Friday, March 30, 2012

Twit Twoo!

To break up the bunting focus of the last couple of posts, I thought I'd show some of the cards that I have made using the new Stampin' Up Owl Builder punch.

Today's main picture is one of the ones I like the most. I like the sharpness of the black owl against the green spotty background. The 'Thank You' is one of the things that JT gave me last week.

I like the anniversary version, the red owl is fun - below is a closeup so you can see the embossed paper I used for the red owl.

I've got some mini owl cards that I've made as a part of a birthday gift. I need to photograph them and post them, they are really cute.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bunting Part Two

As I mentioned before I have been inspired by the cards that I have seen lately that feature sewing techniques and by MoonMum.

I've also been rather over excited by the arrival of my new Pennant punch.

This weekend I tried out a few ideas using both the punch and the sewing machine, so easy to do and lots of fun - I spent a few hours making tons of these. Here are the pictures of some of them.
1. Bunting Card - Black and Blue
1. I wanted to use the spotted and black papers to make pennants, but felt they needed a contrast of colour to lift them up - hence the blue paper and the eyelets. I like the perky 'birthday!' stamp. The closeup (1a) below shows how the pennants are stitched to the card.

1a. Bunting Card - Black and Blue Closeup
2. I think the card below is really fresh! It made me feel very spring like. I like the pop of the green against the blue gingham. The mismatched patterns of the pennants works well, must remember to do this again. The letters are from Michael's and I'll be buying more when I go back to NYC this year.

2. Bunting Card - Blue and Green
Below is a closeup (2a), it shows my sewing was a bit off! But I am thinking that you don't really notice and it adds to the charm of the card!

3. This card is slightly different, as I didn't use the sewing machine, I used the Sew Easy tool! Not 'sew easy' at all, hence it's sale on eBay and me returning to my sewing machine! I made this card for a friend - I think she'll like it.
3. Bunting Card - Pink Spots
This closeup (3a) shows that the stitches made using the sew easy (and my own hands) are not as good as the machine ones.

So what do you think?

I am really pleased and part three of bunting will be some pictures of a card I made before the punch arrived. Its not as easy as you think to cut triangles freehand!


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bunting Part One

I thought we'd have a mini break from cards - I do make other things, but cards are so easy, as sewing is far from therapeutic - all the pinning, ironing, turning, etc. So unfortunately I don't sew as often as I like and when I do sew, I forget to document it! This post is part one, as I'll be returning to cards for part two to show off some bunting cards - which are made using my new found sewing + card making skills!!

Anyway, my sister in law asked me to make bunting for our Nephew's room. I haven't made bunting for a while, so was quite excited by this little project.

Making bunting is really straightforward, but if you haven't done it before I would suggest using this tutorial, which is amazing!

I used most of the techniques shown in the tutorial - I especially love the continuous sewing of the triangles, makes life very easy.

I did do a few things differently:
  • I didn't iron all the triangles once they were turned right side round
  • I pinned the un-ironed triangles to the bias tape

  • I found it easier to sew the triangle to the tape, whilst pinned on, stopping to remove the pins - this means the bunting takes a bit longer, but I think this is easier than the 'free sewing' technique used in the tutorial
  • Finally I only ironed the bunting once I'd have finished sewing
Crisp ironed bunting 
Today's main pic, is the finished bunting, with Otis' name on it (I used iron on transfers for the letters). I love it so much, I don't want to part with it! I am hoping that Lucy will love it too.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sewing Machine Skills!

Thank You card for JT 

Recently I have been noticing a lot more cards and handmade stationery made using sewing machines - like the main pic in my previous post. I really like these items and have wanted to give it a go, but I love my sewing machine, it was a rather large investment and I have been unsure about using it for paper crafts.  So I bought myself a sew easy tool - quite frankly a lot of effort for not a lot of gain! eBay for that bad boy!!

Then I discovered MoonMum - her blog is AMAZING and totally inspirational and she's been using a Berina (which is not a cheap machine) to make her items. MoonMum is actually a lady called Belinda and she uses her awesome sewing machine skills to make fantastic items that she sells.

I've been thinking that if I can master using my sewing machine for making cards, I'll be able to make some really special things for my friends and family as gifts (ooh and imagine the Thank You sets I could make). I think that as I have a day job it's too much of a time investment to make these items for sale, which is a bit of a shame, but I guess one day Hubby and I will be living by the seaside working part-time and I'll be free to invest more time in Ham'n'Mule.

Anyway, I took the plunge and used my machine to make JT's card - today's picture (note the butterfly punch in the background, JT and I love love love that punch), here are a few more photos.

close-up of the top of the card - I love how the butterlies stick out and add depth to the card

close-up view of the bottom of the card
I used the beloved Martha Stewart Butterfly Punch, free contrasting papers for the butterflies, white scrap paper, blue gingham paper from Michael's. The sentiment is just a silver peel off - I might try stamping a sentiment next time.

I am really pleased at how well it came out, how easy it was to do and it has made me feel really inspired. I have started sewing together some bunting cards and have some other ideas that I want to try, hopefully I can finish and post those over the weekend.

On another happy note, my Owl builder and Bird builder punches by Stampin' Up arrived yesterday and I had a quick play with the Owl one tonight. It's really cool and I am looking forward to making some cards using them.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Saying Thank You

So my craft buddy bought me some bits and bobs today from her local craft store, which I can't wait to use, I thought that I might make today's picture to say thank you.

I found it on pinterest and thought it would be a great use of some of my scraps and my Martha Stewart butterfly punch and I am quite excited to get the sewing machine out to do this!!

I'll take a picture and post it later in the week, so you can see the result.

I had a quiet craft week last week, I made a few things for my 'family and friends birthday / anniversary' book, so now I need to start working on May onwards. It's a great idea, I bought this book last year and it means I keep us all nice and organised and don't forget birthdays, anniversary's, etc. It also means that when I only have 20 minutes free, I can focus and make one special card for the book.

My new Petite Pennant punch arrived last week and so I punched a load of pennants from my scraps and made a couple of cards at the weekend, will show some pics later on this week.

I have been feeling a bit craft lethargic of late, so need to up my game this week! Also the craft zimmer needs a tidy.........

Monday, March 12, 2012

Making Things for Friends

My friend Emma had a difficult year last year, and she moved to Spain to be with her family.

Emma is one of the most fun loving, genuinely funny people that I know and so I wanted to do something that would help her maintain her smile.

JT and I decided we would send her a 'care' package - it's full of random things, sweets, stuff for the home, stuff to wear etc and some of it JT and I made.

For a long time I have wanted to try making personalised stationery, so I thought I could do this for Emma. I used an idea I have used before for wedding invites, but added Emma's initials and it works (I think). Basically you take a detailed stamp, stamp in black ink onto white paper, scan in, decide what size you want the cards to be, print and cut out. Then colour and mount onto co-ordinating patterned paper and finally using glitter glue, add some bling. Here are some pics.

4 personalised notecards
Closeup, showing the glittered details
Closeup, showing the initials and details
I also had some left over transfers from the stock I use for Babygrows - these ones are not suitable for babies, so I bought some t-shirts and vests in Emma's size and added the transfers, today's main pic is of one of the vests - the transfer is a lady squirrel on a moped with Jacks underneath - because Emma and I are Jackie and Joan Collins (don't ask) she calls me Joan and I call her Jacks and I'm not sure how the lady squirrel is relevant, but......

Anyway, here are the rest of the tshirts.

Rabbit transfer - has a patterned ring around it

Butterflies cascading - I think the colours go well together
Treehouse transfer, I love this transfer, looks lovely on this white t-shirt
It has been fun putting together the package and using my skills to make a friend smile. Check out JT's blog - great minds think alike!


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Fun Times

Well it has been a busy old 4 weeks since Superbowl Weeekend.

I had great fun in Amsterdam with Amy my 16 year old goddaughter and Lemon. We laughed and ate non-stop. It was great to show Amy one of my favourite cities and have her respond with such enthusiasm. It was also nice to dispel some of the pre-conceived ideas about Amsterdam being all sex and drugs.

I have completed the bunting for Otis' room and will have pics for you soon.

I've also been working on lots of lovely new card ideas and have taken pics and they'll be here too. I also decided that I need to have a clean out of my papers - as I have been holding on to scraps for far too long!

As I was weeding through the scraps I realised that some of them would make good 'bunting' style cards and made a couple, which I am pleased with, but the cutting of the triangles is a pain and time consuming, so I have invested in a Stampin' Up Petite Pennant Punch (pic below). Yay!

It should arrive this week, just in time for my craft playdate with JT on the 31st.