Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hello Hello....

I don't know why I say goodbye, I say hello.... that's the song that's been in my head - I believe from the Beatles - because I wanted to say goodbye and made a 'Hello' card and instead of rounding things off I'm going to introduce you to our cat.... well it's all positive!!

This is a card I made with all scraps after a lovely lady gave me a bag of craft stuff - including some envelopes with loads of sissix tags, flowers, photoframes etc. At first I thought the tags looked like tombstones with the rounded top edge so I glued them to different shaped tags, now they look like mini houses.

This is Lucky, our cat. We have had him for at least 6 years now, maybe more. I was sitting outside yesterday evening enjoying the cool breeze watching the sun set and listening to the wind blowing through the Cypress tree (which is an awesome sound) and he came to keep me company (he always does that), so I thought I would take his picture.

(Books for the beach!)

Saturday we leave for Spain where I don't have Internet. I know of a cybercafé in a Chinese takeaway where I might check in now and again. I have been very busy getting our home ready for two families who will be renting it while we are away. It has been hot and muggy to work in too!! Alot of cleaning and emptying of cupboards, etc.! Luckily I have had help from my boys and a cleaning lady.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and until then - AU REVOIR - GOOD BYE and TOT ZIENS!!


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sewing on cards and other techniques

I love this collage stamp from HA and I'm going to get good use out of it trying it out with different techniques. Here I used distress inks on acetate, sprayed with water and placed the paper over the top - let it dry then stamp.

This card is distressed as well. The lilacs are stamps from SU! which just lend themselves to this kind of stamping collage.

I discovered this box at the bottom of one of my cupboards - yes I found my materials again!! I knew I could never have been so stupid to give them away.. I gave alot away, but luckily I still have a box so that I can use fabric on cards.

This is one of them - a piece of green fabric as basis for this card and I stitched the stamped pieces onto it. It's advisable to use some sort of adhesive to keep the material in place otherwise it can shift when stitching and go crooked or bulky. I have learned through my mistakes.

I got a comment from 'Tinne' and I would like to write back to her but when I click on her name I don't get anywhere. Tinne if you are out there please give me a link!

Have a great sunday!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Summer... continues

It's 33°C here today and DH is treating us to Pizzas which we are going to eat outside under a huge shady tree at a picnique table - sound good? You know the best shade ever are the leafs of a tree!

I have just discovered that to dry 'la lavende' one has to pick it with the stems in bunches and hang them upside down in a cool, dark, airy room for at least three weeks.... no way - I don't have patience for that! So yesterday in my rebellion to the French laws of perfectionism I filled up a bag with lavender that was almost dry in my opinion,stamped a lavender basket image on a piece of linen, cut it out, stitched it to the bag and it's ready for use!
In the long run I will string up a couple of bunches to dry 'a la France' but for the time being it has worked for me for years this way!

A lovely surprise arrived today in the form of an honourable mention on the Hero Arts blog for a card I made with the theme 'Summer'. I tried to get the effect of a sunset as we see them here. I was very hesitant at first whether to put it in the gallery, so glad I did because it's worth a Christmas stamp and a winter catalogue - so happy!

Monday, July 21, 2008


(My Spanish geraniums)

I had to share this daily devotional I read this morning, I felt it really provided a piece of wisdom to think about and apply!!


"Lord, You know better than I know myself, that I'm growing older, and will someday be old. Keep me from getting too talkative; particularly from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion. Deliver me from the need to try and straighten out everybody's affairs. Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. I ask for grace to listen to the tales of others' pains; but seal my lips when it comes to my own aches and pains, for they are increasing and my love of rehearsing them gets sweeter as the years go by. I ask not for improved memory, but for a growing humility and less cocksureness, especially when my memory seems to clash with the memory of others. Teach me that occasionally I may be mistaken. Keep me reasonably sweet. I don't necessarily want to be a saint - some of them are so hard to live with. But a sour old woman (or man) is one of the crowning works of the devil. Make me thoughtful but not moody, helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom it seems a pity not to use it; but You know Lord, I want a few friends at the end. So give me, I pray, the ability to see blessings in unexpected trials and goodness in less-than-perfect people. And give me the grace to tell them so, in Christ's name, amen."

JULY is the time of the month that the lavender bushes are ready to be harvested! They need to be pruned which is quite alot of work. I pick what I need first to go in little bags for the linen cupboards and clothes draws (not in the boy's rooms I have to add). This year I'm determined to sew lots of little bags and send or give them to friends. I've done that so much in the past. I've put this basket full in the sun to dry first.

A stalk or two in bottles of olive oil or vinegar is an infusion of summer that lasts the whole year.

The fragrance lives to an aromatic old age, and a small sachet of lavender left in a drawer or linen closet in July will retain its scent, faded but still distinctive, until December or beyond.
Finally, save a few bunches of dried lavender to put on to the first fires of winter and the house will smell like the purple patch you cut those many months before.

Leaving you with a card made from my scrap basket.

* Quotes about lavender from Peter Mayle who wrote 'Encore Provence'.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Just playing

The weather is fantastic, it's high 30's again and there is a lovely breeze - lovely, dry air! Tania from Poekietoe blog is also somewhere in the South - hope you are having a great time Tania.

Louise sent me an envelope FULL of Bible verses that she stamped for me! I was totally blown away at her kindness. Thanks once again Louise. I incorporated one of them on this card. I don't know whether this cute photo really goes with the verse, but it was the only one that kind of fit colour-wise. Always great to encourage somebody with a verse like this one!

Today is Sunday and I added this one too as once again, it's the same theme as the first one, using a Bible verse. This time Ps.91:1

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Weekly challenge Hero Arts - SUMMER!

I didn't think this theme was easy, but it gets you thinking. Actually, once again the HA gallery provided just one little bit of inspiration which opened new possibilities for stamping once again - would never have thought of it myself!
The background of the image is a pot of Geraniums which I took last summer in Spain. It was sitting on a wall on the terras of our Hotel. Geraniums are a summer plant and can be seen everywhere in the Mediterranean region. I softened it up in Photoshop and printed it out, then stamped over the top with my collage stamp. Stamped the words 'I' and 'summer' on left-over scraps and attached them to the card - then I added a butterfly to the summer scene.

I'm adding this one today (Thursday) as it has the same theme - only this time the background is a photo of my lavender bushes and I added 'France' as the senitment.

Monday, July 14, 2008

14th of July - National holiday in France

July 14th is Bastille Day in France. It symbolizes the end of the Monarchy and the beginning of what is now called the First French Republic. The Bastille, a prison at the time, was stormed on July 14,1789. This event came to represent the end of the king's power and the transfer of power to the people.

Today, Bastille Day is a national holiday and a day of celebration, which takes the form of military parades and fireworks. The most famous military parade takes place on the Champs-Elysées in Paris and has all the pomp and pageantry you would expect. The Republican Guard - The French President's personal guards, leads the parade. Bastille Day and the days leading up to it are one of the few times when you will see the French flag everywhere. In general, the French are very low-key about their flag, only showing it off on special days like Bastille Day. Unquote.

I found out that the word 'Bastille' which is a huge Fort means 'Stronghold' and I was reading just about this in my quiet time this morning, which I will share after showing you a picture of the magnificent Fort we have very close to us in CARCASSONNE. This is 1000 years old!! We always go there when we have visitors, it's just too cool to miss. It's about a 40 minute drive from where we live and is a favourite spot for the American tourists. Actually there is a five star hotel inside the Fort which is run by Americans.

Now, here's something to meditate on!
'Pulling down.. strongholds; casting down imaginations.. bringing into captivity every thought'. 2 Cor. 10:4-5

What are you to pull down? Strong holds: areas of your life that are held in the grip of the enemy. What are you to cast down? Imaginations: always fearing the worst instead of believing God for the best. What are you to take captive? Thoughts: thinking that doesn't line up with God's Word or submit to the rule of Christ in your life.
(From 'The Word for today' from Bob Gass.

And now for a couple of simple cards I made with scrap papers after I got a little inspiration from the Internet. I made my own template petal and just cut around it. I sewed the first card and pricked holes around the petals on the second one. I used a couple of sentiments from Hero Arts.

Have a great day!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sneak Peek holiday spot

Andi gave me an idea to show you some photos of our holiday spot in Spain. The village is called Callela and is in the North of Spain on the Costa Brava. The above photo is of a little fishing harbour just next to the village we will be going too - it's called La Franc - but Callela looks just it. We always go to the beach here. Our sons love to search for treasures in the sea and this is the perfect spot for them. They have saved their treasures in shoe boxes.

This is downtown Callela - all the houses are white and look so beautiful against the blue sky. There are flowers everywhere! We love to sit on a terras and eat, my favourite being goat's cheese salad. They have lovely little shops everywhere too.

Leaving you today with a card made from my scrap basket. Still enough in there to mix and match and punch out!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Cone flower shabby chic style

Have to say I love this cone flower stamp from Hero Arts - it is so versatile. As a room of one of my sons isn't used at the moment I have the sewing machine on a permanent spot which means I can easily sew on cards now - didn't always feel like setting the machine up every time.
The sun is still shining here and we will be organising ourselves to leave for a holiday in Spain very soon. I'm so looking forward to that!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Cone flower in white

The heat seems to be sapping inspiration as well as energy! But, again I got some ideas from the Hero Arts gallery and gave a slight vintage turn to these stamps. I used some craft paper, which I love and I also love stamping in white for a change!
Hope everybody is enjoying the summer!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Using part of a collage stamp

A couple of cards made using the collage stamp pictured. I love to frame certain parts of a stamp and see how I can use it on a card.

My second card is made using white ink for the image, which is something new I discovered on the Hero Art blog. I didn't do that very often because I couldn't find a good white inkpad.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Interactive cards - Hero Arts challenge for this week.

I don't usually make this kind of card, probably a bit too lazy!
But, as it was this week's challenge I made an effort. All the stamps are Hero Arts and I used primarily 'Aged Mahogany' distress ink, light and heavy sponging. The first photo shows the tag inside the pocket and on the second I have taken the tag out. The 'lace' is a stamp which is embossed and cut out on vellum.

This card was a total card-lift from the Hero Arts gallery. I did not have a clue what to do with these cherry blossom stamps until I saw something that looks a bit like this. I did choose completely different colours and gave it a different look, but I was happy to get some inspiration!

Another photo of my garden.
Getting alot of exercise in the swimming pool which is 30°C (86°F) at the moment!