Saturday, 31 August 2013


Happy Saturday,

Sorry guys no new en-john-eering today as have ben mopping and drying out the apartment from the rain on Thursday night!  When it decides to rain over here it rains!  I can't complain as we haven't seen any decent rain since May! 

I feel quite bad as I haven't really used much of the new craft stash I bought in the U.K. nor shared it with you.  I don't know about you guys but whenever I buy new stash I seem to spend more time looking at it than actually using it!

Also Mr Next Door flew over this week so crafty time has been limited.

I have decided to show a selection of my tags, these I make as I go along with the offcuts from my cards.  I hate waste and so if I cut a bit of card off (usually to make it square) I use what's leftover to make a tag.

This is also a way to use leftover die cuts and to use up test pieces
This blue and white tag was a test piece for a text background stamp and some blue embossing powder I found when laying out my craft room.

The remainder are simply made using scraps, what  do you do with yours?


Friday, 30 August 2013


Morning all,

Todays post is a little late as we had a storm last night, I say storm it was more of a biblical flood (or at least that's what It felt like at the time)  water started pouring down the stairs and running in through the front door it was that strong!  Luckily the houses here don't have carpets etc. as that would cause a lot of problems with the summer heat!  Therefore last night was spent sticking towels against doors and a lot of mopping!

Therefore a quick post hope you'll forgive!

This card is made with scraps and leftover pieces from another project which just have to be used up!

Off to put another load of towels in the washer before work.


Thursday, 29 August 2013

Sweet Memories

Hello Lovely people!

Sorry for yesterdays quick post however I am hoping todays post will make up for it! 

Unusually for me there is a story to this one.  The chef at the bar I work in asked why I kept getting emails on my phone.  I explained about  my wonderful commenters and my blog and so had to show him that days post which was Patricia's shoes. He was impressed which I take as a great compliment as I rarely tell anyone about my Blog let alone show them! Steve asked if I would make an anniversary card for his partner Carol, however it mustn't say Wedding Anniversary!  I decided on the sentiment Sweet Memories as I thought this was perfect for the time they have spent together so far.  Hence this card was born.

The sentiment is actually on the tag of the box as I made this to have the writing on it by making a fold over tag.  There is space on the reverse of the card but the inside can't be written on.

The card base is a piece of PMD cream card folded in  half and cut to 14.5cm x 14.5cm to make a square top fold.  I then cut a square aperture out, by hand, 2cm in on each side and placed a piece of gold mirror board, embossed with Darice Tumbling leaves, on the back inside of the card.

The top is a cream die cut of Spellbinders Trellis die mounted over the aperture with a hand cut gold mirror card frame foam mounted above.  The centre element is made using a Laser Cut from Hobbycutz which I coloured using Creative Expressions Gilding wax's (travel purchase) in Pearl Moon, Patina and autumn gold.
I used an offcut of the tumbling leaves embossed mirror card for the centre and hand cut the leaves out to use behind a paper rose (another purchase) which I gently coloured with the patina coloured wax. 

Finally a heart shaped laser cut coloured with the Autumn Gold creative expressions gilding wax.  Sorry if this sounds over complicated!

Finally I threw a simple box together to house it and tied with a ribbon.  The tag is made with the side offcut from the main card cut down to 9cm long with simple stamping using a new set from Do'crafts love letters I think.

I am happy to report that Steve loved it and me and Mr Next Door have just enjoyed his steak and ale pie, plum Crumble and fudge Brownie in return lol.  Enjoy....We Did!

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

It's all Black and White...


I don't think I've got my head back to working, Crafting & blogging etc. as yet!  As I work Tuesday nights I always schedule Wednesdays post on Sunday however after being away I plum forgot!

Therefore I thought I might be allowed to phone it in today!

Dies Used -
Spellbinders Labels four, elegant labels four, botanical swirl expandable pattern and resplendent rectangles 

card is A5 made with black and white PMD cardstock.

I hope you enjoy and excuse the quick post!

quick update! Yesterday's bogof winner appears to be the card at the back! (shows what I know!?!) l don't have a larger picture of this one so will post later this or early next week another picture and as suggested will add a sentiment as suggested.  Off to work, take care, John x

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Buy One Get One Free

 We all need a BOGOF every now and then so I thought this could be my special offer!

I decided to shoot these two cards together because I felt they were both  (mainly the background card) a little weak.

These are made using the same die, card and backing paper and are also, roughly, the same size.

Firstly the card I like is this one, its a very simple card made with backing paper from My Minds Eye ( I managed to buy a whopping Antique floral paper stack on my travels)  This is shaded with broken china distress ink and double mounted with white PMD Hammered card and foam tape.

The topper is made with Spellbinders Fleur De Lis Squares die cut as a frame and the centre part stamped with the sentiment.  This is from Creative Expressions, I think, and says "Plant seeds of kindness and your garden of friends will grow"

Finally I wrapped a strip of ribbon behind the frame with a bow above but under the sentiment.

The second card has the same backing paper however this is placed inside the card with a frame cut out of the front.  Then I layered, using foam tape, each size of the Spellbinders Fleur De Lis Squares die cut in Teal and white and rotated with each alternating colour.

I think its obvious which of the BOGOF's I prefer, you?


Monday, 26 August 2013

Home Sweet Home

Good Morning Lovely Blog Friends,

As you can guess by the title I'm Home in sunny Spain, bag is all unpacked craft stash laid out on bed and ideas flooding through the mind!  Strange as it may seem I've not really played with much yet as working Sunday Night however I did want to use the new Laser Cuts I received from Hobbycutz straight away.

This card was made using totally new ingredients and features the laser cuts perfectly.  I wanted to create a card to say thank you to all of you for the wonderfully caring and supportive comments and messages my mum and I received last Sunday.  Last night, when she was finally home and alone my Mum read through the memorial and messages which was very bitter sweet for her.  She wanted me to pass on how genuinely touched she was by everyone.  Therefore the sentiment 'Thanks for your Kindness' from Waltzing Mouse.

The card base is 18cm x 18cm with a piece of a new DCWV Serenity paper stack mounted onto gold mirror card.  Next I added a foam mounted strip of the same card, over a strip of cream ribbon, with a foam mounted piece of gold embossed with a new A4 Darise folder called tumbling leaves.  I then tucked three MDF laser cuts, from Hobbycutz, between each layer.  The die cuts can be coloured, embossed with powders, glittered etc. however I love the natural colour of these!

Finally a bow (new ribbon) the sentiment stamped onto mirror card with detail white embossing powder, and a heart shaped laser cut.

Simple but I feel effective!


Sunday, 25 August 2013

Patricia's shoes

Happy Sunday (as the French say lol)

I am now, hopefully, home however I refuse to do what I normally do and write a post at gone midnight therefore this is a scheduled post written whilst still in the U.K.

Todays card was made before I left for Holiday and, as the weird title suggests is based on Patricia's shoes!  Now before I get a slew of comments I have not been peeking in Mrs P's wardrobe neither do I have a strange liking for women's shoes!  A couple of weeks ago Patricia from Summerhouse crafts posted this card.  This was based on a pair of shoes she had.  I really liked the card, the design and the colours and decided to take this as inspiration to create my own version.  Hence today's card!

This is a simple colour palette of blue and white.  The background is embossed and a strip of matching ribbon simply tied around it.  The flowers are cut in blue and white and alternated to create two toned flowers.

A simple sentiment and foliage complete the panel which is attached to a gatefold card.

Hopefully more later when I have woken up, maybe using some of my new stash!


Saturday, 24 August 2013

something different Saturday


3 different pictures , quick, today...

Firstly a hand made, fabric, bauble I made a series of last year.  This year I am hoping to make more and make some embroidered ones which I will feature on a Saturday nearer Christmas!

I have use this as a prop in a lot of my pictures and thought (hoped) it deserved a close-up!

Secondly a couple of tags, and the bauble, made with the scraps left over from making some of my Christmas in August cards.

Finally my newly purchased craft stash packed case (thankfully I have clothes etc. in U.K. House as no room to take any back)  I should run a contest to guess the value but I don't want to work it out as I have been saving for ages to buy all the basics in the U.K. that cost sooooo much to have posted to me in Spain.

Flying Later so Home tomorrow!

Enjoy x

Friday, 23 August 2013

More Me?

Good morning everyone,

I am still of limited access to blogger and am on holiday so trying to make posts quick to type!  Therefore another post lacking in explanation I'm afraid, back to normal (hopefully) on Monday.

Todays card isa more in my traditional colours and is a spellbinders die cut dream (ish)

I used the baubles that came with last years holiday tree and have cut them both in red and silver.  I then placed the cut outs back into the apertures and used the scrap to fill in.  This creates this mirror image look.

The background is embossed with a swirls embossing folder and versamark, then versamark is rubbed all over and the heat embossed with silver powder.  This gives a lovely textured background which may be hard to see on the pic.

Finally layers, foam, ribbon and a charm made with the same die in mirror card!

Any questions just ask!


Thursday, 22 August 2013

Another Quickie!


AS I may of mentioned I'm on holiday in Sunny U.K. This has caused some blogger problems as it appears that my OH's laptop has been hacked which has caused my personal email to be hacked as well.  I'm afraid I am unable to solve this until I return home as anything I do on this thing is not safe!  therefore quick card post as don't want to be using this laptop too much!  If you email me personally and receive a strange email I promise its not from me and although all it seems to be doing is sending out adverts DONT click any links, sorry.

I would also like to say a MASSIVE thanx to Mrs Duck with whom I spent a couple (read over 4) hours with yesterday chatting, laughing and generally putting the (craft) world to rights!  I cant remember when I've enjoyed a Wednesday afternoon so much!

Generally I would post a card today for Mrs D however I am stuck with the cards I had prepared for this week so here we go with Christmas In August!

Strange colours for Christmas I hear you cry but I always think if you don't try it....

Filigree card base with a selection of muted brown, beige and chocolate with a sentiment that is completely contradictory to the card, Merry & Bright !

Got the feeling that this one may be better with the sentiment changed however we do have call in the Card & Gift Shop for thinking of you at Christmas cards so this could  be for that.


Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Old Pyjamas!?!


I have had major issues with the posts I scheduled which has been made worse by me leaving my Playbook in Spain.  Therefore I don't have access to all the details of the cards I'm showing this week, sorry.  If anyone has any questions on todays card please email or comment and I'll post the answers tomorrow!

Todays post title refers to the backing paper I have used, last time I used this one, one commenter said it reminded them of old pyjamas! Hopefully the large sentiment will change this view lol


Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Feeling Frosty...

Morning all, greetings from Sunny Leicester!

Firstly  a quick answer to questions yesterday, the die used for the background on yesterdays Christmas card was Spellbinders Expandable Pattern Botanical Swirls .

Todays Christmas in August card is in frosty shades of blues and white.  Again this is a very simple card with an embossed background and one, that's right just one, die cut.

The background is a Spellbinders embosability folder which I rubbed blue ink over to create the letterpress background technique.  I then added some stick on pearls in the centre of the snowflakey (is that even a word) bit.  This was matted in navy then white, then silver before foam mounting onto a sheet of PMD navy A4 card folded in half.

The topper is an old Spellbinders snowflake die (don't know which one as I bought these on eBay with no packaging) cut in white which I then inked through the die in the centre.  The sentiment is from the same set as I used yesterday which is a See Dee die set, again a bargain purchase on eBay!

Finally I draped navy and white ribbon behind the snowflake to give a different look from a bow.


Monday, 19 August 2013

House Of Cards August Challenge

Hi Guys,

This is my second post today as this one is timed to go out when the U.S. wakes up and the rest of the design team is up and posting!

Toady is the first day of the Classic and Elegant challenge at House Of Cards the design team.  This months challenge is a sketch entrants have to match the below sketch.

The above card is my interpretation of the sketch.

I interpreted the sketch as a gatefold card with an embossed panel across the centre.  I hand stamped butterflies using a brilliant opalescence ink pad mounted onto double teal and white layers.

The band is embossed in a honeycomb pattern with a scalloped circle, foam mounted, on top.  The centre circle is stamped with the same ink and stamp and I have added the sentiment and a collection of flowers and foliage.

Now it's your turn.  Show us your Classic and Elegant style using the sketch.  Don't forget to post your card on the House of Cards blog for all of us to admire.  If you need more inspiration click here to see what the other members of the design team have come up with.

Happy Monday!

Firstly I would like to say a heartfelt thankyou for the supportive comments yesterday.  Both me and my mum were deeply touched by the hugs and kindness sent our way.  We had a nice day and placed flowers on the headstone then the whole family went for lunch .all in all a difficult day however we e took your advice and remembered the good times and shared a few laughs, as well as tears, along the way.

This is the first of two posts today I thought I should make up for no craft post yesterday!  The second post goes live at lunchtime...

As Its Christmas in August here is the first of my try outs for this year...

A very simple card and not in my usual style. 
Size A4 folded in half, I used Spellbinders Poinsettia die along with fleur de lis square for the sentiment.


Sunday, 18 August 2013

In Memory...

Good Morning Everyone,

Firstly as you all know I am in England to replenish my craft stash however my mum and I are also here for personal reasons.  I apologise but today's post is not craft related and although I did not want to publish personal things on my blog I felt today that to post a creation would not feel right. 

In the last few months my Blog and wonderful blog friends have become such a large part of my life I wanted to share this today, I apologise if this is not what you were expecting.

A year ago today we lost my beloved step father Les to Motor Neuron Disease I won't go into what a horrible, evil disease this is suffice to say that he fought a difficult battle with dignity and determination.

Les was a wonderful, kind loving individual whose quiet strength touched everyone who met him. He touched many lives especially mine and to me, he will always be my Dad.

In loving memory of Martin Leslie Atkinson 18/12/1952 to 18/08/2012, always in our hearts.

John xxx

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Something different Saturday

Hola Amigo´s,

As you read this I will either be blowing up helium balloons, on an aircraft, or relaxing on holiday in the U.K.!  The reason is I am working first thing in the shop is that we have a large Helium balloon order for a party tonight, then its a quick dash to the airport for my annual weeks holiday in sunny Leicester!  I am very lucky that we still have a house in the U.K. as my OH works in there.

Now I have scheduled posts for the time I am away and hopefully I can update these as I shop with my crafty bargains (at least I tell the OH that they are bargains he thinks Spellbinders Dies cost a couple of quid each!) 

I have decided to have a theme whilst I am away and as I will be doing my Christmas shopping I thought it could be Christmas in August so this week I am displaying a selection of try-outs for my Christmas cards and decorations this year!
Todays creations are all from last year, which is hopefully different and will do for a Saturday.  Firstly above and left are Tag Cards that I made and gave out last year.  I usually make special ones for Family etc. then a range for my friends.

These were made as a standard side fold card then cut down to a tag shape.  I decorated the fronts using a combination of Papers, ribbons, stamps and die cuts and each card is different.

This is the style of larger cards I made last year as you can see my photography wasn´t as erm shall we say developed (pun intended) last year. if you look carefully you will see me taking the picture in one of these shots!

These were easel cards with a leaping stag die cut in different mirri or glitter card for each one.  I used the same selection  of die cuts, stamps and papers ribbons etc. to decorate.  Most of these are from Do'crafts Home for Christmas Collection.

I also like to give handmade gifts, hence my box making addiction, and last year they were all presented in handmade Christmas crackers. 

As you can see I have a theme of pattern colours etc. and try to change it each year however the red, white and silver may make a reappearance this year as I really liked the combination.  This may change depending on what inspiration and products I find on my travels!


Friday, 16 August 2013

Simply Classic


After yesterdays attempt at pretty I thought I would show a classic and simple card using the same die and layout but with 2 plain colours Beige and white. 

This card is based on the same die cuts and style as the pink version yesterday however I feel with a change in colours and papers it looks completely different.

This one is a large card based on the embossing folder (borrowed from Wendy again!) embossed twice across a white sheet of PMD hammered card. I matted this onto a beige card then onto a plain white piece of A4 card folded in half.  The topper is cut with Spellbinders A2 filigree delight in the same cardstock and foam mounted on a matt of the beige card and a couple of pearls added.

The strip across the bottom is a piece of the beige card cut with Spellbinders border die with a strip of white ribbon and an antique piece of lace.  The bow is a triple tied white bow with a couple of hatpins and a plain fabric button (this hides the knot as this ribbon is quite thick and so the knot looks messy!

Finally a double layered butterflies cut from Spellbinders Les Papillion 2 die finished with pearl bodies.

The sentiment is added onto a foam mounted piece cut from the centre die from the same set.


Thursday, 15 August 2013

Getting Pretty!

Good Morning Lovely Blog people,

Today I thought I would continue the theme of not red and white ( can you call that a theme) and try for something delicate and pretty!

Now I am often being told that a particular card would look lovely in pastels so, although this is not strictly pastel, I thought id have a go at being pretty!

This card started with an A4 piece of cream cardstock folded in half.  I added a piece of First Edition floral pavilion paper which I mounted onto pink card.  I added, with foam tape,  a larger double mat of cram and pink behind it, before attaching to the card.

A strip of beautiful woven green ribbon is tucked in between the layers to run along the front with all the elements based on top of this 'stripe'.  Firstly a die cut, in the same cream cardstock, from Spellbinders A2 filigree delight decorated by stick on pearls.  The centre panel is cut with the centre die form the set  on which I mounted a piece of the same card, cut by drawing round the inside of the oval die and hand cut, which I edged in pink chalk ink.

The sentiment is stamped onto one a piece cut with the tag section of the filigree die set, with more pearls.  The leaves are cut with Spellbinders Foliage which I die cut and stencilled through the die and some random paper roses I found in my stash. 

Both sentiments used are from Creative expressions although I can't remember which set it is.

I hope you find this pretty and good relief from all the strident red and white of the last few days


Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Claming Down

Morning All,

After all the red and white of the yesterday, and the weekend as well, I thought I should change gear and show something prettier in another colour!

Todays creation was actually sent off last Tuesday for Hazel at works birthday.  Last year I made her a photo album as it was a special birthday however this year I wanted to make something light, bright, pretty and with a sentiment about how I felt rather than celebrating Mumble 1 years old.

This is an A4 sheet of hammered white PMD card which is layered in soft blue and white.  The main element is a frame cut with my current favourite Spellbinders labels die.

The decorative strip, cut in pale blue, was cut using Spellbinders Bracket Borders one with a piece of the matching spotty paper, cut with the border die form the set so that the curve matches, and foam mounted .   I then stuck a strip of ribbon over the raw edge and tied a simple, hand tied, bow and a hat pin.

I mounted the strip and framed sentiment on a piece of spotty paper from my stash then added it all to the card front.

The sentiment is form Whimsey stamps and is the definition of Friendship which is what both Hazel and Shirley (the ladies I work with) have become.