Boys in blue

A couple more baby boy cards today. Both quick, both using Serif CraftArtist and Louise Tiler Baby Bloom digikit. Simple images, so I thought a bit of decoupage would be in order.

For each one I only need to use one sheet of cardstock. I decide the size and shape of the finished card and then add my ‘material’ (Serif name for a bit of backing paper you can resize) and make bigger/smaller as required for the base card. Then add the ‘Embellishments’ I want and again resize. Once that is done I copy and paste the resized embellishments as many times as required to be able to make multiple cuts for the decoupage. Shuffle everything around a bit to fit, print and craft.

LT baby booties

For the ‘washing line’ one I just cut the three main items out again, used a 3d foam pad low down on the cut-out and glued the top part (the pegs, basically!) flat onto the image below. Hopefully to give a breezy feel (thought about saying ‘windy’ but decided against it!). With such simple cards just a little bit of extra detail or interest helps, I think. Maybe?

LT baby washing line

Hope you like them!

Advertisements

Arrgh! Malfunction!

So sorry, I am having major keyboard/pc/brain issues. I think I just accidentally managed to delete some responses to my post earlier tonight. Please, nobody be offended. It was totally unintentional. I was in the middle of replying and it all went horribly wrong. I got a big red X I have never seen before and no chance to remedy the situation! Imagine a sad face emoji here and also know that I have had to backspace and delete about fifty times just to type this paragraph.

Goodness knows what might happen in the next hour….wish me luck….

Congratulations. It’s an Elephant.

A work colleague is having a baby soon, which means I get to make a baby card or two. Actually I will probably make about a dozen. We’re not expecting a record breaking multiple birth here, just the one new arrival, but as I love making baby cards I am going for it big time. I could be grandiose and say I am ‘exploring a theme’ or some such notion, but really I just enjoy creating them so grab any opportunity, with the fervour of a salesman on commission who has had laryngitis for the best part of a month.

Here is the first of the many. I used Altenew inks, Baby Zoo stamps and dies. The set has all sorts of sentiments you can mix and match to change things up a bit. Altenew sentiments in general seems to stamp so, so well I feel I can use them confidently straight on to my base card (although I haven’t done this here). I’m sure there will be some that don’t work well every time – that just happens with stamping – but so far I have been pretty lucky. For any card I make I usually do the risky bits first rather than leave them until the end and ruin all the effort. But with stamped sentiments, you can of course always just re-stamp until you get it right, cut it out and 3d it over the carnage you have unwittingly created.

I made what I understand is possibly called a ‘belly band’ for the sentiment. Really? Couldn’t they have come up with a nicer name than that? Belly is a word I only use under duress. Not fond of tummy either though come to that. Maybe I am just tricky customer. What other options are there? Midriff? Nope, sounds like the name of a battle.

Anyway, b-band made, some stamped animal outlines and one picked out with the additional detail. Layer onto coloured cardstock, another layer inside with a stamped sentiment ( I know no fear) et voila! Pretty quick but I am chuffed with it.

AN Baby Zoo ellie card and tag

I also rustled up a gift tag made with the same coloured card and using the negative created by cutting the elephant die partially into a white tag shape. Again, a simple stamped sentiment, punched hole reinforced with a punched coloured circle and some ribbon. I would probably just use this with a plain tissue-wrapped present or maybe make a white or yellow gift bag.

Supplies: Altenew Baby Zoo stamps and dies; Altenew inks: Mango Smoothie, Peach Perfect, Ocean Waves, Jet Black; American Crafts Spring cardstock; Ribbon from Create and Craft

 

 

 

When men make you hit the bottle….

By which I mean those times when you need a present for a chap. Maybe you don’t know them that well so their favourite wine/spirit is a safe choice, or perhaps they have so much ‘stuff’ they really don’t want any more, or just because they enjoy a tipple and it would be the gift they appreciate most. Better than socks. Unless you have lovingly hand knitted them of course, which elevates their present ranking to stratospheric. For most of us then, you buy them booze. But now you have to wrap it. Options are sometimes limited. Bottle bags, readily available, but often a bit too girlie. Then you have to store them, find them when you need them, do the ‘will it take the weight’ test…. Or you can make a sturdy box if you are that way inclined. Sometimes I am. But the cardstock required can be pricey, and it takes a bit of time to make. I don’t always have that time, and I have this thing that whilst wrapping should always be totally marvellous, you don’t want to hype the gift up so much with the bells and whistles that the actual present is a let-down. You don’t want the thrill of Baby Spice on the outside to only turn into the disappointment of Old Spice on the inside, if you see what I mean? You don’t want the box to look like it might have, say, 20 year old malt whisky when you have actually bought beaujolais nouveau. Or supermarket plonk.

Anyhoo, I thought I would make some bottle tags, in advance, ready to adorn any gift bottle required. These are the first two, made with Hunkydory Gentleman’s Journey. I don’t buy kits much any more. Nothing against them, I just don’t feel I do them justice. Others produce such stunning projects and my fingers won’t do the same. But with Gentleman’s Journey I loved the kit so much as soon as I saw it, I knew I would succumb, so I waited and bought it on sale. I haven’t made much with it so far – just a couple of cards – but I thought it would lend itself to bottle tags really well.

This is the first one I did. I’m not entirely happy with it, but then I tell myself it will just be round the neck of a bottle of wine or something and, well, get a grip basically! It is a strip of the Hunkydory printed /foiled card from the kit, cut to 6.5cm wide. This is a good width for a standard wine bottle. The length of the strip is up to you. This one was 21cm (size of the card) but I trimmed a bit from the bottom to re-use. Score the long edges at 6.5cm and fold. Cut your circle to go over the neck of the bottle in the 6.5cm square you have just made. I used a Spellbinders 4cm die.

I then took a page of the horse racing image from the ‘Little Book of’ that came with the kit, trimmed it down and adhered it level with the right hand side of my tag but leaving a border top, bottom and left hand side. I then added the strip I had trimmed from the bottom earlier to cover the top cut edge. Add a topper and sentiment, overlapping the sides by quite a way. Actually I think I went too far with the oval topper and that is what is not quite right with it for me. Then I used some Card Candi.

I like the second one more. It is shorter than the first – mainly because the cat chewed on the kraft card that was my starting point so I had to cut that bit off! I used one of the inserts to cover the tag, with the square pattern at the top. And yes I know this means a bit of the wording is upside down, and I fretted about this for a few minutes and then acknowledged that it didn’t matter. One. Tiny. Bit. I covered the bottom third with a part of a page taken from the Little Book again and added a small topper on 3d foam. I cut the flag from the same sheet from the Little Book and stuck it onto some card to make it sturdier. Because it is that bit shorter, you could use it for a beer bottle as I did in the photo (mainly because I don’t actually have two wine bottles to hand!). Or swanky olive oil for a keen cook, maybe?

The beauty of these is that, if you don’t write on them, the recipient (well, their wife or girlfriend) can reuse them, like we all do with bottle bags. So it is sort of two gifts in one! And because the kit is so huge, you could rustle up a themed card to go with it.

I’m going to make a few more modern ones, and some for us womenfolk too.

 

Today is…Cat-urday?

I recently told a friend that at some point in the future I hoped to have a dog. Her immediate question was ‘what will you call it?’ This took me by surprise a bit – most people ask ‘what sort?’ I realised that I usually name my pets after meeting them – sometimes within a few hours, more often it has taken me days to come up with something I like and that I think fits their personality or behaviour. The only time I didn’t do this was with Riley (the current cat) who was briefly called Pumpkin.

The reasons for this are/were many:

It is a term of endearment I sometimes use

It was Autumn, not much after Halloween when I first met him

He was sort of orange (ginger) in places

I call the end of the work day ‘pumpkin time’, as in make like a pumpkin and get the heck out of Dodge (to mix Cinderella with the wild west…)

 But after having him for a couple of days I went off the idea. It was too cute a name for a cat clearly full of mischief. I needed something a bit more cool, more edgy. Ideas, suggestions, rejections and eventually Riley was settled on. And it really suits him.

Back to my friend. I also know she had her dog’s name picked out ages before she actually got him. But it really suits him too though. So which is it? Does the personality dictate the name or does the name dictate the personality?

What are the best names for pets you have heard? How did you decide on yours?

With pets on my mind I made a couple of really quick and simple cards using Serif CraftArtist and Born to Shop Pets digikit.

Royal Cat

morning cat

Photos are a bit gloomy because it looks like the end of days outside at the moment.

Kinda Anna?

The UK is reeling from the fallout of the Brexit referendum. I’m giving nothing away about how I voted, but reactions of other people to the result, and to each other, have been interesting. It seems the ’out’ verdict was a surprise to pretty much everyone I spoke to; a few who told me they had voted to exit the EU said they hadn’t thought the (small) majority would vote the same way. I think some were perhaps ruing their choice. Others were slightly stunned that it had happened, but were looking ahead with something like interest or curiosity. At work apparently an ‘in’ voter had to be calmed down after a furious tirade aimed at work colleagues who had ticked the ‘out’ box! Who knows what will happen. There is a strange feel to today.

Anyway, enough of the news, and back to the papers (!).  I’m with my Anna Griffin stash again. I really want to use a lot of it up, not because I don’t like it any more, far from it, but because otherwise it will get battered and tattered, faded and dog-eared. Not a fair way to treat such gorgeousness. Or, indeed, such financial investment!

This card took me a while, just because I could not make up my mind about what to put where. Same dilemma as I had voting yesterday! I think it is perhaps a bit closer to the Anna Griffin look I love?

AG brown cream rose card

I haven’t used a peel-off border sticker in ages. When I first started out card making they were practically compulsory! A long time ago I totally fell out of love with them alongside so many other crafters, but every now and again they are just exactly what I want. This card is old school, so old school equipment is fine! Everything else except the ribbon and Brilliance Pearlescent Olive ink for the sentiment is from my Anna Griffin stash, including the punch to make the border strips.

AG cream borwn rose card detail

Been exercising my franchise…

Just a quick post. No political arguments or attempts to influence. The only thing I have to say is that if you are in the UK, are eligible to vote today and have not yet done so, go do it if you can. It is important. I was dithering, unsure, unconvinced, but I knew I would not like myself much if I just didn’t bother. So I exercised me and my franchise at the same time by pootling off to the polling station and now I feel heaps better. You might too, whichever way you vote.

Scrapbustin’ gone awry

Like so many paper crafters, I find it difficult to bin stuff. When I make a card, it is only the smallest bits of waste that get tossed – you know, the bits that look like martians/amoeba/misformed vegetables/tattoos. Even though scraps go into recycling to help save the universe (!) I still want to keep anything pretty above a few centimetres in size, just in case it comes in handy for something else. And if it is from a more expensive range, well the law of inverse proportion comes into play. The more it cost, the smaller the scrap I will keep. I am almost willing to bet the farm (ok, I don’t actually own a farm. South London is not big on agriculture) that I am not alone here.

So, I have resolved to make more of an effort to use up scraps and then part company with the remnants that really are just taking up valuable space and serving no useful purpose.

Tough love! Buy it, use it, recyc-l-it! Ok, so that catchphrase needs some work. On the creative spelling if nothing else.

Dive right in to the general scrap box then? No, actually. There are two ranges of paper/card with which I am uber-fussy (sorry, can’t find an umlaut for my uber): Graphic 45 and Craftwork Cards. For these guys, whenever possible I am super-organised and store them by range/pad in pockets or folders and then I can include any tiny leftovers and keep them nice and safe. Because I have been using Craftwork Cards recently, I know there are lots of slivers and slices waiting for me in the Heritage Rose pouch. Convenience wins.

I need to apologise because this layout is definitely based on a card sketch I saw on Pinterest, and I was going to attempt to link to it but I cannot find the pin. I 100% believe in giving credit to the originator, so I am very sorry not to be able to do this. If anyone know the pin/site do let me know and I will try to include it.

Anyway, here is the card I made from scraps. And one tiny sentiment.

CWC heritage rose scraps card

Then, because I found it rather pleasing in design (sorry, I appear to have been briefly possessed by someone from the 19th century) I decided to use the same-ish layout again for another card. Using a stack from which I can find no scraps. Meaning many sheets of 12”x 12” paper have been rent asunder (19th century woman paying another visit). More scraps have been created. Nobody judge me, OK?! I’m just going to have to save the universe another day. In the meantime I need to make up another bag of bits…

Tilda Winterbird card

Supplies: Craftwork Cards Heritage Rose papers; Tilda Winterbird paper pad; Xcut tiny heart die and a small hole punch

 

 

 

 

 

 

Searching for my Inner Anna

Don’t worry, this is not a call to self-examine with a mirror and a yoga position. I mean Anna Griffin, supreme mistress of all gorgeousness. I have bought tons of Anna Griffin products over the years – mostly stamps and papers but a few other goodies too – and I regularly get them out, look at them, shove them around the table a bit and then give up and put them away again. I think it is because I know that whatever I try to make will not come up to the ideal I have in my head. I simply cannot achieve those ‘fully loaded’ cards. I wish I could, but there it is.

However a recent change of mindset has led me to give it another go. I am not going to try and copy Anna’s style; I realise my past failings at this have led to the products not being used, and they are way too lovely for that. It is a crime against paper and ink! So I am just going to use them my way and see what happens.

AG Black grey pink card

This is the first effort. I can’t believe I produced yet another black and pink card! I swear, I don’t even realise I am doing it! Only halfway through did I look down and think ‘oh phooey’ (that wasn’t the word, obviously!!) ‘I’ve done it again!’ So I might have to banish some of the goodies back to the drawers again, to give other colours a look-in.

AG Black grey pink card detail

Because I have had all these products for years, I cannot tell you the names I’m afraid, but the stamp and patterned papers are by Anna Griffin. The sentiment might be from a Chalkboard range, but I can’t be certain! The flower was also made ages ago. Because it is made with paper clay and takes several hours to dry I just have a bag of them all made up in case I have a paper-clay-flower-related emergency situation. The mould was from Tonic.

 

Let’s play a game!

AN Green grey spotty

The game is ‘what is wrong with this picture?’ Let me quickly give you a clue before I get any unwelcome suggestions. What is the word missing from all the following:

Earl ____ tea

Lady Jane ____

50 Shades of ____

GREY!!!!! When I stamped and cut out these flowers yesterday, I used grey inks. They looked pretty good and I had the design all mapped out in my head. When I came to work with them today, they had all turned green! How the hell did that happen? The inner child cries out “Elves!” whilst the more mature brain suggests “the ink must have reacted weirdly with the card you used”. I prefer the first suggestion, as I would hope to be able to train visiting elves to tackle the housework instead, but I guess that the ink and paper not getting along is the more likely scenario. So now I have a whole load of cut out green roses and leaves. I don’t want to bin them as they took a while to do, so a rethink is required. I tried out all sorts of colour combinations but as green roses don’t figure much in the real world, most of what I offered up just looked wrong. Then, I came across the spotty card base and thought it might work better than the pastels I had been trying, and I quite liked it. Black was an obvious choice for this second card, with a pale lemon to soften it a bit.

AN Green grey black

Not at all what I had planned but sometimes it just goes that way!

Supplies: Altenew Vintage Flowers stamps and dies; Craftwork Cards spotty card base; The Ribbon Room striped ribbon