Friday, 26 February 2010

Here Comes The Sun

I wonder how many of you are now are finishing off the title with ‘little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter’ and singing along to the George Harrison song.
I am, so it’s just as well that I’m here on my own. Lol!

It’s the The Daring Cardmakers that are responsible for getting me singing, Lythan to be precise and her ‘Here comes the Sun’ theme this week is intended to get us thinking about warmer days that are hopefully just around the corner.

I’ve tried something a little different for me this week and had a very messy play with my Distress inks in readiness for my Tim Holtz TSV arriving but I think I actually ended up with more ink on me than I did on the card but that’s another story!

I buy Craft Stamper every month and I’m always in Awe of the beautiful creations that greet me as I flick through the pages, but I’ve never really had a serious go at recreating any of the projects and techniques, until now that is.

It was this tag in the November 2009 issue, designed by Isabelle Norris that inspired me and although my card turned out looking nothing like the tag, it

was the background that I wanted to try and recreate.

On the tag they used Brilliance Inks applied direct to paper but as I didn’t have any of those I used Distress ink in various colours which I sponged over the card and then sprayed with water.

Impatient as ever, I couldn’t wait for it to dry so out came the iron….a quick rub over the back and it was ready for the next stage.

The diamond pattern on the tag is obviously a stamp and again I didn’t have the required equipment…..but I did have an embossing folder that looks remarkably similar.
I gave it a rub with a dye based ink pad and then just pressed the card between it so that the pattern was just down one side. I didn’t put it through the Cuttlebug because I didn’t want to actually emboss it but that would have worked too.

Next I stamped some lines and swirly bits and finally I stamped and embossed some more swirls to give the texture and sparkle that I wanted. If you look closly you can just about see it.

So, that was the background done, all I had to do then was stamp and colour the Cherry Blossom and cut it into circles, layer them up and attach them to the panel.

To finish the card I added a ribbon, attached the panel to an A5 card blank and then added the greeting and some faux stitching around the edge.

Square Card Blank – Craft Creations (Embossed Hammer)
Inks –Ranger Adirondack (Butterscotch) Distress Ink (Spiced Marmalade, Scattered Straw, Worn Lipstick & Dried Marigold) Tsukineko – VersaFine (Onyx Black) StazOn (Blazing Red)
Rubber Stamp – Personal Impressions Cherry Blossom, The Artistic Stamper (Simple Swirls) Basic Grey (Two Scoops Swirls) Rubber Stamp Tapestry (Happy Birthday)
Embossing Powder – Heat It Up (Enchanted Gold)
Pens – Marvy Le Plume
Embossing Folder – Cuttlebug (Argyle)
Creative Memories Shape Cutting System

Stash Stuff
Plain Paper
Fine Pen for Faux Stitching

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

A Time To Sew.........

Well once I've sorted out the threads that is!

Hi folks, welcome to another wet but slightly warmer day in craft land and as it’s Wednesday you can guess what’s coming next…………

It’s What’s On Your Work Desk Wednesday

There’s no card making stuff on my desk this week because the only card I’ve made was for the Daring Cardmakers dare on Friday.
If you want to see that you’ll have to join us on Friday but my desk is covered with something that’s very important though.

You may remember this picture of the pile of threads
that Dan from Sew and So sent to me for the Kids Company project Sharing Colour and Comfort, well you’ll be pleased to hear that I’ve actually got around to separating some of the bundles.
. .
It’s taking forever though and so far and I’ve only scratched the surface but the good thing is it will keep me stitching for the project for the foreseeable future and it keeps me out of mischief too, if the truth be known!

Up in the Left hand corner is one of the cushion fronts that I’ve stitched, waiting to be sent to Nicki in Switzerland.
. .It’s my first attempt at stitching on the Afghan material that Dan also sent and I think the results were pleasing so I'll definitely stitch some more.
It was quite quick to do too because the thread count on the material is low and that meant I could stitch with all six strands of the thread instead of the usual two.

The actually finished size is a bit bigger than the usual cushions Nicki makes but if it's no good for the individual kids then I think it might make up into a nice floor cushion for one of the rooms that Kids Company use.

So what else is there to see in my craft room this morning?

I felt a little braver this week and decided to turn my camera round so you can see a bit more of my craft room.
First is the cupboard where everything gets hidden.
. .The photo is deceiving because it looks decidedly tidy but don’t be fooled, there’s no order to what’s in most of the draws and every time I want something I end up looking thought almost every one of them before I find what I’m looking for.
I really need to set aside a day, have a good sort out and label up the fronts.

The next photo is of my computer desk, which for once is fairly clear too.
. .Not much of interest at all really except for the new replacement light for my photo studio, in invite to my God Daughter’s Hen Night Dinner (for the oldies) and my credit card, which gives away the fact that I succumbed to the TSV yesterday and now I’m waiting eagerly for Tim Holtz to arrive……..not the man himself unfortunately.

On the walls above my desk you can see a couple of pieces of my stitching.
The one on the side wall was my first attempt at Crawl Work and is the 'The Tree of Life' I stitched that in 1986.
The other picture was part of my 50th birthday pressie from Nicki and I just love the wording on it...' People who don't like cats must have been mice in a previous life. That one was stitched more recently, in 2007.

So there you have it, my workroom and desk.
If you feel like joining in the fun and having a nosy around a few work spaces pop right on over to Julie’s and pull up a chair.

I have a few things to sort out not but I’ll be along later to see what you’re all up to this week.
Bye for now and thanks for dropping in.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Cuttlebug Challenge – Be Inspired # 71 – Stitch It!

The Team over at the Cuttlebug Challenge Blog had a great idea this week and it was to encourage us to use our sewing machines to stitch on our cards, but unfortunately I’m sewing machine challenged as you’ve no doubt heard me say many times before and can’t sew a straight line for toffee.

Now, bearing in mind that my machine hasn’t seen the light of day for months….may be even years….. I thought I would give it a go and busted down the dreaded beast, ready for action.

Luckily I remembered how it worked and eagerly sorted out the colour of the thread and the bobbin.
I made my card, sticking it together in the centre of the layers rather than around the edges as I had been advised to do by Meda in her hints and tips and I even prepared a test sample of the papers and card I was going to stitch on so I wouldn’t ruin my card.

With the sample under the foot I bravely pressed the peddle and low and behold I started to stitch…….this is not so bad after all, I thought.

Famous last words.

The feeling of great achievement didn’t last for long because all of a sudden the needle jammed and it wouldn’t move one way or the other.
Eventually I managed to free it and had another go but the same thing happened causing all the thread to make a big loopy mess at the back.
Several adjustments and umpteen attempts later the test piece was thrown across the room and the machine banished to the cupboard, never to see the light of day again if I have anything to do with it.

What a total waste of time!

I did eventually finish my card though, but the stitching ended up being a combination of hand stitching on the dotty Peach panel and faux stitching around the edge of the patterned paper.

Here it is in all its glory and I’m off for a lay down now to regain my composure. Lol!
.A5 Card Blank – Craft Creations (Cream Hammer Embossed)
Patterned Paper – Basic Grey (Ambrosia)
Card Stock – Bazzill Basics
Embossing Folder– Cuttlebug (Swiss Dots)
Inks – Ranger Distress Ink (Spiced Marmalade)
Border Punch – Fiskars (Sunburst)
Paper Punch – Martha Stewart - Fondles
Rhinestone Brads – K & Co
Glitter Glue – Craft Planet – Iridescent Sparkle

Other Bits
Paper Flowers
Brown Thread for Hand Stitching
Fine Brown Pen for Faux Stitching
Computer Generated Greeting (Photoshop)

Friday, 19 February 2010

Daring Cardmakers – Winter Birthdays

The first few months of the year always leave me feeling a little deflated, whether it’s because all the excitement of Christmas has passed or the prospect of bad weather, which we’ve had our fair share of this year I might add, it definitely leaves me feeling at a very low ebb.

I’m hoping that Spring will be here soon but this week Rein, over at the The Daring Cardmakers has Winter firmly in her mind and wants as to make a Birthday card for those with Winter Birthdays.

I thought I would go with the first little flower that pops its head through the hard earth every year, hence my Snowdrop card.

I’ve used a technique that I’ve not done in a while and had a play with Pergamano, although I’ve cheated a bit but printing the picture onto the parchment rather than tracing it with White ink.
I can just hear all you Pergamano experts out there shouting, ‘OH NO’ and ‘CHEAT’, but I didn’t have a lot of time to spare when I made this and it worked for me.

I started by printing the image onto the parchment, giving it plenty of time to dry before embossing it from the back to make the image stand out slightly. I then cut the panel with my nesties and backed it with White card to help the colours show through a little more.

The lower panel was traced with White pen (see, I did do that bit properly) and then embossed, pricked and cut before attaching to the card and finishing off with ribbon above and below.

I didn’t want to over do things because I wanted to achieve a delicate looking card but it was still lacking something in my mind, so I decided to used a corner punch on the top two corners and add the tiny gems and beads, which worked perfectly in my opinion.

Square Card Blank – Craft Creations (Embossed Hammer)
Plain Card – DCWV Pastels card Stack
Inks – Ranger Distress Ink (Peeled Paint)
Corner Punch – Martha Stewart (Loops)
Gems – Anita’s Tiny Gems

Other StuffSnowdrop Image
BeadsEmbroidery Thread

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Pink Elephant Challenge #54 - Ribbon

What a difference a day makes err?

Only yesterday I was sitting here updating my blog and saying what a beautiful sunny day we were having.
Today is totally the opposite and it’s not stopped raining since last night. In fact we’ve had so much rain that the fields just across the road are flooded.

The change in the weather hasn’t made any difference to my day though because it’s Thursday and that means a trip to Sainsbury’s with 86 years old dad, to do the weekly shop.

Once that was out the way I was free to play, so I thought I would do another first time challenge and have a go at current one running over at Pink Elephant, where they want us to use ribbon.
.Staying on the simple theme of my last card I’ve kept this one quite simple too, just going with a sticker as the focal point.
I mounted it on to a background that I’ve stamped with some pegs stamps from a couple of sets of stamps from Tapestry Stamps and finished it off by adding some tiny gems and faux stitching to help give it a little lift.

A5 Card Blank – Craft Creations (Embossed Hammer)
Patterned Papers – Basic Grey (Lilykate)
Plain Card Stock – DCWV Pastels Stack
Stickers – K & Co (Daisy Images)
Brads – Basic Grey
Rubber Stamps – Rubber Stamp Tapestry (Pottery Garden & Garden Veranda) Imagine That (Mix & match Sentiments)
Inks – Tim Holts Distress Ink (Broken China) Ranger Adirondack (Denim) Color Box Fluid Chalk (Blue)
Gems – Anita’s Tiny Gems
Glitter Glue – Ranger Stickles (Crystal)

Other Stuff


Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Cupcake Craft Challenge – Keep It Simple

.It’s been glorious sitting here this morning crafting with the sun streaming through the window, it almost make you think that Spring is just around the corner, especially as I’ve noticed all the Tulips and Daffs starting to come up in the garden. I won’t be fooled thought because it’s absolutely freezing out there so I’ve been quite happy sitting here and joining in with my first ever card for the Cupcake Challenge Blog.

Their theme this week is ‘Keep it Simple’ so I’ve attempted a card with very few embellishments, although I did resort to using a couple of border punches and my i-top brad maker.
I started off with an A6 piece of card that stamped the Art de Triomphe on to using Distress ink. I coloured the image with Marvy Le Plume pens and then stamped some related words around it, also using distress ink.

I cut a border of patterned paper and attached it to one side of the card with the fancy edge facing inwards to the centre, having first inked the edges.

Next I cut a piece of Vellum to A6 and used the second border punch to make a fancy edge. I then stamped the main image using Black Staz-On and coloured it with Marvy’s before attaching it over the top of the first bit of card.

This panel was then mounted onto some Pink patterned paper before being mounted in the centre of an A5 card blank.

Next I stamped a border around the edge of the card using peg stamps from Tapestry Stamps and finally finished off the card by adding three i-top brads made using the same paper as the border and mat.
A5 Card Blank – Craft Creations (Embossed Hammer)
Patterned Papers – K & Co Designer Mat Pad (Wedding)
Inks –Tsukineko VersaFine (Onyx Black) StazOn (Jet Black) Tim Holts Distress Ink (Tattered Rose)
Border Paper Punch – Martha Stewart ( Scallop Dots) Fiskars (Elegance )
Brads – i-top Brad Maker
Rubber Stamps – Tanda – Retro Woman Set 2, Clear Choice Stamps (Travel France)
Pens – Marvy Le Plume

It’s WOYWDW and my prize has arrived…..yah!

Two things to celebrate in one day……I’ve never had it so good!

I actually remembered to take my photo this morning and I made a special effort because I’ve not joined in for the last couple of weeks and I didn’t want Julie chasing me to find out where I was and what I’ve been up.....she does like to keep an eye on all of us.

So here in all it’s glory is my WOMWDW photo

and if look closely you can see the afore mentioned prize from the blog hop over at at Stamping Fantasies

I can’t begin to tell you how happy I was when I opened it and although I didn’t know what stamp I would be getting I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed because I’m yet to see a Penny Black stamp that I don’t like.
True to form the stamp is an absolutely gorgeous.
It’s a Christmas one and who knows, it may well encourage me to start my Christmas cards early this year!

Oh ok, I can't be that mean to you…………. I’ll show you a close up and make you all jealous.

.Now how lucky am I and how fantastic is that!

So, what else is lurking on my table today?

All the paraphernalia involved in making my first ever card for the Cupcake Challenge Blog this week, which incidentally I’ll show you in the following post if you want to see a close up of it.

There’s also a big plastic box full of rubber stamps.
I’ve been promising myself for ages that I would have a really good sort out of my stamps and it was quite shocking when I realized just how many I actually had. Some of them had never even been used, which makes me wonder why I brought them in the first place but I’ve decided to try and sell some on eBay and make a few pennies to buy some new ones that are on my wish list.

So there you have it What’s on my Work Desk Wednesday.
Why not pop along and join in with the fun….Julie’s not really as scary as I made out…..honest!
See you all soon and thanks for stopping by.


Monday, 15 February 2010

And the Winner is....................


Well runner up actually but I’m still over the moon never the less.

You remember the blog hop that took place over at Stamping Fantasies on the first of February, in celebration of Sir Stampalot's move to a bigger shop, well the winners were picked yesterday and my name was one of ones that came out of the hat.

It's third prize in the main challenge which means I’ve won a Penny Black stamp……no idea what one but it will be a nice surprise when it arrives.

Big thanks to Brenda and the team.

The blog hop was great fun and I’m looking forward to more challenges because they’ve decided to make it a bi-monthly thing………….Can’t wait!

Friday, 12 February 2010

A message to all my blog friends

Hi all,

I just wanted to let you all know that if I don’t leave quite as many comments on your blogs as I usually do it’s because I’m finding that spending too much time on the computer is straining my eyes.

It’s been a real problem for me over the last few months; since my eye op and something has to give I’m afraid.

I have card orders to fill so I still plan to make cards and join in with the challenges and I will update my blog when I can but please forgive me if I miss you out from time to time on the comments.
It’s been especially difficult on the Daring Cardmakers blog where I’m on the design team, where I feel I should comment on as many as possible but for the time been I’m only going to be leaving random comments.

Thanks for being so understanding.


Have a Heart - Daring Cardmaker's

It’s been a busy week one way and another because my good friend Nicki has been staring with me for a couple of nights while she’s over from Switzerland.
It’s an even busier week from her thought because she’s crammed so many meetings with different people into the week and she’s had quite a bit of travelling around to do too. She spent the first two nights with me here in Loughton and then three with her friend in Kew while she visits various offices and schools connected with the charity Kids Company that we stitch the cushions and quilts for. (that reminds me, I have a few new panels that I want to share with you so I’ll do that in a separate post)
Today she’s on her way down to Bournemouth to visit family and then she will be heading back up to Bristol to stay with our friend Sharon and family before flying home again Monday.
Think she’s going to need another holiday after that lot!

Unfortunately we didn’t really have a lot of time together but what time we did have we managed to have a good natter and Lythan even managed to pop in for cupper….it must be three years since they’ve seen each other.

Anyway, once I had seen Nicki safely on the train on Tuesday morning I decided to get on and make my card ready for the The Daring Cardmakers challenge this week and the theme of Hearts fitted in perfectly with a Wedding card that I needed to make.
I decided to dust down my old light box and brass stencils for this one!
I’ve embossed and over stamped large heart, which is the main focal point of the card and added a sprinkling of tiny little diamantes.
The panel was then cut with my Nesties and I’ve added little Blue Pearls to the scallops.
A5 Card Blank – Craft Creations (Embossed Hammer)
Patterned Paper – DCWV (the Luxury Stack)
Brass Stencil – Lasting Impressions (Heart)
Rubber Stamps – Rubber Stamp tapestry (Butterfly Blooms & Porcelain Bouquet)
Inks – Tsukineko Versa Color (Lapislazuli, Olive & Green) Color Box Fluid Chalk (Azurite)
Rhinestone Brad – K & Co
Paper Punch – Martha Stewart Doily Lace
Embossing Folder – Cuttlebug (Textile Texture)
Gems – Anita’s Tiny Gems
Pearls – Mark Richards Crystal Stickers
Silver Thread - Madeira

Other StuffRibbon
Computer generated Greeting.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Sketch Saturday #88

Looks like I’m just getting this one in by the skin of my teeth.

It’s a card made using the sketch from Sketch Saturday
and one of the stamps from my newish set of Penny Black stamps.
I’ve coloured the image with Marvy Le Plume pens.
.A6 Card Blank – Craft Creations (Embossed Hammer)
Patterned Papers –basic grey (Mellow)
Rubber Stamps – Penny Black (Hedgehog) Rubber Stamp Tapestry (Happy Birthday)
Dies – Spellbinder Nestabilities (Labels 1 & Peony)
Paper Punches – Martha Stewart Border Punch (Loops) & Frond
Inks –Ranger Distress Ink (Peeled Paint) Tsukineko VersaFine (Onyx Black)
Brads – Basic Grey

Other Stuff

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Purple Rain

.I always struggle trying to think up witty or meaningful heading for my blog posts and very rarely succeed if I’m honest. Even today the heading is very tongue in cheek.

The dare over at The Daring Cardmakers is the February birthstone Amethyst , that’s the Purple bit if you didn’t guess and the fact that it’s not stopped raining here since yesterday speaks for it’s self, hence Purple Rain.
That’s the best I can do I’m afraid.

So it’s on with this weeks dare and the good thing is that there’s an incentive to join in this week because the lovely Brenda and David from Craft Obsessions have sponsored it and there’s a fab Martha Stewart Paper Punch and Stamp set up from grabs.

At times like this I really wish I wasn’t on the design team because I really NEED that punch.

Well, here’s my card anyway.

.I started making my card when I was over at Lythan’s on Monday, in between drinking coffee (tea in her case), chatting, shopping and breaking her computer (well that what she’s telling everyone but I didn’t really, honest)

Anyway, when I was packing up my bit to take over with me I didn’t really have a clue what I was going to do so I just grabbed a pile of colour coordinated bit to make my dare card.
I did have one thing in mind though and that was to have a go at crocheting some flowers, so I printed off some instructions and sorted out some embroidery threads that would go with the papers.

I’ve not had my crochet hooks out for more than a year and it was really making my hands ache but I eventually made two flowers, one with four petals, from the instructions and the one that eventually ended up on my card, which I made up as I went along.
. .
The card started actually started out as an A6 size which is how it was the last time Lythan saw it but when I got home I changed my mind, cut the front off and mounted the panel onto an A5 card blank. You know, I still have trouble making small cards……don’t ask me why!
A5 Card Blank – Craft Creations (Embossed Hammer)
Patterned & Plain Paper – DCWV (Latte)
Inks – Ranger Distress Ink (Dusty Concord)
Brad – Papermania Brad Making Kit (with Latte paper centre)
Chipboard Sticker – DCWV (Latte)
Crochet Flower – By Me!

Other StuffRibbon
Peel Off Greeting
Small Brads

Blog Hop Fun!


Well, the blog hop over at Stamping Fantasies is in full swing and I’ve just enjoyed a nice afternoon with a steaming cup of coffee checking out all the lovely creations the design team have made.

The sponsors of the hop, Sir Stampalot have just moved to larger premises and the therefore the theme of the hop is ‘moving’, which stands to reason.

In order to be in with a change of winning the main prize we have to make something to fit the theme so I’ve made my very first ever 'Penny Slider’ card.

The car moves from side to side of the card if you push it.
.There’s still time to join in the fun, so why not pop over and check it out.

Sq Card Blank – Craft Creations (Embossed Hammer)
Patterned Paper – DCWV (Latte) My Mind’s Eye (Wild Asparagus)
Plain Card – DCWV (Latte)
Rubber Stamps – Tanda Transport Set 1
Inks –Ranger Distress Ink (Vintage Photo) Tsukineko VersaFine (Vintage Sepia)
Embossing Powder – Stamp’n’Stuff (Clear)
Dies – Spellbinder Nestabilities (Labels 5)
Embossing Folder – Cuttlebug (Traffic Jam)
Crystal Stickers – Mark Richards (Mosaic Mosaique)
Lettering – Making Memories – Alphabet Charms

Other Bits