Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Little Extra - sorry it's late!

First of all Thank you so much for all your lovely comments about the album on my last post - I know I was pretty chuffed with it, but it's much more special to know that other people like it too - makes you feel all warm and fuzzy to get so many wonderful messages! Thank You!

For the Daring Cardmakers' Little Extra challenge this week there's a sketch to have a go at.

"We don't mind how you use it - bend it, stretch it, shirnk it or turn it on it's head - as long as we can see the original plan in there it counts and we'd love to see how you use it.
Some of the Design Team's fab cards using the sketch are on the blog and anyone who uses the sketch is invited to leave a message on there so we can all go and see what you do with it.

Here's my card. I decided to cut an aperture for the top left hand square and a flower instead of the lower rectangle. All the paper is from the Basic Grey Blush set, some used inside to show through the hole. The paper flowers are a mixture of Heidi Swapp, Prima and some from one of Crafts U Love's great value colour-themed packs of flowers (they have a sale on at the moment if you're interested....). I made the flower on the big rectangle with wire and beads to match the colours in the paper. Looking at it now I'm thinking that I could maybe have used some of those rub on things that came in a Prima paper pack before sticking the papers on - too late now though as the card went in the post yesterday!

I forgot to show you this one. It's a bit "rough and ready" but if you saw the state of my noticeboard you'd see it was quite authentic! I used the calendar stamp from January's SA Kit which is brilliant! I stamped a load of them so that they're ready for when I need one. I'll probably forget where I put them, of course. The papers were from an old kit from the end of last year.
I've been wanting a good white ink pen for ages and this was recommended by the lady in the Isle of Man craft shop The Craft Emporium and it's great - it's a Schneider "Gel It" pen, I got the gold one too, but I don't think it's quite as good as the white. Lots of scruffy inking and scribbling, some Liquid Pearls/Tulip paint blobs for fake brads and notice board pins, plus a couple of real brads.

Back to a tidier style for one of the Valentines cards I've made for the box in Hubby's office. Some more of that lovely paper from a 7 Gypsies set and some yummy spotty ribbon from a Blonde Moments pack. The pink glitter card is from PDA and it's fab because the glitter is sealed in so doesn't end up in my hair or on my face and clothes!!

Last "Show and Tell" for now is this notebook. It's covered with paper from a Brenda Walton pad for K&Co, then I used more of the 7 Gypsies paper to do the fancy bits. I enjoy making these - it's fun to rummage through all the stash to find interesting things to stick on - or make them if you feel inclined. This one has lace, ribbon, brads, a buckle, various flowers and a bead and wire monogram.
Today I must get on with my Daring Cardmakers project for Friday, and I also need to write up my class for the Scrapstars cybercrop class. Later on I'll put some photos on my blog so you can see what I'm doing this time.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Pure Fusion!

Lynne's lovely journal has inspired me to start a year long project. What I have in mind is just to choose a couple of photos each month, about the house or other stuff we've done that month and make a little LO with them - nothing too complicated or too onerous - I'm not good at keeping resolutions of this kind, so wanted to do something that wouldn't become a chore.
Anyway, I bought a couple of £1 mini (6x6) scrapbooks on Saturday - as well as stocking up on loads of double-sided sticky tape and foam tape. The albums are a bit plasticky, but had potential.
I probably should have got two the same but of course I didn't. The one I chose to have a go at for this project had quite a thick, sort of padded cover, It's post bound and was really easy to take apart and re-cover with some of the yummy Fusion paper from Basic Grey - I think this is still my absolute favourite BG range.
The big f
lower was coloured with a Brilliance ink pad and the colour hasn't really photographed well, it looks a bit too blue in the picture. The 2nd flower is made with the QK oval tag die and more Fusion paper, the 3rd I coloured with shades of yellow and orange, and the top one is a Heidi Swapp flower - I added a few blobs of Krylon gold pen to them all.

I used chipboard letters from a couple of different s
ets and covered them with scraps of different Fusion papers. Covering them was a nightmare, they looked a right mess tbh - so I sanded the edges smoother then inked them and added a few bits of Krylon gold to match the flower. The letters disappeared into the background, so I made some tags from one of the plainer papers to mount them on, inked them up and added plenty of ribbons and fibres.
Lastly I covered a slide frame, stuck on some plain Bazzill card and decorated with little bits of ribbon, some blobs of Tulip paint and added QK Phoebe numbers for the 2007. I'm really chuffed with this album - I wonder if I can actually amnage to put anything in it....time will tell!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Metal Fatigue

It's Friday again, and you know what that means, don't you?

"Okay Everyone, it's time to move on to another Dare and now it's Saffa's turn...

This week's dare is entitled:


..no I don't mean rock music! I would like you to make a card on any theme you like with the rule that it must include something metalic...thats all! You could use wire, charms, foil or even metallic pens."

This is my card. I really wanted to double-dare myself into doing something new, so on the way to this one I had a dabble with those alcohol inks that have sat on the shelf, still sealed in their packet for well over a year - more of that later, suffice to say this card does not use the stuff I made with the inks!

I fell back on an old favourite, but not one I use very often as it's fiddly and time-consuming. I only make short words with wire as I tend to get tied up in tangly, knotted wire after a while, so here you are, the word "Love" is hand made from a length of wire, some of the beads are threaded onto the wire and the others are threaded onto the metallic thread I use to sew the word onto the card. I added a double bow of red organza ribbon, two different tiny silver heart charms dangle on silver thread, and some tiny little silver brads. Then the black card was mounted first onto silver card then onto white before fixing to the gorgeous dark red "Stardream" card from pda - the photo doesn't really show how fab this card is - it's a lovely heavy card with a pearlescent finish on both sides.

At the bottom of the card I cut some slits to weave silver metallic ribbon through and added a metal heart shaped button tied with more of the red ribbon.

Please visit the DCM blog where you'll find all the cards for this dare and all the others we've done. If you're inspir4ed to join in the info on how to show your own cards is there too. You'll also find links to the personal blog of each member of the Design Team, with more info about all the cards and other crafty stuff we indulge in!

I thought I'd add a photo of the things I made using my alcohol inks. I'm quite pleased really - they weren't bad for a first attempt with the stuff. I love the paper and even the metal squares and flowers look pretty good - I went on and UTEEd some of these pieces and added a few extra bits and bobs in the hope that I'd have a brilliant (even mediocre would have been OK after hours of playing with them) idea for using them on a card. If you check out Lythan's blog you'll see that she made a beautiful flower with some of the alcohol ink background paper she's made - now why didn't I think of that? :-(

Anyway, despite playing around with them for DAYS, and almost pulling my hair out at the lack of inspiration I just couldn't work out how to use it all on a card - so I gave up, had a bit of a scream, banged my head against the wall a few times, made a cup of coffee then came back and made the wire word card instead.

Ah well, maybe if I look the bits of metal long enough some little whisper of an idea will work it's way through the haze. Fingers crossed, eh?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Little bit of Snow

We woke up to a light covering of snow yesterday. It didn't last long but it was pretty while it was here. The first photo is the view across the road taken from the study window - and yes, the sky really was that grey!

The others were taken in the back garden - not by me, I might add (I don't do snow!) One looking towards the house, the other away from it - just in case you didn't work that out! The good thing about the snow is that you can't see the manky grass or the unturfed bit at the back, so it looks a lot better this way, really...

I've been crafting like a demon today - well, for me anyway, I'm not a quick worker and when I see how much some of you manage to make in one session I'm left feeling totally inadequate - I have so little to show for all the time it took! Anyway, I finished my card for the new Dare which will be announced tomorrow - don't forget to tune in to The Daring Cardmakers Blog for that - always on a Friday at about 10am UK time.

The DCM Little Extra for this week was another recipe card, this time the ingredients were 7 brads or eyelets, 6 flowers and 5 letters.
I used an old SA Kit (you see, I do get round to using them eventually!). The green flower is made with a Bosskutz mini-tag die and a punched flower for the centre (that's 2 flowers), the purple flower I just hand cut petal shapes and stuck the together (that's 3, are you counting?), the third flower is the other 3 from the list, the 2 outer layers made with a heart punch and the little one in the middle is a tiny daisy punch. Each has 1 brad in the centre which leaves 4 to attach my 5 letter message tag - HELLO. Phew! wasn't sure I was going to get this one done so am quite chuffed really.

I also made a card ready for the birthday of a friend of ours, but I think I'll show that one another day - just in case today has been a bit of a fluke!

Thanks for all the comments you've left - I do love to read your messages! See you tomorrow with the new Dare card.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Get Well Soon

My SIL has just had her appendix removed in an emergency op. I made this card for her using Basic Grey's lush Blush papers. I used my Robo (yay!) to cut most of the flowers, some from one of the flower shapes on their template and some are actually the sunshine template. I really wanted to use the Girls are Weird font for the letters but found they are a bit narrrow to cut out well so I used this handwriting font instead which looks a bit clumsy I think - but I didn't have time to look for a better one. I used loads of chalk ink pads to give a bit of a shabby chic look which seems to match the smudginess of the striped paper.

I've decided that it's about time to have a go with the alcohol inks I bought at LB Crafts when we went for the Tim Holtz demo - which must be over a year ago. I had a play yesterday afternoon, but couldn't find the notes Sue did so had to wing it - not had a look yet to see exactly how much of a mess I managed to make, or if anything I did will be of any use - I'll let you know.....maybe.
I've just remembered that there was a class on Alcohol Inks on the SA Kit forum a couple of months ago, so I'm off to have a look and see what I should have done!

Don't forget, the DCM team are on tenterhooks and waiting all agog to see your "Through the Window" cards for this week's dare - and there's a new Little Extra midweek challenge all ready and waiting for launching a bit later on, so keep checking here.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Word verification

Don't you just love it when you go to add a comment on someone's blog and you get a good set of letters for the word verification thing? Just a shame it wasn't Lucy's blog, really.

Toast, coffee and a parcel of goodies

What could be better than a Saturday morning lie-in, then toast and coffee sitting in bed opening a nice nox of crafty goodies.

Today my order from Banana Frog arrived - some lovely new papers - they stock some that you don't come across every day so definitely worth a look if you're after something different to inspire you, and one of their gorgeous sets of stamps which I hope are going to kick me into "have-a-go" mode with stamping, it's been a while since I did anything with an inkpad other than ink the edges of some paper. Even Keryn's "Stamping with a Twist" dare didn't make me delve far into the stamping stuff drawer.

Anyway, it was tough to decide which set to go for as they all look great so I plumped for one of the scribbled flowers sets - I'll let you know how I get on....

Thank you Bev for sorting out the problem with the order and fro tracking down the parcel at the PO - that's what I call service!

Been for one of our Saturday pub lunch jaunts today, we went to the Hare & Hounds in Old Warden, Bedfordshire. Old Warden is where you'll find Shuttleworth Park, with it's famous collection of old aircraft - there's also the beautiful Swiss Gardens and a falconry centre in the grounds of Shuttleworth House, which is now some sort of agricultural coleege I think. The village is full of "chocolate box" cottages and worth a nosey around if you're ever in the area. The pub is lovely, it's all non-smoking and the food is really good - although today there was too much fishy stuff on the menu for my taste so I had locally made sausages which were pretty good - so good that I couldn't face ordering the intrguingly named "Dark Chocolate Nemesis" I'd spotted on the puds menu. ah well....

Called in at an archery "shop" which recently opened as Hubby wanted some new arrows. It was "only a quick visit, I won't lookt at all the things I want, just the ones I need straight away..." Lucky I took a book (which I finished) and a magazine then, as the quick visit lasted an hour.

Now I'm on my own as he's gone off out to help with the beginners course at his archery club and then they have their proper club night straigh after. If you're interested, this is the link for Hubby's archery club, Kestrels they shoot indoors during the winter at a hall in Sandy then return to Biggleswade for the outdoor season. That's their plug for the year, check the iste out - it's one that hubby built and maintains, so that's a plug for him too.

Gosh I should be charging for all this free publicity :-):-):-)

Friday, January 19, 2007

Windows of My Mind

Rhi challenged the DCM team this week, in good BBC Playschool tradition to:

"Look through the round window, or the square window, or the arched window, or any shape window you like!"
"I dare you to make a card with an aperture in it, it can be any shape you like and can be see through or have something covering behind it. It could be a ready made aperture card or lots of small windows punched out, diecut or handcut or one large window. It could be a shaker card and can be for any occasion. ...."

I received a couple of packs of 6x6 papers by 7 Gypsies from A Trip Down Memory Lane on Monday and they are so lovely that I couldn't resist using them straight away for my cards this week - fancy, cutting into new paper the very day it arrives - are you impressed?
I've got some ready-made aperture cards in the bottom of a box somewhere which I've never been inspired to use, so I didn't even bother trying to find them.
Instead for my first card I used a giant flower punch to make the aperture, then used the cut out shape as the basis for the flower behind it, which is then stuck on the inside of the card.
The Stuff: Paper from the Capri paper pack. Various mulberry paper flowers. Various Ribbons and ric-rac, plus paper loops made from the same paper. Brads and eyelets.
Lots of inking, plus gold pen "stitches" around all the edges.

The second card is basically a 12cm square, but cut from the long side of a piece of A4 card and creased to make all the sides different - only the back is 12cms wide. That's probably as clear as mud, sorry! The 2nd photo of the card might help explain better.
The aperture is hand-cut (funny how I never seem to have the right sized punch....) . Again lots of inking, and also a bit of Krylon gold pen for highlighting, some punched hearts and some chiffon ribbon.
The heart inside the aperture I made from wire threaded with gold and red beads.
This time the paper is all from the "Classic" paper pack, with the addition of some scraps of gold card

Well my SA Kit has just this minute arrived so I'm off to open it. Still waiting for two more goodie boxes though.........

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Where are my parcels?

It's a filthy day. Howling winds and really squally showers - occasionally the sun peeps ouit then goes back into hiding - I don't really blame it - it's horrible out there. I know it's horrible because I've been having to go outside to rexcue my plants again. The big palm blew over again and managed to block the kitchen door - once I'd clambered out I got it upright and spent the next half hour rolling the pot to a (hopefully) more sheltered place, the pot is so heavy it's really difficult to move at all. Then I moved anything else that had blown over or was in danger of doing too. There's another broken pot out there, and one of the gates keeps opening itself and banging back and forward, and the bin is on it's back having blown down the step - it can flippin' well stay there too!

Last night I had a bit of a disaster. Hubby was at a meeting and I planned a nice early night with a magazine and a hot chocolate. I got into my PJs then went to make the hot choc. I steamed the milk with the cappuccino machine then poured it ito the glass Bodum beaker I like to use. So there I am stirring it all up nicely when suddenly a big hole (no warning crack, just a hole, mind!) appears about 1cm up from the bottom of the glass and me, the worktop, and the floor are covered in a yukky brown mess of chocolate milk! I just stood there like a lemon for a minute - couldn't believe what had happened! Oh what a mess. took me ages to clear it all up - you would not credit how much mess one mug of chocolate milk can make. So much for my nice relaxing early night! And don't anyone tell me I should have run to get the camera as it would make a good LO!!!!!!!!

I found some socks I'd forgotten I had and as I needed cheering up today I'm wearing them - thought you'd like to see.....

I'm disappointed by the lack of parcels arriving - or not as the case may be. I ordered stuff from a couple of places last week and I thought they'd be here by now - I've got used to the wonderful next day service most of the places I order from seem to manage , so waiting (and waiting) doesn't go down well.

I ordered ysome new dies from the Eillison sale last week - Thursday I think it was, I thought my stuff would be here by now....and then at the weekend I put my first order in to Banana Frog and that's not arrived either. ah well maybe tomorrow. I wonder how long these places usually take? I've never ordered from either before.
At least A Trip Down Memory Lane and Craft Obsessions didn't let me down :-):-):-):-)

Still waiting for my January SA Kit to arrive too, but Jenn says they had a problem with one of the products so they went out a bit later than usual. They all went out last Friday though so hopefully it'll arrive here soon - and it looks fab - not surprised it's sold out already.

OK I need to get on, I've a Get Well Soon card to do, and maybe some valentines cards to go in the box at Hubby's office. Also need to do something for the upcoming Scrapstars cyber crop. (I must not leave it till the last minute....I must not leave it till the last minute....I must not leave it till the last minute....I must not leave it till the last minute....)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Tidy? Me? That'll be the day!

Some of you seem to be under the misapprehension that my craft space is now tidy.
Let me enlighten you:

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A Little Bit of Prevarication....

....going on in the Waffle Corner.

You know how it is.
I maintain I'm not wasting time or putting off the cardmaking or scrapbooking or whatever. No, what "sorting my stuff" actually means is that my mind is away planning and working out how the next project will look and what I need to do to make it work, whilst my hands are busily going through, tidying up and redistributing all the bits and bobs.
So, today I've sorted all the ribbons I've acquired lately - somehow (and I know not how....)they've sort of outgrown the ribbon drawer so in order for them to invade another drawer I had to find a new home for my punches. This is how prevarication works - one job leads to another and before you know it hours have past and all your stuff is on the floor.
Well, for the time being the punches have gone in a couple of the cardboard boxes my SA Kits arrive in and are stacked behind the desk. The punches I use most are still in the drawer for now, they can share with the ribbon for now and help keep the ribbon cards standing up, can't they? See? loads of room for more ribbons now.
Then I went through the last few month's worth of SA Kits and made filing cards for them (I like to keep all that month's papers etc together) as I'd run out - probably why they've all just been lying in a heap lately. I took the ribbons and flowers out and put them in the right places. One day, I'll put images of each month's stamps on those filing cards then I'll know what I've actually got. That's a good idea, and one which will be another bit of prevarication, hmmmm And of course there's still the new fibres to be found space for....

All this means that I've no new crafting to show on here as the only thing I've done so far this week is something I can't let you see yet! Great eh?

Friday, January 12, 2007

True Blue

Ooooh look, I've been brave and had a play with my template.

It was Clare's fault.......

hehehe problem is, once you start editing you can't stop!

Must have edited the DCM post below about a hundred times for one reason or another - adding bits in, changing other bits, correcting typos....

Then I changed the slideshows and the links lists....a few times....

I didn't know it would be so easy to change things around in the new blogger. Now if I can only figure out how to get rid of the bit on the dashboard that says "2 comments to moderate"....yes, there's another one now!

Can you help?

A couple of weeks ago the lovely Janine left a comment here which didn't load onto the blog. I thought if I just left it eventually it would sort itself out, but it hasn't. It looks as though I have a comment still to moderate, but when I go to the comment moderation page it says "there are no comments to moderate". When new ones come in they load fine - but just leave this poor lost little comment sitting there looking sad and lonely as a "1 comment to moderate" on my dashboard.

Does anyone know how I can fix it?
Pretty please?

Big News from the DCM

Not only do we have a fab new Dare to announce today, but we're absolutely delighted to welcome our first Aussie to our Team of Daring Cardmakers. Anyone who's followed the blog and clicked through the links list will know Gillian's fabulous work, and we're thrilled that she's agreed to join us and swell the ranks of the Antipodeans on the Team!

So, time for the fun to begin and this time and this week The Daring Cardmakers were challenged by the wonderful Lythan to "Raid Your Wardrobe" - to peer into the depths of our wardrobes, cupboards and drawers searching and rummaging for ideas to get us making cards. Obviously, this didn't mean we had to tidy them all up at the same time - at least I hope that wasn't her intention....
"This weeks dare is to look in your wardrobe for inspiration. It may be the pattern on a skirt, the style of a shirt, the pattern on a jumper or the fringe of a scarf. Your card could be clothing shaped! Just go with your creative flow."

This one was fun, I think we all enjoyed doing it and hopefully you'll all be inspired to have a go too. Don't forget to go and check out all the cards made by the Design Team - they are fantastic and if that lot doesn't get you itching to join in and have a go yourself, well.....

Rightio, here are my contributions for this week
As soon as the Dare was announced I thought of this scarf-shawl thing I bought at a Craft Fair last year, the fabric is gorgeous and the vibrant colours and pattern is stunning - so I scanned it! Ha! bet you thought I'd chopped some off, didn't you? Nooooo I woudln't do that, well not unless I really had to! Most fabric scans pretty well and you can get some great background papers this way. I actually bought two different shawls, but one was for a birthday present - Why oh Why didn't I scan it first?

I printed the scan out twice, once on shiny photographic stuff and once on regular hammered card to see which looked best. I went for the shiny stuff in the end. Cut a piece off then divided this into 3 equal strips which were each mouinted on strips of white and black card. I made the little tassels from gold thread and added a pretty glass bead to each - it deosn't show up so well in the pic but the beads are matt and mottled with the perfect pink and peachy shades to match the paper. I added gold eyelets to the card strips and threaded the tassels through on fine wire - trying to use thread was just too fiddly. The big flower is by Heidi Swapp and the first thing from the stash box MIL gave me for Christmas. The wide gold and the pink ribbons are both from my ribbon stash. I couldn't find a gold button so painted a white one with my gold Krylon pen. Having made the whole embellishment I couldn't decide where to put it on the card - hope I got it right in the end!

Card 2 If you want to get ahead, get a hat!

...or so they say. I love hats - I have quite a few stashed away. I have a few winter hats but mostly they only come out on really chilly days - there's nothing quite so comforting as a cosy hat, when the weather is cold - or when I have a cold and am feeling miserable. Then there's my baseball cap for bright days and my lovely sun hat, the only one with a name - it's called Aussie-Hat, because I bought it in Oz during our Round the World Trip in 2000. I bought it in Kuranda, near Cairns (- thanks forreminding me of the name, Susan :-) ) reached by a cable car ride high over the rainforest - it was a fab trip - just a shame we decided to make the journey back to the car park by way of the old steam train - sounds idyllic, doesn't it? well it wasn't - it was DIRE!!!!!!!!! not only was the journey was long and boring but the train keep breaking down and they kept playing these awful folk songs about "Koala, koala we've taken your homes..." I don't think they were real songs you know, they were way too bad!

Anyway, I digress.......

My second card was inspired by my favourite wedding hat. I made a pattern then cut the hat from green card, covering it with some handmade paper. The ribbon was a bit tricky and in the end I used lengths of narrow satin ribbons to get the effect of the pleats around the hat, and wide organza ribbon to make the bow and the "rose" thing in the middle. I cut strips of a dull matt gold for the edging around the card and feathered some lovely petal paper for the rest of the background. The beads are crystal-like bicones and some small pearl effect ones that were lurking in the bead box

And here's a pic of hubby and I all spruced up (makes a change from our usual sweatshirts and joggers) for the wedding of the guy who was Best Man at ours! We don't have many photos of us together - he's usually lurking behind the camera rather than in front of it. If you're interested in seeing some of his work, check out his photography site - there's a link lurking in the links lists somewhere1

Thursday, January 11, 2007

fed up

Having one of those days when I can't settle to anything. The weather is foul and I'm sick of going outside to rescue the plant pots that have blown over and the big heavy table cover which was tied down AND tucked under the patio table but still managed to make a bid for freedom. The table is soooo heavy that I can't actually lift it to tuck the cover back under, so how the blazes it managed to get out I don't know. Anyway, I tied it back on and no sooner was my back turned than it had escaped again - so it's now a soggy, crumpled heap in the greenhouse because I'm not trying again.
So far two broken pots and even the huge palm which is in a pot so heavy that I can barely nudge it around has fallen over.

I hate the wind, even staying indoors it makes me unsettled, and dries my contact lenses out so they're uncomfortable and feel gritty. I was supposed to be meeting a mate for lunch today but she couldn't make it - probably just as well as I'd have been even more miserable getting blown about in town.

So I thought I'd treat myself to a bit of online crafty shopping. Do you ever have one of those days when nothing inspires you? Looked all around my fave places and didn't really find anything that I just had to have - though I still managed to get one order placed - maybe I'll have another look around later - any bright ideas for places where I'll find inspiring, needful things please let me know!

I think I'll go and look at Lythan's blog - the arch-temptress usually has links to places for a bit of retail-therapy............

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

A Little Extra Rubbish!

The Daring Cardmakers' Little Extras have started up again after a Christmas break. This week's challenge is to use something that you've saved from Christmas - or saved from the bin and use it on your card.
Jo's gone for some mince pie box chipboard and I've scavenged some bits of ribbon and a leaf from a box of chocs to make this card. Paper is from the Crate Paper "Birdie" pack.
Don't know about you folks but I always cast a beady eye around for little treasures to keep for future use - so I've got a nice haul of ribbon and beads from our Christmas Crackers - plus some really nice textured gold paper that the party hats were made from. I rescued some tags that were shapes covered with glitter and some other nice bits and pieces of ribbon too. I've not even started to go through the Christmas cards yet to salvage the interesting bits!
Just thought I'd share this little discovery with you - if you've got any lipstick dies like the QK one for instance, cut some from Christmas cards with nice shiny gold writing on, the swirls and shapes look like really posh lipstick holders, eye-shadow compacts etc!

So, please take a look at the DCM blog - we'd love it if you joined in with this week's main dare "Add some Bling!" and the Tuesday Little Extra too.


Well, don't know why that happened - I certainly didn't go and change anything, but Blogger apparently decided to change the settings on my last post to "do not allow comments on this post".
Thanks Bex for letting me know, I've changed it now, but will have to remember to check in future.


Monday, January 08, 2007

Cards and Scrapbook Update

Sara's card
My friend Sara's birthday was just before Christmas, this is the card I made for her. I used a chipboard letter for the S, then just thin card for the other letters - the way the "S" stands out doesn't really show up here. I made the flower from Bazzill card using the QK oval tag die, arranging them and sticking with tape to keep them where I wanted them to be, a brad and a prima flower in the middle secures the whole flower together.

The papers are a mix of Chloe's Closet and Center City designs from an old Self-Addressed kit Scrapping like a demon
If you've read my blog regularly you'll know that I'm making my very first scrapbook - it's a gift for my aunt and uncle who became first time grandparents last February. The scrapbook is a "Work in Progress" as I want to go on adding to it as llittle Sam grows up but I really wanted to give the album to them at Christmas.
However by Christmas Eve I'd only managed to do 5 pages - so not much of a book really!

I wassn't seeing them till the Saturday before New Year so I knuckled down and managed to get another THREE pages done before they arrived (another of the reasons by blogging fell by the wayside...) - I was actually sticking the last bits on about 30 minutes before their car pulled into the drive!
Anyway, I was pleased to get the extra pages into the album, just those 3 pages made such a difference to how it looked and it was worth the effort because they loved it. Which is just as well really!
This is one of the first photos of the new little family of Paul, Julie and Sam. There are other photos of the 3 of them, but in every single one Paul is standing up while Jules sits with Sam in her arms - as Paul is about 10feet tall there's such a height difference that the photos just look silly and certainly don't work for a LO. So this may not be the best photo of them, but it's the best I had to work with!

The little bottle lifts open to reveal the journalling.

I just thought this was too cute not to use, and could be made into quite a quick LO. Didn't of course turn out to be as quick as I'd hoped because I spend so much time fiddling around and changing things. The "beads" were an after thought to pick up the colours of play beads on the pram. I made them with bits of matching card as I didn't have anything suitable in my bead boxes and yes, I know some of you will find that hard to believe but there you go.

I wanted to add a family page to the album with pictures of Sam and his adoring relatives. The idea of him being a Super Star with a fan club of his own came to me while I was playing around with positioning the photos, so I added the tags as fan club membership cards with Grandma, Grandad and Uncle Colin's special areas of responsibility added! And I cut the star for the Super Star badge with my new Craft Robo! Good result because my star punch really wasn't big enough to add the lettering.

New Baby for a New Year
Just after I'd waved off the last of our rellies last Wednesday, and just as I was about to get started on last week's card (last minute effort) for the Daring Cardmakers, into my mailbox popped an order for a New Baby card. Fortunately I quite enjoy making these and this one came together pretty quickly and was on it's way to the customer fairly promptly.

So there you go, a quick crafty catch up to prove I've not been sitting with my feet up and just pretending to be busy!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Random Recent Photos!

Been trying to get a decent photo of one of the black squirrels who come to play in our garden - this one very kindly posed long enough on the fence near the kitchen window for Hubby to get his camera out - how cute is this little chap.....

Some of my Christmas Crafty Loot, Lucky me eh? I did a close up of the cute library-style multi message stamp I got in my goody box from MIL. As you can see from the photo below I was pretty pleased with the Craft Robo my fabby Hubby got for me.........

And here's my Nano sitting on it's cute new teeny-weeny speakers - cool, or what?

New Year's Bling!

Today saw the launch of the first Dare of 2007 for the Daring Cardmakers. This is Lynda's dare and she asked us to Add Some Bling or Beads to brighten up our first post-Christmas cards. The cards are all fantastic and you really should have a look at the blog and check out all of them. We'd love to see loads more people joining in - there's plenty of room for you all - it's been such a wonderful thing to see how enthusiastically the DCM blog was received, and we hope 2007 will be a FANTASTIC DCM year! Please give our Dares a go, it's great fun to get involved with a fab bunch of crafter from all over the world.
Right, here's my Blinging card!
I was a bit of a last-minute-Minnie this time and tbh I'm not very happy with this, it feels "rushed" - probably because it was!
The paper is from the Crate paper Avenuew collection, the blue is the reverse of one of the patterned papers - I just used strips as I wasn't going to waste a load just so there was a border....
The flowers are from a Bulk Flower Pack from Crafts U Love fab value at £3.99 for something like 9 packets of flowers of various sizes. I tweaked the petals of a couple with an embossing tool to get a more 3D effect.
The bling is some flat backed gems, a bit of "Stickles" silver glitter glue, and some "Diamond Dots" are stuck onto the flowers on the printed paper. The ribbon is some gorgeous stuff given to me by a good friend (thanks Em!). It's got lovely shimmery shiny threads running through it and as you can see I'm very mean with it!


So, here's my Special Occasions Gateau. It's easy but time consuming - but worth it as it looks so impressive!
I make loads of wafer thin "biscuits" (about 20cm diameter) lightly flavoured with ginger - this one had 14 layers I think. These can me made ahead which helps a lot. I also make the chocolate curls ahead of time and keep them in the fridge - sometimes this is the most difficult bit of the whole thing as getting the chocolate to the right level of "set" to make the curls work is hit and miss. About an hour before serving I whip the cream with a bit of icing sugar and a few tbsps of brandy until it's firm then spread a small amount between each biscuit , leaving some for the top of the gateau. Then all the chocolate curls get piled up on the top and it goes in the fridge till it's time to serve.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Long Time No Blog


I really do like having visitors but it does mean less time to play, doesn't it?

We had a house full to the brim over New Year, with all bedrooms occupied - we even had to convert the study to a bedroom, and more than once I was grateful that here the rooms are so much bigger and that even with a full house there was plenty of space for us all. The last of the visitors went off home yesterday and all there's left now is a pile of washing and ironing, plus a big stack of lovely presents to find homes for!

Here's our tree on Christmas Eve, once all the presents were arranged underneath.
Hubby and I were here on our own for Christmas Day and it was lovely to have a super-lazy day with no worries about getting people fed on time. We had breakfast in bed then went downstairs and opened our stocking presents first - lots of crafty goodies in mine thanks to that little spree I had when we were marooned on the IOM the other week, he'd added a few extras to the basket which was sweet. Plenty of bathtime stuff, notebooks, puzzle books, etc in there too.

We did a bit of prep for lunch then started opening a few of our gifts for each other and ones from people we weren't going to be seeing - we'd decided to have another present-giving session at New Year when MIL, my aunt, uncle and cousin would be here with us.

If you saw the Daring Cardmakers' Little Extra Dare the other week to make a special tag for a special present you might spot mine in the photo above - and realise why I decided to make it soooo big!

I got some fab presents - I think I'll take a pic tomorrow of all the crafty stuff, but apart from that there was smellies, choccies, things to wear, books, games and some brilliant gadgets - obviously the Craft Robo comes into that category but Hubby also treated me to some fab extras for my iPod Nano - I got the tiniest, cutest little speakers you've ever seen, the Nano just clips onto the top of them - so blinkin' neat! Then some new earphones - which are soooo cool because they don't hurt my ears like other ones do, they are JVC Marshmallow ones and so soft and tiny - I was happy to demonstrate how I can shake my head about now without them just falling out like the other ones do...... AND how about this for a gadget - I got an iTrip too, so now I can play my Nano in the car, or through the radio speakers in the house NO WIRES, wow, sooooo Mrs Gadget am I?

My bro and family came for an hour or so before lunch - they only live about 20 minutes drive from here - we often spend Christmas Day together but this time we decided to see each other early in the day then spend the rest of the time chilling in our respective homes! It was a great idea, we got together for a celebratory Bucks Fizz and some present sharing, then they went off to cook their dinner and we sat down to ours. Among other things they bought us some Theatre Tokens - what a great present. Not a clue what we'll go to see yet, but part of the fun will be going through the listings to choose something good - if you've seen something good lately to recommend, feel free to let me know.

Between Christmas and New Year, apart from getting ready for our families to arrive I actually managed to get some crafting done - and get this, I managed to do another THREE pages for my aunt and uncle's scrapbook - ok so one was actually finished the morning they arrived, but it did help swell the pages in there so it was worth the effort. I'll add those on another posting so you'll just have to wait to see what I came up with - must admit though that I was quite chuffed.

On the Friday before New year MIL arrived, the plane was late and the bags took ages to come through and as Luton only allows a measly 10 minutes drop off/pick up time in the car park before they slap a fine on you we had to go out and hover on a side street till she rang to let us know she was ready. it was so late by then tha we went for pizza rather than come home and cook - then we went over to Tesco to do the New Year shop! This was the 2nd Friday in a row - though the week before we'd been out to the archery club's Christmas meal, and as we were passing on the way home we decided we might as well do our first midnight supermarket shop! I was amazed at how busy it was, but it felt really good to know we didn't need to go when it got really busy for Christmas!

The others arrived on Saturday and we all went out for a Chinese on Saturday evening - very nice - we had loads of stuff on our table and it all tasted fab. It was blowing a gale so instead of walking we took the cars into town - sounds lazy, but my cousin had walked from the station to our house and said we'd be mad not to drive. Sunday was New Year's Eve and by late afternoon we couldn't wait any longer to open the rest of the presents so instead of waiting for another day we did them before dinner - lots more lovely things, more food, more clothes and more crafty stuff, oh, and a renewal for my sub to that great US magazine "Papercrafts" - so I'm a happy bunny.

New Year's Eve meal was a steak fondue - we just love doing leisurely fondue meals like this, take no time to prepare and all night to graze through! I think everyone enjoyed the food anyway.

New Year's Day - I made a late lunch - a proper roast dinner, something I'm not sure I've ever done on my own before (Kathy blushes) as Hubby usually looks after the meat and I do the rest so it's a joint 9pardon the pun) effort.

Anyway, we'd ordered a big piece of boned lamb from M&S along with our Christmas Turkey crown, I did my usual roasted veg, roast potatoes, brussels, and thank heaven my Yorkshire Puddings rose wonderfully high. I'd started making my Very Special Gateau during the week and just needed to put it together and decorate it on the day - Hubby took photos but I don't think they're downloaded yet - so I'll show you my masterpiece later!

Anyway, everything went well, the dinner tasted great and the pudding was a tour de force, even though I say it myself! Then we rested up for the rest of the day. Cuz went off home in the evening, MIL went off to her sister's place on Tuesday and my aunt and uncle went back to Northumberland yesterday.

Seemed VERY quiet last night with just the two of us though, seemed that the house had been full for much longer than a few days. Today I've taken the tree down and untangled the 480 lights.....everything is all over the floorstill though as the boxes are in the loft - and I don't go there!

Bored yet? Don't panic, that's the end of this epic - will show crafty kit and crafty makes next time....