Friday, 31 December 2010

A Happy New Year

No card today, just a warm wish to all of you for a very happy, healthy and creative year in 2011
I am still sniffling and sneezing my way around London. Yesterday I spent time with Kiki and Monty and we went to Toys R US to spend the Christmas gift money that was burning a hole in Kiki's pocket. As we drew up she said 'Carphone Warehouse is next door to Toys R Us Ma, that's very handy isn't it?'
'well yes, if you want to buy a new phone and some toys at the same time, it is very handy' I replied
'and a new car' she pointed out 'you could buy a new car, and a phone and some toys'
How on earth do you explain to a six year old that Carphone Warehouse doesn't actually sell cars.....................that's right, move on swiftly to the next subject.
Here they are, clambering in and out of a very pink princess playhouse at Toys R Us

New year resolutions? I always swing between making far too many totally unrealistic resolutions that are broken by the end of the first week in January, or thinking 'nah, I won't bother, I never keep them anyway'. This year I seem to be in a resolution making mood. As a lot of them involve housework in one way or another, I doubt they will even last a week. 'Oops' I will think as I clean the oven for the first time in the year (in April or thereabouts) 'I resolved to do this job every week this year'

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Oh dear....

I have fallen victim to one of the many bugs floating about the UK at the moment, and feel very sorry for myself. It's only a bad cold, not the flu thank goodness, but bad enough to make me feel rotten. So I am not firing on all cylinders this week, plus dashing back down to London for another visit. I long for a bit of peace and quiet to get back to a crafty day in my cupboard!
In the meantime, here's a card I made for Craftwork Cards. I used their beautifully foiled papers, and some of the coordinating die-cut flowers. The silver 'brads' in the centre of the flowers are some of their clever card candy - little domes of cardstock that you stick on with a foam pad.
Whilst you are browsing their site, look out for their brand new CD called Inspiring Your Passion. It's packed full of inspiring projects from the design team (mine is a party wreath).

There is a big sale on over at Funky Hand at the moment. Pop over there to pick up a bargain
It took me 4 1/2 hours to do a journey that normally takes about 2 hours today(back down to London). Nightmare. It had all the elements that you dread. Sleet, fog and ice. When I called at a garage for petrol, and went to pay, a woman dashing past in a hurry bumped into me with some force. She would have found her way around a bit better if she had taken her wrap-around sunglasses off. Sunglasses? She would have been better equipped with ski goggles.

Monday, 27 December 2010

My favourite cards from each month in 2010

Here are my favourite cards from 2010 - favourites for various reasons. Some pleased me because I thought I hit on an original idea, some were technically challenging and turned out quite well, some, well, I just liked the end result.

February - I LOVE shoe cards

- I was pleased with the way this idea panned out

April - after buying the Robotz cartridge, I struggled to know what to do with it, but have since made a few variations of this card for boys

May - for a sketch challenge on Penny Black Saturday challenge site. I like the clean simplicity of this one

June - for Craftwork Cards

July - I made this with the Cricut cri-kit pens, from Scrappy-go-Lucky, and was really pleased how they 'drew' the image. I was then able to colour it in with my Promarkers, much easier than fiddling around with those tiny cuts and glue.....

August - I loved this one, done for Funky Hand

September - for some reason this Polkadoodles card is one of my favourites, it was simple to make, but I love the look of the glossy accent raindrops

October - I don't mess around with new techniques very often these days, but I got really messy and paint spattered doing this one with Rangers acrylic paint daubers.

November - Alex's advent calendar has to be one of my favourite makes EVER

December - and this one is my favourite Promarker card of the year

What do you think? Did I choose well?
Christmas was a whirl of eating, laughing, opening gifts, and most of all, playing with those adorable grandchildren of mine. We scattered food for the reindeer with Kiki, put a new hat onto Monty which made his eyes look like bright blue saucers, opened presents with Max and was all quite delightful. I hope yours was too.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas to everyone

It's Max here - look what my Ma made for me. Milo, she didn't make one for you because you are too little. It's all mine.......................................

NO! Daddy, look, Milo is opening one of my drawers.................stop him Daddy!

No card from me today, I have been too busy chasing around doing last minute stuff, so this is a Christmas wish for all of you, I hope that you have a happy and joyous day, and that Santa has taken note that you have been very very good, and will bring you all the crafty goodies you wished for.

The snow has cleared enough for us to brave the drive down to London, we will get to see all the grandchildren, so that is all I wished for this Christmas. We will be back home on Boxing Day, and I fully intend to shut myself in my craft cupboard and get creating.

Merry Christmas my friends xx

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Card for a cool kid......

I finally got around to making a card with the image I coloured on one of my Promarker tutorial videos, and I must admit I quite like the finished card.
I used bazzill dotted kraft cardtock for the base, some random stripey paper, and the sentiment is handwritten.
Some Christmas musings.......
Why do I never learn from my mistakes? Every year, I spend a frustrating hour or two trying to untangle fairly lights so that they can be strung around the tree, muttering to myself that I will put them away tidily this year.........................................then, by the time the decorations are put away again, I am sick of looking at them, and hurl everything into the box in another untidy heap.............and so the cycle goes on
Why do people buy enough food at Christmas to feed the whole of the British army? The shops are only closed for a day for heavens sake.
What mischievous festive elf is responsible for the ten Christmas cards that arrive every year on Christmas eve from people I haven't sent a card to?
Why do I fret about what I am going to wear, as if it matters when all I am doing is spending time with my family, who frankly wouldn't care if I stayed in my PJ's all day.
Why is there some Christmas gremlin that decrees that you run out of wrapping paper when you have just one more little parcel to wrap? Ditto tags. Ditto cards. Ditto stamps
Does anyone else find Tiny Tim unbearably chirpy?
Time for the egg nog I think

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Clean and Simple

Here's a very clean and simple card, made with Craftwork Cards papers. I just cut slivers of papers at an angle, and stuck them in random sort of stripes down the bottom half of the card. The butterfly, sentiment button and the label shape are all CWC.

So the snow continues to fall - I am sure that all over the world people are astounded at how a few inches of snow can bring our airports (Heathrow in particular) to a close, well, take it from me, the British people are astounded as well. It is chaos and I feel so sorry for those people in this bitter cold, just trying to get home for Christmas.
In the meantime, Kiki, aged 6 was talking to her 'other' grandma the other day. She looked up, wide eyed, and whispered 'I can hear the reindeer in the sky grandma, can you hear the bells?'
The delightful innocence and belief of a little child - makes all the rushing about worthwhile doesn't it?
Stay warm, I'll be back tomorrow

Monday, 20 December 2010

Fabric card

I haven't made a fabric card for ages, and this little lady just fitted the bill for a quick card I needed. The linen effect background paper is by Sassafrass, I stamped a few branches (Hero Arts) onto the paper in versamark ink, just to break it up a little. I used a new punch by Recollections (which I think is the brand name for Michaels own brand products). I love super large scallops, so snapped this one up.
The fabric is Loralie cat fabric, the sentiment is Stampin Up

If you are new to the blog and don't know how I use fabric on cards, scroll down to labels, and under 'video tutorials' there is a quick video on using fabric as images on your cards
Well, we have a winter wonderland here - we have had about six inches of snow, it looks lovely, but is very frustrating as we were planning our 'santa' run down to London tomorrow to take down presents and see Kiki and Monty. That would be foolhardy and stupid since the journey is not strictly necessary, but I am disappointed. Hoping it clears enough for us to make the journey to my other son for Christmas day. I am NOT dreaming of a white Christmas.
I think I will spend the time I would have spent travelling, getting productive in my crafty cupboard, I am beginning to get withdrawal symptoms from my lack of inky fingers

Friday, 17 December 2010

Cool Yule

Here's a super-quick card I made using a scallop card blank from Craftwork Cards, and some of their chipboard letters - I painted them with black acrylic paint and sprinkled a bit of glitter on when the paint was still wet, then added shiny red card candy to the letters. Simple, but it looks very effective
and another quickie - I hand cut the tree shape from one of the fabulous foiled papers CWC produce, the lettering is done with Thickers by American Crafts

I have spent a frustrating day looking for my diary - I had loads of addresses written down in it. All I can find is the cover, the middle important bit has gone walkabout, would you credit it? Sometimes I feel jinxed.
Still, the presents are wrapped, the tree is up - naked, but at least it's up, most of the cards are written, now if I can only figure out where they have to be sent, I will be well on my way to getting this festive thing organized.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Birthday Bash

The new Letraset website is up and running, and to celebrate they are having a draw for ten assorted ProMarker 5 sets - that's a total of 50 ProMarkers for some lucky person. Pop over HERE to see how you can be in the draw. Someone has to win - I hope it's one of you!
A couple of cards I made for Scrappy-go-Lucky today - I still have my craft stuff in that untidy pile on the sofa, waiting for a home, so no playtime for a couple of days.
The first card is one of the shaped ones - I really love this cartridge, there are lots of shaped card, useful phrases and images on there. I cut the roller skate boot at 5 1/2", and just decorated it with a punched cuff, and some ribbon. The craftwork cards sentiment button was the right shape and size for the card

For this next one I used the '3 cheers for you' phrase to make a male card. I cut the base image out in kraft cardstock, and used some houndstooth check paper for the accents

I cut the beer mug out in vellum and ran it through the cuttlebug using the bubbles folder - I put it in backwards, but by some happy accident, debossing rather than embossing gave it more of a look of a dimpled beer glass. I swiped the glass with antique paper distress ink, and added some puffy fabric paint to the top to look like froth (I used Pebeo paint, I haven't seen that on sale in the USA, but Tulip paint available from Michaels and Jo-Ann would fit the bill). The tiny birthday cheer sentiment is a clear sentiment sticker from Anita available from Docrafts

If you love using your Cricut, the Scrappy-go-Lucky blog has some great inspiration on innovative ways to use your cartridges and machine.

Things I find difficult when I get back home
Having to pay to park the car
Getting used to driving on the left again (stay off the roads in Solihull until I have acclimatized!)
Feeling cold - really, really cold, and it's getting colder

Things I love when I get back home
Going to the pub with friends for an evening of good food and chat, by a roaring log fire
Marks and Spencer
Cumberland sausage and proper bacon
Edited to say, Bethany asked 'What is proper bacon?' - well the bacon here in the UK is more like Canadian bacon, I think in the USA you would call it ham. It has a totally different flavour to the bacon in the USA, and of course when you are used to something you have grown up with, it's a treat to get to eat it again
See you tomorrow - how are your Christmas preparations going? Mine? Don't ask....

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Three Cheers for ME!

I made the customer spotlight in the Chirp (Provocraft) newsletter today, with my advent calendar for Alex. Click HERE to see the newsletter, and HERE to see my post on making it. I have never made the customer spotlight before, so I was rather chuffed, as we say here in the UK. Before you ask, (and one of you is bound to ask), I chose the All Wrapped Up cartridge as my prize

Here's a card I made for Craftwork Cards a while back. This is one of my favourites, I always love black and red together. I cut the circles on my Cricut (George cartridge), the flowers are blossoms from Craftwork Cards (everything they do is so beautifully coordinated), I chopped and snipped them about to add interest, it worked quite well. Everything on the card is available from CWC

Today has been a whirlwind of unpacking, wrapping presents, and fighting jet-lag. Wrapping presents is not an art form that I subscribe to. It usually goes something like this.....
Wrap first present, fold corners in neatly, creasing the paper carefully, and tie a perfect ribbon bow with a finishing touch of a little handmade tag, sit back to admire it, and place it lovingly under the tree. Wrap tenth present, where have the scissors gone, dratted things, ouch, I was sitting on them, fold the corners in a bunchy way, it won't matter, they won't notice............slap on one of last years leftover gift tags, throw it on the growing pile. Wrap twentieth present, nobody will notice that I used scraps of two totally different wrapping papers as a wrapping, scribble the name on a piece of paper and stick it on with sellotape. Wrap thirtieth present, I honestly don't think that anybody will guess that this wrapping paper with the balloons all over it was meant for birthdays - look, there's a red balloon, and a green one, for heaven's sake, that makes it Christmassy doesn't it?
See you tomorrow. Ho ho ho

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

And the winners are................

Thanks to all of you who joined in with the ProMarker giveaway last week. I wish I could send some to ALL of you, especially those who haven't tried them yet, you have a treat in store. Perhaps Santa may drop some down the chimney if you are very, very good... see names of stockists on an earlier post this week, and don't forget that these alcohol markers are very affordable in comparison with others on the market, you can start a collection very reasonably, and build upon it.
Don't despair if your names didn't come up this time, Letraset are sponsoring my blog, and there will be more prizes of ProMarkers, you may be lucky next time
The winners were drawn by a random husband (Mike) - all the comments for the week were printed out, cut up, and shaken but not stirred. The first two names he pulled out are
Tabitha - On Eagle's Wings blog
dj1952 - Designs by dj blog
big congrats to you both, email me with your address and your choice of 10 Promarker colours (use the chart on the sidebar to make your choice, click on it to enlarge and print out)
Your markers will be sent direct from Letraset
Do join up to become a follower of Letraset's blog - they have frequent competitions and news of promotions, and you will be the first to know about them
Thanks to Paul and the rest of the team there for their continuing support of Going-Buggy
Whilst you are in the mood for winning stuff, be sure to keep coming back here for news on the big blog party I am having sometime in January, to celebrate all you 2,000+ followers, and over 500,000 visitors to the blog. There will be prizes galore (a lot of them will really get you buzzing.. , lots of fun stuff to do, and I am planning to make it a really fun week for us all. You don't need a blog to join in, everyone is welcome.
Here's a couple more quick cards that I made just before packing up my stuff. I found these cute Christmas decoupage creatures from Papermania UK, and quickly popped the layers out and decoupaged them using Pinflair glue I buy this online from the UK, it isn't actually silicone but a clear glue that dries raised to keep the layers of your projects apart.
I used the cuttlebug music embossing folder for the first one, and added some pompoms on their hats

the next two were made with base cards cut with the Wildcard cricut cartridge (the doily card cut), a bit of embossing, some glitter and a pom pom or two, easy

and here's a photo of just some of the unpacked craft stuff that has been toted across the atlantic -now all I have to do is put the stuff away. The note in the foreground was put in the case by the Department of Homeland Security, who very kindly left it for me to tell me that because of the 'large number of unidentifiable objects' in the case, it had been opened and examined by the security people. I wonder if they tested all the martha punches I had in there.
The journey home was fine, a few dreary delays because of bad weather in various places, but you expect that in December. Apparently I was very irritating on the plane, fidgeting a lot so I was told by my dearly beloved - he can drop off to sleep, and slumber peacefully until the plane is about to land, (or until I wake him with my fidgeting). It was a long day, and it's lovely to be home. Cold, but lovely.
See you tomorrow

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Production Line

Here's some more 'production line' Christmas cards done with the adorable little angel by Lili of the Valley. She just needs a bit of grey shadowing on her robe, and touches of green and red on her holly wreath. The pointed labels are by Go Kreate and the sentiment buttons are from Craftwork Cards

A friend gave me a sheet of this paper, it's an old one by Daisy D, so I don't know if it's still available, but I really like the nostalgic looking little angel girls on it

I thought straight away of a snow globe, so I cut one out from Joys of the Season and popped the cut out image on that. I covered the 'globe' with glossy accents. The border punch is by E K Success, and the button is an antique - I was given a sheet of them, aren't they lovely?

Today is the last day to throw your name into the hat for tomorrow's Promarker draw. Leave a comment on every post made this past week for multiple chances of winning
I will be on my way home, no doubt, as you read this, sad in one way to leave the wonderfully hospitable United States and all our friends here, but feeling quite excited at the thought of seeing my little grandchildren again.
I'll be drawing the Promarker winners tomorrow, and will be back to announce the winners on Tuesday morning

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Two more days to go....

Another day, another chance to pop your name under this post to win 10 promarkers of your choice, two prizes up for grabs. Scroll down to Monday's post for full details
Today's card is another Ching Chou Kuik stamp. These fantasy art stamps are such fun to colour.

Promarkers used:
Skin - ivory and blush
Clothes - lavender, orchid, amethyst
hair cool grey 3, 4 and 5
I dotted a couple of tiny gems around on the coloured image, they don't show up in the photo.

Things were a bit fraught here yesterday, I was having trouble cramming everything into the suitcases (we are allowed two each, and a carry on), so I persuaded Mike that the only thing to do was to buy a bigger one. So off I trot to get a bigger case, and oops, just happened to find myself driving into Michaels (craft store) car park. I guiltily slunk home with three carrier bags full, now the new bigger suitcase is too heavy, and we are going to have to pay extra to take the original smaller suitcase as well. Oh dear, the air was a little bit frosty, but as any good wife would do, I nipped out for a bottle of wine, it has a very mellowing effect I find. It may not be so mellow on Sunday as we lug 5 suitcases and two wheely carry-on cases around various airports, but I can't think about that now....tomorrow is another day.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Polkadoodles Gift Card and more ProMarker Colouring

Here's today's ProMarker card, colouring details below. You can still win ten ProMarkers of your choice by leaving a comment on this post. Two lucky people will win this week. Scroll down to Monday's post for full details
Some of you have asked for the list of starter colours to buy. Click HERE for the post showing the list

Over on Polkadoodles this week, the challenge is to incorporate a gift into your card - this is what I came up with - for a feast of ideas, go over to the blog to see what the creative design team have been up to. As always, there is a prize each week for the winner of the challenge

I started with four empty toilet rolls, and flattened them by running them through my cuttlebug

Printed some papers from the Sundae of Seasons CD, and cut them so that they would fit around the flattened loo roll (note: loo is slang English for toilet)

the covered roll

I bound the four loo rolls together using my Bind-it-All, (if you don't have a binding machine, you could punch holes and use a jump ring to hold them together) and cut four tags to fit inside the open edge (from the Tags, Bags Boxes and More Cricut cartridge) - I am not giving sizes, because different manufacturers use slightly different measurements for their cardboard inner rolls

Each tag was given a ribbon pull, and decorated

Coffee? On a Christmas card? Well, this one is going to hold a Starbucks gift card for my daughter as a stocking stuffer
All the elements were printed from the CD, and coloured with Promarkers.

the gift card is attached with a glue dot to this tag

how perfect is this stamp for my project?

Moving swiftly on to today's ProMarker card, a simple little one, made with a Lili of the Valley image. When I had done the colouring, I mounted the plain circle onto a pinking edge nestability circle, and just mounted that onto a simple white card that had been embossed with the Snow cuttlebug folder

Promarkers used:

for the tree, forest green, holly green and pine

Use the darkest colour first.............

fill in with a slightly lighter colour........

go over the whole lot with pine, the lightest colour. I did some sketchy strokes at the edges to make it look more feathery

I started with berry red on her clothes

and this is where the battery of my camera went flat!

Promarkers used:

Berry red, red, lipstick red, ice grey 2, apple green on scarf

hair - buttercup

skin - blush

star - vanilla and ivory

I left her skirt white, but added shadows with the ice grey 1 marker, and used a tiny line of pastel blue on the snow. I used pompoms on the hat and scarf on the finished card.

Gosh, this post has been a bit of a marathon. Thanks to all of you who have been coming over here this week, and as always, making it all worthwhile for me. I reached 2,000 followers this week, and today marked 500,000 visits to my blog. I think we will have a party to celebrate, give me time to travel, get unpacked, have a little think.....then we can party!
See you tomorrow