Sunday, 27 July 2014

Sunday Stamper - Week 318 - A Winter's Tale

Goooodly Morning Stampers and a very happy Sunday to you all!  Thank you for all your great dreamy entries for last weeks challenge.  I have chosen this particular theme this week because lots of you have been telling me you are all getting ahead of the game and makin' stuff for the festive season already! Personally I like to leave that kind of thing until mid December and then hare around the shops looking for card pack *teehee*  Anyways, without further ado, the theme this week is CHRISTMAS/WINTER.  I have added the "winter" part in just in case the "C word" has you running for the hills too!   You can interpret the challenge how you like: make something festive, add in the Christmassy thing, use Winter colours, Winter stamps etc...  the choice, it be yours!  To join in with the challenge is simples: make a little something, it can be anything you fancy.  Add in the theme AND some stamping *this is THE important bit guys, please remember your rubberstamps!*  and then pop back here, leave me a comment with a link to the place you are showing your entry and I can come see you.   If you haven't got a blog, you can join in via Facebook (just tag me name) or by emailing a small res.pic to me.  The challenge will remain open until 21:00 Saturday 2nd August 2014.

I headed off to Inspirations in Preston last week for a demo day - one of the hottest days of the year thus far and I was all about Christmas!  I even had a little Christmas tree behind me - I alluded to all who came to see me (thanks for coming btw!) that I may have fallen off the top of it *snort*  Anyways, I was demoing a few different products including Distress inks, Wendy's Archival Inks,  Woodware stamps, dies, mdf, shimmer paints and embossing pastes.  My tag base was created by using Antique Linen, Frayed Burlap and Walnut Stain and then adding a background stampage of snowflakes using Pearl Shimmer paint to stamp them randomly.   The NOEL is a DoCrafts mdf piece and I painted this black and then added Lime Green and Peacock paints mixed together over the top of it to make it two-tone.  The trees (Woodware) were stamped using Wendy's Tree Branch, Potting Soil and Fern Green Archival Inks... lovely jubbly, just THE perfect colours to go with my trees and my background.  The dove was just die cut using cream card and I added Sparkle Paint over it... once dried, I added Pearl and Silver Shimmer paint over the top so the Sparkle Paint is actually used as a texture paste :O)  A smidge of string finished the tag and voila, done!

I shall away now...  I had a naughty little pixie whispering in my earhole, leading me astray, last night... we have this bottle of Bacardi Pina Colada that we got in the Duty Free in Rhodes.. ohhhlalalaaa... it is LUSH! *if you see it in the shops, get it, you will loves it!* Now, I never drink... I cannot remember the last time I actually had a proper drink in fact, probably a Bailey's on New Years Eve!  Anyways, this 'ere Pina Colada is just soooo drinkable.  It is also STRONG!  We have a Magic Bullet kitchen gadgetting thing so I filled that up with ice and some of the Pina Colada mix and blitzed it.. and drank thru a straw so you can imagine how fast that was slurped!  Then Grim I mean the naughty pixie said "have another" so I did.  And then when I was a little bit squiffy, he said "have another... go on, you know you want to!" So today I have a smidge of a headache, totally self inflicted and really, at my age, I should know better!  I haven't yet dared look into the mirror for fear of what I may see... probably something resembling an old hag that has had a few too many!  On that delightful bombshell, I shall say... Thanks for looking, TTFN!

Hels x

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Sunday Stamper - Week 317 - In Dreams

Goooodly Morning Stampers and a very happy Sunday to you all!  Thank you for all your fabby entries for last weeks challenge - it was grand to see so many different interpretations of the theme.  The theme this week is a nice easy one to get your chops around... and it is DREAMS.   You can interpret the challenge how you like: add the word to a project, include it in a sentiment on your project, make something that you have dreamed about or something that is your dream... the choice, it be yours!  To join in with the challenge is simples: make a little something, it can be anything you fancy.  Add in the theme AND some stamping *this is THE important bit guys, please remember your rubberstamps!*  and then pop back here, leave me a comment with a link to the place you are showing your entry and I can come see you.   If you haven't got a blog, you can join in via Facebook (just tag me name) or by emailing a small res.pic to me.  The challenge will remain open until 21:00 Saturday 26th July 2014.

As I mentioned on Friday, this last week has been one of those weeks... you know, when you get a few days set aside to play and then up creeps a lurgy and puts the kybosh on any ideas of getting inky.  Well, last Sunday I was teaching in Essex (last weeks Sunday Stamper was the project I was teaching) and I usually do a "class sample" as I am teaching, I find it easier to show and tell rather than just tell (believe me,  my ladies have the patience of saints trying to decipher what I am saying!) so my entry this week is my class sample.. which I came home and jazzed up a wee bit more - you know, cos I loves a good sesh embellishing stuff!  My word of 2014 is DREAM... and I haven't used it for a yonk and a half so here it is again today!

The base is a canvas board and it was painted with various Paper Artsy Fresco Paints - Mermaid, Bora Bora, South Pacific... and then I spied that one of the ladies was using a similar palette and she had Limelight on her desk... I loved what she was doing with it so I nicked the idea and added Limelight to my creation and wow, it really perked it up perfectly!     My stamping is using Ellen Vargo's gorgeous stamps (CLICK HERE TO SEE HER BLOG)- look closely *if you click on a photo it will pop up bigger!* and you will see lots of different images nestled on the board, all stamped with paint.. and then the very smidgiest of script stamping in Jet Black Archival just to tie the whole design together.   There be stencilling and Grungepasting (mixed with Limelight *this is my new FAVE colour!*) using JOFY and Lin Brown stencils.   I added shading to the stencilling using my Stabilo ALL pencil.

No self respecting canvas would be complete without a rose... and a tattered rose at that.  This one was made using watercolour paper painted with the same as the board, overstamped with Limelight and a text stamp and then, once formed, smidged with Jet Black Archival to give it a bit of definition.  The title banner is actually a metal tag that was painted with more Fresco's and I added the letters using Tim's Alphaparts.  A few bits of Idea-ology and some Distress Glittered bits that I had kicking around the Room of Stash finished off my canvas... aren't those colours just LUSH!!!

I am all excited today... I have a Sunday off... which means that for the first time in about 392 years, me and Ellen will be having a good old catch up on Skype!  I am *hoping* that we don't have the forecast storms cos that usually kicks out yonder t'internet and that wouldn't do at all!  Hope you all got a great day planned... keep cool... tis gonna be a hot one again by all account... phew!   Thanks for looking... TTFN

Hels x

Friday, 18 July 2014


Cor blimey! And thrice alive!  I have been on me sick bed this week!  I picked up a gastric bug last weekend and spent the first few days of this week either asleep or... well, I won't go into detail... oh no, suffice to say, I felt as weak as a kitten... thankfully I am over the worst (I hope!) and feeling a bit better now.  I dunno, I used to have the constitution of an ox, not so now-a-days!  Anyways, as promised... finally... a few pics from the garden.  This is my first year proper with the garden, we have totally landscaped it, removing all the trees when we first moved in, getting a big patio laid, letting a bit of a lawn grow, building sheds (well, Grim did that bit, I just stood around holding a hammer just in case he needed my expert woodworking skills) and finally, The Greenhouse that Grim Built!   I have always loved gardening with pots and tubs... I can't really dig over a garden and pots and tubs are so much more manageable... save for the watering which takes about 20 mins every evening but SO worth it.   In April, armed with a few packets of seeds and a bag of compost, I snuck off to the greenhouse and bunged some seeds into compost - well, how hard can that be right?  Actually... really easy!  Just remember to talk to them... everyday... worked a treat!

Aged P suggested I tried a variety of cucumber called Burpless.. he said that they are ugly as sin but really lovely... and they don't repeat on you (yeah, clue in the name lol)  So I did.... and yesterday I took this ickle pic... a right pair of whoppers!!!!  Today is harvesting day for the bigger of the two... they are a bit spiky and a bit wonky but hey, they are recognisable as cucumbers :O)  I also tried to grow another variety of cucumber but...erm... managed to kill most of the plants because I overwatered them!  Lesson learnt there!

I sewed my bodyweight in seeds... ran out of room in the greenhouse... it was worth it tho... but before I go all daft about flowers, here's a little idea I had... grow some ornamental gourds... and then in Autumn I will have a little pile of gourds to make a pretty garden display with... Here's the first one growing... I called him Gourdon *yes, rather original*

And here he is now, with his brother... erm... Gourdon II... there are several Gourdon's in the family now!

As mentioned, bodyweight and seeds... well, I had this vision that I would make the "sitting bit" of the patio into a little cottage stylee garden with wildflowers and stuff and what-not.  I was out the front of the house, supervising Grim removing the ivy from the front of the house - I had a very important job - expert ladder-holder-er no less!  Anyways, our neighour Ben comes out from the back of his house with a lovely garden chair and proceeds to put it in the boot of his car.  So I calls out "whatcha doing Ben?"  Being of nosey persuasion and all that.   He says he is taking said chair to the tip as it is broken.  "ooh, can I have it please?"  says I.... he looked at me like I was ever so slightly deranged and said I could indeedily have said chair... and there was another one I could have too...  Oh no, I only needs one... and then I told him why.   You see, in my vision there was this battered old chair with pots and stuff on it... well, I think it fits in perfectly!

Here's more of the "vision"

Those pics were taken on May 31st... and these were yesterday...

The chair has had an old enamel sign added to it... 

 Dwarf Sunflowers in a tub

When we moved here, we had a new downstairs loo and basin put in - the old pink one was revolting!  Instead of taking measurements and stuff like that, we went to B&Q and bought a handwash basin and gave it to the plumber to fit it the week before we moved in.  A phone call later that day to tell me that the ...erm... handwash basin... was a bit ... erm... large and that whilst it fitted, he now couldn't close the door of the downstairs loo!  Grrr!  Anyways, Grim got around that but cutting out a snip of wood so the door shut and eventually we got a new diddy basin which Grim duly fitted.  So, what to do with the old basin huh?  It was on the floor in the garage and I spied it, filled it up with compost and bunged some fuchsia's and petunia's in it and voila... here it is just planted in June

...and here it is now!  Recycling at its best right?

I shall away now - I have a busy day catching up on all the stuff I didn't do whilst on me death bed this week... Hope you all keeping cool and dry!  TTFN

Hels x

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Sunday Stamper - Week 316 - Everyday I Write The Book

Goooodly Morning Stampers and a very happy Sunday to you all!  Thank you for all your fabby entries for last weeks challenge and it is lovely to see some new peeps joining in too.  This weeks challenge is a little different, something to get your creative juices flowing.  The theme is BOOKS.  You can interpret the challenge how you like: make a little mini book as I have done, cover an old book, use up book pages, alter a book.. the choice, it be yours!  To join in with the challenge is simples: make a little something, it can be anything you fancy.  Add in the theme AND some stamping *this is THE important bit guys, please remember your rubberstamps!*  and then pop back here, leave me a comment with a link to the place you are showing your entry and I can come see you.   If you haven't got a blog, you can join in via Facebook (just tag me name) or by emailing a small res.pic to me.  The challenge will remain open until 21:00 Saturday 19th July 2014.

excuse colours - the photo's just will not do them justice!
 I am not going to waffle on for yonks about how I maded my entry this week because it is actually my class sample for the Birds in the Barn Craft Fest that I am teaching at today in Essex, so it wouldn't be fair on the ladies joining me to play to tell you all about how I did this.   I will, however, tell you about the goodies I used!

I know I mention her frequently on this 'ere blog but there be a goodly reason for that... firstly she is my BFF and secondly, she is my American sister (we discovered we have *too much* in common to NOT be related... IYKWIM)   Introducing (yes, again) the wonder that is Ellen Vargo... and her gorgeous stamps that are made by Paper Artsy.

Fans of Ellen will have already seen her venture into the world of video tut's... and please do CHECK OUT HER BLOG to see more hints, tips, tuts and general paintyness as she rocks her new stamps.  Along with Ellen's stamps, I used Fresco Paints... the colours are Vanilla, Paprika, Butternut, London Bus, Claret and Blood Orange with a smidge of Snowcap mixed into the Vanilla for stampings.

The rose is watercolour paper and I coloured this with Vanilla/Snowcap mix of paint and then overstamped with Claret/Blood Orange mix using Ellen's ickle dotty stamp... die cut using Tim's Tattered Florals and assembled as per the tutorial I did HERE (check it out, it is indepth :O)  

There also be a Grungepaper strap with a 7Gypsies buckle that I used Little Black Dress on to age it up... the colours on the GP are Mocha Mousse and Chocolate Pudding (seriously, those names are making me huuungry!)  and I just scuffed the edges of it to make it a little shabby.

Anyways... that's all from me for today.   Apologies for the dearth of projects over the last few weeks... I have been beavering away in the Room of Stash designing some new class projects and also - don't tell anyone will you - I have been faffing around in the garden too.  I know, I promised garden pics yonks ago... I promise again, they will be this week!   Thanks for looking, have a grand day!  TTFN

Hels x

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Sunday Stamper - Week 315 - Hello Goodbye

Goooodly Morning Stampers and a very happy Sunday to you all!  Thank you for all your fabby entries for last weeks challenge and it is lovely to see some new peeps joining in too.  This weeks challenge is a little different... you need to USE A GREETING on your creation You can interpret the challenge how you like: add a "hello" or an "I love you" or whatever else you feel like using to your project :O)  To join in with the challenge is simples: make a little something, it can be anything you fancy.  Add in the theme AND some stamping and then pop back here, leave me a comment with a link to the place you are showing your entry and I can come see you.   If you haven't got a blog, you can join in via Facebook (just tag me name) or by emailing a small res.pic to me.  The challenge will remain open until 21:00 Saturday 12th July 2014.

 My entry this week is a card I made for our lovely neighbours to say thank you for looking after the garden whilst we were off sunning ourselves in Rhodes.  Since the advent of The Greenhouse That Grim Built, I have got a little bit into my gardening again and this year I have sewn tonnes of stuff from seed and now have 96 pots and tubs (yes, I counted them all and no, for once, I ain't exaggerating!)  Being away for a whole week and not watering said 96 tubs would have no doubt left them all in a very bedraggled state so our lovely neighbours said they would come in and water them everyday... and a grand job they did too as the garden looks amazing at the moment.  *I will do photo's at some point, I keeps forgetting!*

The card is a 6 x 6" blank, decorated with a little bit of Tumbled Glass and Pumice Stone DI, a smidge of flourish stamping using Wendy's Forget-Me-Not Archival Ink and some inky freckles made by using the inky puffer thingy and a Walnut Stain Distress Marker.   The butterflies are from Tim's Papillon set - stamped in Archival, watercoloured in with Distress Ink and a waterbrush and then more speckles added... and the largest butterfly was stamped again, cut out, coloured and shaped and then popped over the original one.  The greeting is also a Tim stamp - I love the font on this set and there are loads of different greetings too :O)

That's all from me for today... I am in a state of high excitement because in about half an hour we are going to collect my AlfieCat from his holidays in the cattery... I have missed him SOOOO much! We were only home for Thursday so it wasn't fair to get him home and then leave him again so he has had a longer holibobs too... but wow, how quiet the house was on Thursday and I kept finding myself calling for him... I know, I am quite mad!  I am still on catch up with all your entries for the past few weeks... please bear with, I will be visiting you soon :O)  Thanks for looking, have a great day!  TTFN

Hels x

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Curiously Burlapped...

Gooooodly Morning to all you Compendium-ers!  Today sees the start of a brand new Compendium of Curiosities 3 Challenge.  To see all the details on how to join in with the challenge, CLICK HERE.  Also, if you pop across to Linda's blog, you will see all gorgeous creations that my talented teamies on the Curiosity Crew have made... well worth taking a cuppa and a Hobnob with you :O)    The challenge is sponsored by the Funky Junkie Boutique this time... so you will have a chance of winning a generous Gift Certificate to spend there.  As before, Tim & Mario have very kindly donated goodies for an extra prize... which will be awarded to the "Curiosity Crew's Choice"... so you have two chances of winning fabby prizes!  If you haven't got your Compendium book just yet, you can order a signed copy directly from the man himself... HERE.  And... Linda has also done a FAQ page for you.. HERE it is... all the info you will need is listed there.   This week we are turning to Page 37 of the book and altering a Burlap Panel.  Now, as ever with the Compendium Challenge neither I nor the Curiosity Crew will be posting the technique instructions and participants must not do so either. We all want to encourage people to buy Tim's awesome book; giving away the instructions wouldn’t be fair to him. Linda will have no choice but to un-link any entries that don’t follow this rule.

My entry for this weeks challenge is actually a little behind in completion!  You know when you get an idea in your head and you go with it... and then you go with it a bit more and then a bit even more?  Well, this is what happened to my alteration of my Burlap Panels!  I actually sketched this project out last year and it was one of those projects that just never had the time to dedicate to it... and when I knew that Page 37 was coming up, I decided to go with this design for my entry.  And then life threw a curve ball and I ran out of time!  I have a sneaky peeky pic (above) of it part finished, this is a long way from what the final *thingy* will look like but I figured some pic is better than no pic!  I will be finishing off my project over the weekend so please do pop back to see it finished if you have time.

That's all for now - don't forget, you will have two weeks to enter the challenge... and a bat at the chance of grabbing the Crew's Choice prize which is a mahooosive haul of stash donated personally by Tim & Mario... so if you are joining in, remember to comment on all the Crew's blogs and you will be in with a chance of winning that too *believe me, this is one gigantic pile of goodies*  Thanks for looking, have an inky day!  TTFN

Thursday, 3 July 2014

It's All Greek To Me...

...Χαιρετισμούς σε όλους σαςΩ, ναι! Έχω περάσει όλα τα ελληνικά!
Είμαι πίσω από το όμορφο νησί της Ρόδου ...  Isn't Google Translation just perfect!!!   So!  Did you miss me huh?  Grim and I jetted off last Wednesday to the beautiful Greek island of Rhodes. We are a bit of veteran to the Greek islands but this was our first trip to Rhodes and oh! my! word!  What a beautiful island it is.  And... even better, it seems to have escaped the curse that a lot of the other islands have... it isn't ridiculously expensive!  Actually, I could go as far as saying it is cheap out there.  Which is how it used to be... before the advent of the Euro.   Anyways, we had a great flight over to  Rhodes and arrived at the hotel just before 10pm local time so it was dark and we had no idea really what the place looked like.   Our room was good - shame the bed looked like it had previously had a hippo sleeping on it and it was very saggy and a little bit knackered... but apart from that, all was good!  We stayed on an all inclusive basis so the next morning we were up early to get ourselves to the restaurant for breakfast.  When we opened up the doors to the patio of our room, here's the view we had.... not bad huh?

After a nice brekkie we decided to be ever so slightly lazy and lounge by this lovely and very inviting pool... and this is the view we had every day from our beds by the pool.

Now, I am usually a bit chatty... those of you who are long time readers of this blog will know that I do love a natter.  On holibobs I always like to talk to other guests at the hotel, it is a kind of bonding, you get to talk to strangers from all walks of life and all backgrounds.  Not so on this holiday!  With the exception of 12 other British guests who were all very nice and friendly, the majority of the rest of the guests we from the Ukraine.   Oooh, I got a little bit excited!  A new nationality to meet and talk to ... you never know, there may be another inky addict staying there that we could swap stories with!   Not so!  SO NOT SO!  I have never, ever, ever met a collection of such ignorant, wasteful and rude people!  Usually I don't make sweeping statements, I always speak as I find but I sure am speaking as I find here... from pushing in in the queue for food and drink, from looking right through you when you speak or smile, from allowing their children to run screaming (and I am not exagerating here, really screaming) around the dining room and pool, leaving said children as young as 7 or 8 years old in said pool whilst they went off to the beach (about 800m away) for the day so yes, us nice friendly Brits were left making sure their offspring didn't drown themselves, to taking their body weight in food at the beginning of a meal and then leaving it, untouched, to go into the waste whilst muggins here ended up with just a few bits of spud as there was literally no food left! Oh and how could I forget to mention... every single bloke was sporting a pair of budgie smugglers.. those images are burned into my brain now, nothing will erase them lol   Apart from the miserable clientele... the rest of the holiday was just simply fabulous!  So fabulous that I got into 100% lazy old bat mode and didn't take a single photo!  I had my camera with me but it was in the room, obviously that would be far too much like hard work to get my carcass moving and go and get it, especially when Grim had his with him, so I have nicked a couple of his pics.

Last Saturday was our 12th wedding anniversary.  Jokes a-plenty about getting less for murder and all that, we had a lovely day.  A trip to the beach - wow, it was soooo hot on the beach, I had to sit underneath a rather fetchingly fashioned cape made from vests, towels and sarongs.  My fair English rose skin literally frazzled through the Factor 30 so we beat a hasty retreat back to the hotel for the lunch scrum and then had an afternoon by the pool.   The mercury topped between 35 - 38 degrees for the first few days... then it got ridiculously hot... Monday was 42 degrees!  I spent the whole day in and out of the pool (don't worry, I didn't do anything more energetic than get in the water, limpet myself to the side and wallow for a few mins and then get back out)  Who knew that the sun will actually be rude enough to burn you through the water huh?  I was submerged apart from my bonce... and I was covered in Factor 30 and 20... and yes, I burnt, I blistered and now I am scratching me old back like I have fleas!  Anyways, back to Saturday.  We took a local bus into Lindos which took about 30 mins to get there... a lovely little of a town, nestled in a valley and next to the sea. 

A-top the hill that leads into Lindos is this chap.  He is Kleoboulos and was a 6th Century Greek poet and one of the Seven Sages of Greece and just so happens to be a native of Lindos.  After the stroll down the hill, (ok, after a very sweaty and huffy puffy drag down the hill) we entered into the little alleyways of Lindos, chock full of shops selling all kinds of wares and restaurants that have roof top terraces so you can sit and eat a lovely big bowl of Mousaka and take in the views... (well worth the sweaty huffypuffy slog into the town!)

Being as Lindos is at the bottom of a mahoooosive steep hill, there was no way this old lazy bat was walking back up the hill so we took a taxi back to the hotel.  Remember I said it took about 30mins on the bus?  Ten minutes in a taxi!  I was sitting in the back with my eyes screwed tight shut chanting the word "nutter" over and over... really... he was a nutter!  

Other than a wander down to Lardos, where we played Crazy Golf (Grim won, obviously, I just smacked the ball with the stick and hoped for the best) and ate THE BEST chicken Gyros I have ever, ever, ever eaten (and remember I said it is cheap over there?  Two Gyros, a big beer, a normal beer and a Diet Coke *yes, I was good and only had a little swig of a beer lol* cost just over 10Euro!) we stayed in the hotel... the weather was just too perfect to spend any time indoors... it is normal for a Sheridan holiday to be full of rain and cloudy weather so we didn't want to chance missing a second of the glorious sunshine!
And here's the parting shot of Rhodes... we were on the wrong side of the island to see a sunset and last night's was a beauty. 

That's all for today... I am up to my eyes in washing - the fifth load is on at the moment and I have a mega load of blog comments and Sunday Stamper entries to catch up on... I will try to get to see you all before Sunday!  Thanks for looking and... have a grand day!  TTFN

Hels x

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