Friday, 28 September 2012

J&C Creations

Soooo, this week's blog hop comes from J&C Creations, a craft supply company.

They use their supplies to create some wonderful cards.  Great for inspiration, and at least you know where to get all the bits and pieces you need to recreate.


Happy Crafting!

Holly
xx

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Going to the Chapel . . .


Soooo, looking back through my blog the other day, I realised that I had only ever written one blog devoted to the romance that is weddings and anniversaries (I think).  Recently, though, weddings and anniversaries seem to be the theme, so I thought I would share with you some of my recent makes:

I'll start with some of the oldest:


This little card is a variation on one of the first cards I made (please see my previous post Wedding Wonders), but in a different colour (I made these in loads of colours).  They are simple to make and the effect is quite good if you want a non-traditional wedding card.


Then, the next wedding card I made was this one:


I really like this card and it sold pretty much straight away.  I may  not have got my history right on it (a quote from Shakespeare and a couple from the regency period), but I do think it is a very romantic card.  In case you were wondering, the paper came from a Fairytale Princess paper pack by Papermania and the ribbon around the image was from my craft stash.  I really should make another of these cards, but I have run out of that ribbon now and can't decide which of my other millions of ribbons to use.

Staying on the wedding theme, this is a more recent card:


I made this for my sister for her friend's wedding.  I used one of the Forever Friends decoupage toppers I had made from my kit (please see my previous post Forever Friends), together with some hearts backing paper, which came with the kit.  The sentiment also came with the kit.  The brief had been 'vintage' so my homage to this was the doily corner, which I inked lightly with brown ink, along with the edges of the backing paper.  To finish, I added some ivory pearls in the top right hand corner, and some cream ribbon and a bow.  I have not had a report back on this card, so I'm not sure if they liked it or not.

The final wedding card I am going to show you on this blog (before we move onto anniversary cards) is an unusual one, and took me some time thinking about it.  My brief was 'Alice in Wonderland' and for a wedding card, this is a difficult theme.  Anyway, after racking my brain for a few days, this is what I came up with:


In case you can't figure it out, this is supposed to be the mad hatter's hat.  I cut the card to shape and covered it with some grey paper from the same Fairytale Princess paper pack.  I don’t think it shows up too well on the picture, but the paper actually has little doves on it.  I then added a cream and gold ribbon around the hat.  To make the cards I downloaded images of the Kind of Hearts and the Queen of Hearts cards and photoshopped them a little so that instead of the 'K' and 'Q' on the cards, there was instead an 'M' and a 'H' for Mark and Holly.  I then attached these to the card also, behind the ribbon band.

To finish, I gold edged both the playing cards and the actual cards.  I smudged a little in the top left hand corner, but masterfully covered this with a little gold heart.  I also wrote my sentiment in gold pen along the bottom and attached some glittery hearts to either side of the sentiment.  I hoped they liked it, this one took a lot of thinking about.

Now, shall we move onto the anniversary cards I have been making recently.

I have already posted about this one (please see my previous post Ruby Ruby Ruby):


But, I liked it so much, I made another:


This one was an order from my Grandmama, and it was for a pearl wedding anniversary.  So, I decided to go with as much ivory as I could, with gold adding some colour to proceedings.  I loved making this card and especially love the sparkly ivory paper on this one (which I have now all used up, so need to go get some more), and I think this card would also make a great wedding card or a gold wedding anniversary card.  My Gran seemed impressed with it anyway, and didn't mind me charging her a bit more than my usual cards.

For the same celebrations, I also made this card as an order from my sister:


I resorted to my new fail safe - the Forever Friends decoupage toppers to which I added some Stickles glitter to the fireworks (you can't really see this in the picture but it looked really good in person, so to speak).  The background paper is some ivory mulberry paper I had in my stash and can't for the life of me think where I got it from originally.  I added two gold ribbons - a wide and a narrow, along with a bow, and wrote my sentiment in brown onto some  ivory card, adding a pearl in the corner.  Then to finish, I added a gold border around the topper and the sentiment.

My final anniversary card is one of the first ones I made with my Forever Friends decoupage kit.  This wasn't for anybody in particular and is in fact still in my stack of cards to sell at craft fairs/get around to putting on Folksy:


This one was simple once I had done the decoupage.  The backing paper came from one of the decoupage kits.  I drew faux stitching around the edge of the card, topper and a 'Happy Anniversary' sentiment, which I then attached to the card.  To finish off, I added a cream bow to the top right hand corner of the topper and two foil hearts to the top right hand corner of the card.  I also added some glitter to the flowers on the topper, although you can't see this very well in the picture.

I'm sure I'll be doing some more soon, so I will, as ever, keep you updated.  I will also (at some point) be posting a tutorial on how to do the ruby wedding anniversary card.

Happy Crafting!

Holly 
xx

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Alberio Di Jellybean Di Zio Chris


Sooooo, my uncle (the one who lives in Scotland) had a birthday last week and I wanted to share with you the card I made him and, more importantly, the story behind it:



This is the alberio di jellybean di zio Chris card.  Roughly translated, this means ‘Uncle Chris’ Jellybean Tree’.  Confused yet?  I’ll explain.

My uncle has a magic tree in his garden.  It is a very rare tree and the only place in the whole world that it grows is my uncle’s garden.  It is a very special tree, as it is the only one known whose flowers are in fact packets of jellybeans (it has, apparently, also been known to flower packets of Maltesers).

The tree came about as my uncle certainly knows how to spin a yarn (a talent that apparently my granddad – his dad – had too), and for years he had my cousins believing in the lesser spotted and greater spotted pebble chuckers, which were apparently a type of bird who laid their eggs amongst the stones on the beach near his house in Forres.  Surprisingly, they also looked, just like said stones.  Francesca – I know you read this blog, and I’m sorry if I’ve just shattered your illusion of the lesser spotted pebble chucker, but they are not real.

Anyway, my uncle moved to Port Gordon, his kids grew up and (I think) are less likely to believe his tales, but that’s OK because my nieces came along.  About three years ago, my sister and the girls went to stop at my uncle’s for a week, and he told the girls that one of his trees was a jellybean tree.  I think, even at the young age they were, they were already wary of uncle Chris’ stories and didn’t really believe him.  So, as he can’t let anything lie and he has to take his stories to the extreme, he set about to prove that this tree was indeed a jellybean tree and did indeed grow jellybeans, so he tied packets of jellybeans to the branches.  Well, that was the nieces sold on the idea, and I think they still believe he has a genuine jellybean tree in his garden, despite the fact that by the time they returned home from this visit it was also growing maltesers.  I do believe it still flowers packets of jellybeans whenever the girls go to Scotland.

So, there is the story behind the jellybean tree.

When I was wracking my brains this year on what to put on his card, the story of the jellybean tree was stuck in my brain, so I went with that idea. 

The card was actually quite simple to make.  It was a white square blank and I cut four small squares of dotty paper left over from one of my Forever Friends decoupage kits, which I then mounted onto green or blue card.  These, I then attached to the blank in a grid.

I then cut a larger square of white card and drew the trunk and branches of a tree in brown fineliner.  Using green ink and a sponge, I then created the leaves/canopy of the tree, starting out in the centre and working out each time to give the 'leaves' depth.  I then cut out some jellybean shapes, which again had been left over from a Forever Friends decoupage set, but these could easily be made from scraps of coloured paper and card.  I then attached some of these to the green bit of the tree and some around the base of the tree, to look as though they had fallen off.



This panel was then attached to a slightly larger square of blue card, which was in turn attached to the front of the card with sticky fixers so that it stood out a little from the front of the card.

I was just going to write 'Uncle Chris' Jellybean Tree' at the bottom (in case there was any doubt as to what the card was supposed to be representing), but I thought it would be better to give it it's Latin name.  However, the free version of babelfish (a good translator) did not have Latin as an option to translate to, so I went for the nearest, which is Italian.  I wrote this translation onto a small piece of green card, which I then layered onto some green card and attached to the card underneath the jellybean tree panel.



To finish the card off, on the inside I created an 'explanation' of the jellybean tree, citing a little bit of it's story.  I wrote this on a piece of white paper and layered it onto some more green card, before attaching to the inside front of the card.

Et voila!  One jellybean tree card.  I hope he liked it.

Happy Crafting!

Holly
xx



Tuesday, 25 September 2012

How To: Make My Glittery Christmas Cards


Soooo, I am going to try not to bombard you with too much Christmas stuff so early, but for those of you like me who like to get a head start on things, here is my tutorial, as promised, on how to make my glittery Christmas cards.



What You Will Need

Makes 12

Card blanks – I used coloured, square blanks
Gold ribbon
Gold glitter
Double-sided sticky tape
Sticky fixers
Gold card
Dotty embossing folder and die-cutting machine/embossing machine
White card
Promarkers or similar


How To:
1.                Download the digistamps from Digistamp Boutique and print them off so you get 3 of each design onto an A4 piece of white card.  Colour to your heart’s desire.  I used Promarkers for this, but use whichever colouring technique if your favourite.


2.                   Cut these out so that each picture is in a rectangle.  These will be different sizes as some of the images are longer or wider than the others.  This doesn’t matter.



3.                   Measure each image lengthways and widthways and cut a piece of gold card 1cm bigger each way.

4.                   Using a dotty embossing folder, emboss the gold card.




5.                   Attach your image to the gold card using sticky fixers if you want to make it stand out from the card, or double sided sticky tape if you would like it to lie flat.  Put these to one side for now.



6.                   Take a card blank and measure a piece of gold ribbon so that it is as wide as the card.  Using double sided sticky tape, attach the ribbon to the centre of the card.





7.                   Around the edge of the ribbon attach more double sided sticky tape, ensuring that you cover each edge of the ribbon fully.



8.                   Apply gold glitter.



You could avoid having to use glitter by using some very glittery ribbon (much tidier – I was cleaning up glitter for days!).

9.                   Now, attach one of your images centrally over the ribbon, again using either sticky fixers or double sided sticky tape.



10.               Repeat for all cards.

I used three different coloured card blanks because that is how they came in my pack of card blanks, and attached one of each image to each colour.

This card is easily adapted to other colour schemes and card shapes.

Enjoy making yours.

Happy Crafting!

Holly

xx





Monday, 24 September 2012

Review: Let's Make Cards Issue 55

Soooo, today I am going to review the latest issue of Let's Make Cards, which is in the shops now, and I got last week.  Apologies in advance that I haven't actually made any of the projects yet, as I have just been really busy working and making bags.

Anyway, on to the review . . .

This month's kit comes with:

  • card blanks
  • shaped card blanks
  • papers
  • border strips
  • glitter
  • bows
  • stars
  • snowflakes
  • gems
  • ribbons
  • glittery die-cuts
  • chipboards and
  • die-cut letters and numbers.
There are loads of cards in this issue that I love, but they are ones that I would like to make as a batch rather than one-offs, and even though I know you can buy extra kits, I wouldn't want everything in the kit, so a lot of it would go to waste for one or two things.  Anyway, enough of my moaning, I will take you through the issue.

I shall start with the most important thing, which, as always, is the giveaways.  This issue, you could win:
  • A copy of CraftArtist to Professional CD-Rom
  • Ribbons from Berisfords
  • Mittens stamp and punch step from Stampin' Up
  • Nordic-inspired Christmas paper packs from Papermania
  • Cards from Belvoir.
There is also a Hobbycraft voucher to be found in this issue, along with 20% off at ExpressYourselfDIYcards.co. and Free Downloads from Jammi Panda.

Along with the usual cards in this issue, there is also a feature on Stampin' Up, advice from Dawn Bibby and ideas on how to use photos in your Christmas cards.  There are also loads of 'How Tos', which this issue include how to:
  • draw a perfect circle
  • tie a bow
  • make a glue batik card
  • use watercolour brush markers
  • make an envelope
  • make an easel card
  • do traditional decoupage
  • get the perfect finish and
  • use glitter.
The card projects in this magazine are:
  • 22 modern makes using your kit, of which my favourites are 'Pile of Presents' and 'Hanging Stocking'.  I also like the cute little gift tags in this feature;
  • 6 festive-themes quick makes, from which I love 'Festive Mail';
  • Crafter's guide to making cards using decoupage;
  • 4 easy to do Christmas folded cards;
  • 3 designs with festive decoupage;
  • Colour in cards stamped with Just Inklined designs, my favourite of which is 'Holly Design', and I also like 'Bridge Scene';
  • Card school's Festive Pop Up, which I really like and when I have some time to spare want to attempt a version of this;
  • 6 cards using the Graphtec Silhouette Cameo, from which my favourites are 'Love You' and 'Three Tags';
  • 6 cards with seasonal shapes, from which I like 'Glittery Snowman', 'Star Card' and 'Bauble Shape';
  • Top makes with your Christmas die-cuts.
As I have already said, all these cards that I love, I would want to make in batch form, so I am going to have to find another way around that one.

Happy Crafting!

Holly
xx

Friday, 21 September 2012

Crafty Boots

So, I thought we would have a break from the blogs of the Lili of the Valley designers, but you have to admit their creations are amazing.

This time, we have a challenge blog from Crafty Boots, who set readers a new challenge each fortnight.  I'm trying to find time to enter some myself, but looking at previous ones I'm not sure my creations are up to standard.

Anyway enjoy either entering the challenges or just noseying at everyone else's entries (like me!)


Happy Crafting!

Holly
xx

Thursday, 20 September 2012

How To: Colour Hair

Soooo, last week I came across this very helpful tutorial from Created by Colour, which shows you how to colour hair.


This particular tutorial shows you how to do this using copics, but the technique basics are also the same for other markers, such as Promarkers.

Enjoy!

Happy Crafting!

Holly
xx

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Blossoming


Soooo, I just wanted to share with you a personalised card I made recently.  Well, actually I made two – one was an order from a colleague, and I liked it that much that I made my stepmother (non-wicked) one too for her birthday:



I really like this card because it is a bit different.  A bit faffy to make, but I think that the effect is worth it.

I had originally been asked to make a 30th birthday card for a friend of a colleague who liked bright-asian inspired colours, patterns etc.  I think this card fits that brief, but turned out so different to my original design.

My original design (in my head) has been bright blues, pinks and purple with feathers and jewels (all things I had in my stash).  However, when I sat down to make that card, the feathers were not only too big, but were not being very cooperative, so a re-think was required.

I’m still not entirely sure how I came up with the idea I did, but I had done similar backgrounds on my bird cards previously.  These had been just one colour and had involved stamping multiple times the branch stamp from my Stampin’ Up easter set and then heat embossing.

This time, however, I decided I wanted to use three colours – pink, blue and purple.  So, I started in one corner and stamped a couple of branches onto a square of black card using clear ink.  I then used one colour and covered the ink in this and heated the powder.  Once this had set, I then did my next row, again stamping a few branches, and using a different colour embossing powder and heating.  I built up my layers like this until I got to the opposite corner of the card. 

I then wrapped the card with some bright pink ribbon and made and attached a bow from the same ribbon.  I also added some faux stitching around the edge using a white gel pen.

Using small pink gems, I made a ‘30’ in the top left hand corner, and on a small rectangle of black card, I wrote the sentiment using a silver pen.  I then edged this piece of card with some purple gems and attached the whole thing to the centre of the blank.

Then, using some flower gems in blue, purple and pink, I created a circle of flowers around the central sentiment.  I then attached the finished piece to a square card blank.

I really love the pretty finish to this card, and as I say, liked it so much, that I made another for the stepmother (non-wicked).  As always, I can never make two cards exactly the same, so I did this one in just pinks and purples, used slightly different ribbon, and instead of a ‘30’, I used two different large flower gems, stuck together in the top right hand corner.  I think she liked it.

Happy Crafting!

Holly
xx

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Review: Crafts Beautiful Christmas Special 2012 (Issue 246)

Sooooo, sorry this is a couple of days later that I would have liked it to be, but I have been a very busy bee. Anyway, here is my review of the latest issue of Crafts Beautiful, and what an issue it is . . .

This issue comes with some very useful free Christmas papers and chipboard Christmas sentiments, both of which I intend to put to good use when I start making my 'special' Christmas cards, as opposed to the 'bulk' Christmas cards I am currently making.

Before I even start, I will tell you that I love this issue, and I have started on some projects on it already, with more to follow once I get my bag orders out of the way (not that I'm complaining that I have them, I just, as usual, wish there were more hours in my day, or that I could afford to work part-time).

I'll start you off with one of my favourite projects, and one that I have actually managed to make something from, if, as usual, I have adapted it slightly.  This is my version of the Baubles card in the cut out and keep section:


My changes to this card are the colour scheme (the magazine one is blue) and the shapes of the baubles (all the ones in the magazine are the same shape).  I'm also going to make this card in reds.

From this project, I also like (and intend to try) the stitched tree card.

Others cards I want to try are the Christmas Trees, Baubles and Gifts Galore cards in the '7 Ways with Christmas Peel-Offs' cards.  

Baubles seem to be a key trend this year, as they can also be found on the cards in 'Tinsel Time', which use Woodware stamps and 'Bouncing Baubles', which has some lovely 3-D retro-style ideas.  Other cards in this issue include:

  • Silhouette cards in Corinne Bradd's card school on paper cutting;
  • Pop-up, easel and shaped cards in 'Home For Christmas';
  • Sparkling snowflake cards in 'Season of Sparkle';
  • Cute animal cards in 'Puppy Love';
  • Doodle cards in 'Star of Wonderful'; and
  • more cards from Corinne Brad using die-cutting in 'Snowflake Style'.
Other projects in this magazine include nordic-style decorations made using both card and felt.  I think that this would be a good project to get the kids involved with is and all you need is some red card or felt and white/silver pens and embellishments.  

There is also a cute quilled winter scene, complete with Christmas Tree and Snowman in 'Quilling with Claire', and a fabric hanging advent calender, which I could be tempted to try if I find some time before 1st December.

There are also crackers, candle holders, wreaths, a gingerbread house cross stitch and cushion, peppermint creams, a bookmark and porcelain painting.

Away from Christmas, Corinne Brad has a lovely snuggly-looking quilt.  I really want to make a quilt, but again, this is something that I am struggling to find time to do.  Maybe this is an after Christmas project, and I think I will follow Corinne's pattern.  

Corinne has also crochets an amazing gadget cover, this time for an e-reader.

I love the slippers in 'Toasty Toes', and these can be made in children or adult sizes, with the templates downloadable.  I would love to be able to make these for my nieces for Christmas, and a pair for my fiance, so he stops stealing my slippers!

I also like the apparently simple beret in 'Little Softie'.  Once I've practised my knitting, I would like to make this for my nieces.  This project also has a pair of leg warmers to match.

There is also some lovely jewellery by Brenda Harvey and some jar cosies.

Finally, there are some money off vouchers for The Range and Hobbycraft and loads of giveaways this issue:

  • a Sizzix Big Shot starter set;
  • Learn A Skill, Make A Gift days;
  • £500 Storage 4 Crafts voucher;
  • Graphic 45 goody bags;
  • Make Me Workshop classes;
  • Pink Paislee goody bags;
  • Daisy Trail goody bags; and
  • Interplay kits.
Happy Crafting!

Holly
xx




Monday, 17 September 2012

Iiiiit's Christmas


Soooo, I know its only September, but in my house that means Christmas preparations can start.  I’ve always started Christmas early – I have a big family and I have organisational OCD – but since I started my little Fairy Elephants, I feel that I should start even earlier to get bits and pieces ready to sell.  So, I’ve already started on the cards.  In fact, most of these were made in August.  Other bits and pieces will follow.

My first makes were these cards:



I’d actually had the images downloaded from www.digistampboutique.co.uk since July, and had been painstakingly colouring in sheets of them since then.  I used a mixture of Letraset Promarkers and good old Berol fine felt tips (as the red and black Promarkers have a tendency to bleed).  I then cut out the images and made the cards.  These are the subject of a How To tutorial in the not so distant future, so I won’t go into too much detail on these now. 

Then, last month, the first Christmas issue of Let’s Make Cards arrived (eventually), with a Christmas card kit, and I chose to make two cards from it initially.

This first one is one of my favourites, and I shall be stealing and adapting the design  to make a batch of my own Christmas cards.



This was a very simple card to make using a blank, a strip of decorative paper and some toppers.  I’m currently in the middle of cutting out what feels like a million Christmas trees (I really should have bought a die – but this occurred to me after the event) to make my own batch of these cards.  I may even do a How To tutorial on these as they are so easy to do.

This second card was a bit more fiddly, as it involved cutting out pictures for decoupage and making my own envelope to fit the blank, but I do like the results and I especially like the dotty ribbon – now I just need to find some more of that.



I’ve had a few magazines now with Christmas ideas – I just need to get around to making them all – and I’m sure all magazines up until Christmas will have lots of ideas and inspiration, so I will keep you posted on all my makes.

Happy Crafting!

Holly
xx


Friday, 14 September 2012

Learning to Jive

This blog once again comes from a very clever Lili of the Valley designer.  I told you I was addicted.  This time it comes from Anne, who really does make the loveliest cards.


Happy Crafting!

Holly 
xx

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby . . . .

Soooo, today I'm going to show you the results of a recent commission from a friend.

It was for her mum and dad's ruby wedding anniversary so needed to be something special.  I'd had a couple of ideas, but my final inspiration came from a card I had found on Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/pin/29273466298942690/) a couple of days after my friend had asked me to make the card.

Anyway, here's how I made it.

First off, I used an A5 size white card blank, and to this I matted a rectangle of red shiny card which I had in my stash and now don't have a clue where I got if from originally.  This was slightly smaller than the card to create a border.  I then matted another slightly smaller piece of white card.  I then die-cut four descended-size border shapes from more red shiny and white card, using a X-Cut magnetic die set.  On the smallest white die-cut card, I added my sentiment in gold.



I then layered this up and matted them to the centre of the card blank.



I then started assembling the ribbon section of the card.  I used red and cream ribbon (with little hearts on), to stay with the 'ruby' theme.



I started by attaching a length of red ribbon at an angle across the bottom of the card.  I then made bows out of both the red and the cream ribbon, with the cream bow slightly smaller than the red.  I attempted to glue the bows to a strip of cream ribbon using fabric glue, but was unsuccessful.  So, I resorted to sewing the bows to the ribbon, adding a little gold heart charm between the bows.



I then attached this to the card at an angle.

Finally, to finish the card, I added a small red heart embellishment to the top right hand corner, and that was the card finished.  

Happy Crafting!

Holly
xx


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