Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Spring is here - pass the news on to the weather!

Hello crafty peeps and welcome to my crafty nook! I hope you are all having a brilliant week, apparently today (20th) is the official first day of spring, unfortunately someone forgot to remind Mother Nature (she can't have been cc'd on the email! lol) and it still feels very wintery here on the Yorkshire coast.

There's going to be a bit of a delay in adding the cards for the March Blog Challenge because I think we're both having a bit of trouble getting our cards made. I'm afraid I have no real excuse apart from the card I originally had in mind as my Spring card has become a bit of a OCD (Obsessively Crafting Dilemma) and I can't stop making the same card - I've now made seven and they take a minimum of three hours per card to make! Each one is slightly different and very detailed, I don't want to hog the blog with loads of photos when it's a challenge so Michele and I both agree I should use it for a blog post on its own. Have I whet your appetite? Lol I'm such a card tease because I've actually got quite a few other cards which need showcasing so I'm not going to give anymore hints about it until I actually write the post! It's been quite a busy few weeks in terms of cards needed so I have lots to share with you today.

The first card I'd like to share is one that I made for my sister-in-law's partner's daughter, I actually missed her birthday (didn't know it and I've only met her once) by nearly a week by the time I got this card made and sent out and it was a real rush job. I knew she liked unicorns because one of her presents was a BaB unicorn (it has roller skates lol) and I had this pink one already stamped and fussy cut out so all I needed to do was make a suitable background out of rainbow distress inked clouds and a matching sentiment from the MFT stamp set (don't know if you recognise it but I won it in a FB giveaway many moons ago - I've not won anything in months *sobs quietly*)

My second card is a Mother's Day card for my mum-in-law, it was the first one I'd made using the gorgeous circle swing card dies that my lovely hubby treated me to for Valentine's Day #soblessed! I kept the design fairly simple as it was my first time using the dies and I wasn't sure how it would turn out.

My next card is a water-coloured Get Well card that I made for my best friend. He's not been very well and I wanted to send him a hug through the post, I thought this image was very cute but not too cute for a man especially teamed up with the striking black and white backing paper.

The final card that I'd like to share with you is another circle swing cards again made using the Crafter's Companion dies that my lovely husband got me for Valentine's Day. After making the plainer version for my mum-in-law, I decided to add the extra panels to make this stylish black and white Mother's Day card for my mum - she loves butterflies so I added a die cut butterfly on the flip side instead of a circle sentiment. I decorated the front and back with the flower design which looked great especially with the addition of some half backed pearls but it meant I didn't actually have anywhere to add my message so I ended up making a quick note card to write my message on instead.

I've still got quite a few cards to share but they can wait for another day as I've added lots of photos to this post already. I hope you've enjoyed looking at my latest (at least the ones done in the past month!) creations, I think I've been crafting too much to blog which is why it's been a while since my last post - I really need to blog more! If you have any comments or questions about these cards then please leave them in the usual places - I might not reply to every one but I love to read what you have to say and I appreciate you taking the time to both read this blog and comment on it. Hopefully I should have the challenge cards ready soon but if not I still have a shed load of cards to share *winks*. Until next time - keep crafting!

Love and crafty hugs,

Sarah xxx

Friday, 2 March 2018

March Blog Challenge

Hello crafty peeps and welcome to my crafty nook! I hope you've all had a good week and if you're affected by the bad weather, you are managing to keep warm and safe. I've only been out in it once on Monday when my husband and I went to babysit our nieces. The youngest two were fast asleep by the time we got there and didn't stir all evening. I enjoyed spending some quality time with my eldest niece on my husband's side of the family, admittedly she spent most of the time playing with her phone but she did give me a big hug when she went up to bed which was lovely. I did manage to catch a bit of a chill while we were out and my hubby did too so we are both feeling very sorry for ourselves at the moment lol.

Michele has set the challenge this month and it's a good one - we are challenged to make two cards this time using mostly magazine freebies and the theme is "seasonal". To reflect the weather here in the UK and the fact that it's still winter one should be a Christmas card (great for keeping on top of those Christmas cards that we'll need before you know it!) but she would like the other to be a lovely spring card - it's Mothering Sunday next weekend and Easter a few weeks after that so it would be great to see cards for those. We'd love it if you joined in, I'm afraid there's no prize for entering just the satisfaction of making two gorgeous cards using your existing supplies - I know a lot of us get almost as big a kick out of buying as we do creating crafty goodness so this is a chance to save some pennies by shopping our stash! Plus it's an opportunity to get some cards made that we might otherwise leave until the last minute like Christmas cards (I'm so guilty of that usually but I've already made 20 Christmas cards!) I'd really like to make Easter Cards for my family and friends who didn't get Christmas cards for the second or even third year running *hangs head in shame* so this challenge is perfect to inspire me to start making Easter cards. If you'd like to join in then email me your photos to and I can add them to the blog post once the closing date is reached - 16/03/18 which gives us two weeks to complete the challenge. Please include the supplies you used, your name and location (it's down to you how detailed that is, it could just be your country or you might like to say what town you live in) Please only include details that you are comfortable sharing online and feel free to use a nickname instead of your given name if that makes you feel more confident to share your creations. I'm happy to add links to blogs so you can increase traffic  but I will only link craft blogs as this is a craft challenge.

I hope you are all as excited as I am about the challenge Michele has set us - it's going to be a lot of fun making a frosty Christmas card and a lovely bright spring card - it's the perfect reminder that although there's snow on the ground and it's freezing cold, spring is just around the corner patiently waiting her turn.

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

Love and crafty hugs,

Sarah xxx

Monday, 26 February 2018

FINALLY!!! Blog Challenge Cards

Hello crafty peeps and welcome to my crafty nook. I hope you have all had a brilliant weekend, we are bracing ourselves here in the UK for a spot of nasty weather with freezing conditions and even lightening storms forecast in the coming week, there's a possibility that it may last until the middle of March which isn't good news. If it is as bad as predicted then I may not be blogging as often because I'll probably invite my mum to stay with us. Our flat is a lot easier to heat (hers doesn't even have central heating just ineffective wall panel heaters that are designed to heat unused rooms to prevent pipes from bursting!) even if it's not in town like hers is (making shopping challenging - thank goodness for being on a bus route AND internet shopping!). If she does stay over she'll be taking over the lounge as we don't have a spare room but the put you up bed is comfy enough and we have spare bedding etc, the downside of it is that the computer is in the lounge and I like to write blogs etc late at night and my mum likes to go to bed early so unless I change my writing habits I'm not going to be able to add blogs like usual. Of course she may choose to stay at home so it might not even be an issue - watch this space!

Let me apologise to all my readers and especially to my fellow blog challenger Michele for the delay in getting this blog post up. Michele sent me photos of her gorgeous cards more than two weeks ago and it is totally down to me that they've not been shared before now. There were some extenuating circumstances (losing my mojo, then one of the finished cards, running out of batteries then getting new ones not realising that re-chargeable ones need to be charged before first use lol) but I should still be more organised when it comes to crafting (and most other aspects of my life really). Anyway we'll start with Michele's gorgeous creations.

Michele's first card is the CASE card and is copied from the one on page 67 of the magazine.

Isn't it lovely? Her second card is her non-CASE card and is a very sweet Christmas card.

I love the way Michele has managed to turn a very floral embossed image into a frosty Christmas design while still retaining the wreath elements. I absolutely love the silver snowflakes - very apt considering the forecast and a great addition to a card that would be perfect for batch making (you could use different colours for the embossed panel - white would look stunning especially if it was a shimmery white cardstock such as Centura Pearl hint of silver).

Here are my two cards - my CASE card is more an inspired by than a true CASE card as I wanted to make it into an easel card and I didn't have some of the components needed such as the scalloped circle die cut and the same card stock colour.

My inspiration

As you can see, the butterfly, flowers and placement on the embossed image are the same as the inspiration card but I used Core'dination card in green and sanded the embossed image back using some sandpaper. The flowers, leaves and butterfly were diecut out in white then coloured in using Promarkers. The easel card was made by folding a piece of white card in half and placing it on a Bigz circle die with the folded edge slightly below the cutting area so it didn't cut through both layers at the top. It makes an imperfect circle but as another circle of the same size was layered on top, you can't tell. The easel part was made in the usual way.

As soon as I saw this magazine freebie I knew I wanted to make a non-floral card with it. One of the things I dislike about the freebies you get with craft magazines is that they often lack originality - around half of them are floral, a quarter are Christmas and the remaining quarter cover everything else like men's cards and kids. I'm not actually a huge fan of florals as I like to make cards that reflect the recipient's personality (hobbies, favourite colours, animals etc) and flower cards seem a bit generic in my mind. Stars are gender neutral so a bit of a favourite for men's cards if I'm unsure of their likes or if I don't have anything suitable that they would like (for example it was my brother-in-law's birthday on Friday and he likes penguins and tartan - both are Christmas items and I couldn't get what I had in my stash to work on a birthday card so I made him a card with a starry background and a spaceman with a die cut star on the sentiment). This card was a good way to use up some of my scraps too as I die cut a lot of various sized stars to cover the floral elements of the embossed wreath. The wreath was embossed into some navy blue Core'dinations card and lightly sanded to highlight the wreath. The stars were die cut out of scraps of holographic card and the tiny stars were punched out of rainbow holographic card - in that case I used the perforated strip from the top of a 6" x 6" card piece taken from a paper stack (The Works, sadly no longer available as it was only £1.50 for 24 sheets of foiled card stock including the rainbow holographic card, I really wish I'd bought loads of them now!) I stuck the stars over the floral elements of the wreath as shown and added some of them with foam squares for added interest and also a scattering of the tiny stars on the unembossed areas. The sentiment was from my stash and heat embossed directly onto the topper piece.  It says reach for the stars but isn't very clear as I don't own any fine detail embossing powder. I made matching envelopes for both my cards using my envelope punch board by WRMK.

I hope you like Michele and I's cards - it was a really interesting challenge as neither of us CASE cards very often and I love the way we both chose to make non-floral cards for our second cards. I'm not sure what our next challenge will be - I think I might 'challenge' Michele to come up with a theme. Once it's been set, I will share it on here. 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

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Birthday Cards

Hello crafty peeps and welcome to my crafty nook! I hope you are all well and looking forward to the weekend, I'm sorry I've not posted the Blog challenge cards but my camera turned out to be a battery eater as I suspected and I've only got some new AAA batteries today! I haven't had time to put them in my camera yet but hope to have the cards up over the weekend (mind you I said that last week!!!)

There's been a couple of family birthdays in the last week or so so I thought I'd share one of the cards I made with you today. This card is an extra special card for my dad-in-law who recently turned 65. He's a keen photographer so I decided to make him a pop up polaroid card inspired by one I saw featured in the questions pages of a craft magazine. Because the main focus should be on the inside, I kept the outside panel simple using an embossing folder by Sara Davies.

I used thin washi tape for the three coloured stripes on the camera, matt silver card for the main part of the camera, silver mirror card for the metallic elements such as the flash and the view finder, black glitter card for the lens, flash, view finder and button, red foil card for the heart and black card for the pop up part of the camera. The polaroid photo was made with a piece of black card matted onto a piece of white like a polaroid picture. I stamped out the greeting in white ink and heat embossed it with white embossing powder (I used my anti static bag first to prevent stray powder sticking to the card in other places). I've actually made a second card in this style because it was so much fun (though rather time consuming) to make and I'll be sharing it along with some instructions on how to make this impressive card at a later date.

I was hoping to share a card I made for my niece but unless it's on my camera (which needs new batteries) I must have forgotten to take any photos of  it and I can't even remember what it was like lol.

Hopefully this card is enough for now, 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

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Love, Love, Love...

Hello crafty peeps and welcome to my crafty nook! I hope you all had a lovely Valentine's Day - we had a rather quiet day just spent together, we did have a takeaway but that was more down to the fact I forgot to take the steaks I'd got out of the freezer and by the time I realised it was too late to have them on the day - still they made a lovely day after Valentine's day meal.

I can finally share the finished card that I made for my lovely husband and a couple of other cards I've been making.

This card was inspired by the Taffleberry Lane '5 Cards in 5 Minutes' YT video I watched earlier this month - it inspired me so much that I made the love hearts topper straight away and I've shared that in an earlier post. This card features the topper but attached at the top so that the 'bottom' can wiggle. Here is a link to a tutorial by Taffleberry Lane with a step by step guide to how to make this card and another sexy underwear card.  Antonia (AKA Taffleberry Lane) has done a brilliant tutorial and there is little point me repeating it on here though I did use larger heart dies for my wiggly bottom and I also added an additional flesh coloured heart (tan and putty promarkers were used to colour all the flesh coloured pieces) to the top of the bodice and the peephole to the inside of my version is a scalloped circle instead of an oval but that's only because I've only got small oval dies. I chose to give my legs black stockings instead of fishnets mainly because my first attempt at drawing fishnets was terrible and my tan and putty promarkers are on their last legs (lol)and I didn't want to have to start all over again as I'd already stuck the flesh piece to the bodice piece prior to drawing in the stockings. The "Perfect Husband" die is from Tonic Studios, the "Happy Valentine's Day" stamp was one from the Crafter's Companion Sentimentals 'Love' themed set of stamps and the large 'with Love' was a wood mounted stamp from The Works. The hearts were made using a small heart die from my stash and were coloured with red promarkers and coated with a layer of Glossy Accents. The glittery dots heart was die cut using DCWV glitter card stock as was the glitter black card elements, the silver word die cut was made using some scrap silver foil paper which I think came from The Works - all the red foil hearts came from my scraps. The top and bottom decorative pieces on the front of the card were made using a CC die set that came free with one of my magazines.

I wanted to send my mum a Valentine's card this year through the post because she doesn't get a lot of post and I thought it would make her smile. This isn't the exact card as hers had a white panel instead of a black one. This card uses the inlaid die cutting technique which is something I've not really tried before. It is quite time consuming because to make this card I had to die cut the heart die five times. Twice on the black card, once in red foil, once in white card and finally once out of holographic silver card. I heat embossed the Be My Valentine sentiment using Wow white embossing powder and a sentiment from the Love set used earlier.

The last card I'd like to share is a Get Well Card I sent to my sister. She had a couple of procedures at hospital last Thursday and I made her a cheery card to send, it took a crazy amount of time to get to her (I posted it on Thursday afternoon and she didn't get it until Wednesday! We share part of a  postcode so it's very vexing that it's taken nearly a week to travel 20 miles or so!)

The circle die came through the post from eBay the day I was making her card so I thought I'd test it out on the GWS card. I die cut it out of a white panel of card then ran it through a second time inside an embossing folder (one of the Sara Signature For the Men range) I added some colour on another piece of card cut to fit under the die cut circles so they showed through when stuck to the back of the front piece. I added a Get Well Soon sentiment using a stamp from my stash and added the panel to a card blank. I stamped another sentiment inside and added two paper plasters either side as shown.

I hope you like my latest creations and that you'll take some time to watch Taffleberry Lane's excellent YouTube video, better still subscribe to her channel - she's very funny and hugely talented and even if you're not really a crafter, her videos will make you laugh out loud (not all are funny but look out for the photo bombing bears or the thieving racoons!). I'm hoping to share the blog challenge card over the weekend, Michele has make a couple of stunning cards as always and I've nearly completed my cards too - apologies for being late again it's been a weird couple of weeks and I've not always felt like crafting. As always if you have any comments or questions then please leave them in the usual places and until next time - keep crafting!

Love and crafty hugs,

Sarah xxx