Monday, August 30, 2010


There's a 20% off everything sale on the Funky Hand website this weekend. It  started at 10am Saturday morning and finishes at 10pm this evening (Monday 30th Aug).  Don't miss your chance to pick up a bargain CD or Download!.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Spreading Some Love

It's Friday again and this week it's our lovely Asia's very first time to set the challenge for The Daring Cardmakaers
Recently Andrea Gourley (one of our recent Guest Designers) and her mum Mary set up a brand new on-line shop and offered a fabulous ribbon-filled prize for us to give away - we thought it would be great to celebrate the new shop with Asia's first dare

So this week we've got this glorious little bundle of loveliness to give away to one lucky darer, courtesy of The Ribbon GirlSwooooooon

Here's what Asia says:
"And since we're doing a give away, I would like you to give something back. Remember last year Sue's Post Pals dare? It's a great cause and there are still many kids waiting for cards, so I would like you to create a "Thinking of you" card and send it to one (or all!) the children from this website. Let yourself be inspired by these kids, they all write about colours that they like and their favourite characters. Remember not to use glitter or things that could come off the card easily. If you're not from the UK, you may prefer to send this card to someone you know that may need a little support."
Please, please don't miss out on your chance to win by not taking note of the rules - there are only three things to remember and they are clearly stated on the DCM BLOG, but you would be amazed how many people don't qualify for our prize draws, because they haven't read the instructions properly!  So if you do take time to comply then you've probably got a better chance of winning that you might otherwise think! hehe
Sadly, I can't enter for the draw, boohoohoo
I decided that making a card for one of the Post Pals children was the perfect excuse to do another of these great pop-up cards. 
I used a Robo template I altered from a free colouring page ages ago to make the bunny and some of the flowers. 
I found a pink fuzzy brad to use for his nose which I thought was cute!
You need to keep the pop-out card in the middle flat as it goes through a slot in the card, so I just used a paper border and Robo-ed the  big "hello" letters, the other letters are rub-ons
I've made sure that the wire spirals are very securely fixed inside the flowers and between the layers on the front of the card, The brad prongs are well concealed between the layers of the bunny's head and that all add-on bits are really well secured with the strongest of glues.  I will also add a layer of Glossy Accents over the Stickles before I send this - I didn't have time to do it yesterday!
Post Pals is such a good cause - a way to brighten up the days of some very sick children and their families, so please check out the Post Pals website and send a card to one of the children you'll find listed there. You wouldn't think just sending a card would make much difference, but it really does.

You can see the cards the "Thinking of You" cards the DT have made this week, plus all the info about our fab prize by clicking HERE, I really hope you'll help us support this wonderful scheme.

I'm heading back to a pile of Black and White stripy paper now - my NUFC supporting nephew's 18th birthday card is actually taking last!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Daring to WOYWW

I thought it was about time I joined in with Julia's Wonderful What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday fun again.  Not sure how many of the desks I'll get round, but I'll give it my best shot!
So, welcome to my craft space!
On my desk you'll see the special birthday card I've been asked to make, I'll be back to show it properly once it's finished.

I took delivery of a big boxful of the lovely new MME "Lost and Found" papers the other day and I've been using them big-time, you can see a few scraps lying about - Hubby wasn't impressed as I'd opened the parcel on his desk and the papers shed glitter all over the place!  There are lots of lovely glittery designs in this collection hehe
This is another commissioned card.  I've used some of the "Portobello Road" papers from the collection. 
The background for the initials was adapted from some free clipart I found on the net. I've altered it for Robo cutting and resized to cut three layers.  I melded the initials using PSP and Robo-cut in paper plus a couple of card layers.  The dark grey pearls are tiny ones from a Papermania pack and the ribbon is from The Ribbon Girl.
I thought I'd add another photo so you can really see the lovely glitter hehe. 
You can click on all of  the pics for closer inspection ;-)
 I'm gradually ticking things off my list.  The house is almost visitor-ready, and as I've managed to tweak something in my back that's just as well.  I've the card on my desk to finish but then there's a gap before another card order needs doing.  It's my nephew's 18th next week though, so I must get his card done before our visitors arrive.  I know they wouldn't mind one bit, but it does seem a bit rude to spend too much time at the craft desk while they are here.
So why am I waffling on again when I could be doing some crafting now?
Ok, I'm off
Catch you soon

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Emily's Birthday Cupcakes

The youngest of our nieces celebrates her birthday at the end of the week.  We bought her some cupcake themed things for her birthday present so I went with the flow and made a cupcake birthday card too.

 It's my turn to set the  monthly member's sketch challenge on Charmed Cards and Crafts forum so I've used the sketch I did for that to make my card.  I twisted it round so that the blocks run horizontal rather than vertical
 The Craft Robo had a good workout for this one.  The lettering, flowers, candle and the two sizes of cupcake were all Robo-cut.  The cupcake is my own template, the font and flower are made using "Chick" font and the candle is from one of Leo's old (from last year I think) Crafty Templates resized to work with he big cupcake.
I used:
 Imaginisce Papers (some are flocked, some glittered), Doodlebug Sugar-coated card, Anita's gem wheel, ribbon from stash, Yellow Stickles, Glossy Accents

To get the very raised effect on the "sprinkles" of the tiny cupcakes I added blobs of GA, let them dry then added another blob on the top of the originals.  As GA is so thick and doesn't spread you get loads of dimension by adding that extra layer.

Right, I've got another commissioned card in it's early stages sitting on my desk awaiting attention. Not quite sure where it's going atm - hence the procrastination!
Thanks fo visiting today, please leave a message if you've a minute....

Monday, August 23, 2010

Baby Girl

Well, it's not raining atm, but oh boy! did it rain in the night, all night.  So much for all that "Oh is this going to be as good a Summer as that of '76?" yakka on the radio that I was sick of hearing a month or so back!  We have flippin' mushrooms growing all over the back lawn!  Even the courgettes have slowed down, they could do with a bit of sunshine like the rest of us - mind you, according the running count I keep on the kitchen whiteboard, we've already had at least 39 (probably more as we don't always remember to add them!).  We've had loads of runner beans too and I've been trimming, slicing and blanching some of those for the freezer over the last few days.  The blackberries seem happy with the weather too - I've already picked almost a kilo just from the 1 bush we have in the garden.
The last couple of weeks have been pretty full-on what with one thing and another, and with visitors over the next couple of weeks it's not going to ease up anytime soon.  On Saturday hubby was in London doing some "hand-holding" one of their big clients was installing new software  so I thought I'd give myself a day off and do something different.

I did some baking and made a cake (now in the freezer ready for next week) and some cupcakes/fairy cakes.  With the garden glut at this time of the year I'm always on the lookout for tempting new recipes and I found one somewhere for this Chocolate and Courgette Cake.  The mix was huge - that'll teach me to check through the ingredient quantities before I start - so I did half the mixture in a cake tin and used the rest in muffin cases.  We've been "sampling" the little cakes over the weekend and those in the photo are all that remain. Have to say, they are delicious!

One of my recent commissions was for a card to celebrate the arrival of anew baby girl
I used:
"Wishful Thinking" papers by Fancy Pants
Ruffled Ribbon and Stripy Cotton Twine from The Ribbon Girl
Pram. Large Background circle and Scalloped circle were all Robo cut with templates I made in PSP
"Welcome" sentiment made with Rub-on Decal paper from Crafty Computer Paper
Brads and ribbon from stash, MS edging punch, pc generated message

Thanks for looking in today, please come back soon

Friday, August 20, 2010

Time for T

T-Shirts, that is

This week on the DCM Jane's asking for cards inspired by T-shirts - the designs on them, fancy bits - anything really.  If you can add a pic of what inspired you then that would be fab too.

Tbh I'm having such a busy time atm, I wasn't expecting to get anything done for this week - then I realised that my friend's son's birthday is in a few days time, so I thought that if I cheated just a little bit (as in this card isn't inspired by an actual piece of clothing) I could join in and get Sam's card made.  I also thought that if I made a T-shirt shaped card I might win back a brownie point or two hehe!
Actually though, I was also inspired by one of the papers in the fab Bo Bunny "Rusted Sun" collection - which has a wonderful design of little t-shirts, shorts and flip-flops on one side and the other is covered with little swimsuits.  I love this collection and have almost used it all up.  Which says a lot!

The papers are all from the "Rusted Sun" collection , including all the surfboards which I cut from a couple of them
The t-shirt shape is nice and simple to make and cut from Bazzill card.  I've used a metallic pen to highlight and a black one to add the "stitching"
Lettering and mats made using PSP and cut on the Robo - I've had this font for ages and not used it, it's called Jokerman and is such a fun font.

 I've got loads of things to get parcelled up and into the post today, and I'm going to get on with some commissioned cards.  I deserve a bit of crafting time after the week I've had, but I'm gradually working down that to-do list.  I'll feel even more on top of things once my crafting list is under control with the family cards and those commissions are done.  I can't remember the last time I sat here and spent some time browsing blogs and other favourite places on the net.
Soooo, I'll just say I'm hoping to catch up with my blogging buddies soon!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Where's my Calm Gone?

Quick call in today with the third of my cards for the new Crafty Templates.  
Not only has the world gone manic - or is it just me having a aaaghhhhhhhh phase - but I've crafting to do and deadlines to meet and where is the Fabulous Fairy of Crafting Inspiration when you need her? Gone on her summer holidays, it seems.

You can find out all about Leo's wonderful Crafty Templates and the fab and fun Crafty Goodies Kits HERE
The cameo template is pretty and delicate.  I added the scalloped oval background using a Nesties fie, and used a bit of Krylon gold pen for a slightly distressed feel.
I used: 
Paper and card from the Crafty Goodies Kit, 
Ribbons and gems from my stash, Fiskars edging punch

Sorry this is so short, sometimes life gets in the way a bit, doesn't it?  Hopefully a more normal service will return soon!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Getting Crafty

If you subscribe to Crafty Templates you'll have received your latest batch of templates over the weekend.  If you don't, then you can find out what I'm waffling about by clicking HERE!

Leo always manages to put together a collection of templates that are great for all sorts of crafting.  If you like to make up your own embellishments they are especially fab as month by month you build up an amazing collection of ideas that will always be there when you need the right inspiration.
The August set is no exception, with fun and useful images for you to use however you fancy.  One of the templates has a couple of bird silhouettes - there are lots of silhouettes featuring on cards atm so bang on trend!  I decided to make something with a bit of movement so fell back on a couple of favourite techniques to make this, using papers and die-cut flowers from the Crafty Goodies Kit - also put together by Leo and available from HERE:
The stand is adapted from a pop-up card I've used a few times (see HERE for the last one I made. I cut each of the birds twice in thin card and twice in paper - I even remembered to mirror one of each to make sure I got and front and a back that fitted together!
The ends of the wire spirals were sandwiched between the card layers and to the bit that folds inside the pop up "mechanism".  You'll get a better idea from the second photo:
My next card uses the Mary Jane Shoes template, along with more bits and pieces from the Crafty Goodies Kit - including that beautiful wided cream lace I've used to mat the sentiment and shoes on to
I love this little flower that is part of the shoe template  - it looks fab cut in different sizes and layered up.  I added a couple of flatback pearls to the flower centres - I couldn't resist adding another of the flowers to the corner of the card - it worked so well on the paper with the flowered corner design.
Cute shoes, aren't they?
Loads to do again this week - yes, I know I said things were calming down, but the list just grew again - now it looks like the next few weeks are going to be busier than ever!
Thanks to all who sympathised with me over my cold - thankfully all gone bar the sniffing now, I think.  A nice, lazy weekend was the best medicine, I think.

Hope you had a great weekend and you're raring to go with another week.  Thanks for visiting :-)

Friday, August 13, 2010


Well, I've just watched Anice on Create and Craft - what a great show this time, I think it really showed off all the wonderful options the "Colour Me Happy" CD offers; the designs, colour-ways, images, wordbooks, letters and numbers - you get so much to play with.
Hubby's working from home today as usual but I watched via the pc with the sound down low and fortunately there were no phone calls during the show.  The good thing for him is that now he won't need to sit and watch the recorded show later - as every time I saw something I'd made I could tell him to "look now!" hahaha.  I must admit I did get a bit excited.  I'm soooo not cool!
Anyway if you missed it don't panic (hehe) it's shown again at 8 this evening and at some bonkers-o'clock in the middle of the night too.  More info on yesterday's post about channels etc

It's Jo here this week with a dare.
I would like to see cards this week featuring a tree! Some of the Daring Cardmakers may have groaned slightly when I mentioned Christmas trees (Kathy!) but it doesn't have to be a festive tree, green trees, apple trees, stamped trees, sticker trees, paper pieced trees - anything goes, as long as it is a tree!
Sorry Jo, but there's none of those Cword trees from me!
I've used a couple of the digi images from the Funky Hand "Colour Me Happy" CD for this card - the apple and the tree; which I converted for Robo cutting.  I bought these My Little Shoebox papers a couple of months ago but hadn't managed to use them up till now - this seemed the perfect opportunity
The gorgeous ruffled ribbon is from a new company called The Ribbon Girl which has been set up by Andrea Gourley (one of our ex-Guest Designers) and her mum Mary.  A fab new place for those with a Ribbon Thing going on!
I used:
"Lil Critter" and "All a Flutter" papers (My Little Shoebox), images (Funky Hand), heart buttons (Papermania, I think), red ruffle ribbon, Glossy Accents (on apple), quote is pc generated

Some kind person has shared their germs with me and I've woken this morning with a sore throat, cough and a bunged up nose - oh joy, isn't that nice? no.
Well, I've spent too much time in front of the screen this morning so I should go and do some, I suppose :(
Back later to do some catching up with everyone.
Thanks for visiting today

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Funky Hand News!

I'd planned a nice, cosy bit of blog-hopping this morning.
Just when I think I've cleared enough of the to-do list to stick my head over the parapet of blogland I get a message asking for a New Baby card - tbh I knew the order was coming, but my customer didn't want to make it definite until the baby had arrived - and arrive she did when my customer was on holiday, so it's a week late before I even get the order confirmed.
I'll save the card I've made for another day because I really wanted to post a bit today about the Funky Hand show on Create and Craft TV tomorrow!
The show is on live on Create and Craft TV at 9am on Friday 13th August.  It's repeated at 8pm in the evening and again at 3am on Saturday morning  - so plenty of chances to view live or set the recorder!

Create and Craft is on Sky Channel 671, Freeview Channel 36 and on Freesat Channel 813.  You can watch via the pc HERE
 Anice and the DT have been working really hard to try and show just how marvellous and how versatile the "Colour Me Happy" CD is, so please tune in if you can! 
I've done a couple of new things for Anice to take to the studio this time so here's a preview especially for you ;-)
I've used one of the digi images  from the CD enlarged and to about 18cms across and used to make this shaped card
The paper collection I've used here is called "Barbadian Ecstasy" I love the bright, vibrant colours - they are perfect for this little elephant.  I made the flowers using more papers from the same set.  I used the design of one of the papers for inspiration then layered them up on some coiled wire stems.  The inside of the card is lined with one of the plainer designs from the set - you get lots of patterns and some plainer designs too in ever paper collection and you can see how well the colours print!

Just for contrast, my other new item uses a much more subdued colourway - it's called "Contented Coffee"
 and I used it to make a little tub, or caddy and then a spray of flowers to pop inside.

This is the empty tub, I used lots of the different designs from the CD both outside and inside the caddy
I've made the flowers in various ways.  Some are the lovely coiled roses I can't stop making - it was a treat to make these bigger sized ones instead the little ones I do for cards. The other flowers are made with a variety of the Cuttlebug Quilling Dies - I like to mix the shapes from the different die sets up to get different "looks" - I admit it - I succumbed to them all, so having done that I might as well use 'em all!
All the flowers were fixed to wire and the wires were inserted into a little tube to keep them tidy and make it easy to fit into the centre of the caddy. I also added some paper coils to wires to add a bit of "fluff" to the whole thing.
All the papers I used for the flowers and to decorate the tub are from the "Colour Me Happy" CD.  I LOVE this CD!

Here are the things I did for the last show, just so's you can look out for these too hehehe
Sunset word book (Glad Rags collection):
Flower Pot Easel card (Pleased to See Ya collection)::

Baby card (Blissful Baby collection):

Oooer, don't I go on.....:-)
Thanks for visiting, 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

After the Rain

Monday was a glorious day, Tuesday it rained and rained and rained some more.  Today we woke to beautiful blue skies.  Typical British summer, really!

I took the camera for a walk down to the veg patch early this morning (all photos can be clicked on for a closer look should you desire it!):
Everything is doing pretty well - they like the mix of sun and rain, I suppose!  Loads of courgettes and runner beans already picked and eaten. The bit nearer the back has broccoli, peas, beetroot and onions and elsewhere there are pots with carrots, parsnips, peppers, chillies, blueberries and some gro-bags with loads of tomatoes.  There's also a blackberry bush tucked at the back of the side border.  Hubby bought me a "real proper" Sussex trug for our anniversary - something I've hankered after for years.  I feel sooooo posh going down to pick stuff with that rather than an old tin lid or plastic box! hehehe
Let's play Spot the courgettes!

Much of the garden was still in the shade of the house when I was out there, but these lovely crocosmia were in sunshine.  Just before we sold mum's house after she died, I dug some up and put them in a pot, so they've come with us to this house too and get moved around the garden to wherever there's a gap that needs cheering up.
I've done loads of crafting over the last few weeks, but either haven't had the time, or haven't been able to blog it yet - I'm saying this in case you thought I was being a lazy crafter as well as a bad blogger...haha

It also somewhat excuses the state of my desk......
Half-projects a-plenty on there today along with scraps of leftover stuff, and stuff that might be made into things - if only I could get my head around C-Word crafting! aaaagggghhhhhh

The photo is all part of Julia's WOYWW campaign, which just in case you've still not heard about, the whys and wherefores can be found by clicking HERE - and just in case you didn't know this either - Julia is this month's guest designer over on the Daring Cardmakers woowoo!  Which reminds me - that's what I'm supposed to be working on today - so I need to make a card-sized gap on that desk.

Thanks for visiting, please leave a message before you rush off to the next desk!

Friday, August 06, 2010


Daring Cardmakers Day today (is it really a whole week since the last one?)
A new month too and that usually means a lovely new Guest Designer to introduce - but this month we're extra fortunate as not only do we have a brand new GD joining us, but our July Girl Ania is going to be staying around for August too, woowoo!. I'm so happy because Ania's blog is one I've followed for a couple of years now - thanks to Google Translate I can even understand most of it now too!
The brand new face on the team is none other but the Queen of WOYWW herself - yes, really!  Our new GD is Julia Dunnit of Stamping Ground fame. wow! How exciting can it get?
As it's the first dare of the month we return to our Birthstone theme this week.  
The August birthstone is the Peridot - well I had to look that one up as I hadn't a clue what it was!
The colour of the peridot can range from lime, yellowish green, olive green to medium dark green.
As well as being the birthstone for August, Peridots are also 
the gemstone for the 16th Wedding anniversary
The Peridot is the National gem of Egypt. The Ancient Egyptians called the 
Peridot “the gem of the sun”.
They are associated with love, truth, faithfulness and loyalty, and also
and also with fame, dignity, and protection
So, it turns out to be a colour I use quite often - a bit of a relief there then, I could go down the pink and green path that always looks so pretty.  I then decided to use the August sketch over on the Sketch File (have you seen the lovely cards made by the two new helpmates I have on there?)
I used:
Papers are from Fancy Pants "Thinking" collection
Prima flowers stamped with a free swirl stamp using "Peeled paint" Distress Ink
Paper Rose made from handmade paper, stamped as above
Scalloped circle (behind flower) and wavy border cut with Craft Robo
MS border punch used on deeper green panel
Sentiment is pc generated then inked and distressed
Assorted beads threaded on silver thread, Deep Olive Green grosgrain ribbon, White Lace, 
Pink and Green Gems (Anita's Gem Wheel), Lime Stickles
I really enjoyed making this card. The sketch helped focus my ideas and as  that paper collection has a few designs using the same shade of green I could use three of them and get a more interesting effect.  The Prima flowers looked a bit dull to begin with, I loved the way the stamped (yes, I actually did stamping!) swirls lifted them. On reflection I think stamping the petals for the rose was a mistake, they'd have looked better with just some gentle inking around the edges.
The sentiment is one of my favourites - I saved the original version I made so that now I can just change the font sizes and colours to match my projects - I save each new version I make as sometimes I only need to change one colour to get a match - saves a lot of work!

It's been a bit hectic this week. Loads of stuff seems to be needed at the same time.  Funny how that happens, isn't it?  It's all good though, just means a bit less net browsing time!  And less time to finish things like that recipe book - but I will get there eventually.
I'll also add "pocket card tutorial" to my to-do list as some people expressed an interest in that one.
Right, back to the craft desk now.
Thanks for visiting

Thursday, August 05, 2010

A Few More Lavenham Photos

I'm crafting like a mad thing, but nothing ready to show on here yet, so I thought I'd add a few more photos from last weekend's anniversary jaunt instead.

Please head over to the Sketch File though because you'll be able to meet the two designers who will be joining me in making things using the sketches from now on.  I'm really looking forward to working with Jackie and Bev, and hopefully together we'll get the sketches more widely known and used.
I'm still on the look out for designers to join us in the future too, either as part of our team, or as featured Guest Designers just for a sketch or two.  So if you're interested, let me know ;-)
Visit the blog and you'll see the things the girls have made using the August sketch - which leaves me as the only one who's not shown a project yet ooops!  More of that tomorrow though ;-)

Anyway, back to Suffolk, and in particular Lavenham, where we stayed. You'll even see that we did actually see some sunshine as well as the dull skies.
First a much better, sunnier photo of Lavenham Priory where we were staying
The next one is from the other side of the building.  Our rooms were in the part of the building on the right of the photo.  The gardens actually stretch out way back and are lovely to wander through
Our suite was on two levels, this is the lounge:
The bedroom 
Now a few photos of some of the other Lavenham buildings, first a couple of the famous Guildhall
Then some of the other gorgeous buildings (there are too many to take photos of all of them)
Doesn't it all look gorgeous?  The photos are click-on-able if you'd like a closer look ;)
We visited Long Melford Hall and Ickworth House while we were there, so I'll add some photos of them another time
Thanks for visiting