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!!!



  1. I have had a couple of kits, and the quality of the toppers is really first rate. And it is what you do with the topper that counts! I feel the same about using cds. Quite a few people are a bit sniffy about using cds, but I find them so versatile! And bonus, if I have a backing paper I really like, I don't have to be miserly with it, because I can always print another one off!

  2. I agree, it's what you do with the kit that counts. Looking at your photos, you produce some beautiful cards. Kits are a great starting point for beginners and so useful for the more experienced when other techniques can be used in conjunction with the kit elements.


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