Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Just because

It's the first time for ages that I've had chance to make something just for its own sake, rather than for a particular occasion. Some of the ladies at one of the schools I work at are keen to set up a craft club, just amongst themselves to begin with, but with the intention of opening it up to parents and the local community once it gets going. They asked me if I'd like to join them. I said yes, of course!

They hadn't heard of teabag folding, so I made a couple of cards to show them what it is. I used to do a lot of teabag folding at one time, but that was a long time ago. I really enjoyed going back to it. There are many websites which have free papers to download, and one I really like is Derek's Teabag Tiles which has loads of lovely designs. The butterfly papers I've used here are from Derek's.

The first card has the teabag design backed with a Nestie Butterflies Circle.

I love the butterfly circle but it's very difficult to get it out of the die! I found that putting a layer of waxed paper between the die and the paper you're cutting works wonders! The butterfly corner is a punch I've had for years, in fact one of the first punches I ever bought.

The second card uses a simple kite fold, with the same papers from Derek's and a Nestie Lacey Circle. The corner stamp was from Elusive Images (now Chocolate Baroque) and the centre message from Craftwork Cards.

Having made my teabag cards, I started to put my things away and noticed the Butterflies Circle cut from the wax paper, still on my desk. Loth to throw it away I sat and looked at it for a moment, wondering what I could do with it. Then I remembered the faux batik technique. Very carefully so as not to tear it, I crumpled up the circle and smoothed it out again. Then I ironed over it on to a piece of glossy card so that the wax was transferred to the card. Next I brayered over the card with ink from a Big And Juicy inkpad (Spice). The wax resisted the ink and the pattern was revealed.

I finished the card with a banner stamp by Waltzing Mouse, sentiment by Chocolate Baroque and two of the tiny butterfly cutouts from the punched corners.

It feels great to be back crafting again because I want to, rather than because I have to. I had got out of the habit, I think, with all the upheaval of moving house and settling in to a new job, and indeed a new way of life, but I'm pleased to say my enthusiasm is returning. Watch this space!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

In The Garden

You can't see much in our garden at the moment, because it's covered with snow!

That is actually a colour photo! However, underneath the snow, the snowdrops are out, and the daffodil shoots are already well up. The weather since we moved up to Scotland has been quite miserable, on the whole, although we have had a few lovely days too. I doubt we have finished with winter yet, but when the spring bulbs start to appear, they always lift my spirits.

And what better theme for Stampalot's February Challenge than


Guaranteed to lift everyone's spirits! Here's my take on the subject.

Having rediscovered old stash when sorting out my new room, and realised the extent of it, I decided that I must try and use as much as possible! So - the background for this card is a paper napkin I've had for at least ten years. The stamped image is part of an equally old Hero Arts set, and it and the sentiment (Hobby Art) are stamped and matted on scraps. I have to confess that the butterfly and border dies are new (Memory Box - couldn't resist them) but the ribbon is old! I mounted the butterfly over a scrap of Crafty Individuals background paper which is a bit old!

The Design Team have produced some really beautiful samples this month, so do go over to the Challenge Blog and take a look. And the prize is just as stunning - the most gorgeous selection of garden-themed goodies!
I can't wait to see the entries this month. I'm sure this will be a very popular theme.
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