Telescopic Apertures


Sometimes it's best to keep things simple. As I'm installing my new craft space upstairs, I realised that I'll have less space to work with. Our long dining room table has been my "studio" until recently. Everytime I had to carry down the boxes in which I keep my stash and take everything out. The table soon became a mess. Bits of paper and baby wipes everywhere, two tea mugs and an empty plate at the end of a long night of crafting, ink pads and dies all over the table. I never liked the cleaning up part. There won't be any mess now as there's no space for it!

Everytime I cleaned up, I'd put things aside for my friend, charity or eBay. It's always surprising to find something to give away when you don't own much. My studio is still work in progress and I'm looking for beautiful things to add to it. The best part is that the few boxes of craft material fit nicely into my new desk.

Lately, I've been working mainly with dies and coloured cardstock. Pretty basic stuff from your stash which you can turn into beauties such as this:

These Telescopic Aperture cards were published last month in Die-Cutting Essentials (Issue 120). I enjoyed so much making them. The flower die came with the CMOTY prize package and I used it over and over again. It's great for the inlaid die-cutting technique as shown on the right panel of the stepper.

Here are the other cards...

I hope to find some time this weekend to make cards for family as there are so many birthdays in March! All of my time goes into work for the magazines which can be hectic but I won't complain... Not many people can honestly say they are doing what they love doing!

Shabby Chic and Shaped Cards


If there's one thing the British love to talk (and moan) about, it's the weather. I listen to it everyday. They don't know how much worse things can get on the Continent. Only three weeks ago, we were battling icy winds and temperatures below zero in Germany. Last summer, we drove to Belgium and Germany. It was almost 40 degrees, we were melting away and little Ellie woke up with mosquito bites every morning. I remember freezing cold winters in Belgium and doing the grocery shopping by bike, cycling through the slippery snow. Rain that would last all day, week after week. When does this ever happen here? You see, there's nothing to complain about. The weather is pretty steady here.

Except for today. You really have to be careful not to get knocked out by bins flying around. The front yards in our street look a mess, there's rubbish everywhere. I don't know if our wooden fence will stand the heavy winds. I almost lost a finger earlier as the door flew shut. It's pretty scary.

A while ago, Papercraft Inspirations asked me to make two sets of Occasion Cards. The themes were rather unusual for me. 

The second set features birthday cards for men. Didn't I tell you they were easy to make? I thought about turning the shirt card into a black and white one (with tie) for a wedding next time I need one.

Valentines for Men


Men's cards are so easy... Either you keep it simple or you don't need to make any at all! I never understood the fuss about men's cards. All you need is some fun stamps, dies and papers. Done! As you're cutting out on embellishments, you could focus on a special technique such as Paper Patchwork or Iris Folding. There are so many amazing things you can do with papers.

For my Valentines' feature in Cardmaking & Papercraft (issue 165), I combined some cute stamps and sentiments. I worked on these in October last year before I went to Copics Classes with Faye and I like to think that my colouring wasn't too bad to start with!

Hope you found some inspiration!

Paper Pleating continued


A while ago, I wrote the Beginner's Guide to Paper Pleating for Papercraft Essentials. It's a technique I hadn't tried before and not knowing where to start, I went on pinterest to look for inspiration. Only... there wasn't much inspiration to begin with! You can find my cards from the Beginner's Guide here.

A month later, I worked on a second feature showing the same technique but turning them into toppers this time. There are two ways to fold the paper, flat or concertina style, but again there were few ideas to be found online. For the Masterclass to Paper Pleated Toppers, I wanted to keep things simple and focus on the papers. I used some basic dies to add shapes and my favourite stitched dies, too, which is a quick and easy way to add detail. I didn't have much in my stash which always makes things challenging but it also makes you think how to put what little you have got to use.

One of the cards is a vase with flowers which was my favourite out of the bunch. On the cover and in the feature, it is turned on its side. It still makes an interesting design although I wonder what the readers thought!

Some dies used for these projects include Spellbinders Ovals (to fold the vase), a scalloped border die (for the fan) and a heart die (for the dress).

I've got some more magazine designs to share with you. I started working in my new "creative studio" (it's really just a table, but a beautiful one) but still need to organise my stash and then you'll get some pictures, too!

Weight issues


Inlaid die-cuts is one of my favourite techniques right now. I first discovered it in Cardmaking & Papercraft and this was my first attempt. You will find lots of ideas in magazines and on pinterest featuring delicate die-cuts but I wanted to create something different. Instead of building up layers, I cut them all into one.

Most of our friends and family live abroad and we always pay a lot for postage as the cards are heavier than 20g. It adds up when you send Christmas cards! I took these cards to the post office and they weigh exactly 20g.

My craft desk arrived yesterday and I still need to install my new space. It's a beautiful solid pine desk. Some pictures will follow soon!

Some cute designs


Papercraft Inspirations always have some fun challenges for me. For last month's issue (PIN 161) I was asked to design two sets of Occasion cards. One of them had a Valentines theme with hearts and the other were Hello greetings with circles.

Here is one of the Hello cards, a cute design with balloons and a great way to use your smaller circle dies or punches.

The Puffy Cloud Frames from Lawn Cuts is one of my favourites. I use them whenever I build scenes with die cuts. It's a handy die-cutting set to have in your stash.

The next card is something less traditional for Valentines. I had some inked and die-cut hearts in my stash which I used for this design. I thought why not use a big heart, too, and make it look like a sunset?

I usually don't work with inks as my hands always look a mess afterwards and I can't get the ink off. Instead, I like to keep things neat and tidy which is probably why I enjoy paper folding so much!

Talking about inks... My friend Diane visited us last Sunday and she made me these amazing cards which you can view here:

Lately, I've been making cards using the in-laid die-cutting technique. I've got a few to share next.

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