Hello crafty peeps and welcome to my crafty nook! I hope you all had a brilliant weekend. Things are still a bit chaotic here in my crafty nook as I'm still sorting out the crudy - for a tiny space it certainly holds a lot of crafting goodies. My organising feat hasn't been helped by the insistence of crafting goodies falling into my shopping basket(s) online (how very much dare they!) - what can I say I'm a sucker for a crafty bargain! Most of my crafting pennies (pounds really) have been spent at Crafter's Companion because they've had a brilliant Summer Sizzler Sale on, as a Gold Member of their Inspire Club (free to join and the more you buy the higher up the tiered discount levels you go - everyone starts off at bronze and gets 5% the site prices, a Gold member gets 15% off their order and free priority delivery but you need to have reached 750 points to become one - sounds loads but they have double points events and other ways to increase your points) I get a generous 15% off my order with free priority delivery regardless of how much I spend but at the moment CC have a special discount code which saves you £5 on a £40 order. It started last month and if you use it in the first month you get another code for the following month and then a final code to use in the third month. If you use all three then you get an additional 250 points added to your total which is a great way to either work towards the next level or ensure you stay in the tier you are in for the next year. I would love to become a platinum member which means I would get an amazing 20% off my order but to get there I need to have 1500 loyalty points - as much as I love Crafter's Companion I really don't want to spend £1500 (and to be honest I doubt I'd be able to afford to!) in a year on one site because sometimes you can either buy what you want cheaper elsewhere or they don't stock what I want anyway. Having these discount events is brilliant because although I'm spending £105 in one place over three months I increase my loyalty points by at least 370 points and I get some brilliant additions to my craft stash as well. In this month's order I took great advantage of the sale and bought 17 (yes you read that correctly) embossing folders - I really love embossing folders lol. I also got some dies in the sale and treated myself to the Skeleton Perfect Partners die set which wasn't in the sale. I'll be totally honest I'm not hugely keen on the fact that the skeleton is wearing little pointy toe boots which seems a tad random and I thought the head was separate from the torso but I've already used and I think it'll come in handy for a lot of occasions. My main reason for buying it was for the skull - my husband loves sugar skulls and I am working on a pop up box card full of floating grinning sugar skulls for his birthday on Sunday, I've already die cut 15 skulls and started to decorate them so hopefully I'll have the finished card to share with you soon.
Sorry the intro's so long this time! Let's get on with the main point of this post - a couple of cards for my niece Bethany who celebrated her 7th birthday yesterday (Monday).
I don't use kits very often because I feel that as a fairly experienced crafter they are a little bit too much like an easy option and I sort of feel like I'm cheating if I don't make cards from scratch. But they can be a life saver if you are in a rush or don't feel at your best. This kit came free with a magazine and although it turned out ok I think I probably won't make up the other pop up box cards in the kit as I can do a better job without it. The toppers are ok and I do like the double sided printed card blank but the tab on the box was extremely thin and I couldn't use red liner tape on it because there wasn't enough width on the tab. The struts for the floating elements were slightly (a couple of millimetres) too wide to fit inside the box without bowing which means that the card didn't fold completely flat. Because it feels too much like cheating to use the kit as it is, I added embossing powder to the balloons and cupcakes and heat set them so that they became glossy or had added sparkle from holographic glitter particles, adding your own touches like this means you can personalise a card without it becoming too time consuming. I made this card for my mum to send.
I wanted to spend most of my time on handcrafting a special card from Chris and I (I'm not feeling too good at the moment which is why I cheated with the first kit card). Bethany has had a lot of health issues and it wasn't too long ago that she couldn't walk and was fed through a tube (quite terrifying to do the first couple of times!) and even though she still has a lot of challenges ahead it is amazing how much she has progressed since I've known her. Bethany is the mascot for one of the groups at the local majorette troupe and it is so wonderful to see her matching in time to the music swishing her pom poms so I decided to make her a Tatty Twinkles Cheerleader card. Bethany has beautiful copper hair so I tried very hard to colour Tatty's hair the same. As always I used Sheena's Stamping card from Crafter's Companion and Flex Markers to colour the image in. The black card layers are Centura Pearl card and the red and cream layers came from a pack of bigger than A5 card stock from Tattered Lace - the red started off as cream but I coloured it using one of the same reds I used to colour Tatty's uniform. I used a Tonic Studio border punch to make the decorative edges on two of the pieces of card and layered them together as shown. I added some sparkle to Tatty using a Sakura glitter gel pen and then added the red glitter enamel dots as shown. This image was actually my 4th attempt at it as I tried fussy cutting around the first image (looked awful!) then experimented with water colours for a further two attempts. I couldn't get the skin or hair as I wanted them so went back to my Flex Markers. I am really pleased with Tatty's hair and used terracotta for the shaded areas combined with ginger, amber and pumpkin. It's not as good as most people's colouring but I'm really pleased with it personally.
I hope you like my latest cards, hopefully I'll have the sugar skulls card made soon and I'll be able to share it on here. 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