Monday, March 31, 2014

Online Card Class - Stretch Your Stamps - Day 1

Hi there,

Hope you had a good weekend. I've had a fun and varied one!

I wanted to buy JT a bit of a different craft related present for her birthday this year. So I chose a class from the Online Card Class site.

I thought Stretch Your Stamps would be great for both of us, as we have a fair amount of stamps that we probably under utilise! And yes I did by the class for myself...

Be warned this is an EPIC post!

So Day 1 is about using background stamps..I chose to use a Heidi Swapp giant Chevron stamp (5.5x5.5 inches)

My main card was made during the first part of the class, we had to make an ink pad and double stamp. I didn't have some of the things used to do exactly the same rainbow technique (cut n dry felt and reinkers) so I improvised.
I inked my background stamp twice in a different colour each time and spritzed with water for a smudgey effect. I managed to achieve the double stamped / rainbow effect..without the additional tools - SWEET! I also don't have a heat it tool (yet...) and so I had to stamp my sentiment (by American Crafts) in white ink.

I feel like this card is a total win!

The next card is totally and utterly for JT!!

Paper Pieced background..wobbly owl!
I bought the wobbly owl (by Studio G) on Saturday at Michael's with her in mind and it felt like a natural fit for this card. We had to paper piece our background stamp. It's a great technique using similar coloured papers and co-ordinating inks. I used a hexagon punch and not a die for my shapes, I decided that foam Thickers were more appropriate than a stamped sentiment and I love the corrugated card texture against the hexagon pattern.
Another win for me :)

Card number 3 is all about kissing :)

Kiss technique - on the hearts
You take your background stamp and ink it up and then take another stamp and ink it up and then 'kiss' them together. Love this technique. I used a soft green chalk ink and a gingerbread ink for my 'kiss', then I punched hearts out of it and made my card.
I will totally be doing this again and once again I feel like a winner, as I love the end result.

Final card for Day 1..

Featured element..out of this world!
This is a great way to use your background stamps. Basically stamp into a 'featured' element on your card. I chose to stamp onto a piece of paper first and then die-cut my shape. I went with a 'monster / alien' theme because as JT pointed out earlier in the week..I love a monster! I used an xCut star die to cut my paper in 2 sizes, some washi tape (the blue stripey stuff) that I got from Amazon in a tin, it is awesome and has random die-cuts in it - hence the spot. The alien I bought when I was home last month and the sentiment is from a set I have..can't remember who by :( As I am so pleased with my card, I thought I'd use it as my submission for the latest Northridge Publishing blog challenge - Cards with Stars.

Day 1 of the course was great fun, I have learnt some fun new tricks and feel like I really did stretch my background stamp..

I won't be doing the next day until later in the week and I will be jumping to Day 3, as you need a heat tool for Day 2 and my new toy hasn't arrived yet...


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day in the UK.

My Ma is pretty special, she is always there for me and last year when Hubby and I were relocating she helped us physically, financially and emotionally.

This year has been a bit traumatic for Ma and our entire family, a surprise Cancer diagnosis wasn't exactly the best start to 2014.

Ma has managed to deal with all of it with dignity and a smile on her face and I was overjoyed that I got to go home at the point where she needed company and policing (she's not the best patient!)

Now 6 weeks after her op she has been given an all clear, which is totally amazing for her and our whole family.I am pleased to see that she is utilising the time she has before going back to work by having a bit more rest and indulging in some hobbies - sewing, embroidery, crap tv, reading etc

I know for a fact that I couldn't have gone through everything she has with such strength, but this is why she is so special.

I wanted to make Ma a bright and happy card. I had all sorts of ideas most of which centred around the Pink Petticoat backing paper I have used. When I was home, Ma saw it in my travel stash and said that she really liked it, so I wanted to use it.
I got a teeny bit carried away and used a few different techniques.
I didn't have a yellow flower, so I coloured one of the giant Papermania using a Promarker and then I sprayed the flower with a Memento Fireworks mist in Canteloupe. This is a newish technique for me and a bit messy, but adds a really nice shimmer when dry.

Here's a close-up -

Flower Close-up
I also recoloured some white paper twine black, so that it matched the text. The text is a rub-on...It is not supposed to be all patchy, but (and this is why I hate rub-ons) it wouldn't go on evenly..and in the end I decided it looked quite modern and edgy :)

The button is special too, as I bought a little bag of them when I was at home and on a day out with Ma.

I hope Ma likes her card and has a wonderful Mother's Day, I will be skyping her later.

Finally I decided that my card fits the Love to Create bingo card this week...

I am using the 3 row across and down - so Sparkle, Yellow and Flowers!


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Moving Along With The Times...a Sketch


Time for Team B again over at MAWTT..

This time it is the turn of Red and she has asked us to use one of her first card - which she considers ugly as our inspiration.

Here's the card - 

Red's Ugly Card
Ok, so its a little bland, but I have seen worse :) Red has also asked us to show our first card or an ugly one..

So here is a card of mine from the early days (circa 2011) that I consider to be quite hideous..

My Ugly Card
So whilst the image on this card is nice, I am not sure what I was thinking with the weird background paper..nothing is straight! The centre is image is just shoved on and the background paper isn't even on each side..hideous! I believe I have made worse before this, but this one offends me as I had the cheek to blog about it!

So the main photo today is my interpretation of Red's card / sketch. I think everyone knows that I love a Robot themed card... So when I saw the sketch, I knew I had to use the Recollections Monsters and Robots stack - I used 2 of the papers from the stack and I punched the centre circle using the same paper. The cute little robot was cut using my Silhouette portrait, I added googly eyes for fun and some bling to his nodules(?!) and punched a little birthday sentiment.

The sketch was fun to work with and I think it will get used again.

I hope you are inspired to join in the fun, pop over to MAWTT and check out the other fab interpretations..don't forget to visit the blogs of the DT, so you can see their 'ugly' card.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

WOYWW #251...Chaos reigns!


Can't believe its time for WOYWW already..a week has passed so quickly.

WOYWW for the un-initiated is that time of the week where us deskers from around the world join Julia over at her blog Stamping Ground for a nose!

My desk is a bit chaotic this week - a marked change from last week!! I told you the 'tidy' wouldn't last long. My life feels a bit chaotic at the moment - work is bonkerlonkers!

I took the photo just before Hubby and I went out to dinner on Tuesday night..we went to this amazing place that was doing a 3 course dinner, with a cocktail and wine with every course for $45?! It was awesome..

So what can you see..well my Promarker chart is out, as I was colouring some Stamping Bella images, one of which you can see on top of the chart, my glasses, lens cap, a card I am working on for a friend's 40th, my mouse, tweezers, pencil, a bag with a 40th birthday gift in it, a spa voucher (for me from a friend) and to the right of my keyboard a pop-up card thingy prototype for my Presidents' 30th wedding anniversary.

It's a bit busy in my craft world right now..I also realised I have been neglecting my OWH duties and will be making a batch of cards for them over the next couple of weeks.

As always I have a card for you WOYWWer's - it's not on my desk, as it has already been posted to my MIL..Happy Mother's Day to those of you with sproglets..I am definitely giving thanks for my Ma this year :)

Mother's Day card for my MIL
I used a Mother's Day sheet from last year and mounted it onto some Pink Petticoat Apple paper, the flower is by Papermania, the button is from my fave Lewisham Market (in London) fabric stall and paper twine for the bow. I added some teeny tiny gems that I bought from Craft Superstore when I was home.

I'll be having a peek at your desks later..


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Clean & Layered birthday...


As you know I have been slowing down my challenge entries recently. 

I've been doing this because I wanted to go back a step and make sure I was entering challenges because I liked them and not just because they were there.

Yesterday I entered a Simon Says Stamp was all about glitter and we all know how much I love glitter!

Today I am entering the latest Card Concept #6 challenge. Since it started I've really liked The Card Concept challenge, I love the idea of being able to use different styles and having to comment on other entries and not just DT makes - it's so friendly.

I had been working with the red and white paper (Monsters & Robots by Recollections) that you see on my card for a DT make (coming up on Thurs) and thought it was a great fit for the photo inspiration.

I decided to go with Clean & Layering as my style for the card, in part because I loved the DT inspiration, but also because I wanted to layer up my scalloped circle dies.

I die-cut a white circle and embossed it (using a Sizzix spot folder), so that the Happy Birthday die-cut would stand-out. I added pearl, as it felt like it was missing something. The Happy Birthday die was a freebie on a magazine I got when I was at home.

I was so happy with my final card that I made another one in a similar style for a friend's birthday. This card has a little blingy daisy that was a gift from JT.

Leopard Birthday


Monday, March 24, 2014

Simon Says - Get your glitter on...

Ha ha well not quite, but the challenge this week over at Simon Says Stamp is Glitter It..

I love a glittery card and as I haven't been feeling very well, making something sparkly seemed appropriate!

I used a new Stamping Bella / Jane Davenport stamp that I have been lusting after for AGES. I coloured it with Promarkers and added a touch of glitter glue to the dress. The backing paper is by DCWV and it was part of a prize. It's got a lovely foiled effect and I used glitter glue on some of the foiled stripes.

The sentiment that comes with the stamp is the same as the one I used, but too big for this card, so I used one by Hero Arts.

I am pretty pleased with the end the fact that I think my image has bled a bit...I am trying new is not ink friendly methinks.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

My first Bridal Shower...


Happy Saturday to you all.

Today is the Bridal Shower for JT's sister Dana. I am not going to the shower, but as I know Dana reasonably well. I wanted to make her a really nice card and as we don't do Bridal Showers in the UK, this is my first ever card for this occasion.

JT and I attempted this when we had our UK playdate a couple of weeks ago, but I think both of our efforts were slightly off the mark..

So I made the main card that you see today, when I got home last weekend. I didn't blog about it sooner, as I kept forgetting to take a photo in the morning, as it needed actual daylight.

It is a Silhouette file and it cuts the dress with a perf, so you can fold it over, it also cuts the extra panel and the waistband. I decided that I wanted the extra panel to stand out a bit more, so I embossed it with a fancy folder I have. Then I made the waistband wider. I decided that that card was too small and mounted it onto a card embossed using the same folder. The sentiment came with a Stamping Bella stamp.

I am super pleased with the outcome, it's gorgeous!! I only hope it doesn't get ruined in the post :(


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Dandelions and glitter....


I love challenges, recently I took a break from entering them which was nice.

This week I have been unable to resist 2 challenges - one of which is this week's Retro Sketches #106 -

The sketch is so simple and I loved the DT makes and some of the other entries, so after dinner last night I settled down to make my card.

I love it and it is going to my Grandma to thank her for the gift she gave Hubby and I when we were home.

I used Pink Petticoat Dandelion Clocks paper, Thickers Dear Lizzy glittered foam stickers and a scrap of tracing paper.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

WOYWW #250..back at my desk..

Hi there!

I can't believe it's time for WOYWW again...seems like yesterday I was posting from London, but now we are back home in NYC, after a fun and whirlwind 10 days in London.

Before I take you on a desk tour, I shall explain WOYWW to you..every week us crazy crafters join the wonderful Julia over at her blog Stamping Ground for a global desk nosy..join in the know you want to!

My desk is pretty tidy, as I have only been back 5 days and have been behaving myself and tidying as I go..that will soon change..

Well this week, you also get a sneaky peek under my desk!! The bag with 'Jam' on it, is from JamPaper one of my fave stores in is sitting on top of my sewing machine. On my desk, you can see a stack of stuff I am working on, lens cap for the camera, an orange envelope that has something for JT in it, my glasses, my pen, pencil, tweezer and mouse. There is also a little thing I am working on, here's a photo for you -

Coloured stamp and embossed paper
The stamp is another one of my new tattoo stamps (see yesterday's post) and the folder is new and from Couture Creations and I bought it in the UK. I am pleased with the stamp, as it was partly coloured with chalks!

I of the highlights of my trip was getting to craft with my Nephew Otis..he loves a cut and stick session and my SIL took this great photo of us crafting together :)

Auntie Claire and Otis craft time..
He was in love with the mini glue roller I gave him, he couldn't understand where the 'sticky' comes from! We had a lot of fun and I made mustaches for him and Hubby..

Otis and Hubby in their paper mustaches!
A fun day for us all.

As usual my final photo for today is a little card for you WOYWWers..the little wood frame is by Dovecraft and comes in a set of 12.

Happy Birthday teacup in a frame.
Happy WOYWW...sorry for the bumper post :)


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I went shopping...


Whilst I was away (and since I've been back and before I went away...) I might have done some stash shopping...I was a good girl though and most things were freebies on magazines and gifts from JT.

Let's start with the main photo - this card uses a free stamp I got in a set from Get Stamping magazine (which I now have a subscription to) - I love the detail in the stamp and decided to go down the orangey tones when colouring it. The papers are a bit crazy, so the whole thing is supremely busy, but I like it. No sentiment, as I think enough is enough here!

The next card uses lanterns from the same stamp set.

I decided to draw a border and colour the lanterns using 2 colours, which I also used for the border and the sentiment. I added some glitter glue. I can see myself making lots of these, will try another sentiment for the next one.

This card uses a stamp from a set I got just before I went away it's a Tattoo - by Inkadinkadoo, you get 4 in the set. She was coloured with Promarkers, chalk and glitter glue. The fun card blank is from a box of card blanks by DCWV.

Tattoo Card
I have been asked to make some more cards for my work colleagues and I am thinking that this will suit a girl at work who is a bit Rock Chick..

I've been making things using JT's gifts, I'll show those later in the week.


Monday, March 17, 2014

A Spring in my step..


It's my first day back at work today, after a great 10 day holiday back in the UK.

So I thought I'd celebrate with a challenge entry, that suits my Spring like mood.

JT made a card for this challenge and I was inspired to do the same :)

Color Throwdown #283 is a great colour palette and as JT said it uses the often under appreciated colour Orange, which like her I love.

My parents gave Hubby and I a very generous belated Christmas gift when we were home, so I wanted to say Thank You, so my card is for them.

I used an ancient piece of Recollections orange polka dot paper, the gray paper is by DCWV and I embossed it with a Sizzix giant spots folder. The stamp is new and by Papermania, I love that it has teeny tiny little thank you text inside the letters. I die cut the sentiment using new-ish Sizzix circle dies, the celery paper is just random and from my stash, as is the foam star.

This card made me feel all happy as it is so bright and cheery. I think my parents will like it too.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Pinterest Inspired..


I thought I'd show you what I was up to before I went on Holiday.

Basically..I've got what seems like a million pins on my craft Pinterest board..

Every now and then I like to trawl through and remake some of the cards - lots of the things I pin are made using things that I have in my stash.

The main card today is a slight twist on this card - I am loving the whole grungy stamp thing right now. I used one of the butterflies from JT's punch and some heart bling she sent me. The sentiment is an ancient Stampin' Up punch I bought on eBay for cheap!

The next card is a pretty direct copy of this one - I love it so much, the best thing for me was that all the hearts and the star came from my box of already punched items. I added some sparkly dots for a bit of variety and a star. I really like the textured stock, but it's hard to stamp on.

My final card was one that I knew I had to remake the minute I saw it. I never really use my Birdie punch to its full potential and I think here it really comes alive. Love the idea of punching another shape into them..although Hubby said 'what happened to the birds?' when I showed it to!

Recently I have had a challenge break and its nice, as it means I get to explore all these ideas I have been collecting.

I would like to thank all the makers of the original cards for inspiring me.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Moving Along With The Times - Make a Box and Decorate it..


Time for Team B at MAWTT this week.

This week Karina is our hostess and her challenge is -

Make a box and decorate it

I am at home with my parents in the UK and so this is the first time I have done a MAWTT post from my homeland..needless to say I did make the box before I left!

It foxed me a bit at first, but I looked through my Silhouette library and came up with a matchbox template.

I cut it out of American Crafts paper and assembled it, which was much easier than expected, as the Silhouette scores it all for you.

I added some spotty ribbon also by American Crafts and a precious WHSmith flower/brad - voila! Box complete.

I am going to use it to give a friend earrings for her birthday.

Here is another view for you -

Inspired? Well pop on over the MAWTT and see what amazing boxes Team B have created..mine is simple town compared to what the ladies have been up to!


WOYWW #249....Live from London..

Hey everyone!

Well I am still in London, the weather is glorious and endless Winter in NYC seems very far away...
I have been having a great time, it has been great to see my family and friends. Today Hubby and I are off to see the SIL and the sproglets.

Before I take you on a tour of my 'desk' let me remind you what WOYWW is all about. Every week we visit our wonderful host Julia's blog Stamping Ground and take you on a global tour of our desks. I am most excited that my wonderful buddy JT has now got a desk and can join in the fun.

This week, my desk has been my parent's dining table - which is what you see in the main photo, with my 'travel' computer, placemats, a pen, Ma's iPad, the sky remote and a little pile of cards from my Friday playdate with JT.

Before I show you the cards, I have to show you this amazing waterfall / pond thing, complete with Raphaelite statutes. It is located in Twickenham and JT took me to see it - it's truly a sight to behold and is located at York House.

The Naked Ladies at York House
Here is a close-up of the lady on the top

Close-up Naked Lady and Winged Horses
The playdate with JT was lots of fun, we gossiped, ate, drank, exchanged craft related gifts and made lots of lovely cards. She has already posted her makes from the playdate. Here is a small sample of the cards we made, when we get back to NYC, I will take better photos and show you all of them.

One of the cards that we both made was using a random magazine full of ads and articles that JT found and gifted to me from 1900-1920, it's hilarious, so we cut it up and made cards.

Card made using an old magazine article
This card was made using a die-cut from a random bag of paper goods that JT gave me and I used a new grunge stamp, that was scaring me a bit, so I brought it with me to encourage me to use it. The sentiment is JT's. This iis a fave of ours.

Car card
Hope you all have a lovely WOYWW.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Have machine...will quilt (part 3) - Finished Quilt 1


I spent the majority of Sunday getting the quilt for my Parents finished.

It is amazing, I love it, but not enough to believe it warranted all the hard work! I believe I am going to stick to cards and clothes!

I followed this superb tutorial and there isn't really that much I would do differently.

It's far to painful to get into the detail of the pinning, the cutting, the ironing, the turning and the sheer physical pain of quilting it together...did I mention the pinning?!

Here are a few more photos that document the latter stages..including my furry helpers!

Archie helping Mummy, by sleeping on the Quilt!

The trim all pinned onto the nicely furry Quilt - thanks Archie!
Boscat and the finished Quilt...2 mins later she was on it!
If you are interested you can view the earlier stages here and here.

It has been handed over to my folks, who love it, so that almost makes it alright!

Thing is I can't quite say never again, as Quilt number 2 needs to be finished...sometime between now and retirement!


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

WOYWW #248 - I'm in the UK!!!

Morning WOYWWers...

It's approx 11am here in the UK and I left NYC last night..just got home hugged my Ma and uploaded my post for you :) Transatlantic WOYWW...

For those still unfamiliar with my weekly visits to WOYWW - go over to Julia's blog Stamping Ground and join us all for this wonderful weekly desk nose.

So this week the photo is of my desk on Monday night as I was packing! You can see a stack of cards that I needed to photograph, some cards I was putting in my bag to post at home, thank you rub-ons, my glasses, my tweezers, a glue roller, a paper flower, my pencil, glitter glues, a corner rounder, a mini trimmer, my mouse and a glass of amber nectar :)

This card was in the 'photograph' pile and I made it using my Silhouette. I modified the design slightly as it was a bit busy. I am contemplating adding some bling or Candi, but it doesn't have an owner yet so we'll see. I am really pleased with it, simple and to the point. I am loving orange right now.

Happy Birthday
Hope to see you next week, but I'll still be in we will see :)


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Double Craft Buddy Challenge....


So for the last 4 weeks JT and I have been working on 2 challenges that we set each other. We finally managed to Skype and do the grand reveal on Sunday, so I can show them to you now. Get ready for an epic post!!

My main card today is from the first challenge from JT -

Challenge 2 from JT
I really struggled with this combo, I found the shades of purple surprisingly tricky and the sketch just threw me. I like the first card and it uses a stamp from the company that created the sketch (From The Heart Stamps). I am also pleased with the bubbles around the bathtub, as I coloured them with chalks and then glittered the edges. The second card I am a bit meh about! It doesn't really feel like a me card..

Challenge 2 - Flowers
The next challenge was much easier..stupidly I forgot to take a photo of the card that fits the crazy punches, so will do that when I return from the UK.

Challenge 3 from JT
I love working with Apetures and so the first card was really fun for me...

Here are my many takes on it.

Challenge 3 - Heart
This was the first card I made and I cut the aperture by hand... I used American Crafts card blank, spotty ribbon and chevron paper. Flower and button by Papermania. Sentiment by Heidi Swapp.

Challenge 3 - Seahorse
I love this card the seagull paper by Pink Petticoat made me smile, the seahorse is a Recollections stamp and was a gift from JT - I coloured it using gelatos, Aqua Promarkers and a aqua brush, he got a little bit of glitter added to him too! The aperture was cut using new Sizzix nesting circle dies, which I also used to create the circle frame. The sentiment is by Hero Arts and I added some pearls.

Challenge 3 - Heart
I decided to make my own supersized card blank for this one, because I really wanted to use the xCut nesting die..I rarely use them, as I think they are a bit fussy. I think I am going to add an Anniversary sentiment here. The papers are by American Crafts, the heart is from my punched stash (Woodware) and the heart bling was a gift from JT.

The final card will be a bit of a surprise for JT, if she reads this before I arrive and it's one of my faves..of course as it is for JT it features a Crab!

Challenge 3 - Crab!
The stamp is from the same set as the seahorse and I coloured it using gelatos and an aquabrush, then outlined it with a neon Promarker that was a gift from Ma. The paper is little shells by Pink Petticoat and the sentiment is from a random set of rub-ons. I smushed (a technical term) some glitter glue around the circle frame, which I cut with the same dies as the seahorse card - just nesting dies. I added some bling, as it is for JT after all!

All in all a fun remote challenge..the 3rd one worked out better for me :)

Off to London tonight to see the family, the wife and a playdate! - super excited..I'll be attempting to blog...but we'll see...