About Me

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I'm a part-time primary school teacher, who started papercrafting 8 years ago, when I had a fancy to make my own Christmas cards. Since then, I have tried all sorts of techniques and styles - and I kind of like them all. So my work is very varied, which keeps me interested - and my crafty stash growing!! As well as cards, I love working with boxes and canvases - and I'm always seeking inspiration for new projects.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Why is everything so difficult?

I've been looking at the website and feel it needs a bit more character. There are these big, white, empty spaces down each side of the page. I would love to be able to use the same side borders on the website as I have here on my blog. But I don't have a clue how to do that - and not sure I'd be allowed to use them if I did!

I've even tried to design my own and save as a jpeg, which I know how to import onto the website. But it was not wide enough, so repeated the design making the right hand side look very strange. As I can't seem to work out how wide it should be, then I can't make it work.

It's something I'm going to have to work on, as it is beginning to frustrate me. If any of you out there can give me a heads up on what to do, it would be much appreciated.

I've now managed to put some Mother's Day cards onto the site - I intend to make a few more, so watch this space. I've also been working on a page with information on commissioning cards, so that should be up and running soon. I'm also going to start a clearance section. I make loads of cards - it's sort of obsessional!! And need to clear some space for all the new stuff I've got planned. I'm going to start work on it this weekend - will keep you up to date with how I'm getting on.

Aside from all of that, I've included a few pictures of cards I've recently made. The first one was a difficult one to make. Not because it has advanced techniques, but because it was a sympathy card for a close friend who recently lost her Mum. She was a wonderful lady that I knew for nearly 30 years - all through my teens and into adulthood - and she will be sadly missed.
The Kanban Floral Garden collection lends itself to this difficult area of card making - this topper is from the Roses sheet. I used a tall white card, and matted and layered Papermania Luxury Velvet Paper in Black, with Gold Mirror Card. The sentiment is from the Orchid and Calla Lily sheet. It is finished off with black organza ribbon down the left side, with black, flat-backed pearls.

The second is a birthday card for another close friend. The background paper was actually an insert from a Deckle Edge Card Kit - I used the cards but not the inserts at the time!! I have to confess that I have no idea where the lighter pink paper came from - it was in my box and just seemed appropriate. The shapes are cut using Spellbinders Nestabilities. I printed the message onto the paper first before I cut it. A couple of pink skeleton leaves lie under the message, whilst the fabric flowers (WHSmith clearout sale yonks ago - I bought loads and am still working throught them) are held together with Papermania brads.

I decided to make a matching gift. One of my favourite shops is Past Times, and I picked up this beautiful set of pink butterfly and dragonfly frames. I printed the same message to sit in one frame, and placed a piece of the insert paper inside the other, attaching another fabric flower to the outside of the frame with a glue dot.
I was really pleased with the finished project. I do rather like things that match!!
And now I think I'm going to have to sign off, as Gardener's World has just started, and my favourite - Monty Don - is back this series!! Need to find out what he thinks I should be doing in the garden this weekend!!
Speak to you soon.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

What's in a Word??

Well, one word can be extremely expressive!! It can explain a feeling, an occasion, provide a description or just say what something is.

The first word that springs into mind right now, is totally unusable – because this is the second attempt at this blog entry!! The first attempt was lost right at the end when my laptop decided to crash my Internet connection!!! So, as I say, the first word that comes to my mind is not usable!!

So, what IS in a word? In this context, maybe the question should be “What’s in a Wordbook?” Or perhaps the place to start is “What IS a Wordbook?” Well, it sort of does what it says on the tin. It’s a book that it made from one word.
And that word is chosen to describe the person, event or occasion that it will be used for.

Each page of the book has a letter (or number) at the end, with the first page being the shortest, and subsequent pages increasingly longer.

Wordbooks can spell out a name or any special occasion.

And don’t forget those landmark ages – the 18th’s, 21st’s, 40th’s etc etc. In fact, you can use any combination of letters and numbers.

I print the pages onto 300gsm card, using the various, gorgeous Funky Hand CD’s, which have a great range of colours and styles.

Because I use A4 card, the maximum number of pages I would work with is 6, although 7 can be used at a push.
I decorate the pages using flowers, sequins and gems. And with my trusty Cuttlebug, I cut a variety of mats using matching card, which are used inside the book – for writing messages on – or for attaching photos. The book is bound using a Zutter Bind it All, and small sections of ribbon tied around the binding wire provide the finishing touches.

OK, so that’s what they are. But what are they for? Well, they make great alternatives to cards for those special birthdays and occasions – they will certainly stand out from the crowd. But they can also be used as mini scrapbooks for photos and other memorabilia. And there’s no limit to the occasions – I’ve used them for a Secret Santa, with little gifts attached to the pages!!

So what’s in a word – well, whatever you want to put into it.

And my final word for the day is PANCAKES!! Because of course, it's Shrove Tuesday - Pancake day. The day when people (much more noble than me) traditionally decide to give up something for Lent. I'm afraid I don't have the willpower (she says as she munches on a chocolate digestive!!) but always admire those that can!! But back to pancakes!! Unfortunately, we were a bit slow off the mark, and there were no lemons left in a two mile radius. I always have sugar and lemon on my pancakes, so was a little disappointed. Has golden syrup instead, which was OK - but will have to make sure I'm better prepared next year!!

And on that note... until next time!!


PS Many thanks to my lovely husband who finally helped me get this blog done, after my second attempt also very nearly failed!!! Then there would have been a whole other load of words that would have sprung to mind!!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Great minds think alike!!

So, am watching one of my favourite crafters on TV, and one of the creations she was showing was a large cupcake card!!
Great card I thought - just like the one I've just made for a commission!! Actually, what I really thought was "Damn - now when I blog this card, people are going to think I copied hers!! " Well, I didn't copy - but would like to think that great minds think alike!! So, here are the pictures....

And here's the science (well crafty) bit!! Firstly, the card itself. With most of my 8" boxed cards, I start with a large sheet of Centura Pearl Card - in this case mauve!! The icing on the cake is cut from purple Vivelle, with the cake case made from one of my ever present stock cupboard items - Bazzil Bling card!!

The lilac and purple background papers are from a really old stash of Papermania 12x12 paper pads, while the cream is (again) Centura Pearl.

I made my own template for the cupcake - have used it before, although this time I decided to concertina fold the cupcake case. All I did was enlarge the templates.
The large scalloped square is made using a "Colour My World" template. I really would like a larger die cutting machine, that will take the Grand Nesties, then I wouldn't have to cut these larger mats by hand. But until then, I will continue using these templates.

The front of the box is similar to the card itself - another thing I like to do with my 8" boxed cards. But this time, I stuck with a flat cupcake, and embossed Happy Birthday onto the cupcake case using Papermania Universal Embossing Folder - Greetings 2.

All the ribbon is from a range called Celebrate (Ribbon by the Spool). One of the cheapest ways I've found to feed my ribbon cravings!!!

The inside of the box is something else I always try to decorate - I think if you're paying for a large handmade card, there should be something special about it. And I've been told by several people that they are more of a gift than a card!! I'm happy with that!!
So, the next couple of weeks will see me having to get a wriggle on with another commission, but hopefully will have time for thinking about Mother's Day and Easter.
And on top of that, I've just bought some great new stamps to try out an exciting painting technique. Am hopefully going to be able to use it on my boxes and fridge magnets - and maybe my bookmarks too!! So watch this space!!
Aside from all this, my greenhouse is now ready, and my lovely husband has dug over the veggie patch we've created. So there will be a lot to do in the garden in the next few weeks. Have loads of plans of what I want to grow - whether they come to anything or not , we'll have to wait and see. Mmmm. Just had a thought of some crafty things I could do that might appeal to gardeners!! Anyway, I digress.
Just need to catch up on some sleep before all of this - it's very busy at work and I'm feeling exhausted!! It's hard to focus when I'm feeling like this - and to find some inspiration. But often just sitting in the midst of all my stash makes me feel like doing something - whether it's for a specific project - or just playing with materials and techniques.
So, will sign off now - and hopefully will blog a bit sooner next time!!