Sunday, 30 January 2011

Back on the scrapping wagon...

My crafting time is necessarily somewhat limited at the moment... not only have I got a 5 week old baby making demands on my time but also I have my mum coming over for a few days each week (ostensibly to help me out with the kids), both of which means I don't have my entire evenings to myself anymore in which to craft.

My mojo is alive and well and I have a gazillion ideas for things I want to work on - it's finding the time that's the issue! I've found myself leaning more towards cards and ATCs lately as they can be put together fairly quickly - scrapbooking pages take a little longer.

All that said, I have managed to make another LO - only my second one this month! I wanted to join in with the weekly challenge on UKS this week and I managed to find a bit of time last night and again this afternoon to get in my craft room and put this together:

The challenge this week was to include:
  • Baby or an animal or something new as the theme;
  • The colour red or earth tones;
  • A star or planet;
  • The word Who in the title or journalling.
I got all of the above in so full points for me! :)

The LO is about DD2 being born on her due date. The papers/journalling spots are xmas-themed Kaisercraft ones that came free with Simply Cards & Papercraft magazine. The chipboard alphas are My Mind's Eye - Dear Santa and the chipboard embellies are Pebbles Chips. I used a white gel pen to scribble frames around the cardstock/papers and a teeny bit of journalling in the bottom corner.

And now I have to go because the subject of the above LO is having a squirm and a grump and probably wanting a bottle! :lol:

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Uhoh. My crafting days are over!!

So, in an attempt to get fit/lose weight, I ordered a Wii Fit Plus game with Balance Board (I've had my sister's Wii machine sitting around for the last couple of years but have never even plugged it in) and it came today. This evening I decided to try setting the board up and see how it works etc.

I only meant to spend maybe 20 minutes setting it up and having a quick go.

Around 2 hours later, I finally made myself switch the machine off! My mum and I had ended up bringing the baby up to the playroom in her moses basket and the pair of us had tried out several of the games/exercises, worked up a bit of a sweat and mostly laughed like drains at how incompetent we were at most of the games!

The damn machine is addictive! You think you'll just have a quick go and before you know it hours have passed! That's it. My crafting days are over. I'm officially a Wii addict! :lol:

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

WOYWW - 26 January 2010

Yargh. Yet again I have failed *utterly* in my attempt to visit everyone's desks this week... however, I did at least start at the end of the list this time and work backwards so that I got to visit some different desks this week. My apologies to those who I didn't get to... I know I say it every week but I will try harder this week! :lol:

Anyway, on to what's on my desk this week:

Lots going on this week so I thought I'd label up what's happening on the desk:

1. The completed ATC that was sat in pieces on my desk last week;
2. My first ever attempt at a stepper card - as seen in my previous blog entry;
3. A quick card that I made yesterday for a friend - it was pretty much just an excuse to use these adorably cute little chipboards and papers that came free with Quick Cards magazine;
4. The yummy sets of stamps that I received from Create and Craft the other week and which I am still in the process of mounting on U-Mount;
5. An in-progress experiment - stamping onto acetate with Staz-On ink with a view to adding glue and glitter;
6. A cute little heart-shaped wooden box that I got ridiculously cheap from the kiddies art section in Wilkinsons;
7. A cute set of Kanban clear stamps (used to stamp the shoe on the acetate at no. 5).

The desk is still fairly tidy (although the scraps from recent makes are already building up by the printer ("off-screen" to the left of this photo), probably as I've not had much chance to craft in the last week - in fact it's only been Monday and Tuesday nights that I've managed to get any time in the craft room!

Thanks for stopping by - please do leave a comment - and if you're wondering what all this WOYWW stuff is about, head on over to The Stamping Ground where Julia invites crafters the world over to share a peek at what's on their desks.

Wishing you all a crafty week! :)

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

My first ever stepper card!

I started this blog when, after moving house and finally getting my very own craft room where I could spread out and have space to play properly, I got massively reimmersed and remotivated in my crafting. I have been scrapbooking for around 6 years and, over those 6 years, have progressively gotten more and more into cardmaking too.

However, it's only since the move and having my own craft space that I have really started to grow and experiment as a crafter, trying out new techniques and ideas and getting more ambitious and creative. I've gotten into stamping and inking, making ATCs, cosmic shimmers, all things Tim Holtz, embossing folders etc etc etc! And in particular, I have started experimenting more with my cardmaking.

For the most part, the cards I have made thus far have essentially been an exercise in decorating card blanks - card blanks have the advantage of coming with a ready-made, matching envelope and I've made some lovely cards using card blanks. But lately I've been hankering to get more creative and to emulate some of the incredible work I see out there in blogland (and on e.g. Create and Craft) where people are making all sorts of intricate, original, truly hand-made cards, where the basic card itself is made from scratch.

I've already had a go at making a tri-fold shutter card and the next one I wanted to try was the side-stepper card. So last night I finally got chance to get in my craft room and have a play, and this was the result (lighting was not great for taking photos, especially as I used a shimmer card which tends to reflect the light of a camera flash!):

I combined my urge to try out a stepper card with my need to use this gorgeous card topper that I printed out from the Joanna Sheen CD I recently bought. I'd printed it as an experiment, to see if my printer's colour issues were resolved, and it just came out *so* gorgeous that I had to use it for something!

I followed this great tutorial to measure out the cuts and folds to make the base card and I printed out matching papers, embellishments and a sentiment from the CD and used them to decorate the base card.

I'm really pleased with how this came out - the side stepper card was remarkably easy to make and to decorate and I'm loving the overall look that comes from using the coordinating elements from this CD. I think I'll be getting a lot of use out of this CD.. and I'll definitely be making more stepper cards!!

Monday, 24 January 2011

Good news!

My printer is working again! Hallelujah! :)

After a day of frustration spent searching online for deals on new printers, and then for specialist cleaning cartridges that were compatible with my printer and then attempting, as a last ditch effort, to put the cheap ink cartridges back into the printer and run multiple cleaning cycles, only to find that the stupid printer wouldn't acknowledge that the cyan cartridge was present when it was.... I finally got the darn thing to accept that all the ink cartridges were present and I started running cleaning cycles.

Bearing in mind that I had run probably 10 cleaning cycles only a day or two before with absolutely no change in the amount of yellow ink that was getting through.... this time, after the second cleaning cycle, suddenly a lot more yellow was getting through! So I ran a couple more cycles, just to be on the safe side, and the test print was showing all colours printing normally so I printed a nice complex colour design from my Joanna Sheen CD to try it out... and lo and behold, it's printing colours normally again!

Hurrah! Print head unblocked, problem solved, no need to spend £80+ on a new printer!

So I can actually print some photos now and get some scrapping done!

All I need is the time... oops. :D

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

New stash... and new frustrations!!

The postie was good to me today.

He delivered not only the Joanna Sheen CD that I had ordered (her stuff is not usually my style but I saw this CD mentioned in a craft mag and I just love the fantasy artwork on it!):

but also a vital component for printing images from the above CD - new printer ink cartridges:

And therein lies my frustration.

My printer has been printing colours wonky for a while now - all my photos etc are coming out with a bluish-pinkish tinge. DH suggested that it may be down to a dodgy ink cartridge (I get my cartridges refilled and DH said maybe I'd gotten a bad colour batch of refill ink) and that putting new original cartridges in might help. So I ordered some.

However, before trying out the new cartridges, I decided to run a test print... and the results were not good! It seems the yellow print head is badly blocked as there's hardly any yellow coming through on the test print - which explains the bluish-pinkish tinge.

The problem now is... I can't seem to get the darn print head unblocked!! I've run the head cleaning cycle about 8 times now (which of course is using up ink!) and it's made absolutely no difference whatsoever! I've even tried putting in the new ink cartridges and running the cleaning cycle again but still no joy.

So how do you clean/unblock a print head when the cleaning cycle won't do it? I guess I'm going to have to contact Brother's customer services and ask them how to resolve this... hope it won't mean sending my printer off for repair. :/

WOYWW - 19 January 2010

What's this? Wednesday again already?! Where does the time go?!

Every week I swear to myself that I am going to visit all the WOYWW desks... and every week I fail miserably! So my apologies to those folks who I didn't get around to this time - I shall try harder this week! :lol:

So what's on my workdesk this week?

Actually quite a productive desk this week - and still fairly tidy following my massive blitz a few days ago... although the clutter is starting to build up again as I pull out stash for projects I'm working on. I have actually managed to get a bit of crafting done in recent days - a couple of ATCs and a scrapbook LO, as seen in a previous blog post, and what you see on the desk today:

A birthday card for my mum - bit of a last-minute make as it's her birthday tomorrow so I need to post this today! I bought this fab stamp a couple of months ago and immediately thought it would be perfect for a card for my mum! :lol:

The finally-finished faux dichroic glass pieces that I have been working on, off and on, for weeks! I finally got around to doing the final step in the technique by adding the UTEE. I'm quite pleased with the results.

You can also see in the main picture another in-progress set of ATCs... the background is sitting on the mini-easel and the stamped clock faces will also form part of the design. The background isn't finished yet, I need to do some inking to bring out the cracks of the crackle glaze.

Thanks for stopping by my blog - please do leave a comment. And if you're new to WOYWW and are wondering what it's all about, head on over to Julia's Stamping Ground blog for the full list of workdesks to take a peek at.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Finally done some crafting!!

After giving my craft room a darn good tidy the other night, I finally managed to get in there and get some actual crafting done! Woohoo!

First off, I finished up an ATC that I had been playing with:

I bought a fab set of Kanban clear stamps from Create and Craft a few months ago and as soon as I received them this one leapt out at me as being a perfect size for an ATC. I decided to have a play with my new ProMarkers so I stamped the image with black Adirondack ink and then coloured it in with the ProMarkers. Am quite pleased with the results... especially given that a) I've never been all that good at drawing in colour and b) it was only my second time using the ProMarkers.

As well as the ATC, I decided to have a go at a layout for the January house challenge over on UKScrappers. The challenge involved using a sketch and also to have at least 50% journalling:

This is actually the first scrapbook page I have made since the UKS cyber crop in early December! The only crafting I've really done since then has been cards - Christmas cards, birthday cards, thank you cards etc etc! Feels good to have gotten back into scrapping.

The layout tells the story of how I went into labour on Christmas Eve and was in hospital over Christmas.. so we postponed Christmas Day until I was home from hospital with DD2 and had our own Christmas day, with full Christmas dinner and presents etc, 4 days late! The papers are by Stampin' Up! - the background paper was just perfect for a layout with lots of journalling.

I've not really been able to get in the craft room much since making these but I've got some more new toys to play with (some yummy stamps) and I'm feeling inspired... and DH is working away from home again Wednesday and Thursday so I'll be home alone those evenings and free to craft to my heart's content (munchkin allowing!). :)

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Blog Candy

For an chance to win some awesome blog candy (lookit all the Tim Holtz yummies! :D), make sure to head on over to An Art Soul.

This is what's up for grabs:

*salivates* :)

Friday, 14 January 2011

Well, would you look at that!

Turns out there was actually a desk under all that mess and clutter! :lol:

I managed to get in my craft room the other night and have a really good tidy... cleared up all the scraps of card and paper and all the jars and tubs of glitter and embossing powder and paint dabbers and the inkpads and random chipboard die-cuts etc etc etc etc etc and rediscovered my desk surface! :) 

And look who was keeping me company while I tided! :D

It feels good to have a nice clear, tidy desk and I am now all set to get some crafting done! Little ones permitting... ;)

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Goodies galore!

My, what a lovely morning I've had! The postie has been exceptionally good to me today! I've received not one, not two, but THREE parcels of stash! :D

The first one was possibly the best because it was unexpected! I had placed three orders for stash over the weekend but none of them were huge orders/items... and yet DH brought me a biiiig parcel up to the playroom this morning...

I opened it, thinking it must be one of my stash orders, only to find inside a whole heap of MIC goodies and a compliments slip congratulating me on winning a giveaway from Scrapbook Magazine! :D

Check out these goodies!

There two albums in there, there's papers, there's embellies! So much crafty goodness! :D

The big parcel must have arrived by courier because an hour or so later DH came up to the playroom with the post... including two pizza boxes for me! Two of my three stash orders had arrived in the post!

From Cleo's Crafts I got some way cute clear stamp sets (half price in the sale!), some giant brads and a lovely sheet of journalling cards:

And from Merly Impressions I got a whole heap of yummy Kaisercraft goodies (I can see myself very easily getting quite addicted to Kaisercraft products!!), including papers, bling embellies, wooden embellies and some OTP albums:

I can't wait  to get in my craft room and play with all these!

I really am going to have to get some tidying done in there though to make space to play with my new goodies!

WOYWW - 12 January 2011

Wednesday is here again and it's time to share what's on your workdesk - if you're new to WOYWW, make sure to head on over to Julia's Stamping Ground blog to check out the full list of workdesks!

There's still not a lot going on in my craft room - although you'd never know it from the amount of mess/chaos in there! :lol:

On my desk today: my completed thank you cards, in their envelopes, ready to seal and to post next time I pass by the post office; a card kit that I am contemplating using to make a card; and the ongoing 2nd attempt at trying Julie's faux dichroic glass technique (as seen in a previous WOYWW) - these have now progressed a stage further as I have added the alcohol inks. :)

I really must do some tidying in my craft room. The desk is absolutely covered in stuff that is left over from previous things I've been working on and just haven't gotten around to tidying away... there's inkpads, pots of embossing powder, tubs of paint, stamps, acrylic blocks, bottles of Stickles and Glossy Accents, punches, packets of brads, scraps of paper and card, paintbrushes, pallet knives, craft magazines, half-finished ATCs, aaarrrgghhhhhh! It's getting to the point now where the mess is getting in the way and I really need to have a proper tidy/clear up in order to get any crafting done!

Thanks for popping by for a look at my workdesk. I sincerely hope to have a much tidier desk to share with you next week! :lol:

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Playing with my new toys!

Well, would you look at this?! Here's me blogging and it's not a WOYWW post! In fact, it's not even a Wednesday! :lol:

Yup, I finally managed to get into my craft room for a bit last night and actually got a bit of crafting done! I wanted to make a start on making some thank you cards - which of course was the perfect opportunity to have a play with some of my latest acquisitions!

First on my list of goodies to try out was my Tim Holtz Tattered Florals die. I've actually had this die for a few months now but due to a combination of illness, pregnancy, the urgent need to make Christmas cards, giving birth and caring for a newborn, I'd not even taken it out of its packaging until yesterday! :lol:

I decided to use this yummy Laura Ashley flocked paper with the die:

Am loving how the flowers layer up. I was desperate to get this die and can see me using it a lot!

The other new toy I wanted to play with was my new Nestabilities. My mum got me three sets of Nesties for Christmas (she always asks me to tell her something she can buy me for birthdays/christmas etc so this year I sent her a link to a website and told her which Nesties I'd like! :D) and I couldn't wait to have a go with them - particularly the matching size circle and scalloped circle ones.

When I bought my BigShot a few months back, the main things I wanted to be able to do with it were use embossing folders, use some of the yummy Tim Holtz dies and use Nestabilities. All of which I can now say I have done! :D

Anyway, here  is the resulting thank you card prototype:

The patterned paper is by Stampin' Up! and the flocked paper, as previously mentioned, is by Laura Ashley. I also used plain black cardstock by Papermania, textured cardstock by Bazzill, black gemstones by Papermania and a velvet brad of unknown origin! The Thank You stamp is one from a Kanban set. :D

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

WOYWW - 5 January 2010

Goodness. I'm so behind. I didn't even get to WOYWW at all last week and I've done no crafting at all in weeks so nothing has changed on my workdesk since my last WOYWW post. This is currently my craft room in all its chaotic, untidied, non-productive state:

And the reason for the complete lack of crafting lately? This little lady:

My second daughter Mia arrived on Christmas Eve (her due date!) weighing 7lb 14oz and is a little sweetheart. We were in hospital for 5 days after the birth and since we've been home we've had houseguests for a lot of the time (my mum, my brother-in-law and now hubby's great aunt!) so even though Mia sleeps pretty well, I've simply not had chance to get in my craft room and get anything done. Really must make an attempt to soon though, if only to make some thank you cards for the lovely Christmas presents friends and family sent the girls!

So thank you for stopping by - sorry there is not much to see on my workdesk but hopefully I will have something of a crafty nature to share for next week's WOYWW. :)
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