30 July 2009

A challenge from Hodge Podge

I thought I'd try my hand at the word / phrase prompt challenge raised by the Hodge Podge girls.

This week's challenge was journalling-related, and we were asked to start with the words: "Today you..." and list 10 things that your subject did today. I cheated slightly and based my page on yesterday - but that is when I started working on the digi layout so it isn't really breaking the rules!

I used supplies from Jessica Sprague, House of Three, Moulin Rouge, Shabby Princess, Raspberry Road and Java Joe - thanks guys!

The photo features (oh, what a surprise!) one of our lovely menagerie - Tok, our Hungarian Vizsla.

I might not be around much after today for a few days as I'm taking some time off, and don't plan to be on line that often. But you never know, I might just drop in to say hallo!

29 July 2009

A purr-fect purchase!

Ha! I have been shopping! At the weekend I went to a new shop in town which my husband had spotted last time he was shopping there. He told me a 'needed' to visit it, as it had some nice crafty things in it. Ever the obedient wife, I dutifully called in.
I came out with some Inkadinkado cat stamps that I've been lusting after ever since someone posted a link to them on UK Scrappers. They were a great price, too.
You can see above what I've done with the very first stamp I used. I had on my desk a fab kit from Sarah's Cards, so I rummaged through this for supplies.
In case you're interested, here's how I made this:
1) Cut one rectangle of pink, and a larger one of the patterned paper.
2) Run the patterned piece through the Fiskars Threading Water punch.
3) Adhere the pink strip to the right hand side of the folded card base. Add the patterned piece on the left hand side, making sure you overlap the two papers to hid the joins!
4) Stamp the cat in black on white card, and emboss with clear embossing powder. Colour in the flowers with pink, and then cut out the cat, leaving a white border.
5) Stick green ribbon near foot of card.
6) Mount cat using 3D style sticky fixers, overlapping the ribbon.
7) Create Happy Birthday sentiment in cerise using Word and Word Art to curve the text. Cut out and mount with 3D sticky fixers. Add two small flowers at each end of the banner and place gem in flower centres.
8) Add larger bloom as shown, adding a gem for the centre.
9) A girl can never have too many gems - so I added one to the cat's nose as a final touch!

27 July 2009

Stop press! Mole actually does some crafting!

I realise this will come as a shock to some of you, but I've actually done some crafting this weekend! Not only have I made some cards (a couple are shown above) but I've also finished (I think ....) a scrapbook page layout. No photo of that, I'm afraid, but there will be one soon, I'm sure.
I used my Cricut Create to make both cards. For the 50th birthday card I used Basic Grey card for the base and added ribbons, threads, Stickles, gems and flowers for adornment. I now need someone to have a 50th birthday so I can actually send it LOL!
The 90th card used a combination of Wild Card and Storybook carts, with ribbon, gems and Stickles to decorate it. The photo's very poor and doesn't do it justice - it did look better in real life, honest!

24 July 2009

Gone to the dogs

I finally got round to doing the last-but-one class challenge on Jessica Sprague's website this afternoon. It took some doing, I can tell you! First challenge was discovering that the keystrokes in the tutorial had a completely different result in my version of Photoshop. Instead of enabling me to copy three boxes, it insisted on moving all three. I dare say there's a different command I ought to have used, but I am blowed if I know what it is.

I used a slightly more labour-intensive method of creating nine masks, and then had memory failure when it came to recalling how to clip the photos onto the masks. Much to me relief, I eventually twigged what I was doing wrong, and completed my collage effect.

The class then suggested adding brushes to 'frame' the collage but I couldn't find any brushes large enough to suit. And finding compatible brushes for my version of Photoshop is nigh on impossible. It doesn't help when the Adobe guide tells you to use the size slider .... and I can't find this anywhere. I must be very thick LOL.

Anyway, I am still quite pleased with the result and am off to attempt the final class, which is a variation on the theme......
And you can see, below, the final class which turned out to be straightfoarward .. once I'd turned to my fellow dabblers at UK Scrappers for help!

Have a great weekend!

22 July 2009

Nothing to report!

I fear I have nothing of much note to report. I have done zero crafting this week, although I did succeed in taking out the contents of my newly-arrived Sarah's Cards kit and lovingly stroking the fab papers and pink card. I'd really like to sit down and see how many cards I can make from the pack - which contains ribbons, gems and some lovely blooms as well as double-sided patterned papers and cardstock (and mathcing envelopes, too). But I fear that it's just not going to happen tonight .... if only I got home from work earlier! Never mind, maybe tomorrow ...

Meanwhile, here's a photo I took of a lovely lily in a small pond just by the entrance to a Nottinghamshire sewage treatment works!

20 July 2009

No crafting photos

I did make some cards this weekend and even (shock horror!) spent some time working on a scrapbook layout, but I'm afraid I didn't take any photos as by the time I'd finished at was cold, wet and dark! I usually snap my creations outside to make use of natural light and avoid problems with the built-in flash on my camera.

So instead, the photo I've used today is of Willow, our lovely British Blue-Cream cat, who featured in one of my Jessica Sprague class photos from last week. You can now see the impact using all those special effects had on the pic!

17 July 2009

Just for comparison's sake ....

For those of you who haven't seen the Jessica Sprague gallery, here are my edge burn 'before' and 'after' photos for comparison! There's quite a difference, I think ....

Success at last

I've been wrestling with technology to try and open Jessica Sprague's instructional videos so I can properly follow her excellent frames and photo editing course. And desperately battling to translate her instructions into ancient PhotoShop speak so I can actual come up with the same effects in my program.

To my delight, I've succeeded on both fronts, which is why my blog entry for today is stuffed full of photos!

First pic shows Willow in the back garden, and uses clipping masks, photo overlays, textures and layer blending styles.

Next up is playing with text and textures. Don't you think my duck is very cute?!!!

What about this chap? He (or maybe she!!!) is demonstrating the arty of edge burn and using masks to lighten areas where you want the eye to be drawn.

And in case you're wondering, that's definitely another pic at the top of the page, featuring the one and only Tok!

16 July 2009

Stash shopping!

How did that happen? I found myself in the lovely BeeCrafty near Badsey, Evesham yesterday afternoon, and a small stash of crafty goodies fell into my hands!

I've posted a WOYWW to show what I came home with - some lovely papers, ribbon, another pot of Stickles to add to my growing collection, and some rolls of excellent value double-side sticky tape. Oh, and some fab black and white blossoms, too.

Now I know I didn't NEED any more paper, but I couldn't resist these zingy colours and patterns!
You can check out Bee Crafty at http://www.beecrafty.net/

14 July 2009

Now this I like .....

My photographic voyage of discovery is continuing as I work my way through Jessica Sprague's excellent course. I actually found some time at the weekend to investigate my old, but serviceable copy of Photoshop Elements, and came up with this photo, thanks to lesson 6. I think I might make a similar version, but use the words 'With sympathy' or 'Thinking of you' instead. I will then print some off and make them into cards.

Speaking of cards, I actually made a couple at the weekend. Here's one of them!

10 July 2009

A technological breakthrough!

Having signed up for the free Jessica Sprague photo editing - fame-ups and special effects- course, I was gutted when I discovered I was unable to play the instruction videos. I'm delighted to say that the problem's now been resolved ..... hurrah!

My copy of Adobe Photoshop is about the same age as Noah's Ark, which makes it hard to follow most of the steps outlined in the videos, and I don't have most of the functionality that the more modern versions contain, but I've still managed to do all but one of the lessons.

The photo I've posted here is what happens when a Mole gets playing with textures, blending modes and frames, all in one go!

I'm still hoping to get to grips with using masks - which was the subject of the one lesson I just couldn't fathom - but meanwhile, I'm happy to have got this far!

Have great weekends, everyone!

8 July 2009

What's on my desk?

Apparently it's What's On My Workdesk Wednesday today - otherwise known as WOMWW! As I have been an Extremely Good Person (hah! not before time, you may well say) and spent many hours sorting and tidying my craft room, I am able to report that I have rediscovered my desk (and a huge expanse of carpet, too).

And here it is! The excavated desk, that is.

In case you're not feeling that impressed, you should see what it was like before ...... here we go!

You have to admit, that was messy, messy, messy. And the rest of the room was just as bad ... if not worse.

Now I have a clear desk, my challenge is to make a new home card, a 90th birthday card and some 'with sympathy' style cards. I've no excuse for not crafting now, have I?!

6 July 2009

Back to school!

But not to nasty exams ..... just to the lovely Jessica Sprague's site, where those of us that registered in time, are enjoying a free photo editing course! The first class was about cropping and framing, using a special free kit from House of 3. You can see what I did with mine.

Yes, I know, it's another animal photo .... but when you have four cats and three dogs they are an irresistible source of inspiration (should that be inspurr-ation??!!).
My model today is Neilsen, our lovely chunky Ginger-and-white-bits boy. Doing what he does best - sleeeeeeeeeping!