Friday, 27 December 2013

Quick Christmas Card Solution? Hmmmm

As I said in my last post, I find Christmas cards stressful as you have to make so many. I thought I'd had a fantastic idea when I decided to Google some old fashioned recipes for mince pies, or recipes for mulled wine, print them out nicely and stick them on a card... lazy, I know, but it seemed like a quick card solution.

I decided to go for mulled wine and found a couple of different recipes, for orange spiced wine and a non-alcoholic version of mulled wine. I arranged them in PagePlus, and was about to print them all out and stick them on some small square cards, feeling pleased with myself.

But then I started fretting, thinking what if I send these to people, but they haven't got the ingredients necessary to make the drink? I mean, it's easy enough to get a bottle of wine, but it's annoying to buy a whole jar of nutmeg when you only want 1/4 tsp of it.So I decided to make up some little spice bags, using muslin squares from Lakeland, and then wrapping it in some festive cloth I had been hoarding for a few years... I changed the recipes to say '1 bag of festive spices' instead of listing the individual spices, and printed off labels to fasten to the spice bags, listing the contents.

So my fantastic idea for quick cards ended up being much more time-consuming, but our kitchen smelled lovely while I was making all of the spice bags :)

Here are the recipes:

Here are the spices used:

And here are the finished spice bags:

Merry Christmas!

Christmas cards, of course...

I actually managed to get my cards made and posted before the deadline this year! Must be a first...

Christmas cards are a bit stressful, as you have to make so many. It doesn't help that I always seem to leave it 'til the last minute! I had a go at some small (7.7cm x 7.7cm) cards, to speed up the process. They still seemed to take a while, though! Here are some snaps of them - please excuse the messy desk!

 Sheep & robin digistamps by Cuddly Buddly
 Pear tree digistamp by Pink Petticoat

I also got a new Indigo Blu snowflakes stamp which I had to try out. I embossed the image with clear embossing powder and used ink dusters to add the blue & purple inked background:

Using a plain digi tree and 2 snowflake punches, I made some Christmas Tree cards:

I'm entering this one in the Crafty Creations Challenge: Anything Goes

And finally I thought I'd better use the beautiful trees stamps I borrowed from Crafty Distraction AGES ago (sorry!), so I had a go at some snow scenes:

I'm entering this one in Lexi's Creations challenge: Snow

I'm entering this one in the Allsorts Challenge: Brown/Blue/Aqua

I also couldn't resist making a couple of cards with a festive photo of my beautiful girls, Emily & Darwin:

Saturday, 31 August 2013

And more of the same, with different colours

Having loads of fun with my new background stamps - think I might need look round for some Christmas designs that could be used in a similar way...

I really like the turquoise and the orangey brown colours in these two. I'm entering this one in The Squirrel & The Fox challenge: Spring or Autumn

When I bought the 'Sweetness' stamp, I couldn't help myself and got the 'Glory of Modesty' one, too :) As most of it is flowers, I wasn't sure how to add tiny bits of green with a sponge, without getting it everywhere, so I tried it in just one colour, and I like how these purple ones turned out. The blue ones further down were coloured with promarkers, and I like the fact that colouring the stamp that way gives it a completely different look.

I love these stamps!  :D

New Penny Black Stamps

One of my favourite blogs is Bits & Pieces. I'm inspired by a lot of Heather's cards, and really fell in love with this post: Pink Blooms. I love how the stamp has been embossed and coloured, and was dying to have a go, so I bought the stamp, and here are a couple of cards I have made with it. As the stamp is a rectangle and I wanted to use a square for the first card, the strip left over was perfect to use for the second card.

 I'm entering this card in the Anything Goes challenge: In the Garden, add some Butterflies

I'm entering this one in these two challenges:
4 Crafty Chicks: Squares
Less is More: Use a Rubber Stamp

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Fairy Birthday Card

I've not had much time to make cards lately, but made this one for a friends's little daughter. Her parents love fairies and goth things, and Evie looks great as a fairy, so my lovely bloke helped me to photoshop Evie onto a fairy image:

I found an image of a fairy forest type scene and added her to it, along with a few fairydust sparkles. I added a little chain with a heart locket charm on it. The charm says 'Wish Box' on it, and inside I've added some tiny red heart confetti, a smiley face silver bead and a couple of crystal beads - it's my attempt to wish her love, happiness and shiny things... What more could she need? 

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Baby Keepsake Box (eventually...)

I wanted to make a keepsake box for my friend last year, when her baby boy was born. I bought a wooden box, but then spent ages trying to work out how to decorate it. I was going to cover it with mosaic tiles, but then was worried I'd ruin it, and every design I came up with looked stupid.

Anyway, a whole year later I finally finished it, just in time for his 1st birthday! I used photos of him as he's grown over the year, and added small squares of paper to try to give a patchwork effect. I covered all the squares with PVA glue, so hopefully that will keep them all stuck down!

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Feeling Blue

After overdosing on red cards, I made a few blue ones. Here they are:

I'm entering this Birthday card in the Color Throwdown challenge:

I'm entering the Get Well Soon card in the Allsorts challenge: True Blue

I'm entering this last one in the following challenges:
Crafty Creations : KISS
Crafty Sentiments: Add a Charm 
CASology: Bloom

Happy Birthdays in Red

I'm terrible for hoarding papers and not wanting to use them. I decided to break into my stash and use one of my favourites. These are the 3 cards I made:

I'm entering this card in the following challenges:
4 Crafty Chicks: Birthday
The Paper Shelter: Anything Goes

I'm entering this one in these two challenges:
Cupcake Craft Challenges: Lots of Layers
By the Cute & Girly Challenges: Flowers

I'm entering this last one in the challenge:
Crafts & Me Challenges: Use a Digi

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Darwin, Hobbes & Emily

A few weeks ago, we acquired three new family members. We miss Frank & Bob so much, but these three mad creatures have made our house feel like a home again. Here are our fluffy eejits, Darwin, Hobbes and Emily:



Hobbes & Darwin are brother & sister, born on 31st December 2012. Emily is their cousin, born 14 January 2013. They are crazy, playful and affectionate, and although three mad kittens is certainly a handful, we are so happy that we adopted them :)

Glass Fusing

A couple of weeks ago, a group of us took a glass fusing course, taught by Stevie Davies. We made coasters / hangings and pendants. Here are a few pics of my efforts, before and after the firing  :)



Sunday, 17 February 2013

Goodbye, beautiful Bob xxx

Our beautiful cat Bob passed away a few days ago, and we miss him so much. He was such a gentle little chap, with so much personality. He was part of our family for over 12 years, and very loved.

He was very fluffy, and loved cuddles. He was happiest when he was curled up on Mark's knee. He really adored Mark.

When Mark wasn't around, he made do with me, but he'd drop me as soon as Mark turned up :)

We often heard him making chirpy sounds as he came through the cat flap, up the stairs, and into the bedroom. Then there'd be a little face at the side of the bed before he jumped up for a cuddle.

When it was cold, he loved to be covered by a dressing gown or the duvet while he was curled up on one of us.

He also loved sleeping in boxes, even when they were too small to fit all of him inside.

Cupboards would do, too

Or a curtain to cuddle up in.

He loved playing in the garden, and sitting by the spider tree (a horrible old tree covered in spider webs) or under the pussy willow tree, watching the birds.

Bob was a very vocal cat, and was very good at making himself understood, at least by Mark. He had a different shout for when he wanted cat milk or ham, and he had a particular expression when he wanted cheese, which Mark called his Cheese Face. When we're in the kitchen now, we really miss the little shouty cat who would be tripping us up in the hope of some food. 

Here is a photo of Frank, happily snuggled on my dressing gown, and Bob, happily snuggled on Mark. I love this photo of my three boys.

Our house is too quiet now. We lost Frank, Bob's brother, just before Christmas. To lose them both in such a short time has been a real blow to us. We were so lucky to have had them as part of our family, though, and they will always be in our hearts and memories. Love you so much, beautiful boys xxx