Thursday, 27 February 2014

Project 135: Loving lines and lemon-y London - x4 L card challenge

When Claire posted her Lapin card I loved it.

When I saw it was part of a challenge to use 4 things that start with L over at Moving Along With the Times I thought that was just the kind of challenge to make me evaluate what I have in my kit.

So I came up with the headline card - definitely not something I would have conceived otherwise!

My 4 L's:
  • London
  • Love
  • Lemon
  • Lines 
I thought it would be a bit of fun to use a new color scheme for a British card and I love brights.

The card base is from a citrus Recollections blank set from Michael's that I bought years ago - this is my "lines" contribution. The orange card is embossed with a Union Jack print - sometimes hard to use but really works here! I think the papers work brilliantly with the ribbon, also a challenge to use sometimes.

The image is from the British Museum gift shop on lemon-y yellow paper and I topped it with a blingy letter and chipboard heart sticker. The little London Underground stickers are from my husband as a Valentine's day gift. Isn't that an awesome present? What's even more fun is that the stickers represent train lines - another play on the L theme :)

All in all, it was definitely a challenge but one that I think has yielded a result.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Project 134 - Pretty in pink and purple

This weekend was the first weekend I've had a chance to do a dedicated bit of crafting and I decided to do the crafting equivalent of admin and then a bespoke card for my friend Beth.

Claire sent me a great set of cards as part of our card exchange that were stamped with some funkyTim Holtz deconstructed stamps and she left them greeting-less for me to add my own. I have had these for ages and have been taking just far too long making up my mind so I thought I would get my act in gear and update them!

For the two birthday stamps I did a sideways Celebrate - I love these big type greetings, I think they are Studio G.

For these two I revisited a stamp set I had that is travel-themed and thought "Remember to explore" worked with the compass and camera.

The last one is a bit cheesy but I love it - a "You're sew special" stamp that I got free with a magazine. Ok, I bought the magazine for the stamp - so it was more like I got a free magazine with the purchase of a stamp set. These things happen.

After I finished these I went through my stash of cards I've made over the past few months and fixed a whole slew of them that had been a bit abused sitting in the box - buttons or bling falling off, edges of ribbon fraying, paper slightly torn - and got them ready for use. I've been meaning to do it for ages and finally just dedicated an hour to card surgery.

As a reward, I got started on a fun little card for my friend Beth who we are seeing to celebrate her brithday tonight. She loves all things pink and girly and so I thought this cute little stamp would be fit for purpose.

I colored her using ProMarkers and matched Beth's coloring - who doesn't like a card that reflects them?! The paper is Recollections by Michael's, part of their cherry blossom set, and the blingy butterflies are actually a gift from Beth - I love using things people have given me on cards for them. Finally the little greeting was part of a DoCraft pack that I got free in a craft goodie bag as an apology from a Craft Superstore error. (Love freebies.)

So without much of a game plan I seem to have had a very pink and purple weekend!

I did quite a few other cards but I can't show them yet as they are part of a secret challenge Claire and I are doing. But next week I'll be sure to post them!

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Project 133: Simple red white and blue valentine

We don't make a big effort for Valentine's day in our house but I like to do a little something so I was inspired to make a simple card to enter in the Pink Elephant love challenge.

When I found the red and white striped card in my collection the whole thing came together really quickly.

The stamped image is from a set Claire gave me - I like the white-out lettering and full black image, I really think it adds a modern touch (though is admittedly hard to see here as I took this in a hurry).

The layered hearts are from a combination of Woodware punches (stolen from Claire) and the bottom strip is red bling from the pound shop.

I think it has a touch of masculinity because of the stripes and dark stamped images, I think my husband will appreciate it.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Project 132: Cakes and Cocktails

It was my birthday this weekend and I wanted to do something a bit festive as we've finally unpacked (most of) the flat from moving before Christmas and nobody has been able to come see it yet. So I decided to throw a cake and cocktail party as a housewarming/birthday bash.

I try to live life by the famous Julia Child quotation: a party without cake is just a meeting!

So what did I make?


First was a little lemon drizzle cake shaped like an owl. My friend Paloma bought me an owl cake pan and so I had to give him a debut for the party: 

I iced him with a lemon glaze and then topped him with some cherries, orange and lemon candies to add ears and a bowtie. Because of course an owl needs a bowtie. 

Next I made filo pastry baskets by layering filo in muffin tins and then once they'd cooled, I filled them with  creme fraiche and vanilla with blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. 

The little candy display was a gift from our friend Beth (she knows we have a sweet tooth problem in our house) and so I made little paper wallets out of craft paper to go with the retro sweet-stall vibe:

Then I needed some cupcakes - yes needed as who doesn't love cupcakes - so I made these blackberry jam-filled cupcakes from Good Housekeeping. "They are the best cupcakes you have ever made" said Olly. High praise indeed.

Finally I needed something chocolatey so I made two types of chocolate truffles: rum and peanut butter. Both were delicious though I had a real soft spot for the peanut ones.

Now to the cocktails! I copied a drink I had over Christmas at our family friends' party which was prosecco, pomegranate juice and pomegranate seeds. Super classy and almost healthy. I put out blackberries and raspberries for garnish as well.

The second was a tropical rum punch of my own creation, featuring a caramel coconut rum, pineapple juice and soda water with some fresh pineapple garnish. Fantastic.

Someone brought creme de casis for Kir Royals as well so we had almost as many cocktail offerings as we did cakes.

That's me in my party dress that I treated myself to the day before the party!

It was a great party and a great day and I was lucky to spend it with a dozen lovely friends - missing all of those too far away to see on the day! 

Monday, 3 February 2014

Project 131: Craft buddy challenge

Claire and I decided to do a remote playdate where we picked a color and sketch combo for the other person to complete.

Here's my combo:

This was my first attempt:

As you can tell, it took me a bit of effort to get right as I struggled with the sketch more than I thought I would! First of all, this paper was so busy that I didn't use an image but it feels a bit naked with such a small sentiment. But it looks cute with the scallop punch with is a Knock-Out one from NYC. The paper is from a Recollections cherry blossom set and I think it's gorgeous. I blinged up a couple of the arks with gold and then used a gold and teal ribbon to bring it out. The orange lace paper is also Recollections, from the Femme Fatale set.

With the candies it's ok but I gotta say, it was a lot of effort to not love it. And a challenge card deserves better. So I decided to go for another try. 

So this is version 2: 
Now this is much better! The image is from a digi set from Claire and I thought it looked great with the colors. The orange paper is scallop punched with a Martha border punch and the strip of purple is embossed with a swirly embossing folder that Claire found for me in an AC Moore sale. I added the gems and candies over the My Mind's Eye Denim Shop card blank - another piece that I found in a sale with Claire. Finally I added some Hippie Chic card for the banner and I was done.


I found this cute typewriter topper and thought it was too perfect. The arrow was from the same set and I normally don't get chipboard toppers but I thought the modern shapes and colors were really nice.

I used an orange paper from yet another Recollections packs (I came home with four 12x12 stacks between Thanksgiving and Christmas...I know, I can't buy paper for a year...) and the purple is actually the same as above with the same swirl embossing as I thought that was really nice. I added some purple buttons from the last $20 challenge with Claire and topped with the "sent with love" stamp you see there which I found in a really strange set in my collection. Perfect with the XOXO greeting in the typewriter I think.

Really good challenge though given the latest one we've set ourselves this may be a walk in the park...!

Project 130: CAS Color Challenge Card

Quick one from me!

I saw the colors in challenge 277 at the Color Throwdown Challenge and wanted to squeeze in a quick entry to kick off the week.

The main image is digi from Claire and I colored it to match the colors in the challenge. I embossed th epink card background to give it some cuteness and then backed it with blue to bring out that color.

The stitched grosgrain ribbon is a favorite and I've been saving this little scrap for best.  I decided this year is a year for using everything - even favorites - so here we are.

The little flower button is another one in the collection and again - I thought this was a great use for it. Finally a little happy birthday topper and I think it's one cute CAS entry!