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31 January 2010

Banana Frog are looking for Design Team members.....



Gotta love that kraft card stock haven't you?  It adds to the whole retro-ness of these pieces....  I was going to put these up as a 'project of the day' over on the BF blog but decided to put it here instead as a way of intro to the news that Banana Frog are looking for new Design Team member for 2010!!  Myself and a few others are staying on (yay! I'm very pleased to do so) and they are looking for FOUR new members. Hop on over to the blog for more details....

card for someone special...

here's a detail shot of a card I made recently - I loved how this card turned out especially as it's for someone special. 
Resist technique - really like this technique too - never quite know how its going turn out - the level of colour etc.
The images are by Lavinia Stamps

MOO cards...

I used to make my own busines cards but this week I treated myself to some 'proper' ones.  These little lovelies are created by Moo and they're great because you can upload 1 or loads of your own pictures to feature on the front and back - how cool is that! So this means that now I can give my card and a sample of my work at the same time - clever me thinks!

Cards on left are traditional business card layout and on the right are the oh-so-cute Mini Moo cards (28x70mm).
I chose images of mine with a similar colour pallette so that they formed a set....
Now I just need to meet lots of people who want my details! lol

27 January 2010

tv versus craft...

I like watching TV as much as the next person - but I don't watch it until latish in the evening and then only certain programmes - Criminal Minds, Greys Anatomy (yay new series!), Brothers & Sisters (again: yay new series!), Big Bang Theory and a few others and I will just sit and watch those - full attention expected.  But if I'm just sitting with Matt in the evening watching something or other I like to be doing 'something', something constructive..... During the past week I've purged more than a couple of shelves of magazines from the dining room (very cathartic, and few inspirational finds too) (the shelves are a work in progress - 5+ years of craft magazines to be gone through... it could take a while!)
The other night I was bored of clearing magazines and because I'd been so excellent (even if I do say so myself, lol) in clearing so much I treated myself to some quick sewing projects - love making little things to be used on other things and so I made 6 of these:

The observant amoung you may notice there are only FIVE - thats because a small, black furry creature (aka Bertie) took it to play with (?) and its not been seen since! Gotta love him (sometimes!), aaaanyhoo its all part of his charm I suppose and if thats all he's wandered off with then I should be grateful shouldn't I .... lol
So I made the above with a view to adding them to cards as embellishments.  Cute.


Sitting in front of the TV and doing somthing constructive seems better than simply sitting and watching TV doesn't it?  To just sit and watch tv seems wasteful somehow (- unless its Greys Anatomy of course! lol)

18 January 2010

Demonstrating at Card Inspirations

I normally teach CI, and occasionally I demo and that's what I was up to on Saturday. 
It was a good day - played/worked with the Cuttlebug - of course!
(apolgies in advance for the slightly dodgy picture quality on this post)

After demo'ing the Cuttlebug here's some of what I created later:
I created this card using the 'flower' embossing folder and one of the cute little 'Notelets' from one of the new PaperMania ranges: 


I also worked with one of the PM clear acrylic albums.  These come in various shapes (scalloped hearts, circles etc) but I used one of the simple square shapes.  Instead of creating an album I turned a page 90degrees so the binding holes were at the top and made door/name plaques.
On 'Freya's' I stamped on the acetate's surface with white stazon, used the PM notelets again as a mat for the name, and painted a couple of chipboard flowers and of course some buttons & bling!


For 'Max's' name plate I die cut a few images from Basic Grey's Archaic range and matted and layered it up.
I really like the transparency of acetate - seeing the different layers behind and infront.


Later in the week I'm going to use a few more of the pages as album cover.... 

These albums come with 6 pages in the pack - so I'm thinking these could be used to create:
  • 3 albums with acetate covers or
  • 6 name plates or
  • 1 12 page album (2 pages per piece of acetate - using front and back) or
  • 6 panel hanging decoration (achievable because the crop-a-dile will punch through the acetate!)
  • or a concertina album could be created in the same way as the above!
and there must be lots more other combinations!

Inspiration can come from anywhere...

... sitting in traffic on my way home from work today I looked out of the window and saw this:

how fab is the worn paint on this gate?  Love it - couldn't resist taking a quick photo..... this is why I try to always carry a camera with me - you never know when you'll see something worth snapping.  I was going to pull over, knock and ask to take a better picture but I thought the gate's owners might be a bit insulted by "I'd like to photograph your gate because the distressed worn paint is so lovely" yeah, I can see that would go down well! Not. lol

17 January 2010

More new arrivals in Critterville

Please go take a look - they get upset when no-one visits them.


Banana Frog

Yesterday was my day over at Banana Frog yesterday, here's a sneak peek at what I created this month, head on over to the blog for more details...


Craft Stamper February Issue


I picked up a copy of this yesterday - another great issue. Lovely cover stamp too. Grab yourself a copy - its a good one (not that there's ever a bad issue from Craft Stamper! lol)

15 January 2010

New Classes at Card Inspirations

New Year, new term of classes at Card Inspirations.  Contact the shop to request a full listing of all the lovely classes they have planned for the next few months. Here are a few sneak peeks of mine:



14 January 2010

Mad Men

I've only just discovered this TV series - and though not very much happens in each episode it is strangely compelling - its visually REALLY good - set in the v late 50's / early 60s the costumes / sets etc are so good!
I'm envying several dresses that have turned up!


The programme is so well written (loads of Grammys) - really subtle (maybe that's why I'm not see the plot!) but its such a good insight in to how things used to be - all the best dressed men wear a hat; the ladies all have matching handbags, shoes, and gloves; everyone smokes in the office; and drinks; the women are doing a lot of the work for the deals being made (and not getting any credit for it - or asking for any credit/reward!) while the men go and schmooze the clients with lunch; married women stay at home.
If you love the 50's/60's then watch this program - its completely brilliant eyecandy.

12 January 2010

Somerset Studio Jan/ Feb 2010 Issue


.... came in the post yesterday - really nice issue - get a copy if you can....

2010 'resolutions' mini book

I've been making this mini book over the last week or so - creating a bit here and there when time allows - it measures approximately 6x4 inches and is created from bits a pieces left over from another project and bound using the Bind-it-All (great tool - I don't use it nearly as much as I should). Quite a simple book - each page features one word and on the reverse is the thinking behind it and what the word means to me for the coming year. I like working on a page with one large single word and then having the journaling somewhere else - keeping the page 'simple' in that way. uncluttered.








11 January 2010

Quickutz Letterpress Kit

I think I've made it quite clear that I luuuurrve my Cuttlebug - its true - such a great little machine! (though if anyone reading this has a communication line to the decision makers at ProvoCraft could you please put forward my request for a wider version - that would be great - thanks!)

Aaanyhoo back to the Cuttlebug - great little machine.  I didn't think it could get any better ..... AND THEN IT DID!  I treated myself to the Quickutz Letterpress kit.  Of course the Cuttlebug can't take the full glory for the Letterpress kit (obviously!) but that fact that it will work really well with another manufacturers product gets Brownie points & a big gold star from me.
Letterpress is the effect you see on quality letterheads (for example) when the design has been debossed and coloured.  Embossing with Cuttlebug embossing folders will give you that effect but its an all over pattern - the Letterpress has small motifs that you can combine to your bespoke design and repeat over and over again (because you can add blocks to define where the pieces fit and will print). It also give the embossed effect on the front and back of the piece of paper - Letterpress only affects the front (so the inside of a letterpressed card would be unaffected).
There are different sides to my crafting personality - I like the grungy distressed look but I also have quite a strong clean-simple-less-is-more side and the Letterpress ticks all the boxes for that. (must find a way to combine them - I have an idea brewing.. I'll let you know how that goes.....)

Here are the first samples I made - really simple - just getting used to it:

Plain uninked (really like the uninked version)

Inked (first generation)

Inked (second generation ie without reinking)

A few points I've noticed when using the Letterpress:
  • The inks are thicker than normal stamping inks (probably more like printing inks) and stay wet longer - some people have commented that the ink can be hard to remove but I'm finding that basic baby wipes work really well (what is in those things - they get everything off everthing!! Frightening really! lol) - so I clean everything with the wipes and then wipe again with water and a cloth to remove any babywipe residue.
  • Online people have commented that the letterpress plate doesn't go all the way through a Cuttlebug because of the extra width of the hinges but I found it went all the way through without any problem - but with anything - BE CAREFUL - IF IT WON'T GO THROUGH DON'T FORCE IT!
  • You don't have to use the provided sticky tape sheets (to hold the embossing plates to the grid top panel of the block) - I found that Tombow glue works really well and washes off of everthing afterwards.  (another www user suggested double side tape - another good idea)

The four small black rectangles in the photo above (on the gridded panel) are foam and repositionable  - these are so you can place them so the paper/card can be butted up against them to ensure the same print position each time.
While I was playing around I used these to print the 2 opposite ends of the same piece of card - giving me a panel that I could then split:


Here are some of the cards I made with some further plate sets I bought and some really gentle ink colours.

I really like using kraft card stock and love how it sits against the plain card and pale blue ink.  This is whats nice about the letterpress effect - it can be elegant, or retro or really modern - really versatile. (I was really pleased with how these turned out - there may have be a slight squeal and a bit of happy clapping! lol)

Letterpress is so neat and tidy - I think I need to go and splash some ink now! lol

10 January 2010

I don't like yellow.....

.... but Crate Paper's Brook collection could probably change my mind about that - and when its used by Christine Middlecamp my mind could definitely be altered!  They've put yellow together with teal/turquoise and brown - very lovely.

(photo from Christine's blog - great snapshot of all papers together - and small!)
Its also has some lovely little retro motif's that are always a winner for me.
(take a look at Christine's blog - its very inspiring - I love her attention to depth & detail on her layouts and yet there is always a feeling of 'space' - room for the images to be seen....)

BTW - Friday would have been Elvis Presley's 75th birthday if he'd lived. There were loads of Elvis documentaries* and concerts shown on BBC to mark the event - lots of white jump suits and rhinestones - gotta love it - and the '68 Comeback Special (the black leather one) - unplugged-type concerts don't get better than that do they??  I'm always impressed when I watch footage from back then to see that singers can be pitch perfect, in time, etc etc etc without the aid of ear pieces and technology.
* actually I don't think there were 'a lot' of them - BBC just seemed to repeat a couple A LOT!

Introducing ... THE CRITTERETTES ... over on the Critters page....


1 January 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy two-thousand-&-ten ...or is it twenty-ten?? who knows? and does it really matter.. lol ... what matters is that we are happy, healthy and content in what we do.

xx