Tuesday 29 November 2011


A card for a friend who could do with a hug right now

I used Melissa Frances papers, Prima alpha stickers and a beautiful crocheted flower by my generous friend Anita

The pennant was created using a Whimsy Die

Next up I have a little sketch catch up

Sketch 365 - Day 18

Shelby inspired by Abigail Halpin

and Sketch 365 - Day 19

Harry inspired by Abigail Halpin

The sketches this week have been much quicker than my last two weeks worth. Abigail's style is far more 'loose' and less detailed, but they are incredibly fun and my book is looking much cuter with a little dash of colour here and there.

Gym diary

Total visits last week  - 3
Bike - 3 x 20 mins = 1 x 25 mins = 1 hour 25 mins
Rowing machine - 1 x 20 mins = 20 mins
Treadmill - 4 x 20 mins (2 % incline) 1 x 20 mins =  20 mins
5 x 20 mins (max incline) = 1 hour 40 mins
Walking ( outside)  - 1 x 1 hour = 1 hours
Total cardio = 4 hours 45 minutes

Weight loss - 5lb 

Mood - Happy -  did reasonably well with eating this week and worked hard at the gym but didn't get quite as many hours of cardio logged as I had hoped

Goals for this week - increase rowing ( increased length of session but only rowed once last week), achieve 7 hours cardio,  and 2 lb weight loss

I have been eating healthier since August and have lost a total of 2 stones and 1lb to date
The exercise has helped me break through a recent plateau and has increased my energy levels
The tape measure is now showing decent losses with 5 inches banished  from my waist.

I aim to stay strictly on plan until christmas week and would love to be under 11 stone for christmas, and I will reward myself with copious amounts of mince pies and choccies ... nom nom.

Sunday 27 November 2011


Sketch 365 - Day 17

Inspired by Abigail Halpin

Now's the time when children's noses
All become as red as roses
And the colour of their faces
Makes me think of orchard places
Where the juicy apples grow,
And tomatoes in a row.

And to-day the hardened sinner
Never could be late for dinner,
But will jump up to the table
Just as soon as he is able,
Ask for three times hot roast mutton--
Oh! the shocking little glutton.

Come then, find your ball and racket,
Pop into your winter jacket,
With the lovely bear-skin lining.
While the sun is brightly shining,
Let us run and play together
And just love the autumn weather.

Katherine Mansfield

Saturday 26 November 2011

Snowmen, sassy girls and sons

This weeks class card using a really cute Penny Johnson stamp

The image was coloured with Distress Inks and the card was constructed in an easel style, papers used are by Bo Bunny.

Sketch 365 - Day 15

Inspired by Abigail Halpin

I did not miss a sketching day, I just ran out of steam when it came to blogging the piece. 
I needed to attend a parent/teacher meeting at school for Rob last night after work and by the time I had prepared the class for friday, fed the kids, done the usual mundane household tasks, whipped the dog around the block and completed my sketch I realised the day had ended and another had begun, bed beckoned and blogging took a backseat.

So, today I have two sketches to share

Sketch 365 - Day 16

Inspired by Abigail Halpin.

As I was completing my sketch last night, I glanced up to see the boys engrossed in one of my art books, they sat side by side for half an hour, completely unaware of anything around them, one turning the pages, both totally absorbed in the book, neither noticed me taking photos and neither moved an inch, they were as close as two peas in a pod.

They truly have a special bond and always have done, I am so proud of them both and hope they always feel so comfortable with each other.

On another note entirely, our moleskines have arrived, so, Margaret, Anita, Nicki, Marie and myself are all set and rearing to go for Kate Cranes journalled calendar. We can't wait and have plans to create the backgrounds together at the shop, it will be a lot of fun to complete the book as a group of friends, sharing the journey ( and no doubt lots of coffee, cakes and laughs !!!)

Thursday 24 November 2011

Happy birthday sis

Happy birthday Helen xxx

This is the card I made for my baby sister, I really wanted to use my favourite alpha stamps on this card.

This card is an unusual size for me, I created it in the 8x8 inch format, sometimes it is a healthy challenge to break out of the 'same old same old' routine

The fancy ribbon idea is one that has been shared by YeeTing and Linda on their Stampin' Up cards, thankyou for the inspiration ladies, I enjoyed creating the variation of a bow.

This card formed the basis of my DT post for the IACW inspiration blog today, you can see the entire post and a couple of other ideas for letter stamps HERE

Sketch 365 - Day 14

Love hurts inspired by Kat Von D

This is the last sketch I will do with Kat as my inspiration, tomorrow will see me move on and garner inspiration from another artist. One of the most enjoyable parts of this self-set challenge has been researching all the varying forms of art and artists, my book will eventually hold inspiration from 52 sources, the journey of exploration is truly exciting for me. So, who will be next ........... hmmmmmm............... I will reveal all tomorrow.

Before I bid you goodnight I will leave you with this photo I took from my back garden this morning. It was pitch black for a good hour or so as I sat and made a couple of cards, when I turned round to wave Rob off as he set out on his paper round,  I was greeted with the most gorgeous jewel coloured sky, deep bruises of purple and magenta gave way to cerise and ruby before the rising sun eventually drained all the luscious hues away. Sometimes an extra early rising provides more than just a head start on the day !

Wednesday 23 November 2011


Sketch 365 - Day 13

Skull inspired by Kat Von D

Monday 21 November 2011

Be Seated

Sketch 365 - Day 12

Be Seated inspired by Kat Von D

I enjoyed a lovely visit with my friend Nicki today. Nicki has been suffering with a really bad back for a long, long time now and has just been told she will require surgery next month to correct a disc problem. Poor thing ! It is awful to see someone you love in so much pain, get well soon Nicki we miss you and your lovely smile.
Thankyou to Anita who took me there and brought me home again.

Gym diary

Total visits last week  - 5
Bike - 5 x 20 mins = 1hour 40 mins
Rowing machine - 2 x 15 mins = 30 mins
Cross Trainer - 2 x 10 mins = 20 mins
Treadmill - 4 x 20 mins (2 % incline) = 1 hour 20 mins
3 x 20 mins (max incline) = 1 hour
Walking ( outside)  - 2 x 1 hour = 2 hours
Total cardio = 6 hours 50 minutes

Weight loss - 1lb gain ( bad bad bad week  - 3 date nights)

Mood - Disappointed (eating) but happy with exercise levels

Goals for this week - increase rowing, achieve 7 hours cardio,  and 2 lb weight loss

Sunday 20 November 2011

Swaps n sketches

I am back with some crafty stuff to share.

 I bet you were all thinking the crafting had taken a back seat to the sketching. 

Most of the projects I am working on at the moment are gifts so unfortunately can't be blogged just yet as all the recipients are also viewers of my blog.

 In the meantime I do have some rather lovely ATC's to share, here are the five I received in the RWS swap last week, the theme was Ivory and buttons.

From left to right and top to bottom the above ATC's were from
Clarky J

And the following ten ATC's were received in an international swap my friend Anita had helped organise

And this set was from

Thankyou everyone for all your gorgeous little works of art, my ATC folders are getting lusciously plump with lots of wonderful swaps

Last but not least I have my sketch for the day

Sketch 365 - Day 11

Romanticide inspired by Kat Von D

I do hope my sketches aren't boring you all, I promise to have some non pencil related goodies to share this week.

Just before I go on my journey to the land of nod I have two thankyou's to make

Trish - thankyou for the fabulous books, I didn't think the fairy one would appeal but I found it fascinating and can't wait to give them a go and all the books are an inspiration

Dawn and Jay, thankyou for the study books for AJ, very much appreciated ( no excuses now lol)

Night night xxx


Sketch 365 - Day 10

Cupid Inspired by Kat Von D

Saturday 19 November 2011

To Love

Sketch 365 - Day 9

To Love inspired by Kat Von D

Anita pondered how long I was going to keep this sketching lark up. 
Well 9 days straight on any project is an achievement for me.
I officially have the attention span of a goldfish, anyone who knows me will tell you that.
9 days in and still having an inordinate amount of fun.
Not saying I will achieve 365 days.
Suggesting it may be achievable.
Just saying !

Thursday 17 November 2011

Love grows

Sketch 365 - Day 8

Love grows inspired by Kat Von D

Aside from completing my little sketch today I have accompanied Neil on a little trip to pick up Rob's birthday gift from Hull. We have bought him a new electric guitar, we got an absolute bargain, so although it is not his birthday til february we decided it wasn't an opportunity we could miss.

My scrapbook pages are complete and written up for class this week and I managed my fourth gym session of the week.

The gym is going well, this is my third week and I am settling in to a routine now, I am managing around an hour on the cardio machines with each visit and have been steadily building up the intensity with each workout. Once I have reached my target weight I am going to return to a little light weight training alongside the cardio, it was always the weight training I enjoyed before, the cardio I always find to be a complete slog, but after over three years of relative inactivity it is all uphill at the moment !
As of next week I am going to document each weeks progress on here so I have some kind of record, so please feel free to skip those parts when they do appear on here.

I have also ordered four A4 moleskines for myself and three special friends, Margaret, Nicki and Anita. We are all going to join in Kate Cranes art journalled calendar next year so we are getting prepared. I am already saving lots of scraps to use as the daily squares and practising background techniques, so excited and it is going to be so much fun sharing the experience with three of my closest friends. 

Wednesday 16 November 2011


Sketch 365 - Day 7

Inspired by Dali's "Dream Caused By the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate, a Second Before Waking Up.

For all his talent in painting I have to smile at some of Dali's titles, not one for choosing snappy, succinct ones obviously !

All of our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them !

Walt Disney

So that brings me to the conclusion of my first week of Sketch 365.

I am currently compiling a list of artists to use as inspiration for future weeks, if any of my readers have any suggestions I would love to hear them. I am going to attempt all styles so no-one is off limits, from whimsy to the classics and from urban to fairytale, I will tackle them all.

So, after Dali this week, tomorrow I will be jumping a generation or two and drawing inspiration from 
Kat Von D  - tattoo artist extraordinaire.

Butterfly power

This weeks class cards

Stamping, embossing, sanding, inking, distressing

And I showed my ladies how to make these vintage tickets, so easy and versatile.

Sketch 365

 6 of 7 Dali

I found this Dali - esque image in google but not entirely sure of its origin, I liked the style so my inspiration was drawn from the butterfly powered windmills, what a lovely concept !

Just living is not enough, said the butterfly, one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.

Hans Christian Andersen 

Monday 14 November 2011


Sketch 365 - Day 5

Inspired by Dali's The Metamorphosis of Narcissus

Sunday 13 November 2011

Feeling sleepy

Sketch 365 - Day 4

Inspired by Dali's Sleep

The Land of Nod

From breakfast on through all the day
At home among my friends I stay,
But every night I go abroad
Afar into the land of Nod.
All by myself I have to go,
With none to tell me what to do —
All alone beside the streams
And up the mountain-sides of dreams.
The strangest things are there for me,
Both things to eat and things to see,
And many frightening sights abroad
Till morning in the land of Nod.
Try as I like to find the way,
I never can get back by day,
Nor can remember plain and clear
The curious music that I hear.
Robert Louis Stevenson

I am currently working on a number of cards and projects which are gifts, so I am unable to share any of them as all the recipients are readers of my blog and I wouldn't want to spoil any surprises.Please don't think I have abandoned all my other creative outlets. 
That said I am playing with a couple of ideas this evening so I may have something crafty to share along with tomorrows sketch.

Saturday 12 November 2011

Instrumental art

Sketch 365 - Day 3

Inspired by Dali's The Masochistic Instrument

Friday 11 November 2011

Floppy clocks

Sketch 365 - Day 2

Inspired by Dali's The Persistence of Memory

Sketch 365

This weeks class card, we only made one this week as there was plenty to keep everyone busy( or so I thought) Although the wednesday morning ladies beat the other two classes and became the elite class of the week with all ladies finishing in record time. 

The stamp is by Magenta and was embossed, the photo below shows both the heat embossing (gold) and the dry embossing through the Cuttlebug ( green patterned paper).

YeeTing taught these two baublicious cards today along with two matching gift tags, thanks hon

And YeeTing's next class is in a fortnight's time and will be this fantastic advent calendar, the class will be held on Thursday 24th November at 12.30pm and will be a very reasonable £10.00, places are limited so if you fancy making this cute little treat please ring the shop on 01472 359158 as I know this class is going to fill quickly

As promised yesterday ( ooops it is now tomorrow didn't realise the time - so two days ago !), this is the absolutely amazingly beautiful painting my dear friend Trish gave me. Trish has brought in several of her pieces of art to share with me in the past and I love her style, I am delighted to have an original piece of her art and will treasure it for always, thankyou Trish you are so very thoughtful xxx

Now this is just going to pale in comparison, but the photo below is the start of a new venture for me. I have been a blog-hopping ( as you do) and have been seeing people participate in photo/art/ journalling- a-day challenges. One of the facets of my creativity that has taken a back seat over the last couple of years, is sketching. I used to sit and draw for hours, anything, any subject, people, animals, landscapes, fruit, you name it I drew it. Lately I have become stuck on the treadmill of creating scrapbook layouts and cards for my classes.

I decided to set aside a few minutes each day to do a quick sketch.

So I set myself a challenge  - - - Sketch 365

Every day for the next year I am going to spend a maximum of twenty minutes sketching, these are going to be little more than doodles, just quick little pieces of art that will allow me the luxury of the pencil in my fingers once again.

Here is number one

To make the 'deciding what to draw' a little bit easier, I will each week choose an artist who inspires me and for the following seven days draw inspiration from one of their pieces.

This sketch is based on The Ascension of Christ by Salvador Dali and took me approximately 15 minutes.

I will be working on Dali all this week so expect some floppy clocks at some point ( careful how you read that !!!!!)

And on that note I will bid you all a goodnight ( morning) xxx

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Vintage mini

Warning - Photo heavy post

As promised, this is is the Vintage Mini Book I made for Amy for her birthday

The book is made from a gutted hardback novel from the charity shop

The cover has been primed, painted, waxed and sealed

The Tim Holtz flourishes have been embossed with some metallic powder and rubbed with wax

Some pretty Prima trinkets adorn the ends of the ribbons decorating the spine

I have kept each page really simple with lots of blank space for Amy to document this milestone year

There are half pages as well as full pages adding lots of extra space for photos

I used a calendar page, inside the front cover with her birthday highlighted.

I added decorative paper pages

I also included quite a few various sized journalling cards 

Between these next two pages you can see the handstitched pages

All the papers are from a Tilda paper pad and an assortment of oddments I have accumulated

These journalling sheets are from a Making Memories notebook

Of course I had to include at least one japanese inspired page

Amy loved her book and we are planning to fill it together, it will be so special to create this keepsake as mother and daughter  - precious times !

The book is actually a variation of the class I taught last month, the class was a resounding success and I have a waiting list to do it again, so it will be repeated in the new year. So far I have made three of these books and have another two in progress, mini books are a bit of an obsession of mine - love them - in all their various forms and styles.

Next I have the ATC's I made for the RWS October swap, the theme was Buttons and we had to used the colour Ivory

Thankyou to everyone who took part, as always the standard was incredibly high, I have exchanged all the swaps this evening so they will be in the shop as of tomorrow for collection.

This months (November) theme is TREES and the required colour is RUST if you are interested in playing along all the details for the months swap are HERE and the rules and regs for the swaps in general are HERE

While on the subject of ATC's, I won this months swap over on The Stampman site with my Oriental ATC below, woohoooo, thankyou Janet xxx

I received the most beautiful gift today, alas I didn't have my camera with me and after returning home after work and the gym, the light had disappeared completely, I will try and photograph it tomorrow and share it with you all tomorrow, it really is gorgeous and a real honest work of art.