A different project

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In preparation for the arrival of our baby, a lot of my time goes into online shopping these days. Sounds too good to be true, don't you think? The reality is that I don't have the strength anymore to run around the shops and hunt for bargains. Not a day goes by without the courier turning up at our door to deliver parcels.

I thought I'd share some pictures of our nursery for a change. We started working on it two months ago when we got the handymen in. It had been the most neglected room in the house, a favourite spot for our cat Jess to hang out and shed her fur on the carpet, before we turned it into this.

Here are some handmade pompoms. So easy to make!


Handmade felt canvases from The Crafty Wee Hens on etsy.


I discovered Bathing Bunnies and we just had to get this cute towel.


Check out the cool fox and badger rug from benuta.


Back to crafting tomorrow as I received lots of new material today!

Bushy "tale"

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Now that we got into the old-fashioned habit of writing down every single birthday on our wall calendar, I checked what birthdays were coming up next month to avoid the last-minute rush of making suitable birthday cards. Surprise, surprise! February remains empty ... which gave me plenty of time to re-think baby designs to announce the (imminent) arrival of our little bundle of joy.

We have a bit of a woodland theme going on in the nursery. Not that you would notice at first sight although I'm sure the more we buy, the more foxes and hedgehogs and badgers will pop up. Funnily enough, when we told my mother-in-law that we were looking for anything woodland-themed, she said that she wouldn't want to scare the baby by surrounding it with foxes. Maybe she had a mounted fox head in mind, who knows?

Recently, I worked with products from Marianne Design and thought it might be worth checking what crafty stuff they sell in the UK. Guess what I found...? A super cute fox cutting die! I decided to send handmade cards to my folks back home. With no pastel colours in sight (or anything you would usually see on a baby card), here is what I came up with:





Recently, I discovered designs from a crafter who makes die-cut scenes in frames. I quite like the idea so you'll probably see more framed cards appearing on this blog. The sentiment comes from a Stampin Up! set (CMOTY prize) and the papers are from Lawn Fawn. Visit craftsulove for lots of cute cutting die sets like this one.

Papercraft Essentials - Accordion Folding

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The latest Papercraft Essentials (issue 129) is now on sale.

This month, I love Natalie Mayer's bright and beautiful designs featuring the new collection from Fancy Pants and Michelle Corlett's simple but amazing Mother's Day card using ink and water. One of my crafty New Year's Resolution is to get messy with inks as I did with the shakers!

I'm back with another folding technique for you to try. Check out my Beginner's Guide to Accordion Flowers. It might look difficult but I found some folding dies that do all the work for you!


Happy crafting!

Papercraft Essentials - Teabag Folding

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Time to share my projects from last month's Papercraft Essentials. Becky the editor had asked me if I would write a feature on teabag folding. You don't find much about folding techniques in craft magazines so I was delighted to share new ideas with the readers. 

When checking pinterest for inspiration, I noticed that most of the teabag folding designs are kept very simple with the folded shape in the centre of the card. I could include two off-the-page projects which is what I did. Unfortunately, one one of these projects was a little difficult to photograph, so here are four of the five designs I made for the magazine.

Starting with a simple card using the zig zag technique. You can create smaller flower shapes with a bit of practise (and patience).



















You can go even smaller and make tiny shapes to decorate an image:




















Here is my favourite project. You can make this garland for weddings, baby showers, birthdays... As pretty as it is, a lot of work goes into it.




















This a card using the flower petal folding technique. The teabag tiles that make up the flower have to be the same shape and size. I struggled a little with that and squeezed in seven tiles instead of six to avoid any gaps (which gives it a nice 3D effect).


















Hope you found some inspiration!

HOTP Feather Shaker

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In between the nappy research, putting finishing touches to our nursery and ordering the last bits & pieces for our baby's arrival, I spent a lot of time on my favourite blogs this week. Just glad that I can now finally put up my feet and forget about the marathon commute to London!

Here is still a card I made for a (male) friend's birthday. Last year, Simply Cards & Papercraft had this fantastic HOTP feather die as a free gift. A lot of us struggle with ideas for men's cards, so my advice is: Keep it simple and make it a shaker!


It's been an exciting week for us, not only because it was my last week at work but also because parcels kept turning up on our doorstep (everything for our little one), I finally got a new laptop, we made a bit of pocket money from our eBay sales and a copy of the latest issue of Papercraft Essentials arrived. This time with a feature from me on another folding technique.

Time to get crafty now!

Foxy

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Last year, when I started making cards with the cute fox die from Taylored Expressions, my hubby mentioned that he'd like to have a birthday card with it. Then I got carried away with making shakers so he wanted to have one, too. Could it be any easier?

The only problem is that the fox always seems a bit lost on a big card. I tucked it inside the frame and added the stitched sun and clouds from my favourite die-cut set WPlus9 Studio "Sunshine Layers". The background was made with blue and purple distress inks and a spritzer bottle. The card was ready in no time which made Kurt a little suspicious, prompting him to ask if it was anything special...


I picked up the latest issue of Simply Cards & Papercraft that comes with a champagne glass cutting die - just what was missing in my stash! I also quite fancy the bokeh stamping technique featured and can't wait to give it a try myself.

One more shaker card coming up!

Shaker with a view

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I'm back with distress inks and a stamp set that has been hiding in my stash. A few months ago, my husband Kurt spotted a card design in Papercraft Essentials featuring Stampers Anonymous' "Cityscapes" stamps. He liked it so much that we had to order it straight away. While we did use it, the cards were never finished. Our nieces probably got much more out of the stamp set when we took it to Belgium to craft with them.

My father-in-law's birthday is coming up in three weeks. He loves reading about other countries. Two years ago, we took him to Dubai after he had seen our holiday pictures and he couldn't stop talking about it. It was the biggest adventure in his life. He wasn't a fussy traveller but when we introduced him to Lebanese food which is popular over there, he complained that the fries weren't the same as in Belgium! I won't disagree with him. I had the best fries when we lived in Belgium. It's their invention after all.

I didn't have a Dubai skyline to make this card, but I think London will do. My parents-in-law often visit us from abroad and Papa Jo has seen the city a couple of times.













Unfortunately, we haven't found a place in London that makes good fries but it's full of Indian eateries and restaurants which we love!

Favourite Five of 2015

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I didn't make many Christmas designs last year to join Debby's Favourite Five, but luckily she is back with her Favourite Five of 2015 so I'm joining for fun.

Instead of picking any favourite cards (there are loads), I thought why not show five designs using different techniques that I liked...


1. First up is my favourite shaker which I made for my little niece.




















2. Earlier that year, I was asked by Papercraft Essentials to make some cards using Kaisercraft's "Blue Bay Collection". I wanted to go for something different and came up with this hand stitched pop-up design.




3. Box-shaped cards remain one of my favourites. Here is a fun design featuring a KennyK (digi) stamp. Always have to hold my breath when I cut out such delicate images!



4. Two years ago, I discovered iris folding. I buy lots of craft magazines and the bonus papers come in very handy as shown on this card. It's got a mini shaker, too!


5. The biggest challenge last year was to learn paper pricking to write a feature about it for Papercraft Essentials. I had never tried it before and was nervous what the end result would look like. This was my favourite out of the bunch.


Make sure to hop over to Debby to check out her cute designs and join the fun!

All shook up

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Happy New Year everyone!

Cardmaking & Papercraft posted this New Year's Resolution on their Facebook page:

"One of our New Year's Resolutions for 2016 is to make more shaker cards!"

I finished all birthday cards for this month and guess what... Apart from the flying hippo, they are all shakers! Here is a colourful design to start with, using my prizes including the gorgeous "Emmeline Corner" cutting die from Wild Rose Studio. I bought a heat gun last week as I wanted to make my own backgrounds using distress inks and water and this is the result:


It's also my hubby's grandmother's birthday this month. I had already made a card but it looked too plain, so it went straight into the bin. Instead, I made a similar shaker in muted colours using First Edition papers "The Promise". The sentiment is stamped onto the acetate with StazOn ink.


As you can see from the backdrop, it's raining cats and dogs here in Buckinghamshire. It was impossible to find any natural light in the house so I used the nursery as a photo studio.

More shakers coming up on this blog and my facebook page, too.

Craft items in our ebay shop

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I'm back with a short post to let you know that some of my craft items are up for auction in our ebay shop (together with some photography gear).

Here is a teaser:



Have a look here to see if you can grab yourself a bargain.

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