Thursday, 28 April 2011


I have a super fabulous best friend Caroline - who is the most supportive friend  anyone could ever ask for. Over the past few months she has been an absolute rock for me - despite going through a difficult time herself.

To say thanks I made her this card.  Although I've never really been into shoes (scacrilege I know!) - Caroline is definitely a shoe girl so this shoe image from Better Together seemed appropriate.  I flood filled the shoes with the funky stripes and took the word Fabulous from Gypsy Wanderings -- flood filled again with Better Together patterns.

I embossed some blue whitewash coredinations card with the 'plaid' embossing forlder for the background and sanded away. The only other thing it needed was a bit of glitter!  I used Diamond Sparkles on 'fabulous' and added a few thin lines of gold glitter on the shoes.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Bee-utiful Spring is Here

Here in London summer has come early and we enjoyed the most AMAZING weather for the Easter weekend. I would say that the lovely weather was the inspiration for this card but I'd be lying.  It was really just that I recently bought a Cuttlebug (don't even begin to add up the paper related stuff I've bought since that fateful day I first saw the Imagine) -  anyway - I had just bought the Cuttlebug and fell in love with the bees folder and that was my inspiration.

The Cuttlebug is great fun and has of course led to a whole other stream of 'things I must buy' like vellum paper and Distress Inks for 'aging' the embossings.

The bees were embossed on to plain card stock which I then distressed with some Tim Holtz Antique Linen distress ink.

The bee-utiful letters were cut using Simply Sweet, and 'spring' was from Gypsy Wanderings (why yes, I did buy a Gypsy.  I wouldn't recommend it for the Imagine though - it doesn't add much in the way of features. It's nice to plot out what you want to print/cut away from the machine - but not worth the UK price.  As far as I can tell it is MUCH more useful with the other Cricut models) .  All were coloured with patterns/colours on Better Together.

I didn't take a picture of the inside - it was plain apart from a small bee in the bottom right hand corner which I print and cut out from the Imagine More cartridge.

With hindsight I'd consider matting and layering some card behind the bees - but it was a cute enough card and is buzzing to its recipient now!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

A Sweet Card

I am lucky enough to count The Caked Crusader  (CC) amongst my friends.  If you haven't ever seen her blog - do check it out - the recipes are great and she's very funny.  She's also a special guest star in Jenny Colgan's latest novel Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe providing advice for the first time cupcake maker.

I wanted to make CC a card to thank her for being a particularly good friend over the past few months - and of course I knew it had to be cake related.

I remembered a cupcake image on the Better Together cartridge and I was off.

I cut the cupcake image in layers at a whopping 8 inches.  I wanted to personalise the card so I flood filled the shape that said 'heh cupcake' with one of the patterns on the cart and then cut out 'the caked crusader' using a font from Plantin Schoolbook filled with a pink pattern from Better Together cartridge.

I wanted no white space on the card so I cut 3 more cupcake shapes (2 of them flipped horizontally to make backing pages), flood filling each with a different pattern (again from Better Together). 

I added a little glitter on the cupcake case and the frosting - because I seem to love glitter!

If I were to make it again I'd shadow the letters to help them pop out a bit more - but overall I'm happy with this card.  I love these colours and think the final card is a happy thing.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

A Departure from Cards

Yesterday I had a break from making cards and decided to test out a new set of tools that were delivered on Monday.  As a knitter I'm always looking for nice ways to package up my gifts to make them look that little bit more special - so when I saw the Crafter's Companion Envelobox and Boxer being demoed on Create and Craft I was intrigued.

The tool are simple plastic boards which help you measure and score deep envelopes (aka Enveloboxes) and boxes witih lids without too much measuring and faff. (Unfortunately you can't get away from measuring entirely, as each Envelobox, box or lid starts with a piece of card which needs to be cut to the appropriate size.

There's a DVD which you can by to accompany the boards (why yes, I did buy it - are you surprised?) which provides basic and more advanced tutorials.  As a newbie paper crafter I really found the DVD useful - but I expect those who've been playing with paper longer than I have probably won't.

Bottom line - I think both boards will come in very handy over time.  I made the boxes and the Envelobox without too much trouble, and can see that it is something that will become even easier with a bit of experience.

Top tips I learned:
1) I need a better paper cutter - probably a guillotine.  The crafter cutter I bought at Rymans isn't great for accurate measurements, and doesn't measure longer than 6 1/4 inches!
2) Elmers glue does not lose it's glue-y-ness even after 12 years without use!  When I started to play I panicked a moment thinking I had no wet glue -- but then I remembered a bottle which has travelled with me the past 12 years which hides at the back of my desk.  Hurrah!

I do still need to figure out how to score and fold card without cracking it -- I managed it most of the time - but couldn't tell you why sometimes it cracked and sometimes it didn't!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

...and Another Card for Dad

Here's another card I made for my Dad.  It was made entirely with shapes and patterns from the Imagine cartridge Imagine More Cards

I cut a 4x4 square of the stripes, a 2x4 rectangle of the green dots and one layer of one of the border patterns to cover the join.

I cut the Token of my Affection image in layers, and added Dad and my name in glitter.

On the inside I repeated the border pattern and added the 'love' tag, one of the layers of another image on the cart.

I LOVE the colours on this card and was pretty pleased with the final product.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Another Card for Dad

My Dad isn't very well and is in the hospital at the moment - even worse it's a hospital back in Canada so I can't visit, and due to his Parkinsons he can't speak on the phone very easily.  To help make sure he knows that I'm thinking of him I've been busily making and sending cards every few days.

This first one is my least favourite of the bunch!   But I did learn a few things making it - and it's not horrific or anything. 

I used the base shapes on the Imagine and a pattern from Imagine More Cards to make the shaped rectangle (is that what those are called?)(does anyone know?) and then cut the same shape a wee bit bigger out of  navy blue for the shadow.

The 'just a little hello' is also from Imagine More Cards and the flowers are from Better Together.

The first thing I learned was how effective a small border could make to helping a shape pop out.  Adding the dark blue around the flower paper and the 'just a little hello' circle made a real difference to the card - and I don't think it would have worked at all without it.

My second lesson was in the power of decoupage layering.  My first version of the 'just a little hello' circle was print flat -- and it wasn't very interesting.  I went back to my trusty Imagine and recut the image using the 'layering' option, opened up the bag of foam pads I'd recently bought and I was reallly impressed at the improvement.  I also ditched the bird and replaced it with a small flwoer in similar colours to the large flowers.

I added a bit of glitter to the flower stems and added a flower to the inside of the card to finish it off.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

A Birthday Card for Dad

My father turned 78 last week and I wanted to make a special card from him -- and luckily I had my lovely new Cricut Imagine to help me out!

As this was the first card I made (well, since I was about 10) and the first time using the Imagine I was winging it. 

I had recently come across a photo of my sisters and I in the tub when we were kids and thought it might bring a smile to my Dad's face so decided it would be the focal point of the card.

I cut and print the outside and inside of the card on the Imagine.  I love the polka dot pattern!   The card shape with the aperture for the photo was from the Beyond Birthdays cartridge - as was the Happy Birthday text, the patterns I used were from the Imagine More cartridge.   The flowers, the speech bubble, and the red frame around the aperture were also from Imagine more.

I struggled for a while with how I'd get the text into the speech bubble - but then hit on what I thought was a genius idea! I print the caption onto a piece of plain paper from Word.  I glued (using a light-ish adhesive) the speech bubble over the caption -- this meant that when I print the caption the next time I could feed in that piece of paper and it would print onto the speech bubble.  Hurrah!!

When a knitter watches too much shopping tv....

A few weeks ago while flicking around the channels I happened across a demonstration on Create and Craft (a shopping channel) for a Cricut Imagine.

Until that moment I had never heard of Cricut.  At that point the last time I made a card was when I was in grade school.  The only paper in my house was a dog eared A4 lined pad I'd nicked from my last job.

Fast forward 4 weeks and here I am the proud (if sometimes confused) owner of Cricut Imagine.  I'm surrounded by bits of paper - different weights, patterns and textures.  I've got 4 (maybe 5!) different types of adhesive and no matter how often I wipe it down my kitchen table it still has gold glitter on it.

I've discovered of course that there is a huge online paper crafting world and have been blog hopping for inspiration and tips.  I've discovered that like the knitting world there are circles of friends who have never actually met but share ideas and experience freely -- and of course there's also lots of drama and a bit of controversy and the usual battles between afficianados of different techniques. 

Since most of my output so far has been given away (which is of course the point of cards) I've decided to blog my attempts to make the something useful or beautiful or at least interesting from my new toys.