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Sunday 31 May 2009

365 Cards Day 91

I have made this card for the challenge for Day 91 at 365 Cards. You had to make a card where only the centre was embellished leaving lots of 'white' space around the edges.

I was originally going to put a butterfly on the card and was rifling through the little box of 'animal' embellishments and came across this little teddy bear. One of my forum buddies had made me a card a few years ago using this little Penny Black stamp and I bought the set of 4 as I liked them so much. I had only ever put individual letters in the squares but I thought it was great how she had worked in miniature with the whole design and if your message is brief you can still fit it in the square.

The image has been mounted onto offcuts of card from my scraps and then I inked around the edges of the embellishment and the card blank itself.

365 Cards Day 92

Today is the first day I have made a card in over a week. What with the family BBQ and Bank Holiday Monday, then taking Paul to Manchester for a meeting (don't like driving in the traffic round the Trafford centre, that was a nightmare!) it's been a busy old week.

Paul's Grandad was told on Friday that the funding has been agreed for his home care, they just need to arrange it now so he will be out from hospital soon. I don't think anyone envisaged that he would be in for over 2 months when he was admitted. He still needs to have an operation on his prostate and has a catheter fitted until then. The specialist won't see him for another 3 months as he has a sore on his heel that had got infected in hospital and it's not healing up very well. I guess 88 year old skin just doesn't mend as quickly as it did in it's younger years.

In the meantime I have been applying for jobs as I need to get back to work. There doesn't seem to be an awful lot about though, Credit Control and HR seem to be the few job types available, neither of which I am qualified for. I have this super duper exam I passed in transport and it's worth nothing if that industry isn't hiring at the moment.... oh well, there are a lot of people who are worse off than me. At least I've got a roof over my head, a bit of savings (fast dwindling at the moment though) and a wonderful husband.

The weather has been gorgeous so I've been trying to get on top of the garden. It's been a very wet year so far and the weeds had got bad. I'm getting burnt so easily this year so having to be careful how long I am out in the garden and wearing SPF 30, I've never needed to wear such a high factor before. My marigolds are growing so well, I am hoping to take photos tomorrow when I've arranged the pots on the patio. They are all in a line up against the house at the moment and are so colourful. I can't believe how much they have grown in such a short time. It's definitely spurred me on to have a go at planting more colourful pretties.

Anyhow, less about me and more about the card. I have used todays sketch for day 92 at 365 Cards for the layout (I'm so behind on the challenges now.....) The base card and the rub on sentiment is from a Let's Make Cards pack. The paper is half a printed K & Co card with an Amy Butler design. The circle is a pearlescent frame from Kanban embellished with gems from Paperchase. The spotty ribbon is a gift from my MIL which she had tied around a gift package. (she is lovely and saves lots of little bits for me for cardmaking) The handbag is a gorgeous layered sticker by K & Co that came in my prize from the Cuttlebug Blog Hop.

Considering I don't like green I love the paper on this card and think I must be warming towards the colour now as I am starting to use it more. I absolutely love the new Lime Rickey from Basic Grey and that is on my wishlist to be bought as soon as I start earning some money again. I've got so much paper I REALLY DON'T NEED it but it is just so scrummy I think I've got to have it at some point :)

Monday 25 May 2009

Fantastic Day Yesterday

We had a wonderful day yesterday. We spend time at my Sister In law's house as it was her birthday on Saturday. The weather was glorious on Saturady and expected to be on Sunday as well so the original plan of going out for a meal for her birthday was amended to a BBQ and it was a brilliant day. We all caught the sun and chatted and ate and it was a great day.

Then, the moment we had been waiting for...... we went to the Jean Michel Jarre concert at the NIA in Birmingham. When I booked the tickets last year it said that it was an immersive experience specially tailored for indoor arena's - they were not wrong !!

The upper tier of the auditorium had been closed off and were covered with black fabric. I suspected this would be used as a projection area for lazers. When we took our seats I had forgotten how close we were to the stage so that was a really nice surprise. We were literally on the first row of the elevated section to the left of the stage so had a brilliant view of the master at work. The lazers were brilliant but were only projected to the back, at the sides the curtains were covering up speakers as you were fully immersed into a surround sound experience, just a tad better than the surround sound we have at home.... LOL

I took a couple of photos using my mobile phone which I need to get off later. I hope they have come out well in particular the synthesiser laser harp. We saw that when he was at the NEC years ago and it is still spectacular to see it . On the way back to the car we we guessing at his age as he kept jumping around energetically like a Duracell bunny and I guessed around late 40's to early 50's. I have just learnt today that he is 60 years old..... he honestly doesn't look like it and he certainly had a lot of energy last night, very impressive indeed.

Then when we got home we watched the F1 from Monaco and Jenson Button won again!! It's an awful shame about Lewis Hamilton, he's got a rubbish car and is having an appalling season but the Brawn cars, and in particular the driving from Jenson has been spectacular this year. It's great to see a Brit consistently winning. Only got Turkey to go and then the next race is Silverstone AND WE'RE GOING TO WATCH IT !!!! Got tickets for the whole weekend and we're camping with our very good friends Garry and Hazel, can't wait, can't wait :)

Saturday 23 May 2009

Honest Scrap Award

The extremely talented Tommie at Oh My Gluestick! has given me an award. She is a fellow 365'er and has recently opened an Etsy store with some gorgeous items for babies. She is one clever Momma!

Maz at Nature's Workshop has also very kindly given me this award. She makes beautiful cards and leaves such lovely encouraging comments. I have met some wonderful people on the 365 blog :)

There are a few requirements to accepting the Honest Scrap Award and they are as follows:

1) I must thank the person who gave me the award and list their blog and link it, links are as above to Tommie at Oh My Gluestick! and to Maz at Nature's Workshop
2) I must list 10 honest things about myself, they are as follows :-

1. I am married to my best friend. Although I am only 37 we have been together for 20 years this year. I have grown so much with him and our love gets stronger every day.

2. We got married in Las Vegas (not by ELVIS!!) on my 30th birthday. It was one of the best experiences of my life. Would love to go back to Vegas and spend more time there. Loved the rides at the top pf the Stratosphere, they were amazing.

3. I have been overweight for many years and have tried every diet going. Currently following
the GI Diet and so far it is working. Have lost 2 stone but still got about 6 and a half to lose.

4. I have got extremely high blood pressure and I am working hard to reduce it, hence the weight issues...... vicious cycle but it needs doing, and I feel I am finally dealing with it.

5. I am currently unemployed after being made redundant twice in the last 9 months. I need to be kept busy and at the moment don't feel like a valuable member of society. I am helping to look after Paul's Grandad who is ill at the moment but trying to get a job in the meantime. Cardmaking keeps me sane at the moment.

6.I am paranoid about being in debt after bad experiences with my parents when I was a child. It was hard, but it taught me many valuable lessons about how NOT to live my life as an adult. I wish many other people had done the same and perhaps the credit crunch would never have happened. If you can't pay for it, you don't buy it. Simple as that !

7. I do not have children and decided at the age of 14 that I didn't want any. I get very annoyed at people who say '' I will change my mind'', I won't and I haven't. I've been saying it for 23 years and still feel the same.

8. I love the sea and feel very calm when I am at the seaside. I would love to live by the sea one day......

9. I have been crafty ever since I can remember and love making cards. I cross stitch as well but that has taken a back seat.....

10. I have my own little room to craft in and at the moment it is where I feel the most happiest. I've got a little laptop and watch TV and get to craft at the same time - bliss :)

3) I must put a copy of The Honest Scrap Logo on my blog which I have proudly done!

4) I must select at least 7 other worthy bloggers & list their links so here they are!

365 Cards Day 84

Woohoo, this is my final card for this weeks 365 Cards challenges. I have managed to keep up with all the challenges this week on the day they have been posted. I probably won't be able to do tomorrows though as we have a family birthday barbeque and I will be ferrying family from one side of the city ot the other and back and then Paul and I are seeing Jean Michel Jarre in concert - really looking forward to that.

Anyhoo, this card is for day 84's challenge at 365 Cards and we had to stick to a particular recipe.

1 3x3 card
1 flower
1 brad
1 piece of ribbon
1 stamped sentiment

Now I have to be honest, I know I have seen quite a lot of 3"x3"  cards on USA blogs and had never REALLY took into consideration just how small they are, it makes it quite awkward and you have to re-think what you are going to do a bit. The flower I was going to use orginally was actually bigger than the card so I had to go back to the drawing board.

As we couldn't use patterned paper I thought texture was the way to go so started off with one of my favorite ribbons which I bought from Ebay a couple of years ago. It has a lovely lace edge which is actually stitched on. I bought loads of it on a roll and it only cost a few pounds, brilliant bargain. I used the Cuttlebug Swiss Dots folder for the card blank and added a little white Brilliance ink to the dots to mirror the ribbon colouring. There is also a little black ink around the edges as it looked a bit too bright. The flower is from my prize from Cuttlebug Challenge designer Karen Maldanado and the brad is a Dovecraft one, I luvs spots me :)

I used a Papermania rubber stamp that came with this month's Docrafts Creativity magazine. I only wanted a tiny sentiment so stamped onto a scrap of card and mounted on 3D foam. I didn't dare stamp onto the card itself as I was convinced I would ruin it.

I'm quite glad I made this card as it came together really quickly once I decided what to do. I'm not sure if I would make many of this size though, I like 4" square but I think the 3" may be just a  bit too small. Due to the bulky items it would have to be posted with a large letter stamp and if I'm going to pay that much to post it I would rather send a larger card I think. 

Lemonade Stand Award

The wonderful Maz has given me this award today and I am very honoured to receive it from her. She makes some gorgeous items and comes across as being a really nice person. 365 Cards has become more than a challenge blog as I have 'met' some wonderful people through it and as it is a daily challenge we all get to know a little bit more about each other every day.

These are the rules for this award
Comment on this blog.-
Cut and paste the award logo and use it in your own blog.-
Nominate 5 blogs you feel show great attitude and gratitude.-
Link to your nominees within your blog post.-
Comment on their blogs to let them know they've received the award.-
Link back to the person who gave you the award to show your appreciation.

I would like to send this to

All the above individuals are extremely talented crafters and have fabulous blogs full of inspiration, some making me laugh and cry with equal measure. I truly cannot imagine a blog world without ANY of these contributors, it would certainly be dull and colourless without them.

Friday 22 May 2009

365 day 83, Chocoholic, 2S4U & Flutterby Wednesday

The challenge for today Day 83 at 365 Cards was to make a card with a matching envelope. I didn't really know what I was going to do and was thinking about it whilst I was doing the grocery shopping. Whilst in Poundland I spotted a fab gift bag which had lots of lovely glittery flowers on one side and the same, but unglittered on the other. I bought it thinking they would be great decoupaged. Then this afternoon when I went onto the forum I am a member of the challenge set by Chocoholic was decoupage, well I had to use my pretty bag didn't I ?

The closeup photo shows the layers. The glitter was already on there except for the little Stickles dots that I added. I have found a new blog this week which has a challenge called Flutterby Wednesday.  You have to use either a butterfly or fairy and this week the challenge is to use 2 patterned papers. The layout is Laura's Sketch 26 at 2 Sketches 4 You. The butterfly paper is from a Papermania Forever Friends pad, the mottled paper is Basic Grey and the purple glimmer paper is HOTP with a bit of Martha Stewart punching.

The sentiment is a foiled one from my stash layered onto some bright pink card. The brad in the centre of the flower is by Papermania.

For the envelope I have just used the same elements and decorated it accordingly. I'm pretty sure this is the first time I have made a matching envelope for a card. I know there are many people who do that for each card they make but as the envelope gets thrown away I don't think it's something I'd do often - but it does make it look really special so would consider doing it for more cards in the future.

Thursday 21 May 2009

400th Post and a 5 Challenge Card !!

This is my 400th post and I think this is one of the nicest cards I have ever made and it fulfils 5 Challenges YAY!!

The finished card measure A5 opening on it's side and was made from half an A3 sheet of white card. I used a Fiskars template for the scalloped edges and this was cut by hand with scissors. I added the little pearls, this decorating 3 sides of my card fulfilling todays challenge for Day 82 at 365 Cards.

The blue paper is HOTP from the Sapphire Cardmakers pad. The large 'L' is a Sizzix die and the use of the letter fulfils the challenge this week at The Pink Elephant. The letter was embossed using my new textile Cuttlebug folder which was part of my prize from Karen Maldonado. I am so pleased as I didn't have this one and nearly bought it at the Glitterpot. The rest of the Love lettering was done by hand. This then fits in with this week's Love and Marriage challenge at My Time To Craft.

Charisma Cardz had a new challenge up this morning to use Flowers, Lace and Pearls. The lace is an elasticated one, almost like a knitted texture and it is very tactile. I made a little layer from Prima flowers, a pearl headed pin, a pearl button and a small blue pearl heart.

Last but not least this weeks Cuttlebug Challenge is to use either the heart or butterfly combo. I bought the butterfly one at the Glitterpot as I had wanted it for sooooo long and have used it loads since. I used an offcut or a thick stardream card and it has made the embossing quite deep. I used a Brilliance inkpad on the letter and the butterfly to highlight the embossing and used tiny pearls on the body. The wings have been folded up and left loose.

I am so pleased with this card. I started off in the planning stage to see how many challenges I could tie together but it has turned out to be one of the cards that I am most proud of.

Card-A-Licious, Charisma Cardz, Creative Card Crew & 365 Cards

The challenge over at Card-A-Licious this week is to make a card using stitching, a flower and a star. I used a computer program to make my star templates and cut it from stardream cardstock so it sparkles really nice. The patterned paper is from Dovecraft. I added faux stitching with a white gel pen, one day I will get my sewing machine out to stitch with......

The challenge at Charisma Cardz this week is to use at least one star, well I've used a base card, paper, a glitter star and even the word spelt out in alpha beads so I think I'm safe on this card. Creative Card Crew has a challenge this week for a shaped card so I have entered this in for their challenge too.

This card will also allow me to tick off one of the older challenges on 365 Cards. The challenge on Day 27 was to use at least 3 different textures on your card. I've got glitter cardstock, Prima flowers, Paperchase gems, Papermania cork letters and alphabet beads so I've got plenty of texture on this card.

And, more amazing than anything else, I've made a shaped card that still stands up !!

365 Day 81, Colour Create, ABC & JC&B

I've been able to make another couple of cards tonight whilst watching the last of this season's Lost, I can't wait for the last season...... I've been an avid fan since the beginning and it will be almost sad to see it end, but glad to get a conclusion to it (whether it will tie all the loose ends up and make sense is another matter entirely though!)

This card uses the latest sketch # 32 at Just Christmas & Birthday Cards. I used this weeks colour theme at Colour Create of Sky Blue, Tan & Ecru and tied it into the ABC Challenge this week which is O - to keep an orderly and balanced design. The sketch is perfect for that and also fulfils todays challenge for Day 81 at 365 Cards to use 5 squares.

The first square is the sky blue card blank. I have cut 4 squares of paper, the script is K & Co and the floral corner is Papermania. The circle is a K & Co paper matted onto a circle of blue card. I have inked the edges with a Tim Holtz distressing pad to grunge it up a bit and tie in the with script paper better. The flowers are an assortment of Primas with pearl buttons and a bit of waxed string knotted through them. I added a bit of Sakura glitter pen to the eyes and head plume of the birdy in the centre.

This isn't my normal style of card as the colours are more subdued than I would normally use. I think the colour pallete challenges at Colour Create will be good to get me experimenting with different colour schemes.

Tuesday 19 May 2009

365 Day 69, Tamara 95, A Spoonful of Sugar 52 & Forum Challenge

This card was made using this weeks sketch # 95 over at Sketches! by Tamara. It combines the congratulations theme on our card making forum this week, a celebration theme at A Spoonful of Sugar (another new to me blog) and Day 69 at 365 Cards which was to make a card suitable for a graduation.

The little owl is an image that was sent to me by a forum buddie. There were lots of different owl images and die cuts and this one is a Pink Petticoat Image. He is coloured in with Marvy le Plume pens and layered onto a pice of card which has been embossed with a Cuttlebug folder.

The paper is a vellum which I have layered onto white card. I used an offcut and cut out 2 of the mortar boards and a diploma and decoupaged with 3D foam. A scrap of card was inked and rolled up with a small pice of thin ribbon tied around it to make a 3D diploma. The sentiment is a die cut from a Brenda Pinnick kit from QVC.

I've had a night off from the hospital tonight as Paul went up with his Dad so I had a few hours to myself (bliss....) We've got a heavy day tomorrow as Grandad has an appointment at another hospital tomorrow to see a Urologist about his prostate operation. His appointment is at 4.40pm but the hospital transport is taking him at 2pm - goodness knows why they are taking him that early... I'm sure they must arrange it with themselves so they get more car parking charges from you GRRRR we're hoping he will be given a date for his op tomorrow, here's keeping fingers crossed :)

ICS 17, 365 Day 73 & Secret Crafter 32 & Created byhand

This card was made using the latest sketch # 17 at Inspirational Card Sketches.

The dress is a Pink Petticoat printable that I had done some time ago. I printed it out onto the HOTP patterned paper and pieced this over another plain one printed in the same size. I have never done this before and it was something I was inspired to do after receiving a gorgeous pieced card from my forum buddie Kerrie. I have traced over all the tiny swirls in the dress and also the handcut scalloped border (courtesy of a Fiskars template) with a clear Sakura glitter pen. It is really sparkly but the scanner hasn't picked it up very well. The use of glitter fits in with the latest challenge 32 at a new blog to me Secret Crafter.

The other patterned papers are Two Scoops by Basic Grey. I have chosen the colour scheme of pink & green to fit in with this weeks challenge at Created byhand and also because I love these papers soooo much. The swirly paper I have only a couple of small peices of left, I don't want it to run out......

The line of flowers on the ICS sketch I have replaced with Prima hydrangea flowers and have added Paperchase gems to the centres. The larger gems on the dress are also from Paperchase, the smaller ones were from a Lets Make Cards pack. I have used a little artistic license with Day 73's challenge at 365 Cards to use Circles (flowers or circular gems) Scallops (handcut border on panel) and bling (gems and glitter) Hope this is acceptable Amy :)

I'm going to try and see if I can get a nice photo of it in daylight tomorrow as you just can't see the sparkle very well and it's such a shame as the card is really pretty but the scan just doesn't do it justice at all.

365 Cards Day 80 & Paperminutes 63

I was having a good mooch around the blog of Crafty Hazelnut who is a regular at 365 Cards and she had a lot of links to challenge blogs that were new to me. It's amazing just how many of them there are and I bet there are loads and loads that I don't know about.

Anyhoo, this card is from a sketch for challenge 63 at Paperminutes which I have rotated and todays challenge Day 80 over at 365 Cards to use plaid.

The backing paper is a freebie from Papercraft Inspirations magazine. The circle is a Cuttlebug folder and I have applied a light layer of in over the text. The ribbon and the centre panel are from the same freebie sheet but I have added them to a bright pink card and left a small border. The panel has been embellished by adding gel pen spots to the scallops and 2 buttons. There were printed ones but I wanted to add real ones for a bit of dimension. There seemed to be a bit too much white at the top so I added a gem from Paperchase just to break it up a bit.

Monday 18 May 2009

365 Cards Day 79 & Di Hickman May #2

It's day 79 at 365 Cards and the challenge for today is to make a card using your favourite manufacturer. I love bright colours and tend to use them the most when cardmaking. I tend to veer towards DCWV for a lot of my papers as they have such a diverse range of papers and the colours between collections work together. I particularly like the papers that were in the 3 seasons 2 drawer sets I got from QVC last year as they were fantastic value for money and have so many lovely bits in them.

I used last weeks Sketch May #2 from Di Hickman for the layout. I thought it particularly suited as I wanted to make a feature of the swirl on the backing paper as it is only one small part of a 12" page. In the summer drawers there are 3 sunflower papers that all work together the paper is one, the brown swirly border is an offcut from another. The glittered yellow and orange one is from an entirely different sheet but liked them together. The chipboard shape is glittered and from the same 'collection'. This is the last of my chipboard flowers in this set, boo hoo :( I think I could have had 20 of those and still used them all.

The card is finished off with card candy from Craftwork Cards. If you have never seen them before they are like brads but without the legs. You stick them on your card with a 3d foam square or some silicon glue and they add a little bit of depth without lots of bulk. They are also a lot cheaper as you get oodles of them (in co-ordinating colours) in a bag for £1 . The sentiment is a rubber stamp from Hero Arts. It is the 1st time I have used it today and there is a tiny bubble in the 'k' so it won't stamp perfectly. Tried it a few times on scrap card and it was the same each time so for once it's nbot my dodgy stamping !!

Sunday 17 May 2009

Just Christmas & Birthdays 31 & 365 Cards Day 76

I made this card from freebie papers from magazines that were on my desk waiting to be tidied up.

I used this week's sketch 31 at Just Christmas & Birthdays and incorporated Day 76's challenge at 365 Cards which was to use embellishments in all 4 corners.

The paper is from a great pack of really nice quality papers. I cut the rounded corners out with a circle punch and used Paperchase gems in the corners. The circular sentiment and paper ribbon are from a themed weather pack. the quality of these are not very thick but I have mounted them onto scrap card 1st. The pink scalloped circle was cut with my Nestabilities and a white gel pen was used to draw dots on. This panel was raised using 3D foam. The sentiment panel is a Papermania cardstock sticker mounted onto a scrap of white card.

365 Cards Day 78

Had a pretty stressful week with the whole Grandad and hospital situation and have had very little free time, certainly none to make cards unfortunately. I NEEDED to chillout and have some 'me' time today and I have managed to make a couple of cards whilst catching up on my favourite TV programmes like Bones, Cold Case and Fringe.

This card was made using the sketch which was posted as todays challenge for Day 78 over at 365 Cards (boy I am so behind on their challenges now, boo hoo!)

I got a cute booklet full of papers and embellishments with Crafts Beautiful magazine all with Paddington Bear on which I cracked open for this card. I used to love PB when I was a kid, I even used to eat marmalade sandwiches and used to shuffle round like Paddington used to do. LOL

All the elements and paper ribbon are from this pack. I mounted the PB picture on black card and the little cakes are on 3D foam. The corner is from a Brenda Pinnick kit at QVC which was embossed with the Cuttlebug Swiss Dots folder and inked with a black pad. The card front was layered onto a black DCWV textured card blank. 

Thursday 14 May 2009

Digital Scrapbooking

I've done something new for the first time last night and I am so proud of myself.

I have been collecting freebie digital scrapboking downloads for a while, especially certain designers who like using brighter colours such as Mel Hains and Vicki Parker. Up till now it has been something that I have printed off to make cards with, a term called a hybrid crafter where you will use digital downloads alongside traditional shop bought craft items.

I always  had a penchant for using them as they are intended, but have never scrapbooked and certainly didn't think I would be able to master the programs to make a page up. Paul bought me Paint Shop Pro for Christmas last year and I have mainly used it for photo editing, but I'm not very good at the programme....I get annoyed when it doesn't do what I want it to and lose my temper. Paul just laughs at me :) Last night with his help I used a Quickpage and started off small....

I have made 2 versions as he wanted me to see what the different methods would be with a programme I already use a bit Xara (that's the first one) and PSP (that's the bottom one). The QP by Cy Fisher is already made up from a Mel Hains kit and I have added my photo, the butterfly and the text. In both cases the text was made up from the individual programmes so they are not as elaborate as some of the designer's alphabets....tippy toe steps first. 

I have downloaded a great PDF file off the internet that gives you great hints and tips on compiling pages and what you need. It does say that I need to re-organise my digital downloads to make them easier to find. I have got a reasonable good system but it needs refining down further to make use of keywords and also you need to give credit to the designers so I need to ensure they are labelled up properly so I'll be able to tell who did it.  Looks like I'm going to have a lot of work.....tippy toe steps !!

I want to have a go at making a page from scratch so that will be my next experiment..... Not sure which programme to use yet. Xara is easier because I already have a reasonable knowledge of the programme, but PSP is the more professional programme and I really SHOULD learn how to use it and all the features it has......going to have to think on that one.

I wanted my first page to have a picture of me on it, Paul calls me 'Beautiful Lady' and I can hosnstly say at 37 I look so much better than I did when I was younger. Paul and I have been together 20 years in July and he has seen me blossom from a very shy kid who wasn't happy in her skin to someone who is more confident and the inner beauty has finally blossomed to transform me into the beautiful butterfly that I am today, shedding lots of the baggage that held me back and stopped me being the person I have become. I owe Paul and some very good friends a massive debt of gratitude for guiding me and giving me tremendous love in my darkest days when I REALLY needed it. I am a VERY lucky girl to have such wonderful people around me and I am tremendously grateful for them.

Tuesday 12 May 2009

Beautiful Marigolds

An amazing thing has happened today, I've been gardening..... and I enjoyed it !!!

Anyone who knows me well knows I don't DO gardening. I can appreciate a lovely garden but have always said I'm not old enough to make a good garden myself. Some people are just naturally good gardeners, some people have grown up being taught how to garden and become good at it, I am neither. I kill everything I grow, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, but they always die. I don't enjoy gardening but I did today.

What has suddenly changed I hear you ask ? Well, I took Paul's Grandma and Mom to Homebase yesterday because Grandma wanted some Begonias and for the first time EVER I bought a tray of flowers !!!! Paul nearly fainted when he saw them, it is a sight he has never witnessed from me. I got 30 marigolds for £3.99 and they are in assorted colours of yellow and oranges - happy colours :)

We were really very lucky when we moved into our house. the previous owners didn't garden and we found stacks of old terracotta pots at the bottom of the garden. A lot had broken but may were able to be used. Being a crafter and nothing goes to waste I kept them and today had a brilliant time sitting in the sun and potting them up. I even re-potted a plant from the kitchen that had overgrown it's pot. Maybe there is hope for me? I've got a massive garden, the top 2 layers being patio, the bottom needs serious hard work as it all needs to be dug up. I have a dream of having lots of pots of brightly coloured flowers and growing my own vegetables. We did have some success with some beans a couple of years ago, my onions didn't grow very big and the chives didn't seem to grow at all (then we found out the little girl from next door kept coming over and eating them!!)

I enjoyed being out on the garden for a few hours, it was nice to get a bit of sunshine and perhaps this is the start of me being green fingered. Perhaps at the ripe old age of 37 I am old enough to be a gardener...... Watch this space

First Past The Post ???

I have sent this photo into Cardmaking & Papercrafts Magazine into it's First Past the Post section as all the cards were made using the freebie paper pack they sent with the magazine I received yesterday. I've never done anything like this before and have only entered for a bit of fun. Usually the freebe items are on my desk or in a basket for ages and ages before I even open them, let alone use them but these papers were just lovely quality and very pretty designs.

Hopefully with a bit of luck I was first past the post, I'll let you know next month of I was !!

365 Cards Day 35 & Card Patterns #13

This card is the last of the ones I made on Saturday (phew)

I used last week's sketch 13 from Card Patterns for the layout and the inspiration was an advertisement that was provided on Day 35's challenge at 365 Cards.

The patterned paper is a gorgeous glittered one from the DCVW Blossoms & Butteerflies stack. The soft colours are the same as the ones in the picture provided and I kept to the same pallette for the other elements. The green paper is a scrap left over from a project last week. The gorgeous swirl pink is a Craftwork Cards paper that my lovely friend Sarn gave me. It's almost TOO pretty to cut up but I love the foiling and it works really well on this pretty card.

The ribbon is from Docrafts and the chipboard flower embellishment is another bargain from Poundland. Those packs I bought recently have been wonderful. They are a pack with a  themed 8'' x 8'' scrapbook with epoxy stickers and glittered chipboard die cuts and are tremendous value for only £1 each. The scrapbooks are only very basic but I will use them as a source of paper rather than a book, but the packs are worth it for the embellishments alone.

Not had any chance to craft since Saturday as been very busy running errands for the family and hospital visits, washing etc but hoping to get some more crafting done soon. Until then TTFN as Tigger would say "Ta Ta For Now !!" 

365 Cards Day 38

This card was also made on Saturday and is another old 365 Cards Challenge. This is Day 38's challenge to make a card using a quilt block pattern that was provided.
The papers used are small blocks from a textured wallpaper and it is very touchy feely. I placed these blocks onto a black base to make them stand out a bit more, also as the individual patterns are slightly different it was awkward to get thwm to line up. If I use this design again I will use my own patterned papers to make sure I can cut them square.

The black panel was mounted onto a silver card and I used a sentiment panel from my stash for the bottom. I thought this would make a nice simple male card.

365 Cards Day 22

So this is another card that I made on Saturday. I was trying to get some of the older 365 challenges completed and this is from a sketch on Day 22.

The base card is DL size and I rounded the corners with a punch and followed suit on the paper which is a gorgeous glittered DCWV one from the Butterflies & Blossoms stack. The blue cardstock strips are scraps with large blue gems from Paperchase. The glittered chipboard sentiment is from Poundland and the teeny brads are from HOTP.

Still got loads of the older challenges to complete but feel happier that I can tick SOME of them off the list :)

Sunday 10 May 2009

365 Cards Day 47

What a fun card this is, I really enjoyed making it.

Day 47's challenge on 365 Cards was to make a pop-up card. I have made pop-up's before but not like this, I was immediately taken with the sample provided. The wonderful Amy Tsurutu provided us with a link to some instructions on the scor-it site and they were very earsy to follow. If you are interested in making a card like this click on Amy's name here and it will take you directly to the post on her blog with the link. Whilst you are there take a look at the wonderful cards she creates, she is one talented Momma and her daughter looks like she will be following in her talented footsteps. 

Anyway the deets..... the base card is made from a strip of DCWV card, wasn't sure if it would be sturdy enough but it worked just great. The patterned papers are from the freebie pack with Cardmaking & Papercraft magazine. The bottoms of the strawberries were cut off in the book which I thought was a bit strange... but you get the idea and they match the strawberries in the rubber stamped image. I coloured it in the watercolour pencils and added Sakura glitter pens. This was matted onto paper from the pack and then mounted to white card which provides the pop-up mechanism to the card. The back of the card is also covered with more of the paper and thus provides somewhere to write. The glittered chipboard sentiment is again from a Poundland pack.

The card folds up to pop in an envelope, I am REALLY impressed with this style of card and will be making more in the future.

Inspirational Card Sketches 15 & 365 Cards Day 68

This is another card I made on Saturday at the crafty meet up. I have used sketch 15 from Inspirational Card Sketches for the layout and Day 68's challenge at 365 Cards to make a card including or inspired by candy.

In the UK candy is referred to as a sweet, but also a dessert is often called a sweet too so I have incorporated both into this card.

The papers are from the freebie book of papers that came with Cardmaking & Papercraft magazine. The image of the icecream sundae was part of a page that I have cut this design from. I have matted it onto some scrap red card.

The swirls are by Doodlebug. The glittered chipboard sentiment came from a craft pack at Poundland and has tiny HOTP brads. The glittered candy shape is DCWV and looks just like the strawberry sauce swirled around the icecream. Since taking this photo I have also added dimensional glaze to the sauce and the cherry which makes it glisten a bit more. 

Just Christmas & Birthdays & 365 Cards Day 25

I made this card using this week's sketch from Just Christmas & Birthday Cards. It was for a square card but I had adapted it to fit an A5 rectangular card to suit the butterfly image. The colour scheme is to fit in with an old challenge, day 25 on 365 Cards

The backing paper is from Clare Curd's The Big One by Papermania.

The butterfly image is recycled from an old card I had received. It is stamped in a pearlescent ink and has glitter on it. I have added a little Sakura glitter pen onto it as well. This is matted onto HOTP shimmer paper and then on white card. The sentiment panel is from HOTP and has a card candy on a 3D foam where the printed brad is on the tag. I've added glitter pen to the lettering.

The brown grosgrain ribbons are from Ebay and the patterned green paper is from a book that came free with Cardmaking & Papercraft magazine.

2 Sketches 4 You - Laura # 25

This is one of the cards I made at our crafty session. I decided I was going to be organised and mad a bag up for each card sketch or challenge with the items I was making the card with. This was much more productive than me taking a whole bunch of stuff and meandering along.... I made 7 cards in 5 hours so not too bad considering we were have a good old natter as well.

This card was made using Laura's current sketch at 2 Sketches 4 You. The floral paper is a vellum which has been treated with my Martha Stewart Punch. I have stuck some Docrafts ribbon on the top.

The flower border stamp is by Clare Curd and part of the Papermania collection.I have coloured this in with Sakura glitter pens and Marvy Le Plume to match the colours in the vellum.

The flower is a petal from a bunch of silk flowers. It has been cut in half and layered and looks very full. The big brad is a HOTP with a rub on sentiment on top.

Crafty Session in Warrington

Had a great day in Warrington today with new friends and old. We made loads of cards and chatted for England. In the main photo there is Lisa, Tabitha, Helen, her daughter Hannah, Christine, Elizabeth and moi (please note much smaller stomach than on previous outing, this GI diet is amazing!!)

Got no more crafty meetings booked up at the moment (boo hoo) hopefully that will be remedied soon if Lisa can book one in Gloucestershire and Helen is looking at when we can have the hall in Warrington again. We know we can't have the Welwyn Bowling Club until about October, I mean can you imagine they actually want to use it for themselves, the cheek :)

At least that is one good thing about living in Birmingham, I'm pretty central to most places and can get around better than if I was far south or far north. 

I made 7 cards so need to update my blog. I'll probably be doing that tomorrow now as I am a little tired but have had a brilliant day.

Friday 8 May 2009

Had my hair chopped off !!!

Will take a picture later if possible but I have been to the hardressers and had a lot of the length of my hair cut off. **** edited to add pictures ****

When I went last time I had it shorter and I've gone even shorter still. It had however grown back to mid shoulder length and I've gone a lot shorter as you can see! I've had it cut into the nape of my neck at the back and it is longer at the front in a bob stylee. Paul was a bit shocked as I'd had so much cut off. I fancied a change abd I think part of it is because I am losing weight and feel better about myself.

Going for a craft meet up with friends in Warrington tomorrow so need to get my things together for that. I always take more than I need to and I want to try and take things for specific projects tomorrow if possible. But before that, we have a 3 - 4 hour appointment at the hospital with  Grandad. He's being transported from one hospital to another for some tests and will be there for a long time so we didn't want him to be in a  wheelchair there all alone. His eyesight is failing and these tests will hopefully find out why.

I don't think there will be any crafting for me today but I should hopefully be making up for that tomorrow :)

Until then, toodle pip !

Card Sketch a Day 250 & 365 Cards Day 37

Today I have 2 of my cards featured as Designer cards on sketch 250 at Card Sketch a Day. 

The first card was made as a wedding card for one of my forum friends who is getting married on Saturday. The papers and elements are all from the latest issue of Creative Cardmaking. I am so pleasantly surprised by the quality of the papers in this mag, they really seem to have taken notice of the complaints many of us consumers have had about the quality of free papers being rubbish in most cases. The sentiment is an epoxy sticker from a craft pack at Poundland, the paper rose and ribbon were recycled from another card I'd made but didn't like.

The second card was submitted in our forum challenge to make a purple card. The top paper is a vellum from a Making Cards Magazine, the bottom paper is HOTP, the middle paper is a Fiskars punch embellished piece of stardust paper also from HOTP. The central strip is a peel off sticker that started off being pink but I coloured in using a purple permanent pen. This is placed onto a strip of white card. The sentiment is from my stash.

The butterfly is a plain chipboard shape that I coloured in  with a Brilliance inkpad and added stickles glitter glue to the centre. This makes the 2nd card admissable for an old challenge at 365 Cards. Day 37 was to embellish a piece of plain chipboard. That's one old challenge laid to rest, only got another 24 old ones to go. 

Cuttlebug Spa Weekend Winner !!!!

Wow, I have some fantastic news to share.

Over on the Cuttlebug Challenge blog last weekend they held a Spa Weekend with loads of inspiring projects and a blog hop with loads of prizes. Many of the individual designers had prizes too and I have won one!!

The goodies above were from the very talented Karen Maldonado and of all the lovelies offered this is honestly the one I REALLY wanted and I actually only blooming won it. I am doing a massive happy dance.

I need to go to bed now but I think I'm too excited to sleep :)

Wednesday 6 May 2009

365 Cards Day 67 & Di Hickman May # 1

It's Day 67 at 365 Cards and the challenge today is to 'Think Pink' and make a card where the predominant colour is pink.

Been to the hospital to visit Grandad so I was late getting back, by the time we'd had something to eat and do some washing I couldn't hit my craft room until 10:30pm so needed to do something quite quick. As soon as I saw Di Hickmans sketch which she revealed this evening I knew what I was going to do.

I pulled out my DCWV Blossoms & Butterflies pad and the backing paper is an offcut from another card I had made previously. The paper has silver metallic swirls on it (which have scanned in black, sorry) I absolutely adore it and I'm glad I could use the offcut as I only have 1 sheet left - 1 to use , 1 to stroke LOL

The scalloped 'ribbon' is a scrap piece of card that I cut a scalloped border from using a Fiskars Shapecutter template. The stitched ribbon is a self adhesive DCWV. The butterfly is a Cuttlebug die and emboss combi with a small amount of pink ink on the edges. I have folded the wings up and only stuck it down in the centre. The scanner has squashed it but it springs straight back up. The pink gems are Paperchase and I used a tiny bit of silver gel pen on the ends of the antennae.

I have left the card without a sentiment but may add something at a later point in time. 

I'm glad Pam gave us an easier challenge today as I don't think I would have been able to complete the challenge this evening otherwise.

Tuesday 5 May 2009

365 Cards Day 66 & The Pink Elephant 13

The challenge for Day 66 at 365 Cards is to incorporate a specificsentiment into your card. The sentiment was 'You are there, and I am here'. Obviously a bit of a challenge. I'd been mulling it over for a bit and whilst I was in Asda doing the shopping I suddenly thought it would be perfect for a 'let's get together for a coffee' type of card.

Whilst bloghopping yesterday I found a link to a Splitcoast Stampers Tutorial for making flowers out of circles by folding them. Within the tutorial it said you could use scalloped circles to make a carnation type flower and I wanted to have a go at it. I have lots of paper, but not much of it is double sided so the hardest part was trying to get the papers together to do them. I have a pack of papers that came from Costco last year which is where these came from but they are a bit darker than I would have liked them to be. Nevertheless I am quite pleased with how they turned out.

I covered the front of the card with the light green side and cut a scalloped circle with my largest Nestability die. I offset the edges off the card and trimmed to fit. The flowers are made from cutting the 2 smallest nestie dies and folding as per the linked tutorial. The stem and leaves was drawn freehand with a pencil then I drew over it with a Sakura Quickie glue pen and added fine grade glitter to the swirls. This is something I've never had the confidence to do before as I was always worried I would muck it up but I'm pleased with the outcome. 

The sentiment for the front and inside was printed onto paper and I then mounted the front onto card. I used a Craftwork Cards sentiment message that my friend Sarn gave me to make a template for the shape and drew around the edges. I have pierced the edges of the shape and mounted onto 3D foam.

The message inside was stuck on with double sided tape. I cut a frame with the nesties out of the green paper and stuck to bottom. The birdie is one of my new Hero Arts stamps that I bought at the Glitterpot. I coloured it in with Marvy le Plume pens and a silver gel pen.

The use of circles and scallops on this card has enabled me to enter it into the Pink Elephant Challenge this week.

I'm pleased with how this card turned out. I have learnt new techniques and done something different. Woohoo !!!

Stampin Chic, Forever Friends & 365 Cards

Lucky me, I have made this card and managed to get it to tie up with 3 different challenges.

The challenge this week at Forever Friends was to make a card of a different than normal shape. I decided I wanted to make a flower shaped card as I haven't done one before. I used a template from Mel Stampz blog to cut the card shape from a Papermania blank and then resized it to make the 2 smaller outlines.

The challenge at Stampin' Chic this week was to include stitching of some sort, whether real or faux. I used one of the outlines to add faux stitching with a gel pen. The spotted paper is from the Papermania Clare Curd Signature range.  I used rubber stamps from the same range to make the flowers. I just stamped onto some offcuts of card and shaped the smaller flowers to add dimension. The FF bear is a clear sticker mounted onto white card which came free with a magazine. The with love sentiment has been matted onto white card and I have put little dots around the edge to add definition. The flower is from the same sticker sheet. The sister sentiment is cut from a FF decoupage sheet by Papermania.  I have added stickles glue to the flower centres and random dots on the paper. 

The challenge for day 65 at 365 Cards was to make a Mothers Day Card or to make a card to honour a woman in your life. I had intended this card to be sent to my secret sister (she doesn't ead my blog, I'm safe !!) hence the sister heading. However, when I showed it to my hubby he asked if it was for his sister's birthday later this month !!! How organised am I getting, making a card so many weeks in advance. 

Sunday 3 May 2009

365 Cards Day 64 & Forum Challenge

Day 64 at 365 Cards is a sketch to work from.

Sarn had set our forum challenge to use chickens on your card. I had a look through my stamped images folder and this is my only chicken image from a swap we did on the forum. Fortunately one of them was coloured in already using Twinkling H20's so it made it much quicker to put the card together.

I used a sheet of A4 card for the base and cut it down to a square. The patterned paper is from a DCWV glitterstack, love how colourful it is. I used a stitched Docrafts ribbon across the join to mimic the stitches in the sketch.

I matted the stamped image on orange card and raised it using 3D foam pads. The sentiment ribbon slide is a glittered chipboard from a craft pack at Poundland.

Right got to go wake my hubby from his lie in as we are going out to lunch with friends in Birmingham. This is the 1st time we have eaten out since starting the GI diet so it will be a challenge to eat as heathily and GI friendly as possible. Wish me luck !!