Thursday, 30 July 2009

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible ...

We've had a bit of a setback with Bess (our recently rescued Staffie). Unfortunately when we got back from Harrogate at the weekend, her allergy had really flared up again. Poor Mum and Dad didn't know how to settle her and they're used to dogs. 

We're having to sit with her almost 24*7 at the moment to keep her from scratching herself to ribbons and biting bald spots on her paws and legs. The vet has taken skin scrapings today to test for allergies and he's given us a spray which we're hoping will soothe her and calm her down. 

Needless to say - I'm not able to get any crafting done just at the moment. I'll be back blogging and sharing just as soon as Bess improves but in the meantime I hope that you have happy holidays and that the sun shines for you.

Sara xx

Monday, 27 July 2009

A recipe challenge using roses for Stamp With Us

I should have posted this yesterday but I was still in Harrogate at the Crime Writers Festival. It's been a brilliant weekend. On Saturday evening we had Lee Child (of the Jack Reacher novels) speaking and yesterday it was the creators of the Wire (DH's favourite TV series).

Anyway back now to real life. The challenge set at Stamp With Us this week is to use:

2 patterned papers
1 ribbon
1 piece of hardware

This was my take on the challenge:

Stamp sets: A Rose is a Rose, Fresh Cuts
Cardstock: So Saffron, Almost Amethyst, Whisper White
DSP: Tea Party
Ink: Almost Amethyst, Lavender Lace, Certainly Celery, Mellow Moss
Narrow Grosgrain Ribbon: Certainly Celery
Other: Hodgepodge, Crafter's Toolkit
Non-SU: Nesties

The roses and leaves use two step stamping which works best with a stamp-a-ma-jig to get the positioning spot on. The larger surface area stamps are stamped first (with Almost Amethyst or Certainly Celery depending on whether flower or leaf), then the detail stamp is used over the top (with Lavender Lace or Mellow Moss). I used the Fresh Cuts set just for the sentiment, which fits in the oval hodgepodge perfectly.

For those of you who like to play along you'll be pleased and relieved to know that Mr Linky appears to be working again (which should also make it easier for me to get to look at all your creations).

Have fun.

Sara xx

Friday, 24 July 2009

Avoiding swine flu with a handbag sized tissue wrap

I've been at the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival today, listening to and mixing with some of my favourite authors including Mark Billingham, Val McDermid and Zoe Sharp and discovering new ones such as Dan Waddell. A great day out to be followed by more of the same tomorrow. It's a pretty big gathering, with hundreds of people packed into the same conference room and so I made sure that I had my handy pack of tissues in my handbag ready to fend off coughs and sneezes.

A fellow SU Demo called Amanda gave me a tissue wrap like this when we were at field training earlier this year and I decided to use the basic idea to make a fun version of my own:

Stamp set: Leaves a la Carte
Cardstock: Certainly Celery, Whisper White, Basic Black, Old Olive
Ink: Old Olive, Basic Black
Punches: Scallop Circle, Large Oval, Scallop Oval, 1/2" Circle, 1/8" Circle, Corner Rounder
Non-SU: Computer printed sentiment

I stamped the front and top of the wrap in Old Olive with Leaves a la Carte, Stampin' Around Wheel. For the "ewe" on the front I punched two Scallop Circles from Whisper White card. One full one was used for the body and one was reinserted into the punch and a segment of it punched out to use as the head. A Basic Black Oval was cut in half for the face and 1/8" circles added as eyes with the pupils coloured with Basic Black. Two strips of 1/2" wide Basic Black card were inserted into (one side of) the back of the 1/2" Circle punch to create the rounded legs. I needed very specific text and so printed the sentiment on my computer (using KENDRIC font) and then punched it out. If this doesn't make sense then let me know and I'll see if I can do a tutorial on it.

Keep well (and flu free) and have a great weekend.

Sara xx

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Another blog award

A great big thank you to Teri for winging this gorgeous award my way. It's such a pretty design and always so lovely to be nominated by another crafter who's work you admire. So thanks Teri, for such a terrific compliment.

Here are the rules for this award:
1.# By accepting this award you recognize that the giver ‘LIKES YOUR STYLE’.
2.# You agree to display this award proudly on your site, and include a post linking back to the giver.
3.# And because there are so many bloggers out there whose style you like, you will share this award with them… however many that may be.

I've picked a different set of bloggers to those that I sent the last award to, so if you're not on this list it doesn't mean I don't admire you :-)

Here then are the bloggers whose style I very much admire this time around:

Emma (who also has candy!)

I do hope that you'll go and check out their blogs.

Sara xx

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

A coffee cup of cappuccino truffles

This is a little treat that I made for DH for his birthday. It uses the Pack a Picnic template from Papertrey's Timeless Templates range. I've admired so many of these baskets made up on other people's blogs but I particularly liked Lauren's "coffee cup". My version's nothing fancy because DH doesn't like fancy (for himself - he makes exceptions when buying for me) - oh it was so hard holding back on the decoration.

Stamp Set: Sincere Salutations
Cardstock: Close to Cocoa, Chocolate Chip, Very Vanilla
Ink: Chocolate Chip
Punch: Scallop Edge

I used the smaller of the two templates and cut off the fold down collar from the top. The cup handle was made using just a simple strip of card, folded and attached as you can see in the picture. 

This little open box was just the right size to hold about 8 strawberry and cappuccino truffles from Thorntons.

Mmm, have to go now ... need chocolate.

Sara xx

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Normal Stamp With Us challenge service has been resumed

And we're back! The Design Team had a week off but we're back again this weekend with another set of samples for this week's challenge. It's a colour challenge using this photo as 

And here's my card:

Stamp sets: Polka Dot Punches, Oval All, Occasional Greetings
Cardstock: Bashful Blue, Ballet Blue, Creamy Caramel, Real Red, Old Olive, Yoyo Yellow
Ink: Black Stazon, Old Olive, Real Red
Punches: 5-Petal Flower, Large Oval, Scallop Oval, Scallop Edge
Rhinestone Brads: Circle Fire

The flowers were made by stamping the card with the Polka Dot Punches stamp, punching out with the 5-Petal Flower punch and scoring and folding the centre and in between each petal.

Please stop by and take a look at the wonderful creations made by the other members of the Stamp With Us design team.

Sara xx

Saturday, 18 July 2009

A truck full of love for my darling husband's birthday

Well I was a tad late with DH's card and I don't know why that is because I'd had the design in mind ever since I got the Loads of Love set. I always seem to do his and my Mum's cards at the last minute. My Mum's birthday is in August so I'm setting myself a goal now to get her card made by the end of July.

Stamp sets: Loads of Love, Loads of Love Accessories
Cardstock: Old Olive, Bashful Blue, Certainly Celery, Basic Grey, Whisper White
Ink: SU Markers, Black Stazon, White Signo Gel Pen
Narrow Grosgrain Ribbon: Certainly Celery

When you pull the ribboned tab it reveals the message.

I added a strip of Basic Grey to the bottom of the Bashful Blue card and tore a strip of Certainly Celery and added that above the Grey. The White Signo Gel Pen was used to add the road markings and then a slot was cut through all the layers, shorter than the length of the truck and wide enough to accommodate foam pads. The message was positioned with the Stamp-a-ma-jig and the background elements were added in the same way using markers, direct to stamp for the trees and to colour the flowers. The truck was stamped, coloured and cut out and added to the foam pads.

Pleased to say that he liked it, his favourite cards always seem to be the ones that you interact with like the slider cards and waterfall cards.

That's all for now.

Sara xx

A blog award for the weekend

Sorry for being absent for a few days. To make up a little I'm posting twice today and I'm back to my regular Design Team post for Stamp With Us tomorrow (they gave us a week off for good behaviour last week).

The theatre was OK on Wednesday evening. I have to admit that I was a little disappointed to be honest, but that's probably my own fault. My knowledge of Singin' in the Rain is pretty much confined to the Morecombe and Wise version, the stage production was a little different. There was nothing too wrong with it but it just didn't seem to have that theatre magic that night. Hope I don't spoil it for anyone who's planning to go, I'm sure that you'll still enjoy it.

It was DH's birthday Thursday (see post later today for his card) and then we've been running around for my Mum and Dad a little. Dad's so much better but not allowed to do heavy jobs (which is frustrating him no end) so DH has mowed the lawn and I've been getting my Mum set up with her iphone (she's loving it, she feels so much more connected).

The wonderful Jan has kindly nominated me for this award:

I'm to choose five more Beautiful Bloggers to pass this on to. 

(drumroll please) 

... and the award goes to:

I stop by all of these blogs regularly for inspiration. They all make wonderful creations that I cheerfully adapt and use (hope you don't mind ladies!). The nominated Jan hasn't been blogging long (she's my downline and new to the world of blogging, though not crafting) and I love the boxes that she's been making.

Now ladies if you're willing to play along (and I do appreciate if you don't have time) then you post the award on your own blog, let people know who nominated you and nominate 5 new beautiful bloggers (linking to us all).

Have a great weekend all.

Sara xx

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

A cupcake card for a challenge instead of DH's birthday card *feeling guilty*

An early post today because I'm off out to the theatre with my Mum again tonight (Singin' in the Rain) and my Dad's got to fend for himself for a few hours. Good job he's on the mend (we have a back up plan - DH is at the ready to go round if needed).

Today's card is based on the Mojo Monday sketch for this week:

And here's my card:

Stamp set: Crazy for Cupcakes
Cardstock: Chocolate Chip, Creamy Caramel, Pretty in Pink, Whisper White
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Signo White Gel, SU Markers
Taffeta Ribbon: Pretty in Pink
Punches: Large Oval, Scallop Oval

I stamped and coloured the cupcake stand, blending the SU Markers and leaving a small white highlight on each. The stamp-a-ma-jig was used to position the balloon and the birthday sentiment. I paper pieced the balloon in Pretty in Pink card and added a highlight with the White Signo Gel pen on the same side as the highlight on the cupcakes.

Unfortunately I still haven't got DH's card ready for his birthday tomorrow! Little Bess was really clingy last night and wouldn't leave my side. She was practically in my lap and so I wasn't able to stamp fresh and had to use images I'd already stamped out (need to stock up on those for the future). Poor thing - it's always his cards that get left until last. Hopefully I'll be able to rustle it up when I get in from work tomorrow, before we go to the vets - what a birthday plan! Anyone else end up like this or is it just us?

Sara xx

Monday, 13 July 2009

Thanks for your best wishes, things are getting back on track

Thanks so much to all for your best wishes for my Dad - they've worked. He came home from hospital yesterday evening and I've just been over to visit again. He's still in pain but he's looking a lot better and is definitely happier to be at home. 

I'm also happier and was able to make this card last night. I fell back to my old favourite colours, the Plums, teamed with Moss this time and I finally parted with some of my buttons (only bought them a couple of months ago, not bad for me).

Stamp sets: Soft Summer, Oval All
Cardstock: Perfect Plum, Pale Plum, Mellow Moss, Whisper White
Ink: Black Stazon, Perfect Plum
SU Markers: Perfect Plum, Pale Plum, Certainly Celery, Mellow Moss, So Saffron
Gingham Ribbon: Moss
Coloured Buttons: Soft Subtles
Punches: Large Oval, Scallop Oval
Other: Crafter's Toolkit

I stamped the blossoms onto Whisper White, coloured with Markers and cut it out. The Perfect Plum mat was paper pierced in both corners, leaving a blank area at the top for the button. Both buttons were threaded with a sliver of Perfect Plum card and stuck on with glue dots. Everything else is just matting and layering.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sara xx

Friday, 10 July 2009

Here is one I made earlier to cover for the mistakes I made today

I'm having to resort in true Blue Peter fashion to "one I made earlier". My mojo has well and truly deserted me. My Dad fell off a ladder on Wednesday and is in hospital with broken ribs and a few other complications and worrying about him is definitely affecting my crafting. I've made two cards this evening and given up on them both. Hopefully I'll be able to salvage something from them when I'm feeling more with it - perhaps after visiting tonight. 

I made this a few days ago and wasn't fully happy with this either (but it's better than the cards and so I thought I'd share it anyway).

It may actually look like a card at first sight but in fact it's a little Post-it folder. It's based on Angie Kennedy's Post it Note Organiser but I've adapted the size and contents just a little.

Stamp set: Summer by the Sea
Cardstock: Bashful Blue, Barely Banana, Night of Navy, Whisper White
DSP: Bashful Blue
Striped Grosgrain Ribbon: Bashful Blue
Ink: Versamark
Punches: Corner Rounder, Large Oval
Other: White EP
Non-SU: Pen, Large Post-its

I cut the folder blank to be 21.5cm x 16cm and scored 10cm from either edge to create a 1.5cm spine to wrap around the note block and pen. The wallet for receipts/coupons and the front of the card were just trimmed to fit within the main wallet measurements. DSP was wrapped around the inside of the pen to give it a matching look.

Although I like the look and layout of this wallet, I find the card folder to be a little flimsy for the weight of the note block. I'll probably try it again using chipboard and my Bind-it-all machine for a sturdier result. I'll post it here of course when I've made it.

Have a great weekend.

Sara xx

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

A little card and gift set in chocolate tones

I didn't get time to post or blog yesterday because we had to take Bess back to the vets and then we had to bath her. Poor little thing is now on antibiotics and a special shampoo to try to clear up a skin infection caused by all the scratching. 

Anyhow, I decided to pop over to Mojo Monday for a little inspiration tonight. I'd already made another little Post it note holder like the one last week (details here) and wanted to make a card to go with it. This is the Mojo sketch design this week.

And here's my card and note holder:

Stamp sets: Sincere Salutations, One of a Kind
Cardstock: So Saffron, Chocolate Chip, Whisper White, Close to Cocoa, More Mustard
DSP: Tea Party, Tea & Crumpets
Striped Grosgrain Ribbon: So Saffron
Narrow Grosgrain Ribbon: Chocolate Chip
Punches: Scallop Circle, 1-3/8" Circle, 1-1/4" Circle, 1" Circle, Boho Blossoms, Scallop Edge
Other: Crafter's Toolkit, Bind-it-all

The card is simply punched, matted and layered. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Sara xx

Sunday, 5 July 2009

A fishy story for this weeks children themed challenge

It's Sunday so it must be the Stamp With Us challenge. This week the theme is children's birthdays and so it was the perfect excuse to break out my new Just Beachy stamp set and make a real fun card. Never mind the little kids, this big kid enjoyed this one. The card is based on the Gel (Water) Card over at Splitcoaststampers.

Stamp sets: Just Beachy, Fresh Cuts
Cardstock: Basic Gray, Yoyo Yellow, Bashful Blue, Whisper White
Ink: Black Stazon, Old Olive
SU Markers: Assorted
Other: Silver Brads, ziplock bag Sticky Strip comes in
Non-SU: Nesties, Anti-bacterial Hand Wash

I created the porthole apertures using the nesties and cut the same aperture from the Basic Gray (cut from a larger circle) and the Yoyo Yellow (yellow submarine?). The brads were then added to the grey before sticking on top of the yellow card mat so that they wouldn't puncture the gel bag. With the aperture cut I could then mark in pencil on the Bashful Blue card, the area that my picture would need to fit. I stamped the fish onto Whisper White card, colouring them and cutting out. Using the leafy spray from the Fresh Cuts set, I stamped with Old Olive directly onto the Bashful Blue card and then arranged my fish, sticking them in place with Tombow. I didn't stamp one of the fish very well (his tail was faint) so I just placed him off to one side (upper purple fish) where he wouldn't be fully in the picture.

Instead of using hairgel I used anti-bacterial hand wash for the "water". This has the advantage that if children play with the card and burst or puncture the bag, the contents just need rubbing into their hands to disappear. It's possible that you may get better bubbles with hairgel but I'm happy with the result. By making the card a large square one, I was able to use the bag that my Sticky Strip comes in to hold the gel (nothing's wasted).

Once filled this was taped to the back of the aperture mat, placed over the blue mat and added to the front of the card.

Hope you have as much fun making your card for this challenge. Don't forget that by entering the challenge you'll be in with a chance of winning a free on-line class!

Sara xx

Friday, 3 July 2009

Here's what we made at the Boxes and Bags class this week

Just thought I'd share with you the boxes that we made at the Boxes & Bags class on Wednesday night. The ladies made their own great versions, including adapting one of the gents boxes to a ladies one. I'm not going to give all the details here (or else why would peeps sign up for the class, lol) but I will give the recipes for each.

Stamp sets: Forest Friends, One of a Kind
Cardstock: Pretty in Pink, So Saffron, Whisper White
DSP: Tea & Crumpets
Ink: Regal Rose
Gingham Ribbon: Light Pink
Punches: Scallop Square, Large Oval, Scallop Oval, 1" Circle

Stamp set: Mr & Mrs, Leaves a la Carte
Cardstock:Blush Blossom, Creamy Caramel, Very Vanilla
Ink: Versamark, Creamy Caramel
Taffeta Ribbon: Very Vanilla
Punches: Large Oval, Scallop Oval, Scallop Circle, 1-3/8" Circle
Other: Crop-a-dile

Stamp set: Cheers to You
Cardstock: Brocade Blue, Night of Navy, Whisper White
DSP: Bashful Blue
Ink: Black Stazon, Night of Navy, SU Markers
Punches: Scallop Square, 1" Circle

Last night I went to a Salsa evening and despite it being such a hot night weatherwise, I did actually overcome my deep seated shyness (haha) and got up and joined in the dancing. I think my Mum may even have snuck some photos. I'll have to see whether there are any I'm prepared to share :-)

Have a great weekend everyone.

Sara xx

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Yay! Stampin' Up! is running a Summer Design Challenge

Want a chance to win up to £150 of Stampin' Up! stamp sets and show off your crafting skills?

Why wouldn't you? You're going to be crafting anyway I'm sure, so why not enter?


Customers can win one of 3 prizes. First prize is £150 worth of SU stamp sets and there are two runner up prizes of £50 worth of SU stamp sets.

(There's also a separate single prize for Demo's so we won't be competing against you)

Summer Design Challenge Rules
  • Projects must be created using only Stampin' Up! products.
  • Only one project per participant will be accepted.
  • Projects can be cards, home decor, scrapbook pages, or 3D items.
  • All projects must be summer-themed.
  • Projects must be unique, and created for the Summer Design Challenge. Do not just recycle your old projects.
  • A list of products used must be included with the project submission.
  • Full contact information, including your full name, address, phone number, and e-mail address must be included with the project submission.
  • Projects will not be returned as they may be displayed at future Stampin' Up! events or on the Stampin' Up! web site.
For the official contest rules and details of where to send your entry, please click this link.

Best of luck!

Sara xx