Aug 302013
 

Thank you for clicking over to have a look at my blog.
A Bit Of An Update, Some More Musings, A Card, And More From The Garden

I know that I write a lot in each blog post – this helps me remember what colours or cardstock I’ve used in case I want to get a similar effect in the future, in addition to providing information that some readers might be interested in – so please don’t think that you have to read every word I’ve written. If you don’t want to know what I used and how I made a card you can just click the thumbnail images to view each card at a larger size, and then click “Back” and scroll down to the next section.

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In my post of the 21st I said “I’m just hopeing that the antibiotics really have done their work and that I don’t get a repeat of the leg infection any time soon” – no such luck!  Not only have a got an infection back in my leg (not too bad at the moment but back on antibiotics and keeping an eye on it), but I also managed to get stung twice by an insect (probably a horse-fly as that’s what usually gives me the worse reaction) both stings on my right arm, one of them on my elbow.  So some cream from the doctor as well for that, but the swelling and itching took about a week to clear up, even with the doctor’s cream and being on an antihystamine tablet.  Of course the pain and itching in my arm has made it difficult to craft (although I’ve tried to do a bit to take my mind off things), as well as keeping me awake for hours at night and making me more exhausted than I usually am.  So I’m resting a lot and just hopeing that everything clears up this time.  But I have made a small number of cards to show you.  I hope you like them.

On a positive note – I’ve started harvesting more than just cucumbers and fruit from the garden.  I’ve now had the first tomatoes turn red in the greenhouse – and very nice they tasted as well.  And I’ve also been picking some courgettes off the four plants I’ve got in the small, black mulch covered, area just by the potato growing sacks.

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CARDS:

(Clicking on the text links below each set of images takes you to the pages where you can see some of what I used to make the cards.)

A Challenge Card

Challenges entered into:

1cup385317_1749 - card104C - Butterfly Garden Digi Stamp 2cup385317_1749 - card102C - Butterfly Garden Digi Stamp3cup385317_1749 - card101C - Butterfly Garden Digi Stamp

  1. Butterfly Garden Digi Stamp by Janette Padley (I printed the digi-stamp out at smaller than the size provided onto 300gsm, Super Smooth, white cardstock. I then coloured it in using my ProMarkers, a FlexMarker, and Wink of Stella pens.  The colours I used were: Grass, Amber, Tan, Red, Satin, Cloud Blue, Wink of Stella Light Green, Gold, Clear and Blue.  I then cut out a topper of the coloured in digi using a Spellbinders die in my Joy machine.  I also cut out a mat from “White Gloves” glittered cardstock using a Grand Nestabilities Decorative Labels One die.  I took an 8″ square white Crafty Bob card and put a strip of silver patterned washi tape down near the left hand side.  I then attached my glittered white mat to this and added the digi-stamp topper to that.)
  2. An angled photo of part of the image in an attempt to show some of the sparkle created by using the Wink of Stella pens on fairy wings, butterflies, butterfly trails and clothes of fairy.  These areas twinkle quite nicely in light, but don’t show up very well on the photos.
  3. Another angled view of part of the image.

Another Card Made Up Using A Digi-stamp I’ve Coloured In Over The Last Few Days

1cup411426_1141 - card01C - Bug Catching Girls Digital Stamps 6

  1. Bug Catching Girls Digital Stamps 6 by Angela Wenke (I printed the digi-stamp out onto 300gsm, Super Smooth white cardstock at smaller than the size provided.  I then coloured her in using my ProMarkers.  The colours I used were: Canary, Poppy, Fresh Meadow, Meadow Green, Tawny Owl, Satin, Blush, Cinnamon, Tan, Black, Pink Carnation.  I then cut the image out using a Grand Nestabilities Decorative Labels One in my Joy machine.  I also cut out a larger size panel out of red glitter cardstock.  I took an 8″ square white Crafty Bob card and two 6″ square panels of decorative papers from my crafty stash.  After rounding the corners of the papers I stuck them to the card front towards top left and bottom right using finger-lift tape.  I looped a piece of recycled ribbon – it came round a pre-iced cake – and used  glue gel to stick this towards the centre bottom of the card.  I used 2mm deep, double sided, foam tape to attach the red glitter card mat to the card front and glue gel to attach the digi-stamp topper to this.  I finished off by adding some small sticky back faux gems to two of the corners.)

And Three More Christmas Cards –

These three cards are quick cards made using sheets from the new Snowman and Snowdog paper pack by Crafters Companion.  The first two are mounted on 8″ square white Crafty Bob cards, decorated with snowflakes I’d die cut from “White Gloves” glittered cardstock and added a “Nadolig Llawen” (Welsh for Happy Christmas) greeting banner to.  The third I attached to a card I’d made from “Moonstone” pearleascent cardstock that’s a fraction over 6″ square.  It is again decorated with die-cut snowflakes and finished off with a small white peel-off greeting.

1CCcard03 01 2CCcard02 01 3CCcard01 03

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GARDENING:

Some of my gardening crop.

1Greenhouse 33C 2Greenhouse 34C 3Greenhouse 32C

  1. Two “Gardener’s Delight” tomatoes ripened in the greenhouse.
  2. Four courgettes picked from the garden – I’ve got two plants that produce green courgettes and two that produce yellow courgettes.
  3. The peppers are growing well at the moment.

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MAKING THINGS EASIER!

CraftingInBed01Wherever you craft, having good lighting really does make things easier.  Bad lighting, that makes you squint to see things, and makes your eyes tired, or glares in your vision,  isn’t good for your eyesight.  And bad lighting, that doesn’t show the true colour of items you are using isn’t good for your crafting.

I’ve already said before that a good proportion of my crafting is done in bed, and of course I’ve got a main light in the room and a small light on my bedside cabinet for use at night, but neither of these lights are good enough for crafting under for any length of time, and neither gives a perfect representation of colour.  So I was looking for a good lamp to craft under.  One that I could move around if I needed to for crafting in other locations.  I saw Otlites shown on C&C and thought that they looked good for what I wanted, and the price wasn’t too bad for what it was, compare to other lamps with a similar purpose, so I bought one knowing that I’d got the time to send it back if it wasn’t suitable.  The one I went for isn’t available on C&C at the moment, but it’s the FlexArm Plus, which has a sturdy clamp (which I’ve got clamped to the side of my bedside cabinet) and a weighted base (which I move my lamp to and move when I want to use it somewhere else).  The one I’ve got can currently be found here-> FlexArm Plus Lamp in White.  You can see in the picture of how I craft in bed that the flex arm can be pulled forward over my shoulder to shine exactly where I want it on my lap tray.  I’m not saying that an Otlite would be best for you, or that other lights won’t be just as good, I’m just saying that I’ve found this lamp perfect for me.  So don’t struggle with bad lighting, or badly positioned lighting – it really does make crafting easier if you’ve god good light.

(While some of the things I mention in my “Making Things Easier!” pieces are things I’ve worked out for myself, some are adaptations of things I’ve learnt from tips given by others. As others have been kind enough to share their tips I thought I’d do the same. I’m sure that most of my readers will already know much of what I’ve found makes things easier for me but if it helps one person at some point I’ll be happy.)

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CRAFTYBOB.COM UPDATE:

Have a look – here – at my whole shop “Siop Crafftau MAES MIERI Crafts Shop” on craftybob.com.

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CUP UPDATE:

20% Off Discount Code – Save 20% with the code “SUMMER”

Simply type the word ‘SUMMER’ into the REDEEM VOUCHER box on the basket page BEFORE you check out then click
UPDATE BASKET to save a whopping 20% off your total order value! Offer Ends :- 31st August 2013

CUP Mailer – Here are the links to the mailers sent out by the team at CUP HQ since my last blog post:

  • Friday, 23rd August – Here! – HOT Card Making Designs, New Froms, FREE CD Volume 60 & Bargain Paper Pack
  • Monday, 26th August – Here! – Save 20% with SUMMER Discount Code, Community Selections & More From CUP!
  • Wednesday, 28th August – Here! – 20% Discount Code, Mary MacBean CUP TV & All the latest CUP NEWS

Craftsuprint have a “Mailer Archive” where you can go to get links to mailers sent out over the last few months. This can be seen by clicking – here.

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You can see my page on Facebook by clicking – here.

You can see the cards I’ve made using design sheets from CUP in my “Crafter Showcase Area” on Craftsuprint.com – here
(Just scroll down past the top boxes to see the cards.)

Follow on Bloglovin

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(Thank you for reading this far. I hope you like what you’ve seen and read – You should find a box below where you can leave a comment if you feel like it, but due to the fact that, like many I’m sure, I’ve had some problems with Spam/advertising posts that are absolutely nothing to do with the content of my blog, I now moderate all comments before they go live. Genuine comments will go live when I’ve checked through the list – usually a couple of times a day.)
(Thank you to every body who’s left comments on my previous blog posts. I really do appreciate them all.
)

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Aug 272013
 

Just a quick post this time to show you one card I received and one I sent.

My partner for the August Card Swap on the “Stamping Dragon Designs” group on FB was Janette Padley, “the boss” and designer of all the “Stamping Dragon Design” digital goodies. Photos of the card I received from her, together with the card I sent her, and the details of what I used to make it, can be seen below. The theme for the August Card Swap was “ONLY use the colour BLUE”, so, other than some white background, everything I’ve added has been in shades of blue.

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CARD RECEIVED:

August Card Swap on the Stamping Dragon Designs FB group – this is the card I received from Janette Padley. Jannette also included a gorgeous little tag with a couple of her fab dragons on.  Thank you so much Janette.

1 AugustCardSwap from Janette 03  2 AugustCardSwap from Janette 04 3 AugustCardSwap from Janette 01

It’s lovely, and I’m so impressed with the lineing up of the panel on all the levels.  Picture 1 shows the card flat and picture 2 shows the card pulled out so the cascade is visible.

I think Janette has used the quote from “Beauty of a Family Quick Page Set” for her card.

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This next one is the card that I sent Janette – I’ve used the image on another card a while ago, but this time I went for a more ornate background for the card layer.

(Clicking on the text links below each set of images takes you to the pages where you can see some of what I used to make the cards.)

CARD SENT:

1AugustCardSwap 01C 2AugustCardSwap 02C 3AugustCardSwap 03C

  1. Front view of the card.
  2. An angled view showing the dimension of the rosette and other card elements, and also showing how glittery the tail of the rosette is.
  3. An angled view from the other side of the card, again showing dimension of some elements of the card.

Details:

Spring Flowers Digital Stamp by Janette Padley (The digi-stamp was printed out onto Super Smooth white cardstock at smaller than the size provided and then coloured in using ProMarkers and a FlexMarker.  The colours I used were: Celestial Blue, Azure, and Solstice Blue.  I then cut out the image using my circle scissors and went round the outside of the circle using the same Azure marker.  I got some blue gingham tissue paper from Tesco, made one large and two small butterflies using blue, mixed with a little white, Martha Stewart clay pressed into a Martha Stewart silicone mould, got some blue buttons from my mother and late grandmother’s button jar, a blue pattered panel with punched in corners from my crafty stash – I think it’s from a Papermania collection, and some ribbon from my crafty stash.  The base card is an 8″ square white Crafty Bob card and the white panels are hammered white cardstock that I cut to size and rounded with a corner punch.  I cut strips of the tissue paper, folded them in half and scored them using my Hougie board, one to make the pleated border near the bottom and one to make the rosette.  I used ultra tacky tape to attach the ribbon to the pleated strip and the pleated strip to the white card panel, and made a circle smaller than the size of my intended rosette and put on glue gel to form the rosette onto before using glue gel to put one button on top and a piece of folded ribbon behind.  I used 1mm deep and 2mm deep, double sided, foam tape to attach the various panels and layers to the card.  I used glue gel to attach the butterflies and buttons as finishing touches.)

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You can see my page on Facebook by clicking – here.

You can see the cards I’ve made using design sheets from CUP in my “Crafter Showcase Area” on Craftsuprint.com – here
(Just scroll down past the top boxes to see the cards.)

Follow on Bloglovin

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(Hi All – You should find a box below where you can leave a comment if you feel like it, but due to the fact that I’ve had some problems with Spam/advertising posts, that are absolutely nothing to do with the content of my blog, I now moderate all comments before they go live. Genuine comments will go live when I’ve checked through the list – usually a couple of times a day.)

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Aug 212013
 

Thank you for clicking over to have a look at my blog.
A Bit Of An Update, Some More Musings, Christmas Cards, And More!

I know that I write a lot in each blog post – please don’t think that you have to read every word I’ve written. You can just click the thumbnail images to view each card at a larger size, and then click “Back” and scroll down to the next section.

-oOo-

cup366064_1749 - card101C - Spring Flowers Digital StampIn my last post – here – I showed you a card I was entering into the “Stamping Dragon Designs Facebook Group“s Weekly Fun Challenge 20 that had the theme – Flowers.  Well I was lucky enough to win – though I have to admit that there were not a huge amount of entries – probably down to it being the holiday period with lots of the group’s members, and them making the most of family time while they’ve got the chance.  But the winning means I get some more loyalty points to add to my total, which means I’m working steadily towards having enough “Loyalty Points” to get a money off voucher towards more goodies from the shop  – who knows, I may even gather enough points early next year, but if not I hope to get enough points within the year. Winningthe fun challenge means I also got to choose the theme for this weeks challenge and will be doing the judgeing of any entries after it closes.

In view of the fact that my other hobbie, when I’m able, is growing things in my greenhouse and raised bed, the theme I’ve chosen is – Grow Your Own!  You can create anything for the challenge but your creation must have something SDD on it be it digi images or papers it doesn’t matter as long as it’s SDD and also follows the theme “Grow Your Own!”. So it could have flowers you’ve grown and pressed as embelishments, it could be a scrapbook page with a photo of something in your garden on it, it could simply be that you choose an SDD image of tomatoes or plums, etc. It’s a theme that can be interpreted in many different ways. The challenge will run until 8pm UK time on Sunday, 25th August.

If any of you are interested then please do join this lovely group.  Or why not pop over to have a look at the “Stampin’ With The Dragon” blog – you’ll see that the team is made up of crafters of many different media.

And I’ve just read (Monday evening) that I’ve got “Blog of the Week” on the group this week as well.  One of the activities on the group is a “Blog Ladder” where members who want to participate put down the address of their blog and then go and visit all the other blogs who’s addresses are put down during the week.  And then on Monday a blog is chosen as Blog of the Week and on Tuesday an new ladder starts.

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MUSINGS:

Where does time go?  And why is there never enough time? – answers in comments section below please – LOL!

I feel as if this summer has just flown and I’ve not achieved half of what I wanted to.  I know the leg infection and tooth absess knocked me and that I’ve spent days just doing the bare minimum, but I’ve now finished the last type of antibiotic and I’m still feeling as if everything I’m doing I’m walking through treacle.   I’ve been doing 20 to 30 minutes at my raised bed and greenhouse every morning and evening, and then resting with my leg elevated.  I’ve been doing bits of crafting, and then ending up just bundling stuff to one side rather than putting everything back properly because I’m exhausted, but I want to do so much more, and just can’t. I’m just hopeing that the antibiotics really have done their work and that I don’t get a repeat of the leg infection any time soon, and that both teeth that need to be extracted remain infection free until I get to see the dental surgeon.  I’ve had an appointment now for the second week in September – but because both problem teeth are on opposite sides of the mouth they will only extract one at a time – at least that’s what the clinic told my dentist when she rang up to check on progress when I was with the dentist a couple of weeks ago about the absess.  So that will mean a third journey of 50+ miles both ways to get the second tooth taken out (the 1st journey being the one for the consultation and full mouth X-ray, etc., back in May.)

I know that, compared to many, I’m very fortunate, and I’m generally quite positive about what I can do, rather than worry about what I can’t, but it can be very frustrating when I have to say – sorry, but no way – to something I actually want to do.  I may not be able to do as much as I want to, but I am able to do some things given careful planning and time.  I may not be able to have a room dedicated to my crafting and buy all the crafting goodies I want to play with, but I have found ways to do bits of crafting every few days and adjusted how I craft to suit how I am, and in reality I don’t actually need every crafting goody ever created – without a larger, dedicated, room I have nowhere to store any more stuff in any case.  I feel a tidy up coming on – now I wonder when somebody will be free to help me do the sort out?  I’ve got some more plastic storage boxes on order, some of which I’ve been notified will arrive tomorrow, so perhaps I’ll just make a slow start on boxing some of the papers I’ve got and then they can be put into their proper place when I’ve got help to move a few items that need moving – but –

– knowing me – I’m likely to start sorting some papers and then find myself side-tracked because I see something I was looking for to use on a part done project – and that will be the end of the sorting!  Now does that happen to others, or is it just me?

What I have done, crafting wise, this week is make another batch of quick Christmas cards using up bits leftover from last year – toppers, sheets of card, and some recycled card fronts.  Now then, does anybody other than me have a magic Christmas cards bits box?!  I open my box, use up a 12+ sheets of cardstock and numberous toppers, and when I go to close back the box everything’s multiplied and I have trouble squashing everything down to get the lid back on.  Now surely removing stuff should make it less full – so I’ve come to the conclusion that I must have a magic box that expands the size or quantity of stuff every time I open it.

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CARDS:

(Clicking on the text links below each set of images takes you to the pages where you can see some of what I used to make the cards.)

Challenges entered into:

  • Stamping Dragon Designs Facebook Group – August Colouring Challenge (Image is given free to group members who want to participate on request.  If you do request an image you can only request the following month’s image if you’ve uploaded a photo of your finished creation using the image.

1ChristmasElf 03

  1. Framed Christmas Elf digi-stamp by Janette Padley ( I printed the digi-stamp out at a size suitable for my project, onto 300gsm Super Smooth white cardstock.  I then coloured it in using my ProMarkers before cutting it around the frame element. The colours I used were: hair – Gold, Tulip Yellow; skin – Tan; eyes and holly leaves – Forest Green; dress and hat – Heatwave, Crimson.  I also added some red Martha Stewart glitter glue to the berries and a clear holographic one from the same pack to the hat, collar and cuff edges.  The background is coloured with the Icicle colour.  I then raided my Christmas card bit box for silver snowflake die-cuts, and die-cut background panels to use with the topper.  The base card was a pre-scored and foiled card I’d bought on a sale at some point, and the greeting panel is, if I remember rightly, from a Hunkydory greeting sheet.  I used finger-lift tape and glue gel to put everything together.)

An asortment of Christmas cards made with cardstock, toppers and recycled Christmas card fronts that I had stored in my “Christmas Cardmaking Box” since last year.  A lot of them are made using Hunkydory items.  There are also a small number of toppers from the “Snowman” and “Father Christmas” range that Crafter’s Companion produced last year.

1HDcard 11 02 2HDcard 12 02 3HDcard 13 02 4HDcard 14 01

1HDcard 15 02 2HDcard 16 02 3HDcard 18 01 4HDcard 19 01

1HDcard 17 02 2HDcard 17 03 3HDcard 17 04 4HDcard 20 01

2 and 3 here are closeups of the A4 card in picture 1.

1HDcard 21 01 2HDcard 22 01 3HDcard 23 01

1HDcard 24 01 2HDcard 25 01 3HDcard 26 01

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BOX:

1cup73816_96 - card02C - Circles 7 2cup73816_96 - card03C - Circles 7 3cup73816_96 - card04C - Circles 7

  1. Circles 7 by Anna Babajanyan (For this simple little box, made to give a gift of a simple pack of sweets look more special, I just printed the design off onto 300gsm, Super Smooth, white cardstock.  I then scored at the relevant places using my Hougie Board, cut into the sides to make the gluing tabs, and stuck together using wet glue.  I then put the gift in and tied with some pieces of jute twine.)
  2. Different angle photo of same box.
  3. And another different angle photo.

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JEWELLERY:

Well it’s not strictly Jewellery, but it is made using beads.  My nephews and I have been working on charms made with letter beads to put on the end of our pens so that we can tell them appart.  We also made one for my niece.  Unfortunately I forgot to take photos of them before my niece called and was given hers, and the boys took theirs and put them somewhere safe as well, so all I’ve got to show you is mine.

1CharmName 01 02

  1. The beads are cheap ones from the Tesco children’s crafting range and I’ve attached them to a mobile phone charm finding using silver tiger-tail wire and silver spacer beads and findings.

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SCRAPBOOK PAGE LAYOUT:

A bit of an inspiration for the Stamping Dragon Designs FB Group – Weekly Fun Challenge 21 – Grow Your Own!  As I’ve set the fun challenge theme I obviously can’t enter, but I thought it would be fun to do an inspiration piece using some of the photos I’ve shown you over the last couple of months.

1cup369495_1749 - card01C - Floral Meadow Card Papers 2cup369495_1749 - card02C - Floral Meadow Card Papers 2

  1. Simply Masculine Elements by Janette Padley and Floral Meadow Elements by Janette Padley (For this digital scrapbook page I took three of the papers  together with several elements into one of my graphics packages and resized one background to 8″ square and cut up the other two backgrounds into two smaller pieces to layer on the background.  I also put in three photos of the plants in my greenhouse growing.  Everything was resized and moved around until I was happy with the layout.  I added the text “Plannu” – Welsh for “Planting” and “Tyfu” – Welsh for “Growing”.)
  2. A further two pictures a couple of weeks further on are on this second digital scrapbook page made using the same background and elements as the first.

Keep an eye out for more from my greenhouse and raised bed over the next few weeks.

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MAKING THINGS EASIER!

CraftingInBed01I have several scoreboards, and they are all good for what they were created to do (especially the large board from Crafters Companion for making very large and deep envelopes from large sheets of cardstock), but the board I reach for time and time again is my Hougie Board.  No need to pull out one board to score different card sizes, and another board for doing boxes, and another if you want a parallel line pattern somewhere on the card, or to score for making rosettes.  Nine times out of every ten crafting sessions my Hougie Board is the only score board I’ll pull out.  Having one side in cm and the other in inches it’s great for working in either measurements.  If you’ve not seen demonstrations of the board in use getting the great little books that show in clear pictures how to use the board for various card creations and other papercrafted items is a good idea.  There are several different ones in the series now.  There are even a couple of DVDs to give you lots of ideas.  You can find a selection of Hougie Books & DVD’s – here.

(While some of the things I mention in my “Making Things Easier!” pieces are things I’ve worked out for myself, some are adaptations of things I’ve learnt from tips given by others. As others have been kind enough to share their tips I thought I’d do the same. I’m sure that most of my readers will already know much of what I’ve found makes things easier for me but if it helps one person at some point I’ll be happy.)

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CRAFTYBOB.COM UPDATE:

Have a look – here – at my whole shop “Siop Crafftau MAES MIERI Crafts Shop” on craftybob.com.

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CUP UPDATE:

CUP Mailer – Here are the links to the mailers sent out by the team at CUP HQ since my last blog post:

  • Monday, 19th August – Here! – Designs Selected By The CUP Community & Top 3 Weekly Sellers!
  • Wednesday, 21st August – Here! – Crafty Bob Supplies & The Latest Gossip From Our Community !!

Craftsuprint have a “Mailer Archive” where you can go to get links to mailers sent out over the last few months. This can be seen by clicking – here.

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You can see my page on Facebook by clicking – here.

You can see the cards I’ve made using design sheets from CUP in my “Crafter Showcase Area” on Craftsuprint.com – here
(Just scroll down past the top boxes to see the cards.)

Follow on Bloglovin

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(Thank you for reading this far. I hope you like what you’ve seen and read – You should find a box below where you can leave a comment if you feel like it, but due to the fact that, like many I’m sure, I’ve had some problems with Spam/advertising posts that are absolutely nothing to do with the content of my blog, I now moderate all comments before they go live. Genuine comments will go live when I’ve checked through the list – usually a couple of times a day.)
(Thank you to every body who’s left comments on my previous blog posts. I really do appreciate them all.
)

-oOo-

Crafting Mid August 2013

 Posted by at 09:22 pm
Aug 162013
 

Thank you for clicking over to have a look at my blog.
A Bit Of An Update, Some Cards And A Bit Of The Greenhouse

I know that I write a lot in each blog post – this helps me remember what colours or cardstock I’ve used in case I want to get a similar effect in the future, in addition to providing information that some readers might be interested in – so please don’t think that you have to read every word I’ve written. If you don’t want to know what I used and how I made a card you can just click the thumbnail images to view each card at a larger size, and then click “Back” and scroll down to the next section.

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I’ve done a bit of cardmaking, a bit of gardening, and a whole lot of resting the last couple of days. I hope you’ll like the cards I’ve got to show you below.

I haven’t spent a lot of time online so I’m well behind going round the blogs I love to follow.  I’m not sure whether I’ll get the time to at least visit one or two posts in all the blogs I follow or not.  I do love to see people’s creations and I’m amazed at the variety there is out there, so hopefully I’ll get caught up and manage to do a bit of comenting as I’m going round.

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CARDS:

(Clicking on the text links below each set of images takes you to the pages where you can see some of what I used to make the cards.)

Challenges entered into:

1cup366064_1749 - card101C - Spring Flowers Digital Stamp  2cup366064_1749 - card100 0C - Spring Flowers Digital Stamp

  1. Spring Flowers Digital Stamp by Janette Padley ( I took the digi-stamp into one of my graphics packages and copied it to have five images, making some slightly smaller than the others.  The sheet was then printed out onto 300gsm Super Smooth white cardstock. I coloured five of the printouts in using my ProMarkers.  The colours I used were: Bright Green, Canary, Red.  I then cut out the flowers, leaving the stalks on four and taking the stalks off the fifth one.  I took a pre-embossed, 6″ square base card from my crafting stash that was embossed with a frame around the outside and the greeting “Thank You” in the middle.  Onto this I stuck my cut out images using glue gel.)
  2. Same card but at a different angle – hopeing that the “Thank You” embossing shows up a bit clearer, but I’m not too sure about that.  You’ll need to click on the thumbnail, as per usual, to see the full sized card.

A set of four cards.

1cup384831_1056 - card01C - Spiral Snowflakes 2cup384831_1056 - card02C - Spiral Snowflakes 3cup384831_1056 - card03C - Spiral Snowflakes 4cup384831_1056 - card04C - Spiral Snowflakes

  1. Spiral Snowflakes by Karen Wyeth and Designer Resource Gymnasts by Gillian Hutchinson (I took four backgrounds the into one of my graphics packages and resized them down to four A6 sized card fronts.  I edged them in a faux black matting format and made them slightly smaller.  I then took four of the gymnasts and placed them on each of the created card fronts.  Once I was happy with the layout I printed the sheet out onto Glossy Crafty Bob paper and cut the four card fronts out.  I took 2 x A4 sheets of white hammered cardstock and cut them in half before scoreing using my Hougie Board .  I then folded them in half to make 4 x A6 base cards.  I used 1mm deep, double sided, foam tape to attach the panels to the front of my base card.  The set has been left without a greeting as I think they can be used as simple note-cards or as a greeting card, and if used as a greeting card I’ll add a suitable greeting at the time.)

Two further cards.

1cup70440_359 - card02C - Square 'Silver Metallic Frame' Card Front or insert 2cup382448_1749 - card02C - Spring Melody Elements

  1. Square ‘Silver Metallic Frame’ Card Front or insert by Carol Clarke (I printed the sheet out onto  300gsm Super Smooth white cardstock , trimmed it, scored it using my Hougie Board, and folded it in half.  I then simply decorated it using a greetings panel, some flowers and a couple of butterflies from my crafting stash that I attached using glue gel.  There’s one good thing about the series of “Card Frong or Insert” created by Carol Clarke – they are great for using up small quantities of bits left over in my stash, as well as forming a lovely backdrop for things like coloured in digi-stamps.)
  2. Spring Melody Elements by Janette Padley (I love the pastel shades of the elements in this kit and know they would work great as elements on a scrapbook page, but for this project I wanted to use the scalloped edges of the mats enclosed as the format for a large circular easel card.  I took elements from the kit into one of my graphics packages and built up two pages of elements for my layout, both for the layered front and for the inside and stop-bar.  After I was happy with the layout I printed them out onto two A4 sheets of Glossy Crafty Bob paper.  I then cut out the pieces.  I took an 8″ square Crafty Bob white card and scored it some 3.5″ from the fold.  I then attached the larger layer I’d cut out to the front of the card, making sure it was only attached using finger-lift tape to the bottom half of the front and that it went slightly over the fold.  I then cut around the top layer to make the whole card the same shape.  I then used 2mm deep, double sided foam tape as well as finger-lift tape to attach all the elements, putting the paper ribbon element on the front at a jaunty angle.  I’ve not put on a greeting yet as I’m not sure what language the greeting will be needed in.  I think I rather over did it with this design as far as cutting out was concerned – I didn’t have too much difficulty cutting out the layers from the Crafty Bob paper even if I was more than ready to stop by the end, but when it came to cutting out the card shape around this from the base card it really hurt my hand and I struggled and had to do it over more than one cutting session.  Not the brightest idea I’ve ever had – so next time I think I’d better do a cutting file and cut the base card out using my Cameo.)

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GARDENING:

The wet and colder weather of the last week or so may have slowed down the growth of stuff outside, but the tomato and cucumber plants are up to the greenhouse roof now, and the pepper plants have filled out nicely.  In fact it’s looking a bit like a jungle in there at the moment, and I’m having to take quarter an hour or so every morning just nipping out side shoots and finishing the tieing in.

Greenhouse 31C

These are closer looks at some of the plants

1Greenhouse 29C 2Greenhouse 26C 3Greenhouse 30C 4Greenhouse 27C

  1. These are the pepper plants.  The rocket plants can be seen in front of them but I cut those back quite hard yesterday as we had home made rocket soup for lunch.  Nice with a piece of soda bread.
  2. And putting the camera in under the leaf canopy you can see the little developing peppers.  The largest is about double the size of a large gooseberry at the moment.
  3. After the nephew picking ten minature cucumbers a week on Monday, and me picking seven since then, you can see that there are still more cucumbers developing.  In case some of you are wondering what these minature cucumbers are like, they grow to about the same diameter as ordinary cucumbers but only to around half the length.  So it’s a bit like going to the shop to buy half a cucumber, but they keep better as there’s no cut end.  Chilled cucumber soup is nice – we’ve had that a couple of times – a bit of an adaptation of a recipie I found in a book.
  4. You can see lots of trusses of tomatoes in this photo.  I’ve got three plants of Shirley down the right hand side and three plants of Black Russian accross the far end just coming into view in this photo.  All I need now is some warmth to get them to turn colour.

Anybody know of any interesting cucumber recipies?

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MAKING THINGS EASIER!

Having the right weight paper or cardstock for the job certainly helps make things easier when crafting – you don’t want a 70gsm or 300gsm paper/card as an insert, and making a base card out of 190gsm lightweight card rarely works as it won’t stand up.  When making paper flowers you don’t want to use the lightest weight paper as it usually won’t hold its shape, and if scoreing multiple lines in media to fold to make a rosette, you simply don’t want the heaviest weight media you can find or you’ll be fighting it.  I’d usually recommend 300gsm cardstock for a base card and a 120gsm paper for a nice insert.

I’ve occasionally been asked about “what is the best paper or cardstock to use for crafting and cardmaking?”.  My answer is usually “it depends”.

It depends on what you are going to do, how you are going to do it, and what finished effect you are after.  If you are a follower of my blog you’ll have noticed that the same types of cardstock appear time and time again, with a bit of something different thrown in every now and then for variety (If you are not a follower you can go to home and scroll downwards to see lots of my previous posts).  What every crafter needs to do is find cardstock and paper that they are happy using, and the best way to find those is to experiment.  Now experimenting can be expensive if you have to buy complete packs of all different types and colours of cardstock you are interested in – but keep your eye out for “taster” or “sample” packs.  These can give you the opportunity to see if you like the feel and look of media, and whether you can print nicely onto it with your printer if you intend to use if for printing, before buying in larger numbers.  I’m quite fond of using pearlescent cardstock or paper if I’m printing out fairies or etherial images – the image produced isn’t as crisp as printing onto other media, but that isn’t the effect I’m after, so I keep some pearlescent cardstock in the house for this purpose.  I’ve found Centura Pearl Snow White good for this.  I’ve heard some crafters sware that the back of this cardstock is excellent for printing out and colouring digi-stamps, or even for stamping onto, but I’ve not tried this as I’m happy with the Super Smooth cardstock I usually use for printing digi-stamps onto – but I may give this a try at some point.  If you experiment and find you like the effect, then having this cardstock in your crafty suplies might be a good thing as you’ll have two uses for it.  I find it a nice cardstock to make base cards from and also boxes, so another use.  Then there’s Adorable Scorable cardstock – again great for base cards, matting and layering and making boxes, and this comes in more colours and isn’t pearlescent.

So my advice is to keep an eye out for offers – even in children’s craft section of supermarkets as you could pick up something cheap that would be OK for matting and layering if nothing else – and keep an eye out for packs of mixed media both as far as paper and card weight is concerned, and also for different colours or finishes in packs for both printing and using for embossing, matting and layering, etc.

And then – experiment – it’s only a piece of paper, what does it matter if it doesn’t work out as planned, you’ll know for next time.

(While some of the things I mention in my “Making Things Easier!” pieces are things I’ve worked out for myself, some are adaptations of things I’ve learnt from tips given by others. As others have been kind enough to share their tips I thought I’d do the same. I’m sure that most of my readers will already know much of what I’ve found makes things easier for me but if it helps one person at some point I’ll be happy.)

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CRAFTYBOB.COM UPDATE:

Have a look – here – at my whole shop “Siop Crafftau MAES MIERI Crafts Shop” on craftybob.com.  Hopefully I’ll get more items uploaded at some point, so if there are specific items I’ve made you might be interested in then comment and let me know, and if they are not made for a specific person or on an order I may still have them available.

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CUP UPDATE:

CUP Mailer – Here are the links to the mailers sent out by the team at CUP HQ since my last blog post:

  • Friday, 16th August – Here! – 1p Printed Paper Pack, FREE Downloadable CD, Whats HOT & 14 New Froms!

Craftsuprint have a “Mailer Archive” where you can go to get links to mailers sent out over the last few months. This can be seen by clicking – here.

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You can see my page on Facebook by clicking – here.

You can see the cards I’ve made using design sheets from CUP in my “Crafter Showcase Area” on Craftsuprint.com – here
(Just scroll down past the top boxes to see the cards.)

Follow on Bloglovin

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(Thank you for reading this far. I hope you like what you’ve seen and read – You should find a box below where you can leave a comment if you feel like it, but due to the fact that, like many I’m sure, I’ve had some problems with Spam/advertising posts that are absolutely nothing to do with the content of my blog, I now moderate all comments before they go live. Genuine comments will go live when I’ve checked through the list – usually a couple of times a day.)
(Thank you to every body who’s left comments on my previous blog posts. I really do appreciate them all.
)

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Even More Crafting In August 2013

 Posted by at 09:58 pm
Aug 142013
 

Thank you for clicking over to have a look at my blog.
A Bit Of An Update, Cards, Jewellery and A Scrapbook Layout

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The call came through yesterday that my new glasses were ready for collection, plus the new lenses for my mother were ready as well.  So, in view of the fact that you can forget getting parking in town later on in the day, I headed out at nine this morning.  I did get a parking space on the main street, even if it was a little further than I’d have liked from the optitian, but I made it there and got my specs and handed in my mother’s frame for the new lenses to be inserted.  To get use to the new glasses before driving, and to kill time until my mother’s new lenses were fitted into her frame, I puttered around a couple of shops – big mistake!  My legs have been in a lot of pain this afternoon and evening.  So I’ve been sat in bed and did a little bit of colouring in, which you’ll see appearing on cards before long, and also sticking together a couple of quick cards I’d designed on my computer and printed out last night.  A couple of male cards this time.  I do hope that you like them.

Hopefully by tomorrow my legs will have eased up and I’ll be able to putter out the garden as I need to sit in the greenhouse for a bit and tie in the plants again and stop all the tomato plants that have reached the roof.  So you may get to see some photos of my greenhouse ‘jungle’ in my next post as well as what I’ve coloured in today.

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CARDS:

(Clicking on the text links below each set of images takes you to the pages where you can see some of what I used to make the cards.)

My two cards this time are suitable for men – perhaps an older man – what do you think?

1cup338120_1749 - card01C - Simply Masculine Elements 2cup450990_927 - card03C - cu4cu deigner resource Autumn Sun

  1. Simply Masculine Elements by Janette Padley (I took several elements from this kit into one of my graphics packages and layed everything out how I wanted as a card front.  I then printed the design, plus an extra layer for the frame, a greetings panel, etc., onto an A4 sheet of 300gsm Super Smooth white cardstock.  I took a 8″ square ivory Crafty Bob card and cut it down to just larger than my card front.  I used finger-lift tape to attach my created design to the card front of the base card and 2mm deep, double sided, foam tape to add the frame, greeting, etc.  The greeting is “Penblwydd Hapus” – which is Welsh for “Happy Birthday”.)
  2. cu4cu deigner resource Autumn Sun by Susan Wood (I took lots of elements from this kit into one of my graphics packages and moved around, resized, etc., until I was happy with the layout for a card front.  I then printed the design out onto glossy Crafty Bob cardstock.  Once cut out this was stuck directly to the front of an 8″ square Ivory Crafty Bob card using finger-lift tape.  A quick and easy card that’s suitable for a male.)

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JEWELLERY:

I love yellow with purple and wanted to use this colour combination in a jewellery set, but in the end I decided that full on, bright, yellow would be to much, so decided to go for a very pale, honey, coloured beads.  Both the yellow and purple beads have natural variations in colour within them, both having white areas, which is why I decided to go for silver findings and chain for this one.

1BeadedSet103 03

2BeadedSet103 02 3BeadedSet103 05 4BeadedSet103 06  5BeadedSet103 09

  1. The whole set – The pendant is a Dyed Purple Bamboo Agate Drop.  The beads are Purple Dyed Agate Faceted and Honey Quartz Round Beads.  I used silver tone findings and chain to make up this set.
  2. The necklace.
  3. The bracelet.
  4. Close-up of one area of the bracelet showing the variations in colour within the semi-precious stone beads.
  5. The matching earrings.

1KeyRing100 02 2KeyRing100 03 3Necklace100 02 4Necklace100 03

  1. The keyring – I attached five links of a large chain to the bottom of my keyring.  I took a misture of Purple Dyed Agate Faceted and purple glass pearls and threadded each one onto a ball end, silver plated, head pin and used my round nosed plyers to twist a spring/spiral end to each pin.  I then used jump rings to attach these to the dangling chain.
  2. A closeup of the beads.  I was going to put much more beads on, but when I saw the spiral loops I’d created to attach against the striations of the beads, I decided I wanted to make a looser cluster so that the spirals would be visible and form a part of the decoration.
  3. Dragonfly necklace -I took the dragonfly pendant and used a piece of wire from a head pin that had the head cut off to turn round and round using my round nose pliers to create an attachment.  The beads are semi-precious round Howlite beads.  The beads and pendant were threadded onto tigertail wire and I used sparkle crimp bead covers to hid them on either side.
  4. Close-up of the dragonfly pendant and a few of the beads showing the marbling effect of these semi-precious beads.

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SCRAPBOOK LAYOUT:

Challenges entered into:

1up351763_1749 - card02C - A Touch of Provence Card Papers

  1. A Touch of Provence Card Papers by Janette Padley (This is a digital scrapbook layout.  I took several papers from this kit, together with two photos sent to me by my friend Marion, into one of my graphics packages.  I resized, moved around, cut a strip from one, and added text to two of the smaller background panels I’d made.  I decided that I needed something as a contrast to lift my page layout so created my own black with stars background paper design and some black mats, and built everything together until I was happy with the layout.  I then exported the page as a .jpg file to E-mail to my friend.)

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MAKING THINGS EASIER!

DST 01If I’m wanting to position a layer onto another layer, when I’m using finger-lift tape to attach them together, then – rather than remove the whole backing in one go – I lift up the backing of the sides at two opposite corners and turn the backing out to the sides.  This means that I can position the layer in place, and move it about a bit, before pressing the corners with the sticky into place, and then just pull the backing out afterwords.  Much easier than trying to place a layer in place when the whole back has sticky expose, as that makes it much harder to make sure something is in exactly the right place before allowing any of the sheet to touch.

(While some of the things I mention in my “Making Things Easier!” pieces are things I’ve worked out for myself, some are adaptations of things I’ve learnt from tips given by others. As others have been kind enough to share their tips I thought I’d do the same. I’m sure that most of my readers will already know much of what I’ve found makes things easier for me but if it helps one person at some point I’ll be happy.)

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CRAFTYBOB.COM UPDATE:

Have a look – here – at my whole shop “Siop Crafftau MAES MIERI Crafts Shop” on craftybob.com.

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CUP UPDATE:

CUP Mailer – Here are the links to the mailers sent out by the team at CUP HQ since my last blog post:

  • Monday, 12th August – Here! – Designer & Crafter Selections, Crafty Bob Paper & More!
  • Wednesday, 14th August – Here! – Craft Download Essentials & CUP’s Community News

Craftsuprint have a “Mailer Archive” where you can go to get links to mailers sent out over the last few months. This can be seen by clicking – here.

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You can see my page on Facebook by clicking – here.

You can see the cards I’ve made using design sheets from CUP in my “Crafter Showcase Area” on Craftsuprint.com – here
(Just scroll down past the top boxes to see the cards.)

Follow on Bloglovin

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(Thank you for reading this far. I hope you like what you’ve seen and read – You should find a box below where you can leave a comment if you feel like it, but due to the fact that, like many I’m sure, I’ve had some problems with Spam/advertising posts that are absolutely nothing to do with the content of my blog, I now moderate all comments before they go live. Genuine comments will go live when I’ve checked through the list – usually a couple of times a day.)
(Thank you to every body who’s left comments on my previous blog posts. I really do appreciate them all.
)

-oOo-

Aug 132013
 

Just a quick post this time to show you one card I received and one I sent.

My partner for the July Card Swap on the “Stamping Dragon Designs” group on FB was Nicole Bretherick. Photos of the card I received from her, together with the card I sent her, and the details of what I used to make it, can be seen below. The theme for the July Card Swap was “Animals”.

The “Stamping Dragon Designs” is a lovely group to belong to, very active, with a great group of people, some freebies, and activities such as challenges where participation gets members loyalty points, which in turn gets a voucher to spend at the “Dragons Lair Designs” online shop.  Please pop over and have a look at the group and the shop, and ask to join if you think it will be a group you’ll like.

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CARD RECEIVED:

July Card Swap on the Stamping Dragon Designs FB group – this is the card I received from Nicole Bretherick. Thank you so much Nicole.

JulyCardSwap from Nicole 02

It’s such a fun image, that Nicole tells me comes from the La Pashe Wrinklies CD-ROM, and beautifully made.  She obviously knows that I like purple.

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This next one is the card that I sent Nicole – I’ve used the image on another card a while ago, but this time I went for a more ornate background for the card layer.

(Clicking on the text links below each set of images takes you to the pages where you can see some of what I used to make the cards.)

CARD SENT:

1 JulyCardSwap 03C  2JulyCardSwap 04C  3JulyCardSwap 05C

  1. This is the whole card front – It’s an 8″ square card so quite big.  For some reason the horse charm atached to the jute twine bow at the upper left has got caught up in the loops of the bow and isn’t dangling.
  2. An angled view to show some of the dimension – the charm is dangling correctly in this photo.
  3. A closer view at the “shabby” flowers I made from the waste of the trellis, with the addition of some leaves from another die-cut sheet.

Details:

Standing Horse Stamp by Janette Padley (I printed the dig-stamp out onto 300gsm Super Smooth white cardstock. I coloured the image using my ProMarkers.  The colours I used were: Cocoa, Henna, Chestnut, Black, and Pastel Blue all the way around.  The background is a sheet of pre-cut die-cut cardstock that I cut to size and the wrapped the edges with some Washi Tape.  The frame was also a pre-cut die-cut one, which I coloured using bronze guilding wax.  I used this to cut an aperture in the background lattice of the right size and put the image, also cut to a suitable size, behind the aperture using foam tape. Guilding wax was also used on die-cut leaves that also came pre-cut, and I shaped them using a couple of different sized ball tools and my fingers. The base card is an 8″ square Crafty Bob Ivory card.  The latice framed image was attached to the front of the base card, again using foam tape.  I flowers are made from petals that were the waste shapes that came out of the latice.  These were coloured and glued together.  Small sticky back faux gems were placed in the centre of each flower.  The charm is one of those I’d got left over from a pack I bought to make my sister-in-law’s birthday gift this year and is comes from a Horse Tibetan Silver Charms pack.  This is tied on using a bow made of pieces of jute twine.  The bow, flowers, and leaves were attached using glue gel.)

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You can see my page on Facebook by clicking – here.

You can see the cards I’ve made using design sheets from CUP in my “Crafter Showcase Area” on Craftsuprint.com – here
(Just scroll down past the top boxes to see the cards.)

Follow on Bloglovin

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(Hi All – You should find a box below where you can leave a comment if you feel like it, but due to the fact that I’ve had some problems with Spam/advertising posts, that are absolutely nothing to do with the content of my blog, I now moderate all comments before they go live. Genuine comments will go live when I’ve checked through the list – usually a couple of times a day.)

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Further August 2013 Crafting

 Posted by at 05:30 pm
Aug 092013
 

Thank you for clicking over to have a look at my blog.
A Bit Of An Update, Some More Musings, Cards And More Cards

I know that I write a lot in each blog post – so if you don’t want to read all my ramblings, then just jump ahead to the photos of my crafted items and click on the thumbnail images for a good look.

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In my last post I told you that I’d had two busy, and expensive days – Tuesday – emergency dentist for tooth absuss that hadn’t cleared up; Wednesday – car service and M.O.T., and optitian for eye test and new glasses.  Rather busy days for me, with a lot of time on my feet – even though my niece drove me to the dentist and one of my sisters drove me to the optitian.  So Thursday was a rest day with my damaged leg up (I really don’t want a repeat infection in the leg, which is a real posibility with an infection still in my tooth if any bugs get carried via the blood to my leg, especially if it gets realy swollen and the circulation gets bad).  So Thursday was a colouring in and cutting out day in bed.  Thursday was also a day when I got a little bit of money back as a tax rebate – and no, it wasn’t one of the phishing E-mails claiming to be from somebody in the tax office with thousands to give me, it was a genuine cheque arrived via the post.  Pity it wasn’t a bigger cheque but, after a couple of days of spending, every little bit helps.

After the colouring and cutting day on Thursday, Friday’s been a construction and photographing day – so I’ve got a few more cards to show you today than in the last post.  I hope you like them.

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MUSINGS:

With all the money going out this week my thoughts the last few days have turned to getting a bit more money back from my crafting.  But I’m not quite sure yet how I’m going to do this.  With my health/disability issues I can’t go out and about to sell regularly at places like a farmer’s market, and I can’t book to do craft fairs as there’s very little chance that I’d be having a good enough day when it’s taking place to stay selling for the day.  But on the plus side I do have a few people, mostly family members and a close friend, who buy cards from me at various times throughout the year, and more people at the chapel who buy in the run up to Christmas.

In fact my biggest sales comes in the autumn and early winter when I’m selling Christmas cards.  And that time of year is coming closer – so, although I’ve made a few Christmas cards already this year, I really do need to get stuck in and make some batches of Christmas cards – and as they say – There’s no time like the present!

Of course, I’ve got some stuff up for sale on my shop on craftybob.com, so perhaps I should sort out some more hand crafted items to upload to my shop there and then do a bit more advertising of the shop.

I’m just wondering whether the market for hand crafted cards is now reaching saturation point.  I do hope not, but there does appear to be a lot of people selling hand crafted cards and, with the recession, less people willing to pay a premium for good quality hand made when they can get cheaper hand finished or completely machine made cards.

One thing I have noticed is more and more customers are checking with me that any card they are interested in will actually go through the UK mail system using an ordinary letter stamp.  This does mean that, although I do make some dimensional cards that will be hand delivered, I do have to make a concious effort at times to keep a card very flat.  My “making things easier” tip for today is to do with how I make sure I don’t give the wrong information to anybody about a card’s size – so have a look lower down.

I’d be interested in hearing any other crafter’s thoughts on whether it’s harder now to sell larger cards or any hand made card this year than a year or two ago.

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CARDS:

(Clicking on the text links below each set of images takes you to the pages where you can see some of what I used to make the cards.)

3 quite different cards first – each one entered into different challenges :-

With summer here I thought I’d print out this beach scene again and make a new card:

Challenges entered into:

1cup347706_1749 - card30C - Jiggy Dragon at the Beach Stamp

  1. Jiggy Dragon at the Beach Stamp by Janette Padley and Sand, Sun & Surf Backing Paper Kit by Robyn Cockburn (I printed the digi-stamp out at smaller than the size given onto 300gsm Super Smooth white cardstock.  I also printed one of the “sand” backgrounds out onto the same cardstock.  I then coloured in the digi-stamp using my ProMarkers.  The colours I used were: sand – Daffodil Bloom, Buttercup; dragon – Honeydew, Meadow Green; sky – Cloud Blue; palm tree – Walnut, Grass; other items  – Heatwave, Cyan, Summer Sun.  I took a small piece of cotton wool and wiped a Blender Pen over it a few times and dabbed this over the sky to give the look of whispy clouds.  I also cut out a circle of the same cardstock using my circle scissors, making it aproximately the same diameter as the sun would be if it was all in the picture.  This was coloured in using Summer Sun and then I went over it with a yellow Wink of Stella marker to add a little glitter.  I cut out the digi and matted it onto white cardstock, trimming to leave a small margin.  This matted image was then stuck onto the sand background and trimmed to leave a much larger margin.  I used a couple of my Perfect Layers rulers to help get even borders.  I took an A4 sheet of white hammered cardstock and scored it using my Hougie Board before folding it in half to make my base card.  I then used finger-lift tape to stick my matted layer directly to this.  I used 2mm deep, double sided foam tape to attach my added layer of the sun.  I finished off by using the same yellow marker to add a greeting “Dydd Hapus” – Welsh for “Happy Day”, and added some little yellow sticky back gems at the end.)

In total contrast his next one is a set of items for Christmas:

Challenges entered into:

1cup233965_33 - card01C - Santa Standing Toppers

2cup233965_33 - card02C - Santa Standing Toppers 3cup233965_33 - card04C - Santa Standing Toppers 4cup233965_33 - card03C - Santa Standing Toppers

  1. Santa Standing Toppers by Tom Curtis (I printed the sheet out onto Glossy Crafty Bob paper and cut out all the toppers.  For this project I used two of each sized topper, the smaller two being cut out around the santa figure.  I took two sheets of hammered white cardstock and cut both in half.  Two were scored using my Hougie Board and then folded in half to make A6 base cards, one of the other halves was cut in half again, and then scored and folded to make two A7 gift cards.  All the intact toppers were stuck to the front of a sheet of silver mirror cardstock and trimmed to leave a border before attaching to the relevant card using 2mm deep, double sided, foam tape.  I added a greeting panel “Nadolig Llawen” – which is Welsh for “Happy Christmas” – again using foam tape, and I put a slit near the top inside left of the gift tags and threaded in a piece of ribbon from my crafting stash.  The smaller, cut out, santas were stuck as embelishments onto suitably sized envelopes.  So with three small toppers left over I’ve created two sets of Christmas card, gift tag and a decorated envelope.  A great way to make up quick and simple Christmas cards without breaking the bank.)
  2. One of the Christmas cards
  3. One of the gift tags
  4. One of the envelopes

This next one is one where I designed the layout electronically and then printed off and made up the card:

Challenges entered into:

1cup369686_1749 -  card02C -  Flowery Blues Card Papers

  1. Flowery Blues Elements by Janette Padley and Flowery Blues Card Papers by Janette Padley (I took elements from both these kits into one of my graphics programs and played around with the size and position of the pieces until I had a layout I was happy with for the inside and topper of an easel card.  I then printed the design, including the extra layers I’d put on my working surface, out onto 300gsm, Super Smooth, white cardstock.  I cut out all the pieces.  I created my base card out of 300gsm Hammered white cardstock, scoreing across the card half way along the front and trimming to fit my card front layer.  I used a couple of pieces of finger-lift tape to attach the main layer inside and the card front layer, and then used 2mm deep, double sided, foam tape to attach the tags layer to the outside and the paper ribbon element to the inside as a stopper.  I finished off by attaching the flowers using glue gel. )

And another two cards:

1cup369686_1749 -  card04C -  Flowery Blues Card Papers 2cup85557_359 - card01C - Square 'Silver Metallic Frame' Card Front or insert

  1. Flowery Blues Elements by Janette Padley and Flowery Blues Card Papers by Janette Padley (This card layout is practically identical to the previous card, but without the final blue border added and with white text.  It’s printed at slightly larger than the card front of the easel card onto Glossy Crafty Bob paper.  After cutting the base layer was matted onto silver mirror card which was trimmed to leave a small border using a Perfect Layer ruler as a guide.  The base card is an 8″ square Crafty Bob white card and the matted image is stuck directly to this using fingerlift tape.  I used 2mm deep, double sided, foam tape to atach the tag layers and glue gel to attach the flower elements.)
  2. Square ‘Silver Metallic Frame’ Card Front or insert by Carol Clarke (I printed the sheet out onto 300gsm Super Smooth white cardstock, trimmed it, scored it, and folded it in half to make my base card.  For this card I raided my crafting stash and found four paper flower layers which I stuck together using quick grab wet glue and then added some silver glitter glue into the centre before attaching to my card front using glue gel.  A quick and easy card or notelet to send somebody a quick message.)

And now for my first batch of Christmas cards for this year.  I just pulled out my box of Christmas card stuff that I’d put away at the end of Christmas crafting last year, and pulled out a pack of left over bits from a kit I’d bought last year, together with a few sheets of white hammered cardstock and some greetings panels and glitter glue for embelishments and just made some quick and easy cards.  I think that all the toppers are from Hunkydory’s sets from last year.  All of these will go through the standard letter post I believe, alhtough I haven’t done a double check yet.

1HDcard 01 01 2HDcard 02 02 3HDcard 03 01 4HDcard 04 01

All this first batch are A5 sized cards.  Several have added glitter glue put on for a little twinkle, though it doesn’t show up in the photos.  I think I’ll have to add something under the silhouetted figures on the second one as they are not grounded at the moment.

1HDcard 05 01 2HDcard 06 01 3HDcard 07 01

  1. A5 sized card
  2. DL sized card
  3. A6 sized card

1HDcard 08 01 2HDcard 09 01 3HDcard 10 01

  1. A6 sized card
  2. Little gift tag
  3. A5 sized card.

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MAKING THINGS EASIER!

With customers wanting to know whether a card will go through the UK post system on an ordinary letter stamp I realised a good while ago that it would be important to give them an acurate answer, and to do that I did several things.

  1. Check the Royal Mail website to find out what size and weight letters are small enough to go through on an ordinary stamp.
  2. Find a way to acurately measure and weigh letters to make sure that I gave people the right information (nobody wants to send a card with an ordinary letter stamp on and for the recipient to have to pay to receive it because the postage was wrong).

Details of what sizes and weights of items count as letters, large letters or small packets can be found on the Royal Mail website, where you can enter the dimensions and weight of the item and the site works out which stamps would be needed.  Which is great for checking an item to be posted when you are somewhere with online access, but not always convenient for giving a quick answer to a customer, say when I’m selling at the chapel.  But the Royal Mail website helps with this as well, having a downloadable and printable document with tables of sizes and prices.  You can find this -> here.

As for measuring a card quickly – I put the card in its envelope and put it through the Helix Postal Charge Template.  This is a simple, ruler like device with slots the depth and width of both the letter and the large letter size, and a rule with the maxium length for both types of items.  It’s a nice size to carry around and to store, and no more guessing whether something will go through “that slot” at the post office.  If somebody asks whether a Christmas card, or other, will go as a standard letter I simply pop it in an envelope and see if it will go through the smallest slot.

For weighing my cards I put them into their envelopes and put them on a flat topped kitchen scales that weighs in grams.  I don’t believe the one I’ve got is still made, but this one here -> Duronic KS1007 Compact Slim Design Digital Display 5KG Kitchen Scales
– is similar.  The maximum weight for a standard letter is 100g, and the chance of passing that weight with a letter that fits through all the slots is very remote – not unles you’ve used lead to make it.

Now, (to save money and keep the final cost of cards such as Christmas cards down – other than one or two “special” ones, the family and friends who buy Christmas cards from me don’t want to spend a lot on Christmas cards,) I usually keep my Christmas cards “naked” in various drawers of a plastic trolley – depending on price, and have the bottom drawer full of various sized envelopes.  This means I save on the cost of cello bags and the time to package and tag them all up.  The trolley I’ve got is something like this -> 4 Large Drawer Plastic Storage Unit Silver ( can be used with or without Wheels)
– but again I can’t find the exact same one I’ve got.  I use it on wheels because that way it can simply be pushed, say out to the car and simply lifted into the boot of the car if I’m going up the chapel, rather than having to carry each drawer out one by one – I don’t do carrying for any distance very well, and arm pains would stop me before I got everything out if I was having to carry.

But for other occasion cards I do “bag and tag”.  For these “bagged and tagged” cards, which would have to be removed from the cello bag to put through the slot of my “letter checker”, I do the checking as a part of my bagging and tagging process and have little colour coded stickers that I put on the cello bags in addition to the price.  I have one colour that I’ve labled “L” which goes onto cards that will (without the addition of any notes or money) go through the post on an ordinary letter stamp.  Another coloured I’ve labelled “LL” for large letters, and another colour I’ve labelled “P” for packet – used on some very dimensional keepsakes.

I tend to make batches of cards and then, when my stock of “bagged and tagged” items for any particular occasion is runing low, I’ll go into my stock of made cards, put in inserts, put my label on the back, and match the card with an envelope.  While the card is in the envelope I’ll do my size and weight check and put the relevant little label onto the cello bag.  The card is then simply taken out of the envelope and card and envelope, together with a little note to say whether the insert is left blank or has something written on it, are popped in the cello bag and a price label is also added before the “bagged and tagged” card is popped into my trolley of different occasion cards.

So, if a customer asks “what stamp do I need on that” I can just look at the little label and give them an immediate answer – though I do tell them that it is only for guidance because if they add anything, such as a note, cheque, gift card, etc., it will make the depth and weight different.

(While some of the things I mention in my “Making Things Easier!” pieces are things I’ve worked out for myself, some are adaptations of things I’ve learnt from tips given by others. As others have been kind enough to share their tips I thought I’d do the same. I’m sure that most of my readers will already know much of what I’ve found makes things easier for me but if it helps one person at some point I’ll be happy.)

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CRAFTYBOB.COM UPDATE:

Have a look – here – at all the items I’ve currently got for sale on my shop “Siop Crafftau MAES MIERI Crafts Shop” on craftybob.com.

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CUP UPDATE:

CUP Mailer – Here are the links to the mailers sent out by the team at CUP HQ since my last blog post:

  • Friday, 9th August – Here! – Free CD – HOT Selling Designs & The Latest New Froms.

Craftsuprint have a “Mailer Archive” where you can go to get links to mailers sent out over the last few months. This can be seen by clicking – here.

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You can see my page on Facebook by clicking – here.

You can see the cards I’ve made using design sheets from CUP in my “Crafter Showcase Area” on Craftsuprint.com – here
(Just scroll down past the top boxes to see the cards.)

Follow on Bloglovin

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(Thank you for reading this far. I hope you like what you’ve seen and read – You should find a box below where you can leave a comment if you feel like it, but due to the fact that, like many I’m sure, I’ve had some problems with Spam/advertising posts that are absolutely nothing to do with the content of my blog, I now moderate all comments before they go live. Genuine comments will go live when I’ve checked through the list – usually a couple of times a day.)
(Thank you to every body who’s left comments on my previous blog posts. I really do appreciate them all.
)

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2nd Post of August 2013

 Posted by at 11:05 pm
Aug 072013
 

Thank you for clicking over to have a look at my blog.
A Bit Of An Update, Some More Musings, A Card, Gardening, And Cake Decorating

If you don’t want to read all my babblings – then just jump ahead to the card photos and click on the thumbnail images for a good look.
-oOo-

Well, first the good news – no more leg infection (let’s hope it stays away!).  Then the bad news – despite over three weeks of antibiotics the absus I’ve had on the root of one tooth hasn’t cleared, so to the dentist yesterday, who has put me on a week of different antibiotics and some anti-inflamitary gel to put on the gum.  I’m already on the waiting list to have one tooth that has a root cavity extracted, having already been to the hospital for a full mouth X-ray and consultation with the Dental Surgeon, so more phone calls by my dentist and this different infected tooth has been added to the list for extraction.  Arrrr!  That was yesterday.

Today it was car service and M.O.T. (wheel baring, and a few other bits needed), and Optitian (not a huge change in optical prescription but just enough that I needed a new pair of varifocal glasses) – so not a cheap day – and another ARRRRR!!!

So, with everything, I’ve not done a lot of crafting this week, but I have got one card and some decorated cupcakes (decorated with nephew’s help) to show you today.  I hope you like them.

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MUSINGS:

The last few days I’ve been wondering –

How did my crafting stash get into such a mess?

I’ve got lots of storage, some of it with spare spaces in it, but somehow I’ve landed up with lots of stuff all over the place again.

Well I suppose I do know how it happened.  It sort of crept up on me.  I tend to collect together what I need for a crafting session in bed, and have a bit of fun crafting.  But invariably my energy runs out before my ideas do, or bits of me become too painful to do any crafting, and when I get to that state I tend to put my crafting tote bag back on its shelf and then just bundle the rest either on the table by my bedside cabinet or by the foot of my bed.  And if I do that two or three times pretty soon I can’t get past to put things back properly or put newly delivered cardstock or glues in their proper tray and stuff just bundles up where they’ve been left.  Wpps! Plus, some of my stuff was put in cardboard boxes, and these have started to disintigrate now.

So I decided to invest in a little unit with shelves and casters to go instead of the folding table by my bedside cabinet.  Shelves will mean that stuff can be put flat in there rather than just dumped, and with it being on casters I will be able to push it to move it to where some of the stuff I’ve collected for a crafting session should go back to, thus saving me having to carry a lot of bits of paper, embelishments, and tools – which invariably manage to land on the floor if I’m not feeling particularly strong or I’m in a lot of pain.  The shelving unit arrived the end of last week and my niece put it together for me on Sunday.  The other thing I invested in were some different sized and shaped boxes.  I had ordered two boxes that would nicely hold my crafting DVDs and CD-ROMs, being the perfect width and height for them, meaning that the CD-ROMs wouldn’t be stacked and bundled on top of each other in cardboard boxes so that everything had to be removed for me to find them, but rather I could see at a glance which CD-ROMs were in each box.  Plus, the plastic boxes I’ve bought have lids and will stack tidily on each other and are narrower than the cardboard boxes that are disintigrating so wouldn’t stick out quite so much.  But when these two boxes arrived my mother suggested that one would be the perfect size for my large knitting board to be kept in with its working yarn – and it actually fit perfectly.  So now I need to order another one of that size for my CD-ROMs.  It’s good that the same box fits my large Authentic Knitting Board, but a bit of a bother having to put another order for another box.  I may wait until I actually start tidying stuff into the box and wheelable shelving unit – just in case I actually need two more, not just one more.

Of course, I’ve probably got enough crafting stash of one sort or another, to allow me to do crafting for two or three years without ordering anything other than Pinflair Glue gel and perhaps some wet glue.  – But I know I’ll still actually need some other stuff that’s new that I’ve not got in my stash of crafting consumables or equipment.  Who knows, some of the new stuff that comes out may be just the thing to help make my various crafting easier for me.  It’s surprising how people come up with so many things that I’ve just got to try isn’t it?!

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CARD:

(Clicking on the card brings up a larger image – clicking on the text links below the image takes you to the pages where you can see some of what I used to make the cards.)

Challenges entered into:

1cup411416_1141 - card01C - Bug Catching Boys Digital Stamp

  1. Bug Catching Boys Digital Stamp by Angela Wenke (I printed the digi stamp out onto 300gsm Super Smooth white cardstock at smaller than the size provided.  I then coloured it in using my ProMarkers and some FlexMarkers.  The colours I used were: hair and skin – March Hare, Vanilla, Tan, Sandstone, Cinnamon, Black, Rose Pink; clothes, shoes, butterflies, eyes – Rock Pool, Celestial Blue, Cloud Blue, Sky Blue, Aegean, Pastel Blue, French Navy; shaddow around figure – Pastel Blue.  I trimmed around the the image and then matted matted it onto some cardstock from my stash, cutting a small border using one of the Perfect Layers rullers.  I took an A4 sheet of blue Adorable Scoreable cardstock, scored it using my Hougie Board, folded it in half, and then shaped the corners using a corner rounder punch. I took another sheet of Adorable Scorable cardstock and created a mat to put on the card front a little smaller than the card front, again rounding the corners and also used some of the same blue cardstock to make a second mat under the main image.  I then took some plain and spotted blue cardstock from my crafting stash and made a further large layer and some other layers for my card front.  Most of the layers are stuck down directly using roller glue tape, but the panel coming down partway on the left is stuck down using 1mm deep, double sided, foam tape, and the same tape has been used on the left of the main, matted and layered, image.  I used 2mm deep, double sided, foam tape to stick the right hand side of the matted and layered image, together with the tone on tone greeting panel.  I used a blue metalic marker and one of the ProMarker fine nibs and added faux stitching around the main card, around the digi-stamp topper layer, around the smaller panel coming down from the top left, and around the large dotted blue layer – although it isn’t very visible on this except in certain lights. I finished off by attaching some butterfly buttons, that has had some blue jute twine put through the holes, on as embelishment using glue gel.  I did use the same metalic marker as used for the faux stitching to put a touch on the butterfly buttons wings and around the edge of the butterflies on the digi-stamp.)

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GARDENING:

One of my young nephews came over on Monday and helped water the greenhouse and pick some of our minature cucumbers.

1Greenhouse 24C 2Greenhouse 23C 3Greenhouse 25C

  1. This is what the plants in the greenhouse looked like on Monday. Much more leavy than it was a few short weeks ago.
  2. This is what the cucumbers looked like hanging on one of the two cucumber plants.
  3. And these are the cucumbers after my nephew picked them on Monday – 10 of them.  That makes a total of 20 cucumbers picked off two plants so far in the last few weeks. (Add another 3 to that number – picked some more today – Wednesday.)

There are around four half grown minature cucumbers on each of the two cucumber plants, as well as several more flowers just begining to open, so who knows how many more cucumbers we’ll have off the two plants this year.

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CAKE DECORATING:

I’d bought some plain cupcakes on Saturday, and as one of the little nephews was over on Monday he got to help decorate them – well in reality he did the vast majority of the work, with just supervision and a few hints and tips needed.  I did get to do a couple of the roses and the two tone floral toppers for another two cakes, other than that the nephew did the lot.

1CakeDecorating 02 02C 2CakeDecorating 02 03C

  1. Half a dozen chocolate cupcakes decorated with brown chocolate fondant icing with daisies cut from white chocolate fondant icing using the Blossom Sugar Art daisy cutter and mould, and leaves from ordinary green fondant icing using little cutters with plungers.  The plain cupcakes were decoated using an assortment of roses, other floral elements and one even had a bird in a branch.
  2. A bit of a closeup of the choclate cupcakes and their decoration.  After putting on a circle of the brown choclate icing a band of gold edible shimmer was brushed around the edge.  Gold shimmer was also brushed on the centre of the daisy flowers made from white chocolate icing.

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MAKING THINGS EASIER!

CraftingInBed02In my first blog post of August I mentioned that I’ve got a tote that holds a lot of the things I used every time I craft.  Well this is the tote ->

It is quite similar to this one here -> PAPERMANIA DELUXE CRAFT TOTE BAG Black Liquorice Dot Hobby Organiser Canvas Case – though the pattern on mine isn’t quite the same

I think most crafters, over time, find that there’s a core of “stuff”, be they consumables or equipment, that they use most often, so it pays to have these in a convenient place close at hand to where you craft.  It saves a lot of time and energy if all that needs to be hunted for in the extended crafty stash are the “extras” needed for any particular crafting session.

I do most of my crafting in bed, so don’t work at a desk where my most used stuff could be stored, so I use this tote.  It sits on a shelf near the bottom of my bed and is just lifted onto the bed to my side when I need it.

The really good scissors I use most often (see my “making things easier” section in – this post), that don’t clog up with glue when cutting foam or double sided tape, are not kept in the tote, but rather are kept in a drawer by the side of my bed so that I’ve got easy access to them even if I’ve not pulled my tote from the shelf to my bed – prevents the youngest nephews getting at them when crafting and means that I can do cutting out when I feel like it without fetching my crafting tote.  So I keep three pairs of good, but not non-stick, scissors in my tote so that they can use them when I have my tote out for crafting with them.

The large roll of non-stick, heatproof, mat that you see sticking out of one end of the tote is also used mostly for crafting with them.  It covers quite a bit of our kitchen table when I have to move there to craft with the boys.  I don’t tend to use it when crafting in bed as I don’t do a lot of messy stuff in bed, and if I do I’ll use my glass mat on my lap tray or sometimes my small SplodgeAway mat if I’m inking.  I’m not sure where I got this non-stick heatproof mat.  It’s like this one – here – but quite a bit larger.

So today’s tip for making things easier is to think about what you’ll be doing, and have something suitable on your working surface that will make it easier to clean up and protect what’s underneath.  It really is easier in the long run, especially if you run out of steam and don’t have the energy to scrub a table or tray afterwords.  (I’m afraid that, if I’m on a roll with crafting, I tend to craft until I can’t do any more – which means no energy to clear up any mess, so the easier things are to clean up the better.)

(While some of the things I mention in my “Making Things Easier!” pieces are things I’ve worked out for myself, some are adaptations of things I’ve learnt from tips given by others. As others have been kind enough to share their tips I thought I’d do the same. I’m sure that most of my readers will already know much of what I’ve found makes things easier for me but if it helps one person at some point I’ll be happy.)

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CRAFTYBOB.COM UPDATE:

Have a look – here – at my whole shop “Siop Crafftau MAES MIERI Crafts Shop” on craftybob.com.

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CUP UPDATE:

CUP Mailer – Here are the links to the mailers sent out by the team at CUP HQ since my last blog post:

  • Monday, 5th August – Here! – SPECIAL OFFERS, Best Selling Designers & Best Selling Crafters
  • Wednesday, 7th August – Here! – Crafty Bob Goodies, CUP Toolbar & All the Latest CUP News

Craftsuprint have a “Mailer Archive” where you can go to get links to mailers sent out over the last few months. This can be seen by clicking – here.

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You can see my page on Facebook by clicking – here.

You can see the cards I’ve made using design sheets from CUP in my “Crafter Showcase Area” on Craftsuprint.com – here
(Just scroll down past the top boxes to see the cards.)

Follow on Bloglovin

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(Thank you for reading this far. I hope you like what you’ve seen and read – You should find a box below where you can leave a comment if you feel like it, but due to the fact that, like many I’m sure, I’ve had some problems with Spam/advertising posts that are absolutely nothing to do with the content of my blog, I now moderate all comments before they go live. Genuine comments will go live when I’ve checked through the list – usually a couple of times a day.)
(Thank you to every body who’s left comments on my previous blog posts. I really do appreciate them all.
)

-oOo-

First Post Of August 2013

 Posted by at 04:46 pm
Aug 032013
 

Thank you for clicking over to have a look at my blog.
A Bit Of An Update, Some More Musings, A Few Cards And Some Jewellery

If you don’t want to read all my babblings – then just jump ahead to the card photos and click on the thumbnail images for a good look.
-oOo-

Well Jack and Jill, the scare faces head, is still up, turning wildely in the wind and looking as if they could do with a visit to the hairdressers – and the good news is that they appear to be keeping the birds away from our loganberries.

The bad news is that the little wasps have found the loganberries and there are dozens feasting on the most ripe ones in the morning when I go out – So we’ve put a wasp trap out, though to be honest, with all the ripening loganberries I don’t think the wasps will be heading for the jam in the trap.  If it’s not one thing it’s the other with the garden.

I don’t know why it decides to rain as soon as I reach the glasshouse to water the plants, but it has these last few days.  So I get a soaking on the way back to the house.  Then a few minutes later the rain stops and the sun comes out. The one good thing about the fact that it’s been raining off and on the last few days is the fact that not everything I’ve got growing in tubs, pots and raised beds, etc., needs watering twice a day any more – so I’ve been able to use a bit of my energy I’m saving to do a small bit more crafting. I’ve not done anything that requires a lot of work, just some cards and a set of jewellery, but I hope you like what I’ve made.

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MUSINGS:

As it was three years since I put my first three blog posts live on the 27th July, I’ve been having a big of a look back at some of the crafting I’ve done during those three years.  I’ve been especially interested in all the different styles of toppers, card shapes, and types of images I’ve been using in that period.

Iris folding, teabag folding, stepper cards, pyramage, easel cards, decoupage, book cards, chevrons, pop-outs, diamond top, gatefold, theatre fold, side stackers, twisted pyramage, tri-fold, shattered pyramid, cutting files, panel cards, corner stacker cards, teardrop front cards, die cuts, foldback cards, small A6 cards to large A4 cards, the list goes on and on and  on.

One thing I have noticed I’m doing more of lately, that I hardely ever did in the begining, is colouring in digi-stamps, or any stamps come to that.  It’s not that I didn’t have stamps or digi-stamps three years ago, it’s just that until I found ProMarkers I didn’t like the results I was getting colouring in with markers, and getting paints out to just do a single small image was a chore I didn’t want usually.

Of course my skills have improved over time, and I’ve adapted and learned what I find I’m able to do and what is impossible or more trouble than it is worth, but I still go back to the same toppers I used at the begining and print them off to make new cards.  Although I rarely make the same card twice, and there are small changes – perhaps in cardstock finish, or size of card I’ve used them on, I do like making the quick and easy cards as much as I do the more ornate cards.  I even sometimes design a layout digitally (where the elements I’ve bought digitally allow for this in the TOU) and then simply print off the card front for matting and layering onto a card.

I’ve never been a “handmade card snob” and think that everything has to be hand made from start to finish, and neither do I think that if you do have a design sheet for a card front that, once printed out, the sheet has to be used exactly as is every time.  Sometimes making a handmade card is as simple as choosing some cardstock, scoreing and folding in half, and then attaching a simple topper of some sort, keeping the card clean and simple (CAS), and sometimes making a handmade creation is about creating dozens of elements by hand and building everything up to a stunning keepsake.

I like variety in my card making.  There are so many different style of cards to be made, so many different types of embelishments, so many different types of techniques to be tried, that it’s impossible to be bored when card making.  And then toss in other types of crafting, some of which can be amalgamated with cardmaking – such as using gems or jewellery as embelishments on cards, or integrating a card into a box to present jewellery in, and a whole new arm of crafting opens up.

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CARDS:

(Clicking on the text links below each set of images takes you to the pages where you can see some of what I used to make the cards.)

I’ve kept things very simple for these four cards – no gems, no glitter, no hand made flowers, no peel-offs, not even any greetings (those will be added, if needed, once I know what language they are needed in), just some quick and easy cards.

1cup90700_359 - card01C - Square 'Gold Metallic Frame' Card Front or insert 2cup90700_359 - card02C - Square 'Gold Metallic Frame' Card Front or insert 3cup354487_1749 - card01C - Nellie Elephant Stamp

  1. Square ‘Gold Metallic Frame’ Card Front or insert by Carol Clarke (I printed the sheet out onto 300gsm Super Smooth white cardstock.  I then cut it out, scored it, and folded it in half to make my base card.  I cut out a simple topper from a sheet of foiled dog images that I had in my crafting stash – I think it may have come from a Kanban kit of dog images – and shaped it before attaching to the front using glue gel.  I didn’t cut the dog out particularly close to the lines, in fact it didn’t have a solid outline around, so this was quite easy.  So, a quick and easy card to make.)
  2. I was trying to get an angle on the photo in such a way that it showed that all the lines on the dog image were foiled gold, but just landed up with some shine in some areas, but I hope you get the idea.
  3. Nellie Elephant Stamp by Janette Padley and DL ‘Silver Metallic Frame’ Card Front or insert by Carol Clarke (I printed this digi-stamp out onto 300gsm Super Smooth white cardstock at much smaller than the size provided.  I then coloured the little elephant in using my ProMarkers.  The colours I used were: Cool Grey 1, 2. 5, and Oatmeal.  I also printed the card front out onto the same coloured cardstock, trimmed it, scored it and folded it in half to make my base card.  I cut around little Nellie, which wasn’t particularly difficult due to the rounded curves and no ins and outs, and used a pokey tool to put a hole in her trunk.  Through this hole I threaded a piece of green jute twine so that it appeared as if Nellie is holding it in her trunk.  I shaped the coloured in digi-stamp and then attached it to my card front using glue gel.  I took a yellow paper flower from my crafting stash and stuck it to the card front as an embelishment on the other end of the jute twine so that it looks as if the flower is being presented by the elephant.  This is a really cute image that can be used simply, as on this card, but could also be made into a fun card, say for a child, having Nellie holding a bunch of baloons perhaps.)

1cup104077_359 - card 21 - DL Fancy Bow Card Front or Insert 2cup225321_846 - card01C - There's A Storm Coming

  1. DL Fancy Bow Card Front or Insert by Carol Clarke (I printed the sheet out onto 300gsm Super Smooth white cardstock.  I then trimmed it, scored it and folded it in half.  As decoration this time I’ve used an assortment of different colour and shapes of paper flowers from my crafting stash.  These were attached at random using glue gel.  So this card only had a bit of straight edge cutting for the main card therefore nothing difficult to cut on this card and it was quick and easy to make.)
  2. There’s A Storm Coming by Susan Heanes (I printed the sheet out onto Glossy Crafty Bob paper. I’m in need of some cards with minimal layering for a family member who doesn’t like much layering at all, so only cut out the base layer and one of the layers to decoupage. The fact that there were landlocked areas that were a fiddle to cut on the layers was also a deciding factor for me only cutting out one layer.  Not the easiest to cut out at all. I scored and folded in half an A4 sheet of hammered white cardstock.  I went around the edge of the main panel with a blue metalic marker before using a roller glue pen to attach this to the card front.  I then shaped the layer I’d cut out slightly before attaching it to the card using glue gel.)

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JEWELLERY:

I’ve made a set of jewellery and other beaded pieces all themed around the same combination of silver plated beads, roundells and purple pearl beads threaded onto head or eye pins, and this is what they look like all together.

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  1. Starting with a 5mm Silver Plated bead, small roundell, medium roundelle, purple pearl bead, medium roundelle, small roundell, silver plated bead.
  2. This is the bracelet with one of the bead combinations in-line and one as a dangler charm by the lobster claw clasp.
  3. This is the necklace with three of the bead combinations placed in-line with a short bit of the chain in between.
  4. The earings with the bead combination dangling from silver plated earring findings.

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  1. This is a broch with three of the bead comginations linked to each other with the central one attached to the broach back (I’ve tried to turn it here so that the back is visible, but the bead is wider than the back so covers it when attached to a garment.)
  2. One of the bead combinations attached to a hair clip.
  3. One of the bead combinations attached to the end of a chain on a keyring.
  4. One of the bead combinations attached to a phone charm.

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MAKING THINGS EASIER!

Over the years I’ve found that I get better results with my hand crafted end products, as well as being able to craft easier, if I use different glues and sticky stuffs for different things.  Like many, I’m sure, I went for the cheapest options and whatever I found for sale locally on special offer originally, but I soon found that many were not suitable for the job and didn’t give a long lasting fix, and some I found hard to work with at times because of my fluctuating dexterity issues.  After years of trial and error I’ve found a core set of items that work well for me, so I now watch online for those to come on special offer and stock up.  Although I do occasionally try out other stuff just to see if it’s of a similar quality or better.  I’m more about quality and ease of use these days, not just the cheapest price.

I’ve found that if I’m just sticking a lightweight topper directly to something that roller tape pens such as these – here – work very well without the chance of mess like wet glue and without the fiddle of getting backing off like double sided tape.  I have tried out a lot of brands of roller tape pens, but had a lot of problems with the tape twisting in the case, not distributing evenly, etc., with a lot of the brands, so, although I will try other tape pens occasionally, and have had reasonable success with some of them, I find myself coming back to the same ones I’m happy with time and time again.

If I’m wanting to stick something heavier directly to a card front, or know I’ll be adding further layers that will add weight on top, then I do go for double sided tape.  But these days I always go for one of the finger-lift tapes – here or here.  With the lip of backing that doesn’t have any glue on it’s far easier to lift the backing off for somebody who has problems with their fingers, so makes the job quicker and less frustrating – at least it does for me.

For sticking realy heavyweight stuff together, especially for boxes or putting in acetate into apertures, or cards where there will be more movement and handling than the simple side opening cards, I go for the red backed ultra tacky tape such as these – here and here.  This isn’t fingerlift, and needs cutting with a scissors (see my “Making Things Easier” section in my post – here – to see what scissors I use for cutting sticky stuff now), but the use of a pokey tool under the edge quickly lifts enough of the backing to get hold of because it is thicker and tougher than the backing on other double sided tapes.


And in case you are wondering what I mean by a “pokey tool” – it is this one here – Tim Holtz Tonic Retractable Craft Pick.  It may be a bit of a fiddle remembering to retract the point, and sometimes I don’t when doing a lot of work in succession, but having a tool that retracts like this is an excellent safety feature for a person like me who’s been known to drop sharp things and get them in my legs.  This is one of the tools I’ve got in my “use it every time I craft” tote.

More on what I’ve got in my “use it every time I craft” tote next time I think!

(While some of the things I mention in my “Making Things Easier!” pieces are things I’ve worked out for myself, some are adaptations of things I’ve learnt from tips given by others.  As others have been kind enough to share their tips I thought I’d do the same.  I’m sure that most of my readers will already know much of what I’ve found makes things easier for me but if it helps one person at some point I’ll be happy.)

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CRAFTYBOB.COM UPDATE:

Have a look – here – at all the items I’ve currently got for sale on my shop “Siop Crafftau MAES MIERI Crafts Shop” on craftybob.com.

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CUP UPDATE:

Special Offer – If you spend just £10 you will get FREE Downloads and you can buy a pack of Crafty Bob paper for just 1p!

CUP Mailer – Here are the links to the mailers sent out by the team at CUP HQ since my last blog post:

  • Wednesday, 31st July – Here! – 20% Discount Code JULY Ends Today – Penny Paper Pack & CUP News
  • Friday, 2nd August – Here! – Free CD Vo 57 – Latest HOT HOT HOT Designs & 12 New Froms

Craftsuprint have a “Mailer Archive” where you can go to get links to mailers sent out over the last few months. This can be seen by clicking – here.

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You can see my page on Facebook by clicking – here.

You can see the cards I’ve made using design sheets from CUP in my “Crafter Showcase Area” on Craftsuprint.com – here
(Just scroll down past the top boxes to see the cards.)

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(Thank you for reading this far. I hope you like what you’ve seen and read – You should find a box below where you can leave a comment if you feel like it, but due to the fact that, like many I’m sure, I’ve had some problems with Spam/advertising posts that are absolutely nothing to do with the content of my blog, I now moderate all comments before they go live. Genuine comments will go live when I’ve checked through the list – usually a couple of times a day.)
(Thank you to every body who’s left comments on my previous blog posts. I really do appreciate them all.
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