Posts tagged ‘American Crafts’

Spring Fling & World Book Day


Hi! Thought I’d post something a little different. This is the current Crafts Beautiful issue & I’ve a set of 3 projects in there. This is the card- just love the 5th & Frolic papers – I’ve been using them such a lot lately. I just might be in danger of actually using an entire pad up; a first for me!! With all the spring colours it makes me hope that spring is coming soon although as I’m sat here typing this post in a big furry coat, I suspect I’ve a little time to go yet.

I’ve had great fun designing with DoCrafts latest additions- their Kinetic Dies. These make moveable cards so easy. I’ll have a card to show you next post.
I should say Hi! to the Paper Crafts Connection readers visiting the blog. It’s lovely having you & hope you pop back really soon!

We are in the throes of organising 3 sets of fancy dress. I’m afraid I’m not a real fan. Not of dressing up per se, but not really wowed by having to help the kiddos dress up for World Book Day.

Now I love books.
We should absolutely support any efforts to encourage reading.
But I’ve never really understood world book day. ( is it really world wide?).
So, to increase book awareness etc. all kids need to turn up to school wearing a costume from a book.
Any book.
What do you do with kids who don’t relish the change in character.
As my no.4 used to say. I don’t want to be ‘superman’, I’m Jamie!

There are several forces at work here.
One is peer pressure ( nothing new).
Second is reducing the cost of 3 ‘cost’umes ( pun intended).
No.3 is vacillating.
She finally worked out a super idea. One that we could manage.
She came home despondent.
Someone else is dressing as that character.
‘Well, it’s not an exclusivity competition’ I encouraged.
They’d suggested to her that it wasn’t a good idea that they matched.She went along with that.
No.4 asked if he could go as Ron Weasley. Fine, I thought.
“Mum, could you dye my hair orange or spray it?”.
Ermm no.
Now he wants to be Harry Potter. He wants a grey jumper. We don’t have one of those. He’s planning on making some Harry Potter glasses.
This could be interesting using green funky foam!
No.5 is blissfully unbothered. He’ll decide on the day from a plethora of outfits that fit him and is still free from the clutches of needing his classmates approval.
In all of this do you think any of them have consulted a book, or even read one.
Well, not if you don’t count ‘Biff and Chip’ the Reception reading scheme.

I have a revolutionary idea.
Next year, on world book day,
They could take in a BOOK.
And read it.
And maybe read two.
Do you think it might catch on?!!

See you when I’ve made a pirate eyepatch and combed out an old black wig that I used when I went as Trinity ( The Matrix) to a fancy dress party. But that’s a story for another time. Xx

March 5, 2013 at 11:27 pm 7 comments

Domino Card & Stampin’Up! Party

Hey! Sorry to have been missing; haven’t felt so well this week. Must have been too much fun last weekend!- my body obviously can’t cope with it!
This card is digging out an old relic craft staple that everyone used to go mad for about 8-9 yrs ago… Dominoes! I had several hoarded boxes and thought I’d give them an airing again. I’d forgotten how much fun they were to ink on. The box was only a couple of pounds so they’re really inexpensive. You do need to sand them down first and experiment with your choice of ink. Some dye inks just ‘disappear’ into the domino, and need quite a bit of ink. If you’re using Stazon or alcohol inks then you don’t need to sand them down at all. Sealing them is not completely necessary but through testing I’ve discovered that certain dye inks ( like my Stampin’Up! Ones) will leach out colour if you seal them with Glossy Accents. A new product that I’ve found is the Crafters Companion sealant sprays and I’ve got the Translucent shimmer which although is pretty stinky ( spray in a well ventilated room) gives a gorgeous effect and you can build up layers to give a more lacquered look. This close up might show it off better..

The papers are Echo Park ‘Happy Days’ including the two stickers and the other papers are American Crafts ‘Gardenia’. Washi tape is Queen & Co’s and the pearly sticker over the flower is from Prima. The inked background is done by moi, and the stamps used are Indigo Blu ( the swirl) and the sentiment from Tiny Tags (Stampin’Up!)
Won’t stick around and tell you much else today- except to say I’ve got more cards in Simply Cards and Papercraft this month- I’ve been given the ‘sketches’ section to do for two months.
This Friday night at 8pm I’ve got a Stampin’Up! Party (& it’s free!) – I’m throwing one even though I’m not a demo anymore- shocking huh! So those of you that may have been missing buying off me are very welcome to come and bring a friend- the more the merrier! Do get in touch and let me know if you want to come ( I’m in the Liverpool area) and I’ll email you out directions.

Take care.. You should see me back posting more again now I feel a little like my old (& exceedingly at that) self! Xx

July 1, 2012 at 7:25 am 9 comments

Funky Steampunky & Over Again!


Here’s a card I started before the weekend to show the Indigo Blu flitterglu and flakes at the Workshop. I demoed how easy the glu and flakes were to use and how well it worked with intricate stamps. This example was showing the glitter with the Flitterglu. I haven’t quite finished it and I’ve started to complete it by putting some faux washi tape on the bottom left. I’ve just completed a video of how to create faux tissue tape and faux washi tape for the Paper Crafters Library. That’ll be ready to view by the end of the month.
The stamp is one from Indigo Blu and I’m afraid I’ve not gone for a traditional steam punk look hence the title of the post.

You can see some more stamping on acetate. I kinda did a job lot using the same American Crafts flourish clear stamp.

Well, yesterday I went to primary school with my littliest for his taster afternoon and a meeting to explain everything we needed to know as parents. I felt pretty sad going in with him. Glad he was happy to go and went in without any problems but it felt like the end of an era really. The info overload hadn’t changed any which was kind of comforting. To be fair, school have to do it. It’s easy to forget just how vital those details are to first time parents. I tried to look interested once again. There are only so many times you can sit through a welcome meeting and be riveted!!
Once again I have been shelling out in preparation for next year. The uniform bill is beyond what you’d want to pay. No matter how smart I shop, it still is crazy. Guess thats one of the slightly less desirable things about having 5 children!! I’m nearly half way there uniform-wise. I did fight back a tear when littliest tried his uniform on- he looked so completely cute!!

Better go and make some tea. It’s a Caribbean curry.
See you when I’ve fended off the resulting complaints over tea! xx

June 14, 2012 at 5:19 pm 3 comments

Be Strong & Encouraging


This is the last in the trio of encouragement cards. I love the little bricks in the corner made using stripes made with scraps of paper. I’ll be using bricks more in some upcoming projects. The papers are a mix of Echo Park, American Crafts & Pebbles. If I told you how many cards I’d made out of a set of 8 pieces of 12×12 paper from the Gardenia and Hip Hip Hooray you wouldn’t believe me. Scraps are definitely the way to go!! Be strong is such a great sentiment generally from illness, when others are struggling or just have a challenge to overcome.

This week I’ve started a few new things- one is linked with the Paper Crafts Gallery Idol competition. It was loads of fun seeing some amazingly talented people post their work and I thought the fun should definitely not stop. So- I’ve set up a Flickr group which is open for absolutely anyone to upload cards in response to the challenges that the Top 20 will have. This weeks theme is ‘rainbow’. Go and post a card or just go and have a nosey. It’s not a competition, no rules, no deadlines, just for inspiration or fun! Each week will have a different challenge. If you want to know what it is- check out Paper Crafts Connection
Have a visit of this site- its full of papercrafting ideas and stuffed full of inspiration.
Please join the Flickr group anyway whether you post or not and continue the theme of encouragement that the whole competition began with!!

I’ll finish with a comment on the incredible creativity you find in kids. At a funny level my 4 year old returned from nursery this week and informed us that his friend at nursery had given him a name that was a lie. We told him that his friend wasn’t lying it was simply a nickname. After he’d digested this new concept, I asked him what the name was, thinking it might be ‘silly- head’ or some other 4-yr old appropriate name. ‘He calls me Scottish Rottish Rebel My Heart Lives’ he replied proudly.
Didn’t realise they were quite so creative.
My 8 yr old and his friend decided to make top hats yesterday (as you do!). I elected to stay out of the way and see how they fared. I supplied them with Sellotape, card and scissors and left them to it.
They were ‘amaze bobs’ ( as my 8 yr old would say). I was really shocked- they’d both done a brilliant job- brim and all.
Love kids; – they don’t get weighed down by correctness or rules-they simply get on with it. A good lesson for me!!

See you when I’ve finished dropping kids off at work experience and the ubiquitous party runs!! xx

June 2, 2012 at 10:39 am 3 comments

You are not alone & Chain of Kindness


Another encouragement card here- just in case you were feeling alone. Seriously though- I think the sentiment by Anna Griffin is spot on. Sometimes you need to hear that. Another one using up scraps. Someone recently described my card as having a ‘scrappy style’- well I guess it is! Love the feeling of space on this one. Using up papers from American Crafts ‘Gardenia’, & Pebbles ‘Hip Hip Hooray’.

Am just grabbing 5 mins while I wait for tea to cook. Heard a lovely true story today. One little boy took some money today for a school fair- he brought back 20 pence out his £1 and no books. His Mum wanted to know what had happened to the rest, ‘I gave it away to two friends who didn’t have any money for books so they could buy them’.
One of the little boys who’d been given the money came home with several books. His Mum asked him how come he’d got these books. He explained how another boy had given him money and he’d decided to buy an extra couple of books for his little brother. ‘It’s like a chain of kindness’ he explained.
I love that.
A chain of kindness!

Thinking about starting my own. Fancy joining with me? Wonder how far the chain could go?

Better go. One of my kids wants to play ‘Just Dance 2’ with me. In this weather?
If you see a something resembling a tomato jumping and wobbling around, chances are it will be me!
Back when I’ve had a shower!! x


May 30, 2012 at 5:39 pm 5 comments

Gardeners Tag & Not so short Posts


Just popping on with this little tag that would be great for a green-fingered loving person. I know I should have used a different stamp but I couldn’t. Sorry. It’s way too cute.

It will be a very quick post due to the following factors;
1. I’ve just had a hot drink spilled all over me by a very zealous 4 yr old who was insisting that there was in fact a nit on his back. There wasn’t. He didn’t believe me and became frustrated that I couldn’t find the said nit. Grateful not to find something for a change.
2. I’m in the middle of ironing. I know. I was shocked too. The bottom of the ironing basket has not been seen in a very long time. In fact, my kids discovered clothes they’d forgotten they possessed. I don’t like ironing- that’s why I avoid it. My ever-so-nearly 10 yr old wants me to teach her. That’s definitely a good idea.
3. I’m tidying again. We may have just sold our house – well on its way at least. The thought of packing everything turns me cold. In fact I feel faint at the mere mention. So, I’m beginning to be ruthless. It’s been a long time coming. If you live near me and fancy taking craft gear away with you- I will have a pile. Maybe a large pile. Possibly so large that I’ll be sad but don’t think there’ll be much room to do crafting in the next place. ( sobs internally at the thought).
4. Just playing arbitrator for more eensy squabbles. You wouldn’t have thought just a ‘look’ could cause such consternation. But it does, and it has. Need to get them to sing more Disney songs- it seems to have a profound uniting effect.

Hmm.. Wasn’t so short now was it!
I’ll see you when I’ve got my kids to cooperate and work together. ( I may be a while!) xx

May 8, 2012 at 5:38 pm 4 comments

Spots’n’Dots Cards & Laughter !

Thought I’d show you a card that I made with some friends last night. This was version 1 and I’ll show you version 2 at the end.
I’ve used a American Crafts stamp set called Fresh- that has all the stamps that I’ve used on the card. Paper is from Pebbles ‘Hip Hip Hooray’ range and the Kraft card was some I bought from the Aintree show- 1 of the 2 items I bought. This is a gorgeous colour- darker than the SU! stuff I usually use and with more texture to it. One side is slightly darker too so you can pick and choose. It is from a company called Anna Marie designs

I bought  A3 card for a change which is great as I can cut it to 12’x12 with some spare or 2 A4 sheets.

Think I like the red wellyboots or galoshes (isn’t that a yummy word) and the card is a celebration of spots, dots and polka dots! The dotted embossed piece is using the CuttleBug Swiss Dots embossing folder.

I raised certain sections and added glitter to the other. It’s not miserable rain (like in much of the UK)- it’s happy, shiny, fresh, go-and-run-jump and splash water!- that’s why there’s sparkle on it. I know not everyone likes wellies but it’s supposed to be fun! I’d happily wear a a pair of these babies despite not having high heels! 

This pic was supposed to have been rotated- but WordPress wasn’t cooperating- so it’s a peculiar angle- Sorry!

I had one of those evenings where I laughed and smiled for most of the evening. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how to laugh when you’re busy doing everything else. I think we redressed the balance last night- and I’ve a lot of laughter lines to prove it!! Even without any chocolate-fuel, Mara was on top form although Linda & I succumbed to some left-over-from Easter Maltesers!! You have to consume choc whilst crafting. Imagine not being able to make a card because you’ve run out of choc? 😉

Better run, the taxi-service is due back in action.I’ m gaining muscles like Popeye from lugging the wheelchair in and out of the car – and it doesn’t even fit in the boot!

See you when I’ve tidied my craft room- it’s a really really bad mess xx

May 2, 2012 at 9:34 pm 6 comments

Scrapbooking & It’s Nearly Easter

I’m loving doing scrapbooking again- feels like a long time. Weirdly enough I’ve changed too!! -My style of scrapping and layouts has altered a little. Maybe a break from things is good for you! This is the close up of most of the action on the page. I do like ‘clustering’ most of my elements in one portion and I loved using the My Little Shoebox papers again. Having a limited selection of products does make you think about different ways of using them. The swirly banner was part of a printed square and had flowers either side, I chopped it out, hid some of the leftover flowers (just cos’ it looked a little silly now) by hiding them with the title. Although you do need to have your brain switched on whilst reading the title; 3 of my kids said ‘Mum, the title doesn’t make sense; 10 things I about you?’! You need to notice the heart as part of the title so it reads ’10 things I ‘love’ about you’! You understand me now?! It’s a nice way of affirming the children. I leave the layouts out and they read what I think about them. It’s particularly helpful on those days when I’m not feeling quite so ‘lovely’ about them (because they’ve been misbehaving) and would have a job saying these things with enough graciousness to make it believable! Another good reason to scrapbook!!!!

Here’s the full page; the little birds on the squiggle were part of a paper with lots of lines of different birds perched just like this one. I wanted to keep the page looking CAS so I cut it out and added a couple of clouds. The folded and pleated embellishment at the bottom right is just using up paper in lieu of having embellishments- just folding and creating a 3D to the page plus a few punched out holes at various places on the page. I think I can’t help this ‘hole’ thing. Not sure what that says about me!

This week I’ve been making loads of mens cards for a commission- I used to be so scared of bloke greeting cards and now I love creating them. These ones were using the ‘Chap‘ series by American Crafts. Lovely muted and autumnal colours but using lots of graphic type patterns that are perfect for men.

It’s been a long week and I’m looking forward to the weekend. It’s a bit of a busy one but at least we’re not quite so strictly governed by time.  The Easter holidays are fast approaching and I can’t wait. We have some fun things planned for a change! My older ones are going to visit their grandparents; hmm.. that came out wrong didn’t it!! Not that my kids going away is fun- but the dynamic shifts dramatically and we can do certain younger focussed things that the younger ones really enjoy. Not looking forward so much to the floods of chocolate coming our way!- I have a love/hate thing with the cocoa bean; I so LOVE chocolate, but its so hard to resist. At least because I’m fairly particular about the type of chocolate I consume, most of the kids eggs will not have any attraction for me. It would be like leaving me in a room filled with Haribo sweets; come back a week later and they’d all still be there- perfectly intact! Now, put me in a cupboard with a nice selection of Green & Blacks (dark choc if you don’t mind) or Hotel Chocolat and I may have a decent amount of trouble resisting it. You can have your DairyMilk and keep it thankyouverymuch! Shouldn’t be so fussy really, should I? !!!

See you when I’ve finished photographing another set  of projects using Little Yellow Bicycle! xx


March 16, 2012 at 11:33 am 4 comments

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