Thursday, 31 July 2008

Fiona in New York

I've been on top of the world since I found out a few of my cards had appeared in SC&P, even if it was on the letters pages and only in a little column on the side! No matter what, it's still nice to see my achievements of the last 6 months in proper print. Ali is even taking me out to dinner on Monday night to celebrate :o)

On the back of all this happiness, my mojo seems to have come alive and I've loads of ideas bursting from everywhere! This card was one of them.......

The paper is Basic Grey 'Scarlets letter' and the cardstock is Bazzill Bling. I stamped my Fiona Rubber Romance image onto white card, masked her off and then stamped the RR New York backdrop over the top of her - I love this technique and would like to do it a bit more in the future. The images were then coloured with watercolour pencils and blended with a waterbrush. The result is a little bit ropey but I think it looks OK. I wrapped some red ribbon around the card and then mounted the image onto the blank with lots of 3D foam pads. I finished the whole thing with some little clear beads (I'd forgotten what a pain they were to stick down!). I think the end result was worth the effort though. Plain and simple but still plenty to look at.

Hope you've all enjoyed the recent sunshine. I'm sure I'd enjoy it far more if my neighbour stopped having 2 bonfires a day....... Rahr!
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Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Yippee! I Got My Mojo Back!

I found it, I found it! My Mojo has been hiding but I'm pleased to report that I've found it! Yep, I'm back to my usual, bright and colourful self and I have found a new favourite colour combination...... lime green and fuchsia! This is the second card I've made this month using this colour scheme and I love it!

I used this weeks Friday Sketchers sketch on the layout of this card and I have to say, I found it a joy to work with. The card was so stress-free to make, it just fell together if you know what I mean.

The cardstock is Bazzill Bling (Feather Boa and Bank Roll) and the papers are a digital freebie which can be found here. The cutsie-pie image (mounted on approximately 4 million 3D pads!) is the Shabby Chic Magnolia stamp that Sheila sent me in our recent SS swap. Doesn't Tilda look cute?! The sentiment is from a Studio G clear stamp set which I also received in the swap. As ever, the card was finished off with adhesive gems, ribbon and flowers.

Unfortunately, the picture lets this card down as I had all sorts of problems getting a decent one. Bazzill Bling may be lovely in the flesh but it is an absolute pain in the bum to photograph as it is so shiny and you end up with loads of glare from the flash. I ended up turning the flash off to get a better pic which is why it has a funny blue tinge.....

Even with the weird blue tinge, I hope you like it as much as I do!

P.S. I had a message from Vicki last night to say congratulations for making it into Simply Cards & Papercraft Magazine this month! I didn't even know that my cards were going to be in there so I am now VERY excited. I know that it'll probably be just a tiny corner of the letters page with a few mini pics of my cards but, I don't care! I'm in print - WOO-HOO! ~x~
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Sunday, 27 July 2008

There is Blog Candy EVERYWHERE!

On my travels, I've noticed that absolutely everyone seems to be offering blog candy at the moment - How generous?! Well, like many others, there are so many links to add that I have decided to advertise these varied goodies in one large post. It's easier for you to find, its easier for me to post - everybody's happy!
The brilliantly talented Michelle is offering some gorgeous pastel candy as part of her 1 year Blogoversary celebrations. The closing date is 12 noon on Friday 8 August.
Bev is giving away some wonderful Hanglar and Stanglar images along with some other goodies. Now, wouldn't we all love to get our grubby paws on those lovely things?! Well, make sure you hot foot it over to Bev's blog by 9 August so you don't miss out.
Finally, my incredibly talented SBS sister Sonja is offering the cutest little altered item that she has made. It is seriously fab - so fab I was tempted not to tell you so I'd have a better chance of winning it :o) She's going to draw a winner on 15 August.

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Friday, 25 July 2008

Whiff of Joy Guest Designer Call

As many of you will know, Katharina is about to launch her new stamp design company - Whiff of Joy. Firstly, the name is brilliant! Secondly, she has so many fantastic designers on board, the stamps are utterly gorgeous. I am going to be a definate customer!

Being the generous person that she is, Katharina is going to take a Guest Designer onto the design team every 2 months. In order to decide on the first candidate, she has produced one of her famous sketches. Here is my take on her design.......

This card was made with Laura Ashley contemporary papers and a Sarah Kay image from an online colouring page - thanks for the tip off Beth! The image is coloured with watercolour pencils and mounted onto the card with 3D pads for a little bit of dimension. I finished the card with a chipboard butterfly and a Stamps Away sentiment which is tied to the card with an eyelet and some ribbon.
I really enjoyed making this card as I haven't had as much crafting time as I would have liked in the last couple of weeks and I've missed it terribly! It also gave me a really good excuse to play with my new Laura Ashley goodies (don't you just love freebie gifts from magazine subscriptions?!). I do love the papers I have to say, so classy. The only problem is, I don't really have that many stamps that 'compliment' this style. I think I can feel a shopping spree coming on.....!

P.S. Apologies for the wonky picture, I took it in a hurry before I ran out of the door to work this morning. I'll try and get a better one tonight!

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Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Secret Sister Swap.... What I Sent

Well, I can finally show you what occupied so much of my time at the beginning of July whilst I was on holiday. Below is the package I sent to my Secret Sister for our SBS16 swap.

I was in a bit of an unfortunate situation as my Secret Sister was actually Sonja, the organiser of the swap! Because she paired everyone up, she new who her SS was going to be. Therefore, to ensure she still had some surprises, I had to hold back on posting any pictures of my 'makes' until I knew that she had received her goodies. I saw on her blog today that she has used one of the images and has eaten all the M&M's I sent (tee hee!), so I guess this means that I am all clear to reveal all to you.......

As you can see, I made her a stationery box full of note cards and tags, a door hanger, a Post-It note holder, a bookmark and a 1 sheet book full of stamped images. Finally, I altered some fold-back clips, paperclips and a bag of M&M's.

I really hoped she liked it and finds all of the bits and pieces useful. Can't wait til our next swap at Christmas!

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Awards.... and VERY Overdue Thank you's for Awards!

Oh dear, I've been utterly useless at keeping up with things lately and some very lovely peeps amongst you have nominated me for some awards but I still haven't posted them (and the associated thank you's!) on my blog. Rubbish. So, without further ado..........

I was given this award by E.T., Jools, Sharon, Kerry, Jose and Janet because my blog 'caught their eye' in some way. How nice is that?! A massive THANK YOU to you ladies. The rules state that you must pass the award on to 7 other deserving blogs but, unfortunately, because I've been so slow in posting, all of my favourites have already received this award. Therefore, I will just leave this award here and if you haven't yet received it and I leave you comments reguarly, please feel free to claim it as your own!

The fun doesn't stop there as today (get me, I'm actually posting on time!), Beth and Kerry nominated me for a Blogging Friends Forever Gold Card! Such a cute award! Thanks guys - if only it were a real one eh?! Imagine all those lovely goodies you could buy.....!

The rules of this award are slightly different from the usual......

1. Only 5 people are to be nominated.

2. 4 out of the 5 have to be dedicated followers of your blog

3. 1 has to be someone new or recently new to your blog and live in another part of the world.

4. You must link back to whoever gave you the award.

Well, I've had a bit of a think and I have decided that the first 4 people I am going to nominate are: Janet, Nikki, Sheila and Terrie. Not only are they all incredibly talented, these lovely ladies always find time to leave me such lovely comments. So, this is just a little thank you back to them.

My final nomination goes to Jenn. Jenn is from Texas and I only stumbled across her blog a couple of months ago but I tell you, I am totally hooked! She is fabulous!

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Bad Blogger Stacey....

Haven't I been rubbish lately?! I'm so sorry I've not been about to visit all of your lovely blogs recently, I don't seem to have stopped for the last week and a half. I've barely had time to do any crafting either which is just killing me as I have all of the lovely goodies Sheila sent me, just sat there, still unused. I'm hoping that I might get a teeny bit of time this Saturday to get stuck back in though. Fingers crossed......!

Yesterday was Ali's birthday and, as he is a competitive swimmer, he asked me to make him a swimming related card. The only problem was, he described exactly what he wanted. Sometimes this is a good thing as it means you know exactly what you are doing. However, sometimes it is a nightmare when, as in this case, you can't find what you need in order to make said card! I looked absolutely everywhere for a decent male swimmer stamp and could not find one anywhere. In the end, I found myself on the A Muse website, settling for a lady instead. What I also found was a card produced by one of their design team which exactly matched the idea that Alistair had given to me! Although I have changed the design a little, it made my job a lot easier I have to say!

This was a really quick card to make. I stamped 3 swimmers, coloured them with Whisper pens, cut them out and mounted them on to the card. I doodled the end bunting and the lane ropes, again colouring with Whispers. Finally, I printed the sentiment from the PC and mounted this onto red and blue card. Dead easy but he was really pleased with it!

As a joke, I also made this door hanger for the bathroom. Basically, we have a running joke that he 'hogs' the shower so I thought this would make him smile!

I hope everyone is well - I will try do a bit of blog hopping today to catch up with your gorgeous creations!

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Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Image Swap Wallet

I made this wallet for an image swap I am currently taking part in on the Docrafts Forum. I also based it on the Mojo Monday sketch from last week. Better late than never eh?!

I used my gorgeous Eloise Greengrass image and Papermania 'Retro Floral' papers for this card. I pulled the colours from the paper to coordinate with the image so she is looking very bright and colourful! As for the glitter....... I only recently found out that you can watercolour with Sakura Stardust Gelly Roll pens! As most of you probably know, if you scribble on an acrylic block and then pick the colour up with a waterbrush, you get an amazingly smooth subtle sheen. Such a fab technique which I'm pleased I discovered, even if it was a little late! To finish the card off, I added some simple white ribbon and threaded it through a couple of eyelets, tying it into a bow to keep the contents nice and secure.
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Tuesday, 15 July 2008

I'm SO Lucky!

I was so excited when I got home from work tonight - both my SBS Secret Sister package AND my Docrafts swap images had arrived!

I finally discovered who my secret sister was..........SHEILA! Thank you SO much for the masses of goodies you sent Sheila, I was over the moon with them. For the rest of you, here are a couple of pics of what I received.......

There was a Magnolia 'Shabby Chic' stamp, a Cuttlebug embossing folder, gorgeous ribbon, some Doodlebug brads and spot eyelet type things, Sakura Glaze pen, some Studio G stamps and little acrylic block, feathers, chocolate, glitter, an inkpad, and (my absolute favourite thing!) a little mini easel! There was also the most gorgeous little Elzybells stamp which says "Handstamped for you by Stacey" - so cute! On top of all this, Sheila also included a wonderful little handstamped candle, a little origami box with some Bella images in and a wonderful pop up accordian card featuring some lovely Penny Black images. Such an amazingly generous gift. I'm still speechless......not that you'd be able to tell from the length of this post!!!

As I previously mentioned, also in the post was a card from my image swap buddy Sarah from the Docrafts forum.

As you can see, I got a number of Penny Black images which I was really pleased about as I don't actually own any PB stamps of my own. You know what this means....... I can finally join in the Penny Black Challenge Blog! Hurrah! Thanks Sarah!

Hope you are all having as good an evening as moi!

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Monday, 14 July 2008

Thanks a Latte

This is the last of my birthday Stamping Bella stamps that Ali bought me and I have to say, I love her! She's called Lattebella and Alistair reckons that she looks like me in Starbucks! Mmm, my favourite.......!

I made this card using yet more free digital papers. I layered these up onto the card blank with white paper. To add a bit of interest, I added some faux zigzag stitching round the edges. I really like how that aspect turned out so I shall be using that technique again! Once I'd stamped and coloured Bella with watercolour pencils, the white background seemed too stark so I made up a pale blue wash which seems to have softened things a little. The card was finished with a ribbon knot and some pearl brads.

Although you can't really see from the pic, the card is hinged at the top, rather than the side. This caused a bit of a problem as the card wasn't massively thick so once all of the card and paper was plastered to the front of it, it wasn't exactly what you'd call stable! So, I had to reinforce the back to keep it upright - whoops!

This one is currently winging it's way to someone.....hope she likes it!

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Duck Tales, Woo-Hoo!

Hi Guys, I know it's not exactly craft related but I had the best lunch break today and I just had to share it with you! Working at Southampton University we are really lucky as we have some lovely landscaped grounds to go and sit in. Consequently, whenever the weather is nice, Ali and I grab the blanket and turn lunch into a picnic. Today was no exception. So, there we are, minding our own business, eating our lunch when we are {literally} attacked by the local wildlife! There are several families and we've watched them grow from tiny little yellow chicks. Its the highlight of the summer for the entire campus! Aren't they gorgeous?!

Apologies for the cleavage and the, ahem, stomache tyre(s) but I just had to share these pics with you! I love the way they are climbing all over me, so sweet! Once they realised all the food was gone, one actually settled down in my lap and had a snooze. I know, it sounds unbelievable but I promise its true :o)

If you can put up with my horrendous voice (we never sound like we think we sound do we?!), check out this fab video Ali took on his phone...

Hope you enjoyed that as much as I did!

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Saturday, 12 July 2008

It's All About Changing Your Mind Half Way Through.....!

During a trip to the New Forest the other day, we found a great little papercraft place in Lyndhurst called Emerald Crafts. They had lots of lovely stuff in there but I made a total beeline for the little room full of 12x12 papers and card. It was full of lovely Bazzill and loads of gorgeous papers. What made it even better was that everything in there was 3 for 2! Unfortunately, I am seriously poor this month after having to tax my car (paying £101 for 6 months tax has put a hideous dent in my crafting budget!) so I knew I couldn't go mad! But, I still managed to get 3 sheets of Bazzill Bling, 2 Basic Gray papers and 1 Making Memories for £2! Well done me!

After stroking my lovely papers for far too long (come on, admit it, I'm not the only one!), I plucked up the courage to actually spoil their perfectness and actually use them! The result was the card below......

I rounded the edges of a shocking pink card blank and mounted Basic Gray 'Fashionable' paper from the Sultry range on the bottom two thirds. I then ran a strip of Bazzill Bling (Bank Roll I think) through the Cuttlebug with the Swiss Dots folder. The join was then hidden with a piece of ribbon. Partygirlabella was coloured with watercolour pencils and then given a bit of shimmer with a clear Gelly Roll pen and my water brush. She was matted onto card and a large rectangular Nestie. I cut out the very top balloons so that they would overlap the edge of the frame. I finished the card with a computer generated sentiment and some adhesive clear gems.

Now, whilst I really like how this card turned out, it is totally different from the initial idea I had in my mind! The image was going to be in a circle which sat jauntily off the page and there was going to be a circular sentiment set amongst flowers and.... well, you get the idea! I think I might still attempt that layout but not with this stamp - its a little too big and off centered.

Right, better dash. Gotta go do my usual Saturday morning gym session. Ali gets back from training at 9.30 and I doubt he will be too impressed to find me sat in my pyjama's in front of the PC 'getting distracted' as he calls it!

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My First Elzybells!

Despite having been off work for the last 2 weeks, I haven't done anywhere near as much crafting (or blogging!) that I thought I would. So, over the next couple of days, I am going to try and sort out that situation before I have to go back to work on Monday!

Below is the first card I want to share with you today. It's my first ever Elzybells! They are SUCH fun to work with - I love 'em!

As you can see, for this card, I cut an aperture in the front of the card and stamped the actual image on the inside of the card blank. I then framed the hole with a rectangular Nestie. I really like this effect and so you may see it more often from me! The paper is another digi freebie and the image was watercoloured with pencils. I finished the card with adhesive gems, a layered up flower and some ribbon. I still think the card needs a little something else but at this point I'm not sure what...... any ideas?! Sentiment maybe?

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Sunday, 6 July 2008

Funky Fairy's Blog Candy & yet ANOTHER 'Thank You' card!

Shaz (aka Funky Fairy) is offering some AMAZING candy over on her blog. All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is to make a card using her current favourite colours - pink, green and blue. I think this card fits the bill..... the blue might be a little turquoise though.....!
Yep, I'm still going with the thank you cards! Hey, I've a lot of peeps to thank after that lovely birthday!

This is one I knocked up using a free kit from this site. Seriously gorgeous goodies and I can't believe they are all free! The image is a flower which is included in the pack. I cut it out and mounted it up to give the card a bit of dimension - you'll have to take my word for it though as you can't really see it in the pic! The sentiment is one I printed off from the PC using a font from yet another fabulous site I've found - they will even turn your handwriting in to a font free of charge! Top stuff. The card is finished with the obligatory ribbon and adhesive gems.

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Saturday, 5 July 2008

Friday Sketchers #9

After receiving so many lovely presents for my birthday, I decided I had better get cracking on the thank you cards! This is obviously a massive excuse to use my new Cuttlebug embossing folders and also my lovely sparkly new Nestabilities!

I made this card using the Friday Sketchers challenge #9 layout. The image is my new Eloise Greengrass stamp from Stamping Bella. I coloured her with watercolour pencils and used Stickles on her wings to give her a little bit of sparkle. I matted her onto a Nestie rectangle and this in turn was mounted onto lilac Swiss Dots embossed card. The card was finished with Sizzix photocorners and tiny tag. Sorry the picture is a little dark - it's really dingy and blowy outside today getting a decent pic proved impossible!

By the way - I need some advice! I've just realised that my stocks of white card are running awfully low. I've had trouble in the past getting really white card to make up my card blanks. So.....I need to know.....where do you all buy yours from?!

Hope you are all having a splendiferous weekend!

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Thursday, 3 July 2008

Whoa! Gnarly Dude!

After loving making pretty cards over the last couple of day, I was distraught to remember that it is my brother's birthday tomorrow and that I had to make a 'boy' card........ boo........hiss!

As I'm really not a fan of making mens cards, I always struggle for inspiration. So I had a flick through my ever growing pile of crafty magazines and found this fab card (originally by Jo Kill). As my brother (who is in his late thirties I'd like to add!) loves riding his bike down the sides of hills/mountains, I decided this would be super appropriate! If you saw the original by Jo, you'll think this attempt is absolute rubbish but, on its own? I think it just about pulls it off!

The card primarily involves cutting up lots of card and doodling on the tyre and border. Jo's version had some cool wire for the brake cables but after faffing for half an hour with a paperclip and a pair of pliers, I decided to go without! The 'gnarly' sentiment comes courtesy of Doodlebug rub-ons.

Although I wasn't very pleased with this card when I first finished it, it's really growing on me now - I just hope Nathan likes it!

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Super-Dooper Birthday

Just a note to say thank you to all of you who sent me birthday wishes over the last couple of days. Extra special thanks go to my SBS16 sisters Shiela and Tracey who both sent me lovely cards and some birthday treats. Thanks so much girls, you really made my day :o)
Overall, I had a really great day and incredibly, got everything I wanted including my 3 favourite Bellas! Also received, rather unexpectedly, a little bit of cash so - woohoo - my Nestabilities are on the way! I'm so excited! Ali also 'customised' my birthday card which I thought was just the cutest thing ever - bless that gorgeous man!
All I can say is, so far, 27 doesn't seem to be too bad!

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Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Cute Card Thursday Challenge - No Patterned Paper

The Cute Card Thursday challenge this week is to create a card without using any patterned paper. Hey, that's no problem for me I thought - I've finally got my Cuttlebug!

So, without further ado, here is my 2nd ever Cuttlebug card and also my entry for this weeks CCT challenge.

Do you ever make a card and then think, "Yes, that really works"?. Well, I had one of those {rare} moments when I stepped back to admire this card. I love it!

I mounted some pink cardstock onto a card blank and ran a matching piece through the Cuttlebug using the Perfectly Paisley embossing folder. I then attacked the card with an emery board, exposing the white core of the embossed sections of the cardstock. This panel was then matted on lighter pink card. I coloured the Sugar Nellie image which I received in our recent SBS swap (thanks Tracey!) with watercolour pencils, inked the edges and then matted this on pale pink card. I highlighted the corners of the card with some gorgeous little glass beads which I received in the stash Tracy from 'Dies to Die For' sent me. I finished the card with a 'Happy Birthday' seal from Stamps Away.

Hope you like my handiwork as much as I do!

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Yummy Candy!

Just a quick note to tell you to head over to Nikki's blog as she is offering some awesome candy to celebrate 10,000 hits to her blog. Seriously good stuff!

For those of you who haven't yet come across Nikki's blog, you really must pay her a visit. Not only are her cards absolutely beautiful, she is a gorgeous person too! The lovely comments she always leaves me never fail to put a smile on my face :o)

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Papertake Weekly Challenge - Thanks a Latte

I've been naughty...... Even though my birthday isn't until tomorrow, I've convinced Ali to let me have my Cuttlebug a little bit early! I knew I was going to love it but I mean, wow, isn't it great?! So far I've only got two embossing folders - Perfectly Paisley and Swiss Dots (of course!) - but I can see myself acquiring some more soon :o)
This is the first card that I have made with my new toy and I'm afraid that it looks far better in the flesh than it unfortunately does in this picture! As it is a thank you card, it is also going to be my entry for this weeks Papertake Weekly Challenge.

The image is a RAK from Dawn, one of my SBS sisters. I think it might be a Stampin' Up stamp, but please don't quote me on that! I've coloured the birdie with watercolour pencils and highlighted the flower with an adhesive gem. The card stock is Bazzill Bling and I've used my new Fiskars 'Cloud' scissiors to cut the scalloped edges. I finished the card with ribbon and some brads.

Just before I sign off, sorry I've not been about too much this week but I've been tied up making the gifts for our SBS Secret Sister Swap. Although I am enjoying doing something different, I never realised that it would be so time consuming! Once I've finished everything, posted it all and had confirmation that my secret sister has received it, I will share some pics with you but I don't want to do so yet as I don't want to spoil the surprise for her!

Hope everyone is well,
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