Friday, 30 April 2010


To celebrate losing 49lbs in weight (and counting) I decided I deserved a present. I'd seen the most gorgeous pink ring in a local jewellers, but walking my beloved past it, commenting on its beauty etc didn't have the desired effect. I went for my best pleading look, but got his "dream on sunshine" face ...

So anyway - I saw one online that looked a bit like it and it was quite a lot cheaper (being silver and semi precious rather than platinum and diamonds!!) so on impulse I bought it, and here it is ...

There's just one problem - in my enthusiasm I didn't stop to check out the dimensions, and now it's arrived I'm wondering if it might be just a teensy weensy bit BIG?? You know, ostentatious, flashy, nay even VULGAR? (which is definitely what my mother would say).

I do rather love it however, and its very VERY sparkly, much more than it looks in the picture. Go on ... tell me the truth, is it perhaps, just a bit.... over the top??? Or should one perhaps go for the big gesture at my advanced age?

PS Sorry about the wrinkly old bag who rushed in and insisted on modelling the ring for the picture. I couldn't stop her and don't know where she came from! Now where did I put that hand cream ...

PPS you know it's actually even bigger than it looks in the picture at 1.5 cms.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010


Time for What's on Your Workdesk again over a Julia's place! This week I thought I'd excelled myself at messiness and was feeling that if I didn't clean up I would go nuts ... unfortunately now I look at the photograph I can tell immediately that you won't be impressed at all. Look, it's messy for ME, all right?

The paint water is still there because I'm SO into using Distress Inks as watercolour paints - you probably can't see it but I've stamped the pads onto the heat-proof sheet, and then lifted the colour off with a damp paintbrush. This allows me to get lots of subtle shades ... and all without spending a red cent on them posh marker thingies!

This is a close up of what I'm actually working on - also to form part of the project with the metallic hinges (see previous post). I've stamped onto the smoother side of watercolour paper, coloured the images and cut them out. In the finest Blue Peter tradition, here (below) are some I made earlier .... can you guess what I'm making yet??? It involves crackle paint too ...

Tuesday, 27 April 2010


I've got a new project on the go (it's been in the cupboard awaiting inspiration for yonks!) and in the great tradition I plan to reveal it a bit at a time ... well as I get around to doing bits actually! So here beginneth ...

I have to admit to being extremely pleased with how these have turned out - only one of these items is actually metal, the rest are card finished with embossing powder.

Now I know that some of you will be unimpressed but because I haven't done this kind of this before I'm well chuffed (as they say). I started out with copper embossing powder but that was a bit too new and shiny, and I wanted distressed, so I tried again with a metallic mixture called tapestry, but that wasn't quite right either. I made my own 50/50 mix of the two and that worked really well - and even better when (while it was still warm) I stamped some texture into the finish and mangled it about a bit (I know what I mean)!!

Well you can see that I had fun can't you? The tease now is ... what am I going to DO with them? Answers on a postcard to ... ME!

Saturday, 24 April 2010


I was going to buy my soon to be 5 years old grand-daughter a birthday card when my DD3 said "don't do that - make her one!". Fair enough, thinks me, but I did come up against the problem of not really having any suitable stamps, so I went for nice simple flowers and a pink theme. These are some of my newest stamps (Poly Clear by Hero Arts) and at the moment they're turning up on everything! I was quite pleased with this when DD3 hove by again, looked over my shoulder and said "it's a bit grown up isn't it?". She's right of course, so I put it to one side saying "but I haven't got any stamps suitable for a little girl." DD3 said "well draw her a fairy or something" ... so I did. The first one was a bit wonky and I'd forgotten to use a waterproof pen, so I could colour it.

So anyway, I had another go and quite surprised myself - I'd forgotten I could draw! I used to do it a lot - landscapes and stuff - but haven't for years and years. I know its a bit cute and I'm always saying that I don't do cute but ... well its not about what I like here is it?

So DGD1 will be getting this fairy for her birthday and I have rediscovered my cute side (not)! Maybe I'll go and draw something else now .... or maybe I'll just lie in the garden for a bit and recover from my efforts?

Wednesday, 21 April 2010


It's Whats on Your Workdesk Wednesday again, so here is the trusty mat showing you what I'm up to today ... which in case you don't recognise anything is constructing storage for my (only two) sets of Nestability dies. This isn't my original idea but I can't remember where I got it from! Anyway, I bought some magnetic sheets and stuck them into CD cases. The nesties then store brilliantly inside and a Dymo printed label on the spine tells me which of my two sets it is! Well I'm planning for a future in which I have a lot more .... so there you go, Inspiration Wednesday!! I shall take a bow ....

But, because of a number of complaints last week - I have also photographed the desk from a much wider angle. This provides proof positive that I can do messy if I try, in fact that greenish pot of painting water is still there from last week. Yuk! Anyway, this is my idea of a complete scrow which needs urgent tidying up. So what else is on there ... well there's a list of colour schemes I'd like to try out tucked under the mat, that ATC is still there, and the new metallic embossing powders I've been playing with. Oh yes there's another ATC that I made for a challenge and haven't got around to uploading, but I realise its just not very interesting this week. I will try harder in future.

Monday, 19 April 2010


My friend and I have six girls between us who have grown up together and are as close as sisters. One of mine got married some years back and now one of hers is tying the knot my advice was to get a ring binder and keep everything wedding related in it. That way you can't say things like "where did I put that quote from the florist" because there's only one place to look! Anyway, in the middle of making this helpful suggestion I said - oh what the heck, I'll make you one, and this is it!

I covered a shiny black binder with pink scrapbook paper, adding an artistic torn strip along the bottom (her family will probably say why is it torn??) and I don't have to explain that the couple's names are on the front. I added all sorts of doodly stuff, leaving space for doodles of her own!

Inside the cover I wrote a list of tips for organising a daughter's wedding!! Had some fun with that bit ...

Then I made a series of pages with file tabs (cut with a Sissix die) for each section. They're labelled dress/suits, Cake, Cars, Church and so on ... ending with one at the back which says "stuff we hadn't thought of"!! I really had fun doing this and hope it proves to be worth its weight in gold, as well as interesting and distinctive to look at! All she has to do now is NOT lose the folder ...

Wednesday, 14 April 2010


It's that time again over at Julia's where we bravely and recklessly show each other the state of our workdesks, and get to have a glorious rummage around other people's - so get on over there if you want to join in. Anyway this is mine as of 9.15 this morning and as you can see I like to work on a piece of paper - I save scrap for this purpose, currently sections of chapter 3 which didn't make the cut! I like to stamp on it, try paints on it etc. There's a print of a church window that I decided against using, and a collage stamp I plan on using next!

I do realise that it looks quite tidy but I have cunningly only showed you the mat I'm actually working on and not the whole desk. This has loads of stuff all over the place, a greenish pot of painting water, bits of paper with messages to myself, and various stages in an experiment with metallic embossing powders ...

Anyway this is what I was working on - making an ATC with the delicious Invoke Madonna stamp which was part of my Christmas present from my dear friend Linda. I've now put it in my newly decorated ATC shrine so I can admire it for a bit. The latest one I've made is nearly always my favourite!

Friday, 9 April 2010


I have been very inspired by the work of people like Linda and Hels using the Studio 490 stamps so bought myself a basic set to get started (the butterfly and the leaves). The flowers are more "in the style of" being Hero Arts clear stamps which give a really crisp image.

I came across this quote not long ago and thought it was really powerful, so hey presto a sign is born!! Used a little wood frame/tray thingy I had in the cupboard, painted it blue, printed my saying onto polka dot paper to match the spotty flowers and leaves. Lots of layering up on little foam pads and I'm quite pleased with the result!!

Friend asked, why isn't it pink? I said ... a) sadly, not everything can be pink, b) my pink curtains have blue in them. Simple.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010


Nice sunny desk this morning - I am so happy to be back in my window, and no longer huddling in the middle of the room for warmth! It's even quite messy on there ... for me anyway! As you can see I'm in scrapbook mode, working on the layout for March, part of Shimelle's Document 2010 project. Because I seem to lead a pretty quiet life, I'm just doing a double layout for each month.

What's on the desk, apart from the project, are the delicious new Hero Arts flower stamps I bought at the NEC. They're clear but give a good crisp image, and are fabulous for layering and cutting out. At the back you can see the ATC shrine, now painted blue, but still a work in progress. The pink binders house my clear stamps, divided into ATC or scrapbook, the larger ones holder bigger sets, collage sheets and the catalogue of my stamps - which sounds posh but I just stamp a copy of every new stamp I buy. You can also see a new punch which produces a bird, wing and branch which I'm hoping to incorporate somewhere ...

So, as you can see, I'm working in Spring greens and yellow and I'm recording stuff like my Mothering Sunday bouquet, spring flowers in the garden, going to TWO shows in March and so on. I don't seem to be very good at keeping bits of memorabilia, receipts etc, so this was the best I could manage for a month which has been pretty busy one way or another. It does the job of creating a snapshot .... and if you want to see more desks get on over to Julia's place.

Saturday, 3 April 2010


I'm not sure if this will make any sense to you, but I had SUCH a lovely afternoon yesterday. Got done what I needed to, and then had a few hours to myself and just sat and PLAYED. No particular agenda, I just fiddled about with stuff I like ... and this is the result. I sort of feel they even look like happy work?

I must have had my distress inks for well over a year and honestly not used them that much, but just lately they suddenly seem to ... well, make sense! Yesterday I was stamping these Invoke Images houses onto old text, and I wanted to colour them but use really faded, washed out sort of shades. Ended up stamping distress inks onto the heat proof sheet and then lifting the colours (and mixing them) with a wet paintbrush. Love the faded colours I got this way.

So it was a really special time - had the radio on, just messing about happily and it made me think ... I should do this more often! So I will. Maybe you feel the same?

PS My beloved just came in, so I showed him the ATCs and he looked sort of puzzled. "But they don't make sense" he said. "I know," I told him, "That's exactly how they're meant to be." Well how would you have explained it???