Monday, November 29, 2010

Chilly Monday

It would seem that Winter has arrived!  Various parts of the UK have lots of snow, but fortunately here there's only a dusting of the horrible stuff - but even so, I'll feel a lot happier when Himself is home from work this evening.
There was a bit of snow around at the w/e and I very nearly chickened out of going to the craft fair at Wrest Park but I'm glad we decided to go as there were some lovely things to see.  Mind you, mostly I saw things I wanted for myself rather than to give for presents, but I was good and kept top the job in hand with a few gift purchases made and ticked off the list.  I did however collect lots of leaflets and cards for future reference!
Yesterday I made the gift "voucher" for MIL's birthday pressie and we packed up that, her card and the exploding box I've made for her ready to post today.  I'll put the box on here in a day or two.
I also made these Christmas cards

Websters 6x6 collection packs, Bazzill card, 
Dies (Cuttlebug, Spellbinders) 
ribbon and twine from stash
Woodware Tiny Stars punch (cuts 6 stars at a time)

I quite like the way most of these turned out, which makes a change! 
I've just realised that I've not shared the cards made with the latest set of Crafty Templates on here yet so I'll do that tomorrow.
Just a quick reminder that there's not long left to enter the  latest Funky Hand Challenge, see HERE - there's a £20 spend in the shop up for grabs.  You need to use at least one FH product, but if you don't have any yet, then visit the downloads section of the SHOP to find a Freebie for immediate download.
I'm off now to try and get my "Tis the Season" journal up to date.  Thanks for visiting, please come back soon

Friday, November 26, 2010

Bad Blogger Strikes Again!

It's been a strange week and (what passes for) a routine has gone to pot.  I have been busy with all sorts of stuff including craft projects which I'll share soon.
My TTS journal is still going ok - though I admit sometimes I have to write up a few days at a time, and atm I have a couple of pages to fill with some photos from last weekend.  We went to the Christmas Craft Fair at Wimpole Hall in Cambridgeshire - we did actually manage to buy a couple of presents, but mostly we bought stuff for ourselves, hehehe!  Although it's not huge I always enjoy the Wimpole Craft  Fair and usually find something of interest.
  We also went to the Christmas Fair at the RSPB HQ in Sandy. Must admit, the stalls themselves were very disappointing - we only managed to spend some cash at one stall - there was a Spanish guy selling "real" Spanish goodies so we bought some chorizo there. However, it's a lovely place and the Woodland walk from car park to where the stalls were was lovely.  We even saw a kestrel catching some unfortunate little animal and taking it up into a tree to feast on.
Enough of the waffle!  Today is DCM day and we have a new challenge to play with.  It's a nice easy one this week and  a great chance to indulge a love for things both spotty and stripy and get another Christmas card ready for the box!
Here's my Spotty and Stripy Christmas card:
 These gorgeous papers are from the "Hot Chocolate" collection from Fancy Pants - I looked at them for ages before buying them because I'd already bought such a lot of new Christmassy papers (even though I said I wasn't going to do that this year....).  The letters are cut with the Craft Robo - 2 layers of card topped with the paper layer.  I glittered the snowflakes on the upper paper and some of the stripes on the lower paper - I'm not sure that shows up very well on the photo.
Papers "Hot Chocolate" (Fancy Pants, Robo-cut letters, MS border punch, Zutter corner-rounder, Glamour Dust (Crystal), Ribbon from stash, Ink for edging Prussian Blue (Cats Eye)

You can see lots of spotty, stripy Christmassy cards on the DCM BLOG this week and we'd love it if you'd join in with us and make some spotty, stripy Christmas cards of your own.

Next; up some tags

I sat down a few days back and made a big batch of tags.  For some reason I don't really like making them, but as I do like co-ordinating the decorations on the tree with the parcels that go under it I thought I'd try and get some done.  In case you can't tell ;) our theme for the tree is going to be silver, black and white.  I know the photos are rubbish, sorry!  Maybe I'll have another go using a different backdrop cloth...

Finally a couple of cards - I dug out the old Cuttlebug trees die for a change.
Dies: Cuttlebug and Spellbinders, Punches: star, MS border punch
Papers: GCD, Ribbon; red satin, gold mesh, Sentiments; home made using decal paper
Krylon gold pen
That's the lot for now, thanks for popping by, please leave a message if you've time

Saturday, November 20, 2010

As Mentioned Yesterday...

Yesterday I mentioned that I'd made a card that I wasn't too happy with and said I'd show the original and the  new version  to see what you thought.  So here goes
This is the original:
 I just thought it all looked a bit busy and messy, so I pulled it apart and used the same template (the other way round), the gifts, faux brads and photo corner to make this version

 I used: 
Square Gift (my own for Craft Robo), 2 gifts with curly bows (Crafty Templates): all are Robo cut
Paper GCD "Paris Nights", Photo Corner die (Spellbinders "Hardware Hinges") 
Faux Brads small circle form a Cuttlebug flower die, 
Oval (Spellbinders Nesties), narrow cream and gold ribbon (stash), "70" numerals (Robo cut), 
tiny flourish and sentiment are from a sheet of homemade transfer rub ons (Craft Computer Paper)

I had a pack of freebie mini cards in my last card order from PDA Woodward, so I#ve used some of them to do Christmas cards.  There are about 10x10cms and the card is "stardream" so has a lovely pearly, shimmery finish. 
ASnd yes, there are some more baubles!

 Papers on the above are GCD
The template for the three bauble shapes shown here is available, free of charge 
- email me if you would like a copy

The trees are from the Spellbinders "Fanciful Holiday" set. papers are Websters 6x6 collection pack.
 Gold mesh ribbon, green satin ribbon (stash) holly trim from The Ribbon Girl

I've got to go and make some tags now so that we can wrap the presents we've bought so far.  I don't really enjoy making tags so they'll be pretty simple I think. 
Enjoy the rest of the weekend

Friday, November 19, 2010

We 3 ..........

Its my turn to set the challenge over on the Daring Cardmakers this week.  For some reason I had the words of the "We 3 Kings" carol in my head and the idea of a We 3 "somethings" title seemed quite interesting.  It doesn't matter if it's kings, cupcakes, houses or even baubles (hehehe), as long as your cards feature a group of 3 it counts for this challenge - the theme is open so if you want to make Christmas cards that's fine, but if you don't, that's fine too.

If you're up for giving yourself an extra challenge - see how mahy groups of three you can get on there - 3 brads, buttons, papers etc for example

It seems that it's a recurring problem that those setting the dare struggles most to make their card - this one was no exception, and let's face it, it's not the trickiest subject we've ever come up with.
I did want to make a 3 Kings card - probably because I've not done anything like that yet - and I have bauble fatigue so couldn't face using those, even if it would have made it easier on myself!

Card one went in the bin.

This is card two - and I took the photo before the Stickles was dry, I should really have done another one but I didn't have time.
The crowns are all made using free colouring pages or clip-art as starting points for making the Craft Robo templates. The left and right crowns are layered so that the coloured Bazzill shows through the holes. The various "jewels" (also Robo-cut from Bazzill) were then adhered and some Stickles added for a bit of glitz
I used:
gold card, Bazzill card (purple, red), gold glitter card
swirl die cut (Spellbinders Fanciful Holidays set), oval die cut (Spellbinders Nestie)
star punch (EK Success, I think) Stickles (Christmas Red, Starry Night, Icicle), 
red flatbacked gems, pc generated verse
Crowns - Craft Robo template - email me if you would like a copy

I also made a second card, this time using the November template on the Sketch File - but I don't like it very much - so I'm going to pull it apart and redo it.  Once I've done that I'll put pics of both on here and I'd be interested to hear what you think.  If you've not come across the Sketch File before, please pop over and have a look, it would be fab to see more people using the sketches.

The DCM team have, as always come up with some fab cards for the We 3" theme and we hope you'll feel inspired to join in this week and make a card to share with us.  The challenge, the cards and the place to leave your message when you're ready to show what you've made is all on the DCM BLOG.  I'm really looking forward to seeing what everyone makes.
Right, I'm off to try and "fix" that other card now.
Happy crafting

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Oooh it's a bit chilly today - I've got a severe case of CMH (Cold Mouse Hand) and no mistake, hang on while I go and get a coffee to warm me up....
Ok, I'm back - actually, I made a drinking chocolate instead

As it's Wednesday, its WOYWWednesday, so here's my rather surprisingly clear craft mat - ok, the periphery might not be clear, but the mat itself is looking quite spruce, don't you think?  If you're wondering what WOYWW is all about, then visit Julia's Stamping Ground and read all about this fab and fun weekly wander around web world. (ohhhh did you get all that alliteration? hehehe)
You can click on the photo for a really close inspection!

I thought  that as it made it's d├ębut here last week,  I'd add  my 'Tis The Season Journal Update today as well.  So far so good with the daily jottings, but I've jiggled the pages around a bit already, and added some extras, so a good job I didn't do the binding properly straight away. 

I've added a recipe and photos for the chocolate brownies I made during the week too.  It was impossible to write what happened in such a small square, but it should serve to remind me!  I took them out after the specified time at the fan oven temp, left them to cool for a bit and turned out onto the wire rack as instructed - only to discover that the thing to collapse as it was still far from cooked. aggghhh.  I didn't really want to waste it so I switched the oven back on, re-lined the tin, scooped all the mixture back into it and spread it out again then cooked it for a bit longer!  Well, surprisingly it turned out fine - probably not in the traditional Brownie style, but it tasted pretty good - I'd have felt really peeved if I'd used all that dark chocolate for no reward!
I've got my journalling pages ready for this week, though I've not written in them yet.  The Websters
6x6 pages work really well - I trim around the picture bits first, then cut the remainder of the page down to fit the journal page and glue into the book, then I ink around the image sections and glue them into place.  I'm mainly using the cut off scraps to make the journalling spots, and adding some Stickles for a bit of glitz.

And finally.....a couple of Christmas cards - yep, they've got baubles on - there's a surprise, eh?
I made the template for the garland from a free colouring page I found somewhere on the net - I can't find it now, which is a shame because I think there were some other nice ones I could have used too
First card uses: 2 shades green Bazzill, Spellbinders Nesties Baubles, Kaiser Dear Santa papers, Stickles (red, gold), gold crochet thread
First card uses: 2 shades green Bazzill, My own Craft Robo Baubles templates, Kaiser Dear Santa papers, Stickles (red, gold), gold crochet thread
I've added a "Shares" list in my sidebar of images and CR templates I can share with my Blogmates - click the links to see them, and in the case of Craft Robo templates, email me if you'd like a copy as I haven't a clue how to add them for instant download!  Obviously the CR templates are for personal use only and not for passing on to any third party.
Thanks for visiting, hope you'll have time to leave a message and to come back soon :-)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Baubling On

and on and on.
 I've been trying to bulk up the Christmas card box and am now thoroughly sick of the sight of baubles. These are actually some cards I made last week - but be warned, visit over the next few days and you'll probably be sick of baubles too as I have more of them to share!

At least it's not raining today, but boy is it chilly and this morning saw the first frost of the winter.  Hubby wasn't happy as the car wouldn't start, mind you he knew the battery was dodgy but as he's trading it in for something else next weekend....

We went shopping at the weekend, not really Christmas shopping but we had a look around to see what ideas we could come up with.  We did buy the turkey crown though, so that's sitting in the freezer all ready for the big day.  We used to order that and a few other treats from M&S then we'd wander into town a couple of days before Christmas to collect them - it was a sort of mini-tradition that I quite liked.  But our local M&S "Simply Food" was one of those they closed a couple of years back so we don't bother placing a big order any more.  That'll teach them. hehehe
Anyway, here's the first batch of baubles.

 For these first two I used: 
Spellbinders Nesties Baubles, Websters Pages 6x6 collection pack, Cuttlebug snowflake die, MS border punch,  gold crochet thread
For all the following I've cut the baubles using my own Craft Robo templates 

For the 3 cards above: 
GCD papers, MS border punches, gold card scraps, Spellbinders Plain and Petite scalloped dies, 
gold crochet thread, fine gold threads, raffia, Stickles (gold)
 For this last card:
Kaiser 6x6 papers (Dear Santa), Gold mesh ribbon, green satin ribbon, 
scrap gold card, circle punch for aperture

If you'd like a copy of my template for these three bauble designs, please email me.
If you're not too bored with baubles, there'll be more tomorrow - and maybe even some trees for a spot of light relief!
Thanks for visiting, 
Happy Crafting

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Time to Remember

This week the Daring Caedmakers join with people all over the world to remember those who died in WW1 and WW2 along with the conflicts that have occurred since then.  If you check the photo in the post below you'll see just a small segment of the WW! cemetery in Verdun, France.  Visiting any of the cemeteries, whether the small roadside ones or the mind-blowingly huge ones is a shocking and moving experience.  I don't think it's macabre to visit them either, because no matter how many times you see the numbers written down, or hear them spoken, until you stand there and see those grave markers, and see the names of those never found etched onto the walls it really doesn't sink in.
It's said that not a single feature seen on the pre-battle map of the Verdun area could be recognised afterwards, so violent and destructive was the warfare that went on there.

 We are using poppies and the bright red colour of that simple but beautiful flower on our cards this week.  Whether we've made our cards "serious" or with more fun style our thoughts have turned to those who have lost their lives in conflicts around the world whether strangers, friends, relatives,  ancestors, it's right that we should remember them
I chose to use the verse that is often spoken at Remembrance Day services it's from a poem called "For the Fallen" by Laurence Binyon
The two poppies are made from Lokta paper.  The large one is made with punched circles and the petals of the small one are actually made with a pear shaped punch.  I used a Nellie's stamen punch to make the centres, with some black Stickles in the very middle. I used  the Tim Moltz distresser tool on the edges of a piece of pale blue Bazzill card to make the background.
You can see all the wonderful poppy themed cards HERE. we hope you will join in with us this week.

I've just counted the finished Cword cards and I'm a bit disappointed to say the leaset - so guess what I'll be doing for the next few days!
Here are a couple of those that are in the box.

Both use the tree from the Spellbinders Fanciful Holiday set, and papers from one of the Websters 6x6 paper collection packs. Lots of Stickles for both and a bit of ribbon on the first one.  The sentiments are from my sheet of Christmas Greetings made using decal paper.
I love this little tree die but I'd love it even more if as well as the version with the holes there was also a plain version too - there are quite a lot of Spellbinders dies that would be extra fab if they had plain versions as well as the "holey" ones, don't you think?
Oh well, I suppose it's back to the Cword cards for me then.
Bye for now

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Oh Deery Me.....

This morning I stood at the window of the study to mark the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month - Armistice Day.  Being here on my own most of the time, I have to make a special effort to remember important times like this - so I set the alarm on my ipod touch to remind me to switch the radio on, then stood, watching the rain and thinking of those who gave their lives, and those who are still doing so today.
On visits to France we've occasionally visited the battlefields and war cemeteries there and I don't think I'll ever forgot the shock of seeing row upon row of crosses and the markers of those from non-Christian countries who also perished in the two world wars. It should be made compulsory for everyone to visit these places every few years - just to remind them about what war really means. 
The photo above shows just a tiny section of the cemetery at Verdun.

It does make a lot of stuff seem utterly trivial and inconsequential doesn't it? 
Like crafting and playing with paper for instance - but there you go.

I have plenty of crafting to keep me busy today with a deadline approaching at a fast pace....
The Cword card-making goes on, and here are three of the cards I made at the weekend - all variations on a theme, and all using last year's 6x6 collection from Websters Pages and the leaping deer die from the Spellbinders Fanciful Holiday set.
   Other stuff used:
MS border punch, gold card, Stickles (black, gold, red)
homemade rub-on decals

Right, back to that DT stuff.
Catch you all later, take care

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

'Tis the Season 2010

For one reason or another I've not been able to join in with Julia's WOYWW fun and games for a few weeks, so I was determined to add my photo today - just hang on a minute and I'll get to it....
One of the things that's kept me away from my blog for a few days is my Christmas journal/album.  I made a little pocket album of the run-up to Christmas last year and enjoyed it - ok so I'm not sure I actually finished it all but this time I'm going to try harder.
I've loved seeing the daily journals that some of my forum friends have been making - I sort of wish I'd joined in now, even though my track record for completing these things is pretty atrocious!  What I really like is that you don't need to write a load of stuff every day because you only have about a 1" square to write in each day.  So I thought I'd try to incorporate this idea into my Seasonal album.  I've called it "tis the season" because it's not just an Advent album, I want it to be more about all the things that go on in the run up to the Big Day and hopefully right up to 12th Night.  That's the plan anyway - and as I spent an age sitting here on Sunday ordering up a load of Christmas pressies (thank goodness for internet shopping, I say!) it seemed a good day to start keeping my journal

 As well as the daily notes I'll add photos, a record of the gifts we get for our friends and family and pretty much anything else I fancy adding in.  The house shaped tag above has the names of one of the family groups on the reverse all ready for me to fill in with the presents we've got for each of them.
I'd also like to make some of the pages purely decorative - I have an idea to use some of the designs I'm making as Christmas cards as mini scrapbook pages.
I've decided against sticking just to one paper collection and as long as the colours work together I'll use whatever I fancy, the idea being that I'll be using lots of the papers that I'm using for my cards too - and hopefully making a better stab at getting them used up that I do most years!

The double page  above will be for next week's daily journalling, I need to "tart" them up a bit though - thinking that the circle journalling spots will be fab dressed up as Christmas baubles!
If you're reading this and fancy joining me in this project it would be wonderful to have your support, and great fun to compare our progress - let me know if you're going to join in and I'll make a links list in my sidebar so I can keep up with your pages.
My book is quite small - the pages are 6" wide and 5" high, which allows a bit of space for binding - I'll add Bind-it-All wires when the whole thing is finished, but I'm just using book rings in the meantime so I can add in extra papges as I go.
And finally here's What's on My Workdesk Wednesday - I had a little tidy up last night (yes, I know it doesn't look like it - just imagine how bad it must have been before!) which is why there's a little pile of stuff in the middle and no scraps of paper lying about.  The journal I've been yattering on about is on the top of the pile - and if you really want to have a closer look at the general mess you can click for a big no-holds-barred version!

I've got loads of Cword cards that I've not shown yet and I'll get to them soon.  Please pop over to Julia's and see what all the WOYWW stuff is all about and to check out all the workspaces that are linked there each week.
I hope you'll come back soon - and that at least some of you will join me in making a tis the season mini book.
Thanks for visiting