Wednesday, 15 November 2017

The best laid plans..

Hello, and welcome!

You may recall that, in my last post, I was super-excited about attending OnStage local in Solihull.  I had my bagful of swaps and was looking forward to showing you all what I'd got in exchange.

Well - it didn't quite go as planned.

I never got there.

What follows  is the whole sad story - you might want to skip ahead to the YouTube video.

To be absolutely honest, something had been telling me "not this time" for a while.  The event sold out really quickly and I only just booked about 15 minutes before it reached capacity.  If I'd arrived home from work half an hour later, I would have missed it.

Never mind, I had my spot and started making my swaps in good time.

Then I hurt my back.  I have no idea how - I just sat down and pain shot up my spine and down my right leg.  It was the first day of my two weeks holiday, as well, and I spent most of the time trying to find a position to sit/stand/lie down that didn't cause sheer agony when my back went into spasm.  

It got better - I was well enough to return to work at the end of my leave - but I couldn't drive without pain until about a week ago and was seriously considering cancelling until about a fortnight ago as I wasn't confident that I'd be able to drive the 2 1/2 hours it would take.

There were other things that were going to make it difficult to go away - the cat needing a operation on her eye, for example - but nevertheless I was determined to go and looking forward to it.  So on Friday afternoon, I set out.

I got as far as Cardiff - about 45 minutes from home - when my 3-month-old car, with fewer than 1,300 miles on the clock, began showing a Tyre Pressure warning light - which wouldn't go out even after I'd put more air in the tyres.  By now it was dark and my nerves were in shreds.   I thought that the problem was probably the monitor system, but couldn't be sure - and really didn't want to be stuck at the wrong end of the motorway (and yes, I do have roadside assistance/recovery cover but if there really was a problem if I wanted to be at home!)

So - I went home.  And the following day, in daylight, it turned out that the monitoring system needed to be reset and all was well.  Except that I was in Swansea, not Solihull.  I thought about going anyway but would have got there at lunchtime and wasn't sure they'd let me in.

I did some colouring instead.  I'm not the greatest colourer-innerer but decided to experiment with the three kinds of colouring media that SU carries - the Stampin' Write markers, the Watercolour Pencils and the new Stampin' Blends.
So anyway - no swaps to share ( I have about 40 mini fans to dispose of - anybody want one? Email me if you do!) 

 So today's video wasn't what I'd planned!  

As a thank you for putting up with my one-woman pity party, I've posted a bonus video, which shows you the out-of-the frame technique I used on the sample above.  

This is just for you, my blog/Facebook friends.  I'm planning on including a few (exclusive) extras from time to time (out-takes, bits of technique I've covered before or don't really go into on the main YouTube video) - let me know if you think you'd like it.  

Thanks for staying with me up to now!

Crafty Hugs,


PS - There was quite a nasty accident on the motorway at about the time I would have been passing on my way back home and I might well have been caught in it - so perhaps my guardian spirit was looking after me!  xxx
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Saturday, 11 November 2017

Mini folding fan favours

Usually at this time of year, SU demonstrators are hitting the road with joyful cries of "Telford, baby!" - this being where OnStage Local (our demo conference/training event) is held.  This year, for a change, it's "Solihull, baby !" as the venue has changed, and that is where I shall be, so I'm really, really hoping that the scheduling for this post and the YouTube video works!

When I was a little girl, my sister and I loved pretending to be posh ladies, fanning ourselves with bits of paper concertina-folded and drinking "champagne" (otherwise known as cherryade) out of our mother's sundae dishes.  Sometimes I'd spend my pocket money on a paper fan from the market and swan round the place, being very grand and fluttering my fan like mad.  It must have been hilariously funny for onlookers!  Still, I did love my fans!

I made a full-size version of these folding fans back in the summer and I thought a mini version would make a nice item to swap with other demonstrators at OnStage.  It does get quite warm in the conference room - so I hope these will be a nice practical item.  

They'd also make nice party favours or goody-bag items.
I've scheduled the video, and you should be able to link from it here -

It wasn't easy to keep track of where all the score lines needed to go while filming, so as I promised, here's where you need to crease the paper.

Score at (all measurements in inches) -

¾  1 ½  2 ¼ 3 -3 ¾  4 ½ - 5 ¼  6  6 ¾ 7 ½  8 ¼  9  9 ¾ 10 ½  11 ¼

Turn the paper over and score at-

3/8  11/8  17/8  25/8  33/8  41/8  47/8  55/8  63/8  71/8  77/8 85/8  93/8 101/8  107/8 115/8

If you find that the ball tool jumps out of the channel a lot, you can help it run smoothly by lubricating it - rub it on a bit of dry soap, a tumble-drier sheet, or even rub it on the side of your nose!

I'll be telling you all about OnStage (well, as much as I'm allowed to) in my next post and I'll also be showing you what I got in exchange for my swaps next time, so please do come back on Wednesday!

Keep Crafting!

Crafty Hugs,


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Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Tulle shaker card

Hello, and welcome!

I can't stop playing with the Hearts Come Home bundle.  It was the first thing on my wish list when I saw the Autumn-Winter catalogue back in the summer (one of the advantages of being a SU demo is that we get to see - and buy - new products before they go on sale to everyone else.  Sweet!)  

Today it's a Tulle shaker card.  I like this style of card because, if you're careful you can move the shaker bits (sequins in this case) through the net.

Here's how I made it -

I did promise that I'd tell you where to score if you are using  8 1/2 by 11 card, which would be at 3 7/8" and 7 3/4" (Metric - score at 10 cm and 20 cm)

Hope you have a go at this kind of card - they are fun to make!

See you soon - and keep crafting!

Crafty Hugs,


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Saturday, 4 November 2017

Birthday card for my (grown-up!) baby

Hello and welcome to my blog!

This should have been a straightforward card.  My younger son's birthday is later this month (he's 30 - how is that possible?  I'm only 24! 😆 ) and I wanted to make his card.

It turned into a bit of a learning curve.  To begin with, I forgot that ink takes FOREVER to set on vellum and wiped off the embossing.  I also made a hash of trimming the vellum strip to size.  I thought I'd filmed myself correcting it, but can't find the clip (it may have been a casualty of the great iMac collapse of 2017 - see my previous post for details!)

Anyway, in case you wanted to know, I straightened out my wonky trimming by going old-school - I used a craft knife and ruler.  I was awake enough to remember to use a cutting mat - then decided to trim the edge of the card while I was at it, but after I'd put the cutting mat away...and cut right through my silicone mat.  Sigh. Luckily, I wasn't filming that bit, because I said some very Bad Words.

After all that, if you still want to see the tutorial, here it is...

See you again soon and keep crafting!

Crafty Hugs,


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Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Oh Baubles!

Hello bloggists, welcome to my blog!

It's being posted a bit later than usual.  To be honest, I had a bit of a 'mare yesterday.  Perhaps there were more than the usual number of evil spirits flying around!  Gather round, and I will tell you all about it...
I should explain that, because I work full-time, I film and edit my video tutorials in advance - usually at the weekends -  and then upload them to YouTube just before I write the blog post that accompanies them.  I generally leave it to the last minute to write my blog (hangs head in shame)

SOOO - yesterday was a bit on the hectic side, involving an unplanned trip to the vet to collect a repeat prescription of the cat's eye drops (she's had a poorly eye and had to have surgery).
Wearing the cone of shame!

She's getting pretty good at dodging so that the drops go down her nose, which means she's going through them too fast.  Husband had an emergency visit to the dentist as well - yes, it was one of THOSE days all right.

Never mind, once home I was ready to crack on.  Then I spotted a notification that there was an update waiting to be installed, so I decided to get it over with.  It was only for Safari, it's just a web browser, shouldn't take long...BIG mistake!

I'll spare you the details of the next few hours, but suffice it to say that, after some quality time with Apple support, I wound up having to reinstall the Mac's OS.  I didn't lose any files but by the time I'd uploaded the tutorial to YouTube I'd had enough, and went to bed.

I don't know whether it's as the result of all the shenanigans but the tutorial loses sound for about a minute at the start - sorry about that, it was fine at this end!  

So there it is!  Better late than never, I hope - and I hope you enjoy the tutorial.

See you again soon - keep crafting!

Crafty hugs,


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Saturday, 28 October 2017

Simply Sketched 24

Thank you for joining us for another Simply Sketched Saturday 

We’re so excited to be sharing this hop with you.  The products used are all available in the current Annual, or seasonal, Stampin’ Up!® Catalogues*.

Today’s challenge has been set by Keila Calver – and there’s no sketch to show you.  Keila has challenged us to make something using window sheet, otherwise known as acetate, which, as you know, is completely transparent.

I had a few ideas for this one, but eventually settled for this Moon Baby card, featuring the brand-new Stampin’ Blends pens (on sale from 1 November, so not long to wait!) and a bit of out-of-the-frame die cutting.  

There’ll be a tutorial on my YouTube channel soon if you want to see how I made it)
I’m really pleased with the way it came out – the colours look rather retro to me, which I like, and are quite strong  and clear.  Lovely!
So now, on with the blog hop!  You can get to Dee's blog by clicking on the button - 

Keep crafting, and  please do come back again soon!

Crafty Hugs,


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