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

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Christmas cards for family friends

These are the cards for our family friends that we see over the Christmas period.

This first one is a Hunkdory design, and was very simple indeed: it just needed popping onto matts and layers.  The poinsettias needed a few beads in the centre and the leaves are an MS punch.  Some glitter and it was quickly finished.

The next two are again very simple Kanban designs with snowflakes cut with MS punches.  I'm usually a more is more kind of girl, but this time I think simplicity works better.  I love the red foiled card, found at Brushstrokes craft shop in Wokingham.  It's a beautiful satiny ruby colour which shines softly, and I've used it a lot this year on quite a few of my cards, and also made quite a few poinsettias out of it with a Marianne die.

Thanks very much for visiting my blog, and I really appeciate your messages and comments.  xx Jill

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Christmas cards for the "girls" in the family

Here are the female Christmas cards for the family.  (Grandchildren's cards and family friends' cards will follow later.)

The first one for our daughter Louise, uses a Kanban image which was decoupaged onto an easel card, with some very sweet holly printed bp from Craft Creations.  The poinsettias were die-cut with a Marianne die from a lovely shiny red foiled card, and the punched leaves are EK (holly) and MS (gold fern).

The second one for daughter Melanie is another easel card using an LOTV image pre-printed onto squares, to which I added extra colour with copic markers.  The bps are from last year's Kars Christmas paper, which I really loved, with plain card from coredinations.  The peach poinsettias are white ones coloured with copics and were from the Hobby House, with diecuts again from Marianne.  I've heavily sprayed both with Glimmer Mist, together with the punched leaves.

Thanks so much for looking at my cards: it's much appreciated.  xx Jill

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Cards for the family guys

It's always a challenge to make Christmas cards that aren't too girly, so I mostly used trees and snowflakes.

That docrafts freebie embossed tree has been much in use this year, this time for son-in-law Bruce, with royal blue mirror card this time.

I use some Dovecraft decoupage for son-in-law Garry, with background papers from an A5 Papermania pad

My husband's card again used royal blue mirror card, with a linen finish, some lovely star-printed card from my stash and a recycled cut-out scene from an old card.  I added some shiny gold card and a silver glitter die-cut star, with some peeloff stars in the corners.

The easel card for Danny was made from various die-cut stars put together, with some more royal mirror card and some snowflake paper from the Papermania pad.  All the smaller snowflakes on the cards were punched with MS punches.  Lots and lots of glitter too.

Thanks so much for stopping by to look at my blog, and for any comments you would like to leave.  xx Jill

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Cuttlebug cards leading up to the big day

 Just a few of the cards I made using my cuttlebug.  They started out really simply with an embossed image, and then got more complicated as I went on: I really don't know when to stop!

They are all made using embossing folders, with the first one a freebie from the Docrafts magazine.  This folder is a real little gem, and embosses really easily and cleanly.  All it needed was several bottles of glitter glue, some bps and a couple of snowflakes with gems in the centre.  I love the new large snowflake punch from MS, and have used it a lot, with last year's smaller MS punches.  Unfortunately the little snowflake punch is broken (and rattling very unhealthily!!) as I tried to force it to cut card thicker than it could cope with, so I'm now having to use one that's not so neat.

The second card uses a cuttlebug embossing folder from a couple of years ago, with satin mirror card in ruby which is gorgeous irl (but not in the photo).  The third one is this year's Papermania folder on silver satin card, with some lovely blue shiny Kanban card in the background, with silver stars foiled onto it.  Very scrummy and very expensive, so I was quite sparing with it.

Thanks very much for visiting, and please let me know, so that I can come and visit your blog too.  xx Jill

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Posted the last few cards off yesterday, so I hope they make it in time!  I still have a couple of birthday cards to do too, as well as five family Christmas cards as yet unfinished, so I'm still battling on.

I bought these tiny Christmas cards, which I've used as toppers in the ASDA sale last year at the bargain price of 10 for 10p: we crafters love a bargain don't we!!  I decoupaged and then glittered them very liberally, then matted and layered them onto scrummy red pearl card, from Crafty Ideas in Burnham.  This is a tiny craft shop in the Bishop Centre, near Maidenhead, packed full of interesting craft goodies including lots of needlework supplies: heaven on earth!  I also bought the lovely shiny red foiled card there to die-cut the poinsettias, and the little gold beads in the centre.  The gold stamens are punched with a Nellie Snellen punch, and the ferny leaves with a MS branch punch.  The red tartan card was horribly expensive (over £1 for an A4 sheet!), so I was very frugal with it, and didn't cover it up too much.  Two very traditional cards, but they were quite quick and easy, apart from the flowers which took a while, so I made five of each.


Thanks so much for visiting my blog.  xx Jill

Monday, 20 December 2010

On the home stretch with the Christmas cards!

I've almost finished the cards for delivery, so just the home ones to complete now.  Yes I know some of you finished in August, but I'm not that organised (or motivated) so I didn't start till mid-October.

I've loved the new Papermania classic Christmas papers this year, especially the red-foiled ones.  I found some really lovely ruby red satin foiled paper in Brushstrokes, which goes with it beautifully, and I sprayed gold glimmer mist over the flowers to match.  The toppers and robin sentiment came in the paper pack, which was very handy.  The poinsettias are mulberry paper from Jill at The Hobby House, or some old glittered Prima ones from last year, now sadly finished.  Shedloads of glitter again: I just can't keep my hands off the stuff!  The sentiment in the card below is from LOTV; these come in a set and are very useful to tuck in behind flowers.

The holly leaves are punched with an EK punch, and the fern is an MS branch punch from Wendy at Stamps and Memories, which I've had for a while, and is my absolute favourite.

Thanks so much for visiting my blog, and for any comments you would like to leave: I love to hear from you!

xx Jill

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Christmas Cards take 2

Another couple of cards made last week, and delivered, both for friends from the ballet school. 

Dps and toppers are from the new Papermania Christmas papers from The Range, with some more shiny red card from Brushstrokes in Wokingham.  The photo doesn't show the red foiling printed on the papers and toppers, but actually it's really pretty.  The MS branch punch is from Wendy at Stamps and Memories, and the poinsettias are from Jill at The Hobby House, who also supplied the stickles glitter glue.  I'm on to my sixth bottle of the stuff in this current set of Christmas cards: I really should be buying it wholesale in large cartons!  I've used some gold Glimmer Mist on the flowers too.

Thanks so much for visiting my blog, and for any comments you would like to leave.

xx Jill

Christmas Cards coming out of my ears!!

I've made so many Christmas cards in the last couple of weeks, and I've not been near my blog.  Small excuse in that I've also had a rotten cold, we visited Alastair in Huddersfield for his 40th birthday, and we've also been off to Bournemouth for a couple of days. 

Our son's Christmas present to us, was a pair of tickets to see "War of the Worlds" at the BIC.  What an AMAZING show: just totally spectacular, and we've always loved the music.  So we just had to stay over a couple of nights and have one of the Mandarin restaurants superb Peking Feasts.  Perfect!!

Any way, enough waffle and on to the Christmas cards.  These cards are for current Jazz teacher Scott and former jazz teacher Danyl, who did so brilliantly in X-factor last year and who is now travelling around doing live gigs for a living.  Nice one Dan!!  These are both made from last year's left-over cards from my daughter, which I decoupaged to make them 3D.  The dps are from Forever Friends and the new Papermania set.  The snowflake punches are from MS and EK, and the sentiments are also Papermania.  There's more glitter glue than you'd believe, and the odd few stick on gems from Jill at the Hobby House.  There's some nice shiny red card too from Brushstrokes in Wokingham, which is difficult to see, but quite eyecatching irl.

Thanks very much for visiting my blog.  Please leave a comment and your blog address, so I can come and visit you too.

xx Jill

Sunday, 21 November 2010

male birthday easel card

How impossible is it to get decent photos in this weather?  I need to set up some sort of lightbox I think, rather than trying to get a smidgen of daylight through the skylight in the office, as the colours are entirely wrong, and are much more muted irl.  Hopeless!!

This card was for my husband's best buddy Tony, and uses a La Pashe "Remember When" decoupage image of an old garage.  I decided on a easel card as the main image is so busy, so I thought it needed a bit of calming down.  I put some stone card from Kanban behind it. but I really think it needed some sort of floor level to stand the mechanics on as they're floating a bit!!  The little tools are brads, and the border punch is from EK.  Plain cardstock is pearl card from Hobbycraft.

Thanks very much for visiting my blog, and of course, please feel free to leave any comments.  xx Jill

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Golden Wedding Anniversary

I hope that this will be the last of the Bookatrix cards for some time to come, as I've now run out of inspiration with these.  I know everyone always loves them, but it's not easy to keep coming up with a new version each time. 

This particular one is for my daughter's in-laws, Bob and Carol, who are celebrating their golden wedding anniversary on Friday.  Louise is very lucky to have such a lovely couple as in-laws, and they are fantastic grand-parents, driving up from Dorset to look after the little ones when needed.  It didn't happen in my day!!

The gold and cream cardstock are from A Touch of Craft (at the Ally Pally exhibition in September) and the little flowers are from WOC, with the  bead sprays from Hobbycraft.  The heart die is one from cuttlebug and is my absolute favourite: I use it nearly all the time; and there are the usual peeloff corners and borders and names from Art of Craft.  Many thanks to dear Janey on the Imag-e-nation forum for the lovely anniversary verse.

Thanks so much for visting my blog and for any comments you wish to leave.

xx Jill

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Birthday card for an old friend

 This is a birthday card for a very dear friend, who is also a dance teacher.  I taught ballet to their son, Michael, many years ago (when he was "nobbut a lad"), and he still works professionally in West End Theatres.  He's currently Choreographer and Dance Captain for the musical Billy Elliot, which has been running for many years now.  Michael and his partner are expecting their first baby at the end of the month, so this will be grandchild number eight for our friends, and they are just as delighted as if it were their first!

Sorry about the quality and odd colouration of the photos again, but the weather is really too poor to take decent ones.  The second photo just  looks a bit orangey.

I made an easel card with Annalee papers from Dies to Die For, with my usual coredinations from a Maze of Memories.  This is a new favourite image from Magnolia, and I expect to use this one many times in the future. Although she's a very pretty ballerina, I'd love to tuck in the bows on her pointe shoes, and tie that hair back into a nice neat bun!!  The little corner diecut is a cuttlebug one, the tag is from Spellbinders, and the lattice border is one of the new punches from EK.  The flowers are a mix of Prima and WOC, and the little charms are quite old ones from Jill at The Hobby House.

Thanks so much for looking at my blog, and please leave me a comment, so that I can come and visit your blog too!  xx Jill

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

simple wedding card

My daughter, Louise, wanted a very simple card in cream and gold with pearls for her friend's wedding.  I really don't do understated, so found it quite hard to make this one.  I started another card, and then decided it was in my usual busy style, so abandoned that and went back to the drawing board.  What can I say? I'm a more is more girl!!

Even then, I took about three elements off this one before finally ending up with this version!  The plain cream and the rose patterned card is from Brother Sleep, whose card I came across at their stand in the Ally Pally exhibition in September, where I also bought the patterned gold (I can't remember which stand).  The heart motif, heart border and leaf are MS punches from Wendy at Stamps and Memories.  Ribbon and flowers are from Hobbycraft.  There are also (whisper it quietly) peeloff lines and a peeloff sentiment.  Other than bookatrix cards where I nearly always use the fine border lines, I can't remember the last time I used any of these on a card,and I've got THOUSANDS OF THE DAMNED THINGS!!!!  Anyone want any?  Please drop me an email if you do - I'll happily pay the postage to get rid of them!

Thanks so much for visiting my blog.  xx Jill

Monday, 8 November 2010

80th birthday card

Just back from sunny Portugal, to the rubbish British weather.  Sorry about the really poor photo. The light is very dull, with such dark and dismal weather, so the background of the card is rather dark, and the image and flowers are very purple.  I promise it looks much better irl!

This is an eightieth birthday card for Dorothy, a retired magistrate, who is an old friend of Joe's, and comes along to all the social events.  She was a keen vintner in her former life, so she was very pleased with the card, and was going to show it to her grand-daughter who is also heavily into card-making.  We all had a chatty lunch together at a posh restaurant, which was very nice. ( You always know it's posh when you get very small portions!!).

This is one of my very favourite images from Whiff of Joy, and is "Willow with grapes", which I've coloured with copic markers.  I had to change the wine coloured card with copics as I had nothing to match in my stash.  The flowers are a mix of Prima flowers and hydrangeas and WOC roses. 

I also had to colour the little metal charms and leaf.  The gold leaves are cut out with a Papermania punch, which I really love, although I needed to go over the veining with a small ball tool to create better indentations.  No stickles today, as everything was extra busy, but there is some glimmer mist on the flowers, which gives a bit of a sheen.

Thanks so much for visiting my blog.  xx Jill

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

birthday card for an old friend

My dear friend Christine is "Granny" to her eight grandchildren, who now all live nearby to her home in a beautiful part Scotland by the Tweed.  Their son and his wife moved into their street with their two little ones a couple of months ago, so she's been doing lots of babysitting since then!

I really love this Belles 'n Whistles stamp from Quixotic Paperie called "Baking with Nana", which is coloured with copic markers, and the sentiment is from Whiff of Joy.  The plain papers are coredinations, and the dps are SEI papers, with flowers from Prima and WOC.  The edge punch is Martha Stewart, and the little charm is from Mei flower crafts.

Thanks so much for visiting my blog.  xx Jill

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

birth of our new grandson Joshua

A card for our son Alastair and his partner Tracy on the birth of their beautiful baby son, Joshua Joseph.

It is a simple decoupage image, with American Crafts dps and baby embellishments from my stash.  Plain card is Bazill Bling, and I've  used Stickles glue in the Waterfall colour.  The large 8x8 card blank is from Craftwork cards.

Big sister Charlotte is very proud of her new brother, and told the nuurse that she'd been waiting years for him!!

Thanks very much for visiting my blog.  xx Jill

Monday, 18 October 2010

Natasha's first birthday

What a little cutie is this little stamp from LOTV: I've just been waiting for the right opportunity to ink her up.

I can't believe our beautiful baby grand-daughter is one year old today.  She's toddling about quite purposefully now, and being a menace to the dog!

The stamped image is coloured with copic markers, and I have to say that colouring the hair was the most difficult, as it's so wispy: not sure I've done it full justice.  The sentiment stamp is from Pink Gem.  The papers are from a lovely set by Imaginisce, and the flowers (sadly now nearly all used up) are old Prima ones with WOC baby roses at the centre.  The two edge punches are by EK, and cut beautifully through a medium weight card.  The little pink Gems are from Jill at The Hobby House, and plain card is coredinations, with lots of my favourite Stardust stickles.

Thanks very much for visiting my blog and for any comments you would like to leave.  xx Jill

Saturday, 16 October 2010

last but one of the bookatrix wedding cards

Thank goodness I've now nearly completed all the bookatrix wedding/anniversary cards on order (just one last wedding and one 50th anniversary one to do)!  They are very time-consuming, and although people always say they love to receive them, I feel I now need to be a bit more inspired, and do something different.

Cream patterned and gold embossed card are from the craft exhibition at Ally Pally last month, where I also stocked up on the curvy peeloffs.  These bookatrix cards are really the only things I use them for now, although I'm determined to use up some of my enormous stock of images, letters and sentiments peeloffs at Christmas, if I get time.  Flowers and beads are from Hobbycraft.

Thanks very much for visiting my blog.  xx Jill

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Joshua Joseph

Just a few pictures of our gorgeous new grandson Joshua, born at 3.30pm on Thursday 7th October 2010.

He really is the cutest little bundle, and big sister Charlotte is already besotted, not to mention the grandparents!

Maybe I'm just a fraction biased, but we are very lucky to have such beautiful grandchildren!

Thanks for all the kind messages we've received about Joshua: I really appreciate them all.  xx Jill

A birthday card for Allan, my daughter's close friend who is a keen golfer.  I can't find the details of who gave me this decoupage image, but many thanks to them.   It is a perfect match for the Papermania Persimmon dps, with some coredinations cardstock.  The little tag comes in the paper pack, and the buttons are from my stash.  There is some red stickles glitter glue lurking around, and I decorated the inside too.

Thanks very much for visiting my blog and for any comments you would like to leave.  xx Jill

Saturday, 18 September 2010

birthday card number five!

This is my fifth birthday card this week, this time for my son-in-law, Bruce, who is very interested in motor racing.

I used a die-cut decoupage for the car, as 3d cards are always popular with the guys; and some clipart for the flags and skidmark.  Both the blue and red cardstock are pearlised, as I couldn't find anything bright enough left in my coredinations stash, so had to resort to some older cardstock to get the right colour-match.  The awkward part of this quite simple card was trying to get the diagonal red stripe and skidmark to fit the card, and involved some maths (not my best thing)!

Although I often struggle with male cards, I enjoyed making this one, as it seemed to come together automatically.  A couple of days off now for teaching, before the next marathon card-making session.

Thanks for visiting my blog, and for any comments you'd like to leave.  xx Jill

Thursday, 16 September 2010

the fourth birthday card this week!

This is the fourth birthday card this week, and still one more to go for my son in law on Friday!  I need to get started on Christmas cards really,  but there's still lots to do before I can get going on those.

This image, by Ching Chou Kuik, is from Sweet Pea Stamps in the States, which I stamped and then coloured with copic markers.  The sentiment is cut with a nestie, and the ribbon and most of the flowers are from Wild Orchid Crafts (others are Prima).  Although the image looks light and the red flowers look horribly dark, they are much brighter irl, but as the weather is poor at present, I wasn't able to get a picture that was anywhere near the real colours.  Autumn's definitely coming looking at the forecast today, so I'll be making Scotch Broth tomorrow!

 The background paper is Basic Grey (Euphoria I think), from Jill at The Hobby House, and cardstock from A Maze of Memories.

Thanks very much for visiting: and please leave a comment if you can.  xx Jill

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

40th birthday book

This is a hardboard book for our son Alastair who is forty tomorrow.  It was trickier to make than I thought, and also took longer, but I hope he will be pleased with the result.  I think the hardest bit was getting the paper stuck down on the cut-out number 40, and edging it all with teal embossing ink, and then glitter to give a neat edge.

On the inside back page I used a Sugar Nellie stamp "Rock Idol", as he is an excellent singer and guitarist and plays in a band.  Everything (including the sentiments) is coloured with copic markers from Wendy at Stamps and Memories.

I used Black Market Society papers throughout (from Jill at the Hobby House), who also supplied the tons of glitter glue and the little charms. There are several computer generated sentiments and stars.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog, and for any comments you would like to leave.  xx Jill

Sunday, 12 September 2010

wedding card in silver and white

A commissioned bookatrix card for the niece of my son-in-law, who got married this weekend.  Lots of white printed Kanban card, white stardream card from Craftwork cards, silver linen card and peeloffs.  The flowers and pearls are from Hobbycraft, which I made into a small arrangement.  The heart die, which I often use, is from cuttlebug, and it also appears on the box.

Thanks so much for visiting my blog, and for any comments you would like to leave.  xx Jill