Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Scrapbook Inspirations

Yes, I know I am a bit behind the times, but I have just heard that Scrapbook Inspirations will be closing down. I am always sad to hear news like this. I have been a contributor to various magazines for a long time and have had my fair share of publications that I contributed to close down. It is so horrible to be on the receiving end, and I am truly sorry for all those who were involved with this magazine.

I did a few articles for Scrapbook Inspirations a long time ago and the editorial team were just lovely. I wish them all the best of luck for the future.

Here are some old layouts I did for SI magazine. They are all a few years old, so maybe a bit out of date as style goes.

No stamping on any of these I am afraid - for those of you who are stampers. These layouts were all done in my pre stamping days.

My craft room is having a major overhaul (edited to add: as I mentioned in an earlier post ... seems I am now repeating myself .. old age and all), so I will not be able to make anything new for a few weeks at least. While all of you are happily crafting, I will be covered in paint and sandpaper ... oh the joy. I hate DIY.

So any pictures I post on here for the next few weeks will have to be resurrected from the ghosts of projects past. Cue scary halloween music :)

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Cards for men

They are just the hardest to make aren't they. No pretty ribbons, or fancy flourishes, and eek ... boy colours. My friends father in law is turning 70 and I offered to make him a card as she couldn't find anything suitable in the shop. He likes boats, so she sent me over a picture of his boat which I put on the card. I kept it conservative and simple, but still managed to sneak in a flourish stamp and a scalloped edge - hopefully that is not too girly.

This is my favourite flourish stamp from Papertrey. I have also used the SU scallop punch (love that too), quickutz oval tag dies, some BasicGrey paper and my best alphabet from Sizzix, Fruit Smoothie, which I think is now discontinued. Lastly I used some tiny little brads that look like screws, for that manly touch you know ... to counteract the flourish.

I used to make lots of personalised cards, but haven't done any for ages so this was really nice. Here are two more cards that I made for friends before.

The brief for this last one was very specific, I had to use purple, her favourite colour, and Tara (the recipient of the card) had broken both her legs after a nasty fall so I had to work that in as well somehow. I wrapped some bandage that I had cut up around the letters L to look like two legs in plaster.

The flourish is Fancy Pants and the dotted cardstock is Bazzill, man I love that dotted bazzill.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Backup NOW

This morning I was trying to organise my cluttered, extremely disorganised and bursting at the seams font file when ...

I had spent more than an hour unzipping, moving, deleting and generally organising my fonts. I was actually in a good place and things were starting to look somewhat managable. I have a very nasty habit of doing a shift delete instead of a normal delete. Usually this is not a problem, until of course it is - the law of unfortunate events will catch you out when you are least expecting it, never mind how good you think your Karma is.

Seems I had somehow highligted my font directory instead of just a file, pressed shift delete enter, all in short succession ... of course ... as I do, without double checking what I was deleting ... and then had a heart attack. Not only had I lost more than an hours work, but in one little keystroke I had permanently deleted every single one of my fonts that I have been painstakingly collecting and buying over the last ten years. Granted, I had not burnt the house down or crashed my car, but if you are an adrenaline junkie, doing this will prove to be just as good a fix as the other two.


What is a girl to do. So I phoned my husband who is in charge of the backups, praying feverishly that he had actually done one recently.The universe must have heard my plight and as it turns out I had a very recent backup that I could restore ... but that was way too close.

I mean way too close.

Matthew, my computer saviour. Had we lived in Camelot this would have been the equivalent, in brownie points, of slaying the dragon.

Getting back to crafting, my craft room is having an overhaul so that we can fit an extra bed in there. At the moment the bed needs to be suspended from the ceiling because my stash is already crawling up the walls, but it has to be done.

I have enlisted Matthew to build me some shelves which will hold up a large desktop

... and while he was doing that this weekend I was making the most of my craft room while I can still find my supplies.

I was working on a project for Craft Stamper which I cannot share, but managed to squeeze in one card for me too, seeing as my supplies were out of course.

Love the swirl from this stamp set (Stampin'Up! - Baroque Motifs).

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Just not enough time

Honestly, there is just never enough time to do everything. Why do so many people have so many great blogs that I have to visit.

This also being my favourite time of the month, the run up to the Papertrey Ink stamp launch on the 15th of every month. So many great ideas and beautiful cards. If you don't already follow the design team for PTI go and look at Nichole Heady's blog and then follow all the links. Some fabulously talented girls.

Now, I want to share with you my new favourite material - acetate or computer printable transparency sheets.

Because it is transparent, it makes for a perfect mask if you want to see what is going on underneath your masked area.

I used it to make this tree card for the Moxiefab Green challenge a while ago.

I cut a circle from a sheet of transparency using my compass cutter, stuck it down with herma repositionable, and then stamped the background damask design over the entire card using versamark. I removed the circle and stuck transparency sheet with the cut out circle aperture onto the card (again with herma repositionable) this time to cover the stamped area, leaving the circle exposed.

I Inked the circle area with green ink using cut'n dry foam ... and then .... because you can see the damask design through the mask, I was able to stamp the tree with the same background damask pattern lining it up perfectly with the original.

Wipe the transparency clean and store for future use.

Monday, 12 October 2009

I think I need

One of these

image from letterpress website

So that I can make some of these

image from letterpress website

This is a new letterpress tool from the Quickutz family and I love it. I have no idea if it will be available over here, I simpy stumbled upon the website by accident this morning, but I love the clean simplicity and ability to make several cards or invitations or ... anything really for that matter, think gift tags, stationery etc. ... quickly and easily. It looks like a simple stamped image, but it is more than that, the image also gets debossed when you run it through the machine ..... hmmm, lovely.

Find more details here on the website or to see how it works here on the blog.

I wonder if Santa reads my blog ... and whether he might swing by the States on the way over here ... and if he wouldn't mind popping one of these in his bag for me while he is there.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

It's finally fixed

My computer that is.

Am I grateful or what! Grateful that I have a husband who knows what to do with this...

This has been the state of my poor pc for the last week and working on the spare is .... well, just not the same. No photos, no access to my software, no favourites, no cookies (how am I supposed to remember all of my passwords and stuff) ... need I say more. Seems the problem was a failed hard drive, the one with all of our videos on. Matthew, my if-it-is-broken-I-will-fix-it-even-if-it-kills-me husband, has been browsing all of the techie websites and forums, and I'm sure in a few days he will be surrounded by little hard drive parts, several tiny screwdrivers, lots of cords, plugs and cables ... so there is hope yet.

But, pc problems aside, remember last weekend we went to Warwickshire. Gosh, it is beautiful there. We stayed on a fabulous farm, you know one of those farm B&B's where you get woken by the smell of bacon and freshly collected eggs cooking in the kitchen and all you want to do is rush downstairs and grab your share before the other guests get there first ... and that is coming from me, who is a vegetarian. Say no more.

We also had to do all of the obligutory museums and stuff, because that is what you do when you go away ... right. Then of course you have to take photos like these of your children posing with a terribly bad rendition of a soldier

And if you have too much time on your hands on a Sunday morning you have to play around with some cool actions from Ree, better known as the Pioner woman and do this ...

But what I really came on here today to show you is the super cool bird bead that I bought at the Artisan show. I really really do not want to start a new hobby, but when I watched Sue Webb working her magic with glass I have to admit I was seriously tempted. Not only does she make great beads, but she had an array of the cutest, quirkiest birds to buy. How cute is this little fellow.

I have a little thing for quirky bead creations, but up to now I have only ever bought seed bead creatures. These are in abundance in South Africa, and every time we visit I have to bring something back. Last time I really wanted a lifesize sheep for the garden, but Matthew refused to bring that along on the plane - so I settled for a parrot. She hangs outside on my patio and is gorgeous. You can only just spot her there next to the drainpipe.

I also have a collection of other tiny creatures, key chain flowers etc., but none of them are as cute as my lampwork bead ... I need more of those!

Monday, 5 October 2009

And then I stumbled upon this

I have been finishing my write ups for an article, but as my brain can strictly only function effectively for a half hour at a time max, I take frequent breaks to surf .... of course ;) and I just stumbled across this

The most incredible BLOG CANDY

Take a look here for all the details on Jak Heath's blog, isn't this just fabulously generous, and I don't have a silhouette. ... do you?


Of course not so good when you are, for instance, writing an exam, but very good indeed when you are crafting. I guess it is not really cheating, the more political correct phrase would be capitalising on what you have to make the most of limited supplies.

Yes, that is a mouthful, I think we shall stick to cheating ...

... or rather: Tips and Tricks

Let me quickly go through a few of the things I did the other night to maximise the supplies I had on hand. None of this is new, or particularly innovative, but sometimes even an old idea can trigger a creative thought in someone else, and maybe something I think of as old hat is new for you or vica versa.

Okay, a little confession here, I have not always been into rubber stamping. Yes, it is true, I mentioned it briefly the other day, and I apologise to all the die hard stampers out there. In my before-I-got-into-stamping world, if I wanted to have a border around something I would simply stick a piece of card onto another piece of card ... right? But I have found with stamping that I often want to stamp something that overlaps both colours and that never makes for a good clean impresssion if I have layered cardstock on two different levels to deal with, so now I usually mask and ink instead.

I used this technique to create the darker border around card 1 for the challenge. Simply cut a piece of scrap paper to size, round the corners, adhere with removable adhesive and then colour the exposed area with ink and a dabber or piece of cut n dry foam. A make up sponge works well too.

I do this often and mask all sorts of things. Herma is very happy with me, as I am spending a fortune on removable adhesive, but I love the flat surface I get to stamp on as a result.

Of course Stampin' Up! have now also added temporary adhesive to their new catalogue. I used that the other night and it was great. Put a few spots of the liquid adhesive onto the mask (not onto the main card), wait for the liquid to dry and turn from blue to clear, and then voila ... repositionable adhesive. The waiting bit is important - do not be tempted to stick the paper down before the glue has dried or you will be sorry .... take it from someone who knows!

For the scallop circle in the Joy card I really could have done with having cardstock in a shade that was just darker then the old olive to offset the circle, so I just inked the old olive scalloped circle with old olive ink creating a darker shade. Easy Peasy, and without the need to use two seperate pieces of coloured cardstock.

Up there with my Green & Black chocolate ... okay maybe not quite up there, but I do love my white gel pen.

Because I stamped this star with red ink onto red cardstock, the dots were almost invisible. Gel pen to the rescue.

Many people create scallop edges from circles or by using corner rounder punches, and it is relatively simple to snip a circle in half. When dealing with an oval it is a little more tricky to get the scallop edges the same size, so this was what I did.

I drew a line onto the underside of my punch with a sharpie pen. I could then easily line the cardstock up with the line creating scallops that were exactly the same size every time.

and lastly, the low down on the two little scallop edges on this card.

I don't really need to explain this, the picture says it all. Use the SU square scallop punch and then cut the shape in half. Trim the top and bottom scallops to create two perfect small edges for the patterned paper embellishment.

Friday, 2 October 2009

And so ... life get's back to normal

I want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who left comments and visited during the last few days. It has been great to see so many visitors and I have read every single comment.

It is the Artisan show this weekend, and soon we will be off on our merry way up to Warwick. I am ironing, packing and finishing off all the food in the fridge so that it does not spoil - it is a dirty job, but some one has to do it. Lunch for me therefore was one of those everything left in the fridge stir fry's, salmon fillets and all. A bit questionable, but I ate it never the less.

No photos today - I am still working on the spare pc, so do not have access to anything except what was on my flash card the other night. It is a bother, but aproblem I will worry about on Monday. Right now I have an appointment with a cow... on a farm ... at a B&B .....

Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, 1 October 2009

And the winners are ...

Okay ladies and gentlemen, I have counted all the comments, numbered each one and then went to random.org to generate two random numbers.

I can now announce that the winner for the early bird prize is

Steph ....

and the next winner is Yizz

WOO HOO - Congratulation ladies. Send me your details and I will pass them on to Stampin' Up! immediately.