Sunday, 27 February 2011

Just lounging around - birthday card

I made this card quite a while back:

It's one of my favourite Penny Black stamps - called Uplifting Occasion :). I can tell it was made some time ago but I did put my heart and soul into it! Isn't it odd looking back at cards we thought were so 'right' at the time and then realising we certainly would have been marked as 'could do bettter'. Even the photo is blurred. Tee, hee!


Friday, 25 February 2011

Remembering Don

My OH's older brother took up watercolouring when he retired a few years ago. Sadly his retirement wasn't as long and happy as we'd all hoped and he developed what proved to be a terminal illness. It's four years this weekend since he died and I have no idea what prompted me to stumble across a couple of photos whilst browsing through folders on my laptop today - perhaps subliminal thoughts?

The Summer before he died, Don asked my OH for a copy of a photograph we'd take on a recent holiday to Thailand - and we didn't suspect a thing. On our next visit I remember that day as being so happy - glorious sunshine, Don looking very well and hopefully things going to plan after his chemotherapy and a lot of laughter as Don, his wife Maureen and ourselves spent most of the day in the garden - interspersed with visits from the family.

To our surprise and delight this is what he'd produced for his 'baby brother', taken from the photograph he'd so cleverly asked Len for - and the frame is just so perfect too. He must have had a cunning plan all along and as you can imagine, it's one of our most treasured possessions:

When it was Don's 70th birthday, just a month before he died, this is the card I made for him. It seemed so appropriate to show him how much his painting was appreciated:

How I made it doesn't really need explanation - I took a photo of his picture and added some artists bits and pieces - plus peeloffs.

RIP Don xx


Wednesday, 23 February 2011

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday? 90

Crumbs - these Wednesdays come round quickly!

Firstly a little peek at my slightly OCD storage - it's nice to be able to hide all the Really Useful Boxes as I don't have the luxury of lots of beautiful open shelves with fancy baskets and colourful containers. I had to make the most of what space I knew would be available so opted for this set-up. I'm with Wipso in that I have to be organised otherwise it all becomes a jumble and not so easy to pick/mix/match whatever I might need. So I do 'generally but not always' try to clear stuff away from my desk once I've finished using it.

Without standing on my desk and pressing my back right against the wall it's hard to get much of the row of three floor to ceiling sliding doors in :) When they are all closed it does look very neat and tidy.

This is the left hand side door slid open with my 'can't be without this' trolley (bought from Costco). I've had it for years right back from when I first took over the dining room table for crafting, as a 'prolonged interim measure', so it just had to stay when this room was built - a faithful friend :) The shelves were built just at the correct height so that it can be wheeled in and out if needs be. There will be much weeping and wailing if it ever collapses under the weight of all the card etc. in those drawers! Maybe it's time for a sift through to redistribute some of the stuff...ha, that's the spare space I'm just gonna gloat about already spoken for :(

This is part of the middle section - with some blank spaces as am currently doing a little bit of re-organising. No doubt they'll be full again once I've finished though...........see previous paragraph! The grey expanding folders contain peeloffs and rub-ons (yup, all categorised). I don't use peeloffs that much now but am loathe to get rid of them 'just in case'. The very top shelves - out of vision but right across the whole lot - are much too high to reach when you're vertically challenged like me but very useful for storing things I'm happy enough to use only now and again.
And this is what's actually 'on my workdesk' right now:

I seem to be happiest wielding a pair of scissors and recently sent for the La Pashe Build-a-blossom set. This is an azalea I'm partway through making. I suspect that these flowers will look their best just left to make their own statement on a very simple embossed background maybe?

I'm off for my weekly nosey at what everyone else is up to! To join in go to Julia's here!

Thank you to everyone who left such lovely comments last week - I'm pretty sure I replied to them all. Much appreciated ladies xx

Monday, 21 February 2011

House Mouse frolics

My step-mum isn't very well right now and this card is hopefully to remind her of her love of cute and mischievous meece. It's another Joanna Sheen decoupage image - these are so cute but the detail on some of them would test the patience of a saint!

I used an 8" x 8" white embossed card from The Range and layered the image onto to plain white card to give some body/thickness so I could add and tuck under the edges of the ribbon and lace. I then added one of the papers from a Papermania Capsule Collection pad (Boysenberry) before adding the lace and ribbon then the decoupage. Just the addition of some card candy, a little heart charm tied with pink and white bakers twine (I love this stuff!) and a sentiment from the decoupage sheet to finish it off.


Friday, 18 February 2011

Pay It Forward Thank You card

On Thursday 3rd February, a day late for WOYWW, I posted about the lovely hand sewn gifts that Wipso sent me in Pay It Forward.

Such generosity deserved a special card to say thank you and this is what I made and sent off:

The card is a scalloped one from Craftwork Cards topped with some pretty paper from my stash - also from Craftwork Cards. I had a first proper play with one of Santa's presents to me (a mini sewing machine from John Lewis - in fuschia pink of course!) and sewed a border of zig zag stitch round the coloured paper before rounding the corners and mounting it onto the card itself. The frame behind the image was die cut using a Nestie die, the lace is from my stash, as are the flowers which I topped with buttons threaded with embroidery thread. The dinky little scissors were tied with a piece of seam binding from The Ribbon Girl and the sentiment is a Whimsy ticket, die cut using their super newish die cut for tickets.

The little mouse is of course The Tailor of Gloucester - coloured using Aquamarkers. And it seemed totally appropriate for such a talented lady who produces some stunning designs along with her sister Twiglet

I added a slightly 'cheesy' (ha, ha - mouse, get it!!) sentiment inside just saying 'Thank you sew much for your kindness'. Wipso, aka Annie, said some really sweet things when she got the card so I think I got it right :)

I now have visions of the pair of them perched just like this little mouse, on their sewing reels, having a quick coffee break and dreaming up new ideas for their online shop!


Wednesday, 16 February 2011

WOYWW - #89

I love to see how other crafters store their stash and some folk are incredibly lucky with HUGE rooms and every sort of storage and display unit imaginable. Space being at a premium in my little 'den' means that most of my stuff is stored behind sliding doors on shelves specially sized and at the right distance apart to take up to 4 shallow Really Useful Boxes heightwise (or a combination of deeper or mixed ones) and three across each width. I had a brilliant and very patient local carpenter to do all of this - I even thought he might take up card making once we'd finished all the planning and installation!

I don't have the luxury of ribbon reel storage so that I can just tug a bit of ribbon and snip it off a reel on a piece of dowelling or whatever - but this works for me:

Oops, the Martha Stewart Punch Around the Pages are still on my desk from last week - within stroking and sighing range!

Anyhow, this is a 9 litre Really Useful Box ( with four divided insert trays stacked on top of one another).

A bit of quick maths means there's a total of 60 compartments so I can sort through ribbons in colours and textures easily. I can get 5 metres of ribbon easily into one compartment - probably a lot more but I prefer variety to quantity.Once you hit over 1" width ribbons this stacking system isn't really viable though :(

I also store flat flowers and lots of other bits and pieces in this way. If I don't have anything more exciting to show next Wednesday then I might dig some more boxes of stash out!

Now I'm off for a nosey round what everyone else is up to on WOYWW - go to Julia's here to see!


Monday, 14 February 2011

Valentine's Day card for someone special

As soon as I saw the Penny Black stamp I've used on this card I just HAD to have it!

 My OH has five guitars so you can see why this little hedgie image caught my eye. It's a Penny Black of course and called 'Hmm' which is very appropriate if you have a rose clenched between your teeth!

I coloured the hedgie image using Aquamarkers and then layered the die cut image (using square Nestie label set) onto some yummy sparkly heart design card with a heart shaped doily behind it, which was in turn layered onto a black A5 card with silver foiling round the edges.

As it's for a chap I didn't add flowers and ribbon for a change - just a couple of charms (one is a guitar of course!) and a Bazzil Basics Half The Edge strip in black which is topped off with a couple of glittered white heart shaped buttons. They took AGES to dry and I had to keep my craftroom door firmly closed - they were then threaded with with red and silver embroidery thread. I printed the sentiment and then die cut it...and in case you're wondering what the rest of it says, here's the insert .......rubbish photo though :)

Aaaah, doesn't Valentine's Day bring out the romantic in all of us!!


Sunday, 13 February 2011

Birthday card for a GorJuss friend

I know from my friend Moira that these little cuties always go down well - so I turned to some GorJuss decoupage when making a card for a friend whose birthday almost snuck up on me. Need to post it tomorrow and keep my fingers crossed it arrives on Tuesday!

The decoupaged image is from a GorJuss kit of course. The pearly pink background is from a DCVW beautiful Luxury Stock pad with a gorgeous shimmer to it (note to self - use more of this!).

The flower is cut from left over bits of the same card - waste not, want not - using Tim Holtz's tattered Floral dies then a little Prima brad added.  And Tim Holtz dies do work beautifully in my little pink Cuttlebug despite some sellers saying they are only for a couple of other die cutting machines. You just use less/thinner CB plates.......simples! The cream slotted lace came from e-bay, pink ribbon from my stash and the little 'Made With Love' heart is from my stash, tied with pink and white bakers twine.

The sentiment is a new venture too, it's a Whimsy ticket stamp and I also got the die to cut it out - if you buy one and wonder how on earth to use the little piece of plastic that comes with the die then go here for a tutorial, I had to!! My only extra tip would be to also hold the die in place with easy removeable tape when you actually do the die cutting. Dumbo here sent to the States for them and I now know they are available over here in the UK.......although at the time places seemed to be out of stock. Still, for once I didn't get stung for import duty :))

OMG! This is my 100th post too!


Wednesday, 9 February 2011

WOYWW - #88

Not a lot 'cos I'm working on an idea for Pay It Forward and had to hide it! The Aquamarkers might be a little clue although I'm not convinced that what I'm doing will really work :(

But in the background are some of my Martha Steward Punch Around the Pages - and this baby card:

The card stock is from Craftwork Cards, little baby is a Lili of the Valley Cute Square die cut into a circle and layered onto a scalloped Nestie die cut. The lemon background paper is from my stash and underneath the bow is a strip punched out using Martha Stewarts Deep Vine punch. Flowers and brads are from my stash (I think they're Prima flowers) with some punched out leaves and a couple of twirls of green wire. The ribbon is lovely soft silk ribbon from The Ribbon Girl and the 'date of arrival' stamp is from Pink Gem Designs. The little dummy, which came from Posey-Rosie-Card-Craft on eBay, is fastened round the bow using white and brown bakers twine - also from The Ribbon Girl. 

To see what everyone else is up to - hop on over to Julia's here!


Monday, 7 February 2011

Easel card with a difference

I came across a box with a cute QVC kit in whilst rooting round in my stash the other day (it's not good that I have stuff I've forgotten about - no more craft shopping for me for a while, well......a week at least). This is a Dawn Bibby designed set made by KanBan called Spring Woodland - card stock, toppers (some layered), flowers, sentiments and borders - in such pretty colours and designs. I hadn't realised that a lot of the card stock was patterned on both sides and it seemed such a shame not to make the most of it! This is what I came up with:

The sharper eyed might notice a crease running diagonally across the front of the step is when it's open:

How cute is this?! I'd only ever spotted this idea once before in my trawls through other blogs and filed the idea away for future reference - the posting I found is here - thank you Sarah for the inspiration! Do take time to have a look at her blog - there are some super ideas there! The diagonal easel card is so easy, even more so with double sided patterned card stock although that's not essential of course, and a nice alternative to the normal easel cards. I still love those mind you but this is a bit of a twist - and it takes less card and sticking:)


Saturday, 5 February 2011

Just chilling out card

This is another LOTV cute square card - just so you can see what lovely little designs there are!

I made this for our daughter in law's Dad who is recovering from surgery. It's self-explanatory - I kept it crisp and simple just adding his name at the bottom right. The papers came from my stash - and the hardest bit was writing our message in German on the insert!
Oh how I love these LOTV squares.....and the layers were stuck down correctly despite the piccie making it seem that they're a bit on the low side....I need a better camera sometime, or perhaps I should get down on my knees to take piccies :(


Thursday, 3 February 2011

WOYWW - # 87

Yesterday was a bit of a blur - family blip. But, I couldn't let this week go by without joining in WOYWW - even a day late - because I have some delicious goodies to show...from none other than the very talented Wipso. This is what she sent to me for Pay It Forward - how gorgeous huh?! I love everything, and look, she made a gorgeous card too and crochet flowers. The little bear is a Good Luck Bear - he even has a magnet on his back - and I'm hoping he's gonna do his stuff! I now need a new blue top for the beautiful ribbon brooch too :)

BUT, my VERY, VERY favourite has to be the poppy picture. I don't know how but I reckon Wipso must have known just how much I love the poppies header on her blog........and now I have my very own poppies to stroke and gaze at in my crafty den!! What a lucky girl I am to be sure!!

Thank you so much Annie - you're very kind. xxx

I'm still working on ideas for my Pay It Forward and need to get my skates on.....just as well I only got two people signing up, and I hope they can be patient for a little bit longer.

Edit: Just shows how topsy turvy I am - I forgot to link to WOYWW - go here to join in the fun ladies :) x