Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Sail Away, Sail Away, Sail Away

Hi there
Hope you are feeling fine and dandy today - or maybe all "Ship shape and Bristol fashion" as my card for today has a bit of a nautical theme. It's the last week for adding projects to the Linky for the January LO over at The Sketch File, and I finally got around to making the card I've meant to do all month.  I had to change my plan to use yacht shaped buttons ans I couldn't find any - I was so certain that I had some, and they'd have looked so cute in the little porthole apertures! 
Smooth white card blank and extra for upper panel
Other card Bazzill
Stick on letters; Aithentique
Punch for porthole apertures
a couple of zigzag shapes from old QK dies
Anchor is from a Cuttlebug die
2x pieces of ric-rac braid
Little yachts are hand-cut from scraps of card
The Sketch File - January 2017

That's it for this time, thank you for visiting, see you soon

Monday, January 30, 2017


Hello there

My little corner of Blogland is a bit damp and grey this morning,  though not as cold as we've had, which  I suppose is the silver lining.
I think the best thing to do is to settle down to making stuff - with an audio book for company.  A few more chapters of Pride and Prejudice should do the trick.
On Saturday, my lovely hubby found a stack of plain, cardboard ring binders for me (75p each at Wilkinsons ;) ) and brought a bunch home for me to cut down a bit and make into storage files for my dies.  I've made a start on doing that part, but I'm uncertain now as to whether to sort the dies by type or by manufacturer - or whether there's an even better way.  What do you reckon - how do you store yours?

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to make some tags to go on party bags for a Strawberry themed birthday.  Now I've mentioned before that tags are not my favourite thing to make - but I had a bit of a think and came up with an idea.

Kraft card
Red. white, green, yellow card (Bazzill)
Yellow Glitter card
Bakers Twine
Heart Die (Die'Namics, nested set)
Flower Petals (Marianne)
Leaves (Britannia)
Small circle punch  (Xcut)
Seeds cut with circles from holly/mistletoe  die sets
Zutter Corner-rounder to shape the lower corner of the strawberries

That's it for this time, just a quickie, but I hope you like these tags and will leave a message.  Let me know how you categorise you dies and stamps too, I'm really interested in hearing what suits you best.

Thanks for visiting

Friday, January 27, 2017

Bring Me Sunshine

Hello there

Just as I wrote the title of this post the sun really did come out - bang on cue.  Just a shame it didn't last the first sentence before disappearing again!  The other part of the weather report is that its still perishing cold.  At least that means the heating is coming on and all the socks are drying super fast when I hang them between the rails of the towel heater thing! 

Anyhoo, time for a crafty update as its Daring Cardmakers Day
This time its our lovely Miri setting the challenge:

 January is quickly coming to an end, but we’re still at the beginning of the new year. It’s still time to set goals or think about changes you might want to make.
       More, More, More 
This week we challenge you to think about what you 
want more of in 2017!
More glitter? More time? More magic? More vegetables?
 More love? More books? ... 
show it to us on your card and we hope that you'll get it, whatever it is!
 There are lots of great "More of..." wishes over on the blog, some ;
'worthy'  some personal and some craft-inspired. Lots of great ideas and I'm sure all my teamies had a tricky time deciding on just one.
I decided that everything feels a bit better when the sun shines, so more sunshine is what I'd like to see.  
Smooth White card for base and more for the upper panel.
I started by creating the sentiment in Paint Shop Pro on the pc, resizing, printing and trimming down the resulting piece to fit my card.
I felt the need (as you do) of a lovely new font for this, and found this one ('Hallelujah Regular') on the fabulous DaFont website. 
Next I masked off the words and stencilled with 'Mini Spinning Tops' (Crafters Workshop) in yellow.  I intensified some of the colour to add a bit of light and shade.
The circle aperture was die cut (Tonic Nested Circles)
I made the sun ray cutting file in PSP then transferred it for cutting to the Silhouette.  I know there are ways to create what you need within the Silhouette itself, but I've always made my templates this way and it works for me, so I'll continue doing what I know! 
I made the rays within a square frame so that its easy to stick behind the aperture.  It looked a bit flat so I added a punched circle on top, to which I'd added a bit of a domed shape by using a ball tool
To complete the card I added a few nice sunny yellow embellishments; jewels, pearls and various other things

Thank you so much for popping by today, I hope you'll leave a message - and that you'll come back again soon 


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A Bit Industrial

How are you?  It's been very sunny here over the last few days - we've seen none, or very little of the freezing fog I hear has shut down several airports - one of which is about 20 minutes drive from here!  Here the sky is as blue and clear as can be!  However it is mighty cold, and I'm quite happy to be staying indoors! I hope you are managing to stay nice and toasty today too.

I've gone a little bit 'industrial' for this week's Sketch File card,  The little bag of metal cogs Hubby added to a Christmas box of crafty bits have been desperate to come out and play, so this week I gave in.

 Kraft card stencilled in reddish-brown colour
Cogs stencil added using Dark Brown ink
Circle and Lines stencil in black for two of the lines from the sketch
The third line is created with a string of beads, coloured with Alcohol Inks, and fixed in place with screw head brads
A lever was created with a metal photo turn and a metallic red star brad, which adds a pop of colour
Thu metal cogs were used to echo the three circles on the LO
Here's the sketch 
The Sketch File January 2017
It's been a while since I got the stencils out, and despite ending the day with inky fingers I had a lot of fun.  I really should make more use of my painty, inky, stencilly stash!

Thank you for visiting, I hope you'll take a minute to leave a message

Friday, January 20, 2017

A Stitch in Time....

It's a lovely sunny morning - but my word!  it's a chilly one.  I know that just by going as far as the doorstep to fetch the milk in.  Yes, I'm happy to say that we do still have a milkman delivering our daily pinta, and other bits and bobs right to the doorstep.

As usual on a Friday its Daring Cardmakers Day and.....
It's Nat here bringing you my first dare of 2017!
This week I am hoping that you'll be raiding your sewing box or dragging your sewing machine out because I want you to feature stitching on your cards as a real eye-catching element!
You can do some good old hand-stitching with embroidery floss and a needle, machine sewing or even feature dies and stamps that do the stitching for you, or why not draw your own stitched designs by hand?
 After several false starts, and a few ideas that bit the dust when I realised I didn't actually have the things I'd need to make it, I came up with another plan - and even this one faltered a couple of times (at least)

First difficulty was getting the printing right - I needed to print on both sides of the card - once for the 'right' side, with only the gold lettering visible, and 
then mirrored in the same place on the reverse.  I didn't want the LOVE lettering to print on the front, but needed them as a guided for my stitching.  Obviously they needed to be mirrored for the stitched letters to be the right way round on the front
That took about 4 tries to get right, and I breathed a sigh of relief when finally I got it sorted......
...... Only to discover that there was no red at all in my meagre cache of embroidery floss - yes I probably should have checked that first, I know!
 I dug out and had a rummage through the box of fibres and tried a rather woolly one out but that looked a mess tbh.
I tried sewing through narrow ribbon to form the words, it looked horrendous.
Eventually I found a reel of red sparkly thread - a bit thin, and the sort that tangles itself up in a heartbeat, but beggars can't be choosers.

By this time my perfectly printed card was a crumpled, holey mess, so I had to go through the complicated printing job again!

So eventually got it done.  As the thread is thin I used four strands, and went over all the stitch lines twice.  I kept the number of holes to an absolute minimum. On the printed reverse there is an 'O', but I converted this to a heart shape when I added the stitching.
Textured creamy-white card for card base and stitched panel
Red Bazzill card
Gold Glitter card
Sentiment pc generated
Red thread with red lurex strand in it
Narrow red ribbon (The Ribbon Girl).

In the end it came out quite well and it looks way to simple to have caused me so much stress and frustration!  Funny how often that happens, isn't it?  Even funnier is the fact that me challenge to try something new gave Nat the same sort of tribulations that her challenge this week has given me.  So I suppose there's some justice in that, eh?

That's all for this time, I hope your Friday is a good one - and maybe you'll find time to join in with us over at The Daring Cardmakers this time ;)

Please leave a message, its always good to know you're not just talking to yourself :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Poppy Thank You

Hello - thanks for visiting!
We have a lovely sunny day here - a nice change from all the rain we've had over the last few days.  Mind you, it's chilly - struggling to get over a couple of degrees.  At least the pile of ironing that is on my to-do list for this afternoon will warm me up....... oh joy!

My card for today is another Thank You card using the January LO from the Sketch File.
papers are from an old paper pad. plus some Bazzill card for the black and green nits
The sentiment is pc generated and resized to fit on the punched shape
Label punch is one of my new EK Success punches, the brackets are included on the punch
Poppy die is by Joanna Sheen and is a real favourite now

 That's it for this time, I hope you like it and feel inspired to join in and make something using the sketch to share with us

Please don't go without leaving a message, I do love to hear from you!
Have a happy Tuesday


Friday, January 13, 2017

Something New

Good Morning!
How's your snow today?  We have a little, but so far we're escaping the worst of the weather that's hitting the UK just now.  It feels a bit weird actually when the News is full of tales of high winds, flooding, homes being evacuated, and heavy snowfall all around us. I just hope I'm not speaking too soon!  
Anyway, I hope you are all keeping safe and warm wherever you are.

It was my turn to come up with the challenge for The Daring Cardmakers this week and  I thought that trying out something new would be a good one for the start of a New Year.
I think most of us will have a little list of things we've seen and would like to try out for ourselves.  Or maybe an idea of our own we'd like to try out to see if it works.  Its easy to get into a bit of a rut and stick to the things we love and know will work - a step out of the comfort zone from time to time is refreshing..... right?

It's the start of a new year, so I'd like you to try something new to you this week. It could be a technique, a card fold, or something else that you've never done before. 
A little challenge to yourself maybe to step out of your comfort zone.....
Don't forget to check our individual blogs to find out what's "New" about our cards

Just before Christmas, when of course, there's no time to experiment with new stuff I saved a tutorial for making a "Twist and Pop" card, so having suggested the "New" theme, I had no excuse for not giving it a whirl.
It turned out that the actual card, and the mechanics of making it are dead easy.  The bit I really struggled with was embellishing the thing once it was made!
Outside it looks like this; a regular sort of card with a belly band around it - suggesting maybe it's not quite as ordinary as it looks

As you can see from the next photo, that belly band does keep something under wraps!

Remove it and lift the front of the card, and the  twist and pop magic goes into action, swinging out a four section piece that's a bit like a mini booklet.  I think this would make a wonderful photo-filled surprise to send to a doting Granny.

In the end I just filled the mini 'pages' with die cut flowers and butterflies.  The basic card took about half an hour, decorating it took almost all day because I was so indecisive!
To make this card I followed the instructional video HERE
In the end I used some rather old, but still favourite papers on this project.  They are  MME "Howdy Doody" set from the Miss Caroline range.  I used a mix of 12x12 and 6x6 here, and I now need to have a hunt around to see if I can replenish my supply as I'm running out - I've already used 2 of the 6x6 pads1  
So old favourites meet a new technique with this card
The rose for the belly band was made using one of my lovely new EK Success punches.  I LOVE EK Success punches, they are the best I've ever used and make such a wonderful crisp "clunk" when they bite that shape out!

Right, that's me done for today, I hope you'll join in with us this week and try out that new idea or technique you've been meaning to have a go at!  Check out all the fab cards the team have made and follow the links to find out more about each HERE
Thank you for visiting today

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

2 x Three!

I hope you are starting to get to grips with this new year - I must admit its proving a struggle to get back to a normal routine.  Plus the Bad Fairy of Procrastination has taken up residence (again), which is never a good thing.  Such a little minx, she is!
I'm blaming her for my bad start to the day too.  I'd noticed the plants on the landing were looking a bit sad and was watering them when one jumped off the table and upended itself throwing compost all over the carpet.  It must have been her, and it was mean to do that before I'd even had my breakfast.

Anyway, I did manage a bit of crafting yesterday and made a couple of cards using the new LO from The Sketch File.  I'm sharing the first of them today

Papers: Glistening 6x6 pad (Authentique) 
Dies: Layering Butterflies set (Tonic)
Butterfly bodies from Butterfly Trio (Memory Box)
Square Punch (XCut)
Tiny turquoise gems
The Layering Butterflies Die set is one of those that Father Christmas was kind enough to bring.  I've used the smallest butterfly of each shape here.  In this set you get 4 increasingly larger dies for each of the two shapes, so I need to experiment in using them in a layered up way another time.
These papers are some of my favourites.  I have the 12x12 set too ;)
That's all for now, except to say how good it would be to have you join in and give this LO a try.  I'd love to see what you could use it for.

Thank you so much for visiting, I hope you'll leave a message before you go :)


Friday, January 06, 2017

It's Been a While!

Hello Again!
First things first, so I'd like to wish you a Happy New Year.  
I hope 2017 is good to you.

I always struggle to get back into making stuff after Christmas - somehow its quite a challenge just to get out of the Christmassy mind-set and make other things.  It's not that I want to make any more Christmas cards, just that the glitter card, Christmas colours and motifs have filled my head for so long - I definitely want a change, but seem to have forgotten how to make anything else!
Anyway when I first saw Sharon's choice of Inspiration photo for the first Daring Cardmakers' challenge of the year, gorgeous though it is, I did think; 
"Really? More pine cones and pine twigs?  Noooooo!"! 
But a closer look at the photo revealed much more in the way of inspiration, and checking out what the team made confirmed there was plenty of opportunity to get away from Christmas, and even Winter if that's what you want
In the end I chose the candles, the word in large capitals and the wood-grain background, and you can see what the other DT members used over on our BLOG.

Smooth white square card blank
All patterned papers: MME "On Trend" 6x6 pad
Gold card and a multi-sized petal punch used to make the candle flames, which were then coated with Stickles glitter glue
Candles made by tightly rolling pieces of patterned paper
'HAPPY' die by Memory Box, 3 layers of Kraft card glued together and finished with the green paper layer on top
'Birthday' is by Creative Dies.  The peachy paper was glued to a single layer of
Kraft card before cutting

Hopefully now I've tidied my desk of all things Christmas, and actually managed to make a card, my mojo will return and I can have some fun with the lovely new stash that I discovered under our Christmas tree ;)

That's all for this time though, except to say I hope you'll leave a comment before you leave :)
Have a great weekend