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.

Tuesday 28 July 2020

Iris Folding

We're starting a new challenge this week - and of course it has to be I and J. As ever, all you have to do to join in at Use Your Craft Stash (on FB), is to use your old stash, and make something with a link to I or J. It could be a technique, a colour, a product, a card fold, an embellishment - or whatever you can think of. 

I have to admit that "I" was a little tricky for me. But I eventually decided to do some Iris folding (something I have only done once or twice before, many years ago), and when searching for a pattern, I came across one for an Ice-cream and one for an Ice-lolly (or they call it a popsicle). Both patterns are from Pinterest, and have the watermark of Circle of Crafters, but unfortunately the website seems to no longer exist, and I couldn't find a Pinterest account linked to them. I did, however, find a private FB group called Circle of Crafters Iris Folding, so have joined so I can share my makes on there. Their iris folding patterns seem to be all over Pinterest, despite not having their own webpage anymore.

Here are my cards.


I have some step-by-step photos - but I have to admit to having made a bit of a mess up with my first attempt. So, some of the photos are from that attempt, and you will notice the papers for the ice-lolly are different. The mistake I made was to complete the iris folding, then try to cut the piece to size to go on a card. Cutting it with a knife didn't give me the edge I wanted, so I made the mistake of passing them through my Gemini. Of course, it compressed everything, leaving an imprint of all the layers from the back showing through on the front. So, my top tip is to have the topper cut to size BEFORE you cut the aperture.

So, to that end, I sized the patterns to what I wanted, then printed two copies of each - one for the actual folding, and the other I cut out. I used the aperture on the paper to draw onto the back of the card (be careful to get it the right way round), and then cut it out. I used Ivory pearlescent card.


I then used low tack tape to stick them over the pattern - still with the back side upwards. Each pattern comes with a list of which numbers go with which paper - A, B, C etc - you just choose what you want to use for each one.

You need strips of each paper, and you fold them over. I don't fold them completely in half, although you can do. I fix each piece with a small piece of double sided tape.


You end up with the "iris" left in the middle. You can leave this blank to see the card underneath, or cover it up (which is what I do).

I put a piece of copy paper on the back to stick to all the exposed bits of double sided tape. I then made them up into cards.


We look forward to seeing what you come up with.

Happy crafting,

Wednesday 22 July 2020


I had a few family birthdays last week - so a few cards to share. Here's the first one.

I used a Hunkydory Pick & Mix Topper Sheet called Cheers!  All I added was silver textured card, orange and grey Core'dinations, and an offcut from a sheet of patterned card from Kanban, called Distressed Stripe.

Happy crafting.

Monday 20 July 2020

H is for Hot.....

Just a quick post today. We are halfway through the G and H challenge at Use Your Craft Stash. Last week I did "G" so this week it is "H". I was a bit pushed for time so there are no step by step pictures - sorry.

I have use my Crafter's Companion FoilPress to Hot foil a few pieces on this week's project. I used the CC Honeycomb background foils stamp with the Hot Pink (it's actually called Cerise) foil, onto white linen card. I also hot foiled the same stamp onto the Hot Pink card using Icicle foil - you can just see it peeking out under the main honeycomb piece.

The Heart is CC Biarritz Frame Cut and Stamp die, and the Hexagons are from the CC Crafter's Inspiration Magazine 10 and were meant for use with the Diamond Press. The "Hello" sentiment is from the Diamond Press Starter Kit.

That's pretty much it for this week. Looking forward to seeing what you make. 

Happy crafting,

Monday 13 July 2020

Glue - and other things that begin with G

It's the start of a new fortnightly challenge at Use Your Craft Stash, and the theme is anything beginning with G or H. As ever, you need only one thing beginning with G or H, and you need to use your stash!

I decided to have a go with my Gelli plate. I've had it ages and not really used it. In searching for inspiration to use it, I came across using hot glue to make your own masks. So, I dug out my glue guns - I have several - and had a go.

I found it easier with the larger gun, and used that for the circles and rectangles ones, and the little one was used for the more abstract one. It's really easy - just squeeze the glue in whatever pattern you want, onto a silicone mat, and that's it.


I used these paints, as I wanted Green and Grey (for the G's) and I also wanted another colour in there too.


I made a creamy/peachy Gerbera, using the XCut Glorious Gerbera die set.


The sentiment is by Papermania, stamped with Stazon Cloudy Sky, filled in with Hickory Smoke Distress Ink, and then covered with a silvery grey glitter glue.

So, my inspiration for this week has used Green and Grey, my Gelli Plate, my Glue Gun and Glitter Glue. Come and join us - we'd love to see you.

Happy crafting,

Friday 3 July 2020


Fuchsias are one of my favourite flowers, and I have a few in the garden. So, as this week I am working on "F", I decided I wanted to include them in my project. That way I cover flowers and the colour! I also decided to make a Fold Over Box, following the sizing guide from Beccy's Place.

I have never made fuchsias before, so found a great tutorial from Archana Joshi. I was surprised at how straightforward they are to make, and how effective they look.

So, you need a rounded petal flower and a pointed petal flower. Archana uses punches, but I don't have them and after rummaging through my dies, I found these old Crafter's Companion Classiques dies called Forget Me Not. The most Fuchsia colour I could find in my inks was Picked Raspberry, and I decided to use Distress Oxide. This is for the outer part of the flower and needs inking on both sides. For the inner part of the flower, I used Spun Sugar, but only inked the central part.


One of the interesting things from the video, is the detail for the stamen. One of the stamens needs to be longer than the rest - and this one should be white. I used a bit of wire to secure them together, and wrapped it in a bit of green floral wire. This might be better done afterwards, but I though it might give a bit of stability. The inner part of the flower needs to be like a cup - and although she used foam, she didn't heat it. I did heat it as it kept the cup shape better. The outer part is shaped using a very small ball tool. I didn't have one that small so used the end of my Crafter's Companion quilling tool. You move the ball from the tip of the petal to the centre of the flower.


I love that she showed how to make a bud too. I started with some green floral wire as this is much stronger than the wire I used for the stamens. I didn't have any white floral tape, so used (as she suggested) white tissue paper. You then thread on the flower top, and use glue (I used a hot glue gun) to stick down each petal in turn. 



The next step is to wrap the piece just below the flower in white floral tape or, in my case, white tissue paper. This is then coloured with the same ink as the flower. The same is done with the white part on the bud. I would highly recommend watching the video as it was so helpful and I am so pleased with how these turned out. I shall definitely be making them again. And also checking out more of Archana's tutorials.


For the fold over box, you need a piece of card 10"x10" and two pieces 6" x 9". I used A3 Centura Pearl Hint of Gold.  The two smaller pieces are scored at 3" on one side. The small panel provides an overlap for the spine, and these are stuck together.  The box is scored at 3" on all sides, and cut and folded up.


For additional F's (and E's) I used a Fairy topper from Crafter's Companion Faerie Poppets CD, and Fussy Cut a couple of the layers. The Embossed card is (although it doesn't show very well) the paler pink card that I mat and layered with.


In her tutorial, Beccy shows a way of fastening the box, but I chose to go with fuchsia ribbon. This was taped onto the inside of both sides, and the covered with the decorative mats and layers. including the fuchsia coloured card, the pink embossed card, and a patterned paper from the Faerie Poppets CD.


The outside of the card , and the outside and inside of the box were decorated in the same way.


The Faerie Poppet and the Fuschias were added to the front, with a bow and some pearls.

So, there you have my Fuchsia Fold over box with Fuchsias, Flower Forming Foam, a Fairy, Fussy Cutting and elements from the Faerie Poppets CD. 

Happy crafting!

Wednesday 1 July 2020

Hats - Go Large!

There's always fads and fashions and trends in any area - and one of the most recent in the craft world was the hat easel. I resisted for a while, but then decided to have a go myself. I found some instructions on Positively Papercraft - with two different posts sharing instructions and videos for construction and for two different hat boxes.

I decided that I wanted to go much bigger than this, so I have adapted the sizes  - but pretty much followed the assembly. I didn't bother with the fancy boxes - but did make a box to deliver it in - more details later. I really relied heavily on my Spellbinders circle and scalloped circle dies - both the ordinary set and the Grand set - which I have had in my stash for a very long time. The measurements that I mention are in relation to these dies. 

To make this (at this size - which is just over 7"), you will need 2 sheets of A3 card for the easel base. I used Centura Pearl card from the Pastels pack. I used one sheet and cut a long strip off - 15 1/2" x 2 1/2" - you will need this later. The rest of this piece of card was scored and folded at 8 1/4" and then the base was cut with the largest Spellbinder circle die that I have - 7 1/4".  Once cut,  one side of the easel was cored a 3 5/8".

Please note: some of the photos are of another hat easel I made as I didn't take many photos while making this.

The strip that was cut needs to be scored at 1/2" and 2", and then notches cut into it as shown below.

This will form the sides of the hat, and is attached to a circle of 4 3/4" diameter as shown below.

It's then all about assembly. I started by decorating the hat top as I found this easier to do before sticking in onto the large circle. I used strips of patterned paper 1 1/4" wide to go around the hat top, and then went round with ribbon. I added a 4 1/4" circle in a patterned paper to the very top

You need another 7 1/4" circle for the top of the easel card - which serves as the brim of the hat. On this one I added a 7 3/8" scalloped circle in green, a 6 1/4" circle in orange, a 5 3/4" circle in the patterned paper, and a 5 1/8" scalloped circle in the original Centura Pearl. Onto this, you glue the hat top.

For the easel base, I used the same size circles and scallops as above, but added another green 4 5/8" scalloped circle. In other ones I have made, I have added another 3 3/4" circle on the top of that - but didn't do that here.

For the sentiment/stopper, I used a green 2 3/4" circle, an orange 2 5/8" scalloped circle and the sentiment was stamped onto a 2 3/8" circle of the Centura Pearl. For other ones I have made, I started with a 3 1/8" scalloped circle of the original card I made the base from.  The sentiment was stamped in Stazon - Cactus Green and sentiment is from an old Crafter's Companion Sentimentals stamp set.

I then decorated the hat brim with bow in the same ribbon as I used before, and then some flowers I made using Flower Forming foam (see my post here).

I did make a very simple box for this. I used two 12x12 sheets of Core'dinations card and used my Big Score to score at 2 1/4" all the way round. I have made 5 of these in total, and I will share the other designs as and when I give them to the recipients throughout the year - one is not until December - but the next one is only a few weeks away. 

Happy crafting!