Sunday, 23 January 2011

And the Winners Are...

After getting a fantastic 27 entries for my say it with flowers challenge on 'Say It With Flowers' over the last couple of weeks, my youngest son Jack has pick the overall winner, who will set the next MSE Challenge:

And the winner is..........

Congratulations Marg, on being the winner with this fab card.

Since the kids behaved themselves all weekend, and they both wanted to pick the winner, I said that my oldest could pick a runner up, just to keep the peace in the house going a bit longer, so Harry, my oldest picked....

this runner up...........

Congratulations Wanna B Rich, who submitted this fab card for the challenge.

I'll send you both a little something in the post by the end of this week, and Marg, I look forward to finding out what you will set for the next Challenge.

Thank you to everyone who entered my challenge, all 27 of you - you all did fabulous cards.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

A Card I Am Always Good At...

Been busy knitting the last few days, not sure it is going to be my new crafting activity though. Thought I'd try a different design with the 'mug hug', and knitted the middle piece and then failed miserably at trying to pick up stitches on the edge of a row, to continue knitting the pattern in the other direction. I won't give up yet, but will need to find out the ins and outs of knitting from my mum when I next see her. I did knit another 'mug hug' similar to the first one I did the other night that was easy as it is a standard knit stitch from one end to the other, with no tricky stitched inbetween.

Feeling a bit disheartened with the pattern I couldn't follow, I have sat and made one of my name cards tonight, for a lady that is leaving work on Friday. Doing this card has made me feel heaps better, as it is a style of card that I am good at! They are so easy to do, and always look stylish and elegant, and I have never done a wrong one yet.

Still pondering the sock monkeys the kids want, so may have go at doing another one at the weekend. Just got to figure out how to tattoo the arms of a WWE Wrestler!

Monday, 17 January 2011

A New Knitting Project

I must have been bitten by the knitting bug, because I have just finished another new project.

A while ago on a blog I saw a 'mug hug' which I thought was kind of cool, and didn't look to complicated to make. I was sent the patten used for the original 'mug hug' I saw, and last night started to knit one.

OK, I am very new to knitting, and when I was showing my OH the first 7 rows I did yesterday, and being really impressed that I had managed to increase a stitch of each line , he looked at it and said 'think you have done something wrong, because it only inclines on one side'. I read the instructions to him and he said I should have increased a stitch on each end of the line. Arrgh, I had done it wrong, and had to start again, still I had only done 7 rows so it wasn't as bad as it could of been!

This in the finished 'Mug Hug' I have done and I am really pleased how it has turned out. I have used the same fushia wool I used yesterday for 'Dotty' the sock monkeys skirt, and since I still have well over half of the ball of wool left I will make some more of these - to probably give as gifts at christmas. I'll need to get some funky buttons though to jazz them up.

I'm hoping that the more I do, the better they will look, as this one does look a bit rough around the edges. Still I have mastered the basics of knitting and even making a buttonhole, so who know what I will knit next - off to ponder that one.

Sunday, 16 January 2011


After I made the beginnings of Dotty last night, I couldn't go to bed until I had made her up, so at 1 am this morning I was still sewing the ears and eyes on!

Here is Dotty in her finished form, and I have to say, not only am I impressed that I made a sock monkey, I think she has a quirkiness about her just like me!

There are a few things that I would do differently for my next sock monkeys - shape of the ears; more rounded feet and hands; and a bit more stuffing in the legs but all in all I am very happy with my make. I just need to figure out how to add her mouth - tried last night, but failed miserable as I have never really been a 'sewer'.

I had a bit of time this morning, so had a go at knitting with the needles and wool I bought yesterday. Now I haven't knitted anything for 30 odd years, so thought I would knit Dotty a scarf. However, I got a bit carried away with casting on my stitches and within no time at all realised that this was going to be way too big for a scarf, so decided it would be a.....

.... skirt for Dotty! So here is my very first sock monkey, modelling the very first bit of knitting I have done for a very long time. Not sure why the knitting looks red, but it is a lovely deep fushia colour to go with some of the spots on Dotty.

Yesterday the kids were not impressed by what I was making, but now that I have finished her - yes my kids love her and have asked if I can make them one each. My oldest son Harry wants a Chavvi sock money complete with lots of gold jewellery, and my youngest Jack wants a WWE (Wrestling) Rey Mysterio one, with one red leg; one white leg and lots of tattoos!

Nothing like being set a challenge is there.

Saturday, 15 January 2011


Although today hasn't gone to plan for me to craft all day, I have started my very first sock monkey!

The boys football wasn't cancelled as I had hoped; I'd forgotten all about going the the hygenist at 11 o'clock, until I got a reminder text from them very early this morning; we had to go into the local town this afternoon to get a few bits and pieces. I didn't therefore start making 'Dotty' until 5 o'clock this afternoon.

Here she is half completed, but in the morning I will be ready to sew on her limbs; make her face; and with any luck knit her a little scarf with the knitting needles I bought this morning, to have a go at a 'Mug Hug'.

I ended up getting the dotty socks in Poundland, and have so far sewed all her on the sewing machine. I though it would be quick and easy to make, but it is pretty time consuming with sewing all the bits; sorting out all the ends of cotton to tie so my hard work doesn't unravel itself; and stuffing all the bits.

Don't think she looks too bad, but think I will find giving her a mouth a bit more trickly. Still they do say that each sock monkey is unique and has their own character, and I am pretty sure that Dotty will be no exception!

Hopefully Sock Monkey Part 2 will be finished off tomorrow.

Friday, 14 January 2011

An Altered Nut Container and Tin Can

With my new job, I've been there 7 weeks - I am one step closer to getting my own desk!

I have crafted tonight and having finished off some gorgeous M&S Cashew Nuts we got for Christmas, and eaten some tinned pinapple, I have washed and dried the containers, and made these, which will sit on my desk along with the desk calendar I made over Christmas, hopefully one day next week.

These were dead simple to make, just a piece of backing paper cut to size and attached to the tin/tub with double sided tape and tacky glue. I liked the paper to start with but when it was done it didn't look very girly (not a butterfly in sight!) so I added a piece of glittery red organza ribbon around the middle of each container to give it a bit of a lift.

The big one will be used for pens; pencils; scissors; rulers etc, and the smaller one for paperclips. I'd like to make a third taller skinnier one but at the moment am struggling to think of a decent container to use.

I'd like to enter this into this weeks Incy Wincy Challenge - Go Dotty

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Pay It Forward 2011

I've just entered a 'pay it forward' at 'What Shall I Make Today', so here I am paying it forward.

I promise something handmade to the FIRST 5 people who leave a comment here. However, to be eligible, your must repost this status, offering something handmade to 5 other people. The rules are that it must be handmade (or homemade) by you and it must be sent to your 5 people some time in 2011. So if you want to play leave a comment below.

A Matching Set of Butterfly Gifts

It is one of my good friends birthday this week, so I needed to make her a card, and something that would hold a gift voucher, so I had a play with my cuttlebug; craft robo and butterfly punch last night and ended up making these for her:

I really struggled to think of a card for her so ended up making one of my trusty embossed butterfly cards and cut the box on the Craft Robo, and to decorate it I embossed some white squares with the same 'Happy Birthday' folder used on the card, stuck them to each face of the box and added a piece of red ribbon around them middle with a punched butterfly on 4 sides and the top.

I've got a few (boxes!) of ES mints left over from Christmas so made up 8 and topped them with a red scalloped circle; white glitter card plain circles, and a punched butterfly on each mint.

As as set I am really pleased with the results, and it didn't take me that long to make.

I'd like to enter these into the following Challenges:

Paper Pretties Challenge - Unique Fold/Non Traditional Fold [gift box]
The Sisterhood of Crafters Challenge - Happy Birthday
Top Tip Tuesday - Anything Goes

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

A Hobby Card

I always struggle to do mens card, I just find them so difficult.

It was my Uncle's birthday this week, and I found out late last year that now he has retired, he has joined a Lawn Bowls Club, and when I went to the Crafty Ideas shop in Maidenhead in November, I found a sheet of die cut decoupage of lawn bowlers that I thought would look perfect on a card for him:

I don't do decoupage very often, as I find it very fiddle to 3d pad all the separate pieces, and it seems to take forever, but I love my Uncle to bits, so sat and did it just for him.

I thought the scene was great, and the card didn't need much added to it, so I just matted the image onto some dark green card, and then onto a mat made of silver mirror card, and added the sentiment that came with decoupage sheet.

I spoke to my mum yesterday, who told me that my Uncle loved the card and found the image very funny. How I am going to top this card next year I don't know, but have a year to think about it!

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Gardening Newspaper Card

I was asked to make a gardening newspaper style card just before Christmas, for the partner of my good friend Ann, and this is what I came up with:

and Ted loved it!

I have to say that I really strugged to find some gardening embellishments for this card, possibly the wrong season to be looking, but in the end I had to pay 'Hobbycraft' prices to put on the card.

I love this style of card, and now I have mastered the layout, I really enjoy putting them together and producing a unique card every time I do one. At the same time I bought these embellishments Hobbycraft I saw some horse riding ones, so bought them to do another card like this for my niece in October, as she is studying Equine Management at University.

I have learnt a lesson with doing this style card and that is if I see embellishments that I think I may need I have to buy them there and then because when you go back to get them they are never there.

I'd like to enter this card into the Scrapbook Sisters Challenge - anything goes.

Monday, 10 January 2011

A Couple of Cards with my Favourite Things...

Butterflies and embossing!

As everyone knows I love butterflies, and just before Christmas I found an Aladdin's treasure trove of a craft shop on the way from Birmingham. I thought the shop would be huge, but what they lacked in space they made up for in piles and piles of crafting bits.

In amongest my rummages I found a cuttlebug embossing folder made by Craft Concepts called 'Wings'. I saw it and knew I had to have it, but wasn't sure what it would look like on a card.

Well after a few tries of different ideas to do, I finally settled on letting the folder be the main part of a card, and just added a few flat back gems to give the butterflies a bit of sparkle, and here are the results:

I love them, because I think they are pretty elegant, and are very quick and easy to do. The ribbons used on both cards is from my stash, and the sentiments from CraftWorks Cards.

I'd like to enter these cards into the following challenges:

Aly's Sunday Challenge - Things With Wings
Sentimental Sunday - Anything With Wings
CES Challenge - All Creatures Great and Small
Mark's Finest Papers - Embossing
The Secret Crafters Saturday Challenge - Texture
Flutterby Wednesday Challenge - Angels/Butterflies

Sunday, 9 January 2011

A Couple of Thank You Cards

For the beautiful bouquet of roses I received yesterday, I have sat today and made 2 thank you cards in the same style; one is for the roses; and the other is for a late Christmas present the boys and I received last week.

I am trying this year to use more of the pretty papers I have collected over the last few years, so on this card I have used a paper from the Papermania Rose Garden pad.

The image was a freebie, I requested from last weeks challenge at I Did It Creations. Since I have used a paper pink cardstock for the bottom of the card and embossed it with the 'swiss dots' cuttlebug folder, I have managed to colour the image in with the same colour pink as the cardstock, although it doesn't look like it in the photo. I have used a 'nestie' label to cut the mat and image; an MS boarder punch for bottom of the patterned paper; a piece of ribbon, and peel offs from my stash; and finally some flat backed clear gems to add to the middle of the roses. As an experiment I inked (with cotton wool) all over the image and white around it to give the image a subtle finish. This technique worked perfectly on the first card, but didn't go so well on the second. I obvious had a bit too much ink when I started doing this one in the corner.

This card has been made exactly as the one above, except the paper is from Papermania Summer Blooms, and I have used the 'daisy' embossing folder on the pink cardstock.

I'd like to enter the first card into the following challenges:

Craft Your Days Away - Anything goes
Moving Along With The Times - Ring Out the Old and Ring in the New [old peel offs and ribbon; new paper]
Creative Craft World Card Challenge - Anything Goes
Creative Cottage - Something New [rose paper pad]

Saturday, 8 January 2011

How Lucky Am I!

I have had a fantastic day today. First I got to go sales shopping on my own for a couple of hours this morning, and after a bit of searching I found a beautiful top in Coast that was reduced from £40 to £10. It was almost a case of having to buy the top as I almost didn't get out of it when I tried it on! After a lot of pulling and tugging I managed to get the top off, I had visions of having to get a sales assistant to help me out of it. I wasn't stuck in it because it was the wrong size but because I hadn't noticed that there was a zip in the seam to open, to enable to top to go on and off more easily. My OH took great delight in telling me the top had a long zip in it and why didn't I undo it. He only let me in on this when he saw me struggling to get out of it.

I logged onto MSE to find out I had won the current Valentine's Card Challenge, so I am chuffed to bits about that.

I then managed to get the kids a sledge, incase there is anymore snow this year. Sledges must be like gold dust around here, as it is the first time I have ever seen them.

I came back from buying the sledge, to be given a cardboard box from M&S that had this gorgeous bouquet in:

It was from my friends Mum and Dad to us all to say thank you for the beautiful handmade gifts I had given them for Christmas. It is such a lovely thought, and know that my gifts were appreciated.

What a fantastic way to end the day. I wonder what lies in store for me tomorrow.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Finally Got Some Crafty Bargains!

Popped into the town I work in, early this morning, before work, as I wanted to see whether Sussex Bookshops and Stationers had any crafty bargain. I was so happy that they did, not that I need any more stash, but the paper pads will come in handy, and who could refuse to buy the Gemstones 8 x 8 Pads for £1.50 each. Not sure what the original price for the Rose Garden 8 x 8 Paper Pad was, but I am a sucker for girly papers!

On a different shelf I found a goody bag for It's A Man's Word, that said it was 4.99, and had all of this lot in, except for one of the decoupage kits that I bought separately for £1.99:

Imagine my surprise when this goody bag went through the till at £2.00! What a fantastic bargain, and it will get me started into make more men's cards, as I really do have very little in the way of Men's stash so the paper pack of 20 papers will come in very handy. The pack also came with a template for making a beer mug card, so may well try to make one at this weekend.

All of the above stash cost me just over £9.00.

I think I will pop into the shop again next week to see if they add anymore crafting goodies to their sale.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

I Wonder What I Can Make With These....

I've only been in my new job since the end of November, and I absolutely love it.

One of my jobs today was to take down the Christmas Tree and pack it away for next year. I love all things Christmas so didn't mind doing the tree at all. As well as the large silver tree with blue twinkly lights - in the corner, looking very sorry for itself, was a very small well loved little green tree, which to be honest has seen better days, and they have had it a very long time.

Our overall boss went to throw it out, but before she did, I asked if I could cut the little wooden decorations off, and do something crafty with them. She didn't mind at all, and really liked the idea of trying to reuse the figures, so am now the owner or 24 different shaped wooden figures like this:

I'd really like to make something that incorporates one or two of the figures for each of the girls to give them next Christmas so the options could be a keyring; christmas card; bag charms. I've got a while before I need to get down to making something, so watch this space....
If anyone has any other ideas, feel free to tell me, think I need all the help I can get!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Another Quick and Easy Card

Following on from the sympathy cards I made yesterday, I altered the wording and font and added a felt butterfly from a Henbury Lane Goody bag I got last summer, to make a very quick and stylish birthday card. I've made 4 of these with different coloured butterflies for my basket of cards to sell.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:

Fab 'n' Funky - Anything Goes
Tuesday Throwdown - Embossing [on the bigger mat behind 'Wishing you a Happy Birthday'
Creative Craft World - Anything Goes

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

With Symathy Card

Now that I have loads of white linen card, I have sat and made 2 very quick cards tonight. I saw a similar style card on a blog last year and I loved the simpicity of the card, and thought that it would make a fabulous layout for any style of card, so I have done my take on the one I saw and come up with this Sympathy Card:

I love butterflies, and think it makes this card looks elegant and peaceful. The butterfly is cut on the craft robo, in white linen card, as is the 2 'nestie' shapes in the centre. One of which I have embossed with the daisy folder on the cuttlebug. A few pearls from my stash finish it off.

The cards will be added to the basket for sale. I've made 30 so far, and just want to make a couple more before I give it to my friend. Fingers crossed the cards will sell well, and i'll be on my way to making the £2,500 I need for our trip to Florida in the summer.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:

My Time to Craft - Up in the Air [butterfly]
Paper Take Weekly - Anything Goes
Cupcake Craft Challenge - White is White

Monday, 3 January 2011

Boy Baby Cards

I had a trip down to Portsmouth today, purely because it is the nearest one to us (over 80 miles each way), and I was in desparate need of some white linen card. So off I go, expecting to have to pay £8 for 100 sheets, which is an offer they had last time I went in September, although I was sure I'd get more like 200 sheets for £16. However, they finally had an offer one for boxed linen card instead of having to buy it in pack of 10. So I snapped up 3 boxes of around 70 sheets in each box for £15. Bargain, and I am hoping that 210 sheets will last me a very long time.

I've sat tonight and made up some of my 'named' card for the basket I'm giving my friend at the end of the week to sell for me, and did a couple of baby boy ones:

They have been made with white linen and silver mirror card, and 2 different ribbons across the bottom. I love the top one with the gingham and teddy bear ribbon, but think that this will be the last one I can make as I have run out of the satin teddy bear ribbon and can't find it in my local haberdasher shop anymore. As always the letters were cut on the craft robo.

I'd like to enter these baby cards into the following challenges:

The Crazy Challenge - All Things New
Crafty Hos Challenge - Babies
Quirky Crafts Challenge - New Beginnings
One Stop Craft Challenge - New Beginnings
The Alphabet Challenge - I for Infants

Another Card Using Ink Around the Edges

Another card made specifically for the I Did It Creations Blog Challenge, which is to use a favourite technique. I am in love with inking around the edges of images to give them a softer feel, even though I have only been doing it for 2 days, and I also love embossing card through cuttlebug folders.

I have used a freebie image from the I Did It Creations Blog, and have coloured it with some of my promarkers. You can probably tell I love the colour purple!

The layout is from a card I spotted around 'blogland', and just loved the two tone card that was used, and the use of a boarder punch to give it a elegant look, and the card finished with ribbon. This card has mainly been made from my ever growing scrap pile.

I have cut the image and mat layer with the Labels One nesties, and inked the edges of the image, and added some clear gems to the middle of the flowers. The embossing folder I have used on the purple card is the 'daisy' folder, and on the black 'swiss dots' although you can't really tell from the photo. A piece of black ribbon and sentiment finish the card off. For a bit of dimension I have added 3d foam pads to the back of the image/mat and then put it on the card.

I love the use of the boarder punch and the two tone colours used to make this card, and will definitely be using this style, and layout again, as I think it is one that would work for any occassion.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

A New Technique for Me

On my travels around blogland, over recent weeks, I have seen a technique where you use ink to 'brush' around an image or edges of the paper. I have got around to giving this technique a go today, and after seeing a video on You Tube I have this card, as a thank you to my last but one boss, because over Christmas I received a very large cut glass vase, as a leaving present, at it is stunning. It is so big that instead of the occassional bunch of flowers my OH often buys me, he will now have to by a large bouquet!

I don't have the correct tools ie distress inks; brushes, stamps to do the swirls, to follow the card that was made on the You Tube video, so I have improvised and used the things that I have got - cotton wool; normal ink pad; embossing folder; and stickles.

I've started with an A6 card, and tied a ribbon/bow around the front. Not sure how it happened but lately I seem to have mastered tying a flat bow the first time instead of having to keep undoing and redoing it until I was happy with it.

I have then cut 2 different sized nestie label one shapes (a crimbo present from my OH) and embossed the smaller one with the devine swirls folder. I have then taken a piece of cotton wool and inked around the edges of the larger label shape, and all over the smaller one. After drying I have gone around the smaller label with lavender stickles to give the card a bit of a sparkle.

To finish the card I have added a Thank You peel off and pearls from my stash.

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:

Paper Sundaes Challenge - Something New
Allsorts - Thank You
Sew Many Challenge - New Things [nestie shape; new technique of inking]

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Valentine's Card

I know it is really early in the year to be thinking about valentines day, but the current challenge on MSE is to create a valentines card.

I've had an idea in my head of what I could do since the challenge was set a few weeks ago, and since I have crafted all day today, making cards to sell, I have got the Craft Robo out and created this:

And I am really pleased with the result. The card has been created using silver mirror card and a deep read card. Not sure what this techinque is called, but I have created a page of hearts on the Robo, and put the cut out hearts to one side. I have then cut the 'punched' sheet that the hearts were cut from, and cut it about to make the template that has been stuck onto the silver mirror card.

Originally the idea was just to be able to see the 'punched' heart template with the silver card, but it looked too plain, so with the hearts that were cut out I have add these back into the 'punched' sheet, only a smaller size to each heart shape, so the silver card is still seen.

As a bit of sparkle, I have added some glittery organza ribbon, and the sentiment was done on the computer, and cut with an oval nestie.

I'm planning on making a couple of these up, to put in the basket to sell at my friends playgroup, so will have my fingers crossed that they sell.

Out Of My Comfort Zone

I've said it before, but I am always inspired to try different things that I see on Helen's blog, and a couple of months ago I saw a desk calendar that she had made using beer mats and embellishments and thought it was stunning.

Having recently got a new job, and next week my own desk, I wanted to have a go and make one for work.

This was also a great project for using up scraps of paper and embellishments, and a lot of DST and tacky glue!

It took me about 6 hours to complete because I couldn't choose from all my lovely paper and embellishments to use, but I am really really happy with the results. As you can see butterflies are a favourite of mine, and I have also tried to match papers or embellishments to a certain extent with holidays throughout the year. I was sent the santa charm, by a friend and couldn't bear to part with it so using it for December, means that I don't have to!

Unfortunately I don't have access to a binding machine of any kind, so have improvised by using fake gold cheap hoop earrings that I have had for a very long time and never wear. They hold the desk calendar together, and the 6 beer mats stand up perfectly.

I'd like to enter this project into the following challenges:

Paper Pretties Blog - Ring in the New [hope earrings count for this]
One Stitch At A Time - Anything Goes
CES Challenge - Anything Goes
Craft Your Days Away - Punch It Out/Die Cuts [butterflies; flowers for March; and boarder for May)
Southern Girls Challenge - Anything Goes
Alys Sunday Challenge - Anything Goes

Best Friend's Christmas Card

Although I made all my Christmas cards this year, there are a few people that get extra special ones. I have had this image for over a year, so don't know where it is from, but it is one that I love using.

This is the card I made for my best friend, and whereas in the past I have used paintshop pro to colour images, I now have a large selection of promarkers, so am able to colour it in and embellish it any way I want.
I have embossed the card blank with the swiss dots folder, and used red mirror card to create the largest scallop square with my nesties.

For the image I have used promarkers to colour her hair; shoes and coat, and added some ultra fine glitter power to her coat and muffle, and glossy accents for the black buttons. I also added some icicles stickles for the snowballs around the image.

The sentiment was done on the PC in a gold colour font, and backed onto a red mirror card oval. The red ribbon was from my stash.

My friend loved the card, which was fantastic. I'd like to enter this card into the Digi's With Attitude Challenge - anything Christmas