Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Layout 13: Crafting Cafe September Challenge: My Favourite Season

The theme for the Crafting Cafe's September challenge on Facebook is "My Favourite Season", and I thought I'd use it as an opportunity to clear a project from the 'in progress' pile.

When I started demonstrating for Do Crafts, I took part in a circle journal with fellow demonstrators and, as I hadn't really done any scrapbooking at the time, I always intended to make copies of all the pages I contributed to other people's albums. I didn't finish any of the copies, but I did make a start on most. This 6x6 double layout was one that was almost there and, as it was about what I liked about a season, I thought I'd finish it for this challenge. Winter is very not my favourite season, with its short days and cold, damp weather, but there are some things about it that I love and maybe if I read my journalling a few more times I'll stop feeling so miserable about summer drawing to a close!

The original of this layout was made in June 2009 for Jo Austin's "Winter Wonderland" album. I've made a few changes in the copy because I have some nicer embellishments available and I wanted a different title. It's unusual for me, as it doesn't feature any of my photos. I like the resulting focus on the journalling though, and think I'll make some similar companion pages for the other seasons. Hopefully it won't take me another 6 years to do those though!

What I used:
Paper: Studiolight 12x12, plain white vellum
Embellishments: Papermania accent stickers "Snowflakes", Papermania mini brads, Anita's alphabet outline stickers.
Tools & Colour: XCut snowflake border punch, iridescent glitter glue

Crafting notes:
  • The frosting on the backing paper is hand done with glitter glue.
  • The journalling is printed on vellum and stuck down only by the accent stickers that overlap it.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Mum to a 4 year old

After weeks of counting down to his birthday, my little boy has finally turned 4. He's been looking forward to it for ages, so it was very sad that he spent his last day as a 3 year old vomiting. Happily he was a lot better for the day itself - he didn't eat much, but what went in stayed in, and he enjoyed having a quiet day in playing with his new toys. I left making his cake until the day, so I could be sure he'd be able to enjoy it - I didn't think watching his parents and grandparents eat cake would be much of a birthday treat, and nor would eating stale cake a few days late!

Here are his card and last minute cake. Neither will win any awards, but my son loved them both, which is all that matters.

What I used
Dinosaur card:
Papers: Basic Grey "Archaic" 12x12,
Embellishments: Basic Grey "Archaic" chipboard stickers, Basic Grey "Archaic" adhesive letters and numbers, Lasting Impressions Senti-Metals "Birthday copper", Papermania mini brad
Tools: Basic Grey clear stamps "Dino" (for footprints inside the card)
Colours: ColorBox Pigment ink cat's eyes "dune", "brown", Ranger Adirondack alcohol ink "meadow"
Pirate ship cake:
Tools: XCut Build-a-scene dies "Nautical"
Icing: Waitrose white fondant icing, Renshaw red royal icing, Dr Oetker's black regal icing
Embellishments: Dr Oetker's "4" candle, Waitrose stripey candles, Tesco pirate sprinkles

Crafting notes
Dinosaur card:
  • The oval on which the 4 is mounted is a 'pebble' cut from one of the Archaic papers.
  • I inked the edges of the square paper and the 4.
  • I used alcohol ink to age the copper greeting and make it less shiny.
Pirate ship cake:
  • The pirate ship and octopus tentacles are both cut using an XCut build-a-scene die. The dies aren't thick enough to cut icing completely, but I pressed them onto the rolled icing and then completed the cut with a knife. As well as making it quick and easy to cut the shapes, the octopus die left some nice detail as well.

  • The ship's hull die features 4 cannon holes, so I put the 4 birthday candles in there to look like cannons firing. 
  • To make the swirly sea and sky I added drops of blue food colouring to white fondant icing and part mixed it before rolling out. 
  • I don't really like regal ice, as it's too sweet, so I tried out Waitrose's fondant icing. It was much less sweet, so I'll be using this from now on.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Layout 12: August Scrapbook Challenge "And Relax"

The theme I set for the August scrapbooking challenge on do crafts' Craft Talk forum was "And Relax" and I had planned to tackle it in the middle of the month, when my oldest friend came to visit. She's a long time card maker, and this theme was going to be her introduction to scrapbooking. In the end we were too busy catching up to do any crafting, but I had managed some planning.

As it was my friend's first page, I picked a very simple sketch to follow, again from Pagemaps:

I chose a picture of our newest dog asleep just a couple of days after we collected him from the very excellent Heathlands Animal Sanctuary, as it makes me think of him relaxing not just after a walk, but also after the turmoil of abandonment, months in kennels, and his trip here from Ireland. While working on the layout, I decided to make it a double page, so I could include a picture of our other dog (also from Heathlands Animal Sanctuary) too. I'd love to know what you think.

What I used:
Papers: DCWV 8x8 Scrapbook kit in a stack "Dog", DCWV The Christmas Cardstock 12x12 Stack
Embellishments: DCWV 8x8 Scrapbook kit in a stack "Dog"
Tools: Sharpies permanent pens, Papermania Portobello Road urban stamps (numbers), Studio g mini alphabet stamps, Ancient Page ink "chocolate", XCut nesting dies "scalloped heart".

Crafting notes:
  • The main paper that I chose is quite low contrast, with the doggy activity words printed with thin lines. That suggested doggy dreams to me.
  • I used a scalloped heart die to cut the heart on the right page, then trimmed off the scallops with scissors.
  • My handwriting is naturally very small, and my husband suggested that I try writing my journalling larger. I struggled with this, only achieving it by using a thicker pen. My Promarkers bled too much, but I was tempted by a special offer on Sharpies and these worked much better for me. I'm not sure I like the big writing...

Sunday, 13 September 2015

That time of year again...

...when Bob and his friends all have their birthdays. The whizzing of the years is always tinged with a little sadness, but this year it's especially so, as they're turning 4, so it's their last birthdays as pre-schoolers. Bob went to a birthday party today for a friend from tots club, and as I watched the children play I realised that it would probably be the last time we'd see most of them. The slightly older ones have started school, and the slightly younger ones will be going into full time pre-school, either way they've left tots club behind, and we're unlikely to bump into them at soft play any more. It's such a shame, as it's only been the last 6-12 months that they've really been old enough to play properly together.

Anyway, enough morose talk, here are the cards I made for this week's birthdays, both lots of fun to make, and Bob helped with the pirate ship - he loves turning the handle on the Big Shot :-) I hope you like them!

What I used:
Pirate Ship
Papers: card scraps
Tools: XCut Build-a-scene dies "Nautical", McGill hand-held two hole punch, blending chalks, Papermania white gel pen
Embellishments: Goldlabel holographic birthday peel-off
Papers: Holographic card, adhesive holographic papers
Tools: Sizzix Framelits with stamps "Balloons & Cupcakes", Whispers brush marker pens
Image: printable colouring page found on Pinterest
Embellishments: Goldlabel holographic birthday and number peel offs

Crafting notes:

  • The pirate ship and the sea are made entirely from offcuts and scraps
  • I didn't have a card blank the right colour blue, so I coloured the edge of a white card blank with the same pen I used for Spiderman.
  • The Spidey card has 4 balloons because, yes, I am that nerdy.
  • I used a very small two hole punch for the eye holes on the skull on the pirate ship. It was much easier to punch the holes and then die cut the skull around them than the other way around! I completed the face with a white gel pen