Tuesday, 9 June 2015

The Closest Thing to Heaven...

...Cor blimey and thrice! I have finally sussed out how to do a bloggy thing on my tablet! Whether this will actually post is another question but I shall waffle on a but and see what happens.  If you don't get to read said waffle, I am still a dunderhead and haven't really sussed it at all 😉 If you do, however, I am a teckernical genius!

So here we are in Tunisia. A place I've never really fancied because I always had a preconception it'd be dirty or something... actually, it is a bit dirty out side of the hotel complex, mainly dusty... I'll let them off tho as it is so hot here, I wouldn't want to be pushing a broom down the street either!

The hotel is magnificent! I highly recommend it; couples only, all inclusive, friendly staff and the food... ohlalaaa, the food! If you can't go an hour and a half without eating this is the place to stay. If, like me, your relationship with food is somewhat fraught, this is the place to stay too! So much choice, all piping hot or nicely chilled,  depending on what it is... no one wants hot lettuce do they *teehee*  Yesterday was Day 1 of our holibobs, we did the obligatory "welcome meeting" which was actually pleasant and we learnt lots of stuff... then we went for a mooch to suss out where everything is and such like. We soon sussed out that actually, you could eat from dawn til dusk if you wanted... so I think I shall be exercising a little self control... otherwise I will be coming home with, um, excess flabbage!

Last night, after we'd eaten dinner... a Mexican night in the restaurant but no worry if you don't like Mexican food, there was plenty else to choose from, we repaired to the Courtyard where entertainment was laid on. A really good singer with a guitar and... acrobats! Those blokes were nutters... but incredibly good! Anyway, being as I'm on me holibobs I decided a Pina Colada was the drink of choice! Cor! Blimey! Strong! So I had a second one to make sure it was that strong... yup... strong!  Because of the strength of said cocktails, I decided to try a white rhum *their own brand Bacardi* and see if that was any weaker. Um. Nope. *hic*  After the acrobats had done their acrobatics, Mr Singing With A Guitar came back on and struck up Mustang Sally. Around the same time we decided to repair to our room which needs a lift to get there,  especially after several large drinkypoos. As we were waiting for the lift to arrive it got to the chorus bit of Mustang Sally. Of course it would've been impossible for me now to sing "ride, Sally ride"... well everyone would've done it right? What I'd not realised was there was a couple standing behind us also waiting for the lift. Oops... well, it was then only natural that I tell them "I only sang out of tune because you'd be jealous of my angelic voice if I sang properly"  Mrs I'm Sucking A Lemon wasn't impressed at all... so today I'm keeping me nut daaarn, don't want to bump into them again lol

I shall away now... think there may be some food on offer somewhere and it'd be rude not to try it 😉  Thanks for looking... have a goodly day!  TTFN

Hels x

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Sunday Stamper - Week 359 - Trains and Boats and Planes... **TWO WEEK CHALLENGE**

Goooodly Morning Stampers and a very happy sunny summer Sunday to you all!  Big thanks to you all for joining in with the challenge last week.  Next week the Sunday Stamper will be on his holibobs so this challenge is a two-weeker.  The song title and theme this time is all about... TRAVEL.  You can make absolutely anything you fancy, be it a journal page, a card, a canvas or even, like I have done, a folio to start collecting bits and bobs from my travels.    To join in with the challenge is simples: make a little something, it can be anything you fancy.  Add in the theme AND some stamping. Then hop back here, leave me a comment with a link to the place you are showing your entry and I can come see you.   If you haven't got a blog, you can join in via Facebook (just tag me name) or by emailing a small res.pic to me or by leaving me a link to your Pinterest or any other photo hosting site.  The challenge will remain open until 21:00 Saturday 20th June 2015.


My entry is a Tim Holtz Folio that I have decorated using various stashly goodies.  I started with some Correspondence papers... cutting them to size and corner punching them (they always look so much neater IMO) and edging the lot with Vintage Photo DI.



I layered up some of Tim's Ephemera... tickets and tokens and what-nots and added one of my new fave Framelits - the butterfly!  Yes, here he is... much smaller than his original counterpart but so easy to use.  Stamp the butterfly, pop the die over the top, die cut... colour... simples!  I did the same with the little row of stars too and also added them on their own... just stamped in black Archival ink... I love stars and I think this might be a new fave stamp you know!


I also die cut some Mixed Media thinlets... love this framework, especially in black, it just adds that little something to a project.... and I also painted up an Alphapart thingy with Antique Linen DP... half dried it then wiped off the still wet paint to reveal a faux enamelled look... cool huh!   Now all I need to do is take a shedload of photo's.... good ones too *actually, I might let Grim take all the photo's and then steal them off him!* and then I can get cracking at altering the inside of my Folio... I plan for it to be a travel-log of our adventures in 2015.


That's all from me for the time being... as I hinted, it is holibobs time... I will still be around *wifi permitting* but we are taking a well earned break *plus, there is the small matter of my birthday next Saturday which, of course, needs celebrating in style! And remember, all cake on June 13 is free from all calorifics... so fill your...erm... cakeholes!*  Before we jet off to sunnier climes, there be another round of the BTCC to watch... so I shall cheer and shout... GO PLATO!  Thanks for looking, have a great two weeks!  TTFN

Hels x



Saturday, 6 June 2015

Curiously Faux Cracked...

Gooooodly Morning to all you lovely Compendium-ers!  Today sees the start of another brand new Compendium of Curiosities 3 Challenge.  To see all the details on how to join in with the challenge, CLICK HERE.  Also, if you pop across to Linda's blog, you will see all gorgeous creations that my talented teamies on the Curiosity Crew have made... they never cease to amaze me with their inspirational ideas and art!   The challenge is sponsored by the Funkie Junkie Boutique this time... so you will have a chance of winning a very generous Gift Certificate to spend there.  Tim & Mario have, as ever, very kindly donated goodies for an extra prize... which will be awarded to the "Curiosity Crew's Choice"... so you have two chances of winning fabby prizes!  If you haven't got your Compendium book just yet, you can order a signed copy directly from the man himself... HERE.  And... Linda has also done a FAQ page for you.. HERE it is... all the info you will need is listed there.   This week we are turning to Page 54 of the book and trying out the Faux Cracked Glass technique.  As ever with the Compendium Challenge, neither I, nor the Curiosity Crew, will be posting the technique instructions and participants must not do so either. We all want to encourage people to buy Tim's awesome book; giving away the instructions wouldn’t be fair to him. Linda will have no choice but to un-link any entries that don’t follow this rule.  



You have heard the saying "they suffered for their art" right?  Well, I sure did suffer for my art for this project... I ate me bodyweight in pickled onions so I had the jar I wanted to transform!  I have done this technique on several size bottles before but I wanted a big old fella to jazz up as I am going to be using it as a pen/brush pot.  *ok, so I may have had help eating said pickled onions from Grim... and I may have had this jar kicking around for a few weeks, waiting patiently for its transformation... but it sounded good... didn't it?*


Instead of using the inks suggested by Tim in the book, I decided to try out Distress Spray Stains... I have to say I am rather chuffed with the results.  I used Frayed Burlap, Forest Moss and Vintage Photo sprays... letting them soak right into the crackles and then heating the jar to set them.  Of course, they are waterbased so won't be as permanent as the inks suggested... but this won't be getting wet so... it works for me! 


The roses were made using Tim's Tattered Florals and Mini Tattered Florals Movers & Shapers dies and Correspondance papers... a few leaves from the Mini Tattered Leaves die and a few twiggy bits gave me the embellies I wanted.  I cut a plaque using manila card, inked it with Stormy Sky and Faded Jeans DI's and then stamped one of my fave Studio 490 sentiments and of course, added my little harlequin stamp too. To finish I wound some string around the jar to make it a bit more rustic... and voila, one altered jar! 


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

Hels x

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Sunday Stamper - Week 358 - Breaking the Law

Goooodly Morning Stampers and a very happy Sunday to you all!  Big thanks to you all for joining in with the challenge last week and it was lovely to see so many new peeps taking part too!   The song title this week suggests some kind of naughtiness... and you'd be right for thinking that.. oh yes, with a break from tradition... the Sunday Stamper's theme is...  NO STAMPING!You can make absolutely anything you fancy, no stamping at all. *oft easier said than done!*    To join in with the challenge is simples: make a little something, it can be anything you fancy.  Add in the theme AND leave out the stamping!!!  And then hop back here, leave me a comment with a link to the place you are showing your entry and I can come see you.   If you haven't got a blog, you can join in via Facebook (just tag me name) or by emailing a small res.pic to me or by leaving me a link to your Pinterest or any other photo hosting site.  The challenge will remain open until 21:00 Saturday 6th June 2015.



So, why no stamping???  Well, I made something a few weeks ago and I love it... and it hasn't a single smidge of stamping on it... and being as I have been a wee bit busy with stuff and what-not this past week, I haven't had a chance to actually make something for today!  Aha, I thinks... let's live on the edge and forget the stamping and go for it with this creation.  I won't go into great detail how I made my entry as it is a class sample and it wouldn't be fair on the lovely lasses who joined me a few weeks ago to make this... but I can tell you there is a truck load of PaperArtsy Fresco Paint, Washi Tape, Tissue Tape and Cosmic Shimmered Flowers to see...


Oh and don't look too closely at the photo's... they are reallllly bad and will make you go boggle eyed... I had just eaten a packet of Pickled Onion Space Raiders and think I had a smidge of grease on the camera jobby on me phone!  Ooopsies!!!


I am being all organised today and scheduling this post (tis Friday, not Sunday, at the moment anyway but by the time you read this, it will indeedily be Sunday - unless I goof up and press the wrong button and you don't get to see this until.......   *uh oh, confooosing meself now*)  You get the idea right?   Anyways, whatever you are up to today, I hope you have a very goodly one... thanks for looking and have a great week!  TTFN

Hels x

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Fly Free....

...I know, don't all pass out... I am blogging for the third time this week! Yikes!  Does this mean I am finally catching up on stuff I have been letting slip???  Hopefully!!!  Anyways... here is today's offering:  last month I did a demo weekend over at Daisy's Jewels in Coventry and was concentrating on all things Tim and Ranger.  I used a big Size 12 Ranger Manila tag for the base of my creation....



Using Distress Paints: Scattered Straw, Antique Linen and Frayed Burlap, mixed and marbled for the background coverage, I then used Tim's Blossom Layering Stencil and added Vintage Photo Distress Ink over the stencil and around the edges of the tag to add a bit of vintageness.


The rose is made from Tim's Jumbo Tattered Florals die... this is a big beauty.. around 5" in size... wow!  I added in a few leaves and some Winter Greens and then die cut the letters from Tim's new Alphabet Thinlets dies... A few bits of the new Mixed Media Thinlets in black card to add a bit of definition for the design and a few little butterflies from Tim's Watercolor stamp set, these were stamped onto card I coloured with Distress Paints and I added little twists of rusty wire for the bodies.  Voila, one finished jumbo tag!


I shall away now... I have a tonne of things to do before my weekend trip to... Scotland!  Oh yesh, my very first visit to teach in Bonnie Scotland at The Papeterie... I am really excited and so looking forward to visiting... I am rather keeping my fingers x'd that there will be a square sausage for breakfast one morning ;o))  *yes, always about the food!*     Thanks for looking.. have a great evening!  TTFN

Hels x

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Come Craft With Me.... Announcing...........

...whoooot-hoooot... BIG. MASSIVE. HUGE. GINORMOUS.... NEWS!!!!!   Believe me, I am so excited I am practically gasping for breath guppy-style!  Guess what?  Well, you might have already seen a few snippets of info on the old social media but here is all the info in full detail.... *what am I waffling on about???*    Here goes.... Next September, 2016, I will be teaching on a fabulous arty retreat in... Costa Rica!!!  (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)







Jim West, owner of Craftours has put together an amazing package which includes the following:


  • First class hotel accommodations
  • SEVEN different creative workshops from seven mixed media teachers
  • A visit to the Doka Estate Coffee Plantation on the slopes of Alajuela Poas Volcano
  • A shopping and sightseeing tour of Sarchi, a Costa Rican craft village
  • Mixed Media exhibits and lectures from your instructors
  • Complimentary breakfast and lunch each full day in Costa Rica, and three special dinner events
  • For a limited time, FREE airfare from Ft. Lauderdale to San Jose, Costa Rica!
Jim will also be your tour guide - and he is the best in the business folks - so you will be sure to see and hear about everything possible about beautiful Costa Rica.  For booking details... CLICK HERE

I am over the moon to be able to participate in this amazing adventure along with my gorgeous and talented "sisters" Annette Green, Candy Colwell, Cheryl Grigsby, Linda Ledbetter, Marjie Kemper and Yvonne Blair.  Click their names to check out their brilliant blogs. Each of us shares a passion for art and mixed media and you can be certain that every single class will be fabulous.

Another really great thing is that Craftours have a really good payment plan, no need to worry about stumping up all the dosh in one go... and being as the trip is over a year away, there is plenty of time to make all your arrangements.

Someone pinch me or give me a slap or something... this is just going to be AWESOME!  And that isn't a word I use very oft!  Yes, I am pant-wettingly excited... and that is now... can you imagine the state I will be in by the time is it September '16?  No, don't... it won't be pretty!

I shall away now... I need to go and do some squealing!!!  TTFN!

Hels x


Sunday, 24 May 2015

Sunday Stamper - Week 357 - All Kinds of Everything

Goooodly Morning Stampers and a very happy Sunday to you all!  Many thanks for all your recent entries to the challenge and apologies for the blip last week... all is back to normal now tho!  The song title is a nod to last night's Eurovision.  The new theme this week is a nice easy one... FREE THEMEYou can make absolutely anything you fancy, no theme... just add a smidge of stamping!   To join in with the challenge is simples: make a little something, it can be anything you fancy.  Add in the theme AND some stamping *this is THE important bit guys, please remember your rubberstamps!*  and then hop back here, leave me a comment with a link to the place you are showing your entry and I can come see you.   If you haven't got a blog, you can join in via Facebook (just tag me name) or by emailing a small res.pic to me or by leaving me a link to your Pinterest or any other photo hosting site.  The challenge will remain open until 21:00 Saturday 30th May 2015.


So, as I mentioned yesterday, I have been a bit busy with my houseguest Ellen this last week and we have been spending most of the time yakking or visiting places... we spent a delightful long weekend in Yorkshire and I initiated Ellen into the "Proper Northern Fish n Chip club"... they went down a treat... twice!  Well, when in Yorkshire and all that!

My entry this week is a class sample I put together... it is a 5 x 7" wooden frame, altered with paint and Distress Ink... the insert is inked, stamped, stencilled and die cuts were added... and of course, Mr Butterfly had to make another appearance!  He is just so lovely to use I cannot seem to resist him!



I shall away now... tis time for me to take Ellen back to Heathrow so she can begin her journey back home - I can't believe how quickly the past ten days have gone... blink and you miss it kind of thing!   Thanks for looking... I will be around to visit all who entered into the last few challenges this coming week... have a goodly day!  TTFN

Hels x

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