Suits you, Sir!

Handmade cards for men are often said to be a struggle. Actually I rather like making them – probably because it forces me not to reach for pink anything. A limited colour palette and lack of frippery makes a refreshing change. And men deserve different, interesting or fun cards too, right?

These are made with the Docrafts Papermania Heritage Press stamps and papers. The stamps are great fun: it’s like being a virtual Jermyn Street tailor, strictly above waist only!!

 

Special Birthday

A work colleague and friend will be turning 60 next week. I wanted to make her something celebratory. Sometimes the big number birthdays carry so much angst with them that you need frivolity to fight it off. Champagne and prosecco are the best weapons. Both delicious and equally useful for hitting the enemy smack in the forehead with a well aimed cork.

tonic champagne header

The header, greeting and swirl dies are all from Tonic Studios.

Quick and simple cards for men

You can rearrange the title into your own joke!

These were made using the Take it Easy set from the Craftwork Cards A Pocket Full of Paper USB stick. The alphabet dies are from Docrafts (I can’t see a font name on the packaging).

Score card. Print background, cut to size and stick down. Die cut your word and add 3d sticky foam. Almost there.

For the Cheers one I used the 3d foam on alternate letters, for a bit of wobbly alcohol-based jokiness. Job done.

For AHOY! I went overboard (sorry!) and used a bit of translucent vellum to separate the two quite busy patterns. And then I pushed the boat out (sorry again, but I really can’t help myself) and punched out some pretend rivets from the same striped paper.

Maximum of 15 minutes per card.

Making a list..

No, I haven’t got my seasons wrong. I am a list person. Not in a casual “sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t” way, but a dedicated devotee. In fact, I think I may be a list abuser. Not of shopping lists, they  are still untainted and remain the sensible itemisation of grocery and household requirements carefully listed in the order of the supermarket layout from door to checkout. (If you don’t do this, stop reading now). I mean those lists of domestic tasks you want to achieve over a weekend or holiday break.

These too used to be honest lists of sensible and achievable targets, with a sprinkling of youthful ambition. Things like:

Mow lawn
Clean oven
Steam clean bathroom
Reorganise wardrobe
Paint front door

Then corruption set in. The lists started to change. Gradually, I started adding smaller things that were part of my routine anyway, like ‘do ironing’, to make me feel like I had achieved more. Take control, I thought. So I would set a goal – say if the list had ten tasks, I had to complete five. This worked for a while, but then, I am ashamed to say, I started to cheat my own system and jobs which had already been finished were included, just so I could cross them off and hit target!

But it didn’t stop there. The sheer number or scale of bigger tasks became even more ambitious, and of course to be able to continue with my self-imposed achievement percentage, the smaller tasks had to be something I could and would definitely accomplish. They now look something like this:

Paint front of house
Wash hair
Landscape garden
Eat lunch
Save the world
Stroke the cat

Guess what I have achieved so far?? If only I had put ‘writing a blog post’ on there…

Here’s a notepad I can make use of:

DSCF0459

 

 

 

 

 

Easter is early, so I am late.

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Totally true, but who wants to hear it?? I think ‘flying by the seat of your pants’ sounds like so much more fun. Picture it, literally. Fun, right? Dangerous and possibly catastrophic but what a buzz!

Here is my paper folding equivalent, rustled up today. A small milk carton type box to house one familiar gold chocolate bunny and some mini Easter eggs. I could have fitted two bunnies in, but we all know that is not a good idea.

bunny box

 

Easter Treat Favours

These little pouches are very easy to make, even at the last minute. You just need some small plastic bags, which cost almost nothing (mine are self-seal but it’s not vital), strips of card or thick paper, ribbon or baker’s twine, double sided sticky tape, a hole punch and a small die, or you could use a punch. Mine are for mini eggs, hence the cavorting  bunny, but you could use hearts for valentines or weddings, stars or reindeer for Christmas etc.

Mini egg favours

Cut your strip of card about .5cm wider than your bag and twice the length, plus 3 cm. Confused? This is to allow a 2cm flap to fold over at the top and a little clearance at the bottom once you stick the bag in. All will become clear.

So my bags are 6cm wide and 7cm tall and my strip of card is 6.5cm wide & 17cm long. I score the long side at 2cm and 9.5cm and crease well on the score lines.

If you want a die cut window, now is the time to do it. Remember to cut it from the section between your two score lines, with the 2cm ‘flap’ at the top. If you are using punches, or the die cut rather than the negative, you can stick it on now too, or later if you wish/forget.

Stick a narrow strip of double-sided tape on the inside of the same (front) section, close to the 2cm score line. Use a strip a bit smaller than your plastic bag. Stick the top of the bag to this. Fold up the bottom or back section, and fold the flap over to cover it at the top.

Punch holes in the top, making sure they are within your 2cm flap. Wide apart or close together, big or small, depending on your choice of closure. I like the sweetie bow look, which for these took about 23cm of ribbon, with a little wiggle room for trimming afterwards.

Do it in stages and they are very quick. They look really nice in a mix of cheery patterns and embossed card in spring colours. This year I went gingham crazy but anything works and if I had more time I would dilute the gingham a bit! Always last minute…

 

Clean & simple with layering stamps

This is made using different items from Stamps by Me, designed by Toni Darroch. They are fresh and clean images and the layering, or laminating as it is branded, is so, so easy. The stamps deliberately don’t make an exact fit, edges overspill and extra little dots add interest, so ‘perfect’ is not possible. Hurrah! Pressure off! Love them.

Here’s the first attempt…can’t wait to play more.

MBE hydrangrea blue

 

Peony Bouquet

More of the layering style stamps. Next up, Altenew Peony Bouquet. I loved the Altenew Vintage Roses so much I had to have more.  This image from the Peony Bouquet set has an additional thin outline, which I tried, but decided to leave out this time as a softer edge is much more forgiving for cutting out. Know your limitations, right?!

Altenew peonies 1

Always love a pinstripe! The greeting is also Altenew, from the Label Love set.

 

Stamping in Layers

Stamping is back, and has had a bit of a makeover! I kept seeing gorgeous cards on Pinterest, featuring  flower images with depth, and didn’t realise they were made with stamps. Eventually the penny dropped and I ordered some to have a go. I  was a bit wary as it looked tricky to get them aligned well, but these cards were made with my first attempts using the totally lovely Altenew Vintage Roses stamps. They are actually pretty forgiving, unless you get hiccups or a major scare midway through…

altenew roses 2

Same card but different:

altenew roses 1

I decided the leaf images were beyond my fussy cutting abilities so used my Tattered Lace dies instead. Possibly the most useful set of dies EVER!!

 

Step away from the word dies!

 

Can’t stop myself. Word dies are totally addictive. Match them with another craving – chocolate – and it’s all good.

Two versions of the same thing. For the chocolate brown card I cut the word twice from really thick packaging to give extra depth, then added the multi-coloured layer. For the sugar pink version I just inset the word die cut, because this is currently what rocks my world and makes me clap my hands like a kid who has just learnt to tie their shoes.

TL Love chocolate and pink

The die is from Tattered Lace and the cardstock is by Hunkydory.