Friday 31 August 2012

A London Olympics Scrap Page - plus a handy tip for creating a pennant

Hello Everyone,

My second visit today, this time with this scrap page layout recording the London Olympics.

Over at Scrap Our Stash this month we were challenged to pagerize/scraplift this fun layout of Debbie's, entitled Water Silhouettes 

I thought this layout would be ideal for a collage of Olympic photographs I'd collected throughout the event. I created the collage using the Shape Collage programme mentioned in this earlier post here. As mentioned then the only downside of not having the fully paid up programme, rather than the freebie, is that the web address is always included somewhere on any collage created. In this case it appeared across the middle so I superimposed four of my favourite photos - this had the advantage of giving the shots emphasis, so no bad thing after all.

Having created the collage, the next step was to put together a kit from my stash ... I didn't want to go out and buy any new supplies, instead I wanted to use what I had. Easier said than done! I didn't have any suitable patterned paper except for a cheap striped one that I didn't particularly like, it reminded me too much of men's pyjamas. However, the colours were right - red, white and blue. So after much raking in boxes of cardstock, here's the kit I came up with.

Four 12"x12" sheets of card: Stampin' Up's smooth card, Basic Black and Whisper White; Bazzill Basics, Tomato: Coredinations, Evening Sky.
The striped pattern paper - maker unknown.
Alphas: Docrafts Forever Friends Cosy Christmas alpha stickers; Paperchase Gold Number stickers.
Union Flag patterned ribbon from my favourite local craft centre
Tools: score board; star-shaped stencils; 1¼" round punch; 1½" square punch

As you can see the layout and the embellishments are all very simple ... it relies mainly on pennants, cut from the card, for interest. The rosettes, which no longer look anything like men's pyjamas, are made from 1" wide strips of the striped paper, scored at 1cm intervals, folded in concertina fashion, ends adhered together and then, once persuaded into shape, adhered to a circle punched from the red card. All the stars were traced using the stencil and then cut out. Two larger red ones for the rosettes and two smaller blue ones to decorate the pennant at the top of the layout.

The pennants were cut with the square punch - a tip I picked up from watching this demo by ChicnScratch , aka Angie Kennedy Juda, on YouTube. I haven't worked out how to embed a YouTube video in a post yet so here in photos is how it's done.

You need your strip of card, cut to the length and width you need ... mine vary in width from 2" to ¾" ... and a square punch.

Position the end of the card on the diagonal into the corner of the square aperture as shown above. Punch out the triangle of card showing in the aperture.

Result, a perfect pennant shape. Super simple with no need for all the usual palaver of measuring and marking out with ruler and pencil. Many thanks to Angie :)

So that's my layout - it's a simple design, very loosely based on Debbie's, with all the emphasis on that collage of amazing people who filled almost all my waking moments for two wonderfully exciting weeks.

My husband, Alan, remembers the previous London Olympics in 1948. He was 10 years old that year and  had to go to the local cinema to see the reported highlights on Pathe News. Britain had just been through WWII, it was a time of austerity and rationing, and televisions did not become widely available until the 1950s.  He tells me that the opening ceremony was an altogether simpler affair than that of this year's - the highlight for him being the release of thousands of pigeons all at the same time - an amazing sight as the flew up and away. Oh, how things have changed!

That's it for this evening. I have a couple of completed cards to share but I will leave them for tomorrow.

In the meantime, I bid you all goodnight,

A Parcel from Over the Sea

Hi Everyone,

It's been a red letter day here at Casa Worthington ... a package has come from Canada :)  Mo, aka Scrappymo,  has sent me all these beautiful goodies.

Apologies for the glare ... tried snapping from all directions but this was the best shot I could get today.

I'm totally overwhelmed - look as those beautiful papers and all the lovely die-cuts and then there's the trims. And all because I sent a few sheets of paper her way.

It all began with Mo admiring a sewing themed card I posted about. In her comment, Mo mentioned that she couldn't get the Happy Days papers where she lives ... well, I couldn't have that, now could I? You can see her post about it here.

By way of return, Maureen has raided her stash and so generously sent these fabulous goodies. Here's a couple of close ups

Look at all those lovely die cuts and that huge football themed paper - I'm already planning something for my footie mad grandson with it.

More glare, sorry. More beautiful papers and some gorgeous trims, pins and embellishments. And you can see the lovely card Mo enclosed with the parcel. She has used a cherry blossom branch and blossom die that is quite beautiful ... and, happily for me, she has enclosed a packet of both too :)

Isn't that all wonderful! Thank you so much Mo, I will take great pleasure in using everything over the next few months.

After a very busy, interesting and often exciting working life, I thought my retirement was going to be nothing but a big bore, but not so, having discovered the joys of scrapbooking, cardmaking and all the other crafty stuff I have a go at, I'm always busy and it's made all the more fun because of this blog. I feel so blessed. I've made so many super friends through this blog of mine ... not only do I enjoy posting about everything crafty, and anything else that gives me pleasure, but I get to meet, sometimes in person, lots of clever, talented and delightful crafty people. How lucky is that!

It wouldn't be me if I didn't give you a weather and decorating update.

The weather - it's awful here, rain, rain and even more rain. However, having seen the news reports about the fires in Spain, and the floods in New Orleans, I'm not going to complain too much. I hope that the folks in those afflicted areas escape unscathed and without too much damage to their property.

The decorating - it continues and I'm still holed up upstairs away from all the nasty fumes. The walls are almost done but tomorrow it will be the woodwork - gloss - even more nasty fumes. The EM did consider sending me away somewhere for a few days but who would make the endless cups of coffee a painting hero needs :))

Take care all, wherever you are, and happy crafting,

Thursday 30 August 2012

Christmas Cards For A Couple featuring Rose and Alfie

Hi Everyone,

I hope you've all had a lovely day with lots of crafting.

The painting continues so I'm still holed up in the craft space ... because of the fumes I even resorted to eating lunch up here today ... such a hardship :))

As you can see I've been busy. It's not like me to do this, but I have used all the toppers on a sheet and made five cards altogether. It all started with Hazel's challenge, CHNC Challenge # 87, to make a card for a couple. I spotted Rose and Alfie on a visit to the craft centre on Sunday and thought they would be perfect for the challenge and make a nice addition to my Christmas card drawer - after all I have a few couples to send cards to and two of the toppers, the ones with a snowman, would even be suitable to send to a child.

Here are the cards individually.

Card #1

Card #2

Card #3

Card #4

Card #5

Whilst the basic materials are all the same, the papers and embellishments are all different ... I'd find it nigh impossible to make five identical cards and take my hat of to all those of you who make hundreds of identical cards, e.g. wedding invites, etc. This is the nearest I'll ever get to that.

Materials used:
For all cards:
Card Bases: white scalloped-edged cards - the smaller ones measure 5"x5" square and the larger are 8¼"x5½"
Toppers: Kanban Rose and Alfie Christmas Toppers
Other materials:
Card #1: Kanban Snowflakes and Swirls Mirri card; gold mirri card; gold ribbon; green heart-shaped gems and green flat-backed gems; iridescent glitter
Card #2: Docrafts Papermania Noel 12"x12" paper pack; snippet of smooth white card; Spellbinders Regal embossing folder; gold peel-off edging; gold cord; gold flat-backed gems; iridescent glitter
Card #3: Docrafts Papermania Tree/Stripe Patterned Xmas Paper; red/gold printed ribbon; chipboard greeting from Papermania Noel collection; red flat-backed gems; iridescent glitter
Card #4: Kanban Bouquet Stripes Green card; gold mirri card; snippet of ivory pearlescent card; snowflake embossing folder; Spellbinders poinsettia die set; snippets of two shades of gold and green/white polka dotted card; green patterned ribbon from Ribbon Carousel; Docrafts green gem brads; green card candi; iridescent glitter
Card #5: Docrafts Papermania Noel 12"x12" paper pack; gold mirri card; polka dot embossing folder; gold and red organza ribbons; chipboard embellishments and greeting from Papermania Noel collection; gold card candi

I have managed to use quite a lot of snippets in making cards 2, 4 & 5 - most of them from my boxes of bits from test driving embossing folders and the mammoth die-cutting session I had lately ... I do like it when a plan comes together ... making them suitable for submission to Di's Snippet Challenge #35 - my third visit to the playground this week :)

That's me done for the day ... it's been a long one and I'm more than ready for my bed.

Take care wherever you are and thanks for looking.

Happy crafting,

The Craft Barn Blog Candy

Hi Everyone,

I'm probably the last to have heard of this fabulous candy offer from The Craft Barn but maybe not! Maybe you haven't heard of it too :) It's fabulous and not to be missed - check it out here

The Craft Barn is celebrating a follower list of almost 1300 - how fantastic is that. The candy is packed with tons of yummy products - too many to list here but it does include the following:

Tim Holtz die cuts 
Inks - including Dylusions
Crafty Secrets CD,
Embossing folders
Goodies to alter
A "stamp and die" set
Ggilding flakes

and that's only some of what's included. This candy is open to all countries and will close in 2 weeks, on Sunday 9th September.

Join in and good luck!

Wednesday 29 August 2012

What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday - WOYWW 169

Hello WOYWWers, Followers and All,

Wednesday and time to show the state of our workdesks again as hosted by the lovely Julia over at the Stamping Ground - do pop over if you've never been before, it's a revelation ... somewhat addictive at that ... of the desks (kitchen/dining tables, cupboards, studios, ateliers, floors even!) stash and projects of an amazing number of crafters who are willing to bear all on a weekly basis :) Here's mine today.

More correctly, this is what my desk looked like at close of play last night. There's the makings of the next cards on my list, card blanks, patterned card, toppers together with the usual tools from the cardmaking arsenal.

In the middle distance is my first set of H2Os - booty brought back from a visit to the craft centre of Sunday :) Not tried them out yet but playtime is scheduled at the weekend - after painting of the lounge is done. I am holed up in the craft space for the duration but on call ... just in case I'm needed to provide some essential service to the decorator, e.g. provide endless cups of coffee :)

The stamp that I've been using a lot this week already is still there, cleaned but needing to be put back on the shelf. Bogdan is still there and still sporting the WOYWW badge - he's now firmly attached to it. And specially for RosC, and anyone else who wondered where it had gone, the chook cupboard is back!

The card I was about to start last night has moved on a bit and, as it is for a challenge, will be posted later today ... when I find a minute. Oh, I've just spotted the mobile phone and the TV remote control ... if it wasn't for this photo I'd have forgotten where they were. 

I didn't do so badly last week, I managed to visit and admire a fair proportion of the WOYWWers and I hope to do much the same this week. Apologies if I missed you but time is always an issue - I just do the best I can with what is available :)

That's about it for today - short and sweet, Julia will be pleased:)

Edit Note: silly me, I forgot to put in something about my Cuttlebug because an awful lot of you mentioned the unusual colour - teal and off white.  It is from a very limited edition that Create and Craft offered last year - just at the time I was considering buying one. Needless to say, I love the colour :))

Wishing you all a lovely WOYWW and happy crafting,

Tuesday 28 August 2012

Three more of the same ...

... as the one I posted yesterday.

Hi Everyone,

Yes, I enjoyed making the card I made yesterday so much I made another three with the same layout and using the same stamp, it's only the colours that differ.

I chose to emphasize the reds and coppery browns that are in the Persimmon stickers this time. Apologies for the quality of the photograph ... I've been trying out different settings on my camera and still not got it quite right yet :( Here's a close up of the red one - nice sentiment.

The basic materials were the same, same card base, white card snippets, same pack of stickers, and same background stamp - but different ink and embellishments

Card: White 4"x4" card bases and snippets of white card trimmed to measure 4"x4" for topper
Stamp: Docraft's V&A quilts 1700-2010 Posy Background
The copper ink is a Brilliance pad, Cosmic Copper and the red is a from Papermania cube set. 
Sentiment: Docrafts Papermania Persimmon Collection Flounce Cardstock Stickers
Embellishments:  scraps of ribbon and an assortment of buttons tied with twine

All those snippets and scraps means only one thing, I'm submitting these cards to Di's scrutiny over at Pixie's Snippet Challenge #35

Decorating update: The EM is busy painting the ceiling today. There's an inch of dust on the furniture, after sanding down glue covered areas long hidden by an unwanted paper border strip,  and I am resisting the temptation to remove it ... I am reliably informed that it will get worse before it gets better so futile to fight it! So rather than be in the way, I'm holed up in the craft space dreaming up ways of using all the bits and bobs I've been sorting through ... it could be worse :))

Weather report: the sun is shining but it's breezy and getting more so here, I've got a couple of throws out on the line getting a good blow ... it's a great drying day, and we haven't had too many of them over the last week or so.

Time for lunch I think - if I can get through the lounge to the kitchen.

I hope you are all having a lovely day and thanks for looking.

Happy crafting,

Monday 27 August 2012

Sending you sunshine ...

... and happiness!

Hello Everyone,

Just a quick post tonight. Now that the lounge is getting a fresh coat of paint it's all go at Casa Worthington and somehow the day disappeared before I knew it. However, I did manage to make this wee 4"x4" card.

I had an idea to use a background stamp as the base for this layout. Unbelievably, I have only one in my crafting arsenal! However, it's a pretty little Victorian pattern from the V&A quilts collection which stamps quite well, that is apart from the fact that there's a quite noticeable line across the middle - this is in the rubber and I can only think it has something to do with the original quilt pattern.

I found the easiest way to transfer the ink was not to stamp in the usual way but to lay the stamp ink side up on the desk and place the card carefully on top, then press it quite firmly all over with my fingers. It's not perfect but it's certainly better than my attempts to stamp the usual way :)

You can see the strips that decorate the inside - they were trimmed from my first botched attempt to use the stamp.

Materials used:
Card: White 4"x4" card base and a snippet of white card trimmed to measure 4"x4" for topper
Stamp: Docraft's V&A quilts 1700-2010 Posy Background
Ink: Adirondack Earthtones, Eggplant
Sentiment: Docrafts Papermania Persimmon Collection Flounce Cardstock Stickers - had these since last year so ancient stash now
Embellishments: satin ribbon; button; twine - all from stash

Including as it does a snippet of white card, not to mention the leftover length of ribbon and a secondhand button, I think this card has to be submitted to Di's Snippet Challenge #35 

That's it, I'm done for the day ... it feels like it's been a long one, I'm ready for bed, and I won't need any rocking tonight.

Thanks for looking.

Happy crafting,

Saturday 25 August 2012

Believe in the Magic of Christmas - A Rudolph Day Card

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are all enjoying the weekend wherever you are. I've been happily pottering away in the craft space and put together this card for Sarn's fun and fabulous Rudolph Day challenge.

It's a bigger card than I usually make - I have a pile of ready-made cards that I ordered in a misguided moment thinking I would enjoy making cards with shaped edges ... not so. I find them an awkward shape to work with and, frankly, too big :(

I covered this one with patterned paper and then had to trim round the shape - fiddly and I'm not good at it. To cover up this I've inked all the edges with green ink - thank goodness ink covers a multitude of sins :)

The embossed folder is one that was rescued from the 'try-out folders' box - wasn't too sure I like the colour of the card - and lightly sponged with a mix of inks in greens, browns and reds.

Materials used:
Ready-made white shaped card base. A5 in size
Docraft's Papermania Noel 12x12 paper pack
Stampin' Up smooth cardstock, Sahara Sand
Universal Embossing Folder, Silver Fern
BoBunny Combo Stickers, Father Christmas
Inks: Ink It Up, Kelly Green; Tim Holtz DI, Shabby Shutters, Vintage Photo; Adirondack, Noel, Cranberry
Embellishments: red organza ribbon, metal clip, bell, red pearl - all from stash

The end result is a very traditional style card that should be fine to post - the teeny wee bell will have to be protected but otherwise the card is fairly flat. I have to take in to account the Royal Mail's astronomical charges these days - sadly, the pension doesn't stretch to paying the directors' salaries!!!

Okay, off to start on a layout - I've a deadline to keep - but before I go I need to thank everyone who visits my blog and all of you who leave a comment. I don't say it often enough I know, but you are all much appreciated. If it wasn't for you I'd be sitting here chatting to the ether, these words would be whirling around in the cyber hinterlands, and I would not be enjoying the friendly interaction that I do now ... you crafters are really friendly people :)

Crafty hugs,

Friday 24 August 2012

To Sew or Not to Sew - a SWAP card

Hi Everyone,

Well, I have tried and I've better than tried to sew on card with my relatively new sewing machine and I'm failing miserably. I just can't seem to get the tension right!?!? I'm not giving up entirely, I don't give up easily,  but as time was running out I chose not to sew for this tent style card.

Just a bit of faux stitching had to suffice.

With the exception of a few items, the materials are from Papermania's Happy Daze collection which is just perfect for the sewing theme. The front is covered with patterned paper which I carried over to the back comme ca ...

I've used one of the bracket-shaped die-cuts from the collection at the top of the front, again wrapping it over on to the back. I ran a row of blue faux stitching along the raw edges just to give them a bit of definition.

The elegant lady is from a Crafty Individuals stamp set and to get the topper just the size wanted, I have used a Spellbinders label as a template, first drawing round the inside and cutting out, and then drawing around the outside for the matting.

The vintage thread card is a download from Craft Stamper magazine and that's some embroidery silk wound round it - leftover from my cross-stitching days.

Just a glimpse of the inside decoration.

Materials used:
White square-shaped card base
Papermania's Happy Days Collection, includes design paper, designer die-cuts, flowers and embroidered brads
Crafty Individuals CI-323 stamp and Memento Rich Cocoa ink pad
Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels Twenty-Five
Zig Vellum Writer - blue
From stash - white embroidery silk; needle; button

We've just had a text to say that my SIL and grandson have been up to the jetty at Portencross (scroll down to yesterday's post for a pic) fishing and have brought back a fine catch of mackerel, would we like some? Apparently, there are so many fish there that catching them is easy and so they now have more than they need. The EM likes a bit of fresh mackerel and I don't think the Boss will turn her nose up at a morsel or two either but, while I like most fish, this is not one of them. All the more for them then :)

Oh, I found the missing die - thank goodness, they are a bit too pricey to lose. Clearly, I don't want that to happen again, it's not good for my aged heart, so I'm now on the hunt for some magnetic sheets.

And the best news of all, my wee sister, Margaret, got home from the hospital today - bunting out and all happy smiles  - I've warned her never to give us such a fright again :)

That's me done for today - two posts are more than enough anyway :))

Take care all, enjoy the weekend and happy crafting,

Winter Scenes - some recycled cards for a challenge

Hello Everybody,

Well, I've gone from not making much to making three cards in one afternoon!

Hazel over at Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge wanted to see cards that feature buildings. I've been sorting through all my stuff and when a couple of winter landscape cards, received a good few years ago came to light, I thought recycled they would fit the bill perfectly.

The first one features one of my favourite buildings, the medieval Haddon Hall, Bakewell, Derbyshire. When we lived in the High Peak District we visited the Hall often because I loved it so much. It's been described as the most romantic house to survive the middle ages and I can't argue with that. In summer the garden is just the most special place to be and has been judged Garden of the Year by the Historic Houses Association. It has been a favourite location for film-makers, having featured in Jane Eyre (several versions), Elizabeth, Pride & Prejudice and The Other Boleyn Girl. However, back when it was first built, it must have been quite cut-off in winter and perhaps a little grim. Here in this illustration it simply looks beautiful.

The second is of a ruined abbey entitled Winter's Landscape by Bob Hersey. I thought you might like to read the quotation that was on the back of the original card.

As light snow creates unusual reliefs around the ruined abbey, two animal predators are abroad. In the foreground, a russet-backed fox sniffs the cold air for scent: above, a passing kestrel attracts a mob of crows.

Sorry, you can just about see the kestrel just under the flower embellishment.

To make the cards I trimmed the cards down to fit the base cards, just leaving a margin all the way round, and then edged the base cards with metallic embossing powder. The toppers are attached using foam dimension squares and there's a smattering of iridescent glitter added too. All my industry at the Cuttlebug this week paid off as I was able to make up the flower embellishments from a mix of punched and die-cut snippets. Ribbon - from the newly discovered craft emporium, Cardwell Craft Centre - card candi and gems  used for the finishing touches - all from stash.

When I trimmed down the Winter's Landscape I was left with a tiny piece that was too nice to toss so I made the tiny thank you card with it - waste not, want not :)

I stamped all round the edge with distress ink, Vintage Photo, and a small holly stamp from Inkandinkado's Holiday set. This time the topper is matted to a snippet of bronze pearlescent card, as is the greeting - a very useful wood-mounted from Crafty Stamps. More iridescent glitter to add to the winter feel. It should have been a quick and easy card, not much to it, but when I was stamping round the edge I forgot to protect the back so ...

... a lot of stamping of the same holly spray to cover up the mess!

As I'm actually on time this week the first two cards are for the following:

Hazel's CHNC Challenge # 86 - include a building

and also

Pixie's Crafty Snippet Challenge #34  - that's Di's playground - because they all include a variety of snippets in one form or another.

There's a lot of movement and preparation going on downstairs today. The EM is preparing to don his painter's overalls to give the lounge a fresh coat of paint on Monday ... groan and sigh, groan and sigh ... I just know it's going to cause endless disruption to the smooth running of the household, not to mention the nasty fumes from the paint - plays havoc with my asthma  :(  Am I alone in just hating all the attendant fuss painting a few walls seems to entail even whilst acknowledging that it has to be done. The EM has told me to bite the bullet - it will be over in no time at all!!!

Wishing you all a lovely weekend - it's a Bank Holiday here in the UK and it looks like rain ... typical!

I'm off to look for a lost label die. I've been through the bin - it's not there; I've looked under the chest of drawers under the worktop, it's not there; I've been through the contents of various boxes and bags of crafty bits and pieces, it's not there either ... it's a mystery!

Happy crafting,

Thursday 23 August 2012

Not crafting ... a trip to Portencross Castle instead

Hi Everyone,

I've been busy in the craft space but there's not a lot to show for it so I thought some of you might like to see another of our local beauty spots instead.

Portencross Castle
Our Sunday drive out this week took us north, up the coastal road to the Craft Town, West Kilbride. Because it was Sunday the shops, studios, etc., were closed so we will have to return on a week day. However, close by, we discovered this little treasure. There's a picnic area nearby and, what can I say, it's just a little bit of heaven.

Fishing off the jetty
There are stunning views to be seen from the roof top - over the Firth of Clyde to Arran on the west and Cumbrae to the north.

Looking from the roof top over to the island of Cumbrae
Portencross Castle has been there since the 1300s, has had various owners over the centuries and a somewhat checkered maintenance history. At one time it was occupied by several fishing families, all living in communal harmony, but more recently it has been left empty and crumbling. Now the castle is a scheduled ancient monument and a grade 'A' listed building and is in the care of the Friends of Portencross Castle who are slowly improving its condition.

Artists at work

As you can see the castle has been built next to a pretty natural harbour and the picturesqueness makes it very popular with local artists.

Former fisherman's cottage
There are still a number of cottages there - I think a few may just be used as a holiday cottages.

Another fisherman's cottage - complete with a net drying on the stone wall
Finally, I love wild flowers and so was delighted to see so many in the area and here's a wee selection of the photos I took of them. The local insects seemed equally delighted with them - see how many I spotted.

Blackberry (bramble) blossom

Purple Vetch

A bee on an umbel
I was so tempted to caption that as a bumble on an umbel but it so clearly isn't a bumble bee I just couldn't :))

My daughter and SIL met us there and we had a tour of the castle, entry is free, and a short stroll along the path. We loved it and it's a place we will be returning to often.

I hoped you enjoyed 'visiting' another beauty spot in our little corner of this beautiful country.

Take care all,