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Wednesday 31 December 2008

Have a Nice Day!

The image and sentiment on this card are both by Judith. It pretty much sums up how I am feeling, after battling with the Christmas crowds in the shops. Not that shop assistants over here wish you a nice day very often - you are lucky if you get a word out of them. The chipboard button was found in a pack in the dollar bins at Michaels just before I left. What a great find. I do miss those $ bins when I am back home. Back to the card, the image was coloured with copic markers, and the papers are by SEI. The embossing was done with the argyle embossing folder.

A very, very happy new year to you all. Any resolutions? I am going to try and be more organised in my crafting and clear up as I go along, and to use up some of that mountain of supplies that I seem to have acquired before buying more. I also want to give back to the community in some way. I haven't worked out how yet.

Tuesday 30 December 2008

A Storybook Butterfly for 2 Sketches 4 You

This card was made for the challenge this week over on Laura and Kazan's 2 sketches 4 you. I haven't had the time to do any challenges for almost a month now, so I enjoyed getting back into the swing. Lots of sewing and bling on this one, the papers are by SEI, making memories black chipboard swirl and the butterfly was cut with the 'hole' option at 3". I took a few liberties with the sketch (that's why I love sketches, they are such a great kick-start to your creativity).
I ventured down to the town centre today, here, in the UK, we usually only have sales twice a year, in January and July, unlike in the US when there are sales almost every weekend. So it's serious stuff here, especially when there is a huge credit crunch going on. The behaviour of people is always a source of great amusement to me, and never more so than watching two women having a tug-of-war with a cashmere sweater, seeing a wife turn to her husband and saying in withering tones 'Really Peter, you are SO naive!' Don't know what the poor guy had done, but he looked like a whipped puppy as he followed her out of the store. Then there were the ranks of men, sitting on chairs, waiting for their significant other to emerge out of the changing rooms, with glazed expressions on their faces. Boy, if those men had a 'beam me up' button, they would have used it. Does anybody else have the urge to go up to people who are trying stuff on and looking truly awful in it and say 'please don't do it, you will regret buying that for ever'. I don't of course, just think it. There was a woman trying on a plain, boring, navy blue anorak (a short waterproof jacket for US friends) who turned to me and asked if I thought it looked good (she obviously saw a woman of impeccable taste when she saw me :), she kept me there for at least five minutes, wittering on about the fit, the colour, the pockets. Oh please, it's not a designer jacket, it's a bloody anorak. Of course, I am too nice to say anything and stood there offering advice about the merits of buttons over zips.

Monday 29 December 2008

'Hi' Card for Bitten by the Bug

This week the design team for Bitten By The Bug were asked to use the circle/dots cut from the mini monogram cartridge. This is what I came up with - I seem to be on a bit of a black and red craze at the moment. The letters are foam stickers called 'thickers' by american crafts. To see what the rest of the designers came up with click HERE

Wednesday 24 December 2008

Shoe Card

This is the shoe from the Happily Ever After cartridge, cut at 4", I cut the base in red, then the layer in black which I ran through the swiss dots embossing folder to give a bit of texture and added a couple of prima flowers. The words were done on the computer and then chopped about a bit.

A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you. We are going to be at home, here in Solihull, with our daughter and her boyfriend, then on Boxing Day (the 26th for US friends who have no idea what Boxing Day is) we go to London to see Max (well, his mum and dad as well, but of course he is the main attraction :). We have already been to London once since we got home, to take all of Kiki's presents down, she was so sweet, held my hand tight all day as if she was afraid that if she let go, I would disappear again. We went to see her singing 'Away in a Manger' with all the other under 5's at their church. She forgot the words and stood there with a tea towel all askew on her head (it was meant to make her look like a shepherd), but of course it was a tearful granny moment. Hearing children sweetly singing carols brings home the true meaning of Christmas, unlike the stores, where frantic shoppers are piling their carts high with enough food to feed the whole of Ethiopia for a month. Makes you think.

So have a wonderful time my friends, and I hope Santa brings you everything you wish for. Me? I have huge plans to turn a cupboard (closet) into the most amazing scrap space you have ever seen, so that will be my gift this year. I have a feeling that my grandiose ideas may not translate very well into a cupboard, watch this space...........................................................................

Friday 19 December 2008

Have A Cool Birthday

Well, here I am back in the UK, with no travel anecdotes to regale you with - thank goodness. After all the angst about the suitcase weight, they didn't even bother to weigh them. It has taken me two days to unpack them though. Two days, cases unpacked, gifts wrapped and the house decorated for Christmas. Not bad going.

I must thank so many of you for the really gorgeous handmade cards that were waiting here for me, from Australia, Japan, Netherlands, USA, Canada, Chile, France, Spain, and of course good old Blighty (UK) ...............so many cards and so greatly appreciated. I am sure that you understand that this year, my world was in disarray for three weeks, so you will have to forgive me for not returning the compliment.

This card is one of mine that is published in the Christmas issue of Papercraft Inspirations, I just managed to get the last copy at the book store, so I can share it with you. The footballs are by Paper Cellar, this would be a good card for a teenage footy fan (soccer for my US friends).

Tuesday 16 December 2008

A sneaky peek at this month's commission

My commission was to make a series of cards, all based on punctuation marks. Here is a peek at one of them - see the others in this months Papercraft Inspirations magazine.

Okay, must fly.......................... :)

Monday 15 December 2008

Live life in the deep end..................

I have combined two of my greatest crafting loves for this one, my Cricut and stamping. I cut the fishbowl out of white paper at 3" (animal kingdom), then cut the wavy edged layer also in white. I stamped the swimming cat onto this layer (great impressions), and coloured with copic markers, adding a bit of blue to the edges for a watery look. The seaweed was also from animal kingdom. I coated the whole thing in three layers of glossy accents, then wrapped a ribbon around the edge of the bowl. The papers are from DCWV nana's kids stack. The expression on the cat's face makes me smile, that's a wicked little grin he has.

There will now be a short intermission.................we fly back to the UK tomorrow, so all the cases are packed, two have been on an outing to Publix to be weighed and came in at 10lbs under the allowance, however, since then I have probably stuffed at least another 20 lbs into each of them. I even found myself saying to Mike 'you don't need to take more than one pair of trousers home with you' the poor guy is allowed just the clothes he is wearing. The craft stuff takes up the whole of one suitcase, then there are the Christmas presents, shed loads of them, oh and that darling pair of shoes I got on sale, and those cute ornaments for the tree.........I think I had better start practicing my wobbly voice again for when we check in at the airport.

Sunday 14 December 2008

Wildcard - Champagne Card

This was made using the bottle card cut on wildcard, I cut at 5". This is the first card that I have found difficult, and rather odd on this cartridge. I don't know what I did, but however I tried to fold it, it ended up with the fold on the 'wrong' side of the card, so that it would not open. I was pretty tired when I was doing it, so I am sure it was just me. But I decided that it would look good folded this way, with the bottle folded up from the bottom of the card. I handwrote some vaguely wine like words on the label and did a bit of doodling. The cork was run through the cuttlebug machine to give a bit of texture. I layered some real lace down the left hand side, and topped that with a punched border (martha stewart zigzag). The bottle had a good layer of glossy accents put on, so that it looks like glass. this would make a great wedding anniversary card I think.

Friday 12 December 2008

Cricut Cartridge Storage Solution

When I am going home to the UK, I put my cartridges in ziplock baggies, but it is a very unsatisfactory way of doing things. I found this box in the storage aisle at Joannes and it is perfect. The cartridges fit snugly and at an angle so that it is easy to read the label. I also did dymo labels for the lid of the box in the corresponding positions. I have stored the books and overlays in a snaplid box - I only take the more complicated books with me, for those cartridges that have hidden icons and layers. (well, not hidden, as such, they are just not shown on the overlays)

Oh Happy Day - Wildcard

Another wildcard - this one took some doing, it was one of those cards that just wouldn't 'come together' whatever I did. The blank white looked flat and blank until I added black stitching, then ran through the cuttlebug using the paisley folder. The raised pattern came through on the back instead of the front, but it still added texture. Have you noticed that with the older cuttlebug folders, you put the paper in the folder with the black writing on top. with the newer ones this is reversed and the writing on the folder has to go on the back. Irritating, as I keep forgetting that, as in this card. I cut at 5". The paper on the back is by SEI, the phrase was also cut at 5", and the flowers are from a bunch I got from Michaels bridal aisle.

Michaelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and had time to go home for a shower before going down to the pub, in the time it took me to do this card (well, that's what it felt like). At long last, I am happy with it, and as it is for a special friend, I can finally tick this one off my 'to do' list.

Thursday 11 December 2008

Sweetest Mum Card

I made this using the new DCWV stack, pretty colours in this paper range, lots of yummy chocolate and pinks. I cut some 1" circles out of chocolate, cream and a tan colour with my cricut, and some small scallop circles with my nestabilities, which I sort of folded to look like sweet papers. The sentiment is computer generated and the ribbon is Martha Stewart. I scribbled on the chocolates with liquid pearls, and added a couple of little pearl gems. One of them looks a bit wonky in the photo, strange, it's fine in reality.

I have had some requests to put a followers button on the blog, so here it is. I have no idea what this does, but it would be nice if I had some followers I suppose, so click the button if you want to follow me. I feel like the Pied Piper of Hamelin!

A huge congrats to my fellow Funky Hand team mate and bloggy friend Kath, she has won the coveted title of Cardmaker of the Year 2008 in a contest run by Simply Cards and Papercraft magazine in the UK. She gets a place on their design team so look out for her work. They couldn't have given the title to a nicer person, so toot toot to you Kath, very well done x You can see Kath's blog HERE

Wednesday 10 December 2008

Penny Black Frogs

This cute stamp is by Penny Black, as it's a 'busy' little image I kept the card quite simple, and immediately thought of this sentiment stamp that I have had for ages. The frogs were coloured with prisma pencils and a goo gone pen, and a layer of glossy accents to add shine. The background was cuttlebugged with swiss dots.

So we saw the doctor today, and have the all clear to fly home. Small problem, the airline said they couldn't fly us back (without a huge price hike) until, wait for it, December 25th. So I put on my well rehearsed wobbly 'oh no I'm going to burst into tears' voice, that I have perfected over the past ten days, and they relented and gave us a flight for next tuesday. Which brings me to the next little episode of having to unpack all my carefully stowed crafty stuff again, well, I can't sit around and do nothing for a week can I?

Tuesday 9 December 2008

Friendship Card

These stamps by My Favourite Things are just up my street. I love the way you never see the faces of the people. I treated myself to four sets the other day, this is one of them. They are acrylic, so will be travelling home with me. The image was coloured with copics, I masked the main image to add some rain drops, and stamped the umbrella onto coloured paper. The umbrella, rain and puddle are all coated in glossy accents. Papers are Bo Bunny.

I spent hours yesterday packing up my stuff ready for the journey home (we still have no idea when that will be, but soon, very soon). You should see me with my stamps, I obviously can't take a load of wood mounted stamps back because of the weight, so I put them away with an anguished look on my face, as if I am abandoning a child for three months. I did hit on the bright idea of stamping a few images (well okay, a lot of images) onto cardstock to take back with me. I probably need to concentrate on acrylics in future, but then I see all these cute wood mounted stamps and can't resist. I will never go through the process of unmounting them either, I am so untidy when I work they would get lost forever in the tornado.

Monday 8 December 2008

Golf Card

I am always on the lookout for stamps that will make a good 'man' card, and here is one I found called golf martini by Impression Obsession that would do for a man or woman golfer, and I know a few of those, so I snapped it up. I added some random type stitching (one of my favourites for a male card for some reason) and was going to straight stitch around the image in green, but got lazy and couldn't be bothered to change the thread, so I just ran it with no cotton. I got a bit carried away and carried on making holes all over the place, but I quite like the look. I coated the glass with glossy accents, love that stuff, it looks just like a real glass.

Sunday 7 December 2008

Another Pink Petticoat card...........

I am almost done with my Christmas cards now - did I hear a huge sigh of relief from you? I have a special one to do for Kiki, all the others are written and the envelopes addressed. Phew. I must admit I am a little tired of making them now, and quite look forward to getting back to birthdays and thank you cards

This is another Pink Petticoat one from the Christmas download. Click HERE to get to the site. The papers are by Martha Stewart, and the sentiment is studio g acrylic. I coloured the image with copic markers (decided to put her in a nice Christmassy outfit) and the flowers are by prima.

Saturday 6 December 2008

Pink Petticoat Contest

Over on Pink Petticoat, Liz Armstrong the owner is giving away a slice, and being a die-cut junkie I would love to own one (a slice is a small, portable die cutter, made by Making Memories). She asked for Pink Petticoat cards to be submitted, so here is one I made last week, using Lola and a sentiment stamp that was given to me by my friend Carol, I think the sentiment is hilarious, and totally suits Lola's personality! The background is embossed with the swiss dots folder.
It feels so good to be 'talking' to you all again. Of course, even a crisis doesn't happen in my life without something humorous happening. At the hospital, they had volunteers driving around in golf buggies to give visitors a ride from the car park to the main entrance. So on I hopped one day, and sat there while the guy fumbled and fumbled with the ignition key, he tried and tried to get it in the lock. Eventually he turned to me and said 'can you put the key in for me please, I don't see too good, I've just had eye surgery'. WHAAAAAAAAAAT? I did let him drive me back (all of 50 yards, I was being lazy) but had a good chuckle at the slightly surreal feeling of being driven about in a golf cart driven by an almost blind man.

Christmas card of the day

Here I am, back in production - well, not really, as this is the card that was going to be put on the blog a week ago! These Inky Antics stamps are so sweet, I coloured with Copic markers. The paper is by DCWV. I added a couple of snowflake brads. I wanted the background colours to be delicate and pastel, so that the image really stands out. The oval was cut out with my coluzzle. The stamp is number P4-4003-4K and Inky Antics number is 1-800-945-3980

Thursday 4 December 2008


Thank you all so much for all your good wishes and concern. The last week has been a roller coaster of drama/emotion/highs and lows, but I am happy to tell you that Mike is back home with me in Hudson. He has had a stent put in, so we won't be able to fly back to the UK for two weeks, so I may even get back to the crafting table later, although we are both pretty exhausted right now. Thank you all again, I was quite overwhelmed with all the messages I received and consider myself blessed to have such caring online buddies x