Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Christmas Koala!

My first attempt at making a shaker card, I have learned a lot from it! I hadn't planned on making a shaker card which was my first mistake. I lacked the correct materials and had to make do. This digital image was a bit 'boozy' looking, ( i.e.drinking too much alcohol), so I erased the eyes and re-drew them with something more appropriate for a koala's first time in the snow. This is for our son's Christmas card after all! The beautiful blue background paper has dimensional snowflakes on it which I highlighted with glitter. I then painted in some foreground and added glitter glue but that buckled the paper. That was my second mistake because this slight buckling inhibits the free movement of the shaker elements. I didn't have proper shaker elements, just some cheap sequins which do look cheap. If you can afford the better quality craft ones, go for them. I added some  pearlescent paper snowflakes, but they don't move very well. As I said, I have learned from this experience! Will our son be critical of my poor attempt? No, he is a truly grateful young chap who will love this fun image! This digitalstamps can be found here: http://www.qkrstampede.com/products.php?cat=digi-stamps%20koalas

Conclusion: Shaker cards are great but you need to practice making them and have the correct materials to pull them off successfully. I don't normally make them because they are expensive to post but I really do like them, they are fun! The question is, do I invest in purchasing the materials to make these cards and try to budget some more for postage?  I am sorely tempted..... watch this space! If you would like to see some gorgeous, properly made, shaker cards; then hop over to see Shaz's blog here: https://calligraphycards-shazinoz.blogspot.fr/2016/12/shaker-card-using-nellie-snellen.html
Thanks for taking the time to read my meanderings! Have a lovely day,whatever you are doing!

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Odds and Ends and new stamps for the wishlist...

One of Crafty Individuals new releases!
I have not had a creative year. Not in the inky sort of way. It hasn't been an easy year but from such things we can learn and be strengthened in our faith. Is it too late to start thinking about what a new year can bring? Of course it is, we haven't finished this year and anyway, January 1st is simply another day. It's the 1st December, which brings excitement to the house when you have a child around, (or two if you include hubby), because advent calendars get opened and Christmas is on the way! WHAT! Already? Am I the only one who still has some Christmas cards to make? Please say no!  I need, (okay want!), some of the gorgeous new Christmas themed stamps just released by Crafty Individuals which you can lust over here:  http://craftyindividualsblog.blogspot.fr/2016/11/new-stuff-plus-giveaway.html If you are lucky, you can win the whole set too! How generous of Jean and Malcolm. My lovely friend Coco has made some amazing samples using these new releases, you can see them here: http://scrapcocofolies.canalblog.com/archives/2016/11/27/34617667.html and be inspired by a very talented artist.

I love the way the desgn team uses their C.I. stamps and I would love to try their techniques but I lack the confidence and know how. I wonder if, when I have caught up, I might have some play time, try out techniques, search on the internet and simply have fun! Wouldn't that be great! I stick to CAS type cards because they are lightweight but a friend told me recently that she doesn't really like the CAS style much, so maybe I ought to venture out...... one inky stamp at a time...
For now I have two cards to share with you. One is a photograph which I took during the school summer holiday. By using a programme on the computer, (which sadly is no longer available) I managed to alter it to a watercolour effect and finished it off using coloured pencils and chalk. Ch√Ęteau de la Hunaudaye is not far from us and offers a relaxing time out and stunning photo opportunities.

 My second card is rather tame, again, but it is for a friend who has just become a grandmum for the first time! I love this stamp which is stamped on  smooth silk card from Crafty Individuals.I lightly coloured with pencils and mounted on layers discovered  in my sandwich bag of bits and bobs!
  Scans aren't the best way to showcase cards but the light levels are now too low to use photography without the proper lights and reflectors.
It is very cold now, a heavy frost patterned the ground and windows this morning and after scrapping off the windscreen the white glistening frost lay like snow ready to be crunched on by our son. Little things bring much pleasure.... and very blue fingers - brrr!

There, I have managed to write a blog post, which may, or may not, be my last one of the year. After all, this is a non-blogging blog you know!
Whatever you are doing, have fun, stay well and be safe may your Christmas be blessed,  and full of joy and happy memories! Know that Jesus really is the reason for this season. Thank you for visiting!

Thursday, 22 September 2016


I adore Crafty Individual stamps, they, unlike me, are so artsy!   I love to look at their design team creations and drool over their inspiration and talent. I was thus delighted to discover that this month's challenge is CAS, meaning clean and simple! Well I think most of us know what it stands for but what does it actually mean? I looked it up on various sites and blogs and the concensus seems to include the following rules:
  • Lots of 'white space' ..meaning unused areas
  • maximum of one layer
  • None or very few embellishments
  • Simple techniques
  • minimal use of colour.
Now these rules are not set in stone but they helped me to make a CAS card. Well it took several attempts because I was obviously using the wrong stuff and couldn't get my ink to spread, then trying to scan and take a photo of it just proved frustrating beyond belief! It is lacking in spit and polish but owing to a streaming cold and other personal circumstances I ask that you just look at the technique rather than the result! Could be better as my teachers used to say......
If you have watercolour paper, this technique will work much better.
Dampen your paper and ink up your stamp with 2-3 colours of distress ink. Stamp out your image, spritz with a little water and watch the colours spread out. Leave to dry.
Ink the same image with black ink, (I used memento), and stamp over the top of your coloured image. Voila!
Son is off school with a cold today, he kept me on my toes throughout the night, pained look on his face, I'm dying mentality, sound familiar? ....see 'man with a cold syndrome' is genetic and it starts at an early age. Pity messages and chocolate can be sent to me anytime......  
Enjoy the rest of your week! 

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Bee Magnetism......

This is another little doodle-scribbling for my 'I don't blog' blog.... 'bee magnetism' actually meaning a revamped magnetic calender and photos of a bee in our garden.Thrilling huh? I bet you can't wait!!!!
old calender
revamped version
I need something in my kitchen, (okay we only have one room downstairs which is a kitchen/dining area/living area in one, so technically it's in my kitchen area), on which I can place those bits of information that need to be at hand. You know what I mean, son wants to know what's on at the library, hubby needs the opening times of the decheterie and mother needs to be reminded of a scripture verse about peace, calm and that God IS in control.......  Our son has outgrown his first calender and progressed to a more chic and styalised memo/calender board which is now in his bedroom. Instead of ditching his old calender, I revamped it with things I already have, no purchase necessary BUT it is only a temporary measure. I don't have any paints, gel mediums, etc otherwise I would have painted the frame, taken out the webbing and replaced it along with the hanging cord. I would have layered a stronger magnetic film within the frames before covering them with paper protected by some wipable or harder wearing type of varnish....ideally.
What I actually did was to grab an old Stazon ink pad in dark green, stamp a border and swipe ink over the frame to give it a 'shabby' look. I scanned two sheets of patterned paper, the only two of these designs I have, mirror imaging one copy of each. I peeled off the calender image on the old board and using double sided tape, simply adhered the paper to the board. This will be easier to remove in the future plus of course I can't use glue because it will buckle copier paper..... I glued a piece of semi-transparent gold ribbon over the webbing on the hinges, which were originally bright blue, and wrapped coloured cord over the original blue hanging cord, securing it with sellotape at the back and a little glue along one edge to keep it in place. A few hand decorated magnets and voila! A cheap, makeshift, will-do-for-now magnetic board.
Finally some photos of the beautiful and noisy carpenter bee/ abeille charpentiere, (Xylocpa violacea), on our sweet williams. Total length around 25-30mm, the males have no sting and although the females can sting, they are fairly docile.....just loud! These bees are busy and hardly stay still, so photographing them, especially with an old point and shoot camera, is difficult. However, our little camera has faithfully done the biz and you can see how the wings reflect an irridescent violet at the right angle. Beautiful!
Thank you as ever for taking a peek at my ramblings, have a wonderful and blessed week!


Monday, 13 June 2016

Mme Merle Noir

Mme Merle's family have finally flown the nest. I thought you might like to see a couple of more photos showing the fledglings at a week old and then fully fledged at two weeks. Mum will go on feeding them for another 3 weeks.

 M.Merle was nowhere to be found, so we do not know if he was just a lazy father or if something happened to him. Nevertheless, Mme Merle did a wonderful job in raising her four little ones. God's creation is just amazing!

Enjoy your week!

Monday, 30 May 2016


I cannot believe that my baby is going to be 10 years old on Sunday!  He is very much into the new, (2015), Thunderbirds. Every morning I hear of a rescue, the countdown, '5-4-3-2-1  Thunderbirds are go!',  and the inevitable 'International Rescue, we're on our way'  -' F.A.B!'  So we are planning a Thunderbirds themed Birthday. We have a TB tablecloth,banner, balloons, his cake will be decorated with FAB 1, and two of the TB figures, (Scott and Virgil), and not to mention that my Aunt and Uncle have bought him the TB Tracy Island set......  I made him a Thunderbirds card, easy to do but it took some time to find a picture, edit it, and make a TB themed insert and envelope as well as a bookmark! Apologies about the picture, the scanner nipped off the edge, it is evenly matted on a picture of Tracy Island....promise!He will be going on his own adventure too with his school. The following day he will be gone for three days studying river life. That means three days of no Thunderbirds for us....!!!!

Not that it will be quiet here, Mme Merle has 4 little ones now, three hatched on Saturday and the other yesterday, on Mothers Day.....they haven't stopped chirping for food since.....!

Have a lovely week!


Saturday, 14 May 2016

Un Merle Noir

She has made a nest in our honeysuckle right by our front door. Our lives are becoming dominated by our wish  not to disturb her as she lays her pretty blue eggs, of which there are three ... so far. So is a female blackbird 'une Merle Noire' and do French blackbirds eat their escargots with garlic butter?

I have not been able to make cards for a while, life has it's tests and trials but when I do get a chance to play, I promise I will share at least one of my ink splats! Our garden is coming along nicely, well, the weeds and grass are growing the fastest but there are promises bursting throughout.

On a final say about God's wonderful creation, two of our over-wintered swallowtail butterflies hatched a couple of weeks ago! Seeing these amazing creatures form into a chrysalis and then gently break out as a butterfly; watching them pump up their wings, dry them off and zip up their proboscis then fly away is still breath taking, no matter how often I see it. 

We have a long weekend here in France and my friend is visiting from England on Monday! I have taken Thursday off and we are going to have a girls day out .. YAY!
Enjoy your weekend, whatever you are doing!

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Boxes ~ A Crafty Individuals Challenge

I know, I just don't do challenges normally and I certainly don't do boxes! My cards are clean and simple and under 20g for posting. If you visit the C.I blog here http://craftyindividualsblog.blogspot.fr/2016/03/boxes-of-all-sorts-march-challenge.html
Lift the 'lid' and the message pulls up - cool!
You will see why I don't particularly enter their challenges, all the entries are SUPERB, high quality and very arty. Not me at all, I just don't have what it takes to make such wonderful creations. So here am I, up to the wire, having created a mess box type card. Woman are allowed to say one thing and do another, it's part of our genetics, or hormones....

Nope, definitely due to a lack of chocolate....! All images are by Crafty Individual and all are smothered with shimmery wink of stella, except at 4.45pm on a windy day not only does the shimmer disappear but my card nearly did.....! C'est la vie, it took me ALL DAY to get this made, you don't want to know how full my bin is.... but I did it! I made something outside of my comfort zone! I may even have learned one or to things, perhaps. Now, where's some chocolate....anyone? Pleeeze?.......

YOU MUST READ! ...please!
This article about honey was written by my dear husband for a magazine and is now available to read online here: http://creation.com/gods-healing-gift-of-honey 
Also on Facebook, please leave a like and comment to encourage him! Thank you! 
Thanks for taking a peek! Easter may be over but it's reason isn't. Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ at this time of year. He is risen, He is alive! He wants YOU to come and know Him and accept Him as your Lord and Saviour. Do you want to know more? Then please e-mail me!