Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Flowers, Fun and Firsts

What a busy weekend... I had a wonderful time at the Chelsea flower show on Friday. The weather was perfect and we had a great day out. The gardens and displays were both inspiring and amazing some were a little bit over the top and not my cup of tea, but you can see the passion and commitment that has gone into every one and the attention to detail was phenomenal,definitely a joy and a pleasure on all the senses.

Saturday was grocery shopping, housework and gardening day. With the bad weather we have had over what feel like months it has been left a bit neglected  in desperate need of some TLC. Sunday was another great day, whilst reading my card making magazine I discovered that there was a card and craft fair on locally, I convinced hubby to take me along, (bless him he is wonderful) unfortunately much to his discomfort I spent two hours in heaven, I made some essential purchases of must have items although if hubby had not been there I think I would have spent a teeny bit more... Happily buying one of everything. I did educate him along the way, explaining what everything was and how it was essential to purchase, although I don't think he was convinced. The next fair is in October and I'm already planning my purchases. We have decided though that he drops me off and collects me later, that sounds like perfect plan for us both!

Once home I thought I would put my purchases to use. Its my step daughters birthday next week and hubby had suggested I make her card which I finished last night. So far I haven't actually made a card for any reason in particular other than enjoyment and or felt they were good enough to give to someone so this was my big test, I hope she likes it! For the card I decided on a cute little bear from LOTV, coloured using my promarkers and testing the new ones I purchased at the fair (my collection is slowly growing but still a long way off completion).

The floral and matching stripe paper was matted onto blue card where a magazine freebie from Raspberry Road designs luxury paper collection, it's a great pack of 48 designs on A4 sheets all of which are beautiful, so nice, that I'm reluctant to use them. The edges and flower were inked with broken china, although as before with my last card I'm dissapointed as its much darker than I wanted... possibly the wrong colour to use, but I didn't have another blue. I also dont have the right tools for the job nor have I got the technique right yet and in my excitement at the craft fair I forgot to get some blender pads. I used bakers twine and made a bow,  attaching a heart charm, yes you guessed it... new purchases (I was trying to see how many of today's goodies I could use on one card... I didn't quite manage them all). The flower does have a sparkly glitter centre although I didn't think was quite right for this card, so I covered this with the same candi as used to decorate the sides, happy birthday stamped sentiment, faux stitches, little blue pearls around the stamped bear and paper butterflies (using my new punch... purchased today). 

'Birthday bear'  
The butterfly punch is definitely my favourite and best buy of the day, its also my first punch, I've relied on eBay purchases for punched butterflies, flowers etc, which is good. but meant I've been restricted with choices and haven't always had the exact colour I wanted, its a dream to use and I plan to make many more with the leftover pieces of card and paper that I've collected... which is a rather large pile for a relatively short space of time, due to my appalling measuring skills and inability to cut a straight line. Finally... another first was completing the inside of the card, until now I've left them blank. I used white card with the same floral paper as on the front and a punched butterfly to the top and bottom corners to finish.                                

The challenges I would like to enter this week are:

Friday, 25 May 2012

Returned Rested and Relaxed

I returned late on Monday night, having had a fantastic 10 days in the sun, I did still manage to keep a sneaky peak on my favourite blogs and the challenges I entered before I went... the joys of WiFi, even with a patchy and poor connection my obsessive needs where met. Having given my daughter instructions before I left to check for me that I hadn't won any new challenge badges it went a little pair shaped... but it's all sorted now. Oh dear, she managed to confuse me for another Andrea and posted the wrong winners badge on my site... eek I had all sorts of fears that I would be banned from my blog page and branded as a cheat, as I couldn't access my page whilst I was away to remove it, but thankfully its off now and without incident... next time I will check myself or I won't post any challenges and then go off on holiday.

Whoopee I won my first every prize for my winning entry from Dilly Beans 'texture' challenge and I get to choose 3 digi's, thank you very much Dillybeans it will also be the first time I will have used a Digi stamp so firsts all round. I also got a top 3 in Crafty Ribbons' yellow,pink and orange' challenge so what a happy surprise and good news to return to. My motivation for card making continues to flourish and my blog page is beginning to look a little less empty, not so sure that my card making skills are increasing at the same pace... though no rush. I did have withdrawals whilst away, although I wouldn't have missed my holiday for anything, a break from work was really needed and it worked. I went back on Wednesday and stayed chilled (I think) although I do also have a day off to go to Chelsea flower show today (Xmas present from husband, I love it and would happily go every year). So a short working week for me this week.

With unpacking, washing and work I have found the time to make one card which I finished off after work last night, maybe I will  squeeze another in over the weekend... fingers crossed. 


'Strawberry Picking'

Unfortunately the colours turned out a little odd in the photos, it looks very orange, the card stock and papers that I used where actually red. I need to look at when and where I take my photos. I was trying to create a vintage feel and this was also my first attempt at blending the edges of my paper with distress ink, unfortunately I dont have the correct tools for the job and it ended up quite a bit darker and heavier than I would have liked, but practice and purchasing of the correct equipment I'm sure I will get better in time. I used stamps from the Fairies of the seasons set by Sarah Williams,on a die cut circle coloured of course with promarkers, I need to add some fine nibs to my wish list as some of the detail was tiny and I found it impossible to not go over the outline.

I used three papers red check, strawberry floral and yellow matted onto red card stock from the Raspberry Road designs-Summer goodness paper pack(free with magazine). Cream lace, red satin ribbon and bow, cream and red pearls and red and yellow roses from my local shop. For the sentiment I matted the same yellow paper with the red card stock and I used peel off's, I found these where really tricky to put on and are still not quite square, but each time I tried to fix it I ruined another one and was running out of them... (maybe is should stick to stamped or ready made sentiments!) and finally some glitter on her wings.

I would like to enter the following challenges this week:

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Opposites Attract

Well, as I hoped last time I posted I was able to get some more card making done over the bank holiday weekend and last night completed another two cards one which I had coloured last week and the other I started and finished from scratch. It was only a little Tilda so no major colouring, none-the-less a complete card in one go is impressive for me. I finished so late though,I had no time left to upload onto my blog page, I did beat the start of the working week deadline as I know I will not get another opportunity now before I go on holiday at the end of this week. I'm only working two days this week with having the bank holiday yesterday and going on holiday...I have a weeks work to try and fit into two days and be as up to date as possible before I go that only means one thing...STRESS.So I am going to enjoy the moment while it lasts, two complete opposites this time, one bright and cheerful and the other soft and pastel but I think they are both nice in there own way.

'Summertime Fun-Time'

I completed an entire card this time, my inspiration came after some blog hopping (there is always time for blog hopping). The crafty ribbon challenge was the inspiration behind this one as I love bright colours .It is also my first attempt at multi layers as I find this difficult not to look really messy and disjointed .It still isn't anywhere near the same league as the experts I have come across, the work is outstanding on the blogs I have visited hence the reason my follow list is huge! But progress is being made, albeit slowly. The yellow spotty backing paper is 'Dovecraft- back to basics', I added an orange floral paper which I matted onto orange card stock. The square pink embossed die-cut frame (eBay) wasn't as large as I would have liked so I also used a die-cut decorative circle (eBay purchase, one day I will have a die cutting machine of my own) on the other corner which I coloured cerise pink to match. My promarkers where once again put to good use for Tilda, I also added some small highlights with a white gel pen.

I Inked the edges of the stamp and mounted it onto a satin cream and pink frame (eBay again) which I decorated with yellow orange and pink ribbon and some washi tape (free with a magazine) again a first for me, it is so easy to use and even better if it goes wrong can be peeled off and re-stuck, which is my idea of heaven, as I am partial to a little mistake or two. For decoration I added an orange satin bow topped with sentiment (eBay) which I coloured with promarkers to match my theme. An embossed die-cut yellow swirl, yellow and white satin, organza and foam flowers. Finally another strip of washi tape (wonderful stuff, I must reiterate) and some pink and yellow pearls. Not quite sure if all the elements work together but I'm quite pleased and think I'm on the right track ,I feel I just need to work more on getting the balance right. 

'Pretty Pastel Party '

Now for some contrast, pretty pastel tones I used for this one. I used Webster and another floral paper (both free from magazine) matted onto a pretty light blue/green card stock. The stamp was coloured with my promarkers of course using soft lilacs, greens, pinks and blues and matted onto green and grey card stock.The same flowers as before although this time using only the white ones. To decorate a white organza satin ribbon and bow and a foiled sentiment. Now for the butterflies which I love using, as you can see I did not go for a minimal look although I think it enhances quirky tea party theme (not everyone's cup of tea). To the butterflies I added glitter and or some clear gems for sparkle and finally some pale green pearls to complete the pretty look. 

I would like to enter the following challenges:

'Summertime Fun-Time ' 

Yellow, Pink and Orange

Flower Power

Maypole Ribbons 

Bold and Bright

Texture Challenge 

'Pretty Pastel  Party' 

Use a Die-Cut/Punches

Butterflies, Ribbons and Punches


Flower Power

The letter B -  is for Butterflies

Anything Goes

Butterflies and Add Some Flowers

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Bank Holiday Blues

Well, another hectic week at work, card making is definitely my new escape and is becoming my obsession... a nice obsession I may add, I find its a really good distraction, having to concentrate and it definitely beats the more mundane aspects of life such as housework, ironing, cooking... need I say more! This weekend I've made and finished two cards so far... I hope to squeeze in a couple more. As ever my plan of stamping, colouring and planning in the week and then constructing at the weekend, when I have a bit more time, is paying off although the husband doesn't quite agree due to the fact that he didn't get lunch until 3pm today... I got distracted and lost track of time, oops!

'What a Cutie'

For the background and sentiment I used Nitwit papers free from a magazine: in check, floral and plain. Blue is  my favourite colour and this is actually the first blue card I have made. I love the tones and think they work well with the colouring. I coloured Tilda with my promarkers as always, then cut her out and placed her on a heart embossed die cut frame (from eBay) made from cream mulberry paper. I would have preferred a narrower frame but I don't have any and wasn't keen on the idea of cutting it down or sure how to go about it, I dont have the skill or steady hand to do that and it would have ended up as scrap in the bin! I was also having trouble cutting out her antenna, I didn't like the look it created as you could see the white background so I cut them off then drew them back on with  black fine-liner pen then added the hearts... I am much happier with this. The ribbons are cream lace which I threaded with some pale blue grossgrain ribbon. I used the same blue ribbon to make a bow. For decoration I used a couple of organza roses, a foam type rose (not sue what its made of but looks pretty) from my local shop, blue candi and finally pearls to add some bling.

'Happy Birthday Wishes'

'Lily of the Valley Stamp' this time, coloured using promarkers of course. I mounted the stamp onto a teal satin card die-cut frame (eBay as above) and added silver peel offs to frame the stamped image, I used a white gel pen for the spots on her trousers. This is the first time I have used peel off strips, I need to learn how to mitre the corners as they look a bit tatty and unfinished by not doing so. Without realising I have used a very similar colour palette of blues and teal, although this one has more bling and sparkle. The delicate floral backing paper is petite papers from Webster's I got with a magazine (I buy lots of magazines as you can probably tell by now). There are some really lovely papers in the pack its very feminine and I'm looking forward to using more soon. I overlaid blue satin ribbon onto a wider cream organza/satin trim ribbon. Using the same blue satin ribbon I made a bow, which I finished with a white button and blue flower gem. 

For the sentiment I put some silver cord onto a foiled greeting. I decorated again using the same organza, satin and foam flowers as above, some blue flower gems and pale teal candi (I cant decide what colour they are, I think it's teal). This card would be perfect for a special birthday or mothers day, I think, definitely one for the ladies. I'm off on holiday next weekend for a fortnight so I need to get some more card making done to make up for not being here. 

Until next time... Bye and happy crafting to you all!

Challenges I would like to enter this week are the following:-

'What a Cutie'

'Happy Birthday Wishes'