Friday 31 July 2015

Icy Butterfly

Here is my second birthday card of the week. This card was made for the theme over on my facebook group - which is this inspiration picture:

So here is the card I made - still with the idea of using my peel-offs as the main focus of the card:
 This is a black base card, with black and silver peel-offs added, and nothing else! A nice, easy CAS card.
I would like to enter this card for the following challenges:
Glitter n Sparkle 147 Beginning with a B (Butterfly, Birthday, Black)
CASology 157 Wings
Artistic Inspirations #136 Anything Goes
fussy and fancy #144 Things with Wings
Vs sweet ideas #36 Celebrate

Here is an update of my fish for those who are following the progress - now at 94 hours!
 Finally I would like to introduce the new member of the family. Meet Doris, who we adopted from Pets at Home last weekend. Not a brilliant picture but she is still quite shy, especially as Arthur (who she is supposed to be a friend for) is a little nasty to her :(. She is a little cutie though - now need another large cage for her!

Thank you for taking the time to look at my blog, and all comments are very much appreciated.

Hugz Tinz

Thursday 30 July 2015

Birthday Bear on Top

Well hello everybody,

The sun has actually shown itself today! Are we going to see a little bit more of summer do we think? Fingers crossed, otherwise my tomatoes are not going to do very much - they need some sunshine!!!

So this time around I gave myself the challenge of using my peel-offs for the main image of the card, as I have plenty of peel-offs, but do not often use the larger ones. However, I also wanted to follow the theme at open-minded crafting, which is #41 Kids want to have fun, with the brief that they want to see children having fun on the creations. This did limit my options a little, but I found a sticker after much searching, and this is what I came up with:
I used a shaped pink base card. Red gingham ribbon was layered onto cream lace and wrapped around a red glitter panel (for texture variety). I added the peel-off to a lilac doily, along with a star, and finally added the sentiment to finish.
I would also like to enter this card for the following challenges:
simply create too #90 For a precious child
papertake weekly - Take your Pick - Product (lace)
LOC #88 Use some texture (I went for the varying textures of glitter card, lace and doily instead of embossing, which is how I usually add texture)
suzy bee #90 Ice cream shades
glitter n sparkle 147 Beginning with a B (Birthday, Bear)

I thought I would also share some of my garden delights with you. I actually managed to get a whole punnet of cherries for the tree this year, as I netted half of it. There are none left now as the blackbirds watched me get the cherries and obviously figured it out for themselves lol.

Also a picture of my lovely white lilies - they are quite large!

Audio Book Review
Eleven on Top by Janet Evanovich
This is a female lead crime novel and is read by Lorelei King. Stephanie, the female lead, has just quit her job as a bounty hunter and started her search for a more ’normal’ job when she starts receiving threatening notes, and even has her car blown up. She finds that she might actually be safer if she has a desk job in the bounty hunter trade, whilst trying to find out who is targeting her. Amid this she has her sister’s wedding, balancing the two men in her life and helping her friend who has taken her place as the bounty hunter, but is not doing too well.

Personally I think Lorelei King is a very good choice for this type of book, even though this one is not as serious as most that she reads. There is an OTT comical aspect to this book, which makes it less realistic. But it is fast paced and interesting and there is always something happening. The lead makes you laugh at times, and cringe at others. I found this was a good book for listening to in the car, especially in bad traffic, due to its light-hearted nature.

Thank you for looking
Hugz Tinz

Saturday 25 July 2015

Your travels exposed!

Hello everybody,

What a miserable week it has been, but the gardens have appreciated it!

I have made a travel themed ATC collection this time, based around the sketch at SSW2 62:
 and using a train stamp from The Stamping Boutique.

So here is the collection:
 These are also being entered into:
crafting by designs Summer Holidays
papertake weekly Build it up
613 avenue create#133 Moon/stars (I have used stars)
sweet stampin' Boys and their toys (boys like trains)
artistic inspirations #136 Anything Goes
scrapbook stamp society #71 Holidays
DigiChooseday Something Old (scrap paper pieces)
polkadoodle 2 or more patterned papers
TSB Stars and stripes
country view #30 On your travels

ATC #1 - materials used - Piece of starry blue scrap paper; Green stripy 'Mans World' papermania paper; TBS train image, coloured with promarkers; Flip-flops cut from scrap paper using Quick Cutz die.

ATC #2 - materials used - Starry Christmas papermania paper; Flocked felt stripe scrap; TBS train image coloured with promarkers; holographic star sequin.

ATC #3 - materials used - scrap starry paper square; stripy papermania paper; TSB train image coloured with promarkers; pale blue diamantes.

ATC #4 - materials used - scrap tiger stripe paper; papermania floral paper; TSB train image coloured with promarkers; three pearlescent stars from stash.

ATC #5 - materials used - dark blue striped scrap paper; papermania paper; TSB image coloured with promarkers; die-cut star using Quick-cutz die; two star sequins from stash.

Audio Book Corner
The Evidence Exposed by Elizabeth George
This is a book that consists of three short stories, about murder. The first story ‘The Evidence Exposed’ is a group of Americans who are studying ‘The Great Houses of Britain’ with much tension, attraction and intrigue between them. When one of the party dies everybody seems to have a motive, but Inspector Thomas Lynley (apparently he appears in the authors novels) uncovers a secondary motive.
This story was the shortest of the three, but I thought the most enjoyable. It gets your mind thinking, and when you have a long commute this can be very useful. The necessary information required to determine the killer is not given until the end of the story, keeping you speculating throughout.
The second story ‘I, Richard’ tells the story of the obsession Malcolm Cousins has with King Richard III and the lengths he will go to for a secret letter that will clear the Kings name. But will he go as far as murdering his best friend?
This one was the humorous one of the three and the story certainly does not end how Malcolm expects it to – although the reader may have an inkling.
The third and final story in this book is ‘The surprise of his life’ which shows how people can be driven to murder when their insecurities are played upon – and the devastating consequences it can have. Douglas Armstrong is happily married until he starts to visit a psychic before his prostate examinations. The fourth visit causes him to start feeling insecure and jealous within his relationship, and his mind turns to murder when he thinks his wife is being unfaithful.
The reader can quickly see what is likely to happen in this story, but you spend the whole time hoping that something will occur to prevent it happening. However, there is a twist at the end which was unexpected to me, although some may even manage to guess at this.

All in all a good collection of short-stories, but don’t rely on it for a very long journey as there are only three CDs.

Thank you for reading,

Hugz Tinz

Wednesday 22 July 2015

Thinking by Chance

Hello there and welcome to another blog post. I was rained off the allotment after work, so I made this card instead:
I do seem to be making a few CAS cards just recently. For this one I made a card blank from pink card and layered a panel of blue stripy paper from some packaging. I took a smaller, cream panel (the packing slip from my Joanna Sheen order lol) and tacked the frame from a die-cut heart to the panel. I then stamped a pheonix in pink ink all over the frame. I allowed this to dry and then re-stamped the image, overlapping the original images, and heat embossed with 'Candy Blue' embossing powder, removing the stencil before I heat embossed to ensure no powder was trapped behind. I then added the peel-off sentiment and adhered to the card base to finish.
So I thought this card would be suitable for the following challenges:
artistic inspirations #136 Anything Goes
aud sentiments 136 Anything Goes
alphabet challenge K for Kind Thoughts
crafting by design Anything Goes
Sweet Stampin No designer paper

I have started working on my fish tank again for a little while, as I was itching to get some more done, but I will have to go back to the height chart soon! Here is the fish tank at just over 92 hours.
And here is the audio book review:
Nanny by Chance by Betty Neels
This is a romance novel of the Mills and Boon type, but without the sexual innuendos and intrigue of normal Mills and Boon stories. Minty was born late in life to two Celtic history fanatics and has been brought up with some old-fashioned views. She spent several years keeping house for her parents until she finally managed to convince them to let her go to study medicine. However, her parents accept a job for her, which will delay her starting the nursing course for several weeks, and initially she is bitterly disappointed. When she finally meets the gentleman and the young nephews she will be overseeing, she finds that she thoroughly enjoys the job and is in fact reluctant to leave them, although she has to as her place is booked and there is no more need of her with the boys.

This is a humourous and light-hearted romance and should be taken as such. There are plenty of moments where you smack your forehead and groan, and moments that make you laugh out loud. I found the story very enjoyable although it did seem to be a little rushed at the end – with a very obvious happy ending.

Sunday 19 July 2015

While I was shaking

Hi there,

What lovely weather we have been having. The odd rain shower has certainly helped the crops along, although I do have to remember that my containers do still need to be watered, especially hanging baskets!

Today, instead of going to the allotment like I should have, I have dead-headed the front garden and given the gravel a once over for weeds, Then we set-up an overflow water-butt in the back garden to prevent the wall getting wet after heavy rainfall (and because I keep running out of water over summer). Unfortunately we found a dead sparrow in there, which must have come down the drainpipe - rather worrying - so we have now put a metal grid over the downpipe to prevent this happening again!

My excuse for not going to the allotment is that Gavin is only home at the weekends, working away during the week, so I need to spend time with him. But it does mean I need to out in the time during the week after work, when sometimes I do wish I could just go home and sit on my backside lol. I did dig up some of my Purple Majesty potatoes yesterday thought for tea tonight - I forgot how good they taste!! They may look funny (being purple even after cooking) but they have the perfect new potato flavour - gorgeous!  And of course I got MORE berries lol:

On to the crafting. I had a couple of challenges that I wanted to join in with, and it is time to make another Christmas card, but with the theme of Not a card lol. So I came up with this Shaker decoration instead:
So I first off went out and bought some white card as I realised I had run out and had nothing to print my digi stamp onto! Grrr. Once I got my card I printed out the digital image from the Summer celebrations CD-Rom (by Adam Pescott) that came free with Quick Cards Made Easy Aug 2012. I printed the image onto a few papers. I coloured the main image in Sepia tones, to give it an aged feel (although it is difficult to see in this picture). I then paper-pieced the presents and hats onto the base layer. As I needed these to sit pretty flat I used micro dots (those you press the item onto and then they peel off onto it) to adhere the pieces - even so they are not completely flat, which adds a little to the shaker element. I die-cut the image using X-Cut extra large frame dies (the largest one) and cut out a piece of patterned paper from the Papermania 'at Christmas Time' collection, which had a vintage feel. The aperture was measured and cut then backed with thick acetate. Finally 3D foam tape was used around the aperture, white and green stars added inside the tape and the pieces adhered together to make the shaker element. Merry Christmas ribbon then made this into a hanging decoration.

This piece is to be entered into the following challenges:
Anything But a Card - MMM - closes tonight
#210 Paper Piecing - SOS - closes 20/07
Don't be a square - papertake weekly - closes 20/07
#278 Pets - ilove promarkers - closes 21/07
Christmas - crafting by designs - closes 21/07
320 Christmas - CRAFT - closes 21/07
Traditional Christmas Colours - Winter Wonderland - closes 23/07
#108 Christmas in July - deep ocean - closes 26/07
N for not a card - abc Christmas - closes 20/07
#226 Shaker card - Just Hanna - closes 21/07
An old fashioned christmas - Jingle Belles - closes 29/07
#70 Anything Goes - card mania - closes 28/07

And here is the recent Audio Book Review for you:
While I was Gone by Sue Miller
Jo Becker is now a successful wife, mother and veterinary surgeon, but a return of a friend from the past causes everything to come crashing down around her, and she has to try and pick up the pieces.
Most of the story revolves around introducing the main character and those close to her, and providing the relevant information from her past, to understand why it has such a big impact on her life. However, it does feel that the story lacks a plot a lot of the time, possibly because it is very close to how normal life would occur, instead of everything being over-dramatised. Therefore, there are details about work and family interaction and her re-evaluation of her long-ago friendship. This is a good light read (although the main item is not light-hearted at all), for those times when you want something that you do not have to think too hard about. Definitely suitable for the journey to work and back.

Thank you for looking

Hugz Tinz

Wednesday 15 July 2015

Stepper Anniversary

Hi There,

After thinning my fruit out on my apple trees last night I decided to have a play with my crafting bits. I made this card (probably in preparation for my parents 20th Wedding Anniversary, unless another comes up first lol). So here it is:
I used an old stepper card plastic template that came free with a magazine and I have never used (I usually measure and cut), so I thought I would have a go with a template and see if it was actually any quicker, and it turned out that not only is it quicker, it is actually slightly more accurate too lol. This template is for a side-stepper and I do not have one for a central stepper unfortunately. 

I then layered ‘It’s a man’s world’ papermania blue stripy paper on the horizontal levels of the card (similar to the striping on the Candy Crush game). I also found another paper that reminded me of this game in the We are memory keepers ‘Chalkboard’ paper stack and used this for the vertical layer and also die-cut a heart, using X-Cut nesting dies, to layer behind the image. 

The image used is a Margaret Sherry image that I have had for a few years, and was coloured using Promarkers. This was layered and adhered to the step of the card. Gorjuss washi tape was used to cover the join between the papers, and Champagne and 20 peel-offs added to the side, with the Champagne being coloured again with Promarkers. I was going to add ‘Happy Anniversary’ to the bottom of the card, but the sentiment stickers have disappeared, so I will have to search for them to add the sentiment.

This card is being entered into the following challenges:
vs sweet ideas #36 Celebrate
abc-challenge N for Number
digi chooseday Something Old
creative card crew 91 Die-cuts
PFP 305 Candy Crush
papertake weekly Don't be a square
ilove promarkers#278 Pets
simonsays Wednesday Get in Shape
C4C294 Critters
scrapbook stamp society #70 Anything Goes

Also, for those of you that are following, here is my latest update for the Height Chart @ ~15 hours:

And just to make your mouth water - my third punnet of fruit this week!!!

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

Hugz Tinz

Friday 10 July 2015

Cop to Summertime

I am so glad I took these last couple of days of work as the weather has been so nice! I think I just needed some time away from work and travelling as well, although I am working the weekend. Also, it does get a little boring having time off work with nobody to share the hot summer sun with :(.

However I have made a new ATC collection, based upon the summer weather:

I do like the bottom two, but the Enamel embossing powder did not do the stamped image any favours for the top two cards, and the butterflies seem to be well camouflaged unfortunately. They are easier to see with the cards in front of you due to the reflection of the light on the enamel embossed areas, so all is not lost.
All of these cards used a base patterned card (with the floral base being a thick paper rather than thin card, and only just thick enough to be used as a base), the same butterfly stamp, embossing powders and some bling. Each card also focuses on the colours of Peach, Cream and Green.
The collection is being entered into the following challenges:
scrapbook stamp society #70 Anything Goes
polkadoodles Add some embossing
Sketchy Colours #252 Peach, Cream and Green
Crafting by designs Anything Goes
OLS18 Sparkle and Shine
glitternsparkle 144 Anything Goes
modsquad Fast and Easy
papertake weekly Anything Goes
CASology #154 Repeat

Here are close-ups of the individual cards:
#1 Peach Butterfly Repeat, using an ombre base card, yellow pretty colour ink embossed with Enamel embossing powder, two cream flowers (which appear peachy here due to the reflection from the card base), a green sequin flower and green 'Party' embellishment.
#2 Flourish Butterfly Repeat, using the fantasy fairy patterned paper as a base, yellow ink and Cosmic Shimmer embossing powder, a cream sequin flower and a couple of diamantes.
#3 Grass Butterfly Repeat, using a stripy green base card, from the man's world papermania collection, Enamel embossing powder on yellow ink, two peach/cream flower stickers, a peach sequin and two cream sequins (again reflecting the colour from the base card!- the actual colour can be seen in the collection picture above).
#4 In the sky Butterfly Repeat, using a pale, watercolour effect base card, Sea green glitter Wow embossing powder on green pretty colour ink, and cosmic shimmer embossing powder on a mix of red and yellow ink to make a peach sunshine.

Audio Book Review
Cop to Corpse by Peter Lovesey
There is a sniper that is targeting police, and when a third policeman is shot in Bath, and the newly raised duty inspector is left for dead, CID chief Peter Diamond is called in to work the case alongside the Serial Crimes Unit. He runs rings around the detective in charge of the SCU team, and is infuriated by the second in command, who seems to by trying to prevent the killer being captured. Diamond has some theories that case friction within his team, and when the sniper is finally arrested, after several close encounters, by Diamond himself, it seems that Diamond’s theories are incorrect. However, their detained claims that the recent shooting, in Bath, was not committed by him, which is corroborated by Ballistics evidence.

A very good read, fast-paced and humourous. As the reader there is very little extra that you are given and so this keeps you guessing. It was a shame that the discs were so short as I could keep listening to this story (but then I may never have made it in to work lol). I would recommend this book to listen to, and probably also to read.

I hope you all have a chance to enjoy the sunshine while we have it.

Thank you for looking.
Hugz Tinz

Monday 6 July 2015

Pets at Christmas (in July)

Hi guys,

So here is my second Christmas card, for those themes I could not fit the first one into, and also because I was playing with some pictures on and came up with the main image for this card. The image is two separate pictures, one of my kitty a couple of Christmases ago, and another of the late Stimpy mouse in a Christmas tree. I blended the pictures into the Christmas baubles:

 I then used this picture to make the card below, simply by recycling a sentiment from an old Christmas card, and adding some glitter ribbon.
This card was made for the following challenge themes:
Anything Goes @ crafty catz and catch the bug
All that glitters @ winter wonderland
Include a sentiment @ crafty hazelnut
#142 Sentiment @ CCM
#184 All the glitters @ OLLCB
M for Magical @ abcchristmas
135 Animals @ aud sentiments
#89 Get ahead for Christmas @ simply create too
#14 Quirky Christmas in July @ quirky crafts
#37 Christmas in July @ live & love crafts
Christmas in July @ crafty calender

Thank you for looking, and all comments are appreciated.

Hugz Tinz

Saturday 4 July 2015

Beary Christmas

What a lovely Saturday it has been. It is definitely summer now - although there was a lovely storm at 2am this morning. Also, we are forecast rain for the first few days of the week :(. Just means I will have to make sure I get a suitable amount done at the allotments tomorrow, so that I do not have to worry abut possibly not getting anything done in the evenings.

I have made a Christmas card today (in between painting the sun-room walls), and here it is:

The base card was free with a Cross Stitcher magazine a few years ago, so I decided it was time to use it. The sentiment piece is recycled from last years received Christmas cards, but I thought it fit the themes of glitter and silver belles nicely. The patterned paper is also glittered and is fro the Winter Wonderland paper stack by Helz Cuppleditch. The bear stamp is one I got from my grandma, and is coloured using promarkers and cut using X-cut hearts nesting dies. Finally the strings and card embellishment were added to finish the card to follow the atlantic hearts sketch 114.

The other challenges that inspired this card are:
Winter Wonderland - All that Glitters
Crafty Hazelnut 236 Include a sentiment
sweet stampin' Bear with me
alphabet challenge J for Jewels (on the strings and topper)
jingle belles Silver Belles
simply create too #89 Get head for Christmas
stamping boutique Recipe - 1 image (bear), 2 papers (backgrounds), 3 embellishments (2 strings and 1 topper)
Christmas at Sweet Stampin' Christmas Stockings
Card Mania #70 Anything Goes
crafty calender Christmas in July

Thank you for looking and do feel free to leave constructive chriticism.

Hugz Tinz

Thursday 2 July 2015

All the Fiery Cross Stitches

Well today I have a few stitches to show you :).
First I have an update for my Height chart - here he is at 12 and a half hours (I think lol). Starting to take shape now, but only another four to do after this one! More hours needed in the day hehe.
He does look a little bit off centre at the moment doesn't he - maybe the heat of the sun has gotten to him!

Now for my latest completion from the Joan Elliott Calender:
This little froggie took me 14.5 hours to complete but luckily my slight mistake is not noticeable.
I would like to enter him into the following challenges:
TPE305 Anything Goes

I was supposed to be doing every months design in the allocated month, however I discovered that I only had room for 8 of the 12 designs on my piece of fabric. This does mean I have that little extra time to make some designs for cards etc also when it is the month that I am not added to my fabric. Here is the piece so far, with 4 designs on it:

Anyway - It is the first of the month, which means there is a new challenge over on my facebook page. See the post below for the full details of my DT card, but here is a reminder:
This month is a colour theme - FIERY.
Do join us on our facebook page:

Audio book review
All The Dead Voices by Declan Hughes
This is a drug crime story based in Northern Ireland. A private detective is hired to look into an old murder case after the initial suspect is released from prison, and this over-laps somewhat with another case he is doing for a friend. The PI gets much more than he bargained for during his quest for the truth.

This book seems to use swearing and sex to hide the fact that it is quite lacking in plot and story direction. There is a lot about the history of the IRA and a lot that does not seem to be necessary for the book. Furthermore, the reader, although very good at getting across the emotional quality of the story, has a very droning voice pitch which makes it difficult to concentrate on the story for the first few, very slow discs. I thought that this sotry only really picked up in the last 2 or 3 discs and if I had been reading this book I probably would not have completed it. To make matters worse, the outcome of the cold case is not presented although the identity of the true killer is established.