Sunday, 17 September 2017

A couple of cards to share

Hello crafty peeps and welcome to my crafty nook! I hope you are all well and are enjoying the weekend. Since I last wrote a few wonderful things have happened - my husband and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary and I became a great-auntie for the fourth time! My eldest niece had her third daughter about a week ago and she's called Grace which I think is a beautiful name.

Here is the card I made for Beth and her partner Tom.

I was a little late making this card because my little die cutting machine (Sizzix Side Kick) has been playing up and my full sized machine (Sizzix Big Shot) is pretty much kaput as well so I've been waiting for a replacement machine to arrive from The Works (a review on the machine to follow). This card is a top folding US A2 sized card so 4 1/4" x 5 1/2". For the life of me, I can't remember what paper pack I used for the background paper and envelope - I must be having a senior moment! The pram die, double heart and baby bottle (on the envelope) were die cut out of pink Centura Pearl card stock and I went over the metallic areas with a silver metallic Pro-Marker and the inlaid pieces were coloured with a Lavender Spectrum Noir Shimmer brush marker. I added hot pink flat backed pearls to the wheels of the pram and around the heart (on the latter to hide some glue that had oozed out). The baby girl sentiment was stamped onto white card stock, coloured with Baby Pink and Pale Pink Pro-Markers and then fussy cut out. The stamp set used was a Crafter's Companion Sara's Signature Collection stamp set called Little Angel. They were added to the card front using sticky pads. I added some sheer pink ribbon to the top and layered some crochet trim over it as shown. The matching envelope was made using my WRMK envelope punch board.

My next card is the one I made my husband for our wedding anniversary.

Sorry this photo is on it's side, I wanted to show the star borders that were added later
       I used Forever Friends Opulent A5 Paper Pack for the background paper, I love the combination of the dark blue and warm copper foil. The world stamp came from an unbranded stamp set purchased from eBay and is a brilliant set for masculine or travel themed cards. It comes with the globe stand and a number of different globes showing various areas of the world - I chose the most well known one that features Europe and Africa etc but there are stamps that show the Americas, Asia and Australia and one that I'm afraid I couldn't identify as geography isn't my strong suit. There's also quite a few sentiments and small add on images such as map pins, a paper airplane and hearts perfect for building up the card. I chose the sentiment And i think to myself, what a wonderful world (little i is how it's written on the stamp) as it's one of my husband's favourite songs. I used another unbranded stamp for the There is no greater love than ours sentiment and the Happy Anniversary stamp is one from a Crafter's Companion Love sentiments stamp set. I felt that the inside was lacking somewhat after I took the original photos so added some sparkly gold foam star strips to the edges of the inside to finish it off. Chris absolutely loved his card and I'm very pleased with how it turned out. It doesn't scream wedding anniversary on the outside but has a nice metallic feel to it which is the look I was going for.

I hope you like my latest creations, I hope to have a product review on the Make and Create die cutting machine up in a few days, I'm just waiting to hear back from The Works Customer Care team as I need to know where replacement cutting plates can be purchased as the machine will be pretty useless in a year or two without them and The Works doesn't sell them on their website as far as I can see. As always if you have any questions or comments then please leave them in the usual places and until next time - keep crafting!

Love and crafty hugs,

Sarah xxx

Friday, 1 September 2017

New Month, New Challenge.

Hello crafty peeps and welcome to my crafty nook! I hope you are all well and looking forward to the weekend. It's been a lot quieter in my crafty nook, I've not done any crafting apart from a few messing around sessions that resulted in very little apart from a strange chemical odour that's been hanging around for a while - I did have a bit of a play with some acrylic paint writers that I bought from The Works (the snow writer is lovely apart from it dries clear not white as I was expecting, the gold one's okay but the silver one had separated and isn't usable - one of the downsides of purchasing online) so I think the smell may be down to that.

It's been a while since Michele and I did a challenge, I think doing two a month on top of our usual crafting burnt us out a bit and I personally haven't got my crafty mojo at the highest level at the moment so for the next month we're going to just have one blog challenge and then we'll see about upping it to two at the beginning of October. Michele and I have decided on a theme for this month and it's a two card challenge so it'll run until the 30th September. As usual there isn't any prizes just the satisfaction of challenging ourselves and taking part but if you'd liked to follow along we'd be delighted to see what you come up with.

Issue 150 of Papercraft Essentials comes with a sweet Gnome themed stamp and die set called Enchanted Corner, there's a bit of controversy about this month's covermount gift because the Editor's letter states that there is a paper pack as part of the 'free gift' but if you subscribe it's not included however if you purchase the magazine from Tescos then they are included. If it says in the Editor's letter that the free gift includes a paper pack then it should include one for everyone, not just those people prepared to buy it from Tescos - it's caused a lot of upset on Facebook and it's been reported to ASA because it may be false advertising. PP have tried to smooth ruffled feathers by offering it as a 'free' download but that's useless to people like me who don't have a printer. As much as I like Papercraft Essentials magazine I'm seriously considering cancelling my subscription with them and potentially all the other Practical Publishing titles I subscribe to as well because I feel very let down by them. Anyway mini rant over.

To get back to the challenge, as already stated this month is a two card challenge. PE have actually made the free gift an all year rounder (love when you can use Christmas stash for other occasions!) so the challenge is to make a Christmas card and a non Christmas card using the stamps and dies. Obviously if you have the paper pack feel free to use it but if you don't then you can craft your stash (i.e. don't go out and buy anything specially - it's not what these challenges are about). The cards can be any size, any shape and any theme for the non Christmas card but must have the Enchanted Corner stamps and dies as the main focus. One of the things I really love about this stamp set (apart from it's total cuteness!) is it has a little wooden sign that's been left blank so you can add Santa's Workshop or North Pole on it - the latter is a real blast from the past because when I was a little girl we were told that Santa or rather Father Christmas lived at the North Pole not Lapland as kids are led to believe these days. Kudos to the Finnish for coming up with that particular money spinner but I'm rather fond of the idea of an inaccessible Father Christmas working away all year round with his elves rather than one that spends his time with tourists. *winks*.

Well I've probably sounded like a grumpy old lady for most of this post (ask if I'm bothered? lol) but I hope you'll join in the challenge if you're able. As always if you have any questions or comments then please leave them in the usual places and until next time - keep crafting!

Love and crafty hugs,

Sarah xxx

Saturday, 26 August 2017

A few new cards to share...

Hello crafty peeps and welcome to my crafty nook! I hope you are all having a brilliant weekend, it's an extra long one here in the UK as we've a bank holiday on Monday. I haven't actually done any crafting since my last blog post as it's been quite a busy week, it was my husband's birthday on Monday and we met up with his mum and dad and my mum for a meal in a local pub - I had a cocktail (just the one!) and was a bit tiddly afterwards as I rarely drink - perhaps a Long Island Iced Tea wasn't the best choice for a near teetotaller lol (it tastes so nice though!) even if it has the word tea in it 😉. The following day we went back to the same pub with my lovely friends and my God-Daughter for another meal but I was very good that time and stuck with soft drinks - I even had a salad instead of my usual burger. For some unknown reason the pub had it's heating on and as the seating was built against the radiators, it was extremely hot! I haven't done a lot since Tuesday, I don't make a huge thing about it but I am bordering on being agoraphobic and have only left my flat around a dozen times this year so to actually go out two days in a row is quite debilitating and takes a lot out of me. I'm not even sure if my closest friends realise this about me because I manage to hide the symptoms well in front of people and I don't talk about it.

Here are the cards I want to share with you.

This is the card I made for my lovely God-Daughter who was baptised almost four weeks ago. I did have to look on Pinterest to get a few ideas about what sort of card to make as I was really struggling to come up with my own ideas. I do love this card though, I don't make monochromatic cards very often and I suppose with the small touch of silver this isn't a true one but I felt the added silver layers made the white ones pop plus a white on white sentiment would be quite difficult to read lol. I used a Verity Rose (Starlet) embossing folder to emboss the sun rays behind the cross panel and dies from my stash to cut out the cross shape and the stitched oval.

My second card is the card I made for my lovely husband, he wanted a nautical themed card and I wanted to make him a pop up shadow box.


Everything on this card started off as white and was coloured with either distress inks, Metallic markers or Promarkers. All the diecutting was done using unbranded dies purchased from eBay with the exception of the smallest anchor die near the sentiment which was from a Xcut scene building die set and the sun which was a Diamond Press stamp and die set. The 44 were scrap die cuts from my stash and all the stamped images were made using unbranded stamp sets from eBay.  Lawn Fawn have a die which cuts out the shadow box shape (you need to cut two for each box) but I don't own it and it would have been too short for my purposes so I just made one from a sheet of A4 card and cut the front part out using a rectangle die. I would have liked to have added a ship to the waves (or a mini mermaid) but all the ones I currently own were too big to fit inside the box. One of the best things about this card design is that it folds flat enough to go into an envelope.

I hope you've enjoyed my latest card share, as always if you have any questions or comments then please leave them in the usual place. Enjoy the rest of the weekend and until next time - keep crafting!

Love and crafty hugs,

Sarah xxx

Monday, 21 August 2017

Hello Strangers......Part Two

Hello crafty peeps and welcome to my crafty nook! I hope you've all had a brilliant weekend, I spend a lot of mine trying to make a card for my husband who is celebrating his birthday today (Monday). My crafty mojo is on a go-slow at the mo (lol) so it took quite a while to come up with an idea for his card and even longer to make it - I'll be sharing his card in another post (aren't I a card tease lol). As promised I will be sharing my cards for the last blog challenge that started over a month ago. I've not even had the chance to email these cards to Michele (actually the first card I'll be sharing is on it's way to her via snail mail or will be once I've posted it - I'm so behind at the moment!!!) so they'll be a surprise for her too.

Here are some of the scraps I used or drew inspiration from to make my cards.

This is actually only a small fraction of my scraps, I couldn't fit them all on my desk and a lot of my scraps are kept with the full sized or entire pieces for example I have a pack of Centura Pearls card stock in Darks and I keep the open pack in a A4 wallet folder and the scraps in a A5 plastic wallet folder inside the other one so I always know where things are and aren't tempted to break into a fresh A4 sheet if I have a scrap of it in the plastic wallet already. The same applies for most of my other supplies and I even have A5 plastic wallets full of made toppers that I've ended up not using.  Here is the first card I made (and the one that's just an ordinary card because I forgot the second part of the challenge!)

The main piece of torn card stock was already coloured, embossed with a floral embossing folder and distressed before I added it to the A6 card blank. I added Dovecraft red glitter glue to the centre of the flowers and set it to one side to dry while I worked on the sentiment. I stamped the sentiment on a scrap of white cardstock using black ink and then diecut a flower out of holographic foiled card (from my scrap folder) the die came free with Crafts Beautiful a few months ago. I added a gem to the centre and added it to the side of the sentiment strip with a small piece of foam tape. Once the glitter glue was dried I added it to the card as shown. The card looked pretty enough but lacked something so I added a load of sequins from an autumn themed collection and added small red gems to some of the sequins but left the flower ones plain. It's really pretty in real life - really sparkly but it's not easy to pick that up in a photo unfortunately.

After Michele sent me her gorgeous creation (see previous post) I realised I'd forgotten to do half the challenge so decided to make a second card. Again apart from the card base itself which was cut to 8" x 8" from an A4 sheet of card, all the rest of the pieces came from my scrap collection, in this case the Centura pearl darks collection.

I couldn't think what sort of new fancy fold card to make for the second part of the challenge as there's not been a lot of new fancy folds around (at least not ones I've seen anyway), I tried making a central fold stepper card as Michele very kindly sent me some blank ones ages ago but I managed to make a real pig's ear of it and it ended up ironically enough in my scraps folder! I didn't want to risk messing up a second one so flicked through a couple of magazines for inspiration. I saw a Tower Fold card in Papercraft Inspirations magazine but it didn't have any instructions on how to make it and when I checked on YouTube - my usual go to for tutorials - there wasn't anything like it (bet they'll be loads now lol) so I googled it and found the instructions on Pinterest. I can't remember who made either the original card or the one with instructions but I will link the latter if I make another card and share the tutorial - as so often happens this isn't an exact copy as I tweaked it a bit. I'll be totally honest with you, this wasn't the easiest card to make as it involves a lot of cutting with a scalpel and my cutting abilities are poor whether I'm using scissors or a cutting blade so I'm not sure if I will be making a similar card anytime soon. It took a couple of attempts to get it right and I actually discovered that a thinner card works best instead of the thick Sheena's Stamping card that was my first choice. All the panels and stars were made from scraps in my folder and the stars were die cut using a set of nesting star dies, the only non scrap items were the card base itself and two gems from my stash. The card doesn't have a sentiment at the moment but it would be simple enough to stamp one on card, diecut it out in a circle and layer it on the large circle on the bottom right.

I hope you like my scrap raider challenge card with a bonus fancy fold card. We'll be starting another card challenge at the end of the month which will be a lot of fun and involves the free gift with this month's Papercraft Essentials magazine - some super cute gnomes perfect for Christmas!

As always if you have any questions or comments then please leave them in the usual places and until next time - keep crafting!

Love and crafty hugs,

Sarah xxx

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Hello strangers.....

Hello crafty peeps and welcome to my crafty nook! I hope you are all having a brilliant weekend and a good summer in general. I am very sorry not to have blogged for over a month, I haven't even got the excuse that I've had a lot on though it has been an eventful month, I've just not felt very crafty for a while and even forgo my own blog challenge *hangs head in shame*. Hopefully I'm back on form now and can share a few cards and projects with you. One of the biggest and best things that happened to me since my last blog post was the Baptism of my beautiful God-Daughter Selina Ariadne Flora and I'll be writing more about that event at a future date. I think it's only fair that I concentrate this blog post on the last challenge which was set almost a month ago. My lovely crafty friend Michele made a beautiful card from her scraps and (unlike me - more about it later) actually fulfilled both parts of the challenge and made a gorgeous double Z-fold card. Michele has sent lots of photos as requested so this blog post will be in two parts, the first part will be this one and features Michele's card and the second blog post will feature my cards and will be posted in 24 hours so you can fully appreciate Michele's card on this blog post.

Hasn't Michele done an amazing job? She's used some papers and toppers that came free from Making Cards magazine that she had left after making a Twist and Pop card (it's what inspired me to make my sunflower themed card a month ago).  I haven't been able to add all the photos she sent me as they've saved as PDF files instead of JPEGs and the server won't recognise them, I'm not tech savvy enough to do anything about it but I think the photos I have managed to add do the card justice. I adore the theme of the toppers and this would be a great card for a boy. I really love double Z fold cards because they fold up into a tiny space (depending on what size card you use) but have a lot of 'real estate' for toppers and sentiments. Michele has done a splendid job matching the papers to the toppers (something I struggle with if I'm honest) and even though she's used lots of different designs they look really good together and tie very nicely with the theme.

I hope you've enjoyed Michele's card, I will be back later with my challenge entry - I ended up making two cards in the end because I kind of forgot to make the card a 'fancy fold' and just concentrated on using my scraps lol. You'd think that as it was my idea to add the 'fancy fold' to the challenge that I'd actually remember to do it! *rolls eyes*.

Don't forget to come back later to see my creations and until next time - keep crafting!

Love and crafty hugs,

Sarah xxx

Sunday, 16 July 2017

A Most Challenging Challenge!

Hello crafty peeps and welcome to my crafty nook! I hope you all had a brilliant weekend - it's gone far to quickly for my liking. I should have added this blog post yesterday but both Michele and I had trouble making a card for the challenge. Luckily we both came up with something even if it is a day late. I'll share Michele's card first.

I really like this card especially the colour scheme which really pops. It must have taken Michele ages to fussy cut out all those sunflowers but it was well worth all the hard work. It's like a little box of sunshine 😎 Michele has made it as a birthday card but wouldn't it be great as a Get Well Soon card for someone in hospital especially as you can't take real flowers in anymore - this would be sure to cheer anyone up.

I was inspired by a card Michele made for her friend's birthday so decided to make a twist and pop card. I've been struggling with this card type for a while but finally cracked it after following a card school tutorial in Quick Cards Made Easy magazine - this is the second one I've made as my initial card is waiting to be embellished (I made it up and added mats and layers to it but haven't finished it completely, it's currently in my scraps folder).

The top folding card is 10.5cm x 14cm

The slide off belly band holds the card shut for posting

The twist 'n' pop mechanism unfolds as you open the card

When full opened, the four panels 'pop' out as shown

Matching envelope art coloured with Spectrum Noir Shimmer brush markers

I hope you like our latest challenge cards, I'm sorry there are so many of mine compared to Michele's that's just because I can take as many photos of my card as I want and Michele sends me photos of her via email so mine tend to outnumber hers.

Our next challenge starts today and will conclude on the 31st of this month and is a double challenge! The first part is to make a card using a fancy fold that we've either never tried before or have only made a few times- this is a good challenge if you've been struggling to 'nail' a certain fancy fold. For example I have a real problem making stepper panel cards (Michele very kindly sent me some ready made card blanks but I really need to get my head around making my own) so I might decide to make that sort of card (might not though I shall be looking on Youtube to check out new fancy folds). The second part of the challenge is to then decorate/embellish the card using things from your scraps - this basically means if you've already opened an item and used some of them then you can use more but I'm hoping that Michele and I (plus anyone who wants to join in just for fun) will make our own embellishments using what we have in our scrap folders - we can use basic supplies (inks, card, colouring mediums etc) plus any dies, punches or embossing folders we have in our stash and to add a sentiment we can use stamps or peel offs as long as we've used them for other projects - this can include diecut sentiments from kits or ones we've done and not used, I'm sure I'm not the only person to make a topper etc then 'take against it' and put it in my scrap pile rather than throwing it away! If you follow this challenge and want to take part please take a photo of your scraps before you begin the challenge so we can all see what you've worked from. Please leave a comment below with your email address or use the contact form in the sidebar to let me know if you'd like to join in. I'm afraid it's just for fun but if you email photos I will add them to the blog post on the 1st August. Plus how satisfying will it be to have that 'nailed it!' feeling and use up some of your scraps!

I hope you've enjoyed our challenging challenge, the Sunflower Dreams free gift is lovely but both Michele and I found it hard to come up with ideas to make with it so I'm not sure how often we'll use it in the future. As always if you have any questions or comments then please leave them in the usual places and until next time - keep crafting!

Love and crafty hugs,

Sarah xxxx