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Friday, 31 October 2014

Peace on Earth..

 This card very nearly didn't make the cut and I wasn't doing to post it, but hey, we can all make mistakes and this is one that didn't turn out anything like the vision of loveliness that was in my head, but there you go, that's crafting for you

I have a theory that I never stick to. If a card isn't going the way you imagined, you should really reach a point, quite quickly, where you rip it up, go and have a coffee and start again....

So I have had the new Tim Holtz falling trees embossing folder sitting on my desk for a couple of weeks, and also his Christmas word dies. I thought I would ink the embossing folder to get a faux letterpress look...



So the first attempt, I inked the wrong side of the folder. Next, I used a very harsh green ink, it looked terrible, then I did it again using distress inks and some pearlized water, forgetting that I was using ordinary cardstock instead of watercolour paper, so the card disintegrated into a soggy mess. This should have been my 'give up and have a coffee' moment, but no. Onward I pressed and eventually ended up with this rather muted watercolour type embossed image that I quite liked

Then came the fun with the word dies. Now the font on these is fabulous, and you get a whole load of sentiments in the set. They are very fine, and need waxed paper and a metal shim to make life easy, but the problem I had was that I found it impossible to look at all these little metal shapes and figure out what the word was. By process of elimination, I put aside the longer words like 'christmas' and 'Greetings', but however hard I tried to figure it out I couldn't make out what the other words were (apart from the little word 'on', that one was easy to identify), so had to cut the lot out. (I have since hit on the idea of marking the back of the metal with a sharpie so that I wont's have to do this again...)

But that idea didn't occur to me until much later, after I had cut out the lot in white, tossed the dies back into the package, then decided I really preferred black, the white was too wishy washy. So out came the dies again. Repeat the nonsense I describe above, cut in black, toss dies into package...

THEN I decided I needed two more cuts of each word so that I could layer them together for a chipboard look...

By this time, never mind the coffee, I was ready for a gin and tonic..




So here is a 'quick and easy' card that most definitely won't be on the mass production list. Perish the thought!

I hope that those of you who are planning spooky times involving lots of candy have a great time tonight

I'll be back from Yorkshire tomorrow with photos of my adventures there, see you then x

Thursday, 30 October 2014

A circle of holly....

One of my new Christmas stamps this year is this one from Woodware - they have some great designs this year. I stamped it direct onto the card base, and also onto a scrap of white cardstock in black versafine onto white and heat embossed with clear embossing powder

I wanted to cut it out, which meant I would lose the lovely little happy Christmas sentiment running on the outside of the circle, which is why I stamped twice....


 - I coloured the holly with Promarkers, but was at a loss how to do the ring, so I squeezed a drop of liquid pearls onto a craft sheet and used a water brush to paint it on, then added drops of the same liquid pearls to the stamped dots. I also gave the holly a coat of wink of stella clear glitter pen...  


I love this very fine gold thread that I found in a sewing shop, it adds a bit of sparkle without adding any bulk to the card...


I cut a long piece, then fold it into four, making a much thicker length, you would think it would be difficult, but it's really easy to tie a bow using this four thread thickness...


and here is the finished card. Simple, but really effective, I wish the photo could show the subtle sheen on the leaves and the delicate thread bow....



and another lovely mail day with this lovely thank you card from Karen, so pretty, sparkly and delicate. Thank you so much Karen, I love it...


No charity shop for me today, we are travelling up to Yorkshire for a couple of days to catch up with old friends, so looking forward to seeing them...

But I'll be popping here tomorrow with another 'quick' card (cue hollow laughter from me.....) See you then x

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Three Cards - one stamp

 I have this beautiful stamp called Silent Night by Stampendous, and I was playing around with different embossing powders - amazing how different it looks....


Firstly, I heat embossed with white WOW embossing powder onto white card, and used tumbled glass and chipped sapphire distress inks to sponge colour onto the white space... I added Wink of Stella clear glitter so there is a lovely subtle shine, and some clear sequins dotted around completed the look....




Next, I used a sparkly black embossing powder, impossible to photograph the sparkle on this one, the same inks were used to add colour.....



and for the last one I used a copper embossing powder. The strips on the top and bottom were made by swiping an embossing pad over white cardstock, then covering with the same embossing powder. I cut strips rather than backing the whole piece - that way you get less bulk on your card, always useful at Christmas when you have to mail so many....I left the background white on this one, it looked quite effective against the rich shiny copper...



Well it seems like a lot of you like new stamps, so I will sort them out, get them photographed and let you know in advance when they will be posted on here. Bear with me, I will need a bit of time to do this

See you tomorrow x

Monday, 27 October 2014

Quick Christmas Cards....


A couple of quickly made Christmas cards from me today - I have been a bit busy to do any crafting this weekend. This first one uses a Tim Holtz stencil, some inking through the stencil and the addition of some liquid pearls and wink of stella clear glitter. The sentiment was cut on my Explore



 and this next one uses one of this year's Christmas stamps by Woodware, I paper pieced the 25 out of a pattern paper....


and the background was embossed with a snowflake embossing folder...


Now if you don't want to see me indulge in a bit of grandmotherly chatter, click away now.....So the boys and I had our adventure - a trip to Drayton Manor, where it soon became apparent that if there was anything to climb, up they went....



Max insisted he wanted to go on this ride, Milo was too small to ride, and of course I couldn't leave him. So off went the intrepid Max, he looked very small all by himself......


and it was fun when it first started swinging.....


Not so great when it swung almost vertical. That was a long couple of minutes!




We ended up in the 3D cinema - Milo fell asleep, and I was very tempted. 'I was watching with one eye, and sleeping with the other' he informed me....


I have a question, I have been sorting out my stamps, and I have a load to sell at bargain prices. Most of them are last season's designs, and for design team and magazine work I have to use the latest stuff. They are all rubber cling or clear stamps, and all British makes - Lily of the valley, Woodware and so on. If I did a used stamp sale on here, would there be any interest? I would post worldwde, postage at cost, and it shouldn't cost too much to mail unmounted stamps. Let me know, and I will take photos

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Explore bird and some winners


So I am definitely getting into a bit of a Christmas groove now, here's another card made while I was playing around with the Explore, I know the branch was from Winter Woodland but again, I was cutting out in a frenzy of new toy madness and forgot to take a note of the bird. I cut his red breast out of some gingham paper, added some snow to the branch with frantage shabby white embossing powder. The snowy background is texture paste and the Simon says Stamp falling snow stencil which I have since lost - right at the time of year that I need it most!


Two winners each win a set of the Metallic Markers. Thanks to all of you who commented, and thanks to Letraset for sponsoring the giveaway. The winners are:


Marg

and

Hazel



Congrats to you both. Email me at enfysc@yahoo.co.uk with your address and I will get them posted to you

I have two little visitors coming to stay overnight today - Max and Milo are staying here, so I am taking them to a local theme park (Drayton Manor) this afternoon. That will use up some of their boundless energy, and use up every last little bit of mine! On the subject of grandchildren, Monty was introduced to poetry at school, and had to write one for his homework.......
I like cats
I like dogs
I like snakes
I like frogs
Okay, maybe not a future poet laureate, but it rhymes, and he is only five!


Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Boo!

 This was one of the first cards I made with the Explore. Now why I was drawn to this image, I haven't a clue, I don't really 'do' Halloween, but suddenly I was overcome with the desire to use black, purple and all things spooky.... 


I inked the background in chipped sapphire, tumbled glass and plum distress inks, and lightly inked the moon with weathered wood and scattered straw just around the edges.  


I thought the letters looked more spooky somehow if they were covered with glossy accents...


Again, I'm really sorry but in all the excitement I totally forgot to make a note of which cartridges I used - it's so easy with the Explore to wander around until you find something you like and just send it to cut. I promise to make a list as I go along in future

So my eyes are pretty much back to normal, thanks for all the good wishes. I haven't got any craft stuff done though, I spent what seemed like a hundred years in a bank yesterday - we recently changed banks, it will be an easy and painless process they promised. It was, except that a credit card in my name on the old bank account remained stubbornly active. I tried telephoning to try and cancel. 'Please enter the ninth letter or number of your 18 digit security password' the robot voice commanded. What? 18 digits? When did I ever use 18 digits. I made increasingly wild guesses, when the robot said smugly 'you have failed the security check, please contact your bank'
So I tried again, this time the robot wouldn't even let me make a wild guess. So, in very bad humour, I trailed down to the old bank. They didn't exactly fall over with pleasure when they heard that I was no longer their customer, so I had to sit, and sit.....and sit. I called Mike to ask if I really had to do this. Yes, apparently it was essential..... 

Eventually someone saw me, and we went through the paperwork to cancel the card. All this was getting more tedious by the minute until she asked 'how would you like your reward points' Reward! They were going to reward me for closing my account and wasting an afternoon! I sat up a bit straighter from my slumped totally bored position. It seems I have rather a lot of reward points on that card, that I was able to redeem as Marks and Spencer vouchers. Well, that perked me up I can tell you. Christmas is paid for!

The euphoria lasted until I got home and told Mike. He then started calculating how much I must have spent to have got enough vouchers to pay for Christmas. Sometimes it's not such a good idea to be married to an accountant........

See you tomorrow x


Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Christmas Party Invites for Papercraft Inspirations Magazine....



So way back in the summer, when the sun was shining and the flowers were blooming, I was asked to make some Christmas party invitations for Papercraft Inspirations. They have appeared in this month's issue, on sale now. Two of them made the cover (except that you can't see them because they are covered up by the free gift!). This one was my favourite make, although it didn't make the cover. I loved the look of the black and white with just that little pop of red....



 I went for an eye test yesterday and saw a new optician.  All was well until he put some drops in my eyes. I still have blurry vision 24 hours later. I had some shopping to do and felt as if I should have been wearing sunglasses and maybe a white stick - it was that bad. I stumbled and squinted my way around town, and when I got home, all plans for crafting had to be put on the back burner as I couldn't see what I was doing. It really makes you appreciate the gift of sight when, temporarily, everything goes out of focus. So I feel as if I have been grounded - no crafting, and driving would be a bit dodgy to say the least. Still, look on the bright side, as I dashed out to the optician, I noticed a huge ginormous spider lurking by the front door.  Normally I would have conducted an eagle-eyed search for this monster as soon as I got back home, but he is probably sitting on the wall behind me laughing, as I squint at the computer screen to write this.

Hopefully I will see you all a lot more clearly tomorrow! x
    

Monday, 20 October 2014

Video - Starry skies and liquid frisket

Here's a quick video for you on using Liquid Frisket. What? It's a rubber masking fluid used apparently by great artists - and me, you find it in the art supplies aisles of craft stores. It's acutally pretty handy stuff to have around, you can dip a brush in and write or draw on your card, then go mad with the watercolour paints and peel the frisket off to show the white underneath. Go HERE to watch it on YouTube




 It does look as though there are a lot of shooting stars in this sky! MAKE A WISH!


Now I need to know, are you enjoying these videos? Any comments or criticisms welcome, let me know how I can improve, and what you would like to see.

See you tomorrow x

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Planning a planner....

So I keep seeing these blog posts all about using planners - now bear in mind that these blog posts are mainly by the superstars of the crafting world, those inspirational women/men who are juggling a high powered career in corporate law and, in their spare time, running a blog that is seen by millions, or those who have small children, what seems like a domestic zoo of pet animals, are governors of their children's schools and run a blog that is seen by millions.....or the superstar professional crafters who inspire all of us and work for dozens of companies and run blogs that are read on a daily basis by millions.....

Clearly, I don't fit into any of the above categories - my kids are grown, my grandchildren live the other end of the country, I'm retired and just bumble along doing a bit of crafting and chatting....

But I had to have a planner. I NEEDED a planner. I didn't see how I could have lived this long without a planner....so I bought one. The best deal I could find was one called 'Mum's planner'.... 


So in addition to the 'day to a page' thing, where I can write an hour by hour list of how I am going to spend my days, then transfer it to the next day because I didn't get anything done, there are all sorts of useful pages at the back, masses of them..... like this one....


or this? I mean, really....they only give you a couple of pages for this, their assumption being that sad organized people who use their planners don't have many friends!...



Now this next one could be useful, in fact I have already filled two pages...


What?........


This next one could be useful too, I could make lists of all the things I want to take, then when I am on my sunbed I could make lists of all the things I forgot...


Now this next one...well, are there really people out there who need to write down the names of their family. I mean, don't they know? Are there really mothers out there looking in a puzzled way at a scruffy little boy - 'who IS that kid? I wonder what his name is, oh yes, I've got it written down in my planner.......'


After watching all these videos I got quite carried away and even thought of doing a colour coded sticker system - red for Letraset posts, green for magazine deadlines and so on. But then reality dawned, and I knew that I would spend more time trying to remember the meaning of the coloured stickers, so I will stick with writing everything down, then making those satisfying little check marks when I have finished the task. Apparently you can get erasable pens too, now that sounds like a plan, so I am hunting for those. 

Oh yes, this planner is going to change my life (until sometime between January 17th and 29th when I know I will mislay it, buried under a pile of paper pads, never to be seen again, or at least not before December 31st 2015) 

So no card from me today, I have been too busy planning, but here are a couple of great thank you cards that arrived yesterday. This first one is from Pat, I would love to know what software you used to make this really personal card Pat.....thank you so much


and this lovely one, all the way from Florida. Thank you so much Jan, such a pretty card, we all want to know what die you used for that gorgeous lattice inset....


See you tomorrow x

Friday, 17 October 2014

Colouring white die cuts

I'm still having fun with this new machine, and I've been doing one of the things I love doing most with die cuts - cutting them in white then colouring them with my ProMarkers.....



and I am really sorry but I have forgotten which cartridge this cut came from - I think it was a mothers day cartridge. I have a two week trial which gives me access to all the available cartridges so I am like a kid in a candy shop. Anyway, the flower, butterfly and the hello word were all cut in white then coloured with lime and lilac markers. I added a bit of wink of stella clear glitter pen for a bit of sparkle, and the gems were also coloured with the markers. I like the effect, it looks like one of those exotic orchid type plants that posh florists use in giant displays in hotel foyers...


My foray into the world of charity shops was a bit of a damp squib this week, they have had a big clear out/clean up session so there was literally very little for me to do and I just hung around for an hour then went home. When I was straightening the clothes on the hanging rails and generally mooching around, a community police officer came in, she wandered around a bit, looked me up and down, then asked the twelve year old  young manager (poised behind the till so that I wouldn't get my hands on it and send it into meltdown again) "Any problems here? Any suspicious people hanging around?".....I swear she shot a meaningful look in my direction. I was wearing designer jeans and cashmere for goodness sake, suspicious people aren't grandmas wearing stuff that's been ironed are they?

So I went into town and bought a pack of Papermania Christmas papers to cheer myself up

and a 2015 planner. More, much more on this tomorrow...

If you follow the Craftwork Cards blog, you will have seen that I have decided to step down from the team after many years of happy crafting with them. Lots of tight deadlines, mad dashes to the post office, and waiting with bated breath for the postman to arrive with the stuff to make samples with! Some of the other team members have also left this month, I have loved working with them, I used to see what they had produced and think 'now why didn't I think of that!' so I wish Georgina Ford, Lisa Pearce, Kim Robertson, and of course my very best crafting buddy Kath Stewart the very best of luck with the next steps of our respective crafting journeys...

See you tomorrow x