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.

Monday, 27 January 2014

What's in a name?

Well, having put myself through it on Wednesday, I woke up Friday feeling like a cold was coming on. By Saturday morning I knew I was right - but still made the effort to do parkrun. As lunchtime approached I felt as rough as you like. Have ended up spending Sunday and Monday in bed. Am feeling somewhat better now - am back working tomorrow - so hopefully will be OK.

Anyway, I make birthday cards for a lot of my friend's children - and sometimes struggle to come up with a unique theme. Here's one I made a liitle while ago, and this time, I went just for the name. 
The A5 blue base card is made from my stash. I then chose the papers I wanted to use. Surprisingly, the ones I chose came from Papermania's 'The Little Cake Shop' collection. Not all the papers are cupcakes and girly colours! A long time ago I bought a set of very large letter stencils. I used them to cut out the letters in the three colours. I then mounted them onto another piece of the blue card, and cut round them. 

I then used the same three papers to create the mats and layers. The wide red satin, green gingham and blue ric-rac ribbons are all from my stash, as are the buttons and clear dew drops (I took the photo before the glue was dry - so they look white!!) Sam was very please with his card - and it is now stuck to his bedroom door!

I would like to enter this into:
Send A Smile 4 Kids: Anything Goes (For Kids)
Alphabet Challenge: Y - Young card for a little one (I hope being 9, classes as a little one)

Back soon,

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Homage to parkrun!!

(picture from parkrun)
If you have read any of my earlier posts this year, you will remember that I have mentioned parkrun. To quote from their website:
'parkrun organise free, weekly, 5km timed runs around the world. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy to take part in.'

My husband was the first one to catch the 'parkrun' bug, closely followed by my stepson, Sam - and then of course myself. So much so that I chose to go for a run this morning. Great idea - you say! And I was also applauding myself!  But in my enthusiasm I forgot a couple of important things. First - to take my daily morning inhaler!! And second to take my other inhaler with me. Because of the cold (and this is why I have avoided running in winter 'til now) I ended up sounded like an old squeezebox - sore and painful. But I did get round 1.5 miles - and am glad I got out there. Lesson learned!

Anyway onto something more important. My stepson, Sam, started his involvement in parkrun by first coming over to our local Poole parkrun. But when the Bournemouth one was set up, he was there right from the word go at the first run - and has been an active member ever since, including writing race reports and interviewing 'Runners of the Week'. So, it seemed appropriate that this year, I incorporated it into his birthday card.

I have used one of the many great parkrun logo pictures as the focal image for the card. As you can tell, my camera didn't do justice to the vibrant green of the logo picture - it came out rather yellow! But looking at the top of the page will give you the right idea.

The picture was printed onto Elegance card, and I then chopped it into three. The base Kraft card is from Papermill, as is the Teal card on top of it - which is embossed with Grand MBossabilities Dainty Dots. I embossed the white card with one of my many new embossing folders - this one was Flower Power from CC Die'sire Embossalicious 8x8 range. I inked over the embossing and around the edge with Crushed Olive DI.  On top of that is another piece of the Kraft card. 

The pictures are mounted onto lime green Bazzill card, then Teal texture effect card (from C&C). All of these are on top of more cream and dark brown textured card. I used a mini alphabet stamp set to randomly stamp the greeting, and edged it with Walnut Stain DI.The finishing touch is some matching buttons (from Papermania's 'Sew Lovely' range) with a piece of twine threaded through.

If you are interested in joining parkrun, then click on the link to go to their website and find your nearest run. I don't profess to be a great runner - I am always one of the last to finish each week - but I do get a sense of achievement and the knowledge that I am keeping myself fit and active.

And Sam? Well, when he isn't taking photos as he runs round(!), he's usually in the top 20 or so finishers!! And these days (hangovers excepted!!!) he's usually a lot faster than his Dad!! Happy Birthday Sam!! 

I would like to enter this into:
Deep Ocean Challenge - Birthday

Love to Create - Button It Up
Make My Monday - Kraft card

Now I've cooled down from my run - I can go and get myself ready for the rest of the day! Bring it on!!


Monday, 20 January 2014

New CCM&M Challenge - and a Thank You!

There's a new challenge on over at CCM&M. This week it's the turn of the Pixies and they have been working on Kim's Challenge of Black and White. Sponsors this time are Woodware, and Di's Digi Stamps. Pop over to the blog for more inspiration and details.

As for me - here's another Thank You card - similar to the one I shared a couple of weeks ago. This time I used a piece of gorgeous printed Kanban cardstock, cut down and folded into an A6 blank.
The 'Thank You' is the Papermania Typography stamp again - stamped directly onto Bazzill cardstock with Timber Brown Stazon. Because the cardstock is textured, it gives a more vintage feel. I cut this out with a Spellbinders Label 8. The mat is cut from Centura Pearl with the Spellbinders Lace Doily Motif. The flower is Carnation Creations Shapeabilities - along with Floral Flourishes. I finished it off with a couple of Creative Expressions hat pins. 

I would like to enter this into:
Brown Sugar Challenges - Anything Goes
Sister Act Card Challenge - Anything Goes

Just a quick post today - but will be back with more soon! 


Monday, 13 January 2014

Melt Pot Mad!!

On Saturday, I attended a Melt Pot Masterclass with Hels Sheridan, at Pickwell Farm in Southampton. It was an absolutely brilliant day - and now is the time to share what I made!

We were provided with one large and two small canvases, and the first job was to scrape on some paint. A pale colour went all over the canvas - including the sides (I used Eco Green Mushroom). Having made sure this was dry, a medium colour (I used Adirondak Hazelnut) was then scraped on - only a bit this time. I found it hard at first, as too much paint went on at a time - but this can be rectified by scraping the pale colour over the worst patches once the layer is dry. Finally, a small amount of a darker colour (Adirondak Mushroom) was scraped on.
The next step (which I forgot to photograph) was to stamp onto single ply tissue with Stazon. Then the Melt Pot was turned on as we used wax to apply the tissue to the canvas. The idea is you brush the melted wax over the tissue and it kind of sinks into the canvas. You have to use your heat gun as well - and I got a bit carried away - you can see the yellow patches where I overheated the wax and the canvas!! 
We then applied mica powder onto the canvas for some shimmer. I decided to use Cosmic Shimmer Pale Gold as this would blend in with my overheated yellowing patches. That was great - but it then also highlighted where I hadn't checked if I had applied wax all over the canvas - and there are obviously bits that I missed!!   
So here is the 'finished' (sort of) canvas. This was photographed at home - so looks slightly different. We edged the canvases with paint applied with Cut and Dry. I used Adirondak Mushroom at the workshop, but changed my mind at home and went over it with a mixture of Eco Green Mulch and Black. The buttons, heart charm and key are all mine - but the other pieces are from the workshop.
These flowers were made from pouring molten UTEE from the melt pot into some fabulous moulds. The detail in incredible.It was a mix of Bright Gold, Silver Shine, Ancient Copper, a little black and a very little white. These moulds are just brilliant - another thing to add to my wish list!!
The little owl at the bottom is made from a mould that Hels made from an owl charm, using Mould and Pour. This was one of my purchases yesterday as there are some great possibilities for things to make moulds from!!
The red flower was a pre-made flower that was dipped into clear UTEE for the faux porcelain technique. And the little oval peeking out is a Spellbinders hat pin. Instead of pouring the UTEE into it, we put a piece of heat resistant craft sheet into the Melt Pot, put the hat pin on top of this, and then sprinkled the UTEE directly into it (I used Tropic Red and Lava Red).
There are lots of things I like about this canvas - and it will eventually go onto my wall. There are also lots of things I know I would do differently next time - but the canvas will be there to remind me not to make those mistakes again.

Thanks again to Hels for a fabulous workshop. And also to Carolyn from Pickwell for looking after us all.

I would like to enter this into:
That Craft Place - Use a Charm (the key)

Crafty Boots Challenges - Anything Goes
My Craft Creations - Anything Goes

See you soon.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

A great day - and another Promarker card!!

Well, I have had an absolutely fabulous day today at Pickwell Farm in Southampton. No - I haven't had the wellies on doing some gardening! As well as a fab farm shop, Pickwell has an Aladdin's cave of a Craft Shop!! It also plays host to some great craft workshops - with fab experts. Today's workshop was 'Melt Pot Masterclass' with Hels Sheridan!! And I have had a most excellent time. Thanks to Hels and also to Carolyn from Pickwell who looked after us all so well. And it was lovely to meet the 11 other ladies - some of whom were surprisingly local to me!! I am in the process of sorting out photos and will blog more about it later! 

I also have an admission to make. I have broken my resolution of not buying anything! In my defence the purchases were essential in order that I can continue working with my melt pot and create more beautiful works of art (yes - I am trying to convince myself)!! And I did say, right from the start, that this weekend would be my downfall. However, I haven't fallen completely off the wagon!! It was just a minor flat tyre which has now been fixed and normal service will resume!! 

Anyway changing the subject entirely - following on from the last blog, this is the second card I made specifically to use my new Promarkers. The free digi this time is a cute little owl from DigiStamp Boutique. It's their monthly freebie for January 2014. And they have lots of other little cuties for sale on their website too!!

I decided to use it to enter 'I Love Promarkers' challenge of 'Use A Bow'.   The image was printed onto Elegance card.

I wanted to use browns for this card - and was a little surprised to find that, within all my lovely new pens, there really isn't a chocolate brown. I had a lovely piece of chocloate lace that I wanted to use - and just couldn't match it at all!  Undeterred, I had a slight rethink and decided on: 
This is the finished result:
I cut the owl out using Spellbinders Marvellous Squares, and the sentiment (generated on my computer) with a long scalloped rectangle. I edged them with my Tan pen. The background card was embossed with Grand Embossabilities - Dainty Dots - and was also edged with Tan. The three layered ribbons are all from my stash - a wide yellow organza (of which you can only see the edging), white satin, and a tan coloured gros-grain - from which I also tied the bow.

I can't believe that, already this year, I have blogged 5 times. I have a couple of new followers - thank you so much to them!! If you do choose to follow my blog (and I am very grateful if you do), then also leave me a message so I know who you are and can thank you! 

See you again soon!! 


Friday, 10 January 2014

My New Promarkers!!

I was very lucky at Christmas to receive a huge amount of Promarkers - and having spent a bit of my Christmas money (before my self-imposed 1st January cut-off date for crafty purchases) - I am now the proud owner of the full set!!! OK - so that doesn't mean I am any good at colouring in - but I like to have a go, and now don't have to work within a limited palette.

So I have decided to enter a couple of challenges specifically designed for Promarkers! This card is for 'Passion for Promarkers' Clean and Simple Challenge. This is not usually a style I go for - but thought I would give it a go!

All well and good, but my library of digi images is fairly small - so I was wondering how to get around this without having to buy anything new. I did a bit of trawling on the internet and was amazed at the amount of freebies there are out there. It' amazing the amount of designers who are willing to provide their work for free. A big thanks to all of them!! 

One such site is the amazing Bird's Cards who have lots to choose from - including digis, papers and cutting files.  I have chosen 'Daisy with Frame' from the Flowers section. I used the computer to resize the image, and added the sentiment. 

Once I had printed out the image onto Joanna Sheen 300gsm Elegance card, I coloured it in with my Promarkers. The swatch shows the colours that I have used.

I also edged the piece of card with chisel end of the Primrose pen.

This is the final result. I really had to resist the temptation to add anything else to it - but I do how it has turned out. It's not the best photo - but the camera was struggling to focus on it!

Anyway - enough for now. I will blog the second Promarker card later.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Layer Happy!! Embossing Mad!!

My brother-in-law likes cycling. So this year, I though I would use that theme for his birthday card. I had a cycling topper from a Kanban kit - and being green and white(ish) it also fitted well with his love of Yeovil football club.  
I made the base card from a piece from my stash, and embossed it with one side of the Dainty Dots Grand Embossabilities. The layers are made from another piece of the green card, silver/grey Bazzill, white Bazzill and the beige is DCWV (I think).   

As you can see, I have used a lot of layers (8 in total). I don't know why. I just got a bit carried away. I also embossed the green layers - one, with the other side of the Dainty Dots folder, and two others with either side of the the Garden Lattice Embossabilities. Mad, I know - but I just wanted different textures.

The letters are cut using XCut Abracadabra alphabet die. I don't often use this die, as it is difficult to get through the machine - but I though it best reflected the words that are on the topper. I finished off with a few buttons from the new Do Crafts Sew Lovely range.

One of my new year's resolutions is to increase the number of followers on my blog. If you've chanced upon me - for whatever reason - please consider following me. I would be very grateful.

I would like to enter this into the following:
Creative Craft Challenges2 - Anything Goes
Through the Craftroom Door - Anything Goes
The Crazy Challenge - Cards for Men

See you soon.

Monday, 6 January 2014

CCM+ 107 - Bear With Me

Welcome to the first Crafty Cardmakers blog of 2014. It's all change this year for us. Lin has shaken things up a bit - and rejigged everything. Firstly, the blog has a fresh new look for our new start!  Secondly, the name has changed - we are now Crafty Cardmakers and More (you'll see why in a mo). And there are now three teams - two teams will work on the usual challenges in the same format as before - so cards, scrapbooking, etc etc. And a third will be responsible for a monthly mixed media challenge - no cards on this one. I am on one of the card teams - and the mixed media team. We are all looking forward to moving forward with the challenge blog this year.

We also welcome some new sponsors this year. This fortnight we have Flourish with a Bling. They are an Australia company and have loads of great blingy things on their website - and are offering a fantastic $15 gift voucher!

So - what are we asking of you on this first challenge? To 'Bear With Me'! Feebsy is hosting this time round and would like to see your creations which have a teddy bear or more realistic image of a bear as the focal point. Any type of bear will do - polar bear, grizzly bear, teddy bear etc.

I was a little stumped at first - until I remembered this gorgeous (and large) Hunkydory topper that I had in my stash. It is from an old Autumn collection (possibly 2011) - and as one of my resolutions is to use what I have this year, and try not to buy too much - then this really fitted the bill. I know that some crafters call this type of card 'pick and stick'. I don't like that term, as usually what comes with it is the implication that there is no crafting involved in using a printed topper like this. Some say 'they are great if you don't have much time' - and yes, they can certainly be a saviour for last minute cards. But they are also so much more. I suppose it's what you choose to do with them that counts - and I, for one, love using them!
As the topper was huge, I opted for an 8x8 card. I love the orange and yellow colour combination and decided to echo that through the card. The yellow card with leaves on, is the base card that came with the topper. The orange and greeny/yellow are from my extensive stash (one is from the local market - the other I think is Bazzill). Having played around with the layout, I settled on this vertical split. The decorative edge is cut with one of the inserts from Spellbinders Classic Petal Edgeabilities. The floral flourishes are also Spellbinders. I embossed the orange card with Grand MBossabilities Dainty Dots. The whole things was finished with ribbon from my stash - and gems from an Anita's Gemstone Wheel. 

In keeping with my New Year's resolution, I didn't buy anything new to use on this card. Luckily Santa was very good with his presents this year - a shed-load of Promarkers and a fair few new embossing folders. So I do have plenty of new things to play with!! 

Pop on over to Crafty Cardmakers and More to see what the rest of the Fairies (oh yes - that's what our new team is called - I am also an Elf when we do mixed media - and there are a few Pixies around too!!) have created!!

One of my new year's resolutions is to increase the number of followers on my blog. If you've chanced upon me - for whatever reason - please consider following me. I would be very grateful.

I would like to enter this into:
Suzy Bee's Bloomin' Challenge - Anything Goes

Card Makin Mamas - Anything Goes

See you soon.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Happy New Year - Resolutions!!

Happy New Year one and all! Hope you have had a positive start to the New Year - and that this will continue throughout! My New Year started with a 5K Park Run - in the rain! Was very wet and muddy!! 
I am not a great runner - have always pootled around Race for Life each year - it's never been a passion of mine. However, since I have lost a bit of weight, I have found running (or shuffling faster than a walking pace!) is a great way to keep the weight off. I am not very fast - but at Park Run it's the participation that counts. Check it out - there's sure to be a Park Run local to you!!

On to things crafty, I have made a few resolutions this year. 
1 - I want to try to blog at least once a week. 
2- I am going to try NOT to buy new things unless they are for a commission or a special present that I am making. 
3- And I want to boost my number of blog followers up to the 100 mark. 

The first one is just a matter of me getting on and doing it! The second - sounds great in theory (considering the amount of stash I have) - but we'll see how it goes in practice. I could fall at the first hurdle, as am going to a workshop with Hels Sheridan next Saturday and just know there will be stuff I want!! The third one is more tricky. I am going to have to put some thought into it. I just feel that things have stagnated on my blog - hopefully posting more will be a start. Any suggestions are more than welcome!!  

So, with the first of my resolutions in mind, I have been trawling through all my photos, and have come up with quite a few that I never got round to sharing last year, so am going to start with one of those today.

This one is a Thank You card. I stamped the sentiment onto plain brown card with Perfect Medium, using Do Crafts Papermania Typography THANK YOU stamp. This was then embossed with gold embossing powder. I cut the image out with a Spellbinders Romantic Rectangle Die. I matted this onto a piece of pearl gold card - rounding the corners with my XCut corner punch. I love this card! I get it from my local market - it's a very muted gold - not brassy!! 
The decorative brown circle was cut using Spellbinders Splendid Circle die, mounted onto a gold circle. More matting and layering, a piece of ribbon from my stash, and three flowers (Spellbinders Bitty Blossoms) finished it off.
So, my first post for 2014 is complete!! Hopefully the first of many!!

I would like to enter this into:
Crafty Catz - 'Thank You' challenge.

Moving Along With The Times - Thank You