Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Hello all, sorry I haven't been around much, this has been the most hectic build-up to Christmas ever!  I've had two lots of course work to submit as well as actually being at work, Christmas shopping, seeing to Barnaby etc, which now takes twice as long as I have to muck out as well as riding him.
I've also had four birthdays in December, but I've managed to get out of three of them by using cards from my stash.  I did make one, though, so I'll pop back soon and show you.
But for now, this is my Christmas card to all of you:
This is another card inspired by Ruth M, although I think I actually came across it on Pinterest (the new love of my life!)  I still find the Pennant Parade punch thrilling to work with and when I saw this idea of a 3D tree I couldn't wait to have a go.  The small scale of the holly on the dsp is perfect for this design.
I managed to get a hand-made card done for every member of staff at work, but had to buy them for  the residents and a few other people, so I'm going to have to crank it up if I'm going to make one for everybody by next year.  I think there's going to be a lot more batch making!
I would just like to take this opportunity to wish everybody a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year.  I hope Santa brought you what you wanted (OMG, you weren't on the naughty list, were you?)  I had an awesome day, even though I worked, but it was wonderful to see the residents' faces as they opened their sack of presents and I was humbled by the generosity of the home itself, to see how many gifts they'd bought. 
I'd also like to say a huge thankyou to my followers, you are extremely important to me, but I'd also like to say thankyou to the writers (and artists!) of the blogs I follow.  Thankyou so much for tirelessly sharing your talent and artistic inspiration.  I'm very excited to be following you for another year.
I just love being a paper-crafter, don't you?
Back soon, I hope
Jane x

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

French Foliage

Oh my, I am head over heels in love with a new stamp set.  I made this card last week for a resident:
This French Foliage stamp set has got to be one of the most versatile I've ever come across.  There is no limit to what you can do with it.
The base card is more mustard.
The next layer is very vanilla. I've stamped the script stamp in crumb cake on it, then the leaf in more mustard with early espresso rolled round the edges before stamping, which creates a fabulous effect. 
I've made the tag and stamped a small section of very vanilla cardstock again.

 I've used the little 'Paris' stamp on this piece and the ink blotch stamp in more mustard.  Every time I stamped something I gasped at how fab it was as it appeared on the paper.  I bet everyone who has this stamp set feels the same way about it.  It's by far the most 'artistic' set I've ever used.
The tag has a button and twine at the top and a little butterfly on the sentiment oval.  Love it.
Thanks for looking in today.  Let me know what you think. 
And just to let you know some exciting news.  I've been thinking about starting a craft group for the past month or so, trying to work out how I could do it in between my work shifts etc, but have finally taken the plunge and advertised in the village.  I've had a few phone calls from interested people, so my first group starts next Wednesday.  I'm having a session in the afternoon and a session in the evening.  I'll share what we make with you soon. 
Jane xx

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Playing With Pines and Poinsettias

I have spent many hours trawling the internet trying to find ways that people have used the Pines and Poinsettias stamp set from last year as I've borrowed it from a friend.  I also bought the Holly Berry Bouquet dsp, so that I could use both items together.  I had quite an adventure in the end, come and have a look:
For the first card I drew a circle around one of my little SU brads containers and stamped the image all the way around, then rubbed the pencil line out.  I deliberately did it on white cardstock and the card is very clean and fresh looking.  The real red card base is 4" square.  I've stamped the sentiment, cut it out and propped it up on dimensionals.  The word 'merry' is from the Pennant Parade set.  Although Pines and Poinsettias is retired, there's probably something in the new catalogue that would work in a similar way.
Then I saw a video on Youtube here where a girl makes some lovely tags.  I decided to have a go and then put them on a card with some of the Holly Berry dsp, like this:

This is very vanilla cardstock, but I've gone over it with some Tim Holtz old paper distress ink, then stamped round the edge with the flourish from the stamp set in crumb cake, then stamped the pines and the poinsettias.  This is gorgeous in real life. 
Once I'd got this vintage feel into my system, I took it a step further:

I'm so pleased with this.  It's the first time in years that I've embossed the actual card base.  This is a beautiful looking card in real life. 
The cardstock is: very vanilla, crumb cake, soft suede
Markers: chocolate chip, real red, wild wasabi and cherry cobbler.
Ribbon: chocolate chip.
I hope these cards have made you feel Christmassy and want to go into your craft space and start creating.   Christmas is definitely coming, and at least now I feel a little bit more prepared for it.
Happy stamping, everyone!
Jane xx

Friday, 9 November 2012

Card For Sadie

I've had to make two cards for residents very close together, so, with a need for speed I turned to Pinterest for inspiration.  I decided to case a card by Judy May, which you can see here .  I love to case cards because I like starting out with a lot of the same stuff on the original card, then getting to the bit where you don't have something they used, so you have to use your imagination to think of something to use that captures the spirit of that card, the bit that impressed you, and then the card becomes your version.  Here's what I made:
Somewhere between Real Red and Cherry Cobbler lies Riding Hood Red, and this is the first time I've used this lovely colour, and the papers from the Twitterpated dsp that work with it.  The base card is the beautiful Baja Breeze.  I wanted to capture the oval shape in the centre from the original card, but don't have those particular embossing folders - yet!  (Don't worry, they are on my shopping list!)  So I used my Nellie Snellen dies (probably the most annoying dies in the world) and stamped on Happy Birthday from the Elementary Elegance stamp set.  I actually made this card before I made my Dynamic Duos card this week, and used the same treatment with the leaf spray, by cutting off the bird that comes with it and popping on a few tiny flowers with even tinier gems in the middle.  The leaves are Pear Pizzazz, which is the correct green from the dsp:

I thoroughly enjoyed making this card it came together very easily and the recipient really liked it. 
I'm off for a hop round to see what you've all been creating - that's the only good side to this winter weather, isn't it?  I'd much rather be indoors crafting, than out there in the cold!
Back soon
Jane xx

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Dynamic Duos No 27

I've decided to play along with this week's Dynamic Duos, as I've been dying to have a play with my new In-Colour cardstock. 

There is no getting away from the fact that these are 'in your face' colours.  I realised I was slightly limited as I don't have the pens yet, just the inks and cardstock, but that was good as it made me really think.  I decided not to shy away from this being a bold colour combo, but to go with it, so this is the card I made:
You'll no doubt have seen the Sprinkled Expressions stamp set that I've used here.  I've stamped it in the Raspberry Ripple ink.  The new ink pads are lovely, by the way, very juicy!  I've used the framelits die to cut into the Gumball Green, which I embossed with the square lattice embossing folder.  This is definitely my new go to toy tool (!) and will be on loads of cards from now on.  I don't know why I took so long to get round to buying it really.
I've  cut a leaf with my Marianne bird and leaf die, cut the bird off (poor thing!) and added the leaves and some tiny flowers in the Raspberry Ripple, with a tiny gem in the centre. 
I love the Dynamic Duos blog, it really encourages me to put colours together that I wouldn't normally consider, so I'd better go along and pop this on before it's too late.
Happy crafting, everyone.
I'll hopefully pop on some photos of my revamped craft room soon, too.
Jane xx

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Hey Baby!

The girl on our yard finally gave birth to a 9lb baby girl (good grief!) so I was poised to make a card.  Then it actually took two days to make.  When you see it, you'll wonder why, so I'd better explain...  I decided to use lots of pink, put it all in place, with the baby image on top and didn't like it at all.  It was just too, well, pink!  I'd decided to base it on the ribbon I was going to use, and this beautiful ribbon kept falling out of my box (shouting, "Pick me!  Pick me!") and suddenly everything came together:
It turns out the colour is Elegant Eggplant and I've hardly ever used it, but it's perfect for this card.  I know you think you're seeing spots before your eyes, but I felt I had a theme going there for a minute!  The cute image is from LOTV but everything else is SU.  I'm thrilled with the dotty bottom part as I used my Dot Dot Dot stamp with my SAMJ and it lined up perfectly.  I suddenly remembered the Four Frames stamp set has a dotty version, so on it went, with another one cut in half and lined up behind it in Elegant Eggplant.  I'm very pleased with the finished result, hope you like it.
Back soon folks, happy crafting!
Jane xx

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Card For Abby

Oh boy, have I been having fun.  This is the card I made last week for my youngest daughter.  I got a bit carried away...
All I knew was that I wanted to make an easel card where the centre piece was this fancy square shape.  The card I'd seen that inspired me looked nothing like this! I started with the Spellbinder die (if you have the Top Note die it will be perfect) and cut some of this beautiful Everyday Enchantment dsp.  It contains Poppy Parade and Soft Suede, so I combined them on the butterfly at the top and stamped one of the sentiments from the butterfly set.  Then I went to town a bit on the inside, look:

I've used the Fresh Vintage stamp set (retired) and stamped all around the edge.  But of course my favourite bit is the Four Frames stamp at the bottom, with the little birds from the Clearly For You stamp set, how sweet is that?  But I wasn't finished there.  I recently looked on You Tube for a video on how to make a post-it note holder as I've been dying to make one.  I found a brilliant video here.
This was the perfect springboard, for me to make this:
It's so cute irl, like a little match book.  It was so easy to make, I'm up for making half a dozen more.  I'm going to make some after running the cardstock through an embossing folder, and how about some with a Christmas bauble on the front (they measure 3 1/4" square).
Thanks for looking in today, and if I've inspired you just a tiny bit, then I'm happy.  I'm off for a look round to see what you guys have been creating.
Back soon
Jane xx

Friday, 19 October 2012

Christmas Is Coming! (And 'Knowing Your Style')

I started off the year making Christmas cards and was doing quite well, but there's no incentive in June and July, is there?  So, let the panic begin!
Actually I've decided to make at least 2 cards each time I make something I like, so this is what I made on Tuesday:
Again, I seem to have used a cluster of different products, but I really like the end result.  And I do think by the time you've got one the way you like it, you may as well make another one.
The base is real red, C6 size.  On top of that is a piece of crumb cake, with white snowflakes on it, from a set that was free with my mag.  On top of that is a piece of very vanilla, with my LOTV music stamp stamped on in crumb cake.  On top of that is this beautiful reindeer in chocolate chip.  I was just playing about with stamping something dark onto something light, and this is what I ended up with.

But what I really wanted to  ask today is, "Do you know your stamping style?" Because I'm finally starting to recognise my own, but I can't name it!  I just know what it isn't.
It isn't 'clean and simple' for sure.  Goodness knows, I'd like it to be, and I follow the Less Is More blog faithfully every week, and I really admire the entries, but I just can't do it myself.  I stamp a few things on a white card and it looks pathetic and I feel like I'd be ripping off the recipient!
At the other extreme is the shabby chic look, which usually looks like someone has taken a load of random objects and stuck them to a card.  Goodness knows how it fits into an envelope.  If I received a card like that I'd assume someone had sent me a load of stuff for my next scrapbook page and take it all apart ("Ooh, look, ribbon, that'll come in handy!")
I love the Colour Q blog, but I can't do that either, even though I love it.  I like the Freshly Made Sketches challenge, even though generally sketches are my worst thing.
So I've been hanging my head in shame, as I am useless at all these blogs.
But in the mean time, I've made this:

and this:

and this:

and suddenly I don't feel I'm doing too badly.
There probably is a name for my style.  There will usually be a stamp, some dsp and some embossing somewhere.  I think I'm totally in the middle between shabby chic and CAS.
But whatever you call it, the cards I make, make me happy.
And that's what counts, isn't it?
Thanks for looking in today.
Please leave me a comment, especially if you know exactly how to describe your style, or if you're still searching to put a handle on it.
Maybe you float from one extreme to the other, as the mood takes you.
I'd love to know.
Back soon
Jane xx

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Welcome Baby!

I have been working on a very special card.  Our youngest daughter Abby and her hubby have finally had a dream come true and been able to foster a beautiful little boy.  They have been longing for this day, so I wanted to celebrate with them.  We went to visit on Sunday and I was able to take this card along with me:
I've used lots of different items to make my vision a reality here, and I'm so glad I've got all these items to make this card possible!
I started off by stamping the Teddy Bo (free with Simply Cards and Papercraft back in May or June) in Soft Suede ink.  Up until then I'd intended to make the card in red, blue and green, but I fell in love with the colour as soon as it touched the paper, and the rest fell into place after that.
The balloons have been stamped in river rock, crumb cake and choc chip and cut out with my balloon dies and propped up on dimensionals after I'd taped some linen thread to the back. 
I stamped just Teddy Bo's paw out, cut it out and stuck the other end of the strings to the back of it, then attached it to the base paw with another dimensional. 
The sentiment is from a LOTV set.  I thought it said 'welcome little one', but decided this would do just as well.  A hair raising moment when I stamped it directly to the base card, but it worked like a dream - phew!
I coloured Teddy Bo's hat and sweater in crumb cake ink, but for the first time ever, I didn't feel obliged to colour in the bear and get all stressed about whether I'd done it well enough.  It just seemed to fit with the simplicity of the whole card.
As I am now obsessed with putting something on the inside of my card, I was thrilled to find a tiny balloon set from a really old freebie set, so I stamped that in soft suede on the inside, and my card was complete.
So this card was an all-round pleasure to make.  I put 'congratulations on your new addition to the family' on the inside and Abby loved it.  What a thrill to make someone's day like that - but that's what card-making is all about, isn't it?
Thanks for looking in today, I so appreciate every one of your comments.
Have a great day, I'm off to make some Christmas cards (yes, even I!)
Jane x

Monday, 8 October 2012

Pennant Parade Birthday

My daughter's birthday was at the end of last month, and this is what I made for her:
This is my first real go at a card using the Pennant Parade stamp set.  I think it's more that I'm nervous about how the string will work, whether I'll get it in place, etc.  I've been cruising around on Pinterest recently (isn't it awesome?!) and found a card very similar to this by Ruth M.  I saw it and fell in love, instantly, and had to have a go.  The card base is a DL card in pool party.  This is my first go with whisper white cardstock, too, which was lovely to work with.  I dusted over it with bashful blue, which you can't really see in the photo.  Then I had fun stamping the banners in melon mambo, marina mist and lucky limeade. 
The sentiment is from the Apothecary Art set, perfect for this card.
The little birds are from an old Hero Arts set.
The baker's twine was free with a magazine a while ago.

I used a tiny flower punch to make the flowers and added them with a tiny dab of glossy accents.  I'm so in love with this stamp set, and haven't even made a Christmas card yet! It'll be banners with everything after this, just you wait and see!
Thanks for popping in today, won't you leave me a comment to let me know what you think of today's creation.
Happy crafting everyone!
Jane xx

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

FM78 Let's Get Twiney

I'm really pleased to be joining in again with the Friday Mashup blog challenge.  This week they want us to use twine and leaves on our creations.  This is so perfect for me right now I can't begin to tell you.  Here's what I made:
This card brings together so many things I've been wanting to do for a long time:
The first thing is that I've wanted to use a vertical sentiment on a tag, and here it is. It's a beautiful quotation stamp and it's from Clarity Stamps.  Love it.  It's in soft suede ink, by the way.
Secondly, I've wanted to use this circular die cut in some way, but have waited for the perfect moment to arrive (thanks Jo Wright!).  The dsp is more from my old favourite, Spice Cake.  The perfect time of year to be using this up.
Thirdly, I've recently bought a set of leaf die cuts from Spellbinders.  Now if I'd known SU were going to bring out their fantastic set of die cuts and matching stamps I would have leapt at it.  Instead I nervously got these out today, had a little play and am thrilled with the results.  Have a closer look:
I cut the bottom leaf out with the die, then embossed it with my polka dots ef, but the top one is actually embossed by the die itself and looks wonderful irl. One is stuck to the card base and the other is raised up on dimensionals.  Obviously the twine is on the tag, but once I'd put everything together I got a button out, and on it went, as it matched perfectly.  
Thanks for looking in today, especially as Blogger is playing up and it's taken me over an hour to write this post!  I'm off to play with some more Spice Cake dsp before packing it away again.
Happy crafting, everyone!
Jane xx

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Card For Caelan

Hello, hope you're all well.  I'm going to tell you the sad news, then move swiftly on, but I can't carry on blogging without mentioning it...
John's horse Zak was injured last Saturday, with a tendon injury.  It turned out to be very serious indeed so on Wednesday we made the difficult decision to have him put to sleep.  It was totally heartrending and I never want to do it again.  I've been quite depressed over it as it was so sudden and such a shock, as you can imagine.  There is a big hole in my heart without him here.

But I have been card-making, and need to do it more than ever now to cheer myself up.  So today, here is the card I made for my grandson's third birthday.  I'm sorry that the photo isn't great quality, I didn't realise until now and I've already posted it:
The card is all baja breeze, and I can't remember now where I got the stamp from, but it's so sweet (coloured with Promarkers.)  I paper pieced the parcel from the baja breeze striped paper and wrote Caelan's name on the tag, which is plain baja breeze cardstock, like the bow. The width of the stripes is perfect for this stamp.  The circle is raised up on dimensionals.  I got the idea from last week's Freshly Made Sketches, then didn't get round to posting it on time!  Oh well, no harm done.  Most of the papers are from the basic subtles dsp, but two of the strips are from the Twitterpated range, which I am in love with!  The sentiment is computer generated and the brad is coloured with my baja breeze pen.  A bit of baja breeze overload, maybe, but I'm really pleased with the result.
Back again soon, folks, thanks for looking in today.
Jane x

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Dynamic Duos No 21

Oh my, two posts in one day, what is going on?! 
This is how it began:
I keep seeing cards using the triple time stamping technique.  Dawn Olchefske has a fabulous video here.  I plunged in with a card for one of the residents, have a look:

The colours here are Early Espresso and Crumb Cake.
BUT then I saw this week's Dynamic Duos blog challenge, which is to use Always Artichoke and Certainly Celery.  I was so struck by the cards made by the design team, as I have never used my Always Artichoke card stock.  I instantly knew what I wanted to do, and here it is:
The overall card is only 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" but it fits in a C6 envelope.  You can see the technique for yourself on the video, it's very clever.  I have used a flourish background stamp in Certainly Celery, then the flower from the Fresh Vintage stamp set, and stacked the Whisper White cards one on top of the other and stamped away, first the sentiment, then the flourish, then the flower in Always Artichoke.  As soon as I put the first flower on it I fell in love with it.  The photo was taken late at night and doesn't do the colours justice, but I don't want to miss the deadline for the challenge.
I wound some of the SU linen thread round the top two layers and added a button, then stuck each white sheet on top of it's Always Artichoke sheet, then lined up the flowers as they'd been stamped originally.  I threaded a button with the linen thread then glued it into place.
This was such a fun card to make and I'd like to say thanks so much to Dynamic Duos as I'd never have thought of putting these two colours together, but they work really well.
Told you I'd be back soon, didn't I?!
Thanks for looking in and don't forget to scroll down as I put another card on earlier today, too.
Jane xx

Cagey Card

My darling hubby bought me a subscription to Simply Cards and Papercraft magazine as a Christmas present, then not long after that I went off it (daren't tell hubby!) so I've decided I have to make the best of it and see what projects I can make out of it each month.  This is what I've made this time:
I've basically cased the card from the magazine, as the original had a fairy on it, which I just couldn't do (interesting technique though it was!) but I liked the colour scheme very much, and the fact that it uses this birdcage die from Tim Holtz, which obviously I have in my possession!
Let's start from the bottom and work upwards:
Layer 1: 5"x7" more mustard cardstock, stamped around the edge with the Dot Dot Dot background stamp in white ink.
Layer 2: Papers from the Prima Botanical paper stack that was free with the magazine.  The edges were distressed.  You can't really see, but the bottom edge of the top paper is cut along with the Martha Stewart heart punch.
Layer 3: The birdcage, cut from watercolour paper and distressed with Shabby Shutters and Broken China inks.  I cut the flower with a Marianne die and punched out the butterfly, which has two layers.  I printed the ticket from Whimsey Stamps) in cherry cobbler ink on more mustard cs, cut it out and screwed it up, after stamping the word SOAR with my individual letter stamps.  There is a little button at the bottom right hand corner, tied with linen thread, just peeking out at the bottom of the photo.
Actually, to give the magazine some credit, I really enjoyed making this and loved finding another use for my birdcage die, which is a joy to work with.
Back soon, I'm sure,
Jane xx

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Mashing It Up

I've been following The Friday Mashup blog for ages and love the challenges they put on, different to your average sketch/colour blog.  I keep seeing starburst cards around and have been dying to have a go, without a clue how to do it, when suddenly, this is this week's Mashup challenge:
Make a project with the "Sketch".
Or Make a project with the "Starburst technique".
Or "Mash it Up" and create a project using the "Sketch and Starburst Technique".

I'm not sure if they'd say I've followed the sketch, as my circle is on the other side, but here is my card:

I don't seem to have followed the tutorial most people have used, I've followed this brilliant video by Andrea Walford.  The video makes it really clear how to do it, and there's a template to download and cut out.
I would say, if you're going to make it, give yourself plenty of time and spend most of it making the decision about what colour scheme you'll use, and what papers that will include.  This overall card is 5"square, so big bold patterns probably won't work.
My colour scheme is wild wasabi and so saffron, which proved to be a useful starting point, as I don't have tonnes of papers that go together, but if you've got a block of the colour scheme dsp, plus one other set, it will work. 
I paper pieced all the pieces for the sunburst and stuck them on another template, then stuck that on a piece of the wild wasabi striped paper, then stuck the ribbon on.  I played about with items to put as the centrepiece as I had no idea at the outset what I was going to end up with!  The flower from the Posy Punch set worked really well, it's as if the outward direction of the petals echo the rays of the sunburst itself. 
I had great fun making this and would definitely make some more.  Imagine how many permutations of this there could be, as I think this concept lends itself to either shabby chic or CAS really.
Thanks for looking in today, I'm off to have a look round blogland and see what you've all been up to.
Back soon
Jane x

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Spice Up Your Life!

I've made a little card, with one of my all-time favourite stamp sets.  Come and have a look:
Layer 1: 5"x7" pool party cardstock. 
Layer 2: soft suede.
Layer 3: a beautiful design from the Spice Cake dsp.  I am going to use every inch of this fabulous paper!
Layer 4: I cut a large size piece of card using the Labels Collection Framelits, then stamped my fave image from the Simply Soft set in Wild Wasabi.  As you probably know, it's a 2-stage set, so I inked up the inside in pool party and stamped away.  I will never get tired of doing this!
I added a section of paper from another sheet of the dsp, popped lace on, then added a sentiment using my Four Frames stamps and punch.
Just a quick post today as I'm off out shopping.
Happy crafting, folks!
Jane xx

Friday, 14 September 2012

Postcards From The Edge

I am challenging myself to make a scrapbook page once a month, as I am  stacking up photos that I love and not doing anything with them.
So without further ado, here's is this month's project:

Yes, okay, most people scrapbook their daughter's wedding, or the grandchildren or their exotic holiday, but I, well, I scrapbook my horse.  And if you knew him, you'd know why.
I saw this paper, called 'Cambridge' by Bo Bunny, back in 2011 and fell in love with it.  It's taken me all this time to get round to buying it, though, so I'm really glad it was still in stock.
I go through a strange process every time I do a layout.  I sit there and get loads of stuff out that either matches or I think fits my theme.  Then I sit and stare at it for two hours (I kid you not!)
Then I go to bed and dream about it all night.
Then I get up and spend another 2-3 hours putting my dreams on paper (and finding that half of them don't work!)  This is why there is no way I could go to a scrapbook crop, as I wouldn't achieve anything with any kind of pressure or time restraints on me.
The other thing I know is that when I scrapbook I have to have words first and then the pictures will follow.  I make notes on why I like the photo so much, what happened that day to make it special, what it is I like so much about my darling horse that contributed to the event, etc.
And gradually the page comes together.

I chose this scheme because it's very masculine and uses phrases like 'strength and honour' and 'trust and loyalty' etc.  It also goes to show that I struggle to make a masculine scrapbook page as much as I struggle to make a masculine card.  You know, "Oh my goodness, I can't use lace and butterflies, what am I going to do?!"  (Just me, then?)
So this is how my brain worked:
I wanted to use these cute little postcard stamps (from LOTV) as journaling cards.  I stamped them in always artichoke onto very vanilla cardstock, then put some comments on them.

The very vanilla totally matches the colour scheme.  I knew I wanted to attach the card with cord coming over the edge, which is what I did.  That made me think of 'Postcards From The Edge' being the title for the page, and everything fell into place after that.  I love the brad in the bottom corner, they have things like lions and crowns on them, so clever.

The 12"x12" paper itself has some awesome designs on it.  No way I'm covering this up!

The photo itself, pinned down onto some Night of Navy cardstock, which I did stamp, but you can't really see it.  A tiny brad in each corner, I've never done this before, but really like it.   Love the sticker that says, 'You go boy,' so had to add it.

The lettering is from a set of stickers in the pack, which are lovely.  I had to think what I wanted to put as there are only a couple of each letter.  It was only when I got half way through I realised I wouldn't have enough of the letter 'g' but I was committed by then and reached for my chipboard letters for the big capital G, which I painted with white acrylic paint and then coated with night of navy marker pen.  Note to self, 'Never throw anything away, you never know when you might need it.'
While making this, I realised one of the differences between a scrapbook page and a card.  When you make a card, you are hoping someone else will like it.  When you make a scrapbook page, it is just for you and it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.  I look back now through some of my early efforts and they are very basic, but because of my deep affection for the subject matter and that I've put my true thoughts down, some of the layouts make me cry.  I will treasure them for ever. 
But of course, on this occasion, I do hope you like it, too!
Thanks for coping with the wordiness of today's post, let me know what you think, especially if you have a process for scrapbooking, too.
Jane xx

Wednesday, 12 September 2012


I've recently sent two cards off to recipients before I'd taken photographs of them, what a fool!  One of them, in particular, was really nice, so I'm quite cross about it.  I've decided from now on I must take a photo as soon as the card is done and write a blog post for it while all the details are still fresh in my mind.  This is a project I did a little while ago, too.  Firstly, the card:
I'm starting to really understand how SU! works for me.  I fall in love with a set of dsp, then I go and buy the plain cardstock that goes with it, some gorgeous stamps (and maybe dies or punches) and away I go and create!  This paper,  is called Twitterpated, and it's one of the most beautiful sets of paper I've ever used.  The blue cardstock is baja breeze, one of my fave colours, and the ribbon (oh the ribbon!) is ready pleated in blushing bride, what a fabulous product that turned out to be!   I've used the Apothecary Art stamp set and picked out the details in matching colours, then printed it out again, stamped the sentiment in the middle and cut just that bit out and stuck it on top with dimensionals.
And then I made this:

When I started my new job I quickly realised I couldn't wear my normal watch.  My darling hubby bought me a proper nurses watch.  I felt that something so special should be kept in a special place (also to keep me organised as I'm frightened of losing it!)  A few weeks before that I'd been to Hobbycraft and bought this dear little box (7cm square) in their altered art dept.  I came home and painted it in white acrylic and it sat there and sat there until suddenly I knew what to do with it.
Here's a close-up of the top:
I cut out the die-cut flower first but realised it was too flat and that what I wanted was something very 3D on the top, almost like a door knob.  Then I remembered my beautiful flowers from Wild Orchid Crafts which are dying for a use like this.  I actually tried a huge one first, which looked very good, but plumped for this size in the end.
So this little box has pride of place on my dressing table with my watch in it and I'm very pleased indeed. 
Thanks for looking in today, your comments are always appreciated.
I'm off to see what you've all been up to.
Back soon
Jane xx

Monday, 10 September 2012

Let's Talk Layers

I've recently made another card for one of the residents.  She is 91 tomorrow.  This card caused me some problems.  The first problem is that the recipient is blind.  So my first instinct was to just go and buy a musical card.  Except that this lady is also deaf.  So that's no good.
So then I thought: She needs a card that's interesting to touch.  So this is what I made:
It's a 6x6" white card base.  The second layer is some Pretty In Pink cardstock, embossed using a flowery embossing folder.  Next is a layer of white textured card.  Then there is the top square which is glossy card.  I've embossed the flower (from Little Claire's Designs) in white (kraft) ink, then added white embossing powder and heated it.  Then I've gone over it with Pretty In Pink ink, straight from the little cube.  I am thrilled that it worked.  I added a little smudge of a darker pink in the centre with a sponge dauber.
The shape of the rectangle reminds me of a polaroid photo, do you remember those?  I punched tiny semicircles at 1/2cm intervals, then crossed over and over with linen thread (please don't retire this product!) and threaded some through the button holes and glued the button in place.  I printed a simple Happy Birthday sentiment in Soft Suede, which really matched the button, and my job was done.
I think it's touchy/feely enough, don't you?  I've taken it in this morning for all the staff to sign.  Hope she likes it.
Thanks for looking in today, let me know what you think of the card.
I'm off for another look through the autumn/winter catalogue, as I just can't make up my mind what I'd like!
Happy stamping, everyone!
Jane xx

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Card For Joan

I knew  it was Joan's birthday coming up so I decided to ask her about it.  She said she would be 80, which is fine, but later in the conversation she said she was born in 1922.  Now maths is not my strong point, but I lay in bed that night going over and over it and still coming up with 90!  So I went in the next day and my manager asked if I could make a 90th birthday card for Joan.  Phew, my maths isn't that bad then.  I'm already at the stage where I'm beginning to forget how old I am, so I totally understand!
I knew straight away what I wanted to make, and here it is:
This is the first time I've cut into this beautiful sheet of 12x12" dsp from the Everyday Enchantment set. Technically the red on the paper is Poppy Parade (goodbye sweet love, sob!) but I stamped the image (from Fresh Vintage)  in Real Red and it looks a complete match.  The 'white' is actually Very Vanilla, which is the background for the dsp, so I've carried that through.  The sentiment is computer generated, as it's not often someone gets a 90th birthday card, is it?
All the staff signed the card and I've noticed that Joan has kept it, which is lovely.  I had great fun getting the residents to make her some cards without her knowing, which was a military operation, I can tell you!
I'm off for a blog hop to see what you've all been up to.
... And yes, I am clutching my retiring list and my new Autumn/Winter catalogue, so I'm a very happy bunny.  Have you got yours yet?  I can almost smell that scented embossing powder...
Jane x

Friday, 31 August 2012

Faith In Nature

I had a wonderful time making this card that I first saw on Cindy Hall's blog.  I was looking through the Splitcoaststampers galleries to see what people had done with the Faith In Nature set and her card leapt out at me.  Here's my version:

I stamped the pear image and coloured it in with crumb cake marker pen, just very roughly.  The dsp is from the Spice Cake range and the card is very vanilla and soft suede.  The ribbon is just a spare piece from my stash, which has nearly all gone now.  The stamp is from a set of Teddy Bo stamps that came free with my magazine a couple of months ago.  It's a very handy size and I'll probably use it a lot.  I love how this came together, but looking at it now, I wish I'd just put the square with the image on lower down, but then it might not all have fitted with the ribbon.  This card is the reason I bought some pear pizzazz cardstock and fell in love with it, but, too late, my friend! 
Never mind, I'll be getting my hands on a copy of the new Stampin Up! catalogue very, very soon and I'm sure there'll be some stunning stuff in there.  Excited?  You bet I am!
See you all soon,
Have a great weekend
Jane xx

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Away With The Fairies (Again)

I decided to invest in a new stamped image for my second card for Lynne's other granddaughter.  I spent ages trawling through the LOTV inspirations blog for..., well, inspiration really.  There are some stunning fairy stamps on there.  In the end, this is what I made:

I used my new framelits dies to cut a section out of some So Saffron card, which I then embossed with my new, large embossing folder.  I stamped the image on a piece of white card and coloured it with So Saffron, Old Olive and Early Espresso.  Have a closer look:
How adorable is she?  Look at her little shoes and her wings.  As I said before, I'm not keen on fairies, but this stamp could change my mind. 
The little extras are the punched out butterfly in Old Olive which I've run through my polka dot ef.  I printed the sentiment on the computer and put it at the bottom of the ribbon.  It's not SU ribbon but it's very similar to So Saffron. 
Lynne was thrilled with the card.  Why don't you leave a comment and let me know what you think.
Thanks for dropping in today.  I'm off to look round and see what you've all been up to.
Happy crafting everyone,
Jane xx

Monday, 20 August 2012

Card For Ebony

I finally feel as if my mojo has come back.  I made a list yesterday of all the craft things I want to make over the next few weeks and there are 20 things on the list, which means my mojo is in full flow, do you know what I mean?
The next thing is, I have to make a rule that I don't craft after 8pm, as it sets my brain alight and I can't go to sleep when I go to bed.  Last night I was up until 12.30 crafting.  That's no good, is it?!
Anyway, here is the card that I made for my beautiful granddaughter this August:
I was researching for another project and came across a tri-shutter card and decided it would be perfect for the project I had in mind.  There are different styles of shutter card, where the panels are rectangular, but the design I saw had square panels.  It took ages trawling the net for some instructions and dimensions to make one like this.
Have a closer look at the stamped image:
This image is from LOTV.  I was so thrilled when I rememberd it, because my granddaughter looks exactly like this little girl from the back, and my daughter has just bought a black labrador puppy.  It couldn't be more perfect, could it?!
The cardstock is Baja Breeze, and the dsp is Twitterpated from SU! (but you knew that, didn't you?) I had no intention of using this paper on a card just yet, (still at the stroking stage, I'm afraid!)  but I coloured the little girl in and realised I'd used the perfect colours for this dsp.  I cut the three panels out, two of which have computer generated wording, then drew round the same die on Baja Breeze card and painstakingly cut them out so each white panel has a narrow border round it.  I was very pleased with the result and my granddaughter loved it apparently.  It wasn't the simplest card to make, but I'd definitely make another one.
Thanks for popping in today, let me know what you think, I really appreciate all of your comments. 
I've realised this card is the perfect thing to enter in this month's Little Claire's Designs challenge blog.  The theme this month is No.24, Best Friends.  This card certainly fits the bill, don't you think?
Back again soon, I hope,
Happy crafting everyone.
Jane xx

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Card For Brenda

I've been asked to make cards for the residents at work for all the staff to sign as various birthdays come up.  I'm a bit sad as I've missed an opportunity to make a card for a lady of 103!  I mean, how often are you going to be asked to do that?!  Unfortunately it was a bit too short notice, so I couldn't do it, which is a shame.
BUT I have recently made a card for a lady who is 90.  Check out what I did:
This card was inspired by one made by Vicky Hayes recently.  You all know how talented she is (and if you haven't been to her blog, what on earth are you waiting for, get over there now!)
I really had to rummage around for some gold cardstock, as it's not something I often use these days, but I felt that a 90th birthday warranted something special.  I played about with silver as well, but plumped for the gold in the end.
The base is a white 5x7" card, but I've used my new 5x7" embossing folder, trimmed it slightly, then stuck it on the card base with a small border all round, but raised up on dimensionals.   Then comes the gold piece with a border embossed down the two long sides.  Then I've stamped Apothecary Art in gold ink and embossed it.  My practise piece actually came out better than my intentional piece, so I used that instead!  I don't think it was the stamp, but the gold ink didn't seem to pick up much embossing powder.  I enjoyed myself anyway, as I haven't heat embossed anything for ages.  I coloured the flowers in Daffodil Delight marker pen.
I printed out Happy 90th Birthday on the computer, having a few goes to get it as big as possible.  Then I used the SAMJ to line up the stamp in gold again and print it over the sentiment, which I then cut out to the exact size I needed and propped it up on dimensionals in the proper place.
The staff were very impressed with the card, but I think they've never seen anything like it before.  I think if my logo hadn't been on the back they wouldn't have believed I'd made it!  The recipient liked it very much, too.
Back soon to show you the card I made my granddaughter.
Have a great week everyone,
Happy Crafting
Jane xx

Friday, 10 August 2012

Away With The Fairies!

A friend of mine has asked me to make 2 cards, one for each of her grandchildren.  She tells me they're into fairies, which is so not my favourite thing!  But this is what I've made for the first one:

I actually really enjoyed making this in the end.  My friend said I could use lace, too, which I missed off in the end, preferring this dotty SU! ribbon instead.  The dsp is by October Afternoon and the green is Old Olive.  Here is a close up of the fairy:
There's quite a mix of suppliers contributing to this card.  I've coloured the fairy with SU! markers in various pinks, Old Olive and I've used Promarkers for her skin and wings.  I was tempted to put some glitter on, but it never looks as good as I'd like so I decided not to this time.  I don't think it would fit in with the vintage look of the card.  The stamp, incidentally, was a freebie ages ago, which you may well also own.  They are actually a Christmas set, but I very rarely get them out.  The little roses are from Wild Orchid Crafts.  Still love these.
I decided to do some research and look for the best stamped image I could muster for my second fairy card, which I'll show you as soon as I can.
Hope you're all okay, enjoying the sunshine and the Olympics, and that you have a great weekend.
Back soon I hope, thanks for looking in today.
Jane xx

Friday, 3 August 2012

Card For Michelle

Goodness me, such busy days!  And when I'm not working I'm glued to the Olympics.  I thought I'd better pop in today to show you a card I made recently.

I made this for the lovely Michelle, who's blog you can see here.  I've used a white 5x7 card base, followed by a slightly smaller layer of Pool Party card.  The dsp, I'm sure you'll recognise, is from the Everyday Enchantment dsp.  I actually ended up with two packs of this!  I'm still at the stroking stage with it, so it's a wonder I've made a card with it at all!  But my new favourite thing is the new Apothecary Art stamp set used with the framelits labels collection.  There is something so thrilling about stamping and colouring this and then cutting it totally accurately with the die.  It's such an interesting shape to use, too.  I've coloured the image with Pool Party and Calypso Coral pens. I've cut a slightly bigger piece in Pool Party and used a very sweet embossing folder on it.  The orange checked ribbon was just a handy piece from my stash.  I do know Michelle liked the card, and I hope you do, too.
I've several more cards to show you that I've been making recently, plus I have another card to make for a resident soon (oh, and I've just bought some fabulous scrapbooking stuff, so I'd better get on with it, hadn't I?)
Have a great weekend everyone!
Jane xx

Friday, 27 July 2012

Little Bird

Good morning everyone, I hope you're not too hot!  I am having trouble sleeping in the heat and I'm working nights tonight so I've got to develop a strategy for today to work out when to go back to bed! 
Here's another card I made recently:
Colours used are Marina Mist and Perfect Plum, which go so well together.  I've used the spotty dsp and the script side.  The brown is Early Espresso.
Here's a close up of the image
This stamp was free with a magazine.  I've stamped it onto watercolour paper and coloured it with Marina Mist and Perfect Plum pens, washed over with a little bit of water.  It's created a lovely effect.
A little white satin ribbon and a tag complete the card.  Great fun to make.
I'm so excited about the Olympics, as you probably know, I'm horse mad and can't wait to watch all the horsey stuff, but I think I'll be at work for a lot of it.
Have a great weekend everyone, I'm off to make my granddaughter's birthday card.
Jane xx