Sunday, 29 May 2011

A 7 Gypsies haul, and something I've been waiting for FOREVER!

Good morning Bloggerland, just wanted to share a fantastic deal that I got my hands on this week. I love to alter things - papercraft away from the page, so when I saw the prices of some of the 7 Gypsies hardware at It's Crafting Time I just couldn't resist! Here's what I got
Two sets of naked folders, medium and large, two journal clips to create my own clipboards (no more messing around trying to get paper under a clip set in stone!) Two pots of tiny paper fasteners, some photo folders, and the cutest vintage apothecary stickers ever! I'm not comfortable unless I know that I have some bits and pieces to alter if I get the urge... think I'm set now!
But the MOST exciting thing that I have to share is my new gadget - the Distrezz-It-All by Zutter. I've been waiting for this little machine to be made for the European market since it came out in the US well over a year ago... and here it is!
So, this little thing of wonder is going to save me sooo much time. I adore the look of distressed edges in my mini books, in-fact on virtually anything with a straight edge, and have been known to get cramp in my hand working away with my little Tim Holtz distressing tool! Now, I can shabby up an entire book of pages in less than 5 minutes... as you can see on this Tesco's notebook... and the best thing? Take a few pages, for a mini album for instance, distrezz them, and suddenly your insignificant little pile of pages take on a glorious depth that belie their number entirely! At £35, it's not the cheapest thing, but I have to say, this is one little tool that will not be leaving my desk. And the little notebook? As I said - Tesco's cheapo. I've used some of the beautiful stamps from Crafty Individuals to decorate the front - a vintage ad (CI-148), and a new set, consisting of the sweetest dressform, some bodices, and another little ad (CI-306). Follow the link to the left of this post if you want to take a look at what they have! xxx

Thursday, 26 May 2011

A Lovely afternoon and a little surprise...

My neighbour Sue is one of the kindest people I know. She has a friend, Val, that is always doing something for someone else, and she wanted to do something for HER. So, a few weeks ago, she arranged an afternoon session for the two of them with me, to learn how to scrapbook. She had asked Val's husband for some of Val's favourite photo's in advance, so it really was a surprise for Val!
They did absolutely fantastically!!! Neither had ever experimented with paper crafting before, but they both took to it like ducks to water, and had (I HOPE!) a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon!
Here's the layout that I helped them to re-create with their own photos...

I wanted them to have a little taste of everything, so we did some masking (the floral pattern to the right of the photo), some rubber stamping and fussy cutting (the 'just lovely' label, two quotes, postage marks and doily images), some die cutting and inking (the chipboard flowers), some paper punching (the border at the bottom of the photo), working with acetate ( the butterflies), and some general design techniques, like the positioning of the title to the top left and bottom right side of the photo. I did sneak a little shop bought notecard from Prima in there - to journal on, but hey, those beautiful things just have to be used don't they?!

And my lovely surprise? I got a package of my five favourite stamps from Crafty Individuals today! So look out for some rather nice crafty bits and pieces over the next few weeks right here with some rather special stamps on them... xxx

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

OK - From this....


... To this!

It's a memo note holder - bought from the £ shop a loooong time ago! I've used the new 7 Gypsies Lille 6x6 paper pad, Red Pepper paint dauber, a Daisy D index tab, a Tim Holtz corked vial, filled with Glossy Accents and black Distress Ink (I hope it sets!) a few stamped images and some ephemera from my stash - all, of course grunged up with a little Frayed Burlap Distress Ink! Oh, and though you can't see them, there are four Tim Holtz Hitch Fasteners on the bottom, acting as little feet - cute!
I'm really pleased with it... it's young and funky (I think!), so hopefully they will like it too! The best thing is, that as I was altering this, I realized that you could change the theme for anyone's taste - so get down to your local £ shop - quick! xxx

A little something for a new home...

This evening we're going to visit some young friends that have just purchased their first home. Whilst sitting at my desk this morning, struggling to complete an article for Craft Stamper, it hit me... CRUD!!!! how can a crafter visit someone for the first time in their new home, and not take a little piece of hand crafted loveliness as a gift?! So - project to one side - which makes me a tad nervous, as my deadline is the end of the month - but it's ok, I'm telling myself - no need to panic... yet!
But what am I going to make?? I've rifled through my stores, and I have several options: I could acid etch a kilner jar with the word soap, and add belly banded soaps to it... I could decorate a little canvas, and rest it on a painted mini-easel... I have a cute little wooden box, with hooks for keys, and a teeny weeny drawer at the bottom - that could get my treatment... And then there's the option of decorating 5 insy winsy wooden birdhouses and giving them as a decor item to stand all in a row... and lets not forget the option of a canvas banner saying something lovely like 'peace' or 'tranquility' - mmmmmm ... a very long word - maybe not!
So... what to do??? I may have to sit here and have another coffee and worry for a little longer that there aren't enough hours in the day before I do anything... xxx

Monday, 23 May 2011

Ooops... forgot the mission to be completed - doh!

Think I got carried away with the letter tray lol! The other thing that is filling my mind at the moment is a little gift that I'm trying to get hold of for my 13 year old daughter. It's exam time in a couple of weeks, and because she works sooo hard, I like to reward her, after all who doesn't need a little treat every now and again?! SMASH BOOKS!
They're a new concept by K & Co, very out of their comfort zone I think, but an absolutely brilliant idea! Take a look at the video below!

How cute is that as an idea? Connie adores notebooks, sticky notes and pens... I couldn't have found a more perfect gift right? Mmmmm, getting hold of these is proving very tough! Despite them supposedly being available from April, I now have TWO pre-orders in place, one here and one in the US of A, as well as a very kind lady in America who is hopefully going to scour her local shops for me! So, I reckon I have 3 weeks before I need this... what do you reckon are the chances?? xxx

K & Co SMASH Folio

A completed project and a mission yet to be completed...

Morning Blogland! We had a lovely two days scrappin' - some of our precious members were missing, but despite the fact it was a tad quieter than usual, I think a good time was had by all! Because it was quieter, I was able to play along with the girls - a rare treat, as usually I'm too busy Cricutting, advising, teaching, coffee making etc!!
So, without further ado, THIS little gorgeous thing is what I've been making:

Now, come on.... how lovely is that! I've been hankering after a 7 Gypsies version of this for a while, just haven't gotton round to ordering one, and let's face it - they're pretty pricey! This little beauty? £2.50 for the tray at a local gardening centre, a little paint and PVA glue for a crackle effect, and I now have my very own tray to store my hand made cards in throughout the year! Here's what the inserts look like:
I cut them at 6"x4" to fit the width of the tray, then stamped them with as many vintage ad stamps as I could lay my hands on, before distressing the edges with walnut Stain ink, and attaching tabs with the months on them and perpetual calendars for important dates to remember, found on Split Coast Stampers website. And finally, here's some of the cards I've been making to store in it!
It's going to be great being able to get organized with all the important dates in my family - five brothers and sisters, too many nieces and nephews to mention, as well as four little darlings of our own means there's always a card needing to be made - and usually at the last minute... not any more! I hope you've enjoyed! xxx

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

It's scrapaholix this week...

....and I've been working hard on my sample layouts for the gals. the first one looks like this:
I thought that this paper in the kit (Scribble Scrabble, Sam's Collection - Big circles and Multi Stripes) was very 'graphic' in style, and called for bold additions, so I cut out the top numbers border with my Cricut, and punched a couple of border strips for the bottom, before using the resist technique to add a blue circle background, and then inking with black distress ink. I've discovered a fab product called Paper Pens - by Viva Decor. It gives a wonderful pearl adhesive stone effect - better than Liquid Pearls I think, cos it holds it shape better... AND it comes in loads of colours!

The second layout that I've completed (and my definite fave) looks like this:
This paper (Scribble Scrabble, Sam's Collection - Red Dots and Hounds-tooth) is far softer, so it got a far softer treatment! I applied a messy layer of white acrylic paint to the area of the paper I knew that I would be working on - my aim was to have the edges of the brush strokes showing on the completed layout - I love it! Then, LOADS of layering, both stamped and fussy cut images, as well as a few shop bought bits and pieces. There's lots going on here - just the way I like it!
Can't wait till Friday/Saturday to see the girls. xxx

Saturday, 14 May 2011

New Project in Craft Stamper!

It's always a thrill to open up your favourite magazine and find one of your layouts in it! For the layout below, I was asked to make bespoke journalling spots - I thoroughly enjoyed getting my paints out, and was quite pleased with the finished product!

Sorry for the quality of the photo - the real thing is still with the magazine, so I had to take one from the article... I'll remember in future to take a snap before it leaves DOH!

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Right - This time it's for real!

Ok - this is it - time to SERIOUSLY start attending to this blog! I've been a busy bee since I've been AWOL though - won scrapbooker of the Year in Craft Stamper Magazine, which has led on to some publications in their mag!
We're also awaiting planning permission for an extension to our home, which will give me a professional crafting space, and hopefully allow me to hold more lessons - that's if I can find willing participants!
Everything else in life is pretty fine and dandy - which, of course, I'm grateful for. Wanna see my winning entry to craft Stamper?

It's a photo of my daughter Connie when she was 11, in a recycling fashion show - so sweet! The layout is on canvas, and took a long while to complete, but hey, the outcome was certainly worth the input!
Here's my promise to me. I will use this blog. Let's see!