Friday, September 30, 2016

Do you Remember.....

 I was going to say "Good Morning" but then checked my watch and realised that someone must have stolen that part of the day because it's afternoon already!
Anyway, I hope you are having a good day and it's as lovely and sunny where you are as it is here.  It's always a pleasure when the weather stays bright and sunny for an extra month or two - it's bad enough that the days are getting noticeably shorter every day :(

I've been a rubbish blogger this week, so have a couple of things to share this time.  As it's Friday, it's Daring Cardmakers Day:

"Its Dawn hosting this weeks challenge and I have picked....
~ ~ ~ ~ MAKING MEMORIES ~ ~ ~ ~
I have been so sentimental lately and remembering lots of happy times. So I would like you to create a card with a meaning or memory behind it and explain the meaning of your creation. Perhaps who it's for, why you made it and the memories it made."
As I'm still hanging on to Summer it was childhood Summer memories I used as the inspiration for my card

I grew up in a small seaside village on the north east coast.  Generations of our ancestors had lived there, and I grew up surrounded by all the extended family who still lived nearby too.  The beach dominates my memories of growing up - playing on the sand, running up and down the prom after splashing about in the sea (to get the circulation going again - it was the North Sea, after all!), and hours spent clambering over the rocks, exploring the rockpools with a bucket to collect shells, little crabs, sea anemones and other treasures.  Im my memories this was usually with one or other of my Grandfathers, a special time indeed.
Plain white card blank, debossed with Beach Huts embossing folder
 (Crafter's Companion) 
The bucket, spade and fish are all cut on the Silhouette Cameo using
 templates I made a while back
The sentiment is pc generated and the little shell is a flat-backed ready made embellishment - I wish I knew where I got them from as I'd quite like some more!
I added lots of chipboard behind the various layers to give dimension and make a really simple LO more interesting

My next card is the one I added to this week's Update post over on The Sketch File blog.  This is the last week for koing in with the September sketch, there'll be a new LO along on Tuesday!
It's an exam congratulations card made for one of my nephews.
Background created using a circles stencil and several colours of ink
Matching colours of Bazzill card for the rectangle elements of the LO
Circle aperture is die cut (Tonic Nested Circles)
A larger circle cut in glitter card and adhered to the inside back of the card
Smaller stars also die cut (Di'Namics Nested Stars
here's the September LO I used
That's the lot for this time, I hope you'll leave a comment, it would be great to hear from you


Friday, September 23, 2016

Thx for the Inspiration!

Welcome to my blog.  It's a lovely sunny Friday, I've just put my groceries away and now I'm avoiding the ironing by writing my blog post ;)

It's Daring Cardmakers Day, and Miri's challenge this week is all about 
the Inspirers 
but not those Big-Name stars of the crafting world that everyone has heard of - this time we're giving a "shout out" to those lesser-known, clever and inspiring people you may know personally, or have come across by happy chance while wandering the web

I've known my cyber-space friend Joanne (aka Angelnorth) for years and years and years!  Joanne is the sort of person who if she doesn't know how to do something will scour forums, websites and elsewhere until she does know.  I have been guilty of short-cutting the research and just asking Joanne ;)
She is brilliant at white-space, CAS, and one-layer cards.  She does amazing things with stamps, stencils, inks, paints and other media and always manages to find interesting ways to use those - and use not-usually-thought-of-as-craft-stuff things - like the way she flattens out those empty tomato purée tubes, cuts them open, washes them out and uses the metal to make fabulous embellishments.  Somehow she sees things in a different way to the rest of us!
Her cards often look to be CAS (Clean and Simple), but I'm pretty sure that while the "Clean" bit may apply, "simple" is very much not how it is - there;'s an awful lot of time, effort and ingenuity in Joanne's creations!

After spending a while scrolling through her blog; Ambrosia and Iron I decided to use elements of one of her lovely one-layer cards in my own card.   First I'll show you the card I made.

And now here's the one it's based on, made by Joanne, which you can find more about HERE

So you can see how I much I failed in the white space and one-layer techniques, can't you?  Can you believe that Joanne's butterfly isn't standing out from the card - it's all inky trickery!

I knew I'd never manage the one-layer thing, but I really did mean to try and emulate the white space.  Ah well! - in the end I just had to fill it up a bit, and add a bit more stencilling!  And I wasn't brave enough to stamp the sentiment directly onto the card, so used a piece of scrap card and stuck it over the extra dots.  And added a few shiny little gems.
I did manage the  diagonal, stencilled inky background by masking off the rest of the card and using several shades of pink, orange and red Distress Inks.  I then added the stencilled dots in a couple of deeper shades.  The stencil is one that came in the August Craft Box
I did actually STAMP that sentiment - which is quite an achievement as stamping is not (rofl) one of my favourite things! 
My butterfly is die cut using a Spellbinders 2 layer die, I inked it with the same DIs, then edged ever so slightly with a black Sharpie pen

Anyway, following Joanne's card too closely would have been "copying", wouldn't it?  And it's all about taking inspiration and using those ideas and techniques in your own way.

I hope you like my interpretation, and that you'll visit Joanne's BLOG to see more of her clever creativity.  I also hope you'll join in and give your own creative muses , or un-sung heroes a bit of exposure, I, for one, would love to see who inspires you.

One last request - I'd love it if you'd "follow" my blog - there's a couple of ways to do it and they are in my side bar.  I'll be sure to return the favour.

Thank you all for sharing your own creativity - whenever the mojo is lacking, it's good to know that a wander around our favourite blogs and websites will soon get us feeling more creative, isn't it?  

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Thanks, Chimps and Orange People

I'm back after a little birthday holiday down in lovely Dorset.  We stayed in one of the holiday flats owned by Monkey World, about 5 minutes drive from the park.  We found that although the flats are self-catering, breakfast at MW's cafe was included - but the  real perk was that we could get into the park an hour before opening time.  So we went every morning, and spent an hour or so listening to the gibbons singing their morning song, and wandering around with the whole place to ourselves.  After the first day we skipped the cooked breakfast, opting to have some toast "at home" and just grabbing our tea and coffee from the cafe - which meant we had loads of time to visit everyone before anyone else arrived to spoil it hehehe
When it started getting busy, we left and went elsewhere, enjoying the lovely sunshine and beautiful Dorset scenery (I love it!). and of course spending time at the coast.  We went to Lulworth Cove for a picnic one day, and another day we made a return visit to Hive Beach - a place we discovered last time we were down there.  I mean, what could be better than Monkey World in the morning, then buying the makings of a picnic and taking it to beautiful Hive Beach? The weather was fab and we both came home a shade more tanned than when we left - such a treat for mid-September.

But now it's back to what passes for 'normal' around here, and I have Thank-Yous to make.  So I thought I'd use the current LO from The Sketch File to get me started on them

For my little card I used a small square cream card blank and various papers from the Old Blue collections by Grepic on Etsy
These papers print out at 12x12, but I always crop/resize to suit my project.  That way I print exactly what I need rather than waste ink, or more card or paper than I want
I used the star version of the September LO which shrinks the elements into the corner.  I also rotated the sketch, and used the "thanks" sentiment in place of the star or circle in the diagram.
The fancy scalloped strip is made with an EK Success border punch
To finish I added tiny flat-back pearls  

It would be wonderful if you'd have a go at using the sketch yourself - I'd love to see what you could do with it :)

I can't leave without adding a few Monkey World photos, so here are a few of my favourite Chimp and Orang Utan ones

The last two are of Gordon, the Hairy Hearthrug himself.  Nowadays he's nigger than his dad, Tuan who is in the photo below

That's all for today, thank you for popping by, I hope you'll leave a comment :)


Friday, September 16, 2016

Favourite Books

I hope you are feeling well this Friday morning!

Do you have a favourite book, or series of books - something you go back to again and again, re-reading, or happy to listen to over and over?  This is the challenge Leo gave to  the Daring Cardmakers this week - to use those favourite books as the starting point for making our cards.

For me it's Jane Austen's books, and especially Pride and Prejudice.  I love the way she writes of the society and times she lives in, and the humour and insight she shares.  I feel it's probably a fairly accurate picture of how life was for those in the social groups she was part of and those she observed.
Nowadays, my favourite way to enjoy her novels is listening to the unabridged audio books, especially if they are read by someone like Juliet Stevenson, who really brings the to life.  I'll often listen while I'm crafting - which is a perfect combination, and a wonderful way to spend an afternoon!

For my card I was inspired by the very old style Penguin Book covers with their simple colour palette and 3 "tier" design.  A lot of older versions of Jane Austen's book feature some sort of cameo on the cover, so I added that in too, and of course some "love" elements are always involved!
Cream and Peach card (Bazzill)
Broderie Anglaise Border Punch (EK Success)
Largest, scalloped oval is a die cut (Tonic Nested ovals set)
Other Ovals and the cameo which is 3 layers adhered together are Silhouette cut (own templates)
"with" is also cut with the Silhouette
"Love" is another die cut (Echo Park)

 I love this simple colour theme.  The urge to add a ribbon, or a few gems was strong, but I just about managed to keep it simple, and in the end I'm pleased I did, because I think it works pretty well.

I hope you'll pop over to the Daring Cardmakers Blog - there are some fantastic cards (as always), and if you visit the team member's own blogs you'll find out more about the books they chose as their inspiration.

Thank you for visiting my blog today, I hope you'll leave a message :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A Cute Baby Elephant


I hope it's a lovely day where you are, it's been pretty nice so far this week :)  I love it when the weather stays good well into the Autumn, it really staves off the onset of my Winter Blues for a bit longer!

I thought it was about time I blogged the card I made to send to fellow DCM teamie Zuzana when her beautiful baby daughter Viktoria was born

The elephant is an image from one of the Funky Hand Papercraft Factory Cds.  It's one of the images I made into a cutting file to use with my Craft Robo and now my Silhouette Cameo.  Although I made cutting templates for a machine, the Papercraft Factory Cds were clever in the way you could resize the images from tiny to filling an A4 sheet - which was very handy for making shaped cards!

"Faded Pink" download papers, printed onto white Bazzill (by Grepic on Etsy
Elephant and Flowers cut with  Silhouette Cameo
Flower centres are die cut (Joanna Sheen die set) 
Flowers are all attached with wire spirals, safely covered with extra pieces of card
Sentiment is pc generated
Pearls and ribbon to finish

That's it for this time, hope you like this one.

Thanks for visiting, it would be great if you left a little message :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Flowers, Lace and Pearls

Good Morning
Apparently we're set for the hottest September day in 50 years today.  I hope you've got your fans at the ready!

I'm sharing another card using the September LO from The Sketch File today.  I decided to have some fun with this one and build a card using lots of my favourite things.  I used several lovely items from the July Craft Box too.
The colour theme was thanks to one of the challenges on the My Little Magpie online crop over the weekend.  It's the only one I've managed to do so far, but I'm hoping to get some more challenges done before the deadline

The background is a couple of shades of Distress Inks, stencilled over with white ink and a light coating of Sparkle Medium - I mixed  together the white and silver ones to get a softer effect.
Lace, Sequins and bead strings are the vertical and horizontal sections of the sketch and the flowers, leaf and various pearl, gem and silver sparkle elements form the circle focus piece.  I'm taking a bit of artistic license with the other line - we'll say that the stencil pattern is that bit ;)
The Sketch File Sept 2016
 6x6 stencil "Mini Spinning Tops"  (Crafters Workshop) 
Sparkle Medium (Imagination Crafts)
Wide white lace, Black Sequin trim, Pearl Spray, Silver Sparkle flat back circlse, Black paper flower all from the July Craft Box - the large turquoise flat backed pearl is from the August box
Ribbon flower and white paper rose, other gems and sparkly bits are from me stash

The Sketch File sketches are all HERE, and it would be fab to see you joining us and giving this month's LO a try in your own crafting

Thank you so much for popping by - and for leaving a comment if you can ;)

Friday, September 09, 2016

Wonderful World

Morning All
How are you this fine sunny morning?
It's my turn to set the challenge over at The Daring Cardmakers, and this lovely weather is especially perfect for my theme - because it's based on the Louis Armstrong song "What a Wonderful World"
I've loved this song ever since my dad introduced me to it - and to Satchmo's amazing voice.  Consequently it's quite a 'bittersweet' song for me, having the power to make me feel good, but also bring some tears too.

Inspired by the song "What a Wonderful World"

So this week I'd like you come with me on a little trip down Memory Lane and be inspired by this fab song. Just in case you don't know it, you can find the lyrics over on the blog 
You can use the whole beautiful planet, or maybe choose one or more lines from the song to use when you make your card.

here's a link so you can LISTEN while you craft! 

It seems that most of us find our 'own' challenges the hardest to actually create for - why that is remains a mystery even after all these years! I decided to use the line "I see trees of green...." but I had a couple of false starts before I finally found a layout that I actually liked.  
This sweet potted tree die arrived this week from lovely Karen at Charmed and I was determined to use it - I think it's supposed to be a Cword Tree, but I didn't want to use it that way
Smooth white square card blank plus spare for upper mat
Bazzill card: Blue, 2x Green, Red
2 x Paper Patch Tree (LeCreatief Lea'bilities Dies
I cut the branches from a die cut tree (Memory Box) for the trunk of tree 3
For the Pom-pom tree I used my Sil. Cameo. The shape is a scalloped circle with larger scallops, and I slightly "squashed" rather than use them perfectly round - the shape looks much better that way (I tried both ways)
The tiny birds are also Sil.Cameo cut
To finish: Blue organza ribbon, small ref gems
The trees are all raised on small pieces of chipboard to add some dimension

In another crafty parcel that the nice postman delivered this week was a lovely starry stencil, which got me thinking about the line "....the dark, sacred night".  Put those two things together and add more "trees of green" and there's a Cword card waiting to be made.

The stencil is lovely, I really like the pattern the stars make. But I tend to make smaller cards for Christmas so I'd like it better if it was a bit smaller. I'm not sure it'll actually get much use, sadly.
Dark blue Bazzill card, stencilled with Star CrescentStencil, using
Silver Alchemy wax, and Silver Sparkle Medium - all by Imagination Crafts.
The trees are from a Sue Wilson set, I brushed white and silver Sparkle Medium over them with my finger before adhering to the  base.
"Love, Peace and Joy" phrase is also a die (Creative Dies from CraftStashUk)

This is my first Cword card of the year, and probably the last for a month or so!  I may be giving Cword a passing thought, and buying the odd thing that takes my eye, but its way too early for anything more.....I've not had my birthday yet for goodness sake!

Thank you for visiting, please leave a comment ;)


Tuesday, September 06, 2016

City Stripes Monogram

How are you feeling? I don't dread the first week of September in the way I did for the last couple of years when I was a teacher.   It's sad when a career that's so enjoyable and worthwhile goes so bad that you need to force yourself out of the car and into the building every morning of the week.  I am still so relieved and thankful that I was able to escape!  

My nephew actually started school on his birthday! I would have HATED that!  I always wanted my birthday to fall in the holidays, but it never did - well, not until I was training to be a teacher, anyway,  
He's now 24, done with Uni but not done with studying as he's still got a couple of exams to go before he's a fully qualified Chartered Accountant
So he's a bit of a City Gent during the week, which is why I chose the papers I used for his birthday card this year
These are old Funky Hand papers from the Winter Wedding collection - but the pin stripes and colours make most of the designs perfect for manly projects and I turn to them time and time again.
I printed the designs I needed onto white Classic texture Bazzill card, having first done a bit of resizing to get the right size spots and stripes for my project
The layout is the new sketch from The Sketch File 
The Sketch File
I used my Silhouette Cameo to make and cut the monogram piece.  
First I chose the font for the initial, then "drew" the circle around it.  I merged the two shapes together,  then resized it to match one of my plain circle dies (large nested circles set from Tonic, so that I could just use die cuts for the backing circle and the plain light blue matting piece.
I cut the monogram once in the printed card, and 3 more times just using plain dark blue card
The layers were all glued together with the patterned one on top, and then the "raw" edges were inked.  
The die cut plain circle was adhered to the back so it showed through the "C" and then this whole  large glued onto the large circle.
I used a punch to cut the tiny circles and shaped them with a ball tool
"Happy Birthday" is die cut with a Creative Die (CraftStashUK)

Obviously I was left with the cut out "C" shapes, so I've fixed them together and will keep them in the hope that I can use them on a card for another of our nephews, who's name conveniently also begins with a C!  If I don't lose it before next May, that is!

Actually I really like this indented die cut/Silhouette cut style, so I'm going to be looking around for other ways to use it.
I hope you like the sketch too - I may even consider using it for a Christmas card.  I suppose I should at least start to think about them!

Anyway, it would be great if you'd join in with us and use the sketch in your own crafting - we'd love to see what you can make using it.

Thank you for popping by, hope you are having a great day

Friday, September 02, 2016

It's Elemental, September!

I'm back home after a little break up in my homeland.  I love Northumberland so much, and it's always hard to leave.  These days we are more likely to use the Tyne Tunnel than the Western Bypass - it seems to get the moment of leaving "The North" out of the way much quicker than watching the Angel of the North looming on the horizon, passing it by, and seeing it receding in the mirror.  I do love the artwork, and it's wonderful to see it appear when travelling north, but traumatic going the opposite way.  Don't get me wrong - I love living where I do, but it's so far from my other "home".  
Oh for a teleporter!
As per usual, I didn't get everything ticked off my "to do before we leave" list, (there was rather a lot on it this time), so my Daring Cardmakers card for this week had to wait till I got home.
In the end I kept it pretty simple and rather like how it turned out.  
The picture Svenja chose is a really lovely one, it reminds me of so many beaches with photogenic boats of one kind or another - we must have taken loads of similar photos over the year - funny how the more ramshackle the boat is the better the photo looks!
 The 3 elements I chose to use were the layout, the colours and the trees.
I liked the composition of this picture, so I started by making it into a sketch, or LO plan.  Somehow this helps focus the mind and see a picture in terms of blocks, lines and shapes. This one may turn up on The Sketch File at a future date!

2 shades of turquoise Bazzill card. The main piece embossed with "Chevrons", the centre strip with "Petite Dots" (both 6x6 embossing folders from Crafter's Companion)
Die cut trees (Memory Box), one in black one in brown
Sentiment is PC generated and printed onto sand coloured Bazzill card.
Cut using oval plain die and matted onto brown, scalloped backing piece (both cut using the Oval Die set from Tonic)
Flowers cut with smallest flowers from a Spellbinders set. Flat backed pearls for the centres
Small circles detail; tiny circle punch and ball tool for shaping, adhered in place using little pieces of chipboard.

We'd love to see you joining in with us this time - click HERE to see the different ways the team used their chosen elements - honestly, they are all so inventive!

Thank you for popping by, please leave a message - it makes it easy for me to come over for a return visit and see what you've been up to!