Artistic Philosophy

Reality has limits but our imagination does not, so let it run free and your creativity will flourish.

My imagination helps me create unique work as I strive to produce beautiful things and grow in capability, experience and confidence. My goal as I travel this journey of creativity, is to share my work and inspire others so that they themselves, may create something distinct and original too.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Good evening everyone, how have you all been today?
It was overcast and miserable yesterday here in South Wales so I kept busy to stay upbeat.  Today, thankfully, is much nicer and the sun has been shining since early morning.... whey hey!!  I do hope it's been nice where you are and remains so throughout the rest of the week!
I don't have a card to show you today, instead I wanted to draw your attention to a lovely blog by Amy Sheffer called Pickled Paper Designs.  Amy is the creator of the original card I cased and put up on the blog last Wednesday.  You can find her card HERE  (I thought I'd never find it to give her the credit due!!).   I'm sorry I cannot show you the picture of her card here but I forgot to ask her for permission.   I think many, if not all of you will appreciate Amy's style of cardmaking/crafting as she is a creative and versatile crafter, so if you have time I promise it will be well worth the look.
I am hoping to do my favourite cards of the year (in a different way) this week, so I hope you can stop by and take a look.
Well that's it for now. Have a good evening whatever your up to (I'm having dinner cooked for me.  Sooo nice!!)  Bye for now Linda x

SPECIAL NOTE
I would like to add this special note to go out to our friend Christine Hussey.  Our thoughts are with you and your family.  I am here for you anytime dear friend. All my love Linda xx

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Thanks and apologies

Hello dear blogfriends,
I am so sorry for doing a disappearing act over the past weeks (months), however it has been a very hard time for me.  I am slowly getting back into the swing of things and hope to start cardmaking again and of course, blogging too.   Until that time I am going to try and leave a few words now and again to let you know I am still around and also leave comments on your blogs when I am able.  Please note, even though I have been unable to comment I have been popping by your blogs and have been in awe of your beautiful handiwork.

I would like to thank everyone who has contacted me with emails, cards, e-cards, voicemails and comments too.  Your friendship and commitment to me and the blog has not gone unnoticed and your wonderful, caring words have lifted me on many occasions.  Bless you all.

I do hope you all had a wonderful and peaceful Christmas and I pray 2013 will be a good year for you.  I have made only one New Year's resolution and that is to get myself up and running again (figuratively of course!!)  and to get back into the land of the living.  Your continued prayers and support would be so much appreciated.

Quickly before I go I would like to show you the last cards Ellie and I made at the beginning of November. It was the last card I made before going AWOL.  It is a case of a card I found on one of the blogs I follow; unfortunately I cannot find the original to show you.  I will keep looking I promise so that I may give the credit due to the designer/creator.  If anyone knows who it is in the meantime I would appreciate a nudge.

This first one is Ellies version using sage green card for the leaves and flocking for the stamen center upon Spellbinders Labels 25 and a snowflake embossed background.  She finished it with a sentiment using a freebie stamp from a magazine.


The next card is my version using soft green card for the leaves and pencil for the stamen center upon  Spellbinders Labels 14 and  M.bossibilities embossed background.  The sentiment stamp was also a freebie from a magazine.

They are subtley different but both gave a very favourable result.  I think you will agree this style of card really shows off the delights of Spellbinders dies and embossing folders and that is why I chose this particular style to case (copy).
So that's it, sorry it is short but it's just the start.....  The start of a new year and a new me, but be Warned....... I'll be back! (as soon as I can).
Take care of yourselves and your families (they are so precious).
Big Hugs  Linda xx

Friday, 12 October 2012

More of my Decorative Pins, Lace & flowers

Hi again all,
My apologies for not posting this yesterday as I promised, but with one thing and another I was unable to get to the laptop to write it up.  So without wasting anymore time here is my second Christmas card adorned with my handmade items again.


If you look closely you can see another of the lovely Linda Wescotts doilies just popping out over the pennant.  To make the doilies go further I often cut them in half to use like this.  I know it is sacrilege to cut up someones hard work, but I love to use Linda's doilies and would hate to waste the other half just glued underneath the topper.  So really I am doing a good thing and I get two cards for the price of one doily!
 For the pin I used here, I kept the colours traditional green and red, but I used them with silver bead spacers and caps as gold was too gaudy for this card.  I thought the cool of the silver tones was more appropriate with the bluey tones in the papers. 


The pretty pearly embellishment in the center of the red flower is a button from The Hobby House.  They have some gorgeous pearly buttons in both silver and gold tone.  Worth a look if you are after something like this;  the eyelets on the back are only plastic and are easy to remove with cutters.
Below you can see my latest piece of lace.  For this one I kept the basis really simple with rows of double crochet and trebles and then finished the end with scallops to fluff it out a bit.


And finally a side view............


Well that's it for another day.  I do hope you have enjoyed seeing my latest creations (pins, lace and flowers) on my two Christmas cards.  I have created more Decorative Pins and lace so I will make some cards over the weekend to showcase more of them.
Thank you so much for popping by again, you are so kind and your support means the world to me.
I do hope you all have a good day and it is the start of a successful weekend.
Best wishes and regards Linda xx

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

A Christmas Pin, a lace flower and some Passementerie

Hi all,
Sorry I wasn't able to post this morning but I am on new meds and they made me very tired last night so I was in bed before I had time to even think about the blog.

I mentioned to you in a previous post that I was having a bit of time away from cardmaking to create some flowers and Christmas decorative pins.  Today I am going to give you a glimpse of what I made but instead of showcasing just them I have made a card using one of each to show you them in situ.  I think they turned out rather pretty, I hope you like them too.  I will show another of each in a different colourway tomorrow;  red and green for a very traditional feel.  But for now, lets see todays card shall we:-


As you can see I kept the flourishes and embellishments to a minimum as I thought the flower and button were quite bold.   Those of you who have been with me from the beginning will know that button wrapping (Passementarie) is another of my crafting hobbies.   Passementarie is the art of making elaborate trimmings such as wrapped buttons, braid, cording, tassels, rosettes etc.  This form of decoration was used hundreds of years ago but is still used today in many different ways on Military dress uniforms, wedding gowns, couture clothing and plush furnishings.  Infact if you have ever covered a button with fabric, you have practiced one part of passementarie.  I use threads to cover mine so I can create different patterns in the weaving.  Todays pattern is a star.
I like to make as much as I can for the cards I create and so on todays card I made the braid,  crocheted lace for the flower, wrapped a button and of course, made a Christmas Decorative pin.


In these side views you can see I decorated the inside again and even added a mini banner to carry the greeting and edged it with a small piece of the sky blue braid.  The side angle shot also shows the dimension of the lace flower with all its frills.  You may not believe it but that piece of lace is actually less than 2inch long.


I crochet my lace approx 12inches at a time, then I can cut it to any size required.  From the second row I increased in every stitch and then 3times in every stitch in following rows to get this fabulous frilled effect, which means I use very little of the lace each time to make quite a full and pretty flower.  It can also be made into a rolled flower but that is so 'big' (high and full too) that it is mainly used for headbands, clothing, cushions or bags.
Here is what it can look like:-


This particular flower was made in a circle as I only wanted to make the flower and not a piece of
lace. You can see in the picture below how small the circle is in the center. 


This is the pattern for the above flower.

Chain 6 and ss to make a ring
1st row:- Ch 2, *sc, ch1* 13times to end, join
2nd row:- Ch2, *sc, ch1, sc, ch1 into every (sc, ch1) space on previous row. Join. (inc row)
3rd row:-  ss into first ch1 space then Ch3, 2tr into gap then *3tr into every ch1 space* repeat  from *to* until the end. Join. (inc row)
4th row:- 3tr into every tr below (inc row). Join.
5th row:- 4Ch picot.  (Basic picot not traditional). Ch4, ss into next tr in previous row, repeat to end.


For the lace for todays flower

Make a chain max of 2inch for a single flower or as long as you desire for more uses.
1st row:-  Sc to end.
2nd row:- Ch2, then Dc into every sc below.
3rd row:-  Ch3, then 3Trebles into every dc below. (inc row)
NOTE.. If you would like your lace a little less frilly, only do 2trebles into every dc.
4th row:-   Into every tr below:  *Tr, ch1* repeat to end (inc row)
5th row:-  4Chain picot edge:- Ch4, sc into every ch1 gap on previous row.
This final row can be Ch3 also for a smaller picot.  There are various edges you can use to finish it off so play around a little and see what you come up with.



As this flower was cut from a long piece of lace I had a raw edge to contend with.  What do we do about that?  Well personally, I always use a strong, quick drying tacky glue  (I use Crafters Pick Incredibly Tacky Glue from Wild Orchid Crafts.  It is by far the best and quickest).
I dab a little of the glue across the cut end and then press a tiny bit of the opposite end ontop and leave to dry completely.  When it is fully dry, bend the lace back into shape to form the frills and the join should become almost invisible.   This pattern is very simple but very effective and looks fabulous as frills on a little girls headband, across a crocheted bag and as a guest towel edging it is beautiful.  One last thing, which you will see on tomorrows card, these lace pieces with regular gaps are fabulous for threading ribbon through also.






This last picture shows clearly my decorative pin, lace flower and even the star in the wrapped button.
I am feeling  a chair groove coming on.....  (it's just my version of the happy dance ...lol!) as  I managed a card, some braid, a decorative pin, a bit of passementerie, 2 lace flowers and two little crochet patterns (sorry they are not done professionally, I am good at the crochet, not good at writing patterns!
I am sorry it was such a long post, but I had so much I really wanted to share with you today.  I do hope you are all having a good day, weather aside that is.  I don't know about where you live, but here in South Wales we have been having horrid drizzle all day.  YUK!
So keep dry and keep crafting.  Biggest hugs to you all.   Linda x

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Another card for Anthony

Good morning everyone,
I must start todays post with the biggest thank you for all the wonderful comments yesterday.  I am so pleased you liked my card, especially as I struggled so much with getting it right for my son.

Today I have another card I created for Anthony, but this was from my daughter to her brother.  I wanted to do something slightly different and in colours that I don't regularly use, but when I explain how I got my inspiration for this one I think you will be a little tickled.  You see I was in the attic with my daughter last week, still clearing and rearranging, when Sian passed me a roll of wallpaper that was left from decorating my bedroom.  I was about to put it in the waste pile when she said to me that she thought it would make nice backing paper for my cards.  I put it to one side and thought no more about it as we were so busy.   The next day I decided to cut up some of the wallpaper and see how it felt for cardmaking.......  well, it had such a lovely texture I decided to give it a go and when I looked at the, now dirty wrapper (the attic is so dusty) I suddenly realised that kraft card would coordinate perfectly.  So that is how I came upon the blue and kraft colour scheme;  blue textured wallpaper covered in dust!   LOL!!!!!!
But it works, don't you think?



I used the beautiful Fleur de Lis rectangles from Spellbinders for my central matt with an X-Cut Large Ornate Frame for the verse.   The verse was printed onto white card and then coloured with Adirondack Halzelnut ink and Ranger Antique Linen distress ink. 


I added some hazelnut spotty ribbon over a 1inch wide satin ribbon and also two tabs of the spotty ribbon to the top of the card.  I wanted to create the effect of the topper matts being suspended.
I finished the border off with the Spellbinders Damask Accents and then completed the outside with some antique brass brads and two waste pieces from the Fleur de Lis matt to accent the top corners.



I decorated the inside to coordinate, using a plain white matt stamped with just Happy Birthday.   I wanted this one to look like it was tucked into the border instead of being suspended.

So there you have it, my wallpaper card.  I am so pleased how this turned out and I can't wait to use that paper again, it is fabulous.  I would recommend using good quality wallpaper remnants to everyone, it saves on waste (who wants to waste money after all) and it provides a marvelous source of backing paper that is so easy to use..... oh and it embosses beautifully too (I've tried that too).
I do hope you all have a good weekend and manage to do a little crafting. 
Take care of yourselves, I'm hoping to make a Christmas card or two today (here's hoping). 
Regards Linda xx

Friday, 5 October 2012

My sons birthday card

Hi all and good morning,
Thank you so much for the wonderful, kind comments that you left for me yesterday.  I was so thrilled to see you all visit after my time away.  Everytime I have had to go away for a break I come back and read your warm, thoughtful comments and I am humbled.  Bless you.

Today I am back with the first of my sons birthday cards.  I made this one from me and I will be honest I struggled so much with the design as my son has no major likes other than online gaming.  He is a real brainbox and seems to be doing well at Uni, but I couldn't really translate that onto a card, so I thought simple styling with simple colours would be the best way to go.


I apologise for the poor photos but my camera battery was about to run out when I took the pictures and I didn't have enough time to wait for it to be charged.    One thing I have just realised, I took the pictures before I put on the 21's..  I put one set of numbers above the gems (bottom, left) and the other alongside the tartan matt (top, righthand side).


As you know I love to decorated the inside of my cards to match or coordinate with the outside design and this one was no exception.  I left the Spellbinders label blank inside so I had a place to write my personal greeting.  The Happy Birthday was stamped to the inside too as I wanted 'SON' to be the main focus on the front of the card.
Both of the papers used here are free downloads, but unfortunately, I cannot find where I got them from at the moment.  I will, however,  keep looking and let you know in a future post if I find them again.  I love the soft grey stripe  paper as it is such a versatile paper and it coordianates with so much.
Well that's it for this post, I am off to design some new Christmas Decorative Pins and also some fabric flowers etc as I don't have my grandson today.  This means I can play for longer and if I design something new and pretty I will use them for the next challenge.... I'll keep you posted on that.
Whatever you are up to today I hope it is rewarding.  Take good care and have a great day.
Hugs Linda xx

Thursday, 4 October 2012

My baby is a man today!

Good morning all,
Well today, my youngest son turns 21, I just can't believe it.  Where did all those years go?  It only seems like yesterday I was walking around the hospital willing the contractions on so my new baby would be born.   To this day I still call him my baby;  He will always be my baby,  much to his annoyance I think.
I wanted to show you his birthday cards today, but I have decided that I should first show you the butterfly card I mentioned on my last post.  It is clean and simple but the stylish design could be used for a few occasions I think.  I hope you like it.


I started with a 5.5" x 7.5" side fold card.   The Spellbinders butterfly was cut in both ivory and brown.  I wanted the brown one to act like a shadow, so I cut it down the middle to allow me to move each section slightly outward.   On the background I used the Tied Together embossing folder and added drops of bronze pva from Creative Expressions.  I also used a little of the pva for the body of the butterfly to add some dimension.


I cut some corners in coordinating brown card and aded some half pearls.  Finally, I used a wrap of brown crushed silk ribbon through one of the Spellbinder buckle diecuts.  
This was an easy card but a bit time consuming with the pearly dots and the drying time, but so worth the wait as the finish is always so effective, don't you agree.
Well that's it for today,  however I will make time this evening to do another post for tomorrow to show you the cards I made for my sons 21st.
I am hoping to be blogging more often again now as the clearing and rearranging is almost done and what I have left to do can be done at intervals now.    So, here's to catching up and creating something new.  I even have a new Challenge in mind!!! (but that will come a little later this month).
I hope you are all keeping well and have not had any hardships with all this rain.
Hugs and best wishes Linda xx