Monday, 29 November 2010

Long time, no post...

Hey!! :)

Well, it’s been far longer since I last posted than it was meant to be...think I should stop saying that I hope to be back soon as every time I do it’s ages ‘til I manage to post again!! :S I’ve not been feeling too great and spent most of last week making my little sis’ 16th birthday card and gift so not much energy left for blogging :(

Anyways, I’ve got a fairly simple card to share to ease me back in gently... ;) This is for a friend’s birthday and is unfortunately going to be a little late, but I hope she’ll like it!! :)

I’ve been wanting to try this style of card for a while- it’s one half of an A6 pearlescent blank folded in half again so it's quite dinky and cute :) My friend loves purple as much as me so the colour choice was obvious!! :) The main image and all the background flowers are from the absolutely gorgeous Papermania Hampstead set, stamped on white pearl paper with a purple sheen :) I used Brilliance inks in Pearlescent Purple and the bright green from the Peacock Trio pad to stamp them and then a waterbrush with the same inks to colour them all- very simple!! :) It’s ages since I watercoloured with Brilliance inks- used to do it all the time and had forgotten how beautifully they work!! :)

The greeting is an old Whispers one cut into a tag shape and the ribbon was white and coloured by pressing it in to the Brilliance pad :) A few touches of Crystal Stickles to finish, of course, and that was it!! :)

And another little close-up of the main flower :)

So, that’s my simple card- thanks for popping by and for any comments you leave!! :) I’ve been a bit hopeless with commenting myself lately and that may not get any better this side of Xmas as I’m always on the limits energy-wise this time of year anyway :S But I’m still loving checking out all your blogs as often as I can! :S Hope you’re all well and coping with the cold okay!! :) We've not had any snow so far but by the looks of the forecast I just saw, that may change tonight...


Monday, 15 November 2010

A Simple Sympathy Card...

Hi!! :)

How are you all? Well, I hope, and tucked up warm to craft!! :) I’ve not had a particularly crafty week this last week or so- not for want of ideas or the need to be getting on with things, there just seems to have been a lot else happening this week and wasn’t feeling great anyway so I just haven’t had enough energy left over, I’m afraid- how dull!! ;) But I do still have a card to share with you from a couple of weeks ago...

If you’re like me, you’re usually happy for any excuse to get to work on a card, but this is one of those that I imagine none of us likes to have cause to make. Certainly, when I first came up with this design a couple of months ago, I found it hard, creatively and personally, as the recipient was a very dear family friend who I knew was hurting immensely. Having said that, I think making a sympathy card to show you care can be a helpful thing for the giver and the receiver- our friend appreciated all the thought and effort that she knew had gone into the card and the love that came with it and creating a card that would convey that helped me to feel a little less useless (as there is very little of any practical value you can offer in my position), too, when I was stuck at home while my mum was doing what she could to help in a more easily tangible way.

That time, back in September, I thought about blogging the card and even took the photos, but in the end I just didn’t feel I wanted to. However, a couple of weeks ago, when my mum needed a card for a good friend, she asked me to make another of the same and I thought I would post this one as I can look a bit more objectively at it this time. Also, I know, though the first time I saw a sympathy card on a blog I was a little surprised, that I’ve now come to really appreciate the help being able to look at others ideas is when you’re trying to make this of all kinds of cards.

It’s a pretty simple design, as I always tend to think a sympathy card should be. I think I’ve found an okay balance- keeping it simple but with enough detail to show that real care went into it. I used some very lovely Hi-5 Pearl card and paper that has a subtle shimmer and two-tone purple/pale green effect that seemed to suit the card as it’s not as ‘pretty-pretty’ as some of the other purple pearl card I’ve got, along with a little silver mirror board (not something I’ve ever considered for a sympathy card before but it seemed to work okay, would you say?) and my C’bug and Nesties.

The background is embossed with the D’vine Swirls C’’bug folder and the ovals cut with Nesties. I very lightly edged the purple card with Dusty Concord DI to lift the colour a little and give it a bit of definition.

The cross is cut with a Spellbinders set that my mum bought so that I’d be able to make cards for her to give for Christenings, Easter and, of course, sympathy cards when she wanted the religious element included. I ran it back through the bug with the embossing mat then inked with Dusty Concord through the die and also very lightly around the edges when I’d removed it from the die, too. The flowers were either in the candy I won back in May or from Joanna Sheen and, though I haven’t used flowers like this much yet and wasn’t sure if they might seem too much, I decided they would work for a card for somebody special to us. They’re off-white and inked with the same ink to tie them in, too. Then, just a little white organza ribbon to soften the lines of the main panel. I decided against a sentiment when I made the first card, as all the usual ones I have stamps for just didn’t quite sound the way I wanted, and mum was happy with that for this one, too.

So, that’s my card and I hope I haven’t bored anyone too much by writing so much- not sure I meant to but it does help to organise your thoughts sometimes.

I noticed that there is a challenge at the moment for Sympathy Cards over at Charisma Cardz so I’d like to enter this one there. I’ll be interested to see what other people chose to do for this type of card. And I'd also like to enter it in Crafty Cardmakers' Spotlight - Dry Embossing :)

I hope I’ll feel up to getting in a mess with my inks and sticky-stuff to create something else to share with you again very soon- there are rather a lot of cards and gifts on the ever-present ‘To Do...’ list (not even including Christmas!! :S ) so I better manage to get some of it done soon or it’ll be Christmas in March for my family!! Why, oh, why, do most of the birthdays’ in my family have to be within a month or two of Christmas!?!?!!!! :S Me, panicking!?! Never!!!lol Not going to happen today, though, short of a miracle, with the back pain I've got- again :S - along with yet another major headache!! :( (I wrote most of this a couple of days ago so all I had to do was upload the pics or this wouldn't have been getting done, either!! :S) Fingers crossed for tomorrow being a better day!! Thank you for all the lovely comments on my last post, too- the Sepia Christmas cards are definitely proving popular, I’ve sold all the ones I’ve made already and have orders for the same again!! :)


Friday, 5 November 2010

Chocolate Caramel...mmm, yum!! :D

Hey bloggers!! :)

I hope you’re all well this Guy Fawkes’ Night and have some pretty firework fun to look forward to!! I’m being chicken and staying well away from the cold tonight as I’ve not been feeling too fabulous this last couple of days... But I did manage to put the finishing touches to two more very simple Christmas cards earlier, which makes me happy as they are perfectly suited to the current challenge over at Crafty Emma’s which ends today!! :)

So here are my low-cal Chocolate Caramel sweeties...

This is basically a remake of my Sepia Christmas LOTV card from a few weeks ago (with a different layout and a little tweak on the colouring) - very simple to do, fairly quick and very enjoyable!! :)

I’ve inked up one of my adorable new LOTV Bunnies stamps- I wasn’t intending to get this one but I’ve seen so many gorgeous creations with it around the blogs that I found I couldn’t resist...and I’m so glad now as this was such fun to colour- those cute little faces and stripey hats!!! :) :)

I stamped in Versafine Vintage Sepia and then watercoloured with DIs in Vintage Photo, Antique Linen and Tattered Rose and a waterbrush. I then tried out the Cut’n’Dry nibs I’ve been fancying for a while and finally tacked-on to an order last week. Iused them with each of the ink colours to deepen the colour in certain areas and I’m really pleased with the extra definition and how much more control you have for those final touches :) I cut the panel into a tag shape (just cutting the corners off evenly always sounds so simple ‘til you try it!! :{ ), punched a hole and edged it with the Vintage Sepia ink. The greeting is from a Woodware Clear Magic Set which I can’t remember the name of at the mo’!!

The ribbon is white organza again, coloured with PMs to match the image- Caramel, to keep the challenge theme going, and...Henna- because I don’t have Cocoa in my collection as yet!!lol

So, I’d like to enter this in the following challenges: CES – Chocolate Caramel – such a yummy challenge theme, my mouth’s been watering at the thought all week!! :) ; Cards for Men – Anything Goes (I think the colour-scheme makes this card suitable for a men despite the cute bunnies!) :) ; Paper Sundaes - Card for a Boy or Man :) ; Anything Goes Challenge – The letter ‘B’ – for ‘Bunnies’!! :) ; and Sir Stampalot – Christmas Traditions – hanging up the stockings!! :)

Well, that’s another Christmas card done- don’t really want to think how many more there are left to do- and one more for my selling box, too, though I think soon that’ll really have to take a back seat to my own!! ;) Hope to be back soon with more with my new stamps, though I’m now sure when I’ll really next get the chance to play as there seems to be an endless number of unexpected extra cards popping up that need making yesterday!! :S

For an entirely pleasant note to end on, though, I must just say that this has been a lovely week for very nice crafty surprises- I've received no less than three Top 3/5 awards this week!! I could hardly believe it when I found the third one today but I'm so pleased and grateful!! :) Right, off to link up now- have just noticed how fine I'm cutting it at CES!!lol

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Getting my skates on for Christmas!!! ;)

Hello!! :)

Well, as my post title suggests, I’ve been thinking about Christmas cards this week...unfortunately, though, this is the only one I’ve finished so far so much more speedy metaphorical skating will be needed in the next month or so- anybody know how exactly it came to be November already, by the way ‘cause I think I must’ve missed at least six months of this year somehow!?! :S It's completely dark here already and decidedly chilly again- but sitting here with the lights on, anticipating a lovely warm cuppa in a minute and with the delicious smell of our Christmas cake baking in the oven waffting up the stairs is making me feel really quite cosy and cheerful- if rather hungry!!lol - despite the too quick marching of time!! :)

Anyway, I’ve chalked one more card off the list, at least, and it’s another gorgeous Lili of the Valley image taking centre stage:

I followed the fab sketch by Bev over at the LOTV challenge this week and I also used another colour of the Snowflake Digi Paper I made in my graphics program a while back along with a Digi Ticket sentiment that I made in the same program last week to fit with Crafty Cardmakers’ Digital Plus challenge :)

I’ve used Skating Along, which I stamped in Memento London Fog and coloured with Promarkers...but it was such a long time ago that I’m afraid I have no clue which colours I used except the Cool Greys and Duck Egg as I’d just got that one and was playing around to see what I could do with it!! I do seem to remember that it took me a long time of going back over with different colours to be even close to happy with the blue/green tones but you live and learn!! ;) Then I added some Crystal Stickles to the fur on her hat and coat and some Sakura Clear Stardust and Clear Glaze :) The matting layer beneath the image is paper coloured with Duck Egg PM and that and the image piece are punched with a decorative corner punch and very lightly edged with Broken China DI for a little more definition :)

I punched the snowflake strip with my MS Deep Edge Trim Snowflake punch from white card I’d coloured with Duck Egg PM and then edged that and my snowflake paper with a little more Broken China (I used my TH Paper Distresser very lightly on the paper edge, too). I made the paper by simply arranging some snowflakes from a free dingbats font I downloaded (called Faux Snow) on a page and then changing the colours to tones of blue that would go with my PMs. I made the papers a while ago in several colourways and patterns to go with the different colour groups of PMs I’m enjoying working with at the mo’ as I was struggling to find papers I liked online :) (Apologies if I'm boring anybody who’s already read about the papers in the post for the card I previously used them for but, as it’s part of one of the challenges, I thought I should explain again!! :) )

I made the sentiment ticket last week after finally discovering- totally by accident!! :D - how to get the inverted corners on a rectangle :) The snowflakes are from the same font as in the papers and I printed out quite a few tickets coloured to match the various papers I’ve made :) The edge is lightly distressed again with the TH tool and DI :)

The ribbon is white organza coloured with Duck Egg PM :D The snowflakes are cut from white card with the Marianne D Swedish Ice Star die and coloured with -guess what!?!- yup, Duck Egg PM!! :D If I’d thought ahead, I would’ve just written at the beginning that I’d coloured all my embellishments myself with the same pen as the image...ah, well!! ;D The smaller snowflake has some Broken China, too, and then both have a coating of Stickles- Crystal on the small ones and Frosted Lace on the larger ones- I’ve not tried this Stickles before and, to be honest, it was slightly underwhelming in the pot (enforced mail-order shopping has many of those kind of disappointing moments) but I actually love it now I’ve tried it (enforced mail-order shopping has a few of those happily surprising moments!! :) ) and think it’s perfect for snowflakes :) :) I put the smaller one on top of the larger while the Stickles was still wet and then left them to dry overnight but when I came back to it earlier to attach them to the card, I think I maybe should have left them separate and used foam pads to attach them together for a bit more depth?!

I’d like to enter this card in the following challenges: LOTV – Sketch by Bev which I loved using :) ; Crafty Cardmakers – Digital Plus :) ; Lexi’s Creations – Anything Goes :) ; The ABC Challenge - G is for Glitter :) ; Die Cut Dreams – Use a Christmas Digi (if the digi papers and sentiment count even though I stamped the image?!) :) ; Bah! Humbug! - Presents (she’s obviously been shopping for them!!) :) ; ABC Christmas Challenge – W is for Winter Wonderland with the optional extra of white ( I know it’s not quite how it’s meant but, as well as my finished card having quite a lot of white, I’ve just realised that literally everything I used started off white- paper, cardstock, even ribbon- ‘til I went mad with the Duck Egg and DI!!! ;)) ) :)

Right, I shall pop off and link those up then have a browse around some of your fab blogs to see what I fancy trying next!! :) I really do need to get cracking in earnest on those Christmas cards- and gifts ‘cos I’m meant to be making most of those this year, too...nothing like making life easy for yourself, eh!?! ;) I did go a bit mad last week actually and ordered quite a few new stamps- some more LOTVs and my first ever Sugar Nellies as I found a fab stamp which will be perfect for my lil sis’ 16th birthday card at the end of the month...but of course I couldn’t just buy one stamp now could I!?!lol- so whatever I do will probably include some of those!! Can’t wait to get playing!! :) Hope you’re all well at the mo’ and having a good week so far!! :)

Edited to add: The cake's done!!! :D :D

Thought I'd just add in a pic as it's now out of the oven- still warm and smelling even more tempting...the yoghurt and fruit I just ate (as I'm trying to be good at the mo' :[ ) really hasn't helped with the craving for cake!! We always put almonds on the top as my mum doesn't like icing- or having to ice the cake!!- so this is the decoration...I actually can't stand almonds but I've learnt there's no point in mentioning that so I just enjoy the delicious cake and leave them on the plate for her!! :D


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