Monday, 11 September 2017

A bit of a stretch

Hi Crafty Friends

One day I might get my blogging up to date, but sadly that day is not today!
Here is another random pick from the club card archive - it must be several months old by now.

Any hoo, we had a fun time making it, and the green and white scheme was very popular. It's another take on one of my favourite layouts, but I tweaked it a bit. I was so delighted when people brought in their makes inspired by this one.

My favourite bit is the embossed panel with the hand embossed ridges and narrow border which I think finish it off nicely. I also like the sentiment. It's unusual for me to stray from basic sentiments like happy birthday, but I think both the sentiment and the font are lovely.

It should be a really straightforward card but it was complicated by the fact that the green backing paper was v narrow and the embossing folder was too small. So it was an exercise in 'stretching your stash' - literally in this case.
Still, it was fun to do (imho) hope you like it.
happy crafting

Friday, 8 September 2017

Peaceful Christmas

Hi Crafty Friends

I can't believe it's September already, and soon Christmas will be upon us. A couple of weeks ago I gave in to the plaintive appeals from the club, to do Christmas cards. This is the first.

I love the tiny hills and trees dies. We layered them up in the aperture for lots of dimension, which was a bit fiddly on account of their smallness and then there was a tricky bit of masking and stamping for the sentiment. In real life, it's very sparkly with glitter, but I haven't managed to capture that at all well. The stamp set was very popular, but sadly I couldn't send any one the link as it was free with a mag, but I can't remember which. I think magazine freebies are heaps better these days.
Happy crafting

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Putting on the Ritz

Hi Crafty Friends

Just thought I'd stop by with a couple of cards we made a while ago in the club. They were both quick to make, hence two in one week.
They are a bit of a departure for  me, but I love the glitz and glamour of black and gold. I couldn't wait to get cracking with the starburst die. As soon as I saw it, I imagined it as a fancy top for a card, and I was pleased with how it worked out. I think it looks a bit like a present.

The stripy paper was a freebie in a magazine. I found the mags in a sale and snagged a couple, so there was just enough to go round the group. Wish I could get it again.
We just cut the star die out of the top of the card base, and cut the same shape again in gold to cover it - easy peasy.

The next one was even easier

We just die cut the flourish and the sentiment from black cardstock and layered it over gold mirri card. But we did use my (sadly, not) patented technique for taking the blinding out of the bling. I think it's a great improvement on ultra shiny metallic paper (even if I do say it myself 😊) Unfortunately you can hardly see it in the pic. Ah well.
happy crafting

Monday, 21 August 2017

A Blast From the Past

Hi Crafty Friends

Here's a fun children's card we made in the club a few weeks ago. I certainly had fun designing it. I saw a card on Pinterest with this fold, but without all the 3D layers. It occurred to me that I could fill it with dinosaurs (as y' do!)

We inked a cloudy background and inked and stamped a sandy foreground. I love these rather friendly looking dinosaurs (Marianne, I think). The foliage is coral and some Memory box poppies which I thought looked a bit Triffid like scaled up to dinosaur size.
I love the dimension you get with this fold, and the fact that it goes flat for posting. I'm already thinking 'Christmas scene'
happy crafting

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Sailing By

Hi Crafty Friends

We made this card in the club last May, and I've only just round to blogging it. At the time the weather was summery so a seaside scheme seemed in order. I'm much indebted to my good pal Debbie for the layout - it was great fun sharing designing this. I tweaked it a bit for the club.

I loved having another opportunity to use my starfish and shells. I also enjoyed making the driftwood sentiment (a Kaisercraft wood stamp and a lot of distressing). The background is just a bit of inking and masking to line up with the die cut image.

happy crafting

Friday, 4 August 2017

Animal Crackers

Hi Crafty Friends

You know how it is, every now and then you just get a yen to craft out of your comfort zone (or out of your mind!) I saw a card which really made me laugh on Lost in Paper (a great You Tube channel by the way) and decided I'd have to have a go at doing something similar.

So here is my take on LiP's card

I just love the decidedly uncheerful elephant with his party balloon. The animal stamps are by Katzelkraft (Les Jongles) and the happy die is by Sue Wilson. It was a really quick card to make: just a matter of putting patterned paper behind the word aperture and  colouring & cutting out the elephant.

So I gave in to my whim to use the flying hippo in the stamp set, and we made this. We die cut the letters, coloured them and then covered them in Glossy Accents. We inked the sky and mounted the hippo on pads. Easy peasy. But I do think the club are living in dread of my doing a card with the giraffe with a knot in his neck (which I love by the way, so be warned!)

I'm not terrific at colouring as you can see, but I really enjoyed these cards, and I sent one to my brother and one to my nephew, so got two men's cards done and dusted too.
Hippo crafting!

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Everything in the garden is rosy

Hi Crafty Friends

Long time, no see (well, no blog at any rate). As most of you know, I work pretty full on in the summer, but I'm now done and ready to catch up on my blogging.
Actually everything in the garden isn't entirely rosy as my favourite (but v elderly rose bush) was blown down in strong winds and pronounced beyond redemption. But I still have my dog roses and they inspired me to make this card for the club.

The leaves and the small flower are Susan's Garden; I don't know what the larger two are, but I had to cut them down as they were huge. The stamens were fiddly to cut into lots of thin strands, but I like the effect. The trellis is Spellbinders and the frame Crealies.

One of our club members has now left to live nearer her family. It was sad to see you go, Pat, but hope you're settling in to your new home and enjoying life down South. This is the card I made. I didn't have a suitable sentiment so I had to do this one on the computer.

Hope you're all having a fabulous crafty time
Be back soon

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Sea View

Hi Crafty Friends

It's been boiling hot here recently (especially in the conservatory) and its put me in a summery sea side mood, so this is this week's card. I had the Wetlands stamp out from my stash busting efforts so decided to go with it again, as it is one of my fave stamps anyway. Teamed with the SU Work of Art paint swash, it was a quick and simple scene to create.
We made the 'wood' pieces with the help of a Kaisercraft background stamp and a bit of old fashioned embossing with a ball tool before swiping more ink straight from the pad.
The waves are a Stampin Up Swirly Scribble die, and the shells are Marianne.
The chains are actually sections from a circular frame ( from Craft Stash, but I can't remember the make)

I was pleased with how it turned out - hope you like it.
happy crafting

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Stash Buster continued

Hi Crafty Friends

Recently I needed an anniversary card and a birthday card for crafty friends, so it was a good opportunity to launch another assault on the stash mountain challenge.

Here's what I made
This was for Tracey and Neil, a lovely couple, and my lovely friends. After I photographed this, I decided to add a small '25th' on the horizontal band.  Congratulations to you both.
The flowers are wild roses by Sheena Douglas (matching stamps and dies). I love the heart die (Cha cha cha)

I love the dog roses on this card ( a mixture of Susan's Garden and cha cha cha) But sadly the subtle differences in the 2 papers I used proved too subtle for the camera and they look the same. I'm really pleased with the lacy squares dies, though - I think I'll get a lot of use out of them.

There's still a lot of the paper pad left, but luckily I've found another pad which goes with it, so I can shift the colour scheme a bit. I think Kirstie Marcotte is cleverer in her choice of pad for her challenges, as she seems to have more variety. Despite being a fan of soft muted shades, I'm beginning to feel I have looked at these papers for long enough. Not ready for giving up yet, though 😀
happy crafting

Monday, 15 May 2017

My Stash Busting Challenge

Hi Crafty Friends

6x6 paper pads!! Can’t resist them, never use them J
Well, I’ve been watching   Kristie Marcotte (You can see her here

She proves it’s humanly possible to use up a whole pad in a marathon crafting stint. She uses just the paper pad and coordinating cardstock and makes 30+ small cards. I don’t need so many and I like bigger cards, but I thought I’d challenge myself to USE UP A WHOLE PAD!

I’m not doing it all at once, and I am allowing myself to mix in random scraps and papers from other 6x6 pads (getting a sneaky head start on future challenges?). I picked my latest 6x6 purchase, a £1 pad from The Range. As usual, I fell for the soft colours but when I got it home, I thought the paper’s thin, I won’t really use it much. Still, there are 10 designs (3 of each) so it’s theoretically do-able. I’m also hoping to learn how to make the best out of this thin paper. (A handy skill, given the amount I have of it!)

This is the pad I’m using, and the others waiting to be challenged.

Here’s the first card I made – I’ve posted it before, but I’ve included so the challenge will be complete (if I ever finish it!)

I made the flower 6x6 paper; it’s a good weight for shaping the petals.

(I have no idea why the computer has decided to put this pic to one side - nor why it randomly deleted a whole load of wittering, I'd just typed, but hey ho)

And here are three more using the same layout as a recent class card. There is a fourth, but I won't blog it till its reached its recipient.

I've found really distressing the edges gives it more dimension and makes up for not being able to layer it up on pads.
I thought I'd keep this last one for a thinking of you card, so I've just popped an oval text mat roughly where the sentiment will go, so I can finish it later. Another good thing about this light weight paper is I've use 6 layers + a band, a sentiment and gems, and it will still only need a standard stamp.

 At this rate I'll only have to live to be about 3000 to use up my 6" papers - and then I'll have to start on the 8", the 12" .....

wish me luck
happy crafting

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Beating the Blues

Hi Crafty Friends

This is the card we made a fortnight ago. I fancied lots of texture and dimension, so we've got lace, raffia, dried seed heads and a lot of distressing. I just hand cut the banners, which makes a change for a dyed-in-the-wool die crafter like me. I don't know why I don't split up the sentiment more often; it's a lot easier to fit into the design that way.

 It was quite an easy card to do, especially as no one had to make any flowers. I've done a similar layout before, just rotated (oops maybe I shouldn't have admitted that!) but no matter everyone liked it, and it was so lovely and heart-warming to see the cards people brought in last week, based on this one - I do love our 'show and tell'. I've made a few more myself which will be appearing in an up-coming blog, but in the mean time

happy crafting

Thursday, 4 May 2017

A Rose by the name of Poppy

Hi Crafty Friends

Here is a card I made ages ago, but decided not to use for the club because the lining up the stamping took too long. But that was before we had the MISTI.
Layered stamps were just coming in, and I was please to get some bargain poppies at a show. They were a bargain because they were proto-types and when I got them home I found the layer that made the lines was rather thick, and hard to align, so I drew my own lines in. I liked the look, so I stamped the poppy shapes twice in different colours to get a blend, then drew in the lines. Then I stamped the poppies again with Versamark and embossed them in clear ink.
Then I brushed on the background colour and stamped on random patterns.

And here's another version, not made into a card yet

Hurray for the MISTI. It made accurate repeated stamping a doddle. The only thing was, I only had two poppies and I needed three. Luckily I had an Altenew layering stamp set, free with a magazine. It was a rose, but as I was drawing on my own petals, it was pretty easy to turn it into a poppy. So you might have spotted the big poppy in the foreground of the club version, is the Altenew rose in disguise.

For my original card, I was lucky to find a scrap of paper which matched my colour scheme. The only paper I had for the club was a bit plainer, so folks stamped over it to add more interest to the background (unlike the one you can see here).

It was fun and good to see all the variations. The only thing was towards the end we ran out of embossing powder so I started a new pot - which didn't work properly at all!! Does anyone know if embossing powder goes off? Does it have shelf life, or should it be stored in a particular way?
I need to know - I have a lot of embossing powder which may be rotting away as I type.

Happy Crafting
Jan x

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Inks and Dies

Hi Crafty Friends

We had a two-fer day at the club recently. We did a couple of cards which were quick to make. Thanks to Debbie for the sassy woman design and to Shaz in Oz for the Brushos and Dragonfly combo.

Both the dies are cheapies, and the woman and dogs one fell apart, so we had to stick the bits together with low tack tape, but hey ho, it was cheap. It didn't put people off, and several have ordered the die.

I didn't have a stencil for the skyline so we made our own with a die (Oyster stamps?) and then brushed in the background. I've had the sentiment ages - I'm so pleased it finally made it to a card.

This next one involved Brushos (sprinkled and splodged onto wet watercolour paper). This was a new technique for most of the club members, but was great fun and everyone got great results.

I got carried away and made loads of Brusho pieces, so I hope I get some time to turn them into cards.
Happy crafting

on a Roll

Hi Crafty Friends

One of our craft clubbers hasn't been able to make it to the club for ages, and it was her birthday recently, so I popped round with a card. I really wanted to try out my new Spellbinders border die (had to buy it after we'd used it in the class Margaret did for us), and I'm still on a roll with the rolled roses. My latest rolled rose die (a nameless cha cha cha die) is, I think the best yet - even if I did buy it, thinking it would make fir cones!
I used a mix of Spellbinders and Tattered Lace dies for the sentiment panel, and another cha cha die for the leaves, I love the way they emboss.

here's to hoping our pal can get things sorted so she can return, in the meantime
happy crafting everyone.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Mixing It Up

Hi Crafty Friends

Sorry I haven't blogged for a while. The next thing to blog would be the lovely card Margaret shared with us, but I keep forgetting to ask her permission, so instead here is what I've been up to.
I was really taken by one of the demos at the NEC show I went to a few weeks back. The amazingly talented artist from Craft of Hearts, called them Mixed Media Assemblages. I immediately ordered the glue and did my best to remember what she was doing.

Then it was play-time with my Tuesday evening pals. This is my first attempt at this technique (or what I remembered of it)

Then I decided (a bit ambitiously - or madly even) to embark on a plaque/ wall-hanging for my step-d's birthday. She favours goth style stuff so this is what I came up with. The scale (huge for me), the goth genre (I think I've veered too far into steam punk) and the techniques were all challenging. I have to admit, I'm not entirely happy with it, but I thought I'd post it anyway because I enjoyed doing it, and hope to do some more, so with a bit of luck, you may see some improvement.

The small skull nestling in there was a 'serendipitous' find in a charity shop. It was a ring but I got my jewellery making friend to saw the ring bit off. She made a fantastic job of it (I'm so glad I didn't just attack it with a junior hacksaw).

And this week mixed media has reached the club! A bit of a departure for us, but good fun, and I got to craft too - which was great. I was still busy making coffees etc so I was a bit behind everyone so no finished project of mine for me to show you.
Here we are, having a very messy time - just look at that table!

And here is Julie's finished piece - absolutely lovely, and very shiny and silvery in real life.

And here are some of the Wednesday gang - the rest are missing in action or camera shy.

And some of the fabulous makes. Pity my photography isn't up to the same standard - the metallic gleam is stunning IRL.

Our first foray into mixed media was such a blast, I'm sure it won't be our last ...
happy mixed up crafting

Friday, 24 March 2017

Coming up Roses

Hi Crafty Friends

Us crafters get offered some weird stuff sometimes, on the grounds that we'll probably get some use out of it. But a whole wedding dress??? Yup, the full meringue!! A gazillion miles of net, several acres of duchess satin, more buttons than Cadbury's and lots and lots of lace. Of course I said yes 😀😀.
I spent hours seriously HOURS, unpicking lace pieces, so we just had to use them on a card, and this is what we made.

I decided to leave the bottom corner undecorated so people can add a suitable sentiment later. I thought it would be good for Mother's Day, weddings, anniversaries and the like.
The lace has all sorts of beads and sequins sewn on it, but I haven't managed to capture the sparkle of it. It just required a simple bit of matting and layering with some soft romantic papers and a cha cha cha doily die. Lots of fun and games making the smaller roses - by twisting and rolling thin strips of paper, and job done!
happy crafting
J xxx

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Stepping Up

Hi Crafty Friends

I picked up these bargain papers at a local discount store and had to have a play. There was plenty of each design so I could relax, knowing I could try different ideas and still have enough paper for everyone. What luxury!
I designed the size of the stepper to fit my not-quite-5-by-7 envelopes, and to take the pretty frame (another cheap as chips, you will be unsurprised to know). Luckily I like the proportions so I guess I'll be making a few more. I think it might make a good Christmas card in due course.

The lily is (I think) a Britannia die and the stamen is from a Heartfelt Creations set. The smaller flowers are an old Woodware punch, and the leaves are a 'cha cha cha' maple leaf, cut up.
The border is an old Tonic punch. The long pointy leaves are just randomly cut out by hand.
We used old Whisper Inks because they're archival and work on pearlescent cardstock.

it was my birthday a couple of weeks ago, but it got rather lost in the trips to Wales, the horrific breakdown and the on-going flood repairs, etc. Here, a bit belatedly, are some of the lovely cards I received, all beautifully crafted. Thanks to all for making my birthday fun despite the atrocities
happy crafting

Sunday, 12 March 2017

A Man's Card

Hi Crafty Friends

We made this in class a few weeks ago, when I was thinking about my brother's birthday which was fast approaching. Now his birthday is behind us and I sent an entirely different card. Still, I enjoyed making this one, despite there not being a flower in sight!

We stamped over some neutral-ish brown paper with a massive stamp (sorry I've forgotten the make) to create the background and stamped out a variety of stamps, from which we die cut circles for the toppers. There was a choice of stamps for the rectangular panel, aswell, so all the cards looked a bit different.
Then it was back to being Brownies, to tie a reef knot in some string, and then some strong arm tactics to set the eyelets using my rather primitive Silent Setter. I really must think about getting a Crop-o-dile, but they seem quite an expensive way of making holes. Does anyone have any cheaper suggestions?

I quite liked the red and brown combination and after the feminine cards from the previous weeks, it was good to have a change.
Happy Crafting

Friday, 3 March 2017

Simply Topping

Hi Crafty Friends
Things are going from bad to worse at Serendipity Towers. The flood damage is still not sorted and yesterday my car broke down 155 miles from home on a massively busy and horrible stretch of merging motorways around Birmingham and it was the rush hour (5pm) Finally got home on the transporter that brought my car at ten past two this morning. Had a very tiresome morning sorting out getting my car taken to the garage, sorting out a replacement, dealing with the entirely useless insurance etc etc.
Sorry to whinge. One good thing is I've been let off attending the work meeting I was going to, so most unexpectedly I get to have my birthday at home.
Here is a card we made a few weeks ago, somehow I've got them out of order. It features some more of my cha cha cha dies (doncha just love a bargain?) As soon as I saw this lovely corner die, I knew I wanted to make a fancy topped card with it. It cut really well, and when embossed is really pretty. The ovals and the borders are also new dies. The border is the exact size for DL cards, so I think I might be making a few more of these.
The image is coloured with alcohol markers- definitely NOT my forte, but luckily there wasn't much to do. The flowers are blush coloured pearlescent paper, inked to add variety but still tone together. The pearlescence still shows through the ink.

It was a simple little card, but I enjoyed making it, and I'm pleased it has inspired some people to look again at their dies and make some fancy topped cards.

happy crafting

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

A Bunch of Thanks

Hi Crafty Friends

I was asked by if we could make a thank you card, and as I will be needing some thank you cards for my team at work, I thought it would be a good plan to get some done early.

I thought we'd have a bit of an experimental week, using inks and stencils. I need a lot more practice at this myself, but it's good fun trying out different effects. I just created two simple layouts so people could concentrate on making their own background papers.
I love this sentiment die - I think its Spellbinders (or possibly Sue Wilson); the stars are of course 'cheap as chips ...'

I did add some Tim Holtz mica spray which looks quite pretty in real life, but doesn't show up here.
Happy Crafting

Friday, 24 February 2017

A little bird told me...

Hi Crafty Friends

I was dying to try out some of my (many!) new cheapo dies so I combined several on this class card. The oval lattice looks gorgeous, but I have to admit it drove everyone crazy, it was so hard to get the die cut out of the die. The sentiment and the filigree flowers were fine.
The bird is an old Stampin Up punch and the branch is Heartfelt creations. I enjoyed stamping and inking these to get texture that hasn't come out v well in the pic.
I wanted a massive floppy bow to finish it off, but gave up trying to tie one, and just looped the ribbon up and secured it with a brad. It proved a popular choice, so I may just give up on bows!

Happy Crafting folks

Monday, 20 February 2017

Cascade Cards

Hi Crafty Friends

A bit belated, but as you may know things have been a bit hectic here. I had a fantastic holiday in Cuba - great to get away from my flooded living room and to enjoy fabulous weather, and see a fascinating and very different country from anything I've ever seen before (and the cocktails were amazing too - I am officially cured of my dislike of rum!)

But despite the hol, the flood, loads of work and a problem with my eye, crafting has mostly continued at Serendipity Towers.
I was promoted to Miss for the day at the class I go to onThursdays, because some people there wanted to make cascade cards. As you know, I love this fancy fold, so I was happy to oblige. As it was a first attempt for everyone, I decided on a plain card with die cut embellishments (cutting and attaching matting layers can be quite time consuming). So here's what I made

It was a really fun class. Everyone made the basic card and then embellished it with their own choice of flowers etc. it was lovely to see all the different takes on the same idea.
maybe I'll get invited back to do the matted and layered version 😉
Happy Crafting

Sunday, 15 January 2017

New Year Crafting

Hi Crafty Friends

And a belated happy New Year.
We started up the club again last week, and I - like a lot of other bloggers I've seen- went for a spring like green and yellow combo as a complete change from the Christmas colours we've been doing for ages.
I've been buying loads of cheap as chips dies from China and had a lot of fun using as many as poss. I must say when I tried them myself they worked fine, but the Tuesday group had some trouble with them. I gave them (the dies!) another coating of tumble dryer sheet and they were better on Wednesday. Anyhow, enough of the die review, here's what we made

This is a small DL size. I found a discount store selling packs of Christmas cards incredibly cheaply, so I bought a large stash just for the envelopes. It's a size I really like and good for batch makes when you're in a hurry.
All the dies you can see are nameless from China.
I made the script paper (in the watch) on the computer; it reads 'time to celebrate'
The flourishes are the bits left from a Christmas bauble die, so the Wednesday group who had less trouble with the dies, had time for a quick bonus make, using the left over bauble

Happy Crafting