Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Good Housewife, circa 1955

Just a quick early morning posting because this I have to share....
Oh, I do hope this shows up enough to read on here. One of my SiLs has just sent this aericle from a 1955 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine. I won't tell you the words she used to describe it's contents, but I think you'll get an idea of what they were when you read it! Clicking on it will bring up a bigger version.

Someone's kindly underlined some bits, whether in agreement or disgust I'm not sure, but I can guess!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Crafty State of Mind

Well, from the responses to the little challenge in my last post it looks like most of you either stick with a card and finish it, like it or not, or you give up and chuck it away. Not many of you are in my "stick it out of sight and come back to it later" group - or maybe you're just not admitting to it. Come on out - let me know I'm not the only one with a secret stash of half-made cards..............please!
Having said that - if you check out the card I'm showing today you'll notice that it's one of those unfinished ones from my last message - so it was worth keeping it after all - and worth tidying my desk enough to discover them - maybe I'm on a roll and will finish off some of the others too. Or maybe not.

Over on Bubbly Funk we've started sharing photos of the spaces where we craft. I'll admit it - most seem to be a lot tidier than mine. However, in my defence it may look a mess but generally I know where everything is - and no, I don't mean that I know where it is because it's on the floor.......

I just work best in a mess - I always have done. If my mum was here she'd agree with me and I'm sure that all my old teachers would agree too.
Here are a few of my photos. The first is a bit of my desk as it is this afternoon after spending a couple of hours cuttin' & stickin', the 2nd shows the shelves above my desk and the 3rd my converted Pizza Box paper storage.

You can see more photos of my craft zone here

I've made this card today. I've a feeling there will be some "tweaking" to be done before it goes in the post as I'm not too happy with a couple of things.
Papers are WRMK Vintage Brass
Also finished another maze book - it's so long since I made one I'd forgotten how to make my favourite kinds of pages to put inside. I'll just show a couple for now, plus sneak peeks of the cover.
Sneaky peeks from the front cover:

All for now, thanks for looking - and thanks too for all your lovely comments - it's great to know that people actually read my waffle

Saturday, January 26, 2008

How Many Rejects? - a little challenge for you

2 blog entries in as many days - now that hasn't happened very often lately!

The other day, in order to make enough space on my desk to get the alcohol inks & associated paraphenalia out, I had to have a bit of a tidy up. It was getting to that point where I have only enough room for my A4 sized mat - I'm sure you'll know what I mean.....
When I have a clear up I tend to put things like punches, ink pads, pens etc stright into their "homes" but a lot of stuff gets sorted into piles - scraps of coloured card, white card, cereal box, plastic bags, paper collections etc so that I can tidy all those things into their rightful place at once rather than keep getting that box or folder out.
Anyway, one of these piles turned out to be an "unfinished cards" pile.
By the time I'd cleared the top of my desk I'd found all of these:

Yep, that's SEVEN partly made cards where I started off and ran out of steam/mojo before they were finished. As you can see, in some cases all I managed was to stick one piece of paper on, with others I got as far as adding ribbon or die cuts before, for one reason or another they were rejected. Now bearing in mind that these were the ones I found actually ON the desk - which I do tidy up from time to time, it sort of begs the question "How many more have been shoved into the various hidey-holes in my craft space?" hmmmm

I'm scared to check the rest of the boxes tbh as I know there are many more stashed away - after tidying my desk I did go through the box that lives on the top of my ribbon drawers where bits and bobs get put when they're in the way and I found another THREE in there. That's it, I daren't look any further.

So, here's my question to anyone who reads this blog. Do you ALWAYS finish a card you start, even if the mojo fails halfway through? Or do you end up with a stack of unfinished cards like me? And if the latter, how many cards are there lurking in your reject pile? Go on, have a look - I dare you!

So now I need to make myself feel better by showing some things that I've actually managed to complete!
First up is a last-minute card for a customer to give to her daughter. It's a while since I made a bear card in the style of the wonderful Jo, and they are perfect for jobs like this. This paper has been lurking in the box for years I think, it's really pretty but I think that having only two co-ordinating designs makes it tricky to work with sometimes - I must try and remember to buy three ddesigns wherever possible as 3 is more adaptable than 2....
IWhat with being poorly and everything else, I only managed 1 card for Leo over at Crafty Templates for the January design set, a shame as the templates were fabby. I'm hoping I can get at least another one done from that set eventually. Though as my new DT set of stash and templates are already here, I won't be holding my breath on that score.
The current template set has a Springtime/Valentines theme and is stuffed with fantastic ideas for cards and other crafty makes - this is the card I made with the "love letter" template
There are various layers to this card, I used a mini DL card cut in red for the actual card blank, then there's a piece of lace card under the arrow, and the envelope on top of the arrow is made so that the heart section comes out to allow an extra message to be written on the reverse.
Lastly I thought I'd show a couple of sneak peeks of Sue's Christmas present - which for one reason or another is still sitting in my craft room. Hopefully we'll get together soon and I can give her this rather late Christmas gift.....

Friday, January 25, 2008

Foiled Friday

It's been Jo's turn to set the dare this week over on The Daring Cardmakers Blog. She sent us to the kitchen to get out those rolls of aluminium foil- which I'm sure is known by other names in other parts of the world but we hope you'll all get the idea of what we're talking about!

I decided that this might be a good opportunity to dig out the Alcohol Inks and get messy. I've never really got to grips with the things to be honest, but I keep trying in the hope that one day I'll realise why people rave about them. So convinced am I that everyone else must be right that I've even bought a couple of new colours to play with - or maybe I'm just bonkers. Problem is - it's just sooooo much mess for so little reward! Tim Holtz has nothing to worry about from me, that's for sure.
Anyway I donned gloves and even my new "Domestic Goddess" pinny and set to work.

This is the bunch of bits I ended up with after spending an hour or so inking and embossing.

I used the hearts to make my card. I stuck the foil onto card, used the Cuttlebug to cut out the hearts and inked them with 2 or 3 alcohol inks. Next I embossed them with the Swirls embossing folder. Thing is, I tend to get carried away when I start playing like before long I'd got the embossing powder and heat gun out and added a couple of laters of UTEE. Not content with that I decided that I could enhance the colours with some gorgeous embossing powder that Net had sent me samples of a couple of years back - I can't remember who makes them, but Net on Bex's forum will be able to help out I'm sure!

In the end I made this card, using my new BG Two Scoops paper pad
I used another piece of Swirl embossed foil covered card to mount the greeting piece on, and kept the swirlt theme going by cutting into the swirl patterns on the pink paper so that I could just tuck the plainer message piece under them. I still feel there's something missing from this card but I'm not sure how to finish it off.
I also used brads from my stash and some gorgeous velvet ricrac from Bea's fabby Ribbon Oasis - which incidentally has just has a facelift - I love the new Springlike colours on there, nice one, Bea!

I suppose I should see if I can come up with any ideas for the rest of that mutilated foil - it's not going to be much use for covering food anymore, is it?

I had some wonderful news last Saturday - a text from fabby DCM-er Saffa to say that she'd given birth to her much-awaited twin girls earlier that morning. Huge congratulations to Saffa, Hubby and young Ibrahim too and a big welcome to Zaynab and Tasneem - let the Pink-Fest begin.........

Pop along to the blog to check out the other "Foiled" cards, and read what you need to do to be in with a chance of winning a prize from Paper Pesto

I've got more things to share, but I'll save them for next time - maybe I'll actually get in the habit of blogging more often, because I've been really bad recently!
Ooooh good job I went back on this to add links before posting. Apart from typing "folied! and "foli" almost every time, I'd only gone and written "The Daring Cardmakers Blob" aswell!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Let's Play Hide & Seek

Just when I thought I was getting back on track after a rather manic couple of months I go and catch a horrible cold - the whole works; sneezing fits, cough, sore throat, aches and pains, runny eyes and nose and even a rather unpleasant earache. Wonderful, eh? I'll stop moaning now though as I guess pretty much everyone is in the same boat with all the Wintry bugs that are doing the rounds atm.
Over at the Daring Cardmakers it's been my turn to set the dare for this week.
couple of months ago I was asked to make a card for a customer to give to her husband to celebrate the birth of their baby son. It was quite an unusual request and I was a bit flummoxed as to how to go about it - then the customer sent a photo of hubby & babe and I had the idea of hiding the photo in a little folder so that I could keep the actual visible part of the card really crisp and simple.
That's when I had the idea for what my next DCM challenge would be, I've called this dare

Hide & Seek
I'd like you to make a card which has a hidden component of some sort - the hidden part could be a tag, a concealed photo, message or something along those lines, maybe a pull-out or pop-up. Anything goes as long as there's something extra for the recipient to find on your card that's not immediately visible when they open the envelope. The Design Team have made some fab cards to help get you thinking - but you'll have to visit their personal blogs to see the hidden extra!
I did a couple of cards this week, the first was a commission and I used the same idea of a folder as I did on that baby card.All the papers are from the DCWV Far East set which are lovely and thick with a bit of texture to them too. This card is for someone who's last birthday was a really sad day and this one, although a special birthday, will be difficult for her. I thought these gorgeous, soft colours and designs would be perfect for this card, bright and jolly would not be the way to go.
I made the monogram on the CR using a couple of layers of card and paper, edged with ink and silver Krylon. The ribbons, flowers and brads all from my stash
The second card is a sleeve card (there's probably a "proper" name for it but I don't know it, and something I've never made before - I've received a couple in this style and they are lovely, so I felt this was a good opportunity to have a bash at making one myself.
I used Bazzill card to make the sleeve rather than my regular heavyweight stuff - I don't think the folds would have stuck together properly if the card had been heavier. Papers are the lovely 3 Bugs in a Rug ones from Bubbly Funk that I seem to go back to time and time again. Some were chopped up and used to make "lace" edging. The gorgeous spotty ribbon is from Ribbon Oasis and the flowers from my stash.
The pull out slider wotsit has more of the 3 Bugs paper, and a computer generated message, then I decorated it with lots of flowers cut from scraps of the various 3 Bugs paper, some raised a bit higher on scraps of card to get a bit of definition.

Joining in with the DCM is easy, just leave a message on our blog with a link to your own blog or wherever else we can see your card and we'll pop over to see your Hide & Seek cards.
Alternatively you can email a photo to our gallery at

I'm getting on quite well now with the various Circle Journals - I even remembered to do photos of this one! Here are a couple of sneak peeks of my pages for Angie's cj.

We only have one more LO to do after this one before our books come home - we sent them of on their journey right back at the start of July '07, and they've been hopping over between England, Scotland and Ireland ever since so it's actually getting quite exciting to think they are nearly home after all that time.
And finally, having coughed, sneezed and spluttered my way through this posting, I made this quick and easy card yesterday from papers that came from Scrummy Stash Cafe a while back and have stayed unused and unloved until now - I think they are Junkitz but I haven't the energy to go and check!
I quite like it, it's very bright and cheerful for a rather grey January day

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Lovely Weather (for Ducks)

Another truly grotty day here, howling wind and pouring rain. At least I don't have to go out in it today. A good day to stay home and do some blogging and some crafting......maybe even some ironing........ okay, maybe not.

Hubby took these photos in the garden at the weekend. We've just put the new bird feeding station doodah up and the birds are just starting to visit - though this little guy preferred to view it from a nearby tree. Our regular Black Squirrel visitors took a few days to work out how they could get to it - it was amusing to see them sitting just underneath, or on a branch of the eucalyptus we have growing in a pot close to the bird feeder - you could almost see them working on a plan to get to the seeds in the tray. Eventually this one made the leap from branch to feeder and got his reward.

I'm still working my way through a list of cards and other crafty things I have to do, but not feeling quite so daunted as I was last week, so it's a lot more fun. Quite a few cards to make for friends and family with birthdays in the next few weeks, two more CJ layouts to get done and a couple of other things too. My neighbour has asked me to do a couple of special birthday cards - my first order from her - she said she'd got rid of all her Christmas cards, except the one I made because she it was too nice to throw away, awwwww doesn't it make you feel all warm and fuzzy when someone says something as nice as that?

Here's the first of the cards I've made for her
Papers: We Are Memory Keepers (Vintage Brass)
Flowers: from various Prima packs
Other: Brads & Ribbon from stash, Beads, Glossy Accents, Monogram cut with Craft Robo

I made this quick card for Hubby's aunt's birthday last week - ok it was late, but things were a bit hectic last week!
Papers are "Her Own Wings" by Dream Street Papers
Prima flowers from stash and greeting cut with the CR

This is a sneak peek of the CJ layout I actually remembered to take a photo of, cI ompletely forgot to do the other one because I was in such a hurry to get it sent on.
My CJ "to do" pile is down to 2 now. ! 1/2 actually as I started one of them yesterday. woowoo, I'm getting there!

Next up is a pic of some of the Thank You cards I finally got made last week. I used the Avenue collection from Crate Papers and flowers from various sources. Yet again Mr Robo helped out by making the greeting for me. Such a helpful soul is Mr Robo.....

Friday, January 11, 2008

Same Stash, Different Cards

Grotty wet day here today - a good day to stay in and get some more catch-up work done. I've got two circle journal LOs done of the 4 I started off the week with, the remaining 2 aren't on my immediate need-to-do list, so today it's going to be a card-making day. It'll be Thank You cards, and hopefully some birthday cards getting done today, apart from several friends and family birthdays in the offing, I've been asked by a neighbour to make a couple of special birthday cards and they are needed quite soon.

It's DCM day today and Jane's turn to set the dare for us all. She must have been in a very devious mood when she thought this one up, that's all I can say!

I want you to create not just one but TWO cards ! But wait........there's more ! I want both cards to contain the same embellishments and papers, ribbons etc- but arranged in a different way for a different occasion....the only thing being different is the wording....I'll let you have different wording ! (How nice of me eh?) I'm well aware this is a really hard challenge, and that I have thrown everyone into 2008 off the deep end....but go on- give it a go - I DARE YOU !

The wonderful and very talented Sue Hyde is joining us as our Guest Designer for the next couple of weeks. I've long been an admirer of Sue's work; it's always beautiful and so detailed. Here's a quick link to her blog

Here are my cards for Jane's scary darey

I've used the lovely new paper pad that my DCM Secret Santa sent for Christmas and added flowers, brads and ribbon from my stash.
It was a great dare - one that really makes you think about how you can use the same set of ingredients in two different ways. I've done something similar before where two cardmakers make a card each, plus a little package containing all the things they used. The card they make themselves is sealed up in an envelope so it can't be seen and that plus the pack of ingredients is swapped for their partner's. Once the other person has made a card using those ingredients she can open the original card to compare the two. That's tough enough, but making both cards yourself is, I think, a bit harder - have a go and see if you agree.

aaaaaagggghhhhhh I've just realised I've sealed up that 2nd cj ready to post and forgotten to do some photos first. I've done that soooo many times lately - I really must try harder to remember.
Right, back to cutting some robo words then.....

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Still Playing Catch Up

Now that things are beginning to settle down after the Christmas and New Tear madness I've found myself with a HUGE list of things that I need to do. So much for getting back to regular blogging!
I have loads of crafty stuff to get done, quite apart from trying to get the house striaght again, which since our visitors arrived pretty much as the builders left means a lot of stuff that was rammed into cupboards and all sorts of assorted out-of-the-way places need to be rediscovered and put back where it belongs.
And there's always the Everest-sized mountain of washing and ironing.....
We now have built in cupboards in both bathrooms but I've not had a chance to actually put much in them yet.

We bought gorgeous dark red towels for the main bathroom and my Aunt and Uncle liked the colour, and liked the fluffiness of them - what they weern't so keen on was getting covered with red fluffy bits efater every shower and wash! And I'm not so keen on the fine layer of red "dust" that covers the floor, the walls, the sinks.......and the red footprints leading across the landing!
I think those towels will be washed VERY frequently in the next few months - whether they are in use or not to make them more user (and housewife) friendly!
I don't think I ever got as far as posting pics of the finished building work. We're sooooo pleased with everything now, it's made such a difference - all that time and effort has been worthwhile - you can scroll back to October if you need to check!

The "new" main bathroom

Our Bedroom

Our en suite shower room

A few of my Christmas goodies

Mu lovely new food mixer - not much chance of my being the blonde Nigella though!
My gorgeous new toasty-warm fluffy lined CrocsGot my regular subscription to the US Papercrafts magazine, plus these two fab books from MIL
And just in case I ever find myself on another planet -not just what hubby calls "Planeet Kathy", at least I'll have ice-cream.....
Yes, my crazy hubby bought me some astronaut food - it's supposed to taste like reall Neapolitan icecream and an icecream wafer-sandwich - I'll let you know if that's right when I've plucked up the courage to try them!

I've been doing CJs and Design Team stuff this week, but haven't got photos to show yet, still loads more to catch up with, but I'll get there eventually