Tickled Pink

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Here's another idea of how to turn your Altenew free gift into a funky design. This wasn't what I originally had in mind. I started by die-cutting small rectangles of the same colours as the rose. Even a good paper trimmer doesn't cut perfectly straight lines and I always rely on square and rectangle dies to do the job. It makes it so much easier to arrange the rectangles without any wonky lines or gaps showing.

I added a pretty scallop edge and the rose with leaves. Stitched dies are another must-have in my stash. They add something special to your design without taking the focus off the main image. You only ever need the most basic shapes and some scallop ones.

All made with just a few sheets of coloured card. Aren't they gorgeous?




















I deliberately left a lot of white space to draw the attention to the die-cut image. The elegant rose would suit a lot of occasions. If you struggle with Sympathy cards, use the design in combination with muted colours. Choose red, silver, gold... for Anniversary cards or how about making batches of these as Wedding Invites? All materials are listed on top of this blog entry under "Labels".

Altenew Layered Rose Free Gift Make

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Once in a while, a fantastic must-have gift comes along and I'm sure many of you have fallen in love with the Altenew Layered Rose die from this month's Simply Cards & Papercraft.

The magazine features an interview with Lia Griffith. I'm in awe of her creativity and her website looks just as stunning as her colourful flower creations. It's amazing what you can achieve with a simple piece of coloured paper. With this in mind, I wanted to create a simple but striking birthday design using my new gift and coloured card. Bazzill Basics is my favourite material to work with right now. I don't buy paper pads anymore and have a growing collection of coloured card instead.

We have many birthday cards to send in March. I'm glad that I got a head start this time thanks to the free gift. I used whatever colours were left in my stash. I tried different ones for the background and finally settled for black which lifts the image of the rose.


Yesterday, I worked on a second design all night. Funny how when you look at a card, you'd never guess that it might have taken hours to come up with such simple design.

Iris Folding

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We had a fun day at Mead Open Farm yesterday with our friends and their children. Our daughter recently turned two years old and it's still such an innocent and playful age. You start to see the world through children's eyes again. She's all about animals and planes right now. Our plan had been to take her to Heathrow for plane spotting on her birthday, but parking can be a nightmare and it was too cold to spend time outside close to the runway.

Instead, we took a stroll through Amersham browsing the shops and meeting a friend for coffee. Back home, we made waffles and our neighbour came around. The celebrations continued yesterday with a visit to the farm. There are so many animals but the best part is the indoor play area. I went down the giant drop slides a dozen times. It's a 25 ft almost vertical drop and that's only for the smaller slide. I literally threw myself down the bigger slide, too, and couldn't stop anymore.

Here are two iris folding designs I made with bonus papers from the magazines.

This is such a simple but effective design and something I like to make when I don't have any inspiration. I love working with the free magazine papers as they always come in colourful prints and complement each other. Just add a sentiment and you're done!

Valentines

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Every year, I tell myself to send out more handmade cards to family and friends just because... Well, this year I managed to send two Valentines greetings, husband not included. Instead, I surprised my friends and one of them will receive her card together with a small gift.

I'm taking a break from crafting at the moment to do other things that I love doing. I spend my evenings on the couch with books and magazines. Ebay keeps me busy, too. Yesterday I started the mammoth task of sorting out and taking pictures of hundreds of Kinder Egg toys. I collected them in the 90's and every time mum, my brother and I went to the supermarket, we'd pick one egg each. Our daughter was oohing and ahhing as I opened each bag with toys. She picked them up and played with them, admiring every little toy as if it was a treasure.

Some evenings, I return to my craft desk to make cards for upcoming birthdays. March and May are always busy months. I found a lot of bonus papers in the magazines which I'm using for iris folding designs now. Whenever I don't have much inspiration, I always return to iris folding.

Here are two Valentines designs I made using free papers from Papercraft inspirations.

Most of my dies and stamps were recently up for sale on eBay. I'd like to build a collection of stitched dies but for now I rely on magazines freebies. I'm always happy when such beautiful papers like these come along!

Sympathy Card

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Last month, we received the news that our friend's mother had passed away. She's a sweet and gentle person who deserved a special card to show how much we care. I decided on a floral theme in purple shades as I didn't have much to work with. Luckily, The Hobby House had just sent me two gorgeous collections.

While flowers are usually not my cup of tea, I love the patterns and pre-cut toppers in both collections. Included are also lots of embellishments and sheets of pearlescent card in different colours which I used to make a presentation box. I had ordered a beautiful verse stamp a while ago and although it is no longer available, you'll find other thoughtful sentiments on stampingallday.co.uk.




















A good idea is to invest in Square Layering dies. I use them for all of my square card designs as paper trimmers just don't deliver the same results. I also couldn't do without my stitched scallop dies anymore, they really make a difference in your designs.

Surprise Slider

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It was my husband's birthday earier this month. Every year, I make his birthday card the evening before so I'm always looking for quick ideas. I'd just finished working on a feature about sliders and thought that a surprise slider would be perfect for him.

Two years ago, he turned his hobby into a career when he became a professional photographer. I still had a polaroid and camera die in my stash which I wanted to part from. It's way too fiddly to cut out and fill in all the small bits, but when you see the end result, it's actually a really cool and handy die to have for men's birthdays!


The "Smile" sentiment was put together with MFT's Well Connected Alphabet, one of my top purchases last year and worth every penny. You don't need a MISTI tool to position the letter stamps correctly, just a bit of practise will do!

Wishlist

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It's been a few eventful weeks since last month and I'm glad to settle into a routine again. We've been very unfortunate to catch whatever illness is doing the rounds. We were fighting colds and the stomach flu before Christmas. Our latest holiday, a family trip to Belgium and Germany, ended in disaster. My husband spent four days in hospital with a virus he caught from me. Our daughter came down with a cold and fever as did my dad, aunt and uncle. I feel terribly bad as they all got it from me!

I recently invested in a scoring board and Fiskars trimmer which had been on my wishlist for long. My budget for crafting is limited and I always wait for months before I decide to buy myself something I can't do without. I couldn't be happier with my latest purchases and immediately put them to the test. Here's a stepper card I made with New Year's Wishes.



















The papers were a gift from Cardmaking & Papercraft magazine and they're from a Kaisercraft Christmas collection.

I love the cute Sizzix teddy and it also featured on my Christmas cards together with the snowman from Paper Smooches:




















I'm hooked to suprise sliders now and will be sharing one with you soon.

Happy crafting!

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