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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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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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When I saw the theme 'Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside' of  That Craft Place  I first thought that would be really easy. That day I had read several challenge blogs, and had gone through my stash and put stuff ready around various themes that appealed to me. I am used to taking one card at the time, and so after I had finished the first card, I was totally overwhelmed at the thought of all these other ones, I had complete crafter's block. It was clear I was going to use the boat - a base card from HunkyDory, but I started to think a boat is quite different from the seaside as such, and doubt crept in.

The same happened for the other cards I had planned, and I was really dissatisfied as I went into the night. I lay awake pondering, and by morning this card was designed. It still took a while to get around to actually making it, but here it is.

Since over at Quirky Crafts  the theme is to build a scene, I thought this would fit perfectly as well, so I am entering their challenge too.

I find these challenges really do stretch me, and make me learn at a much faster pace than I otherwise would.

Some of you know how scared I was of using my Promarkers. Well, here's my second try. I particularly like the way I have been able to put in the textures of the rocks underneath the lighthouse. I wish I had taken a close-up of it now, might still add one later.

I did post a close-up of the name of the boat: Happy Birthday, and for good reason. PanPastels have Happy Birthday as their theme. On the paper I cut the beach gear out of there was this tiny lettering with almost each picture, and this happy birthday one on its own. It is so small it could only be used as detail, and I pondered how I could do it to fit the scene. Using it like this on the boat seemed just perfect. If I would have any chance at all of winning this one, the prize of  a PanPastel trial pack would be the perfect addition to my still tiny, but gradually growing, stash.

One thing that was completely new to me was working outside of the base card. The boat is the only card that opens up, it is stuck on single card as background. It is a sign of slowly growing confidence that I have ventured into doing this. When I saw the 'Alter It' challenge at Lisa Somerville's  I thought I would leave that one for what it was. And then I found myself making this card and thinking: 'Hey, that's altered.' So I went back to her blog to see if it would fit, and I feel I can safely say Icreated the card for the Bloggers Challenge Alter It Challenge.

The Drunken Stampers  are looking for new in a different way, using something that is new to your stash. Well, as I said the Promarkers are, but I did use them once before, just a teeny weeny bit. But the beach gear is from a 12X12 I was sent by a friend when I was recently in hospital. I did have some of those as backing paper, just floral or abstract. A lot of the ones she sent me were much more specific, and this is one of those. So I looked for different ways of using those as well. That should qualify this card for that challenge too.

You know what I said about the anything goes theme, it being so broad I would not know where to start. Well, there is another one on the go at Poodles Parlour. It looks as if there is an unwritten rule to use a digi stamp. That would be another first for me, I am building up to it, but nowhere on their site can I find any rule or information that says you have to, and I thought this card has brought so many different elements together it would suit the anything goes very well. So I hope this entry will be accepted.

It is probably needless to say by now, but this card too is going to Jackie Newport's fund for Charmaine and Maddie, who live with cystic fibrosis. A facebook page will be set up soon to support this fund. I will pass on the link as soon as I have got it.

 

Oriental

03/02/2012

4 Comments

 
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So to really set a challenge, Crafty Bloggers Network  decided on the theme Oriental. You would be surprised how hard that is, and I really needed the design team's examples for inspiration this time. This card has been cooking in my mind for so long, that the next one I had lined up to make has gone past its date now. I even had a sleepless night where my mind kept going to this oriental card.

I had plenty of stuff. The HunkyDory card shape immediately jumped out at me as having Eastern style. i also have loads of peel-offs that fit the theme. My crafty facebook friends all keep sending parcels of crafty stash, for which I am extremely grateful! Sylvia's had included several oriental ones, in different colours. But how to put it all together?! I scoured google images for inspiration, and saw things I liked, but beyond me to create.

Then when tidying around our kitchen I came across these cards, one of which I cut up to use. Once that decision was made, the card kind of made itself. Phew!

Fingers crossed now that it will be approved of and liked.

While I am at it I've decided also to enter it in the Ditzy-Craftymess Challenge . I find Anything Goes such an overwhelming theme, I think the history of this card suits it.

 
 
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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.