Stamp pad.  I cut it out using Sizzix scalloped heart framelit and added some  iridescent glitter glue.  I hole punched around the scalloped heart and wove in some silver elastic cord.  I  wrapped some gold tinsel around each end, arranged the snowflakes and elk heart and filled the with chocolates. 

A close up
The finished gift, a chocolate filled cracker

I am entering this for Kortgleder December Challenge - A Present Made Of Paper

Best wishes to you all.  Thanks for dropping by.  Please leave a comment or just say hi if you have time. 

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Quick, Quick

CASology's linky wouldn't let me link two projects with the same URL so please page down for the main post.

I've used a Sizzix embossing folder on white card and then three die cut present stickers. 

Entering this for CASology Week 23 - Gift

The lost are found

Greetings Crafty friends.  Just a quick post because I was hoping to join in the fun over at CASology for their Gift challenge.  The time is going on and I had almost decided it wasn't going to be but I managed to find a little window and get a couple of projects finished.  The last few day we have been keeping the snow from the door and then today the temperature rises to 6°C and it all starts to melt away nicely, except of course for the snow mountains which have resulted from the efforts to keep highways and byways clear.  They will take a little longer.  Those of you who expressed concern for my missing rabbit will be glad to know she turned up alive and well.  I didn't see hair or whisker of her for three days, the snow a meter deep, storm force winds and cold.  I was actually starting to think she had expired and then yesterday when I was out giving out some snacks I got to her cage and there she was!  She gave me a look, a "I've been rumbled look" before tucking in to the greenery I delivered.  Today she was busy grooming whilst sitting under the holly bush.  They are pretty hardy little things.  Still not sure where she was hiding but she's fine.

Anyway, better get these posted else I shall miss the deadline.   Two quick cards......

A Sizzix embossing folder, a gel sticker waggly flowers and then Sizzix present embosslit on gold mirror card with an orange handmade paper backing mounted on sticky pads.  

A Sizzix embossing folder on white card and then added three die cut present stickers

Luckily these were quite quick projects.  The photo's aren't brilliant as I had to take them indoors due to rain and darkness happening outside.  

Take care and have a great weekend

Entering these for CASology Week 23 - Gift

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Just snow you know

Wednesday it snowed all day.  It was snowing when we got up and when we went to bed and all the hours between.  Lots of snow.  I've lost one of my free ranger rabbits.  I hope she is just hiding under all the snow and hasn't taken advantage of the fact that the top of the fence is not as far away as usual.  I'm sure if she has made a break for freedom she will find plenty to eat.  Unfortunately, there are also more things which might take the chance to eat her.  Here's hoping she has been a sensible rabbit and made herself a cosy place under the snow.   

This week at The Craft Barn the calendar challenge theme is circles.  That's nice and easy.  I just need to think of some round things for my heart shaped world.  

I wanted something bright.  Luckily I have Sizzix Framelit circle set so I selected four handmade papers in bright colours and cut two sizes of circles.  Then I stuck them down so they overlapped to give the background.  Then I wanted some round sentiments to fit in with the circles.  Searched the stash and found..... nothing!  Had some very nice fish for tea.  Checked out a few blogs.  Played some cards.  Ohh, inspiration.  Have Word, can print.  DIY embelies.  Sometimes I think we are too dependant on popping to the shop for that perfect something.  So I printed the sentiments I wanted in a suitably roundish font onto some cardstock and then cut them with the framelits set.  A couple of butterflies cut using Cheery Lynns mini butterfly set, the calendar tab and another month closer to complete. 

So this is my entry for The Craft Barn Calendar Challenge Week 11 - Circles

I've got one week that I need to catch up on and Izzy will be giving the final challenge on Sunday and the 2012 calendar will be complete.  Hurrah.  It seemed such a big idea, twelve projects, twelve weeks, but almost done now.  Time flies.  

Take care, thanks for dropping by.  If you have time please leave a comment.  Your kind words are marshmallows in my hot chocolate.   

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Wag the Dog

Hello, friends and followers, those who are and those who may be.  Apologies for the time since my last post.  I brought an unexpected hitch-hiker back from England and have spent the last week under the influence of a nasty little virus.  Sunday I would have been happy to have had my head cut off but am relieved now I didn't succumb to that particular impulse since it probably would have further delayed my return to blogland.  So here we are, better, but not 100%, but so many things to do so can't let the nasties keep us down.  Luckily I don't get sick very often, although I think that did make me a particularly pathetic patient.  Best wishes to anyone suffering at the moment from all those nasty little bugs that are doing the rounds.  May we all be fresh and healthy for Christmas. 

So I've missed a few challenges I was hoping to play along with but the joy is there are always more.  Today I managed to complete another page of my calendar for The Craft Barn Challenge.  This is getting quite exciting now because next week is the final challenge.  As I am a little bit behind this is my week 9 entry when the theme was teal, rust, white.  Lovely colour combination and it allowed me to use a beach theme that I had been hoping to incorporate.

I inked the pages in a patchy sort of way with a teally shade of blue.  I used Sizzix decorative strip "A day at the beach" for the phrase, chair and parasol.  The beach is some yellow paper that I have embossed with blue snowflakes.  OK, that's a bit strange for my August page but maybe they could be starfish, or sand dollars, or some other exotic crustacean.  This is art, luverly, art.  We hope!  The young Victorian (who incidentally also looks like she has dressed for a cool august visit to the beach) is Crafty Individuals stamp CI-158 stamped in rust ink.  The two images are from CI miniatures book 'People and Places'.   A hint of a tint of blue on the calendar tab and the job is done, although there is a chance I may have to change the parasol colours.  It looks a bit not quite right.  Maybe, maybe........

Entering this for The Craft Barn Calendar Challenge 9 - teal, rust and white

Take care, keep well and watch this space for our next exciting instalment.......

Don't forget to check out the  Art With No Boundaries Ezine  Great projects and tips.  

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Tiddilybom Tiddilypom

Ahhhh.  Velkommen hjem.  My man picked me up from the airport last night and it is sooooo nice to be home again.  I have spent the day trying to get back into the routine with the animals and running around in the garden trying to see if there is anything I should have protected better before I left and if there is anything worth trying to salvage from the cold.  It's -12°C!!  Arggg, that's a bit shocking.  We don't usually go quite that cold in our bit of Norway, being way down south as we are, and it's very early to be this chilly.  Hope it's not a sign of things to come.  The upside is it was a lovely sunny day.   My freeranger rabbits don't mind the snow and at least that solves the problem with trying to give them water.  The ones that are caged just have to drink fast when I take out fresh water at various times during the day and into the evening.  Oh well, it's got to be an improvement on all the rain.  

I haven't had a chance to get into the craft room yet, although I have dumped the goodies I dragged home with me from the UK onto my craft table.  Not that there was much dumping room!  A tidy up is on the cards, although it is nearly impossible as I always uncover something that gives me an idea and then the putting away becomes taking out and well................ I'm sure you get the idea.  I wanted to catch up on things in blogland and I stumbled across this new e-zine Art With No Boundaries.    Lots of lovely projects including some beautiful Asian art inspired ATC's and Inchies and some tips on using digital stamps.  Check it out here

Anyway, I must away and sort a few things out.  Hope to be crafting again soon so watch this space.  Thanks for dropping by.  Be safe, be warm, be happy :-)

Monday, 3 December 2012

Last of the summer flowers

Hello everyone.   I am still on my yearly visit to the UK.  It's been lovely to see the family but I must admit that now I am looking forward to being home again.  In a few days I shall be reunited with my man, animals, garden and craft stash, but until then I will just have to be happy plugging the gap in my calendar for the Craft Barn Challenge.  I am looking all the way back to week 3 when the theme was white/yellow/green.  I must admit that I have had to stretch the brain cells for this one but am quietly pleased with the result. 

For the background I have used a fab technique I discovered in Craft Stamper April 2012 in an article called Pressed Petals.  Basically you collect some fat juicy leaves and flowers, layer them on paper and run them through your die cutting machine and ..... WOW!!  Actually I didn't really think this would work but it does.  It's pretty amazing.  You get loads of juice oozing out of the sandwich and an instant flower paper.  I love this effect.  I have never had the patience to press flowers but here it's almost instant and no need for sealing the paper cos you only have the impression and the dyes from the flowers, not any actually organic material.  The only funny thing was the red begonia flowers gave a blue impression!!  A bit strange.  The technical amongst you will probably assure me that it's all something to do with light reflectance or the way the eye sees colour or red flowers are actually blue we just see them as red....... Whatever, it's a great trick and gave me a great white/yellow/green (with a bit of blue) background for these pages.  The birds and the saying are chipboard pieces by Basic Grey.

I have just spoken to my man and he says there is 50cm of snow in our bit of Norwayland and the chickens are on strike.  Brrrrr.  At least it's seasonal and I might be able to get my head into Chrimbo mode.  At the moment I am still hoping for some sunshine!!  Ah well, there's always cake.  

Be warm, take care, thanks for dropping by. 

I am entering this into
 The Craft Barn Calendar Challenge Week 3 - White/Yellow/Green
Artful Times Challenge 18 - Anything Goes