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26 July 2017

... and breeeeeaathe..

... you know that feeling when you've finished having a big 'tidy-up and finish-up' session and you can breathe and think again.. well that's how I felt last week when I started a day as 'tidy-up Tuesday' and it ended up as a 'tackle-it Tuesday' ... in a good way...
(ok, that might be a diplomatic way of saying I got distracted and started making things instead of tidying things.... but in a good way!)

My workroom needed attention - it always needs attention! lol   You have to be in the right frame of mind to have a BIG clear-out and tidy up don't you!  and I was IN that frame of mind - I was going to be ruthless, determined and focussed!!

and I was....

... until I found myself constantly stepping over a masterboard (on the floor) I'd made as part of a Roben-Marie Smith online workshop (you can find the class HERE ... great class that pushed me out of my comfort zones - and thats a good thing!).... this A2 sheet has been moved several times and I realised the easiest way to tidy it up and stop annoying myself by needing to step over it was to make something with it!...

and that is when it stopped being 'tidy-up Tuesday' and started being 'tackle-it Tuesday'....  The 'tackle-it' being to finish using this pieces from this class...

...much more fun!

During the tidy-up I'd found a junk journal style sketchbook I made a while ago along the lines of Dina Wakely's mixed media journal - its has canvas paper, manilla tags, watercolour paper - different types of papers and I'd sewn it together by hand...  this mini book would be ideal for covering in a piece of the masterboard!!

I removed the hand sewn binding and ran along the spine with my sewing machine using bright pink thread and big/long stitches..

I created a cover from bits of the masterboard, sewed them to the minibook, added some fabric strips as binding and voila..!!

I was on a roll.... next came a portfolio style junk journal..

After cutting the pages for the above book I was left with lots of strips of a similar size, so not wanting to see them go to waste I made this dinky little book! (3x2.5 inches)  (what's not to love about a teeny tiny book!!)

.... and then a sketchbook (from a (small) pile of  books on the desk) received a make-over with a panel of the masterboard - I think this still needs a bit of work - a bit of white pen doodling...
(the book is only 4x4 inches - such a cute size!)

I've been sticking off-cuts and left-overs in it for a while - 31 pages - might use it for the 31 days in August... maybe...

Last but not least... a book I made with a recently purchased die (Sizzix 660331) was given patterned front and back covers..

This was a really fun way to use the masterboard created in Roben-Marie's class - lots of items created AND my workroom is a little tidier.... win win!


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!