Sunshine in a flower

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Celebrate in a hurry!

I love making cards I really do. What I don't like about I though is that I have to always make a card myself, I can never, ever do the 'B'(***see bottom of post) word again.

That's fine of course, usually. However, since I've started making cards I seem to have fallen into some strange black hole where I am unable to find out it's someones birthday etc until either after 6.00pm the night before or worse still the day itself.

Cardmaking's a joyous activity when you can have a play, a bit of a dawdle. When it's break the speed of sound fast it's not so fun, in fact it's utterly horrible.

Needless to say I've had one of those record breaking cardmaking dramas today. It is with exhaustion that I write this post! I'm shattered and my card room has been ransacked quite simply. I am having to keep my eyes firmly on the monitor screen as if I look around....sob....wail...a bit more sobbing!

Hell hole of a craft room aside, I've done it! Hallelujah, I've made a card!

I have always been told that I am my own worst enemy, more times that you can imagine. At the age of...mumble..mumble..30...something or other..I am able to be an adult about this and stand up and say (cough, clear throat) 'I am my own worst enemy'.

Cards needed in a hurry need to be fast cards, simple cards,dare I say it-easy cards. However (and this is the own worst enemy bit) I couldn't bear anyone to think I'd made them a 'fast, simple...easy' card. So I don't.

This isn't the most complicated card in the world but it wasn't a five minute job either believe me. I had no idea what to do when I started and I feel it has than sense of uncertainty still about it, oh and the stupid (OK I didn't exactly think stupid at the time but I do try really hard not to swear..too much..well not every five minutes-ooops I meant day of course) rub ons had a crisis of identity and became stickers so they stuck where they decided to go and not where I wanted them too!! Bad rub ons!

Never mind. I'm too tired to care (that's a lie of course) and still need to go and see Bobbi and Ernie (who are doing great) and see my guys for some cuddling and to assure them that I'm OK really despite all the howling and wailing!(OK I'm exaggerating that-I'm a bit prone to that would you believe?).

Anyway, best go and sing Happy Birthday to my neighbour and do lots of smiling and hope (and I mean really hope) that they've got birthday cake as I need some badly-I've earned it!

*** BUY!

Card blank from stash
K & co paper
Stampin Up card in Creamy Caramel and Regal Rose
Stampin Up stamp set 'Natural beauty'
Papertrey white card
Stampin Up border punch
Making memories rub on (that thinks it's a sticker)
Regal Rose grosgrain ribbon
Brads from stash

3D foam pads

Monday, April 27, 2009

Elizabeth Bell blog candy

How great is blog candy? Not only could you potentially win some gorgeous goodies, but the blog world is opened each time a little further and new favourites are found.

Katharina's blog 'Stamping with a Whiff of Joy' is one such blog. Hugely talented and generous as she's giving away 2 sets of the new Elizabeth Bell Summer collection!

Pop over and have a look-and look at her cards-amazing. Katharina's even got a list of tutorials and tips-it's well worth a visit and adding to favourites-I have!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Cherish the Gorjuss-ness & a Mr B progress report!

I couldn't resist doing another Gorjuss girl card. I love these images-they seem so ethereal and there's something almost bewitching about the images. Somehow I'm back with turquoise again;considering I'm not keen on the colour, I seem to have an astonishing array of turquoise bits and pieces!

As for yellow- I LOATHE yellow but I've managed to sneak it some Certainly Celery which I adore and which helped me to cope with two scary colours! Phew!

Apologies for the photos-I'm going to have to try and figure out what is going wrong. It's the editing that seems to be messing the quality up-I do auto enhancement and the result tends to be worse than the original photo-not better. It's hugely frustrating but I've been cardmaking and PC-ing for some time now and need to clock off and catch up on some bunny and pussy cat time.The awful photos will have to stay for now, sorry. Aaaargh, why can't things be easy?

It's a gorgeous evening though so can't stay cross for long. I'm watching Mr B (Blackbird) demolish his latest batch of apples and pears so photo quality seems somewhat insignificant right now. He's eaten all the winter apples so I've now resorted to buying him vast quantities of apples and pears (his clear favourite), which he gobbles in record time.

Yesterday I noticed he was being uncharacteristically quick with his return journey and discovered that at the end of the garden was a rather large baby blackbird sat happily on a wheelie bin, with the biggest mouth you've ever seen optimistically open wide.

Poor Mr. B was desperately trying to keep this 'baby' fed but the baby was huge and his appetite even bigger. Meanwhile, I was split between ensuring there was a plentiful supply of fruit for Mr B and 'baby' and ensuring that Tom, Basil and neighbouring cat McCauley didn't suddenly take it upon themselves to satisfy any hunger they might have by eating Mr B's beloved baby!

Needless to say all the fruit I bought yesterday which I had anticipated lasting several days was actually all gone by lunchtime (our lunchtime-it appears blackbirds have a permanent lunchtime). I thus had to trek back into town today, battle the crowds and lug home another hoard of apples and pears. Lets hope (for my sake at least) that these last a little longer!

Must dash, but the sweetest thing in all this is that poor Mr. B doesn't seem able to eat the apples unless I've cut them in half! Poor sweetie-not only do I have to provide the food but serve it to the specific requirements of this handsome man! If any of you had ever wondered why I don't manage to post a card a day-now you have your answer! Sorry, no up to date photos of Mr B and family-must do some, oh and we have baby duckies too down at the river and blue tits in the nest box-it's all so exciting;how amazing this time of year is-new life everywhere!


Gorjuss girl rubber stamp from Sugar Nellie
Certainly Celery card and grosgrain ribbon from Stampin Up
Tempting Turquoise grosgrain ribbon from Stampin Up
Paisley background stamp from Stampin Up
Basic Grey papers
Basic Grey brad
Prima hydrangea petals
Paisley vellum from stash
Memento black ink
Brilliance Peacock ink pad (turquoise colour used)
Basic Grey chipboard heart
K & co rub on sentiment
Yellow organza ribbon from stash
Gems and sequin flower from stash

Thursday, April 23, 2009

In bloom

This is one of those cards that just comes together as it is made. Initially I used different papers but couldn't get it to work so I started again and somehow these papers involved themselves! I couldn't get this card to work at all, it wasn't flowing at all so I just tried things and somehow I managed (just about) to pull a card together!

I had terrible problems with Tilda-she's been very naughty indeed! Actually, it's not Tilda so much as the cutting out of Tilda that caused huge problems. I still can't get a neat edge under her plaits and I've used scissors, my craft knife (complete with new blade) and various nail files in a desperate attempt to get a neat edge and failed miserably. I just felt that this card was somehow doomed to fail so just decided to carry on, get it done and hopefully my next creation will be a happier one!

A couple of things did go well though. I used my Stampin Up scallop border punch for the borders (funnily enough) and then my Silent Setter to punch out holes within each scallop. I think this is very effective and I'll do this again. My other success was my home made pin. I love all these pins on people's blogs but have been too much in awe to realise that I can very easily make some myself! I do do a bit of jewellery making (though I tend to do more buying of beads etc than actual making of jewellery!) so I have an abundance of beads suitable for these pins. I just used head pins and used a crimp bead to hold the top beads in place.

As I certainly don't want anyone to suffer injury as a result of my cards, I glued a small bead onto the end of the pin to hide the sharp pin end. Within the Stampin Up Pretties kit are included some attachments to put on the end of the pins supplied to keep them safe. Try as I might I haven't been able to track any down in the real world so the bead will have to suffice until I am able to find a suitable alternative.

I'm pleased with the result-the pin looks gorgeous with the Prima hydrangea petals I as I made the pin myself, I was able to choose just the right colours to co-ordiate with the colours used throughout the rest of the card.I've already made a few more-they take a matter of seconds-all my cards will be covered in pins for at least the immediate future methinks!

I was struggling to find a suitable sentiment but when I found this one 'in Bloom' I knew it was just right. The lovely Steph sent me a super pack of K & Co rub ons when she returned from her holiday recently. The sentiment and the stitching at the botoom of the card are both from this pack and are the perfect final details.

Europa card for card blank
Basic grey papers
Tilda sitting stamp from Magnolia
K & co rub ons-sentiment and stitching
Stampin Up border punch
Large and small circle and scalloped circle punches

Silent Setter
Prima hydrangea flowers
Various beads, head pin and lace from stash
Pearls from Stampin Up Pretties kit

Monday, April 20, 2009

Woo hoo!

Well, I'm feeling rather chuffed right now as soon I'll have some more craft goodies winging their way to me! What's so strange about that you ask? Well.....I am a WINNER!!!!! (been watching alot of US TV lately!).

I won on one of Sarahs prize days. On day 3 Sarah created a beautiful box with a handle with a banner attched to it. She decorated it in blue for a baby. Sarah asked for suggestions as to ideas the box could be used for. I said I'd fill the box with goodies for Mummy-face packs, hand creams etc and put the baby banner on their cot. Sarah chose this idea as the winning entry!! She'll send me some die cuts of the boxes and banners so I'll make one up (it'll come a poor second to Sarah's effort alas) and post it up here soon.

Then this morning, I spotted that I had won the Passion for Papertrey scallops challenge!! With this challenge it's a 2009 computerised pick a name out of a hat system and the name was me!! It's for the baby card I did yesterday (above). I'm thrilled! I won some gorgeous papers, a bit of card and some ribbons. I'm not familiar with the paper set-(but then all I know is the Raspberry Fizz set as we all long for that!) but I believe it's male oriented which will be handy-I'm off to the Papertrey site to have a look for it now-wee hee!!

Thank you Kate and Steph!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Passion for papertrey challenge-Scallops

I've been unable to do much crafting recently for one reason or another and as a result I missed one of the challenges on Kate and Stephs blog 'A Passion for Papertrey'. Desperate to get back on track I visited the blog to find the theme being 'scallops'. Phew-I can do this!

Here's my attempt anyway. I have so few Papertrey bits, just a few lovely items Steph generously sent me, but if I can win one of these challenges my Papertrey stash will more than double so here goes!

I don't actually know the names of these Papertrey colours but the card, paper and ribbon are all Papertrey. I've used two Stampin Up sets for the baby and sentiment (I ADORE this baby) and Copics for colouring-I'm still practising furiously! Happily I have some Copic markers that perfectly match the Papertrey colours!

I 3D'd the baby and though it's a simple card I am pleased with the result-I actually don't feel the need to start sticking every embellishment in sight on it! I must be ill! For the ribbon I punched two holes near the join with my Silent Setter and pulled each end through this to tie the bow. Three small Papermania gems complete the card.

The card has been cut with the join at the top. I do like cards this shape and again it seemed to work well with what I was trying to do. All in all a simple but effective card and I have enjoyed using the gorgeous Stampin Up baby very much! It was about time he/she had an outing!

Card, paper & ribbon from Papertrey (courtesy of Steph)
Stampin Up stamp sets-
Baby from 'Cuddles & Tickles'
Sentiment from 'I'm Here'
Gems from papermania
Scalloped border punch from Stampin Up
Circle and Scalloped circlePunches

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sugar bowl challenge 8

Oh goodness me-this has been a challenge. Nope, not a challenge, an ordeal! Marlene drew an amazing sketch for this week's challenge which I initially thought I'd love doing. I have really, really, really struggled with this right from the start. I kept losing track of all the layers-couldn't draw the sketch for the life of me so had to repeatedly refer back to the Sugar Bowl blog, and it just has been so hard trying to work out the dimensions of each of the pieces! I've used another Little Cotton Rabbit stamp-gosh I really do LOVE these! I just hope I've got the sketch right! I'm sure I've messed it up somewhere!

This evening as I've desperately been trying to put it all together and embellish it etc, my cat Tom has been the cat from hell! He is demanding at the best of times-Maria Carey (reportedly an absolute horror in the world of the demanding) has nothing on Tom. Tom suffers from an extreme form of 'cat indecisiveness'. This indecisiveness is well known to cat carers. Cats cannot make their minds up and Tom is the dictionary definition of this condition.

This is bad enough if you consider that it manifests itself in an inability to decide whether to be in or out, whether he wants to eat of not, whether he likes the food or not, whether he wants to sit her, or stand there or go anyway at all (all this whilst standing in a doorway or the narrowest part of the house or garden) so it's a case of having to climb over him (following an emergency stop to avoid trampling on him!).
This evening he has been at his most indecisive.

Despite FIVE bowls of different food, Tom remains dissatisfied in the food department, he has been in and out the house so many times I literally am in a daze and has been doing his 'cat staring' to the point at which I am a nervous wreck and exhausted by him! I have a headache as a result of trying to use my non existent psychic powers to deduce what on earth is wants! Tom has a cat flap which he used for goodness knows how many years. Now, he has arthritis and when I'm in a kindly mood I put his refusal to use the catflap down to it possibly aggravating his arthritis.

When I'm feeling less charitable (usually after opening and shutting the door 1000 times in the space of 30 seconds, so every day!) I put it down to Tom being a Diva and the fact that he sees the situation as something in the order of why should he demean himself by wriggling through a hole in the door when there's Mum to open it whenever I want?
Good point-you've got to hand it to him-he's got brains.
So, this card isn't right-I've tried and tried but am waving a white flag of defeat. I haven't been defeated by the card-nope, I've been defeated by Tom and I'm going to have to go and see if I can work out why he remains extremely dissatisfied with life!

On a more humorous note, I've mentioned Tom's amazing toes before now. He has many more toes that cats normally do, which happily means there's even more of him! Our last vet used to say 'there's toes everywhere' when he saw Tom and he's been found surrounded by people with one of the neighbours pointing out knowingly his many toes and 'boxing glove' shaped paws.
We had to go to the vet yesterday for Tom to have his cortisone injection he has to reduce the arthritis pain. The vet mentioned Tom's toes as we finished the consultation. He said that he's seen cats with extra toes before but never anywhere near as many as Tom has. He said Tom has the most incredible number of toes and it's very rare indeed to have so many.

That's reminded me, I must trim his nails. I don't need to do all of them but some of Tom's toes are hidden and so the claws if left untrimmed would simply grow into Tom's feet. If you look on your hand at the gap between your thumb and first finger. In that gap, Tom has a small toe. Cutting that nail isn't easy believe me. I have to single handed, hold Tom (who does not consent to this procedure), open the toes up, find the toe, find the nail and clip it carefully not cutting into Tom at all. Phew. What a job and lucky me-I'm the lucky girl who's got to do it! I have to keep a close eye on how these nails grown and regularly trim them. So instead of cardmaking, I'm going to be savaged by a yowling cat who I know is saying very bad things to me!

Wish me luck!
Card blank from stash
Little Cotton Rabbit stamp by Sugar Nellie
Jenni Bowlin paper
The English Paper Company paper
Karen Marie Klip paper
White hammered card from stash
Whisper White card by Stampin Up
Happy day stamp by Stampin Up
Bashful Blue ink by Stampin Up
Watercolour pencils by Faber Castell and Derwent
Queen & co felt ribbon
Felt flowers from stash
Lace from stash
Pearls from Kanban

Friday, April 10, 2009

Messy Rabbit blog candy- be quick!!!

Ooops, only just found this so hurry up as only got until midnight tonight...

...for the chance to win some gorgeous Messy Rabbit blog candy as Jacqui celebrates her blog birthday!

Touch the Stars

Thought I'd try and add a colour that is way out of my comfort zone-turqouise. This decision came after my light blue Copic turned into a turquoise type colour after a couple of layers! I'm really pleased with this card-I can still see messed up bits but the essence of what I want to create remains-this is more like it!

Aargh, the sentiment's moved a bit for the photo! You could never imagine the problems I've had using the silver hodgepodge frame and cutting the sentiment to fit it! It's been awful! I just couldn't seem to work out how to cut it to fit properly-my brain totally failed me!

Card blank from stash
Basic grey papers
Whipsper White card from Stampin Up
Chipboard flowers from Stampin Up (covered in Basic grey paper)
Chipboard stars from American Crafts
Chocolate chip grosgrain ribbon from Stampin Up
Ribbon charm and silver frame from Silver Hodgepodge set from Stampin Up
Sentiment stamp from 'Dreams and Dragons' set from Stampin Up
'Gorguss girl' rubber stamp from Sugar Nellie
Chocolate Chip ink from Stampin Up for sentiment
Dark Brown chalk ink for edges

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Naughty pussy cat!

I saw this stamp and as they say 'it had my name on it'! Penny Black are just phenomenol-they just seem to be able to create the most gorgeous images of animals in a way no one else comes close to. I only have a couple of their images-this and a Christmas cat one so must get saving for more! I have my eye on a gorgeous bunny one-similar to this image with a bunny on his back lying on a bird table or something. The bunny looks just like Jacob and he lies like that all the time when he trances himself.

This cat so reminds me of Tom, though I do have a photo on this blog of Basil sitting a bird table which is rather similar to this naughty cat.

I love these papers from Making Memories but not managed to use them yet. I couldn't seem to match this image to the usual suspects paper wise and as a last resort I tried these and actually thought they worked really well. I could so imagine having a skirt or dress with the chocolate brown pattern!! Love it!

I'm afraid my photo lets me down again-I'm utterly useless-it was such a sunny day so I should have no excuse. having said that, it was so sunny I couldn't actually see the card properly! I laid it on white paper and then the white just reflected back at me because of the strength of the sun and I'm amazed I even got the whole card in shot!

Never mind-need to practise so many things clearly, as well as my new Copics!

Penny Black cat stamp
'Reach for the stars' sentiment stamp-Hero Arts
Card blank from Steph so unknown
Making memories paper
Whisper White card from Stampin Up
Chocolate Chip card by Stampin Up
Taffeta pink ribbon from Stampin Up
Pink gems from Steph so unknown
Clear gems from stash

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Gorgeous bunnies

Being an avid bunny fan I simply HAD to have the set of Little Cotton Rabbit rubber stamps from Sugar Nellie in my collection. This is my first card made with them and I've been playing with Copics-trying to learn how to blend them etc. I still need more colours so I'm rather limited now. Currently, I have got mainly browns and pinks-browns for bunnies and pussy cats and pinks because I'm a pink fan! I really hope I'll get the hang of Copics as I've been in awe of some of the photos of cards on blogs I've seen. Even without the blending, I still adore them, they're gorgeous colours and the lack of brush strokes is something that for me makes them worth every penny. I did try the Stampin Up markers and though the colours are gorgeous, brush strokes are a real issue. It's so disappointing to try really hard with a card and then all you can see are brush strokes all over the image.

I've done a few fussy cards recently so thought I'd keep this one fresh and simple. I've wanted to use one of the Jenni Bowlin journalling pieces on a card forever; one of the pink ones seemed perfect for this card. I received a card from someone which had a little piece of the new Stampin Up pink striped ribbon. It's from the new mini and after I had tried with goodness knows how many bits of ribbon of various colours, I spotted the card and couldn't believe how perfect the ribbon was for this card! So, it's cannibalised ribbon I suppose but for me it just matches the stripes on the Jennie Bowlin journalling card perfectly!

Square card blank from stash
Little Cotton Rabbits stamps from Sugar Nellie
Barely banana card from Stampin Up
Pretty in Pink card from Stampin Up
Scalloped border punch from Stampin Up
Anna Griffin paper
Anna Griffin rub on sentiment
Jennie Bowlin journalling card
Stampin Up striped grosgrain ribbon
Gems from stash

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Sugar Bowl challenge 7 -Spring or Easter

This weeks Sugar Bowl challenge from Sugar Nellie challenge is by way of acknowledging the much better weather we've been having! The choice therefore is either Easter or Spring. I liked the idea of Spring as a theme-I feel so much better when the sun shines and am compelled to use pretty and fresh tones. I've never made a card specifically dedicated to the theme of Spring either so why not? There's still time to join in-cards need to be posted on The Sugar Bowl blog by midnight on Wednesday 8th April and you'll be entered into a draw to win some Sugar Nellie goodies. Pop over and have a look-the design team have as always created some amazing items.

Sorry the photo isn't very good. It's a beautiful day so no blaming the weather-I'm just not a very good photographer alas.

Pink card from stash for card blank & matting
Basic Grey paper-various
Sugar Nellie stamp by Leanne Ellis
Paper flowers from Sarahs cards
Papermania brads
Flourish made from Basic Grey paper using Maya Road chipboard flourish as a template
Leaf buttons from stash (knew I'd use them one day!)
Butterfly from stash (felt certain I'd NEVER use this so yipee!)
Spring sentiment by Jolees boutique
Ribbon from stash

Humphrey and Sophie

Humphrey and Sophie