Tuesday 30 September 2014


I haven't had much chance to blog this month (or make comments - apologies to all!)as we are still having connection problems.
I have just had to grab my chances - this being one of them!
I've been loving the Autumn colours that are gradually appearing though!

I've been meaning to make some storage for my narrower stencils and when this box of hubby's was empty he was sensible enough to ask if I wanted it!! It's the perfect size!
I covered it with paper from an old gazetteer….
Then, having seen Anneke de Clerck tags on Paper Artsy last week I painted it with a mixture of Autumn Fire, Yellow Submarine and Orchid. I don't think I've quite got this technique yet so more practice needed!!!

From here I forgot to take photos so….as you can see I added some copper acrylic paint over the top, stamped text using Fresco Autumn Fire and then added flowers from Darcy's Eclectica EDY10 set and leaves from EDY09 stamped with Archival Ink
 I coloured the flowers with some bronze acrylic and the flowers with Guacomole, dabbed off to show the text on the leaves. I'm still not sure that the box is finished but can't think what else I want to do with it yet! 

I do however want to link this to the Paper Artsy Challenge
and to the Artistic Stamper where the theme is Autumn Colours      

Monday 29 September 2014

Away with the fairies!

Hmmm! Probably!! Actually, I have been having a play with my Lavinia stamps! The challenge this time is to use ribbon! What better than a tag?
I am still happy with some of the sunsets although they have been quite misty at times, so the first thing I did was use distress inks to make a sky. We all know that a fairy twilight can last a while so there are faux bleached trails across the sky to show that she has already been flitting around spreading fairy dust.
 All of the stamped images were stamped in archival black and then clear embossed

The trails and the tree have Stickles fairy dust applied with a sharpened coffee stirrer as it made a finer trail.
I altered the fairy slightly to give her boots for these colder evenings!(I hope Tracey doesn't mind - my own feet have been feeling the lower night time temperatures lately!)
Red, green and gold Stickles were added to the grass and the "ribbon" around the fairy toadstools!
It didn't show much on this photo!
I added sari ribbon and some patterned ribbon to the top of the tag.

I would like to enter the Lavinia Stamp Challenge 9 'Add some Ribbon' 

Thanks for looking, Chris

Thursday 25 September 2014

On the ocean waves!

Not me! The last thing I would do is take a cruise - I do not like to travel by water! (see my gondola trip report here)

I do like a challenge though, and this one I knew would definitely make me think! The challenge at Country View Challenges is "Nautical" and at first I collected a few bits and pieces and realised that although I had some watery themed stamps I didn't have anything else - until I saw Alison's inspiration pieces - Ah ha!! I have got something - so I was away with at least part of an idea. Sorting through my drawers under my desk I found a packet of Sarah's Surfaces from way, way back bought on a whim(how else?) from the QVC outlet shop.
The card is glossy on one side so I added alcohol inks to give a watery look to it.
The inside was distressed with stormy sky and vintage photo.
I then set about looking through what I had.
The happy couple(from Tim's paper stash) have been lucky enough to win a cruise - I'd like to think to see the Northern Lights - they could never afford anything like this themselves
I stamped a watermark stamp to make waves - there is also some other stamping 
but the tickets are in the way (other images also from Tim's stash) 
As you can see the little folder has pockets - very handy for storing souvenirs!
Both maps from stamps I bought in France last year 
The words on map paper from a pad I bought at a show and of course the compass from Tim's Classics 1 set.

The little wooden circle is from The Works and had another image on it which I sanded off and then stamped with the small compass

The picture of the two mothers who had come to wave them off (they would wouldn't they?)was from Tim's paper stash.
Finally, I had an anchor stamp from one of Lindsay Masons old sets…. 

how to use it? I stamped it onto dictionary paper then glued it to some strong packaging card…..
….it's a fastener for the booklet
The final touch was the word from the classics 1 set
I am entering the "Nautical" challenge which is Country View Challenge no.19  

Thanks for looking, Chris

Wednesday 24 September 2014


Good morning! I love Autumn days and today it's WOYWW too so a chance to travel the world too! Julia has all the details on her Stamping Ground blog. 
Mine is exactly as I left it last night - I'd realised I only had a few hours left to enter my favourite challenge - Dragons Dream TIO!
Just as I had finished my hairdresser arrived and I never got back in to my craft room!
I must admit it was a bit of a surprise when I went in this morning to photograph my desk, but then thought I'd give you this view anyway….
I know some of you are thinking that I could have at least put the pens back into the pencil case but I was working against the clock!
For those who want to see my tag it's here. If you want to know why the stamp bottom right is wrapped in string - it makes a fab faux text (like I don't have enough text stamps!!)
So, before I do anything else today I have to clear some space!

No cinema trip today - nothing we want to see - next week we have a choice to make!!
I'll see you later! Thanks for looking, Chris

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Oh! Joy! Dreaming…...

We've been up at our caravan over the weekend - got back latish  last night, as we came home via the scenic route through the Forest of Bowland. It's quite a detour but the scenery makes it so worth it!
So this morning was a shopping trip to stock up on food. Came home and checked the date for the Dragons Dream TIO Challenge 175 - Yikes!! It's today so this afternoon made my entry!
We have been serenaded early mornings and evenings by robins and then over the weekend a wren kept coming onto the railings of the decking(wouldn't stay long enough for a photo)and then when I really listened I could hear both the robin and the wren - quite similar songs but nevertheless the differences can be detected!
This then was my inspiration for my tag!
Some distress inks on my mat spritzed and then dragged the tag through. The die cut was on the front of a Tattered Lace magazine and I have already used it quite a lot. I then added my pretend text stamp(string wrapped around a piece of wood)and stencilled through my new Memory Box umbrel around the edge. The wren stamp is from an Inkylicious set. I had plans to heat emboss the word 'Joy' with gold  but have 'mislaid' my powder(again!)so made do with brushing the ink over while still wet with mica powder, which led to me doing the same with edges(which already had been inked with Picked Raspberry distress)I had to outline the 'Joy" as it didn't show up on the photo!
The wren was also coloured with distress inks but her(surely Jenny Wren?)chest doesn't show up in this photo either!

Still - an 'Ode to Joy' for me, I love hearing the birds singing especially on the unusually warm evenings we had!

 Linking to Dragons Dream TIO 175 'J and diecuts'

Thanks for looking, Chris  

Thursday 18 September 2014

I love Paris tag

I've had something like this in my head for sometime - just didn't have the time to get everything from the far flung corners of my craft room!
I love Tim's way of layering papers, stencils, stamps etc. and do quite a lot of layering when I play in my journals or make cards.
This time I had a tag in  mind.
I started by using a very old Dylusions spray through a stencil, then added ink through Tim's doily stencil.
I then used parts of a poster stamp from Attic Treasures over the tag. I had some papers ready but only used one of them in the end.
It was here that I changed my mind and had to go search out some linen to stamp my image(a Gibson girl from The Artistic Stamper)
I find it easier to ink the stamp and then lay the linen on the stamp.
The little brown tag was free in a magazine( I cut the bottom edge with a chomper) and I used another stamp from Attic treasures on a small piece of French book text, the button was free in a goodie bag. My piece of lace was cut from doily that I bought from the table that is set up in Church each week. My flourish (Tim's of course) was cut from a cereal box
All I needed to add were some flowers,textured ribbon and muslin at the bottom and ribbon to the tags.

I would like to enter in the following challenges

A Vintage Journey - Challenge 14 'With a Flourish'
ABC challenge - 'T is for tic-tac-toe' I have chosen the 'flowers, lace, die' down row
Try it on Tuesdays - 'Recycle it' challenge

Thanks for looking, Chris

Wednesday 17 September 2014

WOYWW 276 (updated after cinema)

I wasn't sure whether to take part this week as I'm not sure how much visiting I will do, then I remembered - some of you may expect new stash on here - and you'd be right!!
Last week I made the short drive over to the Trafford Centre to Event city - it was great to meet up with fellow deskers! Lovely to meet Margaret and Christine for the first time as well as Anne, Jo and Mo(who I didn't realise was somebody I have already met several times at the High Legh craft shop!!) Lots of chat but still plenty of time to spend some cash!
A few stamps, a couple of fancy die sets - at a very reasonable price and some more stencils - half price!!
So, after a tidy up the stencils are ready to go through the big shot
This desk hopping is all, (of course you know), courtesy of Julia of The Stamping Ground.

Would you like a quick film review - 'Before I go to Sleep' was not as scary as I thought - rather suspect that the book may be more so as the imagination does more than a film interpretation sometimes. Still a rattling good film though! Off to see 'Pride' today, the newspaper reviews have been very favourable and it's got Bill Nighy in it too!
Update - definitely a must see film if you are Welsh or English! I don't think it would be as funny otherwise! Lots of laughing from the rest of the audience as well ourselves! (tears too though!)

I'll do my best to see you later. Thanks for looking, Chris

Tuesday 16 September 2014

T stands for Tuesday

Today I'm joining Elizabeth for tea, except mine's a coffee and hubby's is a tea.
Yesterday we enjoyed  day out, curtesy of my little bro and his wife! It was our Christmas present last year and we realised that we needed to use it before the end of October! The present was a voucher for afternoon tea and we went to the Wedgewood Visitor Centre in Staffordshire. A factory tour, a wonderful museum, a couple of shops and a fabulous cafe!!
As you see, a reserved table and a Wedgwood tea set
My coffee and the plate of goodies
Naughty but nice!
Yes, we did eat it all!!!
Elizabeth, I know you wonder why I am happy to appear in photos - it's because I don't look too bad in photos if I smile, nothing like the ones that hubby usually takes when I am not aware of the camera - believe me you will NEVER see those!!!!
Did I buy anything? Yes! I may join you again with a very posh mug sometime!

Happy Tuesday!! Chris

Monday 15 September 2014

Creative Blog Hop

I was honoured when asked by Dianne Marcoux at Magpiedi-Magpiedi if I would take part in a Creative Blog hop, because I just think she (and somebody else you may know) are the bees knees when it comes to using natural products and recycling to make wonderful art!

The first thing is to tell you a little about myself. 
I'm Chris,(sometimes known as pearshaped Chris),retired and love an adventure with my patient husband or our lovely family of 3 boys and 2 grandsons and a grandaughter(even if it's just up to our caravan)
Sometimes I get a bit too adventurous!
My favourite place of all is Paris - there's still so much to see - we've been 6 times now!
My husband, although not interested in crafting, encourages me and sometimes talks me into buying new products!
I can't really say when I started crafting - I used to say it was about six years ago but when I thought about it I used to make things with my Mum - rag rugging, cross stitch, natural dyeing, dressmaking, knitting and I was always drawing and loved Art lessons at school(my best grade at O level) Then, having become a Special Needs teacher had to get my head around Art projects too. When my Mum died I decided to try my hand at scrapbooking - and you know how one thing leads to another and I found out that I just enjoyed making things! When I met a group of ladies (Joanne,She,Gez and Lindsay) back in 2010 we became friends and I was persuaded to blog.
Two years ago we bought a flat in a retirement complex - it has altered our social lives quite a lot and there are often events that we attend. 
I also acquired a craft room (with a fold up bed for my grandchildren to stay in)although I often craft at our caravan table with it's lovely views…..

…..which as you can see influences my colour choices sometimes
I love Lynne Perrella's stamps
and Lindsay Mason's stamps

Yes I know they are totally different styles
I love to use up scraps in my journals

I love pale natural colours….
….and I also love bright colours

What am I working on now?
On my desk is something I am making for a challenge – you may be able to guess the theme…

As well as this I also have a box lid of some little brooches that I sit and make while I am watching TV
Why do I create what I do?
Usually  because I get enjoyment from sitting and creating, be it textiles or paper. I often either make or decorate little books….

….. then of course there’s my journals. My travel journals I make because they contain memories, my other journals are where I go to relax.
How does my creative process work?
If I am working in any of my other journals I just go with the flow! If it's for something like a family birthday card I try to keep the recipient in mind. I do like a challenge though – a proper challenge, something that makes me think, such as the Dragons Dream TIO. I do know that over the years I've changed my way of creating. So I’m sorry but I don’t really have an answer to that.

How do I stay focused and motivated?
Err! Me focus? I do tend to flit a bit and occasionally become frustrated when I can’t do any crafting. The times when retirees used to say that they didn’t know how they found time to work used to really annoy me – now I get it!! Once I'm in my craft room I put my music on and just play. As far as motivation goes it’s you who are reading this and will leave a comment – a little encouragement goes a long way when you are wondering what the heck you are doing!! I also have a lovely family and friends who encourage me in my efforts!

Now this is where I'm supposed to tag someone, but everyone I thought of is working hard and don't have time to take part or they have already been tagged. All I can do is guide you to some blogs that I love and hope that you enjoy them! First my great friend Sarah who makes the most fantastic journal pages, then there's Helen - for the same reason. Last of all is the person I gave a hint about at the top of the page - Elizabeth(and Bleubeard) who at the moment is taking part in a marathon of a challenge but creating the most wonderful pieces of art - as well as lots of other fabulous things to see on her blog. 
I do hope you can find time to visit any of the highlighted links!

Phew!! Sorry, I do go on a bit, hope you have enjoyed finding a little more about me - and I really would love it if you left a comment,
Thanks for looking, Chris