Mixed-media paper crafter; stamper, freelance craft tutor, designer of PaperArtsy JOFY stamps

30 May 2010

Roll up, Roll up - Its Blog Hop Day!!!

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to us
Happy Birthday dear Banana Frog
Happy Birthday to youuuuu!
please excuse the quality of the singing - I'm a bit croaky this time in the morning.... croaky:..  frog ?! get it. ... oh nevermind, lets get on with the fun of the blog hop which this month has a BIRTHDAY theme.
So follow the links around and don't forget to leave comments wherever you go 'cos there are prizes/pressies to be received... each of the Froglets (thats us on the design team!) will each be giving  a prize to one frog fan (thats you!) who comments on our blogs... which is very nice don't you think!  lol
So don't forget to comment - you've got to be in it to win it as they say!  Also leave a comment on the Banana Frog blog as there's more prizes to win over there...

So here's what I made:
I was going to make cards but then I thought of something more practical - how about a book to hold all the dates of peoples birthdays so no-one gets forgotton? - because no-one likes to forget someones birthday do they?!  I've also included anniversaries in my little book - 'cos they're quite important too aren't they?! - all dates that should be remembered!

To decorate this book I've used the stamps sets Journaling, Super Dreamy, and Pharmacy - some of my all time favourite BF sets....  These are such great versatile stamp sets.
The book is fairly small - 10x20cm.  I used 3 colours to stamp on the white and Kraft cardstock pages - tumbled glass  & pumice stone distress inks and archival black - I like to keep the colour schemes simple and then embellish on top which I've done here with stickles, gems, and fabric embellishments - again some of my favourite elements.
I stamped circles to add the dates and names into, and when it was an anniversary I added a heart to identify it.  The little lined journaling squares are for notes and other dates. 

Right that's me done - I hope you enjoyed your visit, now 'hop' on over to see what Michelle's bringing to the Banana Frog birthday bash (I love a bit of aliteration!)... don't forget to comment!  You can find Michelle here!

29 May 2010

July Craft Stamper

This month's Craft Stamper comes out on Friday and a few pieces are up on the website, so to get your creative juices interested go here and to see my web extra piece go here ... created from the Summer Masterboard I created for this issue - I love the cards I made for this article - when i look at them they make me smile - so bright and summery... and seeing as its currently raining outside we could do with a bit of summeryness couldn't we!
Here's a sneak peek:

26 May 2010

WOYWW + a whole lot of other stuff....

its been a week since I last posted anything - that's neglectful of me isn't it!?  But its not as if I've been sat on my tush watching Jeremy Kyle and Loose Women - I've been busy behind the scenes....

This past weekend was spent helping out at the second Flights of Fancy ArtsyCrafts weekend - it was such a good weekend spent with 50+ painting, metalling, inking ladies creating some great projects... I went indoors at 7.00 friday night and didn't come back out into fresh air until 9.00 on sunday evening and i don't think I even noticed!  I was having too much fun (ahem.. working hard).  I love working at these events. There was lots (and lots) of paint, and just as much metal to be worked, sweets, prizes, lots and lots of die cutting and embossing - oh we worked those die cut machines- the Big Shots (mine is affectionately known as Bertha) and the Cuttlebugs... and Linda and I counted 50 kits out and back in, ....oh and I had a lift journey with a whole load of lively 70's-costume-clad party goers.. don't ask

Here are the uber talented Lin Brown and Leandra Franich:
How could you not be inspired when you look at these colours: 
Tables at work (or is it play?):
A couple of sneakypeeks of one of the projects:
And it was all going swimmingly until we got back to PaperArtsy HQ and I discovered I'd forgotten to pack my weekend bag in the car to come home! (in fairness there was a lot of stuff to pack in the cars, and I'd at least remembered to pack all my craft equipment (all the important stuff!)) Doh! How could I have forgotten the bag with my clothes etc in! When I hear of people doing the same thing I can never understand how they can forget something so fundamental!  Well quite easily apparently - I had to laugh really... 
I've since been reunited with said bag, thanks to Lin at LBCrafts (big thanks to her!) for organising TNT who brought it home on Tuesday:
I laughed a lot when I saw the size of the lorry it turned up in! The bag and contents are all safe and sound - even the banana and 4 apples that I had packed inside for snacks! roflol

Right, enough of this waffle - WOYWW:  here is my desk: ok, small confession - this is my desk on Tuesday but believe me it's not going to change much (at all) today! lol
I bought some new distress colours while I was at ArtsyCrafts, and so I'm in the process of making myself some colour charts inspired by the ones I made for the tables at AC(2nd photo).
I'm testing out the format in my sketchbook (I do that with most projects etc), and that cute little castle on the bottom left of the page is one of the new images by Banana Frog (called fairytale princess) .. and please note all that nice white space - thats the worktop! TaDaaaa!  yes we can actually see the worktop!

That's all folks - I'm determined to visit everyone this week.. so I'd better get to it! I have a feeling it could take a while! lol

Oh, one last thing - if you fancy coming to one of the ArtsyCrafts weekends (and why wouldn't you?!) details are on LBCrafts website and PaperArtsy's.

1: My overnight bag is actually not too big - shown here
2: The picture of cushions was a colour inspiration for the Banana Frog design team - you can see how they interpreted it here and here
3: The BigShot:  well, I'm a Cuttlebug fan really - I have been known to stroke my Bug while saying 'i love my cuttlebug'! lol Its a great little machine - portable, it suckers to the table so it doesn't wander off when you're turning the handle, and its very versatile...... BUT then I tried the BigShot!! its as good as the Bug but feels sturdier and smoother and because of the depth of the dies will go through a bigger variety of materials.. but the dies are expensive and gererally only come one to a die plate whereas the Cuttlebug dies often come in a pack that has a die and coordinating embossing folders.... no definitive answer I'm afraid - its all swings and roundabouts... it'll all come down to personal choice in the end..

19 May 2010


mornin' all
don't be fooled by the state of my desk this morning - its not messy: its BUSY - see the difference- the lovely stuff on my desk it mostly PaperArtsy - I'm spending the day working with their great new dies, and their stamps and papers.... such a nice way to spend the day...

busy, busy, busy - I'll be popping about to snoop later... take care.

16 May 2010

Happy Birthday to.......

...Banana Frog!!  Turning 4 this month.  My project of the day is up on the blog (!! these 16ths come around quick!!) and on May 30th the blog hop will be aaaaaalll about birthdays... there may be cake... but no promises... you'll have to wait and see... go take a look......

15 May 2010

Getting warmed up.....

.... to create samples for PaperArtsy - using their new range of great dies that will work with most die-cutting machines...
Some dies are made to work directly with the stamps (dragonflies, birdcage etc) while some are more generic - rectangles, circles etc - and all are good! .. obviously - we wouldn't expect anything less from PaperArtsy would we?!
I made a few flowers with the dies (see above*) and this 'warm up' was also opportunity to get acquainted with the latest addition to my craft room - a Big Shot... yes I know, I'm a big Cuttlebug fan but I have to admit the BS (or Bertha as I've named her, lol) is a good machine - so it will sit along side my Cuttlebug rather than replace it....

* These are just mock-up of the flowers (reason for only a sneak peek photo) - I was just trying them out - the ones for the board will be created out of patterned/ stamped papers & metal.

13 May 2010

cool photos!

I've recently-ish been converted to the iphone... I said I wouldn't get sucked in to the whole 'oooh I've got an Iphone and it does EVERYTHING and its the best thing since sliced bread'  but now I have and I'm now not sure if I could live without it! lol (I could live without it, don't worry - but it would be hard!) .. aaaanyhoo I was reading Shimelle's site yesterday and she mentioned an ap she had for taking photos so they look like prints from the 60s/70s - Hipstamatic - so off I trotted to take a look................ and a purchase followed. laugh.... Here's a couple of piccies I took, and O.M.G how cool are the effects- LOVE THEM!!
In the name of science lets do a compare and contrast shall we:  picture above left is taken on the Iphone as normal, the one on right is taken with the Hipstamatic ap - all aged and discoloured (sun bleached look?) - love it much!  There's another 'lense' to buy which gives the photo a pearly/sparkly effect.... I think I may be trotting off to buy that soon!... .. just as soon as I've finished playing 'angry birds'.. on my iphone of course... lol

been 'busy'....

.. I was having a quick look back through my recent blog posts and its been a while since I posted pictures of my actual work - it all seems to have been pictures of my desk (which is fine), or things I've found inspiring or just generally pretty pictures ... but none of my work.  Sometimes this is because I can't show it for one reason or another ie magazine work, dt pieces, samples for teaching or I'm working on pieces that will go for sale ... etc etc etc
aaaanyhoo enough is enough - lets put this right:  here are some pic's of a couple of things I made earlier today:
playing with my new favourite punch - the bird/branch from Stampin up.. they've got a great new stye of punch- nice and flat and stackable and much kinder on the hands.

and another card made using quite a few of my favourite things - sewing, punchouts, sewing, and the gorgeous 'brook' paper from Crate Paper.

Thanks to the everyone who left a comment about Bertie and his debut on WOYWW but before you all get too taken in by those 'butter wouldn't melt' cute looks of his check this out.. this is what I have to contend with - the little furball has no manners! lol I spend a lot of time picking him up off the desk and putting him back down on the floor... he's like a jack-in -the-box... gotta love him though- its all part of his charm... apparently!

12 May 2010


Today I've been doing a bit of this'n'that - finishing up some projects that I've been asked to do which means that... wait for it.... yes I actually tidy up!!!!!!!!  Sometimes the desk get a bit too cluttered and I can't think straight/ clearly and so I have to tidy up before I can carry on.. and the project/ work I have lined up for tomorrow takes quite a bit of desk space so another reason for a bit of a tidy up - I'd also hate to have you thinking I'm a complete slob in the studio! lol 'cos I'm not - untidy yes but also quite organised...
So here's the pictures - before the clean up with work in progress still in situ
so all is pretty much as untidy creative as last week, the mug on the desk actually holds coffee! no tools, and in the top right is an addition to the desk: a small portable dvd player that I sometimes have playing instead of the radio - nothing like a good mgm musical to occupy part of the brain while working! Today it was Calamity Jane and 7brides for & brothers... love them!
and this is how it looks now after the clean up- ready for tomorrow..
and one final photo showing the other desk - not so much for the desk but to show the little terror sitting on it looking like butter wouldn't melt, but who generally arrives on the desks all of a rush and univited, walks around hunting for cotton buds and/ or blue tac! (or cut'n'dry) I have no idea what the appeal of blue tac is but he loves it! His name's Bertie - as in Bertie Bassett, cos he's black like licorice. 
Hope you've enjoyed another poke around my space, and meeting one of my cats... I'm off to to peek at what your spaces are looking like today.. take care.

11 May 2010

June Craft Stamper..

... is a bumper issue as the magazine is TEN YEARS OLD - how fantastic is that!
Its a great issue, and I have an article in there too- my butterfly mobile which must have have been a nightmare for the team to photograph with all its dangles (which rotate in even the slightest breeze!) so well done to them for doing such a great job with it - I'll try not to create something so 'unstable' in the future.. lol

I loved creating the project... it brought together lots of my favourite items to create with....

Go check it out...   and I'm looking forward to another 10 years!

6 May 2010

this 'n' that...

... yesterday I posted pics of my worktops as part of WOYWW and because my desk is 'quite' messy you couldn't really see the wood for the trees on there! and so I thought I'd post a piccy of my desk when it was slightly tidier (it does happen) and what my pens and tools are kept in (amongst all that mess...  lol)(you see there is a little bit of order on the desk) .. I have a bit of a fondness for mugs - (my girl guide mug is in the attic somewhere - probably with M's Blue Peter badge - oh yes, my DH is the proud owner of a Blue Peter badge!!)(not top of the list why I married him obviously! lol)(but if there had been a list it would have been on the side of 'reasons to' rather than the 'reasons not to' lol) aaaaanyhoo .. back to the mugs:  .. I like ones that are pretty/ coordinating/ inspiring and hence they've crept onto the desk - they have dual purpose - inspiring (see here) and useful!- the handles make them easy to pick up to rummage through..  :o)
The big pink mug in the centre got quite a few comment yesterday - here its storing glue dots, but lately its been looking after the cut'n'dry.  The mug (well, milk jug actually) on the right - the one with the lovely little retro print.... its been made into a pin cushion by a colleague at work - how freakin' cool is that!! LOVE IT!!! 
and finally will you please note the lovely clean clear space in front of the mugs - note it 'cos it doesn't get seen very often! lol

..after I'd been in the hairdressers this morning I popped into the charity shop next door (love a bit of a charity shop rummage!) and picked up these:

The wooden shape/window toy thingy is shaped like a house and will look great altered don't you think? Such a great shape and I could use the blocks as feet.. or ...something... haven't got that far yet.
The glass dish will be for holding buttons, suffolk puffs or crochet flowers in at sales - both bought for under £3.00  - not bad eh!

The next 3 days will be a bit quiet on this blog as I'm off to ArtsyCrafts this weekend - if you're going too I look forward to seeing you there - and if you're not you should definitely come next time they are reeeeeaaaaally good weekends packed full of creativity and fun! what more could you ask for!

5 May 2010

1st time for everything...

.. and for me this 1st time is showing my desk(s) on WOYWW (whats on your workdesk? wednesday)..

Neither of my home work desks is particularly tidy today (laugh, are they ever?...oh yes there was the day they were set up - they were clear then!) but here they are today in their creative mess glory....

This is the main desk, facing the window...
Things I like about the desk are the undershelf wire rack (on right) - its great for stashing colouring equipment - pencils, felt pens, promarkers etc.. it has adjustable height options (got to love Ikea), the tressle legs have shelves and there's still enough space underneath for my legs and a wire trolley for some of my punches.
On the desk:
My trusty Cuttlebug (shush! don't tell the Bug but I'm going over the dark side and buying a BigShot! I'll keep the Bug (LOVE my bug) but I'm having a Big Shot too - all in the name of research and business etc.. ahem.
Massive plastic pink spotted teacup bought recently in Matalan - it made me laugh - its meant for plants  but its a perfect size for keeping bits of Cut&Dry
PaperArtsy HotPick stamps (of course - always seem to have PA stamps on the desk somewhere)
Drawer of Stickles waiting to be put away - there's a lot of stuff on the desk waiting to be put away lol
Jar of buttons - love buttons!
Nestabilities dies
Old linen top being cut up to make suffolk puffs (or yoyo's - whatever name you prefer)
Equipment wrap - A wrap I made to keep all my tools in - a couple of people have commented on how much they liked it and so I'm going to start making and selling them.
rotating tool caddy in the top right hand corner (by Pampered Chef) ...rofl ... cooking is not high on my list of things to do but I went along to a party to support a friend who is a PC consultant and I couldn't resist the rotating tool storage thingymajig. Perfect for storing rulers, scissors, crop-a-diles, paint brushes etc etc etc.

Here's the other desk.. this is the 'clean' desk that I use more for sewing. I've got a mini table top ironing board (thank you again Ikea) and the buttons storage (some of) is on here too.  Another linen top being cut up, cottons, paints (unopened - waiting to be put away) and a rack at the back with loads of recently made cards...
Organised chaos! but in a good way  :o)   Hopefully next wednesday the desks will have changed - and I won't give you such a full tour next time! lol  I don't think the desks will be any clearer though - I'm a bit of a hoarder - I like to save things 'just in case'!  lol
See you next Wednesday - I'm off to look at other peoples creative spaces.

4 May 2010

Has anyone else seen Eliot Kid??

He's a cartoon kid with (I quote) 'a wild imagination' ...
I don't have kiddies and so there is no good reason why I should be watching cartoons in the morning but I may have to make an exception for 'Eliot Kid' - but purely for design research purposes obviously...
The cartoon has a great retro feel to it (and I do love retro) - the colours used for the background are all on a very 50/60s palette but what I really like are the trees!!(I'm so easily pleased aren't I! lol)
Sorry about the dodgy photo quality - taking photos of the tv again! - but come on you have to admit those are great trees aren't they?!
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