Metallic Wedding


Recently, I decided not to post my published designs anymore unless they fit in with what I share on this blog. While every commission is special, most of the cards I design are not what I'd typically make. Some magazines prefer traditional and fussy designs which presents the biggest challenge for me. I'm not a flower and butterfly kind of crafter which I know are hugely popular. One of the reasons I don't like to stick flowers on my cards is that it makes the design bulky and you can't put them into regular envelopes.

Some magazines send you materials to work with. It always feels like Christmas when I receive a big envelope full of new craft items! Lately, I've been stamping and colouring a lot and I'm very excited about some upcoming features! Papercraft inspirations! sent me Aryia's Garden collection from BoBunny to create four wedding projects using metallic accents.

My favourite designs include this side stepper for which I used a fancy card blank. It's an easy way to make an impressive card without the need to measure and cut it yourself!

This design features inlaid die-cuts which is one of my favourite techniques at the moment. The roses were cut from red deco foil and I wanted to demonstrate that you don't need a foiling machine for it. Stick it on an adhesive sheet, run it through the die-cutting machine et voilĂ !

You'll find new designs from me in Papercraft inspirations 168, Papercraft Essentials 149 and Cardmaking & Papercraft 173.

A word about inks


We're enjoying lightening and thunder tonight. It's my kind of weather and if it wasn't raining heavily, I'd go out there and dance in the rain.

Papercraft inspirations 168 is out today featuring two sets of my Occasion Cards. Two of my favourite designers are published in the magazine every month, Kat Waskett and Vicky Bailey. Kat's sweet and colourful designs are just up my street. Vicky's Masterclass features cute cards with partial die cuts and I love anything with cute characters on!

I'd been eargerly awating this month's free gift, a layered stamp set with peonies and orchids. I was looking for the right stamps to come along to make a card for my great aunt who loves flowers, not only in her garden but also on her balcony, which is full of them. I always envy her for the colourful displays. Gardening must be such a rewarding hobby but I'm not made for it. I'm glad that it's raining tonight as I forgot to water the plants this week. Anyway, she feels a little down from time to time as she lost her other half only months ago. I hope this card will cheer her up!

I liked Becky James' "Pops of Pink" card made with the peony stamp. The black ink didn't work for me so I decided to heat emboss the outline in white to make it look softer. The leaves and buds were coloured in with Copics as I didn't have green inks.

I'm not a stamper and probably never will be. I have no patience and I'm already cutting out or colouring the image while the ink is still drying. Working with inks means your hands will get dirty and no matter how hard you scrub them with soap, the colour will only start to fade the next day. I'm no fan of embossing powder either as the tiny granules get everywhere. No surprise then that these are the only ink cubes left in my stash:

Seriously, why make a mess of your desk and hands when you can keep them both clean?

Defying gravity


I love browsing charity shops, you just never know what treasures you'll find. All you need is time and it helps if you don't have a screaming toddler with you in tow! Whenever I don't craft, I spend my time reading. Our little girl loves books, too ("book" is one of her new words) so we pop into the second-hand book shop in Princes Risborough every week.

I recently picked up a craft book for my friend. It needed a card and the card needed a box, preferably matching the colourful wrapping paper (Isn't it pretty? You can find it at Waterstones). While gift wrapping and decorating is an art I'd still like to master, I had to make do with the few embellishments from my stash: Bakers Twine and a mini peg which I decorated with a die-cut heart.

The card is made up of six layers (foam pads and cardstock) to make sure it's even in all places. When it was finished, I noticed that the balloons were to heavy for the single strip of acetate which they are attached to. I fixed it by attaching a second strip behind and bending it a little to pull back the balloons. Sorted!

Isn't it funny how in cardmaking so many elements are out of proportion? The thought crossed my mind when I attached the panda to three balloons. Talk about defying gravity. Here's another Flying Panda fun project that I made two years ago.

Inlaid die-cut shaker


Only five months to go until Christmas... I can't believe I'm already seeing the first Christmas products featured in the magazines! As every year, I'll be making cards for the season last minute. It always works out fine although everytime I think I'm done my hubby keeps adding names to the list of people we send Christmas greetings to. I think I might go for inlaid die-cut designs this year to make the designs lightweight. Most of them will be sent abroad which means the weight limits are different than for the UK.

Here's an example of how to turn inlaid die-cuts into an interactive card. It works beautifully as the inside of the shaker is one flat layer and no sequins get stuck anywhere. Putting it against a black background really makes the colours pop. I like working with black and can never have enough black card in my stash! The shaker is filled with clear jewels and I stuck some onto the acetate, too.

Time to relax with a cuppa and my favourite craft magazines!

Over the rainbow


Last year brought a lot of changes for me and my hubby. The biggest adjustment we made to our life was to become minimalists. It was the result of us becoming parents and discovering what's important in life, but it came with a financial benefit, too. I learnt to spend my money differently. There was a time when I splashed a lot on new craft material every month. Some of it never got used until I gave it away.

Crafting can quickly turn into an expensive hobby. Personally, I always felt a little guilty whenever my hubby dropped me off at the craft centre. I'd return with bags full of stuff, sometimes justifying the big amount I had just spent, other times not being totally honest about how much of my hard-earned money I had parted from.

Like everyone else, I have a never-ending wish list of things I'd love to buy. But spending money on crafting means I'd have to miss out on the everyday experiences with my daughter which don't cost the world but they do add up. So for now I've decided to keep a balance. I only buy stuff when it's needed for commissions and once in a while, I treat myself to a stamp or die set.

This card took me a few days to complete. I couldn't decide on a sentiment and what to add to the scene as I didn't have much to play with. The sentiment was heat-embossed in gold which goes perfectly with the Kraft card. The idea of making a rainbow came when I looked for different ways of using my stitched circle dies.

This card would be perfect for a baby announcement (use blue and turquoise for boys) or Valentines Day.

A new delivery of coloured card will arrive this week and guess how excited I am about that...! 

Comfort Zone


While I love browsing pinterest and reading papercraft magazines, I often feel there's too much inspiration, it's simply overwhelming. That's why I like to stick to simplicity. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves what we're good at and what makes our designs unique. Ever since I discovered inlaid die-cuts, I've been hooked. It's a technique you don't often see in magazines and I like to think it's special as not everyone masters it.

Right now I'm looking for new ways to fill the circle aperture that I've been using on my cards recently. One of the die sets I've recently invested in is Waffle Flower's Greenery. You'll get six leaves and one of them can even be used as a feather. 

This card didn't look like much until I added the heat embossed sentiment strip and clear jewels. There's is also a layer of acetate on top of the aperture. It keeps the leaves in place which I attached with double-sided tape in some places. I like to avoid glue as it's too messy.

Crafting is about having fun and making something unique. Every card is a challenge in itself and probably the hardest part is deciding on a layout. Well, you can stick to the same layout and yet create something different everytime. I'll certainly make more of these as I have a growing pile of coloured card!

Hope I inspired you today!

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