Friday 28 September 2012

Frilly and Funkie Challenge - Fall into Fall

Hello my lovely blog friends

I have not been creating much lately as some of you will know but when I saw what the amazing Marjie Kemper and Anita Houston created for the Frilly and Funky Challenge, Fall into Fall, hosted by the lovely Linda Coughlin of the Funkie Junkie, I felt inspired to create something for the challenge.

The theme this week at Emergency Crafters Challenge blog is Autumn Leaves and I would like to enter that challenge too.

Fall (Autumn) is my most favourite time of the year and I still remember fondly, when growing up in Canada, how lovely it was when the leaves turned to red and gold and various shades in between.  But that's another story......

The Challenge is to create something fall-like, using fall colours.  The very first die I ever bought, some years ago was a Maple Leaf, cut and emboss die and after much searching I found it again.  This is my quite simple creation:

I used corrugated card to create the tag and lightly covered it with Rusty Hinge and Barn Door Distress Inks.  I then embossed randomly all around the edges with Cosmic Shimmer Ultra Thick Embossing Crystals in Lava Black (it is quite vintage red in real life and not purple as it shows in  my photo).  I added some bits into the crevices of the corrugated card to add some texture and heated from the back.

The maple leaves were cut from Core-dinations cardstock (orange, red and brown), scrunched up and then distressed with Frayed Burlap and Vintage Photo DIs.  The oak leaves and acorns are from a Creative Expressions stamp set, which I stamped and cut from orange card and scrunched, again coloured with Vintage Photo DI.  The sentiment is computer generated, (Autumn is the crowning glory of the year) cut up and edged with Frayed Burlap DI. 

I added a pearl from Tim's Idea-ology range and a maple leaf charm, from my stash, coloured with red pepper alcohol ink.  The ribbon is vintage seam binding dyed with Rusty Hinge DI.  Finally I added a vintage button to the centre of the leaves and tied through some of Tim's Idea-ology paper string (love that stuff!).

If you do visit I hope you will leave me a message, I love to read them all and will always do my best to return the compliment.  Take care all.  Crafty hugs, Anne xx

Wednesday 26 September 2012

WOYWW - Week 173

Hello  Woywwers and fellow bloggers

Thank you so much to all my latest followers and to those who have been following me for a while, I really appreciate your company.  I did not do WOYWW last week, as those of you who follow me will know.

For those who don't know what WOYWW is please pop over and see our lovely hostess Julia who you can find at for details.

This week I don't have much to show on my workspace, just a few started but not finished projects ( Mr Mojo has taken a hike again!).  This is how my desk looks on this wet, cold and windy morning:

I am colouring a picture for a birthday card for DD, there is a finished one for GS2.  You can also see a tag which I have covered with metal tape and embossed, waiting for some inspiration to grab me.  At the back I have stamped another Tim Holtz blueprint dragonfly ready to go on a notecard and you may just be able to see 5 rectangular butterfly stamped cards from my very old Magenta butterfly stamp, waiting to be made into a mini book (inspired by the uber talented Marjie Kemper).  Also there is some new Tim Holtz paper string and some Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist in Abominable Snowman (gorgeous and sparkly) to use on Christmas Cards.

That's it from me this week but I would like to say a huge heartfelt thank you to all who visited me last week and left lovely get well messages and to those who sent me gorgeous cards and gifts (you know who you are), I was really moved and very touched by all your kindnesses.  I am making slow progress. Thank you again.   I do keep saying it but Crafters really are the most wonderful people and I am so glad I took the plunge into blogland.

I will visit as many as I possibly can this week, looking forward to seeing what you are all up to. 

Crafty hugs, Anne xx

Thursday 20 September 2012

Home Sweet Home!

Hello lovely blog friends

By the time you read this I will be well and truly under the influence (anaesthetic influence that is) so this is a scheduled post.  I wish I was at home sweet home!

One of my wonderful followers is a lady called Darnell.  She is a member of the WOYWW group and she does not like grunge or worse still - distress so I try to do a mix of work - this post is a pretty post and I am dedicating it to Darnell. 

I bought a kit from the very talented Christine Emberson.  Christine is the only UK member of the Spellbinders Design Team and she has just recently set up a Spellbinders Academy in Kent.  I have been following Christine's progress for about a year now and I am booked to go to one of her classes in October and can't wait!  If you love Spellbinders then please have a look at Christine's blog for some amazing inspiration.

This is what I made from the kit.  It is for my DD who is having a new shaker style kitchen and I thought it would lovely in there:

I don't think I need to explain any of the details but it is on a wooden plaque which is approximately 9" x 6".  I have only made a couple of minor deviations from the intended layout.

Normally I would not show any commissioned work or family pieces but I thought Darnell would like it and I hope you do too.  If you do visit, I hope you will leave me a comment, I love to read them and I promise I will repay the compliment, although maybe not for a day or so - sitting with my leg up in the air and working on my PC at the same time are not conducive - (smile).  Crafty hugs, Anne xx

Tuesday 18 September 2012

Sunday Stampers Week 223 - Ribbon

Hello lovely blog friends

I would like to say a big welcome to my new followers and to my blog friends who take the time to look at my blog and leave me such lovely comments, you will never know how much it means to me - thank you!

This week Hels at has set us the challenge based on 'Tie a yellow ribbon' and as ever, I have taken her quite literally with my entry.  I have tried really hard to do a bit of grunge but I don't think I have quite achieved it yet but I still keep practising.........

I have used my new stamp from Inkylicious, called Memoirs of a Lady.  When I saw this stamp I just had to have it.  It is one of the largest stamps I own and it is not easy to stamp and get a clear image with my dodgy wrists but here she is in all her glory:

Apologies for the shadows, it is bucketing down with rain at the moment and it has gone very dark outside.

I started with a No. 10 Manila Tag by Ranger and cut off a piece about 2 inches from the bottom.  Hels and her good friend Ellen did some tags a few weeks ago with a hinged bottom and in order to accommodate the whole stamp I did the same.  The holes are covered with eyelets from my Crop-o-dile set and I coloured them with gold mixative alcohol ink.  The pieces are linked with TH jump rings.

The image was stamped with Black Archival ink,  the face is coloured with spun sugar DI, the eyes with broken china and the lips with festive berries.  I masked off the face and coloured the rest of the tag with spun sugar and squeezed lemonade DI and a touch of wild honey and did all around the edges with vintage photo.  I then heavily distressed the edges of both pieces with a distressing tool and put a couple of rips in and then distressed again with black soot.

Her head looked a little bare, hence the butterfly.  The butterfly was coloured with dustry concorde and then I overlaid another butterfly cut from Clearly for Art and coloured with alcohol inks in cranberry red, sailboat blue and gold mixative.  I heat set it so that the wings looked more realistic. The dusty concorde beneath still shows through and makes it look purple.  I finished off the butterfly with an old pen nib from my stash (a purchase from a well know auction site).

The word strip is a Tim Holtz Idea-ology piece and says 'dream as if you'll live forever' and I covered this with a picket fence paint dabber and then rubbed off the excess.  I coloured the rose ribbon strip at the bottom, the lace and the vintage ribbon at the top of the tag with squeezed lemonade DI mixed with a touch of wild honey.

I think it has turned out more shabby chic than grunge but as I say, I will keep trying - I think my biggest problem is that I love colour so much it just feels wrong not to use it on everything. Is there any hope for me?

I hope that you will leave me a comment if you do visit, I love to read them and I will always try to return the compliment.  Crafty hugs, Anne x

Saturday 15 September 2012

Penny Black Saturday Challenge - Buttons and Bows

Hello lovely Bloggers and Followers old and new

The challenge at Penny Black Saturday Challenge ( this month is Buttons and Bows.  I love to do the PB Challenge as I can make use of my gorgeous PB stamps and it gives me the chance to do something pretty (which I still love doing) and this is my entry:

For ages now I have seen pieces of work where people stamped onto fabric and used stitching, so I thought I would have a go.  The Penny Black image 'fireworks' is stamped onto crinoline fabric that I obtained from The Funkie Junkie  (see the new address in the link)  in America.  It is quite stiff fabric and so easy to stamp on using black Archival Ink.

I coloured the flowers in with Tim Holtz Distress Markers in Chipped Sapphire for the flower heads and Forest Moss for the leaves.  I dusted off my sewing machine and stitched the fabric to some white card and then inked the edges with Chipped Sapphire DI.  I matted this onto plain white cardstock and I coloured the ribbon with Chipped Sapphire DI and added this.  The card is 8" x 8" and I took some Chipped Sapphire Coredinations card stock, cut out two mats and layered them as shown.

To finish off I added a Hero Arts sentiment and three buttons in a toning blue with some blue and white Bakers twine threaded through.

If you do visit I hope you will leave me a comment, I love to read them all and will always try to return the compliment.  Happy Crafting!  Crafty hugs, Anne xx

Thursday 13 September 2012

Sunday Stampers Week 222 - Riot of Colours

Hello to my lovely Blog Friends and Followers old and new

This week over at Sunday Stampers the theme is a 'Riot of Colour'.  This challenge is run by the amazing and very talented Hels Sheridan (  I am running a bit late this week with my entry mainly because this is my third attempt at creating something colourful.

My entry is this tag:

I am still not convinced that it has a riot of colour on it but I like it nevertheless.  The background tag is a TH #8 manilla one which I have coloured with Picked Raspberry DI and then overstamped with a Kaisercraft number stamp, which I stamped randomly all over.  The butterflies, flower and sentiment are all from my favourite Wendy Vecchi stamp set Botanical Art.  I coloured the stem of the flower with Distress Marker and I stamped the flower twice with Picked Raspberry again and decoupaged it to make it stand out a little more.  The sentiment is stamped in Black Archival and says 'Be a Designer of Dreams'.  The butterflies and the vintage ribbon are coloured with Peacock Feathers DI and the pearl charm is from Tim Holtz Ideaology range.  After edging the tag with Black Soot DI, I matted it onto some black card and then onto some Coredinations card stock in the hope that the colours would pop.

If you do visit I hope you will leave me a message, I love to read them all and will always try to return the compliment.  Thank you for looking.  Crafty hugs, Anne xx

Wednesday 12 September 2012

WOYWW Week 171 and I'm a lucky girl!

Hello Lovely WOYWWers and Peeps

It is that time of week again when we share our desks, messy or otherwise, with WOYWWer and Peeps around the world courtesy of Julia (, our Hostess with the Mostest.  If you want to join in then please pop over to Julia's place to see how.

I have had a major tidy this week so there is nothing but a clean shiny surface to show BUT I have been a very lucky girl this last week so I thought I could show you a few things.   First up is a picture of some cards and a gift, all from crafty and blog friends.

Clockwise from top left, all very beautiful, a card from Darnell, next a tag from Julia, a heart shaped wall hanging from a new craft friend Mo, who runs a Craft Outlet locally, but does not yet have a blog, and finally a card with skiing sheep from RosA in Australia. A very public thank you ladies for your kindness and thoughtfulness.

Also, if you have seen my previous post, I made some flowers to send to my blog friend May, who was one of my very first followers and she was very naughty and sent me this:

What a glorious box of goodies for me to play with.  Thank you again May for your kindness and generosity.  There are others, too numerous to mention, but they know who they are, that I have met through Julia and the wonderful WOYWW world and every day I count my blessings to know such a wonderful band of caring crafty/blog friends.  Thank you all and special thanks to Julia for making it all possible!

That's all from me folks, I will visit as many of you as possible this week but as I will be detained by the NHS (National Health Service) for a day or two next week, I may have to miss WOYWW and also some of the blogs I follow too.

If you do visit I hope you will leave me a comment, I do love to read them all and I enjoy doing return visits (if you get to me first!) .........Have a Happy WOYWW, Crafty hugs, Anne x

Tuesday 11 September 2012

Big Blossoms Tutorial

Hello my lovely blog friends and followers old and new, thank you so much for taking the time to have a peek at my blog.  I would also like to thank everyone for leaving me so many lovely comments recently, it really means a lot to me.

Over the last couple of months a few people have admired my big flowers and some have said they would love to make them so I am doing my first ever tutorial - forgive me it is not perfect, especially the photos, but will, at least, give you a general idea of how to make them.

The flowers, when completed will measure approximately 2.1/2" (6 - 7cm) across, you can make them much smaller than this but the large size is perfect for putting on gift boxes, tags etc and the larger size is easier to show you on the 'how to' side.  My thinking is that I have lots of Christmas papers that are heavily patterned and not really appropriate for small cards so I am going to make up a batch of flowers to use on presents and gift tags.

I always use good quality card stock, Coredinations if possible or something of a similar weight for the plain colours and Tim Holtz patterned card/BoBunny or Kaisercraft or similar weight patterned cardstock.  You will see why once we get going.

For this tutorial I have used a nested set of flower dies by Go Kreate (flower set #1) but Spellbinders also do a nested flower set which also works and so does Tim Holtz Tattered Floral die set.

You will need to cut one of the largest size and two each of the rest of the sizes so that you end up with 7 flower die cuts for each flower, the same applies to other dies, you really need 7 to give a good result.

Take a spritzer and soak the die cuts well, they will rise up in the middle at this point.  Turn them over and spritz the other side really well.  From now on you will need to work reasonably quickly as the card dries quite fast.

Now for the fun bit - scrunch the flowers up really well (sorry about the blurry photo), you can also pick up any water on your mat or craft sheet with the scrunched up flowers.

Gently open the flowers out and poke a hole in the middle of each flower. You can put the hole in earlier if you wish, some flower dies come with a hole in already, like Spellbinders rose creations, which is handy.

Put the flowers together in size order, with a brad, try to stagger the petals as in the photo so that the resulting flower will look more realistic.

Take each of the layers and squeeze them up around the brad, be careful with the card as it will rip easily due to being so wet.  Do each layer separately as this will give a much better result.

You should end up with a scrunched up flower like this one.  Now you need to gently open the flower up.  You can open it right up or simply bend some of the petals down to make a tight flower, it is up to you at this stage.  I tend to open them right up like this:

Whilst the flower is still damp you can tweak it to make it look realistic.  At this point you can spritz it with Perfect Pearls or similar,  to give it a bit of a sheen.  Now, put the flower to one side and leave it to dry, it can take quite a while (even overnight) as there is a lot of card to dry.  Once it is dry, the flower is almost rock hard and will not lose it's shape at all. 

This is the one completed in the plain card.  I do hope you will try this technique, it is so much fun to do.  You can even make a bouquet of them by gluing kebab sticks to the back.  I have used them to decorate boxes, on tags and on a 12" x 12" canvas like this one below:

The plain flower is the one I have made using the above instructions, the patterned ones are made using Tim Holtz Tattered Floral die and the smaller one at the bottom is made using just the smaller dies in the Go Kreate set. So don't be put off thinking you have to make large ones, it works equally well for small flowers too.  The beauty of this method is that the resulting flower is very hard and will not go out of shape easily.

Apologies for the blurry photos, my little camera does not like close-ups, I will get better with time......I hope!

If you do visit I hope you will leave me a comment, I do love to read them all and I will always try to return the compliment.  Crafty hugs, Anne xx

Thursday 6 September 2012

I've gone Dylusional - Read All About It!

Hello lovely Blog Friends

A big thank you to my latest Followers, I truly appreciate you taking the time to keep an eye on my little blog.

 One of my wonderful blog friends Buttons gave me some good advice this week.  She said just enter the challenges that I really, really want to do.  When I saw this challenge I felt that I wanted to have a go.

Now, I hope my heading sparked your imagination - has the woman gone mad today I can hear you thinking.  Not yet, but I have been playing around with the amazing Dylusions Inks from Ranger.  I have been lucky enough to take a number of classes at Dyan Reaveley's studio where I was able to use her full range of inks but have always been a bit wary of using them at home, I am such a mucky pup and in any case, I only have a few of them.

Over at Simon Says Stamp ( there is a challenge and a blog hop, the challenge is offering a whopping $100 prize to spend in their shop and each of the Design Team is offering a $25 voucher too.  The challenge is 'Read All About It' and to join in and/or find out more, do go over and have a look.  It is definitely worth entering, Simon Says Stamp is an amazing online shop that sells Tim Holtz, Wendy Vecchi, Hero Arts, Penny Black to name but a few.

This is my entry:

I think I am in bright and cheerful mode at the moment, it is a bit bright but I had such fun doing it!

The journal itself is quite big, 6" x 8.5" (15 cm x 21.5 cm).   I took some old book pages that I had in my stash and coloured them with London Blue, Fresh Lime and Lemon Zest Dylusions ink sprays.  The blue got a bit lost but it is there, it shows better on the inside. 

The words are cut from my amazing Tim Holtz Word Play Alphabet Die and the flower is a Wendy Vecchi Art Part.  The words are cut from Coredinations cardstock in Scattered Straw and I also covered the flower head with the same cardstock.  I then overstamped the letters and the flower with my Hero Arts Newsprint stamp.  The ribbon vintage seam binding that I coloured with Fresh Lime and Lemon Zest and I have just knotted them over the rings on the journal. 

I have covered the back of the journal in the same way, doing the insides of both the back and front also and I used Claudine Hellmuth Multi Matt Medium to glue them onto the journal.  Once finished I spritzed and flicked over the front of the journal  to add some interest.  Here is a picture of the inside front cover.

I love how the inside cover turned out, you can definitely see more of the blue here.

I would also like to enter this into Anything But a Card challenge too ( where the challenge is 'Anything Goes'.

Hope you enjoyed having a look and if you have read this far, thank you, I hope you will leave me a comment, I love to read them and will always do my best to return the compliment.  Crafty hugs, Anne x

Wednesday 5 September 2012

WOYWW - Week 170

Hello lovely WOYWWers and Bloggers

It's that time again and doesn't it come around quickly!  If you would like to join in an around the world desk hop then look no further than the wonderful Julia at for details on how to take part.....

Mine is short and sweet this week, well not so sweet because I am showing my crafty space in a terrible disorganised mess.  Have you ever put something in a safe place.........and then forgotten where that safe place is.......and got everything out in an attempt to find it?  Well this is the result!  Normally I am reasonably tidy......but not today.......have a look:

Did I find what I was looking for?  No, of course not and this lot is not going away until I find it.  This is the right side of my room, I am standing near my computer, I dare not show the left side of the room......

That's it from me, if you do visit I hope you will leave me a comment, I love to read them and I will always try to return the compliment, even if it takes me a week because I am totally wrapped up in the Paralympics.  Happy WOYWW everyone.  Crafty hugs, Anne x

Tuesday 4 September 2012

Sunday Stampers Week 221 - Stamped flowers

Hello lovely blog friends

Two things before I start - you may need sunglasses for my offering this week! 

Secondly, I want to say a huge thank you to all of you who have taken the time, with each of my posts, to visit and comment.  You have all made me feel like a million dollars with your kind and encouraging comments.  I could not ask for better blog friends and I thank you all for your kindness and generosity.

This week over at Sunday Stampers which is hosted by the wonderful and extremely talented Hels Sheridan who can be found at, is stamped flowers.  I have few sets of Wendy Vecchi stamps, all favourites of mine, one set is called 'It's More Flower Art' and has two large flowers in the set. I used the smaller of the two in my card, it has a flower within a flower and is perfect for decoupage.

Recently, through WOYWW I visited a site, which I have since tried to find again, but alas, cannot.  The technique for layering that I have used on my card was showcased by a lady called Dawn but that is all I can remember.  She goes into much detail about sizes etc but as I could not find it again, I have just winged it with my sizes but it still seemed to work.  Anyway, before I explain the how, here is my card:

The flowers are on different layers but they remain perfectly in proportion......

For ease of description, there are six mat and layers to this technique.  To differentiate I will call them white and pink mats.  I used three white mats, the smallest being just over 10 cm (4").  The other two mats increase in size by 2 cm (just under 1").  The pink mats are just under 1/2 cm (1/4") larger than each white mat.   (Edited to say first white mat 10 cm, second white mat 12 cm, third white mat 14 cm, (or roughly 4", 4 3/4", 5 1/2")  - each mat is square).  I hope that make sense now (never was good at figures).  Size is not really all that important, just do not make the coloured mat too big or you will lose some of the stamping. 

I took the three white mats, smallest on top and temporarily stuck them together (with repositionable glue) in a stack, keeping the edges as equally spaced as possible.  I then took the flower stamp and stamped the flowers randomly over all three mats.  Try not to go in the middle for the first one and stamp a couple off the page for a more balanced look.  At this stage the edges do not look too clear, but that's fine, it will not matter later on.  I stamped and cut out four flowers and placed these over the stamped flowers (as masks)and then I overstamped with my Hero Arts Newsprint stamp.  After removing the masks and being careful, I pulled the mats apart, overcoloured the background with Antique Linen distress ink and mounted them onto the pink coloured mats. 

Somehow, I know not how, the flowers remain perfectly sized and formed!  When I saw this on Dawn's demo she layered the mats flat onto each other but I decided to give mine some height with foam tape and surprisingly the flower design did not distort.  It really is amazing and I do hope you will give it a try.

I coloured the flowers with my current favourite Tim Holtz distress ink in Picked Raspberry, with Wild Honey for the centres.  I added black pearls to the centre.  I stamped and coloured one flower and decoupaged this over the bottom left flower, just to show that the flowers stay perfectly in proportion even with all the layering.  The whole thing was then mounted onto cream cardstock which I had edged with Antique Linen distress ink.

The vintage ribbon has been dyed with Picked Raspberry distress ink and scrunched.  I then sprayed the whole thing with Perfect Pearls in an effort to tone down the pinkness! I added an TH Idea-ology button to finish off.

Apologies for my long windedness but if you want to try the technique you need to know how it was done.  I don't know whether it would work with other images but it might be worth an experiment.

If you do visit I hope you will leave me a comment, I truly appreciate them and love to read them all.  I always try to return the compliment, wherever possible.  Crafty hugs, Anne x

Sunday 2 September 2012

Tim's Tag 2012 - September

Hello lovely blog friends

I thought I would get my tag done early this month, I had a day in my craft room yesterday whilst DH went to taste the delights at Chatsworth Game Fair.  We usually go every year but the old knee was not up to it this year.  He did bring me back some lovely cheese and Victoria sponge cake - yum.  He was very excited when he got back home as he had been 'caught up' in the Press entourage (by accident) and got to see the Duke and Duchess up close and personal and take their photos.

If you saw my last post, it was Tim's Summer Distress Inks, all bright and cheery with a trip to Paris but today I have gone over to the dark side.  I have tried to do the tag in the same (or similar) style to Tims.  Mine came out quite dark.  Here it is:

I followed his techniques exactly for the background (that sticky back metal sheet is such fun to work with) but I did not have the Movers and Shapers typewriter die but I did have the Bigz one so I cut it out on black shrink plastic (it is having a revival in my craft room) and it is pretty much the same size.  I did not have a shiny number five so I cut a 5 from grungeboard and covered it with Debbie Moore's metal magic - it bubbled up and left pit marks but I really liked that.  The large cog is also a die cut that I 'rusted' up with Crafty Notions rust compound, thanks to help from my lovely blog friend Rita.

I did not have any of tim's safety pins so I just used a normal pin.   The ribbon is dyed with Black Soot Distress Ink.  I used an 'A' typewriter key letter at the top.  I had to use a normal stapler as I do not have Tim's tiny one.  I did not have the light bulb either, but ran out of room anyway!

I am entering this into the 12 Tags for 2012 - September over at

If you do visit I hope you will leave me a comment.  I love to read them all and I will always try to return the compliment.  Crafty hugs, Anne x
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