31 August 2011

A dog mourns

I read this news story several days ago and have been wondering if I should share it.  This is because it is a bittersweet story.  However life is  hard and it's how we respond to it that counts.

This dog belonged to one of the US marines killed in Afghanistan recently when the helicopter they were travelling in was shot down.

Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog. - Sidney Jeanne Seward

30 August 2011

I seem to have got side-tracked tonight catching up on e-mails, doing some filing and other boring stuff.  Oh, and sorting through all the photos I took of my gorgeous niece on Sunday.

I found this lovely news story online and had to share it.

This young fox was having an absolute ball sliding down a disused conveyor belt in a quarry.  The man who photographed this, Duncan Usher, is extremely lucky to have seen such a wonderful site.  I think this is so precious.  The link to the story is here:

The following card was made after I saw one over on the LOTV blog by Bev Rochester.  She had used one of these cute little vintage boy images and I really liked her card.  So I made my own card using one of these cute images with lots of inking.
Patterned papers are from my stash.  These were brought with me from South Africa (I worked for a company that imported scrapbooking and craft goodies by the container load from Hong Kong - and I had the best job because I got to choose what to buy.  lol)
I used 'Vintage Photo' Ranger Distress Ink.
Stars are die cut with my big shot - the new Sizzix Framelits Stars die.  I used dimensional glaze on them.
Sentiment stamp is from Lili of the Valley, as is the image of the little boy.
Die cut the circle and scalloped circle on my Big Shot.
Coloured in a little more of the image with my ProMarkers and then used some dimensional magic on the water, wellies and fishing rod handle.

That's all I have to share today.  I trust you are all having a good week.  Thanks so much for stopping by.

29 August 2011

I love long week-ends.  One extra day to do 'stuff' is great.  I got to visit my brother and his wife yesterday, and baby VIctoria.  She has grown so much, it's great to see.  Such a cute little girl.

Today was good as I visited a boot market not far from home and managed to find a couple of really old hard-cover books.  I'll probably use these at some stage for some sort of altered project (or several if I take the books apart).  I also found some pretty pins for cards, bits of lace and other trimmings.  An added bonus was an old wooden box with little compartments inside.  It's filthy and needs sanding and a new coat of paint, but I think it could turn into a really useful item, or a wonderful altered project of some sort.

Right, before I bore you to death, on to a card I made yesterday...
This image is from Lili of the Valley - the 'Party Girls' Cute Squares pack.  I die-cut it on my Big Shot with a Spellbinders Nestabilities 'Standard Circles Large' die and inked the edges up with Rangers Tim Holtz Distress Ink in 'Tattered Rose'.
I die cut the shaped border in pink on my Big Shot with a Spellbinders 'Floral Doily Motifs' Shapeabilities die.
Patterned papers and pink paper are from the First Edition Paper 'Desert Blooms' 8x8 Paper Pad.  These are fantastic as some are glittered and others are double-sided.  Some really nice colour combos.
The sentiment is a Lili of the Valley A5 pack (can't remember the name, sorry).
The seam binding was actually white, I used a ProMarker in 'Dusky Rose' to colour it to match the card.
Brown card and gold flower charm are from my stash.
Here is a close-up of some of the detail.  I added dimensional glaze to the little girls alice-band, shoes and to the plate that the cake is on.  I also used Stickles in 'Star Dust' to colour the stars and skirt.

I rescued a baby hedgehog today.  It was clambering up the kerb on a very busy road this afternoon.  As hedgehogs are nocturnal, you can be sure that something is seriously wrong if they are wandering around in daylight.  This poor little thing seemed rather disoriented and it's little feet wrapped around my fingers when I picked it up (it didn't roll into a ball like they normally would).  I searched up and down the road in case there were anymore hedgehogs wandering about or I could find a little nest or home where it lives, but nothing.  I live just round the corner, so took it home and put it into hedgehog house no. 2 which is standing empty waiting for an occupant.  
 This is the little house which I commissioned my Dad to build :)  There is a layer of stones and flat pieces of brick underneath so as if it rains, the house won't be flooded inside & the occupant won't drown.
 This is what the house looks like inside, without the lid (the lid can be lifted off for cleaning purposes or to tend to a sick hedgehog if necessary).  The front door is on the right, the inside passage means a turn to the left before proceeding through a further doorway.  This keeps predators such as cats and foxes out.
 Some nice straw bedding which hedgehogs burrow into.  This is a wonderful insulator and also comfortable for them.  They have very soft and sensitive little feet and tummies, so they like anything which is relatively soft for bedding.
 Unfortunately this isn't a very clear photo as I didn't want to use my flash and scare the poor little guy anymore than he already was.  He is just inside the doorway, still a little unsure about things and still very disoriented.  The stuff you see on the right hand side is specialised hedgehog food which contains seeds, sultanas, raisins and freeze-dried insects (amongst other things).  I also put a shallow plastic container on the ground outside filled with water.

If this little baby (which is the second one I have rescued in the space of about a year) decides to stay, then I will be very lucky and very happy.  They estimate that within 10 years hedgehogs will be extinct due to the amount that get killed on the roads every year, that drown in garden fishponds, and so on.  They are very good swimmers, however they need to be able to get out of the water (steps, like in a swimming pool) which unfortunately ponds do not have.  They are a wonderful addition to any organic garden as they eat slugs and snails and other critters like that.  I do have a slightly older one which appeared out of the blue and moved into the other hedgehog house in the garden, so I am very blessed indeed to have these wonderful little creatures living in my garden.

Anyway, I'm sure I've bored you all to tears by now!  

Thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope you all have a fantastic week.  Take care.

26 August 2011

Happy Friday!  I sure am glad it's the week-end.  Even better - a bank holiday week-end here in the UK.  Yippee.  We have had a very rainy day here in Cambridgeshire today, and I am grateful as we need it.  I am hoping that over the week-end we will have some sunshine too :)

I wanted to say a big thank you to my new followers.  I appreciate each one of you taking the time to visit my blog and leave comments.  You truly brighten my day.

I have a card to share, which I finished during the course of this week.

Stamp is 'Untamed' by Suzanne Woolcott and available from Sugar Nellie Stamps
I coloured the image with my ProMarkers
Inking colour is 'Dusty Concord' from the Tim Holtz Ranger Distress Ink Pads
Patterned and plain papers from my stash
Paper flowers and leaves are from Wild Orchid Crafts
'You're marvellous' sentiment printed on my printer.

Hurricane Irene is wreaking havoc and on her way to the USA.  I am wishing so many blessings upon the animals and people there, that they will all be safe.  Please keep them in your thoughts and send positive vibes out to them.

Thanks for stopping by and have an awesome week-end.

24 August 2011

Cuddly Buddly Challenge #8 - Swirls & Bling

I have finished my card in time for the challenge.  Whew!

Here is my 'Swirls & Bling' card for the Cuddly Buddly challenge this week.  Details can be found here:

This gorgeous digi image is 'Star Angel' by Karen Middleton.  You can buy it here :
All the papers and board used was from my stash.
Flower punch along the bottom is a Martha Stewart
Flat-backed adhesive pearls from The Hobby House and the swirly pearls was in my stash and cut down from a much bigger swirl.
Die-cut swirls in silver were cut using my Big Shot, as was the die-cut shape on the top left of the card.  That is a Marianne Design die (code LR0129).
Ribbon from my stash.
The sentiment tag & circle were also bought from the Cuddly Buddly online shop.
Paper roses are from Wild Orchid Crafts
Image coloured with ProMarkers and the gold & silver bits were coloured using Staedtler Triplus gel-liners.
Three colours of Rangers Stickles glitter glue was used, as follows:
Moon - 'Waterfall' Stickles
Angels Wings - 'Star Dust' Stickles
'Frosted Lace' Stickles was used randomly to outline a few shapes & colour a couple of stars

 Here is a close up of some of the detail:
Well that's it for this challenge!

Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and leave your kind comments.  I truly appreciate it.

23 August 2011

My order of hedgehog food and bedding arrived today from Ark Wildlife.  Yay.  My resident hedgehog is happily ensconced in it's little home-made wooden house (compliments of my dad and a drawing I found online).  She/he is now proceeding to eat me out of house and home.  =)  I don't mind one bit, as she (I'm partial to the name Hermione) is keeping the garden free of slugs and snails.  She's also really cute.

So here is another very quick card - I was experimenting with one of my new embossing folders for my Big Shot. 
Embossing folder is from Craft Concepts - 'Budding Vine'
Yellow card is Core'dinations, which I received with my Big Shot machine when I ordered it
Paper flowers and leaf are from Wild Orchid Crafts
Sentiment is punched with an Xcut Scallop Circle NEsting Punch (2") and hand-written
Satin printed ribbon is from my stash

I thought I'd share these photographs.  Unfortunately I don't know who to credit so I hope they won't mind - I think these are so special.

I'm still working on my card for this week's Cuddly BUddly challenge.  Almost done - just never enough hours in the day and I'm going to be home late tomorrow night.  But hopefully I will get it done on time.

Thanks for looking and I hope you all had a good Tuesday.

22 August 2011

LOL!  I just love this dog's face.

I had my six month dentist check-up today and thankfully had no problems.  Was in and out within ten minutes which I was very glad about

Hope you all have a fantastic week :)

21 August 2011

I loved how the clouds looked yesterday when Maximus and I went walking in the morning.  We met an exuberant puppy who reminded me of Tigger the way he bounced around.  He was off lead and charged straight for us, even though his owner was calling him.  Very cute black lab pup, with an older cream lab who walked past us but didn't say hello.
This was Maximus insisting on investigating the hay bales.  He is short sighted and sometimes makes me laugh as he can't see what is in the distance and gets edgy or growls until we're closer and he knows what it is.  So the hay bales were growled at until we were right up close.

Ok, on to a couple of cards I made.  Both finished off on Friday night, but I've been busy doing other things and haven't posted...
The card topper is from Lili of the Valley - 'Cute Squares : Dressing Up Girls'.
I added some dimensional glaze to the shoes, teapot, cup & saucer & the jug for definition.
Plain blue paper from my stash, with a Martha Stewart paper punch along the botton edge, filled in with flat-backed adhesive pearls (pearls from The Hobby House).
Patterned papers are from Pink Petticoat 'Wild Blossoms' collection 6x6 paper pad.
Paper roses & leaves are from Wild Orchid Crafts.
Inked edges are Tim Holtz Distress Ink in 'Tumbled Glass'.
Sentiment printed from my computer with a free font found online.
Nice quick card when you use a ready-made topper.
This card also has a card topper from the same Lili of the Valley pack mentioned above.
I added some dimensional glaze to the shoes, watering can & plantpot for definition.  I also added some Stickles 'Star Dust' glitter to the ribbon on the girl's hat.
Patterned papers are from Pink Petticoat 'Wild Blossoms' collection 6x6 paper pad.
Paper roses & leaves are from Wild Orchid Crafts.
Inked edges are Tim Holtz Distress Ink in 'Dusty Concord'.
Sentiment printed from my computer with a free font found online.
And here is a close up of the dimensional glaze & glitter.
Well that's all for tonight.  Thanks for stopping by.

Here's hoping the start of the work week is a good one  :)

18 August 2011

I work with a particularly negative person every day at work.  Five days out of seven, I have to listen to this person continually complaining about everything, whingeing that nothing is easy and her workload is too much, who constantly finds fault with everything and manipulates people and causes trouble.  Some days I can laugh, other days like today, it sorely tries my patience.  People like this are energy vampires, or dementors if you will, who literally suck the energy and happiness out of you if you let them.

I found a wonderful article online about how to deal with negative people and thought I would share it:
I'm sure glad tomorrow is Friday!

Anyway, moving on to another quick and simple card I made.

Cardstock and paper are from my stash, as is the ribbon.
Sentiment was printed from Word and I'm sorry, I didn't make a note of the font.
Stamp I used is by Crafty Individuals (Code CI-209).  It has three tree images and three sentiments and is such a wonderful versatile stamp set.

Thanks for taking the time to visit.
"If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans" ~ James Herriot

17 August 2011

I only have time for a quick post tonight.  I've been playing with my Big Shot die-cutter and have spent the majority of my time tonight testing out the few dies I have, including using the Wafer Thin Die Adapter.  I can now die cut the Marianne Design's butterfly shape I have - yay =)  I'm also able to use my Spellbinders Nestabilities. 

I used navy blue card from my stash for the backing, and to edge the topper.
The topper is from Lili of the Valley - there were several different sizes of the same image on an A4 piece of card.
The paper roses are from Wild Orchid Crafts.
Paper doilie was in my stash - if memory serves I got it in a pack from the local Poundland.
Patterned paper is from Dovecraft - Sugar & Spice 6x6 paper pack.
Font on the sentiment is 'Bleeding Cowboys' downloaded free from

Thought I'd share the following quote.  This was posted on Good News Good Deeds today - a Facebook page that I like.

"Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself."  ~Harvey Fierstein

Thanks for stopping by.

14 August 2011

Cuddly Buddly Challenge #7 – Anything Goes!

This is the first Digi Challenge I am taking part in on Cuddly Buddly.  This challenge is 'Anything Goes'.  Here is my card - 'Life is Beautiful'.

 Digi Stamp is from Cuddly Buddly Crafts - it is called 'Shall We Dance?'  Link below:
Patterned papers used are from 'First Edition Paper' - Desert Blooms 8x8 Premium Paper Pad.
Plain brown paper from my stash, think it is Canson but not sure.
Swirls are die cut with Sizzix Big Shot.
Papers inked with Tim Holtz Distress Ink in 'Aged Mahogany'.
Paper flowers are from e. Prima Marketing Inc.
Pink brad from my stash.
Flat-backed adhesive pearls from The Hobby House -
Digi stamp is coloured with Letraset ProMarkers and her jacket is paper-pieced with the patterned paper mentioned above.
'Life is beautiful' printed from my computer.  'Life is' text is default Windows text - Cambria.  The 'beautiful' text is 'Angelic War' free font downloaded from :

Thanks for looking =)

10 August 2011

These riots in London and around the UK are totally ridiculous and out of control.  There are times when I'm left wondering how we can call ourselves a civilised species, when you see how these savages act.  There is no other word to describe them - animals don't do that to each other.  I am totally appalled and saddened by the cruelty and utter disregard for property and people that these morons have displayed.  When will it end?  These are no longer protests – it is mindless violence by disgusting human beings who contribute nothing to society.

I want to know why it is that in the UK do they refuse to use force to get this nonsense under control?  Everywhere else in Europe they would be using water cannons.  In South Africa they would be using rubber bullets & tear gas.  And guess what?  The rioters have no right to complain because they shouldn't be rioting in the first place!  This whole thing has been handled disgracefully and I am appalled that the government has done so little and not empowered the police force to take stronger action against these thugs.  The time for talking is over.

Enough!  On to something good now.  Here is a new card I made.

 Black card from my stash.
White card - I used Cosmic Mist - Bronze Blush sprayed over a Crafter's Workshop 6x6 template (Mini Daisy Cluster - TCW155s) and left to dry.
Added some eyelets, threaded ribbon through and tied it in a double bow.
Added the 'Birthday Wishes' sentiment which is stuck with 3D foam.

Thanks for looking.

Gratitude: that quality which the canine mongrel seldom lacks, which the human mongrel seldom possesses!  - Lion P.S. Rees

8 August 2011

Monday. . . back to work.  Chaos & catching up.  I'm exhausted.

I have a card to share today.  I quite like how it turned out - didn't take long to make either.

Black card and patterned paper from my stash.
Ladybug stamp - from Nitwit Collections (free set I received with the 'Simply Homemade' magazine).
Flat-backed adhesive pearls - Wild Orchid Crafts.
Good Luck sentiment stamp - freebie with a magazine (can't remember which mag, sorry).
Inking - 'Fired Brick' Distress Ink by Tim Holtz.
To add some dimension to the card, I filled the black spots on the ladybug with black flocking.  Lovely texture =)  I also used Dimensional Glaze on the heart & flower on the ladybug's back.

Thanks for looking - hope Tuesday brings you sunshine and smiles.

7 August 2011

Wow, the week-ends always seem to fly past, don't they?  I thought I'd share some photo's I took over the week-end.

This is the path leading to the front door - the marigolds are so bright and cheery.  They add such a nice splash of colour.
 This spot in the back of the garden is where I have put the hedgehog house - custom built by my Dad according to specifications found on an internet site.  I have a hedgehog that frequents the garden each night and I leave food out for him which he devours. . .
 This is a close-up of the deluxe hedgehog accommodation.  I sure hope that Hamish the hedgehog decides it is to his liking and moves in permanently.  It is made from raw wood (no paint or varnish of any kind as this is toxic to hedgehogs), just inside the doorway is a 'front entrance' where the hedgehog needs to turn right and go through another doorway on the far right through to the house.  This is to stop predators (inclduing foxes and cats) from disturbing or preying on the little creatures.  The lid can be lifted off (for cleaning purposes).  Pretty cool :)
 This poppy is growing outside the garden wall - all alone.  So pretty.
The farmers have been hard at work all week-end doing their harvesting.  I love all the hay bales - such a lovely sight.  Maximus and I went to investigate on the way home from our walk this morning.
A close up of Maximus.  :D
This is Merlin the loony tunes cat.  He does some crazy things and acts completely loopy a lot of the time.  He's pretty cute when he's sleeping.  lol
Hope you had a good week-end.  Back to the grindstone and the beginning of the week tomorrow.  Oh the joys...  I thought I'd share this quote I found online - truly inspiring.

Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won't either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could. - Louise Erdrich from The Painted Drum

5 August 2011

Happy Friday

I've been wanting a die-cutting machine for a long time now, but have never been too sure about which one to go for.  There are so many out there on the market and they all do such wonderful things.  I had set my sights on one of the Cricut's - the Cricut Create to be exact.  But I just don't have a lot of money for that.

Then today I received an e-mail from an online craft store I buy from regularly - and they have a special on several die-cutters, one being the Sizzix Big Shot.  The more I've been reading up on die-cutters, and the more YouTube demo's and reviews I've watched and read, the more impressed I am with the Big Shot.  Simply because it can take so many different types of dies from other manufacturer's, combined with a really cheap price.  So I was very naughty and bought it for myself.  lol.

So one of these babies will be getting delivered to me next week.  Yippee!  Of course, now all my money is going to be spent on dies and embossing folders.  Hehe.

I haven't been very well the last four days or so, so I haven't taken photo's of finished cards I've made to share with you.  So I thoughts I'd share two photos I took recently while out walking with Maximus.

This old tree is simply amazing - SO big and absolutely beautiful.  I really love trees and think I would be very happy living in a forest :)
This photo is of Maximus enjoying a swim.  For a dog that doesn't like to be bathed, I am constantly amazed at how much he LOVES swimming.  This is a really large pond near where we live, and he goes swimming in here regularly.  Due to the lack of rain over the past few months, the water level has reduced quite badly and now he gets full of mud so I don't like to let him swim there.  I hope for heavy rain and lots of it to increase the water levels again.
Well, that's all I have to share today.  I thought I'd post this wonderful comment a friend of mine posted on Facebook today.  Words after my own heart :
In order to love me as a friend you must understand that I am an animal lover. My heart is broken regularly & filled with sadness for those animals that are not loved, that are not treated with kindness & respect, and that do not know kind words & gentle hands. Every animal is worthy of a stable environment, food, water, affection, & humane care.
Have a fantastic week-end!

4 August 2011

It's been raining a lot here today, and I'm sure glad about that.  We really need more rain.  Hopefully it will have helped the farmers around Cambridgeshire a little bit.  I'll sure be glad to see slightly clearer ponds and streams on my walks every morning with Maximus.

I have several cards on the go at the moment, and finished a couple over the week-end.  So here are two I can share at the moment. 
Stamp - Lili of the Valley
Coloured with Letraset ProMarkers
Papers - from my stash
Paper flowers - e. from Prima Marketing, inked with Tim Holtz Distress Ink in 'Tattered Rose'
Sentiment typed on my computer, printed out and inked
Bunny's tail is white FlowerSoft
Umbrella has dimensional glaze on it, and attached with 3d foam squares

Close up below:

 I love this next stamp.  (In case you didn't know, I LOVE dogs and seem to have a fetish for stamps with doggies on them.)
 Stamp - another Lili of the Valley rubber stamp
Coloured with Letraset ProMarkers
Gingham paper is from Papercraft Essentials 'Sweet Wishes' paper stack (came free with the magazine)
Flat backed adhesive pearls - Wild Orchid Crafts
Paper Leaves and Flowers - Wild Orchid Crafts
Sentiment - 'Happy Birthday' rubber stamp is a really old stamp in my collection and is not mounted on wood but on a hard piece of foam.  Unfortunately no company name on it.

I took the following photo while out on a walk with Maximus recently.  With the sun & shadow it hasn't come out as clearly as I thought it had, but you can get the general idea.  It made me laugh so much.  We seem to have a lot of lazy dog owners in our village who never clean up after their dogs.  I think it's so rude and lazy!

Lastly, I thought I would share this photo of a very friendly horse!  Maximus and I were standing admiring him and he came as far forward as he could and stood looking at us for ages, with me talking to him.  I would love to have been able to give his neck a gentle rub, but alas that wasn't to be.
Thanks for looking.