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.

Thursday 30 June 2011

Butterfly Sparkles

Years ago I came across parchment craft, and I gave it a try but quickly became disillusioned as I always seemed to end up tearing the parchment paper. The tools and pattern books were consigned to a box in the loft.

However having taken up card making in the past 2 years I decided to give it another go so that I could make embossed elements for my cards. Having successfully embossed a dress for a Christening card recently using a grid to get my embossed dots and perforations in a straight line. I decided to attempt something more complex. Having discovered that the Saturday Challenge over at http://thesecretcraftersaturdaychallenge.blogspot.com this week was to use embossing I set to it, after a couple of false starts I finally came up with this card.

I started with a piece of parchment slightly smaller than the A5 base card, and worked the centre pattern just to see if I could do it. Having successfully managed to work the centrepiece using an embossing grid and three different size embossing tools that I have for scoring my card for other projects and a pricking tool, I got more ambitious.

I took the corner and border designs from another grid. Finally I used some off cuts of parchment from previously failed attempts, to trace some butterflies from pictures in a magazine, using a white gel pen and then these were embossed with patterns freehand and I cut them out and stuck them to the embossed panel using gel glue behind the embossed body sections so their wings stood out from the card. I drew the feelers using a white gel pen. Then I trimmed the corners of the panel to fit close to the edge of the corner design.

The panel was then stuck to the card using stick film across the whole of the back of the panel so that it couldn't be seen and I finished it of with flexi border peel offs and little gems from my stash before adding a greeting to the bottom.

Whilst I can see the imperfections in the design close up I am pretty pleased that I have finally managed to produce a card using this technique. I love to see the white parchment work and have always held crafters who produce these beautifully intricate designs in high regard.

 Making this has whetted my appetite to give the  parchment another go and I came home from work today with the latest edition of 'Parchment Craft' magazine and issued instructions to my husband to go and search the loft for my specialist tools which are still up there somewhere.  It'll also give me chance to practice my photography skills as having never photographed a parchment card before and I can see lots of room for improvement when I look at the attached photographs. But I've said it before on my blog I do like a challenge.

Saturday 25 June 2011

Making the most of my time.

Following another busy week at work, Saturday dawned and I realised that I have a huge amount to cram into my two days off. I am currently studying to bring my maths up to date.  I haven't used maths since leaving school so before I do my assessment I have three work books to plough through. I also have the paper work to complete for the first unit of my certificate in paper craft, which means that I am limited this weekend in the amount of time I have to devote to designing and making cards for the various blog challenges out there.

I have however noticed that as the week went on that there are a number of challenges that centre around the use of red white and blue in their designs so I had already decided on my colour scheme. Karita over at inky impressions had set the challenge of using lace in the design and having some white lace in my stash I figured I could work that into the red white and blue theme. You may have noticed a trend developing over the last couple of posts that I have enjoyed designing and creating using the sketches posted at Sketch Saturday so I had held off designing anything until I had seen this weeks sketch I checked the blog this morning and having done that set to making the card below.

As I was limited on time I used items that I already had in my stash. The die cut lady was left over from another project and the red and blue papers were off cuts from other projects. I wrapped the strip of blue paper in the lace and white sating ribbon and red ric-rac braid to add texture. The flowers I made by running  the red and blue papers through the sizzix bigshot using sizeabilities dies. Once I had the die cut flowers I stuck them to Parchment and then embossed through the die cuts from the back and then layered them up. I couldn't resist using the feather and the small flower to finish off the hat. The diecut image was then framed using some strips of diamente that I had left over from last years Christmas cards. I added three red and white gingham ribbon taps to the top of the image panel and assembled the whole thing on a pre folded hunkydory silk art card blank in dove white.

I have entered the card into the following challenges, and now it's back to my maths homework!!


Thursday 23 June 2011

I need 8 days a week

I have been really busy over the past few days and I am starting to feel like I need an extra day just to catch up on everything. 
Friday found me up to my ears in housework - I have to admit to being rather spoilt because whilst I work full time my husband is a full time domestic engineer having taken early retirement, he does all the cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing and all the other stuff that gets in the way of crafting, but following a recent shoulder operation I am now having to try and fit all that into my busy crafting schedule.

Back in March I booked tickets for myself and friend and her daughter to go and see Ringo Starr play in Liverpool on the 18th of June, (being a huge Beatles fan it would have been un-natural not to). I booked the day before off work so I could get some crafting done, and then hubby had the operation and Friday saw me trying to make a birthday card for the friend who was visiting on Saturday, between hoovering, washing, ironing and dusting. This was after I had managed to get the numbers in her address muddled and sent the card I had made for her birthday in May to the wrong address - that'll teach me not to be clever and actually check my address book before posting things, I got all the right numbers just not necessarily in the right order. 

I managed to check out the latest challenge at  http://sketchsaturday.blogspot.com/ on Saturday morning but what with the concert which by the way was brilliant and has given me inspiration for one of the scrapbook layouts I need to complete for my paper craft certificate, and then going to see friends playing at the Cavern Club on Saturday night I didn't get chance to sit down and do anything with the sketch until last night and by the time I had finished it was too late to take a photo in natural light, so it had to wait until about an hour ago when I got in from work.

I made the card using a mixture of Papermainia and Dovecraft papers for the matting and layering and the    border trim and Oval mounts were cut from felt using my sizzix bigshot and nestibilities dies. I hadn't die cut felt before and am really pleased with the results. The cup cake is one of a number of toppers that I have from the Dovecraft range.  I have always liked brown and pink together and I think that colours work really well with the cup cake.

Anyway I'll let you judge for yourselves. Please feel free to leave feedback it is always appreciated.

Thursday 16 June 2011

Something a bit different

Well it is for me anyway. I have not designed using sketches before I usually just move things round on the card before sticking things down but having found the Sketch Saturday Challenge Blog I decided to give it a go.

So here is the card I have entered into this weeks challenge at http://sketchsaturday.blogspot.com/

To make the card I embossed some parchment effect calligraphy paper to make the panel on the right. I then used glimmer dust white glitter to coat a die cut bride and groom which was mounted on a pale green paper from the same calligraphy pad.

Thinking of the lovely pastel colours of a spring wedding I then wrapped some ribbon from my stash around a pretty checked design from a 'Pink Petticoat' I had in my stash and stuck this to the base card before assembling the elements on the card. Three silk flowers with a pink pearly centre were used as the accents, and the greeting is a die cut which I coloured with a silver gilding pen.

Looking at it now I can see ways to improve the design but I really enjoyed the challenge of designing to a sketch and look forward to the next challenge at Sketch Saturday.

Monday 13 June 2011

A new Challenge

I have finally taken the plunge and decided to submit one of my designs for a blog challenge or two. The card below was made specifically to enter into this weeks challenges at http://inkyimpressionschallenges.blogspot.com 
where the challenge was to design a card using a Pink and Aqua colour scheme and also at http://pennyschallenges.blogspot.com where the challenge was to design a card celebrating friendship in honour of national friendship day on June 8th.

I started from the basis of the lovely Dandelion stamp from inkylicious which also has the lovely sentiment stamp about friendship as part of the same set.

I coloured a piece of silk art card pink using distress ink in dusky rose and sprinkled a very small amount of cosmic shimmer mica pigment in rose hue. I then gave the card a very light spritz of water and brushed the ink and the pigment across the whole area using ink dusters to get a smooth finish. Whilst this was drying I ripped a piece of beige card roughly to the size of my folded A5 card and inked the edges using a promarker. I then used some cordinations card in pale pink that I had left over from a previous project to tear a smaller panel which I stuck to the beige card to form a panel on the lower third. The  aqua panel was some foiled card stock I had in my stash which I edged using silver peel offs, and then stuck at an angle over the beige and pink card before wrapping the organza bow around the bottom part and adhering the panel to an A5 base card.

By this time the silk art card panel was dry and ready for stamping, I am fairly mew to stamping and heat embossing but wanted to emboss the dandelions in aqua. The only problem was I had gold black and clear embossing powder but no blue or aqua. Not to be deterred I mixed my own using clear embossing powder and 'Persian Sea' cosmic shimmer powder with some clear embossing powder in a small pot and using this.

Having stamped the image in silver ink and embossing it with my home made concoction I stuck it to a piece of corrugated card to add a little texture before adding the pears and the dragon fly (which is made using 2 peeloffs with a piece of velum sandwiched between) 

I tried embossing the sentiment but it came out blotchy so I stamped another panel in black ink and decided against embossing it. both panels were then stuck to the base card using gel glue as to ensure a good bond and I added the three flowers just to balance the card.

It took me about 3 hours to make from start to finish including drying time and having to remake the sentiment panel.

All that's left now is for me to work out how to link it to the two challenge blogs and see if I get any feedback.

Well that's all for now whilst I go in search of new challenges...

Alli xx

Tuesday 7 June 2011

I know I like a challenge but......

Well what a busy few days it has been. Working nights Friday and Saturday, day off Sunday, then accompanying my hubby to hospital on Monday so he could have the torn tendons in his shoulder repaired. I thought I had it all under control until I got a message on Friday evening just before I left for work from a friend asking me to make a Fathers day card for her to give her dad.

On the surface no problem at all Fathers' day isn't until the 19th, then I read the rest of the message 'he's really into taekwando and he'll be taking his blue belt soon and he's 68 yrs old'. Now I know (because my husband keeps telling me) that I have a huge stash of card making goodies in various boxes and cupboards, but I was pretty sure I didn't have anything relating to taekwando.

However I have never been one to shirk a challenge and so having slept most of Saturday during the day I set to searching my boxes before I set off for work, I managed to find some vibrant metallic card and some lovely black mirri card that I brought at Inspirations a local craft superstore, along with a paper stack I have had for nearly 2 years and never used - I think it was one of the first I ever bought and the cover is long gone but I seem to remember it was a Papermania oriental designs one. I also found in my box of peeloffs some Chinese characters for Happiness, Prosperity and Harmony, which I though might come in useful.

On Sunday despite a busy night at work I arrived home raring to go. I googled 'taekwando' as I had no knowledge of what it was other than a martial art. I found that there was extensive use of the yin and yang symbol on the sites I browsed and this gave me the idea. I created a yin and yang out of bright red and blue metallic card  and used this as the background. A dragon from the paper stack was cut out and matted and layered on the same colours of metallic card. Then having had a good look at some if the positions used in taekwando drew and cut a silhouette from the black mirri card which I then mounted in front of the yin and yang. The finishing touches were provided using the Chinese characters and a sentiment I printed off the computer using wordart all of which had been mounted on cut off scraps of the black mirri card the whole design was then made up onto a black silk art card base from Inspirations. As I had used glue Gel to ensure a good bond it was left overnight to dry and is currently winging it's way to my friend I just hope she likes it.

I really enjoyed the challenge of coming up with the design. Let me know what you think as feedback is the best way to learn and improve. If there was one thing you would change about the card what would it be and I promise I won't be offended.