Come fly with me


Over the last couple of days, I've been busy visiting other blogs and filling up my Pinterest board with new ideas.

I love cute characters and Lawn Fawn is one of my favourite brands at the moment. While I was looking for inspiration, I stumbled across this amazing blog run by a German crafter (she also posts in English). It's full of cute and colourful stamped designs, so why not have a look?

My friend Diane got me lots of lovely Lawn Fawn gifts this Christmas. I made this card for a little girl. The idea with the flying hippo comes from Pinterest. A few die-cut clouds were added. The images are very small and I wanted to see how they turn out on a 15 x 15 cm card format, so I made a window card.

A glazing pen was used for the balloons and the inside of the card is also covered with a die-cut square frame for a neat finish.

Hope you like it!

Rocking Panda


Today I want to share a rocker card with you which I made using Tattered Lace's Essentials Circle Stepper. It came in the big prize pack last month and now that my old Big Shot (conveniently) needed replacing, I can finally use die cutting die since I bought a bigger Sizzix.

The cutting die itself might be a little pricey but it's much handier than a circle cutter if you're using this to make rocker cards. It cuts and pre-scores so it only takes a few seconds to build the base card. As soon as you start adding layers of patterned paper, the rocker tilts to the right. Whatever you put on, make sure that the rocker is always balanced on both sides. It already helps if you place your main image slightly on the left-hand side and add embellishments to distribute the weight.

One of my crafty New Year's resolutions is to send more Thank You cards to family & friends. This one goes to a sweet friend who always shows how much she cares.

Next up on this blog will be a flying hippo!

Window Card


Did anyone else get the impression that Christmas did not feel so Christmassy this year? Today felt like a spring day and I was tempted to put the sun lounger outside and soak up some sun (wrapped in a warm blanket, of course). The first crocuses are already growing in our garden. It all screams "Spring!" to me which is why I'm back with a colourful spring card today.

Our neighbours gave me a wall calendar for Christmas which makes me wonder why I never bought one for myself. It's got cute cat pictures and we started filling in the birthdays of family and friends. I was surprised to see how many birthdays we have in January! Better get started on the birthday cards then...

For this card, I used Lili of the Valley's "Beautiful Blooms" Art Pad. Just fussy-cut the images and place them onto an acetate window. Acetate is one of my favourite materials in cardmaking, so expect to see more window cards and shakers soon!

I used the "Chic Floral Collection" from Creative Expressions to make the frame. If you don't want to buy an entire sentiment stamp set, check out stampingallday where you can find individual stamps for peanuts like this one.

Papercraft Essentials - The Hobby House "High Society" Collection


Who doesn't like cute characters?

Here are my designs for Papercraft Essentials (issue 127) using the "High Society" Collection from The Hobby House. I loved the toppers and the papers are also ideal for wedding makes.

Starting with a simple card with acetate window... I was tempted to turn it into (yet) another shaker!

Thought I'd show what else you can do only with papers, so I made this iris folding heart...

This is not my usual style, but I had to use the paper flowers and I'm not the flower and butterfly kind of crafter...

Here comes Shaker no. 1...

Shaker no. 2 which I filled with flower embellishments...

Another simple card...

... and then I had the idea of making polaroids and placing the toppers behind, but I didn't know how to fit it onto a card... 

You can buy polaroid cutting dies but these are so easy to make with a paper trimmer and square dies.

Hope you found some inspiration!

In other news...


We had a surprise visit this week by my mother-in-law and her friend who came from Belgium. They set up this cradle in our living room which has been in the family for 40 years. I'm so proud to have it!

One year ago, we lost Jess who was our little sunshine. She was 18 years old. We miss her a lot and this would have been a special time, with the baby on its way.

We're getting ready to host friends next week who will celebrate Christmas with us. My friend Diane will also come around. I'm looking forward to a few quiet days over Christmas and New Year when I can just put up my feet. Lots of birthdays coming up in January in March which will keep me busy during my first weeks of maternity leave while we're also finishing the nursery.

See you next time!

Papercraft Essentials 128 - Sneak Peek


Have you ever seen such small teabag folding?

Papercraft Essentials 128 is out now, featuring my colourful teabag folding designs. The winners of the Papercrafter of the Year competition are also revealed. Exciting!!!

This month, I love Vicky Welsby's cute "Under the Sea" die-cut designs for children and Keren Baker's stamped Winter cards.

Inlaid Die-Cuts


I like clean and simple designs and this one was featured in Simonne Clay's Masterclass - Cardmaking & Papercraft issue 151. Just fell in love with it and ordered everything I needed to make it straight away.

Unfortunately, I made a mistake when placing the order and only one sheet of purple Core'dinations card arrived. I had planned to make a larger batch, but still found matching distress inks to go with turquoise ColorCore cardstock.

Getting an even tone with the distress inks using a sponge was impossible, but I managed with a tissue!

Et voil√†...

That's Christmas done and dusted and I can now carry on with birthday cards and what other occasions there are to celebrate next year.

Enjoy your crafting!

Christmas Booklet


Today I want to share a special project that I had first made using Hobby House's High Society Collection. You can find the instructions on how to make it in Papercraft Essentials - Issue 127.

I adapted it for the festive season using Wild Rose Studio papers and LOTV Art Pads. It turned out a little colourful with green & pink on the outside and red & beige on the inside:

Open the booklet and you can add personal greetings on the blank page.

Love my LOTV Art Pads and Christmas sentiments!

My Hobby House designs will be posted here soon. Papercraft Essentials issue 128 will go on sale 18th December and I'm thrilled to be in it again, this time to share one of my favourite techniques with the readers.

More Christmas designs coming up...

LOTV Shakers


Back to Christmas with some Lili of the Valley goodies that came with the big prize. I adore their cute images! Got plenty of Art Pads, including 'Tis the Season which are the perfect size for shakers. I'm always short of sentiments stamps but also received a Christmas stamp set and used it for these two cards:

The papers are from Wild Rose Studio (Painted Poinsettias) and Trimcraft's Silent Night.

Last but not least, thanks for the lovely comments on the CMOTY blog entry! Hope you found some inspiration, too, while visiting my blog.

See you next time with a special Christmas project!

Christmas Shakers


Shakers are one of my favourites, so I made a couple of them for our family and friends this weekend. As always, I'm behind with my Christmas designs, but this year I've got so much new material to have a play with thanks to the CMOTY prize! Here are two cards to start with, using some of the prizes:

Acetate can be tricky to work with (you need a lot of patience, too!). It took me long to work out this technique, but it's foolproof so just follow these steps:
  1. Cut the piece of acetate required for the shaker window. Place it on a clean, white sheet.
  2. Carefully wipe both sides with a tumble dryer sheet. One sheet can be used over and over again so don't bin it after the first use. It will leave a slight film of grease on the acetate.
  3. Now wipe both sides with a clean tea towel, from left to right. The acetate should cling to the white sheet, but make sure not to bend it in the process.
  4. Hold the acetate against the light and check if it's clean.
I treated myself to an early Christmas present as my Sizzix Big Shot broke after four years of continuous use. I went a size larger as I had already thought about investing in a Big Shot Plus to use some bigger dies. Can't wait to get it next week although it's annoying that I'd just bought replacement parts for my old machine.

See you soon with some adorable LOTV shakers!

Christmas comes early this year


Look how good I've been this year... Lots of crafty presents from Santa!

Well, the delivery was organised by Cardmaking & Papercraft's own Christmas Fairy Rachel and a huge THANKS goes to Sienna, Cath & Hannah from CMPC, Quick Cards and Papercraft Inspirations for giving me the 1st prize in his year's Cardmaker of the Year competition.

I'm thrilled to join their design team!

Congratulations to the 2nd and 3rd prize winners Annette and Lucy who made some adorable cards and also to all the runners up!

Papercraft Essentials Issue 127 - Sneak Peek


It was time for a makeover, I decided. So here is my new look with a link to my new facebook page, too. Much easier on the eyes, isn't it?

I'm back with a sneak peek of the latest Papercraft Essentials - Issue 127.

Want to know what's inside...?

... then pick up your copy! On sale 19th November.

We are getting into a Christmassy mood this weekend with a visit to the Hearing Dogs Christmas Market in Buckinghamshire where my friend Diane will sell her crafty makes (and homemade dog biscuits).

See you soon with some Christmas designs.

More cute Christmas buddies

Quick Cards' November issue came with these adorable bonus Christmas papers which I knew would be perfect for this cute iris folding design:

I had first stitched around the heart which I quickly regretted, but luckily there's always a way to cover up mistakes: Just add a heart-shaped frame! I placed snow hills and the snowmen from Lawn Fawn's "Ready, Set, Snow" stamp set inside the heart as they seemed a little lost around it.

I'm always short of sentiment stamps, but found a free stamp set (along with papers, card blanks, toppers and gems) in Make Special Cards' Christmas edition. The sentiments are tiny but perfect for my makes. I also used them on my Snow Buddies designs. The iris folding template comes from an old Cardmaking & Papercraft issue. As always, I realised too late that something wasn't quite right when I placed the die cut window onto it. The template itself was made for a smaller heart shape, so I made up most of the iris folding pattern myself.

Hope this will inspire you to try iris folding yourself! It's still one of my favourite techniques.

Snow Buddies

After another short lesson in photo editing, I finally managed to produce the images for this blog entry (notably without calling for my hubby's help every few minutes). Now it's only a question of time until I can make myself look 10 years younger on photos...

Back to crafting and my first batch of Christmas cards of this season. Carolyne Knott's cute polar bear cards in Cardmaking & Papercraft issue 149 inspired me to make these designs with Lili of the Valley's Snow Buddies stamp. I adore Lili of the Valley's and Wild Rose Studio's cute characters but always found my colouring a little dodgy. This image was so easy to colour in and now I just want to get more adorable stamps like it!

Et voilà...

Crafty top tip:
If you want to add bows to your designs, invest in a bow maker. They are inexpensive (I bought docraft's Papermania Easy Bow Maker, ca. £5) and you're guaranteed to get perfect bows everytime. Then sew a button on top, add an embellishment or gem. Lightly burn the edges of the ribbon to prevent it from fraying.

Happy Christmas crafting!

Back to iris folding

What's going on, you might wonder? To start with, I still don't have a laptop but that should sort itself out soon. I'm working on my hubby's computer, getting grips with Lightroom and Photoshop. We are also busy with "spring clean" as we need to clear out lots and make space for the arrival of our little one early next year.

In between the cleaning frenzy and Christmas countdown, I'm busy with new designs for Papercraft Essentials. My next feature will be published end of November, so make sure to visit my blog then for a sneak peek!

Here is an iris folding design that I still wanted to put up before we move on to Christmas... Yes, I started early this year so there won't be any last-minute panic! This card was made with free papers from Making Cards magazine and a Cleary Besotted stamp set, another magazine freebie. As it happens, I just threw myself into it and realised too late that the folding blended in with the embossed card. Luckily, I still found a punched out white frame in my stash which just fitted. Need to get more of these border punches!

I'll be back with my first stamped Christmas designs with some very cute bear! Also, some of the tabs up on my page will be updated as I never got around it.

Cardmaker of the Year

Catching up with my blog posts after a busy few weeks of crafting and family visiting. As I had to part from my laptop months ago, my hubby lets me use his PC and photo editing software, not to mention his camera, so I'm learning a little about Photoshop and Lightroom, but it's slow progress.

I enjoyed a long weekend which was entirely dedicated to making new designs for Papercraft Essentials. Just happy that all designs were finished in time so tonight I can start writing the instructions. A sneak peek will appear here next month.

This year, I entered three designs again for the Cardmaker of the Year competition (Cardmaking & Papercraft and Quick Cards). Turns out I got it wrong last year as I thought you had to make cards with material from three sponsors but you can use any material you like. Oh well... Both magazines feature a lot of stamped designs which is not my speciality. When I looked around for new material, I found some cute images from Lili of the Valley and Lawn Fawn, so two of my cards are stamped and fussy cut. Always have to hold my breath when I cut out such delicate images.

My favourite card style is anything that's box-shaped. It's always tricky to work with acetate. Try to keep it clean, for starters, and you'll also notice that whatever you're attaching to the strips might be too heavy (unless you use heavy acetate which would ruin this design). So... lots of glue and acetate used for this box!

Lawn Fawn is always on top of my wish list and who could resist this stamp and shaker die cutting set? Lots of fiddling around with acetate + foam pads + glitter jewels = Nightmare! *Don't despair, I'll share my tips on how to use acetate in one of my next blog posts.

My little fox is also back! This design was made combining two free gifts from Cardmaking & Papercraft. A free embossing folder was used to make the heart and the papers came with issue 147. Just a cute and simple card.

See you next time with a pretty iris folding design. Still nowhere near any Christmas designs!

Freebie Makes 1

Yesterday's hot weather made me want to stay outside most of the time (while thinking of Christmas designs), but I squeezed in a visit to the magazine shop.

I'm addicted to craft magazines, mostly because I can't resist the free gifts and there is always something new to learn and discover. Some were passed on to my friend but most of them are kept in folders and there is nothing better for me than flicking through pages and pages on a quiet evening, looking for new inspiration. It doesn't matter that I've read them over and over again, something always catches my attention.

I picked up this month's Quick Cards because of the beautiful Christmas freebie, but then I discovered the free autumn papers and just had to use them. So here is the first of three freebie designs that I made this weekend. The others will appear on this blog next week, they are still a surprise!

It's an autumn pop up box made with the bonus papers, the leaves coming from a Clearly Besotted stamp set (also a free gift) and the cute little fox is back.

Now all I have to do is wait for autumn to arrive to send this card to my niece. She lives in Belgium and visited us last week. Believe it or not, we spent the entire weekend indoors to make cards, apart from a visit to the craft store to stock up on blank cards & envelopes (which we'd run out of) and a drive through the beautiful Chiltern Hills.

Hope you enjoyed a crafty weekend!

Baby on board

Hello and welcome back!

Time flies... It's good to be blogging again and there is so much work to do as I never got around to update my magazine features and latest wins.

By now, most of us are already thinking about Christmas and the magazines will be full of free Christmas gifts and ideas next month. I always leave it until the last minute, but this year we really have to get our seasonal greetings into the mail early for our friends in the US and Canada.

My hubby and I recently received the news from our friends in Spain that a baby is on the way. We're super thrilled for them and to celebrate this occasion, I made a super cute (baby) card in a box. Well, it's not quite a baby card, but I couldn't resist using the giraffes which came with a Sizzix set, a present from my crafty friend Diane.

Know that feeling when you look at your card and can't tell what's still missing? I added small pearls to the hearts but wasn't done there. Just before I was moving my stash upstairs again, I found some wobbly eyes which are perfect, don't you think?

The box was decorated with paper leftovers, punched borders, a heart button and twine.

Now it's time to think about baby card designs for the soon-to-be-parents and for the announcement of our own little bundle of joy next February!

Hugs & Kisses

There were plenty of hugs & kisses last month when my friend Diane and I celebrated our birthdays together. One of the crafty presents she got me was a cute Crafters Companion stamp. I'm no good at stamping and colouring but was itching to make something with it.

One of my first thoughts was to use the image for a sweet couple and then I remembered a wedding anniversary that was coming up soon. Perfect! So here is a clean and simple design for the happy couple:

No sentiment added as I like to keep the front of my cards free of any greetings. One of the few embellishments I use for my designs are ribbons. If you want to get neat bows, invest in a bow maker (they are inexpensive). To prevent the ribbon ends from fraying, singe them with a matchstick.

See you soon with some more ideas!

Take some inks and dies...

Hello fellow crafters,

It's good to be back and I've got some colourful cards to share with you this time.

Over the last couple of weeks, we were (mostly) blessed with endless hours of sunshine, so I spent a lot of time outside reading while soaking up the sun. Did I miss crafting? Not a bit, although I was slightly worried what the after-effect of a creative break might be.

Turns out that my newly found inspiration had been sitting in my craft stash for long, only waiting to be discovered. It all started with a simple, stamped card featured in Papercraft Essentials issue 122 (if you have a copy, check the Coffee Break page). When I showed it to my hubby, he was eager to give it a try himself, so we ordered the Tim Holtz cityscape stamps and Distress Inks. It got me thinking what I could do with my own small collection of inks. But first I made this simple card which I had in mind for someone special:

This month's free gift in Papercraft Essentials is an embossing folder and two sentiment stamps. I'm not a fan of embossing but I do love the stamp which is used on this card.

Back to the inks and a cute little fox die I had ordered a while ago. When it arrived, I was disappointed how small it turned out (teaches you to always check for the production description), but it was the perfect size for these two cards:

The cute fox was die-cut from white card, then inked and the remaining die-cut pieces added. The eyes and nose are fussy work as the tiny dots tend to stick to the plates of your die-cutting machine. If you like this colour scheme, the materials and colours are listed below.

Happy crafting!

Materials used:

Card 1
Paper Smooches - Dots & Dashes
Lawn Fawn - Hearts
Woodware A4 Linen Finish - White Card
Bakers Twine, enamel dots, red & pink card, black ink, free sentiment stamp

Card 2 & 3
Paper Smooches - Dots & Dashes
MFT - Stitched Square STAX
Taylored Expressions - Fox
Lawn Fawn - Hearts & Scripty Love
EK Success - Double Crochet Lace Punch
Cosmo Cricket - 6"x 6" Tea for Two
Paperado A4 paper - 100 gsm - Chamois
Woodware A4 Linen Finish - White Card
Tim Holtz Distress Ink - Wild Honey
Memento Ink Pad - Rose Bud
Black card

Paper Pricking

+++ News from Urban Moose +++

I took a little time off from crafting to travel and sort out my stash again. All of my paper pads went and so did some magazines, stamps and dies to make room for new things. I like giving things away although I never had such a big clear out.

Papercraft Essentials Issue 121 is out, including a brilliant feature from Kim Dellow on Gold Foil Effects which shows how to do it without splashing out on a foiling machine. I love the Readers' Letters and Your Cards most and there are some really pretty readers' cards made with the free rose die. Also in this issue is my feature about paper pricking, a technique that was fairly new to me when I was asked to write about it.

Here is a card I made using my new dies and combining it with paper pricking. It's for my friend Diane who came around today for a birthday celebration. Thanks for the lovely gifts, Diane!

My hubby is travelling right now with all his camera equipment, so I had borrow the neighbours' Canon to get this shot before the card went away. Something else that was handmade:

Soon back with new designs! Thanks for visiting my blog.

Papercraft Essentials Issue 119 - Kaisercraft

+++ News from Urban Moose +++

I love Saturdays! This week, I was really looking forward to it as there didn't seem to be an end in sight. Funny how a short week can feel like it's going on forever! My hubby and I always drive to the nearby village we used to live in to visit our favourite deli and I browse the magazine shop, always tempted to buy more magazines than I probably should.

Papercraft Essentials issue 120 is out now and I love Katie Skilton's Beginner's Guide to vellum. I tried stamping on vellum before and yes, you can do that, but I don't have much patience when it comes to stamping and don't let the ink dry. I'll definitely have a try using Core'dinatinos vellum quotes.

Here are the cards I made for issue 119 made with Kaisercraft's Blue Bay collection. When it arrived, I was surprised that it was a scrapbooking kit. Amazing what you get out of it! This exploding box was the first project I finished:

My idea was to cut a styrofoam ball in half and stick the flowers in, but working with styrofoam turned into a crafter's nightmare, so I made this layered cake from white card instead:

Next, two simple cards:

Then I thought, why not make something completely different? So here is a pop-up card with big hearts in the centre and small hearts secured to acetate strips:

The kit came with a sentiment stamp set, so here are two designs with framed sentiments:

... and two more quick makes:

Hope you like them!

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