Experimental Playtime.

Good morning dear crafty friends.   I have been playing and experimenting with new techniques.  Though my results  had varying degrees of satisfaction, with my determination to waste less they have all been made into cards.

It all started when the postie delivered these from my friend Kay. from kay clarke - jan 2019 I have been wanting to try doing some  napkin techniques for a while, but dare I risk spoiling them.  I was showing them to another friend who said she had some old ones I could use first.  She returned later with these.from me   So the next morning I retreated to my craft room to play.

12This was the first technique I tried. It uses double sided adhesive sheets and as you can probably tell glitter.  Though this looks as though it was a success I actually ended up with it back to front and as there was writing below I almost threw it away.  But most mistakes in card making are easily remedied if you think about them so the wording was chopped off, I printed a mat with some wording on it that I liked and Hey Presto card number one.  The second was the same technique but I got it the correct way this time. 13  Before anyone starts querying why I used the same design they will see the first 4 have the same picture as napkins usually repeat the pattern on each corner and I don’t want to waste anything at this point.  The next technique I tried was to spray the card with glue and carefully lay the napkin over it.  Then supposedly when you are happy you can trim the edges.  I soon found that whether you are happy or not you are not going to move the napkin once its on the card.  So though it had gone on a little wonky I went with it .  14The other problem with this card was I had been a little heavy handed with the spray glue and it started to come through the napkin so I sprinkled some glitter over it, which has given it a sparkly look without being as in your face as the double sided adhesive one was.  So card number three looks like I was drinking the wine whilst making the card.

The last quarter of the napkin I tried out what is called a faux glassine technique, and this turned out to be my favourite finish.  It starts with a class mat (in my case, though you can do it on a plastic sheet like an open plastic bag for instance).  You lay down a layer of decoupage glue or mod podge.  I used the first of these then carefully lay the napkin over it trying not to get too many creases (easier said than done) and put another layer of the glue over the top. Leave to dry overnight and carefully peel it off your mat.  Then trim it and use.  It has an almost parchment like finish and seems brighter and clearer than the original napkin.15

Whilst going through You tube to watch how these techniques were done. I came across one that used baby oil on any untreated paper i.e. backing paper, copy paper, and even printed copy paper to make a faux parchment paper.  I, like most card makers, have a few paper I am not keen on and the one I used was from a magazine.  It was quick, easy, and I was pleased with the result.  This paper ended up a lot brighter and to me more usable look that it had originally been and though, maybe in this case, not as transparent as real parchment I can certainly see my fingers through it when its being held.  I used it to make a much needed Christmas card – total of three now for 2019.

3I now need to get some more cards made and some more stitching done.  However I shall certainly use the two final techniques again and I want to see if I can stamp on to them when they are done.  With regard to the baby  oil trial one thing that did surprise me was after leaving it overnight  there was no trace or feel of oil on the paper.  I placed it between two sheets of kitchen roll and rubbed really well but no mark left on that either.

I hope you have enjoyed looking at my experiments and if you fancy having a go just type “napkin techniques” into the google or you tube search bar.

All for now folks and hope to see you again soon.

Hugs to all who need them,


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Time flies by…

… and I haven’t a clue where it goes.  Its a week since I last posted and I really keep meaning to post more.

Shall I start again – Hello my crafty friends.  I have been really busy with birthday cards this month as just so many coming up and I do try to keep at least a one month ahead.  So now I have all my cards for February made and with only one exception** they are all in a plastic sleeve ready for posting when the time is right.  Happy news is I am still sticking with my targets. I also added one more target to my list though its one you rarely see and that is to make the inserts for my cards as I go along and not leave it until I have twenty or thirty to do all in one go.  The insert is part of the card for me, although I know many people can’t be bothered to do them, unless I am specifically asked to leave the card blank inside I always try to make one that compliments the outside of the card.  So far this is going well too.

9 This is for my lovely Aunt who is in her 90’s, and was made using the topper and papers that came free with this months Papercraft Essentials magazine. *Target is – New Paper and Topper which came free with the magazine (the fact that I wouldn’t have bought the magazine if I hadn’t liked the paper I am trying to ignore lol).8I love this one, I have been trying out a new to me blending technique and when I had finished (not one to waste ink)  I wore the colour off my sponges on a spare piece of card. This background was the result and as I liked it I stamped one of my new Christmas stamps over.  This one is Dragonflys by Phil Martin, and I absolutely adore it. Mounted onto black and added to a cream card, a stamped sentiment and a few little colourful days were all that was needed to complete it.  Target is – Left over ink waste for background (I am putting this under the upcycling heading as I don’t really know what to call it). Using a product not used before.11Here is one of the backgrounds I had been playing with.  I saw Kathryn Sturrock demonstrate this technique on tv and really liked it.  In real like it has a quilted look to it though it looks quite flat here.  The little girl is another of the lovely stamps my daughter bought me for Christmas.  *Target is -New techniques and product not used before. 10This is using the February image from the friends calendar *Target – bit of a cheat as I am calling this recycling though it was a new calendar.

The next three are some more new dies from my daughter at Christmas time.

Target – Using new products.    And lastly, this one does not meet any of my targets but I wanted so make something for a friend who will be 21 AGAIN lol.4 and just one Christmas card so far 2

I do hope you have enjoyed seeing what I have been up to and that now you understand why I have not had a lot of time to be on the computer.

** I mentioned above that my cards were done apart from one exception.  The card is now made though I have not photographed it yet.  I actually made this and was fairly pleased with it; only to find when I stood it up the topper had been put on the card sideways on – not quite an Australian card, but half way there, so I had to remove the front of the card and remount it onto another piece of card.  Oh well it ended good so I am not going to moan about it, though I was cross with myself at the time.

I have been playing with some new techniques over the last couple of days so hope to be back soon and share

Hugs to you all






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SAL Sunday -13th January 2019


Wisteria done, or so I thought until I popped the image onto the computer, and then I see my poor ladybird (or ladybug to my American readers) hasn’t grown her spots yet.  So this will be remedied this evening.   I now have one line X, Y and Z to do, plus I think some butterflies, and then the bottom border.  So getting close.  The wisteria flowers have outlines on the chart but as I started to do them I was not sure I liked them, then my hubby said “I don’t like that it just looks like coloured boxes now”.  That was it the back stitching came out and they will remain as they are now which I think is more realistic looking.

This is a wonderful SAL group and with their support I can see myself finishing the 2nd of my UFOs.  We each work on our own project so its just seeing all the different things growing and taking shape. Our only commitment is to post a picture of our progress every three weeks.  If you don’t comment for a few months your name is taken off the list but no one will contact you or hassle you and we all miss the occasional posts when holidays or illness or just life itself takes over.  Why not visit and see what the others are up to.  Our members are all over the world so you have to allow for the fact we are in different time zones.   If you like what you see and would like to join us please contact the first name on the list Avis, who kindly sends an email a few days before to remind us that its time to post our updates, and keeps us all up to date with new members etc.

Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, LucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Steph, Linda, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Catherine, Deborah, Connie, Clare, Mary Margaret, Renee, Jenny

All for now folks


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Wishing you Happiness, Health and Love in 2019

Hello Dear Crafting friends, and a big welcome to my first post of 2019.

For this year I have set myself some goals

The first was mentioned in my last post and that was to use something new from my stash with each card I make. Secondly I want to use as many recycled bits as possible in my card making.  Ribbon and old Christmas / Birthday cards are obvious, but I hope to look for things that are not so obvious too.  Not sure how successful this aim will be but I do like to think that something that would have gone in the bin is being used to good purpose.  And thirdly I want to try some new techniques, both with inks and in things like card folds etc.

The last is to get Garden Alphabet finished.  With that done I can get out the next UFO from my now (I am thankful to say) shrinking store.  Simple aims I think but hopefully they will test me and keep a fresh feel to my card making and keep me focused on finishing some more of the long held projects in my cross stitch basket.

Back to the first goal and so far I have made four cards this year.  All birthday cards,  the first using two sets of dies from my daughter.  Both by Sue Wilson, I used Gemini Crux die (just the centre part) and from the Frames and Tags collection I used Phoebe.DSCF6634          This is one I posted last time 8and this next one is using the 2nd die from that set:  These just cut into the card though I would not be hard to trim round them with scissors if you wished to place them on top of the card.DSCF6628   The last two are using dies I have had a while but I had bought them to do this Eclipse technique with and was too busy to take the time it needed to place the dies correctly.  It was actually easier than I had anticipated.  The first was for my brother, and the second for a friend.  I do think the second was an improvement but a technique that still needs practice.  I also die cut the letters in funky foam rather than using lots of little foam pads but even though I was very careful the foam still shows in places.  If you have done this Eclipse technique yourself and can offer any advise please do tell me.DSCF6636DSCF6635

Lastly I will leave you with The Little Owl who now has a body.DSCF6637

The next time you see him he should have another wing too, and I’m sure that will be soon.  I have been struggling with Wisteria but now seem to have got to grips with it so hopefully that will be done by Sunday and I can get back to this little chap.

Thanks for all the support I have received in the last 12 months and I look forward to hearing from you this year too.










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Christmas – stash and how to use it.

Hello my crafty friends.  I hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas and had the chance to celebrate with loved ones.  I mainly got dies and stamps from Santa this year and here is a pic of all my lovely stash.

Firstly the dies.2018 Christmas dies                      and then stamps.2018 Christmas stampsWith all this nice new stash it made me think of other things I have been given and even bought my self.  There is nothing I do not like in my stash but I don’t always use them – if you are a crafter I bet you know exactly what I mean.  We reach for the tried and tested favourites time and again.  So I have set myself a challenge for 2019, to try and use at least one thing I have not used before in each card I make this year.  No guarantee I will stick to it but I am going to try, even if its that one sentiment that I never seem to use from a favourite set.

The first two I have to show are recent sketch challenge cards and were done before I set myself my own challenge.  I love these sketchy challenges, they certainly make you think out of the box.

Now what I have done since setting myself my “Use Something New Challenge”.

The first card used 2 of the numbers from my lovely new number set, and the second is using a set called Christmas Dreams from Yvonnes Creations. Both Christmas gifts.

These two are also using Christmas gifts, the butterfly and the border on the first card were both from friends, and the one holding the sentiment was from one of the Sue Wilson sets my daughter gave me.

These last two are still keeping with my challenge but were not using Christmas gifts.  The first one is using a background I have had in my stash for a very long time and always treasured because its so unusual.  I got a pack of six some years ago at a craft fair and I have never seen anything like it before or since.  Its a sort of figured plastic sheet and although you cannot tell here it makes the topper and the gems look as though they are sinking into it.  The topper was a stamp and die set free with Papercraft Essentials magazine which I got last week.

When I was in Derby just before Christmas one of the card shops (I think it was Clintons was selling calendars at two for £1.00 I chose two pretty one which have given  me 24 beautiful toppers for my £1.00.  Good value I thought, and this is the first one.

I have stitched a little on my Little Owl this week and hope to finish his tummy tonight before starting back on Alphabet Gardens Wisteria tomorrow.

I wish you all a very happy and healthy 2019 and hope to see you again soon.




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I am afraid that I have not even picked up a needle in the last three weeks.  The closer to Christmas it got the more people seemed to remember they hadn’t ordered a card for Gran/Aunty/Neighbour/Uncle Tom Cobley and all.  My own card stash had been well and truly raided and I was busy trying to replenish that and do all those cards people had forgotten.  Yes the family did tell me to say it was too late but I love making cards and I would hate to disappoint anyone so alas the crafting I have done has not involved those little crosses.

Please go and visit everyone else – I am sure someone will have made time to stitch and there will be lots of other fun things to see.





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SAL Sunday – 2nd December, 2018

Probably like many others, I have been up to my eyes in things that have had to come before stitching at this time of year.  I have done a bit but not finished W for Wisteria yet,  but the saying that is almost the moto of this group is “any progress is good progress”.  So here is my progress for this three week period:- DSCF6540

I am now going to see what progress others have made and would suggest you do the same.  If you would like to join our group then just contact Avis at Sewing beside the sea (first name on the list).

AvisClaireGunCaroleLucyAnnKateJessSueConstanzeDebbieroseChristinaKathyMargaretCindyStephLindaHeidiJackieSunnyHayley,  TonyMeganCatherineDeborahConnieClare

Hope you to see you all again within the next couple of weeks but just in case either you or myself do not make it then I would like to take this chance to wish you all




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