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A Handmade Christmas...

Here are the last of my Christmas makes, cards for my nearest and dearest.  I find clean and simple designs work best for 'man' cards.
The origami tree was surprisingly easy to fold and assemble, so much simpler than it appears.  If you'd like to try it, the tutorial I used is HERE
I may even attempt this one next year.

Some simple machine stitching and paper rolling for this tree.  A little tip I discovered when making the paper rolls is to cut the lengths of paper to size before rolling, its gives a much neater finish.
That's it for another year.  I've handmade bows, baublesstars and a wreath all from this one paper pad and I still have 10 of the 40 sheets left, great value!

Here's hoping 2014 is a bumper year of craft!

Christmas peace...

If you're escaping to your craft room over the Christmas holidays don't forget our 'Let's Celebrate' challenge is still running over on Let's Craft and Create.  You have until 7th January to enter.

Wishing you a Happy Christmas!

Papers:  Lili of the Valley Krafty Christmas; Die:  Sizzix Layered Christmas Tree; Felt, Lace, Corrugated Card, Stampin Up Mini tag punch and crystals, Craft Wire.

Christmas star wreath...

Our 'Let's Celebrate' challenge launches today over on Let's Craft and Create.  We'd like to see a card or project that celebrates any event  or occasion. The design team have made some lovely cards, check them out on the blog.
It's yet another Christmas project from me though, although you could use this paper wreath for any celebration, simply by changing up the paper design.
If there are any Quick Cards made easy magazine readers out there you may recognise this wreath from the November issue.  It's the same design, I've just used a different paper collection to match with my Christmas d├ęcor, I'm going for a natural rustic theme this year.

Anyone not familiar with Quick Cards, although it's essentially a card making mag, each month there's a 'Luxury Make' feature. A quick and easy paper craft project with step by step photos and instructions to follow. You'll find instructions to make this wreath in issue 120.

Paper Poinsettia...

Our 'Say it with flowers' challenge launches today over on Let's Craft and Create.  We'd like to see all your projects that say it with flowers.
I usually associate flowers with birthday, thank you and anniversary cards. But I'm in Christmas mode so I made the challenge work for a Christmas card.  For me the Christmas flower is a poinsettia, I love them and have to resist the urge to buy a plant in November when they first appear in the shops.  I did exactly that one year and all the leaves had dropped off by the big day. To make a paper poinsettia  I toyed with the idea of buying an expensive (will be used only once) die and stamp set. Instead I searched Pinterest for a DIY poinsettia that could be made with my own fair hand, and found this one.

I practised with size and folds on scrap paper before using this perfect shade of red from Basic Grey, then finished it off by adding some beads to the centre.

Papers: Basic Grey Oxford and Aspen Frost, Stamp:  Clearly Besotted Signature Christmas

Glitter it...

Our 'Glitter It' challenge launches today over on Let's Craft and Create.  We'd like to see all your glittery projects.
This year I've treated myself to some glitter card and although it seems a bit pricey you can make a little go along way by using just pops of glitter in your design.  I'm sure it's cheaper in the long run - less wear and tear on the vacuum cleaner.  I've had too many bad experiences with loose glitter!
My card was cut on the Cricut Mini using this project cut file, love the clean and simple design.
Check out the Let's Craft and Create blog for some lovely glittery inspiration from the team.

Glitter Card:  Dovecraft A5 Glitter Card Multipack  Black and White Card:  Papermill Direct

Clean and Simple...

It's fortnightly challenge time over on Let's Craft and Create, this time we'd like to see your Clean and Simple (CAS) designs.
For my card I made an origami paper bow for the focal point.  There are many origami bow tutorials on the net, I found this one the easiest to follow.

If you like this card you'll like my tutorial How to make a paper bow

An extra crafting hour...

British Summer Time officially ended yesterday meaning an extra hour just made for crafting! How did you use yours?  I remade this tag card.  The original HERE I sent off in the post last week and unfortunately it never arrived - grrr!  Don't you just hate it when that happens?  
Maybe it was for the best though because now I think I prefer this version!

Trim the tree...

For our 'Trim The Tree' challenge on the the Let's Craft and Create blog, I've been making Christmas paper baubles, there's a tutorial to make them on this page   I've used the 'Krafty Christmas' paper stack from Lili of the valley,  my Christmas tree will have a neutral theme this year!

Check out the blog for some lovely makes from the DT,  Mandy has made the cutest crocheted Christmas stockings that you must have a look at!

My fear of ink...

I used our latest challenge 'Ink Technique' over at Let's Craft and Create to try and overcome my fear of getting inky.
After a lot of experimenting (and cursing lol!) I came up with this card.  I used the trees from the Signature Christmas set from Clearly Besotted Stamps , to build a background stamped with silver metallic ink then over stamped 'Joy' with alphabet stamps and black ink.
The other DT girls have come up with some fabulous cards for this challenge, pop on over to the blog and take a look.
Speaking of Clearly Besotted Stamps, Stephanie is celebrating their 1st birthday with a Birthday Blog Hop,  I'm off to check it out!

Dovecraft A5 Glitter Card Pack - Classic Metallics , Clearly Besotted - Signature Christmas Clear Stamp Set, Dovecraft Clear Letter Stamps, Stampin Up gems and silver elastic cord

Colour me happy...

Using this paper collection 'Seen and Noted' from Pebbles, always makes me happy.  So it was the perfect collection to use for our challenge over at Let's Craft and Create, 'Colour Me Happy'.  We'd like you to create a card or project using the colours that make you happy - simple!  The prize is a £10 gift voucher to spend in the fabulous Ribbon Girl shop and we all love ribbons - right?

My potted flowers were designed for a commission for the April issue of  Quick Cards .  I liked them so much I've made some just for me, to brighten up my craft studio through the Autumn and Winter.

Visit the Let's Craft and Create blog to see the colours that make our design team happy.

Black and White Chalkboard Style...

The challenge over at Let's Craft and Create still has a week left to run, the theme is 'Black and White' and here is my take on it... chalkboard style!
I love the 'chalkboard art' trend and to create the effect I used a grey/black paper and a graffiti style stamp (found a use for it at last!), stamped with a white pigment ink pad and embossed with white embossing powder, simple!
Check out some amazing black and white card designs from the LCC team over on the blog.

...talking of chalkboard, have you seen the new My Minds Eye Chalk Studio collection.  Here it is in all it's glory on the My Minds Eye blog.

Paper: Echo Park Happy Days ;Stamp: Anita's

Animal Antics...

So it's time for another challenge over at Let's Craft and Create, and the theme is 'Animal Antics'!  Hope you can join us, al the info you need to enter is here.
As you've hopefully guessed from the photo, I've made an owl treat bag, not all my own idea I must confess.  I was struggling ever so slightly with the theme and had to search for inspiration on (wonder how I ever managed without it) Pinterest.  I have just tweaked the design slightly in an attempt to make it my own though - honest!

Papers: Pebbles Seen and Noted; Font: Another Typewriter; Brown paper lunch bag from Ebay

Say it with flowers...

There's still just under a week to enter our 'Say it with flowers' challenge over on Let's Craft and Create.
For my card I've cut out flowers from a sheet of patterned paper from Basic Grey's 'Out of Print' collection, machine stitched the flower stems; then finished with a paper bow, made with the 'Die-namics Beautiful Bows' die set.
Also just to let you know that issue 117 of Quick Cards made easy is out now and I have a three page papercraft feature in it on back to school makes.

They were a joy to make, and you can just see a few of them here on the front cover.

Love those fancy edges...

These die cut and punched edges were left over from a Papercraft project I designed for the current issue - 116 of Quick Cards magazine.  They were just perfect to use for our 'Fancy Edges' challenge over on Lets Craft and Create.
The dragonfly was also a leftover from the make and creates a topical focal point for this summer themed card.  I've spotted a few in the garden on these warm balmy evenings.
Pop on over to the Let's Craft and Create challenge blog for all the details you need to enter and to see what the design team have created with 'Fancy Edges'.

Kaisercraft Lavendar Haze paper pad and collectables; Paula Pascual Mix and Match Stamp Set

Build a scene with a bargain from eBay...

The Vintage Hot Air Balloon Build a Scene die set  from Xcut has been on my wishlist ever since I saw it featured in issue 112 of Quick Cards.  Although there's 22 pieces to the set I couldn't quite justify the £19.95 price tag for maybe just 2 or three cards.  So when I found a BNIB set on eBay at the 'buy it now'  no bidding required price of just £6.49 I had to have it.

I've only used 11 of the 22 dies on this design and I realise there are more possibilities to explore, but is it worth £19.95?  I still don't think so, but it's definitely worth £6.49.

Now I need to mention that the Let's Craft and Create 'Anything Goes' challenge launches today, all the details you need to enter are HERE.

Papers: Pebbles Seen and Noted Stamp:  Stampendous Everyday Greetings

A little bird told me...

Another clean and simple card to share today.  I don't usually go for cute image stamps but couldn't resist this little fella.  It's from Papermania's Urban Stamps range and as well it's cuteness I love the bold stitching and the size makes it so easy to paper piece.
I've used my current favourite paper pad from Pebbles - Seen and Noted.  The 'brilliant' white card is from Papermill Direct and the font is 'A Gentle Touch' from

Tag you're it...

Tags are our theme over on the Let's Craft and Create blog.  My card features tags cut with the Circut Mini.   A clean and simple design with small pops of colour.

The challenge still has over a week to run, there's a fabulous prize from Craftwork Cards on offer for one lucky entry.  Check out the blog for some fantastic 'tag' inspired cards from the design team and all you need to know to enter.

Card: Papermill Direct, Paper: Echo Park; Cricut Font and Basic Shapes Cartridge

Going in Circles...

Our challenge launches right now over on the Let's Craft and Create blog.  The theme is 'Shape', we'd like you to use a shaped card or a shape of any kind within your design.  As you've probably already guessed from the title of this post and from the card (I hope) I've chosen to use circles.  As many as I could cram on the card!
I'm lovin' this paper pad from Pebbles called Seen and Noted, it's a perfect mix of spots, stripes, chevrons, floral and graph papers. Brilliant paper quality and the colours are so vibrant.
The challenge details are HERE on the blog pop over and have a look at the gorgeous designs from the team

Neglected butterfly punch...

The 'Things with wings' challenge launched last week over on the Let's Craft and Create blog.  I'm a little late posting my card here on the blog.  This week has been a busy one what with it being the half term break  we've been out and about enjoying the sights of London.  Although lately I've been finding my best designs happen when I'm working against the clock, no time for faffing!

I don't use butterflies in my card making enough. This punch from Martha Stewart is one of my favourite butterfly shapes, I bought it after admiring it on many other cardmakers cards and scrapbookers pages. But I think I've only used it once before, could never quite come up with a design that did it justice, until now!

 Hope you have the time to join in our challenge.  It's nice and easy just enter a card or project featuring something with wings. Go here for all the details.

Martha Stewart 3 in 1 classic butterfly punch, Papermill Direct smooth and textured coloured card, Stampendous greetings stamp

A different design with die cuts...

The 'Die Cuts' challenge launched this week over on the Let's Craft and Create blog and I set myself an extra challenge to use my tried and tested favourite dies in a way I'd never used them before.  My favourite dies being the Tim Holtz Tattered Florals and the Stampin Up Top Note.
So, instead of a many layered fancy flower.  I used just one flower layer, folding it back on itself with a foam pad in the fold to separate the petals.  For the top note die instead of just one die cut, I used two.  Offsetting the white layer behind the grey to create a shadow effect.
When I think about it, apart from the patterned paper, everything else on this card I've had in my stash for a good few years. Just goes to show what different effects can be achieved with the same old supplies.

This link will take you to the blog to see the gorgeous cards the team have made with their die cuts.  Why not join us, the entry requirements are simple and there's a lovely prize for one random entry.

Inspired by Patchwork...

I've created a patchwork inspired card for the new challenge over on the Let's Craft and Create blog.  Our theme is 'One for the girls'.  I think this card will qualify don't you, patchwork, pink and a bow, card making doesn't get much more girlie than that!
Hope you have the time to enter.  All the details are HERE, together with some wonderful projects from the DT and the prize for one lucky entry!

Embroidery Hoop Art...

This card was inspired by the embroidery hoop trend. that I've been seeing in all the home styling magazines and on Pinterest, I've even set up a board HERE dedicated to hoops!
Instead of a hoop I've used some wood grain paper to give the effect and lots of stitching, it's been a while since I've made a stitched card, and it's good to be back in my comfort zone.
The flowers I've crocheted using this pattern and 4ply mercerised cotton from the knitshop, just right for our 'Flowers' challenge that launches today over on the Let's Craft and Create blog .  It would great to see you over there, just create a card or project using flowers somewhere in the design, couldn't be any easier, especially now Spring has finally decided to arrive!

Papers: My Minds Eye The Sweetest Thing - Tangerine; Crate Paper Emma's Shoppe.  Stamp; Stampendous  Happy Greetings.

My favourite paper punch...

I don't have a large range of paper punches, just a select few, mainly through lack of storage space.
Half of my collection, I’d say is the basic shapes like circles, borders and squares. The rest are a couple of flowers, a heart, a star, and some impulse buys that have never been used. If I had to choose one as a favourite it would be this one, the Martha Stewart 3 in 1 hydrangea.punch.
This card, cut on the Cricut Mini, was looking a little dull and ordinary before I added the punched flowers and flat back pearls. I think it’s the irregular shape of the petals that make this flower so pretty and able to lift even the most basic card design out of obscurity. 

Have you got a favourite punch that you couldn't be without? I'd love to know.

Pick click go...

A couple of weeks back I shared the first card I made with the Cricut Mini.  Today, I'm sharing the next batch, this machine is ideal for mass production.
The Craft Room design software has a 'cut it free for a week' deal.  You get to create with a selected cartridge for one week for free!!!  This week the free cut is the Simple Cards cartridge.  There are over 40 designs to choose from, just pick, click, and go.  There you have a clean and simple card ready to put in the post.

I've cut this design in a range of colours, ready to go the next time I need a general Birthday card.  
I'll be back tomorrow with my next batch of 'Simple' Cards.