Saturday, December 30, 2006


and getting not very far in the catch-up stakes..

A full house of visitors over New Year; Hubby's Ma arrived last night, my aunt, uncle and cousin arrive this afternoon, so I'll be back in a few of days with a proper message, the blog looks a bit sad and neglected at the moment, poor thing.

Friday's Daring Cardmakers weekly challenge was to make a Thank You card. The plan was to keep it simple and straightforward - I'm not sure the brief was followed quite to the letter though - check out the blog and see what you think....

Here's mine:
The card is mini DL size
The die cuts are the mini present QK ones cut in silver and red pearlescent card.
The 3 presents are mounted on an offcut of white hammer card and then on the same red pearlescent.
The greeting was printed on the pc and mounted on a scrap of the silver card, with a tab of red grosgrain ribbon and 3 red brads just to give a bit of "lift" to the whole thing.
I must say that the mini present die is one of my absolute favourite QK dies, I get so much use out of this one - probably more than any other in my collection, so if you've not already got this one, then add it to your "must buy" list - just in case you've got some Christmas money burning a hole in your pocket - I do like to help, you know!
I'll be back asap with all the Christmas news and photos, and to let you know how I'm getting on with the New Arrival, I've even managed to get some more pages done for my aunt's scrapbook - just as well as I'm supposed to be giving it to them when we do Christmas Presents with them on New year's Day! In fact I need to go and finish a page now so that I can clear up and convert our study to a bedroom for my cousin before they arrive. See you all soon.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas Present

Look what that wonderful Father Christmas left under the tree with my name on it!

Friday, December 22, 2006

It's Dare Day Again

The Daring Cardmakers' latest dare is to make a Happy New Year Card using a list of "ingredients" to help get you started. In the midst of all the last minute Christmas panic it was actually quite nice to have sopmething a bit different to do, so please check out the blog here to see the cards the Team have come up with this time.
Here's my effort for this one, it was really difficult to get a decent photo of this one, sorry:

I used a card and papers from a recent Self-Addressed kit (can't remember if the card and paper were from the same kit though!). I used some matt gold card for the tags, to highlight the panel on the left hand side, and round the diecut wine bottle (a QK die). I thought the wavy cut away edge on the side of the card lent itself to having a diecut bottle placed at an angle over the edge, the numbers are supposed to be the bubbles, and yes I know it's not a champagne bottle but it's the best I could manage. The alphabet is QK Studio cut in black glitter card, my allotted 3 brads are star shaped and as I didn't have gold ones in the right size I coloured these with a gold Krylon pen, a bit of gold ribbon and it's done.

Please, if you find a spare minute in all the Christmas celebrations, or maybe need an excuse to lock yourself away for a few minutes P&Q - do have a go at our Dare, we'd love to add your blog to our links list.

Now, just in case I don't get back here before the big day:


Thursday, December 21, 2006


Sparked off by Janine's latest blog entry.

Today I am thankful

for my aunt and uncle's safe arrival here after a horrendously foggy drive from Northumberland yesterday

that I've heard from, and emailed friends I've not spoken to in a while because friends aren't so easy to come by and we should cherish those we have

that Paula reminded me that I'd forgotten to renew a couple of magazine subscriptions for my uncles and I've now been on the phone and got them sorted (thanks Paula!)

that the postie has just brought me a lovely box of goodies from Crafts U Love

that all my crafty orders are now done and I only have things for me to do!

that I've had an email from hubby this morning entitled "cards" and reading:
No don't panic - not another order, just letting you know that Shaun's GF received the Paris one today, and was "ecstatic"
- this one was the one I told you about, which had to have fireworks, Christmas, Paris, the Eiffel Tower and the greeting in Italian on it - so I'm pretty happy they both liked it even though I thought it was a mess!

There's more to be thankful for I know, but now I MUST wrap that huge big present for hubby!

Speak to you all soon

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Let's Play Tag

This week's Daring Cardmakers Little Extra is "make a Special Tag for a Special Present"

I've bought something for my hubby this Christmas which is in a huge box, so I decided to make a suitably large tag to adorn it! It's not often I think in sizes any bigger than a 14x14cm card - much bigger than that and I get the "oooer that's a lot of empty space" heebie jeebies, which is probably why my poor 8x8in scrapbook still only has 5 pages - yep the one that's going to be a Christmas present........

Well this tag is huge, and actually it wasn't so hard - probably because once I'd made the letters there wasn't much room left anyway!

I made the letters using the Greetings Card Factory program, making them just over 4cms tall and reversing them before I printed them out onto thin card - this way I could stick the letters onto the back of patterned paper and still see the lines for cutting them out. I used various different papers, and used up lots of scraps too. The edges are strips of BG Dasher papers. I added a few sequins, some of my cereal box chipboard presents, some glitter, ribbon and fibres. I'm really chuffed with this and it was actually fun to do.

Ah well, now, back to the baby album, the half-made birthday card and those two extra Christmas cards that have just been ordered this afternoon.......Oh woe is me

Monday, December 18, 2006

Chaos, Crafty and Otherwise

Well here's our tree, it's not a great photo but it's the best I can do for the moment.

We had a busy day yesterday. Hubby put up the new light in the dining room, hooks for the tie backs in our room and the dining room then we put the little tree up in there too so once the curtains arrive (hopefully tomorrow) it'll all be nice and festive and cosy in there ready for Christmas.

While we were doing the tree the new overhead lights flickered and went out.....replaced the bulb concerned and a few minuted later the same thing happened. So I had to retrieve the boxes from the bin (just trying to get some order, y'know...) and hubby had to take the fitment down and go off back to the shop for a replacement. He'd made an appointment to see another car (yes, it still goes on) but had to do the light first before it got dark. At the same time as this is going on, he's decided to sort out the understairs cupboard where he found some strange old pipework; long story short - cut and sealed off the pipes, dripped on the floor, put heater in there to dry out, house currently covered with wine racks and cases/boxes full of bottles waiting to go back in there - and visitors arriving to stay on Wednesday, Kathy stressed.

Ah yes, and Cuz rang to ask if it was ok to come over to bring presents in a bit. Hubby arrives home from test drive to say "I've just bought a car". Phew, at last, I think. Cus, Hubby and I decide pizza is a good call.

I made a load of tags yesterday, and started on the Baby's first Christmas card for an order. Today, I've finished that, and the 70th Birthday card, and made the Baby's First Birthday card too. Are you impressed? Still got the album to do though. Right, got another crafty project I must finished soon so I'm off back to my own desk.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Tree Sup but has it shrunk?

We put the tree up last night and this afternoon we decorated it. We were a bit naughty and while we were out shopping today bought another set of lights. There are now 480 lights on the tree - is that excessive?

We used to live in a tiny flat and had a cute little tree, when we moved to our last house we bought this huge tree and the little one just stayed in the loft. Putting the tree up last night ready for our first Christmas in this house, suddenly it doesn't seem so huge anymore! It's not that it's small at the base, it's that whereas at the old (new) house the angel almost touched the ceiling this is an old house with high ceilings and the tree looks really short! No photos yet, but I'm sure the camera will come out tomorrow.

We did the last of the Christmas shopping today, there were only a few bits we needed for other people, so we had "seperate shops" - which is where we go to the same town then split up for a set length of time so we can prowl around looking for gifts and stocking filler stuff for each other. Quite a successful morning, I got some great stocking filler pressies - well I think they're great anyway! We called in at one of the DIY places on the way back and ended up buying a ceiling light thingie for the dining room, hopefully the new curtains will arrive in a couple of days so it'll be all posh for Christmas, though somehow I doubt we'll get the wall painted before the big day!

We went to the Wagon and Horses at Graveley for lunch - this used to be one of our regular Saturday lunch haunts but we've not been there of years. Not sure we'll put it back on the faves list. I'm sure my slice of chicken, ham and mushroom pie had been warmed in the microwave - YUK microwaved pastry - what a total no-no, the texture of soggy cardboard, appetising NOT! Hubby's spicy meatballs were better but they were mean with the tagliatelli.

On the way home Hubby remembered it's the archery club's fun shoot this evening and they have a bit of a buffet afterwards - he was supposed to take some sausage rolls......of course we're halfway home by the time he remembers this, so we dump the car at home and walk along into town. Good excuse to go to Patrick's cafe for coffee and cake though. And do a bit more shopping.....

Friday, December 15, 2006

It's all here in Black and White

Friday comes but once a week....

And here it is again, bringing a fab new Dare from the Daring Cardmakers. This week we'd like you to make a Christmas card using only Black and White - and just to make it easier, you're allowed to add a tiny splash of colour if you like.

The cards from the team are fantastic so do go and check out this week's DCM blog, hopefully you'll be inspired to have a go at this one - using the simple B&W theme made a really enjoyable change from all the usual Christmassy Colour Overload!
For my effort I used glitter card in black and white. The tree is a Quickutz die and the greeting is the QK Katie alphabet, Classic size.

The star beads are threaded and wound around with silver thread.

I'm still making Christmas cards (so much for having them all in the post on Dec 1st) This is the latest batch. Months ago I bought a pack of silver papers at one of those garden centres with a craft shop in it.
When I opened it I wasn't inspired, but the other day I thought I'd have a go at using them with the cereal-packet chipboard. I cut narrow strips of a few of the papers, stuck them along the card then cut wonky tree shapes (yep, again!) so that a bit of each paper is on each tree. I was really pleased with the result. Some fon't quite qualify for the DCM Dare but a couple just about scrape in there, I think!
I'm going to some more like this for the neighbours - I always end up leaving these till the last minute!
I must get on with some other orders today - A Baby's first Christmas card, then for just after Christmas a 70th birthday card, and a Baby's First Birthday, plus I have a baby album to decorate too.
So much for getting more pages done for my Aunt's scrapbook then....

Right, now I'm off out to pick up OH's car from the garage. See you all later

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Taking a Break

I'm waiting for the glitter glue to dry on the latest mad Christmas card order. Why can't people be happy with "Happy Christmas Ethelfreda" or whatever? Why does it need to have a juggling dog standing on two legs in a gondola while Spanish flamenco dancers do their stuff in the background, and of coursethe greeting is written in Greek and says something like "Happy Christmas Hunny Bunny from Your Ever Loving Pickled Onion"?

OK so it's not quite that bad, But you know - it's not easy to get a weird brief and give it all a Christmas look too, is it?
I'd only just got my head around "2 Christmas cards for some little Swedish nephew and niece please. And, Oh can they have a Bob the Builder theme please....?" when the latest request was made - hopefully I'll get a photo done and put it on here tomorrow - then you can say "phew! glad it wasn't me who was asked to do that"
Back to B the B. I decided to do both cards pretty much the same, apparently the little girl is a bit younger than the boy but wants everything he has, so if he likes B the B, then so does she, I reckoned this got me out of trying to come up with two different ideas. I'm quite chuffed with the result - mind you I think that's probably more to do with the relief at actually managing to do something that doesn't look a total mess!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Crispy Bacon

Two Mexicans are stuck in the desert, wandering aimlessly and close to death.
They are close to just lying down and waiting for the inevitable, when all of a sudden.......
"Hey Pepe, do you smell what I smell? Ees bacon I ahm sure of eet."

"Si, Luis eet smells like bacon to meee".

So, with renewed strength, they struggle up the next sand dune, and there, in the distance, is a tree loaded with bacon.
There's raw bacon, dripping with moisture … there's fried bacon, back bacon, double smoked bacon... every imaginable kind of cured pig meat.

"Pepe, Pepe, we ees saved! Eet EES a bacon tree!"

"Luis, are you sure ees not a meerage?; We ees in the Desert don't forget."

"Pepe when deed you ever hear of a meerage that smeell like bacon...ees no meerage, ees a bacon tree".

And with that ....Luis races toward the tree. He gets to within 5 metres, with Pepe following closely behind, when all of a sudden a machine gun opens up and Luis is cut down in his tracks.
It is clear he is mortally wounded but, true friend that he is, he manages to warn Pepe with his dying breath.
"Pepe...go back man, you was right...ees not a bacon tree."

"Luis Luis, mi amigo...what ees it?"

"Pepe...ees not a bacon tree...



… Eees a Ham Bush!"

Friday, December 08, 2006

Keryn's Dastardly Dare

It's that time of the week again - you know - the one that comes round really really quickly when you're paddling against the tide.... Yep it's the Daring Cardmakers latest dare, this time set by Keryn who sent me off in a right old panic with her Stamping with a Twist - I don't find "normal" stamping very easy, and to think of ways to stamp without stamps, well.........

My first thought was to head back to that old primary school stalwart of leaf printing, so it was out into the garden to pick leaves and see what resulted. The first couple were dreadful and went in the bin, but I was happier with the effect I got from a conifer leaf stamped in versamark and embossed with gold powder, it looked pretty when used on a red background. I did the baubles the same way, but I was rushing and I think I could come up with something better given more time.

Second idea was to use bubble wrap and a couple of different green cat's eye chalk inks. I quite like the effect printing with this, but the only thing I could think to do with the resulting paper was a variation on my "wonky tree" design - nice and easy, but maybe cheating a bit, what do you think? I made some bubble wrap paper in other colours too but I've not figured out what to do with it yeet!

Then yesterday right at the last minute I thought I'd have a go at decorating some vellum. I made some stamps with a couple of my dies and some funky foam, this one uses a Bosskutz Krazy Daisy die. The striped paper at the bottom used the same cats eye chalk inks as I used to stamp with, but just pulled down the paper to make the stripes. I added a bit of clear Stickles glitter glue on thestripes and the flowers just to add a bit of a lift. I cut the feature daisies from pearlescent and glittery card, and the centres for the vellum ones which are attached with matching brads. A length of Maya Road ribbon covers the join between the vellum and the stipey stuff.
Please check out the Daring Cardmakers blog for all the other fantastic non-stamps stamping cards, I think you'll be wowed at just how many different things we came up with to stamp with! We really do love to see your cards so please join in - leave a message to tell us where we can see your cards, or email them to Tracie at the address on the DCM blog and they'll be added to our lovely gallery.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A Little Extra

This is my Little Extra card for this week's midweek Daring Cardmakers' challenge. It's another "2 birds/1 stone" card - always a good result, I think!

The challenge is a recipe this time and the ingredients list is 5 flowers, 3 patterned papers and 1 piece of ribbon.

So I used a shaped card and papers from an old
Self-Addressed Kit. Not sure whether this might be called cheating, but my 5 flowers were cut from one of my patterned papers - hopefully I can get away with that! I really like this group of papers, it's one of the monthly kits that I've used a few times, I love the cheerful summery colours.

I thought I'd also show you the card I made for the cybercrop that was held on the Scrapstars forum at the weekend. If you want to have a go, the instructions can be found there - I'd love to see what you come up with, so please, do have a go! Somewhere at the bottom of one of the piles on my desk I have a whole lot of toppers made using the same method, if I can find them, I'll do a photo later....

Rightio, I found the toppers and stuck them on, and then made another batch with different colours - so here's today's haul! woowoo........ Not a great photo but I'll do another one tomorrow when there's a bit of daylight.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Well, we flew off to the Isle of Man on Thursday, that had to be the dodgiest landing I've ever known. I've been on some flights with stomach churning turbulence, but somehow the landings have always been fine. The flight was fine so we didn't realise how windy it had become. I think the pilot really struggled to get the plane in on Thursday evening; we were wobbling all over the place all through the decent and I was begining to think he'd never manage to control the actual touchdown - must admit to saying a very rude word at one point.........but eventually we were down and safe and once the doors were openied we knew why there had been such a problem as the wind nearly blew us back up the steps.

The weather all weekend was foul, cold, wet and really windy pretty much all the time. Friday morning wasn't too bad though and we managed a walk with MIL around the harbour at Peel, sorry no photos as I didn't take my camera and hubby hasn't uploaded his yet. We also went to Tynwald Mills which is a sort of shopping complex near the ancient parliament site of (surprise surprise) Tynwald, site of the old IOM parliament - they've now retreated indoors, but every July their National Day is celebrated here with processions, Manx dancing (MiL does this, that's her on the linked photo with the blue waistcoat on) etc
More info here

"Tynwald Fair Day, held annually on old midsummer's day in July is the Isle of Man's national day and is the occasion of the Tynwald Midsummer Court. The Members of Tynwald - the Manx parliament - meet at St John's village in the west of the Island for the ceremony, a legal requirement established by the Island's ninth century rulers."

We were on a mission to find a birthday present for my brother without going into the main town of Douglas which is always heaving because there's nowhere else to shop really. There are other towns, but none have the big choice of shops that Douglas has unfortunately - so parking is a nightmare and best avoided. We were lucky though and got a nice top for Mike so I'm happy that I don't need to go out this week to look for something. Dropped MIL off back at home and went out to meet a friend of Hubby's for lunch whom he hasn't seen since university - he'd contacted OH through Friends Reunited and as we were going over it seemed a good chance to them to catch up again.
On Saturday we met another friend for lunch and then we were out in the evening as it was MILs birthday, along with SIL, BIL their 3 kids and the boyfriend of Eldest Niece, then back to MILs house for more wine, coffee, cake and of course, candles.
On Sunday the weather was still horrible so we just went out for a drive - we sat watching the sea coming right over the breakwater down at Laxey, then drove up to Ramsey where it didn't look so bad, then followed a bit of the TT course over the mountain (Snaefell), where the clouds were very low and the rain was really bad back to Onchan where MIL lives. It seems all we did was eat, because we had a big proper Sunday lunch - two of hubby's aunts came to share it with us which was nice, then it was pack the suitcase and head back to the airport. Which was where it all went wrong........

Only about 3 planes had actually made it in to Ronaldsway because of the bad weather, and so there were none to fly out! Loads of people were stranded, including us, great eh?! And of course there was no-one there to help. We were flying with Aer Arann and have to say we are not impressed with their customer care - actually there was none to be impressed with - not a single person in sight to ask for help or advice. In the end Hubby asked what to do at a different desk and managed to get us booked on the next plane which wasn't till Monday evening. You'd think when it all goes to pot like this the airlines would get someone out onto the floor of the check ins just to answer questions and take the flak, we all know that these things happen and can't be helped but travellers do need information and this shower just hid out of sight. Useless.

So we then had to ring MIL and tell her we were on our way back, book another day's car hire, and another day's parking at this end and contact work to tell them OH wouldn't be in on Monday. This all cost a fortune as he doesn't get paid if he's not there. So our little weekend away has ended up being a lot more expensive than we thought it would be....

But we're back now and all seems ok - I was a bit worried about what we'd come back to, this is an old house - but all seems ok - apart form a few pots over in the garden.

Now I have a huge list of things to do, so I should stop waffling and try and get something done, shouldn't I?

Hope you are all safe and sound, that your roof, sheds and greenhouses are all still in their correct places and no trees landed on your houses. I'm sick of this windy nasty weather now, so please can it stop?

Friday, December 01, 2006

It's Friday, so Sing!

Yes it's that time of the week again, the latest Daring Cardmakers challenge is out and Kel wants us all to make music.

The Dare this week is to make a card featuring a song title or lyrics. Sounds simple doesn't it? Well it wasn't as easy as I thought it was going to be and I spent hours and hours at the weekend looking at website listing of songs, lyrics etc before finally the glimmer of an idea came to me.

Even then it seemed to take a while to come right and changed quite a bit (lots of card in the bin....) as I worked on it, but eventually I came up with this card using the song "When you wish upon a star" from the film Pinnochio, the lyrics were written by Ned Washington.

The blue and white card is from the Galaxy range from pda, it's a lovely card speckled with flecks of silver or gold. The words of the song were printed on the computer then I stamped and embossed a few stars around them. The first version of the card had stars all over the place but just looked messy! The layers of card are fixed with nailhead stars - they were originally brass, but I painted them with a silver Krylon pen.

I made the star embellishment myself using wire and silver and clear beads - it was quite easy really, after the star shape was formed I used the ends of the wire to twist around helping ot keep the shape and fill in the middle. The tails of the star are the rest of the wire beaded, then threaded through to the back of the blue card twisted and stuck down firmly. I added a couple of stitches through the card and around the points of the star - I always sew wire embellishments on rather than use glue as I feel it's a bit more secure.

So that's my effort, please go to the Daring Cardmakers blog to see all the other fantastic, clever and ingenious cards that have been produced this week, they're all fab and should inspire lots of you to come up with ideas of your onw - I can't wait to see the messages come pouring in saying "I've done my card, it's on my blog"

Thursday, November 30, 2006

MILs Birthday Card

I've been really busy this week what with one thing or another. Some weeks are like that aren't they? I've written a cardmaking class for a cyber crop which is happening over at Scrapstars at the weekend. I didn't realise it was set for Sunday and I won't actually be around so I've had a couple of people check it over and make sure it's all nice and clear and makes sense! Tracie has offered to be Supply Teacher and will be there to help and answer any questions, bless her cotton socks! Thank you Tracie :-)

This is the card I've made for MILs birthday. The papers are from a Self Addressed Kit I do love these kits but far too often I just get them out to look at then put them away again (bad Kathy). The big flower is/was a white Angel Kisses one but I sort of went mad with the inking. I used Cats Eye chalk ink pads in various colours, finally coming up with a shading that I liked, but it looked really "flat" and dull. I decided the worst that could happen was I'd have to start again so got busy with the Krylon pen and actually, I really like the result, it sort of tied all the colours together and gives quite an "opulent" look I think (feel free to disagree, but don't burst my bubble - keep it quiet!!!). The big brad in the centre was yellow, but I Krylon-ed it gold, then Glossy Accented it - then took the photo before the glue was dry, hence the gloopy look, sorry! Now it's dried beautifully but is sealed in the envelope so I can't do another photo.

The greeting is done with QK Phoebe alphabet, and the other bits and pieces are tiny pieces of peach ribbon fixed with peachy coloured brads and some small turquoise-blue prima flowers accented with liquid pearls.

That's it, I hope she likes it.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

This Week's Little Extra

The Daring Cardmakers have another word theme for this week's Little Extra challenge.
The word for the week is STAR - that should help you make some more Christmas cards, but it's also great for all sorts of other cards too

OK so I admit it!
This is one of my cards from last year but it fits the theme and I'm running so far behind this week that I doubt I'll ever catch up! I made loads of variations on this theme last year, so can show you a couple of others too.

They were all made using the serendipity technique: cover a piece of thin card with torn or cut up bits of paper - a great way to use up all those beautifully matched scrapbook paper scraps you've been hoarding. Make sure they are well stuck down and let dry. Now find a suitable rubber stamp and using a versamark pad, stamp randomly all over the stuck down scraps. Cover with silver or gold embossing powder and then heat undil the patterns show.

Now you can use punches to cut shapes from your finished serendipity paper. I've done baubles, hearts, flowers as well as the stars, and also just plain squares look great when dressed with a little bit of ribbon or some beads. It's a good idea to either ink the edges, or go round them with a Krylon pen - looks much nicer than leaving a raw edge.

I did have some pictures of the serendipity sheets before they were cut, but I can't find them at the moment. I'll add them later if I discover their whereabouts.

OK, failed to find the photos so have scanned some scraps of what I have left to give you an idea what the sheets look like.

Hope it helps explain it anyway!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Yesterday's Little Visitor

Hubby glanced out of the window on his way out to an archery event yesterday and saw this little chap digging holes in the grass. The archery had to wait a while so that he could get the camera out and take some photos. It's the first time we've noticed a woodpecker - at least that's what we think it is - in the garden. He stuck aaround for a while, I don't think the other birds were very impressed with our visitor though. Between us we took about 70 photos, a lot of mine had the end of his tail on as he teneded to hop just as I clicked! Last week we had a new fence upt up along the drive so hopefully that'll put an end to the hedge attacking the car every time we reverse out of the garage. Also got a nice new gate for the other side of the house, a great improvement on the tatty fence panel that used to do the job.
Put the curtain pole up in the dining room, it had to go into the ceiling so let's just hope that when we get the new curtains and hang them the whole lot doesn't fall down on our heads. Today the new curtains for our bedroom arrived. As did a nice little package of paper, inks and some Twinkling H20s from
Stamp Galaxy - like I've got time to play!
Did a few more Christmas cards with doodled frames. I'm not keen on the red one, funny how the black ink just looks so much better.

This morning I've been working on my DT card for Friday's challenge for The Daring Cardmakers, I had a bit of a panic over the weekend when I was beginning to despair of having any idea at all. Seemed an easy-ish Dare when it was issued, but then reality set in and inspiration ran out - very speedily indeed! Mucho relief when an idea came to roost, but of course you'll just have to wait till Friday to see it.

Next on the "to do" list is a birthday card for MIL - I have NO idea what I'm going to do All I can think of at the moment is Christmas Cards. I've also just got an order for 3 cards and a photo album to do at some point too, all needed before Christmas, and a 4th card for just after. Not sure I can cope with it all.......... :-)

Friday, November 24, 2006

How are you Doodley-Doing Today then?

10 o'clock on a Friday morning means only one thing nowadays - the launch of the new Daring Cardmakers Challenge. The time when we take our courage in both hands and show you what we've been dared to have a go at during the past week, and challenge you to join in and give it a try too.

Some of the Dares we've been issued with have made me gulp, Jo's most certainly did, it was probably the most scary so far. I can't draw for toffee.
When I was at college, sitting through those boring lectures on Educational psychology and philosopy I usually found myself decorating the edges of my notepad with flowers , squiggles and occasionally brick walls - I still wonder what the real psychologists would make of that one.
So that's how I decided to approach this dare, my squiggles are anything but artistic but they are true doodles - I was just sitting with a piece of paper and letting the pen go where it wanted, no plan, no system. The black and pink flower card was my first effort.

The squiggles are done with a Sakura Gelly Glaze pen on a piece of vellum, it's attached to the card with silver and black brads - they don't show up very well - look more like dark blotches of ink - but honestly they're brads! The black flower is by Angel Kisses, the others are from a mixed bag of Prima flowers. Ribbon from my stash.

I'm quite chuffed with this one, it looks less ham-fisted, I think! Very simple frame drawn on a scrap of card with Sakura pen as before, then a few extra squiggles added. I even wrote the greeting on this one, somehow it doesn't look too bad on a "relaxed" sort of card. The white card is then just mounted on a piece of dark red paper.

The tree is more Fake Chipboard - I think the paper is a Doodlebug one - I cut strips and stuck them on some card from an old cereal box then cut the slightly curvy tree shape with a craft knife. You get a LOT of little trees from a small strip of card - great for this time of year. I edged the tree with a dark green chalk ink pad before sticking it on the card and adding a star sequin and little red gem.

I've got one other card, but I hate it and am going to try and tart it up a bit before I show anyone!

Thursday, November 23, 2006


What have I made today? Nothing but a mess.

I've printed off photos ready to make LOs and got pretty much every sheet of paper thar I possess out to see what would work but came up with a big fat nothing.
I really wanted to use the latest Pencil Lines sketch but I'm only doing 8x8 and I don't think it works for the photos I wanted to use.
I've tried about 4 different colours of card and loads of colour combos for papers but it's just rubbish. Maybe it's just a state of mind thing.

These are the photos I wanted to use. This is my cousin's new baby "modelling" the quilt and bumper set I made for his cot.
I think I've realised that it needs to have a fairly plain background rather than the pretty patterns I wanted to use - they look far too busy with these pics. Maybe if I just used one photo it would be better. I just don't know. aaaaggggggghhhhhh

So if you've got any bright ideas, or good advice, or even just a want to say you've been in this place too, please feel free to leave me a message. The most fully-stocked craftroom in the world is a lonely place when your creativity's gone on walkabout.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Cards, cards, cards

Just completed a couple of cards for an order, the first is an anniversary card. I've been waiting for the chance to use this pretty paper, and it worked perfectly with the colour of the plain stuff which I found lurking next to it in my box.. I bought these large velvety roses some time ago only to find they have a polystyrene core which is way too bulky to use on cards. Yesterday I chopped the back off one and found it worked really well - I just hope I put enough tape on the back to stop it falling to bits! It seems ages since I put any beads on a card so I reverted to one of my fave trims and made a bead string for this one. Tiny heart brads and a heart charm to finish.
I've been putting off doing this one because I knew it was going to be tricky. The brief was "can you make a card that says something like; To my brother Daniel on his first birthday from your big sister Katie?"

Now that's a lot of stuff to get on the front of the card! Finally came up with this idea last night and started to get the bits together - too tired really and of course mucked some up so had to start again this morning.

I've just realised I've not got a number 1 - only the single candle on the cake - on there, so will have to figure out how to stick one on somehow before it goes.

The card is cream hammered and the papers are from one of the MM Cosmopolitan pads, along with a bit of Bazzill here and there. The cake is a QK die, but I altered it as it was a bit too wide for the design.

I've also got a few more Christmas Cards done. Still enjoying my fake chipboard (ie a bit of pretty paper stuck on card from empty cereal packets) - this time went for the pink/lilac/grey sahdes from the other papermania pack - ok, I couldn't decide which to get so I got both....:-)

This time as well as the parcels I've made baubles with a Bosskutz die. These worked quite well for the DCM's Little Extra Challenge for this week which is cards on the theme, or using the word SPARKLE, To get the sparkle I used glitter glue (me and loose glitter hate each other vehemently...) and some diamond dot thingies.

And finally, another SPARKLE card, but a Little-Girly birthday card for a change from all those Christmas ones. A few round silver and pink heart gems, plus plenty of glitter card to add the sparkle.

Wand and tiara dies are QK as is the Katie alphabet

Monday, November 20, 2006

Coffee Break

Got my cappuccino on the desk beside me. I even managed to make it without a) spraying myself with steamed milk or b) flinging coffee grounds all over my kitchen for once.
A pretty good weekend really. The weather was beautiful - all bright blue skies and gorgeous Autumn colours. Hubby test drove another car first thing Saturday morning, but I'm not allowed to say anything because he read that I called him "awkward" and wasn't happy....
Then off to the shops with our Christmas/December Birthdays present list. We've now got most of what we need from actual "bricks and mortar" shops, so now we can concentrate on the internet shops/ It's such a good feeling to have got so much done - and there's a big element of relief in there too. I suppose I should start with the wrapping now then.

We also bought curtain poles, decided to say "what the heck" and just buy the flipping things - at least for the dining room and our bedroom.

Lunch was at the Red Lion near Welwyn - probably our most frequented Saturday lunchtime spot. But I didn't have my usual Hunter's Chicken, opting instead for a Aberdeen Angus Steak burger. I rarely have burgers but this one was very tasty indeed! OH had the double chicken fillet open pie which looked delicious so might have that next time... We were both tempted by puddings so he had his childhood favourite Banana Split and I had the Toffee Apple Granny - yum.
Back at home we sorted the lounge out - well as much as we could what with still having an extra sofa down at one end that I forgot to ring the charity people about. So now the cables for the TV are now neatly hidden under the carpet and we've moved a couple of other bits of furniture around and I might even remember to take a photo so you can admire our beautiful new sofas and be really jealous!
Next OH headed up the ladder to put the first of the new curtain poles up so we can measure and order those curtains at least. Finally it feels like we're getting somewhere.

I got another LO for the scrapbook finished at the weekend, I found this difficult, couldn't quite get the bubbles idea to work, but in the end I gave up and stuck it all down anyway! The papers and letters are from Beckie's November kit - lovely Cosmo Cricket stuff - plus a bit of BG Oh Baby Boy fibres to tie in the colours of the bath. The backing paper is actually the reverse of one of the Prima Stone Rose pack of papers - good job you get 2 pieces in each of the packs....

This morning I've managed to do a couple of cards for the next Dare - another stinker - probably the one I've found most scary so far as it's so far out of my comfort zone it's probably in a different galaxy! So I'm feeling pretty chuffed this morning - not saying the cards are good, but at least I beat the scary monster by doing them at all!

The guitar card is for the sone of a friend, OK it's going to be late, but it'll get there eventually. He's taking guitar lessons so hopefully this will be ok. Have you spotted that this also meets the Ribbon for a Man criteria because of that cute musical ribbon at the bottom!

Made some Christmas toppers yesterday and have just done the printing on the cards so that's the next job. I wonder if I can add a "Little Extra" to make them qualify for our midweek madness challenge? hhhmmmm, if I just....

Friday, November 17, 2006

Women are from Venus?

You Are From Mercury
You are talkative, clever, and knowledgeable - and it shows.You probably never leave home without your cell phone!You're witty, expressive, and aware of everything going on around you.You love learning, playing, and taking in all of what life has to offer.Be careful not to talk your friends' ears off, and temper your need to know everything.
What Planet Are You From?
Saw this on Paula's blog and thought it was fun. Talkative? me? surely not?

Actually, I'm quite pleased with myself!

TWELVE Christmas cards added to my box in one day - it may not seem a huge number, but for me it's LOADS!!!!!

Inspired by Beverley, who regularly joins in with our DCM Dares, I made these cards yesterday using card from an old cereal packet - I cut strips from a Papermania Christmas selection pack, covered the piece of card with them, then chopped them up to make trees and parcels. I've still got loads left but whether I get round to using them is anyone's guess. Maybe I could do some with different colours....Maybe I could see if I can use my sidekick to cut out some more interesting shapes...wonder if that would work? ummmmm.

We're all very excited because our very own Daring Cardmaker Jo Kill is up for Cardmaker of the Year in Simply Cards and Papercraft mag. Check out Jo's blog for more examples of her fantastic cards, and if you'd like to add your vote, well, there's a form on the SC&P website where you can do just that!

Ribbon for Men

Daring Cardmakers Friday Report :-)
Debbie dared us to make a card for a man using at least a little piece of ribbon. Apparently her first though was to make us use flowers on a man's card, but she thought we might mutiny at that so went for the ribbon instead. Little did she know what some of the team would come up with. You need to check out the Dare Blog to see.

Mine is really tame compared to some, I apologise in advance! All I could think was, oooh it's my brother's birthday in December how can I use this dare to get his card made ahead of time?
So obviously it has to have a sports theme, and obviously that theme has to be football.

So here you go a football themed card with Leeds Utd colours for the ribbon element, and for the highlight borders. .
It's all self evident, a bit of chalking, some of the usual chalk inks (the cats eyes ones to be exact). I stamped the greeting and, with hindsight I should have embossed it as the letters are a bit flat looking. I think I'll have another go at that bit before December as I'm really not happy with it. I used QK studio alphabet to add the name, and the footballs are from QK too.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Getting not very far

I need to do another page for that scrapbook I'm supposed to be making. Unfortunately, no matter how many photos I print off, when I sit down to make a page my mind goes blank and I can't think what to do.
Had a wander into town yesterday and managed to buy a few bits and pieces for Christmas, Most of the adults are now sorted I think, but so far we've only got something for one out of the 7 nieces/nephews, so that's not really going very well. (note to self, ring the parents for ideas....)

Oh no, I've just realised I've got a couple of birthdays mixed up. I thought it was Lisa's today, but have just checked and it was yesterday which means she probably didn't get her card on time. Sorry Lisa, hope you had a lovely day - and the card is on it's way, I promise.
Which also means that it's actually Friend's son's today, not that I've made his card yet anyway as I wasn't planning to go over with it till the w/e anyway. That's on my job list for today.

Just to prove it, this is the card I've made for Lisa. You know the "killed 2 birds with 1 stone" thing - well this time I got THREE! Not only did I make Lisa's card, but I used the lovely Cosmo Cricket papers, ribbons and flowers from Beckie's November kit AND this card meets the criteria for the Daring Cardmakers' "Little Extras" for this week. The challenge was to use the following ingredients:

1 tag

2 different fibres or ribbons

3 different patterned papers

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Waterfall Book

So, here's the waterfall book that I finally managed to get finished. They're actually really easy once you know how! The waterfall name comes from the way the pages move - if you hold the book gently by the sides then pull on the back page all the pages flip over like a waterfall - very clever and very impressive. I used papers from Cherry Arte and from Chloe's Closet to cover the pages in this one as they seemed to work so well together. The blank bits are for the recipient to put their own pictures in. The pictures are in the order they appear in the book.