Friday, 21 July 2017

Abigail's Birthday Again

Hello, have you ever sat in your crafting space, just waiting for inspiration to strike? Well that was me recently; I had started tidying it up but knew I needed to make a birthday card for my daughter, Abigail. The new me is trying to be organised. No leaving it until the day before it needs posting any more!

I wanted to incorporate heat embossing on vellum again after trying it out the other week. I chose to use Elegant Eggplant, Old Olive and Whisper White; more by luck than planning as it dawned on me while I was working that the Wimbledon tennis championship was due to start the following day. Does that give an indication as to how far in advance I was working?

I got my stamping press out to stamp the design on 2 tags in white card and vellum to ensure the design lined up. I used Versamark with white embossing powder for the vellum and black for the cardstock. With the card and vellum lined up I used the Scalloped Tag Topper punch which gives a very pretty top edge.  The corners at the bottom were rounder to continue the softness. I have more ideas flooding my brain using this punch. So many ideas, so little time.

While I coloured the design on the reverse of the vellum using ink pads and blender pens, I water coloured very loosely, going over the stamped lines, using the inkpads and aqua painters for an informal look. After matting and layering, I felt my card looked a tad too white; the tags needed to pop more. So, in keeping with the theme, I very quickly used my larger aqua painter to water colour the card, just running the brush backwards and forwards, leaving small area of white showing.

Neither ribbon in Old Olive or Elegant Eggplant showed up after a search of the craft room; wouldn’t have expected it to really as I have a very small stash of ribbons and embellishments. I did, however, have white! Although I now have very inky fingers, I also have Elegant Eggplant ribbon. So, my quick tip is to keep a supply of white ribbon of varying widths that can be coloured when needed.

Of course, because this birthday card is for Abby, it HAD to include a bee! I was so lucky to win Dragonfly Dreams; the bee is just perfect.

The finished design - I hope she likes it

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Joy of Sets Designer Challenge 2 (Letter S) - Flower Shop

Hello again, do you ever have a design in mind and find as you're busy creating, it totally changes? For The Joy of Sets Challenge this week I chose to use Flower Shop. I used a gorgeous card I'd seen on Pinterest by Becky as my starting point.

created by Becky at

 I love the simplicity and softness of this card; white on white with a touch of colour is so elegant.

First of all, I used Versamark to stamp 3 flowers onto vellum before heat embossing in white. I coloured a piece of vellum with Pear Pizzazz before cutting some leaves using a leaf from Swirly Scribbles Thinlit dies.

Using the smaller of the butterflies from Watercolour Wings I again stamped on vellum and die cut it out. The beautiful quote is from Butterfly Basics; I bought this stamp set specifically for the quote! It was stamped onto a piece of Whisper White card stock and die cut with a circle from the Stitched Shape Framelit die set.

I also used the fern from this set to create a background, stamping off to get a paler version of Pear Pizzazz.

As you can see from the close-up. my card has much more colour! There is a narrow border of So Saffron card which helps to tie in the colours. I'm really still not sure how I went from the card above to the one below! Yet another happy accident. It just shows that it pays to be open minded and experiment as you go along.

The finished card

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

A Little Place To Work

Hello, I'm so excited, my new desk from Ikea should arrive today! This got me thinking about about craft spaces...
                                 ...are you lucky enough to have a room solely for the purpose of crafting or do you have to "share" a main room and hide your things away?

Since becoming single again I now have my own, albeit small, craft room; we did use the largest bedroom - him for his model making, both static and RC and me tucked in a corner with my papercrafts. Sometimes our hobbies even overlapped but I digress.

My little room is more of a hobby/chillout space. I keep all my DVD's in there too. It's also supposed to double up as a spare room so I have a futon I can pull out when needed. It has to be said that I really am not the most organised of people, I wish I was, I really do. I try to keep everything as ordered as I can and in the great scheme of things, I haven't much in the way of craft supplies. I think part of the problem may be that although I have some good storage, it isn't necessarily the right type!

So, what does a craft room need?
My number one is a bank of Gnedby DVD racks flanked either side by 2 narrow Billy bookcases from Ikea. I did have them in my lounge for quite a while until I decided on a less cluttered look; at one time we had around 500 DVD's between us! Now I keep all of my A4 cardstock in storage drawers on one bookcase but that may change in the future. The other bookcase has all of my stamp sets, arranged in alphabetical order; my stock of stamps, dies and punches has increased considerably since these photos were taken.. I put a red sticker on any item that has retired so that I can distingush between retired stock and current. One of the DVD racks houses my punches, too.

Next is good lighting; I'm working on that still. I have a temporary set up until I can get the lighting that I really like but it will involve daylight bulbs.

Now some would say that you need a big table - this is where I confess that I am more likely to make my cards on a lap tray downstairs. Oh I know the purists would be horrified, it isn't as if I haven't even got a craft table although it is smaller than I really wanted. The difference in Ikea delivery prices meant it made sense to go with the smaller desk and add some drawer units!

It's funny as I'd started typing this up when Caroline Helwigh Wright - CraftyCarolineCreates - showed her craftroom on You Tube. And because of that, I realised what I was missing. Yep, I have shelves and small drawers but no cupboard and no proper drawer set. Ikea, I'm here; please can you send me a couple of pieces from the Alex range? You never know, with those in place I might even venture upstairs and work in there.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Joy of Sets 1st Designer Challenge (Letter F) - Floral Phrases

 Hello, well here it is, my first card made for The Joy Of Sets Challenge Blog. Please hop on over by clicking on the link to see the other fantastic designs. In my last post I mentioned I’d been asked to join the design team in this exciting new venture so it was with some trepidation that I set about coming up with a plan of action. I wanted a card that looked pretty and neat but wasn’t overly complicated.

The brief was set; a stamp set that had at least one word in its’ title starting with the letter F. Luckily I have a few sets, both current and retired. It really was a close call between Bella and Friends and Floral Phrases and I had ideas for both sets. In the end though I went with Floral Phrases, a set I used frequently in the past. It always looks elegant and even using it for a wedding hasn’t put me off it.

I’m fortunate to have the coordinating dies as shown in the phot above. I’d decided on an easel card so used some scrap non SU cardstock to make sure my measurements were correct and the design worked before starting. I chose Soft Sky, such a pretty blue and for a fresh look, teamed it with Whisper White.

While the card is easy to make, it was just a bit fiddly ensuring the die cut layers matched exactly

A narrow piece of ribbon added a little more interest before putting the sentiment stamped onto a stitched oval on the front.

I added a bow and 3 tiny flowers that I salvaged from the die cutting. For a little sparkle I placed a rhinestone in the centre of each flower. I have a feeling I’ll be making this card again soon but adapted slightly for an anniversary that’s coming up soon.

Sentiment on Whisper White card
inside to help the easel card stand

Friday, 30 June 2017

Does it have to retire...?

Hello, a while ago a dear friend and SU colleague kindly gave me a bag of spares and offcuts from cards she had previously made. Amongst the crafty stash were some flowers stamped and punched from the Petite Petals set. This set is sadly now retired, I really don't know why as it's lovely. I've since been lucky to find them on a selling site so they are sitting happily on the shelf in my craft room.
Close-up of the flowers

It was during the recent heatwave here that I thought I'd like to make a fresh summery card and remembered these flowers already stamped and punched, it saved me so much time.

I started by stamping the wreath from Wondrous Wreath using Old Olive and Pear Pizzazz and then die cut it. The flowers were added after shaping them, along with some small shapes that looked like leaves. I thought it just added a little more texture. My base card was made from Whisper White and I added a border in Daffodil Delight to match the flowers before embossing my top Whisper White layer with the Softly Falling embossing Folder.

The wreath was added using dimensionals. A couple of butterflies couldn’t resist fluttering down to settle either side of the wreath. Again, they were found in the stash.

I wanted a bow, but didn't want it to overpower the design so once again Linen thread came to the rescue. I tied a small triple bow, wrapping the thread around a fork before securing with a tiny blob of liquid glue.

Finally I added a sentiment, taken from Cottage Greetings, which is the only current stamp set used. “Hope your day is wonderful” is relatively generic so the card can be used for more than one occasion. 

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Woohoo, I'm Back...

Hello again. Goodness, it has been quite a while since I last posted; I really hadn't meant for it to be this long. So, what have I been up to over the last few weeks?

The seating plan

Actually apart from creating wedding stationery for a friend's wedding on the 20th May and taking a Creative Craft session one afternoon where I work, I have hardly picked up a stamp set at home.

Eastern Palace @ Coffee and Cards  -  Craftyduckydoodah

I've also occasionally been to Coffee and Cards run by Susan aka Craftyduckydoodah when time has allowed so I'm keeping my hand in a little. The great thing about going to Susan's card making sessions, apart from the great coffee and cakes, is that I get to try out stamp sets that I don't yet have.

You can imagine my surprise then when I received a message yesterday asking if I'd like to join the design team for a challenge blog that is in the process of being set up. My first reaction was that the wrong person had been asked! I mean, I really don't feel as if I'm particularly creative, but I've been assured that I'm perfectly capable of the job. I'm honoured that someone has faith in my abilities and would like me to join their team and am really looking forward to the challenges ahead. Hopefully I'll have more to report in the near future and plenty of new projects to show you.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

A Little Piece of DSP Goes a Long Way!

Hello again, the other day I posted my first One Sheet Wonder. It got me thinking about using designer series paper more in my cards, particularly when I have just a small piece left that I can't bear to throw away!

This card only needed a piece of patterned paper approximately 1"x2". How cool is that? It goes to show that no matter how small, in crafting we can always find a use for it.

I used two of the Stitched Shapes Framelit dies to matt and layer 2 squares using the DSP. Then I stamped my sentiment onto Very Vanilla and put the same plain matt behind that. As you can see, extra interest was created by embossing the background. And sometimes, there really is a case for adding a little sparkle, this time a few sequins.