Sunday, 31 January 2016


As I mentioned that hubby was off playing with his bees, or building new wax frames given the weather I thought you might be interested in our first honey harvest.
The frames of honey out of the hives.

Removing the wax caps off both sides of the frame to release the honey

The honey spinner. You put two frames into the holders inside, put the lid on and then crank the handle to sin all the honey out. Hubby upgraded my die cutting machine to a cut n boss and I think he might upgrade to a powered spinner next year!

Draining the honey out of the spinner and through two sieves to strain out any wax or other impurities.

Filling the sterilised jars with the filtered honey.

Our very first jar of honey! We only took about 15% of the honey out of the hives if that as we wanted to keep the bees going over the winter without having to feed them as they were new hives and we ended up with 23 jars of honey. Heaven knows how much we will end up with next year! We've given most of the honey away to friends and family. It's a very delicate flavour compared to commercial honey.
Hubby of course has the full gear to deal with the bees but doesn't always wear it. Guess which hand got stung?! Just be thankful I didn't show you the sting on his nose!

Congratulations on your engagement

One of my colleagues got engaged over Christmas and so I made her this card. The topper and tags are Hunkydory from a kit I've had for years. I used Sue Wilson's heart lattice embossing folder on centura pearl for the background and some green card behind it. I trimmed them to fit on an 8x8 card blank and used a corner rounder on the edges. I added some flowers from wild orchid crafts and foliage using Sue Wilson's petite vinery in the same green card as the mat. A few pale green pearls and hey presto a very quick card done.
Hubby is off playing with his bees today so hopefully I can get a little crafting done. Have a great Sunday x

Saturday, 30 January 2016

It's rain, dear and wind...

Hope you're all surviving this terrible weather we've been having, the wheelie bins took themselves off for a wander last night!
I thought I'd join the January Rudolph Day challenge and try and get a bit of a head start on this years Christmas cards. The image is from hero arts and I coloured him in with my trusty copics and added a  little sparkle to the bells and holly with my copic spica pens. He comes with unadorned antlers and a selection of stamps you can use to decorate him. The first card blank that came to hand was a 6x6 Kraft card and I used my tattered lace rectangles to cut him out and layer him on gold card (I know it's amazing that they're not the pin dot rectangles for once!) I used some red liner tape to stick on the ribbon at which point I discovered I'd made a tent card, added a bow and job done! I was going to add a sentiment but discovered that the Christmas ones I have are on Kraft card (yay!) with silver foiling (boo!). I might be brave and stamp one on at some point. Maybe.
Hope you all have a great weekend x

Friday, 29 January 2016

Oldie Friday

I'm joining Erika again for Oldie Friday this week. After showing my wedding bouquet the other week I managed to find a picture of my wedding cake to show you. We only had a tiny wedding (5 guests) but I decided on the Sunday before our wedding on the Saturday that I was going to make a wedding cake! I had the Wednesday off work to get some last minute shopping done, my final fitting for my wedding dress on the Thursday evening and we travelled up to my parents on the Friday, which didn't leave that much time for baking! I made three chocolate mud cakes and then crumb coated them with buttercream - note to self leave the cakes in the fridge for a while to set the buttercream before covering with fondant icing. I used ready rolled icing which I thought would be easier with my dodgy neck, but in reality the kneading you do of the icing warms it up and makes it easier to mould so I prefer it in block form now. I cut out hundreds of flowers with a cutter and left them to dry until the next day when I stuck them on with royal icing and added a centre to each of them.
With my love of rabbits Sylvianian Family toys made the perfect toppers! Actually rabbits are very special to how I met my husband. When I moved into this house I wanted to get a shed made for the rabbits to live in and a full height attached run to make it easier for me to clean them out. My parents did the leg work of finding someone to make exactly what I wanted and so a lovely man turned up in my garden one weekend to build my rabbit house. As they say, "Well, dear reader I married him". Free rabbit sheds for life!
PS the cake tasted great and the bottom tier was demolished by my colleagues when I took it into work on the Monday!

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Another birdcage!

I know, two posts in one day! Can you tell I'm trying to avoid doing some jobs in the house?!
Whilst I was tidying up my table, (it does happen occasionally) I found the bag of ready to go images that I'd coloured and cut out ready to go. I therefore decided to whip up another quick card to show you how different the birdcage can look. I used copic spica gold pen to colour in the cage so it has a little sparkle to it in real life. The rest of the images were coloured in with my copics. I found a scrap of pink card in my bits box and ran it through a couture creations Aloha embossing folder. My ever present pin dot squares were used to layer it up on a 5 inch square card and the owl is on foam tape to add a little dimension. A few pearls as I hadn't put the box away and job done!
I'm going to see if I can enter this card in Pixie's snippets playground as the pink card was from the bits box and the gold mat was cut from the original mat that I die cut for the other card, but which slipped in the die cutting machine as I forgot to tape it down!

Birdcage thank you

I'll admit that when I first saw that the current Twofers challenge was metal, heavy or not.  I wasn't sure what to do. I then had a look at the stamps currently on my desk and thought that the birdcage stamp from Heartfelt Creations Sugar Hollow would work perfectly! I stamped it first in archival black and then used the corresponding die to cut it out. I used my quickie glue pen and gilding flakes from Indigo Blu to fill in the metal parts of the birdcage. It was the first time I'd used gilding flakes with the glue pen and I was surprised at how well it worked. The second picture shows the mottled colour of the gilding better. I coloured in the flowers and white edges of cardstock on the birdcage with my distress markers.
I used a piece of pale grey co-ordinations cardstock for the background and had fun with my blending mat, blending tool and distress re-inkers. I then stamped a Sheena Douglass text stamp in London fog across the background. I die cut it with my Tattered Lace Pindot squares and added a little more ink around the edges. Whoops - doing that hid a lot of the text, but you can just about see it in the centre where the card is paler!
I matted the background onto a 6 inch card blank with gold Miri card and then die cut out of some greeny-grey card a Marianne Swirl (the first die I ever bought) and Sue Wilson's petite vinery. I snipped these about to fill the areas I wanted. I added the birdcage to the card with pinflair glue gel (after a battle to get the dried up glue out of the syringe) and also added some ready made flowers from my stash, probably from Wild Orchid Crafts. My friend was visiting last weekend for a girly catch up and Christmas present swapping and she saw the Sugar Hollow papers and commented that she loved the birdcages, so I thought it would make a great thank you card for her for my presents (mostly bunny related - no surprises there!) and after rummaging about I found a peel off (remember them?) to add the sentiment. Finally the top corner looks a bit bare so I added dark purple pearls to the 3 exposed corners. Phew, finally finished! As I mentioned before I'd like to enter this card in the Twofers challenge, I don't expect to win again, but it's a great challenge to push me to try different things, thanks guys!

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

What's on your workdesk wednesday.

I thought I'd join Julia for what's on your workdesk Wednesday this week. So, this was the kitchen table earlier today. You can see I was creating a background with some inks for my Twofers challenge card, not sure if I will get it finished in time, but playing and getting inky is fun anyway. I rubber stamped the birdcage from Sugar Hollow and used the matching die to cut it out. I was really pleased with the gilding on the cage, my first attempt at using a quickie glue pen to gild with.
Hubby spolit me again at Christmas and bought me a set of distress reinkers which I've also used to make the backgrounds for my 2 ATCs which can be seen drying on top of the gilding flake box. What the photo doesn't show is my blue and grey stained fingers! Hope you all have a craftingly productive Wednesday.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Out of this world!

I thought today that I would share with you the card that I made for my brother in laws birthday. I used Clearly Besotted stamps and matching dies, who knew that aliens were so cute? I coloured them in with my trusty copics and added a little white gel pen to add some interest to the aliens. I made the background using creative expressions sparkle texture paste in frost dawn through a Simon says stamp falling snow stencil. I cut out the background with Simon says stamp stitched rectangle dies and used some Hunkydory Miri dazzle for the border which is even more sparkly in real life. I mounted it on a card blank and stamped the sentiment from the stamp set. 
I was very excited yesterday to discover that my toucan card had won the bird challenge at Twofers so I spent yesterday evening working out how to proudly display my badge in my sidebar. Their current challenge is "metal - heavy or not" which is open for a few more days, so I think I might have a play this afternoon with my gilding flakes, as long as I don't sneeze it should be ok! I also have to finish my ATC's for the crafty telly swap today so looks like it is going to be a messy afternoon!
Hope you all have a great day too.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Oldie Friday

I thought I'd join Erika for Oldie Friday again this week, where we share makes from our archives. I figured I might be done by trade descriptions soon as I promised in my blog header some baking and haven't shared any, so today we have cake!
I was asked to make some vanilla cupcakes for a colleague's daughters birthday. The brief was pink and purple butterflies and flowers. I found the perfect cases in tesco and coloured some fondant and used cutters to cut out the flowers. Apparently they went down very well!
My mum is a great cake decorator, she made her own wedding cake with very intricate shell work on it, I also made my own wedding cake, but as I knocked it up in 4 evenings after work, it was hardly to the same standard. Mum was often asked to make celebration cakes as I was growing up and so she taught me to pipe, practising with left over royal icing on the back of a plate. It's a skill that has come in handy over the years and brings back many happy memories when I get a piping bag in my hands.
I hope you all have a great day and a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Happy Birthday

Whoops, I've been neglecting blog land this week, apolgies if I haven't visited you recently life has been getting in the way this week. Naughty life.
I thought I'd share with you the birthday card I made for the birthday card swap on the craft telly forum as it should be with its new owner by now. I used the tattered lace fancy stepper card die set for the card base in pearly white and gold Miri mating and layering. I used the dreamees stamp set that I used on the last birthday card I made, but this time rather than heat emboss them I just used gold stayzon ink. I've not used it for a while and it come with an empty pad and a bottle of ink and a spreader to apply it to the pad. I'm afraid I forgot how hard you have to shake the ink to mix it so it's not as gold as it could be! Whoops. I used the spectrum noir sparkles again to colour in the flowers and some gold pva in the centres. I used a Sue Wilson die for the leaves and the sentiment die is from Joanna Sheen I think!

Monday, 18 January 2016

Hang in there!

This is a card that I made yesterday for another friend who is going through a rough time at the moment. I used the Heartfelt Creations Sugar Hollow release. I stamped the image in memento tuxedo black and coloured it in with my copics. I used the matching die to cut the image out and using Miri card and coredinations card stock along with mt tattered lace pin prick squares and ovals I matted and layered up the card. I used pinflair glue gel to attach the Owls and glossy accents on their eyes. I stamped the matching sentiment from the set and heat embossed it in gold embossing powder and added that with some glue gel for dimension. I thought the card looked a little stark and so I die cut some Sue Wilson ivy and added some paper flowers from eBay to add a little more warmth to it, I should have made the flowers really so it would post at a lower rate, but hey ho!

Saturday, 16 January 2016

You make the world a better place.

I made this card for someone on the rabbit forum I post on. Last year when her son was born she had two children under the age of one. That must be hard enough for anyone to cope with, but her older child has Charge Syndrome and is in and out of GOSH and is currently in intensive care awaiting another series of operations. Unsurprisingly her Mum is struggling to cope physically and mentally and has had to postpone her own treatment to take care of her two beautiful babies.
I felt she needed a card to remind her that she is doing an amazing job, even if it doesn't feel like it and this set from Stamping Bella had the perfect sentiment and featured rabbits as a bonus! I stamped the image in memento tuxedo back and struggled to get the sentiment straight, but eventually got halfway there and so coloured it in using copics. I cut out the panel with Simon Says Stamps stitched rectangles and cut a mat out of gold Miri card. I used some coordination card for the green base and also to die cut some Sue Wilson Camellias. I shaped the flowers on my foam mat with a ball tool and stuck them on with pinflair glue gel. I added some dazzlers from eBay to the centres of the flowers and scribbled on them with my copics to make them match the flowers. Hopefully, it will make her smile.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Oldie Friday

I'm joining Erika for Oldie Friday this week. Blogger is playing up so apologies for the text first! Barb suggested that I should post my wedding bouquet this week. The first pic is my niece holding it on our wedding day 3 years ago. The following pictures are of it now, slightly crushed along with a buttonhole I made to match after I fished it out of the plastic box behind the sofa!
In reality it is still the same colour, just the artificial light is making it look pinkish. I decided I was going to make my own bouquet and this was the third or fourth attempt at trying different flower patterns ( I think this might have been a Lia Griffith one, but I can't remember) and different papers, book pages and patterned papers.
Eventually I decided to make it out of simple copier paper. I edged all the petals with a gold leaf pen and after the flowers were completed I sprayed them with Crafters Companion spray and sparkle in gold. There's still a patch of brickwork on the house that glitters! I added in little sprays of gems from eBay and loops of ribbon in similar colours to my neice's bridesmaid dress. I bound the wires together with florist tape and then wrapped around ribbon to make it comfy to hold.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Happy Birthday

So this was the card that I finally made for my colleague. I hand delivered it to her at work as although I'm still off work they were having a birthday lunch for her. Apparently the birthday girl had gone with a colleague to the chippy to bring back a chippy lunch. Whilst they were there a young policeman came in and the birthday girl said very loudly "Are you my birthday stripper?" Cue a packed chippy laughing and a young policeman who went a very interesting shade of pink! Just as well she was on her best behaviour really.
Anyway back to the card. I used the crafters companion square accordion dies and the Christmas ivy overlay in Ivory pearl card and gold Miri card. My top tip, make sure all the square moving mechanisms are the same way up as otherwise you have to peel it apart and then have to recut the squares and snip out the middle to cover up the mess, hence the picture of the back. I used the matting and layering dies that came in the accordion set to dress up the squares. I had intended on leaving the back ones in Miri card apart from the writing but my cosmic shimmer glue made patterns that you could see on the Miri card - is it just me that has that problem?
I used a birthday die from Joanna Sheen for the sentiment. I stamped and gold heat embossed flowers from a Dreamees set and fussy cut them out. I added a bit of colour to the flowers using pink champagne spectrum noir sparkle pen ( I got a set of 9 free with a craft magazine subscription) and shaped them with a ball tool and stuck them in place with pinflair glue gel. I added little dazzlers that I found on eBay to the centres and used my copics to add a little yellow to the dazzlers as they were clear. I used a Sue Wilson die to add a little foliage and finally it was done!
I had to photograph it on top of the cooker as that was the only clear surface I could find!

Wednesday, 13 January 2016


I'm joining  Julia for What's on your workdesk wednesday this week, where we share the state of our crafting space and what we are making. As you can see what is on my work desk is pretty much half of all the crafting stuff I own! Okay, maybe an eighth. Note the way it spills over onto the chairs. The cause of this chaos was making a special birthday card for one of my colleagues who is celebrating a big birthday today. You can probably make out in the red tray to the right some discarded die cuts from plan A, which was abandoned. The pink mat ( the only useable crafting space) has a couple of tiny flowers by the tape which were left over from the finished card which I will show tomorrow.
Not sure why the TV remote is so prominent as you can only just make out the TV lurking at the back and therefore completely unwatchable. I promise I will try to be tidier next week, honest!

Monday, 11 January 2016

Animal Magic!

This was a card I made for the November card swap on the craft telly forum. The theme was animal magic. I used clearly besotted stamps for the squirrel and the background. I heat embossed the background with versamark and black embossing powder. I coloured the squirrel in with copics and used the matching die to cut him out. I used Simon says stamp stitched rectangles to cut out the background and mat to tie in with the squirel and faux stitching round the edge of the card to finish it off. At this point I realised that some of the glue had seeped out onto the rust coloured card. I considered die cutting some leaves to pop on the cover the offending mark, but to be honest I couldn't be bothered, so sequin snowflakes to the rescue!

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Toucan play at Twofers!

The lovely Barb alerted me to the great challenge blog Twofers from a comment on her blog from Liz They focus on stamping and run a fortnightly challenge. The challenge this week is Twofers Challenge Birds
I had a rummage in ahem, one of my stamp boxes and came across this stamp by Clarity. I was actually looking for a lovebird stamp by them, but found the toucans that had remained unused until now. I inked it up with black archival on clarity stamping card and then settled down with my spectrum noir pencils for a happy hour colouring whilst Hubby watched the Hunger Games. I googled toucan images to get an idea for the colouring, who knew they could be so colourful? I also coloured in another image and have a sore wrist to show for it this morning, but hey we have to suffer for our art! 
This morning I cut the image out with tattered lace pin dot squares and layered it up using the dies and coordinating card stock. I mounted the image on some 1mm foam tape to give it a little definition but it will still post ok. I didn't think it really needed a sentiment, but I think it makes a great multipurpose masculine card.

Friday, 8 January 2016

It's not a Christmas card!

It may look like one, but actually it's my first ever attempt at an ATC! On the Craft Telly Forum, as well as a monthly card swap, there is also a monthly ATC swap. It's a small very friendly group and you only have to make 2 ATC's for the swap, so why not join us?
I trimmed some Clarity stamping card to the right size and then stamped on Hobby Art's Baa Humbug. I stamped his hat seperately and fussy cut it. I coloured him in with copics. I then fluffed his wool with polar white flower soft and used one of the creative expressions chunky glitters (sorry can't remember which one) to add to his hat trim to differentiate it from his wool and stuck his hat on with flat glue. I drew a very bad line to ground him (he's obviously mid trot with some feet off the ground!) and then drew a rough box round the card to finish it off - doing that gave me the confidence to do it on my Santa cards.
I stole the picture from a post by the recipient on the Craft Telly forum as I forgot to get a picture before posting it!

Thursday, 7 January 2016

The last Christmas card

This is the last of the Christmas cards I made. This was for a card swap on the Craft Telly Forum, so I figured I ought to push the boat out as there are some beautiful cards in the monthly swaps.
I used the Crafters Companion accordion card dies for the base on dark blue card from Lidl. I know there has been some concerns raised about these dies copying the mechanism from another designer, but I bought them before I knew about that. I also used the crafters companion snowflake overlay, cut out of Hunkydory mirri-dazzle card. In real life it's incredibly sparkly, but doesn't show up to well in the pictures. It wasn't the easiest of things to die cut and there was a lot of picking bits out of the die cut, but I think the effect was worth it, even if ere were 6 panels to cut!
The two side panels were cut with the tattered lace reindeer snow globe die that was released w couple of years ago. The panels were slightly too small to take the full die and so I snipped it down to fit. Must say that the create and craft Miri card cut like butter.
The centre panel is Sue Wilson's let it snow die, again I snipped off a couple of swirls to make it fit. The accordion dies come with mat and layer circles and so I cut one out of white card and stuck it on the back of one of the circles to write on.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Another Christmas card!

I managed to make a few cards for my colleagues at work, something quick and simple. I fell in love with the Santa baby stamps from Clearly Besotted and used them with the corresponding dies. I was very lucky as for my birthday in November Hubby bought me a cut n boss motorised die cutting machine which made the die cutting so much easier. I'd resisted getting one on the theory that I tend to craft in the lounge or on the kitchen table and it's a heavy machine to keep moving about. The reduced effort though makes it worth it, especially as I have a disc problem in my neck which causes chronic neck, back, shoulder and arm pain. I loved the sentiment stamp set also from Clearly Besotted which has some fun Christmas messages on it which matched the Santa's perfectly. I mounted the Santa die cuts (coloured with copics) on some thin mounting foam, so they post at standard rate and drew a rough box around the card with a black marker pen. Only 2 more Christmas cards to share!

Monday, 4 January 2016


My poor blog has been neglected for far too long. Unfortunately I've been ill for several months and so my little blog had been ignored. I've tried to do a little crafting whilst being off work and so I have a few things to share with you, apologies for the Christmas cards!
This card was made for a Christmas card exchange on a rabbit forum. I had to use these Lawn Fawn stamps and dies - "snow days" as they have such cute bunnies on them.
Blogger seems to have made some changes whilst I've been away so apologies if things are a bit out of sync until I figure it out again!