Friday, 31 August 2012

All The Things I Love

Sooo, this is a blog from one of the designers at Lili of the Valley - fast becoming my favourite crafting company.  

This blog comes from the amazingly talented Bev Rochester.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I do.

Happy Crafting!


Thursday, 30 August 2012

Scarves For Smurfs

Sooooo, sat at my mother's last weekend (I'd timed my visit just right to get some lunch made for me!), I mentioned that I wanted to re-learn how to knit (I know that I could do it as a kid, but probably about 20 years have passed since I last did any knitting).  So, my mother, being like me sometimes, decided that she would teach me there and then.  My youngest niece was annoying my fiance, Phil, and my eldest niece was running around going 'I know how to knit! I know how to knit!'.  Little smart arse.  Anyway, I sent her off to annoy her mother, who had been sat peacefully in the corner reading a magazine.  Its not very good for your self-esteem really when you have a seven-year old telling you that she can do something you can't, and pretty much rubbing that fact in your face.  It also did not help that I was the only person in the room that didn't know how to knit (yes, my fiance can knit (and crochet! and sew!) - can you tell his mother wanted a girl?!)

So, I sat on the little sofa with the mother, Phil and Evie being sprawled on the big sofa.  She cast on a row for me in a lovely smurf-blue colour, and then tried to teach me basic knitting.  Tried being the word.  She passed the needles to me and I promptly some how managed to move all the stitches off the needle.  Not a good start.  I'm still a little unsure how I managed this.  Needless to say, I can be very clumsy sometimes. So, we started again, and this time, very slowly, I managed to knit a row, then another row.  I'm pretty sure I was dropping stitches left, right and centre but never mind - you don't learn if you don't make mistakes, and I don't think anyone was expecting me to be perfect at it first time.

Anyway, I had just got the hang of it, when the mother took the needles off me and pulled it all apart . . . nooooooooooooooo!  She'd decided to teach me how to cast on.  This caused arguments between my mum and sister, because they both do it differently - mum uses her thumb, and my sister uses her needles.  Anyway, I decided instead of confusing me (easily done), I would go with my mother's way, as I'd just watched her do that.   

This was slightly less of a disaster than the trying to knit.  For a start, there were no stitches to fall off the needle.  I got my fingers in a bit of a twist, but eventually managed to cast on 30 stitches.  I then just had to knit.
I've done about five rows, and with the lovely blue colour I think what I have done for far would make a great scarf for a smurf.  I just need to learn how to finish it off now. 

I also need extra lessons in how to pearl, because although mother did show me, my attempts on my own were less than satisfactory - I just couldn't get my head around the whole back to front-ness of it.  I will go for another lesson next time I have a Sunday afternoon free.  Until then, I'll just make more scarves for smurfs - they do make wonderful practice.

Happy Crafting!


Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Review: Sew Issue 39 (September 2012)

Soooo, sorry that this one is also late.  In fairness, I always knew that this one would have to wait until I got paid, having skinted myself last month buying a new car, so leaving only enough money for essentials such as food.  Anyway, I did manage to get it a bit earlier as my fiance bought me a copy to cheer me up last Thursday, as I had been having a terrible day.  One day I will sort out my subscription and this will no longer be a problem . . .

Anyway, onto the review. . .  

This issue is the Halloween issue and also makes a start on Christmas.  I'm a little disappointed that there is no free pattern this month, as this is really the main reason I buy the magazine (an easy way to build up my pattern collection), but the freebie this month is a Christmas pattern book with ideas for Christmas decorations.  My favourites are Helen Philipps' Cross-Stitched Stocking and Sarah Moore's Gingerbread Man Tree Decoration.  This would be great to get the kids involved with.  This also comes with all the templates you need to make everything in the book.

Onto the magazine, I was drawn to the 'How To Become A Pattern Designer' which is advertised on the cover.  This is a series of interviews with the brains behind Papercut Patterns, Colette Patterns and DIYcouture, which I found very interesting.  These ladies tell you about how they got started making their own patterns and their big leap from hobby to career.  

There are also interviews with Jane Chisolm, some Hollywood costume designers (something I would LOVE to do), owner of Clothkits, Kay Mawer, 

Despite the lack of free pattern this month, the magazine does have a tutorial for a kimono-style top/dress (depending on how long you want it).  This is a really nice top and looks pretty simple to make.  I'm tempted to make one for my big sister, as it is her style.

Other tutorials in this issue include 

  • a sweet summer dress for baby girls
  • how to customise a crochet dress
  • a gadget case and purse
  • halloween costumes, including a flower costume I know a certain little niece would love and a pirate costume I know would be loved by my friend's little boy
  • how to make felted bunting (using this issue's subscription gift)
  • a pumpkin bag and wand
  • an apple core quilt
  • an embellished duvet set, which I think I might make for my littlest niece as her bedroom is apparently getting redecorated soon, although I believe the eldest's bedroom is also getting decorated, so she will require one too
  • patchwork tablet case

Dressmaking SOS this issue has Victorian and steam-punk style outfit advice, including bustles, hats and how to make frog fastenings.

Now, on to the most important thing . . . the giveaways, which this month include:

  • tickets to The Knitting & Stitching Show
  • an Adjustoform Easy STore Sewing Desk
  • a tailor's dummy
  • Monisha Mouse kits
  • an Elna Lotus sewing machine.

Business Bites has advice on using social networking to grow your business and as always, all templates are either included in the magazine or can be downloaded.

Happy Crafting!


Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Review: Let's Make Cards Issue 54

Soooo, sorry that this is a bit late this month.  This was my first month of subscription with Let's Make Cards, but the first copy they posted never arrived.  They were very good about it though and resolved it as soon as I contacted them, sending me out another.  I have no doubt that they did send a copy and that it just got lost in the Royal Mail system, as this isn't the first (or second or third) time my post hasn't turned up.  I'm not sure whether to complain to Royal Mail or not, or even if it is worth it to be honest.

Anyway, to the magazine . . . When it finally arrived (and it was less than a week after the publishing date, so I can't complain too much) I was very excited - A, because I had had a terrible day at work, and B, because it was shiny!  I'm a bit of a magpie and love shiny things, so imagine my excitement.

Shiny! Shiny!

First to the basics, and what is possibly the most important bit of this magazine - the kit.  In this month's 12 Days of Christmas kit (designed by Sally Moret), you get:
  • backing papers (there are some of these that I really want more of)
  • die-cuts
  • chipboards
  • border/decoupage strips
  • card blanks
  • shaped card blanks
  • ribbon
  • gingerbread man stamp
  • die-cut xmas trees (I want more of these)
  • snowflakes (I want more of these)
  • beads
  • foil stockings (I want more of these)
  • paper-pricking template.

I love this flocked paper
which comes with the kit.
The kit is a really good one this time, with everything you need to make some amazing cards.  The cards I have on this blog post have been made using on the kit, and I will have more on the way I'm sure, as I'm writing this post Saturday morning and I have the whole weekend ahead of me to craft (except one shift at the pub Saturday night :-( ).  I'm wondering how you get hold of spare kit elements?  LMC, I know you read this blog, so could you please tell me and my readers if it is possible to get extra kit elements?  I don't need the whole kit, just some bits and pieces.

The second most important bit, I think is the giveaways, and this month you could win:

  • £150 worth of Tonic Studios goodies
  • Winter Designs Quilling Kit
  • a Purelite 3-in-1 Magnifier Clip-On Light
  • Wishes & Kisses CD-Rom
  • Milton & Co Christmas paper stack
  • Stampin' Up Tags til Xmas stamp set
  • Lapashe Behind Closed Doors decoupage set
  • Nigel May's Craft Into Christmas CD-Rom

And, if you buy your copy in Sainsburys, you could also win a Brother Sewing Machine.  I think this competition should also be open to subscribers.

How Tos in this issue include how to:

  • make a double twisted easel card
  • cut a circle shape (without a die-cutter)
  • make a flower using punches
  • cut an aperture
  • use crackle paint
  • make a masculine kinetic card
  • stitch on paper
  • shrink plastic

So, as usual, the first real feature in the magazine is How to Use Your Kit, which this month features 16 Christmas cards, my favourite of which is number 13 - 'Smiling Gingerbreads'.  I like it so much, I made an attempt at it:

Gingerbread Smiles

This was made using half a card blank, two decoupage strips and some ribbon - all from the kit.  I've had to make my own little envelope for it, as I had none to fit, but that is simple anyway.

Another card I have attempted (due to its simplicity more than anything) is the 'Christmas Trees' card from Six Christmas Folded Cards:

Christmas Trees

I love this card this much, and it was so easy to make that I think I am going to steal the design to make a batch of my own Christmas cards to give away to friends and family, or even sell at my upcoming craft fairs.  I now just need to source some more of the border strip, some more snowflakes, and some more shiny trees!

From this project feature, I also like the easel card, which I think I am going to attempt.  I've never made an easel card before, so this could be interesting . . . I'll let you know the results if it is successful.  If you want to see what this should look like, then it is the card with stockings on the cover of the magazine (the first picture in this blog post).

The kit also included a bonus gingerbread man stamp which is sooo cute.  Tracy Daykin-Jones has some great ideas for how to use this stamp in Top Makes With Your Bonus Stamp. My favourite is 'Ribbon Lengths', which I am actually in the middle of making, using my left over half card blank from the 'Smiling Gingerbreads' card (above).  I also like 'Festive Tree' and 'Lace Border' but will need to invest in some shrink plastic first for these projects.

The wonderfully talented Corinne Bradd has an interesting project for you - paper Christmas decorations (including storage box).  I love these, and I am going to practice these and if I am any good, I am thinking of making them the subject of one of my workshops closer to Christmas.  I think this would be a good project to get the kids involved in too.

Corinne also has an amazing advent window card, which I also want to try, in this month's Card School.

I'm also going to attempt some of her cards from the Stitched Effects project, my favourite of  which is 'Holly Leaves'.  I'm always drawn to things featuring holly, I wonder why . . . .

Corinne also imparts her wisdom and advice in Cheat's Guide: Christmas Cards, which includes ideas and inspiration, trends, and even last posting dates.

Another of my favourite cards, which I have yet to attempt, but will do so, is the 'Festive Tree' card from Liz Moad's Make Cards With Apertures project feature.  I've recently done a couple of cards with acetate apertures, which have been well received, so I'm wanting to progress from this.  Most of the cards in this feature are made using mostly your kit, and where extra bits are needed, I don't know about you, but they are things I already have in my stash and consider basics, such as ribbon, acetate and cotton.

Liz Moad also has some ideas for you in 7 Cards Featuring Distressing Effects, including paper distressing, gold paint, paper tearing, crackle glaze and antiquing.  My favourites from this project feature are 'Vintage Haberdashery' and ' Coloured Edges' both of which I think I have everything I need for so will probably attempt at some point.

I'm loving the Trends & Treats section at the beginning of the magazine this month, if only for the Santa in a Kilt decoupage from  I feel a treat coming on at payday, but does it really class as a treat if it is only 29p?  Bars of chocolate are more expensive these days.  I am also loving the penguins (or wingwings as they are called in my house thanks to my niece), and may be treating myself there too.  I have to decide carefully on my treats this month though, as I've just bought a new car so spare finances may be a little tight.

Another thing I really want to treat myself to is the Wild Rose Studio Christmas Tree Stamp Set, featured on the Our Favourite Things page.  Why do I want so much stuff?  And why is it always the months when I have the least money?

I'm also liking the letters page, because this months it features a little pic of my craft room, which I love, and I have to say is no longer as tidy as it is in that photo.  I do try, but I have so much stuff and I'm already running out of storage space, so it all ends up piled on my table.

For those wanting to know more about punches, or those that have never used them before, check out Tonic Studio's Mike Evans' tips in Crafters' Guide, which this month, as you have probably guessed is about using punches in your cardmaking.

Christmas Spirit is an article showcasing some of the Christmas goodies on offer from some of LMC's favourite crafty companies, and even has a £5 discount for The Soap Kitchen.

Plastic Fantastic tells you everything you need to know about using shrink plastic in your projects, and its not just for cardmaking.  I now need to add shrink plastic to my treats list too!

Sooo, that's it for this month's review.  Apologies it has been a bit ranty and going off on a tangent, but I do get so easily distracted.  As you can probably tell, I do love this issue, and not just because it was shiny (but that does help, admittedly).  I love Christmas, and now I think I have an excuse to start even earlier on it that my usual September start (which according to some people is too early, but I think its usually leaving it a bit late with mu huuuge family).

Happy Crafting!


Friday, 24 August 2012

Leoni Pujol

Soooo, I love this lady.  Leoni Pujol is not only is she a great presenter on Create & Craft, I love her column in Cardmaking and Papercraft, which always has some great card ideas, she is one of the nice celebs, who replies to you on Twitter (trust me - most of them seem not to!) and she has an amazing blog,which I read on a regular basis, when I have a spare moment or two (not often enough).  Here it is:


Happy Crafting!


Leoni Pujol design from her Cardmaking & Papercraft Column, which I recreated.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Naming Names

Sooooo, I've gone through a few names for this blog post, the front-runners including the Shakespeare quote (I think) 'What's in a name', but I decided on the current, 'Naming names'.  Anyway, that it besides the point, I just thought that I would share that with you . . .

Sooooooo, there's nothing more personal on a card than your own name.  I am always more than happy to add names to existing cards or even design a card around a name.  I've had a few orders for both recently.

The first personalised card I did was a birthday card for my niece Georgia.  Please see my previous post 'The Curse of Hannah Montana' for my full rant on this.  This card was always intended to have her name in it, and as such, was pretty much designed around it.  In this instance, the name was added using glitter sticker letters.

The next card I made which had a name on it was one of the three butterfly cards I already had in my collection, and just needed a name adding to it.  From memory, this card was made using a lilac blank from my stash, and the butterflies were made using various papers from my Dovecraft Tea Party paper stack and some coloured wire I already had in my stash.  Adding the name was a simple case of printing out the name on white paper, layering it onto coordinating paper and then attaching to the card.

At the same time as making this card, I also adapted an existing design to include a name.  I had made this large single butterfly card previously, with Grandma on it.  However, this order needed a name.  I used a white card blank from my stash and covered this with some Boofle lilac flower paper.  The butterfly was made using other papers from the Boofle paper pack and a coloured wire from my stash.   I added the name using confetti letters from my stash.  And then to finish it off, added a coordinating butterfly.

Other cards which have been personalised with names, but not really designed around the name, have been a number of new baby cards.  This one is one of my favourites.  I had been playing around with this sheep and 'Welcome Little One' design for a while, both of which came in a Papermania stamp set.  I used a white card blank and covered it with paper from my Spring Drop paper pad, which I got free as part of my subscription gift when I subscribed to Crafts Beautiful.  Some of the flowers are glittery.  The sheep and sentiment I stamped in black on white card.  I coloured the sheep in with Promarkers Cool Grey 1 and 2 and layered the sentiment onto some blue gingham paper from the Boofle paper pack.  I then added some sticky back ribbon to the bottom, which came from my stash. To incorporate the name, I simply moved the sheep to the left a little, and added the name using letter stickers which I had in my stash, but I think are from Yellow Moon.

I've then moved onto designing cards around the name. This first one is a design I actually copied from an old issue of Crafts Beautiful magazine.  The first issue I ever bought in fact - I think it is the February 2012 issue.  

This card was made using a pink card blank from an old Let's Make Cards kit, to which I added some green spotty roses baby, which I think came from another, different, Let's Make Cards kit.  I added black faux stitching to this and wrapped it with pink dotty ribbon, which I think came free with an old issue of Cardmaking & Papercraft, although it could also have come from an old Let's Make Card kit.

I added a panel of white card to the top centre and added black faux stitching around this also.  I then added chipboard letters to the panel.  These had come free with the same issue of Crafts Beautiful I took the design from.  To finish the card, I added a chipboard flower and a scrap of green dotty ribbon.

My latest card is this one.  My brief was a card with a guitar and the name 'Simon' on it.

I decided to base the design around the name, using the guitar to create the 'I'.  I used some free templates I had received with an old issue of Crafts Beautiful, and glittered the rest of the name in blue on white card.  I then traced the guitar picture and added this, using Promarkers to colour it in and adding silver glitter.

I then made an A5 black card blank and to this I attached some dark blue paper which I had got in a paper pack with an issue of Crafts Beautiful.  I added silver faux stitching to this.  I die-cut a fancy frame from some shiny blue paper, using my Sizzix Big Shot and some X-Cut dies, layering this with the name panel and attaching to the card.  To finish the card, I randomly added tiny blue stars from my stash.

I've just realised, all but one of these cards was an order for my step-mother (non-wicked), but then again, I think she could single-handedly keep me in business!  She does like to set me some projects though.

Happy Crafting!


Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Forever Friends

Soooo, a couple of months ago I was featured in an article in Cardmaking & Papercraft about making my own wedding invitations.  As a thank you, I received a Forever Friends decoupage kit, which was supplied by Craft Superstore.  There was loads in the kit - enough to make 26 little Forever Friends decoupage characters for a variety of occasions (birthdays, weddings, new babies, engagements), backing papers, card blanks, sentiments, silicone glue, foam pads and some crystals.

At the time, I must have been feeling pretty methodical, because I decided to make up all the decoupages before I turned any of them into cards.  This took some time - all of one Sunday afternoon and a couple of evenings!

Decoupage is not something I have really taken an interest in up until now - it's more been on my to do list than anything else, and as my to do list is soooo long I might have got round to in a few years, maybe.

Anyway, as I had the kit, was suffering a little from creative-block and a had craft fair coming up soon, I decided to give it a go . . .

Traditionally, I believe that decoupages are put together using foam pads, but my kit came with some silicone glue, so I thought that I would give that a go.  I think I prefer the silicone glue, as you can ensure that the little bits, which can get broken off or ripped, are stuck together.

Each sheet had two different designs, with all the pieces die-cut so I simply had to push them out and glue the pieces together.  The pieces were numbered so that you knew in which order to layer them.  Couldn't be simpler really.

My only problem was that my glue tube got a hole in it about half-way through me making them all, so it wouldn't come out of the top of the tube anymore.  Not to worry I thought, its still coming out of the side, so I employed the use of a small brush and problem solved.

As I say, it took me a fair while to make them all, but there were 26 to put together, and with practice I got faster.

After making them all, I thought I had better turn some of them into cards.  The kit did come with some design ideas, but for some reason I had thrown these away (stupid me!), so I had to use my brain!  

At the time of writing this post (Sunday morning) I have made three cards, with the intention to make some more today and through the rest of the week.  This is the first one I made:

I used a card blank from an old Let's Make Cards kit, layered with some peach paper I got free with an old issue of Cardmaking & Papercraft.  I added some brown faux stitching to this and wrapped it with some lace from my stash.  I then added a flowers decoupage to the centre using foam pads.  To finish off, I attached a 'Mum' sentiment to the bottom right hand corner.  This had come from the decoupage kit.  I added some brown faux stitching to this also.  I also attached to small flat-backed pearls to the top right hand corner and some purple gems to the centre of some of the flowers.

Et voila!

My second card is this anniversary card:

Again, I think the card blank came from an old Let's Make Card kit.  The backing paper came with the decoupage kit and I added read faux stitching to this, as I did to the couple on a bench decoupage and the 'happy anniversary' sentiment.  I attached the decoupage to the left hand side of this landscape card, with the sentiment attached to the bottom right hand corner.  To finish off, I added some glitter paint to the flowers on the decoupage, a little bow to the top right hand corner of the decoupage and some heart confetti to the top right hand corner of the card.  All these had come from my stash.

The final card I have made is this one:

I used a lilac card blank from my stash, which I can't remember where it came from originally.  I then used some purple backing paper from the decoupage kit.  I wrapped the bottom of this with some narrow purple ribbon from my stash.  I then added the 'for you' sentiment over this and the balloon decoupage.  I finished the card with a tiny purple bow on the sentiment.

I think I have got the decoupage bug now, and I think I will get some more kits if I find some I like, but I also think I might have a go at making my own.  First though, to finish making these cards . . . 

Happy Crafting!


Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Here Comes The Bride . . . .

. . . she just happens to be a dinosaur!

Sooo, my friend, Mandy, tasked me with the task of briding-up a couple of dinosaurs.  I'm a little unsure on the exact details, but they are for her brother's wedding, and she is doing a reading that involves dinosaurs . . . I think.

Anyway, the idea was to give the bride a veil and the groom a bow-tie.  I drew the line at making him a top hat!!!

Both were pretty simple to do really.  The bow-tie is made from some black ribbon I had in my stash, making it into a bow shape and then sewing it to a piece of elastic so it could be attached to and removed easily from the dinosaur.

The veil was a little more complicated, but still not the trauma I envisaged.  

I got half a metre of wide lace from my local haberdashers and cut this into smaller strips.  I then glued the strips together with some fabric glue, overlapping, to make a long veil.  After it had dried, I then sewed some white elastic (shirring) thread to the top and attached to the dinosaur.

See, simple!

Happy Crafting!


Monday, 20 August 2012

Another Baby . . .

Sooooo, another baby has been born!  This must be a baby boom year.  And, its another boy!  This is a friend of my colleague, Carly, who has had this baby.  So, a card was ordered.  I am very proud of this card, so wanted to share it with you.

This card took a while to make, and I've used a few different techniques and materials.

The basis of the card was the photo of the baby, which I mounted in a central aperture behind some acetate.  I bordered the aperture with some sticky back ribbon to hide any unsightly raw edges.  the ribbon was part of a new baby ribbon set I bought from Craftwise a while back.  Of course, I'd attached the ribbon around the aperture after covering the card with some blue gingham paper from a Boofle paper pack, which I must remember to get some more of as it is very popular. I then added some blue faux stitching around the edge and set to work embellishing the card.

To start with I printed the baby's details in blue onto white paper and cut this to shape, adding some faux blue stitching around the edge.  I then layered this onto some cream fabric which I cut to a tag shape using pinking shears.  I attached this to the bottom right hand corner of the card slightly overlapping the corresponding corner of the photo and finished with a small blue button threaded with some white twine.

I then tackled the sentiment. Carly had wanted me to use the 'Welcome Little One' stamp I had, which belongs to a Papermania set I bought at The Range a few months back. My original plan had been to use my glue pad and some blue glitter and stamp straight onto the card but the glitter didn't show up very well. So instead I heat embossed a piece of white card using black ink and some clear embossing powder. I then layered this on some blue stars paper which I think came as part of a free papers set with an old issue of Crafts Beautiful. I added further embellishment to this by picking out some of the stars and gluing some shiny blue star confetti that I have had in my stash forever. I think stuck this whole bit to the top centre of the card above the photo (covering the area where I had tried to stamp and glitter the sentiment).

I then picked up the stars again in the bottom left hand corner forming a triangle of stars by gluing a star on every other square to form a triangle shape.

In the top left hand corner I glued a row of 4 buttons in descending size. Some of these came from old Let's Make Cards kits and others were just ones I had lying around in my stash.
Finally, to finish the card, I tied a bow from some blue gingham ribbon from an old Let's Make Cards kit and attached it to the top right hand corner. I then attached the whole square onto a white square blank and the card was finished.

I hope you like this card as much as I do and I will now be taking orders for similar cards for girls and boys.

In the meantime . . .

Happy Crafting!


Friday, 17 August 2012

Lili of the Valley

Today's blog spot comes from one of my favourite shops - Lili of the Valley.  I love their products and I love the ideas they have on this blog.  Enjoy!

Happy Crafting!


Thursday, 16 August 2012

Review: Crafts Beautiful - Issue 245 (October 2012)

Sooooo, after seeing a couple of sneak previews of projects from the new Crafts Beautiful on Twitter, I was excited when the new issue was waiting for me when I got home last night.  It feels like an age since the last issue . . .

So, this issue seems to be a Halloween and Christmas issue, understandable as it is the October issue, even if it is still only August.  This issue comes with a free foil embossing kit, which includes an embossing tool, embossing template, foil, ideas book and some blanks.  I love the little ideas book, which has some great ideas and instructions on how to use the rest of the kit, colour foil and emboss card/paper.  The magazine also has some free Christmas papers and ideas on how to use them.

Giveaways in this issue include:

  • Christmas washitape set
  • Stephanie Weightman Winter Angels kit
  • Penny Black Christmas stamps
  • Wild Rose Studios papers and stamp set
  • American Crafts Christmas goody bag
  • Tilda Christmas Play goodies
  • Fiskar's set
  • Skull and Cross Buns stamps and inks

Sooo, what do I like this issue I hear you ask?

Well, first off (as I'm a little strange and read magazines backwards) is the idea from Sara Naumann's mixed media clinic at the back of the magazine.  Sara has created two lovely cards using bubble wrap to create a lovely pattern and background.

I really like the card designs in 'Teenage Tunes; which are perfect for those girls that aren't too girly, or those that are into music.  These cards use music backgrounds, greys and bright colours and have a grungy feel to them.

On a Halloween theme, I love 'All A-glow', which shoes you how to make pumpkin candle holders.  Great for a Halloween party decoration.  There is also a pumpkin card and a gift tag.

I also like '7 Ways With Witchy Motifs', as I love the Witch card, which although I probably won't use for Halloween, it is a great idea for my Grandma's birthday card next year, with an adapted sentiment. These are cartooney style cards and would be great for kids.  I also like the Froggy, and this would be ideal for kids (big or small) who is a Harry Potter fan or who likes all things supernatural.

Also on a Halloween note are the Ghastly Ghouls kinetic cards, also using K&Company designs.  These cards all have moving parts or pop-ups to add to the Halloween spookiness.  There is also a cool Halloween decoration made using polymer clay.

I like elements of Joanna Sheen's 'Natural Glamour'.  The Nature Stamps card is a modern clean design, which I really like.  I also like the corset element of the Corset Stamp card, but I would probably change the backing paper to modernise the card a little.

Card School has ideas for using stencils with your ink pads to create amazing backgrounds, together with stamps to make amazing cards.  My favourite is the sunset-coloured card, which I would love to have the instructions for, as this one seems to be just as an example, with instructions for one of the other cards.

The cut out and keep projects are well suited to me, as they feature shoes - one of my favourite things.

'Go For Gold' shows you how to jazz up some plain white tiles using Flitter Glu.  These would make great gifts for the home.  There is also a pretty card using the same techniques.

One of the things I had seen as a sneak preview on Twitter was the 'Sew Vintage' tea cup pin cushion. These are pin cushions placed in a tea cup for a vintage look.  I think these look amazing, and rather than spending a fortune finding a set of tea cups, these could be made individual by sourcing tea cups from charity shops, which is my plan.  The actual pin cushion is really simple to make.  I think I might make some of these for my next craft fair.  Fingers crossed I find time, as I think these might sell well.

Christmas projects include 'Winter Greens', which uses Bo Bunny Father Christmas Collection goodies to make some more traditional-style cards, and 'Jolly Tidings' which uses sizzix dies to create an usual , but pretty Christmas card and a more traditional snowman card.  

There are also Stephanie Weightman's holographic 'Angel Kisses'.  These would make very pretty Christmas cards, but also could be adapted for other occasions.  Christmas decorations ideas can be found in 'Feeling Frosty'.  'Party Table' has some lovely invitations and place cards with a traditional Christmas theme, along with napkin rings and menu design ideas.  These would also be great for a Christmas wedding.

'Scandi Style' has some Tilda angel  stockings, which I love.  They are taken from Tilda's Winter Ideas book, which I actually have and I fell in love with these stockings then.  I'm just saving up to be able to treat myself to some Tilda fabric, and then I will have a go at these

There are also more cards, Halloween decorations, rosettes, bags, bookmarks, Halloween treat jars, a recipe for pistachio meringues, decorative plant pots, baby bootees, a crocheted teddy and blanket, cross-stitched cards, a tea cosy and egg cosy made from an old jumper, pendants, earrings and a quilled autumn wreath.  There is also a new take on using napkins to decorate in 'Cupcakes Galore!'.

Just a note - I kind of wish that I wasn't already a subscriber, as the free paper packs you get for subscribing this month look amazing.

I have really enjoyed the magazine and it is full to the brim with ideas, but have not yet had chance to make anything from it to show you.  But it is out tomorrow, so go get it!

Happy Crafting!


Wednesday, 15 August 2012


Sooo, I've had a couple of orders recently - from my Grandma and her friend, June, but an order is an order is it not?

Anyway, they have mostly been related to the relaunch of June's daughter-in-law's hair salon, A.L.F in Yeadon.  The salon is moving a few doors up Yeadon High Street and as such good luck cards and gifts have been required.

The first card I made was June's order, with the requirement of lilac and green, with hairdressing things on.  No problem I thought . . . Wrong!  It is extremely hard to find hairdressing-themed craft goodies.  I had mistakenly thought that it would be easy to find a digistamp and I would be able to go from there.

After a couple of hours of trawling the internet for digistamps, I finally found 'Hairdresser Honey' from All That Scraps.,  I think the digistamp was $3, but I thought this well worth it considering the issues I had had finding anything in the first place, so I downloaded it and set to work.

Luckily, I know Amanda, June's daughter-in-law, so I was able to colour the image to match her as much as possible - hair colour for example.  I then stuck to the green and lilac theme for the rest of the colouring.  I also gave the image a green 'halo' to make it stand out - a technique I had come across in one of the many crafting mags I buy.  The main colouring was done using promarkers, and the halo was created using pencil.

It was then simply a case of layering up and embellishing, and I got to use my Sizzix Big Shot, yay!  I used a lilac card blank from an old Let's Make Cards Kit, layered with some lilac pattered paper from one of Dovercraft's Back to Basics 6x6 paper pack, to which I added some purple faux stitching and wrapped this with some purple gingham ribbon.  I think this was from an old Let's Make Card Kit too.  I then used my Big Shot to emboss a rectangle of purple core card with dots.  The core card and embossing folder had come with my Big Shot Starter Kit.  Onto this I then layered the coloured image.

I then die-cut a flourish from some green core card and some flowers from some green patterned paper from a Dovecraft Tea Party paper pack.  I attached these to the card and finished the flower with a large lilac flat-backed pearl from another Dovecraft Tea Party set.

Et voila . . .  one finished card.

The next part of the order was a small bouquet of flowers, again in lilac and green.  I decided on the chrysanthemum style, as I thought that these would look better than the roses. 

I also got a bit carried away and decorated a jar to make a vase for them too.  I used the green and lilac butterflies from the napkins used previously, and 'frosted' the glass using PVA glue.  I then finished it off with a bow of purple gingham ribbon.

The final part of the order was the good luck card from my grandma.  For reasons I have not yet fathomed, as my gran likes cats about as much as me (which is not at all, and strange, considering she is a witch), her only requirement was for it to have a black cat on it.

In my stash I had a few die-cut cats.  I have no idea where I got these from.  There's quite a lot of things in my craft stash that I can't remember where I have got them from.  Anyway, I didn't have a black cat, so drew around another coloured die-cut and just cut it out with scissors.  I then layered this onto a purple wavy-cut square, which was also in my stash and I have no idea where it is from.  

I then attached this to some green patterned paper, which I had received free with an old issue of Cardmaking & Papercraft.  I added some green faux stitching to this.  Before layering this to a white card blank, I wrapped this paper with some purple glittery card (again in my stash) and some green polka-dot ribbon from another old Let's Make Card kit.  

I finished the card by using one of my new Lili Of The Valley stamps to stamp 'Good Luck' in black onto some lilac patterned paper from the Dovecraft Back to Basics paper pack, layered this onto some black card, and then attached the whole thing to the bottom right hand corner of the card over the ribbon.

Happy Crafting!

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