Craft Stamper and Eastern Grasses

Readers of Craft Stamper will have seen that we have designed the current issue’s cover mount stamp.  Keen readers have already spotted that the cards I made for this issue featured an as yet unseen set of stamps called Eastern Grasses.  Well that’s right, and it’s one of those lovely little themeplates that has already earned it’s keep making several birthday cards, including a couple which were for men.

Now that Craft Stamper is out, I can share here the cards I made for this issue.  Katy, the editor, asked us to work within a colour brief which I found quite a challenge as the colours made me think of light spring days and the weather at the time was autumnal and stormy.  I found myself reaching for russets and golds, but managed to stick to the brief for the magazine and was pleased with the results.  I was also laid low with a stinking cold at the time and found it hard to muster up any energy, so kept them all very simple.

This card is made from white glossy card (from our essential card pack) which was stamped with one of the dotty grasses in versamark, then brayered all over with Memento ink (Lulu Lavender if I remember rightly).  I’ve stamped the square heart from Weekend in Venice – the heart shaped space in the middle was perfect for overstamping.  When I made this, I tried a few rainbow pads and wanted something more subtle.  Even taking off most of the colour on the brayer first still wasn’t right, so I was pleased when I had the idea of just brayering on a single colour.  Sometimes less really is more.

This one features one of the lovely journal cards designed by Lesley Wharton for the Decadent Brocade CD.  I printed it out onto canvas textured card which is why the stamped words look lightly textured.  I had some pearls in just the right shade of pale aqua/green to embellish this with.

Finally, this simple card features a frame made from Nestability label dies which are actually framing the stamp that says Romance on the Romantica themeplate.  The bird stamp is coloured with Copic markers and enhanced with a touch of Stardust stickles and stuck over the word.

The first and last of these cards feature stamps from the new set, Eastern Grasses.  It is coming out very soon and I’m sure it will be a favourite for lots of occasions.  Keep an eye on the Elusive Images blog – the new releases will be shown over there in the next week or so.

Finally – today’s bit of good news is that Basil has eaten cat food for two days in a row!  We have tried every brand you could possibly think of and thanks to all your wonderful suggestions you’ve left in comments.  Sorry I haven’t had time to respond to each of you, but thanks to whoever suggested the expensive vet-only pate that you mix with hot water.  I tried it with a tin from the supermarket and finally we seem to have hit on a flavour he is interested in (beef).  We have tried so many things over the last two weeks, it’s such a relief – I just hope it lasts.  Talking of relief, Basil has been quite averse to going outside in this snow and has to be accompanied outside to go to the toilet.  I think he’s super anxious, so Adrian has to go with him to reassure him that it’s ok.  Well tonight he presented us with the first normal poop that we’ve seen in ages.  Sorry if that’s too much information, but at least I didn’t take a photo of it for you!

What I did get photos of though is the amount of snow we’ve been having.  Can you tell what this is?

It’s a solar light which is almost certainly broken now – I’m sure the instructions said to take them inside in freezing temperatures.

And here’s the snow piled up against the outbuildings.  It’s no wonder we have trouble getting off the drive the way it drifts.

And I’m really not sure the plants appreciate their snowy blanket!

It does however make a great foil for a black cat glamour shot – this is Basil on the windowsill.

Oh, these anorexic supermodels – really Basil, you don’t want to be a size zero!

Merry Christmas everyone!

I know quite a few people have had to change their Christmas plans this year due to the weather, us included.  So wherever you are today and whoever you are with, I wish you all the joys of the season and hope that you enjoy your day.  For me Christmas is a time to relax and wind down and we started early yesterday by building some snow … er .. characters.  They can’t really be defined as snowmen as one has a definite female quality to her top heaviness and the other, well it’s a snow chicken really.

So, in the Great County Durham Snow Character Building Contest, which one do you think should win – Gertrude or Rocky?


If you can guess correctly who made which snow character (hint, there was just me, Adrian and Basil involved) then I will give you this 6x6inch printable paper design as a Christmas gift!

I’m not sure when I’ll get back to the computer as the tidying up process is about to result in my little office becoming Glory Hole number 2 (front bedroom is officially full now) and I can probably fill this space with all the handbags I’ve found scattered throughout the house.

Handbag fetish - moi?!

Oh, and guess what the girls at the office got me for Christmas – a new handbag – cool!!

Have a great day!

Snowy orange thing

I have this bush near the garden gate and I honestly can’t remember what it looks like when it has leaves and flowers.  However it has several orange things on it at the moment that look like dried satsumas, so I’ve christened it the satsuma bush – spikyalis japonica satsuma to give it the latin name (my Nanna told me that anything from Japan has japonica in the latin, I can see thorns and satsuma sounds oriental, so that must be right).

You probably know my approach to gardening by now – pay someone else to mow the grass so Adrian isn’t crippled by hayfever, zap the tough weeds with the flame thrower, play with the pressure washer to clean the path, oh, and occasionally buy a load of plants from the local nursery and forget about them for a few weeks then plant them and see if they survive.  I have a slight handicap when it comes to gardening – due to my former knee problems, I can’t kneel and in my experience it does seem to be a bit of a pre-requisite for planting.  The alternatives aren’t pretty or comfortable – I can’t squat for long, the knee won’t take it – and if I try sitting on the ground, I need a winch and hoist to get back up again without twisting or injuring something.

No I firmly believe that if I was meant to garden, I would have inherited a stately home with a team of gardeners so I could plan and design it on a grand scale.  I’m happy to stay behind a camera lens in the garden and let the flowers and plants be a source of inspiration.

We’ve had a hard frost overnight on top of a few more inches of snow, so it looks pretty, but I suspect it’s quite treacherous out there.  I had planned to go Christmas shopping today, but I think I’ll check out the online options first.  I think this is one of those days when the met office would say don’t make a journey if you don’t have to.  I might make one little journey though – out into the garden again with the camera!

PS – if you’re on an email digest, you may not have spotted the edit on the previous post.  All the stash boxes are gone now – thanks to everyone who ordered them, you should get them for Christmas.