Saturday, 31 December 2011

My 2011 Highlights

So this is it then, my final blog post of 2011.
I thought I would share some highlights with you-there have been a few!!

I was still struggling to come to terms with losing my career the previous year due to my health.  Crafting saved my sanity without a doubt and it was nice to be on several design teams including Sassy Studio Designs, Little Claire, Hunkydory, Delicious Doodles, The Crafty Pad.

Barbara asked me to join the Claritystamp Design team, I thought I was dreaming!

I started working for Hunkydory part time,can you imagine working for your favourite papercraft company!

I also did my first workshop, talk about baptism of fire- brayering and all things inky, I had never even attended a workshop before this, but it went really well!

I did my first Create & Craft show, I was terrified but everybody at Create & Craft looked after me so well.

I entered my first card competition at Happy Stampers North West, and won!

Amber did the Race for Life, along with my friend/neighbour/bunny-sitter Julie and the girls.

Stevie and I went to see Judas Priest and Iron Maiden.
Apart from having to opt for seats coz of my dodgy bones, I felt 18 again!

I was in Creative Cardmaking for the first time

Steve made me proud when he started Grammar School, can you guess where he gets his brains from? let me know if you find

Steve & Amber both made winning cards for Happy Stampers 100 years of photography theme.

I made the leap and went self employed, very scary but exciting!

Lots happened in December, but the very best bit was when I realised that for the past few years I have been happy to see the back of another miserable year-but this year I am smiling as I look back on this year, and absolutely beaming as I look toward 2012!!!

I would like to thank the many people who helped me achieve a huge amount this year, my family, Barbara Gray, the guys at Hunkydory and Creative Expressions for the opportunities they have given me, and of course all my FB friends & blog followers,thank you for your friendship, support & encouragement.

Signing off and sending you all my last hug of 2011

Friday, 30 December 2011

That Clarity Owl is a Hoot!

Hey gang!
I wasnt gonna post anything today but its gone oh so quiet here, Stevie has taken Amber over to Cappucino's in the park for an all day brekky-could this be a hint about my cooking I wonder???
So while the cats are away the mouse will play, here is one of the cards I made for Creative Stamping magazine a couple of months ago. Issue 3 is out soon, watch out for it!

Stamps used are the Owl and my treasured Scrabble set both from Claritystamp.
The cogs are a mixture of Tim Holtz and Donna Salazar Spellbinders.

I wanted the Owls to stand out from the distressing so I decided not to add any colour, I just added a drop of Glossy Accents to each eye-looks good in the flesh.
If you would like the instructions for this and the other accompanying cards you may still be able to get your hands on issue 2 of Creative Stamping.

While on the subject of Claritystamp, the 12 January Northwest Clarity workshop is fully booked, the repeat class on the Sunday (15th) has 5 places remaining- how delighted would I be if that sold out too!!!
Give me a shout if your interested.

Thats it for today, see you soon.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Find time to colour!

Morning all, I actually made time to sit and colour for half an hour! I was starting to get withdrawal symptoms through lack of fumes from the alcohol markers.
Seriously, its a rare treat to sit and colour just for fun, and I definitely dont practise enough with my pens.

This is one of the new Magnolia's, I fell in love with this one as soon as I saw it on the Glitter Pot website.
I will add the Copic colours later today- they are upstairs and I am downstairs, im supposed to be getting ready to go see my Sister!

The paper is actually Christmas paper from Bo Bunny, dont tell anyone will you.
The flowers are from Wild Orchid.
Sentiment is from Claritystamp.
Edge punch is a EK Success.
Ribbon is from Papermania, I had to age it a bit with distress ink-it was too white.
Lace from my stash.

Will add colours here later.

Im gone!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Some Kraft card and no tinsel!

Hey Gang is it safe to come out yet, have you put that green tinsel away??

Yep Christmas is great but isnt it nice to get back to normal afterwards.
Personally I dont enjoy fighting for a parking space because half of Birkenhead is shopping for Baubles at 10p a box! Indeedy, I have more important things on the agenda, like hunting for Windowlene old fashioned window cleaner in the pink bottle (why cant I find it anywhere?) and I needed more paint samples coz the one I chose is too dark, the bunnies needed hay, Milly bunny needed cat litter!

Anyway, enough bah humbug, here is a card!

This is a 6x6 using some Kraft card that I have been meaning to use for a while.
The colours dont show up too well here (surprise!) I used Deep Red, Black, Olive.

I passed a Spellbinders Label 21 through a Fauna Embossing Folder from Creative Expressions.  The Ornate frame sides is a Heartfelt Creations Oval Window diecut cut in half, I added some faux stitches too.
The little wreath is made using the smallest stamp in the Posy Patch rubber stamps from Heartfelt Creations, I coloured with Distress inks and added little green beads to the middles and attached to a die cut scallop circle.
I cut the little banners by hand, made the organza roses, added some Cosmic Shimmer pearly dots and a couple of decorative pins to finish.

Ok Im off to see if my paint swatch is dry on the wall yet, see you soon!

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

Just a mega quick post to wish everybody a very Merry Christmas, I hope you are all surrounded by loved ones and laughter, but if for any reason your not then Im sending you love and a huge hug!!!

See you soon

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Mono Bauble.

Happy Christmas Eve folks.
I actually started wrapping presents yesterday, so at this rate I will be all ready for Christmas by New Years Day!
Even my cards were last minute, like this one..

This is using one of the stamps in the Scenic set from Heartfelt Creations, stamped while bauble was still in the die, and then added plenty of crystal glitter for a snowy feel.
Background was embossed using an A4 Special Touch of Mica Mask.
Text stamp is from Claritystamp, Ribbon and charm is from my stash.

Hope you like it!

See you soon.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Ivory & Black Triangular box.

Good morning! Today I thought I would show you the box I made for the Creative Expressions shows I did on Create & Craft last weekend.

I love Ivory & Black especially with the Centura Pearl card.

I used a variety of Heartfelt Creations including the Posy Patch dies, Scenic Oval Window die, Autumn Leaves dies, and Iris Framer rubber stamp.
I made the box on my Hougie Board.

This stamps and embosses so nicely, colours pretty well too!

Just a quick post today, is it really only 2 days until Christmas- someone stop the clock!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

A bit of Claritystamp workshop news!

Firstly, apologies, this post was supposed to be yesterday, but I have had no internet since Tuesday night-very annoying!
But Mr Posty has just delivered a new connector so here I am.

Those of you who have received your Claritystamp Club newsletter (and had time to read it) will know about the launch of the Northwest Claritystamp workshops in January,  Our first meeting on Thursday 12 January is already fully booked, BUT, there still seems to be plenty of interest, so assuming there are enough takers I will repeat the class on the Sunday (15 January) so please let me know as soon as possible if you would like a place so I can make the necessary arrangements. 

For those of you, including non members, who dont yet know about the workshops, here is the deal

Monthly Claritystamp workshops in the Northwest at a fantastic price.
Claritystamp Club members will receive 10% discount on any goods bought on the day.
Claritystamp Club members will always be offered workshop places before non club members.
Special events throughout the year including a visit from Barbara herself!

Please get in touch if you would like any further information.

Ok I promised you a card too didnt I, will a tag be ok?

This is using the Ivy corner and my fave leafy stamp.

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Lilac & Teal Iris

Its after lunch again I know,sorry, I get a little lazy when I work from home!
Anyway, here is todays offering.

To make this card I used the Heartfelt Creations Oval Window cutting die & the Oval Iris stamp.
A4 Special Touch of Mica Mask.
Fauna Embossing folder, Bakers Twine, Vintage Ribbon, Wooden Button, sentiment from the Autumn Swirl stamp set, Pearly glue, all from Creative Expressions.
Distress ink pads to watercolour, watercolour paper, Martha Stewart Around the page punch set.

When watercolouring, put down a water glaze first so the ink/paint move nicely on your work, you can add more definition when work is dry.

Got to go wrap some Christmas present now, see you tomorrow for a Claritystamp card and some exciting Clarity news...

Monday, 19 December 2011

Heartfelt Creations card & instructions.

Afternoon gang! I was going to be like a little whirlwind today and get tons done....erm, well me and the kids had a late brekky in bed and the pace has been a tinsy bit little slow so far.
But, I must show you another card from my Create & Craft shows at the weekend, and I thought I would give you a few measurements for it too.

Ok, start with a 21cm square card blank covered in Black.
Cut 2 white panels 8cm x 16cm, emboss using Fauna embossing folder from Creative Expressions, matt onto silver mirri to leave a small border, attach to the card blank.
Die cut a Grand label 4 from Black card, or similar shape, attach to the card.
Die cut a Heartfelt Creations Window Scene and attach to the card.
Stamp and emboss the Oval Iris Frame stamp 4 times to create decoupaged topper, attach to the die-cut window.
Finish with some die-cut Posy Patch flowers, vintage ribbon bow, decorative pins and some pearly glue dots.
oh and stamp/emboss the sentiment onto one of the flowers.

I bent the decoupage to give a lovely curvy shape, the centura Pearl card is great for this.

The ribbon was coloured with Aged Mahogany Distress ink and a little Red Lava Cosmic Shimmer watercolour paint.

Thats all for today except to say 'Welcome' to my new followers, im glad to have you!
See you tomorrow for more ideas, I also still have some Clarity cards to show you this week.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Another sneak peek for Saturday

Two days to go until my Creative Expressions shows on Create & Craft and Im starting to get nervous & excited in equal measures!
So its time to write my list of what not to forget-could be a long list..

As the title suggests, here is another sneak peek card
This is using some awesome Cardinal stamps and co-ordinating cutting dies from Heartfelt Creations, also some autumn leaf dies & stamps, and a stunning Window Frame cutting die which I used as a stencil to ink over for this card.
The most time consuming part of this card was checking the book pages I used to make sure there were no swear words or saucy bits- not that I would ever read such books lol!

I stamped the ribbon with Archival ink. Lots of Aged Mahogany used on this card, including colouring the wooden button.

Hope you can join me on Saturday 12pm & 4pm

Ok im off to write that list, have a good one!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Sneak Peek, a catch-up, and I finally met Romeo!

So much to tell you, where do I start!

Ok, the weekend.  On Thursday I went down to Kent to spend a couple of days with Barbara for some relaxing Watercolouring etc. What a great time! Homemade soup by the hand of Barbara herself on Thursday night, woke up with a cuppa- thats me happy before we even get the paint brushes out!
The lady who was teaching us was Billy Showell, she is amazing!  It was a lovely experience because Billy looked after us so well, there was no "kettle is over there, help yourself"  Billy served us our cuppa's and she had even baked seriously yummy cake especially for us!!!!! There was even lovely relaxing music in the background.
Friday night we all went for an Italian meal, Barbara, Dave, Grace, Annette, Terry, Elaine, Hazel and Me, there may have been an occasional dirty joke or two-lots of laughter is good for the soul!

Now, I did mention I met Romeo didnt I. Im totally in love, he is Dark, handsome and very affectionate......

Romeo is Barbara's Black Cat!

Whats next, tv stuff.  I have been itching to be more specific about the Create & Craft shows, they were originally scheduled for last week but were jiggled about, so as it stands (subject to change) I will be on this Saturday at 12pm and 4pm with some fantastic Creative Expressions goodies!  I have lots of cool demo's planned and plenty of here is the first sneak peek.

This is an 8x8 shaker card-you know I love em!
I used lots of Heartfelt Creations goodies for this one, including the stunning Oval Frame die, Scenery stamp, Leaf dies, Mica Mask, Pearly glue, Vintage Ribbon....

I didnt want to go too crazy on the embellies on this because I wanted your eyes to be drawn to the image through the window.

The image is so easy to work with because a lot of shading has already been included. I stamped and dragged some ink to colour the image.
 I used the Frame on a ton of samples in different ways, cant wait to show you!

Another type of ribbon roses, this ribbon colours really well too. I inked one of the leaves and embossed the other for a little twist.

Hope you like it!

Before I forget, I promised Candy when I reached 350 followers- its coming, I need to set it up on bloggy and photograph the goodies!

See you soon

Sunday, 11 December 2011

A pre-catchup!

Hello Ladies & Jellybeans!
Just a quick catch-up to tell you I will catch-up later today, will tell you all about my fantastic weekend, blog candy, and its high time for a sneak peek, could be a long post me thinks!

See you later x

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Mono Skaters

Happy Wednesday!
Hope your all doing ok, all is well at Chez Simms, my sister was allowed home from hospital yesterday so fingers crossed she will be ok again for a while at least.
Todays card is another Clarity, easy as cake this one- just heat emboss and mount it up!
See you soon, over and out! lol

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Resisting Violet

Hello rabble!
Do you remember yesterday when I said I was gonna be a bit more organised this week? Scrap it, its not gonna happen!
I spent this morning chillaxing and not even tidied the brekky dishes, it takes a while to get into a regular routine when you do most of your work from home, I found myself working until about 2am the last couple of nights-just coz I lost track of time. So everything gets done, but not in any particular order.

Anyways, enough wittering...
Today's card is another Clarity from the weekend. 

I used the sentiment stamp to make a resist background, I like to graduate the colour on the ressist panel to add a little drama. The corner stamp is used on the long strip.  The Snowdrop circle is shaded  a little with a Promarker and a white gel pen.

Thats all folks!
Gotta go look for my Suitcase, write a 'dont forget' list, and do the brekky dishes!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Home Sweet Home

Good morning! Another big fresh week, im gonna be more organised this week....maybe!
Todays card is using the Home set from yesterdays Claritystamp shows on Create & Craft.
I used my Wishing Well stamp for the wall in the O, brayered lightly with Pitch Black Adirondack for the sky, and shaded bricks with Promarker.
The lettering at the bottom is using my Scrabble set from Clarity, I added little dots with white gel pen for added interest to letters.  Finished off with some red gems from MeiFlower.

Right, work beckons!  Got a magazine piece to finish and start prep for my workshops next week....

3 more followers and it will be Candy time!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

The Great Outdoors over at PanPastel, and a SALE!

Hiya gang, today sees the start of a new challenge over at the PanPastel Challenge blog, the theme is The Great Outdoors-plenty of scope there!

The prize is a starter set of PanPastel with tools, what a great way to try them out for yourself. 
Also there is some special offers on PanPastels at Your Creativity Store, and if thats not enough, there is also FREE P & P!

Anyway, here is my card for the challenge
I have used some of my Claritystamps, including the mega-useful Silhuette Trees from todays Create & Craft shows.
I used PanPastels on a couple of my other tv cards too, they are so easy to use, I think im nearly ready to review them properly, so watch this space...

Have a great Sunday, dont forget to join Barbara and Martyn for more Clarity shows this afternoon.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

A Clarity Classroom card

Hello gang, for some reason I had it in my head that I couldnt show you the Classroom stuff until tomorrow, must have had a senior blonde moment!

When I did the artwork for this I was satisfied with it but didnt want to mount it just plain on a white A5 card, as I usually do, I wanted to do something a little different with it, but now I dont like it and should have gone with the plain A5.
Have a good one!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Not much to show, but a little helper?

Well I thought I needed to nip in and just have a quick catch up, not been making a huge amount because I feel a bit distracted-my sister is still in hospital and cant come home for at least another week if she improves.

I have been having another sort out in the craft room, just got everything spread out on the bed and Milly bunny decided she wanted to help mummy, so she shoved a few bits/dragged the bedding half off and lay down and stretch out right in the middle of it all!  I have to confess that I love that she is like my little shadow, she has brought so much laughter into our house with her funny antics.

 I found this pic on the pc, the little girl is from a Creative Expressions set, coloured with Promarkers.

 This was a clean/simple Clarity card I didnt get around to showing you, using the Wrought Iron collection, I used the chair-back to make the bunting.

See you Sunday for some Clarity tv cards.
Have a good weekend!

Monday, 28 November 2011

Happy Monday, baby!

Yep its come around again, like a flash!
I did actually manage to get some Christmas shopping done at the weekend though, and Santa knows whats what, so thats good.
I have been busy with samples for the Claritystamp tv shows next weekend.
Also I have been doing samples for my Create & Craft shows which have now been re-scheduled, so I have a little longer to prepare for those.

So with all that happening (and more) secret stuff, I dont have a lot that I can show you yet, so I used another of my image stash to put a quick card together to show you.

The FF image was coloured with Copics when I first got them- thats my excuse for the dodgy shading, think I prefer my PM's.
I used Centura pearl card with an A4 mask from Stamps Away/Clevercut, I have lots of Ali's masks on my wish list.
I have used my treasured Scrabble set from Claritystamp for my lettering.
The spellbinders need no introduction.
The Cosmic Shimmer Black and white pearl glue is from Creative Expressions
A bit of ribbon and some Candi to finish.

Dont forget 3 more followers and I will organise some blog candy.

See you soon!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

A tv whisper, and some Blog candy news!

Hello gang, its after lunch again I know, but I have been a busy girl this morning.  Im preparing samples and demo's for a couple of tv shows im doing in a couple of weeks- Im gonna keep you guessing what im doing for now, but my fingers are a little discoloured at the moment,hint hint!
Oh, and Im loving the goodies that are on the shows- no more clues, unless you ask very very nicely for a sneak peek next week.
Did I mention Im excited?

Now, the title mentions Candy does'nt it, well as soon as I get to 350 followers I will sort some crafty Blog Candy, already at 340 so not a big mountain to climb!

Got tons to do,
 Organise myself for tomorrow pm- Im doing Glitter Body Art at Amber's School fayre.
 (please dont try this with craft glitter & glue, I use specialist materials and observe H&S guidelines etc)

Go buy the last of my equipment for my workshops-just need scissors, rulers, paint brushes and bits.

Decide whats for tea- the troops are both home tonight so we need a dvd too.

So Im gonna be a bit quiet for the duration, a thousand apologies!
Over & out

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Over the Moon!

No not me, Maggy!
This is another of those images I forgot about, I love this one because she can sit on the edge of a die or on a bench or whatever.

I used Spelldinders for the moon, EK edge punch, flowers from Wild Orchid with a dash of Cosmic Shimmer Twinkles, bit of bling and away we go! 
oh and I coloured with PM's.

Thats it for today, still busy!
Have a good one whatever your doing.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Denim inkpad is fighting back!

Yeah, how about that, I managed to get another couple of skies from the overworked Denim Adirondack!
Todays card holds a little Simms DNA, its actually quite disgusting, Steve sneezed as he walked behind me and guess where the spray went!  So, if I send you this card just dont handle it too much lol.
The Carriage is available here from the Claritystamp shop. When I was looking for this to insert the link, I found another Clarity Carriage that I didnt know about- I want that one too, have a look.

Hope this inspires you to get your brayer out!

Im off, got lots to do, finish Clarity cards for December tv shows, some magazine cards to do, a couple of commissions.  I need to clear the decks ready to prepare for.......something I will tell you about very soon!!!

See you soon.