Monday, January 30, 2012

Things are Looking Brighter!

The new set of Crafty Templates are out so today I'm sharing the first of the things I've made using some of this month's templates.
First though a quick catch up on the kitchen progress because today is Big Kitchen Day - all the new cupboards arrived this morning and I can't even get into the kitchen now unless I go round and through the French doors from the patio.  Exciting after all the destruction and then the gradual putting-together-again-ness af the last 3 weeks.  Week 4 is really about making proper headway.  It's all beginning to look so much better now,
Mark the decorator is here working his way around the lovely smooth freshly plastered walls and suddenly the inner hall area is looking so much bigger and brighter.  He'll be painting all the woodwork (apart from the new doors, which will be waxed - eventually!) white which will really make a huge difference to the dark teak stain that was there before.  The new arch way looks fab.
I mentioned on Friday that the lights were going up in the kitchen - well that's all done now (the problem with the brackets turned out not to be a problem after all!)  So I thought I'd add a photo here today. I've updated my Pinterest board with more photos too.
As always there's a cut mix of images among the Crafty Templates set this month - some fab animal shapes which will be great for little kids' cards and also for fun cards for adults - especially if you're clever with fun phrases/sentiments.
I loved this tiger one and it'll be great for the birthday of one of the youngest of the family members next month.

I used various scraps of card and paper to make the background, then yellow and brown card for the tiger himself.  I used some wire wound round the barrel of a thickish felt pen to make a spring to put behind the tiger's head so it wobbles about in a fun way.
You can find out all about Crafty Templates and Crafty Goodies kits HERE
Please do go and check out what Leo has on offer - the various template sets and goodies kits are a fabulous way to build up a stock of images and quirky stuff you won't find anywhere else.

Right off to make the next round of drinks for the "workforce" hehe
Thanks for visiting

Friday, January 27, 2012

All very Wishi-Washi

You'd think that, being confined to the study most of the time just now I'd have loads of crafting and blogging time, wouldn't you?  Yes, that;s what I thought before the work started too - but it's not working out that way atm.
Things are progressing pretty well, though.  The plaster finally finished yesterday after a whole 5 days of work - because so much is being altered there's not much of the area that he's not needed to do, plus we've added an arch between the main and inner hall which previousl looked like a door frame with the door removed.
The decorator started yesterday and is concentrating on getting base coats on the kitchen walls - by home time yesterday he'd put three coats on the ceiling so that today our builder and electrician could get the track lighting up on there - unfortunately 2 of the brackets are shorter than the rest "they don't make shorter ones" said the supplier when hubby rang him this morning, photos were sent - "must be a manufacturing error".  I bet those two short brackets were the only ones in the box too!  Never mind, they'll send the right ones out and then we can get the rest of the lights up.
Monday is K-Day, when the actual Kitchen people start their part of the job - exciting, eh?  Everything arrives then and they'll start by fitting the longest run of cupboards - by this time next week we should have the new appliances in place - at least in a temporary usable fashion.  It'll be a while before they are all fixed up properly as they have to template the area first ahead of making the worktops and splashback.
This week's crafting hasn't gone well - I seem to be having one of those periods where the piles of paper and card on my desk are not coming together very successfully.  I've started a few bits and pieces that haven't worked out so the only thing I've actually finished is my card for Jo's Wishi Washi challenge for the Daring Cardmakers.
Wishi Washi
I would like you this week to make a card using Washi or Deco Tape, you can use it to create a background, an embellishment or just use it as an accent.
If you don't have any - you can still join in by making your own washi style tape - use double sided tape and tissue paper or printed tracing paper or vellum as an alternative
If you're stuck for ideas, have a look at Pinterest for some inspiration and have a peek at the wonderful cards that the Design Team have created this week!

Jo has a fab little tutorial on her BLOG, HERE which shows a clever way to amke faux Washi tape strips - definitely worth a peek!

I have one roll of real Washie tape in my stash and I did try to use it for my card, honestly!  But after a couple of goes I gave up and went down Jo's faux Washi strips route instead.
I used Funky Hand's "Colour Me Happy" CD and printed a few cut-down designs onto tracing paper using the Draft setting on the printer.
In her tutorial Jo uses double-sided tape on the back of her paper, instead of that I cut the strips first then run them through my little Xyron a couple at a time to make four strips that would fit across my card to make a (very) simple background.
Liking the way the designs looked on the tracing paper I printed another sheet with some of the plain as well as the patterned designs from the collection then used these to make a flower, leaves and stem.

The flower is several layers of petals cut with the shabby flowers Tim Holtz Bigz die.  The ones in the centre were made by making a circular hole in the centre,  cutting down between two of the petals then rolling the resulting strip around - a bit like making a coiled rose.
I added some peachy-pink  dewdrops, a decal sentiment sticker and rather too much Stickles (oops).
We hope you'll be joining in with us this week - if you've not used Washi tape before it's a great excuse to try something new - there a re loads of places selling the stuff now and it comes in all sorts of designs - or you can make your own like most of us did!
Thanks for visiting, I'll be back soon with my projects for this month's cute Crafty Templates

Friday, January 20, 2012


Needless to say "All Things Kitchen" are high in my mind just now - although I'm also being forced into thinking about cupboard shelving, sinks and toilets which sort of brings it all back to reality somehow! 
I suppose it comes as no surprise that with my turn to set the challenge for the Daring Cardmakers popping up a couple of weeks into the building work my dare igoes like this:which I've called
As we've just started work on remodelling some areas of our house, including knocking the Kitchen and Utility rooms into one space, kitchens, and all things Cookery are very much on my mind at the moment. So these are the things I'd like you to incorporate on your card this week. I'd like to see kitchen and cooking themes - but not just cupcakes, though of course you can add some of those into your design if you wish. We can't wait to see what you'll be cooking up for us this week, so please join in and have some "cheffy" fun with us this week.

As usual when it's my own challenge I struggled to come up with an idea for my own card.  decided I wanted to use this fab food mixer template that was one of the January 2011 Crafty Templates set and at first it was going to be a food mixer shaped card - I made the mixer to full size for the card then decided I didn't like it after all, and made a smaller one instead.  I thought a cheffy style apron would make a good background so made myself a Craft Robo template and cut it in card and paper from the "Stripey Stripes" Funky Hand download.  I found some clipart to use to make a few utensils and chef's hats, then made a £master chef" rosette for the corner.
14cm smooth white card blank, Bazzill card; White, Black, dull yellow,
Papers: "Stripey Stripes" Funky Hand download,  Bo Bunny "Cambridge"
Crafty Templates food mixer template (Jan 2011)
Craft Robo to cut Apron, Utensils, Chef's Hats, Lettering 
(happy to share these templates, contact me if you'd like a copy)
Memory Box Rosette die: cut down to make rosette of smaller circumference
Spellbinders Spikey Circles die
Inks: Yellow Ochre, Red, Black (Cats Eye), Platinum Planet (Dew Drop)

Now I'm going to have to think of something to do with a 14cm squarish food mixer now - it'll probably sit on my desk for a week or two then go in the bin!

Just before I go I've one more Funky Hand SteamFunk card to share.  I really love these papers!
I used:
Papers: Funky Hand SteamFunk download
Cogs. Cogs Border and Penny Farthing templates cut on Craft Robo (contact me if you'd like a copy of these)
Spellbinders photo corner die, Cuttlebug embossing folder, 
Large fancy metallic and Screw Head brads
Hand-folded rosette. Lots of inks and Krylon pen.

Well, I have some things on my to-do list that need doing today and as the plasterer is busy whisking up loads of plaster in the kitchen I don't feel at all guilty about spending the day sitting at my craft desk!   It's just like a giant Bamix he uses, really - so even he is getting into the Kitchenalia mood, hehe.
I hope you'll pop over to the Daring Cardmakers BLOG and see what the team have come up with  - I love all the things they've made this week and I hope you'll be inspired to join in with our challenge this week

Thanks for visiting today, please come back soon

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Late Late Late

The new sketch on The Sketch File Blog is up today - it's late, and that's my fault for having such a gross lack of memory cells.  Those I do have are all being used to full capacity atm - that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.  If you'd like to see some photos of how our building work is progressing, I've started storing them on the "Renovations January 2012" board on my Pinterest site HERE.  There are some "Before" photos as well as some of various stages of the work - I'll try to keep it updated as time goes on.
This is the card I made using the January Sketch.  I've waited ages to share this one as I took the opportunity of using it for a card order way back at the end of November!
Burgundy "Stardream" card for base and sentiment mat
Bazzill card in white, plus 2 shades of grey
Burgundy satin ribbon, Grey Card Candy (both Creative Treasures)
Silver double hearts charm, IRock Mirror Accents (Imaginisce)

I'm really happy with the simplicity and versatility of this sketch and I'm sure it's one I'll use often for various projects. 
I hope you will also see some possibilities for using it and will join in with us over on The Sketch File - Keryn, Jackie and Carol are sharing the first of their projects using the sketch today and there will be more coming in the next week or two.

The Funky Hand Blog Hop that took place over the weekend was a great success and a fab way to show off the wonderful new Funky Kraft Stash and SteamFunk download collections. Even though the hop is over and the prize has now been won, it's still worth checking out the blogs of my fabulous funky teamies to see what they've been making - it's a great way to see all the papers and other elements that form the two collections.
Here's the second of my cards using the wonderful StetamFunk papers.  I was inspired to make this after seeing a piece of Steampunk artwork - I think something like this would make a fab Valentines or Wedding Anniversary card,

Papers and letters for sentiment from SteamFunk download by Funky Hand
Cream card blank, Bazzill card for cogs, Black card, Inks and Krylon pens 
Heart and all cogs cut with Craft Robo (contact me if you want a copy of the template)
Cuttlebug "Swirls" embossing folder, Inks, 2 sizes of small square punches

I've another SteamFunk card to share in the next couple of days....
I'm gradually starting to catch up with my to-do list, so hoping to be blogging, and blog-hopping more regularly soon!
Thanks for visiting today, hope you like what you see here and will come back again soon!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

New Funky Stash!

Funky Hand have released two fabulous new Download collections today and are showing them off with a Blog Hop around some of the DT's blogs.
Big Sad Face from me as I just couldn't get sorted in time to join in this time.  To find out all about the Funky Blog Hop, click HERE where Anice has started the whole thing off with all the info and instructions you need to be in with a chance of winning both these wonderful new colections.

 The two new downloads are:
Funky Kraft Stash                   

Steam Funk
My own favourite is the Steam Funk set - ever since the Daring Cardmakers did a steampunk challenge last year I'vve been meaning to dabble in steampunk stuff again.  Now, thanks to these lovely new Funky Hand papers I've got a great excuse. 
Although I'm not one of the ports of call on the hop I did get as far as making some cards and thought I'd share one today - plus some sneak peeks of the others which I'll blog over the next few days.
For this Steampunk Cameo lady  I've used 4 papers from the download, along with some black and a couple of shades of grey Bazzill.card
 Notes: The silhouette, ovals, scalloped oval and the small cogs used to decorate the hat are all cut using my own Craft Robo templates 
(contact me via the email link in the side bar if you are interested in having a copy of these)
Materials: Funky Hand Steam Funk download collection,
Bazzill card, Seam Binding *brown, cream), gauzy fabric trim, copper wire to make monocle

 A couple of sneak peeks of other cards made with these gorgeous papers

Please join in with the Funky |Blog hop this weekend - its such a great way to see what the new collections are all about, and to see then used for a  variety of projects and in the different DT members' styles.  Click HERE to go to Anice's blog and her introductory message - don't forget you could be using these papers for free if you are the winner this weekend!
Thanks for visiting, please leave a message if you have a minute.....

Friday, January 13, 2012

Social Networking

It's Zuzana's turn to set this week's Daring Cardmakers challenge - and boy! this one is definitely a challenge.
Hi, it's Zuzana here setting this week's challenge.
You know that we are living in the new communication era, so I have chosen a
dare for you. I would like to see Facebook, Twitter, Skype, You Tube ... on your cards.
You can use funny sentiments, colour scheme, fonts, style, layout or PC image.

A difficult one - but what a great idea for a challenge.  When you start looking into the subject there are loads of ways you can take inspiration from all these places, and Zuz has pointed out some of them in her introduction - so don't be too daunted - go on, have a try, we'd love to see waht you come up with.
I needed to get my card made quite early in the week so I went with a bit of an obvious one and chose a "tweet" theme.  
I had a lovely time making the background - I really really wanted an excuse to use the new Barn Door Distress pad which was one of the goodies sent by my "Secret Santa" from the Charmed Cards and Craft forum and making a sunset background, teaming it with the other red/orange/yellow shades I've gradually been collecting seemed the perfect thing to do.

Papers: Beach Babe 6x6 by Fancy Pants (also from my Secret Santa). 
Distress Inks: Spiced Marmalade, Barn Door, Worn Lipstick, Mustard Seed,
Chipboard lovebirds, pc generated sentiments, Black Stickles for eyes
Trees: Memory Box winter tree die (I hand cut a longer trunk for one of them and just glued the two pieces together).
Leaves: I used the waste from one of the Spellbinders Blossom Tags and Accents dies!
Please pop over to the DCM BLOG and see what the team have made this week - hopefully between us we'll inspire you to have a play with this week's theme!

Our building work is  going well and the new layout is almost "there" - though there is still a bit of "destruction" to be done when the bit between the main entrance and inner hall is made less like a door shaped hole without a door in it.  I know what I mean, even if it does sound as clear as mud.
Hubby has been taking photos each day of the progress, so I'll sort some out and add a "Kitchen Blog" post on here soon.
There are some fab new download collections on the way from Funky Hand, so I'm off now to finish a few things I started yesterday.  If you like Funky Hand goodies, don't forget there's only a couple of days left to join in with the current "Funky Fifteenth" challenge where the prize for the winner is a free download of your choice......
That's all for now, thanks for visiting

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Christmas Finale!

Thought I'd do a quick "picture-post" round up with some photos of the hearth, tree, parcels etc and a couple of last-minute "makes" - wallets for making gift cards and vouchers a little more interesting to open.
We had a red and gold themed Christmas - I tried to use some of my die cutting goodies to ddecorate my parcels
I used the Memory Box rosette die to make pretty decorations for some of the presents,  Spellbinders trees to make tags, or "markers" to show which among all the same coloured parcels were the ones I'd got for Hubby! I even used one of the Deep Edger Martha Stewart punches to cut a border on a long piece of gold paper to add a decorative border to one of the big packages - mind you, the wrapping paper was a pig to cut "cleanly" with the punch! grrrr, why do they never work as well as they ought?

Here's the tree, and then a close up of some of the baubles
The biggest parcel didn't quite fit under the tree hehe - no prizes for guessing what sort of thing was inside, though!
 It was this fab super-comfy Aeron chair, I'm sitting on it right now - so much better than my old desk chair!
I decorated the hearth with baubles tied onto a garland, plus lots of candles.  On the mantelpiece (pic below) is the canvas I did a couple of years ago - I was really pleased with how it turned out so can't resist taking the chance to put it up on display!  Not a great photo but the first one taken with my other "big" pressie - an iphone!  yes I finally have one - only beenlusting over ever since hubby got his!

This is a wallet made to present some goft vouchers in

And this last one was for a magazine subscription renewal "notice".  I made a tag using an image of the magazine found on the web to fit inside
That's it - you made it to the end - thank you!
Now I need to go and make some new stuff so that I have something else to blog about!
Thanks for popping by today - please leave a message if you can, I do love to read them.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Long Time No Blogging!

We'll call my total lack of blogging over the last couple weeks a Christmas Holiday I think! 
With the DCM taking a couple of weeks break over the festive season, I didn't even have that to push me to updating my blog at least once a week.  I have still been doing the odd bit of crafting and have Christmas photos to share too, but what with one thing and another blogging was way down the to-do list - so there's a bit of catching up to do. 
Our next lot of building work starts on Monday so I'll be hiding away in the study for a few weeks - so my blogging (and my crafting) output should improve!  This is the big one - remodelling the downstairs areas of the extension added by previous owners - so it includes an inner hallway, utility room, shower/cloak room and the kitchen!  As soon as our visitors left on New Year's Day it was a case of clearing their rooms, clearing away "Christmas" and making a start on emptying those rooms affected by the work.  We're getting there slowly, but there's still a way to go and only a couple of days left before Keith and his merry band of builders move in!
Keep tuned for updates.......

Anyway, the Daring Cardmakers are back after our Christmas break which gave me the push I needed not only to do some crafting, but also to blog it! 
We have a fab new year-long series which we hope everyone will enjoy and feel inspired to join in with.  This year, the first dare of each month will feature a Colour Combo Challenge, with each of the DT taking a turn at choosing the colour palette we use.  January's colour palette  has been chosen by Fran - her choice of colours is indicated by the photo and shown below it

Aquas and teal shades are often quite "cool" colours - but the gorgeous creams and creamy-browns really take away that chilliness and make them feel much warmer and cosier, don't they?
Having sorted out a great big pile of possible papers that might work, I ended up finding that pretty much everything I needed was in the gorgeous "Breeze" 6x6 pad from MME's Lost and Found series.
Brown 14cm sq card blank, light beige dots textured cardstock, 
Mid-shade teal Bazzill,
Patterned papers and Sentiment; MME's Breeze 6x6 pad 
(from Lost and Found collection),
Cream and teal papers for rosette are textured handmade Lokta paper,
Cream lace, Cream velvet ric-rac, Aqua satin ribbon,
Prima sequin flower centre
Memory Box rosette die, Spellbinders "Floral Doily Motifs"

*I made the rosette by cutting the shape in the two Lokta papers, then sticking one on top of the other, I didn't want my rosette to be as wide as this die cuts, so once the two papers were suck together I cut the strip down to about 3cms wide, then made the folds and formed the rosette.
*Ribbon flower centre is made by twisting and coiling a length of satin ribbon fairly loosely around from the centre of a card circle.  I use bookbinding glue for this, but Cosmo Cricket make "Gloobers" (I think that's what they're called) if you want the "ready-to-use" option!
Sometimes it's hard to find the mojo after all that intensive Christmas Crafting, isn't it? Well there are some gorgeous cards using these colours to see on The Daring Cardmakers Blog this week - please pop over and have a look - hopefully it'll be just the thing to  inspired you to join in and get started on a brand new creative year.
Thanks for looking