Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Time has Come

On Sunday I decided it was time.

So I took a deep breath, printed out a stack of cards with a Christmas message on the inside and started on our Christmas cards. Yes, I know I've been doing some for design teams, but I hadn't done any of the more "mass produced" type I need for us to send out come December.

Eventually though, you just have to bite the bullet, and even if your hubby gapes open-mouthed when he realises what you're doing, you have to take the plunge.

So here's the first batch of cards for my Christmas box

Dies are Spellbinders Snowflakes set 2
I reckon I can make these fairly quickly as long as I cut all the shapes in all the matching papers/card then sit down and assemble them in batches

Papers MME "Merry Days of Christmas" - I love the more muted shades of this collection.
The Santas are cut from one of the paper designs and mounted on thin card before matting onto another of the papers and some gold card
Trees on the second picture are Cuttlebug dies, the little houses are punched from one of the MME papers. Since taking the photos I've decided that they did need a greeting so I've added some of my home-made rub-on ones now - you can see some of those on the snowflake cards

This morning I've finally got round to taking photos of the lovely handmade cards I received for my birthday the other week so I've popped them onto a slide-show to show them off on here. Wasn't I lucky?

Thanks to everyone who sent one of these fab cards.

Thanks for visiting, I hope you like what you've seen here and will come back again soon

Monday, September 28, 2009

Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby

woa oh oh oh oh...

Well, I'm still coughing and snivelling and feeling generally rubbish, but I'm sure it'll go away eventually - maybe next Spring when the weather starts warming up again....

We went to Hubby's aunt and uncle's Rube Wedding get-together on Saturday afternoon. Just for once we weren't the ones doing the horrible travelling to get there as they live fairly close to us - those making the journey from further north found themselves sitting in a long queue on the A1 as there was a nasty accident just ahead of them, and those coming via the M25 found that their journeys also took much longer than expected. The caterers spent the whole afternoon bringing food out and putting it back in the fridge as different groups of travellers arrived! Poor Sue was getting agitated as her carefully timed plans were destroyed. I just sat in the corner and coughed a lot.

I was chuffed to see the card I made was carefully sat right at the front of the table, and it was so lovely that people made a point of coming to say how they liked it - I'm never confident that what I make is good enough - even the things I'm pretty pleased with I worry about, so it's really nice when people take the trouble to say something nice about them - I would imagine that most card makers/crafters feel the same.

I had a ball making this card. I really wanted to keep with the Shabby Chic style we were playing with on the Daring Cardmakers the other week, so knew I'd be needing to make a box too.
I think I've only got two sets of 7 Gypsies papers, one I'm not keen on, but this set I love. The colours and designs are so gorgeous and they were perfect for a Ruby Anniversary card. I'm not a great fan of bright red but I love dark reds, burgundies etc - this could be because I find them much easier to work with than the bright red shades!

Supplies: Cream card blank, Bazzill dark red card, 7 Gypsies paper pad, Cream lace shot with gold thread, Nesties "Labels 2" die set. Prima cream flowers, dark red wired roses, coiled flowers made from matching papers and some gold foil papers, Cream organza ribbon, tiny rd gems from Anitas Gem Wheel.

I always get in a faff when I make boxes - basically, they are dead easy to make but I get in a pickle because I'm never happy just to leave them plain or even to use regular scrapbooking paper to cover them with. Oh No! I want to cover my boxes with that lovely thick handmade paper, (I think it's called Lokta or something like that) - it looks and feels lovely and it also adds a lot of strength to the box. But it's very thick and my problems come when I try to work out what I need to do to allow for that and still have the lid fit the box. Without fail there will be at least one useless bit of a box and a nice big stack of card bits that didn't even get that far!
It could be because I'm soooo rubbish at maths, but it might have helped if I'd ever written down the sizes of the card I need to cut, and exactly where to make the folds. I mean, I've made LOADS of these darned things and they are pretty much always to fit the same size card.

Did I write everything down this time then?
What do you think? lol
Thanks for visiting, please leave a message if you've a minute
Have a great day today

Friday, September 25, 2009


I think there was a collective gulp when we heard what Jo's challenge for us over on the Daring Cardmakers was going to be.

It's Jo here this week to set the dare, the design team may have groaned a little when I picked the theme, but I don't think that it is too bad :)

I would like you to use some sort of tartan on your cards, fabric, ribbon, paper, even a piece of an old tartan rug(!)etc.

Oh dear! Tartan is not my favourite pattern, it ranks along with that awful diamond Argyle pattern that just shouts socks and bad gold sweaters! Actually, now ponder on it, maybe tartan isn't quite as bad as Argyle because some tartan patterns and colours are more gentle on the eye than others.

Anyway, the only tartan stuff in the house that I could think of was a picnic rug given as a Christmas present by MIL some years ago, and with a bit of luck some tartan ribbon - I used to buy ribbon bundles from the market when I did more sewing projects and seemed to remember seeing some tartan stuff lurking unloved in the bottom of the messy ribbon drawer (I have a tidy ribbon drawer too!)
In the end, even though I was forced to tidy up that drawer full of fibres and bits of ribbons that get shoved in there all I came up with was a metre or two of the stuff I ended up using and a ready made bow which probably came from a jar of marmalade. I don't actually like marmalade so I guess it came in a gift box some time.

Despite those naughty fellow Teamies of mine shouting "cut the rug" I managed to restrain myself and instead made a double rosette type "flower" with my ribbon. I added a button to the centre and gave it a coat of Stickles.
I ran the card blank through the Cuttlebug using the "Flower Squares" folder and added another length of the ribbon down the side, along with an extra knotted piece.

I quite like the white flowers with the tartan centres - I wish I'd thought of that before I'd made the rest of the card, I'd probably ahve made something different if I had.

I glued a piece of ribbon onto thin card and when it was completely dry used the smallest of the Cuttlebug Scallop Flowers dies - they cut pretty well, I'd tried first with a Spellbinders die but that didn't work at all well.

You can check out (pardon the pun) all the ways the DT have used tartan on their cards by clicking HERE, and we hope you'll feel inspired to rise to the challenge and use some tartan on your own cards this week. There are a couple of places you can download tartan papers for free on the web btw.

A couple of people asked about the "homemade" rub-ons I mentioned earlier this week.
I saw this dry Rub Off Decals paper on the Crafty Computer Paper website when I was buying some of their pc printable Shrink Plastic/paper and thought I'd give it a try for making my own sentiments etc.
I made a Paint Shop Pro sheet of the right size and filled it up with loads of greetings. When you've done that you need to reverse it all - use the "mirror" command to do that, don't forget to save it for future use too.
You get two types of "paper" in the pack, one is a transparent sheet the other is in two parts - a sticky one with a backing sheet on it, so it's easy to tell which to print on.
You need to print it out on the rougher side of the transparent sheet - it's actually quite tricky to work out which is the right side - I found that feeling it with my nail made it more obvious than running a finger over it.
Anyway, print it out and leave it to dry for at least an hour.
The next bit is easier with two people - you need to apply the sticky side of the 2-part paper to the inky side of the print out so an extra pair of hands to help keep things still and lined up is good.
It's a bit like covering something with sticky backed plastic, and in the same way you need to get rid of any tiny bubbles by smoothing carefully. Once the bubbles have gone leave the two bits to "cook" for a few hours - I left mine overnight. After that they are ready to use. I left quite a lot of space around my words on the first one I made, but, as you need to cut them out quite close to the lettering (or pictures, patterns, whatever) you can actually fit loads and loads onto one A4 sheet.
This is the birthday greetings one I made yesterday
Imagine what that lot would cost to buy from a scrapbook place! To use them you just cut out close to the edge of the greeting or picture, peel off the backing and place on your project. You use a lolly stick or whatever in the same way you do on bought rub ons/transfers. I used my Christmas transfers on the cards I made for yesterday's Bubbly Scrumptious.

I think they've worked out pretty well. I'm going to be adventurous next time and try some coloured ones and maybe some dingbats and what-have-you!

I was going to share the card I've made for hubby's aunt and uncles Ruby Wedding Anniversary, but I've waffled on so long I think I'd better stop right now!

Thanks for popping by, I hope you'll visit again soon

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Fab Four

If I can just go for the sympathy vote for a minute, I'm feeling really sorry for myself, my nose is streaming (you really wanted to know that, didn't you?) my throat isn't as sore as it was at the beginning of the week - that is until I cough when my whole body hurts like the devil. Hubby and I both have dreadful colds - we're blaming some unknown person we travelled with on the packed-out tube (underground railway) on the way to the Coldplay concert on Friday night. Because he's suffering just as much as I am we're just having to muddle through - neither of us is well enough to take control of the fetching and carrying and shopping for medicine stock ups! I guess that's why I'm on here looking for some sympathy lol, I know it's just a cold and will go away soon but when you're in the middle of it, well, you want all the sympathy you can get, don't you?

The good thing about blogging. forums and all those other "social networking" do-dahs is that you can gossip away as much as you like without passing on all the germs you're enduring! And it doesn't hurt your poorly throat either.

My offering on Bubbly Scrumptious this week is a batch of easy to make Christmas Cards using up those scraps of paper and other bits and pieces from September's Bubbly Funk kit.
Yes, I know it's shocking that I'm actually making those cards - believe me, it's scary to me too.

We send quite a lot of cards each year and I feel guilty if I don't make them all. I'm rubbish at making batches of cards that are all the same, so I find that having some fairly simple designs that I can tweak as I go, or make with different papers and embellishments is the best way to go for me.

The pics on here are sneak peeks of what you can find if you visit the Bubbly Scrumptious blog.
All the photos and instructions on how I put the cards together are there, and apart from a few bottles of Stickles, some ink pads and basic tools like craft knife and punches everything I've used is from the September Kit.
HERE to visit my page for today's Bubbly Scrumptious and if you'd leave a comment on there I'd be really chuffed! (I'd like one here too, though because I'm greedy! lol)

Thanks for visiting today, and a big Thanks You for all the lovely comments you've left over the last days and weeks, they really mean a lot. I'm back tomorrow with my DCM - that's if I manage to make something today to put on there!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Little Treasures from Tracy

Here are a couple more cards made using the September Flower Kit from Creative Treasures
I made a few like this and I love the way the flower and ribbon make a really simple idea work so well., The card above uses two different ribbons from the kit, a couple of flowers and a flower centre made with card candy.
For the card below I used some ribbon from my stash as I'd run out of the right matches from the kit along with one of the raffia flowers, a black paper flower and more card candy.
The papers are both Black Market Paper Society

The main reason that I've already used so much of this kit is that it was perfect for another, bigger project I've been involved with. I'm just waiting to hear whether all the bits have reached their destinations (am I being too cryptic?) before I post all the photos on here - but I just can't resist adding a sneak peek right now, so here you go:

What do you think it could be then?
This kit is a real humdinger. Stuffed full of gorgeous blooms, lace ribbons, buttons, card candy and various other little temptations that Tracy finds to treat us to. If you've not already ordered yours click HERE to head straight to Tracy's shop.

It's my uncle's birthday tomorrow so I've been dealing with the usual "Man Card Trauma". To be honest I'm not entirely convinced with what I've come up with, but it's in the post and will have to do. Must try harder next year!
fancy pants papers, map fragment is a scanned image printed, torn and inked, hand cut curvy arrow, ribbon, brads and antique-looking car charm from stash

And finally (yes, at last!)
It's WOYWW - what's on your workdesk Wednesday - and for once mine is fairly clear because I finished a project yesterday and today I've been writing up something else for tomorrow's Bubbly Scrumptious.
So what we have on there today is the contents of a crafty package that arrived this morning and also a sheet of homemade rub-ons that I'm quite excited about!
That's it, you reached the end - Well done!
Back tomorrow with some Christmas Cards - yes, really! agghhh
Thanks for visiting

Monday, September 21, 2009

Crafty C-Word!

Back to what passes for normal after our exciting weekend!
Here are two more cards made with this month's wonderful Crafty Templates and the fab Goodies Kit Leo put together to go with the templates.

"From Our House...." card

This is such a cute template. I couldn't resist using the gingerbread man paper from the Goodies Kit to make it from. I cut out the window shapes and used my Craft Robo to cut the wording to go behind them. I made the door open to add an extra greeting inside, and added a Christmas Wreath made with the Cuttlebug tiny motifs die.
There's lots of Sticles on the snowy bits, but it doesn't show up very well

Funky Christmas Stocking card
I love this stocking shape and I think it will come in really useful nearer You-Know-What!
I thought it would look cute hanging in an aperture, so I covered the back of the stocking with paper too.
The papers are all from the Goodies Kit, as is the button and gold ribbon. The tinselly pompom is from my own stash

Finally for today I spent some time making "Thank You" cards at the weekend, I tried to be good and stick to the same design but to make it less boring to make them I needed I did a few in each colour-way
The papers are various Black Market Paper Society collections, Flowers are my favourite Prima Artful Flowers

Just check out all that white space lol!
I'm practising for when I eventually get started on our own Christmas cards - I like to keep 'em simple and fairly easy to make loads of without losing the will to live.

Thanks for coming by today

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Excited, Moi? (Updated)

Last night we went to see Coldplay at Wembley.

We got some TicketMaster vouchers last Christmas and used them to book our tickets - so we've been looking forward to this for a LONG time!

First photo was taken while there was still some daylight, so about 7.30, the crowd in the front half of the arena was already pretty stuffed in

Suitable lighting and giant balloons to accompany the song "Yellow"

Slightly closer view of the stage -we were about as high up as you can get so the people were all pretty teeny! - bat you can actually see the band on here.

Lovers in Japan: complete with lots of pink cherry blossom effects - load and loads of glittery stuff and if you look closely there's a little arrow pointing to Chris Martin dancing through the glitter along the pier twirling a red parasol

Pictures are all click-on-able!

We don't have a proper video camera but hubby took a few mini vids with our baby Canon, I can't work out how to direct link to you-tube to get the video on to here, and I tried uploading via the "add Video" button and three hours later it was still saying "uploading" so I think it wasn't working - so if you'd like to look, then follow this LINK to our little video (Sorry it gets cut off a bit sharply!) - I think you'll be able to tell how close to the top of the stadium we were! Coldplay were FANTASTIC - every bit as good as I was hoping they'd be, and I'm still living in a happy little Coldplay bubble today!

Update! Managed to embed the youtube video into here eventually

Friday, September 18, 2009

It May be Shabby, but it's Still Chic

Over on the Daring Cardmakers this week we have a fab dare set by one of our talented Kiwi DT members. Tanya Leigh loves all things Shabby Chic and decided that this would be the perfect dare for us to play with.

This week it's my turn to set a dare (Tanya Leigh) and I am into Shabby Chic at the moment as thought this would be a great dare. Look through your stash and found all those bits and pieces you can use or even ask your Nana or Grandma for some bits. Old lace, buttons, bling, flowers etc and make a mess and see what you come up with.

It gave a few of us a wobbly moment or two, but actually when you get down to it, it's just as Tanya says, gathering together all those bits and bobs we love to use on our cards along with maybe a few less usual or "found" items then arranging it all in a way that pleases you.

I love making things like this - I think the first thing to throw aout of the window is the thought of actually sending your card through the post, or accepting that you'll need to make a presentation box to put it in - then the sky is the limit and you can just enjoy adding whatever takes your fancy. It's having a clue when to stop that is sometimes the hardest!

I had a vague idea about using fabric on my card this week, but when I delved into my sewing stuff I found some ready cut patchwork pieces I bought when I needed lots of different fabrics to make one of my teddy bear quilts which gave me an idea for a mini patchwork background. The pieces were still too big so I cut them into smaller triangles then glued them onto another piece of fabric before doing some (very) rough zig-zag machining along all the edges. I reckon that using whatever threads were in the machine and just roughly sewing them added to the "Shabby" theme - and I defy anyone to argue with me, so there!

The green background and the purple frame are a couple of papers from the stash I bought from CTM on my birthday visit - honestly, it was a total coincidence that they matched the bits of fabric! They are another of my current fave manufacturer My Minds Eye- these are from the Penny Lane "Maggie May" set

The aperture in the frame is cut with one of the Nesties "Labels One" set and the pearl string was glued on with Glossy Accents - I added a bit of glittery stuff where the GA went a bit "blobby" while I was "encouraging" the beads to stay put!
Once that was all done it was just a case of assembling the flowers and ribbons.
There are Primas, wired roses and rosebuds, some gypsophila type stuff, a couple of fabric roses and a little lily, a couple of lace flowers made by just gathering up some lace and gluing in place, a couple of ribbons and of course a few of those fab coiled paper flowers
This was such a fun card to make, and once I got going it probably took much less time to make that some of the less fussy cards I make- the great thing being that if you go wrong, or a blob of glue makes a mess where it shouldn't, you can just bung something else on to cover it!

Go on, have a go, it's great fun! Check out the Daring Cardmakers BLOG for lots more ideas, the girls have really come up trumps this week and the cards are full of variety and inspiration

Just before I head off and make my Uncle's birthday card (as usual I'm doing my last-minute-minnie act), here's the first of the cards I made for Leo over at Crafty Templates using the fab new September Templates set.
It's a "starting to think about Christmas" sort of set and there are some quirky designs to eas you in gently. I used the cute Winter Jumper design to make a fun Christmas card

I'm not sure if there are any of the Goodies Kits still available to go with this template set, but if there are, then do get your hands on one, because the papers and embellishments that Leo has put together this time is just fab! Find out all you need to know about Crafty templates HERE

Thanks for visiting today, I hope you like what you found here, now I really must stop waffling and make that card....

Thursday, September 17, 2009

First "you-know-what" cards

Bubbly Scrumptious Day for me today, and I've made a couple of quick cards this week.
With limited time this week, they needed to be quick too!

Both use the fab September "Colourful Christmas" Kit from Bubbly Funk. It's such a pretty set of papers and goodies, and what's really special about this one is that whilst some of the designs are very seasonal they also have lots of scope for non-Christmas crafting too. I've got an order for a couple of those little standing albums I've been making lately and I think these papers will be perfect for one of them - I'll let you know how I get on.

The first of my cards is so simple it almost hurts!
I've used fibres, Stickles and an eyelet from mu stash, plus a Cuttlebug embossing folder. The rest is from the kit.
Card 2 is a tad more complicated because it's got a hole in it - but that's only tricky because I didn't have the right sized punch

I thought it would be cute to have those snowpeople peeping through the window.
A fine gel pen and some Stickles are the only non-kit stuff on this one

Both would be really easy to adapt to use other bits from the kit. You can see more photos and basic "How-to's" HERE

I've also made the tags to go into the maze book I was making over the last couple of weeks and there are photos of those too. It's still not completely finished though...maybe it never will be! lol

That's all for now, I'm getting through the to-do list, but it's taking a while. DCM day tomorrow and I've not got so much of a hint of an idea yet. Got stuff to finish packing an posting (please please let the posties not go on strike till they all get there.............)

Thanks for coming by - I promise to have a catch up on what everyone is up to really really soon.