About Me

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I'm a part-time primary school teacher, who started papercrafting 8 years ago, when I had a fancy to make my own Christmas cards. Since then, I have tried all sorts of techniques and styles - and I kind of like them all. So my work is very varied, which keeps me interested - and my crafty stash growing!! As well as cards, I love working with boxes and canvases - and I'm always seeking inspiration for new projects.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Butterflies and Flowers!!

So, last week I went back to the fracture clinic about my toe. They were happy that the toe hadn't rotated back out of line - so that was positive. But I have to keep it strapped up for a couple more weeks, and it's take several more for it to heal properly!! She kindly told me that by then I should be pain free!!
It's really starting to impact on my daily life. I have only set of footwear that I can bear to have on my feet when I'm out and about. It takes me forever to walk anywhere!! At the weeked, I managed to get a pair of crocs on to try to do some gardening (there was no way my gardening boots were going on!!). Stepping on a very soft veg patch that had just been dug over by my hubbie was excruciating as my foot sank into it. It was very frustrating as there is so much to do. Probably more so for him as he was having to do the work for me under my supervision - never a good combination!!

Anyway, onto the matter at hand. This card started life as my card for the Crafty Cardmakers Recipe Challenge. I always had it in mind for my friend's birthday - but felt I could blend the two. If you've read my blog entry for the Challenge, you'll know that when it came to it, the embellishments I needed to use for the recipe just didn't work with the rest of the card. 


For the main image, I used a wooden backed butterfly stamp that was one of my first ever craft purchases - and has rarely been used!! I stamped it using Victorian Velvet Distress Ink, clear embossed it, and used Weathered Wood and Bundled Sage to colour it in. The idea was to match the colours to the backing papers - both of which came from a pad that came free with a magazine (sorry can't remember which one). I also used some Bazzil dark pink card to create a break between the layers of paper, and also as a mat for the butterfly image (which was cut with a nestie). I used a very thin satin ribbon to wrap round the card both vertically and horizontally - a bit like a parcel.


I made the flowers by die cutting small circles, cutting them into thin spirals, then rolled them up using a quilling tool. I'm really happy I didn't compromise with the embellishments, as I like the way the two groups of the flowers works! I'm also pleased with the final look - lovely Spring-like colours - very uplifting!!

I would like to enter this into the following challenges:

Alphabet Challenge Blog - B for Busy Bugs

Crafty Catz - I Spy -- Something beginning with B - Butterfly, Blue paper, Blooms!
Cute Card Thursday - Winged Things

Be back soon!!

Cxx

Monday, 20 February 2012

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 62 - A Recipe!!

This week's challenge is hosted by Kim, and she has given us a "1,2,3" Recipe to use!! She would like us to use the following:  1 Image (preferably stamped), 2 Background Papers and 3 Embellishments - at least one of the embellishments must be a heart. On your blog post, please state what your 1,2 and 3 are.

This week's sponsor is Di's Digi Downloads who is offering a $10 voucher for her online shop!! 

Now, when it comes to baking I can follow recipes no problem, but I have to say that I really struggled to follow this recipe. This is actually my second attempt at the challenge. With the first one, I managed the stamped image, and the two papers, but when it came to the embellishments, the card screamed out for paper flowers. I spent ages trying to work out how I could make 2 flowers and 1 heart work. And it wouldn't. So, I took a deep breath, and decided that I wasn't going to compromise with the card just to make it fit the challenge. It won't go to waste I can assure you!!

It also made me realise that I have a very specific way of making my cards, which maybe isn't that compatable with a recipe. I start with the image - this will often dictate the size and shape of the card (although when I do commissions, its often the size and shape that comes first). Once that is sorted, I pick out a selection of suitable backing papers and decorative card. Then I work out the layout (including if I want to use ribbon), making a final decision on the papers at this point. It is only when all this is sorted do I then even think about embellishments - and then I choose what I think enhances the card.

So, back to the drawing board, and a trawl through my limited stamp collection. Eventually, I decided on this Kanban Urban Belle (from the aptly named Love Hearts set!!!). The papers are both Brenda Pinnick. They came from a huge 200 sheet pad. I love the cheerfullness of the red paper, and thought that the mottled buttery colour of the second set it off really well. To give more definition, I used brown Bazzil cardstock to frame each layer of paper.


I stamped the image onto Neenah Card, using Stazon Timber Brown, and watercoloured the face, hands, hair and buttons. I stamped the image onto the two papers, and did a little paper piecing - not a technique I've used before, but thought it seemed appropriate to use the two papers for her clothes!! I finished her off with glossy accents on the buttons, and sepia accents on her hair.


I created my three embellishments by layering pink hearts onto frosted hearts and attaching them together with scraps of thin cream ribbon. The sentiment is from the same stamp set.

I really enjoyed making this - and did you notice - not one bit of die cutting in sight!! Must be a first for me!!!

Make sure you pop over to Crafty Cardmakers for more inspiration, and to enter your creations!! Look forward to seeing them all!!

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Card Makin Mamas - Birthday Card
Craft Your Days Away - Paper Piecing
Paper Sundaes - Birthday

Cxx

Saturday, 18 February 2012

My New Look Website!!

At last - I have finished updating and revamping my website!! Any of you that have been with me since the beginning, will remember that the reason I set up the blog was for me to be able to document my trials and tribulations when setting up the website. Somewhere along the line, the blog took a different direction (one which I am very happy with I have to say), while the website faded away into the background.

I lost interest in it last year with the whole redundancy thing, and it never really did very well. To be honest, it didn't do well AT ALL. I realise now that it needs something else to make it somewhere people will want to visit . I'm not going to abandon the card selling - I can't stop making cards, and I need somewhere to sell them BUT I need to try something else. I haven't in the past, sold my other non-card items through the site - things like boxes, bags and the plethora of other things I now make and sell when I manage to get to craft fairs and the like, with my stall. So that will be my next job.

I'm also looking into a few other ideas - some of which could be a joint enterprise with my husband - others which are still a bit 'pie in the sky'. But you never know - some of them may just work!!

However, in the meantime, I felt that the site needed a much more interesting look. It was very white and uninspiring - and probably reflected how I felt at the time, as much as the amount I knew about developing a website. Alongside the new look, I have added a Clearance section, and another called "As seen on my blog", where selected cards featured in my blog will be available for sale. These currently have no message inside, so the purchaser will have the opportunity to choose what they would like to say!!



It's been quite a frustrating job to do the revamp - as when I altered one thing, it had a knock on effect on something else. At one point last week, I thought I'd lost the whole thing - and believe me there were tears and tantrums. I have to say, however, that once I got the hang of the live chat/help facility, which meant I could get advice and help on the problems within minutes, I was away. I feel sorry for the poor guys on the other end as I feel I was probably asking some quite stupid and obvious things!!

So, please feel free to check out the new-look site (click here to be re-directed there now) - and leave a message either there on the Guest Book, or here on the blog, letting me know what you think!! And as and when I add new things on, I'll let you know.

Speak soon!!

Cxxx

Friday, 17 February 2012

Friends!!

Well, for those of you who've been following, you'll know the past couple of weeks have been a little stressful for me. Well, not content with all that, I've now added to it by breaking my toe!! It was on Wednesday evening, and I was rushing around getting something to eat before getting ready to go out and meet a couple of my good friends. I was heading back into the kitchen and caught my foot on the door frame. It really hurt - as hitting your toes always does. But it didn't ease off, so took off my sock to have a better look, only to find my little toe was no long in the proper place!! It was pretty obvious I'd done something, but it would have to happen on an evening a) when I'm supposed to be going out, and b) when my husband was working. Thankfully, my friends were very understanding, and my lovely husband came home to take me to hospital.

There must have been something in the air on Wednesday, because nearly everyone in the A&E waiting room seemed to have some sort of injury to their foot or ankle. It was really funny - and did take my mind off the pain a little. Was a very busy night for the staff, but I was eventually triaged (the nurse took one look and offered me pain killers), then x-rayed. When I was called in to see the doctor, I knew something was going on as a nurse wheeled in a great big gas cannister at the same time. The doctor showed me my x-ray - a lovely clean break of the bone, which was now out of alignment. Hence the cannister!! To put it back in place they would need to pull on it - and I would need gas and air for the pain.

That stuff is seriously wierd, and to begin with it just made me laugh. But, as those of you who've experienced it will know, you soon lose a grip on reality, and I ended up feeling like I was surrounded by cotton wool. I could just about hear the doctor warning me she was going to pull, and then it was hideously painful and I screamed. Trouble was, she hadn't pulled hard enough, so had to get another doctor who pulled again. And of course I screamed again. Another x-ray confirmed it was as near to where it should be, as they could manage!!

So, it's all strapped up, and I have crutches at the moment as it's too painful to put much weight on. My foot is turning a beautiful shade of blue/black - and I have to go to to the fracture clinic next week to get it checked. Will let you know how I get on!! What it does mean is that I can't run or do zumba for a couple of weeks - so I'm going to have to be really careful to make sure I do get back into it when I'm fit again!!

Anyway, onto crafting things - and here's another  card I have made. I cut a piece of pink patterned card from the DCWV Luxury Cardstock stack, rounded the corners, distressed the edges and inked with Victorian Velvet Distress Ink.


The large F is from a chipboard letter set purchased in the dim distant past. I inked it with the Victorian Velvet Distress Ink and finished with Glossy Accents. For the rest of the lettering, I inked up a pieced of white card (again with Victorian Velvet), and then used my trusty X Cut Rome Die Licious Die. They too were glossy accented!!! The flowers are a mixture of all sorts - the odd ones from packs that I always seem to get left with - and always go in a box 'just in case'!! It seemed a good place to use them up!!

This card is not as  involved as I normally make - with no layers or fancy die cuts. But I think it's still effective - and a change is always as good as a rest!!

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Our Creative Corner - Best Friend
Penny's Paper-Crafty Challenge Blog - Anything Goes

There's still time to get your entries in to the Crafty Cardmakers Monochrome Magic Challenge - check out the blog for more details.

Take care of yourselves - and happy crafting!!
Cxxx

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Hello!!
Sending everyone of you out there some Valentine's love!! I am currently enjoying the freedom of half term, and have been trying to catch up on a few projects that I've been meaning to do for ages - including scrapbooking a holiday from over two years ago - I have to say it's really not going well!! I've also been tackling the housework that just seems to pile up when you're not looking!!

Tonight I will be sharing a lovely homecooked meal with my wonderful husband, and as he's now seen it, I can share the Valentine's card I made for him. As you can see, it's not your usual red hearts - but it's much more the colours that he likes!!


I started with an A4 sheet of white pearl card, and scored and folded it 9.5cm from one end. The coppery patterened card is from the DCWV Luxury Cardstock Stack, and the decorative edges have been cut using both the inserts from the Spellbinders Classic Postage Stamp Edgeabilities set. The hearts from the waste were fixed into the larger circles. Underneath the card I have used mulberry paper in a coppery colour.


The hearts were cut using X-Cut nesting dies. The larger ones are from a double sided matt card, that came in a little pad I bought in one of those cheap book shops. The smaller are from the same luxury card as before. They were fixed down the edge of the front of the card.


Finally, the lettering is cut from the X Cut Rome Alphabet Die.

I hope you all have a lovely Valentine's Day - I'm just enjoying my cup of tea in bed at the moment!! Then I shall have to get up and get busy!!

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:

Cards For Men - Valentine's/Love
Crafty Boots Challenges - Valentine's
The Crazy Challenge Blogspot - Valentine's Day
Dream Valley Challenges - Valentine
Squiggle Stamps - All Loved Up

Cxxx

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Feeling Blue!!

It's been one of those days!! Am feeling really tired and just a little bit 'ugh'. Did manage a run today, but was really had to force myself out there!! In keeping with my mood, I decided to have a go at making an all blue card, as there have been two challenges I recently came across where blue is the theme.


The base is an A5 blue pearl card from my stash. All the papers are Funky Hand - the dark blue is from Colour Me Happy - Jovial Man, and the rest from Dreams Come True - Blue Magic. I used the dark blue to edge all the mats, and an insert from the Spellbinders Classic Petal Edgeabilities set to cut the decorative borders. The skeleton leaves are from my stash, and the flowers are made by die-cutting circles from the papers, then cutting them into thin spirals, and curling them round using a quilling tool.


For a card made when I'm not feeling at my best, I'm pretty pleased with it!!

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:

Get Funky - January Blues


Emma's Crafty Challenge - Shades of Blue

Will be back soon!!
Cxx

Friday, 10 February 2012

A little patriotic!!

Hello all,

Have had a stressful few days just recently, and no time for crafting to ease the pain!!! The start of the week was much better, so much so that I fitted in not one but two runs, AND a zumba class!! Am I mad?  I also still had space in my head for creative things!!



I was asked to make a card that just said 'Dad', and to use bold colours. Well, the first thing that came into mind was "This is a perfect excuse to be able to buy new stuff without breaking my resolution!" For those of you that might remember, I am trying to only buy new stuff, if it is for a particular project. So, this has allowed me to buy something I had been wanting for ages!! The Papermania Portobello Road 12" paper pack!!!

So, I used a cream DL card, with a large mat of the red gingham paper from the pack. I cut a smaller mat of the blue paper with the crown motif to sit in the bottom half of the card, and to add a bit more interest, use an insert from the Spellbinders Classic Scallop Edgeabilities Set to cut the spotty pattern.

A piece of the newspaper/advert paper was used like a ribbon around the middle of the card. The letters were cut from the same paper, and inked with Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink. Some of the waste from cutting the spots was used to decorate the letters.

I was toying with the idea of using twine over the paper ribbon, but couldn't find a way that I was happy with. And then it occurred to me that the papers really lend themselves to bunting!! So, I cut several small triangles of paper and stuck them on around the twine, trimming off the edges that overlapped. It was a tad tricky winding it all through the letters, and getting it all to stick exactly where I wanted, but I got there in the end. I finished it all off with glaze on the blue dots on the letters, and in the gaps left by the die cutting!!
I would like to enter this card into the following challenges:

Hotshot Craft - One for the Boys
Crafty Ribbons Challenge - One for the Men 
Digi Doodle Shop's Best - One for the Boys

Hopefully will have much more time for crafting over the next week!!

Cxxx

Monday, 6 February 2012

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge #61 - Monochrome

This week's challenge is hosted by Beth and she would like you to come up with a Monochrome creation this time. You can use any colour you choose, it doesn't have to be black, but she would like to see your creations made using only shades of one colour. You can have highlights of one different colour but it must not be a major player in your project. You can use colour for hair and skin tone too, but otherwise please stick to the one colour.

We are sponsored for this challenge by Indigo Blu who are offering an amazing prize of a Flitterglu starter kit AND the gorgeous 'Love Is' Stamp.

       


and by the Digi Doodle Shop who are offering a great $10 gift certificate for their shop.


I decided to use green for my 8" square monochromatic creation. Everything green on the card, apart from the stitching and gems, was created using only white card, Bundled Sage Distress Ink and Cosmic Shimmer Golden Pear Mica Powder.

The image is a favourite of mine from Kanban, stamped onto Neenah card. I had to touch it up with a paintbrush, as the ink didn't want to sit properly on the stamp, but that wasn't too much of a problem. I then watered the ink down for the shading underneath the tree. It was cut out with a nestie, and then inked while the card was still in the die.


I rubbed the ink pad over another piece of Neenah card and dusted it with mica powder, before cutting out the dark green scalloped circle. I sealed the mica by spraying with Spray and Shine. Now, being a bit of a cheapskate, I didn't want to use another large piece of Neenah card for the big mat at the back, so I just pulled out a random piece of white card from my box. It had a slightly glossy finish so rubbing the ink pad over this gave a completely different finish - much lighter in colour, and a more mottled, almost streaky finish. I brushed mica powder over this too, and again sealed it with Spray and Shine.



The edge detail was cut with the Spellbinders Classic Scallop Edgeability and one of the inserts from the Classic Ric Rac set. And then I decided to give my new sewing machine a bit of a workout, using the scallop decorative stitch to edge 3 sides of the larger square, and all the way down the strip. I was really pleased at how this turned out!! The finishing touches include a length of white organza wrapped around the white strip, with white flat backed pearls and green gems.

Don't forget to check out the Crafty Cardmakers Blog for more inspiration from the Design Team. They are all absolute stunners!! And we look forward to seeing what you all come up with.

I would also like to enter this into the following challenges:

Allsorts - Free and Easy 

Catch the Bug - Anything Goes

Challenge Up Your Life - Monochrome

Craft Your Days Away - Get Stitchy With It

Stamp, Scrap and Doodle Saturdays - Die Cuts/Punches

Cxxx

Friday, 3 February 2012

Purple Heart!!!

Hello!! Have been really busy this week with proper job stuff, so not a great deal of time for crafting. I'm still trying to keep to my resolutions - but haven't had a great deal of time to do anything particularly active - apart from my weekly zumba class. Have to admit, I'm not a great one for exercise classes - but this is a good laugh!! My garden and greenhouse have been somewhat neglected, but I had chance this afternoon to just check how things were doing and it all seems fine.

Anyway enough of all that and onto the crafting. You know, I shall be glad when it's 15th February, as I shall hopefully be able to make a card without a heart anywhere in sight!!!  But, as it's not yet here, I have another hearts card to share. This was a commission - and requested for someone who is rather partial to lilac!!


I've used a combination of lilac glitter card, with a white patterned vellum. I have to admit that, as I'm still keeping to using up my stash - some of which has been gathering dust for a very long time - the origins of both of these are lost in the mists of time!!!

The base card is an 8" white pearlescent square (again, I'm unsure where I got it from), which I covered in a large mat of lilac glitter card. Before sticking the vellum on top with Stick and Stay spray adhesive, I cut the decorative heart patterns along the edge using inserts from the Classic Postage Stamp and Classic Bracket Edgeabilities sets.



To add a bit of interest down the side, I cut wide strips of glitter card and vellum, die cut the decorative pattern, and affixed to the side of the larger mat. Lilac ribbon was wrapped round and fixed under the mats before they in turn were stuck to the base card.


All the hearts were cut using X-Cut nesting dies, and stuck to the card with foam tape to provide some depth to the card. I decided to use pearls to embellish the card, and tied a huge bow in the top right hand corner. I then stuck two Creative Expressions decorative stick pins through the ribbon. Being a little wary of sharp things on cards, I cut the sharp points off with a pair of wire cutters, and stuck the ends down to the card under the ribbon. The letters for 'Valentine' were cut using X-Cut Rome Alphabet dies. 

 
I would like to enter this card into the following challenges:

Crafty Purple Frog - Valentine/Show Us Some Love

Craft Us Crazy - Anything Goes

Delightful Sketches - Punches & Dies

Digi Doodle Shop - Love is in the Air


Don't forget - you still have a little time to join in the Use Beads Challenge over at Crafty Cardmakers!!

Cxx