Friday, 31 August 2012


I thought I would revisit one of my texture techniques that I experimented with during the Great British Blog Hop.

Here I took a Creative Expressions mask, traced round it and cut it out using a T!m mask sheet - this then gave me a negative and a positive of the British Isles.  I placed the negative mask on a tag inked with Salty Ocean and stamped with a TabbyKatDesigns compass, covered it with modelling paste and left to dry overnight.  This effect is so cool in real life - I don't think the photo really does it justice - as when inked with Crushed Olive and Frayed Burlap it looks like real land with the right bumps for the mountains and everything.

I then stamped out various travel stamps - the aeroplane and banner, "Believe...." quote, Balloon and Enjoy the Journey images are from the Vintage Aviation set by Creative Expressions, the British Airways ticket is from the Ephemera set by 7 Gypsies and the Union Flag is from the London Set by Artemio.  All inked with either Jet Black or Crimson Archival ink or Stonewashed Adirondack ink.  The quote in red was positioned on the banner using a stamp positioner. 

For the background piece I used a World Map embossing folder by Couture Creations - this was inked with Stormy Sky, Frayed Burlap and Festive Berries distress inks.  The edges of this and the tag were distressed and inked with Frayed Burlap.  I inked all white images with Old Paper to tone them down.  These were then placed on the tag along with some of T!ms sizzix flowers inked with the same colour stains as inks along with Spiced Marmalade to add a bit more interest.  To mount them I used either double sided tape or 3d foam to give me lots of extra layers.

The tag ribbons are pieces of muslin cut into strips and inked with Broken China, Barn Door and Picket Fence stains.

Thanks for looking - Feeling Crafty from Solihull

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Compendium of Curiosities Challenge 19

Found a spare hour to play this afternoon so I decided to join in with the above challenge - it takes me hours to make tags, cards etc so as I only had an hour I decided to raid all my bits and pieces boxes that I have scattered around with half made bits in that I save for moments like this - I was quite pleased with the result:

The technique this week is Kraft resist which is on page 41 of T!ms Compendium of Curiosities Vol. 2.

For mine I used a piece of kraft resist that I had previously inked with Broken China distress stain and sprayed with gold glimmer mist.  The flowers were also premade - the larger one is three of T!ms large tattered flowers inked with broken china, stamped with a script stamp again in Broken China and then folded so thats its 3d.  I took the centre out and put it a white paper flower that has been dipped in my melt pot (I usually spend an afternoon with the melt pot on and can make all sorts of different embellishments which are then put away for a rainy day play (not that it is raining today but you get the idea!). 

The bird on the branch was already cut out in a kraft cardstock and the larger Sizzix bird cut out in mountboard.  I inked both of these with Gathered Twigs, Vintage Photo, Mustard Seed and Crushed Olive, finished with bling and then placed them over a doily inked with Old Paper.  I then just had to handcut out the leaves from distress cardstock, distress and ink them and then stamp out the words onto canvas. 

All in all a nice little hour spent creatively!

Thanks for looking - Off to see what else I can make from Solihull

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Summer Holidays

We have just spent a couple of weeks visiting our favourite haunts around England and Wales - imagine the excitement (and chaos) we caused when we stumbled across this when walking alongside Cardiff Castle walls:

yes we posted loads of postcards from this box - including one to ourselves!  We went to Cardiff with both sets of grandparents - didn't end too well though as my Dad "stumbled" outside the castle walls on the last day and Mom and I ended up spending 7.5 hours with him whilst he was attended to by ambulance crew and then in casualty having about 30 stitches and 3 xrays - still, four stitches came out on Thursday and the rest are disolvable so he is ok now and doesn't have to eat just soup anymore!

We then went on to Torquay (just the four of us) where we walked into Cockington (one of my favourite places in the whole wide world) and the children and I took part in a free screen printing workshop:


can you guess which one is mine?

We then spent a few days in Plymouth staying on the Hoe and I found this in a little antique shop:


it's leather bound and dates from 1891 inside - isnt that lovely neat writing!  Am wondering whether this will spur me on to try some art journaling (when I find some spare time!) or whether its just too lovely to slap paint on!

Then we stopped off at Bristol where there was another drama as there was a bomb scare in Cabot Circus which is where our hotel was and we couldn't get into the city for the first couple of hours, but when we did we spent our last day pottering around the shops finishing getting school stuff for the children, including my eldest's new school bag:

can't believe my little boy starts big school in 10 days time - gulp!

If you have followed my journey this far - thank you - and can I just say a big hello to Tiffany - thanks for following me.

Thanks for looking - already drowning under an ironing mountain from Solihull

Monday, 20 August 2012

Art Parts Workshop

Have finally gotten around to finishing one of the workshops I am planning for September/October:

Hope you like it!  The piece uses Wendy Vecchi art parts and grungepaper with some handmade bits and pieces in there too.

If you would like to come along and make this piece please email me via the contact me button on the right hand side.  Cost will be £15 - venue and date to be confirmed.

Thanks for looking - Sew ready to teach again from Solihull

Friday, 17 August 2012

A New Baby!

Two very good friends of mine have just become a grandparents for the second time!  Welcome to little Cally.  Here is a card Oliver made for her:

I inked the card with Spun Sugar, the letters are cut from T!ms alphabet in pink card and inked with Worn Lipstick - Oliver then stuck on all the bits and pieces from a ready made set from the The Works - isn't he talented!

Graham (Cally's Grandad) has also just come out of hospital after some major heart surgery - so to wish him well I have made him this card:

Background is inked with Scattered Straw, Vintage Photo and Picket Fence distress stains and then a Crafters Workshop cog template was placed over the top and inked with Vintage Photo distress ink.  The cogs are from T!ms die inked in Vintage Photo, finished with Making Memories brads, brown twine and a dymo tape quote.

Thanks for looking -  missing the olympics from Solihull

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Happy Birthday Dad!

Hope you have a lovely day!

Here is the card I have made for him:

it looks a bit wonky because it is one of those fancy fold ones - so here it is open:

I used a square kraft card and some T!m papers.  Dad is cut from T!ms big alphabet die using kraft resist cardstock.  The Hardware shop is by Stamps Away from their Pilkington Lane No. 6 set - I just had to buy this when I saw it as my Dad used to own and run a hardware shop in the late seventies/early eighties - one sideline was some aftershave called Smelly Welly (in a welly shaped bottle no less!) so I had to sneak that on there too by using one of the Graphic 45 bottles.  The Good Times stamp is by 7 Gypsies and the Welcome stamp and two background script stamps were borrowed from Morag (thanks :)) so not sure of their make.   The flowers are from T!ms flower sizzix die and I have tucked in some branches, leaves, hardware (rude not too!) and a key on a chain too.

Used various distress markers and inks.

A big hello to Chris Carter - thank you for following me.
Thanks for looking - off to the pub to celebrate with family from Solihull

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Blog hops

I have signed up for yet another quilt blog hop!

This one starts on 1st October.

I am also in another one soon too:

which starts on the 10th September - not sure of my posting dates on either of them yet.  If you like to quilt why don't  you join in? - sign ups are open for the Leafs Me Happy hop until next Friday (17th) - details are here - at CherryBlossomsQuiltingStudio but I think the Dots hop registration has now closed.  They are such fun and I won a fabulous prize on the last one I did (Think Christmas).

Thanks for looking - Busy sewing from Solihull

Friday, 10 August 2012

First to last year

How fabulous is pinterest for inspiration!

Yesterday I was looking around on there (as you do) when I came across a photo of a school leaver holding his first year photo outside his school - so I managed to convince the children to put on their old schools uniforms (both of mine left their current schools two weeks ago and are both moving on up to new schools in September - so it was now or never!) and surprisingly they did (think they are getting used to their Moms mad photo shoot ideas now!) and off we set back to their old schools for the photo shoots.

Here is my eldest who is going up to Senior school:

and my youngest who is going up to Junior school:

I feel a scrapbook layout coming on......

A big hello to mdijk - thanks for following me :)

Thanks for looking - Feeling Scrappy from Solihull

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Oooh I am a winner!

How exciting is that!

I have won one of each of these two bundles:

for being one of the participants of  "Think Christmas who created such great contributions...".  Wow - how cool is that!  The Think Christmas blog hop was held over at Lesley The Cuddle Quilter blog - thank you Lesley for hosting this hop and also a big thank you to Madam Samm for organising the prizes.  I have won 32 fat quarters of fabric!  that will keep me busy won't it - am already planning what I can make.....

Thanks for looking - Happy from Solihull

Tag It On

Have been following this challenge with interest for months now but have never had a chance to take part and then this morning at 9am this fortnights challenge - Nightmare - caught my eye and look 1.5 hours later I have a tag done! (amazing what you can do when the children are at their Grandparents and you are avoiding the housework isn't it!):

Have used a T!m alterations halloween embossing folder, sprayed the tag with Crafty Notions Black Matte colour spray and Silver Cosmic Shimmer Mist, then inked it with Ripe Persimmon, Seedless Preserves and Black Soot distress inks. 
The bottles and labels are by Graphic 45 and are inked in Jet Black Archival Ink with the labels stamped with Royal Purple, Mustard and Pumpkin Stazon inks then inked with Old Paper Distress Ink.  The bottles are inked with Pine Needles distress ink with the tops finished off with Spiced Marmalade, Mustard Seed and Pine Needles distress markers with the cork on the third bottle being inked with Old Paper distress ink.  All bottles have been rubbed around a bottle of distress stain to curl them and then they are mounted on two lots in the middle and one lot on the edges of 3d Foam to keep the rounded shapes.  Looks great in real life!  Finished the tag with a skull charm on string and a piece of muslin dyed with Black Soot distress stain.

I am entering this into the Dragons Dream Tag It On challenge.  It also fits in with theHaunted House Design challenge this week which is skulls and bottles so I am entering it in there too.

Thanks for looking - Still excited about the Olympics from Solihull

Monday, 6 August 2012

T!ms August Tag

Have spent a few happy hours preparing this for T!ms August tag:

I used T!ms frame from his Urban Grunge set with Jet Black archival ink and black embossing powder.  Keeping with my British theme for these tags this year I used Sherlock Holmes for the cameo - he is from an Artistic Outpost London set.  Haven't got the frame embossing folder so I used the small set of cogs which I painted with white acrylic paint.  The inks used for the tag are Spun Sugar, Tumbled Glass and Stormy Sky distress inks.  I cut out a red core cardstock, white plain cardstock and blue core cardstock flower using the pinecone die, and then I used T!ms Autumn Gatherings die for the leaves - with Green core cardstock - and branches - with kraft cardstock and inked with Gathered Twigs distress ink. 

For my quote I used kraft cardstock through a Dymo - it's not very clear but it says "The Game Is Afoot" (a famous Sherlock Holmes quote) and is inked with Barn Door distress ink.

As I was assembling the finishing touches to the tag  the National Anthem was being played for the Showjumping Gold so, feeling extra patriotic, I tucked a Union Flag piece of ribbon under the flowers and with the red, white and blue twine I added a crown - Go Team GB!!

I enjoyed this so much I got a bit carried away and made another two!:

Much the same but with blue dymo tape and Stormy Sky ink around the edges.  This tag I finished off with the baubles that I was originally using on the first tag (thought the crown far more fitting after winning yet another gold though!), and then this tag:

with Gathered Twigs ink around the edge, the small Man embossing folder and then some game pieces to tie in with the "The Game Is Afoot" quote.

Quite a happy little play afternoon!

Thanks for looking, and also a big thank you to all my new followers from the "Think Christmas" blog hop - Connie, Carol, Mdmsamm, Outback Crafter, Scrapbook-ChickADoodle and Carolyn Ross thanks for joining me on my crafting journey!

Busy watching the olympics from Solihull

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Well I wish it could be Christmas everyday

Think Christmas Blog Hop - Day 6 - this means it's my turn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Whoo Hoo

Well I have been a busy little bee recently - hosting my own papercrafting blog hop and then preparing quilts for this one!  Honestly there is a trail of destruction behind me all over the house! Oh well.

Here is my first quilt:

It has honestly taken me ages to master yoyos - so much so I had to buy one of those plastic template things to get me started - when I worked it out (it took a while - getting old now that or the children pestering me ....) I used my sizzix circles to cut various sizes and made this tree.  This isn't an original idea - I think I have seen this done before a few times with yoyos or buttons but loved it so was determined to make my own one day! The clouds are white material stamped with a script stamp and padded to make them stand out.

The second quilt I had to add blue to to make it work:

but I am really pleased with it - I had to use a stamp for the Santa and reindeers as I didn't think I would be able to sew something that small!  Arrow is pointing right to our house in England!

My third:

again I used lots of circles - this time I sewed two circles together then snipped the wrong side and turned them out.  Finished him with buttons, machine sewed arms and a handsewn mouth - isn't he cute!
Then my fourth:

Went to town a bit on this one - nearly did a big faux par as I was about to iron it all on black material when I realised that Santa boots wouldn't show up!  Didn't have enough blue (can you believe?) so I took a piece of calico and dyed it blue using a distress ink pad.  Then I cut out all the pieces and using bonda web (it's the English form of fusible webbing) ironed them all into place and machine stitched round them - is this called free applique?? not sure but I just went round all the pieces with wonky straight stitches (if you know what I mean!).  The snowman is made up with two yoyos sewn right side down, his brown broom is three pieces of plaited wool (yarn).  I hand sewed the letters on the presents (using all our initials - I usually spell out BORN but decided to use ROBN as it's 1 away from Rob1n! (thought that was quite quirky!).  I used seed beeds for the wreath and tree decorations, the star is a button and I did free machine quilting letters for the sign.  The reindeer is hand drawn and has a little bell on his collar too!  The Zzzz's are hand sewn.
I hope you like my designs for this fabulous blog hop which has been hosted by Lesley and also to Mdm Samm for the inspiration.  Have been following the hop all week so to try and cool some of you down (I can't believe the temperatures you are having over the pond there in the States) - here is a picture of the view from my bedroom window in winter:

and here are my two munchkins having a snowball fight:

we can't have had snow this year as these were taken 18 months ago!

The rest of the schedule for today is:

and if you want a schedule for the full blog hop and also to see who came in the top two of the day then go to

Thank you so much for looking and please leave me a comment so that I know you have passed by! - Listening for sleigh bells from Solihull

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Great British Blog Hop - Day 2

It's my turn - whooo hoooooo

For this hop I have decided to have a play with around various techniques and have had a fabulous time making these:

For this I wanted to use my new Sherlock Holmes stamp from Artistic Outposts London Elements set so I thought what better way than the infamous door of his flat in Baker Street.  I used my new die from Poppy Stamps - Grand Madison door - cut from white cardstock and inked it with Black Soot and Pine Needles distress inks.  The gold letters/number are from T!ms sizzix dies Upon a Time and Santas Workshop, the gold doorknob and letter box are just from scraps.  The background is done using a Prima brick wall stamp inked in Coffee Archival Ink and coloured with Tea Dye distress ink.

But where is Sherlock I hear you all cry, well here is the inside when you open the door:

see my lovely new Sherlock stamp there - he is on another piece of artwork in a minute too!  The Baker Street sign and 221b sign are just printed off the internet and handcut.

The second British item I made was this:

which I am super pleased with.  I used a Creative Expressions (I think?) template to trace around the British Isles onto a T!m blank mask.  I then cut it out carefully giving me a positive and negative image of the Isles.  I placed the positive one on the tag and inked the sea using Broken China Distress Ink.  Then using the negative template I used some modelling paste to create the land - giving it a fabulous bumpy texture just like real land! when dry I coloured this with Forest Moss distress ink.  The afternoon tea and cup are from my Artistic Outpost London Elements set and the Tea Time, small cup (stamped onto two of T!ms sizzix ticket diecuts) and the bowler hat are by Artemio - all stamped in Black Archival ink.

As I had used my new door die I thought I ought to use the new Grand Madison Window (also by Poppy Stamps) one too!  Have had this visualised in my mind for a while now but just hadn't got around to making it:

For the background I used a sizzix texture plate on plain card and inked it with Barn Door Distress ink - it's redder than it looks in this image!  The image in the background is a London scene by Creative Journey - their "London" set stamped in black archival and inked with Tumbled Glass distress ink.  I then decided that the window needed curtains so I used some left over scraps from a quilting blog hop I was in a few weeks ago (which inspired me to host this papercraft one!) and then of course I needed a window sill (simple piece of folded card stuck behind the window and scored to make a sill) and then finished it off with a glass vase full of glitter and flowers (surprisingly light as the sill didnt need any extra support!).

Obviously by now I am on a roll so I decided to play with some masking fluid I have had for a while but hardly used:

I found an image of a London Bus on the internet, printed it out to the right size and then cut out all the windows with a sharp knife.  I then drew around the bus onto white cardstock and cut it out.  Using the template I masked all of the windows using the masking fluid and when dry I inked the bus with Barn Door distress ink.  Finished with a handcut Sherlock Holmes.  The "Gentlemen never wear brown" quote is from the Creative Journey - "London" set too and the word "London" is from a Penny Black London scene.  I used two button diecuts from T!ms mannequin die set, coloured them with a Black Soot distress marker, place silver card behind them and stuck them on as wheels.  I then used a Picket Fence distress marker to do the pipe smoke and finish the wheels. Great Fun!

For my last piece I just had to use my mannequin die (I know it's my most used die at the moment but I just can't seem to get enough of it!):

The technique here is using Picket Fence distress stain (marvellous stuff that you definately need!) to stamp out the Keep Calm quote by Inkylicious - Union Jack part 2, then I inked the tag with Barn Door distress ink and spritzed it with water to remove the ink from the text making it pop (I was trying to emulate the famous poster here!).  I then stamped a mannequin with a Union Flag - from the same set as the quote - in Barn Door distress ink and Stonewashed Adirondack ink.  I inked the mannequin and cotton reel with Frayed Burlap distress ink to tone them down, put red, white and blue twine (how fabulous is that!) around the reel and finished with two pins (not got a blue one!) and a nice white trim and Union Flag ribbon to finish.

I hope you like what I have made for the blog hop - I had great fun putting all of these together.

To carry on with the hop here is the list of today's participants:

Sunshine Girl - you are here

and just in case you missed it here is the schedule for yesterday:

I would just like to say a big thank to all the girls that have joined in - I hope you all had as much fun as I did.  I will probably organise another one for 1st September - what do you all reckon? theme to be decided!

Thanks for looking - Proud to be British from Solihull

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Great British Blog Hop Day 1

It' s today - whoooo hooooo!

Welcome everyone
Here is todays schedule for the Great British Blog Hop:
Please click on all the links and go and view the fabulous creations these talented artists have made.  Don't forget to leave them all some lovely comments so that they know you have passed by!

Thank you all so much for taking part.

See you all tomorrow for Day 2!

Thanks for looking - All tagged out from Solihull