Christmas Card Collection

This year I decided to work on a full collection of five or six card designs for Christmas.  I was asked recently to provide the cards for the lovely gift shop Hearts for Homes in Ramsbottom, so this idea of a collection has become more relevant and important.

I’ve had my Christmas craft materials out for a few weeks now and have rediscovered some beautiful papers and patterns.  I found a stack of twisted pyramage with some lovely winter images.  I particularly like robins at Christmas, so thought I’d revisit this style of papercraft.  I’ve really loved the embossed and aperture style cards I’ve been working on this year, so keeping with that I found a lovely couple of embossing folders to work as backgrounds.

The snowflake embossing folder is by Darice.  I think it’s so pretty.  The snowflakes are all different and very delicate.  I think it works well with the twisted pyramage robin.

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My next card style in the collection is the large poinsettia.  This is a Bigz die by Sizzix and it works so well on all types of card, paper and fabric.  Here I’ve used some Kanban papers and combined it with a circular die cut aperture and embossed snowflake background.

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The third design in my collection uses some gorgeous rich cardstock I bought at the creative craft show .  This green is so sumptuous it just cried out to be used with gold mirror card.  I added a snowflake cut using an X-Cut die.  I think the gold ribbon bow and gems set it off a treat.  Don’t you?

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I’ve had such fun routing through my crafting arsenal of dies and materials.  I bought this Spellbinders bow die a while back and haven’t really used it.  But it called to me to make Christmas paper bows and add to the front of some cards.  I was reminded of a series of cards I made several years ago with large organza ribbon bows on the front which were very popular with my work colleagues at the time.  I loved making these bows from all the different Christmas patterned papers.  They looked so lovely on square cards, I even made some look like parcels.  My Mum and Dad will be getting one of these and I hope they like it as much as I enjoyed making it.

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These cards take a little bit of time to make so I was in need of making something quick to put in packs and that wouldn’t cost as much to make or buy.  I’d been thinking about doing some cut outs with patterned papers behind for a while now, but never gotten around to it.  This was the ideal opportunity to do some with my snowflake die.  I love this silver holographic paper.  It it so sparkly behind the snowflake.  I think they will look great on my stall at the school fair too.

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As in the words of the great Monty Python, now for something completely different!  I bought this lovely papercraft kit from Create and Craft several years ago and not known what to do with it.  The papers are quite pastel in colour but very fun and wintry too, and the little elements are very cute.  I particularly like the children in their winter outfits.  I thought they were perfect to send to siblings and grown up children.

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For my final card design this year I went back to my love of DL cards.  There is somethigng so elegant about a tall slim card and I just couldn’t help myself in making at least one.  For these I again used a Kanban card kit with some lovely HunkyDory Mirri card.  Simple but elegant I hope you agree

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So that’s my collection for Christmas 2016.  There is a selection available in Hearts for Homes in Ramsbottom as well as in Holts Newsagents in Walmersley.  I will also be selling these directly at the Springside Primary School Christmas Fair and via facebook.

I hope you like them.

Happy Christmas Crafting
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Birthday Crafting

Today is my husband’s birthday so we can finally give him all the things we’ve been making this week.

Alice made him a card in her own special style! I think he’ll love it when he gets home from work later. The envelope is a complete delight and makes absolutely no sense to anyone that hasn’t read ‘Danger in Everywhere’.

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And later it will be time for cake too! I made this sponge sandwich yesterday. It’s a simple all-in-one sponge mix with cocoa powder and Alice and I filled it with peanut butter! We then topped it with chocolate spread and flaked almonds (we’ll put a candle on it after tea tonight).

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I don’t think it’s my best ever cake and I’m really not sure about the peanut butter. I think this could end up very dry, so we might be eating it with ice cream.

I’ve also made a batch of biscuits which he’s already got and taken to work. I hope they go down well amongst his colleagues.

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And here’s my card. It took me ages to find some inspitation for this one. I’ve done so many bike racing cards over the last few years I wanted to do something different. I struggled to find a picture of a camera, so went with his other interest – red wine!

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So Happy Birthday Mr B.

Have a great day
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A trip to Lytham

After last night’s cycling triumphs, I was feeling rather exhausted this morning.  But it was far too lovely a day to waste, particularly as we had plans.  And with hubby having the day off work, we were able to go out and do something different.

P1050467So following my plans from previous posts, I found a low cost event outdoors with the RSPB in Lytham-St-Annes.  I’ve been a member of the RSPB for almost thirty years now and thought it’s about time we started going to the nature reserves.  This is our second one this year!!  The event was £3 per child member (£5 for non-members) and accompanying adults were free. So I’ve been sat in the sun overlooking Fairhaven Lake, while Alice and her Dad explore the mudflats of the Ribble Estuary under the expert guidance of some RSPB and WWT volunteers.  They were apparently dipping for the creatures that live in the mud, although I’m still not quite sure what they did find.

P1050460I went armed with my binoculars, notepad and guidebook, but all I succeeded in doing was hobbling to the café for an ice cream and then having a doze in the sun! After an hour or so I decided to have a walk (rather a hobble) around the lake.  I need to move about or I get stiff, but I didn’t manage very far. I did catch the ‘mud-dippers’ making pictures in the sand though and it looked like they were all having great fun. I had to have a rest before heading back to the RSPB centre. I can’t believe how tired I am all the time – breaking a bone really does take it out of you!

P1050456The Discovery Centre is a little treasure trove of information and they have loads of activities on all year round, so it’s definitely worth a visit. I’d like to come back when I’m able to walk properly as there are loads of migrating birds that come to the Estuary. And I’ve still never found a mermaids purse when beach-combing and rock pooling, after over forty years of trying!

I feel like a tiny bird...

I feel like a tiny bird…

While the others went out in a rowing boat on the lake, I took the opportunity to browse the RSPB shop and I found some beautiful scarves which will do nicely for a couple of birthdays coming up. It’s also made me think there is more scope to make my little bird cards. I think I might have a go at turning them into robins for Christmas. I’m also planning to make some more masculine owls from a number of old OS maps my husband has donated to me, so there’s plenty to be getting on with for another couple of months card-making.

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But my focus for this next week has to be hubby’s birthday. So there will be at least one crafting session and probably some baking too! I did promise I would make him a batch of biscuits to take in to work. Mmmmmm, I’m getting hungry at the thought. Now, where are we going for tea I wonder?!

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Happy summer crafting
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Birthday Draw Winner

July went by really quickly so today it was time to put all the names into the cup for my fourth birthday prize draw.

Thank you to everyone that ordered and purchased from me this month.  There were fourteen names in the cup and the winner is ……

Kate Treadwell.

Congratulations Kate.  I hope you like your prize – a set of five bird and owl cards.

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Happy crafting
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School Fair

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It was lovely to see so many parents and family members at school.  The fair itself was as manic as always. being straight after school it’s always very well attended.  This was the first year they’ve really invited parents to have their own stalls and it was great to see the variety of items available.  I was next to a lovely lady from Artysan Gifts who makes bespoke framed gifts. It was her first ever stall and she did really well. I wasn’t surprised as her frames are beautiful. I wonder if I can find a reason to order one for someone?!

There were two Asian food stalls and another card maker too. Fortunately we weren’t quite next to each other and our cards were very different in style, so we appealed to different tastes.

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I decided to go with a ‘name the cat’ competition in the end. It drew in quite a few of the children (and staff). He ended up with the name ‘Garfield’ and was won by a little girl from year one. I sold quite a few cards as well and some knitted and crochet items. So all in all it was a successful fair for me, as well as for the school.

I hope they invite us all back for the next fair at Christmas!

Happy crafting
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School Summer Fair

Just as I started to see some time ahead for a weekend off, I received a text from school, asking if I would like a stall at the upcoming school summer fair. With only a weeks notice I was going to decline, however, Alice talked me into it as she loved to help set up. I’m not so sure she’ll be able to as she should be in class, but I’ve said if she’s really good all morning she can ask her teacher if she can come and help.

So it’s been all systems go again this week. I decided to make up a collection of mainly thank you cards, specially for this fair. I’ve gone back to some old favourites and there will be groups of ten cards in each design. I’ve gone with owls, birds and apples as my main ideas.

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I will also take my now dwindled stock, along with some fruit keyrings and rose brooches.

Rose Brooches

Rose Brooches

Keyrings

Keyrings

I’m also toying with the idea of running a raffle to win a collection of five ‘dangler’ cards, but I’m not sure I’ll have the time to make them beforehand, so if I do go down this route I might raffle one of my knitted cats instead. Actually I could do a ‘name the cat’ and donate the proceeds to the school. They are raising money to do some work on a rather neglected wildlife and pond area, an area I reckon my two naughty kittens (Lily and George) have begun to frequent (and the less said about that the better).

Well it’s back to my desk again for now, these apple cards are not going to make themselves!

Happy crafting
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My First Shop Order

Following my successful meeting with Kerry at ‘Hearts for Homes’, she placed a significant order for a further card selection. So over the last couple of weeks I have been working my way through the list occasions. This always looks easy at the beginning, but I was also left to my own devices regarding colours and design. I don’t know if it’s just me, but having no input isn’t always a good thing. For the most part I have been following my current obsessions and have included several of my ‘dangler’ cards (there really must be a better name for them).

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And with the end of term fast approaching ( I really do need to make a start of Alice’s things), I have also added some of this year’s most popular make – the apple blackboard thank you card.

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I also had a yearning to make some more handbag cards. I haven’t made any for quite some time and I realised why – they take ages and need more desk space than I have available in my little craft area. Next time I will make up a few and use the kitchen table! Having said all that, I really have enjoyed putting the handbags together and I’m pleased with how they turned out, in particular the 40th birthday one.

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The papers are so sumptuous. I think it almost looks like velvet.

I thoroughly enjoyed putting the six wedding cards together, although it’s getting harder to make each one unique. I’m going to have to find some time to do some more research and development and see what designs are the most popular.

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The last cards I made were for engagements and get well soon. I always find these occasions difficult and they certainly took longer than the others in terms of designs. But I managed to use my new hexagon die for some of them and I really like the effect, so I might be doing a little collection in this style in the future!

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Time for a brew now they’ve all been delivered.

Happy crafting
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Hearts for Homes

I mentioned a few days ago that I had been asked to supply cards for a craft gift shop in Ramsbottom, so I thought I’d introduce it. It’s called ‘Hearts for Homes’ and is on Bolton Street, Ramsbottom. The proprietor, Kerry, opened the shop a couple of months ago as a place to sell her own handmade homewares. She now also sells work by several local artists and craftspeople.

Green Floral Owl

Green Floral Owl

Having visited the shop I can honestly say it is filled with gorgeousness. There is a lovely homely feel as soon as you walk in and you can feel the love, care and attention that has been put into every item. It’s a haven for unusual and unique gifts for others and yourself, covering all ages from baby blankets to wedding gifts and home décor. It really is a lovely place to be.

Thank You Berry Much

Thank You Berry Much

My cards are on sale there now and I am busy making more to add to the range. As always, the cards are all handmade and although some may be similar designs, all will have at least one element making each card unique.

Natural Love

Natural Love

If you are in Ramsbottom or are stuck for somewhere to go, do visit the town. It’s a haven for foodies with a number of independent cafes, restaurants and food retailers. There is an abundance of chocolate (hence the annual chocolate festival) and plenty of independent shops from toys to music and from fabric to antiques. Plus you can arrive in style on the ELR steam railway. It really is a great day out, so what are you waiting for? Get down to Ramsbottom and don’t forget to pop into Hearts for Homes!

Happy crafting
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It’s Father’s Day

I hope all the Dads out there are being spoiled today.  That’s if they let you spoil them that is.  My Dad really doesn’t believe in Father’s Day at all, so it’s always difficult to do anything, but he still got a handmade card and a visit from me this morning.

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It’s also his birthday next week which means I can indulge him with another handmade creation, along with a new golf glove and a book.

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We’re all going up to visit as well next weekend for a buffet, which is all he really loves – food and family – simple pleasures!

Well, it’s Father’s Day here for my husband and he has been inundated with handmade gifts from Alice – cards made at school and Brownies, a mini toolbox filled with ‘Dad’ bars of chocolate and the obligatory pack of new boxer shorts. What more could any Dad want?!

I hope Father’s Day is filled with food and family, as it should be.

Happy crafting
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Personalising Cards

Over the last few weeks I’ve been thinking more about personalising cards and what sort of cards to make in order to have some to show as examples. So, with a neighbour’s birthday party around the corner, I decided to sit down and work through the various ideas in my head.

As I’ve been obsessed recently with the ‘dangler’ cards I thought I’d set about making them into frames into which I could add a sentiment or number depending on the celebration or occasion. My first one was for my neighbour’s birthday. She didn’t want any presents, just donations to a charity that she is very close to, so I thought an individual handmade card would be a great gift for her. I decided to have a change from mostly white card and made this one with some Create and Craft topsy-turvy cardstock in shades of turquoise. I also had a real play with my small die collection. The frame was made using spellbinders scalloped circle nesting dies and the layered flower on the acetate dangler is from a sizzix die set.  I added some little punched flowers with clear gems for centres and a tied a piece of co-ordinating satin ribbon into a bow.  To finish off the front of the card I used a tonic number die set for the ’70’.

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The card was very much appreciated and several other people have since asked for a similar style of personalising. So I have set about making up a few cards in different colours ready to add numbers to. I have again used the topsy-turvy cardstock as the colours are lovely. I think the bright yellow paired with the softer pastel yellow make a great combination, so sunny.

Yellow Heart

Yellow Heart

Orange Frame Card

Orange Frame Card

I also made a white and turquoise combination card……

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This has now been personalised for a horse-loving 21 year old’s birthday. I hope she likes it!

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I was also recently asked for a 50th birthday card for a man. I always find men’s cards difficult, even when I know the man in question. But these age related quotes in the Hunkydory little books are proving popular. So I added some 50’s using my tonic dies and Hunkydory adorable scorable cardstock.

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I really love these styles of cards and they lend themselves to some personalising. So I think I will set about making up another batch in different colours to add to my stock at the local newsagents and to put into my box for the craft fair later in the year!

Happy crafting
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