Thursday, 29 December 2011

My Christmas Crafting 2011

For my handmade Christmas cards this year, I bought some new material over the summer despite still having some of last years Kanban kits left (which I'd bought from QVC last summer), but I didn't think it was enough and sometimes it's nice to actually get the pens and inks out rather than just use a paperkit - having said that, amongst the new stuff I got for this years Christmas crafting I bought another kit which was the new Christmas blockbuster kit from Kanban when they moved over to Create and Craft.  I also bought: Humphreys Corner Christmas CD and Stamp collection; Me to You CD ROM which had a Christmas collection on from Docrafts (for their new Digital Designer software); Papermania Christmas collections from the Digital Designer CD; Me to You clear stamp collections (x2 different sets); a Hero Arts Christmas stamp set; My Craft Studio Papercraft Library 'Winter Whimsies'; several free gifts of stamps from craft magazines plus a Christmas paperstack from another, and of course my Funky Hand Papercraft Factory '12 Crafters Crafting' collection (I believe there is a 50% discount sale on at the moment).

In my stash, I already had fair collection of Christmas digi stamps from various resources - both freebies and purchases; I have my gorgeous Anna Griffin Christmas stamps which have some great vintage images amongst them; The original Forever Friends CD which has a massive resource of Christmas images for that much needed dose of cute (essential); a large resource of Funky Hand Christmas papers, as well as freebies collected over time and other digi collections bought in the past from Pink Petticoat. 

Despite having all that resourse, and when I finally got round to it following numerous speights of bedrest, my chosen medium for my Christmas cards, was Funky Hand's '12 Crafters Crafting'.

I'd spent some time getting stuff ready to make my Christmas cards by pre-making the embellishments bit by bit using the MCS die cut Christmas embellishments kit which included the Christmas roses, poinsettias, mistletoe and holly and individual ivy leaves.  I also printed out a lot of the pre-coloured digi images from the 12 crafters crafting CD and printed some papers out too.  However, following my bedrest I seemed to have the crafting version of writers block...aaaarrrrgggh!  I thought I'd better have a look round blogland for some inspiration then I remembered that my crafting friend Ruth (Tip Top Toppers Things)  actually ran a challenge blog for Christmas cards called  'Crimbo Crackers'.  I noticed that the challange at that time was a sketch... I made a card to fit the sketch but didn't end up putting the card into  the actual challenge because I literally felt like I didn't have the time to write the blog post and link it up, but was thankful that I'd looked to see the challenge in the first place as it was something I felt was doable enough to ease me into the Christmas craft frenzy I was about to commence; it certainly gave me the kick start I needed... here is that card: 

Made following a sketch from Crimbo Crackers.

Anyway, because I liked the look of this, I did a great deal of my cards on a variation of this.  These ready coloured images from the 12 Crafters Crafting CD were great and a godsend.  I did go around the image with a grey Promarker to make it pop from the page, then I added some glitter to the rim of the hat and the pom pom on the end.  I really liked the look of this card - some of my crafting friends might recognise that their card would look something like this card.

On the 12 Crafters Crafting CD there are 12 collections of 20 papers - each collection being a different set of colours.  There is one collection called "all I want...".  When I first saw this collection, it was my least favourite - but do you know what?  In the end it was the collection that I used the most of and just simply fell in love with it.  The collection is based on red, black, white and two tones of grey.  Also fantastic for the male cards - although it looked great with a robin on the front... Here is another card actually made using this collection:

picture taken before snowflake embellishment and glitter added

Because I started my Christmas crafting so late, I knew that I had to work hard to make the deadline of getting all my cards in the post in order to get them delivered in time for Christmas.  While I'd finished the majority of the cards, I still needed to write in them - and some of my greetings ran into the realms of small letters (not like me eh?).  Because of this, I ended up missing the post for the last day for gauranteed Christmas delivery.  I soldiered through and got them in the post the very next day, sending each and every one by first class.  Some of them slipped into the large letter catagory so in all, my small pile totalled over £17.50.  Some where regular shop-bought cards for non-crafting friends, but for my crafting friends, each and everyone of them were freshly handmade.

With the relief of getting those in the post, I could now concentrate on friends and family close to home - and not all of them got a handmade card...  Of course, in the middle of it all I had another printer nightmare where the blue ink just packed up on me - even though it was coming out of the ink wells and into the CISS pipes, it just wasn't coming through the print heads.  Depsite my best efforts to carry out numerous nozzle cleaning it wasn't happening, so I had to swap the printhead for the coloured inks.  Eventually, it all came good (thank goodness) as getting a replacement in time for Christmas was highly unlikely.  Not long after that - I ran out of black ink.  I couldn't believe it.  I'd gone below the minimum line so it stopped coming through.  Thankfully my sister came to the rescue and lent me a new bottle she hadn't used.  I'll just replace it after the holidays when everyone is back to normal and open for business again... I think I should buy a bottle of each of the colours while I'm at it.  They have lasted me a year so I can't complain - and when you see the volume of printing I do, I think I've done really well.  It should cost me less than £25 to buy 4 bottles of ink which should last me another year - not bad eh?

I will show you some more of my cards over the next few posts, but first of all, I'm going to check out to see whether I can enter any of them into any Christmas challenges.  If I post them before I check, I won't be able to enter them because no back links are allowed usually.

Do you work to the wire or do you like to get things done as early as possible.  In my former life as a Governance Officer where one of my jobs was to co-ordinate everything to do with the company's board meetings, learning to prioritise was key to my role, so with so much stuff on usually, we were all working to the wire - and there was no bigger flaunter of the report submission deadlines as the Chief Executive!  She'd be putting in and changing reports minutes before the meeting - and if it went pear-shaped - she blamed me!!!!

Hey ho.  Card making is supposed to be for fun so while we all have deadlines for challenges,  the post, someone's birthday etc. - I'm pretty sure that no one ever died from a late hand made card!

Sending crafty hugs

Paula x x x

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Being a Bad Blogger!

This is a very wordy post with few pictures, so if you don't want to read on, I'd click off right now.  I tried to find some good clip art, but couldn't find quite the right depiction of the message i'm trying to get across.  Anyway, if that doesn't bother you (that there are a lot of words without pictures), you are more than welcome to read on.......

Quite often, I will think about writing a blog post on a subject then by the time I've actually remembered I was going to do it - the moment has gone.  I also feel like I need a reason or a card to blog - not sure if that bothered me when I first started blogging as I was uber-excited about talking which brought many new followers.

When I started to write this post, it was way before Christmas - in fact it was at the end of November, and for a few days prior, I'd been on a bit of bedrest - exhaustion had been and still is a bit of a problem - and the most frustrating part is, I've not exactly done anything that might tire me out - apart from sleeping lol.. well that's what it feels like.  You know, if I'd run a marathon or taken the dogs for a nice long walk (I wish), I wouldn't mind it so much, but when it's just a regular part of your everyday - then it can be frustrating.  Also - I could understand it if I just sat there for hours on end doing absolutely nothing, being all moronic, but that's not the case either - I try and do as much as my body will physically let me before the pains start.  

If I gave you a couple of examples, it might set the scene a little better. At the beginning of November I went to the NEC Hobbycrafts show with my husband and sister (another post started and not finished).  We spent a good few hours there (as you do) walking round.  We went for lunch out in the main concourse to Wetherspoons, and the sit down was heavenly.  I found that I could barely get up let alone walk when I got back up.  By the time we had finished near to the end, I could barely put one foot in front of the other.  I was dragging my right leg almost because when in a lot of stress or pain, I get a real bad pain in my right groin/top of my leg in the inner joint.  As happens often, I find myself having to literally lift my leg into the car to get in.  Thankfully I had taken my walking stick with me and used it from the offset.  By the time we were making our way back to the car - I could have done with a walking frame.  My lower back had also gone - something that can happen by just standing still for a short length of time - or even if I have to bend.  Bending over the bath to bathe the dog is leaves me with excruciating pains across my lower back (straight across the back of my pelvis (or so it feels) and then I have to walk around the house with my stick (sorry, I digress)...  

Anyway, after dragging myself back to the car - which was parked in the blue badge area (and not nearly near enough to the event), I knew it had been the right decision not to have driven myself there - even though I had to put up with my OH rolling his eyes when random people told him he looked fed up (which he could have tried to hide), I knew I couldn't have done it without him.  My sister took her trolley on wheels for all our goodies - which was also another plus because I couldn't have carried a thing.  Anyway, once we were on the road home, I think about 10 minutes into the journey, I fell to sleep and slept almost all the way home.  I was then 'out of it' and in my bed asleep for the following 5 days.  That was one example - and while it sounds extreme, it is a very typical scenario for me - although walking around something like the NEC is definately not a regular occurance and one I know that, unfortunately, I won't be able to repeat until everything is under control.

Another example is when i've been out to lunch with a friend - It's taken so much out of me that I've ended up dropping to sleep when I return which might also affect the next day too. 

The feeling of 'exhaustion' can even be present when I've just woken up - which might be early - in that I really didn't get a decent sleep so I get up anyway or it might be late, in which case my OH might leave me there to sleep - after all, he figures that my body needs it if I'm still sleeping.  Either way, I feel like I could go straight back and sleep right through to the next day and find myself dropping off all the time.  One of the worse things I can do is read - 2 lines and I'm gone... my OH says if he didn't know better, he'd say I had sleep apnea because he can be talking to me one minute and the next, I'll have dropped of.  And no, he's not really that boring, it's just that he's the one that's there when it happens.

I appreciate that the amount of medication I am currently taking, along with the pain patches, may have a big part to play in all this, but I am informed that the Fibromyalgia itself has a very big part too and is often associated with other chronic fatigue syndromes or disorders.  In the New Year I will be starting on a programme through the hospitals Health Psychology department which is called 'building blocks' (I think) - the programme is supposed to help me come to terms and help me to manage my 'long term chronic health condition'... It's run by other sufferers who have been on the programme too, so I'm looking forward to that because I want to learn about 'pacing' myself so that it's not all or nothing each day.  With the pains and exhaustion, I calculate to have only one to two good days per month - maybe three.  There is always something that sets it off, or its just there when I get up (if I get up).  

So, what do I do when I'm on bed rest (and not asleep)?  Well, the laptop of course is almost a constant companion and I have a plethora of magazines by my side.  I read for a bit, fall to sleep, wake up, have a look round the net, have a look on Facebook - see what is happening in the world of craft looking at all those pages that I 'Like'!  Follow a couple of links and end up in a maze of blogs and websites I didn't know existed as a regular card maker.  I SKYPE my sister a lot while she shows me what she's been up to on her Craft Artist and Silhouette Cameo, then drop to sleep again.

This pattern repeats itself - often.

At the moment, as well as getting re-acquainted with blogger dashboard and google reader (both of which I am still pants at keeping up with - bad blogger (me that is, not!  No. I've been trying to catch up with everyone but I don't seem to make it very far from the top!  Google reader recons I've got 1000+ posts to read.... I don't think so.  I apologise to all those mutual followers that will be reading this - all I can say is that I will try harder at reading stuff from hereon in.

Also, added to that - at this precise moment in time (at the time of typing that is) - I have 277 emails to sift through... That's one of the reasons I'm pretty slow at getting back to my lovely crafting friends who often send me lovely emails.  Thing is, I like to sift through the rubbish first (you know, the stuff I thought I'd quite like to read so subscribed to the newsletter - times by too many)!!!  Once I feel that I have nothing to distract me, I can sit and reply to said emails - and if you know me by now - they never stop at a couple of paragraphs!!! (another NY resolution perhaps?)!!!

On that note, I've deleted everything hereafter that I'd written so that I can make further and hopefully shorter posts.  No point in telling all my news in one go, then not blogging for a while and then doing a massive one again!  That seems to be the cycle I'm in, so we're on to perhaps NY resolution number 2 then????!!!

Before I 'sign-off' this post, I've decided it's time I had a little candy give away - afterall, it will be 2 years since the PaperPlayground was 'born'.  On 4th January to be precise... 4 days before my tumour was discovered and I shared the rest with blogworld!  Anyhow, i'm not at all sure what it will be yet but I know that I want to do it because it's important to me to give something back.  I am so grateful for every single one of my followers but not sure who actually reads my posts out of them all - so it would be great if you are reading this and just say 'hi' so I know you're still around.  I'll be back with another post later and more  news of my bloggaversary giveaway in due course...

Crafty hugs to all.

Paula x x x

Thursday, 24 November 2011

When was the last time you got 43% discount?

Yep, you really did read that right... Anice is having a one day 43% sale to celebrate her Birthday.

So, for 24 hours only  - starts 00.01 on 24th November and ends on 00.00 25th November,  go HERE to say Happy Birthday to her - bet you can't guess how old she is though!!! lol.

Everything is included in the sale - so go and get some BARGAINS for Christmas presents... Anice also ships free with any £10.00 and over purchase - to anywhere in the world.  Downloads also count towards this so, if you buy say a CD which needs shipping but is under the £10 and you bought a download which took you over the £10 minimum - you will still receive free postage and packaging... Imagine that!

Some examples of prices in the sale:

12 Crafters Crafting (brand new CD recently launched)  £16.99 
during birthday celebrations £9.68

All I want for Christmas (download)  £3.49 today only: £1.99
'Tis The Season (Wordbook download) £4.89 for 24 hours £2.79

Happy Happy Birthday (as seen on C&C) usually £16.99 - today only £9.68

So - what are you still reading this for??? Go HERE to get you some bargains - and if its not for you - how about for a daughter or granddaughter or friend who is into crafting - at those prices, they're Secret Santa presents (the CD's).

All include papers and images with an easy-to-use software interface - so perfect for children to teenagers to crafters to the elderly... 

Above is a screen shot to show you how easy it is to use - you work in the one screen all the time - printing is one click once you've found the paper you want to print.

Papers can be used for wall art - either on a canvas or in a frame to brighten up a plain wall, for lining drawers - line your drawers with some funky designs adding a touch of scent to the paper before you lay the sheets in the bottom.  How about backing all those dreadful school/college books - with all the choices of colour - you could colour code your lessons.  Or what about regular scrapbooking, paper construction and of course card making.

If you struggle to match papers up with each other - each CD has 12 collections.  In each collection, there are 20 papers which are based around 5 matching/co-ordinating colours so any combination of papers from the same collection will match - there are even plain colours to co-ordinate with the patterned ones.  They make great stocking fillers anyway...  Downloads are also colour co-ordinated around 5 colours too.

Let me know what bargains you've got recently or if you know of any sales - bet you won't find many as good as this though...

In the States - the last Friday in November - which also coincides with Thanks Giving  is known as Black Friday (Happy Thanks Giving to all my American Crafting Friends)- you won't believe the bargains our American friends are able to take advantage of.  Now, I wonder if there are any bargains good enough that its worth getting goods shipped over to us... Remember though - don't go buying electrical goods from the States.  They are completely different from ours - and it's not just the plug, the power the appliances are run on is a different speed of motor so our 240v system is too powerful (I used to work in the textile machine industry - we manufactured cutting machines for the domestic market and to ship to the States (Buffalo, New York)... different voltage motors were used).

If you are a Silhouette owner  (SD or Cameo)- and don't know this - they are also having a 50% sale on their downloads (the ones you get from their on-line store through your software).  All shapes are just $0.50c all weekend - starting midnight Mountain Time... 25-28th November.  These are the times to take advantage and increase your library. There is no discount on the Cameo machine though.

REMEMBER: for that 43% discount from Funky Hand,  GO HERE

Take care and happy crafting.

Paula x x x

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

The new Get Funky Challenge for Nov/Dec

Well, it's the 15th of the month (Funky 15th) which can only mean one thing... there is a new challenge over on 'Get Funky' - the Funky Hand Challenge Blog.

This month, it is the turn of Jackie to pick the theme of the challenge, and she's decided that she wants to see 2 cards from us this month using the new 12 Crafters Crafting CD, which is the recently released (and seen on TV) Christmas CD... And while she wants to see a Christmas card from us (of course), she's also stated that one of our cards has got to be a non-Christmas card.  Now that really is a challenge... or is it?

With so many lovely bright and vibrant colour collections on the CD - I'm sure that we'll find much inspiration in the colours alone to make a non-Christmas card... there are stripes, stars, dots and circles that can be used all year round... oh, another twist... the Christmas card has to be made using the traditional colours of red and green.

Just a little hint from me - you can use more than one colour collection to make your card.  There isn't a Funky Law that says all of your card has to be made from the same colour collection... of course Anice does a fabulous job of choosing 5 colours for each colour collection and they never fail to be stunning, but once in a while, it doesn't hurt to step out of that comfort zone.

So far be it from me to tell you what to do, but that's what i'll be looking at doing come my turn.  In the meantime, I'll be upping my Christmas card tally while practicing.... best start making card number 2 in my tally then eh!!??? lol (and no, I really haven't started my Christmas card crafting yet!).  Shame on me!

Right if you want to join in but don't have anything by Funky Hand to join in with... if you go HERE, you will find a fabulous freebie to make a card with and join in with the challenge this month - and remember that, in order to qualify for the challenge - your card has to have at least ONE Funky Hand element on it...

Can't wait to see this months entries -  but don't forget to keep checking out what the Funkettes will be sharing with you all month for your crafting inspiration.

Happy Crafting,

Paula x x x

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Autumn at Funky Hand

Well, in the last few posts for Funky Hand, I think I've gone through just about all four seasons!  Today is my turn to post my challenge card on the Get Funky challenge blog. 

It's been all go recently what with the recent release of 'Happy Happy Birthday' and the launch of that on Create and Craft (back in September, when Leoni showed my little stationery set folder)... I taped the shows and showed them to my Mum - I think she went all proud.  It was fun because I was taking the mick out of those shows that show somebody gathering all their family round the TV after having a party with the full works, and when it comes too, they've either been 'cut out', severely edited - or it was only ever a bit part that the 'actor' had played up!  Well, apart from my Mum, my lovely neighbour who is also a friends Mum.  Anyway, she watched as I showed them one of my projects and she loved it so much, she ordered one for a friend.  I've made two now so she can choose from either one.  Anyway, apart from 'Happy Happy Birthday', Anice - Lovely lady who is the designer and owner of Funky Hand quickly released the next CD - '12 Crafters Crafting'.  There's a clue in the title as to what is the content of this CD - can you guess what it is yet?

Right... back to this months challenge card (i'd forgotten what I was doing for a moment!).  The lovely Amanda set the theme on the 15 October challenging us to make card that was reminiscent of October, be it the colours you use or an October theme (Halloween by any chance?)...

Well, I had a couple of options to show - but my camera is broken so i've not been able to take any pictures of one of my projects.

As it stands, I've had to take a picture of it on my phone so will apologise in advance if the quality is somewhat lacking.

I decided to show my card that has autumnal colours in it and has got to be my favourite colour collection from the 'Craft The Year Away' CD.   I've also used a digi from that CD too which is the pram, and the reason I've used the pram is because my best friend has told me that her daughter has announced that she's pregnant - with baby number 2, so I did a little card to congratulate the three of them (Daughter, Son-in-law and grandson of my friend).

On the worksheet area of the CD, I loaded up three papers (brown, the cream and the unusual striped one). 

I then reduced them to a quarter of the page size (A6) then dragged the image on the pram four times.  To make sure you re size everything to exactly the same size, click on each image while holding down the 'shift' key, and then drag one of the corners to re size as desired.  This re sizes all four at the same time.  Each image of the pram were then dragged on to each of the quarters of the page - as follows:

You can see that once I have selected all four images that only ONE box appears around them all - also, the bottom right square on the box has turned green.  This is because I clicked on it so I could re size the box, which basically means that all four of the images get re-sized at the same time.  You can see all the other great digi stamps to the left of the workspace - well actually, that's not half of them judging by how far the scroll bar has still got to go down the digi-stamp page!

So, after printing the above out - which is only one click in the programme (then it brings your own printer option box up), I cut each of the prams out, but the plain white one was kept intact with its white background as that was to be its mat too (you'll see what I mean when you see the card).

After snipping up all the elements from each of the coloured images - wheels, body, canopy/hood, frill... I started playing around by placing them on the white version - I was seeing which combination would work the best.  For those who aren't aware, this is what paper piecing is.

I didn't want the card to look either too masculine nor too feminine either  because when all said and done, no-one knows what the sex of the baby is, and its not due until late May 2012 anyway.

The greeting on the card is the congratulations banner, which I placed over the striped paper to get exactly the look I wanted.  I then matted the finished image onto the multi-coloured polka dotty paper from the same collection to bring the look together.

Even though the collection is called 'January Blues', I personally think that it is full of the warm colours of Autumn and the collection remains my favourite on 'Craft The Year Away'.

You still have 4 whole days in which to join in - and if you can't because you don't have any Funky Hand papers to craft with - particularly any autumnal colours, Anice has kindly designed a freebie especially for the challenge.  In order to qualify for the challenge - you only need use this backing paper in some way on your project with anything else you have from your stash.

Here is a thumbnail of the freebie - which you can download by going HERE:

Here are the bits left over after I did the hack job on all three samples (enough to make 2 more prams, but nothing to mount them on):

Looks like child's play!

Here is my finished card complete with greeting:

So there you have it, a very different kind of card for the autumn theme - got the colours about right, but I have to add that the news of the impending birth was announced in autumn.  Actually, I think its a good name for a girl and I'm pretty sure that I've heard someone call their kid that already...

Thanks for coming to take a look at what i've been up to (nothing much since the NEC last Friday - cannot believe it's a week since we were there.)  I've some photos to share from that little jaunt anyway.

Be sure to check out Amanda's post HERE and read all the rules before you join in the challenge... (well, there's only one, which is to use something by Funky Hand on your project - and there's no excuse because I already told you (above) that there is a freebie for those who don't have anything by Funky Hand already.)))

Happy Crafting

Paula x x x

Sunday, 6 November 2011

It's finally launched

Wow, how exciting as Funky Hand's Christmas CD Twelve Crafters Crafting  is officially launched on thier website  From what I understand - there were loads of eager crafters placing orders before the official launch yesterday - I really hope those crafters enjoy the CD as much as we design team girlies do and even perhaps join in with a challenge or two using them and the inspiration from the design team.  Anice started despatching the CD's on Friday so hopefull, funky fans should have received them yesterday.

Well, we've all been working with the CD for a couple of weeks or so now getting our samples ready for Anice to take down to Peterborough with her so that she can demonstrate live on Create and Craft TV next Wednesday 9th November at 8am and 1pm (set your alarm for that early one!!!).

Please please join Anice so that you can have a closer look at Twelve Crafters Crafting - and see what demonstrations and banter she will bring to the shows... (she can be a naughty minx at times you know)!!!

Keep coming back to see cards from this amazing CD... I really have to say that this is totally my favourite CD so far.

Until next time... keep crafting.

Hugs and stuff

Paula x x x

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Music Saves My Soul Saturday - What are you listening to today?

oooh - just a quickie from me seeing as I'm writing this at silly o'clock...

I've not joined in for a few weeks (bad blogger aren't I?), so I hope Marcea is cool with my sporadic joining in.

What am I talking about?

Music Saves My Soul Saturday of course!!!

Hmmm - so difficult to make a choice actually, but last night, my brother and I were on SKYPE playing a quiz to find the missing words to the lyrics of 80's music - and every time I got one right, I'd start to sing it... he said if I carried on, he was going to cut me off!  So, I think my choice this Saturday, should be something I sang (badly), last night.

So, here is another one that reminds me of the school disco!
Sit back and enjoy a bit of the MJ!

If you want to join in - or see what videos/music other participants are sharing this week go to see Marcea, founding member of MSMSS, at her blog 'Marceas Crafting Corner'

Thanks for listening...

Paula x x x

Please join me for Funky Hand's First Ever BLOG HOP

Hi there


A big massive warm welcome to Funky Hand's 1st ever Blog Hop...  If you are here to join in with the blog hop, you have probably just arrived here from Amanda's blog .

If you haven't but would like to join in the fun and win a really cool prize, you really need to start by going over to Anice's blog for a welcome and short introduction to the hop.  Anice is the incredibly talented designer and owner of Funky Hand.

It is quite fitting that this should be Funky Hand's first ever blog hop as it's also a first for me, so I've been really excited all week making the arrangements and getting this post ready to actually be part of the blog hop and not be the one hopping - if you know what I mean.

Anyway, the purpose of this exciting blog hop is to introduce you to the very latest Funky Hand CD:

This CD Rom is the latest addition to the Papercraft Factory collection and is even bigger and better than the last - they just get better and better each time - although the design team didn't think that it was possible after the launch of the 'Happy Happy Birthday' collection!!!

As usual the CD Rom has 12 colour collections which each have 20 patterned and textured papers in.

Each collection is centred around 5 colours to ensure that every paper in that collection co-ordinates with the others perfectly.

As well as the 240 (12 collections x 20 designs) design papers there are:
  •  Nine templates
  • a write feature to type your own message or greeting - you can choose from 9 different fonts and the 5 colours from each colour collection - plus black or white
  • 5 re sizable upper and lower case alphas to match each colour collection. 
  • Wordbooks - you choose the colour collection, design and letter - and colour of letter (from the 5 in the colour scheme)
  • Numerous sentiments to put on your card front

In addition, "12 Crafters Crafting" also has a humongous amount of Christmas digistamps (over 100)- which come either ready coloured or black line and ready for you to print out and colour in.  All digi's can of course be re-sized too and can be printed out on plain or patterned paper which is great for paper piecing and saves having to put your paper back through the printer.  Digi's include Santa, snowman, Christmas Tree, Angels.... and SO much more.  Look at it this way - if you had to purchase each digi separately elsewhere - you could easily pay for the CD over and over again - but this way, you have them all in the same place and they all match each other perfectly - it just gets better doesn't it?  The images have a timeless charm so they can be used to make your Christmas cards and papercrafts for years to come.

Blog Hop details...

The blog hop will start 9.00am on Saturday 29th October and end at midnight on Sunday 30th October.

The winner will be announced by Anice on Monday 31st October and will receive a copy of the fabulous "12 Crafters Crafting" CD ROM.

How to complete the hop:

  • Firstly visit Anice's blog (HERE) for a welcome and introduction to the blog hop
  • Visit each design team members blog to have a look at their sample
  • Collect the letter for the word/s from each blog
  • Leave a comment for each design team member at the end of their post
  • Go back to Anice's blog and post that you have visited each member (this will be checked later if you win) and tell her the word/s you have come up with after rearranging the letters you've collected on the hop (don't worry because comments made with the answer included will not be published)
  • Note any blogs where you had difficulty in leaving a message and include this in your message
What you need to do next:

after you've done as stated above (left a message here and collected the letter), then go on to visit the very talented:

Collect your letter from Jenny, leave a message - and so on until you've collected a letter from each of my fellow designers.
Once you have rearranged those letters and you have the word/s, you will need to leave a comment on Anice's blog telling her what you think it is (remember she won't reveal your answer, but keep it safe through moderating her comments).  Once the blog hop is closed, Anice will check all entries and put those names who have given the correct answer and have left a message on each DT members post in a hat and will announce the winner on Monday - she'll make a video of herself pulling out the name of the winning entry.
Remember - the winner will get a (yet-to-be-released) copy of the fabulous "12 CRAFTERS CRAFTING" CD ROM... How fantastic is that then???

So, as each member will be sharing a card or project from the new '12 Crafters Crafting' CD ROM, here is mine:

set of pillow boxes using the resizeable template
My project is from a collection on the CD called 'O'Christmas Tree' which is themed around shades of plum and shades of green - a very stylish and contemporary colour collection.  The pillow boxes have been made using one of the 9 templates on the CD - i've used the stars design paper.  The greeting on the boxes has been made using a combination of the writer where you type your own text from a choice of 9 fonts (the words 'Have a'); the word 'Funky' has been made using the alpha in one of the colours from this collection (from a choice of 5) and the word 'CRIMBO' is one of the digi stamp greetings on the CD...  The holly is one of the coloured digis that can be re sized to suit.

The template is re-sizeable - as are all the templates on the CD (and on the other CD's), and  here I've re-sized it to create a set of 3 pillow boxes which descend in size.  You could continue to reduce the size to make even smaller boxes, but I made this set of three to show you some of the many features you will find on this fabulous CD.

Anyway, now you need to collect that letter - right?  so without further ado, here is my letter for you for the hop...'R' 

Don't forget to leave a comment (no matter how small) in order to qualify for the winner's prize as Anice will check that those with the correct answer have left a comment on each blog hop post before she puts you into the hat for the draw which will take place on Monday.  Answers will be accepted until midnight on Sunday 30th October.

If you are not successful, or don't want to join in but would still like to purchase the CD, it is available for pre-order HERE for £16.99 starting TODAY- and further still, it will be free p&p. 

Remember that the official release date is Saturday 5th November 2011so you won't have to wait long for it to be shipped.

Anice is due to appear on Create and Craft for the first TV viewing of 'Twelve Crafters Crafting' on Wed 9th Nov 8am & 1pm however, keep a look out for updates and any possible changes to this on Anice's blog HERE.

Don't forget that once you have left your comment, your next DT member on the hop is:

If you encounter any broken links on the way, please make your way back to Anice's blog to view the whole list and take it from there.  Similarly, if you have any problems leaving a comment on any of our blogs, just let Anice know which blog you've had problems with - but remember your letter from that blog though!

Good luck with the hop and hope you have fun and find plenty of inspiration on the way!

Thanks for reading - crafty hugs to you

Paula x x x

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Hi blog buddies


I'm just a tad excited to be able to give you a little heads up about the forthcoming Funky Hand Design Team's very first BLOG HOP this weekend.  It's to celebrate the launch of the new Christmas themed craft CD ROM  'Twelve Crafters Crafting', which is officially released on the 5th of Nov, BUT  is going to be available to pre order on the website from this weekend!!  If you join in the fun with our blog hop you could be in with a chance of winning a fabby prize! Find out what it is on Saturday!!

So, just to let you know that it will be starting on Anice's blog, Funky Hand Thoughts on Saturday 29th October at 9am and you will be able to join in and add your answer right up until 12 midnight Sunday 30th.  The winner of the Blog Hop prize will be announced on Monday 31st.

It's going to be great fun hopping around the rest of the Design Teams Blogs seeing example of the cards and craft creations that we have been making with the new Christmas CD (its seriously enjoyable - I loved every minute and lost myself in my crafting loosing all sense of time - with only my family shouting me to pack in for the night!).

Anyway, get ready to see the usual high level of fabulous, funky and colourful creations and have fun with the rest of the Funky Hand DT (the Funkettes!). 

I'm starting to get really excited {{more squeals}} and this is my very first blog hop EVER - and as previously mentioned, it a first for Anice and Funky HandAnice has provided loads of details on her blog - and at 9am on Saturday when the hop kicks off - go to Anice's blog where she will be doing a short intro to get your juices a-flowing and to tell you all about the fun fun fun (You know there's fun in FUNky Hand CD's (was that poor or what?).  Don't worry, it won't be hard to do - but it will be lots of fun.

Hope to see you back here looking for your clue and to sneak a peek at what the new CD has to offer.
Sending you crafty hugs

Paula x x x

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Craft Room Security - Don't become another victim like I did

Have you ever had to consider the security of your craft room and your crafting items.  DO you have to lock them away through necessity rather than by choice?

Well, until recently, it's not something I'd ever thought of.  I didn't think that there were any true threats to my crafting tools, cardstock, consumables etc etc, due to living in a family where I am the only one interested in craft and being the only female (it's amazing what I can hide in my drawers in my craftroom)...

Like  most crafters, you have to have all the latest gadgets, tools, papers blah blah - and if you calculated the cost of all of this, it would probably amount to a fair pretty penny.  Have you considered insuring this as a separate entity - you would consider it if it were your jewellery - right?

Anyway, in this weird old world of ours, I actually have to insure the perpetrator, and I'm also going to name and shame too, but first a couple of pics that give you an idea of the devastation that can be caused when visited by the said perpetrator.  These were carefully placed in a plastic container and put away in a box, but obviously, my security wasn't tight enough.

Even my OH has been victim to the behaviour and had his prize pepper plants stolen and destroyed - clearly theft isn't enough here and has resorted to adding insult to injury.  He now has to think more strategically and plan things meticulously to avoid any repeat of this devastation.

A trail of devastation
One down, 2 to go (and they did)
So, here is the thief and head of destruction:
I'm sure he had white legs!
"They'll never know it was me"!
"oops... caught red-handed (or pawed)" - no mucky paws!
And why on earth did he go to all those lengths?

For this....
one of his favourite places is the mat at the back door... you can see his trail of soil in the sills of the door!!!
Yep, he destroyed 3 plants in the end for the sake of the pots they were in!  Once he had finished 3 healthy pepper plants off (that might have had fruit on right now), he found that he could make his way into the 'greenhouse' (we have one of those frame things that have a cover over and zip doors as we don't have room for a proper one)...  He often pinches plant pots that are bigger than his head.  And eats plugs of compost that are for setting seeds in.

Anyway, when he can't get outdoors - he resorts to 'bullying' the cats (not really, he knows his place as they have put him there a few times)!!!  However, he showed a bit too much interest in Katie Kitten's new 'Giddy Kipper' toy which was full of catnip - hence Katie being in raptures and quite oblivious to Buddy near enough having his nose on it!!!

"Can I have a chew please Katie?"
 So there you have it - the very reason I have had to increase my craft room security as there have been too many occasions when he's been found with a ROLL of ribbon under the kitchen table, a stamped image I've coloured to make a card with, a gift box I've made - and much much more.

Here is a picture of the security measures I have now taken to avoid repeat offences.

Quick, shut the gate, he's coming!

The gate is occasionally opened up for good behaviour!

Hope you enjoyed this latest post about my new woolly baby - I'm sure he'll feature many many more times on my little corner of the world wide web!!!
Crafty hugs

Paula x x x

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Funky Hand 25% off Sale - reminder!

Don't forget the FUNKY HAND SALE this weekend.  ALL Funky Hand products are on sale at  25% OFF - YES, you only pay 3/4 of the usual price!!! e.g. CD's usually at £16.99 will be £12.74 during the sale.  Buy any four things at the same price - the fourth one is basically FREE. 


 FREE P&P too on all orders over £10

Don't forget the sale includes downloads - Halloween, Wordbooks, Wedding themes, Love themes, winter themes, seasons, Christmas theme....

Just take a look before my fingers drop off by typing everything you get in the sale!!!

Thanks for looking

Crafting hugs

Paula x x x

Friday, 21 October 2011


Just a heads up to any of my followers/regular readers that, starting Saturday 22nd October 2011, FUNKY HAND are having a sale where there will be 25% off - that's right ONE QUARTER OFF all Funky Hand Products.

You will not believe this, but that even includes the brand new and recently released on Create and Craft:  'HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY' CD Rom:

Just think, If you bought all four of the Papercraft Factory CD ROMS, you are basically getting one of them for FREE.  Even if you have one or two of them already you still get 25% off whichever you don't already have!.. There are loads of Funky Hand products on the website to choose from - and even though some of the original Funky Hand backing paper CD's are at a fabulous price already right now, you still get 25% off of those prices too. NOW IS THE TIME TO BUY!

Basically, with the original CD's (and some of my favourite collections are on those), it's a case of miss it, miss out because once they have sold out, Anice will not be having any more produced, instead concentrating on the Papercraft Factory CD Roms.

The Papercraft Factory CD Roms also include:

Craft The Year Away

Colour Me Happy

Dreams Come True

(sorry about the above two icons being so small)...

When you count the papers, the digi stamps and the every popular Word Books over these four CD's, you'll be amazed.  Buy direct from Funky Hand and pay absolutely NO P&P.  Yes, and spend over £10 is P&P FREE.

There is more...
The sale also includes this very topical collection:

now this dowload includes 20 backing papers, 4 sets of alphas and toppers - and guess what...
during the sale, you can get this for a mere £2.62 (or thereabouts) - and you can download it straight away and be crafting for HALLOWEEN immediately!  WOW!

You seriously need to take a look round the shop and see all the products that you can buy at a fraction of the price starting tomorrow.  The sale includes all Funky Hand Products - please note, it does not include the Promarkers that are on the site, as this is not allowed.

Thanks for reading - I just wanted to make sure you got a bargain so that you can enjoy the FH CD's as much as I have over the years - remember, before I was a member of the DT, I was a genuine fan who got the 'position of her dreams' and that was a spot on the design team. In January, I will have been there a year!!!

Right, off to continue my samples for something very special that is coming up in the next few weeks - so please watch this space - or sign up for the newsletter from Funky Hand.

Here are some links for you:
Funky Hand Shop: click here

Funky Hand blog: click here

Funky Hand Challenge blog:  click here

Funky Hand Facebook page:  click here then 'like' (if it doesn't work, simply type Funky Hand in your search bar on Facebook)
Sending you crafty hugs

Paula x x  x

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Happy Happy Birthday - TV Samples

Hello Bloggers

The other day, I began doing a post, got sidetracked (not hard at all), came back, all the words had disappeared (now remember something happening to browser) so wondered where all my witty remarks had gone...

Fibromyalgia is an awful thing for the memory and thoughts process.  I find myself lacking in focus - even when it's ME that's speaking never mind when someone is trying to explain something to me!  It's quite a sickener at times, funny at others - don't worry, I can certainly take the micky out of myself! -  but this is just one of those things that i'm having to come to terms with.  Pain in one thing, but when it affects the faculties - that's entirely another! There I go again - digressing - which I suppose I was already good at anyway lol!!!

I think I was saying something like "in time old tradition, and after the proverbial missing horse and its stable door now being secured, I thought it was best that I tell my fellow bloggers/readers/followers (those who have wondered in thinking it was something else) all aboutthe release of Funky Hand's latest Papercraft Factory CD, "Happy Happy Birthday".  This is now the fourth CD in the PF series, further updating the previous ones with even more digis, sentiments and templates.

Whenever a CD is due for release, we generally get a copy a while before so that we can make the samples which Anice will take with her to dress the set with at Create and Craft TV.

It is usual for us to make about 5 samples each - and this time, so we covered the CD well, with no template or colour collection being left accidentally uncovered, we had a plan.  We each chose 2 templates and five colour collections to choose each.  Well, the reason for this post is because I never shared my samples with you.

As sad as I am, I obvioused SKY+ both the hours that Anice was on (way back on 15th September) - this would be for later boring family and friends with when I pointed out my samples and those fantastic ones of my fellow DT members.

Anyway, just a bit of a background to each Papercraft Factory CD ROM that Anice produces:

  • 20 patterned background papers
  • 12 different colour collections
  • Each collection based on a colour palette of 5 co-ordinating or contrasting colours
  • 100+ re-sizeable digi stamps and sentiments (both coloured and ready to colour/paperpiece)
  • 9 resizeable templates
  • 9 fonts in the 'writeable text' feature (and scaleable) in the same 5 colours for each collection plus black and white
  • 5 co-ordinating alphas + numbers for each colour collection (all resizeable)
Happy Happy Birthday and Craft The Year Away both update the previous two PF CD's (Dreams Come True and Colour Me Happy) by updating the workspace area and allowing them the template feature.

I have to say that it is a pleasure to use and you'd be hardpressed to make the same card as the next person because there are so many variations - then, when we take the resize function is taken into consideration....

Whether you prefer your cards CAS, whether you like big cards, small cards, busy cards, one layer cards or many layers on your card, 3D projects, home decor project - you name it these CD's have it covered.

The 12 collections are named as follows (in Anice's usual quirky style):
  1. Birthday Boy
  2. Birthday Girl
  3. Sunshine Birthday
  4. Blow Out The Candles
  5. Birthday Dude
  6. Birthday Gal
  7. Surprise
  8. Pressie Time
  9. Just 4 Men
  10. Cake Anyone
  11. How Old
  12. Winter Birthday
There seriously is something for everyone in this CD again - and added to the other collections - boy have you got a library to choose from!!!!

Right then, here are some my samples (as seen on TV) lol.... some were shown in more detail on TV, but at the end of the day, for me, the kudos is being on the Design Team in the first place whether or not they get picked out to be looked at specifically!

This is the project I chose to do with the 'Birthday Girl' collection.  I chose to do a split easel card (a first for me):

I used the champagne bottle and the glasses digi stamps that were already coloured, and used the text writer to create the two sentiments using the co-ordinating colours in this colour collection then die cut these out with Nelly Sneddon dies (rectangles 014).  I added glossy accents for the champagne spray and on the glasses - then sprinkled some glitter into it while it was fresh.  I added card candy above and below the images.

My next project is a stationery set I did using papers from the 'Surprise' collection, and using the envelope and notelets templates.

I made an outer cover by printing 2 co-ordinating designs one on one side and the other on the reverse by feeding it back into my printer.  These were ' direction non-specific' which means they are neither meant to be portrait or lanscape - but can be used either way (I've made that term up by the way). this was then folded into A5 portrait, pockets made with contrasting paper then labelled.  Using the templates, made envelopes and notelets, trimmed these and made them up to put in the pockets.  Decorated the front of the cover with rolled roses of the same design, using labels 15, I die cut, mat and layered the two DP's up then used the text writer in co-ordinating colour to read 'my little stationery set'.  Finished off with corners on the outside and inside.

Here is the result:

View of the front cover
View of the inside and contents
I made rolled roses to go on the front with a lovely aqua ribbon secured under the topper which closes the folder.  Inside you can see the wiggley notelets and matching envelopes made from the same two designs.  I bit of doodling with a fine line pen to finish off.

I'll just share one more of my samples in this post and leave the others for another post.

The next sample is from the 'Just 4 Men' collection.  This is such a lovely colour scheme for the male of the species - but works equally well if you use it with say a pink to bring it right up to date to use for a girlfriend.

This is such a popular digi image with the Design Team - we've loved using this image - perfect for 99% of blokes!  The greeting/sentiment was made using the alpha feature in co-ordinating colours.  I just LOVE the fleur des lys design which appears in each collection of course, in different colourways.

In a later post, I'll share the following collections with you which are the ones that I did samples using:
Cake Anyone and Winter Birthday.

I'd started this post on Thursday but Friday and Saturday where somewhat manic as I was doing a card all day Friday for my in-laws because it was their 50th Wedding Anniversary and I was late doing it (nothing new there), plus it was my FIL's birthday too, so I had to make 2 cards for him (one from us, one from the kids - DS1 put his card together, I just printed it out, cut it out, folded it... come to think of it - apart from sticking it together - I did the majority of it anyway... DS1 took full credit of course when he was told it looked like I'd made it... oh, and I told him where to stick things too, so all he did was the physical act of sticking it down lol!!!

Anyway, as I said, I started this post on Thursday (I has started the cards then btw), Friday busy all day; Saturday I didn't go to bed until about 4am as I got carried away working on the in-laws card, which involved playing with my Cricut Expression machine for the first time since I'd had it back in March!!!  So, because I went to bed late, my sister arrived before I was up.  We went to the My Craft Studio warehouse open day which is down the road from me - we met Nancy Watt, Stephanie and Diane Peternall there - it was funny because my sister was a bit 'star struck'!  She had a chat with them and they were prepping for a show this Wednesday where they launch a brand-new CD (which I've already bought, being a platinum member of the MCS Club).  Plus there was this most phenomenal product on sale which hasn't been on C&C yet - so just because I'm not sure whether it's a secret or not, I shall not mention the product but after they've launched it, i'm going to rave about it!!!!  Needless to say, I bought it...  So, that will be on at 9am on Wednesday so i'm going to watch that.

So, we went to MCS, then took a ride up to our local fabric shop where we buy our ribbon. Came back and did more work on the card and didn't finish it until about 7.30 turned - we were due to In-Law's Golden Wedding party about then, but got there for about 8.30pm.  Seeing as I no longer drink - and couldn't anyway because of my medication (this is why I don't, but I've lost the taste for it since I've been ill anyway) I was designated driver.

Then - on Sunday, I had the DAY FROM HELL.  It involved a certain new fella in my life (Buddy), and Poo.  I shall leave it to your imagination - but the poor lamb (ha!) has probably eaten some teddy fur which has caused some diverse effects.  But the day started off with me having a coffee in bed, brought to me by my thoughtful husband - but because just going out had tired me out, I fell to sleep sat up in bed with the coffee in my hand, which I tend to rest on my chest, and hold with my chin.  That woke me up and thankfully it wasn't piping hot, but I have scolded me in the past because I fall back to sleep easily (something to do with FM and having so much medication that makes me drowsy).  OH says it's almost like I've got narcolepsy (but not quite so severe).

Because of such a busy weekend, which included day from hell, I neglected to announce the start of a brand new challenge on Get Funky.  The theme this month is Autumn and the hostess is Amanda.  Click HERE if you want to check out her gorgeous card.

Well, that's it for this post - sorry it's a long one - but you know me by now (if you are a regular follower)!!!

More samples to follow and lots more chat and general banter to come.

Crafty hugs to you all, and thank you for reading.

Paula x x x


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