Sunday, 19 March 2017

The apple of my eye.....


Often the inspiration for a card comes from finding an obscure little sentiment stamp lurking in my stash - quite often one of those dollar sets of Studio G stamps that I used to collect obsessively when we lived in Florida. So when I found the 'apple of my eye' stamp, it set me on a mission to make some apple cards.....


So I simply used my Fiskars punches and a bit of imagination to come up with these....


 I was a bit stumped when it came to apple pips, but found that the leaves on the vine continuous border punch were exactly the right size and shape - I love it when a plan comes together!


Talking of the apple of my eye ......here is our darling little Molly who we have had with us for a blissful four day visit. She is just four months old now, and the sweetest little baby, she smiles from dawn to dusk! 



Friday, 17 March 2017

St Patricks Day for Daring Cardmakers

The challenge this week was set by Lythan, who asked for green and a glimmer of gold to celebrate St Patricks Day - I dusted off my trusty Cricut and came up with this card.......I used a stencil for the background, which I did in orange to tie in with the Irish flag colours


and since we will soon have an Irish son-in-law, I couldn't waste the card, and sent it to Declan, who is flying home to Dublin for the weekend to celebrate in true Irish fashion. So happy St Patricks Day to all of you who are going to celebrate.......

Be sure to pop over to Daring Cardmakers to see what the rest of the design team came up with, and do join in with the dare, we would love to see what you come up with

Thursday, 16 March 2017

A bit of a hiatus........

There has been a bit of a hiatus in the craftroom this week as I press on with getting wedding invitations made - our daughter is getting married in six months time, and the weeks seem to be flying by so I have settled down to the most boring type of crafting - repetition and me don't do well together!

So I am sharing a couple of makes from workshops at the recent Stitches trade fair. This first one was made using a Woodware stamp.........



and this hanging tag is the result of a fun workshop with the fabulous Andy Skinner.....


So tomorrow I have Alex and baby Molly visiting for a few days. Expect photos! 
We are having a bit of a multi generational girls outing - wedding dress shopping is the order of the day, so I may just burst with excitement......

Friday, 3 March 2017

My turn to set the dare.....

It's my turn to set the dare over on Daring Cardmakers this week, and I chose this wonderfully calm and cool home decor photo - lots of elements to choose from here, the neutral tones, wood, those square window panes, the rectangle framed photo, stripes....what would you choose?


For my three elements, I chose the overlapping circles of the coffee tables, a geometric black and white, and that vase with a pop of the yellow colour


Working from this photo made me realize how much I love the clean and uncluttered look of today's home decor. Having lived through various home fashion eras - at one stage every room in my house had matching curtains and wallpaper, and a fair few Austrian blinds bunched up at the windows, I thought I was so trendy (well, I probably was back in the eighties!), not to mention an even earlier phase of dark brown walls and splashy Heals curtains with huge orange poppies - I now love clean and simple (within limits), the problem being that all those past trends means that you never quite start again with a clean slate, but have to adapt the STUFF you gather as you wander through life......so my house will never be quite as cool, calm and collected as the room in the photo, as all my treasures, gathered over the years (heavily edited now, but still loved) can't be shoved into a cupboard and forgotten. Like most things, it's all about finding a balance....

Friday, 24 February 2017

Tear it up - for Daring Cardmakers

The dare this week over at Daring Cardmakers was 'tear it up' and here is what I came up with..... I tore out a page of an old A - Z (it happens to be my hometown)



and here is the final card, I rather like it! The little metal car is a brad I picked up in Frankfurt at the trade show four years ago, I knew it would come in handy one day.....



So in the middle of the bleak midwinter, our boiler packed up. The guy came, shook his head sorrowfully, did that pursed lips thing that tradesmen do when they are going to give you bad news, and announced the demise of the boiler. So on a day when gale force winds have swept the UK, we have had all exterior doors open, no heat and no hot water. It will be Saturday before the new boiler is up and running. Feeling just a bit miserable......well, a lot miserable actually.  

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

CHSI Trade Show.......

It's been a busy few days, time for the big UK trade craft show. I wasn't working, just a visitor, wandering around making a nuisance of myself and catching up with friends in the craft industry. I got a gift - Diane from my Fiskarettes design team made me my own little pincushion, like a little voodoo doll monster. I guess when I am tearing my hair out over a project that is going a bit haywire, I can take my frustrations out on my new desk buddy!


 I did go along to help set up the Fiskars stand. It looked pretty good when we stepped back to admire it.....
 Me with my Fiskarettes team mate Diane Williams, who is a permanent member of the team and a huge support to me, I haven't got a photo of Keren Baker, also on the team who was demoing the sewing tools on the stand - it was great to meet up in person at last with these two, who keep me sane when the going gets tough! Here is Diane again with my BFF Kath Stewart, longtime member of the Fiskars family......................



 This was a stunning applique piece

 Fancy knitting a tree anyone? Yes, the whole of
this display was knitted!






The quilts on display were stunning




and as always, the Paper Artsy
card displays were very inspiring.....

Friday, 17 February 2017

Geometric - for Daring Cardmakers

Once again I am being stretched by the Daring Cardmakers challenge, this week it was Leo daring us to make something geometric. Now since I am the very opposite of a maths genius, in fact, I am rather obtuse about angles, this took a bit of thinking about....

I started out with some black card, and added strips of masking tape in a pattern that looked sort of geometric...


 Then I used a Versamark pad to ink each little section individually, and sprinkled different coloured WOW embossing powder onto each section, heating each bit as I went along.....



When I peeled off the masking tape....ta da..it looks geometric to me. It looks a bit somber in the photo but is gorgeously gleaming in real life. This will definitely be a card for one of the guys. Do pop over to DCM see how the team tackled this weeks dare, and do try and join in - I dare you!


I recently found a white on clear tape for my Brother P touch label maker, and am in love with it - I can now type sentiments and put them onto black or dark cardstock and they really pop. I love this tool! 

The road repair guys sat and stared at the rushing water for a full day - well, it was raining, they probably didn't want to get wet. But before they went home, they set up temporary traffic lights right outside our house, and barriers around a bare patch of tarmac. Why? But next day, they had obviously had their porridge for breakfast and were full of energy, a large hole was dug, they shouted instructions to each other all day and seemed to have an inexhaustible supply of tea coming from somewhere - it certainly wasn't from me, my usual warmth and kindness towards my fellow humans had vanished as my exasperation grew the previous day. So all is well, the torrent has stopped, although the water seems to have made rather a large pothole in the road - shall I call the council? No, let's leave it for now.....I need time to get over the flood first 

Friday, 10 February 2017

Mirror Mirror - for Daring Cardmakers....

This weeks dare over on Daring Cardmakers is to use something shiny or reflective - now once again this was a bit of a challenge for me, I don't use much mirri card at all, not really my style, and it is so darn difficult to photograph as well, but I came up with this using a Memory Box die....



It's one of those negative dies, so it was easy just to back it with gold card, and I punched out a few little hearts to scatter around. I thought it would make a great Golden Wedding Anniversary card......


So there is clearly a blocked drain or something in the road outside our house, a mini torrent of water has been flowing down the road for days now. We called the water board, they came and surveyed, scratching their heads, then there was no action for days, while the water continued to puddle outside our drive. Today, big action......four vans and eight guys turned up, laden with very important stuff like barriers to close the road off. And Action............
No, they have been sitting in their vans for five hours as I write this, the water continues to flow, and they continue to stare at it. Sometimes I despair...........

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Love - and my Valentine!

Over on the Fiskarettes UK Facebook page, the design team have been coming up with their ideas for Valentines this week, hop over and take a look. Here's mine, using some brand new corner punches and a new intricate shape LOVE word punch (love that font!)


and talking of love, here is my little sweetheart Molly, looking very serious.....


but she is the happiest little baby. Every day she wakes up smiling, happy and at just ten weeks old very very chatty! It's 'YAY! It's a lovely new day! let's have a gurgle and a coo about that.......' So she got the chatty gene from me, but definitely not the happy morning gene - I need at least two cups of coffee before I can summon up a smile in the morning!

See you tomorrow with my latest dare for Daring Cardmakers.... xx

Friday, 3 February 2017

What a dare!.....

So this week the dare over on Daring Cardmakers was this inspirational photo - Crikey! What to do with that? But a dare is a dare............



You have to incorporate three elements, so I picked out the tiny metal hexagon shapes, the colour orange, and two shades of embossing powder to represent the different metals - a copper and a gold, both by WOW. I decided to make it a get well card that would be suitable for a male....


Not quite sure what happened to the colour in this next photo, totally bleached out, but it gives more of a close up view of all that stamping I did!


How would you tackle this challenge? Pop over to Daring Cardmakers to see what the rest of the design team came up with, and join in the fun.......

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Easy Pop Up Card....

Here's how to make an easy card with a bit of a wow when you open it......

Punch or die cut some shapes - I used the Fiskars intricate shape butterfly punch, you could use hearts, flowers, stars.....



Fold your shapes in half.....


add just a tiny dab of strong glue to a wing tip


now stack them, wing tip to wing tip, glueing each wing as you go. I used a clothes peg to hold them together while they dried...


Now you have a little line of shapes, all stuck together. Carefully stretch them out on the inside of the card, and attach with a dab of glue to the underside of the wings on each end...

 Now when you open your card, the butterflies will hang suspended across the card....


Decorate the front of your card.....


So I had a bit of a retail experience. I wandered into M & S to look at the shoes (for American friends, M & S is a store which would probably relate most to Target in the USA). I had bought some brown ankle boots from another store, which looked great, but are quite heavy to wear, so although they looked good, I feel a bit like Frankensteins monster clomping around. Time to look and try a few pairs on, feeling a bit guilty, because the brown clompers were expensive, and very new......I've only worn them a couple of times
So I wandered around trying stuff on, getting up to see the effect in the mirror, wandering off to get another pair off the shelf. I was in shoe heaven for about 30 minutes, until common sense kicked in and I thought 'I really don't need these when I have an almost new pair of brown ankle boots already.....
So I ambled back to the chair where I had left my brown clompers. They were nowhere to be seen. Bemused, I looked all around all the chairs, even looked on the shelves in case someone had put them there. 
After standing in my socks, without any staff around to ask, I decided to head to the tills (registers) to ask...................???? what? What could I ask? 'Excuse me, has anybody handed in a pair of brown boots, I seem to have lost them' How was I going to get home? I would have to walk across town to get to the car park, in my socks....
Panic set in
Then I spotted a woman browsing some sweaters - she was clutching my boots to her bosom! 'Excuse me, can I have my boots please?' I asked politely.....
She clutched them a little tighter, protectively shielding them with her body
'What! I am buying these!' she replied 
I wish I could say that we both had a merry little laugh about it, and went chuckling on our way, but I really did have quite a job persuading her that they were indeed my boots and that I wasn't in the habit of going shopping wearing socks and no shoes. She didn't take the news well. She had bonded with my boots, I half expected her to burst into tears as she had to hand them over...and human nature being what it is, now that I know I am the owner of such desirable footwear, I am looking at them in a totally new light

Friday, 20 January 2017

Sewing - for Daring Cardmakers

So the dare over at Daring Cardmakers this week is SEWING, I had a couple of ideas for this one.......


All these plans included getting the sewing machine up and running - but in the end, laziness prevailed, and I resorted to a bit of hand stitching. I did use the MFT stitched background die and the flower is by Clearly Besotted. I did a few ink splatters as well to break up the white



Do go over and get some inspiration from the design team, and I dare you to join us.....

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Messing around with tiny stamps.....

I've been playing around with some tiny flower stamps - the sort you get as fillers in all sorts of stamp sets - a lot of them came from those little Studio G dollar stamps that I collected a ton of, just for the sentiments

So I cut a heart out of some Cricut vinyl, and used it as a mask, be sure to stamp right up to, and over the edges of the heart so that you get a crisp outline


then I used the positive heart to cover up the stamping, and brushed some Sea Glass ink by Simon Says Stamp around the heart....


and here is the finished card - I added a few tiny heart sequins and a bit of Wink of Stella clear glitter for a bit of shine


and using pretty much the same stamps, I punched a partial circle to frame a sentiment on this next card, and stamped the flowers around the frame



I have been holed up in the warm here during a spell of bitterly cold weather - somewhere in my DNA I share some genetic traits with a dormouse - if I could, I would just hibernate, bury myself under a duvet and come up blinking and needing an urgent visit to my hairdresser when Spring arrives.....but as that can't happen, I just wrap up like Nanook of the North, spend a fortune on various bits of thermal clothing that nobody will ever see (and wouldn't want to, believe me!), grit my teeth and get on with it. Preferably indoors, preferably with the heating turned to max, that way I will get through the misery until those daffodils and crocus start popping up through the frozen ground. Now all this talk of cold has made me even colder. Hot chocolate anyone?

Friday, 13 January 2017

NEW - for Daring Cardmakers

The dare over on Daring Cardmakers today is 'NEW' so I decided to try a new technique and made this card.......



I am a sucker for plaids and checks, so decided to make my own colourful background using inks and painters low tack masking tape. Firstly, I masked off the back of the card to keep it clean (I'm a messy inker!)


 Then I put down diagonal strips of masking tape, and started inking in between the strips......



Move the strips over and ink again in another colour, you can overlap the inking a bit, and leave some white space....


Carry on until your card front is covered 


Then apply the strips in the opposite direction and start inking again....



and here are a couple more cards made with more colourful check backgrounds



Do hop over to Daring Cardmakers and see what the rest of the design team came up with, and play along with the dare to try something new.....