Saturday, 30 November 2013

In the Classroom with Barbara Gray

Saturday mornings are usually slow starters weekend starts here, but once a month Barbara Gray has a classroom program and I do like to get a few chores done and then sit down with a coffee and a chocolate biscuit and just watch ( I even record them in case there are any glitches like Jasper & OH coming in from a walk in the middle of it all)

Today's was the last program for this year, I had had a little clear out and found my folder of my efforts done after the shows, as Barbara uses any viewers cards to sell 'Charity with Clarity' I thought I would send some of my better ones, rather than them gather dust in the Crafty Attic. To my amazement some of them got shown:

I really was thrilled that Barbara took time to say how she had 'known' me a long time ( well I have been watching the classroom programs since the beginning and sometimes sent my work in) and that she has seen my work improve !! Even OH was impressed because he thinks I just mess about up in the crafty attic !! So thanks Barbara for putting him right.
Right now I'm off to carry on making Christmas cards xxx Bye Annie

Thursday, 21 November 2013

F&F Challenge #103 .. HEARTS

I really went down to the wire with this challenge ...did I want to make a card, a box, altered art ...? Then suddenly I remembered an MDF frame I had bought in the January Sale, I found it in the Bargain basket ...looking a bit sorry for itself, more shabby than chic.

I saw Ali Reeve do the pva/paint technique to make a surface look weathered, it's good to be reminded of these tried and tested techniques, so I set to .. a layer of acrylic allowed to dry, a layer of cheap pva  and then another coat of acrylic then gentle heat applied with a heat gun until the top surface starts to split, unfortunately it doesn't show up very well in this photo, I just couldn't get the right light. I then brushed the surface with Antique Linen distress ink, to take away the modern bright white look because I knew what I was going to put in the finished frame.

I used Martha Stewart paper clay and silicone moulds to create the lettering, bird, flowers and heart embellishment, again I brushed them with Antique Linen distress ink to age them. The cage is a Marianne die and the poppies were cut with a Memory box die.

The photo was taken on my Great Aunt Maud's wedding day in 1916 when she married William Bowland, months later on 26th March 1917 he was killed in Palestine and buried in Gaza Cemetery. Great Aunt Maud was never the same again, she died in 1953.

As a young child I was always told by my paternal grandmother that I should never go into the parlour ... but seeing the door ajar one day whilst I was there I crept in, the room was dimly lit with heavy drapes on the windows. I could make out a tiny wizened old woman in a bed this point I was discovered and ushered out and given a real telling off. Many years later my Mum told me the sad story about Great Aunty Maud who had been so tragically widowed during the First world War, I asked if the woman in my grandmother's bed was Great Aunt Maud and of course she said it was, it seems she never recovered from the shock of losing her young husband and then she was struck down with Alzheimers Disease and had been cared for by her sister, my grandmother. I often wondered about William Bowland's grave being in such a volatile part of the world but over the recent Remembrance weekend  I saw an item on the Itv news showing Gaza Cemetery ... a very tranquil place that was being cared for by an elderly Arab man and his team of men. Every November 11th my mind goes back to that old lady ..(in fact she was not that old actually) and her sad story.

Well that's enough nostalgia for one evening, I'm off to upload to the Fussy & Fancy Challenge website where the new challenge is 'Hearts' plenty of scope there then, why don't you give it a go, it's easy to enter here:  and Good Luck

Bye for now
xxx Annie

Monday, 18 November 2013

Weather Forecast... SNOW!!

Well they are forecasting snow for us here in Wales this week. Just hope it's not as bad as December 2010 when we had 9" of snow here's the proof, it looked so pretty in the garden but it made it  quite tough to get around

My ruler sank in the snow

It looked so pretty in the garden but it made it tough to get around
This is a scrapbook page I made using a photo of Jasper sitting in the snow .. I later adapted it to make a Christmas card for my neighbours who all know Jasper:
Sadly one of these neighbours went into a care home  a few months later suffering from dementia, she doesn't remember us but she has this Christmas card in her room with her and she knows just who it is... it's Jasper she says, he's my best friend ... Jasper adored her and still stops at her garden gate when we pass on our way out for a walk, he remembers her too and all the cuddles and licks he gave her.
That's all for now ..if the snow does come your way 'Keep safe and warm .... ooh and spare a thought for the birds and leave them some food out' xxx Bye Annie

Saturday, 16 November 2013


A Happy Accident: whilst I was cleaning up after playing this afternoon I pulled off this background just to clean my gelliplate, I was about to throw it away and looked again because it reminded me of a fuschia plant. It just so happens that Clarity have a really pretty fuchsia flower & bud stamp.

I stamped the flower in position directly onto the background in black Archival then embossed it with clear powder so that I wouldn't have to cut around the stamens and stem. Then I stamped the flower 3 times again onto white card so that I could decoupage it, I also stamped the little bud and cut it out.

Wow is that the time it's nearly midnight, I better get off before I turn into a pumpkin ... :)
 Nite nite all xxx Annie

Stained Glass Madeleine

I saw Barbara Gray's tutorial on a new technique this morning and couldn't wait to have a play. I tried the technique with various stencils I had but decided the beautiful Madeleine one gave me the best result. Here she is:

I can't tell you much about how I did it, but I know I started as Barbara does with Titanium Buff Acrylic paint then when I took off the first print  I had an idea where I wanted to put my pink, gold and white paint in relation to her skin, hair etc. But still she looked a bit washed out so I tinted her with adirondak ink to highlight, the flower, her hair and the background in front of her face.
This photo doesn't show the shimmer and texture that you can see 'in the flesh' so to speak.
Must dash to watch Strictly Come Dancing.. enjoyed my play today xxx Annie

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Friday 13th November 1992

Friday 13th November was such a lucky day for my family ... after a long wait I was finally told that my first grandchild had been born a baby girl named Bethan Rhiannon, I had to wait a couple of weeks before seeing her as my son and his wife were living in Cardiff area at the time.
So yesterday she was 21yrs old I can't believe where the time has gone:




Now I know she received them safely I can blog what I made for her, she is a very talented artist so making things for her is very daunting but I know she loves little boxes and books so that is what I made for her. At the last minute I also decided to make her a card to send her money in , I tried various other ideas which failed so I had to use an idea which was originally my sister Sue's ... so thanks Sue for saving my bacon yet again: The owl stamp is one of Sam Poole's, oak frame and cogs are Ali Reeve's masks:
Then this is the box and book I made, the box was embossed with Sheena's birds embossing folder which I highlighted with gilding wax

 Inside the box I used Andy Skinner's Skullduggery stencil one of Rhiannon's favourite things


Finally here is the tag book I made for her, as she is a fan of a certain young wizard and anything fantasy / magical I used G45 Steampunk Spells papers and bits and pieces from my stash

There were several other pages with pictures and personal messages  to her.
So there it is it took a while to make and I did wonder at times about sending it but once it was finished I was quite pleased with it. Rhiannon seemed to like it which is a result in my book !!
That's all for today xxx Annie

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Clarity Challenge #9 CHRISTMAS

Well I had the most wonderful surprise this morning when the postman arrived with an unexpected letter!! It was from a very lovely Crafty Fairy and when I opened it there was a Clarity Rooftop mask, a stamp some very pretty flowers and a card she had made I have admired this fairy's work in Blogland so I will really treasure that card.

Last week I saw a tutorial on Barbara Gray's new blog using this rooftop mask, and I put it on my Clarity wishlist  to buy at a later date, I kept thinking about it and what I could do with it .... so now that the fairy has made my wish come true here is the card

I have always found using masks a bit tricky but with my new Clarity stencil brushes it was a doddle, I used a mixture of Denim, Eggplant & Pitch Black Adirondack inks for the sky using a moon mask which I then swirled with a bit of Squeezed Lemon distress ink. I edged my rooftops and chimneys with a quicky glue pen and added some glitter as if they were catching the moonlight, added Santa and the star from the Christmas miniatures and I was done....

I enjoyed my playtime and so now I am off  to enter my card into the Clarity Challenge, who knows there is a £50 Clarity voucher for the winner ... imagine £50 worth of Clarity goodies .... where's that wishlist of mine !! lol xxxx Annie

Friday, 1 November 2013

Little bit of Knit 1 purl1

I hate sitting in front of the tv doing nothing so a little bit of knitting keeps my fidgety hands occupied. This was my latest little effort, now I'm not an expert knitter and this pattern was written to be made on a circular needle!! first stumbling block I hadn't got the right size. Decided to make it with 2 side seams but then had to adapt the cable because on circular needles the stitches work differently :(.

Once I had got him started and could see him growing I just had to keep going it is so clever the way his face develops, there really isn't an awful lot of twisty cables to it!
And here is the finished hat complete with tassles
I was quite pleased with it, certainly kept my fidgety hands busy for a couple of evenings..... What to do next I wonder

That's it for today just a quicky update really because I have already posted My Fussy & Fancy Challenge project earlier so Bye for now xxx Annie

Fussy & Fancy Friday Challenge #101 Black & Blue


This is a special challenge for me as it is the first one I have hosted for Fussy & Fancy Challenge ... so I am really looking forward to seeing everyone else's take on the Black and Blue theme.

I wasn't even planning on making a challenge card today but I decided to play with the new Stamps Away Peacock mask. My sister sent me the most beautiful birthday card using this technique .. I coated the mask with perfect medium then carefully put it through my Grand Calibur using the sandwich usually used for cutting (no tan mat) I just wanted the pressure to transfer the sticky Perfect Medium onto the black Clarity glossy card. I then sprinkled the card with Stampendous Kaleidoscope embossing powder ..this is the most beautiful powder because when you heat it the colour changes through the rainbow colours the longer you heat it, I stopped just as the colours were changing from blue to green. I was quite pleased with the end result.. but then what to do with it.

That's when I remembered the Black & Blue Challenge ... I stamped Sam Poole's lovely deco Peacock onto blue card and gold embossed it and coloured it with Cosmic Shimmer drawing inks which are full of shimmery mica. When it came to the sentiment I knew exactly what was needed Clarity Wings of Time stamp... I then had to concoct a card shape to put all my bits and pieces on, I used a sheet of A3 royal blue and cut it down and folded it so that the back was longer than the front so that the sentiment is glued onto the back of the card but still shows from the front.

So that's my version hope you'll get your crafty stash out and have a play and see what you come up with. Entering the challenge is easy just go over to the F&F Challenge page here:   and the links are there.

Bye for now & Happy crafting