Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Glitter Beads Stamped Flower Card - Panpastel Challenge 5

The theme this week on the Panpastel UK Blog Challenge is 'Glitter and Glitz'. I struggled a bit as I couldn't find any of my 50's toppers with glitzy ladies on it, yes my craft corner is like Narnia...never ending, ha ha !

So this huge Stampin' Up stamp came to the rescue and I also used the dotted one to make a fun and glitzy background. The ribbon was a good match I thought.

If you don't know what Panpastels are, where have you been ? I used three shades to colour the flower and used a fixative so the colours stayed put.

I hope you can join the challenge you have up to Sunday to have fun creating something with glitter & glitz.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Flower Power Card - Panpastel Challenge 4

So pleased how this card turned out, I had this idea brewing in my head and I knew I could use my old trusted Xyron Personal Cutter (the fisher price of die-cutting machines) and cut the petals using some leftovers paper and brown packing kraft paper.

I urge you to visit the Panpastel UK blog challenge as you can see all the other wonderful creations of my DT panpastel mates. Incidentallly if you wish to partake using these lovely pastels just get your browser to this UK retailer : Your Creativity Store .

I used the panpastel to create the shadow on the edge of the card and the petals to give them dimension. I find pastels easier to use than ink funnily enough so I'm totally sold for shading. You need to use fixative though as it's very pigment rich and I tend to be a mucky crafter so, a quick spray will avoid happy accidents :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Autumn Colours Card with Kanban Stamp and Panpastel Challenge #3

Wow time flies, Challenge #3 Autumn colours is up already on the Panpastel UK Challenge since Sunday, wonderful samples by all the Panpastel DT team.

I've used Panpastel and a fixative plus I stamped with a Kanban tree stamps and guilded the branches. Paper is Rich & Spicy from HOTP.

Monday, October 03, 2011

My 'New Beginnings' London Box - Panpastel Challenge #2

New Beginnings indeed, that's what happened to me back in 1991 when I moved to the UK, namely London. Life has never beens so sweet and I never looked back. Hence my Twinings tea box salvage. Panpastel was invaluable to stain the edge of the lid. I used decopatch glue and glitter glue plus London papers and poxy stickers.

So don't forget to check out the Panpastel UK Challenge Blog as this week's theme is 'New Beginnings'

I had so much fun making this and was showing step by step on my Facebook so for those of you who want to subscribe to my Facebook feed, you're more than welcome, I post all my crafty things update publicly so you don't have to add me as a friend if you don't want to, just hit the subscribe button.

After I covered the box in white decopatch basecoast I was ready to add the nice funky paper from ....yep you guessed it decopatch but not before I added the panpastel red colour to the lid.

I really enjoyed creating this box and that made a change from my card making. So what are your new beginnings creations like ?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Do I need to add a fake barcode on my cards to make them acceptable ? - Why a handmade card has that personal touch !

On one of my previous post 'Now that I'm bloggin...' the lovely Lindsay Mason left me a comment about her frustration with people who don't get handmade cards. I leave you to pop to that post to see her comment but in a nutshell someone told her 'Why would I make a card if I can just easily buy one from the shop for 1 pound (dear American friends just read 1 buck). 

I totally understand where Lindsay is coming from and I commented that we're losing the appreciation of the slight imperfection yet beautifully crafted and heartfelt outputs artisans and crafters alike have been producing for generations.

I coined this new term of Ikea-ism, where everything is perfectly designed, mass produced and basically even if they make you believe that you're buying a unique 'individual' lifestyle, well we end up owning all the same stuff and our homes are starting to look the same. 

Memories of going to my Italian grandmother's house are still fresh and seeing some objets d'Art she used to buy from local artisans in her various trips around the 'boots'. I use to envy their uniqueness and their extra value because there was also a story or a funny anecdote attached to these mementos which my gran always relished telling at length.

I don't have anything against Ikea but it's obvious that unless the person operating the till was extremely amusing or chatty, you just know you bought that decoration because it might match and that's that...

Now what about card making ? Why is it that some people are so incensed to receive a handmade card believing we are being cheap or we couldn't be bothered to go down the store ? I tend to go for the 'once bitten, twice shy' attitude with them, once I know they don't appreciate they get the cheapo card and I don't even try to explain to them that the material alone I used for my cardmaking is well above what one pays in any of those mass produced cards in stores.

Handmade Stamp from CuteTape.com 
One of my relatives who shall remain nameless is like that and doesn't get it. I remember putting a fake barcode on one of my cards a few years back and for a split second this person was pleased as punch I 'bought' the card. It was hilarious when the deceit was uncovered and the praises for the card were actually for me, not an unknown manufacturer.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this short blog post from Heaven 'Store bought cards are ugly anyway'. Obviously I don't mind at all receiving shop bought greeting cards as not everyone is a card maker. 

But please people out there when you receive a card which isn't a folded piece of cardboard which was printed by a press and instead you receive something that is lovingly hand stamped, or layered with different papers, ribbons etc.. Don't turn up your nose at it: someone took the time to give you that extra 'I care about you' spending their time making you a unique, not to be repeated card. And that's worth more than ugly barcodes of shop bought ones...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sorry for your 'Job Loss' greeting card, Is that a bit too much ?

According to this CNN article ' Hallmark is sorry for your loss - your job loss ' the manufacturer feel there's a demand for this type of card. They will start rolling out 'Job Loss' themed greeting cards in most of their stores pretty soon.

I'm in two minds about this type of cards as it can be seen as insensitive if you were to send this sort of greetings, like if it were a joke and it could be taken the wrong way by the recipient. Having said that, if it's a close friend and you want to let them know you're there for them, I guess that could be a nice friendship token.

What worries me is that people seem to need 'pre-fabricated' feelings on cards so that they don't have to deal with the person feelings and avoid the interaction. I'm not saying that people are avoiding some issues just sending off a card for any occasions but I feel there's a tendency of having a plethora of cookie-cut cards that will do the job and that's that.

Sending greeting cards are felt differently and the customs varies between cultures for example being half Italian, I found it very strange being handed a Christmas cards by my colleagues at work as cards are sent when you cannot give the greetings personally to your friends, family or in this instance by your co-workers. In Italy, greeting cards are only used as a last recourse if you know you can't contact your loved ones so it's reminder that you're thinking about them. 

In the UK because of the huge Victorian tradition of sending cards someone just needs to sneeze and they will receive a greeting cards....only joking ! I know I'm exaggerating but I find it really nice that people want to let their loved ones and close friends that you're thinking about them sending a card. 

Now as a cardmaker I can create my own themes to suit any occasions but I wouldn't personally write as a sentiment 'Sorry for your job loss', personally a 'I'm there for you' or 'Thinking of you' would make a more sensitive and sensible card to give to a recently jobless friend or family member.

So what do you think ? Is it a step too far to send greetings about losing one's job ? Do you feel when you go into greeting cards stores that they overwhelm you with too many occasions and not enough variety for the main ones: birthdays, wedding, anniversary etc... ?    

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How do you research a new card making technique, especially with a new medium ?

For those of you who don't already know, I was selected to be part of the new Design Team (DT for short) for Panpastel. My excitement turned into panic when I realised:
  1. I haven't used pastel much in the past (apart from using pastel pencils)
  2. I'm not an artist, I know how to assemble elements and hope that it will look good enough to make a decent card but that's about it.
  3. I didn't have any clue where to look to see what other crafters were using them with...
Now, I thought let me look at the manufacturer in the States and the site was very thorough and lead me to a few videos on youtube. This was great because I tend to forget about youtube and how it's chocoblock full of demos etc. It's kinda a visual smorgasbord of anything from funnies to music videos...and also cardmakers/scrapbookers sharing their love of paper crafting.

I also did a search on Hubpages (where I wrote a few articles about cardmaking myself) I really like that resource site as the quality of the article is usually very high. I wasn't disappointed; a few artists were showing how they were using panpastel and how to go about it.

I finally started to search on Google but as I feared it was full of retailers selling the stuff instead of how to use them etc... Obviously I need to modify my keyword search and this is where you come in helping me. 

  • What are you favourite keywords to find how to use new techniques ? 
  • What are your favourite sites apart from Google and Blog Google to take you to interesting finds ?
  • Do you use only manufacturers website or even online retailers to see how to use some new mediums you never came across before ?
Please leave your thoughts and comments I'd really like to see how you go about it ?

    Monday, September 26, 2011

    Now that I'm blogging (writing more about myself) what's this blog 'mission statement' ? (how grown up!!!)

    On my previous post I explained how I'm going to use this blog as my sounding board and express myself as a crafter with mental health issues. It might not be everyone's cup of tea but as I said there are 7 other blogs of mine if you only want to see cards without my 'dross'. I almost had an epiphany when I read this blog post from Christie 'Getting passionate about your blog'. She talks about a mission statement for your own blog.

    Now to me it sounds all grown up and very corporate but I do understand where she's coming from (she mentions a few resources about blogging that seem very interesting so do check out her blog). I believe what Christie means is the personal mission statement or in my case: what's this all about, Fab ?

    And it suddenly dawned on me that it's all about sharing my personal experience as a paper crafters: the many self-doubts, moments of 'I'm going to pack it all in' extremes, the daily quest of sorting the paper craft stash in a practical way ( I started to tidy up my corner and it's still work in progress after a week).

    So be prepared this is about card making, papers (and cuts) ...hopefully with less despair. I hope I'll make your smile more than cower thinking that I'm totally nuts ! LOL So fasten your seat-belts because it's going to be me warts and all. I started this blog back in 2007 just to share my cards that I've made but now I feel confident enough to share a little of me for posterity.

    I came across these bloggers' posts who have read the same post from Christie and decided to give it a go at explaining to their readership and themselves what their blog's direction might be:
    So what's your own 'mission statement', in a nutshell why have you started a blog (if any) ?

    Sunday, September 25, 2011

    'Riding the wave' distracting myself with card making, how I cope with my depressive phases

    You're probably wondering why I write more about myself and how I feel recently. Well it's because I thought this blog of mine needed a new direction. I have 7 other blogs (listed on the right hand side) about different niche of card making, although I'm still featuring cards on this one too it's going to be also about me and how I feel about the card making process and my daily life. I won't write everyday but when I feel like I need to express myself and use this blog as a sounding board I will do so.

    Something spurred this soul searching I discovered a blog through seededbuzz (google it, wink) and I felt like that post was talking to me.

    Ginger (The Seamstress of Avalon) is sharing how her mother's depression affected and how she has to cope with it now. In her own words '... I had always felt that being in any kind of pain and letting it show was a sign of weakness that others would despise me for '... and it's kinda how it felt in my own family too. I had to look inward and show total indifference as a coping mechanism during my teenage years. Music was my saviour then and discovered years later when I was diagnosed with bi-polarism that most manic-depressive need something to distract them (some of those distractions are disruptives, I'm glad I picked music).

    I've been card making for a few years now and I noticed that most crafters use this hobby as coping/healing distraction to their disabilities either physical or mental. I also realise that most of them are very vulnerable to criticism (me included) and we tend to kinda jump the gun. I guess in my case when I have one of those 'foggy' days I need just to craft and ignore what happens around me. 

    It's no easy and I don't have a magic solution, some days I'm capable to cope with some know downs and not being able to craft, others I feel super sensitive yet I can craft for England so to speak. I'm sure that makes an interesting individual albeit very erratic.

    Ruth Weal has a five steps resource for dealing with depression on her blog and as she mentions that's what works for her. As for directing your energies and dealing with your own creative depression, Melissa Shell opens up with her own view about it.

    I hope you can ride through the wave as I like to call it when I feel well enough to paper craft !

    Saturday, September 24, 2011

    Are you a hoarder of your leftover bits when paper crafting ? Confession of a card maker !

    So the big questions is... What do you do with your leftovers bits when paper crafting ?

    I, personally, can't bear to part with even the most minuscule leftovers ( I know 'sad' ) but there's a method in my madness: I always believe that they can be useful for Artist Trading Cards (commonly referred as ATC). As you can see from the pictures I use small plastic containers to store them or plastic bags even worse I stuff them into cellophane bags meant for the cards I make. It's an illness !

    Are you ruthless (and if so can you 'cure' me ? lol ) with your bits and offcuts ? How do you manage your ever mounting stash of papers ? And the most difficult question to answer is what is the smallest allowable size of paper you can keep: 2X2 square inch can always be used for a topper as a mat...but then 1 inch is also good for an 'inchie' (minuscule art form  for the very patient). I despair of my sorting indecisions so when in doubt I keep everything. I need serious help !

    I need your input, how do you cope are you like me saving every single piece ? Or once you've taken your scissors to a nice 12X12 sheet of paper, you just trash/bin what's left (oh the agony) ?

    What's your practical side telling you that isn't working with me ?

    Please help ! 

    A hopeless hoarder (who's still tidying up his craft corner after 4 days of moving stash from A to B) LOL

    Panpastels are cool and I made it into the Design Team ! Hurray !

    I'm very excited to tell you that I'm part of a very talented team of crafters for Panpastel. Their weekly challenge for the UK market is starting tomorrow (Sunday Sept 25th) and this is my contribution for this weeks' challenge. You can see more infos on their blog :
    You can also purchase the panpastel in the UK at 'Your Creativity Store'
    Now I've been playing with them and will make a full demo live in one of my future craft webcasts on papermood.com please check the fanpage on Facebook for when this will happen. Papermood on Facebook

    Here's another picture where I've started to play with these panpastels, they're very light and high in pigment they have almost no binders and a little goes a long way. Also they have almost no dust residue when using them.  The clever tools that you should use with them are sponges specifically created for a velvety application. I simply love them.

    I received a 9 colours and the applicators from the lovely Berni at Panpastel UK but I was so persuaded by their practicality and ease of use that I purchased 3 more colours to expand my palette.

    I've been trying with a few techniques and I'm enjoying them. Please watch this space or my other card making craft blogs to see how I've used Panpastel. 

    Friday, September 16, 2011

    leslierahye.: LIVE EVENT Saturday Sept. 17th

    leslierahye.: LIVE EVENT Saturday Sept. 17th: Join designers all over the world as we create cards for our soldiers to send to their loved ones. Saturday September 17th 2011-- 3:00-6:00pm Eastern / 8pm-11pm UK / 9pm-12am Central European Time

    Sunday, May 29, 2011

    Special Moments Card - Promarkers and Kanban Stamp Set

    Well I never thought I would be featured on the Letraset blog, but I have to thank the super kawaii Kirsty Wiseman to have set up the mini interview asking me questions. So thank you Kirsty I'm still pinching myself.

    I got this Kanban ultra cute stamp set 'Special Moments' for Vince but I soon got hold of it and played with my promarkers. You can get Kanban stamps at Foilplay.

    I used the gorge Brenda Pinnick papers, Stampin Up sentiment and punch for the frame and faux class book edge. Some wool from stash completed the card, I also used some Hot Off the Press Dazzles (little holographic dots in the middle of the flowers)

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    Wednesday, May 11, 2011

    Enjoy the Moment Card - Using Vince's digi stamp

    I had so much fun today at Come2Chat demoing how I coloured Vince's latest digi stamp using promarkers ! I was a bit worried that seeing me colouring in would be like watching paint dry but I did fairly quickly and didn't finish the image as the time was up ! It was fun and I enjoyed myself ! :)

    Supplies are promarkers, Bella Blvd 'Honey I'm Home' papers, a paper clip from Stampin' Up and the punches to create the heart and scalloped square, also a crimper from stash.

    I'm still learning how to colour in if you want to see how the real professional do it then visit Meesh's blog, you won't regret it ! Her promarkers tutorial is an eye opener ! 

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    Wednesday, April 20, 2011

    Happy Birthday Card - Another quick Come2Chat card

    I just realised I didn't post his card yet I made two weeks ago for Come2Chat it was during the card under an hour skit I do co-hosting with either Cynthia or Amanda.

    Come2Chat is three time a week at Noon Easter time in the Creative Edventures Live Webcast Room ! So please join us if you just want to see what we're up to craftwise and not, it's just a friendly place where you can hang out and share what you've created if you own a webcam....so don't be shy.

    The card was made using supplies enclosed in one of the latest issues of Let's Make Cards magazine (UK).

    Friday, April 15, 2011

    Pinwheel Card - Come2Chat 'Card Under an Hour'

    I've been a busy bee, recently hanging out with Cynthia and Amanda on the tree times a week webcast show Come2Chat.

    I'm always there on Monday and Wednesday at noon (Eastern) and we've having fun just chatting and showing what we're up to craft wise. Everyone is welcome to drop in and if you have a webcam you're encouraged to show us your latest craft creations as I find other people's work of heart, so inspiring.

    This is a card I did during my 'Card Under an Hour' spot each Wednesday, I use Claudine Hellmuth 'Scrapbooker Creativity Kit' and people in the chat room pick a number and a draw some coloured cards and themes to spur a card making session by myself...it's very daunting every time because I never know what I'm going to get and if I have the right supplies etc...to match the colour and theme picked.

    Last Wednesday I was lucky as the colour drawn was an olive green so I went for my Stampin' Up Old Olive cardstock pack and the theme was Wind so there was a mini picture of a pinwheel so I thought why not I found the perfect paper for it.

    It was a lot of fun and I'd love you to join in next Wednesday at Noon (Eastern Time) and chit-chat with everyone in the room. It's very informal and we alway end talking about other things so it's not strictly craft.

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    Monday, April 11, 2011

    Tiles For A Good Cause - Creative Edventures Charity Shout-out !

    Oh la la.....what a lovely set of designs from Craftwork cards, I used it with Ranger's Tim Holtz inks to just fade them a bit. Then used my triple embossing faux acetate technique. Coloured in, then black plus white on top. Off-setting the image !

    This is for a charity do and a very good cause, more infos on Creative Edventures' blog ! :)

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    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    Yet More Bunting Card - Stamps of Life

    As promised here's another card made using the Banners4all and Cake2Build stamp sets from 'Stamps of Life'.

    I used a patterned paper from Craftwork Cards and I do like the pink hues and vintage roses motifs of those papers. I made also another card but sent it before taking a picture of it ! LOL Oh well never mind.

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    Saturday, April 09, 2011

    Bunting You Take The Cake Cards - Stephanie Barnard Stamps of Life sets

    I'm loving these stamps set from Stephanie Barnard's 'Stamps of Life' I got the Banners4all  and Cake2Build set to create two lovely cards (the other one will be showing tomorrow.

    I do like simple and understated cards. As the eyes focus on the main element. The embossing just gives a subtle touch to frame the two elements (bunting and sentiment).

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    Wednesday, March 30, 2011

    Happiness Always Card - La la la la la Triangle !

    Hello everyone ! :) This is the card I made for my 'Card under an hour' challenge on Come2Chat.

    I'm a permanent fixture on their weekly show (Thank you Cynthia) so I'll be doing all sort of paper craft on Monday at Noon Eastern Time / 5pm UK BST and on Wednesday same time but with my 'Card under an hour' challenge where I use the 'Scrabpooker's Creativity Kit!' from Claudine Hellmuth to jump start my creativity to make card right under your eyes.

    Now this is the room link to get to Come2Chat (Monday / Wednesday / Friday at Noon Eastern);


    So save it in your favourites so you can get there quickly ! :)

    I'll be doing a tutorial on how to make a triangular card out of your average rectangular base card. So watch this space.

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    Monday, March 21, 2011

    Cardboard Pencil Case using My Mind's Eyes Bloom & Grow Decoupage Pad

    Another great challenge from Come2Chat (Creative Edventures), this week it was using a piece of cardboard or corrugated board. I used the box, Charlie Bear came in and recycled it making a pencil case.

    I had this lovely decoupage pad from My Mind's Eye, Bloom & Grow and it's full of lovely flowers etc.. but tucked in almost hidden these art and craft like blooms where screaming to be used.

    I've covered the cardboard with decopatch glue and let it dry which makes it very shiny and stiff. Easy to apply then the die-cuts toppers from that pad to complete the look some old metallic brads from Making Memories.

    Finally I thought it would be cool to use some hemp string across the two elements inside the flap that something I purchased from Stampin' Up.

    I hope you can join us in our new challenge next Monday, you need to make something out of a CD or Cd case and should be useful for a Party.

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    Monday, March 14, 2011

    TP Roll Frame for Come2Chat challenge !

    Come2Chat have set up a challenge in using TP roll(s) but I cheated as I used an inner kitchen paper tube. Same thing though. I created the main tree with it and the branches. All done using some glue, My Mind's Eye papers Bloom & Grow and Decopatch glue.

    People in the picutre are my lovely sister and mother ! :)

    Thursday, February 17, 2011

    Yet more Cardmaking by Number Card !

    My twist (Original project not shown)
    Original project (Couldn't do my own twist as Vince made one before)

    More cards from the Cardmaking by Number kit, I don't have the two pictures of the same card this time as Vince had a go at some of the cards and sent them so I had either to do one as I like it and the other I thougth I couldn't better the original project so decided to go for it ....just like that by number ! :)

    It's a real fun kit and I'm enjoying going through it ! :)

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    Wednesday, February 16, 2011

    Another 'Cardmaking by Number' Greeting Card - Many Thanks !

    My own twist on the original project (below)
    Original project
    Here's another couple of cards from that huge kit (25 styles....twice) as I'm going through it at a leisurely pace. I'm getting a kick out of creating another card positioning the elements in a different manner.

    No update yet on the last bunny arm as I'm half way through it and I find it hard going now... :(

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    Saturday, February 12, 2011

    Framed and Gilded Teddy Bears Card - Creative Cardmaking Vintage Freebie Papers

    I got a truckload of craft magazines from the very patient Sharon Duncan ! LOL I wonder if she needed a forklift to get my mags to the post office ???

    As I was going through them I spotted these lovely free papers from Crafter's Companion, also noticed that the lovely Nicola made the sample for them, so I thought why not assembling it ! :)

    Since I'm on a gilding trip recently, the card got the full gilding flakes treatment, all around it and on some of the leaves on the frame.

    I like how once you open the card the little doggy appears as it was hidden by the frame ! Little things amuse me recently ! ;)

    Now the magazine is Creative Cardmaking Vintage Special Edition and it has lovely papers from, wild guess here, two CD collections form Crafter's Companion. I'm really liking these magazines from Practical Publishing International ! :)

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    Friday, February 11, 2011

    Why Buy your Crafting Supplies online at Woolworths.co.uk?

    Just found out that Woolworths (yes they're still around online, hurray !) have started stocking craft supplies. I have fond memories of visiting Woolworths retail stores now gone but I'm also very happy to say that the same company who owns Littlewoods have kept it alive online so we can carry on using a brand we love and trust.

    Now let's be honest we always associated Woolworths with the pick n mix and other items we didn't know we needed when the only thing we wanted was to buy the latest single....ah the kitchen gadgets I got and still use today.
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