Tuesday 31 July 2012

Rushing to catch up

Hello everyone - I'm back again after almost three weeks of non-crafting due to work and having been away for a week in Devon. It was lovely to get a break, though having been back a week it already seems like a semi-distant memory lol! Still, at least we now have the excitement of the Olympics .... I was totally blown away by the Opening Ceremony on Friday night and thought we really did ourselves proud, and managed to show the world that we've still got it when it comes to creativity (even though alas we haven't yet found it when it comes to striking gold in the medal table !!).

Anyhoo, I haven't had much opportunity to unpack my crafty stash recently, but there were a few challenges I really wanted to enter which close today at the end of the month; so here are two cards which I made last night.

First up, a card I made for a fabulous challenge by the lovely Brenda, which is to use poppies or poppy colours on your card.

I had quite a few ideas for this one; but the card I actually made was heavily influenced by my need to use my current favourite Memory Box die, and some vintage style papers I bought from Crafty Devils Papercraft in Barnstaple while I was away.  Not sure whether this is what Brenda is looking for as I see most of the other entries are more traditional poppies, but this is certainly a bit different lol!

Don't forget there is still time to enter for my Penny  Black blog hop candy which is a brand new "prim Poppy" die - you can find the post here

Stamps: Penny Black sentiment from "Salutations" transparent set (stamped in "London Fog" Memento);
Media: butterfly distressed wtih TH "spun sugar" distress ink; 
Papers: August Moon;
Supplies: pearls from The Hobby House; doily, lace, pearl brad and ribbon from my stash;
Tools: large classic circle nestability; Memory Box "Prim Poppy" die (decorated with glamour dust);  Cuttlebug cut 'n emboss butterfly.

Shabby Tea Room #125 - Sweet Summertime
(colours from inspiration photo + flowers + a stamped element)
Paper Pretties Monday #50 - Two or More Papers
Stamptacular - Patterns Galore (I have used 4 papers)
Top Tip Tuesday #82 - Focus On The Ribbon
Crafty Pad #181 - Things With Wings
Fussy & Fancy Friday #68 - Vintage With Distressing & Lace
Fab 'n' Funky #131 - No Stamped Image

My  second card today is a Christmas card - still not made too many of those yet (I think a bout 6 in total!!) so this design may form part of my "production line".

Stamps: Hero Arts (background Christmas text);
Media: stamping and distressing with TH Vintage Photo distress ink;
Supplies: gems from The Hobby house; ribbon from my stash;
Tools: Memory Box "Flowering Christmas Tree" die; Martha Stewart "eyelet lace" edge punch.

A Gem Of A Challenge #51 - Kraft At Christmas
Sweet Stampin' - Christmas In July
Creatalicious #36 - Christmas in July
Crafter's Companion #26 - Ho Ho Ho Christmas
Cute Card Thursday #227 - So Distressing
Simon Says - Anything Goes
Crafts & Me #94 - Anything Goes
Party Time Tuesday #79 - Anything Goes
J&C Creations #3 - Anything Goes

That's all for today ... hope to manage a bit more crafting this week and that I will be back soon with another card :-)

Thursday 12 July 2012

Vintage flowers and black lace

One of the ladies in my office is going to be 30 tomorrow so I thought I'd better pull my finger out and make a card to suit :-) Normally I tend to make really cute and girly cards in pastel colours for female friends; but last night for some reason I was feeling in a different kind of mood. I have also been getting in late from work so the light isn't so good for stamping and colouring; and last but not least I had a couple of new dies that I hadn't played with yet ... so here is what I did.

This is a bit different for me in several respects. It's not my usual kind of colour scheme at all, but I was aiming to be a bit more sophisticated with this colour palette ... I guess whether or not I succeeded is for you to judge lol! The card also has no stamping, and was my first attempt at making hand made paper roses with the Marianne D die I recently won in a challenge. I didn't quite get the hang of it at first and had a couple of cast offs, but I was reasonably happy with these ones for my first attempt. I was actually surprised by how small the roses turned out ... I don't know why, but for some reason I thought they would be quite a bit bigger! I'm also ashamed to say that I have had the Magnolia flower die for quite a few weeks and just not had time to play with it until now! 

Media: distressing done with TH "Antique Paper" and "Vintage Photo" distress inks;
Paper: Basic Grey "Little Black Dress";
Supplies: pearls from The Hobby House; ribbon and lace from my stash;
Tools: Labels One nestabilities; Magnolia Doohickey "doily flowers" die; Marianne D "English Rose" die set (roses and leaves); Cuttlebug "Hippie Chick" alphabet die set for numbers.

(paper, lace, ribbon, flowers and roses)
Cupcake #200 - Number Cruncher
Oldie But A  Goodie - Flower Power 
(I have had the number dies for years)
Party Time Tuesdays #76 - Let's Get Punchy!
Paper Pretties Wednesday #214 - Try A New Technique
Dutch Dare #173 - Tic-Tac-Toe
(flowers / pearls / distressing)
Crafty Creations #178 - Free For All
Penny's Paper Crafty - Anything Goes

I've recently been selling some of my crafty cast-off's through my local craft shop ... and today I collected £33 from £44-worth of sales (they take a 25% cut which is fair enough).  This was a great surprise as I didn't think there were that many of my goods left on their second hand table! Of course I had to give some of it back straight away as they had received a new delivery of Memory Box dies :-) ... so now I have a little something to try out on a Christmas project - watch this space!

Saturday 7 July 2012

Penny Black Saturday #209 - news, blog hop & candy!

Good morning crafters and welcome to the Penny Black Saturday Challenge.

Lots of news for you this week, so grab a cuppa, get comfy and prepare for a long read!

First of all, the more observant amongst you may have noticed that I did not introduce the challenge as this WEEK's theme ... and there's a good reason for that.

From today we are relaunching the challenge as the Penny Black Saturday MONTHLY challenge - to be published on the first Saturday of every month. So that means ....

less rushing and more time to make your cards to enter
several chances to win a prize in each challenge!

We are relaunching with a whole new look blog thanks to the lovely Beth ... do pop over and check it out!

To celebrate this relaunch we are starting with a blog hop - woo hoo!! More of that in a moment ...but first to this month's challenge theme, and it is

Summertime .. 
 and the livin' is easy

Our rules are still the same as ever they were ... you can interpret the theme however you wish so long as we can see a new piece of work (no backlinking please) and a Penny Black image, large sentiment or stickeroo as its main focus.

And we've got lots of lovely prizes for our randomly drawn winners this month, including

J&C Creations

1-2-3 Stitch

($20 online store voucher)

This time we have lovely creations not only from the regular DT but also from some guest designers from our sponsors ... that would be


Hope you will check out everyone's gorgeous summery cards .... maybe they'll remind you that it is actually summer, not that you would know after this morning's torrential downpour!! I'm really starting to believe that this is The Summer That Never Was!!

Anyhoo, here is my card ... 

I couldn't quite decide which stamp to use for a summer theme, and then I came across this image which was sent me many moons ago by Nat. It must have been a VERY long time ago as it was stamped onto a type of card which suggests to me it was in the days before  we routinely used Promarkers and Copics lol! However I just HAD to use this darling image and so I just coloured it in as best I could manage :-)

Stamps: Penny Black "Make Lemonade" (1675K); Whimsy sentiment;
Media: Promarkers and Flexmarkers;
Paper: Forever Friends
Supplies: Raffia lace and gems from Hobbycraft; ribbon from my stash;
Tools: Cheery Lynn corner die.

Sparkles #33 - Summer Fun
Craft Your Passion #117 - Chillin' & Grillin'
Whimsy #46 - Anything Goes
Papertake Weekly - Anything Goes (2nd entry)

So .... on to the other main event for this month, which is our

celebration blog hop

(or should that be ... bus stop lol!!)

All the DT members and our guest designers are taking part .... all you need to do is stop off at each blog and leave a comment to show your appreciation for their efforts ... many of the team are offering a li'l candy ... but you need to visit them to find out and leave a comment to be eligible to win it :-)

I am the last stop on the journey so you should have arrived here from the lovely Natalie's blog ... but if you get lost the order of hopping is as follows

Pauline (me!!)

If you've managed to hop this far you may be pleased to discover that I'm offering a little candy :-)

One of my favourite recent purchases is this Memory Box die "Prim Poppy" ... so I will give away a brand new one for some lucky person to play with.

Memory Box - Prim Poppy from Memory Box
If you'd like a couple of ideas of what you can do with this  die, I have posted a couple of cards here and here ... to be in with a chance to win, please leave your name in Mr Linky below. (Please feel free to leave me a comment as well if you like :-) )  The draw will remain open until the end of the PBSC challenge, which means I will announce a winner when we launch our next challenge on Saturday August 4th.

Phew! Well that's all for now. Hope you will be able to play with us this month, and happy hopping!

Edited Saturday 7/7 evening: so sorry Mr Linky seems to have gone walkabout - please call back and I hope he will be back soon :-)

Thursday 5 July 2012

Laughter is the Music of the Soul

I was really inspired by this week's challenge over at Less Is More, which is to CASE their blog header.

"Less is More"

So many elements to choose from gave me so many ideas, but so far out of my comfort zone!! What I really liked about this challenge was that initially I thought I couldn't manage it, as I have no musical stamps and very little in the way of swirly stamps ... but I was sure I DID have a tiny scrap of Magnolia vintage-style sheet music paper somewhere .... I hunted it down and then all the rest of my ideas flowed from that.

The elements I consciously CASED were:
  1. sentiment as main focus
  2. colour scheme
  3. use of Baroque script font for main sentiment (computer generated), and focus on a word with a capital "M" to show off the scrolls
  4. musical notes to the top left corner
  5. small cream coloured element to the bottom right corner.
  6. Very teeny bit of bling to balance the card.

Stamps: Crafty individuals swirl;
Paper: Magnolia;
Supplies: teeny pearls from The Hobby House, teeny gems from my stash;
Tools: Cuttlebug Cut 'n' emboss butterfly.

Less Is More #74 - Lucky Dip
Creative Card Crew #14 - Swirls & Pearls
Papertake Weekly - Anything Goes

That's all for today - thanks for looking.


Sunday 1 July 2012

Ruby Wedding

Quite a few weeks ago now I received a lovely email from a lady who was new to blogging, and who was looking for a few hints and tips as she  had "dipped her toe" in the water and wanted to start entering challenges ... specifically the Penny Black Saturday Challenge :-) We got to chatting by email and soon we were getting on like a house on fire and chatting away for England ....or even Australia!!

I'm talking about the lovely Jennifer who lives near Sydney, Australia ... , and I'm pleased to say that she was soon well into the swing with her blog. Although new to blogging Jennifer wasn't new to cardmaking and I have loved looking at her gorgeous creations.

Anyhoo, Jennifer has been having a little bit of a tough time recently and has had to suspend her blog temporarily due to health issues .. but in the meantime she has also been busy preparing to celebrate her Ruby Wedding anniversary - woo hoo and many congratulations to Jennifer and her husband John!  

Here's the card I have sent to mark the occasion - being as I have been working late so often the past few weeks I didn't make and send this as early as I would have liked so I'm not sure whether it will arrive in time; but I told Jennifer in an email that I would publish it today, which is the day of her celebration party!!  Given that Sydney is 9 hours ahead of the UK I am publishing this just after midnight so it will be online Sunday morning in Australia, before Jennifer gets into the whirlwind of the day's preparations!

This is one of my favourite romantic images, but I also thought it was particularly apt as it was a shared love of Penny Black stamps which got our friendship started!

Stamp: Penny Black "You're A Treasure" (1589F);
Media: Promarkers and Flexmarkers;
Paper: Best Creations Inc. "Mr & Mrs" collection;
Supplies: large rose from Hobbycraft; other flowers from Wild Orchid Crafts; Papermania heart gems; ribbon and peel offs from my stash;
Tools: classic heart nestabilities; Marianne Design heart die; numbers cut using Cuttlebug "Hippie Chick" alphabet dies.

Here's the inside ....

Wild Orchid #53 - Punch It Out 
(punches or dies - I have used dies)
J&C Creations #2 - Animal Antics (2nd entry)
Marianne's Design Divas #11 - Animal Antics (2nd entry)

So many congratulations Jennifer and John - hope you have a wonderful day and enjoy your party.