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Monday 28 February 2011

Cupcakes Galore..........

I have been busy making a few cupcake cards. Why? Well, Papercraft Inspirations magazine have a stand at the Stitch and Craft show at Olympia (London) and they are doing all sorts of yummy cupcake themed make and takes and demos. There is going to be a giant cupcake stand for readers cards, but it may look a bit sad to start with until it fills up, so I have made these to help start it off.
If you are going to Olympia on March 17th - 20th, be sure to take a cupcake card along with you to be in with the chance of winning a prize, put your name and address on the back of the card, and your name will be entered into a draw for a bumper goodie bag and I will see you there, as I am joining the Papercraft Inspirations team for the first two days of the show, be sure to come and say hello.

I used a Polkadoodles stamp for the first card, the choc drops on the cake are covered with glossy accents

the second one has a stamp by Inkadinkadoo, papers are by core-dinations and DCWV

and this last one uses a Cricut cupcake, I think it was from Doodlecharms. The cute saying is from the cupcake set by the Cutting Cafe

What else have I been doing? Well, I have cleared my mail box of 600 emails, so I have done a fair bit of blog hopping this weekend. I have received some blog awards from very kind blog friends, and have totally overlooked putting them on here, I am so sorry. Between CHA and jet lag, then catching up with various projects, I just didn't have the time. But I don't want you to think that I don't appreciate your thinking of me - I appreciate each and every one of you. If it wasn't for you, I would be sitting here every morning burbling away to myself :)

When I was going to CHA, I clicked on one of my own ad's out of curiosity, a company called Vistaprint, and ordered some snazzy colourful business cards for a ridiculously low price, they threw in 500 address labels for free. So I felt pretty organised in LA, doling out professional looking cards to anyone who was daft enough to stop and talk to me.... Well, since then, this company keeps sending me emails, would I like another 250 business cards and return labels - FREE? Well yes, okay then, I got some made up with my US address. Would I like a card holder for my cards - FREE? - okay then, I feel more like someone who knows what they are doing every day with all this stuff. Then the piece de resistance - would I like a T shirt - FREE?

Will I ever wear it? Who knows. I may have some well-meaning stranger coming up to me and giving me advice on how to dress if I do - cute though isn't it?

See you tomorrow

Friday 25 February 2011

Stashbox Stamp day for Polkadoodles

It was my turn to set the challenge over on Polkadoodles today. We had decided that once a month we are going to have a stashbox stamp challenge - basically, we can use any stamp we like with our Polkadoodles papers and embellishments. To this I added the requirement:
2 ribbons and a charm
So if you love challenges, please please join in
On to the card, I used papers from the Sugar Birdies CD (the flowers were punched from a plain taupe paper printed from the CD as well). The sentiment label is from the Sundae of Seasons CD, and the stamp? You will not have seen this one before, it was a brand new one at CHA, and will very shortly be available from Scrappy-go-Lucky. Isn't she just gorgeous, peeping out of her flowerpot?

My expert fashion advice was called upon today. This is always happening to me - I am browsing the clothes in M & S and someone comes up and begs my advice. This is not because I looked a picture of elegance and good taste, I had dashed out in my housework jeans and an old sweater for some food, but the clothes beckoned irresistibly and I couldn't resist a little browse.
Now what do you say when a sweet grandma accosts you, holding up a garment that nobody over the age of 21 should wear and says 'do you think this would look nice on me?'
Yes, I am well aware that I am, myself, a sweet grandma, but the difference is that I have a cast iron rule when it comes to dress - if you can remember that particular fashion from the first time around, then you are too old to wear it now. Works a treat. It has saved me from buying jumpsuits, mini skirts and harem pants this past season. I hear that the 70's are hot fashion this summer. Well, since I looked hideous in bell bottomed psychedelic prints as a slip of a thing in the 70's, I am not deluded enough to think that I will look any better in them this time around.
You see, it makes sense, and yet these people keep coming up to me and asking me if ridiculous things will suit them. What can you say? I should probably get my mantra, as outlined for you above, printed out, and stand on street corners handing it out to folk as they enter the shop. I could become a one-woman crusade.......
Edited to say that I told her not to buy it - I was very tactful, I didn't say 'don't get it because you are too old and would look ridiculous' although I was tempted. I thought of saying 'it's not really your colour' but then she would have dived towards the shocking pink version. So I said 'well good for you if you are able to show your arms, I would LOVE to wear that, but stopped wearing sleeveless about five years ago' big sigh........ 'oh I don't do sleeveless either she said' waving the scanty top in the air 'I was going to cover it up with a cardigan' 'mmmm, that would spoil the line totally, don't you think?' She agreed, and put it back reluctantly. Last seen making a beeline for the black mini skirt with the big silver buckle on the waist. Some you win...............
See you tomorrow

Wednesday 23 February 2011

Scrapbook Layout...........

Something you don't see very often from me, a scrapbook layout. I actually made this one for Kiki's book some time ago, but totally forgot to take it down to London, so it has been hanging around in a drawer for the best part of two years. I found it the other day, and surprisingly - very surprisingly, I am my own worst critic - I still like it. You can see one corner has got a bit bashed in the drawer, but I have flattened it out, and kept it where I can see it so that next time I go to London, hopefully, I will remember to take it with me.
She was four when I took this photo.
I stitched around the gingham piece, then stamped in a lilac ink some flourishes from Autumn Leaves, and dotted a few dewdrops around. The flowers are punched, with buttons in the centre. It must have been before my obsession with threading buttons started, because all the buttons are naked!

Come to think of it, the layout of the page would make a nice card....wheels are turning
Don't forget you have until the end of this week to enter a card into my Promarker colouring competition, scroll down for details. The prize is worth a try....
See you tomorrow

Monday 21 February 2011

Two cards made yesterday.......

Two of the most gorgeous cards I have put on here for a while, I am sure you will all want step-by-step instructions....................
Go to Poundland and buy some tubes of glitter glue, give some punched flowers and butterflies to a three year old, sit back and wait for the explosion............
These are the cards that Max made for mummy yesterday, of course, the glitter was the star of the show and he applied it rather liberally to everything, including the table and me

I gave him some scalloped scissors, that required a lot of concentration...........of course, as always he was on fireman duty, his obssession with fire emergencies is unabated.....

while his little brother Milo, aged 20 months was much more interested in playing on the nintendo DS with Pops............... is he going to be left-handed like me?

and we went to feed the ducks in the same park that their daddy used to feed the ducks on a sunday afternoon when he was a little boy..........

Max threw a whole crust, which one greedy gander snapped up, and waddled around with it hanging out of his mouth for ages, he obviously thought it was his birthday, never had so much bread in his life, but didn't have a clue what to do with it. In the end, he gave an anguished 'QUACK', the crust fell out of his beak, and was grabbed by another duck, who swam triumphantly away with his prize. Life is hard!

I am working on a tutorial for the pop-up matchbox. See you tommorrow.
In the meantime, you still have plenty of time to make a card for Letraset and be in with a chance of winning two blender sets, a total of 24 ProMarkers. Worth a shot, good luck. Scroll down to see how to enter

Friday 18 February 2011

Little gift bag and more blending colours....

This week on Polkadoodles challenge, Saskia, who is from Belgium, set the challenge, and of course she chose
So I made this little gift bag, cut from the Tags, Bags, Boxes and More Cricut cartridge at 6", it is just big enough to hold about 6 little choccie as a cheer up present for someone. The papers and tag are from the Back to Nature CD

and here's another example of favourite blending colours with my Promarkers - another Sugar Nellie stamp. I used Bazzill dotted cardstock called 'rope swing' (I love the names they give to their cardstock, it makes them sound so much more appealing than 'tan' or 'brown'
I used some wide raffia netting, and held it in place with a couple of buttons and the stamped panel

Promarkers used:
Pear green and Marsh Green
Sandstone, caramel and tan
Tree trunk cool grey 3, warm grey 4
leaves cinnamon, burnt umber, caramel
hair - vanilla and buttercup

Don't forget to get your Promarkers out and colour a card to win 24 promarkers - details below, and don't forget to link back to this site from your blog please, so that your visitors can see the details for themselves, and you can still win 36 promarkers - all the new blending sets, over on Letraset's blog

Wednesday 16 February 2011

More Favourite Colours

I used another Sugar Nellie stamp for this card. Usually I sort out my colours before I start, but this time, I just doodled away, and this is how I ended up with navy blue and bright pink - I like the combo though

ProMarkers used:
China blue and cobalt blue for her coat
Powder blue and denim blue for the jeans
Rose pink and blossom for her scarf and hat
hair ivory, tan and cinnamon
deer sandstone tan and burnt sienna
blush and dusky pink for face
ice grey 2 to shadow, leaf and apple for ground
Border punches Martha Stewart
Nestabilities labels 2
Sentiment Craftwork cards

I am still in a mess with my dripping leak into my craft space. I can't access my Cricut which is a major headache for me as I use it every day, there is stuff all over the floor, I have nowhere to put anything. The leak has stopped, but we dread having another rain storm.........it will all get sorted eventually
We went to see The King's Speech tonight - probably the among the last people in the UK to go and see it. Fabulous film, if you haven't seen it yet, it's worth seeing. What is it about cinema audiences though - why are there always people who laugh loudly, even when something isn't very funny, or even when it is clearly not meant to be funny? Why is popcorn sold in cinemas when it is so noisy to eat? Why is there almost always some sticky gum or something stuck to the arm of your seat? Why, when I have gone to the loo just before the film, do I always want to go again right in the middle of the film, I can wait hours anywhere else, sit me in a cinema seat and after an hour I am crossing my legs. Apart from all that, we had a lovely evening
Don't forget to scroll down for the post to find out how you can win yourself 24 gorgeous Promarkers
Back tomorrow....

Monday 14 February 2011

Promarker Competition

Two great competitions for you today, read all about mine at the end of this post, then go over to Letraset's blog to see how you can win more Promarkers. Those clever peeps over at Letraset have come up with another bright idea, brand new blending sets, with 12 ProMarkers in each set. The idea is that with every set you get paired colours that will blend and shade perfectly together.

I know that a lot of people are intimidated by alcohol markers and simply don't know which colours they should get to start, and with these sets Letraset have taken the guesswork out of the equation and made it easy.

So for the first competition, all you have to do is pop over to Letraset's blog and see what you have to do to win all three sets of these markers. It's easy, and well worth entering. But that's not all, read on and see how you can win on here as well

I was all set with a neat little colour chart for you of all my favourite blending colours, but in the rainy drippy chaos that is my scrap space at the moment, it got wet and a bit splodgy looking, so I will post it tomorrow.

I did make a couple of cards though with some of my favourite blends

Stamp - Sugar Nellie

Sentiment - Lily of the Valley

Promarkers used:

Blush and soft peach for skin

sandstone tan and caramel for hair

denim blue and powder blue for hat and dress

dusky rose and sunkissed pink for top and tights

cinnamon, warm grey 2, 3, 4 for the rest

and here's another Sugar Nellie stamp, I just love these little girls. This one is called Grace - I coloured this one in really softly, which suits the vintage look of the stamp. I wanted the colours to look sort of faded......

Hair Ivory and Buttercup

Skin Ivory, blush and sunkissed pink

clothes sunkissed pink and dusky rose
large scallop half circle - Cricut and Lacy Labels cartridge

flowers by Prima
sentiment circle by Craftwork Cards

and here's the next way to win - five of you will win two blending sets each

What do I want you to do? Here's your opportunity to have your work displayed at prestigious international craft events - Letraset want to make up some boards for display at various craft shows, and would like one made up of customers cards, so I want you to make a card for them. It can be any style, any stamp, digi or otherwise, but must be coloured with Promarkers.

You cannot combine your entry with any other challenges.

Put your card on your blog, forum or photoalbum and link it using the linky feature below, you must list the colours used, and if you are one of the winners will have to send your card to Letraset in the UK. In return five of you will get TWO blending sets each - that's 24 markers to add to your stash

we (some of Letraset's staff, and me) will be visiting your blogs to see the cards. The executives from Letraset will pick their five favourite cards.

You have until

10:00 P.M (5:00 P.M EST) on Monday 28th February

that's two whole weeks and two weekends for you to colour away.

Good luck!

Now hop on over to Letraset's blog to enter their giveaway

Winners of the Cricut Stuffed Toy and magazines.......

First of all, today's card. I used a gorgeous taupe card base from Craftwork Cards, it has a lovely pearlescent sheen and was just too gorgeous to cover with a pattern paper, so the card is simple. I used a cuttlebug embossing folder across the bottom to add a bit of texture.
The flourish was cut from Wall Decor and More - I chopped it around a little to fit the card, and added some teensy green gems which were a total pain to glue
The lily is one of Stampendous's brand new big flowers, coloured with Promarkers. I added liquid pearls, black glitter and some more of the irritating little teensy gems to the flower before sticking it on with foam pads

Edited to say in response to a comment, I love liquid pearls. I don't think I have the technique down to a fine art, they sometimes look a bit blobby, but somehow it doesn't matter on the type of stuff I use it on. I like the pale pink, as shown here, the pearl colour and the red at Christmastime.

I also wanted to say thanks to all of you who come on here and haven't been irritated by the new ads, but have been interested enough to take a peek at them. Thanks to you, I will have enough pennies in the coffers to cover the mailing costs of all the blog candy, so it will have made a difference. Thank you :D

So to the winner of Cricky, the big stuffed Cricut that I got at the CHA gala. He is going to live with
somewhere in the USA I think - he is going to be the most well-travelled bug in the world. All the way to the UK from LA, now back again to the USA. Congratulations Bren, email me with your address and he will be in the mail to you
The two winners of the Cricut magazines are
Carol Moore
Sarah Turner (Not Quite Martha Stewart blog)
Congrats to you as well, email me with your addresses
I have been hearing pitter patter all night - no, not of tiny feet, but of raindrops falling into a bowl on a shelf in my CRAFT CLOSET. Of all the spots in the house that develops a leak, why on earth does it have to be in my special space? We put a washing up bowl underneath to catch the drips, but it was filling so rapidly that I had to set the alarm clock at hourly intervals all night long to empty the dratted bowl. So today sees me just a little bit tired, a little bit grumpy, and a little bit anxious about all my stuff - I have so much, I just can't bear the thought of emptying the cupboard, so have just taken out things most at risk from the water. We are waiting for the insurance assessor to contact us about the repair.
Hey ho, these things happen. I will just put my wellies and raincoat on and get back up there to make a card or two. Has anyone seen my umbrella?
Be sure to check back tomorrow for some Letraset (Promarker) news, and a competition you won't want to miss

Friday 11 February 2011

Cricut Magazine - 2 Up for Grabs

I picked up a couple of copies of this brand new magazine, devoted to all things Cricut, at CHA. This is the first issue, and the two copies are up for grabs here. If you want one, just leave your name under this post.
I guess you will want to know what I thought of it? Well there were some cute projects in there, but also some projects that had me scratching my head a little (no, a lot if I am totally honest) I was
surprised, for instance that scallop borders were credited to Martha Stewart punches when there is an identical cut on the Plantin Schoolbook cartridge. Can you believe they credit Stampin Up for a plain circle punch, when we have good old George to do the job? So I didn't feel that our super machines were used to capacity or showed their versatility in this edition. I would have thought that it was an ideal opportunity to show that the machine makes lots of extra purchases like circle punches redundant.
With some of the scrapbook layouts the instructions were so sparse - literally a list of products used - that you really had to guess which bit had been cut with the Cricut. There was a good mix of cards, scrapbook layouts, a few cake projects and some home decor stuff, so something for everyone. They have also used a wide variety of cartridges, including some of the older ones, which I thought was good. The instructions for the cards were quite detailed although they failed to give you the crucial size of the cut. They also utilised design studio, the gypsy and the imagine machine on a few projects, although this just meant they mentioned DS or gypsy (weld the two shapes together using DS) The projects are beautifully photographed.

Will I subscribe? I am a bit on the fence at the moment, probably not, but would buy it if I saw it in a store. At $15 a copy, I think they need to sharpen the Cricut content and show me cuts and ways of using the cuts that I hadn't dreamed of.

In the meantime, here's your chance to judge for yourself. I will give the names of two winners on Monday when I announce the winner of the fluffy green Cricut, who looks to me as if he is giving me very baleful looks and can't wait to get out of here - scroll down for that post if you haven't already offered to adopt him

Polkadoodle Friday

A fun new challenge on Polkadoodles today, set by our Italian design team member Miria who chose the theme

That' s AMORE

use any film or song with a love theme as your inspiration

I was really short of time for this one, but having been AWOL for a couple of weeks, I delved into my stock of Polkadoodles papers and images printed from the Love and Cherish CD, and came up with this card, inspired by Shania Twain's 'Still the One' - I love that song

I matted everything in black, added some doodling, ribbon and a charm. Quick and easy and I quite like the finished look

Have you made your valentine cards yet? I keep meaning to make one for each of the children, but don't think I will have the time. I am full of good intentions that never quite make it to reality. Mike and I don't really do valentines day - nothing to do with having been married for a long time, we never did, even in the first flush of new romance, so we certainly aren't about to start now. I see magazines with romantic table layouts, complicated ideas for that romantic dinner for two, even articles on what to wear for that romantic date........what a faff! Good luck to you all if you are going down that route....me? I'll be cosying up in my nice warm PJ's over a nice warm craft table with my lovely, but totally unromantic husband for company :) Mind you, I have always been attracted to the idea of finding some little diamond bauble dangling from a giant bunch of red roses. Sigh.
See you tomorrow

Thursday 10 February 2011

BIG Flowers

I mentioned before how there is a new trend for BIG flower stamps, all the major manufacturers have them in their new collections, so I was delighted when the nice folk on the Stampendous stand at CHA gave me a couple of their new cling mounted flower stamps to try. This one is called simply Rose, and comes with the flourish stamp I used
First of all I stamped the rose onto white cardstock with embossing ink, and sprinkled with white holographic embossing powder. Then I swiped it all over with various pink and red chalk inks by Colorbox and cut it out
I covered the front of a 6 x 6 card with a black and white print paper - maker unknown - and cut out two black panels, then added more print paper to those. I stamped the flourish in Tuxedo Black ink by Memento, added a few black gems to the swirls then attached the rose with foam pads. I put a black gem on top of some Card Candy discs by Craftwork Cards to finish it off

I am more or less over my jet-lag now. What a strange feeling it is. You feel as if you are on the outside of the world looking in. My sleep pattern is totally up the spout though, I am full of energy at 2am and struggle to get up at a normal time in the morning - mind you, come to think of it, that's pretty normal for me anyway
Talking of sleep, Milo, aged 20 months has developed a new trick. A while ago his parents did a sleep training programme to try and get him to sleep through the night, and not wake up at 4 a.m - it worked. The message has got through to the little chap that if he is in his cot, he is supposed to sleep, so when they go in to his room in the morning and he is standing happily at the foot of his cot, he dives down and closes his eyes tightly. He even does it if he is sitting playing with his toys, just sits there, but closes his eyes really tight and pretends to be asleep sitting up!
See you tomorrow

Wednesday 9 February 2011

Using Up Stuff

Do you remember the butterfly that was my first attempt at airbrushing, made just before I went to CHA?

Whilst I was there, at a Hero Arts class we made a card using the resist technique, I loved the little panel, but didn't care for the card design. So when I got home, I found some pattern paper by Papermania to use as a background, and put the two together.
The sentiment is by Lili of the Valley stamps stamped onto Hero Hues cardstock

How was the resist piece done? Stamp your image with embossing ink, and emboss with white embossing powder. Swipe the whole thing with China Blue distress ink pad, until the paper is totally covered. Take a tissue and wipe, the ink will come off the white embossing.
Dab your blue ink pad into the centre of the flowers to add depth, then take a green marker and colour in the leaves. Give the white embossing a final wipe, and add some pearls. It's a long time since I used this technique, and it was fun revisiting some old favourites

See you tomorrow

Tuesday 8 February 2011

Some CHA Make and Takes

I have been busy unpacking, and trying to find a home for all this stuff, which is just a fraction of the goodies I brought home with me from CHA......................

Here are a couple of the make and take classes I did. This first one used glass etching, the first time I have ever tried that. Fascinating the way you spread the gunk on and leave behind a etched image. I will definitely try this again, and I loved this album
Edited to say that I have found out that this class was taught by Pat Davenport, and I have to say it was the most organised class I went to the entire trip. Everything was ready for us, and we managed to complete the entire album in 2 hours. Thank you Pat, great job!

I think you can just about see that two of the pages are acrylic, the papers were so pretty

I also loved this pretty wooden box that was a make and take on the Provocraft stand. It was designed by Sue who is one of the in-house design team for Provocraft, she designs a lot of the projects that are featured in the cartridge handbooks. Originally from the UK, she was the sweetest person, warm and friendly.
The fabulous flower was cut from George I think, about 6 layers, that we spritzed with water, then crumpled up before layering

It got a bit squashed in the suitcase on the way home, but you get the idea

Scroll down if you are here to enter your name to win the BIG Cricky. Honestly, you lot are making me feel as if I am abandoning a puppy or something! The truth is, I don't have a fancy scraproom, and although I love the little green bug, he needs space. I considered myself very fortunate to get to CHA, and I had such a great time, so this is pay-it-forward time..... I am keeping the little guy you see in the photo above though. He will fit in nicely.
See you tomorrow

Sunday 6 February 2011

Does anyone want to adopt me?

I have suffered a lot of indignities in the past few days - first of all some folks at Provocraft stuffed me into a goody bag to be given away at their CHA gala - given away! me! the most famous insect in the world! So humiliating.....then they were giving away all my little offspring on their CHA booth. Yes, I admit, a lot of those little green critters are mine, us cricuts are a productive bunch.

So I felt quite special when I found out that I was in the goody bag of some person from the UK - I thought I would be going to live in a palace, and that my new owner would wear a tiara and drink Earl Grey tea with her little finger crooked in a ladylike way. Instead of which, she put me to sit on a tub of mod podge in a closet, wears jeans all the time and drinks a lot of coffee. She can't even talk properly - I mean, what on earth is a tomaaato?

So I am putting myself up for adoption, I want a home where I will have a special place of honour (see, I am turning into an English Cricut already, putting u back in honor, where will it all end? Soon I will be saying cheerio and ta ta for now......).

My new owner (she doesn't know what a short-lived relationship this is going to be) is coming up to an anniversary. Apparently it is four years on the 18th February since she first started chatting on the Cricut message board. So I want to be out of here before she starts making me eat cucumber sandwiches and drink warm beer at her anniversary party. Leave me a comment here to tell me how you would take care of me, and I will pick a new home on the 14th February. It can be anywhere in the world, as long as you don't put me to sit on the mod podge..........

Cheerio for now x

Make a red hot valentine card!

Make a red hot valentine card!

Click on the link to see the Valentines card I made for Papercraft Inspirations magazines weekend Valentines party. Loads of inspiration over there, and if you share a photo of your Valentines card you could win a fantastic prize as well

Saturday 5 February 2011

I'm Home

I'm back home, safe and sound after a surprisingly uneventful journey. I still have to unpack, and where on earth I am going to put all the goodies I collected is a mystery. So I am sharing some more photos of cards that caught my eye over there...............

There is a definite trend for really big flowers, lots of the major stamp companies - Hero Arts, Inkadinkadoo etc all had BIG flower heads in their new collections

Normal service will be resumed on here as soon as I can get to my desk, after I have found a new home for the suitcase full of new stuff I bought back, which will take a bit of creative planning on my part
This weekend, Papercraft Inspirations Magazine are holding a Valentines party, there will be loads of inspiration over there, some freebie downloads, and prizes, be sure to pop over and join in
See you tomorrow