Sunday, June 30, 2013

Getting old and forgetful

It was the annual birthday extravaganza yesterday (having two family birthdays to celebrate on one day takes some organising). At least this year I wasn't opening presents while in labour, as I was 17 years ago, and we weren't all up at the crack of dawn to get through it all before the school run. No, Carys didn't need to be in Stagecoach until 10 which was pretty civilised really.

She had loads of Supernatural dvds (she has seen them all and now is going through them again!) and some cute PJ's and other clothes. Her card was kind of home made but basically features a photo of Sam and Dean the heroes of Supernatural and so not really worth sharing here... I had a new Cuttlebug (yay!) so no more roulette with the old one. Which I thought would totally break a year ago so it has been a little hero really. I also received from one of my sons a Dienamics die that I really wanted. I gaped at him open mouthed - was he psychic? He looked a bit nonplussed and muttered something about a birthday list. Uh oh. I am now so old I genuinely forget what I have asked people to buy for me.

We had a lovely day - lazy start for all apart from Carys doing her dress rehearsal for a show next week. Then we watched Man of Steel in the cinema. Pants. (Still it is fun to complain about a film), had a walk round Torquay in the sunshine (gasp) and had a lovely meal in Pizza Express whilst discussing the merits of Scrooge McDuck. As you do.

All of which meant that although I got my card up on the Daring Cardmakers blog in time - my post about it has been rather lacking! the theme this week was Forgotten Treasures. Miri asked us to find those things we were given/bought that hadn't been used.
Like last week I found this tough because I tend to use things when I buy them. Then leave them unloved for a while! So finding "virgin" items was not that easy. But in the end I managed it (what a hero)

In fact i found an unused stamp (the numbers) and an untouched paper pad from Fancy Pants in these neutral tones. I stamped the stamp three times onto various papers using a brown distress ink and then die cut banner shapes (yes it would have been more straightforward to do this the other way around). I was able to hang the banners over the edge like this because I was using Letter sized cardstock which means there is width to play with if you put it into a UK standard sized envelope.

I die cut and embossed some more kraft cardstock and then stamped and die cut the present set from Clearly Besotted. The sentiment is also from CB and is stamped with Chestnut Roan chalk ink. Obviously it was at this stage that I decided that, despite having inked around all the edges a bit of pen work was needed. It is not easy with overhangs and embossing I can tell you. My fab brown pen is nearly out of ink. I went to order a new one. They are discontinued. Why? Best brown pen ever as it is really dark. So I have ordered a few other ones to try.

This card looked good as a neutral male one so I added a bit of bling. Men don't mind a bit of bling do they? Well, tough. Some gorgeous matte gold sequins and some gold glitter glue finished it off.
I'm finally writing this as I wait for Carys' ever so slightly late birthday cake to cook and once that is done I can play with all my new goodies - if I remember where I put them...

Friday, June 21, 2013

Blooming marvellous

the flower festival has arrived and the church looks great. My hayfever doesn't totally appreciate it though!

This week on Daring Cardmakers Beckie issued us with a fab challenge - More than likely we have a jar/container that sits on our craft table where we pop all those little bits that are just left on the desk and don't have a home! My dare is to make a card featuring at least 5 items from the jar!   Marvellous! I thought. Until I realised that I don't have such a thing. Bloomin' marvellous I muttered.
Still as I pawed my way through my surprisingly more organised/purged than I had expected supplies, I did come across quite a few things that counted as bits and bobs.
Et voila

The cardbase is from a half used piece of Bazzil which I cut to a US sized card (5 1/2 x 4 1/4)
I found some old Fancy Pants (blue) Pink Paislee (orange) and fancy edged (Sassafrass) The turquoise card is from October Afternoon. The orange chipboard is Cosmo Cricket. The heart is from a little packet of freebie die cuts from Dies to Die for and the little bird I think came from Tea House Bridge. The green branch and orange circle are cut from the other side of the orange paper, the fancy die cut circle was cut using a Spellbinders Die from more of the base cardstock. The gems have been in my stash for simply years (10?). The sentiment stamp is new from Clearly Besotted and is stamped in Chestnut Roan chalk ink.

You would not believe how long it took me to put the card together. I despaired over it to start with but it doesn't look so bad today. Maybe I will go back to keeping scraps after all...

Friday, June 14, 2013

My own Mario

yes Phil managed to fix the boiler himself - what a star! He is awesome at DIY type things  - just another reason to love him really :)

I've not had much crafty time this week despite a few free evenings (oh what bliss) as they have got used up with work mostly! But I had to make time for my Daring card as it was my turn to set the challenge. And when I remembered that I gave myself a good kicking. See the theme is
Flower Festival
because that is what we will be doing at one of my churches next week. And last Saturday I whipped up a group of cards to give to my mum as part of her belated birthday present and ALL of them used flower stamps and I took photos of none of them. Sigh. Never mind, I present you with...
my favourite flower die instead. I used a Studio Calico sketch which explains the pennant on the side. Still not totally sure but it stops it being symmetrical which I have to do with my cards and it annoys me. The papers are all from an Authentique paper pad - Spring I think. The Prim Poppies die was cut from two papers and layered. I also added some Vintage Photo ink to distress the edges; a Clearly Besotted stamp and some pearls of various kinds.

Clearly Besotted is having its first challenge and being a big fan I had to join in
This is the only stamped flower I had left after giving the others to my mum! The flower was stamped onto watercolour paper and embossed with black embossing powder. I used distress inks to colour them in (and realised I don't really know what sweet peas look like!) After discovering the Dear Lizzy flower paper was a fab colour match I spent ages choosing the other pieces. All from Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm apart from the cream cardstock and the orange which is Fancy Pants. The sentiment is Clearly Besotted too.

And as I had a wee moment last night I made this simple card which also features some new CB stamps
I think I need to work on my string placement! But for me to include a fair bit of direct to card stamping is real progress.

Tonight I have been playing around with strips of magnet, paper clips, paper fish and lolly sticks to make a fishing game ready for Messy Church at Brixham. We are going to be focussing on loaves and fish and probably a story about Jesus feeding a humungous and hungry crowd. I have a wedding to look forward to on Saturday and I am a bit nervous about Sunday as we are trying something new at church but most people don't know so don't say anything will you?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Quirky work

Here are the layouts that I have made so far with the latest Quirky Kits.
Oh my, how lovely are they
(and how relieved I am when I realised that the box I was putting out for recycling had something in it which turned out to be the lite kit which means I am never tidying up again)

So here they are. The first layout uses the lite kit and the details are here
The next features one of my most favourite photos ever. Details

I still can't beleive how well the kit goes with this photo

and finally so far -
There are a lot of dots everywhere - but then I am rather dotty myself!

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Excuse the pong

Our boiler has died. And with three young adults in the house (yes the boys are home!) I am very glad it is both the time of year when windows can be opened and that we don't need the heating on. At least the washing machine is still working... I'm off to see my parents for 24 hours tomorrow and am looking forward to a lovely warm shower. it is strange to think that our obsession with being clean is quite new - people were quite comfy in their own natural parfum in times past. Having said that there were at least 2 men in Asda yesterday who either don't have a working boiler or who are trying to live the Elizabethan way and it quite put me off my food shop.

I was late to the Daring Cardmaker party again this week, although I had made my card for the June Colour Combo in time I had forgotten the bit about photographing it. ooops. Can I use the excuse of my mind being on higher things? Probably not!
 Here is the delicious colour palette selected by Jo. And here is my take which looks slightly more blue in the photo than it is in real life
 The papers are a mix of Fancy Pants Down By the Shore and an Authentic Summer 6x6 pad. I used a new Cuttlebug Decorative Scallops embossing folder which is lovely both ways round and also various circle dies. I felt there was not enough raspberry colour at one point but it seemed too full on with the orange circle on top so I added a little vellum which seemed to do the trick. I also added a vellum sentiment band and embossed the Clearly Besotted sentiment with one layer of turquoise UTEE which seemed to do the trick. A few more of my faux  enamel dots to finish it off. The butterfly is a covered chipboard one from Pink Paislee

I made another card as a request recently and haven't shown it here. Actually I could almost have submitted it for the Daring challenge as the colours fit quite well
If I had thought of that before it would have saved me a job! This is a die heavy card - with Nestabilities Labels 1; a Cheery Lynn scroll; MFT sentiment; Cuttlebug script embossing folder and two different Martha Stewart butterfly punches. The papers were all sorts of old ones that I thought would tone - some Prima, some Pink Paislee and I think the background is October Afternoon. Some of the butterflies were raised on foam pads and all had little gems in the middle

I've been revealing some layouts on the Quirky Kits blog  recently. I'll put them here in a few days but if you can't wait go and have a look. The kits are well worth signing up for if you are a card maker or a scrapbooker as there are always lots of lovely little things to inspire you
Pepe le Pew signing off

Monday, June 03, 2013

First Florence layouts

I think that half the fun of travelling is scrapping it afterwards. OK maybe a slight exaggeration, (and as you may recall I am a nervous traveller)  but I do like to be able to write down my stories whilst playing with paper.

The first story to tell was a wee bit traumatic at the time and so needed a lot of words...
 Phil took the photo with his phone. I don't like looking out of the window on planes as I can see how far we would fall... (yes I am a fun traveller)
The papers are all from the Amy Tangerine Yes Please collection. The base page had the sun and clouds already there, as well as some of the pennants at the bottom. I outlined everything in black and managed to insert some extra pattern paper pieces to the bottom right had side cluster. This provided the inspiration for the other paper strip placements

I cut some clouds and a plane using some free cut files by Ashley Harris
Then it was just a case of adding journalling; a Dear Lizzy word stamp; some sequins; some liquid pearls and two little people (Phil and me obviously). Oh and a heart as it was a romantic getaway!

One of the great things about the Silhouette Cameo store is the free cut file you get on a Tuesday.  (Well it is there all week, it is just new on Tuesdays!) The file for the week we were away was just perfect
as were the colours of the Yes Please papers so I just kept using them. They created the basic framework for the whole page

but I didn't want to be too matchy matchy so incorporated some other things as well - like some chevron washi tape; MME enamel dots; some Lily Bee stickers and Studio Calico chipboard arrows; some Crate Paper die cuts and stickers and some of my Prima resin flowers that I hoard. Phil will never quite understand the romantic gesture that is my having used three on one layout (and not just taking them back off again when the photo was done!)
The weather was not as fabulous for the whole trip as on that first day but I will never forget the wonder of that first evening, sipping Bellinis on the hotel balcony and looking out at that view. Sigh

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Learning the hard way

for many different reasons it has been quite a week. Which is partly why I am late to the Daring Cardmakers party (again). I decided last night that I deserved a glass of Prosecco (only small!) - my new chilled tipple of choice following our 25th wedding anniversary celebratory trip to Florence. If I haven't mentioned it much as yet, fear not, I will be boring you rigid over the next few weeks.

We've gone from
(we've swapped sides in the second photo though!)

Anyway, more on that later... back to the Prosecco. Unfortunately it was so nice I had a second glass. And discovered that I can't drink wine and craft. I can drink cider - or soft drinks obviously, but I had a horrendous time of it with this card and a layout that will appear on the Quirky Kits site as well. (I will be honest about the mistakes but possibly not why. And it isn't the layout that sings the praises of Prosecco. oh dear, I am sounding like I drink a lot now...)

So this card got completely mangled and I was VERY cross
See I had got to the very end of the process - the pinwheel was stuck down and everything and I had just put the sentiment banner in place when thought "what this sentiment lacks is a bit of black outlining". And it looked good. But it meant that everything else needed a black outline as well.
So first I tried outlining in situ. Uh-uh. Then I tried peeling everything off, with greater or lesser success. Then my hand skidded across a piece I didn't have enough paper to redo. Uh oh. Then with a new white panel, a few choice words and a sense of awe that the pinwheel had survived the mauling it needed to outline it... I found I had lost the x!?xz sentiment banner. It eventually turned up in a drawer (?)

SO: why this card? Well the challenge this week, set by the wonderful Kathy is to "Make it yourself".
Which I did and I am very excited about it. "But anyone can make a pinwheel (and almost destroy it and rebuild it again)" I hear you cry.
Its not the pinwheel that is THE embellishment wot I am featuring.
Oh no - it is the enamel type dots made by me!
These are made using Beads in a Bottle. I found an old thick piece of acetate and made various sized blogs, trying to keep them fairly flat
when they were dry the next day they simply popped off the acetate sheet.
and were ready to use. I think they went pretty well with my new MME paper pad. The green is my fave as it is opaque.
After that I tried some Liquid Pearls. That is awesome (although I may have put my finger on one of them to check if they were dry) Here are some in use on that Quirky Kit layout (sneak peak ahoy)
How cool are they? I still love the real Enamel Dots but I have a feeling I will be trying out all my Liquid Pearls to make my own too. You can see the difference to using them "neat" as those little yellow dots are made with the same stuff.

So I don't blather on too much about the actual 25th wedding anniversary - which was low key really, after the drama of Florence! Here is the card I made for Phil.

I was so nervous about making a good card (why?) that I left it until the last minute and then had major strops! It is a wierd sized card as one strop involved cutting down an A5 card into some sort of square. I also had first cut out loads of different die cut hearts and had another strop when they just looked bad. I just had enough of the papers left to punch smaller, regular hearts. And let me tell you that if putting tiny foam pads on 25 tiny hearts doesn't prove love and devotion I don't know what does.

I used another MME pad; PTI number dies and some glamour dust. The sentiment is from a Simon Says Stamp Set. Inside I put another one which says "the best is yet to come" - but I didn't photograph it before writing a soppy message so you can't see that!

Do have a look at all the wonderful DIY embellishments the DCM team have made and do visit again if I promise not to mix crafting and Prosecco every again. (yeah, right)