Foto
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!

 
 
Foto
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.

 
 
Foto
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!

 
 
Foto
It has been a while since I have been able to blog. I have been busy trying to make fifty cards for my little boy's Spring Fest, and have been unwell due to trying out new medication, which my body is still adjusting to.

The Spring Fest is part of  our tradition. It celebrates the milestone when the child gets to primary school, learns to read and write etc... The catholic people here celebrate it with First Communion, and Spring Fest seems to have been invented so the others wouldn't feel left out. We were just going to have a party for him, without any doctrine attached, but one weekend he was in floods of tears all of a sudden. He wanted to take part in the Spring Fest, because of the play he could then take part in. So we gave him a note for the teacher, who said he could still join in and all was well. It's just two weeks to go now.

Traditionally with communions and these fests, the children have memento cards, with their name and the date on to hand out. It used to be with a little prayer or poem, and a nice picture of flowers or angels, bookmark style. More and more it has became in to have a photograph of the child, and just name and date. Also the shape changed over time. The rectangular ones are less common now, as more people opt for square.

It used to be a completely separate tradition to hand out sugarcoated chocolates and/or almonds at a birth. Of course clever sales people have managed to broaden that as much as possible, and now they are being handed out at almost any occasion.

I knew I definitely wanted to make use of all of this to get my handmade cards out there. It took ages to decide what to do, as a few of my crafty friends can confirm as they really helped me to think it all out. First I was thinking of those boxcards, but I would have had to get other people involved - not quite the same, and it looked like it was going to work out rather above budget as well.

Then suddenly I got the inspiration to go for a twisted easle,  and integrate a little pouch with the chocolate beans in into it.

First step of course was to make a mock-up. I intend to blog about every step, thinking that there must be other beginners out there, who might be interested to know how I fared making my very first batch of identical cards.

I did learn a lot from making this, and am very glad I didn't go straight for the real thing! 

As it was just to try it out, the photograph is still missing, and there is just a white blank bit of card as a stopper. We do not like to put pictures of our child on the internet in any case. The stopper will have his name and the date on.

One thing that became clear form making this, is that the pouch should be in a different direction. Because now, as you close the card and hold it the right way up as the photograph will be, the pouch will be upside down. So it will be turned around and lying flat aginst the bottom of the card as the easle stands up, so that it is upright when the card is closed.

How to attach the pouch took some working out. Did you know that if you take high tack double sided tape, attach a ribbon to it, and then attempt to stick an embellishment on with gel glue it completely takes all the stick out of both the glue and the tape?! What a mess I got myself into learning that lesson!

Anyway easily fixed all in all, attaching embellishments with more tape. So I am going to attach ribbon to the card with high tack tape, then loop another ribbon through the loops of the first ribbon, and tie that around the top of the pouch so as to close and attach it in one. It works well, and stays in place fantastically well. I just wanted to embellish the centre of the first ribbon, so that the card still looks complete and intact when the pouch is removed and people have scoffed their chocolates.

Another thing that will be different is the colour of the bottom ribbon. That will now be green to match the colour of the card, and the green also returns in our boy's clothing for the day. In fact as all this took shape, we decided to go for an orange and green theme for the party. And guess what... He brought the tickets for the play he is taking part in home, and they are orange too! It was meant to be! 

Now then, as I have been working on all this, slow as I am, I have made hardly any other cards. And I so wanted to enter my friend Emma's Challenge, and I apologised to her that I would not be able to. But then the penny dropped... The theme this month is Chocolate! Of course, I could enter this card, as it has real chocolate incorporated in it. I only hope she will accept a mock-up card, as none of the real ones are finished yet - I am still at the matting and layering stage.

 
 
Foto
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.

 
 
Foto
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...

 
 
Picture
So here's this morning's make, entirely inspired by the Fab'n Funky Challenge . This is so far from my usual style, and really challenged my creativity, but I am happy with it.

It has a few firsts, my first bit of distressing for starters. I tried earlier on, but made a bit of a bosh of it. Today it seemed to work. I would love to get some feedback from people who know about distressing, whether this is done ok. I have purposefully kept from posting a close-up for know, as really it is the overall impression that matters.

It is a small thing, maybe, but it is also the first time I have curled the paper. I was quite amazed how much difference that made. Those butterflies really came to life, and I regretted having left those two at the top flat, just plain raised.

I used sticky ribbon for the body of the main butterfly, so I am entering the Do You Stack Up Challenge  again. That too is a first: the first challenge I have entered more than once.

Entering the Sweet Stamps Challenge  is another. Stamping in itself still scares me so much. I only tried it once with a sentiment, and that's a while ago now. I think this sweet stamps blog and their challenge may well give me that extra push. Watch this space... 

In any case the challenge is shaped cards, so this should be perfect. Would the distressing be considered a form of stamping? 

Apart from the stamping itself, I also have an enormous threshold for using the promarkers. I feel I need my hand held and taken step-by-step through it. If anybody feels they wish to do that, and have the patience (!), please let me know.

Another new one to me is the Try it on Tuesday Challenge . I am always interested to make cards that are textured, touchy feely, as my son and my father and other males in the family have a visual disability, of which I am a carrier. I had our boy, who is now five, feel his way across this card tonight. He went from the ribbon in the middle, with the smoothness of the gold, and the roughness of the fabric to the gems and the butterflies themselves with his little fingers. He was asking particularly about the gems, I guess they are the most obvious protrusion. On the other hand the intricacies of the black butterfly sticky ribbon, eventhough that is relatively flat, seemed to fascinate him as well.

That's it, I'm off to make some more, now, hopefully. Please do leave me your comments, ideas, feedback.

 
 
Picture
Yesterday I had another look around the challenges I now know of, and found a fair few had new themes. So I got all my crafty stuff set out and went through it thinking of all these different subject and selecting goodies to use. I got a bit overwhelmed eventually.

One immediately spoke to my imagination, which was the glitter geeks  with Myths and Legends. I have some foam fairies I have been wondering what to use for, and I thought they would do just the job. Then, going through my stash, I found angels, pyramid and decoupage fairies, cupids, and so on. So what did I end up making? An Easter bunny card... Well, it is a myth, it should fit, and it was great fun to make.

I also had in mind Jackie's potential to sell it. You know by now I am sending her cards to raise funds to improve the lives of Charmaine and Maddy who live with cystic fibrosis. I am aiming for ten cards and will then send them as a packet. So I thought an Easter card would be well in time. I also happened to have the right sentiment to go with it, saying 'Some Bunny Loves You', so that closed the deal.

Then this morning I was looking at more challenges, and lo and behold, the card I made yesterday happens to be just right for three more:

- Creative Card Crew  with Fantasy which is highly similar;

- Colour Create Challenge (http://colourcreatechallenge.blogspot.com/) with pink and green, exactly the colours I happened to use, as if it was meant to happen.

- and Do You Stack Up  with Ribbons, and again I used two pieces of ribbon, carefully chosen with the white dots to match one of the background papers.

So I would like to enter all those this time. I did want to add another picture, because the reflection of the light on the shiny paper was different on it, so you got to see a bit more of the card, but the blog has voted against it for some reason.

Now I will  get on with designing the others I was inspired to make last night. Hopefully I will have more to show you by the end of today.