Friday, July 30, 2010

A Girl Thing!

I've been doing "girl things" this week - I went and had a manicure and also my eyebrows done - the last time I did either of these was ahead of our wedding...... we're celebrating our 17th anniversary tomorrow!  I'm going to try not to leave it another 17 years before the next manicure (not so sure about the eyebrows - that bit was rather more painful than I remember hehe!) - in fact while I was there I booked an appointment in September as a birthday treat for myself :-)

Anyway, I digress (nothing new there, then...), this week sees Nat's very first time setting the challenge for the Daring Cardmakers and here's what she says:
 August 1st marks Girlfriend's day - a day to celebrate that very special friend in your life, and Sister's day just happens to fall on August 2nd.
So the choice is yours, you can make a lovely card to give to your best friend, or send something to your sister - or maybe your best friend is like a sister to you, she could even actually be your sister! ;o)
It all went a bit pear-shaped - I spent hours and hours on Tuesday searching unsuccessfully for the perfect quote for the card I wanted to make.  Then I spent another hour or so looking at my stash (see Wednesday's post if you want to see the mess I made just LOOKING!).  I finally sat down later on Wednesday and made a card which has "Sister" on it, and as I don't actually have a sister I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it! 

It was the sentiment DieCut from the Crate Paper "Blue Hill" collection that inspired me to actually make something, it's just too pretty not to be used, and even though I am sister-less, this challenge gave the perfect opportunity to use the sentiment panel, some of the die cut swirls and of course the lovely papers, which are some of my favourites anyway.

The Flowers:  
Coiled paper roses made from Blue Hill papers as are those made using a couple of the Cuttlebug Quilling dies - I didn't want full size flowers so used only the smaller width cuts from the dies (Chrysanthemum  and Daisy sets), the three ready made wired flowers are from Creative Treasures.
Wired pearly trim, ribbon and lace from my stash
"Happiness" rub-on is also from the Blue Hill collection, I matted it onto ovals cut for me by my lovely friend Kath (thanks Kath!)
I wanted to say a big thank you for all the lovely, thoughtful messages I received after Wednesday's post - they were all so appreciated - and I also must apologise to Linda for clumsily deleting her message while I was trying to enlarge it to a big enough size to be read on my ipod Touch!  I've already grovelled a bit in private, but thought I should also say "sorry" here!

I hope you'll join our challenge this week and celebrate those special girls in your life - there are some fab cards to inspire you over on the DCM BLOG this week.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wednesday Strikes Again

I seem to be having one of those times when I'm rushing around just trying to catch up - no chance of actually "keeping up", or heaven forbid that I actually "get ahead"!
So I've not added my WOYWW to the Mr Linky over on Julia's BLOG this week as I know there's absolutely no chance of me getting around even a fraction of the desks this week.
Still I thought I'd post my little bombsite of a desk as I left it last night.
Although I got that lot out yesterday, I didn't actually open an ink pad or stick two pieces of paper together - I did NUTHIN! All I managed was to sit there and rummage through stash and get a lot of stash out and fail to come up with an idea.  So I gave up and went downstairs to play with my ipod.  
Must have helped a bit because I sat down this morning and managed to make my card ready for Friday's DCM. Now, if only the mojo will stay around long enough for me to get hubby's anniversary card done.....

I finished the cover of the recipe book, so I'll pop that on here tomorrow - haven't finished typing up and making all the recipe cards yet though.

Seven years ago yesterday I lost my mum.  My adored dad had died very suddenly a few years before and now mum was gone too - tbh she'd never really got over losing him and was never really happy again after he'd gone.  We were coming to the end of our stay in Mauritius and about to head to Dubai for the last few days of our summer holiday when my brother phoned us with the news. it was such a shock.  I get a bit mixed up with the dates and times because of the time zone changes, but I think it had only been the day before that I'd called her and I'll always be glad that I rang that day because the last memory I have is a good one - of a happy voice at the other end of the "line", eager to hear about the things we were doing and the places we were seeing.

Miss you mum xxx

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Jaunt and some Sweet Treats

We went to one of the "Newmarket Summer Nights" race meets on Friday, I think they happen once a month during the summer and the racing is followed by a band/artiste in concert.  Hubby's work kindly paid for the tickets - they went last year too, but the after-racing concert wasn't so much to our liking - I think it was one of those pretty-boy singing groups that like to call themselves "a band".  Surely a group of singers is called a choir, and they should be called a Boy Choir, rather than Boy Band.........ooooh! controversial!

Anyhooo, Friday saw Razorlight on stage after the racing and they were fab.  Whilst I love some of their stuff, their CDs aren't the ones I reach for first iykwim - anyway, I really really enjoyed them on stage and we even managed to find a spot in the crowd where even I (from my lowly 5'2" could see the stage most of the time!
The whole event was great fun even though we didn't do very well on the betting front - probably not helped by this being the first time hubby has been racing and only the 2nd time for me.  Still, it was fun and we didn't lose our shirts!

The "escape" from the race course was pretty well organised too - it makes such a difference to get out of venues easily and be on your way home without too much hassle, I must admit being crushed to bits in the mass exit from a venue, and again on the tube puts me off going to more of the London concerts - plus there's always the mad dash across London to make the last train.  
Years ago I went to a big day/evening concert at Woburn Abbey and it took THREE HOURS just to get out of the carpark and on to the actual road!

Getting back to the crafting lark - my little Sweet Treats recipe book is gradually getting there - I've almost finished the cover but am at the bit where glitter glue and Glossy Accents need time to dry so I can't share that yet.  So here are the recipe tags I've done so far
I wasn't happy with the first couple I did so have changed my mind and made them in a different way - so these will look different from the ones that were tucked into the pockets on a previous post about them.
I've laminated each piece, leaving a wider piece at the top of the laminated bit - then cut the corners off to make the tag shape and allow space to tie the bits together - you can best see what I mean if you look at the Lemon Curd Butterfly Cakes tag (top left of photo).  Only 4 more to make to fill up the pockets!

A Little piece of news.....

Anice is looking for new Design Teamies for Funky Hand.

Click HERE for more info on how to be considered to join our fabulous Team
Loads to do this week so I should be getting on with some of it!
Catch up with everyone asap 
Thanks for popping by

Friday, July 23, 2010

Laying it on a Bit Thick

These Fridays come around so quickly sometimes and here's another one arriving almost before the last one ended.  Or so it seems.

It was Lynda who set the dare this week for us on the Daring Cardmakers and a fiendish one it is too - well certainly for those of us who are  seriously challenged when it comes to using stamps, digi images etc. Which as you know, I am!
Here's what Lynda says:
Layer it Up
I want to see at least one extra layer to your stamped, digi
or pre-printed images used on your cards this week. 
I won't accept just layers to card stock or papers - it has to be on the main image of your card.
hmmm, a big gulp of apprehension from me then, but a challenge is a challenge isn't it? 
Sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone is good for you, yes?
If only to prove why you happily potter about inside it!
Anyway, before I waffle on any further I'd better let you know the good bit in all this.....
We have a prize to give away this week
3 digi images of the winner's choice from Teri's Delicious Doodles 

 All the info on what you need to do to be in with a chance of choosing your favourite images from all those Teri has available is HERE
Teri's even made a card for us this week and you can see that along with those from the DT on the DCM BLOG.  We're rather depleted this week at least to start with - but keep checking back as more cards should be coming soon!

I made a couple of cards, can't say I'm happy with either of them but as I said, a challenge is a challenge! 
I did toy with the idea of asking Lynda if it would be ok to go down the usual route I tend to take with picture type things and cut all the layers with Mr Robo....but I resisted as that would be cheating, I think.
For my first effort I used one of the lovely images on Funky Hand's "Colour Me Happy" CD.  There are two or three banner/frame type images on there, this one is a frame with swirls and flowers and is very lovely (I'll admit to making a Craft Robo template for it before I decided it wasn't in the spirit of the dare hehe)

The images were printed onto the various coloured papers.  The basic design in sthe lowest image, then some flowers have two layers and others have three. I used some spare bits from all my cutting out to make the little one on the right.
There are bits of cereal packet chippie between the paper layers
Papers; Fancy Pants "Botanicals" - one of my perennial favourites (pardon the pun)
Lace and ribbon, Stickles; Black Diamond, Home-made Rub-on sentiment

I hunted around in my "saved stuff" for something I could use for a second card and found this cute image - I think it was a freebie from SquiggleFly, but don't quote me on that!
When I started playing with it the plan was to make it just B&W and only add a bit of ribbon for colour.  Thus avoiding the whole colouring-in problem.  
In the end I added more than that as you can see.  I used chalks for the sky, grass and path, then cut the fence section from a second image.  The bear is a third layer and the bunch of flowers is a fourth layer.  All layers have chipboard between them
I used:
CuttleBug Swiss Dots folder,  MS Border Punch, Ribbon, Chalks, Stickles, Home-made sentiment rub-on
Black Bazzill Bling card
Flowers from Creative Treasures inked to match the orange I used on the image.

Please don't judge me too harshly - remember all this is well out of my comfort zone!
Thanks for visiting today, please head over to the DCM BLOG to see some beautiful cards made by those who really can do great stuff with stamps and digis!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It's WOYWW Time

Welcome to my Work-desk this sunny Wednesday!
I've been wondering how  you do your WOYWW visiting.  There are just too many to work through in number order so I've taken to getting up Julia's list, then clicking my mouse pretty much anywhere on it.  From whichever blog it lands on I then pick one or two blogs from the comments list to visit and so on - it's a bit like a magical mystery tour and adds another element of fun to the whole thing!
Next time I have a few spare minutes I start off somewhere else on Julia's list and do the whole thing again

I'm busy making another version of the One Page Wonder Pocket Book.  The last one I made was a Birthday Book - this one going to be called "Sweet Treats" and the tags inside will have some recipes on them.  As you can see, it's all still in bits, but I'll post some pictures on here as soon as it's finished.

While I was making this version of the book I took the photos and wrote up the instructions on how to make it as some people have asked for a tutorial  - well at long last I got that finished and you can find it on the post below this one.  I've also "herded" the tutorials together and added links lists to the sidebar to make them easy to find.
I now need to sweep the book bits into a box and concentrate on my card for Friday's DCM challenge.  This one is a real challenge for me so hopefully starting on a Wednesday instead of the last minute Thursday thing will give enough extra time for me to come up with something that won't just look like a dog's breakfast!

Off now to add my link to Julia's wonderful WOYWW list - it's such a great way to meet other crafters and see how they work.  If you've not joined in yet click HERE for all the info and how to come and be part of it.
I'll be getting round to visiting many as the desks as I can later.

Thanks for visiting

Monday, July 19, 2010

One Page Wonder Pocket Book

I know I said I'd get this tutorial up a couple of weeks back, but I failed miserably.
Never mind, it's here now and I hope you'll have a go at making one of these cute little books.
I've got lots of photos which I hope will help, they'll look small, but just click on them for a closer look. 
Kit List
for the basic book
1 sheet 12x12 Bazzill
length of ribbon
scissors/craft knife
bone folder

for the cover
piece of card 11 x 17.5 cms
patterned paper 15 x 21.5 cms

How to make the pages:

1. The diagram shows where the first creases should be

Fold sheet of 12x12 in half, crease with bone folder.
Turn it 90deg and fold in half again.  Now fold one of the "loose" ends to the centre, line up carefully and crease
Turn the whole thing over and fold the remaining "loose" side to the centre and crease. It should look like this:

2.  With the card folded on the first centre crease you made (so that the other fold lines are running down as in this photo), measure and crease at 5cms.  This will form the little pockets eventually.

 Turn the whole thing over and make a matching crease at 5cms on the other side

3. Use scissors or a craft knife to cut as shown in the diagram

It should look like this - the clip is just there so I can do a photo!

3. Seal the 4 ends of the pockets (the 5cm folds) in place by using a narrow line of glue:
4. Now "concertina" the pages of one side up. Turn over and concertina the other side too and you should end up with something that looks more like a book
5. You'll notice that the central page has the fold at the top (that's the quarter you left uncut) and that those middle pages are back to back - I like to add a little bit of glue to keep that section firmly together.  If you look at it from the top it will now look like this:
6. Cut a length of ribbon - it needs to go round the book and be long enough to tie a bow to close the book
Draw a line on each side where you want the ribbon to be then glue the ribbon in place.  If you check the photos you'll notice that I've left a "loop" at the inner edge - the pages won't open properly if you don't leave that extra ribbon, and you'll not be able to close it properly once you've added tags to the pockets.
note: the punch in the photos is just thre to hold things in place!
The last picture shows the spine of the book.
That's the book pages all done 

 To make the cover
1. Cut a piece of card 11 x 17.5 cms - it doesn't matter what sort of card as it won't show
Cut a piece of patterned paper 15 x 21.5 cms
Mark and fold at 8cms and 9.5cms as shown in the photo
 2. Stick the card cover to the patterned paper.
If like me you use a striped paper, it's a good plan to make a crease about 2cms up before you start gluing, using one of the lines of the pattern to fold on - this way, you can match the edge of the cover to the inside of the crease and be sure that your stripes will be straight!
I like to make the spine folds as I'm going rather than stick the card to the paper then try to make the folds once it's all stuck together - remember that  it takes a fraction more paper to wrap around the spine than it did for the base card piece.  The paper is less likely to tear and you'll get a better finish if you make the folds as you go.  Hopefully the pictures will show what I mean (the clip was just there while I did the photos!)
3. The covered card won't lie flat now but don't worry, that's good - because it's already formed the shape of the book!
Now, snip pff the conrners of the paper, and snip a tiny "V" shape at the spine folds as shown
Fold and stick all the flaps down until it looks like this:
4.  At this point I decorate the front on my book
This means I can conceal any brad prongs, bits of wire, the ends of ribbon, lace etc that I want to wrap around between the cover and end pages when I stick it all together.
So for the next pictures I'm using clips to hold it in place just so you can see the final stages.
Use a good glue, such as bookbinding glue to adhere the end pages to the book cover.  You should have a margin of about 0.5cms top and bottom, and at the front (left side) and back (right side) of the book as shown above,  Using clips at this point will help keep everything in place while the glue dries.  The ends of the ribbon should be between the cover and the ends of the book, tie the ends of the ribbon in a bow to keep it closed while it dries,
That's it, all done - just the inside pockets to decorate and the tags to make but I don't think you need me to explain how to do that, eh?

I hope you'll have a go at making one - as soon as you've made one of these you'll see how easy hey are to do - even if the instructions seem to go on forever - that's just because I thought lots of pictures would make it easier to follow.

I''ll be back to show my finished book as soon as it's done, but I'd really love to see your book if you make one, so please don't forget to come back and let me know if you blog your book.
Happy Crafting

Friday, July 16, 2010

"Oh I do like to be beside the seaside,

 Oh I do like to be beside the sea!"
I was born and spent most of my childhood in a little seaside village on the NE coast of England and whilst I love where I live now, there's something special about being a seasider - it's in your bones and it runs through your veins and it's right at the heart of you.  I think everyone has an environment that has a magic for them; for some people it's the countryside, or lakes, or mountains - for me being by the sea that makes things seem better.  I don't mind whether the waves are calm and gentle and making that lovely swooshing sound as they ripple over sand or shingle, or whether it's an angry sea with giant waves hurling themselves against the sea wall or cliffs - I love to be near the sea whatever it's mood.
Anyway enough of my flight of fancy!
It's the seaside that Vanessa wants to see on our cards this week over at the Daring Cardmakers
This week I want you to think of a beautiful summer day looking over the bright blue sea glistening in the sunshine. What do you see? A boat, a ship, a whale, a dolphin or shark? 
Make your card with something sea related this week.
I'd already spotted some lovely Webster's Pages paper with a seaside theme while browsing the Craftz Boutique (who lure away more of my cash than is right and proper!), so this was the perfect excuse to indulge in a bit of retail therapy, the lace and gorgeous Dusty Attic chipboard shells were also among the things that fell into my basket.
In the end I only used one of the papers to make my first card as I was inspired by the underwater theme and the glorious colour
I used:
Paper (Webster's Pages)
Lace and ribbon; both inked to match the colours in the paper
Chipboard shells (Dusty Attic); inked and embossed
Pearls, pearl swirls (Prima) and pearly pins
Glossy Accents and Glamour Dust to highlight
Yesterday I showed a card I'd made with the "Rusted Sun" (Fancy Pants) paper collection.  I bought this a few weeks ago and hadn't actually got round to cutting into it.  OK, I confess, I'd forgotten all about it till I was looking for something esle and found it on the shelf!
The colours and designs are beautiful and just fab for summer projects.  Loads of gorgeous flowers and sunny patterns....and surfboards!  So obviously I was meant to find it in time to make another card for Vanessa's dare
  I used:
All papers are from the Rusted Sun collection (Fancy Pants)
Palm Tree (Crafty Templates)
Beach Hut (own Robo template)
String for washing line
If you've followed my blog for any length of time you'll probably spot that the little house is one I've used several times - it's a template I made (from scratch, I'll have you know....!) ages ago for my Craft Robo.  It was made originally to cut some house shapes for a forum decorated house swap.  Here it's a beach hut - I have a soft spot for beach huts and would LOVE to be the owner of one of those on the prom at Southwold! yeah right, maybe if my Premium Bonds come up....! 
The surf boards, clothing on the line and flip flops are cut from the Rusted Sun papers (cute, aren't they?)
The tree is another of this month's Crafty Template designs - I cut the fronds three times so that I could layer them up.
I've gone mad and started to decorate the inside too, but I've not finished it yet.  I'll add a photo later if I remember!
There are (as always) some fab cards on the DCM BLOG this week - and we're hoping that you'll all come for a wander along the beach with us this week - we'd love to see your creations.

All for now - except to say that I'll be back with the tutorial on how to make this book next time, so I hope you'll come and check it out.
Thanks for looking, please leave a comment - unless you're  one of the "Anonymous" pain's in the rear who keeps trying to add dodgy links - I think I can safely say that we can all do without you lot. grrrr

Thursday, July 15, 2010

More Tropical Flowers

Yes, I really do love these "tropical flowers" cut using one of this month's Crafty Templates.  
I'd already cut a load using the October Afternoon (Fly A Kite) paper I used for the cards I showed here yesterday, and then I  ended up cutting a whole bundle more of them from this gorgeous Fancy Pants paper collection called "Rusted Sun"
I've cut lots of different sizes of the flowers using Mr Robo so that I can layer them up.  I used the July Sketch from The Sketch File BLOG (don't forget my Designers call over there, will you?) along with the flowers to make this card
Other stuff used: 
MS edging punch
cotton lace
card candy
Sentiment home-made using decal paper from Crafty Computer Paper

Ohhh, isn't it nice when you open a drawer to see whether you need to order more of the last thing on that list and find a bar of emergency Galaxy chocolate you'd forgotten about sitting in there?  Might not be there much longer.....

I'm popping in and out of the WOYWW posts for yesterday (late, but nothing new there) and found a blog candy offer - as it's flowers, obviously I couldn't resist adding my link.  If you visit Nikki's blog you'll find out more!
I've got my card all done and ready for tomorrow's Daring Cardmakers challenge and there's a few minutes left before lunch time so I'm heading back to do some more WOYWWCU (WOYWW Catch Ups)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

WOYWW, 2 cards and a Reminder

Minimum chat, maximum pictures (well, three, anyway!) today, I think!

First; if you enjoy using LO sketches for your cards and projects and would like to help me get more people using the ones I share on my other blog, please check HERE for more info on how you can showcase your work on The Sketch File BLOG

Two cards using the same template from the latest Crafty Templates set.
I love the "tropical Flowers" template and have used it for both these cards and also for another one I'll show tomorrow.  More about Crafty Templates HERE

I've used October Afternoon "Fly A Kite" papers, plus lots of bits and pieces from the Crafty Goodies Kit for these cards.  Lace and Card Candy from my stash.  Frames on the first card were cut with a Robo template I converted from one I found on a graphics program.

Last, but not least here's my WOYWW photo for this week.  Click HERE if you're still in the dark about Julia's Wonderful Wednesday  Webwander!

Right, back to the card I started this morning - the one on my desk in the photo above.

Phew, it's all go round here, you know!