Sunday, 29 September 2013

(Early) Christmas Cards 2013 (9) & A new furry addition to the household :)

What a week and what a weekend! Each day of this week brought something new and  each was busy for me one way or the other. The weekend is just passing by. I really don't know where this time is flying. Day after day and night after night and we are already at the end of September. To be honest, I haven't done much this week - just a few cards in the evenings to add to the overall Christmas card collection So I'm showing you the two new ones :) This time a little more traditional take on Christmas cards with lots of green accents. I missed some green shades after such a long time making red and white Scandinavian ones. 

I absolutely love that lacey die cut Christmas tree (Cheery Lynn dies) and the red heat-embossed reindeer from A Muse Studio stamp set. The poinsettia on vine punched border is Martha Stewart's punch.

Little details - tags, strings, borders, charms is what I've always liked :) I'm still in love with bakers twines too. I keep seeing a lot of them on eBay and in craft shops. They add a lot to the festive charm.

And another go at Christmas greens but this time with a bit of yellow too :) The image is comes from a Noolibird stamp I bought last year and this cute folky bird in a festive wreath has always been one of my favourites in my stamp collection. 

This year another punch joined up my collection - a Woodware punch - Large Holly Leaf - how did I do without it before? I find it so useful and I just love the shapely holly leaves it punches. I feel tempted to use it on each of my cards! 

And finally, last, but not least - meet Cookie - our new addition to the household :-)))) We got her yesterday from a woman who apparently saved her life from an outdoor fire. She's full of beans and she's just trying to settle down. She's about 10 weeks old.

I just melted when I saw her photo on facebook. The white whiskers and the "milky" moustache simply captured my heart.

She's so little and so everywhere! I haven't had a little kitten at home for ages! I'm getting used to it again.

She's so sweet and she loves a lot of TLC. She is not liking our old cat Stinky though. She's very distrustful towards him and giving him lots of hissing and growling at the moment. I hope they will make friends in the end because Stinky is a real can't-be-bothered docile cat.

Linking Hand-made Monday no. 136 tonight. I'm really curious what other crafters have been up to.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

The Prairie Schooler: Nordic Holiday 3 / 9

Time to reveal some of my WIP. Another part of my The Prairie Schooler Nordic Holiday cross stitch has been finished - the two turtle doves :) Please forgive me a little untidy look of the cross stitch - the wrinkled fabric and the presence of masking tape. I'm gonna sort these stitches out when I have finished them all. 

Now all three stitches look like:

And the fourth one is coming its way :)

I haven't had much time to sit down and cross stitch for the past few days. This week has been somewhat tiring for me. Perhaps I'll be able to catch up with my xxx over the weekend :)
Need my pillow now :) so I'm off to bed. Have a good evening! x 

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Kraft cardstock

Just a quick update on what I've been up to. 
Have I ever mentioned before that I'm in love with natural brown (recycled) kraft cardstock? :) I so well am! 'Twas time to top up my cardstock resources :))) My new order off eBay:

I ordered two new card formats this time - narrow tall cards and large size cards. Very happy with these card blanks :)

Most of my Christmas cards this year will have a natural brown card base. It just seems perfect for vintage and Scandi-themed cards. It blends well with various colours and it's got that rustic and hand-made feel too. Ideal for tags as well.  

But the discovery of the month for me has been this paper!

I sooo much love it!!! It was a must-have for me. I love everything about it - the colour, the patterns, the texture, the thickness, even... the smell :) I've been looking for papers of this style for a long time and now Lili of the Valley shop sells them. Gonna cut some them up tonight for some new cards! :) Noticed my new lovely small set of "stitchy" stamps? :) A little treasure in my stamp collection. 
Back to my crafting now. Have a good evening and thank you for your visits x x x

Saturday, 21 September 2013

(Early) Christmas Cards 2013 (8): Cards with washi tapes

Yay! Weekend finally! This weekend I won't be doing much, I guess. Just a bit of knitting and cross stitching. Perhaps I'll find some time to sit down to make some more cards. In the meatime I'm going to show you  some cards I used the washi tapes on. Washi tape is a relatively new product on the market. It's a type of a low-tack masking tape but as opposed to the traditional boring masking tape, washi tape is patterned and decorative and it can be used in scrap booking or applied to various surfaces like glass or plastic. I have a few of these tapes at home and thought they may look good on some Christmas Nordic cards ;) So here are my attempts at including the washi tapes in my cards :)

Mine are naturally (surprise! surprise!) Nordic-themed :) They are a bit translucent and your can layer them to get some overlapping shades :) For this card I used Himalayan Snowflake from Martha Stewart, stamps from Scandinavian Christmas set, also from Martha S. and the Norwegian star stamp comes from :)

Moving away from reindeer to ... Scandinavian wreath hearts :) This lovely heart stamp is from Noolibird and it has been one of my favourites since the beginning. I wanted to create a red and white card with some green accents :) 

And finally a festive card with a mixture of red, white and turquoise. This time three snowflakes have been stamped and heat-embossed with some scalloped layers and washi tape. The snowflakes are a Noolibird brand again. I love how they come in various shapes. The Merry Christmas stamp is from Scandinavian Christmas stamp set from Martha Stewart (as mentioned above). The red paper is Scandinavian Christmas from Marianne Designs, the polka dot paper comes from the last year Hobby Craft Christmas paper set. 

And what about you? What are you up to this weekend?

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Handmade Scandinavian Christmas - book review

Hi all. This week seems to be whizzing past for me and that's good as I'm really looking forward to the chilling weekend after all the work stresses and frustrations. Hopefully the weather will be nice but even if it rains, I can stay in and do some knitting or cross stitching in the comfort of my own home :) 
I'm still working on my Christmas cards, thinking of the card sale more and more and trying to cross stitch and knit a bit in the evenings too. Oh!...and I'm reading too! In other words, I'm doing everything! 
Today I'm going to blog about one of my recent new book purchases - Handmade Scandinavian Christmas by Hege Barnholt. The book has already hit the online bookstores (I got mine from The Book Depository) Those of you interested in Scandi-themes may find this book very appealing. It's a hardcover edition, David and Charles publisher, 158 pages with templates included. Lots of lovely photographs and ideas how to make your Christmas Scandinavian.

I thought you may like to have a peek inside:
Above all,  this book encourages you to use the natural treasures to make decorations for your home. So prepare yourself for a trip to a forest or park for some cones, berries, leaves, branches, wood sticks, tree bark, moss, pieces of wood, stones etc

Simplicity of the decorations is very distinct here... Scandinavians always like it bright and clean. 

Knitted/ crocheted items are a must in the Scandinavian style! (I just LOVE them!)

There is also something for those who love cards, tags and gift wraps :))

And also something for kids... a baking/crafting section

and there's also a cooking section for foodies :)

All the above photos are just a foretaste of what is waiting for you in this book. You will find in it many more tempting projects, do believe me. Do I like it? Of course! I LOVE it! This books made me want to go on a trip to woods for some forest treasures ;)
Have a good night and thanks for your feedback x x x

Sunday, 15 September 2013

(Early) Christmas Cards 2013 (7): Nordic Blue (2). The Gold Mold Cape.

Hi. In this windy and rainy weather we've had for the past few days I've been feeling inclined to stay with a book and blanket on the sofa rather than to venture somewhere outside. Looks like the season for cold rainy and windy days is just round the corner. 
Craftwise, I'm still working on my Christmas cards and I've been thinking of having a go at selling them at my workplace this year. Just out of curiosity and for fun. I even bought the protecting cello bags for my cards yesterday. I've never sold my cards before as I tend to be rather pessimistic about the card sales considering the fact how many people can make their own cards these days and how many of them still prefer to buy a pack of 10 for £1 and which end up in a recycling bin after the festive days. So all the excess of my Christmas cards will go on sale at work. I really wonder how much interest they will receive :) 
But in the meantime here are some more cards in the frosty blue shades but this time with the mixture of natural brown kraft cardstock :) I love to use this natural brown card - it combines well with lots of colours and it is a nice change from a traditional white card. 
The card below was made using a card sketch I found on the internet. I think it was the one from the Mojo Monday blog where there's a great choice of card sketches to choose from.

Beneath, a simple card with a stamped and heat-embossed Snow Bird - a stamp from Noolibird.

The two cards together :)

And my first attempt at embellishing a gate fold card. The snowflakes have been punched with Martha Stewart punches and the reindeer stamp comes from Noolibird again. 

This type of card kind of reminds me of ... a cupboard so I embellished "the doors" too :)

I kind of like how it opens and closed and stands on it own :) More cards coming soon!

*  *  *

Saturday was luckily a nice sunny day here in North Wales so me and my bf grabbed an opportunity and went out to Wrexham County Borough Museum to see the Gold Mold Cape - we just made it on the last day of exhibition as the Mold Cape is back to its house now - The British Museum in London. For those who don't know it, it's a piece of ceremonial outfit that was unexpectedly discovered buried in a stony grave found in one of the Welsh fields and it comes from the Early Bronze Age, being about 3000 years old! What amazing craftmanship!
The cape was well displayed and I was very pleased how the photos came out :)

The cape must have received lots of interest from the public as there were crowds at the museum, even on the last day of exhibition. Below, this is how the archeologists imagine the cape was used during the ceremonies - completed by a necklace which agrees nicely with the upper line of the cape. It's assumed it once belonged to a woman of a high status. No skeleton parts survived in the grave unfortunately. Apparently some other capes existed too as some extra bits of gold leaf were found in the soil too. 

Below, a contemporary attempt at creating a tool that would reproduce the embossed pattern on the cape. Surely the bronze age people couldn't have one like this! ;) It must have been done by hand somehow.

I really enjoyed this short museum trip. You just don't get to see such things everyday. So fascinating!

Linking up to Hand-made Monday tonight :)