Friday, December 28, 2007

A Tiny Slot for Blogging!

Phew! Just time for a breather before it all starts up again, but moreso.
Christmas Day was a lovely peaceful day in our house. Just the two of us spending some real quality time together, sharing the cooking, spoiling each other rotten with treats and pressies and just simply enjoying the day. We both enjoy the big family-busy-type Christmas Days but there's something special about just being a twosome for Christmas. And there's the ultimate bonus of actually getting to eat our dinner while it's still hot, yum :-)
We always end up buying loads of things for each other, lots of little things as well as a "main" gift so there's so much to open it lasts all day!
We spent Boxing Day with Hubby's sister and family - it's the first time we've been to their house since they moved over to England, and looking around other people's houses is always entertaining, isn't it? More pressies, a light lunch and back to the horror that is the M25, which thankfully wasn't as bad as on the way there.
Hubby went back to work yesterday, he's one of those people who quite enjoys the novelty of driving to work when the roads are really quiet and the office is peaceful. He reckons he gets done in half a day what would normally take all day - why more businesses aren't open to the work-at-home idea beats me, I guess they assume that people wouldn't work if they weren't in the office, but in reality most people would just get stuff done quicker without the interruptions you get in a busy office.
Later today we're heading over to see my bro and family and to catch up with the work on their house which is almost finished at last. All my SIL wanted for Christmas was a working sink! Which is understandable after months with a temp sink in a trestle table, eh?
We've friends coming to visit tomorrow then on Sunday my aunt and uncle, and cousin will be arriving to spend New Year with us - so it's going to be pretty busy around here.

So to catch up with some craft stuff.....
I finally got my DCM card for last week's "I'm Free" dare onto the blog yesterday - honestly, it was done in time but the only chance I got to stick it on the blog was the day Blogger was playing silly beggars and wouldn't let me load it, typical.
Anyway, I used some free papers that came in a mag (I forget which, sorry) - I never use these freebies, even when the designs are ok I'm not inspired to have a go with them because I just don't like the thin, shiny paper they are printed on - they just go straight in the recycle bin. If I'd been less rushed I'd have remembered those chipboard freebie bits I've got saved somewhere - even though the colours are grotty I could have covered them with something nicer, couldn't I?

Next up is my card for today's "4 of the Best" Dare - we've chosen 4 of the most popular recent dares and the idea is to use one or more of them on our cards. The dares are "Ribbons", "Button It", "....and Cut" (hand cutting) and "Frames"
I needed to make a commissioned card for an 80th birthday so used this dare to get it done. I used three of the old dares - hand cutting, ribbon and buttons, I guess I could claim the frame one too if the mounted greeting counts.......well it looks a bit like a frame, don't you think?
I dug out some old chintzy papers from a K&Co paper pad for this, along with some lovely Primas. I think that bit of ribbon is recycled from a chocolate box so maybe I can get some extra bonus points for that?
Don't forget to check out the DCM blog for loads more inspiring cards - and to meet our new Guest Designer, Judy Fowler, a new "name" to me, but her work is fab so it's great to have her playing along with us for a couple of weeks.

What else then?
How about some Secret Santa stuff I made and xouldn't show on here till now.....
A little notebook mounted on board so that it can be hung on a convenient hook
An Address book in gorgeous BG Urban Couture and using my robo to cut the word and the swirl
A decorated picture frame -I printed a photo from the recipient's blog to print off and put in the frame before I sent it off

This is another commissioned card
It's a sort of joint New Baby/Happy Christmas card, which was heading for Italy - eventually!
Long story involving a forgetful hubby and a tight time schedule....

Also my latest cards for Crafty Templates Design Team, Leo's templates are always inspiring and exciting to use - I really look forward to my little batch of templates arriving each month.
I loved the little parcel idea this time - perfect combined with the Cuttlebug "Thanks" folder for making all those Chtristmas present Thank You cards

I only send a couple of Happy New Year cards, so was pleased to see this clever template - and the DT pack had these gorgeous papers in "frosty" colours which look fab with a bit of ribbon and some bling. Well I think so anyway!
I cut the numbers individually and mounted them to overlap using foam tape I've got loads of other bits and bobs but that'll do for now.

I'm not sure when I'll get back to my blog again so I'd like to say
to anyone who comes to visit - I've loved getting to know so many friends over the last year and am looking forward to crafting with you all again in 2008

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Bits and Pieces and Christmas Wishes

Just a quick catch up with some recent photos.

I've got visitors arriving this afternoon to stay for a few days so I'm not sure when I'll get another chance to update my waffle.

We had a busy weekend with shopping, a trip to the theatre ("The Country Wife" at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket - very good, very funny) and attending a carol concert. On Sunday evening we put the tree up, this year we have a blue and silver theme. Obviously blue and silver aren't "in" this year because getting blue ribbon for our parcel wrapping is nigh on impossible!
Here's the tree unlit:
..... and with the lights on, though in daylight. There are 440 lights on there, believe it or not.
Next a few more cards - little bitty mini ones using Crate papers and one from another batch of various BG Figgy Pudding Cuttlebug tree cards.

Lastly, the address book I've tarted up for part of my friend Dani's Christmas present, I hope she likes it - and I hope it gets there in time as it just went in the post yesterday.

All for now, if I don't get back here before the Big Day - Happy Christmas to all my crafting friends, I hope Father Christmas is very kind to you and that you all have a wonderful, peaceful Christmastime.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Inside and Out

Hi everyone Gillian here, and it's my turn to dare you all this week
I dare you to take the design of your card to the inside as well as the outside.
Add a little finishing touch to match the theme on the outside,
or Surprise the receiver with a flap, foldout, decorated journal block to write on,
or one of those pop-out delights....
It really adds so much to a card when there is attention to detail on the inside
as well as the outside. I know some of you are finished your Christmas cards already
so this week it's Any theme, Christmas or not
But make the inside count too :)

What a fabby dare for the Daring Cardmakers this week. Gill always has such wonderful ideas, as you'll know if you regularly visit her blog - her work is always so inspiring to see.
Please pop over and visit the DCM blog to see some other "Inside/Outside" cards, and then visit the Team's personal blogs to see what delights are hidden inside. We love to have our cardmaking friends join in with our challenges, it's always faxcinating to see how different people run with the idea and make such wonderful cards.

I decided that if I was going to go to all the effort of designing the inside as well as the outside of my card, then it would be for someone special - and the person most special to me is my Hubby
so this is the card I'll give him this Christmas. Just hope he doesn't decide to have a sneaky look at my blog before we exchange cards.

I used a burgundy base card from PDA and BG Figgy Pudding papers. The gold textured card is also PDA, but I wanted a burnsihed rather than bright gold finish so I rubbed some Walnut Stain Distress Ink into the edges.
The trees are hand-cut from faux chipboard and that beautiful ribbon is from Ribbon Oasis.
Must admit I'm not really happy with the positioning of the sentiment but it's stuck fast now so I don't think I can change it
Inside I've added gold vellum to the same mix of papers and little trees. The scalloped strips for the message area were cut on the Robo.

Two sneak peeks now
These are from a couple of Christmas Pressies I've just finished making

And finally, it's my brother's birthday today so being totally unready for such things, I've made his card this morning. Oooops!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

oooer, 2 days blogging in a row!

I know. I know! I've scared myself too....

Anyway, here are my first batch of tags for this year - quite a lot more to make though so I'm thinking some quick and easy ones might be needed, I hope the Good Ideas Fairy calls soon

I quite like these Santa ones - I made the template myself (with a bit of Hubby-help) using a dingbat as the starting point. They are a bit too fiddly to make loads of though

I've been making some more cards too. I thought I'd made enough but there's not many left in the box - other than the "traditional" rejects (I always have a few that I make and hate, so won't send) I think I still need to make more - I counted the ones on our address labels and completely forgot about all those I need for people I hand-deliver to - dopey mare!

I've got some sneak peeks to show too, but I'll save those for another time, I think....
Right, back to the "to-do" list then.

Thanks for looking

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Best Laid Plans

I took loads of photos this morning of new cards and some gift tags - made with the latest DCM Little Extra in mind. Went to download them and realised that when Hubby installed another new "holding" gadget for our shared stuff at the weekend, he must have forgotten to set it up so I can download my pics.
Never mind, it'll give me something to blog about another day. I did really want to blog today as I've been getting out of the habit lately so I've had a rummage around and found some stuff I've not shown yet and some full pics of some sneak peeks from a few weeks ago.

First up some photos I took out in the garden last week, I just took them with the little Canon Powershot camera I use for craft stuff because I was too idle to go and get my "proper" camera out.

I'm most certainly not a scrapper and I'm in awe of those who create wonderful scrapbook pages. Occasionally I dabble a bit, but only in 6x6 or 8x8 sizes - those big 12x12 pages scare me to bits! I did the following LOs for the recent Bubbly Funk Cybercrop. One is for my 2007 album - which I've not touched since ,er, March (ooops) and the other is a page for the album I gave to my aunt and uncle last Christmas - and this is the first page I've done for them since then, too. Hopefully I'll get a chance before this Christmas to manage another couple of pages that I can wrap up as an extra Christmas present.

Both these have hidden journalling in the lower right hand corners, a tag or an opening dodah/ The Sam page also has another photo hidden in the little "booklet" behind the first one.

Last thing I can share atm is a sneak peek of something I've just finished making for a Christmas present.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Candy Striped

I've not been the best of bloggers lately, but hopefully I'll get back on track soon - thanks to everyone who's left a message for me, even though I've not been good at reciprocating - another thing I will catch up with asap.
I looked at my photo cache to see what I could put on here and realised how bad I've been about taking photos of the things I've made, normally I'm pretty good at remembering to do that but recently I've been useless and have sent out a load of stuff without taking any photos.
So all I have is my card for this week's DCM dare
The lovely Saffa's in charge of setting the challenge this time and saiid
Candy Stripes...
Inspired by the cute little christmas stripey candy sticks I challenge you all to create a card featuring stripes of some kind, the occasion is up to you but you must use some form of stripes on your card. Maybe stamps, or paper, or ribbon....
When I saw this dare I went on the prowl to find something special to use - something non-Christmassy and just darned pretty!
It's not that I don't have masses of striped paper already - I think it was more an excuse to go shopping for something not Christmas related for a change - even though this dare could quite easily be used for Christmas cards.

I found something really really gorgeous in the form of the "Her Own Wings" range from Dream Street Papers. How lush are these papers, I bought the paper and the matching Bazzill card from Rebecca's Scrapbooking Stash
Some other rather tasty stuff landed in my basket too, but more of that later, as I think I actually remembered to take a photo before it was all put away.
The card is a tri-fold DL, with a bit cut off the top so that I could add flowers above the top edge. Some are stuck on the back of the card, others on the front. Bits of them are raised on thick card or sticky pads for extra definition.
The flowers themselves are a mixture cut with the Cuttlebug Asterisk set and the Ellison Thin Cuts Flower/Centre/Leaf die.
There are a few Primas thrown in for good measure.
Other stash: Stickles Glitter Glue, Glossy Accents, Eyelets, Organza ribbon

Please pop over to the Daring Cardmakers' blog and check out all the wonderful candy-stripes inspired cards there are from the team. Remember we'd love to see your cards too.

As well as those yummy-scrummy papers I gave in to the temptation of a few other papers and also to these cute little "handbags" which are full of flowers. ribbons and other bits and pieces.
The tiny bag (left) is only about 7cms across and the bigger one (right)about 11cms - it's amazing how much you find stuffed into them though

Actually, I have a confession - among this stuff is a handbag-shaped desk calendar kit -that's it bottom centre, the trimmings are all in that plastic bag, and the calendar itself is top right in the photo. Well I really bought it for one of our nieces who likes to craft - but a) I think it might be a bit advanced for a 10 year old and b) at the weekend I saw the Cuttlekids machine at a good price and bought that for her instead. hmmmm, so I'll just have to keep that calendar for myself, or I guess I could make it up for someone's Christmas present. What do you think?

Friday, November 30, 2007


I think I'm starting to feel better at last. I think all the hassles,stresses, sad news and lack of sleep of the last few months caught up with me and said "Enough!"
I'm usually up and about as soon as I've waved Hubby off to work at 7, but this whole week I've been crawling back to bed unable to find the energy to get on with the day. I decided not to fight it and just to go with the flow. A couple of years ago I had a really bad dose of flu which threw all our Christmas plans into disarray and saw poor Hubby scouring the shelves of Tesco on Christmas Eve for food to see us through the holiday as we had been booked to fly over to Mils for Christmas and had nothing in the house! Not only that but it left me feeling really weak and feeble (or feak and weeble if you prefer) for ages - I was still not back to what passes for normal till the end of March. Ever since then I've been a bit wary whenever the tired-all-the-time thing rears it's ugly head.
So I've been trying to take it really easy this week. I've quite enjoyed sitting at my desk doing bits and pieces of craft stuff though - I'm trying not to think of the long list of things I have to do, but only of the one I'm actually doing now. I think I might try to keep that up actually as it makes each task much more enjoyable not to be always thinking "I need to get this finished and then get on with...."
I've done quite a few cards on the theme of Christmas Stockings, here's a trio of those made with BG and Crate Christmas papers, The stocking die is actually one I downloaded from the Bosskutz site to use with the Robo. I just love that I can make them any size I want - I must have a go at making a HUGE one some day.

I'll put some of the others on here later as I've forgotten to do the photos.
It's MILs birthday next week and I made this card for her. I made this when I was feeling really bad at the beginning of the week and it looks a bit sparse I think, though I'm not sure what I would have added. Never mind, eh? The lovely paper and card are from an SA kit of a few months back, the Ribbon Oasis ribbon is a perfect match (must buy some more...) Flowers are Prima Essentials and also the perfect colour match for the paper - how fab is it when you find such great matches in your accumulated stash? The corner thingie is one of the dies in the Cuttlebug Vintage set.

I've been out for the first time this week today. Met a friend I've not seen in ages and stood out in the street having a natter then I popped into M&S to buy some bits for the weekend - but I think I bought too much and the bags were a bit heavy, I had to put them down on the way home to rearrange the load and I think I've hurt my back a bit. I already had a backache and I don't think standing so long chatting in this cold weather helped one bit. Typical - just as I start getting over one thing, something else takes it's place. Such is life.

It's DCM Friday again and this week there's lots of news to share
It's been wonderful to have Louly working with us for the last couple of weeks (Thanks Lou...) but now it's time to say hi to our latest Guest Designer who is one of our most long-standing darers . So welcome Ros it's great to have you aboard, thank you for making time to join us at such a busy time of the year.
We're also welcoming two new DT members this week, The wonderfully talented Mel Goodsell from Australia and Stamper Extraordinaire Rachel Booth from the UK we are all so pleased they are joining the team and know their contribution to the DCN is going to be fantastic

This week it's Rhi daring us with this:
"........and the theme is to do with our feathered friends!
(Are you remembering to feed them now it's chilly out)
Robins, love birds, cartoon birds, stamped birds, paper pieced birds, dingbat birds. Its up to you. I dare you to make a card with a bird or birds on, it doesn't have to be a real species, the more weird and wonderful the better!"

Here's my card
I made this using my Robo Robin template, but vastly reduced in size. I think I had a moment of madness and thought it would be cute to have loads of lttile robins sitting on a wire singing....
Actually, doing something like this was quite good therapy when I felt too grotty to do anything else, there's a relaxing quality about doing something repetetive and mindless! Although all the bits were tiny and fiddly, this was something different for me and I rather enjoyed trying to give all the little robins their own "look"
Obviously I was not in my right mind because having spent hours sticking that lot together and cutting out all those fiddly beak shapes I then continued on the theme and made these two:
Will I make any more? I'll let you know!
Robins are Robo cut except the beaks, which were hand-cut,
Red Stickles Glitter-glue added for some Christmas bling,
wording was done on the pc other details are hand-drawn.
Papers used on all the cards are Basic Grey, from the Blitzen and Fruitcake ranges.

Well, if you've managed to get this far in this epic post, Congratulaions - you're nearly there. I'm just going to add the following as much as a reminder to myself as anything. Although it's a prayer, there's a lot of good advice in there, whether you are religious or not. Thanks Lythan for helping me find this, and for making me smile at the second verse, which I'd not come across before. We both liked the bit about being "reasonably happy in this life", when it comes down to it, of you can be reasonably happy with the life you have it's got to be a good thing, hasn't it?

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

--Reinhold Niebuhr

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hang up Your Stockings

Not feeling too great atm, so I'll just upload my card for the dcm Little Extra and leave it at that for now.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Something for Me

I love making little books, but usually I make them to give away - probably because it takes away the need of thinking what to do with them once they're done - or finding somewhere to store them!

Anyway, I worte a class on how to make a folding album for Saturday's Bubbly Funk cybercrop and this time I decided to make the book for myself. I'm lucky enough to have a lot of old photos in my possession thanks to my family history research and I thought that this little album would be a lovely way to show some of them off. Not the real photos obviously but printouts from the scanned originals so that I could resize them and attack them with ink and brads etc without any worry or guilt
This is the cover of my album - I used Daisy Bucket papers and Bazzill card throughout

Flowers are all Primas from various collections and the ribbon is from Ribbon Oasis.

The photo below is the partly-opened album

The photo above is the album all flattened out. As well as the photos I've left space, or little hidden tags or mini-booklets so that I can add a bit of info about the photos.
I'm actually quite pleased with this and it was such fun to make. It's quite nice to make something that only has to please me iykwim

I've not had much of a crafting weekend, though I managed a few more Christmas cards. One of which will be going in the bin half made because it's rubbish.
Went to John Lewis on Saturday and spent a fortune on lovely new dark red towels for the B&W bathroom, a new shower caddy wotsit for the wall in there and various other bits and pieces.
Popped into my bro's house to see how their building work is coming on. Ours has been bad enough but they've been living on a building site since well before last Christmas as last year they did work on the upstairs of the house and this year the really big work downstairs as been tackled. It's looking good though - well, if you see beyond the piles of rubbish, the makeshift "kitchen" (their old sink fitted in a trestle table and a microwave oven), and all the wires hanging out of the walls. If it's finished by Christmas it'll be a miracle!

The joys of renovation, eh?

Friday, November 23, 2007


Well, nearly anyway.
Lythan is up to her usual tricks and has set a fiendish dare this week for the Daring Cardmakers.
Song without words
I would like you to create a card inspired by a song or a carol - it could be for Christmas or not! (you may have got all your Christmas cards done by now...)
there is a twist.
the words of the song are NOT to be seen on the front of the card.
You could leave it to us to guess! Have fun!
We're a bit "under-staffed" this week, Jane's taken a bit of a tumble (but she's on the mend now), Gill has donned her cute nurse's outfit and is nursing her mum after quite a big op and her daughter who had a bit of an accident the other day, our expectant mums are in need of plenty of rest (Tracie is in hospital atm to make sure of it) and lots of tlc and then there's just "real life" which has a happy knack of getting in the way of our cardmaking - especially at this time of the year. So a reduced range of cards to look at, but hopefully more appearing soon!

Anyway, here's mine
In the words of Rolf Harris "Can you tell what it is yet?" If you get stuck, click the link ad the bottom of this message for enlightenment!

All the silhouette bits were cut with the Craft Robo - bless his little cotton socks - he's such a hero at times like this!
Plain black card, silver card for backing the bits, dark blue glitter card, punched glitter card snowflakes and stars, Robo-ed lettering and a bit of Krylon silver pen for good measure. Not sure what I'll do with this one when it comes to sending our cards out though!
And another one - a bit of a cheat as I needed to add a word to make this work.....
Loads of layers of different papers and the like, some punched stars and snowflakes and some super-pretty fibres

Bubbly Funk are holding a Christmas cybercrop tomorrow, and organisers Caroline and Di asked me to help out. I know Rosie has posted sneak peeks of her classes and it's such a good idea for whetting the appetite I thought I'd pinch it too!
So here are a few glimpses from my projects.

Still need some help with the song title?