Monday 31 October 2011

Christmas Alphabet - J for Joy

Afternoon All,

Still trying to catch up with the Alphabet series of cards but lagging behind quite badly ... but here's the latest offering. Another first for me, a tag card ... seen a few around blogland and admired them so thought this was an ideal time to try making one. 

It was much easier to make than imagined ... an A6 card base covered with a 6x6 sheet of DP, wrapped round to the back and trimmed to fit. A white piece of card cut 7.5cm x 12.5cm formed the basis of the tag - measured to fit the front of the card, top corners snipped to form the tag shape, and strips of paper and card decorate the bottom edge and there's a matted stamped image for the topper . The strips on the tag are varied in shape to add a bit more interest. Gloss and glitter has been added to the bauble on the stamped image and  the poinsettia has been shimmer up too, with two coats of VersaMark crystal embossing powder - well, it wouldn't be Christmas without a bit of shimmer and shine :)   

Just strips of DP decorate the inside and the back.

Materials Used:
  • Card base: A5 white card, folded to form an A6 card
  • Tag base: Smooth white card 12.5cm x 7.5cm, top corners trimmed to form a tag shape; snippet of embossed gold card for matting and scalloped punched trim; scalloped edge punch
  • DP: My Mind's Eye Darling Dear 6x6 paper pad - 1 sheet plus a variety of leftover snippets from co-ordinating sheets
  • Stamp: Stampendous Perfectly Clear Mini Joy; Memento Tuxedo Black ink pad; Promarkers - Poppy & Pastel Yellow; Anita's 3-D Clear Gloss; Gold Glitter
  • Flower: Small Poinsettia from Wild Orchid Crafts; VersaMark pen; Stampendous Crystal Embossing Powder 
  • Ribbon: Narrow gold-edged yellow satin ribbon; a hole punch
Apart from the backing sheet all other materials are snippets and leftovers from previous projects ... so I'm submitting it to Jules' Craft Snippet Challenge. You'd think by now I would have bottomed the snippet mountain, but no, it's still there and it seems to be growing!
Jules' Craft Snippet Challenge - Week 43 - Note to Jules: time to get out your 'it's your fault' award again because this sweet little stamp just slipped into a basket when I clicked your Handy Hippo magic button :)
We had the plumber in bright and early this morning to fix the tubing which runs from the bathroom extractor fan through the attic and outside that should have been taking the steam with it, but, as has now become clear in the most unpleasant way, been installed by a cowboy, didn't!!! The tubing came apart and the condensed steam dripped into the attic, seeped though the ceiling and now we have a nasty black stain on the snug ceiling. And, apparently, the only way this can be fixed is to cut out the offending part of the ceiling and have a new piece of plasterboard fitted before we even attempt to paint it white again - otherwise the stain will just keep penetrating any new coat of paint ... who would have thought a wee drip could cause all this upheaval.
I hope you all had a great weekend and the Monday wasn't so bad for you.
Happy Crafting,

Sunday 30 October 2011

Glasgow Craft Show Haul ...

... so many crafty goodies ...

... and only so much time. Had a great few hours wandering round the stands ... my DH actually found a few demos to interest him too :) For example he was fascinated by what you can do with a glue gun ... apart from the usual, that is. At the Dremel stand we watched a young woman show us how to make spider webs with a gun and a stick of glitter glue - so a pack of mixed colours had to come home with us.

There was many of our favourite stands there but a noticeable few were missing. Barbara Gray, ClarityStamp, was there as usual and I did enjoy getting in close and watching her make one of her lovely scenes using the Scottish castle on an adhesive sheet and coloured with Perfect Pearls. Pinflair, Crafter's Companion, My Craft Studio, Samuel Taylors, Lili  of the Valley, to name but a few, were all there ... Lavinia Stamps and Inkylicious were there too but I somehow missed the stands ... spent so much time watching those demos and just ran out of time.

Came home absolutely exhausted but I did manage to tick of a good few items on my list of needs/wants, e.g. the glue gel, red adhesive tape, iridescent glitter (several gorgeous new colours), charms, gems, TH ink pads. And, of course, I was tempted by a few things not on the list, in particular the DCWV  Vintage Stack 12"x12" paper which is absolutely stunning, many of the sheets are flittered  and embossed and totally irresistable. And, I wouldn't be true to form if I didn't buy some ribbon, this time some gorgeous BoBunny Christmas ribbon. Not in the shot is the My Craft Studio CD-ROM, Tinkering with Steampunk - looking forward to making good use of that.

Sorry for the lack of photographs of the show, I did take my camera with the intention of clicking away, but in the excitement completely forgot to use it. However, I did take a few snaps in George Square, which we passed through on our way down to the SECC where the show was held, and I thought you might like to see a few, especially the first one. It's a bike taxi ... never thought I'd see one of these in Scotland!!

Glasgow has a mix of old and new architecture and some of the old buildings are beautiful.

And here's a shot of the Christmas lights - they are impressive enough in daylight but they must look fabulous all lit up at night.

And just look at that blue, blue sky ... after all the rain and storms we've had over the last month or two this is a very welcome sight :)

Needless to say, I overdid it somewhat by going to the show, paid for it in more ways than one, which necessitated some rest and recuperation ... but I'm over it and raring to go again.

In the meantime, I hope you've all had a great weekend and been happily crafting away.

Friday 28 October 2011

Christmas Alphabet - I for Icicles

Evening All,

Not long back from Glasgow ... the craft show was busy, I've spent a small fortune, I'm exhausted and my feet are killing me ... I had a great time :) Understandably, this is going to be a very short post - just the latest in the Christmas Alphabet series of cards I'm working on - I for Icicles.

As you can see, I've used elements from a Joanna Sheen CD Collection - the Thomas Kinkade Christmas Selection. In this particular painting the house and shed is dripping with icicles so perfect for my theme. The ribbon is threaded through a slit cut in the crease of the card, which has the bonus of ensuring the insert stays beautifully in place when you open up the card.

The insert comes from the same disc and the greeting is computer generated.

I printed the insert twice, trimmed it down to produce a topper for the back of the card.

This was a super easy card to make. Here's a list of materials used.
Materials used:
  • Base: White cardstock cut to form an A6 (4"x5.75") tent card
  • Matting: Pale blue card (recycled from a commercially produced card received last Christmas) and a snippet of silver holographic card
  • Toppers & Insert: Thomas Kinkade Collection by Joanna Sheen - Disc 3, Christmas Selection - greeting computer generated
  • Stamp: Docraft’s - free with magazine; VersaMark; Sheena WOW! EP Blueberry Regular
  • Embellishments: Blue stitched grosgrain ribbon, punched holographic snowflakes, and iridescent glitter - all from stash
Because of the recycling and snippets used I'm submitting this to Jules Crafty Snippet Challenge - Week 42.

That's me done for this evening - I'll be back tomorrow to show you my haul from the craft show though. In the meantime,

Happy Crafting,

Thursday 27 October 2011

Christmas Alphabet - H for Holly

Afternoon All,

Well, I finally plucked up the courage and broke the seal on my treasured pad of Grahic45 Christmas Emporium paper pad to make this card. The contents of this pad are just sooooo gorgeous and my hands did shake when I started to pull out the paper and elements I'd chosen, but the quality makes it a pleasure to work with. Everything you see, except the embellishments, i.e. ribbon, card candy, brad and stickpin, came from the pad. The card base is an 8x8 Kraft card blank. I even managed to rip a sheet of paper for the backing ... how brave is that :)

Even the Poinsettia has been die-cut from the paper. I only used the  smaller petal shapes, thinking the largest one was too big but now that it's complete I think the leaves are out of proportion ... a point to watch out for next time :(  The colour of the ribbon is not showing up well because of the camera flash on the satin ... in reality, it's a really very good match.

This is the first time I've made an insert for an 8x8 card. It involved printing two sheets of paper and joining them together to get the correct size. The paper is imported from a Crafter's Companion CD-ROM into My Craft Studio,  the opacity tweaked to get a vellum effect and an oval digitally punched out to provide some white space for the writing of a greeting.

A trim from the paper pack on the back provided a finishing touch.

Materials used:
  • Card Base: Docrafts Papermania 8"x8" Kraft card blank
  • DP: Graphic45 Christmas Emporium 8"x8" paper pad
  • Insert: Crafter's Companion Vintage Christmas, My Craft Studio Professional, white copy paper
  • Flower: Spellbinders Shapeabilities Layered Poinsettia
  • Other Materials: Tim Holtz Vintage Photo ink pad, Papermania Special Green brad, Card Candy Vintage Berries, handmade stickpin from stash
I'm off to the SECC Hobbycrafts show in Glasgow tomorrow ... can't wait. I'm looking forward to seeing what new stuff is on offer. My DH is accompanying me this time ... wonder what he'll make of it. He's been creating a little sewing-machine corner for me today ... and, as usual made an excellent job of it. My machine was tucked away, in a corner of the dining area, and not getting much use because it was such a bother to get it out and set it up. So I hinted that I could do with it set up permanently in a place convenient to the craft space ... not in the craft space, you understand ... heavens I haven't got room for another piece of equipment in here ... just somewhere close enough for me to make better use of it. And, bless him, he has graciously sacrificed a corner of his little snug just next door ... there's no doubt about it, my crafting is taking over :)

Hoping to report back on the Hobbycrafts show tomorrow evening, if I'm not completely shattered.

Happy Crafting,

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Christmas Alphabet - G for Glitter

Hi Everyone,

As it's entitled G for Glitter, I'm hoping you can see the all the gorgeous glitter on this card ... this was a difficult card to photograph because of the silver mirror card ... every shot I took I could see me reflected somewhere in the matting - this was the best I could do.

I've long admired the beautiful creations Jackie, of Craft Designs, makes with her own photographs - and so I've unashamedly pinched the idea for this card from her ... I hope she'll forgive me. You can see the particular card of Jackie's here that was the inspiration for mine.

I've used the above photograph, after a bit of tweaking in My Craft Studio. It was taken during the winter of 1995 at Wellesley College, Massachusetts, where I was a mature student at the time. The college grounds are absolutely beautiful and this was the view from my room ... that day it looked just like a winter wonderland :)

The insert is just the photograph repeated twice and with an oval digitally punched out to leave an area for writing in a greeting.

The back has the topper repeated to give a bit of interest ... well, I'd printed two copies so thought I might as well use it here.

Materials used:
  • Cardstock: Black coated card for base; silver mirror card and red textured card for matting; white card for greeting
  • Paper: white copy paper; glossy photo paper
  • Photograph imported into My Craft Studio Professional to create the background, insert and topper 
  • Greeting generated using Microsoft Office Publisher 
  • Embellishment: iridescent glitter

Edited Note: I made this card to fit Crafty Hazelnut's challenge this week and then forgot to submit it ... am I dozy or what! So late, but hopefully, not too late I'm submitting it now:

CHNC Challenge 43 - Make a Scene

I'm now trailing behind with the alphabet series of cards so I've a bit of catching up to do ... I'm working on it :) The letter H is not a problem but I think I'm going to be struggling with the letter I ... something will come to me I'm sure!
I hope you are all well and happily crafting away wherever you are. I'd like to welcome Mina, my newest follower ... the 99th! I'm thinking I'll do something to celebrate my 100th when the time comes but as yet not decided what exactly ... it needs some cogitating, methinks :)
Happy crafting,

Saturday 22 October 2011

Christmas Alphabet - F for Fairies

Hi Everyone,

Another cold and windy day to start this weekend. Fortunately, I don't have to go anywhere today so staying safe and cosy in the craft space. Trying to get as much done as possible today because we are off out to visit friends in Kirkcudbrightshire tomorrow.

And today's card is all about the Christmas fairy ... well there are two of them here. As this card is clearly only suitable for a very girly girl I thought it would be nice to put a charm on it that could be kept ... even if the card does get tossed after Christmas :)

It doesn't show up well in the photograph but perhaps you can just about see that I've been paper piecing again ... this time I made the fairy's dress from DP from the same paper pack as used on the card. She's also blinged and sparkled as surely befits a Christmas fairy.

There's three different papers gone into the making of the background, two character ones trimmed to create the borders, top and bottom, and the dotty one as the base.

I had fun with the ribbon, pleating it down onto the very tacky red tape and finishing it off with two bows, a pink tipped hellebore and turquoise cherry blossom ... OTT girliness!


The inside and back are decorated with some of the leftover trimmings ... can't let them go to waste :)
Materials used:
  • Cardstock: Ready-made 5.5" square cream card base; scraps of Docrafts Papermania textured card in deep pink and light turquoise for matting; smooth white card, 3"x2.25", for stamped image
  • DP: Docrafts Papermania Festive Frolics 6x6 paper pad
  • Stamped Image: Christmas Fairy from set free with Let's Get Crafting, Issue 26; Memento Tuxedo Black ink pad; Promarkers - Blush, Ivory, Vanilla, Sandstone, Tea Green, Blender; Crystal & Yellow Stickles; White Opal Liquid Pearls; corner punch
  • Embellishments: The Ribbon Girl Fairy charm; Wild Orchid Crafts flowers; Dovecraft printed Christmas ribbon (pink); Charlotte Ribbon by Anna Griffin (turquoise)
I'm not really much into pink but, as some of the papers had pink in them, I just went with the flow ... it's a bit too sugar almonds perhaps, and definitely not traditional Christmas colours ... but, much to my surprise, I think this colour combo works quite well. 
Right, off to tackle the next letter in the alphabet ... hope to be back soon :)

Friday 21 October 2011

Christmas Alphabet - E for Embossing

I'm late posting this card tonight ... I just don't know where the time has gone today.

There's two different forms of embossing on this card. There's heat embossing ... a piece of leftover matte gold card, stamped with VersaMark and then embossed with gold powder ... and there's machine embossing on to make the greeting topper - on the last shred of the gold card. Note to self: pick up some more sheets from the craft shop soon.

After the greeting topper was embossed, it was trimmed before it was hot glued on to the ribbon bow. Love this gorgeous red and gold ribbon, bought from a local shop that sells all sorts of beautiful trims. The stickpin was made using several small gold beads and a large red one, all  from old costume jewellery threaded and glued to a heart-topped pin from Wild Orchid Crafts.

The insert is a digital paper form a Crafter's Companion CD-ROM ... this particular design was intended to be printed as notepaper, but I liked the faded centre panel framed with the holly pattern so much I thought it would make a great insert for this card. After importing it into a graphics programme I was able to tweak the size to fit perfectly.

Similarly, I tweaked it again to make a panel for the back too.

Materials used:
  • Cardstock: Piece of white card measuring 6.5" x 10" folded in half to form card base; piece of gold matte card, 6.5" x 5" stamping & embossing, and a smaller piece,  measuring 2.5" square for greeting
  • Stamp: Penny Black, Winter Bough; VersaMark ink pad; Heat It Up Gold Embossing Powder
  • Machine embossing: Cuttlebug All-in-One folder and Twinkle plate for greeting & topper
  • Digital Paper: Crafter's Companion CD-ROM, Vintage Christmas; My Craft Studio Professional; white copy paper for printing
  • Gold printed red ribbon, Heart-shape topped pin from Wild Orchid Crafts, red and gold beads, from stash
That's the letter E done with ... never tried embossing gold on gold before but really like the effect so that's one to remember for another time. And, a bonus, I've used up some scraps of card and ribbon, not to mention recycled some ole beads. So I think this is one to submit to:
Now to finish the F card, almost done, and tomorrow it will be the letter G ... now how can that be interpreted ... I'll have to put on my thinking cap :)
Happy crafting,

Thursday 20 October 2011

Christmas Alphabet - D for Deer

Afternoon All,

In yesterdays WOYWW post I mentioned that I would try embossing the velvet paper I had lying on my workdesk and a few of you commented that you  would be interested in the result. And, here is the piece I trialled.

As you can see it embosses very well ... it's the very devil to photograph though! I had to try all sorts of lighting and angles to get a satisfactory shot, but I think you can see the embossing quite well in this one. And, I've incorporated it into my letter D card too.

The velvet paper is self-adhesive so normally the backing would be removed to adhere it down. But, because of the effect of embossing, I left the backing on and instead used glue gel to stick it to the card. It may well be possible to remove the backing after embossing ... I just thought I might spoil the effect by doing so. 

There's three different co-ordinating pattern papers taken from the same paper pad by My Minds Eye called, appropriately enough, Darling Dear - one of the papers has depictions of cute little deer.  The base is a light grey textured card. I think the combination of colours, greys, red and tan, make this card suitable for a male recipient.

This Rudolph has the biggest and reddest (?) nose ever, thanks to the oddly shaped dewdrop I found in my stash. Rudolph, coloured with Promarkers, and the string of lights stamps are from a magazine freebie. I stamped the lights onto the red dotty paper, cut them out ... a painstaking process, but worth it ... and glazed them after adhering them to the card.
The decoration on the inside and back is just a repeat of the edge trim on the front.

Materials used: 
  • Cardstock: Papermania A4 textured card, grey, folded to A5 size; smooth white card
  • DP: My Minds Eye Darling Dear 6x6 pad, Papermania Luxury Velvet Paper Redcurrant Jam
  • Cuttlebug All-In-One embossing folder, Twinkle
  • Stamps: OneFourZero Stamp Set (free with Simply Cards & Papercraft)
  • Promarkers - Sandstone, Ice Grey 1, Poppy
  • Doodle Dewdrops red
  • Anita's 3-D Clear Gloss Finish
I've had a few interrupted days ... well, more interrupted than usual ... but I'm hoping to settle down to a bit of blog-hopping for an hour or so now and catch up with what folks have been up to. And talking of what folks have been up to ... yesterday, Caroline (A Crafty Scrappers Thoughts for the Day) has brought us an update on baby Ayla's progress, and she's home which is really good news ... she's gorgeous, link here to see a photograph of this bonnie baby.
Happy crafting,

Wednesday 19 October 2011

WOYWW - Week 124 - organised chaos ...

... and a happy WOYWW to you all.

Where do all these Wednesdays come from ... they just seem sneak up on you earlier every week! Yes, it's time to join the weekly workdeskfest over at Julia's, Queen of Desks, on her blog, Stamping Ground - if you haven't joined in already, time you did - you'll enjoy the experience :)

My desk is looking a bit of a mess this morning ... I'm planning my next card in the Alphabet series, see this post here to read what this is all about, so paper and card are strewn about in  a haphazard way ... I'm just trying to decide what materials to use on my next card. When you're trying to make a card a day, therefore as quickly as possible, this part of the process can really slow things down. But using a paper pad does make the choice easier ... at least it should ... if only I didn't agonise over every detail :(

And the rest of the stuff? There's a lovely roll of red velvet paper ... tried without success to find this last year so pleased to have sourced now. Might use a bit of that on the card ... thought I might put it through the embossing machine and see whether that's a good idea or not. Two books from the charity shop that I'm planning to do something with ... well, I'll chose one to do something with ... for Sarah's (La-De-Dah) My Monthly Mojo. There's a new pack of photo papers on the left next to my heat gun ... should be put away, and at the back is a wee blue tray which is full of die cut poinsettias ... cut a few more than needed, but left out because they are sure to come in useful over the next few weeks.

Edited Note: For those who would like to see how the velvet embossing turned out, please take a look at my next post on the next card in the Alphabet Series - D for Deer.

And, rest of the stuff in the background live on my desk permanently ... regular visitors will recognise them, but for newcomers the chicken cupboard once held eggs but is now full of ink pads, the slug pail once held chocolate slugs, now it holds scissors, pliars, etc. The ribbon-holder is not an upcycled kitchen towel holder but a very useful item made custom made by the resident handyman, aka my DH.

So, as you can see, although it all looks a bit shambolic this morning, there's a reason for the chaos and in a few hours it will look a lot better ... I hope :)

I'd like to welcome my new followers, Evelyn, Irene, Kat, Nessy and Lou ... lovely to have you here and hope you enjoy reading about what I get up to ... I shall try to keep it as varied and entertaining as possible :)

Now, I'm off to have my first cup of tea ... yes, that's how dedicated I am to WOYWW, I haven't had my cuppa yet. Then it will be back for a nosy round the workdesks of the world ... well, as many as I can manage before I go to meet my personal trainer, get me!... later this morning ... yes, I'm about to embark on a prescribed exercise regime which is hoped will loosen up this stiff and arthritic carcass! I'll be running the London Marathon before you know it :)

Take care folks, and a happy crafting,

Tuesday 18 October 2011

Christmas Alphabet - C for Celebrate

Afternoon All,

A quick and uncomplicated card today based on a card seen in a Stampin' Up stampin' techniques booklet.

The base card measures 4.5" x 5.5"  - a good size for going through the mail, especially as the embellishments aren't too bulky.

All it took to decorate was a snippet of DP big enough to cut 3 x 1.25" strips, some really nice grosgrain ribbon wrapped round and the topper. The topper was made by stamping this really useful Banana Frog stamp using Versamark and embossing with gold EP, then trimmed and adhered to a scalloped circle of co-ordinating green card.

The back has a strip of the DP too - can't leave it without decoration :)

Materials used:
  • Cardstock – Stampin’ Up, Baja Breeze (4.5" x 5.5" base), Certainly Celery, Whisper White
  • DP: Papermania bauble pattern (sorry, leftover from last year and name forgotten) snippet big enough to cut 3 x 1.25" strips
  • Stamp: Banana Frog's Time to Celebrate (free from Craft Stamper, Versamark, Heat it Up gold embossing powder
  • Ribbon - Anna Griffin Lulu Stitched Grosgrain
Apart from participating in the the A-Z challenge at Docrafts, I'm submitting this card to the following challenges:
Jules Crafty Snippet Challenge - Week 41 - plenty of snippets included, design paper is leftover from last year, tiny pieces of white and green card.

Do you stack up 41: use your scraps

Lexi 51: just a sentiment

Lothian crafts 19: anything goes

We have had the most awful weather here - almost all four seasons in one day, I think. Rainstorms this morning caused flooding on the roads ... so much so that the fire brigade turned us back on the road out of town ... a sudden change to our shopping plans! Then the sun came out and it was quite pleasant this afternoon ... what will this evening bring, I wonder. Oh,oh, I've just got my answer, it's raining again now :(

Oops, time to go - time flies when I'm crafting :) Time to think about preparing dinner.

Happy crafting,


Monday 17 October 2011

Christmas Alphabet - B for Berries

Hi Folks,

We've had another really miserable day here in paradise - rainstorms all day long. And after such a beautiful day yesterday. Even the road to the hospital had to be closed due to flooding ... goodness knows what happens if there's an emergency in these circumstance! I can only hope tomorrow will be better ... though I'm not holding my breath :)

Here's today's alphabet card and I've used one of my favourite stamps again - Penny Black's Berry Red, Snow White - it's so nice it's probably going to get a fair bit of use in the weeks to come. I broke open a new pad of DP for this one too - Memory Box's Spiceberry. This gorgeous pad contains yummy colours described as cranberry reds, pink poinsettias and olive greens. I've teamed up my choice of paper with gray and white cardstock and lots of festive silver.

The berry scene was stamped is in Versamark on to white card and then embossed with silver - and I rounded the corners. It was then matted on to a gray card mat that's also edged in silver EP.  The flourishes and label were cut from white card ... but I didn't like the white so I embossed them with silver too. I've linked two flourishes together for the side embellishment. The final embellishments are the silver card candy.

 Inside, and on the back, I've used the stamp and Versamark again but left it as a watermark ... you can do this with porous card - and I like the affect. I've just added a square of white card, corners rounded, inside for writing a message on.

The stamped back - looks quite ghostly and atmospheric when you leave the Versamark to dry.

Materials used:

Cardstock - Stampin' Up in Basic Gray and Whisper White, Neenah Solar White card;
DP - Memory Box Spiceberry 6"x6" paper pad
Stamps - Penny Black, Berry red, snow white, Lili of the Valley date stamp, VersaMark ink pad,Heat It Up silver embossing powder, Memento Tuxedo Black
Embellishments: Dies: Spellbinders Shapeabilities Holly Accents, Silver card candy

There was no Monday card making class today - it's the October school holiday here this week ... the children, poor dears, won't be getting out much in this weather.

I'm off to think about the next few letters of the Christmas alphabet - I'm challenging myself to make more than one tomorrow so let's see how I do :)

Happy Crafting,