Friday 30 March 2012

Less is More and CAS-ual Friday - Paris Blues ....

.... It's been a bit tough finding time to craft over last couple of days, but I really wanted to try and get a card made for this week's Less is More - LIM60 recipe challenge - where Chrissie and Mandi want us to make a card using at least three previous challenges.  What fun!  I've combined the LIM challenge with the new CAS-ual Fridays - CFC46 challenge, where the team want us to make a card with the inspiration coming from a tune - title or lyrics.

I don't have a huge stash to play with here, so I decided that I'd would use my new Paris Nouveau stamps on the card.  I checked on Google for some song titles that included the word Paris - they are loads!!  After a search I selected the song Paris Blues by Tony Middleton as my inspiration.  It was a big Northern Soul hit in the 70s and I really like it!  Check out the link at the bottom of the post.

The previous LIM challenges that I used are:
  • Off Centre - Week 12
  • Shades of Blue - Week 22
  • Music Theme - Week 46
  • Masking - Week 59
I love this border and stamped in several shades of blue, it could be the River Seine flowing through the heart of Paris.  Of course the iconic symbol of Paris is the Eiffel Tower - it's all here on my card!

Stamps:  Waltzingmouse - Paris Nouveau
Inks: Stampin' Up! - Night of Navy, Not Quite Navy, Pacific Point, Mariana Mist
Accessories:  Card from stash

It's really dull here today - so I think "blues" are the perfect colour for my card.  The weather forecast is cold and wet, but I'm hoping that the weather will improve for the weekend as we're finally moving into our house.  I heard from the shipping company today too, our container is due into Norfolk today.  Once it has cleared Customs it can be delivered to the house.  Next week would be wonderful!!

Before I go, I must welcome my newest follower - Shannon White - so pleased that you've joined me.  That's all for now.  Off to the hotel swimming pool - Kathryn is going to get a last swim, I'm going to read a book!!

Wednesday 28 March 2012

Waltzingmouse and CAS-ual Fridays ......

.... At last - some crafting time and I've made a card for two of my favourite challenges:

I really like Renee's sketch, but I've taken a few liberties.  I've turned the sketch through 90 degrees and have altered the positions of the panels - I hope this is okay, as it worked so much better for my card.  But to keep with the sketch I stamped the branch directly onto the card base too.  I stamped a couple of the solid black labels onto blue paper, on some white card I stamped the lovely houndstooth frame and finished off by stamping the houndstooth oval onto blue paper and adding the sentiment.  As I don't have my Bug or Grand Calibur I had to cut each label out by hand, as well as the oval.  I glued the solid labels directly onto the card and used dimensional tape to attach the houndstooth frame.  A thank you card for my stash.

Stamps: Waltzingmouse - Compact Sentiments, Vintage Labels 25, Paris Nouveau
Inks:  Memento - Tuxedo Black
Accessories:  Webster's Pages - Petite Papers (free with Simply Cards & Papercraft)

Today is another lovely day - it's bright and sunny, but if you could hear the wind howling around the hotel, you'd think it was the middle of winter!!  Well, to be fair, it's only just in Spring and the wind is really making itself felt!  I'm glad that we're indoors today.  

That's all for now.  I might be back later with another card. 

Tuesday 27 March 2012

New look Blog .....

... Since arriving in the US, I've been thinking about making some changes to my Blog - new start, new look!!  So I've had fun playing with various settings and looks and I think this is going to be my new look - at least for a while.

The last couple of days have been much cooler than when we first arrived.  In fact this morning it was below 0C (32F) and even when Kathryn and I went out at lunchtime it was COOL!!!  I was very glad to have my coat on.  We went over to the local Michael's store for a look around.  I was reasonably good, I only got a few bits and pieces - mostly plain card and some stamps that were in the bargain bucket.  I should have a card or two to share with you tomorrow!

That's all for now.  See you soon.

Sunday 25 March 2012

CR84FN50 - Mother's Day ....

.... Part II!  Okay, I know I shared a Mother's Day card last Sunday, but this one was made for my wonderful Mother-in-law, Madeline!  She's a super woman and I love her lots!  The CR84FN50 colours are so bright and vibrant and, for Madeline, I went for a bright, cheerful card.  The inspiration photos are courtesy of Southern Wedding Magazines - just gorgeous!

I've gone a clean and simple design and used the fabulous Medallion stamp from Stampin' Up! - it hasn't seen ink for a while, but I thought it would look great in these colours.  I stamped it directly onto the card in pink, then stamped it again on white card in orange and yellow.  I cut the central sections out using my Spellbinder dies, adding a pink gem to finish it off.  On the opposite corner, I stamped a "bit" of the medallion in yellow and then, using my stamp-a-ma-jig, stamped the sentiment.

Stamps:  Stampin' Up! - Medallion, Sentiments
Inks:  Regal Rose, Daffodil Delight, Tangerine Tango
Spellbinders:  Big Scalloped Circles Lg (S4-249) # 1, Plain Circles Lg (S4-114) #4
Accessories: Card and gem from stash

For more ideas from the Design Team, check out the CR84FN blog.  Today is Stephanie Kraft's last post as a member of the CR84FN Design Team; she has shared so many gorgeous creations and has been an inspiration.  I'd like to wish Stephanie good luck in her future ventures - do drop by her blog - HandKrafted by Stephanie and leave some love.  We are also saying goodbye to our Guest Designer, Shannon White - thanks so much for sharing your lovely cards with us.    This is the bonus third week for these colours, and we'd love to see your creations.

Since arriving in Michigan, we have had the most wonderful weather - I know that it's totally unusual, but it's been a wonderful just the same.  Yesterday we decided to do a bit of exploring, we were going to visit Detroit Zoo, but it was rather dull, so we headed out towards Lansing - capital of Michigan.  There are some marvellous buildings there and we will have to visit again - only this time when the weather is better so that we can take some decent photos.

That's all for now, see you soon.

Wednesday 21 March 2012

Kathryn's art lesson ....

.... We've had a very busy morning.  Kathryn has spent quite a lot of time this week working on Maths, English and Science, so today I thought it would be fun to do a bit of art.

As we found out about Katie's birthday this morning, I asked Kathryn if she'd like to make Katie a card and use of the challenges for the inspiration.  Her immediate response was YES!!!  Kathryn decided that she'd have a go at the One Layer Wednesday - OLW84 challenge set by Susan.  After hunting through my stash, Kathryn came up with this card:

Stamps:  Waltzingmouse - Large Doily, Compact Sentiments, Make Your Mark
Inks:  Stampin' Up! - Tangerine Tango, Melon Mambo, Pretty in Pink, Rose Red
Accessories:  Card from stash

Kathryn started off by working out her design on a piece of scrap paper and trying out different colours - originally the large doily was going to be orange, but she decided that she liked it better in pink (and I agree with her).

Hopefully, Kathryn will have a few more cards to share with you soon.

Sweet birthday wishes ....

.... This morning I found out that it is our Hotel Manager's birthday today.  Katie is such a lovely person; always smiling and cheerful, and she has made us so welcome.  I've used three challenges as the basis for my card design:

I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to try out my new Waltzingmouse stamps.  I started off by masking off a narrow border all round the card.  Next I stamped one of the lovely Vintage Label frames in bright orange, and a couple of pretty flowers in the bottom corners.  I covered these images with some masks and then stamped the chicken wire background in pale pink.  I stamped a few more flowers at the bottom corners and, after removing the mask, I stamped the sentiment in the frame.

Stamps:  Waltzingmouse - Vintage Labels 25, Chicken Wire, Compact Sentiments; Dawn Bibby - Flower Patch
Inks: Stampin' Up! - Melon Mambo, Tangerine Tango, Pretty in Pink, Rose Red
Accessories:  Card from stash

I'm not sure whether this is completely within the Less is More rules - but I think the chicken wire background does allow a lot of white space to show!!  Ladies, if it's not quite right, feel free to delete and I'll have another go :)

The weather today continues to be absolutely wonderful - I'm sitting by the window in my bedroom and I can hear crickets and birds outside - it's just fab!  We are expecting record temperatures today about 83F, which is 28C!!!!  However, temperatures will be dropping by the weekend towards 60F, which is still higher than normal for Michigan in March!

That's all for now.  Back soon with something from Kathryn!

Emergency stash ....

.... So what's in my "emergency stash"?

I have a small box of Stampin' Up! ink pads (which you can just about see in this photo), my SU pens (which are wonderful), a selection of pencils (ordinary and watercolour) and an A4 Really Useful container (not sure if I can get these boxes over here) which holds lots of bits and pieces.

You can see some of my new Waltzingmouse Stamps - they arrived in the States before I did!!  Fortunately Jonathan knew they were coming :))  I'm hoping to get chance to play with them soon.

My purple (of course) A4 box contains all sorts of stash.  I have some WMS sets, various pairs of scissors, sticky tape, Pinflair glue, cut 'n' dry foam, ribbon, string, lace, paper pads, various labels and other "stuff".  Oh yes, there's also a stamping mat made from a bit of funky foam.

I've been busy working with Kathryn for the last few days ;we have started her "lessons".  Kathryn seems to be enjoying it and is working well.  I'm thoroughly enjoying spending so much time with Kathryn - just hope she's enjoying it too :)  Hopefully, Kathryn and I will get some crafting time tomorrow - we'll call it "art class" - and we'll share what we make!  See you soon.

Monday 19 March 2012

Great weekend ...

This is the poolhouse and play area at the end of our street!
.... Just how daft am I?  Obviously, totally daft!  Why?  Well, we visited our new house at the weekend and it's absolutely super.  But did I take any pictures?  No!  I was far to busy just checking it out and mentally working out where we will put all our stuff!!

Entrance to the estate
We were able to spend about an hour walking around the place and we also got to meet our new neighbours.  The area is lovely.  It helped that the weather has been wonderful this weekend - with temperatures about 74F (see how quickly I switch to Fahrenheit).  We found the local school - within walking distance of our house!!  Kathryn was a bit surprised by its size but I'm sure that once she starts school properly, she'll be fine.  We also found out that there is a pool at the end of our street that we can use - can't wait!!!!  I did take a couple of photos of the street.

Jonathan & Kathryn at the end of the road - did I mention just how sunny it was?
After visiting our house - we headed off to Plymouth and were amazed to see so many people in all shades of green - they were celebrating St Patrick's day.  We met a nice lady who had her dog with her - also celebrating!!!

Celebrating St Patrick's Day!!!
Yesterday was relatively lazy.  We went to 12 Oaks Mall where we were able to get our new mobile phones.  As we don't have much in the way of US identification, it was a bit tougher than we had originally thought.  But we can now talk to people!

Now that Kathryn and I have adjusted to US time, we start our home schooling programme - which will continue until Kathryn starts school properly.  That's all for now.  Take care.

Sunday 18 March 2012

CR84FN50 - Mother's Day ....

.... I know that my friends in North America celebrate Mother's Day in May, but in the United Kingdom and Ireland, today is Mother's Day.  Often called Mothering Sunday, it traditionally falls on the fourth Sunday in Lent.   I  made my Mum her card using our lovely CR84FN50 colours - although I've gone for a slightly softer palette!

I recently got some lovely stash from Stampin' Up! and this flower is just lovely - I stamped around the edge of the card in pink, yellow and orange.  I decided to make a feature panel for the sentiment and used the gorgeous Labels 23 to cut a large and small panel.  On the large pink panel I stamped some flourishes and on the smaller panel I added colour with distress inks, finishing off the panel by stamping a simple, but heartfelt, sentiment.  I attached some ribbon to the panels before attaching them to the card.  Finally I stamped the flower again in all three colours - embossing each one so that the finished flower has a lovely shine.

Stamps:  Stampin' Up! - Triple Treat Flower, Delightful Dozen (sentiments); Waltzingmouse - Fancy Flourishes - Dots & Scallops
Inks: Stampin' Up! - Blushing Bride, Peach Parfait, Daffodil Delight, So Saffron, Regal Rose
Spellbinders:  Labels Twenty-three (S4-347) # 3 & 6
Accessories:  Clear embossing powder, ribbon and card from stash

For more inspirational cards with these fabulous colours - check out the CR84FN blog to see what the DT have made for you.  See you soon.

Saturday 17 March 2012

Waltzingmouse Blog Party ....

.... Hello - it's time for the Waltzingmouse Blog Party.  This month the theme could only be

St Patrick's Day/Irish/Green

Full details of how to join the fun can be found here.  As green is one of my favourite colours and I love Celtic designs - I just had to join in.

Claire produced a set of stamps, a while ago, with lots of super Irish sayings, so I decided to use one as the theme for my card.  I started with some designer paper (which has been in hiding for ages) and cut that to fit my card and then stamped the fancy shamrock in the bottom corner.  I used my Spellbinders die to cut the central layer - some lovely dark olive green paper from my scrap stash.  I stamped the cottage directly onto the frame and then again on some white card.  I added a touch of colour to the white cottage, cut it out and attached it to the frame.  I used my stamp-a-ma-jig to position the sentiment, and finished off by added a tiny shamrock flourish.  Hopefully, Claire will have received this by now - Happy St Patrick's Day, Claire!!

Stamps:  Waltzingmouse - Celtic Heritage, Irish Blessings
Inks:  Stampin' Up! - Soft Suede, Old Olive, Always Artichoke
Spellbinders:  Labels 3 (S4-189) # 6
Accessories: Papermania - Creative Tones Olivine DP; Card from stash

I always knew that St Patrick's day is a big celebration in the US, but I had no idea just how big!!  There are lots of TV adverts with St Patrick's day theme - green Heinz Ketchup!!  Detroit had its St Patrick's Day parade last Saturday, and today in Chicago there's a huge parade and they dye the river too!!!  But for us, we're spending the day visiting Northville and Kathryn and I finally get to see our new home - so excited!!!

That's all for now - see you soon!  I'm off to join the Blog Party :)

Friday 16 March 2012

Less is More ....

... This is going to be a very quick post as I want to make sure that I catch the deadline for submission to this week's Less is More - LIM58 challenge, where Chrissie and Mandi want us to use script on a one layer card.

I started by stamping the lovely vintage frame onto the card base, masking it and then stamping the script stamp behind.  I coloured the rose and added a simple sentiment.  It's not a perfect card by any means, but my black ink has dried up a bit and I've had to use the pens which missed in a few places!!  Still, I like the layout and style of this and might try it again with fresh pads!

Stamps:  Waltzingmouse - Compact Sentiments, Vintage Labels 25; Heidi Grace Designs - Stamp Patterns
Inks:  Stampin' Up! Pens - Basic Black, Basic Grey, Old Olive, Rose Red
Accessories:  Card from stash

The weather here has improved so much since this morning - we now have brilliant sunshine and it's over 70F!!  Oh yes, the hotel have upgraded our room too.  We are now in a two-bedroomed suite which is so much easier for us.  It means that Kathryn has her own bedroom and doesn't have to use the sofa bed!  Bliss!  Anyway, that's all for today, Jonathan will be home from work soon and then we can go shopping and get some dinner.  I'll write again tomorrow once we've been to the house!  Oh, I should add that I've been into Joanne's - it's magic, but I restrained myself and only got the Heidi Grace stamp that I used in the card!!  I'm sure I'll be back again soon.

We've arrived ....

... Hi all - we're here!!  Jonathan picked us up from Detroit airport Wednesday evening - we arrived a bit earlier than planned, but he was there to meet us.   Our journey went really well and I was amazed to see that the plane from Paris to Detroit was full!  When we arrived it was really hot - 20C - which is much warmer than expected at this time of year.  We had a good run to the hotel and then had a quiet evening.

Kathryn and I had a very lazy day yesterday.  We woke to temperatures of 12C (54F), it started out warm and got hotter during the day.  However, this led to some huge thunderstorms.  At about 5.00pm I happened to turn to the weather channel to find reports of tornado warnings!!  I didn't know that you got tornadoes in Michigan!!  There were three tornado touch downs near Novi - the closest being in Dexter (about 25 miles away).  I really do feel for the people who live there, there are houses and businesses destroyed and so many with lots of damage, but - and this is the good thing - there have been no fatalities.

Today has again started warm, but there's a lot of fog about, but it's expected to burn off by lunchtime.  And the forecast temperatures are in the 70s (20C) and getting hotter for the coming week - it's crazy weather!!

Kathryn and I are going to have another reasonably lazy day.  We're going to visit the shops - we have to get some notebooks and pens for Kathryn to do her school work!  She won't be starting back to school properly until we move into our new house.  In the meantime the hotel staff are so friendly and welcoming - it's fab!

It's great to be back on line properly and I'll be visiting everyone soon.  That's all for now - back later today!  I've updated all my computer settings, so I'm now operating on US time!!

Thursday 15 March 2012

Birthday wishes ....

.... Are sent today to Lisa - my colleague on the CR84FN Design Team.  Obviously, I used the colours from CR84FN50 to make Lisa's card - and it's amazing how different these colours are depending on which is the main colour!!

I've gone for a feminine/steampunk look - at least that's what I think it is!  I started by stamping some flourishes and lace patterns directly onto the card base in Versamark and then heat embossing with clear powder.  I used Mustard Seed to add some colour to the card and allow the embossed images to show through - I love the vibrancy of this colour.  Then I randomly stamped some images using the same ink - looks so much darker when stamped directly!  I cut a pretty mat from some Designer paper, added some colour and a few more randomly stamped images and edged the mat with just a touch of colour.  I stamped the dress onto white card and then stamped the lace pattern, in Versamark, over the top.  Once embossed I cut out the dress and then added colour with Distress inks - the dress look like it's made of coloured lace - just the effect I wanted.  Finally, I made a birthday greeting using the smallest matching die.

Happy Birthday Lisa - hope you're having a great day!

Stamps:  Kanban - All Occasions, Vivienne, Jasper; Waltzingmouse - Eat Cake
Inks: Distress - Spun Sugar, Worn Lipstick, Spiced Marmalade, Mustard Seed; Versafine - Onyx Black
Spellbinders:  Labels Ten (S5-022) # 1 & 5
Accessories:  Papermania - Bookprint DP; Clear embossing powder, card from stash

Here's a close up of the dress - you can really see the lace detail - it's so pretty.  And here are the colours to this week's CR84FN challenge - there's still plenty of time for you to join in the fun!

That's all for now.  See you soon.

Just a note to let you know that this is a scheduled post - prepared ages ago!

Wednesday 14 March 2012

Today's the day ....

....  By the time this is posted, Kathryn and I will be on our way to America.  The last couple of weeks have been something of a whirlwind, but oh, so exciting!!

Picture Link
If you find Livonia and Ann Arbor on the map - we'll be living roughly inbetween them, in a lovely place called Northville.

This is the last of the thank you cards that I made before we left.  After all our belongings left the house last week, we went to stay at some friends of ours.  Linda and John were really kind and let us stay with them, rather than spend a week in a hotel.  I cut out some of this pretty backing paper and covered the base of the card.  In my "emergency" stash I found this Spellbinder die cut - which was blank!  I stamped a doily and sentiment on it, attached some ribbon to the back to make a rosette and added a rose to the front.

Stamps:  Waltzingmouse - Doilies, Say it with Style
Inks:  Stampin' Up! - So Saffron, Regal Rose
Spellbinders:  Star Circle
Accessories:  Kate Knight Papers - Totally Tropical (free with Cardmaking & Papercraft)

That's all for today.  Take care and see you soon.

Tuesday 13 March 2012

Waltzingmouse Birthday Girl .....

....  Yesterday, was madness! I had the cleaners in at the house - they've done a brilliant job, the place is sparkling!  Not that it didn't sparkle usually, just that the shine is a bit stronger now :)))  I was running all over the place this weekend - catching up with friends and neighbours and saying our goodbyes.  It's both sad and exciting.  I even managed to get to craft class yesterday - well I had my emergency stash and some free time, so I decided to join the girls for the morning.

I was able to make a card for this week's Waltzingmouse Sketch Challenge - WMSC88 - and I didn't think I'd do that!  I think the sketch is fab, although I've taken a few liberties with it.

I started off by cutting a piece of designer paper and attaching that to the card.  The bit that was left I attached to some white card.  I wanted to add a bit more decoration to the paper and stamped the funky circles in pale green.  I die cut two smaller circles and stamped on them too.  On another piece of the same designer paper, I stamped several of the hibiscus flowers and cut them out and attached them to the centre of the panel - so my square became circles and flowers!  I finished off with a simple birthday greeting from my stash!

Stamps:  Waltzingmouse - Say It Loud, You're Lovely, Free Spirit - Boy
Inks:  Memento - Tuxedo Black; Stampin' Up! Pens - Certainly Celery, Old Olive
Spellbinders:  Lacey Circles (S4-293) #2
Accessories:  Webster's Pages - free with Simply Cards & Papercraft; Card from stash

That's all for now - I'm going to spend this afternoon sorting out our suitcases - I need to shift a few bits around to even the load!!  I've had lots of lovely messages wishing us good luck with the move and our new life in America, and I'd like to say thanks so much.  Take care, see you soon.

Monday 12 March 2012

Mono thanks ....

.... Another in my scheduled posts while without Internet access!!  I made this thank you card for another of my Craft Class friends, Kath.  I'm going to miss them all so much - but at least with Internet access it's a bit easier to keep in touch!

Kath is a very elegant lady and she loves black and white and bling.  Sadly, I didn't have any bling in my "emergency" stash, so this card is just black and white.  I used the beautiful lace doily to create the background, added some ribbon around the centre of the card and attached the label.  The black flowers were stamped a couple of weeks ago and ended up in the "scrap" box .  I inked up the thanks sentiment, cut it out and glued it to the label and flowers.

Stamps:  Waltzingmouse - Say It Loud, Dainty Doilies 2; Dawn Bibby - Flower Patch
Inks:  Stampin' Up! - Basic Black
Spellbinders: Label 18
Accessories:  Ribbon, white embossing powder and card from stash

Bye for now - see you soon.

Sunday 11 March 2012

CR84FN50 - Thank you .....

... Today is the start of our new challenge at CR84FN.  The colours for the next three weeks are really bright and cheerful and I've had such fun with them.  These stunning wedding photos are courtesy of Southern Wedding Magazine.

I made a thank you card - and gave it to my Aunt last month.  As soon as Mona sent us the colour graphic I knew which papers I'd use; they're by Cosmic Cricket and are just gorgeous.  This card was easy to make - it was simply a case of cutting squares with my Spellbinders dies, matting and layering.  For the focal image I used the lovely two-step stamps Greenhouse Garden and cut them all out by hand!  I finished off with a small sentiment in the bottom corner.

Stamps:  Stampin' Up! - Greenhouse Garden
Inks: Stampin' Up! - Melon Mambo, Regal Rose, Pumpkin Pie, Tangerine Tango, So Saffron, Daffodil Delight
Spellbinders: Lacey Squares (S4-295) #4, Standard Squares Sm (S4-128) # 5 & 6, Standard Squares Lg (S4-126) # 5
Accessories:  Stampin' Up - Tangerine Tango card; Cosmo Cricket - De Lovely; Card from stash

The design team and Shannon, our Guest Designer for CR84FN50, have made some wonderful cards to share with you, either click on the link below or go to the CR84FN blog.

Sadly, Stephanie will be stepping down from the Design Team following this challenge - she's an inspirational designer and great team member, and I'd like to wish her well in her future projects.  Do drop by and leave some love!

Don't forget CR84FN50 is running for three weeks, ending on Friday 30th March - so you've got lots of time to join in the fun!  See you soon.

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