Friday, 23 February 2018

More loveliness from Stitches....

Firstly, a couple of samples that caught my eye on the WOW stand.....

and Paper Artsy.....

I loved the products on the Rico Design stand -
beautiful paper packs, washi tapes, yarns and fabrics 

 Some really lovely cross stitch designs - I loved that hare, and the Thelwell designs for a child's room

  a couple of samples from the UK stamp company Indigo Blu

and here are some samples made by the very talented Brenda Brown for the DecoArt stand

Thursday, 22 February 2018

CHSI Stitches Trade Show

So the last couple of days were spent at the trade show held at the NEC (luckily only ten minutes away from my home!). My friends Kath Stewart and Anne Redfern came to stay with me - just look at the gorgeous hostess gift Anne made for me. She is on the Eileen Hull design team, and used the Cantilever Sewing Box die by Eileen to make me this perfect little box. I love it! See a step by step tutorial on how Anne made the box HERE

The stunning flower was made with Foamiran......

and Anne also made these really cute cards with her details on the reverse side to hand out at the show - I grabbed this one!

We did a make and take using various inky techniques with Jo Firth-Young and Leandra from Paper Artsy (don't you love those flowers? I got the stamp to bring home with me....)

Some Paper Artsy samples on display........

We stopped off to say hello to Michelle and play on the Stix2 stand, and were given coffee and this yummy scone, which we munched......

and got inky making this tag.......

We goofed around with the guys on the WOW embossing stand - Kath and Marion were crying with laughter in this photo....

I will post more photos of some of the stuff that caught my eye tomorrow, but not before I tell you about the trauma of the car park incident....

Living around the corner, I should know my way around the NEC (National Exhibition Centre). Of course I should....but my usual car park was blocked off and I was directed to another car park. So far, so good. Made my way to the show, and left with Kath and Anne, carrying their overnight bags. The system is that you take a shuttle bus back to the car park, huge huge car parks with hundreds of cars, divided up with low hedges and prominent signs with the number and location of the areas you are parked in.

Prominent did I say? Not prominent enough for me obviously, I had hopped out of my car without taking any note of where I was parked. So when the shuttle bus dropped us off (car parks N1, N2, N3 the driver announced cheerily), I had NO idea where to look. "I parked by a hedge" I whimpered "I remember a hedge". It was dark and freezing cold. Even Nanook of the North (Kath) was shivering. Eventually, a very kind woman took pity on us and offered to drive us around the car parks to find the car (she was clearly disturbed by the sight of two miserable, shivering women standing with their cases, as I ran around in circles like a maniac, pressing the car fob frantically). 

We were incoherent with gratitude, loaded the cases into her boot (trunk), dragged our cold, protesting bodies into the warmth of her car, and settled down to find my elusive car. I sat in the front seat "I will keep pressing this" I announced, pressing the key fob of my car (we hadn't even set off at this point). Flash flash went the lights on a car parked about 20 yards away. Click click went the key fob. Flash flash went the car....

So we unloaded bodies and cases, and slunk apologetically out of her car to walk the few yards to mine...... 

Friday, 16 February 2018

Time for a Break.....

This week it was my turn to set the challenge over on Daring Cardmakers blog, I chose a theme of 'Take a Break' -  use what ever gets you going again in the mid morning slump, when breakfast seems hours ago, and it's too early for lunch. Is it coffee? A refreshing cup of tea? A sneaky doughnut? For me, it has to be coffee, I seem to need gallons of the stuff in the morning, just to wake me up! Mind you, if there was a doughnut shop within walking distance, they would feature in a big way as well!

So here's my card, stamp by Spellbinders

Whatever you are doing this weekend, have a good one......we have family staying, Kiki and Monty are on half term, so enjoying them, and Sunday sees the opening of the trade craft show at the NEC, so you can look forward to lots of photos on the latest from the UK craft scene next week...

Monday, 12 February 2018

Get Well Soon - Spellblogger post for Spellbinders

Pretty get well cards today made with the new Marisa Job die called Get Well Soon Scalloped Circle from Spellbinders

The flowers were cut with Foamiran using a set of small flower dies from a past 'small die of the month club' (check out these clubs, they are great value and you get some really super dies to play with each month. Look HERE for details) 

Here is the same die  - this time I cut twice, once in white and once in gold card. I layered the white scallop circle on top of the gold, and added a white pierced circle for the sentiment. A die cut butterfly in gold finished it nicely....

See the die HERE in the Spellbinders store
Have you tried Foamiran? Fascinating stuff, a very thin foam, which you can die cut. I used white for my flowers and added colour by sponging on some oil based pastels. The fascination comes when you heat the foam (either by a hot air gun, or my preferred method of pressing the foam onto the plate of an iron set to a low setting, with no steam), and the petals curl and twist in a very natural way. You can get all sorts of colours, but I just use white and cream and add colour myself. Mine came from Amazon

Friday, 9 February 2018

Cosy Home - for Daring Cardmakers

This week on Daring Cardmakers,  the dare was set by Miri - her title is 'Cosy Home'

So here is a card that needs no special equipment apart from your trimmer, simple shapes cut out of patterned paper and assembled into three little houses on my card. I did punch out the gold heart, and added a stamped sentiment from Simon Says Stamp

Talking of cosy homes, could there be a worse week than this for the boiler (furnace for American friends...) to fail. 'it's a bit nippy this morning' I said, pulling on a second sweater. Two hours later 'it's REALLY cold today', going to warm my hands on the radiator. Only then did the penny drop, the radiators were stone cold. Luckily the guy who fitted a new boiler last year was working in a house just up the road, and came along in his lunch break to do some mysterious fiddling around with the controls, and everything fired up again.

 It made me think though, when I was a child, we had no central heating at all, I remember the patterns of the frost on the inside of the windows on a cold winter's day. My mum used to warm our clothes overnight on an airer in front of the range fire. Considering my early years, I should have grown up into some Spartan like hardy person, one of those women who wanders around in mid winter in a tee shirt.  Instead of which, by October I am wearing at least three layers, and making an art form of furtively turning up the heating thermostat while nobody is around! I could happily live in a tropical climate - no wonder I loved Florida so much.....

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Splashing Puddles.....

A couple of cards made with  the lovely Memory Box Splashing Puddles die 

For this first one I inked the background, and added a cute little stamp by Inky Antics that I won as a door prize,  years ago, at a crop in Orlando. I knew as soon as I saw the die that the stamp would be perfect!

using the same die and inked background, but this time I dug out an old Penny Black stamp - those little frogs look really happy bouncing around in those puddles....this one will probably go to one of the grandchildren when I want to send an encouraging or 'well done' little note

Talking of happy, I wandered down the garden today to look at a fence panel that looks a bit battered after recent strong winds, and there, pushing up bravely through the frosty earth were some snowdrops, and signs of crocus and daffodils following on as well. Does anything lift the heart more on a cold February day than the thought that Spring is on it's way?  

Friday, 2 February 2018

New Daring Cardmakers Challenge......

Over on Daring Cardmakers this week, Dawn set the challenge with this elemental inspiration photo - be sure to pop over there to see what the design team came up with

I chose the large letter, balloons and the red, black and coral colours as my three elements for my card

A few of you have asked how Molly is coming along - the answer to that is totally adorable! Now a curly haired little poppet, she smiles and giggles her way through every day - joy!

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Layers of Floral - Spellblogger post for Spellbinders

Here's a nifty idea - the clever designers at Spellbinders designed this die called Layers of Floral - You get three dies, all of which can be stacked together, or even in different combinations......I couldn't wait to get started!

The photo below shows
 the base and middle layers

Here are the two flower layers stacked without the base layer........

and a finished card, using all three dies - a base of gold foil card, solid flower in navy, and the top layer in pale blue. I also used the Hemstitch Rectangles as a base for the card

This next card is an aperture card, with the pretty floral design as a lacy insert into the frame - for this card I left out the more solid base die, to get the pretty lacy effect (difficult to photograph!)

and lastly, another card using all three layers, with a bit of a twist. Base layer in sage green, middle layer in mid green, and the top layer cut twice in yellow. I cut out just the flowers from the yellow panel, and added them with a tiny foam pad on top of the completed panel - it gives even more dimension

Here's a look at the dies, which you can see HERE on the Spellbinders site

Friday, 26 January 2018

Masked Magic - for Daring Cardmakers

This week, over on Daring Cardmakers, the challenge is masking....I kept it fairly simple and stamped this little group of tigers (MFT stamps), while they were covered with their masks, I sponged a bit of colour onto the background, and decided to stamp the Grr and Roar sentiments around the frame. There was a bit of a gap on the bottom left side of the frame, so I stamped a little leaf and cut it out to fill the gap. They were coloured with Polychromos pencils (a medium I am still getting used to, but enjoying playing with them)

I always think there is something a bit magical about masking - stamp a little tiger, cover him with a mask, and stamp mum and dad tigers behind him. When the masks are removed it's always a bit of a surprise to see them all sitting together in a little group! Or is that just me? Do pop over to see what the rest of the team have come up with this week

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Toolbox Step Card for Spellblogger/Spellbinders

Having fun with this die! I wanted to see if I could make a male card, the Toolbox set was a perfect addition to the Baby Step Block Card, I found the little screw brads in my stash, they look great on the toolbox. The letters were cut from the very useful alphabet from a past die of the month club (April). Read about all the monthly clubs HERE

I added a few extra tools to the little steps - well that's where I put stuff when I'm attempting to hang a picture, or some DIY project......

Here are the dies I used for this project

Dashing off to get a grip on some deadlines now - mind you, playing with paper is a pleasure when the weather outside is so cold. Ask Alexa for music...a bit of chocolate.....paper and ink, what could be better? 

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Baby Step Block Card - Spellblogger post for Spellbinders

Good morning!  Today I am sharing a couple of cards made with the gorgeous Baby Step Block Card by Spellbinders

First up is this sweet little baby boy card. I love all the little elements that come with the die, the dummy, little onsie, duck, rattle, sweet, and you get the letter dies to spell boy and girl as well. You just cut out two of the main step elements, that fit together perfectly, all done for you, no scoring, no measuring.......and it folds flat for mailing as well!

Of course, I couldn't leave it there. I was anxious to see how I could use the step card for all sorts of other cards as well, here's the first one I came up with, using the lovely Corner Poppies die, which I cut in white and again in red. I coloured the leaves with Polychromos pencils, and added the cut out red blooms to the piece. I wanted an accent for the steps, so I found the Tiny Floral die, and just cut out the tiny squares 

Here are the die sets I used.......

Baby Block Step Card

Corner Poppy Die

Tiny Floral

I have another idea buzzing around in my head, hopefully I will get it done tomorrow - how would you use your step card?

Friday, 19 January 2018

Black, White and a pop of colour.....

Good morning! Today over on Daring Cardmakers, the dare was set by Kathy who challenged us to use black and white with a pop of colour. I dug out some of the dies that came in my unexpected gift from a blog friend - I think I may have gone overboard a little on the stitched die thing, but I couldn't wait to use them!

The wonky rectangle dies are by MFT, the daisies are stitched daisies from Simon Says Stamp. I love the look of the red centers against the black and white, do you? Do go over to see what the rest of the team came up with for the challenge, and don't forget to join in if you can

It's been a bit of a cold week here in more ways than one, I have picked up a winter cold, so have spent the last couple of days snuffling and sneezing, if Rudolph hadn't retired until next Christmas, I would have been a good addition to Santa's team with my very unattractive bright red nose! 

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Fiskars makes......

I recently organised a collaboration on
the Fiskarettes UK facebook page with a company called Katy Sue Designs, who had the really neat idea of bringing out a pad called Adventures in Paper Cutting. All you need is a sharp craft knife, and you can make beautiful paper cuts like these - I found it very relaxing, and a bit addictive! The first one, on the right here, I made into a card against a distress oxide background. The second one was a bit more ambitious, and I framed it in one of these floating frames, which when hung on my purple heather dining room wall, looked quite striking 
I also did a post for the Fiskarettes page on making chevrons out of the hexagon punch.......I love finding multiple uses for the same tools...I think the photos explain the process, just make sure you cut a strip of card the same width as the punch opening

 and as I needed a card for a teenager, the end result really fit the bill!

Last in the line up for today is this one, made with Fiskars three in one corner punch - I chose the little butterfly corner, and cut some ombre coloured squares - but then the tiny punched butterflies were so cute, I made a little flight of butterflies across the card. I even used the tiny punched dots as embellishments. Waste not, want not as my granny used to say

I also rather like the lined envelope I made (well I didn't make the envelope, just the lining). I'm on a bit of a mission to use up some of my mountain of scraps, so think I may sort out ugly paper and use them inside envelopes. Or that may be another resolution that bites the dust before January is even over....