Thursday 31 May 2012

Lilac Dreams Photo Tutorial

At last I get around to preparing another photo tutorial.  I hope you like it.  I have had this sitting waiting to be done for a couple of weeks now and I do not know where the time has gone!  I have been a bad blogger and I aim to make amends this week :-D

If you want to make this card then follow this link!

I have Blog Candy to giveaway so click on the photo on my side bar or scroll down or click on this link and leave me a comment to take part.

Wednesday 30 May 2012

WOYWW 156 - Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to you,  Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Julia and WOYWW.......Happy Birthday to you!

I don't know where this week went.  I should have been more organised and I would not have been up so late this morning - still at least it meant I could take my WOYWW photos!

If you roll through these photos really fast it will look like a movie!  I had transferred all my images on to my ATCs but that is as far as I had got so at 1am I had them framed and ribboned.

Then I had an idea to make my images look like sketches and by ten past one I had this plus one design finished!

On a roll now I had direction and I hung bunting on my ATCs (if you haven't spotted it I am going with the Jubilee theme).  All bunting in the air by twenty past.  I had made the bunting earlier in the day.

Word strips and leaf added by half one.

Rose and patriotic jewels and I am almost there - yawning a bit now at one forty.

And last but not least my ATCs all glossy accented and ready to swap.  I went to bed at 1.55 am and this is my desk later this morning as I write this post.  There are 3 discarded ATCs in the top left of photo.   Ready to swap.

I am going to keep one ATC and one to swap with my WOYWW neighbour so if anyone else wants to swap please leave me a comment I have 7 more ATCs to play with.

I must apologise to everyone for not getting to desks last week.  I haven't been in my craft room or blogged at all this week.  I have been busy in the garden getting jobs done while the weather is great and so we have a tidy place for our Jubilee family BBQ on Tuesday.


Wednesday 23 May 2012


Welcome to my desk this week.  I have had a busy week and weekend so I haven't done a great deal of crafting at my desk.

I have been learning how to do a Blog Candy Giveaway and I think I have done it so if you want to join in just click on the photo on the side bar and if I have done it correctly you should get to the Blog Candy Post!  If it doesn't work.....then just scroll down a bit!

I learnt how to do a sticky post without messing up my fingers this week!  I also managed to make a button to publicise my blog least I think I have :-D

 The photo of my desk is of the remainders of the small mess I made making a tag for the Tag Tuesday challenge this week.  I had fun making paper vegetables to embellish my tag.  I was so pleased with them I made a quick tutorial (see side bar on left) before I stuck the cute veggies on my tag....I wonder if I can do peas in a pod!

I have a bit of sea glass that may become another tag, a punch and embossing folder from the Stampin' Up Fairy (Alison!) and a pile of photos waiting for me as I would really like to do a bit of scrapbooking this week.   Oh and not forgetting the Blob!

The Blob (not to be confused with Blog!!) is not an extra large lump of sea glass (I would need a big tag for that!) but something I found growing in the back of one of my drawers (craft ones) yesterday.  It is most of the leaked contents of a bottle of Collall glue!  It didn't do any damage what so ever to anything else in the drawer it just settled in the form you see before you.  It may become my crafting stress ball now!  It seems a shame to throw it away when it grew so neatly :-D

I am keeping it short....ish this week as my hubby is treating me today!  It means I will be doing my desk visiting tomorrow.  I hope you don't mind a straggler.

Don't forget to have a look at my blog candy and leave me a comment there if you are interested in joining in.  I am trying to get as many followers as I have years!  I don't feel any older than yesterday - do I look it I wonder!!

Happy WOYWW to you all and if your new around here and don't know what on earth this mad woman is rabbiting on about (it my age!) then follow this link to a  very happy place full of crafting fun!

Sunday 20 May 2012

Tag Tuesday - May 15

Hello to any lovers of tag art popping in to visit.

I found a fab challenge at Tag Tuesday where each week you can make a tag according to the theme for that week.  If you love a challenge and love making tags this is a great place to visit so follow the link ........ after you have had a peek at my effort of course!!

It is a popular challenge so I am an 'also playing along member' at the moment!!  So long as I can play too that's fine by me....  This weeks theme is gardening and I picked Land Girls as the inspiration for my tag as you can see.

I couldn't decide what image I wanted to use on my tag so I picked one and then used the others to make little cards that I popped into a pocket.  I used acrylic paint to transfer my image to my tag which is always a great way to get an aged look going on.  I decoupaged my Land Girl and even fussy cut around the prongs of her pitch fork without cutting them off!

I used glossy accents on the Womens' Land Army badge to use it as a cool little embellishment on my tag pocket.  Then looking for more charm or embellishments to adorn my tag I decided to make paper veg!  I have written a quick tutorial as I had fun making my carrots and cauliflowers and wanted to share - I wonder if this counts as two of my 'five a day"? :-)

So thank you for popping in to visit and thanks to Carolyn and Tag Tuesday for the Challenge.  It was interesting to read about the efforts of women during the war years.  It must have been a wonderful feeling to know you were supporting the men of the country off fighting the war.  Have a look at some of the great images of the Womens' Land Army out there on the internet - farmers never looked so glamorous!!

Wednesday 16 May 2012

WOYWW 154 - and more Lesson Preparation!

I have been blogging this week about the routine I go through to prepare for my card classes and what's on my desk today ties in with those previous posts.

So photo one is of the packs completed end of my desk.  You can see the master packs of 5 of the cards with instructions.  Underneath each one is a pile of card stock cut up and ready to go.  By the end of this marathon chopping session you can imagine I am fed up with my guillotine!  For anyone popping in that has been reading my class prep blogs you will notice that I ditched the red white and blue theme for my second set of cards that I was going to go with in favour of this blue and white one.  I think it was because the only red card I had was and orangey red and I am partial to a blue red so I couldn't quite get myself to like it - though I am offering it as a choice as I had already cut up the card before I changed my mind (a designers prerogative!!).  

I am always worried I will forget something so I have spare of everything and as I make up the packs I put all the tools and inks into my trolley so fingers crossed nothing too vital get left behind on the day.  I did forget the keys to get in to the hall once!!  Good job I don't live too far away :-D

Here is one of the blue and white cards.  I dusted of my ribbler for this one!  I don't know why I don't use it more as I like the texture it adds to the mix.

A bit of clear desk in the middle, ready to prep the last pack later on.  I love the colour of the Cosmic Shimmer Vintage Mica Flakes - Tarnished Bronze.  The container housed some noodles two days ago!

Messy again at the other end of the desk!  All the stamps and acrylic blocks we will be using in class.  The last card to be finished today I probably would have got this done yesterday but I took a break to do Tim's May tag.  I couldn't resist!  At the very end of my desk you can see my shopping!  I treated myself to some lovely G45 Tropical Travelogue goodies!!  I finally remembered to get some white Distress Stains which I think will come in very useful.  I fancy trying that spatting technique with it!

And last but not least on the floor a box of new goodies for my shop booked into stock and ready to go.  I really have to be strict with myself or it is a bit like 'Buy One (for the shop) Get One For Me!'  

I just though I'd mention that I am going to try my hand at giving away blog candy on my birthday next week.  I have to learn how to do one of those grab buttons first (all clues gratefully received).  It is a big birthday number for me next week so I though I would try to tempt people to sign up and follow me I am hoping for enough to match my big number!!  That would be cool.  I of course am not saying what that number is :-D

I have a coffee beside me and I am going to enjoy with my weekly tour of all the fab crafty stuff going on  all over the world right now!  If you are new around here and wonder what I am going on about then follow this link to visit Julia to find out all about WOYWW.  Have fun!  Big hugs to my WOYWW friends and thanks for popping in to see me. XXX

Monday 14 May 2012

12 Tags of 2012 - May

Tim has posted his May tag and I couldn't resist making my version even though I am busy with class preparations and working on my website.  I shouldn't have but it was too too tempting to have a go at making porcelain flowers!  Fab techniques this month but as usual I had to adapt things to suit what I had and what I did not.  That is the beauty of Tim's challenge to create a tag inspired by his design and the techniques he uses to make them.

I didn't have the stamps that Tim used so I came up with an alternative that I was really pleased with.   I started out by using mat medium to adhere my pattern tissue to an A4 card wrinkling the tissue slightly as Tim did.  Once it was dry I printed my sewing images onto the A4 card.  It took me a while to work out where I needed things to be  but I was pleased with the end result.  I think I will use this technique again.  I cut out my tag from the A4 card and I distressed and inked my edges using Frayed Burlap.

 I coloured some of Tim's frilly lavish trimming with Sea Glass distress ink and cut it in two.  It was my last piece so I wanted to make it go further!  I also coloured my tape measure ribbon with the sea glass and then attached all my ribbons, tape and ric rac to the bottom of my tag.

I wanted to use lots of sewing bits an pieces on my tag so I printed off some old cotton reel labels and some needle packaging I found on the internet.  I inked the cotton reel labels and embossed around the edges of them to give them a button shape before sticking them on my tag.  I cut out distressed and inked the edges of the Needle packet before attaching it to the left side of my tag.  I had a dungaree fastening from one of my boys in my bits and pieces box and thought it would make a nice addition to the top of the tag.

Then I had a ton of fun making porcelain flowers.  I have never done this before and I do not have a melting pot so I adapted!!  I rubbed the flowers with my perfect medium pad to get my first layer of embossing powder to stick and then kept dipping the hot flowers into the embossing powder until I had the desired effect.  It worked very well and I love the result.  I will definitely be doing this again.  I didn't have a cotton reel to sand the back off but I did have an old thread card so I wrapped that with a bit of red thread to use as my flower vase.

I dyed some american seam binding with tumbled glass distress ink and a touch of barn door distress ink too.  I tied this and another bit of ric rac to my dungaree fastener.  I did some red kiss stitches and sewed on three large eyes (hook and eye fasteners).  It was at this point that I realised I had not done any stamping on my tag so I decided to stamp a quote.  It was a bit scary as I had almost finished at this point and the last thing I needed was a dodgy stamp image!  I confess to having to go over the image in places with a black pen :-)

I coloured my coat hanger and charms with a black pro marker as they looked a bit bright and I think that it worked quite well.  Here are a couple of close ups for the details.

Friday 11 May 2012

Day 3 of Card Class Preparations

I seem to have had a big break since I last updated you on my preparations.  I have been busy with other crafting commitments and the Bank Holiday came and went so now instead of being ready a week early I am back to my original timetable!  It's because I nearly said the 'early' word...Just thinking it was enough to sabotage my schedule it seems.

I need to clear the decks a bit so I thought I would prepare the packs for the 3 designs I have already before I move on to the new set - Definitely with a red white and blue theme...oh and they have to be quick as my last set are quite time consuming - no pressure then!

Just interrupted by a delivery man so may get side tracked this afternoon booking in stock - anyone else feel like they have been shopping for themselves when they do this!  I have to stop myself saying one for me, two for the shop :-D

So back to the how too, where was I?  Oh yes putting together the packs.  I always have two card samples for each class so as I make up my second sample I write my instructions and cut any card or ribbon we will be using.  I also gather together all the tools and inks and things that each card takes.  That means, fingers crossed, I get to class with everything remembered and nothing left behind.

As I prepare my packs I will also write a list of things to remember.  What glues and tools I am using to let my class know and what things I haven't yet put into my kits (because I am still using them) but that I don't want to forget in the last minute rush that always seems to happen on a Thursday night.

Here is a photo of the first bits and pieces gathering ready to go into my trolly (two red baskets and glitter only).  The rest of the stuff just happened to be where I am storing at present!

At the end of the process this afternoon I also have two card samples......

I try to remember to write my name on them as I have a habit of pinching my students cards as I pack away in between cards.  It is a standing joke that it is a compliment if I think their card is mine!

So card one is complete and ready to teach.  Here is all the bits cut and counted.  Instructions written and printed and the master pack ready to teach from.  Only 5 more to go by next Friday.....wish me luck.

Thanks for popping in to see me.  Watch this space because as I made my second card sample I also took photos to add another tutorial to my collection now that is what I call multi tasking :-)  I am off for a cuppa now....

Wednesday 9 May 2012


Is it that time again already?!  I have had a busy week this week.  I started the week designing and making the first 3 cards for my lesson next week which I blogged about and which you can see below.  My first photo for your perusal my fellow WOYWW friends is the view to my left as I type this on my Mac.  Don't look at the mess on the side!!! Ok then I know you must so.... from the left of the photo, old post shelves which now house all my A4 card stock, tucked in the corner behind the drawers is my tool bag and one embellishment bag that I take to crop, more Ikea drawers, the tall one has my ribbon scrap tin, a tin I made at a make and take, a little white pot and shell turtle made by my youngest, A photo of my 40th, oh and a bee pin cushion I made for a swap out of an old film canister (the young don't even know what they are now!)...amongst other bits and pieces.

Moving to the right we have another drawer unit with card samples on and then my accounting stuff waiting to do a tax return.  The higgledy piggledy mess in front is waiting for the tidy up fairy to land and there is another embellishment bag holding goodies that go with me to crop.

After making the mess above we went to visit my Mother in Law for the Bank holiday weekend and now I am sitting here feeling the after affects of a garden make over.  My husband did the heavy work and he swears he isn't aching - I am not sure I believe him!  And the weather though not brilliant kept mainly dry for us which was a blessing.

The photo above was actually what was on my desk last night but I took it as many of you wanted to see how I got on with the projects for my son's gym who are celebrating the Olympics.  I am really pleased with the Olympic pledge torch.  I am happy to report the flames now have pledges written on them and over the next week the children should really light up the flame!  You can see how many flames I have cut out at the base of the torch and I need to add to that today!  A bit of the olympic hoop I decorated is in the front of the photo.  The mess is still there this morning and is my first job today.

Friday 4 May 2012

Day 2- Inside my Brain!

I think am being extra efficient as a result of deciding to blog about what I do to get ready for a class.  If I keep to this schedule I might be I am not going to tempt fate!!!

So last night as I played Pictionary on the Wii with my family there were design musings going on in my head and the thought 'we really should make time to play this more often' and this morning I was ready to design my own version of an easel card.  I find that there is always something designing in my head somewhere.  As well as my class for this month I have been mulling over a design for another clock as I really loved making the last one I did (follow the link if you want to take a peek).

This is what I came up with (on my score board).   My version of a twisted easel with a panel for a greeting and a panel for a focal image (and it fits in a DL envelope!)  If you look on the left of this photo there is a pile of my card base templates (not all my own designs).  I got fed up with throwing away card bases away during the design process (you know when you change your mind!) so I made these templates and I use them, one to remind me of measurements for cutting and scoring and two as a visual guide as I design.  I have been making the templates from a dull green card I have a pile of that I don't like much!  This folder is always on my desk as I begin to design a card.

Then it is choices time.  This time I picked a soft brown and a turquoise card as a starting point for my design scheme.  Again a few choices are discarded along the way until I end up with something I like and a scheme is born.  I started with the greeting laid straight on the brown but it lacked a bit of oomph so I added the fine black border and the rest of my design will be based on this scheme.

Working on the base of the easel card next and I decided that with all these layers on the toppers the base is a bit flimsy so I add a bit of black.  Fits in with the scheme, practicality and of course still fits in the envelope!!  It's about this point in a design where I start to feel 'Yay me!!'  Then I realise I need something to put on the base to keep the easels in place so I am not going to stick on the black base yet until that decision is made and I am not feeling so smug a minute later :-D

I know you are all going to know about the 'when is it safe to stick dilemma' when you are designing a card or a layout.  It is a bit like resisting temptation.  You start putting bits and pieces together and they look fab but you must resist the urge to stick them together until you are sure you are not going to add anything (like a brad) or you will be unsticking stuff - a skill in itself!  If you use glue and don't realise quickly then you are doomed!  If you use tape then you get to feel slightly light headed as you prise you card apart and as you huff on your tape to avoid wrecking your lovely work!  :-)

So now things are looking coordinated its time to do the pretty stuff!  Well it is after I have tidied up a bit. I have been distressing all my edges so I have a fair bit of paper fluff and strips of card debris from getting my proportions right.  So tidy up time and looking at the clock and listening to my tummy it is lunch time and walk the dog time too.  So I will be mulling over the fancy bits of my card as I go about my business.  See you in an hour or so to finish my design and my post for today.....laters!

Much, much later!....Had to share this photo.  I am not sure what kind of blossom it is but it brightens up yet another grey day for us in the Midlands (UK).  I might try and see if I can replicate this in paper one day.

As you can see I am back, fed and exercised and voila the pretties have been added.  A few mica flakes on this one to give it a bit of sparkle.  They are in Tarnished bronze a very yummy colour.  It is the first time I have used them and they are much lighter than the glass glitter.  I like their subdued sheen.  I am very pleased with this unusual easel shaped card.  I didn't intend it but I think this could be given to a man too!  One more to add to the set.  Then I will change theme and repeat the process for another set of 3 cards.......but I will blog more about that later.

I'm off to put my feet up in front of the fire as it has gone chilly tonight.  Thanks for popping by.  Have a great weekend X

Card Class Preparation Begins.....

This is a sneak peek of my card class in May.  I have two lovely stamp sets that I have been mulling over in my mind.  I thought you might like to hear how I prepare for my classes each month.  Well I hope you do anyway because that is what this post is going to be about!!!

Each month I try to think of two different card making skills or styles I want to explore in my lessons.  So this month it is definitely going to involve stamping.  The stamps are Steampunk Flowers and Steam Punk Dreams so I have lots of lovely images to play with.  If I am stamping with my class I do normally stick to one set of stamps.  I find Creative Expression stamps perfect for this as a lot of their stamp sets have focal images, background smaller images and greetings.  This month I couldn't make up my mind so I have two to play with!

When I make a design I have to think about what I have in stock such as card, ribbons, inks, tools, etc.  But more importantly that a card takes about 1 hour to make.  That is the thing that my class would definitely agree that I find hardest to do!  I have improved but looking at the first card I have for next month I might be about to have a blip in the timing discipline!! (Note to self this needs an easier second card to go with it!!)

I decided I wanted to make different styles of easel cards so that is where I started designing.  I also wanted to use some Stampendous Glass glitter I have been lovingly storing for a while now.  This is where I ended up.
Love that glass glitter!
I do put pressure on myself sometimes to get the design right first time.  I'm not sure why.......I think it is because I don't like to waste the paper.  For instance I did start out thinking I wanted to do some scrunched paper panels and then to ink over them but they were too distressed looking and I wanted girly grunge not boy grunge!  I hope you agree I got there in the end.

One card down and a theme of easel card and girly grunge decided.  As I work on the next two designs I will be waiting for inspiration to strike for my second theme.....something in red white and blue keeps popping into my thoughts.....I wonder why.

Wednesday 2 May 2012


Hello to all WOYWW friends!  Is it that time already?  Posting this in my dressing gown as my son gets ready for school.  If you don't know what this is then follow this link and pop along to see Julia and find out more!

Don't look at the washing on the radiator......too late!  It has been a miserable week in England, Derby.  Grey wet days - except Monday when it was sunny and even the wind was warm when I took the dog for a walk.  Just a teaser though as we were back to grey on Tuesday.  Not sure why there is a cushion on the floor??  But the mucky looking sheet is where my dog lies when he pops in to keep me company.

From front to back of this photo is my lovely G45 papers and double sided Carpet tape waiting to be put away after the tutorial I made this week of a video case stamp storage project.  Follow the link if you want to see how they are made.  I need to put the videos back on the shelf...oh and the cards made with cards that are a couple of posts down too.  Bin just overflowing, bin too busy to empty it :-)

And last but not least a little craft project I picked up last night to help make a display for EVGC.  My son's gymnastics club.

From the other end of the desk.  I am thinking of making the big tube into an olympic torch so that the children can make pledges to learn a new move before the olympics.  The idea is to write your pledge on a paper flame and add it to the torch... a work in progress.  The picture is a mock up of the wall display made with, you guessed it, hula hoops, carefully back past the bin, stuff to be put away and finally rounding the corner passed printer and computer at the end.  You will be very glad I am not in the picture - pink fluffy dressing gown, big fluffy slipper feet and I really should have combed my hair as I am expecting VIP guests today!!!  Have a good one and thanks for popping by.  I promise to get dressed before I pop in to see you.......Laters!

Tuesday 1 May 2012

Decouper - To Cut

Decoupage comes from the French word, decouper, and means 'to cut'.

I was just looking through some drawers today and found some old prints I had left over from a crafting journey I took into 3D decoupage.  They reminded me of a visit to an antiques fair where I  bought some decoupage prints that I thought you might like to see.  I saw some beautiful victorian photo albums that I would love to own - sadly my pocket money wouldn't stretch that far!

It did, however, stretch to these little pieces of history.

These scraps were from c1900.  The one on the top left is part of a bigger cutting sheet as you can see.  I found out from the dealer that the other pieces, also from other sheets of images, were originally layered but that he had soaked and separated them.  I told him, on behalf of all crafters out there who have spent many hours cutting out and shaping and layering their mini works of art, what a crime he had committed! Mind you I probably could not have afforded my little bit of crafting history if he were selling them intact....I would have liked to see them though.  I read that decoupeurs from centuries past actually cut up famous artists work to create their decoupage master pieces - I wonder what treasures where lost then too....

This sheet is almost intact and is dated c1950.  It is not so far removed from what we can buy today.  You can see the prints are embossed where the light from my window is hitting the strawberries.

I spent many a happy hour nibbling away with my scissors at some beautiful fairy images from a collection by Sharon Healey.  My pictures are about 10 years old now and I recently up-cycled their frames to match my bedrooms decor.  Sorry the photos are a bit rubbish but I was trying to avoid the reflections on the glass.

I have a fondness for fairies as you can see.  Tinkerbell is my all time favourite - a fairy with attitude!  These images are beautiful.  I can't believe I cut out all those sweet pea stems and tendrils!

If you, like me, have dabbled in this craft and want to know a bit more about the history of decoupage here is a link to the National Guild of Decoupeurs website.  I particularly love the decoupaged furniture pieces and really fancy trying my hand at it.

This is the piece I would like to play on - I wonder how many cutting hours it would take to decoupage this set of drawers????  I might reserve the right to paint the design on day!

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