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Saturday 31 May 2008

Paisley Tree - All Occasion Card

Here's my card for today. The stamp is Paisley Tree by Impression Obsession, and is one of those gorgeous stamps where the card practically makes itself. I stamped it in black twice, and heat embossed it with clear embossing powder, then cut some of the paisleys out and added to the first image with dimensional dots. I filled in all the tiny nooks and crannies with my sakura glue pen and sprinkled with extra fine glitter. The background card is the palest of pale pinks.

Whenever I use glitter it seems to get EVERYWHERE. I try to contain it, but no, everything gets a touch of bling when I have the glitter out. Mike had a meeting, at home in the UK last year, with a guy who turned up looking very businesslike - charcoal grey pinstripe suit, white shirt, elegant silk tie, you get the picture. They sat down at the kitchen table, where I craft (no craftroom.........sigh), which I had obviously cleared and cleaned before the important meeting.

When he left, I could see as he turned to shake our hands at the door, that he had sparkles all over, on his face, on the immaculate grey suit. I didn't say anything - well what could I say 'excuse me, you glitter?', but I often wondered if he had a hard time from his wife when he got home. She probably thought he had spent the afternoon at a lapdancing club!

Thursday 29 May 2008

Chill Out - It's Your Day

Today's challenge on Cute Card Thursday is to use pattern paper, which fits in nicely with my card for today. The stamp is one of those cheap wooden ones by studio G that are thrown into bins in crafting shops all over the world - well, certainly in the US and UK. Some of my favourite stamps of all time have come out of those bins, so I am always searching through to make sure I didn't miss one.

Today is quite a sad day for me. I started cardmaking 3 1/2 years ago, and three years ago I stumbled across a local scrapbook store called the Paper Playhouse. They hold an open studio every Thursday, and I overcame my initial 'new girl' shyness and started going every week. It has become a part of my life here in the US, and I have made some terrific friends there, who have helped me develop my crafting skills. It has been quite a joke that friends would suggest thursday for a dinner date, then say hastily 'oh no, that's your playhouse day'. I would be there until 10pm each thursday! Well, today is the last time I will be going up there, the store is closing it's doors for good. So here is my honor rollcall to salute all my good friends, who I hope will remain so, even though we don't have paper 'playschool' to go to. Sherry and all the staff, Marsha, Peggy, Angie, you are the sweetest people and I wish you well with everything you do next. Phyllis who has taught me so much, especially that black makes for a stunning card, Bev, Loretta, Cheryl, all the regulars, I have learnt from all of you, love you and promise to keep in touch. So thanks to all of you for the fun, friendship and good times. Dunkin Donuts profits will nosedive now!

Don't forget, all comments made this week will go into the draw for the Autumn Leaves stamps.

Wednesday 28 May 2008

Blog Candy to celebrate 40,000 hits.

Wow, I am up to over 40,000 visits to this site, thanks to all who visit regularly, and for all the encouragement you have given me since January. So here is my gift to you - two sets of Autumn Leaves clear stamps by Rhonna Farrer - flowers and scribbles hearts and stars. If you haven't tried these stamps, well, I just love them. They are contemporary, bold, and stamp with a crisp image.
Everyone who leaves a comment on any post on this blog during the next week will be in with a chance to win. More than one comment, your name goes in twice and so on............ If you are a blogger, please link to my site off your blog, if you just enjoy blog-hopping, leave a comment to say HI with your name/nickname.

When you leave a comment, make sure that your name is identifiable - if you sign off with your name 'Jennifer' for instance, put Jennifer (mad about cards) or something that will identify you. I will mail to anywhere in the world, so everyone has a chance to enter. Open for comments until midnight EST wednesday 4th June. Winner will be posted on the blog on thursday 5th June. Good luck x

60th Birthday Card - 60 is the new 40!

I made this card using my Funky Hand CD's. The papers are so gorgeous. The brown part of the card is embossed with the cuttlebug numbers embossing folder, which unfortunately doesn't show up at all in the photo, but looks pretty good in real life. The numbers were cut from the Alphalicious cartridge at 2 1/2", and the sentiment is a home made rub-on.

Tuesday 27 May 2008

Male Card - Cheers!

The challenge on Papertake this week is to make a male card, in honour of Fathers Day which is coming up soon. The image on this card is by Art Impressions, papers are by SEI. I do love the challenge of making men's cards cheerful and fun, using bright cheery colours instead of the usual browns, burgundys etc etc that we associate with men. I got a whole pack of the 'cheers' strips on clearance, they had bling rhinestones on them which I removed and replaced with a black button. I can't imagine sending a card saying 'cheers' to a girlfriend, although it would probably be quite appropriate for some (you know who you are ----cheers! Now all my friends who read this blog are wondering if I am implying they are alcohol dependent. No, none of you are, we just enjoy cracking open a bottle of wine together!). Funny how we fall into these stereotypes of male/female images.

Monday 26 May 2008

Happy Anniversary Honey - Lucky Me

The design team on Bitten by the Bug were asked to use the 'Lucky' cut from the Alphalicious cartridge - trust Regina always to come up with something that stretches our creativity! I played around with this one for ages before finally coming up with this, and now that it's finished I really like it. It so happens that it's our wedding anniversary tomorrow - 31 years - so happy anniversary to my lovely husband Mike who is so tolerant of all my crafting excesses and the time I spend on this blog.

I popped into a craft shop to buy more of the canvas grids for some friends who want me to take them home to the UK. 'Oh my' said the salesperson 'there is a lot of demand for these today, we must order more. Did you see something using them in a magazine?' - No, just on my blog. I wonder if I could work on commission.................thoughts of becoming a dollar millionaire whirling around my head. Maybe not, since they only cost a few cents/pennies.

So this card used the work 'lucky' (cut using the short stack option at 2") - be warned, it cuts BIG. I computer generated the happy anniversary honey, and made my own rub-on. To do this, set your printer to mirror image, and print onto the smooth side of a transparency. Let it rest for a minute or two, then transfer to your card using a craft stick. Wipe any residue off your transparency and it's ready for your next rub-on. The scallop border was done using the fiskars threading water punch, and the narrow scallop pink border is from a pack by daisy d's.

Quick Tutorial For Faux Stitching

If you love the look of stitching on your work, but can't sew or have access to a sewing machine, try this. Use a plastic canvas grid, available from craft or needlework stores, very cheaply, and using a piercing tool and a craft mat, pierce your paper through every hole. The dots will be in a perfect straight line and evenly spaced. Then just take your pen and join up the dots. I think they are used for cross stitch, so are in the sewing department. They happened to be hanging up by the clearance items (which I always check out).

You can doodle through the holes as well, place the canvas on your paper and draw a dash along the bottom of the little square. For a double line, use two adjacent rows. If you want to leave a space for dots, crosses etc, simply draw 4, miss 3, draw 4 and so on.

You can buy a circle as well, which I was thrilled to find, as I love the look of doodled circles, but they are very hard to do.

Saturday 24 May 2008

Just a Note

I made this little card using the music embossing folder (cuttlebug) and the drum cut from Joys of the Season at 3". The little music note is a cuttlebug die that I found on clearance - I knew I could use it somehow.

I have been VERY busy this week, with some exciting stuff. I have a commission to make ten cards/projects for Papercraft Inspirations in the UK. They will be published in the issue on sale September 1st in the UK. I think it is on sale later in the US, Canada and Australia. I so want to do justice to the magazine that every card has to be perfect/stunning/gorgeous. At the moment I think Michaelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in less time that it is taking me to do this project. Anyway, wish me luck and look out for the magazine.

Wednesday 21 May 2008

Lacy Challenge DCM

The midweek challenge on DCM is to use, bronze, linen, lace. This is made with queen & co felt fusion and some fabulous SEI papers - I have only just discovered this brand, and love them.

For those of you that are following the snake saga, since scattering the Snake Away around the water meter, we haven't seen sight of a snake. However, the stuff looks just like cat litter, and a black and white cat is now regarding our kitty litter grass as her personal en suite bathroom. Good grief, am I ever going to be rid of animal problems? So it will be down to Home Depot to find some 'Cat Away' next - oops, did I hear howls of outrage from cat lovers? ONLY JOKING :)

Tuesday 20 May 2008

Owl Card

This week's brief over on BBTB was to use the little owl from the Happily Ever After cartridge.

Quite honestly, I felt all 'owled' out, having made quite a few cards with this, but I came across this little saying and the card evolved from there. The tiny coffee cup is a Judith stamp.
Our little grandson Max is one today. Happy Birthday darling, love you to bits x

Monday 19 May 2008

Another Joys Bird!

Papertake weekly issued a challenge to follow a sketch (which I have tried and failed to copy, my computer skills are rubbish). Since I had this little bird already cut, I made this bright and cheery card.

Bird Card - Joys of the Season

This must be my favourite cartridge. There is so much on there that you can use, not just for Christmas - in fact, I have never used it for Christmas cards (yet!)

I thought I would put a list of the possible uses of the various cuts for anyone who is thinking of investing in this cartridge.

Partridge in a pear tree - see this post

Turtle Doves - Wedding, Anniversary

French Hen - Good luck (Best of Cluck)

note to a friend (Just chicken up on you)

Geese - Congratulations - (that's something to honk about)

Swan - Wedding, Anniversary, Birthday

Drum - male birthday card

Ballerina - ballet mad teen card

Cup - Friendship card (let's get together, tea time)

Fireplace - Welcome to your new home

Train - Child's card

Teddy bear - I love you beary much, sending you a bear hug

Pear - anniversary/engagement/wedding (you make a perfect pair)

Wreath - female birthday, baby welcome wreath, welcome to your new home/welcome to the neighbourhood

Sunday 18 May 2008

Welcome Baby

Here is another 'welcome baby' wreath. I did this for last week's BBTB but decided to send Regina the pink one from Christmas Cheer. I love this one, although it does seem to have a bit of gender confusion, I think it will be a good card to just keep by you ready to send when you hear the good news! The sweet pea and welcome stamp are both by Studio G, the scallop border is a martha stewart punch.

Saturday 17 May 2008

Frazzled Lion Card

The dare on DCM this week is to make a card with an animal on it. This little frazzled lion fits the bill. I made a 5" square gatefold card.

Dorky Bird - Judith Stamps

Aren't these dorky birds just great? I put some shoes on this one, and a rather cute little handbag, which fitted in with the purse-onality sentiment, which is by Great Impressions.

I have been crafty shopping with a friend today, we needed lunch and pulled into a place called Hot Wings. We were the only women in the place. "Are we in a gay bar?" Carol whispered to me. Hmmm, I don't think so, looking at the 17 year old servers in VERY short shorts, and VERY low cut tops. Most of the men were sitting there with stupid grins on their faces, and a glazed look in their eyes. Men are so predictable. The wings were good though.........

Wednesday 14 May 2008

Shaped Shoe Card

On Papertake this week, they are asking for a card in the colour combo green/lilac. I made this little shoe card, which I think would be perfect for a young teen girl. The shoe is from My Community, cut at 3" - the first one I cut was at 5", thinking that would be a good size for a shaped card. It was HUGE, would have fitted my size 7's (9 1/2 US). I should really have played around with my new design studio, but just couldn't be bothered to faff around with it, so I just cut another one using the flip feature, and attached them using a brad - it opens perfectly, I really wonder how often I am going to use the design studio software. I ran the sole through the cuttlebug using the small mosaic folder, the sentiment is by studio G. I wanted to do a circle so that the shoe would look like converse ones.

Eastern Inspired Fabric Card

I am combining two challenges here, Artygirlz asked for travel/places, suggesting Asia or Africa, and Created by Hand asked for designs using fabric. The inspiration behind this design isn't travel, Asia or fabric, it's my multi-talented friend Phyllis. Last year we started messing around with fabric, I rushed out and bought small amounts of fabric with little pussy cats and cute monkeys, she found this fabulous fabric and created the most wonderful stuff with it. I tried and tried to find some, but couldn't, and Phyllis generously gave me a piece with 3 of the gorgeous Japanese ladies on. Did I immediately make cards? No, it went into my special stash box for me to gloat over. Until now....................

I coated the back of the fabric generously with strong glue stick, and stuck it to white card, smoothing out all the bubbles etc. Let it dry then cut it out. The cherry blossom spray and medallion are from a clear stamp set I got from Lakeland UK. I thought the round medallion stamped and embossed in red looked a little like the moon.

We have been visiting friends from the UK who are staying on Anna Marie Island, here in Florida. Today we all went canoeing on the Little Manatee River - something we have done many times on the river here in a place called Weekie Wachee. That river is clear aquamarine and you see a lot of wildlife. This river was a blackwater river, and the levels were very low, which meant that for the first two miles the canoes kept getting grounded on the bottom and we had to hop out and drag them into deeper water. I walked more than I paddled. There was a lot of vegetation in the water, and the logs looked suspiciously like alligators, so I abandoned my usual practice of dangling my feet in the water. We saw dozens of turtles, some pretty ducks, lots of herons, egrets, a wild boar and an alligator (well, it could have been a log, but I ticked it off in my mental I Spy book). It was fun and we had a great time.

Monday 12 May 2008

Baby Card

Here is my offering for this week's Bitten By The Bug. Regina asked us to use one of the wreath cuts - there are three, two on joys of the season, and this one on christmas cheer. I thought it would make a pretty 'welcome baby' card. I cut the wreath at 4", added some swiss dots, buttons and a bit of sewing. The sentiments are studio G.

Sunday 11 May 2008

You Colour My World

I found out how to make these little paint rollers ages ago, I think they were in a magazine somewhere - certainly, long before blogland. So sorry I can't give credit where it's due. Anyway, they are cute. The word was cut from plantin at 1", then on black shadow.

The tiny words - you, my, world, come from the most ridiculous purchase I have ever made. A tub of these tiny little words from K & Co, there are 4,500 words in each box, each tiny piece has another word on the reverse - so here's the scenario, you tip out the words onto the table, dropping a hundred or so on the floor as you do so, then you search painstakingly among the remaining 4,400 words, dropping another hundred or so on the floor as you do so. So after 2 hours you have found 'world' and 'my' but 'you' is nowhere to be seen. It becomes a crusade - your husband goes to bed, leaving you muttering and surrounded by tiny pieces of paper. In disgust, you sweep the lot into the trash, get on your hands and knees to clear up the debris under the table, and there, hidden behind the table leg is..........'you' I am not surprised they were on sale!

The photo of the paper clips shows quite clearly how you make the rollers without me waffling about it. The hardest bit is attaching the 'paint' to the roller. I stuck a glue dot on the end of the paper and used that to attach it to the paper clip. I also found it helped if you wound the paper tightly around a knitting needle before wrapping it around the paper clip.

List of Cricut Envelope Sizes

As a lot of visitors to this blog are Cricut users, I thought it would be useful to give a list of envelope sizes that I have learnt through trial and error. In all cases, they were cut with the expression, using 12 x 12" paper and with the fit to page feature ON unless otherwise stated. Where there are (1) or (2) options for the same cart, it corresponds with the number of envelope/card options on that cartridge. I hope this helps somebody and saves a forest or two of paper along the way! There are many other cartridges with card/envelope options I just haven't tried them yet.

New Arrival - (1) 6.1" x 4.9"
(2) 5.1 x 7.3"

Celebrations - 5.1 x 4.9"

Beyond Birthdays (1) 6.7 x 5.1"
(2) 5.1 x 5.1"

Walk In My Garden - (1) 3.5 x 3.5"
(2) 4.9 x 4.9"
(3) 4.1 x 10"

Christmas Cheer - 6.1 x 4.9" (cut card to fit at 8 1/4")
fit to page OFF, dial at 7 1/2" gives an A2 envelope

Going Places - 4.7 x 4.7"
(sideenvlp) 3.7 x 5.5"
Square card with rounded corners, and envelope to fit - cut at 5 3/4"

Plantin - tall ball - 6.7 x 5.3"
italic - 3.7 x 8.5"
rolypoly - 5.1 x 5.1"
fit to page OFF, dial 11 1/4" - 5 x 6 1/2"
fit to page OFF, dial 5 1/2" gives an A2 envelope

Zooballoo - 4.5 x 4.5"

Tags Bags Boxes and More - (tgpkt 2) 4.1 x 5.3"

Saturday 10 May 2008

Get Well Soon Card

The dare on DCM this week is to use something that has been recycled from another shop bought greeting card/wrapping paper etc. The only card I could find here was a Christmas card from last year, luckily it had this luscious organza bow on it, which I was able to use on this card. The tree is from the happily ever after cartridge, cut at 5". I used a lined gold mirror card for the back, hard to photograph. It's a bit pathetic only being able to find a ribbon, I didn't realise I was so tidy.

Friday 9 May 2008

Baby Girl Exploding Box

Here is a completed exploding box, made to take photos of a baby girl. I always leave some pages blank for journalling, just like a tiny scrapbook. This one was decorated with cuts made with the new arrival cartridge. There is a tutorial on how to make these boxes in the next post.

Tutorial for Exploding Box

1. Choose your papers carefully, this has a huge bearing on the finished result. Remember that your biggest sheet of card, the one you will cut first, forms the outside of the box.

2. You will need 3 12 x 12" sheets of good quality coordinating cardstock, and 1 sheet of 12 x 12" coordinating pattern cardstock

3. Score your first layer at 4" on all sides. You will now have 9 scored squares. Cut out the corner squares. You are left with a cross shape. Round the corners.

4. Cut your middle layer to 11" x 11", and score at 3 3/4", as before on all sides and cut out the corner squares, round corners

5. Cut your inner layer to 10 x 10" and score at 3 1/2", proceed exactly as with the first two layers. You will now have three graduated layers, as in the very first photo.

6. Decorate your inside layers at this stage. Then put glue dots on the underneath of the centre square of the second layer and position carefully over the centre square of the largest layer. Do the same with the smallest layer - adhere it to the centre square of the middle layer.

7. To make your lid, cut your patterned card to 8 x8" and score at 2" on all sides. This time do NOT cut out the corner square, simply snip along the horizontal folds on all sides. Use a bone folder to sharpen your creases, and apply double sided tape to secure your lid.

8. I usually apply a border of coordinating pattern paper around the bottom edges of the box, to link with the lid colours. Decorate the top - on this box I simply cut out large flowers from a coordinating sheet, applied brads to the centre and used dimensional tape to adhere to the lid.

9. These boxes look so pretty, and the more embellishments you throw at them, the better they look. Think small, use narrow little ribbons, tiny flowers, coordinating mats for the photos, little buttons - go on, try it, you'll have a ball!

Accordian Fold Birthday Card and Template

The challenge on Papertake Weekly this week was to use a template. I used K & Co paper with a lovely paisley pattern, and highlighted the paisley with tiny gems. I stamped a spray of flowers for the front - Great Impressions - and dotted it with dew drops and more little gems from Papermania. It's quite a bulky card, so I made a band to hold it together - I love cards that you have to 'unwrap', and also messed around a little with the measurements given below, I cut my cardstock to 10" x 5", giving a finished card of 5" square.
Here are the Papertake instructions

here are the measurements:cut CS at 8.5 x 5.5 inchesscore at 4.25 and foldfold the front back in half , cut a second piece of cs 8.5" x 5.5 "fold in half fold each panel again in half - so it looks like a "M" attach with tape together with your first CS piece. Now you are ready to embellish and layer CS.
The latest on the black racer snake saga, is that he seems to have taken up permanent residence in a water meter just by our garage door. There is a hole in the meter for workmen to lift it up, and we keep seeing him slithering down the hole. To my horror yesterday, there he was sunning himself with another snake. Yes, there are two of them, so presumably that means lots of little baby black racers wriggling about under the meter cover, all ready to do the snake equivalent of toddling about on my lawn. I have asked neighbours tactfully, ('where do I buy snake poison?' okay, not tactful at all), how I can get rid of them i.e murder them, and all I get told is 'oh they're good, they eat the rats'. RATS? Why did the salesman who sold us this house not mention these attractive features of Florida living? Soon the place will be alive with baby snakes having tantrums, and teenage snakes holding races on the lawn.

Monday 5 May 2008

Coffee Mug Card for BBTB

This week, the design team were asked to use the coffee mug from Christmas Cheer. I cut it at 4" using a Bo Bunny paper, added Pebeo dimensional paint for the cream, then sprinkled it with glitter. The 'coffee talk' sentiment is a sticker

I also made this gatefold card, using the same papers (well, I had them out....), which I actually like better, but it didn't photograph so well. 'Is it coffee yet?' is a stamp by judith.

Sunday 4 May 2008

Card Inspired By An Advertisement

The dare on DCM this week is to use an advertisement as your source of inspiration..........tricky.

I found this ad. for dove products that I thought would translate pretty well into a card, and here it is.

Saturday 3 May 2008

Penny Black Cat and Mouse

The card for today is this cat and mouse, I love the image and just had to buy it. I stamped it three times and cut out various bits to stick on with pop dots. I added glossy accents to the bubbles and highlighted some of them with dew drops.

Friday 2 May 2008

Owl Card and Watermelon Card

These cards were made with more fabulous papers from my Funky Hand CD's. The little owl was cut from Happily Ever After at 5" in two coordinating colours, and then stitched - yes, the sewing machine has been changed for a new one. The watermelon was cut from two pattern papers from doodlecharms at 5"

Thursday 1 May 2008

In the Garden - Layout

I made this double page layout to take photos of Kiki, which I haven't even snapped yet! There is a lot of detail on the pages and it's a bit of a new style for me. Cute Card Thursday want a garden theme - here it is. It's not a card of course, but I could never make anything else as 'gardeny' as this. Click on the photos for a close up view.