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Monday, 31 May 2010


This post has been pinned to the top until 31 May. Please scroll down for newer posts.

Most of Stampin' Up! Fans who surf the net will probably have heard the buzz about Stampin' Up! re-vamping its colours. These changes will happen in the main in October, so there is plenty of time for you to stock up on your favourite colours before we say a fond farewell to the retiring ones.

In the meantime, get excited, get very excited about the introduction of POLKA DOT RIBBONS available right now! 1/2" Polka Dot grosgrain ribbons in Melon Mambo, Rich Razzleberry and Soft Suede at £8.95 per roll. A lovely set of Cottage Wall DSPs and Printed Window Sheets called Flower Fantasy is available for a limited period only from 1 May - 30 September while stocks last.

THREE NEW CO-ORDINATING Classic Ink Pads from the new colour range - Melon Mambo, Rich Razzleberry and Soft Suede with their co-ordinating card stocks available to purchase NOW! The Ink pads and card stock will carry forward to the new Idea Book & Catalogue in October. Contact me (click on the link in my side bar at the end of my "Welcome" note) if you wish to make a purchase, or better still book a workshop!

As you know, Stampin' Up! is reknowned for its colour palette and how well their products co-ordinate with each other. Do not despair that some of your favourites are going.

The colour families are being redefined. They will be called Brights, Neutrals, Regals, Subtles and instead of 12 colours there will be 10 in each family. To ensure the colour palette stays fresh they will be joined on the 1st October by five new In Colours, which will carry through to the following year and in 2011, five more new In colours will be added, giving us a total of 50 colours to play with.

If you study the new colour chart, you'll find that some of your favourites have been reshuffled into different group categories so do not despair!

To see the new colours click here

To see the retiring colours click here

RHS Harlow Carr

Okay, this is the last of the photos of our sojourn up North. Blessed with fantastic weather, we decided to visit the Royal Horticultural Society's gardens at Harlow Carr. This is the entrance from the car park.

We were thrilled to discover that there was a branch of Betty's Tea Rooms here too and after our walk through the gardens we had our first taste of a "fat rascal" on the terrace with this very pleasant view.

Betty's at RHS Harlow Carr also had a display of teapots which you can see more clearly in this picture.

This Primula "Margaret Martin" caught my eye as it had a rather unusual spotty stone coloured edge.

There were a profusion of tulips in tubs and exotic pots dotted around everywhere - we were lucky to catch them still thriving as its now past its best.

This is the tidiest, poshest potting shed I've ever seen!

Telephoto lens at work again - just love that thatched roof on this little hut.

A panoramic shot of this formal garden.

My Beloved surveying all around him, enjoying the tranquility and peace and quiet, sheltering from the sun in this shaded part of the garden.

Can you guess what this pile of logs represent?

I love it! It's the log-ness monster!

A drunken view of the bluebells!

Steel sculpture of an angel set back in the rockery.

Doric columns in this clearing.

We found this great "compost" bin outside Betty's Cafe right in the bowels of Harlow Carr - love the wire mesh teapot and the "tea-cup" spilling over with tulips.

I've never considered myself a photographer in the true sense of the word - but I'm rather proud of this shot - put it down to my camera with its "intelligent" feature as I just point and shoot!

Sunday, 30 May 2010


The picture above is the Royal Pump Room Museum. The actual entrance to the original pump rooms (not pictured) is now a Chinese restaurant!

We'd never been to Harrogate before, and fell in love with the Victorian architecture and the wrought iron features on the buildings. It's a spa town situated in North Yorkshire made famous for its healing waters from its sulphur wells discovered in the Victorian era.

I loved the cosmopolitan feel to Harrogate...

with its...

...street cafe culture.

Coupled with the glorious sunshine, a quartet playing wind/brass instruments plus their singer made for a perfect day!

Betty's Tea Rooms, Harrogate

No visit to Harrogate is complete without dropping in at Betty's Tea Rooms. The queues to get in were considerable. Had it not been for one of the hottest days of the year and most people staying away from the town to go to the seaside or bask in the sun, the queues would've been longer and the town much busier.

Apart from the tea room, there is also a cafe and if you pre-booked, they had a tea room upstairs where they also had a piano bar serving the same afternoon tea menu. The tea rooms served a full menu which includes a hot meal, and afternoon tea which can be ordered throughout the day.

As you walk through the entrance, to the right of the tea room, Betty's had their shop which sold an assortment of their speciality cakes and blends of tea and other delectables.

Adorning the walls of the tea room was a fabulous collection of tea pots in all different shapes and sizes.

A wonderful display of Betty's Fondant Fancy cakes and their macaroons which came in all different flavours and colours cemented our desire to sample one of their famous afternoon teas, even though it was lunch time!

These buns with cherries and almonds in it are called "fat rascals" - a cross between a rock cake and a scone. We'd never heard of them before till now - our daughter asked us to bring some back for her on our return journey.

Drooling over the fancy cakes in the window.

...and finally sitting down to have our tea...

...food at last - taking the weight off our feet and sheltering from the mid-day sun. I was beaming from ear to ear!

Nidd Hall

This is Nidd Hall, one of the Warner Leisure Hotel chains for adults only, converted stately homes with meals and entertainment laid on plus gym/spa facilities and beauty treatments too, if you wished to take advantage of it. It was our "home" while we were away. This time last week, we were still there having a much needed rest from the daily grind.

Hubby caught unawares - telephoto lenses are brilliant devices! Enjoying the sunshine sitting on the terrace at Nidd Hall after a face stuff - full English breakfast...and the rest! A daily offering during our stay, with an a la carte dinner menu included - a complete rest from cooking yay! Got a shock though when I weighed myself - eek, back on diet.:(

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Inspiring Inkin' Challenge # 28 Sketch Challenge

This fortnight's challenge is a sketch challenge using the sketch above. The side twist was to use retiring Stampin' Up! colours.

Here's my card. I used Sage Green, Blush Blossom and Almost Amethyst all from the Soft Subtles family. I'm really sad that these three are going as I love these pastel shades. I used the Sage Green for my card base, Blush Blossom to mat on with the Almost Amethyst as the top layer which I stamped with French Filligree in versamark, used heat & stick to fix the Dazzling Diamonds as my background pattern.

I used a variety of circle punches to punch some retired DSP, spritzed with my own concotion of isopropanol and Champagne Mist shimmer paint which were then scrunched up and left to partially dry and then teased out to make the floral centre. The layers were secured with a filligree brad and raised on dimensionals attached to the Blush Blossom circular mat. The card didn't look "dressed" without any ribbon, so I tucked a tiny piece of Whisper White taffeta underneath the large Blush Blossom circle and finished the card by adding the sentiment in the bottom right corner.


Stamps: Tiny Tags, French Filligree
Ink: Cameo Coral, Sage Shadow, Versamark
Papers: Blush Blossom, Sage Shadow, Almost Amethyst, Whisper White, scraps of Wintergreen DSP (retired)
Accessories: Scallop circle punch, 1", 1 1/4", 1 3/8", 1 3/4" circle punches,word window punch, heat & stick powder, Dazzling Diamonds, heat tool, sponge daubers, dimensionals, Champagne Mist shimmer paint, square scallop punch, Whisper White taffeta ribbon, filligree brad

Friday, 28 May 2010

Nursery Necessities, Fox & Friends

Now you've "met" our latest addition to the family, he had us guessing as to when he'd make an appearance, so in the confusion, I didn't have time to make him a card and bought one instead. Tsk! Tsk! I promised to make one but events kind of overtook me and it wasn't until we went to visit recently that my daughter reminded me that I'd forgotten! So almost 7 weeks later, little Ethan finally got his card even though it meant staying up late on the eve of our departure to finish it!

This is the inside.


Stamps: Nursery Necessities, Fox & Friends, Occasionally, Curvy Verses
Ink: Bashful Blue
Papers: Whisper White, Bashful Blue, Real Red
Accessories: Scallop circle punch, 1 3/8" circle punch, scallop edge punch, snips, playground buttons, linen thread, Bashful Blue gingham ribbon, die cut letters non-SU, tombow

Our new grandson

Introducing our new grandson - he's almost two months old and just adorable! Most babies are, but when it's yours, you can't help but be biased!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Vintage Vogue, Tiny Tags, Dot Dot Dot, Flower Accent

I used the stamping off technique to lighten the colour whilst inking the Flower Accent stamp, inked the Dot Dot Dot stamp in Almost Amethyst which was kissed then rocked directly on the AA ink pad before stamping on to Whisper white card stock. I then cut the flower out leaving a tiny white border.

Again using the stamping off technique, I tackled the two floral images from Vintage Vogue and applied Frost white Shimmer paint to it with a sponge dauber and left it to dry.

I decorated the wide Whisper White strip with an image from Tiny Tags and adhered this as illustrated in the picture. The flowers were then layered and attached with rhinestone brads. The Flower Accent had a clear button attached with crystal effects, the sentiment was stamped in the bottom right and finally Whisper White satin ribbon tied at the top.

Stamp: Vintage Vogue, Tiny Tags, Dot Dot Dot, Flower Accent
Ink: Almost Amethyst
Paper: Whisper White, Almost Amethyst
Accessories: Circle Ice rhinestone brads, clear button, white satin ribbon, Frost white shimmer paint, sponge dauber, dimensionals, snips, crystal effects

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