Make a Wish

house journal tag

I am thoroughly enjoying the feeling of being settled that this new house has brought us.  Having been a home owner for most of my adult life, renting for four years was never very comfortable.  There was a constant awareness of the cream carpets that the cat was doing her best to shred, the lack of our treasured pictures on the walls, the inconvenience of not being able to put up shelves.  There was an up-side of course – we didn’t have to sort out or pay for the mouse gnawed burst pipes, the faulty plug bathroom leak, the cracked window or the new roof slates.  That aspect of renting was great!

The house we are now living in is one of two neighbouring houses that were both being sold.  Originally, back in February we wanted to buy number 8 and thought our offer had been accepted, only to find out a few weeks later that both properties had been taken off the market.  We found another property in the same village, but a survey revealed some expensive long term maintenance which we didn’t have the budget for, so we pulled out of that one.  I was pretty upset at the time, but something made me contact the estate agent dealing with the original two houses and my timing was perfect.  He told me they had just become available again and there was interest in number 8 already, but number 7 was a possibility.  It took another few weeks and ended up going to a nail biting closing date, but we were overjoyed to get number 7.

During the whole process, I generated a fair few journal pages that focused on the themes of homes, shelters, nesting, rootedness, etc.  This journal tag is one that I made when I first got myself some Gelatos.  I loved the creamy blending and made a few tags just playing with colour.  The Fantasy Castle symbolises the yearning I felt at the time to have a place of my own and I  journaled some of my thoughts around the edge of the tag.

Initially the tag just had the ‘make a wish’ sentiment (from Words and Birds) on it.  The ‘magic happens’ phrase just appeared all by itself one day, as if by magic!  Honestly I cannot remember going back and stamping that – weird?  But I made the wish, the wish came true, so it just shows, magic really does happen.

Wishing you lots of magic in your day,

Christmas Owls


This week’s Monday Mojo email contains quite an in depth beginners brayer tutorial.  If you have never been happy with the results you get from your brayer, then I’d encourage you to read it and I hope it will encourage you to give it another go.

For my new artwork, I reached for the nearest stamps which included Harlequin Fragments and our new Christmas stamps.  The background that I brayered was in shades of burnt orange, which I overstamped with Archival ink in Venetian Orange.  I stamped the owls with black Archival and extended the tree trunk at the side (thanks to Judith’s card for that idea).  I stamped the owls again on paper, coloured them with pencils and Wink of Stella pens, then cut the stockings and birds out and decoupaged them onto the tag.

The tree is coloured in white Wink of Stella which looks completely translucent when it first goes on, but dries white.  I used a black pen to re-draw some of the horizontal lines at the edge and also used a pokey tool to scratch through the dried Wink of Stella to give that look of a birch tree.

The sentiment is from our new Christmas Magic clear set which meant I could line it up so the swirly line at the bottom continues the line of the branch that the owls are sitting on.

It is difficult to focus on Christmas in the heat of Summer, I know.  We have customers who make cards for a living or for charity and they are already building up their Christmas stock, ready to offer to retailers, their Church group or their school in September.  Others just want to get a head start so that when all the rest of the Christmas craziness is in full swing, the hand made cards for their special friends are all done and sorted.  Hats off to you if you are that organised – I may get there this year, who knows?!


Home Sweet Home

This week I feel like I’m getting back to a normal working routine.  Lesley has handed Monday Mojo back to me after helping me out over the last couple of weeks, and didn’t she do a great job?


This week’s original card was one of the most popular of the whole series, so I hope I’ve come up with another winner with this sweet little landscape card.  As I said in the email, I’m obviously well into ‘nesting’ mode with the choice of house stamps coming to me without even thinking about it.

I have used a mix of stamps – the houses are from Home Sweet Home, the trees are from our clear set Terrific Treescapes and the foliage is a mixture of Tall Trees and stamps from Briar Rose Butterfly and Harebell Butterfly.

I stamped the two house images with black Archival then connected and extended the hills between them with a black fineliner. I also used the fineliner to draw some leaves on the bare tree (the tree behind the house on the left doesn’t have leaves) to match the other one.  I coloured the houses and trees with my Polychromos pencils then drew a faint pencil line to act as my cutting guide and cut away the sky completely.

The hills are coloured lightly with pencils, then I used various green dye inks and a large stipple brush to add stronger colour at the base of the hills.  I stamped foliage all the way along the bottom, mixing and matching elements from different stamp sets and varying the shades of green.  I then scored about an inch in from the left, folded it and put double sided tape down the folded edge.

The back of the card is a separate piece, brayered with a home made inkpad (using distress reinkers) and stamped with a selection of trees from Terrific Treescapes.  I glued the folded edge of my shaped panel onto the back of the brayered card and trimmed through both layers on the right to get them the exact same width.

I am not going to do a colour challenge with this week’s card, but instead, I’m going to leave you with a little tease of something new that we are introducing this Wednesday.


Check out the Design Team blog on Wednesday to find out what it is.  I’m sure you’ll see this image popping up on the other girl’s blogs too – we’re all pretty excited about it!


Crafting comes in handy

So we’ve been here for two weeks now and its a personal record – we are unpacked!  Lots of things still need to find homes, but the Pickfords boxes are emptied and gone.  We’ve even done our first bit of remodelling (removed a loo and installed a washing machine in it’s place) and with all our familiar stuff around, it’s beginning to feel a little more homelike.

One of the challenges we faced here was the fact the house came furnished.  It has previously been a holiday let and was sold as seen with all contents.  Most of it is pretty tatty and just needs to go, but some of the good stuff is going to a social recycling scheme called The Furniture Project in Stranraer.  We are also waiting for family to come and pick up some other pieces they want, so it’s all feeling very tight and cluttered at the moment.

One of the challenges that other people have faced over the last two weeks is finding us – there is no number anywhere on the house.  I nearly bought one, then I thought, hang on a minute, I can make one!


I needed it in a hurry so this is a super simple, quick make.  I used one of our wooden plaques as I wanted something sturdy and I gave it two coats of gesso on both sides, then covered it with a wallpaper sample that looks like painted wooden boards.  I found a number 7 that I liked on the computer and scaled it up to the right size then printed it out, cut it out and painted it with Teal Golden fluid acrylic.  I glued the paper and number with Golden soft gel (gloss).  The paper wraps right round the back with about a two inch overlap.  I like the way you can just see the shape of the bevelled edge of the plaque through the paper.

At the moment, it’s sitting in the porch window, but once I find somewhere that sells yacht varnish, I will give it two or three coats to cope with the salty rain here and we’ll mount it to the outside of the house.  It somehow feels like a very appropriate ‘first project’ in our new house.

The little house shadow box behind the number is one I have had for a while.  I wasn’t happy with the original colours I had used so while I had the paints out, I gave that a freshen up and I love it now.  I’m planning on filling this with beach finds – shells, driftwood, sea glass, pebbles and anything else interesting that the sea washes up.

One of the things I am absolutely relishing is being able to put pictures up on the walls – it’s lovely to see my artwork up there instead of sitting in a box!

studio pics


PS – Lesley liked my house number so much, she featured it in this week’s Chocolate Baroque email newsletter and put the Golden fluid acrylics on special offer for ONE WEEK ONLY (that’s until July 17th 2014)

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