Book of houses

Right now, I don’t feel I have a lot of time for playing craft and when I do find those precious moments I feel it should be quick, simple and easy. This is not the time for major mucking and messing about. But this week’s Sunday Stampers challenge – books – had the power of Narnia (book reference see?!) and pulled me to the land of let’s do the opposite :)

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As soon as I saw the challenge that Hels had set I knew I was going to make a concertina book. Then I realised that here was an opportunity to try out my new Invoke Arts stamps AND play with inks – it was a done deal. Now I know this could have been more complicated and detailed but after mucking it up once I kept on the straight and narrow for attempt two.

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The book was made with a piece of black A4 card cut in half lengthwise and folded into equal portions. I cut the leftover bit off one, for there was a little, and used the other to join the two pieces together. Then I made backgrounds from old booked pages and stamped a different border on each one using mainly my Lindsay Mason Zendoodles String Theory set by Papermania.

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Each of the houses was stamped on to card, cut out and then inked with distress inks. A few have white highlights add – some even have them where I didn’t mean to put them!

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This stamp set is amazing, not only are there five houses (the sixth, the one with the stars, is a separate stamp) but loads of little extras such as swirls, stars and hearts. I added one or two here and there but not as many as I would have liked. The cover has stamps from the set too plus a bit of doodling by me and a hand cut heart left over from yesterday’s project.

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I think making little books is one of my favourite things to do – throw in whimsical houses and distress inks and you have crafting bliss.

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In the navy

Today is all about Every Inchie Monday and you will have probably guessed from the title of this post that this week’s theme is navy. Now as you know, I love a colour theme but this week, decided to force myself to go down a different route and I have to tell you I’m really glad I did.

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Not only were these fun to make they were also quick and easy and I’m very happy with how they turned out. I’ve used some vintage images from The Graphics Fairy and The Gecko Galz plus some words from the Fishy Tales collage sheet by Artchix.

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Here I’ve combined the music image from The Graphics Fairy with one of a sailor boy from the Gecko Galz Red, White and Blue ephemera set. On the other one I’ve combined designer paper and washi tape and used an image from the Red, White and Blue Jewel it set, also by the Gecko Galz.

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This one is a naval flag image from The Graphics Fairy and the words and little ship were all part of the same image on the Artchix Fishy Tales collage set plus a tiny piece of knotted baker’s twine.

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The last two are more images from The Graphics Fairy collaged on to starry paper and finished with words from Fishy Tales.

Now these may have been fun to make but the experience was slightly spoiled by my singing, never great (or so I’m told!) at the best of times, the Village People song which is the title of this post!

Don’t forget to buzz over to Every Inchie Monday and see what the other players have been up to, you can be sure to see tons of creative thinking.

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Always in my heart

If you are a regular over here you will know that I am a big supporter of Amy and Friends, the charity that supports sufferers of Cockayne Syndrome and their families. I learned about Cockayne Syndrome through the amazing blog of Scarlett Clay whose youngest son, Knox, was a sufferer. Their story touched my heart so deeply I vowed to do as much as I could to raise the profile of this disorder and the work of Amy and Friends.  You can read more here. Today would have been the fourth birthday of dear little Knox, but all too sadly he lost his battle against Cockayne Syndrome earlier this year.  In his honour and memory I have created this postcard:

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The background was created with Dylusions ink sprays and then overstamped using my collection of various sized dots and that fabulous spiral by Neil Walker. I added the main flower, by Stampotique, and then stamped around the edge with my favourite Dylusions border. I’ve added a bit of colour with watercolour pencils.

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The flower has been paper pieced and I made a couple of extra flower heads.You will recognise the Hero Arts butterfly and here I’ve used distress inks to add colour.

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The little hearts were cut freehand from paper that had been coloured with red distress inks.

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If you would like to show your support for Amy and Friends they would love it if you left them some words of encouragement on their Facebook Page or, if you are on Twitter, you can tweet @AmyandFriends. You can also make a donation via the website. Thank you :)

Butterfly kisses sweet Knoxy, I will never forget you :)

“Some people come into our lives and quickly go.
Some people move our souls to dance. They awaken us to
new understanding with the passing whisper of their wisdom.
Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon.
They stay in our minds, leave footprints
on our hearts, and we are never ever the same.”

(Flavia Weedn)

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Sunshine and Lavender

Have you worked out that when my blog posts appear at 10am that I must be on top of my game and scheduling ahead? Conversely when they appear at random during the day I am playing catch up?! Today is definitely a catch up day, but how therapeutic it has been making a card for this week’s City Crafter Challenge Blog “Sunshine and Lavender” theme:

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Sitting and punching out all the flowers and then placing them was sooo relaxing :)

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I layered up lavender card and yellow designer paper and distressed the edges. The final layer was a piece of card embossed with swiss dots.

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I used a Martha Stewart punch to make lots of blossoms from a variety of lavender papers and cards plus a little yellow. Then it was just a question of arranging them into a wreath. I did about three layers in total to give it some depth and on the final layer added some of the smaller blossoms. Each has been topped with a blob of vanilla Cosmic Shimmer glue.

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I added a few more blossoms to the corners of the card and then added a stamped and punched butterfly to the centre of the wreath. A little yellow bow is the finishing touch.

 

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Funnily enough it has been a bit of a “sunshine and lavender” kind of a day. After overnight rain the sun has reappeared – not helpful when you are trying to take photographs! Then Mr Beez has been busy planting some flowers in the garden, not lavender, but two different types with a purple hue. Very pretty they look too.

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Summer love sensations

Hooray for the weekend and it looks like it’s going to be a very warm and sunny one over in my corner of the world. To celebrate this summeriness I thought I would share two of my Gecko Galz DT makes with you.

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First up is this simple card that was made using a paper from the La Isla Bonita paper pack. Who can resist little seahorses? They have such a magical quality about them. I’ve made a topper by picking out two of the seahorses and coating the paper with Mod Podge glitter.

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Then I’ve layered it up with a bit of silver glitter card and some more paper, added some seam binding and topped it off with punched, glittery red heart.

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Confession time. I’d forgotten that I had intended to give this to my brother and his wife for their anniversary until after I created the card that I shared earlier this week. What a forgetful numpty I am!

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My second card again uses a La Isla Bonita paper but this time I’ve teamed it with an image from the She Sells Seashells collage sheet (you’ve no idea how difficult it is to type that!). Originally I was going to layer the image with other but decided it was such a shame to cover any part of it.

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I added some muslin, twine and a scattering of pearls.

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Don’t forget that there is a buy one get one free offer over at the Gecko Galz and, if you haven’t already, don’t forget to pick up this month’s freebies.

By the way, if the title of this post rings any bells I’d love you to let me know – if you recognise where it comes from, without resorting to Google, then we probably have more in common than just a love of craft.

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Bee girl

Today I have a mini canvas to share with you, something I made just for fun:

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This uses one of my new stamps from Invoke Arts – a cute little tag shape. If you look very carefully you may just spot the bee hiding amongst the flowers. As ever I was short on time so just made it up as I went along, generally just picking up scraps and bits that were easily to hand. I used Rusty Hinge distress ink to stamp the image and then added a little colour here and there using water colour pencils. I made a feature of her crown by adding glitter.

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The canvas was waiting to be put away so instead I grabbed it, covered it with book page and then some dusky rose acrylic paint. Once dry, I blobbed on some texture bead gel, left it to dry and then rubbed on gold acrylic paint.

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I have a special box that I keep all my lace type trims in, including any scraps and offcuts. I layered on scraps, popped on the tag and then some more scraps.

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I am sharing this over at Craft Hoarders Anonymous for challenge #11 – Tag Your It.

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Playing Catch Up

I hardly dare start this post with another whinge about my job but the last three days have been a whirlwind! I have also had to factor in to the mix a back injury which is the last thing I need in a job that requires a lorra lorra lifting, loading and unpacking, especially when I am about to embark on the most intense delivery programme over the summer. I can’t tell you how much it has meant to come home to some lovely comments left by you fabulous peeps – thank you. In the flurry, I have completely overlooked my 2nd blogiversary which fell earlier this week! Yay, happy anniversary to me!!! I had thought I would have a celebration and give away but that will have to wait until a little later, but it will happen I promise you!

Today’s project is celebrating a different anniversary, my brother and his wife will have been married 13 years next week and I am sharing the card I have made for them.

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Of course their anniversary would fall on a Monday which is always an awkward day when you are relying on good old snail mail and you have to be super organised. I don’t worry too much when it involves my brother as he is a bit..er…rubbish, quite frankly, when it comes to getting cards sent. I have done a clean and simple single layer card to make it easy to post. Of course I have discovered that I only have large stamps so it wouldn’t have mattered any way.

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I have used some fabulous new stamps that I got from Invoke Arts. I was super excited when they finally arrived and very frustrated I haven’t had a proper chance to paly yet. I need to warn you that if you choose to visit their website you will want every single stamp they produce. I simply stamped in black and then used a combination of Promarkers and distress ink to add colour. The original stamp does have a little window but I have used a separate stamp that had the window plus heart and the word. I paper pieced the heart so that it was red and then added glitter. The greeting is by Darkroom Door.

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I’ve mounted both image and words on some cardstock and then added a piece of coordinating twine.I shall be sharing this over at Sunday Stampers where this week’s theme is to use a greeting. Be sure to buzz over and take a look at Hels’ fabulous butterfly thank you card.

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Having got myself organised and made this card ahead of schedule I must not forget to post it. There is absolutely no way I can let my brother get one over on me! :)

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Let’s Get Cooking take two

I think I might have mentioned that my work colleague and friend, Sue, has made the decision to leave our organisation. We have worked together for just over six and half years and joined at the same time when the project first started. Together we have shared the responsibility of managing the Yorkshire and Humber region. We have also shared the highs, the lows, the successes, the pain, the frustration and many, many laughs. We have kept each other sane, driven each other mad and given each other an ear when things have been too much. We have also developed an intuitive understanding and working that allows us to communicate almost without speaking. This week will see the formal farewell of my partner in crime at our staff training days. Naturally, I have been tasked with organising the card and collection. Clearly, I could not buy a commercial card and so set about making one.

You might remember that I made this card for a recent City Crafter Challenge Blog project:

I loved this card and the image, from The Vintage Workshop, is perfect for the job that we do, so I decided to rework this design. You will see that I have supersized it so that everyone can sign it:

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I’ve used an A4 card blank and layered it up with red cardstock and black and white designer papers. I’ve used the same image but added some wording to give it a personal touch.

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I managed to find a small wooden spoon on Ebay and tied it up with gingham ribbon.

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The image and words have been layered on to black and then red cardstock and I’ve slipped in a full sized doily.

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The finishing touch was to add some coordinating red paper roses and white sweetheart blossoms.

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To make this easy for everyone to sign I have created an insert from two sheets of A3 paper folded in half. There is some double sided tape on the back so it can be attached to the card itself once it is complete.

Sue still has another week to work before she actually leaves – it’s going to be a very sad one :(

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Being negative

Now you would be forgiven for thinking that the title of this post in some way relates to my day job! However, “negative” is in fact this week’s theme over at Every Inchie Monday. Once again I have gone for the very obvious:

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As you can see, once I had started I found it very difficult to stop!! This was in part due to the fact that these were very simple to create. Just punches or dies cutting white cardstock and applied to black inchies. The second set were created by cutting out the same shape in black and white, cutting them in half and then recombining onto the contrasting card.

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Not much more I can say about these as it’s black and white really!

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Christmas starts here

Well it may be Monday again but it has a good feel to it this week thanks to the “Christmas in July” challenge that starts today over at Crafty Boots Challenges. I have not one but two design team samples to share:

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First up is this altered canvas, vintage, style. For once, I remembered to take some photographs during it’s creation so you could see how it all came together. This largely consists of a paper napkin and some beeswax with a couple of embellishments thrown in for good measure.

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First step was to separate the layers of the napkin. You just want the top layer that has the image. However, I discovered that the lower layers were slightly marked with “ghost” images from the top. I thought this would make a great base layer and cover up the harsh white of the canvas. So first, using a brush, apply a thin layer of beeswax. It will set almost instantly. The, lay your napkin over the top and smooth it gently – it will take hold of the layer of wax underneath. Now, using a heat gun, re-melt the wax, smoothing with a brush as you go. The napkin will now be sandwiched between two thin layers of wax.

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Next, choose the images on the napkin that you would like to use and roughly tear around them. Torn images will blend in better that cutting. However, if you are going to use just one image, you can cut it to the size of your canvas as the cut edge will blend into the canvas edge. Apply the image in the same way that you did the base layer except this time brush a little melted wax over the top as you go. If it’s too thick in places simply use the heat gun and brush to even it out.

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Once all the images are applied you can build up extra texture and depth around the edge and along the sides of the canvas. I love the effect of this as it does really make it look old. I’ve dusted on a little gold mica powder but you could use gilding wax if you prefer. Then you need to buff the wax with a soft cloth.

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Then it’s just a question of gluing on any embellishments. I chose to add two stickers and I brushed a little beeswax over the top. To finish, there are a couple of matching buttons and two tiny star brads.

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My second project was a very quick card using a fabulous gingerbread man tag. My cousin very kindly gave me a pack of these last year with the intention that I use them in my projects. “You mustn’t hoard them,” was the accompanying instruction!! Well it’s only about a year since I’ve had them so I don’t reckon that’s too bad, do you?

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I wanted the gingerbread man to be the star of the show so I kept this deliberately simple. Mats and layers of coordinating designer papers with a little mat of gold glitter card slipped in for good measure. I’ve secured the tag behind the layers letting it hang loose at the front.

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A couple of snowflake stickers and a “jingle” sticker finish it off perfectly.

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So Happy Christmas in July one and all, I hope you will be able to share your early (or is it late in crafting terms?!) Christmas makes with us over at Crafty Boots Challenges.

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