Saturday, 19 December 2015

Twofers - Holidays

Last Twofers challenge of the year and we hope that Christi's theme will tempt a few more entries.   We have a fantastic sponsor who is giving $20 to spend at her store to one winner every 2 weeks, not digits (we do not allow digital stamps in the challenge) but real prizes you choose and will hold in your hands, if you win.

So how do you get your hands on $20 of stash?  This time our theme is Holidays.   This was interesting in the UK holidays are periods a week or two away from work and generally from home.  Somewhere sunny, our holidays are what others might call vacations.   In America this time of year from Thanksgiving to New Year are called the holidays, in craft land they seem to be very much Christmas themed.    So We are leaving it open to your ideas so long as it fits the theme of Holiday one way or another!.

I'm still working on that pack of cards.

The King of diamonds has to be that diamond geezer Santa.   I love this stamp it just captures the essence of the man/myth.   Got the glitter Sakura out agin adding some pizzazz to his beard and that little touch of red from his hat.

The second card, the 3 of spades, is a traditional summer beach scene.   Felt pens applied directly to the stamp, reminds me of paddling in the sea with my Mum.   The spades were all stamped in summer colours.

Tempted to join us? remember our sponsor Alleystamp and their very generous prize.

Given the time of year thought I might be able to share my Vintage Santa with a challenge or two.
Dragons Lair - December theme Vintage Christmas
A Vintage Journey - Vintage Christmas

I do not usually add challenges after I've published but preparing the Saturday list at Challenges for Days today I spotted 2 it might be fun to share with and it is all happening on the same day.

Allsorts - Week 1 of 2 Anything But Christmas, guessing the beach scene fits!
Craftyhazelnuts's Christmas Challenge - Anything goes so long as it is Christmas Gotta be Santa.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Twofers - Flowers

Good Morning, I am so embarrassed, work has been taking so much of my time recently that I completely forgot to set the new challenge up!!!  I am leaving my job next week, after three and a half years it is time to acknowledge that I am not suited to the role.  It has been a fun time and i have learnt a lot but it has also been very frustrating and the person I am most frustrated with is myself.   Basic routine and repetitive tasks bore me and I do not do them well, having to deal with that in a dynamic ever changing environment with systems that cannot be relied on so everything little thing has to be checked has resulted in me making more and more mistakes.   I do not think that these mistakes were all my 'fault' but in so far as they were mine I have to take responsibility and go.

Enough life goes on, back to the fun things and the Twofers challenge

So better late than never here is our new challenges Flowers.

With everyone's focus now and Christmas I wanted to give you a theme that could be used for Christmas or if you prefer give you a break from all the seasonal madness.  Flowers seemed an obvious choice.

We are of course offering a prize of $20 from our ever generous sponsor Alleystamp

My sample is once again a pair of playing cards, the pack in growing and becoming both interesting and challenging.  Always both Onions and Paper (Jane) and Christi have provided gorgeous samples to inspire you, here are our Flowers

The main image spread over both playing cards is an old Tanda stamp, I love images of the Poinsettia and used it here knowing that the red display is that of leaf not flower but we tend to use it and think of it in the same way as we do flowers.  The little flower images are from an old Stamping up set, I've drawn the little club symbols in the middle of the stamped images.

Yep just a little mistake in the making of the 8 basically it is upside down, but that only shows if you want to put the two playing cards together.

Fancy a break from all the Christmas fuss, come and join us at Twofers.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Twofers - Music

During the nightmare week that last week has been I completely forgot to write my Twofers post for our new challenge starting today Saturday 21st November.  It will run for two weeks taking us into December.

Yes last week at work was long days stuff going wrong, updating old tech always invites problems and we are getting them at least one of our everyday systems is about 15/20 years old! Linking new systems in until its turn for upgrade (Coming soon we are assured) is just plain hell.   Not altogether sure it is over yet, but I have a couple of days off at the end of next week.

Bright spot of the week a chat with Mark (Son) on the phone, but even in his 40's he can find a way to shut Mum up.  Mobile battery went flat just when I was getting' going'.   No wonder this had not been written.  Still gave me something other than my playing cards and our challenge to waffle on about it.

The Twofers Challenge

Sponsored by

This time our hostess is Jane, she of Onions and Paper, yep Jane cooks as well.   The theme Jane has chosen is Music you really do have to go and take a look at her DT piece it is fabulous.

Music then a wonder open theme, great for those Christmas cards that are the big project at this time of year.   Of course any representation of Music in your project is acceptable so long as you use Inked stamps   The 9 of spades was easy with Hampton Art stamps of the dancing couple stamped each way up.  Lining the heads up was a little bit of a fiddle but got there, 9 musical notes upside down represent the 9 of spades.    the 5 spades is a little bit of a colour blend collage of colour, masks and stamps.

Please take a look at Christi's card as well Her site is Art-Without-Anxiety and there is always a brilliant tutorial for the project shared there.   This time Christi's project is a play on lyrics.

Wouldn't you know it, we are not the only Music challenge this week.   Just add Ink have it as their theme as well!

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Christmas Critters

OK still got those Christmas cards to make.  This one is for my brother think he will like this cheeky little robin.

The stamp is a Woodware one from a couple of years ago, stamped in Memento and coloured with Promarkers.   This was a delight to colour with one of our bright and chirpy birds, I love the territory song and they really can become quite tame if looked for and fed in our gardens.

This one is shared with A Gem of A Challenge, with their theme of Christmas Critters.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Not really into Christmas - but need a few cards

I do not 'do' Christmas, but a lot of my friends do and it has some significance for my brother so I will need some cards.  Here are the first made today.

I do like the Coca Cola Red Santa, he is very bright and jolly, not like St. Nick at all.  St Nicholas brings blessings, but jolly red Santa he brings presents!   The first card used one of my old favourite stamps it is a Hampton Art stamp stamped in Memento Black onto white card with just his hat coloured with Promarker red.

Sharing this card with:
Creative Corner Challenges - Black, White and 1 other.
Less is More - One Layer week, with Santa
Cas(e) the Sketch - Sketch on their site

Sunday, 8 November 2015


The bird that is reborn from the flames, symbol or rebirth renewal and the cleansing act of fire.   One day when I get my act together the right image the funds I will get a Phoenix tattoo, right shoulder I think.  For now I'll just have to play with my re-discovered Inkadinkado stamps and a flaming stencil.

First the stencil the shapes outlined with the shape end of a felt pen then coloured with the felt pens, the colours of Autumn and of flame.   Yellows oranges and reds.   Then the bird stamped in grey just to get the outline.   More of the same hot colours filling the entire impression.   I'd probably used this as a "Get Well" card.

Pixels and Paper (A new to me challenge) have a picture inspiration, It is the far left panel and the sleek style of the room that I took inspiration from.
Less is More have a colour challenge - Colours of Fire perfect for me, as is their CAS challenge

Polkadoodles - Colours of Autumn

Just add Ink - A inspiration picture again, this one is Autumn leaves and a bold yellow block.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Twofers - Things with Wings

On with my mission to make a pack of cards.

Time for a new challenge at Twofers, our 7th can you believe that.   Christi's turn to choose the theme and host the challenge and what a great theme.  Things with Wings, think we all love this one don't we?  So many ways to take it from airplanes to fairies, bats to bees.  Sent me scuttling back to the stamp stash and an old much loved Inkadinkado set and a dreamy bird.   The other stamp is another great favourite La Blance 2 beautiful dragonflies.   I also got to use my old Sakura glitter pens.

First card, now the 7 of hearts, I used a stencil with Adirondack ink and those much loved much used ink dusters.   The image overstamped in a sepia/brown.   Some of the circles in the image have been turned into hearts coloured with those gel pens, other pens coloured other parts of the image.

8 of hearts, the 8 coming from the number of wings.  Here I used a mixture of Whisper pens and the glitter pens just on the wings of the insects.   Last time I mentioned that the clover leaf I'd used for the clubs symbol would also make great little hearts and the theory was successful tested here.

As always Christi and Jane have produced great inspiring samples. Jane & I had a great time remembering the source of one of the stamps she has used.   If you have a moment please drop by and see what they have done.   You might fancy entering this one as well.

It turns out that Left of Centre also have a Things with Wings theme this week!  Gotta share with them don't I?  I'm also sharing my cards with Take it Make it (Craft Stamper Magazine) who's November challenge is to use rubber stamps in your project.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

I do love the autumn colours

It is that time of year, leaves turn brown and fall to the ground, some years it is dry so they become blown together in crisp piles and I still enjoy jumping and scuffing in those.   This year it is a wet autumn, perhaps the colours are less vivid but it still heralds the coming of winter, which in turns promises a new year and the new birth of spring.

This then is my homage to autumn this year.  The stamps here are Penny Black, the topper stamped in Memento and coloured with Promarkers.   Golds yellows oranges browns and reds with touches of green/grey green.   The edges cut with a deckle cut blade have been touched over with Adirondack denim blue.  The faded stalks along the bottom were stamped in Adirondack butterscotch.

Challenges to share this with

Suzy Bee's Bloomin' Challenge - Anything Goes with Autumn Colours
My Time to Craft - Autumn Colours
Graph it - Autumn/Christmas Colours
Stamping Sensations - Colours of Autumn

The longer evenings are great for weaving

This first piece is Cherry Quartz, found on eBay from India.   It is so transparent that any wire work on the back will show through.  So a 6 wire frame folded round secures it on 3 sides while the wire ends top and bottom were used to hold it from the top and create the bale.  It seems to be a bit of a thing with my cab wraps that the is a front top structure that stands proud of the pendant, don't know where that idea came from but I do like it as a feature.

This is drilled Druzy quartz, having a drilled piece allowed me to just play.   On piece of wire was wrapped round round nosed pliers, when you slip this off the pliers it naturally twists, thanks for that tip Fleur Hastings.  A second piece of wire was threaded up through the hole and hooked onto the spiral at the bottom, it was not possible to thread a third piece through so that was secured at the top with weaving.  Then I just played and you might realise it is there again standing proud this time complete with swirls.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Twofers - Colour Challenge

Turning chilly now isn't it, well for those of us in the northern hemisphere anyway.   Time for our 6th Challenge at Twofers as well.

My time again now and I've opted for a colour challenge.   Indulging my love of the cool colours and restricting us to just those colours, black to stamp with (If you cannot use one of the specified colours) on backgrounds that are either black or white.   Thats all, no additional colours for 'realism' or any other reason, just use Blue, Green and Yellow with rubber stamping.

Sponsored by Alleystamp the winner of this challenge will get a $20 voucher to spend at the store.

Big thank you Alleystamp

When we were talking about that to do for this challenge, my original idea of abstract was completely beyond me and my playing cards!  Someone suggested colour and once I'd named them they rushed to their craft rooms and came up with their fantastic samples.

With my original idea still in mind using cool colours like these it seemed time to make the playing card aspect of my cards the focal point.

I also found some terrific little suite shape stamps by the English Stamp Company, they are a little large but will be perfect for those challenges when the suite takes centre stage on my playing card set.  Having the stamps all that remained was the colour and how to use it.

4 of clubs (or clover leaf if you prefer) stamped and masked the image 4 times.   Using a block stamp with a dotted edge Blue and Green stamped top and bottom.   The yellow was added with Inkylicious Ink Dusters.   Back to front 4 added with White pen and a tiny row of flowers also in yellow along the top of the green.  By the way I see little hearts in this clover leaf stamp as well, watch this space. 

4 of Spades, clearly Mondrian inspired design here,  I used thirds to section the card and again used stamps and masks for the spade image.   Coloured with felt pens the pen marks show clearly and are rather random giving the backgrounds movement.  On the green panel a pair of feet have been stamped in yellow. 

Take a look at the inspired ideas Christi and Jane came up with, they would love you to visit their sites and to know what you think, me I think they are great.  

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Twofers - Vintage/Retro

Is it me or are we starting to get our Summers once the Autumn officially starts.    Busy getting the garden sorted for the end of the year and sun burn at the same time!

Time for a new challenge at Twofers, we are hoping you will find us and like us but for now at any rate we are also just enjoying each other.

This fortnight Jane setting the pace, and has asked us to take a look back.   Really looking for 20th century themes hence Vintage or Retro.    Still working on the pack of cards, this was a little bit of a tease but with a stamp collection the size of mine all you have to do is look and the stamps will present themselves.

The bike reminds me of my childhood bike in the '60s.   I used to cycle all over Boscombe & Bournemouth on it complete with the wicker basket on the front.  Oh for those long summer days of childhood!    Just felt the bike spoke for itself with a warm sunny glow behind it.    The 2 of Diamonds is a timeless vintage, a good one to be enjoyed with another vintage diamond.

We have a sponsor now at Twofers,  Alleystamps who are giving the winner $20, thats $20 (approx £13) to spend at their store.

Challenges I'd like to share this with
Use your Stuff - Markers/Inks   For these playing cards I've been using felt pens that do not show through on the other side of the playing card.   I've also dusted then images using adirondack or Distress inks.
Retro Rubber - Time Travel, again I think the bike speaks for itself.
Sweet Stamping - Wheels 

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Lapis Lazuli Trio

Been a bit quite recently, busy time at work.   Had and still have an idea rattling around to wrap 2 round cabochons in a fancy s shape wire structure.   Do not have a pair of round stones in the collection at the moment, will have to go shopping!

I do have some lovely Lapis Lazuli cabochons, could not make these work for that design but 3 seemed to fall naturally into this pendant.  A very simple wrap embraces each stone the wires left threaded through a gizmo wrap liking to the next stone.  4 wire woven together to form the bail, 3 of those wires end in spirals the 4th is covered by another gizmo spiral encircling the bail.   The other 2 wire ends have also been covered with a gizmo wrap and are suspended between the middle stone and the one on either side of it.

The chain is just 2 different sizes of gold plate jump rings connected.  The stars of the pendant are those gorgeous Lapis Lazuli cabochons.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Brothers Birthday Card

Oh yes it's that time of year again, Neil gets to be another year older at the end of the month, time to make him a new card.

Not the best picture sorry its the naff evening light.  If I get a chance in the morning I'll take another picture and change it tomorrow evening.

This card has been in the making since the week-end that is an eternity for me.  I knew that the stencil work would be a feature both with inks and embossing paste.   The greeting was quickly found, but the image oh my.   It could not be too intrusive but did need to hold its own on the overall card, this Clarity stamp seems just right.   And a new technique for me paper piecing, he deserves a good blanket.  By the way the greeting is from Rogue Redhead Designs, Shar is having a clearance so there are some really good bargains to be grabbed.

Colours used are Ginger and Willow Adirondack, Bamboo Memento for the greeting and Vintage Photo for the stamp.   The DP is green paper with green and orange dots.   Neil is a pretty straight forward chap and I think he will like this.

I'm also sharing this with
Cards in Envy - Colours of fall
Opus Gluei - Birthdays
Inkspirational - Orange and Green (2nd entry)

Before you go, are you a crafter who enjoys challenges?   A small team of us run Challenges for Days maintaining 8 lists of daily and by date challenges.   As a team we are down to just 6 and really could use a helping hand.  If you could spare an hour a week we would love to hear from you.   If you are interested please drop me a line at zoechaos@icloud.com, let me know you have sent the email just in case it gets stuck somewhere.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Twofers - Sassy

Time for a new challenge at Twofers, this fortnight Christi is your hostess, but first some news.

We thought making pairs would be fun but it seems less appealing than hoped so we have revised the rules and will accept single projects of course if you want to make a pair then nothing is stopping you.   We also have a Sponsor I'd like to introduce Alleystamp 

The owner, and dear friend of Christi, Janine, has graciously agreed to give our winners a $20 gift certificate to her store.  Christi shops there all the time and says the prices literally can not be beat (they are often lower than those daily sale sites!) and she is such an awesome person.  HUGE thanks to Janine!  Joining Christi in her thanks to Janine for being such a generous sponsor.   Christi will be our Prize winners contact, thank you Christi for taking on that task.

Lots of exciting things happening at Twofers!   And a new challenge for the next 2 weeks with the theme of Sassy.   Not sure if it means quite the same thing in American as it does in English but to me Sassy is a classy kinda saucy.   The Geisha Girls came to mind, they work so hard to perfect their art, the ability to put a man at his ease to help him relax have a drink and enjoy himself I believe it is more about entertainment and pleasure than sex.   Certainly those girls are Sassy.

I'm going to carry on with the pack of cards, this is a pair of 3s not very high scoring in most games but they will do for me!   Stamped in Versafine grey and coloured with felt pens.   Cannot use solvent pens on these playing cards because of the bleed through so they are really making me work on my colouring.  What does Sassy mean to you?

Sharing this with
Brown Sugar - Anything but a Card, I'm guessing playing cards count.
Julia Spiri - Anything goes with a twist Girls, Girls, Girls!
Robyns Fetish - Oriental (I know published yesterday but hoping you will let this past).

Monday, 14 September 2015

What do you do while waiting for the RAC man?

Well blame the cat for starters.   +1 being new here was taken to the vet last Wednesday just for a check up.   He got a clean bill of health so we came home, lifting him out of the car must have knocked it on the interior light.   Did not go out in the car again while I was on leave, got in it to go to work today and you guessed it flat battery.   Fortunately I have home start, so it was just a case of waiting until the nice man came to sort it out.

So to pass the time I made a card.   An old Inkadinkado stamp in what should be a teal but it came out blue.   The card surface dusted with Adirondack and Distress inks Yellow, Oink, Blue and Green.   Felt pens coloured the image.   Sentiment stamped and given a little grounding with felt pen, part of another Inkadinkado used down the sides and finally some sticky back pearls.

By this time the RAC man had been and gone, instructing me to leave the car running for another 10/15 minutes before driving it.   Just the right amount of time to finish card, photograph it, photo edit it and go to work.

So getting home from work and still liking it I thought I'd share it with you and with a few challenges

Aurora Wings - Anything with Wings
Quirky Crafts - Animal Magic
Sweet Stamps - Anything Goes
Artistic Inspirations - Anything goes with a twist of Magic

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Challenged, thats what challenges are about

So feeling like getting a little inky checked Challenges for Days for inspiration.    Surprise surprise Less is More caught my eye it is one layer week with Wish.

So knowing it is going to be CAS and One Layer went looking for more ideas.   Addicted to CAS started their new challenge yesterday with the theme of leaves.

Kraftin' Kimmie have a challenge of one image, one sentiment and one layer.    Careful stamping and masking and there is just one image with one word on a one layer card.

So style CAS, Image, recipe all that remains is colour.

A simple but effective colour scheme was supplied by Inspirational whose thee this fortnight is Orange and Green.  So apart from the brown Memento ink used to stamp the leaves every colour used is a shade of with Orange of Green.

So inky crafting need satisfied with 4 fun challenges.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

2nd of two weeks

Last Sunday I got a message from a colleague at work about a young cat who needed rehoming.   Did I know anyone?   I bit!   Monday I met this young chap at his home, a new baby has joined the family and as the cat is quite free and easy with teeth and claw they did not feel comfortable about keeping the him.    He came home with me.

This is his first view of his new home

Well as you can imagine the IMPs were a bit disconcerted and perhaps not very welcoming.   The newcomer soon found a comfortable hiding place, behind the sky box.   Being an adventurer it did not take this young chap to make his own place.

Day 3 and he is already completely comfortable and chilled out.

Early days still but generally everyone is settling down.   Minx will treat this little chap in the same way as she treats Izhe, that is to say Minx has a potty mouth when it comes to dealing with any other cat except her brother Pounce and she is not much more polite with him.

So this 2nd week of my leave has largely been about Harley who is now also known as +1.

Did manage to distract myself a time or two with some pretty stones and wire etc.

Back to work on Monday!

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Beads, crimping pliers, and the great outdoors

Mid week-end of 2 weeks leave.   Have pottered out and about last Saturday you know about, and then in the week I drove over to Spurn Point.   Driving along the Yorkshire Lanes through village after village I was reminded of Dorset known for its winding single carriageways where overtaking is only for the brave because you never get a long view.   Parking by a caravan site and behind a pub it was a case of crunching over the shingle to stand on a bank facing the sea.   I learnt the real sound of crashing waves and roaring seas.   For the first time ever I saw horses galloping out of the surf, but never breaking free of the water.  

Took a couple of pictures but it is not the prettiest spot on the planet, made worse if that is the right word, by a broken concrete slope/jetty of some kind.   You can see the broken slabs middle left of the first picture.

Then the sky started to catch my attention.   The light was in the wrong direction so really all I could do was point and shoot.   Dramatic skies did bring a little rain, my prompt to head back with a stop at Hull Hobbycraft.

Other days I've stayed at home cut the grass and as it has been wet I've lazed indoors playing with wire and cabochons pearls and things.

2 Simple wire twisted rings easy to make and great fun.   The ring in the centre has 2 Fluorite balls nested wire.   Fluorite and Labradorite are my favourite stones for working with.

This Labradorite cabochon has just been wrapped in 3 pieces of left over wire, actually left over from the lapis below.   It is hung on a strand of Labradorite chips and 5 pink cultured pearls on each side.  I'm trying to come up with different ways of using pearls without detracting from them.

I'm finding that I prefer sometimes to wrap a stone in bands of wire without weaving the wire.   This is Lapis Lazuli, the bottom band is woven but the the wires are then crossed at the back and then draped.


The last pendant (3 pictures) is purple labradorite, my first piece it is just an amazing effect a rather drab looking stone catches the light and reflects beautiful purple.  Made the chain for this one as well.

Next week, probably a visit to Woodside Wildlife Park and a trip to a craft show at Manchester on Thursday.   Other days lazing and crafting, watch this space!