Easy side stepper

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I like nice and easy which is why Crafter's Companion Square Side Step Card Blanks has become one of my favourite craft products. They really come in handy when you don't have the time (or patience) to measure and cut it yourself.

Here is a card I made with the cute badgers from MFT and my favourite square dies. I recently invested in plain rectangle dies, too, which makes life so much easier! No more wonky lines. There are a few things you can do with square dies and I hope to share more ideas with you soon. I found a blue die-cut frame in my stash which I mounted on foam pads. The "Smile" sentiment cut from the same papers as the background is something I've seen in Making Cards and I like the effect. I like using black in my designs to make the colours or images stand out more but it's still a cheerful and colourful card:



















Both panels on the right were also cut using the square dies although you need to run in through your machine twice to make rectangles.

We'll be away for a week on Saturday and there's still lots to do before we leave. I'm very much a last-minute person which means that Friday will be chaotic!

Panda Paradise

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A long, long time ago when I first spotted Marianne Design's Box Card die, I knew that I had to have it. One day. What always keeps me from spending my money on dies is that they are so expensive. Turns out I didn't have to wait that long for this one as Jenn from Papercraft Essentials asked me for a Masterclass on box cards. There are certainly cheaper ways to create them instead of investing in this die set, but I wanted something nice and easy. Another die set from Tattered Lace allows you to build panorama cards, too. The cheapest and easiest option is to stick to Fancy Card Blanks from Crafter's Companion. They have a range of fancy card styles which are great if you don't want to do the measuring and scoring yourself while saving time.

Back to my box card which I teamed with other Marianne Design dies. Just give me coloured card and I'm the happiest crafter! These cards were so easy to make, they practically made themselves. The only downside is that it takes forever to cut out all the pieces as I wanted to create detailed scenes.

Here are four of the five cards I made for this Masterclass. Starting with my favourite and I really wish I was in the forest myself with these cute pandas:


After making the pandas, I worked on this bambi card with my favourite Lawn Cuts Grassy Border and Farm Fence Die-namics die. I couldn't imagine crafting without them anymore and they're popping up in a lot of my designs. They come in handy if you like to build scenes.




















Here's another cute card featuring one of my all-time favourites, Marianne's little fox. I had just bought the Skyline Border die from MFT which came in handy as a backdrop for this scene.




















Last but not least a box card with more cute critters from Marianne Design. These are smaller than they look, in fact they're so small that I decided to part from the die set which includes four animals and a crib. They're more suitable for baby cards and you can buy them here.





















I spent the last week working on a new feature and trying something I've never done before. Watch out for my cards in this month's Simply Cards & Papercraft and the Joanna Sheen Design Collection.

Smile, it's your birthday!

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While most of you might not be happy about the prospect of going back to work tomorrow, I couldn't be any happier. Monday to Friday means early shifts in the shop and being home when most people start their work. The weekends are long but at least I still have my afternoons and evenings. It's a small sacrifice for staying home with our daughter. My hubby works from home when he's not away for photo shoots and we often go for walks and lunches during the day. I wouldn't want to change it for anything in the world.

It's my hubby's godmother's birthday tomorrow and I needed a quick card so I made this one:



















The papers are from Marianne Design, aren't they just gorgeous? Although the sentiment doesn't give much away, it is a birthday card and inside it says "It's Your Birthday!" I used whatever leftovers I could find which includes combining two shaker mixes, paper flowers and papers which I would have given away. I'd kept a flower die collection from Tattered Lace from my CMOTY prize package and it came in handy for this card as I never have any leave dies.

One of the reasons you don't see any 3D flowers on my cards is that you can't post them in an envelope. I still need to make the lid of a box which I started working on.

Hope you like it!

Hugs Shaker

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Continuing with the spring theme, here are some georgeous spring papers which I kept in my drawer. I love the colour combo of blue, yellow, grey and black! Most of the shaker mixes I use for my cards are from Lucy's Shop where you can shop by colour. Lucy sells sequins, jewels and confetti. You can also try my other favourite shop Seven Hills Crafts for a selection of sequins.


















I was planning to craft until midnight again but feel knackered today. Time to crawl under the blanket and read the latest Prima.

Papercraft Essentials 145 went on sale today and you'll find five box card designs from me in this month's Masterclass. The cards feature some really cute critters from Marianne Design. This month, I love Keren Baker's pretty stitched card and I also spotted one very sweet design in the Readers' Letters made with the Spring Garden die and stamp set from the previous issue.

How this one didn't turn into a shaker

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I'm keeping things simple this week with my favourite stitched dies and square cards. Not that I have much to work with at the moment after a recent destash. It's fair to say that I'm addicted to eBay selling! On my wish list of must have craft items are a couple of stitched dies. I can't imagine crafting without them anymore but they're so expensive that I always tell myself: "Next time!"

I was looking for something spring-themed in my stash when I discovered a floral paper pad from Making Cards. This design features Telescopic Apertures and Paper Pleating and both focus on the papers (and coloured card). I had wanted to turn this into a shaker but it has already got six layers of card. The inner circles are two layers each. I really should have used one layer instead, then do the half pleated circle and stick it onto acetate. I had the perfect shaker mix to go with the colours, but maybe another time...



















This is another idea of how to make use of your free magazine papers. I'm sure that many of you collect them, too, and wonder what to do with them. If you're working with the thin bonus papers from inside the magazine, use them in combination with adhesive sheets. I found that glue and double-sided tape only show underneath.

Spring Gnomes

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It's almost Easter which can only mean one thing... The chocolate season is upon us! I still can't get my head around Cadbury Creme Eggs and those massive chocolate eggs that you buy (and presumably eat) here. Imagine the overdose of chocolate many office workers will suffer at this time of the year.

I was looking for something spring-themed in my stash but couldn't find anything but the cute gnomes from My Favourite Things. I collected a lot of bonus papers from magazines which I still need to use. While they're perfect for iris folding, I didn't want to share another iris folding design with you and made these cards instead:




















I'm still using a rather basic set of Copics colours which is why the gnomes' shirts have been paper pieced. I couldn't get myself to colour them pink! The greens don't really go together but Faye showed me how to blend non-blendable colours and it worked out on both cards.

Time for some serious crafting tonight as I set myself the challenge to make at least one card a day for this week.

A Fresh Start

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Spring is here which means time for new beginnings and... Spring Clean! While we haven't done much of the cleaning itself, we've been busy with de-cluttering, selling unwanted stuff on eBay, dropping off bags at the charity shops and doing weekly tours to the recycling centre.

While it's been suspiciously quiet on my blog, I've been working furiously through the nights to make new designs for the magazines. To be honest, I needed a break, too, from my everyday crafting. I haven't made any cards for friends and family since January and missed a couple of birthdays in March. Never mind!

World Craft Week starts tomorrow but before I share my first project, here are pictures of my new craft desk:


Something I've been dreaming of for so long... I always envied other crafters whenever I saw pictures of their craft space, but I wanted something different. No way I was going to fill an entire room with craft items!


Everything I own fits nicely into the cupboard and three drawers of the desk. As you can guess, that isn't a lot! I don't keep things for long. Instead, I sort out used items every month for sale on eBay and buy new stuff from the money I make. If I need anything new, that is.

All of my stash used to be in rather ugly plastic boxes, including small items which I always need within my reach. Now they have their own dedicated space in cute little pen pots!

I love this slide-out keyboard drawer which I use to store my coloured card. It's so handy instead of having it scattered across the table!

This is my entire work space. There's no room to make any mess. I might go for a smaller die-cutting machine though. The big one really isn't handy although it still does the job.


At the moment, I make a lot with coloured card instead of patterned papers so I think there are about four paper pads in my drawer! It's one way of saving space.

Last but not least, I wanted a black/white picture from the Middle East to remind me of our travels. This one shows the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi which we visited in 2014.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures!

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