Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Monday, 21 December 2009

Last minute cards for a loved one?

If you're anything like me, the special cards are the last ones to come every single year! This year was no exception, and blood and sweat went into thinking of a nice design, as always I was pleased with the result in the end but it took some reaching!

and then a few special ones for the children too, using Kate Hadfield's downloadable embellishments - they are gorgeous!

I hope you are all ready for the festive period, not long now!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

At such a busy time of year, it's always rush, rush, rush, and I thought I was organised and ahead this year! I never get to spend as much time on my Christmas cards as I would like, but from next year that will change. This year, and for as many as I can remember, I've had ample choice of Christmas cards to send out left over from magazine projects on Christmas topics - and surprisingly, it always takes me ages to work out who is receiving which card.

I read longingly about people that choose one design and make it in multiple, so that everyone receives the came design that year. This year I had half of my cards from leftover magazine articles, and the other half I made lots of the same ones from Stampin' Up designs. As I don't do magazine articles anymore, next year I promise you - one design fits all!

If you want to know where I bought this cute natural wicker heart and ribbon, plus lots of other gorgeous Christmas decorations, visit Norpar Barn here

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

New babies

Here's a cute little girly card that I made for a new baby - I've had a few of these to make, boy and girl, so I've just updated the colours and the design. I love the Autumn Leaves giraffe stamp, there is a smaller giraffe in the pack too which work lovely for new baby cards.

I started making some more of my Christmas cards last night too as I have over half made, but need some more. What have you been making?

Sunday, 6 December 2009


I've been up and down with this blog alot lately. I like updating it with what I've been doing, but I keep coming back to the idea that I don't like my personal information 'out there' and I don't have the time to update it. I'm also not sure how many people are reading it now as I had a bit of a break from it, so the logical thing seems to be stick to craft work and that's it! So that's my plan.
I'm guilty of browsing other people's blogs, but not having time to update my own. What about you?

I don't spend anywhere near as much time looking at other's blogs as I used to, and actually because I am too busy it would frustrate me too much if I did as I would constantly want to be making when I can't! However, when I do look, it's always such lovely work.

I’ve been making my Santa list from Stampin’ Up products as I just love them so much but have no justification at all for buying more craft materials myself! I’ve been looking at Monica’s blog a lot lately as well as other stamping blogs, take a look here as she makes some wonderful projects.

Excuse the bad photo lighting for this card, but I only seem to get time to photograph my cards late at night, the night before they are due! This is a card I made recently mimicking one of Lousette's Christmas cards - see here for her original.

I've also been making other birthday cards and buying lots of nice handmade gifts today from a Christmas barn that I visited - so cute! I will share those later on. I just wish I had time to make them all myself but I couldn't resist buying them.

The tree is up - and it's nearly Christmas!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

December already

I was reading something today about people using direct images of other’s work (by taking them from their blogs etc) and passing it off as their own. I mean, how often do people actually do that? It’s always a bit of a hot topic and there are always strong opinions on it. I’m sure there are times when people do it knowing full well what they are doing, and I’m sure there are times when someone has accidently forgotten to say whose card it was or has forgotten where they saved the image from. But do people really pretend to have made something someone else has, to take the credit for it? I can’t see the feel-good factor in it myself, if I haven’t made it then the praise isn’t mine.

Anyway, using other people’s work for inspiration is another thing entirely and I like doing it, particularly when I am short of time and don't have time to think of something new. It’s a great way of stretching your own imagination and trying things you wouldn’t have thought of too.

So to share a couple of things that I've done, I finally continued with my Stampin' Up! Christmas cards, as I said that yonks ago, that I would. I've literally only managed to try two of the cards that Suzanne and Lousette made in the blog event, but I am persevering! The image above is a slight alternative to one of Suzanne's here (you'll need to look for the Oct 1st post as I can't get a link to it). I changed a few things i.e. the shape of the card for starters but essentially it's the same design.

I also made a few more from the old Stampin' Up! card set I had and just love, so it's always an old favourite to return to that and make a few more to build up my stocks of birthday cards. So I've added those to the Christmas cards I made from Lousette's design (in one of my previous posts). I'll share the other birthday card and new baby cards next time.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Busy, busy, busy

I've been too busy to blog lately, and it's been nearly a month! I have made a few cards lately though and have a scrapbook page I want to try. I've been busy with birthday celebrations (not mine!), which included a lovely meal at a specialist fish restaurant, an overnight stay in a country manor house and tomorrow - a day at Billingsgate Fish Market Cookery School in London. I'm excited! We will learn how to cook recipes and prepare fish such as these....

Not so sure I am going to like the preparing of the fish from scratch, I like the 'not too fishy' type of fish, but should be an experience to remember and it was a gift well received which is what counts.

I've made a couple of new baby cards for new arrivals, and then have continued trying to make a few more Christmas cards - it's a good job the Stampin' Up challenge started us off in September as it's nearly December and I've still not managed that many. I will share again soon...

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Other's designs

Is there ever such a thing as a tidy craft space when there is work in progress? I don't think so.

This was my area last week when I finally returned to my Stampin' Up! projects, weeks after our last blog challenge. I have been ridiculously busy lately and so I only managed to return to it a week ago, but then it's taken me the whole week to post this. Madness.

So with Christmas cards in mind, I decided to stamp some images in bulk, with a view of making lots of cards in one day. Only with the help of my two nieces, I didn't quite get as many made as I planned...

Trying other people's designs is something some people are shy of, or feel bad about, but I think its a great way of expanding your own styles and pushing yourself in areas that you wouldn't usually, so I recommend it. I wanted to have a play at making the cards both Lousette and Suzanne both created in the blog challenge, so here is the first of Lousette's designs, chosen as my first because I loved the way that the ribbon was folded and layered. I also loved this swirl stamp when I used it on white paper so I was naturally drawn to this design of Suzanne's.
I began some more of the other designs, but only got half way through them so when I am back to them again, I will share them. Five Christmas cards done, only about another 30 to go...

Friday, 23 October 2009

Time flies!

Wow, time has just disappeared these last few weeks, with a busy work, a house move in the family, lots of social things - so I haven't been able to blog for a while. And disappointingly, I still haven't got back to my lovely Stampin' Up! Christmas stamps either.

I would like to say a thank you to the Stampin' Up! press office as I received a lovely little card in the post to say thank you for taking part in the blog hop challenge event - it was my pleasure! I've seen more people signing up to be SU demonstrators recently too, I must say, the demonstrator's package has been enough to make me consider it and I didn't even have it in mind!
Are you looking for a nice way to deliver a gift and card in one this year? If your friends or families like jewellery, then these are easy presents to incorporate into your cards. I've decorated a card in the usual way - patterned paper, scalloped edges etc, and then I've created two circles and punched a hole through the centre of each. If this is already attached to your card blank when you do this, it's easy - simply hook the earrings through the holes and voila! A quick card and present in one.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Quick makes

I'm going to share just a couple of quick makes with you, Christmas themed again, as who doesn't need a quick-make Christmas card at some point?

I am still itching to get back to my Stampin' Up! cards and make some duplicates of what I made on the night, and then try out some of Lousette and Suzanne's - I think I should be done for all my Christmas cards by the time I've done that! The only snag is, I've got a manic few weeks coming up so I'm not sure that is going to happen.

I was flicking through the new Stampin' Up! catalogue partly to browse, and also to see if I could see any sets designed for men's birthday cards. Now yes, I know, any stamps can be used for men if you just give the card a male twist, but I can't be the only one who struggles with male cards? As an experienced crafter, I still find it hard to sit down and create a card for a man off of the top of my head. I would like SU to have created a Simply Sent card kit just for men, but as they haven't, I might sit down and choose some versatile stamps, some masculine papers, a greeting and some coordinating ribbon. And order my very own card kit! If you have got links for male cards (not just SU) I would love to see them. Paula does wonderful cards for men and women over here.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Another year on...

Well I haven't made it back to my craft table yet, I had too busy a weekend, but I do have other cards to share. I am looking forward to getting back to my desk as I thought I'd try making the cards that Suzanne and Lousette made during the Stampin' Up! blog event too - trying other people's styles is a great way of stretching your own.

These are some cards that I made for a 'Crafting for Christmas' publication last year or the year before, using the Blonde Moments stamps. My colour scheme was black paired with bright pink, orange and lime green, sounds horrid, doesn't it?

And although this calendar is clearly now out of date, I thought it might be good to share for an idea of what you could make someone as a handmade gift this Christmas. If you want to personalise it and add photos to make it more like a scrapbook calendar, you can of course do that. I created the date pages in a word document and printed it onto card.

I've added lots of stitching, just because I love it! And have used book rings to hold it all together, with the base folded into a triangle. I actually made the base have four sides, so that two can overlap and be stuck together.

Happy crafting!

Saturday, 3 October 2009

what next?

So when do you ladies receive your new Stampin' Up! orders that you've placed? I was thinking about how much of a success this blog hopping event was and how much everyone seemed to enjoy it, and was thinking that there is nothing to stop you guys that are demonstrated from doing your own between you! You could each pass a box of goodies onto each other or something similar.

Thank you to everyone who came over here to have a look at my work, and for all of the comments that you left, I really enjoyed taking part.

This was what my craft desk looked like when I set up to begin the blog event... I'd love to see some links to what any of you make with your new orders - so please let me know your links and I will come over and have a look! I had no idea that my kit was going to be Christmas themed, and that was actually a huge help so while all of my SU materials are out on my craft desk I might make some good progress on the rest of my Christmas cards....!

Thursday, 1 October 2009

And the winners are...

Early bird -

Tara said...
It's lovely to see so many different ideas made with the same products... well done!
01 October 2009 00:06

and the second prize goes to...

Lesley said...
You have been working very hard - there are some fantastic items in this new catalogue by the look of your samples - I won't see the new catalogue until Friday :( I have left a link on my blog
01 October 2009 08:21

Time to celebrate! Well done, I hope you enjoy playing with them as much as I did. Send me your details to jennyscreations@hotmail.com and I will pass your details onto Stampin' Up! to forward your prizes!

I'm still awake...

Wow, so many comments from all of you, I have hardly had a chance to read them all. Thank you all for visiting! I had a wonderful time with this challenge and really enjoyed using the new Christmas stamps and products, and it was so much faster to create using these materials that I realised it would be!

It certainly was a challenge for me as at I love to use scalloped edges and punches (I wish I had thought of doing what Lousette had done!), lovely buttons and crystals for texture, decorative edge scissors etc and I didn’t have any of those from Stampin’ Up! so I had to work out of my comfort zone a little. But I enjoyed this challenge so much and I think that is partly because it was a refreshing break not having any theme to stick to – I could be truly creative and make whatever I felt like! That was such a nice change.

So I will be back later when I have a bit more time – for the all important Stampin’ Up! prizes to give away!!!

The official launch!

Ta da!!!!!!!! It's midnight! And we are now officially celebrating the launch of the Stampin' Up brand new catalogue for 2009 - 2010! This was the box of beautiful products that I received, and here follows my papercraft creations from 6pm until midnight this evening...

In the kit were packs of coloured card, 12x12 patterned papers, ink pads, punches, ribbons, glue and brads. I had to stop creating a bit before midnight to take the photos and load them up here, and it's taken a while! I will start by saying though, that I made far more than I thought I would and I am sure this is due to how easy the Stampin' Up! stamps are to work with, and the fact that all of the colours and ribbons work so well together that everything just seems to fit before you start.

So I began with a tag - and if I'm honest, this was because I thought it would be the easiest and quickest thing to do, and I wanted to feel like I'd got at least one thing finished incase I didn't produce many items... it's a stamped background design, patterned paper and main stamped image.

This was my first card, and is actually becoming one of my favourites now I have looked at it for a while, I think its the overlapping stamped stars that I like! I've used the star punch (which obviously fits perfectly as SU designed it that way!), ribbon and an oval stamp - these don't need much explaining really, do they?

I have opted for what I would call simple cards, partly because that is my style, and partly because I wanted to make sure I didn't run out of time and only have one or two cards made. This one made good use of the vertical patterned paper design, and I really love this oval stamp (used with the oval punch, again fits perfectly), with a ripped, curled and inked edge.

A very quick tag using the clear stamp pad and the star and oval stamps. I threw in an additional bit of SU orange card that I had here for variation.

This card was to show that the Christmas set can be used for more than just Christmas, I think this card is quite versatile. I really loved working with the wide brown ribbon.

For some reason I really like the ribbon down the middle of this card, finished off with the cut edge. Not sure why! This swirl stamp makes great background papers with SU inks on white card, its so clear and would be great for scrapbook layouts too.

This stamped image has been punched with a circle punch, then it has an oval red punched shape behind it, you can just see the edges poking out.

It is hard to see the dimension element of this card, but the green stars are stamped directly onto the white card, the red star is raised with one level of foam pads and the brown star has two levels so stands out the furthers. Very simple but cute! And would be good for birthday cards too.

By the time this creation came along, I was looking for a break from red and green, and I found it with this purple patterned paper. Ok, ok, I know it still has green on it but it has a different look because of the colour mix. Again I created the background white paper with the swirl stamp.

This final card is a mix of papers/card with holes punched around the outside of each piece with a paper piercer.

And for my final offering of the evening - a decorated gift bag! This is pretty simple too, but starting with a brown base makes it easy peasy. A few swirls stamped in red, coupled with the brown oval stamps here and there and the background is covered. The centre piece I made with six red punched ovals, with the centre of the flower being the 'Joy' stamp punched with a circle punch.

Don't forget to check out what Lousette created here and what Suzanne made here - they both have some amazing projects on their blogs!

That's all folks - it's taken me nearly an hour to finish adding to this original post and add my text, so I'm off to bed and shall be back here tomorrow!

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Five cards, two tags and a gift bag later, what else can I make?!? These stamps are making it too easy!


Ok, I've made two and a half cards and a tag - and now I'm off to eat a lovely smelling sausage and mash that has been cooked for me! I know, I know, I'm not as dedicated as some of you lovely crafters who might not stop to eat - but I am dedicated to food just as much as craft, haha!

see you in a bit x

What have I made?

The box of goodies is lovely - a pack of stamps, a pack of 12x12 patterned paper, coloured card, two punches, gorgeous ribbons, some ink pads...

I've made one card and one tag so far - not too bad for 35 minutes! I'm sure I'll slow down as the night wears on though...

And it's off... almost!

Tonight is a bit more rushed than I'd like, but I'm now home and just about have time to post about the blog candy prize before I begin!

So from midnight tonight, you have the chance to win a wonderful Stampin' Up prize!

There will be two prizes to give away, each one consisting of a punch, a stamp set and an ink pad ... a lovely little prize if I do say so myself! The first prize will be an early bird prize - to qualify you need to visit this blog between midnight tonight and 1am - this gives you precisely sixty minutes to win! All you have to do to be in with a chance is leave a comment, and if you are also a blogger we ask that you mention the challenge on your own blog, link through to here and then paste your blog link in your comment. If you don't have a blog, fear not, leave a comment and we will still enter you into the draw.

The second prize will run from 1am until 12 midday on Thursday, so if you aren't an early bird (or should I say late!), then you still have a chance of winning a prize. The same rules apply, leave a comment and link if you can. I will announce the winners chosen by a random number generator on my blog on Thursday so check back to see if you have won!

Don't forget, Lousette and Suzanne will also be giving away two prizes each, so you have six chances to win! I hope that's enough to whet your appetite - as I am now off to begin my crafting very shortly! (No pressure with all you watching, eh...)

A game of patience...

So the box has arrived but I am not allowed to open it!! The parcel is wrapped in some lovely brown paper with Stampin’ Up! images stamped onto it, and a lovely decorated tag. Hmmm... self-control is a difficult thing...

I can’t wait to see what goodies we have to play with and to share them with you later. No pressure on us though to create something good with you all checking in, eh! This is somehow very different to magazine deadline pressure – this is real life action, so I hope we do the products justice.

In the mean time, maybe I’ll share something else instead! To get me in the mood, I’ve been looking back at my old card designs, and some of those that I’ve used stamping on. Festive again, but I know so many of you will be organised crafters and working on those already – I wish I were!

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Blog candy...

Ooh more Stampin' Up! news for you - BLOG CANDY!!! (As in, freebies!). If you weren't excited before, that should do it. More will be revealed...

These are a couple of the cards you could make from a Stampin' Up! simply sentiments card kit - when I had this kit, it was so nice to follow someone else's designs for once, and to have all of the 'ingredients' in one box for you. A refreshing break from thinking of new designs and all the hard work of coordinating is done for you, ah lovely.

Forgetting that not everyone is that familiar with Stampin' Up! (SU for short), it began as an American company, and the products (quality stamps, papers, ribbons, inks etc) are sold through demonstrators. This spread over to the UK at a time when demand was very high and everyone in the UK wanted to get their hands on these products, and so they eventually good, and its now going very strong over here too. If you want to know more about Stampin' Up! you can find a demonstrator near you by visiting their website, here

Monday, 28 September 2009

Time for celebration...

Did I tell you, it's time to celebrate? I'm taking part in a Stampin' Up! challenge! Oh no, I did tell you that. I didn't tell you who the third talented crafter is though did I?It's Suzanne Torr (http://fruitysuet.blogspot.com/) and I am sure most of you will know her already as she is very talented, and has been on the crafting scene for a number of years. The three of us will be taking part in the blog hopping challenge on Wednesday evening (explained below). Now that's a reason to celebrate! And I would like to point out at this moment, that yes I did, in fact, make these chocolate cupcakes - and although they look like they have been brought straight from the supermarket bakery, that is actually the very useful plastic container that our croissants came in! Honestly. I kid you not.

As much as I would love to tell you that I made these cupcakes this evening especially to celebrate that I am taking part in the Stampin' Up! blog event, I might by lying. Although I am that excited it may well have been true! I did make some cakes, however, to take to my friends when we visited them Sunday, to celebrate the arrival of their first little baby boy.
We took along this card creation (the grey splodge is for privacy, not my strange style!) - when I am crafting for something very specific and under a time restraint I find it so much harder - let's hope that doesn't happen Wednesday evening eh! A little bit of basic stamping to get me in the mood for Wednesday's festivities...


To share in the fun of the eagerly-anticipated new Stampin' Up! catalogue (see below post), you can follow Lousette Ashton as one of the other luck crafters taking part in Wednesday evening's fun blog hopping event. I have been lucky enough to have craft projects published in many of the same craft magazines as Lousette and have always admired her beautiful style of work, so whether you know Lousette already or not, here is a link to her new blog...


See you Wednesday!

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Stampin' Up! on Wednesday

So the exciting news that I can share now is...

Image courtesy of Stampin' Up!

...I have been asked as one of three people in the UK to showcase some of the brand new Stampin' Up! products on Wednesday evening at midnight! The new catalogue is being launched on Thursday (1st October) and Stampin' Up! have asked three crafters who are independent from their demonstration programme to take part in this exclusive blogging event.

We are going to be sent a box of brand new materials, along with their current products, which we are allowed to open at 6pm on Wednesday evening. We then have six hours to create craft projects with them and we will be posting the first sneak previews of the new products and what you can create with them on our blogs at midnight! This will officially be the first unveiling of their new catalogue products. How exciting!

I really love Stampin' Up products as they are of such a high quality, that it makes using them so easy! So I'm really looking forward to this challenge. Will you join me? If so, spread the word on any forums that you visit and I will see you back here on Wednesday evening!

Friday, 25 September 2009

Oh my goodness! Stampin' Up! news

(image courtesy of Stampin' Up!)
Oh wow - I just had a telephone call from Stampin' Up! that I am very excited about but I can't share yet!!! I love Stampin' Up! products and they are so easy to use because of the wonderful quality, so this news is very exciting for me...

(image courtesy of Stampin' Up!)

Spread the news to anyone that loves Stampin' Up! as they might want to check back here soon for an exclusive!

Black is back...

These are a couple of cards that I made a year or two ago for a magazine project, I really love how the bright green contrasts against the harsh black. Certainly not colours that I would have thought of putting together instinctively, but I think it really works. The year that I made them, I think this ribbon bow present card proved to be the most popular one that my friends had seen.
Maybe I will make them the same but in all different colours this year - that would look quite spectacular to have a whole collection I think.
I am due to be making some more pretty cupcakes this weekend, chocolate ones loaded with chocolate icing and marshmallows - if they are successful, I will post for you to share!

I have a couple of new baby boy cards to make soon, I haven't done any like that for a while but it needs to be personalised. Any ideas, anyone?

Monday, 14 September 2009

Back to craft!

Ok so back to some crafting for if anyone is still reading this, although not new creations recently I admit - but for now, as many of you crafters will be getting ready for the Christmas season already (gasp!) - I'll post some festive creations that I don't think I have shared before.

It's made with a similar theme to the button wedding invitations that I made - in fact, that's where our idea came from for doing them! It's simply a present made from buttons, with some lovely embroidery stitching to complete the ribbon bow. Voila!

Continuing with the food theme, I tried another recipe recenty from the Jamie Oliver Ministry of Food book - Salmon pesto with green beans and I added lemon cous cous, it was lovely.