Tuesday, 25 September 2012


Today, I decided I was going to make my first tutorial. But with a bit of a difference. Instead of hanging my camera above me and filming looking down, I decided to create it stop start animation. This is a technique that I use a lot in university when making videos and can look really good.
I chose to start with something relatively easy: my kimono embellishments. I wrote a post about these back in April/May and as I use them a lot, I decided it would be a good start. I would love to know what you think!

I did mess up slightly (ooops!) and I wonder if you can see the deliberate mistake.*

*and for those who are really eagle eyed, there is a second one, but I will be impressed if you can find that one!

Friday, 21 September 2012

Autumnal Owls

I realise that this is my second post today but this will be my entry for this week's CAS-ual Fridays challenge.

It is, of course, the autumn equinox and starting to get colder and darker. But autumn is probably my favourite time of year, and not just because that's when my birthday falls! I love the colours and bonfire night: wrapping up warm and going out to watch all the fireworks.

My first owl card
This week's challenge, to be inspired by autumn clicked immediately with me. I have recently been going through an 'owl phase'. I love absolutely anything to do with owls at the moment: cushions, accessories, t-shirts and jumpers, I've even spotted a purse I want to get! So, I decided to make some owl inspired cards. 

I began this by creating my own style of owl and made several sketches in my design book. After that, I made myself a template and had a go at making my first owl card.

I made six of these owl cards in total, all of them different, with different colour combinations but all sticking with the autumnal reds, browns and oranges that I looking to see in the next few weeks. Using the same template was useful and made it so easy to get them fairly uniform, although cutting out 12 eyes, wings and feet got old very quickly!
I added the branches straight to the card blank, having cut them from the same paper I had used for the owls. Foam pads were used to perch the owls on the branches, to make them stand out. 
I don't normally make cards with as plain a background as these are but I think it really works well this time and if needed, there is enough room to add a sentiment without ruining it.

National Cupcake Week

If anyone has visited my Facebook page or Tumblr blog, you will see that I have been celebrating National Cupcake Week. I have been watching and have become addicted to The Great British Bake-off. This gave me lots of inspiration for making some baking themed cards. 
I began making some simple paper pieced cards. I found some corrugated cards which worked perfectly for the cupcake case. I finished these cards off with ribbon and patterned tape and topped the paper cupcakes with paper icing and floral embellishments. 
An evening of baking without even turning the oven on!

For my third card, I found some cupcake embellishments from my German craft stash that were just what I needed. I sketched out a cake stand and outlined it with black pen. After adding the cupcakes, I finished the card with some pink dotty paper and topped the cake stand with a paper heart. Despite papercraft being my thing, I am also having a go at the baking and had the excuse to bake (with help from a roommate) a birthday cake for a friend. So proud of it! (Not sure what Mary Berry or Paul Hollywood would make of it though!)

On a different note, I have some very exciting news to share. I have signed up to start an on-line shop. 4 days and counting. As of Tuesday, I will be selling my cards (hopefully). Of course, I have this dream that I will have hundreds and hundreds of orders although I doubt that is going to happen. I'd like to get a few though, to keep me busy. Once I am up and running, I will add a link to my Facebook page and on here. So excited!!

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Welcome back to Manchester!

I am now unpacked and back in my digs in Manchester. This summer has flown by! Whilst packing, I desperately tried to reduce the amount of craft stash to bring but it just couldn't be done. I still ended up with my caddy, several boxes and folders of stuff. *Sighs. 

However, on arrival, when I went to collect my keys, I was greeted with a parcel. Something that had been sent to me over the summer. Completely confused as to what it was, I left it until I had everything in my room before opening it. An unusual surprise turned into a very pleasant one when I opened the large envelope and found more craft stash!

It was only when I opened it that I realise it was from a prize draw I had entered in my magazine.  The goodies included GB themed papers, stickers, banners, chipboard pieces and some sequiny, really glitzy stickers all from Vintedge. Just imagine if I had won something bigger!
And the moral of that story is, you gotta be in it to win it. And it would be a better idea to send things to your home address, not university digs!

Before I left home, I had time to make a couple more cards, one as a commission and the other for a friend who was leaving for his first year at uni.
The first card had quite a specific requirement, albeit an unusual one (but I expected no less from my friend and next door neighbour). The card was for her sister's 21st birthday. She likes sheep.

I chose to make it a shaped card, and based my design on clip-art images of sheep. I loved the round body, creating a very cartoon sheep, and also making it easy to cut out but I felt it needed something a bit more than just white card. This was a sheep for goodness sake! And then it hit me . . . .


No pun intended! I'm talking about the fluffy powder version of glitter. Simply cover the surface in something sticky and sprinkle. 
Like all the cards I make for landmark birthdays, I hand-wrote '21' onto the pink balloon and attached this to the sheep using white thread - it was already attached to the card at the fold. It's face and paws were simply black card with paper pieced detail. 

As well as creating it to my friend's specifications, I also added one of my own in order to fit into this weeks CAS-ual Friday challenge - Black and white plus one.

I learnt a bit from doing this card. I guess they were things that I should have known about before but never really thought about.
The first one is shaped cards: make sure it is a single shape, otherwise the card won't open fully. I should have made sure that the balloon was connected to the sheep in more ways than just the thread.
The second one is about flocking. Sticky pads DO NOT stick to flocking. Or rather, the flocking sticks to the pads alright but the the flocking comes of the card. I found this out the hard way and so had to scrape off some of the flocking from the sheep and get new pads to stick his face down. I was more careful with the feet and made sure it was attached to the paper, not the flocking. 

My second card, as I said was for a friend leaving for university. This card needs little explanation. Students. Drink. Simple. So I covered the front of my blue card blank with grey circles decorated to look like cans. I didn't want any sort of order to them and to add to this effect, I raised some on sticky pads. I finished it off with an acetate label finished with a hand written sentiment and blue ribbon. I'm really please with the sketchy look of the cans and may do this one again for a birthday.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Busy Busy Busy

Despite having a hectic week ahead of me - uni work (already!), packing to go back on Saturday and a small collection of cards to make before I head on back to Manchester - I have managed to find some time to write an entry while watching the closing ceremony and I have to say, so far I am very impressed! I knew Coldplay were coming along but the steampunk intro was pretty awesome.

So, I have finally started making my Christmas cards. I aimed to do at least 10 before I went back to university and with about a week left, I decided to dedicate yesterday to making cards. I got 15 made so I am already ahead of my target. And as a bonus, my room has not only returned to normality, I have more or less packed up my craft stuff, although I can't guarantee it will all stay in there during the week!

Coldplay are on!! XD

(I should probably apologise for my seemingly random outbursts, finding it a bit difficult to contain my excitement!)

I digress.

Today I also volunteered my services for my church's coffee morning. Well when I say my services, I donated some of my cards to sell. Unfortunately, I won't be there - first week back at university. 
So to aid my efforts of procrastination, I packed the cards today and made my PoS for them to sit in (and to store them in), just because a plain ol' shoebox wasn't enough.
To do this, I wrapped up an old shoebox in some pretty wrapping paper. 

Friday, 7 September 2012

First Video

After seeing a Google Chrome advert today - the one about the satchels, if anyone else has seen it - I decided to put some videos on YouTube to show off my cards.

After sorting through my photos and getting them organised, the timings right and adding some music, I have finally uploaded my first video. I decided to do my female birthday cards first as they are probably my favourite ones to do. There will be plenty more to follow (I hope) and maybe some tutorials further down the line.

Take a look and see what you think!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

A Stroke of Genius

This is a really quick entry to tell you about my amazing discovery this earlier this week.

Apologies for the bad photo, it was taken on my iPod. 
This is something I must have!!! I tried doing stitching on my cards by hand but despite giving the cards a lovely finish, it was such a pain that I promised never to do it again. But this changes things. I plan to get my hands on one of these when my student finances allow me!

Whoever invented this needs a medal!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Exciting News

So, in my last post I mentioned having some exciting news. Well, I couldn't wait any longer to share so here it is.

A while back, whilst doing my card-lympics, I tweeted to my favourite magazine about them. A little later that day I received an e-mail from them saying that they wanted to feature my blog in the magazine on their blog feature page and wanted a photo of my card. This was one that I made for a very close family friend who loved shoes and was starting a new job. 
I was sent a proof copy of the article (which is what this is from) but I now have the actual magazine. With my card in! Still not quite come down to Earth yet! 6 months ago I barely had a Facebook page for my cards, let alone a blog and now I'm appearing in my favourite magazine!

Told you it was exciting!