Friday, June 27, 2008


Stampin' Up recently announced their exciting new product called DECORATIVE ELEMENTS. They are producing vinyl stamp-inspired shapes for decorating the walls of your homes. I immediately ordered two sets, the first is the dictionary term for 'CREATE' and the second is the circle from the stamp set 'Together Forever' and my family name initial 'F'. Don't they look great on the walls? I love them and wanted to share them immediately! I'll be back later with my challenge card.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Old Friends

If you read my post last Friday (June 20th), you'll know that I've reconnected with a dear old friend from my boarding school days in Yorkshire, England. I'm still getting my head around the fact that Witty and I have ended up living 20 miles apart in Michigan .... half-way across the world from when our friendship began around 28 years ago (Witts ... we're not really THAT old you know!). Anyway, turns out that Witty gets Wednesday's off work so yesterday we met face-t0-face for the first time since 1986!!! Yes, I cried ... so emotional to see her smiley face again! What a wonderful 3 hour lunch we had!

So to mark our incredible fortune at being so geographically close to each other, I used the WT challenge on Splitcoast to come up with a friendship card. Today's WT (Ways To use it) challenge was to use a bird image on a card. I have always loved the antique feel of 'Carte Postale' so decided to dig it out and use the Swallow to make Witty's card. Mon Amie of course means My Friend in French. Witty will always be that ... I started with a 4 1/4" square card and layered up with a centre square of 2". The swallow was stamped in Spring Moss and clear embossed for some dimension, then I distressed the image with Old Paper Distress Ink.

Stamps: Carte Postale, SU
C/Stock: PTI Ivory, Spring Moss, SU Chocolate Chip, Distress Ink in Old Paper
Ink: PTI Spring Moss
Accessories: Clear Embossing Powder & Heat Gun, Sponge for distressing

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

An Inspiration Card

It was my birthday 2 weeks ago and my mum found me the most perfect pinny (that's what we call an apron in England!). It's totally gorgeous and just my style!!! I've been meaning to use it as an inspiration for a card but found time this morning to have a go.

Here's the pinny in the most gorgeous green and white polka dots. Notice the ivory band on the pocket? It's got tiny red, pink and blue flowers on it which are just so pretty. Here's the card I made ... The base is Ivory (newly released at PTI) with a layer of SU Green Galore. The green was stamped with PTI's Polka Dots in SU Craft White. The band was made with the same ivory card and stamped with various small flowers from PTI's Honey Bee set. The flowers were stamped in Bashful Blue, Real Red, Regal Rose and certainly celery. I added a piece of ribbon for interest and a scallop medallion with my mum's initial in it. I know you'll read this before the airmail reaches you mumsie ... this is your thank you card for finding something so 'me'.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Happy Monday everyone. What a wonderful way to start the week. The challenge on Splitcoast today is to make a card using a technique called 'Re-inkers Watercolouring'. Stampin' Up sell tiny bottles of reinker for your ink pads. The technique is to take a few drops of reinker and use a watercolouring brush and water to shade your image. I decided to use an old favourite of mine called Toile Blossoms. Here's the recipe:

Cardstock: PTI Ivory, SU Close to Cocoa, Blush Blossom
Ink: Image stamped in Palette's Burnt Umber. Reinkers in Mellow Moss, Certainly Celery, Close to Cocoa, Regal Rose, Blush Blossom, Pretty in Pink, Distress Ink in Old Paper
Stamp Set: Toile Blossoms, French Script
Accessories: Reinkers, SU Mellow Moss Grosgrain Ribbon

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Challenge

Phew, it's Friday, we've made it to the end of another week! I visited a friend yesterday whose boyfriend just moved in with her. She's very happy and smiley so I thought I'd send them a 'welcome' card as he's from out of state. It just so happens that the challenge over on SCS today is to make an unusual shaped card. I used my new 'boards and beams' set from Nichole Heady at Papertrey and stamped it right up to the fold on the left, leaving plenty of space to cut around the house. I'ts quite small but quite effective! I coloured with Copics and added a small sign above the door.
I have a cool story for you ... when I was a child, I went to an all-girls boarding school in England (Americans think that only naughty children get sent away, but in England it's quite an accepted practice, although expensive ~ sorry mum and dad!). Anyway, my sister and I went to a boarding school in Yorkshire called Hunmanby Hall. I had a very dear friend there called Mandy Witty, in the 5th and 6th form we shared a room and we were very close. Mandy's parents lived in Spain so she spent a lot of time visiting my parents in Suffolk and we were all very fond of her. Anyway, as time went on we all lost touch with Mandy. I half-heartedly tried to get in touch with her over the years but the last time I heard about her, she'd moved to America to be a nanny. I had no idea how to find her! So, remember that it's been 22+ years since I've seen her ... her family live in Spain, mine in England ... so quite geographically scattered. Out of the blue, my sister e:mailed me saying Mandy had 'found' her and had asked if she could have my e:mail address. My sister then added that Mandy still lived in America. That's all the information I had. During the week, I wrote a long e:mail telling her all about my life over the past 20 years (most of it made my hair curl!!! I have quite a colourful past!) and off I sent it with my married name, address and contact details, a few photos were added for good measure. So Mandy opened my e:mail at 10.30 last night and scanned down it to my address.
Now you will not believe this but it turns out she lives just 20 miles away from me!!! She immediately picked up the phone and we chatted for ages about our schooldays and our families. But honestly, what a small world. For 2 English teenagers to come from a boarding school in Yorkshire ... travel half way across the world and both end up within 20 miles of each other in America ... quite unbelievable ~ and thrilling! Mandy gets Wednesdays off work ... so guess who I'm meeting up with next week? I am so totally EXCITED!
Why not try to hook up with an old friend today, you'll be amazed who you can find. Thank you Mandy for making the effort to find me ...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Something Summery

I wanted to do something pretty and summery today! I've noticed hlr976 (Heather on SCS) has been making cards using this retired SU set called Flowers and Friends. I haven't used this set for AGES so took inspiration from her and made this summery card.

Stamps: SU Flowers and Friends
Cardstock: Whisper White, Basic Black, Certainly Celery, Soft Sky
Ink: Soft Sky, Certainly Celery, So Saffron, Regal Rose, Pretty in Pink, More Mustard
Accessories: Dimensionals, SU Buttons, Ribbon

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

This morning was thrilling for me and my daughter Sarah ... my parents hooked up their computer with a web-cam so for the first time in ages I SAW THEM! Honestly, we giggled like little children! It's so silly that such an innocuous device can bring such a thrill! We got our web-cam on Sunday and dad's arrived today so we enjoyed our first hook-up. Fantastic! Dad thinks that mum and I are going to sit in front of the computer all day drinking tea, gossiping and chatting with each other ~ now all we need is my big sister to join in and it'll be a gabfest!
It made the excitement of seeing them even more bittersweet as a dear friend lost her father to cancer yesterday. She flew home to England last night to be with her family. I wanted to make a card for her and decided to use a quote from 'Define Your Life', the caption is 'memories' and reads 'Recollection of the past; retaining and recalling experiences. Thoughts of good times past.' I hope that it brings some comfort to her to know how much her English friends here in Amercia think of her.
The colour challenge over on Splitcoast is CC171 and calls for Soft Sky, Basic Black and Kraft. I made the card 4.25" square. The white centre is 2.5" square with the alternating coloured layers measuring 1/8" each larger to get a graduated effect. I thought this worked really well for a simple card for Cath.

Stamp Sets: SU Defining Alphabet, Define Your Life
Cardstock: Papertrey Ink's Stamper's Select White and Kraft, SU Soft Sky, Basic Black
Ink: SU Soft Sky
Accessories: Soft Sky Stitched Ribbon.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Monday! Over on Splitcoast today the challenge was to use a shimmer mist on our cards. Beth gave us a recipe but I needed Perfect Pearls to make the mist and didn't have them. So ... no surprise ... I had to go shopping! I went to my local scrapbooking store and found a product by Tattered Angels called 'Glimmer Mist'. It's wonderfully shimmery. I bought the 'Pearl' spray. Only problem is, you can't capture it very well on a photograph :( but rest assured, it's there!
I used White cardstock layered with Pale Plum. The image was distressd with Ranger's Distressed Ink in Old Photo and Frayed Burlap. This pretty stamp set is on the retiring list ... so sorry to see it going!
Cardstock: PTI Stamper's Select White, SU Pale Plum
Ink: SU Pale Plum, Perfect Plum, True Thyme, Mellow Moss, Ranger Distress Ink in Frayed Burlap and Old Photo
Stamp Set: SU Blossoms Abound
Accessories: SU Mellow Moss grosgrain ribbon

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sweet & Simple

Today is our friend Troy's birthday ... the big 3-0!

I wanted to make a simple card that wasn't too girlie ... so I chose PTI's new Kraft cardstock along with a doggy stamp from Hero Arts. My dog Molly is totally in love with Troy's dog Ozzie ... although Ozzie plays 'hard to get' a lot of the time! As it's our dogs that began our friendship, I thought this stamp would be perfect. I layered the main image with SU basic black and So Saffron and then stamped the doggy paw-print border with close to cocoa. The dog is coloured with Copic Markers and the sentiment is hand trimmed with nice, sharp SU scissors!
Cardstock: PTI Kraft, SU Basic Black, So Saffron
Stamps: Hero Arts Clear Design 'I Love my Dog'
Ink: SU Close to Cocoa
Accessories: Copic Markers E31 Brick Beige, E43 Dull Ivory, E25 Caribe Cocoa, Colourless Blender

Monday, June 9, 2008

Thanks for the tag Patty

Patty tagged me a couple of days ago. Thanks Patty. Patty's blog can be seen here When you're tagged you post to your blog with the answers to some questions! Here are mine.
1. What were you doing 10 years ago? I lived in a tiny village in rural Derbyshire, England called Parwich. My daughter was just 2 years old and a total delight (don't tell her, but she still is!). I worked full time for my husband and although I didn't appreciate it at the time, life was good! (mind you, it still is!).
2. 5 Things on today's 'to do' list. I struggled with this one. I do have a 'to do' list but my mum would be very disappointed with me .... because I don't take much notice of it. So for what it's worth, this is my list ... whether or not it gets done is a totally different story! 1. Strip the beds and wash all the bedding. 2. Plant out the Impatiens (or busy Lizzies as they're called in England) that's been on my 'to do' list for over a week now ~ tee hee! 3. Clean the kitchen (YUK) 4. Pay the mid-month bills (double-YUK) 5. Take Molly for a longer walk today because she didn't sleep last night (she's my dog, not my child!).
3. Snacks that I enjoy. I thought this was a joke at first ... of course ANYTHING WITH CALORIES. That's why I'm a big girl. But if I had to narrow it down it would be Cadbury's Galaxy chocolate bar, or minstrels which is the same Galaxy chocolate but with a hard candy shell (you can't get them easily in America, yes, they're from England!) Fish & Chips that my dad makes ... the best in the world and I suppose that's not a snack but I LOVE THEM.
4. Things that I would do if I were a millionaire. I don't want to say anything that would appear shallow. But I am shallow so I'll say it anyway ... go on a huge shopping spree and just buy whatever I fancied!!! See, told you I was shallow and then I'd share the rest with my family and friends ... leaving just enough for me not to have to worry about money ever again. I'd have to have more than one million though!!! I think I'd also throw myself a big birthday party and fly all my family and friends over from England. Anyone who knows what happened this w/end will know why I want a big party!!! LOL!
5. Places I have lived. I was born in Liverpool, England. Lived in Heswall, Cheshire until I was about 7 I think. Then we moved to the North and I lived in Lanchester, County Durham followed by Suffolk then London, then Reading, then Derby, then Parwich and finally we emmigrated to the good old USA and now it's Farmington Hills MI.

Phew, hope you managed to trawl through all of that, and now you know a little bit more about me!

Thank you so much to Tess for nominating me for the Artey Pico Award. I'm so thrilled to be considered deserving enough.

Here are the rules for the award:

You pick five blogs that you consider deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also contribute to the blogging community, no matter what language. List the names of the people you chose to receive the award on your blog and link to their blogs. Then go comment on one of their posts to notify them that you have given them this award and link to the post on your blog. Each award winner has to show the award and put the name of the person who gave them the award and link to their blog. The Award-winner and the one who has given the award have to show the link to the Arte y Pico blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.
I've chosen 5 blogs I visit regularly. I would like to say thank you to LeAnne (weeinklings) and to Julia (artystamper) for leaving me comments when I first started my blog a few months ago. Your support has meant so much to me.
I hope you enjoy their blogs as much as I do. Happy Monday to all!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Tiffany's Tile Class

Thanks to Tiff Streett for having a tile class at her house yesterday. What a lot of fun! Here's a photo of two of Tiff's creations. She used Baroque Motifs and various craft inks sprinkled with glassy glaze and then baked in the oven for 10 mins at 350'F. More photos can be seen here: in my folder entitled 'tiles'.

Friday, June 6, 2008


I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU to VERONICA MCCOLLUM for making my beautiful new blog banner and signature. Veronica is a very talented designer and is taking commissions for watermarks, signatures and banners. Anyone interested in her work should visit her blog at Thanks Veronica!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Purse Card Tutorial

Cut a piece of cardstock 4 1/4" by 8 1/2". Score along the long edge at 3" and 6". Here I used Papertrey Ink's Stamper's Select White cardstock.
The bottom portion of your purse card (3") needs to be folded up towards the middle. Once you've done this, you need to measure in 1/4" from the outside edge along the centre of the card (where the bottom edge touches the fold for the flap) and make a light pencil mark. Do this for both outside edges.

I turned the whole card upside down to make the cut so the card in the photograph above appears upsidedown (ie. with the fold at the top). I cut from the folded edge down along the entire edge of the card with a craft knife and quilting ruler, slicing through the 1/4" marker. You could just make a pencil line and cut freehand with your scissors though. Repeat for the opposite side, making sure the 1/4" mark is along the centre fold.

I decided to cut my purse flap by using my Nestabilities plain circle die. This made a thick sandwich which was quite hard to manipulate through the Wizard. However, in order to just cut the portion of the c/stock we need, I placed a tan embossing mat under the card to remain uncut. You cut see from the photo how I layered it all up. If you don't want to make it too complicated, you can just trace around a small plate and use scissors!

Once I'd run it through the Wizard, I had a nicely shaped purse flap. Your purse-card is now beginning to take shape and should look like this.

Once you've cut the curve on the flap of your purse-card, you can decorate the outside. I chose to use So Saffron decorative paper, but you could use a background stamp, whatever you feel like doing! Once again, I measured 1/4" in from the top edge on both sides and made a slightly angled cut to trim the DP to the right shape.

To make the layer on the flap, I used a slightly smaller Nestabilities plain circle and just trimmed it parallel to the top of the fold.

I cut another scalloped circle with my Nestabilities to make a decorative edge. The So Saffron semi-circle was taped to the back of the flap. For the purse handle, I used a piece of wire with beads threaded onto it. It's very easy to attach. As you can see, I made 2 tiny punched holes along the fold, about 1/4" in from each edge, then I just threaded the wire through and taped the ends to the inside of the fold. If you can't find beaded wire, then ribbon or a very narrow strip of c/stock will do just as well.

And here's the finished purse-card! I added Basic Grey's magnetic snap holder but a velcro dot will do just as well. A build-a-brad with basic black c/stock in it was placed over the top to look like a purse closure and a sentiment from PTI's anniversary set was placed on the outside with Palette Noir Ink. Have fun playing with this and leave a comment so I can go to see what you made!

Purse Card

I made this purse-card for today's 'Ways to Use It' challenge over on splitcoast (it was wire!). I'm going to put together a quick and easy tutorial later on today so check back if you fancy having a go!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Papertrey Stylised Bee

I decided to do something non-Stampin' Up today! My 2nd love is Papertrey Ink so I reached for my Anniversary Set and my current favourite Honey Bees! I stamped the lavender background first and then realised I'd have to make the bee lavender too ... so he's a stylised bee! The sketch is from today's SC179 over on splitcoast.
Cardstock: Papertrey Ink Whisper White, Lavender Moon
Ink: Pallette Ink, Lavender Moon & Noir
Accessories: Nestabilities scallops

Monday, June 2, 2008

3x3 Notecards and Box

The Monday challenge today over on Splitcoast Stampers is to make a set of 3 3x3 notecards and a little box to hold them. I've been demonstrating a 'Tart & Tangy' origami pouch at a stamping fair in Southfield all weekend and wasn't quite ready to put the set away! Can't believe I wasn't sick of the sight of it!!! I made the box from Old Olive c/stock and added a belly-band to keep it shut.


Cardstock: For the Box, Old Olive with a belly-band made from Summer Picnic DP. The belly-band is 1" wide. The cards use a combination of Summer Picnic DP along with Old Olive, Real Red, Bashful Blue and Pumpkin Pie

Accessories: Instead of using ink for the images, I used my SU markers, this is an easy way to get more than 1 colour onto an image. I also used various ribbons from SU along with the scallop punch and the 1 3/8" and 1 1/4" punches.

Southfield Stamping/Scrapbooking Fair

I just wanted to make a quick post to say thank you to all the ladies who came out to the Southfield Pavilion to say hello to me and Beth at our Stampin' Up Booth. It was lovely to meet so many of you and to share some of the great things Stampin' Up has to offer. For those of you that didn't make it, here's a picture of our booth.