My Family & Other Animals

Friday, 30 March 2012

"The Aleisha Show..."

So this is my entry for the Make It Crafty design team and it uses one of their latest digi images,

a very pretty young lady called Aleisha and she is part of a set which are very reasonably priced. I love this set because it is the first time I have ever done anything remotely Anime looking and I really enjoyed colouring it too. Make it Crafty make some of the best digi stamps on the market (along with my other favourite Kenny K!) and they are so versatile. They make background stamps which you can use for loads of different cards and the themes they have are really modern and incredibly well drawn. If you haven't checked them out before, I can't recommend them highly enough - go on, treat yourself to some amazing artwork at a great price too, because you're worth it!

This is the first time I have ever worked with Kraft and it presented a big problem for me as I kept thinking I had to do something very grungy or distressed with it and it wasn't until I had sat there staring at it for about an hour and half before I just thought "S#d It!" and decided to just treat it the same as any other card stock. It does have a great versatility to it, because it may just be plain brown looking but it has a waxy, smooth side and a rough, natural side and I have been told you can colour on it with pencils really well, so that's something to try and look forward to doing!

So there you have it, this week's third card on my blog! and I still have a few more in hand to go on the ProMarkers Challenge blog too! Hope you like it and I REALLY hope MIC love it,

take care,



Entered Into: Speedy Fox and Friends Challenge #101 - Make A Square Card

ATC's and Cards With Attitiude Challenge #10 - Anything Goes

CardMadFairy's Digi Days Challenge #30 - Die Cuts and/or Punches

Crafty Catz Weekly Challenge #126 - Use A Digi Image

Ditzy Craftymess Challenge #5 - Baby Theme or Anything Goes

Inspire Me Friday's Challenge #52 - Anything Goes

Pattie's Creations Design Challenge #40 - Anything Goes (Must Use A Digi)

Wednesday, 28 March 2012


So we finally got to celebrate Mothering Sunday with my mum on Sunday and we had a really lovely day. She seemed to be really happy with her flowers and I know she loves her Black Magic choccies - they have always been her favourite and I have always been good at scoring brownie points when I need to! My sister made dinner for us (Hmm, a lovely sunday roast) and her roast potatoes were quite amazing. It's always a treat for us to have dinner made for us as we do struggle in this area on a daily basis. Jo has to cook because I can't really manage in the kitchen, it's the one thing that really does for me!
At the end of April Jo and I are going to spend a week looking after Mother while my sister goes to Cyprus on holiday. It's going to be really weird living with my mum again, something I haven't done since I was sixteen and a half years old and to say she has a "challenging" personality would be understating it greatly. However, if truth be told I'm not exactly your average shrinking violet so there is an enormous potential for fallout of nuclear standards, so if you see a massive dustcloud on the horizon any time during the last week of April, you know what it's origins are and don't say you weren't warned!!
On the card front, this week's challenge at I ♥ ProMarkers is "Bead It" and while I have loads of beads for my Jewellery, I'm not that big on the old sewing front. I panicked a bit about this one for a week or so until I had the genius idea to use glass micro beads. If you look closely at the two die cut flowers, I have covered the heads in the beads. I got the inspiration from Create and Craft (and the beads came from there too) where an american lady called Sue was selling the latest Spellbinders dies and she was using the beads for loads of other projects too, very versatile and the tub is massive so they will take ages to run out. The image is from Digi Doodle Shop and is called Song Bird and the reason I chose him is because he reminded me of Snoopy's best friend Woodstock. Papers are a mixture of Papermania and Dovecraft and the ticket is a Whimsy Die and stamp set which are brilliant and I use them all the time for loads of different things.
So that's it for now, see you again real soon, hugs 'n stuff
Entered Into: The Craft Room Challenge - Bling and Glitter/Sparkle
Part Time Tuesday's Challenge #61 - Anything Goes
Top Tip Tuesday Challenge #73 - Easter or/and Animals...
Colour Q Challenge #130 - Colour Palette (see Sidebar)
Crafty Bloggers Network Challenge #18 - Happy Bird-Day
Cupcake Craft Challenge #185 - The Sound Of Music
Get Hippity With Ippity Challenge #17 - Things With Wings
Paper Creations Ink Challenge - #21 Things With Wings
The Pink Elephant Challenge #141 - Butterflies
(Lawn)scaping Challenge #30 - Inspired By A Fellow Crafter

Monday, 26 March 2012

"Our House, Is A Very, Very,Very Fine House..."

So who's been a busy boy then. Not only have I made my mum's card for Mothering Sunday (never Mother's Day - that's the American way!), I have also made a few cards for here and some for the I ♥ ProMarkers Challenge Blog too. This card was made using some stamps by Little Claire, who are an amazing company with loads to offer all of us cardmakers out there in the blogosphere. They have a fantastic blog which features loads of inspirational ideas from their really talented design team and they have a superb "Stamp of the Month" club, of which Jo is a member. Every month you get a set of stamps delivered straight to your house and they come with all the gear needed to make a couple of cards, all pre-cut for you, so all you have to do is stamp and colour.
This card was made using a stamp called At Home, a real bargain at only £7.50. I started with a HunkyDory card which I bought from Create and Craft this week. They had a massive pile of cards for a bargain price and I just coudn't resist. I then added some lovely dies from my (ever-growing) collection, including the gorgeous Magnolia Heart Fence die which I have attached to the card with the middle of the fence raised from the card to give it a more realistic look. The lettering is from Tim Holtz's Sizzix letter strip and the bunting was made with a small scalloped nestie.
So there it is. Hope you like it as much as I do.
Jo and I spent Sunday with my sister Lorraine and my mum as a belated Mothering Sunday. We were going to see her last week but neither one of us was fit to move on the actual day so we did it yesterday instead and it was a really lovely day. My sister made a wicked Sunday roast (Hmmm, Chicken!) and we got to spend time with my mum which at her age is now a bonus to be honest. She has been through a lot in the past few years and we are very lucky to still have her with us, something I put down to her unbeatable spirit. My mum is a figher and she will never give in. God Bless her.
Anyhoo, back again real soon with something a bit special, plus the next ProMarkers Challenge, plus a look at mum's card too.
So take care of yourself and I will be back in a jiffy,
Hugs 'n Stuff
Entered Into: Always Crafting Creative Monday Challenge #4 - Anything Goes
The Cheerful Stamp Pad Challenge #39 - Anything Goes
Lollipop Crafts Challenge #73 Anything Goes
Make It Monday Challenge #82 - Anything Goes
Squigglefly Challenge #12 - Anything Goes
The Crazy Challenge #112 - Add A Sentiment

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

"Cheers (Drink To That)..."

So Sunday was Mothering Sunday and as much as I would have loved to have been with my mum (as planned!), you can't always plan for the unpredictable can you?
I spent most of last week in enormous amounts of pain because of my back again. It's been ongoing for about 13 years now so I really should be used to it, but recently the pain was getting unbearable again and I ended up taking most of the week off work. On wednesday I finally managed to get an appointment with the pain management team at Lincoln County Hospital. About twice a year I have injections into the nerves at the base of the spine (both sides) and the result is that this can give me a few pain free hours a day for up to 3 or 4 months. I then attend a meeting with the consultant who asks me how I got on, I tell him okay, he asks if I want the injections again, I say yes and a month or so later I am face down on a table, wearing what can only be described as a hankie with a bum flap that doesn't even fit where it actually touches! Well this time has taken considerably longer to get organised than usual. Funding for the injections was approved LAST JUNE! but no-one (that's me and my GP) has been able to get through to the right department at the hospital to try and organise a visit, so the pain in my back has just gotten worse as the days have gone on. I don't know if it was just me, but the consultant seemed particularly heavy-handed this time and the pain being inflicted on my spine was unbearable. I had to have oxygen because I kept holding my breath waiting for the pain to subside; overall it turned out to be a fairly unpleasant (and long-winded) experience, one that I shall not be rushing to repeat if I am given the choice!
So Mothering Sunday was a wash out. Jo and I were going to see mum and take her some flowers, sweeties and a really pretty card I had spent most of last week making! but come Sunday morning neither one of us was actually capabe of the (relatively) short drive over to Coningsby. To make matters worse, my sister then said she was planning to make dinner for us too!!! So rare an event as to actually warrant a mention by Nostradamus. Normally the only way you will get a cooked meal out of her is to actually invite yourself over!!
Anyhoo, on to this week's card and the theme at I ♥ ProMarkers is '3 Different Papers'. We are being sponsored by the lovely people over at StampFairy and the image I have used is called Lenny: Happy New Year 5. As per usual I have used the old PM's and the papers are all Basic Grey offcuts (Hmmm, have I mentioned just how much I love Basic Grey!) I had on my craft table already. I used some Bazzill Basics Dotted Swiss card (another one of my absolute favourite ever products) which has the adorable name of Mud Puddle! and a Martha Stewart punch. I have also used one of my Sizzix alphabet strip dies. I have had these dies for a good few years now and I'll be honest, they just sit there gathering dust most of the time, but I really wanted to use some old stash so I gave them a dusting off and I love the finished look of the whole card.
I have been on a bit of a spending spree lately (no, not my mother's generous donation - well, not yet anyway!) and have bought some amazing new products which I hope to be sharing with you over the coming months. The items include some of the new Nestabilities (Dies being my absolute weekness at the moment), I got some stunning feather dies today! I have also bought some fantastic new stamps including Sugar Nellie, Some Odd Girl, Gorjuss, Kraftin' Kimmie, Kanban and of course Magnolia, so keep an eye out for those real soon.
Hope you are having a good week so far, the weather looks like it is picking up at last (even managed to hang some washing on the line today!!), I will see you again real soon,
Lots of love 'n hugs
Entered Into: Digital Tuesday Challenge #152 - Life Is Peachy
Ladybug Craft Ink TLT Challenge - Anything Goes
Passion for ProMarkers Challenge #140 - Animal
Crafty Purple Frog Challenge #37 - Anything Goes
Craft Us Crazy Challenge - Easter/Religious and/or Something Sweet
Cute Card Thursday Challenge #209 -Anything Goes
Dutch Dare Card Challenge #157 - Cute and Cuddly
Pixie Dust Studio Challenge #119 - Your Favourite Things
SJ Crafts Shop Blog Challenge #3 - 1, 2, 3 + Added Extra: Include 3 of Something
CardMadFairy's Digi Days Challenge #29 - Add A Sentiment
Card Makin' Mama's Challenge - Button, Button, Who's got the button?
Fun With Shapes And More Challenge #105 - Stripes
Phindy's Place Challenge #98 - Animal Planet
The Poodles Parlour Challenge - Anything Goes
Dilly Beans Designers and Friday Challenge - Party
Stampin' For The Weekend Challenge #6 - Anything Goes
Totally Papercrafts Friday Challenge #109 - Humour

Wednesday, 14 March 2012


Isn't it just the best thing in the world when you write a whole blog out and your computer decides to reset itself or something and you lose everything you have written! (the answer by the way is NO, it really isn't!!)

So, the last seven day - what do I have to tell you about. Well I will start by letting you know how I got on with out first plumbing quote. As told in last weeks blog, my mum gave us a thousand pounds and we decided we would get the bathroom done. I called on a plumbing mate, that way I knew I wouldn't be ripped off. We got the quote back and he only wants £3'995 to do the job! I almost went purple with shock, you could have stuck a fork in me and I would literally have been 'done'. The bathroom is the smallest room in the house (literally in our case) and is so small that if I turn around too quickly in the shower I could end up in the bedroom! So with the bathroom being out of the window (for a while at least!), we had to decide what we wanted to do with the money.

A holiday is out of the question because Jo and I are both so bad at the moment it would not be an enjoyable break and we would end up staying in our room more than we would be able to go out, so we may as well stay at home!

I have always wanted a cabinet building in the corner of the living room, somewhere to stand the TV and maybe have a little extra storage room too! The TV sits there looking at us with it's enormous eye and it really should have somewhere nicer to stand on instead of the tatty old table the old telly stood on (bit of a mouthful that last bit!!). I know a couple of very good joiners and one of them in particular is known as a bit of a perfectionist so I will be giving him a ring to get him round with his trusty tape measure and see what he can come up with for us. I did order a new coffee table and living room rug to go under it because the old rug is really past it's sell by date and the old coffee table has been macerated by cat claws who apparently can't tell the difference between a real scratching post and the corner of a piece of our furniture!

On to this weeks card and the theme over at I ♥ ProMarkers is 'Anything Goes' and we are very lucky to be sponsored by the crafting Goddess that is Joanna Sheen. If you have never checked her site out I can highly recommend it. She has a great range of products, most of which are very much 'on trend' and to really sweeten the deal she has FREE postage - WORLDWIDE! How amazing is that? I have used a really great Mo Manning digi stamp called 'Bite'? Don't you just love the look on her face? She looks so devious, I wouldn't trust her as far as I could throw her. I have also used one of my new Nesties (Persian Accents) and finished it off with a few flowers and a pin. I wanted to keep my colour palette neutral to really show the image off and I am really happy with the finished card, she has been framed quite well I think.

Finally, I would like to welcome a new member to the DT. Her Name is Lorraine Bailey, you can check out her blog or have a look at the I♥PM's site to see her latest creation. Her work is very fresh and clean and I am sure you will be able to glean some inspiration from her work. I think she is going to make a very welcome addition to our team, please show her some support when you go to the challenge blog. Anyhoo, if this gets lost then I don't know what I will do! So let's give it a go and I will see you again next week, until then,

take care of yourself,



Entered Into: Gingersnap Creations #142 - Border Punches

Scrapalicious USA challenge - A Cut Above

TandA Stamps Challenge #192 - No Designer Papers

Digi Doodle Shop's Best Challenge #99 - People

Sassy Studio Designs Challenge #116 - Monochromatic

GuyLou's Inimitability Challenge - Monochromatic

The Poodles Parlour Challenge - Anything Goes

So Artful Challenges - Harlequin or Black & White

That Craft Place Challenge - Anything Goes

Love To Create Challenge #7 - Anything Goes

Make It Monday Challenge - Anything Goes

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

"Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday..."

So this weeks challenge at I ♥ ProMarkers is sponsored by Lili Of The Valley, makers of some of the cutest images on the market. They are very reasonably priced too and they also make whole A4 sized sheets of sentiments which are absolutley invaluable to any crafter and also very reasonably priced too, a great company and I'm very proud to be sponsored by them.

This week has been quite uneventful, no major musicians have shuffled off this mortal coil and my life is pretty much on an even keel. I did however get some fantastic news last saturday when my sister Lorraine rang me to say that my mum wanted to give me a thousand pounds!! It left me pretty much speechless (and a little overwhelmed!).

Jo and I have been wanting to get our bathroom done since we moved into our house 8 years ago. The style of the previous owners was a little less shabby chic and more Baghdad Expressionism. The tiles are such a disgusting brown colour it makes me feel like I am showering in a 1970's outside lavvy! I have already had a plumber in to give me a quote and we are just waiting for him to get back to us to find out what we can actually afford to have done. If nothing else I just want rid of those tiles!!

This weeks card uses a sheet of Basic Grey as backing and I got to use some of my many new Nestabilities I got from Create and Craft. The stamp is called 'Rosie with Presents' and costs a paultry £4.50, who could ask for anything better than that! I also used a Martha Stewart Punch Around The Page too. I was going to use a sentiment but decided against it as I think the image says it all, I also didn't really want to over-crowd the card which I can sometime do!

So, hope you like it and I look forward to showing you next weeks card which I feel is one of my finest for ages.

Take Care,



P.S. Every week I give my creation a name based on a song title. Most of the time they will be fairly obvious but occassionally I may try to challenge you with a title that is a little more obscure. Music has always been a major influence in my life and I find that a song title is always a great jumping off point to get creative, some people like a sketch, I Love Music (see what I did there!!).

Entered Into: Catered Crop Challenge - Ravenous For Ribbon Quickfire

That Craft Place Challenge - Anything Goes

Sweet Stampin' Challenge - Let's See Those Layers

Totally Gorjuss Challenge #122 - Anything Goes With A Button!

ATC's & Cards With Attitude Challenge #8 - Anything Goes

Clearly Inspired Challenge #47 - Anything Goes

Delicious Doddles Challenge #14 - Music To Sooth The Soul

Ditzy Craftymess Challenge #4 - Buttons or Anything Goes

Hotshot Craft Challenge #5 - Ribbons

The Poodles Parlour Challenge - Birthday

Crafty Purple Frog Challenge #36 - Pink and Girly

Creative Mondays Challenge #3 - Anything Goes

Critter Sketch Challenge #105 - Buttons, Buttons, I Love Buttons!