Sunday, December 18, 2011

Funky Thanks

Today it's my turn to post my stuff for this month's Thank You challenge on Get Funky
 With Christmas so close, it's a great opportunity to get some of those Thank You cards made and ready to go saying Thank You isn't just about Christmas, and it's not just for cards, you can say Thank You for anything and in any way you fancy.
I've made a set of teeny Thank You cards - they measure less than 8cm square
 To make these I've used one of my favourite images from the "Happy Happy Birthday" CD to make some shaped cards, and I'm so chuffed with the way they've turned out that I'm sure this design will be appearing in other guises from now on!

Shaped card made using Gift image from Happy Happy Birthday" CD
Papers "Blue Magic" set from  "Dreams Come True" CD
cardstock, inks for edging, silver thread, pc generated sentiments for tiny tags

We would LOVE for you to join in with us this month - you can read all about the challenge and catch up on the DT's projects (which appear every few days over the month).  The only rule is you must include at least ONE Funky Hand product in your creation or you won't be in with any chance at all of winning the prize (a Fubky Hand download collection of your choice).
To make it easy there's the most fabulous freebie paper this month - which I completely forgot about when I made my little cards - doh!  So here's a little snippet of what Anice has made especially for you this month.
If you've never tried Funky Hand papers before this is a great way to try for free and maybe even win yourself some more!
You can find out all about what Funky Hand make and sell HERE
The Get Funky challenge blog is HERE
Have fun and Happy crafting!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Spots,Stripes, Wonky Trees and some Parcels!

 Not a happy bunny to wake up to see my garden covered with snow.  At least hubby isn't driving to the office today, but my folks are due down from Northumberland during the week and I know my uncle will be getting into a right old state about the drive.  Fingers crossed it goes away before they are due to travel.
For this week's challenge on The Daring Cardmakers, Keilly has asked to see
Spots and Stripes 
- phew! there's a nice simple one to do in the middle of all the last minute Christmas panic, I thought.  So why was it that at 3pm yesterday afternoon I still hadn't a clue what to do?
Until then it was always going to be another Christmas card, but I just couldn't think what to do.  So I changed tack completely and decided that I might just be able to do a "two birds with one stone" and make my card work for a 90th birthday card order that's just arrived and needs to be with my customer quite soon.
To make life easier the obvious paper choice was one of the MME 6x6 pads and the one that leapt out was the gorgeous "Sunshine" set from the Lost and Found collection.  What a breath of fresh air after all the Christmassy stuff!
I might still tweak this a bit and add some pieces of pearl or crystal spray above the big flower as that bit looks a tad bare.
As well as the spots and stripes papers in this pad there's also some manuscript paper which works beautifully for the lady concerned as my customer told me she has been their Church organist for many years
All papers: MME "Sunshine"6x6 pad from the "Lost and Found" series
Gorgeous daisy lace and Brown Seam Binding from Creative Treasures
Handmade large rose and coiled roses,
Brown flatback pearls, Yellow dewdrops, Crystal Ice Stickles
Spellbinders Nesties Lables die, EK Success edging punch
I'm hoping that I now have enough Christmas cards for everyone on my list.  I've been really slow at getting them all written out and in the post this year but I'm going to try and get the rest done and into the post today.  It will be such a relief when they are gone and I can get on with everything else.
I feel as if I've been in a Christmas card Bubble for the last couple of weeks - it's fine once I get stuck in to making them but the writing and labelling and posting seems to take forever - after a while even writing my own name seems difficult to do!

Here are a couple of photos of more Christmas cards
 I made a new version of my good old Wonky Tree design this year; using my Craft Robo to cut them out instead of scissors meant I could have a slightly more intricate shape
The parcels are another of my own Craft Robo templates
Papers are from one of last year's Bo Bunny sets
 More Craft Robo parcels, this time using non-Christmas papers (just because I felt like it) - Echo Park's "Times and Seasons"
The kitchen man is coming to do the proper survey ahead of the actual work starting in January (eek!) this morning, but I'm going to get some cards written out while I'm waiting for him to arrive.  I am not going to browse the internet.  I'm not, I'm not!
Have a great day, stay warm

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Memo Block for Dec Sketch File

I've used the December Sketch over on The Sketch File to decorate the front of a memo block which I've made to give as a Christmas present.  
As a few people have asked how I make these I thought I'd add a tutorial on how it's done. They are really easy and fairly quick to make but end up looking much more impressive and complicated, which is always good, isn't it! :-)
This is the SKETCH I used for the top cover:

 The memo block I've used was  Wilkinsons, I actually divided the block into three pieces ready to make three memo blocks Mine has pages measuring 8.5cms sq, but you can easily alter the measurements to fit any memo block you buy.
To make this I used

Papers (Fancy Pants "Lilac House"), Matching mauve Bazzill (for "notes"), Silky Crush ribbon, Large Jewel brad, Imaginisce i-rock gems, Spellbinders flower die, Small square punch

 You'll also need:
an empty cereal packet or chipboard for the covers, 
Square of thicker chipboard or use 2 pieces of cereal packet glued together
Memo Block, optional pen/pencil. 
As mentioned above I split my memo block into three equal pieces.  
The pages measure 8.5 cms square so the measurements I give are based on that.

 Here's how to make it
1. Cut two pieces of chipboard/cereal packet 1cm bigger than your memo block. For mine that meant cutting two pieces measuring 9.5x 9.5cm.  Now cut a strip of card measuring about 0.5cms more the depth of your memo block and the same length.  For me this was a piece 2.0 x 9.5cms, This piece forms the spine of the block

2. Cut a strip of patterned paper which measures about 3cms wider than your card pieces Leaving 1.5 cms at one end of the paper strip and a 1.5cms margin at each long edge arrange and glue the card pieces in place, with the spine piece in the centre, leaving a small gap (about 3mm) between each piece of card.  You need to make sure the pieces are level or it won't fold up properly.  If it helps, use a ruler and draw a pencil line on the paper to use as a guide.
3. Cut off all but a 1.5cm margin off the spare paper.  Mitre the corners and then turn in all the edges so that it looks like this

4. Use a bone folder between the sections to help the folds take on the correct form. Ink the edges.
 7. Cut a piece of another paper which is about 1cm smaller than the whole of the cover. Ink the edges and adhere to the reverse, covering and concealing all the raw edges, draw your bone folder down the crease lines again to form the creases - doing this before the glue has a chance to dry makes sure the two layers of paper that form the "hinges" stick together properly.
**I sometimes only stick down this inner paper to the back and spine of the cover, leaving the piece loose for the front until I've finished decorating the cover - this way any ends of ribbon, stitches or brad prongs etc will be concealed when I adhere the rest of the paper inner to the cover - you can just about tell on the photo below that one side is still unstuck
 This is the time you get to do the pretty stuff and add the decorative elements to the top cover.
If you've left that Inner Flap loose to hide brads etc, don't forget to stick it down firmly before you move on to the next stage.
To Make the Base
8. Cut a square of heavy chipboard which is 1cm larger than the cover of your memo block, if you don't have a heavier chipboard you could stick two pieces of cereal packet together.
Cover the chipboard square with  a square of paper 3cms larger, fold in the margins and mitre the corners.
Cut another square of paper slightly smaller than the card square, ink the edges and adhere in place to neaten the other side of the card square.

9. If you want to add a little loop to hold a pencil, this is the time to do that.  You can simply use a length of ribbon or twill tape, or make one with paper as I've done here.
You need a strip of paper about 3cms wide and about 12cms long, the diagram shows how to fold and stick.  Form the loop by wrapping it around a pen, then stick the two ends of the paper strip together.  Glue this to the bottom edge of the memo block cover centrally.  It will be quite thick, so cut a square of cereal packet just smaller than the memo blog itself, cut out a rectangular shape where the ends of the pencil loop will lie and stick in place, this will
even out the thickness caused by the loop. 
10. Glue the bottom of the cover to the base square, leave a slightly wider margin at the end that opens to make room for the pencil.  

 11. Finally, glue the memo block itself into place and you're all finished. 

I've decorated this with a flower made using Silky Crush ribbon (Creative Treasures) and used some of the same ribbon to cover the two narrow card strips on the centre decorative panel.  I've punched lots of tiny squares for the other "lines" on the sketch.
"notes" is cut using my Craft Robo and the background to the ribbon flower is made using a Spellbinders die

I'll probably add a bit of Glittery stuff and some Glossy Accents to the tiny squares on my block as they don't really show up at the moment. 
I'd love to know if you use this tutorial and see what you make so please come and let me know how you get on
Happy Crafting

Friday, December 09, 2011

Big Wooly Jumpers

You can't help thinking of them when the topic of the "Lands of Ice and Snow" comes up, can you? 

It's Fran's turn to set the challenge for the Daring Cardmakers this week and she's chosen a fabulous  
           Nordic Christmas
theme.  She's provided this fab photo just in case some extra inspiration was needed

Every time I turn the TV or radio on there seems to be someone talking about "The Killing" - or more precisely the craze for thick knitted sweaters in the Scandinavian style that the series has inspired.  I think that's why I had a pattern of rows of motifs in my head when I was thinking about what to do for my card this week
I actually made the dangly tree ornament a week or two ago when we heard what Fran's dare was to be, but it's been sitting on my desk since then waiting for an idea to present itself as to how to use it.
My Grandma used to knit "Fair Isle" pattern jumpers - those where there seemed to be hundreds of different coloured balls of wool attached to her knitting.  As I was a great disappointment to her on the knitting front I remain in awe and not a little bamboozled as to how it all works and how you can possibly know what you're doing with these patterns.
So my pattern is a simple red and white one....and it's in paper, not wool of course!  It looked a bit dull so I've added a wrap of fine gold thread to the base card, then lengths of various white, red and gold trims to brighten the basic border design
I started off by using the "shapes" options in my graphics program (Greetings Card Factory)  to make the motifs, repeating and aligning them until I had a pattern I liked.  I saved and then converted it to cut on Craft Robo (there's a surprise!) in red Bazzill then matted it on to some white card and a Kraft card blank
Kraft 15cm square card blank
Bazziill (red, white), Red Glitter card. Gold card
Red satin ribbon, red/white patterned braid, white plaited braid, gold lurex crochet thread, fine gold thread, red gems, KandCo glittery snowflakes, Crystal Ice Stickles
Craft Robo (Nordic Border Design, Bauble "hanger")
Memory Box Bauble base and Bauble upper dies
If you have a Craft Robo or Silhouette and would like the GSD file for this Nordic Border design, please email me and I will send a copy to you.
I'm now thinking that I can use this border design for some fairly quick and easy Christmas cards - especially for those I don't need to put through the post so can make as "fat" as I want without worrying about the mean old Royal Mails 5cm thickness allowance for regular postal prices.
I'll let you know how I get on.
Here's another card using that fab little Santa image from Funky Hand's "Twelve Days of Christmas" CD.  He's so darned cute!
Simple Stories Christmas 6x6 pad, 
Funky Hand (Twelve Days of Christmas) Father Christmas image converted for cutting on Craft Robo
Lettering; Craft Robo, Red twine, Crystal Ice Stickles
Bazzill card; Red, Black, White, Yellow
If you've not already visited the Daring Cardmakers BLOG, then please go and check out all the Super-Fabulous cards the team have made this week - what a treat for the eyes!
That's all for now, hope you enjoyed your visit and will come again soon

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Beady Wreath Tree Ornament

I thought I'd pop this tutorial on my blog - having just spent the last hour looking for it on my pc it will be good to know I can find it more easily next time, won't it?
I hope you like it and feel inspired to have a go - it doesn't really matter what beads you use and any scraps of wire that you can curl into a circle can be used as you don't see the wire once the ornament is finished.
Bead Wreath Tree Ornament

I made this tree ornament in about 15 minutes.  Because I didn’t have much time I made it easy for myself by using the same size Swarovski crystal beads, but any beads will do and they don’t really need to be all exactly the same.
For the pictures for the “how to” I’ve used bigger beads and my finished ornament is about 6cms.
Beads of your choice

Wire cutters
Fine tipped pliers

1.  Cut a length of wire about 24cms long.  If you have a tub or something near to hand that looks about the diameter  of the circle you want to make, use that as a guide  - wind your wire around it and give yourself a few cms extra before cutting the wire.
2.  In one end of your wire make a small loop.  To do this hold the end in your fine-nosed pliers and twist the pliers and wire around on itself.

3.  Start threading your beads onto the wire however you fancy, don’t fill up the whole wire, you need to leave enough wire to make the second loop and its much harder to do this if you’ve only left a small free end.
4.  Keep checking to see how big your circle will look when you pull the wire ends together.  You may find that it looks better smaller than you thought – this depends on the size of your beads.  My crystals are 6mms and I found that a finished diameter of about 4.5 looked just right, but with bigger beads a larger circle would probably look better.
5. When you’re happy with the number of beads and size of circle make the second loop.   
Keeping the beads fairly close together – but not so tight that the circle is distorted,and using the pliers take hold of the wire quite near to the final bead and twist the spare wire around to form the loop.   
Cut off the excess wire.

 3.  Pull the two loops together by twisting or tying with finer wire or thread.

4.  Thread ribbon through the two wire loops and make a neat bow in the front.
5.  Thread some thin braid, crochet cotton, or another length of fine wire through the loop at the back of the bow to make the hanger,
That’s it, all done

Now you just need to make enough for the rest of the tree! 
Thanks for visiting - don't forget to let me know if you make one of these.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

A Notebook A Sketch and a Bit of Excitement!

I've managed to get behind with blogging the things I've been making again. Needless to say, it's Christmas cards I've mainly been making but before I share one I've made using the new sketch on The Sketch File, I'll break away from Christmas and show you the notebook I made as part of MIL's birthday present a couple of weeks back.  I used a cheap notepad from Wilko's then created a spined cover from cereal box chippie to wrap around the notepad.  I made a loop inside to hold a cut-down pencil to finish it off.
Papers all SEI  (Juliette, I think),
Cereal packet cardboard, 
Seam binding (grey and pink0 and pink card candy from Creative Treasures
Memory Box rosette die, Spellbinders labels 18

I was quite pleased with how it turned out so I may make one or two more for Christmas presents
 - I've bought a stack of 18p notepads and a pack of 30 pencils from Poundland just in case hehe

On Tuesday the December sketch was posted over on The Sketch File
I decided to give the sketch a bit of a rotation  for my card, and used the sketch like this:
 Here's my card:

Papers|: Simple Sroies 6x6 Christmas pad
Father Christmas is a Funky Hand image from Twelve Crafters Crafting CD, made inot a Craft Robo template,
Card: Bazzill (red, white, yellow, black), Stickles glitter glue: Black, Red
Narrow gold lurex ribbon (John Lewis)
Craft Robo, Circle punch

Do you get the magazine "Simply Homemade"?  I was thrilled to bits to find out that this blog was mentioned on their Inspiring Blogs page. 

 Exciting huh?  It was a lovely surprise when my crafty forum friend Janice said she'd seen it - I had the mag added to my groceries order pdq, I  don't mind telling you!
Well that's it for today, I've completely failed to go near my craft desk for the best part of two whole days so I'm going to go there now and see if I can figure out what to do for my Daring Cardmakers offering this week.
Thanks for visiting

Friday, December 02, 2011

Jolly Holly

Well, I'm late posting again - not as late as the last couple of weeks, but still late - this time it's not entirely my fault as we had an internet hiccup this morning and I feel I've been playing catch-up on the day ever since. It's caused a load of hassle for my poor hubby who should be working from here today but ended up having to go to the office - long tedious story (aren't they always), Eventually it turned out that the problem wasn't here after all despite the "it's not at our end, we'll have to get an engineer out to you", that said engineer would not be needed and we wouldn't have to wait till Monday (agghh!) for him to come anyway - and hey presto! the internet came back. phew!

Daring Day today, and we've reached the last of the Flowers of the Month series of challenges.  December's flowers are the Holly (not sure this is actually a "flower" in the normal sense of the word) and the Narcissus.  
We have a new Guest Designer who is going to be playing along with us from now till the end of January and I have to say I'm thrilled to bits about this as I've wanted to ask her for ages - pop over to the DCM BLOG to see who it is.....
Despite the allure of something sunny and Springlike as the narcissus I stuck to my Cword card-making task and used holly for my card.
The garland of holly, mistletoe and other leaves was cut using a Craft Robo template I made last year.  I found it a bit fiddly to use, so this time I edited it to separate a few of the different "branches" to cut individually - then I just arranged them across the top of the card - it was much easier to use than the original version and meant I can also use the bits to make other cards - so maybe there'll be a holly wreath or a candle arrangement along later....or maybe not.

Dark red card base, white card, Various shades of green card,, Burgundy Stickles, Crystal Ice Stickles, Different sizes of red gems, White pearls for mistletoe, Papers: Fancy Pants Saint Nick and Simple Stories 25 Days of Christmas, Gold Ice Stickles, Glossy Accents, Gold Card, Gold thread, Burgundy satin ribbon from Creative Treasures
Craft Robo, Circle Punches,  2 x Spellbinders die sets
To finish today I thought I'd share a varioation of the "hang up your stockings" cards I showed on here a few days ago
 As before I've used the fab image from Funky Hand's "Twelve Ctafters Crafting" CD, but this time I've cut them out from papers in the MME Lost and Found Christmas 6x6 pad.  I just adore those little dolly pegs!

Back soon with more Christmas crafting - please pop over and see the gorgeous cards the Daring Cardmakers are sharing this week - it's such a beautiful blog with all the lovely holly and festive colours on show!
Thanks for visiting, hope you have a wonderful weekend

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Dressed for Winter

I've been meaning to do this Crafty Templates Update all week - but the Time Thief stole in and pinched most of the week, yet again!
The Templates Set for November had a "dressed for Winter" feel, with lots of cute "Winter Pals" wearing their woolly hats and scarves to keep out the chill.  From these I chose the polar bear to make this card, and kept it really simple with a red, white and blue theme on a Kraft card base

Materials: Bazzill card in red, white blue and black, Tiny white button, Red and white Bakers Twine, Black brads, Black Enamel Accents
Bear Template, Spellbinders Holey Scalloped Circles Dies
Craft Robo for greeting and plain red circle

Next I made a shaped card using the cute Snowman Template
Snowman shaped card template, White, red, orange and black card, Black brads, Silver Stickles, White Ice Stickles, Red fibres, heart button and Bakers Twine, Sentiment home-made rub on

I thought the idea of a Garden Gnome wearing a Father Christmas suit was too cute not to use, so I made this card, giving the Santa Gnome a little flag to hold
Santa Gnome Template, Red, White and Black card, Paper from Simple Stories 6x6 Christmas pad, Bakers Twine, Stickles; silver, red and white, Flag (Nikki Savills), Sentiment home-made rub on

The November templates are fab - and fun too! I love that they so adaptable for not just Christmas projects but  for other winter-themed things too.
I've not used a Goodies Kit this month, but as usual Leo has put together a lovely collections of goodies to help inspire for these templates and for other crafting projects too.
You can find out all about Crafty Templates and the Crafty Goodies Kits HERE, and don't forget to check out the BLOG too!

Back to the Christmas card making for me - why am I so bad at getting them done?

Friday, November 25, 2011


 November is being touted as Mo-vember - the month of the moustache, or maybe its just an excuse not to bother with the shaving gear and have that saved time for an extra few minutes snooze in the morning.
Now, Facial Topiary really doesn't do it for me at all, but each to their own, eh?
So  anyway it's Samm's turn to set the dare over on the Daring Cardmakers and this is such a fun one - as you might have guessed from my intro we've a Moustachio challenge  this week - and I reckon that "on a card" is just the best and most fun place to see a moustache!
The BLOG looks fab, so please check out what the girls have been doing this week.
I've had my card made for a few I'm not really a Mrs Swotty-Knickers, its just that I'd spotted and saved an image ages ago that would be perfect for my pizza-loving cousin's birthday card, and then Samm added her challenge to our calendar and Bob's your uncle, or Colin's your cousin....
 The image is from a free colouring page I found on the net and converted in PSP to cut on my Craft Robo.  Contact me if you'd like a copy of the template.
By chance I'd just taken delivery of a paper pad with the moustache paper in - how fortuitous was that then!
Brown 14cm sq card blank Papers all from Echo Park "Times and Seasons 6x6 pad, White, Peach, Brown and Black card, Glossy Accents
Craft Robo, Promarkers, Nesties Circles die
I had a great time making this and its such a fun idea for a challenge - just the thing to have a bit of a laugh with, so I'm hoping lots of people will join in and have some Moustache Madness with their cards this week.
Anice of Funky Hand is celebrating her birthday with a 43% off sale today - I'm sure you can guess why that odd number!  Check out the Fabulous Funky Bargains HERE
 This time last week we'd just arrived at the venue for our Segway Rally Racing "experience".  It was fun!  I didn't bother with the "racing" bit and just concentrated on getting round the twisty, bumpy circuit safely - round and round I went - apparently all of the others fell off at least once but I stayed on.  And then as we were just standing around at the end I got too close to hubby's segway, wheels met and off I fell.  We set off again this time going as fast as we could back over the field to where we'd left our stuff, and blow me if I didn't come a cropper again, this time landing flat on my face.  Oh the indignity of it all! hahaha
 I'm going to try to catch up on my blog-hopping over the weekend as it's been ages since I had a good old ramble around to see what everyone is up to, but for now, I can't put it off any longer; back to my Christmas Card Making week I go, thanks for visiting today