16 April 2013

Die Magic part 2!

Thanks you everyone for visiting and leaving kind comments. And for being so understanding regarding my aaaaaaaaaaargh! blog nightmare!

So, without further ado, here is part 2!

4) If the shoe fits …..
Slipper from Sizzix gallery....

OK, so it’s another way to use a flower, but I’ll confess this photo really caught my eye. You could adapt this and create a flower from fabric and use it to jazz up a ‘real’ pair of shoes from your wardrobe. It might work particularly well with ballet pump-style footwear … you could create colourways to match the outfit of the day.

5) Don’t be like me, get your dies onto your scrapbook pages!

Scrapbook page

The Sizzix site has lots of project ideas – as indeed, do many of the other die manufacturers. I like the way this LO has employed a number of dies – from the scallop-style frame and the bold snowflake, to the background the for title, to the stars.

6) Keep it simple ...

I love the simplicity of this  Pinterest card. It uses two dies – a ‘labels’ die (I think this might be a Nestability) and a butterfly die. There are lots of lovely butterfly dies out there and they’re really versatile. Try Googling for ideas if there’s a die in your collection that you think might have more potential than you’ve yet discovered – you might be surprised (and inspired) by what you find.

7) Deck the halls

Ok, so it’s not Christmas, but check out THIS  lovely idea for a Christmas wreath. All you need is some empty drinks cans (please cut and prepare with care) and a leaf die (or several). You could also use Tim Holz alcohol inks or similar to colour the leaves.

8) What’s the background?

No links for this one. Just some suggestions for what you use to cut your die shapes from. Cardstock, both plain and patterned, are obvious first choices. But what about using a page from an old map or atlas … sheet music … a recipe book … maths text book … foreign language book … calendar … holiday brochure … newspaper or magazine advert … telephone directory … children’s book. Depending on what you use, the result can look quite different!

9) Am I green with envy?

Yes, of course I am because I love all Linda Brown's creations!  If you take a look at her blog, you can see some of the lovely things she creates with, among other things, a range of dies. I love the way she draws on colour and texture and shape in her work.

10) And finally …..

Yes! Here’s one I made earlier. I call this my acetate sandwich card. To make this, I ran two pieces of cardstock/paper, one a plain and one patterned, through my die cutter at the same time (with a Nestabilities Labels One die). You can find the details of how I made it a little further down my blog. Just scroll down past Tallis and the ‘censored’ item to find out more!

I hope you feel inspired to make more of your dies and that your creative juices are flowing. I know that mine are, after putting this lot together!

Thanks for staying with me so long - if you would like to be in with a chance of winning a crafty goodie bag, please leave a comment below with your UKS name too (if that's where you're 'from' and I'll make a random selection at the weekend.


15 April 2013

UK Scrappers - blog hop!

Welcome to the UKS Spring BlogHop! 

You may have come to me from the lovely MiniOwner at  http://miniowner.blogspot.com/  

Thanks very much for stopping by!

If you lose your way, or have dropped in on me directly and want to follow the hop, you can see the full list with all the links here

First, an apology.

Due to computer gremlins, I've not been able to post up my completed blog for the hop. What you see below is just the start!

But I didn't want to miss out, so here's the deal. Now that you're here, have a read and leave a comment below. And make a note in your diary is you're so inclined, to pay another visit later in the week, when I plan to post the full blog.

If you come back again and leave (another!) comment, I'll enter you in a draw for a random goody bag.

So ... here's chapter 1 of ...


When I first started crafting, I don’t think die cutting for the amateur had even been invented (yes, I probably am that old!).

These days, there are lots of bits of kit out there to choose from – and lots of prices, too.

But whether you’re a Spellbinders devotee, a CraftRobo wizard, a Cuttlebugger (I hope that’s not rude!) or a lover of the good old big red original Sizzix machine, the great thing is that that there are zillions of dies out there.

And for every die, there’s a myriad of uses. And yes, I think they’re just magic!

Depending on the die type, they can cut and/or emboss paper, card, material metal, chipboard, vinyl, satin, felt and a whole host of other materials.

For example, I’ve cut snowflakes out of flattened Diet Coke cans and used them as Christmas decorations. I’ve cut and embossed shapes from tomato puree tubes (have you seen the fabulous colours these tubes are inside?!).  I’ve cut flowers from felt and stuck them on shop-branded paper-bags-with-handles (to hide the logos and other retailer gubbins).

I’ve made tin can roses from the lovely Tim Holz Tattered Florals die, and from the same die, produced felt floral brooches. I’ve cut treble clefs and musical notes to help decorate my husband’s (now defunct) music shop, from metals, mirror card and old sheet music.

Of course, I’ve used all sorts of dies in my card making, most recently, a bird on a branch die from Marianne’s Designs.

Strangely, although I originally purchased my die cutting kit for scrapbooking, I’ve hardly used it in this way – most of my creations seem to be in the card making category. But I have used dies to create lettering, frames and perfect shapes (my hand cutting looks more like a 5-year-old’s efforts than a ‘mature’ adult’s!) for my layouts.

I want to encourage us all to unlock the creativity that’s lurking in your dies and think anew about how we can use them in our layouts, cards and other craft projects. I’ve found some great ideas out there in cyberspace which I’d like to share with you. I hope they inspire you – if they do, I’d love to see the results!
So. Here are 10 things you could do with different dies, a bit of space on your craft desk, and a bit of time to play!

1) A flower die: cut your shape from card and set aside the blossom. Use what’s left as a stencil! You could sponge ink or chalk, rub over with pan pastels or spray with Glimmer Mist. This is a great way of making a background for a card or scrapbook layout.
See here for an example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=wJ3fPPIi-SY&feature=endscreen

Of course, this could work with all kinds of shapes, including abstract ones.

2) Get in touch with your inner blossom … and get sewing: 
I think these would look great on a layout or a card. Follow the link for the 'how to' instructions

3) Frame something!
On a layout …. thanks MiniOwner!

Or on a card ….

What's the betting the flower accent is also die cut!? This fab card was created by the clever Dawn McVey, and you can check out more of her work here:


So now, all you need to do now is leave me a comment
before you hop on over to Nabview's blog:

23 January 2013

Not much craft but lots of snow!

OK. So I will confess to having done little in the way of crafting this year. It's not that I have no inclination: more that I've not had much time, what with all the other stuff that's been going on.

For example .... being involved in a funeral service for a close family friend ... working from home courtesy of the poor weather which seems to result in putting in even longer hours than would be the case if I were in the office ... dog walking ... rehearsing with the choir .... reading ... watching telly ... doing the housework ...

In other words, the usual stuff of life!

So rather than share any crafty pix (I did make a couple of 'with sympathy' style cards but didn't take any photos ...) I shall instead show you a couple of images of Tallis enjoying the snow.

Here you go!

9 October 2012

Warning - censored material!

I'm sorry, but I just couldn't resist making this layout.

Our Hungarian Vizsla, Tok, is a past master at the art of chill and he likes nothing better than to sprawl on his back, legs (and everything else!) akimbo.I have quite a few photos of him proving that he is 'all dog', and the mischievous streak in me meant that having a bit of fun with one of the photos was going to be irresistible.

The result was this (slightly wonky) photo. I promise it's straight in real life.

The background cardstock is plain Bazzil. I randomly sprayed Glimmer Mists and Cosmic Shimmer around the page. Using a stiff paintbrush and a little Cosmic Shimmer I splattered some paint in a few places. Tim Holz's Distressed Ink (Crushed Olive) was used to distress the edges, and a lovely alpha stamp I have (there's no name on it so not sure of its maker) provides a little more random interest.

I also tried stamping with some different shaped bottle tops which you can only see if you look closely. And I challenged myself to use a plastic food tray in some way - it had a really interesting ridged pattern on the bottom, so I inked this up and stamped with it a few times. It didn't have the effect I thought it would but you can see some on the ink if you inspect the page closely.

The photo is mounted on an odd piece of cream cardstock which I've distressed and edged with a brown ColourBox Catseye inkpad. RicRac and a piece of chopped ribbon are stuck along the top along with a piece of baker's twine.

Ages ago, I was given some green metal letters with brad hooks and I've never got round to using them. Until today! Hence to hanging DOG, secured with bright green metallic brads.

The 3-d mounted heart is hand-drawn and cut from a piece of spare animal footprint (may be Karen Foster?) from my leftovers stash, edged with the brown inkpad. Another ribbon scrap is tucked behind the shape and some gems from my bling collection added to give more interest.

The various letters come from my alpha collection. I've used three strips of Washi tape behind the heart and the string of bling is cut from a charity shop necklace I bought for 20p. The flower is from my collection so no idea of provenance ... and the finishing touch? The dymo tape and glass bead star! Oh, and a little hand journalling around the heart.

Hope it makes you smile, like it does me!

16 September 2012

A card at last!

Having promised some photos of my recent card creations, I realised that my husband had sent most of them off for birthdays / get well soon occasions. I suppose I can't complain - I don't make the cards just to keep them here LOL.

However, there was still one in the newly-created pile, so here it is:

Not the best photo,I'm afraid, but I think you get the picture (no pun intended, groan). I used a green cardstock as my base, and then used a Spellbinders Labels One die (source - CraftsULove  to cut an aperture from this and a piece of flowery card (cut at the same time). Please note that is NOT a flying suacer reflectated in the acetate!!!!!

First, I stuck the piece of acetate onto the card base to make the see-through window. Then I stretched the ribbon (purchased from Paper Arts) across the acetate and stock down at either end.

Then I stuck the flowery card in place on top of the card base (having inked the edges first), being careful to position it in the right place over the window.

The flowers and bling came from my stash (mostly obtained from Paper Arts and charity shops!). You can't see it in the photo, but I also used a Viva Perlen Pen (about like Perfect Pearls) from The Stamp Attic to dot over the flower centres on the patterned card.

I realised that due to my wonky positioning, there was a thin, crooked line of green base cardstock showing on the spine of the card. So I added some iridescent glitter down the fold and then stuck a length of leafy ribbon (Paper Arts again) on top to disguise my cack-handedness.

The birthday wishes sentiment disc was a cover gift from one of my craft magazines.

Back when I've managed to make some more cards to show you.

And here's another photo from my new camera to finish off with .... the focus is Scampy, our old lady puss cat (c 24 years old, we think). Not edited this image yet, but she's still gorgeous!

15 September 2012

A new toy to play with

Sadly, my lovely aunt passed away earlier this year. She had suffered in her last years with dementia, and had been in a care home, something that was hard to deal with. It was almost a relief when I received the call from the home to say that she had slipped away.

I was deeply touched to learn that she had left me a small gift in her will, and wanted to buy something with it that I would make much use of and of which she would (I hope!) approve.

And so I bought myself a new camera - for those of you in the 'know', it's a Nikon D3100. The challenge now is to get to know how to use it properly - to navigate away from the safe waters of 'auto', and try the very scary manual settings!

Here's one of the very first shots I took ...

This is Tok, our Hungarian Vizsla, lying in the sun on our very weedy patio. I confess I rather liked the way the dandelion leaf was flopping over his nose!

The second shot shows the interior of the parish church in Cirencester (St Mary's, I think it is called). I've been in the church before to take part in choir 'come and sing' days, but I've never really stopped to take a proper look inside (too busy concentrating on complicated music scores!). The thing that struck m was the very spacious and open interior.

And finally, here's Tallis, enjoying one of his favourite things - a hide chew. I was rather pleased to get him 'mid gnaw' and to capture the whiteness of his fangs.

That's it for now, there a re lots more pix of course, but I will save (some) of them for another time. And when the battery has changer in my point-and-shoot camera, I'm planning on taking some photos of some of my recent card creations, with a view to uploading them here. Of course, I could use my new camera, but the downloading procedure is a lot more complicated as it involved cables and all sorts. I'm going for the easy route - plug in the memory card and away we go!

Thanks for stopping by ......

5 June 2012

Here's one I made earlier ....

If you've read any of my earlier posts, you'll know I have been experiencing a little connectivity difficulty (ie no internet connection) which has somewhat impacted on my ability to keep my blog up to date.

It was a great relief to get back on line, and I can now share another layout I made a few weeks back - back couldn't post up for you.

So, here is one of our furries, Willow, all wrapped up in a fleecy pet throw (don't think she's quite sure whether to relax or be afronted that Mr Mole has packaged her up like this!).

The papers came from my scraps stash, dittor the ribbons. I hand drew the heart and inked the edges. Obe flower is from a 'proper' pack of blooms. the daisy style one is cut from patterned paper and has an acrylic circle stuck in the middle for depth and shine.

The blings and card flags come from PaperArts (as do, I suspect, the majority, if not all of the papers, alphas and cardstock).

You can see from the close-up that I've used staples to affix my ribbons, and double-side pads to give the heart dimension. Another acrylic sticky circle gives the flower centre a focus.

And here, you can see a little of what I did with the paper strips - some are rolled into tubes and stuck down, while I simply zig-zagged another strip and stuck either end down. Again, this all helps add a 3D feel to the page.

Hope you like the results .....