Phew! Work today, followed by a meeting that finished 20 minutes ago means that nothing's happened on my work table today but I was very excited to receive my Christmas pressie (from myself! LOL) in the post today.
All I have to do now is learn how to use it! I did really well, buying it on the internet for £13 including P&P, together with 5 rolls of DST came to £24.
Here are pics of the 'my first year' scrapbook I finished recently for Maisie.
If you look at my WOYWW of 24th Nov you'll see the basic book (99p!) I used. This pic is the box that I re-worked with a really lovely flower fairy (Sweet Pea) decoupage, with matching backing paper inside the cello lid.
The book is 6" square.
The book cover
I was really happy with the backing paper I typed in Barbie pink, orange and purple. I cut out the cup cake template in paper first, and then on cereal packet card that I've kept for future projects, and then on spotty and corrugated card.
Page Seven with fold-down flap - to get all pics in!
Underside of flap when folded up
I tried to make the book more interesting (and to squeeze more in) by adding tags that slipped in between pages. Papers came from the bought kit and from my stash. The really nice thing was that the whole project was a surprise for the family as I downloaded the pics from Facebook!
Hi - not sure where November went, and this week is slipping between my fingers as I type! Here is the proof that Christmas is on its way in Worcester UK -
Here is my Advent calendar, complete with angels (compliments of our Creative Toddler group). Quite a few of them look as though they've been hitting the Christmas spirit already!! Yes, I know there aren't 24 yet - reinforcements are winging their way in as you read - not to mention extra stars and musical notes! The paper-pieced herald angels took much longer than I had hoped. Because of the snow here, we won't be making our pre-Christmas visit to my mum this weekend. I am determined to spend some time making cards and entering the odd challenge or two.
Absolutely nothing!! Haha!! I've just spent the last hour sorting out the chaos that was here before. So proud of myself - even sorted out my scrap boxes into plain and patterned cardstock and papers - how sad is that?! It just makes life a lot simpler. The reason for the mess?
Yesterday I finished a 'my first year' scrapbook for this little birthday lady -
I bought two 99p!! scrapbook packs from a cheap store (Partners?) in Worcester - this pic shows what was left afterwards. The book I did was a square, with a scalloped border. It was good value except that some of the scallops on the backing papers were cut short, so it needed quite a lot of manipulation, and extras from my stash. Silly me - I gave it to them before taking any pics! I'll take the camera when I see them again on Friday, and post some pics then.
Anyway, not many cards over the next few days. I need to paper piece two 3ft herald angels for my nativity advent calendar, to go on the noticeboard in the church hall, in time for the toddlers to start opening the doors next week. They are going to make the 24 angels whose skirts will hide choc coins for the first one to arrive each morning, to open! I'll take pics when it's assembled (before they get at the chocolate!!) and put them up here.
I forgot to say, in case anyone doesn't do this always check prices by googling 'cheap ... whatever' before buying. I got a packet from the USA yesterday, with Cuttlebug circles and I paid less than £3 including p&p! How amazing is that?!
Seems like forever since my last post. I've really missed it, but life has just been running away from me.
Actually, I've had to take stock of where I am and how I spend my 'free' time. I'd like nothing better than just keep entering challenges, which stimulate the creative part of me - and I must admit to feeling really pleased when I see my blog rating climbing up. However, I've decided that, although I love doing them, and reading all those lovely blogs out there, my crafting priority has got to be where I started from - making cards to sell, to help people who are struggling just to live. But it is all about balance, and I will dip into the competition side now and again, and continue to spend a bit of time in Blogland, getting creative inspiration from all the fantastic crafters out there .
Today, my desk started out like this
It looks particularly awful because I've had a little factory going, producing Christmas cards for sale.
One of the wooden stamps I bought at the workshop a couple of weeks ago was this bauble. I stamped it on to cereal box card and used it as a template on some nice Christmassy 12x12, together with a circle bauble (using my trusty tumbler). I then used the stamp and parts of a flourish to decorate them.
The green patterned card was stamped with the original stamp, and heat embossed using gold glitter, while the red one was stamped twice with the flourish, once with glitter (not very noticeable) and on the other side with white embossing powder. I then mounted them on cards, using peel-off gold lines as strings.
By this time I was getting a bit bored (you see why my blog is 'flutterbies' LOL) so I went on to a commissioned card for a friend's 13yr old grandson - only interested in computer games!
I remembered a card I'd seen in Making Cards mag (Feb 2006) so used this as a starter.
I used a dark navy card and rubbed white chalk over, and sealed it with hair spray. I cut out the pocket, and 'stitched' with a white gel pen & went over it with a yellow one. It is stuck to the card with DST on the bottom two sides, and the brads at the top (making sure there was room for the mobile to go in).
The mobile is two pieces of funky foam, sandwiched with a piece of corrugated card to make it more substantial. I used paper templates to cut everything. I cut the screen out of the top piece of foam and put in a piece of sparkly card (cut using the off-cut foam as a template). The buttons are circles cut from silver card, using an ordinary hole punch, and handwriting the numerals (I even remembered to put DST on the back of the card before punching the circles - much easier!) The birthday greeting was a holographic peel-off and the 'grandson' was typed on yellow card, with Mistral font (size 22 I think).
I'm quite pleased with the result, especially the denim effect and the grandson label.
My stamping is getting a bit better with practice, but still a long way to go if I'm to compete with some of the very talented people in Blogland. I need to be more confident - still a bit dithery and getting some uneven effects. Discovered that it is very relaxing, just sitting and colouring in - love it!
Well, rain certainly doesn't stop play on Wednesdays (my day off) in the Flutterby household! Having been for coffee with my crafting friend Sonia this morning - isn't it great being able to share ideas with others? - it's back to finishing off some challenge entries.
I'm only just learning to stamp, so spending LOTS of time practicing (should that be an 's'? - doesn't look right - anyway, I digress!) and think I am improving. I think the problem was that I was too tentative, and have started pressing the whole stamp down evenly with the palm of my hand, and that seems to be doing the trick. Before, they were very uneven - sorry about the pic - it doesn't want to take, with or without the flash but you can just about make out the writing- some too heavy and the rest, too faint.
Anyway, after much sighing,wailing and gnashing of teeth, I eventually got this.
I paper pieced the mittens, added plenty of glitter and mounted them on red and gold, and I don't know if you can pick up, but the borders underneath are very glittery (for me, anyway!) I'm going to enter this for the http://www.twistedsketches.com/ challenge 31 'glitter' with a sketch.
For this, I've finished the box card I started at the workshop yesterday. These boxes were apparently designed for shaker cards, but are ideal for flowers or other embellishments like this. The translucent glitter glue (EXCITING!) makes the flower very firm, and fine to go via snail mail.
The papers are actually black and white, and the flower was made with black paper and then glued. I'll have to hint to Santa that I need a new camera, or lessons ... or both! Other people seem to be able to take great pics, despite gloomy days - it must be me.
Anyway, I'm just going to enter WOYWW and get back to another challenge idea that's come to me. Even if I never win one, I'm learning such a lot from the different techniques I'm trying - not to mention having LOTS of fun on the way! Happy crafting! x
Got to tell you - I've cracked it (photo problem, that is!) Talking it through with my husband, who suddenly said maybe I was taking them up too close. So - took another from several feet away, and after cropping and zooming in -
Not brilliant but a million miles better than the first one - amazing how a simple thing like this can make me such a happy bunny (sad really, eh?) Anyway, I thought I'd post that in case anyone else in Blogland is as lacking in techno-savvy as me!
Here's the revised pic of the glitter card
I think the glitter shows up a bit better after the 'distance and zoom' treatment. Anyone out there not know that, if you click on the photo, it enlarges it for even more zoom?
Bliss - learning new skills and making new friends! Today I went to a card making workshop organised by my friend Una, in aid of Breast Cancer Research. Our teacher was the talented Helen, who taught us the following -
This is a 5-faced card that folds into a triangle, and ties with a ribbon. Just waiting for pics &/sentiments.
Sorry that this pic is so blurred - my hand must have shaken at the wrong moment, and now the camera batteries have died!!
We made the black paper flowers and painted them with translucent glitter glue that I now LOVE - it's so easy to use, and hardens the flowers enough to go through the post. You can't really see from here, but the card is a box, with a back flap, if you see what I mean.
We stuck the card on the front, cut the aperture from the back, stuck the black inside paper on, made up the box, added the made & dried flower, tied the bow then added the sentiment.
We also made a tag using a sentiment die cut in DS tape stuff, and burnished glitter flakes over it - very effective (sorry, no battery to take pic).
To top it all, there were lots of goodies to buy, at really knock-down prices, so I got these
and these ...
all for THREE POUNDS FIFTY!
And, if that wasn't enough, I won one of the raffle prizes!
Thanks again to Una and the lovely Helen, and to my new friends Lyn and Anita, who sat next to me. Lyn - looking forward to seeing you at our next Third Thursday Crafts!
Lovely to have an extra hour this morning, before church. Decided to write here, after putting my new cards in bags ready to sell this morning (I hope!) Good to have my first stash of Christmas cards ready.
Thought I'd show you my new purchases, and a couple of cards. Popped in to Dunelm and found
these cute stamps. I've been admiring the oriental cards in mags and on the net, and thought I'd have a go. I try to buy kit that will do for different sorts of cards and reckon that the flower will be particularly useful.
Found these papers that will go with them, but look very versatile and will go with lots of other cards.
These looked so cute I couldn't resist them -
I need to make some 'new baby' cards to sell, so these should be ideal, as well as for birthday cards, etc.
These were the last of the 'bleach' experiments from last week. I was pleased to find the gold bows with bells in my stash, to finish them off. I'll make another batch during the week, to sell.
The blue one looks a bit odd - the sentiment is all blue and silver, but picked up some red in the pic, from the flash, I suppose.
Had to smile - after my early start, managed to leave the new cards sitting on the table when we left the house! Oh well - there's always next Sunday!
I take back all that I said about it earlier! Discovered some more in my stash and it's GREAT!
I did take a pic but it looked rubbish, even with a flash, at 8.30pm in the UK in October, in a room with an energy-saving bulb! Anyway, I'm a happy bunny now, and am glittering everything in sight - good job my husband and the cats aren't around!
So, back to playing, then an early night (maybe!) xx
Sigh!! So much for an early night! Just found the challenge on Clean and Simple and decided to enter this one for it - three images and a sentiment. This is one of the bleach experiments - and newly discovered glitter glues!!
Just finished a card for a friend. Her brother is a firework engineer (if that's what they're called) and she wanted an individual card for him. I remembered a card I'd seen in a card magazine a few years ago (sorry, can't remember the name) and used it as a model. I put a spot of red poster paint on the card and spread out the rays with a paint brush. Reading the mag article carefully (afterwards!! LOL) I saw I should have sprinkled glitter on while the paint was still wet. Having already dried it with my heat gun(!) I then had to put a blob of glue on and spread it with a cocktail stick, and then added the glitter. Once I had done the three colours, it looked a bit bare so I added some glitter glue and I think the two types of glitter work well together, giving extra texture (it shows best on the gold one). The mag picture had some nice star outline peel offs but I only had some filled in ones. I'm fairly happy with the result, and I hope my friend and her brother will be. I'm just waiting for the glue to dry properly before adding an insert.
It looks really pink but live, it's a dark burgundy?!
I've just seen the theme "glitter & sparkles" on the Craft your Passion challenge so decided to take the plunge with this one. It should win just for the sheer amount of glitter on it, LOL!
Last night I decoupaged a couple of cards to add to my Christmas supply to sell for charity. The decoupage sheet was £1.65 from a local shop. I quite like the non-traditional colours, after all my bleaching efforts on red and green.
Sorry about poor quality of pics - I can't get them right this time of the year - with or without the flash. They are actually a nice shade of pinky-beige (there's probably a better name than that!) and not the wishy-washy nothing-ey colour they look here.
I knocked up several cards for my charity stall last night, too. I had been finding it very time consuming to make cards from used ones. I've now discovered that if I sort them into colours, and work on one colour at a time, I only need a few coordinating papers etc out, rather than the chaos I had been working in!
I'm not quite sure how she sneaked in (I'd decided to do purple cards) - I reckon it's just I think she's really sweet!
Not sure about this one
Just noticed the strange angle I was holding the camera at - makes it look like the flower is jumping out at you - sorry about that!
This one was a real cheat - all I did was mount the pic on the card - but he was too cute to resist! I can't decide whether to put something in the bottom right corner, or leave well alone.
Anyway, time to think about something other than cards - my husband is very patient but there ARE limits!
Phew - Sorry about fuzzy images but you get the general idea! Must remember not to use glitter glue again, or at least invest in a good quality one. This one took AGES to dry, dribbled and was a real pain!
I'll decide tomorrow whether any of them are good enough to enter for a challenge.