Thursday, 25 September 2014

Mum to a 3 year old

Long before I discovered papercrafting, I loved making novelty cakes.   That was in my 20s though, when most of the people I knew lived nearby and were young enough to get away with eating cake!  Since the rise of internet forums and the passage of time, neither of those things are true any more, so my cake decorating fell by the wayside.  One of the things I looked forward to about motherhood was having a good excuse to make cakes again - the only snag is time.  While I can make a card a little at a time, cakes have to be done at the last minute, at least if you want them to be nice to eat.  I had a few ideas for cake designs, most of which would have taken longer than a nap's worth of time, so would have been impossible to keep secret. In a moment of weakness I actually looked at the ready made cakes at the supermarket, but that really wasn't what I wanted to do, so I came up with a simple design that took under half an hour to do, but still had something no bought cake did.  Here it is:

The 'X' really does mark the spot too.  Bob's first job after blowing out his candles was to dig for chocolate treasure.  Here's what's underneath :-) :

Chocolate coin treasure under the big red X :-)

The treasure really seems to have made an impression - he's mentioned it several times since!

For his card, I wanted to feature one of his favourite cartoon characters - Dashi from the Octonauts.  I found a couple of nice pictures (of Dashi and the Octopod) by searching for colouring-in images, and I've coloured these with Papermania brush markers.  When making cards for children, I really like to make cards that do something, but that will also survive being played with, so I added a couple of magnets to the Dashi image and decorated some mount board with an ocean scene full of fun creatures for her to 'swim' around.  She's moved using a lolly stick with magnets at the back.  A sheet of acetate over the top protects her from being lost or damaged, and keeps the stickers safe from little picky fingers, although it does restrict her movement just a little.  He can't read yet, so I didn't bother with a greeting :-)

Dashi 'swims' around to look at all the creatures

This goes at the back to move Dashi around
I'd love to know what you think!

Happy crafting

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Oscar loves diggers

This month Bob and his two best friends celebrate their 3rd birthdays (!).  The first birthday was a couple of weeks ago and it was Oscar, who loves diggers.  I had lots of fun making a lumpy building site card using kitchen towel, paint, and bright stickers.  It's always a bit stressful making things for very young children, as their favourite things can change overnight, so I was very relieved to see Oscar wearing his JCB t-shirt the day we visited with his card :-)

Here's Oscar's card.  For step by step instructions with photos, please take a look at my guest designer post for Country View Crafts, here.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

The Crafting Cafe Challenge - Shades of One

The September challenge over at the Crafting Cafe is "shades of one", and I've been really surprised at how much fun it was to work with shades of a single colour.  There are two sponsors this month (Bugaboo Stamps and Scribble & Scrap Crafts), and both gave us such lovely images to work with that I couldn't choose between them, so I have two projects to share:
Image from Scribble & Scrap

Image from Bugaboo Stamps
I normally print digis onto glossy decoupage paper, but for both projects I wanted to do some painting, so I chose a good quality printer paper.  For the pink project I painted Radiant Rain onto the paper first, using horizontal strokes, then squirted Cosmic Shimmer Mist over the top.  Once printed, I painted the border with a couple of coats of Radiant Rain.  I finished with some pink glitter glue in the flower centres.  For the sympathy card I did some light colouring with watercolour pencils, just on the girl, and then blended with a water brush.

I hope you like them!

What I used:
Pink project:
Papers: Papermania handmade velvet papers
Image: Bugaboo stamps "Silhouette - Butterfly Flowers"
Paints & inks: LuminArt Radiant Rain "Pink Azalea", Cosmic Shimmer Mist "Lava Red", pink glitter glue
Embellishments: Goldlabel black peel-off greeting, Papermania black adhesive stones
Tools: QuicKutz oval and circle dies, XCut circle die
Beige project:
Papers: K&Co "Life's Journey" 6x6 papers, beige scraps
Image: Scribble & Scrap "Vintage Photo Sheet 6"
Paints & inks: Ranger Distress Ink "Vintage Photo"
Embellishments: MiC Crafts adhesive pearl, Beige chiffon ribbon
Tools: Purple Cows deckle edge trimmer, Flower punches, Do Crafts "Stamp & Greet" stamp set, watercolour pencils

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Wintery trees candle, for Country View Crafts

September already (!), and time for another guest designer post over at Country View Crafts.  This time I'm sharing one of my favourite techniques - melting a tissue paper design onto the surface of a candle.  In the past I've always used stamped images, but this time I thought I'd try a die cut design.

There are step by step instructions and photos on my post on the Country View Crafts blog here.  I'd love to know what you think!

What I used
Inks: Ranger distress inks "black soot", "peeled paint", "chipped sapphire", "spiced marmalade", "vintage photo", Tattered Angels Glimmer Glaze "midnight rendezvous"
Tools: Sizzix Movers and Shapers die set "Mini pine tree & holly" by Tim Holtz, XCut nesting circles die set, Ranger mini mister, heat gun
Other: Stickles "silver", "diamond", white tissue paper, greaseproof paper, white candle

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Layout 15: Manda's March Marmalade

When I first started demonstrating for do crafts, I was part of a doubling of the demo team, and someone had the lovely idea of the old and new demonstrators getting to know each other by doing circle journals together.  If you haven't encountered circle journals before, it's where everyone starts an album with a theme of their choice, which is then posted around the group collecting new pages as it goes.  At the end, everyone has a full album and has contributed to all the other albums.

As projects go, it was not a huge success - several albums were lost in the post and, as demo workloads increased, we all struggled to meet the posting schedule.  However, it was lots of fun creating the pages for all the other albums and, for those of us lucky enough to get our albums back, it was a real treat to see all the different crafting styles.  I chose "My Favourite Recipe" as my theme because I like to cook (and eat!), and because I love that what and how you cook is a reflection of your experiences and the people you have known.  I cook grated carrot and parsnip because of friends we had in the early 1990s, and I make mushroom risotto because I fell in love with it in Italy, etc, etc.  My album didn't make it round the whole circle, so it's far from full, but it did collect some lovely recipes, and it made it to some great crafters, so I decided recently that it deserves to be completed.  Here's the first of my new pages, about my first attempt at marmalade last year.  I've tried to keep in the style of the rest of the book - layout fashions have changed a bit!

A close-up of the recipe in case you'd like to try it!
Here are a couple of pics from the original work I did for the album - my first page, and the contents page at the back.  The idea is that everyone completes a tag as a signature for their page.  I made my tags like plates that are stored in a dishwasher - the front of the dishwasher pulls down so you can put them away.

My original page for the album from 2007
Fridge and dishwasher with plates for the contents page
Happy crafting!


What I used (Marmalade page):
Papers: DCWV "Nana's Kitchen" 12x12 stack, Core'dinations peach cardstock
Tools: Tiny flower punch (ancient magazine freebie), See D's "Whimsy" and Studio g alphabet stamps

Crafting notes:

  • I chose the main backing paper because it reminded me of slices of citrus fruit.  The same goes for the flower punch I used for the recipe steps.
  • I chose the flowery paper at the edges of each page because the chequered pattern is a little nod to the gingham 'tablecloth' in my original page for the album.
  • I spent ages going through my stash for some orange card to mat the photos but incredibly couldn't find anything to match.  In the end I made frames from strips of the chequered border of the flowery paper.
  • I hand drew a simple jam jar for the titles and used it as a template.
  • I added lace to the bottom of the photos, and the chequered paper to the jam jars because all home made preserves should have little gingham and lace hats! :-)