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Well, I've just noticed quite how long it has been since I have blogged!

I have been busy mostly with orders, so I started my gallery instead. But now I have a reason to blog again, as I am entering another challenge.

This one got me nervous. My dear friend Marleen is involved with the cards galore scrapbook challenge. In fact I think she set it up and runs it. I promised her faithfully I would start to take part, since she has been so supportive to me, and her and her children are now active in the card swap group I run myself - with the help of Jan and Maria, my lovely admin girls.

Learning to scrap, one step at a time, is the least I could do in return. I am so glad I have got the Serif, as I doubt I would have made anything at all without it. For some reason scrapbooking scares me. Being able to just fiddle about on the computer, with the safety of undo buttons and such, eased that a bit. 

The theme this month is patchwork, and I think that fitted nicely with these pictures we took on outings with our little boy this summer. We have serious qualms about putting recognisable pictures on the internet, especially of children. So I chose these three photographs in all of which he looks the other way. Anybody that does know him, would know it is him, but there is certainly not enough visual information there for anybody to be able to approach him out of the blue on that basis.

Despite they still show his character, and his inquisitive nature so well. I can't but smile and feel a warm glow inside when I look at this page now, with the three together. I hope some of that comes across.

Please let me know what you think.


 
 
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For some reason I'm finding it hard to blog lately. I always feel I want to write alongside my cards, rather than just post a picture and say which challenge(s) I want to enter them in. That would seem so cold and heartless, and crafting is anything but.

So I have entered the odd card straight from facebook, just upload the picture, post the link, done.

I had thought I would do the same with this one. It was a bit rushed this morning, knowing we would be going out for the day, and wanting to get it done as the challenge finishes tonight, and I do want to support Emma in the challenges she sets up. So I got the card done, to send along with a couple of others a s a thank you, but for this challenge, to post via facebook you need to be a member of a particular group, which I wasn't yet. I requested the membership and then had to leave, without being able to post.

Well, would you believe it, tonight facebook won't let me on... So here I am. Perhaps the universe is gently hinting that I should be using my blog more.

Well, having said all that, I will have to hurry, or I will still miss the deadline. So, as mentioned before, I would like to enter this card in to Emma's Crafty Challenge. This month we were asked to follow a sketch, which I tried to do as closely as possible, even looking at colours and shades and such. I am very pleased with the results. I made an effort to use the goodies I was sent by the friend the card was for, and used some of the new stuff I ordered just last week. It's amazing what a boost all this new stash has given me to get going again. I had been too ill to be able to for a while, and eventhough I had recovered, I wasn't quite getting back to the card-making like before. Well, it seems I am now!

 
 
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Recently I had my very first order of cards, and more keep coming in. I am so flattered at this, especially as customers tend to give me a lot of freedom to be creative. This must mean they like what I do, surely. It also means I can use the opportunity to fit in with a few challenges. This is one of those cards.

I was inspired by the idea of making your own paper flowers, and had seen a few different techniques which I wanted to put to the test.

Crafty Calender Challenge of 'Flowers in Bloom' seems a perfect challenge to enter for this.

There's also Craft Your Days Away with their Bingo Card. I always find those difficult, I must say, but this time it worked out well on the diagonal from left top to right bottom: flowers, ribbon/lace, and gems. In this card they just formed a natural part of the build-up.

And on a completely different, and very summery note, the Allsorts Challenge is focussed around 'ice cream colours' which appear abundantly on this card as well.

So I would like to enter these three challenges, and keep my fingers crossed the teams like my work. Do you? Please leave me your comments, I love to read what you think.

 
 
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Today is my husband's 50th birthday - a very special day. So I made him this special card.

He is very much into cars, posh ones and vintage ones alike. So I thought I'd wink at his age by adding the contrast between the two types of car. The top image is decoupage, and I used silicone glue so that I could shape the paper to mimic the car shape. That doesn't show up very well on the photograph. It says 'Abraham' on the car. Over here there is an expression used for men at the age of fifty. For some reason they get called Abraham and are assumed now to know where Abraham gets the mustard (don't ask, I don't know). Women at fifty are Sarah's - nothing to do with mustard in their case, that much I do know.

The little milestone in the decoupage picture says 50.

The man in the car happens to have an amazing likeness to the love of my life. I just had to use this image, it was perfect for him.

The ribbon is glued on the front, and then lifts to the inside to keep the tag there. On the tag it explains he has a surprise to come. It gives him the option either to keep the tag and be patient, or to hand back the tag and find out what the surprise will be.

Also the base card from Hunky Dory not only has the vintage car, which he thought may well be a Rolls Royce (much appreciated!), it also has a faint reproduction of a street map. He reckoned it was Paris, as it has the Seine on it, and wondered if this is a hint towards the surprise... It suits him, though, in any case, as he is a geographer. Through a turn of circumstances he had never been able to use his training in his work, and has turned to teaching in the last couple of years, which has taken him back to the subject he truely loves. It has brought him to life again. Well, they do say life begins at fifty! 

He is most definitely the special man in my life. So I'd like to enter the card in two challenges around this theme: Lexi's Creations and Love to Create Challenge. Here come the boys happen to have an anything goes challenge on, so that's a perfect one to enter as well.

Wish me luck!

I hope the teams like this card as much as my hubby did when I handed it to him just after midnight, as his birthday started. He had a great big smile from ear to ear for ages as he just kept looking at it.

Always love to read your comments!

 
 
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This butterfly card is one I made for the very first order I received. I was given a lot of freedom, and this is one of the things I came up with.

I would like to enter it into Emma's Crafty Challenge, for which the theme this month is monochrome.

 
 
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Hello there,

Feeling pretty unwell today. Should have gone to see the physio, but cancelled that and ended up sleeping most of the day. So I am going to keep it brief and just list the challenges I would like to enter this card in. In fact that might encourage more of you to go and look at their sites, to see what the themes are. They all deserve a visit, with all the hard work they put in organising it all. So here's the list:

- Stampin' Sisters in Christ
- Pixie Dust Studio
- Southern Girls Challenge
- Paper Play Challenges
- Do You Stack Up
- Crafts and Me Challenges
- Charizma Cardz

I hope nobody minds the deviation from my usual style of blogging, and I do hope you like the card.

 
 
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Meanwhile my other brother, the eldest, has just started a new job on Monday, after a really difficult time in his life. So I felt I ought to make him a card too. Again I looked for challenges first. If I am honest I don't feel as confident about this one, perhaps I tried to fit in with too many things. Ah, well, still learning... Sorry the picture has turned out a bit hazy.


Using dotty cardstock was easy to decide, as I was pretty sure he would like that. There's two challenges that fits with: Craft Your Passion en The Poodle's Parlour. The first is asking for dots and (or) stripes, the other for spots and dots.

Using the sentiments as the central focus was also pretty straight forward, especially as I happened to have just the right ones, from Hunky Dory again. You may have noticed I'm a bit of a fan... Lexi's Creations wants the focus on the sentiment this time, as does the Southern Girls Challenge with 'You got something you wanna say?'


Then the question was how to embellish. With three challenges showing me the way towards ribbons, how could I refuse? But then I did want to make sure it stayed masculine enough, and was unsure which ribbons and colours to use. So I went for the ones that also had dots on them, to stick with that theme, and avoided bows. My husband assured me that it would definitely be ok for a man that way. So that's this card sorted for these three challenges:

- Phindy's Place Challenge - 'Ribbon'
- Whimsy Inspires - 'Use ribbon on your card'
- Cupcake Craft Challenges - 'Sewing Box'

For this last one I especially added the buttons as well... No, I'll be honest with you and let you into a secret. I boshed up with the ribbon and ended up with some high tack doublesided sticky tape on the end without ribbon on, so I stuck a button on for camouflage and then repeated this with the other ribbon. See what I mean about cards designing themselves...

 Now then, there is no glitter on this masculine card with dark brown card stock as background (with gold dots). That's three of the Desert Island Crafts list, as required.

Whoops that's one more challenge than I had for my younger brother's birthday card. Good job he's not the jealous kind...

 
 
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Tomorrow's my brother's birthday. Yes, you read that right: tomorrow. I actually made the card in time! I even had a look before I started to see if there were any challenges I could strive towards.

And guess what - as luck would have it a couple have the theme 'Birthday Card': Timeless Tuesday (Happy birthday, Beate!) and Scrap Creations. And  the 2 sisters have 'birthday fun' going.

Then there is Cards for Men with the Great Outdoors, remember? Well, my brother as far as I am aware is a man, and I was thinking of making something for him incorporating his hobby of fishing. He has been fishing for very many years, since we were in our teens, and still seems to very much enjoy it. Thankfully my friend Fien had just sent me some really elegant fish, and I found a fishing scene in my stash.

That made it relatively easy to fit in with the Pink Gem Challenge photo inspiration challenge. What a gorgeous gem to inspire my choice of blues for this card!

'Numbers' was relatively straightforward too, especially since I had those lovely aquamarine felt ones. It happens to be the theme at the Pixie Challenge from the Pixie Dust Studio.

That leaves one much less obvious one, but since it was one of the first ones I came across during this search and one of the very first challenges I ever took part in,  I wanted to keep it in. That is ' Sew it' at Do You Stack Up, which added a bit more of a true challenge in this case. I used one of the Hunky Dory sentiments which is nicely finished with silver faux stitching, complimenting the fish and water beautifully.

Eventhough this card fits so many challenges, which would sometimes work so restricting, I am extremely happy with it. I wonder what you all think, and much prefer an honest answer, but I personally feel it is one of my best so far.

 
 
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It is rare for me to try my hand at 'clean and simple'. I find it very difficult, as there is so little to hide any mistakes behind. Usually a card kind of shapes itself by forcing me to cover something or other up. Well, this one kind of led itself to this result. I seem to be getting a bit better at working neatly and thinking things through before acting. Also I am starting to find it easier to comfortably say the job is done, it's ready.

All this is a very good thing, since clean and simple is exactly the challenge set by One Stop Craft this week, which I would like to enter this into.

I also wish to mention my friend Miet, as this card was made for her and her family as her grandmother passed away. I hope the sadness of their loss will be overshadowed by the joy of their memories as time progresses.

 
 
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You wouldn't believe how much thought went into this card before I ever started making it. The theme Emma set for us in her challenge was stripes. I didn't want to do anything obvious, or just happen to use stripey background paper, so in the end I thought something a little more abstract and playful was in order. This is what I came up with, with a sentiment that original said: "Seeing you makes it easy to smile" where I changed the second e into an a. 

I would also like to enter the Top Tip Tuesday Challenge, the animal part of it, obviously. I don't think I am advanced enough yet to have any meaningful tips yet, but at least I can enter a card. 

Order of the Opus Gluei who throw challenges for fun, also happen to have an animal theme going. So here's to them too.

And the great outdoors theme for Cards for Men this card should be good for as well. I have always considered browns, greys and darker blues to be masculin colours, and the stripes themselves as well, I guess they make me think of ties...