Sunday, 10 December 2017

December Chill

Well here is my last postcard for The Craft Barn's Twelve Month Challenge based on Sara Coleridge's poem The Months.  

I have to admit I was a bit stuck with sleet, fire and treat and couldn't decide what to do until I saw Jane's with her winter scene and it reminded me I had this beautiful PSX Winter Village stamp.   It's ended up framed on a wall behind the Oak House Studio Christmas Tree.

I bought a blank calendar from Papermilldirect and have just photographed  December's postcard on the page. I think I will matt all my postcards to fill the space a little more.  Then the hard decision is whether to give it someone for Christmas or just keep it for myself.   Here are my 12 months altogether.

I do love year long challenges as it makes you finish the whole year and I really love how this has turned out.   Thank you to The Craft Barn for organising the challenge and for everyone who has visited my blog and left such lovely comments.

Keep safe and warm everyone and Merry Christmas!

Elaine xx

Friday, 17 November 2017

UK Stampers Challenge

Just had chance to get some stamping done this week so here are my Inchies and ATCs for the UK Stampers Challenge on Facebook.  For both the theme is Anything Goes so I've gone wintery and Christmassy as they will be swapped come the beginning of December.

The Inchies were made with a set of stamps free with a magazine - the buildings, the boy with his sledge and santa with the reindeer were just the right size for inchies.  I've just added some blue sky and white snow.  I've also added these into the A Vintage Journey Mini Marvels Challenge where the project has to be less than 4 inches!

For the ATCs I've used my  Oak House Studio stamps - the fir branch, the sentiment and one of the firework stamps gold embossed to create a patterned bauble.  They are all finished with Stickles to add that Christmassy sparkle.

Hope you like and thanks for visiting.  I'm looking forward to seeing my swaps in return!!

Elaine xx

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Dull November

I'm not sure where the year is going - November already but at last I've made my next postcard for The Craft Barn's Twelve Month Challenge based on Sara Coleridge's poem The Months.  

It mentions dull so what could be better than Tim Holtz's Brolly Man stamp on a dull bluey-grey distress background with rain drops.   Really mad too as I have a cheap clear stamp which I have used a lot but this time his brolly has torn...grrr!   Anyway to finish this off I've got my old leaf punches out and used up some odd bits of inked card.  He was supposed to be ankle deep but he is a little too big for the postcard so he's knee deep in leaves!!

Anyway hope you like and thanks for visiting.  I can't believe we only have one more month to go!!

Elaine xx

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Woodland Agate Necklace

As well as getting inky and making cards etc I've now started making jewellery and opened a shop on Etsy called Kettle Courtyard.   Over the years I've amassed a selection of beads, and whilst some are definitely for me, I'd like to share with the rest of you!

Here is one of my latest creations made with some beads from Beads Direct - I was lucky enough to win their Woodland themed giveaway on facebook.  It features some brown agate nuggets teamed with shaded green beads and other rounds called Orange Tweed!

The question here is what to charge for such a necklace.  I decided on £20 - you may think this is too much when the beads were free but what you don't realise is how much design time and actual construction time this took.  To be honest it took me about 4hrs to decide what to do, get the length and balance right and make sure it was as perfect as possible.  That time doesn't include the photography and the long walk I took to find the right shaped twig as the prop.

I am not sure what you think when you look at an object and the price but please don't forget the time it has taken to get it on your screen and the amount of love that has been put into it!

Elaine xx

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Anything Goes!

Just had chance to have a play and made my Inchies and ATCs for the UK Stampers Forum swaps on Facebook.   For both, the theme is Anything Goes and you would think this would be easy but I find it too wide, dither for a long time and then eventually make something.  I guess you can never please everybody with a definite theme but it would save me dithering !!

So for the Inchies I have used the same floral stamp from the Inkadinkadoo Special Occasions set, inked in six different colours and clear embossed them.  I dug out my box of Twinkling H20s and painted them.  I'm sure we all buy too many colouring mediums but you can't beat H20s for their shine.  Well they shine in real life - you can just about see it in the photo!!

For the ATCs the background is a mix of Citrus Lime and Peacock Green spray inks and I've gone for a more autumnal feel.   I've inked card in a mix of greens, browns and oranges, clear embossed my Oak House Studio Leaves and then inked over the top to show off the veins etc.  They are just cut out and some typed words added.

I did actually make these yesterday but the sky went dark and orange.  This morning was just the same but the sun has now come out so I could take the photos.  Hope you like and thanks for visiting.

Elaine xx

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

October Pheasants

Here is my next postcard for The Craft Barn's Twelve Month Challenge which is based on Sara Coleridge's poem The Months.   The month is October and the two lines are about nuts and pheasants.

Another thought provoking one as I don't have any pheasant stamps and I didn't want to do another blue sky/green grass scene.  So clip art saved the day and I printed off this one and cut him out.  Just think a pheasant strutting about in the long grass inside a walled garden.   I've inked through a brickwork stencil with Amber Clay and Creamy Brown Chalk Inks, cut grass out of some green and inked card and finished with the poem. 

Not very technique laden and no stamping but I hope you like. Thanks for visiting and your comments - they are always much appreciated.

Elaine x

Monday, 2 October 2017

Kettle Courtyard

Not much papercraft and stamping to show you today but I have been busy.  Now if you are anything like me ....well I like colour and pretty things and can spend hours in a stationary shop etc.  I have hoards of coloured card from Papermilldirect in every colour of the sun and I also love beads as they are so shiny.

I decided I really ought to use some of it and so have just opened an Etsy Shop.   It's called KETTLE COURTYARD - one because my surname is Kettle, secondly I like alliteration and thirdly I hope it will be like walking around a courtyard of different shops ..... so some jewellery, some handmade cards, some mixed media art and some target art.   Here's a selection so far:

Turquoise Spike Earrings

Gold Spike Necklace

Tiger's Eye and Topaz Crystals

Purple Jade and Glass Pearls

Aim is the Key

Some of you may not know but I've been a target shooter for 28yrs - I like to think I might get better at it one day...    So the targets have been shot, the bullet cases used and perfectly safe and I've just added motivational words.

It's early days but I'm hoping to get more goodies made to put in my shop. Please take a walk around the courtyard and tell me what you think.  Here is the link  KETTLE COURTYARD.

Many thanks

Elaine  xx

Monday, 11 September 2017

Shooting on the Moors

Here's my next postcard for The Craft Barn's Twelve Month Challenge based on Sara Coleridge's poem - for September we can add a shooter if we want.

Well I had a good think about this one and decided I had to use my Whitby Abbey stamp (from Crafty Individuals) - I love this stamp mainly because I've been doing my family history and my family were here in the 1760s!!    Also I'm a target shooter so had to include a shooter - I just used clipart again, printed him on the card and then cut my postcard round him.    The background is just blended inks with added purple heather on the moors and I've stamped a few bushes and trees in the foreground.   As ever it's finished with the two lines of the poem for September.

Hope you like and thanks for commenting - it's much appreciated!

Elaine xx

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Harvest Time

Here's my August postcard for The Craft Barn's Twelve Month Challenge based on Sara Coleridge's poem The Months.   Not only do we have to include the two lines from the poem but also a tractor......thank goodness for clipart!!

The scenic background is created using Distress Stains - Salty Ocean, Mowed Lawn and Wild Honey - and I've just used a small tree stamp for the field hedge and beech tree.   I printed out the tractor, sheaves of corn and the words and then just added them.  It probably took me half and hour in total but a week or so to get started!!

I can't believe we are in August already - that's 8 months of postcards already so I thought I'd add the first half of the year.  Not only does it prove I like doing scenes, but also I'm stuck with blue, green, red and yellow!

Anyway thanks for visiting and leaving a comment - it's always nice to know someone is actually reading this!

Elaine xx

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

July Swaps

Well I've had chance to do a little more crafting.  I've joined in the Inchie and ATC challenges on the UK Stampers Forum Facebook group - both themes are 'Anything Goes' for the July swaps.

I do enjoy making inchies - maybe because it's a challenge to find things to fit.  I ended up buying a job lot of Inkadinkadoo Inchie stamps off ebay so I now have plenty of small scale stamps.  The first is a set of 6 Inchies using some Birthday stamps, stamped in black and then coloured with pink, red and yellow markers.  

The three ATCs I've made as a set but you don't have to.  I started by colouring card with a selection of spray inks and then stamped the Punky Flower stamps (Chocolate Baroque) with Deep Purple Archival.  I've had this set a while but only used 2-3 of the stamps so thought the rest needed to be inked.  I've just added words printed from the computer in an old typewriter style font.

That's two posts already this month - I'm doing well!!   Thanks for visiting and for leaving comments - they are much appreciated.

Elaine xx

Thursday, 6 July 2017

July Postcard

Well I've just finished 58 exams over the last 7 weeks and now I'm playing catch-up - trying to get to the bottom of the ironing pile and doing some crafting too!  Here's my postcard for The Craft Barn's Twelve Month Challenge based on Sara Coleridge's poem - for July we have to add a gillyflower.

For the Apricot part of the poem I went for an apricot background - a mix of Citrus Yellow and Citrus Orange Spray inks.   It seems a gillyflower belongs to the stock family so stocks, carnations or wallflowers.  I decided this art nouveau style flower looks like a carnation (Punky Flowers by Chocolate Baroque) so I've stamped it with Onyx Black Versafine and clear embossed it.  I've added bricks to the background so if you don't think this is a carnation then at least call it a "wall flower".  I seriously couldn't fit in the showers so ignored that bit!!

Hope you like and thanks for visiting are always welcome.

Elaine xx

Friday, 23 June 2017

June Bouquet

Seriously short of time and inclination at the moment - I invigilate at the local school and have done 45 exams in the last 5 weeks.  Luckily only 1 week to go and then I may be able to stay awake in the evenings and do something!!  Anyway this afternoon I've had chance to make my postcard for The Craft Barn's Twelve Month Challenge based on Sara Coleridge's poem.

The background is just blended inks overstamped with a Lace Kaisercraft Stamp in Vermillion Red.  The posy mentioned in the poem has turned into a bouquet as it's the only stamp I had with tulips - it's a Stampendous one.  Please do not look closely at the colouring - there are splodges where they shouldn't be.  My excuse is that I am tired, in a rush and my DH decided to try and mend the curtain rail behind me........

Anyway it's done and ready to go in my calendar.   Thanks for popping by and sorry there has not been much for you to see.  Another week and I will have the summer to myself .....and then the weather will change!!

Elaine xx

Thursday, 11 May 2017

The Month of May

Back again with my postcards for The Craft Barn's Twelve Month Challenge which is based on Sara Coleridge's poem.  I spent most of April decorating my lounge which meant I had to pack all my craft stuff away and so I missed entering last month but I've had chance to make it now.

April's Challenge was all about primroses and daffodils so I've simply added some bright yellow/orange daisies to an inky background and then finished with the lines from the poem.

May is about lambs and this is another month where I have no suitable stamp.  As ever the trusty internet came through and I found this cute image of a lamb.  I just printed him on some card and flipped the image and printed some smaller ones for the distance.   The background is coloured with Distress Stains, some blobs for hedges and I used a grass stamp at the front.

Am I the only one that thinks the natural world has changed - Sara Coleridge died in 1852 so the poem is well over 160yrs old - but lambs should be April and the lines for June are all about tulips which are well and truly over in my garden.  Don't get me wrong, it's a lovely poem but it doesn't seem to fit the modern world these days.   Anyway thanks for popping by and leaving comments - they are very much appreciated.

Elaine x

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Inchies & ATCs

A quiet week this week so thought I'd have a play.  I've made some ATCs and Inchies for the UK Stampers Challenge on Facebook.

The theme for the Inchies is "Anything Goes" which is just as well as all my stamps seem very large.  Having had a good rummage I decided to use a mixture of Crafty Individuals foliage stamps with added insects.   I've used Onyx Black Versafine , Archival Emerald Green for the foliage and Monarch Orange for the Butterflies.  I've just added some extra colour and shine with sparkle pens.

The theme for the ATCs is "Butterflies"  so I've used Oak House Studio's Butterflies and words and added the same Crafty Individuals foliage stamps.  The inked card for both I found in my bit box.....which is overflowing!!
Hope you like both sets and if you fancy joining in then look on Facebook for the UK Stampers Forum.  Inchies are great fun but seriously small  .....anyone got any inchie size sets of stamps they can recommend?   Please let me know and thanks for looking.
Elaine xx

Sunday, 30 April 2017


Well where did April go?   I do apologise for not blogging but I've not actually been doing any crafting although I have been painting on a much bigger scale. 

We ordered a new settee in January and I was hoping DH would re-decorate the lounge before it arrived.   He was obviously far too busy at work so I've spent the last 3 weeks emptying cupboards, moving furniture, painting the lounge and then putting it all back again.   As my crafting space was the corner of the room and half the dining table it all had to get packed away.  I still have some white gloss to do but the end is in sight and I can get back to creating.

Lynnda (from Oak House Studio) and her DH visited yesterday and she kindly brought me back a boxful of my samples that I've made over the years - I think these are all recent Hochanda TV ones.  She obviously thinks I have some spare space!!  Seeing them all together I obviously went for bold colours and quite a lot of orange surprisingly.

I'm not sure what to do with them - maybe find a big frame and put the best  in there.  At least then they'll be on display and brighten up a  room somewhere.  Good memories too!

Anyway hope you are all enjoying the Bank Holiday weekend and hopefully I will get back to entering a few challenges again.

Elaine xx

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Mad March Hare

Here is my next postcard for the Craft Barn's Twelve Month Challenge based on Sara Coleridge's poem The Months but we have to add a Hare!   Seriously I thought I had loads of stamps but Hares so I've had to improvise once again!!

The background is a blended mix of Oak House Studio Pigment Inks and the tree is actually an inked embossing folder as that was the only tree that looked a bit windswept!  Again I searched the internet for nice images of hares - there are some really horrible ones out there - and just printed onto card and blended with brown ink.   The dancing daffs are a free stamp with a magazine, embossed in gold and coloured with Tombow markers.  I've obviously added the two lines from the poem to finish.

My friend Lynnda has decided to retire the Oak House Studio brand so if you have enjoyed seeing my makes with her stamps, pure inks and ink pads over the last 10yrs and haven't bought yet, then now is the time to do so.  Everything on the Oak House Studio website is reduced until 17th March so get a move on!!

Thanks for visiting my blog and for your encouraging comments!!

Elaine xx

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Spring Inchies

I've had chance to make a few Inchies today.  I decided to join in the Inchie Swap on the UK Stampers Forum - I know I've made Inchies in the past but I'd forgotten how fiddly they can be!!

The swap is for a set of 6 so I drew a grid, blended on some Spring Green Ink and overstamped this with  the English Garden Text stamp in Emerald Green Archival. 

I've gone for a set of spring flowers so the daffs, snowdrop and lily are from a set of stamps free with a magazine and the crocus is an old Elusive Images one.  They're just gold and silver embossed, coloured with markers and then cut out....the hard bit!!

Hope you like and thanks for looking!!
Elaine x


Nothing new from me yet and this week is going to be fun as I'm in school all week invigilating mock exams which means no time to create.  It does however mean I will have some money for new stash!! I do like Brushos and quite fancy these Infusions from Paperartsy as something a little different.  I quite fancy Green Man and the Terracotta one too.  The Craft Barn are giving away a set as Blog Candy so pop over and have a look!

Back later with my March postcard for the Sara Coleridge Months Challenge and I hope to get some Inchies done for the UK Stampers Forum Swap on facebook. 
Elaine x 

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

February Rain

I apologise for the lack of posting but I think Mr Mojo went away at Christmas and hasn't come back yet!!  I was planning on entering lots of challenges but none have inspired me. 

I have made my next postcard for The Craft Barn's Twelve Month Challenge which is based on Sara Coleridge's poem plus we have to add a Cherub and a Heart.

I have to admit I'm not keen on cherubs and have no suitable stamps so have hand drawn and watercoloured this image which I thought went well with the rainy theme.  When I say hand drawn I mean traced off clipart!!  I've silver embossed the wings to liven him/her up.   The background is a mix of Distress Inks - Stormy Sky and Faded Jeans with a hint of Wilted Violet - and then water flicked at it for the water drops.  I used a heart stamp (three times) to create the umbrella, drew the handle and then finished with the lines from the poem.

Hopefully the weather will improve soon, the sun will come out and I'll feel more like creating.  Thanks for visiting and commenting - it's always much appreciated!

Elaine xx

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Twelve Month Challenge

Over at The Craft Barn the new Twelve Month Challenge is based on Sara Coleridge's poem Twelve Months but with a twist.   This month is obviously the two lines for January but we have to add a Bird on a Wellington Boot.

As with any new challenge that lasts for a year the first one sets the style.  I've decided to carry on with postcard (A6) size pieces, add the theme and  printed poem.  Papermilldirect sell blank calendars so I thought I would wait till they start selling their 2018 ones and then add my art so for next year I should have a lovely personalised calendar to either keep or give as a gift.  That's the idea anyway!!

So for January I've drawn a pair of wellies and a couple of robins and created a snowy icy background for them.  Very apt as today in Sussex snow is forecast.   I've used a set of stamps that came free with Simply Cards magazine I think - a spotty one I've embossed with Holographic Super Sparkle powder to give that icy look and the bare winter trees stamped in Versafine Onyx Black.  The sky is a mix of Waterfall and Blue Jeans Pure Colour Inks from Oak House Studio.

Thanks for visiting and for any comments you leave.  I'm off to see what everyone else has created and oh yes, stay in and keep warm.

Elaine x