Tuesday, December 31

Tuesday, December 24

Friday, December 20

Friday Smiles

Joining in with Wipso's Friday Smiles today and, sticking with her nativity theme, here is my little inn keeper.
Love the little hat, the school dressed him so it was a great surprise.

Have a happy Friday and I hope the day brings you some smiles.

Kate ~

Thursday, December 19

BoBunny Christmas Card Kit

Finally completed my Christmas cards (I have to confess I ended up sending about half a dozen shop bought ones in the end that I liberated from the children's box.)  To help me finish the handmade ones in quick time I used a BoBunny Blitzen card kit bought from Craft Obsessions.
To the pieces in the kit I added: adhesive, Stickles, Distress Ink (for the edges), fibres and a decorative BoBunny brad.

I also changed the sentiment stickers on a few as they didn't quite suit me.
Here's a close-up of the die-cut flower in the kit.  I've inked the petals and scored them down the centre for some shape before joining it all together with the brad.
Craft Obsessions have sold out of the card kits, but I think the superb value BoBunny Bumper Bundle I bought is still available.

~ Kate ~

Wednesday, December 11

WOYWW - Batch Card Making

There's actually something on my workdesk this Wednesday, so I thought I'd share with the other WOYWWers.  I've been batch making some Christmas cards.
I bought Simply Cards and Papercraft magazine for all the lovely free Kaisercraft goodies and I really liked one of the sample cards made with the mini kit.  I based a whole batch of cards on the simple design of 2 pieces of patterned paper with a stamped tag on top which is coloured with Distress Markers.  Here's a finished one.
Besides the kit that came with the magazine, I added some Kaisercraft papers which were free last Christmas as well as some of my BoBunny stash.  There's loads more that could be added to the design to give it more detail, but that didn't fit with the batch creating idea.
In the end I decided to add a little antique gold rub around the edges of the tags to make them stand out a little more whilst keeping things subtle and stamped the plain uncoloured greeting inside.

~ Kate ~  

Wednesday, November 27

Gelli Plate Fake

I see a lot on the crafters blogs about Gelli Plates and have been mildly intrigued.  As I have a strange silicone cooking sheet for a craft mat that has a bit of rubbery give in it, I thought I'd have a play around and 'fake it.'
I rollered some Distress Paints for the base and then pushed some bubble wrap into it before taking my print.  A bit of Distress Ink around the edges and then I stamped on top with some old Papermania Henbury Lane Christmas stamps.  Coloured in with Distress markers, the baubles look nice and vintage with the background pattern showing through.

Challenges:
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Extra - Anything goes
Simon Says (Wednesday)- Anything goes
Bunny Zoe - Shabby chic

~ Kate ~

Thursday, November 21

Winter charm - Blue Moon Beads

I've been creating with my new jewellery supplies from Blue Moon Beads.  Today I have a wintry charm bracelet to share.
The base of the bracelet is made from a Blue Moon Beads chain with some extra connector links added.
For the charms I've used shell bead flowers, which have a frosty look to them.  They also have a great sheen when they catch the light.
There are also some smaller handmade icicle charms created with acrylic beads.
All components and findings from Blue Moon Beads.

~ Kate ~

Wednesday, November 20

Clean And Simple Christmas Card

Unlike yesterday's card, I stuck to a clean and simple format for this next one.
After making a Distress Ink and water splattered background, I dug out some old Christmas border and greetings stamps that have been in the bottom of the box for years and stamped over the top in black ink.
To add some Christmas sparkle I highlighted the design with Tulip 'Beads in a Bottle' and clear crystals.

I'm entering this one for the Oldie But A Goodie CAS Christmas challenge.

~ Kate ~   

Tuesday, November 19

Tim Holtz Snowman Card

Like a lot of other crafters I have finally noticed that December is fast approaching and thought I'd better make a few Christmas cards.  I think the only way I will ever manage to make these at a leisurely pace throughout the year is if I manage to find a Christmas challenge that would put up with me on their team!
I treated myself to a Tim Holtz Sizzix/Alterations stamp and die set of the Blueprint Snowman. Stamped several times onto white card and then cut with the dies.  I don't have the new magnetic plate, I just used good old washi tape to hold dies in place and had no problems.
The upper layers are coloured with Distress markers and blended a little (I'd chosen a card that didn't want to play along).  There's 3 layers on the hat, I had cut an extra carrot nose, but I lost it, it was so tiny and I had no idea how I was going to attach it anyway.
The background is inked plentifully with Distress Ink and there are some smudges of Pumice Stone Distress Marker there too.  The torn edges have been rubbed with Brushed Pewter Distress Stickles for sparkle that's not too bling.
The greeting stamp and die is also part of the set and very versatile as the words are separate to the border.

Challenges:
Live and Love Crafts #17 - Christmas inspiration collage
Christmas All Year Round - Winter wonderland
Stamping sensations - Christmas
Artistic Stamper - Christmas
Crafty Calendar - All things Christmas

~ Kate ~

Monday, November 11

In Remembrance

This weekend 3 or us traveled to Lydiard Park for SMO to take part in Run2Remember and to visit the field of Remembrance.  A journey that SMO makes every year, but this time the Dinky Diva and I joined him as his support crew.
It was a very worthwhile day.  There was a skydiving display from Jump4Heroes.
Which included the release of poppies at 11000 feet (the dark patch in the following picture, just beneath the 2 skydivers.)
After a few tunes from a Military Wives Choir, which brought a tear to the eye of many, the runners lined up for a very muddy off.

SMO managed 11K in around 1 hour 12 minutes which was great as a bad back had prevented him from doing more than a couple of practice runs.

After the run we visited the field of remembrance, where the sheer number of little wooden crosses bearing poppies, photos and messages is hard to fathom.
This is the plot we particularly visit and the picture below is the view to the right, all those who have died since 2006.
Too many crosses.

~ Kate ~

Thursday, November 7

Is it nearly Christmas?

I don't know where this last week has gone to, they certainly hasn't seemed to be any time in my schedule for crafting even with a beautiful box of new goodies from Blue Moon Beads awaiting my attention!

I had to go shopping this morning for some bits and pieces, some of which I'd ordered online.  There's a new trend to offer free 'postage' if you collect the goods yourself in store - Tesco, Marks and Spencer, New Look to name a few.  The alternative is a hefty postage charge and all of a sudden internet convenience isn't quite so convenient any more.
Whilst I was in town I stopped by Paperchase to look at their new Christmas products.  Lots of clean and simple style Christmas cards, also intricate cut work with prints imitating it and chalkboard style.  Plenty of kraft colour including all of their packaging. Crafters are definitely ahead of the trend this year.
Even Costa have a cup in kraft and Christmas bright colours.  They are top of my good list today with their gluten free Christmas cake back in stock on the shelves.  Christmas shopping can be much more fun if you take a break part way through in your favourite coffee shop that stocks gluten free goodies - competitors take note.

I'm in a quandary about whether to get a light weight down gillet.  Outdoor loving friends have recommended RAB to me as a must and, with an event coming up that involves standing in a field all day, I'm tempted.  However, I have serious issues about the price!  Are they really worth it, any opinions?

~ Kate ~   

Friday, November 1

Golfer's gift card

My mouth has just about recovered from a trip to the dentist, but yesterday it was SMO's turn.  He had to have an extraction and, as it was Halloween, he brought the gruesome evidence home with him to scare the children.  One of his colleagues is retiring today and he took the leaving collection to the local driving range to buy some credits.  The card he returned with was the moist uninspiring gift ever, without even the golf club details on it, so it was over to me to make it a gift holder.
I had some pre-cut, linen, gift card shapes, that I'd bought from a wedding stationery supplier, ready to be decorated.  I sponged Broken China Distress Ink over the whole surface with a couple of hand-cut clouds used as masks.  The front and back of the gift card are decorated identically.
A piece of green card from the scraps bag was cut into a spiked shape to make the grass and then I just needed the golf balls.
Plain white card went through a dotted embossing folder and then the balls were punched using a 1.5 inch circle.  They are tucked into the grass and attached to the gift card using 3d foam with the indented side showing.

Job done.

Challenges:
Charisma Cardz - Anything but cards
Moving Along With The Times - No design or digi papers
Paper Crafting Journey - Anything goes

~ Kate ~

Thursday, October 31

2 are 2

I needed cards this month for twin boys.  I went for something bold and simple and using up old supplies (2 year old twins definitely don't know if you've used the latest paper releases!)
The hanging stars was a free stamp from Craft Stamper magazine, now found really easily in my new storage system.  The 'Happy Birthday' is a very old Papermania stamp.
I've used scraps of red card and an old pieces of Sassafras patterned paper.
Punched circles and foam thickers complete the cards.

Challenges:
Simon Says Monday - Anything goes
Simon Says Wednesday - Anything goes
Natalie and Amy #14 - For the boys

~ Kate ~

Tuesday, October 29

Half term baking

Having different schools take different half term breaks is very annoying for some families, but its worked out quite nicely for us this time around.  The Dinky Diva had a few days off at the end of last week without the boys and we spent one of those baking.
She made vegetable samosas following a recipe from Ruby Loves, one of the few magazines she takes any interest in.

I tackled giant Mickey Mouse biscuits from part 1 of Disney Cakes and Sweets.  The different stages took all afternoon, but by the time the boys were back from school they were out of the oven.
I managed to keep a few back for icing and piped an outline on in chocolate using one of these amazing Lekue gadgets (I can't find the actual one I bought it had less bits to it and was far cheaper.)  I was going to fill in with white icing but at the rate they were getting eaten it just wasn't worth it!
Had some work done at the dentist yesterday, so all I can do is look at biscuits and dream!  Hoping the inflammation dies down soon, until then, pass me another yogurt.

~ Kate ~

Monday, October 28

Completed #CC102

Here are the last of my tags from Creative Chemistry 102.  I'm still crafting, but I seem to be working a million miles behind everyone and still have Learn Something New Every Day to finish up.  This has lead to the decision not to participate in Journal Your Christmas this year, I think?  Well we'll just see, but I will be placing the emphasis on creating cards, decorations and gifts, with journaling taking 2nd place, if it happens at all.  So, back to the tags:
Distress Glittering, Industrial, and Coloured Crackle.  I think the Distress Glittering was the biggest disappointment for me here.  The glitter just didn't hold to the shape and continues to fall off until the poor cat is near bald.  A thicker layer of Glossy Accents was needed maybe, especially as it just seemed to sink into the porous card I had used for the die cut.
Brayered Stains, Photo Tinting, Altered Surface.  Mixed results again here, but some techniques will definitely be revisited.
Onto what I think were the newest and most exciting of the techniques.  Shabby Chic, Chalkboard and Tarnished Silver,  I don't think I could ever grow tired of these.
My tags don't really do them justice, here is a close-up of the tarnished effect and the next picture is the effortlessly Shabby Chic effect.
Great course, can't recommend it highly enough and hoping to incorporate lots of the ideas into this year's Christmas projects that I mentioned earlier.

~ Kate ~

Thursday, October 24

#CC102 - more tags

My tags from Creative Chemistry #102 are all finished (unless I can find what I've done with the Glue And Seal, in which case I may make a couple more).
I've a few more to photograph, so I've split the round up of the last ones into two blog posts.
There were some great new techniques and I can see why a Compendium Of Curiosities Volume 3 is on the way.  Above is my attempt at smudge stamping with the original version on the right.
3 Alcohol ink techniques, from the left faded layers, ombre and monoprint.
On the left in the picture above is rusted Distress powder, a really great technique.  On the right is faux patina, although I didn't have the correct colours for it really.  The tag itself is not one of the techniques, but a happy accident when I scrubbed the distressing tool with felt and remaining Alcohol Ink across it.

Back with some more once I've chased the sunlight to take the photos.

~ Kate ~ 

Wednesday, October 16

Workdesk #228

Time for WOYWW again and this week I am still deeply into Creative Chemistry 102.
I have nearly finished as many of the tags as my supplies will allow and now they need making up and the instructions need attaching to the back.
I've also printed these from the Ranger website to get my Distress products super organised.
I've labelled my Distress Inks so far.  These are the overflow stack of the more recent colours.  I haven't organised a space they can all fit into yet, that's something else for the to do list.

Happy blog travels.

~ Kate ~

Tuesday, October 15

Autumn Necklace - Blue Moon Beads

Autumn is well and truly here and I am reminded yet again that I still haven't organised some lighting to photograph my jewellery with.  Luckily there is some Autumn sunshine this afternoon and, with the aid of a passing pumpkin, I was able to take pictures of this necklace that's been waiting for a while.
I've combined links from Blue Moon Beads connector chains with a faux suede necklace to make a piece of jewellery just right for the current season.  I love the mottled effect on these blue/green connector beads.
The focal point is a little acorn.  A reminder that even though it's Autumn new beginnings will be just around the corner.
The pumpkin is courtesy of a friend's allotment and will hopefully be featuring in some other seasonal creations very soon!

~ Kate ~