Sunday, 31 October 2010

October's ATC Swap - A Bit Tricky This Month!

Here are the ATC cards I made for the October swaps.  I must admit I found the theme of Halloween quite a difficult one so thanks to Bren at Crafts on the Net for making me think more than usual.

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Friday, 29 October 2010

A Useful Piece of Kit

If you don't have a bow maker then you really are missing out on the simplest way to create co-ordinating bows.  It may sound a pointless piece of equipment: anyone can tie a bow, right?  When you try to make a bow for a project you realise that it's not as easy as you think.

Here is a lovely little bow maker bought from eBay for less than £2.00.  YES! Can you  believe it?  Of course there are other brands and it's an individual choice but I liked this lovely wooden one.  I found this one by typing in bow maker under the 'Crafts' category.  You can adjust the pegs according to the size of bow you want and it comes with instructions.  I used it to make the bows for the Christmas napkins and it really is simple.

Treat yourself or a friend.  This would be a nice little Christmas stocking filler for the craft enthusiast.

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Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Thought Provoking On Line Classes

Hi All,

As you can see from the Shimelle Laine blinkie on the right I finally signed up for one of her on-line classes.  I have wanted to take part in one for ages but didn't think I could commit the time.  When I saw this one, True Stories, I though it would probably just fit in with my busy workload so I went for it. 

It is about how we write: journaling, blogging, drafting, note taking, letter writing, emailing.  It covers all these forms of writing but the emphasis is on using pen and paper, remember those. 

The first prompt was yesterday and I really enjoyed the way this made me think about how I write.  The guest designers who added their thoughts and writings were really interesting and one idea in particular really got me thinking. 

Check out Shimelle's website for more information by clicking on the blinkie.
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Monday, 25 October 2010

Deck the Halls and the Tables ...

Here are the Christmas napkin rings.  Quite simple but I prefer things understated anyway. 

I chose Christmas-coloured papers but not traditional designs so they would complement both a traditional table setting or a more modern one and made 3 of each design rather than have 6 matching rings.

All of my Christmas decorations are packed away so I couldn't take a picture with the nice table napkins but this gives you an idea of how they will look.

Recipe for Success

6 x Grungeboard strips measuring 4cm x 5cm
12 x paper strips of same size, 6 for lining the inside of rings (optional). 
Glossy Accents Glue
Ink to match the chosen papers
Co-ordinating ribbon
Clothes pegs

NB  The lining paper doesn't have to be the same as the paper used for the outside of the rings.  It is there to give a neat finish.

Here We go
  1. Glue the lining paper to one side of the Grungeboard strips and allow to dry
  2. Mark a line 1cm down from the top end of each strip on the plain side.
  3. Roll each strip over to form a circle and glue the bottom end to the marked line, with the plain side outermost.  Secure with two clothes pegs on each side to hold the ends together and allow to dry.
  4. Now cover the outside of the rings with your chosen paper and when completely dry coat with Glossy Accents to give a nice sheen and seal the paper.  Allow to dry.
  5. Ink the edges to cover the bare Grungeboard and neaten the finish.
  6. Make bows for each ring and glue over the joined section to disguise any raised areas.
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Friday, 22 October 2010

A Place worth Visiting

I said in a recent post that I had visited the wonderful Alhambra in Granada, Spain during a recent holiday and I have picked a few of the many photographs we took to show how beautiful it is. 

It is well worth a visit but you must book tickets in advance as numbers entering are strictly monitored.  You book for either the morning or afternoon and will need about 5 - 6 hours to see everything.  We were advised to arrive in the morning, park our car at the Alhambra car park, collect our tickets and then walk down to Granada which took about 20 minutes.  I'm glad we took the advice it meant we weren't rushed, had no worries about parking and saw something of the city as well.

The buildings and the carvings are just breathtaking and the first picture shows part of the detail on the walls of the Nasrid palaces.  I want to make some small decorative tiles from air-dry clay and this detail has given me some inspiration for a pattern.  I'll let you know how that turns out.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

And There's More! Heritage Scrapbooking

Here is another double page layout from the heritage album I made for my sister.  The photo on the left is of my sisters, our mum, her mum, back middle, and a family friend  circa late 1940s.  The one on the right shows my eldest sister back left, my mum, her mum and my Aunt Ivy on the right, probably taken around 1955 and  both taken in Norfolk.

My Aunt Ivy and Uncle Keith lived in Norfolk not far from Great Yarmouth and I have many happy memories as a child visiting them during the summer. One of these days I want to go back to Great Yarmouth, Sea Palling and Rollesby where they lived to see how much it has changed.  Yet another 'To Do' on my Bucket List although I'm also ticking them off slowly.  My most recent one to tick was a visit to The Al Hambra in Granada.  I'll post a few pictures in the next few weeks. 

For these pages I used papers which had a postcard design on them and muted brown and grey card stock together with pearl buttons and ribbon to add to the vintage feel.  The journaling is hidden under the photos. 

If you have a Bucket List it would be great to know what you have on yours.  Post a comment and share one of your life's ambitions.

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Saturday, 16 October 2010

A Christmas Pot Pourri

This is a nice little Christmas decoration made from left-over bits and pieces from a bag of pot pourri.

I cut a square of corrugated cardboard I had left  from a box and pulled off a section of the paper from the top left corner, exposing the corrugations.  I dabbed red StazOn randomly over the the surface and when dry, stamped the right-hand side with a script stamp from Crafty Individuals in StazOn Metallics Bronze.  Then I stuck the various pieces from the pot pourri on the cardboard using Glossy Accents and small clear glue dots.  To make sure the green twigs and cinnamon stick would not fall off, I cut a small slit in the card on either side of these once stuck in position and pushed the ends of the ribbon through to the back.  I stuck the ribbon on the back with double-sided tape and after adhering a ribbon to hang it with, stuck another piece of red paper over this to make it look neater.

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Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Christmas is Coming ........

YEP!! It's that time of year again when we start to think about Christmas.  For the last 3 years I've painted my Christmas Cards.  I paint on watercolour paper and then trim the painting to fit onto a larger white card blank.  These can be bought from craft shops or the internet and doing it this way saves wasting cards if I make a mistake or spill paint.  I've tried using watercolour cards but I prefer a rough (NOT) finish to a smooth (Cold Pressed) finish.  Here are examples of the last 3 years. 

I haven't decided what to do this year.  Perhaps I'll try stamping some cards for a change.
Either way, I need to make a start soon, it takes longer than you think to make
cards, especially in quantity.

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Saturday, 9 October 2010

More from Cuba

Here is another page  from my Cuban album.  I got the beer mats from the bar when we stopped for a Mojito (or two) whilst walking around old Havana.  I used them to hide extra photos and as a backing for one of the pages.  This is a great way to include memorabilia in a small album where every inch of space counts.

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Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Happy Birthday Time

This is the latest card made for the Birthday Card Swap on Crafts on the Net.  I paper pieced the cupcake, using my paper crinkler (I've no idea what it's called but basically you feed the paper through, turn the handle and it corrugates it, like corrugated cardboard.  I think I've just invented a new word as well - crinkler!).

I tried desperately to get away from my usual style but didn't quite manage it.  I really need to expand my repertoire of ideas.  You know what it likes when you get stuck in a design rut; inadvertently making the same sort of card, scrapbook page etc.  Anyone got any tips for breaking away from the comfort zone?

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Friday, 1 October 2010

Birds and Friends

Here are my ATCs for September.  

 I had great fun stamping the little Robbins onto the wood effect paper.  The stamp is from Crafty Individuals and if you haven't looked at their website yet, check it out.  They have some lovely stamps and ATC papers and their delivery is incredibly quick. I've put a link at the bottom of the post.

I added a little brown worm to the bottom of the Robbin card, using a small length of brown embroidery thread.

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