Sunday, 27 June 2010

Strawberries and cream...and flowers!!

Hey!! :)

Wow- it's hot, isn't it?!! I don't think this country does happy-mediums at the moment- it's either so cold you'd never know it was summer or feeling like a heatwave!! Think I prefer this to cold though!! :)

Well, this card is one I made at the beginning of the week for a friend's birthday- I have to say, it was nice to a make a femine card again after so many men's ones!! I've really enjoyed making all of them this year- I still have one more to show you sometime!! :) - but to get back to flowers and pink was a pleasant change!! Not to mention I finally got to use my new Martha Stewart Border Punch- my first!! :) - which arrived just as I was due to start on the men's cards and, much as I considered it, I didn't think Doily Edging would quite work on those!! ;)

So, I wasn't really sure what I was going to do- running out of steam a bit after making so many by then, I think- so I had a look around for ideas and came across the Strawberries and Cream theme at Cupcake Craft Challenges - which I'd planned to enter my card in and is the reason I'm posting this before I've got around to the last boy's one!- and also a sketch from Clare's Weekly Challenge over on Docrafts and this was the result:

The decoupage is left over from a kit I got to sell for Ayme last year and has been sat in a box, complete with glitter glue highlights, for twelve months so it was nice to use it! I chose various pink papers from my stash including one from the My Mind's Eye Pretty Please pad- I'm not used to trying to combine so many shades of pink and had out so many papers I couldn't see my desk (okay so that's fairly standard anyway!! ;) ) but I think they go together okay!!

The patterned paper is hand-stamped using the leaves from a gorgeous set of wooden stamps I got from Panduro a few years ago and have only used once and a swirl stamp from one of my trusty Heidi Grace flourish sets which I just love!! I used Versamark and Brilliance Moonlight White inks- I've always loved making my own background papers to match whatever project I'm working on but realised I haven't done it in what feels like ages, as I've got a few more patterned papers now, and I really must try to more often!!

I stamped the greeting, from Woodware's Jane's Script clear stamp set (another of my favourite sets), on some pearlescent linen textured white paper- it has a lovely golden shimmer which hardly shows on this shot!- and punched the corners. I used my MS Doily Lace ( yay!! :) ) punch on the central strip of paper and two Woodware punches for the flowers and edged everything in Moonlight White ink before putting it all together and adding a bit more glitter glue to the punched flowers!! :)

So, once again, inspirational sketches and ideas to the rescue!! :) I was going to go and link this up but just checked and realised I'm too late after all- slightly sidetracked midway through writing this earlier by my determination to get outside and enjoy the sun a little while the builders next door had downed tools for the weekend!! :S- but never mind, may as well post it anyway, as it's done now!! :) Thank so much for all the lovely comments on my cards this last week or so!! :) Well, I'm off to bed now!! Hope you've all had a lovely weekend!! :)


Wednesday, 23 June 2010


Hi there!!

I'm back again, with my Dad's Father's Day card at last!! I've finally got a brief let up in the pace on the card-making front and my next one doesn't have to be ready til next Monday, hence the two posts in two days!! :) I wrote most of this last night while while my mum was glued to (actually trying to stay awake through, as it's so dull, but refusing to allow it to be turned off!) the football- there's been sport on in our house non-stop for weeks with football, tennis, racing, etc., etc.- I haven't even managed to see what was on the craft shows yesterday yet and I think I'm getting withdrawal symptoms!! ;) Still, I can't be tempted to spend money on stuff I've not seen, so I guess that's perhaps not such a bad thing!! ;)

Anyway, my Dad's card:

it's ended up being fairly minimal as I just decided it looked good and it'd be silly to go looking for other places to add things and probably ruin it in the process!! Besides, I think the simple clean lines suit a man's card- for my Dad anyway!! :)

I saw this fold for the first time here on Elaine's blog a week or so ago and knew straight away that I wanted to use it for my Dad's card- I'm not sure what it's proper name is or even if it has one but I've been thinking of it as a kind of 'upside down easel card'!! I had a card blank already scored for an easel card so I just turned it in the other way- very simple so far!! ;)

The decoupage is made from one of the character toppers from the Forever Friends Cd- my dad would fire up the barbeque at any opportunity when I was little so I thought of him straight away when I saw it! :) I sized the image in MCS to fit in my new Nellie Snellen rectangle die and copied it to make the extra layers, then cropped out the excess with the digital punch feature to save ink before printing. I layered it with the Nellie rectangle from silver linen textured cardstock, a gorgoues blue linen textured paper with it's corners rounded and a piece cut from a spare white card blank the same as the base, edging that and the decoupage piece with a swipe from a Brilliance Inkpad in Pearlescent Sky Blue to match the paper and give definition. Then I cut a circle of the silver card with nesties for the stopper and attatched that to the top of the blank with a decorative eyelet (from We R Memory Keepers) using my Cropodile. It was a bit tricky figurng out exactly where to position the topper on the front and then the eyelet but I think that's probably only because it was the first time I'd done it and I wanted to make sure I left space for the greeting!

The greeting was made in MCS again using the colour-picker to get the words the shade of blue in the bears apron. I traced over the wording with Sakura Clear Glaze pen, edged it with Blue ink and layered it on to the card with a strip of the blue paper and the attached a couple of Extra Large Snaps (also from We R Memory Keepers when I found loads of the on sale a few weeks back!) :) A panel edged with blue ink inside the card for a bit of interest finished it all off!


And a couple more close-ups! :) (I gone a bit mad with the photos on this one but it's mainly as I was having so much trouble getting any that looked good that in the end I took loads!! :S) I glazed the sausage after tracing the 'Dad' with Clear stardust :) I chose the Memories eyelet (which I've had for years since it came in the kit with my Cropodile but have been saving as they'd be so expensive to replace!!) as whenever I smell the unmistakable smell of charcoal and fire-lighters on the wind, I'm transported back to my childhood standing with my dad watching him getting the barbie going and cooking sausages and burgers galore!! Very happy memories!! :)

I've missed a few of the challenges I was going to enter this in having not managed to post it til now but there are still a few options, I think!! So, I'd like to enter it in these: Crafty Cardmakers- Cards For Men :) ; One Stop Craft Challenge- One for the Boys :) ; and Magical Crafts Challenge- Something for a Male/ Father's Day :)

Right, I shall go and link those up now!! Thanks for reading and for any comments!! :) Hope you're all enjoying the good weather and not melting too much!! :)


Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Ooh, awards!!! :)

Hello!! :)

Well, I've been given an award!! :) And not once, but twice- by Jenny and then Rachel- thank you lovely girlies!! :) This was actually a while ago now but I've not had a minute to think this last week so I hope they'll forgive me being so slow!!

Now, apparently there are some rules to follow with this so here goes:

- Thank and link the person who gave you the award - done that!! :)
- Display the award on your blog - ditto!! :)
- Tell 6 lies and one truth about yourself or vice versa - hmmm, well I'm absolutely rubbish at this sort of thing but I'll have a go...

1 I have all the space I could ever need for my crafting, everything has it's own place and always gets put away so I never have even the slightest difficulty finding all the items I need when I need them!

2 I'm a red-head and proud of it!

3 I can't stand chocolate- absolutely hate it!

4 I feel the same about Strawberry Cheesecake Ice-cream!!

5 I was a Lotto Jackpot winner a few years ago but I blew the lot on craft stash within a month!

6 I never sleep- barely even stop to sit down most days!

7 My wardrobe is nearly empty- I have no interest whatsoever in buying pretty new clothes!

Probably not that hard to guess but then I did say I was useless at this stuff!! ;)

and finally - Nominate 7 others for the award and let them know:

Rachel- for inspiring me and giving me the confidence to start my own blog, despite my worries that my M.E. would make it difficult to do it properly, for making beautiful cards and generally being lovely :) (I don't know if it's usual to give the award back to the person who gave it to you but I had been planning to give this to Rachel before she gave it to me andwell, basically, I just still want to, so I am!! :) )

Coops- for her prolific and wonderfully varied cardmaking and for always taking the time to visit and leave such lovely, kind comments :)

Donna- for becoming one of my first followers and making me feel very welcome in blogland :)

Lucy- Lucy's not a papercrafter (we made contact through Ayme) but she's definitely a master of her own particular craft, which is Cupcaking - so - for making cupcakes into something so gorgeous you almost wouldn't want to eat them and starting a blog to share her works of art with the world :)

Suzanne- like Lucy, I met Suz through Ayme, she's just started a blog herself and definitely deserves an award for being a great friend as well as making lovely cards and jewellery, too!! :)

Elaine- whose blog I only found a week or so ago but who has already introduced me to a fab new fold idea :)

Denise- whose blog I also only just came across, for her fab men's card ideas in the run up to Father's Day, new challenges to try and her v helpful suggestions about Promarkers and the Passion for Promarkers website :)

Well, that's my first blog award then- I hope I've done it all right!! Thanks again Rachel and Jenny :)  Right, I'm off to leave some comments now!!


Friday, 18 June 2010

Grungy Gardening Grandad

Hi there lovely crafters!! :)

Well, I've been crafting like a mad thing this last few days (that's only about 2hrs give or take of craft in any one day, of course, but that's kind of a lot of anything for me everyday with my health) and it's not leaving me with much energy for anything else- especially in this heat!! :S Still, I've been enjoying it (mostly- mixing craft and computers isn't always the most relaxing way to do things!!) I really wanted to share this card with you as I'm really pleased with how it turned out- it's quite different fo me with a decidedly grungy, distressed feel to it but I just got carried away enjoying myself!! I hope my Grandad will like it, too!! :)

So, it's my Grandad's Father's Day card- it's always hard to come up with ideas for my Dad and Grandad, especially as they don't really go in for much of the sporting side of things, but one thing my Grandad loves is his garden so i chose this image of a bear potting on his seedlings from the Forever Friends CD which I think he'll appreciate :) I do think this Cd will come to the rescue for many a man's card when my (distinctly feminine) stamp and paper collections leave me with nothing- just this week I've used it for my Dad's F's day card and for my little cousin's birthday, too (which is three days later, can you see why I'm in a flap about getting them finished- there are another three as well!! :S)

I started by printing a decoupage sheet and then cropping out a second base layer in MCS and printing that, too, as there were way too many layers to only make one finished piece. I also printed a sentiment made in MCS but that didn't fit when I got going with the card- didn't really have a clue what I was going to do when I started printing!! :S ;) Then, with the decoupage assembled but not stuck to the base layer incase I needed to put it through my trimmer etc- oh, to be capable of forward planning!!- I 'ummed' and 'aahed' for a while about what to do with it next!! I'd had the idea of using brown parcel paper for a natural look, I really wanted to try crumpling and sanding with my new Core'dinations Chocolate box card and I may have mentioned how much I'm loving my Cut & Dry at the mo', so that slightly rumpled, distressed part was floating around but that was as far as I'd got til I finally found a sketch that I thought would work- and then I set to and the rest just kind of happened :)

I tore the bottom edge of the decoupage base layer and inked all around with Vinatge Photo Distress Ink and a green chalk pad- the dog-eared corner wasn't intended but I liked it when it happened :) I crumpled and sanded the card and then attempted to tear some strips of brown paper for the bottom- tricky with the shiny coating on one side (which I made the back as I thought the rougher side suited the card better) resisting and I'm sure it could have been better but I got there in the end with the aid of my water-brush! Then I inked all the edges with varying amounts of the two inks and the brown paper rolled really nicely at the bottom- without me intending again...I'm not sure how much of the credit I can really take for this card, there were a lot of happy accidents!! :) A couple more bits of brown paper for the greeting (hand-written this time with a Whispers pen) got the same treatment and then it just needed a bit of Vintage Photo on the base card and to assemble all the pieces :) A bit of raffia and a few touches of glaze pen finished it off :) A slightly unhappier accident were the blotches of Vintage Photo I discovered on the image part way through tidying up- we're all crafters together so I don't mind admitting it! ;)- I ended up adding a few more to look like it was intentional!! :S Accidents aside, though, I really love all the texture on this card and am rapidly falling in love with Core'dinations even though I've only used it a few times!! :)

The brown paper is my 'something old' for the Lexi's Creations challenge and it's actually about 40yrs old!! I asked my mum if she could get out the, as yet unopened, roll of parcel paper I remembered asking her to get years ago then forgot about and she came back with that and some folded paper which she told me my Grandad (not the one the card's for) must have brought home from the board mill where he worked before she left home for Uni!! And it's rougher, more imperfect appearance suited what I wanted much better than the nice new roll, too!! :) :)

And this is an extra image I put on the inside of the card- my 'Grandad' bear admiring the results of all his hard work :)

So that's my card and the end to my ramblings for another day...brevity has never been my strong suit- I do hope I haven't sent too many people to sleep!! :S All that's left to say is that I'd like to enter it into the following challenges: My Partner in Crafting Crime- 'Show Papa Some Love' : a card for a male; Sketch Saturday- great sketch which proved the inspiration I needed; Lexi's Creations- use something old (does 40yrs old count?!! - the brown parcel paper); Magical Crafts Challenge- Something for a Male/Father's Day; and, a late addition because I forgot, Crafty Cardmakers- Cards for Men :)

Thanks for looking and for all the lovely comments and advice after my last card, I truly do appreciate them all- I'll catch up with checking out what everyone's been up to properly when I've got this week's cards sorted and I have a bit more energy!! :)


Sunday, 13 June 2010

Sweet Sixteen

Hello!! :)

Well, I said I had something else to show you a week ago but it's been one of those weeks when my brain's just not been playing nice on the words front and I've not been upto writing about it!! :S Not sure how much sense I'll make even now- I've lost count of the typos already! :S - but I've had a fairly crafty week making several simple cards and a more difficult/interesting one, which is the one I'll show you in a mo', so I'm going to have a go before I get too behind...

So next on 'the list' was a birthday card for my cousin. I was going to keep it fairly simple and just use one of the extra cupcakes I stamped and coloured while making my friend's 21st card...but then we realsied it was her 16th and thought something a little more special was called for...time for a bit of a rethink!!

I decided that sticking with the cupcake theme would be a good opportunity to try using a digi stamp image for the first time. It turned out to be a card with several firsts- digis, Promarkers, computer generated sentiments, colouring my own ribbon- all with varying degrees of success!! ;) All in all, a bit of a hard slog but (I think!?!) I'm reasonably happy with how it came out in the end...

I used Butterscotch from Lexi's Doodles (which I bought when it was being sold to raise money for Ayme a few weeks ago) - I had the idea of her leaning on a giant cupcake when I was using the stamps (Kanban's Fairycakes set) not long after getting the digi- and started by sizing her to go with the cupcake stamp in My Craft Studio. I then began my lengthy attempts (!) to colour her:S When I finally managed that- about six images and trips to the printer later but more on that in a mo'!! :S - I cut the panel to size and used a cotton wool ball to apply sparkly chalk over the paper (you can't see it too well but it's darker at the edges and fading in towards the fairy) to take the edge off the stark white. I also edged that piece and the purple paper (from the Forever Friends With Love pad) with a light swipe of purple Brilliance ink straight from the ink pad- no Cut & Dry this time! Once I'd layered those up and attached the cupcake I coloured some white organza ribbon with the same Promarker I used for her dress and attatched that before sticking the whole thing to the white base card.

A close up of the fairy coloured with a mixture of Promarkers and Whispers/Papermania pens...and with copious amounts of Sakura Clear Stardust pen to hide the worst of my colouring :S As I said, this was about my 6th attempt and by this point no way was I going to print any more off or I'd never be out came the glitter pen- how did I get by before Clear Stardust?!! I wasn't going to use the Promarkers for this as I knew I needed more practice but my water-based pens made the printer in run :( Had to use them for the flesh tones, though, I'm afraid. I'm really hoping practice will make perfect- or, at least, much better!- with the Promarkers as I really like the effects I've seen other people achieve- I just need to figure out how to use them without the colour bleeding outside the lines and making a horrible mess that looks like a 2yr old's been playing!! If anyone has any tips for getting a good look with few colours then I'd be very grateful!! :)

And one of the sentiment- made in MCS Pro but using the techniques learned from Rachel's great tutorial here- is printed and cut out with Nesties using the same Promarker again to get a co-ordinating scalloped layer :) Using MCS Pro rather than Word meant I could group and resize the whole thing when I was happy with the proportions of the words. Does anyone else have a problem with MCS working one minute then refusing to let you do the same thing- in this case, move the sentiment aroung the page- the next? So frustrating at times!! :[ So much fun to have new fonts to play with since I discovered downloading free ones, though!! :)

I'm going to enter this in a few challenges: the Crafty Catz challenge which is embossing- the cupcake is heat embossed with silver glitter powder :) ; the Crafts and Me challenge which is to make something for a friend or family member :) ; Cupcake Crafts challenge 94 which was 'Dazzle us' so I think all my glitter pen and Twinkling H20s have that covered :) ; and Papertake Weekly's sketch challenge :) Think I should stop there or I'll be here all night linking them up!! ;)

Well, not sure that this is the most eloquent piece of writing I've ever produced but it's the best my brain will manage for now- I just hope it makes some kind of sense!! I have a masculine card I made last week to show you next- and the next ones I have to make are my dad's and grandad's Father's Day cards so I guess there won't be quite so much purple, pink or glitter around for while... :( Men's cards aren't easy but I do enjoy the challenge of doing something different :)

I hope you've had a good weekend!! It's been miserable here today- it's virtually dark already- still, on the bright(!) side, perfect excuse to stick in front of the computer with a cuppa and check out some more of the lovely blogs around, I think!!:) If you've made it this far then thanks so much for reading my ramblings!! I'd love to know what you think and thanks for all the lovely comments on my tent card- so lovely to read!! :)


Sunday, 6 June 2010

Wow- how lucky am I?!!

HI!! :)

Well, I'm back with the 'not-exactly-a-card' post I mentioned- I've been meaning to do this since Tuesday (sorry Rachel, if you're reading this- I'll get in touch properly soon hon!! :S) but only managed to get the photo taken last night!! I just have to share with you a pic of the amazing parcel that arrived in the post on Tuesday morning:

All this is the incredible blog candy I won in the lovely Rachel's 'A Digi for M.E.' competition/giveaway (raising money for AYME- The Association of Young People with M.E.- a charity who've helped me hugely in the last 10yrs of living with M.E., please have a look at their site if you've got a minute! :) ) a couple of weeks ago and amazing really is the only word- there was so much in the box I could only just get it all in the one shot!!- from stamps and decoupage to gorgeous flowers and toppers and a set of promarkers, too- sooo many new things to play with!! :D :D And I'll definitely be using some of it to make some cards to sell to raise more money for AYME- how perfect to win all this by raising funds for AYME and then be able to use it to raise more!!

Thank you so much Rachel and all the people who added to the candy!! I'll be crafting up a storm with all this for a long time to come, I'm certain!! :D

I've had a lovely week with all my goodies arriving, having a great time making my tent card on Friday and then yesterday spending an hour out in the garden in the sunshine and eating strawberries and ice-cream- not eating for the whole hour, I hasten to add!! Despite being thoroughly exhausted, all seems good with the world for a while which is a lovely feeling!! :D I hope you got to enjoy the sunshine, too!!

Bye for now- I shall hopefully be back before too long with another card to share with you- and another item ticked off that very long 'June Cards To Do List' I mentioned, after going rather off piste by making the tent card the other day just 'cause i wanted to!!! I also ordered myself a few goodies which arrived last week including some new stamps and another couple of Distress Ink Pads which I've had my eye on for a while... so they'll probably be making an appearance on here soon- it really is so much fun to have a place to share all my latest crafty endeavors with people who love it all as much as I do!! :) I'm desperate to get crafting again but really should probably be sensible and take it easy for the rest of today- how dull!! :S ;)  Thank you for reading!! :)

hugs and smiles, 

Friday, 4 June 2010

Having fun...

Hi!! :)

Well, it's really been a little too hot for sitting making cards but, as I can't manage a trip to the seaside or even a barbeque in the back garden at the mo', I figured that crafting was the best bet for a fun afternoon...and boy was I right- I had a great time making this card!!! :D :D

I was having a look around for some inspiring challenges earlier this week and found a fabulous idea on Crazy 4 Challenges (C4C39) for a tent card which I instantly wanted to combine with the Forever Friends Challenge for this fortnight which is to make a Kinetic card!! I love making cards that are different in some way- some sort of movement or an unusual base, so these two challenges were just up my street!! :) I'm also going to enter it in the Forever Friends Challenge over on Docrafts as- happily, for someone who doesn't have the energy to make too many cards in a short space of time- that required 'something moving' too! Perfect!! :)

I followed the link from C4C to this tutorial for tent cards to get the idea. The only thing I did differently was to use a pre-scored card with it's spine at the top instead of two seperate pieces for the front and back which just seemed a bit easier as I didn't have to find a way of attaching the top at the end :)

The papers are Forever Friends Pink Parfait and they and the card blank are all inked with a Brilliance Crimson inkpad- which really could have been made to go with the Pink Parfait Collection!- and Cut & Dry Foam before sticking any of the layers together. I used a variety of Spellbinders dies- Nestie Labels and Circles/Scallops and a Shapabilities Nested Flower to get all the shapes. I used the same ink pad to stamp the swirls which are from some gorgeous Heidi Grace sets which I pull out whenever I need swirls :) The bear is stamped in Distress Ink Vintage Photo and coloured with Papermania/Whispers pens- not a good combination I realised as I added yet another layer of pen to the bear, but I think I got away with it this time!! :S ;) The fabric flowers, gem and ribbon from my stash finished it all off! :)

A side view to show the fold that makes the tent part! I think I'll be making more of these in future as they're fairly simple to make and I love the depth you get! :)

And finally, a close-up of the detail :) Fabric flowers are something I don't think I've ever used before and I love them already!! :)

Well, I'm off to link this up to the relevant places- thanks for the inspiration!! :) I think blogland's challenges are really going to spur me on to make more varied cards and I can tell I'll be having a lot of fun along the way!! :) I hope you like this card even half as much as I enjoyed making it!! I have something else to post soon- though not a card exactly- so I'll be back soon!!



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