Saturday, 31 January 2009

Sugar Nellie Valentine

Hi all

Well, after not posting my Sugar Bowl challenge entry in time for the last challenge, I've made sure I won't miss it this time. It's done and dusted in plenty of time.

The theme is love and romance for Valentines Day. And as my 12 year old son Jordan wanted a card for his girlfriend, Cathy....and I know she doesn't read my blog, this one is from him, to her for that special day, ahhhhh.
It's based on the idea of sending love letters, or in the case of my son, secret love notes passed in the classroom, hehe...

I used Daisy Bucket papers which I absolutely love, and these particular ones have the love theme, so are very apt.... This is quite a simple card, not that much going on, but lo and behold, it hides a little secret.......

A secret little love note (well it will be a note when Jordan has written on it), just tucked behind the picture. I'm sure you can imagine any twelve year old boy may want to hide his feelings towards a girl, and not have them spilling everywhere for all to see. And when I showed him this he was well impressed. Well, in fact the words were, "oh, cool". I guess that says it all.... As the papers are doublesided, I cut the heart from the reverse side of one of them, and stuck it onto a piece of card, along with a circle of text from another paper. I added a Prima flower with a heart brad through the centre, and some tiny sparkling crystals.

I decorated the inside to match, again keeping it simple. The images are coloured with Copic's of course.

I thought I might make a little gift box of heart shaped chocolates to match. He'll be all set then. I hope when Valentines day finally arrives, she is suitably impressed.....

Happy Crafting.

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Friday, 30 January 2009

Sugar Bowl challenge #2

Hi all

Ooooops I made a booboo.
I missed the deadline for the Sugarbowl challenge this week, even though I had my card finished in time, I was working so much I didn't have time to post it. But even though it's late, I thought it deserved to be shown. So here goes.

The challenge was to use three different papers, and three different embellishments. I used Kay & Co, and Hot Off The Press papers. I cheated a bit as I cut up one of the papers, and just used the images from it.....The little grape hyacinth's peeking from behind the matted image were cut from one of the Kay & Co papers, as was the tiny butterfly just above Daisy's head. So I did use a third patterned paper, but not in its printed form. Artistic licence I would say.

My three embellishments are of course the white organza ribbon, which was simply two pieces tied together in a knot. Then the Prima flower, and the Sugar Frosted Doodlebug brad.

I embossed the pearlised lilac card with a cuttlebug folder, and added a little crystal glitter to the curves of the embossing, although you can't really see it on the photo.

I'll try and do better next time, and actually get it posted in time.

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I've been tagged

Hi all

I've been tagged, by my blogging pal Lynsey no less. Thanks hun. Now I'm following the rules to the letter...no cheeting ......

And the rules are:

1. Navigate to where you keep your pictures; select the 6th folder, and the 6th picture in that folder

2. Post the picture on your blog with an explanation about the picture.


3. Tag 6 others to do the same, and let them know they have been tagged!



Well, my sixth folder is.....



Christmas.



And my sixth picture is.....





My son Adam, a couple of years, maybe even three years ago. I'm terrible with dates....Yep, I've just checked back, and it was in 2005. Time sure flies.

He was just nineteen at the time. I can't believe how much he has changed now he's grown into a man. He had a remote control motorbike for Christmas that year, amongst other things, and his little brother had a remote control quad bike. They used to race each other around the living room floor. He's still a big kid at heart....like all men I suppose.

Now six other people to tag.







So there you have it. Hope you visit these blogs, and enjoy what you see. They are well worth it.

Lynsey sent me a fantastic card too with some images as well, just to cheer me up after the hard time I've been going through lately, job wise and all.

I was delighted when I came home from work and found the postman had brought me something nice for a change. What a surprise, it was so thoughtful of Lynsey. Thanks hunny, you're a star, it really cheered me up. I adore this card, and it's pink, my favourite colour, so it has to be a winner.

Happy crafting.

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Monday, 26 January 2009

Magnolia Vs Stampavie - Week 11

Hi all

This weeks challenge set by those lovely ladies over at Magnolia Vs Stampavie is called Double Trouble. This means you have to use not one, but a minimum of two stamps from the current list.

I have gone rather over the top on this project, but I love it, and it was great to do something different for a change.

I call it 'The Magnolia Garden'........This design is based on a Free Standing Pop Up Card I found on Splitcoast Stampers. It looks complicted because of all the decoration. But the base card is incredibly easy to make.

I made the base card in Colour Core Bazzill, and used one tiny piece of background paper for the stand up card at the back. Can't remember the name of it unfortunately, but you can use anything to match your theme.

I used two Magnolia Tilda's, and the Magnolia stone steps, right at the back. The images were coloured with Copic's, and highlighted with an opaque white Inkessentials pen. A touch of crystal glitter was used on the heart and wings of the two Tilda's.



Once I'd placed the two Tilda's where I wanted them, I got to work on the 'gardening'. And I must say, this is the type of gardening I love....no back ache or dirty fingers, just sheer pleasure.


I used Prima flowers of course, and small pink paper roses from my stash, with a tiny dot of gold pearly paint in the centre. I coloured some strips of cheap old copy paper with a green Copic, and cut slits in them almost to the bottom. I then rolled and folded them up, trimmed them to different lengths, and glued them in behind the various flowers to look like clumps of grass.
Then I thought about the 'Sweet Pea Flower Soft' I had languishing in the drawer unused since I bought it a year ago. So I plopped down some glue, and sprinkled a little Flowersoft in the gaps, to look like the flowers are creeping along naturally.


And as I'm really into butterflies at the moment, I stamped and coloured three of them. Stuck them onto the design, and blinged them up with tiny crystals.

You should be able to get these cards in envelopes if you keep the embelishments down, but this one would definately need a box, and it would look so pretty in an acetate box to match I think.

Hope you enjoyed looking. Why not have a go yourself, if you leave me a comment to say you've made one, I'll come and take a look.

Happy Crafting

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Sunday, 25 January 2009

Sketch Saturday

Hi all

Hope you are all ok. It's another wet morning here in Peterborough, so plenty of opportunity to do lots of crafting and lots of blogging. I so love seeing what everyone comes up with each day.

So, on to the challenge:

Sketch Saturday has given us this little design this week.....
Well that wavy edge gave me some problems let me tell you. I'd love one of the Martha Stewart border punches, they would've done the job perfectly. In fact there are so many of them on my wish list, I may never get them all.
I could've used my Cricut, but couldn't be bothered. so after trying to freehand a number of times, wasting precious paper, I gave up and did a straight edge. Hope this is acceptable.
I love this Blossom stamp from Sugar Nellie, it's so groovy. Even my teenage daughter and her friends adore these images. So they are definately a hit. Anyway, the papers are by Bo Bunny, available at Capture The Magic, and are amongst colours I don't really use very often. But I loved the retro'esk design of them, and picked up the black and red and used them as accent colours for the gems and ribbon.

The image was layered on to black glitter cardstock to tie in with the black without it being too overpowering. I've made a vellum butterfly, one of my favourite techniques. The butterfly stamp is from The Stamp Man, and I stamped and embossed it. Then I coloured on the back with my Copics, blending the colours until I got a pleasing effect. Because these markers are solvent based, they do not wrinkle the vellum like water based markers can do, and you can blend the colours perfectly.

I cut it out, and adhered it to the card. The placement is not quite where I would've liked it, but I spilled a bit of glue on the card....ooops, and as it showed up when it dried, I had to disguise it. I drew a dotted flight path, and went over it with glitter glue. All's well that ends well.


I decorated the inside of this card with the same paper and image's. I really like it now, the colours have grown on me, and I might try more unusual papers again, to challenge myself, and get out of my sugar pink comfort zone, lol.

Happy crafting....

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Saturday, 24 January 2009

Am I Boring You

Hi all
I just had to show you this photo of our gorgeous little kitten, mid yawn. I just caught her right. I think it's such a cute little photo.
"oh no more please....you're boring me!!"

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Friday, 23 January 2009

Magnolia Vs Stampavie

Hiya

This week I've joined in with the Magnolia Vs Stampavie battle. The challenge is to use bows on your creations. I loved this challenge so much. I have used a Sarah Kay image for this one......one of my favourites actually. I've made a real pretty card in shades of lilac. I also used a Magnolia flower stamp, so I have a real 'Battle' of the flowers going on of my own.

I coloured the image with Copics of course. The sentiment is computer generated and colour co-ordinated to match the shade of the card. I tore around the edge of the background paper, and doodled around the edge of the card with an opaque white Inkssentials pen. A little bit of glitter, and of course the obligatory bows to complete the look. I added the tiny lime green flowers by Prima just to lift the look, and I think they work pretty well. This card is very me, I just love it. Hope you like it too.


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Monday, 19 January 2009

Dutch Dare Challenge #30

Hi all

My oh my, third post today, anyone would think I have nothing better to do....well I have...housework...urrr housework....and let me see....oh yes more housework. Never mind, all that can wait...this is more important.

The Dutch Dare team have a green, blue and brown challenge this week. So as it's my Grandson, Taylor's 4th birthday this coming Saturday, I thought I'd do this one for him. "Love you Tay"

The image is from High Hopes, and it's one of my favourites for 4 year old little Grandsons. Look at that mischievous look on his face. I coloured with Copics again, and cropped the image using Spellbinders Nestabilities - Large Labels. These little dies are a godsend for cutting mats quickly. And the more I get, the more I want. I know there are some new ones coming up too.

I matted the image on to brown Bazzill which I had embossed with a Cuttlebug Embossing folder. The papers are old ones, I know one of them is from Chatterbox, but not sure about the others. The flowers are from Prima, (my favourite flower people) and the buttons from Doodlebug. The words are computer generated to add that personal touch. Lets face it, what child doesn't like to see their name on a card.

There's more detail on the inside too.

And finally a place for you greeting, and a place on the inside of the front flap to write your personal message...with lots of kisses too.


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Cat Nap

Hi all


How about a quick photo of my dear Hubby.

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And our 12 week old kitten Cleo enjoying themselves yesterday!!!!!

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All together now aaaahhhhh, blesssssss.


P.S. Don't tell Hubby......He'll kill me if he know's I've posted this, (metaphorically of course)hehe...

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Doom, Gloom and Awards

Hi all

Since my news about my job, which was bad enough for me. My son, you know the one who's getting married this year has been laid off. So were cutting the cost and counting the pennies for the wedding now. AND my husband is at risk of loosing his job. He's got a meeting this morning so should find out more. And to top it all it 'raining cat's and dog's' so a miserable morning all round really.
ooOoo

On a happier note, I have an award from Bev, so that's cheered me up a bit. It's so nice when people take the time to link up to you by leaving awards don't you think. I must thank all the people who have left such kind comments for me. I really appreciate your time and effort. I love visiting your blogs too, and am grateful for all your support.
Here's the award:



Thanks so much Bev

Here are the rules:
  • Post a link of the person who gave you this award.
  • Nominate 5 other people and give a link to their sites.
  • Let your nominators know that they got an award from you.
  • Put a logo of the award on your blog.

I nominate the following people:

  1. Lynsey, it's my turn to give you an award. I know you've already got this one, but you deserve it. It's a pleasure to visit your blog, I can see how your cardmaking has really grown over the past few months. You visit me everytime I post, and leave such kind comments. I'm hoping some day we can meet up, as you're not too far away from me.
  2. Debbie, also visits me regularly and leaves comments. I'm so humbled, you have a fantastic design talent. I love seeing your creations. You inspire me so much, and everyone else should visit you too.
  3. Desire, you have some amazing photo's, cards, layouts and many other creations on your blog. I love to see all you your stunning work. I'ts so different from other people, and makes a refreshing change. I always love to visit you. You have amazing photo's of Alisha with her umbrella. I only hope that one day I will be half as good as you.
  4. Carole, who I've only recently discovered. Your work definately has that fun element, and is truly 3 dimensional. I love the unique qualities of your creations, your vibrant colours, inspirational projects, you rock girl. I hope you get lots more visitors to see your amazing work.
  5. Flo, another great crafter I discovered via Inspirational. You area amazing. Your creations are so detailed. with so much work in each and every one of them. They are truly stunning works of art. J'aime vos créations Flo.

I would like to say a special thank you to all the contributors, and the team working behind the scenes on Inspirational, without whom I would have never discovered many of the blog's I now love to visit. You are doing a great job bringing us such a variety of talent everyone. THANKS.

There are many more that deserve awards too numerous to mention, you all make blogland the greatest place to be. Thanks to all of you who add links to your favourite blogs to. Your favourites have become my favourites too. I love you all.

ooOoo

I have a card to post later when I've photographed it so see you later, and in the meantime.....
Happy Crafting.

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Thursday, 15 January 2009

Job Update

Hi all

Well by now many you will have seen and heard the news that there are huge job losses at Freemans in Peterborough, where I work, and Grattans, our sister company up in Bradford. There are also losses at the Sheffield call centre and in London. It has come as no great shock to me, as I have seen the steady decline of the home catalogue shopping market, as e-commerce has taken over. I mean, just look at how easy us crafters can order over the internet, from many different countries too. It's so competative now, you really have to have a special, unique product or service to survive.


It's expected the closure of the Peterborough warehouse will happen in September, but I don't know if everyone will stay until that date...I doubt it very much. I would imagine it will be a gradual process. And if given the chance I personally would go sooner rather than later...more opportunities calling. I should get my long service award this year though, 21 years on February 1st. You actually get it for 20 years, but the cut-off date is January 31st each year, and even though I appealed last year they would not give me it. I ask you 20 years of loyal service, and they couldn't bend a little, unlike me who has bent over backwards to manage my team, worked after hours and not got paid for them (as my shift ends at 10:15 pm that means working beyond this time has meant very late nights, and I still have a day job too), gone in at short notice, and the list goes on, but I won't bore you with that. Just having a little sound off, like everyone else does at times....


Anyway lets stay positive, I get to spend more time with my family, not that my children will want to give up their freedom in the evenings, or my husband come to that. I will also have the chance to study photography at college during the evening, and put more emphasis on that. so wish me luck....
Tomorrow I'm taking a trip over to Soham to Capture The Magic, so I can buy some sample card and stuff for my son's wedding invitations. I'll be making up samples over the weekend, so I'll probably post them on my blog next week.


Got these awards from my blogging pal Lynsey Thanks so much girl that's cheered me up somewhat. I'm passing them to all the people who have been kind enough to leave me comments, But especially Rach she has always been helpful, has frequently visited my blog, and left such kind comments. You're a star Rach, and a great inspiration to all.
Take care for now and happy crafting.

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Wednesday, 14 January 2009

It's On The Cards

Hi All

Well, we are due to have a briefing at work this evening regarding the latest proposals for the turnaround at my place of work. But.......I know somebody where I work in the daytime whose husband is working dayshift at the aforementioned workplace, who has had his briefing this morning...if all that makes sense. Well he rang his wife at work to tell her the news, and she told me....Hurrah for the proverbial grapevine I say.
Anyway looks like the whole Peterborough site will be closed by September. So this evening there will be some happy people, like myself, who, after 20 years working until 10:30 pm are pleased, and some unhappy people who really need to work in the evenings because of family comittments, so I'm sad for them.
Anyway I can't tell you the company yet, as there are obviously people who will be affected that don't yet know. But I'll update when I know more.
Take care.

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Monday, 12 January 2009

Sketch Saturday #33

Hi

Well as promised here's a challenge card. This one is for the Sketch Saturday challenge. I just love tose sketches, don't you? you can use them time and time again, and always get a different look.

I used Crate Papers again, I just love those warm colours. I decided to use Edwin this time, he's so cute with those roses half hidden behind his back, all sort of innocent looking. This is a Valentines card with a difference, not conventional colours or all hearts.

I coloured the image with Copic's and covered the roses with Glossy Acecnts again, then sprinkled lightly with glitter, not to cover them, but just to add a tiny bit of sparkle. The edge of the card I hand stitched with embroidery silk just for something different. The flowers are from Prima, and the sentiment is computer generated.

Hope you like it, and thanks for visiting.

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Sunday, 11 January 2009

Hugs & Kisses

Hi there,

I'm working on some samples using Sarah Kay's First Kiss stamp, which is available from Sir Stampalot. I'm often asked by Janice, who runs Sir Stampalot if I'll do a couple of samples in return for a new stamp. I guess you could say I'm part of her design team. It's often good to have a local craft shop nearby, as the owners often don't have the time to make all the samples themselves, and ask clients to produce samples to display in their shop. It's a good way to get some free stuff, you get free advertising for your works of art, and you have the pride of seeing them displayed in the shop whenever you visit. It gives you such a buzz.
Anyway on to the card.
The papers are Basic Grey Archaic, with a mat of blue Bazzill cut with Spellbinders Nestabilities Large Labels. the image was coloured with Copic's.....my collection is getting bigger week by week. The hugs and kisses stamp is from GCS Artstamps. and was stamped in pinecone Vesacolour. The stitches are hand drawn with an art pen.
I like the vintage look of this card. The butterflies are from a stamp from Magenta, stamped with Versacolor - Pinecone, and embossed with clear embossing powder. A touch of green was added with a Sakura metallic pen. They were cut out and added to the card using silicone glue to add depth.
The flower embellishments were made using the same Basic Grey papers to match perfectly. I used a Woodware punch for the shape, and merely covered them with Glossy Accents, added a small sequin to the centre, and left them to dry. I love this technique, and have used it on hearts too. It seems to be my technique of the moment, I seem to be using it all the time.
Hope you like it, let me know what you think if you have the time.
I'm off to do a few challenges now.
Happy Crafting.

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Saturday, 10 January 2009

Congratulations Paul & Jess

Hi all

I was given some good news yesterday....my Son Paul and his girlfriend Jess, you know...the one's that have just come back from a holiday trip to Dubai, are getting married. WOW...I was not expecting that. I cried.......tears of joy of course, and hope everything goes well for them. Of course I couldn't let the opportunity go by unmarked, so instead of making them a card, I've made a little hanging wall plaque.

I have been wondering what I would use these wooden hearts for, and now I've put them to good use. The image is Sarah Kay's First Kiss, and is coloured with Copic's. The papers are from Daisy Bucket and Basic Grey.



The flowers are from Prima, and grouped together with ribbon, curly clips and a little wasp charm. The lace is from John Lewis. I really enjoyed making this for a change, I know it will be appreciated. I'd love to hear what you think if you have the time to leave a comment.

Happy Crafting.

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Sunday, 4 January 2009

The Sugar Bowl Challenge #1

Hi All.

And may I wish you all a
HAPPY NEW YEAR

Well I'm certainly glad to get back to normal, and get stuck in to a new card challenge over at the new blog The Sugar Bowl. This blog is for all the Sugar Nellie fans out there, and I know that's a lot of you.
There is a fantastic prize on offer, but you'll have to pop on over there to find out more about that.

So the first challenge is based on this sketch by Tiets. And as I love sketches, and love Sugar Nellie designs even more I just had to join in.

So here is my take on the sketch.

I used the cute 'Pickin' Apples' image as I love it so much, and coloured with those Copic's again, highlighting with a white Sakura gel pen.

One of the layers was embossed with a Cuttlebug embossing folder, and the 'CUTE' text was embossed and cut out from one of the words embossing folders that Cuttlebug do. I just traced around the embossed word with the white gel pen to make it stand out.


I added some gems and glitter for a little bling, 'cause I love it so much.

And a Prima hydrangea flower layered up with a pearl bead in the centre completes the look. This is not a card, but actually a design to go into a picture frame for a little girl I know. I hope she likes it.

ooOoo

I just thought I'd show you the benefit of editing in Photoshop. Some people might not know just how much difference it can make to the quality of your photo's, so I'm showing you a direct comparison below.


The photo on the left has been edited in Photoshop, but it started off as the one on the right which has not been touched at all. As I only have a small digital automatic camera, the photo's are reasonable, however after editing, they are much clearer and brighter.
So I am using Adobe Photoshop 7, and have my photo open. First of all I go to Image, then Adjustments, then click on Auto Contrast. You can do Auto Levels if you prefer, but I find the colours don't always look the same, and prefer to make some minor adjustments myself. It's really easy to use.
To make the image sharper, go to Filter, then Sparpen, then click on Unsharp Mask a box will pop up with the settings, which you can adjust or leave as they are. Click Ok, and your image should appear sharper, and more detailed. Just play around until you get the look you want. I find this process really brings out the best in my images.
Hope you find this useful. I'd be happy to receive your comments if you care to leave any.

Happy crafting

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