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Monday, 23 February 2015

Going Green for TBT - Monday 23rd February 2015

Hello Friends!

I hope you all had a good weekend...we had a rare weekend when we didn't have many places to go..Tom's parents were working, which is very unusual for a weekend, so we didn't have them to visit, which meant a free Sunday. Well I had some craft time scheduled and guess what? I came down with a coup, cold and bad throat - honestly just got over one bug and now a cold! I never usually get anything either!

I did manage a few hours crafting yesterday and got some Nicecrane DT projects finished, so I guess it wasn't a total waste of a Sunday and the weather outside was appalling!

This month's Throwback Thursday Challenge(TBT) over at Stamping with Bibiana is to share an already posted project/card with green in it or a St Patrick's Day card, so I hunted back through my blog and found this one from 2012!

The original post can be found here: 

I remember making this card because it was fun, all the circles are attached with brads and spin around. I won that month's House Mouse Challenge with it and I remember intending to hold on to it, but rather oddly took it to a craft fair. I did put a higher than normal price on it, but it got sold as soon as the fair opened and I was disappointed, how daft is that!

That's it from me for today, if you would like to enter Bibiana's Challenge, which I was so thrilled to win last month, click the link below:

My entry for:
TBT Challenge #6 -February:

Thank you so much for stopping by,
Love, Carole X

Friday, 20 February 2015

Purple Heart - Friday 20th February 2015

Good Evening Friends!

Yay! The weekend is I am sharing another of my cards using the Sizzix Affection Dies that we have been using in our last two workshops. These dies are so detailed, that I haven't really touched any of the cards in any other way (i.e. inking), because I think that they really do all the work and I didn't want to detract from that. 

This is a really simple card: I used Sue Wilson's Lattice Heart embossing folder for the background and an edger die from the Spellbinders Parisian Accents set. I think that this was one of the first die sets I bought when I got my GC, which must be 6 years ago by now (at least) and I haven't used it in quite a while.

I die cut the heart and sentiment on to purple card and backed it with plain white card, before adhering it to the card with 3d foam tape.

To finish I tied some sheer dark purple ribbon around the layer and tied a small bow. I added a clear gem which I had coloured with a promarker.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend...I don't usually get much crafting done over a weekend, but we will be home a bit more than usual so I'm going to get going on some new design team projects for Nicecrane - some fab new digital stamps and images have just been released and I am looking forward to working with them on some Easter projects.

Love and Hugs,
Carole X

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Swing Card - Thursday 19th February 2015

Hello Friends,

Thank you all for your lovely comments on my Venetian Mask, it was a joy to make! A very quick and scheduled post today as I know by the time I get home from work there won't be a lot of time until I'm off out again to our workshop.

As I said last week, we have been using the Tonic Affections verso dies this month and so I have been having my first proper play with them this week..I got a bit carried away and made quite a few cards, so I'll have to 'space' them out here!

Today's is teal 6x6 card with moveable centre in the front: it's quite easy to do by just die cutting short of the centre at the top and bottom of the sentiment die.

This must be my quickest post in a while, but thank you for stopping by and I will catch up with you all later!

Love and Hugs 
Carole X

Monday, 16 February 2015

Carnevale! - Monday 16th February 2015

Hello Friends!

Despite it still being cold (very for some of you and not at all for some too!), February has a lot going for it...for a start the dreariness of January is behind us and we can start looking forward to Spring! Already I've noticed that the days are getting longer and bird song is starting to awaken me before the alarm, our hens definitely have a certain spring in their step when I open their coop and they bound into daylight!

There is something else about February of course and that is 'Love' - it's the month where our attention is turned to romance and looking at some of the fabulous creations on your blogs this past week really shows how crafters embrace this celebration. As a I explained yesterday, as I was laid low with a bug and before that busy at work, my romantic offerings are going to be across this week.

I'm starting with a bit of a labour of love, as this took a little while, made in various snippets of time, but I loved making it. Some of you know what a lucky gal I am...whilst many of my family are Californian and I've had the pleasure of frequent visits since I was a teen, Tom's family on his Dad's side are Venetian...said by some to be the most romantic city in the world. I have to say when Tom and his parents first took me there many years ago, I fell in love at first sight and have never stopped loving it.

 February in Venice is Carnival time (I have put a potted history of Carnevale at the very end of this post). Venice is so heady with colour, decadence and extravagance during this many people in costume and of course masks. Some of Tom's family run a costume business. They make, sell and hire everything you could imagine wearing to a ball. They spend the festival time at one of the best hotels serving the guests. A few years ago Venice Atelier (their name) had their costumes on display at a Mozart exhibition in the Salzburg Museum.

I decided to make a mask and purse matching if you are going to stand around in St Mark's Square being photographed by tourists all day, you really would need a purse filled with chocolates methinks!

I'll describe the two items separately:
For the purse:

Sizzix Scoreboards Heart box die by Eileen Hull
Sizzix Butterfly die
Sizzix Flourish dies
Sizzix Doily and Jewel heart die
Spellbinders Bitty Blossoms dies
Indigo Blu English Cottage paint: Goldfinger and Aladdin

I die cut the box using plain card and before putting it together painted all parts with the purple Aladdin paint using a sponge. When it had dried I put the box together and then with a dry sponge and little paint, I dabbed the sides of the box and more randomly the front and back, just to have a hint of gold showing through.

I die cut the heart from the doily die set, the butterfly, the flourishes and the roses and painted these in the same way.

To finish I tied a bow with dark purple ribbon through the heart charm and added a gem. Once the box was complete, all that was needed was some tissue paper and chocolates.

The Mask

Paper light air dry clay
Plain white drinking straw with bendy top
Sizzix Flourish dies
Paints as above
Butterfly stamps - Kanban

I drew the basic shape of a mask on some card, cut it out and used this as the template for my mask, modelling my clay around it. I made a hold in each top corner for ribbon. Once the clay had dried I painted the mask with a coat of gesso and then gold.

I stamped about 20 butterflies, heat embossed using clear powder and coloured them with Promarkers.  I cut each one out and added some sparkle with both clear wink of stella pen and embossing glitter.

I painted the drinking straw with gold paint, it's not intended to show but in case any of the straw did peek through I wanted to conceal the white. I used permanent glue dots to attach the butterflies to the straw and wound ribbon around the part that is used as the handle below the mask, finishing with a bow.

I decorated the mask with gems and threaded ribbon through the holes. Lastly I glued the remaining butterflies to the front of the mask and flourishes and feathers to the side

I would like to enter this project in to the following challenges

Eileen Hull  - Art with Heart - theme: Projects to Love
Artist Trading Post - Love is in the Air
Butterfly Spot Challenge -  #24 R is for Ribbon 

Thank you so much for stopping by, I really do appreciate it...if you'd like to read a little about Carnival, please see below by signature!

Love and Hugs
Carole X

Carnevale di Venezia...

The Carnival is held annually, ending on the first day of Lent and today is most famous for its elaborate costumes and masks. It originally began in the 12th Century when citizens came into St Mark's square to celebrate their victory over the Patriarch of Aquileia (1162). It became very popular during the 17th and 18th centuries as a way for Venice to show its prestigious image to the world. When the Austrians took over the rule of Venice in 1797, the Carnival and masks were outlawed and only crept back in during the following century through private parties and a way for artistic creativity.

The Carnival was finally brought back officially in 1979; the government wanted to bring back the history and culture of Venice and today the festival period sees the City teeming with about 3 million of the highlights is at the end of the first week, when they hold the 'Flight of the Angel' in St Mark's Square. The winner of a beauty pageant zooms across the square on a zip wire (rather her than me). This year's grand finale is February 17th, when prizes are awarded for best costumes at a special celebration ..a fashion show for the 18th Century! If you do go as a tourist some time, be prepared to wear a mask at least, possibly a Venetian cloak or even a full costume. It's even more crowded than summer, but great fun!

Unfortunately it's been a while since we went for the event, so I haven't been able to find my photos, which are probably on a CD somewhere!

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Happy Valentine's Day! - Saturday 14th February 2015

Good Morning Friends!

Sorry I have been missing for a few weeks - it seems so long! The first week was a busy week at work, nice busy, but with our AGM and plans for volunteering events later this year taking shape, it was one of those times, when life really did take precedence over crafts...and then last weekend I got a bug of some sort, aches, queasy and then the worst headache I think I've ever had, it was really hard to look at a computer screen...never was nothing really and all ok now!

I came back to blogland with some great news...another Top 3 in Eileen Hull's "Art with Heart" January Challenge for my  pin cushion and I won Bibiana's Throwback Thursday Challenge for my Valentine wall hanging and card set. I was thrilled to be the prizewinner.

Today I am sharing the card my group made at our Out of the Blue craft group last week. This month the theme is Valentine and we were using the Sizzx Affection Verso dies. I hadn't used any of these dies before and they are very good and very versatile. I didn't get a lot of chance to 'play' with them before the workshop, except to design my card, but I have been using them today.

So, there will be some more love themed cards coming up post Valentine's Day I'm afraid!

The card is a tunnel card in red and black, with concertina folds at the sides, allowing it to fold flat in the envelope. I also added die cut flowers using  Spellbinders Bitty Blossoms.

I would like to also show you another project today: some of you follow Christine Emberson's blog and every month she sells a charity kit, a card or other craft make. This month it was a wooden heart banner. I used all the papers and die cuts included, but I also painted one of the hearts with chalkboard paint and wrote on it...

That's all for today, I hope you all have a day full of love and enjoyment, nice to be back!

Love and Hugs,
Carole X