The Jaws Legacy

I refer to the famous and fabulous movie, Jaws, of course. I saw it at the cinema, when I was rather younger than the age group the film censor board had set, but you know how it is. I was with my sister who had seen it before and promised to warn me of the bits where I ‘shouldn’t look’, seeing as I was, and still am, very squeamish. She did her job just fine, but even so, well, let’s just say it affected me. I already had a recurring dream about crocodiles to deal with, now I had lurid visuals of shark attacks and that menacing music to throw in too. I absolutely kid you not, but a few weeks after seeing the movie I was standing at the kitchen sink and out of the corner of my eye, just for a split second, I thought I saw a shark on the kitchen floor….and I actually jumped…. Imagination is sometimes a scary thing!

Of course I have rewatched the movie many times since then, and seen all the sequels too ( the fourth was hilarious), but there are still bits where I have to look away.

I realised whilst watching TV the other day, there was what should have been an idyllic scenario. A beautiful day: azure sky, sapphire sea, and a small boat bobbing up and down. A handsome couple are aboard, chatting lazily about something inconsequential. And whilst doing so, the chap dangles his left foot into the water. Instantly, inner alarm bells sound. I think ’NOOOO! STOP! What are you THINKING?!’ I can’t help it. Instinctively I imagine he, and everyone else that languidly dips a limb into the ocean, is being a stark raving idiot. Don’t they KNOW what might be down there, waiting? Don’t they want to keep all their limbs intact? Or have they maybe worked out which is their least favourite, the arm or leg they don’t mind sacrificing, just to cool down a bit?

Don’t get me wrong – I am aware this is a totally insane reaction on my part. I know we are far more danger to sharks than they are to us, and that instances of attack are rare. I admire the stark beauty and efficiency of sharks. But, deep down, Jaws planted that fear, that terrible possibility… I mean, if I thought I was in danger whilst peeling spuds in the kitchen, clearly we are not dealing with rationality here. And that, I have come to conclude, is the Jaws Legacy. Maybe I can try suing for damages?

So here we have a card, with a flamingo staying safely on dry land. He’s not daft. Or maybe he has seen the movie too?

flamingo-frame

Supplies: Hunkydory Flamingo Party stamp set; Altenew and Memento inks; various alchohol markers

Broken bones, real and imagined. And a ninja cat.

If anyone has noticed a lack of posts and comments from me for a while, the reason is that I have been away from home and a bit busy. My poor mum has broken a limb, again. An ankle. Last time she was in plaster (one arm, one leg) it was about 18 months ago, and because some total idiot (IMO) hit her from behind as she was walking in a supermarket car park. It was life changing. The mere thought of broken bones kind of freaks me out. Apparently I told my sister she was one up from a zombie when she had a leg in plaster, although I honestly cannot remember saying it. Years ago when my partner was found to have been walking around on a broken leg for three days I threw up as they showed us the x-ray. Breaking bones easily, as happened this time, without any impact, trauma or fall is truly scary. All I can say is keep up your calcium intake and hope it doesn’t happen to you. Cheese sandwich, anyone?

But a broken bone needs help and company, so Riley (the cat) and I headed south. Like birds. Or the cavalry. Not that the Cavalry went south, particularly, just wherever the action was. Of course my sister and her partner are doing a grand job of looking after mum, but extra hands are always welcome.

Anyhow, once the exciting train trip with a cat was done, Riley and I took up residence in my mum’s living room, the room Riley had only briefly entered at Christmas before his tiny little melt down.

Hopes were high that this trip might ‘build on’ the last. Or at least that is what they say in those self-help manuals. In reality it just means pray for less of a disaster. Prayer was to be of no help here.

As soon as I brought Riley into the building, two of the three house cats (all girls) Poppy and Sandi came to inspect the sorry male specimen in his travel prison. The pheromones must have given him away. I think I registered distain, ennui and resignation on their furry faces. I let the cat out of the bag. Literally. I have a soft-sided cat carrier (like a sports bag) which I purchased with trepidation and is actually rather good. Riley shot under the sideboard. I say ‘shot’. It was fast, but not dignified as it required a fair bit of belly crawling and some shunting with the back paws. He stayed there for most of the evening, although a couple of times he scooted to the other side of the room and hid behind a chair. Nothing like a change of scene.

Eventually everybody went to bed, and with me being alone Riley emerged from the self-imposed exile. Sleep was had, and I was slept on, sporadically. Hopes were still buoyant.

The following morning I could not initially see Riley, but given his previous behaviour, I was not worried, and figured him to be under a cupboard or behind a chair again. But then I couldn‘t see him anywhere. After a bit of calling (he always comes when I call him) I was slightly less confident. The room had an inside lock, which I had used, in case one of the house cats had summoned up the strength of Hercules and launched themselves at the door. Stupid, I know, but sometimes we do these things just in case! So I KNEW he had to be in the room somewhere. After about 30 minutes I was feeling twitchy. Nobody else was up, so I kept it to myself. Another 30 minutes passed, and I had searched under every cupboard, behind every chair, opened every drawer, and called him about a hundred times. Nothing. No squeak, mew or meow.

A tiny amount of panic now. Controlled panic. “It’ll be fine. He can’t have gone anywhere”. But then where IS he? I searched the rest of the house as best I could, trying to be quiet, not scream, as it had now been a couple of hours at least. Then the rest of the household got up, and got involved. Now it is worth saying here that we are all experienced cat owners, so that room was searched like a forensic science team employed on a results only commission basis. Sofa and chairs were upturned (in case he had worked his way into the base, somehow). Cupboard doors and chest-of-drawers were opened, repeatedly. Tiny spaces were invaded. “Riley” was called a bajillion times, by four different people. Nothing. Zip.

By now I was freaking out inside, but trying to stay calm and not scream at well-meant suggestions. It seemed we had some sort of Sherlock Holmes thing going on. A locked room, a missing cat. But we also had a really old building to take into account. Riley can get into pretty small spaces and, as he could not be found by four people searching a room, the only other option would seem that he had got out. But surely that was impossible. As the panic took a further grip I was envisioning some horrible incident with plaster and lath walls and a freaked out cat pushing a hole and ending up falling through into a wall cavity and down two storeys. Nuts, I know, but explanations were scarce. Or, had he somehow got out of the building completely and was running around the town, with no idea where he was?

I went to throw some clothes on, intending to look further afield. And then a shout from my sister. Riley had been found. He had, quite amazingly, hidden himself behind the bureau. Amazingly because it is almost the exact same width as the alcove it fits into, so no room to get around the side: he had to go over the top. Amazingly because the cat-savvy people who knew he was coming filled (almost) all the space behind the bureau with boxes and plastic crates. Amazingly because the whole top of the bureau was covered with several large photos in frames, a piece of framed needlework, a lamp and pc monitor, and a random organza ribbon bow, leaving barely an inch or two between each object. And not one thing had been disturbed. It had not seemed credible that a large cat would have been able to negotiate these obstacles cleanly and find the tiny space behind. Never underestimate the ninja….

Relief was huge. But now we had to get him out. He was behind about 50 inches of solid furniture which had been nudged into an alcove barely wider than the object itself. And Riley was making himself flatter, and flatter with every grasp or grab. My sister gamely tried perching on one leg, on a chair, whilst her beloved held her bum so she didn’t fall backwards. Or forwards, to join the cat. No luck, as we are simply too darn short. My BIL volunteered for round 2. Positions were reversed. Contact was made and Riley was dragged, unwillingly, from his hiding place, making like a rag doll. To stop him bolting straight back there I bundled him into the cat bag again and sat him on my knee, relieved, only for him to return the sentiment and relieve himself on me. A dousing of cat pee on my pyjamas. Nice. Thanks mate.

To think we (ok, I) had delusions of providing help and support, some quiet time and company for my mum who is not supposed to weight bear on her leg, and who within a few hours of our arrival was trying to upturn her sofa until we stopped her….

So, I have no card or paper craft to share today. But I have to do something with my hands, so made a trip to a local haberdashery store, bought a couple of balls of this yummy King Cole Riot yarn and have started knitting a scarf.

 

scarf2

 

scarf5

 

The slide show and tiled or mosaic picture options do not seem to be working for me today. Again. Grrrrr! I will just offer up this shot of a half-finished scarf looking a bit like a T-Rex.

Apologies for missing posts and comments. Hopefully now you know I have had my hands full!!

 

 

 

 

A free file for Paperpuff blogs I follow

Don’t you love it when something nice happens unexpectedly? A fellow blogger has made cutting files for the tea bag holder I posted. They ARE clever people!! Go visit the blog.

notsocleverpeople

I love this little tea bag pouch and I was determined to make it for my friend. Then I was thinking why not have it as a free file for everyone who liked it on Paperpuffs site?

All the directions to make it are on the site, I am just going to give you the free files in studio3 format,SVG and PDF format. This will give you the basic shape and you can add your own embellishments to the front. My embellishment was made with images from DesignBundles.net

My finished teabag holder is here:

Paperpuff’s Teabag holder Studio3

Paperpuff’s Teabag holder SVG

Paperpuff’s Teabag holder PDF

Embellishment Studio3

Thank you Paperpuff for posting this project

Carolyn

On Behalf of Not So Clever People (NSCP)

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3D Thursday: calorie free cake!

Well maybe that is not true. Perhaps paper, glue, batteries and plastic do contain calories, but not the tasty, moreish kind. And my alternative title of ‘inedible cake’ sounds rather less enticing.

I like giving ‘alternative’ or unexpected birthday cards and that box is certainly ticked here. Pinterest is to blame again. I decided to make one of the cute little battery tea lights turned into a birthday cake. I had seen a few, with varying degrees of decoration. Mine are, of course, on the less decorated side. Partly from personal preference and partly because I don’t have much time for anything more.

There are no doubt plenty of tutorials out there, but I chose to ignore them and just go for my own version. Sometimes a quick ten minutes in Pinterest can morph into several lost hours! I took a favourite pad of papers (Craftwork Cards Heritage Rose) so I knew everything would go together, something always worth doing when time is short or a deadline looms. For the first tea light cake I simply covered the sides with spotty paper and die cut two scallop circles for the top and bottom. Then I punched a hole roughly in the centre of one and made some small snips outwards from the hole. This allows you to ease the circle over the light bulb, but obviously looks a bit messy so needs covering up again afterwards. Some punched flowers did the trick. I wanted the same scallop circle for the cake base, but you also have to be able to switch the bulb on, so I used a small oval die to cut a neat aperture. Perhaps those tutorials might have given me a better solution for this, but hey, it works! A simple box from the same paper range helps to present it nicely. If I had more time this box would have been a bit fancier for sure.

tea-light-cake-pink-and-box

tea-light-cake-pink

I also cooked up a second ‘cake’, even more quickly. This one was made with a Christmas purchase for the bargain price of £1 for 4 tea lights! They are already covered in a smoky quartz shade of glitter – yum! Basically I did the same thing but used a fancier and slightly larger scallop circle die for the base. Also because this light has little ‘feet’ I just stood it on the base scallop die cut. It would certainly be possible to fix it permanently to the ‘cake’, in the same way as the top layer really, but I think it is fine as it is.

tea-light-cake-glittered

So there we have it. Two cakes, no calories. I did think about naming them “shark infested” cakes actually. It’s the shape of the bulbs…..

 

I blame Doris Day. And Julia Roberts.

Little gift bags. Don’t you love them? I do, slightly to the point of obsession, in truth. I think it is due to all those movies where you see someone out on a shopping spree. We watch a montage bit, with nods and smiles to the shop staff, an impromptu catwalk show for one and some uplifting ‘what good fun this is’ music. Then the immaculately dressed star appears tripping daintily along with an unwieldy haul of beautifully presented packages, boxes and bags.

Real life isn’t like that. Doris and Julia didn’t shop in the rain, having forgotten their umbrella, thus ending up with lank hair plastered to their heads and a whiff of damp wool or anorak about them. Or with a streaming cold that made their nose go red and render them nearly incomprehensible to the assistant. They didn’t have to lug badly made plastic carrier bags that, once stuffed with your practical purchases, weigh a ton and cut into your hands. Only you didn’t realised this was happening because your hands are so darn cold (your gloves are with your umbrella, at home, in the warm) you have lost most of the feeling anyway. Doris and Julia didn’t have to choose sensible shoes over kitten or stiletto heels because the hours of tramping the aisles or pounding the pavement would make their pretty ankles swell like swiss rolls. Theirs was a very different shopping experience, one I am yet to emulate.

Aaaaanyway, back to the reason for the rambling. I have made a simple card and gift bag using the same stamp. I have had this La Blanche stamp for years and love the fine detail of it, but am not much of a one for the traditional sunflower colours so decided to go for grey and black.

sunflower-bag-and-card-1

My fabulous WRMK Gift Bag Punch Board was used to make the bag from plain white card, which I punched and scored to see where the panels would fall, but did not assemble. This meant I knew where I needed to position the stamp to get it bang on the front. I also die cut ovals to make the handles, then a larger oval frame from black to reinforce them. And to make the bag fancier! Then I went mad and blinged up a small wooden peg with holographic gold tape from The Works. Doris and Julia don’t get all the fun!

To make the card a bit more interesting I just cut a section of the image from the bottom and layered onto black mats. An old trick but it works a treat! The oval shape for the stamped sentiment is the one I cut from the gift bag, to tie everything in, hopefully nicely. And a few pale orange Nuvo Drops for a tiny splash of colour.

 

Yellow Fever

Just a quick post. Here are two more cards I made this week. It would seem I have yellow fever. Normally I don’t ‘do’ yellow much – although we did go through a small fortune and a bajillion tester pots trying to find the ‘right’ yellow for the hallway and stairs many years ago. To be honest we could have painted the whole space in the purchased tester pots, there were that many. No yellow went untried. Maybe this, or custard tarts, has put me off….

But recently the yellow has been beckoning. Thoughts of, and hopes for spring, I guess. Or maybe I just want to eat a pound of butter. Unlikely. Let’s go with spring.

spring-card-pair

Anyway, two cards, both stamped, one entirely flat, the other almost so. I couldn’t resist adding a couple of Nuvo Jewel Drops as they are so shiny and translucent and yummy.

an-spring-dahlia-blossomsan-spring-tulip

Supplies: Altenew Tulip and Dahlia Blossom stamps sets and various Altenew inks; Tonic Nuvo Jewel Drops; Hunkydory Adorable Scorable yellow card

 

3D Thursday: Brew-tea and the Box’d

Sorry, Mr Disney…..

Once upon a time, whilst foraging for craft supplies, PaperPuff came across a small cardboard curiosity. “WTH (polite version) is this?” She thought. On further tentative inspection it appeared to be a kind of favour, or gift wrap for those cute little individually packaged tea bags. The mists of wine time cleared and PaperPuff remembered the box, and how it came to be. She had seen it many moons past on Craft telly and made one quick, before she forgot about it. Then she forgot about it. Silly PaperPuff!!

tea-bag-holder-pair

Don’t you just love it when a plan falls apart?!

I honestly don’t know if these are faithful replicas made from measurements supplied, or whether I employed good old Brain to work it out. However, to be honest, some basic measuring is all we need to do. I hope I am not doing anyone an injustice.

So, I thought it might make a nice 3D Thursday project and set about re-measuring and making another. There are I believe many versions of this kind of holder out there: this one is super-simple and requires a minimal amount of tools.

If you want to have a go, here is what to do:

I used Twinings individually wrapped tea bags which measure 6.5cm wide x 7.5cm high. If yours are different you will of course need to take this into account.

1. Grab a piece of decent weight double-sided card and cut it to 8 x 25cm

2. Score this at 9, 11, 20 and 21.5cm, fold and burnish the creases. If you want you can round the corners of the top flap (the 3.5cm panel). I couldn’t find my corner rounder (I know, find one thing, lose another!!) so went for a WRMK scallop Chomp instead. I expect this too will have disappeared next time I need it.

Tip: if your card has a one-way pattern, remember that as you are basically making a wrap, at some point the pattern will be upside down. Obviously the back is the best place for this (and you can always cover it over with another panel if this bothers you)! If you make your first score at 9cm from the top of the pattern (think of it as a roll of wallpaper) this should work out fine and your top and lower flaps at the front should both be the correct way up. If your one-way pattern repeat is going to be on the inside you will need to flip this, so your first score (9cm) will be at the bottom of your piece. Or, make life easy and just choose a non-repeat patterned paper!

3. Next cut 2 pieces of card 11 x 8cm. These are going to form the pleated side sections. You can go crazy and choose another pattern here for extra interest. I did on the first holder I made (the spotty one) but figured I had enough going on already on the second one with the birds.

Score these pieces at 1.5cm, then again at 1cm intervals until you get to 9.5cm, leaving a last section of 1.5cm again.

4. Concertina fold these score lines. Add strong double-sided tape (or glue if you prefer) to the outside of the 1.5cm tabs and fix them inside the ‘wrap’. I found it easier to stick each of to the back first, then the front, and you want the raw edge (not a fold) of the 1.5cm sections to be on the inside. If you butt the pleated sections up to the score lines and the base, and just keep the sides square with your hand, it happens really easily. If this is at all confusing, look at the images below for the positioning. Much better than me trying to explain!! The slideshow I planned would have been even better, but it is refusing to work for some reason I cannot fathom.

5. To make your dividers, just cut more patterned card into 7.5 x 8cm rectangles – you will need 3 for this configuration. Slide them into your pleated sections and ba-boom, instant little pockets!

The fastening can be whatever you want. I had used baker’s twine on the first one and ribbon this time. Cut enough to wrap around and tie in a bow – I snipped a length a little under 60cm to give enough to play with and trimmed the excess. I used a die cut for one closure and fussy cut an image for the other, and punched a small hole at the bottom. The ribbon or twine was glued centrally on the top flap, close to the edge, and then fed through the hole and tied.

 

What did I learn second time around? Well, because my one-way pattern repeat was quite large I wasn’t happy with how it looked where the top and bottom sections met at the front, so I just cut a panel the same size from a closer pattern repeat and covered the offending top tab completely. Really, smaller, or massively larger patterns would probably be better options. The spots I chose initially were a good way to go if you want to keep it simple.

You don’t need double-sided card, it just makes it more interesting if the inside is also colourful. I want to make a stamped version too, with a teacup as the fastener, which I think will be kind of cute. Time is always an issue though!

These little pouches could be for gifts, showers, favours, or a small thank you, perhaps. You could leave out the concertina folds in the sides and just make a small unpleated section to create a simple single pocket. But something about pleated paper makes me happy…..

Supplies: both holders are made from Tilda Winterbird paper pad

Lickety Split: hugs and kisses in 10 minutes

Here we are with another Lickety Split post: super-speedy projects that can be made from scratch in less than 15 minutes. This one didn’t even take 10 minutes. Of course this means they are simple – not being a superwoman – but hopefully they still look good.

xoxo

Coming from a generation that was taught that punctuation and grammar matter I am not the biggest fan of text talk generally. Although I often break the language rules now, either deliberately, or because I have genuinely forgotten them! But some of this new shorthand is winning me over, gradually. I do like ‘hugs and kisses’ expressed like this. I have embraced LOL and although I will probably never love it or send it XOXOs I understand and appreciate its usefulness. It is good for language to change, but I hope it remains colourful, descriptive and rich. That would be amazeballs! OK, so that new word is pretty darn spanking….

To make this I used a set of letter dies in a quite unfussy font, one card blank, a scrap each of black and red card and that was it. I cut the X and O to represent hugs and kisses twice each and then, because the die set had a small heart too (along with numbers and ordinals, very handy) I thought I may as well add a couple of those for good measure.

For the positioning of the letters I laid a good solid ruler across the card at the height I wanted the letters to be. Then I found the centre point: my card measured 14.5cm across, so the centre was 7.25cm. I know, I should have made it a bit easier on myself! So, back to noting the centre point. I then positioned an O at 7cm on the ruler and an X at 7.5cm to get good spacing, and butted them up to the edge of the ruler as I stuck them down, to get them straight. Personally I find this easier than lots of fiddly measuring and marking. After that I just eyeballed the spacing for the outer two letters and the hearts.

You don’t need dies to do this – stamps would work but the alignment might be a little trickier. Although you could always just go for the trusty ‘intentionally wonky’ instead. Letters could also be printed and cut out, or just printed onto card and folded.

There are, after all, plenty of words out there!

Dies: Docrafts Xcut Wedding Alphabet & Numbers

 

 

More anchors than the Navy

This is a card I made for personal use. The recipient lives at the coast, and I think I briefly became like one of those who, at the mere mention of boats, feels compelled to dress in all things nautical. This is my card-making equivalent of a striped top, gold-buttoned blazer, deck shoes and a spotted kerchief or peaked cap…..

come-sail-with-me

I started off with a fab Crafty Individuals stamp which has a sailing boat (or maybe it is a yacht, I am ignorant as to the difference between the two) and a collage-type background with maps and text. As the bottom of the stamp said ‘Come Sail with Me’ and the card is for someone else’s fella I kind of lopped that off by scuffing up the edges with scissors. I then re-inked the stamp twice more, once in the same blue and once in a brown, and fussy cut the boat only to give me a small flotilla instead of a lone sailor.

Next I used an Inkylicious worn paint stamp, which I dusted with some of the same brown ink. The base of the card is a TODO anchors embossing folder, used on white card which has been inked on the reverse side with the Adirondack Denim ink. I really like how this bit turned out.

Once everything was layered up I still wanted more detail, or interest. So I grabbed some bunting dies and made what I hope looked like some boaty-type flags, plus a couple of pennant shapes too. And some punched gold circles for rivets. Oh and then yet another anchor!! I think I may have got them out of my system now…

Supplies: stamps Crafty Individuals CI 457 and Inkylicious Worn Paint; Inks – Adirondack Denim and Distress Vintage Photo; Dies – Poppystamps Anchors Away and Tattered Lace bunting from a stepper card set; TODO anchors embossing folder (sorry, I don’t know the actual folder name, if it has one!); all card from stash

 

Unnatural selection, and reinvention

I have had this colour scheme in my head for a few days. I wanted a limited but punchy palette, so coloured this daisy stamp in shades unnatural to its species and selectively, so petals only. The centres remain deliberately monochrome (in case anyone thinks I just gave up!), along with the rest of the card.

The bottom section is just random stamping of Altenew Freeform Greenery in black. It reminded me a bit of that 1950s black and white Homemaker china that everybody seemed to have a plate of lurking in the back of the cupboard and threw out the week before it got fashionable again.

red-daisy-1

Recently I rediscovered my Label Love stamps – hurrah! They had been missing for months but resurfaced inside (I know, don’t judge me) an embossing folder. So they get to be used again to add a bit more inky darkness.

Basically, what I have done is just repeated the design of my old faithful Peony Bouquet card (the one I use for my Gravatar) in different colours. But ‘reinvention’ sounds so much more complimentary.

Supplies: stamps are all from Altenew – Spring Daisy, Freeform Greenery and Label Love.