Wednesday, 30 October 2013

My 'Just In Case' cards

Every so often I have a little playtime and anything that is worth keeping at the end of the day goes into my 'Just in Case' box of cards because every so often like it or not we need a card for an occasion we haven't anticipated. Faced with having to make sympathy cards in a hurry is not easy so it's very handy to have this little stash of cards.
Often these cards are inspired by articles I have seen in magazines that I just want to try out the technique... this was one of those:

it appeared in Craft Stamper in an article about Splatter effects ... this particular one just required a little masking of the main images and then flicking a paintbrush of diluted distress ink over it. I was quite pleased with the effect and turned it into a Thank you card ... another type of card you might need in a hurry.

While I had this lovely Kaisercraft stamp out I used it to stamp onto acetate, I then turned it over and dropped tiny amounts of alcohol ink over the images I wanted to highlight i.e the butterflies I also used Tim Holtz splatter stencil to put a faux coffee mug mark on it. Then I turned it back over and decided to stamp another Kaisercraft stamp of one of my favourite quotes on it:

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, It's about learning to dance in the rain.

Typography is the buzz word at the moment and I first saw these words on a faux weathered piece of wood ... it just struck me that it was a lovely way of saying pick yourself up and brush yourself off and start again ... which is what my dear Mam always taught us ... her other favourite phrase which she used so often when I whined " Ah but Mam I can't do it" usually in reference to school work she'd say " Anne, there is no such word as can't" ... when I feel like that about life now I can hear her say those words in my head and every time I have to smile and feel I owe it to her to at least TRY and more often as not it works.
So having attached my acetate onto some white cardstock with eyelets it now hangs on my wall .. a modern twist on Dear Mam's mantra ...

The third experiment was an attempt to recreate a lovely card my sister sent me as a Thankyou card was striking in it's simplicity. When I asked Sue about it during one of our many lengthy phonecalls she said she had used her Stampsaway blending mat as a mask to give the straight edge.

I have attempted it several times in the past , carefully using my inkylicious brushes and Ali's mat as a mask to create a subtle two colour band, but sod's law always saw me end up getting a smudge or thumb print onto that lovely white card .. so in the bin they went. However this one survived and having used this lovely Sundial stamp as the image I though it would make a Sympathy card, so that was a second card for the 'Just In Case ' box. Having said all this I must now remember where I put the 'Said Box ' as I am sure there is a hidden Black Hole in my crafty den where things disappear so I can't find them when I need them in a hurry. :)

Enough rambling from me for today Bye for now
Happy Crafting  xxAnnie

Monday, 21 October 2013

Gelli Plate ... Secret Garden

This was inspired by another post on Barbara Gray's new blog .. I'm loving all the tips re playing with the gelliplate because I haven't used mine much because I wasn't confident but now I just want to play and experiment.

I loved this as soon as I saw it because I saw the potential to make a card for a neighbour who is a cat owner ... can't believe I am already talking about cards for 2014. I still have all my Christmas cards and one very special birthday before 2013 is out.

This was really lovely to do in fact I made 2 backgrounds while I had all my stuff out and on the plus side nothing went in the bin apart from some spare copier paper I had used.

Well it's nearly teatime, Jasper & OH are out for a walk so I better get on they'll be starving as usual when they get back
Till next time

Sunday, 20 October 2013

If you go Down the Woods Today..

It's a horrible dark wet Sunday so there is nothing for it but to head for the crafty attic and have a play and get lost in my thoughts so here goes:

I got my gelli plate out and followed Barbara Gray's tutorial on her new blog, this was the best after a number of attempts , I have a bin full of crumpled copier paper and failed attempts.

I must have a lot more practice with my gelli plate before I become more confident with it, but Barbara's tutorial did open my eyes to the possibilities, my previous attempts have been very basic. Biggest learning curve was realising that what you setup on your gelli plate is a mirror image of what your print off will look like... I had to think carefully about where I positioned my toadstools and the owl.

Better have a bit of a clean up because I have been playing with these bits and pieces since yesterday afternoon.

Bye xxx Annie

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Happy Birthday, Meggles

Today 17th October is my niece Meg's birthday ... so Many Happy Returns, cariad and hope you liked your card...

This card is very much inspired by Eileen Godwin,  she is a very generous and inspirational person her blog  is well worth a visit ( even Eileen's dog Daisy has a blog!!) The template Eileen had used was discontinued so I had to set to and create my own.

This card was made for my niece, Meg who is a very talented artist and crafter so I always try to make something s bit different for her, I usually run my ideas past her mum, my sister Sue. In fact I am always online, on the phone or emailing Sue and bouncing crafty ideas about, I find it helps when my mojo goes walkabout as it often does. Anyway here is the card and hoping that you have a brilliant day ,Meg xx

Our grandparents house always had a hedge of hydrangea plants, as they got older the plants got woody and hollow underneath ideal for children to make dens in. To an outsider it just looked like an ordinary semi detached house but to 5 generations of my family Bryn Meini was Home and full of memories, letting go of it when my mum died was very hard, but whenever I see hydrangeas I have to smile and I remember so many happy memories of time spent there.... after I had written this post in draft I found this old photo of the hydrangeas in Bryn Meini's garden ... this is me aged 3  just look at the Simon Cowell waistband on my skirt , things had to last in those days as I grew the shoulder straps would have been let down lol!!

Meg also loved the house and garden and when she was looking for her first house of her own, and having being disappointed along the way ... when she found the house of her dreams and discovered the number plaque by the front door had hydrangeas on it... she knew it was the right was just meant to be

When I discovered this Impression Obsession die of a hydrangea I knew it was a must have... it is magical the way the flower comes to life as you build it up... and then when I saw the background Eileen Godwin had used with another flower die .. this card was born. Thanks Eileen x

That's it for today's blog so bye for now
xx Annie

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Welsh Bara Brith (Speckled Bread)

Thought I better take a photo quickly before it disappears and there are only a few crumbs left on the plate

Whilst we are talking about all things Welsh ( see previous post re Welsh Rugby Card) I had a sudden urge to bake some Bara Brith (Welsh Speckled Bread) after seeing it being done on the British Bake Off program. The version the young lady baked there was a proper yeast based recipe where you have to knead and prove as with any other loaf ... this recipe is an easier version some would say a cheat ... but it still tastes like the Bara Brith that my mum used to give us :) .

300ml/ 1/2pt cold tea                                             450g / 1lb mixed dried fruit     
450g / 1lb self raising flour                                      1tsp mixed spice
175g / 6ozs dark Muscavado sugar                          1 medium free range egg
1tbsp orange zest                                                      2 tbsp. orange juice
1 tbsp. honey                                                             extra honey for glazing

Pour the cold tea over the mixed dried fruit in a large mixing bowl and cover and leave to soak overnight.
Following day : mix the egg, honey orange zest & juice and the sugar and add to the soaked fruit.
Sift in the flour and the mixed spice and mix really well
Butter a 2pt loaf tin and pour in the mixture
Bake in preheated oven  160c/ 325f / 3 gas for approx. 1&3/4 hrs
Check that it is firm to the touch and golden brown
Brush with honey whilst still warm
Allow to cool then store in a tin

Lovely .... spread with butter and enjoy
Bye for now Annie xxxx

Friday, 4 October 2013

Welsh Clarity Card for my Son

Todays card is one I made for my younger son who is a keen follower of Welsh rugby. I must firstly give credit to Lynne Hammond & Barbara Gray for this one and thank Barbara from the bottom of my heart for creating this set of stamps. I hadn't got a clue what sort of card to make and then I saw these and knew I had to have them, Barbara demoed a similar card and Lynne use the letterbox  letters on her thanks ladies. The wording on mine reads Happy Birthday Son, the tiles have been triple embossed. I gave him the card yesterday ... his birthday, he loved it but the best was yet to come .. because here is a sneaky peek at what's inside...

These pics were taken at the Wales v Scotland match earlier in the year, David borrowed the daffy hat because it was so cold ... well that's what he's telling me... I think he rather liked it :). The sentiment inside is in Welsh again and  reads 'Happy Birthday to the best son in the world ' applies to both my sons of course and every other mother's son. :)
Bye for now ... Annie xxx

F&F Challenge 99 ..One for the boyz

This is a card made for my nephew's birthday, he loves travelling and is a brilliant photographer so when I saw this Marianne camera die I just knew I had to have it... there are several other photographers amongst my family & friends so it will be very useful.

The background was made using Stampendous stamp, travel stickers, map and bakers twine are from Docraft 'All Aboard collection.

Here is a closeup of the detail on the Marianne camera die, cut in Kraftcard and given the gilding wax treatment and a couple of screw head brads added. 

This closeup is of the tag, the text is another Stampendous stamp, Eiffel tower & Statue of Liberty are Clarity stamps.

I know many of us dread having to make cards for the Men in our lives but I hope you will get out your crafty stash and give this Challenge a go.

Bye for now