Sunday, November 30, 2008


The weather is so nice today I could have crafted outdoors. Just looking at the thermometer in the sun it was 28 °C. which is 82.4F.

I did a little crafting today using up some scraps from my scrap basket, this is nice and quick to do with a square punch.

This little card is for the Saterday workout challenge which was mosaïc - I would never have thought of placing an image over the grid, but got some inspiration from the entries. So thanks for the inspiration!

Yesterday I was with DH on invitation at a small church to the west, direction Atlantic Ocean from where we live. I managed to get some shots of the Pyrenee mountains which seperate France from Spain. The landscape was beautiful. If you click on the photos you can see the mountain range quite clearly.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A vintage hanger

I made this little vintage hanger for friends in Holland - they just got blessed with their second little girl, hence the picture of the two little girls on the image. I stamped the image (see little picture on the right - it is an Anna Griffin stamp from the Rose collection) on glossy paper with embossing ink from Rangers, let it dry and then sponged over the top with distress inks - broken china, walnut stain and shabby shutters.

How I love these inks. I then rubbed over the top with a tissue to smoothen out the lines. I have a sentiment stamp 'Dream a little dream' that I received once with an order from Crafty Individuals and I use it alot - it kind of gives me a satisfied 'finished' feeling to a card.

I was also happy to see my inchie-arch in the latest Stampers Sampler but not only that, in the same category were cards from my blogging friends too - Louise and Suzanne - a big congrats!! If you click on their names you can see their work.

Art Creations Friday

The ACF challenge blog provided a grey background to work with this week. I deleted my first card and started again. I think I prefer this card because the background needed a different approach. It's a bit abstract, but that's collage.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Art Creations Friday

Thanks Sue (Suzanne's stamping spot) for the heads up about a new Friday challenge blog which can be found here. I am very late but I couldn't resist crafting with this gorgeous image, so love the colours of her dress!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy news!

Yes, I'm posting twice on one day, but I have to tell you my happy news! This morning I got a lovely surprise when I opened my e-mail and literally jumped for joy. I had won a plate of vintage Christmas Yuletide Blessing stamps from Nancy from Sugar Lump Studios. The challenge was to make a Yuletide arch.

My second lovely news is that the card below won second place in the latest Hero Arts techniques week. I so wanted to win too!! I can now go shopping for 25 dollars. I feel so blessed!!

I also was so encouraged by the visitors to my blog for my distressed window arch post - thank you all SO much!!

Snow in Belgium

I was in Belgium this weekend. DH René and I were invited by a church to give a seminar on 'How to have a happy, sucessful christian marriage, applying Biblical principles.
We stayed at a beautiful bed and breakfast in Herzel for the weekend which was a gift from the church and here are some pictures. It was very cold as it decided to snow on the day we left France!
On our way back home we had to wait for two hours in the aircraft before the landing stroke was cleaned and safe enough to transport us home. It was quite a rocky take-off and I was squeezing René's arm all through it!
We had a wonderful time!!


I love these photos of the garden of our Bed and Breakfast!

Taken inside the house.

This was our breakfast on Sunday morning - such a beautiful array!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A distressed vintage arched window

I have to mention a couple of names which should have been on my last blog post, so a big HI to Deborah in Canada, Lin in Ohio and Ros in the U.K. who also visit my blog. Thanks so much!

When I was in Holland a friend of mine gave me a pack of arched window cards in white. I didn't know what to do with them at first until suddenly the idea of this collage was born. I distressed the arch with vintage photo and weathered wood.

I realised that the lady on this card is the same one as the card I posted on Tuesday. I used the beautiful swirl stamps from Inkadinkado which I received from Suzanne as a RAK - they are really lovely stamps - they don't seem to stain from ink and are very thick which gives a crisp image. I am really very happy with them!

While I was waiting outside with David, my son who gets picked up in a special bus every day for school, I was awestruck when I looked at the mountains. They were covered with a pink reddish glow from the morning sunrise, and it was around 7:45. I had to get it on picture. Click on the photo to see it larger what I often see in my back garden.

Monday, November 17, 2008

From the heart

I have had a couple of blog awards lately and in the past, but never keep the rules - I can be very rebellious with rules.. I have never repaid the compliment but thought probably I should do.. from the heart so here are five people whose presence I really appreciate in the blogging and Internet creative world.

- Most expressive personality - that would have to be Andi (RrlScrapGal). I am a fan of her journalism, she has a way with words and expression of speech that is unbeatable! Very often she makes my day just by dropping by my blog! I love her unique creative style too.

- Most consistant blogger - that would have to be Louise. I never click on her blog to find it missing something new, original and vintagy! She is always there with a new creation that is lovely to look at and she makes me 'feel at home'.

- Most detailed creative blogger - that would have to be Suzanne who I met via the Hero Arts website Flikr gallery. Her cards have so many stunning details! I love visiting her blog!

- Most inspiring blogger - that would have to be Shari Caroll. Everytime I look at her work I get inspired to create! Her colour choices, techniques, embellishments, style and layouts are just so inspirational!

- Most newly found blogger - I recently discovered Kiara's work, she has a blog called the Stamping Cafe and I felt drawn to her cards. She must have a continual fresh supply of inks, papers, string and embellishments to produce such lovely cards each and every time!!

I don't have an award with rules to give to you - just to say THANK YOU for being there and helping me be part of a world I just love to express myself in!

Just finishing this post with a vintage card. At times vintage is the only style that attracts me, and I think the colours will always be part of the art I love.
Thanks for those that still visit me - Myriame in Belgium, Paula in the U.K., Paula in Florida, Tania in Belgium; Sylvie in France, Pam, Michelle, Kim and Nancy in the US and the many others who have left me a little word of encouragement - so appreciate it!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Staying with the techniques week at Hero Art

Another card made for the techniques challenge. I used real flowers from my Hortensia plant, which were quite dry already but will probably get a bit wrinkled and browner on the card! I love the technique of resist embossing, but it would have taken it a stage further if I had ironed off the embossing powder to create the Batik effect, which I think would have been more effective.

Another card using a stamp from tin can mail - haven't used this stamp very much but here I had an opportunity.

Just including another photo of a shot taken here in our little village. Most of the windows have shutters which protect against sun but also close at night. I can't imagine living in a house without them now. The walls of houses are also extremely thick to preserve a cool interior in the summer.

(photo made by Margreet van Straalen 2007)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Techniques week at Hero Arts

I didn't know how pretty this blog template was until I tumbled across this blog - please check it out! Louise has a little shoppe!

This is another card I made following the tecniques this week at the Hero Arts blogsite. It is so inspiring to see what the other ladies make too!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hero arts - techniques week

Shari Caroll is a very inspiring artist from Hero Arts. She is sharing this week on techniques. You can find it here.

This week's challenge at the Hero arts blog is working different techniques into your cards. This card is made with distress inks on acetate, spray water and place your card over the top, heat dry and continue until all the ink is on the cardstock. Then stamp over the top to make your card.

This is done by using versamark on glossy paper, dry ink first, then sponge over the image with distress inks to reveal the pattern. I like this technique alot!

I have changed my blog again - I wanted a lighter blog and just couldn't find something I was at peace with. Now I have a very simple model but it suits me for the moment.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


It is so beautiful at the moment to be outside among the vineyards - I had to share! Please click on the photos to see them larger.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Inspired by Julie

The challenge at Hero Arts this week was to make a card inspired by one of the chosen artists of each day. Julie is an artist who always inspires me but to copy her style is very, very difficult! I gave it a go.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

It seems a long time ago...

... that I shared on my blog. Got back from Holland yesterday evening where DH and I had a super time! Well, happy we even landed in the Netherlands last friday after a very BUMPY flight. We were warned that there were heavy head winds but I didn't expect to hold on to my seat for twenty minutes while the plane shook like crazy!
We had rain and cold weather the whole time we were there!

Our son was baptized on sunday and it was a great day, also seeing a lot of our dear friends who we haven't seen for such a long time.
It was René, his dad who is here on the left, before and after Joel is immersed in water. God has done a wonderful work in our family.

(Photo made by Margreet van Straalen 2007)

I have received three lovely photos of places in our village which were taken by friends of ours when they visited us in the summer. This is in the garden of a small bed and breakfast. Why I love it is because it is so typical French! I will be sharing the other two later on.

I tried a card with versamark and chalks today. It's the HA design block. I've been feeling totally out of inspiration for a while now, I think it's because I'm just too busy with other exiting things!

I received a lovely e-mail which I am quoting here about the bird picture I posted on my last blog entry. Andi thought it was a fancy woodpecker (alot of people thought the same) but this is what it is:

Hi, I just LOVE your blog...I read it every day! I loved the bird picture...I love to go "birding" but have never seen anything like this in the USA!! It is a Hoopoe (Upupa Epops) an old world woodland bird! I had to look it up. Thanks for sharing, and keep making your lovely cards!!! Kathie from California