A very warm welcome to my blog, which is mostly about card-making, a bit about work and family, and a few odds and ends. I am fairly new to this blogging lark, so please bear with me if I make some glaring errors.

I'll be delighted if you would like to become a follower, so please leave me details of your blog, as I'd love to visit.

xx Jill

Friday, 18 May 2012

5th birthday card for Tristan

Just recently it was Tristan's fifth birthday.  Everyone has a soft spot for Tristan as he's a lively little soul with a great passion for life.  When he was little he used to take himself off to the naughty step without being told.  If my daughter said "Tristan, have you been naughty?" he'd reply "yes", and tell you just what he'd done!

He is obsessed with Moshi Monsters, so it was an obvious choice for his birthday card.  These extraordinary creatures, which are collected and swapped, are apparently very popular with children of this age.  It was a very simple card, and won't win prizes for the degree of difficulty involved, but he liked it very much, so that's all that matters!  He explained all about them in far more detail than I wanted to know, and named all the ones he had, as well as the ones he still wanted.  A very riveting conversation: it's such fun being a Nana!!  

I found the images on the net, for the card front and the insert.  I printed them out and decoupaged them; the sentiment is computer generated and the green background paper is from my stash.  Matting card is Bazill from A Maze of Memories, which is a craft shop carrying the widest range of plain-coloured 12 x 12 card I've ever seen.  They're off Junction 7 of the M40 and if I'm up that way, I usually make the trip to Long Crendon (although they're closed on Tuesdays).

Thank you so much for coming to read my blog.  It's always lovely to have visitors, and if you wish to leave a comment I'd love to come and visit your blog too!

xx Jill

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Daughter's 7th Wedding Anniversary

Whew!! The show is all over and we can get back to normal at last.  It only occurred to me when I was half-way through the Georgian dresses that it was like making up the bodices of twelve wedding dresses in just over three weeks: total madness!!  I'll ask Bruce for a copy of the photo he took and let you have a look.  They all looked gorgeous and danced beautifully, and all in all it was a very successful show with lots of excellent comments from the audience.

I made this card for our youngest daughter Louise, and her husband Bruce, for their 7th wedding anniversary last month.

It's a decoupage sheet I bought in a lovely garden centre just off the M6 near Carlisle, when we travelled up to Scotland and stopped for a cup of tea.  There was a craft shop there too (bonus!!), and they had some pretty white silk flower stems which I butchered and coloured with copic markers for various projects and which now, sadly, are all gone.  I might just have to stop there again when we go up at the end of the month, just in case they may have some more!!

The pyramage and the background paper and sentiment all came on the same sheet, which was very handy, so after the cutting out, I only had to add background card in red and green and colour the flowers and punched leaves with copic markers.  I love the sweet cuddly bears, and although the colour combo seemed quite Christmassy at first, I think it grew on me!

Thanks very much for visiting my blog and for any comments you wish to leave: I really appreciate you stopping by.

xx Jill

Friday, 20 April 2012

A Birthday Pint bookmark card

Hi everyone!

I just flew back from the Algarve in Portugal yesterday, so I'm really suffering from withdrawal symptoms in the cold and pouring rain. Yuk!!   I'm not looking forward to venturing out to the shops before I go to work this afternoon - MUCH TOO COLD - but we have no food in the house, so needs must!!

I didn't have time to show you my Easter cards, so I'll pop those onto my blog over the next few days.  I did squeeze in a couple of birthday cards before going away too, so I'll post the rest of those next month.

This bookmark card was made for our son-in-law, Garry the Greengrocer, (or as he likes to say - a Purveyor of high class fruit and vegetables to the Restaurant Trade!).  It is a craftsUprint download designed by Robyn Cockburn. These cUp downloads are particularly useful for male cards, and although they are intended for beginners, I've found that they're quite tricky to match up, so require a bit of experience.

I printed the design out onto quite stiff glossy photo paper, folded and decoupaged some elements and then glued it all together with red dst, which is the only tape that holds photo card really well.  I also printed a sentiment and greeting out onto the back of the largest folded piece, before printing and cutting.  I always ink up the edges with copic markers too, so there's no white edges showing.  The two sides of the bookmark were simply glued together, with ribbon threaded through the punched hole at the top, and popped inside the little pocket.

Thanks so much for visiting my blog and for the lovely comments you leave, which I really appreciate.  If I have time, I like to visit my commenters' blogs in return, so that I can keep up with all the lovely projects that are going on in Blogland.

xx Jill

Monday, 19 March 2012

Confirmation card

EDIT: I was really thrilled to win a top three spot for this card, with Stamping Sisters in Christ, which is one of my favourite sites.  Well done Beth, for choosing the colour-scheme and layout!

This was made for a close friend of my grand-daughter, who was confirmed yesterday.  She chose the colours herself and the layout, and I followed the instructions!

She chose the First Edition papers "Hideaway", which are very heavily glittered, and Papermania capsule collection lemon ribbon and bow.  What a joy it is to see all the Spring flowers just coming out, so it was only natural for her to pick out the Hobbycraft silk daffodils and WOC small daffodils and roses which I glitzed up with Glimmer Mist.

The beautiful cream lace is also from WOC.   There is also some stardust Stickles around the edges of the image and horizontal strips.  I do love my glitter glue!! The image was downloaded from Magic Moonlight, who have some beautiful vintage images.

The silver cross was die cut with a two Sizzix dies, which I've found very useful over the years for Easter, sympathy, First Communion, Baptism etc, and I hope to find the new Sizzix crosses when I go up to the NEC show on Thursday.  I layered one over the other to give a bit of dimension, and created the sentiment on my pc.  The ferny leaves are my favourite MS punch on cream pearl paper which I coloured with my copic markers.  I used copics on some of the flowers and all the edges too, just to tie in the colours.  Not that I'm OCD (well not much!) but I do like everything to match up nicely.

I also made Beth's friend a pretty pearl and crystal bracelet with a lovely rhinestone cross charm bought at a a recent bead exhibition, which she was very pleased with.  I usually remember to take photos of the cards and forget about the jewellery pictures, so once again there's no photo, which was a bit silly!

I'm planning to enter the following challenges with this card:
http://crafterscafeblogchallenge.blogspot.co.uk/ - ribbon and lace
http://panpasteluk.blogspot.co.uk/ - add a flower
http://stampinsistersinchrist.blogspot.co.uk/ - new season
http://craftuscrazy.blogspot.co.uk/ - religious/Easter or something sweet
http://craftingforallseasons.blogspot.co.uk/ - green and yellow
http://divasbydesignchallenge.blogspot.co.uk/ - citrus colours

Thanks so much for coming to visit my blog.  It's a real pleasure for me to come and see your blogs and admire what you've all been doing, so please leave me a comment so that I know where to visit in return.

xx Jill

Thursday, 15 March 2012

birthday card for Tracy

A birthday card for our dear daughter-in-law to be, Tracy.  It is a cUp decoupage print (designer Sandie Burchell).  This was very simple to do, with reasonably easy cutting, and was layered with shallow foam pads, so that it didn't stick up too high.  This is a style I'm currently favouring, with more layers, but less height (1mm pads).  It's mounted onto core'dinations background card and glittered with stardust glitter glue.

Just a short post today, as I'm up to my eyes in Easter cards, and a confirmation card and bracelet.  Not to mention the 12 Georgian petticoats for the show in a few weeks - no rest for the wicked!  Off to see Top Hat tonight at Woking, with Tom Chambers and Summer Strallan, as one of our ex-pupils is dancing in the male chorus.  It goes to the West End in May, and everyone who's seen it says it's brilliant, so really looking forward to this.

Thanks very much for visiting my blog.  I really appreciate all the comments you leave, and hope to visit your blogs too in the next couple of days.

xx Jill

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Thank you card "La Sylphide"

This was made as a thank you card for the adjudicator of our recent Royal Berkshire Dance Festival.  She was an excellent judge, giving really clear helpful advice to the students, and creating a really positive atmosphere, which was great.  

The image is a digi doodle from Scrapbook Stamp Society and is called "La Sylphide" by Mitzi Sato-Wiuff, which I chose as it is quite an authentic version of a ballerina.  I coloured the image, most of the flowers, the leaves and the sentiment with copic markers in a Springtime palette of colours.  I used a copic shadow around the image in R00 to indicate the warmth of stage lighting, but I think another time, I would chose a different colour, maybe in the C or T family of grey colours.  It was tricky to choose something appropriate because even the green has a warmth to it (YGs).

It took quite a while to colour, as it was quite difficult to match up the colours of the bps, even with a large selection of copic colours. I did some tip-to-tip blending , and some feathering on the dress and wings (which, thanks to classes with Wendy at Stamps and Memories, I can now do!) so I'm beginning to feel more at home with some of the more ambitious techniques.

The yummy papers are Prima from the Romantique pad, which I chose for their Spring-like feel, and I can tell you I really didn't want to cut these little beauties up!  The papers on the bar across the base are also from the same pad, and the plain core'dinations card is a sort of salmon pink.  The flowers are mainly Prima, with a few verbena flowers from Hobbycraft, and roses and small flowers from WOC, where I also bought the ivory lace.  There's a bit of Stardust glitter glue on her dress and wings, and around the oval, with Glimmer Mist on the flowers, and a few tiny crystal gems here and there.  Can't remember where the sentiment stamp comes from, but the die-cuts are Nesties and the leaf punch is from Martha Stewart.

I've decided to enter quite a few challenges with this card, as it's been some time since I've done any of these, due to my poor health.  It's come out as quite a selection though, as the card fits with both "wings" and Green or Spring colours, and thanks to Feline Playful - there's a long list of these!

They are: 
http://craftsandmechallenges.blogspot.com -  things with wings
http://digistamps4joy.blogspot.com  - mainly green
http://flutterbywednesdays.blogspot.com  - things with wings + Spring
http://mymumscraftshopchallenges.blogspot.com - Spring colours
http://www.whimsical-designs.com - Going green
http://deepoceanchallengeblog.blogspot.com - Spring
http://totallystampalicious.blogspot.com - Spring is in the Air
http://allsortschallenge.blogspot.com - Spread Your Wings
http://ceschallenges.blogspot.com - Flower Frenzy
http://cardmakinmamas.blogspot.com - Let's see some Green
http://ccmonthlychallenge.blogspot.com - Spring
http://cupcakecraftroom.blogspot.com - Spring Bouquet
http://sparklesforumchallenges.blogspot.com - Things with Wings

Such a long post from me today, with plenty of pictures - how nice to have a sunny day to take these!  Thank you so much for coming to visit my blog, and for any comments you would like to leave.  I'm still visiting the blogs of those who left comments on my last project, and it's lovely to see what wonderful crafting is being done by everyone.  Best wishes to you all!

xx Jill

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Connor's 12th birthday

Our gorgeous grandson, Connor was 12 this week, which is unbelievable.  He's as tall as I am and loving his new secondary school.  Like most boys of his age, he can recount most of the facts about the Harry Potter books and films.  He can give you reams and reams of the most extraordinary memorised facts about all the characters and creatures to a highly boring degree!

This card is from another craftsUprint decoupage design by Valerie Dawes called "Wizard School", and so was a very obvious choice for his card.  It is an easel design with two extra slots for the owl and bookcase, and needed a couple of hours cutting out, and colouring the edges with copic markers to avoid the white marks.  I was able to put it into an A4 envelope, but had to show him how to set it up.  It also needed a couple of pieces of dst behind, to make the decoupage stand up in the slots, which also had to be explained.  This might not make it suitable to send off by post without detailed instructions, but is fine if it's going to be handed over in person.  It looks great once it's made though, and caused several exclamations of "wow": so very many thanks to the cUp designer.

Thank you for visiting my blog: I really appreciate all the lovely comments you leave.  It certainly helps knowing that someone is reading about my cards!  I hope to come and visit your blogs too.

xx Jill

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

50th birthday card

This card was made for a friend's 50th birthday, and is a download from Craftsuprint, but I don't recall who was the designer, and it's not printed on the sheet.  There was a lot of cutting out to do for the decoupage, which took some time, and I also punched out some gold grape leaves, and made a bunch of grapes from some burgundy coloured beads and wire.

I altered the base of the card slightly and put a strip of card across to take the grapes and leaves (the grapes were very hard to stick on and I resorted to sticky pads and red tape!), and I also added a couple of extra layers of decoupage.  It was quite a time-consuming card, but the recipient was delighted with it, (and his wife and daughters) so that made it all worthwhile.  I also made a box for this card, as it was quite bulky, particularly with the beaded grapes!

Thank you very much for visiting my blog, and special thanks to those visitors who leave such lovely comments.  It's always nice to know when I'm blogging that I'm not just talking to myself!!  It also means I can come and see everyone's blogs, which I always enjoy.  xx Jill

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

75th birthday card for "Grandad seaside"

My daughter's father-in-law, "Grandad seaside" was 75 on Sunday, so I decided on a decoupage card from Craftsuprint, designed by Sandie Burchell.  This kit is beautifully designed, and comes with various numbers for special birthdays, and sentiments for other occasions.

These cards are quite complex to make, with lots of cutting and folding, but the resulting card is all you could hope for.  This one comes out at about 8" x 8", and stands up on a triangular base, with slots at the top, but it folds flat for posting, which is really helpful.

The reverse of the card is quite similar (not shown, because I forgot to take the picture!) but has the sentiment in the panel on the back, instead of the books and birthday message.  I printed all the decoupage pieces onto heavyweight glossy photo paper, and then coloured all the edges of the decoupage with brown and beige copic markers before I started to assemble this.  If anyone is going to do something similar, I suggest leaving the printed photo pages to dry really well before starting to cut them out, as I made the mistake of being too eager, resulting in having to print one page again.  I'd put in a new printer cartridge to get a really fresh colour print, and didn't realise that it was still quite tacky.  I won't be doing that again!

Thanks very much for visiting my blog.  If you are able to leave a comment this is much appreciated, and then I'll know you came, and I hope I can come and visit your blog too. 

xx Jill B 

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Roberta's birthday card

Although I made this card on holiday in the Summer, it hadn't been sent, so when it was one of my colleagues birthdays last week, I thought it would be just right for her.  She was running one of the Royal Academy of Dance's new Grades course this year in London and was a really good tutor, so I hope it's boosted her confidence, and made her realise that she's got real potential.

Very much out of my usual style, I used lots of old stash which was too pretty to give away in the RAK bag I usually reserve for Beth, my eldest grand-daughter, or her best friend's mum, Nic, who is a fantastic crafter, and makes "summat outa nowt" with great style. 

A cream card-blank, Docrafts transparent stickers, gold peeloffs, rainbow papers from Craftwork cards, and paper flowers, a few gems, with some gold punched leaves I've had forever, and the job was done!  I felt  very virtuous using up my bits and pieces, and plan to do this again when the mood strikes, rather than constantly being seduced by new papers and punches.  I've just seen the new Nellie rose punches though, which I might just have to buy as they will come in amazingly handy!

Thanks so much for visiting my blog.  Please let me know if you stopped by so that I can return the compliment.  JTLYK my followers pics are gone again, after only one day of being around, so I'm quite sad again.  Why doesn't Mr Blogger play nicely?

xx Jill