Sunday, 15 June 2014

Magic Weekend!

Last weekend I made one of my biannual visits back down south for the Stamp Magic show at Doncaster, staying overnight with Sally. The June one is always a flying visit, as it's not during the school hols, unlike the October one, but it's amazing how much we can pack into the weekend.

I wasn't particularly looking forward to the journey down, as thunderstorms and torrential rain had been forecast, but apart from some good downpours along the A66, the rest of the way wasn't too bad and by the time I got to Sally's it had brightened up enough for us to sit out in her garden with a cuppa. The next day dawned warm and sunny, and we were soon on our way to Doncaster. Stamp Magic is definitely our favourite show, just the right size, great selection of exhibitors including many of our favourite companies, and everyone is so friendly and helpful.

Our first port of call was the Inkylicious stand, which usually accounts for the greater part of my show spending. True to form, Deby had some gorgeous new stamps, which soon found their way into my basket. I also stocked up on her silk art card, which is perfect for using with ink dusters, and a few other bits and pieces. For a long time I have debated whether to get a stand for my ink dusters, thinking I would use them a lot more if I had them to hand all the time, instead of put away in a drawer. This time I really wanted one, but having decided on my budget, and being determined to stick to it, it was either the stamps or the stand, and the stamps won. I reasoned that I couldn't make the stamps, but if I put my mind to it, I should be able to make myself a stand. Another factor was that the commercial stands hold eight dusters, and I have nine!

By the time I got home, an idea was beginning to take shape. I scouted around in my craft room for some raw materials. Some offcuts of thick cardboard and a good strong cardboard tube, both which had been in my stash for about a million years. (Well, at least 30, which just goes to prove the value of never throwing away anything which might one day come in handy.)

I also found a sheet of paper (K & Company) with a lovely butterfly design all over it, rolls of self adhesive tin foil, clear self adhesive film and green baize, an old cotton reel and a button.

I cut five circles from the thick card, stuck three together to make a firm base, and the other two for the top. The trickiest part was cutting the slots for the ink dusters to hang in. Once I had all the elements cut to size and shape, I neatened all the edges with the tin foil and then covered the pieces first with the butterfly paper, followed by the clear film for durability. The base was covered with the green baize. I painted the cotton reel and stuck a button on top to hide the hole. Finally, everything was ready to assemble. Some glue seeped out at the bottom when I was joining the base to the cardboard tube, so I stuck a diecut (Spellbinders) round to cover it up. It looks quite pretty, so if anyone asks I'll just say it was part of the original design.

And here's the result.

And here it is with its cargo.

I must admit to being quite pleased with it, not least that it cost only pennies to make, with the added bonus that I've freed up a bit of drawer space and used some old stash too!

It so happens that it fits with the theme for the Butterfly Challenge No. 8, which is "Butterfly Bingo", so I am entering it there. My stand has used the line Die Cut - Butterflies - Designer Paper.

Now to go and put those ink dusters to use ........

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Animal Antics

My goodness, isn't this year flying by! The first of June already, and being a Sunday that means it's time for another challenge at Stamping Sensations. We had a fantastic amount of entries for our anything goes theme last month, and a big thank you to everyone who entered, it was a real treat looking through all your gorgeous projects.

For this month, however, we have narrowed things down a bit, although I think our topic will be equally popular as it is

***** ANIMAL ANTICS *****

We would like to see your depictions of creatures from the animal kingdom.

NB. Please remember that we are a stamping challenge. If you wish your entry to be considered for the prize it must include hand stamped elements. Digital stamps (which are in effect clipart) do not qualify. Sadly there were several entries last month that were ineligible because we could not see any hand stamping on them, so please do make sure that your project includes some hand stamping. You can check out our full challenge rules here 

For our sponsor this month we are delighted to welcome back Crafty Individuals, who are very generously inviting the lucky winner to choose anything from their website up to a value of £35! Besides their fabulous stamps, they also have a gloriously eclectic range of papers, printed images, masks & dies and many other crafting accessories and "must haves", so the winner will truly be spoilt for choice.

I've made two cards for this month. Inspired by the fact that we live next door to a farm, and it is so lovely to be able to watch all the animals out in the fields, I've used some of the gorgeous images from the Crafty Individuals Miniatures Book "Nature's Beauty". and stamps from their "Winter Trees" Elements plate (code CI-209).

My second card is completely different!

Of course, I don't normally do cute, but I couldn't resist the "Max & Whiskers" paper pad by Basic Grey when it came out, as it is just so bright and cheerful. Unfortunately it is now discontinued, so I am hoarding the sheets I have left! Fortunately there are two sheets of each design, so I could use one of the cat backgrounds here! The large cat stamp (Funstamps) has been in my stash for years, and gets an airing every now and then if I have to make a card for a cat lover. I cut and mounted it with Spellbinders Nestabilities dies. The small cats, words, and the cheeky dog in the corner are from a freebie set from Papercraft Inspirations magazine. All the cats were coloured with Promarkers.

Lots of delightful animal antics going on in the DT's samples, so do go and take a look at them on the Challenge Blog. Thanks for looking at mine, and I look forward to seeing yours!
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