Remember yesterday?

Today I set about making the card I intended to make yesterday, before I had rudely interrupted myself and gone ‘off piste’. Or ‘off poste’, maybe?! So if you saw yesterday’s effort, you know it is Altenew roses, pink, vellum and silver. I can’t surprise you. Except that the silver was meant to be for leaves, not the base card. I also had in mind to use wood grain embossed effect again, make some kind of tag and hope for a happy outcome.

Then I got an attack of that well-known crafting complain the Dilemmas. Emboss both the tag and background or just one, and if so, which? I die cut lots of silver leaf sprigs. Use lots? One? None, in the end. I was going to have two different strips of texture and pattern across the bottom of the tag and ended up with one. I was going to heat emboss all the edges of the tag and then decided to leave the bottom plain. Not sure why, but I am glad I did.

Finally I get to the assembly stage and the Dilemmas still have a hold of me. I cannot decide on the base card. White wood grain or linen effect silver?

I’m still not sure which I like better. Anyone got a preference? Also, TWO cards! Just thought I’d mention it….

A happy accident

Today, inconveniently whilst at work, a card idea popped into my head and just would not quit. I could picture it clearly, albeit in a few different variations, and I knew it was achievable and would look pretty, if I did it justice. Once home I set about making it. It was going to take a while as there are quite a few different elements – some of which I have to go on the now daily hunt for – so it was not going to get done today. Who cares? This occurs so rarely I have to make the most of it!

But, having stamped my roses and started to do my die cutting, as I was setting things aside, this more or less happened. And I quite liked it. So, the intended card(s) will have to wait another day or two, but in the meantime I have something unexpected, and quick to boot!

AN rose silver card

The rose and single leaf are stamps and dies from Altenew. I also used Altenew inks. The leafy sprig die is part of a set from Tattered Lace. All the leaves have been cut from Woodware White Shade vellum.

AN rose  silver card detail

Whose stupid idea was this?

Mine. I am sometimes going to try and make two cards/projects a day. Given that I only have a limited amount of time in the evenings, this is a best a foolhardy decision. But I’ve said it now, so I gotta give it a go. At least I only said ‘sometimes’. Maybe every third day?? Fifth day? Still too ambitious? Just random, then. Relief.

As I would not want to flunk on day one though, here is my second card for today.

My self-imposed rules say there has to be an element of crafting, so I can’t just grab a topper and stick it on a card blank. Well today I can’t anyway. By next week that might become totally acceptable.

I used Louise Tiler digikits in Serif, created my own background, not a whole page, just big enough to be the base layer. I made the sentiment using the included letters and added a larger umbrella. Everything fits onto one A4 sheet to print. A bit of cutting out and layering and job done. It’ll do. Phew!


Rediscovered Roses

I’m still rediscovering stamping. The inky kind, not the hissy fit kind (although sometimes the latter is tempting). This means trawling through boxes of old stash, usually looking for one thing and finding another. Sometimes I have no idea what possessed me to buy the sorry item I have found, but sometimes a little nugget of gorgeousness fights its way to the surface and winks beguilingly at you, just begging to be used. This has just happened. Whoo hoo!

It is Wednesday, so it has to be quick and easy again. “No point in adding extra pressure by trying to produce a midweek masterpiece” was my original resolve when I decided to try and make a card a day. I have already flunked that anyway, and now I have for some mad reason decided to up the ante and sometimes try for two! I can’t even explain or justify the logic of this to myself…

This Darkroom Door stamp is divine, and straight away a couple of ideas popped into my head. Here is the simplest one to accomplish:

Cream and grey look classy and a bit softer than cream and black – although I love that combination too! The embossing folder is from Tonic, the punch is a Martha Stewart one and the heart was in a mixed batch of embellishments that I have also had since for ever.

OK. now off to try and rustle up card number two… might be a plaster stuck on a blank card with Get Well Soon scribbled underneath it….would that count??


Cat + BBC = birdbrain

This morning, as usual before work the TV is switched on for BBC Breakfast news. I’d like to say it is so I can keep abreast of current affairs, sharpen my intellect and develop informed opinions on all the topics of the day. And of course (!) it is but it is also in case there are any road works, failed traffic lights (or phantom bus stops) that will affect my journey.  So, telly on, jump under the shower and….what the ‘bleep’ is that noise? TV volume is up to the maximum and now people three houses along can save electricity by turning off their TV and listen to mind instead.

I guess maybe the cat must have jumped/sat on the remote? But I’m not sure, and he is giving nothing away, sitting across the room and washing lazily. I remedy the situation, have a quick chuckle, scratch cat fondly on the head and get on. Local news coming up. Great. Except instead of a London accent the presenter clearly comes from Northern Ireland, and I am being told about bomb-making equipment being found near Larne. I am pretty sure Larne is nowhere around here. It sounds far too pretty. “Tee hee,” I think, “the BBC have made a mistake and everyone in the UK (or at least the South East) is getting the wrong local news!!” It switches back to the main presenters and nothing is said. THEY DON’T EVEN KNOW I think. Another chuckle.

30 minutes later the next local news bulletin is due. They announce it “now for the news where you are this morning” or something like that. But I appear to be transported, Dorothy-like, back to Northern Ireland again!  Shoddy workmanship by the BBC, I am thinking. Once, forgivable, but twice would get a ‘must try harder’ on their report.

Then, and only then, does my poor wee brain go, “hold on, wait just a second…did Riley (the cat) interfere with (sit on) more than one remote??”  Grab cable TV zapper, punch in the usual BBC One number and voila, I am back in South London. How did he do that??

Note to self: get caffeine inside you before all else. Otherwise you are an idiot!

So here, fittingly for today, we have a bird house, for my bird brain. I made this some time ago, and so as to  be honest and fair I need to say I think it was pretty much copied from an example or demo by the suppliers Crafter’s Companion. But sometimes if you are thinking about buying a product it is nice to see if it really works for us mortals!

This is from the Sweet Treats range and it was the first one I made. I used the embossing board and the accompanying CD for the flowery paper. Everything else was just scraps or stash. It does take a little while to do if you want to make the whole ’tiled’ roof effect but if you are in a hurry you could leave that out or maybe use dies cut strips to achieve the effect. I definitely wanted colour inside the box – it makes a massive difference to the end result. I know this because I printed one side only, got it all cut out, had a trial run holding it together and you could see that it lacked a bit of definition. So, print both sides of your card or do as I did and cut panels to glue inside. I really enjoyed making this box and they do have a bit of a wow factor!

Been out, come in, card, done, goodnight!

Just a quick one today. I have been out and busy, but still need to make something. Quick is clearly my new mantra. But what?? After a trial separation lasting many years I have fallen back in love with stamping, and currently Altenew stamps are my crafting equivalent of  Daniel Craig/George Clooney/Cary Grant/Lady Gaga/(insert your idol here). The stamps have lovely clean lines and the sentiments that are in a small, neat font particularly work so well they make me do the happy crafter hand clappy dance thing. We all know it, right?

altenew cupcake card

Pink and grey all the way! Looks better in real life, I promise!

altenew cupcake detail

Beetle mania?

The second thing I intended to do today was use (more!) old Kanban stamps I came across whilst rummaging last week. They are quite simple line drawings, almost caricatures, of iconic cars. My car knowledge is sketchy at best, but I think there is a mini, 2CV, Morris Minor, a Rolls Royce, Vespa, Camper Van and a Beetle, plus some road signs, speed limits and so forth. To me they look like paper piecing waiting to happen.

I chose the (I hope) Beetle (could be a mini!) as I had a mind to use some funky WRMK paper I have also had for ages. It is so bright and 1960s-ish that I thought it would be perfect. If you have never tried paper-piecing, give it a go; it’s a great way of getting colour into your card if, like me, you are not born to wield pens and pencils with any semblance of dignity. Also I find it very relaxing.

So, stamp my car once onto kraft card and cut it out. Do this first in case you make a mess of it. If you leave it to the end having done all your paper piecing and then get it wrong, there will be bad words used. Then stamp onto your patterned paper and cut out the sections you want, just inside the stamp line. This makes for a neater end result.

For the windscreen you have a choice. Stamp it again on white card, just the top bit with the windscreen, but this time with a blue ink, so you get the lines indicating the reflection. Now you can either cut this out in the same way (just inside the line) and stick it on to your patterned car and then stick that in turn onto your kraft card cut-out; or you can go in with the scissors and remove the windscreen section from your main image, then cut out your windscreen a little outside the line, to give you somewhere to put the glue. Stick it in place carefully, then adhere to your kraft card image. Obviously I went for the more complicated option. No idea why, really, except perhaps an urge to make sure that my simplistic hippie multi-coloured psychedelic vehicle looks as realistic as possible…?! And then I stuck googly eyes on it! Go figure. I couldn’t help it. When I looked at the car and the way the pattern had worked out it seemed like she had a bit of a pout. Not wanting to miss an opportunity to anthropomorphise, eyes had to be added. I have named her Clara.

hippie beetle detail

For the number plate again I stamped the bottom section of the car onto white card, then used a tiny word stamp to fit into the number plate before cutting it out and piecing it on. A kraft card background, embossed using Teresa Collins Modern Stripe, plus a tiny tag cut from more paper from the WRMK pad and a Spellbinders Charmed, I’m Sure die. Pink baker’s twine, 3d foam for the car and done.

hippie beetle card


Heart-shaped box

I have just tried out my new heart box dies. This is the first one, warts and all:

kraft heart box

I used some very sturdy patterned Kanban kraft card I have had for years. It’s not a terrible effort, but you can see it is untidy at the top. Also around the ‘shoulders’ of the heart it is not a seamless join. So I tried again.

Attempt number two is now introducing itself to the contents of the bin. It has plenty of other craft disasters there to keep it company. I tried making it from really thin card, thinking it would be easier to bend into shape, but actually it just magnified every flaw. I can’t show you a photo because I screwed it up in frustration!

So, how about a medium weight cardstock? Ladies and gentlemen, I give you attempt number three:

This time before adhering the side panels I went over the fold lines on the base and lid with a ball embossing tool, hoping that this would help the heart shaping of the shoulders to happen, and paid more attention to getting the join at the top neatly finished. Better, but not perfect. Still, I liked it enough to stick a ribbon on it.

So, am I happy with my purchase? Yes, I think so, but I need to play with these dies some more to get the best out of them. I can think of worse things to have to do!!

Vivid ice cream

Another sunny day today. The ‘commute’ home took a stupid amount of time, which is hugely annoying but, without a book to read, at it least offers the opportunity to people watch. Kids seem to love the sun. They just bounce along, full of joy and smiles, happy in the moment. Adults are a bit more complicated. Many look uncomfortable, caught betwixt and between. Some are almost dressed for the beach rather than town. Others are wearing knitted scarves or leather jackets with a summer dress; then at the polar opposite a couple sporting anoraks, sweaters and woolly hats. Presumably in case the weather takes an unexpected turn for the worse. Perhaps over-cautious, given that they are only on a round trip for groceries in a busy London suburb, not hiking in the Cairngorms. Still, you never know…

All this made me want to make something summery. And again, now, it would have to be quick.

lolly card 1

The stamping was a breeze and I was determined to make a one-layer card, so no 3d foam allowed. Now for colour.

I was aiming for either proper pastel ice cream colours or alternatively more intense sorbet shades, and I wanted to employ the ‘sprinkles’ stamp so I could use the lovely sentiment and it would all tie in nicely. But I haven’t touched my alcohol markers in a long time and am badly out of practice, so what I ended up with was more akin to lollies (popsicles) and ice cream suffering from the heavy-handed use of food colouring! Plus, instead of ‘sprinkles’, I think my ice cream looks like it needs a good shave. There is some Glamour Dust on there as well, for added, well, glamour, hopefully!

lolly card detail

I’m not ashamed of it, just ‘middling’, really! But the making of it did the job, and my equilibrium is more or less restored. Which is why so many of us do this really, isn’t it?

Shiny HAPPY, people

I hope REM don’t sue me….

Just a quickie as my new dies to make heart-shaped boxes arrived today and I can barely wait to have a go.

Apart from drying time for the shiny wordy (this is what they are now called in my head), this is a super-quick card to rustle up. Whilst I was making yesterday’s effort I figured I may as well do a second word too, in case the first was a washout. So I have a shiny HAPPY sitting looking at me. Also left over from Sunday’s post I have another stamped flower which I can quickly fussy cut. Two scraps of the old faithful black and white striped paper, and 3d foam of course. I try to make some things flat for postage cost reasons but, like an addict, the hand reaches for the foamy stuff every time. Stick, layer, and we are done.

Martha flower and happy

martha flower happy detail

Black and pink again, I know!! But if you want something quick, it makes sense to use colours you know will work.

The HAPPY die is taken from a Tattered Lace birthday sentiment die.