Tuesday 30 June 2015

A funny little post for you ...


Once upon a time, there was a fish called Boo. Now, Boo lived with another little fishy called Lou, who was her tank mate. Until Boo decided that she was a little bit peckish. And ate Lou. 

This is Boo......!

Now, Boo's mummy at the time, was a little upset at what happened, so this crazy lady, Boo's grandma (aka ME!) decided to buy Boo a little Black Moor as a tank mate. (Ok, ok.... I thought she may not have eaten her fishy friend....  and it was just a poor, diseased fishy!)  

Time passed, and a few weeks later, things started to look a little different in the land of fishy-wishy. L'il old Blacky was starting to look a little rough around the edges, hiding under the filter, keeping out of the way, and we started to wonder what was wrong. One day, grandma got a call from Boo's mummy to tell her that little Blacky had gone to fishy heaven - she'd been munched by Cannibal Boo. It was a sad day. 

So, Boo was destined to live her life all alone. In a tank. By herself. With no friends to call her own. And only fish food to munch on! 

Two years ago, she came to live at Grandma's house because her mummy was off to Uni and couldn't take her with her, so she was bought a nice big tank with lots of lovely plants and sand and stones and rocks and bubbles. But no friends. Grandma thought she could perhaps 'try' her with a little friend or two, so bought the Terrible Twinsters. Aka Billie and Bessie. 

Now, Boo took to the two little twinsters with curiosity... in a friendly way, and didn't try to eat them at all... in fact she quite enjoyed the company until they chased and chased and chased her around the tank. These twinsters were babies... Boo was an old lady... and was getting quite stressed and unhappy with the constant attention. So Granny and Grandad went to buy the twinsters another tank. 

Here are Billie and Bessie in their new home.... Billie is the one at the bottom... Bessie is at the top. 

They settled in their new home very quickly, and loved all the space. They became very good friends and they are nearly always swimming together. But one day something awful happened.... 

Grandma was looking at Bessie in the tank and something didn't seem right. She hadn't eaten her breakfast properly and kept spitting her pellets out without eating them. Very unlike her, so granny went in for a closer look. **SHOCK** There was a tank pebble stuck in Bessie's mouth. She had dislocated her mandible trying to release it and was gulping air rapidly as she panicked. So... grandma to the rescue with her blunt ended tweezers, and Operation Release Pebble had begun. 

It wasn't as easy as it seemed, and the only way to release it was to pick up Bessie in her hand and try to manouvre the stone to come out. After about half hour of a very patient Bessie being very good, the pebble eventually popped out and the mandible was massaged back to it's rightful position. 

A very bruised - but relieved Bessie went swimming back to see her Billie, and after a couple of weeks the bruising had gone down, the swelling had reduced and the jaw came back to normal. It's still a funny shape but I'm sure Bessie loves her granny to pieces because she always comes to say hello at the front of the tank, and kisses her finger if she puts it in the water. 

And Boo? Well, she is a happy little fishy living with Sloopy, her little Algae eater friend... And all is content in the land of Boo!

So... here's one last little picture I took today, that prompted my little story.... I hope you enjoyed it! xxx

Fancy a pressie?

Hello my lovelies ... how are you? 

Are you all enjoying the lovely weather? It's been amazing here this weekend - the sun has been shining, the garden has been de-weeded, de-brambled and shredded, the Vulcan VH558 has completed the V Force tour of Britain, (although this is quite sad to be honest...!) and here I am again with another Christmas card! 

This is a card I made using the wreath die set and the Rococo present, and I got to add a little colouring to the centre of the present too to give it a little bit of tone, which is all good... 

I opted to use the oranges, turquoise and black colours to give it a little spice and also, so you can see that even though these dies are primarily for Christmas, they would lend themselves to a birthday too!

The layers of the card were made to fit onto the A5 size frontage by taking off a quarter inch all around the edge. I cut with black card, then cut with the papers to ensure a correct size. The wreath was cut in layers using the circle layering dies and a centre section was made for the present to sit into. I used a little gem in the centre of the present bow to add some glitz. 

The present was cut from turquoise cardstock then layered up at the bottom with black. The whole thing was then placed onto white cardstock and cut around. This left an area to colour in. Once the whole of the topper was stuck together, the present was stuck on with foam pads, and some pearl drops added around the edge in black. 

I gauged roughly where the topper was going to sit on the card, then I wrapped ribbon around to add a border. The christmas header dies were used to cut a detail area from white cardstock, then layered up using the outside verso edge on the turquoise. This was stuck in place underneath the ribbon.

The wreath was then stuck in place using foam pads for dimension.

I will try to promise that this is the last little Christmas card you will see for a few days.... I will be back soon to show you something a little bit more Glitzy - which I am sure you're going to love!

Until then...
Jo xx

Thursday 25 June 2015

Inky fingers.....

Hello again.... how are we all?

To be honest, I'm feeling a bit tired today - must be the heat of this funny 'sun' thing that is up in the sky. I always tend to feel a bit washed out when it's warm, well, that plus the fact that my vitamin B6 probably needs another boost! But hey!

We can't grumble about the weather though can we? It's been really lovely this past week. Just a few showers to water the plants out in the garden, and lots of drying weather for the washing. Perfect all round I'd say. However I do have one gripe - the gnats have come out in force!! My arms look like a bloomin' dot to dot pattern, although I can't quite work out what it would be if you joined all the itchy, sore, red annoying bites!!!

I have been busy this week making samples for work, and also a collection for an upcoming magasine issue, so have enjoyed my playtime in the craft room. This card for today is one that I made for the Rococo Christmas release and it's one of my favourites because I got a little bit inky and messy with it. 

I started by choosing some ink colours, and I used Distress inks in various shades of pink, lime green and brown. This was the basis of my colour theme. I wanted fresh and zingy and these are two of my favourite colours used together.

I die cut the snowflake to begin with and trimmed down all the layers for the square panels on the card. The white layer I taped down onto my glass mat using low tack tape and started to add colours through the snowflake, using it as a stencil. I brushed the colours on with the Inkylicious dusting brush - these are fab!!

Once I was happy with the colouring on the card, I released the tape and dusted around the edges to hide the white marks.

The Verso Wreath was cut from layers of white, pink and green and stuck together using 3d foam pads for that little bit of dimension. The outside was cut from the scalloped circle layering dies. 

The Yuletide Greeting in the centre was cut from the offcuts out of the wreath, and drop shadowed to give it some dimension. As you can see from the wreath detail, I turned the layers just slightly to give it a more leafy edge.

I love the colours on this card... and you know, with the wreath, the snowflake AND the gingerbread man, I could be almost tempted to get started on my own Christmas Cards... !

Now. That's a thought!

Until next time... happy crafting y'all... xxx

Wednesday 24 June 2015

Mixing the wreaths....

Oh what a day.... !

You know those sorts of days when nothing seems to go right ? Well... I had one of those sorts of days today. 

Firstly, doing a bit of the ol' housework (always a bad thing in my book me thinks!) I decided to try some new stainless steel spray that I have for the kitchen. I took off the pieces from the hob and quickly decided to stick the ignition prodder thingy-ma-jig right under my nail. Talk about sore!!! 

Needless to say though, the stainless steel is shining brightly, no smears in sight. But the finger is still sore. Hey ho. I can still craft - sort of! As long as it doesn't include removing backings from double sided tapes and foam pads, I'm fine. But on the brighter side, I still have seven fingers left that are working correctly. Hehe. 

So, what do I have today for your post? Well. I decided to show you the muted colour card that I created for the Rococo Christmas, and one that combines the two wreath dies that are in the sets. 

The starting point for the card was the paper. I wanted a tartan christmas type of card, but not too heavy on the tartan. I found this paper in a Kanban pack that I had in my stash, and it went perfectly with the snowflake paper that contained the metallic details. 

I took the colours for the wreath from the colours within the papers, and cut and layered as I went along until it looked right. The paper in the centre of the wreath framed the smaller Rococo wreath die perfectly. 

I added a few layers to the Rococo die, using green base, then white centre and green top. I used some gilding wax in gold to bring out some of the details in the berries of the top layer, then drop shadowed the layers as I stuck them together. The circles that this section is mounted onto were cut from the layering circle dies - an invaluable set for anyones stash!

I chose a small tartan bow in soft grey to finish off the card and added a few gold card candy's here and there to complete it.

I do love how this card turned out, I must admit it is one of my favourites.. but then the die sets lend themselves to create such a variety of projects, it's hard to choose just one favourite I must admit.

Which one is yours? Do you have a favourite? Leave me a comment and tell me which one. I'd love to hear from you.

Until next time... Happy Crafting!
Jo xx

Monday 22 June 2015

Fill your home with joy.....

Evening all you crafty bloggers.... How are you?

Have you had a good weekend? Things here have been nice and peaceful, with a little bit of family time thrown in for good measure.... A little bit of work on Saturday at Create and Craft, and a meal cooked for me when I got home, then Sunday was my day to do the family dinner and a little bit of shopping. My favourite sort of shopping though - spending someone elses money. lol. 

So, work on Saturday, was working at Create and Craft Towers with the wonderful Christmas dies. I must admit to having a few favourites, but each one has its own appeal, and this wreath is no exception. 

It's the perfect size to fit onto the front of your cards, whether smaller or larger, and will also fit into the larger independent wreath die too. 

For today's card I have used quite simple matting and layering, as I wanted to use this fab little greeting that I picked up last year from Designs on Pine in Glasgow at the SECC. I bought a page of similar greetings and this is where my colour theme came from. I chose kraft, red and black as this was the main colours in the topper.

The topper was simply layered up on to a piece of black and red card and then measured to create the panel for it to fit onto. This was cut with an even border on both the left and right sides, and the topper section mounted flat onto the card.

The Rococo Wreath was cut from black card and also cream card, but I used Forest Moss Distress Ink to brush around the edges to add some depth and colour to the cream layer. This was then popped onto the black layer using foam pads to give some dimension. You will need to cut them up a little to make sure they fit. The other alternative it to use silicone glue and leave to dry for 24 hours. But as I am quite impatient........!

I blobbed some of our Nuvo drops onto where the berries would be and covered them with red Nuvo glitter. I left it to dry before placing on the card. You can see that I created a little drop shadow too to the wreath, and finished it off with a red tartan bow and a little Card Candy to the centre... I wish I'd done one of the little glitter Jelly Tots for the centre... but hey... I can do that next time can't I!

When all the card was put together, I used the black Nuvo drops to add some details to the corners and also to the little snowman on the topper. Looking back on my makes, I love this simple design on this one, and the colours too.... maybe - just maybe - I might make some of these for Christmas cards! Now... that would be a first! **rolls eyes and sniggers**

Thursday 18 June 2015

Glorious snowflakes....

Good evening all... how are we all? Has anyone started to recieve their Rococo dies yet from the Pick of the Day? I am sure you are all going to love them as much as I do once you start to receive them. 

Tonight's little make is using the Snowflake die, and I opted to use a neutral colour palette for it.  

Now, I don't know how everyone else works when creating their projects - feel free to leave me a comment to let me know - but I sometimes start with the die, choosing a colour to cut it from, and sometimes I choose my paper if I opt to use a background pattern. This is what happened with this card. 

I chose my paper from the Gilded Winter paperpack from Trimcraft, and it's one that has been in my Christmas area on the shelf since last year. It had a lovely metallic effect on there and the snowflakes seemed a perfect match to go with my die. Because there was metallic in the paper, I used a little mirror card on the layers too and also on the snowflake to add some shine. 

I cut the wreath into the background paper and created an aperture in the centre to sit the snowflake into. The snowflake itself, I cut from gold mirror card and white cardstock, which was the same as the card blank that I had used too. Using the same card on your layers as you have on your base means there is no difference in the colours. 

You can see that I have snipped into the layers of the snowflake to give it dimension and equally, this can create little flowers as you can see below, or little medallions to place on your cards. In the centre of the snowflake, I created a little gumdrop for the centre using Jodie's idea of placing a drop of hot glue on your mat, covering with glitter and leaving to cool down. With this one, I pressed it down and added a sparkler to the top.  

You can see from the picture above, there is embossing details on the snowflakes and this helps to give a bit of dimension too, and if you ink over the bobbles created, it picks up the ink really well.

I hope you like my little project for tonight.... I promise I will be back later to show you a couple more cards from this new release.

Until then, Happy Crafting...

Jo xxxx

Lochs and Stags....

What more could a person want eh?!

Hello Crafty folks... how are you all? Well, I'm just about recovered now from my roadtrip up to Bonnie Scotland this past weekend, so thought I would pop by again today to share a little make with you, alongside a couple of my favourite photos from the weekend. 

I had a very busy weekend, going up to Leven in Scotland on the Friday, ready for my demo on the Sunday... I was going to travel up on the Saturday, but last time I did the trip, I went up on the Saturday and back on the Sunday and it was too much all at once.. so a weekend away was calling me, and a weekend away was had! And what a fantastic weekend it was too. 

I will post more photos of the weekend on another day, but I wanted to share this beautiful place with you today - Loch Leven - and it was so peaceful, idyllic and magical all in one go. It was a place that was fallen upon through a tourist map, and was definately worth the visit. 

The castle that you can see above is in the centre of the Loch, and you can take a boat trip over to the Island to look at it in more detail. It was a tad chilly near the water, so decided to keep my feet on terra firma and look from a distance!

The Castle itself has been used as a prison amongst other things, and is generally associated with Mary Queen of Scots. She was imprisoned here after she was forced to abdicate her throne for her son James VI. She eventually escaped across the Loch and exiled in England. I love a bit of history!

This must be my favourite view of the day... taken from a little hole in the wooded area, looking across the Loch. So peaceful. Just to stand and listen to the water lapping alongside the banks was blissful....

**sigh** it seems a while ago now... even though it's only a few days.... and I spent the past few days making samples for the Pick of the Day!

I wanted to keep to my Scottish theme for today, and share with you this little charmer of the Stag... Stanley is his name by all accounts... and a fine ol' Stanley he is too! A big handsome stag is something that every Christmas card needs, and this one will definately NOT disappoint.

For my card, I used the Christmassy colours for Create and Craft this year - teal and oranges - and they work so well together too. The centre panel is embossed with a small folder I found in my stash whilst I was sorting out the other day, and I inked around the edges using distress inks to add a flash of colour. The two stags formed my focal point on the card... and look what I did! I reversed them!

There is only the one direction facing stag in the Rococo dies, but I cut as normal for the second one then moved the cardstock from underneath to on top of the die, turned it over and embossed from the 'wrong' side to give it definition. I then used my largest ball embossing tool around the outside edge of the stag to push the edges back down and finished them both off with a little of the Tonic Gilding Wax - this one is Fusion... a lovely metallic platinum colour.

The Yuletide Greetings die comes as part of the Wreath set and was cut from coordinating coloured paper and card and layered to give a drop shadow effect.

The two stags were shadowed with white cardstock to make them stand out a little more as you can see.

I hope you like the card for today, and my photos... and I will be back with a few more bits and bobs tomorrow...

Until then, happy Crafting,
Love Jo x

Tuesday 16 June 2015

Bye Bye Jerry......

Evening all.... today is a little bit of a sad post.... because little Jerry, the Gingi-bread man is gone. He's sold out. Sob!

Hello by the way.....!! I know it's been a few days and I apologise for not updating sooner, I need to remember that I can blog from my phone as well as my laptop! Something else to add to my never ending list of things to remember... lol. The mind just isn't like it used to be! 

This past couple of weeks I've been busy out and about doing demonstrations, one was at the Craft Den in Wisbech, and the other at McOyster Papercrafts in Cupar, Scotland. (photos to follow!) It's been a busy time, but I wouldn't have it any other way.... it's great meeting so many Tonic lovers!

Anyway, as you may guess, it's the Pick of the Day with Tonic tonight, and as you can see, it's all CHRISTMAS!!!! Fantastic Rococo dies of all sizes and a couple of beautiful wreaths too... just wonderful. But little Jerry, my nickname for him, is one of my favourites.... here he is.... 

Isn't he just beautiful?! I must admit, this little guy is my favourite of all the ones in the set.... I took pleasure in colouring him - giving him little flushy cheeks and sparkly eyes. It just brings him to life.

I used a border to add a little bit of light and edge to the card, and the centre dot is cut from a piece of backing paper that I had. The sentiment in the middle is from one of the wreaths....

Look at the detail in the wording - it embosses in areas too, and adding a little drop shadow to it adds a bit of depth too.

And before he disappears all together from my screen for tonight... here's a close up of his little cheruby face. Isn't he just adorable.

I will be back soon with a few more cards from this beautiful Rococo collection over the next few days... I hope you can call back to see the updates... they're already uploaded ready to get put on.

Until then,
Happy Crafting! xxx

Monday 8 June 2015

Let's fly away.....

Morning all..... Just a quick post this morning for you, as I have been asked to share this little make with you.... it was one project I made for the release of the Rococo Fairies that came out a while ago. 

The card itself was made from cardstock, which I cut to shape and applied an acetate frontage to the card so the central mount with the fairy could sit on. 

The panels at the front of the card were repeated on the inside section of the acetate so that you hide all the glues and tapes that are holding the sections in place. It also helps to give the card a little more stability.... 

The wording at the bottom of the card is part of our Inspirations wording range, and what beautiful fonts it is too.... great words, and this is just one of those. Beautiful. 

The fairy herself has been cut out and drop shadowed, and then the wings have been glittered a little bit. She was mounted onto a little frame popped into the centre of the card. 

Here are the details for you..... 

Tonic Studios Fae Ella - 1009e (exclusive to Create and Craft until 16th July)
Cardstock - Stampin' Up

All Tonic products available from our retailers
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