Birthday Card

Hello, I hope everyone’s had a lovely weekend. Back to normal tomorrow, but at least it’s a short week.  Thank you to everyone for the very generous comments on my recent posts, I am extremely grateful.

I thought I’d show you a commissioned card that I made a few weeks ago. I must apologise for the terrible photograph. I was in a hurry & not paying attention to the angle I was holding the camera at.


Marlee 2014


The background is PaperArtsy Fresco paints – Zesty Zing, Limelight & Chartreuse - Lin Brown stencils ELB001 & ELB002, through which I applied Snowflake Fresco, (the circles) & Fern Green, Red Carnation & Plum Archival inks. Then I added the Memory Box poppy die cuts, a few adhesive gems & the doodling around the border.

I think it turned out okay & happily, the recipient liked it.

Thanks for looking, see you next time.

Inspired by Ellen Vargo

Afternoon, happy Easter. This is the canvas I made for this week’s PaperArtsy challenge. Ellen Vargo returned as the main guest designer for the week & as always, her work was stunning. This is based on her day two project. I copied the colours & the method, but used a Lynne Perella image as my focal point. The quote is by Edgar Allan Poe.



That’s it, very short & sweet today. Thanks to Ellen for the inspiration & to you for looking. See you next time.

Wonderful Happy Mail

Hello, I hope everyone’s having a good week & for those whose weekend starts now – yay!

Last week I was thrilled to learn that my comment on Tim Holtz’s April tag tutorial was one of those who had won an surprise giveaway. I set my details to Mario, Tim’s right-hand man & King of BTS & he sent me this picture, telling me that one of the parcels was mine.

I received the parcel today, it was the brown one & I think I’m officially in shock at its contents.

Everything was wrapped in Tim’s tissue paper………


First, a length of his Eclectic Elements fabric………..


I keep stroking it, it’s gorgeous.


Next an Ephemera Pack, full of fantastic tickets, labels, clock faces, etc..


TWO packs of the fab Industrious Stickers; Frames & Trims and Chiseled…………


TWO packs of Remnants Rubs………. (Isn’t the Botanical set gorgeous??)


A very cool Ranger apron……………


And last, but by no means least, the new #Hashtags stamp set, which has been on my wish list since Tim launched it at CHA in January………..


Are you amazed??? I know I am. I never expected to receive so many wonderful things.

I have already emailed my thanks to Mario, but I would like to say here a huge thank you to Tim for his generosity, I am very, VERY grateful. I really appreciate all his hard work, creativity & inspiration & I know I’m not the only one.


Stage Door Johnny

Evening, I hope everyone’s had a great week. I can’t believe I’ve got something finished for the PaperArtsy challenge & it’s only Friday. Julie Ann was the GD this week & created an amazing stage set from her PA art journal & I had an idea almost immediately, because coincidentally, I am currently reading a biography of Ellen Terry, who was an English actress in the late 19th & early 20th centuries (1847 – 1928). She was incredibly famous & popular & people flocked to see her, wherever she appeared.

Miss Terry had numerous ardent admirers, one of whom was a Mr Stephen Coleridge. I mixed fiction with fact & imagined Mr Coleridge having a wallet in which he kept souvenirs of his relationship with Miss Terry.  Mr Coleridge kept the wallet in his pocket, attached to the chain of his pocket watch. If someone were to steal it the contents would have been very damaging to Miss Terry’s reputation………..





In  the pocket are Mr Coleridge’s tickets from the many times he attended The Lyceum Theatre in London to see Miss Terry perform. She was a nightly sensation where, together with actor/manager, Mr Henry Irving, she performed many classic roles, including Shakespeare’s heroines, such as Portia, Juliet & Beatrice.



Despite being married to Mr Wardell Kelly, Miss Terry was not averse to flirting with Mr Coleridge & the two were known to exchange ‘secret kisses’ in her dressing-room at The Lyceum. She gave him souvenirs; pieces of her costumes & bits of sewing with which she kept herself occupied in the wings while awaiting her cue – Miss Terry would be the first to admit that her sewing skills were rudimentary at best.


Perhaps these were Mr Coleridge’s most treasured possessions; a daguerreotype of Miss Terry as Ophelia from Hamlet & a flower which she kissed & returned to him. He then pressed it before putting it in his wallet.



A smaller daguerreotype, this time of Miss Terry as Lady Macbeth.


And finally, although he knew he should not keep them, he could not bring himself to destroy Miss Terry’s billets-doux. Her words of affection to him were too precious. He kept with them a record of Oscar Wilde’s words to Miss Terry;

“No woman Veronese looked upon

Was half as fair as thou whom I behold.”


Sadly, Miss Terry & Mr Coleridge were not fated to be together. Miss Terry divorced her husband & began a long lasting relationship with Mr Irving. Mr Coleridge eventually married & his wallet of souvenirs was always kept hidden from his wife.


 The End

Wallet; faux leather technique, TH cabinet card die, TH Collage embossing folder, Fresco paints, Grunge Paste, Treasure Gold & Gloss Glaze.

Fresco paints; Toffee, Brown Shed, Chocolate Pudding, Smoked Paprika, Cheesecake, Spanish Mulberry, Nougat, Blood Orange, Little Black Dress, Pea Coat, Mermaid, Bora Bora.

PaperArtsy stamps; LP007, LP028.

Thanks for looking & thanks to Julie Ann for being so creative & inspiring. I had fun making this & I hope she likes it.

See you next time.

PaperArtsy Challenge – Inspired by Clare Lloyd

Happy Sunday afternoon to everyone. Yet again, there were amazing projects on the PaperArtsy blog this week. Clare Lloyd returned as the lead guest designer for the week & I’ve chosen to use her gorgeous & dramatic third project as my inspiration. I wanted to make her fantastic wooden spools garland, but I didn’t have enough spools – that will be a project for another day.

I was initially going to use my Tim Holtz Tattered Floral die, but then I remembered I had these chipboard pieces, which were a blog prize from PA last year.


I covered the chipboard square with gesso & a few coats of Cheesecake Fresco paint, stamped the PA quotes with black Archival. And then forgot to take any more photos. But I added grunge paste through a TCW 12×12 damask stencil – not my first choice, but none of my 6×6 stencils were suitable – and applied layers of Chartreuse Fresco with a baby wipe.


While working on the base I was thinking about the flower & wondering how to make it dimensional.  I used the chipboard piece as a template & drew around it three times on black card & cut them out. My plan was to use Little Black Dress Fresco as Clare had done, but when getting the bottle of Chartreuse I spotted the bottle of Pea Coat & I thought that would work for the flower, so I painted all the pieces with a few layers.  I remembered Jo Myhill’s lovely pot of tulips from last week on the PA blog &  I copied her idea of stamping & heat embossing on the petals, I also added Treasure Gold – Royal Amethyst & White Fire. Then I did some cutting & layering.




Here’s the finished flower.



And here’s the finished piece, the quote is from E Lin Brown 04.


I obviously wasn’t paying enough attention in the early stages of this, because I didn’t notice that bare patch in the centre until I put the flower on & now it might as well be screaming at me. But there’s nothing I can do now to cover it up. I think this will be taken apart, sanded down & redone at some point. Sigh.

Anyway, the PA challenge ends shortly, so I better get this published. Thanks for looking, see you next time.

Birthday Cards

Yes, I am up at ridiculous o’clock. I’ve been awake since 2.34, which does not impress me in the slightest. Anyway, I’ve got lots of photos of commissioned cards stored on my computer, so I thought I’d start sharing some of them.

This one was distress inks through an Imagination Crafts stencil, with the message white embossed on vellum.


Laura 2014

This was based on a project by Elizabeth Borer in the November 2013 issue of Craft Stamper magazine.

Sharon 2013

I used Chocolate Baroque stamps on this card. Distress inks over white heat embossing for the background.

Rachel 2014

The bicycle is a Chocolate Baroque stamp & I used the Tim Holtz Regal Crest Alterations die.

Philip friend 2013

Thanks for looking, have a great Monday.

12 Tags of 2014 March

Hello, thank you very much to everyone for the kind comments & tweets on my blog post last night, I was still blushing this morning.

Keren Baker asked me last night how long it takes me to make a background & the answer is not long at all, if I know what I’m doing. Which is rare. Usually, there’s lots of thinking & staring & wondering how on earth to start. I’m not one of those talented crafters who can move seamlessly from one idea to the next. My ideas are dragged out, kicking & screaming, from the depths of my brain.

I know I’ve joked about it before, but one of my biggest difficulties is choosing colours & really, it’s not funny, to me at least. I cannot put colours together & I cannot tell if a colour combination works or not, so trying to get that right takes ages. I decided to join Pinterest simply so that I could have a place where I put pictures of colour combinations & I get a daily email from, which I pin to my Colour Palettes board. Then of course, I have to decide which of the colours I have matches most closely with the pictures. All of which goes to explain why I’m lucky if I manage to do a blog post more than once a week.

Cutting it fine yet again, I have managed to finish my take on Tim’s beautiful, Spring-like March tag, which you can see here. As usual, I had to come up with something using what I have in my stash, but I followed Tim’s process as closely as I could.  I’m still using canvas boards & this time I have also used a tag.

I gave the board a quick coat of gesso, then applied some Cheesecake Fresco with a baby wipe. I cut a few centimetres off the bottom of the tag so that it would look better on the board. All the stamping was done using Tim’s Visual Artistry stamps & Wendy Vecchi’s Archival inks – Potting Soil, Watering Can, Cornflower Blue & Orange Blossom. The second generation stamping worked quite well on the board I thought. And I discovered I could smudge the ink with a baby wipe if I was careful not to overdo it.

I die cut the feather & applied the inks through the negative & added some pencil lines to the feather on the tag. The words are 7 Gypsies stamps. I blended Tattered Rose, Shabby Shutters & Squeezed Lemonade distress inks very lightly over the top.

I scribbled some Whispers pens onto the craft sheet & used a waterbrush to colour the foliage below the bird.


Tim used his very cool distress marker spritzer through a stencil on his tags & I had to improvise to get this effect. I added tiny amounts of Pea Coat Fresco paint to water in a mister bottle & spraying onto scrap card to check the colour until it was what  I wanted. Then I sprayed through a TCW stencil. I wanted quite a subtle look to the board, but I couldn’t resist a spritz of Biscotti Perfect Pearls mist at this stage.


A close up to show the stencilled layer.


The finished board. I edged the tag with Walnut Stain Distress ink & the board with Potting Soil Archival & French Roast Fresco. There’s a little bit of washi tape on the board & I used paper string through the word band on the tag & added the eyelets for decoration. I stuck a piece of kraft card to the back of the tag to strengthen it. The tag had curled slightly as I was working on it, so I left it like that, using double foam pads at the top & bottom only.


That’s it, I hope you like it. Thank you to Tim for his genius & inspiration. See you next time.

Journal Page Inspired by Pam Thorburn

Hello, I hope everyone’s had a great Saturday. It was a beautiful day here, quite warm compared to earlier in the week.

I’ve made a journal page for the PaperArtsy challenge this week. Pam Thorburn was back as the guest designer & she is a scrapbooker extraordinaire, her pages are simply stunning. Her first & second projects for PaperArtsy are HERE  & HERE. I had no clue what I wanted to do, but I really liked the background on her third project, so I used that as my starting point.

I used Grunge Paste through the TCW Texturized stencil first & when that was dry I painted a wash of Caramel Fresco over the page, spritzing it with more water & wiping the paint off the stencilled areas. When that was dry I added more GP, mixed with Tinned Peas & Hey Pesto Fresco paint through the TCW Mini Circles stencil. (Too much paint, don’t look too closely). I also used a baby wipe to add some Chutney Fresco paint here & there.


I  had a search through my postcards & found this one from the Bronze exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London in 2012. It was an astonishing exhibition & the bronze heads from Ife, Nigeria, of which this was one, were one of the highlights for me. They’re from the 14th-early 15th century &  the artistry & beauty of them was awe-inspiring. You can learn more about the heads HERE.

As I looked at the postcard I realised the GP lines on my page mirrored the striations on the face. This would be my focal image.


This was a sheet of watercolour paper I’d already painted for something. I gave it a few thin coats of Irish Cream Fresco & cut it in half.


One half I stamped with Chocolate Pudding & Little Black Dress Frescos, the other half with Tikka & Chutney, using the set of Ellen Vargo EEV01 stamps that I won in last week’s PA challenge – yay!!


I painted another piece of watercolour paper with Tikka, stamped with French Roast & cut around the images. I also punched out holes, copying one of Pam’s ideas.


Then I put the page together, adding a piece of hessian & metal brads, some black doodling & white highlights. The quote just appeared in my brain as I was working, seems apt somehow. I folded a piece of leftover paper in half & die cut so that it opens like a book cover. On the inside is some information about the postcard & the date.

To finish I added some White Fire Treasure gold to the GP lines.


Thanks to Pam for the inspiration & to you for visiting.

Inspired by Ellen Vargo

Hello, I managed to finish my page for this week’s PaperArtsy challenge earlier – a day ahead of the deadline, it’s a miracle! The wonderful Ellen Vargo was back as the guest designer & over three posts, she showed us a fantastic, collaged journal page & a lettering technique – with videos. I LOVE video tutorials, they’re so helpful & Ellen’s are great. I have basically copied Ellen’s’ page, using different colours, stamps, etc. (The first stage of Ellen’s page is HERE)

My chosen background colours.


I used a sheet of watercolour paper to brayer on & tried to use less paint, so that areas of each colour could still be seen.


I’m saving my pennies to buy a set of Ellen’s PA stamps at Ally Pally next month, so in the meantime I had to use something else. I chose the Mini 01 stamp from Darcy’s Eclectica range, stamped it with Watering Can & Cornflower Blue Archival, (stamping alternate rows in reverse), then stamped the swirls from Circles & Swirls 2 with Snowflake Fresco.


I stamped scraps of Fresco painted card with another PA stamp, Squiggly Mini 15, then die cut the card with the PA Tall Heart die.


Glued them in place.


Cut up the sheet at this stage, I knew what I wanted to do with it.


I used scraps from my precious stash of PaperArtsy’s Thorndon Hall papers.


And then………. Writing on the page. I was so tempted to not do this, I hate my hand writing. But I tried not to think about it & followed Ellen’s instructions. I used one of my favourite quotes, by Pablo Picasso & put the finished page into my new PA art journal.


I got two cards from the other piece……….


And this is for everyone who visits this blog, leaves comments & is always very kind & supportive of my efforts……….


Thank you also goes to Ellen for her inspiration. See you all next time.

A Green Man for Julie Ann

Afternoon, happy Sunday. A very rushed blog post today, because this is my entry for this week’s PaperArtsy challenge – which closes at 5pm. As usual, I wanted to attempt every project on the PA blog this week & as usual I ran out of time. But I was determined to make something & when I discovered this 2×2 canvas & the UTEE face in my stash I was delighted that I would be able to make a Green Man a la Julie Ann’s incredible trio of canvases.

The canvas was originally blue, I’d painted it for something I no longer remember, so I gave a few coats of gesso, then Nougat Fresco, followed by Limelight, Guacamole & Tinned Peas.


Stamped the new Lynn Perella script in gold.


Added some stamping with Lin Brown & JoFY stamps in Fern Green Archival. I stamped around the edge of the canvas too with Seaweed & heat set it with UTEE, but I forgot to photograph that. It’s a much more effective technique on a deep edged canvas, as you can see from Julie Ann’s first project, so it’s barely noticeable on mine.


I painted scraps of paper with green Fresco paints, stamped leaves from Lin Brown & JoFY sets with Frescos, cut them out & glued them to the canvas, adding the wire twists. I painted the leaves with Fresco Gloss Glaze to give them a bit of a shine, then added White Fire Treasure Gold & some dots of Glossy Accents.


That’s it. It’s nowhere near as wonderful as Julie Ann’s projects, but at least I managed to finish it in time. Thanks for looking, see you next time.