Friday, 31 October 2014

Ten minute card

Whilst rootling through the box of last year's 'received' Christmas cards, kept to upcycle, I came across one card front with a beautifully made sentiment topper that's been longing for a little makeover. This was the end result of literally ten minutes work:
The trickiest part was removing the sentiment topper from the plain gold card front. Little tip, in order to avoid bending or creasing the topper (which was on a large sticky pad), I placed the card face down on my cutting mat and then gently prised the card away from the topper. That way, the card front which I was discarding could be bent whilst the sentiment topper was held down flat. I learned that trick a while back, the hard way :)

I used:

- 6" x 6" square cream card blank

- a trimmed slightly smaller gold 'flittered' backing sheet from First Edition's 6" x 6" paper pad called 'Gilded Winter'. I love this pad (bought from Hobbycraft recently) as it's 64 sheets, with a lovely mix of papers, some foiled, some glittered, some double sided and some sort of glazed

- the sentiment I already wrote about - I left the existing large sticky pad on the back and just added some narrow strips the same depth on all four sides. Also moved the teeny bow as it was at a bit of an angle and not centred properly, just by a gnat's whisker and re-stuck it using Glossy Accents

Job done, super fast as already said.


Wednesday, 29 October 2014

13th Birthday card

Not sure if it's just me, but I struggle with cards for chaps - especially when they hit their teens. Cute LOTV and such are out, yet images that are too manly don't seem right either. So, I turned to Pinterest for ideas and came up with my version of a card I spotted over there:
I used:

- 6" x 6" square white card blank

- backing paper from a We R Memory Keepers paper stack called 'Travel Light', free with Simply Cards and Papercraft magazine ages ago

- the plain card all came from the snippets folder and first I cut a yellow band to go right across the card, backed with a deep plum colour

- the large star(s) were die cut from deep plum and green snippets using MFT Die-namics 'Stars' set

- the white numbers are from my lovely pal Sarn who keeps me supplied with 'Olivia' font die cut numbers (thankfully!)

- the word 'Hooray' was die cut with a die from Penny Black's 'Hooray' set, in green and deep plum and then layered slightly offset to give a shadow effect. The good old 'Stick-it' adhesive sheets came in handy too

- three little green stars, cut with the smallest die from the stars set

The colours are much stronger in real life, needless to say :)


Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Christmas rocker card

The latest challenge over at Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge is 'If you want to get ahead, get a hat'. It's the 200th week that Hazel has been running the challenge - wahoo!!

At first I intended using a NBUS stamp but then I turned to the box of last year's received shop-bought cards and found one which was perfect to upcycle.

I'd spotted that Elizabeth had made some lovely rocker cards recently, so after an online search I'd already bought some bigger circular dies (the largest one is 14cm/5.5" diameter), then yesterday just sat and worked out how to make a card. It really is easy-peasy lemon-squeezy but such a fun result :)
I used:

- SU 'Cherry Cobbler' card stock, die cut into a circle using the largest (14cm) die from the Tonic Studios 'Circle Layering Die Set'. Then scored right across the centre at 7cm, using the Hougie Board

- then dropped down a couple of sizes in the die set and cut out the adorable penguins

- cut a further circle in toning paper the same size as the image to cover the back of the image and stuck it down

- used a bit of eyeballing to line up the image onto the rocker base and drew a line across the centre of the back of the image

- spread a thin layer of Collall glue onto the bottom half of the back of the image and, using the line I'd drawn used that as a guide to stick the image onto the rocker section

- then added teeny little googly eyes to each penguin, which wobble to and fro as the card rocks, snigger

- final touch, a Kanban sentiment banner at the top of the card

The in-house critic was muchly impressed, and of course immediately suggested Christmas rocker cards for the little girlies in Germany. I was already ahead of him there as it was why Elizabeth had been playing making these initially!

And my opinion of the Tonic dies? Brilliant! There are 14 dies in the set, they go up in pretty small steps from 2.3cm to 14cm. They come on their own magnetic sheet in a nice little plastic packet which has fitted into one of my die folders perfectly. And, as I have no immediate intention of changing my beloved Cuttlebug, they are well within the cutting plate size. They cut beautifully too, I bought mine from Amazon UK here.

I've only made this one card so far, but am wondering if it would pay to be really careful if you add extras such as gems, die cuts etc. - just in case it ends up too weighted at one side or another so wouldn't sit properly. Mine does but then what I did add is pretty much balanced out.

Edit: And too funny - when I'd written this post I hopped back to Elizabeth's blog to link to her cards and found a lot of what I've written here about which dies to use, balance issues etc. Shame that I didn't think to check first and save a load of time; but a few blog posts slipped past when we were getting ready for the bathroom workers :(

And of course, this card is also for Craftyhazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra, where it's always anything goes'


Monday, 27 October 2014

An observation about current blog problems

I found this website just a day or so ago, when searching to find possible reasons why a blogging friend was having trouble commenting on my blog. I think it's very jumbled up wording on the explanation I've linked to - in fact that whole website/blog isn't easy  reading but my guess is that it's written by techies so we should make allowances. What it does highlight is - who knows how many of you are having problems and thinking it's the blog owner's settings that are at fault?

No one is 'at fault' - but I don't use Captcha/word verification - yet it was jumping in and causing issues for my friend. Naturally I thought it was at my end and checked all my settings, carried out my own tests and so on.

But, it turns out that dear old Blogger have been tinkering yet again - trying to halt spam and in the process they've caused yet more problems. As a programmer (way back in the dark ages) we were in deep doggy do-do's if we didn't test, test and test again the potential impact of any IT upgrades. I know of two of you who have taken on board what the website points out and have found it cured commenting problems.

In a nutshell, if you try and comment without being logged into Blogger, you will probably get Captcha/word verification popping up and halting you in your tracks as it would deem you to be anonymous and therefore a likely spammer. Likewise, it will also possibly happen if you don't allow cookies or scripts. Sigh, I know :(

It seems, from what I've read, that it isn't the fault of the person who owns the blog you are visiting - neither in truth is it your fault! It's just dear old Blogger bumbling along with untested upgrades - causing us grief yet again. So do check out your own settings and security parameters if you're having problems.

Ha, watch this space - if the Playground and yours truly disappear in the little 'poof' of smoke then you know that my words have been 'heard' :)

Meanwhile - I was busy yesterday making the most of a peaceful day but I do know the Playground has been very busy (I heard shrieks and squeals earlier so am on the hunt for hidden Halloween masks etc.) and will be catching up on commenting today, I hope. Always supposing Mr Blogger plays ball of course!


Sunday, 26 October 2014

Pixie's Snippets Playground - Week 148

If you're in the UK, don't forget to change your clocks - 'Fall' so it's back an hour. That means an extra hour in bed this morning but it gets dark earlier this evening of course, so my snippets card today is bright and cheerful - put your sun shades on!

I used:

- A6 cream card blank, tent style

- yellow backing card from the snippets folder plus various rust, orange and yellow snippet strips I'd been hoarding. Using a Lawn Fawn's 'Stitched Scalloped Borders' die I cut lots of strips from the snippets and layered then onto the yellow backing card - having first covered part of the front of the yellow card with double sided adhesive paper

- kept the top scalloped strip deeper and popped a snippet of patterned paper from Kaisercraft's 'Sweet Pea' Collection underneath it before sticking it down and then trimming the whole panel to fit onto an A6 card front

- die cut a couple of feathers with another snippet of the same patterned paper using the Memory Box die called 'Wild Feathers', stuck them onto the card and popped a teeny bow on top of them, tied using embroidery thread

- the sentiment is from a Hero Arts set called 'Truly Appreciated', stamped using Brilliance 'Coffee Bean' ink pad. As I often do now, I chopped what was originally one straight line of a sentiment in half to use - shame the photo makes it look as if the card is shaped like a barrel :)

Straight into this week's picks - and what a hard job I had just picking three to show:

I picked this card, made by Jean, because I just loved how the sunflower theme and colours were carried right through the card, including the backing card and the little flowers on the LOTV sentiment. Perfect!

How lovely this card is, made by Sharon. Of course it's perfect for the Playground and how very clever to combine a LOTV stamped and coloured image with a Memory Box tree die. Bet that made you look twice - really super idea Sharon!

Aw, I just had to include this little cutie - made by Sue J. Isn't that reindeer adorable - plus great use of snippets.

And we have one new playmate this week:
Isn't this a perfect Autumn card - made by Jackie Trinder! Love this card Jackie and really hope you come back to play again soon.

I could have gone on and on showing your lovely cards and makes girls - but after typing this I want to enjoy the fact that we have no workmen banging about the house over the weekend, even if it means doing some ironing and watching afternoon TV :)

Onto the winner of last week's prize which was the Stamping Bella 'Charlie Sits By The Chimney' stamp. I did have a bit of a giggle when quite a few most of you ran away in horror at the thought of colouring in such a finely detailed stamp - but if I can manage then I'm sure anyone could. So, only eight of you positively said 'Yes' to being in with a chance to win - and eventually after umpteen false runs,  Mr Random chose:

Well done Lucy - and by coincidence number 45 is one of Lucy's snippets card for this week, featured the Stamping Bella Uptown Girls, so this stamp will be well loved I'm sure :) I have your address Lucy and will post the stamp off to you ASAP!

And of course this coming week's prize is linked to my snippets card - we already had the feathers as a prize so now it's the Lawn Fawn 'Stitched Scalloped Borders' die set which has three border dies:

I used the largest of the dies on my card today BTW.

The Snippets Challenge will run for one week and the Playground gates will close at 11am UK time on Saturday 1st November and will open again at midnight UK time on the same day.

Maximum of three entries and please say 'Yes please' (or similar) in a comment if you wish to play and be a possible winner of the prize.

Mr Linky is below - please let me know if you have any problems linking, it's easy for me to sort out so don't struggle on alone :)

Have a great week! And do remember, to join in with Rudolph Day over at Sarn's!
Di (and the usual happy wave from Parsnip of course)

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Rudolph Day - October 2014

Crumbs, it's the penultimate Rudolph Day of the year over at Sarn's - how did that happen so soon? Here's my two cards, both identical:
I used:

- A6 cream linen card blank

- SU 'Cherry Cobbler' card stock for the 'frame'

- a further A6 cream linen card blank chopped in half and then trimmed down. I then flipped it to use the smooth reverse of the piece of card as there would be a sentiment stamped

- Christmas washi tape - from a pack of three complementing rolls bought in Hobbycraft a few weeks ago

- after laying down the bottom strips I stamped the sentiment using a stamp from SU's ''Good Greetings' set and SU's 'Mossy Meadow' ink pad

- that made adding the top strip of washi place much easier to align/space

- final touch, an already altered Wild Orchid Crafts poinsettia. Made a load of these way back in November 2011 which you can see here. I'd taken out the garish yellow centres, painted the orangey (shudder) red parts with Anita's Glaze and then dunked them into red glitter which changed them to a much richer red. Once dried they had Papermania sparkly gold brads popped into the centres

So that's my October Rudolph Day offering for Sarn - remember it runs until the end of the month so you could always combine it with your snippets entries :)


Friday, 24 October 2014

The 'Frozen' craze

Over in Germany, two little girls are absolutely crackers about the film 'Frozen' and anything remotely linked. Their Birthday gifts from us are 'Frozen' related - and I also sent a box full of 'Frozen' themed disposable party plates, cups, napkins, cake toppers, party bags etc. to cover both their Birthday parties - they are only a couple of weeks apart. At least Mum can just whisk the disposable stuff into a bin bag after each of the parties :)

At aged seven (a week ago today), Mia is absolutely enthralled with Elsa which meant that making this card was a no-brainer - Elsa would be in charge:
I used:

- 8" x 8" square white tent style card blank

- pale blue snowflake backing card from the Christmas box of card stock - it's probably KanBan. Used a Martha Stewart PATP corner snowflake punch just to add interest to the bottom corners and popped aurora borealis gems in the centres

- the image of Elsa came from the internet, there are loads to be found with no copyright issues, including Disney ones such as this one - just Google and be amazed! Printed it onto photographic card, trimmed to size and added a few small aurora borealis gems to the image (as you do) 

- the striped and spotted organza ribbons came from my ribbon box and I tied a silver snowflake charm to the bow using silver cord

- at three corners added a punched snowflake (from a snippet of white card which had been covered with self adhesive sparkly film) and topped them with aurora borealis gems

- Sarn to the rescue, I used a die cut number 7 she sent me a while back and popped it onto a punched circle of navy card which I just edged using a silver calligraphy pen

- the 'Birthday Wishes' sentiment is by Craftwork Cards, popped onto a punched oval of navy card

- the little alphabetic squares that I used to spell out MIA are also by Craftwork Cards and I just popped them onto 1" squares of navy card before adding some small Aurora Borealis gems

Although the in-house critic gave this a huge thumbs up - I suspect he doesn't realise that it's always so much harder to make a card to a specific theme, especially including some personalisation. But, he did refer to me as a 'Fairy Godmother' later on when I was clearing up the mess from making this card, so maybe he knows there was a bit of magic used :)

The feedback from Mia? She absolutely loved this card - nice to know it was a hit :)