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.

Wednesday 31 December 2014

The Last Post (of 2014)!!

NOTE - If you don't want to read my musings on 2014, and you just want to see the card, then feel free to scroll to the bottom.

Well, there it is. 2014 has less than 24 hours left to run. For me it has been a pretty roller-coaster year. I have been looking back at my first post of 2014 (4th January), and I started with a picture of me running at Bournemouth Park Run on New Year's Day. Since then my running improved, and then got worse - and I'm pretty much at the same level as I was then. During the year I completed my annual Race for Life, but also took part in the Bournemouth 'Speed of Light' 5K on my birthday!!

In that first post I also mentioned three resolutions for the year. The first was to try to blog at least once a week. Well, there were times when I didn't quite achieve that, but overall I have blogged 168 times this year - on average 3 times per week - so I think I can claim that one!! Especially since I have blogged more this year than the previous 4 years put together!!

My second resolution was on the purchasing front - ie not to buy anything unless I needed it for a commission or special present. Well, that one didn't last long. An epic fail really!! But I have lots of lovely stash!!

And the third was to increase my blog followers up to the 100 mark. Well, I'm almost there with 78 Blogger followers and another 16 on Bloglovin - so a total of 94. But during the year I opened a Pinterest Account which now has 38 followers, and my Papercraft By Carole FB page has 44 likes, making another 82 - and not forgetting the 230 followers I have on Twitter!! So although I didn't reach 100 on my blog, I certainly have more than 100 followers across the social media platforms!! 

I suppose the biggest change came towards the beginning of March, when I found out that I had a place on Crafter's Companion's Main Design Team. Well, since then I have made inumberable cards and projects with some amazing new products!! And - while it is very intense at times - I am thoroughly enjoying all the challenges it presents. It's weird, but I've become almost blase about my samples being shown on TV. Although when they are singled out and shown several times, I do feel very proud!!

Alongside that, I am still on the Crafty Cardmakers and More DT (3 years and counting), and this September saw the launch of The Mirror Crack'd - a new Multi Media Challenge Blog - of which I am also a DT member. 

I feel my whole approach to crafting has changed over this year. I have previously made numerous card and other items to sell at Craft Fairs - with varying degrees of success. This year I had intended to do a few - but after the first one, felt that it was really not what I wanted to do any more. So, I am going to stick with commissions and my DT work from here on in. 

Well, I suppose I should share my last piece of work for 2014. I made this for my Mum's Birthday at the end of November, using the gorgeous Sugar and Spice CD from Crafter's Companion. I used one of the Create Companions, with matching papers.  
The flowers are cut with a combination of Die'sire Classique Forget Me Not and Lace Bloom Flowers, along with Bebunni Daisy. The butterflies are also Bebunni! And of course the lettering is Die'sire 1" Alphabet. A bit of ribbon and a few pearls finished the look.

Well, tomorrow I will be running Bournemouth Park Run again, and I will be back in the next couple of days with my hopes and aspirations for 2015. Enjoy your New Year's Eve whatever you may be doing - and I'll see you on the other side!!


Tuesday 30 December 2014

Butterfly Wedding

Another card today. I made this one for the wedding of my OH's Uncle. The base is Fresh White double sided Centura Pearl, and I used more of this to cut the Die'sire Lace Butterfly Create-a-Card.
For matting and layering, I used some soft gold pearl card from my stash, along with a piece of gold and white card from CC A3 double sided Elegance card. 
I embossed another piece of Fresh White using Embossalicious A4 Ornate Butterflies folder, and the letters were cut with Die'sire 1" Alphabet dies. 

Lots of ribbon and pearls were all that were needed to finish this off!! A very simple, but effective card.

I would like to enter this into:
Through the Craft Room Door - Anything Goes


Monday 29 December 2014

A Summery Feel on a Wintry Day!!

Am waiting for some texture paste to dry on a project, so thought I would pop on and share a commission I made for a friend to give to her Mum. She wanted a gardening theme - and this image from Crafter's Companion's Camden Town Female CD was just perfect!! And is nice to share this gorgeous summery image on such a cold and wintry day!! I used the Fabric Companion, and printed it again so I could decoupage elements of the image.
I used papers from the CD, along with a combination of Papermill and Bazzill cardstock for matting and layering. 
The flowers are made from one of the papers from the CD, with the spiral flower template from the Scruffy Little Cats CD printed on the top. I edged them with Peacock Feathers DI. The leaves are Die'sire Leaf 2, edged with Scattered Straw DI. As ever, I cut the letters and numbers with Die'sire 1" Alphabet and Number dies.
I used the same image on the front of the box, and more of the papers for decoration inside. And of course, ribbon and pearls for embellishment!!
So, only a few more days of this year left, and I'm starting to reflect on all that has happened to me both personally and craft-wise over the past 12 months. I know I set myself some goals on my first blog of 2014 - so we'll see how well I managed to do with them!!

I would like to enter this into:
That Craft Place - Anything Goes


Sunday 28 December 2014

Approaching the end of the year!!

You may (or may not) have noticed that I haven't blogged in nearly 3 weeks. There are lots of reasons - including Christmas - but wanted to get a couple more in before the end of the year. So, here's today's blog. This was the birthday card I made for my youngest stepdaughter back in November!! 
This uses one of the Card Frames from Crafter's Companion Sugar and Spice CD - printed twice to allow me to give some height to the dress. The papers are also from the CD, and the lettering is cut with Die'sire 1" Alphabet die set. I finished it off with some ribbon and flowers. 

I will hopefully be back once more before the end of the year!! I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas - with lots of crafting goodies in your stocking!! I go the e-Brush, so will hopefully get a chance to play soon!! 


Monday 8 December 2014

Crafty Cardmakers - Challenge 129 - Christmas!!

Welcome to the last Crafty Cardmakers challenge of 2014!! And our theme this time is Christmas. If, like me, you always intend to make yours early - and never do, then this is a perfect one for you to get going. We have two sponsors this time. Firstly Sir Stampalot, and also we have a prize from our lovely team mate Kim Reygate, who is offering a wonderful array of goodies (check out the picture).

I have a group of friends who I always make cards for - and because we all meet up together, I tend to use the same theme for each of them - but with a twist. This year I fancied going for a really vintage gold feel to the cards.
For each card I used a different one of the many papers from Crafter's Companion Vintage Christmas CD. 
I used CC Kraft card to matt and layer a large square piece of the paper for the base of the easel card (these are Craftwork Cards Scallop Circle Easel cards), and for the rectangle across the front.
I then cut a large Kraft circle, and two smaller ones, to use with similarly cut circles of the paper. I also cut out two pieces of holly using the smaller CC Holly die.
I embossed the holly and Kraft circles using either the A4 Embossalicious Holiday Holly or Let It Snow - depending on the paper design.
I inked over all the embossed pieces, and around the edges of all the Kraft pieces, with Old Paper DI.
All the wooden toppers come from the same box of Papermania Wooden Christmas shapes. I did nothing to them, apart from adding a piece of ribbon, and some pearls.
The stopper for each card is a CC Small Fringed Quilling Flower - this is fast becoming my favourite of all the quilling flowers. Some more ribbon and pearls were used as embellishments!

So, you have two weeks to join in with the challenge - plenty of time to get those last minute Christmas cards made. Pop over to the Crafty Cardmakers blog to check out all the inspiration from the team - and to add your project!! 

I would like to enter this into:
Paper Creators - All About Christmas
We Do Doobadoo - Get Festive
Dragon's Lair - Christmas
Crafting By Designs - All Things Christmas

Take care!

More Animal Print!

Good morning!! Just a quick post this morning (my 300th - I can't believe it) and it's my last sneak peek for the Darice Embossing Folders. This one uses just the leopard print folder from the Animal Prints Border set.
I teamed it up with the leopard print paper from the Scruffy Little Cats CD, to make this little 5x5 card with matching box. I used Centura Pearl Hint of Silver for the base card and the box. I embossed more Centura with the folder to create the bottom panel on the card, the strip across the box, and also the strips to make the bows on the card and box.

A little Distress ink around the edges, along with ribbon, pearls and a sentiment from Sheena Only Words - Through the Rain - completed the card.

As I said - just a short post this morning!! Make sure you tune in at 12pm and 3pm to see the fabulous Fiona demonstrating these folders.

Will be back later with a new Crafty Cardmakers Challenge!! 


Sunday 7 December 2014

Fun with Animal Print!!

Morning!! My cold has decided to come back with a vengeance - but of course it is not as bad as my OH's sore throat and cough that are confining him to bed!! So while he feels sorry for himself, I have another sneak peek for Fiona's Darice Embossing Folder shows on Create and Craft tomorrow.

This is an 8x8 card made using the Animal Print Embossing Border Folders. They come as a set of 3 - leopard, tiger and giraffe!! To get consistent block sizes, I used Die'sire Essentials Rectangle dies.
I decided that I would try to use a variety of different surfaces and techniques with this card. I used double sided sticky paper, sticky back cork, pre-gessoed canvas, and sticky back chalkboard vinyl. All except the double sided sticky have been bought from The Range in roll form. 
I then embossed the various pieces. I have to admit to changing my mind a few times about which pieces, which sizes and which pattern - so what you see here does not necessarily match up with the finished piece - but you get the idea.
With the double sided sticky paper, I decided to use the giraffe print with Mica Powders.I found it easier to use a very small brush, and cover the debossed parts, before the embossed parts. I stuck this onto white card. 
With the chalkboard vinyl, I used the lion print. I painted on some Pebeo Mixtion. Now, essentially, this is the same as the Mixtion paste that Sheena had on her show with the Mixed Media box of products - except that this is a liquid that you can paint on. I then used some gold foil over the top.
For the canvas, I chose the leopard print, and used the Direct to Paper method with my Black Soot DI. I didn't go over it too much, as I liked the the texture that shows through. I then used some Gold Acrylic paint in the debossed areas.
I forgot to take photos of the cork - but I used the giraffe print, with Direct to Paper with Rusty Hinge DI, and more Gold Acrylic Paint.
I mounted the pieces on a combination of Kraft, Matt Black, and Neenah Solar White card. The sentiment is Sheena - Only Words - From the Heart - on Neenah Solar White.

Make sure to tune in tomorrow to see what Fiona and the rest of the DT have been up to with these great embossing folders.

Take care,

Saturday 6 December 2014

Embossing Folder - Wax Resist

Afternoon! Am back with another card to share. This one is the Darice Stars Border Embossing Folder that Fiona will have on the show on Monday on Create and Craft.
For this card, I used Sheena's Stamping Card, as I wanted to use Aquatints. I embossed the card down one edge the A4 card, then scored it to make an A5 card with the border at the bottom. I then coloured in some of the stars with #59 from the Pretty Pastels Aquatint collection.
I then took some wax paper (the kind you used with your dies), and embossed several strips, before sandwiching them between two more pieces of Sheena Stamping Card. I then ironed over the card. It is difficult to see the pattern transferred to the card - but it is there - on both pieces.
I then painted a wash over the cards with #59 from the Pretty Pastels Aquatints, and #56 from the Bright and Beautiful. Then, using my Die'sire Essentials Stars, I cut out several pieces. I did the same with another white piece, with coloured stars.
I then mounted them up with some pearls, and arranged them around the sentiment, which is Sheena's Only Words - From the Heart!!

Make sure to tune in on Monday to see Fiona with this and more Darice Folder.
Enjoy your evening!!

The Mirror Crack'd - Challenge #4 - Recycle/Upcycle OR Make a Gift

Hello - it's challenge time again at The Mirror Crack'd. This month we are looking for mixed media projects that recycle or upcycle something! Or if you don't fancy that, how about making a gift for someone? Or maybe even upcycle something to make a gift!! 

I decided to make a ribbon spool holder. When I'm making samples, I end up with lots of spools all over my crafting space, so thought that this would come in handy.
I started with an old coaster, an empty ribbon spool, and the ends of some kebab sticks from another project.
I started by sanding down the coaster.
Then I applied some DecoMache paper with Mod Podge to both the coaster and the old ribbon reel.
The next step was to add some Washi Tape for a bit more colour.
And then I stencilled over with some texture paste, using That Special Touch Polka Dots mask.
Using Wikipedia, I printed some definitions of ribbon onto parchment paper, scrumpled them up and inked them, before applying them to the coaster.
To the ribbon spool, I added an offcut of lace for decoration.
And these two pieces were glued together.
I then wrapped more Washi tape around the kebab sticks, before sticking it into the base with glue gel.
I have already used it - and it works like a dream!! Am really pleased with the way it turned out.
So, you have a whole month to join in with our Recycle/Upcyle chalenge. We would love to see what you come up with. Pop over to The Mirror Crack'd blog to check out all the other incredible inspiration.