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