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

31 May 2015

Birthday card....

.... with a bit of everything - die cutting, stamping, painting, embossing and sewing!

all that and it still looks quite clean and simple!

Happy with how it turned out... so happy I made a smaller blue version..

I think this would also look nice with a patterned paper inplace of the painted panel.... so many options!


30 May 2015

ALBOTAT: Colouring in....

... don't mind if I do!

Colouring books for adults.. 101 ways to keep a person quiet and focused and a fun way to practice colouring within the lines... lol..


29 May 2015

Busy Busy Busy ....

... buzz.. buzz.. buzz...

I've had a lot of fun in recent workshops creating these cute box canvasses with people.. for each workshop I've tweaked the design slightly... so nice to see them all lined up..

The canvasses are an ideal size - at 4x6 inches they are no bigger than a standard greeting card.. so the design could be easily applied to a card if they are more 'your thing' than canvasses.

(I especially like the flying bees on the top of the canvasses - can't resist pinging them lol)


27 May 2015

ALBOTAT: From little acorns....

... lovely dibbers are made.

I'd like to tell you a story...

Once upon a time, not so long ago- back in the mid 1970s - a little girl planted an acorn in the back garden of her parents house....

Fast forward forty (OUCH) years and the little girl (thats her in the photo above in the garden, on her first day of school) has grown up and so has the tree.  The garden and tree, in the rear right of the photo below, have blossomed and the tree is big and strong....   gone is the 'Good Life' vegetable patch, now replaced by lawns and flower beds...

The not-little-anymore-girl now has her own house & garden and asked her Dad to make her a dibber to help plant seeds....
So he used a branch that had needed to be trimmed from the tree, turned it on his lathe and created lovely dibbers...

And that is how the acorn that I planted when I was five, grew big, and became my plant dibbers!

How great is that!

Love that my Dad thought to make the dibbers out of a branch of the tree I planted - circle of life, personal history/attachment...


26 May 2015

A Birthday Treasure Hunt...

... for my nephew's birthday. We're giving him money as a gift, and to make it a bit more interesting I planned a mini treasure hunt for him - he solves a clue (cryptic rhyming clues no less!) & goes off around the house to find the envelopes containing loot... and carries on until he reaches the birthday cake!

I hope he has as much fun going on his little treasure hunt as I had writing the clues and making the envelopes. lol

(I especially enjoyed making the envelopes! - they're so cute - 7.5x10cm! Its a Sizzix die (Tim Holtz, Movers & Shakers die - Pocket Envelope), as are the numbers (Serif Essential Numbers) on each envelope...)

I made him a card too... used a really quick'n'easy brayered background (I wanted it to look 'rough'), a Stampotique image, JOFY circles and chevrons... & I couldn't resist a bit of gold embossing - even boys like a bit a bit of bling!


25 May 2015

ALBOTAT: accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative...

.. is exactly what this well cropped photo of our garden does!

The view of the alliums, gates and aquilegia in the background focuses on the good part of the garden - and makes me happy!  Pretty!
(fyi if you widen out the photo you'd see a big pile of wood and building materials/supplies - but we'll just ignore those! lol)

oops sorry - this post may appear twice in updates because it was deleted by accident and had to be reloaded! ggggrrrr
and HELEN, yes the grass needs cutting but we can't because of the previously mentioned pile of building supplies! lol  ah well - long live the weeds and the wilderness! lol


13 May 2015

ALBOTAT: Bloomin' lovely...

... each week I try to buy flowers to have on the lounge table.. not expensive flowers just so there's something 'living' in the room... supermarkets all have flowers a good prices..  Lidl have lovely lilies at a really good price, and tulips too -  I bought two bunches a few weeks ago - one pink and one purple.. loved the colour of the inside of the pinks:

It faded from pink to a pretty pale teal colour - camera not really doing it justice..

The purples started life like this:

and gradually as they started to turn fade and gave these lovely purple/ lavender tones - nicer/more interesting ???

Last week I bought Peonies - £6 in Tesco, guaranteed for a week - love how these started off as tight little balls of buds and then burst (slowly! lol) into wide delicate flowers - similar to a waxy tissue paper..

They started to turn and became floppy and fragile, and the colours faded to different shades of a peachy pink - so pretty..

Its inspiring to have the flowers in the house and watch them change... and the colour combinations & shadings that occur naturally.   Its the same in the garden - everything is waking up after the winter - some plants are growing nice and quickly - others not so much... I'm a bit of an impatient gardener!


12 May 2015

More than a 'little bit of this'n'that'...

... its been too long since I blogged.. I'm sorry... don't take it personally -though I think my blog might be - its feeling (and looking) all unloved and ignored!... life and secret stuff takes over sometimes... but here is a fast'n'furious bullet point list of some of the things/highlights I've been up to (in chronological order) since we last spoke.. 
  • I've taught 3 fun workshops
  • I met and had a mini conversation with the national treasure that is Dame Judi Dench !! (squeal)  it was one of those moments where you think 'that lady looks just like Judi Dench, but what would Judi Dench be doing here?!?'.. well, buying her groceries as it turns out lol even national treasures need to buy groceries. lol   
    She was very lovely/ gracious, am very glad I plucked up the courage to say hello.. (though not enough courage to ask for a photo - didn't seem right - she's a Dame! lol..)
  • I watched the builders demolish the back of our house - at speed - I hope they build it back up just as fast (I doubt it, but I can hope!)... 
  • I bought last minute tickets to see Texas, one of my all time favourite bands, at our local venue.... and went to see the concert last week...(by the way - I love a coincidence: my ticket number was J10 which is part of the registration number on my car!! its like it was meant to be! lol)
    TEXAS WERE AWESOME!!! so so good... I'm lost for words - which is saying something!
    Afterwards we went to the stage door (my brother's idea - he's a big fan!) waited for a while, chatted with the band's guitarist (who was outside for a sneaky cigarette) and then out came Sharleen Spiteri... and this time I DID pluck up the courage to ask for a photo! lol
  • Went to the hairdressers - not normally newsworthy obviously - but this was a visit with a difference:
    "Hi Jo, are you feeling artistic?" says my hairdresser... "why??" I replied a little suspiciously... he handed me a wood giraffe that he wanted me to paint ... while he's cutting my hair  (he'd started painting it yellow and then..  well.. stopped) lol... 
    I'm up for a challenge -and it was a challenge - it's one of those wood toys that collapse when you press the base... (cast your minds back to being a child... we probably all had them - I think mine was a cow lol)... 90 minutes later I'm looking prettier and the giraffe isn't looking too bad either! even if I do say so myself..  lol
    (its not going to win any prizes but I had to paint this moving object while not moving my head (or body really) because my hairdresser is cutting my hair! lol  me sitting still at the hairdressers to start with is a feet in itself - so I'm not convinced the 'paint a giraffe' request wasn't just an elaborate ploy to keep me still. lol )

    Meet Gerry the Giraffe!

..and if you're wondering how JOFY stamps appeared along the base its because I drove home - in my hairdresser gown and plastic cap (stop laughing)- and picked up stamps, ink, paint and paint brushes lol
aaaah if only I could've remembered where I'd put my googly-eye stash! lol

And now I'm still working on commissions and secret stuff... while making tea and coffee for the builders :o)

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