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Thank Yous for Christmas...

Now the festivities are over the first job on my card making list is the Thank Yous.  I've used that ever so popular Signature Christmas set from Clearly Besotted Stamps.  Again, going for a non-traditional colour pallete.  These are for my son to send off to all the generous relatives that sent him cash for Christmas!

Just a reminder too that today is the last day of giveaways over on The Ribbon Girls Blog.  But there's still time to enter, check it out HERE.

Stamps: Clearly Besotted Signature Christmas 
Ink Pads:  Memento Bahama Blue and VersaColor Green

Inspiration Everywhere and a Giveaway...

Ok I gave in and actually made some Christmas cards.  Super easy with the Signature Christmas set from Clearly Besotted Stamps. The designs have been rattling around in my head for a while.  I just needed a colour combination.   And, in a rare visit to the theatre a couple of weeks back,  it came to me.  Inspiration can come from where you least expect it.

Stamps: Clearly Besotted Signature Christmas
Ink Pads:  Memento Rose Bud and VersaColor Green

All About Buttons..

A new challenge launches today over on the Let's Craft and Create blog and our theme is buttons.  All you have to do to enter is use buttons in your card or project and you could win a crafty prize.
For my project I've threaded mother of pearl shell buttons on to craft wire to create this simple button heart to hang on the Christmas tree.
Do check out the blog for some more button projects from the rest of the team.  As this is a very busy time of year we've given you until Tuesday 8th January 2012 to enter.  I do hope you can join us this time.

Chalkboard Art...

A new challenge launches on The Ribbon Girl Blog today and the theme is,  yes you guessed it, Ho Ho Ho!  so we want to see your Christmas projects and it doesn't have to be a card. Check out the Blog for some amazing creations from the rest of the team and the fabulous prizes on offer.

Now onto may card.  I love the latest chalkboard art trend and wanted to somehow incorporate it into my rustic design.   Using some ribbon and embellishments from the Rustic Selection in the Ribbon Girl shop.

I've been saving some chalkboard paper specifically for this project.  The lettering was causing me a problem though.   I thought about using stamps and white ink but, I don't know why, I can never get a good enough impression with a white ink pad.  Yesterday I had a light bulb moment - white rubon stickers!  My chalkboard art started out life like this ...

A pile of odd letters and words soon became Chalkboard Art.  Hope you like it!

I'll let you into a little secret too.  There's going to be a few special Ribbon Girl giveaways during December so be sure to keep checking the blog.

25mm Dark Sage Green/Cream Square Check
Beaded Berries Ivory
13mm Rusty Jingly Bells

Natural and Chocolate Brown Button Twine all from The Ribbon Girl
Papers: Echo Park Happy Days Basic Grey Aspen Frost

A Splash of Colour...

We've launched another challenge over on Let's Craft and Create and the theme this fortnight is a splash of colour...
I've gone for a splash of red to make these embroidered Christmas gift tags.  It's one of those ideas you see in a magazine and think 'I wish I'd thought of that'.  But sadly no, I dind't think of this one.  It caught my eye in one of the many Christmas craft magazines on the newsagent's shelves this month.
An opportunity to use some of  the many embroidery stitches on my sewing machine.  Up until now I'd only used straight stitch and zigzag. I would recommend trying each the stitch pattern out on scrap card first and adjusting the stitch length and width to ensure the stitches are not too close together.  Otherwise, you'll just create a tear or hole on the card.
The kraft paper bags were made from parcel wrap and the gingham ribbon is from The Ribbon Girl.

Check out the blog to see some gorgeous splash of colour designs from the rest of the team and the prize for one lucky entry.  The challenge closes on 11th December.

Folded Christmas Stars...

This is one Christmas make I can now cross off the list.  Tree decorations using book pages. I've experimented with many different ideas.  My honeycomb ornaments were a complete dis-as-ter, glue everywhere!  No glue involved in making these stars, just lots and lots of folding.  The tutorial to make them is HERE it's a Norweigan blog , but the pictures are very clear and easy to follow .  I cracked it after a few attempts.
To finish them off I added some pearl and sparkly buttons and natural button twine for attaching them to the tree.

Natural button twine
Old Book Pages
Bone Folder
Pearl and sparkle buttons

Christmas Paper Baubles - How To...

Right, I'm back today as promised with how to make the Christmas baubles from my last post.  First, and most importantly, you need a good quality patterned paper otherwise the baubles will be too flimsy and difficult to construct.
Then you need a circle punch, die or a circular object to draw around (the circle punch I used is 1 1/2 ")  some PVA glue and a scoring board/bone folder.

1.  Punch or die cut 21 circles for each bauble.
2.  Take one of the circles and draw an equilateral triangle on the reverse and cut it out.  Use this triangle as a template for marking the score lines on each circle.
3.  Take the template and lightly mark with a pencil the 3 points of the triangle on the reverse of each punched circle.
4.  Use these pencil marks as a guide to score a triangle on each circle.

5.  Join 5 triangles together for the top and bottom.  I found wet glue worked best as it gives you a bit of wiggle room as you line up each edge.
6.  Join 10 triangles together to form a strip for the centre section.  Join the ends of this strip together, forming a ring.
7.  Now stick the top and bottom to the centre ring to complete the bauble.

8. Create a hanger by punching a small hole in one of the edges and thread with cotton or twine.

I think that covers everything!  Any questions, just leave me a comment.

Patterned Paper:  Basic Grey - Aspen Frost
Fiskars Large Circle Punch
Martha Stewart Scoring Board

Getting ready for Christmas...

Have you started getting ready for Christmas yet?  Our new challenge over on the Let's Craft and Create blog is the perfect place to start because that's our theme Getting Ready for Christmas. You'll find loads of inspiration for those Christmas makes over on the blog.  All you have to do to enter is post a photo of what you're making in preparation for the big day, couldn't be simpler!

I thought I'd taken the pressure off this year by buying most of my cards.  But now I've got it into my head, thanks to the Cosmo Cricket blog, to make all the tree decorations by hand.

These baubles, although a bit tricky to start with, get easier the more you make!  Took one whole evening to make the first but I've got a system now.  Ideal to make with one eye on the TV!

 I'll be back with a tutorial showing you how to make them tomorrow.

Edited to add:  The tutorial is HERE

Add Some Sparkle...

Here we go with the first of this year's Christmas makes, it's for the November Card Challenge over on The Ribbon Girl Blog - Add Some Sparkle.
Don't know why (although I could hazard a guess!) I've been struggling to get any inspiration for Christmas crafting this year.  But, this stamp set from the new stamp company Clearly Besotted has really helped get me started.  Together with all the gorgeous new products in The Ribbon Girl store of course.
Check out The Ribbon Girl Blog for all the challenge details and beautiful cards from my team mates.  The prizes include 2 £10 vouchers to spend in the store - you'll be surprised at how much ribbon and sparkle you can buy for £10! Hope you can join us.

Stamps: Clearly Besotted - Signature Christmas
Papers:  Bo Bunny - discontinued
38mm Ivory Taffeta Ribbon, Divine Twine, Pearl Button Mixture, Flatback Pearls and Crystals all from The Ribbon Girl store

Pearls and Lace...

Can't believe another fortnight has flown by and I haven't managed a blog post since the last Let's Craft and Create challenge.  I'm starting to believe that old saying that time passes more quickly as you get older!  
This time the theme for our challenge is Pearls and LacePop over to the Let's Craft and Create blog for some inspiring ideas from the rest of the team and the prize on offer for one lucky entry.  Hope you can find the time to join us this time.  The challenge will close  in just wo weeks!

Stamps: Personal Impressions Big Sentiments designed by Paula Pascual
Papers: Crate Paper and Echo Park
Lace Edge Trim:  The Ribbon Box
Blossom Flowers, Flatback Pearls and Cluny Lace (for bow): The Ribbon Girl

A Different Dimension...

For our next challenge over on the Let's Craft and Create Blog we'd like you to add dimension to your cards and projects. This can be done in many different ways such as layering images, adding buttons or any other elements that pop out from your design.

To add dimension to my card design I've used a foam pad between each layer of the flower embellishment sandwich.  This isn't something I would usually do but I will certainly try again on future projects.  

Pop over to the Let's Craft and Create Blog to check out the inspiring ideas from the rest of the team.  Hope you can find the time to join in with our challenge, don't forget you've got two weeks to enter.

Papers: My Minds Eye Indie Chic - Nutmeg
Stamps: Personal  Impressions Frames & Greetings designed by Kirsty Wiseman 
Flower Die:  Sizzix Tim Holtz Alterations - Tattered Florals

It's a Boy...

The October Card Challenge launches today over on The Ribbon Girl Blog.  To enter just create a card for a BOY and link it up over on the Blog.  As always there's some fabulous prizes for the lucky winners.

For my card I've took the easy way out and created a card for a baby boy.  I've had this design running around in my head for a while now but didn't have any letter dies  So, rather than splashing out I created some letter templates using WordArt in MS Word -  Century Gothic font if I remember rightly.   The letters have been hand stitched to the card front - didn't trust myself with all those curves on the sewing machine!

Don't forget to check out The Ribbon Girl Blog for all the details and some wonderful inspirational cards from the DT.  You know how we all struggle with the dreaded 'Boy' cards.

Papers:  My Minds Eye Lost and Found
Stamps: PI designed by Paula Pascual - Double Sayings and Mix & Match
Cream Medium Pom Pom Trim
Olive Green Zig Zag Lace
Star Charm
Pearl Button Mixture all from The Ribbon Girl online shop

Getting Creative With Borders...

It's time for another challenge over on the  Let's Craft and Create blog and the theme this fortnight is Borders.
An opportunity to dig out your border dies and punches and get creative.  I've used a scalloped border punch to create a frame for my card.
Pop over to the Let's Craft and Create blog for some more inspiring ideas from the rest of the team.  Hope you can find the time to join us, don't forget you've got two weeks to enter.

Fiskars Scalloped Lace Border Punch
2" Circle Punch
Frames and Greetings Stamp Set by Kirsty Wiseman (Personal Impressions)
Various Paper Collections from Echo Park and My Minds Eye

Things With Wings...

The theme for our challenge over at Let's Craft and Create is 'Things With Wings'.  All you need to do to enter is create a card or project featuring wings!  
This fortnight there's a fabulous Papertrey Ink Stamp Set up for grabs for one lucky entry.  Pop over to the Blog for all the details and some wonderful inspiration from the Design Team.
I've been raiding my scraps box again and with the help of my Fiskars ShapeCutter and Butterflies Template created a layered butterfly and I couldn't resist adding some stitching just to finish it off.

Fiskars Shape Cutter and Butterflies-2 Template
Personal Impressions Stamp Set - 'Greetings' designed by Lindsay Mason
Papers from various K&Co and My Minds Eye collections

Simply Stitched...

Getting back into the swing of things after the summer break, we're all back to our usual routine so hopefully there'll more time to create!  For starters here's another of my machine embroidery cards.  Just some die cut flowers, hand cut leaves, a stamped sentiment and some simple stitching.

Pearls and Top Stitching Thread from the Ribbon Girl online store.
Personal Impressions stamp Set - Paula Pascual Big Sentiments
Asstd Paper Collections  from Echo Park and My Mind's Eye

Crochet a Pin Cushion...

Our current challenge over on the  Let's Craft and Create Blog is Anything but a Card!  

I've crocheted a pin cushion. The motif  I've used for the design is called 'African Flower' an internet search will give you various patterns and tutorials, but the one I used is  HERE.
The yarn is  4ply mercerised cotton from there's some gorgeous bright and zingy colours in the range.  I've used Pastel Pink, Rose Pink, Leaf Green and Silver.

Check out the Let's Craft and Create blog to see some fabulous projects from the rest of the team and the prize on offer for one lucky entry.  Don't forget you've got two weeks to enter.

Just Add Pearls...

It's time for another card challenge over on the Ribbon Girl Blog.  This month is simple - just add pearls! 
It really is as easy as that, we want to see all of your card projects using pearls and as usual we're sponsored by Lili Of The Valley who are offering a stamp of your choice to the winner and Ribbon Girl who are offering a £10 voucher for their online store 

Check out the Ribbon Girl Blog for all the details plus some gorgeous cards from the Card Challenge Design Team. For my card I've added ivory hearts to the flower centre.

You'll see I've been experimenting with machine embroidery again - I'm loving it!

Thanks for stopping by.

Ivory Heart Pearls and Top Stitching Thread from the Ribbon Girl online store.
Personal Impressions stamp Set - Paula Pascual Big Sentiments
Asstd Paper Collections  from Echo Park and My Mind's Eye

Quick Engagement...

It's always the way, I've a box full of cards but never the one I need.  So I had to whip up a quick Engagement card yesterday.  Just a couple of hand cut paper hearts, a sentiment created on the pc, some machine stitching and here it is.  I'm happy!

Thanks for stopping by :)

Fonts: Splendid 66 and Blackjack
Papers: MME and Basic Grey Out of Print

Stamp It & Freehand Embroidery...

It's challenge time again over on the  Let's Craft and Create blog, and the theme is

Stamp It 

All you need to do to enter is include a stamp - rubber or digi - in your design.  You can just make out the stamping on my card, around the cherry on top of the cake.  A recent purchase of circle sentiment stamps,   a bargain in the Hobbycraft sale.
Check out the Let's Craft and Create blog to see some fabulous 'Stamp It' projects from the rest of the team and the prize on offer for one lucky entry.  Don't forget you've got two weeks to enter.

Now, the freehand embroidery.  I've been wanting to try it on paper and card since way back when I discovered Poppy Treffry's work.  I've had the special darning foot for my machine for about a year, but was put off trying it when I read it described as, "drawing with a needle rather than a pencil".  I can't even draw with a pencil!
This week with a bit of time on my hands I plucked up the courage to give it a go.  It takes A LOT of practice, a completely different concept to regular sewing and I'm still not sure if my perfectionist tendencies can get used the irregularity of the stitching.  But, it's growing on me and I've a few more design ideas I'm working on.

Enjoying this new crafting adventure!

Personal Impressions Frames and Greetings Stamp Set
Crate Paper Paper Pad - Emma's Shoppe
Medium Pom Pom Trim and Cream Cotton Lace from The Ribbon Girl

Soft Neutrals...

The theme over at The Shabby Tea Room this week is 'Soft Neutrals' check out the Blog for some amazing cards from the Shabby Girl Designers - you won't be disappointed.
For my entry I've made flowers using some Maya Road Kraft Doilies and scallop circles of Core'dinations Distress Cardstock. Then stitched stems with top stitch thread for added texture.

Maya Road Kraft Doilies
Core'dinations Distress Card stock - Antique Linen
Prima Songbird Paper Pad
Paula Pascual Mix & Match Stamp Set
16mm Grosgrain Ribbon - Natural from The Ribbon Girl

Thanks for stopping by

Make It Pretty...

Our latest challenge over at Let's Craft and Create is

Make It Pretty

Add anything you like to your card or project to make it pretty.  I've used vintage style seam binding and a flower loom to make these shabby daisies and added lots of stitching to 'Make It Pretty'.  Do check out the Let's Craft and Create blog to see how the other designers pretty projects - you won't be disappointed.
Hope you can join in the fun with us this time.  You've got two weeks to enter and there's a prize on offer for one lucky entry.

Paper Pad:  My Minds Eye - Dwell
Vintage Style Seam Binding and Top Stitch Thread from The Ribbon Girl

Owl Bookmarks - How To...

Last week I made some Owl  Bookmarks for the Bubbly Scrumptious Blog.  Super easy project, perfect for using up those scraps and for crafting with the kids.  Here's how to make them.
You will need:
Various circle punches, or dies, I used 3", 1" and 1/2". punches
Patterned Paper and Cardstock and some Wiggly Eyes.

1.  Cut circles as shown and assemble your owl and mount onto cardstock

2.  Take a second circle of card stock and score across the centre.

3.  To stop the bookmark from slipping out of the book I added a Self Adhesive Magnetic Dot from First 4 Magnets.

Birthday Pinwheel Card...

For the Bubbly Scrumptious blog this week I've had a go at making a Pinwheel, a first for me!  A lot easier than I thought and so effective. 
The papers are from one of my favourite scrapbook companies  - My Minds Eye.  Love their 6  x 6 paper pads, 24 sheets of cardstock quality paper and each sheet is double sided so 12 unique designs per pad.
There's a full supplies list and a how-to make it guide over on THIS page.