Thursday, 20 March 2014

Packing a Punch for Easter

Flower Punch Pot
I've been having fun this week with my Stampin' Up! punches, I just love flowers and bright colours and wanted to make something to put those yummy easter mini eggs in for simple gifts.  My next class will be featuring punches and how to get the most from them.  This is one of the projects that I'll be demonstrating and it uses those little inexpensive cardboard flower pots, the colour is just right with 'Crumb Cake' card stock which is what I've made the lid from.  I wanted bright, bright colours and so I picked Melon Mambo and Daffodil Delight from the 'brights family' and Island Indigo from the 'regals family', they all match up to the designer series paper that I've used as the trim for the pot which is from gorgeous Gingham Garden set. The punches I've used are pretty much all the flower ones I had on my table!!  Blossom, Pansy and Boho Blossoms punches along with the Petite Petals punch.
I'm running this class twice - see my 'classes' page for details.  We will also be making a couple of cards in the class all using punches so book your place now and let's pack a punch for Easter!  Don't forget this is the last class where you can place a qualifying order for your FREE Sale-a-Bration item (offer ends 31st March).

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Floral Dance!

This month I thought I would have a floral theme for my classes and why not - spring is definitely on it's way.  I've got some beautiful early spring flowers in my garden and I'm certainly enjoying seeing where they are popping up as it's the first spring we've lived here after moving home last June.
I wanted to share some ideas for some of the amazing new products in the NEW seasonal catalogue and those fabulous Sale-a-Bration products that we are being spoiled with this year.

My first project is a card using a background stamp Hardwood and the sweet Petite Petals punch from the Spring/Summer catalogue, the larger flower punch is the Pansy punch from the annual catalogue.  How about that sentiment? It's from a set of 4 cute stamps and you can get it FREE from the Sale-a-Bration offer this year!   I know exactly who I want to give this card to and when I'm going to give it!!

Hardwood background stamp in clear mount: 133035 £12.95
Pansy Punch: 130698 £14.25
Petite Petals Punch: 133322 £11.50
White Craft Ink: 101731 £6.95
total: £45.65  ..... Sale-a-Bration See Ya Later stamp set £FREEEE!

This next card is quite a simple layout but has a couple of tricks up its sleeve. One of the first tricks is the stamp set I used - You're Lovely, was totally FREE from the Sale-a-Bration offer.  I stamped the main image twice and then decoupaged the flowers to give it some added dimension.  This stamp set is a great addition to your kit as it co-ordinates with the Deco Labels Collection Framelits, as you can see I used the slightly larger framelit to create a layer.  Once I'd assembled the labels layers I punched a tiny hole and this allowed me to thread the bakers twine through before tying in a knot.  What about that lovely spotty background... it's an embossing folder that is FREE from the Sale-a-Bration offer... wow! so much to choose from (I didn't even mention that the chunky bakers twine is also a SAB offer and comes in a pack of 3 colours with some printed cork stickers did I?).  I used Summer Starfruit and Soft Suede here but I also made this layout using Baked Brown Sugar as the base and Crisp Cantaloup as the accent..
Deco Labels Collection Framelits (set of 4): 130102 £20.95
Cardstock & Pad Kit (2013 -2014 in colours collection, 20 sheets + 5 ink pads): 131293 £27.95
total: £48.90.... One SAB item FREEE!  choose from You're Lovely stamp set (set of 5), Sweet Sorbet accessory pack (3 chunky bakers twine + printed cork stickers), Decorative Dots embossing folder.

 My final project for this class is a scrummy decorated gift box.  For this one I used the new Spiral Flower Originals Die from the Spring/Summer catalogue to make those wonderful 3D flowers, I just can't get enough of these flowers and I'm making them out of all kinds of different materials.  These are made out of regular cardstock and I could cut 3 layers at a time easily.  As this is a Bigz die it will cut fabric, thicker card and even thin aluminium (from drinks cans!).  Here I've teamed up Coastal Cabana, Crisp Cantaloup and Calypso Coral as my three colours.  I used a piece of the Sweet Sorbet designer series paper (from Sale-a-Bration offer) for a belly band on the box, a doily gives it a pretty layer and I finished off those flowers with an adhesive pearl, I made a quick tag using the new Scalloped Tag Topper punch from the Spring/Summer catalogue... now what shall I put in the box?

Spiral Flower Originals Die: 129379 £15.95
Scalloped Tag Topper punch: 133324 £20.95
Tea Lace Paper Doillies: 129399 £2.75 (pack of 24)
Kraft Gift boxes: 124106 £2.75 (pack of 4)
Pearl basic jewels: 119247 £4.50 (150 in total in 3 sizes)
total: £46.90
Sale-a-Bration Sweet Sorbet Designer Series paper: 133521 £FREEEE!  12 sheeets, 30.5cm x 30.5cm

Monday, 17 February 2014

Easy artist

I just wanted to share with you just how easy it is to produce beautiful and believable watercolours.  Here are a couple of cards that I made recently.

Now this one I took some time over as it's a birthday card for my gorgeous brother.  I say I took time... because I embossed a layer and I used two layers under the main image and I tied a piece of linen thread around it!  As for the actual image, well it probably took me 10 minutes tops.  I used Stampin' Up! watercolour paper and stamped the birds (from the stunning Wetlands stamp set in the main catalogue) and greeting in StayzOn black ink.  I used this ink as it doesn't run when you wet it.  I then used three different stamp pads and squished a little ink into the lid, using an aquapainter with a bit of water inside I washed the colours across the image.  First I used Baha Breeze for the sky, then I used Crumb Cake for the sand and then I carried on picking out a bit of detail on the sand with more saturated colour from the Crumb Cake, I put a bit more of this on the body of the birds and then finally I finished the sand off using a Colour Spritz tool and my Crumb Cake marker.... be careful to mask off the sky with your hand so you don't get sand flying in the air!!
For the next card I was even quicker.  I used watercolour paper again and stamped the image and the greeting this time using the hostess set Simply Sketched.  I used the same techniques but for the flower I used two shades of red to create a more realistic shading; Real Red all over and then picked up the shading with Cajun Craze.  I guess that this card took me all of 15 minutes from start to finish including cutting the base and mat.  So, next time you feel that watercolouring is too difficult give one of these stamp sets a go, you'll amaze yourself!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

A box of flowers

Flower Shop
I ran a special class for three of my lovely crafters in West Cowick last Saturday as they were keen to escape Christmas for a couple of hours.  I had made this card in a box for my Step Mum Jools in November and loved making it so much that I made it again for my lovely sister Jill last week.  I just knew that my ladies would really enjoy making it too.  I must first of all give thanks to Monica Gayle for sharing this design and her video tutorial on YouTube for this card.
I have to say that using these juicy colours was a refreshing change in the middle of Christmas decorating.  I used Coastal Cabana as the background colour dsp paper and the flowers were stamped using the Flower Shop stamp set with Strawberry Slush, Daffodil Delight and Tangerine Tango.  Did you notice my finishing touch to the sentiment label?  I often use a dauber to finish off the edges but this time I wanted a clean finish so I free handed some lines and dots; a technique I used to use a lot but had forgotten about!
From My Heart
The second project we completed was this cute little desktop calendar and notepad.  It's small enough to take up just a corner of your desk or go next to the phone - I don't know about you but I can never find a bit of paper when I need to take a note on the phone!  I just love the stamp set 'From My Heart' which I've used for the sentiment, it seemed fitting as a calendar.  The DSP I used was from Epic Day This and That set and I teamed it with some Pool Party seam binding ribbon. The calendars and notebooks were both from Wilkinson's store; calendars were 85p for a pack of 5 and notebooks were 18p each!

I am repeating this class for my Sutton-cum-Lound class on Wednesday 8th January in the evening.  You can book a place easily by contacting me.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Christmas gift making class

I'm running a Christmas gift making class this coming week and I'd like to showcase the gifts that I'll be demonstrating.
First up is a gift bag and giant tealight.  I've use the Stampin' Up! mini muslin bags from the seasonal catalogue, now I have to say that I wouldn't describe these as being 'mini' as they are a generous 10.2 x 14cm (they are £8.95 for a pack of 8). I stamped on to the outside of the bag (I used a heat embossing technique to get a strong clear stamped image) and used my hot glue gun to attach a very sparkly 'Frosted Finishes Embellishment' - I love these so much, they are flat backed and adhere really well to card projects with a glue dot. The tag was made using Very Vanilla naturals card which just matches the muslin bag so well and the 'Chalk Talk' dies are superb for tags of all sizes.  But what's inside the bag I hear you say!  I just love candles and when I came across a pack of 12 giant tealights I had to use them for a class project. These are a great size and fit perfectly well in the bags.  I finished them off quite simply just using a strip of naturals card stock and a strip of silver glimmer paper.  The snowflake stamp set I've used for this project is Festive Flurry.

The next project for this class is another candle package, this time Santa is here!  I always think that stamping onto a pillar candle is a great way of turning something plain into something a bit more wow! I adore this Santa's List stamp which is easy to add a bit of colour to.  I wanted to trim the candle as well as stamping an image and I really love the music sheets in the Modern Medley designer series paper pack so I just incorporated a little bit of it along with some Cherry Cobbler card stock and ribbon. Now when it came to the tag to finish this project I took advantage of the Chalk Talk dies once more, this time the large tag is an excellent way to close up a cello bag.

My final project is a gift box and I wanted to use the super 'Tag a Bag Gift Boxes'.  These are fantastic value at £6.25 for a pack of 8 and they are very strong kraft card stock with an acetate sleeve.  I embossed the sleeve with the cute 'Pretty Print' embossing folder, now this works really well but care needs to be taken that you get it in the embossing folder the right way round! (see mine for the wrong way!!).   Quite a simple belly band and greetings tag but with that blinged up bow who needs more?!  I adore glimmer paper and making a bow out of it really makes a statement. I filled my box with a bit of scrunched up kraft paper (this comes in bundles with Stampin' Up! orders as a box filler and I've got so many uses for it) and a handbag sized handcream.  So, I'm running this class twice - first one is on Saturday morning in East Yorkshire and the second 'showing' is next Wednesday (4th December) in Sutton-cum-Lound (near Retford).  So, if you want to join me and learn some of the techniques I've mentioned then please contact me to book your place.

Busy, busy Bee!

I've been so busy lately that there simply hasn't been time to blog.  Last week I went to the Stampin' Up! European convention and it was in Manchester this year. For Stampin' Up! demonstrators this really is the highlight of the year when we all get together to learn all about latest products, techniques and generally get giddy about stamp sets!!! Part of the preparations includes making swaps. Swaps are usually a card front but can take the form of ... well anything really. We had time during convention to swap our own makes with other Demonstrators and this really gives us inspiration and is a wonderful way to share. So I was really busy making my swaps for this year and I only made 100 - last year I made 200... there will be about 800 other demonstrators there so I know I'll miss out on at least 700 swaps but I only had time this year to make 100. I'll be posting a pic of my swaps later.

In the meantime I'd like to share some recent makes with you they are two very special cards for two very special people.
First up is a 'card in a box', an ingenious design which I have to thank Monica Gayle for. This one was made for my Step Mum Jools for her 60th birthday. If you like this design and want to have a go you can go to Monica's brilliant Youtube tutorial here.  I used a 'hostess' stamp set to make this called Morning Meadow, it's a beautiful set which includes the flower, the spring and the scroll I used for the sentiment and the sentiment is included in the set along with a bird which I didn't use in this project.  I'll also be demonstrating this at my 'escape Christmas' class on 14th December in East Cowick (near Goole in East Yorkshire), so if you want to make one please book your place at this class.

The second card I want to show you is an adorable puppy!  I made this wooftastic card for my scrumptious niece Ashley who was 4 years old while I was away at Convention.
 How cute is this puppy?!!  I love doing punch art cards - it really does show how useful it is to have a selection of punches.  I'm particularly fond of the ears of this pooch, they are made from the modern label punch and I split the card stock to make them tactile and floppy - schweeet!  Of course, no self respecting pup would be seen without a diamante collar - you only have to ask my sister about this one as her blinged up pups are proof!! *winks*.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Push the envelope!!

Isn't it just super when you've made a really special card and you also make a matching envelope.  I'd like to introduce you to my new best friend... The Stampin' Up! envelope punch board.  With this tool you can create beautiful envelopes (and much more believe me) for all your cards... watch this short video and learn more, it's so impressive I'm sure it will be on your Christmas list (if you can wait 'til then!)