Friday 29 March 2013

Happy Easter! Plus another Liebster nominee

Hi there! A warm welcome to all who have signed up recently to follow and continued gratitude for lovely comments.

I've made a Springlike card for Easter although given floods, snow and gales in Ireland this week it seems Mother Nature has other plans.

I recently bought Graphic 45 'Secret Garden' papers - they are sooo pretty it seems cruel to cut them - they are fabulously Springlike! I also came across a beautiful blog The Feathered Nest where Dawn has many gorgeous vintage images and truly sublime creations - the Easter egg image is here and it matches the G45 papers to a tee. Thank-you Dawn! I've printed the egg on cotton fibre paper to keep it 'vintage'.

Papers: Graphic 45 'Secret Garden'
Stamps: Impression Obsession 'Sm Leaf Filligree', Hero Arts 'Fairy Fern', Cavallini & Co 'Birds and Nests'
Inks: Distress Inks 'Bundled Sage' and 'Dusty Concord'
Eggs: Genuine candied chocolate from my stash in kitchen press!
Dies: Spellbinders 'Romantic Rectangles', MFT Dienamics 'Small Scallop Border', Magnolia 'Heart Swirl'
Flowers, stamped doily (mostly hidden), postage stamp diecut that I've stamped, ribbon and frill for 'nest' from stash

I recently received The Liebster Award - see post here - one of my nominated blogs Redanne (not surprisingly) had already received a Liebster so my reserve Liebster Award goes to Bonnie at Artful Digits - she is a very talented artiste - do pay her fantastic blog a visit...

Hoping that your Easter brings you peace and joy plus some chocolate - purely for its beneficial endorphins of course!

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges;
Live & Love Crafts - Easter
It's all about the Vintage - Easter
Crafting By Designs - Anything Goes with Easter/Spring
Crafty Creations Challenges - Easter
Kaboodle Doodles - Easter or Early Spring
Simon Says Stamp - Anything Goes
Inspiration Journal - Add A Little P.O.P.

Friday 22 March 2013

Days of yore

Hello again from the deluge that is Dublin! Thank-you for stopping by.

Isn't she lovely?! The central image is a stamp by Chapel Road Artstamps called 'Miranda'. I stamped the image onto Lesley Riley's TAP (transfer artist paper) using Archival ink in Coffee and then ironed the TAP onto cream muslin to transfer the image to the cloth. I then fussy cut her outline. I bought a half-metre of the 'drop-pearl' trim recently in a local haberdashery not knowing what it might work with but am pleased with it as a necklace here. Added water to some Perfect Pearls and painted the dress portion of image for a pearly shimmer.

The base CS is a handmade Indian Gold cardstock. I've done stencil work at the four corners using The Crafter's Workshop stencil (Fancy Frames) and Dreamweaver stencil paste. Next cut the cream frame with Cheery Lynn die 'Mini Pearl French Flair'. Using the same Fancy Frames mask I did more stencilling on the cream frame and then gilded the raised paste with gold gilding wax.

The cream frame is atop a layer of cream silk fibre paper with gold circle embossing. I stamped the paper with Crafty Individuals elegant swirl stamp (CI-182) using gold Delicata ink. Also embossed some of the gold CS using Sizzix Regal Flourishes folder and then cut a Fleur-de-Lis square with a Spellbinders die. I diecut more gold swirls with Sizzix Bigz die 'Elegant Flourishes'. Both cream frame and Fleur-de-Lis square are mounted with foam tape for added dimension.

I added the cream bow having embossed the ribbon with my Regal Flourishes embossing folder. The swirls on the ribbon aren't showing up too well in the photo - but they are there! Sorry but I can't locate the tutorial where I first read about embossing ribbon - it gives a kind of moire silk effect with this flourish folder. I cut the folded end of the embossing folder about an inch wide to allow the ribbon to thread through after embossing each section, in the same way that 'Tim' cuts folders to accomodate the larger size tags.

Added some pearls to finish. I think She is gazing at that pearl in top left corner and planning her next neck adornment!

Thank-you so much for visiting and for any lovely comments you might leave. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges;
Fashionable Stamping Challenges - Swirls
Simon Says Stamp and Show - Water
Inspiration Journal - Add a Little P.O.P.
Country View Crafts - Pick and Mix
The Shabby Tea Room - Anything Goes
Crafty Catz - Sparkle with a bow
Kaboodle Doodles - # 163 Bows/Pearls/Anything with frills
Bunny Zoe's Crafts - Girly
Creative Corner Challenges - Layer It Up
Happy Campers - Add Dimension

Sunday 17 March 2013


Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh (Happy St. Patrick's Day) and welcome to my blog! It's lovely having you visit Ireland today.

I've created today's card with a few challenges in mind but foremost inspiration comes from the photo challenge at The Shabby Tea Room this week - see picture inspiration here.

As per usual I tried out card with various layouts and degrees of embellishment but the dress is just so frilly that this card didn't want to wear much else!

Dressform: Chipboard cut using die by Tim Holtz (Sewing Room). Paper by Graphic 45 (A Ladies' Diary) painted with Paper Artsy Gloss Glaze. Dress by Melissa Frances Organza Pouf Ribbon (cream and pink). I bought pouf ribbon at The Funkie Junkie Boutique and so am entering card to the Frilly and Funkie Sunday Share

Butterflies: Die by Tim Holtz (Mini Butterflies). Each butterfly built using corrugated cardstock, 2 x Bazzill CS and 8 x tulle butterfly diecuts (all stitched together). Decorated with Memory Box (Corner Bow) diecut

Background Paper: Melissa Frances (5th Avenue Collection)
Pearls: Kaisercraft
Ink: Antique Linen DI
Doily, roses and trim from stash

Thank-you for stopping by. Now I must dash off to a parade .... where's my shamrock???

Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges:
The Shabby Tea Room - Oh So Pretty In Pink
Simon Says Stamp and Show - Chic To Be Shabby
Inspiration Emporium - Add A Little POP
Happy Campers Challenge - Flutterby Butterfly
Flutterby Wednesday - Any Winged Creature
Anything Goes Challenge - Seeing Double
Heck Of A Challenge - Spring / Butterflies and Pearls
By The Cute And Girly - Favourite Things (Butterflies)

Friday 15 March 2013

Liebster Award

Hi there,

I'm delighted to say that my very talented French blog friend Coco has generously awarded me and my little blog The Liebster Award. The Award is a means of highlighting blogs that you admire so that others may discover them too. Thank-you so much Coco for your own beautiful blog, for liking mine and for speaking excellent English! Please pop over to Coco's lovely blog here.

About The Liebster Award

It is designed to be a blog award in the pay it forward fashion. Once you've been nominated, you award it to five blogs that you like (that have fewer than 200 followers) to encourage new visitors to visit these blogs. If the award has been received already then the nominator can elect another recipient blog.

Rules for Acceptance

Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to their blog. Post the award onto your blog. Give the award to five bloggers who you appreciate that have fewer than 200 followers. Leave a comment on their blog letting them know that you have given them this lovely award!

My nominations for the Liebster Award

I admire the following five wonderfully inspirational blogs and I would love for you to check them out:

- Anne at

- Maria at

- Laura at

- Geraldine at

- Elin at

Thanks again Coco for such a lovely compliment! This was a difficult choice to make as I follow so many amazing blogs and don't want to offend anyone I've left out. In choosing my nominated blogs I've steered towards those that are less than 2 years old.

Also, I've been absent from blog visits over recent days as it has been a rather tricky week. Hoping to catch up with you all very soon.

Have a lovely St Patrick's weekend.

Nicola x

Tuesday 12 March 2013

Time for Green

Hi there and welcome.

The current challenge at Frilly and Funkie is 'William Morris Style'. I associate William Morris and the Arts & Crafts Movement with textiles, stained-glass art and wallpaper designs. I thus tried to incorporate all three elements into my card today.

To salute the textile element, I stamped my most appropriate botanical stamp (Anna Griffin 580K06) with DI Bundled Sage (my only green DI) onto Lesley Riley's TAP (Transfer Artist Paper). I then ironed the TAP paper onto some muslin to transfer the stamped image to the cloth.

Next coloured some white stamping paper with Bundled Sage and some pinkish DIs till I'd achieved the required murky shade for the 'frame'. Stamped the frame using Walnut Stain DI ( Hero Arts 'Long Branch' and Impression Obsession 'Sm Leaf Filligree') and Bundled Sage DI (Hero Arts 'Fairy Fern'). As a nod to wallpaper design I stamped the frame's side panels with a vertical bird stamp from a set by Cavallini & Co (Birds and Nests) - well it seems wallpaper like to me anyway!

I had some rub-ons by Kaisercraft that I think resemble stained glass so these were added to the four corners. Stamped a little bird from the Cavallini set and again using TAP transferred it to muslin. Sat this atop a diecut branch (Memory Box) atop a pale green bow. Don't think William Morris would have chosen the bow but hey it is my card!

Matted it all for some colour variation including cutting the green bottom edge with a Magnolia lace edge die - referencing the wonderful lace making associated with the Arts & Crafts Movement. Finished off by adding a dragonfly charm. That's it!

Thank-you so much for spending a little part of your day at my blog. I hope you like!

Nicola x

I wish to enter my card to the following challenges;
Frilly and Funkie - 'William Morris Style'
Flourishes Timeless Tuesday - Go Green
Stamping Sensations - March 'The Great Outdoors'
Simon Says Stamp - A Bit O' Green

Saturday 9 March 2013

Birthday Boy!

Hello and welcome! Thank-you all so much for your phenomenal response to my last post (here) and a warm welcome to my new followers. I truly appreciate each and every one of you.

This week I had to make a dreaded masculine card - I find these so difficult! Not surprisingly, it didn't go according to plan either! But never mind, here it is;

The part that didn't work out was that I wanted to colour the embossed/raised edge ridges in blue. I attempted markers but couldn't maintain a clean even pattern. I then tried to ink inside the embossing folder prior to embossing but couldn't achieve clean lines so had to abandon after several messy attempts. Maybe I should buy an ink brayer? Or go back to the classroom!

The ingredients:
Embossing Folders are from Sizzix Mail Set (I fussy cut out the embossed wings)
Stamps: Paris metro map by Artemio (Paris by Night) is tucked into the envelope and Kaisercraft 'Postmarks' for main image - all stamped in DI Salty Ocean
Papers: Melissa Frances (Countdown to Christmas) and Blue Faux Leather Paper from stash
Embellishments: Wheels are by Karen Foster Charms, Zipper is by Prima Junkyard Findings, Metal tab is by Making Memories
Cardstock and Brads: Bazzill
Blue Velvet ric rac by May Arts and Satin Ribbon from stash

Thank-you so much for visiting.
Nicola x

I wish to enter card to the following challenges;
Lawnscaping Challenge - #53 Texture
Crafty Cardmakers - Masculine Birthday feat. tech/gadget
Cards for Men - Monochrome
Anything Goes Challenge - Make It Manly

Monday 4 March 2013

For A Lady

Greetings from Dublin. Firstly, heartfelt thanks to everyone who left such lovely comments on my last post - you ladies are warm rays of sunshine and your kindness means a great deal to me. Secondly, I've missed my magical mystery tours around your blogs and I'm hoping to venture back as much as possible.

Last Sunday I was lucky enough to attend a class hosted by the lovely Eve who taught us to alter a Tim Holtz configurations box using the delectable Graphic 45 'A Ladies' Diary' papers, together with a matching mini album. Thank-you Eve for hosting such a friendly, fun filled day - looking forward to more. It was great to finally meet the wonderful Shirley and other crafty ladies too.

Eve's box had a clear top lid so that the lovely lined drawers could be seen below with the album hidden beneath them. She showed us how to 'hinge' the top and bottom parts in order to double the box height. I've arranged my box a little differently though and made it with a paper covered lid. Here is my version;

Back at home I covered all sides of box and drawers (inner and outer) with the beautiful A Ladies' Diary papers. Also painted the drawers with Paper Artsy's fresco finish in Nougat. The lid is simply made from a square of Ladies' Diary paper on top of a square of cardstock. I sealed the papers with Claudine Hellmuth multi medium matte and found this product super as it forms an invisible seal with no visible brushstrokes. I then edged the lid with lace and decorated with lots of Ladies' Diary images, roses by Prima and Jeans (available here), silk ribbon (tied using Boweasy), pearls and charms. (A little inking is also in the mixture using Distress Inks). Also added Tim Holtz game spinners to clocks on two sides.

For the inside of the box I've used the space in the top lid to create a little stamped scene showing a seamstress busy creating all those fashions modelled on the outside. The stamped square is backed by a square of cardstock for reinforcement. I've used stamps from the gorgeous set 'Sew Much To Do' by Chapel Road Artstamps. You can see I've also used some 'A Ladies' Diary' cutouts to form the scene as well as lace, stitched buttons, sewn ribbon, wound spools, pearl string, roses, seam binding, ribbon measuring tape and I stamped the Magnolia die cut tag for the shop sign.

I recently bought the Tim Holtz dressform die and cut some spools from chipboard and used one as the box 'closure'. I decorated it with seam binding and a really fabulous scissors charm that I bought from The Funkie Junkie Boutique. Eve's kit also included the Tim Holtz Foundations 'feet' that really finish off the box wonderfully.

I'll be giving this box to my Darling Mum next Sunday for Mother's Day.

I wish you all a lovely week and thank everyone most sincerely for visiting. It's great to have you along!

Nicola x

I wish to enter box to the following challenges;
Sugar Creek Hollow - #51 Lovely Lace
Simon Says Stamp and Show - By The Numbers (clocks, dates,tape)
Country View Crafts - Pick and Mix
Stampin For The Weekend - Lace
Vintage Udfordring - #55 Decorate with Flowers
Joanna Sheen - Layer It Up
Moving Along With The Times - Lovely Ladies
Glitter n Sparkle Challenge Blog - Mother's Day
Sunday Stamper - Oh You Pretty Things
Allsorts Challenge - For A Lady
Inspiration Emporium - Add A Little P.O.P.