30 September 2014


Being at the beginning of autumn I suppose it is no surprise that several blogs out there have Autumn themed challenges this month (I am rather late this month in getting entries for these completed!). I love everything about Autumn, I think it may actually be my favourite time of the year (and no not just because I was an October baby!), the chill in the air that isn't too cold like it can be in the winter, the autumn foliage and autumn walks in my wellies (read - intended walks which end up with me consuming my body weight in blackberries) kicking up the leaves. The challenge theme was at the forefront of my mind the entire time I was planning and then producing these projects, I hope you agree that they are definitely autumnal, even if you don't like them.

Card 1

The idea for this card popped into my head when I was trying to sleep (as most of my crafty ideas seem to do, sometimes it actually gets too much and I head downstairs to craft, fortunately this was not one of those times!). The concept is fairly simple leaves (by Oakhouse Studio) stamped in the same colour as the card stock they were stamped on to and then the edges were inked. I inked the green card stock before sticking it to my card. It was always my intention that ribbon would run along the bottom of the card but I spent forever deliberating on which ribbon, the colours of anything I attached to the ribbon etc etc. Below is part of the thought process I went through;

Once again I was not happy to just leave my envelope plain I needed to make it just a little bit different, keeping it simple I stamped a row of leaves in the colours I had used on the card. This card was much admired by those in this house, to the extent that it was asked if I had any plans for it and when I said that I did not it was immediately snapped up by Tom's mum for her friends birthday :)

Card 2

A simple principle, but (at least I think) a fairly effective end product. I masked the centre of the plain scalloped card off using a sticky all over post it (available in W H Smiths) which I punched a circle out with my amazing fiskars circle squeeze punch! I then proceeded to stamp my leaves, lightest to darkest (Saffron Archival, Orange Blossom Archival, Cherry Cobbler Stampin' Up and a Brilliance tear drop in Coffee Bean). Next I removed the mask and stamped my sentiment (which as you can tell only just fitted, though for the sake of positivity let's say it was a perfect fit)! The finishing touch was to colour the flower and leaves of my sentiment in Cherry Cobbler and OHS Spring Green using a fine paint brush. As you can see I couldn't resist decorating my envelope a little :)

Well I didn't get around to completing a 3rd project in time, I guess this month has all just been a bit too much for me, I may blog the one I am working on at a later date anyway, I hope you all like the two I have managed to produce anyway :) Apologies for any ramblings, typos, inaccuracies or mistakes, this blogger is the tiredist (I know it's not a word, but for now forgive me) she has been in quite some time!!!

I would like to enter all of three of my autumn projects in the Oakhouse Studio's  'Autumnal Colours' Challenge. I would also like to enter Card 1 in the Inspiration Emporium 'Fall is in the Air' Challenge.

Thanks all for reading as always,

- Rebecca

28 September 2014

Pastel Birthday Card...

....not exactly the most detailed brief in the world, yet off I went to the craft area, to gather materials and put my thinking cap on! This card was intended for a colleague of Tom's mum, who was born on the same day as Tom's parents got married, 30 years ago (I'm sure I will blog their anniversary card too at some point). I decided to make several cards that fulfilled the brief and to then let Helene choose the one she liked the most (and to try to sell the others).

30 Candles for the big 3-0!

This idea played out in my head for a long time before I was happy enough with it to put it to paper! The first issue being that to fit 30 paper candles on a card that card would need to be fairly long, not wanting it to become too heavily loaded I needed to balance the need for space with the sturdiness of the card, I folded a piece of A4 card in half and then carefully trimmed a bit off the end a little at a time until I had the correct size of card.The next problem was the envelope, it was clear from the very start that I did not have any envelopes in my stash that the card would fit inside, and my envelope board did not have measurements for a card of that size, so I called the Crafting Oracle, my lovely mum immediately set to working out the exact measurements I would need to create my own envelope, as you can see in the picture it is perfect, thanks Mum (her blog).

The candles are made from off cuts of paper found in my scraps bags (plural because even after a huge sort through and rationalisation of them this week, I still find myself with far too many to fit in just one or even two bags) and I would thus like to enter this card into Pixie's Crafty Workshop - Snippets Playground Week #144. First I calculated how tall the candles needed to be and the optimum width of paper for a 3-4mm wide candle, cut and measure all my strips (and a couple of spare just in case!), I then stuck dst in the middle of the strip (length ways) and also on the right hand edge. Next I used a barbeque skewer to roll the paper around being careful that it stuck together smoothly. I stuck the candles to the card I had made, the final step was to create the flames, for this I used my quickie glue pen to draw the shape of the flame and then put glitter on top (I had a slight accident with the glitter - in my attempts to blow some glitter from the card, I didn't think about how that gust of air would also send the pile of glitter on my paper flying in 100 different directions - oops - oh well I have now glittered my leggings, t -shirt and face, not to mention my computer keyboard!). 

A pastel floral wreath

Another card with the gorgeous floral wreath stamp borrowed from my lovely friend Zana. This card was fairly simple, the wreath was stamped and then coloured in using my WH Smith watercolour pencils in pastel pink and purple. Some of the flowers have been raised up using 3D foam and then gems were attached to each individual flower (purple on the pink flowers and pink on the purple flowers). It took me some time to decide on what to put in the middle of the wreath, once I had decided to put 30, there was more deliberation as to whether to use stickers or stamps, in the end I decided the number stamps I had were not appropriate for this card and used some gorgeous black glittery numbers, though I was slightly concerned that they were too small, what do you think?

Floral ink blended card

This card is like cards I have blogged previously, so I won't go into much detail on the process again. Ink blending in pastel colours with black flowers (2 raised on 3D foam) centered with co-ordinating gems (to the ink). A simple Happy Birthday sentiment (by Woodware, I've only recently discovered their stamps but have discovered how beautifully they stamp, even on linen card stock) was stamped in black ink before mounting the finished design onto black card stock (I failed to get it straight on the first five attempts, my mind wasn't up for concentrating particularly hard) and then attaching it to the card itself.

Flip Card

I absolutely love this Sizzix Flip-it die that I have borrowed from my mum (and I love all the others too, even without having them to play with!) and decided to use it with some free patterned papers (I can't remember which magazine they were from), to create an option for a 30th birthday card. This die set is brilliant, it has most of the shapes you need to complete this card, my only slight disappoint is the lack of straight edged squares (in fact I actually just measured and cut my own on my trimmer in the end as I didn't want wavy edges and the small straight squares were too small), but this doesn't put me off. I think I will make simple Christmas cards to sell using this die, once I am done with all the crafting that I have on my list to do by the end of this week!

I cut out the card and all the shapes I needed before sitting down to put it together, this was simple to do. After attaching the papers (on the back too, something I wouldn't normally do when selling a card in order to cut down on costs) and stamping Happy Birthday, I punched some butterflies out of the same papers and attached them down the middle to the card (to allow for some dimension and movement), I finished the butterflies by glueing a line of clear gems down their centres. 

Those that have read my previous blog posts will know that I like to decorate my envelopes too (especially when using cheaper envelopes), to make them a little more special. For this envelope I stuck a row of 5 butterflies in alternating papers, and then attached a second to the second butterfly in for some dimension, my finishing touch was again a row of clear gems stuck down the middle of the butterfly.

Tom's mum is having a tough time choosing between the Candle Card and the Flip Card, to be honest I'm not sure which I would choose either (though the Candle Card took literally HOURS)! *UPDATE* She chose the butterfly flip card, though thought maybe the 3 and the 0 should have been on the same side, what do you all think? I know I intentionally did it the way it is but cannot for the life of me remember the reason, my memory is failing me, I guess I am nearly another year older! Thanks for reading, I must get on I still have a 30th anniversary card, a baby card and a canvas to complete before we fly off to Sweden on Friday morning (and the anniversary card is for tomorrow!), not to mention another two cards to enter in the Oakhouse Studio 'Autumn Colours' challenge (HERE),

- Rebecca

24 September 2014

Can you guess what it is?

My friend Zana was sent this link and thought of me, as soon as I saw it I loved the idea and decided to give it a go, fortunately between us Zana and I managed to get together all the tools necessary (or compromises, we can't always afford or have the space to buy the exact things needed for every project we like) and I was able to give it a go at my local crop. I am going to try to let the pictures talk as much as possible as this needs to be a quick blog post, too much to do, too little time, why does everything always need doing at once?!

The organised crafter inside me always likes to get all my elements together before piecing the whole project together (I know this isn't always possible but I am always a lot happier in myself when it is!) The tan card stock was edged in Sepia archival ink and the pink elements were edged in Dusky pink by Oakhouse Studio. Can you tell what it is yet? (N.B. I actually ended up using 5 pieces of the tan card stock, to make it easier to secure the hearts in place as the heart punch I have is smaller than the one used in the original design).

Once I had gathered all the elements (which I believe takes the most time in any project), it was time to piece them all together.

It's a cute little owl!

Back, Head and Front

The banner the owl is holding is from a Stampin' Up set (Banner Blast) and was stamped in Dusky pink by Oakhouse Studio before being punched out with the co-ordinating banner punch.

Left: the completed card with a little friend to stick inside (made using the Stampin' Up Owl punch using the same papers as were used on the main card). Right: the inside of the card.

Sleepy Owl (not sad owl as both Tom and his mum thought), next time I shall try something else with the eyes.

Thanks for reading my blog, I really enjoyed making this card and all credit for the inspiration and design goes to Bronwyn Eastley of Addinktive Designs, who in turn got the idea from Sharnee Torrents of Alarnee Creations, that's all for now folks, please come back to read more soon,

- Rebecca

21 September 2014

Like a Christmas turkey

So I don't talk about it a lot and I don't want sympathy but I've been ill for a whole year now (give or take a few days) and the drs are actually finally trying to be useful! I'm severely deficient in magnesium, so I am having to stuff myself with many different forms of magnesium (hence the title of this post). I only mention this as the purpose of this post is to blog about a meal my Mum came up with as a magnesium rich meal to consume magnesium more naturally (I am still on a gazillion different tablets, oil sprays and bath flakes for the skin but I'd much prefer to be able to get it all from food). I cooked this dish for lunch yesterday and thought I'd share it with you all.

Ingredients (serves 1):

* 2 or 3 handfuls kale
* 2 tbsp puy lentils
* 2 rashers bacon
* 1 egg
* 1 tbsp mozarella (or any other cheese of your preference, grated)


* Heat 1 tsp of oil in a frying pan, get the pan very hot before adding the kale.
* Meanwhile cook 2 rashers of bacon in another frying pan until crispy
* Add the kale and ensure you keep the kale moving.
* Add the lentils to the kale and keep mixing.
* Once the bacon is cooked, turn the heat down on the kale pan and add the bacon to keep it warm.
* Fry your egg in the bacon pan (no oil necessary).
* Pile the kale and lentil in the centre of the plate. Top with the bacon, followed by the egg (I like it so the yolk will break and run over the rest of the ingredients) and finally a sprinkling of grated cheese (either your favourite cheese or whatever you have to hand).

The finished product (minus the cheese)

Presentation needs to be improved, but here is the meal (with chicken added as it needed using up!)

Leafy green vegetables (such as Kale) are very good sources of magnesium, as are many legumes and lentils (such as puy lentils). Another good source of magnesium is nuts (particularly almonds).

Thanks for reading,

- Rebecca x

15 September 2014

Another Organisational Post

Just a quick post today, I just want to show you all one way I use to organise my stamps. The stamps concerned in this post are by Oakhouse Studio. When my first order from Oakhouse Studio arrived they were in a rather useful box so I decided that from then on as my collection of their stamps grew (regular readers will have already noted how much I like their products) I would keep them in that box.

My gorgeous (FREE) storage box for my OHS Stamps

Close up of the stamped image 

The next step was to decide how to store them within the box, I decided to opt for resealable bags. I then cut card stock to fit within the bags and stamped the image on to my card stock (writing in the top left hand corner which stamp set the images belonged to.

My collection of OHS stamps (stamped for ease of reference)

Thanks for visiting my blog,

- Rebecca

13 September 2014

Ink Blended Backgrounds

First and foremost I must apologise for the length of this post. As anyone that has read some of my previous posts will know I have been practising making ink blended backgrounds lately, following a techniques workshop I attended, though I had used this technique before, so was ahead of some in the class! It has been lovely to rediscover this technique.

A selection of completed backgrounds

I have found that it is useful, once you've gotten into the mindset of making these backgrounds, to sit down and produce all the backgrounds at once and only then to get out all of your stamps and have a play with what you want to add to your cards. Sometimes the colours just shout a theme at you, other times I have found that it is harder to decide the theme to go with. An example of this is the second card from the right just told me to go with a seaside theme, whereas with the right most card it took a little longer.

Happy Birthday Card (entered in the Lavinia Stamps August Challenge - 'Add some glitter')

Thank You Card (entered into the Butterfly Challenge Blog - #13 Butterfly with a sentiment)

Thinking of You Card - in progress, this card needs mounting on a coloured background before being stuck on a card (for Tom's Mormor who is unwell at the moment)

Just for You cards

These cards were ever so quick and easy to produce, they are small cards made from the off cuts of other cards I've made (I don't like to waste anything as you may be starting to realise). I simply blended a couple of shades of brown, masking only the top of the card with my torn edge, and then stamped this lovely Geese stamp (that we accidentally borrowed from Barbara who ran the techniques workshop with my mum) and added peel off sentiments.

It is fantastic how many different looks you can get in a card with one simple technique. Thanks for reading, if you want to know anymore about how I've created these cards please ask and I will try my best to help with your questions,

- Rebecca x

N.B. I will create a further post at a later date when I have turned all of my backgrounds into cards :)

Even my masking materials are nice and colourful!

9 September 2014

A craft show and a lovely crafty friend :)

Last Sunday Tom was kind enough to act as a chauffeur and take my friend Zana (from the local crop I attend) and me to the Sincerely Yours Papercraft show in Thetford (over an hour from where we actually live, though at least Zana lived on the way so no need for a big detour).  I went intending just to go for the inspiration, to watch the demos and see various ideas of different companies and maybe to buy some new blades for my paper trimmer (which was fraying everything I attempted to cut) . Naturally there was much temptation and it wasn't helped by Tom's encouragement to buy various things (I was impressed with how long he managed before he went to sit in the car, I think he would have last longer had his flat footed-ness not got the better of him, yet again I digress, sorry!). I do, however, feel that everything I got was useful and I am sure nothing will sit in the cupboard gathering dust, the card stock and blank cards with envelope were just too good an offer to resist, as was my new paper trimmer which doubles as a scoreboard, it really was a bargain (I've been thinking about getting a new score board for a while as I dislike how my hougie board does not measure 1/4 inches, and also there were no blades to be found for my current trimmer).

My new trimmer/scoreboard - I love it, though it did take me 20 minutes to open the packaging!

After these purchases (and a few other bits for me and some stocking fillers for my mum) I felt that I was more than spent up and could not justify spending anymore. At the final stand Zana and I both fell in love with  2 stamps:

Zana, who had not spent up, bought them with the offer that I could borrow them, a lovely gesture, it is so nice to now have someone local whose craft items I can borrow. On the way home Zana passed me the stamps and said that I could play with them this week, first, as she wouldn't have time, before she'd even had a chance to play! Though a nice gesture (and one I fear I'd struggle to make) it did increase my anxiety levels (which I do struggle with anyway), what if I damaged them? What if they didn't work very well? What if...? What if.....? Today I managed to push that anxiety aside and use one of the stamps to make a few cards (the stamps go back to Zana on Saturday so I need to play lots before then). Here are the results, some lovely simple cards:

'Happy Birthday'

A quick explanation of how I made the card (these steps were also followed for the other cards):

* Stamp the wreath (in Tuxedo Black Memento ink) on a 5 inch square card (eyeing it up to attempt to get it central in the card)
* Stamp another wreath on a piece of stamping card in the same ink
* Stamp Happy Birthday (or sentiment of choice) in the centre of the wreath
* Cut out 6 'big' flowers (3 will be used to decorate the envelope - see picture of all 3 cards)
* Choose which of the flat big flowers to raise and attach the cut out flowers using 3D foam
* Add gems (of your choice) to the centre of all the flowers (I used bigger gems on the big flowers and smaller gems on the smaller flowers - common sense I guess!)

'Thank you'

The flower of the Thank you stamp was coloured with Victorian Velvet and Peeled Paint distress inks and a yellow gem was added to the centre of the flower

'Merry Christmas'

Rather than stamping the Merry Christmas in the centre (this particular stamp wouldn't have fitted anyway, though I do have ones that would but I wanted to try one of my new stamps), I decided to stamp the wreath towards the top of the card and stamp the sentiment underneath.

The 3 cards with their decorated envelopes (3 flowers in the lower right hand corner, the gems matching those on the corresponding card)

I am not at all big headed (no self-confidence Rebecca, that's me) but I am rather pleased with how these cards turned out (though not with the group photo, it was very windy and the cards kept falling over!).

Cards left to finish, I think I may do something a little different with these cards

I'd like to enter the 'Thank you' card into the Crafting at the Weekend - Anything Goes Challenge #5

I'm exhausted now and off for a rest, I hate tiring so quickly but at least I get my next magnesium infusion tomorrow so I may have more energy after that. Thanks for reading, apologies for any ramblings,

- Rebecca

8 September 2014

The Creative Blog Hop

WARNING: This is not a short blog post!


Monday again! The day where all kinds of  artists from many different genres, join in The Creative Blog Hop (TCBH) after being tagged by someone the previous Monday. The Creative Blog Hop is the brain child of a blogger, whose identity has been lost along the way. The intention is for us all, as bloggers, to get to know each other better and share ideas and inspiration. It is most commonly explained as similar to the playground game 'Tag' (you're it) but over a huge expanse of space (conceivably the whole world - or at least the parts of the world that have access to the internet). Each Blogger introduces their tagger and themselves, answers four questions about themselves and then they 'tag' three more Bloggers and it goes on and on (or at least that is the aim of the game).

My 'Tagger' - Liz

I met my tagger Liz Cavill (her blog - Crafty Sunflower) through my mum who knew her through a mutual friend. Liz also attends the local crop which I used to attend when I lived at home and still try to go to from time to time when I am home to visit. She is a retired teacher who lives in the South West of England with her husband, with grown up children who have 'flown the nest'. Although retired Liz still runs scrap booking and card making after school activities for infant school children. Liz has, like most crafters, tried many crafts over time but now prefers paper crafting.

My Interview:

* Me:

Who am I? I am not going to get deep, meaningful and philosophical with this at all, but it is an interesting question and one that I believe not many could answer about themselves on more than a matter of fact basis, on the basis of their every day lives and not life as a whole. Once again I digress (sorry for that), I'm Rebecca, 24 years old and live near the Norfolk Coast with my boyfriend Tom (and his parents for now, though we will have our own space soon when our annexe is built, with the fridge in front of the adjoining door). I graduated from the University of East Anglia last summer with a 2:1 in LLB Law (also studying French law and French language). I do not currently work due to ill health over the last year but I am currently in the process of starting my own business, which can be run from home (or even from bed when necessary!).

* My Crafting:

I have been crafting for approximately 23 of my 24 years, though I normally got bad grades in Art at school, I cannot draw to save my life! You could say crafting is hard wired into my DNA, my paternal Grandma was very creative as is my mum. My favourite crafts include card making, scrap booking and jewelery making, though I have been dabbling into mixed media and art journaling lately. My  'voyage' into scrap booking started when I was 16, I had bought an album from QVC to make a memory book for my best friend who had moved to America 7 years previously and who I was visiting that summer, I found a local shop to buy papers, embellishments, etc and it grew from there, attending the shop's crop every month and I haven't stopped since. I like to learn new crafts and 9 times out of 10 it is my mum who introduces me to them, and I often return from a visit home armed with lots of new ideas and a bag full of materials so I can play to my hearts content (and another bag full of freshly washed clothes!).

* My Blogging:

When I'm not at my craft desk (or doing boring every day things like the washing!!) you can probably find me in the kitchen (though it's a bit more difficult these days with illness affecting my back), as cooking is my other main hobby. Recently I decided to combine both of these passions into a blog (I have only been blogging for a little over a month) in order to meet some like minded people. I have also found it nice to communicate with (and 'meet') new people, through following blogs and commenting on items that interest me, it makes life a little less lonely being stuck at home with everyone out at work.

* My Inspiration:

Since starting blogging I would say that a lot of my more recent inspiration has been found on various blogs that I have stumbled across, either by my mum's suggestion, the suggestions of her friends or my own searches. There are also many other places I turn to for inspiration - Pinterest, books, magazines, you tube videos (I love these as I find it easy to learn how something is done by watching it in action, I will normally remember after a couple of views, than reading a printed list of instructions, though photos do help to some extent) and quite often every day life. I sleep badly (and often you will find me at my computer in the middle of the night reading blogs, crafting or watching you tube demonstrations) and it is often when I am lying in bed unable to sleep that a lot of ideas just pop into my mind, which makes it even more difficult to sleep as all I then want to do is play!

* My Craft Space:

My craft room also serves as Tom and I's computer room, Tom and I's gym and Tom and I's generally storage area at the moment, so most of my photos have been deliberately angled in a particular way to avoid showing how much of a mess the room actually is. Once the building work is finished we will have a computer room which will also serve as my craft room but not a gym (we are going to build a shed in the garden for this purpose once everything else is done) or general storage (hopefully everything will have its own home, I certainly won't want lots of glasses, plates, mugs etc cluttering the room up anymore!). For now here are the carefully edited photos of my 'craft room':

My view when sat at my desk - I have several pots for pens and tools, the purple 'cube' is my rubbish basket, I keep my most used adhesive around the second pen pot. In front of my speaker is a punch waiting for me to attempt to fix it. The three little 'tubs' are actually from a hardware shop, and contain many odds and ends - handmade by stickers for my cards, snippets from various cards, adhesives - I have good intentions to tidy these pots but I never ever seem to get around to it!

My trusty 'table top' tote lives to my right hand side, along with a paper holder, my score board, some 12 by 12 bags with all my scraps of paper and currently my new box board which I haven't yet had a chance to play with and a card I am working on for Tom's Mormor (maternal Grandma)

Also to my right hand side (on top of Tom's filing cabinet and the bag containing the air bed) are many bits and bobs. At the bottom 12 by 12 boxes holding many of my papers, then some ex display paper holders from a closing down sale, each section with its own area (which often gets ignored), from tools, to chip board, to work in progress and more. The top part holds my most used tools, my 12 inch trimmer, my Creative Memories personal trimmer, stamp blocks (and scrubber) and baby wipes.

My wicker baskets (with lots of craft items inside - all carefully categorised - unlike most other things in this room, I prefer not to face outwards in the room, if I cannot see the mess it cannot stress me out!). My table top craft spinner was a Christmas present from my parents, I absolutely love it but keep changing my mind as to what I want to store inside it. On top are items I've made, items I've been sent and the lava lamp I bought Tom one Christmas.

Left: Tom's computer parts cupboard (I get the drawers underneath which I keep items in to alter). Middle: Shared plastic drawers (lower three with craft items, and also craft items on top - anyone think I could do with my own room? Answers to Tom please :p. Right: Tall chest of drawers (again all organised, ink pads in the small drawers, stamps in one draw, punches in one draw, card stock in another).

All of the above I realise are not the specific questions required to be answered for The Creative Blog Hop but everyone first introduces themselves and for me, I decided it was easier to split the first part of the part about myself into further sub-headings, now for the official questions:

1. What am I working on now?

Looking at my desk, you wouldn't necessarily pick out what I am working on right now, I am fairly OCD about keeping things in their place and prefer to put things away at the end of a session (Read: whilst still using it, most of the time, which leads to frustration). Once August has passed I have very few personal cards to send, very few birthdays at least, so that is when I tend to begin work on my Christmas cards, I have a design in place and my prototype finished but I don't want to include it in this post as it will spoil it for any of my recipients who are reading this. This year I am also planning on having a stall at some Christmas sales (if anyone is planning an event in Norfolk please let me know), if I can get enough cards and hand crafted items produced in time, for this I have decided to not only produce Christmas cards but also hand crafted gift boxes, gift tags and also cards for other occasions, as if people attending were anything like me they would probably have most of their cards organised already. I also have a few other ideas in the pipe line concerning sale items but I am going to keep this close to my chest for a while longer yet. Here are some cards I have produced recently, I am very much enjoying using ink blended backgrounds at the moment:

Cards I made to enter into various contests (and hopefully sell too!)

2. How does my work differ from others in my genre?

I don't really have a particular genre, I will flit from one craft to another (Di from Pixie's Crafty Workshop as 'butterfly crafting' which I rather like to imagine) but invariably return to paper crafting as my craft of choice. I would never like to have my genre labelled and from then on out and have to conform to the box, that is definitely not who I am (my mother's genes coming to the forefront once again).

I am experimenting with different genres within the one genre (of paper crafting) so to speak, my challenge (to myself) at the moment is to try to keep my cards CAS, leaving 'white' space untouched (working on the LIM principle at the moment too), however CAS in my opinion doesn't have to mean not using inks! I love being inky and messy and very few of my cards involve no stamping or inked backgrounds.

3. Why do I create what I do?

Why does anyone craft? I believe that any crafter would give an answer somewhere along a spectrum of the same theme. For relaxation? For enjoyment? To sell (either for yourself or charity)? First and foremost I fall within the relaxation category, broadly speaking,  I need something to keep my mind occupied (to stop it wandering) and my hands busy, as mentioned briefly I have been struggling with my health, leaving me feeling extremely lethargic and unable to do much requiring exertion (when I do, I usually end up in bed, sometimes for days). I do have to say I do not find card making relaxing when I cannot make my ideas come to fruition, but I think the same is true of all crafters. I can equally explain my reason for creating what I do as being for enjoyment, those frustrations and niggles that emerge when a project isn't going the right way mean nothing when you can see the smile on someone's face or the happiness in their voice at the end of the phone on receiving something hand made, something that has clearly had much thought and time spent on it, that for me makes creating what I do worthwhile (someone pass me a bucket, I'm sounding so cheesy I might just throw up!).

4. How does my creative process work?

I don't have a set creative process, I will usually start a project with an idea in my head (or having first browsed various sources for inspiration when I can't get my creative head straight) but from there ideas will usually evolve into something I could never have envisioned at the beginning of the process.

My Three 'Tagees':

I am very new to this whole blogging process, as I've already mentioned I only began blogging at the beginning of August. For this reason when Liz asked me to join in The Creative Blog Hop I almost turned her down, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to find three people with their own blogs to tag to keep the 'game' moving along.  Fortunately the lovely Lynnda Worsnop of Oakhouse Studio allowed me to put out a call for volunteers on their facebook page (Inkspired by Oakhouse Studio - if you aren't already a member you should take a look, there is a lot of inspiration from group members as well as monthly challenge in which you can win a £40 voucher to spend on items in the shop). Low and behold I actually got some volunteers and was able to accept Liz's offer.

* Janna:

'Okay, so I am retired from full time work so can now do all the things I love & as people always say - I am so busy I don't know how I found time to work. I still demonstrate for DoCrafts. I love scrapbooking, card making, altered art ,Watercolour botanical painting. knitting, crochet, sewing & cross stitch . Oh and baking. Shame we have to sleep ! I love my tiny garden, but luckily it is more for sitting painting as it's mostly patio pots I have a busy daughter who has 4 children, 7, 4 & 2 yr old twins, so I help there when I can as she has tattoo shops. My husband converted the attic for me as my craft stuff was taking over the house (sound familiar!) Hence the name of my page Janna-scrapping in the attic. Oh and I am also a big Tim Holtz fan who very much influences my work.'
* Emily

Emily is 27 years old, married to Liam, with two sons, Thomas who's two and Daniel who is one.

'I started dabbling in craft after having my second son and initially had a go at making memory wire bracelets. That has progressed and I now do quite a lot of jewelery making. I also have taken up sewing. I started making hanging hearts and felt christmas decorations and since then have bough a sewing machine. My favourite things to make on the sewing machine is bags but I am in the middle of my first item of clothing which is a dress for myself. I have recently been dabbling in papercraft and have had my handmade greetings cards in a shop for two months now. I recently attended a card making workshop and it has sparked my enthusiasm for making cards. I don't have a lot of knowledge of different techniques but I enjoy learning and want to try new things.'

Not unlike me Emily is very new to blogging and would appreciate new followers/readers to share her crafting with, so please visit her blog Emily's Crafty Journey.

* Bev

'Hi Rebecca - here goes Hi I'm Bev - I am so pleased to be joining The Creative Blog Hop - Thanks Rebecca. I have tried lots of crafts over the years -cross stitch, cake baking & decorating, knitting, crochet,painting. I found cardmaking about 10 years ago & I really enjoy this but have now discovered other 'messy' things to do! Mixed media, Gelli plate - my list goes on. I also love digital crafting.' 

Please visit Bev's blog, where she will next week be posting her Creative Blog Hop experience (as will my other tagees on their blogs) - Bev's Craft Space

My 'Tagees' Blog Addresses (again):

Phew, finally done, that took a lot more than a short while, but then again I always do ramble on too much for my own good! I'm going to go and play now *runs away from the computer*. Thanks all for reading my Creative Blog Hop post, I hope you have enjoyed it (and have not died from boredom),

- Rebecca x

5 September 2014

'I do like to be beside the seaside'

I love love love the seaside, I would say who doesn't but I do actually know a couple of people who don't! I spent many a happy summer as a child running around the beaches of Cornwall, body boarding, rock pooling, building sand castles, I loved it all and I still do, though living in Norfolk makes it a bit of a trek to get to Cornwall, there are some nice beaches here but it definitely isn't the same (as I actually discussed with our neighbour yesterday who had just got back from Cornwall). Anyway, I digress, when I came across the most recent challenge on the 'Less is More' challenge blog (HERE) many ideas popped into my head, should I use sea shells that I had collected? Should I gather sand from the beach and use it on my card? Should I use the sea glass that we found by the handful on a recent trip to St Andrews? I don't know why I decided against all of these ideas,  perhaps because I remembered the gorgeous new shell stamps that my mum had just bought me from Oakhouse Studio. So this is how my card progressed and ended:

The card prior to any embellishment

When I make cards I do not usually create the card and then add embellishments, I build it up ( starting with a background and embellishments, before mounting on backing paper, if I am using matting and layering and attaching to the card) for some reason today I did everything in reverse! I immediately wanted to use these colours, they were sitting on my desk crying out to be used. This blended background was produced by blending (explained in previous posts, but if you want me to explain again just ask) three lovely colours by Stampin' Up (Coastal Cabana, So Saffron and Baked Brown Sugar) which I got at a retreat I went to in May (this will be blogged at some point in the future, it was fantastic and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone, no mobile phone signal and no internet for 3 days = challenging but bliss!). It took me a while to decide on a colour to mount the background on before attaching it to my card, I must have tried at least ten different colours/shades before remembering that I actually had the matching Baked Brown Sugar card stock to the ink 

As an aside I really like the Stampin' Up Ink Pads (and indeed the spot ink pads too), they have a great mechanism and you can also, by pressing down firmly on the top, splodge ink on to the cover to use for 'painting', and they are available in a extensive range of gorgeous colours (with co-ordinating papers, ribbons and embellishments available). I would give them 4* (out of 5), simply because sometimes I struggle to close them.

Shells, stamped in the same colours as the background, ready to be cut out

This gorgeous shell design comes in a set of 4 stamps from Oakhouse Studio. I love them all but this one was the perfect size for today's project. I stamped the shell multiple times in each colour and then cut them out so that I could play with placement and work out which colour way looked best. The texture produced by stamping on linen card is stunning though it is much harder to achieve a crisp image.

I spent much time arranging and rearranging the shells and I am still not entirely confident of the result. Below are two options for my final card, which do you think looks best? I'd like everyone reading on this to cast their vote as I want to sell the card at some point :)

The slightly more CAS version

With a shell fragment attached 

The inside of the card (excuse my rather raw looking hands and the poor photograph)

The message inside the card reads 'Happy Birthday to You' x 4! I actually used the Baked Brown Sugar card stock to cover up some rather smudged stamping (it's not a good idea to stamp when you're stressed out by a million and one things that are going on around you), how do you deal with mistakes? Do you try to cover them up? Do you treat them as happy accidents? Or do you throw your work in the bin (rather like #bingate on the GBBO)?

- Rebecca

3 September 2014

Stampin' Up Class - Christmas Crafts

A few weeks ago, when I was back in Bristol visiting my parents, my mum asked me if I was interested in going to a Stampin' Up Class with her friend Belinda (a Stampin' Up demonstrator). I love Stampin' Up products (and don't think I'll ever have enough, though I picked up a few bargains on a Facebook sale group a few days ago), so I immediately jumped at the chance. Over the course of the evening we made 4 christmas items all produced solely using Stampin' Up products :)

Gift Box (made using a Big Shot Die)

For this box the first step was to create our own patterned card. We used two squares of green card and stamped snowflakes on them in white (to make it uniform I followed a grid pattern so that both sheets were the same). The Big Shot die was used to cut out the same shape from each piece of card, it was then simple to attach the two pieces together to form the box (and we had left over scraps, which I always love to have, though my available crafting space would disagree). All that was left to do was to decorate the tag and attach it to the box. The circle with the snowflake is raised using 3D foam, with my love of bling I couldn't resist adding some to the centre of the snowflake! Two sentiment stamps were used to stamp merry and bright in Old Olive and Cherry Cobbler (coincidentally two inks that I bought in my bargain finds on facebook). Finally I attached the tag using a sparkly silver ribbon.

Gift Box (made using the Stampin' Up box board (there is also the same box board produced by We R Memory Keepers)

This box was made using the new box board, at first I found this board very intimidating to use and got very confused with how to cut and score the box. After a simple demonstration and a bit of practice I had mastered it (and remember that we only had 2 hours to complete all 4 projects). Once I had punched parts out and scored my card (all using the board), the construction was fairly simple. I mounted some co-ordinating patterned paper on white card and then mounted it on the front of the box and then tied the box together using both ribbon and silver threaded twine. Personally I would decorate this box further (patterned paper on each side and maybe a sentiment tag for example) but I do understand that in order for a class to make money you will only be given a certain amount of materials for your money. The board is absolutely fantastic (and my Mum bought me one a week ago which I still need to play with, thanks Mum!) and can make lots of different boxes of all different shapes and sizes, and not just in the sizes shown on the board, after a bit of practice you can figure out your own measurements.

The Gift Boxes

Simple Christmas Card

Truthfully I don't like this card, I cannot get straight in my mind what I would do differently but I do know that it needs a lot of improvement in design.  Most of the card was already trimmed to size for us. First we stamped the sentiment 'A very merry everything to you and yours' (too wordy a sentiment in my opinion) and punched it out using a Stampin' Up tag punch, there is supposed to be a white border around the sentiment but my hand slipped (oops!) as I was punching it out and left my border wonky, I wasn't happy with this at all, so I cut all the white off (using my lovely new X cut scissors, they are brilliant!). In the class sample a white circle was stuck to the grey card but I decided to make it differently and punch a circle in the grey so that the white would show through. The sentiment was stuck to a green backing which was cut using the Big Shot and a Stampin' Up die (I did say that everything provided and used in the class was Stampin' Up, scissors and adhesives aside as we had to bring our own, they are trying to sell their products after all!). The flower is the only part of the card that I actually like and will be trying to replicate again, the leaves were cut once again on the Big Shot, we then punched out 4 flowers, sprayed them liberally with water and screwed them up, they were then layered together, attached with a brad and left to dry before attaching it to the card (look out for more projects using these flowers at some point in the future).

More Complicated Christmas Card

I found this card slightly more challenging - using an embossing folder (I hate trying to get them lined up straight and wish the piece of card had been marginally wider as part of the design on each side got chopped off) and it was the first time I had attempted two step stamping. The embossing was the first step. Next, I used a small piece of white card to stamp the Christmas tree in green and then to add the red 'baubles'. This stamp has a co-ordinating punch (and I am very jealous that my mum has ordered the bundle of the two, they may be 'borrowed' next time I go home), so I punched the tree from the centre of the brown circle (using a post it punched tree as a guide) of card and then layered the two together. After sticking this to the embossed piece of card (which was unfortunately barely big enough to stick the circle too without covering part of the design - I'll shut up about this issue now!), I attached a gold star to the top of the tree and stuck two snowflakes on for ornamental purposes). The sentiment ('A merry little wish') was stamped in Cherry Cobbler ink (I love love this colour) and I hand cut the white and red card to look as above, as a finishing flourish I tied a bow in red and white 'floss' and attached it to my card. Not shown is the design inside - a sentiment stamped in Cherry Cobbler and a two-step Christmas tree in the lower right hand corner.

The Christmas Cards

The four items produced at the class (an evening class lasting just 2 hours!)

Thanks for reading, apologies for a lengthy post (I hope you enjoyed it and found it informative), please follow me and visit again soon,

- Rebecca