Monday, 25 July 2016

Rudolph Day in July

It's the 25th of the month- Rudolph day again! After 6 months on the DT, it seems strange to be a "civilian" again! Here's today's Christmas card

I used the second half of a Kanban topper sheet - I think I used the first half about a year ago - and Debbie Moore's quick and easy stepper card technique. The embossed card is from Hunkydory. It might score quite adorably but I'm afraid it doesn't cut very prettily, leaving a rather harsh white edge.

I am sharing this with

Rudolph Days at Scrappymo's, of course - pop over there to share YOUR Christmas card and join in the fun, but be quick as it only runs from today until July 31st!
52 Christmas Card Throwdown - 2 or more folds
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - add a sentiment

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Crafting in Camberley

Well, actually it was Heatherside but then the alliteration wouldn't have worked!

Back in the Spring, one of the make-and-take sessions I really enjoyed at the Make It show was a stencilling session with B J Crafts, so when a Facebook friend told me she was organising a workshop with them for her craft group, and invited me to join in, I was absolutely delighted. The workshop took place only a few miles from my home and was held yesterday, on July 23rd.

Jean and Bob from BJ crafts had driven all the way from Kings Lynn with a van packed with goodies, it was like a mobile craft shop! (Oh, wouldn't that be every crafter's dream - to hear the music on a van chiming each day and rush out to it, to buy not ice creams but craft supplies! I wonder what tune they would play?) and by the start time of 10am the room was set up with our first project pack and we were ready to go.

The first project involves stencilling a pretty butterflies and daisies design onto both patterned paper and acetate, to make a bow-fronted card. The stencilling medium is Imagination Crafts Sparkle Medium, which gives a beautiful texture as well as intense sparkle. Being inexperienced with stencils, I was amazed at how little of the medium was needed to give such a lot of texture, but under Jean's expert guidance, I soon got the knack. We were shown how to mask off the stencil so that the colours didn't overlap and given tips for getting the colour into those tiny holes for the daisy centres.

The acetate bows out at the front, but untucks from the right hand border to lie flat for posting. I am sharing this card with Ooh La La Creations - add some texture

Our next card was very similar to the one I had made at the make-and-take, a design stencilled using the beautiful alchemy waxes. This time instead of spreading the colour with a spatula, we dabbed it on using cut and dry foam. The colours blended beautifully and the butterfly, coloured with Starlight Paints, adds extra dimension to the card. I chose very girly colours, to make a change from the green/gold/brown shades I normally make a beeline for.

I am sharing this with
Cardz 4 Galz - No patterned paper
Uniko Studions challenge - Flowers  

More stencilling followed, this time a Christmas make using white Stardust Paint on black semi-glossy cardstock. The wall was very lightly stencilled, the image more heavily so and then cut out and raised up over the background with silicon glue.

I am sharing this with
Crafty Gals Corner - Christmas in July
C.R.A.F.T. Challenge - Christmas

After a short break to eat our packed lunches, we moved on to some stamping. I don't think Jean had expected that in a room full of experienced crafters, there wouldn't be a single person who had ever used the Rockablocks system before, so there was some pretty intensive teaching to be done! Once we all had our stamped and embossed images, we used a water pen filled with bleach to remove some of the colour from the flowers and then used a spray can filled with bleach to create a mottled background - the backgrounds on both cards are made from a single sheet of card that started out the darker coloured part of the image. I went a bit OTT with the spray on my coneflower card and removed almost all the green from the background! I've tried bleaching card before, without success. Apparently it's been because I've been trying to use posh thick bleach instead of the cheapest thin kind.

I am sharing the blue card with Creative with Stamps - Ink Splatters (I hope BLEACH splatters count!)

Our final card - but not our final project - was made using delicate printed rice papers, some real sea shells, a cute little anchor coloured with Stardust Paint and some "fishing net" which was cut from the packaging of the shells. It's given me a great idea for a way to use some of the decoupage papers that I never seem to be able to find a use for!

Eventually it was, sadly, time for our last project of the day, and this time we moved right away from cardmaking and stencilled a canvas bag, using Stardust Textile Paints. These are machine washable, once fixed with by ironing (Oh dear, that means I'm going to HAVE to do the ironing now!) so can be used to decorate clothing, table linen, cushions.... the list is endless.

I'm sharing this with Allsorts Challenge - Anything But a Card

And here I am, in the middle, with two of my Facebook friends, showing off our finished bags.

After a few photos, it was time to leave - but not without doing a bit of shopping first! All our materials for the day were provided, with each project made up into individual bagged kits. We all got the same materials to work with - yet everyone's finished results were different as we all added our own colour choices and finishing touches. We were also given a very generous goody bag to bring home, as well as one of the stencils we had used, and there was a raffle with one lucky lady winning a bundle of goodies worth as much as we had paid for our tickets. And there was a great discount on any shopping we did too!

As you can see in this photo, Bob and Jean worked very hard all day. Bob kept everyone supplied with tea, coffee, water, biscuits and funny stories, while Jean is a very attentive and inspiring teacher who kept us all working hard - all those projects were completed in the space of 6 hours!

This was the first of the BJ Crafts Roadshow Workshops, but they are hoping to organise more, so if you would like to book one for your craft group, or find out if there is one already planned for your area, you can find all the details on their website. The cost per person will depend on how many people there are, their ability (skilled crafters will get through more projects - and that means more materials - than beginners), how far Jean and Bob have to travel and, probably most importantly, the cost of hiring the venue. I can thoroughly recommend it as a great day out, lots of fun and packed with ideas and inspiration for everyone from an absolute beginner to an experienced crafter. [I promised Jean I would include this plug - partly because they worked so hard they really deserves the praise, and partly because I'd love to see them head over this way again then I can do it all over again!]

Friday, 22 July 2016

We're having a heatwave....

... a tropical heatwave....

Well, actually, it's almost over now, but wouldn't it be lovely to be cooled by a sea breeze when the weather is scorching hot? It was this week's hot spell that tempted me to make this tropical island themed card, using a selection of dies from the X-Cut Nautical set (now discontinued, probably because the wording cuts back to front!), with clouds from the X-cut Baby Icons set, a Tattered Lace sentiment and a punched sunshine.

I am sharing this with

Addicted to Stamps and More - Holiday
Dies R us - Water and/or beach
Cuttlebugmania - Summertime  

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

A day out with newly met old friends

Yesterday I was lucky enough to meet the lovely Darnell from djkardkreations who is over visiting the UK at the moment, along with a group of fairly local craft bloggers, many of them very well known, at a hotel in Southampton. We met up for lunch despite a rather late arrival from me and Sue from Zouave Cards as we got stuck in a massive traffic jam, and spent several hours talking, eating and laughing. But mostly laughing!!! Ladies, Darnell is just as warm and witty in real life as she is on her blog, and although Hammy couldn't be there in person he sent along something to remember him by, which I won't reveal as I know  that dozens of you who may be reading this will be meeting up with Darnell over the next few weeks.

I'll not list who was there and tell you all about the day, as Darnell has already done so here    but I have copied the group photo to give you an idea of the day

I wanted to take along a little something for Darnell, but was worried that if everyone she meets was to take her  a gift, she'd never be able to get everything home, so I thought it had better be something consumable. And what could be more consumable than chocolate? So I got a bar of our most famous British chocolate, the one that is so very different from any available in America. being a crafter, of course, I had to alter it - and I decided for a change to do it portrait -oriented rather than landscape as chocolate wrappers tend to be.

The panel die is a tattered Lace one and the dragonfly a Spellbinders one, all cut using  bits from my snippets box. The pearlescent paper used for the underneath layer of the dragonfly's wings is a very old scrap left over from a kit I had a few years ago - it was tiny but I knew it would come in handy one day!

I would like to share this with Use Your Stuff where this week's theme is Die Cuts/Punches

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Make Us Smile at Cardz 4 Guyz

This week I have chosen the theme at Cardz 4 Guyz  and I would like you to Make Us Smile.

My card is made using the image Weekend Walter from Dr Digis, coloured in with Promarkers. And with those greying underpants, I just HAD to use this sentiment from a Dylusions set! I've attached the image to the backing layers using screw-headed brads, to imply that Walter really ought to be getting on with some DIY instead of  slobbing around with his tea and newspaper!

I am sharing this with
Craft Rocket Challenge - Anything Goes 
Glitter'n'Sparkle - Anything Goes 
Naughty or Nice - Anything Goes

Monday, 18 July 2016

And a partridge in a pear tree.....

I've been having a sort out of my Christmas stash box, which was threatening to get completely out of control, and found this stamp that hasn't seen ink for years. It's an old unmounted red rubber one from a grab bag, so I don't know anything about its origins.

The backing paper is from one of my favourite pads, DCWZ Stack 9, and the sentiment was part of a magazine freebie kit that also surfaced during my clear out. I chose the colours of the image to match the snowflakes on the sentiment.

I am joining in with

Just Add Ink where I've used this week's sketch
JAI #320
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Cute or ATG
52 Christmas Card Throwdown - 12 Days of Christmas  
Sparkles Monthly Challenge - Christmas in July

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Pink daisies

OK, OK, last post for today, I promise! After all, the grandchildren have gone home now so I'm no longer being "forced" to craft with them (not that it takes much forcing, especially when the alternative is to read them "Six Dinner Sid" for the 350th time).

When I was looking out the dandelion clock stamp to recreate my duvet cover yesterday, I also spotted this lovely big daisy stamp, bought from Just For Fun in the same batch, that I haven't used for years and lifted it out again to play with.

I had recently seen this on Pinterest: 
And really wanted to give it a try but in a completely different way. This was the result:

Although there's a lot going on here, I've kept it CAS by making it into a one layer card and only adding black stamping and white gel pen to the pink background. I think the same layout would also look good stamped on white card and coloured in, with the central panel matted and layered, but it would no longer have the CAS look I was aiming for.

I am sharing this with
Less Is More  - Repetition 
Fantasy Stampers - Clean And Simple
Crafters Café - CAS