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.

Saturday 31 December 2011


Well this will be the last post on my Blog for 2011, Thank you to everyone who has commented on my work over the past few months and I look forward to keeping in touch with you all in 2012. I hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas and that the New Year brings you all you hope for.

I have been busy recycling bits and pieces in my card making this week starting with this card made from a section of pretty wrapping paper

The beads and metal embellishments on the card are from old bits of Jewellery that I have picked up in Charity shops and the flowers were from an old head band.
I just used the embellishments to make the central butterfly on the wrapping paper stand out.

I also put all the family gift tags to good use once the Christmas presents had been opened this year. I was able to make 15 Christmas cards towards next year's tally, all the backing papers and greetings were left overs and off cuts from this years Christmas crafting frenzy, and working on these also served to fill the moments when the Christmas TV hits rock bottom and there's nothing worth watching

All that leaves me to do is wish everyone a Happy New Year and I'll see you on the flipside
Alli xxx

Sunday 18 December 2011

50 Golden Years

Earlier this year a work colleague and good friend told me that she needed a really special card for her parents Golden Wedding Anniversary in December. She wanted something different but something they would want to keep. I suggested a boxed card that included a photograph of her parents on their wedding day, which she thought was a lovely idea. Having visited the Creative Stitch and Craft show at Aintree in May   I had seen the Glitter Girls demonstrating their embossing boards and had treated myself to the bookatrix board and the box template board.

After a couple of false starts, due to me having the box embossing board upside down because I had tried to do it from memory. All else having failed I read the instructions and turned the board the correct way and found it was in fact incredibly easy to make the box. I decorated it using parchment that I had embossed using one of the Marianne designables folders through the sizzix and the hearts were cut using a x-cut aperture cutting and embossing folder. These were trimmed using pinflair flexible peeloffs and a sentiment was added on piece of pearlised ivory card. The golden pearls I made using pearl paint and by squeezing it onto a non stick craft mat I could get them all the same size once they were dry it was simply a matter of peeling them off the mat and attaching them using a dab of pinflair glue gel. The flowers were from Wild Orchid crafts.

For the card I used pearlised ivory card stock as the base and various patterened papers for the pages each was edged using dew drops brilliance gold ink before being stuck down to form the book. I wrapped cream crotched lace ribbon around the spine and finished this with a piece of gold satin ribbon to cover the join.

My husband had been watching intently and pointed out that whilst the card was lovely there was no where to write on it, I over came this by using a heart the same as those on the box lid and stuck this over the corner of  an envelope which could then be stuck to the card to form a pocket, I used an off cut of cream hammered card trimmed to the correct size to slip inside the pocket which my friend can remove to add her greeting to her parents and then slip back inside.

I again used flowers from Wild Orchid to decorate the corner, and also added a spray of pearls I had in my stash.

On the other side of the card I used a plain oval die cut from x-cut to cut out the wedding photo of my friends parents which I had printed from my computer. again flowers and pearls were added to balance the sides of the card.

Whilst the finished card looked lovely lying flat in the box I wanted my friends parents to be able to display it to friends and family at their golden wedding celebration so I made an easel card base to the same size as the box and lines the inside with some lovely handmade golden paper from my stash and added a heart cut from cardboard as a stopper so the card could stand up for display.

I really enjoyed making the card for my friend and I am keeping my fingers crossed that when she gives it to her parents at the end of the month they love it as much as she did when she saw it.

I have to admit having looked at these type of cards for a couple of years since I started making cards I had always considered them well beyond my capabilities and whilst it took a long time to make due to the number of layers and the amount of die cutting it really was quite straightforward and I'm planning my next one already.

Saturday 17 December 2011

Craft your Passions Holiday Havoc Blog Hop

Welcome to Craft Your Passion Challenges "Holiday Havoc 2011" Blog Hop!!
We are very excited about holidays and wanted to add to the chaos and havoc. What better way to do that than to have a BLOG HOP!!!
If you have hopped over from Roro's, then you are in the right place. If you just happened to stop by and would like to join our hop from the beginning, please go to Craft Your Passion Challenges and follow along for a chance to win some AMAZING blog candy along the way and PRIZES at the end.
All Craft Your Passion DT members are going to be playing along in the hop with some very special guest designers.
Each designer along the way is featuring a project that showcases a digital image from at least one of our amazing Blog Hop Sponsors.
What’s more exciting is you can participate too by creating a project and linking it up over at Craft Your Passion Challenges for a chance to win one of several prizes.

But, there’s a twist. Be sure to visit all the stops and leave a comment (we will be checking). Once you have finished the hop, we would like you to create a HOLIDAY project using at least one digital stamp and enter it with our Linky tool.
While you are hopping, be sure to check out the blog candy the designer's have to offer you. You don't want to miss out on any of it!

I have created the two cards below for the blog hop.

The first I kept to traditional colours and used Papermania watercolour markers to colour the image which is from 
Once I had coloured the image I cut it out and mounted it on a large label cut using the sizzix bigshot and xcut large label die, which I edged in gold ink and then mounted onto red card, and green spotty paper before adding the flower and holly embellishments from items in my stash.

For the second design I used contemporary colours and lots of glitter 

This digistamp is from 

Again it was coloured with papermania water colour pens and given a liberal sprinkling of glitter before being mounted on pale pink and blue snowflake papers from my stash. The flowers are from Wild Orchid and the pins I made using recycled beads from old jewellery. 

Please leave a comment and then hop over to Zahreen's  blog to see what havoc she has created 

Here is the hop list in case you get detoured along the way

  1. Craft Your Passion Challenges http://craftyourpassionchallenges.blogspot.com/   START
  2. Jenn http://scraphappensembellishit.blogspot.com/
  3. Shannin http://shanninscreativecorner.blogspot.com/
  4. Christine http://happyscrapper-sweetpeacards.blogspot.com/
  5. Cathy http://creativecathy.blogspot.com/
  6. Amy http://cavycouturecrafts.blogspot.com/
  7. Christy http://christyszaneycreations.blogspot.com/
  8. Joanna http://scrapjoanny.blogspot.com/
  9. Torrey http://left-field-studio.blogspot.com/
  10. Jenny http://cookieadventures.blogspot.com/  
  11. Doreen http://www.doreensdream.blogspot.com/ 
  12. Jodi http://kaboodesigns.blogspot.com/
  13. Lisa http://craftybunny.wordpress.com/
  14. Joyleen http://joydianne.blogspot.com/
  15. Melissa http://expressionswithearthspirit.blogspot.com/
  16. Emma http://www.paperaddictsanonymous.blogspot.com/
  17. Joanne http://www.bigislandlady.blogspot.com/
  18. Gemma http://gemslittlecreations.blogspot.com/
  19. Lizy http://lizyshouseofcards.blogspot.com
  20. Joanna L http://www.mycraftingcorner-jo.blogspot.com/
  21. Helen N http://craftinghelen.blogspot.com/
  22. Natali  justbecozoflove.blogspot.com
  23. Julie http://julieprice3.wordpress.com
  24. Helen W http://crafty-mamma-mia.blogspot.com
  25. Alethea http://lilodesigns.blogspot.com
  26. Arielle  soccermom5982.blogspot.com
  27. Lisa G lisa-scrappingspot.blogspot.com
  28. Jan http://scrappyscatty.blogspot.com/
  29. Karen http://karensdigi.blogspot.com
  30. Mandy http://amandacruxton.blogspot.com/
  31. Jennifer http://justcoffeepleasestampsribbonspaper.blogspot.com/
  32. Jacqui  http://thepoodlesdoodles.blogspot.com/
  33. Dawn  http://cherrytreestudio.blogspot.com
  34. Roro http://rorobuildingdream.blogspot.com/
  35. Allison http://allidcards.blogspot.com
  36. Zahreen  http://splashbunny.blogspot.com
  37. Sarah http://sarahsassy468.blogspot.com
  38. Sue http://confessionsofapaperhoarder.blogspot.com
  39. Tracey http://craftyfox.blogspot.com/
  40. Julia http://paperandscrapscreations.blogspot.com/
  41. Craft Your Passion Challenges http://craftyourpassionchallenges.blogspot.com/  END

Friday 9 December 2011

Using up some Freebies

Whilst sorting out my stash to get the house tidy for Christmas I came across a box full of free papers toppers and embellishments, which I have collected from various magazines over the past few months. So I decided to have a go at making a card entirely from these elements without using anything else from my stash. 

Even the base card which was recycled from the packaging and the glitter were freebies. 

I have decided to enter the card into the following challenges.

Thursday 8 December 2011

A little bit of Punk

A very dear friend of mine celebrates her birthday soon and I was at a loss as to a design for her Birthday card. She loves late Victorian and early Edwardian style, is quite artistic and sews, but also enjoys anything mechanical especially her motorbike. I had thought about creating a card in the 'steampunk' style something I had never done before and this would be perfect for the mechanical/Victorian parts of her personality, but all the cards I had looked at to try and get some inspiration seemed very masculine and not at all suited to her feminine side. Thank goodness I picked up issue 91 of 'Simply Cards and Papercraft' they had an article on creating feminine looking cards in the 'Steampunk' style. They also had a wonderful article on using decorative pins and how to make them so here is what emerged as a result of reading those two articles.

I didn't really have a plan when I started the card, and in the end it came together surprisingly easily, it also gave me an excuse to visit my local craft shop and indulge myself in a new Tim Holtz cutting die, and the new printed book range of urban stamps from Papermania.

I started with a 8x8 in square card as I felt this shape and size gave the most scope for arranging the number of elements I wanted to include. The whole colour scheme was driven by the topper of the little girl which I fund in my stash and was left over from a previous project, it originally had a gold border but this was too bright and I cut it off.

I used Dew Drop brilliance silver ink to stamp the keyhole design from the birds set of papermania stamps, and the wings onto white card and left this to one side to dry. I also used silver ink on the edges of the backing paper which is from the Vive Gade 'Skagen' range of papers. It is a lovely soft grey and white lace design. I also used this paper for the dress form, I cut the shape 4 times using the Tim Holtz die and a sizzix bigshot. I then layered these up to give more rigidity and dabbed them all over with Tm Holtz distress ink Tumbled glass followed by concord grape, and finally edged the whole piece with silver.

Once the keyhole stamped image was dry I cut around it by hand being careful to leave an even border around the edge of the image, the centre was inked in tumbled glass and the edges with concord grape. I also decided that the silver wings I had stamped looked too flat so over stamped them using staz on ink in stone grey to give more definition before cutting them out.

I also printed off the image of a pocket watch from my computer and coloured this in silver, before cutting it out to use as a mount at the back of the sentiment which had also been printed on the computer.

I wanted to make the dress form stand out from the background so used an off cut of purple metallic card from my stash. The card was embossed with swiss dots and therefore gives interest.

I positioned the purple card panel the little girl topper and the key hole on the card without sticking anything down and then I raided my 'that might come in useful' box in my stash for embellishments. Which were sourced as follows.

The cogs were from the Tim Holtz range

The key was actually one of several I have which were originally sold as a necklace in Primark - it only cost a couple of pounds and broken down provided me with 8 lovely metallic key embellishments all different. They aren't heavy so don't over balance the card.

The flowers were from a local store that sells stems of silk flowers at very reasonable prices they were from a stem with over 30 blooms on it and work out at  a few pence each.

The decorative pins I made myself using long jewellery pins and beads that I have recycled from old jewellery - Charity shops are a great source for these and there are some really unusual beads out there. The beads are stuck to the pin using glossy accents, by squeezing a small amount onto the shaft of the pin and then pushing the bead up over it and leaving to dry

The brads were from my stash and I used slightly different shades of the pale blue for the flower centres and the top and bottom of the key plate.

Once I had found everything I played for about an hour until I was happy with the composition and then I secured everything to the card. The embellishments were glued on using collal glue gel as this works really well with irregular surfaces and gives a really tight bond.

The finishing touch on the flower petals was to add 2 water droplets using glossy accents to the petals as shown below.

I really enjoyed making this card and am itching to make more in the same style. I have never been one for the less is more approach and love the way so many different elements can be brought together on this type of card.

Monday 28 November 2011

Remembering George 10 years on

Those of you who regularly read my blog will know that I am a Beatles fan. Of the four of them George has always been my favourite and the 29th of November will be the tenth Anniversary of his passing from this world. I created the card above to stand in my home in his honour. I was going to wait until tomorrow to post this image but I won't be about as I will be busy in Liverpool taking part in the events that have been planned to remember George and celebrate his life and music. 

I guess there is only one thing left to say and that is Thank you George - for the music and for all the friends I have made over the years due to a shared admiration for you as a musician, a film producer and a humanitarian. I miss you.

Monday 14 November 2011

I am now nearing the end of my Christmas card making for another year and for this one I decided to experiment a bit with some of the materials I had around the house.

As you may have gathered I love the vintage look, so was delighted when a few weeks ago I found the Marianne die for a Christmas lantern in my local craft shop. This was the starting point for the card.
I cut it out of plain green card stock and then ran it through the sizzix on an embossing mat to bring out the detail. Having done this I dabbed it with Momento ink in Cocoa and then used copper and gold inks to highlight it to age the piece.

Once done I went to work on the backing which is from the Papermania range – called ‘At Christmas Time’ I cut it to A5 size and used a pair of scissors to distress the edge before rubbing with brown ink.
I used a piece of plain brown wrapping paper that we happened to have in the house and ran this through the sizzix using a musical score embossing folder. The edges were then torn and rubbed with brown ink and the surface was rubbed against a copper ink pad to highlight the pattern.

I had some strips of brown glitter paper left over from a previous project which I used Marianne dies to cut into flourishes.

I cut a small piece of parchment paper to cover the aperture in the lantern and cut a small piece of white glitter paper to make the candle which I added a brown paper flame to the top and one side of the candle was then coated in pearlescent paint, to give the idea of the melted wax and the flame was coloured using gold metallic ink and red paint

I coloured a white card tag using Tim Holtz Antique Linen distress ink and stamped a greeting in brown ink and edged the tag in brown ink before adding three small copper coloured pearls with pearlescent paint.
The lace was an off cut I had in my stash as was the striped ribbon which I used to edge the lace and add the bow to the tag.

The flowers and leaves have a velvety texture and are left over from a Christmas decoration for my mantelpiece.

Overall I was quite pleased with the look of the card as when I started I wasn’t sure if the brown paper would work, or if the idea for the candle would work.

I am entering this card into the following challenges

http://2sisterschallengeblog.blogspot.com/ - Anything Goes

Sunday 13 November 2011

Welcome to the World Isabelle.

I made the above card yesterday in response to the news that my Godson's wife had given birth to a little girl, Isabelle on 11/11/11.

Having found out just before I did my regular Saturday morning blog hop through all the challenge blogs that I follow I was delighted to find the sketch below on the http://sketchsaturday.blogspot.com challenge for this week and decided to use this as a basis for the design.

I have made a few baby cards recently and knew my stash of baby toppers was at an all time low so I needed to visit a local craft shop (well that's what I told hubby and he agreed to take me into town). Whilst browsing I came across the pretty striped and spotty vellums and the glitter card in candy pink, as well as the beautiful little pram topper and the charm which says on it 'A New Blessing'. So armed with my new stash we set off home.

I already had some card blanks in silk art card from Hunky Dory and the shade 'Marshmallow' was ideal for this project. Having cut the glitter card and the spotty vellum using the two largest oval dies from my set of X cut nesting dies, I settled at my craft table to play.

Using Papermania colour capsule collection card in pink I cut a tag and added the greeting using peel offs from my stash. I cut al the papers and laid them on the card starting with a plain pink panel for the top left which I then decided to run through my sizzzix in a hearts and swirls embossing folder to add interest.

I felt that the stripey vellum looked a bit flat so used border peel offs to highlight the pink stripes and edges and used the same borders on the oval and the border of the embossed card.

I used double sided adhesive film to stick down the vellum so there would be no tape marks to show through.
The pram was then centred into the circle. Three roses from Wild Orchid Crafts, were frosted by dabbing the edges of the petals with PVA glue and then dropping them into a plastic bag containing white glamour dust glitter and a a white frosting which had been a freebie from one of the card magazines, and giving them a shake. Once these were dry they were added to the lower right of the Oval

The final touch was to add  a bow and teh charm to the top of the greeting tag before adding it to the top right of the card.

The card is now dry and just waiting to be popped into the envelope and be posted to Terry and Donna to celebrate the arrival of baby Isabelle.

I am entering the card into the following challenges.
http://lilredwagon.blogspot.com/  - Congratulations
http://thepapervariety.blogspot.com/ - Family
http://thesecretcraftersaturdaychallenge.blogspot.com/ - spots and stripes

Friday 11 November 2011

Lest We Forget

The card says it all really.

Made using Nancy Watt papers and the sentiments printed from the computer onto Parchment.
thank you to all those who made the ultimate sacrifice so I might be born into a free democracy.

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Recipe Card

Here's the card I have designed using the recipe over at http://diecutdreams.blogspot.com - 4flowers, 3 gems and 2 brads. The paper topper and greeting are all from a selection of free papers from Making Cards Magazine, designed by Nancy Watt. The glitter paper was from a pad I received as a part of a prize from teh same magazine. The silver roses were recycled from an old Christmas decoration the ribbon, brads and feather were from my stash and the pearls I made using pearl paint.

This was a really quick and easy card to make. I have recently discovered pearl paint and now make my own gems using it, I started by making the three gems just squeezing blobs of the paint directly onto my craft mat and leaving them to dry, they hold their shape and once dry just peel off the mat and can then be stuck to the card. I find it really versatile and it comes in so many colours.

Whilst the pearls were drying i trimmed a piece of the green glitter paper to just smaller than the A5 card blank I had chosen to use, I used a black card blank to make the glitter paper really stand out. I trimmed the pink backing paper, and matted it onto the green glitter paper to leave a thin border all the way round. I cut the topper and greeting by hand and then mounted these onto green glitter paper and trimmed again to leave a narrow border.

the border panel of green glitter was cut so that it overlapped the pink paper in the base panel and then a strip of pink paper was cut long enough to wrap around the base panel and wide enough to leave a green glitter edging. I used a piercing tool to make two holes in the pink border strip at equal distances from each end using the pattern on the paper as a guide, and then inserted the green brads before wrapping the pink strip around the base panel and fixing it at the back using double sided tape. The whole base panel was then fixed to the card blank using double sided tape.

I used glue gel to fix the topper and the greeting to the card to raise then slightly from the base, pushing the feather behind the topper and into the wet glue gel underneath. The flowers being metal were also stuck down using glue gel and a small ribbon bow was underneath the greeting. Finally once the pearls were dry I added these at the top right hand corner.

I enjoyed making this card as it has a fresh spring colour scheme and it gave me a nice break in between crafting Christmas Cards.

Monday 7 November 2011

Glitter everywhere....

I usually avoid using glitter if possible as I do tend to get in an awful mess with it, no matter how carefully I protect the work area and work over a glitter tray I still end up with it in my hair and on my face. However on a recent sort through my stash I found some left over glitter paper from last Christmas and having recently added to my collection of Marianne dies I decided to give it a go.

I wanted to create a card without using patterned papers and using die cutting and embossing for the design. I decided to keep all other elements of the card black and white to really show off the deep red glitter paper.

It took about an hour to cut out all the pieces using a sizzix big shot. I started by cutting the bird and a circle from black gloss card using the Marianne bird on a branch die and the second largest Circle from my Nestabilities - plain circle set. As these were the biggest shapes to cut I placed them onto the card and using the leaves and flourishes from another set of Marianne dies I filled in around them to minimise waste. Having cut the first set of shapes I placed them to one side and cut further leaves and flourishes from the remaining card until I had used up all the card from a single piece of A4 sized card.

The flowers were then cut from the pieces of red glitter paper I had found in my stash I cut 6 pieces and pinched each individual petal between my thumb and fore finger to give them some dimension. I cut a circle from white glitter paper using the third largest circle from the Netsabilities set and cut three further flowers using a smaller Marrianne die from the off cuts.

The greeting was made by running a piece of satin art card through the sizzix using the happy birthday embossing folder from one of my sizzix sets.

Having cut all the pieces the fun could start. I used a sponge dabber to apply silver metallic ink to the Happy Birthday greeting to give it a metallic look and put this to one side to dry. Whilst that was drying I layered the white glitter circle onto the black circle and then edged the whole thing by pleating a strip that I had punched from plain photocopier paper using a Martha Stewart border punch, and sticking this to the back of the largest circle. Once this was done I used a thin layer of glue gel on the back of the bird to stick it to the white glitter circle and added a self adhesive crystal for the eye. I set this to one side to dry whilst I worked on the background.

Using a plain white card blank I started arranging the flourishes on the card without sticking them down until I had a pattern I was happy with. Some of the flourishes were trimmed to fit and the trimmings were added into the overall design to fill gaps. All the pieces were then stuck down using a quickie glue pen to ensure accurate placement of the adhesive and prevent it getting on the black face of the pieces.

Once all the background flourishes were stuck down I placed the bird panel at the top left and then used the flowers to cover some gaps in the flourishes. The red flowers were made of two layers held together with black brads that had then had red adhesive gems stuck to the centres and the white flowers were a single layer with a red gem centre.

Finally I cut around the embossed sentiment and stuck this to the bottom of the card using blobs of glue gel to give a more 3D effect.

I am entering this card into the 'Lashings of Sparkle' challenge over at http://cinspirations.blogspot.com/

I still ended up with glitter in my hair and on my face but I really enjoyed putting this card together and am off to wash away the glitter.

Sunday 6 November 2011

A Sketch with a twist.

I really do like working with sketches, so decided that as I had a bit of spare time this weekend I would seek out and enter a sketch based challenge.

So the obvious choice for me was http://sketchsaturday.blogspot.com, I wasn't disappointed I found this sketch there for this weeks challenge.

As currently my crafting space is a sea of festive themed papers and I am still making Christmas cards for family and friends I decided I would use the sketch to create a Christmas card design. I also decided that having just made up a batch of flat square cards for Christmas I wanted to challenge myself. I flipped through a few magazines and noticed that there were several cards using the 'twisted easel' design so having never made one I decided that I would give it a go and use the sketch as the basis of the main face of the card. Here is what I came up with.

The base card was created by using a 6x6" cream card blank and having folded the front of the card diagonally across the middle I cut another 6x6" square of cream card to act as the face. The main backing paper and the image of the poinsettia on the main card face were free papers in the November issue of making cards and designed by Nancy Watt - one of my favourite designers. I made up the decoupage panel an gave the flower a very thin coat of glossy accents to make it shine. whilst that was drying I went through the pile of off cuts of card and paper I had from other projects. I found the gold card, the vellum script and the lace in my off cuts pile.

I used an embossing folder on the gold card and ran it through the sizzix bigshot to get the musical notes pattern, this matched in with the background layer of the decoupage which has both musical notes and script on it. I aged all the panels by tearing thin strips from the edges and then used a dabber to add Tim Holtz distress ink in tea stain and a mixture of gold and copper metallic pigment inks to the edges.

The vellum looked too white against the other papers so I inked the back of this with the tea stain and wiped it on a paper towel to take off any excess to give it a more aged appearance.

I layered the gold musical note strip and the decoupage panel onto the background paper and added a corner element of torn vellum to the top right.

I then wrapped the lace around bottom securing it at the back and used some pretty red and green ribbon from C Art to add a border to the top of the lace.

Once the panel was completed I used a piece of gold card that was recycled from packaging and mounted the whole panel to this before using double sided sticky tape to fix it to the card blank.

I used a bow maker to tie a bow using the same ribbon and I used a small greeting tag which I brought in Lakeland a few years go, the bag contained about a hundred of these tags and they are lovely for just adding a small detail to a card.

The Holly leaves I made myself a few weeks ago, I had used some silk roses in a floral arrangement I had made for someone and had a bag full of silk leaves left over I sat and cut the edges of the leaves to turn them into holly leaves and coated them with 3 layers of glossy accents to give them the tough prickly feel of holly.

The inside of the card was also covered in the Nancy Watt backing paper which has again been torn and distressed using Tim Holtz inks. To keep the continuity of the design I added torn vellum as a corner accent to the base as well, the pine branches are from 'Craft Planet' and whilst intended for children's craft projects I find them really useful for Christmas themed cards. I added a velvet poinsettia to the base to act as the stopper for the easel.

I am quite pleased with the results and having made one I now have several other ideas for twisted easel designs, not all of them for Christmas either.

I am entering this card in the following challenges
http://craftycatzweeklychallenge.blogspot.com/ - Anything goes
http://thesecretcraftersaturdaychallenge.blogspot.com/ - Flowers ribbons and lace
http://abcchristmaschallenge.blogspot.com/ - vintage

and have also used it as my entry into the design team call at

Thursday 13 October 2011

Mum and Dad

About a year ago my dad gave me a bag of old photographs that he had come across when he was sorting through my mum's clothes after she had passed away. In amongst the photographs was one of  Mum and Dad's wedding photo's that really was crying out to become part of a scrapbook layout. I was really wary of using the original photograph as it is 60 years old and had been hand coloured so I scanned the image into my computer and printed another copy off on ilford pearl photo paper. 

Then I did nothing with it until I went shopping and came across a pack of 'Bobunny' 12x12 papers in their 'Timepiece' collection range. I loved the vintage feel of the papers and thought the colour would provide a perfect background for the wedding photograph. One of the stickers in the pack also struck a chord with me as it said 'Bound by Love' and having seen how devastated my dad was when mum passed away suddenly 2 years ago after their being married for 58 years it really did ring true. 

Below is the layout I created using the photograph and the Bobunny paper as a base.

The dark brown paper came from a papermania stack I have had in my stash so long that the front cover with the design name on it has become separated from the pad so I have no idea what the design is, another sheet from the same pad was used to make the flower which was finished with a papermania pearlised brad.

I added a border strip along the top of the page made by wrapping cotton lace around the off cut of matt gold card, which had been trimmed from around the photograph.

Once I had positioned the backing paper I used a paper doily heart from 'Wild Orchid crafts' on the top right before placing the photograph on the page.

Once I was happy with the layout I added a spray of pearls to the flower embellishment the colour of which picks out the pale pink from mum's bouquet. I added an embroidered motif of flowers down the side to mirror the embroidery at the bottom of Mum's veil - the photograph doesn't do this justice I remember as a child seeing the veil for real when mum leant it to a cousin to wear at her wedding, sadly it got damaged beyond repair so I was not able to use it for my own wedding. 

I then added the title using the sticker from the bobunny pack.

I was going to leave it there but once the layout was dry I noticed that the glue on the doily had showed through so I searched through my stash of stickers and found the Shakespeare quote 'I love thee with a love that shall not die 'til the sun grows cold and the stars grow old' which really does sum up how Mum and Dad felt about each other, and used this to cover the glue stain. 

I also found two net butterflies in my stash which I added at either end of the top border, it reminds me of when I first started making cards - in an attempt to make something really special for mum when I could find nothing in the shops. I used embellishments similar to these on that card and Mum loved it.

All in all I am reasonable happy with the layout but am always looking to improve, I would be interested in reading your comments particularly in relation to the suitability of the papers/colours used on this layout, and if you could change or add one thing what would it be?

Wednesday 24 August 2011


As I have mentioned before on my blog I am a huge admirer of the Beatles music, and every year the last weekend of August finds me partaking in Liverpool International Beatle Week. Normally I would be thinking about packing about now, but this year I'm not booked into one of the many hotels in Liverpool City Centre, as I actually live in 'the pool' I am saving money by commuting to the various events from home, everyday.

This left me some extra crafting time, and whilst playing about with my Sizzix bigshot and various dies last night I came up with the card above. Strangely since I have made it I have had The Beatles' song 'Blackbird' running through my head - I wonder why.

It was a really easy card to make I used Marrianne dies for the bird and the various swirls and leaves which were just cut from black card. I then used my Nestabilities plain circle dies to cut 1 circle out of black card and one slightly smaller out of white card, and a piece of very fine shimmery fabric which I had in my stash. As the fabric was so sheer I backed it with aslan film so I could stick it to the white circle. I then stuck this to the centre of the black circle and backed the panel with a paper doily. 

The bird was added to the centre of the white circle, and the black circle was edged in black gems.

Having completed this panel I took a A5 pre folded card blank in pure white and attached 2 black vinyl corners to the front of the card before adding the circle at the top right.

I then build up the design of the various swirls leaves and flowers, by placing them on the blank but not sticking them down until I was happy with the arrangement. They were then attached using a glue pen and the flowers were stuck using pin flair glue gel. 

A greeting with a black and white gingham bow was then added at the bottom right hand corner, and three black gems added in the corner to finish the design.

The flowers were just some I had in my stash which I embellished with stickles red glitter glue.

I am entering the card into the following blog challenges.

A thousand sheets of paper giveaway

I haven't posted for a while, due mainly having been working extra hours over the past few weeks. However when I saw this on the thousand sheets of paper blog I just had to share this with you. You can find out more by clicking on this link http://athousandsheetsofpaper.blogspot.com

Well I will be away for a few days now but when I come back I will hopefully have some photographs that I can use for a layout towards my paper craft qualification. I only have one more to do for the scrap book unit. 

See you all soon Alli xx

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