Wednesday, 29 August 2012

WOYWW 169 - an evening post


It's been a while since I last joined in - various reason really but usually health or distractions (see this post for more about those distractions!!!).

Some weeks I get as far as taking pictures of my desk, editing them to make them a size suitable for uploading, and that's it... I don't tend to get any further than that!

Anyway, here are my pictures with blurb for this week.

This is the left hand side of my desk - nothing really interesting apart from the triangular shaped things... these are all parts of a banner I'm currently making for my Niece, Tilly, who was 5 on Sunday.  I had started to make it later than I should have to be fair, but as I had already designed my files in Silhouette Studio (Designer Edition) I thought I'd be OK... that was, until my Silhouette Cameo decided to go a bit doolally when I needed it most, and started to cut about 3" in from where it was supposed to start.  It then got too far over the right and all of a sudden it made an awful awful noise and veered off the mat.  The blade is so sharp that even on number 4 it cut into my mat when it ran off the paper... oh dear!  I tried it several times and just about got the banners cut out and the letters and shadow.  Some of the cuts were overlapping and time was eating away because I needed to finish as I was due to go round an see her (they don't live far away).  I didn't make the card how I originally wanted to, but I did make a card I was kind of happy with in the end...  I'll post that later in this post or maybe in another.  

The jars of ribbon (I keep all my ribbons in mason jars - a different colour in each) were out because I wanted to string the banner up earlier, but I thought it best to put an eyelet into the holes I'd made in the cut file... no eyelets :o(  so off to the Internet to shop for some.  While I was looking, I came across this most amazing website for wedding stationery, so spent ages looking around it, that led me to a blog in Australia, then to Pinterest - you know the score.  Anyway, I wanted white eyelets but hadn't got enough of a matching colour to put two in each banner... so now, I think I've purchased every colour but white this afternoon while shopping but never ordered the ones that initially led me astray! Oh well, at least I did order some nice colours and silver should look nice.

aerial view of desk (well, my arm stretched actually)!!!
This shot of the desk is a bit more of an aerial shot (and no, I wasn't suspended from the conservatory pitched roof above my desk).  You can see my new Fiskars Trimmer (bought from The Range - loads cheaper than Create and Craft BTW) which is balanced on top of some papers I'd printed off for my project.  Some of them are Pink Petticoat and some are from off Serif (American Crafts kits - which are my favourite)...  

After my disaster on the Cameo on Sunday (when I literally tried everything to remedy the issues), yesterday it was working perfectly so I was able to finish off some of the bits I still needed to complete my project.

The butterflies on the desk have just been punched out of the waste bits after I'd cut some other bits and bobs out - waste not want not - I usually try and do this - and have a box full of butterflies no in all sorts of different colours. 

This is a view of the right of my desk where the Cameo resides - so that's always there - so handy and ready to go (but I usually have to tidy everything up that's in front of it first).  The pink folder has all my sheets of gems in - again, these are filed by colour.  It's an A5 folder and each of the sheets you buy of adhesive gems are filed in A5 poly pockets.  So are all the adhesive pearls in here - and posh brads!  All my other kind of gems are kept in other boxes with compartments.

The tin foil pie dishes there are for melting UTEE - you can just see something green in a packet resting on top.  That's a silicon mold for making my own embellishments.  It's from Chloe's Crafts, my sister bought it for me when we went to Doncaster in July for Summer Crafting (thoroughly enjoyed it, but I was so so exhausted afterwards - it took me a few days to get over it).  However, my sister has said that the pie tins are possibly a little too thick for getting the heat through enough for melting the thick embossing powder - but I'll still have to try it for myself before I take her word for it.  If not, I've seen Stephanie Weightman make a makeshift meltpot, so I could always resort to doing one of those...

The purple coloured box is a paper mache treasure chest from Hobby Crafts - I bought it to make it into a nice keepsake box for my sister, but have only got as far as painting the base colour so far.  However, the other night, I went on google to look for some inspiration, but couldn't find anything.  However, I remembered that a blog friend does a lot of 'off the page' projects using Tando Creative products- so I popped over to her blog the other night and became inspired by something fabulous she had done, so I know now what I want to do - although it isn't a copy of what she's done - i've just completely been inspired by it.  You might know Karen from Karen's Carry On's... did you know that we share a birthday - I found out this year when it came up on Facebook... on my Birthday - 11th March (which is also my son's)!!!  Anyway, this is the project I'm referring to - can you see the colour and why that sparked some inspiration - its similar to the colours I've painted my box - although i've put some silver and metallic purple acrylic paint on mine...

Well, this is the final shot for today - it's of all my Martha Stewart punches that I've decided to sell because I don't use them - and some haven't been used at all - others less than a handful of times so they're as good as new - but without packaging - I don't know about you, but who keeps their packaging from smaller craft items?  I've saved all my electronic machine boxes - and some bigger items, but not things like my punches!

Well, that was WOYWW 169.  If you want to know what it's all about, if I described it as the biggest blog hop on the planet that happens weekly, if I said that people from all over the world - and quite possibly every continent, join in; if I said that it was a nosey parkers curious crafters' dream come true - well, if you go over to Julia of the Stamping Ground HERE, she is the Sheriff of the outfit and will tell you more about it - don't forget to have a look at her desk while you're there, and leave a comment afterwards - you'll be amongst good company!

Thanks for looking, reading and staying with me - I've kept it short for you (seriously - this is short)!!!!

Massive crafty hugs, and TTFN (ta ta for now).

Paula x x x

Friday, 24 August 2012

Cardmakers Delight - and mine!!!

So lovely readers,

A short while ago (around about May actually), Tracy from Cardmakers Delights randomly got in with me and asked me if she could send me some toppers, and if so, would I make some samples out of them and show them on my blog...

Well, it's rather remiss of me not to have done a post about this earlier because, after a few 'what's the catch' emails from me, and a few reassurances from Tracy, I agreed - mainly because it was something different and something that gave me a bit of incentive to make some cards for no other reason (something which I used to struggle with to be honest).  I feel that I usually have to have a purpose for the card, otherwise it just feels like a waste of stash, bling and a card blank.

Anyhow, I actually really enjoyed using the toppers and making some very different cards.  I'd asked her to send  me some shabby chic/vintage ones - but stipulated that I didn't want any of those with 'real' faces on - you know the ones, photos from bygone times - of people that are long dead.  I didn't want to make cards with faces of people I didn't know, because I couldn't be sure that those people actually gave permission for their mugshots to be in such a public arena.  Yes, they could have been models, but also, they could be relatives of someone who once showed a photo and somehow ended up on a postcard.  Photos did that kind of thing when they were first being taken - back in the day.  Anyway, that's just one of my little idiosyncrasies...

Here are the cards - in no particular order, but all toppers are supplied by Tracy from Cardmakers Delights - click HERE to have a look at what she has on her website (even though I have masses of CD's for crafting - I rather enjoyed doing these - and would do more if asked ((that's if Tracy likes them)...

this was a bit of a challenge, as making a mans card is challenging enough - even when you make if from a set and you know you have all the matching stuff - but I didn't know what I'd got that would do the image justice - I am happy with how it turned out - but I think I'd do it differently if I had to do it again - or something similar.  A true challenge for me.

Now this was always going to have a doily behind it as soon as I saw it.  I love the colour of the roses and the butterfly, plus the old type face that says 'Post Card' - sums up vintage all over to me.

The papers used were from a collection of 6x6 K&Co pads that I have.  The ornate corner is a cuttlebug die, the sentiment is from stash.  Just above the right of the postcard is a vellum butterfly which I covered with stickles.You may just be able to make it out on the smaller picture.

This has to be my favourite out of all the cards I made.  I LOVE the corset with the flowers coming out of the top - but especially love the colour combo of the vibrant pink, the dusky aqua and the grey.  The green colour I used to marry up with this topper is a Bazzill cardstock called 'Sea Glass'.  I had some scraps left over from a wedding stationery commission I did recently.  The bottom later with the pattern on is actually a stamped image I'd done on a scrap piece of paper - it's been hanging around in my scrap file for months and months... It's an Anna Griffin Stamp that I stamped in a gold colour - it's not even embossed.  I've distresses it with Worn Lipstick from Mr Holtz.  The sentiment is from a box full of mixed sentiments I got from QVC a couple of years ago - they're Kanban and just came in an A5 clear box.  I've matted and layered the topper onto hot pink cardstock which I got from The Papermill Shop years ago - when they actually had shops you could walk into and select your own box full of papers/card.  The flower in the top right corner is from My Craft Studio, Paper Flower Expert - a die cut carnation, which I think looks really nice on this card - somewhat over sized, but perfect.  The little butterfly was die cut on my Silhouette Cameo whilst cutting something for the wedding stationery as its the Sea Glass cardstock again. I tend to fill in any gaps with little butterflies or flowers.   Across the centre is ruffled seam binding in Ochre, and the corners are done using the cuttlebug ornate corner die, as before.  Yep, this is my favourite.

Just one more for this post actually - I'll save some other for another post at a later date - but worth waiting for.

This one proved to be a bit of a design dilemma for me.  An iconic image in some very different colourways (which I loved, incidentally), it's just that I didn't seem to have anything to match it.  I wanted to pull out the green from the diagonal cross to mat the topper on.  Nothing I had worked, so I tried to colour match best I could by just drawing a rectangle in Serif software, and filling it with a colour I chose from the colour wheel.  It's not exact, but its not too bad a match that it looks too daft.  Next dilemma - how do I make this look?  I went for a fresh but shabby chic look by choosing to sit it on a doily - no additional colour added.  I'd made the crowns for another project (which I'll post later), so thought they were appropriate for the topper - and the time was right too.  It was around the Queens Jubilee that I made these cards, so it felt the appropriate thing to do.  Because of the fresh colours of the topper and the colour of the crowns, I decided to cover my card base in a baby pink paper with white dots.  Finished it off with some card candy in pink, and 'stickled' that and the crowns.  I love how it turned out, but this had been the biggest challenge.  After all, you have to get the Union flag just right.   The stamped sentiment is from my Anna Griffin set of sentiment stamps, and stamped using Archival ink.

As an aside - and many of you will already know this (you clever people) the flag is only called a Union 'Jack' if it is being flown at sea.  I never knew this until someone pointed it out to someone else on Facebook (not a crafter, no, it was at the time of the Jubilee, I think someone got fed up of people referring to the Union Jack's being waved or something..

I hope you have enjoyed looking at what I did for Tracy - and I hope Tracy is happy with them - only this is her first glance at them too.  If you like the toppers and would like to make your own cards with them - I thoroughly recommend them.  They are a decent weight - a bit like a playing card I guess (I'm sure it's on Tracy's Website somewhere).  What I do know it that they are very reasonable priced.  Not that Tracy told me - I've been to have a peek at them HERE. I know I'd buy them - they'd be great for bulk projects like invitations - or if you are making to sell your cards...  Anyway, just check out the site for yourself - there are some things on there that I didn't get in my little dozen or so bundle - and I've got my eye on some!

Thank you for reading - hope you enjoyed these projects.  I'd love to read your feedback.

Big hugs

Paula x x x

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

What distracts you when you're trying to craft?

Wow, how overdue for a blogpost am I?

I've written several over the past few weeks; usually to join in with WOYWW, hosted by our lovely Julia from Stamping Ground, but I never get round to finishing it off as there is always some distraction or other.  I take the photo's of my desk then spend far too much time editing them and making them into a size that is easier for uploading.  I'll also write a couple of paragraphs to describe what is in the photo's - and then I might go round the houses (as you do), and before I can finish off, something will distract me.

Now that can be a number of things: the kids; having to cook tea; my mum or sister visiting; the kids (worth a second mention); but most of all - it's this little monster that is responsible for those very distractions.


Hard to believe looking at these pictures - it's as if butter wouldn't melt.  Believe me, butter wouldn't get a chance to melt.

He likes to do things he's not supposed to do, so I am constantly having to break off what I am doing just so that I can check up on him when he's gone quiet - which is the worst because you know he's up to something out of sight and is somewhere he's not supposed to be either!

He normally likes to pinch things we keep in the garage.  Take toilet rolls for example.  We keep excess packs in there, as we have a big cupboard full of surplus supplies.  One time I was at the craft desk when I suddenly realised that he was quiet and I couldn't see him.  But look out of the conservatory door and this is what I saw.  This was the first pack of 9.  He'd already started on a 2nd packet, but that's when I caught him.

Below is the remnants of a large tasselled curtain tie-back, that despite being told to leave alone, he'd make his way on to the bay windowsill via the nearest armchair.  This is the result of a good old tie-back eating session.  Obviously, it went into the bin!

Below is my favourite pair of glasses that he stole off my chest while I was asleep.  Unbeknowing to me (or anyone else), since I've been on lots of medication, I do things without knowing when I am dropping to sleep... one of them is that I take my glasses off - they usually end up round my neck, but sometimes on my chest if I'm laid down... well, I must have dozed off in the conservatory one time and automatically put them there (the other thing I do by the way is twitch - big style (just in case you were still wondering what was the other thing I did)... I woke up and the first thing I did was to look for my glasses.  Down the side of the sofa, under the pillows, on the floor; no, IN THE DOG BASKET!!!

Anyway, I had two spare pairs, so all was good (I used to be in Westfield Healthcare and needed to get rid of my glasses allowance (or lose it), so I had 4 pairs of glasses at once).  The second pair didn't last long either.  I went to the bathroom one morning and came back to one of the arms having dropped off, so was down to my 3rd pair (the 4th were sunglasses).  Now although I am still wearing the 3rd pair, I've had to mend them with micro pore tape - on the ends of the arms that go behind the ears.  So they don't scratch me, because he bit the ends of which exposed the metal!  Oh, and I have to colour them in black too because he chewed the front near the lenses - loads of dimples in (teethmarks).  I'm not sure what people must think when they look it me.  Oh, there is a tooth mark on the lens itself too, which I mistake all the time for a fly or piece of dirt.  I think he's just about got bored with them now he's done all the damage!!!

 Here he is eating his fourth pepper plant.  The first ones my husband had grown.  He really did have a taste for these... most of all though - he loves playing with plant pots and has spent more time playing with empty plant pots than he has any other toy he owns...
Here is a pot of sequins that he just decided he liked in the craft room.  He likes to help himself to things you see.

I had to put a baby gate up to the craft room - which is really our conservatory - which is open plan just off the kitchen, so no doors to close.  Well, we never knew we were going to have a buddy when we had the work done!!!
Here he is with his lampshade on just after he was castrated... that wasn't the real problem though.  When we had him, he had a hernia so we waited until he could have them both done at the same time so he would just be subject to the one anaesthetic.  He managed remarkably well, although he managed to break out of it eventually.  I had to lace it up with some ribbon to keep it on.

This was his first Christmas -ever.  He took a liking to the decorations.  This one used to look like a snowball in the way that it had been made - well, it didn't last too long - although I've had these for years and years!  It wasn't the only casualty of the festive season.
All of a sudden - just one day, he started to jump in the bath.  We figured out it was his way of telling us he was thirsty.  He continues to do it, but you know how you (everybody must) have an old measuring jug in the bathroom - well, you have to fill it up with cold clean water for him and he drinks it until he's had enough.  It usually means he has a wet beard afterwards - but I find his powers of communication amazing.  When we are downstairs - he scratches the glass door on the washing machine when he wants fresh water - almost like he's digging the door!!!

 This is my mums mobility scooter.  Funnily enough, I have other pics like this with our Bedlington on, and also our tabby cat.  He looks as if he owns the thing!

This is pretty comical, because I have a few of photographs with him with this ball slinger.  He trots about the garden with it - when he manages to fathom out how to pick it up, that is.

The idea is to play with the ball that is thrown, not the slinger!

My son is a tennis player, so we have old tennis balls all over the garden, yet he's still rather play with this!  It's funniest though when he's trying to get through a doorway with it and can't understand why he gets stuck!

During some of the really hot, muggy weather we've had recently, I've had to put the fan on for him.  Well, you'd think it was for him seeing as he claimed it!!

Being naughty but cute, can be really tiring, especially when he's had me running round after him checking up on him, taking things off him, telling him off, stopping him from barking or tormenting the cat.  Well, it's all in a days work for him... he'll never change - or at least I wouldn't change him for the world, but he's having an impact on my blogging!!!!!

So there you have it.  The biggest single most reason for my lack of blogging - or at least for me not blogging as much as I want to.  I'll have to turn a blind eye to some of what he's getting up to - but then again, if I do, what state will home, garden and nerves be in?

In a future post, I'll publish some photos of my other dog, Dylan.  He is a very proud Bedlington who isn't always so tolerant of Buddy.  They are very different in personality, but I think Dylan has mellowed no end since we had Buddy.  He's had to for his own sanity.  So have the cats!

That's it for now, I'll bring some nice pics of Dylan at a later date, but I'll do some cards in the next post.

Bye for now
Big crafty hugs

Paula x x x


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