Some Good News!

Saturday, 18 December 2010
Afternoon all! Well the snow has finally caught up with us down in the South! We've got about 5 inches here, but it appears to have stopped now which is good because the original forecast was that it would be in for the day.

After the doom and gloom of my last post, it's nice to be able to share some good news for a change.  I have been chosen to be part of the Teddy Stampers Design Team for the first term of 2011!  This opportunity came at the right time with the sad news that the Just Cute Bears & Friends Challenge is to close.

I'm really looking forward to working with this amazing team and the fact that I can continue to use my lovely teddy stamps!

Thank you for all the lovely comments you posted after my last post, they really did mean a lot to me.

Please take care everyone and thank you for stopping by.  I really do appreciate all the support you continue to give me.

xx :0)

An Explanation and apology

Wednesday, 8 December 2010
I think I need to explain the reasons for my lack of crafting & blogging just recently.  There have been a few things going on that I have been struggling with and instead of crafting to relax & forget, I have been letting it all get me down.

I work for Natural England which is part of DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs).  As the majority of you will know, the Government have announced a number of cuts to reduce the country's debt, one of which is the cut of around 500,000 public sector jobs.  Natural England, as part of this review, announced that they would be reducing the number of offices around the country and, unfortunately, Reading appears to be one of those offices that are due to close.  The work of the team that my husband and I are part of means that unlike a number of our other colleagues, we cannot work from home.  At the moment, the latest we will be in work could be until 2014.  This may sound a long time but it is dependent on a number of factors including how many people decided to take voluntary redundancy now.  This is also being affected by the Government who are trying to change our accrued rights.  For me this isn't such a major issue as I have worked there 14 years so do not reach the maximum of 21 months (1 month for each year worked), but for my husband, these changes will mean that he will lose out on another 8 months money as he will have worked 29 years next month.  We do not want to take the redundancy, we want to work it out in the hope that things may change as 3 years is a long time in politics. However if things go against us, we could find ourselves out of work sooner and also potentially only on 12 months redundancy.

That is just of the things that has been troubling me.  The other is problems with my back/spine.  As a child I was diagnosed with Scoliosis (curvature of the spine).  I have a double curve.  I had spinal fusion at the age of 13 to help reduce this.  At the age of 25 I  had to have the rods removed from my spine as they had started to move.  Last Christmas, I had a fall in the snow and have been in pain ever since.  After 4 months, I went to the doctors as I was having pain down my leg. After an MRI scan I was told that the 2 remaining discs at the base of my spine had started to degenerate and one was bulging and pinching the nerves.  I had a nerve block into the spine 6 weeks ago where they also said that it looked like I have arthritis around some of the joints.  Yesterday I went back to the hospital.  The nerve block didn't really work as I am only getting maybe 2 days at the most without pain.  After telling me I had a choice over what was to happen next, I found myself being pushed down the route of a different type of injection (apparently I'm in no hurry according to the doc - let him say that after a year of pain!), so I am now back on a waiting list!

This has all been getting be down and I hate to say it but I've been feeling a bit sorry for myself including my crafting ability.  I entered the Cardmaker of the Year competition this year and didn't win anything, but one of my cards did get chosen for a High Commendation. You can find it here if you scroll right down to the bottom, I'm the 4th row down and the final one in the row.

I will show everything at a later date if that is okay.  I'm doing a Christmas fayre at the local primary school on Friday so have been a bit panicky about everything as I'm trying to make gifts more than cards!

If you're still here, sorry about the rant but thank you for staying with me, it is much appreciated.  I know I've said it the last 2 years, but I do aim to be a better crafter next year, I think I need to be for my sanity!!


Winter Wishes

Friday, 26 November 2010
Evening all! I don't know what it's like where you are, but it's freezing here!!  We've luckily not had any snow, but when I got to work this morning, my pc was saying that it was -7 outside! Brrr!

I wanted to make a card this week, well more than 1 but I only managed it this evening.  I wanted to enter the Wild Rose Studio Blog hop as I love the Milton Bear stamps and wanted to use one of the new stamps I purchased at the NEC.  Dawny P has supplied one of her amazing sketches for the blog hop that was crying out to be used.

I've used Milton in Hat and coloured him with Copics and glittered with glamour dust before cutting and mounting onto SU Real Red CS.  The base is made up of the CS and DP from Forever Friends and then a smaller mat of CS and an embossed layer using the snowflakes CB embossing folder.  I've finished off with a CWC sentiment oval and some gems.

 I apologise for the photos, I will try and take again tomorrow morning when there is daylight!  I've attached a close up of little Milton.
As mentioned before, this card is for the Wild Rose Studio blog hop.  Closing date for entries is 1pm tomorrow so you need to be quick!

I am also entering this into the following challenges:

Cute Card Thursday - Blast from the Past - I've gone for Challenge 86 Glitter Me Silly
Christmas Stampin - Anything Goes
Alphabet Challenge - E for Embossing
ABC Christmas Challenge - X For Xmas (I didn't do the optional extra of flowers)
Craft Creations - Christmas is Coming
Simon Says Stamp - Let it Snow
A Spoon Full of Sugar - Anything Goes

Thank you for stopping by and for any comments you may leave, they are greatly appreciated.  I hope you have a lovely weekend, I'm attempting to make my Christmas cake tomorrow so wish me luck!!

xx :0)

Belated NEC Piccies

Monday, 22 November 2010
Morning everyone, don't you think Monday's come round really quickly?!  No sooner are you starting to enjoy your weekend then you find yourself back at your desk.

Because of reasons mentioned earlier, it's taken me until now to post piccies of the goodies I picked up at the NEC.  I think my best bargains were my Martha Stewart Punches which were at amazing prices.

 I was really happy to get my hands on the cute Snowy PB stamp as I've been after it for so long!  There's also some adorable Milton Stamps and LOTV rubbah!
 After seeing the gorgeous creations  of Ali, Annie & Sonia using Toby Tumbles, I couldn't pass by the Cuddly Buddly Stand and not add them to my HUGE stamp collection!  I also picked up some of the great LOTV card packs which will be perfect for those quick cards we all have to make.  I got a few aimed at the boys in our lives as I do struggle with those cards.

I did also pick up some yummy snow pearl CS, quick card kits and a great deal on the extra strong DST we
all need and love!

Hopefully you'll see some cards from using these goodies in the not too distant future!

Thank you for stopping by and for any comments you may leave, they 're greatly appreciated.


Just Cute Bears #40 - Winter Birthday

Sunday, 21 November 2010
Good morning, I hope you're having a lovely weekend so far.  I would like to start off by offering an apology to everyone for not having visited your creations for the last challenge, or anyone's blogs for the past few weeks.  I don't want to go into detail, but I've been having a tough time emotionally and personally just recently and have been struggling.  I'm doing my best to turn it round and hope to have more creations to show really soon and be back in blogland.

This weeks challenge at Just Cute Bears and Friends is to create something for a wintery birthday. 

I have used some of my gorgeous Forever Friends decoupage that in theory is for Christmas but is perfect for birthday's and have jazzed it up a bit with some Silver Spray & Sparkle.  The CS is Cherry Cobbler from SU! which I got from the lovely Jules.  The papers are part of the decoupage set and the punched element is from a Martha Stewart PATP set.  I finished off with some card candy in opposing corners and a CWC oval sentiment.

Don't you just think that is beautiful bunch of flowers?!  I've added close up so you can see a bit of the sparkle.
I'm also entering this card into the following challenges:

Cute Card Thursday - Sketch
Stampin for the Weekend - Winter

Please check out all the girls amazing creations.  I hope that you will join us for this challenge as I do love seeing everyone's interpretations and creations.

Thank you for stopping by and for any comments you may leave as they are greatly appreciated.

xx :0)

Just Cute Bears & Friends #39 - Black, White and One Other

Sunday, 7 November 2010
Good morning all, sorry I'm late posting my card this morning!  I have to admit I was making after an amazing trip to the NEC and was so tired that I feel asleep on the sofa before writing up my post!  I got to meet the amazing, Sonia, Jacqui and Bev but was sorry to miss meeting my lovely teamie Cathy.  It was so busy there, it's the first time I've been on a Saturday or to the November shows.  I think I will definitely choose a different day next time!

Anyway, enough chit chat, that's not why you've stopped by!  It was great to see so many of you take part in the last challenge, you all loved Helen's sketch as much as we did.  This weeks Just Cute Bears &  Friends challenge is Black, White and one other colour of your choice.  My first thought was red and I think a number of the girlies had the same idea!

I did have to change direction with my card as I was going to use a DP from my pc but my poor cat had a little accident on my printer, so I've had to go with an embossed background instead. although it doesn't seem to show up so well in the photo as I was using pearlescent cardstock.

I decided against colouring my bear in partly because to me Forever Friends bears are only one colour but the other reason was I thought it made the rose stand out more and give a striking effect.  The rose has been coloured in with a spica pen over the copics.  I used my new (purchased yesterday!) MS deep edge punch!  Great effect, pain to stick down!  The roses have also been spritzed with Pearl Glimmer Mist which I also purchased yesterday.  I finished off with some red gems on the punched centres and at the bottom of the card.

Please check out the rest of the girls cards, they are just stunning this week.  I hope you'll take part.

Thank you for stopping by and for any comments you may leave, they are greatly appreciated.

xx :0)

First Cricut Creations!

Friday, 29 October 2010
Sorry for the quick post, I just wanted to show a couple of photos of my first Cricut creations!

I made these cute little gift bags for Halloween and gave them to some colleagues at work for their children/grandchildren. 

The  bag and the scalloped circle were both cut out and the DP paper is from and old Daisy and Dandelion pad. The image and sentiment is from an Elzybells set I purchased last year.

They were filled with some Halloween chocs.  If I'd had more time (and orange/black CS) I'd have made some more and sold them at work as I did quite well last year with it.  However as there were only 5, I wanted to give them as gifts to people and showcase what I can do.

Hope you like!

xx :0)

Just Cute Bears #38 - Sketch by Helen

Sunday, 24 October 2010
Morning All.  Before I get into today's Just Cute Bears Challenge, I would like to apologise firstly to everyone that entered our last challenge for not getting round to commenting on your cards and secondly for just dropping off the face of blogging.  I've a few things going on at the moment that are putting everything else into perspective.  I don't want to go into it but just to say that I'm really trying to get myself back on track with everything.  I do appreciate all the support that you give me.

We have another change happening over at Just Cute Bears.  From this week, we are now Just Cute Bears & Friends!  This means for those of your that may not have any bear stamps, you can now take part using any other cute animal that you have in your collection.  However, for those of you that love your bears, you can still use those.

We have been given a fab sketch by Helen to use this week.  I believe it's her first and I just want to say it's great and keep up the good work hun!

I did change the sketch slightly as I didn't want Thomas's feet covered up by the strip

I had great difficulty photographing this card as the sun was shining right on it, hence the shadows under the roses!  No matter what I tried to do in my graphics package, I could not get it right and I'm unable to rectify that now as it's my MIL's card which has been sealed up in the envelope.
I hope you will join us this time and I promise that I will get round to everyone's blog and comment. Don't forget to check out the rest of the girls cards as they're amazing.

Thank you for stopping by and for any comments you may leave, they are greatly appreciated.

xx :0)


Wednesday, 13 October 2010
I have gone and purchased a Cricut!! What have I done?!?!?

Just Cute Bears #37 - Baby Card

Sunday, 10 October 2010
Good morning all!  My hope of trying to make a few cards this week went out of the window after some upsetting news at work.   I now know though that rather than let it get me down, I should've used my card making as a way of de-stressing.

Anyway, enough of that, it's time for another Just Cute Bears challenge. This week we would like you to make a baby card with the option of gingham and/or ribbon.

I love making baby cards as you can get away with all the cuteness.  It also gave me the opportunity to use one of my Popcorn Bear baby stamps for the first time.  It's been coloured with copics before being cut out with a scalloped circle nestie.  The base is made up Core'dinations CS, embossed white card and gingham paper from a Wild Rose Studio paper pad. I've used a Martha Stewart Daisy punch for the border and finished off with roses from Wild Orchid Crafts.

 Apologies for the poor photo, easel cards really aren't that easy to photograph are they and it was slightly overcast today so that's my excuse for it being dark
Please check out my fellow teamies amazing cards and, if possible, leave them a lovely comment as they are so deserved.

I am entering this card into the following challenges:

ABC Challenge - E for Easel Card
Friday Sketchers - Sketch#123
Papertake Weekly - Your favourite challenge from the last 3 years - I've gone with Pretty Pink from 10/01/10
Creative Card Crew - Bloomin Marvellous

Thank you for stopping by and for any comments you may leave, they are greatly appreciated.

xx :0)

What a weekend!

Sunday, 3 October 2010
I hope you've all had an enjoyable weekend in spite of the atrocious weather we have had!  I wasn't around for World Card Making Day I'm afraid as I was spending time with my sister which we haven't had a chance to do for a while.

I've had a an amazing weekend though as not only did I win the Die Cuts Dreams challenge but I was also chosen as the Forever Friends Favourite AND I have just seen that I was chosen as the random winner for the same Forever Friends challenge!!

They say things happen in 3's and it certainly did for me and I'm one happy crafter! 

I hope to be back later in the week with some more cards.  In the meantime, can anyone help me with a conundrum that I'm having?  Should I get a Cricut or not?!?!  I would love to hear your comments.

xx :0)

So sorry it's late......

Wednesday, 29 September 2010
You're probably wondering what I'm apologising for......but it's about my latest card which was a "Sorry it's late" card for my friends birthday! Our holidays overlapped and I deliberately decided not to give her her card and pressie before I went.  Why I hear you ask!!  She would've been unable to wait 3 minutes, let alone 3 weeks, before she opened it!  She cannot wait, even when it's not for her so I thought it was for the best to give it to her on  her return to work today!

I used one of my Forever Friends stamps that has not seen ink for a while and coloured it with Copics before cutting out with nestabilities.  The base is a layer of Core'dinations CS and some white card that has been embossed with the D'vine Swirls folder.  The flowers are from Wild Orchid Crafts, the sentiment from Craftworks Cards and the ribbon from my stash.

I'm entering this card into the following challenges:

Creative Card Crew - Flowers
Forever Friends - Sketch
Oldie but a Goodie - Pink & Girly

I hope you're all having a lovely evening.  Thank you for stopping by and for any comments you may leave, they are greatly appreciated.

Sarah xx :0)

Wish upon a star

Monday, 27 September 2010
Good evening all, I hope you've had a good Monday.

I made a quick card this evening which I wanted to show you all.  For once it doesn't contain a teddy!  I've gone back to my first love, Penny Black. I have so many of these stamps and felt it was time that I started showcasing them again.  I will apologies now though for the dark photos, the one down side of the nights drawing in and crafting later in the day.

I have used the cute Just Wishing You.....stamp by Penny Black and coloured it with copics before cutting out using my nesties.  For the base I have used Centura Pearl CS which has been embossed with the Snow Dots CB folder and the edge punched with my Fiskars snowflake border punch.  I then added a strip of white ribbon before attaching it to my card base.  I have finished off with some punched snowflakes and gems.

 The Glamour Dust has been out in force again!  It looks quite raised here as the photo was taken whilst the glue was still wet and the glitter just added.
I would like to enter this card for the following challenges:

Colour Create - All White except the image with the option of embossing
Penny Black @ Allsorts - Punch Away

Thank you for stopping by and for any comments you may leave, they are greatly appreciated.

Sarah xx :0)

Just Cute Bears #36 - Swirls & Bling

Sunday, 26 September 2010
Good morning all, I hope you're having a lovely weekend inspite of the sudden chill in the air.  I know I'm finding it a difficult adjustment after having enjoyed temparatures in the 80's & 90's! It possibly accounts for the slight cold that I've managed to pick up from work too.

Before I mention this weeks Just Cute Bears Challenge, we have a change that you should be aware of.  We are going to a fortnightly challenge as of today so you will have 2 weeks to enter before our next challenge on 10th October.

This week we would like to see Swirls and Bling on your creations - we know everyone likes a bit of bling!
I've used one of my new Lili of the Valley James Bear stamps.  I think this one is so cute with the snow falling all around him. He's been coloured with Copics before being cut out with nesties and mounted onto a scalloped circle. I have added more Glamout Dust to the fur trim on his hat and Stickles on the ground and snowflakes.  The DP is from an old DCWV pad which I'm ashamed to admit I have only just opened!  The embossed panel is courtesy of the Snow Dots Cuttlebug embossing folder and I've finished off with some Papermania silver swirl corners and a blinging snowflake.  

I think purple and silver is such a lovely combination and I will definitely use it again.

Please check out the rest of the teams wonderful creations.

I am also entering this card into the following challenges:

AiFactory - Anything Goes
A Spoon Full of Sugar - Anything Goes
Charisma Cardz - Anything Goes
CES Challenge - Animal Antics
Crazy 4 Challenges - Bling
Cute Card Thursday - Sketch
Delightful Challenges - Make it Sparkle
Die Cut Dreams - Furry Things
Lili of the Valley - Untraditional Christmas
One Stop Craft - Snowflakes in September
Papertake Weekly - Animal Magic
Secret Crafter Saturday - Purple & Silver
Totally Gorjuss - Christmas

Thank you for stopping by and for any comments you may leave, they are greatly appreciated.

xx :0)

Just Cute Bears #35 - Punch It!

Sunday, 19 September 2010
Good morning all.  It's my final day before going back to work after 3 weeks off!  So not looking forward to that, but it funds my habit so I can't grumble......(that's my crafting habit before you all start wondering!)

As it's a Sunday, it's time for me to get back into the saddle of Just Cute Bears.  Our challenge this week is Punch It - we want you to get out your punches as we know how much you love them!

This week we're sponspored by:
Wild Rose Studio are the creators of the adorable Milton & Co range,
and we're delighted to sponsor you this week! If you like bears,
you'll love the Milton & Co range - there are lots of cute designs
that you'll use over and over again. Our first ever Milton Christmas
collection is out now, where Milton and Millie get ready for the
festive season with stockings, winter flowers, poinsettias and more.
So if you'd like to make teddy-themed Christmas cards make sure you
check it out!

Dulcie is offering 1 lucky person 2 stamps.

Some of the DT were lucky enough to be sent one of the new Milton & Millie Christmas images to use for this weeks challenge.  I loved my image and can't wait to get my hands on these gorgeous stamps.

How adorable is little Milton here with his stocking?! You can't see it here, but the fur trim has be covered with Glamour Dust.  This is the first time I've used this and I'm not sure if I've used a tad too much!  The DP is from an old DCWV Christmas stack which I love as it's all traditional colours.  I've used my Fiskars snowflake border punch and my X-Cut snowflake punch for the required element.  The CS is from SU!

You can see the sparkle a lot more in this close-up.  I love how it looks and definitely think I will be using this a lot more in future.

I'm also entering this card into the following challenges:
Secret Crafter Saturday - Anything Goes
Pixie Dust Studio - Feathers or Fur
Moving Along with the Times - Christmas
Please check out the rest of my teamies amazing cards. 

I hope you will be joining us this week as I've missed seeing all your wonderful creations.

Thank you for stopping by and for any comments you may leave, they are greatly appreciated.

xx :0)

Mini Sewing Machime

Saturday, 18 September 2010
I've been thinking of getting a mini sewing machine for a little while as I've seen so many amazing cards that use stitching.

I know the main one is probably the Janome Sew Mini but I was wondering if anyone had the John Lewis own mini machines which can be found here

If anyone has any tips or advice I would be extremely grateful.

Thanks to everyone who's commented on my last post about pricing for my bookatrix cards.  For my usual cards, I would normally charge about £2.  The only times the price would be higher is if I have used a larger card (normal size 6x6).

xx :0)

Feeling rested....& cold!

Thursday, 16 September 2010
Good evening all. Thank you for the lovely comments you left during my little break, they really do mean a lot.

Jon and I had a fabulous holiday, I never get tired of going back to Skiathos. When you've been somewhere before, it's nice just to be able to relax in the sun with a good book(s) and not worry that you're missing out on things. The guys at the place that we stay are the best and they made our wedding anniversary evening so special. When you have people like that, why go anywhere else? The downside of being back is that I'm now cold!!! I miss my sunny, hot days. I was so cold yesterday that I even did that awful thing of putting the heating on!! Brrr.

Before I went away I was asked my a lovely lady that Jon knows if I could make her a wedding card. She has only seen one of my cards before and loved it, even though I said it was probably the worst I'd made in ages (so bad I didn't dare photograph it for here!). At the moment when I'm asked for special cards, I instinctively reach for my bookatrix board and this time was no exception. With all the beautiful flowers that you can get from Wild Orchid Crafts it makes it so easy to whip up such an elegant card. I tend to stick with the same trusted layout with the flowers but this time I added one of the larger roses in the centre (sorry, don't know the size). I did go for a different colour combo this time, decided that I needed to get away from lilac. The finished article is below.

Pam wasn't around to receive the card before I went away so I have only heard today from my FIL what she thought of it. She loved it! Apparently when Jon next sees her, she has a list of people who would like cards from me having seen it at the wedding! Also, the landlord of our local has also said that if I wanted to leave some cards (business I think) saying what I do, he would happily have them on this bar!! I'm stunned! I don't know what to think or say! I really didn't think people would be that interested in what is just a hobby.

Can I ask you guys one question? What would you charge for a card like this? I make a corresponding box which is decorated as per some of my other cards I have posted. With the exception of one, they've all been made for friends or family occasions from me. The one that I did charge for, I asked £4.50 but my friend paid me £7. My FIL thinks I should be charging at least £6 for them. I really do struggle when it comes to asking for money and never want to put anyone off but then I know that I shouldn't undercharge either. Any advice would be really helpful.

Wow, that's a long post! Thanks for stopping by and for the comments you leave, they mean so much. Please remember to pop back on Sunday when I will be back in the saddle for the Just Cute Bears challenge

XX :0)

Taking a little break

Saturday, 28 August 2010
Evening all, I hope you are well.

I'm taking a little break from blogging and card making for a few weeks whilst I'm away. I've had a bit of a busy and stressful few weeks with work and other things and I need to charge my recharge my batteries. Card making hasn't seemed so enticing the past few weeks with so much going on and, couple that with not having had a proper holiday for two years, I feel physically and mentally exhausted.

I hope after getting a couple of weeks sun on my body and soaking up the vitamins and just relaxing with some good books that I will feel refreshed and raring to go for the build up to Christmas.

There might be at least one card that will pop up in my absence as it is my wedding anniversary whilst I'm away but I've not yet made it!

I would like to thank all of you that stop by regularly and comment and apologies for the lack of comments in return. I hope that this will be rectified too once I'm back.

I would like to thank Karen and Sarpreet for the awards they have left me on their blogs and apologies too for not passing them on.

Many thanks again.

xx :0)

Just Cute Bears #31 - Pink & Brown

Sunday, 22 August 2010
Woohoo!! I'm back!! I bet you didn't think you'd see a card from me again after my self-enforced exhile. My room is now completed apart from some finishing touches which will be completed after my hols.

I'm on my way to Kintbury now for my second day of Copic courses that are being run by Stamps & Memories and led by the lovely Karen Watson. I was at the Introduction course yesterday and today is the Next Step and concentrates on shading (my weakness), skin colours and hair among other things.

Anyway, enough waffling, it's time for another Just Cute Bears challenge. This week's challenge is Pink & Brown and we are being sponsored by the amazing Dulcie Jackson and

Wild Rose Studio are the creators of the adorable Milton & Co range, and we're delighted to sponsor you this week! If you like bears, you'll love the Milton & Co range - there are lots of cute designs that you'll use over and over again. Our first ever Milton Christmas collection is out now, where Milton and Millie get ready for the festive season with stockings, winter flowers, poinsettias and more. So if you'd like to make teddy-themed Christmas cards make sure you check it out!

Dulcie is offering 2 stamps of your choice to one lucky person.

Pink and Brown isn't a combo I have ever used before although I've always thought it looks amazing, so it was slightly out of my comfort zone. As we're being sponsored by Wild Rose Studios, I just had to use one of my cute Milton Bear stamps and coloured him with Copics. My brown c/s is called Cookie Dough which I purchase from Elzybells in their closing down sale (sniff!). The DP is from the WRS pad Candy Stack. I've used my new Daisy Martha Stewart punch (yes, I know have another one). I've finished off with Wild Orchid flowers, some ribbon and gems.

This is a close up of cute lil Milton.

I apologise for the darkness of the photos, they were taken late last night as I quickly finished if off!
I hope you will join us this week. I'm sorry I've not visited you all in my absence, but I can't wait to jump back in and check out all your brilliant entries.
Thanks for stopping by and for any comments you may leave, they are greatly appreciated.
xx :0)

Work in Progress Part 2

Sunday, 15 August 2010
I thought I would show some photos of the state of my craft room/spare room at present! The painting was completed yesterday thanks to the help of my sister and my hubby! I'd managed to get all the walls sanded and first coat of paint and the ceiling and coving had been completed prior to that so it was just doing the second coats and the skirting boards/door frames!

I need to thank my dad too for his advice and help as well!

My poor desk!!!

Just some of my craft stash scattered about the place! There is also a box and some bits in the garage. I'll be glad to get it all back in it's place later on today.

I have some final touches that I would like to add but they will have to wait until I get back from my hols!

Anyway, I'll be back with the Just Cute Bears gang next week. I want to thank them for allowing me to have a break whilst I've got my room decorated.

xx :0)

Work in Progress

Sunday, 8 August 2010
Hi All,
I'm sorry I've not been around or made a card for this weeks Just Cute Bears challenge. Please stop by to see the girlies fab cards for this weeks challenge of Bear and Me.

All my crafty goodies are packed up in boxes whilst I decorate my spare room which is also my craft room. I've painstakingly removed two walls of the woodchip wallpaper but we have decided to leave the 3rd wall with it on because it was just so difficult to remove and I'm short on time to get it completed before I go away! The coving has been sanded down, just need to do the skirting boards and window sill before tidying the walls up and then the painting can begin! It is my mission to get it finished next weekend with lots of work when I get home from work and also maybe a couple of days leave.

Anyway, all this will probably mean that I will be away from blogland for a little while. I hope you will all bear with me and be here when I return.

I hope you are all having a good weekend.

XX :0)

Just Cute Bears #28 - Anything but square plus...oops!

Sunday, 1 August 2010
Morning all, sorry I'm late!t I completely forgot to schedule my post for today's Just Cute Bears Challenge! I'm trying to decorate my craft room at the mo but it's not easy as some silly person decided it would be a good idea to paint over the woodchip wallpaper which is making it a right so and so to get off! Boy do I ache this morning!

This weeks challenge is Anything but Square plus a tag, unfortunately I suddenly realised that I'd missed this element off; that'll teach me for rushing!

I've made a very simple circle easel card this week and used another Forever Friends Christmas decoupage image and sentiment. As I said, very simple. I'm sorry about that but I have so much going on and my craft room is looking a bit of state when I'm trying to decorate (any volunteers??)
Please check out the rest of the teams cards and our new guest designer for this month, Vicky.

Thank you for stopping by and for any comments you may leave, they are greatly appreciated.

xx :0)

Just Cute Bears #27 - Bear Necessities

Sunday, 25 July 2010
Morning All, I hope you're having a fab weekend! I had a a lovely day yesterday with Jon; shopping and a meal out at Loch Fyne. I've been getting some bits for my hols, I can't wait!

Being Sunday it can only mean one thing, time for another Just Cute Bears Challenge. It was great seeing all your Christmas cards last week and I hope we've helped give you the kick start you need for your Christmas crafting!

This weeks challenge is called Bear Necessities (I know the words off by heart to this song!). We want to see a clean and simple style card, nothing fancy or OTT. This wasn't difficult for me as my style is very much CAS.

We're very lucky to be sponsored this week by the lovely Paula of Pollycraft!

I would like to take this opportunity of welcoming Becky to the team. She has come to the end of her GDT stint and has been so succesful that we asked her to join us on a permanent basis! Welcome to the team Becky!!

I'm still in Chrismas mode with my cards as I've got quite a few images coloured ready to go. After seeing Jenny's card last week, I just had to use this cute FF bear this week. It reminds me of winter nights curled up with a steaming mug of hot chocolate and marshmallows!

He's been coloured up with copics and cut out with my oval nesites before being mounted onto a scalloped oval nestie using my fav Real Red SU! CS. I've used so much of this that I only have 2 sheets left :0(. The base is made up of the same CS and a panel that has been embossed with the Argyle CB folder. I finished it off with some satin red ribbon & a coupe of gemstones.

A close up of this cute little bear.

Please check out the rest of my teamies entries and, if you have the time, leave them a comment as I'm sure they'd appreciate it.

I will try to do something different for next weeks challenge as you must be geting sick of seeing Christmas cards on my blog! I apologies that I've not been very active in the blogging world and showing any other cards at the moment. I am in the middle of a project that needs all my attention just now but I hope to be back once it is completed.
Thank you for stopping by and for any comments you may leave, they are greatly appreciated.
xx :0)

Just Cute Bears #26 - Christmas in July

Sunday, 18 July 2010
Good morning everyone, I hope you're having a lovely weekend!

This week over at Just Cute Bears we're trying to help give you a kick start on your Christmas cards with our Christmas in July Challenge! I've done a few cards but nowhere near the amount that I need!

I've got a few images coloured up and thought this cute Lili of the Valley bear would be perfect for my card. He's been coloured with copics and cute out with rectangle and scalloped rectangle nesties. The base CS is Real Red from SU! I've embossed a panel of white card with my snowflakes CB folder and then sprayed it with some gold Spray & Sparkle. I've another layer of Real Red CS that has been punched with my fiskars snowflake punch and then layered with some DP from DCWV. The sentiment is computer generated. I've added some glossy accents to the lil star.
A close up of the bear and sentiment. I think you can just catch some shine from the star.

I'm also entering this card into the following challenges:
Cute Card Thursday #121 - Get a Head Start
ABC Christmas Challenge - O is for Ornaments

Please check out the rest of my teamies amazing creations. I hope that you will join us.
Thank you for stopping by and for any comments you may leave, they are greatly appreciated.
xx :0)

Wedding Bookatrix

Friday, 16 July 2010
Hello all! I don't know about you but I'm glad it's the weekend! Lets just hope this strong breeze dies down and we get some nice warm weather again.

I've been meaning to show you all this card for weeks. Two very good friends of mine got married last month and it was a chance for me to make another wedding bookatrix. I wanted to make this a little different from the last one I made so I embossed a bell in silver mirri card that is on the bookatrix board and used this as the base for my flowers. The sentiment has been printed onto vellum and finished off with some gorgeous corner peel-offs.

I also made a box to present the card in and I like to decorate them so that it makes it an extra special keepsake.

I'm sorry the photos aren't that great.
Please remember to pop back on Sunday to see my Just Cute Bears DT card!
Thank you for stopping by and for any comments you may leave, they are greatly appreciated.
xx :0)

Just Cute Bears #25 - Helen's Sketch

Sunday, 11 July 2010
Good Morning all! Oh my word it's been hot this week! I don't mind warm weather but it's when it's so humid and muggy with it, especially at night, that I'm not so keen. Do the rest of you find that the heat is sapping your energy and inclination to make any cards?

Thank you to everyone that took part in last weeks Just Cute Bears challenge, I really enjoyed seeing all your decoupage creations.

This weeks challenge is a fab sketch from our lovely Helen and we are also being sponsored by the amazing Meljen Designs.

I've made another Christmas card using some more Forever Friends decoupage. I have a lot of these kits so thought I would make good use of them. The paper is from a Forever Friends Winter paper pad. The CS is from my stasth. My circle element of the sketch is slightly smaller than it probably should be but I'm not very good at cutting circles freehand so used my largest circle nestabilities to create it. The base circle has been embossed using a snowflake CB folder. I've finished off with some ribbon, gemstones and a sentiment.

You can see the embossed layer a bit clearer in the close-up.
Please check out my teamies amazing creations. I hope that you will join us again this week as I love to see all your wonderful entries.

I'm hoping that the weather is a bit cooler this week as I would like to get in my craft room some more as I have a few projects I really need to concentrate on.

Thank you for stopping by and for any comments you may leave, they are greatly appreciated.

xx :0)

Just Cute Bears #24 - Decoupage

Sunday, 4 July 2010
Good morning everyone, I hope you are all well and enjoying this beautiful weather we are experiencing. I had a fabulous day yesterday. I went to the Art Stamps England show at Newbury Racecourse with my best friend Nikola. I got some lovely goodies to play with. Please check out Nikola's new blog, she makes some wonderful cards and is trying to design her own stamp range. She doesn't get many visitors yet so I would love it if you could all give her the support you give me.

It's now Sunday and that means that it's time for another Just Cute Bears challenge. Thank you to everyone that took part last week, I had a great time looking at every one's entries.

This weeks challenge is Decoupage. This gave me the perfect opportunity to use some more of my Forever Friends kits that I purchased last year. I apologies again for the darkness of the photos. I unfortunately left it until late last night to photograph them!

I made only my second easel card and am really pleased with the results. The base CS is core'dinations, the DP is from the Forever Friends decoupage kit as is the greeting. The white panel has been embossed with the Argyle cuttlebug folder. I have also used a Fiskars border punch and X-Cut snowflake punch. I finished off with 2 different ribbons that I purchased today and some gemstones. I have also done some more faux stitching around the edges.

A side view of the card so you can see the dimension of the decoupage.

Finally a close-up of the cute decoupage image.
Please check out the rest of my teamies cards and also our GDT this month which is the lovely Becky.
I am also entering this card into these challenges:
ABC Challenge - X for Xtra Dimensional
Creative Card Crew - Easel Card
Forever Friends Challenge - Stitching
ABC Christmas Challenge - N for Noel - Anything Christmas related
Crazy 4 Challenges C4C44 - I love Ribbon (minimum of 2 ribbons)
Charisma Cards - Metal Mickey (Gemstones)
Thank you for stopping by and for any comments you may leave, they are greatly appreciated.
xx :0)

Love in full swing!

Friday, 2 July 2010
Morning all, I hope you are well! Hasn't the weather been beautiful the last week?!? Admittedly it has got a bit too hot at times, but we can't complain!

It's a very good friends wedding anniversary today and I wanted to make her a card. Knowing that she is a cat lover like me, this Penny Black stamp was the purrfect (sorry!) choice! I decided that I would also use it as a chance to enter this weeks Penny Black Saturday Challenge which was to create a patchwork effect. You can't see it very well in this photo by I've a mixture of heart paper and embossed hearts using the CB folder from the Love Language set. I'm also entering this into the Papertake Weekly Challenge which is to include stitching. This is my first(!) attempt at faux stitching, hence why it's not very good! If you look closely you'll spot the deliberate mistake! I put the base layer on upside down as all the hearts are the wrong way round!
I apologise for the quality of the photos. I took them late last night and didn't realise the yellow tinge!

Aren't they adorable?! The image has been coloured with copics, the papers are from a Forever Friends All Loved Up pack and the CS is from Stampin Up!

Just Cute Bears #23 - Open Theme

Sunday, 27 June 2010
Thank you to everyone for your best wishes the past couple of weeks. I'm sorry I've been absent completely, but I needed to rest my neck in the hope that it would get better. It has eased consisderably, although I do still get some pain, but I was able to make a card and participate in this weeks Just Cute Bears challenge.

Iwould like to apologies for not commenting on the last 2 challenges, or on anyone else's cards for that matter and I would like to thank my teamies for being so understanding. You're all probably aware by now that the lovely Ali is taking a break from blogging and has stepped down from Just Cute Bears. I would like to personally thank her for believing in me and picking me to be part of this amazing team.

Anyway, this weeks challenge is an Open Theme so you can create whatever you like as long as it includes a teddy image!

My card is for my wonderful parents as it was their 39th wedding anniversary yesterday! I used this gorgeous Forever Friends stamp which has been coloured with copics. The base is SU! Rose Red CS and some shimmer CS (sorry can't remember name!). The shimmer CS has been embossed with the CB folder from the Love Language set. An aperture has been cut using heart nestabilities. The frame has been made using the SU! CS and the heart and heart scallop nesties. I've finished off with a Craftwork Cards Oval and some roses from Wild Orchid Crafts.

A close-up of the image.

Please check out the rest of my teamies amazing creations and the prize that is on offer from Annie.
Thank you for stopping by and for any comments you may leave, they are greatly appreciated.
xx :0)

No card from me today

Sunday, 13 June 2010
As the title says, I'm afraid there will be no Just Cute Bears Challenge card from me today. I have been suffering with a very painful next for most of the week which has left me unable to sit in my craft room for any length of time. I've been trying heat and everything but, at the moment, nothing seems to want to work. I'm hoping that with some rest I will be able to get back to crafting again.

I apologise for not being able to check any ones entries for last week either, but laptop time is having to be restricted too.

Please check out the rest of my teamies amazing cards. I hope to be back next week, I also have a couple more bookatrix cards to show that I promised last week.

xx :0)

Golden Anniversary Bookatrix

Monday, 7 June 2010
As promised I'm back with one of the bookatrix that I was busy making last week!

This one is for my In-Laws who celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary on Saturday 5 June. I wanted the colours to be golden and match so used white, ivory & peach roses from Wild Orchid Crafts. I used a heart shape from another of the Glitter Girls boards but am a little disappointed that I couldn't quite make the heart shape. I hope it looks okay to you guys.

I thought I'd also include a photo of the top of the box that I'd made and decorated. Who knew how handy all those old peel-offs would come in handy?!

What do you think, is it acceptable?!
Thank you for stopping by and for any comments you may leave, they are greatly appreciated.
xx :0)