Monday, April 27, 2015

If at first you don't succeed...

go and have a glass of wine or cry in a darkened room.
those are my two preferred options but sometimes I put my big girl pants on and just deal with it.
Case in point is my card for this weeks Daring Cardmakers where the theme is Under the Weather and we were to make weather themed get well cards
 I made this card - it had clouds and sunshine and a rainbow and it was a shaker card (the most successful I had ever made)
It is ok, not bad even but I was left feeling well, meh.
So I decided to suck it up and make another card
sooo much better. I used lots of lovely patterns from a Pink Paislee 6x6 pad (the same one my teamie Nat used) and a set of Sending Sunshine dies. The remake has a lot of Papermania coloured cardstock and a Paper Smooches larger rainbow and it just works much better.
here's a little close up of the vellum clouds which I love (show off)

I've made a couple of layouts recently.
The last for my Sabbatical album

This one uses some old Cosmo Cricket papers and die cuts along with some chipboard clouds and a few leftovers from old Quirky Kits (the butterfly sticker and the ampersand badge)
 I now own some greaseproof type paper that makes using this doily die a breeze!
I love these clouds so much. Cathrine ought to be impressed that I used three on a layout about her. Or not...

And this one uses the so awesome DIY Boutique by Simple Stories, some Lawn Fawn sparklies and some vellum...

Friday, April 17, 2015

Since last we met...

  • I have celebrated Easter
  • Driven for 13 hours on one day (it did include a bonus 3 hour round trip because my luggage had been deposited at my sons house in Middlesbrough when I needed it in Bradford)
  • Drove from Bradford to Swansea (another fun filled 6 hour) to spend some lovely days with my parents and catch up with my school friends. It is a bonus that they are all in the same place :)
  • Had a Sunday off and went to worship in a Church in Plymouth where a previous Minister has etched all the windows. Puts my crafting endeavours into a cocked hat (whatever that means). Phil was asked to take photos of them and I went along for the ride. Apparently they are not easy to photograph but he did a great job.
We then had another Prezzo meal to use up our Tesco vouchers (its a hard life), during which the mild toothache I had been experiencing over a few weeks developed into something nasty....
  • Spent the next few days were either drug or pain fuelled due to a nasty abcess. Much better now!
And that is my fortnight...
I am only behind one Daring Card so quite a result really.
Last week the nice as pie Jo chose the theme "I like pie"  and we had to take our inspiration from all those Maths diagrams we used at school and use a pie chart or other mathematical diagram (venn diagrams, bar charts, graph etc ) on our cards.
The problem with coming late to the party is that all the pies were taken so I decided to be brave and attempt a graph. This will do for our wedding anniversary in May...
 I had saved the words on the left from a cut apart sheet from the last Quirky Kit as I love the phrase. I cut it down a bit and went over the words with white pen as it was rather more cream initially and they STILL don't make cream pens (wish they would). Using some black paper and a white chalkboard pen (again from a Quirky Kit) I made a simple graph. I decided to add some sparkly hearts (cut two sizes from cream glitter card and brushed the edges with Distress Ink). I layered some Prima Papers, all inked with Vintage Photo; a Studio Calico arrow and some Freckled Fawn sequins.
This week Nat shared her love obsession with Arrow. It is a good show I have to say with humour; twists; a mighty fine lead and enough campness to keep me happy. Its a bit like original Batman really (which I love), although Oliver Queen has a better physique... (I watch it for the art, honest)
So we were challenged to come up with Arrow themed cards - do look on the blog for some cool links and inspiration.

I kept it quite simple. The Studio Calico arrows are a perfect colour match to my beloved 8x8 October Afternoon Midway 8x8 pad. I cut some of the papers and gave some Black Soot inking. That also featured on the Simple Stories letters but I kept my Clearly Besotted birthday die cut clean and clear. It was done in a Flash (oops wrong show)

I made a few more cards this week using Simple Stories papers and stickers from the DIY collection.

This one makes me smile most

I think because this
reminds me of this

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Happy Easter!

Lent is over, the tomb is empty, angels are singing and Jesus is being recognised/not recognised all at the same time.
I just made a few cards this year - it is a rather busy time for me :) They are both copies/interpretations of cards I saw on the internet but I can't find where they came from. They are not quite the same but the inspiration is clear so sorry to those whose ideas I have "cased"
 This one uses a sunray die cut and a spellbinders cross (with glamour dust accents). The sentiment is from Paper Smooches Easter Blessings
 The original of this card was more artsy and beautiful but I still like the simple distress ink background. Again all the stamps are from Paper Smooches. I added a small sparkly punched heart and backed the piece with card embossed with a Cuttlebug folder.

This Friday, as well as being Good Friday was the first of the month so it was time for an Elemental Inspiration over at Daring Cardmakers. We have the fabulous Enfys Cashmore as a Guest Designer this month, so do visit the blog to see her beautiful card alongside the Design Team.
Here is the picture we were to take at least 3 elements from
and here is my card
a bit more vibrant than the original, but i just had to use my brand new Mermaid Lagoon distress ink pad. Oh what a lovely colour. (I'm not sure about this month's Grubby Yellow or whatever it is really called. I have a feeling I will end up buying it anyway as I am weak). A dotty stencil and white texture paste were used to add the polka dots from the paper cup
I used a WPlus9 flower stamp set and Antique Linen distress ink on watercolour paper, colouring the images with my Gabai watercolour set. I am very heavy handed with watercolours so lost all the details, so I put some back with a gold pen. I hand cut the elements as I wanted them to have a narrow outline around them.
I added a scrap of white crochet lace and layered the flowers on top, using foam pads to give dimension. A Clearly Besotted sentiment was embossed with Tinselled Gold powder and anchored with a Prima gold dot.

Happy Easter :)

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Oh my days

I am a terrible Daring Cardmaker.
It was my week to set the dare and I haven't been around the blogs or commented let alone put anything here. So sorry everyone. And it was a challenge that everyone fulfilled perfectly. I should have thought that with last Friday being super busy  this week would only be more so. Not helped by the fact that I was distracted by having all my babies home, just for a week. They are all a bit under the weather though so the parents are trying to steer clear apart from feeding and washing and Game of Thrones.

I asked everyone to be inspired by Nat.
I have a wonderful bunch of talented team mates and I am in awe of their creativity. But I was a devoted fan of Nat even before she joined the team. We both used to subscribe to Self Addressed kits and I always loved to see what she created. As with everyone, her style has evolved over the years but has always had that elusive (to me!) stylish something. Here is my interpretation

It does feel a little "Single White Female" as I have used a paper pad that Nat herself has been using recently. In fairness, I bought it because I can FINALLY scrap some of my wedding photos. It seems to have taken 27 years for peach to come back into fashion (27 years married next month - ulp! that makes me sound seriously old). This time with GOLD!!!! (I'm loving gold so much it deserves the ott treatment)
I used the MME Fancy That papers and vellum die cut, which I backed with white card to make it show up better. I also used a paper pad with some pale cream patterns on - can't remember who by though. One of these was cut using a doily die and I also added some gold foil stripes to one of the others (gold foil plus extra sticky DST is becoming a bit of a habit). I thought it needed some gold Beadazzles but they went a bit wrong on the big flower. They could almost be lily stamen type things I guess. A Paper Smooches die provided the sentiment. This die cuts into 4 parts and is really fiddly btw...

I managed one whole card for the March UKS card challenge.
 which used a sketch
Yes I didn't even vary the element in it. Although my strip of paper was bigger...
The butterfly was engoldened (new word) by using a Stamp n bond powder and gold foil. I found I had mixed success and needed to reheat the glue quite a lot. Still it is kinda pretty.
I added more gold to the patterned paper behind it using a glue stick and gold Glamour Dust. The bottom corner swirl was already there but I tried doodling the one in the top corner.

Here is my Lent work book. I may have a bit of catching up to do in it... Easter Saturday is going to have to count as Lent for me
 I gessoed the cover and sprayed a variety of inks. I cut two Sizzix die panels in black and stamped Kaisercraft background stamps around the edge. A Docrafts deep embossing folder was used with vellum and I die cut the letters with two different alphas.

I am trying to do more fancy lettering. The backgrounds are done with Distress Ink

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Well at least the envelope arrived

because my mothers day card wasn't in it :(
Dad says it wasn't sealed at all. I am pretty sure I wouldn't make such a school boy error but who knows. Still because I had made it for a Dare at elast I could email her a photo of what it had looked like.

this is the card i sent to my Mother in Law
Vellum and sparkles and trying out my new embossing pen. Don't really like my handwriting embossed though. Will need to work on that I think. The butterflies are on watercolour paper and I now have the outside and inside butterfly dies which makes putting them together so much easier. This one arrived without a problem...

I am behind again with my Daring Cards so here is what I have been up to
Two weeks ago we had the Great Daring Cardmakers Bake Off.
I used some old QK dies and a newer candle one to make a cupcake. Everything was cut from watercolour paper so I could add paint including that rather awesome gold. (I am gold crazy at the moment I cannot lie). A Lawn Fawn (I think) die cut circle got the same treatment. And as everything looks better with a black outline I gave everything a black outline. I also made a watercolour background and then was very brave and tried out my fancy writing skills using black, white and (here is the important one) grey pens. The shadow of the light grey promarker just brings it to life, even if your "k"s are not very good!

Then this week it was all swings and roundabouts asking for cards with a bit of swing and a circle if poss. Well every time I started thinking about the card the song "would you like to swing on a star" popped into my head. And so here is my swinging star
Heidi Swapp papers; gold foil card die cut star; gold liquid pearls; gold foil on red tape; Imagine That stamps; a whole load of different circle dies; krylon pen
and just a bit of frustration when it wouldn't go right!

Busy week as ever but wanted to dash in a blog post before I had 3 weeks worth of cards to show. Laters :)

Friday, March 06, 2015


Its Elemental Inspiration time at Daring Cardmakers and I was tickled that Leo used the same sticker on her card as I did. Maybe it's not totally surprising as we both utilised Quirky Kits to make our cards. You can find instructions on Leo's card here - worth looking as she has made a very cute tassel. And do look on the DCM blog for everyone else's fabby concoctions.

Here is our inspiration
and my card
I used the gold (really? it must be subtle); the confetti and the big letter (although mine are three slightly smaller letters).
The confetti paper and the subtle aqua are the same sheet of paper - just beautiful. I used a brand new WPlus9 die for "thank you" and a Docraft alphabet to cut "mum" from gold foil paper. The pink tag is made from iced pink cardstock, embossed with a lovely Maggie Holmes folder and topped off with washi tape from the kit. The little sticker got the gold treatment with my krylon pen, like everything else. I added in some gold sequins as a further nod to confetti.
I shall write "for everything" inside the card as I ran out of space on the front!.

I have very little crafting time this week or next but have been trying to keep up a Lent journal which I must photograph. I usually get to about now in Lent then it gets really hectic and I fall by the wayside so I am hoping to finish this year. Lenten discipline is sadly not my forte. The good news is that it comes around again so that I can do better next time. And that I receive God's forgiveness. "Hooray" and "thanks for everything" are words for him, too.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

It was meant for me

this card I mean

and ooh that burst of yellow did the trick.
Nat came up with this gorgeous idea for the Daring Cardmakers blog - Mellow Yellow
If you are feeling like its always winter then do pop over for some sunshine :)
I have been rather under the weather - a flu virus that has taken 3 weeks to recover from plus an excision following a (slightly) malignant melanoma leaving a rather fetching 3" scar on my shoulder. Stitches are out now so I am hugely better.

This card isn't my best ever but I was glad to feel well enough to get it made.
I used some Simple Stories papers and 3 different dies to create a sunshine scene. The Paper Smooches get well was cut and layered three times - I love that look. Adding glossy accents to one of the sun papers seemed like a good idea but was less successful - I should have used stronger glue underneath it as it tended to raise some of the paper up. Ah well. The letter stickers are Simple Stories and added on foam pads which gives the slightly wonky look.

I was well enough to attend the Artcards crop on Saturday. One of my Sabbatical resolutions was to make time to meet crafty people and I found Karen's fab group in Somerset. Not totally local but its good. I've only managed 2 since October due to my interesting work life but here's hoping I can fit some more in this year. It happily coincided with the arrival of my latest Quirky Kits box and that made packing for the crop easy as anything. I finished one layout completely, left two more almost done but needing things that I had left at home. Those were completed along with a further two on Monday. Which is good as crafty time will be in short supply over the next few weeks. One layout was launched on the Quirky Kits blog today - the kits are mouth wateringly lovely and can be found here. For more details on this layout visit the blog

Hope you are feeling fit and well :)