Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Review: Cardmaking & Papercraft - Issue 108 (September 2012)

Soooo, excitement all round when the new issue of Cardmaking & Papercraft dropped through my letterbox on Friday, I think a week before it hits the shops.  Apologies if this review is not as good or lengthy as normal, but I am full of cold and sooo sleepy, I may fall asleep mid-typing.  I might also get very distracted and write a load of gibberish as I'm writing this watching some Olympic swimming.  I hadn't intended to, but am finding the Olympics quite hypnotising, even if I don't understand a thing about sports in general.

Anyway, back to the magazine . . .

When I got home from work after a very tiring day, as we have been moving offices, and no-one but me seems able to lift a box these days, it was a welcome surprise to find the magazine in the letter box.  It meant I could sit down and have a read.

This month's issue comes with a free Summertime paper collection, with some very pretty papers.  In the magazine, there is also some money off vouchers for the Creative Craft Shows taking place later in the year.

There are also loads of giveaways and competitions in this issue, where you can win:
  • Sizzix Big Shot starter kit;
  • tickets to the Big Stamp and Scrapbooking Show on the weekend of 22nd/23rd September;
  • a Stampendous steampunk goody bag;
  • a Nigel May Craft into Christmas gift set;
  • a Woodware set;
  • a £100 craft bundle.
Subscribers can also win:
  • some Tonic punches;
  • Penny Black flower stamps.
Sooo, for the first time in a while, I actually really like the Joanne Sheen card in her column.  This card uses one of her Gruffies stamps, and is so cute.

I also like all the Steampunk cards in 'Victorian Moments' and this is a trend I would really like to get into, as I think steampunk cards make great cards for boys.  Fingers crossed I win the goodie bag (hint! hint!).

The Handmade with Love card in the subscriber's section is possibly my favourite card in the whole issue, based on a haberdashery theme, with a different use of ribbon, but to a really great effect.  I think I will attempt my own version of this card once I am feeling better and have the energy to sit in my craft room and craft again!

As always, there are ideas on how to use your freebies, and in this issue there are a few ideas I like.  There are also 10 ideas with ribbons, including rosettes, weaving and frames, and plenty of Quick Makes in various themes, including a few for the male of the species.  I particularly like the girly 'Happy Birthday' decoupage card and the 'For You' card.  This issue also has 6 ideas on how to do shabby chic and 5 ideas for teens - always so difficult to find inspiration for.  I really like some of the digistamps used in this feature, particularly the make ones, as teenage boys are always so difficult in general.

This issue also has 6 ways with peel-offs and 20 minutes makes features the lovely butterfly cover card.  I love the papers used on this card, which would be great for boys' cards, as well as girls'.  The Pink Paislee Prairie Hill 6x6 pack might just have to be a treat to myself this month.

The Cardmaker's guide to Shrink Plastic has some great hints and tips on how to use shrink plastic effectively and prevent mistakes.  There is also inspiration, tips and instructions on how to stamp fabric, with some lovely cards that would make amazing new home cards, in Fun with Fabric.

In Autumn Days. Jane Gill shows us how to make a wreath using paper and large circular punches.  I like the idea of this wreath, but unless you already have the punches in your stash, they would be pretty expensive to buy, requiring 4, all prices between £6 and £13.

There are also some great cardigan-style cards in Best Dressed.  Team these up with a necklace, as shown in the magazine, and they also make a great gift, as well as a card.

3 Ways with Sketches this issue has some back to school/thank you teacher ideas.  I am teaching the basics of using sketches at my next workshop, so this has given me some ideas.

In The Colour Clinic, Sharon Armstrong demonstrates how to colour with chalks - a new technique I have not previously come across, but looks like it gives great results.

I love the article about Skull and Cross Buns founder, Emily Fox, as this is something I would like to do in the future.  Now, just to source a photopolymer stamp making set.  Any ideas?  I also liked the article about Sharianne Creber, and how crafting helped her deal with postnatal depression.  This is something I can understand, suffering from depression myself, and finding crafting is a good therapy for this.  I also admire Sharianne for speaking out about her postnatal depression, as I think this still has a bit of a stigma about it, and having supported my sister through it twice, any awareness that can be raised of the condition is always a good thing as far as I'm concerned.

I think this issue hits the shops on Thursday, so go buy it!

Happy Crafting.


Monday, 30 July 2012

Crafty! Crafty!

Soooo, I've had quite a big crafting weekend, but I don't seem to have done anything in particular, just loads of little projects and trying out of new things.  I've been doing these in my new craft room (eeek!), which I'm also now sat in writing this blog.

Sooo, first off, I've been making some cards.  This first one was an order from my step-mother (non-wicked) for her niece's birthday in a couple of weeks.  

I took the design from an old issue of Crafts Beautiful (February 2012), in fact the first one I ever bought.  This magazine has brought me so much inspiration, particularly this issue, as it is also this issue that I got the idea for my needle cases and house pin cushions from, along with my inspiration to start heat embossing and the baby blankets I make.  In fact, I blame this issue for my addiction to crafting!

I've also been celebrating the birth of my oldest friend in the whole wide world's baby.  I would like to congratulate Kirsty and her fiance, Martyn, on the birth of their baby boy - Joseph Steven Oliver.  I've not had a cuddle yet, as she was still in hospital at the time of writing this post, but from the photos I have seen he is the cutest little thing.  I usually think newborns are quite ugly until they start to look like themselves, but not this one.  I may, of course be biased.  Panic not though people, I had my nieces for a couple of hours this morning and any mild pangs of broodiness vanished about 5 minutes after they stepped through the door.  They did do my housework for me though, so I may have them a bit more often . . .

Anyway, back to the crafting.  For Baby Joseph (well, Kirsty and Martyn actually) I have made this card.  

I just love this Papermania sheep stamp and have used it before for baby cards.  The butterfly comes from a little set I got from Morrisons last week.  They are starting to get a relatively decent crafty/arty section, even if their fresh fruit is shocking quality at the moment, resulting in my defection to Asda on Saturday.

I am also in the process of making a boy version of this lovely personalised baby plaque.


This is one of the ones I made for the twins last week.  A post will follow on these properly once I have finished off Joseph'[s.  In fact, I may tie that in with my visit to Joseph, so keep checking the blog.

Card-wise, I've also made this new home card (another order from the step-mother) for her friend.  

The mosaic design was taken from an old issue of Cardmaking & Papercraft, as was the design for this cricket-themed card, albeit a different issue, which was an order from my Grandma.

Finally, card-wise, also an order from my step-mother (she does keep me in business and find me plenty of challenges) are these little gift tags.

In fairness, these were pretty easy to make, cutting up an old card which I'd lost the envelope for, and treated the same way as making any other card.  The only thing with these was I had to make my own envelope, but I'm now getting pretty practised at these.

Away from cards, I had my first attempt at making a hair clip using my brand spanking new shiny die-cutter.

To make this, I used the Hearts Bigz die that came with my Sizzix Big Shot.  I cut three of each size heart from some remnant patchwork-print fabric, and fabric-glued them together into a flower shape.  I then finished it off with a button to the centre, and attached a hair grip to the back.  Admittedly, it is a little off-centre, but it is my first, and the nieces were around my feet whilst I was trying to make it.

I've also made a start in my wedding invitations.  Ok! Ok! I've made one, but it is a start.  

The design for these was featured in the last issue of Cardmaking & Papercraft.  They have got a few of the facts wrong, for example, Phil is still to get down on one knee, but never mind.  I believe it is still in shops, so go buy it!  I've stuck broadly to the design by my sister, using the stamps that I had bought.  She is home in a couple of weeks, so she can authorise my amendments then.

Finally, I've been prettying up jars, inspired by a project in this month's Simply Homemade, which is a magazine I have just recently started buying, but is amazing!  So many great ideas.  This is my first jar:

And this is my second, as yet unfinished:

Soooo, busy weekend of crafting.  I'll blog more about certain things on here later in the week/week after, and no doubt I will be doing lots more this coming week.

Happy Crafting!


Friday, 27 July 2012

Hantex Create

Sooo, this week's blog for you comes from Hantex - Great ideas for creative people from Hantex...a premier wholesale source of sewing, knitting & craft products in Europe.


Happy Crafting.


Thursday, 26 July 2012

Craft Room . . . Finally!

Soooo, I finally have a craft room, or rather half of my spare room, which is MY space for crafting.  My fiancĂ©, Phil, can finally reclaim his kitchen (even though it is OUR kitchen, and I probably spend more time in it that he does) and I can have some peace and quiet when I want to craft.

It is by no means finished yet - I still have to sort out my storage solutions as I'm fed up of everything in boxes.  I think some more sets of drawers will do the job nicely, and I also want a set of shelves to store my magazines and bits and bobs so I can get them off the actual table, so it can be a usable sewing area too.

To get my craft room has required some work and planning.  First off, I had to get rid of the spare bed, but still retain something for guests (i.e. the nieces to sleep on).  So, the spare bed got donated to my boss, Maureen, for one of her grandchildren when they stop at hers, and Phil's parents kindly donated a futon sofa bed they were getting rid of.  Then the room needed tidying and rearranging.  A huge clear out was undertaken, but we still have so much stuff to sort, as the other half of the room is going to be Phil's office area for his web and graphic designing.

The table comes from Ikea, and is a present from Phil - testament to how much he wanted me out of the kitchen I think.  He bought it for me on Tuesday and had a rare manly hour or so putting it together for me.  I then organised everything last night and made it all look as pretty as I possibly could.  I've tried to use some ingenius storage solutions, most things are in pickled onion jars (Phil east a lot of pickles onions!), and my promarkers are in a plant pot donated by my friend, Sue.  She actually gave me it so I could attempt to grow some garlic, so I will replace it when I find something else (maybe another plant pot).  

I intend to pretty up as much as I possibly can.  I saw a great decopatch project to jazz up glass jars in the latest issue of Simply Homemade, which uses printed napkins.  I've bought some pretty napkins from Wilkinsons and might have a go at this at the weekend if I get chance.  I'm not sure whether to risk using normal PVA glue, or go get some proper decopatch glue.  I suppose it depends if I have the car on Sunday or not to be able to get to The Range or Hobbycraft.

Oooooh, I can't wait to while away the hours in my new craft room and make it pretty pretty pretty.  As always, I will keep you updated on all the many things I make and all the alterations I make.

Happy Crafting.


Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Coming Up Roses

Sooo, when I was at the Stephanie Weightman craft fair last weekend, I learnt how to make flowers from ribbons.  My grandma bought me a starter kit for these as a very early birthday present (my birthday isn't until December) and I have been quite addicted to practising ever since.

Be warned . . . there are lots of photos in this post . . .

The kit consisted of about 40 metres of ribbon in varying colours, an instructional DVD, a ribbon shredder (with both large and small shredding sizes), some skewers and some floristry tape.

I've not actually watched the DVD yet, but at the craft fair the stall holder taught me to make two of the flowers - a rose and a chrysanthemum.  I've been practising and practising these.

The roses are made by folding the ribbon in a certain way to get square layers of ribbon and then twisting it to get the petals.  This is the one that I made at the craft fair, for which I only got six out of ten.  I think it was worth more . . .

They are quite simple to make.  The tricky bit is trying to get the petals in the right places, and not just making a cone.

The chrysanthemums are simple too, once you get used to the ribbon shredder, and involve wrapping different lengths on ribbon around a skewer.

I've made roses in all different sizes, and I've attempted the chrysanthemums in different sizes too, but with less success.  I just can't seem to get the hang of using the smaller side of the shredder, but I will keep trying.  Making smaller roses is much easier, as you just use thinner ribbon.

This is the selection I had made up until the weekend.  I took them to show my grandma (at her request) on Sunday, and she bleeding well kept the lot!

I love the rose and the simplicity of it, but the chrysanthemum is my favourite flower (because they last for ever - even without water!), and my favourite to make, so I think there will be many more of these in every colour possible.

I'm going to do these as a How To each at some point in the future, and have had a request to base one of my workshops around the roses.  This will be at my 16th September workshop (my 12th August workshop is basic card making techniques).  Before then, I intend to actually watch the DVD and see what else I can learn to make.  

In the meantime, I've already had two orders for single chrysanthemums:  one for my friend, Sue, who wanted an aquamarine one to put in a thin vase in her kitchen; and this pink one for another friend, Sobia, who was complaining that I never make her anything.  All she has to do is ask . . . 

Happy Crafting.


Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Stamp Storage

Sooooo, I've been too busy/lazy (delete as applicable) to write a blog post for today and honestly was going to let you all go without - one day won't kill you surely? But then I came across the geniusness that is today's blog post from Tonic Studios : Blog tonic: Stamp Storage


Happy Crafting


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Monday, 23 July 2012

Review: Crafts Beautiful Issue 244 (September 2012)

Sooooo, hello and welcome to my review of this month's Crafts Beautiful, which this month comes with a set of unmounted stamps for all occasions.

So, I'm sure most important to you all are the giveaways, which this month are:
  • Tickets to the Knitting and Stitching Show, London 11-14 October
  • Kidzcraft kits
  • Crafts4Kids Happily Ever After boxes
  • Sizzix Big Shot and Happi Bigz Dies
  • Trimmits/Berisfords starter set
  • Buster Books’ Things to Make and Doodle
  • Restrospot Baking Kit
  • Badge It! Maker
  • Stephanie Weightman cake-decorating products
  • Jewellery Making Starter Kit

There are also some money off vouchers for The Happy Days range at The Range and 20% off classes at London Jewellery School.

The layout of the magazine is slightly different this month, but not so different as to change the magazine altogether.  Articles and features are just in a slightly different order to the usual.  For example, Dawn Bibby's column is no longer at the back of the magazine, as in previous issues.  Instead, the back page now features Sara Nauman's Mixed Media Clinic, a new feature (I think).  Also, Dawn Bibby's column is more of a questions/agony aunt feature.

I've not yet had time to make anything from this issue (keep checking back this week for what I was up to at the weekend to take up all my time), but the ones I like most are:

  • Time for Tea – I am loving the little egg cosies made from scarps of fabric.  My previous attempt at egg cosies was not so successful, but these are so cute, I think I will just have to try again.
  • The homemade embosser in the baking section.  My sister makes cakes professionally, but I have never seen her do this, I'm not even sure if she is aware of the technique, but it is amazing.
  • Queen of Hearts - a cute crocheted beret and bootie set, which in fairness I will probably never make, but I've given my sister the pattern.  I think she may attempt it for my friend's twins, which were born on Sunday morning.  Welcome to the world Seren and Sienna.
  • On the Tiles – mosaic coasters, which make me want to try mosaic.
  • The Monochrome Cameo card in Timeless Style.  I am liking the current trend for cameos and in this monochrome style it looks really classy.
  • House to Home - some brightly coloured new home cards.
  • Cut Out and Keep – Nautical Designs, as I love the little boat designs, which are stamped, but look easy enough to draw. 

 Other features include:

  • photo-cards;
  • tuscan-inspired cards;
  • lily-motif cards, with free downloadable motifs;
  • the different ways stencils can be used;
  • flower card and gift box made using spellbinders flower dies;
  • cards for men;
  • gift set for dog-lovers;
  • stationary set;
  • quilled cupcake gift boxes;
  • china painting;
  • how to make (and decorate a lamp with) organza flowers;
  • daisy-design jewellery;
  • polymer clay roses;
  • fabric-covered storage boxes;
  • decoupage and decopatch; and
  • and interview with Leonie Pujol

Happy Crafting.


Friday, 20 July 2012

Through The Craftroom Door

Sooo, this week's blog hop comes from Through the Craft Room Door.

This is a challenge blog, with a new challenge each week.  It shows the submissions, so is great for ideas and inspiration.

The main website http://http://craftrmdoor.ning.com/ has a further gallery with more photos of projects.


Happy Crafting


Thursday, 19 July 2012

How To: Tea Bag Folding

Soooo, I realise that I haven't done a How To recently for all my lovely readers, so here is one for you.  

Tea bag folding is a really easy technique and can be used to make all sorts of shapes.  I'll be turning mine into a cupcake topper for a card, so have used circles, but you can use any base shape really.

So, here is how to do the basic fold:

You will need:

  1. Paper.  Do not use card, as this is much more difficult to fold.
  2. Die-cut and circular dies, or scissors.
  3. Bone folder.
  4. Glue.
How to make:

  1. Cut/die cut a circle.
  2. Fold the circle in half.  Use a bone folder to ensure a crisp crease.
  3. Unfold, and fold the circle in half again, so that the creases form a cross.  Again, use bone folder to ensure crisp crease.
  4. Leave folded in a semi-circle and push one of the corners towards the centre.  Repeat for the other side.  Again, use a bone folder to ensure crisp creases.

This is your basic tea bag folded shape.

To make into a cupcake:

  1. Make three more of these shapes.
  2. Cut a cupcake case shape and glue to some backing paper.
  3. Arrange the four tea bad folded shapes to create a cupcake top.  Fold them in half and layer over each other as desired to get the shape you want.  Glue into place.
  4. Decorate the top of the cupcake as desired.

See, simple really.

Happy Crafting


Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Summer Crafting

Soooo, on Saturday I went to the Stephanie Weightman Summer Craft event at Doncaster Racecourse.  I'd won tickets from Crafts Beautiful on Twitter and was very excited to go.  Originally, my sister was supposed to be going with me, but she cancelled on me with a week's notice, so my Grandma volunteered to come with me, and I'm glad she did!

First off, I was very surprised that my little wreck of a car got us from Leeds to Doncaster quite easily, and that I didn't get lost.  I think my Gran was impressed with that bit too.

We arrived shortly after 10 to free parking (bonus!), although Grandma wasn't too impressed about having to walk over the grass, and therefore worms, where we had parked. She is terrified of worms, but it was funny!

Anyway, we arrived a bit parched so went and got a coffee, and then started our mission of working our way around the (what seemed like) millions of stalls.  

It was really busy - much busier than I expected, and each stall was ridiculously busy, but there were certain things I wanted to get.  Some things, like glue and tape I could get from a variety of stalls, and actually managed to get from one of the first ones relatively cheap.  Most of the stalls that I could be quite interested in though, I couldn't get to, such as the Flowersoft stall.  It did not help that some people were so rude and just barged into you without apology.  As usual, I found myself apologising for other people barging into me.  I fully expected all 5 foot nothing, of my skinny minnie Grandma to floor one woman (at least 5 foot 8 tall, and not exactly on the small side) who barged into her and then told my Grandma that she was taking up too much room!  Honestly, the rudeness of some people never fails to amaze me!

Anyway, I managed to visit the Lili of the Valley (www.liliofthevalley.co.uk) stall, which for those of you who don't know is a stamp/die-cut company based in Farsley - about 20 minutes from my home.  I didn't buy anything there, as it was still busy, even if you could actually get to the table, but I did pick up a leaflet about their open day on 11th August.  I'm now in the process of trying to book on one of their workshops on that date.  I have emailed off and I am now just waiting to hear back.

Another stall I really liked was Personal Touch With Ribbon (www.personaltouchwithribbon.co.uk), which held workshops there and then on how to make roses from florist ribbon.  Here is my attempt, which only got a 6 of out 10.  I think it is worth more.  

They sold kits which included 40 metres of ribbon, a ribbon tool, glue, glitter, floral tape and an instructional DVD showing you how to make a variety of flowers.  My Grandma bought me one of these as a very early birthday present (my birthday is not until December!).  They also sold a DVD showing how to make very impressive bows.  I didn't get this DVD, but I did  learn how to make a butterfly, and I may treat myself later.

I really liked the HobbyFun UK stall.  I didn't buy anything (due to lack of funds) but I really liked their products.  I don't quite know how to describe them, as they are so unusual, but please have a look at their website www.hobbyfunukltd.co.uk which should be able to explain better than I ever could.

Finally, at the Pink Frog Craft & Cards stall (www.pinkfrogcraftandcards.co.uk), my Grandma loaned me some money to finally buy my die-cutting machine.  Yay!  The lady at the stall, Michelle, was lovely.  She spent time going through the pros and cons of both the Big Shot and Cuttlebug with me, even showing me how to use the Big Shot (which I had decided on), using loads of different makes of dies, and how to emboss, with embossing folders and dies.  She also explained how I could use other things, such as lace, to emboss.  She really was a lovely, kind and helpful person, which is why I decided to buy the Big Shot there and then, along with a Solo Thin Die Adapter (which they threw in for free), and rubber embossing mat.

Anyway, I came away with loads (no freebies though), and really enjoyed myself.  I'm now looking forward to the next one.

Happy Crafting.


Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Review: Let's Make Cards Issue 53

Soooo, off I toddled last Friday to buy the new issue of LMC.  I'd got up early so I could get into town early and call at Tesco to pick it up on my way into work.  The plan had been to have a browse of it whilst I was drinking my coffee before I started any actual work.  But, disaster struck!  Tesco didn't have a copy.  I was most disappointed but reasoned that WH Smith (only a five minute walk away) would have it, so off I toddled to there instead. Nooooo, it was shut.  Didn't open until 8.45.  No wonder it is going down the pan if they don't even open for people to get their morning newspapers until most people are actually at work.  It doesn't surprise me that they are losing out to the supermarkets.  Anyway. I just accepted that I would have to wait until lunchtime to get the magazine, and consoled myself with a free latte from Cafe Nero instead.  I spent my morning working hard, and come lunchtime, off I toddled again to get my magazine.  Tesco still didn't have it on the shelves, but WH Smith did, and was by this time open.

Issue 53 of LMC comes with a Vintage Kitchen cardmaking kit, which includes:
  • Decoupage Sheet
  • Card Blanks
  • Dress-Shaped Card Blanks
  • Backing Papers
  • Die-Cut Motifs
  • Ribbons
  • Buttons
  • Pegs
  • Gems
  • Wire
  • Glitter
  • Foam Pads
  • Border Strips
  • Die Cut Sentiments
  • Printed Letters & Numbers
  • Mesh
  • Die Cut Toppers
  • Chipboard Accents.
It has all the usual features:  letters page, Corinne Brad's column. with a quick how to on soap making etc, along with lots of How Tos, which this month includes how to:

  • make a scalloped edge without a die-cutting machine
  • make a triangular blank
  • make a teapot aperture card
  • use a binding machine
  • form a decoupage motif
  • create a double easel card
  • use masking when stamping
  • make a penny slider.
There are also the giveaways, which this month are:

  • Daisy Trail Summer digikit
  • Silhouette Cameo
  • Berisford's ribbon set
  • Trimmits' glitter glue kits
  • Dotcomgiftshop vintage party kit
  • Fantastic Ribbons' Christmas Homespun pack.
As always, first feature proper is cards you can make using just your kit.  This month has 17 vintage cards for you.  My favourite, I think, has to be 'Always Time', which features a cute teapot decoupage motif.  I also like the final three cards, which are actually mini cards: 'Thank you', with a funky cherry motif; 'Kisses', featuring a strawberry motif; and 'Pink Roses', featuring what it says on the tin really - pink roses.

The next feature uses the chipboard motifs in the card kit, of which my favourite has to be 'Sweet Treats', featuring lots of scrumptious strawberries - I can almost taste them looking at the card, and at least the slugs haven't got to these ones, unlike the ones in my garden.  This page also has a coordinating strawberry tealight holder from tch.net, which I love.

Next is 5 Cards Using the Graphtec Silhouette Cameo, which has some lovely cards the Silhouette Cameo.  My favourite is 'Spotty Dress', which I have tried to recreate here:


This is not an exact copy of the card in the magazine, as I don't have a Silhouette Cameo, but did the best I could colouring a doily red to make the bottom part of the belt, and using my new toy, my Sizzix Big Shot, to die cut the flowers.  This is the first card I have made using my new Big Shot, and I have decided to use this card for my office manager's birthday, which is today.

Despite not having the Silhouette Cameo, I am hopeful, as LMC are giving one away this month, which would save me a nice £300.

The Silhouette Cameo is also used in the 10 Minute Masterclass to make a pretty tag featuring hearts and roses.

Tracey Daykin-Jones shows you how to shape your card blanks in Top Makes With Your Card Blanks, including triangles, circles, stars, a semi-circle rocker, a handbag and a cake-shaped card.

The Crafter's Guide has a guide to making the most of apertures, with hints and tips on how to create them, with what products and how they can add interest.

This issue also has a Child's Play feature, with ideas to keep the little ones entertained over the summer holidays and a how to make your own playdough.

In Card School, Corinne Brad (fast becoming one of my favourite designers with all her brilliant designs and ideas) shows you how to make an origami fold card, which although I haven't had chance to attempt yet, I will be trying at some point in the future hopefully.  So far, I have a pretty free weekend ahead of me, so maybe I will try it then.

Corinne also shows you how to make books and mini wallets, perfect for storing recipes, and mostly using the free kit.  Then she shows you how to make 4 Girlie Cards Using Gorjuss Stamps.  I love the you're a star card, which is very versatile.  I'm tempted to invest in this stamp, but as this will be the first month without my pub wage, I shall have to see how many pennies I have spare.

I made my first decoupage card following instructions for my favourite card in Six All-Occasion Folded Cards, and here it is:

More decoupage cards can also be found in 4 Cards with Decoupage Effects.

Finally, Thinking Inking has advice on stamping and heat embossing, including advice on which are the best stamps, what are the best tools, how to do masking and heat embossing, and how to achieve the perfect stamped image.

I have really loved this issue.  Not only are there some great card designs and ideas, but there is also a lot of advice, more so than in previous issues, which will be really helpful for the cardmaking beginner.

Next month's issue comes with a 12 Days of Christmas kit.  You may think this is a tad early, but I have already started my Christmas cards.  Anyway, it is out on 17th August, and I can't wait.

In the meantime . . .

Happy Crafting.


Monday, 16 July 2012

Ruby Alice Bags

Soooooo, today we have a guest blogger - Amy at Ruby Alice Bags, who would like to tell you about her craft passion - bags.  So, here goes . .

First off, I would like to thank Holly for allowing me to share my business on her lovely blog!

Ruby Alice Designs was created last year on the premise of offering customers unique, custom handbags based on their needs. I use only top quality vintage and upcycled fabrics. I am sure every woman out there has had that perfect bag that they would DIE FOR, but thought, “I wish it was a bit bigger” or “I wish there was a pocket for my laptop”.  That’s where I come in! I am able to help women, in person and via the Internet create a fabulous custom handbag, any shape, size, colour, and fabric at affordable prices. 

So you must be wondering how could I design a custom handbag without meeting in person?? It’s quite easy actually! If you take a look through my Facebook page, www.facebook.com/rubyalicedesigns, you can see how it works.  In short, customers contact me with a general idea or they pick a pre-designed pattern. I help them expand on their ideas for pockets, size, etc. Then I take pictures of various fabric combinations until. Once decided upon, I request 4-8 weeks to construct the bag and ship it out. And that’s how it works!

I would love to share with you how we started and where we are headed! Almost 2 years ago now, I became interested in sewing- so- I pursued it. :-) I guess you could say the rest is history! I spent time working with a good friend, learning the in’s and out’s of creative bag making, She also her own bag business based on using upcycled materials. If you get chance stop by www.facebook.com/sisboombabags and say hello! A few months later I discovered a fabulous upholstery outlet right in my town. They sell remnants of fabulous brand name, exquisite fabrics. I quickly turned our spare bedroom into a fully functioning sewing room. So now, while working full time, I spend my free time developing, creating, and spreading the word about my business! 

Now we are coming up on one full year of being in business! I have gotten my Etsy Page up and running, I just started building my own website, and I am getting ready for a HUGE sale starting July 4th through August 4th. It will be buy 2 get one free to celebrate one year of business! Tell your friends, sister’s, mother’s, and daughter’s and swing by my Facebook page or find me on twitter @RubyAliceBags for more information. I have many other ideas that I can’t wait to put into action in the next year as well! My goal is to continually be posting fabric available online for customers to choose from. I also have many different activities geared toward my local community.

Thank you so much for taking the time to learn about my amazing business! The past year has definitely been a roller coaster ride, but it has been a great adventure! Keep following me and stay in touch!

Xoxo Amy

So there you are.

Just in case you were wondering, postage to the UK is $7-12, which at current exchange rates is about £5-9 and her Etsy shop can be found at www.etsy.com/people/rubyalicedesigns.

Happy Crafting


Saturday, 14 July 2012

Craft Club - Tomorrow

Sooo, a rare Saturday post, to remind you all that the Fairy Elephants Craft Club starts tomorrow at The Fox & Hounds, Cookridge at 11am.  Please remind all your friends.  It would be great to see some of my readers there.  Price is £10 and includes lunch and all materials.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Happy crafting.


Friday, 13 July 2012

Baker Ross

Soooo, this is quite a new blog from craft material supplier, Baker Ross:

It has lots of How Tos for various craft projects including cards, paper boats and even a button caterpillar.


Happy Crafting


Thursday, 12 July 2012

I Made A Fairy Elephant . . .

Sooooo, I've been trying to perfect my sock elephants, and I think I am nearly there, so decided to make one into a Fairy Elephant, adding wings and a tutu made from other socks.    How excited am I?  I've also managed to make the trunk look a little less obscene than some of my other attempts . . .

What do you think?

I am now making sock elephants for sale - £7 for a basic elephant (in any colour/pattern, subject to availability), and £8.50 for a fairy elephant (again, any colour/pattern subject to availability).  If you would like one in another theme, please let me know and I will figure out how to make it.  Email me at fairy-elephants@hotmail.co.uk with the subject line 'Sock Elephant' to order yours.  Free P&P within UK.

Happy Crafting

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