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Devon, United Kingdom
My 2014 resolutions are (1) to not always take the lazy 'Copic' option, and instead reach for the paintbrush and Distress Ink reinkers, and (2) to use what stash I have and not buy more (hmm, it's probably best if you don't ask me how successful that was!). I love your feedback on my creations and I read every message, so please leave a comment, or use my sidebar 'chatbox' widget to let me know you've visited.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The best laid plans ....

The theme at Top Tip Tuesday this fortnight is 'Material Girl' so I thought I'd make a baggie and stamp it with an image of a girl. (OK she's actually a fairy, but hopefully that counts!).

So I rummaged in my fabric scrap box and found some lovely ivory linen and some pink patterned fabric, just large enough to make a small tote.

I'll let you into a little secret; I'm a teensy bit impatient when it comes to measuring.  But it does help that I seem to have quite a good eye for sizing.  So never mind the ruler.  I folded both pieces of fabric in half and cut out a rectangle roughly the size I wanted the bag (allowing a smidgeon more for seam allowances).

I stitched the sides of each piece together, and then thought I'd be clever and make the bottom flat, so I sewed across the corners to make a base on both pieces.

So far, so good!

I then made two handles from strips of the leftover pink I'd used for the lining, and it was ready to assemble.

Past experience tells me that the assembly is where I usually get things wrong, so I thought I'd be extra careful and assemble the pieces the right way round, pin them, then turn them inside out to sew them all together on the wrong side.

Clever girl, good thinking!   ;0)

In went the pins to hold the lining in place, turned it inside out, popped in the handles and stitched around the top leaving a small gap to turn it inside out.

I admit that I was feeling rather smug as I turned it the right way out to admire it.  What could go wrong?

I'm absolutely delighted to confirm that I'd managed to get the lining inserted the right way, with all the messy seams hidden away on the inside.

Unfortunately, this is the point when I also discover that the handles are likewise hidden away on the inside.

Literally tucked inside the space between the lining and the outer fabric.

And to make it worse, I'd triple stitched the handles in place so they were attached nice and strongly.


So, when I'd finished unpicking 3 rows of stitching and restitching the handles on the right way, I stitched all around the top to seal the gap that I'd used to turn it, which also made the top seam lie flat.  I had originally intended to decorate it a bit more, but when I'd finished, I actually liked it as it was.

In theory the bag is reversible, but that would put my girlie on the inside, and she'd be hidden away.

So here's my baggie.  Not bad for a few leftover fabric scraps and a bit of trial and error (ok, more error than trial).

And because I flattened the base, it does stand up by itself, so it was quite easy to photograph.  :0)

I've not decided what I'm going to use it for yet, but rest assured, when I need it, I'll have mislaid it!

The image is lightly coloured with Derwent Coloursoft pencils as they don't run like inks do on the linen.

And finally here's a close up of the inside. 

Card Recipe:
I've been inspired by:
  • Charisma Cardz - Anything Goes
  • Fairytale Stamper - Summer
  • Simon's Monday Challenge - Summer (summer flowers and being in the garden!)
Happy crafting

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Accidents will happen

I'm sneaking in a quick make tonight just to prove that I haven't wasted the whole weekend.

It's been really hot and humid here, and I've not really felt doing much at all.  I've been feeling a bit 'meh' (must be in need of a holiday!!) but I decided to use one of my new images to try to perk myself up a bit.

And whoa, talk about clean and simple - I hope you're sitting down for this one  :0)

Plus, I only added the pearls in order to qualify to enter the Bunny Zoe challenge!!!

Ok, so you might wonder what the 'accident' was from the post title?  Well, I'd finished colouring the image, and I don't know what happened, perhaps something in the paper, but on the girlie with the pink dress, 2 black flecks appeared near her hem.  I have no idea where they came from.  One minute they weren't there, the next they were all my eye was drawn to.  :0(   I was so annoyed as I'd literally just finished, so I tried to cover them up with a white pen, which looked worse!

In the end, I had die cut a Nottingham Border in white for another card, and the little 'negative' bits that come out of the flowers were waiting to be popped out.  So I poked them out and created a dinky little flower on her dress using them, and dropped a pearl pen dot in the middle.  Yeah, sure it's not meant to be there, but I thought it didn't look too bad, and saved me either paper-piecing her dress, or worse, starting again.

So, my first Uptown Girl card.  Boy these images are huge!!!

Card Recipe:
I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting

Friday, 18 July 2014

Let it Snow

It's Christmas in July at The Stamp Basket this month, so I've got another festive card to share.  It's never too early to start with those Christmas makes, and if it gives me an excuse to get out those glitters then it can't be bad! :0)

This card was intended to be a bit more masculine, but as usual I've added a bow and some pearls, so as usual, that didn't quite go according to plan!

I've used the Nordic papers and ribbon I had left over from Monday's kit project.  There's plenty in that kit to make extra stuff, so it's great value.

Card Recipe:
I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Paper Hat

This project is to support the challenge at As You Like It Challenge where the theme is to use your favourite sentiment.  My favourite occasion for cards is Christmas, so my favourite sentiment had to be Christmas related.  I love the phrase 'winter wishes' but that didn't seem quite right for this image as it wasn't very 'wintery', so I opted for a simple 'Merry Christmas' instead.  

The image from Lee Holland Digis is actually called Birthday Bear, but I thought the hat he was wearing looked like the paper hats that come in crackers, so he seemed to still fit the theme. :0)

Card Recipe:
I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

50 Shades of Hug

Loads of my favourite elements have gone into today's card.  Firstly it's purple (although pink and aqua would have equally scored).  Then there are my favourite papers and die, plus one of the gorgeous LOTV fairies (this one's appropriately called 'hugs').

And finally, yes, it's my favourite C&S style.

I really struggle with C&S (as you will have gathered if you visit often) but I love this style enough to keep coming back to it.

I can only apologise for that.

Actually, I don't apologise at all, because I love it !!!

You may also notice this one's also for a very special birthday - a treasured blog pal who's a real gem.

So happy birthday 'Petal', I hope your day is a good 'un.

And remember, you're only young once, but you can stay immature forever!

Card Recipe:
I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

LOTV - James Big Heart

Today's card is one of those where I sat back afterwards and smiled.  It's another LOTV card, and I am really pleased with how it turned out, although it probably helps that it's pink!  LOL

I'll be honest and I was more than a bit nervous about colouring the large heart, and had to resist a strong urge to paper piece it.  I tried to leave it quite pale, so used my DI reinkers to watercolour the image.  Without wishing to blow my own trumpet, I think he turned out quite well.

And I really LOVE these gorgeous LOTV Always and Forever papers.  (I may have possibly bought a spare pad of it to keep in reserve!)

To finish off, I've used one of my beloved pearl brads, a shimmery pink satin bow and some pretty pearls.

Card Recipe:
I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting

Monday, 14 July 2014

A Kit Tutorial

I've got something a bit different to show you today, in the form of a kit from The Stamp Basket, and a tutorial on how I used it.  The kit has so many items in it, enough to create 4 full cards, with plenty left over for lots of other projects.  All you'll need is some colouring items (pens / pencils / paints), some glue, and you're ready to get creative!

I won't ramble on today, as there are LOTS of pics to bore you with.  Firstly I'll show you what I created with the kit, and then if you'd like to see how I made it, please check out the tutorial below.

Here's my finished card ...
And here's how I made it ...

1)   I trimmed 2 sheets of my chosen Nordic Christmas papers in half, and popped some tape on the back to keep them together.  The papers in the pack complement each other, so they match well.  Personally I prefer the lighter colour on top as it seems to balance out the finished card better, but try out some papers and decide which you think looks good.

2)   Put the papers face down on a cutting mat, and lay your card base on top (don't stick it down at this point).  Line up the top and one side of your card base against the papers and using a ruler, trim the excess paper away from the other side with a craft knife.  Only trim the side edge at this stage, not the bottom edge.

3)   Remove the base card and place it to one side.  Turn over your papers and lay a strip of the ribbon across the join to hide it up.

Tip : If you can still see the join through the ribbon, which is possible if one paper is much darker than the other and the ribbon is semi-transparent, then place the bottom edge of the ribbon almost directly over the join.  The lighter paper should not show through much, but more importantly the contrast of the join will not be noticeable either.  :0)

4)   Turn over the papers and fold the ribbon around the edges, sticking it to the back of the card using sticky tape.  This is why you needed to trim the width of the card in step (2) above because now the ribbon is wrapped around you won't be able to trim it once it's stuck on the card.

5)   Now stick your papers to your base card.  I use a dry glue stick as wet glue can make the papers ripple.  Alternatively you can use double sided tape, but this can be tricky around a shaped card.

Tip : When using my glue stick, I pop the papers (reverse side up) inside the card base so they're directly underneath as much of the fancy card edge as possible.  You need to ensure that you get the glue right to the edge of the card base and overspill can make your cutting mat / desk sticky.  But it doesn't matter if you get glue on the reverse of the papers, because it all helps to stick it down anyway!

6)   Once the papers are stuck on, lining up the sides and top carefully, turn the card over, and open it up.  You should see the excess papers on the reverse.  With a sharp craft knife, use the edge of the shaped card as a guide and carefully trim off the excess papers.

Tip : I have learnt from unfortunate experience that it is vital to have a sharp knife at this stage.  If your knife is even slightly blunt the papers may tear and ripple up along the edge.  You will see that I actually use a mini disposable Stanley knife which has blades which you can snap off in tiny strips to get a fresh new sharp blade whenever it starts to feel a bit blunt.  Cutting card is obviously not great for keeping your blades sharp!  Also ensure you are not using your best table cloth as a cutting mat!  ;0)

7)  This is what your card should now look like - all neat and trimmed with a pretty ribbon hiding the join in the papers.

8)   Tie a strip of ribbon into a bow, and push a pearl brad through the middle.  I sometimes have wiggle it back and forth to work it through all the layers of ribbon in the bow, and it also helps if you've not pulled the bow into a vice-like knot, but more a gentle (but not loose) knot.  This can take a bit of practice, and sometimes I use my craft knife to get it started.  The next pic shows the brad pushed through, ready to be used.

9)   You're now ready to assemble your card.  I've coloured my image in colours to complement my papers, and matted both my image and another rectangle of designer paper onto pink card, trimming the edges neatly.  At this stage I like to lay my elements out to check where I'm going to place them.  I am planning to use the paper panel as the base for my bow, so I mark where the brad will need to push through, and make a teeny slit with my craft knife.  If you don't do this, and try to push the brad through without any cut, then it can crease the designer paper as it pushes though.

10)   I've now pushed through the brad and opened it up on the reverse of the paper panel.  This is a super strong way to adhere your bows.

11)   Pop on some foam pads and stick your paper panel / bow combo onto your card base.

12)   Using more foam pads stick your image panel onto the card base.

Tip : If the next layer is overlapping part of a previous layer, part will already be raised up if you're using foam pads.  Therefore work out which part will be 'double height' and pop two foam pads on that section to support it at the right height.  Hopefully here you can see that the right hand side, where the lower paper panel won't be lifting up the image panel, I've used 2 foam pads instead of one.

13)   I've then added some Viva Pearl Pen to the snow.

14)   Finally I've added some glossy accents onto the ground ...

... and some crystal glamour dust (fine white glitter) over the glossy accents.  I keep my glamour dust in a recycled business card box, and use a teaspoon to sprinkle it where I want it, and tap the rest back into the box afterwards.  The next photo is at the mid-glitter stage, before I've knocked off the excess.

And voilĂ !!!

Card Recipe:

Annabelle with Gift Nordic Christmas Kit, comprising:
Other items used:
I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting

Friday, 11 July 2014

Dream Wish Love Hope Believe

I'm well and truly in the safety of my beloved pink and purples today!  I really love this combo and must remember to use it more often.  I've also been water-colouring again, and really like this version of the sweet little Bella on presents image.

Card Recipe:
I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Pink Fairy

I've got a real C&S card today, and despite it being C&S, I LOVE IT.  I'll need some serious therapy again after this one, but I think these little fairies from LOTV deserve to be the main focus!  I don't think I've inked this one up yet either.

My favourite die is back out (I'm sorry if I'm getting a bit predictable but I just love this one).

And yup, I'm back to pink! :0)

Card Recipe:
I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Advent House

I bought a wooden advent house months ago with great intentions, but have only now finally got around to decorating it.  I have visions of filling the little drawers with my favourite Lindor truffle milk chocolates!  :0)

I painted the whole house using white paint, and painted the drawer fronts with pale green paint.  I then stamped mini snowflakes in red and green ink on the fronts and stuck on the wooden numbers. They actually had stickers on the backs, but I soon found out they didn't stick very well to the paint, so I added some glue and now they're well and truly stuck (whether they are where I want them or not!).  I used brick paper for the roof and added a snowflake die cut to the front.

I pondered on whether to have the drawers in numerical order or random, but I decided :
  1. I could always mix them up later if I wanted to by switching the drawers around a bit,
  2. In the mornings, when it's likely that I'll be ferreting about for my Lindor (still wishfully thinking that's what they'll contain) I won't have time to hunt for the relevant date!, and
  3. Having them in the right order satisfied my 'OCD' !

I made a box from scratch in red spotty cardstock to fit the largest space at the bottom.   I measured up the hole and made it slightly smaller so it could easily be pushed in and out.  It's still quite a large box, so I figured maybe 3 or 4 Lindors for that day!!  :0)

I may have to pop in some mini Mars bars or Snickers for hubby so that he doesn't eat my truffles!

This project is to support the N for Numbers challenge at ABC Christmas Challenge.

Card Recipe:
  • Artemio 24 Drawer Wooden Advent House
  • Wooden Numbers
  • Green paint for drawers
  • White paint for house base
  • Cardio Majestix mini snowflake stamps
  • Red and green inkpads
  • Green organza ribbon
  • Scrapping paper (made into a box for the large pigeon hole
  • Quickutz tag die
  • Snowflake die
  • Pearl
  • Bearly Mine brick digi paper
  • Lindor truffles
Lindor Milk Truffles 50g

Whoops, how did that get in there !!! LOL

I've been inspired by:
Happy crafting

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