Friday 31 January 2020

Your Next Challenge

Good Morning Ladies,

OOhh Thank Goodness it's Friday!!! This week has been long, I haven't felt great either which hasn't helped, I was feeling too rough to see Pat on Tuesday so that made the start of the week seem so much longer, Sue did come over Wednesday and took me out for lunch, which was a lovely treat and we then went over to our newly discovered Craft Shop to pick up my new stamp, mind you we were stood in there and the lady is like us and loves a chat, which meant that we were both stood for up for over an hour chatting, she (Val) is a really lovely lady, she has 'Open Mornings' on Thursdays when you can go and spend the day at the shop and play with anything that she stocks in the shop, which is the most amazing collection of stamps, inks etc, so I think that would be a fantastic thing to do.
When Sue and I got back in her car though we were both wincing in pain, my knee was hugely swollen the rest of the night.  
I had to be up and showered super early yesterday morning too as Sophie wanted me to go with her to her Physiotherapy appointment for her wrist, I was sat for almost an hour in a very warm waiting room at 8.30'ish and could have quite easily nodded off as I had only about 1 1/2 hr to 2hrs sleep.
Sophie and Lucy then wanted to go shopping for Birthday gifts for each other, so they loaded up my wheels and off we went, fortunately I think I have the only teenage girls that HATE shopping so we weren't out for too long. They both got a few things for each other and I got them a few bits too.
When we got home I could have quite easily gone to bed, but I went into my craft room instead, I think we will have an early night tonight.

Your Next Challenge

Now I don't want any of you to panic about the 'Name' of this week's challenge, as I think that the title can be daunting but actually it's something that you have all done in the past.

So I would like you all to have a go a making a Pretty Vintage/Grunge style card, I have shown you a few examples of cards that I have made above, while I was looking back through my cards I saw at least one card from most of you that would fit that category perfectly.

You could use background dies to create the look like this sort of thing......
There are loads of cards on Pinterest featuring this kind of die so it's worth a browse.

Background stamps, text stamps, florals, using your Distress Inks (both original and Oxide) are great for creating this kind of background.
You could do a blended background and stamp a Silhouette stamp, or different textured stamps, there have been so good ones on magazines this past year.
Adding flowers and lace is another way to get he Vintage look, you could even colour them with Distress inks to make them look vintage (but you don't have to).
I have also included a card that I made with toppers etc that also fits the bill for those of you that may prefer to use those, we all have some vintage one's of those stashed somewhere.
I know that most of you probably don't need me to go through these lists of ideas but I like to in case any of you are daunted by the title.
I will add some more Inspiration in tomorrow's Blog Post too, just to give you some different ideas.

I don't want to get into a 'rut' of doing the same challenges every month, so I am trying to think of different ideas each week, I also want to get us all to step a little bit outside of our comfort zone, maybe to try new things or like the last challenge I think it's good to look at our stamps and dies and see what else we can do with them.
I for one am guilty of seeing a card or project on the internet and ordering the stamp, I will make my version of that project and put the stamp away and not use it again.

I hope that you enjoy the challenge my lovelies, if you have any questions just add them below.


Margaret if you are looking in I hope that you are ok, we miss seeing you in everyday my lovely , Sending you lots of love and hugs XXX

Lynda I hope that you are home from Hospital and fingers crossed on the mend, we all miss you so much my lovely XXX

I hope that you all have a lovely weekend,

Love and hugs to all of you,


Thursday 30 January 2020

Pretty Peony

Good Morning Ladies,

I hope that you are all well, we had a chilly but lovely sunny day yesterday, it makes such a difference.

I have an early start today as I am going to Sophie's Physiotherapy appointment with her, I think that we are all going into town after to do some Birthday shopping, I can't believe that they turn 20 next week !!

Today's card is made using my first attempt at stamping my new Penny Black Peony Stamp, I ordered it a while back and after chatting to Karen the other day I messaged the lady to ask if she had any in, luckily she said that she had one that somebody had ordered and not collected so I grabbed it.
Sue took me over to collect it yesterday and I was itching to have a play as soon as I got home, so I popped it into my stamping platform, inked it up with Memento Sky Blue ink, repeated again and then inked the green and that was it, I absolutely love the stamp, although I admit that using a stamp that doesn't have a full outline was different as you wonder if you have inked it up properly, but I have and I do love the way it looks.
I just added a stamped sentiment, coloured the outside edge of piece of white card with the same ink as I stamped the peony in to create a matching mat, then mounted onto a white card base.
Simple card but quite effective I think.

Oh have any of you been watching the BBC's 'Spy in the Wild' series?! I don't think I have enjoyed a nature program more, the technology that has gone into making those replica cameras is genius, absolutely amazing program.

I hope that you all have a lovely day today,

Love and hugs to all of you,


Wednesday 29 January 2020

A pretty peach and cream card

Good morning Ladies,

Just a quick blog post today as I had a real 'off' day yesterday, I was unable to sleep all night and as a result my heart just seemed to be in one long AF 'Episode' I was just too exhausted to function.
I did make it into my craft room late afternoon to start on my 'In Love Arts' dies.

Today's card is the result of my sitting and having a 'play' with the dies, I used a few different ones to create this card, the flowers were made from a border die.
I decided on softer colours so went with Petal Pink and Very Vanilla, a marriage made in heaven in my opinion! ;)

These were the dies that I used for the decorative part of the card, I really like that border die from the 'Mesh Weaving Die' set.  The flowers were made by cutting the Lace Border die into individual flowers and shaping them into flowers and layering them up.
I used a die cut sentiment as my hands were in no way steady enough to try and stamp!
I laid the Border dies over an embossed piece of Very Vanilla card, adding narrow bits of foam tape for dimension.  I embossed the background piece with a Double Stitched Rectangle die to frame the decorative piece.
I arranged the flowers on opposite sides of the sentiment piece and added some leaves to finish the look.

Fingers crossed today will be a better day for me!

I hope that you all have a good day too,

Love and hugs to all of you,


Tuesday 28 January 2020

My Second Card with Serene Silhouette

Good Morning Ladies,

I hope that you are all well, we didn't really get your sunshine Maria, we had cloud most of the day  followed by rain and then it was dark! 
Although I didn't see much of the weather as I was head down in my Craft room, had another mini-declutter, I found a whole box of card bits and 'Phd's', that I went through and binned most of, moved a few things around to try and make more room on my desk.  I just haven't found the 'perfect' lay out yet and it's frustrating me, I have to say though that when you get busy sorting through things the time just flies by.

For my second 'Serene Silhouette' card I used some Distress Oxides to create a background Sunset kind of thing, I started by taking a piece of super smooth card and starting at the top I blended Fossilized Amber Distress Oxide, (I had placed a post it note circle mask for the moon), I then switched to Tumbled Glass for the main area of the water, I added a little Mermaid Lagoon on the horizon line for a bit of depth, at the bottom of the piece I added some Crushed Olive green to create a bank for the tree. 
I removed my Moon mask and spritzed the end of my yellow brush with water and gently dragged it across the piece, this gives the look of the clouds going over the sun, I did the same with the blue to give the water some movement. 
I then stamped my Silhouette Tree in  Versafine Onyx Black, and added some birds flying off into the distance, I finished by adding the sentiment.
Quite a simple card but I think it works.

Michele you will be in our thoughts today, I hope that you are first on the list my lovely XXX

I hope that you all have an enjoyable day,

Love and hugs to all of you ,


Monday 27 January 2020

Part 1 of my 2nd Challenge card set

Good Monday Morning Ladies,

I hope that you are all well and relaxed after the weekend, ours flew as usual, we really didn't do very much at all apart from little jobs around the house, we did shopping etc on Saturday and Sunday we pottered around in the morning then I went into the craft room in the afternoon and Paul sat and did his accounts.
We then went into the kitchen to figure out how to cook Beef stew in our new Ninja Foodi, (slow cooker/pressure cooker) thing.  Oh what fun!! I have had an old fashioned Pressure cooker for some years but I just couldn't get on with it, it was one that had a weight thing on the top, I used to frighten the life out of me, this new one does all the thinking for you and tells you what to do, it also won't go under pressure if there isn't enough water etc, watch this space, I will let you know how we get on!!

Today's card is the first of two cards that I made using this stamp set, I really like the set, I bought it a while ago from Ebay I think, it's a Stampin Up! set called Serene Silhouettes.
For this particular card I took a stamp from one of my background stamp sets and created the shaded area behind the tree, I then inked up the tree with Versafine Black ink and stamped the tree and sentiment.
To finish the card I matted on to Black card and then placed that onto a white base card.
Super simple but quite effective I think.
Tomorrow's version has a little more colour!!

Today I am going to sit and make the cards using the dies that Inlovearts sent me, I just haven't had any inspiration to use them so far, let's hope I have some today.

I hope that you all have a lovely day,

Love and hugs to all of you,


Sunday 26 January 2020

Your Pattern Building Challenge Cards

Good Sunday Morning,

It's our favourite day of the week again, I absolutely love seeing your cards each week, especially when you have tried something new as part of the challenge as it gives me a real buzz to think that I may have inspired you to step outside of your comfort zone a little bit.

So without further delay....…….


Brenda used a HoneyDoo Stencil to create her Patterned Background, such a lovely colour combination, it looks very 'Spring' !
Brenda added a piece of ribbon, some pretty little flowers and a sentiment to finish her card, I think that when you have created such a lovely background you need to let it be seen!  

Thank you so much Brenda for another lovely challenge card. XXX


Three fantastic, inspirational cards from Janet for our 'Background Pattern' Challenge this week, something for everyone with these cards too.  You are so creative Janet, you are so amazing at switching styles and mixing techniques and materials, which makes your cards such works of art.

Janet's Description:

My first offering isn't a new piece but one I made a couple of years ago using a stencil (sorry I cannot remember whose nor find it now) with Tonic Nuvo Mousse and tonic die cuts.

My second offering is a stamp by Bee Crafty - ART Stamps. The embelishments on it are left overs from wooden model kits.

My last offering is made using LABLANCHE rub ons and covered with glitter for the background/the toppers are also LABLANCHE.

Thanks so much Janet for three inspiring challenge cards XXX


Karen has used a couple of different methods to create her Pattern Built Backgrounds, the first being the Sue Wilson Striplet dies, I will say that I bet most of us have got at least one of these dies that we no longer use, so it's great to have a bit of inspiration to get it out and blow the dust off! 
I love the stencil card too, I love the clear crisp definition between the masked area and the coloured, such an effective background Karen.

Card 1:  I used an old Striplet die called called Quilted Blocks but rather than cut them side by side I did them at right angles and again for a third time creating like a “T” shape so that you don’t get the same pattern next to each other and then added a SW Daisy

Card 2: I used a Honey Doo stencil with Squeezed Lemonade, Spiced Marmalade and Picked Raspberry DO
JL  butterflies
SW sentiment

Two amazing cards Karen, thank you so much for taking part and inspiring us all XXX


Wow, what a majestic butterfly Lilian !! Such a stunning card, I enlarged the picture on my laptop so that I could get a closer look at your beautiful butterfly, I just love the combination of colours that you have used!
Lilian got her Brusho's out to create the background for this card, I absolutely love the effect that you have achieved.
It must be lovely to have your craft room back, it's lovely to have your cards to share thats for sure.

Thank you so much my lovely for taking part XXX


Two fantastic Background Pattern challenge cards from Maria this week, I have to say Maria that you always make me chuckle when I read your descriptions, as you come up with so many genius ideas for when you can't find or don't have what you need for a card, this week's genius hack from Maria is...  if you can't find your embossing folder.....use a Kiwi fruit Net !!
It works brilliantly and is so 'Eco-friendly', well done Maria!

Maria's Description:

On the Hello I used a Kiwi bag as patterned as I couldn't find the 

stencil /mask I needed  

Best wishes is made with TH's coloured background cut into strips

after pressed a water damp small circular stamp all over. 

Thank you so much Maria for two amazing Challenge Cards XXX


Michele has shared 4 great background ideas, all so different too, it's fun to see the Cosmic Shimmer PVA background, I have loads of that stuff in all colours but never think to get it out!!  Hands up how many of you are the same??!

Here is Michele's Description......

1: Owl card is the swirled Cosmic shimmer PVA background.

2 : Hello card is glitter flakes for the background.
3 :Booze card is another inked Embossing Folder (all occasions I think) plus coloured stamped images. 4 : Birthday Card is an ink throughout stencil & an eBay Die from china. Some great ideas for backgrounds there Michele, thanks for the inspiration and for taking part in the challenge XXX
Thank you all so much ladies, such an amazing display of cards again this week. It just shows how amazingly talented you all are, I know that I say it every week but I am so very grateful that you all make time each week to sit and make cards for the challenges I set. If you have any ideas for upcoming challenges I would be grateful for some inspiration. I hope that you all enjoy the whats left of the weekend, Love and hugs to all, Sandra xxxxxxx

Saturday 25 January 2020

Mixed Up Saturday

Good Saturday Morning Ladies,

What are you all up to this weekend? We have a few jobs to tick off of our 'To Do' List, we must not procrastinate this weekend, it's so easy to get distracted and then before you know it the weekend is gone!  Our main job is to sort and take a large pile of boxes to the Recycling Centre (a bit boring I know, we could liven it up by going via Hobbycraft and the Range)!

What do you think of today's 'Crafty Quote', I know for sure that it's spot on for me! hahahah


How adorable is Janet's Crocheted cutie?? What a perfect gift for a new baby or a lovely Easter Gift.
Janet crocheted her from her 'Cute Critters' book.
Janet I think that you may be 'hooked' on Crocheting, I can't wait to see what you make next, thank you so much for sharing her with us XXX

Maria's Holiday photos

Maria has just returned from a trip to her favourite destination in Austria ..Zell em See, I have to say that I can see why you love it so much, the views are just breath taking, it must be lovely to be out in the lovely cool crisp, clean air too! 
Oh my that 'proper' Sachertorte looks divine, I bet it was rich though!
It looks as though you had the whole of the Grand Hotel Restaurant to yourselves, what a feast you have before you, I bet it was delicious X

Maria has kindly given us a description of the photo's.....

1) View from the top of Schmittenhoe over Zell am See.
2) The lake in Zell am See, walk is about 7 miles around. This time we only
walked half around both sides ,to the cafe's for a drink and cake  ☺
3) Bottom of the Krimml waterfalls. Way to icy and dangerous to 
go up further so have to try again one year.
4) Can't go to Austria not to taste their cakes. This is the Sachertorte .
5) Lunch on the last day. Wienersnitzel and parsley potato at the Grand
Hotel. It might be a year before the next one so finished it off in style Lol.

I really look forward to seeing your photos Maria, so thank you so much for sharing them with us XXX

Michele's Magazine Review 

Hi Ladies, 

Diecutting Essentials has a pretty die free this month.

Look at some of the ideas you can create.

Here’s more inspiration using the free gift.

Aren’t these floral cards just beautiful?

I’m sure we’ve all got some border or banner Dies that we could use to create these cards.

I love the idea of these Bridge fold cards and they fold flat for posting-perfect!

That’s all for this week,
Happy Crafting

Love Michele

Thanks so much Michele, some lovely projects and featured techniques in this edition of Die Cutting Essentials,  this is the magazine that I am considering changing to. They have some great features. 
Thanks again for a fantastic review Michele XXX


I had to laugh when Michele sent me this photo, I struggle to finish one card a day, Michele pops into her craft room for a couple of hours and comes out with this lot!! 
Absolutely incredible Michele, thank you so much for sharing XXX

Cheryl's Bargain Buy!

Cheryl bagged herself an incredible bargain when she bought these Arteza Markers, at £80 they were about Half Price!! 
Well done Cheryl you must be over the moon, I can't wait to hear your review on them, thanks so much for sharing your bargain with us xxx

That's all for today my lovelies,

Have a lovey weekend,

Love and hugs,


Friday 24 January 2020

Your Next Challenge.....

Good Friday Morning Ladies,

I hope that you are all well and looking forward to the weekend, I know that I am, this week seems to have been really long.

I had a lovely, therapeutic afternoon yesterday, I sat with my feet up in the lounge colouring the stamped image on the first of the cards above, I think it is one of the most relaxing of all the craft techniques, you can just switch off, I did have Craft TV on in the background but I have found that the presenters seem to irritate me of late so I just ended up switching it off! I wish they would just let the Crafters Craft, I know that they have to sell but we don't need the constant stock updates!  (Rant Over) !

Next Week's Challenge

For your next Challenge I would like you to take One Stamp/Die set and make two completely different cards from it.
Just like I have done above, the first card I stamped the image and coloured it with pencils then I matted it onto card that was similar colours to the flowers on the card.  I was really pleased with how this card turned out, so bright and cheerful.  
The second card was made by stamping the image with Versamark (clear) ink and adding white embossing powder and heat setting.

TIP:  When heating Embossing powder on vellum you must heat only until the powder melts, don't be tempted to do another pass for luck! If you overheat the powder it can crack off!

To finish the second card I mounted the stamped vellum onto a piece of deep pink (Lovely Lipstick) card using little white brads, I added some matching ribbon with a tag with the greeting stamped on it, I popped it onto a white card base and added a bow for finish!.

I can't wait to see what you all come up with for your 1 stamp/Die 2 Ways Challenge.

I hope that you all have a lovely weekend,

Love and hugs to all of you,


Thursday 23 January 2020

Good Morning Ladies, 

Well I was lucky to get today's post up, it was 'touch and go' for a few hours, we had our 'Internet service' switched off for routine maintenance, it was supposed to be between 22.00 on Tuesday  evening until 06:00am Wednesday, 6am came and went, so did 10, 11, 12 etc, so I was starting to worry, I can't use my phone as we don't get coverage for mobiles in this house! I was determined to sort something though as I have never missed a day blogging for anything, Sue came over and I tried her phone to sign into my blog but iPhone have extra security and wouldn't sign me in to blogger!  
The only solution was for Paul to take me McDonald's, I took the photo on my phone and would have have to sit and write the whole Blog Post. Luckily just after Paul got home and we were talking about going out to get signal somewhere, my phone pinged into life, I checked and it was  back on.  
Being without Internet all day made me think, I hadn't realised how much I used it, whether its to pop onto Pinterest for a recipe or YouTube or for looking for inspiration for colour themes for cards etc. 

Now onto today's card....

I took the smaller dies from the Sue Wilson Double Pierced Rectangles to die cut some narrow frames, I used a leftover piece of 6 x 6 paper from a Stampin Up collection.
I arranged them around a 4 1/4 X 5 1/2 card base, I laid them out and cut off any pieces the hung over the edges, some were used to fill in smaller  gaps.
I then found a sentiment stamp that miraculously fit perfectly in one of the Rectangles.  
To embellish the card I made some simple flowers with the Stampin Up Petite Petals Punch and matching stamp set, I used Berry Burst ink for a pop of colour.
It's completely different for me but I really like how it turned out. 
This pattern building Challenge has been really fun!  

Sue came over yesterday, we had a lovely crafty afternoon, with cakes of course! Sue was making her Groovi Challenge card, pattern building with Snowflakes  while I played with my rectangles! 
Thanks Sue for a lovely afternoon xxx

I hope that you all have a lovely day,

Love and hugs to all,


Wednesday 22 January 2020

My Groovi Card from January Class

Good Morning Ladies,

I hope that you are all well, we had a very hard frost to start the day, it was a lovely bright day but chilly, in fact the back garden didn't really get the sun so stayed frozen solid all day. It was lovely to see the sun though, it did highlight how dirty my windows were though!!

Today I am sharing with you the card that I started at Groovi club a couple of weeks ago, I will confess that I had no idea just how much work goes into completing a design like this.!  The lovely Ronk Langton creates the designs for us to copy, they are all so beautiful, she is a very talented lady. Before going to a Groovi class I looked at the plates as though they were one whole design in themselves but now I look at the different elements that make up the plates enabling you to combine bits from different plates, which is what this design is, we used the same plate that we have taken the flower from for this design for our December card (that I haven't quite finished ), meaning you get your money's worth out of every plate.

This design started with us Embossing an Octagon in the centre of the parchment, we then took the flower element with its leaves and little white berries and added that to the inner and outer of each side of the Octagon, this made up the main part of the design, the butterflies were from the same plate as the flowers, we didn't emboss them this time, we didn't want the white edge so we put the plate under the parchment and drew the butterfly freehand lightly following the outline. It gives a much softer look I believe, we then filled in the colour on both sides of the parchment, being VERY careful on the front! Colouring both sides really enhances the richness of the coloured pencils. We had to go back and emboss the white dots a few times between doing the different stages.  
Once all the colouring was complete we moved on to the border...….

I have shared this image so that you could see the border in more detail, you have to line the edge of the inner box with the line of dots on your Grid Plate, (which is what has taken me so much time as my eyes are clearly rubbish and in need of a new prescription). Once lined up you emboss each dot individually for the first row, then the second row you emboss every other dot to give a pretty pattern.
The last and most time consuming element is Picot Cutting the whole piece out of the A4 piece of parchment, to do this you line the outside line of your piece with a line of dots on the grid, makes sure is straight (which I found a tricky, probably because I doubt myself too much)! Once lined up you go around with a 'Two needle' perforating tool, placing the longest pin into the last whole of the previous piercing (this helps with straightness and spacing of the holes).  After you have gone all around, you take your Snips or Scissors and cut between the holes to create the 'Picot' edge.
It looks so effective,
I finished my card by colouring some gemstones and adding them to the centres of all of the flowers and to create the bodies of the butterflies.  Oh and I added the 'Happy Birthday' to the centre, I was so worried that I was going mess up on this last hurdle, but I didn't !!
I love how it turned out, I hope you like it too, I would 100% recommend Groovi to everyone, it's a lot of work but the results are definitely worth the time and effort you put in!

Pat came over yesterday and after we ate lunch we both got down to some serious Groovi work, Pat was finishing the card we made in Decembers Class, it was nice to have the 'Expert' on hand for advice!  Thanks so much for coming over Pat xxx

Hoping to see Sue today for some more crafty fun !

I hope that you all have a lovely day, Hugs on their way to those of you in pain xxx

love and hugs to all of you,


Tuesday 21 January 2020

Another 'Pattern Built Background' card

Good Morning Ladies,

I hope that you are all well, I am pleased to tell you that the Radiator that we bought works like a dream, I popped in to the Craft Room and switched it on before I went to clean work tops etc in the Kitchen, made myself a cuppa, by the time I went to sit in there it was at the perfect temperature, not so hot that I needed to take my cardigan off, just a comfortable working environment, which is a huge improvement. 

Now onto today's card...

Another totally different style of card for me, I have to say that this one was a bit of a 'labour of love', in that it had a lot of elements and they were all hand coloured. Not that I minded I popped some music on and played happily!
The first thing I did was to emboss a 4 1/4 X 5 1/2 inch piece of card with the Couture Creations 'Tied Together' Embossing folder.
This gave me the basic outline for my 'pattern', as it has a good repeating pattern to follow.

The next step was to colour a piece of card with some Distress Oxide inks, I chose the same colours that I used for yesterdays card as I loved the blend, it was bright and warm at the same time.

I didn't worry too much about blending them perfectly as I was going to be die cutting from this piece.
I used an old Impression Obsession multi flower die that I have had for years, its great for die cutting a large number of flowers in one go (36) in fact!  I made sure to get some flowers in each of the three colours and some of the blended areas too, so that I could make the pattern a gradual blend from light to dark.
So next cake the long process of individually picking up each flower and gluing it into place, making sure to get the shades correct.
I did think that the flowers would be all that was needed but that embossing folder also leaves a natural space to add gemstones at the point of all of the diamonds, adding crystals just didn't look right so I found some pearls that were the right size and reached for my Stampin Up Blends in colours as near to the Distress Oxides that I could get, I used...Daffodil Delight, Pumpkin Pie and Calypso Coral, I blended a couple of the colours to help with the gradient. As you can imagine this took my some time to complete.
Then came the time to add them to the background, I found the easiest method was to add tiny spots of glue to each of the gaps and them add the gems in diagonal rows according to the colour.
I did worry at first that it all looked a bit much but I think that because the pearls are the same colour as the flowers (or there abouts) it kind of blends in and continues the colour pattern, where adding plain gems would have broken up the design.
I was then left with the 'Sentiment Dilemma' once again, I didn't want something that obscured half of the background, so I went for a similar idea as yesterday's card.
I die cut the 'Love' & 'You' dies 2/3 times in black card and layered them up, I then double embossed them with clear embossing powder for a lovely glossy finish (although it doesn't really show in the photo'!
I hope that you like the idea. 
I also want to say that using an Embossing Folder made building a pattern so much easier, so if any of you are struggling give it a try, a few of Sue Wilson's E Folders would work for this method.

Pat is coming over today so I will clear my desk ready for some 'Groovi' Fun !!

I hope that you all have a lovely day, however you are spending it.

Love and hugs to all