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21 July 2017

This mini book is brought to you by the M6, M1, and M25 motorways

... on the journey home from a lovely weekend in Lancashire.

BUT, before we get onto the book.. lets start at the very beginning...

We set off on Friday... and the journey up to Lancashire from Essex was a loooooong one! made (much) longer because it included the type of traffic jams where engines are turned off and people are starting to get out of their cars to stretch their legs....

There was nothing to do... we'd run out of 'I spy...' ideas.... and we'd eaten all the snacks!

but then we arrived to this...  and all was well in the world again...

I spent Saturday teaching a workshop for Rowan Tree Crafts to this lovely group of ladies...

It was held in the old railway station in Carnforth where they filmed the classic film 'Brief Encounter'... and I was only 'briefly' distracted by the piles of vintage suitcases around the station which is now a museum dedicated to the film.... (I love a vintage suitcase!! lol)

It was such a beautiful part of the country - definitely coming back 'oop north' soon!

On the journey home I wasn't going to be caught out again with nothing to do so I raided the carboot for my kit boxes from the class and gathered up some basics...

5 hours, 3 motorways, 1 dual carriageway and a stop at the services for snacks-&-a-'comfort-break' later I'd made a minibook from sample pieces, spare kits and bits from a magazine I bought at the services (very interesting & useful! though with regard to making this 'book' I really couldn't find a use for the eyelash curlers that came free with the magazine!)

The covers were made from one of the envelopes I use to store/hold kits... the flap is cut from a page of book text...
 ... it covers the words I wrote .. with a nod to old maps where at the edge it would say 'beyond this place there be dragons' .. or something like that...

The book is decorated with bits from spare kits (doily die cuts, book pages) and the pages were cut from a sheet of Smoothy (again from a spare kit) and a book I have to use for spare pages in class - in my mini book it provided pages and quotes..
The book itself is 8x11cm so a dinky little size!  Mainly because I was working on my lap in the car! (note to self: keep tray in boot of car!)

One set of pages was made by cutting and folding a page from the magazine I bought - it had really nice printed texture and I enjoyed the challenge of covering up the little girl! lol

Now you see her...

Now you don't!....

I like this centre spread - making the leaves look like trees on hills....

This was a lot of fun to make and kept me quiet for most of the journey... for which my husband is very grateful!

When I arrived home I sewed the pages together with simple bookbinding stitches and added a length of ribbon to wrap it closed.

It was satisfying to create something with so little supplies...!


21 June 2017

I'm a Guest Designer!....

.. over on the Stencil Girl Products blog today - chuffed to be asked to contribute to their blog - thank you Stencil Girl! - and really happy to share the project which you can find HERE, and here's a sneakpeek

Its a project using some of my favourite products - PaperArtsy Fresco Finish paints and {Stencil Girl} stencils and masks!

Please go take a look


19 June 2017


... Saturday 24th June 2017... 

I'll be teaching a workshop at That's Crafty, Romford creating an A4 box canvas (with a difference!) using paints, inks, Grunge Paste, Stencils and.. oh.. NEW STAMPS!!!

I'm really looking forward to sharing this workshop with you so please contact the shop (HERE) to book your place.

Hope to see you!


18 June 2017

Doodle me this, doodle me that!....

This evening over on the PaperArtsy blog saw the release of my latest JOFY stamps.... I realise I might always say this but I love this new release!!

Two new stamps sets:

I think these are just the happiest prettiest stamp sets I've designed so far!

Here are 2 canvasses I designed using them (you saw one of the canvasses over on the PaperArtsy blog):

I really like how the images extend over the edges of the canvas - I think my favourite piece might be the wire mounted 'fuzzbuds'!

In the next couple of days, over on the PaperArtsy blog, two bloggers/wingmen will be showing the projects they designed with this new release - I'd like to say a big THANK YOU to Chris Cresswell and Clare Messenger for their hard work and beautiful projects... gorgeous projects! Thank you!

I hope you like the new designs as much as I do!


13 June 2017

Thank you Mother Nature

When things seem a bit gloomy you can always rely on Mother Nature to bring something that will lift the spirits..

Look at those colours!! aren't they beautiful - dark rich pink on the outside and peachy orange on the inside - fabulous!!

I like pink flowers - we have peonies (had peonies - last week's wind battered a lot of the blooms) I love the big multi-petaled flowers 
 and these that have 2 colours on the flower - I just wish they'd last longer!

Here's one of the few not pink plants in the garden - I think this clematis is fabulous and I'm really proud of how strong and resilient it is because its sharing the gates with a VERY boisterous honeysuckle plant - grows like a thing possessed! lol

Please don't let this blog post give you the idea that I'm a master gardener or anything.. far from it! I'm really not! but I'm trying :o)  
I'm waiting for the agapanthus to flower later in the year (some are flowering later than usual) - really looking forward to those...

I hope these flowers have brightened your day - I know they brighten mine.


12 June 2017


How is June already?!?!  and how is it June 12th??!!?!

Seriously, I don't know where the past couple of months have gone, and they haven't been the easiest of times - but June is filling me with optimism (well apart from the large vet bill BertieCat has created by getting into some kind of mischief last month... very glad he's insured!). The garden is looking all green and lush - the plants are all flowering and we're having glimpses of summer weather - I say glimpses because I swear we had a monsoon for a couple of days last week! lol  Got to love the English weather!

I have a few teaching dates lined up (you can see them all if you click on the 'Teaching and Demonstrating' button under the main banner at the top of the page) I just wanted to let you know about a couple coming up later in June...

17th June:  I'll be demo'ing at Birds in the Barn, Marks Tey, Essex

24th June:  Workshop at That's Crafty, Romford, Essex - In this class we'll create a box canvas with a difference, and it will feature new (oh yes: NEW!!) products....   click HERE to go to the website to book your place.

I hope you can make it to either (or both!) of these events, it would be great to see you!


17 May 2017

Roll up, roll up...

... there are a couple of places remaining on my workshop at The Artistic Stamper, Faversham, Kent this coming Saturday (20.05.17)

In this workshop we'll be creating a gorgeous (in my humble opinion!) canvas using stencils, stamps, inks and paints.

Check out The Artistic Stampers website for more details and contact the shop to book your place, it would be lovely to see you!


10 May 2017

When real flowers aren't allowed....

... you have to find an alternative!

My dad is in hospital at the moment, and the hospital (like a lot of others) doesn't allow real flowers - which seems a shame because they really brighten up a room don't they?!  So, I made him a basket of flowers - JOFY flowers.. seemed appropriate.  So with a flat basket from Hobbycraft, papers from my stash, JOFY stamps and a (Stix2) hot glue gun I made him this:

Happy to say that my Dad loved it.  :o)

5 May 2017

Upcoming workshops.....

... here's a quick list of my workshops booked for the next few months (up until August, when I'm taking a month off to have my second (and final) round of MS treatment - 'quite' excited about that!).. and I'm venturing 'up north' too - looking forward to that! 

Please contact the shops for more details and to book a place...
(sneak peeks photos to follow soon)

I hope you can join me!

MAY 2017

13 May 2017 : Birds in the Barn, Marks Tey, Essex: AM/PM Card making class 

20 May 2017 : The Artistic Stamper, Faversham, Kent: Project workshop

June 2017

03-04 June 2017 : Stampers Grove, Edinburgh: Project workshops

24 June 2017 : That's Crafty, Romford, Essex: Project workshop

July 2017

08 July 2017 : Rowan Tree Crafts, Carnforth, Lancs: Project workshop

15 July 2017 : Craftylicious, Mildenhall, Suffolk: Project workshop

25 April 2017

#365Challenge.... 01-07 April


April has been a quite a busy month so far and I'm playing catch-up with the #365 Challenge.

Each month I plan to work on a different size page/different size book.  April's pages are 5 inches (12.5cm) square.... I chose this size because (Goldilocks stylee) it wasn't too big, it wasn't too small - it was just right... or so I thought at the start of the month.

Each month I also use a different font/stamp set for the dates/page numbers - so far these have been quite discreetly added to the page in a corner (or on a tag or similar)...

  (January Alphabet: Purple Onion Designs; February Alphabet: PaperArtsy; March Alphabet: Ma Vinci's Reliquary

For April's pages I decided to bring the alphabet front and centre - make it a feature of each page... The alphabet I chose is one by DoCrafts/Papermania - its the 'Typography Clear Stamp' and each number is 5x8cm... 

this seemed like a great size to work with - nice and big, an clear outline so I would be able to use it in lots of different ways...  and this was OK for dates 1 to 9 (single figures) but when there are two numbers for each day (which, lets face it, is the majority of the month!) things were going to get a little bit crowded on the page... 
but I will  not be beaten and will try to resist increasing to a 6x6 inch page... 
(I like a challenge.... sigh!)
(and lets not forget the 'Flow' calendar questions...)

01 April:  'How good are you at setting boundaries?'  hhhmm not really something I set myself - more like guidelines to live/work by... (very flexible guidelines.. lol)

02 April:  'What would the title be of my autobiography?' lol I seriously considered 'I came, I saw, I created a mess!' but went instead with the one on today's page... the background is created with the new Distress Oxide inks - Worn Lipstick, Spiced Marmalade and Walnut Stain.

03 April:  The number on this page is stamped onto the surface - I cut around part of the image so the journalling panel could be slotted underneath.
 The poppy heads (JOFY34) are stamped and embossed in copper (WOW!)

This is a great stamp set - the diamond background and the washi tape strips are handy little elements, as is the tag (I used it on April 1st's page)... handy for journalling..

04 April:  Yes, the writing is upside down, the number and stamped flowers aren't - and thats how I planned it - another way of 'disguising' the journalling...

05 April:  I really like stamping on top of vintage book text - this is a Polish music book, the stamps are JOFY23 and JM33.

06 April:  Flow question: 'Do you find it easy to admit your mistakes?' lol  Make mistakes?!? Me!! Never lol

07 April:  Flow questions: 'What would I never do again?'  I am NEVER EVER going on a loop-the-loop rollercoaster again - EVER!!  I didn't mean to do it the first time and it is a never to be repeated experience.
The background on the page was created with the Distress Oxides again, I was experimenting how bleach (basic thick household bleach) affected the colour...

So that's week one of April... Don't get me wrong I'm enjoying using the big numbers - definitely going to be a challenge though when I get to the latter half of the month....

All part of the fun... I didn't call it the #365 Challenge for nothing! 

Thanks for popping by