Sunday, 29 April 2012

A Fairytale Birthday... For A Special Lady at Dream Valley :)

Hello there folks!! :)

Well, I thought I’d be all prepared with this post as I had the card sorted over a week ago but my body’s had other ideas again... and now I just can’t get my head in gear to write either... so big apologies if this comes out even more garbled than usual!! :S lol Anyways, better late than never- here goes...

It’s time for another challenge over at Dream Valley and this is one that’s had all us DT girls v excited over the last couple of weeks as we have a fab sponsor... but first, the challenge itself!!lol This fortnight we’d like to see your cards ‘For A Special Lady’... a lovely easy challenge indeed!! :) And our fabulous sponsor is Krista Smith of Saturated Canary, who is offering the winner a $10 voucher for her Etsy store!! :) And she also gave us lucky things on the DT a chance to choose an image for our projects- hence the excitement!! :D So- thank you, Krista!! :D

Now, as some of you will know, I’ve been kind of avoiding my papercrafting supplies recently but I needed a card for one of my best friends and this challenge and the beautiful digi I chose were perfect to tempt me back to my desk to try to make her something special :) I was wary to start with, not sure I wanted to do it, but I loved every minute in the end!! :)

I tried to keep it simple to show off Krista’s gorgeous image and also the beautiful Bo Bunny Gabrielle paper that my friend and I both love... and also to go a bit easy on myself ‘cos I was feeling a tad rusty after a month and more off!!lol 

I chose the amazing ‘Rapunzel, a Princess’ image... I hadn’t seen this one before but I knew I had to colour her the moment I saw her!! :) My ongoing mission to improve my colouring is currently stuck in a hair-obsession phase and I think I have been getting better... but when I think that I only plucked up the courage to try colouring my first Simply Sassy stamp about six months ago (having had several in my stash for at least six months before that!!) because I was so bad at colouring hair and Krista draws such gorgeous hairstyles on her images that I was a tad intimidated... and now I jumped at the chance to colour this one when I’d have had nowhere to hide had it gone wrong as it’s a DT project... well, that has given my kinda shaky crafting (and life atm :S) confidence a much needed boost!! :) :)

I’ve added a second pic as I struggled to get the colours right in the pics and I think this one's the best likeness :S Thank you to Krista’s images, ProMarker Fine Nibs and MiC colouring tuts for the improvements!!lol

This card is based on the one I made with that first Sassy last year, which I loved but haven’t got around to sharing on here yet... I used the same paper pack and similar ideas for layout, embellishments, etc. but this time I chose this gorgeous butterfly paper and had a play with my new gilding flakes and Flitter Glu and they do look similar but quite different...!!lol The sentiment is stamped with the Flitter Glu and it worked a treat first time...I now have so many ideas buzzing around my head for stamps I want to try this with!! :)

The butterfly is gilded, too, but I just traced over the design on the paper with a Quickie Glue pen... so easy but it looks so stunning... and is incredibly difficult to photograph to in any way do it justice!! :S I smooched some Distress Stickles over the wings with my finger for interest, too- love doing this!!lol

Everything is distressed and inked and the corners got some Stickles, too :) I tore the corners off one of the sheets from the pack as so many of the designs have a lot of lovely detail on the corners, but which would almost all be lost if you trimmed the sheets enough to fit on a 6” card... and that made me sad!! :( Not sure what I’ll do with the middle of the sheet mind!!lol

The List:
  • 6” Sq. Scalloped cream card blank
  • Saturated Canary digi- Rapunzel, a Princess
  • ProMarkers to colour (see picture below, click to view it bigger- the Copics are the blender and a pale Warm Grey)
  • Papers from Bo Bunny’s Gabrielle pad
  • Gilding Flakes (Variegated Green from Crafty Notions) with Indigo Blu Flitter Glu and a Quickie Glue pen to adhere
  • Distress Inks – Antique Linen and Vintage Photo
  • Sentiment stamp from Cat’s Life Press
  • Cream Seam binding from The Ribbon Girl
  • Antique Linen Distress Stickles
  • Sakura Clear Stardust pen
  • Cream Flat-backed Pearls from stash

I’d like to enter this card in the following challenges: Saturated Canary – Happy Birthday :) ; The Stampman – Shabby Chic or Distressed :) ; Paper Sundaes – Ribbons and Pearls :) ; MAWTT – Flowers or Gardens (my butterfly):) ; Creative Inspirations – Anything Goes :)

Well, thank you for stopping by today!! :) I’m sorry I’m still being so rubbish at leaving comments... really hoping I’ll be well enough to do better with that soon... in the meantime, thank you so much to those of you kind enough to still leave comments for me!! :) And hello and thanks to my new Followers, too- I'll try and visit you as soon as I can!! :) I hope you’ll join in our challenge- pop over to the DV blog to see all the fantastic creations from the rest of the team, too!! :) I hope you’re having a good weekend despite this awful weather... here in Manchester it’s like the middle of winter... a very stormy winter at that!! :S Tomorrow’s supposed to be lovely, though, so fingers crossed!! :)

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Mice are nice for Mother’s Day.. :)

Hey folks!! :)

I’m back to finally share an actual card with you... been trying to get here all week but, well, life keeps getting in the way :S I did actually make my first card in a month last week (yay!! :) kind of a relief as I was beginning to wonder if how long the card drought would last!!lol) but it’s my DT project for this weekend’s challenge at Dream Valley so will have to wait to share that... in the meantime though, I have the card I made for my Mum for Mother’s Day to share :)

When I sat down to make this the night before M’s Day, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do beyond using this particular gorgeous stamp and one of the paper doilies I got from Joanna Sheen last year (and were still sitting unopened!! Tut tut!!lol)... so I looked through my papers, found some I loved, decided the best colour match for them would be my DIs not PMs and then that, as I didn’t need to use blending card without pens, I would stamp onto cream card for a change and go for a much softer vintage/shabby look... and that’s the whole process in a nutshell... all that was left was the doing... which took quite a while and would have been better for me spread over a couple of days, but I loved making it- which was a first in a while- and I, and most importantly my mum, loved the result, too!! :)

The stamp is, of course, LOTV and I got it in their sale before Xmas last year- I just love the cute little mice and the pretty flowers are positioned so well for a great spread of colour :) My desk was virtually invisible under all the DI pads I used... I’ll try to list those I can remember later but it may not help much as I did my usual when watercolouring and mixed everything with a bit of everything else so it all toned in!!lol The colours of the DIs worked so, so well with the beautiful Desert Blooms papers!! :)

I cut circles into spirals for the flowers myself- I don’t have a rolled flower die as I don’t make them often enough to justify it... and to be honest, I kind of like the more uneven appearance you get from cutting them yourself anyway :) I’ve not tried putting pearls in the centres before, though, and had a right faff with the largest flower as the pearl kept falling into it sideways... ended up shoving a screwed up bit of towel roll in the gap first to hold it up... but no one need ever know that, right!?!!!lol Oh, and I inked the doily with Antique Linen DI to tone it in with the cream of the card and then spritzed it with Perfect Pearls mist for a pretty shimmer :)

The List:
  • 6" Sq. scalloped cream card blank
  • LOTV Mice Are Nice Flower Shop image stamped in Memento Rich Cocoa
  • Distress inks to colour- Victorian Velvet, Milled Lavender, Dusty Concord, Antique Linen, Vintage Photo, Peeled Paint, Weathered Wood, Stormy Sky
  • First Edition Desert Blooms papers
  • Nesties- Labels 17 and Circles (for the flowers)
  • Marianne D Leafy Swirl (Branch Garden) die
  • Frond Die from Memory Box
  • Xcut Scalloped border punch
  • Doily from Joanna Sheen
  • Perfect Pearls Shimmer Mist in Pearl
  • LOTV Postage Stamp Sentiments set plus tiny flower from an old Woodware clear set
  • Cream Cotton Lace from The Ribbon Girl
  • 8mm white and 4mm Mink Flat-backed pearls
  • Sakura Clear Stardust pen

I’m actually going to enter this in a few challenges this time, so it’s going into the following: Lili’s Little Fairies – Diamonds and Pearls (the diamonds are the glitter in the papers and on the image) :) ; Joanna Sheen – Someone Special :) ; Crafter’s Companion – Four-legged Friends :) ; Charisma –Shabby Chic :) ; Cupcake Craft Challenge – Material Girl (if my lace is sufficient fabric-ness?!) :)

Right, that’s it from me for today then- thanks for stopping by and for your lovely comments!! :) I’ll be back again on Sunday with my DV card- it’s a fab challenge this time, the DT have all loved it so make sure you check it out then!! :)

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Earth Tones at Dream Valley

Hello!! :)

A fortnight has passed us by in a flash again, which means it’s time for another new challenge over at Dream Valley... and this fortnight we’d like you to use ‘Earth Tones’ in your creation!! :) We have a fab sponsor this time, BeadCrafty... I popped over to their site a while ago and they had a lovely selection of slightly more unusual beads as well as all the basics you just have to have and the lucky winner of our challenge gets a £20 voucher to spend... so wishing I could enter myself!! ;D

It’s still very much ixnay on the papercrafting around here at the moment so I wasn’t really sure what I was going to be able to show you... turns out, though, that I have two things to share!!lol First up, a pair of earrings I gave you a sneaky peek of {in this post} last year when I made them for my step-mum’s birthday... they are the perfect earthy colour tones for this challenge and it seemed apt to share a beading project as we have a bead co. as our sponsors :) Here they are...

I used my fav antique gold effect findings- ear wires, head pins and some chain to suspend them from-  with a selection of pressed glass beads from an Earth Tones mix I’ve had in my bead stash for a while, along with just a few tiny golden glass pearls for a bit of a brighter pop of colour/reflectiveness :)

They were pretty quick and easy to make (I was on the last minute again... as ever!!lol) and I like the cluster effect... might be inclined to try a smaller bead at the bottom another time though...

And for my second share I have something more recent... infact, I only just got it finished in time to get the pictures edited last night... I mentioned in my last post that I’d been knitting as well as crocheting while not papercrafting and this is what I’ve been working on- a shawl...

I saw this being knitted on craft telly a few weeks ago and liked the look of it... but wasn’t about to buy a bunch of wool I didn’t want and a set of 4 patterns just to get this one, though, so I asked my Mum if she thought she could figure out the pattern for me!! :) Mum used to knit a lot and is pretty good at figuring this sort of stuff out... as well as sorting out my messes when I go wrong, thank heavens!!lol Anyway, it took us a while- yes, ‘us’... I was actually able to offer a couple of helpful observations myself!!lol- but we got there and I set to later that afternoon...

Since I started knitting again a few years back, I have really only knitted scarves with very basic stitches/patterns and I’ve been thinking for a while that, if my hands ever let me start again, I should really try and progress a little beyond that and this pattern included stitches which I haven’t used before in order to make the holes (never made anything with holes in on purpose before!!lol) plus the return rows meant a refresher in purl which I’ve not done in years, so it was perfect :)

A couple to show the stitches more clearly :) I used an Arran weight acrylic yarn that my mum found in Aldi a few years ago- a 450g ball which barely looks like I’ve used any even after knitting this!!lol I had intended it as a scarf for myself initially but the yarn doesn’t drape well enough for that so I just made it a bit bigger to make the shawl and I think I might try a finer cotton yarn for my scarf sometime :) I was planning to add tassles but mum said she’d rather not... which saved me a fair bit of time and yarn so I’m not complaining!!lol

If you’d asked me before hand if I could knit something like this, I’d have thought not, but it’s actually fairly simple once you know how... I’m a pretty slow knitter because of my hands and not being able to do too much in one go so it took me a few weeks in the end... not helped by the fact that I kept going wrong due to my rubbish concentration and had to take it back rather a lot :S This is where my mum’s patience and ability to figure out what I had done (as well as volunteering to take it back for me a few times when my hands had had enough :) ) came in so useful!!lol Frustration aside, I did enjoy it, though, I like the result and I really feel I’ve learned a lot from doing it... plus mum has a shawl to keep her shoulders warm from the drafts of an evening!! :)

My mum was, understandably enough, not too keen to have her pic on my blog but she said I could put this one up so you could get an idea of the size of it!! :)

I was planning on trying come more crochet or maybe making some jewellery when I finished this but have actually already started on my next knitting project after seeing this post on Dawny P’s blog and I’ll share the results of that with you when I get there... it will be a baby jumper and hat which will be heading off to Africa for babies who have nothing... if you have a a bit of spare time and wool then do pop over to Dawn’s blog where she has more details and the patterns for the jumpers :)

Okay, waffle and photo overload over for today- thank you if you’ve had the patience to read all the way through my ramblings again... two posts in one again!! :S :) Please pop over to the Dream Valley blog to see the fab creations from the rest of the DT... if you think ‘Earth Tones’ seems a little too restrictive a palette for you just have a look at the variety of styles we have over there!! :) I’ll be back again soon I hope- maybe with a card from a while ago as I know this sort of post is not a lot of people's cup of tea!!- and thanks for stopping by... have a lovely weekend!! :)

Thursday, 12 April 2012

A Brave New World... and a Mother’s Day card :)

Hey there folks!! :)

Hope you’re all well and had a lovely Easter!! :) Now, don’t worry, I’m not going all literary on you- the brave new world of my title has nothing to do with Aldous Huxley and everything to do with crochet!! ;) I thought as a couple of people were lovely enough to say they wanted to see my first crochet attempts that I should get on here to share before it’s time for my next Dream Valley post at the weekend...

I have been feeling very down and stressed recently as well as struggling with the usual physical symptoms of my M.E. being worse and found even making cards was increasing the stress rather than helping it as it usually would, which is why I have left the paper stash alone for a while and have been trying other things instead... the first of which was crochet :) I have wanted to have a go at it for years but have put it off because I knew I would find it painful on my hands and, well, there are just always so many cards to make and other things (like computers and phones and generally everything!!) to make my hands hurt that I haven’t got round to it... but one night I decided it was the perfect breather from cards and so, armed with two books, a YouTube instruction vid (here) for a simple beginner’s flower on my phone and my mum (to translate all the jargon!!), I had a go :)

To say I can now crochet would be a huge overstatement... but I can now crochet this particular little flower!!lol Took a long time and a lot of patience from my lovely mum but I got there in the end!! :) I did find it hard on my hands but was able to do more than I expected that first evening... the hardest part was actually the counting and remembering the pattern as my concentration and memory are basically shot atm thanks to the M.E.- don’t know how I’d get on with anything more complicated!!lol

I started with some old wool but it’s cheap acrylic and was splitting and fluffing up too much to really see what I was doing (especially when I’d pulled it apart after getting it wrong ten times over!!lol) so I moved on to some old embroidery thread which was much easier :) The nice thing about making these little flowers (only 4cm-ish across) is that they will lend themselves to cardmaking so I haven’t wasted any energy or thread... always a plus!! :)

I then decided to try and make a multi-coloured one (I was running out of long enough bits of thread at this point as I only had a few leftovers from my friendship bracelet- making youth!!lol) and a few days later, I used it to make one of my Mother’s Day cards...

I was all about the simple approach with this one as it should have been in the post already and, frankly, I really wasn’t in the mood for faffing with paper!! :S I used my Blossom Nesties ‘cos a) they’re small so less space to fill and b) they’re pretty enough to look good with little faff :) A bit of paper, a fab WMS stamp set and some pearls later and I had a reasonably nice, very easy card!! :)

The List:
  • White card blank
  • Blossom Nesties
  • Forever Friends Springtime paper pad
  • Waltzingmouse Teeny Trees stamps set
  • Tea Leaves and Pixie Dust VersaMagic chalk ink pads
  • Cat’s Life Press sentiment stamp
  • Tiny butterfly punch (from Lakeland years ago)
  • Sakura Clear Stardust pen
  • Pink Flat-backed pearls
  • oh- and 1 small crocheted flower :)

Well, there you have it... my first attempts at crochet :) It was tricky in ways I didn’t expect and, to be honest, the concentration issues may pose more of a barrier to doing more complex things than the pain would so will have to wait and see if I can progress to bigger and better things... but if not/until then, I can make some cute little embellies!!lol At the mo’ I’m knitting a shawl (having not knitted for a couple of years because of pain, either) and I’m hoping I’ll finally have it finished in time to share with you at the weekend!! :) 

Sunday, 1 April 2012

It’s time for a wedding over at Dream Valley!! :)

Hey everyone :)

How are you all out there in blogland? Hope you’re all well and enjoyed the lovely sunshine we’ve been having... let’s hope it comes back soon!! :) So, a little post from me today to show I’m still alive... you’ve probably figured I’m still not feeling so great, and I’ve actually been taking a little break from cardmaking and blogging, but I had this card ready and waiting and wanted to join in the fun at Dream Valley this fortnight... it’s a bit of a special one as one of our lovely team, Mel, is getting married today and so our challenge theme this time is ‘Weddings/Love’ in her honour!! :) We are sponsored by OSCC :)

I made this card last year for some friends and really worked to get as many personal touches in as I could... I wasn’t able to go to their wedding as I can’t travel so the card was my way of sending love and happy wishes for their lives together :)

I knew they were having a vintagey theme with birdcages and that their bridesmaids were wearing deep red so I strayed from my usual safe wedding card combo (white and silver with a hint of the accent colour if I know it, usually pearlescent card and never any patterned DPs!!) and went for something completely different, looking around for a way to include all the aspects... and I was really pleased with the outcome... but you always wonder if you’ve got it right don’t you... so when I got a thank you card telling me how much they loved it and mentioning all the bits I’d managed to include, it made me so, so happy!! :)

I heat embossed the gorgeous LOTV image and painted it with Twinkling H2Os- three different shades of white for a bit of interest!!lol- and chalk pastels for the suit and skin/hair as I didn’t want those to be pearly :) I inked the edges of all the papers for depth and interest, too.

I created a cluster of papers, pins, charm and lace next to the image panel to draw the eye in, inking the lace with the same DI to take the edge of the whiteness and looping one of the pins to attach the charm. The papers I found are so lovely and gave me vintage look I wanted so easily :)

I added my friends’ initials in DI- which did come out rather stronger than I envisaged :S – and then heat embossed ‘Congratulations’ over the top.

I looked all over for birdcage charms but couldn’t find any at the time- I did, of course, very soon after!!lol- so looked for an svg cut file online instead and struck lucky :) The idea to use it as a mask was a last minute one but I think it looked better like that thank if I had just stuck the die-cut on :)

The List:
  • Two 6” Sq. White card blanks to make the base
  • Image – ‘Mr & Mrs’ from LOTV
  • Versamark ink pad, Silver embossing powder and heat tool
  • Twinkling H20s and chalk pastels to watercolour
  • Papers from Basic Grey Cappella pad and V&A Hanoverian Collection pad (DoCrafts)
  • Labels 18 Nesties and Nellie’s Doily dies
  • Distress Ink in Pumice Stone
  • Bird with Cage svg file - We Can Bea Original
  • ‘Congratulations’ stamp from Cat’s Life Press and alphas from Lakeland years ago
  • Lace, pins, charm and ivory flat-backed pearls from stash

I haven’t really got much clue what challenges are around at the mo’ and don’t really feel like searching any out or linking them up but, I did notice there is an Anything Goes challenge at Lili’s Little Fairies and I so rarely get the chance to enter there that I can’t resist that one!! :)

So, thank you for stopping by today and for any comments on this or my last couple of cards!! :) I don’t know how long my ‘little break’ from cardmaking will last- it’s entirely unprecedented for me to choose not to make cards as cardmaking is usually my ‘little break’ from the rest of my life and not something I can cope without, so I don’t really know what to make of it :S - but I’ll be back sometime soon-ish, I hope... maybe I’ll even share my first forays into crochet as I have finally got around to having a go at that after years of wanting to... seems I simply can’t not do anything creative at all so have been crocheting a bit and knitting- when I’ve not had my nose in a book that is... if that saying still works when you’re reading a Kindle!?!!lol 

Don’t forget to pop over to Dream Valley to check out the amazing creations from the rest of the team- including some fab new members this time, too!! :) – and just have a look at the beautiful Wishing Well Mel has made for her Wedding Day!! :)


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