Monday, 29 August 2011

Love In A Cold Climate

I have finished my first scrapbook with pictures of Barnaby.  I so enjoyed making this:

This photo was taken last December of Barnaby and Zak in the snow.  Alll these papers are by October Afternoon and they have a really vintage feel.  I felt like my grandmother when I was cutting these up!  How sad is that?  I made the little pocket for the tag, which has loads of words regarding memories, including the quote that I used at the bottom which says, 'God gave us memories that we might have roses in December.'  I've distressed it with ink and used my distressing tool round the edges.  This little gadget is my new best friend.  I've called it 'Love In A Cold Climate' for obvious reasons, but also because that's the title of the book I was reading at the time of making this, plus the colour scheme matched the colour of the book.  Surreal.  Lots going on here, but I really like it.  I'm going to be doing a lot of scrapbooking over the winter I think.
I have, to my joy, had a Stampin Up! demonstrator round.  She does a craft class on a Wednesday night, so I've said I'll try to go as Dolly Cottage Crafts, where I used to go, has shut down.  Because of a book I've been reading, I've been scruitinizing the website of Papertrey Ink.  They have gorgeous stamps and paper, similar to Stampin Up! but the shipping cost is astronomical, ($37 to be precise, for an $8 pack of paper) so Stampin Up! may be the way to go.  I'll keep you posted.
Hope you've all had a good Bank Holiday Weekend, despite the weather.  Time to get the winter woollies back out, I think!
Jane xx

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Have Your Cake...

I've spent the morning making a card for Sketch Saturday Challenge.  I've been so busy I haven't had a chance to do a challenge for a couple of weeks.  The stamp I've used is from Quick Cards magazine.  I've been looking for a stamp with a cake stand on it for ages, so jumped at this one.  The papers are all from the Tea House set by Dovecraft.  They're so pretty, most have something to do with tea and cake.  I've used some pretty pink ric rac at the top and bottom and added a sentiment from LOTV.  All the images and papers are backed onto pearlescent pink card, which is lovely too.
Thanks for dropping by today, I'm off outside to enjoy the sunshine.
Blessings everyone!
Jane xx

Monday, 22 August 2011

Wedding Card - Lady In Red

Just a quickie today.
I've been working on a card for a friend, and here it is:
I asked her if she knew anything at all about the bride's colour scheme, and she said, "No, not really, but it's going to Hong Kong and red is a lucky colour there, so if you could put some red in, that would be good!" 
And so I did.
I absolutely adore this image from LOTV.  It's very delicate but was a pleasure to colour in as I've just bought a set of fine point tips for my Promarkers.  They are amazing.  You just pop them over the top of your regular Promarker and start colouring.  If you're swapping from one pen to another like I do, you need a piece of scrap paper by your side to make sure the ink from one pen has run out and the new ink has come through to the nib and then you're ready to carry on colouring.  You can colour the tiniest of areas perfectly, hence the flowers in the bride's bouquet and the flowers in her hair are immaculately coloured.  These pen tips are easily one of the best things I've ever bought.  I need never go over the lines again!
I decided to keep the card fairly simple (and light for posting) so just popped on some red roses from Wild Orchid Crafts, obviously to match the bride's bouquet, and a bit of greenery, and that was it.  My friend is coming to pick it up later today, so I hope she likes it.
More tomorrow, folks!
Jane xx

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Bad Boy

This is a page I've just finished for last November when we took Barnaby to a dressage competition.  He was so naughty in the end I couldn't ride him and hubby had to do it! Here's the page.

The letters that say 'Bad Boy' are chipboard.  They are really brightly coloured, so I covered them in plain blue paper, then stamped on them with a floral stamp, which is much more what I had in mind.  The newspaper cutting bottom left is from when Barnaby got stuck over his stable door and had to be rescued by the fire brigade.  I found out later we'd been in the paper and managed  to track down the cutting.  It seemed  to fit with this page of equine naughtiness!
I have only done this in a normal scrapook and have one more to go before I can start using proper 12" x 12" paper, which I'm really looking forward to, but using a normal book has meant I've had to be quite inventive.  I've also noticed I go into a slightly different brain mode when I'm scrapbooking as opposed to card making.  I can take up to two days to put a scrapbook page together and don't stick anything down until I'm completely satisfied, otherwise I'll start thinking, 'I could have done that!' afterwards, when it's too late.  I have learned so much about paper and layouts and my own imagination.  A couple of months ago I thought it was silly to do such an amateur book, but one of the pages, where I've said what I really think, nearly made me cry when I came across it the other day.  It's such a wonderful way of preserving memories rather than having a pile of photos and thinking, 'When was that? Who are these people?  When did we go there?'  I've noticed that I think in words, too, and find it really useful to write ideas down first, and then illustrate my thoughts.  No wonder it's such a satisfying hobby.
Thanks for dropping by today.  I hope you're getting time to craft or do whatever it is you like doing best!
Jane xx

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Clean and Simple - first time ever!

First of all, I just want to say a massive thankyou to Margaret at Christian Chick Crafts as I've won her candy!  I am thrilled.  I got a big package in the post and wondered what on earth it was, as I didn't realise I'd won at the time.  I've got the most amazing stuff, look here:



I kept putting my hand in the envelope and it just kept on giving!  There are beautiful stamps and every kind of embellishment known to man, plus glitter, and some bottle tops, which are something I've been dying to use, so I am delighted.  It'll keep me busy for months.  Thankyou so much, Margaret.  Isn't blogging exciting?  You never know what's going to happen next...

Finally, I've had a go at a clean and simple card.  As you know, the problem with Promarkers is that they go through whatever cardstock you use and can be seen on the other side.  So there is no way you can stamp directly onto your card and colour it in.
So I thought I'd risk ruining one card blank and stamped an image and painted it with my new (and fabulous) Aquamarkers.  Imagine my delight when none of it showed through on the back.  This is what I made:
I've bought a red, yellow, green and blue Aquamarker, but can obviously mix them together to get other shades, which I've done here.  Here's a close-up:
This is the sweetest image to colour, it's so delicate. (From Little Claire's Designs).  I used a tiny paintbrush.  I embossed a frame around the stamp, and that was that.  Definitely a way forward for me, I think.
Right, off for a spot of blog-hopping.  I need to apologise, though, as I haven't been able to comment on everybody's blogs recently, I don't know what's up with dear old blogger again. 
Hugs everyone
Jane xx

Monday, 15 August 2011

Bits and Bobs

Goodness me, it's been a hectic few days!  Hubby has been off work ill, which has made it very difficult to craft and blog, but he's feeling much better and gone back to work today, so it's all systems go!  I did manage to make this yesterday though:
Another card without a stamp, you'll notice.  I've had these chipboards since last year and didn't really know what to do with them.  Keeping to my golden rule of  'never throw anything away' has been good because, on Saturday I found a book called '175 Fresh Card Ideas' by Kimber McGray in an Oxfam shop.  It is a brilliant book in which she uses very few stamps and more chipboard, die cut flowers etc, and it's very inspiring.  It was only published last year, so it's very up-to-date and I actually recognise some of the papers she's used.
So for this card:
I started off with basic white cardstock, but it looked too bright and clean for my purposes, so I distressed it with Tim Holtz Old Paper ink.  I embossed the large piece of pink cardstock and rounded the right hand corners to match the base.  I cut the plain piece of pink paper to look like a banner.  I am pleased because it's just a scrap of my Prima Melody paper.  This book is brilliant at showing you how to use up loads of scraps, actually.
I've just put a little strip of paper that matches the chipboard underneath the pink strip, after I've used a scallop punch on it.  These papers were free in the mag with these chipboards, but are still available on the Cardmaking and Papercraft website. 
Then I thought the card didn't really say anything, so I've stamped 'Sending You Hugs' on the pink paper.  I was quite nervous about it, as if it went wrong, the whole card would have been ruined, but it was fine.  I dithered about putting some card candy on it, one in each corner of the embossed card, but left it like this in the end.
It actually looks like the cover of a notebook, which has really set my mind racing, as you can imagine.  A few notebooks to add to the cards for the church sale would be a very good idea, wouldn't it?
I'm off now for a serious bout of blog hopping, hoping to catch up with what I've missed and have a look at some challenges.  So much to do, so little time!
Thanks for dropping by today, I really appreciate it.
Jane xx

Friday, 12 August 2011

Prima Papers

Do you ever have a situation where you buy some papers for a particular project, then don't know what to do with the rest of the pad?  I've done this recently because I've bought some Prima Papers called 'Melody' which I used one sheet of for the ruby wedding anniversary cards I made a little while back.  The papers are all works of art, but I haven't had a clue what to do with them.  Then on Wednesday I was thumbing through one of my old magazines and admiring some cards in there.  After a few minutes I twigged that the papers in the article were the very same ones I own.
So I leapt to my desk and made this:

I used my white jelly-roll pen to do all the stitching by hand.  It's the first time I've had the nerve to do it and I'm really pleased with the result.  Not a stamp in sight, I'm afraid, which is unusual for me.  I'm inspired now, and hope I can do these papers justice with future creations.
Now, before I go, a quick question for you.  I've been reading lots of blogs and watching Youtube videos about how people store their stamps.  So how do you store yours?  Up until now I've kept them in a drawer in those plastic wallets you put in clip files, but it hasn't worked very well.  Then last week I was in Wilkinsons and saw these plastic wallets:
They're only 30p each and zip up totally, so no tiny stamps can escape.  Obviously they're see-through so you can find your stamps really easily.  I bought another 10 today and feel a lot more organised.  They stack really well in my drawer, too, so I'm really pleased.
Have a great weekend, everyone.  Thanks for popping in.  And I really would like to know how you store your stamps...
Jane xx

Monday, 8 August 2011

Flower Power

I've been working on this, this morning:
I got the basic idea from a magazine, and used it as inspiration for this layout, but when I went into the detail, the dimensions in the magazine were wrong, so the stamped image didn't fit with a frame round it, which is why I decided to put it on at an angle.  I enjoyed making it, though, as the backing card is brayered with Tim Holtz Shabby Shutters ink (which I thought was going to be blue when I bought it, but love the colour of it now), layered up with MME papers.  I think I'll have to buy another pack of these, as they're so versatile.  The flowers were a free digi image, coloured with Promarkers and then shimmer paints.  It's meant to be a stencil, but I wasn't happy with my colouring so I cut the top flower out and stuck it back in place with sticky fixers, to give it a bit of dimension. I've been watching some very inspiring You Tube videos, so it's 'all systems go' this week.
I'm off to do some blog hopping, to see how you're all doing.
Jane xx

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Little Bear

Hello all!  It's been pouring with rain for most of the day here.  What better excuse for putting the kettle on and settling down to some crafting?  I nearly had a touch of conscience and did the ironing instead, but the need to cut and stick won the day!
This is what I've made:
This is daringly bright for me, as you know, I love my pastels, but I decided not to be put off using these Kate Knight papers.  I have loads, as they're not really my style, but it's silly to leave them sitting there.
The colour palette from these papers is vast: purple, orange, lime green, cerise, and aqua, so I was spoilt for choice when colouring the image.
But what I'm really pleased with, is that this card cost me nothing to make.  Here's how:
The bear is a free digital image from May Brit's Hobbyblogg, which you can find here.  She does it all the time.  How utterly generous is that?  They are beautifully drawn, too.  Hop on over, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.  And yes, it was tempting to stamp 'with love' or something on the window box, but by the time I'd thought of it, it was too late to risk it!
The backing paper is a brand new (Kate Knight) freebie with a Cardmaking and Papercraft mag.  The purple scalloped circle is just coloured with Promarkers.  The rectangular and square pieces of aqua card have been painted with shimmer paints also free with a mag.  I painted the smaller flowers in the window box with it as well, and the effect is fabulous.  I'll definitely be playing with using them again!
The sentiment stamp was part of the candy that I won from Donna a while back.
And so,  I'm entering this card into the Sunday Sketch & Stamp challenge.  Hope they like it!
I'm off to blog-hop and see what you're all up to.  Thanks so much for dropping by today.
Jane xx

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Bon Voyage!

I've actually been so busy on the farm I've been away from my desk for a few days, so it's been lovely to sit down for an hour and create something.  Here's today's card:

The paper was free with Cardmaking and Papercraft magazine (August, I think).  As soon as I saw it, I knew what I was going to do with it, and here we are.  The campervan is a digital image from Little Claire's Designs.  All I had to do was colour with my Promarkers, and Bob's your uncle!  I've put Glossy Accents on the headlamps and printed the sentiment on my computer.  It just made me think of, possibly a girl who's done her 'A' Levels and is off for a gap year before going to university.
Have a great day, everyone, and thankyou so much for all your lovely comments on my previous post, you've really given me a boost, I appreciate it so much.
Jane xx

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

A Stitch In Time

I've been experimenting with aperture cards, as way back last year I made some little cross stitch cards.  Obviously at the time I didn't have a clue what I was doing, and once completed I put each one in the little card that came with it (which is a perfectly correct thing to do).  But the cards are very small, and I wouldn't buy one like that.  There's a lot of work involved, and you're never going to make any money back if you sell them.
So I took one of the cross stitch pictures out and set to thinking, and this is what I came up with:
So the image in the centre is cross stitched.  I've cut a piece of A3 card into a section 14cm x 42cm, scored and folded it into 3 equal square sections.  I've covered the centre piece in this red dotty paper (free from Cardmaking and Papercraft mag) and put it through the Bigshot to cut the circle out.  I've put the cross stitch in and stuck the back down, so now you have a normal card. 
Now here comes the 'happy accident'!  I put the circle die over this paper and stuck it down with double sided tape as it was essential that it didn't move as it went through the machine.  I stuck the tape down very lightly, but by the time it had been through the machine it was really firmly stuck down and no matter how carefully I peeled it off, it took some of the dotty paper with it - 'screams!'
I decided to cover it up with 4 red roses and the little green leaves, and now you'd never know.  I gave a big sigh of relief, I can tell you, as I didn't want to start again with a new card at this stage.  I die cut some corners and stuck them down, and there you have it.  The dotty paper has quite a retro feel, I am so impressed with the quality of my new printer. 
I've got about six different designs I can use and 3 little Christmas ones, so there will be more of these to come, I'm sure.  I'm very pleased with the result, they're a vast improvement on the tiny cards that came with the cross-stitch kits.
I'm entering this card into the Papertake Weekly Challenge.
Thanks for dropping by today, hope you're having sunshine.
I'm off down to the village to try out the new coffee shop.
Blessings everyone,
Jane xx