Friday, March 22, 2019

Recycle, Re-use!


I hope you're well and have had a good week. 
At last the wind and all those storms we seemed to be having one after the other have gone and everything has calmed down.  It's now light enough in the early evening for OH to commute to work on his bike via the countryside tracks and bridleways a couple of times a week rather than sit in traffic jams in the car.  Our little magnolia tree is flowering and looking lovely right now.  I love it when those 'feature' plants come into their own - even if they don't flower for long they are worth having just to look amazing for a week or two!
That's enough of the waffle, time to get down to the craft!

This week on The Daring Cardmakers blog.....


It's Svenja here and I'm trying to keep you busy - and in a sustainable way. My challenge for you this week is to recycle something that was likely to go in the bin. 
What did you make from it instead?
It doesn't have to be a card but could also be a book or box or anything else that came to your mind.

Let us see what a difference your work makes - and we'd also like to hear the story of your object so please do tell us what you've used and did to it to make things as good as new.

 I confess to being a hoarder.
Just for starters I hate to throw a box away, you never know when you might need a box in just that size, right
Then there's the little trimmings on gift boxes, cards, Christmas Crackers, tags from new clothing - even the little bits of ribbon and twine that attach them to the garment - I can't help it, it all finds its way into my "might come in useful" box.  And occasionally something actually does get used!  
And then there's 
the extra inked backgrounds I make when I'm on a roll
the extra flowers and other embellishments made but not used
and the cards and other projects I make but decide don't quite look 'right'  

So Svenja's challenge made me get them out and see whether I could actually use some of this hoarded 'stuff'

I started by ripping the top layer of paper from a small 'letterbox' type of cardboard box.  These are especially fab because between the smooth cardboard layers there is a corrugated layer, which has much smaller ripples in it that those of big cardboard boxes - therefore much better for using on cards and suchlike!
I find that damping the upper layer of brown paper with water is the key to removing it, I use my piercing tool or a bamboo skewer between the ripples to help lift it then its just a case of tearing it off - some might say its tedious, some may find it therapeutic 
Now it can be torn to a pleasing wobbly shape that fits across a card.

I added a few strands of hairy twine, tucking the ends under the corrugated card and gluing them there
The flowers are some that I didn't need for a card I made a few weeks back and they've been sitting in a pot on my desk since then.
By chance, in my 'Not sure about this card' pile was this scrapling, with a little hard that matched the flowers perfectly, so I pulled it off (along with the Baker's Twine, which went back in the Bakers Twine box!)
I duie cut some new leafy sprigs and popped them under the flowers and used some more hairy twine to make a bow for the heart.
The sentiment is one of my home-made decal stickers and I added 3 tiny gems for a little bit of bling.
I like this card so much better than the original scrapling one, and its good to have found a use for those two paper roses. 
 I must admit that this LO with a piece of corrugated card is one of my favourites - I wonder, does that count as recycling too?

So that's it.
Now if only I could get round to using some of the other stuff I've hoarded....
I would love it if you'd join in this week, it would be so good to see your recycling and re-using ideas.

That's all for this time, have a great weekend

Happy Crafting!

Friday, March 15, 2019

Sew Much Fun!


Another windy day and I'm bored with Gareth, Hannah and all their stormy cohorts now!
Also bored with having no fridge but fingers crossed the new one will be here tomorrow.  Although I'm hoping it won't be the first delivery of the day
as I don't fancy being woken at 7am.  Not on a Saturday!

We have my lovely friend Shabneex to thank for this week's challenge over at  the Daring Cardmakers 

 In Stitches
This week I'd like to see stitching of any sort on your cards - dust the cobwebs off those sewing machines, use a needle and thread, faux stitching is fine or how about adding some thread on your cards?  We can't wait to see your creations. You'll find some wonderful inspiration from the Design Team over on the blog

A few weeks back I made a mountain bike cutting template to use on OH's birthday card, my cousin is also a keen cyclist so I thought I'd use it again, but in a different way.
This time I scaled down the template to cut it in a much smaller size, and instead of using wire for the spokes. I used silver thread.
I needed to cut the bike out first using my Silhouette Cameo.
Next I inked the front of a piece of white Bazzill card, then turned it over to trace around the wheels of the bike.  I used the black base shape for this, flipping it round so that it would face the way I wanted it to on the front.
I made needle holes which would be hidden by the 'tyres', then strands of silver thread to sew in the spokes.  My thread is very fine and tangles easily, so I went over each spoke a few times and kept the thread 'tail' fairly short - which is why it looks such a horrible mess on the reverse.
My old 'A' level needlework teacher would be so shocked at how bad it looks (sorry Miss Clowes)
Once all the stitching was done I flipped the card over and hey presto! the spokes are revealed.
Once the rest of the bike was assembled it was glued in place over the spokes.
I computer generated the sentiment and printed it directly on to the card, then using a rectangular die cut an aperture and adhered the panel inside.
 I hand-cut some triangles for the banner and added some black and white Balers Twine, then added some tiny jewels to finish the card off

As ever there is a fab selection of ideas for this challenge over on the Daring Cardmakers blog this week, so I hope you'll head over to see them - and of course we'd really love you to join in!

That's all for now, thanks for visiting

Happy Crafting


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Simple Sympathy

Gosh, it's windy today.  Actually it seems to have been blustery for the last few weeks.  I'm sick of chasing bins and plant pots around the garden and having to brave the weather to re-tie the strings on the patio set cover before it takes flight!
We are still struggling to get by without a proper fridge, the little table-top one OH bought to tide us over has room for milk, butter and cheese and not much else.  It brings it home how 'in the moment' catering for their families must have been for our Grannies and Great-Grannies without fridges and freezers to keep things in.  Mind you they didn't have central heating either.  New fridge-freezer is due soon, thank goodness!
I'm going to try harder with my blogging - I've been very slack lately and I have things to catch up and share.
A few weeks ago we were sad to hear that the mum of one of OH's oldest friends had died.  We were both fond of her and will miss seeing her when we visit the IOM, because she was one of those full-of-fun people who always made you feel relaxed and welcome, and always made you laugh.
Making Sympathy cards is never easy, is it?  I wanted to make something with a modern feel, so I decided on a simple and subtle silver and white theme
 I created the sentiment on the pc using Paint Shop Pro, then worked out the placement of the writing so that when it was printed it would give the space I needed to add thedie cuts I wanted to use.
Once printed, I cut down to size and matted onto silver paper, then onto my card base.
The die cuts are a mixture of Spellbinders dies (the leafy sprigs) and Ultimate Crafts (Butterfly layers), cut in matte silver and a shiny silver card .
with a slight holographic finish.
To complete the card I added a piece of knotted white satin ribbon and three tiny silver gems.

 I was really pleased at how this turned out, I think I managed to get exactly the look I was after - and that doesn't always happen!

That's it for now, thank you so much for visiting, please leave a message, I'd love to hear what you think of this one.
Happy Crafting


Friday, March 08, 2019

Mad March Hare


Yet again I've failed to blog since this time last week. I know a lot of people get ahead with their blogging then schedule their posts, maybe I need to get into that kind of routine too.  It's never going to happen, of course.  I do know myself.........
It's been a heck of a week, I won't go into details, but I'm hoping the 'bad things always come in threes' saying holds up, because I've had enough now.

At least Joanne's lovely challenge to the Daring Cardmakers didn't cause too much of a headache as straight away I knew it was a jolly find excuse to use Nana Vic's Alice in Wonderland digital paper designs again.

"Hello, Joanne here with this week's challenge. As we move in to spring in the northern hemisphere, I'd like you to be inspired by the phrase

 Mad March Hare

You might feature a hare or a rabbit, maybe even Lewis Carrol’s perpetually late character? Perhaps the mental image of boxing hares will take you down that route - the gloves are off! If you’re the punning type, you might focus on HAIR - crazy coloured hair, long flowing locks..."

There are 3 sets of Nana Vic's Alice in Wonderland papers; I found them when we had an "Alice" challenge a couple of years ago.  Obviously I couldn't decide which set to buy so I bought them all....
Once I'd decided which papers to use, I cropped and resized to work on my card. I printed it twice once for the background, with the second for hand-cutting the details which were adhered over the first layer with scrap pieces of chipboard between them.
I used another of the papers for the sentiment background and for the tea party element.
For the sentiment, I cropped down then added the wording using the text function on my graphics program (Paint Shop Pro).  I worked out how big it needed to be then resized accordingly. After printing it was matted onto black card.
For the tea party element, I cropped and resized to make it exactly the right size.  Again printed it twice, cut out by hand and added chipboard between the layers.  This time I also added another piece of chipboard just on the lower edge so that I could layer it over the sentiment
To finish I added some Glossy Accents to some of the clock faces, a small watch charm and some "Alice-blue" ribbon.
There is a fab selection of ideas for this challenge over on the Daring Cardmakers blog this week, so I hope you'll head over to see them - and of course we'd really love you to join in!
That's all for now, thanks for visiting

Happy Crafting


Friday, March 01, 2019

Elemental Inspiration Picture for March

Thank you for visiting my blog, please let me know you've been by leaving a comment before you leave. That way there'll be a link and I can use it to visit your blog too.

How has your week been?  There are a few of my friends and family with birthdays within the next few weeks so I've been trying to get ahead with cards, and gift buying. That's a sort of excuse for my poor blogging, well it will have to do!  I'll try harder next week, otherwise I'll have a pile of unblogged projects and that would never do! 

Over at the Daring Cardmakers Svenja has been looking back on her holiday photos from last summer and used some of them to make our Elemental Inspiration Picture board for March
Can you believe it's March already? On the other hand: we've had some definitely springy days in February, so why-ever not...
It's Svenja here and I've packed some sunshine into this month's elemental inspiration picture for you. Please choose at least three elements from the pic and use them on your card (colours count as one element). 
In the end, I made two very different cards, but each has the required three elements from the picture board

This is Svenja's picture.

For the first card I took as my inspiration the layout, the coloured floats on the nets, the fishing boats and I also used the colour palette
I started by adding lots of blue inks to a piece of card, then cut this down to a 9x9cm square.  This square was then cut into the various sections of the LO and all but the square that would have the beads on were glued in place.  The last one was glued down after the beaded string had been wrapped around it.
Using an image I found on the internet I hand cut the pieces for the fishing boats from red, black and white card.  The portholes are just tiny circles die cut from spare blue-inked card
I threaded some beads onto natural coloured twine for the 'floats' element and added an anchor charm.
To finish, I drew some wavy lines on the rectangular pieces with Ice Stickles

I wanted to go a bit "off piste" and see if I could make something completely unrelated to the picture board but still
using 3 elements from it.  
This time I chose the nets, the ropes (twine) and again the floats.
The background was stencilled using a Prima stencil and a pretty set of 4 Versamagic ink pads
I strung a variety of beads in matching colours onto gold thread and added them to the card by way of needle holes.  The string is tied and glued on the inside of the card.
I inked thin card in the same colours and used this to make three different flowers, adding bought flower stamens to the centres
I used Bakers' Twine to echo the ropes in the picture and tied a double bow to add to the tag.  The sentiment is a home-made decal sticker
The dies for the flowers. leaves and tag are all Spellbinders

That's all for this time.  I hope you like these cards and feel inspired to join in with the Daring Cardmakers this week, we'd love to see what you can make.
There are some lovely ideas from the design team over on the blog. so please hop over there for a look.
Have a great weekend
Happy Crafting

Friday, February 22, 2019

Oh Man!


The old blogging has slid again this week, but its been a busy one and I#ve failed to catch my tail so far.  So a quick post today and then I have other cards to make - and quickly if they're not going to arrive late!
It's my turn to set the challenge for the Daring Cardmakers and with the first of the 'men' cards of the year needed this week there was no option really!
Like a lot of cardmakers I find men's cards a bit of a trial - and as all the boys in the family are getting too old for the kids' cards I used to make for them I need lots of new ideas for cards for men. 
So my challenge is called;
Oh Man!
and I would love you to make and share cards made with men in mind.
As always the design team have come up with some great ideas and you can see them HERE
I made my card with my Hubby's birthday in mind, and went with a cycling theme.  He's longing to get out of commuting to work by car as the traffic is driving him nuts.  His cycle route is off-road, around fields and on unlit tracks so impossible to use in the Winter.  So with the days getting temptingly longer he's
itching to get his bike out and cycle there and back at least a couple of days each week.
The card has a box fold on the lower front so the bike stands out from the background,  It's a bit like the cover of a matchbox, so it folds float to go into an envelope.
I created the mountain bike template using clipart and cut all the pieces with my Silhouette Cameo.  There are several layers to the frame and also the tyres - I wanted to make the spokes from thin wire, and this way I could 'sandwich' the ends of the wire between a couple of tyre shapes.
Materials and Tools
One piece of A4 card wasn't big enough to make the whole card so I made it in two sections; one piece folded to create the front of the card with the stand-out box section, then another piece of card used to make the back.
Black and silver card for the bike
Digital designs from PixelPineClipart resized and printed onto white Bazzill card
Thin wire for the spokes
black and white card for the banner
green card, for the grass, some is hand cut, some fie cut with a Spellbinders die set
Silhouette Cameo and my own mountain bike template
Small gems, a black brad and some Black and white Bakers' Twine

You can see the 'box' fold better on this next photo

That's it for this time, I hope you'll come over and play along with us this time - I definitely need to see what cards you make for all the men in your life!

Thank you for visting, hope you have a wonderful weekend

Happy Crafting

Friday, February 15, 2019


Hope you are well and have had a great week
We have sunshine here today, but chilly - it's been frosty nearly every morning this week.
I'd been thinking about what to do for Sylvia's Daring Cardmakers challenge for a food few days when I suddenly remembered a website I'd come across before Christmas and hadn't had time to check out during the busy Christmas period. This was the perfect opportunity  to try it out!
Hello Sylvia here, 
This week I am hosting the challenge which is
I would like to see letters, words or numbers as the main feature of your cards.  You can see the Design Team's ideas HERE
 I decided to combine my WordArt effort with making my Valentine's card for my lovely Other Half:
Once I'd got the layout I was happy with in the WordArt program I  downloaded 
 resized and printed it out onto some card.   
That done, there wasn't much more I needed to do.  I decided to print it a second time and cut out an extra set of the LOVE letters which I then glued over the lower ones with some chipboard between to add some dimension.  I matted this piece onto silver then onto red. A length of red satin ribbon was added to the lower edge of the card and a knotted piece on top. The only other embellishing was a small red heart gem to tidy up the point of the heart
The actual WordArt piece isn't perfect, but it's not bad for a first try.
I do love the whole WordArt 'thing' - in fact, for our Silver Wedding Anniversary last July, I had a large piece made as a gift for Hubby.  I love how personal it is, with words and phrases that mean something to us but seem nonsense to everyone else.  A really special and unique piece of art.  If you are interested, check out Cherry Pete 
. they made and framed mine and I was thrilled with the finished artwork and their service was brilliant.
This is not ours, but one from their website to give an idea what I mean
Anyway, that's all from me for this time.  Please do pop across to see what the rest of the team have been creating this week {HERE}- and of course, we'd love you to give it a whirl and share your own 'Alphabet Soup' with us!
Have a great weekend
Happy Crafting!

Friday, February 08, 2019

Three Candles


Gosh Friday has come around quickly this week and I haven't got half the things ticked off my to-do list. So a quick post from me today and then off to my craft desk as I have a sympathy card to make, important, but never easy.
This week on the Daring Cardmakers we have a challenge set by Miri:

Use one or more candles on your card.
Maybe you can use a birthday cake with candles on top? Or a very early Christmas or advent card? Or even use a real candle on your card?
We would love to see your creations!

Click HERE to visit the blog and see some fab ideas from our
 great design team:
I printed some digital papers to use on my card so that I could use pretty designs, but reduce them in size for the rolled paper candles, and in larger sizes for other parts of the card
The 'candles' were rolled around a bamboo skewer to shape them.
I threaded through some lengths of ordinary string to make the wicks then glued the 3 candles onto a strip of scrap paper to hold them together.
More string was used for the tie around them, but I separated off a few of the strands to make it a bit less thick
The sentiment was cut in black card using an alphabet set for the HAPPY letters and a script die for 'Birthday'
To finish I used some of the leftovers and punched a few small circles which were them shaped with a ball tool to add more interest and balance.

That's all for this time, I hope you like it. Don't forget to join in with us this week - you can add any kind of candles and however many you like to your cards - we'd love to see them.

Hope you have a great weekend

Happy Crafting

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Hot Foil 'Stamps' from Regular dies: Hot Foil Adventures #5

Hello there!
I've been experimenting at making my own stamps/plates to use for hot foiling with my GoPress & Foil machine.
If you've been following this series you'll have seen how regular cutting dies can be used with the hot foiling gadgets, of not, check out the list of Hot Foil Adventures posts in the side bar. 

In my HFA post #2 I shared a couple of cards made using ready cut "SnipArt" as a hot foil stamp and as that worked out pretty well I got to thinking that  if a cardboard cut-out could be used to foil with, then surely I could use a die to make my own. 

After a bit of experimenting I found that by carefully gluing 3 die-cuts (300gsm card) together and burnishing the edges so that they are a bit less 'sharp' I was able to get a workable hot foil stamp.  Obviously, being made from card they won't last as long as metal ones, but it does open up a whole raft of possibilities from your die collections!
I chose a die which isn't too 'fussy' and doesn't very skinny lines to cut, as they can be quite tricky to stick together really accurately.  This one is a lovely Marisa Job die set from Spellbinders.

Step by Step
Click on the photos for a bigger view
1. Cut the die three times in smooth card. Mine is 300gsm, and the colour doesn't matter!  Make sure you pop out every single little bit of card that shouldn't be there
 2. Carefully, and accurately, glue the three layers together, be sure to match them all up on top of each other perfectly.  Leave to dry,

3. Use a ball tool or something similar to burnish all the edges a little on  the top layer, just to stop them being too sharp.  It's a bit tedious, but you'll get a nicer stamped image if you take the time to smooth those edges!

4. Now you can use your stamp.
Start by turning your machine on so that it can be heating up while you prepare your foiling sandwich
Cut a piece of the card you want the image to appear on. 
Add a piece of the foil, shiny side up (sticky side down!)
Position your stamp on top with the burnished side down 
add pieces of washi tape to hold it all in place

5. Place the 'sandwich' onto the hot foil machine's platform as in the photo, then add a card shim before closing the lid. Leave to heat everything up for a couple of minutes
6. Roll the platform through your die-cutting machine slowly a few times as usual.  Remove the sandwich from the platform; I like to let it cool for a minute before removing tape, stamp and foil.
Here's how this one came out - I should have chosen better colours for this, but I hope you can see it okay.  The used foil is on the left, the foiled card in the centre and the home-made stamp on the right

Joyous Celebration die by Marisa Job for Spellbinders cut 3 times
Rose Gold foil by Couture Creations
Scraps of 300gsm card
Bazzill card
Washi tape
GoPress & Foil machine

Card 1
punched heart from peachy pink inked cardstock
2x rose buds with spiralled stems
Coffee coloured organza ribbon
Narrow peachy pink ribbon tied in a three loop bow
Small heart die cut from a spare piece of foiled card 

Card 2;
Same stamp and foil, but onto cream card
Rolled roses from peachy pink shades of card plus green die cut leaves
Same narrow ribbon looped and glued in place

Just before I go, here's another hot foil stamp made in the same way.  This is a Memory Box Christmas Tree die.
Well done on getting to the end - I hope you think it was worth the effort and that the tutorial will be useful to you.
If you have a go, I would love you to come and tell me how you got on and where I can see what you've made.

Thanks for visiting, please leave a message 😊

Happy Crafting

Friday, February 01, 2019

February's Elemental Inspiration


i hope this Friday finds you well!
We have a bit of snow here today.  Snow-covered  gardens look so pretty - I just wish they'd come up with some kind of magic ingredient so that it didn't settle on the roads and footpaths!

Anyway, on to things crafty and over at The Daring Cardmakers we have February's Elemental Inspiration Picture board to work with this time
All you need to remember is to select at least three elements from Joanne's picture and use them when you make your card
Here's what I've made this week 
 I chose the colours, lace and buttons, and one of my favourite go-to layouts for this one. Here's Joanne's picture

I started by making a stencilled background with my most favourite stencil and several shades of blue ink, plus a little silver Starlights paint and a touch of silver Alchemy Wax.  Then added ribbon, lace and some lovely flowers from my large flower stash (its about time I used some!).  To finish I added some tiny buttons, including a heart shapes one to echo the button heart from the picture, and a die cut sentiment.:

I enjoyed making this - probably because I used so many favourite things and techniques!
I hope you'll take a look at the other wonderful cards our fabulous team have made this week - Click HERE to visit the blog - and we'd love you to join in and play along with us too.

That's all for this time, thank you for visiting
Happy Crafting