Sunday, 30 October 2011

Little Bird House !

Good Morning !
I have been up since 6.50 am and done three loads of washing and it's still only 10am ! I really can't cope with the clocks going back; the old body clock will be out of line for at least the next week !!! I know normal folks will have had a lovely lie in; if only !!!

I have lost my photo mojo today as the light is all wrong this morning but I had to share this little birdhouse with you ! I made this with my friend Jacqueline and they are just so cute and quite easy to put together.I stamped the main house using " Pines and Poinsettias " and the bird is made from the bird builder punch, my friend Peg showed me how to sponge the little bird, hers was so much neater than mine - need to practice!!! The house was edged by sponging on soft suede ink to give an aged look and I added a little glitter too !

I took a photo outside too so you could see the roof which I ran through the square lattice embossing folder. This is quite small and several would sit nicely on a large Christmas tree. This template is widely available online but if you can't find it drop me a note via my blog  and I will e-mail you a copy.
Have a great Sunday !
Hugs Jane x

Thursday, 27 October 2011

More Eleanor and a Five minute Card !

I'm on a roll with my card making at the moment so I have another post for you today before I launch into more Christmas cards and projects !
I really have to put this set away but I took delivery of the large wood mounted stamp " Sweet Floral " which is just so gorgeous so just had to make a couple of cards and it combines well with "Everything Eleanor " !

Again I chose a limited palette of colour, just basic grey and river rock , then added some re-cycled ribbon and cord and a lovely SU antique brad. The oversized stamped tag was popped through the polka dot embossing folder and the sponged and I got this lovely spotty effect quite by accident !

The next card is unusual for me as it took only five minutes ( which is so speedy for me ! ) but I wanted to design a very quick card which was simple but had impact ! The impact is created by the giant " Sweet Floral " stamp ! The centre of the flower is enhanced with a vintage button !

This is such a simple card to make but imagine what you would pay for a hand stamped and embellished card !!! Investing in stamps that will last a lifetime that you can use over and over is the way to go for me. I just love my stamps and make any excuse to add to my collection ! This card probably cost around 15p to make so is very good value and unique ! The one above will cost more because it is A5 and has the addition of the brad but this makes the card more special and therefore justified; it still comes in at around 75p !

I was out this morning browsing Christmas goodies and got some great ideas for making pennants so I must go and jot it all down now in my little notebook before I forget ! LOL !
Come back soon for something with a little more colour and thank you so much for stopping by!
Hugs Jane x

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Everything Eleanor Part 2 !

Good Morning !
I have set myself another little task to keep it simple and designed some more class cards using "Everything Eleanor " again !!!!
I have also used the lovely bird cage from "Nature Walk" and worked on very vanilla card stock in a limited range of inks - basic grey, pear pizzaz, river rock and pretty in pink.

Stamping a background is easy but you mustn't be too precious about it, just use a good eye for judgement and go for it ! If all else fails , use the Stampamajig !!! For me the charm of stamping is the irregularities, but not for all ! I have added in the basic grey so the card has definition, but it is still a pastel card. It's so relaxing cutting out all those flowers and I think the colours work well together for a nice change !

For this card I used the medium flower from the set and stamped half the card in river rock and pretty in pink to make a background, both the cards have sponged edges. Sentiments are from "Sincere Salutations ". Again these are simpler cards but show different ways of using the stamp sets. Putting colours together is always difficult, particularly if you are trying to achieve something a little different, but I encourage you to experiment, try groups of three or four colours and try them out with your stamps. This is very important as just a block of colour onto paper will give a different effect to a stamped image which is open and shows the paper or card beneath; try it and you'll see what I talking about !

I love this quote from John Ruskin on the subject of colour :

" The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love colour the most "

Have a great day wherever you are and thank you for visiting !
Hugs Jane x

Monday, 24 October 2011

Everything Eleanor !

Hello !
I'm a bit late posting this today but I have two cards to show you which I have designed for a beginners card class. I have had to restrain myself a little and keep the designs clean and simple ( well clean and simple for me !!!). I have been looking around at lots of lovely blogs which are showcasing very elegant cards so that was my inspiration; if I knew how I would have created a link to those blogs but thats a bit technical for me and it will have to be a lesson for another day !

I love this stamp set - " Everything Eleanor " - it is so versatile and I have kept my ink palette very neutral using just crumb cake and basic grey. The papers are from the patterns stack - neutrals collection and card stock is very vanilla. I have also used the scallop edge punch. The black cord is recycled from a box of chocolates, it was too good to discard ! I like to stamp with the ink and then stamp again without re-inking, and I have used this technique on these cards. The sentiments are from the " Sincere Salutations " set which I think is so elegant.

I have blacked in the stamens with a Stampin' write marker and then added some crystal accents over the top ( make sure the ink is dry first or it will run ) and then this card needed a bit of bling !

This is another of a kind ( I do that a lot !) but a little simpler with the addition of some pearls and some seam binding. You have no idea how hard I found these cards to do as this is about as simple as it gets for me ! 

I usually start with some card and paper to stamp on and a selection of inks and do all my stamping and then cut out all the bits and then play around until I like the design. It is easy with these elements stamp sets as it is already designed to go together so the hard work has been done for you. If you need any help or advice or would like to purchase any of the supplies to make these cards please do contact me via the link on my profile above.

Thank you for visiting today, I appreciate you taking the time !
Hugs Jane x 

Friday, 21 October 2011

Christmas Wreath Cards !

Hello ! 
As promised I have some cards based on Christmas wreaths to share with you today. Any of my friends will tell you that I collect wreaths in all shapes and forms and have actually been out today and accidentally bought two more; they were a little unusual so I was unable to resist! They are everywhere in my home and it gets a little out of control at Christmas ! I even have a welcome wreath on my front door; a lovely tradition which you will all be familiar with on the other side of the pond ! It took ages for me to explain to the neighbours that no, I hadn't forgotten to take down my Christmas wreath, but that it was a welcome wreath which was why I changed it regularly to reflect the seasons !

I mainly used the new stamp set " Pines and Poinsettias " and added a few familiar extras in where needed ! I love this set and tried to think of different ways to use it and it is turning out to be a great investment !

I have a pre-cut circle which I used to mark ( with small pencil dots, then you don't have to rub them out ) the position of my wreath and then stamped in crumb cake in a regular fashion around the circle. Berries were coloured in with my real red marker and then I added crystal effects to enhance, must practice getting this neater ! I then added another stamped wreath on top and the poinsettia and sentiment using dimentionals before adding a little glitter ! Background is whisper white card .

This is a similar idea on riding hood red card and firstly stamped in whisper white ink using the holly filigree stamp from the above stamp set, I added more white for the berries with the Signo white pen. The pine cones were stamped and loving cut out before arranging and sticking. Here is a close up of the detail in the card.

The last card is very simple, again stamped with the holly filigree using pear pizzaz and the overstamped  in old olive for the holly leaves.

The flowers are punched using the "Itty Bitty" shapes and stuck on with crytsal effects which is so handy as a strong adhesive for little shapes like this as I find glue dots tend to migrate !

I hope you have enjoyed your visit ? I really enjoy your comments and appreciate the time you take to make them, thank you ! I will be continuing this theme at some point but as yet I have no idea what my next post will bring !!! So please do visit again and thanks for stopping by !
Hugs Jane x

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Tree Decorations !

Well I wanted Autumn and it appears to be here; be careful what you wish for ! The warm ( well hot actually ! ) weather we were experiencing last week seems to have slipped away and been replaced with more average temperatures for the time of year, but it is still lovely and sunny, so no complaints ! Why do we always talk about the weather here in England; such a bad habit !!!!
Anyway, now to the point of the post now you have had a weather report !

I did some little tree/parcel decorations yesterday in my class so thought you may like to see what I have been creating with the lovely " Pines and Poinsettias " stamp set.which is new this season . I have combined it with images from 'Winter Post " and "Welcome Christmas " and there is hint of the new "Delicate Doilies ".

The stamps are very traditional and thats exactly what I like at Christmas ! Iv'e made them look a little bit vintage by inking around the edges and by choosing riding hood red, old olive and crumb cake as my main colours ( these are softer than other SU inks so great for this option ).

I have a die that makes pleated rosettes and it's great but very limiting so I had a go at a bit of hand pleating and use my SU eyelet border punch to give a nice edge. You may recognise the papers, now retired but so nice for Christmas ! To make this rosette cut a strip of paper 30cm x 4cm and punch along the long edge first, then start to pleat using the bone folder to help crisp the edges, you need to end with one pleat folding upwards and the pleat at the other end folding downwards and this will give you two edges to attach a strong adhesive to . When this is dry cut two circles of paper and then manhandle the pleated paper into a rosette !!!! You will need to be firm with it at this point as it will have a mind of it's own ! Add a small amount of strong liquid adhesive to the centre of the rosette on the back and add a circle on top to, hold down for a minute and then turn over and repeat the process on the other side. Then pick the whole thing up and pinch the two circles between finger and thumb for another minute, it should now be firm and secure ready for you to embellish ! I added my ribbon between the two rosettes but you can also hang from the back.

I like to make tags for parcels but they are also useful for card toppers and are nice as tree decorations.

I have used the delicate holly design from " Pines and Poinsettias " to stamp a back ground on this large snowflake; it is so pretty and has lots of uses. I am going to be making some cards based on wreaths for my next project and I know this set will get a lot of use. 
I am still quite new to Stamping " Up but was anyone else bowled over by the genius of  the "Stampin' Scrub " and "Stampin' Mist " when they first used it ? I cannot believe that I fiddled around for years with baby wipes to clean my stamps !!! If you are a keen stamper then it is a must ; for more details please contact me on my e-mail address via the link on my profile above.
Thank you for your visit !
Hugs Jane x

Monday, 17 October 2011

Must Stop Playing with Beau Chateau DSP !!!

Good Morning ! 
Hope you all had a good weekend ?
As you can see I have found the lure of this gorgeous DSP too hard to resist over the weekend and I really must put it down as I have to finish my prep for tomorrows class !

I have a couple of cards and tags to share with you today and I have so loved adding more and more pink to these projects ( I am such a pink girl!)
In the card above I have used the new stamp set "Everything Eleanor", the flowers are so nice and layer well together, along with some old favourites and the new number set. I added in both pink pirouette and pretty in pink card stock and used one of the new luxurious  antique brads which are just yummy and I will soon need to order some more !!!

Here are some close ups to show the detail in the card; as always Stampin'Up stamps give the most fabulous print and the shapes lend themselves well to being cut out giving you lovely embellishments for your craft projects.

I had a play making some tags which can be used for gifting or as card toppers !

I ordered some of the " Beau Chateau " fabric and it's lovely but I am trying to come with ideas for how to incorporate it into my paper projects and I am failing !!! Any ideas or good links you know about to get me started ???

I get a lot of use from the embossing die "Scalloped Heart of Hearts ", it will be used even more for Valentines but it fits well with so many stamp sets and papers. The sentiment is from " Valentine Love " and I have used the same ink range as in the previous post.

I'll have some little tree decorations for you in my next post, they are the theme of my class tomorrow, the next class after that (thy run fortnightly) will be Tuesday 1st November 1.30-4pm.

You can now follow me ( Hooray ! I have finally cracked the technology to enable me to get this up and running ! ), see top right of my blog ! If you have problems , please let me know as I will probably have done something wrong !
Thank you so much for visiting ! 
Hugs Jane x

Friday, 14 October 2011

Gorgeous Beau Chateau !

Hello !
Such a lovely day here again, clear skies and sunny ! I have been sat with all the windows open having a crafty morning. I have just one card for you today as I have fiddled around so much experimenting I've only managed to finish one ! I just love the gorgeous colours in this DSP; so softly vintage, and so versatile, I think it will be great for wedding and engagement cards as well as valentines and birthdays !

I really enjoyed making this card, it is A5 and so I crammed quite a lot of elements on ! The base card is " Naturals Ivory" and the papers "Belle Chateau" and I have also used "Pink Pirouette" card. The inks are pink pirouette, crumb cake and soft suede and I have used a ribbon from my general stash but you could use very vanilla and run some pink ink over it . I cut out lots of stamped images from "Artistic Etchings", "Notably Ornate" and "Everything Eleanor " and I've thrown in the new embossing frame which co~ordinates with "Beau Chateau". Oh, and I added some "Itty Bitty " flowers ! I think that is everything !

I've added a pleated rosette which I make in batches and then use as needed; I love this chicken wire paper ! The sentiment is from the new " Valentine Love " stamp set ( another favourite !). I tried to achieve a good balance making this card; it is quite fussy but I used a good eye for judgement to get everything placed in a pleasing design layout.

I am currently looking for members to join my craft club which meets every other Tuesday between 1.30 and 4pm. This is a beginners class for cardmaking , giftware and home decor; this week we are making Christmas tree decorations ! I will also be running other classes too to meet demand so do let me know what your needs are !
I live in Powick so anyone in the Worcester, Upton and Malvern area would be quite near and you will be most welcome ! Classes are £6 or free with a £25+ order from the current Stampin'Up catalogue, plus your first class is complimentary so you can try it out and see if it is for you! All basic equipment is provided or you can bring you own tools and all the materials for the projects are also provided. Do contact me on the link above on my profile for further details.

 May I just give warm welcome to any newcomers to my little blog and thank you for your kind comments ! I will at some point have a following facility up and running; blogging is wonderful but I'm not yet au fait with all the technicalities !!!

Have a lovely weekend wherever you are !
Hugs Jane x

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Inspired by Beau Chateau !

Good Morning !
The un~seasonally warm weather continues here in the Midlands; it's really strange and I am almost yearning for some crisp golden Autumn days !

I have been playing with my new toys from the new Stampin' Up catalogue this week and have two cards to share with you . They were inspired by the colours in the new DSP  "Beau Chateau " which features all my favourite colours rolled into one lovely paper ! I do have the papers and will have some cards to show you shortly but I started by using a mix of stamp sets, which is what I tend to do ! They are so easy to mix up and you get a more unique result; I took inspiration from the idea book and catalogue too . The stamp sets used are " Nature Walk ", the new "Everything Eleanor " , which is fast becoming my new favourite, the numbers are new too ~ "Number It " which also has a matching alphabet ( on my wish list ! ) and the sentiment is from "Style Beautiful ". I have also included the new "Designer Frames" which are embossing folders to use in the fabulous " Big Shot " and I inked some very vanilla seam binding ribbon with crumb cake ( this is available already dyed but don't have any yet ! ). The rosette was a fourth attempt using the " Eyelet Border " punch for the edge and my bone folder to help me pleat the paper; the whole thing is secured onto hidden circles back and front using crystal effects.

This card features " Nature Walk " and the new frame and the " petite fleurs "are punched using the " Itty Bitty Shapes ' set ( I'm so thrilled to have another little flower punch ! ). I keep any larger bits of waste rubber from the stamp sets as the can be useful; when I have punched out my flowers from this set they are quite flat and I use a small headed embossing tool to press the centre of the flower into the spongy rubber to add dimension !
The card stock is bashful blue and I've used crumb cake , soft suede, bashful blue  and marina mist inks .
Today I'm going to have a play with the new fabric I have to match this paper, so do check back soon !
This new DSP ( Beau Chateau ) is so me and I know I will use it over and over. It is essential to try new things and work outside of your comfort zone and I totally endorse this but it is so lovely to come home to what you are really are ! Today I have a quote from Henry Ward Beecher which very much sums this up for me ~

"Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures "

Have a great day wherever you are and I really appreciate you stopping by to visit my blog ! 
Hugs Jane x

Monday, 10 October 2011

Little Christmas Bird and More Cards !

Hello !
I have had a busy week designing and making more Christmas cards and planning projects incorporating some of the new stamp sets and Designer Series Papers from the brand new Stampin'Up catalogue. They have finally arrived from Germany this morning and so I will have another busy few days putting together my designs; so keep in touch to see something new !

You may remember this wet stamping technique which I used in one of my blue posts ( 27th September 2011 ), I know this method will be used over many times and I like the way the ink 'bleeds' on these two of a kind cards ! I started with watercolour paper and a mask and  restricted myself to just one stamp set ( "Winter Post " ), I also used old olive, real red, soft suede, river rock, pear pizzaz and crumb cake inks. The water intensifies the pigment in the inks so don't go too dark !

I also used the " Bigz scallop circle " die for the main shape and the " Scallop Edge Border " punch for the long side of this card. These are quite quick to create as once the paper is wet you need to catch it before it dries out so I plan my stamping before I start and then just go for it !!! If you make any errors just place a few strategically placed snowflakes over them !!!

The beauty of these cards is that no two are alike as each one is a mini piece of artwork. I added a tiny bit of glitter and used the "Scallop Edge Border " punch for the long side on this one. You could add more stamping on the base card and add bling to the border, but I wanted the artwork to stand out !

Here is a little more detail, these cards don't have fancy embellishments, just simple ones made from paper and stamped ink but they do have a naive charm about them. It is very easy to buy expensive card elements and put them all together but it's so nice to make your own; so much more satisfying and think how much money you can save ! The materials for these cards literally cost pennies !!!

Before I go , I had a little play with the "Bird Builder" punch from SU at the weekend and made a cute tree decoration which barely took any time at all. This idea is quite common but I haven't seen a SU version, so here it is ! I punched two birds from gold card and used white ink to stamp onto the body using the snowflake from the "Winter Post". I then cut matching 1cm long slots with a craft knife horizontally across the back of the bird about 5mm in  (cut these separately before you glue the two bodies back to back and make the slots about 2-3mm deep ). Then the wings, cut from a piece of vellum ~ 6cm x 9cm rectangle ~which is also stamped with the snowflake design. This is then edged with the "Scallop Edge Border " punch and pleated along the width of the narrow side by hand. Choose some narrow  ribbon and thread this through the slot first then holding the pleated wings firmly together post them through the slot under the ribbon ! No glue is needed as the paper and ribbon fill the gap and hold quite firm !

Phew !!! What a lot of instructions for something so simple, I have tried to give you lots of tips so it should work first time for you ! Hopefully you can see the slot clearly, its a bit fiddly, but if you make lots, maybe in different colours or maybe in black and white you could decorate a small tree or wreath and they could also be used for wedding decor.
Must dash now and get the ironing done before the other half gets back from work. Hope you have enjoyed today's projects; do please let me know your thoughts and thanks for stopping by !
 Hugs Jane x

Monday, 3 October 2011

More New Card Designs for Christmas !

Good Afternoon !
As promised I have a few more designs in my card range to show you along with the packaging presentation ! They are colour co~ordinated and the contents of each pack of five will vary; this is to give you a guide ~ hope you like them !

Each pack is tied with red gingham and includes a small stamped tag for you to use; the idea is that you use everything, so no waste ! Here are some close up details of the cards ~

Details of how to purchase these cards can be found in my previous post. They are made in very limited editions as I do not mass produce and each card even if similar will be different from the next as they are lovingly handmade !

There will be new ranges coming soon in packs of five and as singles so watch this space ! I've got so many ideas I  can't  sleep at night ~ be warned if you are new to crafting, it will take over your life !

Thank you so much for taking the time to check out my blog ! Until next time !
Hugs Jane x

P.S. ~ There will be lots of non Christmas projects coming soon ! I have some of the new Stampin'Up goodies from the new European catalogue on their way to me as we speak and I have lots of designs up my sleeve to show you ! Looking forward to your next visit ! x