Friday, December 16, 2016

Giving Thanks

Hello there

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

2x December Sketch Cards


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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 09, 2016

Beaded Bauble

Morning All!

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

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

I made a bauble using circles of paper

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

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

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

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


Monday, December 05, 2016

Pepperoni Pizza

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

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

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

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

Oh well!

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

See you soon

Friday, December 02, 2016

It's Elemental


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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Dominators


Another bright and frosty morning here today.
I thought I'd do a really quick post before I try to tame the chaos that is my craft desk....... and the floor beside it.  It's all gone a little feral - it can't have  just been me that made such a mess.  No, that's just not possible!

Yesterday I showed a card based around a rectangle with the sentiment printed on it.  It was a digi sentiment from Pink Petticoat - who are sadly no longer trading.  
I've used these digi sentiments a lot this Christmas - I've made them into sheets which print onto A4 card, but with lots of space around each so that I can die cut them, usually using my sets of nested basic shapes, or their equivalent scalloped shapes.
While yesterday's card was quite ornate and "lumpy", today's are simpler and less chunky so will go through the regular post ok

I'm finding that this years cards are dominated by stars, gold and red! 

Hope you like them

Thanks for looking - it would be great to hear from you

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

3 Poinsettias

It's mighty chilly out there!  We had a very frosty start to the day and in the shady parts of the street the frost hasn't completely gone.  Lucky for me that wheeling the dustbin down to the roadside was the only "out" I needed to do today!
My card for The Sketch File today features a trio of festive red poinsettias.  I was doing a bit of blog-hopping the other day and someone (I'm really sorry but I can't remember who's blog it was on) had added a lovely poinsettia and it reminded me that I'd not made any for cards this year - so I've rectified that with this card.

I've used a selection of red and gold card and paper, plus smooth white cardstock for the card blank and die cut square and rectangle.
The sentiment was printed onto white card and cut out with a die from a Sue Wilson set.  
The same die was used to cut the gold rectangle. 
The large white square was cut with one of the scalloped dies from the Tonic set
Large poinsettia bracts and leaves; Sue Wilson poinsettia set
Medium; Punch Bunch punch
Small; Britannia die (small poinsettia)
Stars and Snowflakes; various punches and dies
Narrow red stain ribbon
Red Stickles
Small yellow stamens
The sketch;
November 2016 LO; The Sketch File

So that's my lot for today, I hope you like the card and will be inspired to try out the LO for yourself!

Thanks for looking, please leave a message :)


Friday, November 25, 2016

Gift Topper Tags!

A lovely sunny day here today.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the rain stays away this weekend as we really need to get the garden winter-ready; put the cover on the patio furniture and fleece up a couple of the more tender plants.  It would be better if everything was dry before we do that and the weather over the last couple of weekends has not played nicely

My Christmas crafting is progressing - albeit in fits and starts.  I sat at my desk the other day to make more cards and made nothing other than a mess all day!  Yesterday was much better - but I've now got to the stage where my nice big desk has a space only about 20cm sq left for me to actually work in.  I am pretty sure a lot of you will know that situation!

Anyway, one thing that has gone pretty well for a change is making some gift tags. 
This week's Daring Cardmakers challenge is another "Step Away From the Cards" challenge and it's:
 Make a Tag
Just make and decorate a tag or label for a gift -
and remember, it doesn't even have to be Christmas-themed. 

I really don't enjoy making tags at all, but still feel guilty if I don't - so I was chuffed to bits when I came up with this idea, which is really a tag and a gift topper all in one. 
Somehow, not being faced with a tag shaped piece of card makes it all so much simpler!
I started by making a Word document with the names of those we'd be giving presents to on an A4 page.  If I expected there to be more than one present, I added the name a couple of times.
I chose a nice handwriting-style font in a large size, and just had two names per"column", with space between the rows for cutting apart.  The names were positioned so that there was a large space to the left of the name, and enough space to the right for cutting the "V" shape out with scissors

I printed the pages out onto white card and chopped them up ready to use.  I've put them all in a plastic pocket (the sort you get to store CD roms in - I use them for some of my Nesties dies). 
Next I cut a load of largish stars in the same white card - I'll stick one on the end of the name label and use it as the base for everything else I stick on.

I've also cut a pile of stars and snowflakes in various kinds of card in the colours of the gift wrap I'm using this year, plus some pine sprigs and holly leaves from green card and put them in a box with the labels. 
Into the box I've added some of the new and old embellishments I thought I could use - you know, the sort of things which are too fat, or delicate for sending through the post but you couldn't resist buying anyway!
Now its just a case of assembling them when I have a few minutes - they really don't take long, even though they probably look as though they do ;)

I suppose these are more like the embellishments I like to make for cards, but even more "lumpy", so more fun to make.  and definitely an improvement on my usual tag efforts! 

If you click HERE you can see the tags the rest of our fab team have made, and of course, we would love to see your gift tags too!

Thank you for visiting today, I hope you'll leave a message and let me know what you think of these tags.


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

3 Stars

Hi there

Well. I really hate the new Blogger dashboard!  What on earth were they thinking of - surely the dashboard is the starting point for seeing what's going on and choosing the blog you want to do something with next.  Now all you see is  the posts list for whichever of your blogs was last updated.  It took me ages to find the tiny menu arrow which brought up a list of my blogs, and it doesn't show if there are comments to be moderated - so you have to go to each individual blog rather than see them all at a glance.
Oh well, what can you do.  Another case of fiddling with stuff for the sake of being seen to be doing something - what happened to "if it ain't broke, don't fix it?"

That's my rant over for the day ;)
On to the card I made for this week's Sketch File Update 
I quite like the way this one turned out.  As you can tell, I missed out the extra "line" at the bottom of the sketch, stretched the big {red} rectangle,  and changed the upper one for a circle - but that's ok because the sketches are there for inspiration, a starting point to use in your own way.

Sketch File LO, Nov 2016

Digital Paper collections "Loving Christmas" and "Loving Christmas Again" 
 by KHDigi, from Etsy
Sentiment is also a digital image - from the now defunct Pink Petticoat. 
Red and Gold Glitter card (Kaisercraft)
Die cutting: 
 Star stack (Taylored Expressions), 
Plain circle (Tonic Nesting Circles) Eyelet circle (Spellbinders)

I thought I'd just add a second one, also using the Sketch.  I'm not so keen on this one - I think I chose the wrong paper for the background.  Might have been better without any, or with something plainer, or an aperture......
Papers are as before, Die cut baubles are the smallest one for a set of 2 by Memory Box

That's all for this time, save to say it would be great to see what you could make using the sketch
Thanks for hopping over, please leave a message ;)

Monday, November 21, 2016

Deep Borders


At the weekend I made a bunch of cards using the same simple design, so I thought I'd share a quick post today to see what you think.
I've a nice batch of download papers printed onto card and decided they deserved to be shown off rather than chopped up to use several on one card - if that makes sense!
However I didn't want to cover the whole card blank with paper so I trimmed each piece down and used border dies to make a pretty edge

Both of these use a lovely star border die from Joanna Sheen
The Bauble die and the stocking are both by Memory Box
I used a large scalloped circle from the Tonic nested set to make the curved shape for this one
The tree is cut in black glitter card. The die is from a set of several different shaped and sized trees by Sue Wilson
The gold snowflake is a punch (EK Success)

Right, back to it
Hope you are managing to keep dry today!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Little Town

Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoy your time here and will take a minute to leave a message too
I know a lot of you make Christmas cards all through the year, and will be laughing at the rest of us tardy souls as we moan and stress about how far behind we are...... but it's the same for me every year and I doubt it will change now!
The good thing for readers of this blog is that my posts are a lot shorter when I have a lot to do - which is probably a relief!

As it's Friday it's Daring Cardmakers day again, and after last week's little crafty detour in the first of our "Step Away from the Cards" challenges, this week it's back to cards with this challenge to make cards.....
Inspired by Christmas Carols and Songs
There are masses of them, and we all have our favourites, so it may be difficult to choose which to go with!  We're looking forward to seeing which you choose, and having a good old sing along with you
To see what the team have been singing along to, visit DCM BLOG, here!
There are a lot of traditional Christmas carols I love.  There are plenty of 'secular' Christmas songs I love too - but I went the traditional route this time and chose to use my all-time favourite Christmas carol 'Oh Little Town of Bethlehem'. It's never wavered from being my favourite - what I can't decide on is which of the several tunes it can be sung to that I like the best. 

 Long, long ago, when I first started making cards and hadn't yet realised that stamps and colouring were not going to be for me, I bought this lovely Hero Arts stamp/  It's probably been used no more than a handful of times!  Still, it was perfect for this, and I stamped it onto different colours of card and cut out the little pieces to make a more dimensional diorama
Smooth White card blank, plus spare for the upper layer and the stamped image
Black Glitter card (Best Creations) 
Wording Printed on pc
Aperture - mixed plain and scalloped set of Oval dies (Sonic)
Stamp (Hero Arts), Black Ink (Stazon)
I cut the main area of the image out (town, tree and ground area).
I stamped parts of the image on coloured card and cut the roofs, doors, grass and tree out to glue in place on the main image
Tiny areas of yellow and gold used for highlighting
The image was then glued behind the aperture and the card assembled
Lastly I followed the placement on the original stamp to add the stars - punched from silver glitter card

That's it for today.  I'll be off then, back to the Christmas card making.....!  See you soon

Have a great day and a lovely weekend

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A Silver Tree

Hi there

I hope you are feeling well this damp Tuesday morning.  It's a Work-from-Home day for hubby, and as we share the study it's a case of keeping my crafting noise to a minimum while I try to get to grips with my Christmas crafting.  Wouldn't it be nice if the various crafting machines we use were just a bit quieter.

Today's card is made using the November LO from The Sketch File
I've used a bit of artistic license with this, but look closely and you can still see the sketch - or I hope you can!  I cut an aperture for one of the rectangles and the tree takes the place of the other one
The Sketch File, November 2016

Aperture cut with scalloped rectangles from the Tonic Nested Rectangles - a mix of scalloped and plain dies
The green printed paper behind the aperture is from the Retro Christmas download collection from YourPaperStash 
Lovely, isn't it?  There are a few other more geometric collections in the same colours; which really add a lot of variety.
The tree is a Memory Box die from a couple of years ago
Small stars and Snowflakes; Cheery Lynn Snowflake plate,
 Joanna Sheen Starry border
The tiny sentiment circle is backed with a MS Snowflake punched in glitter card, and a scalloped circle from the Spellbinders Nesties set

That's it - short and sweet in the hope that I can actually manage to get through a bit of my to-do list today!
Thank you so much for taking the time to pop by - I ghope you'll leave a message too, or is that being greedy? :)

Friday, November 11, 2016

Mixing It Up


After a rather dismal week weather-wise, the sun is shining today and the Autumn colours are glowing again - well the leaves that are still on the trees, anyway!
I'm still trying to catch my tail after all the coming and going of recent weeks; every time I think I'm getting to grips with the to-do list, something else pops up - you know how it is!
It didn't help that I wasn't entirely happy with my project for the Daring Cardmakers this week and decided to have a second attempt!  

As we're well and truly in the run-up to Christmas (there, I said it!) we thought we'd have a bit of fun with a few non-card challenges thrown in among the usual card ones.  We've called this series "Step Away from the Cards" and this week's challenge is the first of them

Gift Bag or Box
We'd just like you to make or decorate a box or gift bag (it doesn't have to be Christmas-themed) then share your creations with us via the InLinkz gadget  on the blog as usual.  

In the end I'm sharing both of the things I made.  I managed to alter the depth of the box which made the proportions better, but I still think I should have used slightly smaller circles for the flat sections - or made the container part of rth box with a larger diameter
I made this box using s set of download papers which I printed onto card, plus some matching Bazzill Bling card.
I've made a couple of other shapes using the same kind of
 technique in the past.
Once the box was created I decorated it with ribbon and die cuts
My second project was a gift bag - over the years I've made loads of these gift bags as they are fairly simple to make to whatever size I need.  This one is about 17cm high.  
 I used a sheet of 12x12 paper from a lovely Kaisercraft paper pack.  I've never actually tried, but I think it would be fairly easy to size this up for a larger gift by using two sheets of identical paper.  
I have a tutorial for this gift bag {HERE}

To decorate:
Starry border (Joanna Sheen)
Pine cone and branch dies (also Joanna Sheen)
Baubles; Spellbinders, Memory Box and a Tonic circle 
MS Snowflake punch, Tonic border punch for tiny stars
 That's it for today.  I'm going to try really hard to spend some of the weekend catching up with what my crafting blog-mates have been up to recently - I've missed such a lot.  
I've about 15 Christmas cards not enough, and I've not bought a single Christmas gift yet......panic is beginning to set in!

Hope you find time to join in with The Daring Cardmakers this week, it would be lovely to see your creations.

Have a great weekend, see you soon