Thursday, 16 June 2016

Festival of Learning #LovetoLearn - Card Class for Beginners



Hello everyone! It is fully 9 months since I have posted on this blog and there have been good reasons for that, as an awful lot (and a lot that's awful) has happened during that time ... last year I only posted once due to my dear dad being very ill, and sadly he passed away on November 12th.

I miss him greatly, but have been kept very busy what with running backwards and forwards (a 4 hour round trip!) sorting out his affairs and house, and dealing with my own house, husband and job! Over the past couple of months we have also started some much neglected home improvements .. and that's likely to keep me pretty busy for the rest of the year!

It would be fair to say that my crafting mojo had pretty much taken a battering due to all this, and I haven't made a card in all this time.  It is also true that the longer you leave it the harder it is to start again ... will I still be able to colour??  Will I have lost my eye for composition??

I decided to test things out when I was asked by my HR department to take part in the national Festival of Learning

https://www.festivaloflearning.org.uk/
This is a national celebration of lifelong learning, with 'Have a Go' learning events taking place during May and June. 

Warrington Borough Council where I work is holding a month-long Festival during June, with employees giving of their time to impart knowledge and skills to colleagues in the lunch hour on a variety of themes including Digital, Craft, Culture and Wellbeing.

This Tuesday was Craft Tuesday, so I agreed to host a card making class for beginners .... my first!!


There were two timeslots of an hour each, and I decided to give a 10 minute presentation on why card making is a good idea (artistic expression, inspiration, make friends on social media, give something unique..) followed by a simple card project that would take about 40 minutes. This required quite a bit of planning, but I decided to go with showcasing rubber stamping of a large sentiment, punching of butterflies, and assembly of a card with patterned paper and embellishments.  The goal was to create a card that looked something like one of these ...



... using one of the project packs I made up like this ...


I also compiled a "resource pack" giving a bit further info on common techniques such as rubber stamping, dry and heat embossing and die cutting - all with links to further web-based information and tutorials; plus some info on basic equipment and supplies, and a few links to sources of ideas and inspiration (including this blog :-) )




All in all I did a lot of preparation, though quite a bit of it would be re-useable for  future events.

I really enjoyed my class, and the ladies who attended also gave kind comments and seemed to enjoy themselves - they both managed to produce cards they were happy to take away. Sadly there were not many attendees  .. there were several other interesting crafty topics on offer the same day such as jewellery making, gift tags, pottery making .. and local government employees are all so stretched nowadays that finding an hour is difficult. However it was a great learning exercise for me, and I am hoping to repeat my class at a future public Festival of Learning event in Warrington.


A big shout out should go to my crafty friend Clare, who lent me a few ink pads and some extra sentiment stamps in case I had a large take up for my class.

I had a variety of large sentiment stamps available, and during the class I made this card .. which I added some extra flowers to afterwards to make it a bit more special. I think my friend Clare may well cop for this when I take her stash back tomorrow :-)


Stamps: Penny  Black "To You..." (2908F) and "friends matter" (2073F); Great Impressions #D228 (If friends were flowers ..);
Papers: Melissa Frances;
Supplies: flowers from Wild Orchid Crafts; pearls and twine from my stash;
Tools: Martha Stewart monarch butterfly punch; X-Cut small butterfly punch.

For the first time in a very long time I would like to enter my efforts into a few challenges ...

Frillie & Funky - Pastels & Pearls
Crafty Inspirations #317 - Tic Tac Toe (sentiment/punch/pearls)
ABC - J is for Just As You Like
The Ribbon Girl (June) - Anything Goes
Craft your Passion #316 - Always Anything Goes
Penny's Paper Crafty #282 - Anything Goes
Crafty Ribbons #156 - Anything Goes

That's all from me for today ... 'til next time.
Hugs,

Saturday, 19 September 2015

The Wanderer Returns


Hello everyone,
It may seem as if I have disappeared off the face of the earth for just over the past year ... But in fact I have been dealing first with a very hectic workload (last autumn and winter), and then since New Year my poor dad has been seriously ill. What with that and still working full time I've not had any time for crafting so my blog as become pretty neglected ... and we have had a poorly computer since the beginning of August so I couldn't have posted much anyway!!

Sadly this situation is still ongoing and isn't really likely to improve; but this week I have had some leave from work, and as we daren't book a holiday abroad I filled some spare time with sorting out my crafty stash. I found various supplies such as stamps and paper bought for Christmas crafting 2014 which I have either never or rarely used; so I actually sat down and made my first card in over 12 months!
 

OMG did I feel out of practice so my efforts were a bit chaotic, but it was a good feeling looking at the finished result :-)

Here's another angle to try to catch the sparkle in the glitter card and the Angel dust on the image ...



 
Stamps: LotV "Snow Family" and "Christmas Grungy Messages";
Media: Promarkers;
Papers: LotV "'Twas The Night";
Supplies: pearls from The Hobby House; ribbon from Hobbycraft;
Tools: Memory Box "snowflake corner" die.

 
Challenges:
Penny's #245 - Christmas &/or Bow
MAWTT - Hats and Scarves
Creative Inspirations #327 - Your Favourite Occasion (Christmas)
ABC - R is for Recipe (Ribbon / Dies / Blue)
Jingle Belles - Stash at least a year old (all of it! ... My first card for over a year!)
Shopping Our Stash - Stash at least a year old ... As above
Christmas Stampin' All year Long #56 - Texture and Layers
Simon Says Wednesday - Die Crazy
Allsorts #329 - Sparkle
Whimsy #86 - Anything Goes
Craft Your Passion #279 - Always Anything Goes
The Ribbon Girl - Everything Goes With an Image

I think it would be a bit optimistic to say this is the beginning of a new crafty resurgence, but I hope I'll find a bit of time to make a few cards now and then :-)  I will also try to get around and look at what everyone has been up to over the past months, even if i don't get time to comment all that much!

Thanks for visiting and have a great weekend.

Hugs,

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Life Begins ...


Hi everyone,
Hope everyone is well here in blogland. I have been AWOL for the past few months I'm afraid ... work has rather taken over my life sad to say, to the extent that I haven't really found time for any cardmaking or blogging, nor much even for baking or socialising ... but today I have my first card in over 5 months to show you!

During the past few months I have been raiding my card stash whenever a birthday etc. has come along ... but today one of my good friends is 40 so I thought I really ought to pull my finger out to make her a card - and here it is.


I was actually quite nervous making this, as it has been so long that I could scarcely remember what supplies I had available, and I sat gazing aimlessly at my stamps and papers for a while waiting for inspiration to come. in fact i resorted to flicking  back through my blog for past examples, and that was when I decide to go with this gorgeous vintage handbags stamp .. what could be more perfect for a girly 40th card?  

One of my main worries was colouring after so long ... I did find it to be a bit of a challenge as I am definitely well out of practice, but I wasn't too displeased with the results all things considered.


This is an 8" * 8" card which I always like for special occasions, and gives plenty of room to decorate!! :-)


Normally when I make a 6" * 6" card, if it is very dimensional (as most of them are) I just stick it in a square CD mailer padded envelope .... but this card was too big for that so I also ended up making a  co-ordinating box! The papers don't match exactly as i didn't have enough, but i think the general theme is there.


Stamps:  LotV "handbags" and "Everyday Grungy Sentiments"; Penny Black "To You" (2908F) (on box);
Media: Promarkers and Flexmarkers; Stampendous "frantage" embossing powder;
Papers: Maja Designs "Sofiera";
Supplies: Various flowers including most from Wild Orchid Crafts; pearls and pearl hearts from The Hobby House; lace from John Lewis; ribbon from my stash;
Tools: "Floral Ovals" nestabilities; Joycrafts butterfly die; numbers cut using Cuttlebug "Hippy Chick" die set.


Challenges:
MAWTT - Feeling A Little Vintage
Crafty Ribbons - Celebration With Ribbon
Creative Card Crew #68 - Embossing 
Southern Girls - It's All About The Texture
Papertake Weekly - To Die For
Penny Black & More - Anything Goes
Stamping Sensations - Anything Goes
Bearly Mine (August) - Anything Goes
Top Tip Tuesday - Anything Goes
Crafty Calendar - Anything Goes
Simon Says (Monday) - Anything Goes

Thanks for visiting today .. I'll try hard not to leave it so long next time!
Hugs,

Friday, 21 March 2014

Something different again ....


I was fortunate enough recently to win a voucher for DigiStamp Boutique, and as I've got a couple of days' holiday from work (yippee!), this morning I chose and downloaded my images - it was quite difficult to choose as there were so many gorgeous ones, but I got there in the end!

I don't often use digis, and when I have in the past I have just printed them off and coloured them in. This time, though, I decided to experiment with one or two techniques printing straight to my base card and/or designer paper, and layering images. Here are the results ...


My first card was very much influenced by an example on the DigiStamp Boutique website here; and involved resizing my flower image and printing straight to a pre-cut piece of dp, along with a computer generated sentiment. I then coloured the flower tips using a white gel pen.

Stamps: Digistamp Boutique "Sketchy Flowers";
Supplies: pearls, ribbon and paper from my stash;
Tools: Cheery Lynn "Queen Anne Lace" die.

Challenges:
Kaboodle #215 - Use Green
Corrosive #195 - Go Green
Divas By Design - Flower Power
Totally Papercrafts #211 - Beautiful Borders
Crafty Ribbons #81 - Anything Goes With Ribbon


My layout of my second card was heavily influenced by a card I was once sent by the lovely Katina, who has designed for DigiStamp Boutique. This one was a lot more difficult than it looks as it was very tricky to align the printing to the correct part of the card to accommodate the fold, and then also print it onto patterned paper. It took quite a few goes to get this one right, but I have saved the "template" so it will be easier next time lol!

Stamp: DigiStamp Boutique "Dress and Mannequin Set";
Paper: LotV "Shabby Shack";
Supplies: gems from The Hobby House; flower and ribbon from my stash.

Challenges: 
Papertake Weekly - For A Girlie
Ooh La La #152 - For A Special Lady
Crafty Catz #223 - Bling it Up!

That's all for today - enjoy your weekend!
hugs,

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Getting inky with Stampin' Up!


Hi everyone .. well it's something rather different from me today.

My friend and fellow craftaholic Lil invited me to come along to a crafting workshop she had heard about. It was given by Helen Ding, an independent Stampin' Up demonstrator, and was held in Warrington near where I work.

I'm totally unfamiliar with Stampin' Up products so thought I would go along to see what was what, and also just for the social side of an evening out with fellow crafters.

The aim of the class was to do various techniques for getting ink to paper ... including the "baby wipe" technique with reinkers, and using dye-ink marker pens to colour images and/or ribbon (I'd never coloured ribbon before!!).  

The whole thing was very enjoyable, and here's what I made ...


The flower on this one was coloured with Stampin' Up marker pens.


This one used the "baby wipe" technique with re-inkers to create a stamped sentiment in 2 colours.


This one was supposed to be a Mother's Day card, but having lost my mum so recently I just had to choose a different sentiment for it!!


The image on this one was also coloured using marker pens. 

All the cards had teeny flowers created using the "baby wipe" technique to create a dual colour on the image.

All the products used on these cards are by Stampin' Up - Helen has got more details on her blog here.

The style of these cards is rather different from what I usually make and I'm not sure whether they are really "me"; but it was great fun making them and thinking about things in a different way. I was actually quite shattered by the end of it as I'm normally quite leisurely paced in my crafting, so to make 4 cards in 2 hours (including finding each stamp I wanted on the table and then playing swapsies with the  other ladies) required me to get quite a wriggle on lol!  I also got me quite confused swapping my trusty Cuttlebug for a Bigshot which I'd never used before, but I rather liked the magnetic plate as it held in place all the dies which were placed over co-ordinating stamps, very nicely!

Anyhow I came away with my Stampin' Up catalogues which I've been looking through over the past couple of days, and there are certainly some very interesting products!


I'm not enetering these cards into any challenges as theya re not my own original designs, but i just thought I'd like to share them with you today.

Thanks for visiting, and enjoy the rest of your weekend.
hugs,

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Special wishes for a special lady


Hi everyone, hope you are enjoying your weekend.

I would like to show you today a card I made for my dear bloggy friend Jennifer, whose pussy cat Pally sadly passed away a couple of weeks ago. Poor Jennifer is devastated as she is a big animal lover and thinks of her pets as her second family; so this was just to let her know I was thinking of her.


It was quite difficult to know what to make as I have never made a card for this particular eventuality before ... so I just went for a soft gently slightly distressed look, but not quite so overtly purple as I would tend to use for a human sympathy card.   Anyway, Jennifer has now received it and seemed to like it (it has to go all the way to Australia), so hopefully I was on the right track!


Stamps: sentiment from Penny Black transparent set "Hugs!";
Media: sentiment stamped "tea dye" and flowers distressed wtih "dusty concord" Tim Holtz distress inks;
 Papers: LotV "Timeless Victorian", with edges distressed with my Tim Holtz distressing tool;
Supplies: flowers from Wild Orchid Crafts and Hobbycraft; pearl hearts from The Hobby House; pearl brads, spacers and wooden butterflies from my stash;
Tools: "Floral ovals" nestabilities; Simon Says Stamp "Fresh Daisies" die; Marianne D "Forest Branch" die; EK Success large flower punch.


Challenges:
Frilly & Funkie - Neglected Dies 
(both the dies on this card really!)
Simon Says Monday - D is for Distress
Sweet Stampin' - Special Lady
Papertake Weekly - Bingo! (2nd entry)
(gems / die-cuts / flowers)
Stampin' For The Weekend - Anything Goes
Penny's Paper Crafty #168 - Anything Goes


Thanks for visiting today.
Hugs,

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Crafty Little Fairies DT - Things With Wings


Good morning everyone, and welcome to this week's Crafty Little Fairies challenge. This week it's the turn of the Pink Fairies, and it's my turn to host the challenge this week - yippee!

Thanks as always to everyone who entered last week's Saturday Night at the Movies challenge - we all enjoyed looking at your cards, and I had a great (but difficult!) time choosing the top 3. Don't forget to pop over to the main challenge blog to see if you are a top 3 or prize winner!

Anyhoo, moving on to this week's challenge, we have a lovely easy peasy theme for you, which is

Things With Wings

A very versatile theme I'm sure you'll agree.

We are very pleased this this week to have not one but two sponsors :


with this gorgeous prize package


and


Please remember that to be eligible for either of these two fab prizes you will need to use a stamped image (inked or digi) as the main focus of your project.

The rest of the pink fairies really loved this one and created some fabulous inspirational cards - here's what I did.


I've said it before but I don't mind saying it again ... this adorable bunny is my absolute favourite stamp of all time ... bunny's innocent wondrous expression as he reaches out towards the butterfly just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!! Also the prominence of the butterfly in the image means it always comes straight to mind for any "things with wings" challenges!!


Stamps: LotV "Patchwork Butterfly" and "Vintage Labels - Occasions";
Media: Promarkers and Flexmarkers;
Papers: LotV "Perfect Pair";
Supplies: flowers by Wild Orchid Crafts; lace from John Lewis; pearls from The Hobby House; ribbon and flower spray from my stash;
Tools: classic square and scalloped square nestabilities; Martha Stewart "Floral Vine" deep edge punch; Leone Em "Ash Family" leaf punch.


Challenges:


Sweet Stampin' - Inspired By a Song, Film or Book
(Book / film - Papillon)
Passion For Promarkers #238 - Butterfly Kisses
Papertake Weekly - Bingo! 
(flowers / punched shapes / lace)
(ribbon / pearls / flowers)
Created With Love #77 - Think Spring!
Deep Ocean #73 - Lace & Pearls
Fab 'n' Funky #207 - Animals (No People Allowed)
Crafty Calendar (March) - Animal Antics
Penny Black & More - So Sweet
Fussy & Fancy #109 - Birthdays
Crafty Creations #258 - Happy Birthday!
In The Pink #39 - Mother's Day  or Card For A Special Lady
Simon Says Wednesday - Mother's Day or Special Girl
(this is a special girly birthday card as sadly I made my last Mother's Day card last year)
Totally Gorjuss #226 - Pink & Green
Crafty Ribbons #80 - Ribbons & Bows
Party Time Tuesdays - Anything Goes

That's all for today - I hope you will join us this week at Crafty  little Fairies, and look forward to seeing your creations.
Hugs,

Monday, 3 March 2014

Get Well Wishes


Good morning everyone,
Here I am again today with another cute bear from the my new LotV art pad. This was really quite a quick and easy card to make ... I just somehow felt inspired to fit it in before I cleared away from my weekend craft session.


As James is fairly monochrome but is holding a daisy, I thought I would go with some bright fresh spring-like papers, and I was very pleased to see how well the papers went together from an old and a new pack. I then finished off with some bright spring blossoms :-)


Stamps: sentiment from LotV "Vintage Labels - Occasions";
Papers: LotV "Bonnets & Bowties" (leaves) and "Shabby Shack" (green);
Supplies: image from LotV Art pad 23 - "James & Jenny Bear"; flowers from Wild Orchid Crafts; buttons from The Ribbon Girl; ribbon from my stash;
Tools: Cheery Lynn "Queen Anne lace" edge die; Leone Em "Ash Family" leaf punch.


Challenges:
Allsorts #248 - Spring is Coming
Really Reasonable Ribbon #90 - Show me The Green + Ribbon
Crafty Ribbons #78 - Ribbons & Buttons
(old items used = background paper & flowers)
MAWTT - 4 things beginning with L
(LotV topper, label, layers, leaves)

Thanks very much for visiting today.
Hugs,