Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Exciting News!!

Good Morning, 
I have some very exciting news to share!!

 My favourite cardstock manufacturers and suppliers papermilldirect have welcomed me onto their Team.  I will be in the company of some very talented designers (no pressure there then :D) and it was a lovely surprise to get the email. Actually had to go read it a few times to make sure I wasn't imagining it :D 

So I've been on slightly hyper jumping up and down (on the inside in a gentle manner of course) mode since I heard.    I had another small operation Monday 14th and took a couple of days resting up to recover, but nothing keeps me from crafting for long!!  So this is exactly the news I need to help me feel lots better :)

As some of you may have noticed, I have a bit of a thing for quality card and colours, who doesn't?, so it gives me a wonderful opportunity to work with my favourite materials, some great people, and work on new projects.

 I look forward to creating and sharing with you lots of  new and exciting designs and would love to have your company on this new crafty adventure!!


Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Challenge Updates

Yay for Challenges!! Do you enter Challenges??  Why not try a few, there are usually lots to choose from covering all sorts of materials, techniques, products,etc. Challenges are a brilliant way to focus your crafting, there are lots of Challenge Blogs out there and not all require you to have a Blog, some like Visible Image allow you to upload to their facebook group, which is a lovely way to include those stampers that don't blog.

I recently started to enter Challenges again and I was so thrilled to see that my card was picked as a Fav in the March Challenge over at Visible Image

You may remember this card started out as a bit of a crafty playtime experiment, with no particular method or idea of where I wanted to end up.  So it means a lot to me that it was picked as a top 3 by the fab DT at VI.

April's challenge is a 'Tag' theme, and I was hoping to create something for that, but I had a little Operation last Monday which meant I had to rest up for a few days.  But I'm back designing and making again and so i think I'll have to wait to see what next months theme is and give it a go.

Over on the Trimcraft website, they have a Forum where they run regular Challenges too, these are a great way for people of all abilities to take part and get some feedback on their designs.  I entered my very first one of the Forum Challenges that was a 'Water Theme' with this card, which was chosen as one of the winners. ( I received some lovely craft items as a prize) I love this card too because of all the die cutting I got to play with and also the stamping and colouring, so nice to be able to combine the two in a fun playful card.

Another Challenge for March, was over at the 'Fantabulous Cricut Challenge Blog' and was a Birdie theme with a cricut cut.

I entered my little Ducky get well soon card and managed a Top 5 with that one, so I gained a 'blinkie' for my Blog.   Sometimes there are prizes to win, and sometimes you are awarded little badges or blinkies to display on your blog or website, but i think most people (myself included) just enter for the fun and satisfaction of 'rising to the Challenge'. 

These challenges are fun and a good way to play to a theme and keep your Mojo mojo-ing or whatever a mojo does :D  So why not try a few Challenges yourself?

Monday, 7 April 2014

Easter Playtime with Paper Tape

For Mother's Day my lovely daughter presented me with a wonderful selection set of 8 paper tapes from Paperchase, from their 'Taking Tea' range.  Obviously I squealed in delight at the sight of this scrumptious set, the box even has a serrated edge so you can easily cut the tape too.  Now some mums would love chocolates, flowers or other delights for Mother's Day, but my daughter knows exactly what her mum likes.  I love that she goes with her heart and not with the commercial bombardment of what the advertising world say mums should want.  (one year she presented me with a wonderful cacti).  To be honest this mum would settle for a hug and some special time with her children. 

Anyway back to the Paper Tapes, my daughter said she bought them so I could use them in my crafting as she had seen me using Washi Tapes before. I already had in mind what I would do first with these tapes, I had originally planned to make a simple striped Easter Egg shaped card with Washi Tapes, so instead I used these Paper tapes.

Here is a simple way to make a lovely Easter Egg shaped card, using just card and some paper tapes.

The Materials and Tools to start with. 

Using a sheet of white Pearlescent cardstock for my base, I cut 2 egg oval shapes using the largest die in the set.  Next I chose just 2 patterned tapes (and in 2 different widths) from the set of 8 and proceeded to stick them at an angle across the front of just one egg shape.  Taking care to space them evenly and cutting the edges flush to the card edge with scissors.  Then taking the 2nd white card oval, I scored a line approx 1" down across the top of the egg shape.  adding 2 lines of double-sided tape above this line and cutting off any overhanging.  Before sticking the 2 sides of the card together, it is a good idea to just cut a little strip of card off the bottom of the plain card back, this will allow the card to stand up.  (only do this to rear piece of card - keep the front shape intact).  Then just line up the front decorated card piece to the back piece carefully before pressing down and sticking the 2 sides together. Hey Presto  a standing card!!

Next Step is to add the ribbon & bow decoration. I took a sheet of Teal coloured card stock, from Papermill Direct, as this would be a nice contrast to the pink shades of tape I was using for this card.  I ran the dies through my big shot and then again using the embossing mat to add the embossed detailing to these particular die-cuts. Sticking the ribbon part to the card front with double sided tape and again trimming off the excess so everything lies flush with the card edges.  Assemble the bow pieces using adhesive, I prefer a fast drying acrylic glue such as cosmic shimmer glue or Tattered Lace detail glue as these grab quickly and dry clear to give a more professional finish.  When positioning the bow on the card, do bear in mind the dimensions of your envelope, I chose to overhang the card edge a little, this gives more interest to the shape, but still enabled it to fit into a 6" square envelope.

You can see from the pic that i also made an alternative version, using 2 other colours from the pack of paper tapes and different coloured card (Papermill's Spring Green) for the ribbon and bow.

Materials List:
White Pearlescent Card from Craft Stash
Teal coloured card - Papermill Direct
Taking Tea set of 8 Paper Tapes - Paperchase
Detail Glue - Tattered Lace
Double Sided Tape from craft stash
Spring Green card  (for other egg colour) - Papermill Direct

Tools List:
Big Shot
Easter Egg nesting dies - Xcut
Finishing Touches Classic 3D Bow die set - Creative Expressions (Sue Wilson)
Scoreboard & crease tool

Of course you don't have to use dies to cut your shapes, you can draw a simple oval or egg shape and use that as a template for the basic card shape.  And you can use real ribbon and tie it in a bow instead of using the dies.  I just had the Egg dies already in my stash and also wanted to try out a new set of ribbon / bow dies.  I did notice that these paper tapes stuck really well to my pearlescent card, washi tape is a lot less sticky, so if using washi tape you may need to use plain card instead of pearlescent.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Finally got around to .....

Yes, I finally got around to creating a Baby Boy version of my elephant shaped 'New Baby' standing card, Although to be honest it would work for both and suit a nursery in these shades as a pretty and fun keepsake :)

This time I gave it a more vintage feel by using papers with a more distressed look and inking the edges with Distress Ink in 'Tea Dye'.

The card was created by drawing around my elephant templates in pencil onto pastel blue card.  Using my favourite trusty scissors I cut 2 of the large 'mummy' and 1 of the 'baby' I then covered the shapes with 2 different papers from a HOTP collection 'Soft Nostalgia', all cut edges were then inked around. 

Ears were hand-cut from a good quality wool blend felt, using a little glue only alongside the inner curve of each ear, this adds interest and allows the ears to be moveable.  Out came the Big Shot next which I used to die cut 4 little scalloped hearts, I also cut 4 blank hearts from the blue card to back my patterned paper with.  (I like them all to be sturdy).  Inking again around the die-cut hearts and the little 'New Baby' sentiment helps to pull the elements together.  2 little pale blue faux gemstones for the eyes in different sizes to suit the elephants and the card is almost complete.

Next job is to score the remaining plain blue 'mummy' shaped and attach to the back of my card.  I'm not sure why I leave this part til last, but it is my preferred way of working, so there must be some method in my madness :D The little baby elephant then has a little 3D foam tape applied and is positioned alongside the mummy elephant.  

This is another design that always makes me smile.  It may be a simple design to look at but it takes time and is relaxing to while away just cutting and inking.

And here is a pic of the original 'Baby Girl' version, which was re-homed a while back.  Just to show the pretty pink :)

Materials Used:
Pale Blue Cardstock
Soft Nostalgia' papers -Hot Off The Press
Pastel blue felt - Sew Sweet
New Baby Sentiment - Craftwork Cards
'Tea Dye' Tim Holtz Distress Inkpad
pale blue faux gems - from stash
Double sided tape
Detail Glue - Tattered Lace
3D foam tape

Tools Used:
Scissors for handcutting
Craft Knife for those hard to reach areas of the design
Big Shot & heart die for the little hearts