Saturday, 23 February 2013

Masculine monochrome

It's hard to believe almost two weeks have gone since I last posted, and even harder to believe that it's taken nearly a week to get this post finished!  The most recent delay was blogger not saving my changes :-( Ah well, it's done now.

I visited my parents at the start of last week, so I had some bonus crafting time while Bob had some Nanny and Grandad time.  I was a proper grown up, and finished my Crafting Cafe blog post and did a commission for my neighbour before I did any crafting for myself.  Inevitably I didn't get round to the scrapbook page I meant to do, but I did have a lot of fun with my neighbour's card.  She wanted a 30th birthday card for her son who loves Formula 1 and is a fan of Lewis Hamilton.  I showed her the piccy on this blog of the carting penny slider card I did a few weeks ago and she said she'd like something similar.  Lewis Hamilton is driving a silver Mercedes this year, and I recently found some fab chequered flag paper in my stash during a rare bit of tidying, so I decided on a monochrome scheme.  I know it's a bit cliche for men's cards, but black and white is a very safe choice when you don't know the recipient, and it's smart and unfussy enough for men of all ages.  This is what I came up with:



It's A5, so I had room to have the car spin underneath the chequered flag, like this:



It makes the card very fat, but it wasn't being posted, and it was still an easy fit into a vented envelope.  If you make a larger penny slider like this, it's important to use a thicker card for your base, as they often won't stand up without bending under the weight of all the card and foam tape.  This card was a real step back in time for me, as everything I used was years old!  The background paper is from the DCWV Black & White stack, and I used it to make the 'speed limit' sign too.  The dark paper and the chequered flag are cut from a Bits 'n' Pieces pad, and the F1 car is stamped from the See D's Boys Toys stamp set.

By the time I finished playing with this card, I had very little time left for a birthday card for my father-in-law. My Dad loves gardening and the arts that are well represented in crafting supplies, like Art Deco, Art Nouveau and Pre-Raphaelite, but I often struggle with cards for the other men in my life, as none of them like the traditional male sports or hobbies, and none like cute cards.  Balloons, cakes and presents always seem a bit young to me too.  Luckily do crafts has brought out some really nice sentiment toppers in the last couple of years, and these are great as the main image for a card.  As I had my DCWV black & white stack out, I thought I'd use that with one of the Anita's white and silver sentiments.  I die cut the paper and mirror card with the XCut Doorplate nesting dies.  Of course, using white and silver card has made it a nightmare to photograph, so here's a rather grey picture of the end result:


I was really happy with the nice bright white real version of it, and made another one in landscape for my card box:



Just as I finished sticking it all together, I noticed a blemish on the mirror card, hence the little arrangement of gems at the top :-)  I very rarely give up on projects when I either make a mistake or they don't turn out how I liked.  I've discovered lots of new techniques by rescuing projects, and have often found that my 'fixes' have been my favourite bits!

I hope you have some fun crafting planned for this weekend.  It's snowing here, so a good one to spend indoors!

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Crafting Cafe Challenge Blog - February Inspiration


Happy Sunday everyone, I hope you’re all having a crafty weekend – it’s certainly the right weather for it here - yuk!  I had my first proper crafting session of 2013 yesterday and, as someone who used to craft every day, I can’t tell you how happy it made me J  Here’s what I made, it’s my February offering for the Crafting Café Challenge Blog:



This month’s sponsor is the lovely Lindsay at LEJ Designs.  She has a great range of images to choose from, but I just had to choose the cute baby giraffe taking its first tottering steps.  Giraffes are very popular in our house.  Bob has a little fabric book about a giraffe with a very big laugh who says “Ho ho, ha ha, hee hee hee”, and now Bob is starting to talk we’ve discovered that the little sweetheart thinks that’s the noise giraffes make J  Every time he sees a giraffe he points and says “ha ha, hee hee”.  It’s very cute - we make sure he sees a lot of giraffes!  I had just bought some yummy Tim Holtz papers in giraffey colours to scrap about Bob’s book, but I think the image will be great for scrapping piccies of his early walking too.  Hmm, I'd better get a lot quicker at crafting…

This project was my first foray into digital crafting and I really enjoyed it.  Stamps are quite an obsession of mine (after paper of course!), but they are just the one size, and do take up a lot of space.  I loved being able to decide how big to make the image, it opens up so many possibilities!  It was also, I’m ashamed to admit, my first ‘proper’ go with my Promarkers.  I bought them just before I became pregnant, and they got packed away soon afterwards when I had to move out of my craft room.  I printed the image on some do crafts decoupage paper.  It’s lovely and glossy, and I’m very happy with the finish, but my laser printer’s ink did bleed a little with the Promarkers, so I have some experimenting to do.

For the background I used a patchwork of four papers from Tim Holtz’s Retro Grunge paper stack - this is a great technique for paper addicts, as you get to play with more of your papers :-)  The flower and 'ribbon' loop are cut from these papers too, the greeting is from a Boofle card kit, and the grass is cut using a sadly discontinued Sizzlits decorative border die.  I wanted to add a punched twiggy leaf in the same green behind the flower too, but my punches are all still somewhere in the loft waiting for my craft room to be finished, so I'll just have to try not to let the lack of balance bother me too much!  OCD? Moi?

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Lurgy, first words, and a new challenge

Greetings!  It's nice to be back in blogland again, I'm afraid I disappeared for a while.  All my plans for festive projects and posts fell by the wayside after my little boy had an adverse reaction to one of his jabs at the beginning of December.  We had a difficult couple of weeks where he was not a happy camper and didn't really eat.  Just as he was recovering, he caught a truly horrible bug just in time for Christmas.  Being a lovely sharing boy, he gave it to me, and I duly passed it on to my parents.  No eating for any of us for quite a while!  Luckily for little Bob I'm still nursing, but I was the most ill I've been in several years, and I don't suppose making all of his food at the same time really helped with my recovery!

The new year saw us back to full health and Bob made the most of it by starting to talk!  It's such an exciting time, as there are new words every day.  My favourites so far are "kiwi", because of the delight with which he says it when offered or requesting his favourite fruit, "happy", for obvious reasons, and "bubble", because it's the cutest thing I've ever heard :-)  I do get treated to the occasional "Mummy", but I suppose the fact that I'm always there means he doesn't have to use my name!  He's also become much harder to keep occupied for the day, so I've found toddler groups for us to go to every day of the week.  Great for his social development and my sanity, but he has another cold already...

On the crafting front... Before all the illness, I did manage to get some projects done for my best friends over at Country View Crafts using some gorgeous Sizzix Ink-Its Letterpress Plates.  My blog post is here and my projects are below - I'd love to know what you think of my projects.




I have loads more projects planned using them, and hope I get time to explore those over the next few weeks.  I do have a new crafting challenge that I'm straining at the leash to get stuck into though, which might distract me a bit.  I've been selected for the design team for a brand new challenge blog linked to the Crafting Cafe group on Facebook.  I'm so excited about this, as I'm keen to get back into regular crafting again, and I'll be trying out some great digital stamps, something I haven't really used before.  There are some great designers on the team, and I hope I can justify my place with them.  Please come over to Crafting Cafe Challenge Blog to see what we all make.  The theme is "Anything Goes" and there's a lovely prize, so why not come and enter yourself?