Monday 30 January 2012

Dotty ribbons .....

... A quick post this morning to share a card that I've made for two challenges:

  • Do you stack up? - DYSU#56  where the design team would like us to use ribbons on our card
  • CASE study - CSC#75 inspiration card

It's the last challenge from the current muse over at CASE Study - Jen Rzasa has provided some fabulous inspiration cards and this week's is just lovely - I adore the tied threads!  For my card I've used a large sentiment - to echo the sentiment on Jen's card, and dotty rainbow ribbons.  I decided to run my ribbons on a diagonal.  It was really easy to attach the ribbons evenly, I simply attached my card to my glass cutting mat and used the guide lines to line up the ribbons.

Stamps:  Waltzingmouse - Join Us
Inks: Memento - Tuxedo Black
Accessories:  Ribbons by Avec in various colours, Card from stash

I've been busy in my craft room this weekend trying to get as far ahead with my Design Team cards as I can, and I'm making quite good progress.  As you know, Jonathan came back from the States last week and things are now beginning to happen with regards to our move to the States.  That means I've got quite a few bits and pieces to get done on the house - odd little bits that I'm happy to live with, but that need to be sorted before we can let the house to tenants.  So I'm going to be quite busy in the next few weeks - the down side to all this is that I don't think I'm going to be able to take part in quite as many challenges as I've been doing.  Sob!!!  But it is so exciting!  Just wish I had an actual date!!!

That's all for now - I'm off to craft class this morning and then this afternoon I'm going to be organising jobs on the house!!  See you soon!

Sunday 29 January 2012

CR84FN47 - Happy Birthday ....

... I find it hard to believe that it's almost the end of January - where has the month gone to!!  And it's time for our new colour challenge at CR84FN - we have some really pretty colours for you to play with - pink, red and light blue!

Heather found this lovely combination of colours; the pictures are courtesy of Magnolia Rouge.  I've spent a very happy half hour looking at their gorgeous blog!!

I used our colours to make a birthday card for Ben's grandmother, Marilyn, who celebrated her 75th birthday last Friday.  I didn't want to include any specific numbers, but I did want to make a special card for her.

I stamped the flower in each colour three times, and heat embossed them all with clear powder.  I fussy cut the inner flower three times, and then used a circular punch for the centres.  I like the shape of Labels Fourteen and cut three labels; on the largest I sponged red ink, on the next I stamped the polka dot frame from WMS and on the smallest label I stamp the fancy flourish frame (which you can just about see) in clear and then sponged on light pink ink and finished off by stamping the sentiment in red.  I added a pale blue ribbon to the card base, arranged the flowers and labels and then finished off with some jewelled flourishes.

Stamps: Stampin' Up! - Triple Treat Flower; Waltzingmouse - Frame-It, Holiday Labels No Fourteen
Inks:  Stampin' Up! - Real Red, Pretty in Pink, Bashful Blue
Spellbinders:  Labels Fourteen (S4-290) # 3, 4 and 5
Accessories:  Jewelled flourish; Clear embossing powder, ribbon and card from stash

I took a couple of close up photos of the flowers - it's really pretty and so easy to cut out.  You can see the lovely gloss from the heat embossing and if you look really closely you can see the fancy flourish on the pink label!

We are pleased to welcome Monika as our Guest Designer for CR84FN47 and 48.  Monika makes the most wonderful embroidery projects and she has a quite unique take on our challenges.  Check out the CR84FN blog to see the inspiration projects from the team, or click on the links:  MonaSueHeatherAndreaStephanieSuzanneLisa and Monika our Guest Designer.

That's all for today - Kathryn and I are off to hunt for the very elusive Monster High dolls - they seem to be selling out quite quickly around here!!  And later today I hope to get to play in my craft room.  See you soon.

Saturday 28 January 2012

A CAS-ual card ....

.... For Saturday morning - I know I'm not going to be first on the CAS-ual Fridays challenge, but I'm in earlier than normal for me!!  I've made this card with two challenges in mind:

I followed the sketch quite faithfully, starting off by stamping a background using the large doily set from Waltzingmouse, (inspiration from my Blog Buddy Pauline) which I then embossed.  I stamped the sentiment onto plain white card and used my square nesties to cut it out.  I threaded some fine navy ribbon (recycled) through the holes in the beaded square.  I made a pennant and home made brad and attached it to the card with dimensional tape.

Stamps:  Waltzingmouse - Doilies Large, Back in the Saddle, Bitty Banners
Inks:  Stampin' Up! - Pear Pizzazz, Night of Navy, Elegant Eggplant
Spellbinders: Nested Pennants (S5-028), Beaded Squares (S4-315) # 3, Standard Squares Sm (S4-128) # 4
Accessories:  Cuttlebug Folder - Love's in the Air (set of 4); Card, ribbon and brad from stash

I've got a busy morning today - I'm taking Kathryn into town as she wants to visit Argos for a new doll and after that I'm off to donate blood at one of the local schools.  I used to be a regular donor, but when I moved to Wales I sort of fell off the radar!  Anyway, I started back again in February last year and was due to go again in October, but couldn't because I'd had various vaccinations before going to India.  But I'm allowed to go again - so this morning I'll be parting with "an armful" of O Neg!!  Jonathan is off for a photo shoot in the morning, making up for lost time!!  That's all for now.  See you later.

Friday 27 January 2012

Big hugs ....

.... That's what I'm sending to my friend Kathy - she's not been feeling very well lately, so I want to send her my best wishes and a virtual hug.  I've made Kathy's card with three challenges in mind:

I think the inspiration photo is just gorgeous and my initial thoughts included a tree with golden leaves, but it just wouldn't come together properly.  And today, after I saw my friend's note about feeling poorly, I decided to make a card for her - not a specific get well card, but one to let her know that I'm sending hugs and good wishes.  I was going to over stamp the long text panel with a message, but decided to keep things simple and put the sentiment in the heart.  My heart has two forms of embossing - dry via the Spellbinder dies and heat on the sentiment.  I'll be posting this to Kathy in the morning.

Stamps:  Stampin' Up! - En Francais; Waltzingmouse - Sweethearts
Inks:  Stampin' Up! - Peach Parfait, Old Olive, Pear Pizzazz
Spellbinders: Scalloped Hearts (S4-137), Hearts (S4-136)
Accessories:  Martha Stewart - border punch, card and embossing powder

It's been a really good day.  I set up the ironing board in front of the TV and got it all done while catching up with some episodes of Criminal Minds!  It really does make things go much quicker.  At lunch time I saw the last ¾ hour of the Murray v Djokovic semi-final at the Australian Open.  From what I saw it was fantastic - at one point I thought it was all over for Andy, then he came back and almost made it.  He really pushed Djokovic all the way.  Jonathan is still feeling quite jet-lagged - it'll take a while before he's back on UK time. Now I'm going to try and find a channel showing the European Ice Skating championships - it's proving really difficult.  The championships are being held in Sheffield!!!  I would love to have been able to go.  That's all for now.  See you tomorrow.

Thursday 26 January 2012

He's home .....

... Kathryn and I arrived at the airport just after 8.15am and found that Jonathan's plane had already landed - early!!! Yea!  We didn't have long to wait before Jonathan walked through the arrivals door - and Kathryn was up like a shot and almost threw herself at her Daddy.  To say that she was pleased to see him is an understatement.  To be fair - I'm rather pleased that Jonathan's home too ;)  Jonathan is absolutely shattered - as far has his body clock is concerned it is now 5.30am in the morning and he should be asleep!!!  The aim today is not to fall asleep too early.

You may recall that earlier this month I was lucky enough to be selected as one of the December winners over at Less is More and my prize was donated by My Memories - I was totally thrilled.  I thought my prize was a set of digital scrapbook pages - well it is, sort of!!  I got the whole programme - so I'd like to thank Liz Gardner (of My Memories), Chrissie and Mandi - it's a super programme and I've already been playing with it!!!

This is my first attempt at a Digital Scrapbook - I picked a set of pages with a Christmas theme and simply added my photos (some of not of great quality) and some words!  I love this programme and think I'll be playing with it again and again!!!  Here's my first scrapbook:

Now I'm off to put on the washing machine - there's two large suitcases full of washing to be done!!!  See you soon.

One layer Wednesday .....

... Susan has a lovely challenge for us this week.  The One Layer Wednesday - OLW76 challenge is to use grey, white and a pop (just a bit) of a bright colour.  Susan's cards are simply gorgeous and they are the inspiration for my card.  I do like the softness of stamping in grey - it gives a totally different feel to the card.  I think this card will go into my stash for when I need a sympathy card.

I've kept the layout, but changed the stamp and sentiment - I think the blue gems work beautifully with the soft grey ink.  Clean, simple and quick.

Stamps:  Kanban - All Occasion - both the flower and sentiment
Ink:  Memento - London Fog
Accessories:  Blue gems and card from stash

I'm really excited this morning - I'm off to the airport shortly to pick up Jonathan, his plane is due in at 8.45am.  I know that Jonathan has only been in the States for three weeks, but it has felt much longer this time than before Christmas.  Kathryn is coming to the airport with me - she can't wait to see her Daddy.  That's all for now - I'll be back again tomorrow!  Have a good day.

Wednesday 25 January 2012

A birthday card ....

.... I managed to get an hour in my craft room this evening and I've made a card for three challenges:

I turned the Mojo Monday around to make a portrait style card.  I cut out the little mats in plain white card and then stamped  the flowers - first I stamped in the colour ink and then in Versamark, both have been heat embossed with clear powder.  I sponged colour over the Versamark images to bring out white flowers.  I stamped the sentiment on to the centre panel and added leaf images in Versamark mark, heat embossed with clear powder and then sponged on some green ink.  To finish off I've added a tiny vellum butterfly - on its way to visit those lovely flowers.

Stamps:  Dawn Bibby - Flower Patch
Inks:  Stampin' Up! - Riding Hood Red, Old Olive, More Mustard; Versamark
Accessories:  Clear embossing powder, vellum and kraft card from stash

I've had fun trying to get a decent photo of the card - I'm so looking forward to the long, light evenings of Spring and Summer.  The photo above was taken without flash and I think really shows the warm tones of these lovely colours, however, it's not quite sharp!!  So I used my flash - see right - it's sharper, but has washed out the colours a bit.  But you can really see the shine from the embossing!  Swings and roundabouts I think!!

I've had a busy couple of days - I did get all my ironing finished - and for a whole 24 hours, my washing baskets were stacked and empty!!  Sadly, the bit of washing I've done today means more ironing.  I have started to do the ironing while watching programmes that I've recorded - it does make it go a bit quicker.  

That's all for now - I'm going to nip downstairs and catch up on some episodes of Criminal Minds that I recorded earlier today and have a nice cup of coffee!  See you tomorrow.

Tuesday 24 January 2012

Christmas flowers ....

....  just a very quick post today, as I'm busy getting ready for Jonathan to come home on Thursday.  I had fun last night, and this card has been made for two challenges:

I decided to make a card featuring a poinsettia - just love these plants around the house at Christmas, they are always so beautiful.  I started off by stamping the medium sized poinsettia from WMS Big Blooms - Poinsettia set three times onto thick vellum; stamped in Versamark and heat embossed with detail white powder.  Around the edge of the card I stamped the more stylised poinsettia and leaves.  I cut a plain white mat (I did play around with another patterned layer, but it was far, far too busy) and attached it to the card.  I cut an ornate square frame for the vellum poinsettia and used the same card to make the sentiment label.  I added a touch of glitter to the centre of the poinsettia and two little red gems to the sentiment label.

Stamps:  Waltzingmouse - Big Blooms - Poinsettia, Compliments of the Season
Inks:  Versamark; Distress - Worn Lipstick, Peeled Paint, Spiced Marmalade
Spellbinders:  Fleur de Lis Squares (S4-318) #3, Fancy Tags (S4-235)
Accessories: Staedtler Ergosoft Pencils; Card and gems from stash

Trying to take a decent photo of this card was quite difficult.  The big picture above was taken with flash - so it has washed out the colour a bit, but at least the picture is sharp.  The close up of the poinsettia was without flash - and I think you can see the softness of the colours.  I used my new Staedtler Ergosoft pencils - they are so easy to use and blend beautifully.

I had a good day yesterday - craft class in the morning - always a good way to start the day.  And in the afternoon, I got a few baskets of washing done.  Of course, that means I've got a few baskets of ironing to do today!!!  My least favourite job!!  I'm not sure whether I'm going to get the chance to play in my craft room today - but I hope to have something to share on Wednesday.  Take care and see you Wednesday.

Sunday 22 January 2012

Penguins and patterns .....

.... it's been busy today.  This morning we took Mum to Manchester Airport to go home.  It's very wild and windy here and our journey was a bit rough.  The high winds also meant that Mum's flight was delayed - but it went off at 1.00pm and Mum should now be home with her brother and sister-in-law.  I'm missing her already, but we did have fun.

Sunday is when I normally post a card for CR84FN - but this week I completely forgot to make a card - silly me!!  There's still time to enter CR84FN46 - although it is closing a little earlier this week on Wednesday 25th.

Instead I've a couple of cards to share with you.  My first card is for CAS-ual Fridays - CFC36.  The theme is "Penguin suits" - the challenge started on Friday 20th which was National Penguin Awareness Day!!!  Who knew??  The DT would like us to make a CAS card with only black and white - not even the tiniest amount of any other colour!!

I know that my card is not in the least bit original, but it is fun!!  I knew that I had a penguin stamp in my stash.  I cut a mat in black card onto which I stamped the sentiment in Versamark and embossed with detail white powder.  I stamped my cute penguin in black Versafine onto white card and heat embossed with clear powder.  Then I carefully cut it out.  I coloured the image with a black Sakura Glaze gel pen - it has a lovely sheen.  I also added some white flock to the hat bobble, trim and mittens, as well as a bit of sparkle to the snow.  I like it!!

Stamps:  Papermania - Christmas Stamps
Inks:  Versamark; Versafine - Onyx Black
Accessories:  Sakura Black Glaze pen; Glitter, flock and card from stash

My second card is for two challenges.  The first is CASE Study Challenge - CSC74 and the second for Do You Stack Up? - DYSU55.  January's muse at CASE Study is Jen Rzasa and her inspiration card is just fab. And over at DYSU the team would like us to use patterns - can be patterned papers or pattens you've made yourself.

I have to admit that I wasn't at all sure what I was going to do with Jen's inspiration card.  Then I realised that I always need thank you cards, so I took the word "thanks" and used patterned papers to paper piece the word.

I got some really lovely papers free with one of the craft magazines (but I can't remember which one!), I decided they'd be perfect for this challenge.  I started off by stamping the word thanks onto some striped paper featuring all these gorgeous colours and pattens, then I carefully cut out each letter.  I used some coordinating paper to mat onto the card base.  I stamped the mega word onto the card, and used my stamp-a-ma-jig to align the script stamps and then simply attached each letter in turn.

Stamps:  Stampendous - Mega Thanks
Inks:  Versafine - Onyx Black; Memento - Tuxedo Black
Accessories:  Papers free with magazine; Clear embossing powder and card from stash

Yesterday Jonathan went to have a look at some houses - my favourite part of the process, but I'm having to do it long-distance!!!  One of the properties was a complete bust.  Two stood out as very nice - I think I could happily live in either of them.  However, we are still at the waiting stage and won't know for certain about the US move until later this month or early February!!!

Before I go - I'd like to welcome Darnell Knauss - my newest follower.  That's all for now - I'm off to sort out tea for me and Kathryn.  See you tomorrow!

Saturday 21 January 2012

Butterfly birthday ....

.... hi, back for my second post today.  I've got a card for three challenges:

After checking out Less is More this morning, we headed into Chester for a bit of fun time.  We did a bit of window shopping and Kathryn has come home with two new friends from Build-a-Bear; Scarlett (a bright red Hello Kitty) and Justice (the Victoria Justice bear) - Kathryn is delighted, and I'm so pleased that she's still my little girl!!

While in town I had plenty of time to think about what I wanted to make.  I wanted to have a flower aperture with a butterfly on the edge as though flying towards the flowers inside the card.  It was much easier to make then I expected.  I cut a piece of white card to mount on the card base, onto which I stamped the butterfly.  Then I positioned my Spellbinder die and lightly pencilled where I needed to cut.  Then I carefully cut around the butterfly, extending the cuts down the wings to allow me to slip the die back.  Then I positioned the mat onto the card base and ran them through the Grand Calibur.  It's important to run the base and mat through together to get the aperture position correct.

I used my stamp-a-ma-jig to work out the correct position for the flowers inside the card, stamped them in black Versafine and embossed with clear powder.  I used my watercolour pencils to colour the flowers and the butterfly.  I found some ribbon with pretty rainbow polka dots in my stash and wrapped a piece around the mat.  I used dimensional tape to attach the mat to the card.  I stamped another butterfly onto card which was heat embossed with clear powder to give it a shine and then coloured and attached - you can see the layered butterfly above.  Finally, I attached a simple sentiment.

Stamps:  Kanban - All Occasions - Flowers; Spring Stamps - Butterfly (free with Crafts Beautiful)
Inks:  Versafine - Onyx Black
Spellbinders:  Dahlia (S4-191) #5, Fancy Tags (S4-235)
Accessories:  Staedler Aquarell Pencils; Ribbon and card from stash

I'm really pleased with the way this card has turned out - but it was tough trying to get a decent photo showing the depth and the aperture.  I think you can see from this photo just how well it shows the butterfly going towards the flowers!!!

I have to say that I'm so glad we got home when we did.  The wind is so strong, at one point while we were in Chester, Mum was really struggling to walk into the wind!  She's not a big lady and the wind was forcing her backwards!!  We've also had lots of rain - it's a dull, dismal day outside, but warm, cosy and fun inside!

I had a chat with Jonathan this morning - he's off looking at some houses today in and around the Novi/Northville/Plymouth area.  I selected a few places from some photos that I've seen, but Jonathan gets to do the fun bit - actually visiting and have a look round!!!  I'll find out later tonight what Jonathan thinks.  Bye for now - back again tomorrow!

St Luke's, Part II ....

... I'm rather late with my mid-month (late-month) card for our St Luke's Charity Card Challenge.  Our theme this month is to give a new lease of life to something that was originally destined for the bin!

My first card used the bright cellophane wrappers found around chocolates like Quality Street or Roses.  I'm pleased how it turned out but it did take a while.  In contrast my second card was a breeze - it took all of 20 minutes to make while I was waiting for dinner to cook last night!!

I have to come clean and tell you that the focal point of this card is an old Christmas card that I made in 2009.  It was meant to go to some friends of ours, but I found it tucked in one of the pockets of the suitcase that Jonathan took to the US!!  He forgot to post it in 2009, and rather than waste this card (which I quite like) I decided to make another card for this year's Christmas Collection.  So it's not strictly something that would have gone in the bin - hope you'll allow me this one :))

I started by cutting the front off the old card and rounding the corners.  I found some dark green card and printed paper in my stash to make a couple of mats.  I used my Martha Stewart punches to create the loopy border around the bottom layer and I added a touch of colour to the card base before attaching my new topper.

Hopefully, this will encourage you to try to upcycle some bits and bobs to make a card for St Luke's.  Don't forget we have a super prize for the winner of the challenge - some gorgeous ribbons kindly donated by The Ribbon Girl.  Looking forward to seeing what you make.

This is what my card was before the recycling treatment.  It was one of a series that I made - I had two in this bright red and one on blue.

That's all for now.  I'm off to check out a couple of my favourite challenges to see what they have in store for us this week - you all know them - Less is More and Waltzingmouse Sketch Challenge.  Today is also my Mum's last full day with us so we're off out - mostly to go window shopping, but I'm sure we'll get a little something!!

Have a good weekend, and I'll be back soon.

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