Ceanothus Concha, this is a fairly young shrub and reached about 7' high this year
Morning Peeps, I hope you all had a good weekend, the weather was a bit iffy here so no barbie which we hoped might be an option, but never mind as it was nice to spend time with family.
I was determined to join in Mo's Rudolph Day this time round and managed to get a card made using Penny Black stamps and a bit of colouring with my Sepectrum pencils. I cut out the top section of the image so that it sat over the aperture created with a TL oval die and placed it over the sentiment, some stickles and a bow
And here are a few more photos of the shrubs presently coming into bloom in the gardens.
Mexican Orange Blossom with a lovely scent, this one is a young bush of only a couple of years
Ceanothus Thyrsiflorus Skylark, we started off with the idea of it climbing one of the pergolas, but it's taken on a life of it's own and well over 12' high now and a stand alone shrub almost as tall as some of the fruit trees
Viburnun Opulus Roseum, every year it gets a really hard prune back and every Spring it just takes off like a triffid, this year it's well over 10 feet tall and the blooms are huge as the photo below shows against my hand
Aesculus Hippocastanum - Good old Horse Chestnut. We planted 50 forest trees about 20 years ago, several of which were Horse Chestnuts, all are maturing nicely now and will be splendid specimens in years to come
Thanks for visiting and hope you all have a good week.
Good morning, I hope you are ready for the bank holiday weekend whatever you have planned and lets hope the weather is kind. Please accept my apologies for the lack of activity for a whole week, I have been rather under the weather and on the hospital run again, but fingers crossed things are slowly getting back to normal.
Today is Allsorts 6th Birthday and we are celebrating in style with a very special prize to be won..............a £50 Tattered Lace shopping voucher. Plus, there are some more Tattered Lace dies to be won which I shall explain about a bit further down this post.
I find it amazing that we are six years old, I have been on the team since day one and little did I think that we would still be going and in fact getting even stronger after six years and there could only be one there really this week, it's 'Birthday's.
Yet more Tattered Lace dies to be won
As well as the fabulous Tattered Lace prize to be won at Allsorts, I have two more of their dies to give away, but there is a slight twist as I shall be selecting two winners from the followers over at the Tattered Lace Blog, so if you are not already a follower do pop over there to be in with a chance of winning one of the beautiful dies pictured above.
As I am very fortunate to be on both the Tattered Lace Design Team for TV work as well as their inspirational blog team, my DT piece is of course using their fabulous dies. It's four month since I was invited to join them and I'm still having a ball and loving working with their products. My canvas above..............which I will add was tremendous fun to make.........is also on the Tattered Lace Blog today along with how I created it so I won't bore you with all the details here as well.
I hope you all have a lovely holiday weekend and I do hope you will join in our Birthday celebrations this week.
Good morning, time for another challenge at Allsorts and this week Susan want to anything but a square on our work. Our sponsors are Deedees Designs and do read down about next weeks very special challenge.
I have gone with a circle easel card cut with Tattered Lace essential circles and scalloped circles, I am always rather partial to easel cards and especially round ones and this Penny Black Poppy lends itself to this shape.
I stamped and embossed the Poppy with versafine black and detail clear and coloured with Spectrum Noir pencils.............we all know I am not a colourist and am always searching for a colouring medium I feel confident working with. After watching these demoed on C&C a few weeks ago when there was a fantastic deal of all five sets at a club price of about £65 I took the plunge and went for them and I am actually beginning to see the appeal of colouring in and actually enjoying it.
I added a little light stenciling around the Poppies and added some pearls and a Penny Black sentiment and ribbons.
And a little advance notice that next week we celebrate or 6th Birthday at Allsorts, it's going to be rather special................... there's a little clue in the sidebar badge which we hope you will display on your own blogs to help us spread the word and of course join in the fun next week.
I also have a second card which I have made for this month Butterfly Challenge, I have not had time to join in for some weeks so thought I had better show my face again, I rarely enter challenges but like to make an exception for this one. The theme this time is 'J for jagged edges' and of course a butterfly. So a perfect opportunity to distress the edges of my main piece and add some frantage, a background of Dylusions and stenciling, a Penny Black butterfly and sentiment (cut down into three), seam binding and pearls.
Happy weekend all and as always thank you for your visit.
Tomorrow sees the launch of lots of new Tattered Lace goodies and lucky me has been playing with them for the last couple of weeks and today I can share a few with you.
The new Trio sets are so clever, each set has three dies, a small embossing folder and there are stamps as well. Needless to say I have been in my element with so many flowers to play with and quite a few have been given the inky treatment, plus I have also done some colouring in.........I know shock horror..............using the new Nursery Rhyme stamps along with the matching dies.
I used the Sophie (leaves) and Kirsty Trio sets on the top card, as soon as I saw the latter set it yelled out Poppies to me, but to be fair it makes so many flowers including lovely Pansies. Both the background, Poppies and leaves have been given the Dylusion and Mica spray treatment along with some masking and grunge paste.
I have used several of the Trio sets on this one, Emma, Kirsty, Sophie, Rebecca and Nicola and a Pan Pastel background. The sentiment is also Tattered Lace which I cut down into two parts
Little Bo Peeps from one of the Nursery Rhyme stamp sets, I masked the sheep to create a flock............might make it easier for her to find them as well !! The flowers are made from the Rebecca Trio set
A fairly simple matted and layered card using the Tractor die and With Love from the Get Started set which was POTW recently
I cut these flowers from felt and the dies cut through it perfectly with just one run through the e.bosser. It doesn't show up too well on my photo, but I was really surprised to find the felt picked up the pattern from the embossing folder really well
I used the Rebecca Trio set to make the roses, Sophie the leaves and dipped them along with Butterfly Wondrous into UTEE, shading all with Pan Pastels
Thanks so much for taking a look today and I hope you get time to see some of the programmes.
This is a recent Tattered Lace Create and Craft TV make for the Pick of the Week and is a bit of inkiness and requested tutorial using my favourite Dylusions and Tattered Lace dies of which I have used four on this card. I wrote up a tutorial on the Tattered Lace blog for the background and stenciling a few days ago................I know many of you are old hands at this but equally that there are always new crafters, so here it is direct from the TL bog and I will also add it to my tutorial page....................
Dylusions give such wonderfully vivid colours and are such fun to use when creating backgrounds and as I have used several techniques I thought a short tutorial may be helpful for those of you new to inky crafting but with an inkling to get messy.
1) The reverse non shiny side of Centura Pearl is in my view the very best card to work on with most types of inks and spray mists as it absorbs the moisture without losing it's shape, the exception is perhaps Fabriano watercolour card but is a tad expensive for general playtime.
2) I like to start with a piece of card larger than the size of my intended card so that I can cut it down and work on the section that appeals, the thing with this type of background is that no two are ever the same.
3) Liberally spray your chosen colours of Dylusions..............I used Bubblegum Pink, White Linen and Grey Slate on this piece. Dependent on the depth of colours you want you can just leave to dry, it only takes a few moments, or use a piece of kitchen towel to mop up excess moisture and lift some of the colour. I then like to add a liberal spritz of pearl glimmer mist or similar mica spray, this not only adds some sheen which shows up beautifully on the flowers, but helps blend the colours.
4) Rub the dry piece with either a tumble drier sheet or stampers anti static bag and then place the Church window stencil in place with some low tack masking tape. Sponge over with distress ink starting lightly and building up the colour gradually.......you can always add more, but you can't remove it ! Remove the mask and set aside for a few minutes to allow the colour to set or you can give it a quick blast with a heat gun.
5) Next take a small pattern stencil, the one I used here has tiny graduated dots, again this can be fixed into position with tape. Using a spatula add grunge paste over the stencil, but only here and there as the aim is to achieve a very random affect and you don't want to obliterate your focal elements. Grunge paste takes about half an hour to dry properly.
6) You are now ready to make up your card as desired and you can of course use any masks and stencils you have.
7) I cut the TL Charisma Primrose twice from the offcuts of the initial piece I inked, decoupaged and position with some TL Tulip Starlight Flourish. The sentiments are single words are again cut from the left overs using TL Dance and With Love dies and a nice flouncy organza bow made on the EA bow maker.
Happy inking and I am always happy yo answer any question if you are unsure.
And a little belatedly here are the lucky winners of my candy..............
Good morning Peeps, I hope you are all having a good week. Thanks so much for all your very kind comments on my last few posts, also welcome to me new followers.
No craft to share today, I am deep into Tattered Lace samples which I can't share quite yet, but keep your eyes open for some fabulous new products coming up on Create and Craft TV on 14th/15th of May. So instead I thought I would share some more photos from the garden which I took bank holiday Monday when we had an hour or two of lovely sunny weather in the afternoon.
Wisteria Brachybotrys Shire Kapitan Fujii, the beauty of the blooms and habit never fail to wow me
Clematis Montana, two years ago I cut this one right back as it was looking really bedraggled with little flower, last year it did nothing and the family were convinced I had killed it, this year it proved them all wrong and looks glorious in the corner of the secret garden (with a fence much in need of replacement)
Polygonatum odoratum, it's an amazing plant as it comes from nowhere to three feet high in just a couple of weeks. Supposedly it has good healing properties for arthritis and skin conditions and widely used by the Chinese
Syringa vulgaris - or good old common Lilac, this one is always the first to bloom and has a glorious scent, especially in the evening - I took this photos a couple of days ago, just look at the blue sky, ever since it's rained
Looking across the back of the orchard at a few of the apple tree, the pears are all at the front and had an abundance of flower this year, note the end of a yellow lab in the bottom left corner
And on this one I seem to have got the back end of a black lab, they get everywhere. One of the Choisya's or Mock Orange Blossom, this one is only a couple of years old and looks like it will grow into a beauty, it's another with a lovely scent
And I thought I would also share a few of our garden birds.............
Green 'woody' woodpecker, he's been living with us for a year or two and last year introduced 'the wife' and together they raised a family
Chaffinch - last year we had a family of them and am hoping they have nested in the garden again, he's been pretty frantic lately so it looks as though there is a family somewhere
Honey Buzzard - no I didn't take the photo, they fly very high and my photo skills are not that good, but I wanted to show you what we see on an almost daily basis. They are not native to East Anglia, but about three years ago we sighted them over near Peterborough and last year they were regulars overhead so we think a family of them have settled close by
Bullfinch, we have so many of these in the gardens and hubby moved one of the feeders to just outside the kitchen window a couple of weeks ago to see if they would use it and it didn't take them long to feed from it, apparently quite unconcerned that it was so close to the house and people
Blue Jay, very private birds and always hesitant but they do venture out to feed on the seeds the smaller birds throw out of the feeders, a few weeks ago we had five feeding all together, quite a rare sight
And finally Molly the Moorhen and chicks.....yes lots have names !! We have several families living in and around the top pond and they always feed across the paddocks and with the chickens. They are such timid creatures flicking their wings and run off at the slightest noise so getting a photo takes forever and this one is from last year. One of the most distressing things I ever saw was a couple of years ago when a family were walking their young and a Kestrel swooped down and airlifted one of the chicks away, the poor mother Moorhen stood out the the paddock all afternoon squawking and crying
I hope I've not bored you with so many photos, but I so love this time of year with all the rebirth of Nature and can never resist taking photos, albeit it not always particularly good ones. The May/Whitethorn is just showing a hue of colour, we have a whole hedgerow of it along the top paddock so you can be sure there will be some photos of that.
It makes me happy if my work provides inspiration, but please do not directly copy for submission to challenges or magazines. I am always happy to answer questions about products and techniques I use, please mailmeto ask.