Saturday, 28 November 2015

Baked With Love

A quick break from making Christmas cards and a card for my mother-in-law who was 91yrs young this week!!!!
She's a legend in the kitchen, always baking the most delicious cakes, but alas none of her skills have ever rubbed off on me, I remain cateringly challenged.

Stamps - Paper Smooches 'Baked With Love

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Festive Tweetings

A nice simple card today using Season's Tweetings from MFT, coloured with Zigs with dotty white highlights and white liquid pearl.
This is a another card I've made for my daughter Sophie's charity fundraising challenge. In all, I've managed to make about 30 cards over the past week or so and given her 107 in total to sell at her uni's Christmas Bazaar next week

Monday, 23 November 2015

Good Elf To You All

An uber quickie from me as I'm posting in the advert breaks of The Walking Dead, I've got 90 secs to post before it's back on again.

This is another card I've made for my daughter's charity fund raising mission... here.

Quite simple, I've created a distressed inked background with a dauber. These little daubers are excellent for controlling the amount of ink applied and don't leave ink sponge shapes that you sometimes get with the Tim Holtz square & round applicators. I used MFT's 'Santa's Elves' stamp set, coloured with Zig markers, cut out and added to my card base with foam pads.

A few essential sequins,  a swoosh with a wink of Stella, white liquid pearl fur trimmings, a sentiment from Paper Smooches et voila!
Gotta dash....don't wanna miss a thing!

Friday, 20 November 2015

A Charitable Request

Please forgive the following request. It's not something I have ever done before and I hope you don't mind.
In July 2016 a team of Royal Holloway University students, which will include my daughter Sophie, will be travelling to Romania for 3 weeks with Challenges Abroad to take on a voluntary development project with orphaned and abandoned children. As well as teaching and providing activities for the children, they will also be helping to renovate the care home in rural Transylvania in which they live.
Sophie has already paid for the trip but she needs to raise £950 for the charity, so this is my request.
If you are able to make a donation to this worthy charity, even if it's just £1.00, Sophie would be incredibly grateful. 
For more information and to make a donation please click the link below....
Virgin Money Giving - Sophie Clempson

Thank you

Meanwhile, I am making lots of cards for Sophie to sell at her university's Christmas fair and all proceeds will go towards her charity fund raising. This is one of them using the uber cute Toasty Greetings stamp set from MFT.

Have  a great weekend xx

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Dashing by...

With 37 days until Christmas, 3 cards made and another 90ish to go I am, confident I will be done by June 2016, so there's no panic.

I've managed 2 cards today. My first card above features stamps from MFT's 'Cool Day' and Paper Smooches 'Joyful Greetings'. 

I used a smooshing technique using Gansai Tambi watercolours. If you haven't tried this before, it's a really easy way to create random backgrounds. I watered down my paints just a bit, not too much as I wanted a bolder colour and splodged paint onto a small piece of acetate then smooshed it around my paper.

It looks messy but you get a really great effect when dry.

I stamped out my images & coloured with the ol' Zig-a-Zigs, added a slope & some liquid pearly, snowy highlights.

My 2nd card was made with the same technique and the images & sentiment were from MFT's 'Dashing By'.

See what I mean about these backgrounds, so much texture and colour.

Isn't she a cutie?

There you go, 2 more cards.
Think I've got time to run a hot bath, put my feet up and chillax....Not!!!

Saturday, 14 November 2015

You...Yes You Are Awesome!!

I made this card for my cousin's son. I had to 'Google' what relation my cousin's child is to me... so confusing. Apparently he is my first cousin's once removed, aunt's brother's cat's half-sister's daughter-in-law....So that's cleared up any confusion.

Anyway, I digress.... his name is Jay, in case that wasn't flamin' obvious from the card, and it's his birthday. 
I used these large card letters to create masking templates...

...and little daubers to colour around the lettering with Distress inks. I used Chipped Sapphire, Mowed Lawn, Peacock Feathers and Salty Ocean.

My favourite bit about this card is the sentiment and the stamp set that it came from. It's from Casual Fridays and called 'Wait For It' but I have a feeling it's been discontinued. Such encouraging it!

I finished by flicking water over the distress ink to leave those splats, removed the masked off lettering and added some blue star gems.


Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Festive Festiveness

Just a quickie from me tonight.
Mr C needs about 50 cards made for Christmas and I've finally made 1... yes 1.
I'm on a roll...

Stamp set from Wplus9 'Festive Greetings'

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Share Handmade Kindness

Greeting Earthlings.
Some of you may already be aware of the November 'Share Handmade kindness' challenge being run by the awesomeness and all-round good egg that is Jennifer Mcguire.
The idea is to give something....anything handmade... to someone as an act of kindness. It could be a card, some sewing, knitting, a plant or simply a handwritten note. Jennifer is hosting challenges throughout November and this week's challenge has been to share handmade kindness with a friend or family member.

I encourage you to have a look at Jennifer's blog, it's oooooozing inspiration, tips and ideas and I'm sure you'll come away with a boost to your crafty mojo. (You may need to take a fortnights holiday to go thru' her blog... it's crammed to the rafters!!)

I've made this card for someone very special in my family who, without going into detail, I am very thankful for.
I've used a cute mouse from MFT's Harvest Mouse stamp set & a sentiment from Winnie & Walter. 

I coloured the little mouse with my Zig markers, used Picked Raspberry Distress ink for the surround and clear embossed the black sentiment. before adding a few randomly scattered sequins to finish.

Why not pop over to Jennifer's blog and get involved or if you haven't got time, why not just pop a card or something else handmade in the post to someone for no other reason than an act of kindness?
Imagine if we all did it and not just in November, what a happier place this planet would be.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

More Storage Stuff

It's been pretty hectic here of late. 
In a random moment of loonacy, Mr C & I decided to redecorate the whole house, so any spare daylight hours after work and all weekends have been spent painting walls. 6 weeks on and we're 6 rooms down.

In the dead of night I've been busy in my wee corner of the living room working on my crafty storage and as a few stalkers peeps have asked, I'll share how I store some more of my 'stuff'. As before, don't get too excited but feel free to nick any ideas if they'll work for you too.

So this is one of my offsprings old desk. Those 2 'shelvey' things at the back were from The Range, they're a kind of faux leather and were £20 each. They're really strong and look quite posh. I keep all sorts on them including large ink pads.

The sideboard houses everything else, all neatly boxed n' labelled.

The plastic storage boxes were again from The Range (I don't know what I'd without that shop and they're wayyyyyy cheaper than Hobbycraft). I use the A4, A5 & peel-off craft storage boxes for lots of things.

I keep my dies in this chunky blue A5 lever arch-file (Rymans seem to be the only place that sells this wider A5 version but only in 2 dull colours, blue or black), each A5 pocket has a magnetic sheet inside to stop the buggers going everywhere. If I have a die to go with a stamp set then I keep it in the back of the wallet with the coordinating stamps (see previous Stamp Storage post here.)

I keep my stencils in a normal sized pink A5 lever arch-file too and this was from Staples who have loads of groovy colours. I've just put a piece of black card in each pocket as backing.

Moving back to my desk where normally a computer keyboard would slide out, I keep all my tiny embellishments like sequins, blah, blah, blah in more storage boxes with compartments in colour families.

By the side of my desk I have 3 A4 storage boxes for my mini Versacolor & Distress ink pads and embossing powders, again from The Range (the sort you'd store paper in). The beauty of these boxes is that once you've filled them up they are deep enough to add a peel-off box in too for another level of inks or for keeping the blending tool in (hope that makes sense!) 

You may have noticed 2 storage boxes on top of my desk shelves. These house my Zig markers, Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils, Polychromos pencils, various sized Sharpies and my Staedtler fineliners. They're 6" Deflect-o desk cubes from Amazon (about £8 each) and hold LOADS. I keep them on their sides so I can see what's inside instead of keep standing up (plus they're easier to dust!)
Finally this is what I've been doing in the dead of night. It's a colour swatch 'booklet' of my Zigs', pencils, Versacolor & Distress ink pads. The idea came from Jennifer Mcguire (join the queue whilst waiting to be adopted by her!!!) I managed to track down these 2" x 2" pocket wallets in the UK from Chaos Cards, I bought the pack of 100, but this link takes you to the pack of 20. The rings to hold it together were from Rymans. I intend 'swatching' my embossing powders, maybe my Promarkers too eventually.

Talking of Promarkers, poor things haven't seen the light of day for a while and continue to be stored in this 7ltr box, rattling

Anyway, I digress. This swatch booklet is so handy as a reminder of what colours you have, for putting colour combinations together, for colour inspiration in one place and for keeping a track on what you've got and what you may lack (in my case reds and purples).
There you have it. I think I've covered everything. Yell if you have any questions or if you need more details on any of the above.
I'm now going to spend of the rest of the year getting down to some serious card making. I've got about 100 Christmas cards to make and it's now November.....Panic!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Clear Stamp Storage Solution

In a recent post I wrote about my clear stamp storage system.
Well since then I've tweaked, retweaked, ummmed n' arrrred and finally settled on this solution.
This is my FINAL post on the subject as I'm thrilled with the result and I'll share below what I used. ALL of my clear stamps, regardless of size, are stored in these A5 punched pockets that I got from Rymans (£1.99 for 25).
I've added a piece of white card to each a) to give the pocket some stability, b) to show off the stamp & c) coz it looks darn neat. I used 300gsm from Hobbycraft (£9.99 for 100 sheets)

I cut the strip off the side of the pocket where the punched holes are, leaving about 2-3mm before the seam of the pocket.

Can you see that thin white strip left over? It comes away really easily if you just slide a fingernail where you've cut and the left over strip pulls away leaving a far more classy-looking pocket.

Next up...labelling. Initially I had cut a strip off the original stamp packaging and stuck it on the reverse side of my white card with the details of the stamp company & stamp name.

Then I found this baby, the Brother P-Touch 90 label maker, reduced in a couple of shops. I got mine from Rymans (£14.99). It comes with a full-sized tape thingy, black type on a white label (12mm x 8m). For goodness sake get your refills from Amazon. They're about £6.20 from Amazon compared to £13.99 at  Rymans!!!
Trust me, this little gadget is dead easy to use, has loads of font size options and characters and before you know it EVERYTHING in your home will have a label.
Top a plug to go with it rather than buy batteries. It comes with neither but I got a universal plug, again from Rymans for £9.99.

Having labelled everything within a 10 mile radius of my house, it was time to create dividers to seperate my stamp collections. I've divided by stamp company rather than type of stamp (ie sentiment stamps, animals, girls, etc...) It's up to you how you divide your collection.

I made my dividers using these plastic A4 Clip files. These were £1.00 each from Staples, they're a white-ish colour with a 'wobbly' pattern on them. Coloured versions were wayyyy more expensive. They're quite sturdy but will easily go through a guillotine and I made 2 dividers from each clip file... I simply cut to the size I wanted, rounded off the 2 top corners with scissors and added a label.

Finally the all important boxes. 
These are 9 litre Wham storage boxes (£9.99 for 3, with lids, from The Range)
Obviously, I'm not using the lids, but these boxes are absolutely perfect for fitting the stamp pockets in. They're 14.5cm H x 23cm W x 38cm L, clear coloured, uber strong and dead posh looking.

Just to clarify, these pockets will fit regular clear stamp sets...

...tall stamp sets, like those from MFT...

....huge stamp sets, like the Winnie & Walter sentiment collections...

... and even a selection of red / grey rubber stamps. I've got 4 LOTV stamps in this pocket that are clinging to a piece of acetate in the pocket. I've stamped the images onto a piece of card in the pocket as a reminder of the images.

The only stamps NOT in my new pockets are the Tim Holtz Crazy Birds / Things sets, they're just a tad too big to fit.  They're in their original packaging but still fit neatly into my storage boxes.

So there you have it... my final Clear (and red and grey) Stamp Storage solution. I hope you've found it helpful if you're looking for ideas. 
Next stop....Stencils & Die Storage.

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