Saturday, 30 June 2012

because I can

Hello there

I've been inspired quite strongly by Heidi Swapp this year and her feelings on giving her kids stuff to help them remember their growing up; take pride in their achievements and for her to remember too. Kids love looking at photos of themselves too, especially small, cute ones. Rosemary Merry has also started doing shows on Create and Craft tv and because she runs a fairly local craft shop and I've met her on a retreat I went to which she runs regularly, I like to watch her. I also like to watch her because she does fun projects. One in particular which appealed was a mini album made with just one sheet of 12x12inch paper. One night during the week after seeing that a crafty friend Sally Anne had made one of these albums, I just grabbed a sheet of 12 x 12 and started folding and cutting. Hey presto, I had the starting of an album within very few minutes. I had done it without the instructions in front of me, so it's not perfect by any means but it was definitely usable.
Photo courtesy of Sally Anne

I pretty soon realised what I was going to use it for; an album of good events my daughter has enjoyed this year. I found some great stickers too which ironically enough came from the retreat I went to with Rosemary's Crabapplecrafts shop and a heart from a very old stationary pack Maggie was given.
Since taking this shot I've inked round the edges
but you get the idea
Once you've put the album together, you glue on some ribbon to form the closure. The ribbon is some hanger ribbon from an item of clothing Maggie bought recently and it's perfect for this project. To form a tidy cover and to give the album a sturdier feel, use two pieces of card slightly larger than the initial album and glue them over the album.

I cut some pieces of card to the right size to fit in slots in the top and sides of some of the pages and stapled short pieces of ribbon to them, to make it easy to move them in and out of place to read the journalling on them.

As you can see, I don't have a circle punch to make
the half-circle cut outs tidy and I was doing it
in a hurry late at night. It was only meant to be
a practice run but I decided to keep it
I selected nine photos and printed them at 3.5 x 4.5cm on my printer's software, which makes the whole thing so easy. I glued them in and then decided to add some stamping on the pages and the journalling inserts. I used some Debbi Moore tag stamps which were perfect for what I wanted.

I'm really happy with how quickly this came together and how it looks. I must do these more often for different occasions and for different people.
I hope it gives my daughter a keepsake to help her remember her youth, when she's alot older.

Take care out there

Saturday, 23 June 2012

New baby

Hello there

One of my neigbours have had a new baby this week and since I have a day off work today, I've made time to get a card done. Obviously I've known that I would be making a card for a while, so occasionally I've looked at ideas. I bought the Wild Card cartridge a few months ago and there's a great pram ('carriage' as it's called on the cartridge) shaped card on there, so that was my starting point. I didn't need to draw a basic design of my card for this reason but I did jot down notes of pages where certain cuts are and watched a brief video from papataya9804 to set me off on my way.
Those are the papers I selected at first to use on the card but even though I find that selection process helpful, I rarely stick to it as I go through the actually making of the card. I haven't seen the baby or the parents to speak to yet but when Chris saw them arriving home (whilst he was ironing I might add; I have to get him doing something whilst he spends hours and hours and hours watching sport!) with the baby and a large pink balloon. That's the reason I went with pink shades at first.
The cuts I used were:
fit to page for the envelope from a 12x12 paper
5.5in for the card base
Liner -5.5in
icon - bow -5.5in
- rattle - 3in
frame - 5in

I love it when I can find a scrap of card which is exactly the right size for the cut I want. It often gets me into 'trouble' though, as I sometimes push my luck and the card isn't quite big enough for what I want. It's good to be careful but being too frugal is just silly.

The wheels of the pram were just white to begin with but I didn't like that, as they blended too much with the white of the back part of the card. I wanted to use the blue card I'd used on the bow and the sentiment but I didn't have enough to cut the pram shape again. I decided to draw around the wheels onto the blue card and then cut them out with scissors - job done! I inked them with Stampin' Up's tempting turquoise.

I added a little button to the bow for detail. I NEED more buttons :-)
To make the inside of the card appear better with the bow and rattles showing on the inside too, I cut both again with the back of the card facing up and glued them on the inside.

That's that. Card's done during a hideously rainy day - there are benefits to rain after all!

The colours are much better in real life
The frame on the front of the envelope was cut twice in order to give me a pink frame with the cream inner. The rattle was cut at 5in and was a 'mistake' from when I was cutting the rattle for the pram, as it's far too big to sit in the pram. I love being able to use 'mistakes too. I still have another card blank, which I cut at 5.5in but quickly realised that the envelope would never fit around it and didn't want to make my own envelope at the time. I can use that though for another card for the next person who has a baby - waste not, want not :-)
Take care out there

Monday, 18 June 2012


Hello there

Yet again I've been 'commissioned' by my daughter to make a birthday card for a friend of hers. This time the only criteria was that it needed to be green. It's common knowledge in my family that I'm not a fan of green. I love fields, trees, hedges and plants but I don't like it for decor items or clothing. For that reason, I've gone for a gorgeous turquoise type colour background alongside a brown version of the same paper.
Crafter's Companion March 2012 download, Heidi Swapp
Sugar Chic banner delights, Pine shutters distress ink and
Tim Holtz Idealogy tissue tape - sketchbook
I enjoyed making the card so much, that I made another very similiar one straight after. Things just click together sometimes AND I get the time to go with the flow. The weather  rained intermittently again all day, so I didn't go anywhere other than to take my daughter to a skating party. So no guilt for me about spending hours crafting as Chris  watched sports all day nearly as well.

The photos don't do the cards justice at all, as you can't see the glittery effect on the banners or the pearlescent cardstock I used on the butterflies.

I have tried to show the glossy accents around the brown edging of the sentiment tag with these two close ups, without much luck.
Under the tissue tape is a ribbon printed out from the Crafter's Companion download - I love how you can still vaguely see the pattern under the tape.

The butterflies were cut from the Cricut Accents cartridge at 3.5 and 4cm - both with a shadow. They were cut from small cuts of off cut card. I love that about my Cricut - that small off-cuts can be very useful. I can sometimes expect too much of it though and try to cut something from a too small piece of card; that's just leading to upset and a sign of me being too tight :-)

I inked around the edges of the bought envelopes in Pine shutters distress ink; the same as I did on the card blanks. I also stencilled the negative butterfly shape in the front left hand corners.

Take care out there

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Check it out, it's huge!

Hello there

I've just found out about a giveaway on an Australian blog called 'Me and the little Rascals'. Samantha Hauzer says that anyone, anywhere can win the mega Kaisercraft, Imaginsce, My Mind's Eye etc etc kits

The huge giveaway - you've got until June 30th to sign up for it, so click on that link to go ahead and get on with it :-)

Good luck and take care out there

The Wanted

Hello there

When I asked my daughter about what I could use for inspiration for a birthday card for her friend, I was told that her favourite song at the moment is 'Chasing the sun' by The Wanted. That theme sounded good to me, so off I went a thinking. First of all I did a little hunting around of papers and decided to use a lovely flowery yellow and red paper from a very nice free set of papers from the latest cardmaking & Papercraft  magazine. I also routed around my Cricut and Card magazines for card ideas and thought of a couple of stamps which could be used.

The next step is to blend all the ideas together to make a rough design on plain paper. It took a little bit of playing around to get the concertinas right as I can never remember how wide to make the paper in order for them to work - I used 2cm this time.
Living life on the edge by doing free hand concertina-ing!
No score lines for this little lady :-)

From then on, it just rolls with the punches as such; making decisions dependant on variables such as how a Cricut cut went; could I find the design I liked and did it cut alright; was I left with any remnants which inspired me? I like the almost monochrome look of the yellow and red, as it's fresh, young and summery - perfect for a June birthday, although we've had it very cold and rainy for a couple of weeks now, so this card is about as summery as it gets here at the moment.

I made the mistake of trying some stencilling inside the card and it went wrong, so I had to cover the bottom mistake with a Cricut butterfly cut i.e Home Accents, butterfly one, shift, shadow; which is the shadow version of the same one I did for the front of the card. I put the The Wanted's name on a red card piece to cover the top mistake, so I think I got away with it. There was no way I was throwing the card, after all the messing around I had to do with the two layers of concertina.

I made the box with the same card and decorated it with some remnant bits of Cricut cutting I'd done.

Let's hope it's liked or appreciated at least.

Take care out there

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Magazine reviews

Hello there

This is just  a very quick posting to let you know that I also write articles for The Crafty Network. The latest article that I've been involved with, has just been published. Go to The Crafty Network's blog to read the magazine reviews I've done on two magazines; Craftseller and Cardmaking & Papercraft.

Another article I write for that blog is called 'A Crafter's Journey'. Each month I write about my progress towards starting a small crafty business. The latest article hasn't been published yet but please do go to the last Crafter's Journey article to catch up on any headway I've made.

Take care out there

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Jubilee bunting

Hello there
I find myself in the middle of the Queen's Golden Anniversary and still no bunting of my own. I've bought two sets from Etsy to give as presents but still haven't got any of my own. So tonight, I set to putting that right. I got the retired white valance, the excess red material from the lounge curtains and some blue material left over from when I made the last lot of placemats. No cost at all suits me fine!
I created three template triangles of different sizes and off I went. The length I need is about 7/8 metres but I've no idea if I have enough; I'll just have to spread them out further apart.
A pile of 'not done yet'. I sewed with red thread
on the blue material

and then the 'yee hah" moment when you
have the 'done and ready to be joined
together' pile.

Then the realisation that I don't know what I'm going to use to join them together but I left the project there for the night, in the hope that some miracle cure would present itself whilst I slept, so I could tackle the project again in the fresh light of a new day.

I was mad to cut the triangles out on the floor
as it's back breaking
In the light of the morning, I decided to use long strips of the white valance material to connect the pennants together. I didn't want to sew them together and then turn it inside out, as that would be hideously boring, so I decided to just use my pinking shears along the edges. I tried to fold it over and do both edges at once but the fabric kept moving and I couldn't be bothered pinning them together. On this great British weekend of the Jubilee, I decided to use my British spirit and 'Keep calm and carry on regardless' i.e I let the fabric strip fall over the back of the chair and cut up from there, which made it easier to keep the fabric in place. Chris despairs of me I'm sure.

but then Nero couldn't resist seeing what on
earth I was up to
At first the dogs weren't bothered

It seemed like alot......
....but then when it came to trying to put it to the tree at the front of the house and then back to the house, it didn't really work as I don't have time to make the pennants double sided, so it looked odd from one side. We decided to do the much quicker option (considering the rain too) of just placing along all upstairs windows.
The thing to always remember is that there are invariably tonnes of reasons why something can't/shouldn't be done; as I didn't really have enough time to do them neatly or properly (not double sided) or much longer but then you don't do anything. Just get on and do and you fill your life (and others') with much more happiness. I hope things like this will help Maggie to remember the Jubilee with fondness.

Chris and I also worked as a team to make some fancy sausage rolls. He used the mincer for the first time and made the sausage meat with some of the locally bred pork.

It might've been an awful rainy day but we've had a busy full day of allsorts of things, so it feels good. We had a day out yesterday at the wonderful Lyme Park, so all in all, it's been a wonderful weekend so far. Fingers crossed tomorrow's events at the park just add to it even more.

Take care out there

Friday, 1 June 2012

Things are against me

Hello there

Seems like an age since I did a blog post or any crafting actually. It is far too long and I really miss it. The trouble, as such, is that I've just started training for a new job. Not only am I working 30 hours a week now, whereas before I wasn't working at all as such but also I'm working 6a.m to 2p.m. This means that my whole schedule has gone to pot and my body isn't sure what's going on. Waking before 5a.m has never been one of my favourite things to do. I prefer waking early for the day and allowing myself a smooth transition into my days. Now though, I just have to get up and get on with it and at that time of the morning, it's not easy.
Anyway, there's my excuses done ..... for now.... I forgot to mention that I'm also having to travel almost half an hour each way to get to and from work.....    ok, think that really is enough whingeing for now :-)

Now before some of you start worrying that I've completely forgotten how to craft and that glue runners really don't make for good embellishments, fear not; it's only there to help hold the sentiment down whilst the Pinflair glue dries :-)  I certainly hope it dries quickly today as it's almost 1p.m now and it's going in the post tonight!

This card doesn't take much explaining as it's very straightforward. I don't even know who made the aeroplane decoupage topper; I just have a set of male orientated toppers similiar to this one and since the recipient likes aeroplanes and trains, it was ideal. The card blank is just under 6x6. I decided to cut the Coredinations card slightly shorter than the blank, to bring some white into the card to link in with the white on the topper and therefore make it lighter. I cut the sentiment with the Wild Card Cricut cartridge - size 5inches. I put clear embossing on the linen effect grey card, to attempt to make it look slightly metal in texture. I had wanted to use my Metal Magic powders but I only have gold and copper, which just aren't the right colours for this card. I have put two other brads on the back of the card, so it seems correct, as they appear to hold down the blue paper, as it goes all the way around the card.

This isn't really the card I had wanted to make; I had wanted to do another steampunk card as I made here but the printing issues with the software still aren't resolved. I found this out of course by trying to print several times yesterday afternoon. That wasted alot of ink and time and made me all frustrated, so I had to stop and do this card today instead.

It's not a bad card at all; it's just not what I had wanted. No matter really though, as it's for Chris's ex brother-in-law, so highly doubt he'll be bothered at all.

Take care out there and I hope things are going your way

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