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Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Happy Haunting! - 31st October

Good Morning Friends!

No Hallowe'en card today, I found I had already used them I thought I'd share another one of my 'Primitive' style watercolours and our decorated front porch. I've just got back in from decorating it in the rain!

We've had a bit of a 'fiasco' this year...I finally got around to  getting Tom up to the attic to get the decs down on Sunday and as usual, we were in a hurry. He got  a box down and I thought that was all that I needed...opened it yesterday and it was the wrong box! We were both too tired to open the attic up again last night (creepy in itself this time of year!), so I've had to go with what was in there. I did try first thing to cut some decals on my Cricut, but no good, still need to replace that blade!

So here are so pics of my hastily prepared spooky porch...

I usually have a Hallowe'en wreath that I brought back from the USA years ago - it's in the attic, so I dressed up my autumn wreath a little

This is my little Prim Witch on watercolour card...just like the Christmas snowmen, this  isn't from my imagination, but adapted from a picture in a magazine

Well I must get on my broomstick and fly!!! I have been looking at my list of commissions and to be honest sighed! I really thought that after all the events of last week and the final workshop before Christmas I was going to be able to relax a little, finish my own Christmas cards and even make some, is usually a cardmaking day, but I really do have to do I wish I was Samantha from 'Bewitched'!!!

Have a great day all and I'll make a cuppa this afternoon and do some hopping around your blogs!

Mwah Ha Ha!
Carole XX

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Sole Creation - Tuesday 30th October

Morning all!

I'm giving you a break from Halloween today (but there will be one more!)...

This card was made for a commission recently and I am told the recipient really liked it (phew!)

I used a pre-shaped card and embossed it using a floral 'That Special Touch' mask, which I then inked with Milled Lavender distress ink.

The sentiment is typed and printed and then cut using Grand Labels 23 and the Creative Expressions Sole Creations stamp was coloured with Promarkers and  die cut with Spellbinders Classic Rectangles (both dies are Spellbinders). I added a little cosmic sparkle and some gems and inked the edges using a mix of Milled Lavender and Victorian Velvet. The little flowers are from a punch and I made the pins from a kit that our lovely blog friend Linda sent me some time ago. The ribbon was heated with a heat tool to curl it

Hope you like it and thank you for stopping by and commenting, I really do read and appreciate them all!

Have a great day everyone,
Carole Z X

Monday, 29 October 2012

Emergency Crafters DT Card - Monday 29th October

Hi Blog Friends,

Thanks for your comments yesterday, I did finally get a post written, albeit rather late in the afternoon!

Well it's back to Hallowe'en for the new Emergency Crafters challenge..something Spooky! For those of you who aren't Hallowe'en fans 'fear' not (!) it will all be over after Wednesday! I still maintain that this 'festival' is  just the best for creating - I could go on and on with spooky designs, but promise, just one more after today!
This is my spooky design team project..the card is made using the Dreamweaver Bare Trees stencil (be warned, more of this stencil to come!) on Clarity Card, inked through with a mix of Milled Lavender and Victorian Velvet distress inks. I then stamped the crow on black (Chocolate Baroque Halloween) with Versamark and heat embossed in black. I stamped the sentiment,(same stamp set) again on black card with Versamark and heat embossed in silver. The fence is cut on my Cricut.

The little crooked witches hat is from a pattern I've had for a few years. It's from a US Company called Country Friends, from which I get quite a few 'primitive' design patterns..they are lush! I made this one in a hurry; it's simply made using black glittery felt. When I took the photo, I noticed the shadows and decided to go with it...keeps it spooky!

Promise you a break from spooky-ness tomorrow,

Thanks for stopping by! 

Carole X

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Events, Workshops, Craft Fairs - Sunday 28th October

Good Afternoon my wonderful blog friends! I'm back!

Yes I've been 'missing' for a few days, but doing lots of crafty things, so it's time to give you a quick update....

First of all there was the 'Discover a new Hobby' event at Yate Library...we put on a similar event last year and it went incredibly well, so we were hoping for the same...well it was even better! 
   I got there at mid-day to help set up the tables and we started at 2pm. Between then and 8pm, when we finished, 230 people (adults and children) came through the door and tried out one or several of about 20 different hobbies and crafts, from photography to quilting to basket weaving and sugar craft: it was amazing! 
   I made up 35 card kits of this little patchwork dove. Not quite the same card, one a little bit easier, figuring on having 2 people at at time at my table with some packs to spare...well at times there were queues! It was so much fun! My friend Amy, who I teach the workshops with, came along and helped when she had finished at her shop and in the end more than 25 people made a Christmas card. Many had never made a card before, some were children or had disabilities and every card was magic! I was so busy, I didn't even take a photo (I know, shame on me!). The look on all their faces when then took away their finished card, just made me so happy, especially one little 8 year old girl, who made one for her grandparents and then borrowed my gold pen to write it there and then!

Thursday night it was our last workshop of the year, so lots of planning ahead for next year now..we had 14 people booked into the class and this time we made cards using a Dreamweaver Christmas tree stencil, dreamweaver paste and micas..we also used glitters on a second project.

I didn't get the stencil until the previous weekend because we were waiting delivery and with everything going on, didn't get to even try it until one evening last week, so thanks to Amy for finding the time to actually make the card for the class this time. I will feature the technique on a future blog, when I have had time to actually make some cards..promise!

Meanwhile and again it was last minute, I did take a some photos of a few of some of my group with their cards...

Click to enlarge and see the cards better!
one of the HM cards I didn't want to part with!
Finally to yesterday's Craft Fair in aid of a local Hospice. I don't do craft fairs much any more, I used to, but when we were looking after my Mum it got harder until something just had to 'give' and by then my commissions had really taken off, so it was better to concentrate on them. However, I have discovered that, especially if you make cards, once you are out of the circuit it is hard to get back in...but I did keep going to this fair, to support the Cause and I still enjoy it very much. 
  The sunshine and farmers market brought a decent amount of people in and the organiser always ensures a varied number of crafts are represented. I did very well (phew!) and can report, if you are interested, that my LOTV Christmas and Pirate cards were the best sellers, along with House Mouse! I took along 2 large HM cards that I didn't really want to part with (but knew it was daft to hold on to them). I had to price them high as there was a lot of work in them...and they both sold!

It's always lovely when  people buy your own art work too and I managed to get a few cards made using my snowman image, which I had on this blog last week - and they sold.

Tom keeps telling my I need to make more male cards and he is right, but aside from Steampunk (which never sells sadly), I just get no pleasure from  making mens cards at all, so sales or not, I think his advice is going on deaf ears at the moment :)

One funny thing though...I'm no sales person: there are one or two other stallholders who are really up for the hard sell and I just don't have it in me;  but what I do like to do at a fair is craft. It's not as easy with paper craft as with sewing or knitting, but I will maybe take some tags, stamps and inks to make a few things. Yesterday, I took along the 8 kits I had left over from Wednesday - they were easy to make, just cutting and sticking. I had decided that this card, would make up some of my own cards to send at Christmas. People were really interested and wanted to buy them as I was making them! So my 8 cards for my own box, has dwindled to two left...gotta start again!!

It has given me an idea for the pre-Easter craft fair though, saying no more at the moment as I need to run it by the organiser :)

Well that's me done for today, I have managed to do some catching up on all your blogs and you have been making some wonderful cards! I had really missed catching up with you all!

I'll be back tomorrow with my new design team card for the current Emergency Crafters challenge,

Thank you so much for stopping by!
Carole X

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Halloween All Sewn Up! - Fantastic Ribbons DT - 23rd October

Good Morning Blog Friends,

The theme given to the design team at Fantastic Ribbons this month is sewing with ribbon...October to me means Halloween! I love it and any excuse to make a project for this Spookylicious holiday and I'm there!

 The card itself is a black 6x6 blank, the front of which I embossed using a lattice mask and then coated with starlite black pigment ink for some sparkle and shine. The pumpkin and boxes are made using  Spellbinders dies and cut with Coredinations card, which I sanded back and added a little sparkle. But the important part of this card and box project is of course,the ribbon!

I used three different ribbons: Grosgrain Torrid Orange,(how fab is that name for a Halloween project??),  black satin and Kendra black/gold  ....

The sewing part was simple - for the rosette, I cut  a length of orange and a length of black. How much you use depends on how large a rosette you want and half as much black as orange is needed. I simply sewed a running stitch along the centre of each length and pulled it together, sewed the ends together and then pushed the small black rosette into the centre, before sticking to the card. For the ruched band, I just gathered the ribbon together and sewed along the centre. It really doesn't matter if you can't sew as the contrasting ribbon will cover it. I sewed this by hand, but you could use a machine.

The little 'bow' on the box is the same technique as the rosette, except it's not gathered into a circle. To finish off I stamped the words on to the ribbons.

This was a really fun project to make - hope you like it!

Materials used:

Black 6x6 blank
Orange Coredinations card
Ribbons for Fantastic Ribbons - see links above
That Special Touch of...mask
Purple netting from stash
Spellbinders Pumpkins Nestability dies
Frog die cut using Cricut
'Spookylicious' stamp from Chocolate Baroque
Starlite Silver and Starlite black ink
Cosmic Shimmer dries clear glue
Orange thread

Spellbinders Box die
Coredinations Orange card
Black card
Spellbinders Pumpin Accents
Torrid Orange ribbon as above
Stamps from Chocolate Baroque

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave a comment, I love to read them!

Carole X

Monday, 22 October 2012

Bare Trees - Monday 22nd October

Good Morning Blog Friends,

Sorry I've been missing a few days...this coming week I  have a day of encouraging people to craft at the library, our last workshop before Christmas and a craft fair on Saturday, so you can imagine that  I have been busy busy busy...I have made some more stock for the fair, still not prepared for our workshop and just got all the card kits together for Wednesday...I am going to  be helping new crafters to make the paper piece dove card, that I posted on here a few weeks ago, but as we only have a small amount of time with all the people who come through, I made the kits, including doing all the stamping..phew...I made 24 kits!

So today, a little more spooky-ness using a Dreamweaver stencil...

I've just got this stencil and have been practicing with in in many different ways, so be prepared to see more of it! This was the first card I made: I just wanted to created an orange 'glow' behind the stencil using distress inks and then I  stamped and heat embossed the bats. The ribbon is from Fantastic Ribbons (watch out for my DT project coming soon!) and the Jack O'Lantern button is from stash.

Before I go, I wanted to show you what one of our hens, Bella got up to at the weekend. She is a terror for climbing and along the side of our garden, we have a 40ft grapevine...not a good harvest year but the hens go nuts for them. They see the starlings getting the ones on top, so Bella thought she'd join them!

The fence is 6ft high...little monkey!

Hope you all have a great week with lots of crafting...have made cards and will post when I can!

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, I really do appreciate them.

Carole Z X

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

New Baby - Wednesday 17th October

Good Morning Blog Friends, hope you are all having a good week!

Today's card is a commission card I made last week, please excuse that I blanked out part of the greeting. I had been asked to add details of the baby's name, weight, date etc and thought it best not to share on the internet. I would normally make an additional label to cover it temporarily, but just didn't have time. It can be difficult when making cards for people I don't know.

This is an 8x8 card blank, the edges of which have been coloured with Spun Sugar distress ink. I used a smaller square, which was embossed with an M-Bossability folder and a matt and layered this with  die cuts from Spellbinders Grand Scalloped Rectangles. The top layer, which was coconut white card was stamped with the LOTV baby image and sentiment.I then stamped the image again, coloured it with promarkers and cut out just the hammock to give some depth.

Thank you for your comments on yesterday's card..I'm glad you liked the snowman because he is one of my own drawings! It's a watercolour I painted some years ago. I'm no good at drawing or painting from my mind, but I can usually muster by with a picture or idea to look at - this was one of a series of images I drew based on photos in  some US magazines I have, which feature Prim and Folk Art crafts.

Quick post today, hope you are all having a good week,
Crafty Hugs, Carole X

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Folksy Snowman - Tuesday 16th October

Good Morning Crafty Friends,

Thanks for all your comments yesterday, that card took ages to make, but I was really pleased with it!

Yesterday I said that I had two card designs in my head just desperate to get out. This one isn't as arty or time-consuming to make as that one, in fact it was quite an easy card and it was all made around the image of the folk art style snowman which had been hanging around for a you like him?

The card is A5, covered with polka dot paper from stash. In fact almost every part of this card is made from bits and pieces left over. The Kraft card I used for the poinsettias and bottom die cut layer was just a few small pieces I had left from another project. I coloured the poinsettias 'roughly' with Victorian Velvet, as I did with the die cut image, sentiment, ribbon and outer edge of the card. I used faux stitching around the edge of the die and the sentiment is a washable from Stamps Away. 

Just a quick card and post today, thanks for stopping by!

Dies used are all Spellbinders

Before I go, here is a glimpse of the candy I have collected so far to send out to one of my followers when I reach the milestone of 50...there will be a few more additions soon, but so far there are some mini stamps, little storage box, my favourite cosmic shimmer glue, a mask and some stamping card

Have  a great Tuesday all,
Carole X

Monday, 15 October 2012

Autumn Metals! - Sunday Stampers week 227, Monday 15th October

Good Morning Blog Friends!

Thank you for your comments yesterday. I think every crafter I know, including myselfI is self-taught - we are so good at sharing our work and techniques, our blogs are testimony to that aren't they? But classes and clubs give everyone a chance to join in and learn from each other and I see that happening in each one of our classes, which is great. Plus, Amy and I are learning new techniques ourselves all the time, so that we can share them with our group - I love it!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend, here  we had perfect autumnal days...Tom and the hens have been very busy in the garden and in between some time outside, I actually got a bit of crafting done! Most of it was trying to design for our next workshop, but I did finish  a commission and actually manage two projects that had been in my head and just had to escape!

Today's card had been hanging around in the old grey matter for a while and then, I was watching Barbara Gray on TV yesterday and one of the cards she made was using a very similar technique...following that I checked out Hels Sheridan's blog to see what this week's Sunday Stampers theme is and it's metal....

Now those of you who follow me would expect me to have leapt at the chance to make another Steampunk card, but..surprise!!! This card, that was desperate to get made, I think just about fits the theme...I hope!

I know you don't normally think of metal and nature, but bear with me....
This card is a black 6x6 blank:  to create a background, I stamped the leaves all over the card using versamark ink and then covered with metallic mica powders, 'painting'  them on with a paintbrush. I used Dreamweaver metallic powders in gold and kimono red, plus a hint of metallic Golden Pear Cosmic Shimmer mica powder. Once I was happy with the covering, I shook off the excess and then wiped over with a paper towel to bring out the metallic shine. Unfortunately the photo just doesn't show this off, the leaves absolutely shimmer in the light.

I then stamped the sentiment, again with  Versamark and covered with Gold Mica Powder. I die cut with Spellbinders Labels Four Small and then fixed all the mica powders with a squirt of hairspray (just in case).

I used Spellbinders Craft Metal foils to die cut the leaves, added some ribbon and a metal maple leaf button to finish...hope this counts as metal Hels!

Materials used:

Versamark Ink
Dreamweaver and Cosmic Shimmer Metallic Mica Powders
Spellbinders metallic craft foils
Spellbinders Fall Foliage Dies and Labels Four Small
Creative Expressions Dandelion Wishes Stamps

Thanks for stopping by!
Carole X

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Workshop photos - Sunday 14th October

Hello Blog Friends,

I hope you are having a super weekend everyone! Thanks for your comments on my sporadic posts this week, which has been a particularly busy one - but I did manage to get around most of your blogs and see all your lovely creations..apologise if in my rather too hurried blog hops, I left anyone out!

No card as such today, we had a workshop on Thursday and I had already posted the card we apologies for a bit of repetition. Three ladies who normally come together, couldn't make it at the last minute and they were from my group, so I only had a small group this time - however, two of the ladies  were first timers and had never paper crafted before, so it worked out okay for them!

The card they made is this paper pieced NOEL card, using a stamp by Woodware.

It's not a difficult card, just a lot of cutting out and measuring for the matting and layering, but all the ladies made lovely cards and I think our first time crafters were very pleased with the results. The Dove paper pieced card is going to be used in a few weeks time  for a demo day we are doing at the Library where I work. Our local Council is dedicating a month to encouraging people to take up new activities (Myself and my volunteers had a very successful day encouraging new volunteers this week!) .The library is organising a Hobbies and craft day and we will be giving people the chance to make a card. We also did this last year and it was very successful.

Amy and I have one more class this year, in a few weeks time when will be making a card with Dreamweaver stencils. Then we will be taking  break until January, although we have next year's classes to plan of course!

Not so many photos this time, for some reason the rest of them didn't come out too well...I probably wasn't concentrating!

I still have more commissions to fulfil, but hopefully I'll get something made that I can post tomorrow. I'm awaiting the go ahead to post my next Fantastic Ribbons DT project (which I am really pleased with!) and keep watching because in the next few days I will be posting a photo of the candy I have gathered so far, to send to one of you lovely crafters when I get to 50 followers!

Thanks for stopping by,
Carole X

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Emergency Crafters DT card -

Good Morning my crafty blog friends,

How are you all? I've missed you these last few days...I've been very busy papercrafting almost every waking hour that I haven't been in work, but all my projects have been for commissions and design teams! The commissions I only put on here after the recipient would have had the card, so I can't show any of them yet.

I can however now share my design team card for the new Emergency Crafters challenge, which is a card recipe using one element from each of these categories: glitter or gems,ribbon or flowers, die-cut or sentiment and this is my card...

This is the first time in ages I have used an A5 card blank, I much prefer to work with square cards, but somehow this size fitted the design. I covered the card front with 'midnight' blue card. Then I embossed some of the lovely coconut white card using a polka dot 'That Special Touch of...' mask. This card was trimmed to create a layer and the rest was die cut using two sizes of Spellbinders Labels Four Small. For the bottom edge of the first layer I used a Martha Stewart punch. Then using the same card (al this was from one sheet of A4) I die cut one of the butterflies from the Spellbinders 'Papillons' set. I cut the card and a piece of wax paper at the same time and used this as the bottom layer.

If you live near a 'Kitchens' store, do try a roll of their wax wrap for your more intricate dies, not only does it make them easier to pop, but the wrap itself has a lovely texture and  can easily be used instead of vellum.

To finish off I inked the edges of all the white layers with broken china distress ink and added ribbon and gems.

So the elements I used from the recipe are: gems, ribbon and die-cuts. This is a really fun challenge, we do actually look at all the entries and choose a winner (though thankfully I'm not involved in that part!) and there is  a prize to be had, so why not hop over to Emergency Crafters and  have a go? 

Before I go, Amy and I delivered another workshop on Thursday usual I have a few photos but haven't had a chance to upload them yet...will do so tomorrow!

Thanks for stopping by! 

Carole X

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Thank You! - Tuesday 9th October

Hi lovely blog friends,

No new project today, I just wanted to say thank you for all your lovely comments about the snowflake card yesterday, it was actually such a pleasing card to make, do you know what I mean? It's one of those techniques that just develops in small bursts before your eyes.

I also wanted to say thank you to Linda and Christine for joining in with my question about how you came to paper crafting - everyone was quite different and I have loved reading them all. After reading all the responses, I felt I had skipped over my Mum and that just wouldn't do, because she too played a big part in my creativity...she wasn't 'arty' but she supported the love of art my dad and I shared; she also taught me to cook, knit and sew. I am the most frustrated knitter, I get bored too quickly - I've had a chunky knit sweater on the go for 18 months, but I still have a fabulous chunky sweater Mum knitted me when I was 18 and it's as good as new! Mum could make clothes, but my sewing is restricted to small craft projects, like the angels and other primitives, I have shown on my blog before, but many months ago, so a repeat peak for those of you who weren't following me back then...

Craft room door bunny 

Bathroom Angel

Garden Angel Fran

So these are the extent of my sewing - I was thinking about these patterns recently and thinking about finding time (lol) to make some more next year, then I remembered I had lent  some of them to a friend! 

Mum was also my biggest fan, when she passed away we found all the cards I had ever made her neatly packed in a drawer; even when her health was poor, she would want to be involved, so if I was doing  a craft fair, I would take my newly made cards to her house around the corner and we would spend an afternoon bagging them can never replace times like that can you?

Happy crafting friends!
Carole X

PS I have been looking through all the entries so far in our Emergency Crafters Autumn Leaves challenge and there are some beautiful cards and projects there..there's still time to enter!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Snowflakes - Monday 8th October

Good Morning Friends,

First of all, thank you to those of you who shared with me your ways into card making following my blog post on Saturday. I loved reading all your comments and different 'paths'. Yes, my Dad was just wonderful, so was Mum, but we were fortunate to have had her with us so much longer, as we only lost her a few years ago, whereas Dad passed away  24 years ago and I still had so much to learn from him. Thank you so much again to those of you who commented.

I had a busy day crafting yesterday, finally a full day just to make cards! We are normally out visiting Tom's parents on a Sunday, but they were going out somewhere, so as it was an unexpectedly sunny day (not as forecast!), Tom put the garden to bed with the help of the hens and I got on with some commissions. I may not be about much posting this week, I'll see how it goes, but the commissions I made, I can't post just yet and I haven't had too much time for other creations, especially as we have another workshop this week! Gosh, if only I could do this full time, I certainly have enough work to keep me going! Well, we'll see what next year brings :)

 Over the next few weeks we have 2 works shops and I have a card-making demo day and a craft fair, busy, busy, busy!  I will be stopping by all your blogs to say hello and hopefully, by the end of the week I'll be posting again!

However, I did make  some time for myself yesterday and made this week's contribution to Sunday Stampers - I am usually so last minute, that I've even surprised myself!

This week's topic is 'Snowflakes' and here is my card...

I started with a 6x6 card blank and some linen card, on which I stamped the snowflakes from the Creative Expressions "Snowflakes and Sprigs" stamp set, using a clear embossing ink, which I covered Cosmic Shimmer Aurora Sparkle embossing powder and heat embossed. Next I coloured the card with a mix of Faded Denim and Broken China embossing inks. After I had covered the whole card, I rubbed it in with one of those duster sheets you use on the floor and then set it with a quick blast of an iron.

The snowflake is Spellbinders Create-a-flake covered in clear micro glass beads, set over some blue vintage ribbon tied in a double bow.

Materials used:

6x6 card blank

6x6 linen card

Snowflakes and Sprigs stamp set (Creative Expressions)

Cosmic Shimmer Aurora Crystal Sparkle embossing powder

Faded Denim and Broken China distress ink

Spellbinders Create-a-Flake dies

Clear Micro Glass beads and double side adhesive paper

LIlli of the Valley sentiment and Spellbinders Classic Heart Circle (used behind sentiment)

Vintage ribbon, pearl gems

Thanks for stopping by today and please leave a comment, I read and appreciate them all.

Carole X

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Birthday Girls - Saturday 6th October

Good Morning my lovely blog friends...another weekend is here, wonderful!

Thank you for all your comments on my Steampunk Robin card, I loved reading them all - Steampunk certainly divides us crafters doesn't it? I like it because it is basically masculine, but can be as edgy or feminine as you make it. I love that you can virtually do what you like with it, so it gets my creative juices flowing!

You've all seen my more feminine Steampunk cards - these tend to be more appealing to anyone who just doesn't like Steampunk and also gives us girls a bit of 'edge' !

My pet hate (and I suspect I'm not alone) is making cards for men - I get commissioned for cards featuring sport, especially football and my heart sinks, but if someone asks for trains or engines the light bulbs in my brain light up, because Steampunk masculine I relish! I came to card making through a love of art, inherited from my dear Dad, sadly no longer with us. He was a Signwriter by profession and a darn good one too! He trained in Canada where he lived from about 12 years old and whilst he really appreciated all art, he was very influenced by the impressionists and graphic artists (he actually worked on cartoons for a local paper in Canada for a while when he was a student). Dad and I spent many hours in the Bristol Museum and Gallery when I was a kid, I loved it! On trips to London, where I had some aunts and cousins at the time, my highlight was visiting the galleries and museums with dad, whilst the rest of the family did the shops!

I was wondering what got you all card making..what were your paths? What types of cards do you really like to make? I have to say, I love to mix it up...I love making cute cards with the stamps of LOTV, but I relish using edgier steampunky and arty stamps by such designers as Sam Poole, Wendy Vecchi and of course, Tim Holz. So, as you see I like to mix it up - that is, when I get the time, because I can't generally do that with commissions.

My inspirations in the art world today are many, I love the rich, colourful symbolism of Klimt, the highly expressive works of Klee and my favourite contemporary artist is probably Tracey Emin, controversial yes, but her quilts, scrapbooks and videos are amazing. Tom had to drag me out of her exhibition on the South bank last year, I had been in there so long! Probably my favourite artist is Frida Kahlo, again her exhibition in the Tate Modern a few years ago captivated me.I love the colours, symbolism and angst she created in her work.

 My favourite art collection is the Peggy Guggenheim in Venice. It is somewhere I have visited many times and I can stay for hours. I think my favourite piece of art is in that gallery: Magritte's Empire of Light. The one in the Guggenheim is one of several versions by just speaks to me on so many levels  The concept of much mystery! I won't even start to interpret it here or you will all be nodding off, lol :)

Finally, my other love is graphic art and illustration (again thanks to Dad). I didn't study art, I didn't think I was good enough, although art history should have been my path, but I did study Film and that medium speaks to me in so many ways.  I have to say that I have always been in awe of Tim Burton. I think his illustrations are amazing and Nightmare before Christmas is one of my favourite movies still, today! Have you seen his website? Amazing! The link is here if you are interested.

But enough of the chitter chatter(when is she ever going to get to the card I hear you saying!) and after all that talk of expressionism and steampunk, today's card is none of those! It was made this week,  as a commission for a long time customer of mine. It's especially nice when creating a card for someone who's likes and dislikes I have got to know over the years. The lady works with Tom and we have never met, but it would be good to one day!

However, this card was actually made for my customer's friend to give to her daughter-in-law and I was given no likes or dislikes. Quite hard when you have no idea about the recipient, isn't it? So I went for elegant feminine without (I hope) being too girly.

The card is 8x8, covered with a gold patterned paper from stash (I just have to take advantage of the season at the moment!).  I stamped three antique dressforms from the Creative Expressions stamp set on to Oatmeal coloured card, using clear embossing ink and then heat embossed them all in black before cutting each out.

I cut a black back panel and three rectangles using the oatmeal card,which I edged with wild honey distress ink. I then typed up the greetings and die cut  the Happy Birthday one using a Labels Four Small. I slipped this under the black layer so that only half showed.

The ribbon used is a wide, deckled edged burnt orange organza and I used the Anemone Flower Topper   for the flower, cut using a yellow vellum. 

Thanks for stopping by and reading my waffle! Happy crafting folks,
Carole X

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Sunday Stampers week 225 - Thursday 4th October

Good Morning blog friends!

Thank you for visiting and commenting, it really does mean a lot to me. Today's card is my contribution to this week's Sunday Stampers. This week Hels has challenged all of us taking part to create something that makes us happy.

Well, I've been thinking about this in crafting terms - certainly a new stamp and die would make most crafters happy, don't you think? And getting inky whilst creating a Steampunk project makes me happy because it's something I like a lot, but don't really get the chance to make when I'm working on commissions or other cards to sell (luckily I have a few friends that I can happily send Steampunk birthday cards to!)

So my little bit of crafty happiness this week is a Steampunk Christmas card made using a new stamp and a new die!

 The  mechanical robin stamp is part of the Steampunk Christmas by Sam Poole. I stamped it with Perfect Medium and then heat embossed it in gold. I coloured the hat red with a promarker and decided to colour his breast as well. The rest of the robin is coloured with a gold promarker. I stamped the image twice, cut it out and layered the hat and wings.

When I was at Ally Pally, I bought the Sprightly Sprockets Spellbinders die set and used these die cuts as Steampunk baubles on the card, all of them inked in gold. I also used some fern leaves from the Fall Foliage dies. These were inked with gold and also pine needles distress ink. I finished off with some Cosmic Shimmer Olympic Gold PVA dotted around the sprockets and dark red ribbon.

I mounted all the pieces on Kraft card, which I had inked in gold and dusted the edges with Victorian Velvet distress ink.

Thanks for stopping by,
Carole Z X

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

L'il Black Cat - Wednesday 3rd October

Morning Blog Friends,

Another of my Halloween offerings - you will have to forgive me at the moment, I am still really busy with commissions and preparing our last few workshops before Christmas, plus a day long craft and hobbies day at the library where I have my office, that I am just making some  quick cards...Halloween, mostly to post off to my family in the USA and Italy, where Halloween cards are much more popular that they are here (though I do a craft fair close to the festival and do usually sell a few!)

This is simply a square black card, matted and layered with some scrapbook paper I actually brought back from the US last time I was there! I used die cuts from Spellbinders Parisian Motifs and Ironworks Accents for the centre and the cat is one of my Cricut images.Simples.

The bow looks really messy in the photo, but fine in reality so it must just be the angle, 'twas a quick photo!

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Crafting!
Carole X

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Patchwork Dove - Tuesday 2nd October

Good morning blog friends!

I promise today's post won't be a marathon like Sundays! I do want to say a big hello and thank you to my new follower, I am slowly edging to 50 followers and sending that Candi out to one of you lovely crafters!

On Sunday's post I mentioned that the Halloween card was made almost entirely using my Cricut and that provoked a few of you confessing to having one and not using  it much..well to tell you the truth I am no better! Last October I made some cards using the Halloween images cut with my Cricut and whilst I was doing that, I cut a load for my stash box, so some more of my Halloween cards will have Cricut die cuts, but I don't know if it's time or because there always seems to me so much pfaffing (is that a word?), I hardly ever use it - and there is Jiminy (how original) sat on my desk in front of me, along with his gypsy friend! At the moment, I need to get a new blade, so maybe when I actually get around to that, it will have a new lease of life! It's the little Cricut that they brought out first and just call it the cutting machine, no fancy name like Expression or Imagine, so I just had to name it!

Thanks to those who commented, I did actually reply to everyone of you who commented up to yesterday afternoon :)

So, to today's card....

This simple little Christmas card is made using the Woodware Patchwork Dove stamp. When Amy and I went to the Woodware Workshop day, we made a similar card with the Noel word stamp (which I showed on here a few weeks ago). I really quite like paper piecing, so when Amy has this stamp for sale in her shop, I decided to buy it. With these stamps, you literally stamp once on base card and then, with this one I stamped 6 more times on the patterned paper I wanted to use, cut out and pieced together. The dove is mat and layered in a square of Kraft card, which I embossed with a snowflake design and they coloured with gold ink.

To finish off I used Cosmic twinkles on the wings and body. It's just a simple little card, that is quick and fun to make.

Thank you so much for stopping by and following me on my crafty journey, crafty hugs to you all,
Carole X