Saturday, 29 June 2013

Royal splendor. 100th Anniversary Birthday Card.

My bf's nan, called by us Mom-mom, is 100 years old today! What an astounding age! What a fabulous anniversary to celebrate! I felt  truly honoured to be able to participate in this family event. For the 1st time in my life I was to make a card for a 100th birthday I knew it would have to be a special one. It was also an opportunity of a lifetime which might never repeat itself. I was very excited about this project. Bf's nan is English so I thought the Union Jack theme (I love it!) would fit in here well as well as some regal features. At the end of day, she has been the Queen today and deserved some extra special treatment.  :) 
Here's the card I made yesterday. It's all about being coordinated in theme and style. Notice the navy backing paper with the crown pattern on it to agree with the crown charm and royal theme in general. The white lacy hearts from Martha Stewart punch co-ordinate with the red-white stripes of Panduro paper. 

This card required a great deal of cutting, measuring and trimming. Never thought constructing a Union Jack flag could be so complicated ha ha! It was my first one! Now I feel inspired to create some more cards!

Inside, I placed a jokey picture with Mom-mom being a queen :) She giggled when she saw that. I used A Muse Studio stamps for the heat-embossed crown and wording. 

More on the royal frontline, as it is the custom in the UK, Mom-mom has received today a birthday telegram from the Queen herself. I participated in the letter delivery (special mail service) and opening all the letters from the gov people. Very exciting to be able to see the congratulating post from Buckingham Palace. 

It's not the first telegram from the Queen Mom-mom has received. A while back ago she and Pop-pop received their 1st telegram from Buckingham Palace congratulation on their 70th wedding anniversary. 
Anyway, it was a great day full of guests, visits, flowers and photos. I will treasure it in my memory and so will Mom-mom.

Tonight I'd love to share this post with other crafters from the blog hop at Hand-made Harbour. Do join in :)

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Cross Stitch Buddies and a Stamped Cross Stitch Card

Life and job can be sometimes hard and frustrating for some of us and we all need a moment of sweetneness in our lives to keep us going. Therefore not long ago, as I was shopping online, I came across some nice mugs with a cross stitch design on them and I thought it would be a good idea to get one for myself and my cross stitching colleague Andrea just to make her smile and have something to treasure :) Cross stitch pattern, real or printed has been very trendy recently and the mugs will make a nice gadget for a cross stitcher :) Don't we all appreciate those precious crafting moments with a cuppa next to our side, be it tea, coffee or hot chocolate.

So I got these:

...and this one extra ;) Coz I'm feeling crafty all the time ;) I also like the red white and black cartoony characters on it.

For my colleague I got a personalized one with her name! Was so chuffed to be able to find one! And found one with my name too! :) Bliss.

Now, we are cross stitching Buddies :)

I also made her a little card with cross stitch motifs to complete the gift :) The border cross stitch heart is a lovely stamp from Noolibird and the big cross stitch heart heat-embossed in white comes from a stamp set from Viva Decor. The cute band-aid stamp is a retired A Muse Studio stamp and so is the mug stamp inside the card. 

I really enjoyed making this gift :) It was well received. I'm happy.
Have a good evening everyone. x x

Sunday, 23 June 2013

(Early) Christmas Cards 2013 (1)

Yes, I'm one of those crafters who follow the voice of their heart when it comes down to crafting. Basically I hate deadlines and I like to create whatever takes my fancy. As long as I enjoy it, it's great. Out of season crafting is perfectly normal for me - stitching Christmas cross stitch cards in the middle of July is fine for me. Knitting Christmas balls around Easter is ok too and so is making Easter stuff right after the New Year :) And since I enjoy making Christmas stuff a lot, so today, well... it's time to show my first Christmas cards this year. I've made 7 so far and showing the first 4 :)

With so many new craft toys for Christmas at home like stamps, punches and dies, I just couldn't simply wait any longer and had to have a go at them. :) As every year, I plan to make over 20 Christmas cards to send out to family and friends. This year my beloved Scandi-theme continues as usual with an added feel of knitted coziness in a form of backing papers and stamps featuring the trendy knitted pattern. Doily and cross stitch motifs are so in these days and they will be showing up in my cards as well. Naturally,  there will be lots of red, white, cream, green and brown :)

Below, the Himalayan Snowflake punch from Martha Stewart in action :)

The backing papers I used for all these cards are Marianne's Designs, series:  Eline's Warm Winter Wishes. I blogged about them earlier on - click! The heat embossed snowflake stamp comes from this A Muse Studio stamp set - click! 

Inking and embossing together - another great way to show off your stashed embossing folders

More Christmas cards coming soon! :)
Linking up and joining a blog hop tonight at Hand-made Monday!

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Double Dutch

Yesterday I made two Dutch-style cards for a card challenge on one of the Polish blogs. I had two go's at it.
The first card has got 3 embossed tulips - the most well known floral symbol of Holland in red and blue. There was a restriction on how many colours you could use - the colours of the Dutch flag: red, white and blue and you could also use black but I didn't in the end. The backing paper from Papermania is supposed to remind you of the famous Dutch porecelain from Delft :)

I wasn't entirely happy how this card turned out so I made another one.. :) Again, a stamped and heat-embossed folky image, which in my opinion, is very Dutchy in style. Plus the punched tulips and tulips heads as embellishment. :) I was much happier with this card :)

And 2 cards, side by side:

The cards don't have any wording on them - that's on purpose. I wanted them to be just greeting cards for any occasion, really, e.g. to say thank-you or say "sorry" or simply just to communicate anything you want. 

Thank you for stopping by and sharing your love :) Much appreciated and I love hearing from you and meeting you. Have a good evening! x x

Monday, 17 June 2013

Unexpected cardstock bargains

Lots of things make us happy. Sometimes they are big, sometimes they are just trivial. One of the little things that made me really happy yesterday while we were shopping for all sorts of stuff was this unexpected buy: two reams of gorgeous (American as it turned out) textured cardstock at a price of £9.99 per box. 

Why am I blogging about it? Well, I've been on a hunt for a good quality cardstock for a while, and especially for a textured one! And bang! Here it is! On a shop shelf, right in front of me! Could I resist? Of course, not!
I found it at HomeSense store, which is a bit like TkMaxx , it sells the end of line products at discounted prices. The thing is: If they are gone, they are gone. So it's either take it or leave it. 

I really like using a quality heavyweight cardstock for my cards. It adds a lot to a card and the quality of the paper always shows if you decide not to scrimp on your cardstock. A thin floppy paper is never like a proper solid cardstock. The texure of this paper is an extra wow factor which I've always loved in cards.

Each of the reams has 60 loose sheets, each 30 cm x 30 cm. Big format and beautiful colours. I bought PRIMARIES and EARTH TONES :) I'm really pleased with this purchase.

This American Craft (AC) cardstock is bit like Core'dinations cardstock - thick and textured but it doesn't have that hidden underlying extra layer of colour which you reveal by sanding the top. It's just a cardstock in its basic form and you don't have to pay for that extra distress / antigue feature. Perfect for layering, punching, embossing and die cutting.
I love both actually. I've got a big pack of Core'dinations stashed away - The Chocolate Box in which under each colour there's a chocolatey layer of paper to reveal. I do scrimp on this one though! :) Just too nice to use it up too quickly! :))))
*  *  *
My plans for tonight?

Have a good evening everyone. x x x

Sunday, 16 June 2013

The weekend has been gooood

Yes, the weekend has been good. Busy but full of lovely activities and I enjoyed every single minute of it. On Saturday we ventured out in the morning for some shopping including my visit to a very nice craft shop - The Purple Butterfly shop in Daleside Garden Centre. I'm like a kid in a candy shop there and shouldn't be really let in there with my bank card. I always leave with a carrier bag full of goodies. 
Then we were doing this...

We have had three reasons to celebrate - bf's stepmum's birthday from last Thursday, today's Father's Day and the oncoming BIG Birthday of bf's nan (just a brief intro to what's gonna happen in 2 weeks time!) We were lucky with the weather and managed to fit in with our bbq cooking between the fleeting showers. There was food galore and it was so nice to be together and share the meal.
Sunday was more shopping and driving around here and there. Again some more crafty shopping with some card stock bargain at HomeSense in Broughton. I haven't managed to do much crafting in the end (apart from putting a few cross stitches on my little project) over those two busy days but here is what I've been working on for the past few days: crochet flowers! 

Another episode of my crochet self-teaching. I dug out the archival issue of Mollie makes and started working on my first crochet flowers learning to follow and interpret the crocheting instructions. 

Currently working on a layered crochet flower...

Ready flowers went into a glassy storage jar :)

Crocheted flower progress - from the most wonky one to the more improved ones...Still plenty to learn and practise.

I think I'll practise crocheting those flowers a little more next week and then go back to learning the remaining two basic crochet stitches - double treble and triple treble so it will be back to making crochet swatches again :)

On Saturday morning a nice surprise happened to me - Margaret, a friend from facebook kindly offered to buy me this gorgeous Christmas quaker at an online shop in Canada. I received it as a gift and the custom gods spared me paying a tax on it too! So happy! THANK YOU SO MUCH Margaret! x x x
It's a big project but it's full of lovely motifs and surely won't be boring to stitch! I also love the Olde Worldie wording on it. I'm hoping to get started on it this year, before Christmas when I'm done with my Nordic stocking first. It's going to be my first quaker to stitch.

Erika's Knight's book inspired me to reach out for some Earthy natural colours so on Saturday I got myself a few cotton yarns to practise my crochet. 

Finally, something that made me wonder. Not long ago I was a little shocked to find out that this simple 19cm x 19 cm card from WHSmiths with a few coloured letters and literally only 4 embellished 3d foam mounted letters costs as much as £4.99. Just a reflection: if an average card like this costs that much, how much should crafters charge for theirs then?   Unique lovely hand-made cards when plenty of time and effort is spent on cutting, trimming, stamping, embossing and embellishing? £6? £7 to make it fair? And who is going to buy them at this price? Another of those dilemmas: hand-made or mass-made? What do you think? I'd love to hear from you about it.

Some of you during the last Hand-made Monday asked me to post the photos of the finished crochet bowl I blogged about before. Well, I've finished it and you will find it - here. 

Linking up to Hand-made Monday tonight to do some blog hopping and see what others have been up to this week. Thanks for popping by and leaving a comment. Have a good week all! x x

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Crocheted bowl

I have finished my little crochet bowl :) yay! It took me only 2 crocheting sessions to complete it and it turned out to very easy :) For someone who crochets table runners, bags and jumpers on a daily basis it's nothing big, just a very basic crochet bowl, for me - it's my first ever crochet project that has been made and finished entirely by myself. So the first step into the crochet world has been taken. I'm in.

The project comes from a book "My first crochet book" for crafty children. No harm in starting with simple crochet projects for kids, is there?
The bowl can be turned out with its rim folding out to the outside...

...or with the rims folding in to the inside... It's just a little thing for storing some jewellery, coins, buttons or shells on your shelf. 

I gave this bowl to my male colleague at work. He says he likes such cosy crocheted makes. Now, I've moved onto another project to practise my crochet skills - I'm working on a storage jar cosy - simple but colourful and striking. I'm also trying my hand at crocheting little cute flowers.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

3 cards

Between one crochet project and the other, I decided to take a short break and show you my recent three cards :)

Gorgeous Polish folky papers from GoScrap and butterfly stamps from Ambrosia Bitsy by Basic Grey. I wanted something really cheery and vibrant with colours on this card.

A highly contrastive card with a folky feel ) Martha Stewart's punches - Garden Gate and the Floral Heart punch. 

And finally my first attempt to make a card with a Dala horse. I used a Panduro stamp and coloured the outlines with Promarkers. Didn't have any idea what to do with the flower though! Tried all the arrangements possible and wasn't fully happy with any of them. The flower ended up being glued in eccentric circles. 

Mega-tired today. Off to my bed. Will do some blog visiting tomorrow. Thanks for popping by and leaving a trace behind :) x x x