Monday 15 April 2024

My first Clean & Simple card for this challenge


Good Monday Morning Ladies, 

Wasn't that a lovely weekend?!  We spent the whole weekend out in the garden,  we got loads done, I filled two raised beds with strawberries,  then another with some Raspberry canes that Paul bought from Manor Lodge,  the rest of that bed was filled with onion sets, both Red & White and Garlic. 

Paul filled another two beds and then we decided where to put all of our bargain rockery plants, we picked them up at a garden centre back in February,  we got about 15 of them, all reduced from £4 to 50pence, then we have a family card that gave us another 10% off !! we have had them i  tne greenhouse since and they are thriving,  so I decided where they were going and Paul put them in, they are on a steep banked up rockery which has loose rocks, no place for my wobbly legs!!  We potted up our Clematis and put those where they are going to grow too.  We rounded ofc the afternoon with a visit to Bill & Lynn's next door,  they have three new additions to their small holding that we were dying to meet,  they have bought 3 Alpacas,  oh my goodness they are so adorable, they are just getting used to their new home so we didn't get too close,  it will be lovely watching them grow and learn to live with the miniature ponies.  

After that long day Paul and I were looking forward to bedtime!!  I hope that you a had a lovely weekend too. 😍

I made this card on Friday,  its a 'Pinspiration' card, I loved the simplicity of the one flower, which is a stamp from a set I've had for years called 'Tasteful Textures'.  I stamped the flower and cut it out and popped it onto a black mat that was 1/4 inch bigger, now came the tricky part ...working out exactly where to score the rectangle onto the card front to frame the focal piece, I did work it out after the second attempt though, it was worth the extra work though, as it finishes off the look really neatly.  Thank heavens for clear stamps and stamp platforms too, otherwise that sentiment would never have happened!! 🀣  I really liked how it turned out.

I hope that you all have a great start to your week, 

Love and Hugs to a of you, 

Sandra xxx

Sunday 14 April 2024

Your Spring Challenge cards


Good Sunday Morning Ladies, 

We had such a productive day yesterday,   Paul got the first 4 raised beds filled and finished,  I planted up two full beds of strawberry plants,  so fingers crossed we should get a good harvest of strawberries this summer.  Paul continued sorting the beds and then cut the grass,  we will have to get a more robust mower as it took four lots of battery chargers to just take the top off the grass,luckily I bought 2 batteries when we got the mower, so we can charge one while using the other!  I needed to sit down so I moved on to potting on some larger seedlings and sowing a load more, Kale, Tenderstem  Broccoli and sone long peppers and sweetcorn.  I was glad when it was bedtime!

Your Challenge Cards 


Karen's Description:

When we were in B&Q at the weekend I picked up some Valspar paint samples I’d forgotten how I used to pick these up when I was working in the office nearby and created this card
DL style I cut JL butterflies and embossed them I added the white butterflies as on their own they looked a bit flat Some Glossy Accents dots Daisy B sentiment with glossy Accents on the heart

I forgot about using the paint swatches too, such a brilliant idea, It works so well with this style card too, you can't go wrong with an ombre effect, especially in shades of purple😍
I really love that sentiment style too Karen.                Thank you so much for taking part XXX  
I hope you are having a lovely time with the boys x


Lilian's Description:

Hi, here is my card for this week.

Chocolate Baroque stamps. Zig pens. Background is broken China, speckled egg and a green.
Fussy cut after colouring.

Lilian thank you for creating such a beautiful card, those tulips have been bought to life with your colouring,  I love that central panel of ink blending,  it really draws your eye in.  
Thank you so much for taking part my lovely XXX 


Maria's Description:

Card 1: 
I used a stamp from temu, coloured it in with Spectrum Noir and put it on some papers in my stash. Also used some spare crystals 😊

The second card is made with some paper from Lapashe, have plenty more in a box. Did a little bit of decoupage and a few bling from my stash finished this quick card off.

Maria I bet Rick loved his card, I especially love the little bear holding the chocolates 😍
Your second card is gorgeous,  those flowers look like you could pick them off the page,  funny your Bee is in exactly same place as Lilian's!!  
Thank you so much my lovely for taking part XXX 


Sonia's Description:

I stamped an AALL and Create small background stamp in milled lavender distress oxide. I die cut the lavender and inked with milled lavender and shaded lilac oxides. The photo negative frame is from JoyCrafts I think, and sentiment stamped in shaded lilac from The Stamp Market.

Such a pretty card Sonia, that Aall&Create background works so perfectly behind that negative strip die cut,  the lavender stems are the perfect addition,  bringing that delicate touch of colour without overwhelming that pretty background.  I love that Stamp Market sentiment too.

Thank you so much for taking part my lovely XXX 


Thanks for a wonderful display ladies,

Love and huge hugs to all of you,

Sandra                                                                    xxxxxx 


Saturday 13 April 2024

Mixed Up Saturday


🌷  Some of our beautiful Tulips 🌷 

Good Saturday Morning Ladies, 

How true is that quote !  I think we all buy things after being inspired,  they then sit in your 'new basket' while you try and remember what it was that inspired you! πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

Nothing exciting planned today, apart from gardening,  Paul is getting through the huge pile that Bill dropped off last Sunday, then he has the other 2 tonnes to deal, bless him, i wish i could help!  I can do the sowing and planting but thats my limit.  It frustrates me more than you know!  

On to something I can do .......

Creative Stamping Magazine 

Issue 133

Now I no longer subscribe to this magazine but the stamps that came with it really appealed to me, that large vintage typewriter is gorgeous!  I like butterflies too and all of the little background stamps, the Love, Friend & Flower definitions are really sweet.  I find myself drawn to a lot of Lou Collins designs. 

Spray Inks:  Sarah Phelan guides you through the different effects and techniques you can acheive with Spray inks.

I love the idea of using the stencil to create the Emboss Resist technique,  you can see the effect it gives on that first card. I will add the step by step below...

Its surprising how different the sprays can look depending on how you use them.

I don't usually share that features that are just adverts for new stamps, however I do really like Julie Hickeys designs and a lot of these cards and techniques can be done with flowers that you have in your stash.  
That first card with squares could be done with old SW stamps, you are just creating mini inky backgrounds for the flowers to sit on, it's so effective.
OR:  you could just use 3 of those squares down a DL card for a Clean & Simple challenge card πŸ˜‰ 
The second card by Marion Emberson is alsona great C&S card, using embossing powders to colour the line art of the stamp! 
The third card background really shouts to me, they have used a brayer to add acrylic paint to a piece of card (you could use ink)  then allow to dry and add a layer of white Gesso brayer it evenly and allow to dry, it gives a grainy kind of texture thsy looks so effective.  I have now started to write these things on post it notes, otherwise by tomorrow I'd forgotten that I wanted to try it !!

Mel Jess has focused on the Butterfly elements in the stamp set to create some lovely cards for different occasions,  they are all so different in styles, on the second card you can see how fantastic that little dictionary page stamp is.  

I have zoomed in on the step by step for the 'Over the Edge' card technique for you.

That inky background with the vellum butterflies looks fantastic.  I'm not a so keen on the last one though.

Masterclass:  Double Exposure or Split Stamping...

Basically one image shown in to different ways,  it can be a mirror image or 1 stamped image split into two different looks.   You can use any stamp, the best ones to use are larger images such A floral sprays ir background stamps.
You can stamp the same stamp twice onto different coloured card and line them up, or stamp each half with different colour ink pads,  you could colour one half keep the other plain. 
There are a few examples above.

Lorraine Lowe has some lovely ideas for cards for men using the free stamp set.  

Oooh there are some lovely ideas in this feature,  Nicky Gilburt shares some great techniques pushing you out of your comfort zone with colouring.  She uses distress inks, Watercolour palette, markers & Oxides.  All of the cards are amazing,  you could also do this in a journal and really go wild with the colours.

Dig into your craft stash and collect bits and pieces to create collage style cards with your stamps, little bits of lace, ribbon, torn bits of paper, flowers,  buttons, to create layers of prettiness.  These cards are so lovely.

Mixed Media projects means anything goes,  you want to add lots of texture, anything tactile gives a lot of interest,  so you can have rough texture paste on the background and soft silky ribbons and lace on the same project.  I really do want to create one of these, I recently bought some crackle medium and some grit pace to have a play with, which would be perfect for these projects.

And finally we have Clean & Simple projects perfect for our challenge this week. 

I really think this feature is worth the price, the stamps are decent quality and the stencils are lovely.   There is lots of inspiration too. 


I hope that you all have a lovely weekend,

Love and hugs,


Friday 12 April 2024

Our Next Challenge


Good Friday Morning Ladies,

Are you all having a heatwave??  It's forecast to be 18 degrees today, I guess we will find out,  I hope that is the case as Karen is off to the seaside this weekend with the boys, having it warm enough to play outside on the beach etc would make such a difference.  

We have a bit of a dilemma, we really wanted to go out and get some jobs done in the garden yesterday but Paul let the cats out early yesterday morning and milo went over to look in an empty big blue plant pot that I had placed on some steps, his tail was wafting like he was super interested so Paul went to have a look, inside was a little bird, so Paul quickly got the cats in and hung about to see if there was a Mumma bird around, thankfully there was it kept coming back to feed the little one, we are guessing that the wind has blown it out of its nest, how its ended up in the plant pot we will never know,  I have my doubts about its survival, as it isn't in a warm cosy nest, we don't want to intervene as we don't want to scare the mumma bird away!  fingers crossed the feed it until it can fly away, we may have to tip the pot on its side though to make it easier for it to get out but sadly the cats are housebound for the next few days.

Our Next Challenge

I suggested a few options for our next challenge, Karen chose  'Clean & Simple' , we haven't had that as a challenge for a while so will be nice to strip things back.  You can go for whatever your interpretation of 'Clean & Simple' is, there are no hard & fast rules.

I look forward to being inspired by all of your designs,

I hope that you all have a lovely Friday,

Love and hugs to all of     

Sandra                                                                     xxxxxx

Thursday 11 April 2024

My new stamp


Good Morning Ladies, 

From a wet, wild and very chilly Gloucestershire,  we had to put the heating on last night, we haven't needed it for the past few weeks, but you could definitely feel the drop in temperature yesterday. Lucy and I had a day out, did some shopping and had lunch, its lovely spending 1 on 1 time with the girls, on Friday Sophie is taking me to a food festival, which sounds amazing. 

While browsing on Pinterest I came across a couple of cards that I absolutely loved, I did some research and found that the stamp was Taylored Expressions Sketchbook Bouquet,  I received it yesterday late afternoon and couldn't wait to play with it.

All I did for this card was to stamp and die cut the flower bouquet, I stamped onto watercolour card so that I could choose any medium to colour with,  as it was after 4pm when I got in from shopping so I wanted something simple to create, I took my Zig Clean Colour pens and added Colour to the centres of the flowers and washed the Colour out, I went for Kraft card, I drew a rough rectangle with a fine liner and added the stamped flower on foam pads. Its simple but pretty. 

I hope that you all have a good Thursday,

Love & hugs to all,

Sandra xxx 


Wednesday 10 April 2024

Purple & yellow flower trellis


Good Wednesday Morning Ladies, 

I spoke too soon about the wind dying down on Monday,  the birds must have had to pavk their bags and hibernate for another couple of days, the wind was gusting more yesterday than it was during the storm at the weekend.  We had rain too, quite heavy at times, which isn't helpful when you have a huge pile of soil on your drive way! 

I set out to get a few cards made yesterday but most of the day I had either Becca or Matt on the phone, I have to say I am absolutely loving how Becca's wedding is bringing them closer, Matt has always worked for a chap that does event Lighting,  sound etc so he has contacts for marquees and all sorts, he is buzzing with ideas and Becca is loving how enthusiastic he is, which really warms my heart.  

For todays card I took a couple of Tim Holtz Wildflower dies and coloured them with my Zig Clean Colour markers, I cut down a full size trellis die to create a narrow piece of lattice,  I placed ig on a piece of Core'dinations card which gave a little bit of texture, like a trellis on a wall.  I then added the flowers and stamped and chopped up ny sentiment.  I do really love the purple and yellow together!  

I hope that you all have a great day, 

Love and hugs to all, 

Sandra xxx

Tuesday 9 April 2024

Pretty inky flowers


Good Morning Ladies, 

From a very calm and quiet Gloucestershire,  I almost hadn't noticed that the wind had dropped, needless to say there isn't much blossom left on a
our cherry tree, it was lovely to hear the birds chirping again,  I do wonder where birds go when its that windy??  We did notice some nesting in our fir tree hedge, while we were down there yesterday, it be lovely watching their progress, we have a super friendly Robin that was having a great time collecting all the bugs and worms from the freshly dug soil that Paul was filling the beds with. 

Yesterday seemed a really long day, Paul and the girls were all at work, so I was up early as Paul doesn't like me attempting the stairs while nobody else is here,  in fairness I feel exactly the same, they are a huge string despite the easy lay out, I have stumbled a few times, particularly on days when I haven't slept well, I really struggle to hitch up my right leg enough to move it forward.   So I was up dressed and ready before 8am yesterday,  we were expecting the delivery of the top soil too, he came around 9am, he did a great job, the lorry was huge and he was excited to show me how close he had managed to get to the fence, bless him he was a young lad, very polite and funny, I gave him praise which seemed to make his day!  The next few hours were painfully slow,  I painted my nails with a kit that gives like a gel nails effect without the price or the damage to your nails, my nails were all cracking and almost peeling, they were so short they were sore, now they have a hard protective layer over them, that's hard and lasts a couple of weeks. 

I then got on with todays card, I used a Dutch Doobadoo stencil 'Hessian ' I believe, with some Mowed Lawn DO, I varied the amount of pressure so that the ink was lighter in some places.  I matted my background onto a SU Polished Pink' mat and then onto a white card base.
To make the flowers I took some off cuts of a watercolour card and die cut the flower from Tim Holtz Wildflower die set, I used the Mowed Lawn again, smooshing it into a into a non stick sheet, spritzed with water and dipped and dried a few layers onto my flower stalk, building up the colour while trying to keep the watercolour look.  Next came the flowers, 

I smooshed Kitch Flamingo and Picked Raspberry DO's into my mat and spritzed,  a did a few layers but wanted more of a textured look, the Kitsch Flamingo and Picked Raspberry seemed to just blend together, so I remembered that I did a project a while back where I combined Distress Ink with Distress Oxide, so I got my Picked Raspberry Distress Ink and smooshed that onto my mat and spritzed it, I wanted to try and pick up the tiny little dots of ink that you get when you use non stick mat, (it doesn't create dots on glass mats).  I made sure my flowers were dry and then ever so gently lowered them down onto those pretty pink dots, i barely let the flower touch the ink, I quickly dried them to fix those dots before they disappeared,  I dip another dip and then stopped. The flower centres are made using the original Flower Soft'  I have had it since it was first shown on C&C easily 12+ years ago!  I quite like the texture it gives it does look quite realistic. 

I fiddled around until I was happy with the position of the flowers and then glued them down,  I stamped a quick Tim Holtz sentiment, which worked well with the flowers!  I am really pleased with how it turned out, especially the flowers! 

This lovely background was created by me using a piece of smooth card for 'mopping up' the ink left on my mat, i think it highlights how well Distress inks work with Oxides! 

I hope that you all have a good day,  

Love and hugs to all,

Sandra xxx