Friday, August 22, 2014

Xcut September Does Release

The Daring Cardmakers  design team were recently  asked if we'd like to have some September release Xcut dies to play with and showcase on our blog.  Obviously we said yes...please!  The people at DoCrafts-Xcut have sponsored us several times and they are always generous when they send out goodies  - this time was no different. Each of us were sent a large jiffy bag with one of the new die sets plus a host of other "toys"

Beckie is our hostess this week and came up with a
 "Parties and Festivals"
theme, which we could make to work for the wide variety of dis sets (owl die, garden tools, tea party, gift tags, balloons)  in the release.  I was thrilled to find the Garden Tools set in my bag - but they all look fantastic so I suspect pennies will be spent when they arrive in the shops.

Working them into a "Parties and Festivals" theme wasn't quite as easy as I thought - especially as in this die set there are so many fab shapes and I wanted to use them ALL! 
I have a bit of a problem (to say the least) in situations like this and the resulting "Flower Festival"card proves it - far too busy and stuff-filled, but it was too late to do a pared-down version

Xcut products used:
September Release Garden Tools Die set
Mistletoe Embossing folder
Mini-bow from Christmas pack
I really wanted to use the mistletoe wreath embossing folder - using tiny flowers over the berries to hide it's true identity. As you can see it's actually a full circle, but having embossed and inked the raised areas I thought it would make a lovely flower arch if I cut it out and trim off some of the lower leaves. I think I should have kept it simple with a plain white or background, but I'd spotted a wooden fence background for a garden card - a nice idea, but it really doesn't work here, does it? :(

I like this one better, but I'm still not convinced.  I have a better idea (I think), so maybe I'll have another go!

In the Garden Tools die set you get all of these - I know I'm going to be using this set regularly
As well as sending lovely things to the DT, Docrafts have given us some Roald Dahl goodies to give away to one lucky person who joins in with us this week
 That's if for today, thanks for popping by

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Summer Sleigh Ride

Over on the Get Funky and Craft blog it's my turn to share a project made using fabulous Funky Hand stash 
Since becoming the proud owner of an eBosser machine, the world of A4 dies and embossing folders has been opened to me and thanks to some very generous people over at DoCrafts I recently got my hands on some fab new goodies (more about that in the next week or so....), including a die set for making a really neat gift bag, which comes with a tag and a clever bow as well as the gift bag itself.
The finished bag is 12cm wide. 18cm high and  7cm deep - so plenty of room for little gifts in there!

You need 2 sheets of A4 paper/card to make this box as you cut the die twice - so using some Funky Hand papers is a great way to get two identical pieces and some extra, perfectly coordinating designs for the extra declarative bits
I absolutely love making boxes and bags with Funky Hand stash as they make then look good even before you start decorating.
I chose to use "Sleigh Ride" which was one of the 2013 Christmas lines.  A little bit "left field" for crafting in the middle of August, I know, but I love these colours and several of the designs are not really Christmassy at all - it's a shame not to use them for other projects.
"Sleigh Ride"  download from  Funky Hand
Paper or card for printing
Gift Bag with bow and tag; A4 die form Xcut 
SU Blossom punch, Tiny heart punch
Seam Binding or Ribbon
On Get Funky and Craft blog we post brand new projects using our Funky Hand stash twice a week at least - so there's a regular dose of inspiration and ideas over there- you'll find news and projects using the latest products and lots of projects using the older CDs and Downloads too - its definitely worth opping by often to see what's going on.
That's all for this time, thanks for visiting

Friday, August 15, 2014

A Long Stretch

Here we are at Friday again and no blog posts since this time last week...again!

Oh well never mind, at least the wonderful  Daring Cardmakers means I do actually remember to post at least once a week. Usually.

It's Jo here with this week's dare;
 Fantastic Elastic!
Our house seems to be overloaded with loom bands at the moment so I thought that it would be fun to incorporate a little twang into this week's dare!
Loom bands, plain old rubber bands,  some sewing elastic, or even a hair band; its up to you as long has it has some sort of stretch factor.
There are no Loom Bands in this house, so I had a think about what  stretchy stuff I could lay my hands on and came up with shirring elastic, regular elastic, brown rubber bands and the occasional red one, pony tail bands, stretchy gold and silver "twine" (the stuff you get round plastic display packaging) and some frilled gingham ribbon - frilled by way of elastic along one edge,  I was no more inspired by this little lot than when I'd started looking.
Time for a bit of  a web-wander then

And that's why I ended up getting in a right old inky mess the other day!  First  I tried wrapping rubber bands around an open box, putting ink on them and twanging them to spatter the ink onto sheets of card inside the box - quite a nice result, but you can guess how messy!
Next I wound a few rubber bands around the roller bit of my brayer.  I don't get on well with brayers - I just don't have the knack!  Anyways, I dripped various inks from  reinker bottles to the mat then squidged then around with the brayer, and then rolling the brayer over pieces of card.  
By this time I was fed up of the mess and the desk was full of rubbishy attempts so I decided that one of them at least would make a background I could work with and headed for the sink.

I made the same sort of background in blues and in yellow - red tones, but chose to use the blue one for my card

Materials and Tool
Smooth white card
Coredinations card x2
Scrap of orange card
Cats Eye Chalk and Brilliance re-inkers, Brayer, Rubber bands
Seam Binding,  Dewdrops, Ice Stickles
Silhouette Cameo to cut frame
Spellbinders Daisy and SU punch for flower

I love the way the Brilliance ink adds a slight pearliness to the pattern,  Iwas going to just mount the printed piece on top of the 2 turquoise squares, but thought that cutting a frame that I could raise above it would be more effective, and as I didn't have big enough square dies I cut the frame on the Cameo.

 That's it for now - you can click HERE to visit the blog and see all manner of interesting ways to stretch your creativity with fantastic elastic!
Thanks for visiting

Friday, August 08, 2014

Beautiful Beach Huts

It's my turn to set the challenge over on the Daring Cardmakers this week

".... as we're still enjoying a long, hot Summer (I hope you are too - though maybe if you're in the Southern Hemisphere you're already dreaming of Summer), I thought I'd be a bit self-indulgent and ask to see cards featuring one of my absolute favourite "beachy" things:Beautiful Beach Huts
I love to see these cute and colourful little "houses" - there are loads of them all around the coast here in the UK and I know they are to be found all over the world.

I hope you'll join in and make lots of lovely Beach Hut cards for me to swoon over this week"

My favourite beach huts are along the wide prom in Southwold, Suffolk- I spotted one of these for sale a few weeks ago priced at an unbelievable  £100,000.  I did suggest it would make a wonderful anniversary present for me, but I guess I wasn't really surprised when I didn't get it.  hey ho.  hehehe

I've made a couple of cards this week, the first was made using tightly rolled strips of paper, it's a bit of a faff, but I love the result you get from this technique
I inked the background using "dry" DI pads and tool - as you can see, there was still plenty of ink on the pads and as both had been used with a several colours, I got a nice variegated effect.  I added a few random streaks of Ice Stickles (crystal) and left it to dry while I made the beach hut

Papers for the Beach Hut are from various MME 6x6 pads - I think mostly from the "Find Your Wings" range.   I cut strips then rolled the paper first using a bamboo (no, not "mambo" you naughty spellchecker) skewer, this makes it easier to roll again making the tubes a bit tighter. I added glue to the edges then rolled the tube between my hands to help it to stick. 

It's a bit of a gooey, messy way to make a house, but sort of fun too!
The Life Belt was cut on the Silhouette Cameo - mainly because I didn't have exactly the size punches or dies for the circles - typical!
Ball is 2 punched circles amalgamated to make the pattern.
Seagulls are hand cut and dabbed with ink
Flagpoles are handcut, Red flag is a piece of ribbon
Sentiment is pc generated then handcut to shape

My second card is a shaped card.  The fold is on the left diagonal section of the roof.  I just made a simple template from a spare piece of card to check that I'd got it right, then drew around it on some folded card before cutting it out,
 I used more MME papers - I think these are from the "Miss Caroline"  pad - but  I now wish I'd kept to a more simple palette of 2 colours rather than use patterned papers

I folded strips of paper and overlapped them to make the house. The idea was that it would look like weatherboarding,but it doesn't really show up so that may have been a waste of time.  You can't win 'em all.
I used punches for the heart and the square window in the door but the rest was just hand cut. It's supposed to look rustic, don't you know!

Maybe I'll have another go at this one - you can't have too many beach huts after all!
The Daring Cardmakers team have really come up trumps this week with some fantastic beach huts so I hope you've been to have a look!

Thanks for popping in, please leave me a message - if only to tell me where your favourite beach huts are!

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Sketch for August

The new LO on The Sketch File is called Bouncing Circles - my first card using the sketch doesn't have circles (unless you count the flower centres), but that's the whole point of the sketches really - they are not prescriptive, its all about seeing the pattern and then having fun with it in your own way - check our how cleverly Brenda has done this over on the BLOG


Materials and Tools
All papers: Funky Hand CD "Colour Me Happy", this colour collection
 is "Glad Rags"
Paper designs are all printed onto white Bazzill cardstock

The flowers are cut from one of the papers and adhered to the wiggly line "stems"  of another of them.  The leaves are hand-cut from scraps

Xcut tiny circle punch used to punch the little flowers from another of the paper designs and make the "brads"
Flower shaped button, Gingham ribbon
EK Success Border punch
Memory Box Flourish die

That's it for this time, Thank you for visiting

Friday, August 01, 2014

Hello August

All those months of dismal; Winter we yearn for the better weather and then before we've had time to blink, May, June and July are over and the realisation dawns that the Summer is whizzing past far too quickly! It's been a great summer so far and hopefully the good weather will last a couple of months more, at least!
Over at the Daring Cardmakers Blog, the first challenge of the month is always to create with a Colour Palette - hence my awareness of the months passing by.  This time it's Svenja, one of our wonderful, talented German teamies choosing the colours and her selection of the Turquoise/Blue/Purple sphere is one of my most favourite colour combos ever - these are the colours of my teenage bedroom decor and I loved that room soooo much!
The problem is though, that much as I love purple I always find it difficult to craft with - now why is that?

So it took a few false starts, and a lot of paring down before I got something I was happy-ish with.
 Materials and Tools:
Smooth White card blank part embossed with "Petite Dots" embossing folder (Crafters Companion)
Bo Bunny papers (Charmed Cards and Craft)
Ribbon, Turquoise Organza fabric, Purple mesh fabric, Turquoise seam binding, Purple twine, Purple button, Pearls and Enamel Dots
Silhouette Cameo cut sentiment

This is the inspiration photo provided by Svenja:

We are very happy to introduce a new Guest Designer this month - click here to visit our BLOG, find out who it is, and see the other cards created by our fab team.

This week was the last week for the current sketch on The Sketch File. All month long I'd been planning to try to use the sketch for the basis of am 8x8 layout - if you are a regular visitor here you'll know that I very rarely venture down the scrapbooking path, but I thought this sketch would work really well to accentuate a photo.  I chose to use a photo taken from Southwold beach showing the beautiful beach huts along the prom and the pier heading out over the sea......
Here's how it turned out

July's Summer Streamers LO from The Sketch File:

So that's it for today, I hope you like the projects I've shared today and will join in with both of the challenges!
Thanks for visiting, please leave a message

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


My eldest nephew Charlie graduated from university a couple of weeks ago, gaining a First in his Finance and Accountancy degree.  I am so proud of him and what he's achieved.
Obviously a congratulations card was needed, and after a few false starts I came up with this
 I'm not sure whether I've made up a new card fold here or not - but it was just an idea that came to me while I was faffing about with a sheet of card, trying to think how to get the mortar board to sit at this angle.
If you imagine a regular square card base where the side that is usually the inside bit that you write on is flat and the usual front side is folded into an origami style triangle (there's a name for this fold, but I can't remember it) then that's how it starts out.  I glued down part of the triangle so that only the side "hinges" and the upper section can stand up, this makes it much easier to display.
The mortar board is made separately and fixed into the folded section.
The card folds fairly flat and fits into a largish rectangular envelope

Materials and Tools
Black square card blank
Black pearlescent card, Gold card, White card
Black cord, Gold cord, black and gold paper for tassel, attached 
with large black brad
White grained paper edged with gold ink, Blue ribbon and gold cord for scroll
Numerals and letters cut on Silhouette Cameo

This photo, taken from the other side shows the squash fold bit more clearly

I was quite pleased at how this turned out and I think the "mechanism" will work for other stand up sort of cards too so will be trying it out with other "front" ideas soon.

Hope you like it

Friday, July 25, 2014

All About Me!

Well Lythan can usually be depended on to come up with interesting challenges for The Daring Cardmakers - but this time it's a really WEIRD one - especially if  you are me!

Lythan has challenged everyone to use Little Ol' Me's cards as the starting point for this week's crafting.  I must admit it has been fun to see which bits the others  have picked up on but I hope the whole idea doesn't put everyone else off joining in this week!
So it left me in a bit of a quandary as to what to myself.  Another shaped card maybe, I seem to have been in that sort of mode lately? But no, I decided just to do what I love most - make a flower then decide what to do with it!
You think I plan ahead...................
In the end I went down my tried and trusted path of flowers and swirly stuff....which as it turned out is what most of the others picked up on! 

Materials and Tools
White Bazzill card
Satin Ribbon, Inks
PC generated sentiment 
SU Blossom punch 
Spellbinders leafy swirls die
MFT DieNamics Doily die

Papers are printed on the white Bazzill card
Twirly swirls made from scrap strips of the papers twirled round a skewer
Layers raised using Collall 3D glue
For the flower I used a few different designs for a bit more "texture", I print on both sides of the card  so I only have to ink the edges of the petals

Thanks for looking, please visit the Daring Cardmakers by clicking HERE
My wonderful and clever nephew Charlie has just Graduated from Uni with a 1st (I'm sooooo proud of him) so I'll be back soon with the Graduation card I made for him

Have a great weekend

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


I thought it was about time I did a midweek blog - I've fallen back into the bad old ways of only managing to do my DCM card blog post.  Must try harder.

So now that the special birthday this card was made for has come and gone I can share the photos.
This is a commissioned card and it has a curved, or bowed front (like an old-fashioned shop window), What with the depth of the card because of the bowed front and the rather extravagant flower set into the aperture I decided not to risk the Postie squishing it before  it even reached my customer, and made a box for it too.
Tools and Materials
All papers are from Funky Hand's beautiful
printed onto white Bazzill card for texture and a nice weight
The front of the card is created using the "Extravagance" Create-a-Card die from Crafter's Companion
Plain Oval and Labels die are Spellbinders
The peony flower was made using petals cut on the Silhouette Cameo
Other items used: Cream card blank, flat backed pearls, satin ribbon

I made the box using WRMK Envelope Punch Board, and added a "belly band" to keep it shut, there's space on the label on the back to add a message
I used more of the same papers to decorate the box.  The flower is cut with an SU punch, the centre is a plain punched circle with a layer of Glossy Accents and a few beads sprinkled in while still wet

That's it for this time, I hope you like this project and will leave a little message ;)

Thanks for looking

Friday, July 18, 2014

On the Waterfront

 It's Nat's turn to set the challenge for the Daring Cardmakers this week:

Out on the Water

This week we're escaping to the waterside. It's that time of year when many of us will be heading for the beach to enjoy the waves, lazing by the pool or spending time by the lake swimming all day long or being more adventurous and doing some fun activities on the water.
Your challenge this week is to make a card that celebrates any aspect of how we humans enjoy the water on our planet.

For some people that title might immediately bring  swimming pools, lakes or rivers to mind, but although we live abut as far from the sea as you can get in England, I was born at the seaside and once a seasider, always a seasider!  I did try to think of other watery themes but I was soon back to the sea.
Even so, I'm not impressed with the card I made for Nat's lovely challenge, it just didn't work out as planned and I'm still in a bad mood about that
Patterned papers are from a couple of download paper collections from
I resized them to quite a small size (to print at about 6.5cms wide) so that the patterns wok on tiny items - this is just one of the brilliant things about using digi designs!
Bazzill card in yellow, orange, deep blue, light blue black white and red
Windsurfer, Tugboat, Galleon, and yacht (on right) are all cut on the Silhouette Cameo using my own templates, the yacht 2nd from left is hand-cut
Orange "setting sun" die cut using the 2nd largest in my set of Xcut circle dies
Sea is created using various Versamagic and Memento ink pads.  The waves are hand cut and there's some Ice Stickles over the top
Sentiment is also Silhouette-cut, with a little anchor charm added to the corner

So, as I wasn't too pleased with that one, I thought I'd try somethin else and made this one earlier today.  I'm not usre I like this one either though!
Same windsurfer template, and more Funky Hand papers,  this time  the "Come What May" set from the  "Craft the Year Away" CD
Inky background made with Distress Inks
Circle aperture cut with a plain circle from the Spellbinders Nesties set
Swirl Corner embossing folder by Crafter's Companion, inked over and Ice Stickles added on top.  I thought the pattern on this folder looked a bit like swirly waves
Hand-cut Beach Huts - because I can't make two beach themed cards and not have a beach hut somewhere, can I?

I think the main problem I had was that I liked the card I made last week for The Sketch File better!
I thought I'd have a little wander back through old projects I've made that have a seaside theme - sometimes it's good to see what other ideas you've come up with for a similar theme - and it reminds me of things you like and things that you're not so happy with too!
I do like having a bit of fun and making a shaped card (I've been indulging myself with making a few of those recently, as it happens) - this one is a rocker card, and seeing it here, reminds me of the card I forgot I was going to make for today's challenge - oops!
This was a favourite Summer card from last year - it started with a total disaster of a card, which I pulled apart - I salvaged a couple of the elements to use, but needed to make a couple of new ones too.
Do you notice a certain recurrence of ric-rac braid when I make seaside cards? hahaha
My wander along Memory Lane found this last card which reminded me that it was supposed to be made into a picture by adding it to a canvas - well that was the plan, but I didn't get round to it and now I'd need to unearth the card first - but maybe I will, you never know
That's enough waffling, I reckon! 
I hope you'll pop over to the DCM BLOG and take a look at the cards the team have been making this week

Thanks for visiting, please leave a comment, it's always lovely to read them