In the wee small hours

You know that maelstrom of thought that goes through your head when you can’t sleep? Here’s a smattering of my wee small hours lunacy earlier today:

 “Oh, no, brain is pinging thoughts around in my head like a pinball machine again…

Why is it called a chain of thought anyway?

Hmm, chains…who said ’man is born free and everywhere he is in chains’? French chap…Descartes…no….Rousseau…I think…?

Was there a Mrs Rousseau? And if so, did she have a trousseau?

What then was Descartes famous for….oh yes, ‘I think therefore I am’….

Remember that book of graffiti you had as a kid?  With the joke version ‘I’m pink, therefore I’m Spam’?

Well that joke won’t work nowadays will it, because Spam doesn’t mean processed luncheon meat to most people any more….

If I was writing this down I could put LOL at the end of that sentence…

I don’t like the look of LOL.. do I like ‘The Look of Love’? Not sure. Who recorded it anyway?? Oh yes, Dusty Whatshername…who calls a kid Dusty? Was that her real name?

Back to LOL. it does come in handy…I use it, but I don’t like looking at it…probably because it is in shouty capitals…

But what is the present participle? When I use LOL, I can’t be ‘lolling’, can I? Can I? Am I?”

Oh sleep, where art though??

Here’s a card.

TL Ornate Lattice cut out 2

This is made using Tattered Lace Ornate Lattice. It is a two-part set that can cut into your card, and then has a separate outer die if you want to remove it completely. I haven’t used dies quite in this way before, but purely by luck really I worked out that it was easier to just cut into a piece of card about two centimetres bigger than the detail die itself, then snip out the section you want at the top and bottom, but leave the sides with their border intact. This border keeps it stable for sticking down. Your base card needs therefore to be smaller than your selected section. Stick it onto your card, then trim off your ‘stabilisers’ at the sides. I realise it might have been helpful if I had taken pictures as I went along (!!), but if anyone wants to give it a go and needs me to explain myself better, just put it in a comment and I’ll do a step-by-step.
It is relatively quick to do and quite effective. I’m going to try it out in lots of different colour combinations and with similar dies.

Nun spotting

Lately I have been seeing more than the usual amount of nuns. Zero is precisely the usual number so anything above that is notable. This is Southeast London, not the Vatican City. We have no cathedral, no convents. I really hadn’t seen a nun out and about for years. Then, a few weeks ago, there was one on my bus journey to work. Her habit got caught in the door as she got off, but she and her modesty were luckily intact. She laughed it off as two kind and lovely young men came to her aid and no harm seemed to have been done.

A few days later I saw another, foolishly running across the road in front of a bus, whilst looking the other way.  I screwed up my eyes and…nothing…Nun intact and no harm done again. But two nuns in transport-related incidents? C’mon!

More days pass and I see nun number three. This one was licking an ice cream. I am not sure this is within the rules of acceptable nun behaviour (my nun knowledge is sketchy and based on childhood experience) but she didn’t look guilty so I guess maybe things are more lenient than when I was a kid. I think this might have required some reparation back in the day.

Then, two nuns together, walking arm in arm! Now I am really beginning to wonder. It’s like when you get a new car and your consciousness of the make and colour is raised. Suddenly you see your car’s doppelganger everywhere. I am on nun alert. But I am pondering: all their Habits were various colours, which to me means different Orders, I think? I have some dim recollection that clothing for novices is not the same, but then I think maybe I am confusing nuns with martial arts. I’m pretty sure you don’t get a black belt in ‘nunship’. Then again, times seem to have changed. Maybe they have badges like Boy Scouts now?

What is going on? Why the sudden increase in visible nuns? Is it a ‘Call the Midwife’ factor coming in to play here? My curiosity is piqued!

Then, on my way home tonight, a man gets on the bus dressed in colourful monk’s robes, lugging a crammed bag of M&S food and a box of wine! Has the universe changed that much? Did I miss the email? Was I out getting a coffee when it happened? I guess the world has loosened up a little!

Anyway, I had a yellow rose left over from my last card. Shame to waste it, so a card with just one focal flower is required.

yellow rose grey chevron card

Supplies: Altenew Vintage Flowers stamps and Four Scoops inks; Dies: Poppystamps Hip Hello and Sue Wilson Faux Quilled Leaves; Background paper: Serif CraftArtist Louise Tiler Modern Gent digikit

Please, nobody faint…

Because (a) I have done something, for me, vaguely clever with Serif CraftArtist

And (b) I have a handy tip

So (a) then. I have mentioned before how I don’t use my CraftArtist software to anything like its potential. I basically print and then hybrid craft. But, eyeing up my Altenew stamp collection I knew I wanted a black dotty background for the yellow roses I intended to make, but smaller than the spots in my beloved polka dot stamp.

My poor wee Brain told me it must be possible to make my own background digitally, but I had not much clue how. Again, my fault, I should invest some time in learning, which so far I have failed to do. Still, nothing like a deadline (bedtime) to sharpen the mind. I won’t bore you with the details of how I accidentally majestically managed it, but look, I have a random dotty background! Ok it is not perfect, but Rome wasn’t built in a day, apparently. Well of course it wasn’t built in a day. Only the three little piggies managed major real estate construction in a day and clearly that was not a model for success.

Aaaanyway. (b) then. It’s a small tip, but it might be handy. I wanted to stamp one of the roses from my Altenew Vintage Flowers, which is a three layer stamp, in yellows, but I don’t have their range of yellow inks, or any other three yellow-through-orange inks that would go together. I tested some combinations, but they were not pretty. I do though have the Four Scoops set, which has a yellow and a peach that work with each other. I stamped just two layers and actually it would have been perfectly fine, but as I don’t venture into ‘yellow territory’ often I kind of wanted to embrace it totally. Like wallowing a bath full of custard. No point in just sticking a foot in, right?

Quick mental check – apparently Brain is still in the building and happy to be called upon. Hurrah! ‘Try a water-based marker pen’ it suggested. Quite a specific instruction, really. ‘You have loads. You never made proper use of them’. Ok. I get the message. Now Brain is starting to sound like a nagging other half and as far as I am concerned it can bog off until it can be civil again. I am away, a now brainless woman on a vital mission. A pale yellow marker pen is retrieved, stamped over the Altenew inks, works fine, love it, job done.

yellow rose black polka dot

I cannot find my Label Love stamps anywhere, so again I used CraftArtist and made my own sentiment. No fear!


Pushing buttons

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I logged in to Bloglovin’ this morning to take a look at some sites I follow, and my own site came up as a recommendation I might like! Does this happen to everyone? Is it how it works? I have no idea. Anyway, there was a little button which urged you to claim the site if it was yours. I am not normally a random button pusher (my one and only quality that would make me a good Prime Minister) but this time I decided to give it a go.

Apparently you have to copy a link in to a post and then publish. Actually the instructions from Bloglovin’ are really clear and simple so this just might be ok. It has worked in the preview so fingers crossed!

Light the fuse and stand well back.


White on White, mostly

Just a quick post as I lave a lot to do today. Another ‘mostly white’ (off-white) card. This is just two dies, one sheet of hammer finish card, some ribbon, a pearl and a scrap of gold card. I tried the sentiment in the white but it just didn’t look very celebratory, really.

It was quick and easy to make. I cut the off-white card in half lengthways and scored one piece to make my tent fold card. I cut the scallop border four times from the remaining piece, at jaunty angles. Just make sure you leave enough depth in your cut pieces to be able to layer them up without exposing the top edge.

I wanted ribbon at the top so fastened this to the first section before layering all the scallop pieces together, always checking they will fit and the sides are straight.

Make a ‘fake’ bow with more ribbon, add your greeting, a pearl and job done.

Supplies: dies – Spellbinders A2 Scalloped Border One and Poppystamps Fancy Celebrate; ribbon by Anita’s

Before I was interrupted…

Here is the card I was going to post yesterday, before the cat intervened. It is the simplest of designs in the most neutral palette. I toyed with adding something else, but decided against it. I know the card is beyond bare, but I figure that in its current form it could be used for many occasions, some happy, some not so. Additional colour, ribbon, pearls, whatever, would define its purpose a bit more. Someone has asked me for a few cards that could be used for illness, sympathy or just for a bit of support in tough times and I thought this might work. I hasten to add this person had no immediate need for any of these or I would not be mentioning it in a post. The sadness or misfortune of other people is not my blogging material.

barest tree

It literally is a single die cut, stuck to a base of the same off-white card. It feels a bit cheeky, really.

Unusually, this time my inspiration was…me! This one below was my first ever card that got re-pinned on Pinterest quite a few times, giving me a bit of a confidence boost to pin more of my own stuff. I think it was because it was (a) Anna Griffin (always popular) and (b) completely achievable for anyone with opposable thumbs!

AG holly die by paperfluff

Supplies: Whimsical Tree die by Spellbinders; holly die from Anna Griffin (it came in a set so I don’t think it had a name of its own); linen effect card from Create and Craft.


A not-quite photobombing cat…

I was trying to take a picture of a clean and simple card I had made, but the cat had other ideas. As I sat there with camera in hand he positioned himself on the photo plinth (OK, box in the window) and behaved like a total diva: twisting, rolling, upside down and downside up, barely still for a moment, pawing at the lens, watching a non-existent bird and, finally, flumping out, but with eyes directly at camera. What a pro!

So, ladies and gents, here is Riley making a bid for fame:

All quickly snapped, he was moving so fast! The card will have to wait for its 15 minutes. The paws have claws!

Missing Links, and why I have never climbed Everest

So yesterday I mentioned that I had never done bloggy links and was not sure how to do it. But yay! I tried and they worked. My missing links are missing no more.

Really what I should have done was learnt how to do it a few months ago when I first started, but I am a terrible procrastinator with things like this. I tend to think ‘I’ll find out how to do it when the need arises’, as opposed to equipping myself with all the necessary tools and skills at the outset.

That’s why I’ll never climb Mount Everest. I’d get to the first hilly bit (!!) and realise I didn’t know how to say ‘crampon’ in Nepalese. Or Tibetan. Time to resort to the international language of mime, so oft adopted by the English abroad. Then imagine miming ‘crampon’ without resorting to a “sounds like” depiction that would only lead to confusion or embarrassment for all parties, and no satisfactory outcome.

Best leave mountaineering to others, then. However, what I have done is made a card bright and larey enough to leave at base camp and use as a beacon should you get stranded part way up. Actually I think you might be able to see it from space. So, to all legitimate mountaineering expeditions departing for major peaks any time soon, contact me and I will happily make you a beacon card to guide you to safety. (Do I need some kind of waiver here?!)

cwc heritage rose black dotty card

Back to blogging tech things. What I also need to do is go find those little yellow faces that everyone uses. Is there one with its tongue stuck firmly in its cheek? It may be needed….

Supplies: background and green patterned papers, flowers and sentiment are from Craftwork cards; Frame die is Tonic Keepsake Indulgence; gold card from Create and Craft.



Thanks, Mrs Craft

Subtitle: Not sure if I can ‘link’, I think. Sounds like a modern Winnie the Pooh poem.

So I’m still relatively new to blogging and don’t want to get my etiquette wrong. Manners are important, but if I don’t know the ‘done thing’ then I have to do my own thing and hope for the best.

A fellow blogger tagged me in on a Blogger Recognition Award. Thank you so much craftandothercrazyplans for the nomination. It was lovely of you to include me. However, I don’t think I have enough other bloggers that I ‘know’ well enough to tag forward, so cannot join in right now, but another time maybe?

I have though had a ball browsing through some of the blogs on Mrs Craft’s list, and will work my way through everyone soon. This is one of the best things about blogging – I love seeing what other people are doing, even if it is not what I am currently ‘in to’. It inspires you, reminds you. I have a whole room full of paper and card, but I am eyeing up yarn again. And don’t get me started on the Sewing Bee: I can almost smell the machine oil and pressing cloth…

Thanks, Mrs Craft! I had a lovely time checking out your blogging chums and finding more people to follow!

This is the bit you say really, really fast like they do in the last two seconds of insurance/credit card adverts: sorry if I broke any rules. I didn’t include the word nomination in the heading or tags so as not to transgress. Any further transgressions or faux pas are purely unintentional. Really, I don’t actually know what I am doing! Before today I did not know how to ‘link’ to another site or person so this may or may not work. It looks ok from my end but we’ll see. If not, I have no idea how to sort it out. I suggest old-fashioned typing. And, breathe!


Not rocket science

The mojo is now requiring CPR. Or maybe it just needs a personality transplant. I have decided to take the pressure off myself, stop fretting about it, chill. It‘s only card and paper after all.

So today it is back to basics. Make something (hopefully) pretty with dies and stamps. That’s it. No rocket science, no lab coat required.

Tonic lattice header

tonic lattice header detail

Supplies: the Ton Rose Background stamp; Altenew Cotton Candy ink; Tonic dies – Just for You and the header lattice is part of a set called Ornate Elegance; Xcut dies – for the tiny little hearts; vellum from Woodware