Friday, December 06, 2013

Is this thing still on?

A combination of the good (Number 1 son's graduation) the bad (some tough work times) and the ugly (a horrendous bug) have kept me away from the blog - and from crafting in general really.
But now I'm back
(from outer space, you just walked in to find me here with that sad look upon my face)

I will go back in time through the Daring Cards I have done recently and not blogged...
(ooh bet you are so excited!)
(I am actually as there have been some fab dares)
this week is our 24th colour combination! The December colours chosen by Zuzana are awesome

Lovely eh?
And here is my attempt at matching them
the yellow is a bit too strong really. I should have put some gesso on it I think. Ah well. The woodgrain paper is a My Minds Eye On the Brightside paper and all the rest are Fancy Pants Parkbench. I diecut the feather using a Clearly Besotted die, turning the blue die cut into the calamus (guess who just found out what the hard bit down the middle of a feather is called?). When it was all stuck down I added some glitter paste to the feather for interest. The sentiment is also by Clearly Besotted and was stamped using a Hero Arts grey ink.

Last week's Daring challenge was Going for Gold. Which, if you are of a certain age like me, probably means that you are now singing the theme tune to the cheesy European quiz from the 1980's. Leo wanted us to use gold and white. So we did
although it is quite difficult to photograph in the low light of December. The bottom panel is vellum outlined with gold pen. I then stuck some gold mesh onto a square of white card and added white glitter ribbon and some gold thread across the top (to hide the sticky tape attaching the mesh to the card). For stability I added two tiny staples to the top. Next I die cut a star from vellum, dry embossed it and then rubbed a gold ink pad across it. I used some American Crafts alphabet stamps for the word "Peace". The gold ink is a bit dull in colour so I went over it with a gold gel pen. The gold gems are actually liquid gel beads.

And finally, the card and tag for the 15th November dare - having a Funky Christmas
(eek - it is a month almost since I blogged!)
The generous and talented Anice gifted us some downloads to use. I made a card using the Sleigh Ride papers
I did put a version of this card on the blog but Phil had taken our good camera somewhere and I had to use the runner up with tends to be blurry. This is a little more focussed. The snowflakes were cut on my Cameo and then covered in Glamour Dust. 
I also had fun die cutting and layering the digi papers .
I made a tag with the Silent Night papers - lovely traditional colours. Here are photos with two different cameras! The top photo shows off the lovely gold details and the glossy accents that I added
 but the colours are really a little bit more like this - only slightly warmer
Sticking them both together would be about right I reckon!

Now I am off to catch up with things I have made for Quirky Kits - a scrapbook page featuring lots of sewing and some cards to use up the scraps of the latest kits. See you there?

Friday, November 08, 2013

Go go go Joseph

Carys is in the choir for Joseph at our local theatre. It stars "H from Steps". I find it quite amusing that he is always called "H from Steps" rather than "H" or "Ian" which is his actual name. Unless he has changed it by deedpoll to H FromSteps. Which would be quite fun. Joseph has kind of taken over our life in the last few weeks with extra long Stagecoach and other rehearsals and juggling college and performances this week. Which has also meant vistors as they all wanted to see Carys perform. And quite rightly too as she is a little star :)

Last week we spent time at my mother in law's house in Milford on Sea. She was there for some of the time and for the rest of it we looked after various animals and aunties. Carys and I travelled back to Torquay last Friday on the coach in order that Phil could stay another day and watch Bolton play Bournemouth. We had to come back due to said rehearsals and we did it by coach cos we love him and the train was waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too expensive. We had a lovely few days visiting a couple of National Trust places and watching Thor 2 on the big screen (C and I share a bit of a pash on Loki. he is just misunderstood you know). The former will be appearing on scrap pages in due course

Crafting time has been a bit limited due to all of the above but I did manage a quick card for this weeks Daring challenge - other occasions
I say quick - but it was not as quick as it looks. Love the ombre Pink Paislee paper and decided to add to the effect with some new stamps from the same collection. This is the second attempt. Choosing the pearls took time as did tying the ribbon bow. And mounting the whole thing on tiny foam squares. Clean and simple is often neither I am beginning to discover.

I have managed a few layouts in between my adventures, ready to go up on the Quirky Kits site. To whet your appetite here are the layouts already featured using the scrummy latest kits

Back soon (ish!)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Better make it quick

I'm actually posting on the right day for Daring Cardmakers today as there is a blog hop going on.
But I have lots of work related stuff to do (like photographing some knitted sheep and writing a press release) so I have to be limited in what I say (hard for me!)

this is the fourth and final week of our seventh birthday celebrations and as it is close to the end of October we have gone for a Spooky Birthdays theme
this was helped by some fabby chipboard from Tando Creative who have also offered a prize in our special draw, along with Imagine That (look on the DCM blog for more details). PLUS there are more prizes from Funky Hand, Charmed Cards and Craft and  Crimson Cloud available if you join in with our blog hop - you need to comment on the blogs of all the cardmakers featured this week including our amazing guest designers Lou Daubney and Julie Kirk

So here is my card...
Boy did I make a meal out of this one! First choosing the papers was tough. I opted for an old faithful October Afternoon Midway 8x8 paper pad in the end. There is a nice mix of colours and black/grey in there. I added some black lines to the diamond panel to give more definition and everything had a swipe of Black Soot distress ink around the edges. The chipboard web and bat were covered in Balck Soot as well (the web is less grey in real life!)

"Have" was stamped with a lovely set from Imagine That and the "a" is from Banana Frog (sadly no longer trading). "Spooktacular" is a die cut alphabet (Parker I think) and "birthday" is made from Making Memories stickers that are almost 7 years old themselves. Originally there was a die cut word saying birthday but there was an accident using black enamel accents. It is not the first accident I have had where they have splodged and ruined something so I am going to have to consider drastic action over that. Here I had to add an extra strip of grey star paper over the top and more washi tape. My other stickles decided to misbehave a bit as well (can't be my fault though!!!) but it all kind of worked out in the end. 
I have no idea who to send this card too so if you know someone who would love it, let me know and I will send it to you! (NB leave a few weeks before you need it as I might need reminding...)

Now must go and do something with those sheep......

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Oh my cabbages

as Carys would say.
Its Wednesday and I still haven't blogged. Mind you for a while today I thought it was Thursday so it isn't as bad as all that. Let's just say work/life balance isn't and move on shall we?

Last Friday's Daring Cardmaker challenge was to go Digital i.e. use digital papers and images as part of your card.
The Design Team were offered some digital items from Pink Petticoat
and I learned that if you receive a download into your inbox you actually have to download it onto your computer otherwise the link might expire and then you are in big trouble. So my cards are not exactly what I planned to do - but aren't too shabby either

This one is all Pink Petticoat. I love that mistletoe background, especially in that fresh green. I cut out a die cut polaroid frame using a Dienamics die. The red paper is from my stash. The snowflakes were punched and everything outlined with a Sharpie pen. I added some dimensional glitter too.
Here is a close up of the Distress ink coloured penguin
not perfect - but then that makes it more hand made!

The next card combines Pink Petticoat and Funky Hand. In my panic over not having the downloads I had to hit myself over the head and say "Self you used to be on the Funky Hand design team and have more digital gubbins on your computer than you could ever need". I then had a moment's pause - to remember the team and the awesome Anice with fondness and to rub my head as I did hit it quite hard. I then decided to challenge myself to use a Penguin on a non Christmas card.
 I used Funky Seasons papers which had an ATC paper sized option which was the perfect scale for this type of thing. I cut out squares with a Spellbinders die (yes a square punch would have been quicker but I gave my square punches to my former church card making group and factoring in 4.5 hours journey plus dragging someone from bed in order to let me into the church and punch some squares makes that option less of a viable one)
I then stuck the squares to white cardstock and die cut the middle with a circle die. I made a thin orange circle border (much more tricky than I expected) and also cut the image into a smaller circle. The patchwork piece is raised on thin foam pads for dimension. I added loads of Glamour Dust, a Clearly Besotted sentiment and various distress inks too

Finally another quick card from recent times. I have been experimenting with watercolours and proper watercolour paper and I made this
The Clearly Besotted flowers have outlines you can colour in, but the stem is a solid stamp. I brought the two together with a bit of doodled outline on both and really like the effect.

Right must go in a minute and make my card for this Friday. Who knows when I will blog it though (sorry everyone!)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Party on dudes

Yes, the Daring Cardmaker birthday party month is still going on :)
And once more I am late to the party. Actually not in terms of my card this week - just the blog post.
So what have I been doing since 10am Friday when I should have launched it?

A prayer meeting; chatting to people at a coffee morning; meeting about a new Lease; Messy Church (someone has given the MC some beautiful Lakeland glitter that it was very tempting just to take home! I managed to resist and was rewarded by the creation of most beautiful glittery spiders webs (the theme was that we need not be afraid when God is with us so we made lots of spooky things) using acetate, a picture of a simple spiders web to trace, PVA glue and glitter. It was a real success); sharing in a Festival of the Harvest opening worship service; spending a day at Synod   (a regional meeting - ours is in Bridgwater about an hour away) and leading worship. I just did a few admin things on Sunday and then had a long nap in the afternoon.

It is quite fun to reflect on all the varied things my job involves - many of which you have to learn as you go along!

Its no excuse really though. You'd think after 7 years I would be able to make blogging more routine!
Anyway back to the Daring Cardmaker challenge for this week
and it is well worth having a go this week as we have two prizes on offer, from Tea House Bridge and Crafty Templates. See our blog for more details.

My card features two of my favourite colours - teal and red. The acetate cake has been in my drawer for ages and I decided to use it so trawled through my paper to find matching (ish) colours and patterns. As it turns out all the papers used are My Minds Eye but from collections years apart. Tea House Bridge sent the Design Team some goodies so I picked out all the buttons and flowers that matched. I added pennants at the top using a Spellbinders die and trimmed them with stick on pearls. The sentiment at the bottom is a Clearly Besotted stamp - love that graphic style!

On an unrelated crafting note I don't think I have shared one of my Florence layouts with you. 
Warning - graphic content of a historical nature!
 Do not look if easily offended by naked statues.
Male ones.

 Don't say I didn't warn you
I had loads of fun with this - and not just because the subject matter made me giggle! I used lots of old stash for this - Basic Grey paper and chipboard that is 5 years old. Daisy D's rubons that are probably even older; alongside Papermania brads and some Pink Paislee inkable cardstock.

And as for the subject matter?

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

That's better! Well, better-ish

My woe is me over the card I made for the last Daring Cardmaker challenge turned into a "I can do better than that!"
So I dusted myself off, gave myself a talking to and had a bright idea.
Here it is...
you don't have to use patterned paper to make your rainbow. In fact - you don't have to use patterned paper at all.
What. A. Concept.

But it worked. Just.
Firstly I cut lots of strips of water colour paper using one of the Docrafts border punches. (BTW how do you say Docrafts? I know I should pronounce it like "I Do Crafts" but it is always "Dough Crafts" in my head). I then got out some watercolour paints and set to work. A wooden star covered in stickles and some silver stickles baubles and I was set.
I decided that the balance was wrong - there was too much space at the top. So I decided to cut it down.
Forgetting that it was a top folded card.
So it now looks like this

For my second try at a birthday card I decided to swipe the watercolour paints on a small piece of watercolour card stock. I had in the back of my mind the CASE This Sketch of the week so added sentiment and image. I them remembered that the Daring Cardmakers image had dots on it so added a dotty background using PTI stamps, white embossing powder, black pen and more watercolour.
Ta da!
Oh and the little punched border that I needed to add in (nearly forgot that bit too)
Then I looked at the sketch and realised that I had gone slightly wrong
so made this as well
Papers are Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm 6x6 pad. Dies by Dienamics and Clearly Besotted; stamp by WMS; enamel dots by MME. There is also some vellum behind the dot panel as someone keeps forgetting that this die cuts the panel out completely and it then needs to be stuck back together again.

All this was done on Saturday which was a mostly day off as I had to work my day off on Monday. I also made a card for my Uncle David and Auntie Clare as it was their ruby wedding celebrations on Sunday. We now live near enough to be able to celebrate with them on Sunday which was lovely. There were loads of photos of me as their bridesmaid about the place
 Here is the card I made for them
(lots of old stuff on here, plus a Cameo cut background and heart shapes and some wood veneer people)
and here is me way back then with my bro in his cool velvet suit

Friday, October 04, 2013


Who would have thunk it? Daring Cardmakers has now been around for a massive SEVEN years!
Isn't that incredible?
And quite surprisingly I've been around for all that time as well. I haven't made a card for every single dare - but I've managed quite a few in that time. It has been my pleasure to work with some really lovely people and be awed by their creativity. I have even met a few of them in real life! Thanks for being such an important part of my life everyone :)

I thought it would be fun to pull out my first card and see what I thought.
Sadly, I think I prefer it to the one I have made this week!
Basic Grey Lily Kate papers. still have some of them to use up!

We are having a month of celebrations at Daring Cardmakers so why not join in the fun (and the giveaways)
This week there are punches to be won - if you play along with the Dare which is to take inspiration from the rainbow colours of this cake
and my card, well it kind of went wrong
It was going to be a layer cake but it just wouldn't go right so in the end I made a layered square and added a home made candle on the top. I love the rainbow birthday epoxy stickers which I have had for ever and the card also features one of the lovely Docraft punches you can win this week and some home made enamel dots. I added lots of sparkle to the candle with Rock Candy Distress Stickles
Have a look at the other GORGEOUS cards that the team have made this week. I am so proud of them and rather than be disheartened it will spur me on to do better.

I actually have an almost day off tomorrow (apart from the concert I will need to attend and give the vote of thanks at - one of the quirky fun things about my job. Sometimes it is hard to find the right words to say (the choral version of Bohemian Rhapsody and  a whole concert of tambourine playing I found particularly interesting) but that can be part of the challenge) and as it is World Cardmaking Day I really ought to join in. So I will give this dare another go!
Why don't you as well?

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Just So

And once more it is Tuesday before I can blog. Tuesday.
Well I guess I could have before but always think it will take longer than it does and then suddenly - whoosh!
To be fair - I have got a lot on my plate and this weekend was super busy with funerals and a CAP (Christians Against Poverty) financial education course and various kinds of church all day Sunday and having to work most of my day off on Monday.
But still...

So this morning is time off - but when I have finished this blog post it will involve the fun of household chores. (Much neglected household chores)

Alrighty then, lets go backwards. Last Friday's Daring Cardmakers challenge was set by the uber talented Nat who asked us to showcase Rosettes Galore
So we did!

My card is a normal A6 sized card, just so you can see that this is a small rosette. I bought the small rosette die because it was cheaper than the larger one! But it is very, very delicate and fiddly and to be honest this is the first time it has worked just about completely successfully and that is because I gave it far more tender loving care than it deserved.

Because I didn't think of outlining the frill before I turned it into a rosette, I didn't outline anything but I kind of regret it now as I think a bit of black might add something. There we are. Instead I added some pink liquid pearls. All the papers are Cosmo Cricket DeLovely, which have been in my stash for yonks. I had some in a kit and then won the whole line as a prize so I do have rather a lot of it. But it still looks pretty fresh in my opinion - or maybe it is that teal and pink are back in already!

The week before, our challenge theme was Harvest Festival - and I just haven't got round to blogging that one yet (oh the shame). My card has a fairly broad interpretation of the theme!
The papers used here are Cosmo Cricket Wanted which were some of the first 12x12 papers I ever bought. I have found the Circle Journal that I made using them in a blog post from March 2007!
I found these lovely leaves on the Silhouette site. There were three different patterns which I cut from the three woodgrain papers but them decided I liked the look of using identical ones best! A few extra layers, some berries (as harvest festival is more about fruit than leaves I know), some random dots (these and the red ones are glue yourself bargains from Sarahs Cards) and a Clearly Besotted stamp and 'twas done.
Close up of the layering
And now it is October which is very exciting because this month Daring Cardmakers is 7 and we are going to party all month! Seven years is a long time to have kept a blog going! I think there are just two of us left full time who were there at the start although there are others who are taking a break and will hopefully be back soon. But I think it is an amazing achievement really. So why not celebrate with us?
and I might even see if I can blog nearer Fridays and everything....

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Life is really FULL at the moment. That isn't necessarily a bad thing - although there are a few bumps in the road that I would like to be able to squish with a size 10 boot. Sadly my boots are only size 4 and anyway that is just not my style so...
It all does really remind me how blessed I am to have a husband who does AT LEAST  50% of the housework/catering at home. He really is a star you know.

My Daring Card was so late to the table that I am going to add it into tomorrow's post. Well it might be tomorrow. It might be Monday when I post again - that is just how it is. But September is nearly over and October might be slightly easier and then we are in the home straight for the thing at the end of the year that if I don't start to plan for in early October I will be sunk.

So instead of a card - here is a layout based on the latest Inspired Blueprints sketch

As you will see I remained pretty fainthful to it
All the papers are from Basic Grey Junebug. Even this painted looked background that seems so 2013. I first used these papers when Hywel got his GSCE results - so 5 years ago!
I didn't want to add another paper layer so sketched in an outline using a dark blue and a light blue mist. I also added in a Kaisercraft stamp in various places, stamping with a light brown distress ink and not using a block to mount the stamp to give a more random feel.

Everything is Junebug apart from the badge (also Basic Grey)
an October Afternoon sticker
and the heart chipboard (Studio Calico). I outlined all the papers using a Prima chalk ink pad in blue. The finishing touch was to add lots of dots using yellow, red and blue liquid pearls.

Monday, September 16, 2013

A bit sketchy

I lvoe using sketches to kick start my scrapbooking - but because I am not very organised I don't usually manage to do them in the week that they are launched. Well this is my week because not only have I completed a layout for a current sketch, but the blog that I took it from gives you a whole month to submit it - which means I can also link the layout I did for last weeks sketch as well.

OK little things please little minds I know...
But thank you Stuck?! for the extra time

Firstly the sketch and layout for September 15th
and my take on it
Mine is a tad busier than you might expect given that clean looking sketch.
It was going to be simpler but the layers and patterns just kept coming! And besides the photos are all bright and busy so why not reflect that?
The base paper is from Simple Stories and the blue corrugated is from Fancy Pants but everything else is Basic Grey clippings. I was so pleased with how the big white dots worked with an eyedropper and Mr Huey white.

I loved the triangle paper but couldn't add that in so decided to turn some of the triangles into mock pinwheels.

 I didn't have enough of the ranson style letters left to do the title all in the same font but I rather like the overhanging "market"
 I used up some of my many stickers on this layout. I don't normally buy so many extras in a collection - don't remember why I did with this one to be honest! And I also used my big scallop scissors to cut the, well, big scallops.
 A sprinkling of diamente gems and I was done.
I am so glad I scrapped this. Just to remind Phil and I of the Sisyphian effort of the market workers who sweated for hours to clear the space (we know 'cos we had a meal our first night on the edge of the market place and watched them, marvelling at the hard work). They finished about 10pm only to put it back again next morning.
By the way - do you like the word Sisyphian? its about the only thing I remember from studying Camus for French A level.

And here is the layout using the September 1st Stuck?! Sketch
 Oh my, I actually love how this turned out
(And I don't say that a lot about my stuff)
Maybe because it is another memory that I so want to keep and the colours just reflect the whole holiday so well.
More corrugated cardstock! Fancy Pants is my current favourite paper company and I may have bought 3 of the recent paper packs which have two corrugated cardstocks in each.
The background circle was done using a very old Crafters Workshop circle template - look I was using it in 2008! I used lemonade Distress Ink for the circle. All of the papers and stickers are from the Wonderful Day paper pack (that I have been using a lot but still have loads left!)

The letter stickers were a bit flat so I added some Glossy Accents and Peeled Paint distress glitter
The other non FP items were these cute coated woodshapes from Studio Calico; American Crafts gold glitter tape and some teeny gold sequins

 The big white stars were cut using a Spellbinders die.

There was a possibility of Stuck?! ceasing to produce sketches but I for one am so glad it is going to continue.