Wednesday, February 28, 2007


I soooo love getting parcels!
Yesterday 2 crafty packagefuls arrived at the door, one with some fab Prima ribbons, the glitter paper pad from DCWV and variousl other bits of yumminess and the other with 3 gorgeous BG paper pads and a Crop A Dile, some ribbon, plus some more basic bits like cut n dry foam.

After the first parcel had arrived I thought I'd have to wait another day for the other stuff but there I was, chopping carrots to make some soup when the doorbell rang and there was the lovely Lorraine from Scrap Revolution standing at the door, parcel in hand - now beat that for service! Thanks Lorraine.

Little Extra
This week's Little Extra challenge from the Daring Cardmakers is to make a card featuring that hot item of the moment, a big, juicy monogram.

This is my first effort and it's not great I know! It's for one of my cousins who is a computerbod. I found this background in one of my graphics packages and thought it had potential. The "computer" font was the obvious choice, but after that it all went a bit askew and I couldn't figure out what to do next. Ah well, unless I have a better idea, it'll do!


Terrie on Scrapstars gave a link to a demo on how to make these cute little "maze" books - so called because of the way you make a few creases, 3 cuts then fold it all up to make the pages. Very clever. I couldn't resist having a go and this is what I made - I've left space on the cover for a title - when I think of one!
I'm not sure what to put in it. What I'd really like is to get together with my crafty friends to do something similar to a swap Gillian did on one of the Aussie forums (check her blog for more info). It goes like this; all those involved choose a theme/subject/etc (a bit like a circle journal), then each member makes one set sized square for each person's theme (I think Gill's group did 1 1/2 inch squares). At the end of the project all the squares are sent to the right people - they would look fantastic in a frame, or on a canvas - or maybe in a little book....
For this book the squares would be 6cms and I'd probably choose a colour theme for mine of chocolate and pastel shade of the crafter's choice.
Anyone want to have a go?

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Start of a New Circle Journal

I thought I'd have a sewing theme to my circle journal this time, my excuse..... ahem, reason being that I'm continuing the theme of my first dare for the DCM which was cards with "real" sewing on them.

Okay, you know how it is when you're trying to think of a good idea for something like this, they all stay firmly locked in the Good Ideas Vault? So I confess, I've just recycled an old one, but I think it'll give enough scope to all those in the circle.

So anyway, the first photo is the front cover of the book, lots of "real" sewing around the papers and to fix the ribbon on, then some doodled stitches added for good measure.

Then just a glimpse of the intro page.............

And this is my own first page - I'd planned to do a couple more pages before it went out, but someone stole the time away from me, you know how it goes, so I've "reserved" the next double page to do when the book comes home again. At least that gives plenty of time to think what those pages will be for.

and now just a glimpse of the signing in instructions.....

The little bobbins fold out to give space for the circle members to write a message.

And finally the back cover - which says it all really!

Now comes the waiting, for each book to arrive for me to add something to, and eventually for the whole circle to be completed and our books back with their originators - I wonder what everyone will put in mine, and will they be happy with what I do in theirs - it's all so scary!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Do you have 20/20 Vision?

You know, since the DCM blog started it's been such fun working on the dares, thinking up new ideas and waiting to see what our crafty friends come up with once each new dare is launched. The variety of cards you shared for Jane's "In the Fold" theme was huge, and this week's Little Extra challenge to make cards suitable for those difficult Males really seems to have spurred the Darers on to tackling a cardmaking area that most of us find tricky.

Well this week my turn to set the dare came round again and a sudden flash of inspiration, or maybe insanity led me to the title 20/20 Vision and the idea of using sets of 20 items on one card.

I'd like you to use 20 of one particular thing on a card - be it blooms, papers, brads, ribbons - the choice is yours.
You can use other things too, but there must be 20 of one item/component - not 20 things altogether, that would be too easy.
For instance, can you use 20 different papers on one card? 20 Ribbons?Or 20 Blooms - well surely that one sounds easy...
Now if you're really up for a challenge and want to try for TWO lots of 20 - well - then we'd all be really impressed!
Total madness - why did I announce that one before actually having a go to see if I could do it?
Why can't I take more notice of the old, and very wise advice to "Look before you leap"?
Well the girls didn't panic or moan (well not out loud, anyway...) and you really should visit the Daring Cardmakers blog to see the amazing cards they've come up with for this dare.
I did panic and moan, but eventually came up with this one:

It's yet another one made with petals cut from papers and tweaked to give some dimension. This time I hand cut the petals in slightly different shapes, I used 20 different papers to make this card; they are from the Crate Avenue and Birdie collections, plus some others from the October '06 & January '07 Self Addressed kits. It still looked a bit dull so I added 20 eyelets in the corners.
So I can claim the full 20/20 for this one, though I'm sure someone somewhere could make a card with 20 different ribbons on it - which was what I really wanted to do....anyone up for the challenge!

Here's the card I've made for little cousin Sam's first birthday. I've been wanting to try the fold I saw on Tracey's blog for ages and it seemd a good one for this card - I can enter it in the "Oh Boy!!!" male cards midweek challenge too :-)
I'm not sure where the paper came from, I've had it for ages, it was a set of patterns in the same colour so that makes matching difficult blues much easier! I made the number from some cereal packet "chipboard" covered with more paper and some Glossy Accents over the top. The die cuts are QK and I've used stickers for the name - the first time I've ever used them!

And I've two more new cards to show, both using papers from the MM Simply Fabulous range and both using the same layout. The blooms are from various places - the green ones are fab, they were from a little pack in my Christmas stash, some have glitter, some are plain and some have spots.

aggghhh Tagged!

It's been ages since the last tag so I guess I'm due for one!
Now, everyone else's responses to this are a whole lot more interesting than this one, but I did obey the rules to the letter and reach for the nearest book!

I was tagged by
Paula in response to the 123 book meme.
So here goes;
1. Find the nearest book
Got it, it was on the shelf next to the desk, but it's one of Hubby's computer books .....
2. Name the book & the author
Javascript Unleashed, by Richard Wagner and R. Allen Wyke
3.Turn to page 123.
OK I'm there...
4. Go to the 5th sentence on the page & copy out the next three sentences onto your blog.
"If it finds a variable, it assigns the value to it."
"In this case, x holds the value 20."
"It always works from right to left, so the expression 20 = x causes an error in Javascript by trying to assign a new value to 20."
5. Tag 3 more people.

Em Gillian Keryn

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I'm Baaaaack

aaahhhh you probably didn't even notice I wasn't here, did you? :-)
We went off and had a few days in Canterbury in celebration of Hubby's birthday. Eventually I'll have some photos to put on here, but Himself insisted that we shoot "raw" as it makes sorting the dross and then improving the light and stuff on the OK ones easier. As I don't know how to do the "developing" I'll just have to wait until he has time to do them for me.

The light definitely needs a bit of help though as Canterbury was grey, very grey - though it didn't actually rain, so we should be glad of that. Well, it didn't rain till yesterday when we went to the seaside to get our "fix" of seeing the sea before heading for home. Ah well we managed to get a walk along the prom at Tankerton past all the cute beach huts (I love 'em, he hates 'em) which was good. On a whim we decided to go to the Isle of Sheppey - just because it was there and it's somewhere we'd never be likely to go for any other reason. Well, we've been now and don't see the need ever to revisit......good bridge though.
We arrived home, chilled out for a while then went out for a rather delicious Chinese meal.

Today, of course, with our little holiday over, the sun has come out. Typical.

And this is just a glimpse of Hubby's birthday card. Mucho thanks to Jane for the inspiration - gleaned from her gorgeous card for the "In the Fold" dare this week.
Whilst I call the embellishment a rosette Hubby of course only said "You've made me a card with a flower on it" - so, fellow DCM girls - do you recall what I told you his reaction would be?

Told you so!

Friday, February 16, 2007

In the Fold

Friday again and time for a new Dare from the DCM. It was Jane's turn to set the challenge for us this week;

"I'm daring you to make a card that has to have more than one fold - so it can be a gate fold card, or a 3 panel card with an aperture or a card with multiple folds OR you can incorporate paper folding on the actual card itself. It can be on any theme. Easy eh ?! Aren't I nice to you all! LOL!"

So off we go to our desks to push some paper around for a while. With a bit of luck and maybe a bit of hair-tearing too, we eventually come up with something we're happy with. The great thing about these dares is that we feel stretched by them, we all try really hard to produce something worth looking at - and usually we manage to come up with cards quite different to each other, even though we all start from the same brief.

It's sometimes a bit tense, waiting for the inspiration to strike, and most weeks at least one of us will be right down to the wire before the light goes on! But more than anything it's FUN and I hope that comes over on our personal blogs - I really love doing these dares, and I love seeing what the team come up with, and then how all those who visit the blog and go off to make cards to show us.

The cards on the blog are fantastic, so much variety and so many different interpretations of Jane's instructions, please go and have a look here - I think you'll like what you see and be inspired to have a go yourself.

So here we go with my own card for this week. I used the same sort of tri-fold that I used a couple of weeks ago on the "Through the Window" dare, but this time made some layered flowers to fix on each crease in the card. I probably should have added a greeting of some sort, but to be honest I couldn't decide where to stick it!

The papers for the flower petals and the backing strips are from a Making Memories "Simply Fabulous" 6x6 pad and also from a Doodlebug "Colour Co-ordinates" 12x12 pack. The mulberry flowers all came from my stash - though I had to ink the purple pointy one to get the colour I wanted.
The paper petals are made with a heart punch, athe QK oval tag die, or just from a card template I made.
I love the 3d flowers made by Carole Janson, but they'd be a bit tricky to send through the post - so my compromise is to dispense with any padding to get height but to tweak the edges of the petals to get a bit of shape to them.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Change of Heart

I wasn't convinced the 2 hearts card I showed the other day was right for my customer's requirements, which is probably why I've not got it ready to send off! Anyway I've done another one and feel happier with this one I think this is more suitable for a 40something years anniversary Golden roses vellum over gold stardream card. tiny rosebuds and the greeting are on a cream card with a lovely shimmer to it - I can't remember what it's called though!

Now if only I can come up with something for hubby's birthday, and get my CJ ready to send I'll be a happy bunny

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Inspired by Lythan and Joined Up Writing!

Got a load of things to do this week, so this is a flying visit, if I get anything else from my list done today then I'll try and come back later with another post.

Anyway, jere are a couple of cards inspired by Lythan's fab "Every Little Piece of My Heart" class at Scrapstars last week.
The first card is my attempt at making Lythan's card, but to make a flower shape instead of a heart. Now, Lyth told us "the smaller the better" for the squares, and as I don't have any small square puches (yep, already on the "to buy" list) I set about cutting 1cm squares with my little guillotine. Well I soon got fed up with that lark :-) - cutting strips so narrow is really hard with my guillotine - it seems to think the least you'd want to cut is 15mm. So I decided to go with the "close enough" method and followed through with this when cutting the strips into squares. Hence in both these cards my little squares are a litttle random!
Not content with disobeying the instructions on the shape we were making, and making my squares in such a wonky fashion, I then decided to chop the finished shape up too!
I'm sorry, Lyth, I know I'm a bad student but I've always had a rebellious streak!
Here's my patchwork flower card - I used BG Fusion (yes, I know, againnnn) and some ribbon from my Christmas stash haul, all stuck onto some gorgeous lilac stardream card - which doesn't really show up as lovely as it is.
I had a rush order for an anniversary card, so used the same technique again for this one - I even cut hearts too! Still nicely wonky though! Lots of different papers in red, silver, white and black this time. A torn piece of my favourite "Love" vellum fixed with brads to a silver stardream card then the two hearts and a bit of grosgrain ribbon in a dark red colour. Now, I loke this card, but the couple it's for have been married for over 40 years and now I'm a bit worried that it might not be "trad" enough. I suppose I could make another one, just in case - what do you think?
And my final word - or words
My lovely hubby helped me figure out how to make Joined-up writing with my robo at the weekend. You would not believe how excited I am by this so I'm sharing them with you!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Read All About It! Read All About It!

So, Friday has arrived again and it's time for the new Daring Cardmakers' challenge to be dragged kicking and screaming into the spotlight and the Headlines. This week it's all about the media - love it or hate it, you can't get away from TV, Radio, Magazines and Newspapers. Public Relations and Publicity, Advertising Hoardings, Junk Mail and even the Small Ads in your local free newspaper it's all around us and hard to avoid. So that's the basis of Gillian's Dare:
" Maybe you have been inspired by an Ad in a magazine, the colours or design that has been used. Or incorporate actual magazines & newspapers onto your card; maybe chop up letters (ransom note style) to create the sentiment So grab that latest edition of your favourite Mag, or pick up your newspaper, because there is so much inspiration there, Just waiting for you to discover! "

The DCM blog has all the fantastic, inspirational cards from the team on show, so don't forget to check them out and to visit the individual blogs for more information about each one. We 're hoping you'll have loads more ideas on how to use this theme for your own cards and we're looking forward to seeing how everyone rises to this challenge!
This is my card for this week. "It's SALE Time"

Well, this week my first two ideas ended up in the bin! So this is number three and I think if I'd had a bit more time I'd have refined this one, maybe kept to a tighter colour scheme. I started by cutting out loads of "sale" type words from the local rag and some other junk advertising stuff, then I arranged all the little pieces on to a plain sheet of paper which I scanned and printed onto vellum. Actually, the first print went straight onto card but it didn't look right so I tried the vellum. This was stuck to the card in the middle with double-sided tape and at the corners with blads. I added a piece of plain white card across the centre, plus some narrow lengths with computer generated "Sale" labels, then inked with red and stuck above and below the plain card.

The bags are a mixture of QK and Bosskutz ones and I used several different types of card and paper to make them. As I said, I'm not happy with the colours - the reds of the scanned ads came out quite orangey, which is why I chose the patterend papers I used for some of the bags - but with hindsight, I don't think I really needed to do this. If I made this card again, I'd stick to a red and white colour scheme for the bags, and probably just have palin bags with the "SALE" word on in various styles.

The "Shop Till You Drop" words are meant to look like garment sales tags.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

2 Posts in 1 Day

Remeber the little album I tarted up the other week, intending to use as a2007 mini scrapbook dodah?
Well, I've now started on my first few pages, so here is the "title" one for January, I wish I'd done something else for the "Happy New Year bit - if I come up with a better idea I'll rip it off andreplace it! I think it looks a mess.

The second picture is of my first little LO "proper" - it's of my New Years Day Show-stopping pud! I quite like this one and it was a good chance to open my Holly Crate paper pack!
The little journalling label thing is one of the SA Kit stamps from a couple of months back
No ribbon, no flowers, just a lot of inking and a couple of brads, QK Olivia lettering and QK photo corner die cuts.

I didn't take many photos in January as I only thought of doing this a couple of weeks ago, so don't have many pics to choose from. I've got another page to do though - believe it or not of the last lot of snow we had, though today's is much more impressive! Still, beggars can't be choosers....!


Just donned boots, gloves, hat and coat and had a wander around the garden - it's still snowing, so the first ones look a bit "misty".
There's a camellia under here somewhere!
We "inherited" this lovely ancient roller with the house - probably because it's too heavy and too rusted to move - but I love it. Characterful, I call it!
And this is my first ever wheelbarrow.....

Keep safe, wherever you are

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Bird Watching and Local Wandering

A couple of weeks ago we bought this cheap little bird feeder and a great big bag of sunflower seeds. Here's one of the visitors we had at the weekend. At first it went almost a week between needing filling, but this week it was filled on Sunday and already empty yesterday, I filled it, but I've been out this morning and I see that it's already 2/3 gone!On Monday there was another new visitor but I didn't manage to get a photo - I think it was a greenfinch. Our old house was on a fairly modern housing estate and I think the only birds we had visiting the garden were blackbirds, sparrows and pigeons, plus the occasional bluetit - so we're still a bit excited when we see something new in our garden here. We got some Garden Vouchers for Christmas and we're thinking of buying a bird table with them as we're so enjoying watching our visitors.

here are a couple of photos from our Sunday wander. This is the 12th Century St Mary's Church - the parish church of the original Letchworth village. Letchworth Garden City - the World's First Garden City was built between the three old villages of Willian, Norton and Letchworth, we went for a walk around old Letchworth on Sunday - there's not much of it; a few old houses, the Letchworth Hall Hotel - which has some 14th Century bits if you look closely enough, the old Church and a little way along the road is the old post office.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Just in Time

Only just got this card finished in time to do a photo before the light went! It's for the latest Daring Cardmakers' Little Extra - which is to make a card to go with whatever weather or season you've got in your part of the world. With visitors to the blog from all over the world it should be fun to see how everyone gets on with this one.

I love snowdrops, they are a glimmer of hope that winter is drawing to an end at last, and here in Hertfordshire there are snowdrops all over the place - it's still freezing cold and we've had lots of frost, but it really cheers me up to see the snowdrops.

I've been busy with cards today, I had an order for an engagement card which needs to go to the office tomorrow - and I only remembered about in the middle of the night - had to get up and leave myself a note or I'd have forgotten again!I've also done my card for Friday's DCM challenge, not without a good old struggle along the way, though, and finished one of the birthday cards I need to make for little Sam's first birthday. This one's for my aunt and uncle to send to him so I hope they like it!
Tomorrow I'm hoping to get another "Sam" card done - the one for us to send this time, and maybe even do a page or two for that mini scrapbook....And I've yet to do any new pages for the "Sam Scrapbook" this year so should try and get some Christmas ones doe=ne before I forget where all the Christmas bits and bobs are.

Oooh yes my luverley, yummy new SA Kit arrived today and it is seriously fab, with some great dingbat style stamps, some chipboard plaques, flowers, ribbons and of course, some lovely paper and card. Are you jealous? Well you should be!

Friday, February 02, 2007

So Speshal

It's Fabulous Friday again and time for something a bit different for the Daring Cardmakers....but before that here's a commercial break.....

Over on the friendly forum that is
Scrapstars this weekend sees a Cyber Crop with loads of classes to join in with. Lythan is doing a card class, I'm doing a bit of Shrink Plastic and there are scrapbook LOs, a canvas class and something called a LOVE JAR oooooer missus!

I thought I'd give a sneaky peek here of some of the cards I've made with the shrink plastic I did for my little class - hopefully to tempt you to have a go!

And now back to our fab DCM challenge for this week.

"This week we're joining forces with the wonderful team of Scrapbookers over on the Everyone is Speshal blog. We're daring each other and you to make a Really Romantic Scrapbook Layout - but on a card!
Scrapbookers are challenged to downsize your usual a 12x12 LO onto a teenyweeny one - maximum of 6x6, which can be sent safely through the mail. Cardmakers - you're used to working on a small space, and you know all about the ribbons, brads and other bits and bobs - but can you take on board all the other little touches that are used on a scrapbook page - the titles, the journalling, the photographs etc?"
The DCM cards are on our blog, so please go and check them all out. The Speshal team will go live with their cards in a few hours time - we've seen a couple and they are fab - can't wait to see the rest! Hopefully we'll inspire you to have a go at this dare - it's a tricky one but such great fun to do = a real challenge!
My card uses photos from our very first trip away together, which was during the February half term (I was teaching then) so it was just coincidence that it was also Valentines Day while we were there. But it was a wonderful few days and full of lovely memories, and I tried to choose photos with extra memories attached. The day we went to the Arc de Triomphe was freezing cold, but sunny and bright with a beautiful light for taking photos - I had a cold and had lost my voice, not easy to go to a chemist and try to explain what the problem was! The Venus de Milo photo reminds me of the Louvre which was just sooo big and sooo exhausting that we learned how important it is to work out what you want to see and not just wander aimlessly because museum floors do something weird to your feet and they really really hurt after a fews hours traipsing! And also because Venus is from Greece and of all the places in the world, that's the one I love the most. Later that year we were to spend our honeymoon on the Greek island of Andros...The tulips in a cut off water bottle was so surreal it had to be photographed and it's probably my favourite of all because it was just so bizarre to find it just sitting on a wall outside the Pompidou Centre. So many memories of just a few special days - I could have gone with "Lenin's Place", the "French Loo" story, the "Is Robin Hood a Reeeealll Person" story, the "You don't take credit cards.......?" restaurant story, oh many more! I fell in love in Paris - I didn't mean to - I didn't even want too. But I did and I'm so glad I let him into my heart, I've never regretted it for a minute it's been a wonderful 13 1/2 years so far.....
All say aaaaaaahhhhhhh
or, if you've no romance in your soul go