Sunday, 30 December 2012

Its Oh So Quiet

on the crafting front I mean - not my house that's as hectic and noisy as usual! In fact more so with the children being off school.  I haven't had chance to play much this week - in fact the white tablecloth from Christmas Day is still on my dining room table so I can't get my inks out until I move it!

I did however paint two lovely pictures at my last two art classes which are on proud display in my dining room so I thought I would post them on here to show you all too.  Here is the one I did a week last Friday:

and the one I did the week before that:

both are done in acrylics.

Had a great time at the Solihull Pantomime on Friday and tomorrow I am taking DS2 to see the Gruffalo's Child in Birmingham, then we only have two more days until they go back to school! Boo. Oh well such is life as I will then have to catch up with the jobs I keep putting off as we are on holiday! 

So that's from me until next year! hope you all have a good one!

Thanks for looking - Off to play Lego Lord of the Rings from Solihull

Wednesday, 26 December 2012


Morning everyone, Hope you all had a super Christmas - we had a great time in our house apart from little one having a slight tumble down the stairs but apart from a red mark by his eye he was fine!  Bless - we had all the grandparents round for a lovely lunch and had a wonderful day opening presents and playing with the new games with the children.  Children got the Turtle Beach headphones and Hexbugs that they asked for, OH got his new tops and I got a new Windows Phone! whoo hooo.

I wont show you my table this week as we ate at it for Christmas dinner so it basically just has a white tablecloth on it and a neat pile of Christmas placemats, but as I would still like to join in I thought I would show you the Christmas table decoration I made (although he can also be used as a doorstop!) - Charlie the Turkey:



back - isnt that tail feather super!

I used some Westminster Fabrics that I won in a blog hop way back in July and a pattern fromThe Quilters Trader Post I bought whilst at the Malvern Quilt Show. He was called Lurkey the Turkey and I couldnt resist him but I am calling mine Charlie - much friendler!

I hope everyone has a great week off - the children are off until next Thursday now so we have a pantomime trip planned, a trip to see the Gruffalos Child at Birmingham Town Hall and various meet ups with friends and family so a nice fun packed week.

Hope you all got everything you wished for and more.  If you want to join in the fun and show your workspace to the world then pop over to Julias and join in the all the fun.

Thanks for looking - Feeling chilled from Solihull

Saturday, 22 December 2012

More Festive Creativity

Felt like playing again yesterday so I gathered up all my spare configuration boxes that were left over from my gravestone and decided to make a Christmas Tree table decoration:

Just used various bits and pieces that were lying around really - T!ms pinecone, the mover and shaper Reindeer and 25, the large reindeer, ticket (and stamp), festive greenery, snowflake and Halloween shadows dies, two polysterene balls covered in glitter and made into a snowman - used bling for his nose and eyes, ribbon for scarf and buttons for his hat.  Parcels are simply handcut pieces of kraft card stock with the edges inked and tied with festive twine and a tag, the little jars are filled with glitter - here is a close up of their tags:

The Santa's washing line is made up from some old Penny Black (I think) stamps - inked with Jet Black archival, coloured with distress markers and then covered with glossy accents to add shine and puff paint to create a fur effect:

I only really used Vintage Photo ink on here with Broken China and Brushed Pewter stains on the snowflake. Finished the tree edges with festive pom pom ribbon, T!ms lantern - how cute is that! and a robin that I bought in a set of three last year.  The tree itself was made up from spare configuration boxes, painted green using PaperArtsys Fresco Finish Hyde Park paint, the insides were covered with some pages from Hamlet and then the whole thing sprayed with Old Lace glimmer mists - it has a lovely sparkle!

All in all a very nice days play - sorry for poor pictures its another rainy day here!

I am going to enter this into the following challenges: - Glitter and Sparkle - Anything Christmassy - Anything Goes - Anything Goes - Treemendous - Deck the Halls - Anything Goes - Merry Christmas - Anything Goes at Christmas - Green and Red plus Glitter and Sparkle - Anything Goes

Only three more sleeps - whoo hooo.

Thanks for looking - Feeling Festive from Solihull

Thursday, 20 December 2012

My mojo is back!

whooo hooo!

It's about

been having a lovely crafty play on this dark and dismal day, and I have had over 3000 blog hits on my Santa Sleigh post via T!ms blog - how cool is that!

Used a new Timepiece embossing folder, lots of gears and new mini gears, Recollections Time Flies stamps, new bit of lace, T!ms alphabet die, Vintage Photo and Salty Ocean inks, some new Blue Patina perfect pearls and a new bit of ribbon.  So much new stuff - so little Time!!!! Where did it all come from I wonder? just sort of found it all lying around.....

Thanks for looking - Finally doing something from Solihull

Wednesday, 19 December 2012


Happy Christmas everyone!

Haven't joined in so much this year as I really haven't been as creative as I usually am but I have had so much fun when I have - not much on my desk this week:

am still struggling to get creative - in fact yesterday I wrote out a list of things I need to get done as I had a free afternoon and I still couldn't muster up the enthusiasm so I read a book instead!  That little pile of stuff in the middle is some new goodies I have to play with - kraft glassine, the Tim Spooky sizzix die, the two T!m snowflake dies (not new but so need to make my little Christmas trees still!) and some art parts.  The pile behind are my Christmas cards, no idea how that Santa hat got there and the pink pile at the back is a basket I have been crocheting - I have only just learnt how to crochet and I didn't have a pattern to follow so it's a bit rubbish but it will do the job!

Hope everyone has a great Christmas and new year.

If you want to join in the blog hopping fun then pop over to Julias.

Thanks for looking and keeping with me throughout 2012 - All ready for Christmas from Solihull

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Dashing through the snow

Well here it is - my twelfth T!m tag of the year:

For this one I have used Barn Door and Tarnished Brass stains, an Artist Cellar Old World Map Series (London) mask, Evergreen Bough and Tea Dye distress inks, T!ms Reindeer and On the Edge Tree dies, 7 Gypsies tissue paper over grungepaper, Creative Journey London Stamp, Jet Black Archival Ink, Rock Candy Crackle Paint, Pearl Glitter, White Acrylic Paint, Muslin, Black Bling and a Red Seed Bead for the Reindeers eye and nose.

The colours arent the best on this photo so here is a shot of the tag before I added the trees and reindeer:

They are so vibrant in real life - photos never really give our tags justice do they!  I have added the stamp and mask to keep in with my British theme.

If I had realised 11 months ago that when I said "My 2012 tags are all going to have a British theme" just what an extra big challenge I had set myself I might not have attempted it.  However attempt it I did, and what a wonderful extra push it gave me - yes it was tricky and some of the tags actually took me a couple of weeks to ponder over just to come up with a British theme but it took me out of my comfort zone and made me a lot more creative.  I haven't made as much stuff as I usually do this year - I think losing my Nan in February has had me on an emotional roller coaster this year but when I havent felt like creating much I have just wondered off and done something else - I know creativity doesn't have a switch that you can just press when you want to make something but I do know that lack of creativity happens occasionally and not to stress about it but to go and do something else that fills your time and gives you pleasure rather than sitting at a desk for hours getting frustrated when nothing goes right (yes have been there too!).

Anyway I am digressing - all my T!ms tags this year have had a British theme:

February - Hearts with Union Flags
March - Tower Bridge with Union Flag bunting
April - "Keep Calm and Carry On"
May - Red, White and Blue
June - London scene
July- London eye scene with fireworks over the Thames
July again - City of London stamp with fireworks
August - Sherlock Holmes (which was a winner too - whoo hoo)
September - Union Flag done in metal
October - United Kingdom as a huge graveyard
November - London telephone box in Autumn
December - Snowman with Tower Bridge in the background with baubles hanging from it like the olympic rings
December again - Reindeer dancing over the streets of London.

Whew - I am amazed that I managed this myself - but what fun it was.  Wonder what the theme will be next year??  I also think it's funny that I have got to the end of all twelve without a Winnie The Pooh, Peter Pan or Alice In Wonderland one done - these were my main ideas to use way back in February!

A big hello to my newest follower Linda F - hope you enjoy my blog and also a big thanks to everyone who visited and joined me from T!ms blogworthy link, I am just 73 hits off 3000! how amazing is that!  Beats my link from which is just under 2000.  Who would have thought my little blog would generate that much interest - I am so pleased and grateful to you all for your lovely comments.

Busy day ahead for us as we are off to Cadbury World - whoo hoo.

Thanks for looking - Off to eat chocolate from Solihull

Sunday, 9 December 2012

December Doings

Well it has been a busy week in our house - DS1 turned 12 on Friday so we were busy celebrating that Friday and Saturday with parties and then today we treated ourselves to a Christmas meal in Wetherspoons and had a visit to see Father Christmas too - all very enjoyable.

Yesterday I had a bit of mojo return although he seems to have wandered off again today but I have stuck some tissue paper onto some grungepaper in the hopes that he might return later!  Anyway here is my first T!m tag of December:

I kept the colours the same as T!ms as they are just wonderful also it gave me chance to play with my new Burnished Pewter stain which I have to say is my favourite at the moment and also I kept the Snowman as he is so cute.  To keep with my British theme for these tags I had a long think and then suddenly remembered that Tower Bridge had the Olympic Rings hung from it this summer so I replicated that by hanging three baubles spelling out joy.  I also changed the snowmans hat from his traditional square one to a typically English bowler hat - although I cut out and kept the holly on his new hat. 

The Tower Bridge and Snowman arms were stamped directly onto the tag using Jet Black archival and then I restamped the Snowman onto watercolour paper and coloured him using markers (Black Soot, Broken China, Spiced Marmalade, Barn Door, Pine Needles, and Vintage Photo), cut him out and mounted him in the correct position on the tag.  I then stamped out three baubles and coloured them with Barn Door and Pine Needles markers and used Picket Fence to write the letters JOY, when the white had popped out I drew around the letters with a black pen to make them stand out even more.

Stamps used were T!ms Snowman and baubles, Artemio London Stamps (bowler hat and Tower Bridge).  I finished the tag with three red seed beads on the holly on the hat, Pom Pom ribbon, white ribbon, stain dyed ribbon to match and a Christmas muse token.

I must admit that although this tag is really plain and simple its one of my favourites so far - the colours are just fabulous and I love my baubles hanging from the bridge!

I would like to say a huge thank you to all my new followers - so many have you have joined me this past week! and also a big thanks to all of you subscribing by email - I didnt realise that there were so many of you until I found a link and kept on drilling down until I found my subscribers email list - wow!  And also a big thanks to everyone who emailed me asking for instructions on how to make a sleigh using T!ms signpost - there were so many of you! I hope you all have fun making one and come back and let me know as I would love to see them.

Thanks for looking - Still on Cloud Nine from Solihull

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

WOYWW 183 and a Toot!

Hi everyone,
I wasnt going to join in today even though I am planning a crafty day in my dining room but I have just seen that I have had a mention on T!ms blog and its put me in an incredibly happy mood that I feel that I can conquer the world! (that and I am addicted to peeking at others mess - sorry creativeness!)  plus I need some inspiration..... mojo has seriously left me these past few days although I have been doing an online Christy Tomlinson course and my normal painting class on Fridays so its not all bad!

Anyway here is my desk/dining room table:

as you can see not much craftiness going on!  I have printed out T!ms december tags there to get on with today and the pagemaps sketches were used to make a card yesterday but I have had to move that in case the recipient reads this!  The snowflake has been sitting there for almost two weeks - its part of a Christmas Tree decoration I am making similar to T!ms rosettes one last year - the tin is full of my handmade Christmas cards and a couple we have already received - including a birthday card for DS1 who will be 12 on Friday.  At the back are two presents waiting to be wrapped and a new phone and ear phones that are all mine - whoo hoo!

Thats my desk - hopefully it will be messier in a bit - if you want to join in the fun pop over to Julias and join in the fun!

Thanks for looking - a Happy Blogger from Solihull!

ps If you want instructions of how to make the sleigh using T!ms sign die on this post here please email me and I will send you a pdf.  Thanks and Happy Christmas!

Friday, 30 November 2012

Art Journalling

I am still branching out slowly and getting into art journalling - here is my third attempt:

OK to me this doesn't look much different to the tags I make apart from the fact that it's bigger and has no ribbons on the top! 

Anyway for the background I used Melted Chocolate, Postbox Red and Pure Sunshine dylusion sprays, then Broken China distress ink through some sequin waste which I then added a white pen to.  I then used texture paste and puff paint through a Wendy Vecchi Brick Wall stencil and a Glitzcraft Santa_Sleigh stencil, heated it so it puffed up and then painted the house roofs with Angelic Teal Lustre Blonde Moments pearl pigment.  When dry I then painted the wall and snow with white acrylic paint to brighten it up a bit.

The reindeer is a T!m die and is coloured with Tarnished Brass metallic stain, edges inked with Vintage Photo distress ink and then a red seed bead for his nose.

The Snowman is also one of T!ms, cut from card covered with music paper, with the numbers 25 from the Reindeer die cut out from his tummy.  His hat is coloured with Black Soot distress stain, all his edges done with Vintage Photo ink and his nose with a Spiced Marmalade marker.  His scarf is some fibre called Let's Grow from Hobbycraft and his eye some black bling.  I finished with some black pen lines to ground the snowman and reindeer and an Inkylicious Santa's Sleigh stamp in Jet Black archival.

I have moved away slightly from a tag as the edges aren't inked or distressed but as you can see I haven't added any journalling! Oh well, small steps......

A big hello to my newest follower Joe whom I have actually met in real life as he used to work in a scrapbooking shop in California!

Thanks for looking - Cant believe it's December tomorrow from Solihull

Wednesday, 28 November 2012


Thought I would join in a trip around the world noseying at other desks again this week.  Here is mine:

I am having a play with texture pastes and puff paint at the moment so those are the two backgrounds you can see (one tag and one attempt at another art journal page!).  The snowflake tags are on the desk as I had a friend round yesterday and we had a play and made some (they were from a workshop I ran a few weeks ago).  Material on the bottom left with the blue mini on are a little pile of mug rugs that I am practising how to quilt on, the Dr Suess bright piece of material is a finished mug rug I made ages ago and the black and white one is one I won a few months ago in a blog hop.  Very tidy desk here for me! I am nipping out this morning for a coffee and a bit of Christmas shopping but then hopefully will be back playing later on - still no sign of Christmas card making mojo on the horizon though - oh well.

If you would like to visit other desks around the world then pop over to Julias and join in the fun - be warned though its very addictive but you do get to make lots of lovely new friends and get some great inspiration on the way.

Thanks for looking - Getting messy from Solihull

Monday, 26 November 2012

A Birthday Layout

Have done a layout! whoo hoo - those who know me know I haven't scrapped much this past year - seem to be having much more fun sewing or getting messy making tags so my photos are just left in a pile waiting for some inspiration to strike and this weekend it did!

Spent a lovely morning on Saturday with my good friends Morag and Jackie where we took a girls trip out to the grand opening of The Funky Farm Scrapbook Barn which is run by the lovely Hayley who regularly brings the shop to our crop, where amongst a few other goodies I treated myself to a new pack of Echo Park "A Boys Life" papers and when I got home I got the urge to play with them straight away (very unusual for me!):

These photos have been sitting in the pile for over two years now - they aren't the best but still deserve a showcase in DS2's album so I am pleased to have them finally done.  For this layout I used the following stamps: Creative  Expressions Vintage Aviation, 7 Gypsies Friends, My Minds Eye Union Square Perfect and Portobello Road Boy, Fiskars School Stamps and Stampers Anonymous Odds and Ends.  Papers used were Basic Grey Inventory, Echo Park A Boys Life - Hot Road and Suave, plain cream cardstock and some Echo Park A Boys Life stickers.  The butterfly is by Prima, the Prima flowers are Tiffany Teal Got Iced Flowers, Petal Palette Mix #7, Got Flowers #700232 and then the large blue flower is by Trico (bought in a 99c store in the States), the green felt vine is by Artemio.  Other embellishments are: Bazzill Just the Edge North Sea strips, a Prima Voila art strip, Prima Chipboard - Cherished Moments, 3 Bugs in a Rug Seeing Stars metal brads, Stash Panache Grey button, Basic Grey chipboard number which is covered with Fired Brick crackle glaze, Washi tape is from Paperchase and Basic Grey Archaic brads - as you can see a great mixture of new and old stash there!  Only a few light touches of Broken China distress ink was used (very unusual for me!) and also only a light bit of stamping and, if you notice, none on the background or any mists/paints either! so very minimillistic for me!

I based the layout on a October 2011 Page Map - you have got to love sketches to speed up the process of scrapping haven't you - this whole layout took me about four hours (admittedly an hour was probably still spent faffing with the papers even though I was using a sketch - but hey ho still very fast for me!).

Hope you like it - DS2 does :)

A big hello to my latest follower Ronda - thank you for following me.  That's it from me today but I have finally caught up with all my projects and crafting commitments for this month so am hoping to have a bit of free time for just playing this week - I have signed up for an old Christy Tomlinson class - The Art of Wild Abandonment and am also hoping to check out the 12 Tags of Christmas on the Funkie Junkie website - we shall see.....

Thanks for looking - Feeling Scrappy from Solihull

Friday, 23 November 2012

Holiday Lane Blog Hop

It's my day! yay

I knew I would be busy when I signed up for this hop but I just couldn't resist doing a cushion with a street full of houses on it - I am sucker for houses!

Here is my take:

Apologies for the poor picture it's a rainy dull day here in England! Also I forgot to ask my OH to get some Christmas props down from the loft yesterday (he is in the office today and I am too short to reach up to get the loft ladders down!) so I have showcased this with my turkey which I sewed up from a pattern last weekend (he was supposed to have his own post this week! oh well).

Anyway I have made the cushion a lot smaller than the original so that I could fit one of my 12" x 18" cushions in - I did plan to make three seperate covers but time seems to have flown by so quickly this month (that and I spent far too long on my Wicked blog hop stuff too - tee hee!) so I have only managed to complete one.  Also I didn't realise that the original cushion had a flange on it (not until the hop started anyway - I obviously didn't read the instructions properly!) and I have made mine into a cushion cover with two pieces of material at the back so I can slip a cushion in and out easily.  The next one I make will have a flange on though!

For the snow I have appliqued on some white wadding - gives a lovely furry feel to the cushion.

Here is a closeup of the snowman:

and the street sign (which I hand embroidered):

I would like to say a big Thank you to Mdm Samm at and Pauline at for organising this hop and also a big thanks to Jill from for supplying the instructions (sorry I didn't follow them exactly!).

Please also check out everyone else who is taking part in this blog hop today:

The hop runs from 21st - 30th November and the full schedule can be found on Jills blog.
Thanks for looking - Feeling Christmassy from Solihull

Wednesday, 21 November 2012


Hi everyone, well what can I say it just seems to be chaos here:

I did do some sewing yesterday so that pile of stuff immediately behind DS's homework at the front (bought from the Range at the weekend and not yet put away!) wasn't there but my cutting mat was which made the table look a whole lot tidier!  Just cut off to the right is the pile of fabrics I was using - it's for another blog hop I am in on Friday for a Christmas pillow.  Under that is my Windows Phone 8 table runner that I really should tidy away whilst sewing but am very proud of it so it's staying there for a while (it was tweeted by Microsoft! isn't that cool!). Sticking out just behind my machine is a turkey I have made from a pattern bought at the NEC - haven't showcased him yet but will soon (that's why he is still on the table as I need a nice day to photograph him - guess it won't be today eh!).  PC is there so I can join in the fun today on WOYWW and a pillow blog hop I am in that's here if you are interested (starts today), the other pile of stuff is just stuff! and the brown twine is there as I wrapped up a couple of presents of Sunday.  No inks or paints insight this week! Thats it from me - now I have showed you my desk I think you should show me yours!

Join in the fun over at Julias where today she is explaining all the goings on and why we are doing this.

Thanks for looking - Busy Sewing from Solihull

Saturday, 17 November 2012

T!ms November Tag

Well after all the excitement in our house on Monday evening when my now infamous windows phone quilt (on previous post) was retweeted/commented on by non other than Microsoft staff and various others and then also caught a journalists attention - how cool is all of that! My little blog also had over a thousand hits! whoo hoo, I have come down from cloud nine and have got on with some of my other crafty bits and pieces.

Here is my take on T!ms November tag:

To be honest its not much different from T!ms but it was difficult to incorporate a British theme without using a Union Flag, but I went ahead with the English Telephone Box and although you can't make it out too well on this photo it looks fab in real life.  Thank goodness it is set back in the distance too, could you imagine if there was a spider that big hanging down near a telephone box if you needed to use one? I for one wouldn't go near it I assure you!

Anyway I have used:  Hampton Arts spiders web and spider stamps, Artistic Outpost Telephone Box stamp and an old Banana Frog alphabet for the word Autumn.  Inks and stains in Fired Brick, Vintage Photo, Wild Honey and Black Soot, a Versamark ink pad and a Coffee Archival ink.  I then used the Autumn Gatherings sizzix die along with T!ms fence die - I didn't use the pinecone as it would have looked far too big (bit like that spider!) next to the fence.  For the rest of my quote I used a Vintage Photo distress marker and then added some turquoise and burgundy hemp to my home dyed ribbon.

Have now got to get organised for the crop tomorrow and also get a busy on with my Holiday Lane pillow for the blog hop that starts next Wednesday - my showcase day is next Friday - the pillow is half done - just needs embellishing now.

A big hello to my new two new followers Trisha and Victoria - thank you both for following me.

Thanks for looking - a new Twitter fan from Solihull

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Do you think he will get the message?

For the past two weeks I have been busy working away on my new phone - not texting, surfing or talking though - sewing!

Have had sew much fun creating this table runner in the hopes that my OH will realise that I really need to change my old android phone and get with the times, so on my Christmas list this year is a brand spanking new Windows phone 8!  You just can't beat Windows in my mind (having worked on it during my early years as a Personal Assistant at Apricot Computers Limited and then through all my university and programming years thereafter). I love windows, am comfortable with windows and will really be able to sink my teeth in some new apps that I want to write.......

Here it is in situ:

Do you think he will know what colour I want?

Thanks for looking - Feeling chatty from Solihull

Wednesday, 7 November 2012


Bit of an untidy desk again but not too bad as I am still in serious sewing mode - I have four projects on the go at the moment - so I need a relatively clear desk to lie it all out particularly when cutting. 

That pile of material at the front is what I bought at the Malvern Quilt show two weeks ago which still hasn't been put away - it just keeps moving from chair to table whenever/wherever someone sits down!  The pile on the front left is what I was working on and designing/cutting templates yesterday, the blue pile in the middle of the table was going to be a London quilt but I think is now going to be placemats instead.  The other bits and bobs are left out from my class on Monday they just need popping on the bookcase at the back but I haven't done that yet either!

That's it from my desk today - not much but I still fancied joining in the fun!  If you would like to too then pop over to Julias and show your desk to the world - it doesnt matter whether its neat or cluttered or what projects you are working on we are all too happy to come and have a nose at your workspace!

So who is going to the big show tomorrow then?  Morag and I are going first thing and meeting up with Hettie when her bus gets in - anyone else? 

Thanks for looking - Busy Making Hobbycraft Lists from Solihull

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Tag workshop

Oooh tomorrow I have my first workshop in about 18 months - it feels really good to be getting back into the swing of crafting and teaching.  I will be teaching the fabulous marbled stains technique to make this beautiful tag:

Thanks for looking - Working Girl from Solihull

Friday, 2 November 2012

Gratitude day 2

Today the technique is to use circles and squares.  Well as soon as saw circles I couldn't get the thought of a snowman out of my mind so before my art class I handcut (I know!) out two circles, covered them with crackle glaze and then as an afterthought sprayed them with Jazz Blue glimmer mist whilst still wet and went off on my merry way to my art class. 

When I got there we all got back our pastel pictures nicely mounted - here's mine:

just need a frame for it now.  When I got home I decided I didn't like my circles:

as they didn't suit the page I had created, so instead of using the circles I used squares instead and still had a snowman Christmassy theme going on:

not sure where this came from as the prompt was today - but hey its a page and I actually like this one! whoo hoo - bonus!

I used: Dylusions Melted Chocolate spray, Creme de Cocoa and Jazz Blue glimmer mists for the background.  Then I stamped on T!ms new Christmas stamps with Vintage Photo distress ink.  I coloured the snowman with Barn Door, Pine Needles, Broken China, Spiced Marmalade and Black Soot markers.  Then I used a Creative Expressions holly mask which I won in a blog giveaway - thanks Helen with Vintage Photo distress ink and edged the holly pieces with the Pine Needles marker and coloured the berries with the Barn Door marker.

I then used three of T!ms new snowflakes from his sizzlet dies, coloured them with Broken China and Frayed Burlap distress stains, edged them with the matching distress inks and finished with a spray of Old Lace glimmer mist for a bit of sparkle.

The parcels are handcut squares (using a ruler though!) inked with Broken China, Evergreen Bough, Barn Door and Mustard Seed and I edged the Broken China one with Vintage Photo, finished them all with a light green twine and a little tag inked with Vintage Photo (can you all spot my favourite colour ink here?????).  The whole page is edged with Vintage Photo too.

I used the same cardstock as yesterday which is in a Pink Pig notebook but I have ripped the page out this time and trimmed it.  I did the same with yesterdays and took Elizas advice and edged it with Vintage Photo (yet again!) and I much prefer the page now - thanks Eliza :)  also thanks for your advice Buttons I will look at the page again tomorrow and if I need to I will see if I can stragetically add extra spray to the heart and bird without removing them off the page as they are stuck down firmly.

The starting point for the gratitude journal today is what 3 things are you thankful for today - well this had nothing to do with my finished page but today I am thankful for the mobility of a car which let me go to Sainsburys and Toys R Us so my little boy could have the free lego given away in the Sun, also it got me to my art class which is such a good laugh and such a relaxing morning and also let me go in a mad rush to get the wine on extra offer at Tescos (3 for £12 plus an extra 25% off) although I succummed and bought 18 bottles (£2.30 each for bottles of Hardys!) although I am sure I won't be thankful when I stand on the scales after drinking all that!  I am also thankful for having the money to be able to have and run the car and also buy all the treats today, and my third thankful thing is for the friends and family I have around me to be able to share these things with (yes even including the wine!).

Hope you have all kept up with this super long post again (it must be because even though its half term I have had the house to myself most of the week so have not been chatting to people in real life!) that or I am just naturally chatty?  surely not.

Anyway a big hello to my two new followers Susie and Anne - thank you for following me.

Thanks for looking - All crafted out and off to play Lego Star Wars with DS2 from Solihull

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Well I have had a go....

My friend Bernice is doing a month long Gratitude journal starting today - details are here.  So I thought I would support her and finally give art journalling a go.  Here is my attempt!

It's so not me!  Didn't come out at all how I visualised it in my head and I am so not keen on my writing with that white pen around it (how come everyone else's looks fantastic??).  Anyway I am not moaning - it's a first attempt and, I think, unfinished.  Just not sure where else to go with it but I am showcasing it today and will relook at it again tomorrow.  Think it would have been better in colours I am comfortable with - today's prompt was to use a colour you don't like or don't use regularly.  Mine is pink! I like pink but just don't use it very often (or that lime green either!).

Stuff I have used is:  Vintage Photo (couldn't not use this as that would be way tooooooo far out of my comfort zone!), Picked Raspberry and Worn Lipstick distress inks, Old Lace and Cranberry Zing Glimmer Mists, Fresh Lime dylusions spray, a Nestability heart, corrugated card, Mini Time Travel Mask by Crafters Workshop, and two Cog masks from Creative Expressions, T!ms Life's Possibilities stamps, Coffee Archival Ink, T!ms cog (the bird's nest) which is feathered with tissue tape and also one of his tickets and stamps, T!ms Bird from the birdcage die and also some of his sizzlet Flowers coloured with various distress stains, Brown Bazzill cardstock, Picket Fence and Vintage Photo Distress markers and brown twine.  I have to confess it does look a lot better since I added the birds and flowers and removed the gravestones and buttons (don't ask where I was going with those!).

If you can think of anything I can add to this to pep it up a bit I would grateful for any feedback!

I would also like to say a big hello to my new followers: Kathy, Charlotte, Eva, Denise, Kendra and Carla - I hope I haven't frightened you all off with this piece but don't worry I am off now to do some sewing - sew much more in my comfort zone!

Thanks for looking - not sure I am an art journaller yet from Solihull.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

It's my day to be WICKED!!!!!!!

Whoo hoo - have been so excited about this hop:

you might want to grab a cup of tea (I'm English don't you know!) as this is going to be a long post!

Remember for the Leafs Me Happy hop I said I was limiting myself to only one block as I am amassing a huge pile of these mini quilts (the scarecrow was my 19th!) well that all went completely out of the window for this hop.  Probably because I love Halloween stuff or probably because I am just plain wicked - you decide!

Anyway my head was spinning with two ideas - I wanted a haunted house block and skeleton block - I started with the house:

I got a cut out of a sizzix haunted house and drew it larger by hand onto some freezer paper then drew a circle around it with a side plate.  I then ironed on the freezer paper and cut out the moon, windows and house outline from the black material and added some yellow fabric behind.  I then just straight stitch appliqued around the edges - this seems to be my go to favourite method of applique at the moment - I didn't have time to hand applique all my blocks and I am not keen on the blanket stitch my Bernina has, didn't fancy a zig zag either so straight was the way to go!  I then decided the block needed a bit more (I was still trying hard to keep my blocks minimalistic as I do have a tendency to go overboard with embellishments and little extras but with what I had planned there was just too much so simplicity was key!).  However there was far too much yellow space for me so a T!m Holtz witch was the solution - this is actually from his mask and not his die - I placed it on freezer paper, drew the outline and then ironed and cut it out of black fabric - then attached it the same way as the house.

One block down onto the next...

How cute is he!  Found the picture on the internet - cobbled it together onto freezer paper and cut it out all in one piece of white fabric.  I then stitched around all his bones and ribs etc to give him features.  Eyes and nose are appliequed on the top and the mouth is stitched on.

By now I am on a roll and there is no stopping me:

Next came a cat who flies amongst the graves
Along with a ghost who has arms like sea waves

Then a pumpkin with a liking for hats
Followed closely by lots of flying bats

Then a witch flying high through the air
Followed by Frank - don't they make a nice pair!

And finally last, but certainly not least
A web that is home to a big scary beast:

Told you I went a bit overboard didn't I!  The reason I did nine was because I decided that we all needed a nice quilt to cuddle under on All Hallows Eve:

Here it is bound with some left over halloween fabric I had from a kit I bought in the States in June.  Also you will spot I added stitches to Frank's face - much better now!

I was going to leave you all in peace now and ask you all to come back tomorrow to see the back of this wicked creation but I have decided that that would just be too ghastlie of me!

So here it is:

whoo hoo finally got to use some of the ghastlie material I have been hoarding!  I have come to realise that I have the same aversion to patterned materials as I have to patterned paper and that is I find them so hard to use!  Give me a blank canvas and plain material/cardstock and the world is my oyster and my imagination is unstoppable but patterns - gosh where to start? As soon as you cut them you lose half of the pattern - so they take me way out of my comfort zone!  As you can see from this I didn't change anything much but just cut out the pictures I liked and framed them with grey - but can you see that I have had a go at free motion quilting?? can you ?? so exciting!

Here is a close up:

sorry it's a rubbish picture - but I have quilted it with frankenstein stitches! Very pleased with myself although doesn't it take an age! I had no idea.  Anyway I quilted this side only to the wadding - not sure if that's right or not but I didn't want the stitches coming through on the wicked side and as it's just me bumbling along teaching myself quilting in the comfort of my dining room I just decided to go for it.  I then bound the wicked side to the ghastlie side with a black edging.

This was finished last Thursday and me and my two boys have been cuddling up underneath it in front of the tv since then so much so I had to iron it take the final photos!

Thank you for keeping up with me this far - sorry it's such a long post, also a big thank  you to Wicked Wendy and Head Witch Madame Samm for putting together and organising all of this hop.

My fellow halloween hoppies today are:

Please go check them all out and show them some spooky love.

Thanks for looking - All spooked out from Solihull

Sunday, 28 October 2012

A sign that Christmas is on its way.....

I have been playing with my sizzix dies again and I discovered that with a little bit of imagination and fussy cutting I could turn these:

into this:

isn't it cute! also see what I did with my blog post title there too?  tee hee.  Obviously feeling very inspired this morning!  After a few more hours play I got this:

I used T!ms snowflake stamps from the mini Holidays 2 stamp set and inked them up with versamark, covered them with clear embossing powder and then inked over the whole card with Stormy Sky distress ink.  The sleigh I had prepared beforehand by cutting up the above sign pieces, covering the black cardstock with orange inka paint (I do have gold but the orange just looked a lot better), inked it gently around the edges with Vintage Photo and then filled it with lots of sizzix presents from their Gifts sizzlets strip die.  The reindeer is from T!ms Reindeer Flight die set and he is cut from kraft card and inked with Vintage Photo, finished with bling for his eye and nose, some cut down tinsel and red/white striped twine for his ropes. 

The houses are just cut from black card and covered with paint and glitter to look like snow.

Here is a quick tutorial on how I get my snowy effects on dark cardstock:

Get your black diecut:

Load a paintbrush with a white paint or gesso and then drag it from front to back over the areas you want to have snow on:
(sorry its a bit blurred - bit early in the morning for my OH!)

Then sprinkle it liberally with glitter and leave for a few minutes:

Then give it a good shake and you should get this:

the dark cardstock will be covered up nicely with no greyness.  If you want to add more snow use stickles and then more glitter over the top.

Hope you have enjoyed my Sunday morning inspiration card - sorry the pictures aren't the best but it's a dark overcast morning here in England and there is only so much my daylight bulbs can do!

Thanks for looking - Showing the Signs from Solihull

edited to add - I have just seen that this post has been selected as one of T!ms blogworthy holiday links - whoo hoo - how cool is that!  If you want instructions of how to make the sleigh using T!ms sign die please email me or leave a comment (please ensure that I can reply to you via email) and I will send you a pdf. Thanks and Happy Christmas!