Thursday, June 28, 2012

New ideas

Hello! We have been having a wonderfully sunny week here in London, which makes me all cheery and positive, as I get to wear all my new summer gear!

I've been experimenting with new ideas and thought I'd share them with you. I have also been naughty and purchased a few new tools and bits and bobs, which I wanted to play with, but I also thought it would be fun to try some new things.

Today's main picture is based on a Pinterest idea I saw and I thought it would be a great use of scraps, of the new candle stamp and the new tags / labels. I'm pleased with the colour contrast, I think it works well, I don't normally work with orange, as I think it can be a bit in your face. I'll be making more of these and this one is winging it's way to a customer in a batch of samples.

The card below came about because I was playing the new Martha Stewart punch that JT bought me and I saw an idea in a card magazine this month using a similar punch and a bird. Using the Stampin' Up bird builder punch always makes me happy and I like the vintage feel of this card.It will be going in my personal stash, I might make more for sale, but I am undecided about that right now.

The next two cards were made because I wanted to try out my new flowerpot die (which I am not sure if I like it or not yet!). It's a good way to use my millions of flowers, but the pots are really not doing it for me - what do you think? These are going to be a gift for a friend, as I think she might like them more than I do!

It gets difficult to keep the card making fresh, so I am pleased I've found a few new things to add to my repertoire.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Over complicating things!

As you are all aware I love bunting and have been enjoying making bunting cards. Recently I wondered if I could add a twist to the bunting cards. So I had a little play and I came up with this little sketch - 

I drew the sketch using PPT - which I often do, when I am working on new ideas.

Sentiment banner - unfortunately I broke the eyelet!
It all looks nice and simple and the result is stunning - today's main picture, but it is a total pain in the bleep to make. Mainly because you can't stick all the flags down before you sew them to the card, as the top row overlaps, so you have to sew the bottom row first, then stick down the top row, then sew again.

Essentially I took my nice simple bunting idea that I have used a bejillion times and over complicated it. Needless to say, I have only managed to make 2 of these cards and no matter how beautiful they are, I will not be making them again!

Here are a few close-ups for you.

The fabric and foam flower, with jewelled brad

Close-up of the stitching
I made this card nearly 2 months ago, but I have been so traumatised by the experience it's taken me all that time to recover :)

Rule no.1 - do not over complicate. A rule that I think might be handy for more than just crafting....


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Kids stuff

I recently decided that my kids cards were lacking that 'kid appeal' and have been racking my brain trying to think of good ideas. By chance I was in a wonderful art shop and saw a Galt colouring-in book. Voila! Lightbulb moment.

I bought the book, chose some of my favourites and scanned them in, retouched them, printed them out at a suitable size and coloured them in using my Promarkers! Today's main picture is one of the cards I made using this technique. Below are a few more.

I think it's a good technique - but a word of warning, if you are planning on selling your cards, I would suggest you do not use anything from the Galt books, peruse your local pound store for generic colouring books, which will minimise the copywrite issues. The ones I have shown here are not for sale, they are for my godchildren (of which there are a bejillion!). 

I have also been re-using my favourite Bugaboo Poppi Penguin digital stamp. I've been making these for a while now for customers, but never for friends and family and decided, if I used certain colours they would be great for boys of all ages (= men too). Here are a couple of pics - I love the glittery glasses!

Blue Poppi + Red Glasses
Close-up on the Red glittery glasses
Red Poppi + Yellow glasses

I am now happier with my 'kid' options and think this will please my customers and possibly some of my friends with kids, who are always on at me to make more kid cards!


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Pottering around

Due to a rather large Friday, this weekend has been a nice pottering around the house one.

I've just been doing the easy craft related things this weekend! Like buying some stamps from Bugaboo that I have started colouring in, I am going to use them for my friend's Daughter's birthday - I want to frame them as I think they will look really nice in her bedroom and make her a matching birthday card.

Today I have been taking photos for the blog and my customers - I enjoy taking the photos, but need to catch the light at the right time, I really need a home studio set-up, so I can take the photos more often. I also went through all the recent personal cards I've made and matched them to the birthday / anniversary, etc book - very satisfying.  I have to do this every couple of weeks, as it can get a bit confusing in the craft room! Generally every thing I make fits one of three categories and I kept everything organised in these categories. These categories are -

1) Things for sale
2) Things for my personal use
3) Ideas I am trying out

It may seem a bit OCD, but I realised a while back that the things I am selling need to be relatively quick to make, as they are often required in big batches. The things I make for my personal use, I spend a bit more time and essentially play!

JT and I have been discussing this weeks Mojo Monday sketch challenge 246 and felt that it was a good one to enter. Here's the sketch -

Today's main picture is my entry, I decided I'd rotate the sketch and instead of a bow, I used a sentiment. I think it's a fun card and fits the things for sale category! The star paper is by Pink Petticoat, blue squares were made using DCWV brights adhesive stack - so easy to use. The red foam stars are from Michaels. Sentiment from the batch I cut last weekend. It's nice and simple and I think it's quite a 'man' type card, if you changed the colours it could work for 'girls' too.

Back to the craft room for me :) enjoy the rest of the weekend.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Making to give..Part 2

Bit of a delay posting this one - thought I had actually posted it!! Anyway, following on from my last post, here is part 2 of making gifts. As you are aware I have a bit of a thing for Crabs and JT kindly bought me the most wonderful Martha Stewart punch for Christmas.

Today's main picture shows my set of monochrome crabs in a row - I adore them, I think they are simple and elegant and fun too!

They are for my friend Emma - who I am going to see in a few weeks - she is quite random (as am I), so I am figuring that she will love these just as much as I do.

The best bit about these cards, is they use scraps from the squares I cut to use for the loopy round the page punch and the black strips are from the epic Christmas card making.

I really like the addition of bling after 'Crab' and the teeny tiny glittery crab eyes - which I have been dying to use for ages, but didn't know what they would be useful for - now I know.

Here are a few more pictures including a close-up of the Crab's glittery eyes -

I do have a part 3 - but that will be posted at some point next week once I have finished the Lavender sachets.

Over the weekend I am aiming to show you some of the children's cards I've made, that I am really pleased with, I had a genius idea and think it has worked out well.

Have a great weekend.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Making to give..part 1

I love making things that are going to be given to friends / family as gifts, it means I take extra special care, use my favourite things and dig out parts of my stash that I have been saving as 'special' - why do we crafter's do that? I guess it's a bit like saving shoes for 'best'?

As well as trying out new things this weekend, I also started making some things to give to friends / family - for no particular reason. I am just hooking up with lots of people I haven't seen in a while and I like to give gifts, even more than I like receiving them. Also the bonus of handmaking stuff for people is no matter how much they hate it, they don't have the heart to tell you :)

First up is today's main picture, which is of a set of 6 cards, that I made for my friend Lucy (not my Sister-in-Law). She quite likes earthy tones and so I wanted to make something for her that reflected that. When I was re-arranging the craft room, I stumbled upon a box of embellishments that I had bought about 5 years ago when I started crafting! I love them, but they have always been difficult to work with.

I decided that what the embellishments needed was a bit of a fussy background which I felt would tone them down a bit. I used my Martha Stewart punch around the page loopy border set and some over elaborate V&A papers and I think the results are simple but impressive. Below are a few more photos for you.

Tomorrow, I'll be posting part 2 of my making to give activities - using an old favourite - the Martha Stewart Crab punch - yay!


Monday, June 18, 2012

Crafting with new tools!

Hi, hope you all had a nice weekend.

I lost my voice and so had a very relaxing and quiet weekend - bar the trip to the local dump and the charity shop!

I have recently acquired a few new bits and bobs and decided I'd spend this weekend trying them all out. Today's main picture is of the masses of tags, that I die cut using my new xcut set of tags and nameplates die set. It's great, I think it makes standard printed wording zing to life. I also cut some plain coloured versions for use with peel offs.

They are actually quite straightforward to use, but I had to develop a little technique, so I can see how the wording looks through the aperture! An hour later, several errors and some sticky tape, I now have a technique that works.

This is a cheap and easy way of creating sentiment tags for cards and gifts.

Previously I had purchased a set of Spellbinders Nestibilities Labels Four and had spent a rainy afternoon die cutting a stack of these. Below is a picture of these combined with one of the tags from the main picture.

So, I had this beautifully layered sentiment, that looks wonderfully professional - what to do with it?! Make a card of course (duh!). I am so over the moon with the card that I made (below) - which was all based around the sentiment, it took me quite awhile, as I was being very fussy about the flowers and the buttons, but I think it was worth it - now who do I give it to?

This weekend was great, I made so many things - started the Lavender sachet project - and I managed to take all the photos, that I should have ample material for blogging this week - yay! Nearly everything I did this weekend involved a new tool or something that I'd forgotten about - you know what the new tools for this post were, but the forgotten element is buttons. Mine had been so hidden away in the previous craft room configuration, I generally couldn't be bothered to get them down. Now that I have relocated them to a handy position, they are being used a lot!

My final card for today uses the blank tags I mentioned earlier - die cut before I started making the card and it fits the colour scheme perfectly. I also used the fave Stampin' Up Bird Builder punch and the new Martha Stewart punch around the page flower.
This card is based on an idea that I saw in Cardmaking and Papercraft this month. I modified it, as I wanted it to be easier to make! All the papers used were free with magazines and are from my scrap bin, the flower is a foam one with a pearl in the middle, sentiment is a coloured peel-off and I whipped out the crop-a-dile to add eyelets. I'd gone off eyelets for a while, but as you will see over the course of this week, they came back with a vengeance over the weekend!

Hope you have had good start to your week too.

Fingers crossed I can get another post out tomorrow - whoo hoo!


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

Today is Father's Day here in the UK, I doubt I'll be seeing my Dad today as he is a busy bee!

I thought I'd dedicate today's post to my Dad (and the beautiful card I made him).

I think my Daddy rocks, he is awesome in so many ways, he has a great sense of humour, he's fun, he can eat me under the table, he's great with the many animals we own as a family, he loves music and sport, he is a pretty sharp dresser too and has always been there for me, no matter how crazy I get!

My love of music and all things sport definitely come from my Dad. His tastes in music cover all genres and there isn't much he won't listen too - he might not like it all, but he gives it all a chance - which is more than I do! My parents refer to Hubby and I as 'old farts' because of our musical tastes. I too love music and I like a pretty broad spectrum of stuff, which most certainly comes from my Dad. Sport is a big deal for him, he loves to watch all kinds of sport. I love Football, Basketball and American Football - I feel that 3 sports is enough for any one girl!

Partly our love of Football stems from the fact that he runs a Sunday League team with some old friends - Kenningwell FC has been a part of their lives for a long time and has been with me my whole life, the team was formed in 1967 and 45 years later they are still going strong. Watching Kenningwell play, has taught me a lot about friendship and team work, but most of all it has taught me how to scream like a banchee when my team are doing good and bad!

Below is a picture of the team in the early 80's - My Dad is 4th from the left in the standing row!

Today's main picture, is the card I have made for my Dad to celebrate Father's Day - I saw the idea in a magazine (Quick Cards I think) and modified it slightly as it had some twine and the 'D' stood for Dad, but as I call mine Daddy, I had to change that. The papers are from Michael's, the 'D' is from Hema in Amsterdam and the eyelets are by Papermania. I think it's a very masculine card. I had fun making it and I'll be trying the idea for other occasions.

Happy Father's Day Daddy - with much love.


Friday, June 15, 2012

$20 Craft Challenge

I've talked about this a lot, in part because it was my genius idea! But also because it's great to get new craft items that are chosen for you by a fellow crafter.

JT did a great job with the $20 she spent on me.

I got - a Martha Stewart punch anywhere on the page scalloped flower punch - it's wonderfully versatile, as you can see from the main picture and the one below.

I've enjoyed using it with my scalloped circle punch and I'll be trying it in the centre of a card soon!

I also got the wonderful ribbons (shown below), so me in the choice of patterns and the best bit is they were chosen by JT's Dad - how awesome is that.

My final item was a set of hilarious cat stickers, but I'll be turning those into cards for Auntie Connie, so you'll see them then.

No doubt, you'll be seeing more of the ribbons and the punch in future items!

It's a fun idea - I highly recommend doing this with your craft buddy, it makes gift giving even better.


p.s happy that I can post this today, now my internet has been restored!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

New York, New York....


Well, Hubby and I had lots of fun in NYC, hanging out, watching bball, eating food, getting drunk, doing a small bit of sight seeing and shopping.

The shopping part was much fun and I particularly enjoyed my visit to Michael's - I bought a lot of new items for my stash. The best part was the purchasing of items for the $20 craft challenge that JT and I did - I will show you later in the week, what I made with her purchases for me.

I thought quite a bit about what would be good for JT and ended up buying her lots of papers (as I knew she had a limited weight allowance), inks, stamps, a Martha Stewart glue pen (the best there is) and a few other random goodies. She was very pleased and I think she'll be blogging about what she has made with them later on in the week too.

I am looking forward to doing the craft challenge again, it was fun and made me focus in the store!

Lots of things have happened upon our return, some good, some bad, but I'll tell you more about that in a couple of weeks.

Today's main picture was taken by me on the Brooklyn Bridge during our walk across it on a very sunny Saturday morning.