Hello you fabby readers. Hope you are doing fine after a couple of lovely spring days (well, 3 actually). Sunday was particularly lovely, and seeing as it was mine and my sons birthday, the weather was very welcomed and made for an even happier day. I even managed to sit out on the patio for all of a few minutes before I needed to get up to do something else... no rest for the wicked eh?
Friday before I was at health psychology, then my sister and mum visited (always loud and tense when they visit together - we're all very loud and talkative so I find that we are all competing to be heard. Now, I'm not saying that these two things are linked in any way, but when I went to bed on Friday night I had a really bad blinding headache. I didn't sleep all night because of the headache and consequently on Saturday, it had turned into a migraine of the highest magnitude. I felt sick and could barely lift my head. I even had to resort to having eye patch things on (which were courtesy of Virgin Atlantic a few years back). I spent all day in bed - the 3 men folk were thankfully very considerate and were quiet - then went to the local later on to watch the football. I think I eventually ventured downstairs around 7.30pm, when Harry Hill cheered me up no end.
Anyway, believe it or not, I've been somewhat productive this week so far. On Sunday I had to make my son his birthday card - because I'd not been able to do what I'd planned on Saturday. He moaned that I only did it on his actual birthday - so I reminded him that it was mine too and I was spending the time on him!!! I used Craft Artist to make him a 'quick' one. I had planned to do a tennis one using the Cricut, but obviously time wasn't on my side at this point, so a digital design and print was called for.
I found out that a couple of blogging friends also celebrated birthdays at the weekend, so if you know them, please wish them a Happy Birthday. That would be our Angie (Shozzy, from Shozzy's place) who celebrated on Saturday 10th March, then Karen (of Karen's Carry Ons) shared her birthday with me on the 11th. I know more people with the same birthday as me and Ashley.... Anyway, please wish Karen a Happy Birthday too.
OK, back to the desk and my creativity. Because I thought I would up the anti on a few cards to send out (and a few retrospective ones shall we say!), I decided to do some stamping so got my Anna Griffin floral stamps out and tried out a few mediums like water colouring with distress inks, promarkers, flexmarkers and coloured pencils... Comparing them all, and because of the intricate details and etchings of the stamps, the pencils gave the best finish by far.
On the desk you may just be able to see some of the matting and layering die cuts I did (far right infront of the CAMEO under the rose image (there is a pile there, but it might be a bit difficult to see). I cut the stamped images using Spellbinders Petite Ovals, so did some of my mats using Spellbinders label 10 dies and for a contrasting shape, I used Spellbinders Label 15 dies. At first I cut them all out in pink and green parchment cardstock (not parchment paper - completely different). I then cut some out in hot pink and a dark grey colour which will look lovely layered up - quite contemporary, particularly if I leave the stamp uncoloured and stamp in either hot pink, black or dark grey... I'll show the results if I decide to do that.
In the meantime, I've made a couple more cards using the Forever Friends Black and Gold collection. I'll show those in a separate post - otherwise this will become a very long post and I'm not used to doing long posts (**wink**)...
The sheet above was created yesterday by my sister on Craft Artist from Serif. She'd come to visit then realised she hadn't got a card for her friend who lives locally. Her friend was 40 yesterday and was in the same class as my sister at school. My sister and brother (twins) are 40 in April... more cards to create! Anyway, I ended up making a card for her friend (I did a Forever Friends Black and Gold card (Surprise surprise) but didn't have a number '40' to put on the front, so I started to create one rather than use peel-offs which I personally find a bit naff (sorry to all peel off users). Anyway, while we were at it I thought that seeing as I have loads of birthdays and lots of milestone ones, we'd make a sheet full. My sister really is a whizz with Craft Artist and had this done quite quickly. They were spaced perfectly to be able to be punched with a 1.5" circle punch - I used my Woodware one:
Oops - I thought I'd cropped this picture, oh well, at least it shows what I wanted it to. I've saved it so that I can print it again or change the numbers to suit. The alpha/numbers used are from the 1920's collection for Craft Artist and have a gold effect to them - perfect for the job. However, they can be changed using many different options within the program, it really is impressive and can do everything that Photoshop can do - only its far easier and far far cheaper than Photoshop. I have Photoshop Elements and am bamboozled when I open it - I think it really does need you to spend a lot of time getting familiar with what it can do, however, Craft Artist (CA) is pretty much very simple and very visual in that most of the functions and options are visible on the screen so you don't need to open too many menu's to find out how to do stuff. If you go to Daisy Trail, there is a free limited version of the software. Infact, I prefer it much more than My Craft Studio (MCS) and automatically use CA when I want to do something or print something out. You can import anything in it so all the artwork from MCS won't go waste, it's just the program I won't be using - while they keep updating it, it still doesn't have the full functionality that CA has, plus Serif provide free updates while you have to either be in the MCS Platinum club or purchase new released CD's. I also like Docraft Digital Designer as that is coming on leaps and bounds with its functionality and free updates, and is really easy to use too; not quite the functionality of CA, but overtaking MSC by a short mile. I have purchased all but one of the DDD releases so far - I missed the 'Me to You Spring Collection' but refuse to pay the full asking price for it. I only buy when it's launched for the offer price. I've just ordered the POTD from C&C which is the Papermania Capsule DVD-ROM.
If you think you could make use of the sheet of numbers, I've made the sheet into a PNG. Not sure what is going to turn out like - but please feel free to download:
If it doesn't work and you would like a copy, drop me an e-mail and i'll send you a copy. I've been playing about with it and the bottom right number 16 now has a stone effect (just playin'....)!
This post has been brought to you because I'm linking it up to Julia at Stamping Ground as she does a fantastic job of hosting the largest desk 'link party', 'blog hop' - call it what you will, on the interweb. We get to go and look at our fellow crafters desks and learn more about them and about what they are creating or not creating and whether they have a clean or untidy desk (mine is clean compared to my usual standard btw). It may not even be a desk you link up - but go and check out Julia's blog HERE and visit a few of your fellow crafters, quite literally across the globe. Leave some love and they will return it right back atcha!
Big hugs to all who read and hope you are well and will leave me a little comment to say 'Hi', or just to say you've stopped by.
Until next time,
Paula x x x