Surprise Bouquet

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Interactive cards are a fun way to turn any simple design into something more special. I wanted to move away from iris folding for a while so here I am with another interactive design. My great-aunt turned 70 which would have been the perfect occasion to make something more elaborate. It's not that easy if your style is clean and simple. She loves flowers which she grows on her balcony and in the garden. Gardening is one of her passions and something I admire because I can't even keep sturdy plants alive!

Last month's free papers from Making Cards featured modern flower designs. I liked the soft colours and since they were the only flowers in my stash, I used the papers and one of the toppers. There's just enough space behind the watering can to hide a few small hearts and a butterfly:




All you need to make this card are square and rectangular dies (they are really worth the investment), a birthday sentiment and coloured card. The arrow is part of a die-cutting set from Neat & Tangled which includes some small stitched hearts.

Anniversary

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It was my in-laws wedding anniversary recently. I seem to be forever behind with birthdays and special occasions this year and hadn't even thought about it. My hubby asked me if I could make a quick card. This card took me a while to make and we sent it later, but at least it's something I'm proud enough of to put it up on my blog.

This one was a little tricky as the happy couple have been married for 43 years. There was nothing in my stash that suited their age or taste. Because I'm hooked to interactive cards, I just made another one sticking to the love theme this time. The panda and balloons are one of my favourite dies at the moment and they're used over and over again in my designs. I had to be inventive with the papers as I only have four pads in my drawer. You'd never guess that these are from a Christmas collection.



A lot of layers make this design bulky and heavy. An easel is the perfect solution if you worry about putting too much weight onto a card front. For the recipient it's also a beautiful way to display the card!

Fox Slider

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I like to call myself a "budget crafter". I truly believe that less is more and that if you keep your stash small, you'll use what you own more creatively. I'm on a tight budget when it comes to crafting so I don't easily spend money on new material unless it's needed for a commission. Once in a while, I like to treat myself to a new stamp or die set, but that's the exception.

Free gifts from magazines come in handy as it means that I can add something new to my designs. Die-Cutting Essentials 26 came with a free hibiscus die which I decided to team with one of my favourite dies from Marianne Design. I wanted a card as colourful as the gift I had already wrapped and dressed up with handmade rosettes. Recently, I've been hooked to interactive cards and some will be featured in upcoming issues of Papercraft inspirations and Papercraft Essentials. So instead of keeping this design plain, I added a small slider so the fox's head moves up and down. It always feels like construction work when I put a card like this together. Everything needs to fit neatly for the slider to move.






















Sometimes, there isn't enough space for a sentiment on the front, so why not stamp it on the inside of the card? This design features inlaid die-cuts (fox and circle with striped paper) and a telescopic aperture with three squares of different sizes stacked up to add depth.

Last but not least the gift which is a book that I found in the charity shop. The wrapping paper comes from WHSmith.


Get out your coloured card and create something amazing today!

Metallic Wedding

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Recently, I decided not to post my published designs anymore unless they fit in with what I share on this blog. While every commission is special, most of the cards I design are not what I'd typically make. Some magazines prefer traditional and fussy designs which presents the biggest challenge for me. I'm not a flower and butterfly kind of crafter which I know are hugely popular. One of the reasons I don't like to stick flowers on my cards is that it makes the design bulky and you can't put them into regular envelopes.

Some magazines send you materials to work with. It always feels like Christmas when I receive a big envelope full of new craft items! Lately, I've been stamping and colouring a lot and I'm very excited about some upcoming features! Papercraft inspirations! sent me Aryia's Garden collection from BoBunny to create four wedding projects using metallic accents.

My favourite designs include this side stepper for which I used a fancy card blank. It's an easy way to make an impressive card without the need to measure and cut it yourself!




















This design features inlaid die-cuts which is one of my favourite techniques at the moment. The roses were cut from red deco foil and I wanted to demonstrate that you don't need a foiling machine for it. Stick it on an adhesive sheet, run it through the die-cutting machine et voilĂ !




















You'll find new designs from me in Papercraft inspirations 168, Papercraft Essentials 149 and Cardmaking & Papercraft 173.

A word about inks

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We're enjoying lightening and thunder tonight. It's my kind of weather and if it wasn't raining heavily, I'd go out there and dance in the rain.

Papercraft inspirations 168 is out today featuring two sets of my Occasion Cards. Two of my favourite designers are published in the magazine every month, Kat Waskett and Vicky Bailey. Kat's sweet and colourful designs are just up my street. Vicky's Masterclass features cute cards with partial die cuts and I love anything with cute characters on!

I'd been eargerly awating this month's free gift, a layered stamp set with peonies and orchids. I was looking for the right stamps to come along to make a card for my great aunt who loves flowers, not only in her garden but also on her balcony, which is full of them. I always envy her for the colourful displays. Gardening must be such a rewarding hobby but I'm not made for it. I'm glad that it's raining tonight as I forgot to water the plants this week. Anyway, she feels a little down from time to time as she lost her other half only months ago. I hope this card will cheer her up!

I liked Becky James' "Pops of Pink" card made with the peony stamp. The black ink didn't work for me so I decided to heat emboss the outline in white to make it look softer. The leaves and buds were coloured in with Copics as I didn't have green inks.



I'm not a stamper and probably never will be. I have no patience and I'm already cutting out or colouring the image while the ink is still drying. Working with inks means your hands will get dirty and no matter how hard you scrub them with soap, the colour will only start to fade the next day. I'm no fan of embossing powder either as the tiny granules get everywhere. No surprise then that these are the only ink cubes left in my stash:




















Seriously, why make a mess of your desk and hands when you can keep them both clean?

Defying gravity

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I love browsing charity shops, you just never know what treasures you'll find. All you need is time and it helps if you don't have a screaming toddler with you in tow! Whenever I don't craft, I spend my time reading. Our little girl loves books, too ("book" is one of her new words) so we pop into the second-hand book shop in Princes Risborough every week.

I recently picked up a craft book for my friend. It needed a card and the card needed a box, preferably matching the colourful wrapping paper (Isn't it pretty? You can find it at Waterstones). While gift wrapping and decorating is an art I'd still like to master, I had to make do with the few embellishments from my stash: Bakers Twine and a mini peg which I decorated with a die-cut heart.

The card is made up of six layers (foam pads and cardstock) to make sure it's even in all places. When it was finished, I noticed that the balloons were to heavy for the single strip of acetate which they are attached to. I fixed it by attaching a second strip behind and bending it a little to pull back the balloons. Sorted!







































Isn't it funny how in cardmaking so many elements are out of proportion? The thought crossed my mind when I attached the panda to three balloons. Talk about defying gravity. Here's another Flying Panda fun project that I made two years ago.

Inlaid die-cut shaker

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Only five months to go until Christmas... I can't believe I'm already seeing the first Christmas products featured in the magazines! As every year, I'll be making cards for the season last minute. It always works out fine although everytime I think I'm done my hubby keeps adding names to the list of people we send Christmas greetings to. I think I might go for inlaid die-cut designs this year to make the designs lightweight. Most of them will be sent abroad which means the weight limits are different than for the UK.

Here's an example of how to turn inlaid die-cuts into an interactive card. It works beautifully as the inside of the shaker is one flat layer and no sequins get stuck anywhere. Putting it against a black background really makes the colours pop. I like working with black and can never have enough black card in my stash! The shaker is filled with clear jewels and I stuck some onto the acetate, too.



















Time to relax with a cuppa and my favourite craft magazines!

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