January No Spend Challenge!

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to join in a challenge originally set by Stephanie at her Full Of Great Ideas blog. I was invited by Mother Hen Strikes Again, who I follow on twitter. Ever since reading up about the challenge I have been thinking it over and wondering if I could possibly stick to it. The rules are quite simple: no frivolous spending. Essential items only. That means no crafting items, no sweets or treats, no books, clothes or CDs.

I can tell you now that I need to do this challenge as my bank account is in a very sorry state after Christmas, but I am a devil for snapping up a ‘bargain’ (read ‘buying unnecessary crap’). The thing is, now it’s New Years Eve and I’ve not made any half decent resolutions, and this challenge has been playing on my mind. So I’m going to take the plunge. January will be a month of essential spending only. I’m afraid I’m going to totally plagiarise Mother Hen’s blog here and copy her rules, which I will endeavour to stick to.

Mother Hen’s 7 golden rules are:-

1. Thou shall not spend ANY money on Crafts

2. Thou shall not spend ANY money on DVDs, CDs, Books or Clothes

3. Thou shall not spend any money on Sweets or Treats (make whatever you got for Christmas last until February young lady!)

4. Thou shall only buy essential groceries and make savings wherever possible!

5. Thou shall only complete crafts with the items already in the house

6. Thou shall not go to ‘Coffee’ or ‘Lunch’ with other Mummies unless invited to their home or them to mine

7. Thou shall think “thifty”

I confess, I have just placed an order for 3 books which are not essentials, but my justification is that a./ it’s not January yet, and b./ I received a gift voucher for Christmas which covered 80% of the cost and it would have been very rude not to spend it 😉

Oh yes, and I may have bought myself a dress yesterday too. But again, that was with Christmas money. Ok, you can see I’m already justifying things! All I can say is that I will do my best to adhere to the rules. Hopefully by the end of the month I will have saved enough money to get my car through its MOT in February. That’s the goal anyway!

So any January blog posts will contain craft created from what I already have in stock (although in all honesty I probably have almost as much craft stuff crammed into my house as my local craft shop so I don’t think that part will be tricky!).

I will try and keep you informed of my success (positive thinking there, see?!). Thanks Mother Hen for inviting me 😉

ATC Challenge – Flowers

I’ve been following the craft blog of a friend of mine for a while now, Chasing Art. Like me, she mainly blogs about ATCs and cards, but unlike me, often takes part in challenges hosted by other bloggers. Yesterday she posted a fantastic ATC in response to a challenge on ATC’s with Attitude, a brand new blog that’s only just been set up. The theme of the challenge is ‘flowers’, one of my favourite embellishments! So I’m joining in too, and am excited to be entering my first ever challenge. This is apt, as it’s also the first challenge ATC’s with Attitude has set too!

I was shocked to realise that I’ve not made an ATC for 6 weeks – a result of all these Christmas cards I’ve been making! But it seems that once I start, I can’t settle for just one…

Flowers Whisper

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As the theme is ‘flowers’, I did go a bit full on here. I used my flower punch and embosser to create the flowers (actually, they’re ones I had left over from here), and a rub on from my very first ATC kit. The finished article wasn’t quite how I’d imagined it in my head – I think it’s just too busy, so of course, I simply *had* to make another.

Follow Your Dreams

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I’m much happier with this ATC. The colours are actually red and black, my favourites. I received the beautiful flower brad in an advent calendar swap I opened today. The ATC is pearlescent red card, and the rest is just my doodling with a black pen (minimal smudging today for a change!).

I hope you like them, and that they are worthy of being an ATC with Attitude!

OT ATC

Kirsty’s Crafty Charity Calendar Challenge

(Try saying that three times quickly!)

My good friend Kirsty is an Occupational Therapist, and to celebrate World OT day (which is on 27th October 2011) she has set her blog readers a challenge: to create an ATC that celebrates an aspect of Occupational Therapy. If you don’t know what OT is, you need to visit Kirsty’s blog here and discover the amazing, varied and under-valued work that Occupational Therapists around the world undertake.

As Kirsty was introduced to ATCs by me, I did feel somewhat obliged to join in her challenge! But she has already had lots of entries, and her aim is to create a 2012 OT calendar to sell for charity.

So please join in! I’ve enjoyed the challenge, not least as I have learnt in more detail what Occupational Therapy entails.

So here is my entry to the challenge.

OT: live your life.

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My initial idea was to use the letters ‘o’ and ‘t’ as the main focus of the ATC, and it occured to me that put together, them form a little stick person. So using some suitably sized rub-ons I made my little man. One of the things that OTs do is to help people regain independence after illnesses. For people with a weakened grip even things like pouring a cup of tea can be very difficult. OTs can encourage independence with the use of tools – in the case of my OT stick man, he is using a kettle tipper. I have never seen a kettle tipper in the flesh before, so it was an interesting experience trying to draw one! I used a font from my Scrapbooker’s Handwriting Workshop book for the journalling at the top and bottom, and softened the look of the background with pink chalk to match the rub-ons. I used some star gems to fill in the empty spaces (the stick man wasn’t as big as I’d planned!), and finally I used a marker pen to colour the edge of the ATC to add definition.

Please join in with the challenge if you can – there are some great examples of OT ATCs already on Kirsty’s blog. You have until 26th October!