Saturday, May 31, 2008

Bubbly Funk Sneaks 1

I've got a few sneak peeks of the new Bubbly Funk Kit to share over the next couple of days. You don't just get some fantastic papers and coordinating card in your box, oh no! you'll also find a wonderful assortment of inspiring bits and pieces to really fire up your creativity. There will be things such as chipboard, ribbon, buttons, brads, stamps, inks, etc plus maybe a little "off the wall" something or other, just to get you thinking.

Kits usually appear on the Bubbly Funk shop site at the beginning of each month for pre-order and to whet your appetite, then the boxes are posted out around the 15th of the month. Buy the kit and you get access to the e-mag too; imagine a craft mag which is updated every few days with news and views, tips and tricks, ideas and reader's gallery and you'll get a bit of an idea what it's all about.

Anyway, enough of the sales pitch. Hope you like these sneakie peeks of the things I've made for the kit this month.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Time Flies

Thank goodness the sun has come out again - I was beginning to think it was going to rain for ever.
We had a lovely Bank Holiday weekend despite the rain though as we had a houseful of visitors for part of the time and it was great to see them, especially young Sam who is now 2 and as bright as a shiny button.

It did mean that I didn't get as much ticked off my crafting "to do" list though, so I've been busy the last couple of days trying to catch up. There's not much I can share for now though, but I thought I could show a LO for one of the Cricle Journals I'm involved with;
Something else I've just done for the Bubbly Funk Kits Blog is a little tutorial on how I made this flowery doodah with the May kit.
If you were lucky enough to get that particular Box of Delights you're probably having a whale of a time thinking up your own ways of using the wonderful array of items and papers you received, but if you do have a few scraps left, please have a go at making one of these flowers and let me know how you get on!
I'll be able to put some sneak peeks of the fab June kit on here soon - it goes on sale as pre-order in the next couple of days, so keep an eye on the Bubbly Funk shop if you want to be on the receiving end of one of Caroline's fantastic kits - and get access to the e-mag too.
I'm also going to tempt and tease by saying that I'm now in possession of the rather scrummy JULY kit - oh, I'm soooo lucky!

Last up is a sneak of another little project I've just finished - I just love these fabby Fancy Pants papers, in fact, I love them so much I've nearly used them up!
Thanks for looking, please pop by again soon

Friday, May 23, 2008

Beady Bonanza

Another Daring Cardmakers Friday and this week it was Sue setting the dare. Bless her cotton socks, she picked one of my favourite things for us to play with too! Thanks Sue!
I’m sure that most of us girlies had a bead box when we were little and if you were like me, would spend hours sorting and swapping them with friends. Come to think of it, things haven’t changed that much because I still have a box of beads and I’m hoping that you do too.
For my dare this week I would like you to make a card that incorporates beads somewhere in the design…’s as easy as that! It can be one bead, lots of beads, big beads, and small beads, whatever you like as long as there’s at least one on your card somewhere.

I like beads.
I like buying beads.
Sometimes I even manage to make bits of jewellery with them (though it's been a while, I must admit)
Most of all I like them just sitting in their clear boxes catching the light and looking pretty!
I thought I'd share some pics of my bead collection
So the bigger beads live in these boxes - all colour-coded. Yes I know I'm sad. The 1st box on the bottom row houses my sterling silver beads and findings and the 4th one has my gorgeous Swarovskis in it.
The tiny seed beads and little Czech glass pretties are in the bead pots and the old biscuit tin houses other beads and overspills!

I had an idea of what to do for this week's card, so it was a bit of a surprise when I went through all these beads and found that the one colour of tiny beads that I seem to be short of was the one I needed. Typical. I've got a couple of card commissions to do for July, one for a Silver Wedding and one for a Diamond Wedding. I wanted to use this dare to make the Silver Wedding card, and I wanted to use the beads in Glossy Accents technique that I've used to make flower centres in the past - but with a heart filled with tiny silver beads. It took ages to find enough tiny silver beads to fill this Cuttlebug heart and I think a bit of shopping is now in order. The numerals are Robo cut - several layers stuck together to get enough thickness to hold silver embossing and UTEE powders, then mounted on a layer of black. Other stash; Tiny rhinestones. silver card, Cuttlebug 2 part heart die and gorgeous ribbon from Ribbon Oasis. Please check out the DCM blog and see all the other fab cards. We'd love you to hoin in with our beady challenge this week, and you don't have to use lots of your treasures - just one teeny tiny bead will be enough to qualify! Now the last pics from that mini album

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ouch, and more album photos

ohhhh I've just given myself a paper cut opening a new pack of black card and it hurts....:(
I'm cutting some numbers with the Robo to make a Silver Wedding card and now I'm bleeding so I think I need to go and cover the cut before I bleed all over the card.

The "b" on my keyoard is playing silly eggars and only wants to work if I give it a good hard bash - see! So you'll have to forgive me if I forget to hit that particular key hard and some words look a little odd!
I've struggled this morning just to wake up, and now inanimate ojects seem to have it in for me too.
Paranoid? Me?

Here are a few more photos from the mini alum I made for Nick

Now I'm off to tend my wounds and make another coffee. Definitely a need for caffeine around here.....
Take care, thanks for popping by (woooo it worked that time....)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sweet Branch BIA Album revealed!

I heard from Nick yesterday to say her Blog Candy had arrived safe and sound, so now I've got something I can show on here - I've not been a very busy blogger lately, so I can spin this one out for a few days if I'm careful. hehehe

I wonder if anyone guessed from the sneak peek I gave of the ribbons and fibres on the spine of the book which papers I used to make it?

Well as I received the new Crate Papers collection "Sweet Branch" the other week and hadn't had a chance to play with them, obviously it had to be number one choice. Ohhhh they are so pretty, the colours are all soft and subtle, what a joy to use.

I made another little album for Nick. It's along similar lines to the others I've been doing, with little double page LOs, one side for a photo and the other for some journalling; that's the idea I have in my head when I make them, but obviously how they are actually used is up to the recipient!
I decided to get the Bind It All out to make this one - this is the first time I've used it to make an album. I learned a little lesson too - you should always check that the page(s) you're making the holes in are pushed right down to the bottom before you pull the handle down and punch through........ooops! Ah well, I also discovered a pretty way to rectify my mistake. Whoever said Necessity is the Mother of Invention was spot on!

Anyway, I'll add some photos here and over the next couple of days to show the whole thing. I hope Nick enjoys filling it up, and I hope anyone popping by will like what they see.

Thanks for looking, please leave a message, its such fun to hear from anyone who pops by

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Great British Weather 15.05.1697

I gave this fascinating book (“The Wrong Kind of Snow”) to hubby as part of his birthday present. It gives interseting facts, little stories and all sorts of bits of info on our crazy British weather for every day of the year.

I meant to post this on the right day, but completely forgot, never mind its only a few days late and! This is especially for Sue
15th May

The severest hailstorm ever to strike Britain, according to the Tornado and Storm Research Organisation (TORRO), strikes Hitchin and Offley in Hertfordshire today in 1697. On the TORRO Hail Scale (a sort of Richter scale for hailstorms) this storm is graded H8 out of a possible 10. Several British Hailstorms have been graded H7 but this is the only one to make the magic H8 – though how a storm can be confidently graded three centuries after the event is a little hard to understand. The hailstones are up to 4 inches (110mm) in diameter – about the size of tennis balls.

(from “The Wrong Kind of Snow” by Antony Woodward & Robert Penn)

Friday, May 16, 2008


Seems like our lovely couple of weeks of gorgeous warm, warm sunshine is over and its a return to wet and chilly. Joggers and sweatshirts have come back out of the wardrobe - I'm just hoping that wasn't the whole summer! Friday is Daring Cardmakers Day and this week Mel has set a fun dare for us all
I've based my dare on the book by Graeme Base called 'Animalia' (just because that book happened to be sitting near my desk when I realised it was my turn for the dare this week).
So, all you have to do is create a card featuring an animal.
I was a bit stuck for an idea and for a while I thought I might even have to actually use those Cuttlebug animal dies that I've had sitting, unused in the box for ooooh must be a year now! Also in the dies box I found that QK cute little lamb die (the one Em hates.....) and then I noticed the QK little doggie one, also never yet used to make a card and I had a lightbulb moment!
Well, the doggie die still hasn't been used but here's the card it inspired me to make I based the card on my handbag, so here are both the real and the card version posng together! It's a pretty simple design, I used two shades of pearlised card, some eyelets and some gel pens to make the bag. I just drew a mini version of the original doggie, then used a tiny silver brad for the eye, and ribbon and a split-ring from my beading stuff to make his collar and lead. There are all sorts of animals featured on the Design Team cards this week and I can't wait to see which, and how many different animals the darers manage to get onto their cards this time. Pop over and visit the DCM and take a look, and hopefully you'll be inspired to have a go your self too

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Quick Blog Candy Update

I've just finished making Nick's Blog Candy prize and thought I'd post a teeny weeny sneak peek before it gets parcelled up and ready for popping in the post box tomorrow.
I'll show proper photos when I know its arrived safely at the Purple Penguin's abode ;-)

I had a lovely time making this, I love the colours. I hope Nick likes it as much as I do!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Garden Photos and a Pair of Old Boots

I was pretty busy with craft stuff last week and thought I'd got up to date, but I've jsut found that theres another little thing I need to do for one of the projects before I can move on to the next. If I get on with that as soon as I've done this post then I can get on with making Nick's prize for winning my 40,000 hits blog candy (see posting below)
Anyway, having spent most of last week indoors making stuff, and missing a lot of the fab weather we've been having, I made up for it over the weekend by spending lots of time in the garden.

Since we moved here a couple of years ago, lots of the plants we brought in pots have either been waiting to go in the garden, or waiting to be repotted - poor things have been quite neglected.
Last Spring we concentrated on clearing, levelling and seeding the wilderness at the back of the garden. This year we've been treating the palms, acers and cordylines to huge new pots - poor things did look a bit desperate for more space.
Still need to repot those blueberries at the fron of the pic
Most of the stuff that was only in pots temporarily is at last in the ground, and over the last couple of weekends I've repotted all my herbs.

We're starting a veg patch this year too, so we've been busy with planting seeds and repotting seedlings. Neither of us have grown anything edible since the "cress seeds on blotting paper" everyone does at school so we'll just have to wait and see what happens. Might be thinking about something else to do with that patch of ground next year!

This photo shows the "new" grass, a bit of the veg patch and in the foreground part of the new shrubs and flowers bed we started last year.
I love this ceanothus which is just near the kitchen patio, the colour is amazing, this photo is pretty poor really though. I must have another go before the flowers go to seed.
The doors from the lounge lead onto a little patio and the picture below shows the bed near that - there's a little fountain in the pebbles and the bird feeding station is here too. That's my favourite acer in the bottom left corner

This little bit of patio is sufficiently "out of sight to have become the dumping ground for broken and empty pots and other junk. I made a special effort yesterday and tidied it up and even swept it - then took a photo to mark the occasion - so yes, this is the "after" version, I'm not showing the "before" one!

Getting back to craft stuff, this is another card made with the new Crafty Templates "Action & Adventure" set. I've called this card "Biker Boots". I used the leather effect black card from the Goodies kit plus some glossy black card to make this. I tried to give the boots a "used" look by swishing over the leather card with the Brilliance "Starlite Black" inkpad.

All for now, thanks for popping by

Monday, May 12, 2008

And the winner is....

Nick aka The Paper Penguin is the winner of my little template draw.

I've started making your prize Nick so please contact me with your info so I can get it in the post as soon as it's done

Thanks to those who left messages and especially to those who made a card with my little sketch - I really enjoyed seeing your cards, they were all wonderful

Be back soon with a proper post

Friday, May 09, 2008

I knew that would come in useful!

Its Daring Cardmakers Day again.
This week we have a team dare for you ....and we have been looking at Recycling once again. BUT there is a tiny twist! (you'd expect no less eh?) We want you to have a look at old shop bought greetings cards, wrapping paper or gift bags which you have received in the past and recycle any elements to make a card of your own.
You could use them to make backgrounds, cut small focus pieces out, or use the flowers, ribbon and other interesting bits and pieces that are often attached to the cards.

So there you go! Simple eh? So come on join in and reuse, go green, start recycling!

Phew! I didn't even start my card till last night, and of course I felt the need to do some "tweaking" this morning but I got it onto the blog with about 15 minutes to spare so not too bad really!

I do tend to keep shop bought cards that have interesting bits on them; glittery and shiny bits are fab for die-cutting and you often get a nice bit of ribbon or a flower or some other "might be useful one day" embellishment. Well that's my excuse for hoarding such stuff anyway!

I found a card in my box which had several cupcakes on it - they were all the same size, but different colours and with different "toppings" and glittery bits on them. I've used a few to make this card, layering the various bits up with 2D foam. Oh, and I used another card to recycle the pink background pieces too.

Of couse I had to use the BG Cupcake paper pad too!
The little foam flowers came with an SA Kit a month or so back, everything else is from my stash.
I really wanted to make the greeting from words cut from old cards too - in a sort of ransom message fashion. But none of the cards in my stash worked in the right way. I should have saved more of them..........

This is a really fun dare as there are all sorts of bits and pieces you can recycle and use in your own way. Plus its a really good excuse for being a hoarder!

There are some great cards on the DCM blog, and more info on the various personal blogs. We'd love you to join in and show us your recycling ideas too

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Gone Fishin'

This is my fishy card made using the new Crafty Templates set.
This month's theme is "Action and Adventure" and is full of ideas for making those "man-type" cards. Not only does Leo provide fab templates, but she also puts together a Goodie Kit each month to help get the most out of them

Leo's templates are very adaptable and a great way to get those creative juices flowing. By subscribing to the template kit you not only get all the downloads, but you get lots of ideas from Leo and the team to get you started.

I've been really busy today but have finally finished the project at the top of my list. So now I need to get going on a card for tomorrow's dcm challenge or there'll be no card from me to show!

Blog Candy
Don't forget, tomorrow is the last day for sharing your cards for my blog candy draw - see below for details....

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Crafty Templates Time Again

Wow, the weather here is gorgeous - we've now had several sunny and warm days in a row!
Last weekend was a Bank Holiday weekend - sort of May Day, but not on May 1st iykwim

On Saturday we drove over to visit Hubby's bro and family in Hampshire. This means braving the M25 which is never fun and tbh it does mean we don't meet up as often as we probably should. The journey over wasn't nice, the motorway being in tedious, very slow, just-a-great-big-car-park-really mode, but it was lovely to eventually get there and spend some time with BiL, SiL and our nephew - our niece was away at a Brownie camp so we didn't see her this time. We went out for lunch to a local pub and it was nice enough to sit outside to eat. The three of them all have birthdays this month so we let them open their presents early once we'd got back to the house.
Sunday was quiet, Hubby was helping out at an archery have-a-go at a fete in one of the nearby villages. I didn't get the crafting done that I'd planned - but I did think about it......
We spent Mondy in the garden, continuing in our efforts to get things straight - though I doubt we ever will! More veg planting in our new veg bed, more re-potting of things that have outgrown their old pots, and more re-potting of my herbs. I bought a few new ones at Chesters Walled Garden when we were in Northumberland at Easter and they are big enough to put in proper pots now so I sat in the sunshine and did that for a while.

Among other things I've been working on Design Team stuff for the latest Crafty Templates set. The new set has lots of blokey ideas to help out with that dreaded "got to make a man's card" moment!
Here's my first one
It'll be perfect for our eldest nephew's birthday in September (nice to get ahead.....). He's a Newcastle Utd supporter (his Grandad would have been soooo proud), hence all the Black and White. The ribbon isn't just tatty - I frayed it on purpose in the hope that it would look like a football scarf!
The green paper and the felt footballs come from the Goodie Kit that you can buy extra to the templates set. I made the B&W paper on the pc

Please don't forget I have a Blog Candy Draw going on atm - all you need to do is make and show a card using this sketch. Its all to mark 40,000 visitors to my blog and anyone who makes a card will be in the draw for a prize.

What will the prize be?
Well I'm currently thinking that it could be a little book similar to this.
Or it could be a maze book
Or something else.
But I promise it'll be as nice as I can make it!

Friday, May 02, 2008

And another thing......

aaaaaaggggghhhhh I missed it!

Despite watching fairly carefully,over the last few days I still managed to miss my blog hitting the 40,000 visitor mark (wow!) - and its now its already gone quite a few over!
My plan was to celebrate the 40,000 by offering blog candy - so what to do?
I could wait for a few weeks and celebarte (hopefully) 45,000 or should I just go for it and be a bit late?

Oh what the heck, let's party!

I will make something for one person who's name is pulled out of my virtual hat next Friday - there's a catch (well, 2 to be precise) though.
Catch no 1: You'll need to make something of your own first and show it on your blog!
I've drawn the basic sketch from my DCM card for this week and if you'd like to win some candy, all you have to do is make and show a card made using this sketch.
Catch no 2 is that you can't use it for the DCM challenge or any other challenge - just for this one! How mean am I? ;-)
Yes, I'm VERY mean, but I promise I'll make something nice for whoever wins. And it's not SUCH a hard sketch, is it?
Once you've made your card, leave a message on this post to let me know where I can find your card, then the names of those who join in will go into a draw - I'll pick a winner at random next Friday and some blog candy will be on its way soon after.

Please join in and help me celebrate. I can't quite believe how many people have visited in the two years I've been blogging - I've made so many lovely new friends all over the workd and I love every minute of this Blogging lark - this is my way of saying "Thank You"

The Power of Advertising

Well, its lovely and sunny this morning - or at least it is as I write this. Its been all "sunshine & showers" this week - every time I've had the very nerve to stick a toe out of the door its started to rain. It's a Bank Holiday weekend here in England so we get Monday "off", well I get every Monday off (and Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, ........), but it means Hubby will be home for an extra long weekend which will be lovely. Now, what jobs can I think up for him to do???? hmmmm

BUT, before the weekend comes Friday aka Daring Cardmakers Day, and this week its been the wonderful Lythan's turn to think up a dare for us:
Hello peeps! Lythan here. We are loving all the card creations that you have been sharing with us this week. It is good to see so many people as addicted to challenges as we are!
The next Dare is all about being
I want you to browse the tv and magazines for advertisments and use them as inspiration. It might be the format, the colours, the products, the slogan - whatever floats your boat. Remember you can do this anytime, any place, anywhere as long as you link it to this blog in the usual way!
This was trickier than I first thought. Most ads just pass me by (although my inner antenna always perks up and prods me if the words "craft shop" or "nice crafty stash" or the like is detected. We hardly ever watch any "live" tv so we whizz past the advert breaks with a click of the button. We don't get a daily newspaper, and I really can't say I've noticed any ads that have grabbed my attention eleswhere. So it got to yesterday morning before so much as a germ of an idea came my way. That's when I remembered the little drawer full of "interesting odds and
ends that might come in useful one day" In there are odd playing cards, interesting stamps, pages from old books and magazines, tickets, get the picture.

In there I found a few possibities; a couple of old cigarette cards, a couple of similar little cards you used to get in packets of tea-bags, that sort of thing plus a few torn out pages from old newspapers and magazines. Among which was this one - there's no date on there but it looks 1950s to me.
I decided to use the hairdryer bit of the ad to make my card. The one directly below is probably more interesting, but perhaps the connotations associated with the word "vibrator" have changed since this ad. was used - you can click for a bigger version!

So here's my card, it's not the most complicated card I've ever made - the hardest thing this time was coming up with an idea for the dare in the first place.
I scanned the whole page, then cropped out the bit I wanted. I resized, brightened and sharpened it in PSP before printing out onto plain card. The little verse is by the ever scribbling "Anon" and I inked up the card before printing it so that it matched the aged shading of the advert piece. Papers are from an old SA Kit, flowers, eyelets, spotty brad and ribbon from stash. The three little "brads" in the top right are actually faux brads because I couldn't find a good enough colour match in my Brad Pot (as opposed to Brad Pitt haha). They are made by sticking scraps of the paper onto cereal box "chipboard" then using the centre circle of one of the Cuttlebug flower dies to cut the "brad". Its a great way to always have the perfect brad to match your work, and of course you can make them in any size you've got a die for!

We've bade a fond farewell to Michelle, who has been a fab first month-long Guest Designer for us, and today we welcome the wonderfully talented, and funkily names Ellepiggo - otherwise known as Vanessa, to the team. She's very kindly agreed to be our Guest Designer for May, and I'm sure that anyone who's ever visited her blog will know why we're thrilled that she's agreed to come and play with us for a few weeks. Welcome aboard, Vanessa!

Please pop along and have a look at the cards on the DCM blog, and also visit the DTs personal blogs to fidcover more about the ads that inspired the cards we've made. We'd love you to join in and play, so if you make a card remember to leave a link on the DCM blog so that we can come and see your cards.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

What the Postman Brought....

Poor Hubby eventually got back from Copenhagen sometime around midnight. Thank you so much Mr EasyJet for adding even more on to his already very long day by delaying the flight home by an hour. And to whoever (mis)organises when flights will arrive for having loads of planes land all at the same time and thus a stuffed full passport control area which took ages to get through even though all the counters were open. It must be a bit like no buses arrive for an hour and then 35 arrive all at he same time.

Thankfully, no kamikaze deer running across the road on the way home.
I didn't mention his little bit of excitement on the journey to the airport yesterday, did I? Well Hubby rang when he got to the airport and was quite excited because a stag had run across the road in front of him - fortunately, it was well ahead of him and he had a clear view, the van driver coming the other way didn't have such a good view but luckily did have quick reactions and managed to swerve in time to miss hitting the poor creature.

I asked if there'd been any of those "deer for 2 miles" signs there and he said there weren't.
I guess this dopey deer wasn't looking for the signs to tell him it was safe to cross, eh? LOLLOLLOLLOL

I left the blog yesterday still waiting for the postman to arrive. Well eventually he got here and brought another CJ for me to do - it'll be the very last LO I have to do before my own comes home so it's getting to that exciting time - especially as the books went off on their travels back in October. I can't actually remember what mine looked like!

Then there was lovely new stash, and I've made the pictures really big so that hopefully when you click on them you can see them even better!
In one parcel came one of the fab new Crate Paper collections; Sweet Branch
Lovely, lovely, lovely!
Next out of the box came super sunny summery Promenade papers from We R Memory Keepers, they are sooo scrummy - so why are they so darned hard to find over here?
This is such a fab collection, the papers are all double-sided, but the WRMK people have been super clever by using the reverse of some ot the papers to have 4 of the designs in minature - so either perfect for cardmaking - or you get a big and small version of the designs.

Box 2 had a fab mix of papers, some dinky stamps, a flower stamp set and some other bits and pieces which I'm sure will come in handy. Can you see the teeny weeny little train stamp? how cute is that? Oh, and some of this paper has GLITTER on it and is sooooooo pretty!
So, with all that lot arriving yesterday I wasn't expecting anything today. BUT, I had completely forgotten about my name coming out of Joanna's (asia-wu) hat to receive blog candy a couple of weeks back - so it was a wonderful surprise when a packages covered with interesting stamps arrived this morning. All the way from Poland! A teenyweeny little notebook made from mini post-it-notes, a bigger spiral bound note book and a beautiful bookmark - all matching and looking gorgeous, Thank you so much Joanna, I absolutely love them and will use them with pride.
Well, if you've made it to the end of this posting you might have noticed that there's no crafty makes from me today. I finally had an idea for my DCM card, so have been making that today and will share that one tomorrow. I'm also halfway through a card for Crafty Templates but as its still in bits I can't show that either.
Never mind, all that lovely paper is probably prettier anyway!

Thanks for visiting, please pop by again soon :-)