my Crafty Corner

Cards and other handicrafts made by Jean Straw

Monday 29 September 2014

Autumn Butterflies

Good evening everyone it has been a beautiful mild autumn day here after a damp and misty start, so I am here to show you the card I made for the Butterfly Challenge where Mrs A has asked for Autumn coloured butterflies this time. My Brusho  paints came last week and I had a quick play with them and ended up with a few multi coloured pages which at some point will be used for backgrounds. I chose to buy the set of earth tones as I felt the colours would suit my style best, although I also bought two single colours, black and a dark blue. Of course some of the earthy colours are also quite autumnal and I thought one of my pieces reflected this. I placed this Joanna Sheen butterfly flourish die in a position to show the most colours and cut it. Some of you may know that I was fortunate enough to win a very generous Joanna Sheen gift voucher at Pixies Crafty Workshop earlier this month and one of the things I bought with it was this set of Spellbinder Elegant Ovals dies.The one I have used here is the largest of the set, there are four altogether and each one has a different decorative edge. Having cut it from ivory card and with the die still in place I used tea dye DI and a duster brush to add some shading. I also over stamped it with an Inkylicious autumn verse stamp with the same ink, but as I stamped some of the ink off onto scrap paper you can't actually read it, but it just adds a little texture to the background which is really what I wanted. I stuck the butterflies over this and added some gold coloured gems and some brown Stickles glitter glue, this was then mounted onto brown glitter card. The orange patterned paper is from my stash and probably came in a pack from Chocolate Baroque when it was known as Elusive Images. The base card is a 15cm square, all the other elements are layered onto it with brown organza ribbon wrapped round under the glitter card and tied with a bow. I actually added a Thinking Of You sentiment to the top corner today because I decided to send it to someone in hospital.
I am entering this at the Butterfly Challenge - Butterfly in Autumn Colours
Thank you all so much for taking time to visit my blog and for your comments which I really appreciate.

Thursday 25 September 2014

Rudolph Day Again

Hi again everyone it is getting a bit late this evening, but it is still the 25th. of the month which means it is time for the Rudolph Day challenge at Sarn's blog Stamping For  Pleasure, where we are required to make at least two christmas cards.
I have had this Woodware stamp for a while but hadn't got round to using it yet so decided now is the time. I stamped it six times onto an A4 sheet of card with black Memento ink and shaded the background with a very pale blue Promarker. I redefined the dots with a white gel pen and later with Stickles stardust glitter glue. I restamped the holly leaves and berries onto snippets of paper from an LOTV paper pad, and the numbers onto some other patterned paper snippets I'm not sure of their origin. The two red ones are snippets of satin metallic card. All of these were fussy cut and glued onto the originals.The narrow frames are coloured with gel pens, mainly gold and one red sparkle pen and one with red Stickles. I added highlights to the berries with a white gel pen and then coated them Glossy Accents.                                            
Next I cut and folded six ivory A6 size base cards, and then die cut the mats using my Spellbinders Card Maker  die. Two of them from dark green card and the red and one purple from glitter card and the other purple one from purple mirri card. These were all snippets as well. I threaded various ribbons through the slots in the die before sticking them onto the cards. So as you can see I have six more cards to add to my collection.
As well as Sarn's Rudolph Day Challenge I am going to enter these at Pixies Snippets Playground  as I used  quite a few snippets.
Thank you  for visiting here and for your comments which are really appreciated.            


Sunday 21 September 2014

A Pair Of Poppies

Hi folks I hope you have all been enjoying the weekend. We have had a lovely sunny day here today after two rather dull ones.
I made this card quite quickly this afternoon because I wanted to enter the Butterfly Challenge where Mrs A, remembering the old Burl Ives song The ugly Bug Ball, wants us to include other flying bugs along with the butterfly. Now I must confess I am not all that keen on bugs so I don't have many stamps of them, however I remembered the bee which came as a freebie in a Crafty Individual order ages ago, and then a browse through my Chocolate Baroque flower stamps resulted in finding the ladybird. The poppy stamp is also CB from a set called Pretty Poppies. I stamped directly onto a white A6 folded card with black Memento ink. The colouring was done with Derwent Aqua Tone colour sticks, These are not pencils nor crayons but sticks of colour which as the name suggests can be blended with water. My sister Kate gave them to me last time I stayed with her because she didn't use them and I was beginning to feel guilty because I hadn't used them either. For the poppy flowers I coloured with them just like with pencils using first yellow lightly all over and a little brown where I wanted darker shading and then all over again with red and then blended the colours together with a water brush. The butterfly and bees were coloured in the same way with just a little Sakura clear stardust pen on the bee wings. I stamped and coloured just the butterfly onto a little snippet of card and cut out the front wing and stuck it over the original with silicon glue for a bit of extra dimension. When I came to stamp the ladybird I realised that it was really too big to go with the rest of the design so I decided to see if  I could make it with shrink plastic. I stamped it onto frosted shrink and coloured it with a red pencil and cut it out, a bit fiddly! I had fun trying to shrink it as it kept blowing away off the table as it was too small to hold down, it did get shrunk eventually and I fixed onto the card with a little Glossy Accents. The Best Wishes is part of another CB stamp.
I am going to enter this at The Butterfly Challenge - Ugly Bug Ball
I used a tiny snippet of card to stamp the butterfly wing and an even tinier snippet of shrink plastic for the ladybird so I'll take to Pixie's Snippets Playground as well.
This also fits the challenge at Stamping Sensations - Things With Wings.

Thank you for looking today and for your comments which are really appreciated
Jean .

Sunday 14 September 2014

Not A Card

To day instead of a card I am showing you the tags I've just made for the tag swap on the Chocolate Baroque community site. We make two tags each month and send them to our organiser, Margaret who swaps and posts them. So each month in the mail we receive tags back from two different talented crafters. This year the swaps are titled Technique Tags, and Margaret has provided us with the techniques. This month it was cracked ice technique. This involves stamping and colouring an image onto card and then embossing it with several layers of  clear embossing powder and then putting it in the freezer for a few minutes.Then take out again and bend it to make the cracks.You the rub brown ink into the cracks to add an aged look. I got the cracks done ok but I don't think the ink bit worked quite so well, although it did get into some of the cracks. We have a choice to make whether to make two the same or different, and as you can see I opted for doing them the same this time. As I have mentioned before most of my projects start with a stamped image which is why I have put this photo first. The stamp I used is Chocolate Baroque from a set called Romantica, stamped with Memento Elderberry ink. I inked the background lightly with antique linen and victorian velvet DI and darkened the edge with pickled preserves, and then cut it out. After the embossing and cracking I mounted it onto mauve pearl card.
Having made the toppers I set about preparing the tags.They are cut from ivory card using the Tim Holtz tag die. I coloured them by dabbing the same DI colours as before plus a little aged mahogany onto my craft mat and spritzing with water and dabbing  the tags into it. I added a little extra DI shading round the edges. Next I added some over stamping using CB stamps and pickled preserves ink. Lastly I added a few stars with white paint through a Memory Box stencil.The tags still look a bit buckled in this photo from all wetting and drying processes, but I flattened them out later.
So here are the finished tags, the Celebrate stamp is an old wood mounted one, I couldn't find a name. I stamped it onto vellum and used a tearing ruler to tear it into a narrow strip to wrap around the lower part of the tag, and then added purple ribbon through the hole.
The toppers were stamped on a snippet of ivory card, and the pearl card for the mats was also a snippet so I am skipping over to Pixies' Playground with them.
Thank you for visiting my blog and for your comments which are really appreciated.
I see it just into Monday now so I hope you will pop over to Cardsarus  to read Jenny's TCBH post later today.

Tuesday 9 September 2014

Green Birthday

Hi, I hope you are all enjoying some lovely weather again this week, it has been really warm and sunny here today.
I have made this card for my granddaughter in laws' birthday, she is very keen on green so I hope she is going to like this.
All the stamps I used are by Indigo Blu and came free with a magazine recently, I can't remember which one.
I stamped the girl with  black Versafine ink onto some light green spotted paper from a 6" Prima pad, I think that was also a freebie a long time ago. I used Promarkers and a gold gel pen to colour some of the elements in the design, and then trimmed it down using a deckle edge cutter on the top and sides and a lacy Joanna Sheen Signature die for the bottom. The background paper is from an LOTV pad, and trimmed with a deckle edge to fit a 6"square card blank. I added the narrow ribbon before fixing to the card. I wanted to brighten it up a bit so I stamped the flowers and leaves onto snippets of white card and coloured them bright pink with Promarkers and then fussy cut them out. I used a ball tool to slightly shape the petals and give a bit of dimension and then stuck them on with silicon glue. I stamped the sentiment onto the snippet of spotted paper left from the image panel and cut into three pieces and fixed the across the bottom of the card.
The young lady this is for has only recently married my grandson and as they have moved away this is the first birthday she has spent away from home, and he is unable to be with her as well, so I am hoping she has made some new friends to celebrate with.
As usual the little snippets I've used will get me through Pixies Playground gates.
Thank you for taking time to visit and for your comments, they really appreciated

Sunday 7 September 2014

The Creative Blog Hop

 Hi, I am here early on a Monday morning because I have been tagged in The Creative Blog Hop which happens every Monday by my sister Kate. TCBH is the idea of a Blogger, whose identity has disappeared along the way, and it includes all kinds of artists using paint, mixed media and card, as well as writers, photographers, needle-workers etc. The aim is for us Bloggers to get to know each other better. Similar to a game of tag.When we have told a bit about ourselves and answered four questions, we then tag three more Bloggers and so it continues.
So today it is my turn to tell you a bit about me and what I do, I’ll try not to make it too long , but you might like to get yourself a cup of your favourite brew just in case.
My name is Jean and I live in the south of England with my husband. I have two grown up married children, a daughter and a son, and a granddaughter and two grandsons and two great grand
daughters. My husband is a keen bowler and spends a lot of time playing both outdoors in summer and indoors in winter, which gives me a lot time to spend at my crafts. I have always enjoyed making things and have turned my hand to many different handicrafts over the years. My Mum taught me to knit when I was very young and I have an early memory of sitting in an armchair talking my way through each stitch out loud  so Mum could tell if I was doing it right while she did the ironing. Later I progressed to making simple clothes for my dolls. I  also learned some basic embroidery stitches while quite young.  At school I learnt how to make my own clothes which I continued to do, but not for a long while now. When I left school  I worked in a curtain workroom where I learned how to make hand lined curtains and pelmets. I was able to use these skills in later years to earn some money by working at home. I worked mainly as an outworker for local shops but I also had a few private customers. I sewed and knitted and crocheted clothes for my children and had a spell of making soft toys, as well. I began to get interested in cross-stitch embroidery when I bought a kit to make up as a gift for someone. I enjoyed doing it, and then I saw a chart for a lovely   wedding sampler and decided I had to make it for my daughter when she married. That got me really hooked and I spent the next few years stitching loads of projects including more samplers for the birth of her two babies. I stitched many of the little designs that appeared in the stitching magazines and started to use them to make into cards mostly for my Mum at first and then with the free Disney kits that often came with the magazines for my grandchildren. While on holiday we went into a teashop that had a little gift shop area and I bought a couple of rubber stamps and two ink pads and my love of card making really started there. Soon after I found a few more stamps and a tiny little paper back booklet describing how to build pictures with stamps and also basic heat embossing.  This was all nearly twenty years ago and now of course we now have so many lovely products to help us on our creative journeys. I have had a wonderful time gaining inspiration and technique knowhow from magazines
and other crafters.
On Wednesday mornings three of my friends from my church come to my house to spend a couple of hours of creative fun together. At first they were mostly fairly new to card making and they came to try out some products and techniques, but  now they bring some of their own supplies and make their own cards. I don’t usually get much craft done myself I make the coffee and see that every thing they need is out. It is just nice to meet together to enjoy a mutual interest. I have a photo taken last week but one of the ladies is missing as she was suffering with flu.
I long to have a dedicated craft space but it really isn't practical where we are living, so I have commandeered one end of our sunroom / conservatory. I use the room for everything as I love the natural light, but we do use it as a dinning room too, which means I some times have to tidy everything away. That doesn't happen very often though, and as there is only the two of us most of the time we manage to eat at half a table. This first photo is when it is reasonably tidy, this how I mostly leave it now, when I'm not working, with the things I  use most close at
  hand, and the other side clear enough to eat our dinner at. Of course it doesn't help much to have a round table either, but I have sort of got used to that.
 The next one is what it looks like when I'm working, a bit of a mess, but it can get worse!!. The next picture is of my stash storage, simply a number of plastic drawer stacks. They are in the corner beside where I sit at the table, with all the stuff  I use most ink pads, sticky tapes and glues and every day tools ect. nearest to me. On the top the the small drawers next to me have pens, pencils and embossing powders in and the other one has white and ivory stamping card  and coloured card in the bottom.  The ring binders in the centre hold my most used stamps and there should be a folder in there as well that holds my dies. It all needs a real good tidy up  but the trouble is I don't know where to tidy it to. The large box you can see on the floor was supposed to take seldom used but necessary stuff  that didn't fit anywhere else, but as you can see it has well and truly overflowed and
has spilled out onto the settee where
I sit to read or do a crossword puzzle sometimes. Of course the other end of the room I have got another bookshelf where there are more binders full of stamps and a set of drawers holding some wood mounted stamps and other bits and pieces.
Besides making cards I also regularly  take part in ATC swaps and a monthly tag swap. I first made ATCs in 2006 when the Craft Stamper magazine had started a swap. I had heard about them before that, but when the magazine organised the swap and began publishing some of them I decided it might be fun to have a go. At first I wasn't sure if I could manage the small scale 2.5" x 3.5" but on the whole I like small things so I gave it a try. I was absolutely amazed when one of the very first ones I made was published in the magazine and it gave me a real buzz .I have probably got around 1,000 little pieces of art in my collection now, some of them from from far flung places around the world, although they mostly come from nearer to home these days. Most swaps
are themed but I swap monthly with  a lady on a one to one basis and we just do what we feel like maybe showing a new stamp or technique. here are two examples, the two on the right are for my one to one swap, the left ones  for a fathers day themed swap. Below is a photo of  last month's tags that I made for the
Chocolate Baroquetag swap.
I have also dabbled in a bit altered art and would like to do more . I'll
add just a couple more photos, I'm not good at this multiple pics thing
which is why I usually only put one one my blog posts. I only hope this will look ok when I publish it.                                                                
Now there are four questions I am to answer.
1) What am I working on now?
Well I am in the middle of making a card for my granddaughter in laws' birthday, you might be able to glimpse it in the photo of my work space. I also do some knitting sort of for Kates' Knitting for Africa   project, those of you who read her blog Manualidades  will know about that. Of course it would be totally impractical for me to send my knitting
to her in  Spain so when I have a parcel full I just send it direct to the charity. I have knitted baby coats, teddies and blankets, and have recently stated another blanket in tunisian crochet which discovered last year. I like it because it grows quickly and it makes a nice firm blanket and the african mothers use them to carry their babies on their backs.I have loads of project ideas swimming around, I would love to do some more scrapbooking which I have done in the past, and I would also like to try more altered art and maybe some mixed media which interests me.
2) How does my work differ from others in my genre?  I am not really sure what my genre really is, if it is card making in general, there are quite a few different styles and I take inspiration from many of them. I  like to try various techniques and sometimes they work and sometimes not.
3 ) Why do I do what I do?  The answer to that is easy, I just enjoy it. I enjoy the fact that I am actually creating something and that in doing so I can give pleasure to the people who will receive them.
 4 ) How does my creative process work?   Not in a very ordered way  I afraid, I usually have some idea in my head  of what I want to achieve but it rarely makes it intact to the paper. I nearly always start with the stamped element of my design and I probably have a colour palette in mind and then it's a case of looking for papers and other elements until I'm happy with the result.
Now is when I should be introducing three new taggees, but I  am  sorry to say that due to many folk being away from home right now that I have just one.
I am delighted to introduce you to Jenny of CARDSARUS    Jenny     makes beautiful detailed cards which are always decorated as prettily inside as they are out. I hope you will  will visit her blog next Monday and get to know her better.                                                            

Hi my name is Jenny Lawrence.
I have been making cards for a12 years.
I started my blog just over 2 years ago, and since then I have made some lovely blog friends, all over the world.
I very much appreciate being included in The Creative Blog Hop.
So thank you very much Jean for inviting me to get involved.
I have crafted since I was a child, either sewing,knitting, or crocheting.
Got the craft skills from my mother and grandmother on my father's side, and my 2 sisters are also excellent crafty people too.
When I started card making it was to help me, as at that time I couldn't sleep well, so I used to make my cards overnight mostly, especially if I was in pain,as I soon forgot about the pain while in the process of creating.

So now I need to say thank you to my tagger Kate, as she said in her introduction last week we are very different which we are, but our love of all things crafty has certainly made us good friends. I really miss our trips to the NEC craft shows that we enjoyed so much when she still lived over here, but of course I now  enjoy my holidays in Spain when I go to visit.  It was Kate who persuaded me to start my blog a few years ago and I did so primarily to participate in on line challenges but I feel I have met many lovely people along the way. 
I think I have done now and I hope I haven't bored you to death, but thank you ever so if you managed to stick with me to the end. I have just looked at the preview of this post and Mr Blogger in his wisdom has jiggled things about so it doesn't look as good as I intended, so I apologise for that. Perhaps it's my poor computer skills at fault and not Mr Blogger anyway.

Thursday 4 September 2014

Pretty Flowers

First off  today  I have to say Hi to Irish Cherokee who is my newest follower, thank you for for visiting and for choosing to join my followers.
Today's card was made in response to a request from my daughter who wanted a card for a lady she knows who is going to be eighty. Her only stipulation was for flowers so I chose this lovely Chocolate Baroque stamp. I don't know if they are supposed to be a particular type of flower that would influence what colour they should be, but I just see them as pretty flowers which leaves me free to use any colour I fancy at the time. I had just bought these yellow Promarkers to extend my collection which is what influenced me this time. I stamped the image onto white card with black memento ink and coloured it with the Promarkers. I used a snippet of brown card to mount it on, and to cut a mat for the sentiment. The light green card for the backing panel is embossed using Couture Creations Tied Together EF and fixed to a 5" x 7" white base card. I stamped part of the flower stamp twice more onto snippets of white card and coloured and fussy cut out first the two centre flowers with the leaves and then just the centre flower. I used silicon glue to layer them onto the original image
for dimension .Here is a close up photo of the layers. For the sentiment  I used an old peel off  coloured black with a permanent marker for the 80th and stamped the words above and below it. It looks a bit wonky on the screen but it didn't seem to notice so much IRL. The words are all joined together on the stamp and are also slightly curved, so I needed to ink only part of the stamp at a time and try to straighten it out a bit on the stamping block. The circles are cut with Spellbinders Nestabilities plain and scalloped circles.
I am going to enter this at The Craft Room Challenge - Use Something Old and Something New.( The Spellbinder dies were the first dies I bought several years ago, and peel off 80 is ancient. The yellow Promarkers, in fact I think all the Promarkers I used are new.)
I am also entering  Craft Hoarders Anonymous - All The Pretty Flowers.
The snippets of white and brown card I used will also get me through the gates to Pixie's Snippet Playground.

Thank you for taking time to visit today, I really appreciate your comments.