Friday 31 December 2010

Favourite five cards of 2010

The lovely Debby would like to see our favourite five cards for 2010, and is very generously offering this fabulous Penny Black candy (ooh I so want it lol!)

Now this was a really hard one, so I decided to cheat (hopefully in a good way) and have produced TWO favourite fives ... the first is based purely on the cards I liked the most for various reasons, and the second "top five" is ones which I particularly enjoyed making due to the special meaning I attached to them.

So here we go with the top five cards I liked the most (actually there are 6, which is cheat number 2 ... Debby did say she could understand a total inability to decide lol!!)

Card 1

This card has on it my all time favourite Penny Black Stamp "Dream a Dream", butterflies which I also adore, and was my first attempt to make a garden trellis scene using my MS deep border punch.

Card 2

I was just getting into paper roses at this point in the year and found they could transform a simple sentiment, along with more of my fave butterflies and pearls.

Card 3

Another adorable image, and the pinkness of this card along with the lace and charm are just so me lol!
Card 4

Another adorable image sent to me by my bloggy friend Squirrel, and one of my early attempts at colouring with Promarkers. Also my fascination for flowers and swirls was really getting going by this time !

Card 5

This one was quite unusual for me but I really enjoyed creating a kind of vintage autumnal look and using one of my brushstroke stamps.

Card 6

I don't really "do" Hallowe'en and so don't have a lot of specialised supplies, and was a bit worried what I would make for my DT card. But having had a go with some bat clip art I was quite pleased with how this one turned out :-)

So onto my second "top five", which is cards I particularly enjoyed making for a specific person or occasion with meaning during the year.

Card 1

My husband's Valentine card - I kept it quite simple being a man's card, but was so taken with this adorable image sent to me by Squirrel. This was also a rare occasion where I used a computer-generated sentiment.

Card 2

This was for my aunt and uncle's diamond wedding anniversary in February. We had a big family get together organised by my cousin, where I met her and many members of my family I had either never met or not for at least 25 years, and it was a fantastic weekend. Sadly my cousin was diagnosed with cancer not long after and has recently passed away; but I treasure the memory of the special family weekend this card represents.

Card 3

My husband's birthday card - I loved choosing the vintagey papers and details to go with the cute bear ... any guesses on my husband's favourite pastime??

Card 4

My bloggy friend Samantha got married in July, and I loved making this card to help her and her husband Efisio to celebrate - it's only the second wedding card I have ever made!

Card 5

My oldest friend from school turned 50 in December so I used a number of favourites such as flowers, lace and pearls to decorate this card using this incredibly cute LotV kitty and special sentiment circle.

Well that's it from me for 2010, so I would just like to wish all of my friends and visitors a

... and all the best for 2011.


Sunday 26 December 2010

Fave five Christmas cards of 2010

The lovely Debby has got an open candy challenge until December 29th, asking us to show our 5 favourite Christmas cards of 2010.

Not an easy task as I find my faves change from month to month (or even week to week lol!) but here are my five faves, with a little indicator for each one as to why .....

Card 1

I made five cards more or less identical to the one above, and sent them to close friends and relatives. They are fairly simple really although they are actually VERY sparkly ... much more so than you can really see in the pic. but I received some really lovely comments about them which made me smile :-)

Card 2

Having got on a roll with the batch @ card 1, I also made about 20 slightly less complex (ie less flowery) "snowy scenes" cards which were similar variations on a theme. I found some fabulous ultra pearlescent white card in my local craft shop, which was perfect for the snowflake embossed background.

Although I made quite a few similar cards using various pastel card, roses and ribbon, I only had enough of the dotty pink ribbon for one - so I gave it to a young girl in my office who is totally in love with all things pink. She actually squealed when she saw it - it is rare moments like these that make cardmaking seem incredibly worthwhile! :-)

Card 3

I have totally fallen in love with LotV "James the Bear with tinsel" - his face just melts my heart :-) This was a GDT card for the brilliant Papertake Weekly using a sketch by the lovely Dawny P - I was very chuffed to be asked to do a GDT spot there.

I was also very pleased with the papers on this card which were rather more "zingy" than my usual style; and the papers also had another brilliant outcome - when I first published a couple of cards using them I got an email from another local lady who asked where I got them .. and the lovely Katina is now a great bloggy friend, and we are hoping to meet up (with Dawny P too) in the New Year !

So I guess you could call this my friendship card for 2010 lol!

Card 4

I have chosen this one as it incorporates so many of my current favourite things

  • adorable Lili of the Valley image (I think they have really excelled themselves with recent releases, and I can't wait to start inking up my neglected recent purchases which I've not had time for due to the Christmas rush!);
  • gorgeous Wild Orchid Crafts flowers (inc. hellebores) and lace;
  • Papermania "Silent night" paper which I think is fabulous for vintage-style cards;
  • my Marianne D Creatables "flower swirl" which I have used LOADS on this year's Chrimbo cards.

    Card 5

    I couldn't finish without including the card I made for my husband .. it is one of my favourites because it is for him, if for no other reason! The fact it has another adorable LotV bear on it is just a bonus ... he reminds me of my husband, as on the first night of the snow on December 17th he had to walk over 2 miles home in a blizzard from our local railway station following his Christmas meal. When he arrived his hat and coat were well c overed and he looked about as bewildered as that bear!! I also love the Pink Gem Designs sentiment on this card, and all the sparkle.

    Well that's it from me ... look forward to seeing your favourites too :-)


  • Saturday 25 December 2010

    Merry Christmas Darling :-) .. and Happy Christmas everyone!

    Merry Christmas everyone - hope you are having a wonderful day and keeping warm.
    I had a bit of a last minute cardmaking session on Christmas Eve, so it was already too late to photograph them until Christmas Day morning ... these are DEFINITELY my last Chrimstmas cards of 2010!!

    I would like to start by showing the Christmas card I gave to my dear husband ... making it on Christmas Eve is a way of working that started a few years ago due to last minute panic, and has now become something of a tradition in our house.

    Main image: Lili of the Valley "James the Bear", coloured with Promarkers, and decorated with polar white Flowersoft mixed with glamour dust;
    Sentiment: Pink Gem Designs;
    Papers: glittered paper form my stash;
    Supplies: large pearl brad from The Hobby House; crystal hearts and silver gems by Papermania; silver ribbon from my stash; Tools: Spellbinders "Make A Flake 2" shapeabilities; Martha Stewart "embossed snowflake" edge punch; Cuttlebug "Snowflake #2" die.

    I would like to enter this card for the following challenges:

    Totally Gorjuss #61 - For Someone Special
    Simon Says - Anything Goes
    I ♥ ProMarkers #46 - Anything Goes
    Passion For Promarkers #80 - Mega Christmas Challenge - Anything Goes
    CES #17 - Anything Goes
    Crafts & Me #20 - Anything Goes
    Creative Craft - Anything Goes
    Alphabet Challenge - H is for Hats
    Sentimental Sundays #34 - Inspired by a Song
    ("Let It Snow")

    I also have another card to show you today, which is positively the last Christmas card on my blog for this year ... it is one of a batch of cards I made on Christmas Eve to send to our neighbours.

    Main image; Marianne D Creatables die cuts;
    Sentiment: Pink Gem Designs;
    Tools: background embossed with Cuttlebug "Snowflakes" folder.

    I would like to enter this one for

    Stamptacular Sunday #90 - TREEmendous
    (I did stamp as requested - the sentiment is stamped)
    ABC - K is for Keep It Simple
    Corrosive #95 - Non-Traditional Christmas
    Belli #107 - Merry Christmas
    Allsorts #83 - Anything Goes

    Just off now to get myself washed and brushed up ready for the festivities .. have a great day whatever you're doing..

    Saturday 18 December 2010

    Penny Black Saturday # 132 - Recipe!

    Good morning everyone and welcome to another Penny Black Saturday Challenge - in fact the last challenge for 2010. Thanks so much to everyone who has stuck with us throughout the year, and to the new faces that have entered for the first time - it has been brilliant seeing everyone's creations for the different themes. As always, if you entered last week don't forget to check whether you are a winner on the main blog.

    Before I get onto this week's challenge, massive congratulations for my teamie Nat, who has just been named a runner up in this year's Simply Cards & Papercraft Card Designer of The Year - woo hoo and well done hun!!

    Anyhow ... back to the challenge. This week we have a recipe for you .... so you can use it either to cook up a last minute Christmas card or (if you are totally organised by now) to get started on those occasion cards for 2011. We would like to see

    3 papers, 1 ribbon and 1 charm

    Don't forget the only other rules if you would like to be eligible for our randomly drawn prize, are that you must create a new project, and you must use a Penny Black image, large sentiment or stickeroo as the main focus.

    This challenge will run for 3 weeks, closing midnight GMT on Friday 7th January ...

    We will be back on Saturday 8th January with a brand new year of Penny Black challenges - bring it on!

    As always we have got a fantastic prize this week for one randomly drawn winner ... our fab teamie Carole

    has donated this darling stamp.

    The other members of the DT have been cooking up a storm so please do go and check them out ... here is my effort for this week.

    I was waiting for this stamp to arrive from America, so when it did I rather went into overdrive with it! Mostly I used it for some simple last minute cards, but I put a bit more effort into this one!

    Main image: Penny Black "Solitaire", coloured with Marvey brushstroke pens;
    Sentiment: LotV Christmas circle sentiments;
    Papers: BasicGrey (poinsettia and plain green), MME (aqua);
    Supplies: pearls from The Hobby House and Wild Orchid Crafts; ribbon and charm from stash;
    Tools: small circles and lacy circles nestabilities.

    Well that's it from me ... it just remains for me to wish all the followers of the Penny Black Saturday Challenge

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

    ... and we look forward to seeing you again on January 8th 2011 :-)

    Friday 17 December 2010

    My first ... my last ... my everything

    This year I have made quite a lot of cards using the snowy scenes theme with swirls and flowers, and today I would like to show you the last and fanciest (though still relatively easy to make) card from the production line, which is this year's card for my mum and dad. Most similar cards I have made have had a totally white background; but as this one is bigger (C5) I have added a gorgeous piece of sparkly snowflake paper I found earleir this week in a local craft shop (they only had one piece so that was lucky!!) Once more this card is actually MUCH more sparkly than the photograph suggests!!

    Main image: Penny Black "Snowy Park", covered with crystal Fine Art glitter;
    Sentiment: Pink Gem Designs;
    Paper: frorm local craft shop - no manufacturer details on the paper!
    Supplies: hellebores and cherry blossom flowers from Wild Orchid Crafts covered with stardust Stickles; small glittered roses from Hobbycraft; silver gems from my stash;
    Tools: Marianne D Creatables "Flower swirl" die; Cuttlebug "snowflakes" embossing folder.

    I have made this card to fit the following challenges:

    Simon Says - Silver, blue & white
    Dutch Dare #93 - Winter
    Fussy & Fancy Friday - Show Us Some Snow

    Additionally, Crafty Cardmakers #36 is asking this week to see a latest card along with one of your earliest creations. Well, this is one of my earliest cards, and is the Christmas card I made for my mum & dad back in 2006! It makes me quite nostalgic, because back then I had very little equipment, only a handful of stamps and a small amount of papers and embellishments. Peel offs ruled the day to save costs on making different sentiments for different cards, I don't think I had got my Cuttlebug, and I had not yet heard of nestabilities, Wild orchid Crafts, Lili of the Valley or many other of my current favourite stores and supplies. As you will see though I HAD heard of Penny Black already - this is the first PB stamp I ever bought and is called "Winter Snuggles!" - awww!

    Just off to do some ironing now before getting ready for my works Christmas party ... so I sure hope that the weather is going to hold and things won't be looking like the picture on my first card!!

    Edited: by 7pm Friday the scene outside our house was well on the way to looking pretty much EXACTLY like the pic on the top card, so no Chrimbo party night for me :-( I definitely made the right choice ... my husband had to walk home over 2 miles from our local rail station after his afternoon party in thick snow ... if I had tried it in a sparkly dress and platform shoes I don't think I'd have made it lol!!

    Thursday 16 December 2010

    Quick and easy does it!

    I'm now hopefully entering the home straight with the Christmas card rush .... did my posting on Tuesday and I am now into the last minute batches for hand deliveries for work colleagues etc.

    I had been waiting eagerly for a stamp I had chosen as a blog prize to arrive from Simon Says Stamp in America ... and yesterday it showed up after doubtless being delayed in the huge Royal Mail parcel backlog - yippee!! I had deliberately chosen this stamp as being suitable for quick but "arty" looking last minute cards, and I wasn't wrong there .... yesterday evening I managed to make NINE similar to the one below, including an hour's break to watch "The Apprentice" lol!

    Main image: Penny Black "Solitaire" (3241K) watercoloured using Marvey brushstroke pens; background stamping done using Inkadinadoo holly flourish stamp;
    Sentiment: LotV Christmas circle sentiments;
    Paper: Papermania Signature "Silent Night";
    Supplies: pearls from Wild Orchid Crafts and The Hobby House;
    Tools: small circles and lacy circles nestabilities.


    Fab 'n' Funky #53 - Quick and Easy Does It
    ABC Christmas - Z is for Zero Time Left
    (I chose prev challenge Q is for Quick and Easy)
    Kaboodle #46 - Clean & Simple Christmas
    Penny Black at Allsorts (December) - Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

    Just off now for another sesh!

    Monday 13 December 2010

    Pretty in Pink (+ silver + white)

    Here's another card from my latest Christmas batch .... quite a few challenges were winking at me from my blog roll when I logged on this morning so I decided to make this one into a quick post. I would like to enter this card for: Wild Orchid #13 - Pink, Silver and White
    Cupcake#121 - Non-Traditional Christmas
    Incy Wincy #72 - Non-Tradional Christmas Colours
    Pollycraft #74 - White Christmas
    The Pink Elephant #90 - Winter Wonderland
    Catch the Bug - Walking in a Winter Wonderland
    Stamptacular #89 - Winter Wishes
    Keep It Simple - Season's Greetings
    Daring Cardmakers - Snow Much Fun
    Alphabet Challenge - G is for Glitter
    Bunny Zoe's #7 - Sparkle & Shine
    Stampalicious - Stampaliciously Simple
    Main image: Penny Black "Snowy Park", covered in crystal Fine Art glitter;
    Sentiment: Penny Black;
    Paper: pearlescent white card embossed with Cuttlebug;
    Supplies: small roses from Wild Orchid Crafts; silver gems and ribbon from my stash;
    Tools: Cuttlebug "snowflakes" embossing folder.
    That's all for today :-)

    Sunday 12 December 2010

    Penny Black Saturday #131 - and three wise hedgies

    Good morning everyone, and welcome to another Penny Black Saturday Challenge. The more observant amongst you will no doubt notice that today is actually Sunday .... I swear that the days are getting shorter towards Christmas, not only in terms of daylight hours but also the number of hours in the day lol!!

    Anyhoo, here I am last with this week's card. Thanks to everyone who entered last week and congratulations to last week's winners.

    This week we have a theme for you ...

    The holly and the ivy
    This means we want to see Christmas flowers and plants on your cards. Don't forget the only rule, if you would like to be eligible for this week's randomly drawn prize, is to use a Penny Black image, large sentiment or stickeroo as the focus of your project.

    This week's fab prize is a $20 gift voucher from our sponsor 1-2-3 Stitch

    Now one of my excuses for being late this week was that I was waiting for a stamp to arrive from America which unfortunately hasn't turned up yet ... I guess it must have been delayed due to the postal disruption caused by the weather. But luckily I also ordered another one taking advantage of the Glitterpot's free postage earlier this week, and that one turned up on Friday. So I sat down yesterday and got busy with it .. not once, not twice, but THREE times whilst I'd got my pens out on the table.

    Any one of these could equally fit this week's challenge but I guess I'm choosing the first one:

    Card 1

    Main image: Penny Black "Xmas kiss" (2745H) coloured with Promarkers and the edges distressed wtih Tim Holtz "Antique linen" distress ink;
    Sentiment: rub on from stash;
    Papers: Papermania "Silent Night";
    Supplies: pearls from The Hobby House and Wild Orchid Crafts; raffia lace from Hobbycraft;
    Tools: large deckled rectangles and small circle nestabilities; Marianne D Creatables mini poinsettias.

    Card 2

    Main image as above;
    Sentiment: Craftwork Cards;
    Papers: Paper Pzazz (green), Papermania (cream);
    Supplies: poinsettia and leaves from Prima Christmas bubble; pearls from The Hobby House; ribbon from stash.

    Main image as above;
    Sentiment: LotV Christmas sentiment circles;
    Papers: BasicGrey;
    Supplies: poinsettias by Petaloo; red pearls from Wild Orchid Crafts;
    Tools: lacy circles nestabilities; Cuttlebug embossing folder "holly".

    I would also like to enter these cards into one or two other challenges:

    Card 1

    Everybody Art Challenge #120 - sketch
    Die Cut Dreams Christmas Club #47 - A Christmas Carol
    (the holly and the ivy)
    I ♥ ProMarkers #44 - Christmas Carol / song
    (red, red robin)
    Passion for Promarkers #80 - Mega Christmas Anything Goes
    Cupcake #120 - Little Red RobinPenny Black at Allsorts (December) - Beauty Is In the Eye of the Beholder

    Card 2
    Allsorts #82 - Last Minute ChristmasCreative Belli #106 - Christmas embellishments

    Card 3
    CRAFT #80 - Colour Scheme "Festivia"
    Creative Inspirations #49 - Anything Goes Christmas

    The Crafty Pad #101 - Embossing

    Collectively I would like to enter these cards for Cute Card Thursday #142 - Floral Frenzy

    Hope you can join us over at PBSC this week for those last minute Christmas makes - looking forward to seeing your creations..

    Wednesday 8 December 2010

    Snowy scenes

    No, I'm not talking about the views from my window onto the garden, but the batch of Christmas cards I made last night ! I actually managed seven (and one half made) in the one evening which is pretty good going for me ... though as you will see they were pretty much identical with one or two minor variations.

    Card 1:

    I would like to enter this one for the following challenges:

    Simon Says - Christmas With No Red or Green
    Papertake Weekly - Red and Green Must Not Be Seen
    Spoon Full of Sugar # 133 - Christmas Card
    Stamptacular #88 - Blue ... blue ... Christmas
    (blue is the only colour on this card apart from silver)

    Card 2:

    I'd like to enter this one for

    Secret Crafter #112 - Christmas
    The Stamp Man #11 - Christmas Theme - 3 colours
    (pink, silver and sepia)
    Crafty Cardmakers #35 - White With A Splash
    Stamp With Stampavie #120 - Christmas
    Simply Create Alford - It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas
    Card 3:

    I would like to enter this one for

    Creative Inspirations #90- White design papers only
    (self coloured snowflake paper)
    ABC - J is for Jewels
    Paper Playtime #28 - Snowflakes

    Card 4:

    I would like to eter this one for

    Top Tip Tuesday #13 - Use Ribbon
    Creative Card Crew - Anything Goes
    Christmas Card Challenges 2011 #1 - Christmas + monochromaticCaardvarks - Monochrome
    Last but not least, I would like to enter the first 3 cards (I actually made 5 cards that looked just like these) into this week's Die Cut Dreams #77 - Seeing Triple. Just to prove I did make three or more with the same layout, here is a fairly poorly lit pic of all my batch standing up on the table ...

    Main image on all cards: Penny Black "Snowy Park", inked in either black, sepia or purple ink, and covered in Fine Art crystal glitter;
    Sentiment: Penny Black;
    Papers: cards 1, 2 & 4 - high shine pearlised white card embossed with Cuttlebug "Snowflakes" folder; card 3 - self coloured snowflake paper from my stash;
    Supplies: silver, blue and lilac gems and ribbon from stash; small two tone lilac roses from Wild Orchid Crafts;
    Tools; Marianne D Creatables "flower swirl" die; Martha Stewart "Artic Snowflake" punch.

    A couple more sessions like this over the next few days and I might be in danger of catching up with myself lol!

    keep warm!