Monday, 29 January 2007

Playing with texture.

I've got myself all out of kilter with being off colour these last few days. I went to bed at 10 this morning and got up at about 5pm still feeling rubbish but as the evening has gone on I have felt better and better........just in time for going in to work tomorrow. Wouldn't you just know!!!
Despite that though I have spent this evening playing with some ideas for adding texture to card using adhesives and embossing powders. I expect most experienced stampers have done the Bondaweb background technique but I have gone back to it as it is one of my favourites and so easy that it may encourage learners to have a go at something a bit different.
I have also been experimenting with the blue glue that dries clear but remains tacky. I have a jar full of this because me and the pens that contain the glue just do not get on at all. Either the nib clogs up and refuses to be cleaned or it develops a flood and I end up with glue everywhere. I usually cut the top from the pen and pour the glue into a small jar intending to use it but I always forget it is there....until today:-)
With the glue I have been using a green kitchen scrubber as an applicator and have been very pleased with the here's what I did today. Starting at the top left is a lovely chocolate brown card textured with Bondaweb and Verdigris embossing powder. Next to it is the same card but this time I have applied the blue glue with a piece of the green kitchen scrubber which I attached to an old wooden stamp block with DS Tape. I let it dry before adding the embossing powder as I didn't want the wet glue bubbling up and spoiling the effect.
Next down on the left is burgundy card with a blue glue application and a Garnet Pearlustre embossing powder which gives a beautifully rich matt and gloss effect.
To the right of that is again the blue glue application onto gold pearlised card but this time instead of embossing powder I have dabbed over the tacky glue with transfer foil in blue and green. This gives a lovely raised foil effect that surprisingly is quite subtle.
Third row down to the left is gold embossing powder over blue glue on gold pearlised card. It looks so much nicer in real life than in the scan as it looks as if the shinier gold has worn away to reveal the duller gold underneath.
Finally we have a two tone Moonglow powder over blue glue on gold pearlised card.This again gives a quite worn effect but I did find it best to apply these powders over the Bondaweb for stronger colour.
The dragon card has used the Bondaweb
technique as follows.
Decide on the size you would like your finished background to be and cut a piece of card to that size. Here I used gold pearlised card.
Cut a piece of Bondaweb just slightly bigger than the piece of card to allow for shrinkage.
Place the piece of card inside a shallow baking tin. Remove the backing paper from the Bondaweb and and place the clear sheet of adhesive over the card.
Take a heat gun and start to heat the Bondaweb which will go clear and shiny. Allow the heat to create bubbles and keep the heat gun on them until they burst.
Once the Bondaweb is adhered to the card start to add embossing powder and melt with the heat gun. I put my EP into a shallow dish and sprinkle it on with my fingers rather than tipping a pile onto the card and this way you can control the effect better.
Once you are happy with the effect, turn off the heat gun and allow the piece to cool on the tray.
Any stray Bodaweb can be carefully trimmed from the sides with scissors.
You can now use this as a stunning background for any of your stamped images.
For the dragon sample I used-:
Moonglow EP in Holly Berry Red Gold
Chinese script paper is by Crafthouse Press
Dragon Stamp by TandaStamps
The dragon has been stamped and embossed and then coloured with a green glitter gel pen and a blue metallic gel pen which I then embossed with clear powder.......heating carefully so that I didn't spoil the first embossing.......this gives a beautiful enamelled look. If you have a go at these techniques I would love to see your point me in the direction of your blog or website and I will drop by to see you.......Have fun..........Sheila-x-

Stamping Day.......Hurray!!!

Well the monster was still in residence when I got up this morning but I think I sussed out that it is a migraine that just won't come out and declare itself properly. I have all the symptoms and do remember some visual disturbance yesterday although not the aura I usually get which is like a brightly coloured circular saw whizzing around in my right eye.I should be back to normal tomorrow I hope.
I can't be doing with lying about and moping when I'm not feeling up to scratch so I have had a very gentle day of stamping today joining in with a stamping challenge on Crafts by Carolyn.
The challenge was to use a stamp, ribbon and one other type of embellishment and I managed to do four cards for that......all very simple but sometimes it's nice to go back to basics.

I also did a copy of the card I did for the template challenge and changed the original photo I used for a stamp which I had totally forgotten I had. It's a Crafty Individuals stamp which I bought last March when I was demoing at Harrogate. I put it away and the poor thing has never seen light of day until now.
The papers are DCWV and 7 Gypsies
Using the stamp made me go back and have a look at their website and I came away with a wish list as long as me arm. There are some beautiful stamps on there and a fab gallery for inspiration. I saw some of the artwork in the flesh last March and it's the kind of stuff that gives you goosebumps, it's so beautiful.
Well I guess I had better put the stamping stuff away and concentrate on getting the Valentine cards ready to go to the local shop......that awful insert and packing job again.
Hope you all had a fab weekend.

Sunday, 28 January 2007

Baaaaaaaaad Day!!!

For some unknown reason I woke up in a very bad mood today. Now this is not at all like me as anyone who knows me would tell you. If I drank I could blame it on a hangover but the nearest I ever go to anything alcoholic is a snowball on Christmas Day.........I think the effects of that will have worn off now though. It must have been bad because I love music and have my CD player on constantly but everything I put on today just grated on my nerves............even my beloved REM which was a bit of a shock.

So I remain puzzled and my poor family have escaped up to their rooms away from the monster that has replaced their usually cheerful wife/mother.

Hope it's gone by the time I wake up tomorrow..........I don't like it:0(

I made two cards today which is not good going for me as I usually do four or five new designs a day either for the shop where I sell my cards or for workshops at the shop where I teach. Out of the two one ended up in the bin. The other I used for the Template 17 Challenge over at Crafts by Carolyn.

So I have had to go back to my portfolio of older designs. I did find some though that would be quite fitting for the Metal Challenge for Daring Cardmakers. They use a metallic medium rather than an embellishment.

I have used Perfect Pearls on both of these cards but in two different ways. I love the look of them just brushed in their dry form over Versamark stamped images so that is how I used them on the first card.
The background was stamped and pearled and then allowed to set before overstamping with the phrase stamp and pearling in a different colour. I mounted it onto silver card before attaching to the card blank with foam pads.
The gorgeous face stamp has then been stamped and pearled in three different colours, mounted onto silver card and then arranged along the bottom of the background piece.
I did want to do something as a background on the card but I remember that nothing looked quite right so I just settled for the Perfect Pearls having the spotlight.

The second card has always been one of my most favourite of all the workshop cards I have designed.

I started off by masking off about an inch at the top of the card. The hearts from a set of Non Sequitur stamps was then stamped in black Stazon.

At the bottom I masked off about one and a half inches and stamped a text stamp from the same set.

The red inking was done with the masks in place using cotton wool to pick up the colour from the ink pad. I left the middle uninked to give the card a sort of a glow as on my practice card I inked it completely and it looked rather flat and boring.

The collage stamp from Hampton Art was stamped onto glossy card and ink was rubbed on again using cotton wool.

The embellishments used are a layered Quickutz heart with a peeloff swirl in gold, red tea rose heads and gold thread.

The Valentine message was created on the computer and embellished with a gold paper heart.

For an extra touch of glitz I decanted some pump action hairspray into a spray bottle and added gold Perfect Pearls, shook it up really well to mix and then sprayed over the whole of the card.

I'm not sure the scanner picks it up very well which is something I am finding with most metallic things.

When funds allow I will definitely be getting a Digital Camera...........any hints and tips on the best one to buy on a limited budget would be very welcome.

Well I think I will go and mess up my newly organised stamps and see if I can chase the monster away. A good stamping session should be just the ticket I think and hopefully I will have something new to share with you tomorrow.

Bye for now then


Friday, 26 January 2007

Whooooo.......I Dared again!!!

Had to have another go at a Daring Cardmakers challenge.......especially as this week the theme is Heavy Metal. I love metal as an element in cardmaking and I knew I had some real copper sheeting somewhere. I actually managed to find it and here are the results..................I rather liked the Wednesday Stamper challenge called Timepiece so I have sort of combined the two challenges into one.
Paper is BG if anybody wouldn't know!!! Background image stamps are from Stampington and alphabets are....large not totally sure....sorry and the small are PSX.Pocket watch is cut from the real copper sheet using a Wizard die and I have grunged it slightly with a Timber Brown Stazon ink pad.The wings are German Scaps from Paper Artsy grunged with a Saddle Brown and Timber Brown ink pad.A little more metal has been added with brads.
Second card is made using artwork from an online club I belong to. The grapes around the bottle neck are cut from thick metallic card and are attached to wire. I have also used brads.
Thanks Saffa for a fab challenge.

I love Blog time!!!

.........and why do I love Blog time? Well it means that everybody is either in bed or at work and the dog doesn't want to keep going out every five minutes so I get a bit of peace and quiet.........bliss!!!

Had a pretty quiet day at the shop today so I managed to make some sample cards up with some sheets of peeloffs that we seem to have rather a lot of and some paper that we also seem to have quite a bit of.

Sometimes all it takes is a made up sample to start a line moving that either hasn't sold particularly well or needs a little airing to remind people that we still have it.

I could have done with a lie down and a cold cloth on my head after using peeloffs, flowery paper and glitter all!!!

I was really touched by the lovely comments people left about the card I made for the Daring Cardmakers challenge. I really wasn't sure about it when I posted it and was a little bit nervous. So thanks very much to everyone who left a comment.

I have been very good today and turned down an offer by my DD to take me crafty shopping tomorrow. I'm still trying to wade through all this paper and stuff I have in a vain attempt to streamline my work area so I was strong and said no I would have a day at home working. She is still going out so I might get her to pick a magazine up for me so I can have five minutes with my feet up tomorrow evening.

Not had time for any stamping tonight as I have had a couple of orders to do so the card I am posting today is one I had forgotten about to be honest. It was in my portfolio which I haven't had out for ages.

The background paper was printed on my computer. I just typed New York, London and Paris over and over and printed off on copier paper.

I used a set of circle stamps by Hero Arts and Vivid inks in Turquoise and Orchid to do the over stamping.

The tag is stamped using black Stazon and a large background stamp of circles by Just For Fun. I then coloured with the Orchid ink pad, let that dry and then bleached out the colour from the small circles.

I stamped the face onto white card and then coloured with the Turquoise ink pad and after letting that dry I carefully bleached out the colour inside the eyes. This was then mounted onto black card.

The flower was punched from pink paper and jewel added to the centre.

The alphabet I used to stamp the words is a Retro lower and numbers set from My Sentiments Exactly.

Well it's a bit early for me but I think I am going to have to go and lay myself horizontal for a couple of hours and get some sleep........have to have a cuppa first though........can't go to sleep without a nice warm cup of tea inside me.

Happy stamping


Wednesday, 24 January 2007

Through the window

Today I plucked up the courage to have a go at one of the Daring Cardmakers challenges.
Having seen the standard of work on there it was fairly daunting.
Anyway I jumped in with both feet and this is what I came out with.
Papers are MM Boho Chic-Lauren.
I doodled over the striped paper and added dot and dash lines to the blue and pink papers.
The title is hand written.
Flower stamp is from a See D set and the face stamp is from a set called Collageabilities which I bought from Joanna Sheen when I saw her at a show. It did used to be on the website but haven't seen it there for a while. I think the manufacturer is Sunday International.
All stamping has been done in black Versafine ink.
The dress is a punch by Woodware and this size is the largest. The aperture is 3x3 so that will give you a little idea of the size. Punched once in black card and once in the Boho paper which has then been trimmed back to create an overskirt. The swirl is doodled on by hand.
Thanks for that challenge girls. I don't usually do anything with aperture cards so it made a change and gave me a few ideas for future cards too.

Gallery Card and City Girl

Hoooo it's been cold here today. I don't think I have been warm all day up until now and that's only because I have two three bar halogen heaters on the go. We had a little flurry of snow earlier but then it turned to rain. More is forecast for tomorrow but I won't get too excited as I don't expect I shall be donning my wellies and making a snowman.
Despite being cold I have had a lovely evening playing. It started off with me trying to sort out the drawer set where I store all my experiments. Techniques I have seen somewhere and just had to try but haven't actually made into anything yet. Doing that I came up with the idea of putting a few of the techniques together onto one card and making a sort of gallery.
I arranged a few pieces onto a layer of black but decided it needed to have a background. I had been meaning to try fluid chalk inks on dark card for a while so I have started simply by stamping all of the background elements in Alabaster using a variety of stamps. The ink took better on some parts of the card than others but I quite liked the faded, ghostly look so decided to go with it.
Starting with the two pieces at bottom left and top right. This technique is one of my most favourites..........Stazon inks and Isopropyl alcohol on silver mirror card. Slightly difficult to scan being on mirror card but I think you can just about make it out. I decanted some of the alcohol into a misting bottle then starting with a Mustard Stazon I dabbed the pad all over a small piece of mirror card, spritzed with the alcohol and then dried with a heat gun. Next I used Olive Green stazon all over, spritzed again and dried. Then depending on the depth of colour you want just keep adding the inks, spritzing and drying until you are happy with it.
If you hold the heat gun away from the piece you get a smooth finish. Closer and the draught from the gun blows the ink around, creating some wonderful patterns.
Also if you work on a piece of card the size you want for your finished piece you retain the lovely crustiness that gathers around the edges of the card as the ink is moved about.
Once the inks are fully dried I buff with a piece of tissue just to make sure that there are no damp spots then I tend to stamp using a Memories black ink pad which stays wet long enough to emboss or a Versafine Onyx Black.
The piece to the left of the centrepiece is stamping onto fun foam. I heated the foam and pressed the Florentine stamp into the warm surface applying quite heavy pressure to make sure I got a good impression. I trimmd the image and then applied Versamark to the surface followed by the green from the new Patina Perfect Pearls. Allowed it to set and then edged the piece with a Krylon pen.
You could also colour using the Rub On Waxes.
The Jigsaw is another one done with the dipping into water spritzed ink which I talked about earlier in the week.
The heart is gold pearl card just grunged with a Saddle Brown Stazon pad.
The key is the Stazon and Isopropyl technique but this time done onto cream pearl card.
The large and small circles are ink and alcohol again........just different colours.
The centrepiece is a 3 x 3 piece of card to which I have applied a texturing paste. Too impatient to wait for the hours I was supposed to leave it to dry........I dried it with a heat gun and got a lovely crusty finish which I coloured with Adirondack inks.
The overstamping is done in black Stazon.
I have more bottles of acylic paint than I care to count. Leftovers from when I used to cut wooden shapes and paint them. It seemed a shame to get rid of them so being inspired one day after reading a piece by Trish Bayley on her website. I decided to get my paints out and create some backgrounds.
I used some textured off white card and just brushed the colours on, let them dry and then dry brushed over the top.
The background images were stamped in black Stazon.
The main image I stamped in black Versafine and embossed with clear EP. Added the colour with Adirondack pens and then embossed again with the clear EP.
I really enjoyed creating these cards and hope you enjoy seeing them.
Thanks for visiting
Night night-x-

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Do not read if you are of a nervous disposition...this post contains references to h********k!!!

Oh I have been such a grumpy guts today. I've had no time for stamping at all as I have had to catch up on some housework.....well it was either that or spray the cobwebs gold and pretend we'd left the Christmas decorations!!!

Funnily enough I did find a tree bauble under the sofa when I pulled it out.........oh yes we are talking extreme housewifey stuff here.

I always manage to damage myself in one way or another when I'm cleaning or cooking and today was no exception. I have a nasty bruise at the top of my leg, although I can't remember doing anything to cause it, a blister on my finger from cutting mountains of veg for the soup I made for tea and a sore eyes from cutting up onions...........they were very, very strong.They even made DH's eyes water and he was sitting in the lounge.

So I am having to go back to some old favourites again to share with you today. Hopefully I will get time to make some cards at the shop tomorrow . I have a class in the morning and as far as I know my afternoon is free.

The Crystal Keeper is another wonderful TandaStamps image from one of the Fantasy sets.

I found the background paper in my stash, coloured it with chalks and then added a glittery finish by applying Versamark all over the surface and then embossing with a Crystal EP from Stamp'n'Stuff.
The image has been stamped in Stazon and then painted with H20's.
I did a few images and a bit of decoupaging to get some depth to the finished piece and finished it off with silver thread and a crystal brad.

Mona is one of my Tim Holtz stamps. I have quite a few but this is about the only finished piece I have ever done with them. I really need 48 hour days!!!

Very simply stamped onto glossy card. I then masked areas off and stamped with various stamps around the edges all using black Stazon.
I then masked again and added different colours to the sections created by the stamps. I used my favourite Adirondack inks for that.
I then beaded some of the patterned stamped areas, adding seed beads with a tiny dot of Glossy Accents. Mona's crown is cut from a strip of German Scraps by Paper Artsy.

Right well I am sleeping on the sofa tonight as I don't want to disturb DH.......or should I say I was but there is a mahoosive spider meandering around the lounge ceiling so I think I am going to pass on sleep tonight and do some prep work........cutting card blanks and paper for inserts etc.
Bye bye:-)

Sunday, 21 January 2007

As promised!!!

Well as promised I have done some stamping today...........not as much as I had hoped but I managed one card.
So starting with the black background which is just a large square card stamped with Versamark and dusted with the Perfect Gold, Perfect Pearls powder. I've let it set and then gently buffed it with a piece of tissue. The ribbon is tied around the card and then the ends have been secured with a tiny piece of DS Tape......just for a different look from loose ends.
The extra large tag is a Sizzix diecut and I have used a Wax Resist technique to get the pattern in the background but with a slightly different twist. The original card was a very dark green mottled effect and I had found, when doing other techniques, that it bleached to this beautiful turquoise. So I took a piece of waxed paper and screwed it up into a tiny ball to get loads of creases into it and then flattened it out and placed it over the tag. I then used a warm iron over the paper which melts the wax into the card and leaves the pattern of the creases. I did find the results were better if you didn't use an ironing motion. Just hold the iron in one place and then move to the next.
The next step is to take a paint brush and paint all over the tag with bleach. The waxed areas will stay a darker colour and you end up with a beautiful subtle pattern/texture.
The main image has been stamped straight onto the tag up towards the top and has been coloured using Adirondack ink pads in Cranberry and Lettuce. The Florentine stamp has been stamped across the bottom in Stazon-Teal Blue and has then been outlined in gold gel pen.
I stamped another image onto spare card and cut off the brim of the hat to decoupage over the feathers I had applied, although I only glued it rather than putting foam pads behind it.The tiny brooch on the front of the hat is just a sliver of gold card with a 3mm hole punch circle stuck in the centre. I coloured the circle, once stuck down, with the handle of a paintbrush which had been dabbed onto the Teal ink pad and then added a spot of glossy accents to make it look like a jewel.
The lettering took longer to do than the whole of the rest of the card put together. The letters are cut using the Ellison Extended Cuts Neon Alphabet which are sooooooo tiny but I think the effect is well worth the effort. I applied DS Tape to the back of the gold card before cutting. Once cut out and applied I went around the letters with a very fine black pen to give them a little depth. After I had done it I realised that it looks just like it's been done with a gold lining paste that you would use for glass painting so I was rather pleased with that.
Well I hope you like it. I'm off for a coffee now before I start on anything else and I must polish my wellies ready for this snow we are supposed to be getting........I love snow.
Hope you all had a fab Sunday.
Bye for now:-)

More favourites.

I'm having to share a couple of old favourites with you today as I had a bit of a panic on yesterday and didn't get any stamping done at all.
I lost something quite important and had to spend a couple of hours searching for it. It did eventually turn up......behind the printer but it scared me so much that I spent the rest of the day tidying and sorting . I have promised myself that I will in future keep everything in it's place and leave my desk tidy after every session.

So the cards I am sharing with you today are done with another of my favourite ranges of stamps.........Paper Artsy. I love to alter papers cos let's face it if you have it then so do thousands of other crafters. I use Adirondack ink pads and apply colour with a cotton wool ball which I find smudges the colour out nicely.

For the green travel card I used K & Co map paper and the colours are from the Mountain Lake ink pad which I also used for the background of the stamped image, applying the colour to glossy card with my cotton wool. The teeny tags are a Quickutz die again coloured with the same inks but this time on a more porous card. They have been attached with tiny brads. The three slots at the top and bottom stem from a childhood fascination with bus tickets being clipped. I always wanted a ticket machine and one of those little clippers. Mine are done with a Fiskars ribbon slot punch.

The 'journey' card is more altered paper. I used a script paper and overstamped it with the elephant stamp. More colouring with Adirondack ink pads and for the embellishments a Prima Flower and metal letter 't' from a Papermania set.

My favourite large stamp from the Paper Artsy range is this fabulous lady on the plaid background. I have stamped her onto a page from an old book which I rescued from a second hand bookshop. The lace is also a Paper Artsy stamp........Doesn't it just look so realistic.
Apologies then for not having anything brand new to show you today. I promise to work me little socks off for the rest of the day so I have something new to share tomorrow.
Bye for now

Saturday, 20 January 2007

Now I know I am mad!!!

At Christmas I received a parcel in a Pass The Parcel swap on Crafts By Carolyn. The parcel was tied with the most gorgeous length of fibre in orange, lime, purple and red which I carefully saved to do something with. Well that length of fibre along with a Color Box ink pad which I found lurking at the back of the drawer have been the total inspiration for this card.
So much inspiration in fact that I sat up until 6am to finish it.......totally barking!!!

The background then has been stamped using a Magenta stamp......I don't know it's name, I just called it my Florentine stamp. The ink colours are from an eight colour Colour Box Fluid Chalk inkpad-Primary Pastels and I used Lime Pastel, Tangerine, Lipstick Red and Wisteria to stamp the Florentine stamp and create a border. I then took a soft brush and applied soft brown dry chalk to tone down the ink colour slightly and then added a gold edging to the stamped images with a gold gel pen.

The jigsaw piece and the small square background were from my experiments drawer and I couldn't believe how well they went with this project. The technique I used to colour them was very simple.

Take a plastic file pocket and dab over it with some dye ink pads in various colours. Spritz with water and then drag and dab your piece of card of jigsaw piece into the ink until the whole piece is coloured. While still wet spray with a metallic spray such as a Moonglow Spray or one of the Sticky Fingers sprays. Doing this helps the metallic spray to blend rather than settle in harsh spots and gives the most glorious depth of colour. When doing this technique I will keep spritzing the ink with water and dragging and dipping until all the ink is used and as you do this the pieces will get lighter and lighter until you get a piece like the square background piece which is dipped into the same inks as the jigsaw piece. Allow these pieces to dry thoroughly before stamping onto them. I used the face from TandaStamps Retro Women Set 2 and stamped in black Versafine. The gold edging is Krylon pen.

To finish the card I layered the square background onto a piece of dark brown card and edged that with gold Krylon leaving a little of the brown card showing. The fibre was then wrapped around the card and the lock and key were added. The lock is from a Wizard die and the key is a Quickutz die.

The small metal letters are from Making Memories and were attached using Glossy Accents by Ranger. The jigsaw piece was attached with double side tape.

Friday, 19 January 2007

Did I blink and miss today?

Well I suppose it doesn't help matters that I didn't go to bed until 7am and then slept until 11.30am.....of course the day is half over then (insert emoticon rolling it's eyes). Anyway the result of not going to bed until 7am was a slightly tidier workroom. The appearance of acres of white worktop had me just about traumatised with the shock of it. I haven't seen that much space since about mid October last year when I got back from demoing in Devon and actually put all my stuff away and cleaned up. I don't suppose it will stay like that for long.
I've started getting enquiries now about demo's. Devon again in May and October and have also had an enquiry from a lady about doing a private class for her and a group of friends at her house. Haven't done that before so that could be interesting. At least I shall get some use out of my fabulous trolley and matching shoulder bag that I picked up at Craft Central when they had the vouchers in their magazine. I usually pack everything up into a banana box from the supermarket......How stylish is that?.................Not!!!

DS is back from his week in Manchester. Had a lovely peaceful week but now it's back to bedlam. Don't get me wrong, he is a fab fella but tends to cause mayhem and disruption when he is in the house. You want a bath........he's had all the hot water and left a trail of wet towels from the bathroom to his room. You want a cold drink......he's had the last can. He eats like a pig and can half empty a jar of mayo on one sandwich. When he eats he will get his own stuff but then you will find enough pots to have cooked a banquet and again you'll find them anywhere from the kitchen to his bedroom..........and don't even get me started about his laundry or the fact that you need innoculations before you enter the pit he calls his bedroom. Drives me bloomin' nuts he does but I don't half love him.

DD is on cloud nine today. The Post Office where I sell my cards let her put some of her beady stuff in.....bookmarks and mobile charms etc.......when she went down today to restock the stands she had sold four pieces and came back with a grin like a Cheshire cat....bless her. I'd done really well with my cards too. I've been selling there now for nearly five years and every year is better than the last so let's hope it carries on that way.

I managed to make a copy of the card I did at the shop yesterday for workshops. I have tweaked it a bit to make it a little easier to do in classes.
The card size is A5 trimmed down to five inches wide and the stepped effect has been done by taking a ruler and a pencil and marking at a half inch and one inch from each side. Use the ruler to draw faint pencil lines from top to bottom and then mark the same at top and bottom and again draw faint lines. You will have four squares in each corner of the card and you will need to remove the top three to get the tiered look. After doing this in several classes I now keep the card closed and cut through both layers for the shaped effect.
It looks like there are lots of layers but that effect has been done with narrow strips of paper and silver peeloff lines. So following the card size above you will need 1 strip of 8.5inches and four strips of 0.75inches.
The spotted paper is 7 Gypsies and the stamped image is from the new Retro Women Set 1 by TandaStamps.............I love them!!! My scanner is pants so I really must treat myself to a digital camera to take pics of my cards.....they lose so much having to be scanned laying flat plus it tends to bleach the colour out of some of them.

Well I shall be off to see if DS has left any hot water and dry towels for a bath and then I will be back to do a bit more work as I need to make some girly 18 and 21 cards for the PO and some more workshop cards.

Sleep tight peeps:-)

Thursday, 18 January 2007

What a not so fabby day!!!

I hope everyone is OK after the dreadful storms today. It started here at about 2.30am and by the time I went out to work at 9.30pm it was absolutely raging and driving along the lanes to work was like driving across a causeway in parts. The fields were so badly flooded. Luckily there were no trees down to cause any obstructions.

I had thought that I would get the whole day making workshop cards but amazingly we had our busiest day of the week so far and all I got done was one card. I forgot to bring it home to scan so I am going to make it again tomorrow.

I've been after a small alphabet die set for quite a while and couldn't make up my mind which one I wanted. Well today I was lucky enough to pick up not one but two. I got the Quickutz Frankie Skinny Mini with upper, lower and numbers plus the Quickutz Maggie lowers all for the bargainous price of thirty quid.........yes for the lot!!! So I was well chuffed with that I was I can tell you.

Also had a rep in today who left some freebie stuff and my boss shared it with me which I thought was so lovely. So I came away with an ATD accordian book in a scrummy pumpkin orange colour........they call it bright orange but it's not it's a lovely muted orange. I also got half of the papers from an ATD scrapbooking set......lovely baby papers which I would never have bought being a Basic Grey/7 Gypsies fan, but they will be so useful for the odd baby card I get asked for. Yet more........a beach themed scrapbooking kit with papers, patterned cardstock and a few tags and journalling cards. I'm not sure what I will do with that but I'm sure it will come in useful. Lastly.......while the boss was looking for something she found three sheets of some self adhesive foam which is thin enough to go through a punch and she let me have that because she knows that I sometimes make my own stamps from dies or punches for doing backgrounds. Thoroughly spoilt today then!!!

We were looking at a lovely range of new papers today and I can't for the life of me remember the name of them........I just know I want them......ALL. Oh the colours were just amazing, all double sided and so thick that it was almost like card. The only thing with paper like that is how do you decide which side to use when they are both just so scrumptious?

Well that will have to be all today as it is top up day at the Post Office tomorrow and I need to make up a few 18th and 21st cards. All the stuff is ready so I just need to put them together and pack them.........oooooooh I soooo hate packing. I could make cards 'til the cows come home but packing I really have to be in the mood for so I am trying to train myself to do each card as I finish it. So far I have been very good.

As I forgot to bring the workshop card home to scan I am sharing some of my favourite cards today. The pear card I made as a bit of a break from Christmas cards. The pear was stamped onto some striped paper and then coloured with ink pads and although it doesn't show too well in the scan I have gone over the tiny leaves on the background stamp with a quickie glue pen, let it go tacky and then applied some Dutch metal leaf. I would have liked a more elegant P for the monogram but anyway it is diecut from mountboard, coloured with distress ink and then while the ink was still wet in parts I sprinkled gold embossing powder onto it and heated it. It looks quite worn and I was pleased with that.
The dragon card is made with a set of stamps from TandaStamps. That dragon is mahoosive and I love him. He's done on an A5 card so that will give you some idea of just how big a stamp it is. Stamped and embossed in gold and coloured using H2O's.....very simple but I think for me that was all it needed. The background is just a piece of card decorated with torn paper and a punched circle for the moon.
Back to work for me then even though it is just gone day I will find out how to change the posted time on my blog.....mind you then you would all know just how late I work and just how mad I actually am.
Keep safe peeps.

Wednesday, 17 January 2007

What a fabby day!!!

It's been a really lovely day today......not weatherwise cos it's been raining all day, but I have been snuggled up in my workroom, heater on and the rain beating on the favourite kind of day.

So the tidying never got done apart from a space to do some work in because I was a bit inspired today. I made a start on using up some of the paper mountain and have got through quite a bit. Have also used a fair bit of ribbon and more than a few Prima Flowers and have produced 32 cards so was well chuffed with that.
One of my new cards at the top. I made quite a few of these using different papers and also did some in black and baby blue which look nice. Very different to the work you normally see of mine but I find that stamped cards don't sell so well here. One or two go but the cards made with diecuts etc go a lot better.

It's been very quiet for special orders this week so hopefully that will mean that the new cards that went in a couple of weeks ago are selling. I'll see on Friday when I go in to do the stands.

Have to go teach classes at the shop for the next two days then I have another 4 days off so hopefully my inspiration will still be there on Friday as I need to make some workshop cards with the new TandaStamps sets I have.......Retro Women....yummy.

Hopefully our first order of stamps will have arrived at the shop by the time I get in tomorrow.

DD has been an angel today and done all the laundry as she promised she would do. Will have to treat her at the weekend to something nice so will maybe go across to Craft Central and buy her some beads and take her for a cappucino. I of course will not be buying anything myself.....yeah right!!! Well only if they have any dies in that I don't already have.

Had planned to do chicken in a white wine sauce for tea but our useless Tesco didn't have the sauce so I did Cajun chicken instead with a mixed salad, potato salad and freshly baked rolls........huge praise heaped on my head by DH and DD as they thought it was fab. At last I am a Domestic Goddess!!! Actually I'm not a bad cook as I used to be a chef but I just don't like doing it anymore unless I have the time to do it properly. I so miss the days when I used to bake all my own bread and cakes and make everything from tins of white wine sauce for me then. Mmm I might get hubby to get me some stuff in and have a baking day at the look what I started!!!

Well best get my kit together for tomorrow. I only have to do half the class tomorrow as the other card they are doing is the boss's then I expect she will go home for a while and I will sit and either make cards or do some tidying up if it's not too busy.

Have a great day whatever you are doing:-)

Saturday, 13 January 2007

Peaceful day..............bliss!!!

Well that is DS gone for the week........and I thought he was only going for the weekend..........good communication son!!!
What with the breakfast he ate this morning though and the amount of baggage he took with him you could be forgiven for thinking that he was off to conquer the wilderness.
So DH got him off to the station then I shoo'ed DH off to work for the afternoon and had a couple of peaceful hours until DD got up to sort herself out for her night shift. Got us both fed and watered and then had another couple of peaceful hours after she'd gone so locked the door and went off for a nice Badedas bath..........that was over four hours ago and I am still waiting for things to happen as used to be promised in the ads. Mind you if the thing that happens means you have Knitting Pattern Man hanging around outside your patio window looking decidedly furtive......I think I will pass.................Anyone remember those ads?
The wind is starting to do my head in.....BIG TIME. It wouldn't be so bad if it was just the wind but outside my workroom there is a leanto which used to be my woodworking shelter. It has a corrugated plastic roof which rattles and bangs in the wind and sounds horrendous. It will be coming down later in the year when we have found space for all the things that are in there but until then I am being driven slowly insane.

Been doing more planning than actual producing today so all I have to share with you is a coaster I altered last night. Couldn't scan it in then as the varnish was still wet. Only very simple but I thought the paper went so well with the image. I am slowly getting into altered things but I do prefer doing cards I must admit as I doubt there would be much of an outlet here for the work I would produce.

Tomorrow is 'housewifey day' my least favourite day of the week but this week I am getting out of it as I have a rather exciting new project I am working on to deadline so DD has offered to attack the laundry on Monday as she starts her rest week then. DH has offered to do almost everything else so after nipping out in the morning to get some urgent supplies I shall be spending the day in my workroom.......yay!!!

Well hopefully that little lot has cured your insomnia.

Night night.........sleep tight!!!

Thursday, 11 January 2007

Me versus Thomas the Tank Engine

What a flippin' scary day it's been today with this wind. I work in a mews which a collection of very old buildings that all used to belong to the village ironmonger. The buildings have now all been split into units, there is a really nice variety of small individual businesses and it's a lovely place to long as it's a sunny rain.........then everything is hunky dory. Today it has been like a wind tunnel with all the shops A boards flying about all over the place. So I went off out to go to the sandwich shop and nearly got topped by a flying Thomas the Tank Engine A board from the model shop......gawd me whole life flashed before me eyes. It missed me by millimetres. Scared the life out of me. Next windy day........I'm taking packing up.
Very quiet at the shop today so I spent all day making card samples to fill the gaps on the walls where we have taken down older samples. Bit of a squeeze trying to stamp on a table full of sale goodies but hey it done in the end and I was pleased with what I did.
Only two of us to cater for tonight so we had sausage and mash. Got all washed up and tidy and just as I put the last dish away DS came in and decided he wanted chips so had the deep fat fryer stinking the house out...........grrrrrrrrr!!! I hate that damn thing with a passion. So he left his pots and DH has just come in and had a snack and left all his pots. If you never hear from me again you will know that I have done the pair of them in. Thank gawd DS is going away for the weekend to see his GF in Manchester.
Anyway managed to get a couple of cards done tonight. I am going back to some of the earlier template challenges on Crafts By Carolyn and also using up paper pieces of 6x6 and less. So the two I got done were made with some pieces from a K&Co pack that DD got me for Christmas. The paper is lush so I need to see if I can get some more cos all I had was a couple of 6x6 pieces, a couple of 6x3 and four 3x3 so it's all gone now. I made one card for the challenge which is the one with the four square background and the other one just sort of fell together all by itself.
Hope nobody has suffered too much damage from the wind or flooding.
Bye for now bloggers:-)

Mumblings from the madhouse.

I live in a mad house. Four of us and everybody on a different shift so it's a nightmare trying to feed everybody. Today I have had one on afternoon shift returning at midnight so needing feeding before going and on his return. One going off on a night shift needing feeding plus packing up and one at home who could eat a horse and go back for the saddle. Then little me who wasn't really in an eating mood but hungry. My dream life would be for them all to be out of the house at 8am so I could get all my housewifey jobs out of the way and back in at 6pm all fed and watered at the same time, washing up done and a nice long evening of crafting...............fat chance of that coming true.

In between all the feeding, sending off and welcoming home I did manage to acheive some results with the workshop cards I was struggling with. Punches and peeloffs aren't my usual 'thing' but I'm quite pleased with the results and I know the workshop ladies will love them. The scans are a bit pants as I have used an oyster pearlised card which looks really lovely in 'real life' but doesn't scan too well. I am so in love with the paper I used on these cards. It's from Paper Adventures by Karen Neuburger and it is printed onto pearlised paper. Some areas have been clear embossed which you can't pick up on the scans. It would be a lovely paper to go with oriental designs.

Work tomorrow until 4pm and then I am going to come home and finish doing the rest of the dress punch cards and then I am going to play. I think first I will have a go at some more cards for the template challenge on Crafts by Carolyn. I have only just joined in at number 16 so I would like to go back to the beginning and try out some of the others. After that I really need to get messy with my rubber stamps as it seems ages since I had to be hosed off and scrubbed down with the yard brush.
So I had best go and catch some zzzzzzzzz's if I am going to last the day without falling asleep. Night night:-)

Wednesday, 10 January 2007

Oh no!!!! What have I done?

Well I never was any good at keeping a diary so let's see how I do with this.....ha ha ha!!!
Funny old day today......I'm under pressure to create new designs for workshops and wouldn't ya just know it........mojo goes walk-about and didn't leave a note to let me know when it would be back.
So guess I'll just keep faffing about and tidying up until something strikes me.
Got reams and reams of paper I am dying to play with but not stuff that is stocked at the shop so can't use that.
Here's a card I made last night using some fab new stamps from a company called Tandastamps
Two sets of Retro Women so I am in heaven.This stamp reminded me of the cards that used to be on the counter in the clothes shop in our village when I was a little girl.......memories of pointy bras, pink rubber girdles and American Tan tights.....yuck!!!The number stamps are from a fab set I have by My Sentiments Exactly.
Oh well back to work.