Friday, January 20, 2017

A Stitch in Time....


Helloooooo
It's a lovely sunny morning - but my word!  it's a chilly one.  I know that just by going as far as the doorstep to fetch the milk in.  Yes, I'm happy to say that we do still have a milkman delivering our daily pinta, and other bits and bobs right to the doorstep.

As usual on a Friday its Daring Cardmakers Day and.....
It's Nat here bringing you my first dare of 2017!
STITCH IT!
This week I am hoping that you'll be raiding your sewing box or dragging your sewing machine out because I want you to feature stitching on your cards as a real eye-catching element!
You can do some good old hand-stitching with embroidery floss and a needle, machine sewing or even feature dies and stamps that do the stitching for you, or why not draw your own stitched designs by hand?
 After several false starts, and a few ideas that bit the dust when I realised I didn't actually have the things I'd need to make it, I came up with another plan - and even this one faltered a couple of times (at least)

First difficulty was getting the printing right - I needed to print on both sides of the card - once for the 'right' side, with only the gold lettering visible, and 
then mirrored in the same place on the reverse.  I didn't want the LOVE lettering to print on the front, but needed them as a guided for my stitching.  Obviously they needed to be mirrored for the stitched letters to be the right way round on the front
That took about 4 tries to get right, and I breathed a sigh of relief when finally I got it sorted......
...... Only to discover that there was no red at all in my meagre cache of embroidery floss - yes I probably should have checked that first, I know!
 I dug out and had a rummage through the box of fibres and tried a rather woolly one out but that looked a mess tbh.
I tried sewing through narrow ribbon to form the words, it looked horrendous.
Eventually I found a reel of red sparkly thread - a bit thin, and the sort that tangles itself up in a heartbeat, but beggars can't be choosers.

By this time my perfectly printed card was a crumpled, holey mess, so I had to go through the complicated printing job again!

So eventually got it done.  As the thread is thin I used four strands, and went over all the stitch lines twice.  I kept the number of holes to an absolute minimum. On the printed reverse there is an 'O', but I converted this to a heart shape when I added the stitching.
 Info
Textured creamy-white card for card base and stitched panel
Red Bazzill card
Gold Glitter card
Sentiment pc generated
Red thread with red lurex strand in it
Narrow red ribbon (The Ribbon Girl).

In the end it came out quite well and it looks way to simple to have caused me so much stress and frustration!  Funny how often that happens, isn't it?  Even funnier is the fact that me challenge to try something new gave Nat the same sort of tribulations that her challenge this week has given me.  So I suppose there's some justice in that, eh?

That's all for this time, I hope your Friday is a good one - and maybe you'll find time to join in with us over at The Daring Cardmakers this time ;)

Please leave a message, its always good to know you're not just talking to yourself :)
 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Poppy Thank You

Hello - thanks for visiting!
We have a lovely sunny day here - a nice change from all the rain we've had over the last few days.  Mind you, it's chilly - struggling to get over a couple of degrees.  At least the pile of ironing that is on my to-do list for this afternoon will warm me up....... oh joy!

My card for today is another Thank You card using the January LO from the Sketch File.
Info
papers are from an old paper pad. plus some Bazzill card for the black and green nits
The sentiment is pc generated and resized to fit on the punched shape
Label punch is one of my new EK Success punches, the brackets are included on the punch
Poppy die is by Joanna Sheen and is a real favourite now



 That's it for this time, I hope you like it and feel inspired to join in and make something using the sketch to share with us

Please don't go without leaving a message, I do love to hear from you!
Have a happy Tuesday


 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Something New

Good Morning!
How's your snow today?  We have a little, but so far we're escaping the worst of the weather that's hitting the UK just now.  It feels a bit weird actually when the News is full of tales of high winds, flooding, homes being evacuated, and heavy snowfall all around us. I just hope I'm not speaking too soon!  
Anyway, I hope you are all keeping safe and warm wherever you are.

It was my turn to come up with the challenge for The Daring Cardmakers this week and  I thought that trying out something new would be a good one for the start of a New Year.
I think most of us will have a little list of things we've seen and would like to try out for ourselves.  Or maybe an idea of our own we'd like to try out to see if it works.  Its easy to get into a bit of a rut and stick to the things we love and know will work - a step out of the comfort zone from time to time is refreshing..... right?

It's the start of a new year, so I'd like you to try something new to you this week. It could be a technique, a card fold, or something else that you've never done before. 
A little challenge to yourself maybe to step out of your comfort zone.....
Don't forget to check our individual blogs to find out what's "New" about our cards


Just before Christmas, when of course, there's no time to experiment with new stuff I saved a tutorial for making a "Twist and Pop" card, so having suggested the "New" theme, I had no excuse for not giving it a whirl.
It turned out that the actual card, and the mechanics of making it are dead easy.  The bit I really struggled with was embellishing the thing once it was made!
Outside it looks like this; a regular sort of card with a belly band around it - suggesting maybe it's not quite as ordinary as it looks

As you can see from the next photo, that belly band does keep something under wraps!

Remove it and lift the front of the card, and the  twist and pop magic goes into action, swinging out a four section piece that's a bit like a mini booklet.  I think this would make a wonderful photo-filled surprise to send to a doting Granny.

In the end I just filled the mini 'pages' with die cut flowers and butterflies.  The basic card took about half an hour, decorating it took almost all day because I was so indecisive!
To make this card I followed the instructional video HERE
In the end I used some rather old, but still favourite papers on this project.  They are  MME "Howdy Doody" set from the Miss Caroline range.  I used a mix of 12x12 and 6x6 here, and I now need to have a hunt around to see if I can replenish my supply as I'm running out - I've already used 2 of the 6x6 pads1  
So old favourites meet a new technique with this card
The rose for the belly band was made using one of my lovely new EK Success punches.  I LOVE EK Success punches, they are the best I've ever used and make such a wonderful crisp "clunk" when they bite that shape out!

Right, that's me done for today, I hope you'll join in with us this week and try out that new idea or technique you've been meaning to have a go at!  Check out all the fab cards the team have made and follow the links to find out more about each HERE
Thank you for visiting today

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

2 x Three!

Hello
I hope you are starting to get to grips with this new year - I must admit its proving a struggle to get back to a normal routine.  Plus the Bad Fairy of Procrastination has taken up residence (again), which is never a good thing.  Such a little minx, she is!
I'm blaming her for my bad start to the day too.  I'd noticed the plants on the landing were looking a bit sad and was watering them when one jumped off the table and upended itself throwing compost all over the carpet.  It must have been her, and it was mean to do that before I'd even had my breakfast.

Anyway, I did manage a bit of crafting yesterday and made a couple of cards using the new LO from The Sketch File.  I'm sharing the first of them today



Info:
Papers: Glistening 6x6 pad (Authentique) 
Dies: Layering Butterflies set (Tonic)
Butterfly bodies from Butterfly Trio (Memory Box)
Square Punch (XCut)
Tiny turquoise gems
The Layering Butterflies Die set is one of those that Father Christmas was kind enough to bring.  I've used the smallest butterfly of each shape here.  In this set you get 4 increasingly larger dies for each of the two shapes, so I need to experiment in using them in a layered up way another time.
These papers are some of my favourites.  I have the 12x12 set too ;)
That's all for now, except to say how good it would be to have you join in and give this LO a try.  I'd love to see what you could use it for.

Thank you so much for visiting, I hope you'll leave a message before you go :)

 

Friday, January 06, 2017

It's Been a While!

Hello Again!
First things first, so I'd like to wish you a Happy New Year.  
I hope 2017 is good to you.

I always struggle to get back into making stuff after Christmas - somehow its quite a challenge just to get out of the Christmassy mind-set and make other things.  It's not that I want to make any more Christmas cards, just that the glitter card, Christmas colours and motifs have filled my head for so long - I definitely want a change, but seem to have forgotten how to make anything else!
Anyway when I first saw Sharon's choice of Inspiration photo for the first Daring Cardmakers' challenge of the year, gorgeous though it is, I did think; 
"Really? More pine cones and pine twigs?  Noooooo!"! 
But a closer look at the photo revealed much more in the way of inspiration, and checking out what the team made confirmed there was plenty of opportunity to get away from Christmas, and even Winter if that's what you want
In the end I chose the candles, the word in large capitals and the wood-grain background, and you can see what the other DT members used over on our BLOG.

Info
Smooth white square card blank
All patterned papers: MME "On Trend" 6x6 pad
Gold card and a multi-sized petal punch used to make the candle flames, which were then coated with Stickles glitter glue
Candles made by tightly rolling pieces of patterned paper
'HAPPY' die by Memory Box, 3 layers of Kraft card glued together and finished with the green paper layer on top
'Birthday' is by Creative Dies.  The peachy paper was glued to a single layer of
Kraft card before cutting

Hopefully now I've tidied my desk of all things Christmas, and actually managed to make a card, my mojo will return and I can have some fun with the lovely new stash that I discovered under our Christmas tree ;)

That's all for this time though, except to say I hope you'll leave a comment before you leave :)
Have a great weekend


 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Giving Thanks

Hello there

Christmas preparations are well under way.  Well,  the tree is up anyway.  We still have some gift-wrapping to do, but I think that the presents are all bought, at least!  The thought of battling the crowds out on the high street doesn't appeal one bit - I used to love shopping, and at least one Saturday a month would see me exploring the Oxford Street stores with relish!  I think I may have "shopped myself out" though 😀😀, and now I give thanks for internet shopping from the comfort of my lovely Aeron chair!

Giving Thanks is the theme of the last Daring Cardmakers challenge of 2016.  We'll be back with our next challenge on January 6th, so have left the InLinkz gadget open for sharing your creations till then.  We all have something to say Thank You for, so please join in!

It seems only right that we finish the year with cards that say
 Thank You 
For our part we'd like to say Thank You to all who've popped by over the year, joined in with our challenges and left some lovely comments too.
With luck, we'll probably all have a Thank You card or two to make, so here's your chance to get ahead and have one or two at the ready
It's rather nice to step away from all the Christmas themed stuff and use different colours and some neglected dies or images.
I went for pinky-peach shades and a lovely poppy die from Joanna Sheen
 Info
Card blank is linen-textured and 'not quite' white (PDA Woodward)
2 shades Bazzill card
Lace and narrow ribbon
Pearls and gems
Dies:
Poppy (Joanna Sheen Signature Dies)
'Thank You' (Creative Dies; CraftStashUK)
Scalloped and plain rectangles (Tonic Nested set) 


Just love a bit of pretty lace, and its just ages since I used some.  I need to fix that little oversight, I think!

Just before I go and get some lunch, I thought I'd share the envelope I made using part of a sheet of 12x12 paper from a couple of years back.  I could have used my envelope punch board, but I couldn't be bothered to clear enough space on the desk to use it!

Voucher and Gift Card presents can look a bit dull, even in a pretty envelope, so I've gone a bit 'overboard' with the tag.


  Info
Poinsettia layers are cut using my own Silhouette template
Pine sprigs are die cut (2x Joanna Sheen Signature Dies)
various star and Snowflake dies and punches
Real mini pine-cone

That's it, hope you like what I've been making - it would be great to hear from you
Have a great weekend

 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

2x December Sketch Cards

Hello

Quick post from me today - I've got a long to-do list and not many ticks showing!

I didn't get round to sharing my first card for the new December Sketch File LO that launched last week, so I've two cards to show today, both using the same LO
The first is a Christmas card using a gorgeous Memory Box border die and a lovely Stocking die which is also from Memory Box.  The Sentiment is one of those I've used a lot this year, and is cut out with a Scalloped Rectangle die (Tonic)

This is the sketch
My second card is the one I've added to the Sketch File Blog this week and this time I've used the two overlapping rectangles as the feature element and just added a die cut sentiment 
The background is stencilled in shades of blue and the odd bit of black
The fancy border is made with an EK Success punch,
HAPPY is a Memory Box die, cut and layered 4 times
Birthday is from Creative Dies

That's it, the same sketch two different ways!
You can see more ideas on The Sketch File Blog, and of course we'd love to see what you could make with the sketch too

Thanks you for visiting, hope to see you again soon .)

Friday, December 09, 2016

Beaded Bauble

Morning All!

Thanks for dropping by today.  
How are your Christmas preparations going?  I think this weekend might be the one for putting our tree up - I wonder how many of you have already done that.....?
It's definitely getting closer - I know that because last night Father Christmas drove his sleigh along our road - I was so pleased as I thought we'd probably missed his pre-Christmas drive-past as we'd been to Cambridge for a mooch around the shops the evening before.  It would be soooo typical if he'd come by here on the one evening we were out!
Anyway, as I think I've enough Christmas cards  in the box (could be a case of famous last words....) it was a treat to make something different, still Christmas themed, but not a card.  
This was for the last of the Daring Cardmakers' Step Away from the Cards challenges - this time called "Decorate It!" and a bit of an "anything goes", really
 "Step Away From the Cards no. 3" is all about making those
 Little Extras.
~ ~ ~ ~   Decorate It!   ~ ~ ~ ~

You could make something to decorate your home; a table decoration, a banner or some Bunting, a Christmas Cracker or similar, maybe something to hang on the tree or how about a topper to make a gift look extra special and festive. 
Home décor, or Festive Fun Extra, its entirely up to you - and remember, it doesn't even have to be Christmas-themed. 


I made a bauble using circles of paper


For this bauble I used some lovely Kaisercraft paper.  You need around 18 circles (mine are 12cm diameter) to make one of these, however there are at least 24 in this one!  My paper was a bit too thick - you really need to use text-weight paper, but I didn't have enough of anything double-sided and pretty enough to use.  
When I started to open up the "holes" it started to tear, so I added in more circles so that the "stretch" between the various sections was smaller.

I raided my collection of gorgeous glass beads to find some beauties to use on the tail, and then added a paper tassel to finish it off.  There's a seam binding  triple bow at the top of the paper ball and a loop for hanging the bauble up.



That's it for this time, but please do check out the {BLOG} to see what the team made this time - we don't just make fantastic cards, you know!

Thank you so much for visiting - please leave a message before you go, I'd love to hear what you think

 

Monday, December 05, 2016

Pepperoni Pizza

Hello
We have another frost morning here and even though its bright and sunny the frost isn't really thawing.  These sort of days are so pretty, aren't they? We were in need of a change of scene yesterday (and a break from writing cards and wrapping presents) so decided to head out for a coffee to one of the garden centres a few miles away.  We took a circuitous route along country roads and through some of the pretty villages and even stopped to take a few photos as everywhere was looking lovely and Autumnal.  
Mind you, while we were expecting the garden centre to be busy (it always is - even when its not Christmas) we weren't ready for them to need an overflow car park and parking attendants on duty to direct you to where the spaces were.  Never seen that before!


As you can see I'm not sharing anything Christmas-related today.  Instead I have the card I made for my cousin.  His birthday was at the start of November but it was a bit chaotic back then and I forgot to blog it.  This is my birthday-averse cousin, who's favourite way to spend his birthday is to take the whole week off work,  do as little as possible, see as few people as possible and avoid all mention of the B word if he can.  Obviously he doesn't entirely get away with it as we still send card and give presents whether he likes it or not!
He's quite partial to a pizza, so when all other inspiration fails.....
 Info
Base card cut from a folded piece of black card, using a large circle die (Xcut), and positioning the die to leave about 7cms for the hinge. 
Then a second (full) circle is cut and glued over the front of the folded card so that on the front there's a full circular "plate"
To make the pizza I found a suitable image and resized to fit, printed it out onto card and cut it out.  I used the Clone Brush tool on Paint Shop Pro to copy a few extra pieces of 'pepperoni' and another full size copy of the pizza picture and printed those out too
I cut the original pizza picture into slices and arranged them on the 'plate' and made a little support thingummy (like you get in a takeaway) from white card.

I used the extra print-outs to cut extra pepperoni slices from and glued them over the first copy - some are stuck directly to the base, some are raised on bits of cereal packet chipboard.  To make my pizza look as realistic as possible I added a coat of Glossy Accents to some of the slices.
As it's a circular card, I needed to check that it was weighted properly so that it would actually stand up.  To do this you need to keep checking, and adding extra bits of pepperoni as necessary!

Actually, I could just eat a slice of pizza right now.... Well it is lunch time......hmmm .... if only I had something more interesting than toast to look forward to.

Oh well!

That's it for this time, thank you so much for popping by - I hope you'll leave a comment before you go.

See you soon

Friday, December 02, 2016

It's Elemental

Hello!

It's the time of the year when I start to feel swamped by cardboard boxes!  Do you get that too?  I've now got most of the presents I need, but haven't really starred on wrapping them - so there are boxes with presents in, boxes with wrapping paper in, boxes with trimmings in, large empty boxes I've kept because we need to send off a parcel or two and I don't know what size boxes I need for that.  A serious sort out is what is needed!
Fortunately, I think I can see a time now when the Christmas card making stuff can be tidied up - ok, so there are still piles of stuff on my desk and a workspace just about big enough for a card....and there's the overspill on the floor too, but I'm getting there!  I hope you are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel too!

It was lovely actually to spend a bit of time away from making my regular sort of Christmas Cards and make something a bit fussier and more involved for this week's Daring Cardmakers Challenge.  It's the last Elemental Inspiration challenges of the year, and this month's picture is a gorgeous mood-board style concoction.  
Using the picture for inspiration I chose the colour palette of silvery greys white and black, the lovely Wreath, Snowflakes and some Pine-cones

Info
Black card Blank, Smooth White card for upper panel and die cutting
Silver ribbon and twine
Scraps of different kinds silver and white card
Black, white and silver glitter card
Various pearls and gems 
Tiny pine-cones were sprayed with Spray and Sparkle (iridescent)
Pink Petticoat digi sentiment printed onto the white card panel. 
Dies and Punches:
White panel - largest scalloped rectangle
 (Tonic nested set of plain and scalloped rectangles)
Snowflake Wreath (Memory Box)
Pine Sprigs x2 (Joanna Sheen) 
Leafy Sprig (Spellbinders)
"Berries" from Holly and Mistletoe die sets (Crafter's Companion)
Tiny stars - Starry Border (Joanna Sheen) and a Starry edger punch by Tonic


I had such a lovely time building this one, and I love the way it turned out.  I may just get around to doping a few similar - if flatter versions.  Using Black white and silver was part of the joy - a bit of an antidote to all the stronger Christmas colours maybe

Anyway, that's all for today, I hope you like this card and will stay a moment to write a comment.
Thank you for visiting