About Me

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Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom
I have been crafting since May 2008, when in desperation to find an unusual birthday card for my Mum, I gave up looking in the shops and decided to have a go at making my own. I soon realised that crafting is addictive and I haven't brought a card since. In 2011 I completed my certificate in papercrafting as a result of the work I did as part of the course I started entering challenges on line and in magazines. I applied for design teams and also started making samples for Ooh La La Creations for their shows on Create and Craft. I have now completed my Diploma in professional crafting and most recently been runner up in the Papercrafter of the Year 2013 a competition run by Papercraft essentials magazine, I don't have a particular style I like to use elements from lots of styles and techniques, although I do love all things vintage. In 2014 I started to move more towards scrapbooking to take care of the huge family archive of photographs that were stored in my attic. I have continued cardmaking and Scrapbooking through 2015 and 2016 but have also become interested in off the page projects. I hope to be able focus on these in the future.

Monday, 25 July 2011

My first one

Having been an avid card maker for over two years I decided to enrol with the Craft Qualification Centre to complete a certificate in paper craft, the qualification consists of two compulsory modules and two further modules from a choice of four different areas. I decided to undertake the card making module and the scrap booking module. I haven't done any scrap booking before unless you count the couple of hundred cuttings books full of newspaper and magazine cuttings relating to The Beatles that cover a period from the early sixties to date, which aren't really what most crafters mean when they refer to scrap booking.

I have recently completed the first module and thanks to a fellow student on the course who did warn me scrap booking can become addictive I was pointed in the direction of some scrapping blogs via her own blog.

I had a look for challenges out there and found one at http://thepapervariety.blogspot.com/ that I thought I could have a go at without too much difficulty. The challenge for this week was to use a grid pattern and /or all the colours of the rainbow.

In 2008 a friend and I attended the Chelsea Flower Show to see 'The Garden For Life' a tribute garden to the life of George Harrison designed by his widow Olivia and long time friend of the Harrison Family Yvonne Innes. The brief was to represent George's life in the design of the garden. A wonderful mosaic rainbow path wound through planting that covered everything from his helping his dad look after the veg patch on the allotment when he was a child in Liverpool through the colour explosion, and chaos that was the 1960s to the calmer greens and whites of his spiritual nature in later life. When we saw the garden we were so impressed that the brief had been captured perfectly and were delighted when on the afternoon of our visit we were able to speak to both designers about the design and the reason the plants had been chosen. It was a very special day and I took almost two hundred photographs of the garden that I have on a CD.

When I read the challenge at paper variety those pictures immediately sprang to mind, in themselves they contained every colour of the rainbow so I set to work editing the photos to provide different sizes for my grid layout.



 I chose plain black card from Papermania as a base to show off the photos and used some rainbow A4 paper from a local stationers to print the text on. The title was created from Papermania peal off letters from the Cranberry and Apple capsule collection and the sunshine capsule collection.

The strip of rainbow paper across the bottom of the design is a quote from one of George's songs and this quote was etched into the white marble that formed the side of the water rill in the garden.



I used some Papermania glitter strips and double sided tape to form the two rainbow strips, and used a paper flower and mesh butterfly out of my stash to add interest. Finally I added a foam sun shape with Here Comes The Sun written on it to mimic the gorgeous glass sculpture that was the centre piece of the garden.

Please feel free to leave feedback as I said I have never done a scrap book layout before and am eager to learn and improve, as my fellow student said it's addictive.

 I have already started planning the next layout which depicts the other woman in the life of my husband - she's a bit old now being born in 1938 but she still has all her own chrome work and is fully road worthy. Yes you may have guessed, she is his historic car, her name is Guilia and she will be featuring in a blog post soon.

Monday, 18 July 2011

To the beat of a different drum.

Having been concentrating on the distressed vintage and rather feminine looks recently, I was asked to design a card by a friend to give to a friend of hers who is a professional musician. I happen to know that he is a drummer and played with a rather well known band in the 70's so I had a flip through the Making Cards Men's special edition and found the image of a drum kit. I wanted strong masculine colours on the card so went with the pewter mirror card which I put through an embossing folder to get the musical score. I then used red and blue and matted and layered onto a black base card.

I also found an image of a record in the magazine and used this to form the centre of the happy birthday sentiment which is a peel off which I stuck to black card and added the record centre and then coated it in glossy accents to give the shiny finish.

The musical notes and treble cleft were from a selection of buttons which I stuck to silver die cut discs using glue gel before adding them to the card.

The border at the top was made by running the blue pearlised paper through my sizzix to get the borders and then overlapping them and sticking the strip of music across the centre to hide the join.

The logo on the drums was to make the card really personal to the recipient and was made by photographing one of my album covers and yes I do mean album cover rather than CD.

Whilst I usually struggle with men's cards despite having several to make every year my husband has three brothers for a start, I actually found this one almost designed itself. It also took me just over an hour to make from the initial idea to finished card.

All that remains is to post it to my friend so she has in time for the recipients birthday in late August.


I have entered this card into the birthday challenge at http://pennyschallenges.blogspot.com/

Saturday, 16 July 2011

I never knew being distressed could be so much fun.

Firstly a big thank you to everyone who commented on my last two posts. I have only recently started using distressing techniques on my cards, and your lovely comments have given me confidence to use the techniques on a card I have been asked to make by a friend. I would normally have a brief for cards that I make to order but in this instance I was given a free reign, it just needed to be pretty and feminine. So here is what I came up with.


I started with the large butterfly as my focus for the design, it is one of the Papermainia felt butterflies and when working on a previous project I had drawn along the felt with stickles glitter glue. I liked the effect so much that I did this with several of the butterflies in the pack so this one was ready prepared. It does call for a  very steady hand and they take about twenty four hours to fully dry if anyone decides to give a go.

I used a cotton wool pad to colour the doily from the Wild Orchid range with ink from the Tim Holtz Distress range, I chose antique linen as I didn't want the doily to be too dark I just wanted to remove the stark whiteness. The butterfly was then stuck centrally on the doily using pinflair gel glue and left to one side to dry.



I then made a start on the background for the design, using papermania colour capsule papers from a collection I brought in my local craft shop I chose the double sided pink paper and chose to use the reverse as this had a lovely subtle marbled effect. having torn the edges, I used 'tattered rose' and 'antique linen' distress inks to get the effect I wanted. I tore a strip of velum with a silver script design, and an off cut of turquoise card with a foiled motif which was left from a previous project and again the edged were inked with 'antique linen'.

The tags were from the lovely '5th Avenue' range by Melissa Frances which I treated myself  to this week, and again they were aged using the 'antique linen'. The lace, ribbon, self adhesive pearls and peel off were from my stash, and the roses and leaves are from Wild Orchid. To make the roses look older I gently squeezed the petals together and rubbed the edges of the petals with 'tattered rose' ink.

Whilst I was waiting for all the ink to dry so it wouldn't smudge everywhere, mainly all over me, I sat doodling some butterflies on some scraps of parchment my intention being to just drop them in my embellishment box when I had finished for use on future projects. However one butterfly made a bid for freedom and escaped the embellishment box. I found it lying on my craft table as I was putting this design together so I decided to use it.

Once all the papers were dried I layered the silver script paper over the pink paper and wrapped the lace and cream ribbon around one edge, before sticking the resulting panel to the base card. I then added the turquoise layer and the doily backed butterfly.

A greeting was added to the smaller of the two tags and this was then set at an angle on top of the larger tag. I filled the space at the bottom of the larger of the tag by creating two swirls from a strip of self adhesive pink pearls. and used glue gel to stick the tag in the corner of the card. I tied a bow in the pale blue organza ribbon   using a bow maker but it looked lost, to thicken the bow up a little I used a double length of ribbon and retied it. once I had teased it out a bit I stuck it to the top of the tags to cover the holes.


The finishing touches were to add the pearl swirls to the main card and the flowers. I am quite pleased with the result. However I don't want to just keep using the same technique so I am off to have a think about a design for a man's card now.

I have entered this card into the following challenges....
 http://pennyschallenges.blogspot.com  birthday
http://trimmiescraftchallenge.blogspot.com butterflies
http://craftycatzweeklychallenge.blogspot.com tags
http://paperplaychallenges.blogspot.com things with wings

Monday, 11 July 2011

Christmas in July how distressing

I don't normally even think about Christmas until the end of October - well I didn't until I started card making two years ago, now come July the Christmas bits come out of storage the glitter the glitz the bling.

It's my birthday this week and my lovely dad told me last week that he had transferred some cash into my bank account and that I was to withdraw it and treat myself, so Sunday morning saw me browsing the aisles at the craft shop that recently opened at a local garden centre. I closed my ears to the protracted sighs of my hubby who couldn't understand why I stood for a good twenty minutes staring at all the lovely Tim Holtz Distress inks without moving. Well it was simple I couldn't afford to buy them all so I was making a carefully considered choice as to which I buy now because I can't live without those in my stash and which can wait until a later date. I finally let my head rule my heart and picked the ones I felt would be the most versatile and useful to me over the next few weeks. 

As I have recently got into distressed effects and shabby chic I decided that 'tea dye' and 'antique linen' were just what I was looking for mind you 'tumbled glass' and 'concorde' also slipped into my basket when my heart staged a rebellion against my head.

I also picked up a new 'Marriane' dye to cut some flourishes and a lovely stamp of  a music score, having several friends who are either musicians or heavily into music it was a done deal as soon as I saw it, just for something different to the embossing folder that I already use for a number of my cards. 

A few greetings die cuts and a pack of card for stamping and we were soon on our way home, just in time to settle down to watch the Formula One. 

Well of course being like a child with a new toy I had to create something immediately and came up with this card 



Lots of paper tearing and inking involved. The afore mentioned music score embossing folder was pressed into service (excuse the pun) using a piece of parchment paper from Crafter's Companion I inked the inside of the folder using a copper ink pad before I ran it through my sizzix and then added to the aged effect by inking the surface with the 'tea dye' ink pad. I found some creamy pearlised paper in my stash and along with a piece of vellum with a gold script design, and a Papermainia paper from a Christmas pad I bought when I first started making cards and had left over from a batch of Christmas cards I made for work, I set to systematically tearing inking and generally distressing the papers. A lovely lacy doily from Wild Orchid was inked with 'antique linen' and then the whole medley of papers were layered up. 

The topper is pyrimage from dovecraft and has a lovely sheen to it, the colours fitted perfect with the soft creams and golds I had chosen to work with. The greeting was a left over from last years Christmas Cards.

I was initially a bit stuck for the flower embellishment, I only have roses gardenias and poppies from the wild orchid range and whilst the roses fitted the bill the other types of flowers didn't. Not being one to give up easily I went into the garden and removed the head from one of my Christmas Roses - I leave the heads on until all the seeds have scattered so I quite a collection of different hellebores now. Having removed the head I carefully took it apart and using the petals as templates drew them onto parchment paper and then worked this with a large ball tool to get the right curvature before assembling my Christmas rose and adding the stamens. I am quite pleased with the results but it was incredibly time consuming and my next order with Wild Orchid will include some of their hellebores. The flower spray was finished with two flourishes cut using the Marianne die and the greeting then had a bow added and was tucked in the spray at an angle before the whole thing was stuck to the bottom of the topper panel.


I really enjoyed playing with my new craft stash and I will be trying the music stamp out tonight as I have received an order for a card for a drummer for his birthday - I might even get to use the 'tumbled glass' and concord ink pads on that off to make a start now.

I am entering this card into the following challenges.
http://craftuscrazy.blogspot.com/     Christmas in July and/or distressed vintage
http://lilredwagon.blogspot.com/  Christmas in July 

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Sunshades

Well it seems that someone listened to my complaints about the weather yesterday and today has been gorgeous which meant I could get some more chipboard shapes painted, seeing as how I am banished to the garden to do these. Anyway they are for my next project.

I have just finished an entry for http://pennyschallenges.blogspot.com/ The challenge this week to make a birthday card. As the title of this blog post suggests I went for sunny shades of yellow and orange, using papers from the Papermania colour capsule collection range. I wanted to try something a little different this week so decided to give paper piecing a go.

I decided to make use of a pretty ballerina stamp I got as a cover gift some time ago with one of the many card magazines I buy, I stamped the image once onto card that I had coloured with a promarker (vanilla) as I didn't want the image on a stark white background. I then stamped the same image twice onto a creamy pearlised paper I picked up in the offers section of my local craft shop, and then twice more onto a pretty white and yellow polka dot paper from the Papermania range. Once the ink had dried I coloured the ballerina's arms face and hair using promarkers in shades of vanilla, blush pink, yellow and honeycomb. I also coloured the flowers in orange and yellow shades. I left her dress blank as this was going to be covered over with the paper piecing. Using curved decoupage scissors I cut out the images from the pearlised paper. I cut out the ballet slippers and placed these over the stamped image I had coloured. Then I cut out the underskirts of her dress and layered these up. From the images on the polka dot paper I cut the whole dress from one image and from the second I cut just the sleeve. These pieces were then layered over the coloured image to give a 3D effect. I then added little dots of glue to the background and used glimmer dust glitter in white to add interest.

The background of the card was a lovely deep yellow striped paper, on to the top of this I matted a strip of parchment paper with script in gold, and a deep orange design. All the panels were finished off using Pinflair flexi peel off borders.

The doily which was also coloured with pro markers and flowers were from Wild Orchid and the ribbons bows and butterfly and greetings were from my stash.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Sunshine and showers

Well what a day it's been, absolutely pouring down, and having to dodge the showers to get home from work without getting drowned in the process.

Anyway I am bit last minute this week as I am only just getting round to posting this card for the http://sketchsaturday.blogspot.com/ from the 2nd of July.


I decided that I would use up some of the things in my 'I know these will come in useful box'

I again chose one of the lovely Faye Whittaker 'All Our Yesterdays' chipboard tags as the main image and to make it of the correct size to sit on the card I mounted it on some off cuts of various blue and yellow papers that were in the 'come in useful box'

whilst searching through there I came across the chipboard clouds and sun. They hadn't been painted and I didn't have the right colour paints in my box so I raided  my box of nail varnishes. This lead to a temporary banishment to the patio as my husband really can't stand the smell of nail varnish so these were painted whilst I sat in the sun after work earlier this week. I'm quite pleased with the results.

The background paper is a cloud design that I get from a local craft supplier and I usually use it for doing inserts for my cards but it has been promoted to the front page for this design.

The blue diamond design was another off cut from another project and along with the greeting I found them in my 'come in useful box'

It reminds me of a lovely sunny day at the seaside and after all the rain today and more of the same forecast for tomorrow, it's a welcome sight.

At least with rain forecast tomorrow once the weekly shop is done I'll have the perfect excuse for neglecting the garden and doing some crafting.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Free Gifts put to good use.

Good morning everyone, as an avid reader of various cardmaking magazines I find my stash increases regularly with the numerous free gifts and papers that these magazines give away every month. A few months ago I became the proud owner of some really gorgeous chipboards designed by artist Faye Whittaker, however as much as I loved the nostalgic images of Victorian children at the seaside, I was busy making football themed cards for a customer so I didn't get a chance to use them until last night.

With a few blog challenges having summer as a theme they were perfect so I pulled them out of my stash box and the below card is the result. Designed specifically for the challenge over at Wild Orchid their challenge 26 was to design a card using at least one of their products depicting friendship in a shabby chic style.


I started with the image of the little boy and girl sharing an umbrella their arms around each others backs, Faye Whittaker's image is beautifully detailed, and the deep pink of the little girls dress and the dark blue of the boys trousers gave me the starting point for the colour scheme.

The papers I chose for the matting and layering are from the Hunkydory Classic Cameo range, and are double sided. I started by cutting a square slightly smaller than my 8x8 base card and turned the top right hand corner over to show the reverse of the paper and secured this with a papermania pearly brad, this was then stuck to the base card using double sided sticky tape.

I then used a heart shaped doily from Wild Orchid which I had stained using a very weak solution of coffee to get an aged look and this was enhanced further by using a hot air gun to dry the doily so I could work with it.

Whilst I really liked the pink paper from the Classic Cameo collection I wanted a slightly darker pink for the panel on the main card so I inked the surface with tattered rose from the Tim Holtz distress inks range.


I wrapped some lace and satin ribbon around the pink panel before securing it to the base card. The doily was then stuck at an angle on the top of the pink panel and I made a further blue panel using off cuts from the main panel as a base which I darkened using faded denim distress ink, before sticking a slightly smaller panel that displayed the reverse of the paper. this panel was then stuck to the base to overlap the doily.

When I placed the chipboard tag in the position I wanted it to be in it looked slightly lost so I used some card I had left over from a previous project that had been coloured in the faded denim distress ink and a piece of the pink paper and ran them through my sizzix with the largest and second largest nestibilities scalloped oval dies. The tag was then stock to the centre of this and the whole panel was attached to the card using glue gel to give a raised effect.


I then added the spray of roses to the bottom of the framed image. I finished off by adding some curly peel offs into the spray of flowers, and I used an odd corner peel off from my stash to finish off the top right hand corner. A sentiment was added onto the blue panel and a strip of pearls was added on the satin ribbon to finish off the card.


Now I have used the first of my Faye Whittaker chip boards to create this card I am now full of ideas for designs using the others and I can feel a theme developing for my card making this week.

I have entered this card in the following challenges.
http://wildorchidchallenge.blogspot.com  - Shabby Chic friendship
http://craftuscrazy.blogspot.com - red white and blue and/or summer