Friday 31 August 2012

Social Networking.. what's the point of it?!

How are we all?

I've had a bit of a week this week... we have had family up this week, so crafting has taken a bit of a back burner for now. However, I am on with my samples for this weeks demo that I have at Craft Central in Derby on Saturday.. really looking forward to seeing everyone again. Love that shop so much!

I am also in the midst of sorting out my social networking! Go me!! Yes, I'm having a bit of a decluttering and it feels good. Bloomin' facebook alerts are really starting to get my goat, so I've taken quite alot of things off to see if it improves. There are a few things I can't change.. and there are things I've changed, that maybe I've done wrong.. but it's all part of the learning process.

Really, Social Networking isn't my thing - I mean, really.. what's the point of it? Is there any??

I would value your opinion on this - Facebook, Twitter, etc.. do you use it? What do you think of it?? Why recommend it to me? Will it be useful?

I really look forward to hearing what you think on this..

Jo xx

Tuesday 28 August 2012

So... what have I been upto...

Well... tonight's a bit sad really.

I've spent the last few weeks doing a nail course, and tonight was the last night. I've loved doing it, and have booked myself onto a few more different courses, doing a few more different things... all nail work, but more advanced.

My daughter was the nail model tonight, and boy did she test me! She decided she wanted stiletto nails with green sparkle acrylic, and her wish was my command... so here they are.

It's not a very clear photograph... and I'll try to get a better one tomorrow, but I just wanted to show you.

So all in all... it's been a very exciting few weeks - so if anyone would like their nails doing (stilletto or not!!) just let me know.. hehe.

Other than that, I've just been doing my demonstrations here and there, and it is now time to start working on new products for my upcoming demonstration this Saturday down in Derby at Craft Central. It's totally christmas this next two months, and we have some fantastic products - Tulip, Boofle, Moments of Faith. There is something there for everyones taste.

Now though.. after a busy night at the salon, and an equally busy night at Craft class, I'm heading to bed.. Night all... sleep well!


Thursday 23 August 2012


Awww... I love elephants. They're just so lovely - real ones AND stamped ones, and I have a little collection of elephant stamps going on.... here's one of them!

Aren't they just the sweetest??

I've had these for a while, and shamelessly, they've never been inked. In fact, I did ink it and stamp it last week, and it's been a bit of a labour of love to get it coloured, as I'd lost my mojo (along with a day last week!) and couldn't really be bothered to get it finished.. but I did tonight, and I'm really pleased with how it looks.

I coloured the dresses with markers before setting to and adding some pencil work over the top for extra shading.

Here's a little close up of some of the details. I've kept the design quite simple, just choosing colours that went with the image.. silly me - typically coloured then tried to match the paper! Hmmm... will remember to always do it the other way round... see, I told you it was a labour of love!!

I hope you like today's card... I love it... cute elephants and a simple design. Just booootiful!

Whatever cards you've been making today, I hope you've had a great time.. until next time - Happy Crafting!

Wednesday 22 August 2012

Having a bad day?

I'm pretty sure we all do have bad days from time to time - I know certainly I do... and one of my favourite books to read - which I've had for a while - is Grechin Rubin's... so, after receiving her email today, I thought I'd share this.. check out the post here..

13 Tips for Dealing with a Really Lousy Day.


Every Wednesday is Tip Day.
This Wednesday: 13 tips for dealing with a really lousy day (note the fittingly unlucky number).

We’ve all had terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. A bad work evaluation, a disappointing grade, a potential crush who turns out to be interested in someone else, a fight with your mother, a worrisome report from a doctor, a broken resolution…lousy days take many forms.

Here are some strategies I use for coping with a lousy day:

1. Resist the urge to “treat” yourself. Often, the things we choose as “treats” aren’t good for us. The pleasure lasts a minute, but then feelings of guilt, loss of control, and other negative consequences just deepen the lousiness of the day. So when you find yourself thinking, “I’ll feel better after I have a few beers…a pint of ice cream…a cigarette…a new pair of jeans,” ask yourself – will it REALLY make you feel better? It might make you feel worse.

2. Do something nice for someone else. “Do good, feel good” – this really works. Be selfless, if only for selfish reasons. A friend going through a horrible period told me that she was practically addicted to doing good deeds; that was the only thing that made her feel better.

3. Distract yourself. When my older daughter was born, she had to be in Neonatal Intensive Care for a week. I spent every hour at the hospital, until my husband dragged me away to go to an afternoon movie. I didn’t want to go, but afterward, I realized that I was much better able to cope with the situation after having had a bit of relief. Watching a funny movie or TV show is a great way to take a break, or I often re-read beloved classics of children’s literature.

4. Seek inner peace through outer order. Soothe yourself by tackling a messy closet, an untidy desk, or crowded countertops. The sense of tangible progress, control, and orderliness can be a comfort. This always works for me – and fortunately, my family is messy enough that I always have plenty of therapeutic clutter at hand.

5. Tell yourself, “Well, at least I…” Get some things accomplished. Yes, you had a horrible day, but at least you went to the gym, or played with your kids, or walked the dog, or read your children a story, or recycled.

6. Exercise is an extremely effective mood booster – but be careful of exercise that allows you to ruminate. For example, if I go for a walk when I’m upset about something, I often end up feeling worse, because the walk provides me with uninterrupted time in which to dwell obsessively on my troubles.

7. Stay in contact. When you’re having a lousy day, it’s tempting to retreat into isolation. Studies show, though, that contact with other people boosts mood. So try to see or talk to people, especially people you’re close to.

8. It’s a cliché, but things really will look brighter in the morning. Go to bed early and start the next day anew. Also, sleep deprivation puts a drag on mood in the best of circumstances, so a little extra sleep will do you good.

9. Remind yourself of your other identities. If you feel like a loser at work, send out a blast email to engage with college friends. If you think members of the PTA are mad at you, don’t miss the spinning class where everyone knows and likes you.

10. Keep perspective. Ask yourself: “Will this matter in a month? In a year?” I recently came across a note I’d written to myself years ago, that said “TAXES!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I dimly remember the panic I felt about dealing with taxes that year; but it’s all lost and forgotten now.

11. Write it down. When something horrible is consuming my mind, I find that if I write up a paragraph or two about the situation, I get immense relief.

12. Be grateful. Remind yourself that a lousy day isn’t a catastrophic day. Be grateful that you’re still on the “lousy” spectrum. Probably, things could be worse.

13. Use the emergency mood tool-kit. For an emergency happiness intervention, try these tips for getting a boost in the next HOUR.

Tuesday 21 August 2012

Flowers galore...

I am really loving being out in the garden these days - my greenhouse is filling up with courgettes, cucumbers, tomatoes, physalis and other edible goodies... and the garden is too! We have today had ONE green bean and a whole kaboodle of plums and potatoes! And very nice they were too.

In addition to the veg that is flourishing, I am also loving the beautiful flowers that are really coming along now. I'm sure the rain has helped as the baskets are looking so full with blooms. I really like taking photographs of flowers - in fact, flowers are the one thing that helped me get distinctions on my way to becoming a LRPS with my photography course years ago. (Although, it may be because they stay relatively still when I'm snapping them!)

So, today, I thought I'd share a few of the pictures I took the other day whilst out weeding and replanting. Enjoy.

This is my shrub with no name... well, I'm pretty sure that it does have a name, but it's one of the 'oh dear look at that poor thing - it's half dead... let's take it home' type of plants.. and it didn't ever have a label. I took it home and planted it behind the shed, thinking it was never going to do anything. But it's grown (and grown!) to be a fine specimen with lots of these wonderful flowers that attract many bees. And if it attracts bees, then all is good!

Oh double petunia.... how I love thee... I LOVE this flower - they fill the baskets with a wonderful array of strawberry and cream colour.. and they look amazing. I'm hoping that they go to seed at some point so that I can throw a few in a pot next year.

No garden is ever complete without a marigold or two.. but these basket plants are just a little bit posher than a normal marigold (which I do plant so that the hedgehogs can feast on them). The colours are always so vibrant and they brighten up any basket. And they flower wonderfully throughout the season too, which is always a bonus!

Another plant with no name. Although this was planted in a basket and I took out the label without looking what it was... and it's lovely innit?? Will have to do a bit of 'googling' to find out what it is me thinks.

Oh sweet verbena... how I love thee too... Such delicate flowers, and as my friend Julie said... how comes they grow soooo tall and lanky, yet they are always upright and never fall over?! Amazing plants, and yes, I grew these from seed... so pleased that they survived my neglect at times.

I will post again soon.. but just wanted to share these beauties.

Friday 17 August 2012

Sleigh bells ring... can you hear them??

How are we all? Sorry I've not been around for a few days, but I've lost all track of time this week.. not sure where, but I lost a day somewhere mid week! So, now I'm busily playing catch up. Well, I say catch up... not exactly a catch up me thinks.. but getting started!

I have a demo this Saturday at The Range, Rotherham - so if you're passing feel free to pop by and say hi.. it would be lovely to see you. I'll be there from 10 until 4. And yes.. there is a little bit of Christmas involved too. Haha.

I love Christmas, not sure about it this early in the year.. but then again, I guess August isn't really early to start on the cards is it??!

Anyway.... I came across a few challenges this last week so thought I'd have a little play along.

Here's my card, and I'll list the challenges at the bottom of the post.

I opted to use one of my all time favourite Christmas stamps. Isn't it cute? I love the sleigh, but the Forever friends teddies are so cute. And we all know I love cute!

It fitted in the fur and feather theme quite well - furry teddies and feathers on birds.

You will note that the challenge was also for one layer, so I started the card by stamping the sleigh where I wanted it, then overstamped the Christmas tree to the stamp so that it layed over the image. I wanted the sleigh to 'pop out' from behind the tree... and I think I managed that.

I decided to colour with pencils, then blended the colours. The snow was made using liquid applique - love this stuff and it adds a great texture to the card too.

Here's a little close up for you. You can see the tree slightly better in this picture. It's a papermania set of stamps, but I can't remember the name off hand... but they're very sketchy and lovely.

Here are the Challenges I'd like to take part in..

Celebrate the Occasion - Christmas in August
Simply Less is More - Fur and Feather

Besides making my challenge card, I also had a little play with a stamp I've had for a while. This is a Thank you card for a great person... but to give you a taster, here's the image. Cute eh? He soooo reminds me of my Mr Scoobs.

I'll show the rest of the card when I know it's been received. Until then.. happy crafting!

Wednesday 15 August 2012

ooooh what a weekend...

Things have gone a bit bonkers here, and work is slowly but surely getting there... ! I don't have masses of things to do, but the odd thing that is in my diary is scheduled into my routine and I just don't seem to have the energy to do it. Could it be Olympic withdrawal ?? Maybe!

I have however, been busy doing samples for my demo's.. and this last weekend I was over at Reams in Derby.. what lovely staff, and what a wonderful shop and customers. It was really nice being there again - I hadn't been since March.

This weekend, I'm over in Rotherham on Saturday, so if you're passing it would be lovely to see you!

I will be back shortly with a card or two to show you - I have been 'a bit' busy whilst I've not been here.. I promise... !

Until then.. happy crafting!

Thursday 9 August 2012

Just playing with dies...

Whilst browsing around the web earlier on this evening, I saw a fab card, which you can check out here.. and I thought, I've got that die.. so I decided to hunt it out and use it.

I love the way that the corners were cut with the die, so here's mine that I recreated..

Now I know I love my pastel colours, but I just think the pink goes really well with the intricate die cut.

Here it is in more detail. And the flowers? Well, they were cut from dies too. Here they are in a little more detail.

The flowers were all cut from white card, then inked over with pink ink and a baby wipe, just leaving the edges slightly darker than the rest of the petal.

The flowers were shaped with my pokey tool and a spray of water to allow the petals to shape.

I hope you like this card... I think it looks lovely to say I was only playing with scraps of paper and card!!

Until next time...
Happy Crafting!!!

Wednesday 8 August 2012

Happy Wedding day...

Whilst I am still in Pink and Black mode, a-la Crafty Bloggers Challenge, I thought I'd throw this card together using the remains of my pink capsule papers..

And isn't the stamp cute? I bought a few of them to use in my craft classes... so watch out girls, they may be coming to a room near you!! I've coloured them simply with just black and pink pencils, then blended the colours out.

I'm not sure if you can see it on this picture, but I've added some gloss to their shoes.

This is a front view of the card.... nice and simple. I didn't want to add too much decoration, so just stamped the sentiment, cut it out with an XCut nesting heart die, and inked over with black ink.
I hope you like my card today. I have throughly enjoyed spending a few days colouring very simply in black and white. I hope you find time to nip over and join in with our Challenge this month - I am loving the Pink and Black... but think I may share another card that has more colour tomorrow! Hehe..

If you do join in, let me know and I will pop on over to say Hello!!!

Pink and Black...

I am really loving this new theme of our Challenge.. and I was really inspired to create a little card using some older bits and pieces that I found.

The theme is obviously, Pink and Black, and it's a lovely combination. So I opted to use black cardstock and pink capsule collection papers from Papermania. These were little offcuts that were in the pack of papers I chose.

I opted to use the lovely Best of British Forever friends bear holding the heart, and I've used the Union jack stamp to go inside the heart too.

The flower was made from punches, and decorated with a little pearl.

And here's the heart in more detail... it was stamped onto patterned paper then cut out and paper pieced onto the teddy.

Tuesday 7 August 2012

Humble beginnings....

**edited to add, I've just found out I won the Colour throwdown challenge with my card the other day... this is turning out to be a great day!**

Today I tried something new. I'm not divulging what it is just yet, but lets just say, it could be something I could take up as a career! Haha.. not really!

But it is something for me to learn, something that I could make a career from if I chose to, and something I've wanted to do for a looooong time... so from humble beginnings.... over the coming weeks, we'll see how far we progress. Today, I was apparantly best in class... mmmm... At the end of it, I may tell you what it is... then again, I may not!

Anyway.. onto more interesting things. I've made a few cards! Yes. Me!

The first card I want to show you is a little celebration for our girls and boys doing their best down at the Olympics... I can't believe how well we're doing!! Noone should feel disappointed but poor Victoria and her bike - she was in tears bless her! Everyone can only do their best... so for everyone with a medal.. here's my offering to you!

I've used the Union flag embossing folder from Portobello Road collection, and teamed it up with a few stars cut with our XCut nesting dies. I've then embossed these with different folders from our collections and inked them up in gold, silver and bronze.

I used the Ink it up pigment inks and then heat embossed them with clear powder. I love the more rustic type of look to them. I edged them with a kuretake marker, and added a button for decoration.

Now... have you checked out the Crafty Bloggers Network Challenge this week? Ooooh you must!! There are some fab prizes on offer too, but as the theme this week is Pink and Black, here's my card for this week.

This was the image that I chose to use, one that I had coloured in the other day, but I finished her off with a few more bits and pieces below...

The image was from the Sassy Studios, who are sponsoring our challenge this week. We are also being sponsored by the fab Ger, from Cullen Crafts! How amazing is that... and you ought to see what the prize from Ger is... I soooo need to win it!!!

I've decorated the plain card with flourishes from a new stamp set, and then punched a little border along two pieces of pink card to add a decoration to the edge.

I love the simplicity of it I must admit.. I don't think she needed pretty papers - I thought she was pretty enough just by herself... what do you think??

I would like to enter into the following challenges..

Anything goes Challenge - summer days (union flag card - summer olympics)
Scrap Creations - 'D' (die cutting)
Papertake Weekly - Anything goes

I have another couple of cards for you tomorrow... so please check back and see what I have to share.

Until then.. happy crafting!!!!

Sunday 5 August 2012

Sweet and simple

Oh wowsers... I've discovered Saturated Canary... I know, I know - I take my time.. but the SC love has just bitten me and I have now got my very own little collection! Look at her, isn't she sweet?!

With this card, I thought I'd use some older papers, which I think are Papermania but not too sure.. as the packet was already open and didn't have a label in.. dippy me!! Usually I keep those sorts of things.

I've coloured her in with pencils and blended them. The colouring is alot brighter in real life. (note to self... remember to use my proper grown up camera and not the phone!)
Here's the close up of the image... I just think she's adorable.

Well.. tomorrow is the release of our second Crafty Bloggers Network Challenge.. I hope you can pop by and join in the Challenge... It's a fab one this week with TWO sponsors!!! I'm not saying any more.. just pop by and join in.. it'll be fun!

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges...

NMWC - Anything goes
Catch the bug - Anything goes
Challenge up your life - Everything goes
Send a smile 4 kids - For the girls

Happy Crafting for now. xx

Friday 3 August 2012

Classy black and white.

You know I did my colouring the other day? Well, here's another card I completed with the image I printed and coloured in. I love colouring in. I get so engrossed into colouring when I get the chance that I forget how long I've spent on it! Are you the same??

I also think sometimes it's just nice to use a little bit of black and white, and keep things nice and simple... that's exactly what I did with this little card today.

The papers are from Papermania and it's my 'very special pad' that I keep for 'special cards'. I'm sure I'm not the only one who doesn't like using their special papers... but I have tons of sheets and packs that I need to work my way through!

I die cut the corner and the flowers and leaves and simply layered them up.

The image was coloured with pencils - I have found the most AMAZING pencils at my local Range that blend perfectly with sansador (and they're a fraction of the cost of polychromos and dare I say blend even better??!!!)

My friend Tracy is coming around next week for a colouring lesson, so I'll let you know if she finds them just as easy as I do.. I'm sure she will!

I would like to enter this card into the following challenges...
Digi Stamps for Joy - spots and stripes
Die Cutting Diva's - anything goes
Twisted Tuesday - anything goes with a twist!

Well... that's all for now. Whatever you're upto today, enjoy.. and Happy Crafting!

Thursday 2 August 2012

A card for you!

I finally managed to get the cards finished using the images I coloured the other day... and I thought I'd just share one with you per day for the next few days... that way, I will feel like I'm actually posting more often, instead of shoving them all on at once and then having nothing to show every day!

So... the colours of the card just happened to be the same as was wanted at the Color Throwdown Challenge blog, so I thought I'd enter it into their Challenge... I haven't entered a challenge for a while, so having a bit of 'me' time today gave me the opportunity to get it done and dusted.

And here is my card....

The card was just quickly put together, but I think it works really well.. nice and bright.

Here's a little close up for you.. .pictures are from my phone, so apologies if they're a little fuzzy.

See those flowers?? I drew them myself using my kuretake pens and pencils, so I finished them off and added further doodling around the frame etc...

The clouds were made using inks and I finished it off with a little bit of Anita's gloss to the eyes..

I am also entering this card into the following Challenges too..

The Colour Throwdown blog - colour inspiration photo
Divas by Design - Flowers
Digistamps 4 Joy - Spots and Stripes
Stampin' for the Weekend - colour inspiration photo


Yep. That's what this post is all about!

I thought today, I'd share a few photos of our little trip to Monkey World in Dorset. What a charming place it was too... the only disappointment for me was that there wasn't any silverbacks! However, my hubby did tell me that it was 'MONKEY' world.. not 'Gorilla' world! Well... some people do have to be picky don't they!!! And I took great relish in reminding him that I didn't really mind, as I'd taken my very own silverback with me... hahaha...

Anyway.. here are the photos.. I've not done much with them as far as editing is concerned.. they're more or less SOOC..

Love this little guy..he loved playing with his feet and looked so cute.

This was about the only subject that stayed fairly still for me when trying to focus..

And this little cutie just sat here for a while looking a little forlorn - it was a very hot day - and was sat playing with plastic balls and water. Just look at these lickle ears... aren't they the sweetest?!

And finally.. mummy and baby.. not a great photo as it was through glass and quite a way away.. but couldn't resist a quick snap!

So there we have it... just a few photos. Now, I must fly - I've got quite a few images that I coloured last night, to mount up and make into cards!

Happy 'whatever you're doing' ...

A colouring session....

Yawn.... . I am so tired today... it's been a very long day, and I've been to Peterborough to a guest slot on Create and Craft for Docrafts. Two shows, early start at 8am and 11am.. and it's left me feeling a bit tired after only a few hours sleep.

However, tonight, after hubby went off to work, I thought I would sit and sort out my bag to put things where they need to be. I then remembered about some images I'd had sat on my laptop that I needed to reprint as I'd given my friend Tracey some to colour in. So, I got out my laptop, fired up the fantastic Digital Designer program from Docrafts, and get my images printed out.

The Digital Designer makes it really easy to print out images to the right size as the A4 sheet (which is what I use) has measures around the outside, so I can instantly see what size I need to print...

These are the images as they had been coloured in. (sorry about the pics.. they were from my phone)

This one just has to be my favourite... she's really lovely and reminds me of my two girls when they were younger.

I have found some new pencils that work in the same way - only better!! - than the Prisma's I have.. and they are really easy to blend too!! I'm not revealing what they are yet - but watch this space!

.. aren't they pretty?

And here are the three lovely ladies together... keep an eye out for them appearing on a few projects soon!

Anyway... I'm going to love you and leave you, and go to sleep... my eyes are drooping as I'm sat here!! I'll be back soon to show you the finished cards too!

Happy Crafting!!

Wednesday 1 August 2012

Where is the time going???

I always have good intentions to post on here regularly.. but time just goes away with me!

Anyhow, I wanted to share a few new cards with you. These are doing the rounds to my demos with me, but I was asked by the lovely Jill last week to upload them onto my blog... so without further ado, here you go.

The first one that Jill asked for was the ones with the embossing folders, so here is one, above, which uses the fab new Docrafts folder lightly rubbed over with inky fingers!!! I had blue ink on the ends of my fingers and happened to rub over the design, and some of the ink transferred. Me thinks that this could perhaps be a new technique.. finger rubbing! Now, there's a thought!

Here's a variation on that technique.. lol.. properly inked up with an ink pad, inside the folder and then embossed onto the card.

I shaded the rest of the background with blue ink too to give a distressed look.

And here is my favourite card for today....

The image is one of the free stamps from the front of this month's Creativity magasine. She's really lovely and quite a nice size too... don't you think?

I've teamed the image up with the lovely papers from the Happy Days collection. Loving the flowery retro look.

I finished it off with a 3d flower made with the Glitterations stickers...

Righty.. I need to make a move as I'm sat down at Create and Craft at the moment ready to do the second show of the day .... it's all about Christmas today!!

Whatever you're upto, enjoy yourself and remember to do a bit of crafting along the way!

Back soon... xx
Animated Social Gadget - Blogger And Wordpress Tips