Monday, 31 May 2010

Mini Album and Box

IRemember the mini album I said I was making - well here is the front and side view, then an arty 'fanned' look!!

I've removed certain details throughout the album for the sake of identification purposes.

Some lovely ribbon ties the pages together:

The front inside pages:

Some of the inside pages:

When I had finished the album and tied it all together, I though i'd make a box for it to keep it in.  Now, I'm not sure if you papercrafters out there do this too, but I've taken to saving boxes - from tea bags, dishwasher tablets, - even little boxes that my medication comes in.  I flatten the boxes and save them either for the templates to make a similar box or for the cardboard - or even to give me an idea of the best way to construct a box.  Anyway, nothing I had was just right for the box so I made one from 2 pieces of card - which I printed out myself.  I used the same pattern as had been used inside the album to tie it all together.

The album itself was made using Spellbinders Labels 8 - the largest die of the set.  I printed the papers out myself - all one sided then mixed and matched then 2 pieces were glued back to back for strength.  The covers had an extra cardboard layer in them as they also sandwiched the gold coloured grossgrain ribbon in.

Anyway, I made the box by measuring the dimensions of the die, and the depth of the finished album.

I printed both sides of the paper so that it was patterned on the inside too.

I reinforced the sides with extra panels then put a velco fastener on the flap of the lid.  The flower on the front was made by using one of my Marianne D Createable die.  I'm quite happy with the box.  I did actually make a practice one before with cheap paper and tweaked the template before making the final box and only secured the practive one with paperclips so I could keep adjusting.

Then, I made another box for a gift I'd bought her.  This time the box was from one of those massive K&Co pads with die cut boxes in that you merely glue together and decorate.

The silver butterfly is from stash, which i've had for ages.

A close up of the tag

Both boxes together

Hope you enjoyed the post and like the album and boxes as much as I did making them.  There was something quite satisfying about making these and its made me want to make more...

Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to read this post. Please come back again. hugs, Paula x x x

Another Forever Friends Card

I thought I would make a baby boy card - just in case...

Again, this has been made using my Forever Friends CD - which enabled me to digi design the card - I chose what goes where, whether I decoupage or not.  I did print the image of the bear in the towel out twice more then decoupaged on to the front of the card.  The images on this CD are just too mega cute for words...

Anyway, I thought I'd share a pic of Dylan the daft dog enjoying his icecream earlier.

When we buy a cornet from the icecream man - who quite conveniently stops across from the end of our drive, Dylan goes a bit mental.  He LOVES icecream - so rather than him eating most of mine, we thought we'd get him his own - with bits and juice of course LOL.... here he is enjoying it - Darren feeding him...

As you can imagine - I took loads more pics of him.  In the end he stopped literally biting the icecream because... guess what.... he likes you to break the bottom off the cone and make him a little cornet (ah bless).

Anyway, it ended up in his bowl cos it started to get a bit messy.  This enabled Katie Kitten to join in too.

I think we started him off with his love for icecream cones when we took him to the seaside when he was younger (he's four on 6th June).  We took him camping to Mablethorpe with his girlfriend Meg (a liver coloured Bedlington - and far daintier than Dylan).  She also enjoyed a cornet too - I have photos of them both on a disk somewhere :O)

Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to read this post. Please come back again. hugs, Paula x x x

Forever Friends Wedding Anniversary Card

I thought I would share a pic of a card I have made using my Forever Friends CD.  This CD allows you to totally design your own cards using backing papers, decoupage or just images of the characters, little pics for embellishments (like the champagne bottle and glasses i've used here), borders, readymade sentiments or the ability to type your own.  Anyway, here I printed the base card out with a lovely paper with white swirly shapes on - I used a striped pattern on the back, rather than keeping it plain.  Then I printed the dotty paper out with a couple of the bears on - then printed the bears out two more times to make my own decoupage - as I didn't want to use any of the ready to print decoupage.  The sentiment is a ready made one which you can resize to suit - i've made my relatively large then matted it onto silver mirri card using foam pads.  I've matted the dotty paper on to silver mirri, and cut the champagne bottle and glasses out with a small plain circle nestie and matted this on to silver mirri which i have cut using a slightly larger scalloped circle nestie.  Its just a simple card, but designed by me.  I love digi designing and printing my own papers out.

While I was sat in the conservatory this afternoon, I heard a scratch at the door.  It is usually the cat (Katie Kitten) or dog (Dylan) wanting to come in... Not usually BOTH of them:


Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to read this post. Please come back again. hugs, Paula x x x

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Blog Award - well several actually :O)

I received this award from my friend Cheryl whose blog is called Cheryls Window- across the pond in 'the Sunshine State' of Florida.  Cheryl and I have become friends through - where else - WOYWW.  We began to e-mail each other by asking and answering things about things on our desks and talking about a big conference for WOYWWers - and I said we should do satellite links for our blogging friends abroad.  Anyway, this led to Cheryl and I hooking up on SKYPE and conversing via the webcam a few weeks ago - and the rest as they say, is history.

Anyway, Cheryl was awarded this award and the rules said that she had to pass it on to 10 bloggers... as it happened she only passed it on to 6 - and guess what - one of those 6 were little old me!!! Imagine that... of all the people Cheryl must know, she chose me as one of her people.  To say I am flattered and honoured would be an understatement... So thank you so much Cheryl... I accept with thanks.  It still amazes me that I get chosen for awards like this - I started blogging without knowing a single other person who blogged - and didn't know that it was as popular as it was, and that was less than 6 months ago... I've received a fair few of these awards and am so flattered, honoured, humbled etc.  I didn't expect that I'd have made so many wonderful friends through this blogging lark - around the world, never mind the four corners of the UK...

Anyway, what I have to do now is say where I want to be in ten years from now - and then pass on to 10 other bloggers.

Hmmm - where do I want to be in 10 years time... well, I'd like to be healthy and alive mainly!!!  I want to have invented the crafting item crafters never knew they couldn't live without, I want to be fulfilled in my career but most of all I want to be happy and in as much love as ever with my darling husband who is just the best.  If you have love in your life, if you have friends, clothes on your back and food on the table (it means you've not cleaned it properly) no seriously - if you have these basic needs met - everything else is a bonus.
Here are the 10 people I want to pass this onto...
  1. WIPSO - I think it goes without saying why Annie would be first on my list - plus her creations just improve and get better and her dumfed piccies are the best now she has her wedding shop where she works very hard with...:
  2. TWIGLET - Jo is just everybit as caring and loving as Annie - and is soooo talented at making her dumfed birds - these NEED to end up in the right place and make her a very rich and famous woman
  3. Julia Dunnit - Her brainchild WOYWW is the very reason most of us have discovered our friends out there in blog land - she always leaves very encouraging feedback on our blogs but works really hard to visit each and everyone who takes part in her cult each Wednesday - a bit committment and no mean feat.  She's also very opinionated and posts the most fabulous insights on crafting life (she should have her own column somewhere)
  4. Linda Elbourne - talented and funny and a Lord Holtz groupie - Linda also leaves lots of encouraging comments - but has me laughing everytime I read her posts... and measures units of time in sleeps!!!
  5. Kathleen - Kathleen is relatively new blogger and has really come into her own and got stuck in by joining in the WOYWW madness - I first 'met' Kathleen on the Craftrak site and set up her blog despite telling me she wouldn't know where to start.  She now has a lovely blog called The Daisy Chain, and makes lovely cards which she of course posts there - go and check out her blog
  6. Alison - who is another newbie(ish) blogger has some lovely projects and cards on her blog and is looking to make lots of blogging friends - please check her blog out and say hello - she doesn't know too many people at the moment - and I know that I was there once...
  7. Sarita - Makes THE most lovely, elegant, sophisticated cards and is a talented artist... recently she has been drawing her own images which she is thinking of turning into rubber stamps - check out her work and leave her a comment of encouragement - she really needs to go for it... Stunning!!!
  8. Ramona - As well as being a talended stamper - Ramona shares the most gorgeous pictures of her cats - Tsunami and Legend - check them out they are handsome pussies... that deserves an award in my eyes.
  9. Kathy - Kathy is on a couple of design teams and makes cards that are right up my street - plus she makes stunning handmade paper shabby chic flowers which inspired me into making my recent gift to my friend.
  10. Nicki - or little ted as you may know her is a lovely blogger and has some really great stuff on her blog - she has become involved in WOYWW and has become another blogging friend.
Now - i'll fess up a little and admit that this post has been in draft in dashboard for a couple of weeks now... and i've been either not blogging too much, or too busy with those wedding things that I thought i'd leave it there until I had some unpressured time to blog it.  Well, since I received this and drafted this post - I've received a few more awards - yeh - me??!!! (Thats what I thought)!!!

Here are others i've received and have been saving:

In April, Ann-Maree of Emu Creations /Emu up a gum tree (cool name huh?) 'tagged me.. I have to tell you 10 things that I love and 5 pieces of Trivia all about myself...then afterwards I have to forward this onto 5 blogging friends...

Here's the trivia

1  I once stopped the car on a rural lane to pick up a bat that was on the floor (in broad daylight) to stop it from getting squished... then it bit me.  Someone then told me it could have had rabies!!! - that's the gratitude you get from bats!

2  I terrorise my kids... when the youngest has nipped downstairs, I nip upstairs and talk to his friends on xbox live and tell them he's (doing something embarrasing)!!!  When my eldest goes for his driving lesson - if he's been lippy, I stand at the window and wave until he pulled off - but before he gets in the car and while his instructor is getting into the passenger side - I fling the lounge window open and shout "mind how you go, enjoy yourself but don't go too fast and check your mirrors" - he HATES it!!! GOOD!!!

3  I once bit a hole in my bedroom curtains through temper at my grandmother (she hated me) and blamed it on to my baby brother... (I think my Mum knows this now as it was about 30 years ago... and its not like she's going to ground me LOL!!!

4  I once backed on to my drive (at my last address) and forgot we'd had a skip delivered... yep - I backed straight into it - then blamed my husband for being tight and ordering the smallest skip - and me not being able to see it in the rear view mirror - He had to hire another skip because... guess what... the last one was too small - I rest my case!!! LOL.

5  We used to have pet rats called Rita, Emily and Ronnie... (all girls I might add)!!! and one of them bit Dylan on the end of the nose when he stuck it right between the bars of the cage.

Here are the people I wish to pass this onto:
Tracey - Handmade with love 
Anne - Liverpool Lou
Pat - Pats Blog
Gez - Gezzy B's Crafty Bits
Pam - Pams Space

Last week, Darcy, and then today Helen awarded me with the Creative Blogger Award... so, here are the rules for this one:

1 Express gratitude to the blogger(s) who misguidedly kindly gave the award to you - so Darcey and Helen - you MAD women, thank you and big hugs!!!

2 Display the picture on your blog proudly - here you go:

3 Be nice and provide a link to the person (people) who gave it to you

Darcey at Art and Sole  AND Helen over at Stamping by H

4 Tell up to six outrageous lies about yourself, and at least one outrageous truth, or switch it around and tell six outrageous truths and one outrageous lie.

5 Nominate seven creative writers who might be into doing this.

6 Post links to the seven blogs you nominate and let the owners of those blogs know.

So here are my Lies & Truths... 
1  I am 24
2  I am 39
3  I am a size 10
4  I write really short blog posts
5  I speak fluent Spanish
6  I can't count to 20 without taking my socks and shoes off

The five people I think might be up for doing this are (without repeating anyone that Helen or Darcy got, or who the people they got, got (If you're still with me), this is going to be hard, so - i'm going to decline on this ocassion - but if you are reading this - please please help yourself to the award cos I think you are all awesome and tell us some lies or facts about yourself - of course in the above list - there is only one lie about me!!! LOL LOL!!!!

Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to read this post. Please come back again. hugs, Paula x x x

Friday, 28 May 2010

Get Well Soon WIPSO

Poor Annie has a poorly eye and was feeling pretty rubbish when I last spoke to her Wednesday night and Thursday morning, so I made her a little card and put loads of hugs inside the envelope... all she has to do is waft it about to make sure all the hugs come out and get to her.

I was kindly sent some images of poorly HM by our blogging friend Brenda Butler - who's on a grand tour of the UK at the moment visiting family.  I've missed her blog posts.

Anyway, this is the card I did for Annie.  She's all wrapped as snug as a bug in the softest of fleece blankets, while Jo (Twiglet) gives her some get well soon medicine - made with special ingredients - love, hugs and kisses and a great big measure of TLC....

All background papers are from a collection I downloaded for free from Summer Driggs - a collection called 'Owl always love spring' - apart from the pink paper that I have punched with an MS border - which is from the Pink Petticoat CD collection called 'just an old fashioned girl' (some really gorgeous papers on that CD).

Image (coloured with promarkers) and sentiment (computer generated) both cut using nesties labels 4.  The flower in the top right is made using a Marianne Design Creatables flower die - set LR0110.  I have all three of the flower sets but tend to use this one.  The two smalller flowers in the centre of the large flower are punches. Gem finishes it off. More gems on the bottom on the border to finish off - all from stash.  All distressing on the elements of the card has been done using the Versamagic Dew Drop Chalk Inks.  The base card is A6 in size and is cream hammered card stock.

I knew exactly what I was going to do when I got my mind to it... the layout evolved (again) - but the image was a defo...  I really should start looking at layouts and sketches - would make life so much easier.

Anyway - hope my little card brings a happy smile to Annie and that she is feeling a bit better soon.  Big hugs Annie, my special friend!!!

Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to read this post. Please come back again. hugs, Paula x x x

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

WOYWW - 26th May

Hi Friends and fellow bloggers, here is the desk - the very reason you are probably visiting the playground today.  Also, I need to warn you in advance that this is a very long post (totally out of character you understand! LOL)!!!

Not as tidy as last week i'll grant you - but I will be tidying up before I start my next project properly.

From the left, you can see some top hats which were wedding favours on the tables at Saturdays wedding- ladies had handbags... everything from these to the napkins etc were tied up with cerise pink organza - I collected a few bits to take home... before long, every other table was collecting them and bringing them to me, including the top hats (minus the chocs that were inside, of course)!!!  (anyway, more about the wedding later...)

The flowers are made from handmade paper and cut using the Tim Holtz sizzix flower die and will be used in a project i'm doing (i'm just getting all the components together and a lot of the work has been done on the PC so far). 

The Marianne dies cutting shapes are on the table, a magazine and at the back, hung up, are my nesties, using my system I spoke about last week.

Since my last weeks desk post, up until the weekend, i'd been really busy finishing up the orders of service, making additional ones for any additional visitors not part of the initial wedding guest list that might have turned up, a wedding card and a 50th Birthday card.  Then yesterday (Monday), I started to finish another birthday card off but, it wasn't going how I wanted it to so I decided to start again and make a little memory album... more on that in a later blog post.

Anyway, following the mammoth WOYWW last week, on Thursday OH took me to Meadowhall (or hell) as we call it, in Sheffield to get an outfit for the wedding.  While I had chosen my outfit within half an hour of getting there, we had a walk round to look for shoes for me, ties for the boys and cufflinks... a while later - and me much much slower by this point, went home with shoes from the first shop I went into (M&S) but no ties and the boys (2xDS) still needed new shoes... When we came back I was knackered rather exhausted. 

You see - not only was Meadowhallhell tiring, but the whole of last week was an exhausting and busy week - I had visitors everyday:

Monday, the lovely Pat and Anne came to see me.  When they left I finished off 2 x 50th Birthday cards. Afterwards, did more work on the Order of Service cards.  Didn't go to bed til about 6.45am (was still up when OH came home off his night shift), then woke up again when youngest son got up for school.  Started the OoS again. Made a pic as a pressie and a card (already blogged last week) for a work friend.

On Tuesday said Birthday friend turned up in the morning - she bought me some birthday cake and came to collect her pressie and card - as I couldn't get it to her. 

When she went, i watched craft on QVC, placed a couple of orders then fell to sleep.  In the afternoon, my Director came to visit me as part of the sickness procedure and to tell me that, while I have been off work, they have been going ahead with a restructure and informed me that my position of Governance Officer does not exisit on the new structure (the company secretary will be taking on my duties, leaving me with no work so I now have to start applying internally for jobs created for the new structure - long story, but this is one of the issues I had to deal with during my busy week. 

Wednesday spent most of the day catching up with everyone on WOYWW.  The Bride and Groom popped round to look at the progress with the OoS and to bring the vicars amendments to the inserts.

original version:

Printed version for any additional people that turned up to the church service:

On Thursday morning, I had another visit from a work colleague, then we went to Meadowhall in the afternoon.  In the evening, I started to work on extra OoS but not using the buckles or ribbon (has no buckles left).  Instead, I designed them in a word document then glittered the heart to make them look similar to the originals. 

Fridaycame and I had another visit from a work colleage friend and just as she was leaving, my old school friend came (who was in the hospital at the same time as me).  I had a call from the bride to be who wanted me to make her a couple of Thank You cards in a similar style to the OoS cards for both sets of parent.  I added a little twist to them by adding silver ribbon over the pink ribbon which made them just a tad special. 

Friday evening, went round to the brides parents home where the bride and her sister were, the kids, the groom and some more of the family gathered.  When the other family members left, we sat outside as it was a really warm evening.  The brides father let some fireworks off which was lovely - and in the distance - we saw loads of chinese sky lanterns floating in the sky.  What a wonderful sight.  We left there just after midnight - which was now the day of the wedding and the brides fathers 50th Birthday.  I made sure that I was the first person to wish him a happy 50th birthday - by waking him up as he'd dropped to sleep sat up on the sofa!!!  When we left we went into town to get a McDonalds and then pick eldest up from his job (he works collecting glasses in a pub).  By the time we got home, it was 2am turned. 

I was still up working on the wedding card at 4am, then got on the sofa in the conservatory to get some sleep.  I got up again at 8am, worked on the card til 11am then spent about 10 minutes on the 50th birthday card.  Time to get ready - giving me about an hour to bath, do hair, makeup, dress and leave the house. Phew.  What a week.

Anyway, in all, I had little more than 10 hours sleep between Sunday 16th and Saturday 22nd.  I'm not exaggerating - I honestly had little more than 10 hours.   You see i've kind of been 'avoiding' going to bed due to the pain and discomfort - so crafted instead.  Obviously this has not helped the pain and discomfort - just call it a vicious cycle!!!

Because of said exhausting week, I've decided to write my post on Tuesday evening because I don't anticipate being up early enough to blog on Wednesday morning - I'll hopefully be catching up with some much needed zzzzz's.  Anyway, as I started typing this post, my middle cat Tiggy, was rolling around on my right hand and was almost on the laptop with me... Its probably the first time i've sat down properly in over a week so she was taking advantage of being able to get near me for a cuddle... bless her. Here's a pic I got my son to take:

Anyway, as you know (or you do by now), I attended the wedding of my friends daughter, who I also class as a friend anyway.  She is, and looked, absolutely gorgeous, and I asked her permission to put some wedding pics on here.

Bride and Groom

bride and bridesmaids

Bride and Groom, with Parents (left to right) the brides father who celebrated his 50th Birthday that day, Grooms Mother, Groom (obviously) Grooms father (who was also his best man), My friend Wendy - the grooms mother (and for those who know the story - the one I ended up in the transvestite hotel in Manchester will)!!!  At the front - the bride and gooms daughters with the bride.

Here's a pic - just for the sake of including it... The day was glorious (about 27 degrees at one point) and the full sun was beating down outside the church where all the pics were being taken - my eldest son decided that standing up was too much like hard work - so here he is, without a care in the world - in his favourite pose - not lying on the floor - I mean with the phone in his hand!!!

Here is the card I made for them... It was definately one of those cards that evolved again... I began to do something with the forever friends CD, printed a bride and groom out, decoupaged it, but really wasn't happy that it was going to work, so I started from scratch.

The base card for the front was made of pearl card, a mat of cerise pink card, then more pearl card embossed with the Da vici swirls cuttlebug embossing folder.

The two panels - with the bride and grooms initials on and the 'on your wedding day' - with the date on, were computer generated and when printed off, before the while the ink dried, I added silver pearl meltdust (similar to heat embossing powder but finer and can be used on PC generated images) then heated from the back.  When dry, I die cut with nesties - matting on a slightly larger size in the cerise coloured card. 

The larger flowers on the front were made using my Marianne Design Creatables die cut flowers which also cuts a slit in each petal so that you can thread with ribbon.  The centre of the flower is made from a metalic brad and finished off with a flatback pearl.  The swirly leafy stems were made with the die cutting shapes that comes in the set - and the other branch like leaves were made using a punch.  Smaller flowers were also made using punches.

Here is the inside of the card:

All shapes using the same die as on the front of the card.  The middle panel here has the extract from Corinthians on it.  I love this bible reading - which was read out by a friend at my own wedding (all those years ago)!!!

The morning after the wedding, when we were all in the dining room having breakfast and the bride and groom came over to me to thank me for their card.  I asked them if they had opened all their cards already - they said no, just yours because we couldn't wait to open it... I asked them how they knew if was mine - they had recognised it from the envelope - cos I had put one of the die cut shapes on the front with flowers on same as the ones on the front of the card!!!  I think that was a bit flattering that they'd only opened mine - bless... the tag on the pressie got the same embossing treatment with another flower on the front!!!

After staying until turned 4 on Sunday at the hotel (having had Sunday late lunch there), we came home - and I fell to sleep. For three hours.

If you want to get involved in this WOYWW malarky - hop over to Julia - who is the leader of the pac(t)!!! comment on her desk, write a blog post of your own - she'll explain you don't have to be a cardmaker, stamper, papercrafter to get involved - you can do any craft at all - and you don't even have to do it at a desk..... anyway, link your post to Mr Linky and bobs your uncle...  Expect visits from likeminded people and lots of lovely comments.

Now, all it remains for me to do is apologise for the length of this blog - which reads more like a diary entry this week!!!  AND, if you managed to get to the end... you get 500 brownie points... - well done you!!!

If there are any typos or spelling mistakes in this post - my excuse is that is now Wednesday, despite starting this about 9 on Tuesday, I am tired and can't see the wood for the trees - as I've checked it several times and now cannot make sense of it at all ;o)

Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to read this really really long post. Hope it doesn't put you off coming back again!!!

big hugs, Paula x x x

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Birthdays are like Buses...

You don't get one for ages - then they all come at once - especially 50th Birthdays (or so it seems this week)!!

Here is a card that I have done for a colleague who will be celebrating her 50th next Monday.  Debs is a cardmaker herself - although she tends to buy kits from QVC - and boy, does she get some commissions from work - I bet she could retire (well, perhaps a little exaggeration LOL)...

I designed this card using 'My Craft Studio' Professional - the artwork is from the Simply Silhouettes collection.  I made the toppers out of a rose image, printed them out separately along with some grey squares to match the stipes in the DP - then cut the grey mats and the rose toppers out using the nested squares (the ones with the inverted corners - not sure what these nesties are actually called). 

The pink flatback pearls are Prima (from Joanna Sheen) then punched the edge of the card using the MS lace border punch.  The circular sentiment which is dangling from the top bow was printed using MCS again then cut with a circle nestie.  I used my crop-o-dile and put a eyelet in so the hole wouldn't tear, then edged with pink versamagic dewdrop pigment chalk ink.  All the organza ribbon is from stash.

Here is the insert - again, designed using similar elements to the main card - and punched with the same MS punch to tie it all together.

Another of my female friends, Shirley, celebrated her 50th Birthday today.  I hadn't spoken with Shirley for almost 18 months.  Shirley and I know each other through our professional diploma course.  There were three more that made up our little 'gang'.  We all did 2 back to back courses which spanned 3 years in total.  We used to regularly go out for meals - and I'd be the 'entertainment'!!!

Anyway, you know how it is, life happens and before you know it, you've not been in touch for ages.  However, I remembered it was her Birthday on the 18th May - as it would have been my Granddads too.  As I still had a number for Shirley's in my mobile, I text her on the offchance that she hadn't changed it, and wished her a happy birthday.  Low and behold, she rang me to thank me for getting in touch, then announced that it was actually her 50th - I was blown away and hadn't realised so promised to send her a card.  Anyway, we chatted, caught up promised to pop her a card in the post - so I made a card especially for her today. 

Because I like the one I made for Debs so much (the first one above), I made Shirley's very similar:

The insert is the same as the first card - I just printed two out as they are both for 50th Birthdays!

I really love this design so have saved it to use in the future - although with MCS Professional graphics package means there are endless possibilities to design cards; you can either simply design and print them out (like digi scrapbooking) - or you can incorporate all your other techniques by making them hybrid - making your toppers separately (like above)...  I must say - I do like designing digitally and making cards like this - because computers are my thing and I can then use my favourite techniques to finish off the card, giving me the best of both worlds!!!

Anyway, thats the two female 50th Birthday cards taken care of.  I just need to do a male 50th Birthday (for our friend Ian who is the father of the bride on Saturday (he celebrates his 50th on the wedding day), then their older daughter celebrates her 30th Birthday on Monday - oh, and I still have to make a Wedding card yet!!! 

Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to read my post. Please come back again. 

big hugs, 

Paula x x x

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

WOYWW - 19th May

Oi!! Come back - you haven't come to the wrong desk - it really is mine and it really is that tidy!!!

Since i've been feeling a bit better - I've been in tidying mode (apart from my bedroom)! The furniture got changed round in the lounge, the bathroom is clean (ish), the kitchen is (relatively) tidy - all these tasks have been crying out for a womans touch - so erm, that would be me seeing as I am the only female in the house (apart from the cats - but they're no help)... so, after my attempts at trying to bring the house back up to Paula's standard (ooh things have definately slipped since i've been out of action) I thought I would fettle the conservatory/craft room (again) - I even steam cleaned the floor the other day!!!

Remember my visit to IKEA a week or so ago when I bought another 8 cube Expedit unit? Well, I'll let you into a little secret... I only wanted a cd stand - and the one to match my furniture was about 209cm tall.  OH ummed and aaahed, puffed and panted (he does it a lot) - he went out to the carpark with a paper IKEA tape measure and came back in a 'I told you so' kind of way - you see said desired CD stand wouldn't fit in the back of his 'truck' or as our friends across the pond call it the 'SUV'...

To put you in the picture, my DH has a Mitsubishi L200 Animal with the utility lid thingy on - (we bought it for camping - cos quite frankly - I literally do take the kitchen sink (well a camping version LOL - we'll not mention the microwave, slow cooker, kettle, toaster, porta potti etc)!! 

Anyhows, just because the CD storage unit was longer (when flat packed) than the back of the truck/SUV - my plan was scuppered.  Instead, I ended up buying another Expedit unit which was £30 more expensive - can you believe it!!!  As it happens - it does complete the look - so the smaller 4 cube one which had my printer on top is now is DS bedroom (I haven't ventured in recently so its probably under a pile of dirty clothes and tennis gear or something)...

Last week, my Mum came along and did a fantastic job at tidying up and reorganising the shelves - we moved things nearer that I use more, and made one of the cubes house for my cuttlebug and accessories so all is good...

Here's whats on top of the units

I also swapped a glass display shelf unit that was in here (conservatory) which, quite frankly, was taking valuable craft storage space up for the cupboard which was at the foot of the stairs which only housed books and rubbish - you know, if in doubt - shove it in there!!!  Now the cupboard - which incidentally matches the other furniture in here, houses my files of stamps, voile material, sewing kit, white card stock, clean bean tins (ready to do a Linda Elbourne number on them), the frames I bought from IKEA and a number of new candles ready for me to decorate at some stage...

You probably know by now that I am always changing stuff around and reorganising my space, drawers, shelves, wall space etc. - well my friends, this past couple of days has been no exception!!!  I bought a desk top stationery holder thing from IKEA and put my nesties, cuttlebug plates (boo hoo my C plate is cracked :o( - or rather is nearly in half!), embossing folders and tan embossing mats in it - housed beautifully I must say, but then I discovered a blog called CRAFTY STORAGE where they show you some really neat storage ideas and solutions.  While looking around the blog, I drooled at all the fabulous craft rooms - some of them with the same square footage as the whole of my ground floor - forget the idea of being indulgant and having two desks - some of these craft rooms have tables just for using the cuttlebug on!!!  Of course most of them are in homes based in the States - and when they do it - they do it big!!!  Check out the blog and drool girls - and of course pick up some handy hints and tips while you're there.

Anyway, back to the storage of my nesties... I decided to print out a piccy of all the nesties/spellbinders dies that I have (which isn't nearly as many as I would like) printing two per page - then cut each A4 sheet into A5.  I have loads of A5 polypockets left from when I bought the A5 ringbinders to file all my unmounted stamps in, so have popped each set of my nesties (still on their magnetic mats) in separate pockets with their corresponding pic at the front for easy location (well, that's the plan).  

For the moment (until I change my mind LOL), I have hung these from my poles on hooks above my desk - where my punches are stored.  I'm not 100% sure yet if this system will work for me - but I decided to do it when I was having one of those frequent procrastination moments - you know what I mean - I was supposed to be doing something else i.e. like the cards I need to do for the weekend, or the inserts for the order of service cards (which i've now completed but at the time of posting this, still need to fold, trim and stick in the covers)... Anyway, we'll see if my new storage cum filing system stays like it - although I might even put them in a ring binder yet, rather than hang them. 

On Monday when my lovely visitors went, I piled all my cushions up on the chair as i'd taken all the covers off earlier to wash.  Anyway, I went back in the lounge to find this... he must have been piled up on 6 feather cushions in total - he looked so comfy - so I just left him there - you can see the mark his little wet nose made - aawww bless!!!  In case any of you are wondering what this shaggy sheep like breed is, Dylan is a Bedlington Terrier - his KC name is Hobnail Horace - and he looks like a sheep (or as my friend says - a gay poodle!).  I call him my woolley baby!!!  When we had him (8 weeks old), I wanted to call him Dave but noone would go for that - so Dylan he became.

If you want to join in with the WOYWW malarky - hop over to Julia's blog - (the one who is responsible for this madness - and probably the cause of the recent problems with blogger LOL).  Julia lives at the Stamping Ground where we all post a comment on her desk, leave a link on Mr Linky then visit all the other mad nosey lovely bloggers who join in.  Its gone truly global in the last few of weeks - desks from Australia, Sweden, USA, France, Cyprus, Saudi Arabia, Norway and Slovenia to name but a few - bringing the four corners of the globe together and making the world a much smaller place - proving that the brits aren't the only nosey nation!!!
Thanks for dropping by - please come back again. 

Big hugs, Paula x x x

p.s. I know I said in my last post that my next one (which would be this one) would be shorter - well I clearly lied  underestimated the amount of stuff I ramble on about needed to share with you!  Next time maybe???

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Flower Picture and Lovely Visitors

I had a really busy evening yesterday - which followed a really exciting day... as I had special visitors...

Two lovely ladies came down to see me all the way from West Yorkshire.  It really made my day to meet them - we chatted and drank (tea and coffee) and had the most gorgeous lemon cake... You may even know these ladies and you may even have visited their blogs - yes they are blogging friends - and no other than Anne AKA Liverpool Lou and Pat from Pats Blog.  Pat brought the BIGGEST lemon cake down - and I'm ashamed to say that it is no more - (yes - already)!!!

Well, I don't know about them, but I certainly felt like I'd known them for a long time, we chatted (and chatted) and drank tea and coffee - and ate said cake. They came bearing gifts - which was really generous and kind of them - and so unexpected.

The gifts they came bearing were wonderful (and really naughty of them) but I am so grateful - and still amazed that people are generous and kind to little old me...  I think it becomes of being bullied when I was at school - I never had anything, never expected anything - but people singled me out for not having anything - how life was cruel back then... Maybe my surprise that people want to be nice to me is borne from the fear of being let down - i've not often been on the receiving end - I usually like to be the one giving - its usually me watching the faces of my friends and loved ones light up at my gift to them...  Anyway, although it was a long time ago, it still affects me in situations such as this, it was tough back then. 

I'm not sharing this for self pity - I'm just humble that I am on the receiving end of such kindness and generousity from everyone - even if it is only a comment - and i've experienced nothing but kindness since I started blogging in January this year; kindness, thoughtfulness, generousity, caring words and lovely wishes - and not one bit of it has been expected on my part - I just tell you things - because thats what I'm like - warts and all, wearing my heart on my sleave.

Anyroad, enough of that - let me show you what fabby things these lovely ladies made for me... here is what Anne made... funny thing was, when she gave it to me and I opened the envelope - I gasped.  That was because she had blogged the other day (see her blog post here) about making something (and her problems with blogger) and provided a link to a tutorial -  which I followed.  And I realised I'd been there before (to that blog) and admired the wonder that was this:

I'd said to Anne how I loved it and how I felt it was too ambitious for me... - do you know - I was 'chuffed to little mintballs' - as they say!!!  The photo doesn't actually represent the true colour of this - it is actually a lovely hot pink - the exact colour of the wedding on Saturday - guess what I will be wearing as a 'buttonhole/accessory' to my outfit!!!  Anyway, Anne also bought me a lovely potted primula (sorry Anne I can't remember what kind you said it was - was it Hymalayan!!!???

Anyway, then Pat handed me an envelope, which contained this beauty:

I love her works of art and if I remember rightly, Pat said that the base shape was a Maya Road chipboard piece.  I admire the things Pat makes - she is also into journalling to so we talked all about that and what we would/could journal about.

When the ladies had gone, it went quiet I finished a card off that I had started - and wondered what I could make for a friend of mine who's Birthday it is today (bearing in mind that shopping trips or even trips out have been few and far between.  Knowing Rachel, I thought she would really appreciate something handmade so I set about making something - it was another of those things where I set out to make one thing and it ended up entirely different - different flowers and different colour scheme etc... here it is:

Forgive me for the rubbish photo - it was late and of course the flash came on.  I wanted to get it wrapped up - otherwise I would have waited to take the photo in the daylight as the conservatory - which is now my craft room, floods with natural light (as they do - being all glass and perspex (doh)!!

 Here is the card I made - using My Craft Studio - using artwork from the Simply Silhouettes CD.  You see - if I had planned it better, and if the picture didn't 'just evolve/happen' - I would have done the picture and the card to co-ordinate - i.e. I would have done the same pic but a different card!!!

I basically designed it by using a background paper, selecting a topper and a co-ordinating paper - printing these separately and layering... the cameo was cur using a nestie oval, the decoupage on the cameo was made by printing an extra image out and cutting out the head then putting glossy accents on.  I then made a frame for the cameo, used TH Vintage Photo DI, then brushed perfect pearls in heirloom gold round it.  Similar for the sentiment which was generated on the p.c., cut with oval nestie, distressed and perfect pearls as before.  The insert was created by me to match the outer design.  I used my MS gothic arches punch on the card ede - then backed this with a strip of black card to make it show up.

I used my Marianne Design creatables - which are flower dies.  I have all three sets but only used one.  I then used my spellbinders dies to create the scrolls in gold mirri board and my punches to create the leaves and flower centres.  The 'saying' was taken from the internet and printed onto cream hammered card - I then distressed the card with peeled paint (green) TH distress inks.  I made the design flow onto the photo mount that was already in the frame - which I bought from IKEA when I went last.  The rosette in the top left corner is one I made a while ago when I was messing around making voile flowers.  I made it with black organza ribbon with satin on each edge.  I popped a gold flower brad in the centre to secure it to the card.  Anyway, thank goodness - she loved both the picture and the card.  the reason I thought she would like it is that she always buys her family handmade commissioned cards from someone at work who is also into card making (though she uses a lot of kits from QVC - but she is good)!!

I am thinking of making a couple more of the flower framed pictures as presents - perhaps in different colour themes and will perhaps add a butterfly or two.  This is where I really value your feedback and any suggestions.  Feedback is good and constructive feedback is always valued - especially from you fellow talented bloggers.  I am thinking that if I make a few of these up, I may be able to sell them too - what do you think - do you think they would sell???

My Day Today
Today I thought I would 'slum it' in my PJ's - as I wasn't expecting anyone and I had the inserts to do for the order of service cards.  These took ages to print off as they were double sided - and they wanted a photo on the very back page (page four) of the insert so, as well as the fact that it has a B&W photo of them on, I wanted the quality to be the best I could achieve - so you can imagine, they took ages to print off.  I'm not going to complete them until tomorrow or the day after and for now, they are safely in a plastic A4 storage box waiting for the task to be completed.

As I was saying - I didn't expect visitors so had my PJ's on.... guess what? Yeh, I had a visitor - my colleague Rachel from work whose Birthday it is today.  She came by to collect her pressie and card (she had been texting and phoning my mobile, but it was on silent as usual).  So she turned up, and I was stood at the sink (yes, cleaning up again) in my PJ's.  Oh well, she's seen me in them before when I came out of hospital and was bed bound!!!  We sat outside having a cuppa in the sunshine and bless her, she bought me a piece of her birthday cake.  And a pressie she'd had but couldn't use as it had aromatherapy oils in it. And she thought of me as the neck warmer is supposed to aid good blood circulation and she thought she'd give it to me instead - how sweet is that?

Q: Why can't I EVER do short blog posts
A: - Because I've always got too much to say... as the teacher (and others have told me) - if Paula can say in 50 words what everyone else says in 10 - she will!!!  Well it did get me a great English grade AND really came in handy for my dissertation and course work (well, kinda - I had to be very careful to observe the word count limits).

Anyway, I promise to try and make the next one shorter LOL!!!

Big hugs, thanks for reading and please let me know what you think about the pics.

Paula x x x

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Order of Service Covers

I have been trying to not do too much recently (as you know), but I wanted to finish the Order of Service card covers as the ribbon had arrived yesterday and the wedding is next Saturday.  Anyway, before I decided to sit down and start - I wanted to make sure that the craft table was clear(er) and spotless.  

I also thought, there's no time like the present to sweep the floor... which then led to me steam cleaning the floor, the cooker and the microwave (you see I started playing to see how effective the steam cleaner was - you know the kind from the shopping channels (my Mum gave it to me as she's bought herself another one)... Anyway - in short, I felt that to ensure these Order of Services didn't get a single mark on them - everywhere (even the oven) had to be clean.  Youngest son had to do the dishwasher, I then had to polish the draining board and tap - as you do... because you just don't know where that speck of dirt might leap from...!!!

Anyway, less of that - here is a picture of the job in progress:

At first I was doing them individually - then I decided to get a production line type thing going by doing all one stage at a time (does that make sense) - which speeded things up a bit.  

The heart ribbon sliders are Swarovski Crystal and the ribbon is 15mm double satin in 'hot pink'.  The card stock is 360gsm white card which I use for all my card making.

This is what the finished front turned out like:

They are so simple but so elegant. (note: the picture is bowed as I actually took it from a different angle then rotated it - so don't worry - the ribbon isn't wonky!!)

Then a pic of a number of them together - a 'flock of cards'?!!! LOL

The bride and groom to be popped round earlier and absolutely loved them - in fact they've turned out the same as the invitations they had done...  They'd been to drop the proof off for the inside.  The Vicar made a couple of minor changes to the layout (despite the template being taken from the CofE website!!!).

These are a Wedding Present to the happy couple from me.  They are getting married at Chesterfield's famous Crooked Spire next Saturday - we will be attending the whole day and night affair and staying over at the hotel with the wedding party.

I sincerely wish that the weather holds up for them... they are such a wonderful and happy pair - and have two beautiful, extremely happy little girls (3&18 months) (remember the 3 year old is the one that recently started school - and I did the little card for).  

They really do deserve the best of days.  It was the hen night last night and for obvious reasons, I couldn't join them which was upsetting really as it was one of the milestones i'd mentally set following my first operation ) little knowing that I was to have a second.  I wouldn't have been able to walk about and still have pain from both ops - but mostly I was scared of being banged into in crowded pubs.

Here is a picture of the magnificant Crooked Spire (St. Mary's and All Saints Church, Chesterfield), where some of my family have also got married: 

Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to read this post. Please come back again. hugs, Paula x x x


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