A very warm welcome to my blog, which is mostly about card-making, a bit about work and family, and a few odds and ends. I am fairly new to this blogging lark, so please bear with me if I make some glaring errors.

I'll be delighted if you would like to become a follower, so please leave me details of your blog, as I'd love to visit.

xx Jill

Thursday, 29 December 2011

final Christmas bookatrix

I'm typing this with some difficulty, as I managed to slice the side of my right thumb on Boxing Day, grating carrots.  Not a good start to a family meal.  It's still pretty sore, so I'm making lots of typos when I should be hitting the space bar!

This was the last of the commissioned Bookatrix cards that I had to make for Christmas, and is the simplest of the set.  It's a robin cut from an old Christmas card, a couple of flowers, a voile ribbon and a few peel-offs.  What could be simpler?  Mind you, it still takes nearly a couple of hours to cut out all the layers, assemble them, add the embellishments and make the box.  I've done so many of these that it should be getting easier, but it's still fairly time-consuming.  Again, I've backed this with a folding card, so that a greeting can go inside.

Thanks so much for visiting my blog.  I hope you all had a very happy Christmas, and my best wishes for a great New Year!  Please leave me a comment so that I know you came, and I'll come and visit you too, so that I can keep up with all the lovely projects you produce.

xx Jill

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Christmas bookatrix no 1

A bookatrix Christmas card commissioned for an elderly couple.  It had to be red and gold, so I used stardream white cardstock, and a bright red mirri card, which has a lovely sheen, rather than a shine (expensive too!)  I dug out the peeloffs from hibernation to create the edgings and the sentiment.  I also made a box for this, and decorated it to match the card.  The silk poinsettia is from Prima, many years ago, the gold flowers and ribbon are from my stash, and the roses, rose buds and chandelier beads are WOC as usual.

I attached the whole bookatrix to an opening card, cut to fit, so that the sentiment could go inside.  I find my customers prefer this to a little stand.  Not sure why bookatrix cards are still very popular, but I have another four to finish, (all are nearly complete, thank goodness) and only a week to go!  I have sent some bought cards this year though, as my back operations haven't allowed me to get on as quickly as I'd hoped. 

Thank you so much for popping by to see my blog - all comments are very much appreciated, and I promise I'll stop by to see what you've been crafting this week - I love a good nosey!

xx Jill

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

vintage birthday card

I'm very fond of vintage images, and this one is from the Marianne sheet of vintage ladies.  I made this easel card for one of my oldest friends, Valerie, who is still teaching dancing.  Michael is still Dance Captain in Billy Elliott in the West End, some six years on, and remains busy with his young baby and Saturday stage school: not quite sure when he fits in some sleep! 

I bought and dived into the new First Edition papers "Isabelle" on the day I bought them.  Not only do they have a pretty shabby chic look to them, but are also heavily glittered.  The colour-scheme is soft, and in ice-cream colours of mint, coffee and pale peach.   What more can a girl want in 6x6 papers?  

Well obviously a bit more stickle glitter around the edges of the paper, a sliced up doiley (I betcha can't see the join!), some very pretty organza lace (ancient, from my stash), a few WOC roses, Petaloo and bridal flowers coloured with copics, some die-cut swirls, a punched out MS heart and a few pearls!

 I can't do justice to the real colours in the winter light (or lack of it),  but grab a pack and come drool with me - these babies are gorgeous!  Normally I would sit and stroke these for a few weeks before butchering them, but I was very brave, and galloped straight in.  I really can't do Less is More though.  I have tried to keep it fairly simple in layout and let the paper speak for itself, so it's maybe not as busy in style as it might be.

Thanks very much for coming to visit my blog this week.  I'm having a quiet week next week, as part two of my back operation is coming this Friday, so I'll have to take things a bit easier.  More time to come and visit everyone's blogs I hope ......  If you join as a follower please let me know, as I've lost all my followers pictures again.  I got very excited a few weeks ago when they all came back, but it was only for a day, and then they went again.  So sad!

xx Jill

Sunday, 20 November 2011

three men's birthday cards

Thank you so much to those people who sent cards and good will messages following my back operation last Friday.  It will still be some weeks before I know if it's been a success or not, and there's still part two to come at the beginning of December when they de-nerve the other side of my back.  As it was over an hour of needles, electric currents and extreme discomfort, I can't say I'm looking forward to it.  The upside was that because we have a back-pain GP unit at the Dunedin independent hospital locally, I had five-star treatment and a private room with en-suite bathroom!!  Lunch was a prawn marie-rose salad, with a lovely strawberry tart and cream, and a cafetiere of decaff, which was some consolation for the unpleasantness of the operation.

I always have lots of birthday cards to make at this time of the year with several of them masculine cards, which I find quite challenging.  These La Pashe vintage style cards are always popular though, and I even quite enjoy sitting, cutting out the decoupage bits: it makes the boring programmes on tv a bit more bearable.  Why is it that with hundreds more channels, we still can't find anything decent to watch?  It's a mystery!

 These "flipping cards are good fun too, with the reversed image on the inside, and all that's needed is a suitable insert.  The guys all seem to like them, and is solves the perennial problem of what to choose.

Thanks very much for visiting my blog and for any comments you'd like to leave.  I really do appreciate this, and like to come and visit your blog too.  xx Jill

Monday, 24 October 2011

Natasha is two!

Our youngest grand-daughter, Natasha, was two this week, and she has a shoe and bag fetish!!  It really doesn't matter who owns the shoes or slippers - Mummy, Daddy or her brothers - she loves to try them on, and walk around the house in them.  So, of course, this image from Mo Manning, which I coloured with copic markers, was an absolute must.   We bought her a Peppa Pig pram as she is truly obsessed, and it was very funny to see her walking her baby in the pram, carrying her Peppa bag, and wearing her Dad's boots!  Her obsession with the little pink porker is monumental, and early one morning as her mum picked her up out of her cot, instead of her first words being "Hiya Mummy" as normal, she simply shouted "PIG!!"  Looking at all her Peppa birthday presents though, I think she may have been suffering from pig overload!  Even her cake had Peppa Pig on it, which she was very excited about.

The papers and the decoupaged floral spray are Kay Miller, and the pretty lace and roses are WOC.  There are a few tiny gems on the flowers, and the circular sentiment was computer generated, and then cut out with Nesties.  The inside of the card is decorated to match the outside.

Thanks very much for coming to visit my blog.  It's lovely to hear from you all, and I really appreciate the lovely comments you leave.

xx Jill

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Bookatrix wedding card

The Bookatrix cards always seem to be the most popular commissioned cards for weddings, and I've now done dozens!  It's quite difficult to change the designs whilst keeping the format the same, although this time I was helped by the fact that the bride wanted daisies as her theme.

The background card is white stardust, with the middle layer (and the top layer of the bookmark) being a glittered fabric, which is a bit like a stiff, dry wet-wipe.  When fabric is so beautiful I do get the jitters before I have to cut into it!  Gold mirri card is used for the central mats, and gold peeloffs for the corners and borders.  How weird it feels to use peeloffs in today's crafting - seven or eight years ago they were all the rage, and I've got hundreds of the damned things!  Any (polite) suggestions as to what to do with them would be very welcome.  I can't even give them away nowadays!

The daisies are punched, except for the ones on the box, which I found lurking at the bottom of my flower stash.  The centres are yellow flowersoft, and the small leaves are also punched from pearlescent paper which I coloured with copic markers.  Now, come on!! You didn't really think I was going to abandon the copics altogether did you?  The larger leaves are die-cut from a Marianne die, I think.  I find it quite hard to make up a central flower motif from scratch, but have much less problem with a corner motif.  Strange eh?

Thanks very much for coming to visit my blog and for all the lovely comments you leave - it's very much appreciated.  I hope to get round to visit you all to see what you've been up to, and if you leave me a comment, then I'll know you came to visit.

xx Jill

Friday, 14 October 2011

Joshua's birthday card

Our beautiful youngest grandson Joshua was one year old this week.  I found this digi stamp by Mo Manning called "Tolerance", which I coloured with copic markers, although I'm still not happy with the hair colouring, and need lots more practice.  My son's family have a ginger cat called "Dizzy" (for obvious reasons), so of course, I had to go with that colourscheme.  The papers are from Nitwit "Some Assembly Required", and these are very useful generally for male projects.  It's quite a simple layout, so I just used some card candy, and a computer generated sentiment to complete the card.

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:
http://foreverfriendschallengeblog.blogspot.com/: use an animal and a sentiment
http://www.southerngirlschallenge.blogspot.com/: one for the boys
http://cardsformen.blogspot.com/: make us laugh
http://craftybootschallenges.blogspot.com/: use an animal

Thank you so much for visiting my blog, and viewing my card.  If  you leave me a comment I'll know you dropped by, and I can pop by your blog too, and see what lovely projects you've posted in blogland.

xx Jill

Monday, 3 October 2011

another "back to school" card

This card was for our eldest grandson Connor, who is eleven, and has just started his new school at Waingels College. He looks so grown up in his new uniform, especially as he's almost as tall as me now! He loves the new school, and all the classes and activities, and it seems to suit him much better than Primary School, as he's got loads of housepoints already. Even the homework's getting done without too much moaning, and it gives him time to go on his beloved Wii games!

The image is from LOTV and is coloured with copic markers, and the cardstock is coredinations.  The graphic images are downloaded, and the stars are punched out.  This counts as a quick and easy card for me as it only took about an hour, instead of the three hours I usually take, faffing and fiddling!

Thank you very much for coming to visit - I really appreciate the coments you leave, and I promise I'll pop around to your blog too.
xx Jill

Thursday, 29 September 2011

vintage image for birthday card

This is another Kanban decoupage image which I found at the Ally Pally show last weekend.  (Bit of a bargain as I bought four Christmassy ones and got two Deco-style free).  I bought some of the new Christmas papers: Authentique and MME, which I'd like to sit and stroke for a little while before I have to cut into them, and have palpitations. 

I'm very fond of turqoise backgrounds and this decoupage came with matching background paper.  As this was teamed with teal and apricot on the image, I decided I quite liked this colour combination, although it's not one I would choose normally.  This card is for Carol's birthday (Bruce's mum) which was yesterday.   Carol is known to our grandchildren as Nanny Seaside, and she's a lovely, warm person,  known for her practicality and common sense.  (Guess what? She lives near the sea!)

I had to add some flowers of course:  you know me, I can't do CAS.  I start off with good intentions, but what looks elegant and minimal on other people's work, just looks sparse and boring on mine.  Don't know the answer to this conundrum!

The open flowers and leaves are from a Marianne die I bought recently from Oyster stamps, and the sentiment is computer generated.  The cardstock is pearlised, which I used to use a lot, but I tend now to use plain coredinations.  The roses are WOC (smothered in glimmer mist), which I altered slightly with my copic markers, and the organza ones are the last of my Prima stash in that colour.  I will really cry when they are all gone: I have quite a few of the flat flowers left in most colours, but only a couple of purple and green ones left in the organza, and then they're all gone.  I'm going to try cutting some out from organza fabric with a soldering iron, and see how that works, as the only place I've found that still sells these readymade, is in the States, and the postage costs are prohibitive (I was quoted about £30:  aaaargh!!!).  I always use copics to edge my leaves and card-stock too, and although you can't see it, I know when I haven't done it, as the edges show white.

I'll be entering the following challenges:
http://audsentimentschallengeblog.blogspot.com/ - birthday card
http://paper-craftingjourney.blogspot.com/ - die-cuts and punches
http://inkyimpressionschallenges.blogspot.com/ die cuts or punches
http://deepoceanchallengeblog.blogspot.com/ - happy birthday
http://diecuttindivas.blogspot.com/ - vintage

Thanks a lot for stopping by to visit my blog.  It's a real pleasure to know you've come, so please post a comment below, and I'll come to visit your blog too.  Mr Blogger still isn't showing my followers, so thank you so much if you are one - I just won't know about it - so sad!!  Off to copic class tonight with the lovely Wendy from Stamps and Memories - a whole evening of playing with markers - what fun!!

xx Jill

Friday, 23 September 2011

Happy birthday dear friend

I don't usually use die-cut decoupage, but I fell in love with this Kanban set of Matryoska dolls while I was on holiday.  I adore these little nesting dolls, and we bought several sets while we were in Prague at the Christmas Market three years ago, as well as some beautiful very expensive Bohemian glass.  I have fond memories of the hot apple punch with Calvados too, and the divine hot chocolate from Odkolek, but less fond memories of the potato dumplings, cabbage soup and the strangest Tesco EVER!!

The Kanban set came with some matching pale green flowered card, and some tags, so it really was a quick simple card.  I added some check paper and paper lace, with some coredinations pink cardstock, and coloured the jade green flowers and punched leaves with copics.  The pink ones are from my stash.  A few little pearls and gems coloured pink with my copic markers, and hey presto - all done!  The inside, (which I forgot to take a picture of) is decorated to match.

Thanks so much for coming to visit my blog, and if you leave me a comment I'll know you've been, and will come over to your blog too and have a nice nosey around!

xx Jill

Friday, 16 September 2011

off to school

Our third grandson, Tristan, who is four and a quarter, started school on Monday and this is the card I made to wish him luck.  His first couple of days were not very happy I'm afraid, as his friends from Nursery were put into different groups, which was quite upsetting for all concerned, but he seems to be better settled now.  He's such a little chap, and his school trousers (age 3) drown him, but he seems to like his school uniform, and especially having a packed lunch at school!

This is a LOTV image, and the papers are downloads: Sweet Shoppe "lliela" school papers, which come with extra images to layer and decoupage, as shown in the picture below, which shows one of the inside pages of the card.

The stars from gold and blue cardstock are cut with an ancient Bigz Sizzix die, which I've always found really useful, and the circle and scalloped circle dies are some original Nesties that have done me proud over the years, and are still going strong.  Do they ever wear out?

I'd like to enter this card for the following challenges:
Craft us Crazy (last one for a while) http://craftuscrazy.blogspot.com/: school theme
Divas by Design http://divasbydesignchallenge.blogspot.com/: back to school
Clear it Out http://clearitoutchallenge.blogspot.com/: school days
Cupcake Crafts http://www.cupcakecraftchallenges.blogspot.com/ : back to school
Victorine Stamps: http://www.vostamps.blogspot.com/: primary colours
Paper Sundaes http://papersundaes.blogspot.com/: decorate inside of card

Thanks so much for visiting my blog.  I always appreciate this, and for any comments you would like to leave. I'd like to come and visit your blog too: I always love to see what other folk have been up to!

xx Jill

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

A series of September birthdays (number 1)

Hi everyone
It's good to be back to work, and to be back to Mr Blogger, after quite a long rest.

Our lovely daughter Melanie, was 40 on Saturday, so I used my favourite ballerina Tilda image for her easel card.

The beautiful background paper is Melissa Francis "Fifth Avenue", which I spied in Dunelm Mill, and snapped up.  There is music, damask papers, ballerinas and all sorts of gorgeous goodies, so this may be my new best paper for a while.

It was quite difficult to match the shabby feel on the image, leaves and flowers with my copic markers, and I ran out of one colour mid-leaf, so had to improvise by tipping the nib of one colour on to the other!  (If you look very carefully, one of the turquoise leaves isn't quite the same colour as the others, but that's being REALLY picky: yep, that's me!)

I have added glitter to the paper edges, and have glimmered and shimmered the flowers and leaves, which are a mix of WOC, and some silk flowers from my stash.  I've now run out of the white tiny daisies (coloured pink here), which I usually get at Farnborough, and I can't find them online, so if anyone knows where I can get them, please let me know.  Thanks!

The die-cut tag on the base of the card is one of the newer Nesties, which I got from Oyster Crafts, which have an excellent mail-order service.  The die-cut around the image is one of the Nestie labels, which I like very much and use a lot.

I plan to enter this card for the following challenges:
Anything Goes challenge: http://anythingchallenge.blogspot.com/ - shabby chic
Everybody Art: http://everybody-art-challenge.blogspot.com/ - flowers
Ladybug Crafts: http://ladybugscraftsinkchallengeblog.blogspot.com/ - flowers
Shopping our Stash: http://shoppingourstash.blogspot.com/ - shabby chic
Crafty Boots (new challenge): http://craftybootschallenges.blogspot.com/ - anything goes
Die cut Dreams: http://diecutdreams.blogspot.com/ - at least 5 flowers
Pile it On: http://pileitonchallenge.blogspot.com/ - lots of layers
Pink Gem designs: http://pinkgemchallengeblog.blogspot.com/ - colour inspiration
Crafty Purple Frog: http://craftypurplefrogchallenges.blogspot.com/ - birthdays
Crafting for all Seasons: http://craftingforallseasons.blogspot.com/ - birthdays

Phew! Do I think that's the lot?  Thanks so much for coming to visit my blog - I really appreciate this.  I'd love to come and visit your blog too, so if you leave me a comment, I'll be along to have a nosey around. 
xx Jill

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

new baby card

29th July 2011
Just a quick addition to this post to say that I won a top three award at: http://pattiescreationschallenge.blogspot.com/.  I was really thrilled at this, as although I only ever make cards in my own style (including the commissions I get!), it's very nice when someone else likes the card too.  xx Jill

So sorry I haven't posted anything on my blog for a couple of weeks, but with being so very busy with Louise's show, nothing else got done. I have to tackle the dreaded h**s*w**k over the next few days and do some packing before we go away, but just time to add this card, and possibly Joe's birthday card too.

This easel card was for my step grand-daughter, which I forgot to add to my blog last month. I used Spring Breeze paper from First Edition, which has a lovely glazed finish, and coloured the beautiful WOJ image with copic markers. Quite an unusual combination of colours for me to use,: coral, mint and brown, and although the papers are really pretty, I'm not sure the colour scheme works in the copics or the flowers as well as I'd hoped.

 I love these Elizabeth Bell stamps, and I'm quite sorry she doesn't do any single stamps for WOJ any more: just a rubber plate every so often. I used coredinations plain card as usual, which you can get froThe Range in 6x6 packs or from A Maze of Memories in South Oxfordshire in 12x12 sheets. If you've not come across them before, their range of plain cardstock is extraordinary, but quite a trek to get them! I tend to only go if I'm going up that way anyway, as it's a bit far to make a special trip, so I take some dps with me and stock up with loads of colours to match. The fancy tag, and the die cut shape around the image are Nesties, and the die-cut corners are from a very old, (but very useful) Cuttlebug set.


The flowers are a combination of WOC and some silk flowers from my stash, all coloured with copics to match. The leaves are an MS punch from Sir Stampalot, which I use time and time again.

I'm entering the following challenges with this card:
http://craftsandmechallenges.blogspot.com/  - add a flower
http://www.thehousethatstampsbuilt.com/ - use glitter
http://scrappyfrogschallenge.blogspot.com/ - flowers
http://sirstampalotchallenge.blogspot.com/ - anything goes
http://pattiescreationschallenge.blogspot.com/ - glitter or bling

Thanks so much for visiting my blog, and for all the comments you leave - I really enjoy reading them all.  Have fun!! 

xx Jill

Sunday, 3 July 2011

sympathy card

This is a sympathy card for a friend, whose father lost his battle against cancer last week.  I know that the survival rates are higher nowadays, but this horrible disease affects a third of the population, and with everyone living longer, that figure is set to rise.  Let's all pray for a real breakthrough soon, so that the lives of sufferers and their friends and families can be changed for the better.

The decoupage is a freebie on the Craftsuprint website, and caught my eye immediately I saw it.  I printed it out several times to create more layers, and added some little pearls from The Hobby House.  I very rarely use peel-off sentiments, but I just needed something very simple and discreet, and it seemed to be right. 

Again no flowers or glitter, (just checking to see whether I have a fever or not) so I plan to make up for it with the next card!  I found some gorgeous Petaloo velvet flowers at the Newbury show (and no! they weren't a bargain), which are scrummy and vintagey (which probably isn't a real word, but you know what I mean) and very strokeable, so I'm looking for the right occasion to use those, with some delicious cream guipure lace, which I also found at the show.  They look quite suitable for a wedding, so I'm debating with myself about when to use them up.  I have a bit of a tendency to take out my favourite things, stroke them and coo over them, and put them back unused: I think I'm just a collector of beautiful craft items, but I expect most of us are really!

Thanks so much for visiting  my blog, and for any comments you leave.  You will notice that all my followers have disappeared from my side-bar, which I've tried to rectify with no success.  There seem to be plenty of others with the same problem, so I'm hoping Mr Blogger will get this sorted out soon.  Please still join as a follower if you would like too, as it shows up on my dashboard, and if I know you've left a comment I will come over and visit your blog too.  xx Jill

Thursday, 30 June 2011

commissioned card for 65th birthday

A friend asked me to make this card for her mum's 65th birthday.  I don't really do LIM, so I suppose this card's about as minimal as you're likely to get from me!

All the cardstock is white pearlised, and the ribbon, leaves and flower were all coloured with copic markers.  There is dry embossing; die-cutting; (this Nestability is one of my faves) and the leaves are die-cut too (Marianne, I think, but I can't find which one).  The flower was a cream silk flower from Hobbycraft originally, and it didn't come out quite the same colour as the edging or the ribbon, although I have to say it looks similar in the picture! What do I know?

The flowers on the box are WOC, and the die-cut swirl is Marianne, from the circle frame set.  I used the waste card for the frame on the front of the box.  We crafters always hate to waste anything!

I'll be entering the following challenges with this card:
http://craftsandmechallenges.blogspot.com/ - birthday
Thanks so much for visiting my blog.  It's always a pleasure to receive comments from you, so many thanks if you'd like to do that.  Off to the Newbury show with a friend on Saturday, so hoping to catch up with all the latest on the crafting front.

xx Jill

Sunday, 26 June 2011

vintage card for 60th birthday

It's been a bit of a while since I blogged, but you'll have to forgive me as I've been very busy making costumes for Louise's upcoming show mid-July.

This is a vintage-style birthday card for one of our dearest friends, Cathy, who was 60 on Wednesday.
We spent a wonderful day yesterday in London for lunch and then top seats at the Victoria Palace Theatre to see Billy Elliot.  One of my studentswas taking the part of a ballet girl, and she was brilliant.  An ex-student, whose parents are close friends of ours,  was also performing as one of the miners.  He's been in the show for six years and is Dance captain, and although he has his own dance school now and a family, he still looks (and dances) the same - if rather less hair!!  Like his dad he's follically challenged!  Another ex-student is Assisstant choreographer, and a former student of my daughter was also performing, so it was quite nostalgic for me.  We ended the day with a lovely meal; and absolutely shattered.  I can't keep up the pace like I used to - I get tired quickly, and I need to go to bed !

The card uses First Edition papers "Summer Breeze" which are truly scrummy, and an image from the Marianne decoupage "Nostalgia" set of prints. The lace and flowers are from my stash (some from Hobbycraft and others from WOC), and the little butterflies are from a Martha Stewart PATP corner punch from Wendy at Stamps and Memories.  For the "neglected tool" part of the shopping our stash challenge, I'm ashamed to say that not only had I never used the MS butterfly corner; it's also a very long time since I got out the MS edge lace punch too. (Sorry!)
You can see greater details of top and bottom in the second and third photos. The sentiment is computer generated.   How nice to have a bit of sun to take better photos!

I'm entering the following challenges with this card:
http://craftyourdaysaway.blogspot.com/ - vintage
http://ourcreativecorner6.blogspot.com/ - your own style
http://deepoceanchallengeblog.blogspot.com/ - flowers
http://everybody-art-challenge.blogspot.com/ - anything goes
http://shoppingourstash.blogspot.com/ - using a neglected tool
http://theangelcompany.typepad.com/digi_design_house/ - pearls and lace

Thanks so much for visiting my blog, and if you'd like to leave a comment I'd really appreciate this, and will come to visit your blog too.

xx Jill

Sunday, 12 June 2011

retirement card

I'd forgotten to post this card on my blog, so here goes.

This was another quick and easy card made for our friend Tony who has retired from the Civil Service.  For many years he was a Customs Officer with Joe, and he has at last taken the plunge and retired.  

I used an LOTV topper, and altered the colour slightly with copic markers (also the bp, the sentiment surround and the card candy).  The clear sentiment is also LOTV, and the little chain embellishment is an EK punch.  I think this is the third card in a row that hasn't got any flowers - I'm clearly sickening for something!!

Thanks very much for visiting.  Please feel free to leave a comment, and I'll get back to you.

xx Jill

Saturday, 11 June 2011

new baby brother

A card for our little step-great-grandson Maxwell, whose new baby brother, Kobe, was born last week.

I used one of the LOTV squares for this card, which was quite quick and easy for a change.  Papers are a download from Bearly Mine, and the cardstock is Coredinations.  I used an MS punch for the little scrolled border, which I think is going to prove quite a useful purchase!  Three star-shaped buttons with a little ribbon threaded through completes this card, and again without a flower or glitter in sight.  I'm getting withdrawal symptoms though, so the next card I put on my blog will be stuffed full of them, as a girl can't go too long without flowers or bling!!

I've used this verse before and think it's perfect for the birth of a new brother.  The unusual font is very suitable for children and is Wacky Action BTN Lt.

Thanks so much for visiting my blog and really appreciate any comments you'd like to leave.  xx Jill

Monday, 6 June 2011

mermaid birthday card

This cute little Tilda mermaid is for my grand-daughter's best friend, Willow, who has lots of red hair.

I used Kay Miller download paper for the background and the sentiment inside, and Magnolia stamps for the mermaid and seahorse, which were coloured with copic markers.  The plain cardstock is Coredinations from The Range.  The little fish is a charm I've had in my stash for many years, so no idea where that came from!  There is also some Stickles glitter glue of course, for a little bit of bling.  Notice that there are no flowers on this one - I'm surprised I don't feel faint from the deprivation!

Thanks so much for visiting my blog.  I really appreciate your leaving comments, and I'll visit your blog in return.  I've had a bit of trouble with google comments when I've been out visiting, so I'm very sorry if you're one of those.   I promise I tried to leave comments but it wasn't playing nicely.

xx Jill

Sunday, 5 June 2011

sympathy card for stillborn baby

I think this is one of the hardest cards I've ever made.  It was commissioned to send sympathy to a couple whose baby girl was stillborn, which is really tragic.

I used pearlescent card for all the white, with embossed dots (Cuttlebug folder) and an embossed sentiment (Papermania folder).  The trellis is an EK punch, as is the punch for the little flowers, and the butterfly is from Hobbycraft.  The leaves are punched with an MS punch, from pearlescent paper coloured with copic markers.  I used Incredibly Tacky glue from WOC to attach all the elements.  The poem inside was sent by a fellow dc member, so very many thanks for that.

It just makes me so thankful that we have been so fortunate in our family.  Thank you for visiting my blog, and for any comments you'd like to leave.  xx Jill

Friday, 27 May 2011

grand-daughter's 10th birthday card

It was our beautiful grand-daughter, Beth's 10th birthday on Tuesday, so I made this card for her using Magnolia stamps.    She's keen on horse-riding, and is a delightful, gentle child, loved by everyone who knows her.

I found the Kanban background card in Hobbycraft (25% off too, which was a bonus!).  I cut out all the stamped images, adding a few punched flowers too with pearl centres.  Colouring the image always takes time, but adding the cutting out made it twice as long!!  Plain cardstock is Coredinations from A Maze of Memories.

The stamps are Tilda's Brunte horse; Tilda with halter; and gate with flowers, which I got from the lovely people at Sir Stampalot, who are very efficient and always have quick delivery times.  I coloured the stamping with copic markers from Wendy at Stamps and Memories, and put everything onto little foam stickers - only 1mm though as I didn't want everything to stick out too much.  I'm not sure that the perspective's quite right, as the figures don't look grounded, but as my husband says: "these little people have no noses or mouths - why are you worried about perspective?"

Did you notice there's no glitter on this card?  I need to go and lie down in a darkened room I think: I must be sickening for something!

Thanks so much for reading my blog.  I'll be away for a week, and then busy with Regional Finals, so won't be doing much blogging.  Please leave me a comment and I'll come and visit when I've got a moment.

xx Jill

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

favourite colour combo

I was very chuffed to make the top three in Cards for Men at the beginning of the month with my diy bear card.  what a nice surprise when I came back from my holiday!

Just returned from sunny Portugal where we had a fantastic time with great weather - 28 degrees on Monday and a bit too hot - but I'm really not complaining!!  I'd forgotten that I hadn't posted this card on my blog, which was for Melanie and family, so here goes!

This is a WOJ stamp from last year's Spring sheet "Birdie Love", designed by Elizabeth Bell, and is coloured with copic markers from Wendy at Stamps and Memories.  The design paper is from Prima "Sparkling Spring", and these papers come in some very yummy colours, including one of my favourite colour combos, pink and aqua.

The ribbon and bow are from the FF Spring ribbon collection, and the flowers are a mix of WOC and Prima, which have been coloured with copics to match the Bazzill cardstock.  There is Glimmer Mist (from
Jill at the Hobby House) on the flowers, and a little Stickles glitter glue.  Quite a simple layout so that the corners of the paper would show.

Tip: I've had a couple of queries about the pearly punched leaves, but they are really very simple!  I don't use pearlised card at all, as it clogs the punches, and doesn't come in the colours I need to match my card.  I usually colour some white pearl paper with two mid shades of copic markers, by scribbling them randomly over the paper and then using a paler shade to blend them together.  Then I use an MS/ Nellie's branch or leaf punch to cut out the leaves.  They only need a little Extra Tacky glue to hold them on the card.

I've got more into the copic markers and I tend to use them for all sorts of things, like colouring whole flowers and card edges.  Thanks to Wendy and her inspiring teaching, I've become a bit more confident with my copic markers, so I've recently begun to add a little matching colour to backing papers, ribbons, colouring white flowers and adding colour inside the centre of roses, just to tie up the whole colour scheme together, as shown in the pic above. Whatever next?  Watch this space, as I'm going on the "Next Step" copic course at the end of June, so you may just find out after that!

I am entering the following challenges:
http://everybody-art-challenge.blogspot.com/ - flowers
http://toptiptuesday.blogspot.com/ - flower frenzy
http://dreamvalleychallenges.blogspot.com/ - flowers
http://crazy4challenges.blogspot.com/ - lots of flowers
http://paperplaychallenges.blogspot.com/ - show your style

A very warm welcome to my new followers, and grateful thanks to all those who regularly visit my blog - it's a pleasure to know you're around!  Please leave me a comment I'll try and pop over to your blog when I have a moment.  xx Jill

Sunday, 1 May 2011

daughter's birthday card

A bithday card for our dear daughter, Louise, who has her birthday today.  I can't believe our baby girl is thirty-eight!!  Where have all those years gone?

This image is "Shy Willow" and they are from an old stamp set by Elizabeth Bell for Whiff of Joy, (also strawberries and sentiment).  I'm quite fond of the red and orange combination and have used it quite a lot in the past.  The papers are from my stash, the image and strawberries are coloured with copic markers, and the flowers are a mix of WOC and Prima.  The leaves are punched with a Nellie's paper punch, and are much closer in colour to Willow's apron irl, than it appears on the photo.

We're off to sunny Portugal tomorrow, so no more cards posted for about ten days.  We can only take one case as we're flying Easyjet, and we can't afford the second mortgage it would need to take an extra case or the cost of excess baggage. Only 20 kilos too, so a very mean allowance! No more bringing back lots of goodies from the market. Sigh!!

I always appreciate it if you leave me a comment, and I can then visit your blog too!  Many thanks for coming to call.  xx Jill B

Saturday, 30 April 2011

daft dog card

I was really pleased to make the top three at the CES challenge blog for my Magnolia disappearing rabbit card, and many thanks to all those who left such kind comments.

This is the last but one of the Easter cards and was for three of my dear grandchildren: Drew, Tristan and Natasha, and their daft dog Bailey.  This stamp was bought from Wendy at Stamps and Memories, and coloured with copic markers.  He looks quite puzzled by all those chicks doesn't he!

The papers, sentiment and ribbon are from the Spring FF range, which has been really useful this year, and the plain Coredinations cardstock from A Maze of Memories.  The flowers are from Hobbycraft which I pulled apart and put back together with orange brads.

Challenges for this card as follows:
http://shellysimagesblog.blogspot.com/ - buttons, brads or bows

Thanks very much for coming to see my blog.  I really appreciate any comments you leave, so many thanks.  xx Jill B

Thursday, 28 April 2011

another Easter creation

This cute little Magnolia is "Tilda with Hawaiian flower" and was coloured with copic markers.  Thanks to Wendy's expert tuition, my hair colouring is getting a little better, and hopefully when I get to the next course it will improve even more!  FYI, she is running a Copic Retreat in October, so if you are interested please get in touch on the Stamps and Memories website.

I made another easel card, and used papers from Red Hot Bed, which are really pretty, but a bit flimsy. (especially as they are quite expensive and there's not too many in the pack!)  The backing cardstock is Bazzill Bling, to make the card a little sturdier. 

The sentiment is from the FF Springtime pack, which I used a lot this Easter, although I altered the colour a little with copics.  I used an MS punch for the doily lace, an EK punch for the pretty trellis, and a Marianne punch for the leaves. I created the leaf colour by scribbling a copic pen matching the image, onto some pearlescent paper, and then used the leaf punch.

The flowers are a mix of WOC and Prima flowers as usual, but as my Primas are almost at an end, I shall have to find some new favourites.  Glimmer Mist on the flowers and Stardust Stickles glue on the edges, completes the card.

Challenges entered for this card are as follows:
http://littlemissmuffetchallenges.blogspot.com/ - diecuts or punches
http://scrap-creations1.blogspot.com/ - flowers
Thanks very much for stopping by, and please leave a comment so that I can come and visit your blog.  xx Jill

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Mr Fix-it

A Laurence stamp "Mr Fix-it" from Stampavie was the inspiration for this fun card for a very old friend, who is very handy around the house.

Following my copic colouring course with Wendy from Stamps and Memories, I've become more confident about trying new techniques, so this one has a textured look for the fur.  Still not 100% happy (looks like he's got a little bit of a rash in close-up!!) but at least I had a go!  the rest of the colouring was fairly straight forward.

I used Kanban wood grain card for the background, plus some spotty paper from my stash, left over from Christmas, and some copper-coloured linen mirror card, which is really nice. The sentiment is also Kanban.

I punched out a couple of stars from this card and added star brads.  The little tools are brads too on punched circles.  The little drill charm was from The Hobby House

Challenges for this card are:
Bunny Zoe's crafts - masculine card
Cards for men - to include circles
Stamp-n-doodle - masculine
The Cheerful Stamp pad - there's a Man in my life
Daring card-makers - speaking professionally
Fun with shapes and more - die-cuts or punches and animals
Simply create challenges - stamped male images

Thanks very much for coming to see my blog.  I always get a lot of pleasure from visiting other people's blogs too, so please leave me a comment and I'll pop over to see what you're doing!  xx Jill

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Another Magnolia Easter card

An Edwin card for my dear husband,  Joe.  The chick paper is from the  FF Spring pack, which have been very useful this year, and the check paper is from my stash.  It didn't have yellow in it, so I added that with copic markers, and also to the sentiment and the flower edges.  I'm getting very flash now I've been on my colouring course, as it's given me more confidence to try new things!  The plain yellow paper is from the Farnborough exhibition, and is quite textured, but hard to see in the pic.  I wish I'd got more in other colours as it is lovely irl.

The stamps are Edwin holding basket, and also chicks from Sir Stampalot.  I have to say that their service is really good and very quick too.  The daffodils were from Hobbycraft and I  pulled them apart and put them back together with some little orange brads.  Some stickles glue completes the card.

Thanks so much for visiting today, and for any comments you would like to leave.  xx Jill B