Monday, 30 November 2009

Get Funky! Challenge ~ Autumn Woodland

Hi.. These are rubbish photos, but my excuse is they were taken after dark, and it will be my only chance to get them done in time to enter the November challenge over at Get Funky!

This month's challenge theme.. Autumn Woodland.. was set by my very talented former Funky Hand teamie, Enfys.

You wouldn't know it, but the Funky Hand element on this card is the paper. I used a beautiful, very subtle paper from the 'Occasions' section on the 'V. Funky' CD-rom. I would describe it as yellow with a very subtle shading in it. It's gorgeous, but I had to spoil it with some distressing with Dark Brown Chalk Eyes around the edges! Does it still count? I hope so!

I've also used dark brown Bazzill CS, with some gold mirri card and my favourite white cardstock from The card is finished with an Inkadinkado flourish stamp and some maple leaf brads in gold, copper and dark brown.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

One Word Answers... Who, Me? Are you kidding?

My friend, Olga (very talented lady.. go check), awarded me this (thank you, Olga), which reminds me.. I must have a small ceremony, as I have quite a collection of lovely awards that I haven't shared with you yet, so get ready with the posh frocks and bling, girls. Anyway, this one comes with a long list of questions which you have to answer with one word. Hmm. Not always possible, I found, but thought it would be fun, so here are my answers...

Where is your cell phone? Hall
Hair? Grey-ing
Mother? Wonderful
Father? Heaven
Favourite Food? Lettuce. Ha! No.. Mrs-Beeton’s-Rum-N’-Raisin-Ice-Cream
Dream Last Night? None
Favourite Drink? Elderflower-fizz
Dream Goal? Novel
What room are you in? Office
Your Hobby? Crafting
Your fear? Poverty
Where do you want to be in 6 years? Ramsey
Where were you last night? Home
Something you aren't? Unkind
Muffins? Chocolate
Wishlist Item? Tim Holtz’s ‘Forgotten Garden’ stamp
Where did you grow up? Everywhere
Last thing you did? Movie
What are you wearing? PJs
Your TV? Miracle on 34th Street
Your pets? Puss
Your friends? Precious
Your life? Tenterhooks
Your mood? Relaxed
Missing someone? Yes
Vehicle? Va-va-voom
Something you are not wearing? Coat
Your favourite store? Liberty’s
Your favourite colour? Purple(s)
Last time you laughed? Today
Your best friend? Mum
Last time you cried? Recently
One place you go to over and over? Blogland
Person who emails you regularly? Viagra-merchant
Favourite place to eat? Mum’s

I am supposed to pass this on, but I think most have had it already, so I'm just going to invite anyone who hasn't had a go at this to please lift it and answer the questions on your blogs.. and let me know, so I can come and check out what you said! :o)

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Wanna be a tree fairy?

This one is for a new friend who is becoming dearer to me every day. And she likes fairies. I think. (I hope!)

Only one.. maybe two.. more Christmas cards to make, then I'm done for the season! Yayyy!

Hope you like the unorthodox distressing technique? I smudged some ink, so decided to go for it and make it look deliberate!! lol ;o)

The tree is an Artemio stamp, heavily embellished with mini tinsel and 'baubles'.. Couldn't tell you who the fairy stamp is by, sorry.. it's unmounted and out of its packaging.. and the text is 'puter-generated, in a typewriter font from a Lisa Bearnson CD-rom.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Black Friday.. Who Knew?

I learned something new today.

As mentioned before, I have spent several blissful Thanksgivings in the US with different sets of American friends, but I never knew about Black Friday. I am only aware of having heard that term for the first time this year, and it seems to be everywhere! I mean, I knew about the start of the Christmas shopping season, and that a lot of people across the pond put up their decorations the day after Thanksgiving, but had never (knowingly) heard the expression Black Friday'. Had you?

Wikepedia suggests that it may be so called because it's when retailers go from being in the red to being in the black again!! Ha!

Hmmm. Should maybe make a card in its honour, huh?

Happy Black Friday, American cousins!

A Message From Papworth Trust...

"Thanks to you, Papworth Trust wins Big Lottery Funding!

This evening on ITV London Tonight, it will be announced that Papworth Trust has been awarded £31,459 for its 'Cultivating Quality' project in Basildon. This money will change people’s lives and we have been awarded it thanks to you and your votes – thank you and well done!"

May I add my personal thanks to my lovely friend, Lesley (Paperlicious Delicious), because I know she made her ten calls, and to anyone else who voted secretly.. Bless your cotton socks! :o)

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Christmas Card 2009

Thought it was time I posted something vaguely crafty! This is my main Christmas card for 2009, and I made thirty of them (all slightly different) a couple of weekends ago. Have been waiting for an opportunity to take photos in daylight, but have given up waiting, lol! ;o)

For colouring the mouse, I've used Koh-i-Noor pencils with Zest-It and paper stumps for blending. In the past, I have always avoided using rubberstamped images that need colouring because I'm rubbish at it! A five year old can manage it without any difficulty, but I can't! lol ;o) However, I took Elizabeth's recommendations about these special pencils (that's Elizabeth from Elzybells), and they make it all so easy and quick, and it looks great! Who needs Copics, Pro-Markers and Prisma pencils when you've got a set of Koh-i-Noors?! I couldn't be happier with them. :o)

I used up some A6 card blanks from, using Great Impressions Pine Twig stamp with a Kaleidolcolor inkpad for a graduated effect as the base for the decorative corner, then a Woodware holly punch, with Marth Stewart Pine Branches, ribbon (or twine) bow, a McGill snowflake with a gem to finish it off. The greeting is an SU stamp, and the main image is (of course) Penny Black's Xmouse Ornament, coloured with Koh-i-Noors and blended with Zest-It & stumps, a dab of glitter on the snowflake, then matted and layered onto white card.

People's Millions for Papworth Trust

The Papworth Trust have applied for some funding from the Big Lottery 'People's Millions', and today's the day for voting!
Papworth's project is called “Cultivating Quality”. (You can read all about it HERE. I have also placed some info at the bottom of this post which describes the project.) Please vote for us on the following number:

0871 626 8848

The voting lines opened at 9 am and close at midnight tonight, GMT. Calls made after closing time won't be counted, but may still be charged.

You can vote up to 10 times and we are really hoping that you will. However, if you ring from a mobile, it will cost the bill payer nearly £3.00 for 10 calls. On the other hand, if you use a landline, you can make 10 calls for a £1.00.
If this is a cause that touches you, please support us and vote and pass the number on to other people you know to encourage them to support us.
Thank you bloggy pals!
"Cultivating Quality" Project
This project involves developing a community garden in the midst of urban Basildon. This will be accessible to people with limited mobility and to gardeners of all ages, with raised beds for people that find bending difficult.
It will include a sensory garden for people with hearing or sight impairments, and a wildlife area with a pond to improve the local ecology. The project will enable people with disabilities in the community to develop a range of work and life skills, while improving and sustaining the natural environment. The team will also work with volunteers, local schools and a group of students from Basildon Adult Community College.
Clients at the centre in Basildon said...
"I will be able to use my wheelchair to access the whole garden and not get stuck in the wet grass" Karen Lees
"We will be able to learn how to grow fruit, look after it and eat it" Gill Penning
"It will give us an interest and save us money by learning how to grow our own fruit and vegetables" Pat Humphreys
"We will be able to develop the garden and feel proud of our efforts" Kerry Woolley

American Friends..

I have spent several wonderful Thanksgiving holidays with various friends in America, and they are some of the happiest memories I treasure.
My 'Feedjit' shows me that many people visit my blog regularly from the USA, but only a couple ever leave a 'hello'. I wonder why that is? I'm very friendly really, and I don't bite even a little bit. It would be lovely to hear from you, so I challenge you to pause a moment and say hi.. even if it's only once. It would be great to hear from you.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Blog Candy Win! :o)

This is the first blog candy win I've had since I took a break from blogging a few months ago, but isn't this the BEST way to win? To be chosen by the most adorable creature I've clapped eyes on for a long time.. Allow me to introduce Misty. Here she is having just chosen my lump of paper...

And here she is displaying my name... (Great French manicure, Misty.. not! I'd get your money back if I were you, hun..)
All done with great style and panache, if you ask me, in spite of the questionable pedicure. And THIS is what I get to win!! Lashings of lace, and lots of other goodies, too!
Now, Misty belongs to my lovely Dutch blog buddy, Lean.. doggy scrap artist supreme! (Her hubby is very handsome, too, and sometimes gets a look in! lol ;o)
If you haven't seen Lean's lovely layouts yet, do yourselves a favour and drop over HERE for a peek!
Thanks, Lean, for the cracking candy. :o)

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Please don't look at this post. NO! I said DON'T! Oh, rats!!

I'm so excited, I can barely speak, which is just as well, as there is no more to be said. You just HAVE to go there.. don't you? Go HERE! NOW! Drop what you are doing and GO!!! I mean, this is STEMPELGLEDE, for goodness' sake! Why are you still here??? But this is in the tiniest possible writing, so you can't read it, and I can win all the lovely stamps. So there.

Gilbert the (Christmas) Ghost Blog Candy

Just a reminder that if you leave a comment on this post HERE, or this one, in fact.. I will be drawing from all the names on Friday evening (GMT). The winner will get a copy of Gilbert (and the script) digistamps by email.

And if you had left me a comment in the four weeks leading up to last Friday, you'll get a copy anyway, without entering the draw, but please let me know you'd like a copy and send me your email address (unless you know I have it).

If you could see your way clear to putting a post on your blog about the candy, that would be much appreciated, but not a pre-requisite to going into the draw.

Best wishes with that, and for more ideas on how to use Gilbert, scroll back about a week! :o)

Wedding Stationery CD-Rom sales for Papworth Trust

Hi, all..

I just want to say a huge 'THANK YOU SO MUCH' to all the seven ladies who have purchased one of my CD-Roms to raise money for the Papworth Trust. I now have only three to sell to hit my target for their £10 Challenge by 31st December! I will have converted £10 into £100! Not a bad return, if I can do that! :o) (Actually, it will be £105, as one of the kind ladies added on another fiver to her payment! Thank you.. you know who you are! ;o)

If you have been thinking about buying one, please do grab one while you can! Just drop me a line at and I'll tell you how. The price is £9.99, and I'll pay for the postage. 100% of the price goes to the Papworth Trust, who provide services to help people with disabilities to have greater equality, choice and independence.

How about a Christmas present? Would make a great stocking-filler for anyone crafty, as the 100 designs could be easily adapted for birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, friendship cards.. you name it! Doesn't have to be just for weddings.

Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks for looking! :o)

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Thomas Kinkade - Stonehearth Hutch...

I have been in love with Thomas Kinkade's paintings since I visited Colorado for Thanksgiving back in 2000. A lovely memory.. I had been developing a relationship on-line with a man called Mike from Denver whom I'd 'met' on a Christian singles site, and I flew over to the US to meet him for real. We didn't click romantically, but he was a wonderful host, and took great care of me, and took me all over his outstandingly beautiful home state, including Beaver Creek (I think it was Beaver Creek.. it might have been Vail, as we went to both.. and Breckenridge and Boulder, and..).. Anyway, in one of those places, there was a Thomas Kinkade gallery. Enchanting and wonderful, where they dim the lighting and all the lights in the paintings come alive. Also Mike's mum worked in a big Christian bookshop in Denver which had Thomas Kinkade stuff for sale, too, so I strongly associate anything Thomas Kinkade with happy, festive times.

It's a real pity that Mike and I didn't click, as I loved his family, and they seemed to take to me, too, and I would have loved living in Colorado. Hmm. (thinks) Wonder what he's doing now?

So.... I was thrilled to bits when I discovered a while ago that Cornish Heritage Farms have a range of Thomas Kinkade stamps! Woohoo! And I love this one in particular. (There's a lot of love around on my blog this evening! lol)

This stamp is Stonehearth Hutch (aka Christmas Cottage), mounted onto acetate, of course, with the holly punch that Dolly FORCED me to buy, and the MS pine branch punch, and some other bits n' pieces.

Happy Scrooge

And to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.. Or so they say. So here is good scrooge.. after he has 'seen the light'. Same stamp as in the post below with Bad Scrooge, except this time it is the second stamping so is much paler, and this time, I've used an A5 card blank.

The image this time is Alistair Sim who played Scrooge in an old black & white version of 'A Christmas Carol'. The sentiment is a quote from the movie, printed onto acetate. Punched sooty snowflakes complete the picture.

Bah!! Humbug!!

For anyone you know who hates Christmas!! Hehe..

I found this beautiful stamp on Ebay. I was watching it and lusting after it for ages, and it kept being relisted, thankfully, until I finally got around to laying my money down, and I just LOVE it! I am into Victorian things big time at the moment.. Forsyte Saga... you name it, I love it, and this is called 'Victorian Street', apparently. It's by Personal Impressions, from the Beryl Peters Collection. Isn't it fab? Doesn't it shriek Dickens at you? Can't you see Bill Sykes with Bullseye wandering down the street?

After stamping, I used my other current fave, the Cuttlebug Snowflakes embossing folder, and gently dabbed the bumps that were covered with black with the white Sugar Candy inkpad from Elzybells, and it worked as well as I thought it would. So pleased with that effect. It really does look like it's just begun to gently snow large flakes.

Found the image of Scrooge on the net. I think it's from the Scrooge movie with Albert Finney (my favourite), but it's not a very clear picture, and it's been a while since I've watched it, so who knows?

The Bahh Humbug panel is using 'A Charming Font' font, and cut with Nesties Labels #8, then shaded to make it look sooty with black Koh-i-Noor pencil, a paper stump and Zest-It.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Updated My Flog...

Well, like most people these days, I guess, my job is under threat. I am looking for another while I am still employed, but it occurs to me that I have quite a lot of marketable stuff, too, including my Gilbert (see below)! :o)

I may develop that idea further. Whilst not being a brilliant artist, I have a few sketches that I could smarten up and add to the 'catalogue', lol! (Sounds very grand, eh?) And I might try and sell some cards, etc. I have my CD-Roms that I developed a while back, and I can build on that, too.

So.. it's a little bit sparse in terms of items for sale, but I have overhauled my 'Flog' HERE, and added Gilbert for sale.

What do you think? Any feedback would be very welcome.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Gilbert ~ My New Beau

This is probably my favourite card made using my new (my first!) digistamp, Gilbert the Ghost. I had this image in my head for a while, wishing it could be made into a stamp, and then I thought, "You dosy mare! You could draw that!" So I did, and Gilbert was born.

If anyone would like a copy of him, please leave me a comment, and I'll do a draw a week from today (Friday), evening time, GMT. (If you have left a comment for me in the past four weeks, you can have a copy without going in the draw.. just let me have your email address if I haven't got it already.) After the draw, I will make him available on sale.

There are three stamps.. Gilbert on his own, Gilbert with the text stamp underneath, and finally just the text stamp.

What do you think of my new fella?

The Kraft CS is from Elzybells, as is the white ink (Sugar Candy). It's brill! I've used it here to highlight the bumps after embossing the CS with Cuttlebug's Snowflakes folder. The ink is VERY juicy, so I smudged it a bit, but I quite like that effect.

Gilbert's Second Outing...

Gilbert is sporting the only thing that a young spirit-about-town would be seen in this holiday season.. a scarlet red felt hat, trimmed with (fake) ermine and to add that touch of je ne sais quoi.. a neat sprig of holly. And a sheet.

Drumroll, please...

Introducing Gilbert the Ghost...

Click on the image for a better view...

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Sad Story

This card is for a lady in America (Sarah) who lost her three year old son (Henry) suddenly and very recently, after he contracted a virus. Such a tragedy. I don't know this lady or her family, but when I heard about this, I wanted to express my condolences, but how do you? What can you say? So I didn't. I just left it and felt useless, like you do when you see tragic stories on the news.

Then through Kath's blog, I saw that a friend of Sarah's (Kim) has had the brilliant idea of organising the crafters in blogland to shower her with cards. What a lovely way of mobilising the wonderful spirit of camaraderie that exists in this global online village to offer one of our number some comfort and show her that we care.

As an incentive, Kim put together some stash for a blog candy draw, but this has been added to by so many suppliers of craft materials who have donated items to increase the prize.

For details, follow this link HERE.

To enter, you will need to send your card to arrive in America by 25th November. The address is:

Kim Gruetzmacher
PO Box 223
WI 54174

Then follow the instructions on Kim's blog.

I am not entering the blog candy draw, but have made a card for Sarah and her family. It was inspired by the lovely poem 'Do Not Stand By My Grave And Weep', which is attributed to Mary Elizabeth Frye.

There are a variety of versions around, but this is my favourite:

Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
(You'll get a better view of the card if you click on the image to enlarge it.)
I have used Cuttlebug 'Snowflakes' embossing folder, glitter card, Glamour Dust spotted onto some of the raised bumps, Kaleidopunch snowflakes, Nestabilities Labels #8, Cezanne font from ITC Fonts, Gem

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Bloomin' marvellous!

A colleague of mine is leaving us. Her husband has taken a job on the other side of the country, so they are upping sticks and moving to Bristol, and she is going to start her own business.

I love the expression 'Bloom where you are planted', and having recently purchased the SU set, 'Beauty in Bloom' which includes this lovely 'bloom' wordstamp, it just seemed perfect for the purpose, as I know she is a little nervous about what lies ahead.

Just treated myself to the Nestabilities Labels #8 set, and embossing mats which make such a difference to the finished effect, so used one of those here on 3D pads, along with the SU 'bloom' stamp and my own writing. The flourish stamp has become separated from its original packaging, so don't recall the name of it.. sorry.. and to finish, some black ribbon, bit o' twine behind an old silver button, some Martha Stewart punched butterflies with gems, a blossom and roses.