To my friend, with love


Sometimes, a friend needs a little cheering up and that's what I had in mind when I made this Sympathy Card. This is a card for my friend who lost someone close to her. She has the gift of story telling and the first thing I remembered was that that special person in her life had adopted a cat who just turned up at her door one day and never left. I used this as inspiration for my card.

To start with, I wasn't sure what colour scheme would be appropriate but settled for Wild Rose Studio's Wedding Bells... a little ironic when you're talking about a Sympathy Card, I know, but it worked out beautifully. I also wanted to have gemstones in my design and used these to make it look like the cat is catching something falling from the sky. I printed out my own sentiment.

The iris folding papers were a little heavy and I didn't trust the double-sided tape, so I added a hand stitched border just to hold everything in place. The iris folding pattern comes from Circle of Crafters and can be downloaded here. I printed out the pattern in a small format and it was a bit of a challenge to work on such a tiny area with my folded paper strips. Added a bow to finish off my design.

For Andi, made with love.

Iris folding baby card (another fab freebie make!)


Back to iris folding this week with a simple and neat design. I discovered so many patterns from Circle of Crafters and this teddy can be downloaded here.

To make this card, print out the pattern twice: Cut the shape from the first sheet and fix it with tape to the back of white cardstock. Draw the shape with a pencil, remove it and cut out with a craft knife. I don't recommend using scissors as the knife gives more precise results. Tape the cardstock (front facing down) onto the second pattern and add the paper strips. For this design, I cut 2 cm wide strips and folded them in half.

I added a hand stitched border and a sentiment which I found in my freebie stash. The papers were also a freebie and came with a Woodware stamp set with one of my magazines. I had kept them for so long, thinking that one day they might come in handy for a baby card. I finished my design with a charm ("Handmade with Love") which is a cute detail.

I'm glad that I finally found some use for these papers!

Foodie weekend


It was my kind of weekend: Plenty of food, sunshine, playing with Jess and new cardmaking ideas! Isn't the weekend all about eating... well, for us it certainly is! My hubby got his hands on chocolate from Belgium which we have been practically surviving on for the last two days. Whenever we visit family in Belgium, we always bring back boxes of pralines, cookies and chocolate covered marshmallows.

I'm happy to meet and catch up with my crafty friend Diane this week. There will be cake, cake and more cake. Diane has posted some very impressive Design Team work on her blog over the last couple of days. My favourite is her House Mouse Rocking Card which you can check out here.

I tried new iris folding patterns this weekend which I will share later with you. I'm so excited about one of my designs. It worked out so beautifully. I will keep it for later this week.

Here is a new sweet birthday card. So many birthdays are coming up in March and I'm still not done with all the cards! I used Paper Inspirations freebie "Bake a Cake" stamp set and paper for this one. A similar stamp set is available from Stampin Up! I decorated this card with lace, half pearls and hand stitched flags. The cake was raised with 3D foam pads. Added gemstones to the cake stand and covered the cake and flames of the candles with stickles.

Meanwhile, Jess did what she does best: Sleeping and destroying the plant. Here she is, looking all innocent:

Back soon with a new iris folding design. Have a fun week at the office or wherever you are!

Stash raider

Here is a quick make that I wanted to share with you.

I still had one cute little donkey left from an earlier crafty project. I coloured it and cut it out with my craft knife, then used Kraft cardstock and patterned paper from Forever Friends Kraft Notes. The Baby Patch Elephant stamp set was used to make the sentiment. 

The patterned paper was already busy enough, so I kept my embellishments to a minimum. The borders are decorated with half pearls and punched out hearts. Then I discovered a long forgotten freebie, a butterfly stencil from Pergamano. A similar stencil can be found here. The butterflies were made from parchment paper and simply cut out.

This card is literally bits & pieces thrown together. Add a hand stitched border and this card will put a smile on someone's face.

Stamping away


We had quite a storm hitting our village on Friday evening. Honestly, I thought the roof would fly off. Our cat was so scared, poor Jess! She made the most of the sunshine today by sitting in the garden and sleeping on the sunny spot on the bed.

I played around with my new freebie from Simply Cards & Papercraft - Vintage stamps and papers. Usually not my cup of tea, but then again I couldn't resist picking up the magazine, so I might as well have a go at it.

Stamping is not my favourite technique, let's be clear about that. I'm impatient, to start with. While the ink is still wet, I'm already cutting and colouring in (if I colour at all). Stamping is a lot of trial and error because I can't seem to get the pressure right and as a result waste paper.

I did enjoy using these stamps though! After making my first two designs, I thought how perfect they would be for Easter cards with a vintage/romantic theme (also using the free papers). For the first card, I used Wedding Bells papers from Wild Rose Studio, layered these onto Kraft cardstock and stitched around the borders. Next, I stamped three birds and the birdcage with distress ink and raised these with 3D foam pads. Finished with a sentiment, white pearls and white clay rose.

For this card, I made use of the free papers. Stamped the image on white card, die cut with Spellbinders labels and embossed it. Couldn't resist adding a hand stitched border and flags.

Et voilà! Hand stamped & stitched with love.

Happy stamping everyone!

Back to normal...


Back with my logo which got lost with the PC trouble I had last week. Phew! Sadly, I had to say goodbye to some old pictures of which I hadn't saved a copy anywhere. They were of great sentimental value to me, but one can only learn from it.
This weekend, I'm looking forward to some relaxing crafty "me" time and lunch at the Italian. Coincidentally, lunch is planned at former F1 driver Mark Webber's restaurant... which reminds me of my childhood days, watching F1 races with my family and later my dad taking me and my brother to the Italian where a small TV was installed in the corner and we followed the race there while stuffing ourselves with pizza. Back then I didn't need to worry about these memories ever getting lost or deleted. We took very few photos and because we didn't go picture crazy, we cherished those precious memories even more.
I found my way into cardmaking through scrapbooking. It all started with a stack of family pictures, mostly from my childhood. Throughout the years, I collected more and more memories. My great-grandpa even gave me some b/w pictures which must have been taken in the 30's and an old postcard addressed to my great-grandma which turned out to be a love poem. I'm so proud to have them!
Talking about childhood and memories... I had a go at another baby card design with the adorable Baby Patch Elephant from Woodware. My intention was to go neutral on the colours but the colour combo worked out so perfectly, I think it's better suited for a boy. The papers are a mix of BoBunny's Snow Day and Echo Park's For the Record 2. Added some flags and white half pearls.
Et voilà...
Soon back with a simple design using my new freebie vintage stamps.
Happy crafting/photographing... whatever you are up to!

Paper & Stitching


Such a promising weekend and then this... Troubles with my laptop and all of a sudden, my files are gone. It's annoying but probably not the end of the world. Just need to get my logo back... and preferably all pictures of my designs recovered. Where are the good old times when we still printed out pictures and didn't need to worry about lost files?
On a positive note, it was a very creative weekend for me. I spent Saturday trying a new design for male birthday cards. It's always a challenge because of the papers and embellishments, but I think I found the perfect solution for embellishing: Stitching!
I started making paper rosettes by cutting three 15 cm long paper strips 1 - 1.5 cm wide. I used my freebie scoring board to fold them and glued them onto a small circle. I punched out an even smaller circle to add to the top. I used lots of circles in my design to fill the space, decorate the borders and also for the beautiful Birthday sentiment (from Hero Arts). Once I had fixed my sentiment and paper onto Kraft cardstock, I thought about embellishing. It looked pretty plain so I thought let's give stitching a try and see how it works on this design.
Well, I'm really pleased at how these turned out:

Made with Echo Park papers For the Record 2

 Made with Portobello Road papers from Papermania

This design turned out a little different than expected. I used papers from Carta Bella Well Traveled

Although it takes long to stitch by hand, it adds even more of a "handmade" feel to the card. It gets quite addictive, too! Just make sure that you secure double sided tape directly on the stitching (back side).

Fingers crossed I will find a PC wizard who can get my pictures back!

Make your own paper... for free (well, almost)


Cheers to a super creative weekend! Ours started with a visit to the village where we lived two years ago, browsing the shops and enjoying tea time. I couldn't wait to check out the crafts magazines and freebies and took home the February issue of Quick Cards. It comes with an embossing board, vellum and an adorable heart stamp. I have recently downsized my stash but noticed that don't have many sentiment stamps. The "With Love" freebie came in just handy! The stamp can be used for so many occasions... birthdays, wedding, friendship, Valentines, Christmas... or simply to say that you care.

I had collected a few bonus papers and thought I might try to decopatch them! I didn't know how the papers would "behave" but they work the same way as decopatch papers. I started by tearing them into small pieces, making sure the pieces have no straight edges. Next, I cut rectangles of the heaviest cardstock I could find and brushed the surface with PVA school glue. No need to invest in expensive decopatch glue, this one will do the same job. I had picked up a 500 ml bottle for £2.50 at Hobbycraft last year when I worked on the Cutie Patootie boxes.

You just need to be super quick when working with PVA glue because it sticks like hell within seconds. Brush the surface of the paper bits with the glue as you position them on the cardstock. When the "mosaic" is finished, add another generous layer of PVA glue which will seal the surface. Let it dry for about 30 mins.

Well, I'm a bit of an impatient cardmaker... While it was drying and the glue was almost absorbed, I covered the edges on the backside of the cardstock with double-sided tape and fixed this to one layer of coloured cardstock. I parted white thread into half to avoid adding depth with the stitching and stitched around the borders. The decopatch was then glued to another layer of coloured cardstock. Just add ribbon and sentiment... et voilà!

It's so easy to make your own paper. All you need is thin papers such as bonus papers, wrapping paper or book pages and PVA glue... oh, and a little patience!

I hope you found a little inspiration today.

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