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.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Crafting with Kits (and it's my 100th blog post!!)

So, I have reached my 100th blog post!! In the land of Blog, I am sure it is not that significant, but for me and my little blog, it most definitely is!! I did wonder what I was going to Blog about - but last week, I spent a lot of time gardening in the gorgeous sunshine (don't worry I'm not blogging about gardening) and whilst I was pulling up weeds, I did a lot of thinking about something that has been getting me a little annoyed recently. 

Let me explain. When I started crafting, I didn't really know what I was doing - I bought a Do Crafts Christmas goody bag as I wanted to make my own Christmas cards and it snowballed from there. I bought a lot of 3D stickers and the like and then discovered crafting on both QVC and Create & Craft and began to buy kits with toppers and card stock from the likes of Hunkydory and Kanban. They were a total revelation and really opened up the possibilities for me.

Hunkydory - Lace Bouquet Topper 

I have never been a great stamper - and probably never will. I work with digi stamps for the Crafty Cardmakers blog, and do quite enjoy it, but I don't have a vast stamp collection and have never bought any of the markers out there - I prefer my (very) old watercolour tin and my Distress Ink collection!!  

Hunkydory - Butterfly Jewels Topper

To be perfectly honest, I love crafting with Kanban and Hunkydory toppers. I love the fact that I have a piece of co-ordinating cardstock to either make the base card from, or just to use for co-ordinating my layers. I enjoy rummaging through my stash to find co-ordinating card and paper - and then working out which of my vast collection of Spellbinders would complement the design - and finally deciding on the way to embellish them. 

Hunkydory - Button Cute! Topper - Free Gift with Magazine Issue 6

So, what is it  that is annoying me? Well, I am fed up of the way this type of crafting is often dismissed as lacking creativity. The term 'pick and stick' is used in quite a derogatory way and really does not do justice to what you can do with the toppers. Yes, you can just 'pick and stick' but there is so much more scope there if you want to develop it further. I hear people often 'apologising' for using kits - for when they need a 'quick' card, and particularly around Christmas when people say they use them because they couldn't possibly make the volume of cards otherwise. As if these are the ONLY reasons that card kits could possibly be accepted. 

I know it's not for everyone (where would we be if we all liked the same things), but I am a little fed up of being made to feel that, because I may use a pre-printed topper, my creations are somehow inferior!! 

Hunkydory - Lace Bouquet Topper

Well, I am not going to apologise for using kits (or justify why) - suffice to say that I LOVE THEM! The four cards shown here are recent makes using various Hunkydory Kits. I recently bought a Kanban Christmas Blockbuster - and have been watching the Olympics whilst popping out the die cuts and matching them with cardstock!! Won't be starting making them yet (a little too early for me) - but I know they are all there just waiting. 

You may have heard me refer to my 'Lucky Dip' box in past posts. This is where all the toppers from the kits I have bought sit in plastic wallets with co-ordinating card stock, base card and envelope. Whenever I have time to craft just for the hell of it (ie no looming birthdays, anniversaries or commissions) I pop my hand into the box and see what I pull out!! 

Don't get me wrong - I love playing with different techniques too. I have my alchohol inks, gilding flakes (just invested in Flitterglu so looking forward to playing with that), embossing paste, mica powders and masks, embossing folders, dies - the list is endless (and I am also making small forays into the world of sewing/quilting). But I will always love crafting with kits!! 

Will be back soon!!!


Thursday, 26 July 2012

Getting Sentimental!!

You may have noticed from the last couple of posts that I have been getting into using sentiment stamps with no images. Well, here's another one. This card was made for Lin (our esteemed leader over at Crafty Cardmakers - who is offline at the moment due to moving house). It has been a busy time for her, and I sent her this card to let her know I was thinking of her.

The main stamp and the speech bubble are Papermania Typography, and I used my Dovecraft alphabet stamps for the name - all stamped with Dusty Concord DI. The sentiment is stamped on Creative Expressions Coconut White card, cut with a Spellbinders Romantic Rectangle, and inked whilst still in the die.The purple and lilac are Bazzill, with the darker mat also being a Romantic Rectangle. The largest background mat has been edged with Spellbinders Edgeabilities Classic Triple Scallop, and one of the decorative inserts from set 4, with a strip of the darker card stuck behind. The flower is from the Carnation Creations dies. A strip of lace and a few pearls finished it all off. 

Hopefully, Lin will be back on-line soon! But I'm not going to complain, as it does mean she's given us a bit of time off from the challenge blog! 

I would like to enter this into the following challenges:
Charizma Cards - Monochrome
Do You Stack Up - For a Friend


Friday, 20 July 2012

School's Out for Summer!!

The week has finally come to an end - and school has finished. It's quite a significant end of school year, this time - it marks the end of my first year back in the classroom after 7 years in outdoor education; my niece has finished primary school; and my Mum has retired from her job as a school secretary/admin/finance officer after 33 years!! My niece and Mum happen to be leaving the same school - so at the leaver's service today, Mum was surprised with a poem dedicated to her, read by my niece (her granddaughter). I wasn't there, but I understand it was pretty emotional. 

Here is the card I made for Mum's retirement.

I used an 8" square textured cream card base (have had it in my stash for ages - and can't remember where I got it), cream card from Creative Expresssions Neutral Pack, and burgundy card from my local market. As ever, the dies used are Spellbinders

For the edges of the large burgundy mat, I used Edgeabilities Classic Triple Scallop, with the inserts from the Classic Petal set. I also used the burgundy for the Lace Doily Motif. From the cream, I cut a Scalloped Square and used another die from the Lace Doily set.

The flowers are all Bitty Blossoms - large and medium - and I raised the sentiment and mats on foam strips to give them height.

The sentiment is Papermania Typography, stamped and coloured in Aged Mahogony DI. It was a little 'redder' than I really wanted, but I had nothing else anywhere near the colour. I sprayed the sentiment with gold Spray and Sparkle - still can't decide if it was a good idea or not. I finished it all off with flat backed pearls. Have just bought a load from Diamond Occasion in various colours - I think they are great value for money!! 

I would like to enter this into:
Samuel Taylors Crafts - Die Cutting
Fab n Funky Challenges - Make your own flowers


Thursday, 19 July 2012

More Thank You's!!

One more day until the end of term!! Can't wait - I have a lovely cough and sinuses which have now decided to unblock themselves after several days of making my head feel like it's exploding - so am looking forward to lying in bed and vegetating for at least a week!!

Tomorrow will be the day I give out my Thank You cards, so thought I should share the others with you before then. 

They are both the same design, just different colours. The base cards are 10.5cm square, cut from taupe Creative Expressions card. The large mats are Bazzil for the blue card, and the burgundy pearl is from my local market. The taupe mats are Spellbinders Parisian motifs, with Scalloped Rectangles for the smaller mats.

The sentiment is from a very old set of cheap stamps - can't remember where they are from. I used Broken China DI for the blue, and Aged Mahogany DI for the burgundy, inking them both whilst still in the die.

That's pretty much it. Am looking forward to more crafting time over the coming weeks - but I think the neglected jungle that was once my garden, needs sorting first!!


Sunday, 15 July 2012

End of Term Thank You!

I have been supply teaching in one class for a large part of this past term, and I have had a lot of support from several members of staff. So, I thought I would make some thank you cards. Now, I didn't fancy using a pre-printed topper, nor was I in the mood for any watercolouring, so decided I would make the sentiment the focal image. And as ever whenever there is any excuse to buy new stash, I take advantage. This time, a Papermania  Typography THANK YOU stamp. I love the fact that a simple sentiment is so versatile -  in this case I made a very girly card, and a very masculine card with the same stamp.

This is for the lovely teacher who has really supported me with planning and resources. I used Creative Expressions Coconut White card for the A5 card base, with lilac and purple Bazzill card, and stamped the sentiment onto the another piece of white using Dusty Concord DI. I then cut it out using a Spellbinders Romantic Rectangle, and inked it with the same DI whilst still in the die. The corners of the purple mat were rounded, and I then used a lilac Romantic Rectangle. The large purple mat was edged with Spellbinders Edgeabilities Classic Triple Scallop, and an insert from Inserts 4, and backed with the lilac card.

I used a piece of lace that has been in my box for ages, and the flower was cut from my new Carnation Creations dies. The gems provided the finishing touch!!

I would like to enter the above card into the following challenges:
Stampalot Challenges - What's Your Crafty Passion (Spellbinders)
Alphabet Challenge Blog - L is for Lace (Strip across centre)
Samuel Taylor's Crafts - Die Cuts


I needed a masculine version for the full-time TA who works with the class - so this time I stamped it using Walnut Stain DI. The base card is A6, made from Creative Expressions Taupe card. The navy blue pearl card is from my local market, embossed with That Special Touch Polka Dots mask. The gold/green Bazzill card is embossed with the small Polka Dots, and mounted onto a gold pearl Scalloped Rectangle. The navy satin ribbon is an oddment from my stash. No bling on this one. 

I would like to enter the above card into: 
Moving Along with the Times - Make it Sentimental
Crafty Creations Challenge - Free For All
The Sisterhood of Crafters - Let's Hear it for the Boys

I am really pleased with how these turned out - and love how one stamp has such versatility!!

I will have a couple more little thank you cards to share next time!! See you soon!!


Friday, 13 July 2012

Patchwork Cushion!

What a day!! The Olympic torch passed near the school I am working at today. The torch passed us twice  and we had a great time cheering and waving - and we were all pretty tired by the end of it all!! Didn't make it onto the TV even though I stood and chatted to the man from the local TV station!! And I still have a stinking cold - so thankfully the weather held off. 

Anyway, here's a patchwork cushion I made recently as a gift for a friend - it went with the funky foam flower card from my previous post!!

The material for the 2.5" squares came from a variety of places including Pelenna Patchworks and The Cotton Patch, while the cushion pad and backing material were from my local Fabric Land. 

I would like to enter this into:
My Mum's Craft Shop - No Cards Allowed
That Craft Place - Anything Goes


Monday, 9 July 2012

Getting Funky!!

After feeling low and down on Saturday, I now have a lovely sore throat and croaky voice. It's going to be interesting in Class 3 tomorrow!! Don't mind the voice so much, I just don't like feeling so run down and tired. 
Anyway, just in case you're wondering, the funky I'm referring to in this case is Funky Foam!! I was inspired to have a go at using it for making flowers after seeing this gorgeous tissue box over on Mermaid's Lair blog. 

This was for a friend's birthday, to go with a patchwork cushion (will blog that at a later date). I treated myself to Spellbinders Spiral Blossom 3, and used that and my Bitty Blossom dies to make the flowers from purple funky foam. The leaves are from Spellbinders Foliage dies. I used a hot glue gun to hold the spiraled flowers together, and rubbed some Dusty Concord DI over the top. With the leaves, I used Forest Moss DI through the die before removing the foam. 

I left both overnight, and was a little perturbed to find that the following evening, the ink was still wet. I panicked a bit, as I needed to finish the card quickly - so started dabbing at it with a tissue. This caused most of it to come off - not really what I had wanted. So I stopped and had a think. And decided that a bit of Iridescent Spray and Sparkle on the flowers would seal the ink in - and I used Spray and Shine on the leaves. Problem solved.
The white base card is Craftworks Card Size 6 scalloped edge. The green mat and the purple Splendid Circle are both Bazzill cardstock, while the white scalloped circle is pearlescent card from my local market, embossed with That Special Touch Doodle Daisies mask. The finishing touch is a couple of white pearl hatpins from Creative Expressions.

Have to admit I'm a bit flower mad at the moment - and am awaiting delivery of my new Spellbinders Carnation Creations to give a bit more variety to what I can achieve!! Watch this space!!

I would like to offer this into the following challenges:
Robyn's Fetish - No image No sentiment
That Craft Place - Anything Goes
Fun with Shapes and More - Summer Birthday

Be back soon!!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

White Wedding!!

Have been feeling a bit down all day, and didn't want to waste the evening totally, so though blogging might help put me in a better frame of mind. So, a recent request for a wedding card with a cross gave me the perfect excuse to indulge myself with a purchase.  And of course, that purchase would have to be of the Spellbinders variety - in this case Crosses 2. This also coincided with the return of my repaired Grand Calibur - I can't believe how much  I missed it - so I was a happy bunny.
The 8" square base card and box have been made from a large sheet of Centura Snow White Pearl Card. The only other materials I used were Creative Expressions Coconut White card, ribbon and pearls. All the dies I used are from Spellbinders.
I cut the plain white card with Classic Triple Scallop Edgeability, and used both edges set slightly apart on the base card. The left hand side was embossed with That Special Touch Polka Dots mask, and the right hand side with the Small Polka Dots. 
I cut the two larger crosses from the set using the pearl card, and mounted one on top of the other. This was matted onto an plain white oval, and in turn onto a pearl white Romantic Rectangle which was embossed with That Special Touch Doodle Daisies mask.
White satin ribbon was wrapped around the right hand part, The flowers and foliage were cut using Bitty Blossoms dies, and the letters from XCut Roma Alphabet die. Flat backed pearls provided the finishing touch.
The top of the box was decorated in the same way, except the words were replaced with pearls. The inside of the box was also decorated. I cut a decorative edge using Edgeabilities Inserts 6, and threaded ribbon through. A smaller cross was mounted on a smaller Romantic Rectangle, with Flourish Accents either side.

I was really pleased with the results - I haven't made a completely white on white card before!! 

Be back soon.