Sunday, 31 August 2014

Snowmen circles

I've been wanting to try this technique for a while, since I saw samples on the Majestic Stamps stand at Newbury. 

The basic circle is stamped using a teeny branch stamp, then I masked off the lower half of the circle using torn paper and used duster brushes to ink a sunset & hills. 

Then I added the trees with a stamp from a Katy Sue Designs silhouette set, & the snowman from a Snowglobe stamp set bought from USA years ago. A few punched and die cut snowflakes to cover the inky finger prints! Then my favourite Christmas sentiment stamps from Inkylicious.

Then I made another one, and 2 more this time with snow-cats!

 and finally one with a church. I had so much fun making these I just kept going lol.

So as I have multiple Christmas cards I'm linking them to the Rudolph Day Challenge, where Sarn asks you to make 2 Christmas cards between the 25th and the end of the month. Also to Pixies snippets Playground, as the snowflakes were all cut from snippets!

Thanks for stopping by

Debs x

Wednesday, 27 August 2014


So this is my desk late on Tuesday, mid-prep for my Sept class. You can see 2 completed samples, and the Stamps Away Patchwork Templates and Stencils that I plan to use, plus a few distress inks and my essential Scotch Scrapbooker's Glues (another Desert Island must have!)

So if you're wondering why I'm showing my desk, hop on over to Julia's where lots of lovely crafters will be showing off their desks!

Thanks for stopping by


Monday, 25 August 2014

The Creative Blog Hop (TCBH)

I was thrilled when the lovely Sam (aka Hettie) asked me to take part in The Creative Blog Hop (TCBH). I am constantly amazed at how craft and blogging can connect people, and have made some lovely friends through blogging.

TCBH started when some clever blogger suggested a game of blog tag, where each person posts once on a Monday, then nominates 3 other crafters to take part. Sadly the name of the person who started this idea has been lost, but there are a lot of crafters involved, from all different areas of the crafty world. Artists, spinners, stitchers, knitters and paper crafters like me!

A bit about me

I've been crafting since I was little. I started with old fashioned scrapbooks - the sort with thick grey sugar paper - where you stuck everything you liked the looks of. A bit like today's smash books! I was a bit of a crafty flutterby even back then, as I taught myself to knit, crochet, embroider and sew. My mum didn't have a crafty bone in her body, so no idea where I got the genes (milkman?? Lol)

From around the age of 10, I was making my own clothes, and embroidered everything I could! I have fond memories of making a cheesecloth gipsy top in the 70's and embroidering all around the neckline, with some beautiful flowers and some tricky French knots! Ditto for a hand made denim jacket :-)

As an adult, it was mainly knitting, crochet and dressmaking until I developed a love of cross-stitch in the 80's and 90's. All my family had cross stitched greeting cards, and I made a new cross stitched Christmas decoration every year from when I met my hubby.  They still go on the tree every year!

Then, about 5-6 years ago, I was stuck at home recovering from the flu, and started channel hopping on the telly (it's the law when you're poorly sick!) and I came across Create and Craft. I was amazed at the demo's, I drooled over the beautiful kits on offer, and suddenly had the urge to rummage in my drawers to see what I could make myself. I still have that first card, a little A6 with a couple of stickers on the front, to remind me how much I've improved!

Since then, I have discovered a vast range of paper crafting. I started with basic decoupage kits, and quickly moved on to stamping, Pro Markers (a desert island must have!), parchment craft, heat embossing, alcohol inks, 3d cards - the list is endless!

I have been on Design Teams for Debbi Moore and WOW Embossing powders, and had the great delight of seeing my designs featured on TV (yes, I did record the very first one and jumped up and down like a loon!) My designs have been exhibited at the NEC, as well as being used as tutorials on craft CD's. I teach regular classes and I am a designer for Making Cards magazine, although I've cut back a bit lately since I've returned to the world of work.

I work 3 days a week as an HR Manager at a busy Veterinary Referral Hospital, and teach craft classes twice a month, with some all day Saturday workshops now & again. I live in Hampshire, with my hubby and big fat ginger cat called Barney.

I only ventured into the world of blogging 3 years ago, and through WOYWW and Pixies Crafty Playground met the lovely Sam who nominated me for this blog hop. She's a lovely, talented lady who lives in Wales. We've only met up a couple of times, but we have a real giggle. Our last outing was to meet up with a couple of other Bloggy friends, Di and Sarn from the Crafty Playground and we had a lovely day out, with lunch at a posh hotel :-)

The Fab 4! L-R, Sam, Di, me and Sarn

Ok, on to the questions........

1. What am I working on now?

I tend to have several projects on the go at once, and currently it's a couple of men's cards using some fab stamps picked up at the last Newbury Artstamps show. A couple of baby card commissions from friends and work colleagues using a house mouse stamp for one, and a Bebunni stamp for the other
A birthday card for a shoe-a-holic, a birthday card for my hubby (that ones more of an idea than a reality at the mo!)

I am also planning my next class, which is in early Sept, and an all day Saturday class for October.

I have just finished a repair to a cat-damaged top using die cut flowers, and I have a few blouses that need an extra buttonhole made (or I need to go on a crash diet. Not happening! Lol)

2. How does my work differ from others in my genre?

To be honest, I'm not sure it does! I love lots of different styles of paper crafting, but am probably most into stamping and paper engineering - I love to make cards that move, open in unusual ways, are 3D

or have a hidden surprise. The ladies in my classes often see the sample and start the class with a comment of  'I'll never be able to make that!'  

And I absolutely love seeing the big grins at the end when they've made something a bit different.

3. why do I create what I do?

Well, it depends. Sometimes I create purely for pleasure, sometimes I am asked to design something specific, maybe to meet a design brief, and sometimes it's just because I have a deadline to meet and need to find something that will work for a group of ladies with different levels of experience and ability.  But most of all I create because it gives me pleasure.  I have found papercrafting to be a source of huge creative fun, it gives me an excuse when hubby finds glitter on the loo seat, and has allowed me to make some fabulous friends along the way!

4. How does my creative process work?

This was a tough question, as I don't have one answer.  Sometimes I'm inspired by a specific image that I think will be perfect for a person or occasion, and sometimes I will see a colour combo that gives me an idea. Recently I had a lovely flower in a bouquet that was lime green and deep plum pink and it was gorgeous!  At other times, I will see an idea on a blog or on tv and think to myself 'I can do that' and will take it and adapt it.

I'm big on seeing a kinetic card, and then trying to figure out how to make one myself from scratch.

Now and again I enter challenges, but I've never been a big fan of sketches - dunno why, just can't seem to translate black & white line drawings into a card design.

Having said that, I keep a notebook handy, where I doodle my own ideas and scribble instructions to myself. Said notebook also has a list of ideas I want to try out. Unfortunately, I am not a tidy crafter and the notebook is often buried beneath the crapalanche on my desk!

so I resort to scribbling on the back of envelopes - yes, really! And I have mountains of these envelope scribbles dotted around awaiting my attention lol.

And left is a pic of the current crapalanche on the desk awaiting sorting!

OK, enough about me, I now get to introduce you to 3 of my crafting friends who have agreed to join in on this blog hop, and they will all post on their own blogs next Monday.  Each of them has their own unique style and talents, and I met all of them through a blog know as WOYWW, or 'Whats on Your Workdesk Wednesday' run by the lovely Julia - click here to find out more.


Hi everyone, my name is Sharon, known as Shaz, or Shazsilverwolf to all my friends.I was totally blown away when Deb asked me to do this,it still astounds me that someone actually likes what I do, lol! I've always had something crafty going on, I used to do cross stitch, then glass painting,dabbled a bit in candle making, and jewellery, then evolved into card making. 
When I first started, I got heavily into Decoupage cards, and probably cornered the world market in Decoupage sheets! Big mistake that was, as I eventually discovered inks and stamping! One of my biggest loves is scenic stamping, I am a huge fan of Kevin Nakagawa's Stampscapes, and have been fortunate enough for him to link to my blog from his lessons/artwork links, and also to be a former  Design Team Member for Craft a Scene, a challenge blog for Scenic stampers. 

I started my blog entirely due to my Beloved Hubby- he kept telling me I should do one, and eventually I did. I truly did not think anyone would be interested in what I did, there are so many way more talented people out there. I've made some wonderful friends in Blogland,and thanks to the lovely Julia of WOYWW, I have been fortunate to meet a number of them at the Annual WOYWW crop. So to anyone who wonders if they can be bothered/ if anyone would be interested/ if there's any point, I say jump in, you don't know what you are missing! 

My 'real life' job is a Centreless Grinding Setter, in the Aerospace Industry, along with my Beloved Hubby, who taught me everything I know about my job! What we do is make Fasteners/Bolts for Aircraft/Satellites etc. It really is a dirty job, ( working with oil all the time) but I actually do enjoy what I do! So thats a thumbnail view of me, I'm looking forward to my 'show and tell' post, I'll catch you all then. Hugs, Shaz xx

I have been crafting all my life.... I just didn't know it. I have a school report aged 7 that says "Janet is very good at cutting and sticking"..... 'nuff' said.
 While my 3 children were small I enjoyed doing crafts with them and sewed and knitted for them as well.
In recent years  my crafting has taken a new turn ... more for myself... lacemaking, beading, patchwork, knitting, card making,  scrapbooking, mixed media, embroidery, both hand and machine and most recently pottery.
A work  colleague suggested I started a blog to document my 'makes' which I did. Then I found WOYWW  ( what's on your workdesk Wednesday) a lovely group of crafters who upload a photo of their workspace once a week.  It is like a great big extended family.
A blog friend asked me recently if there was anything I didn't do..... of course there is ... mostly involving housework and the ironing !  I just love trying new techniques.
However with my family expanding with Grandchildren I am always under pressure to make more and more things...... I love it and find myself spending more and more time crafting, much to the dismay of my long suffering husband or to give him his blog name ' my handyman'.

I also work 3 days a week in a fabric store..... in the craft section of course. Life is full of juggling, often stressful.... but never boring.

I became interested in crafting a long time before it was called crafting…it was a necessity.  As a child my mother, aunts, grandmother etc made all of my clothing and just about anything and everything in the home décor, gifts etc.  I promised myself that when I got old and rich {{I know!!! A piper’s dream!}} I wouldn’t make anything it would all be bought.   I did pretty well in my life and never totally bought everything but continued to sew, knit, make items for the home but it was mainly something I needed not something for fun!  Things were headed for a change in 2008 when I was introduced to my creative side!
I worked for over 40 years in the health care and medical field as an RN in management and supervisory positions until I was forced into retirement by illness.   About a year before I become ill I was asked by a friend and co-worker to join in with her and others in a “play day”.  I went not know what to expect and oh my gosh!  My life was changed from then on.   Pam was a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator and it was a party to sell stuff but from that time on I was entranced with paper arts and eventually the multimedia stuff I do today.  I love to get inky and to recycle or up cycle items that I normally wouldn’t have looked at in the past.  Cereal boxes and toilet paper cores become books, blocks of wood find their way to home décor.  It is so fulfilling to see things become something useful and beautiful.  My fun art has changed my life and kept me sane in this forced retirement.  I don't know what I would have done without it.  

Well, that's a REALLY long post! Thanks for stopping by, and if you've read this far, thanks for your patience!

don't forget to check out Shaz, Janet and vickie's posts next week


Debs xxx

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Bon voyage!

Made this for a crafty buddy who's just sailed away on a Mediterranean cruise - jealous, me??!! Of course not :-) hope she's having the most fabulous time and brings back lots of lovely pics. 

Lots of diddy black snippets used for lettering and layers behind stamped ovals. The main image is from a hunky dory kit I bought years ago. The stamped ovals are from a set bought from a bargain bin at a craft show and I love them! From a company called Whimsy Stamps, stamped on snippets of Neenah card and die cut. 

Just realised I took this photo before I finished the card - it's missing the exclamation mark. That's cos I die cut it, then when I come to fix all the letters in place the Borrowers had taken my exclamation mark and I had to cut another one!! No idea where that went, but if you could see my desk you'd know its not a big surprise when I can't find things lol :-)

Linking this to the snippets playground and off to see what other playmates have made.

Thanks for stopping by

Debs x

Friday, 22 August 2014

Chitty Chitty bang bang!

This is the card I made using the lovely Stamposaurus car that I think looks a bit like Chitty Chitty bang bang! 

I had some snippets from the First Edition 'New Leaf' pad which I thought would work well, and a leftover half page from some ancient magazine papers! The cogs were die cut from the same papers, and the image coloured with Pro Markers to match the papers

Then I nearly ruined the whole thing by stamping the greeting a bit wonky!! Had Miss Di of the Playground whispering in my head "you should never stamp that last , you might ruin the while thing". Well, I decided it was good 'nuff!!

I happened to see this pic on Facebook last week and it really made me smile :-)

These 2 happy chappies are made of rice, and sitting in a 'bath' of beef stew! I don't think I'd want to eat it cos they look so happy wallowing in stew :-)

Anyway, off to make a moonlit visit to the playground, see if any other playmates are up past their bedtime!

Thanks for stopping by

Debs x

Wednesday, 20 August 2014


Bit tidier desk this week (only cos I'm not showing the right hand side lol)

Front & centre a Simple Stories scrapbook I'm working on, with a storage box to the right with extra page protectors, paper etc. centre back is my blue tin with all my Simple Stories/ Project Life card inserts - I tend to mix & match from different kits & brands. Found some Project Life Birthday insert cards half price in Hobbycraft recently!

I've already made a Simple Stories scrapbook of Barney Cat, and enjoyed it. Decided to make a second for all those individual days over the past year or so that don't fit into a theme,  a kind of 'year in the life' scrapbook. Still a WIP!

Above the scrapbook is a men's card I've just finished, which the eagle eyed will notice was sat as a stamped image only on my desk last week!

Off to link up with the other Deskers via desk mistress Julia, and hope to get round more desks this week

Thanks for stopping by

Debs x

Saturday, 16 August 2014


When I use decoupage (not often nowadays) I always keep back either the base layer, or a couple of the top layers to make a second card.

Some of these 'leftovers' have been languishing in a folder for years! So last weekend I was rummaging for something and came across the folder and decided to make a few quick cards 

All were made using snippets of papers or vellum from my snippets box, so I get to go an play in the Snippets playground having been a good little playmate and used lots of snippets, plus my fave new LOTV sentiment stamps and a bit of bling!

so here they are....

The plan was to pop them in the box for when needed, but 2 are already winging their way to poorly friends!

Hope you have a good weekend, thanks for stopping by

Debs x

Wednesday, 13 August 2014


So this is my desk late Tues afternoon, nothing much going on as was having a 'sort out' this afternoon (see previous post about die storage!). 

You can see some Stamposaurus stamps on die cuts ready for colouring. The car (Chitty Chitty bang bang to me!!) is sat on first edition 'new leaf' papers I'm planning to use as background. The other stamps are from Acid Drops & Whatnots, very funny men's stamps!!

Now for the photo of shame..... I don't normally show the right side of my desk cos its almost always a crapalanche, and today is no different, although it is a relatively small pile for me! This is why I need a sort out! (Those of a nervous disposition look away now!)

Everything is piled up with last used on top! Stamps to be put away, paper pads same, some tapestry needles, trimmer, sticky stuff, scissors etc. and underneath it all piles of stamps to be filed away. plus finished cards stacked up on top of printer waiting to be popped in the box. As you can see, it's slowly sliding to the left, where its started overlapping my craft mat!

Then to the right of my desk fan is my little snack corner lol :-). A satsuma (no idea how long that's been there!) and inside that cute little green parcel from my crafty friend Sarn is a granola bar that I'm saving for craft food emergencies! You know what I mean, when you need a boost but can't be assed to go to the kitchen!! :-)

Anyway, that's me for today. If you're wondering why I'm blathering on about my messy desk visit Julia's stamping ground for a tour of other less messy desks!

Thanks for stopping by

Debs x

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Die storage

I'm always looking for better ways to store my crafty stash. I'm very lucky, as I have a dedicated craft room, but it's stuffed to the gills and any way I can find to make more space is always welcome.

I was watching C&C this morning and they were showing the Totally Tiffany die storage system. Great, until I realised it was £45!! Think of all the lovely craft goodies I could buy with that!

Until now, my dies have been stored on magnetic sheets, in heavyweight punched plastic wallets stored in lever arch files. And not particularly well sorted!

The only problem is that not all of them fit on the sheets & they are too heavy for the folder. I have lots of them, too many for the folders. 

I had a spare Really Useful box just sat on a shelf & I racked my brains to think how I could use this, as it would free up the binders for more stamps (all those on my desk waiting to be out away lol!)

If I cut the A4 magnetic sheets down to A5 (they have been stuck on the backing card from A4 lined pads for strength) they would fit the box. But the dies would fall off the sheets as I flick thru, so they needed to be in pockets.

Light bulb moment!! I have literally hundreds of punched plastic wallets (I'm sure they breed!) so I could afford to waste some on this idea. 

I cut the magnetic sheets down to A5.  Then I cut the hole punched edge off the wallets, leaving the bottom & 1 side sealed. Then I cut the wallets down to A5 ( lots of cutting!!)

Then finally I could sort the dies into wallets and this is the finished result...

Most of them fit 2 sets on an A5 sheet, but some needed a sheet of their own. And I hadn't thought about my Grand Nestabilities. Doh!! They don't fit in the they are staying in a binder stored next to the box, only a few of those so not a problem. But look how much space there is for new dies, the box is only half full lol :-)

Chuffed to bits! All I have to do now is put dividers between the categories & label them, but honestly, I'm worn out & need a cuppa, so that will be another day!!!

Hope I haven't bored you to death with my lack of crafting! If I'm in the mood, sorting my craft room is as much fun as crafting, I'm sure some of you know what I mean :-)

Thanks for stopping by

Debs x

Monday, 11 August 2014

Should have planned this better!!

Haven't done any crafting for a bit cos I've been poorly. Felt a bit more with it today, so decided to make a card for Mrs A's Butterfly challenge. 

Before I could start, had to clear the crap crafty leftovers from my last project...or 3! (Di and Sarn, I know you're cringeing!!) started putting bits away but the bending to reach boxes caused pain, so I resorted to the tried & true method of piling it all up by the printer to create a crapalanche in waiting!!

I knew exactly which stamps I wanted to use, NBUS that I bought ages ago at a craft show, one of the Oliver's Orchard range from Buzzcraft. Stamped all the images on leftover bits of Neenah card & die cut with Spellbinders ovals, fussy cut the rest 

I had a piece of very loud plum coloured paper from my snippets box that I used as matting layers cut with SB Lacey ovals. Then the trouble started.....I merrily die cut the Lacey ovals without thinking through the rest of the card, and when I put the border on the card it looked lost against the background. So I decided to add a matching border, but the remains of the die cut snippet just weren't big enough. This is what I had left....

So, not long enough or deep enough for a layer behind my 8" border. Aargh!! So, I cut the 2 long straight edges as wide as I could & fixed them behind my border, then cut what was left of the 2 shorter straight edges & butted that up behind the border. Can you see the join???? :-)

So I'm linking this post to Mrs A's butterfly challenge, where the theme us summer butterflies, and to Pixies Snippets Playground, cos there's some creative snippety work gone into this one!

Thanks for stopping by

Debs x

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Furry ginger troublemaker

Warning: photo heavy post!

After my last post several people asked whether the furry monster had survived! Well, these pics show he's alive & well 

This ones taken from inside the cat flap, he was clearly too exhausted to walk any further!! He spends most days sunning himself out on the deck. 

And this is how he tired himself out...

I've been a bit poorly this week, and spent a few days in bed. Clearly Barney was not happy with the lack of attention whilst I was reading!

He also made a nuisance of himself by climbing into the drawers underneath the bed, scared the life out of me while I was snoozing!

And this is the repaired item of clothing that started this off.....damaged by kitty claws when sat on my lap. Should have taken a before picture but forgot doh!!! There was a group of small holes & one slightly bigger one, front and centre about 2" up from hemline.

 I couldn't bear to throw it away, so hit on the idea of fabric flowers & beads. Used iron on interfacing on the fabric, then die cut some flowers with TH Tattered Florals. Had to make an entire border so that it looked right and now I think it looks too fussy!! I don't wear fussy clothes, with frills or flowers, but I spent ages seeing these beads on so I'll have to give it a whirl. 

That cat has a lot to answer for!

Thanks for stopping by

Debs x

Friday, 8 August 2014

Kraft Christmas cards?

I was inspired to get my Stamps Away patchwork tremplates out, having seen Di make a card with then a week or so ago. I used these a lot when I first got them, then put them away and you know what it's like 'out of sight....'

So I made this one..

It's 15cm square card blank covered with a leftover piece of 12x12. I used snippets from papermanias First Noel pack. And this creates more snippets! Aaaargh!  So I had to use them straight away ...

This time I mixed in snippets from Papermanias  Traditional Christmas pack. Ten it needed a bit of bling so I added a die cut greeting and some snowflakes. This one is on a Kraft card blank and I don't think I like this as a base for a Christmas Card. So I doodled faux stitching around the outside edge, and dots of Stickles glitter glue round the paper sections. Still not thrilled. 

Anyone else used Kraft card for Chriymas cards and liked the end result???

Anyway, off to visit the Snippets playground to see what the playmates are up to. Thanks for reminding me about the templates Di!!

Thanks for stopping by 

Debs x

Wednesday, 6 August 2014


Hi desk hoppers, not joined in for a while and met up with the lovely Julia & Jan for lunch yesterday. So decided to have another go at this scheduling lark! Not managed to get it to work yet, so we'll see.......

So my desk today (Tues night really!) has a bunch of die cut fabric flowers, which I will be using to cover a hole in one of my fave tops, courtesy of the furry ginger monster who clawed it. Grrrrrrr! And I can't just add one flower cos that would  look stoopid, so now I've got to add a border of flowers. 

Left of desk is my trusty E-Bosser, and my spotty craft caddy stuffed full of goodies. There are some stamped die cut shapes ready for colouring, using my new House Mouse baby stamp (bought pre-loved from Di) & some new Stamposaurus stamps. 

Also a tin of pink flowers, some tapestry needles & waxed linen thread (thanksfor the   advice Hettie!) and a bunch of stamps to be filed away when I get around to it. 

Enough of my desk, courtesy of desk-mistress Julia over at the Stamping Ground I will be taking a hop around others over the next few days 

Thanks for stopping by
Debs x