Wednesday, 29 June 2011

My first deliveries...

...are about to go out and I found a lovely design here for a little thank you gift for the ladies who are about to get their orders.  Brenda used something called a Ghirardelli Square but I have no idea what they are!  I used After Eights instead (yum, had to test some. Obviously.) and Elegant Soiree paper. I kept embellishment to a minimum because the paper's so pretty I didn't think it needed much else.

Elegant Soiree Designer Series Paper
12 12"x12" double sided sheets - £8.75

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

You will flip...

...for this piece of simple but incredibly fun paper engineering.  When I saw this one I COULDN'T WAIT to have a go! I take no credit except for finding it, it's on a YouTube channel called stampwithtami and also on her blog. 
And here is my first attempt.

Can you believe they're all the same card????  When I have worked out how to film myself with no hands spare I will do a video!  You just fold it to get from one little card to the next.  It's a card, it's a game!  This is a grown up one for my mum using elegant soiree and the just believe stamp set, but kids will love it too with their favourite characters, and it would make a really dinky photo album.  LOVE IT!

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Will someone please help me stop...

...with the owl punch already?????

I dug out my circle cutter for this card, then cut out three owl bodies with the owl punch, trimmed the owl ears to make them a bit more catty and used my new hostess set "Something to Celebrate" to make a simple anniversary card for my stash.  I like the way the hearts go off the page, hope you like it too.  xx

Friday, 24 June 2011

Did Christmas come early or something?...

I had a very happy day today.  My first Stampin'Up! order came through, with loads of goodies for people who've ordered stuff, and a rather large order of lots of irresistible stuff for myself.  In fact, SU offer lots of great incentives for new demonstrators, so it was really super value and I am amazed just how much I ended up with, including a hostess stamp set, hostess credits and introductory bonus commission. (Do you want a bit more for your money?  All you have to do is get a starter set and share what you do with some friends - contact me for details)

Here's a picture of what I got (but please don't tell my DH!)
The paper on the left is the Springtime Vintage DSP and I am pleased to say I like it even more than I do in the catalogue - the colours are even more appealing irl.  Tomorrow morning the lovely Justine is coming over for a paper swap so then I'll even more delicious patterns to choose from.  LOTS of new ideas coming up!

Had a hoot last night...

...playing with my brand new and brilliant owl punch from Stampin'Up.  What a versatile product, and the characters it produces are amazing.  It will be great for christmas cards, easter, graduation/exams,  you name it, it's such a great investment.  I could go on, but I'll try to hold back and just show you the results of my playing last night:
The little eyes give them such character don't you think?  I cannot take credit for all of these, some of the designs I found on the web, and my daughter came up with the horse.

The punch is available to order from me, it looks like this and normally costs £15.50 + postage.  BUT if you order with me by 26th July 2011 with at least one other SU product, and you could collect from me, it will only be £14 and no postage. 
As you can see from the design, you can also use it to cut three different sizes of circle and the dinkiest heart too.  This is the most versatile punch!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

I like little boxes...

...and I came across a really neat box design yesterday that I just had to have a go at. It's so clever, the lid is built in to the design, and I found it on this blog. This lady is truly commited to papercraft - she must have been cutting and folding non-stop for months to achieve these amazing displays for her wedding and I think she and the decorations looked gorgeous. My first attempt's on the right.

I thought I'd adjust the instructions to convert them to cm and so that you can fit two of the rectangles onto a 12"x 12" page (they measure 14cm x 18cm each). Once you've watched Catherine's video the diagram below will make perfect sense! You just score and fold at the cm lines marked in the circles, cut out the blue shaded bits and use tape where it says.

Hope you find it useful, I'd love to hear how you got on.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

It's not an exaggeration...

... to say I'm passionate about recycling.

Much as I dread my trips to the local dump, I am very good about separating plastic, batteries, tetrapaks, you name it. Quite often I even come back with a little something (in the past, Laura Ashley curtains, a wicker log basket, two reams of A4 paper, wrapping paper, a small wooden table, a metal trunk...).
Today with all the other bits and pieces I had to take a small circle die cutter to be recycled as it has got stuck and no amount of persuasion would loosen it. A helpful attendant agreed to take it to the metals section while I was busy with the batteries and light bulbs. "What's this?" he asked. As I started to explain, he was fiddling with it, and suddenly "pop" and he's only managed to un-stick it. What a star! So, next time you want something fixed, try Scott at Earlswood recycling facility. Thanks Scott, that's what I call service!!!!

Inspiring Art & Craft in Surrey available to all...

...through Surrey Open Studios.

Did you know there are over 200 artists and craftspeople's studios open to all for FREE over the next fortnight?
I went today with my friend Ruby to artist Barbara Westwell's beautiful cottage in Buckland (near Reigate) which is literally full to the brim with truly gorgeous textiles and mixed media art. To top it all, complimentary homemade elderflower cordial can be enjoyed in her beautifully landscaped garden. A trip not to be missed! You can check opening hours and see some more of her work here, but the photos don't do her lovely work justice, it's worth going if you can.

I can also recommend the Red Lion pub down the road for an excellent lunch.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Taking stamping a bit far...


I should explain: I had a hostess party at my house yesterday for Stampin'Up! with six lovely ladies who know each other through a knitting group.  I made shortbread to fortify us and just couldn't stop myself stamping my shortbread with the round "just believe" stamp...

Does anyone know of a good therapist in the Redhill area?


Saturday, 11 June 2011

Slightly fixated on ...

...Wimbledon colours, apparently!
I stamped this lovely flower again from the Nature Walk set but was really struggling with how to mount it. Then I came across this design on Amanda Mertz' blog which was for a man-card and has a great layout. I thought I'd show how a sketch can really help even when the style is completely different.
If you have an example of using a sketch to create a completely different design, why not put a link to it in the comments?

Friday, 10 June 2011

More purple...

...this time on a card. I love the way the purple (SU Perfect Plum) and the green (Certainly Celery) work so well together. Oh! I just realised that's Wimbledon colours...maybe it was subconscious!

This design was inspired by Wendy Nasmith's post here.

Have a great Weekend.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Finished my "Purplicious"...

...necklace at last! Purple is my favourite colour; I love working with it and it goes so nicely with silver. I made all except the smallest beads myself on my torch, and the scrunchy bits in between the beads are chains made of sterling silver rings. Just for scale, the biggest bead is about 2cm across. I'll be putting it in my shop as soon as I have made some matching earrings. xx [Edited to add: oops, SOLD already!]
Would you like to learn how to make glass beads like these? Why not come on an "introduction to lampwork" workshop in Redhill? I take only two people at a time for a fun three hour workshop. You'll learn to make a basic bead, pull stringer, and apply decoration to the bead. You keep all the beads you make, any demo beads I make, and I'll make you a set of coordinating spacers as well.
All this for only £29 each! Call me to arrange a date - 01737 762078 or 07814 918232.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

I'm a big fan...

...of Craft Stamper magazine.

It always has lots of cool paper effects and new ideas for making anything and everything from paper. This month's issue majors on altered books, which enchant me even though I've only made a few small ones.

The folks at Craft Stamper are giving away a brilliant downloadable e-zine "The best of 2010" including 12 step-by-step projects. Just click here.

Hope you enjoy it!

One of my glass students...

...Tessa Spanton, is a talented silk painter (amongst other arty talents), and I just love these beautiful paintings she's made recently. Here's a quick sample:

She also blogged about the glass beading class she took with me here.

Busy yesterday selling workshops... our local craft fair in Reigate (every first Saturday at the end of the High Street - come by next month if you're passing!). I met some lovely ladies in the "upstairs hall" (sounds a bit dodgy, now I've put it like that??) including Sara who makes beautiful bags and Tina who makes creative collages and Marieanne who makes very pleasing pottery. Hello if you're visiting!

I don't know whether I've mentioned, but I'm almost as keen on sharing crafty stuff as making crafty stuff, and I run all sorts of workshops at my home in Redhill:

  • Lampworking (making glass beads with a propane torch)

  • Silver Clay (making beads and charms out of a material that starts out like plasticine and ends up - like alchemy - as 99.9% pure silver)

  • Papercraft - including Stampin'Up! make-and-take workshops of course

  • Felting - make a corsage, beads or a seamless bag

  • Jewellery making - reviving old or broken jewellery, basic techniques and TIARAS
Fancy coming on one? They're inexpensive (they start at £10 and even the lampworking is only £29 for a morning). Doing a workshop together is an original and fun birthday present for a chum and a really good way of exploring new materials without the investment or risk of wasting precious materials. Do have a look at the details on my website. I organise these on demand, so if you would like a fun and relaxing time creating something you'll love, get in touch today.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Enjoying half term...

...except that we managed to be on a day trip to Cambridge on Monday on practically the only day it's rained for the last three months. Got soaked and ended up in the B&B all evening - lucky it was a nice one!
Thought I'd show you my progress on the quilt. I've joined all the beautiful stacks up with a pair of re-purposed pillow cases. They are embossed-effect thick cotton in a bright white; I'm very pleased with the effect so far. I've decided to piece the other side as well, this time with little two inch squares, so I may be some time yet with the finished article...

Been crafty ...

...with my new starter kit from Stampin'Up! making some sample cards ready for my first workshops. This is my favourite. I love the way the white ribbon looks like it's got pink stripes because the rose red card comes through the sheer. And how versatile the little "So many Thanks" stamp is (what a bargain!).

I also made some quick mini cards. I will definitely order the mini envelope die cutter for my Big Shot in my next order so that I can make envelopes to match.

And finally, I was really pleased with the effect I got from stamping round the edge of this card with just the tip of the two "just believe" stamps coloured with a stampin' write pen.

By the way, I had trouble getting the ribbon to stick on the back of the card at first, and found that a little glue dot was the best thing. Hope you liked today's cards. xx