Saturday, 31 March 2012

A Rocking Flower Card

This weeks cardmaking course was with the theme "Off the edge"
We were looking at thinking outside the box, with techniques we dont normally use, card shapes, positions etc
So one of the cards I came up with was....
......a rocking card
I have only made one of these before, & normally I woud have put the image in the centre to balance the card so this time I put the image on the left.
I put my coloured pencils & pens to one side & used a pencil to shade the digi image in ("flowers for Mom" which can be bought from Stitchy Bear digital stamps, this image was bought for my own use & was not distributed in class)
I dont normally use yellow, so that colour was used on it & I wont usually use flowers as well.

I would like to enter this card into this weeks One Stitch At a Time Challenge - Anything goes.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Cardmaking: Bye Baby Bunting

So I've saved my favourite to last & we've come full circle
 This card is a smaller version of the first bunting cards I showed you HERE.
 While making the bunting cards I thought how much it reminded me of a washing line, so I went with that idea & created a baby girl card from a sheet of A5 card.
& so we come to an end of my adventures with bunting, if you've missed any of my bunting posts you can please take a look back over them, you'll find links to each below.
A Bit of Bunting
A Bit More Bunting
Back to Bunting
Birthday Bunting

Monday, 26 March 2012

Cardmaking: Birthday Bunting

Pretty papers make fabulous bunting.
These are simply made with circular punched out papers, folded in half. No string used this time, the lines are drawn on, and the bunting flags stuck on. These were done after I'd inked the edges of white card & stuck it onto dotty paper which formed the border.
The 2 birds were cut out of patterned paper as well.

This one I wanted to give the idea of a rainbow in the sky. Again the string is drawn on, including the bows. The clouds are cream, shiny card, edged with silver ink. Coloured, patterned triangles were stuck onto plain coloured triangles to give a nice border before sticking onto the card, overlapping, on the "string" to create the bunting. I finished off by using a rub on for the "birthday cheer".

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Cardmaking: Bunting

On this card I masked off a few clouds & sprayed blue, shimmering ink over them. I then attached the bunting. As the flags were predominately white I inked the edges to make them stand out more. I finished off with stamping "Happy Birthday" on.

Bunting on some pretty papers with a touch of gold.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Cardmaking: Back to bunting

Heres some bunting cards, not in the usual triangular flag style. Both I think would be perfect for males.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Rocking My World Friday

I am writing this, feeling rather stressed out -                                                                                               you've probably heard about Game on the news, well Ryan works for Gamestation who Game also own- so contemplation on the positives will hopefully lift my mood.

First off is the lovely surprise I got through the post....
Lizzie makes the most beautiful books in a range of styles. People buy them for weddings albums, guest books, recipe books, I could go on & on. I admired such a book she'd made for her friend, a sketchbook you can find HERE on her blog. She made me an A6 journal with the same materials & sent it to me as a surprise, isnt she a darling! There was also a lovely card in the package and all beautifully wrapped, which always makes anything even nicer (you can send me your toe clippings & as long as you package them nicely I wont yell at you). I love how the lokta paper (is it made by orcs? you've got to be a WoW player to appreciate that lil joke) almost seems to blend into the grey suede spine. Not only made with me in mind it was also personalised with a "K" stamped with a lino stamp Lizzie had made, mine, all mine, see, the letter tells you so. It all made me feel very special and loved, thanks Lizzie xx
You can see better photos, & read more about the book HERE on Lizzies blog, she is very generous with her explanations & tutorials so well worth a look.

Last Friday Kai gave me my Mothers day present & card when he came out of school, he couldnt wait until sunday. He made me a lovely bead bracelet & told me he HAD to put a purple bead on to match my hair, this kid KNOWS to colour coordinate :-D

Sunday I had a lovely Steak dinner on salad, I cooked it to perfection even if I do say so myself. I love steak but havent had it in ages so treated myself, well, it was MY day.

The sun is out & its warm! I actually went to the school today in a light cardi & was still too warm.

Friends on facebook giving me support when I had a much needed rant, and others complementing me on my new fb photo (the same photo is on about me/about lil ol me), a nice lil ego boost.

We're all healthy (ish) , not starving, have heat & light, a roof over our heads, all the things we take for granted. So whats Rocked your world this week? Aa always, come link up at Celtic House.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Cardmaking: A bit more bunting

This idea I got from pinterest HERE, Not sure of it & have decided to add the recipients name to the front as I think it needs something extra.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Cardmaking: A Bit of Bunting

Our cardmaking lesson was inspired by bunting this week, & oh boy did I run with it!

Lynne showed us how to make a new type of step/concertina card out of 12x12 card that she had spent ages working out measurements for. & heres my take on them
 A clown party

& a fairy garden party.

Theres plenty more bunting cards for me to show you so pop back tomorrow :-)

Sunday, 18 March 2012

YOUR queries answered :-)

I love getting comments, they make me feel acknowledged, appreciated & part of a crafting group that covers the globe. This week I've been asked a few questions, and feel I need to clear a few things up, so I decided a post dedicated to answering my followers questions & queries would probably be the best way about it so, without further ado...

Cardmaking: first steps lesson 1

Aw shucks, thank you Marg **blushes**. I have been cardmaking for 8 years, starting when Iris Folding was all the rage & the original red sizzix was the height of crafting technology. Over the years I have fallen out of love with it though & needed some inspiration that didnt involve stamps or ready made embellishments. Though I know a lot of people out there do beautiful work with these they just dont get my creative juices flowing very often (she says having treated herself to 3 digi stamps ;-)
Most of the ladies on the course do it every year as Lynne (the teacher) uses the same techniques but makes a lot of different styles. I cant wait for "Arty" week as we get to do Encaustic Art, I tried it once 8 years ago & ADORE it, one day I will buy myself an encaustic kit, one day.

Just one sketch - No photos & layering

Hi Aly **waves**. Its a paper scrapbook page, haven't got the inclination to try digi scrapping yet, I'm very tactile & like to feel the papers :-)

Ello me ol mucka! get it, mucka, mucky, pig, furry pig, no, ok forget it ;-p
The background sheet is one from My Minds Eye, Lost & Found Christmas
The green & gold papers are bazzil, the ones with journalling on are Bo Bunny Father Christmas "12" Father Christmas cut outs item # 12FCO944
Finally, the embellishments are all part of the Papermania "A Silent Night" collection
Ooo, its not often I can list what bits & bobs I use, lol, yay, go me!

Zack doesnt remember it at all Lizzie, he found it quite funny reading about it all, he was only ickle though when it happened. I did mention it to his teacher at the time & if I remember correctly it basically came down to school dinners being done by an outside company, & guidelines/rules/Health & safety etc wouldnt allow it. However they had a Christmas party a few days later with bang free crackers (gun powder is not allowed in school, lol), party hats, nice foods etc :-)

Arent my blog followers lovely, & I do appreciate them all.
Please feel free to ask any questions on my blog, about the items I show, or even if your just being nosey :-)
I love hearing from you.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

200 Budget Meals - A review.

I was sent "200 Budget Meals" by Octopus books to review...

What's it all about?
This is a 240 page, colour, recipe book. The blurb on the back reads
"From Soups and starters to suppers and desserts, over 200 delicious recipes for chefs on a shoestring budget
Beautiful photographs and clear instructions make this book perfect for every cook."
It starts with an introduction that explains how to buy the right products, at the right time can help stretch your budget. It then leads onto the recipes, sectioned off under the headings "starters & snacks", "vegetable & salad dishes", "rice & pasta", "meat & poultry", Fish & Shellfish", "desserts"

How did I find it?
I've made several of the recipes from the book & find the instructions very easy to follow. I like how alternatives are given with each recipe so you can alter it slightly. The majority of the recipes are quite cheap to make, though some would be outside of my own budget. The recipes are not only cheap but also all seem healthy as well. There's a good selection of winter warmer type of meals and lighter summer salads, with varying degrees in-between. The majority also take less than 40mins to prepare & cook so great when you have time restraints.

The photos are clear and look appetising without looking too fussy or unobtainable

The recipes I tried were all very tasty, and I would recommend this book for people on a budget looking to try out some flavoursome new meals without wanting too much fuss behind it.

You can find this book on HERE.
Thank you to Octopus books for sending me this book to try out

Friday, 16 March 2012

Rocking My World Friday

Its friday again & I really dont know where the week went! Actually, I kinda do, Kai had 2 days off school which made it feel like the weekend again, but I'll tell you about that in a moment :-)

Saturday we had Kai's friend over with his Mom to play, it was nice to talk to an adult & listen to the kids play, though I have to admit it was even nicer, after a previously busy week, to run upstairs after they'd left, through on my slobbies (a tracksuit for slobbing round the house in ;-), & not worry about messing the place up or doing any housework. Though I'm sure the Mom wouldnt have minded the place in its usual lived in appearance, I would, lol.

Sunday, weigh in day & I lost another 1lb, yay. almost at the 1 stone loss mark. I bought size 12 trousers off the rack & the fit ... seeing my size 14s were very tight at the start of the year I am over the moon, I am noticing the difference. I feel healthier & a bit more confident in my appearance.

Monday, I decided that this would be my day off as I felt hadnt really had a weekend, so I made a few cards. That afternoon I had a phone call saying Kai wasnt very well & was very upset that his stomach hurt so I went & got him. I was told he couldnt come back until thursday due to him having to "spend a bit of time on the loo". Soon as he was out of school he was absolutely fine, actually, he was a lil pain in the bum all the way home! So yay for him not feeling ill etc.

Tuesday & wednesday, with Kai at home it really felt like the weekend. We made cards together and I made one I was very pleased with (as usual, you'll get to see it next week :-) I even felt a little bit lost that I was making a roast.

Thursday, Kai back at school & my name had been pencilled in for me to be on a cookery course next term - I think they're getting the idea that I like these little courses. Its another course to do with Kai, this time after school so we're really looking forward to it. Everyones feeling a bit more positive at my OHs work due to several companies looking at buying it. Nothing is set in stone, & its barely more than whispers - I wish I could be less cryptic but the company is monitoring the internet & I dont want to make waves at the moment .... big brother is watching!!!!

Today, well today I got a lot of praise for the cards I'd made off the other ladies on the cardmaking course, which was lovely, though a bit embarrassing. We're starting to relax around each other now & chatting as a group

So a rather quiet week, but a very nice one as well. How has yours been?
If you fancy joining in pop on over to Celtic House & link up .... which is where I am off to now.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Just one sketch - No photos & layering

I REALLY enjoyed making this layout. A lot of my memories of "little Zack" (as opposed to his rather taller current self ) werent caught on camera as I didnt carry my film loaded camera around as much as I do my digi one so these are recorded without photos.

I altered my sketch slightly to make it suit more layers & the very pretty background sheet.
I am very happy how it turned out.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Cardmaking: first steps lesson 1

As some of you may already know I have started attending a first steps card making course. Lynne (our teacher) shows us a few example cards, shows us how to make them & then we can make our own either copying hers or doing our own.

This is the first one I made, using pretty papers, die cutters, embossing folders, card candi, punches & a little bit of lace.

Looking at the pretty papers Lynne had brought with her I got the idea for this card.
The image on the left is cut out of patterned paper. I also used nesties in the same sheet to get the border for "Make a wish". The crown is a layered sticker. Finally, "make a wish" is a rub on that I used on some off white paper, then cut out by hand to match the nestie (there wasnt one that would ideally fit). I finished off my drawing with pen the border onto this & layering up.

On the inside is simply says "Happy Birthday"

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Cheesecake Squares

These are rather scrummy! a baked cheesecake flavour with what basically tastes like peanut or choc chips. 5 weight watchers pro-points per slice (divides into 16 squares)

1 (225g) package cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup M&M or Smarties candies (I used smarties)
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1 egg
1/3 cup margarine
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar,  
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350f / 175c
2. Beat the margarine and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Add the walnuts and flour; mix well.
4. Reserve 1/2 cup of the crumb mixture; press the remaining crumb mixture into bottom of a 8″ square pan.
5. Bake for about 10 minutes.
6. Combine the softened cream cheese, granulated sugar and vanilla; using an electric mixer, mix at medium speed until well blended.
7. Add the egg; mix well.
8. Layer 1/2 cup of the Smarties or M&M candies over the crust; top with the cream cheese mixture.
9. Combine the remaining candy and reserved crumb mixture; mix well.
10. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the cream cheese mixture.
11. Bake again for about 20 minutes.
12. Let cool completely before serving.

Monday, 12 March 2012

12 goals for 2012 - 2nd update

So how did the past month go in relation to my goals? (to see my goals please check out my post HERE)
1. Lose weight
1.5 more lbs & I will have lost 10% of my original weight. So far this year I have lost 12.5lbs.

2. Exercise
I have worked my backside off with doing things such as housework & walking, I am feeling a bit fitter & am starting to show definition on my calf muscles & torso. I do want to get back into regular, set exercise so I shall push to do that this month

3. Get ebaying & 4.Clear my roof
Havent done very well on this, Must try harder.

5 & 6. Scrapbooking
I have really got into cardmaking again this month after a long, inspiration-less break so this has taken up some of my scrapbooking time, though I have made a couple. Need to find a healthy balance.

7. Blogging.
Every week, yes, every week I have blogged, yay, go me

8.Out & About.
Party crafts has unfortunately finished but I have started a cardmaking course a bit further away from home, twas a tad nerve racking but its full of lovely women. I also started a "playing with numbers" family learning course at the school, unfortunately that was cancelled after 2 sessions as there were not enough attendees.
I also went to a new group today which was very full, very nerve racking & we also turned up late (aghhhhhhhh), but I dealt with it, yay!

9. Career
I have spoken to a lady who teaches crafts & she gave me the pro's & cons of the job. She's also going to find out if I can do a bit of work experience with her to see if I like the job or not. I have been advised to contact her bosses to see what qualifications the job role requires though she thinks it might just be a teaching qualification. All things to look into.

10. Cards
I have quite a nice lil stash pile of cards building up :-)

11. Extra income
Need to put another "Must try harder" here.

12. Debt Free
Still concentrating on clearing my catalogue bill though I can see the light at the end of that tunnel. Unfortunately, with my other half's job in jeopardy, my plans may be scuppered.

All in all I've basically done either very well or not at all, this month I'll try & get an even balance.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Just One Sketch - Minimise

I simplified my sketch, I only used 1 sheet of paper, some letter stickers & didnt even use any embellishments but opted to sketching.

The journalling reads....
"Zack will do anything to get out of tidying his room, especially putting his clothes away.
This includes sleeping under & over a big pile of clean clothes."

I like how this page has turned out, its a style I've never tried before, & the first time I've sketched anything onto a scrapbook page.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Rocking My World Friday

Its that time of the week again & the first thing thats rocking my world is that I can write & POST this on my blog! Our internet & cable tv has been rather unreliable this week, seeing that its the week we get paid its been a tad annoying, so I'm rather glad I'm getting to post this now.

Card making course - I have joined a 10 week course, in an area I dont really know & with a group of people I have never met before (though I do know the teacher from the party crafts course Kai & I were doing). The ladies on it are lovely & very welcoming, many of them did the last cardmaking course that was held before, one has even done it every year since about 2001, including one I attended 7 years ago, she even recognised me :-)
I'm gaining lots of new ideas which I shall share with you soon (internet allowing).

Lost another 1.5lbs this week, not too sure how, must be because I've been sooooooooo busy because I've been a bit naughty on the eating front. This included a delicious pudding in the pub, cant remember the name but it was similar to tirumasu, mmmm, delicious. I'm now in size 12 tops, though size 12 bottoms are still a tad tight, at least I can do them up now though I wouldnt dream of going out in them.

Very proud of Kai for limping all the way to the top of the Wrekin & back down again with the rest of his year group, even though he'd bruised his heel & his shoe get putting pressure on it - He really wanted to go up the Wrekin.

Zack attended a rather cool Japanese introduction session at Uni, they got to do Origami, write their names in Japanese, have some Japanese food etc. I think it would be a rather handy language for him to take up in the future if he still wants to break into the games industry.

Some open careers advice from somebody in the profession

Another course started on Wednesday, this time its play with numbers. We're looking at how children learn maths in reception class. Our kids join us in the second hour so we can put what we've learnt into practice. only 3 people on this course who were very nice, tad nervous about next weeks as there will be more people, but if they're as nice as the others I should be fine.

I managed to catch another bus, my idea, to get Mom & myself back to our local shopping centre. Most of the buses stop there so I find it a good start to build my confidence up.

Its been a busy week & for the majority I've really enjoyed it.
So how has you're week been? Fancy joining us over at Celtic House to share your positives?


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