Friday 30 September 2016

Frugal Friday and Baby Oscar

Good Friday Morning Ladies,
I hope that you are all well, sadly the weather being a little miserable, but on a positive note that means we can stay in the warm and dry and craft!

A change of plans for us today, Paul and I are off to Colchester to visit my Mum, we were going on Saturday but Paul's shifts have changed, so we thought that we had better go today, fingers crossed that the traffic ok on the M25.

Now onto today's 'Frugal Friday' feature...........

Michele's Fantastic 'tissue box' card

Michele sent this card in for me to share with all of you, believe it or not this card is made from the cardboard from a Tissue Box!!!!  What an absolutely genius idea Michele, some of the tissue boxes are really pretty so I can see this being a really useful tip.  I would never have guessed that you had 'upcycled' a tissue box to make this card, it would make a fab man card too.
Michele's other tip is to use the round 'cheese boxes' ..........

Decorated, they make perfect boxes for round cards, you can cover the box to match the card you have made. A brilliant idea as round boxes aren't easy to make.

Another of Michele's ideas is to use the plastic that comes with some stamp sets as acetate sheets.

I use Acetate sheets to make my own masks, I die cut a shape out of a piece of acetate and use this to ink through, its how I made all of my Bokeh backgrounds, simply die cut several different size circles out of a piece of acetate and ink away, you can make single use masks from scrap card too.

Another tip from Michele is to use the resealable bags that come with magazines etc to store your die cuts in. 

Thank you for you fantastic ideas Michele xxx

Lynda bought these absolutely gorgeous paper pads from the 'Pound Shop', they are so lovely and
200GSM too, so not cheap flimsy paper. such beautiful designs too, 8 designs in each pack, 4 sheets of each design.  An absolute bargain for sure Lynda, thank you so much for letting us know about them xxx

Now I have something to bring a smile to all of your faces.........

Karen us sent us some photos of her gorgeous little Grandson Oscar, the first photo was taken about a month ago, the last two were just a few days ago, can you believe that Oscar is now 5 months old, the last photo is of Oscar with his favourite toy Lion, you can tell from his face how much he loves it.  
Such a happy little boy, I bet you can't help but smile when he's around.  
Thank you so much Karen for sharing your adorable photos with us xxx

Thats all for this week ladies,

Sending love and hugs to all of you,


Thursday 29 September 2016

Well its Thursday, so here's another Beautiful Pleated Card

Karen's Beautiful Pleated Card

Good Thursday Morning Ladies,
 (It is actually Thursday isn't it)?!  I feels right as I saw Pat yesterday so we are all back to normal now!  It was lovely to just sit and chat for an hour or so, we had a lot of catching up to do. It's just a shame Sue wasn't with us, she was on Granny duties today, which means she was having great fun.

Now onto today's gorgeous card, Our Karen went to have a look at my Tutorial on YouTube and decided to have a go, Karen I love the beautiful paper you have used and how you have matched the gorgeous lace perfectly with your card, your sentiment works perfectly too.  Such an amazing card, every element is perfect.
Thank you so much for sharing it with us Karen,  Tricia will absolutely love it. Xxx

I will be looking for some ideas for 'Frugal Friday' today, I have a couple of ideas already.  I would love to hear your any ideas you have too.

How are your challenge cards coming along? I can't wait to see what you all come up with. 

Janet emailed yesterday, she is still feeling weak and exhausted, fingers crossed she can turn the corner soon and start feeling brighter, we all miss you immensely my lovely xxxx

Val, I hope you arrive home safe and well today, looking forward to hearing all about Croatia xxx

Anne, how a wonderful, relaxing time xxx

Have a lovely day ladies, wrap up warm though, I think its going to be chilly, I will admit that we had our heating on on Tuesday evening, I can't bare being cold while sitting around, I don't mind cool bedroom though.

Sending love and hugs to all of you,

Wednesday 28 September 2016

Another Challenge card to inspire you

Good Morning Ladies,
I thought today was Thursday, probably because I usually get to see Sue and Pat on Wednesday and not Tuesday, sadly Sue couldn't make it, hoping to have a catch up with Pat later today.  After our very late night/early morning we will be having a lazy morning I think.
Now onto today's card, I used the Brittania Small Rose/multi flower die, available from Pink Frog Crafts, to make the three roses, I love how cute they are!
I then die cut the Impression Obsession Leafy Branch die for foliage, using the lovely 'Shades of Green ' paper pad that Brenda gifted me, such a useful little pad when it comes to cutting foliage.
I decided to use the Spellbinders Detailed Scallops die cut to place my floral spray on, I added a matt of the same pink card that I used to make the flowers and the cut Spellbinders Romantic Rectangles as my card base. A tiny pink bow adds the finishing touch to my floral spray.
I hope you like my card and that it gives you a little inspiration for this weeks challenge.

Sending special hugs to our dear friend Janet, please get in touch if you can xxxx
Hugs to you too Sue xxxx

Love and hugs to all of you

Tuesday 27 September 2016

Anniversary Cuteness from Sonia

Good Morning Ladies,

I hope yesterday's challenge doesn't have you too befuddled!!!
I have been desperate to share this gorgeous Anniversary card that Paul and I recvieved from our Sonia, you just can't beat a Lilli of Valley image for 'cuteness',
their stamps are just so adorable, my only wish is that they still did the Art pads as I am not too accomplished at colouring, I can manage the basics but despite watching many tutorials I can't get things like hair to look realistic, I watch with envy as people make dresses look like they are almost moving with the amazing shading skills.
Sonia teaming this image with the dark grey and using a silver grey for accents was genius, it works so well, drawing out the colour of the little lad's suit and shoes.
I love the little 'Happy Anniversary' embellishment too, it looks like its handmade, you are such a talented card maker Sonia!  We both loved your card, thank you for your kindness xxxx

I had another blog post idea yesterday, "Frugal Fridays" , I would like to feature things like card making ideas using scraps or leftover bits of card, money saving ideas, upcycling ideas for gifts etc, storage ideas. Basically any ideas for saving money, leaving more for stash, has to be a win, win, right?
I would like it to be interactive so we can all share ideas, whether its a money off code or sale on somewhere, down to your frugal crafting ideas.

We have a busy day today, Paul is sleeping off nights, Sue is coming over to play, we then have to collect Sophie from her 'life drawing' class (this is her second class, I am hoping she will have gotten over the embarrassment this week, she did make us chuckle when she said "but mum, he is just so confident", I can't wait to see her finished piece, she is doing some incredible portrait pieces at the moment).
We then have to be at Gatwick between 12 and 1am to collect Becca & Josh from their holiday.  Paul did say that I didn't have to go with him, but I would rather go along, just to keep him company and make sure he doesn't nod off, for my peace of mind really, plus if I didn't go I would sit here getting myself into a right anxious mess!
It just means it will be about 3am before we get home.  Paul is off on Wednesday though so we can have a lazy day.

Pat, I will be thinking of you and Pete today, its going to be a tough day for both of you, try and stay positive, sending you huge hugs xxxx

Janet, I hope all is well sweetheart, sending huge hugs to you too xxxx

Love and hugs to all of you,

Monday 26 September 2016

Monday Sketch Challenge, Happy Birthday Cheryl

Good Morning Ladies,
Happy Birthday Cheryl 

Firstly today I would like to wish our very dear friend Cheryl a very Happy Birthday, I hope you are having a wonderful day with your family and friends xxxxxx

This week I thought I would do things a little differently as far as the challenge goes.
I thought I would have a 'Theme' rather than an actual sketch, it gives you a bit freedom.  
The 'Theme' I have chosen for this week is 3's, it could be 3 flowers, 3 hearts, squares, 3 anything! 
I have added a few sample sketches below and I have also created a board on my pinterest with "Triple themed cards" 

My 1st  Sketch Card 

We will try this for this week, if you prefer the usual 'one particular sketch' we will return to that next week.  Just let me know which you prefer. Or I could do a mix of the two.
I am looking forward seeing what you come up with!

Sending love and hugs to all of you,


Sunday 25 September 2016

Sketch Challenge Cards

My Challenge Card

The Sketch

Anne's Challenge Card

Lilian's Challenge Card

Lynda's Challenge card

Michele's Challenge Card

Sonia's Challenge Card

Margaret's Macmillan Cake Sale

Good Sunday Morning Ladies,

Our Sunday Challenge card sharing is upon us once again, not so many this week as we have some of our ladies on Holiday and some under the weather, Margaret has been too busy baking as you can see above!
But the cards that we have to share are stunning, so without further a do..........

Anne, I see you have made the start on the Christmas cards, I just adore this cute Santa image, skiing down the hill with all of that snowfall behind him, clever use of background papers there Anne.
Thank you for taking part xxxx

Lilian, Such a pretty card, I love that flourish that you have used for your focal point, the three blossoms look so pretty, like they have just burst into bloom right there on the branch, love the pretty papers you have used at the bottom too, thank you so much for taking part xxxx

Lynda, ooh a lovely lacey card from you for this challenge, love those pretty papers too, did you make the flower? which die did you use?  I am experimenting with different flower dies at the moment, trying to find the perfect die and paper, thank you so much for taking part xxxx

Michele, a lovely Christmas card from you this week, I really like the image on those papers, they look striking lined up like that, very contemporary! (long word for Sunday morning) lol ! Thank you for taking part xxxx

Sonia, I love, love, love that Merry Christmas die you have used, who's is it? the papers you have used are gorgeous too, I love the peach/gold coloured one the best, but like the blue one too, thank you so much for taking part xxxx

Now onto Margaret's Cake sale, oh my goodness those cakes look so yummy, I bet there weren't many left, If there were put my name on one and I will make a donation!  
Margaret had a very busy morning, Sue and Gemma helped out too, they raised an absolutely amazing £261.45 so far, they still have some money to come, that is just incredible Margaret, you must be over the moon, all of the money raised will be going to the Macmillan Cancer Care and Support Charity, such a worthy cause.  Thank you so much for sharing your great news with us.

I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday, sending hugs to you all,


Saturday 24 September 2016

Mixed Craft Saturday

Good Saturday Morning Ladies,
Another varied range of crafts for you once again this week, first up is the beautiful Cross Stitch Anniversary gift that Margaret made for Paul and I, it is beautiful and we were so touched by your kindness Margaret, such a beautiful keepsake.

Our Beautiful Anniversary Gift from 

The next few photos are of my first attempt at creating some flowers with my new 
Tim Holtz 'Tattered Florals" die.
I die cut about 8 of each

coloured them with Distress ink on both sides
Then spritz with water

The Results

Close up (my favourite)

Lynda has been playing with some more background designs, using Pixie Powders on the first two

These second two were made with Mica paints that Lynda painted on in stripes, then covered with cling film and scrunched, it looks really effective Lynda, I
Look forward to seeing what you create with them all.

Thank you Lynda for taking the time to photograph and send them to me to

Lynda's card for Terry's birthday 

That's all for this weeks mixed crafts ladies, I hope that you all have a lovely weekend.

Janet, sending you huge hugs, hope you are well on the mend xxxx

Margaret I hope you have a great turn out for your coffee morning, I am sure that anyone that knows how good your cakes are will be queueing to get in!!

Love and hugs to all,

Friday 23 September 2016

Guillotines, Trimmers & more shopping......

Good Morning Ladies,

We all buy the same type of tools at some point along our Crafting journey, whether its something as simple as Scissors, of which there are thousands and as many bad as good, or die cutting machines.  So I thought that it would be good to share some of our experiences with different brands of machines and tools, it would then be a good reference guide for any of us thinking of buying new tools or upgrading.
I will give my experience on each tool we feature but it wouldn't be anything without your experiences too, so please add your favourite make of tool and why you like it.

This weeks we are featuring : Guillotines and Trimmers

The Trimmers I have used over the years are .........

The Xcut Guillotine (small)

This was my first Guillotine style cutter, I still use it today for smaller jobs, my only problem with this cutter was its size, I found it frustrating that you were so restricted lengthwise, apart from the size I haven't really had a problem with the Xcut Guillotine. Bearing that in mind I moved on to ..........

The Tonic 12 x 12 Guillotine

I upgraded to the larger 12 x 12 guillotine after being frustrated with limited size of paper I could use in the XCut, for about 3 years this Tonic Guillotine worked well, its handle and ruler extension fit underneath the guillotine, making it easier to store and take with you to craft in classes or with friends. 
However after about 3 years my cuts become more and more 'wonky', no matter how many bits I trimmed off, I started with a 10 x 10 inch piece of card and end up with a wonky postage stamp!  Paul took the handle off and reattached and tightened it and it seemed better but within a few cuts it returned to cutting a wonky line, if you look at it closely you can see that the blade is bowed slightly, which is what is causing the problem, so this one is now retired! It cost me about £39.99 at the time, which isn't cheap.   I then went on to try .............
The Xcut 13 inch Guillotine

I only had the Xcut 13inch trimmer for about at month at the very most, it had a frustrating issue, the handle/blade tightened with each cut, so after a few cuts I had to get paul to use an Alan key to loosen the handle, so frustrating ! 
In desperation I went for .............
Tonic Super Trimmer 

How frustrated I was with this trimmer, it cost be about £20 and the first few cuts were fine, one frustrating point is that you have to remove the  scoring blade if you are cutting a 12 inch piece of paper and the cutting blade if you are scoring a 12 in piece of paper!  The major issue though is that after about 15 to 20 cuts the 'v' blade blunts, giving a 'fearhered' finish to thicker paper and it just wrinkles and tears thinner paper, I ruined many pieces of paper with this tool! 

The Cutterpillar Pro

This is my latest Cutter, The 'Cutterpillar Pro', it was a birthday gift from Paul, (I think he got fed up of hearing me complain about ruining paper and card)! 
Obviously it is a lot more expensive than the other cutters featured above at £119  but I have wasted what this one cost on rubbish trimmers before!  
So far so good, it has a lifetime guarantee on its blade, which is said to sharpen itself with every cut. Its a good size and the the cutting is very easy. 
I will update this review in a months time, to see if its still performing as it should.

Now I have a review from Karen on her experience with Paper Cutters.....

 - I have a very old X-cut guillotine which I bought from a closing down sale It's OK but you cannot line up for prcision cutting very easily - your pleat card being a perfect example for lining up the cutting line and sometimes it doesn't appear to cut squarely.
I also have a Fiskars A4 trimmer which you can line up really accurately for the cut line but doesn't cut at all well. I think I've binned it because I was going to take photos of them both and can't find it!

Thank you Karen, I think your review goes along with what I have said above.

Lillian's Trimmer Review.......

Hello Sandra, this is the trimmer that I use now, it's by fiskars, I had the old model for years but this new one has a fine wire so you can see exactly where it's going to cut.
I bought it at the range a couple of years ago,can't remember exactly how much about £25 if my memory serves me right.

I had the very expensive cutterpiller bought which cost an arm and a leg, saw Mel on C&C selling it, and thought it looked good, but really don't find it any near as good as the fiskars , teach me not to take to much notice of selling on tv. The only draw back with the fiskars is that you have change the blade quite frequently.

Hope this helps, I have had many others , too much to mention as they weren't much good.

Thank you Lilian, I have a friend down the road that uses this Fiskars trimmer and she swears by it, she also finds the guide wire very useful, she doesn't use it very often though.
I am interested to read your comment about the Cutterpillar Pro, what is it that frustrates you, I tried to ignore the fact that 'I couldn't wait to bring this trimmer to you' Mel was selling it, I bought a Cricut cutting machine under her influence, I have seen her contradict herself so many times now, even Paul laughs when he sees her on screen, I don't doubt she puts the work in getting to know machines, I just find her a little hard to believe, I guess she is a fantastic saleswoman though, I'm sure a good many of us have bought a punch or machine after a 'Mel' sales pitch.
So far I haven't had any issues but I haven't had mine as long as you.

I would love to hear what the rest of you have experienced, so please leave your comments below...

Now for some more Craft Shopping ............

Anne's Craft Shopping

Anne you have bought some lovely new dies, the basic rounded corner rectangle dies are so useful, for either cutting apertures, making frames or creating a basic shape,
The Sizzix Tim Holtz Trees and Thinlits Background dies are fabulous, I am really looking forward to seeing how you use them, I love the Flower Garden stamps too, 
Having flower heads and stems separate is so useful, you can use the stems as extra foliage, grasses etc, the heads stamped individually can be cut out and decoupaged, again I look forward to seeing what you make with them. 
Thank you so much for sharing your shopping with us xxx

My other shopping......

I had some birthday money to spend when we got back from holiday so here are a few bits I bought.......
The Crafter's Companion Nordic Christmas Time Embossing Folder, I was inspired by one of Val's Christmas card to buy this folder, I love its clean, crisp look. 

The inkyliscious Winter Bauble kit, I saw this a few months ago on their website, they had a link to their blog, showcasing this technique, I was hooked there and then, I bought this just before we went away, its surprisingly easy to use, I love it.

I have wanted a Window die for months now, I think that you all know that as I have mentioned it more than once, I originally wanted the Memory Box Madison Window, well I think they must have discontinued it as I couldn't get it anywhere, I looked at many different ones but decided that the Tim Holtz Bigz Window was the one I wanted, I got this one for £10 on eBay. The Tattered Florals Bigz die is one I have had on my wishlist for years, it was on sale in Hobbycraft £10, so it went in my basket !

Now the last 3 photos were all 1 bargain purchase!!!, after Sue and I had spent a few hours browsing Pinterest I noticed I that my eye kept being caught by the Inkadinkadoo Grasses Silhouette Stamp, so I set out in search, I found it on eBay butvas part of a bundle, I 'ummed and aarghed' for an hour or two, but it only had three hours left, I decided I wanted it, I liked the butterflies too, so decided that I would bid no more than £18 which would be the cost of buying the two individually.
I put my bid in and waited, (it was on £8.50 when I started), much to my surprise I won the auction and call 8 sets cost me £13.50 !!! A real bargain. 

Please feel free to share your shopping with us anytime, just email me the photos.

Have a lovely day ladies, sorry for the huge post !

Love and hugs,

Thursday 22 September 2016

Playing with a new technique

1st attempt

 2nd Attempt

about 6/7th attempt

Good Morning Ladies,

Not a brilliant card today I'm afraid, but I got so carried away playing with different inks, glitters etc, adding more detail and even having a go with the "fluffy puffy stuff",
Which I 100% recommend it's much fun, I can see it being used for so many different things too. 
The kit to you need to have as go at this technique comes from,  a British company with a fantastic range of stamps, fantastic quality stamps too, they invented the 'inkyliscious Ink Duster" which is a double ended brush that you apply ink with, they blend really well, very easy to use too. 
To achieve the subtle blue tinge I added Colour Box White ink first then brushed over the top with Adirondack Denim in 1st attempt and on attempt 6/7 Paris Dusk Memento ink pad. 
I absolutely love the effect, the idea is absolutely genius, its very addictive too, I just kept playing, looked up and it was 10.39pm, I started at about 6.45, I looked round and saw I had two totally cold cups of tea, that's how engrossed I was. 
I have the larger log cabin so I may try that today and make a larger template/mask by cutting a piece of acetate with one of my spellbinder Bauble Dies, fingers crossed it will work.  I will let you know! 
I know a few of you have this kit and I would love to see what you have made so far.
I ended up throwing this card together so I had one to share with you, not one of my best! 

Totally unrelated subject now, Sue this will make you smile!  
When I got back from Pat's yesterday Paul had just got in from the Allotment, he was fed up as he had gone into the Fruit cage and got some squashed raspberry on the arm of house T shirt, (why he was wearing one of his best 'cream' T-shirts is beyond me), anyway as Sue and I were chatting he came down with his dripping shirt, he had tried using some handwash detergent to remove the stain, apart from turning the stain purple/blue it had done nothing, so I quickly checked on Pinterest for tips on removing raspberry, the first one I came across said simply.....
Hold the stain over a bowl
Take a kettle of boiling water
Pour boiling water over stain

So I did just as it said and watched the stain disappear before my eyes, Paul and I were both totally gobsmacked, you can't even see where the stain was!  
It works for all fruit stains, so simple, yet so effective!

Tomorrow I am hoping to do a review/buyers guide to paper trimmers/guillotines,
So can I please ask for your input, I will put up my trimmers and my experience with them, I have a review from Karen too, you can either email me your experience of trimmers and I will add it or you can add your thoughts in the comments on the day.
I think it will be helpful for someone buying a trimmer, I have recently and boy did I have a nightmare and ended up wasting £35 .

I will do the same thing a couple of times a month, please  let me know if there is something in particular you are interested in.

Have a lovely day ladies,
Love and hugs,

Wednesday 21 September 2016

A Perfect Card for a Crafter and ......more Ally Pally Stash !

Michele's Perfect Crafter's card


Pat's Craft shopping

Karen's Craft shopping

Good Morning Ladies,

We had a fairly smooth journey to Gatwick and back, thankfully, I did laugh when Becca left it until they were just about to walk off to say "oh Dad our flight lands at midnight next Tuesday, is that OK" !!! So it looks like we are picking up too! 
It was lovely to see them both so relaxed, although Josh still struggles with his nerves about flying.  He did relax eventually Becca said when she messaged me to say that they had arrived safely. 
Now onto Michele's fantastic card, what a perfect card for any crafter, be it knitting, sewing, card making or anything! I love the verse on the front, its very true in our house, I used to get really wound up if the dusting wasn't done and the washing up wasn't done straight after dinner, but with time I have learnt that it really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things!  Who wouldn't rather be doing something the love over housework? ! 
I love the combination of pretty papers that you have used on this card Michele, they all work so well together and match your topper perfectly.  The card insert is the perfect finishing touch to the card.  I would make lots of these as they sell like hot cakes on your stall. Thank you so much for sharing xxxx

Pat's crafty buys from Ally Pally are up next.......
Pat has bought some lovely coloured card stock, some pretty glitter card too, Spellbinders Tag die set and a pretty set from Leonie's Collection.  A lovely A4 Christmas Embossing Folder, some lovely new plates for the Groovi Plate, one being Sentiments which will be really useful. I love the Snowflake Vellum you have bought Pat, last of all some pretty gemstones.  A lovely collection of goodies Pat, looking forward to seeking them in action xxxx

Karen's buys up next........
Karen it looks like you spent up at the Creative Expressions bought the lovely New Baby card collection, giving you a fantastic collection of dies to create some lovely baby cards, good for baby's first birthday too! I see Some Gilding Polish too, I have the Green and love it, lots of pixie powders to play with, I hope you like messy crafting! I see you picked up some of the bargain Spellbinders too (ovals and butterfly/dragonfly), Sue's Christmas Rose, that pretty Star border, Noble Rectangles and a pretty Rose die.  cosmic shimmer glue, paper pad and self adhesive pearls complete your shopping.  You did really well, it sounds like you had fun too, Sue was swamped with fans for most of Saturday too, apart from that it was easy to navigate around the show. Thanks for sharing Karen xxxx

Anne you mentioned Tutti Designs dies yesterday, I have seen them for sale at Oysterstamps and Crafts u love, just type in "Tutti Designs UK", they have some beautiful designs, very much like Memory Box and Poppystamp Dies too! 

Sue and I are off to Pat's to craft today, its been a couple of months since we all sat and crafted together, we will be looking at each others new goodies I think.

Gentle hugs to Janet and anyone else feeling 'under par' xxxxxx

I hope you all have a fun day, 

Love and hugs to all,