Thursday, 16 December 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Hi folks, yesterday I made my mincemeat; the kitchen looked like a culinary bombsite. It is very fruity, full of dried fruit, sultanas, raisins, currants, dried peel, dried apricots, orange peel, lemon peel, apples, lemon and orange juice, and a small bottle of brandy, plus some cinnamon. I make a huge bowl full, and put some away for the following year, when it has a very full bodied flavour! By the way, I use vegetarian suet.

Today, I made my mince pies, I normally like to have a bigger gap between making the mincemeat, and the mince pies, but time is running short. I added fresh cranberries to the mincemeat, and made a crumble topping for the pies. I don't make my own pastry, however, if I added the wet ingredients to the crumble topping, it would become pastry, so I am capable, just realistic about the time that I have.
I made four dozen today, and will make some more tomorrow, and get some in the freezer, as they disappear fast around here.
I had mentioned to my friend Elaine that I was adding cranberries to my mincemeat, and she gave me a link to a really cool website where the blog owner had stamped the background of her card with real cranberries. I do follow this blog anyway, but had been too busy to pop over and take a look. Anyway, I decided to have a go, as I loved the effect, and this is what I made, using cranberry and raisin Adirondack inks, well it would have to be, wouldn't it!

I think that I will have to make some more of these, as the design is lovely. I hope that you are all getting on well with your Christmas preparations, better than me anyway! Megan comes home at the weekend, which will be lovely, hopefully there will be some mince pies left for her.......
Anyway, thanks for popping by, Judith xx

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Christmas comes but once a year

So why do I never get my cards made in time? I'm always making them at this point in time, like a looney, and feeling quite frazzled. I always vow to start early the following year, and never do. Ah well, there's always next year!
I had to send a package of cards off today, one for my Daughter's boyfriend, one for him to give to his Mum, and another for my Daughter's flatmate. As Megan comes home on Sunday, time is running out. Anyway, they are on their way, so fingers crossed that they get there on time.
The first card that I made, was designed around one of Tim's tags, I actually made one this year! Because I had to justify the time spent on it, I made two at the same time, and turned them into Christmas cards, and gave one to my son as well. I think that they make great cards for young men, as that is such an awkward age to make a card for. This grungy style is perfect. Ryan really liked the acetate cover over the snowman.
I used a backing paper from the Artylicious Season's Greetings CD, and made my card from Kraft card. I loved making this tag, and want to make some of the others now!
The second card that I made was for Chris to give his Mum. Apparently, he was 'well impressed' by my blog recently, and asked if I might have a card that he could give his Mum. I have used an Elusive Images angel as my main image. I created my own background using a holly spray stamp, Versamark and white satin embossing powder. Then I sponged various blue and grey Distress Inks over the card. I cut my flowers from cream card using a Crealie die, edged them with Distress Ink, and flicked the edges up. I cut a Tim Holtz deer from grungepaper, coloured it with Distress Inks, and added some braid and a charm.
The last card for Megan's flatmate, uses another Elusive Images angel, who always looks a bit naughty to me. That fits Gemma to a 'T', as she is a naughty angel, bless her. I have used another backing paper from the Season's Greetings CD, and some lovely pink mirri card. I have used another Crealie die, which kind of resembles a snowflake, (it just has one too many points, but who's counting!)

Anyway, I'm back to the grind now, to make a few more cards, although lots of people I'm ashamed to say will not be receiving a handmade card this year. I will try harder next year! Thanks for stopping by, Judith xx

Tim Holtz Giveaway

Linda Brown has a giveaway here. There are all kinds of Tim Holtz goodies up for grabs.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Rockin' around the Christmas Tree

Two more Christmas cards for you today, that I made for the Elusive Images Design Team recently.

This first card uses a Rocking Horse image taken from the Family Christmas themeplate, stamped onto Kraft card. I decided to put it onto a rocker style card, and found a template in the Making Cards with Movement magazine which came out recently. I kept the colouring very simple, as I wanted a homespun feel, just adding some terracotta card, and some gingham ribbon.

The second card uses an image from the same stamp plate which has been decoupaged, and I added some lovely vintage lace and flowers using left over scraps of card.
I'm off to see my Daughter in Stoke today, she assures me that they haven't had any recent snowfalls, and that the main roads are clear. We have no snow on our roads at all, we haven't had any snow to speak of all week. It's cold here, but that's all. We have been very lucky to get off so lightly hearing how everyone else is suffering, I know. For all of you who are snow bound, take care, and stay warm. Thanks for popping by, Judith xx

Thursday, 2 December 2010

That Christmas feeling

Well, I'm back down to earth after my Birthday, and thank you for all of your kind wishes yesterday. I had a lovely day, just that little bit less than perfect because Megan, my Daughter wasn't here to spend it with me, and Ryan, my son was poorly, so he couldn't come out to celebrate in the evening.
We went Christmas browsing yesterday, less frantic than proper shopping with a list, and bought some beautiful decorations for Christmas from John Lewis. We bought two lovely wooden words, 'Peace' and 'Joy' which Terry has set out already, and two lovely red and white pottery Scandinavian style baubles for the tree. I also got two felt versions as well, they have some lovely bits in there this year.

We have two trees in our house, since we had our extension built last year. The tree in our living room has traditional colours, red and green, wooden, and metal ornaments, all the precious ornaments from when the children were babies. I love it, as there are lots of happy memories in those boxes. Megan is 21 now, and those years have just flown by. The other tree is white and gold, completely different, but beautiful, nonetheless, and it has been a pleasure to be able to decorate the new room in a different style at Christmas. We have Christmas ornaments from Italy, as we go there quite regularly, and it is lovely to bring out a continental feeling too at Christmas. I am slow to get going with the Christmas spirit, as I like to get my Birthday out of the way first, but today, I definitely have a stirring of something in the air.

We have very little snow here still, I can't believe the amount of snow that the rest of you are struggling with. I am almost embarrased to post these pictures!
Recently we've been making Christmas cards as part of our Design Team remit for Elusive Images I made a tag using a lovely tree stamp from the Family Christmas stamp set, and a little pear stamp from another set also available from Elusive Images. I used Pear Tart and Sweet Plum Memento Inks to colour my tag, which were a lovely colour combination.
We also got to play with a new set of stamps designed by Carrie, called Earth Spirit, and one of the cards that I made was using two sun shaped stamps. I loved working with these stamps, as I chose to make a very non Christmassy card with these! I used very warm colours, and triple embossed my central panel.
I hope that you enjoyed popping by today. Keep warm, and stay safe in those hazardous conditions. Judith xx

Wednesday, 1 December 2010


Well today is my Birthday, so I won't be crafting much today, so I'm not showing you my desk , just a photo of a stunning creation that my blog friend Elaine sent me. I was amazed at the amount of work that she had put into this for me, as she has been very poorly for weeks, bless her. So anyone else who shares my Birthday, many happy returns to you!  If you don't know what all this WOYWW mullarkey is all about, hop over to Julia's Blog to find out. Thanks for looking. Judith xx

Friday, 26 November 2010

LB Crafts Workshop

On Wednesday, I went to a workshop at LB Crafts run by the lovely Linda B. It was a Printer's Tray workshop, incorporating lots of metal. I have quite a long drive to get there, but it is well worth it to attend the workshop.
The class was very intensive, as there were a lot of steps to get through, in order to complete the project. Linda ensured that we kept going, and pretty much finished our project by the end of the day. I had a lovely time, meeting new people, and chatting to them throughout the day. Of course, I enjoyed browsing around the fabulous shop too, in my lunch break, and made one or two purchases.
Linda did some demos throughout the day, to show us what to do, as we went along, and I learnt how to use Terra and Ferro on a tag, colouring them with Precious Metal Paints to give them an aged look.
Most of the metal panels were run through the Big Shot over Kabuka Moulds for speed, and refined by hand afterwards. However, we did some by hand, like the word 'create' as it needed to be taken off a mould seperately.
The finished Printer's Tray looks absolutely stunning, and I was really chuffed with it when I was finished. Even my husband said he liked it when I got it home, and that is rare praise indeed!
Unfortunately, all of my gadding about has probably taken its toll on me, as my cold has turned to sinusitus now. My face hurts, but I'm taking antibiotics, so hopefully I'll be on the mend soon. For anyone else who is feeling poorly, keep warm and get well soon. Thanks for looking, Judith xx

Monday, 22 November 2010

Catching Up

It's been a while since my last post, and I'm sorry to be a bad Blogger. I've had a rotten cold, and still have to be honest. It's the time of year, and I'm sure a lot of you are suffering too. You have my sympathies.
Today is my 24th Wedding Anniversary, I don't know where all of those years have gone, I don't feel old enough! I was 13 when I met my other half, we were in the same class at school. He made me laugh, and he still does. He is my best friend, and sometimes it has felt as though it is the two of us against the world. He winds me up something chronic, but I wouldn't change him. He's been poorly lately, and it's made me take stock a bit and appreciate him a bit more I suppose. Anyway, we're having a day together, and going out for lunch, which will be a nice treat.
I've just got back from a weekend away with my lovely blog friend Lesley and we went to a Vintage Christmas Tags workshop at Graphicus run by the lovely Lynn. We had a fabulous time, making tags for Christmas in gorgeous creams, adding lace, glitter and a bit of gold and silver too. We met some of our other Graphicus Guild friends there too; Lou, Mel, Jill, and Jo. We had a great laugh, and it was a day full of friendship. Lynne K came too, who is a Guild newbie, and needs to start posting! I'm looking forward to the next workshops in December with Lynn and Glenda, just a couple of weeks away now, when I'll be reunited with the same bunch of lovely friends to make some more fantastic projects. It's a long drive for me, as it's the other end of the country, but I'm staying at my Mum and Dad's house next time around for a longer visit.
Here is a photo of three of the tags that I made at the workshop on Saturday, I started another one, but it's one that's going into the Graphicus Guild newsletter this month, so I'm not going to spoil the surprise. I have lots of tags and elements left over from the workshop to make loads more tags, so I can see myself making a lot of these this Christmas. The colour scheme is so elegant, and understated, it's really lovely.
Thanks for popping by today, keep warm, and take care, Judith xx

Wednesday, 10 November 2010


Hi folks, another Wednesday, which means that it's time to wander around Blogland looking at other folks' crafty stash, and seeing what's on their desks. If you don't know what I'm talking about, then hop over to Julia's Blog to find out.

For those people who visit my blog regularly, (and this one is particularly for Phree), I have tidied my floor this week. It's a bit of a shock I know, but my legs weren't long enough to get over the piles that I had created to get in and out of the room. Something had to give! It took me a whole day, and I filled up two black bin bags of rubbish, mostly old boxes, and things that should have gone a loooong time ago. It seems really odd to be able to walk straight to my desk now, it won't last!
My rug is a bit old now, but it is purely to protect the lovely oak floor from getting scratched by my chair wheels.
On my desk this week, are a lot of MS punches, some tree stamps and a couple of canvases. I also have some other stamps sitting there that I bought at the NEC on Saturday from LOTV, and a Christmas Inkadinkado set, which I really liked too. There are some dies lurking there too from Whiff of joy, and a leafy set of Nesties, that I had wanted for ages, since I used my friend's Lesley's set earlier in the year. My usual cuppa is sitting there waiting to be drunk, lovely!

Anything else that you spot, and you need to know about, just ask! Thanks for stopping by, Judith xx

Thursday, 4 November 2010

CSQ Project

Just a quick post to let you know that I've finally posted my latest offering on our sister blog Craft Stamping Quartet Hop over there if you'd like to see how I made my project. Judith xx

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

What's on which workdesk wednesday?

Hi folks, I haven't joined in WOYWW for a few weeks as I've been on my travels, and a bit busy. If you don't know what I'm talking about, hop over to Julia's Blog to see.
My desk looks deceptively tidy in the first photograph, just a few bits waiting for a project. I want to make a little hanging frame for Christmas, using a digital image I came across yesterday, and I might enter it into a challenge if I get a wriggle on. There's a scrummy Martha Stewart punch sitting there, that I haven't used yet, but my Mum has! Also, some stamps, and an unread beading magazine. Of course, there is a cup of tea, because I always have a cuppa to keep me going. 
The other side of my desk, however, is a different matter! There are piles of magazines, bits of card, stamps, all sorts of items waiting to be put away in their proper places. There is even a hammer lurking there, as I put a canvas on the wall the other day!
Now, I have to confess that I haven't actually been working at my desk for the last two days, which is why the computer end looks so tidy. I have been working on the dining table, because I needed to spread out, (that's my excuse!) I wanted to sort through my ephemera, and a large assortment of stamps for a project, and the table was a good space for that. My OH is not very happy, as we had tea on our laps last night, but I've promised that I'll clear the clutter asap. We are going out for a meal with friends tonight as a late celebration for his Birthday which was on Sunday, Halloween, yes, I married a werewolf, lol! Which means that I get another day's grace.
As you can see, it's a lovely light space to work in, and I quite often work there instead of my Craft room. Anyway, thanks for popping by, I'm off to nosey around some other people's desks now, have a good day, Judith xx

Friday, 22 October 2010

Bah Humbug

Strangely enough, I've been making a Christmas card today, and it's still October. I can't explain why, I just felt the need to make one. Normally, I leave making my Christmas cards until mid December at the earliest in a mild panic. Probably because my Birthday isn't until the start of the holiday season, and until I've celebrated that, I don't feel festive.
Anyway, enough of that! I decided to use a combination of stamp sets, all from Elusive Images, starting with a house from the New England Winter set, which I only used a part of, because I wanted the effect of a rooftop. I then used the reindeer from the Christmas Fusion stamp set, flying over the roof, with his sparkly trail of stars behind him. Lastly, I used a sentiment from Snowflake Flourish, which is a real favourite of mine for Christmas cards.
I have been playing with my Copics to colour in the house and reindeer, and I have to confess that I didn't really deviate from the suggested colours on the accompanying sheet for the stamps. I used a blend of Weathered Wood, Stormy Sky and Chipped Sapphire Distress Inks for the sky background, and painted a little bit of Diamond Stickles on the stars. I used a lovely deep blue backing paper from the Seasons Greetings Artylicious CD, and silver mirri card to mount everything.
How are you all getting on with your Christmas cards? Have you made a start yet, or are you like me, normally leaving it to the last minute? Good luck with them anyway.

Hopefully over the weekend, I'll get some of my Barcelona photos on here for you. We had a fabulous time, and I just loved wandering around the houses designed by Gaudi. The City is just amazing, and the trip went way too fast, but I'll tell you about it all another time! Bye for now, Judith xx

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Art Nouveau card

I recently had the good fortune to work with some stamps from Elusive Images based on elegant ladies in ball gowns, and chandeliers. Glenda has some Blog Candy on the Elusive Images Blog where you can win one of the new stamp sets. The other designers have got some examples of their work on the blog, and if you hop over there, you can go to their blogs too, and see what else they have been up to.
The card that is featured by me was based on an Art Nouveau theme, as I felt that the particular feature stamp that I used was reminiscent of that era. I created a mask by punching out a circle from a piece of card, and sponged Wild Plum and Stream Adirondack Ink onto white card to make a background. I then stamped a small chandelier onto each circle. I mounted this onto black card. I took a round piece of Stampbord, and coloured this with Adirondack Ink, before stamping the Art Nouveau flower onto the Stampbord. I then scratched small areas away to reveal the white again, before covering the whole piece with Glossy Accents, and left it to dry overnight. I edged the Stampbord with a silver Krylon pen.

Inside my card, I created an aperture, on a piece of card covered with Artylicious paper, and stamped a piece of acetate with a larger chandelier, which I suspended in the aperture with thread. I stamped two flourishes on the backing paper to complete the inside.

I also made a matching necklace and gift box to go with my card. I made two more of the Stampbord circles, and added flat-backed gems to the one on the gift box. Instructions for the gift box can be found on Ikki's blog, if you scroll back a bit. I really enjoyed working with these vibrant colours!
Sadly Stampbord do not make these circle pieces of Stampbord any longer, and I am probably fortunate to have some in my stash. Any future projects that I make on the jewellery front using this medium will have to be made with squares or rectangles. I'm sure that I will enjoy using those shapes too. Thanks for looking, and any comments that you make will be very appreciated, Judith xx

Friday, 8 October 2010

Here's some I made earlier!

As it's October, and Halloween month, I thought that I would show you a few more of the samples that I made for the Elusive Images Design Team. If any of you have read the comments on my previous posts, you will have seen my blogging friends Lesley and Jo referring to the stand up card that made the front of the Elusive Images Halloween Brochure.
I wanted to create the effect of walking through a gate, into the spooky garden, up to the creepy house. I used lots of Glossy accents, with a bit of Glitter on the Mushrooms, and Glossy Accents on the roof tiles too. I used Dusty Concord Distress Ink to edge everything, to give an eerie shadow to the background. I had great fun creating this card!

My next card was also featured in the brochure, and features stamping on acetate.
I love the black lace on this one, which was a bargain basement find, but looks really great with the Artylicious paper in the background. The last card that I made was not a Halloween card, but was orange and black, so had a flavour of the season. I used some more of that lovely lace, and echoed this with a lovely lace stamp. 
My Husband's Birthday is October 31st, so I have more reason than most to invest in Halloween stamps! I always said that I married a werewolf... However, I do try not to go overboard on the spooky references on his cards. 
I'm off on a short trip to Barcelona this weekend, to wander around the city, admiring the beautiful buildings, and enjoying the atmosphere. Have a good weekend whatever you are doing, Judith xx

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Play Date Cafe Challenge

Today over at the Play Date Cafe, Glenda from Elusive Images is the guest designer for their weekly challenge. She is also providing the prize this week of some lovely Christmas Stamps. Each week there is a colour challenge, and this week it is green, white and red. Here is my offering for the challenge:
I have written step by step instructions as to how I made my card on the Elusive Images Design Team Blog If you would like to take part in the challenge and have a chance to win some fabulous stamps, hop over to the Play Date Cafe Blog now. Thanks for popping by, Judith xx

Saturday, 2 October 2010

November Craft Stamper

The new issue of Craft Stamper magazine hit the shelves yesterday. I received my copy a few days ago, as I have a regular subscription. I was leafing through, as per usual, and as I turned the page, my heart skipped a beat. There was my card, on the page, before my very eyes! I knew that it was going to be published of course, I just didn't know when, and had been waiting for a few months for it to appear. So, if you have a copy, go and look at page 32, 'Blowing Bubbles', that's my card! It's the first time that I have had anything published in a magazine, and I am of course very excited, and very grateful to Katy, the Editor, for picking my card as a Reader Submission.
I have had a brilliant few months, knowing that my card was going to be published in such a prominent magazine, and being chosen as a Design Team member for Elusive Images. My crafting life has really taken off. I enjoy what I do so much, and am learning new and exciting techniques too. I have my friends, Elaine, Jo and Lesley, who I met through the Graphicus Guild forum, that I run the Craft Stamping Quartet blog with, and they are such a big part of my life now, all because of this crafting mullarkey.
I've been messing about today, just making a couple of tags. They are not for any challenges, or submissions, just for pleasure. I have used some of my favourite stamps and colours, and I hope you like what I've come up with. The first tag is loosely based on the work of the lovely Lynn who makes beautiful tags. She often uses the large Tim Holtz flourish on her backgrounds, and her work is just stunning.
I have used Distress Inks to colour the background, stamped the large flourish twice, and added some scraps of old pages to one side of the tag, which I coloured with Distress Inks again. I made a flower with some lovely Artylicious paper, using the Peony Nestability Die, and added a large brad. I cut my butterfly out using the Tim Holtz Butterfly Die in Grungepaper, which I then painted with green Lumiere paint, and then  Broken China crackle paint over the top. I added some of the lovely blue paper behind the wings. An ideology disc, a Tattered Leaf shape and a Dream ticket finish the tag.

 The second tag uses painting with bleach, which my friends and I used when we made our flag books on our other blog Craft Stamping Quartet
I want to place this tag near to my desk to look at when my creativity has gone walkabout. I love butterflies in any shape or form, this one is a personal favourite. It is from Elusive Images, as are the other stamps, isn't the swirl around the edges gorgeous? I kept this tag deliberately quite simple, as I wanted the stamps to speak for themselves. I have used Distress Inks again to colour my tag.
I'd like to thank you, my followers for your support too, on my crafting journey. I appreciate the time you take to make your comments, and visit my blog. Thank you!
I hope you have a good weekend, whatever you're up to, thanks for looking, Judith xx

Friday, 24 September 2010

Autumn Tones

At my card class last night, one of the girls remarked how lovely the leaves looked on the patio. I thought I'd take some photographs this morning, so in between the showers, I pottered around the garden, capturing some of the pretty shades of red and orange before they disappear, and the bare branches appear again. We have some particularly splendid Virginia creeper growing up around our outbuilding. It has crept into the Wisteria, and I will cut that back, but as it is red at the moment, it makes my life easier, picking it out.

 This is our outbuilding, 'The Old Maltings', tucked away in a shady corner of the garden. It is just used for wood storage, and full of spiders, but we don't want to change the character of the building as it is so quaint.
The roof is covered in the Virginia creeper, and it is a glorious shade of red at the moment, especially when the sun catches it.
 I also spied my chickens, out for a walk in the front garden, so I thought that I'd share a picture of them too!
Last night, the girls made an Autumnal themed card, cutting out some leaves with the new Tim Holtz Tattered Leaves die, then running them through some embossing folders. I pinched this idea from Linda Brown, she has made an incredible metal wreath, using different coloured metal, doing exactly the same thing. We coloured our base card with Distress Inks, and using a piece of waste card, brushed DIs through the aperture left by one of the leaves, to create a leaf image on the background. I wanted a graded effect to the leaf, where there was less colour in the middle. We used stamps from Elusive Images for the tree and sentiment, and mounted everything onto copper pearlescent card.
I love working with these warm rusty colours, this is a good time of year for me, not too hot, and not too cold. There is still a chance of good weather, and those Wintry days are still a little way off. Thanks for popping in to see me, and any comments that you make will be greatly appreciated. Judith xx

Wednesday, 22 September 2010


Well, it's Wednesday, which means that its time to wander around Blogland, peeking at other folks' crafty spaces again. If you don't know what I'm talking about, pop over to Julia's blog to find out. My own desk is quite tidy today, which is too boring. The floor however, is as untidy as ever.
See what I mean! I do have a path to my desk, which is better than normal, but I just need more shelf space. I have been working on projects for the Design Team this week that have required lots of trims and embellishments, so I have been rummaging about a lot. I thought that I would show you some of my stash. Now you've seen my stamp storage, so you know that I will have a serious amount of embellishments too!!! 

These trays are crammed full of bling, stampbord, brads, buttons, jars of flowers, all sorts of goodies, too various to mention, an Aladdin's cave of stuff.
A drawer full of more ribbons and flowers....
A box of Buttons gems and brads....
More ribbons and trims. I have Ideology boxes and other embellishments tucked here and there, but I have been crafting for a long time. I used to knit and sew, I make jewellery, and so I collect bits and pieces for different crafts. It all helps when I need a certain something to finish off a card. I hope that you have enjoyed looking at my stash today, and I'll see you next week. I'm off to look around some of your desks now, to see what you've been up to, Judith xx 
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