Thursday, 30 January 2014

Crafty Resolutions

There are probably rules about when you can make new year resolutions, but the advantage of taking a whole month to come up with them is that I might manage to keep them into February :-)

Getting ready and delivering the first Christmas my little boy is likely to remember into adulthood was fun, but also exhausting and I'm afraid I really lost the plot with regards to crafting and blogging towards the end of last year.  So, the first of my crafty resolutions for 2014 is this:

Craft more and for me
When time is short and the list of jobs is long, it's hard to prioritise selfish fun above, say, tackling the biohazard otherwise known as the kitchen sink.  That's a big reason why I love being on the Crafting Cafe design team: just like demonstrating, it legitimises my play time and gives it a deadline that allows it to barge importantly past all the drudgy jobs in the ToDo list every now and then. The downside is that I never get round to purely selfish crafting.  Even before parenthood, I found it hard to fit in my own crafting, as the temptation is always to make a few more samples.  This year though, I'd like to make sure I craft in between the deadlines too.  And the projects I want to tackle give me my next crafty resolution:

Get scrapping
To say I get a bit precious about scrapbooking is putting it mildly.  I've always been very much of the opinion that the photo(s) and journalling should be the primary focus, and that the other elements in the page should earn their place by meaning something, not just by being pretty.  Add to that my general crafty procrastination and a printer that seemed forever to need its ink jets declogged, and you can imagine that my scrapping output has not been particularly impressive. Working as a demonstrator didn't help either - I generally found that trying to demo anything that wasn't a card cleared the room faster than a fire alarm - great if I needed a wee, or to tidy my desk!  Of course, this could just be a reflection of my scrapping abilities...  My goal is to finish 2014 with a dozen completed pages - hopefully that's modest enough to be achievable!  To help me get started, and to make sure my pesky printer doesn't stop me, I ordered 160 photo prints of shots I've taken for scrapping.
Should be enough to be going on with!

Knit something
Since starting crafting about 10 years ago, I have tried at least one new type of craft every year (check out my rug!), but that fell by the wayside once Bob arrived.  Knitting was supposed to be 2012's craft, I did manage to learn how to cast on in 2013, but this year I really will knit a whole something!

Blog more
I don't keep a diary, so facebook statuses and blog posts are all I have to remind me of my creative exploits, and I love to look back on them.  My goal is to blog once a week about whatever I've made.  It might only be a cake, or something I've made with Bob, but I will post.  Err, probably.

Monday, 13 January 2014

The Crafting Cafe January Challenge - Anything Goes

Happy new year everyone!  2014's weather has been pretty grotty here so far - oh well, a great excuse to stay in and craft!
This month's challenge over at the Crafting Cafe Challenge Blog is Anything Goes, and my project for it nearly didn't happen.  My little boy decided that the paper feed on my printer would make a great money box and posted some 20p pieces into it.  Luckily I was able to get them out using one of those little hooks you use for pulling hair through a colouring cap - finally some justification for my habitual hoarding of things that "might be useful one day" :-)

On to the project.  The January challenge is sponsored by The Stamping Boutique and I used their gorgeous Rocking Horse digi stamp to make a new baby girl card.  I love to lose myself in colouring or painting stamped images, but when I used to do card making demos, people would often say that they were put off stamping by the thought of all the colouring in.  If that applies to you, then I hope my project will give you some inspiration to try something new.  I've avoided the more traditional new baby pastels and have gone for a simple and bold three colour scheme of black, white and bright pink.  In keeping with that, I haven't coloured the whole rocking horse image, I've just picked out a couple of details using bright pink ink and gemstones.  The only other colouring I did was to outline the horse in very light grey to give a little depth.  This way of using stamps is very quick and simple, as there's no shading or blending and I hope you'll give it a go!

One other 'how to' note for this project: I've used a paper trimmer to get the wavy edge on the flower paper and the pink card it's mounted on.  It's practically impossible to place the wavy pattern exactly with a trimmer, but this is what I needed for the pink matting behind the paper.  To position it just right I trimmed both edges of a piece of pink card that was longer than I needed, then cut it in half lengthways.  It was then simple to slide the two halves into their perfect places.  The join doesn't show as long as there's no gap between the two halves.

Other products used: The papers and matching flowers I used are from an old Papermania range.  The little flowers are from Papermania's Summer Bloom range.

Happy crafting!


PS One of my friends has candy here!