Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Playing Around with Foil.......

I am so bad - I haven't even been here to wish you all a very happy new year. Put it down to the usual seasonal ailments and a hectic couple of weeks. Anyway, here I am.......and of course I wish you all a happy, healthy and peaceful new year

I thought I would share my thoughts on a new 'toy' - the
 Spellbinders Glimmer Hot Foil System, this post is the result of my very first efforts, literally snapping away as I went, so it's a honest commentary on my first impression. I didn't do a video, as there are so many professional ones out there that do a much better job than I could. There is a good one that explains the process HERE

The box contains everything you need to get started....the machine itself, a spacer plate and shim, some foil, and some accessories.....There is a rubber mat for your hot plates to cool down, and some nifty little magnetic tweezers to lift the hot plates off the machine. You get a couple of rolls of foil, and two foiling plates, a pretty floral wreath, and a Best Wishes sentiment






 To get started, simply switch on your machine,
wait for the platform light to glow green. Place
Your foiling plate onto the rubber platform face
up, switch on the timer and wait for it to stop 
flashing.........

 Now cut foil to size and place it (coloured side down) onto the hot plate. Cover with your card, the grid markings on the rubber surface make it easy to align your card. Place the shim and spacer plate on top. Now the whole of the heated platform can be pulled out of the docking station and taken over to your die cutting machine (I keep mine next to each other so the whole process is seamless)
 Run the heated sandwich slowly 
through your die cutter. I understand
that most die cutting machines are
compatible with the system (apart from the Cuttlebug) 
 When you take away the shims, this is what your cardstock will look like.....
 Now simply peel away the foil, and you are left with this gorgeous foiled and impressed image. It actually has the appearance of foiled letterpress, just beautiful
 Don't waste the left over foil - put a piece of waste card over the rubber surface, then the cardstock you want to foil. Place the waste foil (you can see where the LOVE word in the photo above has left a negative in the foil.) Cover this with a couple of sheets of card, then the normal shims, and run through your machine as before........
 This time, you will get a gorgeous foiled background, with the negative showing in the background colour. Because I was just experimenting, I didn't cut my foil straight, or placed the foil plate centrally, but if I had done this, I reckon this would look fabulous on black cardstock 
 Lastly, I tried foiling using just a regular wafer thin die, I need to play around a lot more with this, but it opens up a whole new world of foiling. The little band on the left is a Spellbinders die called Romantic Agenda. I found that sentiment dies worked well, but forgot to take a photo. I think, with time, I will be able to look at a die and assess pretty accurately how it will look when foiled
So there you have it....lots of brownie points from me for this system. Most importantly, it is well designed, lightweight, only has a small footprint so isn't going to take precious space on my desk, and it works! Just like it should, straight out of the box.......

The foils are inexpensive as well, and each roll has 15 feet of foil. You can use tiny scraps for small sentiments as well. 

I suppose the only downside as far as I can see is the cost of building up a library of foiling plates, but they don't cost any more than regular dies. I think that this initial cost is offset by the fact that you can foil using regular dies, and, let's face it, that cost comes with any new bit of kit we get......I think I bought every embossing folder on the market when I got my first little Cuttlebug! I'm sure, like everything else, as more and more foiling plates are released, there will be sales, and special deals appearing

So I hope this has given you an insight - I just wish you could come round for a coffee and we could explore the Glimmer a bit more together....xx 

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Merry Christmas!

I needed a few more cards, and uncovered these Woodware stamps that I have owned for at least three years, they are favourites because of the bold lines - so easy to paper piece, which saves hours of colouring. You can see how they look very different when placed against different backgrounds......





I want to say thank you to all my friends who have sent me lovely handmade cards, in particular, those who are regular readers of this blog who have mailed cards - some all the way from the USA - I will take photos of them after Christmas (when I find my camera which seems to have disappeared along with the sellotape after my gift wrap frenzy....) So thank you MaryEllen, Sandra, Sandy, Cheryl, Bev, Linda, Heather,  Jane, ......you all made my day when they arrived

Finally, I am stepping away from the computer until after Christmas, I wish you all a joyous, Peaceful and happy day, sending love to you all - Enfys xx0xx


Friday, 7 December 2018

News.......

Good morning friends. You may notice a new logo on my sidebar - yes, I am on the Hobbycraft 2019 Papercraft design team. For my overseas friends, Hobbycraft is our only big box craft store here in the UK. Think Michaels with a British accent! Obviously, I am delighted/nervous/overwhelmed at the thought of this new challenge, but plan to tackle it head on and give it everything I've got....watch this space. I will be continuing to work for Fiskars, and the Fiskarettes UK page is thriving I am happy to say

Sharing a few of my Christmas card designs for this year....as always, mass producing is impossible for my grasshopper brain, the most I can churn out is four before terminal boredom steps in...




But the most tedious job is done, cards are written and posted. My most hated job of the year. Such a pleasure to make them, such a chore to get them out! Have a lovely weekend, see you next week x

Friday, 23 November 2018

Happy Thanksgiving - and a Pinecones tutorial

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends from the USA. How I wish I was there for the madness that is Black Friday, I found that so much fun when we were living in Florida.

Like most people, one of the things I am most grateful for is my family - although, of course we don't celebrate Thanksgiving, our turkeys are saved for Christmas! So I loved this photo of Alex and Dec taken just after they got married, being showered with confetti. I made this scrapbook page mimicking the confetti, by flicking black, white and pink acrylic paint onto the top portion of the page, and added a few sparkles. The sentiment is by Cricut, and the butterflies are a Fiskars punch


Talking of family, Molly, our little poppet will be two on Monday - born two days after my birthday, which is today...she is a joy!


Quite a few of you asked for instructions on how to make the pinecone ornament, here is a quick photo tutorial for you - I hope it makes sense.

You need a polystyrene/foam ball, some pins, and patterned Christmas paper - I used plain and pattern as you can see from the final photo, but they can be made in just one paper if you prefer. Cut the paper into 1" squares


Fold each square as shown below


Now pin the first four shapes as shown



Following the 'seam' on the pinned down layer, pin your next shapes about 1/2" down the ball



But this time, you only pin the bottom piece to secure, and leave the point unpinned. Add more squares in the same way in the spaces you can see (this is where I used a contrast paper). Now follow that first row as a pattern all the way down the ball, dropping each consecutive row by around 1/2". So each row will have eight points


When you are about halfway down, pin a length of ribbon on each side of the ball, allowing enough ribbon to form a loop at the top of the ball, carry on pinning your papers over this ribbon. When all your ball is covered, complete with more ribbon tied in a loopy bow. I find organza ribbon works best, rather than a stiff ribbon


Do share if you make some of these, I would love to see. Enjoy your weekend and if you are recovering from an excess of turkey and green bean casserole, I hope you have a restful time xx

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Deck the Halls......

I have a stall in the craft fair being held at our local village hall this year, so I have been having fun making ornaments. These first ones were made with half of one of those clear plastic baubles you can buy, I built up a little scene using Memory Box dies, and added some fake snow and glitter....




Then some of my favourite paper pinecone ornaments, I haven't made any of these for years, I forgot how much I love them!


I also made these fabric quilted ornaments, Definitely to be given away to the family rather than the craft stall - if I worked out the cost and time, people would need to take out a second mortgage to buy one 😂


But I enjoyed making these gift tags. a bit of texture paste, some funky handcut trees.....

 So many absorbing ideas for Christmas makes....I enjoy making this type of stuff more than cards at this time of year. But I am a grasshopper and leap from project to project! 


Carol gave me a gentle nudge that the photos on my sidebar are a little outdated....I had an email from my daughter in law the same day with these new photos of Kiki and Monty




Right, back to the hohoho craft cavern......

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Back in a colouring mood....

After months of hardly doing any colouring at all, I have been getting back in the swing - I forgot how relaxing it can be. This first card used the Splashing Puddles die by MFT and the sweet little girl from Rain or Shine stamp set. I have a thing about kids in shiny raincoats and little wellies, and I am on the hunt for some for Molly, so the boots and coat were given a coat of glossy accents


I'm really digging out my old stamps with this one, a Penny Black stamp, and a bit of paper piecing, I've always found it a useful stamp for a guy card


 I went with three friends to see A Star is Born. One of my friends had been and booked our seats for the 7.45 showing, we had been out for dinner, so were about five minutes late, but quite relaxed as those ads and trailers go on for ages before the film starts. But we walked in to a hushed cinema and the film had clearly started (big clue was Lady Gaga up there on the screen). The four of us slunk into our seats, and sat there for a couple of minutes before a penny dropped and we started whispering to each other 'this isn't the start of the film I don't think' ......so one of us went off to investigate, she was gone ages, by which time the remaining three had sat through the saddest part of the film, without having a clue what was going on (we knew it was sad because lots of people were crying). In tiptoed our investigator, it turned out that despite asking for the 7.45 tickets when she booked, they had given her tickets for the 5.15 show, which we turned up for right at the end. So (probably to the intense annoyance of everyone else in the place) we shuffled out, went and had a coffee and returned for the start of the next show.
The downside of this was that after we had seen the film from the start, when it got to the really sad bit that we had seen before, we were consumed with hysteria at the ridiculousness of the whole evening, so when the rest of the theatre were sobbing and dabbing their eyes, we were sitting there with shoulders shaking with mirth.
The film was very good by the way. Look out for a really sad bit towards the end

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

So many Candles............

I have quite a few close friends who are hitting milestone birthdays in the next few months, so I decided to build up a little stock of cards, and pulled out some of my Art Impressions stamps and settled down to a bit of colouring.
They are quite hard to find here in the UK, but I found a good selection HERE on Amazon





Since I am a bit of a 'matchy matchy' dresser, and feel a bit uncomfortable wearing colours that don't 'go', I unleash my inner rebel with these stamps, and really enjoy giving the ladies wild coloured clothes and hair - all the cards have a liberal dose of sparkle on the clothes as well (Wink of Stella pen), and if I knew how to draw leopard skin patterns, these ladies would definitely be up for that! How about you? Do you match, or don't you care as long as you feel good?

Monday, 24 September 2018

Spellbinder Wine Snippets Ideas......Cheers!

I love this set by Spellbinders, called Wine Snippets, I am finding it really versatile, especially for male cards. I am not implying that all men do nothing but sit around drinking wine, but if a chap has no hobbies, can't be let loose in the garden because he thinks any yellow flower is a weed and pulls it up....falling back on a bottle of plonk to wish him a happy birthday seems like a safe route to follow!



For this first one, I cut out all the elements out of black cardstock, stuck onto white card base, then lightly coloured in some details with Polychromos pencils



The second card had the snippets cut out of
white card, which I just inked with
 distress inks 
 I can't make up my mind which look I like best, but I have a few more ideas I can't wait to try

I am on a bit of a mission at the moment to stock up on cards that I never seem to have on hand when I need them - usually male cards and kids cards. I have also made a start on Christmas which
I feel a bit smug about. But for now,
it's back to those Wine Snippets ......

Thursday, 13 September 2018

A new type of embossing.....

Those clever people at Spellbinders have come up with a clever idea - an embossing folder that embosses and cuts small details in one pass. For the first card, I inked the embossing folder with distress inks before running it through my machine, embossing it onto white card...I love the white lacy look, and the delicate little cut out centers of the flowers


 This next card was also embossed onto a white base, but this time I used a stencil brush to swirl a light layer of colour on top of the embossing, and added some black gems to the small flowers....



The last card was left white, but I cut diagonally across the blank space, and backed the whole piece with a gold foil - perfect for a golden wedding card. I like the way the gold shows off the delicate cut outs in the flowers 


So the children are all back at school for the new academic year - including a special first day for our family as Max has moved up to his secondary school


Good luck Max! His cousin Kiki is getting excited about her half term school trip - to New York! When did this upgrade in school trips start? When I was a kid I seem to remember getting excited about going on a bus to Tintern Abbey (which disappointingly was just a ruined heap of old stones when we got there). But these days, not only do they hop on transatlantic flights, they also have enticing offers of ski trips to the French Alps. I feel for the parents, it must be a lot of pressure for them, I'm rather thankful that the fashion for exotic trips hadn't really started when mine were at school. If any teachers are reading this, I don't really recommend Tintern Abbey as an alternative by the way (although it may have disintegrated altogether by now, it's a long time since I was at school!)

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

I'm Back!

Well this has been a bit of an extended hiatus, a break from blogging .....in all the years of writing this blog, I have never neglected it for this long before.
As I mentioned, Mike has had a lot of health problems over the past fifteen months, many hospital admissions and endless outpatient appointments at various hospitals. It has been a bit relentless, and something had to give, so I made an executive decision with the board of Going Buggy (me and the wall 😂) that I would be kind to myself and have a break over the summer, so I stepped down temporarily from a couple of design teams, and gave blogging a break.

I am happy to say that things are on a bit more of an even keel now, Mike is doing well, I am more relaxed and have developed a passion for gardening. I am grateful for many things, the wisdom and expertise of all the cardiac teams at various hospitals, having a husband who is uncomplaining, easygoing and stoic in very difficult circumstances, grateful for the gorgeous long sunny days we have had here this summer, and very grateful for all those of you who have been in touch with me when you were concerned by my silence. Thank you

But here I am, back again all set to go.....

I am just sharing a couple of cards made for Fiskars over the summer, but it has been a busy week in 'En's Den' and I have quite a few projects on the go to share with you now that I am getting back into the swing of things....




I hope you have all had a great summer - it's good to be back! xx

Friday, 6 July 2018

Elemental Inspiration - for Daring Cardmakers

My turn to set the challenge over on the Daring Cardmakers blog today, I chose this mood board of lovely sunshine yellow


My take was quite simple, for my three elements, I chose the window, shutters, and some fresh looking yellow flowers. I went backwards and forwards about a sentiment, but in the end decided to leave the front of the card without one, that way I can use it for pretty much any occasion by adding a sentiment to the inside


The window is the Shuttered Window die by Spellbinders, and the flowers are also by Spellbinders, from a past small die of the month set