Sunday 31 January 2021

Your Challenge Cards


Good Sunday Morning Ladies, 

I hope that you are all warm and dry on this damp and chilly day,  we had to do an 'Essentials ' food shop yesterday, I was gobsmacked at how many people were out, large family groups too, they weren't challenged at all either in Sainsbury's or Aldi, so they aren't being as strict as they were last Lockdown.  It rained pretty much the whole time we were out, the standing water on the roads around here is terrible and the river has flooded that bad that there is no visible land mass as far as the eye can see in either direction, its flooding across acres and acres of fields, we have never seen it this bad, it will be worse today as it rained pretty much the whole day yesterday,  we will go for a walk and take some photographs nyter on, weather permitting.  No sign of the snow that we were forecast yet, have any of you had any? 

You have all gone to great lengths to create some amazing 'Man ' cards for this weeks challenge,  I think that it's quite clear than none of us can say that we struggle to create cards for men, you all created incredible examples,  just look.................


Sonia has designed an amazing card for her husband Mark,  it couldn't be more perfect with Mark being in a band, I love how you have used the Honeydoo Splat stamps.

Sonia's Description: 

Here’s my challenge card.
I made it for Mark’s birthday. I used the ‘paint splodges’ stamp from Honey Doo on the slimline base. The main image is ‘Vocalist’ by AALL & Create. I added two stamped hearts and the sentiment strips which are from Tracey Hey.

Such an amazing card, thank you so much Sonia for taking part XXX 


Two fantastic cards for this weeks 'Man' card Challenge, I would have put money on you using these amazing papers Janet,  these papers are so perfect for Masculine cards. 

Janet's Description:

My first CC for this week is made from my latest purchase from LABLANCHE and the theme is TRAVEL.

My second CC is made from STAMPERIA of course and titled VAGABOND.

Thank you so much Janet for two inspirational Challenge cards XXX 


Now  I think that this is first for our Challenge, 2 of you using the same papers!! What are the chances?!  Cheryl has been tempted to join the 'STAMPERIA ' appreciation group that both our Janet and Lilian belong too !! 🤣😂

I totally see why you live them though,  such incredible papers with so many layers of detail.  I love the design you have created Cheryl. 

The papers Cheryl has used is called 'Sir Vagabonds' by Stamperia. 

Thank you so much Cheryl for taking part in this weeks challenge XXX 


Three amazing Challenge cards from Maria, oh Maria I love your first card, it's hilarious!  

Your second card is completely different, featuring a lovely scene. 

I really love the darling baby elephant following behind his Daddy, such a perfect card for a Son or daughter to give their Dad. 

Maria's Description:

My first cc for men is from Crafts u print, decoupaged and a
red ribbon.
Second card is from Honkeydory, used the papers that came in the pack.
Have quite a few of them so trying to make some cards up.
On the third one I used a peel off sticker from my stash and not much else
as it will be sent for my dad I made it flat as possible.

Maria you have created some amazing designs for this weeks Challenge,  thank you so much for the inspiration XXX 


Michele has created a brilliant 'Man' card for this weeks Challenge,  this must be a card for a 'distinguished gentleman ' as it features wine and not beer!! 😉

Michele's Description:

The topper was one I’ve had in my stash for ages, embossed background is the 4 symbols of a pack of cards. 

What a great embossing folder to have in your stash, another brilliant 'Man' card, thank you so much Michele for taking part. XXX


Two amazing cards from Karen for our Man card Challenge this week,  the designs are completely different and highlight Karen's ability to turn her hand to so many different techniques.

Karen's Description:
Card 1:  Just finished a cc
It is a variation of a retirement card I did years ago on Serif originally inspired by a card I saw on Pinterest 
My original had the “grass” all over the place and had ugly lines across it Kept thinking there must be a better way of doing it and Create a “punch” instead of trying to cut it I think you talking about Mel H and punches inspired me I also added 19 (the club house) to the flag It is all simple shapes ie triangle oval rectangle in various shades of colours and the grass/golf balls from a digikit Sentiment printed too

Card 2:
Here’s a 2nd cc It is a card inspired by one I saw on Jamie Rodgers video showing Pixie Sparkles 
I used Pixie Powders instead with SW Happy Birthday and balloons on a smaller card base than his At first I didn’t want to use silver mirri but it works

Thanks so much Karen for two very inspirational cards for Men, that Pixie powder background is AMAZING XXX 


Lilian has used different techniques to create her Challenge card for this week’s 'Man' theme.
I love the cute shabby looking cat in the foreground with the grasses, Lilian has then created some hills and then stamped the Tree line in the distance, what a brilliant idea to add the Hot Air Balloons floating above the trees, it really does look like the cat is watching them! 

Thank you so much Lilian, such a brilliant card for a Man of any age, thanks for taking part XXX


Sue has made a fantastic card for our 'Man' card Challenge.  
I really love that embossing folder you have used Sue, perfect for Male or female cards.  Sometimes its the simplest designs that are the best. A real clean and simple card in a really classic colour combination. 

Thank you so much for taking part in this weeks challenge Sue, I know you have had a busy week XXX

I am as always incredibly grateful to each and everyone of you dear friends, for going out of your way to create amazing cards for this weeks challenge,  thank you so much ❤ 

Have an enjoyable Sunday my lovelies,

Love and hugs to all of you, 


Saturday 30 January 2021

Mixed Up Saturday


Good Saturday Morning Ladies, 

I hope that you Ladies are all well and enjoying the weekend.  

No review from Michele this week so I have done one featuring my Simply Cards &Papercraft Magazine.   We also have some Gorgeous Wreaths to look at from Cheryl, so without further delay....


Cheryl finished off the Wreaths she has bedn making for Fiona, I am totally blown away by these stunning wreaths,  how amazing would your front door look with one of these,  I wouldn't want to take it down!!  

Cheryl kindly shared a close up of the beautiful Ribbon and pearl centre piece that adorns that beautiful bow,  now I remember you making these Years ago Cheryl,  the look really fiddly but oh boy do they have the WOW factor!! 

Fiona is very lucky, you don’t buy them like that in the shops!!  I honestly think that you could sell these and makes decent money for the Cardiomyopathy Charity.  Thank you so much for sharing your inspiring designs with us XXX

Sandra's Magazine Review

This months Issue of Simply Cards & Papercraft  features some lovely Spring themed Free Gifts and lots of Inspiration.   As you can see above there is a good size embossing folder,  some layering flower dies and some Sentiment stamps.  All for £6.99 which isn’t bad compared to some magazines,  although I do remember it being £3.49 a couple (probably 10 🤣😂) years ago!! 

This is the first feature using the magazine Free Gifts, some lovely card ideas for all occasions. 

This feature uses Nesting dies to to die cut a stamped image leaving some of the design outside of the die cut shape. I remember Sue Wilson doing a feature on it years ago. It's really effective and adds interest to your stamped images.  

Storage Solutions are the theme of this feature,  Helen Griffin has a great YouTube channel too.  If you want a close up on the 'How To' let me know and i will send it you. 

This feature focuses on creating 'Spring ' themed cards using a selection of stamps by 'Taylored Expressions '. There are some lovely cards, I really love all the blues and yellows.  

This feature shows that the free gifts with this months Issue can be used for so much more than making cards.  I really love the Gift Bag. 

Now this is a different technique, its called 'Spotlight Diecutting '  it works really well with stamps that have matching dies, so you would create a stamped background then choose an image that you want to be the focus of your card and die cut it and raise it up on foam pads do that it stands out from the background (similar to our Eclipse cads).  

The idea of this feature is to encourage you to step away from making flat everyday cards,  they still fold flat to fit in an envelope, they look quite simple to make, they make quite an impact too,  I love the nautical one, perfect for men!! 

The designer of these cards explores different embossing techniques, the card featured above,  has a regular embossed background, the focal point in the centre is a die cut Circle that has been put in embossing folder and ran through machine,  then all the detail of the tulips is added by colouring them with  colour pencils.  There is another card has used the 'Letterpress' technique, another card has a background made up of little square and rectangular pieces of scrap card that have been run through the free embossing folder, the pieces are then arranged onto the background leaving even gaps between the pieces.   Another has a die cut frame (cut first and then emboss) run through E Folder and 'voila' you have a pretty embossed frame. 

.These cards are all 'X' shaped, they look so different and lovely from every angle, the designer included a step by step instruction guide thats shows you exactly how to create the shaped card.  If you would like to know more just let me know, I can make one up and video it for you.  

There are some brilliant features and techniques in this issue, I really want to try most of the the different techniques, I dont mind videoing my attempts if any of you are interested.  

We have some birthday preparations going on this weekend,  not much else though apart from some Crafting (hopefully) 😉

However you are spending it I hope you have the best weekend possible, I wonder if the snow will make an appearance?@!!!

Sending love and hugs to all of you,


Friday 29 January 2021

Your Next Challenge


Good Friday Morning Ladies,

I hope that you are all well, it's nice to read that you are all getting your Vaccinations done, One thing our Government have got right compared to other Countries, we are ahead of them all I think as far as vaccinations go.  I am hoping that we won't be too far down the list, it would be nice to manage a meet up later in the year if we have all had vaccinations and the cases have come down.  This latest strain has certainly increased the number of people that are passing away from the virus, although they said it doesn't affect people any different to the regular strain, unless it's sheer number of people.  They have said that it is infecting younger people this time and my sister has confirmed that. S, o lets hope that they continue to keep the vaccination pace up!

Have any of you got any plans for the weekend?  Crafting, gardening, exercise??  We will be preparing for the girls 21st Birthday, I can hardly believe that it was 21 years ago, what a shock finding out that we were having twins at 20+ weeks.  I had 3 attempts at an Amniocentesis (where they inject through your abdomen to collect amniotic fluid, the Doctor tried 3 times and got nothing, so I told him to stop, so we were sent for a CVS where they take a sample of your placenta, both very invasive with a risk of miscarriage, but the blood test that I had at 18 weeks showed an abnormally high level of HCG which had I been carrying one baby as they thought would indicate a high risk of birth defects.  What a nightmare that was, after the CVS which we had to travel to Nottingham for they do a scan to confirm that all is still well with the baby, the lady consultant went white and asked us to go to a different scan machine that was more detailed, we obviously thought something had happened to the baby, she had tears in her eyes and said that she was so sorry that we had been put through all of the very invasive tests, she explained that the high HCG count was due to the fact that I was carrying twins, so twice the level of hormones, I wouldn't mind but I had asked my Midwife twice if she thought I could be having twins as my bump appeared at just 12 weeks, by 20 weeks I looked like i was 6 months pregnant. She explained that the babies were lying one in front of the other, making it harder to detect, I still think its bizarre that they were missed on scans at 12 weeks, several times during first procedure and the lady scanned me again to find position of the placenta and then used the scan to guide her needle but never once did they spot two heads! Paul needed to sit down for a minute or too, we were both in shock, it turned out to be a huge blessing, they are the best of friends and always have been, which makes things like being stuck at home during lockdown a lot more bearable for them for one thing!  

Sorry for the ramble but I think it's quite a fun story, although it was a little stressful at the time. 

Your Next Challenge

I thought that we would go for our first TicTacToe Challenge of 2021 this week, I picked one that had some different Options to some of the ones we have been doing.  There are enough categories to cover most occasions.  

Masking - now I am taking this as meaning either Masking off stamped images to build up a scene or multiples of any stamp, like adding leaves to flowers etc.                                                                         OR any kind of Masking off to create inky or patterned backgrounds, so pretty much anything that you would use masking tape etc on a card for.  ( I wanted to explain in case anyone thought it was just for the first option). 

This card for example I used masking tape to cover the void between the two stamped snowflake borders.  

This card used the other Masking where I masked off the daffodils to stamp the Crocus flowers behind.

WINDOW can either be a view through a Window stamp OR an aperture in the front of a card.

I think that all of the other categories are self explanatory, I hope that you all enjoy the challenge, I have some new goodies to play with so I hope I can work them in to my challenge cards!!

Whatever you are up to this weekend I hope that you have an enjoyable one, I think that we are forecast more snow on Sunday, so watch this space.

Stay safe and warm my lovelies,

Sending Love and hugs to all of you,


Thursday 28 January 2021

Michele's Gorgeous Cards with a Hidden Gift


Good Morning Ladies,

The snow has totally gone now, we had a much milder day yesterday with lots of rain, so every trace of the white stuff has gone, not that I mind, I think that a snow covered garden looks so beautiful when is freshly laid snow, after a couple of days it just looks messy and the road out the front looked like slushy mud that sprayed everywhere every time a car whizzed through.  We are due some more but we will have to wait and see if the happen next week.  

Today's cards are Michele's latest makes, the cards themselves are the latest Charity Kits from Christine Emberson, I have to say that I absolutely love them, the flowers are so pretty and in lovely spring colours so will bring a smile to anyone's face.  I like the unusual design with the 'Hi' letters raised on the front similar to an 'Eclipse' style card.  It looks as though you place the letters and then arrange the flowers around them. I love both colourways but I think the Spring colours is my favourite. The extra bonus with these cards is when you open them you find a lovely surprise inside.....

Two Teabags with the sentiment...'For when we meet again', what a great idea to send to a friend that you are missing meeting up with, I would get through a box no trouble, I miss meeting up with all of you, I can wait until we can organise a get together once again. 
Thank you so much Michele for sharing these amazing cards with us, I love both the idea and the Design.  Christine has some incredible design ideas. XXX

I hope that you all stay safe and well my dear friends,

Sending love and hugs to all of you,


Wednesday 27 January 2021

My Second 'Man' Challenge card

Good Morning Ladies,

Here we are at the middle of the LAST week of January, I just can't believe how fast this month has gone, you would think that as we are not leaving the house any where near as much as we would have done 'pre-covid' the time would drag, but no!  Mind you maybe the sooner this year is over and everyone is vaccinated the better we will all be.  I saw that the death toll was over 1,600 again yesterday taking the overall death toll to over 100 thousand, which is unbelievable and just devastating.  This coming Sunday marks a year since the first patients were treated in hospital in the UK.  Despite these frightening figures people still seem to be carrying on as if nothing is happening, my sister was saying that they had people with cameras walking around their hospital asking where all of the 'covid' patients were, saying that this all just a hoax, I said that I would have dragged them to the Covid ward's' and tell them to roll up their sleeves and help, without any protective equipment as it's all just a hoax so they wouldn't need it.  Apparently the nurses and Consultants have been met with crowds of these people when they leave after a long shift, which must just be soul destroying!  

Janet I hope and pray that your Granddaughter recovers quickly, fingers crossed having the vaccine will mean she will have a milder case. It doesn't make it any less worrying though, there isn't a day goes by that I don't seriously worry about both of my sisters who both work in situations that put them at risk, along with our Michele and Sonia who also go out to work in places that could put them at risk, I know that you are all doing everything you can to stay safe but it remains a worry, you are all so incredibly amazing and we all owe you a huge debt of gratitude.

Now onto today's card, a more 'Mixed Media' style card, you know I find getting a 'messy' background to look 'right' so much harder that a non messy background!  I took three attempts to get that inky/messy top corner right, I'm not sure if it wasn't messy enough or too messy but it just didn't lool right.  I found the easiest way to get the right 'splodgyness' was to smoosh the Distress ink (not oxide) onto a cello bag and then spritz it with water and then using the bag to position the ink into the right area and then just smoosh it on, I added the 'Wild Honey' ink first then dried it and then added 'Tumbled Glass'  to the cello bag and repeated the first step. After drying again I used a fan paint brush to pick up some of the wet ink off of the bag and flicking it over the card.  I blended some Tumbled Glass ink along the bottom of the card, stamped some grass and then used Stampin Up 'Misty Moonlight' ink to stamp the first runner and then used second and third generation stamping to give a lighter look to the other runners.  All of the elements used to stamp on this card were from the free sheet of stamps that came with this months Creative Stamping Magazine (issue 92).  

Paul had a nightmare job trying to defrost the car yesterday morning at 6.30am, he puts a cover over the whole car, which was covered in a thick blanket of frozen snow, it was like one huge block but had frozen the car cover to the roof, the doors were frozen shut too, our drive is treacherous as the snow still hasn't melted, it has just frozen solid and was exactly the same as of 5pm yesterday afternoon, the temperature just hasn't risen enough to thaw it, even with the sunshine we had on Monday.  I think that it is supposed to clear over today and tomorrow, we are then forecast more rain and then we have a 70% chance of more snow next week.  The good thing is with his new position Paul can work from home most days so even if he can't get into work he still gets paid, unlike the last time we were 'snowed in'. 

Stay safe and warm my lovelies,

Love and hugs to all of you, 

Sandra                                                                                                                                                          xxxxxx

Tuesday 26 January 2021

Cheryl's 'One Sheet Wonder' Challenge cards


Good Morning Ladies, 

We had a much brighter day yesterday, blue skies and sunshine but it didn't melt the snow, it was bitterly cold all day though, despite the sunshine.  I think I may have to pick up another one of those Oil filled Radiators that I bought last year for my craft room, its a cold room as its on the corner of the house and has windows on both walls, the Radiator worked really well and soon had the room warm, I could have it right under my desk too as it's only small, however, since Sophie has been doing her University work at home she has been complaining about how cold her room is during the day, so I let her use the radiator and of course I haven't seen in since, not that I mind, I know how hard it is to sit and concentrate while you are freezing cold !! I will get another one, I am pretty sure it was around £20 from Home Bargains, I may have to order one on line this time though as we are trying are best to only leave the house once a week/ s weeks for food shopping. 

Today's cards are Cheryl's 'One Sheet Wonder' Challenge cards. I really love the papers you have used Cheryl and those sentiment toppers are so useful to have in your stash.  I also really like the colour theme of these papers, a little bit different for Christmas!

Cheryl's Description:

My challenge cards. Did them in mirror form but used different toppers. Paper from craft sensations Merry Christmas pad, toppers rediscovered old Kanban stock, lace and silver ribbon, silver and purple mosaic tile strips bought in Portugal to do in 2011, SW lattice ribbon die trim xxx
Thank you so much Cheryl for taking part in last week's Challenge, your cards are lovely and I don't doubt that they will fly off of your Sales Table later this year, such a great idea to make some for Charity and package them up nicely. XXX

Did any of you get around to crafting yesterday, I sat at my craft desk ALL day and created NOTHING, I started browsing Pinterest, which I got lost in for at least an hour or two, then onto YouTube to watch some craft demo's, I stopped for lunch with Paul and then did a bit of shopping for Sophie and Lucy's 21st Birthday, I had no idea what to buy them as they are 'Girly' girls that are in to Handbags, make-up, shoes etc, the don't really wear jewellery either, but I managed to get both of them to choose a ring, as I wanted them to have something to 'keep' for their 21st, they asked me what my Mum gave to me for my 21st, I scratched my head and then remembered that she gave me a 'Fruit Set' that she had won on the Bingo !!!😂😂😂 Hilarious I know and no before you ask I am pretty sure I don't still have it!  I did tell the girls that you traditionally get 'The Key to the Door' for your 21st, their faces were a picture!  

I hope that you all stay safe and warm, I believe we have more snow forecast for the end of January and into February, so don't pack your sledges away yet! 

Love and hugs to all of you,