Saturday, July 31, 2010


I knitted this hat for Tanya who I think likes strawberries, well I know she likes strawberry hats anyway! It’s from a pattern which can be found here.

When I’m using different balls of wool on the same row, I prefer to weave the wool that I’m carrying across into each and every stitch at the back. It’s a bit more time consuming but I think it reduces the chances of puckering and gives a tidier finish on the inside.

This is the card I made to send with the hat. As I don’t have any strawberry paper or stamps, I used some strawberry fabric for the background. The sky was made by lightly applying broken china distress ink to white card and spritzing with water. I coloured the girl with markers and made her a little pair of knitting needles using pieces of cocktail sticks with beads attached to the tops. Then I rolled some darning yarn into a ball and knitted a couple of rows on the cocktail sticks.

Stamps (Hero Arts):- You’re the Best & Write Your Message

I'm submitting the card into the Card Style Fun and Cute Challenge at Moxie Fab World.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

PaperPlay Challenge - Anything Goes

It’s time for another new challenge on PaperPlay. This week the challenge has been set by Julie and is titled "Anything Goes". So basically the choice is totally yours this week. You can make a card\project for any occasion, using any design, colours etc.

Waltzing Mouse Stamps is kindly sponsored the prize this week. Claire has so many wonderful products in her store and is offering the lucky winner a full set of stamps.

Sparkling Thank You, originally uploaded by heather maria.

Stamps used:- Hero Arts Large Flower & Dolls

It’s been a while (all of 30 days but who’s counting!) since I last used the Large Flower stamp. The flower, which has two layers, is embossed in white on vellum. Using an embossing pen, I embossed parts of the petals with stardust embossing powder. I machine stitched some meandering lines on the card and added beads and gems to finish.

I’m submitting the card to the Card Style Classy and Elegant Challenge in the Moxie Fab World.

I hope you will join us for our “Anything Goes” week on PaperPlay!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A big, big thanks to Hero Arts!

As you can probably tell from my blog I love, love, love Hero Arts products! So I was absolutely delighted today when the postman arrived with a box of wonderful stamps from Hero Arts.

Hero Arts is so very generous with prizes for their monthly challenges and I was lucky to have been able to pick these yummy goodies with my prize from the June challenge.

Hero Arts Stamps:- Holly Flourish, Wild Flowers, House with Plant, Froggy & Starburst Lace.

Thank you so much Hero Arts, I can't wait to get them inky!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

End of the Honeymoon

It’s finally time for the sun to set on the raccoons' honeymoon. I've had great fun this month making this series of cards and hope I haven’t bored you all to tears with them! But I just wanted to make one last card because of a couple of requests to have them visit Asia.

End of the Honeymoon, originally uploaded by heather maria.

Stamps used (Hero Arts):- Woodland Creatures, Flourish Background & Heart Owls

Using a punched circle as a mask for the setting sun, I inked the white background with spiced marmalade distress ink. Then I splattered water on it to try and give the impression of fireworks in the sky. The raccoons are coloured with colouring pencils and clothed with scraps of paper. I clear embossed the black card base with the Flourish Background.

I'm submitting the card into the Card Style Fun and Cute Challenge at Moxie Fab World as well as Hero Arts' July challenge (Food and Travel).

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Card from Sue

I've long been an admirer of Suzz (Stampersuzz on Flickr) and couldn't tell you the amount of time I've spent staring at her amazing cards, taking in every last detail.

Recently, Sue very kindly and generously sent me this absolutely wonderful card along with a brilliant array of goodies. I was really like a kid on Christmas morning when I opened her package!

I just love everything about this card - the design, colours, embellishing, distressing, all the beautiful sewing related stamping and Sue's cutting skills are amazing.

Just had to show a close up and I LOVE this sewing machine! Thank you again Sue for this very special card and for all the yummy goodies too!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

PaperPlay Challenge - Blue & Cream + 1 other colour

This week just seems to be flying by and as it’s Thursday already, it’s time for another new challenge on PaperPlay.

The challenge this week is to use a set colour combination - blue & cream + 1 other colour of your choice. I decided to use green as my extra colour.

Stamp: - Hero Arts (Birthday Messages)

Craft Brulee has kindly sponsored the prize this week. The lucky winner will receive a $10 voucher from Craft Brulee, so here's a chance to go shopping for some wonderful embellishments, stamps etc.

I was delighted to get a chance to play with some gorgeous embellishments from Craft Brulee. When I saw the exquisite layered satin flower with the fun feather, beads and flower centre I just had to use it. I also loved the pretty cream lace.

For the background I used some paper and a die cut from a paper pad by Kaiser Craft (Devonshire Collection) – thanks again Paula and Dawn! The sentiment, which is embossed, is from the Birthday Messages set by Hero Arts. I lightly applied some broken china distress ink to white card for the punched butterflies and machine stitched the lace and a pale blue ribbon to the card.

I’m looking forward to seeing your creations for the challenge and finding out what colour you decide to put with the blue and cream colour combination!

I've never tried making a shabby chic vintage card before and I'm not exactly sure if this card fits the bill. But I'm submitting it to the Card Style Shabby Chic and Vintage Challenge in the Moxie Fab World.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What was I thinking? The Honeymooners – Part 3

Just catching up with the honeymooners again and today they are visiting a favourite place of mine, scenic Glendalough here in Ireland. For the sky I applied broken china and faded jeans distress inks to white card. Then I made the mountains using various scraps of green fabric. The raccoons are coloured with watercolour pencils. Someone asked me why the raccoons had clothes on in the Paris card and none in the Pisa card, so I thought I’d give them some clothes here again using paper and some fabric!

Stamps used:- Hero Arts Woodland Creatures and Heart Owls

I don't know what I was thinking but then I decided to machine stitch a Celtic pattern from a book I have to the card base. As you can see from the mess in the photos above there was a lot of fiddling around, stripping away the pattern and getting all the threads to the back of the card. Because of the nature of the pattern and using card, some stitches are doubled which wouldn’t have been the case on fabric so I'm not totally happy with the stitching. Next time I'll use a fabric base, though it might be a while before you see a stitched Celtic pattern on one of my cards again!

I'm submitting the card into the Card Style Fun and Cute Challenge at Moxie Fab World as well as Hero Arts' July challenge.

Some photos from the honeymooners' trip to Ireland:-

Blarney Castle

Cliffs of Moher

Aughnanure Castle, Co Galway

Neolithic monuments, Knowth

Some photos from Co Wicklow

Monday, July 19, 2010

Classy & Elegant?!

One of the current challenges on Moxie Fab World, celebrating Card Style Week, is to make a classy and elegant card. This definitely poses a challenge for me but I thought I'd have a go anyway!

Stamps:- Hero Arts Antique Engravings & Messages

I bought the background paper (Autumn Leaves - Jacobean Black) last year because I thought it was gorgeous and then I didn't know what to do with it! So I'm delighted to be finally using it on this card. In real life the paper is more cream than white but it's yet another rainy, dull day here today so the colour isn't coming out true to life. I embossed the bottom part of the panel in my Cuttlebug with the Fleur De Lis folder. The sentiment and butterfly are embossed in gold and the butterfly is coloured with markers. I always save ribbons off boxes of chocolates and that's where these ones came from!

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Welcome to our blog hop for Paula and Lilly!

Little Lilly aka “Bug” was very excited about meeting her mum, dad and big sis. So she decided to arrive a little bit early and was born on Friday 4th June weighing 7 lbs and 13 1/2 oz. I’d like to send big congratulations and best wishes again to mum Paula, dad Doug and big sis Em! There’s nothing like having a new baby in the house, exhausting at times I know, but just wonderful too!

Back in April, Deborah and Hannah hatched and organised a plan for us to send cards to Paula once “Bug” had arrived. Paula’s friend Helen was also involved in the planning and we all sent cards to her to pass on to Paula. Deborah also put a lot of work into organising today's hop. Oh Paula, the things that have been going on behind your back!

Stamps (Hero Arts):- Adorable Baby Girl & Precious Baby Boy

As Paula is a moderator at the Die Cut Divas group on Flickr, I decided to go a little bit Cuttlebug crazy on both cards and of course being me I just had to put a bit of gingham fabric on the first card!

Stamps (Hero Arts):- You’re the Best, Clouds & Birthday Messages (used back of balloon stamp)

Well Paula as you already have your little cutie Em, I probably don’t have any tips to pass on to you that you don’t know already. But here’s something we used to do when our kids were babies. At the weekend my hubby and I would have a morning each. So whoever was “on duty” would get up when our baby woke (usually very early!) and let the other do what they wanted until 11am/12 noon. It could be sleep (often!), breakfast in bed, go for a walk, read a book, meet a friend etc. Having those few hours was just brilliant for recharging the batteries.

Killarney, Co Kerry, Ireland

Just to finish here are some words of wisdom I’ve come across:-

No matter how calmly you try to referee, parenting will eventually produce bizarre behaviour, and I'm not talking about the kids. Bill Cosby

When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen. When they're finished, I climb out. Erma Bombeck

Be nice to your children, for they will choose your retirement home. Phyllis Diller

Hopefully you will have arrived here from Hannah’s blog in the US and now it's time to hop from Ireland over to Indonesia and Fika’s blog. If you think you have missed any stops on your travels or if there have been broken links in any of the blogs you can go back to Deborah’s blog where you will find the full list of links.

Again, welcome Lilly and congrats to Paula, Doug and Em! Thanks everyone for visiting and hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, July 16, 2010

An apple a day...

This is a card that I made for a friend who recently hurt her foot. I clear embossed the black background (Raindrop Background) and apples (Antique Brocade). The apples are paperpieced and to finish I just added some white dots to them. The sentiment is in Jokerman font in Word.

An apple a day..., originally uploaded by heather maria.

Stamps (Hero Arts):- Four Apples, Raindrop Background & Antique Brocade

I've positioned my little prop (with moustache from Mon’s template in the photo of the inside of the card. He's wearing another little hat I made for the Big Knit charity fundraiser which I mentioned here.

Inside card

I thought I'd submit this card into the Card Style Fun and Cute Challenge in the Moxie Fab World.

I'm off to bake some brownies to go with the card. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Winter Woolies - The innocent Big Knit 2010

If you’d like to help keep older people warm this winter and you have a few minutes to spare, some scraps of wool and a pair of knitting needles, you might be interested in this project.

All you have to do is knit some little hats for innocent smoothie bottles and for each one sold in store, innocent will give 25c to Age Action Ireland (25p to Age UK). Full details and some cute patterns are available at these links:-


There may be Big Knits happening in other counties too but I'm afraid I had problems with the languages on the other websites. Even if there isn't a Big Knit in your county, you might consider sending hats to the addresses given in the links :)

Hopefully I’ll get to knits loads of little hats but I just thought I’d show a few that I knitted last night.

I'm out of innocent smoothies so Monsieur Oeuf had to model them!

Thanks again to Mon for her fun template on the Hero Arts website. I’m going to have to step away from that template now, I can’t stop playing with it!

I hope you decide to get knitting too!

PaperPlay Challenge - Sandie's Sketch

This week the challenge at PaperPlay is to make a card using this great sketch designed by Sandie.

The prize this week has kindly been sponsored by Meljen’s Designs.

I made a new home card using one of Meljen’s Designs' adorable digital images called Garden Bird House. Now this is the kind of birdhouse I’d love to have in my garden, little love birds and vines included!

Stamps:- Meljen’s Designs (Garden Bird House), Hero Arts (Flourish Background & Clouds)

I coloured the image with pencils, added glossy accents to the ladybird, gems to the flowers, a heart pearl to "HOME" and touches of diamond stickles here and there. The “tweet home” is a Word font – Comic Sans MS. The Flourish Background is embossed in white on the white background.

I printed off the Garden Bird House image in a few different sizes and for my first attempt at making a little mini book used one on the cover. Instructions on Japanese bookbinding can be found in Lisa's video here on the Hero Arts blog. It’s fun making these little mini books and hopefully next time I won’t have to keep starting and stopping the video as I go along!

Stamp:- Meljen’s Designs (Garden Bird House)

I'm using the book to house information on our home. It contains\will contain information on each room (floor size, window size, amount and colours of paints used etc) so instead of having to measure up and estimate quantities any time we decorate, the info will always be there in this book.

I’m sure you’ll have fun with Sandie’s sketch and am looking forward to seeing your creations!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

July Card Chain Challenge

I always love taking part in Deborah's Card Chain Challenge (CCC) and today I was delighted to receive this absolute stunner from Marian in the Philippines.

The background looks amazing with the way she inked the hills, sky and sun. It also has a wonderful all over shimmer (perfect pearls maybe?) which I couldn't catch in a photo. The gorgeous embossed tree and butterflies are full of sparkle too.

It's also beautiful on the inside!

Thanks again Marian. I love it!

This is the card I sent to Donna (irishmist2009). As Donna has received the card, I thought I'd post it.

Stamps (Hero Arts):- Leaves Background, Flourish Background, Engraved Flower & Messages.

I used a piece of green fabric for the background (the grain of the fabric is less obvious in real life), clear embossed the Leaves Background on it and added a little machine stitching. The red card base is clear embossed with the Flourish Background. The flower has two layers and is coloured with a red marker and yellow watercolour pencil. I love the little heart pearls from Hero Arts so I had to add one to the card!

If you haven't already tried it, I'd highly recommend taking part in Deborah's monthly challenge. On the last Friday of the month Deborah gives the details of the next CCC on her blog. So you might like to check out her blog on the 30th of July for the August CCC!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I Donut Know.....

It's probably because it's Lisa's week on the Hero Arts blog but I seem to be in the mood for making fun cards at the moment. Yesterday I saw Lisa’s adorable French cupcake card again on her blog and had another laugh. So I decided to make another card using Mon’s cute templates.

I Donut Know....., originally uploaded by heather maria.

Stamps (Hero Arts):- Have a Donut, Clouds & Write Your Message.

I just coloured the donuts, added the moustache and berets, some stickles to the white sprinkles and googly eyes. The rest of the sentiment “what I would do without you” is on the inside of the card along with "mon amour".

At last, a blue sky!!

After a few days of endless rain I was delighted to get up this morning and see this. We've been listening to the music drifting over from Oxegen for the last couple of days and feeling so sorry for the soggy festival goers. At least it looks like they will get a good day today. I think Eminem is one of the acts playing tonight, so the music will be more than drifting over to us, if his last concert here is anything to go by!

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Honeymoon Continues....

I had so much fun making the raccoons’ honeymoon card the other day that I just couldn’t resist making another one!

Today the happy couple are enjoying a bowl of pasta in another well known city. I decided to borrow an idea from Walt Disney’s “The Lady and the Tramp” where Lady and Tramp start eating opposite ends of a single strand of spaghetti until they meet in the middle. The “spaghetti” started off as white yarn and I coloured it with antique linen distress ink. The ink must have been a little damp when I threaded the yarn so by accident the raccoons ended up with sauce stains around their mouths! I liked it so just left it.

Stamps (Hero Arts):- Woodland Creatures, Woodgrain Circle, What’s Cooking, Ancient Motif, Heart Owls.

I used the Ancient Motif stamp for the floor (antique linen distress ink) and the tiles surrounding the scene (clear embossed). Last year Vanessa sent me a gorgeous range of papers as a blog candy prize and I used a piece of one of the papers for the wall in the restaurant. I used the woodgrain circle stamp for the skirting board and window frame. For the sky I applied broken china and faded jeans distress inks to white card and spritzed with water. The racoons and bowl are coloured with watercolour pencils and I added Glossy Accents to the bowl. A scrap of fabric was used for the tablecloth.

The card is for the July challenge at Hero Arts.

I'm so glad it's Friday. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

PaperPlay Challenge - Your Number's Up

It’s Thursday so it’s time for a new challenge at PaperPlay. The challenge this week is titled “Your Number’s Up”. So you can make a card for any occasion as long as a number features prominently on it. The prize this week is sponsored by Simon Says Stamp! and the winner will receive a $15 voucher for the store. I hope you’ll join in!

I wanted to make a 25th wedding anniversary card and decided to use the opportunity to go all out with silver and sparkle (hard to tell with photos taken on a dull day)!

Stamps (Hero Arts):- Flourish Background, Heart Winged Butterfly

The background is a piece of vellum clear embossed with the Flourish Background. I printed the numbers (from a free template on the internet) onto white card, cut them out and embossed with stardust embossing powder. I repeated the embossing process twice more.

I love the Heart Winged Butterfly stamp from Hero Arts and thought it would be nice to use on an anniversary card. The butterflies are also embossed with stardust embossing powder. One layer is embossed on white card and the other is on a piece of silk fabric. To finish I added some machine stitching and trails of silver gems with a white pearl heart (Hero Arts) at the base of each one.

I’m looking forward to seeing your creations!

Trinh told me about the monochromatic challenge at the CARDS blog so I've submitted this card. Thanks Trinh for yet again alerting me to a challenge!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Honeymoon in Paris

The challenge this month at Hero Arts is Food and Travel. Yesterday on the Hero Arts blog, Lisa had the cutest cupcake card with a French connection. So I just had to have some fun with the templates that were provided.

The Honeymoon, originally uploaded by heather maria.

Stamps used (Hero Arts):- Clouds, Woodland Creatures, Lace Background, Heart Owls.

A while ago I made a card with a romantic raccoon couple (last card on this post). So the story goes that the guy raccoon proposed in the hot air balloon and they are now on their honeymoon - I really need to get out more often! Robin got me hooked on her brilliant saga last year about a mouse couple. So I have to thank her for the inspiration! Part 1 of her saga starts here.

The raccoons are coloured with colouring pencils and I used a scrap of frayed upholstery fabric for the hill. I used Mon’s templates for the moustache and berets and also made the raccoon's little t-shirts from the border surrounding the templates. I gave the girl a little silk skirt and yarn necktie. The Lace Background is clear embossed.

I'm also submitting this card to Jenny's Challenge #13 (Free for All).
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