Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Cheers, Bro!

Hello there!  Thanks for dropping by today
Not a bad morning here so far, a little bit of sunshine always helps, doesn't it?  
My groceries were delivered and have now been stowed away, so I have a bit of blogging time before lunch.  My OH is working from home so there will be the "What's For Lunch?" question popping up soon ;) 

I've a male-themed birthday card to share this time, this one might be for my brother if I remember about it when his birthday comes nearer..... 
it's another card using the October LO from The Sketch File Blog.

Ribbed Kraft card blank
White, black, grey, brown and yellow Bazzill card
Yellow patterned card strip is a leftover piece from another project
Ranger Ice Stickles 
Die cutting: 
 Aperture cut with one of the dotted edge rectangles from Essential Sized Rectangles (Noble Collection, Sue Wilson)
Beer Bottle and Glasses (Joanna Sheen)
"Happy Birthday" (Creative Dies, CraftStashUK)
Tiny square punch (Xcut/DoCrafts)
Sketch File October

That's it for this time, I hope you like my card and will leave a message.  It would be great if you'd join in and try the sketch out for yourself, too

Thank you for visiting, have a great day :)

Monday, October 24, 2016

18th Birthday

Oh My!  It was black dark when I waved OH off to work this morning!  I was sure the last time he left at 7am it wasn't so dark - then I realised that for various reasons its a full two weeks since he headed off so early - quite a change in that time. I think it's not so much the cold of winter that depresses me, but the lack of daylight hours.
Most of the trees around here are still hanging on to their leaves - but there's a lot of Autumnal colour changes going on.  Back on October 5th I shared a photo of the tree I track the year by, I took another photo yesterday and I'll pop that at the end of the post to show how its looking now.

With my hols are over, and before I get really stuck in to Cword stuff, I thought I'd look back and see what I've missed out on blogging over the last few weeks.  So today I've a couple of things to share, a birthday card and a gift card wallet both with a musical theme.
 I've used various colours of Bazzill card, silver card and some
 Glitter card to make this one.
The background piece was stencilled with stars using black ink and silver paint
Lots of die cutting (HAPPY, 'th' 'birthday', the trumpet and the large  stars)
Silhouette cutting ('18', 'LUKE' and musical notes)
Some of these were cut several times and layered for dimension
The numerals were also glittered and coated with Glossy Accents

The Gift card wallet has the same red, black white and silver colour palette
There's an embossed 'happy birthday' upper layer
The  musical notes are all Silhouette-cut
it fastens with Bakers' twine

That's it for this time, except for the tree photo - good job I took it yesterday when the sun was shining on it, as today is a bit gloomy!  You can see how it looked last time HERE

Thank you for visiting, 
please come back soon :)

Friday, October 21, 2016

Add A Tag

We're home after a lovely, hot and sunny week on the island of Rhodes. It was back to reality with a bump in the early hours of Thursday morning - that reality being the horrendously unpleasant experience that is Luton Airport, honestly, the place is a shambles.  I don't understand why no matter how much money they spend, how much more they build and "improve" (their word, not mine) it never gets any better.  It is truly a horrible place to deal with.  I'm old enough to remember when Luton Airport was a really, really easy option - my dad could drop me off right outside the terminal and drive straight off.  Check in and all the other bits were quick and easy and soon I'd be on my way.  Coming back, I'd ring dad as soon as the plane landed and by the time I'd got my case he'd be there, just outside waiting for me.  No queues, no extortionate parking or drop off fees. Those were the days!  
Anyway, rant over, and I need to forget the bits either end of our holiday and just remember the sunshiney bit in the middle ;)

My first crafting task on getting home was to make my card for today's Daring Cardmakers challenge as I'd not managed to get it done ahead. 

This week it's Purvi's turn to set the theme and all you need to do is 
Add a Tag
Use your tag in anyway you like on your card; make it the focus, or an 'added extra', perhaps even put it in a pocket with a hidden message.  Your tag can be big or small and any shape you like - we'd just love to see ;pads of lovely ways to use tags.
I'm always blown away by those stunningly beautiful tags I see on my web-wanders, and I'm so envious of those people who make them!  I've never really 'got the hang' of creating them, and I really struggle with making them for adding to my Christmas presents.
Anyway, with a 'lack of sleep' headache, and not much time to craft in, I needed to keep this simple, so I decided to use the fantastic Xcut die set I was sent a while back by the lovely people at DoCrafts.  The set has a tag shaped die, and a selection of greetings and phases to use with it - I'm adding a picture below as it's hard to describe how it works.
I chose the "Merry & Bright" and a red,white and touch of silver colour scheme

Red card blank and matching spare card for tag
White Bazzill card
Silver Glitter card 
Red satin ribbon and Silver twine
Silver gems 
Snowflake background by Memory Box
Extra Snowflakes (in silver) cut with a Cheery Lynn die plate
Christmas Tag set by DoCrafts/Xcut
This Memory Box die is gorgeous, but it's quite delicate in the centre part where there isn't much holding it together - this makes it quite tricky to stick down.  I used a spray adhesive, thinking it would be the easiest for getting good coverage, but it was still rather tricky, especially getting it aligned correctly with the card edges.  I've not come up with a better pan yet, but I'll work on it as the die is a real beauty!
Well, I suppose now that the holidays are over and it's definitely well in to Autumn I can't put it off any longer - I'm going to have to do some serious Cword card making.  The five or six cards I have so far just aren't going to cut it, are they?

We hope you will be joining in with us this week, we'd love to see how you can feature tags on your cards, click HERE to head over to the DCM BLOG and  see what the team made.
Thank you for visiting my blog today, I hope you'll take a minute to a message - I'd really appreciate it :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Pine Cones

I've a Christmas card to share this time, it's another card using the October LO from The Sketch File Blog.
I think that however gorgeous and rich the strip of paper I used here is, this would have looked a bit too plain and 'flat' without some sort of background to fill the space.  So I started by embossing the whole card front with a lovely 6x6 folder from Crafter's Companion.
This folder is 6x6 and has a definite right way up design, the hinges were at the top, and therefore wrong for this card shape.  I often tweak folders when a the design doesn't go the way I want it.  To do this just cut through one or both of the hinges and making sure it's all lined up properly, add new ones with some tape
For this card I just needed to cut through one of the top hinges so my card slotted in and would be embossed as I wanted. 
You can get a lot more use out of your embossing folders this way

Embossing Folder 'Christmas Elegance' (Crafter's Companion)
Papers: Silent Night 6x6 (Kaisercraft)
Die: Small Pine Cones  (Joanna Sheen)
Glossy Accents and Glamour Dust on pine cones

Sketch File October

That's it for this time, I hope you like my card and will leave a message.  It would be great if you'd join in and try the sketch out for yourself, too

Thank you for visiting, have a great day :)

Friday, October 14, 2016

Aqua Shades

Morning All!
Here we are at another Friday, I hope you've had a good week with lots of good stuff happening.

As per usual for a Friday, it's Daring Cardmakers Day  and this time.....
"It's Svenja here and I'm asking you to go 
seriously monochromatic
on your cards this week. 
Stay true to your colour of choice and use no or very little other colours."
I dipped back into my old Funk Hand Download collections for this one. 
 I chose papers from the "Wash It All Away" set and printed them 
out onto white Bazzill card
Swirls; Fancy Flourish (Die'Namics)
Flower:  Blooms 1 (Spellbinders Die D Lites)

For the flower centre I printed a small amount of card using a lighter shade of the same colours on the Funky Hand designs.  I made the sentiment in Paint Shop Pro using much deeper shades of the same colour, the resized it (to fit a 2cm circle punch) and printed onto the coloured card.
The tiny circle on the right was punched from a scrap of darker card and shaped with a ball tool 

When the papers are as pretty as these, you don't really need to do much, do you? 
I hope you'll pop across to the Daring Cardmakers Blog to see what my clever teamies have made this week - and we'd love it if you'd join in too

Thank you for popping by

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Raspberry and Lime Revisited

Gosh, it's very misty this morning there's a proper Autumn feel about the day!
Today I've a special birthday card to share - it's the one I made for our niece's 18th birthday.  She's the last of our nieces to hit 18, thought there's a few nephews sill to go.

Some time ago we had a "Raspberry and Lime" challenge on The Daring Cardmakers and  in creating my card I had a few false starts.  I was quite happy with how things were going while I was making it, and then I had a brain freeze and couldn't decide where to go next.  So I ended up setting that card aside and making something else - you can see that HERE

I did go back though, and Emily's card was the result.
To make it I used the October LO from The Sketch File Blog

Stencilled background: "Mini Spinning Tops" 6x6 stencil (Crafters Workshop)
Bazzill card
Ribbon, Lace gems and flowers
pc generated Sentiment
Dies: Tonic Nested Rectangles

Sketch File October

Thank you for visiting, have a great day :)

Friday, October 07, 2016

October Elements

Morning Friends, I hope you are feeling fine this Friday!  
It's a bit on the grey side here with no sign of the blue sky we've seen recently :(  
It's Daring Cardmakers Day again and its time for October's Elemental Inspiration challenge.
These challenges are all about choosing at least three "elements" from the photo to create something of your own. 
Here's my card
I used the LO, the Autumn colours, Leaves and the lovely wooden "basket" from  this gorgeous Autumnal photo chosen by Gez.   I was especially happy to see that our clever Svenja found a fab way to use that beautiful shiny black horse, as I thought and thought, but failed dismally
Sometimes, even when you've ideas in your head about which elements you want to use, it's hard to make them work on a card - when this happens to me, I find it often helps to draw up a layout by looking at the picture as a series of shapes.  Here's what I came up with for this photo:
 I have a shoebox filled with unused 6x6 papers from the old Self Addressed Kits, plus a load of less-loved 6x6 paper pads- the sort I don't use very often, but don't want to throw them away; I bet you have a stash of them too!
Anyway, I dipped into the box for this card, so haven't a clue where most of them came from, though a couple are from old Basic Grey pads.
The tricky part of the sketch was the verticals on the right.  I was going to add a ribbon and bow, but it didn't look right and I thought about leaving that part off altogether.  However, it really did need "something" on that side, so I thought I'd try just adding a swirly element in the same paper as the background to see how that looked, I think it works - subtle, but does the job
I made a cutting template for the basket for cutting on the Silhouette Cameo
Ribbed Kraft card for the card blank (PDA Woodward)
Green paper is matted onto white card, then various papers, with extra inking added to follow the LO
Silhouette-cut wooden basket
Joanna Sheen Sunflower die, extra leaves are from "Leaves and Stamens" - also Joanna Sheen 
Swirl is "Valencia Border" (Memory Box)
Tiny gems for added twinkle!  (Anita's gem wheels)

I really like the LO and have a feeling it will be a handy one to remember - might give it a try for some Cword cards......

I hope you like how I've used the photo, and hope you'll be inspired to join in with us too.
Daring Cardmakers Blog is HERE

Thank you for popping by

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

It's Started......

It's another lovely sunny day here today, it's quite warm in the sunshine, so not too bad at all bearing in mind its October now.  There are lots of trees around here, but there's a particular tree that I watch as the seasons move along.  Right now the top leaves are just changing colour - I'll take a photo and add it at the end of this post if I remember! 
The reason I chose the title of this post is that yesterday we launched the new LO over on The Sketch File Blog, and I made a couple of Christmas cards using the sketch. Unlike a lot of my crafty friends I've not really get into the Christmas card making frenzy yet - I did make one the other week, but now I have a grand total of THREE, oh gosh, get me!  
The cards I made with the sketch are pretty much the same, different colours, different shapes, but the same idea of using a couple of dies to cut a frame, to which I added the sentiment in the window.  
Papers;: Authentique
Glitter card; Best Creations 
Silver cord
Decal Sentiment
Dies: Tonic Nested Squares, Taylored Expressions Nesterd Stars
The Tiny Stars are the 'waste' from punching with a Tonic Edger punch
Sketch File October
 I used this version which is simply rotated a couple of times


For the second card I just changed the shapes and papers

Papers;: Kaisercraft
Glitter card; Best Creations 
Gold cord
Decal Sentiment
Dies: Tonic Nested Rectangles, Spellbinders Baubles
The Tiny Stars are the 'waste' from punching with a Tonic Edger punch

I try to keep my Christmas card designs fairly clean and simple, and the layers limited on the majority of the cards I make as I'll be needing to put postage stamps on them. I think The Royal Mail is really mean and stingy about their "thickness" rule - they could relax it a bit, especially at Christmas.  Hey here's a thought, maybe more people would actually use the RM if they reduced the price, or just did a reduced rate at Christmas perhaps.
I like using ribbon and gems and all the other bumpy stuff, but have to save it for just a few "fussier" Christmas cards - they'd cost a fortune to send if they all had lumps and bumps.
Anyway, I have things to make today so I must stop the waffling!
Here's that tree I mentioned earlier.  

Thank you for visiting, have a great day :)

Monday, October 03, 2016

Die Storage Folder (from A4 folder)

It's a sunny day here, but the temperature and seeing the leaves on the turn definitely tells me that Autumn is here.  I think I could cope better with the Winder months if there were more hours of daylight - it's very thought of the long, long hours of darkness that make my shoulders sag.

Anyway, this weekend we popped into Staples on the way back from a lovely pub lunch and bought a couple of cheap A4 ring binders.  I wanted to see how easy cutting them down to make die storage folders would be.  Till now I've been making them from scratch using thick card and my Bind-It-All, which is a bit of a faff and takes quite a while to get right.
I already have lots of A5 zipped wallets, and some magnetic sheets, which I cut down to go in and out of the wallets easily.  Both bought from that well known "store" named after a big river!  I wanted my new folder to be the right size for them - buying the common A4 size ring binders is cheaper than trying to find the perfect size you need.  

It was a lot easier than I thought it would be.  I measured and drew lines to mark the new size, then used a ruler and knife - the sort with the snap-off blades to cut along the lines. I found that going over the line several times was better than trying to get through the whole thickness in one go

Here's the new sized binder with the original to show the difference

next I covered it with pretty paper, you need 2 sheets for the outside, and 2 more of the same design for the insides.  I used some Bazzill card as I didn't have 2 pieces from the paper set I'd used

Next I punched the holes in the plastic wallets

Last job is to add the dies to the magnetic side of the sheets; I use the facing page to add information as to the manufacturer, plus an assembled die cut to remind me how it should look - it also makes it easy to find the one I want when I thumb through the file.  If its a set of dies, I also note down how many pieces there are in the set - helps me not to lose them!
I'm still not sure how I will eventually organise the files, by manufacturer or theme, so for now I've not put labels on the folders I've made.  They have different papers on them and I can usually remember which dies are in which one.  
The only ones I've decided about are the Word, Phrase. Letter ones, which I'm keeping altogether in a smaller folder at the moment 

Today I've been adding my Joanna Sheen dies to the folder

Just in case you are interested, here are a couple of photos of one of the binders I made from scratch, using thick card and doing the binding with a Bind-It-All

it's really easy having dies stored in binders, they don't take up much space on a shelf.  I still have a long way to go before all mine are in binders though; the plastic box you can just about see on the shelf above is a long box and it's stuffed with dies waiting to be "bindered" - though I think that for now I may leave the Spellbinders Nesties in their current, CD case storage (spotty box).

Well, that's it for now, I really hope this idea is one that you might find useful Thank you for looking

Friday, September 30, 2016

Do you Remember.....

 I was going to say "Good Morning" but then checked my watch and realised that someone must have stolen that part of the day because it's afternoon already!
Anyway, I hope you are having a good day and it's as lovely and sunny where you are as it is here.  It's always a pleasure when the weather stays bright and sunny for an extra month or two - it's bad enough that the days are getting noticeably shorter every day :(

I've been a rubbish blogger this week, so have a couple of things to share this time.  As it's Friday, it's Daring Cardmakers Day:

"Its Dawn hosting this weeks challenge and I have picked....
~ ~ ~ ~ MAKING MEMORIES ~ ~ ~ ~
I have been so sentimental lately and remembering lots of happy times. So I would like you to create a card with a meaning or memory behind it and explain the meaning of your creation. Perhaps who it's for, why you made it and the memories it made."
As I'm still hanging on to Summer it was childhood Summer memories I used as the inspiration for my card

I grew up in a small seaside village on the north east coast.  Generations of our ancestors had lived there, and I grew up surrounded by all the extended family who still lived nearby too.  The beach dominates my memories of growing up - playing on the sand, running up and down the prom after splashing about in the sea (to get the circulation going again - it was the North Sea, after all!), and hours spent clambering over the rocks, exploring the rockpools with a bucket to collect shells, little crabs, sea anemones and other treasures.  Im my memories this was usually with one or other of my Grandfathers, a special time indeed.
Plain white card blank, debossed with Beach Huts embossing folder
 (Crafter's Companion) 
The bucket, spade and fish are all cut on the Silhouette Cameo using
 templates I made a while back
The sentiment is pc generated and the little shell is a flat-backed ready made embellishment - I wish I knew where I got them from as I'd quite like some more!
I added lots of chipboard behind the various layers to give dimension and make a really simple LO more interesting

My next card is the one I added to this week's Update post over on The Sketch File blog.  This is the last week for koing in with the September sketch, there'll be a new LO along on Tuesday!
It's an exam congratulations card made for one of my nephews.
Background created using a circles stencil and several colours of ink
Matching colours of Bazzill card for the rectangle elements of the LO
Circle aperture is die cut (Tonic Nested Circles)
A larger circle cut in glitter card and adhered to the inside back of the card
Smaller stars also die cut (Di'Namics Nested Stars
here's the September LO I used
That's the lot for this time, I hope you'll leave a comment, it would be great to hear from you