Friday, 30 March 2012

Rocking my world Friday

Hi folks - a while since I played along so I thought I would dig deep and see what I could find to feel positive and happy about so........
Its payday - yay - time to fill up the cupboards again and maybe have a wee crafty indulgence??
On Monday I put on my jeans - they were falling down so I put on the one and only belt I own and could pull it back 3 notches to last time I wore it.  That was a brilliant feeling!
The weather has been glorious this week - on Wednesday I enjoyed a lovely day out with an old friend - visiting a craft shop and having a girly time.
Yesterday I walked to work without stopping once at a fast pace - not much exciting for anyone else but when I know how unfit I was in January when I began exercising its quite an achievement for me.
The last 2 weeks have seen me glued to the computer watching Creative Chemistry 101 with Mr Holtz - wow has it been inspiring!  I have fallen in love with my distress inks all over again which is fabulous not to mention my TH stamps which have been neglected for a while so I look forward to being able to recap on the classes (we have life time access to them) and playing when I have some time to do it.
Easter Holidays - time for my chicks to come home for a wee while.  Tom begins his new job on 1st May so this will be his last big trip home till maybe Christmas - so let the celebration of success commence :0) James is only home Thursday - Monday so I plan some special meals for when he is back too xx
Tonight we bagged Megsy a prom dress - the search has been on since Christmas but the right one has just not surfaced until we found one on ebay a few days ago - I fell in love with it showed Megsy and so did she so we have been waiting with baited breath till the end of the auction.  I was willing to pay up to £100 but bagged it for £29!  Wow what a bargain so now the search is on for shoes - gorgeous red ones at that! Hurrah it feels great to have found it at last!
as always in the up and down week that has been here at The Clarke house its lovely to focus on positives and begin the weekend full of hope and positive feelings.
Fancy playing along or hearing more about happy thoughts? then stop by the Queen of the Rockettes at The Celtic House where it all begins.......

Thursday, 29 March 2012

New stamps

Out for lunch with Jacci yesterday so popped over to The Craft Range to pick up some new Molly Bloom stamps. I was very restrained and only bought 2 then Jacci bought me a 3rd as a gift which was so kind.
So here is a simple card with George on the Unicycle - The ticket stamps are by Hot off the press - love love ticket stamps and these were only a £1 at Harrogate show.
I really enjoyed colouring him in with my promarkers. A touch of tea dye around the edges once I had cut shapes from the nestabilities and I am quite pleased with the outcome. No particular reason for the card except to play.
Right off to catch up with Tims course - am loving it!
Happy Crafting x

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

A commission

Not had a commission from work this year till the hardest to please of them all, Sue, asked me to "make something special for my Cousins 50th birthday". Sue has excellent taste but is also very exact at what she likes. She lives in a household full of men so craves girly colours so that's the way I went.
This is an 8x8 card and a Mo manning pre-coloured image (I know -I feel like a cheat).
A combination of Martha Stewart, Stampin up and tonic punches - Sissix swirl die (Yay at last I found my die which has been missing for months!) and Tim Holtz sissix on the edge fence die. The little red border is a pre cut one I bought ages ago and not sure about the flowers as they were just in my flower box!
I like how the fence bows out to give the card even more dimension.
Hangs my head I even used peel offs for the lettering and 50 simply because I don't have the right size letter stamps. I do love the bunting though its a trend I am loving very much.
So does she like it???
Phew thank goodness she does!

and different again.... Try it on Tuesday

The ladies at our stamping club wanted to have a colouring session and as it was my turn to lead I thought the paperbag card is perfect for it as it uses so many images to colour.
Last Friday we went through few basics - I am no colouring expert that's for sure but have found as my confidence has grown that looking around blog land at what pleases my eye and making a note of it is very helpful to creating something.
I have also learned - especially from my pal Kerry that playing and practising is the most helpful thing to do so I wanted them to do just that.
Boy was I tough I set homework prior to the class and made them practice all morning before starting their cards - still they all seemed to have fun anyway!
This is my finished card - we used Magnolia stamps as they are so easy to colour when you are practising.
The theme over at Try it on Tuesday is Easter this week so its perfect for that too.
this uses all my favs on cute cards punches, glossy accents, buttons and ribbon and a touch of stickles xx
This card is for my Niece and Nephew - this siblings hugging image reminded me of them .
This week Try it on Tuesday is sponsored by The Craft Barn who have a fab £15 voucher to give the winner for an online treat so do stop by and see the DT work (which is stunning as ever) over at TRY IT ON TUESDAY
Or challenges I am entering are
Make my Monday has a theme of new beginnings
Crafty Catz weekly challenge has Easter/ spring
Cute card Thursday has a theme of anything goes
One of the facebook groups I am in are having an Easter challenge too so I am entering it there as well.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Birthdays birthdays........

So glad the last card reached its destination
Happy Birthday Neil Hope you have a fabulous day!
This card is for a family friend who has a heart of gold. This time I played with a stamp set from Pink Paislee called London Market. I found this at the show last weekend so its a perfect opportunity to ink up and play. I have been asked to do something for the Golden Jubilee - a class/ craft get together so I have been gathering ideas to do that - this set is part of the cunning plan along with this set by artemio!
I have of course used distress inks for the background, wild honey, broken china, and dusty concord - but then with the influence of Mr Holtz in my ear I have used my unloved coloured archival inks to create the layered stamping.
The bird is from a Kaisercraft set which I stamped in black archival then watercoloured with distress - see my fellow creative chemistry classmates I have taken on board the properties to use the inks properly .
So this is a weekend at work for me - a sleep over duty on the day the clocks go forward which means an hour less of sleep as I will still have to get up at the new time of 6-30am for my morning shift - yikes.
Me thinks I will be curled up on the sofa as soon as I finish at 3pm tomorrow!
Right off to bake a birthday cake before I start work this afternoon.
Have a creative weekend folks xx

Thursday, 22 March 2012

So what has Timmy inspired me to do?

First let me explain Timmy is an affectionate not derogatory term - My hubby is called Tim and is known as Timmy when we are having a bit of a laugh together. I would like to think would have a bit of a laugh with Mr Holtz should I ever get to craft with him and hey I'm doing that everyday for the next 2 weeks!
This was one of yesterday lessons which I have wanted to do for ages now.
Reflections stamps and embossing folders. Now the only ones I had suitable were the atc size ones so that's what I played with. The only reflections stamps I had were seasonal ones (Christmas card ladies this will be on the list now!!!) which thankfully had this fab music stamp in it.
A trusty blending tool and distress inks and here it is!
I made it into a card for some fab dinky envelopes I bought at the show and thought
Why not stamp and ink the envelope too? I am back in love with my blending tool after being so lost for inspiration I just cant wait to play!
Here they are together - this will be plopping through someone's door very soon - wonder who that will be???
Messy, inky fun there is nothing quite like it!!!
Hope you are having crafty fun this week too!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Tims Online class

Wow I am blown away!
This class is just what I needed to boost my creativity - not just how to do something but why some things work in certain ways ie the whole chemistry behind it.
I was lucky to meet Dy Reaveley early on in my crafting journey who set me on the path of Ranger products and certainly gave me lots of techniques to play around with. Her classes are full of transferable information not just learning to do one thing and I do feel very privileged to have been set on this path so early on in my papercrafting life.
(she is also responsible for my now very serious stamp addiction - the dotty flower has a lots to answer for.....)
Now to have the access to another awesome instructor is brilliant and I am loving the teaching style so much. Technique based transferable skills that keep the stamping fresh and revitalise my interest in distress inks are perfect for me just now.
The videos are so detailed, the handouts perfect accessories and the insight into the way distress started have held me captivated.
Its still not too late to join in - the videos will be able to be viewed over and over again - an online forum for questions to be asked and answered by Tim Holtz - a place to share art work and ideas is an amazing tool.
Do stop by here for more info - you will not be disappointed!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Happy Mothers day!

This is the card I made for my Mum. A few weeks ago I saw these stamps being sold second hand - I have now seen they are by Joanna Sheen. They so reminded me of childhood holidays in Filey and we have a pic of my brother toddling to the sea just like this one.
Ive used quite strong colours because of the background papers but I think they would look fab watercoloured.
Happy Mothers day Mum xx
(just noticed the Mum is wonky but as they are held on with brads I can adjust it - phew)
Off to Harrogate show today - Hope there is stuff left!
Meeting my pals Georgina and Liz and her daughter Anna so a good day all round me thinks!
Happy Mothers day to you too xx

Friday, 16 March 2012

Rocking my World Friday

So its Friday again and time to share what has rocked my world this week.
Last week saw another Lovin' ink retreat - which seriously has to be top of the list. I don't often add stuff before my family but honestly the time with our retreaters is amazingly special.
The pictures speak for themselves really and can be found here.
Each person embraced the ideas and experimented with their own which is an utter delight to see. Their pride in their projects shines from them.
Other delights from the weekend were Siobhans shortbread, Lindas chocs, Vikkis cakes and Phillipes fruit pies - poor Emma didnt get a sniff at them they were so popular!
An amazing weekend.
Next has to be meeting up with my lovely pals Jo and Georgina who could not make the retreat but came to Embsay for a play on Monday which was fun.
Georgina is the kindest sweetest Lady and I feel so lucky to have met her. Do stop by and say hello here.
Tuesday and Wednesday were not that cracking to be honest - tiredness from the retreat and the comedown from the high hit me hard but I did manage a little creativity and a debrief about the weekend with Michelle where plans for next March are now developing........
My Cousin Steph did call for a cuppa - she is the one who was ill a few weeks ago. Well thank goodness she is on the mend. Having been told she had 3 days to live without the op to have a stoma fitted she is looking great. She said she has been fighting depression off and trying to remain positive is hard but she did look amazing and just goes to show how ill she was before without any of us knowing.
Yesterday was a work day and Megsy went to see the dietician alone for the first time. I was thrilled when she told me they have come up with a plan to exercise and have breakfast which Megs feels able to achieve - I so want her to feel in control. (For those of you who dont know she has Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome which was diagnosed last year.) I was pleased my perseverance with the dietician had helped her as both the consultant and our GP thought healthy eating would be enough but it really is food types that will help and the dietician is obviously connecting well with her to empower her with her future.
That was a brilliant plus this week.
This arrived today - Megsy and I have been waiting all week for it so snuggled down to watch it tonight
Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part 1 Full Movie
Even though we saw it at the cinema it was still fabulous to watch and has made us eager to see the Part 2 as soon as it comes out.
Bellas eyes are the last thing you see as the film ends and she becomes a stunning Vampire

We loved it!
So thats my week right up until tonight.
Hope you can find lots to be thankful for - do stop by The Celtic House where Virginia hosts the most positive weekly experience for life not just for Craft.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

April Classes with Lovin' Ink

The next workshops for Lovin' Ink are based around all your own work so we will be making our own designer papers .
My samples are bold and bright - Michelle is working on much more muted colours so they choice will be yours.
Dates for this workshop are:-
Samuel Taylors - Embsay on Saturday 7th April 10am-4pm to book click here
and Craft Range, Burnley 14th April 10-30am - 4-30pm to book click here

Hope to see you there x

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Creativity boost.


I am excited to have joined up to do Tims online class and am looking forward to learning and being inspired by him.
I was lucky to meet Dyan Reaveley early on in my crafting journey and she set me on the right path with lots of Ranger products. I love my distress inks and stamps and hope to learn new techniques to inspire me to be creative with them.
So the classes begin next Monday I can't wait!
Will I see you there I wonder???

Try it on Tuesday the new challenges begin

Over on Try it on Tuesday we now have a fortnightly challenge with a getting to know you bit in the other weeks. Our new Dt members shared their favourite things last week and now its time for a challenge.

Entitled wonders in watercolour we would like to see any project using watercolour as a medium.
Mines a simple one with limited time for the retreat I watercoloured using distress inks on this fab Paperartsy stamp. Papers are old Stampin up ones which I have only just opened - shame on me!
Our Dt as ever have created some beauties so please stop by and check them out here and with a prize from One stop card crafts
Card week sponsor

Its definitely worth searching out your watercolours for a little play.
Thanks for stopping by today x

Monday, 12 March 2012

All about the weekend.......

So the weekend is over - all the planning begins again for the next one!
We had an amazing time with inks, paints, sprays, paste, stolen sand, bits of twigs and leaves, tons of gesso, die cuts, stencils, masks, distress, feathers, lace and a canvas or two.
I will let the pictures do the talking though I do think Alan has forgiven Michelle for stealing his speaker sand.........
Stop by Lovin Ink to see what the wonderful folks made.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Whats happening at the weekend?

This coming weekend its the Lovin' ink residential retreat and we are playing with Canvas - for more stop by the Lovin' Ink blog
Here are a couple of simple things I have been doing.
I have tons of jars around that will "come in" so I decided to have a play at altering this one a little. Its a cranberry sauce jar from Christmas which is a pretty shape.
So with a bit of gesso, some distress ink - a little stamping......

jelly beans and a canvas flower - it does look very different from its pre-Christmassy state!
A few weeks ago I bought some canvas paper from poundland 10 sheets in the pack and come on you know the price lol.
So I had a play with my stampsmith stamps. This was one of the stamps with my prize from the challenge I won last year - Love them!
The canvas paper stamps really well and gives such texture to the image I will definitely buy more. This is a preprinted card blank with just a few additions - very simple - a little like me I suppose LOL.
So if I don't get chance to post - have a great weekend and I will see you on Monday with oodles of pics!
Thanks for stopping by x Janet

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

News Flash!

I know some of you follow my news as well as my crafting and today is a huge cause of celebration in the Clarke House.
My eldest son, Tom, had an interview last Friday for a research assistant post at Bangor University where he did his degree. This is just what he wants to do and will be a great stepping stone to his next career move to do his Phd.
Competition was tough with many worthy applicants however.......

HE DID IT! He got the job.
We are utterly thrilled and cannot wait to celebrate with him when he returns for the Easter holidays

Hurrah! Well done Tom that's fabulous news!!!
Thanks for stopping by from one very excited Mum!

Favourite things at Try it on Tuesday

Over on Try it on Tuesday there are some changes - the first being to introduce our new Design team members who are showing us some favourite things - could be favourite techniques, could be favourite projects, could be favourite products.

So the rest of us are showing some favourite things too.

Here is mine. I made it last July at the Claxby retreat and still love it very much.

All Tim Holtz products except the lush papers.

Do stop by Try it on Tuesday and find out what all the excitement has been about and also to find more favourite things.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

bits and bobs

Yesterday saw Lovin' inks second workshop at Samuel Taylors in Embsay. This was the afternoons project which was re-enforcement of the mornings technique - Layered stamping. The ladies took to it like ducks to water and the stamping nerves were soon overtaken by huge success! More pictures over on the Lovin Ink blog

Next up is the project I did at the class with Clare Rowlands. How lucky were we to play with the fabulous new collection to produce this cute little flag book.
The papers are scrumptious and I forgot to find out who makes them - anyone know??
Love the ticket stamps that Clare has sized just right for the TH ticket die - genius!

Never made a flag book before but I really enjoyed it and would definitely do it again. maybe adding quotes to the flag pages.
as you can see the DP flags were a perfect match to the project - Clare really thought of everything!
Am off to update my sad neglected Christmas blog as I have been preparing for my Christmas classes which begin on 13th March!
Happy Sunday folks and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, 2 March 2012

Rocking my world Friday and Stampman atcs

Its been a better week thank goodness, I dont think I will have far to look for some gratefulness today!
No 1 son had an interview today at his old Uni in Bangor as a research assistant - would be fab if he got the job though he said the competition is tough. Last year when he was out of work he was despondent at not even getting an interview for jobs so I am thrilled that as this is the field he wants to move in he got an interview straight away. He finds out on Monday.
No 2 son says he will only be home for 5 days at Easter which is not a plus (too short a visit :0( )however the reason is, he is so into his dissertation piece of work he wants to get all the fine tuning right long before the deadline - so the planning bit is a plus :0)
Our Megsy has had a good school week. She gets easily worked up about her exams but this weeks has plodded through her work schedule steadily and even stayed after school for extra classes - another forward thinking plan. I am more pleased with the fact she is not stressed though as its one thing our home does not need right now!
At last hubby started on his meds. He has had a more positive week which is very good.
I feel a family group ahhh hug coming on ((((((hug)))))).
I had a brilliant day on Wednesday at The Craft Range in Burnley doing a Molly Blooms class. The last few months Mum and I have travelled to Hapton treating ourselves to this indulgence. Sadly I am working the next 2 sessions but this time playing with these cuties has been very precious as has crafting time with Mum. Mum treated me to lunch as I did not have to rush back to work which was fab x Thanks Mum x
Work has been particularly stressful the last month - procedure changes, staff sickness and an ofsted inspection does not make for a good mix however this week has felt better. I had a lovely shift last night/ this morning and as one young person hugged me before he left for school (he is autistic) it left a warm feeling, which I rather like, about work - sigh if only every day was like that!
Today I visited Kanban Crafts in Shipley with a retired work chum. Just the outlet store to stock up on basics like white and black cardstock. Jacci had never been before - The girls on the bacon butty van waved as I drove past them (its near the factory and they make the best bacon butty around) I felt guilty as we were going somewhere else for lunch yet secretly thrilled they even recognised me!. You can see where we went here
A good old Yorkshire bap sandwich and a cream scone - yummy...... back to healthy eating tomorrow!!
Lovely spending time chatting for no reason about anything that cropped up - it felt very indulgent and special.
So thats my grateful list for this week - along with blue skies, payday and fabulous email pals.
It was also a fab and funny week here. Honestly the ladies have had me laughing all week - thank goodness its back to crafting again today but for how long???
Do stop by the Queen of the Rockettes where thankful is the name of a very positive day!

On the down side I totally forgot the Stampman atc swap with the preparation for the retreat occupying my days off but on the plus side my awesome team mate Brenda stepped in at the last minute and helped me out - Thanks so much Brenda I really appreciate your help.
So here are my atcs for the March swap on Hopes and dreams.

The 3 together
close up of No 1 with Tim Holtz stamps
No 2 - thats a fab collage stamp from Hero Arts isn't it!!!
and number 3 with Stampendous!
Fabulous stamps so if you are ready to spoil yourself get over to The Stamp Man where the sale ends next week!!!
Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by today xx