Sunday, 16 July 2017

A Most Challenging Challenge!

Hello crafty peeps and welcome to my crafty nook! I hope you all had a brilliant weekend - it's gone far to quickly for my liking. I should have added this blog post yesterday but both Michele and I had trouble making a card for the challenge. Luckily we both came up with something even if it is a day late. I'll share Michele's card first.

I really like this card especially the colour scheme which really pops. It must have taken Michele ages to fussy cut out all those sunflowers but it was well worth all the hard work. It's like a little box of sunshine 😎 Michele has made it as a birthday card but wouldn't it be great as a Get Well Soon card for someone in hospital especially as you can't take real flowers in anymore - this would be sure to cheer anyone up.

I was inspired by a card Michele made for her friend's birthday so decided to make a twist and pop card. I've been struggling with this card type for a while but finally cracked it after following a card school tutorial in Quick Cards Made Easy magazine - this is the second one I've made as my initial card is waiting to be embellished (I made it up and added mats and layers to it but haven't finished it completely, it's currently in my scraps folder).

The top folding card is 10.5cm x 14cm

The slide off belly band holds the card shut for posting

The twist 'n' pop mechanism unfolds as you open the card

When full opened, the four panels 'pop' out as shown

Matching envelope art coloured with Spectrum Noir Shimmer brush markers

I hope you like our latest challenge cards, I'm sorry there are so many of mine compared to Michele's that's just because I can take as many photos of my card as I want and Michele sends me photos of her via email so mine tend to outnumber hers.

Our next challenge starts today and will conclude on the 31st of this month and is a double challenge! The first part is to make a card using a fancy fold that we've either never tried before or have only made a few times- this is a good challenge if you've been struggling to 'nail' a certain fancy fold. For example I have a real problem making stepper panel cards (Michele very kindly sent me some ready made card blanks but I really need to get my head around making my own) so I might decide to make that sort of card (might not though I shall be looking on Youtube to check out new fancy folds). The second part of the challenge is to then decorate/embellish the card using things from your scraps - this basically means if you've already opened an item and used some of them then you can use more but I'm hoping that Michele and I (plus anyone who wants to join in just for fun) will make our own embellishments using what we have in our scrap folders - we can use basic supplies (inks, card, colouring mediums etc) plus any dies, punches or embossing folders we have in our stash and to add a sentiment we can use stamps or peel offs as long as we've used them for other projects - this can include diecut sentiments from kits or ones we've done and not used, I'm sure I'm not the only person to make a topper etc then 'take against it' and put it in my scrap pile rather than throwing it away! If you follow this challenge and want to take part please take a photo of your scraps before you begin the challenge so we can all see what you've worked from. Please leave a comment below with your email address or use the contact form in the sidebar to let me know if you'd like to join in. I'm afraid it's just for fun but if you email photos I will add them to the blog post on the 1st August. Plus how satisfying will it be to have that 'nailed it!' feeling and use up some of your scraps!

I hope you've enjoyed our challenging challenge, the Sunflower Dreams free gift is lovely but both Michele and I found it hard to come up with ideas to make with it so I'm not sure how often we'll use it in the future. 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 xxxx

Friday, 14 July 2017

What I've been making this week...

Hello crafty peeps and welcome to my crafty nook! Wow I can't believe another week has passed and it's almost the weekend again - this year is just flying by. I hope you've all had a brilliant week, it's been rather quiet here in my crafty nook but I have managed to do some crafting. Here are my latest makes.

It's strange that although I'm not a fan of making cards for men/boys, I seemed to have made a lot in recent weeks (these are just the ones I remembered to take photos of). The robot card was made for one of my husband's cousins who turned two last week. The steampunky robots were made using dies bought from eBay and I also used some DCWV 6" x 6" papers to complete the card. The footballer card was made for a boy I heard about on Facebook called Ben. Ben has high functioning autism and finds it very difficult to make/keep friends due to his condition. He's bullied terribly by his peers and last year for his birthday his mum organised a special birthday party for him, only two people replied to say they'd attend and his mum assumed that more would just turn up on the day (I've noticed myself that it appears to have gone out of fashion to say thank you for cards etc, so I don't exactly blame her for coming to that conclusion). The day of his party arrived and Ben was very excited but the time of the party came and went and not a single child arrived, not even the two who had bothered to reply to the invite. Ben as you can imagine was devastated and his mum wants to make his 11th birthday this Saturday (15th) the best one ever so put out a FB appeal asking people to send a card wishing Ben a happy birthday just so that he knows that he is loved and valued. This football card featuring Whizz Kids stamps and papers is what I came up with to send to Ben. My final card is one I've made for my best friend Adam, it's also his birthday this Saturday and I was struggling to come up with a suitable card for him. Then I remembered this ink blended background I made a few months ago, it's the first time I've managed to get a near perfect blend (I used Fired Brick, Spiced Marmalade and Scattered Straw distress inks with a tiny bit of Black Soot distress ink at the top) I wanted to use it for something special and when I came across these Katy Sue Designs Savannah Stories Silhouette stamps in my stash, I thought they'd be perfect stamped in Versafine Black Onyx ink. The hot air balloons aren't part of the stamp set but were actually the smallest petal of a build a bloom die set that came free with one of my craft magazines recently. I die cut one out of funky foam and stuck it onto an acrylic block before stamping it as shown above. I really like this card, it's very simple but a beautiful image. I just hope Adam likes it.

I hope you've enjoyed my latest makes, 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, 4 July 2017

200 Blog Posts and Still Going Strong!

Hello crafty peeps and welcome to my crafty nook! I hope you've all had a brilliant weekend and a good week so far. I'm sorry this blog post is up a few days later than planned, I've been frantically searching for my electric pay as you go meter key, without which I can't top up my electricity. The only good thing that's come out of it being lost is my lounge now looks a heck of a lot tidier than it did before I started searching. You've probably gathered that housework isn't my forte, that isn't to say I'm not capable of cleaning, I just find it really really boring and frustrating because unless I constantly re-do what I've just done, it never stays that way for very long (approximately 30 minutes though once it stayed clean for nearly 10 hours but that was only because my beloved hubby and cat were asleep and/or shut out of the lounge)  so I have a tendency to just have a blitz when visitors are due to arrive (it also explains why I hate unexpected visitors! lol)  I've filled in an online form so hopefully my supplier will get back to me sometime today and I can get it sorted (and stop worrying!)

As you may have noticed from the title, this is my 200th blog post! I started this blog in 2014, I did have one before but lost access to it when my laptop died and I realised I couldn't remember my blogger password. I'm hoping that my skill level has improved over the years, I've been making cards for nearly 16 years or so and there's been a lot of changes in that time. I think the main one is that the price and availability of craft supplies has improved - at one point it was very difficult to make handcrafted cards in the place I lived because not many shops sold craft supplies and though I'd heard of the internet, I'd never used it and certainly wouldn't have considered buying stuff over it. How things have changed! I'd like to thank everyone who takes the time to read my blog and who follow me either directly or via email, thank you for all the lovely comments I've had, it's a huge thing to know people read my posts and like my cards and reading the comments gives me a huge boost when I'm doubting my own ability or just not feeling that crafty mojo. I hope I've helped inspire at least a few of you on your crafty journey and even if you aren't particularly crafty, I hope my posts have made you smile on occasion and that you've enjoyed them.  I'd also like to publicly thank my husband who indulges me shamelessly in my hobby and who always says he loves my cards even when he can't really see them (him holding them the wrong way is usually a bit of a give away!) I think I'm in danger of turning this blog post into a Oscar acceptance speech lol so let's get back to the other important stuff - the cards!

A couple of weeks ago I shared a challenge that my lovely crafty friend Michele and I were doing and invited my readers to join in. Nobody left a comment asking to join in but maybe you're shy so I shall just be sharing Michele's and I's cards this time.

Hasn't Michele done an amazing job? I love all the brightly coloured dolls that spring out of the pop up box card and the surprise hidden baby element is so sweet!!! Michele used the free downloadable Russian Dolls that she fussy cut out by the look of it. She also used some gems and a brad (for the opening doll) out of her stash. I really like the way she diecut plain dolls to put the sentiments in.

As you can see I've made a very different card. I started off by making my own background paper - I die cut the flower that was included in the kit out of funky foam stuck it to an acrylic block. I inked some chalk ink onto a piece of plain white card using a sponge then stamped the foam flower all over using the same ink. I added dots of purple shimmer ink using the end of an embossing tool and left it to dry. I stamped the Russian Dolls and coloured them in then fussy cut them out (it took an hour and ten minutes to colour the dolls and cut them out) then I arranged them on the card as shown, I stamped a sentiment from the kit, added my own bit to it and die cut it out using a stitched rectangle die from my stash. I think if I were to make this card again I'd just stamp the cats on the background card piece instead of fussy cutting them out and colour around them.

Both Michele and I thoroughly enjoyed this challenge, the stamps and dies are brilliant and there are endless possibilities for using them. We've also decided on our next challenge - it's another magazine freebie, this time the Sunflowers themed stamps, embossing folder and papers that came free with this month's issue of  Papercraft Essentials magazine issue 149. It's a lovely free gift but I'm not sure what I'm going to make with it. The challenge will finish on the 15th July when we will have a brand new challenge.

I hope you've enjoyed the 200th post and that you'll join us in the latest challenge - there's no prizes I'm afraid it's just for fun and to help you use some of the freebies that come with magazine because if you are anything like me, they often lie forgotten unused in my stash for months, sometimes even years!

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