Wednesday 28 March 2012


I just popped in to look at Julia's desk and it was spooky. A big pile of buttons and just look at my desk today!

I told you......I wonder what it says about Julia and I that I found myself sitting quite happily shuffling the buttons into their groups!  Probably that Julia has better things to do right?!  I started out trying to work out what I wanted to do for a tag swap I have joined  over at Following the Paper Trail.  This one is in the French Country Chic category and I have to make 9 in total.  I quickly went from gathering the elements for my tag design together to button sorting.  Very soothing I found!

As you can see I am very soothed indeed.  I wonder how long they will have to wait for their own storage or will they just be scooped up and put in the jar for the next time I need button therapy?

Also on my desk is a project I want to write a tutorial for.  A cute way to store cling stamps and to use up those old video cases I still have lying around.  So I am off to do the rounds and I already feel like I am popping in on pals.  If you want to join in then follow the link to Julia's and find out what WOYWW is all about.

P.S.   If you want to see what my Graphic 45 challenge was when I finished follow this link!

Saturday 24 March 2012

G45 March Challenge

I have loved doing this challenge.  It combined quite a few of my crafting favourite things to do.  I love to build stuff with card and paper that you can use in your home.  This challenge is set by D's Paper Studio and sponsored by G45.  So the challenge is to make something inspired by a project that has been on the Graphic 45 Blog.

Since I love Laura Dennison's work and Graphic45 papers this was a challenge I knew I wanted to do and I had loads of fun so thanks to Debby!  I picked Laura's wonderful Steampunk Debutante Clock as my inspiration for my challenge project.

I wanted to make a Mantlepiece Clock that I could use and the Graphic 45 colours remind me of those antique french clocks with ornate black and gold decorations.  So that is where I began and this is where I ended up.......

All the papers I used are from the G45 Domestic Goddess, Le Cirque and ABC Primer Collections and the tin was from an old tin of flowers I put to one side after admiring Laura's project so it has been sitting there some time waiting for me to get motivated!

The drawers open and I plan to put tags for each member of the family in them.  The drawer knobs and the button on the top of the clock are G45 Metal Buttons.  I added some gems for a bit more opulence to their centres using Glossy Accents to keep them in place.

The flowers are all made with punches and dies and the metal flowers are from G45 and We R Memory Keepers.

 The stamps I used on the clock face are from the Tim Holtz Visual Artistry collection and  the sentiment is Paper Artsy Clocks 4.  I added Glossy Accents to the butterflies.  I had to shorten the hands of my clock as they were too long!

My clock face lifts out and I have a nice little cubby hole in the tin to make a mini for.  The feet of my clock are Tim Holtz Drawer knobs.  

I hope you like my project.  Thanks again to Debby at D's Paper Studio and Graphic 45 for the fab challenge.

I am on the look out for another tin of flowers (....or two) to try making another style of clock.  Any excuse to shop.  I wonder if I could make a clock that chimes?!!

Friday 23 March 2012

Too Nice to Stay Indoors

Today I just could't stay in and craft - though I was torn.  It was so nice outside I had to get out there.  So I took Comet for a walk along the canal.  It was warm and surprisingly quiet as it is a favourite walk for a lot of people when the weather is nice......And we have to make the most of any decent weather we get incase we don't see it again for a while!!

I think he is smiling!
Yesterday I had another meeting about my website and it looks like we are on the final straight.  It is exciting to see it all coming together but I need to keep my logic head on now as it doesn't matter how pretty it is if it is hard to use! 

I know that the websites I like to use best combine style, clarity and ease of use.  So that is my goal.  By far the hardest thing for me has been the text.  Every time I think I have finished a bit I go back to it and change it again!  

I have been learning about how to make my website more likely to be found when someone is searching for a particular topic.  Sometimes I get a bit bogged down with jargon I don't understand.  But I am learning the language slowly.  So I now know what a meta tag is and that my website will be crawled by Google and other search engines and that I want to have great SEO and if I get really hungry I can follow the breadcrumb trail back to my home page!!  Hey ho if my body was as exercised as my brain has been lately my jeans wouldn't be so tight!

I am off to finish my Graphic 45 challenge project now.  I might be able to post it tomorrow if I get on with it.  See you soon!

Wednesday 21 March 2012


Hi to anyone that is popping in!  As I make this entry I have noticed that WOYWW is becoming my gauge of how many crafting goals I am meeting in a week!  I have been trying to finish what was on my desk last week but I keep interrupting myself!!

I did get those bulbs planted yesterday though!  So I am even achieving other stuff as a result of telling you all what I am up to or about to be up to.  Although I did try hard to finish this layout I didn't manage it as you can see.....
Still needs a title and journalling and it will be done!
I am getting closer though.  I took the layout to my Mother-in-law's at the weekend and I have been finding out about the photo.  It was taken when she was 14 and was is taken when she spent the day on the beach at Famagusta, Cyprus with her family.  I love the style of photographs like this that look like they have been coloured in.  I spent ages making flowers to embellish this page but I am pleased with how they turned out.

My Mother-in-law has been given her homework and is going to journal on this page when we visit next.  She is nervous about writing on the layout!!

Flowers, flowers and more flowers!  What a cute puppy with little white socks.
As you can see I have been making all the bits and pieces for my second layout as I have been designing the first one and already have the background page drying ready to do the image transfer.  The second layout should be done much quicker now I know what I am doing.

The second thing that was on my desk last week is also almost finished but I can't show it to you just yet as it is for a challenge I want to enter.  I can show you a bit and keep you guessing a bit longer......How naughty!

I just noticed the coloured paint drips on my water pot at the back - my very own rainbow! 
I am on the final embellishing stage of the project now so I shouldn't be too long now.  It has to be submitted before the end of the month so I'd better get a move on.

.......So what else can I show you to make this a more interesting visit? Mmmmm, I know,
 I have seen that stash shopping is a hot topic for the WOYWW submissions so here are a couple of my latest buys.....

Fabulous metal flowers from We R Memory Keepers, lavish trinkets and metal bird cages from Prima and the little plaque although not stash is a little gift my hubby gave me last week that he bought while working in Scotland.  What a sweetie pie!  It was on my desk waiting to be given a spot in my craft room so it definitely had to be included.

Thank you to everyone that popped by last week.  I love reading all the lovely comments.  To anyone wondering what this post is all about then follow this link to Stamping-Ground to find out all about WOYWW. Beware though you will be hooked!  I love it and so am off to do my weekly desk hop......BOING!

Tuesday 20 March 2012

Spring is Here Today......

Hope that you are having the same lovely sunshine as we have here today.  I have been out in the garden and have finally put in the poor daffodil bulbs that have been valiantly trying to sprout in their yellow string bag in the green house!!

Poor old bulbs!  I feel guilty as they should be looking like this about now.  Will I get my new daffodils in the summer I wonder!!

There are lots of signs of life in the garden now and it was lovely being out in the sun with the birds singing.  I hope it stays nice for the weekend as we want to dismantle a leaking water feature and it is a bit of large job.  There are quite a few shrubs that could do with moving to roomier positions and I think they are going to be difficult to get out.  But thats another job for another day.

Being in the garden inspired me to make a card with flowers on - back in a bit..........

Hope you like the card.  I layered up some Kanban papers for the background (Deco Milano and Tartan) and a little black card to add some impact...oh and the always useful Craftwork Cards sentiment.  A bit of ribbon to keep the bunch of snowdrops together and pin flair glue gel to keep the flower heads in place a couple of gems and I finished these flowers much cleaner than when I was planting daffodils!

Here is the card we made in a class I taught.  I love making these snowdrops.  In fact I love making paper flowers full stop.  I designed the snowdrops when I was trying to make different types of flowers from paper for the class.  I love using the Tim Holtz Tattered Florals die for this.  It has such a good variety of petal shapes and sizes that I managed to make paper Irises and Chrysanthemums too.  I need to have a go at a daffodil next time I think.  I can do the base of the flower it is the cup shaped centre that poses the problem for me.... and the postman if I manage it!!

If you would like to know how to make the paper snowdrops then please follow this link to a tutorial.  Don't forget to let me know how you get on if you try making them.

Friday 16 March 2012

Grungy Monday 39

I really love the technique featured in this Grungy Monday challenge it is straight forward and you can get so many different looks with a sweep or two of your alcohol ink blending tool.   So here is my card.  It is one I designed for a class where we played with different ways to use alcohol inks to make our own patterned or coloured papers.  This tartan background was made using Pesto, Cloudy Blue and Sunshine Yellow alcohol inks.  I also used the inks to colour glossy card stock before stamping the other elements using a Sam Poole Flutter Floral stamp set from Creative Expressions.  I think the yummy colours of the alcohol ink and the bold outline stamps worked well together and I really enjoyed designing this set of cards.  The inks dry fast so you can get stamping immediately.

I hope you like my submission for this weeks Grungy Monday Challenge over at Studio L3 and thanks for setting a challenge that revisited a lovely technique featured in Tim Holtz 12 tags of Christmas 2009, Day 3.  Thank you also to Simon Says Stamp for sponsoring this week (my fingers are crossed!).

Just thought you might like to see another card I made at the time again using Ranger alcohol inks.  This time in cloudy blue and pesto.  The colour was just pounced onto the card until you had a mottled effect you liked.  I liked it best when some of the white glossy card was still showing.

The tweed pattern on the bottom was made by embossing the mottled card with a tweed embossing folder  and then carefully highlighting the raised area with a Ranger Black Archival ink pad.

Today I have promised myself that I will get on with the next thing on the to do list for my business and clear the room next door that I need to make ready for when I start preparing the content of my website.  So that means I am going to be clearing the long stored junk and making enough room to redecorated the room.  Everything has to look nice for what I want to do in there.......Sorry to be a tease........I am thinking of decorating it to match the colours of my website.  I might even paint my logo on the wall to remind me of my goal and to keep me motivated when I get side tracked by crafting.

Thanks for stopping by today.  I am off to post my link and to have a look at the other entries in the Grungy Monday challenge.  I love to see the huge variety of gorgeous projects have been inspired by one challenge.

Wednesday 14 March 2012


I can't believe it is Wednesday again already.  Here I am coffee and a chocolate biscuit at the ready.  I think WOYWW is definitely my...... and many others ......guilty pleasure!!  So first things first here are my photos of my workspace this week.

This photo is the beginning of an idea I have for a G45 challenge I spotted on the internet.  The challenge is to take inspiration from the wealth of ideas that are on the G45 blog and to create a project of your own.    So I have picked a project by Laura from Following the Paper Trail.  I think she is a paper engineer extraordinaire!  Its early days as you can see from this photo - and in the words of Rolf Harris - 'Can you see what it is yet?' 

Another work in progress a bit further along is a layout I started at my local crop on Saturday.  This crop is always the day after I have spent all day and night teaching so I always look forward to a good old chin wag and to see what everyone is working on (a bit like this really).  

As you can see much chat went on not much working - well I had to wait for the paint to dry.  This layout is in the drawing board stage.  As I put it together I am making two of everything as I have decided that as I have two sons that all the family heritage layouts they should both have in the future.

As you can see I have plenty to be getting on with not to mention that the garden calling out 'tidy me' and there are bulbs that really should be planted by now that are sprouting in the green house and of course there is the normal house hold stuff that needs doing.............But I have my coffee and biscuit and I am off to spend a minute or two dropping by to see what you are all up to........  

Thank you for your lovely comments and welcomes last week.  And to anyone new dropping in and wondering what on earth is this girl (woman!) on about then follow this link for some WOYWW fun.  It is a crafting treat not to be missed.  I wonder if I will have finished either of my craft projects by next week?

Happy WOYWW everyone X

Monday 12 March 2012

I Have Been Saving Fruit/Vegetable Nets!

I know some of you will think it was a strange thing to collect and others of you will think it is totally understandable.  I have been doing it for some time now as you can see looking at my collection and have been meaning to sit down to see what I can do with them.  So first of all I took them all and tidied them up a bit by trimming off all the labels and straightening them out (they won't stay that way for long!).
After - Can you tell what our family eats from this photo?
Then I made flowers!  If you want to make these I have written a small tutorial so just click on this link.

Now what to do with them all.  I had a little think and I used the yellow flowers as the starting point.  I collected together some papers I thought would show them off and this is the finished card.

If I had used the black netting they might have looked like fishing net flowers!
If you like this card there is a tutorial available if you click on this link.  I like how my lemon net flowers have turned out and they were very easy to make.  I am going to have another think about what else I can do with all my nets.  I think they would make a neat alternative to ribbon so watch this space!!

I'd be interested to know what you can come up with or have already used them for.

Sunday 11 March 2012

Grungy Monday 38

Here is my Grungy Monday 38 submission.  I thought I might not get this finished on time but I have been to my local Crop today and I managed to get it done in between chatting with friends and munching biscuits with my coffee and a little bit of scrapbooking too!

It was a bit of a struggle for me to get a nice resist using Tim's technique and I have had quite a few goes trying to get my paint to stay wet long enough to stick embossing powder to it.   Then when I did manage to get a resist pattern I liked, my card stock was doing very strange things with the distress ink!  Here are two I discarded although I think I might still use the harlequin one as I  quite like it now it is dry!!  The  card I used for the sample on the left was just soaking up the ink like a sponge so that wasn't good.  The one on the right was better but it was when I used a coated card stock that I had more success.

I think I will keep the one on the right.  

Once I had a background prepared I knew that I wanted to make a card Art Journal style so this my finished submission for this weeks challenge using Tim's featured technique.

There is something very satisfying about doodling around the images you have collaged onto your page.  I printed the flower images on my computer and tried to pick flowers that matched my inky background.

The distress inks I used on my background were Evergreen Bough and Shabby Shutters with a little Broken China and Peeled Paint swirled in.  I used sequin waste as my stamp to create the resist.

I enjoyed making this card so I think I will try and make more in this style.  I definitely need more practice at Tim's resist technique!

Happy Grungy Monday.  Pop along to Studio L3 and try a Grungy Monday challenge yourself.  I'm looking forward to seeing what next week brings!

Wednesday 7 March 2012

Today I Found WOYWW!

Today I happened upon a really cool Blog over at stamping-ground that, when you follow the links, allows you to take a peek at other crafters work desks!  I have to say I have just spent a very nosey half an hour (or maybe a bit more!!) wandering around and finding out what people are working on and how tidy their are.....or are not!  What a fabulous concept - satisfying on so many levels.

I now know there are many out there just as messy as me!  Crafting takes priority over craft room tidying every time.

So now I feel among friends I just had to join in and show you a peak of my workspace.  Actually the workspace bit is fairly organised for me as I have finished my preparations for my classes on Friday.  So on my desk is the last card samples and papers and ribbon ready to go into my bag.  This month my class will be playing with inks and stamps so I have been having fun with my blending brushes and distress inks.

This was the last card I designed using the Meadow Flora set of stamps from Sam Poole at Creative Expressions.  I love working with Creative Expression stamp sets when I teach as each set gives you scope to produce many cards with lots of different looks.

 Then there is chaos!  Here is a collection of tools and things waiting precariously to go into my trolley.  Will they slide onto the floor first!

This one is even more likely to land in a heap!  It is organised chaos though I promise.  I will be at my class with everything I need on Friday......I did once forget the keys to get into the hall though!  Good job I don't live to far away from it!

So to anyone that hasn't discovered the joys of WOYWW follow the link and take a look.  It might be worth getting a cup of coffee ready because I promise you time will fly!

....and to the seasoned WOYWW folk.  Welcome and thank you for sharing.

Tuesday 6 March 2012

My Website - Update

I thought I would tell you a bit about my website today and where it is up to at the moment.

When I had my 'light bulb moment ' and at last realised what it was I want to do for a living and came up with the idea for my business, the first major job to tackle was to get a website built.  I spent quite some time trawling the internet trying to find a company to work with.  I read a lot of articles as I wanted to be as clued up as I could be.  I spent many hours reading and eating a fair bit of chocolate along the way... only for stamina you understand!!!

I finally made my choices based on my website designers own website design, personalities and of course last but definitely not least, as I am on a tight budget, cost.  I really appreciated that my business idea excited and interested my eventual choice of web design team.

I am working with a company called Petrol.  I thought their website really stood out in a crowd and I felt their unique style of web design was also reflected in their portfolio.  It has been great to work with Peter (the designer) and I am so pleased that he has managed to get his head around the world of paper crafting (al completely new to him) and I think that this understanding, mixed with his own style, has resulted in a really great looking website.

I wish I was ready to show everyone now!  This starting a business journey is like waiting to unwrap a present that has been sitting under the Christmas Tree for weeks just tempting you to look for a few clues, have a little shake of the box to see if you can guess what is in there!

On Monday I worked with Glen (the technical guy) to get things in place to finish the site off.  So it is nearly there and then it is over to me to put all the content on the site (another big learning curve ahead).  

I am wondering if I should show you a little bit of my website hmmmmmm!

What a teaser!  This lovely butterfly actually flutters.  How cute is that?!
Watch this space.  Christmas is a fair bit off yet but I know it is coming!   I am keeping my fingers crossed that you all like what I eventually unwrap!!  Hope you pop in again soon.  Helen

Sunday 4 March 2012

My February Tag Tutorial

I am updating this entry in my Blog as I have learnt a little more and I now know I can use pages within my Blog so I thought it might be a better way to store any tutorials I make as I have already noticed it is a bit of a pain to scroll through an entire tutorial when you really just want to look at the blog!

So for the tutorial for this tag please follow the link and click here.

I hope that somebody out there has a go at this.  If you do, let me know what you think of this tutorial.  I would love to get feedback on what works and what doesn't.  

Thank you and I hope you pop back soon to follow me on this crafting journey.  Helen

Saturday 3 March 2012

I am Addicted.......Twice!

It is official.  I am addicted to Blogging and to Tim Holtz's 12 Tags of 2012!!  I keep checking the World Map of my blog to see if I have another country coloured in.  It is coming along nicely and no Pro Markers required!  So thank you to everyone that is popping in.  I really hope you like what you see and keep coming back.

My second addiction Tim's Tags and I know I am not the only one by far looking at all the fantastic work submitted for February's Tag.  So I am playing catch up and here is my tag.  I noticed the paper in the background of Tim's tag photo and decided to go with a Victorian theme too.  If you like it pop back as I have decided to take the plunge and try and make a tutorial for my Blog (fingers crossed).

I've just noticed the paper in the background is
upside down!!....and I was trying to be so
professional too!
Again I have had fun searching through my stash to find alternatives for the things.  I finally broke into the pack of Tim's Lavish Trimmings I had been so lovingly storing.  If you like my tag then don't forget to pop back soon for my tutorial - wish me luck.

I'm off out into the garden now whilst the sun is shining (a rare thing in England!) and also so my husband doesn't feel like a Blogging widow!!!

Thanks to all of you that have left me such encouraging comments - happy crafting.

Helen X

Friday 2 March 2012

12 Tags of 2012 - March Tag

I was checking out a few Blogs yesterday and I spotted that Tim Holtz has launched a new version of his wonderful 12 Tags of Christmas called 12 Tags of 2012 and I  liked the faux mosaic technique he featured on the March Tag so much that I decided to join in!  Anyone that knows me knows that I do love to take part in a challenge.  It gets your creative motor running.

So here is my version of the March tag.  The mosaic technique immediately bought the artist Gaudi to mind and I have long admired the sweeping benches that he covered in lots of beautiful mosaic work.  I wish I had one in my garden.  So I have taken Tim's design and given it a Gaudi twist, ......I hope!

I spent ages cutting up little bits of paper and matching colours and trimming to shape.  So much so in fact that I didn't get to bed until the early hours of the morning.  Time flies when you are having fun.  It was the perfect excuse to finally look through all the many scraps I have squirrelled away even though this technique didn't require me to use very much!

As you can see I have had to improvise some what as there were quite a few things Tim used that I did not have (I feel a shopping spree coming on).

I have a wonderful, and as you can see, very messy time on my ever-shrinking work space!  So thank you to Tim for the fabulous inspiration and tuition and I recommend to anyone reading this that you follow the link and go and check out Tim's Blog.  I am going to try to add his 12 Tags Blinky to my site next.

I will post the February tag tomorrow pop in and have a look.... I have to tidy up first I think!  Hope to see you here again soon, Helen

Thursday 1 March 2012

I Found the Statistics area of my Blog Today!

I was having another look at what is in the Blog Tools area of my Blog and I found the 'Statistics' tab.  It is really cool.  It tells you how many people visit your site and even where they are on a map.  I have the UK coloured in and Germany and France!!!  I'm so excited by that and would really love to colour in more countries.....I've always loved colouring in!

So thank you to everyone that has popped in to see what I am up to.  I really appreciate it and hope you like what you read enough to pass on my link to your friends and even better still please sign up to follow my journey to realise my ambition to set up and launch my own internet business.

I thought you might like to see where I get creative.  I have just cleared the decks (ish!) to work on the designs for my final cards for next week.  But you know what it is like.  Give me five minutes and I will be working in an area the size of a postage stamp in no time at all!
Well I did say tidy ish!  I crackle painted my walls with emulsion paint and PVA glue!
This is where I write this Blog.  Look at the lovely sunshine outside today!
I think most of my craft room furniture is from Ikea (fantastic storage solutions) and I loved this girly wall paper from Laura Ashley.  It's my space so I can be girly though if you look at the surfaces I think you'll agree I can be a bit grungy too!!!!

Happy Crafting and thanks for popping in.


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