Various cards

Birthday girl

Here’s a few random cards I’ve been making recently. This first one was made using some free stamps I got with my Simply Cards and Papercraft magazine, which are really lovely. I coloured the image in with pencils, mounted it onto spotty paper, put a strip of striped paper down the side of the card, and stamped ‘Happy Birthday’ three times in the corner, using a different colour ink for the middle one.

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Blue Flower

Again, the backing papers for this card came free with a magazine, although I can’t remember which one. I used my flower punch on two colours of patterned paper to make the little flowers, then found a bigger blue flower from my extensive stash to match. Tiny blue brads hold the flowers together, and I mounted them to the card using double sided tape.

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Sparkle

I love this card, the colours are so fab! The gorgeous sparkly flower I received as part of a swap from Swap-Bot. There was a whole packet full of them, and I spent many happy minutes sorting through them and choosing which ones to mount together. Once I’d chosen the red & orange theme, I knew exactly which ribbon to use with the flower – also received from a (different) swap! The ribbon is unlike any I have seen before – it has almost a gauze-like outer layer, surrounding red and orange fibres inside it. So beautiful! And so quick to make! The most time-consuming part of the process was working out how to attach the see-through ribbon to the card without the edges fraying, or the adhesive being either visible or ‘feelable’ through the fabric. I ended up using super-strong double sided tape at the top and bottom of the card, but folded the ribbon over itself before attaching it, so there is about 10mm of double thickness ribbon at the top and bottom to hide both the tape and the stickiness. You can just about see it if you look closely.

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Advent Challenge: Day 24 – Flowers and ribbons

Day 24: Flowers and Ribbons

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I’ve saved my favourites until last. They contain my four favourite card-making materials: ribbon, brads, paper flowers and peel-offs – perfect! The *only* thing I don’t like about them is that they’re too thick to post as a standard card, and need a large letter stamp. But, you can’t have everything, and I think these cards are so pretty that I have actually gone against my natural instincts and posted a few of them!

I had such a lot of fun making these. I’ve made 13 in total, all slightly different. The flowers and epoxy brads in the centres are from the same range, and I bought them at the NEC craft fair back in November. The various ribbons have been either puchased or received in swaps. I started by making the flowers and choosing a suitable brad to go in the centre of each. When I had a pile of those, I had to decide which ribbon would go best with which flower. Then finally I could choose the card blank. It took a while to get to the ‘construction’ stage of cardmaking, but once I did, the cards came together really quickly.

How to make these cards:

  • Choose two or three different sized paper flowers in complementary colours. Use a matching Christmassy epoxy brad to attach the flowers together.
  • Choose a suitable colour small square card blank and ribbon of about 1 inch width. Wrap the ribbon vertically around the card about a third of the way from the crease. Secure with double sided tape.
  • Attach the flower about two thirds of the way up the ribbon. Either use double sided tape, or make a small hole and push the brad through the card to secure it.
  • Place a greeting peel-off in the bottom right corner of the card.

I like to use double sided tape to attach ribbon, but it does depend on the type of ribbon you have chosen as to how you do this. The silver ribbon in the blue and pink cards above is thin and the stickiness of the tape comes through it. I used a double layer of ribbon by folding it under itself before using the tape, and this seemed to work well. I did also pop a bit of tape under the ribbon where the flower is attached, to give a bit of extra security.

So that concludes my Advent Christmas Card Challenge! Thanks for reading, I hope you’ve enjoyed it, and I also hope that it’s inspired you to get making some cards yourself. I’d love to see your efforts, so please do post a link to your blog in the comments below so I can see what you’ve been up to!

Merry Christmas!

Advent Challenge: Day 23 – Gatefold Poinsettias

Day 23: Gatefold Poinsettias

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In the blog post I wrote about the craft fair at the NEC that I went to, I mentioned a lovely paper flower punch and embosser kit that I bought there. You create the flower shape with the punch, then put the flower into the embosser, squish it down, and when you take it out it’s shaped and embossed beautifully. This card was made using that little kit. I’m particularly pleased with the flower centres – once again, I’m glad I never throw away my leftover bits of cross-stitch thread!

To make this card:

  • Punch 6 light red and 6 dark red flowers, and emboss each one.
  • Thread a needle with 6 strands of yellow cross-stitch thread. Tie all the strands into a knot about 1/2 cm from the end. Don’t worry if they’re not all the same length as you can trim them.
  • Use the needle to punch a hole through the centre of a light red flower first, then a dark red one. Pull the thread so that the knot lies at the front of the flower.
  • Cut the threads at about 1/2 cm  behind the flower and use a small strip of double sided tape to secure it.
  • Repeat this for each flower.
  • Once you have 6 flowers, attach them to the front of a small gatefold card using the double sided tape that is also securing the thread. Mount three in the bottom left corner, and three in the top right.
  • Cut two squares of pearlescent card, a dark red one to fit within the gap between the flowers, and a light red one just slightly smaller. Attach together with double sided tape.
  • Again with double sided tape, attach the red square to the left ‘gate’ of the card so that it is central and overlaps the right ‘gate’.
  • Finally, place a gold greeting peel-off in the centre of the red square to finish.

This sounds quite a complicated card to make, but as long as you have the punch & embosser it’s actually very straightforward. It’s also a great one to do whilst watching telly or – *gasp* – conversing with your husband ( 😉 ) as punching and embossing the flowers takes minimal attention, and you can easily get carried away and make loads.

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!

Craft fair at Birmingham NEC

Shopping time!

For the last few years I have looked forward to November with both excitement and trepidation. Excitement because it is Crafts for Christmas and the Hobbycraft fair at Birmingham NEC, and trepidation as I know that I will inevitably spend too much money. Again.

I first went to the fair in November 2005. My son was barely 4 months old and I was pretty much a crafting novice. Although it was a real experience taking a baby to a very busy show, in the end I was very grateful I had him with me because his buggy became a very handy shopping cart to carry all my purchases!

If you have never had the joy of a Hobbycraft show, let me explain. The November event comprises 3 shows – Crafts for Christmas, Hobbycraft, and Art Materials – Live. It seems to be held over approximately 84 football pitches worth of ground, and attracts about 6 million visitors. Ok, that’s an exaggeration, but that’s what it seems when you walk in!

The gist of it is – if you can craft with it, you’ll find it there. In abundance. The real trick is knowing when to stop buying stuff (usually at the point just before you collapse in an exhausted heap on the floor). For the last few years I have been lucky enough to be treated to the ticket and the travel down there by my mother-in-law. Only fair really, as she was the one to get me into crafting in the first place 😉

This year 5 of us went together. A rather eclectic bunch – myself and my sister-in-law, my mother-in-law and her friend, and my 8 year old neice. We took lunches and and one of those wheeled shopping bags to store our goodies in at half time (a wise move, especially if you’re buying card blanks for example – they get very heavy very quickly).

My usual ploy is to try and decide two things before I go – what I want to buy, and how much I am planning on spending. Taking cash and leaving credit / debit cards at home is a good plan as it ensures you stick to your budget (if you do this though, make sure you pay for the car park at the start of the day so you don’t forget!).

This year, I really had no idea what I wanted. I certainly don’t *need* anything else – I can barely fit what I already own into my broom-cupboard of a craft room. So I went with only the plan of sniffing out a bargain. It has been discovered in previous years that I am very good at that. Last year I spent half what the others in my party spent, but ended up with 3 or 4 times the number of bags! (ok, I know it should be quality, not quantity, but never mind).

This year turned out to be no different. I spent in total just under £40, and £10 of that was on one item. Here’s a photo of the ‘haul’:

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I’m not sure I’m ever going to use all this stuff up! In summary, this is what you may expect to see on any card you receive from me in the next 3 years…

3 packs of paper flowers

4 packets of buttons

8 packets of brads (2 epoxy, 1 fabric, squares, stars, hearts, and two normal circles)

1 pack of multicoloured Card Candi (I have discovered it is Card Candi *not* Card Candy as I had previously thought)

6 rolls of double sided tape (2 different widths)

3 packets of sticky foams pads

5 gorgeous 12×12 scrapbooking papers, which at 30p each were a steal

1 (only 1!) pot of glitter glue

1 stamp pad

2 packets of stamps (24 stamps in total)

1 pack of 12 patterned card blanks

1 pack of baby boy card toppers

2 sheets of decoupage

An A5 sketch book (this was free for signing up for a competition!)

A craft magazine, with a free quilling kit on the front

And the big spend was on a fabulous paper punch and embosser which makes utterly gorgeous shaped and embossed paper flowers (like I need more paper flowers!). I have hardly stopped playing with it since I got it.

I made a card using the punch and embosser. I was just playing with it and punching flowers out of a craft catalogue I’d got with one of my purchases. I realised that actually, the flowers were really pretty, and I soon got carried away and had made loads (my son helped with this bit too!). I put a dot of my new glitter glue in the centre of each flower, and then went to town sticking them on a card blank. I’m really pleased with the result, and I think I will be using that punch and embosser a lot!

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Flower cards

Following on from my post a couple of days ago, here are some more cards I made using free papers from a magazine. They took hardly any time to make, and for a change I have abandoned my peel-off sentiment addiction and left them blank.

Both are made with Prima paper flowers – one with adhesive gem centres, and one with a brad centre. My favourite is the top one. Almost everything I make is symmetrical, and I love it when I manage to create something pretty but off centre!

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Ribbon flower cards

In my last post I showed you how to make a ribbon flower. Here are a couple of cards I made using the technique.

The first one is my parents anniversary card. The flower is actually one I received in a swap, I didn’t make this one. However, I did change the centre – the button that was originally on it was a bit big and bulky so I swapped it for a flower shaped brad.

The rather groovy backing paper, which is textured, is actually a wallpaper sample swiped from B&Q. I used an extra rectangle of it to put the peel-off sentiment on so everything matched nicely.

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The next card I’m really pleased with. My lovely friend Stacey is getting married in just a few weeks, and I made a wedding acceptance card to match her bridal colour of dark green. he colour in the photo hasn’t come out brilliantly, but honestly, the backing, the letters and the flower are all green!

First of all I covered a long card blank with dark green paper to match her invites. Then I used some extra strong double sided tape to stick the wide glittery ribbon on. The ribbon is actually from my Christmas drawer! I used my Sizzix Sidekick to die-cut each letter (more about that in my earlier post here) and stuck them on with glue. Finally, I made a ribbon flower using green ribbon, and a white heart brad to attach it to the card.

I’m so pleased with it, that my main worry now is how on earth am I going to top it with her wedding card?!

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