Sunday, 22 December 2013

Card Swap 9 and 10 and Christmas

Well, it's been a while.  I actually can't believe I haven't blogged for so long.
Today I am sharing the card I made for Card Swap 9 (November's Swap), as well as the Christmas card for Swap number 10.
The challenge for November was to make a card with a favourite stamp.  I was going to rummage through all my boxes of stamps that I have had for years, but I decided to go with my first Stampin' Up stamp set - Pocket Silhouettes.  I teamed it with Wisteria Wonder, one of my favourite colours.  I added a little bit of sparkle on the flowers with a Sakura glimmer pen.

And on to Christmas.  These are very similar to a card I made before, using the Avery Elle die to create a frame (see previous post here ).  I've used SU's Pool Party, Bermuda Bay and Smokey Slate as my colour scheme, as well as some silver glimmer paper for the snow flake.  I'm really love with the narrow silver ribbon, and used the Christmas paper stack behind the frame.



The next card uses the lovely Festive Flurry stamps in Pool Party and Smokey Slate with a touch of Not Quite Navy (I think!).  Again, a little bit of ribbon and a diamante in the centre of the main Snowflake.  The card was pretty much CASEd from one I saw on Vicky Hayes' blog here ).

And finally, something more traditional.  I used a card kit from Craftwork Cards to make this card.  It included all the elements, including the lovely bauble stamps, which will get plenty of use I am sure.  I really enjoyed embossing the letters with some glitzy embossing powder.

Well that's what I've been making for the last few weeks.  I hope everyone is feeling festive and ready to celebrate Christmas.  My preparations seem to have taken a lot longer than usual this year although I'm not sure why.  I'm slowly starting to feel a little bit more Christmassy - especially as the house is getting tidier!

I'd like to wish you all a very happy Christmas, and hope that 2014 brings you all lots of happiness.  Thank you very much for all your comments this year, they really have kept me going.  I can't promise that I will blog more regularly next year, but I can certainly try!

Take care

Michelle x

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Happy Birthday Mum

Hi All.  Today is my mum's birthday (Happy Birthday Mum!) and I wanted to share the card that I made for her.  We are both fans of Craftwork Cards, so I decided to use one of their kits - Time Flies.  Unfortunately the photo doesn't do the beautiful papers justice.  It was quite a straightforward card to made, and I'm really happy how it turned out.  I know my mum really liked it, which is the main thing.

To quote the comedian Alan Carr, "what a week it's been!"  Emily and I have both been ill with a rather nasty virus.  I took Tuesday off work because I felt so dreadful, only to receive a phone call and a few texts messages to say that we were having a two day Ofsted inspection starting the following day.  Needless to say, I couldn't not go in.  It was one of the most stressful weeks of my life!  We won't know anything for a couple of weeks, so fingers crossed!

I was supposed to go on a Uni visit with Emily today, but neither of us felt up to it.  Luckily it wasn't one she was really considering.  I spent the afternoon finishing off some of my Christmas cards (still got quite a few to make!).

Thanks so much for the lovely comments from my previous post.  Have a great weekend and thanks for dropping by.

Take care

Michelle x

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Card Swap 7 and 8

Greetings lovely bloggers!  Be prepared for a long post today.  Typically, I am massively behind in posting about the last couple of card swaps.  Scarily, Jane has just sent out the email regarding the 9th card swap - so I thought I had better get my act together!
Card swap 7 - the theme was to have a sentiment as the main feature.  Now, I'm not really big on sentiments (you may have noticed this already).  I like a simple little "happy birthday" or "thank you" etc.  So I was a little bit scared to have to make it the main feature.  I admit that I tried a few ideas with stamps and inks and I just wasn't happy with the results.  So I got out my favourite SU Paper Stack in the current In-Colours and cut out the letters of hello in Baked Brown Sugar and Pistachio Pudding dotty paper.  These were mounted onto white card, which in turn was mounted onto corresponding card stock (I added a little border of piercing for interest).  I mounted a piece of the Pistachio Pudding  dotty paper onto the base card and added the sentiment on top.  It did look a little bare, so on the advice of my daughter, I added some punched flowers and gems in the corners.
I was quite pleased with the result  I hope the recipient was too.

The card I received was amazing!  I was totally blown away by it.  It was made by the lovely Margaret who is such a talented lady (check out her blog here ).  I don't think the photos truly do it justice, but it is definitely my favourite card so far.

So onto card swap 8.  The theme this time was to create an Autumnal card.  Now I don't really have any leaf stamps from SU so I reached for a really old Hero Arts set that was just perfect.  The rest of the materials are all SU.  I stamped all three leaf designs in a variety of colours - More Mustard, Cajun Craze, Always Artichoke, Old Olive, Real Red and Early Espresso - onto a single piece of white card stock.  I softened the edges with an Aqua pen and trimmed the panel into three pieces.  I made a card blank from Crumb Cake and then cut a slight smaller panel out of the same card stock and stamped the Woodgrain stamp onto it with Early Espresso.  The three leaf panels were mounted on top. I then cut a band from More Mustard and stamped a sentiment from the Teeny Tiny Sentiments in Early Espresso.  The leaf embellishments were cut out and I used Glossy Accents to give them a bit of a shine.  These were stuck to the band when they were dry.

Again I'm quite pleased with the results - a bit of a departure for me - and, again, I really hope the recipient likes it.  I felt quite bad because I was very late in sending my card off, but actually as I haven't received my card for October yet, I cut myself some slack!

The subject for November's card swap is to use your all time favourite stamp, so this is going to require a lot of thought -  I do have rather a lot of stamps that I have accumulated over the last 18 years!

I mentioned in my last post, that I had made a card for my parents' wedding anniversary, and here it is.  I was inspired by a card I saw on Pinterest (what would we do without it?!), but tweaked it a bit.

The products are all SU.  The stamps are Creative Elements and Teeny Tiny Sentiments, and the colours are Old Olive and Tangerine Tango.  I used a variety of punches and some retired Scallop Dots ribbon.  This card did take me a while to make as I had a couple attempts at the stamping and the aperture until I was fully satisfied with the result.  I'm very pleased because there is still quite a lot of white space on the card!

So that's all the cards and photos for the time being.  Last weekend I was away at a Scrapbags Retreat - three days in a hotel scrapping all day - bliss!  I really have the scrapping bug now, but save it for retreats and crops, otherwise I would never get any cards made!  I'm still trying to get my Christmas cards finished, not panicking quite yet!  And with all this, we are still in the middle of University visits and UCAS - but that at least is all under control!

OK, that's me for today.  I hope you stuck with me, you are amazing if you did!  Thanks for popping in, and I really love hearing your comments, so thank you.

Take care and have a good week.

Michelle x

Tuesday, 29 October 2013


Greetings lovely people!  Don't know about you, but I'm finding it hard to believe that we are nearly at the end of October.  I know it's a cliché to say this, but where has the year gone?
I guess now I have to start thinking about the dreaded C word.  To be fair, I have made a good start on my Christmas cards, but I really must get my head around what to buy people.  I try to be organised each year - I like my lists - but this year I have the lovely SU Seasons of Style This and That Journal to help me out.  Hopefully it will bring me divine inspiration too!
I wanted to share some cards with you that I made at the end of the summer (yes, I'm appallingly behind!).  I was totally inspired by a card I saw on the very talented Jen Nelson's blog, The Tiny Blue Butterfly - check out her card here.  I was really struck by it and knew I had to copy it.  I particularly loved the die that she used - it's from Avery Elle in America.  I immediately had a little Google and found the die on the website and, oops, it just fell into my basket!
The card is cut from Crumb Cake cardstock, and the paper is from the Gingham Garden set.  I made a little pin wheel and found a tiny little brad to finish it off, and the sentiment is from Teeny Tiny Sentiments.  I'm really a fan of this type of card with the fold at the top (as you will see over the coming months!).  Jen makes a lot of cards like this and her blog is truly inspiring.

I used the smaller of the four dies to make the following card.  The card stock is Pear Pizzazz and the paper is still Gingham Garden.  Sentiment as before.

The final card in this selection is made using Calypso Coral card stock.  The paper is from This Is Me.  I added a stamped element along the bottom as my daughter said the card was too plain!  The chevron stamp is from an old SU set, Border Banter (stamped in Basic Grey).  I actually cheated and stamped it on an off-cut, cut it out and added it to the card afterwards - I was too worried I would muck it up and ruin my card!.

Well, it's half term for me this week, and I am enjoying a really lazy week.  I did actually make a card yesterday - for my parents' Wedding Anniversary on Thursday, 49 years.  And today I am in the middle of making a card for the Card Swap group I belong to - probably should have made that last weekend, but  we are still in the middle of University Open Days - only two more to go!  I'm hoping to get a little more crafting done over the next two days and then on Friday, I'm away at a scrapbooking retreat my Scrapbags, which I am looking forward to immensely.

I'll leave you now as my SU Envelope Punchboard has just arrived and I'm off to have a little play!

Thanks for dropping by.

Take care

Michelle x

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Belated Birthday Wishes

Do you feel like you are constantly chasing your tail?  That's how I feel at the moment.  My list of things to do is so long and I have very little time to get anything done.  Things are starting to slip.  I'm really looking forward to half term in two weeks time so that I can take stock and prepare myself for the onslaught that is Christmas!
We are suddenly in the middle of university open days and applications.  This has all happened in the last week and half and we are tackling it head-on with a visit to the University of Greenwich yesterday, and Canterbury next Sunday, with more to come.  I am totally out of my comfort zone, but we did have such a lovely day yesterday and Emily is VERY enthusiastic!
So, as I was saying, things are beginning to slip.  Hence the two belated birthday cards that I made last Sunday.  The cards were for two members of the card swap group that I belong to, and I knew there was no way I could get them made in time for their actual birthdays.  I chose to make identical cards and changed the colours because time was short.  But I am really pleased with the design.
I used Elegant Eggplant ink and paper from the DSP Paper Stack, with the Flower Shop stamp set and matching punch.  The sentiment is from the retired Hostess set - Happiest Birthday Wishes.  I also added a line of piercing along each side of the white panel.  The flower has been curled a little bit and mounted with 3D pads for dimension.  The centre of the flower is Card Candy from Craftwork Cards.

For the second card, I used Crisp Cantaloupe from the current In-Colours.

Well, that's me for today.  I'm getting ready to face another manic week - at work and at home.  Wish me luck!

Thanks for dropping by.  Take care.

Michelle x

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Birthdays Galore!

Just a quick post today as I am in the middle of packing for my trip.  I have had a lot of birthdays and events in September.  Some cards I used from my stocks, but some I have made especially. These cards are new and I really enjoyed making them.  One was for Alison from my Card Swap group and the other was for a friend of mine from college.
I have used the lovely Crisp Cantaloupe and Pool Party, alongside Smoky Slate (another fave!)  The flower is from Flower Shop, punched with the coordinating punch, and the strips of paper are from the DSP Paper Stacks. The inspiration for these cards came from Pinterest -

I hope you like them.  Thanks for coming to visit.  All comments are truly appreciated.  Take care.

Michelle x

Friday, 20 September 2013

Hi everyone.  Thank heavens it's Friday!  This week has seemed very long and incredibly busy.  At school we've been getting organised for our week away at PGL in Wales next week.  I'm really looking forward to it but there has been so much to do, and I still haven't organised home life for while I'm away, let alone begun to pack.  Well, that will have to wait until Sunday because I'm off to Scrapbags tomorrow!
Here's a card I made for a colleague at work who is celebrating a very special birthday today.  I used some Craftwork Cards products that I found whilst I was tidying up over the summer, as well as glitter and ribbon.  The sentiment is SU.
The next card was a commission from a friend at work.  I've made a lot of these concertina cards over the years, but never for a wedding.  It's very plain and simple, but I took the lead from their wedding invitation.  I didn't have any letters that were the required size, so with Mark's help, I braved it and dusted off my Silhouette die cutting machine (I've been too scared to use it!!).  I'm so thrilled with the results and will be using it a lot more, particularly in my scrapbooking.
I used SU card stock - Not Quite Navy and Very Vanilla. and my fantastic Simply Scored to make the folds.

And finally, just cos I'm so proud, Edward got an award tonight at his cricket presentation evening - Most Improved Player for Under 14s.  Well deserved (yes, I know I'm biased!).

Well that's me for tonight - I really must go and organise paper and photos for tomorrow.  If I don't see you before, I'll see when I get back from Wales - goodnight :)

Take care and thanks for popping in.

Michelle x

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Warning - Non-Crafty Post (it goes on a bit!)

Hi all.  I know I haven't posted for a few weeks now, but the last couple of weeks of the summer holidays have flown by.  We had a week in Kent, the same place we stayed in last year.  The house we stay in is perfect for us, and for Chloe, and just round the corner from a lovely little beach, with a sea pool.  Chloe finally overcame her fear of water and had fun in the sea pool every night - it proves she'll do anything for her Frisbee, and a treat!  We had days out in Whitstable, Ramsgate, Broadstairs, took Emily to the Shell Grotto in Margate, as well as visiting the Hornby Visitors' Centre, and the Turner Contemporary.  Edward loved playing on the beach (he's 14 - I wonder how much longer this will keep him happy), he even persuaded Mark and my dad to go swimming with him.  We had gorgeous weather, apart from one day, so we ended up going to the cinema to see Monsters University.  And then we played Adventure Golf in the rain!
The Saturday we came home, was the wettest day of the summer - so much so, we couldn't unpack the car until much later in the evening when the rain had eased off.  We spent most of Sunday unpacking, washing, ironing and repacking, as we had an early start on the Bank Holiday Monday.
We left really early on the Monday to go to Bristol for two days.  We went to find Gromits - yes, you read that correctly.  Over the summer there has been an art exhibition all over Bristol called Gromit Unleashed with 80 5ft Gromits dotted around the city.  The Gromits have been decorated by local artists, as well as celebrities such as Harry Hill, Joanna Lumley, Zayn from One Direction, Philip Treacy, Quentin Blake, Jools Holland - there was even a Cath Kidston one!
We knew we would never find all of them, but we did manage to find 42 - it would have been 44, but two had been removed for repair.  Don't worry, I'm not planning on showing you all of them, just a handful - some of my favourites.  We had such a great two days, we walked for miles, the weather was gorgeous and we had some lovely meals (and some very special ice cream - orange and Cointreau - yum!).  We would have liked to have had another day, but we just couldn't fit it in.  The exhibition ended today, so we are just glad we could sneak in a couple of days.  We saw so much of Bristol, which is a truly wonderful city.
The is first photo is of Mark and Edward at Temple Meads train station (Edward is happier than he looks!).
We loved this Gromit - Salty Sea Dog - at the Cascade Steps where the lovely ice cream was.
One of Edward's favourites - Isambark Kingdog Brunel at Temple Meads station.

I loved this next one - it's called Butterfly, and it's by Philip Treacy OBE, and it was at the Bristol Old Vic.

This one is called Where's Wallace (love that play on words!), and we found him in the foyer of the Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel.

This one was one that we all wanted to see - Vincent Van Gromit.  It was tucked away on a corner, off a side street - fabulous!

This one is called Golden Gromit - pretty self-explanatory - outside the Victoria Rooms, a pretty grand building.

We found Grrrrromit at the Windmill Hill City Farm.

Emily's favourite - Gromberry - outside a pub on the river.  We nearly missed this as the pub was tucked away.

And finally, Antique Rose by Cath Kidston.  It just had to be done.  This one was located at Cribbs Causeway - a retail park a few miles outside of Bristol.

I hope you have managed to stay with me!  I'm now planning my next scrapbook project - can you guess what it is?!  I was going to make a mini book of these photos, but to be honest, it really wouldn't do them justice.  So it's going to be a full on 12" x 12" album.

So now I'm back at work, which is a bit of a shock to the system.  Our first day was 6 hours of a first aid refresher - yawn!  I've got two more weeks of work and then I'm away on a residential trip to PGL - no abseiling for me this year!

I have managed to get some card making in this weekend, although nothing is photographed.  But at least I will have something to show you over the next few weeks.  I did feel that my crafting mojo had dried up again, but thank heavens for Pinterest!

So I've rambled on and on.  Thanks to those of you who stayed until the bitter end,  I'm off for a catch up of my favourite blogs.

Until the next time.  Take care.

Michelle x