Monday, 31 May 2010

Wedding Invitations

This weekend I've taken the time to finish some wedding invitations - hoorah! Another job well done. I was happy that the chosen design was a very simple and quick to make design - the details printed and punched out with a Stampin' Up! oval punch, then a Stampin' Up! scalloped oval of silver card, layered together and raised onto the card using 3D pads. Then some simple silver organza ribbon and the corners rounded with a punch. Easy peasy!

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Scrapbooking - The Return!

I haven't scrapbooked a single page for about two years, without a lie. I don't know what happened, well actually I do, it was the discovery of photobooks.
I create these wonderful books of all of the year's photos, and it instantly takes away the desperate **need** to scrapbook all of my photographs, and the guilt of feeling 'behind' on my scrapbooking and never being able to keep up with recording all of life's events as they happen. Do you know what I mean?

Many scrapbookers have that feeling, that you can take so many photos, how can you possibly get them down into a scrapbook album fast enough, and the truth of the matter is, you can't. But the great thing is, that I don't feel the 'need' to anymore!

Now that has resulted in a revolt from me, hence why I haven't scrapbooked a single page in two years. But like with everything, you have a break and then you begin to miss it a little. So ta da - a scrapbook page, just because I can! Not for a magazine deadline, not for a class, just for me.
So thanks to the photobooks, I can now document all of my year's stories in a fast and easy way (which everyone seems to love by the way, so if you haven't created a photobook for yourself or especially for a gift, give it a try!) which leaves me to scrap just the special photographs. Hooray!
I hope the sun is shining for you this bank holiday where you are, it's a bit chilly here!

Friday, 28 May 2010

I don't really know what is going on with the weather at the moment, I keep flitting between my summer and winter clothes! On a good note, I have finished the wedding invitations that I'm making now (only 45, not too many) - I just need to print and stick in the inserts then they are ready to go to the bride to be.

This is another card requested, a Ruby Wedding Anniversary card for a husband, so again I kept it simple with a Big Shot die-cut felt heart and a Stampin' Up sentiment. You can see the organza ribbon is a running theme with me at the moment!

Another very simple Diamond Wedding Anniversary card, with the same die-cut heart, an SU stamp sentiment layered onto a Stampin' Up oval and scalloped oval punched shape. Hopefully I'll be back with more once I've ticked some things off my to-do list!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

No time to stop!

I had a fantastic day on Saturday with some Stampin' Up ladies, learning what they do and lots of good skills. I also got to play with some of the goodies which is always fun! I had a busy, busy weekend - which didn't help that I was already shattered when Fri evening came. Friends were over for dinner in the evening, the SU ladies Saturday followed by a football presentation in the evening, and then my first big charity bike ride which I was organising for the charity I work for came on Sunday - followed by a bbq at a friend's house afterwards! Needless to say, by 7pm I was in bed and could not drag myself from it for anything. The bike ride was a huge success though and the scorching sun of course helped the day to be very enjoyable.

Inbetween blog posts though, I've been making a few cards requested by friends, including this batch of graduation cards. I went for the simple as it's all I've had time for, backed onto some Papermania decorated card blanks.

This was another of the personal cards - a 90th birthday for a gardening lover, so I used a digital free download (from Kate Hadfield I think it was - her link is on my blog).

I am an official convert to digital downloads - they are a life saver for last minute cards when you haven't got the materials you need at midnight and the shops are shut - voila, download a digi file!

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Pretty pink birthday treats

It was a friend's birthday recently and as we were heading over there to celebrate, I thought I'd make a personalised gift (or two!).

I used some See D's letter stamps to create a large label for the sweety jar, and combined it with some Blonde Moments patterned papers. I have so much patterned paper, I need to start using it up rather than fearing cutting into the ones I love the most incase I run out! I then covered the lid with some pre-printed spotty felt and tied it together with a pink ribbon. I took this idea from my creative friend Julie ;o)

I then also made some pretty chocolate cupcakes (using a piping bag to decorate), and finally got to try an idea I've been thinking of doing for ages. I purchased some *blank* cake boxes with the view to personalising each one for whatever occasion arose - and I love the outcome! I lined the box with pink tissue paper and carefully arranged the cupcakes in the box.
So I took out my pink and brown inks and set away, stamping the lid (while still flat) with birthday images.

I think cupcakes look so pretty when they have a choice of different toppings on them.

And those were our birthday gifts for the day. I'm off to a crafting event today and am very excited!

Friday, 21 May 2010

New buys

I had a £25 voucher to spend in Artbase which i've had for ages, and I never quite seem to make it over. And since having a big craft clear out, I'm trying to get rid of my craft materials rather than accumulate, so it was a bad idea for me to visit Artbase! Look what happened...

However, I decided it was time to use the voucher as I needed to buy a few little pieces for the wedding invitations I am making. Much to my delight, I discovered a few of Paula's new stamps in there! I've loved looking at Paula's work using her new stamps, and it sounds like they might be in demand at the moment, so I was thrilled to be able to get some, especially as I could use voucher so I wasn't out of pocket. With so many lovely designs that Paula shows, I should be able to make some cards with these easily!

I was actually very good and bought a selection of card to add to my collection, some of Paula's stamps and some Papermania sparkly accessories. I nearly forgot what I went in for though, and had to go back in!

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

This is another card using the same range of patterned papers and my Stampin' Up! birthday stamps. I love how clear this cupcake stamps - some friends recently couldn't believe that the base had been stamped at all.

My other love is photography, and I think I've moved away from scrapbooking so much recently because I've started to create photobooks with my photos, which tell an entire story for me in one book, the same as scrapbooks do really. This is a recent photo from our holiday to Cornwall which I had printed onto a canvas, aren't the colours so vibrant? I can't wait to hang this somewhere.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Flower pot or present?

There is much confusion over this stamp whenever I use it, some people thinking it's a flower pot, other's realising it's a present! I love this patterned paper and have wanted to use it for a long time, and also this 'A taste of India' ribbon.
But I have a question - what's your most proven method for sharpening your punches? My scalloped punch is blunt as anything now, I've tried punching through foil but that's not worked and I haven't had a chance to look up any other methods since.
Any suggestions more than welcome!

Thursday, 13 May 2010


You can take inspiration for crafts from anywhere around you, if you look for it. Often when you don't look for it, it just pops up too. A few weeks ago we had a lovely week away in Cornwall, we chose the best week to go away in the UK as flights abroad were cancelled and we had simply stunning weather, gorgeous sunshine the whole week through.

We stayed in a fantastic apartment by the sea, in a bay which was the next along in St. Ives. If only you could guarantee such good weather, I'd holiday in the UK all the time. It was so beautiful.
St. Ives is famous for it's galleries and along with that, come some beautiful little craft and gift shops - just my kind of place! These photoographs do not do the handcrafted items justice, but I loved this shop. Full of beautifully decorated items, handcrafted, but of course the price tags were huge! It meant I did not buy anything, but the battle between what money you can afford so spend on a unique items vs how much time and energy it takes the creator continues. Make things for yourself - it's the only answer! (Unless you are lucky enough to have lots of money to spare of course).

I loved this wooden cabinet. Perhaps minus the seagulls on the top! We did have an episode (actually, two!) where we were attacked firstly for a cornish pasty, the seagull lost much to my amusement, then the second time for my ice cream - and as the seagull won, this was not nearly as funny!

Our apartment was gorgeous, with a lovely sea view. If you'd like the link for the accommodation, just let me know by comment on here or email.

How pretty is St. Ives?

We visited some National Trust areas too, which were just amazing, like this view of a secluded bay that you can only reach by boat, where the seals laze around. We hired bikes for a day and ended up taking a 17 mile bike ride, kind of by accident! That was tough. But we also enjoyed picnics on the beach, pitch n putt and various other activities. Highly recommend Cornwall in good weather!

All occasions

While we were enjoying a relaxing time at Center Parcs and I was teaching the girls a little cardmaking class, they were all confident enough to experiment with the stamps themselves after a little teaching, so I had some free time to make some cards myself.

I am making this design in silver for wedding invitations and as I discovered how simple these are to make while still looking elegant, I decided to have a go in all different colours and occasions.

They are made using Stampin' Up! word stamps and inks, plus the Stampin' Up! oval and scalloped oval punches. I've then added some Bazzill Bling card and some organza ribbon. Easy peasy! These could be adapted to pretty much any occasion and if you don't have a stamp to fit the shape, you can print your greetings onto paper from your computer - I'm doing exactly that for some graduation cards next...

Monday, 10 May 2010

A creative weekend

I've just returned home from a girlie weekend away at Center Parcs, and what a creative weekend we had. It was for a birthday celebration so we decided to plan a few activities of our own that would be fun but relatively inexpensive.

One of these activities was a cardmaking session led by me, so I took the opportunity to use my Stampin' Up supplies and teach a card or two. They were all relatively new to cardmaking and were very excited by their creations by the end of the session. That's what we like to see!

Some were not even sure they could part with their creations, now that's dedication for you!

These are the finished articles which I have to say I was very impressed with, and think they are all lovely! I better not say which is my favourite as they might be checking my blog out later ;o)
We moved onto another activity of cupcake decorating which seems to be very fashionable at the moment. It was good fun and everyone had a turn at piping and decorating with pretty sprinkles and such like.

We managed to fit in a pampering session amongst all of this, as well as yummy food, a girly film and a few drinks so all in all, a very creative and fun weekend.

I even managed to fit in making a few extra cards myself while the others were playing, so I'll share those another day. Very simple but classic designs to follow...

Friday, 7 May 2010


Just a quick card - in the classic, clean style that I am always drawn back to time and again. An Autumn Leaves stamp with a few buttons, decorative edge, flower and brad. I'll be back next with some 'thank you teacher' cards as it's getting to that time of year!

I never thought I'd be 'into' stamping like many others always were, it was always too messy and too fiddly for me! Until, of course, I discovered Stampin' Up! I'm not associated with them in any way but I am becoming more and more sucked into the world of SU. I have always admired their products, mainly when I used to see the advertisements in US cardmaking magazines, but always from afar. Now, I love their products so much and they are so easy to use as they have colours that match in everything from inks to card, that I'm wondering whether it would make perfect sense to become an SU demonstrator! Online classes, workshops, there are lots of possibilities. Just how viable would I be able to make it? I presume those of you that are already doing it, love it so should I or I shouldn't I, that is the question...

Sunday, 2 May 2010

'Blooming marvellous' and cherry cupcakes

Here's the finished article in the end - using SU pink card (I really must learn the names of the colours!), teamed with black as I was reminded of this fab colour scheme by Monica recently some random spotted pink ribbon and a Pink Petticoat downloadable digital image. My friend loved the card!

I played safe and only used some water with inks on the brown hair, otherwise using my new SU marker pens that I won (hoorah!) to colour the rest.

I've had a go at making some more cupcakes today, I went for coconut cherry flavours. Unfortunately the cakes completely flopped and didn't rise at all, no idea why as I followed the recipe, but I've iced and decorated a few on the off chance that they tasted ok... otherwise it's the bin for the rest! Off to have a cup of tea and a sampler right now...