Friday, 16 February 2018

Time for a Break.....

This week it was my turn to set the challenge over on Daring Cardmakers blog, I chose a theme of 'Take a Break' -  use what ever gets you going again in the mid morning slump, when breakfast seems hours ago, and it's too early for lunch. Is it coffee? A refreshing cup of tea? A sneaky doughnut? For me, it has to be coffee, I seem to need gallons of the stuff in the morning, just to wake me up! Mind you, if there was a doughnut shop within walking distance, they would feature in a big way as well!

So here's my card, stamp by Spellbinders

Whatever you are doing this weekend, have a good one......we have family staying, Kiki and Monty are on half term, so enjoying them, and Sunday sees the opening of the trade craft show at the NEC, so you can look forward to lots of photos on the latest from the UK craft scene next week...

Monday, 12 February 2018

Get Well Soon - Spellblogger post for Spellbinders

Pretty get well cards today made with the new Marisa Job die called Get Well Soon Scalloped Circle from Spellbinders

The flowers were cut with Foamiran using a set of small flower dies from a past 'small die of the month club' (check out these clubs, they are great value and you get some really super dies to play with each month. Look HERE for details) 

Here is the same die  - this time I cut twice, once in white and once in gold card. I layered the white scallop circle on top of the gold, and added a white pierced circle for the sentiment. A die cut butterfly in gold finished it nicely....

See the die HERE in the Spellbinders store
Have you tried Foamiran? Fascinating stuff, a very thin foam, which you can die cut. I used white for my flowers and added colour by sponging on some oil based pastels. The fascination comes when you heat the foam (either by a hot air gun, or my preferred method of pressing the foam onto the plate of an iron set to a low setting, with no steam), and the petals curl and twist in a very natural way. You can get all sorts of colours, but I just use white and cream and add colour myself. Mine came from Amazon

Friday, 9 February 2018

Cosy Home - for Daring Cardmakers

This week on Daring Cardmakers,  the dare was set by Miri - her title is 'Cosy Home'

So here is a card that needs no special equipment apart from your trimmer, simple shapes cut out of patterned paper and assembled into three little houses on my card. I did punch out the gold heart, and added a stamped sentiment from Simon Says Stamp

Talking of cosy homes, could there be a worse week than this for the boiler (furnace for American friends...) to fail. 'it's a bit nippy this morning' I said, pulling on a second sweater. Two hours later 'it's REALLY cold today', going to warm my hands on the radiator. Only then did the penny drop, the radiators were stone cold. Luckily the guy who fitted a new boiler last year was working in a house just up the road, and came along in his lunch break to do some mysterious fiddling around with the controls, and everything fired up again.

 It made me think though, when I was a child, we had no central heating at all, I remember the patterns of the frost on the inside of the windows on a cold winter's day. My mum used to warm our clothes overnight on an airer in front of the range fire. Considering my early years, I should have grown up into some Spartan like hardy person, one of those women who wanders around in mid winter in a tee shirt.  Instead of which, by October I am wearing at least three layers, and making an art form of furtively turning up the heating thermostat while nobody is around! I could happily live in a tropical climate - no wonder I loved Florida so much.....

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Splashing Puddles.....

A couple of cards made with  the lovely Memory Box Splashing Puddles die 

For this first one I inked the background, and added a cute little stamp by Inky Antics that I won as a door prize,  years ago, at a crop in Orlando. I knew as soon as I saw the die that the stamp would be perfect!

using the same die and inked background, but this time I dug out an old Penny Black stamp - those little frogs look really happy bouncing around in those puddles....this one will probably go to one of the grandchildren when I want to send an encouraging or 'well done' little note

Talking of happy, I wandered down the garden today to look at a fence panel that looks a bit battered after recent strong winds, and there, pushing up bravely through the frosty earth were some snowdrops, and signs of crocus and daffodils following on as well. Does anything lift the heart more on a cold February day than the thought that Spring is on it's way?  

Friday, 2 February 2018

New Daring Cardmakers Challenge......

Over on Daring Cardmakers this week, Dawn set the challenge with this elemental inspiration photo - be sure to pop over there to see what the design team came up with

I chose the large letter, balloons and the red, black and coral colours as my three elements for my card

A few of you have asked how Molly is coming along - the answer to that is totally adorable! Now a curly haired little poppet, she smiles and giggles her way through every day - joy!

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Layers of Floral - Spellblogger post for Spellbinders

Here's a nifty idea - the clever designers at Spellbinders designed this die called Layers of Floral - You get three dies, all of which can be stacked together, or even in different combinations......I couldn't wait to get started!

The photo below shows
 the base and middle layers

Here are the two flower layers stacked without the base layer........

and a finished card, using all three dies - a base of gold foil card, solid flower in navy, and the top layer in pale blue. I also used the Hemstitch Rectangles as a base for the card

This next card is an aperture card, with the pretty floral design as a lacy insert into the frame - for this card I left out the more solid base die, to get the pretty lacy effect (difficult to photograph!)

and lastly, another card using all three layers, with a bit of a twist. Base layer in sage green, middle layer in mid green, and the top layer cut twice in yellow. I cut out just the flowers from the yellow panel, and added them with a tiny foam pad on top of the completed panel - it gives even more dimension

Here's a look at the dies, which you can see HERE on the Spellbinders site

Friday, 26 January 2018

Masked Magic - for Daring Cardmakers

This week, over on Daring Cardmakers, the challenge is masking....I kept it fairly simple and stamped this little group of tigers (MFT stamps), while they were covered with their masks, I sponged a bit of colour onto the background, and decided to stamp the Grr and Roar sentiments around the frame. There was a bit of a gap on the bottom left side of the frame, so I stamped a little leaf and cut it out to fill the gap. They were coloured with Polychromos pencils (a medium I am still getting used to, but enjoying playing with them)

I always think there is something a bit magical about masking - stamp a little tiger, cover him with a mask, and stamp mum and dad tigers behind him. When the masks are removed it's always a bit of a surprise to see them all sitting together in a little group! Or is that just me? Do pop over to see what the rest of the team have come up with this week

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Toolbox Step Card for Spellblogger/Spellbinders

Having fun with this die! I wanted to see if I could make a male card, the Toolbox set was a perfect addition to the Baby Step Block Card, I found the little screw brads in my stash, they look great on the toolbox. The letters were cut from the very useful alphabet from a past die of the month club (April). Read about all the monthly clubs HERE

I added a few extra tools to the little steps - well that's where I put stuff when I'm attempting to hang a picture, or some DIY project......

Here are the dies I used for this project

Dashing off to get a grip on some deadlines now - mind you, playing with paper is a pleasure when the weather outside is so cold. Ask Alexa for music...a bit of chocolate.....paper and ink, what could be better? 

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Baby Step Block Card - Spellblogger post for Spellbinders

Good morning!  Today I am sharing a couple of cards made with the gorgeous Baby Step Block Card by Spellbinders

First up is this sweet little baby boy card. I love all the little elements that come with the die, the dummy, little onsie, duck, rattle, sweet, and you get the letter dies to spell boy and girl as well. You just cut out two of the main step elements, that fit together perfectly, all done for you, no scoring, no measuring.......and it folds flat for mailing as well!

Of course, I couldn't leave it there. I was anxious to see how I could use the step card for all sorts of other cards as well, here's the first one I came up with, using the lovely Corner Poppies die, which I cut in white and again in red. I coloured the leaves with Polychromos pencils, and added the cut out red blooms to the piece. I wanted an accent for the steps, so I found the Tiny Floral die, and just cut out the tiny squares 

Here are the die sets I used.......

Baby Block Step Card

Corner Poppy Die

Tiny Floral

I have another idea buzzing around in my head, hopefully I will get it done tomorrow - how would you use your step card?

Friday, 19 January 2018

Black, White and a pop of colour.....

Good morning! Today over on Daring Cardmakers, the dare was set by Kathy who challenged us to use black and white with a pop of colour. I dug out some of the dies that came in my unexpected gift from a blog friend - I think I may have gone overboard a little on the stitched die thing, but I couldn't wait to use them!

The wonky rectangle dies are by MFT, the daisies are stitched daisies from Simon Says Stamp. I love the look of the red centers against the black and white, do you? Do go over to see what the rest of the team came up with for the challenge, and don't forget to join in if you can

It's been a bit of a cold week here in more ways than one, I have picked up a winter cold, so have spent the last couple of days snuffling and sneezing, if Rudolph hadn't retired until next Christmas, I would have been a good addition to Santa's team with my very unattractive bright red nose! 

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Fiskars makes......

I recently organised a collaboration on
the Fiskarettes UK facebook page with a company called Katy Sue Designs, who had the really neat idea of bringing out a pad called Adventures in Paper Cutting. All you need is a sharp craft knife, and you can make beautiful paper cuts like these - I found it very relaxing, and a bit addictive! The first one, on the right here, I made into a card against a distress oxide background. The second one was a bit more ambitious, and I framed it in one of these floating frames, which when hung on my purple heather dining room wall, looked quite striking 
I also did a post for the Fiskarettes page on making chevrons out of the hexagon punch.......I love finding multiple uses for the same tools...I think the photos explain the process, just make sure you cut a strip of card the same width as the punch opening

 and as I needed a card for a teenager, the end result really fit the bill!

Last in the line up for today is this one, made with Fiskars three in one corner punch - I chose the little butterfly corner, and cut some ombre coloured squares - but then the tiny punched butterflies were so cute, I made a little flight of butterflies across the card. I even used the tiny punched dots as embellishments. Waste not, want not as my granny used to say

I also rather like the lined envelope I made (well I didn't make the envelope, just the lining). I'm on a bit of a mission to use up some of my mountain of scraps, so think I may sort out ugly paper and use them inside envelopes. Or that may be another resolution that bites the dust before January is even over....

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Happy New Year!

Kicking off the last day of 2017 with a couple of poppy cards, made with the Corner Poppies die from Spellbinders. In both cards, I used the Ornate Labels One 3D embossing folder for the background - the first time I have used it, and I just love the deeply etched crisp embossing. The first card was cut twice, in white and red card. I coloured the white leaves and stems with pencils, then cut out just the flowers and buds from the red. The sentiment is by Clearly Besotted

This one looks quite different I think, the poppy die was cut just once in white, and the whole thing was shaded softly with pencils

A very happy new year to you all. This year has been a difficult one for us, as Mike has had a few months of ill health. Thankfully he was well enough to enjoy the family at Christmas, and continues to improve a little

My last photo for this year is this one of me and Molly, now thirteen months old, I was dropping them off at the airport for their Boxing Day flight to Dublin when she decided she didn't want me to go and dive bombed into my arms, clinging on like a little limpet!

So thank you to all of you who continue to visit me here to listen to my ramblings, and give me more support and encouragement than you will ever know. I wish you happiness, health and happy crafting in 2018 xxx

Friday, 8 December 2017

Filling up the Christmas Card Box.........Spellblogger post

A bunch of Spellbinder Christmas cards today. I have been busy churning out Christmas cards. This first one was made using the Majestic Labels Twenty Five Nestability die set. It's on clearance, at a great price.  It's quite fancy for me, but I rather like the contrast between the silver card, and the burgundy. The holly was cut with the Jolly Holly set, and the JOY word from the Ho Ho Ho set (the sentiments on each of the cards comes from this set)

The second one was cut with the Bird Call set, I cut it twice in white and red, backed the white with black card. The birds were cut out of the red. I wanted red to make cards for my American friends - the Cardinal is a symbol of Christmas there, here in the UK it's a robin. I discovered to my surprise when I lived in Florida, that the robin heralds the Spring in the USA. Who would have thought, they obviously like being here for Christmas, then move on when they have had enough of the rain.........This die is useful, I can see ways to use it year round (and it's on sale......)

This last one is a favourite, made with one of the new sets called 
Gilded Ornaments, it is going to become a Christmas classic in my collection. Isn't it pretty?

I guess it's time for me to stop making, and start writing these cards. How are your Christmas makes coming along?

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Blog Friends.....

 I had a wonderful surprise the other day, a long term reader of this blog is giving up crafting for health reasons. She cleared out her craft room, and a parcel arrived from the USA FILLED with dies and stamps that she gifted to me. It was like my birthday and Christmas rolled into one. She has asked me not to publish her name, which I will respect, but I wish there was a way I could say thank you - apart from a thank you card which is already on it's way. I was so touched that she should think of me, and make such a generous gift.

Here are some cards made with one of the dies, MFT Diagonal Quilt Square Cover Up Die (which you can get HERE if you are interested). I cut a whole bunch out in various cardstock and papers, then had fun piecing them altogether. These four cards took only half an hour to assemble

Then sadly, almost at the same time that this surprise parcel arrived, I had the sad news that one of my blog friends had passed away. Right from the start, Joan was a regular here. She lived in Florida, some 100 miles away from where we lived, but one day she and Tom made the trip over to Hudson to see us for the day. What a day we had. We quickly learnt that we not only had crafting in common, but a lot of shared interests, love of family and pride in our grandchildren. She found out that Max, who was then about five was obsessed with fire engines, fire stations etc. She sent me some genuine USA fireman 
 badges, which I put into a frame for him - he still has it in his room today. The correspondence carried on over the years, I guess it was the modern equivalent of a pen pal. Now she has gone, and I felt a real sense of loss, and sadness for her much adored family. 

These two, unconnected events, a surprise parcel and memories of a friendship, made me realise that these connections that we make through blogging, and emails aren't always just fleeting connections, but genuine friendships and that we can make a difference to each others lives, I just wanted to say that I appreciate each and every one of you when you pop over to encourage me, and read my wafflings. Thank you

Enough! I'll be back tomorrow xx