Wednesday, 29 April 2015

12 Tags of 2015 - April

Hi Everyone

Today I am posting my tag for April - can you believe we are a third of the way through the year already?!

As usual I am getting to my tag late so I will post the photos today and the tutorial tomorrow or Friday depending on upload times!  At least if I post the photos today I can actually join in the challenge!

For those of you new to my blog I thought I would explain what this tag challenge is all about.  Each month I play along with the Tim Holtz 12 Tags of 2015 challenge which you can see if you follow this link.  Anyone who wants to play along can do so and we all link up over on Tim's blog.  On the first of every month Mr Holtz publishes a tag to inspire us.  There are always detailed photo instructions of how he made his tag and that always involves interesting techniques for us to try.  There are always lots of lovely products to see so plenty of inspiration every month…..oh and there are prizes to be won too!!!

Then it is over to you/us.  If you are a beginner you may wish to mimic Tim's tag and try out new techniques but nine times out of ten we don't have all that Tim has used so that is the fun part of the challenge.  That is our chance to give our tags our own unique twists.

From Tim's Inspiration to our Interpretation.  When you look at the tags of all the people that join in each month you will see the variety of tag designs Tim's original tag inspires.

I have been playing along for 3 years now and I love to see where the journey takes me - sometimes you can instantly recognise the original inspiration and you will definitely see that this month but other months you would have to look hard to see the elements I have taken from the original tag.

So without further ado here are my April tags and of course the matching 3" sample square.

One of this months techniques was using water colour paper and water colouring techniques.  You will see my colouring is a bit more vibrant than Tim's and if you watch my tutorial you will see how I achieved the look using both my Distress Inks and Distress Stains.

I decided to add a little decoupage element to my flowers and used my ink pads to create the two tone ribbon to match my project.  Tim used his Distress Markers to create an ombre effect on his ribbon and as I don't have many Distress Markers I did things a little differently.

Here is a close up of the sampler square:

I have four little squares now so I thought I would show you just how each month takes you in a totally different crafting direction.

I am looking forward to seeing what the whole sampler looks like when I frame it at the end of the year.

So I hope I have encouraged a few newbies to play along with this fab challenge.  Click on this link if you want to see all the different tags Tim has inspired with his April Tag.

I will post the tutorial of how I got from Tim's inspiration to my interpretation tomorrow - YouTube willing!!! ;-)

Thank you for popping by x

Monday, 27 April 2015

A pretty card with Bohemian Bazaar Style!

Hi everyone

Thought I would share another tutorial today that matches the sunny weather we are having here today!  Mind you it is very chilly out there despite the sun - I believe our weather system is drawing down cold polar air…..someone needs to tell Mother Nature we are expecting spring weather round about now ;-)

So for those of you newly popping by I am in the process of waiting to see if I make it on to the Graphic 45 Design team…..I am convinced about now that someone is slowing down time so I am going to fill it with crafting and gardening this week to see if I can't speed it up a little.

For my round one submission I made several new projects and as usual they were all videoed to turn into tutorials to share with you all. I thought I would share this fun, bright and breezy card today that was inspired by the sunny patterns of the Graphic 45 Bohemian Bazaar paper collection.

In the tutorial I show you how I created the pretty paper woven background for this card as well as how to make a quick topper with the fabulous journalling cards that come in the Graphic 45 Paper collections.  This is just one of their many uses.

As usual I had fun making the inner as fabulous as the outer using some Tattered Lace dies which I borrowed from my Mum!  Thanks Mum x

I also show you how to make some gorgeous fabric daisy embellishments which work perfectly with my bright and breezy papers.

I know this card will make anyone smile when they receive it on their special day.  If you don't have Bohemian Bazaar papers in your Graphic 45 Collection I know that you can make this card in any of the paper collections you have treated yourself too.  You might need to change your accent card and perhaps make the flowers in a different colour but I know that this will look great whatever you choose to use.

Cutting Guide Using Graphic 45 Bohemian Bazaar papers:

White Card: 11 1/2" x 8" scored and folded at 5 3/4" and used in the landscape position.
'Wish you were here' card topper taken from the Lap of Luxury paper
White card mat for topper: 3 3/8" x 5 1/4"
Green Vivid Splendour: 5 1/4" x 7 1/2"
Blue Jasmine Nights for inner: 5 1/4" x 7 1/2"
White Card for inner: 3 1/4" x 7 1/4"
Woven panel in the tutorial was created originally at 5 1/4" x 7 1/2" but was later trimmed down to 7 1/4" x 5"
I suggest you work with these new measurements to avoid that step!

One piece of Blue Jasmine Nights for base of weave 7 1/4" x 5" see tutorial for guide to cutting.
The woven strips were cut from the Green Vivid Splendour and Yellow Bohemian Bazaar papers.
The strips measure 7 1/4" x 1/4" cut approximately 8 of each colour.

The Daisies:

Cotton fabric strips for small daisies: 1" x 4" (cut 2)
Cotton fabric strip for large daisy: 1 1/2" x 6" (cut 1)

I hope you find all the techniques in the tutorial I am sharing today useful and that you are inspired to get out your Graphic 45 papers and to get weaving - these panels would look great on cards or scrapbooking pages and I am sure on lots of your paper crafting projects too!

I'm off out to walk the dog in the sunshine now but I think I am still keeping my coat on……'Cast not a Clout 'till May is out,' as my Grandma used to say!  Brrrrrr  See you again soon and thank you again for all your good wishes and messages of support.  Sending you all big hugs - Thank you for popping by X

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Stamping on Acetate with Rubber Dance stamps!

Hi everyone

Today I am featuring over on the Rubber Dance Blog and I am just giving you a sneak peak of the cards I am sharing today.  My tutorial looks at stamping on acetate and I love how the technique turned some lovely Antique Botanicals images into a modern card design.

If you are hopping by from the link on my video tutorial then this is your link over to the Rubber Dance Blog where you will find all those gorgeous stamps, lots and lots of ideas from my fellow design team members and of course the Cutting Guide for these lovely cards!

See you again very soon (tomorrow!!!) with some more creativity - Have a wonderful Sunday and thank you for popping by X

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Rubber Dance Stamps - Acrylic and Acetate

Hi everyone

I hope you are having a fun and creative day - I am sharing the first of two ideas and tutorials using acetate and acrylic paint and of course my lovely Rubber Dance Stamps!

Today's video tutorial shows you how to stamp on acetate - it is a little tricky but worth the effort I hope you agree looking at the results above!  I also show you how I used acrylic paint to emphasis my stamped images before creating a fun and easy to achieve arty background.

This time round I added a more traditional paper inner to my cards with some more stamping to match the images I have used on the fronts of the cards.  I have left them blank as they would make nice birthday cards or  note cards so I will decide what they will be later!!!

I have used stamps from the Twiggy Leaves and Da Vinci Rubber Dance stamps sets and you can check them out by following this link.

Cutting Guide:

Blue square card - 5 3/4" x 11 1/2" scored at 5 3/4"
Acetate - 4 1/4" square
Pink card - 4 7/16" square
Dark Blue card - 4 10/16" square

So without further ado here is the tutorial:

I really hope you try this out for yourself as I am sure there are many different versions you can come up with once you master the technique and the principles of layering up the textures in the background to create different effects.

Now here is where I test to see if either of my sons check out my blog posts and You Tube Tutorials ;-)

I just wanted to wish my eldest son, Damian, a very Happy Birthday today (well because of a problem with You Tube now it is for yesterday!)  I hope you had lots of fun and I want you to know we love and miss you always but especially on days like today.  Belated Happy Birthday Damian XXX

This photo was taken a few years ago now as Callum, my youngest, is now 16 and Damian is dare I say it… his thirties……why is it me that feels old on my sons birthdays these days? ;-)

Well that is enough of embarrassing them both……..if they even see this that is!!!…….all that is left for me to say is I hope you enjoy trying the fun techniques I am sharing today and thank you for popping by X

PS The second idea for this technique will be published on the Rubber Dance Blog on the 26th April.  Why not follow this link and subscribe to be sure you don't miss all the creativity going on over there too.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Just add photos!

Hi everyone

Hope you have had a wonderful weekend.  I spent some quality time with my crafting friends so I had a lovely time!  We chatted, ate sweeties, laughed, drank coffee, shopped and maybe indulged in a little crafting now and again….nothing too taxing you understand ;-)

…….actually saying that I was actually quite productive for a change and you will know what was on my mind….well you will do when you see what I made.  Trying to keep my mind of hoping too much but I think I am dreaming Graphic 45 right now …..only 10 days to go!!!!

On Friday as well as teaching a class got started on some baby bunting for my friend Rebecca who is opening up a brand new baby shop very soon.

Lots of frilly ribbon and some pearl trims topping off my bunting made from Graphic 45's Precious Memories Collection.

I added the lettering on Saturday Morning.  So far I have a string to hang over the Boy Section, The Girl Section and the Pre-Loved section so I only have the shop banner to complete.  I might see if I can get to that later in the week.  I have left the stringing of the banners until I am in the shop so I can judge the spacing between the flag to get the prettiest effect.

All this baby paper inspired me to make a layout and matching card too.  Graphic 45 always have lovely patterned strips you can fashion into frames for your layouts.  I carefully cut out four strips from the Puppy Dogs tails papers and I used my fancy edge scissors on the title strips of the pages I had removed from the paper I had used so far creating my bunting (8 strips in total)  I edged my blue paper strips with them and then used them to create a frame for my layout.

Working on a coordinating sheet of swiss dot bazzil card stock as my base I mitred the corners of the strips to make myself a very pretty frame.

I then added a pearl trim to create a second frame with lots of texture.  Not to be wasteful I removed the centre of the green card stock and then added in a square of the opposite side of the Puppy Dogs Tails card stock over the centre of the layout.

I cut the remaining green card into 3 1/4" squares and edged them with a baby blue ribbon frill.  I didn't have any baby pictures with me at the crop but in this case it doesn't matter as you will see at the end of this post.

Next it was out with the scissors and a little fussy cutting latter I have a cute little washing line of little boy outfits draped across my layout.

I created a triple bow for the bottom right hand corner and added a small section of the pearl trim to the centre of all my bows and a couple of green glass hat pins for a little sparkle.  Which reminds me I must share a tutorial with you at some point to show you how easy it is to make these gorgeous embellishments.

Here is the finished layout and a matching card that I made.  I took this photo in the gorgeous bright sunshine we have here today in Derbyshire.

I know that when the photos are finally attached to this layout they are going to look fab!  That is when I had an idea.  Rebecca has suggested I might like to make baby cards to sell in her shop and I was thinking ……..what about selling baby layouts in box frames?!!!!

They would make lovely gifts and I could create a couple of different versions.  I would need to look at the costing and time they would take to see if it was a viable thing to do but I know I would definitely be using my Graphic 45 papers as they look divine.

I made a matching card using some of the off cuts I had left over so a gift and matching card!!!  Check out the pretty button in the middle of the bow.  I must say a big, big thank you to Jamie at Punch Place Plus for sending me a package of lovely buttons all the way from America!  You may remember last year I won a couple of Crafty Academy Awards for my You Tube videos - Best Tutorials and Best Mixed Media and Jamie at Punch Place Plus was one of the lovely sponsors.  So once again a big big thank you Jamie and as you can see I have used one of my lovely buttons already!  This is the link to the winners video if you want to pop over and visit the lovely Betty who also makes videos and organised the whole event.

I am hoping for more of this lovely weather and I will spend my week catching up on my Rubber Dance Tutorials and popping in and out of the garden to do some fruit tree pruning.  I have tackled the pear and might be able to do the plum on my own but I think I might need a man with a ladder for the Apple, Crab Apple and Cherry which are reaching for the sky right now!  I sound like I have a huge garden but I don't.  I just love trees in the garden and if you are going to have trees you might as well have fruit ones!!!!  I wonder if the birds will leave us any cherries this year? ;-)

Hope you all have a wonderful week and thank you for popping by X

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Graphic 45 Design Team Audition 2015 - Round 2!

Hi Everyone

Shaking in my slippers right now!!!  I have just pushed the publish button on my You Tube tutorial for the second round of my Graphic 45 Design Team Audition.

I decided to stop second guessing myself about what kind of video to make - what project to share, tutorial - video tour……my head has been spinning for days!  I have never been so nervous about making a video!!!!

So I decided to stop fussing and to do what I love so I am sharing a page in my Journal where I combine Art Journalling and Scrapbooking making pages with interactive elements to create a journal that capture my memories.

I really hope you enjoy my tutorial where I you will find all the information and tips you need to make a page like mine.  The inspiration for this romantic page came from the lovely Cherry Blossom paper I have used from the Graphic 45 Bird Song collection.

Thank you so much everyone for all your support and good wishes.  It really means so much to me XOX  If you can keep you fingers crossed for a while longer ;-)

A big thank you to everyone at Graphic 45 for this amazing opportunity.  I hope my video submission for round two shows you how your amazing papers always inspire me and how much I love to share my creativity through my tutorials.

Good luck to my fellow finalists.  Whatever happens I have had a wonderful time.

Thank you for popping by X

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Happy News!!!!!

Third time lucky!  I did my best not to think about my Graphic 45 audition this time around but still today I kept checking the Graphic 45 blog to see if they had posted yet.  When the Design Team Call photo finally popped up……

……..despite myself my stomach flipped over and I slowly scrolled down the finalist list one name at a time and you could have knocked me down with a feather when I saw my name!!!!!  In fact I had to click on my name and sure enough I ended up on my Audition Post!!!!!

You can imagine I am floating on a happy cloud right now along with my fellow finalists I am sure - look up and you might just catch a glimpse of us ;-)

I wanted to pop in and share my good news and to say a huge thank you to you all for your support and encouragement.  It really means a lot to me.

A great big hug to everyone at Graphic 45!  

So nervous right now - I think I have video fright coming on!  I expect I am going to have a couple of sleepless nights ahead whilst I decide what to share for my final round video submission.  I just hope I can show how much my Graphic 45 papers inspire me and how much I love to teach and share my love of crafting - no pressure!!!! ;-)

If you have absolutely no idea what I am talking about then please click on this link to check out my Graphic 45 Design Team 2015 Audition post.   It really was a pleasure!

Good job I have two Gymnasts from France coming to stay this Easter Weekend - back to reality then - I think I might be floating around hoovering and dusting tomorrow ;-)

Congratulations and good luck to my fellow finalists - BREATHE!

From one very happy bunny - Happy Easter and thank you so much for popping by X

Graphic 45 Design Team Audition 2015

It's that time of year again when I surround myself with Graphic 45 goodness and just create to my heart's content!  So without further ado…….Welcome to my blog and to my Graphic 45 Design Team Audition 2015!

I hope the projects I am sharing today show my love of designing, my versatility and my love of Graphic 45 papers!  You might want to get a cup of coffee and a biscuit as this is a teensy bit of a long post ;-)

Those of you that know me already know I am totally addicted to making video tutorials to share and I have videoed all my new Graphic 45 creations so there will be a video or two to share today and a few more in the pipe line for later!  I am going to start the ball rolling with a couple of projects in my Art Journal.  Since I began this book 7 pages ago I knew I wanted to combine mixed media and art journalling with scrapbooking and Graphic 45 papers were the perfect inspiration for Pages 6 and seven.  Page 6 was inspired by the fresh and intricate patterns of Bohemian Bazaar and I was inspired to make this page to celebrate my garden……..

Throughout the year I intend to take photos of the flowers in my garden which I will print out and make into pretty tags to tuck into the pockets of my page.  I only have tiny daffodils blooming at the moment so until I have more flowers to photograph I can look at the sunny flowers I have created with my Graphic 45 papers!  Here is a video tutorial to show you how I made this page I hope it reflects my passion for sharing my love of paper crafting.

I decided to use Bird Song next and I just had to use my favourite paper in the whole collection - both sides are fab so I am using them both!!!  It is such a pretty paper and so romantic and that set me in the mood to create a page to celebrate 33 years of marriage this year (I know, I know, I can't possibly be old enough surely!!!!? ;-)

It took me a while to work out how to create my pop out heart shaped frame so that it didn't pop right out of the book when it was closed!  I love how the pretty fussy cut blossoms bring an extra dimension to the frame.  I have two tags in the side pockets that record how hubby and I first met and what we have been up to over the years - they are really, really long tags ;-)

Mmmmm what next……I am a crafting butterfly as you will notice during this audition and that is part of the reason I love Graphic 45 so much.  With each new collection comes the opportunity to try different styles and By the Sea was the perfect excuse to up-cycle three picture frames for our holiday photos.

I mixed in a little Tropical Travelogue into some of my frames too.  I love that there are so many opportunities to create embellishments and adornments with all the Graphic 45 paper collections - I just wish I could cut out as quickly as I do in fast forward on my YouTube tutorials!!!

You can see I have imported some of that sandy beach from Sarasota to Derby ;-)  Love that little starfish saying.  These frames were surprisingly easy to create and of course there will be a video coming soon!!!

My next set of photos were taken during the recent partial eclipse we had here in the UK.  Love the peachy tone it gave to my Bohemian Bazaar canvas!  I really enjoy creating mixed media pieces like this one - I think I became queen of the dimensional paint dots by the end of the project ;-)

Here is a close up of those blooms……I was thinking Peonies…..Have I captured them in paper?

A couple of cards to share next because I think they quickly show you how different paper collections inspire me and take me in so many different directions to explore lots of different crafting techniques and styles along the way.

Ladies Diary is simply elegant and romantic and perfect for my Mum's Mother's Day card this year.  There are those tiny daffodils in my garden I was telling you about earlier!

Sometimes it is fun to combine collections …..take a little bit of Secret Garden and add a sheet of Curtain Call…….

…….and voila!   Do you think this would be perfect to wear to a Graphic 45 Design Team Audition?  I hope it is in my size!

For a totally different vibe let's get fresh and vibrant with Bohemian Bazaar.

I loved weaving the patterned papers together to create my background and using one of the journalling cards as my inspiration for the cheerful colour scheme that is sure to make you smile.  Pretty fabric daisies with colourful button centres and the card is complete.

Before I go I just had to share some of my favourite creations from previous auditions.

Why not turn your favourite layouts into canvases to decorate your home:

I had great fun turning the die cut flowers from Secret Garden into flower vines to embellish my canvas.  Working on a canvas means you can still incorporate journalling and interactive elements but you can go a little further with dimension as you don't need to confine your layout to an album!

Here is a Graphic 45 Book Box makeover that now records our families favourite recipes and the documents the good times we had sharing them with friends and family:

There is a video tour of this project if you want to see more of the details.  This is from my first Audition in 2013 so it is fun to see how my videos have changed!

There is also a video tour of this fun and spooky mini album which I made last year.  The journalling cards that accompany many of the Graphic 45 paper collections were the starting point for me coming up with the pocket page design of this mini.  This time I used SteamPunk Spells and I am currently working on a By the Sea version.

Please watch the video if you want to see all the details in this mini - Notice it is complete!!!  Journalling and all ;-)

I couldn't let you go without showing you my love of designing 3D projects which I normally teach in my workshops.  I love to turn a piece of chipboard into something entirely different!  Graphic 45 papers make sure everyone loves the end result.  Here is my Pyramid Mini that I had the pleasure of teaching in Cornwall last year.

The Couture Collection was perfect to mix and match both in the creation of the pyramid and the mini contained in the base.

The pages of the mini open up to reveal more space for photos and journalling and check out the beauty of the papers that are revealed when the pyramid is fully open!

Time is running out ……..did you see what I did there!???

This clock is testament to the longevity of Graphic 45 Designs - Vintage never goes out of style.  This clock was created from chipboard and a metal flower tin many years ago and it is sitting on my dressing table…….and was made gorgeous by mixing and matching my Graphic 45 papers.

Last but definitely not least - another clock made entirely from chipboard (except the clock!)  This is one of my latest creations and it is decorated with Tropical Travelogue Papers.

And this one is Old Curiosity Shop.  When I designed the aperture in the base of the clock it was to showcase the fussy cut elements from the Graphic 45 paper collections that I used.  I always say if you are going to take the time and have the patience to fussy cut the elements from the papers you might as well celebrate them and get them noticed!

I have chosen to show you projects old and new and I really hope you like my creations.  Sorry about the length of the post but it is mostly pretty pictures!  I love to create and I love to teach so most of my creations come with a tutorial. All that is left for me to say is good luck to my fellow auditionees and a great big thank you to Graphic 45 for giving me the opportunity to audition today.  Keep everything crossed for me and wish me luck everyone!  How fabulous would it be to make video tutorials for Graphic 45?………...

Thank you for popping by


Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Rubber Dance April Colour Challenge

Hi Everyone

Today is the start of a brand new colour challenge over on the Rubber Dance blog and there are gorgeous stamps to be won!!!

The colours this month are Rose Pink, Dusky Grey and Powder Blue and there is an optional theme of texture.  I decided to start a brand new art journal and was inspired to create a page using two lovely Rubber Dance Stamps.  I use Lace as my background image so it was a perfect way to start building texture on my page and I used the large butterfly stamp from the Antique Botanicals set to enhance my background and to make a couple of fluttering features on my page.  Hope you like it.

There are lots of ways to add texture to a project - I have added jewels, stitching and layers of paper and the tiniest touches of distress glitter as you will see on the video tutorial.

I have decided this art journal is all about exploring how different products work with each other and this time I used Gesso, I stamped with Archival Ink and I used my Faber Castell Pitt pens to bring colour to my page.

I hope I have inspired you to play along with us over at Rubber Dance this month.  Just follow this link to see all the other inspiration from my fellow teamies.  I am always amazed at how many different directions each colour scheme inspires.  I look forward to seeing what you create.

I think you can see all the elements I used to create texture on my page in this close up!  Two video tutorials in two days!!!  I am off to put my feet up now ;-)

Have fun over at the Rubber Dance Blog - don't forget to check out all the lovely stamps while you are there.

Thank you for popping by X
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