Friday, 25 December 2015

Wishing you all a very crafty Christmas

Hello crafty peeps and welcome to my crafty nook! I just want to wish all my lovely readers and followers a very Merry Christmas. I hope you've had a brilliant day. I am very blessed to have a wonderful family both blood and by marriage (I'm very fortunate to have a fantastic set of in-laws who made me feel part of their family from day one) and I've had a fantastic time at my sister-in-law's home with lots of yummy food and festive cheer. I've only one festive make to share with you today and that's the braised red cabbage I made to take to Sue's.

It's rather immodest of me but I've got to say I thoroughly enjoyed it and it went very well with the fantastic feast made by mum and dad Wilks. It's only the second time I've made it but I'm planning on making it again before next Christmas, mind you I recall saying the same thing two years ago lol.

I'm very tired so this is a very short post, my mum is coming to our flat tomorrow so I'm making my very first turkey dinner - I'm dreading making the gravy! lol.

I hope everyone has a fantastic Boxing Day and I'll be putting a proper blog post up before New Year's Day. As always if you have any questions or comments then please leave them in the usual places and until next time - keep crafting!

Love and crafty hugs,

Sarah xxx

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

My comp entry

Hello crafty peeps and welcome to my crafty nook! I hope you are all well and are prepared for Christmas - I'm not. My copy of Papercraft Essentials arrived today and it's announced it's winner and runners up of the Papercrafter of the Year competition. I haven't got my entry sent back but then it was nearly four months before I got last year's returned and that was in someone else's box with their details scribbled over with a black marker. As I don't want to wait four months until they get around to sending my cards and project back, I thought I'd share them with you now as I took photos before sending it off.

Alice in Wonderland Shadow Box

For the project element of the entry I made an "Alice in Wonderland" themed shadow box. The base is made from a 12" x 12" piece of black card stock and I added panels of embossed black card onto the sides to make the shadow box look wider than it is. I highlighted the embossed areas of the black card with silver gilding wax. I quilled a 3D toadstool and made a mini pack of cards using a heart stamp and rounded the corners with a punch. The roses have been 'painted' red using a Promarker. I stamped and coloured a Docrafts Simply Gorjuss image from their 'Alice' range. The pocket watch was made using a Xcut set of dies and the metal keys and clock pieces were from Papermania. The faux metal frame was from my stash as were the jewels and the little bottle. I added a 'Drink Me' label to the neck of the tiny bottle. I really love the end result and can't wait to get it back so it can have place of pride on my wall.

You've already seen this...
My first card is one I've previously shown and it featured the HOTP steampunk colorist image.

Sorry these pictures aren't very clear - the mirror card is so shiny it effects the focus of the camera and it can't be altered manually as my camera is very basic. This card is very simple but I loved the unusual card fold and decided to do a bit of water colour envelope art to accompany it. The mirror card it embossed using two embossing folders and I added jewels to highlight parts of it. Although it is very 3D it folds completely flat for posting. It isn't the easiest card to make though as you have to align the front and middle panels very carefully otherwise they won't stand upright.

If you have any questions or comments about this post then please leave them in the usual places. I'm working on some Christmas cards and gifts so hopefully I'll be adding another post soon. Until next time - keep crafting!

Love and crafty hugs,

Sarah xxx

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Care share - Sisters.

Hello crafty peeps and welcome to my crafty nook! It's not even 6am (on a SATURDAY!!) here in my crafty nook but as my cat has decided I sleep waaay too much - he woke me at 4.30 am *gritted teeth* - I thought I should share a few cards I've made lately.

Both my sister and my sister-in-law have had birthdays in the past two weeks. My sister-in-law Susan loves dolphins so I decided to make her a dolphin pop up box card. I've been planning this card since about July which was when I first saw how to make pop up box cards. I started to order dolphin dies online ready to make this card.

I used about four different die sets for this card but I don't have them to hand at the moment so if you want to know what they are called please leave a comment below this blog post. The wave die was one from Clearly Besotted Stamps and I've had it in my stash unused for quite some time.

My sister Teresa asked for either a fairy card or a Steampunk themed card and I chose SP because the example of a fairy card that she emailed me was way beyond my craft stash - I have some fairy stamps but they tend to be cute and girly not Gothic and a bit slutty (unfortunately lol). I do however have a few dies and stamps in my stash (bought with Teresa in mind) that are SP themed. This is the card I came up with.

The card base is a Pop Up Aperture card that was featured in the QCME card school this month, unfortunately the limitations of my camera means I've not been able to take a photo that does justice to the card (sorry it's a bit blurry etc). This card took a long time to make it and I was actually working on it on and off for three days altogether. The butterfly and linked cog die cuts are very delicate and I had to cut them a few times before I was able to get a perfect cut. My card base wasn't exactly the same as that featured in Quick Cards Made Easy because I managed to misplace the magazine before I made the card. I had a general idea but my measurements are slightly different to the ones shown and unlike the cards in the mag, mine folded flat for postage because I used the floating topper as a fastener to keep the card closed. It just meant I had to make a slightly larger envelope than I was expecting. It wasn't until I found my magazine again that I realised that their versions didn't close. The other difference is the designer used clear fishing wire and I used thin jewellery wire to float my topper, because I used proper wire I was able to shape it slightly forward to make the closure. I don't tend to use a lot of gold in my crafting but I have some sheets of Dovecraft gold mirror card which is brilliant for diecutting and I thought I'd do shiny and new Steampunk instead of grungy Steampunk which I think my sister was expecting. If I were to make this card again I'd probably have black glitter card behind the Steampunk butterfly topper to match the front instead of the plain black cardstock. If you are interested in the products used for this card, then please leave a comment in the usual places.

I hope you like my sister cards, both were fun to make and I think both my sisters liked them. If you have any questions or comments then please leave them in the usual places and until next time - keep crafting!

Love and crafty hugs,


Friday, 11 December 2015

Help someone's stolen the first week of December! (JK)

Hello crafty peeps and welcome to my crafty nook! I hope you are all well and my thoughts and prayers go out to any who have been affected by the recent storms *hugs*.

I had hoped to have added a post to my crafty nook before now but between internet connection problems and a really bad migraine that's still lurking, I've not really had a lot of time to write about the things I've been making. Plus I'm almost 100 per cent sure that someone has stolen part of December *looks around suspiciously* - it's the only logical conclusion to why I'm so far behind in my Christmas preparations. I've made a grand total of THREE Christmas cards and one measly present. And if I'm honest the cards were made weeks ago!

I would like to share the solitary present I've made so far - a fairy door. The Works have had some really cute fairy doors to decorate for months but when I went to order some using Click and Collect they were out of stock and haven't come back in yet. So kicking myself I've trawled the internet for some reasonably priced alternatives. I eventually went with Daisymoon Designs and ordered 6 doors @ £1.15 each and a wishing tree mini pack which has laser cut wooden pieces e.g. hearts, toadstools and flowers. They had a choice of two door styles and I went with the stone cladding effect for the door frame. Unlike the doors from The Works, these don't open but they are still very cute and anyway I think it takes magic fairy dust to open fairy doors otherwise the wee folk wouldn't get any peace at all! My only complaint with my order was that the doors only came with 4 door handles so two of the doors will have to have a gem or similar for a door knob, unfortunately the MDF is far to thick for me to use a Tim Holtz Hitch fastening otherwise I would have been using them for all the doors, and a couple of the wishing tree mini pack pieces were of poor quality compared to the rest. I haven't complained about these things to Daisymoon mainly down to the fact that I developed a migraine not long after making my first door up. That brings me to a bit of a warning - I've not used MDF before and I'm a complete novice to altered decor pieces but it's probably advisable to seal the doors with Gesso before colouring them in using Promarkers. Because I'm new to this I didn't have any Gesso in (it's on my need to buy list now!) so I just coloured onto the untreated MDF. Fortunately I was in the lounge as I coloured instead of my tiny crudy otherwise I may very well have passed out from the fumes if I'd been crafting in my usual place, as it is I've had a migraine headache so severe that I haven't been able to do anything for two day without feeling nauseous and dizzy. Admittedly I do get regular migraines but not as bad as this one has been. So please be careful and work in a well ventilated room and ideally seal your MDF before colouring.

Rainbow fairy door with lots of sparkle
The door comes in four pieces including the door handle and window. I started by colouring these with Silver Metallic Promarker. The actual door was coloured with walnut Promarker and I went over it a couple of times to give it a deep rich colour. There are 15 'stones' in the door frame so I coloured two each in the colours of the rainbow with an extra purple as it's one of my favourite colours. Once the pieces had dried I stuck them together as shown using Scotch Quick drying adhesive, I then put the door to one side while I made the key charm. This was very simple to make, I have some silver key charms amongst my stash which are all different, I really liked this design as it reminds me of the Queen of Hearts and so I added a silver jump ring to the top loop and threaded it onto some brown elastic cord from my stash. I then threaded three jingle bells also from my stash and tied a knot in the cord. When the glue had set on the door, I added three layers of clear Wink of Stella to the rainbow stones to make it extra shimmery and added the key to the door knob. I've made a deep box lined with fantasy fairy papers to  put the door in and the recipient can either display the door in the box or have the door leaning against the wall.

I hope you like my latest project. I had a couple of craft goodies arrive through the post this week and once my last parcel arrives I'll be sharing my crafty buys with you all here in my crafty nook. As always if you have any questions or comments then I'd love to see them so please leave them in the usual places and until next time - keep crafting!

Love and crafty hugs,

Sarah xxx

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

It's the final countdown....(to Christmas!)

Hello crafty peeps and welcome to my crafty nook. First of all I'd like to sincerely apologise for not adding any posts to this blog in over a month! I swear I blinked and a whole month disappeared. If you click on my Facebook link regularly you'll have seen that I have been doing a bit of crafting but at the moment there's very little I can actually share. Oh before I forget well done to all the winners of the National Cardmaker Of The Year competition which finally announced the winners in issue 151 December of Cardmaking & Papercraft magazine. I mentioned the NCOTY comp because part of the stuff I can't share with you is the two entries to the other big cardmaking competitions, the closing dates of both were last month. Unlike NCOTY, if you enclose a SAE with your entry then they will send it back after a few months and I shall share my entries on this blog  when I get my entry back. For at least one of the comps I can't share before I get my entry returned as I was in that much of a rush to get it sent (both entries ended up going Special Delivery - it cost a small fortune!!) that I didn't have time to take proper photos of the project. I'll be totally honest with you, the projects are my weak spot, I don't make many paper projects as I like making cards the most so making two very different projects in a relatively short time was rather challenging. It's something I'm planning on addressing next year.

Another card I've made but can't share is the dolphin themed box card that I've made for my sister-in-law Sue, it was her birthday on the 28th but Chris hasn't gotten around to taking it to her yet which is a little vexing. Susan loves dolphins and as soon as I saw how to make an exploding box card I thought dolphins would be perfect for one and I spent rather more than I should have buying different sized dolphin dies (didn't intend to truth be told but I have a really hard time envisioning sizes of things based on their measurements, I ordered a couple of sets from ebay and they turned out to be tiny lol - I really need to keep a ruler near the computer in future). Once Chris has taken the card to Sue's I'll be able to share it on here.

One card I can share is a decorative corner card please click on this link to see the original idea - . I've changed the size slightly so it's an A4 sheet of card cut to 16.4cm by 29cm (and a smidge), it's basically the exploding box size but you don't score or cut to make the flaps. The way I've done it means you don't have to mess around making a hinge to stick the two edges together. You score at 7cm, 14cm, 21cm and 28cm. The 1cm and a bit flap at the end is stuck to the other end to make an open ended box. I wanted to make a quick card so some Hunkydory toppers proved very useful for this project and I teamed it with some Hunkydory paper. The main topper is fixed to the corner of the box shape using two 1.5" die cut circles which are scored in half and added either side of one of the corner score lines, the other halves of the scored circles form a platform for the topper to rest on and allows the card to fold flat assuming it's lined up correctly.Please click on the above link for more detailed instructions on how to make this card.

Decorative corner card using Hunkydory papers and toppers

Folds flat for easy posting and fits into an A5 envelope

This style of card is great if you have a lot of pre-made bought toppers like I have as you can decorate it as simply or as complicated as you wish and still get a lovely result. It's also a good card for those oops I forgot it's your birthday tomorrow moments as the card base itself is quite simple to make. I'm planning on making a few card bases up in advance so I can add decorative paper and toppers for those last minute cards I might need.

I won't make a promise to blog every day leading up to Christmas but I am promising to blog on a weekly basis from now to the New Year. I'm very behind with my Christmas cards and handmade gifts this year so I'll have a lot to share in the next 30 days.

As always if you have any comments or questions then I'd love to see them so please leave them in the usual places and until next time - keep crafting!

Love and crafty hugs,

Sarah xxxx