Sunday 28 September 2014


I don't know if he felt guilty for spending Friday evening at the rugby, followed by a visit to the pub, but Alan offered to drive me to Exeter yesterday for the Stitching, Sewing and Hobbycraft Show.  I actually enjoyed Friday evening at home alone crafting, but who was I to refuse such an offer!  He sat outside reading his paper and drinking coffee, so there were no comments of "what do you need that for?" while I was shopping.  I found a little die I'd been looking for next to this lovely butterfly die which cuts out lots of little it sort of fell into my basket too!  I decided to use it today to make a card for my second entry on the Butterfly Challenge blog.
To make the different shades of butterflies on the left, I coloured a piece of white card with Pumpkin, Terracotta and Walnut Promarkers and put it behind the die cut.  The butterfly on the right was punched with a Tonic punch, which punches out the butterfly wings and leaves them attached to the card.  I backed the butterfly with a snippet of orange card and decorated it with pale brown pearls.  Everything was then attached with foam pads onto a brown card blank.

I would like to enter my card for the following challenges:

Saturday 27 September 2014

Thinking of you

 The challenge on the Butterfly Challenge blog this week is to use autumn colours.  I decided to use my favourite Lavinia 'Zen Butterfly' stamp.  I coloured it in with Promarkers in three shades of brown and covered the whole butterfly with a clear Wink of Stella glitter brush to add a bit of sparkle.  

As anyone who knows me well will tell you, I tend to avoid inky backgrounds.  It's not that I don't like them, but I find it hard not to make a total mess of the background. So, today I decided to go out of my comfort zone and use a Creative Expression mask - 'Doodle Squares' and ink randomly with Adirondack 'Sunset Orange' and  a Distress Ink 'Tea Dye'.  

I would like to enter my card for the following challenges:

Friday 26 September 2014

Football Fan

Another football fan birthday card to make today.  The team plays in blue and white quarters, so I've used this for the background. I started with a white card base and attached two small squares of blue card.
The stamp is a Paper Nation 'Football Man' stamp and I used Promarkers to colour it in, with the team's colours on the hat and scarf.  

Thursday 25 September 2014

A New Granddaughter!

One of my crafty friends and her husband have just become a grandparents for the third time to a beautiful baby girl.  This is the card I made for them today.
 The die is a Memory Box die - 'Baby Carriage'. 
I would like to enter this card for the following challenge:
My Mums Craft Shop - Challenge 21 ~ Dies or Punches

I made this card for the proud parents.  
It's similar to a design I've made before in blue, but I really love the effect of the Marianne Lacé dies, so I use them quite often.  This particular Lacé die is called 'Rosette W/Love'.  The card is finished off with matching Card Candi.

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Wild Poppies

The Lavinia Stamps challenge this month is to use ribbon.  I can't resist buying ribbons I like, but when it comes to using them on my cards, I usually don't know where to start.  The result is that I have a large selection of unused ribbon reels!  So today I took the plunge and opened a new reel of red and white ribbon to go with the Lavinia 'Wild Poppies' stamp I wanted to use.
I added a couple of little black gems to the centre of two of the poppies. The poppies were stamped with Versafine 'Satin Red'.  

I would like to enter my card for the following challenges:

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Less is More.....

I bought a Dreamweaver Treble Clef stencil several weeks ago and decided today that it was about time I actually used it!  I thought the stencil would be a simple design to practise doodling with a Zentangle pen. So I took the stencil out of the packet for the first time and had a doodle!  I've kept the musical theme on the  background by using a Crafts-Too 'Musical Notes' embossing folder.  

I'd like to enter my card for the following challenges:

Hap-Bee Birthday!

I have a peek at the Butterfly Challenge blog most weeks, but this is the first time I've entered one of my cards.  The theme is 'The Ugly Bug Ball' and all entries have to include at least one flying insect.  I still remember the song from my childhood when it was often on the radio.  I regularly taught it to the four and five year olds in my class when the topic was 'Minibeasts'...... can you believe I'm singing it now in my head!!!  So, I got my thinking cap on quickly, as the challenge finishes in a few hours.
I decided to go with bees, as I have a Lavinia bee stamp which I've never used.  I knew I had a honey pot die somewhere, but it took me ages to find it!  It's a 'never used before die' - a Sizzlets die that came as part of a set.  I must have had it at least 10 years!  The bees were stamped with a Memento ink pad and coloured in with Promarkers, with a little clear sparkle on the wings.  The embossing folder is Darice 'Honeycomb'. 

I would like to enter my card for the following challenges:

Monday 22 September 2014

Chinese Dragon

I'm getting back to normal life after our holiday in China.  Washing and ironing is all done and packed away.  I needed to make several thank you cards for friends would were kind enough to give us Ruby Wedding Anniversary presents.  I wanted to make cards with a Chinese theme and this is what I eventually came up with.
The stamped image is heat embossed with Gold Sparkle embossing powder.  The dragon looks more sparkly in real life, I guess the light on the scanner doesn't like a bit if sparkle!  I originally planned to use a white or cream card base, but thought the dragon looked more striking on black.  My drawer of red snippets was overflowing - no idea why I seem to have more red than any other colour, so I was able to use up a little pile of snippets for these cards.  The red die cut was attached with foam pads.

I would like to enter my card for the following challenge:

Friday 19 September 2014

It's a Girl!

We arrived home two days ago from an amazing holiday in China, celebrating our Ruby Wedding anniversary.  I got to walk on The Great Wall, so that's another thing crossed off my bucket list!  I'm still suffering from jet lag - really tired in the middle of the day, but wide awake at 4am!  But hey-ho, that's a small price to pay for an incredible trip.  I didn't realise that in China they block all blogs, so I've had a lot of catching up to do since we've come home!

A friend gave birth to a baby girl while we were away, so I needed to make a card pretty quick to send. 

I keep a selection of images which I've already coloured with Promarkers, so it didn't take too long to complete this card. Lili of the Valley have some beautiful baby stamps, so I used one image on this card, backed with a snippet of pink card.  The backing paper is from a Dovecraft paper stack.

I would like to enter this card for the following challenge:

Wednesday 3 September 2014


Where has the sun gone?  It was here yesterday, it looks like autumn has arrived!

I made this card for friends' Ruby Wedding Anniversary this month, using red, cream and snippets of gold.

The embossing folder is Darice 'Dots' and I used x-cut postage stamp nesting punches for the squares, layering the gold card with foam pads.  The hearts were little shiny gems.

I would like to enter this card into the following challenges:

For the next anniversary card, I used snippets of purple with a larger postage stamp punch, winding silver metallic thread around the corners.   

When we go on holiday I often take a little box of snippets and a few flower punches.  If it's pouring down with rain, I can make little punched flowers in a variety of colours, so I always have some ready to hand for that last minute card!  

Monday 1 September 2014

The Creative Blog Hop

I thought this post would be short, but as you will discover, it's the longest post I've ever made.  I hope you are still awake at the end - if you make it that far!

The Creative Blog Hop
It’s Monday and  my turn to join in with The Creative Blog Hop (TCBH). In case this is the first time you’ve come across the TCBH, it is the brain child of a blogger, whose identity seems to have disappeared along the way as the hop progressed. The hop includes all kinds of artists: watercolour, paint, mixed media, and card, as well as writers, photographers, and all sorts of needlework artists.

The idea is for us, as Bloggers, to get to know each other better - some describe is as a game of 'Tag, You're It'. Each Blogger answers four questions about themselves and afterwards they "tag" three more Bloggers and so on and so on it goes. 

The Creative Blog Hop is always held on a Monday.

Meet my tagger:
I was delighted to be tagged by the talented Veerle.  I only met Veerle online a month ago on the Pixie’s Crafty Workshop blog, when we both took part in the challenge for the first time in the same week.  The lovely Di introduced us both on her blog the following week and since then we’ve been following each others blogs, as well as emailing each other. Veerle makes beautiful cards, with very detailed instructions of how they are made on her blog.  She also translates everything into English, which is very helpful for me! Have a look at her blog to see all her gorgeous creations.

My Interview:
My apologies if you read some of this last week on Veerle’s blog when she introduced me last week.  Just skip past the next few paragraphs!  I thought I’d include it again in case you’ve just found my blog by accident.  If you have…. welcome to my blog!

I live in West Country in England with my husband, Alan. On September 14th 2014 we will be celebrating our Ruby Wedding Anniversary – 40 years!! …..where do the years go?? 

At the ripe old age of 37, after running a local playgroup for several years, I decided to train to be a primary school teacher – something I’d always wanted to do.  So off I went to University, where I studied for four years, managing to organise family life with two teenage children at the same time.  After qualifying, I was lucky enough to get a teaching job in a local Infant school, where I thoroughly enjoyed teaching, until I retired in 2011.  Teaching young children between four and seven years old gave me lots of opportunities to be creative with them, which was always great fun.  I used to make every child in my class a personalised birthday card and enjoyed watching them trying to guess what picture I had put on the front, before they opened the envelope. My collection of dinosaur, footballer, pirate, train, aeroplane, fairy, ballet dancer and mermaid stamps grew during the years I was teaching! I still run an after school scrapbooking club for 6 and 7 year olds with a very good friend who was my teaching assistant, which we started about eight or nine years ago. Each child completes a 6 x 6 chipboard album, complete with photos.  This year we also ran an after school cardmaking club for 5 and 6 year olds. It’s really satisfying to see the children being so proud of what they have produced. They especially enjoyed using the Big Shot to emboss! Hopefully it has started some of them off on a creative journey which will last a lifetime. Here are a few of the cards that the children made.

When I retired I decided to cross another thing off my ‘bucket list’ and start my own blog.  Initially it was just a personal record of some of the things I was making.  I thought I’d be able to look back and see how my cardmaking styles have changed over the years.  I didn’t really think anyone would be interested in anything on my blog. However, three years on and I’ve discovered there’s a whole big blogging world out there, with lots of lovely people who write positive comments on my blog.  I enjoy following other blogs too, as it’s great to look at all the other styles of cardmaking and pick up some great ideas along the way.  In July this year, I finally worked out how to get a ‘Followers’ gadget and several bloggers have been kind enough to follow me.  I’m currently up to eighteen!  It would be great if you would follow my blog too.

My Mum was very creative and I guess she passed on to me her love of trying new creative hobbies.  In the past I’ve enjoyed hobbies such as sewing, cross stitch, patchwork, knitting, crochet, cake decorating and even making corn dollies.  These days cardmaking, scrapbooking and other paper crafts are the crafty hobbies I enjoy most.  Although I’m happy trying to be creative on my own,  it’s always lovely to craft with friends. I’m lucky enough to have several crafty friends who live locally and I try and get to the monthly ‘crop and craft’ days when I can, which are great for sharing ideas and learning new techniques.   I must say that these days are not always terribly productive, but there is always lots of chatting, laughter and chocolate!   I ran a cardmaking workshop recently for a group of friends who had never made a card before.  It was so much fun and despite adhesive pearls pinging around the room as they slipped out of the tweezers, they were really pleased with their finished cards. Weeks later and I’m still finding tiny pearls stuck to my dining room floor!

Last year, I saw that Lavinia Stamps were starting up a new Challenge Blog.  As I love Lavinia stamps, I thought I'd enter one of my cards into the challenge - the first time I'd entered a cardmaking challenge.  It was only when I looked at the other cards entries and saw other cardmakers were entering various challenges,  that I realised that there were hundreds of cardmaking challenges online.  How I wish I known about these before!  

My son and daughter have long flown the nest, so I am lucky enough to have my own craft room where I can shut myself away and try to be creative.  I’d love to be able to say it’s always tidy…. but that would be a lie!  I usually tidy it when I can’t see the table anymore.

Welcome to my craft room.

Here are a few photos taken when I first organised my craft room. It's not quite so tidy now!   In fact it's nowhere near as tidy now!  LOL!

This is a photo of my craft table today - before I had a chance to make it messy!!  

1. What Am I Working On Now?
I’m thinking about a design for a card for Alan for our Ruby Wedding Anniversary, although I’ll have to post a photo later in case he happens to look at my blog before the big day! Friends of ours married on exactly the same day as us, although we didn’t know them then, so I’ll be working on a card for them too. There are also cards to make for a few family members’ birthdays, a friend’s baby who is due any day and a wedding.  I’ve booked to have a stall at a two charity fund-raising craft fairs over the next couple of months, so I’m in the middle of making cards, gift boxes, corner bookmarks, altered notebooks and a few other bits and pieces for those.  

2. How does my work differ from others in my genre?
I guess my favourite style of card to make is CAS and I also love to experiment with different card folds.  I’m getting better at inking on my cards, but I still can’t seem to use torn paper.  It looks great on other people’s cards but on mine, it looks like I just couldn’t be bothered to cut it in straight line! 

3. Why do I create what I do?
Relaxation and enjoyment!  When I was teaching full time, I loved to switch off from all the paperwork and have some ‘me time’.  Shutting myself away with lots of crafty things around me was my idea of heaven!  Alan’s as pleased as I am that I’ve got my own craft room as he can watch the football on TV in peace!  

Now that I only teach occasionally as a supply teacher, I have lots more time for crafting.   I love to make cards for other people because I can make them individual for each person. I could never seem to find the perfect shop-bought card, but making them myself I can personalise each one.  I still get a bit of a buzz when someone says something complimentary about a card I’ve made especially for them. Entering cards for online challenges sometimes takes me out of my comfort zone, which I think is a good thing for any cardmaker.

Also, like many other cardmakers, I find it’s a great way to raise money for charity. About twelve years ago my daughter worked as a volunteer in a Romanian orphanage for a few months.  She wanted to raise fund for the orphanage and I guess that’s when I first realised that people would actually buy my cards and I could make money out of my hobby to support the charity. 

4. How does my creative process work?
Although I have an initial idea in my head,  what I’m making tends to evolve as I go along.  I’ll have an idea of a stamp or die cut I want to use and usually a colour scheme. Sometimes the finished result is nothing like my initial idea! If I see a new card fold on a blog or in a magazine, I usually try and make it soon after, so I don’t forget about it.  I always make the fold out of paper first to keep as a template for future cards.  

What happens next:
I am delighted to introduce the three talented bloggers I’ve tagged (in no particular order).  These creative friends will continue the blog hop on Monday 8th September, so please make a note to visit their blogs next week.

Firstly I would like to introduce my ‘messy friend’ Lynne.  (I know she’ll take that as a compliment!) I first met Lynne about 8 or 9 years ago through a mutual crafty friend. Lynne is never happier than when she’s covered in ink and glitter.  In fact there can’t be a colour of glitter she doesn’t own!  She is also mad about beads…… but I’m sure she’ll tell you all about that in the post on her blog next week.

Lynne said:
I've been crafting in different ways all my life. I started with card stencils my Gran bought me when I was 5. I've dabbled in many crafts (knitting, quilting, torchon lace to name a few), but these days concentrate on paper craft and beading. There's nothing like sitting down and creating to help you forget all your worries. 

My second tagee is Rebecca, Lynne’s daughter.  Lynne has passed on her creative streak to Rebecca, who has recently started up her own blog.   She’s just added a Followers gadget and would be thrilled to get more followers. Rebecca loves to cook as well as experiment with other crafts, so her blog combines the two.  Although Rebecca’s blog is new, she has already made lots of posts showing a variety of beautiful crafty projects she has made.  

Rebecca said:
I’m Rebecca and I am 24, I have been crafting for approximately 23 of those years! You could say crafting is hard wired into my DNA, my paternal grandma was very creative as is my mum. My favourite crafts include card making and scrap booking, though I have also been dabbling into mixed media lately. I like to learn new crafts, 9 times out of 10 it is my mum who introduces me to them, and I often return from a visit to my parents armed with lots of new ideas and a bag full of materials so I can play to my hearts content. When I’m not at my craft desk (or doing boring every day things like the washing!!) you can probably find me in the kitchen, as cooking is my other main hobby. Recently I decided to combine both of these passions into a blog (I have only been blogging for a little under a month) in order to meet some like minded people.

Finally, I would like to introduce Maarit.  I first met Maarit online when I found her lovely blog through Pixie’s Crafty Workshop and she was kind enough to agree to become one of my followers.  I love visiting Maarit’s lovely blog as it has lots of inspiration with her many different styles of cards. Every time I visit her blog there is always something different to see.

Maarit said:
First of all, I'm delighted and honoured that the talented Liz asked me to be her tagee and join the Creative Blog Hop. I love her creative projects, they are very inspiring, at the moment I'm thinking of how to make lovely book marks.

I've always been crafting as I find it relaxing and it gives a lot of pleasure. It's perfect after a busy day at work or when health issues take their toll. When I craft I forget about outside world and there's nothing more amazing than to give away something that you've made and see the receivers delighted look. The bin gets the disaster creations!

Please visit my tagees' lovely blogs on Monday 8th September, when they will be making their post for TCBH.

And finally, remember........