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.

Saturday 30 June 2012


This card was a commission for a friend of mine. She had seen the red heart wedding card I made last year and wanted something pretty similar - but in fuschia pink. She gave me plenty of notice for this card - but as ever I've had other things to do and kept putting it off. 

So, a couple of weeks ago I finally got round to sorting it out. By which time I realised I had two problems. The first was that my Grand Calibur had broken the week before - so my Cuttlebug had to be dusted off and brought back into service! This meant that I wouldn't be able to cut or emboss any larger shapes for my 8"x8" card. I must admit I did panic to begin with, but with a little thought and playing around, I finally came up with a design that my 'bug could cope with.

The second problem was that the design involves using Dreamweaver stencils (Heart Bouquet and Congratulations) and embossing paste. "What's the problem?" I hear you say! Embossing paste in fuschia pink!! Slight panic - but then decided I was sure I'd seen/read somewhere that you could mix acrylic paint with embossing paste. So I decided to go for it and have a play!! I used Eco Green Raspberry paint mixed with Dreamweaver Pearlescent Paste. "Easy" you say!! "No" I would reply. Trying to get the correct consistency proved to be problematic! My first attempt was far too runny (the paint is thinner than the paste and 'dilutes' it) and squidged under the stencil leaving a splodgy mess. I then tried using a stencil brush to apply it - that just gave me a very rough and patchy finish. So, I had to play around, adding a little of my coloured mixture to more paste until I was able to create a clear image!!

The base card (and matching box) are made from a large sheet of Centura Pearl Snow White card. The bottom layer of the band across the middle is white embossed dotty card from a Craftwork Cards Goody Bag, then Cococut White from Creative Expressions, then a 'daisy' embossed card (again from the CC Goody Bag) and finally, white organza ribbon. It's  slightly different on the box (the CC card's are reversed).

The heart topper is cut using a Spellbinders Splendid Circle, which is then mounted on alternating circle and scalloped circles. I used the same cards as mentioned above plus white Crafters Companion vellum, and pink Bazzill cardstock. The pearl and crystal embellishments are from my local craftshop.

I always decorate the inside of the box too (both the base and the lid - in this case just with matted and layered circles of the various cards I had used).

I would like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Charizma Cards Challenge - Anything Goes
Try it On Tuesdays - Anything Goes
Love to Create - Anything Goes


Thursday 28 June 2012

Beach Hut Birthday!!

Things have been hectic recently, with me working full time until the end of term. I'd forgotten how much work was involved in planning etc etc. I also took part in Race for Life last weekend with my 11 year old niece! She's never done it before, but we plodded round in just under 41 minutes!! Was very proud of her and nearly cried when she crossed the finish line. 

Because of all the stuff going on, I forgot to photograph the card I made for my lovely sister-in-law! Thankfully, she photographed in a put it onto Facebook, so I have pinched the photo (am sure she won't mind)! 

I saw the Hunkydory pack this came from, when out shopping a couple of weeks ago,  and knew it was just perfect for her card. 

The base card is Creative Expressions cardstock, with the Hunkydory printed cardstock matted onto gold mirror card. I added a little sparkle and shine to the topper with glitter glue and glaze. The organza ribbon is tied around a strip of the card that the toppers popped out of. The letters were cut in gold mirror card using XCut Abracadabra Alphabet dies, and they are mounted onto Spellbinder circles and little Splendid circles. The flourishes are Spellbinder Flourish accents.

The whole feel is really summery - not a bit like the weather we're having!! 

Will be back soon with more to share!! 


Monday 25 June 2012

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge #71 - Make your own flowers!!

Firstly, I would like to say thank you to all those people who entered the previous challenge!! I really enjoyed seeing all your entries and  was so inspired by what you were all creating! Pop over to the Crafty Cardmakers Blog to check out the winner and top 5.

This week's challenge is hosted by the talented AJ. She would like to see projects featuring flowers made by you. These can be made from ribbon, paper, fabric, die cuts, tissue, embroidered, anything you choose so long as it is hand made and not store purchased.

We are sponsored this time by One Stop Card Crafts who are offering a £10 gift voucher.

And also by Digi Doodle Shop who are offering a $10 gift certificate!

I have chosen to use one of Digi Doodle Shop's designs again - this time it's the 'Fresh Baked Pie'. As ever, the image was printed onto 300gsm watercolour card, left to dry and blasted with my heat gun. I then used my usual watercolours. Although I had an idea of the colours I wanted to use, I did just play it by ear and see how it turned out. In the end I tried to keep it to fairly small range of colours that I could carry through into the flowers!! 

The image was then mounted on brown, orange and green Bazzill card to complement the colours. The flowers were cut with the middle and large dies from Spellbinders Bitty Blossoms using the same brown and orange. The red is from a local craft stall, and the taupe (which is also the base card) is from Creative Expressions. The foliage is cut using a die from the Spellbinders Foliage shapeability set.

Make sure you pop over to the Crafty Cardmakers blog where you will find loads more brilliant inspiration.

I would like to enter this into the following challenges:

Craft Calender Challenge - Flowers in Bloom
PaperPlay Challenges - Use a Die - (Bitty Blossoms & Foliage)
Divas By Design - To 'Die' For (as above)


Tuesday 19 June 2012

For my Dad!

I've finally got round to blogging the card I made my Dad for Father's Day. He's a keen gardener, so I decided to use the three small toppers from Kanban - All About Him - Escape to the Allotment! One of the images had the 'With Love' sentiment foiled in gold, and so decided I wanted to make a focal point of that particular one. 

I firstly mounted it on a small piece of the taupe card from Creative Expressions Neutral pack. I then used the Spellbinders Lace Doily motif cut in gold mirror card, and finally a Lacey Square in the taupe card. The other two toppers were offset onto smaller Lacey Squares. 

The strip across the middle consists of green card (same as the base card) embossed with That Special Touch Large Polka Dots mask (it's a bit difficult to see against the green background). On top of that are strips of gold mirror card and taupe card. The top green layer is embossed with That Special Touch Polka Dots mask (I do rather like polka dots - I have the Small Polka Dots mask too!!!) 

I then stamped 'DAD' and 'on Fathers Day' straight onto the base card (a bit brave for me) using Dovecraft Clear Roman alphabet stamps and clear embossing ink, and embossed with Crafters Companion gold embossing powder.

He did rather like this card and jokingly asked when I'd taken the pictures of him to use!!

I would like to enter this into the following challenges:
Desmet Designs - For the Men and Boys
Their's Magic In The Air - One for the Boys
Dream Valley Challenges - For that Special Guy

Back soon with another creation!!

Thursday 14 June 2012

Cricketer Card!

So, this year for my husband's birthday, I decided to go for a cricketing theme as he is a very keen Somerset fan. (He was at the T20 match last night, and took great pride in showing me the very blurred image of himself on Sky Sports today!) 

The image is from Beanpole Books 'Runner Bean' Sports Templates, and was cut using my Craft Robo . I used quite a thick green card - so it didn't cut all the way through. But with a little bit of coaxing and a sharp craft knife, I managed to 'release' the image!!

I mounted the cricketer onto a piece of Papermania Portobello Road paper - the newspaper effect one, and again onto another piece of the green card. The base card has a green mat cut with the Spellbinders Postage Stamp Edgeability, and embossed with That Special Touch Dotty mask. On top of this I used another piece of the Portobello Road Paper, edged with an insert from the Postage Stamp set. The strip across the middle is grungeboard - the type that comes pre-embossed - which I inked with Antique Linen DI.

Waste from cutting with the insert was used to embellish the card, and the letters were cut with X-Cut Abracadabra Alphabet die.

I would like to enter this into the following challenges:

Crafting for all Seasons - For Men
Dream valley Challenges - For that Special Guy
Order of the Opus Gluei - It's All Relative
Scrapper's Delight Papercrafts - It's a Male Thing


Monday 11 June 2012

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge #70 - No Cards

Well, it has finally come round to being my turn to set the challenge - and we are sponsored this time by Di's Digi Downloads who are offering a $10 Gift Voucher!!

Now, I love making cards, but I also love making a whole host of other things from boxes to notebooks, and gift bags to bookmarks. So, for this challenge I decided to ask you to make anything other than cards, tags or ATC's. I want to see and celebrate all those other things that I'm sure you make out there - boxes, gift bags, paintings, bookmarks, notebooks, sewing projects, knitting projects, glass painting, encaustic art etc etc BUT no cards, tags or ATC's please!! 

So, what do I have to offer as inspiration? When I first thought about this challenge I had a few possibilities in mind - including an MDF box and an MDF wastepaper bin both of which are just crying out to be painted and decorated. But in January, I treated myself to a new sewing machine. I haven't really done any sewing in years (and even then I only ever did basic stuff) but I had a fancy to have another go. So, I decided to challenge myself as well as all of you, and try something that I haven't done before. I decided to make a patchwork cushion cover. Now this was a longer project than my usual, and you don't need to make anything near so involved - although I expect the more experienced of you could put this together in a lot less time than it took me!! 

In searching for some suitable fabrics for my cushion cover, I have begun to learn a whole new language - charm packs, stash packs, fat quarters, jelly rolls and layer cakes to name just a few!! I eventually bought a few stash packs (consisting of 10" squares of fabric) from Pelenna Patchworks and some mini charm packs (2.5" squares) from The Cotton Patch. I also bought a 2.5" Omnigrid and a rotary cutter, so I could cut the small squares I wanted to use.  The fabric for the back of the cover came from my local Fabric Land.

Once I had cut out all the squares, I played around with the layout until I was happy with it, before piling the squares up ready to stitch together.

Now, I knew that in order for this to end up looking OK, I would need to measure things at each stage, and my Tim Holtz ruler came in very handy to do this. I marked 0.25" in from the edge to sew the seam.

For each subsequent patch I measured 2" across from the previous seam, and marked the line for the next seam. 

After ironing open all the seams, I had seven strips ready to assemble for the cover.

I measured and assembled these in the same way as the individual patches.

After pressing the seams open, I then measured the finished size of the front of the cover. This allowed me to then follow the instructions found HERE on how to make the envelope-style back of the cover (thanks to one of my lovely forum friends for pointing me in the direction of this). The only thing I will say is that because I had a 16" cushion pad, and the front was roughly 14", I allowed an extra 2" on the longer of the two measurements she gives you.

When marking the seam for the outside, I measured 2" from the patch-seam towards the edge. The hope was that all the patches would be around 2" square once the cover was turned in the right way.

I was pretty pleased in the way this turned out. So much so that I have made another - this time in red. Both of these were gifts for friends (I blogged about the 'matching' cards back in May  - 'Felt Fun')   - and I intend to make a few more!! 

So, I hope that I have inspired you - and not frightened you off. Pop over to Crafty Cardmakers to see what the rest of the Design Team have been up to - there's a real range of projects there!! Let's celebrate the diversity of crafts that are out there - and whether your project is large or small I am really looking forward to seeing it. And any experienced sewers and quilters out there - please feel free to leave me some tips!! 

I would like to enter my cushion cover into the following challenges:
Moving along with the times - Anything but a Card
Try it on Tuesdays - Anything Goes


Monday 4 June 2012

Just a quick post

Have been feeling pretty yuk the past few days - glands all up in my neck and feeling soooo tired!! As usual, it comes right on cue at half term!! Anyway, I have a few things to share with you from the past few weeks. This one's a quick post to share the 21st birthday card I made for my stepson. We gave him a driving experience day for his present - hence the two cars on the card. 

The backing papers are from the Kanban Men's CD. I went for the blue and green stripes to match the colours of the cars. The lighter paper is the grey metallic effect paper, cut with the Classic Postage Stamp Edgeability, and one of the inserts from the same set. I stamped the 21 using Papermania's Typography stamps, onto the grey paper. The letters for the name are cut using X-Cut Roma die.

I would like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Lexi's Creations - For the man/boy in our lives
Here Come the Boys - Anything Goes
Opus Gluei - It's All Relative

Be back soon!!