Friday, 21 October 2011

Haarlem October 2011

Hello again

This post is all about my daughter's 13th birthday in Holland and about the Stampin' Up Technique University which I go to once a month.

This layout was done in last month's class but I hadn't got round to doing anything with it. It's a 12 x 12 layout and I don't have an album for these yet but looks like I'll have to now.Since my daughter and I went to Holland last weekend to celebrate her 13th birthday, I had the photos in my mind and handy, so I just printed some out and used these layouts. I tried to get the colours in the right sector, so I was glad about that. Unfortunately it looks like this 'fancy' i-phone I've got now, doesn't take good photos, so I'll try to be organised and have a proper camera to take my next post's photos.
This layout was created last wednesday i.e October 19th. I just added the 13 candle shapes from a new cartridge I have, called Sweet Treats. All I can say is that it looks better in real life, especially with the fabric 'yo-yos' or Suffolk Puffs as I'm supposed to call them in this country apparently. The fabric is from the Stampin' Up new range of fat quarters and all papers (other than the 13) are also Stampin' Up papers. The top photo, Maggie took herself as she'd just tried some of the lipstick she got from a friend as a present for her birthday. the other photo is of her on a canal side just down the road from our hotel in Haarlem - very nice icecream and location.

We also made these cards on October 19th - it was a busy night! Helen (the Stampin' Up demonstrator) is very particular and we had to sew the concertina flower together, as that prevents it from falling apart in years to come when any glue breaks down. A good idea as such but not really necessary with a card but I'm not complaining as she's trying to show us techniques, which is the whole aim of the classes. The father Christmas card is great - his beard is actually made from an embossed Christmas decoration punch and his moustache is from a 'bird' punch - very ingenious and effective.

Although we only actually stamped one tiny stamp all night, that doesn't bother me - it's all fun crafting things and that's the fun for me.

I need to make envelopes for the cards but I haven't had time as we're going away on holiday tomorrow, so I've only just managed to squeeze in time to get this blog done. I'm just glad I got to do the scrap pages tonight and I've also made Maggie a pair of pyjamas this week too, so it's been as busy as ever.

Take care out there

Sunday, 16 October 2011

My baby is a teenager!

Hello there

Yes that's right, my little girl is a teenager on October 15th. That makes me rather old but that's not up for discussion at the moment :-)
I could easily have made her a card with either a MP3 player, clothes, handbags or a mobile phone on it but I wanted to go back to basics sort of thing and make a pretty, colourful card instead. I got my inspiration in the end from Lisa Houpt from a scrapbook page she had in the August 2011 Cricut magazine. I was attracted by the layers, country feel and colours, so I made my version with the tools I have available to me. Maggie's favourite colour is red at the moment. Lisa used Alphalicious and Serenade cartridges, neither of which I own, so I used Paisley instead. Maggie's birthday cake was a butterfly shape, so I stuck to that theme for the card. I used my Gypsy to help me create the scalloped frame shapes as I welded together a basic scalloped border and added small circles to each 'mount'.

The stamped image on the right hand side of inside the card, are from stamps I made myself!! I'm not sure how long it will take me to get over the excitement of being able to do that. I haven't done a great job of putting the butterfly on, as you can see through his wing - I should've masked that part of the wing so it looked like it was behind the plant or embossed it so you couldn't see through. Either way, I'm really chuffed with the leaves I made into a stamp and they very kindly sat nicely on the plant stem.

I'm scheduling this post for the day after her birthday, so I can only hope that we have a lovely weekend and that she's happy.

Take care out there.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Rather exciting!

Hello there

Way hey! You'll never guess what I just did. I just created my OWN stamp!! Yes, that's right; you read correctly. I CREATED my own stamp! £12.95 please madam :-) I've got the equipment I need from Cricut and I've just this minute created my first stamp in moments - it's so easy. I just had to come on here to share my news! Thousands of people will have done this before I know, especially in America but I'm rather chuffed. I'm not very good with stamping but this might change my thoughts. I'm not keen as a rule as you have to have them the size provided on the stamp and invariably I want the shape to be a different size. I can now create a stamp in whatever size block I have. They're clear acrylic too, so perfect for lining up right - oops there goes any excuses I might have for lining up errors. Stamp purists won't like it at all but I'm not one of those, so I'm happy to go along with this new technique I've found. Mel Heaton is responsible for showing me this on Create and Craft a couple of weeks ago and I was dubious but not anymore. It works! It really works. Trouble is, now I'm going to want tonnes of inkpads and embossing powder etc :-) That's where my friend Helen is going to be happy as she's a Stampin' Up demonstrator and they have tonnes of stamping options.

I know that's just a block (shadow) image so I'm off to try something more detailed but even if these are the only types of images I get, then the tiny sum it cost me for the folders is still worth it. The deep cut housing unit I bought is also well worth it, as I can't wait to try that on Bo Bunny chip board as apparently that's smooth enough for the Cricut blade to cope with. Watch this space!
Little Mrs J - I also know that I'll now become your BFF :-) 

Take care out there

Monday, 10 October 2011

Butterfly Cake

Hello there
Well, I've done it; I've made a shaped cake for my daughter. She turns 13 on October 15th but we're going away that weekend, so we had a little birthday tea last night. It's a rather big cake for just 5 people but my daughter said that she was going to take some pieces for her friends but that hasn't happened. My friend Viki has inspired me to finally make a cake for Maggie as she's really getting into it and has commissions to do. I used to buy the Asda ones but I always found them far too sweet and sickly. I don't think she had any cake last year as I took her to water world with her friends. I've made victoria sandwich cakes before and I used to do gateau decorating when I was in school but I've never made and decorated a shaped cake.

I used the 8oz s.r.flour, 8oz caster sugar, 8oz margarine, 4 eggs recipe. We've recently bought a Kenwood Chef mixer, so that makes the mixing just so easy and quick.  I didn't have to slice any raised sections on the cake as it was a perfect height and flat, which I was rather pleased about, especially when you consider that I had to dash out in the middle of cooking it as I'd forgotten that I was going to a Stampin' Up new catalogue launch. Chris took it out of the oven for me and didn't get cross about me not being able to eat the prawn and pea risotto  he was in the middle of making. I had that at 9p.m when I got home. I froze the sponge until the next day. I then made the buttercream and covered the sponge with that and froze it again. I then covered it with Betty Crocker's chocolate frosting as Maggie doesn't like icing. My inspiration initially came from watching a video online - the best place to see this and print out the template they include is the Betty Crocker website (click here). I made it chocolate as that is what Maggie originally wanted before I even thought of the butterfly idea.

The body part was meant to only be a candy cane but I couldn't find any in the short amount of time I had, hence me using a swiss roll instead which really makes this a large cake.This cake caused me a little bit of stress, especially with the cutting out as I hadn't seen the template at that stage and the result is basic but I hope that Maggie realises that even though I'm not good at certain things, if it makes her happy, then I'll give it my best shot as I love her rather alot.

Take care out there

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Rather chuffed!

Hello again
For once I'm actually not going to sit here typing my moans and groans about how long or how not quite to my liking my project is, I'm actually going to say that I'm pleased as punch with this one. Perhaps I'm starting to actually absorb the masses of inspiration and knowledge I get from looking online and in the Stampin' Up classes I go to with Helen Ding. I only started making this this evening and it's now 23.25 and I finished over half an hour ago - it's almost a miracle as I had dinner in that time and actually had to speak to family members!! :-) Everything just seemed to fall in place or I found the right materials to use and techniques just worked. If I have to be mega critical (why stop the habit of a lifetime?! ) then I'd admit that I had to do two envelopes, as I did the first one too small but I've kept it for another project; thankfully I hadn't inked it when I realised the error.

My original inspiration came from a 'Thinking of you' card by Melyssa Connolly in a Cricut magazine. Hers' is actually a tag and I've obviously varied it to suit my materials and ideas. The bird is bird2 from the Create a Critter cartridge; I can't tell the size as I did it on my Gypsy but it was about 3 inches tall. The card blank is 17.5cm/7 1/4in. I placed the bird at an angle as I wanted it to look as if the music score was part of him singing happy birthday.
It's for my friend Jackie, whom I've made a project for before. She's really talented creatively, so I do hope that she likes it. I'll schedule this post for after tomorrow in respect of her birthday. You deserve a good one Jackie - I hope it turned out that way!

Take care out there

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

A winner!

Hello again

A brief (did I hear you sigh a sigh of relief?! ) little entry to say how pleased I was to actually win something recently, other than the Lottery but that was only £10 so not too exciting. I was watching Jennie Rayment on a show on Create and Craft t.v channel and she offered this book as a prize for sending in an email to the show. People normally only win a card (although I use the term 'only' guardedly as I've won one of Nancy's cards a couple of years ago and it was brilliant), so to be offered a book by such a talented lady was too good a chance to pass by. I sent an email and a photo of that bag I made using the Clover templates (see previous entry) which she had demonstrated a month or so ago and my email was read out and the photo shown. Unfortunately I actually sent in the incorrect photo which wasn't such a good shot of it but hey ho, no matter. Jennie also signed the book exactly like she said in the show she would; it's little things like that which show people's true personality. Jennie is a real character; full of confidence but she's obviously excellent at all things sewing and very knowledgable. This is a book about patchwork projects.The book has step by step instructions with photos, which is perfect for me. There are loads of great projects in there but the one which stands out for me is the one she calls Scrappy Zappy Do! It's probably the hardest in the book, so I'll see if I ever get time to do that.
Anyway, I'd better stop now as I promised this would be brief :-)

Take care out there
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