Friday, 31 May 2013

Getting inky...

...after a busy week.  Have been playing with markers and spritzers this evening - what a treat, just messing with ink! I've used a selection of blue and purple SU Stampin' markers to colour onto an acrylic block, spritzed with water, and plonked it down onto white cardstock (that's a technical term, apparently).  All sorts of effects ensued.  Once it was dry I experimented using white Craft ink with my favourite new SU stamps.  The smaller of the two flowers is from a brand new set called "Best of Flowers", four lovely floral stamps, the first of a series released monthly to celebrate SU's 25 years in business. The larger one is from the gorgeous "Secret Garden" which has fabulously crisp flower line drawn images along with two solid stamps.  Do get in touch to order either of these...

This was my favourite experiment, turned into a really simple "anything" card.  I just can't help using that white organza ribbon...

I'm entering this for the As You Like It favourite stamp challenge* and Tando's "purple/blue/white" draw.
*My answer to "why are these your favourite stamps" has to be "because they're the newest ones!" I pretty much always love my new set best!

Monday, 27 May 2013

Can you believe the bank holiday weather...

...being so good?  If you are not from the UK, you may not know that it's traditional to have pouring rain every Bank Holiday Monday, guaranteed to ruin everyone's plans.  But this year we have been extremely lucky here in Surrey and have had a glorious long weekend of sunshine.  Hooray!

Here's a picture of a bracelet I made recently, on the arm of its new owner, Jen-down-the-road.  It's a collection of my blue tone lampworked "orphan" beads simply strung on a double string of strong clear elastic, I'm really pleased with how it looks on my matey.

Would you like to make some lampworked beads like these?  I run half-day workshops for one or two people, at a time and date to suit you.  See the "Workshops" tab for more details.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Hello Hello! if I met you ...

... today at Redhill Belfry Craft Fair.  I had such fun playing with card making and talking craft with lots of lovely ladies.  I sincerely hope to see you again at one of my events, maybe my Open day on June 8th and hope you'll call by to this blog again soon too.  And a little blog wave to Lynn and Angela my craft fair neighbours who were very friendly! Here's Angela posing as a customer:

I'd also like to draw your attention to the new Crafty Mondays schedule with lots of new projects to help you learn new skills and enjoy being amongst friends.  If you live in the Redhill area, do come along to one and give it a try (click on "Crafty Mondays" on the top menu).  Finally, I'm having a scrapbooking workshop on June 11th, and Quilting on June 18th, both 7:30 - 9:30, see the workshops tab above for details.

Enjoy the bank holiday! xx

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Designer Builder Brads...

...are a new product in the Stampin'Up Spring catalogue.  They're basically really pretty, silver, lacy looking, large paper fasteners (about a 2.5 cm diameter) and come with a little clear shiny dome or "bubble" you can fit into the middle of them.  Here's one:

They look so pretty attached just as they are to cards over a piece of ribbon, because the colour shows through the lacy holes.  I have been experimenting since my order arrived and have been really pleased with the number of different looks you can get.

1) take a small piece of designer paper, cardstock, or stamp an image on some background paper, cut with a 1/4 inch circle punch and stick it into the central circle and cover this with the self adhesive clear dome, which magnifies the pattern.  This is a great way to coordinate your brad embellishment with the rest of your design

2) you can emboss the brad.  Cover it with Versamark and dip the whole brad into your embossing powder.  Holding it with pliers, heat it carefully with your heat embossing tool.  Once it's cool you could distress it or re-emboss if you wanted.  You could even use some scented embossing powder for a scratch 'n' sniff experience!!!  I love the vintage look from SU's gold embossing powder.  By the way, don't heat it too much or all the embossing liquifies and drips off (don't ask how I found that out..).

3) you can colour the plastic "bubble" with alcohol markers to ring the changes.

4) You don't always have to use the bubble: you can cover the centre of the brad with any loveliness that takes your fancy, such as a flower cut from the really gorgeous flower trim in the new catalogue or one of the new large gems.

5) and you don't always have to use the brad.  There are 4 spare bubbles in the pack so you can use these to make your own raised embellishments.

6) you can use them for jewellery and trinkets, yay!  Look at these lovely keyrings made by Norma (and notice the beautiful packaging as attractive as the gift itself, all from the new spring catalogue and sale-a-bration)

Or as a feature on a trinkety necklace, pendant or for a super quick pair of earrings.  Remember to carefully remove the pins in order not to scratch the wearer.

7) A quick and easy Brooch
I saw this idea on my team's facebook forum, and just loved how I could make it match my outfit with a simple circle of cardstock. I framed this with a Soda Pop Top (129388) flattened in my BigShot and topped it with an antique silver brad, grunged the lot with some StazOn and stuck on a brooch back with some crystal effects:

8) Because of its size, the brad makes a really good and very quick fastener for a journal or envelope. Just wrap thin ribbon or twine such as SU's linen string round it in the style of an old fashioned memo envelope.

9) Being metal, I think this piece lends itself to suggestions of the mechanical!  It seems a bit sacrilegious to do this to something so pretty, but how about embossing it in black and using it on a man card along with cogs and wheels etc.  or using it as a film reel or camera part.  This one was grunged down with some smeared on stazon.

10) I bet these look great covering up the centre of a paper rosette (made either with a rosette die or with a scoring board).  I'm already thinking Christmas decorations here!

Having had a play with these, I have to say this is a much more versatile product than I at first gave it credit for, and at £6.25 for a pack of 16, less than 40p each, giving some real "bang for your buck".  I can't guarantee their availability after 30th June when  spring catalogue expires, so snap some up now - just give me a call.

Please add a link to any projects you have made using these great brads.

Thanks for calling by! xx

Monday, 20 May 2013

You're the cat's whiskers..., really, you are!  This card is dedicated to my new followers, thank you so much for joining me!

I have to acknowledge that the style of this card is influenced by the fact that I've been blog-stalking Birgit, a fellow LiM enthusiast, this past week, with her lovely white-on-white layering - thanks for all the inspiration, Birgit.  The content of the card is all my own though - I used the Owl Builder Punch from StampinUp to make the cat (possibly my best crafting investment ever!) and the word window punch for the fence. I'm entering this for this week's LiM challenge, which has the theme of cats and/or dogs.

Loads of Owl Punch Ideas on these three posts:

The Stampin Up family...

...was out in force last weekend, at our annual national training/get together.  One of the nicest things about being a StampinUp demonstrator is the people you get to meet.  We saw some of the new products from the annual catalogue which comes out on the 1st July (you are going to lurrrve them!), got business advice from SU staff and demonstrators and enjoyed swapping the projects that we'd brought.  This is what I made for our swap:
It's a little bird brooch (the background was nicked from the catalogue hee hee).  I didn't have any left except this one that went a bit wrong with the crystal effects glaze, but otherwise I was very pleased with the result.  It has a sparkly sheen all over that you can't really see in the pic, from some lovely gold smooch spray.  You can see it better in this pic I took before the event, even though it's out of focus:.

And here's the scene a few days before, yikes - that was a happy afternoon finishing them off and packing them up!

...and look at the swaps I got back (this isn't even all of them, there were sooo many!) Loads of good designs, ideas, colours to inspire me and my guests for future projects...and quite a lot with treats inside (all gone now, obviously, it was a long train ride home...).

If you would like to join our StampinUp family, and enjoy all the fun of meeting up and swapping, and discounted product, it's really easy.  If you were to join now, you would only have to place one qualifying order to attend the European Convention in November, held in the UK this year. For just £99 you will get your choice of £130 of product (£155 if you join by 30th May) PLUS business tools to get you started making money for yourself, free.  There's NEVER any pressure to sell or any further obligations; that's the SU philosophy, you choose, you do it your way.   Do get in touch an informal chat about it!

Saturday, 18 May 2013

A spin on an old idea...

...that has been a month coming!  I saw a spinner card using the owl punch on Margaret's blog and watched this YouTube video about how to make it on the 11th April, and remember telling Margaret I was going to make one the very next day! Well, over a month later, I finally finished two:

This one uses StampinUp's "Print Poetry" card stack (4x12 double sided designs in a card size stack), and the lovely owl punch was used to make the little nurse. When you tilt the card, she does somersaults to the other side, maybe not the best kind of nurse...

The other one uses my favourite designer paper set from the spring/summer mini catalogue called Sunshine and Sprinkles, and the aeroplane paperclip was a lucky find, dragging the Thank you banner from the "Itty Bitty Banners" stamp set.  I cut a little spinner (you can use the super cute Sizzlits pinwheel die) and fixed it with a mini brad (paper fastener) - they are such good value at £3.95 for 200 and very versatile.  A few dimensionals and a couple of pennies are the key "technology", but do watch the video referenced above if you need instructions.  This card just screams summer beach holiday to me...can't wait!

Use them or lose them: "Sunshine and Sprinkles" and "Print Poetry" will only be available until the end of June, so be sure to order them in good time if you've got your eye on them.

Happy weekend xxx

Monday, 13 May 2013

Took some advice...

...last week from Shimelle's Blog.  She was talking about how difficult it can be to USE your lovely supplies instead of just stroking them... and sometimes when you finally come back to a favourite piece of paper or  embellishment, you simply don't love it like you used to!  I can really empathise with this as I am a terrible hoarder.  My Stampin Up upline Vicky helped me with this by pointing out that the three cards I made with one piece of favourite designer paper were now making three people happy instead of just one.  And now I have made this little sign to keep where I craft to remind me all the time.  It took just one piece of double sided 12x12 paper, and I love it WAY more now!

If you like the idea of creating a project like this with your favourite words of wisdom, why not come on one of my papercrafting workshops, Crafty Mondays or Tuesday evenings, see the details above or get in touch to register your interest.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

A moment to celebrate...

... 10,000 views on my blog (as I upload this post)  And, nearly coincidence, also my 200th post.  It's very small on the scale of the blogosphere, but a fun and truly interesting journey and I have met some really lovely people. I'd also like to thank you, dear visitor, for your interest and kind comments. As I started doing this scrapbook page I realised I could also enter it for a challenge over at Shimelle's (scrapbook a milestone):

I have been busy this week making swops for the Stampin Up UK annual get together, and, not to give too much away, have been using three of my favourite SU products.  They are Crystal Effects (clear dimensional glue/ lacquer), 12x12 cardstock and the gorgeous and versatile bird builder punch.

So now a little quiz:

1) How many little birds have I managed to cut out of one single sheet of 12x12 cardstock?

2) What happens to Crystal Effects if you bung up the nozzle with a silver plated copper head pin?

1) Believe it or not, I got 77 little birds out of one sheet.  Cut it into strips somewhat narrower than 3cm. Feed the strips in from the side of the punch with the tail pointing as far upwards as possible.
2) My crystal effects went a not-very-nice opaque dark blue colour and stayed being a good glue but obviously didn't do glazing any more. So not recommended then...