Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year Everyone

Just posting to wish everyone who reads my blog a very Happy and Prosperous New Year.

I would also just like to share my favourite 10 creations for this year:

Advent calendar - front (or is it the back??)

Advent calendar back (or is it the front??)

This had a personal thumbs up from Tim so just has to be my favourite creation this year really - it still has pride of place in my lounge and will have until the 12th day of Christmas!!

The rest in no particular order are:

Benjamins birthday card

My friend Julie's birthday card

A Crop class layout I taught earlier this year

A tag I made for a swap on WOYWW

A Crop class layout that I will be teaching on 15th January

A tag I made and have kept for myself!

A favourite mainly because I love the story behind the photo!

Another personal layout - I love this one as I adore the papers and the resins

Another card I have made and haven't the heart to give away as I like it so much - might just have to send it myself next year!

Well that's me signing out for 2011 now and I will be back, hopefully firing on all creative guns, early in the new year.

Thank you all for looking and all your lovely comments throughout 2011 - Wondering if I will stay awake until midnight from Solihull xxx

Wednesday, 28 December 2011


Here is a picture of my desk actually taken this morning and not the day before!  Bit easier when you get up a bit later isn't it!

Card there is a new home one for my Nan who moved into a nursing home last Thursday - haven't had chance to go and visit her yet with the children been off but she is settling in ok.

That roll up piece of kitchen roll at the back there is full of new coins! whoo hoo and the twine you see at the right hand side of the table is the expensive one from Hobbycraft (just thought I would share that!) and the little mushrooms beside it were also a Christmas present - they are little pots of rubbers and I got three of them as the children couldn't decide on which colour to get!  they will make little pots to keep "things" in and feed my mushroom addiction nicely!

If you are wondering why I am sharing a picture of my desk with the world then please pop over to Julia's where all be revealed!

Hope you all had a great Christmas.

Thanks for looking - a mushroom fan from Solihull

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Happy Christmas Everyone!

Sorry I am late posting this - I didn't schedule anything for the big day and obviously have been a bit busy the past two days (to say my 7 year old has been excitable is an understatement!).

Here he is with our tree - as you can see I have finished the decorations (the children did all the rest which is why they are all precariously hanging off the edges and most are back to front!) with some of my T!m tags and lot of lovely handmade pinecones!

Here are a few of the cards I made:


Jayne's (who loves purple!)

My parents - my OH parents had the same card but with Mum and Dad instead

OH's sister and brother in law card

Card for my Nan

and here is my favourite present:

a little R2D2 tin full of little tiny R2D2 mints! how cute is that - thought he would look nice talking to my table decoration snowman - and look 2 days on and there are still chocolates in there! (don't think the children have realised yet!!!!).

Thanks for looking everyone - overfed from Solihull.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011


Only four more sleeps!  whoo hoo.

Here is my table in front of telly as of yesterday afternoon:

Bargain Hunt on the telly there! I wasn't watching it but turned off Glee as I suddenly thought about taking a picture in the daylight!  Here I was working on my Nan's calendar - only two more months to do now and it will be finished.  Usual clutter on desk and also the last four Christmas cards that I had to make peeking out there in front of my portable bin.  In the background you can see my advent calendar has pride of place on the bookcase (in fact it's taken over from the configuration box I made at Artsycrafts earlier this year which has been temporarily laid down for a month!) - the advent is popular with the boys which I am pleased about as it has had to compete against a Star Wars lego one with one boy opening it on even numbered days and the other on odd days - thank goodness! It makes all the effort worthwhile doesn't it!

Also on the bookcase is a half decorated sleigh that I really must get around to finishing (I seem to remember that I said that last year too!).

Looking forward to visiting some desks today - all my presents are now wrapped and under the tree and also all the eight tags that I made following Tim's 12 Tags of Christmas are hanging on the tree - they look really great mixed amongst the assortment of Disney, other handmade, Starbucks, Knitted, Babys firsts etc ornaments.

To join in all the desk hopping fun pop over to Julias.
Thanks for looking - Excited from Solihull.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

The Magic of hOltZ

I have enjoyed myself so much recently making 8 of the 12 Tags of christmas, then a couple of days ago I was having a little rummage through my smallish pile of papers as I need to start planning the calendar I make for my Nan as a Christmas present when I came across the Graphic 45 The Magic of Oz papers I have - then something just clicked and I thought that really Oz is just a secret code for hOltZ- after all he is a wizard at inspiring us all isn't he!  So, all thoughts of the calendar disappeared (after all I still have another whole 8 days to worry about that!) and I decided to make this instead:

and as you can see I have managed to incorporate T!ms Day 8 steam punk tag on it too.

Papers used are: Graphic 45 - The Magic of hOltZ Collection namely The Magic of hOltZ and Journey to hOltZ, A Proper Gentleman Collection - Timely Point of View and Steampunk Debutante Collection - Mechanical Mind.  The Magic of Oz cards and header were cut from the Oz papers and I have cut out and added the hlt letters from T!ms Once Upon A Time alphabet, inked them with Aged Mahogany and Black Soot to match the other letters and adhered them to read hOltZ.  Of course as its a layout with T!m on it it needed lots of metal so I have used cogs, a crown - finished with a Primark pearl - and some spinners from T!ms metal collections, a metal clock charm (think I got this from Art From The Heart) and a metal pen nib.  The tag I based on the Day 8 Steampunk tag and didn't change it much but used Alice from the papers to point to the name hOltZ and a ticket - using T!ms ticket die and a stamp from the Odds and Ends collection - saying Artsycrafts and the date.  The clock is T!ms sizzix die as are all the cogs which I have painted with silver, bronze and gold metallic paints then inked with Vintage Photo distress ink.  I used a burgundy earthy pastel length of hemp which I always like to wrap around cogs and lay around a scrapbook page if I can.  Have inked all my edges with Vintage Photo and the tag background was made using Vintage Photo, Picket Fence and Broken China distress stains.

Hope you like it! Thanks for looking - Enjoying the magic of hOltZ from Solihull.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

12 Tags of Christmas - Day 7

Oooh glassine leaves!  I thought these looked lovely when I watched the video but, alas, I have no glassine!  However look at my results using freezer paper:

As I have a huge roll of freezer paper (150 metres! - well actually I have already used some so I probably only have about 148 metres now!) I thought I would give it a try instead of glassine paper, so I inked it up with Meadow and Bottle alcohol inks with some Copper mixative and then heated it - I half expected it to burn but no it was fine! so I turned it over and inked the back (something I always do!) and then when I had heated that side, I turned it back to the front and added blending solution, heated it, crumpled it and cut out some holly leaves with my sizzix die - I was very impressed with the results and have now made loads of these! (well with 148 metres of freezer paper I thought it was rude not too!).

I did the pearls the same way as T!m too with Red Pepper alcohol ink in a little bag.  The tag background is done in Wild Honey and Vintage Photo distress strains and stamped with a background stamp in Vintage Photo, edges are inked with Vintage Photo too.  Santa is from an Anita's set of stamps and he is inked onto kraft cardstock with Brown ink and cut out with a sizzix die.  Tag is then finished with the holly leaves, pearls (again taken from a trusty necklace from Primark), a bit of ribbon with silver stars on and some twine.  The top of the tag is finished with red and plain twine with two more pearls from a Primark necklace and a bell that I have coloured with Red Pepper alcohol ink too.

If you want to join in with the 12 Tags then pop over to T!ms and join in the fun.

Here are a couple more of these I have made too:

Thanks for looking - Loving my holly from Solihull

12 Tags of Christmas - Day 6

Am running a bit behind with these due to DS having a birthday in the middle and lots of celebrations going on all round!

Here is my take on Tag six:

The photo really doesn't do this tag any justice as it is really, really nice in real life.  I was actually quite surprised how nice it turned out as during it's creation it wasn't the best I can tell you!  Firstly I hadn't got a suitable colour metal so I used a dusky pink and then the only acrylics I had to hand (without going and moving presents and things to get in my craft cupboard) were pastels and browns, however I put the metal through the word embossing folder and then coloured it with stripes of sandal, espresso and hazlenut paints (and yes it really did look awful!).  I then sanded away and to be fair at that stage it already started to look better even with my strange colour mix.  I then thought in for a penny in for a pound and covered the whole tag, rather than just one area, with Festive Berries ink and embossed it and the transformation was fabulous and I ended up with a rather lovely piece of artwork just in itself.  So I have just finished the tag simply with a bit of black flower ribbon I bought in the rag market, two fabulous pinecones (spent a happy evening making up a few of these from the new T!m die, the pinecones are cut from Kraft card, inked with Gathered Twigs and then finished with Snowcap paint and rock candy stickles (they look very effective!) and the leaves are inked with Peeled Paint.  I used another of my metal angels which I painted with Snowcap, Pearl and Pitch Black acrylics and then tied on to the tag with red and black twine to tie all the colours together.

All in all I am very happy with the results!  If you want to join in with the 12 Tags then pop over to T!ms and join in the fun.

Can I just say a big hello to RumTruffle - thank you for following me :)

Thanks for looking - Running behind from Solihull

Wednesday, 7 December 2011


Here is a view of my working desk as of yesterday afternoon:

Stripy piece of painted metal there is for T!ms tag yesterday (still not finished it!), the normal bits of clutter that surround me when I am crafting, the little box with flowers on next to my ink pads I made for our bumper crop last year out of the kit we made up - it contains my alcohol inks (for Monday's tag!), two extra alcohol ink tags are drying on top of my ink pads as I really loved making them, the Haribo's are for DS1 to take into school as it's his 11th birthday today - whoo hoo, and then to just to entertain and delight the other messy crafters out there here is a full view of my dining room, sorry, craft table!

Big shot, fold away bin, present for DS1 off DS2, DS2's book bag and letters home from school..... you get the picture!

DS1 is still in bed at the moment so am just waiting for him to wake up and open his presents - aren't birthdays just wonderful! then when they are both in school I am nipping to Morag's as our pinecone die turned up yesterday so I am off to have a quick play!  Whoo hoo - hopefully will visit a few of you later - managed over 100 last week!

Thanks for looking everyone - Mom of the Birthday Boy from Solihull.

Monday, 5 December 2011

12 Tags of Christmas - Day 5

Love this technique - first learnt this in 2005 at one of T!ms classes at Bonanza but haven't used it much since - not sure why really as I do like it!

Anyway here is my tag for today - sorry the picture isn't the best but I took it at 3.30pm (had lunch out with the girl's today so did half this morning and half this afternoon before the school run) so as it's already getting dark by then it's not easy to get a good picture even with daylight bulbs!:

The bird is a sizzix one and I prepared this and a couple of others yesterday when I was doing the house tag - today it just needed a swish of black soot distress stain over it and his little eye - the tag is hazlenut alcohol ink and T!ms original script reflections stamp.  I needed a bit more fuss though so I have added some festive greenery finished off with a bit of doodling and pearls (off a necklace from Primark) and then the fence is a Wrought Iron Fence die from Memory Box, all mounted onto a white tag.  Nice and simples!  Will probably do a couple more these too later (especially as I have already prepared another 3 acetate backgrounds and have another bird ready too!

I would also like to say a big hello to Nicki - thanks for following me!

Thanks for looking - Full up from eating far too much at Giraffe from Solihull

Sunday, 4 December 2011

12 Tags of Christmas - Day 4

Gosh I never thought this would dry in time! (family party in 1hour 22 mins and counting...)

Have used a cream cardstock for the base and inked it with picket fence, broken china and vintage photo distress stains (aren't these just the best!).  Then stamped with a swirl (have prepared quite a few of these and some I used a script stamp here instead - not only do I prefer a script but I always find that I have never got the right kind of swirl!) - however the swirl is one I made myself ages ago now and actually looked really good (shame its covered up really!), then I stamped several different snowflakes with broken china. 

The house was painted with hazlenut acrylic dabber (at least I think it was - I found it in my 'bung it in there it will come in useful one day boxes') and had already been run through the notebook embossing folder.  I then cut out the house (don't have that fabulous snowman die - boo hoo) and covered it with crackle glaze, when dry I rubbed over vintage photo distress strain.  Then when all that was dry I put the music paper behind it and filled all the windows with glossy accents - and then left aside to dry yet again!  Then I finished it with some metal smoke from the chimney (so love doing this to house chimneys!) and some liquid pearls and glitter for the snow. 

The large snowflakes are cut from glitter paper with sizzlets and the smaller ones are from a Martha Stewart die - all finished with bling - I did try and cut them out with acetate but no joy as it's too thick for punches and sizzlets.  The little silver brooch I have had in my stash for ages and I thought it looked a bit like a wreath - have no idea who the lady in it is.  I added a T!m Christmas tag in Festive Berries in the bottom corner to give it a bit of colour and finished with 2 holly leaves and some berries (out of my comfort zone here as I always use three holly leaves - who knows maybe I will have to add one later after my guests have gone.....). 

Have finished it simply with plain ribbons - this was just one white ribbon and have I coloured two bits with vintage photo and broken china to tie the whole tag together.

Am so loving making these tags - if you want to join in pop over to T!ms and get crafty!

Thanks for looking - Sparkly from Solihull

Saturday, 3 December 2011

And there's more

Just to show how quick these are to make I have been to Tennis (sat for an hour teaching myself how to crochet whilst watching DS1), nipped to Toys R Us for the free lego and then to Hobbycrafts to replace a faulty promarker (didn't think till I got home that I could have treated myself to a Barn Door or Fired Brick reinker - still never mind I will make sure it's in my stash for next year!!!) - have then got home and made some more of these:

all done in the same way just different colours and powders here and there.  Thought they would look good popped on a kraft card for some Christmas cards for friends, I have also prepared about 8 more of the backgrounds, cut out 10 lots of festive greenery as it looks like they will be used a lot over the next 9 days and have now just cleared away all my craft stuff ready for the 10 and 11 year olds coming to the party in 15 mins.  Phew.

Thanks for looking - Creative from Solihull.

12 Tags of Christmas - Day 3

Oh my goodness - how quick are these to put together??  Managed this one in less than an hour because I have had to sort out a couple of things since 8am and still have managed to produce this by 9.10!

Have seen the technique of inking a piece of felt a few times but have never tried it before - now I am addicted! This will be appearing a lot in my artwork from now on - believe me!  I was a bit worried to start as I only have three distress reinkers - Rusty Hinge, Wethered Wood and Wild Honey - not really Christmassy colours are they! I also thought they might clash but no they look great!

Have used a Crafty Individuals stamp inked in the above colours, to keep it matching I have inked the tag with Wild Honey and then the edges with Rusty Hinge and then covered it with the lovely Dyan's (Blonde Moments) Festive Candy Lustre Pearl Pigment.  Admittedly the lampost was already cut out and inked so I just had to add the snow (with SnowWriter and glitter) and put on the holly leaves and finish with bling.  The snowman was also already cut - a left over from my advent calendar (for which I have had a personal email off T!m saying how much he liked it - whoo hooo can't get higher praise than that for a configuration box can you!!!), I just had to colour him in with promarkers and finish with bling and a pom pom (gotta be done hasn't it!).  Then I have just finished it off simply with a piece of calico inked with Vintage Photo and another Fairy (and yes it is another fairy as I bought 10 of them so they will be appearing on a few more tags yet - I haven't just pinched it off day 1 - honest!).

Well that's it for me at the moment am off to take DS1 to tennis, then the school Christmas Fayre then back for his Xbox party and sleepover and then prepare for our family birthday party tomorrow - gosh it's all go - thank goodness for a quick technique!  If you want to join in with the fun then pop over to T!ms.

Thanks for looking :)  Mojo's on fire from Solihull

edited to add I have since done loads more of these!  four more are displayed on the post above.

Friday, 2 December 2011

12 Tags of Christmas - Day 2

Whoo hoo - two posts in one day! that doesn't happen very often does it!  Well if you are following along with T!ms 12 tags (and if not - why not??) then this is my take on today's:

As you can see I have kept mine nice and simple and basically copied T!ms by following his techniques.

I have used Kraft resist cardstock (not got the Seasonal one!), covered it with Picket Fence distress stain (so love this stuff!) and carried out the technique as described, inked the edges with Festive Berries and then, when distressed with my trustly old knife blade, with Vintage Photo.  I also sprayed the tag with Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearl Mist (both the Vintage Photo distress ink and the Perfect Pearl Mist were given to me by T!m at ArtsyCrafts earlier this year so I had to use them!).  I don't own the Reindeer die but this was cut out for me by Jackie at a crop a few months ago (thanks Jackie!). 

I used the On the Edge Ornate die on grunge paper and painted it with the mouldy red inka paint that was sitting on my desk (as you do! and no I still haven't emailed them yet.....).  I tied a Lets Grow rope string around his neck with a yellow heart hanging off it (from Hobbycraft and the Works respectively) and then added a bling eye and a red pom pom to turn him into Rudolph.

I am not sure who manufactured the stamped circle but it is inked with Evergreen berries,  mounted onto a sizzix pinking edge circle inked with Iced Spruce and then covered with glossy accents (which is still wet!), the holly is from T!ms Festive Greenery die and the 3 berries were added with my Bejeweller.  I finished the tag with some earthy pastel and earthy hemp from which I have hung three pearls off a necklace from Primark and I think the Hope tag was given to me at a class sometime ago and never used!

Whole tag only took an hour which is very quick for me and I have also had a lovely morning at my art class learning (finally!) how to use water colour pencils - will post about that at a later time.

Thanks for looking - Inky from Solihull

12 Tags of Christmas - Day 1

I ummed and arred yesterday about making this tag - Morag and I looked and cooed over it yesterday morning and it took us about half an hour to cave in and order the pinecone die online between us (we sat and tried the Marianne rose die wrapped around a cocktail stick but despite the fact that it did look a bit like a pinecone it wasn't good enough for us so we had to treat ourselves!!), so I was going to wait until the new die arrived until I did the tag but then inspiration struck last night and I got on with it using stamps instead (this was after I had walked home from school frantically looking for some small pinecones but alas there aren't any on Widney Lane!) - in fact I sat down with both children to try and get them to join in and make a tag each too but after two mishaps with the embossing powder (I used the wrong ink) they were off to watch cartoons!

Anyway here is my tag (had to finish it this morning due to using crackle glaze!):

Used kraft cardstock for the tag and label, T!ms Christmas embossing folder and white embossing powder, Gathered Twigs, Festive Berries, Evergreen Bough and Iced Spruce distress inks, the Festive Greenery sizzix die, some scalloped lace inked with Evergreen Bough, one of T!ms Vintage Laces to edge the greeting, the greeting is an Anita's clear stamp (see Morag and I were very restrained not giving in and buying the NOEL die too although can I just say that it will be brilliant if T!m decides to use the Reindeer mover and shakers die one day too! wink, wink).  The string of pearls I picked up at a local haberdashery and the fairy I bought at Hobbycrafts at the NEC back in March.  The pinecones are a stamp (not sure what make) which I have coloured with Gathered Twigs and Evergreen Bough inks and then crackle glaze and then have mounted on using two heights of 3D foam so that they are 3D.  The red and green twines are by Creative Expressions.

Really enjoyed making this so can't wait for the next one!  Children loved opening the advent calendar yesterday (I have filled it with chocolate and some mini figures) but it still didn't compete with the Lego Star Wars one - in fact little one is up already this morning desperate to open it as it is his turn on even numbered days for the lego one!

Also can I just say a big hello to JB - thanks for following me :)

Thanks for looking - Pineconeless from Solihull.