About Me

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My name's Alison but for reasons too long to go into I'm known as Cockney Blonde or CB for short. I've been rubber stamping for several years but now spend most of my time either knitting or crocheting. However, with the advent of a New Year I have bitten the bullet and am tackling my usually hated pastime of sewing. I've even bought 'Sewing for Dummies' to guide me on my way. I've been with my hubby Dave for 24 years and between us we have 4 kids and 5 grandkids. We also have 2 cats and a dog, the latter features as my 'photo' image. I used to be able to blog daily but these days I struggle to blog weekly. Hopefully now we are settled into our new home in the country, I can get back to a daily (well almost) update from the room I now have to share with hubby. No more personal crafting space for me!!! Thanks to all the blogs and sites I follow for all your brilliant inspiration, and thank you to everyone who finds the time to comment on my blog.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Quixotic Challenge - Flutterby

Okey Dokey, this was a slog. Not because it was particularly difficult or because it was an awkward subject, but because it was the day after the night before and several empty bottles of wine!!!!!!!

I knew I wanted to make a Side Step card for my friend's daughter's 21st and butterflies was just perfect especially when I found a cat with wings thanks to Lisa's Altered Art http://www.lisasalteredart.com/
I've dabbled with some templates for the Side Step card already but really liked this design featured by Bev Rochester on the Whiff of Joy blog http://whiffofjoy.blogspot.com/search/label/Special%20Cardshapes
I found her template quite easy to follow using an A4 piece of white cardstock.
Papers used were from K & Co Sparkly Sweet 6 x 6 pad, and some pale blue glossy cardstock.
The text was stamped in Stazon and the faux stitching was done using a CD writing pen.
Both the images are from Lisa's Altered Arts.
The large butterfly (essential for the challenge) - PaperArtsy Tops & Tails 5 - was stamped twice onto the K & Co papers and then decoupaged leaving some movement to the wings.
The numbers are chipboard and coloured with Adirondack dabbers in Willow and Aqua, and edged with Marvy Brush Marker in Lt. Blue.
The 2 corners above the girl image are also chipboard, coloured with Adirondack dabbers in Espresso and Aqua and edged with the Marvy again.
Finally 2 of the brads in the centre of the flowers were coloured with Copic Ciao BG05 - Holiday Blue, to give the shade I wanted.
I hope you like it. I certainly enjoyed making it, x

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Sunday Stampers Challenge - Hip to be Square

Hope you like my contribution to the Sunday Stampers - Hip to be Square Challenge over on Hels Sheridan's blog http://pinkleart.blogspot.com

It took me a while to decide what I was going to do, so I trawled through my stamp index and found this beautiful Magenta Stamp which seemed to fit the bill perfectly.
I stamped the image twice and then decoupaged the top righthand rose to give it some depth.
The image was coloured in using water colours.
Being a square theme I mounted the finished image onto a square card and embellished it very simply with 3 red buttons.
Both the image and the card were edged using Marvy brush marker in Crimson Red.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Just Magnolia Sketch Challenge

Okey Dokey, I've been at it again. The good thing about these challenges is that it concentrates the mind and enables you to focus on a suggestion that can then be used to create not only a challenge submission but a card to send.
Go over to the Just Magnolia blog http://justmagnolia.blogspot.com/ to see the details of the sketch challenge.
I stamped the Magnolia bench directly onto K & Co Sparkly Sweet paper using Versafine Vintage Sepia and then coloured with water colour pencil in brown.
Tilda was stamped and then cut out to sit on the bench and I also coloured her in using water colour pencils. I only have a few Copic pens at the moment and need more practice at my colouring with them. The balloon string was added freehand in pen (my cutting out isn't that good!).
After edging the green paper with the Versafine it all matted onto a contrasting paper from the same K & Co range.
The ribbon, being sheer organza, was pleated to give it some depth.
Embroidery silk was added to the heart buttons, and the petals falling from the large flower were cut from a smaller flower.
I hope you like it.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Our Creative Corner Sketch Challenge

I'm trying to combine my involvement in the challenges with other projects I need to do so I thought what better way of doing the front cover for my upcoming deco book than to use the sketch challenge from OCC.

I wanted my covers to be 5.5" square which I have cut from cardboard. The sort you find in sturdy boxes. I then tore pieces of paper from scraps (great way to use them up) and stuck using PVA glue to get some depth and definition. Next a layer of gesso which I dried off with the heat gun.

Now for the Claudine Hellmuth paints. I just love these paints and have used them on altered art projects and cards. They are so easy to apply and blend brilliantly. You can also mix them to create no end of alternative colours and shades. My introduction to these paints was at a workshop at Art From the Heart in Harrogate, taught by the crazy, but talented, Dyan Reaveley http://dyan-reaveley.blogspot.com/ Dyan showed us the best way was to build up the colours gradually and in thin layers so that they dry quickly, that way it speeds up the process.
Anyway, I started off with Traditional Tan and Painterly Pink, gradually applying and blending until most of the papers were covered. Remember the papers were only applied to give depth not for their colours or patterns.

*** I should say at this point that I would usually apply the paints with baby wipes and then fingers (Yep! you get messy, lol), however because I didn't want to make the cardboard too wet I used blue roll, you know the sort the gas engineer leaves behind after he's repaired your boiler!!! And of course, fingers.***

Once I was happy with this layer I then moved onto Sable Brown and Modern Red, applying in the same way and building up the layers until I was happy with the depth of colour.

The subject for my deco book is going to be 'Me and My Imaginary Friend'. I found a lovely image amongst Lisa'a Altered Art (see Dyan's blog for the link) which I have framed after colouring in Distress Inks Antique Linen and Tattered Rose. I've then overstamped in Black Stazon with various phrases/words featuring 'friend' and 'imagination'. Lastly I've edged the frame in Adirondack Espresso Dabber.

Once I'd embellished it with the ribbon and charm I felt there was something missing so using sequin scrap I dabbed gold with the Adirondack Gold Dabber.

Once I am ready to assemble the book I shall attach ribbons/fibres to finish it off. No doubt I shall add some other bellies as well, lol.

Hope you like it and I hope it fits the challenge criteria.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

ATCs with Stamps

Well I have been a busy little bee today. Beats cleaning.....
This is a sample from the batch of ATCs I've done for our January Challenge over on KC. The challenge was to use any rubber stamp but to embellish it with a postage stamp.
I've used Journal Entry by Hampton Arts.
[Dot, if you're reading this, they're going in the post tomorrow.]

Black and White

This is a card I've made for a Black & White Mingle for the KC Yahoo Group I belong to.
To me, black and white means elegance and sophistication so I hope I've interpreted that.
The stamp is an UM 'Lady & Rose Silhouette' by KayCee Crafts and I've edged the borders with an UM rose bud stamp.
Hopefully the recipient won't see this before she receives it.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Theme Thursday - Favourite Number

Hey I'm back. I've made my challenge card but whether I'll manage to get it linked to the Theme Thursday site is another matter, lol.

I wanted to use the number 7 as its always been 'my' number. Don't know why.

First I started by colouring a piece of white card with Antique Linen and Milled Lavender Distress Inks. I wanted a subtle background so didn't over do it (for once!!!). Using an UM numbers I randomly stamped over the background in the 2 colours of distress inks. Then it was a case of raiding my stamps to find something number related. The Tim Holtz stamp was perfect as the number seven features in various places so it tied it all together. I used a rectangular quad block to stamp the tape measures keeping the seven prominent. These were stamped in Black Stazon.

The number 7 is a chipboard element which I coloured with Adirondack Dabber in Cool Peri and blinged it up a bit with metallic thread and beads.

The Tim Holtz element 'S' for significant and of course seven is fixed with a brad. The ring surrounding the 7 is a brass finding acquired from an old button tin.

Finally I edged it in black stazon and layered onto purple card.
First attempt, it could be my last but we'll see. Meanwhile I'm off to find the cat that found its way into my fruit cake that I baked yesterday.......

Seeing Triple

At last a quiet afternoon to play in my craft zone and do some blogging. You never know I may get around to trying out one of the challenges.
I had hoped to be playing yesterday afternoon but just as I got home from walking the hounds I got a call to pick Mark up as he was poorly. So instead I ended up making cakes!!! I know I could have been crafting but I had some ingredients to use before they went out of date.
Anyway, back to the craft zone. I've just created this, the second this week, which again I've got my inspiration from an old 'Take Ten'. The image is part of an Anita's stamp which I've stamped 3 times with stazon and then matted onto patterned paper, added ribbon, brad and sentiment and voila...a quick card. Hope you like.
Now off to search for a challenge....I could be sometime, lol, x

Monday, 18 January 2010

Twenties Elegance Again

This time a different colour combination but still trying to keep within the black and white.
Hope you like, x

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Twenties Elegance

Just sharing with you a quickie card I have made taking inspiration from an old 'Take Ten' magazine. Sometimes you just need to flick through the mags to get the ideas going again. I'm quite pleased with the way its turned out and already have another image stamped ready to go.
I needed to do this quickly as I need to get it in the post tomorrow for a birthday.
Don't know about anyone else but we've finally had some sunshine today. It was so lovely to see and made the fact that I was working this morning slightly more bearable.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Here are 3 cards I've recently done for a fun challenge on my yahoo group.
Our remit was to represent fun and in keeping with my naughty sense of humour I thought these possibly fitted the bill, lol

Monday, 11 January 2010

Doggy Doo Doos...

This is my beautiful labrador 'Etta' trying to have a pee in the snow.
Sorry for the rear view of the other mutt 'Joss', lol

Ice and a Slice anyone?

This is the ice part....
Went into our connected garage this morning to hear water running. Following the sound I saw not just a drip but a blinking waterfall coming through a small crack in the top of the wall.
To cut a long story short myself and 2 of our neighbours finally discovered that the downpipe was completely blocked by ice. Now I know the photo isn't too attractive but its just to prove a point. The slice bit is the drastic action we took to disconnect the pipe.
What I don't understand is how you can have a thaw when it is still snowing hard and freezing cold.....science was never my strong point!!! Having said that the thaw is only from the snow on the roof obviously not the pipe....
We seem to be getting hit hard here in Yorkshire and there's more on the way.
For anyone else struggling in these conditions, keep warm and safe.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone.
This is not actually the UK, although it could be at the moment. It is in fact the campsite where we were staying in Bruges. However, it seemed appropriate to upload this picture at the moment.
Despite the weather we had a reasonably easy journey there and back although we had problems with the heater in the van. Just what you need in minus temperatures. Still, my little handmade Christmas tree brightened up the van and gave us somewhere to put the pressies.
Now I have to go search for my inspiration and get crafting again...