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Thursday 31 December 2009

Happy New Year to all of you

I haven't had much time for making cards I can show you lately - working on a magazine commission at the moment, so thought I would pop these on, all cards I made for a recent edition of the 'Quick Cards' section of Papercraft Inspirations magazine. This is a section of the magazine that shows cards that can be made in 30 minutes or less, maybe for crafters in a hurry or less experienced cardmakers. Any shapes used are printed as templates in the back of the magazine for the readers to trace or copy. For the first one the brief was a male card using an iconic travel image, this is what I came up with

I stamped the image twice, once onto the pattern paper which does away with colouring (well, they are quick cards :)
and again onto the red, then cut out the sphinx image
For the second one, the brief was a male card again, using a car image. I found this really cute key charm that I stuck on. The car is from Going Places, and the words were printed off the computer and chopped up. The edges of this one look a bit battered, but these cards have travelled to the Editor's office, then to the photography studio, then back to me, I never think of photographing them before mailing them

This little chap was done with scallped ovals/circles and a lot of doodling. The sentiment came to me in a flash as I was making the card, I thought it was funny, always love a play on words. It's always quite a challenge to come up with something a bit different that people can copy in 30 minutes or less.

So, any new year resolutions? I always have such a long list, most of them are broken by the middle of January, so don't think I will bother, although I could do with being a bit more organised, a bit less fluffy, and a lot less talkative. Whatever your resolutions, I hope 2010 is a happy and healthy one for you all and your families, and thank you all so much for all the support you have given me in 2009 - I wouldn't do it without you!

Tuesday 29 December 2009

2009 Favourites

Over on my friend Kath's blog, she has listed all her favourite cards for each month of the year. What a great idea Kath, so I am joining in, here are my personal favourites of all the cards I have made this year. They are favourites for various reasons, some simply because I love the way they turned out, some because they were a real challenge to make, and some because I think I was a bit crafty and came up with something new...........













Do you agree with me? Any of your favourites in there? If you are a blogger, list the favourite cards that you made in 2009, and let me know so that I can pop over to take a look

Monday 28 December 2009

How was it for you?

Here are two cards made with images from the PC crafters hug downloads that my friend Bev gave me. They are already coloured, so I built the cards around the soft pinks and taupes of the images
Papers are a mixture of Martha Stewart and DCWV, flowers prima, border punch - MS, wobby random stitching on the first one by me!!

So how was Christmas? We had a wonderful time, I got quite carried away with the whole thing and got ridiculously excited on Christmas eve when we were tracking santa online and saw that he was in London. Well, a silly little part of me still believes................................

Wednesday 23 December 2009

Merry Christmas to you........

A brief post today to wish you a very happy and peaceful Christmas
Of course, I can't post without a card, so here is one of my favourite stamps from Sparkle 'n Sprinkle, I stamped him onto the spotty paper and cut him out, although he does look a bit green - or blue - around the gills.
I love this sentiment, by Inkadinkadoo, my friend Carol bought it for me last year

He really looks as if he is going to have one heck of a hangover in the morning

We are off to London to spend Christmas with our family, lots of hugs and cuddles from the children to come in the next few days, which will be my most treasured gift
. So wherever you are, I hope you have the best Christmas ever, and that Santa realizes that you have been very, very good all year xx

Monday 21 December 2009

Happy Bird-day

This little birthday card was made very quickly, and went together like a dream, no fiddling around, it all just slotted into place. The border punch is one of the new deep ones by the punchmaker of the century - Martha S. I added a panel of script paper, the branch is a Sissix die, and the bird is from a clear set by Inkadinkadoo. Lettering by making memories and american crafts. The brown bordered card was in a set I found on clearance somewhere, they are by Martha Stewart as well, totally blank apart from the border, so perfect for altering

Phew, no more Christmas card posts from me this year, all done and dusted. Does anybody else love making them, but hate writing the messages? I always try to add a personal note, but refuse to go down the route of a computer printed round robin letter. I did try it once, and tore it up, it made me sound so SMUG. Of course, I only dwell on the good things, so all of a sudden, we became Mr and Mrs Perfect, with our charming successful children and impeccably behaved and super-intelligent grandchildren. The reality being that like all families, we have highs and lows, success and disappointments, feasts and famines. So a handwritten scribble has to do, but it does get tedious scribbling the same stuff over and over, but all done now. Hurrah!

Sunday 20 December 2009

Max and Milo's Christmas Card..............

I recently did a swap with a blog friend, she desperately wanted some images from one of the cards I made, so I stamped her some, and in return she sent me a Loralie christmas panel, these cats are BIG, but I thought it would make a super card for Max and Milo, so here it is, I kept it simple so that the image popped. Stuck the fabric onto white card and then cut around it. The letters are DCWV chipboard, papers are making memories. The card measures 8 1/2" x 6" to give you an idea of size

Jet lag is an odd thing, I slept like a log for about 11 hours last night, woke up feeling bright and full of energy, then suddenly - POW - it's like being hit with a sledgehammer! I always take longer than most people to adjust, last time it took me about a week to get back into a real UK time zone, so I should be just about normal again by Christmas day - well, what passes for normal anyway. In the meantime, in energetic mode, I braved the crowds in the town centre, it was lovely, they had a German Christmas market there, in the town square, selling mulled wine and gorgeous little decorations, with a live oompah band playing festive music to add to the jolliness of it all. With a sprinkling of snow on the ground, it really did feel like Christmas

Friday 18 December 2009

We're HOME!

Here we are, back in the UK, it was strange to fly over and see all the little patchwork fields, all covered with a sprinkling of snow, and boy, did it feel cold. 'You'll get used to it' said our taxi driver cheerfully (he was from Kashmir). The saga of the suitcases ends here, they didn't even weigh them, I was tempted to push my luck and say 'hang on a minute can I just stuff some more things from my terribly overweight handluggage in there', but decided it would be best just to walk away quickly before they looked at the scales. So now we have piles of stuff decanted all over the kitchen floor, a man has been with a wheely thing to try and find out where we have a water leak, if it's outside the gates they pay, if not, well, I'd better clear the kitchen floor quick, because that may have to be dug up (I fancy wood flooring, so I am hoping........)
Anyway, enough of the mindless babble of a seriously jet lagged person, on to today's card, which is for this week's Polkadoodle challenge, we had to use the brand new and very fabulous Nature CD, which turned up in Florida just in time for me to make this.
I cut the card with Wildcard at 6", added a spotty back printed from the CD, then just popped on some trees and that oh-so-cute owl.
The lettering is my favourite making memories tiny alphas - I have bought a good supply back with me, so you will see a lot more of them............... I know there should probably be an apostrophe in the WHOO's word, but as it's just a punny made up word, decided it didn't matter

and just to show you how the card looks when opened. Why not join in this week, a prize for the winner, which would be a nice extra pressie to go under your tree, and then the polkadoodlies take a break until January, which suits me, it will take me that long to sort my stuff out

Wednesday 16 December 2009

You put the merry in Christmas..................

I totally forgot I had this little stamp until I come across it whilst clearing up the other day - a bit like the fact that when we had a cold spell here in Florida, I rushed out and bought warmer clothes, totally forgetting that I did the same last year and found them when I was clearing out the closet.......................
Back to the card, sweet birdie stamped, paper pieced and coloured with copics, flowers by prima, the black ric-rac is a tape runner thingy that I bought, it didn't work when I bought it, and it doesn't work now, hence the strategic placing of flowers.

I still have all my Christmas cards to write, have given up on the idea of making them all and bought some, then there is still a crafty mess in the garage, the fridge to clean, windows to wash ............as you read this I will probably be in a comatose, exhausted heap on the airplane, making my way back to 'dear old blighty'. (Mike is a bit addicted to old war movies, so I tend to pick up the lingo)
So cheerio America for another three months, thank you all for being your usual warm, friendly and welcoming selves during our stay here.

Tuesday 15 December 2009

Funny Christmas.................and a Gypsy solution

I am getting to like the Gypsy now, I wouldn't say I love it, but I am definitely liking it, once you get used to it, it is quite convenient not to have to reach for all the cartridges and overlays whenever you want to make a cut. However, I do find it almost impossible to do without the handbook, it's really difficult to work out what the creative features of each cartridge is, so I tore out the creative features page from each of my handbooks, and took them to staples to be laminated. Then I punched a hole in each sheet and threaded them all in alphabetical order onto a metal key ring - the type you can buy in craft stores

Just having that page handy, will jog my memory of what I can do with the cartridge
Such a quick little card today, I went to visit a friend who belongs to PC Crafters Hug, which produces downloadable images, I loved this one, and so will a friend of mine! I cut the snowman and bag out of a second image and popped them to give a bit of dimension, gave her some bling earrings, added a very lush green velvet ribbon, a bit on inking and I was done - the image was already coloured.
Thanks Bev, I am going to have fun with the stuff you gave me

I hear that the UK are expecting a really cold spell, and some snow, I do hope that doesn't mean the plane can't land on friday morning, I will be digging the old thermals out for sure, and the electric blanket will be the first thing I put on.
Back to the packing...........it's getting very boring, I would much rather sit here 'chatting' to you

Monday 14 December 2009

Popcorn the Bear

I bought this stamp all the way from the UK with me, and now it is ready to make a return journey and I have only inked it up once, so I better give the poor little bear an airing before he jets off again........
Popcorn the Bear is a UK design, I haven't used them much, but I do like this little fellow peeping out of his christmas wreath

Coloured with copic markers, white highlights by signo white pen, sentiment studio G, papers DCWV and the border punch is of course Martha - double loop, punched twice and layered. The only bling I put on were some tiny dots of red stickles on the berries

The house is a mess, the garage is a mess, the laundry is a mess, I am a mess...........so much to do, so little time, I feel like the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, rushing around and not actually getting much done. Take a peek at my sidebar, there is a brand new photo of Monty on there, now you all know why I am anxious to get home, when you look at those little faces.....
See you guys tommorrow, I'm off to do a bit of pointless rushing again.............

Saturday 12 December 2009

Love at Christmas

This little card manages to fit four challenges this week, I don't think I have ever managed that before
House Mouse Challenge - Non traditional Christmas colours
Papertake Weekly - No red or green
Inspirational Card Sketches - I followed the sketch!
Colour Create - Lilac, Aqua, Black and White

The base card is a very pale lilac, the aqua panel was embossed with the sissix snowflakes folder, the star punch is Martha Stewart and all the lettering is making memories. The stamp is from the acrylic Christmas house mouse set. I added pearls for the mistletoe berries, and the black snowflakes are a cuttlebug die

Thursday 10 December 2009

There Can Only Be One Queen .....................

I found this great stamp in the dollar bin at Michaels, and knew straightaway what I was going to do with it, the cat was cut from the Paisley cartridge, all the papers are DCWV. I thought it would make a great card for a cat lover

I added a few white highlights to make her pop..............

I have finished all the word books/wedding albums/exploding boxes etc that I am doing for peeps back in the UK, as I tied the final ribbon it suddenly occured to me that I now have to pack all these things into my already overweight bags as well. Shipping to the UK is so expensive, but I may be forced to go down that route
Mike has just been browsing the local paper, where there is a obituary for a chap who was known to everyone as NASTY. What a nickname to carry through life, it seems almost cruel that it follows him in death (rather funny though, he is obviously a great loss to the human race............), still, nasty or not, someone loved him enough to put it in the paper. The local paper here is a great source of mirth between us every morning, I think my favourite, which I have probably written about before has to be the side by side burial plots that were being offered for sale, in a lovely spot, overlooking a lake. Reason for sale - Divorce!!
Mike's all time favourite was the anguished plea for a lost cat, black and white, looks like a cow
I the meantime, I have my last crafty get together today, so cheerio for now, off to play

Wednesday 9 December 2009

Sepia for Daring Cardmakers and another Katies Kisses card

Here's another card made with one of the brand new stamp range called Katies Kisses. I thought this would make a good teen card, hence the sentiment. Lettering and papers by making memories. Flowers by prima. A bit of doodling with a momento fine tip pen, colouring copics. The red panel is embossed with swiss dots, which doesn't show in the photo.

On Daring Cardmakers this week, the dare is 'Say it in Sepia', Lynda asked for a thank you card. This isn't my thing at all, but of course I had to have a go - I can never resist a dare, go over and see the design teams samples though, they are fabulous. This card looks much, much prettier in real life, it's quite sparkly which doesn't show up in the photo.

I inked a cuttlebug script panel with bronze cats eye ink, the stamp was stamped in versamark chocolate, then I swiped the whole panel with stampin up's heat and stick powder and heated until sticky, then I dumped iridescent ice embossing powder over the top and heated again.

You can't really see the effect, but it's a very subtle and evenly glittered panel. The chocolate swirls are chipboard pieces by making memories, and the sentiment is hero arts
It has suddenly dawned on me that we have only just over a week before we fly back home, so today saw me packing the mountain of christmas gifts I have bought, I needed to see if they would all fit into four large suitcases. The simple answer is no, they don't. I had an anguished hour of worrying about it, then the laid-back part of me kicked in, I won't worry about it until we are at the airport. The cases will go on their pre-flight jaunt up to the local supermarket, to be ceremoniously weighed, usually with a crowd of bemused US citizens watching, laughing and offering advice. When my friend Anne left here in October, she had been on a buying frenzy, and in her last few days in the USA, she bought a concrete head - don't ask, it's an artistic thing - not only did she sail through check-in with cases weighing about 20 lbs above the allowance and a concrete head in her hand baggage, she was upgraded! Somehow I feel, no, I KNOW, that this would not happen to me. If I tried to import a concrete head, it would probably fall on the check-in guy's foot and I would be lucky to get a seat out on the wing.

Tuesday 8 December 2009

Exploding Box

I have been busy making an exploding box for a commission for the past couple of days.
Here's the lid, I used cuts from A Child's Year for all the external decoration. The letters are DCWV chipboard

I cut tiny figures of children playing to go all around the sides like a frieze..............

Here it is opened, the papers are K & Company

Just one of the tiny pages, I love doing these boxes, it's always a challenge to find embellishments tiny enough to look in scale

The cutting sizes for the boxes are on the blog - look under labels for tutorial for exploding box. I took the photos at night, so they are a bit rubbish, sorry about that, but you get the general idea. The box has been delivered, so I can't re-take them.