Sunday, 31 January 2010

Fun and Funky

Well, what a day!  I'm up late tonight because I can't sleep - no reason, just not tired, although I should be.  We went to see Daughter at uni today - and then to see friends on the way home, so it was a hectic 12 hours today, but very worth it.  Daughter looks soooo happy and settled.  It was lovely to see her and to know that we could leave without worrying (too much!) about her until the next time. She is positively blooming - and I'm sure an appropriate card will be winging her way shortly.

Anyhooo, we stopped off to see A and J on the way home, to deliver A's present and birthday card, which was, of course, Mo's wonderful chihuahua, Spike. Thankfully (although I think there was little doubt, really), A really loved the card and I'm really pleased I decided to go with Mo's delightful image. Kersley, the puppy that inspired the card, has grown and is now about nine inches high and cuter than ever.

I had an interesting conversation with my Mum yesterday.  She is also a card maker but seems to have misplaced her mojo at present.  Mum naturally leans towards subtle tones and lightly patterned papers and would love to be able to use bolder, brighter ones.  I said I also struggled with this until I started blog hopping and saw how others were using bold patterns and bright colours successfully.  I'm now a lot more confident in my choices and, although I don't always get it right, I'm no longer worried about giving it a go.  That's what I love about Crafty Blogland: it is full of delightful inspiration, wonderful creations and huge talent, and this is responsible for me getting my mojo back, I'm sure.

So I showed Mum this card I had made, just to demonstrate that you can use bright patterned papers together, as long as you make sure there is some solid colour in there to break it up. Now, I'm not saying that mine is a brilliant example, but I think it gave Mum a few ideas to try.  I hope so - I'd love her to find her mojo again.

Image: Mo's Digital Pencil, 'Jordan Multi-tasking'
Papers: Michelle Martin, 'Aaron', available from Designer Digitals

I thought there was definitely an element of 'retail therapy' going on here, so that's the sentiment I used.

By breaking up the full-on patterns with co-ordinating solids, I think this is a fun and funky card with plenty of punch but not too much visual confusion. 

Well, I think may be I ought to think about bed - we're out again tomorrow and then it's back to work on Monday, in the hope that my hands are now well enough to cope with the mountains of typing I just know will be waiting for me!

Happy crafting.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Mo's Digital Challenge #16 (and a mini Publisher tutorial)

Aaah, another reason to use a Mo! I love Thursdays, when I find out what Mo's challenge has in store for us.  Mind you, when I found out what it was this week, my mojo went running for the corner and took some coaxing out, I can tell you.  The challenge is 'Shades of Gray' (or 'grey' if you live in the UK) and I wasn't quite sure how I was going to achieve my first monochrome card.  But, for me, there was only one image that I could think of when I read the challenge title: 'Mummu' - and here she is:

Image: Mo's Digital Pencil, 'Mummu'
Papers: Digital scrapbooking papers by Coreen Silke, 'Tea on Tuesday', available at  This particular collection is FREE too.

The papers are actually a gorgeous selection of pinks and greens:


but I recoloured them to fit in with this week's theme.  And no fancy-shmancy photo-editing programme was involved, Bloglanders (for those of you who, like me, don't have one) - I simply did this in MS Publisher, by using the 'Format Picture' command and then choosing 'Recolor'.  If you're not sure how to do this, I have a mini-tutorial here, which might help.

I coloured Mummu on a slightly textured card this time, to try and give some extra dimension to the monochrome image - you should just be able to see the texture on this photo:

I think it works well and I'm actually quite pleased with my rendering of a monochrome Mummu!  Unfortunately, I couldn't use my new and treasured Copics for this challenge, as I haven't yet got sufficient greys (I'm working on it!).  So Mummu was coloured with my trusty Prismacolors and low odour white spirit.  A few pearls, a silver bow and a (slightly cheeky) sentiment and she is ready to face the world!

So, I'm off to link up with Mo's challenge and I can't wait to see the other lovely projects you've all come up with.

Happy crafting.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Ain't She Sweet?

Well, it's been a strange day. I tried to do some housework but that wasn't particularly successful as my hands began to hurt again.  I'm a little worried about going back to work next week if the latest potion hasn't kicked in by then.  I'm bound to be really busy, having been off for a few days, but will my poor hands be up to the job? We'll have to wait and see.

Had a little play with my beautiful Copics - not quite ready to show the world yet but it's definitely getting there.  It's very exciting and I'm already planning my next colours!  I've requested money from anyone who wants to give me a birthday present - I've asked my OH to make sure that everybody knows why I've asked for this, though, so that they can see that I've something special in mind.  I'm still getting over the wonderful surprise - my OH is sooooo thoughtful.

I've also worked a little on my card for Mo's challenge this week - I'll post it tomorrow.  It's another really challenging one, actually: it's all in shades of grey and I've never done monochrome before. Hope she turns out okay.

So, today's card is for a sweet friend's birthday. 

Image:  Mo's Digital Pencil, 'Sophie'
Papers: This is another digital set: Michelle Martin, 'Tasia' available from Designer Digitals. 

The photograph is another of the batch I took the other day, when there was just too much light for the camera (and my simple photography skills) to cope with.  Therefore, the colours aren't quite correct: the dark colours are actually a beautiful dark olive green, not charcoal or black.  I picked up the 'halo' colour from the touch of pale mustard in the first backing paper.  Then finished it all off with a bit of stitching and some beautiful pink satin ribbon.  I'm really pleased this one and I think that these special hugs are just was our friend needs for her birthday.  After all, you can never have too many hugs, can you?

Well, I'm off to put my feet up.  I'm really tired tonight and I've got to get myself better so that I can get back to work next week.

Happy crafting.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Just For Comparison

If you've visited before and seen my entry for Mojo Monday #122, you might remember that I wasn't sure that I had got the sentiment right on the front of the card - it seemed out of proportion.  So I've changed it and thought I'd quickly post the new one here, just for comparison.

First the original:

and the new version: the sentiment is larger, a better colour and incorporates copper brads, which reflect the rich colours of the card:

I think it works much better than the old version. Let me know if you agree.

Happy crafting

Is My Mojo Round or Square?

Today is my entry for Mojo Monday Challenge No. 123, which is a sketch challenge with a difference - make it round, or square, or both.  Here's the sketch:

Now, round cards are something I've never tried before and, to be honest, have never considered trying because they seem like a lot of fuss.  This would definitely be a challenge for my mojo.  But, 'challenge' is the word, so I thought I'd have a go, not only at the round one but at a square one too.  I made a matching pair:

And separately:

Sorry for the quality of the photos today - I think there was slightly too much light for the camera to get a good grip on the focus, so they're a bit blurry.  Still, you get the picture (or three!).

The 'image' is just some text I typed up in Publisher.
Papers: (now you're asking) - ScribbleScrabble (dots) and, er, the flowers? I can't remember, but the details are elsewhere on my blog, I think, as I've used this paper for another card recently.

The beautiful wooden hearts were bought about two years ago from a local haberdashers - 'Duttons for Buttons' - in York.  It is an amazing shop - they have a mega-selection of buttons and trimmings. I just fell in love with these wooden ones.   The other buttons are stash.

I'm still getting over my surprise last night - I almost daren't use my new toys, despite having coveted them for so long.  I've sat and watched a load of videos on You Tube so there's only one thing left to do - try them out.  I'll let you know how I get on, although it may be a while before you seen the first Copic post, depending on the results!

Anyhoo, I'm off to Mojo Monday to link up.

Happy crafting

Tuesday, 26 January 2010


Earlier today, the postman brought a package for my OH.  I popped it in the room for OH to look at later. Just as I was finishing my last post, my darling OH came in from work and gave me the package - and in it were COPICS!  I HAVE COPICS! DID YOU HEAR? I HAVE COPICS!

Instead of making me wait for my birthday, OH said that I deserved them because I'm not well at the moment and can't do much else than colour.  How sweet is that - I so love my OH.

Just had to share - I'm now going to try and eat dinner before having my first go!  Don't I just have the best OH in the whole wide world!?

Happy crafting
(with the COPICS!)

Sneaky Peek

I couldn't hold it in any longer - I have to show you a birthday card I made recently for a dear friend.  Her birthday is coming up next week and I know I should wait, really, before posting it, but I don't think she reads my blog and I'm soooo pleased with it.

Brief background: our friend had two Dachsunds, Tyler and Dylan.  Unfortunately, whilst we were in Australia, Dylan had to be put down, leaving Tyler pining for his companion.  We didn't know about this and Dear Friend (A) and her partner (J) had asked my Mum not to tell us when we called.  We came home and I was ill with flu, so it was some time before A and J could visit us.  We still didn't know about Dylan, as they didn't want to break the news on the 'phone and, unbeknown to us, they had a little surprise for us.  So, when I was finally well enough to have visitors, A and J arrived to see us and told us the sad news.  They had left Tyler in the car (on the pretext I may not be able to cope with a doggy, poorly as I was) but that's no place for a sweet doggy to stay so J was despatched to bring him in.  In waddled Tyler and J followed, with the sweetest, tiniest little pup you have ever seen.  Kersley (puppy's name) is a Chihuahua/Dachsund cross, and he has a scruffy coat -  the cutest little scrap, bless him.  So, A's birthday card just had to be:

Image:  Mo's Digital Pencil, 'Spike/It's All in the Accessories'
Papers: Cloud 9

(Giggles, lots) I think he is brilliant (no modesty here!).  I just had to use Mo's title as the sentiment - A is always buying 'accessories' for the doggies and this just made me giggle out loud.

I've managed to capture his scruffy coat - which I'm really thrilled about - and his colouring too.  I know she and J will both love this card and I'm bursting to see what they think.

Hope you like.

Happy crafting

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Funky Hand January 2010 Challenge

Whilst blog hopping the other day, I came across Funky Hand's Challenge Blog.  Before Christmas, I downloaded Funky Hand's 'Funky Christmas Time' papers - I particularly loved the spots and the big red swirls.  So when I landed on their Challenge Blog, I thought, why not?  Their January challenge was to use spots and stripes and something Funky.

The teapot cards I sent to my Girlies had the desired effect and we're getting together for dinner, chez moi, in February.  Because it's always quite a long time between get-togethers, I like to put a little something on the table for them, to show them how special they are to me.  So, with this in mind, I made three little boxes:

The boxes were made using Papertrey Ink's 'My Timeless Templates' 'Rounded Wrap-Up' template, which prints easily on to a single A4 sheet and is sooo easy to assemble. 

The spots and swirls are from Funky Hand and the black stripes are from Pink Petticoat.

I made co-ordinating flowers and leaves from the three papers and added a little ribbon closure. 

The boxes will be filled with heart-shaped chocolates and placed on the table, as table favours.  I think they're cute and I know the Girlies will love them.

So, I'm off to enter the Funky Hand Challenge and then to see 'Sherlock Holmes' at the cinema - aaah, a lazy Sunday.

Happy crafting.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

One Tequila .....

... Well, we all know the rest, don't we?  And I could think of no better image to use for my sister-in-law's birthday card that Bugaboo's Ruby Tequila, which I absolutely love!

I'm really happy with this one: it's another that almost made itself.  My sister-in-law is a fabulous interior decorator and has such an eye for colour and I think this card is really well colour-toned. And this particular combination of colours is one of my favourites.

Image: Bugaboo Ruby Tequila
Papers: Crate Paper (green/circles) and Cloud 9 'Finley's Estate' collection (background floral).  This particular paper (as with quite a few Cloud 9 papers) has some glazed elements, which give it a lovely 'pop'.  The photograph doesn't pick that up too well, but it's lovely 'in the flesh', so to speak.

I coloured Ruby with my watercolour markers and her skin tones were added with my Prismacolors, which I also used to add some background shading/grounding.  I added a little Sakura glaze to her glass (and to her glasses) and a couple of star-shaped gems to her earrings, just for a bit of bling. 

I wanted to put the sentiment on the front but I couldn't find a place where it sat well.  So I'm just letting Ruby do the talking!

It's been a bit of a boring old day - I can't use my hands very well at the moment so colouring was out of the question today.  Mind you, I did manage to get to my hair appointment and I now have short hair again (I grew it last year for the wedding), which will be much easier for me to take care of and I shall no longer be 'The Wild Woman of Borneo'!  Mind you, it's rather odd - I keep forgetting that I have short hair and then I'll catch a glimpse in the oven door or bathroom mirror and get a shock.  I hope I get used to it soon.

I was able to make some little treat boxes today though - watch out for a post later in the week, when I've had time to photograph them. They're from a really easy template and are not too fiddly to put together so they (mostly) satisfied today's creative urge.

Unfortunately, one of my printers has just given up the ghost and, at the same time, my 'good' printer has run out of one of the ink cartridges and will not print until it is replaced.  Aaaaaarrrrggghhhh! I have no printer - this is not a good situation.  Will have to see if I can persuade my OH to take me to PC World tomorrow (we aren't supposed to be doing anything tomorrow - relaxing Sunday and all that) to buy replacement cartridges.  I'm lost without a printer. How will I print my Mo's? And I have other projects in mind that I will definitely need the printer for, and soon.

When my hands are a bit better I think I shall stamp some Bellas - aah, how I love those ladies. I need some birthday cards in my stash and Bellas are less time consuming than Mo's.  Of course, as they are rubber stamps, not digital ones, a clean image does rather depend on my hands working properly - there's nothing worse than a smudged image, is there?  I'm going to the hospital on Monday and I expect they'll jab my bottom with some potion or the other to try and get the symptoms back under control so, hopefully, I'll start to see an improvement over the next week. 

Anyway dear Bloglanders, it is getting late and I'm just at a crucial part in my bedtime book, so I shall go and wrap up in the duvet and see what denouement the author has come up with. 

Happy crafting.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Mo's Digital Challenge #15

Oh my! This is a real toughie for me this week.  Lisa has chosen a colour challenge for us all, and challenge is the right word, as far as I am concerned.  These are the colours:

Now, don't get me wrong - they're all very nice colours in their own right, but this is not a pallet I am used to working with at all.  Aubergine (Eggplant) is one of my favourite colours, but I would be more likely to team it with mustard and olive green, than blue and amethyst.  It's just my preference.  After much deliberation, and lots of 'umph'-ing and 'grrrr'-ing, this is what I've come up with.  I'm not sure how well I've interpreted the challenge this week but, hey, they can't all be easy, otherwise it wouldn't be called a 'challenge', now would it?

This is Mo's 'Sorry Shanna', who is a real sweetie, don't you think?  I don't think I've captured her dress very well this week, but my excuse is that I'm not really feeling up to par and my hands are very painful at the moment.

All the papers, with the exception of the scalloped circle, are digiscraps that I've downloaded from the web. After a bit of research (because I'm hopeless at keeping notes) the kit is 'Betty' by Lynn Grierson, available at Designer Digitals.  The great thing is that you can download just the papers and don't have to have the whole digital scrapbooking kit.  And I love the papers.

The flowers were cut or punched from scraps of paper and edged with liquid chalk.  There are little rhinestones everywhere as I felt the card was rather flat without them.  I'm really not comfortable with this little creation as she is not my usual style.  But, like I say, it's a challenge and it's good to be out of my comfort zone now and then.

So, I hope that you like my take on this week's challenge - I'm off to Mo's to post it now.

Happy crafting.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

I Need One of Those

Umph! 'Snot fair! In fact, I feel a bit like Mo's Two Jill at the moment:

I'm having a moment, just like Jill, and I feel certain that, before too long, I shall stamp my feet and throw myself on the floor, wailing!  And what, you may ask, has brought on this paddy? Simply that I want more crafty stuff - papers and punches and pens and trinkets and tools and, basically, more of anything that I can use to make my cards more sumptious than they are.  Now, don't get me wrong - I'm not doing that false modesty stuff and expecting you all to comment how beautiful my creations already are and no amount of new stuff will change my inherently awesome craftiness (giggles) - though, of course, if you feel moved to share such sentiments, then don't let me put you off (giggles more).  But have you ever blog hopped and thought, 'If I just had a ...... then my cards would be as beautiful as hers'?  My mojo is taking a battering as I look at all the wonderful examples I have found on my favourite blogs and I can't understand it, because I've had some amazing comments from some really talented people over the last few weeks, so surely I should be gaining confidence by now.  And, in truth, I'm very happy with the cards I'm producing but .... Ha! there it is again - umph!

As my birthday is not too far away,  I've decided I should put together a wishlist so that my darling family and friends can see all the stuff I need (and it is need, not want, you understand) to make my crafting life a happy one.  Problem is, at the moment the list is soooo long and I can't decide what should go at the top because, of course, the ones at the top are the ones that everyone will think are the most important and ..... see, it's sooo difficult, isn't it?

I know that I need (notice, need again) some Copics (ah! there's the top of my list!); a couple more Martha Stewart edge punches; some more papers (Cosmo, I love ya!); some embellishments (but I'd have to choose my own); some ribbon (ditto); a few more Nestabilities (well, Spellbinders in general); more paper (yes, I did mean to add it twice!); and .... 

To be honest, when I'm not in Umph-mode, I know I can happily manage without anything more than I've already got, for at least another few months, anyway. It's just a moment, a fleeting instance of covetousness, and I shall go home tonight, pull out my stash and be perfectly happy again.  Aaah, see, even my rant has helped me become umph-less.

Just FYI, the title of this post comes from a lovely moment we saw at Christmas, a couple of years ago.  We were out shopping and seemed to be following a little boy and his mother around the shop.  The little chap was wide-eyed at all the exciting things in the store but he was being so good and not pestering mum for anything.  Then, all of a sudden, he stopped in front of a particular item (can't remember what it was but I don't think it was anything large or expensive) and looking at his mum with his little boy eyes, in his little boy voice (so cute), he exclaimed:

"Mum, I neeeeeeed one of these".

It still makes us giggle and it has become something of a catch phrase in our house, for those moments when the grown up in you knows that you want it but the child in you just neeeeeds it so much.

No card today, dear Bloglanders, as I've not had chance to photograph the latest ones this week. 
I've got a couple ready to post from the past couple of weeks, but I'm a bit worried that the recipients might sneak a peak.  Anyway, thanks for 'listening' - I shall get back to work and stop looking at my favourite blogs and my 'Umph' will go back in the cupboard until another day.

Happy crafting

Monday, 18 January 2010

Oh Man!

A dear friend of ours, father of surrogate Nieces 1 and 2 and Nephew, will be a year older in February (he's older than me for a whole month! Yaaay!) and I wanted to make him a card.  Now, as we all know, man cards are not usually the easiest things for our mojos to contend with, are they?  And there are some men that are harder than others to cater for, for no other reason than the stuff that they like doesn't translate very well into a beautiful handmade creation.  And this is a case in point.  We love A dearly - he's a great friend - and I know he would appreciate any handmade card because he would know it was made with love, but ... well, I don't want him to think I've ignored the things he likes just because they are difficult.  So, I came up with this:

A is rather fond of Ferraris and this is the front end of a Ferrari F4 (apparently).  I normally wouldn't know what a Ferrari looked like, never mind what particular model it might be, but I thought I'd better be able to tell him exactly what it was!  I found a picture of the car on the web and used the same technique as I used for the pirate to make it into something I could use.  I then coloured it up as best I could (this is where Copics would have been such a boon) and stuck it to some chipboard to give it a  little substance.  I tried all sorts of layouts but this was the only one that seemed to work properly, although it is a bit empty, I feel.  The addition of the three red brads in the top right corner helps a little with this.  Then I tracked down the Ferrari font (Ferro Rosso - and used it for the sentiment. I'm actually quite pleased with the finished article and I know that A will appreciate the thought and effort that has gone into it.  So one man down, and several more to go throughout the year, unfortunately.  Maybe I should petition Mo Manning to draw more men as that would help immensely. 

Right, I'm going to put my feet up now - I'm not cooking tonight so I get to have a rest without feeling guilty.

Happy crafting.

Mojo Monday #122

Another Monday (already) and another Mojo challenge.  I have to admit that I'm not quite as happy with this card as I could be - I think maybe the sentiment needs to be slightly larger - but it's not an absolute disaster.  The inside will read "... just you, me and a cup of tea.'  - a most comforting trio as far as I am concerned!

Here's the sketch:

The light was fading a little when it came time to take photographs, so I'm posting this in the hope it is sufficient to show the detail:

The image is my own teapot (see this post to download it for yourself), which I have printed over patterned paper, then shaded and cut out before mounting with 3D tape to give a little more depth.

All the papers are from Pink Petticoat's 'Just An Old Fashioned Girl' mini-kit and I have used the 'For Him' version, which is with red, rather than pink (the 'For Her' version). 

The little key below the bow is from a set of charms I bought about a year ago and have only just started to use. 

I'm home from work this afternoon, which is a welcome bonus, but I was determined that I wouldn't waste the time on housework! Any bonus time should surely be used for crafting, don't you think?! Anyway, I was under orders to rest as I'm feeling a bit under the weather at the moment as my rheumatoid arthritis is making itself felt rather more than usual.  And crafting is as good as resting to me so I'm just following orders!

So, I'm off to enter my creation at Mojo Monday - fingers crossed.

Happy crafting

Friday, 15 January 2010

Time for Friends (and a Freebie)

Since the wedding last September, time has whizzed by and, with the month in Australia and then the three-week flu, followed swiftly by Christmas, I just haven't had time to catch up with friends.  So these two projects are for my dear friends.

A few years ago, when working as a bookbinder became impossible due to illness, I was a temporary secretary for a while (actually, for about two years!), until I found a permanent position.  During that time I was lucky enough to work with some lovely people but made long-lasting friendships with two groups of friends in particular.  I try and meet up regularly with them but I haven't seen either group since the wedding.  So I thought it might be nice to send them a card, rather than an e-mail, to arrange our next outings. 

The first card is to a group of friends I call my 'Girlies'.  We met when I was working for a legal firm at one of their out-of-town offices and we've remained firm friends ever since.  I have made three of these cards, one for each of them, and inside there is an invitation to dinner (although I have blanked out some more personal information that appears inside too).

Image: My teapot - I drew it and you can have it - see below. I paper pieced the teapot on to Funky Hand's Funky Christmas dotty paper before printing it out. Then I shaded it with Prismacolors and cut it out before fixing it to the card with 3D tape.

Papers: Cosmo Cricket

Now, I must confess that I have taken inspiration from Debbie's post on Thinking Inking (see it here) and I hope you don't mind, Debbie.  I just loved Debbie's project so much and I'd already prepared the tea pots and just didn't know what I wanted to do with them.  Debbie had used some Cosmo Cricket papers for her card and, of course, being the Cosmo groupie that I am, it immediately spoke to me and so I used her card as the inspiration for mine. 

I didn't have a teapot stamp so I just drew my teapot (Dot the Pot, she's called) and here it is - dotty version and plain version.  Just make sure you click on the image to enlarge before saving it.

The next card (I made two) is to send to friends I made whilst working for a pensions company on the outskirts of York.  I particularly love the image I've chosen because, like me, one of my friends remembers the old days of manual typewriters - we've come so far since then. 

Image: Free vintage clipart from the web, which I tinted with my Prismacolors.
Papers: I think they're K and Co - they were from my Mum's stash!

I don't usually have any floral/vintage papers in my stash because I don't often use them, so raiding Mum's stash was really useful.  I like this card - the 'girls' will be amused.

Anyway, I must go because the gas man cometh and I don't know when, so I don't want to get caught out.

Happy crafting.

Mo's Digital Challenge #14

So, I now have cards for surrogate Niece 1 and Nephew but their sister, Niece 2, also has her birthday soon.  All three children have a birthday within a four/five week period - the joint party is madness! I wanted to make sure that Niece 2 also had a special card and then, just as I was working out what I wanted to use for it, I saw Mo's Challenge and, wow! There it was again, just the thing. So, this card fits the challenge and is perfect for Niece 2! How good is that?!

Of course, all children have their own little personalities, but Nieces 1 and 2 also have their own little quirks.  Niece 1 will only wear skirts or dresses but has no real preference for colour.  She can be bold and adventurous, and I think her 'explosion' card is perfect for her.  Niece 2, however, will only wear trousers and as long as it is pink, it's fine! She is perhaps more creative and dreamy than Niece 1, so I reckon this card sums her up.  Of course, Nephew will be happy wearing his pirate costume no matter what.  Guess what we'll be buying him for his birthday!

So, here's my entry for Mo's challenge:

Image:  Mo's 'End of Summer' (which is soooo dreamy, don't you think?), coloured with Prismacolors
Papers:  Cloud 9 - sorry, I can't be more precise as I've thrown away the name strip (doh!)

I used a couple of the 'flowers' from the patterned paper to make a little embellishment and added a few pearls at the top and bottom corners.  A piece of pink ribbon and she's done.

I know that Niece 2 will love this card - thank you Mo for making me a special aunty!

Happy crafting

Not Quite a Mo! (But it is a Freebie)

Our surrogate Nephew (brother of the recipient of the Bella and Bronte 'explosion') will be four years old this year and, as I'm making a real effort to have all my birthday cards ready to go, I thought I'd spend some time on his card, as I always find boys more difficult than girls - do you?  He has a pirate costume (which is now way too small) and loves to dress up in it - he even considered wearing it to our wedding! So I thought there could be nothing better to base my card on and I set off looking for a pirate digistamp.  Now, obviously, my first stop was Mo's Digital Pencil but, despite looking really hard with my fingers crossed, I couldn't find a pirate!  Imagine my panic!  I had a quick look around my favourite digi sites but I couldn't find a pirate of the type I had in mind.  So ... I drew one.  Well, actually, that's not necessarily absolutely true.  I mean, the true bit is that the pen was in my hand when the pirate appeared on the paper but he wasn't drawn from scratch - I don't draw well enough for that.  This is how I did it.

On the internet I found a photograph of a little boy in a pirate suit that was just what I had imagined.  So I printed him out, full A4 size so that he was nice and big, and then I took a black pen and drew around all the salient features I wanted to include in my drawing, making sure to put down the odd fold in the cloth, etc., so that there was some detail.  I then taped some tracing paper over the outlined image and, with a very fine nibbed pen, I went over all the black lines, giving me an outline drawing on the tracing paper.  I then scanned this in (making sure to put a piece of white paper behind the tracing paper, just so that the image didn't 'grey' on me) and I ended up with my little pirate boy, almost exactly as I'd pictured him.  He doesn't have the gorgeous plumptiousness and animation of Mo's beautiful images but he does the trick.  I've posted him below - if you want him, please feel free to have him.  Just click on him to enlarge and then right click to save (you know the drill!).

This is the card I ended up with:

I'm really quite pleased with it and I just know that our little man will be thrilled with his pirate.  Here's the image - don't forget to enlarge it before you save it.

This isn't the original card I made with this coloured image.  Originally, I'd used a quite dark set of papers (which had been the ones in my head when I first thought of the card), but it really didn't work for a four-year old - even OH pointed it out, which is unusual.  I left the original card overnight and then looked at it with fresh eyes in the morning and, sure enough, it wasn't right.  So, at 6.30 a.m., I took the card apart and re-did it, using these lovely bright Cosmo Cricket papers.  It works much better.

So, enjoy colouring my little pirate, if he's of use to you.  Maybe you could leave a comment linking to your creation - I'd love to see what you do with him.

Happy crafting

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Just Give Me Chocolate

Just a quickie this morning before we go for a bracing walk in the snow (apparently!).  We spoke to a dear friend of ours last night, who has been suffering with colds and flu since Christmas and is still feeling under the weather.  So I thought a quick card was in order, to cheer her up.  I didn't want to use 'Get Well Soon' as the sentiment, because we can put that in our message - I just wanted something that would make her smile.  So, Mo came to the rescue again with 'Two Tasha' and I added an appropriate sentiment!

Image: Mo's Digital Pencil, 'Two Tasha'
Papers: Cosmo Cricket, Earth Love

Isn't she the cutest?  This reminds me of Daughter she was small - although I'm happy to say we didn't have too much trouble with the terrible twos!

Hopefully this will raise a smile on a poorly face.

Catch you later.
Happy crafting

Friday, 8 January 2010

Mo's Digital Challenge #13

This week, Lisa Cook, one of Mo's DT members, has challenged us to make something for a birthday, so this is an easy one to start off the year.  I know the challenge isn't limited to cards but as that's what I'm up to at the moment, it was easy to come up with a new (and needed) card to enter.

This is the free Bella and Bronte image that Mo kindly produced to celebrate her 500th member on Papercraft Planet - and I think it is wonderful.  Just an absolutely joyous explosion.  So that's how I approached this.  The card will eventually be given to an eight-year old on her birthday and I just know she'll love it.  I'm really pleased with this - I went to town on the layering and pattern - I really wanted to keep the explosiveness of the image. 

Just a little detail, too:

I got these beautiful little flower buttons yesterday as I was on my way home through town (snow days! I love snow days!).  Aren't they cute?  They go so well with the Cosmo Cricket papers.

So, I'm off to DP2 to see if Mr Linky is playing properly this week. Then I'd better make tea before we all starve (though I don't get particularly hungry when I'm crafting - do you?).

Happy crafting

Today I Made An Easel!

Mmm, really, I did.  Made one out of whiteboard, so that I could have something to stand my cards on to photograph them.  Also made a little 'photo booth' out of white card, so that the background wouldn't be so much of a problem and I've found the perfect spot (daytime only, though) to photograph my creations.  On top of all that, I'm now using the little tripod we have to help keep things steady and I've learnt how to use the timer function for the camera so that I don't have to physically push the button at the crucial moment.  All in all, I'm much happier with the photographs I've taken today: although they're not perfect, they are soooo much better and I can do it all myself without having to constantly ask my OH for help.

So, let's see if you can tell the difference.  First up is a little 'gift' I made for my parents - having found my mojo behind the sofa! (I lost it on Wednesday when I was about to start this project.)  The 'gift' is actually a list of dates for us all to meet up this year.  Last year was manic and we didn't get to see my parents as much as we (and they) would have liked.  So this year, we've decided to block out a weekend each month where we know that we will be doing something together.  So I guess you could call it a 'gift of time', really - we just wanted them to know that we'll be around. 

Now, before you ask, "Are Ya Laking Aht"? is South Yorkshire dialect for "Are you coming out to play?".  My parents are from South Yorkshire originally and although neither of them has a strong South Yorkshire accent, this was the vernacular when they were growing up.  I thought it would be a nice touch and they'll find it quite funny, I hope.  The second photograph shows that there are two tags in the pockets, one to explain what it's all about and one with a list of suggested dates.  Just to finish it off, I covered the back of each pocket in co-ordinating paper and I think it's a lovely little gift. 

Papers:  Cosmo Cricket and Dream Street Papers.

I've recently joined Papercraft Planet and came across a digital stamp designer that I've not heard of before: Bugaboo Stamps.  So I had a quick look at the images and came away broke! I love Ruby and JJ - they make me giggle.  So, here's my first couple of Bugaboos:

Now this kind of colouring is very different from most of the other stuff I've done. I used my felt pens (I'm working on getting Copics!), which gives a very bright result, which is a bit scary for me as I'm not used to working with such vivid colours.  But I felt that they were appropriate for these images. I kept the rest of the card really simple.  Hope you find Ruby as funny as I do.  Hop over to Bugaboo - you get an extra 10% off your first order until 15 January 2010 as an opening offer.  I wish them good luck in their venture.

And just to finish off today, I thought I'd share this little paper teacup I made from instructions in Marion Elliot's book 'Paper Sculpt Sensation' (click here to see it on Amazon). There are some lovely projects but I didn't have too much time to delve, so I chose this because it wasn't difficult and there weren't too many pieces to cut out.


It's a tiny little thing - only about 8 cm high, or so.  Isn't it cute?  Now that I've made one, I shall be looking at what I can do with these little delights - watch this space.

Don't you think the photographs are remarkably improved?  I'm sooo pleased with the results.

Anyhooo, I still have to do my Digital Pencil Challenge post and it'll soon be teatime, so...

...happy crafting.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

To A Special Friend

I promised that in 2010 I wouldn't miss anyone's birthday.  Last year was a disaster in this sense as I missed so many birthdays I'm surprised I've any friends left.  Luckily, no-one held it against me (us) and, so, this year I have set myself a goal of hand-made cards for everyone, made well in advance so that they're ready at the appropriate time.  Of course, this also means that I have an excuse to spend many hours card making (giggles gleefully) - although since when did we crafters need much excuse?

My BFF celebrates her birthday at the end of January so I'm ahead of myself already because her card is already made!

It is, of course, another Mo - who wouldn't love to receive a bit of Bella and Bronte? 

Image:  'Bronte Wants It Now', Mo's Digital Pencil
Papers:  Cosmo Cricket, 'Early Bird' range, 'Apron Strings' and reverse of 'Farmer's Market'

I'm really pleased with this one and I know BFF will be too.  Hopefully, it will let her know how special she is.

And there's more!  Youngest Nephew (brother of Oldest Nephew who received 'Paul Texting') will be celebrating his birthday in March and I just had to colour 'Video Boy' for him.  Just as Oldest Nephew is surgically attached to his MP3 and 'phone, Youngest Nephew just loves his games and 'Video Boy' will so hit the spot.

I had the idea of using the gaming pad buttons in the layout and I had some suede brads that were the perfect colours.  I layered the brads with crystal glaze (two layers to give some real depth) and found I had this amazing paper just waiting to be used.  Again, this card almost made itself!

Image:  'Video Boy', Mo's Digital Pencil
Paper: Dream Street Papers, 'Mod Posy - Larkspur' (reverse)

Okay, still not found my mojo for my parents' project so off to watch 'This Morning' before getting ready for work.

As Oldest Nephew would say - "CU L8R" (!!!)

Happy crafting

Mojo Monday Challenge #120

So, in the spirit of 'have a go' that I've decided to pursue in 2010, here's my entry for Mojo Monday's latest challenge.  First, the sketch:

And now my take on it:

 And a wee look at the detail:

This card is unusual for me in that it uses lots of pattern, all over.  It was a bit scary layering so many different papers together but I think I've pulled it off.  I love these papers - they are all from the Pink Petticoat kit 'Just An Old Fashioned Girl', using the 'For Him' version, which is with crimson instead of pink ('For Her' version).  The sentiment is included in the kit and, if I'm not mistaken, the whole mini-kit is selling at half price at the moment.

All in all, I think the card works - and I've decided not to be afraid of pattern any more.
I'm on a half day today so I got up late but, to be honest, I think it's worse for my mojo.  I'm struggling with a project I'm making for my parents and I have no ideas left in my fuzzy brain at the moment.  May be I should watch some daytime TV and give my brain a rest in the hope it will spring to life later. 

So, I'm off in search of my mojo - see you later.

Happy crafting.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Another Day, Another Mo!

"My name is Peri and I am a Mo addict" - and I've spent the last couple of days colouring up some of Mo's beautiful images.  My eldest nephew's birthday is looming and when I saw 'Paul Texting', I knew this had to be the one.  This is Nephew: the hat, the jumper, the jeans, and the constant attachment to both MP3 and 'phone. And here's the result:

Couldn't resist using text-speak for the greeting - although I had to ask for Daughter's help for that as my texts tend to be written in fully-grammatical and properly-spelled English! I really haven't got the hang of texting yet, have I?

I am sooooo pleased with this card, I can't tell you.  It almost made itself: there was no scrabbling about for paper inspiration or layout ideas - it just all magically appeared and jumped on to the card!

Image: 'Paul Texting', Mo's Digital Pencil
Papers: Dream Street Papers, 'Mod Posy - Zinnia' (main) and reverse for band.
Everything else: stash

I know he'll love it.

I've just looked out of the window and it's snowing again - that sort of romantic, slow, soft, large-flaked snow, much loved by makers of Christmas rom-coms.  But, of course, this means that I will just have to sit down and make some more cards as I couldn't possibly venture out (giggles gleefully!).  However, I do have machines doing serious stuff in the kitchen (dishwasher and washing machine) so I feel that I'm not completely shirking my domestic responsibilities!

That's all for now - got to get back to my Prismacolors.

Happy crafting.

I Got My Mojo Going On!

The best thing about snow is that I don't feel at all guilty about staying in and crafting - even if there is housework to do.  Obviously, this only applies when I don't have to trudge through the wet, white stuff to get to work but this weekend I have had a guilt-free cosy craft-fest while the snow fell outside. It's a shame that the holidays are now at an end and work beckons on Monday, because I've really found my mojo during this last two weeks and I'm feeling very pleased with myself.

So, what better to do than enter a card for Mojo Monday, before the current challenge finishes.  Here's sketch 119:

 and here's what I've come up with (with the usual apologies for the photograph - I really must learn!):

Image:  Mo's Digital Pencil 'Winken, Blinken and Nod', coloured with Prismacolors. 
Spotty paper: Pink Petticoat download, part of the 'Little Big Dots' range
Lemon paper:  Making Memories, 'Brocade' from 'Eliza' collection
Everything else is crafty stash.

Quite pleased with the result, I have to say.  Hope you like it.  I'd best get off and Mr Linky. 

Happy crafting.

Friday, 1 January 2010

My First Challenge!

Hope you all had a wonderful New Year's Eve.  We had a very quiet one, although we're not complaining.  We were supposed to be having friends to stay but I'm afraid I was unwell after some recent treatment so I had to cancel.  I felt truly awful but, thankfully, we have good friends who were so understanding and we shall be getting together again very soon - we don't really need an excuse to eat and talk!

Today I have decided to take the bull by the horns and submit a card for Mo's Digital Pencil Challenge #12.  I've never done this before and I'm not even sure I've done it properly but I've decided that 2010 is all about giving it a go so ..... I gave it a go!

Mo's challenge is 'New Beginnings' and this is my creation.  Unfortunately, the photograph is not really very good this time but, hopefully, you will get a feel for the real thing. 

What you can't see very well is the grounding and shading, as the flash has bleached the image a little.  Also, the reds are actually burnt orange, much more like her coat, but it hasn't picked the colour up very well.  I must really work hard on my photography this year, too, don't you think?

The image is Mo's 'Thursday's Child'. I just love the way she strides out, chin up, ready for new adventures (that's my definition of 'New Beginnings', by the way).  I put it in a photo-corner-style frame because I wanted to give the feeling that this was the photograph that proud parents had taken of their 'little girl' going off on her own for the first time. She has been coloured, as always, with my Prismacolors.

Papers are Cosmo Cricket (ain't that a surprise!?), as follows:
Top (aeroplanes) - 'Lil' Man' range, 'Mischevious Max'
Bottom - 'Girl Friday' range, 'Sunday'
Middle stripe: reverse of 'Girl Friday' range, 'Tuesday'

Button, thread and pre-cut edging strips, etc., were from my stash.

Hope you like her - wish me luck. 
Happy crafting in 2010