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Tuesday, 19 July 2011

July 2011

8th Wonder Art - explained!
Hi there! This is my first 'crafty' blog and I have to say I'm a little nervous...but here goes....before the cards, the introductions (skip this bit if you want!):

I'm Carole and I live in South Gloucestershire with my husband, Tom and our 2 hens, Buffy and Cara. I work locally 3 days a week for a small charity which helps people find volunteer roles; I like my job but I would trade it tomorrow for a chance to create cards full time!
I have been crafting - forever! My dad really got me into it I guess...true, Mum taught me how to sew and knit' but they were always just 'functional' things with which, I am ashamed to say, I was easily bored. Dad was a sign-writer by trade and an artist by nature. Everything I know about art, I learned from him. 

Apart from drawing and painting, my first introduction to paper crafting was scrapbooking. Off and on I have spent quite a bit of time visiting the American side of my family in California and this wonderful way to record your memories has always been second nature to them...I am so pleased that it is now popular over here, although I hardly get any time for it nowadays. Believe me, a day at the beach? Boring. Hours spent in Michaels Craft Store (Their equivalent of Hobbycraft, but bigger). Paradise!

Over the years I have dabbled in different crafts including beaded jewellery and some folksy sewn items, but my road always leads me back to cardmaking/paper crafts. I still enjoy a bit of sewing but only items to sell on my craft stall, such as Primitive style snowmen (watch this space nearer Christmas). Currently I am also dabbling in a bit of knitting, but there are has to be chunky and fast. I decided last week to try and knit jackets to keep battery hens's taking forever with dk yarn and smaller needles and I don't have that kind of attention span! I hope the hens aren't too fussy!

My card crafting is quite eclectic and although I'm not a very girly person, my cardmaking style of choice is very girly....ribbons are a must and sparkle and buttons.....although I have been lured by Tim Holz and all the grunge stuff, but my grunge so far is still pretty girly. I am intrigued by  Steam Punk too and aim to give it a go! Some of my Twitter crafty pals (you know who you are) are also enticing me into trying ATC's, so that's another thing on my list.

 I suppose if pressed I would say that I love rubber stamping most, although CD crafting is a close second. I am a Promarker ADDICT! I love the things....give me an image to colour and a selection of promarkers and I'll be happy for hours! But I also love gadgets and tools...I have the 'baby bug' Cricut and the Gypsy, both of which I use every day (my gypsy is usually in my bag..who wants computer games!); I also own a Cuttlebug and a Grand Calibur and again, I use them both all the time. In fact, along with stamps and promarkers, Spellbinders dies are another BIG obsession. If I lost any of the aforementioned items I have no idea what I would do!

Who are my crafting idols? I admire quite a few crafters: Joanna Sheen, Barbara Gray (Clarity Stamps), Nikky Hall(Polkadoodles),Tim Holz (who doesn't?)...but my real inspiration is Sue Wilson from Creative Expressions/Particraft. Every card she makes is absolutely beautiful and so...substantial...nothing flat about them and I think you will see her influence in some of my cards.It would be true to say that I am 'in awe' !

Where do I get my stash? Well Create and Craft is a major source, but we also have an excellent local shop in Chipping Sodbury...Out of the Blue...check it out if you're local...ribbons there are beautiful..and papers...and....also love Polkadoodles and a number of other web based craft sites that I'll mention as I go along...

I do go to Hobby Craft, who doesn't? But usually because I'm in the Mall!

Last year we went to the NEC craft event which was with Nigel and Leonie from Create and Craft!

What do I do with my cards? Well I sell as many as I can, I have to - to help fund this crazy habit! I make personalised cards to order and am quite busy that way. I do a few craft fairs and would like to do more. The cards I post on here will be a mix of cards made for my stash or to give to friends and family on their birthdays.

8th Wonder Art...that's the tag/name under which I sell my cards...why 8th Wonder Art, you may ask? Simple really, ever since Tom & I holidayed in Egypt, a long while ago, before it was trendy,when you had to have vaccinations for everything heaped on you and exploring the pyramids and tombs was a lot of fun, he started calling me by the name 8th Wonder, if he calls me Carole, something is wrong! Apart from a few of his work colleagues who only know me as that, no one else in the world calls me by that name. I will credit Tom with coming up with this name for my cards, it's been so long, I don't remember!

Well enough chat for now (I will use this as a crafting diary so expect some words) and on to some cards..I have quite a backlog to upload over the next few weeks, but here are a few of my latest to get started. I hope you enjoy looking at them....

Tatty's Sunflower
 I adore the Tatty Button stamp range. This first card is an 8x8 made for the forthcoming Birthday of my very dear friend Janet. The card base is covered with card from the Tim Holz & Ranger Coredinations Distress Collection, Rusty Hinge and after some light sanding I added dies from Spellbinders Parisian set, plus the stamped image on an oval die. All dies were both cut and embossed using the Grand Caliber. Tatty was coloured with promarkers and I stamped the sunflower twice to add  a touch of decoupage. I think the Butterfly from the Spellbinders Flights of Fancy set is amazing. I cannot stop using it. I hand stitched around the edge to give it a 'folksy' look and some extra lift.
You will also notice from most of my cards that there has to be ribbon...oh dear, another obsession...and buttons..oh dear!

Butterfly Floral
The above card is another 8x8 (I love working with this size and most people who order cards from me want large). The rose backing is some paper from my stash and I hand-stitched all around the edge again (I do find this strangely therapeutic). The swirls were freehand using inkessentials enamel accents in black and the leaves were cut from my Cricut Storybook Cartridge, which I have to say is the cartridge that gets the most use. I made the flowers using three sizes of the Spellbinders Anemone die using a technique I saw Sue Wilson demonstrate on Create and Craft (another addiction).

Pink Wellies
I collect Polkadoodles CD's and thanks to Nikky Hall for continually bringing out such amazing artwork. I especially love the digital stamps....because of course...I can colour them with Promarkers!
The above welly boots are from Sharon Armstrong's 'Winnie' digital stamps on the Double Sprinkles of Kraft CD, the polka dot kraft backing paper was printed from the collection on the CD and the flower was again made using some paper from stash, a brad and the anemone die.

Blue Wellies
These wellies make such super cards for anyone who perhaps likes gardening - male or female. They are simple and funky. This time I embossed some card from the Tim Holz/Ranger coredinations range (Blue China) and sprayed it with stick and spray irredescent glitter by Crafters Companion,I coloured the digi stamp with promarkers and tied with a blue ribbon - easy!

I have had this 'Parisian' shoe stamp several years, it was actually part of a birthday gift from one of my best friends...and I love it! It is so versatile and a good seller at craft fairs. This card is backed with pink card from the coredinations gemstones range and I actually stamped the shoe onto some quite subtle but elegant paper from my stash, which I had die cut with the cricut (same for deckle edge paper that backs it). The shoe was colured very lightly with promarkers (Blush) and then I used extra fine glitter to finish it, plus a few diamantes. The flower was made from Hunky Dory die cut flowers kit and the card was finished off with a big voile bow. The flowers from the Hunky Dory kit are fine, they always deliver good quality, but I prefer to make the flowers myself.

Wedding Cake
This is a 6x6 card and was a bit of experiment! I embossed plain vellum  with polka dots using the cuttlebug and did the same to polar white card, which was die cut from the cricut. The cake was also cut from the cricut using the Paper Doll Dress Up' cartridge, which was then embossed using the cuttlebug. There was a whole lot of embossing and cutting going on with this card! I got a bit carried away! The sentiment was typed onto polar white card and then die cut from a Spellbinders ribbon die. I ruched the silk ribbon at the side and added some faux pearl gems for the finishing touch. I have to say, in real life the dots appear far more subtle, but next time I would probably leave the card on which the cake is mounted, plain.

Gorjuss Girl: My Own Universe
This was a fun card, simple but fun! The image was stamped on to a deckled oval Spellbinders Die, coloured with promarkers and the die was distressed at the sides using a mix of Tim Holz Tattered Rose and Antique Linen distress ink. The card is 6x6 and the front is covered with paper printed from the Polkadoodles 'Wonderland' CD. I simply added a co-ordinating ribbon and sentiment from stash. 

Christmas in July! 
All crafters know that we have to start making cards early, especially if we sell them! The last few years have been really last minute, so I made an early start and already have quite a few made. Below are a few of the designs I'm using this year.

These three cards are all variations on a theme; I can't take total credit for coming up with the original design, it's adapted from a similar idea in a Spellbinders book I own. I have used 6x6 card blanks and on the front I have matted and layered - polar white, berry red, polar white. The centre is a berry red and a white label nestie and the beautiful Spellbinders 2010 snowflake, embossed and with a large bow fixed underneath. I have added different embellishments from stash on the top. The poinsetta above was actually made by a lady who used to do craft fairs and made beaded ornaments. They are gorgeous.

Victorian Bauble

This is the 2010 nestie and  can be used in so many ways. Here I cut and embossed the die on the front of a blank to create a hollow and then did the same with gold card to create a frame. I lined the hollow with red and gold paper from stash. 

The card below was quite simple in comparison:topped with coredinations gemstones card, it's an 8x8 card blank decorated with  a snowflake embossed oval nestie, 2 globe dies and a snowflake die. The greeting is made using one of the dies from the Parisian set. I ruched some ribbon at the side and tied a little through the tops of the ornament.

House Mouse Christmas 

Back to the adorable House Mouse stamps - the first one was stamped on to a deckled nestie and coloured with promarkers. You can't tell from either of the photos, but I have added flowersoft polar white and a touch of glitter to the snow and the image.
Usually, I don't work Wednesdays & Fridays, so these are the times I usually devote full days to card making. I have made the following cards today... at the moment I'm trying to make a bundle to give my cousin to sell at a Cancer charity fundraiser she has organised in July, so I'm making an assortment of birthday, baby, wedding and general...
 Baby Girl
The above is a 5x5 baby girl card, it took quite a while to make but I really enjoyed it! The first layer doesn't really show up in the photo, but it's a light brown/white dotty paper printed from the Polkadoodles Wonderland CD, the second layer is a dusky pink coredinations, which I distressed around the edges and the next layer pale yellow coredinations, which I distressed and inked around the edge with a mixture of antique linen and mustard distress inks. The pram is cut from my 'Sampler' cricut cartridge and mounted on label spellbinder dies. Everything else is from stash...the pink ribbon is American Seambinding, which I wetted, scrunched up and dried off with my heat gun.

Baby Girl 2
Having made the first card I made this with all the card I had left over! It's bigger, 6x6 and is made in exactly the same way as the previous card, except I cut out the word 'baby' using the 'Cuttin' Up' cricut cartridge.

That's me up to date, but here are a few more from my archives....

Just Because -  a simple card, which was a bit of a practice when I first got the cricut last Christmas!
 Running Rabbit!
This is from Polkadoodles Wonderland rubber stamp set - I love it and have made quite a few cards from it, but unfortunately most of the photos I took were a bit poor, so it'll have to wait until I've made some more!

 House Mouse Balloon
This is a dear little stamp, I've used it a lot inside a card on an insert, but it's also really cute on a small card or a gift tag
 Gift Bag
This gift bag was made for a friend's daughter's 21st earlier this year and it was a labour of love! The base card is silky and really sumptuous to the touch and apart from the key, I made every element, including the flower
 House Mouse Easel
This was a card made for a customer: the tags, numbers and frames were all made using the cricut and the mice were, of course, coloured with promarkers!
 Dotty House Mouse
Another dear little stamp for a small card - these mice are just so cute!
This is a digi stamp from Polkadoodles 'Double Sprinkes of Kraft' - it's hard to see from this picture but this was a pop up card and this is the inside

 Winnie in the park,Park Bench, Garden Swing, Winnie's Pink Wellies & Winnie's Wellies..
The "Double Sprinkles' CD is made for working with Promarkers and is an absolute delight. These are all 8x8 cards - such fun

 60th Birthday
I was asked to make a 60th card with a gold theme for a lady who likes shoes and fashion...I used the shoe stamp again; this time I didn't colour it at all, just added glitter to the shoe. The gold card was embossed with the cuttlebug and the 60 was cut using the cricut. The base of this easel card has been decorated with another favourite stamp of mine, which I have owned for years: a simple bag and shoe.
 This little piggy...
This was another card made to order for someone who likes piggys. The pig is from the Polkadoodles 'Back to Nature' CD (I think! I have so many & it was a while ago...will check)

That's all for now...hope you like what you see...will update again next week
Carole X
July 20th 2011

Thanks to everyone who has visited so far and sent me such lovely messages via Twitter and Facebook...I'm blushing! Also thanks to those of you who have joined! Please leave a message on the blog...I will be updating with more cards on my August blog starting next week...happy crafting all!

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