Monday, August 30, 2010

Rambling in Glendalough

School started back today and now we're trying to get back into the usual routine again. So we decided to go to Glendalough (valley of the two lakes) last Friday with some friends as this was our last chance this summer to visit there on a week day.

Glendalough is home to a 6th century monastic site founded by St. Kevin. This is St Kevin's Kitchen\Church with the 30m high Round Tower in the background. I was thinking of Glendalough and this round tower when I made this card.

Glendalough Valley was carved out by glaciers during the Ice Age and the two lakes were formed when the ice eventually thawed. Students from the School of Archaeology were on a dig when we were there and I tried to avoid getting them in the photos but one of the guy's bright orange jacket managed to shine through the fushia bushes!

It's a wonderful, scenic place to visit and there are lots of great trails for every level of fitness.

I loved the brilliant views from the trail we took.

But the drops were a bit hairy at times!

Back on safe ground again!

With the arrival of those clouds and the rain, it was time to head for home.

I hope you enjoyed the ramble around Glendalough!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

PaperPlay Challenge – Sketch and Stash.

The challenge on PaperPlay this week is “Sketch and Stash”. Sandie has provided the great sketch below for you to try this week.

An added option to the challenge is to use some of your new stash. I have to put my hand up and admit to being guilty of buying goodies and then not using them for ages or even worse, ever! The mottled pink card is my something new from my stash.

Wink, Wink, Ink is kindly sponsoring this week’s challenge and the lucky winner will receive 3 digi images from the store here. I had such a hard time deciding which Wink, Wink, Ink image to use on my card as there are so many cute and gorgeous images to choose from. In the end I opted for this cutie called Pearl. I love the adorable images in this set and the fact that they are in both b&w and colour. The coloured version would be so handy for printing out and whipping up a quick card. The sentiments to go with the images are great too.

Stamps used:- Pearl (Wink, Wink, Ink) & Clouds Background (Hero Arts)

I coloured the image with watercolour pencils, popped up the sunhat and a couple of the little ruffles on the back of the swimsuit and added a pearl to the shell. The sentiment inside the card is one of the ones provided with Pearl – “Finding a friend like you is a rare and unexpected blessing!”

My 10 month old computer decided to stop working completely on Monday and I really thought it was gone beyond repair. Thankfully, it’s back in action again at half speed at the moment, but with a replacement part it should be back to normal later today. I have a lot of catching up to do! I missed the computer so much I even resorted to using my sons' PlayStation 3 to access the internet for a few things! But it’s so much better and quicker to be using a keyboard again. Luckily I haven’t lost anything (especially photos) but my motto from now on is backup, backup, backup.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Crackled Butterflies

I just love the yummy, refreshing colour combination for this week's challenge at The Play Date Cafe.

So I decided to make a card using them which would also fit with the Hero Arts Keeping in Touch and Back to School challenge.

Crackled Butterflies
originally uploaded by heather maria.

Stamps used (Hero Arts):- Antique Engravings, Wild Flowers & Messages

I stamped the Wild Flowers on a scrap of speckled fabric (linen I think) with shabby shutters and broken china distress inks. The butterflies are coloured with Promarkers and I had to try out a recent purchase on them – Ranger Crackle Accents.

Crackled Butterflies close up

Nothing will be safe from me crackling it now – I was the same with Glossy Accents! I added some thread for the butterflies’ antennae, gems on some of the flowers and a bit of machine stitching. The patterned paper, Heart and Home (Melissa Frances - Amanda), was bought about a year ago and I'm only getting around to using it now.

Hope you are all having a brilliant weekend!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

PaperPlay Challenge – Pink It Up.

The challenge on PaperPlay this week is “Pink It Up”. So it’s time for you all to have fun and go crazy with pink!

Bunny Zoe’s Crafts is kindly sponsoring this week’s challenge and I know the lucky winner will have a great time shopping here.

I love using pink, white and black together and decided to “pink up” my card with the background, gems, flower and beads.

Vellum Starburst, originally uploaded by heather maria.

Stamps used (Hero Arts):- Starburst Lace, Scallop Borders, Lace Background & Messages.

I clear embossed the pink background with the Lace Background stamp and white embossed the Starburst Lace and scallops on vellum. To add another layer to the Starburst, I embossed the flower centre of the Starburst Lace again on vellum, snipped towards the centre and curled the petals a bit. Sue (Stampersuzz) sent me lots of gorgeous goodies recently, including a beautiful ribbon of velvet flowers so I snipped off one of the flowers and added a pearl to the centre. Thanks again Sue! To finish I added pink gems and a sprinkling of beads with a pinkish tinge.

I’m submitting the card into Jenny’s Challenge # 18 which is to use buttons, brads or bling on a card and am also submitting it into Hero Arts’ Keeping in Touch and Back to School Challenge.

I’m looking forward to seeing lots of gorgeous pink creations this week!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Peace and Flowers

Since I’ve got back from holidays I’ve been itching to get stamping again and thought it would be fun to try to combine the Signs of Peace Challenge in the Moxie Fab World with the current Hero Arts' challenge Keeping in Touch and Back to School.

Peace and FlowersStamps (Hero Arts):- Four Dolls & Tree Birds and Messages.

The peace sign makes me think of the 60s and 70s, flowers, Woodstock, hippies, embellished clothing, friends etc. So I tried to incorporate these into my card. To start with I made a peace sign out of card. Then I stamped and cut out lots (and lots!) of flowers, put them on the peace sign using foam pads and added quite a few gems. For the background I used the Cuttlebug distressed stripes embossing folder which reminds me of wood - a bit of a stretch I know for Woodstock! I love this sentiment and thought it would go with the peace sign and the Hero Arts keeping in touch theme.

Peace and Flowers close up

Hope you all have a wonderful, peaceful, groovy weekend!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

No stamping or stitching.......just holidays.

Thanks to Sandie's help I’m glad to see that my scheduled post worked this morning. I’m just back from a lovely, relaxing holiday on the north coast of Ireland. The scenery there is really breathtaking, so needless to say I ended up taking lots and lots of photos, none of which capture the full beauty of the area.

I didn’t bring any card making supplies with me (and survived!) so I’m looking forward to making cards again and catching up on lots of blogs and websites. There aren't any cards in this post but I thought I’d show some photos from our holidays.

A view of the coastline near Portrush with the Inishowen Peninsula in the distance.

On the way to Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge with Rathlin Island and Scotland in the background.

Traditionally fishermen erected the bridge to Carrick Island over a 30 metre deep and 20 metre wide chasm to check their salmon nets. Crossing the bridge, the drop felt a lot more than that, especially with the wind whipping across the bridge! Originally the rope bridge consisted of a single rope hand rail and widely spaced slats but the National Trust replaced that with a two hand railed bridge made of ropes and planks of wood. I don't think I would have even considered going across the original bridge!

I'm terrified of heights but I'm delighted that I forced myself to go across the bridge and got the see the gorgeous views from Carrick Island.

The Giant's Causeway is made up of 38,000 geometric columns of basalt rock which formed from crystallised lava that erupted 60 million years ago.

According to legend the stones at the Causeway are really the remnants of a pathway which the giant Finn McCool built across the sea from County Antrim to his enemy Benandonner's lair - Fingal's cave on the island of Staffa, Scotland.

An arch and sea stacks on the Antrim coast

View looking towards Dunluce Castle, a late Medieval 17th century castle. The castle is harder to spot in the first photo but in the second one, taken about 20 seconds later, clouds came overhead and the sun was shining directly on the castle.

Part of the castle, including the kitchen, fell into the sea on a stormy night in 1639. It's said that seven unfortunate kitchen staff perished that night but one lucky person survived by being in the right corner of the kitchen.

View of the Inishowen Pensinsula from Portstewart.

Hope you've enjoyed the "visit"!

PaperPlay Challenge - Bon Voyage

Bon Voyage is the title of this week’s challenge on PaperPlay. So your card can be for a vacation, moving house etc.

Simon Says Stamp has kindly sponsored this week’s challenge and I’m sure the lucky winner will have a great time picking out yummy new goodies to the tune of $15 from the store.

Stamps used: - House with Plant & Cloud Background (Hero Arts) & New Home (Anita’s).

I love this house stamp from Hero Arts so I’ve stamped off lots of images and have had fun colouring them using different colour combinations. The house here is coloured with watercolour pencils and for the background I sponged distress inks (shabby shutters, broken china & faded jeans) onto white card. I love looking at all the creative cards/layouts that Trinh comes up with and I absolutely loved the way she embossed the Cloud Background in white on one of her gorgeous cards here. It made such a beautiful, soft background so I decided to use her idea on my card.

I’ve been buying bits and pieces of ribbon since I started making cards and hardly ever use them, so I think it’s time to start digging into my stash. I find it hard to make nice looking bows and spend ages fiddling around with ribbons trying to get it right. It's too late now for this card but next time I must try this make your own bow maker that I just came across - I have the jar, the pegs and I certainly have the ribbon!

I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with for the challenge!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Keeping in Touch

Two posts in the one day, now that won't be happening very often with me!

The August challenge at Hero Arts is Keeping in Touch and Back to School. So I thought for the keeping in touch theme I would make something for a family moving house. I made a card and also a set of new address cards to go with it which they could give to their friends to help keep in touch.

Keeping in Touch - Card, originally uploaded by heather maria.

Stamps used (Hero Arts):- House with Plant, Lace Background.

I embossed the background on the main card in white with the the Lace Background stamp. For the sky and grass I sponged distress inks (shabby shutters, broken china and faded jeans) onto white card. The house is coloured with watercolour pencils and I added Glossy Accents to the door and pot. Both the sold sign and pot with the tree are on foam pads.

Keeping in Touch - New Address Cards

On the new address cards I printed the address using French Script MT in Word and also coloured these houses with watercolour pencils.

Edited - Just to let you know that for the example I've shown here, I didn't use my friends' real surname, address or telephone number. Thanks Jenny for your concern!

PaperPlay Challenge - Recipe

The challenge this week on PaperPlay has been set by Jan and it is to use the following recipe for your card - 2 design papers, 3 flowers , 1 ribbon and 1 charm.

Stitchy Bear Stamps is kindly sponsoring this week’s challenge. The lucky winner will receive four images from Stitchy Bear Stamps.

Stamps used:- Bunny Blu (Stitchy Bear Stamps) & Messages (Hero Arts)

I decided to use this cute bunny digi image from Stitchy Bear Stamps called Bunny Blu and coloured it with watercolour pencils. I’ve never used a charm on a card before but as I was rummaging through my bits and pieces, I came across this handbag charm which was from one of last year’s Christmas crackers. The card is for a friend who loves her handbags so I’m delighted that my hoarding paid off this time! To complete the recipe I used 2 design papers for the background, 3 punched flowers and some pink velvet ribbon.

I’m looking forward to seeing what you cook up with the recipe!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sympathy Card

This is the first time I've made a sympathy card as it’s more customary here to have a mass said for the deceased person and use a mass card.

I love making cards but I’m sure this must be the hardest kind to make especially when you are thinking about the person who has passed away and their family. So I decided to try to make one now.

Stamps used (Hero Arts):- Happy Wishes & Antique Brocade.

For the background I embossed the Antique Brocade stamp in black. I printed off the verse and stamped beside it using the Happy Wishes stamp. To finish I just added some green gems and butterflies. It's hard to tell from the photo but all the panels and butterflies are raised with foam pads.

I used the colour combination from the Play Date Cafe Challenge #40 and am also submitting the card into the Card Style Classy and Elegant Challenge in the Moxie Fab World.
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