About Me

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I'm a retired primary school teacher, who started paper crafting in 2008, 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. I have been lucky enough to be on blog teams and large design teams and to do a bit of freelance demonstrating - and I love the challenge of working with different products. My crafting style is very varied - from junk journaling and art journaling, bookbinding and journal making, to quilting and patchwork - and of course I still make cards. This variety keeps me interested - and my crafty stash growing!! I'm always seeking inspiration for new projects.

Monday 31 October 2011

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge #55 - Brown, Cream & Pink

This week's challenge is hosted by Vix, and is to make an item (card/tag/altered thingy) using ONLY the colours Brown/Cream/Pink. You can use other colours for faces but otherwise just brown, cream and pink.

We are sponsored today by ONE STOP CARD CRAFTS who are offering a £10 voucher for their store as a prize. Here's what they have to say:

"At One Stop Card Crafts we have a big range of ever changing discount making and card making craft supplies.

We are always adding to our range of craft supplies which are ideal for making handmade greeting cards, do-it-yourself invitations scrapbook pages, altered items and much more.

Our card making craft supplies include free UK postage, our popular discount scheme and quick service means our customers keep coming back for more.

Our prices are very competitive and this makes us an ideal place to buy your card making supplies online. Some of our new products include Petaloo flower layers, Ranger Glitter Glue and Martha Stewart Punches. We also host a regular challenge at

Well, I loved this challenge!!! Having a 40th Birthday card to make for a friend, I decided to combine the two!! The resulting card is a bit of an homage to the wonderful Sue Wilson, as it is totally awash with nesties and edgeabilities!! It may be a bit over the top for some - but I love it!!!

I started by covering a base 8" card with plain cream card from my stash as I didn't have any cream blanks. I then used my edgeabilities to create Sue's "petticoat" effect - a combination of the Ric Rac, Triple Scallop and Bracket sets. Apart from the cream card, all the other pieces were from my off-cut and scrap boxes, but are mostly Bazzil card.

Not content with these fancy edges, I used one of the inserts on the pink grand scalloped square, whilst my Tim Holtz ruler had it's first outing for piercing the brown grand scalloped square. The scalloped circle was another grand nestie, embossed with my favourite  -That Special Touch Polka Dot mask. Lacy circles of pink and brown finished the layering.
I intended to cut the numbers on my Craft Robo, but the computer said "no" (couldn't find the driver!!), so for the '0' I used long scalloped oval dies, with the '4' cut with a craft knife to the same size. These were then glazed. The letters were from my usual XCut Roma DieLicious alphabet die, glazed and mounted onto the "waste" from the middle of the '0'.
For the flowers, I used various nesties to cut a variety of sizes of circles. The larger ones were cut into a spiral using a pair of decorative edge scissors, but I had to make do with straight edge ones for the smaller circles. These were then rolled and glued with silicone.

The wide band of brown velvet ribbon came from the box my favoruite perfume came in, while the organza is from my usual Celebrations stash. Overall, I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

Pop over to the Crafty Cardmakers blog to see how the other DT members interpreted this challenge. They are all lovely - and should inspire you to come up with your own creations.


Friday 28 October 2011

The Ace of Spades!!

Have had quite a few days of total lack of motivation and inspiration - been feeling very tired and under the weather!! I attempted this 8" square boxed card a couple of weeks ago, but really didn't like how it was going - so I abandoned it for a while. I think now that I had approached it in the wrong way. Usually, I start with the image or other focal point for the card, then choose my colours and cardstock to match - and then decide on the layout. For some reason, I had this image of a layout in my head and started from that - without really looking at the focus - and it all went wrong.

So, I went back to the image - in this case the playing cards. This is a commissioned 21st birthday card - I can't lay claim to the clever idea of using the cards to represent the 21 - it's what I was asked to do!! But it's one to remember for future reference.

I orgininally toyed with the idea of using real playing cards, but I realised that a) I would need more than one pack, and b) they wouldn't be the size I wanted. So I found these royalty free images on the internet, printed them onto photo paper, mounted them onto card, cut them out and rounded the corners!!! The poker chips were cut using the smallest circle nestie. I couldn't get them to cut exactly, but actually ended up quite liking the white edge. The letters for the name on the card were cut using X Cut Roma DieLicious Alphabet die, and mounted onto the poker chips.
The card I used for the base card and the box is a large sheet of Xmas Red Pearl from The Range. It usually scores and folds well, but today it decided to crack along the spine of the card - the box was fine - it was just the card. I got round this by using a piece of black mirror card from my stash as a wrap. And as I am still playing around with my new Grand Calibur and dies, I cut the edge of the wrap with the ric rac edgeability.

The "waste" was used as the ric rac edge on the box top. I cut a square using my grand nesties from white pearl card I had in my stash, and used one of the inserts from the ric rac edgeabilities to cut the diamond pattern on each side. A piece of the black mirror was stuck behind to add more definition. The black border was cut using a grand scalloped square and a grand labels 1, while the red is a lacey square embossed with That Special Touch Polka Dot mask. (In case you hadn't noticed, I'm a bit of a die cutting fiend!!). A little piece of red satin ribbon, and a few black gems from my stash finished this off for both the card and the box front.


For the inside of the base of the box, I used more grand nesties to cut the black frames which were mounted onto a piece of the red, which I embossed using That Special Touch Polka Dots mask, turned diagonally onto the square - as it wasn't big enough to emboss the whole square. Three of the card backs finished this off. The inside of the lid was similarly decorated partly with a "waste" frame, and also with a lacey square, but this time I used the poker chips as decoration.

In the end I was really pleased with the result. And looking at it again, I realise there was another problem with my original design - I had tried to include some yellowy gold to pick out the colour from the King of Diamonds card - and it so didn't need it!!

Anyway - onto other things - busy, busy, busy - I've finally started work on Christmas cards - and have a few fairs and things coming up so need to get more stock sorted.

Friday 21 October 2011

Quick Makes!!

A couple of quick makes - apologies for the bad photography - both cards have the exactly the same card for matting and layering even though it doesn't look like it!!


I've had these Flowersoft toppers for eons!!! They've just sat in my stash because, although I love the images, I don't own any Flowersoft so was unsure what to do with them. However, I decided to just have a go and do a couple of quick and simple makes.

I've used a Craft Tonic Small Tall card - don't think you can get them anymore, but I have a bit of a stash of them (surprise, surprise!!) and they are just the right size for these toppers. The dark rose pink and green cards are both from my stash - could be Bazzil or from a DCWV pad - not entirely sure - but anyway, I rounded the edge with a corner punch. I made a bit of an error with the green card on the right - I meant to do the decorative insert (edgabilities!!) down the side, but managed to turn the card on its side and it ended up on the bottom!! This meant I had to cut the topper down to fit.

The beautiful daisy ribbon is from my local craft shop. For the card on the right, I cut it down the middle, and attached it to the underneath of the topper. For the card on the left, I used a line of pearls down the centre of the ribbon.

I used Papermania glitter glue on all the flowery areas of both toppers, and glazed the glass of the lamp, and the roof of the bird house. And the greetings are from (I think) a Forever Friends greeting pack.

Nothing too fancy - but pretty effective nonetheless!!


Wednesday 19 October 2011

Bats about you!!

I can now reveal this card - my anniversary card to my lovely husband. Now, I am batty about him, but that isn't why I used this theme. Nor is it because it's almost Halloween. No, the real reason is that my husband is really into bats. He's a Bat Warden for Natural England, and trains other people to become Bat Wardens too. He is often referred to as Batman - and has a selection of tshirts and sweatshirts with a certain superhero's logo!!

To make the background, I used watercolour card and blended Chipped Sapphire Distress Ink from the top downwards, making it darker at the top than at the bottom. To further darken the top, I used Black Soot. To give the impression of stars in the sky, I sprinkled drops of water over the card, and blotted with kitchen paper. The moon is a circle of white watercolour card, edged with Chipped Sapphire and then stuck on (a technique I picked up from the lovely Sheena Douglass).
Now I recently treated myself to a Grand Calibur and some Edgeabilites, and of course am rather enjoying playing around with them. So I just had to cut the edges of this card using the Classic Bracket edge and the heart decoration.  
The sentiment was embossed using a Country Companion Universal Embossing Folder onto light blue card, and inked with Chipped Sapphire, finished off with hearts from the border waste. The bats themselves are from an old stamp set I've had a few years, stamped in Black Soot, blended with water, glazed and then cut out and stuck on.
All of this was mounted firstly onto light blue card, with navy ribbon from my stash, and then onto a dark blue base card. I was really pleased with the results - and so was he.

Monday 17 October 2011

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge #54 - Cute with a Dark Twist!!

For this week's challenge, we're sponsored again by the lovely Joanna Sheen who is offering a £10 voucher for her online shop which is crammed full of goodies with new stock arriving all the time! Thanks once again Joanna!


Well, I found this a real challenge on so many levels. To start with, I don't really do cute. Secondly, as I don't really do cute, I also don't really have any cute stamp images. And thirdly, as I don't really do cute or have any cute stamp images, I don't really colour in!!

I felt the Halloween theme would be the way to add the dark twist - but then I've never made a Halloween card before either!! So I spent a lot of time wondering just how I was going to approach this. But, whilst doing a little craft retail therapy, I came across this lovely little Cute Pumpkin digi stamp from Pink Gem Designs. This finally inspired me to put together this card.

I am entering this card into the following challenges:
Paper Crafting Journey - Challenge 21 - Colour Challenge
Crafts and Me - Challenge 56 - Orange
One Stop Crafts - Halloween
The ABC Challenge - "B is for Boo"
Craft Your Days Away - Halloween Colours

I printed the image onto watercolour card, and then, since I don't own any other colouring medium, I proceeded to use my watercolours to colour the image in. I'm quite pleased with the results.

Once I'd painted him, I cut him out using a nestie, and inked the edge with Rusty Hinge Distress Ink. I wanted to add some glaze, but was worried it would cause the paint to bleed, so I gave it a waft of Spray and Shine, before glazing the hands, feet, cheeks, nose, eyes and pumpkin lid. I mounted this onto a circle of black mirror card from my stash.
The orange mirror card is also from my stash, and was cut using a nestie, and then embossed with That Special Touch Swirl Mask. I mounted this onto white card to give it an edge, then onto a piece of pale orange card to match the card blank. The decorative edges on the pale orange were cut using my new Edgabilities (this one is from the Triple Scallop set), whilst the black mirror card was edged with the Ric Rac design.
The card was finished off with black organza ribbon and bow - salvaged from a box of chocolates - and a few black gems!!

I have to admit that this finished card is not how I had first envisaged it. The two little images below (Halloween Jodie and Halloween Josh) are also from Pink Gem Designs, and I was originally planning on using all three on my card. But when I came to assemble the card it just seemed too much. But, as I don't often do colouring in, and I was quite pleased with the results, I am going to show you them anyway!!  Overall, I'm really pleased I had a go at this - it's out of my comfort zone, but sometimes we need a push to try something different!!

Don't forget to check out all the other Designer's work on the Crafty Cardmaker's Blog - and why not have a go yourself!! You never know, you may just surprise yourself with what you can come up with!!
Till next time,

Saturday 15 October 2011

Tulips in...... Autumn???

Ok, well you may be planting your tulip bulbs at the moment, but otherwise, tulips are a bit thin on the ground at the moment. However, I have been Paint Fusioning again as it is another friend's birthday - and you may have guessed that there are tulips are involved. But, before I go into all that, I want to tell you what my lovely friends did to me this morning. We met up for a late breakfast to celebrate, and as my friend was opening my present to her, she decided to tell people on the next table how clever I am, and how they all love the cards and presents I make. She proceeded to show them the presents, and insist I give them my business card. Another friend then showed them the card I had just completed on commision for her!! The poor ladies!! I was very embarrassed - but it was very sweet of my friends to do that!!

Anyway, back to the subject in hand - and here we have my tulips in all their glory.

I struggled with the leaves, in the same way as I did for the poppies, but perservered and eventually found a way that I could paint them and be happy!! I used EcoGreen Acrylic Paint in Zucchini and Lime, and stamped and painted them onto watercolour card. For the tulips I used Pebeo Cherry and EcoGreen Sunflower. The card was edged with Barn Door and Pine Needles Distress Inks, and embossed with gold. A spritz of gold Spray and Sparkle finished it all off.

As ever when I do these gifts, I also painted a candle, coasters and mirror frame.

I have now been asked to make several sets of coasters, a candle and a mirror for my friends to give to other people for Christmas!! Looks like I shall be fusioning away for a while!!! Be warned!!!


Friday 14 October 2011

A Quick Make!!

Although I haven't blogged for a while, I have been working on a few projects - which will be revealed over the next few days, once they have been received by the people for whom they have been made. In the meantime, here is a quick card I put together.

The base card is from a deckle edge card and insert set that I've had hanging around in my stash for a while. I cut Spellbinders lacey circles from cream Bazzil cardstock, flowers from blue Bazzil cardstock using XCut Bloom Nesting Dies, and scalloped circles from the matching insert paper.

The blue fabric flowers have also been sitting around for a long time just waiting for the right project!! It's all finished off with a sentiment from a Forever Friends Easter sentiment kit (!!!) and lemon yellow pearls.

Since becoming a design team member for Crafty Cardmakers, I have come to realise just how many challenge blogs are out there, so have decided to also dip my toes into entering some of them.

So I am entering this card in

Anything Goes Challenge Blogspot - Challenge 51- Die Cuts /Punches or both

See you soon,


Wednesday 5 October 2011

Wedding Bells!!!

No, not for me - I'm very happily married already!! But I feel like ringing all the bells I can get my hands on to celebrate that I have managed to finish the Wedding Invitations I have been commissioned to make!!! I have had my ups and downs with this project which I will explain as we go, but I am really chuffed to have it complete.

To give you a little background, I was asked by a friend if I would make the invites for her son's wedding. Having agreed, I spent a lovely evening with her, her son and his fiancee, where we discussed what they would like in terms of design (whilst eating a scrummy tuna pasta bake). They decided on a simple design with yellow ribbon and daisies, on white pearlescent card. The final details they left to me.

So, I went away and spent some time finalising what I wanted to do, sourcing the materials that I would need, and costing everything up. That was a exercise in itself, and I ended up setting up a spreadsheet to keep track of what I needed and from where!!

The design I came with up for the invitations uses the X Cut Rosa Border Die, wrapped firstly with yellow satin ribbon, and then with a thinner lemon organza ribbon. Three fabric daisies are then mounted onto the ribbon, and they in turn are topped with 4mm flatback lemon pearls. The silver foiled message was also decorated with the pearls.

Both the day and evening invitations were completed in landscape format, and each required a RSVP card with envelope. These are A7 (... I think ie they are half of A6),  and this time the foiled message is mounted on the border strip to allow room for the message.

The Order of the Day has not been completed yet, as the details have not been finalised, but the design is the same - just in portrait instead of landscape.

All sounds great - and it is - but goodness me, I now know what it must be like to work in a factory and do the same process over and over and over again. I decided that I should prep everything and then assemble it all at the end. Well, the daisies came as a long string, so I have had to trim hundreds of individual daisies. Then cutting the border strips - well, as there is a lovely punched out area, as each border was cut, I then had to clean all the bits out of the die. Over 100 of those and I was begininng to lose the will to live. Then fixing ribbon, then ribbon on top of ribbon, then sticking the tape to the back of the border ready to attach to the card.

My biggest faux pas happened only this morning, when I realised that I had prepped all the RSVP's for Wedding Invitations, when half of them were supposed to be for the Evening Reception!! Took a bit of time to remedy that one.

BUT, the invitations are all done now and ready for delivery tomorrow!! And I have to say I'm rather pleased with myself!!

Have lots of projects in the pipeline, now that I've broken the back of this, so hopefully will be blogging again soon.


Monday 3 October 2011

My first design team challenge!!

Well, I am so excited to have been invited to become a Design Team Member for Crafty Cardmakers!! Thank you for all the lovely comments that were left on my blog. I was rather gobsmacked to be chosen to say the least - but really pleased too. I hope that my style of projects and techniques will be varied enough to bring you a little inspiration. Congratulations to all the other new team members!!
So here it is!! The Challenge is "Anything Goes!", and I decided that I would see what I had lying around in the vastness that is my crafty stash, to see what would inspire me!!

What I came up with was a black and white patterned base card from an old deckle edge card and insert pack, and the wooden shoe and hearts embellishments.  The shoe is mounted on white card, cut with a Spellbinders beaded oval die, and lightly embossed with That Special Touch Dotty Mask. I cut the tag from the same white card and inked it up with Milled Lavender and Black Soot Distress Inks, before embossing with the same mask, and spraying with Iridescent Spray and Sparkle.The matching insert paper was cut using a Spellbinders rectangle die, with a scalloped rectangle cut from the white.
I then decided to have a play with something else I found whilst rummaging - Cosmic Shimmer Mica Powders. To begin with, I squished an  clear embossing ink pad all over a piece of white card, then dusted Violet Frost all over it. Not content with that, I spied a spray bottle of Pearlescent lurking in the box so intended to delicately spritz it over the top. Well, that was never going to happen as the bottle was totally clogged from being abandoned for so long!! So, I reached for the pipettes that were lying in the same box, and settled for a more splogged effect, blotted with kitchen towel. I then cut the card to the size I wanted, and edged it with more Black Soot, then embossed with That Special Touch Swirl Mask. This was mounted onto white card to make it pop a little more.

Having punched a hole in the tag, and attached an eyelet, I finished it off with lilac satin ribbon from my stash. The tag was raised off the card with foam tape to add more dimension.
I am really looking forward to seeing what you all come up with - so go on - have a rummage and see what you can find.
Make sure to pop over to the the Crafty Cardmakers Blog to see what the other DT Members have created.

See you soon.

My first workshop!!

This post is rather a long time after the fact, but thought I would just let you know how my first ever mini workshop went. I was asked by Chatterbox Ladies Group if would come along to a crafty evening to demonstrate what I do and get some of the ladies involved. Ever up for a challenge, I agreed. I was extremely nervous on the day, with very shaky hands - especially when I couldn't actually find the venue!! But I think it went OK.

The first thing I had to do was decide exactly what I wanted to make with them. As I've never done this before, and I don't own lots of equipment, I had to find something that was straightforward and that I could resource from my stash without too much extra expense. Once I'd decided, it was just a case of prepping all the resources - something I'm fairly used to with my teaching background.

I decided to go back to basics for the two cards, and do some good old paper folding.

This first uses teabag folding to create the medallion. I use Papermania Antique Cream Creative Tones paper  for this sample. The ladies either had this combination of colours or a black and white version using Papermania Ivory and Black Creative Tones. I know that there are many tea bag paper designs out there with symmetrical designs, but I don't feel you have to use them to get a great effect. Any paper (even wrapping paper) will do. To add interest, to the finished medallion, I cut all the squares using a scalloped square die, and used a solid colour as a mat for the medallion itself. The brad in the middle was from my stash.

This was really successful - and, as well as this fold, I showed them a few others that they could use to make decorations for Christmas!!!

The second card was a very quick and simple card, inspired by a sample I saw in a DoCrafts magazine. The dress is made from a scalloped circle, cut from a 12x12 sheet of The Paper Company Studio Fuschia Fleur. The pink scalloped circle is cut from an old Papermania Colossal paper pad, and the purple beaded oval from a Brenda Pinnick Paper Pad. I embossed the cirlce with dots to add texture to the plain side of the card. The dress was finished off with sticky ribbon from my stash.

All in all, it was a successful evening. The ladies seemed really pleased with their make and takes, and I learnt a few things to help me make it even better (if there ever is a) next time.

And now, I need to go and finish the wedding invitations.

Sunday 2 October 2011

Steampunk - My style!!

So, I can now reveal my other make as today is Amy's birthday and she has already seen the card. When I saw the new Kanban Steampunk collection, I knew that this was what I wanted to use for her 18th birthday card. But as I'm not completely into the steampunk concept, I did it my way!!

For the base card I used a sheet from the DCWV Luxury Cardstock Stack. I used an image from the Kanban Steampunk Catalina sheet, mounted onto brown Bazzil card, and then onto the same aqua card as the base. I the cut a rectangle of the brown Bazzil and cut either side with X Cut Rosa Border Die. The top layers of the decoupage (the top hat and the skirt layer) were glittered with Rock Candy Distress Stickles. I made the flowers in the same way as for the Carnaby Street card - circles of the aqua card cut into spirals, rolled up and glued. The letters were cut with X Cut Roma Dieliciious Alphabet die, and the numbers from an old set of X Cut lower case alphabet dies. And as ever, finished with Celebrations organza ribbon.

Hopefully next time I blog I will be able to share the wedding invitations I am currently working on.


Saturday 1 October 2011

Carnaby Street

Just a quick post to show a recent make - it's not the best photo, but hopefully you get the idea. I was asked by my niece if I would make a card for her friend's birthday. She left it all up to me, apart from wanting her name and age on the card. I immediately thought of the Kanban Carnaby Street collection - and that, in turn, gave me my colour scheme.

For the base card I used red card from my stash. I mounted a sheet of paper from the Papermania Persimmon Collection A5 pad onto black glitter card. A quarter of a Kanban Carnaby Street Union Jack A4 sheet was firstly mounted onto silver mirror card and then onto black glitter card. The Carnaby Street A6 mat was mounted in the same way. The flowers were made from circles of card, cut into spirals, then rolled up and glued. This was all finished off with organza ribbon from my stash, and letters cut using X-Cut Smoothie Dielicious Die. The numbers are cut using an old set of X Cut alphabet dies.

Have another recent make to post - but can't do so until after tomorrow when the card will have been received.

So, see you later.