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!

Silver Anniversary


It's my aunt's and uncle's 25th wedding anniversary today. I had the idea of making an elaborate wreath or frame with a Love theme, but the project was quickly abandoned. I thought of the many (useful and less useful) gifts they would receive. One of their closest friends is also a crafter and I didn't think it was right to steal her limelight with my gift idea. So instead I made a fun card, something unique that would stand out from the rest of the cards.

I didn't like the idea of going all silver and wanted to use up my coloured stock. I had left it to the last minute so I made this slider card in a few hours. I wasn't too keen on cutting out all the little bits to put together the pandas (always a daunting task) but it was worth it. The panda has been featured in many of my designs including magazine work. It's one of my favourite dies and I'll be using it again and again. Some of my favourites include this simple Panda Bunting design, another Slider and a sweet Panda Box.

This is my anniversary card for them, a very colourful one!

You wouldn't tell but I used Christmas papers for the background. I only have one paper pad as I prefer working with coloured card. It's difficult to make a bow from heavy card that can be bent and stays in shape. Instead, I used free papers that were not too thin and coated them with adhesive book covering film on both sides. The stopper was made from Stitched Scallop Edges, one of my most recent purchases and worth every penny. I think it makes an easy but fancy stopper with plenty of space for a sentiment.

Hope you like it!

My Favourite Dies


While most of you are busy with your Christmas projects, I decided to take a creative break just before the festive season. We don't celebrate Christmas so there's nothing to plan and prepare which leaves me with plenty of time for last-minute makes for family and friends. We treat Christmas as a long relaxing weekend. Last year, we invited our neighbours for homemade tapas. This year with Ellie nearing her 2nd birthday, there'll be more time for playing and reading. I'm really looking forward to it!

At the moment, I'm looking for new clean and simple styles for my cards and photo shoots. I wasn't happy with some of my work and pictures. I still enjoy working with coloured card and dies and might stick with it for a while. Here are two cards I made by combining four die sets from my small stash.

Hobbycraft recently had a 50% Sizzix sale on and I couldn't resist Katie Skilton's cute Animal Portraits set. You can turn this design into Christmas cards with festive papers instead of a blue background.

Christmas Wreath


I love contemporary style on cards and other projects. When I was asked to make a modern Christmas wreath for Cards & Craft, I was overjoyed! There is so much I enjoyed about this commission, from the colours to die-cutting (one of favourite techniques) and using other materials, too, for a change. The wreath had to feature die-cuts and Tim Holtz' Tattered Poinsettia was just the right size. I had a hard time picking my favourite poinsettia die as I wanted something a little edgier instead of a classic, detailed design.

My only regret is that I didn't have any wider ribbon in the right colour to make a big bow. This is one of my favourite projects this year and it will inspire you!

Dia de los Muertos


Halloween is fast approaching so it's time to get a little spooky. I'm always happy when autumn arrives and the world seems quieter. The cold weather is always a good excuse to snuggle up in a blanket with a cup of tea and spend more guilt-free time crafting. It always feels like a waste of time in summer when the sun is out and you think you should be doing something outside instead of being cooped up in your creative studio.

Papercraft inspirations! asked me to make cards for Day of the Dead featuring the Dovecraft Sugar Skull stamp and some washi tape. I also received a Mexican themed paper pad which I thought was a little too bright and cheerful for this occasion. Instead, I mostly worked with the washi tape to create leaves for the bunting and a black floral background on one of my cards.

This is one of my top favourite features recently as it's so unusual but still me. I never know what I'll make until I sit down and play around with the products.

I'm working on a lot of new features right now but when it comes to making cards for family and friends, I seem to have a creative block. Too much inspiration and too many new must-have products can make the simple task of creating something special for your loved ones a little overwhelming!

Panda Greetings


Two of my all-time favourite dies are the cute (panda) bear from Marianne Design and Lil'Inkers Of The Heart. I usually don't hold on to dies and stamps for too long after the initial excitment wears out and instead sell them on eBay and make space for new things if needed. That way I always know what's in my drawers and as my stuff doesn't take up much space, I never need to worry about extra storage.

However I can't part from the panda (or fox & deer) and the stitched heart dies yet. I'd wanted to make a simple birthday card for the couple who runs the shop where I work. They went on holidays in Asia with their sons and daughters-in-law where they celebrated three birthdays within a week! I thought that flowers and a handmade card would cheer them up when they return so here's what I made...

Did you notice the cute little bow? I don't have any bow dies in my stash and made one using the nose from Marianne Designs' Fox and two stitched hearts! The paper came free with Making Cards magazine. It's not a colour I'd usually pick but it goes perfectly together with the rest of the card!

100 years!


This year seems to be a very special year. Within only a few months, my aunt & uncle celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary while my great-aunt turned 70. Last week, my former neighbour Ella celebrated her 100th birthday!

While many crafters struggle with masculine cards, I never know how to make age appropriate cards. This special occasion seemed to call for lace and flowers. I don't have much to work with at the moment as I don't buy new material and depend on free magazine gifts and leftovers from commissions. Luckily, I had paper leftovers in my stash from a commission which I combined with two free gifts. Can you spot them?

I loved working with this collection and the colours and images are simply stunning. Every scap of paper was used for this design including the stopper (fishtail banner) which I'd cut out for my original designs but never used it and a strip of paper transformed into a rosette. I even used the last bit of lace which was just enough to cover the front and sides!

Because this card doesn't fit into an envelope, I bought a special gift wrap in similar colours which I'll simply wrap it in. I always waste a lot of card when making my own boxes and chose the lazy option this time! WHSmith have beautiful gift wraps that come with 2 sheets and 2 tags which you can also use in your cardmaking.

If you were looking for the free gifts, they are the Delicate Adornment die (Die-Cutting Essentials) and numbers die (Papercraft Essentials).

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