When I saw the theme 'Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside' of  That Craft Place  I first thought that would be really easy. That day I had read several challenge blogs, and had gone through my stash and put stuff ready around various themes that appealed to me. I am used to taking one card at the time, and so after I had finished the first card, I was totally overwhelmed at the thought of all these other ones, I had complete crafter's block. It was clear I was going to use the boat - a base card from HunkyDory, but I started to think a boat is quite different from the seaside as such, and doubt crept in.

The same happened for the other cards I had planned, and I was really dissatisfied as I went into the night. I lay awake pondering, and by morning this card was designed. It still took a while to get around to actually making it, but here it is.

Since over at Quirky Crafts  the theme is to build a scene, I thought this would fit perfectly as well, so I am entering their challenge too.

I find these challenges really do stretch me, and make me learn at a much faster pace than I otherwise would.

Some of you know how scared I was of using my Promarkers. Well, here's my second try. I particularly like the way I have been able to put in the textures of the rocks underneath the lighthouse. I wish I had taken a close-up of it now, might still add one later.

I did post a close-up of the name of the boat: Happy Birthday, and for good reason. PanPastels have Happy Birthday as their theme. On the paper I cut the beach gear out of there was this tiny lettering with almost each picture, and this happy birthday one on its own. It is so small it could only be used as detail, and I pondered how I could do it to fit the scene. Using it like this on the boat seemed just perfect. If I would have any chance at all of winning this one, the prize of  a PanPastel trial pack would be the perfect addition to my still tiny, but gradually growing, stash.

One thing that was completely new to me was working outside of the base card. The boat is the only card that opens up, it is stuck on single card as background. It is a sign of slowly growing confidence that I have ventured into doing this. When I saw the 'Alter It' challenge at Lisa Somerville's  I thought I would leave that one for what it was. And then I found myself making this card and thinking: 'Hey, that's altered.' So I went back to her blog to see if it would fit, and I feel I can safely say Icreated the card for the Bloggers Challenge Alter It Challenge.

The Drunken Stampers  are looking for new in a different way, using something that is new to your stash. Well, as I said the Promarkers are, but I did use them once before, just a teeny weeny bit. But the beach gear is from a 12X12 I was sent by a friend when I was recently in hospital. I did have some of those as backing paper, just floral or abstract. A lot of the ones she sent me were much more specific, and this is one of those. So I looked for different ways of using those as well. That should qualify this card for that challenge too.

You know what I said about the anything goes theme, it being so broad I would not know where to start. Well, there is another one on the go at Poodles Parlour. It looks as if there is an unwritten rule to use a digi stamp. That would be another first for me, I am building up to it, but nowhere on their site can I find any rule or information that says you have to, and I thought this card has brought so many different elements together it would suit the anything goes very well. So I hope this entry will be accepted.

It is probably needless to say by now, but this card too is going to Jackie Newport's fund for Charmaine and Maddie, who live with cystic fibrosis. A facebook page will be set up soon to support this fund. I will pass on the link as soon as I have got it.

Even though this was a relatively simple and very enjoyable card to make, for the very first time since I have started this crafting, I really ran into my dyspraxia wall.

Having chosen the elements, stuck, dusted and cut the butterflies, and prepared the base card, to go ahead and stick the butterflies on, I then wanted to go and embellish. I had dark blue stars and sequins, and brightish blue roses, and I wanted to stick them on with glue gel. It's always difficult to use this, as there is no cap to put on the end of the tube, so the glue dries up into it. So far though, I have always overcome it with some fiddling and sheer force. 

This time I was beaten by a tube of glue! The thing with dyspraxia is the emotional response that goes with it. The more I read about it, now that our boy has been diagnosed with it, the more I realise I am not alone with this and never should have been. Anyway, the card went flying across the room, and all the embellishments followed behind it.

This morning, as I gathered my courage to get back to it, they seemed to have disappeared. The card was there, but all the fancy bits are missing. Time for a reshuffle. It has turned out more simple, but possibly also more effective.

As I told Emma, one of my dear facebook friends, a great craft talent always ready to support, advise and care, I very much liked this theme of her very first ever challenge: shades of blue. I like the look of monochrome cards anyway, and blue has always been one of my favourite colours. So this one is for Emma's challenge, with which I wish her every success!

Challenge up your Life  happen to have monochrome as their new theme as well. So obviously this card will be entered in theirs too.

Because of the embellishments, and particularly how they came to be there as they are, I am also entering this card in the stamp man's embellishment challenge.

The stamping sisters in christ  are all about Love. When I designed this card it just so happened I had in mind exactly what is described in that challenge as well. That is why I added 'With Love' to a blue card, rather than being focussed on red. When feeling blue, just that little word can work wonders. So that fits nicely into their challenge too.

That closely resembles the thought behind crafty ann's challenge Love is in the Air. There is also this realisation that love is about more than Valentine's alone. So that's another one I am taking part in with this card.

So, a lot of challenges for just one card. Let's hope it is successful.





So to really set a challenge, Crafty Bloggers Network  decided on the theme Oriental. You would be surprised how hard that is, and I really needed the design team's examples for inspiration this time. This card has been cooking in my mind for so long, that the next one I had lined up to make has gone past its date now. I even had a sleepless night where my mind kept going to this oriental card.

I had plenty of stuff. The HunkyDory card shape immediately jumped out at me as having Eastern style. i also have loads of peel-offs that fit the theme. My crafty facebook friends all keep sending parcels of crafty stash, for which I am extremely grateful! Sylvia's had included several oriental ones, in different colours. But how to put it all together?! I scoured google images for inspiration, and saw things I liked, but beyond me to create.

Then when tidying around our kitchen I came across these cards, one of which I cut up to use. Once that decision was made, the card kind of made itself. Phew!

Fingers crossed now that it will be approved of and liked.

While I am at it I've decided also to enter it in the Ditzy-Craftymess Challenge . I find Anything Goes such an overwhelming theme, I think the history of this card suits it.