Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Resolutions, shmezolutions

Yup, posting my Daring Cards on time has already gone out the window!
I did start a new exercise dvd as well and then could not walk properly for two days (not joking). Tried starting again today without being so enthusiastic and so far so legs working.

Jo chose our first monthly inspiration piece for the year - this beautiful photo

 Look at all those delicate colours.
Mine are a little bit stronger...

 I was inspired by the circles of tape, the colours, the star, the sequins, the paper wrappers and that gorgeous sparkly bauble.
So I painted some watercolour washes as near as I could get (not that close obvs) and die cut circles and a star.
I didn't have the right colour glitter card so some white card was also watercoloured and that worked a treat!
I also cut some vellum to echo the cases.

(close up of the sparkly goodness)

Jo was on double duty as she chose this weeks dare - Leaf it alone - making leaves the centrepiece and not the bit on the side!

I decided to try stamping with my Kuretake cleancolour pens and a non outline stamp (this is an old Clearly Besotted one). I used three different greens and stamped onto watercolour paper. Bah, it was all splotchy. But then I filled in the colour with a water brush and oooooh, something very pretty happened.

I then decided to add some gold bubble wrap print (as you do). The patterned paper was also coloured in with some watered down Delicata gold ink which also went around the outside of the die cut panel.

I like the effect so much I did it again
This time I added a Clearly Besotted butterfly. I wondered if the effect would work so well with a stamp with more space. I think it does!. I have some extra thick vellum (sadly no longer made by the company I bought it from) and so was able to heat emboss the sentiment without warping the vellum. I wrapped it round the die cut piece which was mounted with foam tape to the white base card.

I did actually stamp another one and added some of the watered down gold paint over the top which looks very pretty. But I haven't done anything with that yet.

I'm still loving the crochet. This is now big enough to keep me nice and warm in the evenings whilst I make it. I'm following an Attic 24 pattern and kit so I don't really have to think about what I am doing much! (just as well as I am still a novice) I'm making it for my daughter so it needs to be done by half term when we are popping up for a visit.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Best of...

I thought I would do a quick recap of some of my favourite cards and layouts of 2015. Probably more for my benefit than anyone else's! Especially with card making I feel in a bit of a style rut

So here are 5 that caught my eye looking back through my archive. 4 are from Daring Cardmaker Challenges and one was made because I always need thank you cards!

My top favourite (the one with all the circles) was a card-lift but whenever I spot it in the DCM folder it still makes me smile. The next one down is all hand drawn and lettered. If only I could draw more things!
Overall I think my choice says that I like painty bright cards with a little bit of texture.
And usually a white background. I also use a lot less layering than I used to.

Onto Quirky Kits design work... I do like my one photo layouts. Although I try and stick them in different places on the page. And white backgrounds. I have to force myself to use other ones!


And the ones from just my stash (and usually some Quirky Kit leftovers as the kits are ever so generous)

Less white backgrounds. And some of my faves have a lot less writing than normal and two have a lot more writing than normal. And the last one still has the ability to make me cry...

Doing this has been made more difficult by the fact that my computer bust in the summer - it wasn't the hard drive so that has been saved as an archive into my new computer but all the photos are in different places.

Hope you have enjoyed this trip down memory lane. It has kind of inspired me to keep crafting - most of all so I can tell stories and record something of my life.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Layout time

 I managed a few layouts before life got really mad at the end of last year and I have also been using the lovely new Quirky Kit - Firework.  So here is a quick round up
 This one actually features the last lot of Quirky Kits (now sold out). Trying to use up every last little bit of paper. As the layout was about watching someone weaving I did a bit of paper weaving. It was quite fiddly as I didn't necessarily have long pieces of all the papers left and there are some quite complicated shenanigans going on behind that photo mat!
Also the rub ons did not like the texture of the cardstock and so some went on to an acetate background
This layout is about another part of that same day at the woollen mill. I basically went through some of my old collections and pulled out things I thought would tone together. I thought the green grid one was a pretty good match for Phil's shawl.

A lot of the sticker elements are Maggie Holmes and the rub ons are American Crafts Dear Lizzy but I haven't kept track of the papers
Also added a few dabs of gold stickles

And now for something a little more graphic. Again, I was using stuff up. The triangles are from Pink Fresh papers and I think some of the others are Dear Lizzy but mostly just bits and bobs from stash piles. Ah and more of the fab spot acetate that I ended up with two of but have hardly any left now.
I spent a happy hour outlining all the paper patterns with black pen to give them a bit more pop.

And I was so pleased to find that little puffy bird sticker - again Dear Lizzy
but nothing on the page is as cute and lovely as those little birds were in real life.

Almost all of these bits and bobs come from the Bella Blvd illustrated faith whatever is lovely collection. It is full of faith filled words and phrases but I managed to use it for something less sacred!
 I do love the bright colours and patterns and I plan to do some more faith scrapping at some point too.
The big letters are from a previous QK kit and the "lean" is hand cut

Here are two more layouts with just the main photo - you will need to go to the Quirky Kits blog for more details!

Monday, January 04, 2016

Happy New Blog

Boy once you have stopped it is really hard to get started again!
But I don't want to give this up completely so let's see if I can do better at blogging in 2016. (That number sounds so science fictiony to me. Like it should be a time when we all live on the moon and have computers inside our head. Instead it is the NOW)

December just got a bit - much. A lot of work plus a week of that was away from the house which was probably not the best of ideas as catching up was extreme.
It meant that I even forgot to participate in my own challenge on Daring Cardmakers. I was checking my Facebook feed in a meeting break and let out this gurgling screamy noise. "What's wrong" asked my friend in a panicked voice. "I forgot my own Daaaaaare" I replied. My non crafting colleague was a bit non plussed.

And I have only just added the cards that I later made to the dare itself, that is how December was....
The dare was called Joyeux Noel, the idea being that you make a card in a different language to your own. I tried to make up for my foolishness by making two. But as they were only posted in January I don't think that works really.
I know the language but I don't speak it myself so I am allowing this one!
The Kings and star are from Paper Smooches. I used watercolours on watercolour paper to do the background. The star was heat embossed with gold glitter powder. I cut out the frame and various other layers using different rectangle dies - the last layer being some nice gold glitter paper from Craft Creations. Strangely enough I don't have a Welsh sentiment and felt that any stamped letters might be too big so went for hand written instead.

then there is this
It uses the dove from the same set. I die cut a circle out of a piece of cardstock and lined the edge with silver krlon pen. I cut a slightly smaller circle from more cardstock and embossed the dove, colouring her in with Kuretake watercolour pens. I cut another circle from some green patterned paper and stuck the two together, then they were adhered to the base card. I added the first piece of cardstock to the top with foam pads. Finally I die cut letters from black glitter card and dotted snowflake stickles around the circle.

Christmas was good - busy in a working way (and it seemed to knock the stuffing out of me). Number 1 son was in Florida with his partner which was strange. But it meant that making room for my parents to stay was easier.
3 generations on Christmas Day. I love my new skirt (and it has pockets which is even better)
Dinnner was served - slightly late as there were only 2 meat eaters so we bought a turkey crown - but that only needed 2 hours in the oven and so had to wait until we were all back from church. Emrys was going to have quorn roast as he doesn't like the veggie option (parsnip and cashew nut roast) but that missed going into the oven and takes an hour. oops.

However not as big an oops as me realising on Christmas Day that I had only bought and wrapped one of Carys' presents in my head. And we were only getting her two presents (we are working on reducing our materialism here). Oh the shame. But she was lovely about it and the 1 hoodie has turned into 2 which she has chosen so it is all ok. I blame having to wrap most things before H went away  - which was while I was at a conference so all had to be done by 6th December and then I just assumed.... I will try harder next year!

We went on the traditional boxing day walk. Teignmouth this year (Em is not in the photo)
We are standing in front of the Devon version of the Hollywood sign - much easier to get to...

And finally I haven't mentioned my new crafting discovery - crochet.
I fell in love with other people's work on Sophie's Universe but didn't think I would ever be able to crochet. I can knit but have to anchor the needles in a way that made me think I couldn't do the looser one hook thing. But then I went to a local craft show with a crochet enthusiast and found myself buying a book and some wool and she lent me a hook and although it was VERY hard to master in the beginning... by Christmas I had finished this blanket which was given to my Aunt Joan who lives in a home and often has cold knees!
You may note that, like most of my crafting projects, this features a lot of black in the outlining! (thank you to Carys for modelling it - kind of lets you know the size) I used the Stylecraft new colours pack and added in an extra pink and blue.
I took wool with me to Madeira and made squares there but when I got back found they were all a totally different tension/size and had to redo them all!

But look at the edge (proud)
this is the edging on the Attic 24 Sunny Granny Stripe blanket that I am now making for Carys but decided to have a practice go on my first blanket.
I had to do and redo the first 3 rows at least 6 times (and even now the starting row is probably a tad too tight) but now it is growing fast - it is simple but fun to do with lots of lovely bright colours. Its much better for me to do than cross stitch in the winter as I can do it in less than bright light (and read at the same time!) but I hope to do more on the grand cross stitch in the summer (still another 10 years in it to complete it I reckon)

Right going to stop here and do another post with some layouts on so that I will do at least two posts in 2016....