Friday, 29 August 2008

Gifts for the Kids

It’s some time since I’ve updated you on how the cushions for the Kid’s Company charity are going and the good new is that to date Nicki has put together a grand total of 25… amazing is that!

Things have slowed down a little now because we are waiting for the next batch of children’s names but that doesn’t mean that we’ve stopped stitching altogether because we are still working on the embroidered / cross stitched panels in redness.

Here’s a few of the panels that I’ve stitched and the little cards that go with them.




These are just the ones that I’ve personally been involved with but you should really pop over to Nicki’s site and see all the other works of art she’s created.

A Piping Hot dare from the Daring Cardmakers

Why does a challenge blog have to be so challenging?

That was the question I was asking myself as I prepared my card for this weeks dare set by Jane at the Daring Cardmakers …….and a real stinker of a dare it was too. Thanks Jane!

Piping Hot!!

Hello, Jane here. How are you all?
Now, it's my turn this week to set the dare and I want you to use PIPE CLEANERS!! Any shape, colour or form - put them on a card! I know it can be difficult to incorporate Pipe Cleaners on cards (sticking them down is one obstacle!) but they can be put to lots of interesting uses too!
So go on - it wouldn't be a challenge site if it was easy would it?

Ummm, what can I do with a pipe cleaner…….….any ideas?
Well, after much raking of my few brain cells I couldn’t come up with anything that was particularly out of the ordinary and ended up using mine for flower stems.

My starting point was a Cream card blank that I promptly attacked with a speckle brayer and Peeled Paint Distress Ink and then I added a leaves with a tapestry stamp.
Roberta Robo was called into action for this one too.
I cut four different sized flowers layers for each flower, three in paper and the last in acetate and I also cut the scalloped border using a template that Rachel B over at UK Scrappers has kindly shared.
I added some Stickles Glitter Glue to the back ‘loopy’ layer and Alcohol Inks to the acetate before layering them with 3D foam and topping each one off with a punched circle and a button.

My three Green pipe cleaners form the stems which have been tucked down behind the hand cut flower pot and finally I made a little punched tag, added a tiny peel off and tied it on with organza ribbon.
I also made a little Ladybug, intending to attach it to the side of the pot but it turned out looking like a big Red blob and didn’t make it to its intended spot.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Two weeks, One challenge.

Papertake Weekly is yet another challenge site that I’ve not visited for a while and as I said in my previous post I’m short of inspiration at the moment so what better to find some than to visit old friends and give the challenges a go.

This week the brief is to make a card with stitching on, be it real or faux. I also like the look of this template from the challenge last week so I decided to combine the two.

I often wonder how people get started when they sit down to make a card. Do they have an image in mind and fit the papers around that image or do they start with the papers and work from there. I guess it’s governed to some extent by the occasion the card is intended for but when I first sat down to make this birthday card I had no pre conceived ideas at all.

My starting point was the 6 x 6 Basic Grey Mellow pad that I’ve had for some time and used very little of. …..not because I don’t like the papers……..more a case of it’s a bit small for me when the majority of my cards are 15 x 20 or there a bouts.

Having looked through the pad, I came across the lovely Green paper with Burgundy and off White flowers and then had a look through my Memory Stor Costco collection to find a couple more papers that would co ordinate with it.
Next I had to come up with an image which is not that difficult when it’s for a female’s birthday. I remembered some stamped imaged that I have of flowers in a vase type thing which would be perfect if I coloured it to match using my Prisma Color pencils. I’m sorry that I can’t tell you who the stamp is made by but I think it’s from one of the stamps that Carolyn brought with her when she came over a while back.

I layered the card following the template and included some faux stitching around the stamped
image, all topped off with some sheer ribbon, little tiny Silver brads and Red diamantes.

Last but not least I made the sentiment spot using an E-Z Rub-On Transfer ‘Happy Birthday’ and a Peachy Kiwi ‘Fancy Circle’ stamp which I embossed with Silver.

What a Hoot!

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve had a go at the CPS templates but as I had quite a few cards to make over the last few days and was in much need of inspiration, I decided to have a go at the latest one.

As soon as I saw this template I was so excited and knew exactly what I wanted to do because it gave me the chance to use my new Sizzix Owl die.

Here’s my attempt:-

I’ve used a Blue card onto which I’ve layered some of the sky effect paper from a 6 x 6 Basic Grey ‘Mellow’ pad. The cute little Owl was cut from two sheets of paper from the Memory Stor Costco Kit and I’ve used Distress ink around all the edges and added some detail to his eyes with a White Sharpie pen.

I went for a tree effect down the side of my card which was stamped using Technique Tuesday ‘Whispy Gigs’ stamps along with a few tapestry stamps to add the foliage, using a combination of Peeled Paint and Vintage Photo Distress ink and a Dark Green Color Box Fluid Chalk ink pad.
The little Owl was then attached to the branches with 3D foam.

The greeting is stamped with the Skinny Dip alphabet from Purple Onion and a 99p Studio G set from the Range, using the dark Green Color Box ink.

And there you have it!

Friday, 22 August 2008

A Big Black Cloud

There’s been one of those hanging over me all week in the shape of a visit to the dentist.

I’m such a coward when it comes to visits there but this time it couldn’t be put off any longer because I’ve had an apses on one of my front teeth and two lots of antibiotics haven’t done the trick. Finally yesterday I had it sorted with Root Canal work, not something I would like to go through again in a hurry but at least I survived to tell the tale!
My face is so painful this morning though, in fact it's more painful that it has been for the last week but my dentist assures me it will settle down in a few days and be back to normal….I just hope he’s right.

Anyway, now the real reason for this post…......the Daring Cardmakers weekly dare.

It’s Tanya's turn to set the dare and this time it's a dare with a POINT! A nice sharp point, at that!

This Way!

I want to see arrows on your cards - whether big, small, straight, curly, lots or just one arrow

This is yet another dare that’s way outside my comfort zone. I can’t ever remember having used arrows on my cards before, so needless to say I struggled big time but I did eventually managed to create something that looks a bit like a birthday card Lol!

Can’t say I’m totally happy with it though as it seems to lacking something, see what you think…….

The patterned papers are both Basic Grey - Skate Shoppe, some of which has been put through a Cuttlebug embossing folder and the stamp is from Tanda's Retro Men Set 1.
I hand cut the arrows and added some doodling and computer printed greetings.

I finished the card off with some faux stitching and a couple of photo anchors

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Blog Candy Alert!!!!

And you really should pop over and see what the lovely
Juliet has up for grabs......…if you’re the lucky one.

But don’t just go over for the blog candy, if you haven’t already, spend a bit of time looking at her work because I think she’s so talented and creates the most wonderful cards…….go see for yourself!

Friday, 15 August 2008

Go on, I dare you!

It’s Friday and It’s dare time again, but not only that, it just happens to be my turn to set the dare for the Daring Cardmakers.

I think I may have come up with a fiendish one to stretch your creative flare.

It’s a Wrap

No, not the kind stuffed with Chicken & Cesar Salad or the woolly kind you put around your shoulders to keep you warm, mind you, the way our summer is going I think we could all do with one of those!
I would like you to give your card a coat made of acetate, vellum or anything for that matter.

As long as it ‘wraps’ around the outside of your card, anything goes!

I didn’t have any problem coming up with the theme for my dare but when I got back from Switzerland on Monday and had to think about the card I was going to make it didn’t seem quite such a good idea………I really did struggle.
The design team were all on form and came up with some great interpretations of a wrap so don’t forget to pop over to the Daring Cardmakers Blog and see their creations.

I eventually decided to get out my Pergamano paraphernalia and made a vellum wrap with an aperture to go over a stamped card.

The sunflower stamp is by Rubber Stampede and is coloured with prismacolor pencils. I also used them on the vellum and found that they worked very well on the back to add subtle shading behind the two lines of flowers.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

I love to go a-wandering, along the mountain track……………..

…………and as I go, I love to sing,
My knapsack on my back.


Val-deri, Val-dera.
My knapsack on my back.

I just thought I’d get you in the right mood to see a few of the photos I took in Switzerland at the weekend when I went to visit my lovely friend Nicki.

This is Nicki with hubby Peter and Tosca Dog.

They made Susan (another friend) and I very, very welcome and took us out and about to show us some of the sights in the beautiful country where they live.
Our first full day (Friday) was spent on a guided tour of the area including stops at the Swiss Army Knife factory and then a visit to the shop at the chocolate factory where Peter’s father was a chocolatier for many years. It’ll come as no surprise to you that I came away with a big bag of chocolate…not all for me I might add… for the family you understand!
We continued our tour and stopped off in the town of Schwyz where Nicki gave us a bit of a history lesson and pointed out the beautiful painted town hall
that depicted and commemorated the founding of the country and then from here we headed to the shores of lake Lucerne to admire the view and enjoy a cup of coffee.

Our final stop for the day was in Lucerne itself, but first things first…........we had to sort out a bit of a parking problem.

Like all underground car parks there were signs at the entrance with a few parking restrictions.

Nothing over 2 metres in height

No motorbikes
No trailers
And last but not least
No Giraffes!!!

Nicki didn’t actually believe me when I said there was a sign saying no giraffes, so we had to make a point of going back to the entrance to have another look.
Now where were we meant to leave ours while we went sight seeing? Lol!

Now then, back to the reason Nicki had brought us to Lucern.
She wanted to show us the famous Kapellbruecke (Chapel bridge) which is made of wood and dates back to 1333. Sadly last year vandals caused a lot of damage when they set fire to the bridge and some of the 111 17th century paintings were lost. The bridge has now been restored and looks beautiful with all the flower baskets along both sides.
It must take them forever to water all those baskets!

On Saturday Peter drove us up the mountain and we ate and drunk traditional Swiss while taking in the spectacular scenery
and on Sunday we drove out to another lake where we had a picnic breakfast and spent the day enjoying the quite tranquillity and doing some cross stitch before heading back to Nicki’s to pack
for our journey home…..needless to say I didn’t want to leave!

I would have said that my case was lighter going home because on the way out it was full of material for the Kids Company project that Nicki is working on but that would be a lie. If anything it weighed more because of the four big chocolate bars and pack of marzipan that I brought home with me.
Oh well, back to reality now because I have no more planned breaks now until visiting the Christmas market in Reims in December.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Prismacolor First

I’ve just been catching up on a few card orders again and decided to have a play with my new Prismacolor pencils.
I am quite pleased with my first effort but I believe there’s a long way to go before I start to get the lovely effects that most of you seem to get………… still, it’s early days yet and it means I have to spend a lot more time practicing with them……..what a hardship!

For inspiration I’ve used a template from a couple of weeks ago over at Papertake Weekly
Its ages since I’ve had a go at one of these and I really loved this one.

Here’s my card:-

The Penny Black ‘Light the Night’ image has been sitting here for some time now because it was one of many that I stamped when Carolyn of Crafts By Carolyn fame came to visit earlier in the year , bringing some of her rubber stamps with her.

The papers I’ve used are from the Rhapsody collection by 3Bugs in a Rug and I’ve added a bit of Brown doodling around some of the flowers to give them a bit of a lift.

My trusty embossing folders have also been called into play again too, adding a bit of texture to the coordinating Bazzill Basics card stock and the paper flowers.

Better Late Than Never I Suppose

Why are computers so temperamental?

I’ve been having fun and games with mine this week, first I was almost a day and a half with no internet connection and then when it was finally sorted out Blogger wouldn’t let me onto the DCM blog or my own.

Fortunately my card was made for Mel’s challenge this week and I got it on the Daring Cardmakers Blog before it started playing up but I didn’t manage to update my own before things went pear shaped, so here it is now.

Mel’s dare was quite intriguing because she wanted to see lots of sprinkles.

This week we're working with sprinkles. If you'd like to join in and play along then create a card using some teeny weeny dots/spots to represent little sprinkles. You might add a splash of french knots, beads, small sequins or bling, teeny buttons, hand drawn dots, paint splotches or think up something else thats teeny, tiny and sprinkled.
I think my card just about covers that in more ways than one.

First I run a brayer over the Blue Sarabooks Sapphire paper and the White card stock to give them a covering of Silver flecks. Next was a shower of little snowflakes, embossed with my Cuttlebug embossing folder and then given a quick swipe with a Silver ink pad and my final sprinkle were the tiny pale Blue seed beads that I’ve used to embellish the little snowflakes.

The large snow flake was stitched in Silver metallic thread using part of a ‘Form a Line’ template and has also been decorated with the seed beads.

I can’t say that I was initially happy with the sentiment that I’ve added, I think it’s a little too large but it’s done now and I don’t intend to change it.
I used my printer, set on photo quality to print directly onto the vellum. While it was still wet I gave it a quick coat of clear embossing powder and hearted it very carefully with a heat gum. Believe me, you have to be very careful as I found to my cost because if you get to close to the surface the heat not only melts the embossing powder but the vellum buckles and melts too.
You'll also notice that I've given the torn edges the embossing treatment before securing it to the card with two Silver snowflake brads.