Friday, 30 December 2011

Christmas Goodies

Hello everyone.  I hope you all had a lovely, peaceful Christmas.  We had a lovely time with family, and are now enjoying a quiet few days (playing with our presents!).

I was a very lucky girl at Christmas and received some fab presents, which I thought I would share with you today, although I apologise for the poor quality of the photos.

I got two sets of Dylusions inks as well as these great rubber stamps. These are in readiness for starting Art Journaling which I have been interested in for a while, although I confess to being slightly nervous of doing it wrong.  I have been slowly building up a collection of acrylic paints, stencils and inks, and I think now I am ready to make a start.

I also got a set of star shaped Nestabilities dies that I have wanted for ages, a flourish die from Memory Box and a 2-disc set of Art Journaling DVDs by Kate Crane.  

A much wanted addition to my tool kit from my mum and dad.

The cake stand was a present from the teachers I work with who know that I love to bake cakes.  A very thoughtful and much appreciated present.

As a huge fan of the Great British Bake Off, this book was a lovely surprise.  The recipes look amazing and I can't wait to try some of them out.

The second series of Glee and a Robert Pattison DVD - these will keep me happy for hours!

Not to mention some edible goodies and a bottle of Pimms!

I was indeed a lucky girl.  I also got a couple of calendars and a new charm for my Lovelinks bracelet.  But the present that meant the most was from my children.  We have had a pretty tough year and Mark and I haven't been able to go out together, so the children saved their money and gave us some to have a meal out - just the two of us.  It was so thoughtful of them and unexpected and it made me cry,

So, I hope you are enjoying your presents as much as I am enjoying mine.

Take care

M x

Friday, 23 December 2011

Merry Christmas

Hi Everyone!  This is my final post before Christmas and I thought I would share with you two things I have made, first my Christmas card to Mark and second the Christmas cake I have made this year.  I hope you like them.

For Mark's card, I used last year's Christmas paper from Craftwork Cards (Jack Frost) and added some blue organza ribbon, some foil stars, a sentiment and of course, some Candi.  It was a bit last minute, as I said in my previous post, we weren't going to do cards this year.  Heigh ho, I am pleased with the finished article, even if it was a bit rushed.

I decorated my Christmas cake today, with the help of my mum.  She kindly did the marzipan and icing bit because I am not feeling very well - streaming cold (always get one this time of year - the moment I finish work), and I did the decorating.  I made the cake from the Waitrose Cake in a Box by Delia Smith and have shamelessly stolen her decorating suggestion too!  I hope it's nice because I have bought another one that was reduced to half price - that will teach Mark to moan that I never make fruit cake.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy, relaxed and peaceful Christmas, and to say a big thank you for your continued company and support - particularly Jane (thank you for your lovely comment about the funeral, it meant a lot).

Have a good one.  Lots of love

Michelle x x

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

With Sympathy

I ummed and ahhed whether to post this card or not.  It is the first sympathy card I have ever made and it is for a dear friend of mine who lost her husband very suddenly last week.  The funeral is tomorrow.

M x

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Christmas Wishes

All materials apart from ribbon and card are from Craftwork Cards

So it's not long until the big day.  Don't know if you are all ready, I've still got a bit to do - tidying, cooking etc.  Mark and I have an agreement that we don't give each other a Christmas card, however this year he forgot and bought me one!  So guess what I have got to do today or tomorrow!

Have a good day.

M x

Thursday, 15 December 2011

New WIP - it's Rippletastic!

Hello my lovely readers.  Time to share my new WIP with you.  It's a ripple blanket for Edward, the colours are completely of his choosing, although Emily helped decide the order.  I have never attempted a ripple before but it is SO easy.  I can't actually believe how simple it is.  I have used Lucy's brilliant pattern (here ) and also took inspiration from here and

The photos aren't the best quality, isn't the light appalling at this time of year?  But I think they will do.

The colours, in order of crocheting, are : meadow, teal, spring green, aster, royal, turquoise, denim, bright green, green, aspen and bottle.  Almost forgot to say that it is the usual Stylecraft Special Doubleknit.

Well, I have almost finished at work - one more day to go.  The pressure is off as all our obligations have been carried out.  Tomorrow will consist of a fun morning and a final assembly.  I have to go to Edward's school during the morning for a presentation - he is being given an award for academic achievement.  I am so proud and I may even cry!

We have managed to avoid the snow so far although we have been forecast some for tomorrow - hope it's not too bad.  I know further north it has been heavier.

Keep safe and well.

M x

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Christmas Money Wallets

Well, it's been a while.  Things have been rather hectic to say the least, but I bet everyone else is in the same position.  I am pleased to say that I have pretty much finished my Christmas shopping and most things have been wrapped too.  Today I have been writing Christmas cards, as well as making a couple more.  I have a couple of parcels to post and that is pretty much that.  The next job is to plan the food - haven't really given it much thought yet, except that I have made a Christmas cake.  I used the Waitrose Delia Smith cake in a box and am really pleased with how it has turned out.  Much less hassle than buying all the dried fruit that will sit in the cupboard for ever more.

I am giving my nephew and niece money for Christmas and I wanted to make them something nice to put the money in, hence the money wallets below.  I used a landscape folded card and decorated the front with papers that were free gifts, used matching embellishments for the envelopes.  Then I cut a semi-circle freehand inside to hold the money.  (Just got to find the cash now!!).

I have started a new crochet blanket for Edward - colours chosen by him - which I hope to share with you this week if I have time.  We are now in the final push at work - just got to get through Christmas parties tomorrow, panto at Stevenage on Tuesday, Christmas lunch and staff panto on Wednesday, Christingle on Thursday and then we break up on Friday - if I last that long!!

Ta ta and have a good week.  Thanks for dropping by.

M x

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Craft Fair

Today was the culmination of all my weeks of hard work.  I had plenty of stock ready, flower brooches, hair clips, note cards, post-it-note holders, note pads, Christmas tree decorations etc.  Yesterday I decided to get a box of cards ready to sell as well (you never know), so I spent a couple of hours printing and cutting inserts as well as cutting hand made labels, and bagging the cards and envelopes in cellophane bags.

I was quite pleased with how my stall looked although I could have done with a bit more space.  Mark suggested I take my laptop and have a slide show running with all my special commissions, but unfortunately the table wasn't big enough.

Such a shame that I barely sold anything!  I am really disappointed as I have worked so hard.  I don't think it was just my stall though, because the whole hall was really quiet - there was a slow trickle of people for a couple of hours and then nothing.  I think the problem was that it wasn't advertised properly.

So now I have a lot of stock and no where to sell to sell it.  I am thinking of opening an Ebay or Etsy shop in the New Year.  Heigh ho, never mind.

It's been quite a tough week with one thing and another - Edward has been sick, Emily hasn't had a good week, work's been a pain.  The best thing that has happened was on Friday when I had a Christmas Shopping day and Mark and I went to Watford.  I did get most of my shopping done, as well as treating myself to a new pair of shoes, oh and a couple of tops too!

I hope you have all had a better week.

M x

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Craft Fair Goodies

Morning all.  Phew, it's been quite a busy weekend in the Frecklepuss household this weekend - well mainly for me actually.  With just one week to go before my craft fair, I have been frantically trying to get everything finished off and packaged.  I'm now finally able to show you some of my creations.

These six packs of cards are my new designs of note cards.  Apologies for the quality of the photo.

Here are all the note cards in more detail.  For this first one, I used some paper that was a free gift from a magazine. These free papers are ideal for this sort of thing.  I made a paper ribbon from black card stock and punched the tag from my new EK Success punch (a really useful one).  The sentiment is stamped from a pack of clear stamps I have had for a while - not sure who they are by.

This next set is very Cath Kidston-esque!  The papers were another free gift, but they are actually from Craftwork Cards.  A bit too floral for me personally but ideal for this look.

I used up scraps from one of my all time favourite paper stacks - Making Memories Boho Chic.  This nine square style is so easy to make, but very effective.  I finished it off with some Prima flowers and a little bit of bling.

Another Cath Kidston inspired look, same papers as before.  The scalloped edges are punched with my favourite Fiskars punches.

Again. more free papers and Fiskars scalloped punch.  The daisy is a Martha Stewart punch which I haven't used nearly enough.  The sentiment is from a Marion Emberson set of stamps.  I added a touch of glitter glue in the centre of the flowers.

And finally, same as above really except that I added a couple of Petaloo flowers as a focal point.  I think the sentiment is a Paula Pascual stamp.

These kept me busy for a while as I had to make five of each design.  I have made matching notebooks which I will show you another day.

I did find time to go to the cinema to see the next instalment of the Twilight Saga - Breaking Dawn Part 1.  I had booked the tickets weeks ago because I wanted to see it the weekend it was released.  It was a great film and now I can't wait for Part 2.  I will probably have to read the books again soon (have lost count of how many times I have read them!).

I am definitely Team Edward - even before I saw Robert Pattinson in the role.  Mark is very tolerant of my obsession thank goodness!

Well off to get back to the mundane jobs such as washing and ironing - the penance for yesterday I guess.  Have fun!

M x

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Hi all.

I've been up to my eyes in crafting over the last two weeks, desperately trying to make stock for the stall I'm having at a local Christmas Craft Fair next weekend.  The problem is, that nothing is completely ready.  Everything is either in need of finishing off, or mounting or wrapping.  I've been working most nights trying to get through it all, and then of course trying to take photos at the moment is hard - the light is so poor.  I'm hoping to make major inroads at the weekend so that I can relax a bit next week. and hopefully I will have things to share with you.

I do have one card to show you however.  Yesterday was my Mum's birthday and here is the card I made for her.

All the products are from the Shabby Vintage project of the month kit from Craftwork Cards.  I took inspiration from the ideas sheet that came with the kit, but made a few changes.  My mum was thrilled with the card, and I have to say I am rather pleased with how it turned out.  This is the first card I have made from this kit so far.  It's very different from my usual style but it's good to do something different.

So, who is feeling bogged down by Christmas!  Me!!!  I can't get my head around it this year.  Usually by now I am much more organized, but not this year.  I am having to force myself to think about it, and my brain is resisting!  I have a day off next Friday and my mission is to go to a big shopping centre (hell on earth!!) and stay there until everything is done!  Wish me luck, I'll need it!

M x

P.S. I'm off to see the next instalment of the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn Part 1, at the cinema on Saturday - I am beyond excited!!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Busy busy

I've been so busy crafting over the last week or so, but sorry, I have no photos to share with you at the moment.  I started to make some gifts to sell at the Christmas Fair at the school where I work, and I have made sets of note cards, and little note books.  I've also been crocheting some flowers for hair clips and bigger flowers for corsages.  Going great guns I have to say!  So I was a tad disappointed yesterday to be told I couldn't have a stall because of new legislation from the local authority!!!  Apparently the school have to apply and pay for a license for private sellers because they are a charity, and it's not financially viable for them.  I can see all that, and am not cross with the Parents Association, but honestly bureaucracy gone mad!!

Anyway I have found another location to have a stall, just had it confirmed tonight, so I am back on my mission to craft!  So over the weekend I will photograph the things I have made so far and share them with you.

I am obviously back at work now half term is over.  We are now in the mad half term leading up to Christmas, where the only talk is Christmas performances, Christmas panto, Christmas blah blah blah!  One high point is the Year 5 trip to the BBC next Thursday.  Last time we went we met Chris Hollins and Carol Kirkwood - exciting stuff!

Oh I forgot to tell you, that I crochet myself a hat for the winter.  If I can pluck up the courage I will get Mark to take a photo of me wearing it - we'll see.

Take care

M x

Friday, 28 October 2011

Polka Dots - Less is More Week 38

So, I have finally got round to entering a card for the LIM challenge blog here .  I love the theme of polka dots and found it really easy to make a card that fits the bill.  This card is actually for my parents' wedding anniversary on Monday (they have promised not to read this!!).

The base card and all papers and embellishments are from Craftwork Cards Fruit Scoop range and all the stamps are by Paula Pascual.

Hope you like my first entry.  I am in awe of the gorgeous cards that people produce every week.

Happy card making.

M x

Thursday, 27 October 2011

A Touch of Greenery

Here's another card from my recent bout of creativity.  Again, a very simple card, and one I think would suit both male and female.

Stamps : All by Marion Emberson
Ink : Brilliance
Card stock from stock

I've got another card that I want to show you, that I made this week.  It fits the bill perfectly for the Less is More challenge blog - the subject being Polka Dots.  The only problem is that the card is for my Mum and Dad's wedding anniversary on Monday, and the final submission for the challenge is tomorrow, and my parents do read my blog - so what to do?  Ban them from reading the blog until Monday or not submit?

This week has been half term and a bit of a funny old week.  I've had very little motivation for anything, which is a bit worrying.  My dog is going through her first season (it's a bit of an eye-opener!!), and my kids are bickering.  It almost (not quite though) makes me wish I was back at work!!

Hope you are having a more productive week.

M x

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Sunshine and Flowers

This is the final card from my recent card making session.  Again I've gone for something relatively simple, although the stamping had to be done in stages and was a bit time consuming.  The whole look is rather summery which, given the weather at the moment, makes me feel a bit brighter.

Stamp : Sunshine and Flowers by Marion Emberson
Ink : Versamagic - Persimmon, Pretty Petunia and Oasis Green
Ribbon and card stock from stash

Enjoy the rest of your week.  Take care.

M x

Monday, 17 October 2011

More Pretties

Here's another card from my weekend of playing.  Purple is my favourite colour, so I particularly like this one.  Again, it is very simple.  I have had a lot of fun stamping and colouring, getting back to the basics and to what drew me to card making 16 years ago (although my style has changed considerably!).

Stamps : Thanks a Bunch by Marion Emberson
Promarkers : Bluebell, Purple and Violet
Cardstock and gems from stock

Hope you have had a good Monday.  We have had to succumb to the heating tonight.  Gosh isn't it getting chilly?!

M x

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Pretty Flowers

Here's one of the cards that I made this weekend.  Quite a productive weekend actually,  I am feeling like I have my crafting mojo back - I just want to keep making cards and do nothing else! Sadly, work looms tomorrow - but hey, it's half term in 5 days - hurrah!!

Stamped image : Thanks a Bunch by Marion Emberson
Promarkers : Magenta and Poppy
Embellishments : Ribbon and button from stock

Hope you like it.  Come back soon for some more cards.  Have a good week.

M x

Saturday, 15 October 2011

It's finished!!!!

The Flower Garden blanket is finally finished.  Yep, as of this morning.  I am SO thrilled to have it finished and that it looks so beautiful. Wow! 713 hexagons, can you imagine!  I can't give you amounts of wool or measurements (you can see how it looks on a standard double bed) but  I have used 10 different colours for the flowers, with the middles making up the 11th colour.  There are 50 flowers altogether (350 hexagons) with the remaining 363 hexagons being crocheted in white.  I have just edged it with a row of single crochets.  The worst part of the blanket was the blocking out and leaving them to dry over night, but it was worth the effort and made the sewing together much easier.

For my next project I have promised to make Edward a striped blanket, and I have suggested a ripple (my cunning plan because I have never made a ripple before).  Emily is trying to persuade me to make her another blanket and she wants it to be like my Flower Garden.  Not sure I can cope with more hexagons at the moment.  Her colour scheme is to have all the flowers white with yellow middles like daisies and joined together with green hexagons like grass!  We shall see :)

M x

Friday, 14 October 2011

More Flowers

Another card from last weekend.  Again, I have used some of my new stamps from Marion Emberson and coloured in the image with Promarkers.  I'm rather partial to my Fiskars' edge punches at the moment, as well as a touch of ribbon.  The colour scheme is not my usual choice, but I really like it.

Stamp : Sunshine and Flowers by Marion Emberson
Promarkers : Amber and Fuchsia Pink
Ribbon : From stash
Scalloped Edge Punch : Fiskars

I'm really hoping to make some more cards tomorrow.  Apart from the usual washing, ironing, shopping etc, we have nothing planned this weekend, which is nice after a really hectic, difficult week.  Heigh ho - one more week until half term! 

Happy crafting!

M x

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Flower Power

Had a little card making session over the weekend, getting back to my roots - stamping and colouring.  I've made no secret of my love of Marion Emberson's stamps, and I finally got the time to have a little play.  I must say I really enjoyed the simplicity of stamping and colouring and adding a little embellishment with ribbon and sparkle, and my appetite has been whetted for more cards of this type.

For today's card, I coloured it in with my Promarkers, using my favourite colours.  Obviously there are plenty of options available.  I stamped the image three times, more or less in a straight line and just used two colours so it wasn't overly busy.  I made the little bow on the ribbon and stuck it down with Pinflair glue (in a syringe) -  I am quite impressed with the glue, I've never used it before.  I added a little bit of Glamour Dust in the centre of the flowers because I do like a little bit of sparkle!

Stamps : Flowers - Thanks a Bunch and Happy Birthday sentiment - Sunshine and Flowers
both by Marion Emberson
Promarkers : Orchid and Mulberry
Grosgrain ribbon and jewel from stash
Glitter in centre of flowers : Glamour Dust

Hope you like the card.  I feel very pleased with how it turned out.

I hope to share with you my Flower Garden blanket soon, I just have to finish the edging.  I am so pleased that it is almost finished - over 700 hexagons completed - wow!

I am really looking forward to half term (a week and a half to go), as work is getting me down a bit, but I feel in a way that other things have turned a corner.  That small glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel is definitely burning brighter.  I might even start to feel that life is getting better (although now I am scared I have tempted fate!).  Maybe soon I will feel like sharing.  All I will say at this point is that it has been a very long, hard year.

Hope you are all having a good week,  Take care.

M x

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

And last but by no means least . . . .

My commissions are finally finished - phew!  It's taken me a while but I got there in the end.

I am particularly pleased with this offering and I hope the recipient loves it too.  The papers are new although I have had them a while (if you know what I mean lol!), and the same goes for the Nestability that I used to cut the flower - bought at Alexandra Palace last year and never used.  I love the colours in the paper and the subtle use of glitter.

Base card - Large cream scalloped - Craftwork Cards
Paper - The Linen Closet - DCWV
Candy - Craftwork Cards

Hope you are all having a good week.  Mine has been quite busy.  Mark has just come back from another work jolly - it's really not on!!  Work is a bit mad - deadlines for display boards looming.  I am split between two year groups this year, so I never feel that I am getting anything finished.  I've got 31 pieces of writing to trim and mount by Friday, as well as titles, and embellishments to make, to add to the display.  Not to mention making an enormous flower with 31 petals, each petal representing a child in the class, and they have to write a message on it to say how they have been respectful!  Nothing like leaving things until the last minute!!

Anyway, have fun.

M x

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Fifty again!!!!

Apparently yesterday was World Card Making Day (or something like that), so what better incentive is needed to get the crafty stuff out!  This card is the penultimate one from a long list of significant age cards commissioned by a good friend of mine.  It was quite difficult to come up with a new design but I am very happy with how this one turned out.

Base card : Large scalloped - Craftwork Cards
Papers :The Bloomsbury Collection - Kanban
Candi : Craftwork Cards
Glitter : Martha Stewart - Golden Beryl

Thanks for visiting.  Enjoy the lovely sunshine, and fingers crossed it lasts a bit longer.

M x

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Lots and lots of goodies!

Good morning!  How are you all?  I'm fine and feel nice and rested after yesterday's exertions lol! So after doing a bit of housewifely duty by doing some ironing, I have been taking photos of my lovely purchases.

My first photo is of the lovely and talented Julie Hickey from Craftwork Cards.  She is such a star, so friendly and helpful, always ready for a chat.  Craftwork Cards is always the first stand Mum and I stop at, whenever we go to a stamping show. 

I wasn't actually going to buy anything from Craftwork Cards this time, but as you can see from the photo below, I changed my mind.  I think I must be one of few who don't actually like their Warren the Rabbit images, and I'm not so keen on Frosty the Snowman either - I don't really do cute.  But I was taken the colours of the papers and card stock that go with Frosty - love the contemporary colours.  Also bought some delicious new Candy - gorgeous metallic, holographic colours.

I got a really good deal on Promarkers - 10 for £15.00, so I bought two lots to take advantage of the offer.  I won't be buying anymore for a while now so why not?

Another must have stand to visit was Sugar and Spice - I am such a fan of Marion Emberson, as I am sure I have mentioned once or twice!  So it was nice to meet her and say hello.  I bought a couple of sets of her stamps - alphabets, as well as a retro flower punch that I have wanted for a while, some silver Glamour Dust, and some crystals and a couple of packets of buttons.

These masks were  a bit of an impulse buy, but I thought they would be really handy for journalling, using Distress Inks and spray inks.

I bought some journalling spots and tags, some plain Manila tags, memo and bingo cards, as well as a script stamp from Paperartsy.

Some more Glamour Dust (crystal), some calendars and a memo stack, some glue pens and some Pinflair glue (everyone is raving about this, thought I would try it out).

The Craft Fairy is a such a great stand to visit - lots and lots of beautiful ribbon, in every colour you can imagine.  It was really hard to choose.  They are so reasonably priced too - about £1.30 for 3 metres. 

Any finally (well nearly!), two new Nestabilities, some magnetic sheets, Promarker fine nibs, a new acrylic block, some Diamond Glaze and even more buttons.

Well, that's all the purchases that I made for me.  As you can see, I had a really successful day.  My only disappointment was that Art From The Heart wasn't at the show.  I had intended to buy some more spray inks, a pack of Moleskin Journals and some pre-printed images.  I also wanted to take some photos of their beautiful artwork for inspiration, but it was not to be.  I have made an internet order since I have been home, so I am sure the products will be will me in a matter of days.

My final, final purchase at the show wasn't for me, it was for my mum, for her birthday in November.  She was umming and ahing between two designs of Martha Stewart Punch Around The Page punches - they were a really good price from Stamposaurus, so I bought one for her and she bought the other.  I'm really glad because she wanted them both so much, and now I don't have to worry about what to get her for her birthday.

If you have stayed with me until the end, thank you!  Hope you haven't been too bored.  It was so exciting to spread all my goodies out this morning and see what I spent my money on.  I won't be having anymore splurges like this for a while now - got to think about Christmas (urgh!).  Just need to find some time to have a play!!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, take care.

M x