Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Floral Cards (5)

My last batch of floral cards to reveal. These are mostly tent cards - long and narrow. I like this card format - it's a bit unusual and versatile at the same time - you can put the card vertically and get "a tall greeting card" or place it horizontally and have a long tent card. I like to experiment with the element layout on such card blanks. 

















Some Martha Stewart edge punches and Spellbinders dies have been used to make these cards. I've also used some colour coordinated backing papers, punched branches, ribbons, glass painting outliner paste and little sticky gems. Now my home supply of spare greeting cards has finally been restocked :) as the card box has been remaining empty for months.
With the new craft goodies from the last weeks at home, I'm very keen to sit down and make some more cards. 

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Happiness continues...

It's been quite a busy fast-paced and hectic week for me. I have hardly had any time for my crafts. The after work gymming regime doesn't leave me much free time in the evenings and when I'm tired I don't I feel like staying up and creating. I'd rather go to bed and read myself to sleep :) I just have a feeling time is just flashing by! As if I was measuring time with passing weekends and weekend blog posts.
My happiness continues. Despite being tired, it's been a good week - I've got a couple of deliveries of craft goodies this week, won a fierce ebay bidding and today me and my bf went to the Cheshire countryside to participate in the annual meeting of the Society of Biology (bf belongs there)


The lecture for the gathered members was preceded by greeting with coffee / tea and followed by a tour round a local brewery (Spitting Feathers) and beer sampling...



 ... and finally followed by yummy rustic ploughman's lunch. We had an opportunity to eat some gorgeous local cheeses and chutneys. This is the very charm of the British countryside - rustic bakery, local foods, flavours and quality products.


We loved the two collie dogs - Kito and her "son" Porter which live on the farm and these two guys were playing around with each other non stop. No one could resist giving them a pat.


It was a great day! With the sun in the sky and little frolicking lambs on the hills, I feel so much happier. 

On the crafty side,  some sweet Panduro papers have finally arrived at my place, all the way from Swedish Malmo. I like Panduro products - they have that Scandinavian feel visible in the choice of colours and patterns. Their seasonal stuff is great too. Do check their website for the products and ideas.


When I saw those natural brown printed papers with the Scandi patterns - I fell in love with them this instant so I had to order them! They will make a great background for my future Christmas cards. Naturally I couldn't resist the cross stitch themed papers and stickers either. 


My another discovery - a good Polish online bookstore in the UK - www.ksiazka.co.uk - a great source of assorted Polish books. Now living in the UK doesn't have to stop me from accessing the Pl literature. I'm so glad about it. I was so chuffed I managed to find all these 3 books in one place. Been eyeing them for a while! Such a great treat to me :)




Very excited and anxious to read these books!

Still on the book frontline, I went to the WHSmith's book / stationery store in Broughton today and I was overcome by the choice of the crafty magazines that are currently on sale in Britain. What a choice! I'm losing my orientation. Seriously. In addition to those relatively new mags that have been on the market for a while but not too long like for eg. Craftseller, Mollie Makes, and Simply Homemade -  some more turned up - Homemaker, Handmade, Mollie Makes (Home edition), Making, The Crafts, The Paper... etc In recent months at least 3 or 4 news ones must have hit the shops. There is even more good news for me: a new cross stitch magazine has turned up too  - Cute Cross Stitch , Spring 2013:) Check their new facebook page for more info and blog updates. Yet another one to put into a shopping basket ;)

Well, I'll confess to you - I'm addicted to the crafty mags. I regularly buy all cross stitch mags and Mollie Makes (on subscription) and from time to time I treat myself to a card making or sewing or knitting mag. What about you? Do you buy them? Ho well do you use them for your projects? Do you collect them or pass them to somebody else? Tell me about it. I'd love to hear.

Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. Hope you all have had a good weekend. x x 

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

All the good news

Isn't it nice when all goes smoothly in our life? When each day is good in one way or the other and after all day you fall asleep with that feeling of happiness inside. The winter seems to be finally gone from the UK and it is getting warmer and it's just... nicer. I feel happier.
I've had a few good days in a row recently and it all started when...
Cross Stitcher - a very popular cross stitch magazine in Britain has unexpectedly tweeted on their website about one of my blog posts! It was about that vintage rose cross stitch key ring I stitched on wood - a freebie to their magazine.


I was very surprised to find out as my Twitter account is usually a quiet one - I don't do much tweeting these days but perhaps I should.:) How on earth they found my blog and my post, I haven't got a clue but it was a nice discovery. 

Later on during the week, some crafty goodies arrived at my door step - I'm always over the moon when a crafty parcel comes! That thrill and excitement when you open a box and you know that the goodies are with you now, safely delivered.
This time it was a long awaited delivery from Martha Stewart's online craft shop. I had to pick it up from the local post office depot. It took about three weeks to come to Britain... supposedly from the USA but as it turned out the parcel came from... a base in Switzerland. Sadly, the parcel was taxed (again!) and I think I'm quickly starting to learn the custom office rules. As it turns out, if you order a product from the USA any merchandise parcel of the value over £15 will be taxed accordingly. This means I have to be aware how much I buy at the American online shops and bear in mind not only the shipping charges but also the possibility of being taxed on my goods. Shame. When all costs add up, the price of the product is really high. No wonder Martha Stewart's punches cost a lot in Britain. An average MS punch is priced between £16-20. Quite costly considering it's only one design you get with your purchase.


Anyway, now I'm a happy owner of these 3 snowflake punches :)))) I love the designs and it looks like this Christmas I'll obsessing about the Scandinavian snowflakes. 
Even more goodies have arrived at my place. This time it's the Scandi-themed embossing folders, and the gingerbread themed dies and a punch. As you've probably noticed, it's all about Christmas! Yes, I do love Christmas crafts and buying especially Christmas craft goodies give me an immense pleasure. I'm dying to start making some new Christmas cards! Recently I've been discovering embossing and de-embossing and after watching some tutes on YouTube I decided that embossing folders can be great fun! I'll definitely have a go at inking them.


There have been some ideas budding in my head - like for example an idea of combining a real cross stitch and a stamped cross stitch on a hand-made card. I want to make some cards on which a cross stitch pattern will have a folksy rustic feel. For that reason I've been on the look out for some cross stitch themed stamps and I managed to find some sets. These two below are my newest gain that arrived last Saturday. They are Viva Decor stamps and I must admit they are quite reasonably priced - £4.50 a set. They are big sets of stamps and they stamp well on card. Sizewise, they are also the biggest cross stitch stamps I've managed to find so far. Very pleased with this buy. And I will be even more pleased when some more ordered cross stitched themed stamps have arrived from Poland. They are clever rubber cross stitch stamps designed for border and background building as well as for the central motifs and I'm sure they will decorate cards beautifully.


Apart from the cross themed stamps, I'm also obsessing about the circus font - I absolutely adore these stylized letters. I've got a cross stitch circus letter garland project started which needs finishing and now I can transfer my fascination with this theme onto the cards using this lovely circus font stamp alphabet  from Indigo Blu. Very excited about it!


Another good news - there have been some off-cuts of hessian canvas kicking around at my workplace. I thought it would be a nice material for trying the cross stitch on. To my delight, I was allowed to help myself to a piece. I brought it home and started trying out straightaway. 


I started with stitching a little swatch for different sizes of cross stitch and in general just to see what it would look like. I have stitched some crosses both over two strands and over one strand. The tiny cross stitches
over 1 strand are really fiddly and minuscule but they give denser coverage. I think I will use both methods depending on the size of a design.


Personally, I think the stitches look good. Well worth trying out. The hessian is rough and coarse in its feel and also it's got a natural colour - perfect for my planned rustic cross stitched cards!

Finally the last piece of good news: a lovely spring table runner arrived last Saturday from Germany. Claudia, of NuNu´s Garn-und Stofflabor blog is a lovely talented sewing and knitting lady. I really like her sewn works and I asked if she could sew me a table runner with some cheery spring tulips just like the one of those she makes for sale and she agreed to take this commission :)
When I had opened the box it turned out that the package included not only the table runner itself but also some lovely goodies- a card and a sewn pouch (a tissue holder I guess, right?) What a great surprise!
So kind of you Claudia, Thank you!!!! 



 Claudia marks her products with a cute label :)


The table runner is 130 cm long - here is what it looks like when folded in 3 parts. Sorry, this is the only way I could fit it in my camera lens :) I'll try taking a photo when it's laid on the table, just need more sunlight inside the room.


And the little pouch Claudia presented me with.


Beautiful makes Claudia. Danke schon noch mal! x x x

It's World Book Day today - I promised myself a short reading session with kindle in bed so I'm taking off then for a relaxing finish of the day.
Take care and thank you for your comments and visits. x x x

Martha

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Floral Cards (4)

Hi all.
Just a quick blog update. Here are some more of my recent hand-made floral cards for various occasions















Lovely sunny weekend over here in the UK - soooo pleased this winter is gone!
Hope you're having a good relaxing time.