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31 December 2010

***2011***   Happy New Year   ***2011***

Wishing everyone all good things for the coming year!

Thanks to you all for visiting my little space in blogland, & following the blog (and my little notes on twitter!) 

I'm really looking forward to 2011 and all that it will bring!

Take care and see you in 2011!

Jo

**  PS - the blog's had a bit of a revamp for the new year - hope you like it!  **

18 December 2010

Monochromatic Christmas...

Last week was a little (a lot) busy - but it all ended well and last night we went to see Ghost Stories in London... scary & it was lucky I wasn't holding popcorn or a drink because the people around me would've been wearing them (I jumped just a little bit) (lol)... it was very good - go see it if you can

One of the little jobs I had to do was a card order and here's part of it:
Still on a natural card base but this time keeping the colour scheme very monochromatic... love how these turned out - and were really quick to create ..... still keeping it simple!

and yes the new favourite snowflake punch was used again....  It was expensive and I'm getting my monies worth OK! lol (I'll get bored of it soon.... but not too soon!)

Snow's on its way again peeps - keep warm!*


*says me who went to London yesterday where it was colder than at home which is not normal (we're only 40 minutes away from London and on the coast) - I had to buy a hat & thicker scarf! lol  yes I know... any excuse to go shopping!... well we were in London - would have been rude not too - and I do like to do my bit for the economy!....

16 December 2010

Banana Frog Day!!

...and a little bit of christmas over on the blog

(and yes this is my latest favourite punch... and i'm not afraid to use it... on anything and everything! lol)

9 December 2010

Christmas cards...

...this year's cards are sooo simple - in previous years they've been stamped, sewn, embossed (dry and wet),  but this year I've gone for a 'less is more' approach! - I was a cats whisker away from buying cards to send - shameful I know! shock, horror! Simple was the best way forward.
I  really like the papers by My Minds Eye and the Martha Stewart punch. The sentiment is Hero Arts.
I did consider stitching around the paper squares but remembered that I was on a deadline, and have a longish to-do list before christmas and so no stitching will be involved this year! ("Jo, put the cards down and move away from the craft table")

I love the traditional, slightly Nordic, feel of the cards... I love a bit of Kraft card stock.

ho ho ho

3 December 2010

oooh baby its cold outside... so I've been staying in and making stuff....

I'm in Essex and I realise we don't have half the amount of snow as the rest of the country - yesterday on my way up the garden to feed the birds I stuck a ruler in the snow, when M told one his colleagues (based in Pickering, Yorkshire) how much snow we had the colleague scoffed a little & said "call that snow we've got 3ft's worth!"  !!
Ooh I'm glad I'm in Essex!  lol
but it looks like it warming up if these are anything to go by:
and below is the mother of all local icicles (from neighbours guttering) which is getting longer as the day goes on, thankfully its not anywhere that people could be walking under as it could do someone serious damage! (as anyone who has watched Grey's Anatomy knows! (remember Christina & the icicle!!) ouch!)
and one more snow picture:
small spiders web - I tried to find bigger ones but with no luck..... I wish I could remember where I saw a photo of spiders' webs on traffic lights - very cool - on someone's blog -sorry I can't remember who's it was (EDIT: it was Angela Weimer's blog! - go take a look: http://pagesbythesea.blogspot.com/2010/11/its-begining-to-lok-alot-like-christmas.html  its a really great picture...)
Aaaaanyhooo, enough about the weather...
I made this for M, its an advent thingy-ma-jig and each little box contains little notes or treats.  Made out of matchboxes and coasters, its small- measuring just under 10x10x10cm. The little boxes' labels work as a tab to pull them in & out and text was created on the PC. 
Papers are My Minds Eye, snowflakes are Nestabilities and Martha Stewart, ticket stamp is Purple Onion.
I'm pleased with how it turned out but next time I'm going to use sturdier and bigger matchboxes! lol
(if you want to know how to make one of these look in back issues of Craft Stamper (I'll look back when I get a minute and let you know which issue).

2 December 2010

Tag-a-liscious 2/too...

As promised here is the other tag I made with the lovely embossing folders that the Postie delivered in a snow 'storm'...

All the embossing folders are Cuttlebug, tags cut with Tim Holtz tag die (big fave of mine!), inks are Distress (pitch black, peeled paint).
I like how the flame of the chandelier candles are deeper embossed than other bits (?) and so colour doesn't settle into them making them look bright.  Nice.
Bit of crochet, some vintage buttons, gems and a length of bobble trim - lush!


Hope you're all warm and safe.

1 December 2010

Tag-a-licious! & bbrrrrr

It feels like I should be posting something festive today as its 1st December.... Eeek! 1st December!!
aaanyhoo,  I'm not going to! but here's a picture of our snow! lol  I'm in Essex and our snow isn't nearly as deep/impressive as some parts of the country but its enough (and too much at the same time! lol)
None of us has ventured out into the garden - not Me, M or Lola (fat chance of her braving it) or Bertie (give him half the chance & he'll go take a look) - but I will later to feed the wildlife.

The Postie made it round yesterday - he's a hardy soul (part of a Postie's job description?) and so I thought I'd make something with what he delivered so his delivery wasn't wasted (lol)... more tags.
btw Tim Holtz 12 tags of christmas started today over on his blog so if you're interested (and how could you not be) go and take a look - lots of loveliness and make sure you watch the video from a couple of days ago... genius)

aaanyhoo - tag:
The Postie delivered a parcel from Craft Obsessions - the romance/love pack of embossing folders for the Cuttlebug... had my eye of these for a while! I need/want to make an engagement card for a friend and they are perfect! (and on sale!) ... but I made a tag first..
 
I really like how the Glossy Accents sits on the lettering and gives it a bit of pop. I intended this tag to be more pink than red but could find the pink inks - but its a happy accident because I really like it.  The colour combo's like Basic Grey's Scarletts Letter papers - LOVED that range.... oooh ooh I could have used a bit of that on the background... ggrr why didn't I think of that earlier......

I also made a really nice green & black one which I'll show you tomorrow.....

Take care and stay warm!

30 November 2010

Banana Frog Blog Hop

Yesterday I didn't think we'd see any snow down here in Essex - I was wrong! Yay!  ...Though the snow might get boring very quickly - I think OH is bored/fed up already after it took him 2 HOURS to get to work - it normally takes 30 minutes! ouch!
So I think this months blog hop is going to more of a blog sledge & ski trip - so wrap up warm and take a look around... just follow the links...


So here's my card featuring the lovely Rudolph from the 'Its christmas.. deer' set - love that stamps - I always think Rudolph looks like he's had one christmas sherry too many! lol  The background is stamped with 'Retro Snowflakes'

Enjoy the rest of the blog hop - and don't forget to leave comments along the way - there'll be prizes!!

Next stop Lori : http://lovescraplife.typepad.com/il_mio_weblog/ where she'll have something lovely to share with you..

Enjoy & keep warm!

29 November 2010

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas!...

Here's a pretty tag I made with things that came in the post last week - making a tag lets me quickly use new 'toys' ahem sorry, craft equipment.  Snowflakes are Martha Stewart Scandinavian snowflake punch (large) lovely, lovely snowflake (and it looks like these are the only snowflakes I'm going to see - our area of Essex seems to be the only part of the country that doesn't have snow - humph).  The blue panel is a Tim H punched tag embossed using one of his embossing folders - love those!
There's an acetate tag peaking out on the right handside (sanding picks up the embossed design), and some scallop edged cardstock 
Its christmas and glitter is expected, no - its an essential requirement! I really like glittered chipboard but it can be a bit of a pain when the glitter ends up EVERYWHERE! But I discovered the solution (and duh! how could I not have realised/used this before) when I went to Imagine That on their birthday weekend..... STICKLES!!!!  Emma had covered a chipboard Eiffel Tower in stickles and it was soooooo lovely! I can't believe that I've only use stickles to dot accent things! Oooh so much more to do (and cover!) with stickles! (or any glitter glue for that matter)  Pretty!!
So I glammed up a chipboard 25 (sizzix dies) with Stickles. Lush!

I think duck-egg blue & pale gold are going to be my christmas colours this year - on a white tree....

25 November 2010

Houses... everywhere...

Little houses - they were all over our house but in September quite a few of them relocated.  Here are two of them: 'made do and mend' on the left (bought by a lady who makes patchwork items -very appropriate!), and blue/grey on the right....

And this house - didn't sell at Village Green - I think because I was sending out 'don't buy it' vibes because it was my 2nd favourite! (& someone had already bought my favourite! lol)(which I'm very grateful for obviously! lol)
Love making these - and I can feel a christmassy one coming on...  ho ho ho  (only 30 days 'til christmas day!!)

23 November 2010

Lilliput PaperArtsy HQ?!?

or in 'JoLand' of miniature houses this is what PaperArtsy HQ looks like - made with the lovely new Thorndon Hall papers:
The house stands on a vintage cotton reel, is edged with spots of Distress Stickles and has a Tim Holtz book plate on the front.  I'm going to further embellish the house by adding pen nibs onto some of the printed nibs (I've just got to find them - they're in a safe place.. but I've got to find that too! lol) 
The roof is covered in metal that's been run through an embossing plate, painted, spritzed with glimmer mists (perfect pearl mists) and sanded back.  Love the effect that gives!

PaperArtsy have the new Thorndon Hall 12x12 papers in stock here.  Enjoy!
(oh and the house is from PA too!)(and the metal!)

17 November 2010

HoHoHo - Banana Frog Day! (and WOYWW)

24 ATCs later.....
go HERE to take a look

PS: 38 days 'til Christmas.....

PPS
I almost forgot today was Wednesday (don't ask)!

Here's my desk - possibly an even less interesting picture than last week (ie very tidy, no half made items,no fiddly twiddly bits & pieces and shockingly no cups of coffee!!) - its my computer desk with this month's dt pieces for Banana Frog... multi-tasking! 
Sorry - craft desk pic's will return next week (or during the week - so please pop back!)

10 November 2010

WOYWW

OK, this is not the most interesting picture of a desk you'll look at today so I apologise! Its just that I haven't woyww'd for a few(!) weeks (so thought I reeeeaaally should) (and of course I wanted to) but unfortunately today is a computer/ paperwork day before I go and teach this afternoon!

So please enjoy my 2 red course folders, hand outs and a couple of samples ... oh and of course the ever present cup of coffee!! (but don't feel too bad for me - disappearing under a mountain of paperwork - those box files top right are hubby's!) and also don't worry because I actually enjoy paperwork! (in moderation... lol)

Hope everyone is well - I'll be around for a snoop later!


If you want to know what this is all about go to Queen WOYWWer's  site for all the details at http://www.stamping-ground.blogspot.com/

9 November 2010

Tags & little sketchbook... pt 2

I'm loving the new glitzy-painty generally luscious sprays that I've bought recently, and because I couldn't wait to use them on an actual project I played around with them on tags and in a sketchbook....

So first up was the tags (cut using the V nice Tim H die). I sprayed the same colours onto white and black tags to see (and have a reference of) how different the colours look when sprayed onto different bases - different colours pop.
I was spraying the tags inside the kitchen sink to try and contain the spray - the sink looked v pretty and so I mopped up the colours :
 
How much fun was I having - spritzing, stamping, a bit of white accenting and lots of glimmerly shimmeriness!
ooh and to top it off a bit of cuttlebug embossing:
ooh I was on a roll now - next stop: sketchbook!
The white areas were created by laying some chipboard shapes from the Heidi Grace alphabet stack (that I bought recently in TKMaxx) spraying over them, removing them and doodling around.  And 'cos I don't like to waste things and because the chipboard took the paint/spray really well (thin chip but no warping!) I used some of the pieces to embellish the 'art' page.  The black star motif had been stuck to the noticeboard in the kitchen for ages and I used this not just to embellish the page but to cover up a bit I didn't like... (its all created with smoke & mirrors!!)
I love how the light catches the reflective particles in the sprays when the page is tilted different ways. Pretty! When the page is tilted and catches the light its an 'ooooohh' moment!  Like watching fireworks burst into colours.

I created all these and had the kitchen back to looking like a kitchen rather than a mad craft/paint studio all before M got home and without spritzing either of the cats!! (though am thinking Bertie, who is a smooth black cat, would've look quite nice accented with a bit of turquoise glimmer...)

8 November 2010

Big sketchbook...

My big sketchbook is where I think about bigger projects - sketches, colours, to-do lists - this way of thinking comes from studying for City & Guilds where the courses require you to keep a sketchbook that shows process and progression... it definitely helps me focus... (and I'm less likely to loose a sketchbook than bits of paper here and there!)

aaanyhoo this page is samples of things that didn't turn out quite as planned as I was working on them, but even though the end result wasn't successful I really liked the colours.. 
And more importantly I learned something along the way:  its seems that embossing powders do have a shelf life (I've often wondered if they do) because the older (gifted to me) pot of embossing powders weren't sticking - they sort of melted into the page rather than sit on the surface as you'd expect... still resisted ink but not with a nice sharp image)

But as I said I really liked the colour combination so I thought I'd show the photo. Distress inks used are frayed burlap and broken china, the stamp is Purple Onion, and the lovely patterned paper on the right-hand side is Rum&Raisin from PaperArtsy.

7 November 2010

Little test post...

... featuring little houses that I created!
The little patchworked house was bought by a lady at Village Green who made patchwork & quilts! How bloomin' appropriate! lol   Love it when the little houses find their 'perfect' owner!

Little sketchbook....

My big & little sketchbooks are where I unload my brain...
(by the way - I may have shown these on twitter so if you saw them via that - oops -sorry! but not everyone tweets.. and sometimes I wonder if I should - because if I didn't I'd get a lot more other stuff done! lol)
here's a page from my little sketchbook (14x14cm):
This page makes me smile for several (well 7 actually!) reasons:
1. the pink Cosmic Shimmer spray
2. the Banana Frog border stamp
3. I like dahlias - very much
4. I grew that lovely flower in my window box
5. mmmmn book text
6. tab punch!
7. photo printed with my Pogo printer (slightly dodgy print quality sometimes but I like it anyway!)

6 November 2010

ArtsyCrafts October 2010

Now that the ArtsyCrafts weekends are over I can share pictures.  I really, really enjoy working at these events run by Leandra (PaperArtsy) & Lin (LB Crafts) - so many lovely ladies come and make so many lovely pieces of art! 2-3 (?) years down the line I enjoy them just as much now as I did the first time! (though I have learned to pace myself a little better - lol).
The Team (Leandra, Lin, Karen, Lynne, Linda and myself) all make versions of the projects in the different colourways so people can see samples, hopefully be inspired, and also so that we can give advice & answer questions that may arise...
Aaaaanyhoo enough waffle - here is my version of the main project in the Citrus Sorbet colourway...
Yellow!  Yes yellow!!  and I loved working with these colours - its was a challenge to start with because they're not colours that I find easy (or would not normally choose) to work with but now - now I am embracing yellow!!
But I did counterbalance the above by creating a different project in 'apple blossom' which is my favourite colour combination of pink & green... (back in my comfort zone)
There'll be more ArtsyCrafts events coming up in 2011 details will be on PaperArtsy & LBCrafts sites as and when.

5 November 2010

Y? Why not?


I made this earlier in the year and can't remember why I haven't blogged it?? and if there was a reason I wasn't posting/blogging it I can't remember what it was now!.... so here it is
I love little boxed panels like these - I have no idea why.. this one is quite small (9.5x7cm. canvas is 12cm) and is very managable (love making small things) - the vintage printers tray that I have sitting waiting to be... well, erm.. I don't quite know whats going to happen to that yet - isn't quite so managable... a proper plan is needed for that! The above came together in about 1-2 hours (probably less)... so you see I'm working up the printers tray -  little steps! started with the above, then there's a similar one with more sections, then I'll alter/fill the 7Gypsies printers tray and then.... then I'll have worked out a design/plan/ theme(?) for the vintage tray! 
(I feel I should point out that I'm not being flaky - the vintage tray is quite big!! its about 3x2ft and I don't want to think how many sections are in there... let just leave it 'a lot' shall we! lol)

(the section box is mounted onto a canvas board, painted with acrylics, the sections have been lined with embossed metal, book text, Hambly acetate, K&Co papers, and sorry but I can't remember where I got the lovely swirly wooden pieces)

4 November 2010

Rudolph the {not so} red nosed reindeer....

OK, I don't want to scare anybody but its only 51 days 'til christmas!!!

I'm easing myself into this gently - afterall I completed christmas projects for Craft Stamper (what seems like) ages ago & taught christmas classes in September, so Christmas seems to have been coming for a looooong time.  ho ho ho!


Another tag today - this one is made up of 3 layers -
*  bottom layer is PaperArtsy Rum&Raisin papers stamped with a Stampin-up stamp 'Bella Toile',
*  middle is the torn edge layer which has been embossed with a Cuttlebug xmas embossing folder and coloured with distress inks (frayed burlap- I like that colour a lot) and faded jeans (or maybe broken china),
*  top layer is acetate run the the 'bug with the Swiss Dots (goes with everything) embossing folder.
The reindeer is cut using another of Tim's dies (reindeer flight) - cut from a paper I made using same Stampin Up 'Bella Toile' stamp embossed in clear and coloured with the faded jeans/broken china. I accented its underbelly with frayed burlap ink which seemed to give it a bit a dimension and stopped it looking so 'clean'.
The cute little rosette is made with Tim Holtz' 'paper rosette' die - love these - it makes creating rosettes sooooo easy! Love it!
The rosette on the tag is the smaller of two I've made using the same die. The picture above shows the original and smaller size- create the smaller one by cutting about 1cm off the depth of the diecut (remember to run a length of sticky tape along the reverse to avoid the folds tearing)

Thanks for popping by!

Doing a happy dance!!

 Remember my woeful/rantful blog post regarding the treadle sewing machine - if not, you can read it here..... well a week or so ago a student of mine (thanks CW!!) read the blog post and one thing lead to another and earlier this week I had the lovely item below passed on to me!!!  I'm doing a happy dance!!  A happy dance indeed!

Look at the lovely metal engraving on the front panel - its a really lovely piece and I am VERY grateful and appreciative of being given it - I will certainly look after it.
so, I think this says something about the communication (& sharing) power of blogging...
(I'm full of cold at the moment  - and the above made me feel better... unlike pseudoephederine (decongestant) which I took and turned out I'm allergic to - resultd in a small (not so) nice facial rash!)